The Week That Was
August 3, 2002

1. Our Gordon Prather, nuclear physicist and superb wordsmith, writes A PERCEPTIVE ANALYSIS OF THE NEW CALIFORNIA LAW TO CONTROL THE EMISSION OF CO2 FROM MOTOR VEHICLES.

2. SUNNY CALI-FEAR-NIA MADNESS. More on the CO2 control law, just signed by Cal. Governor Gray Davis, and its lack of a scientific basis.







2. No scientific basis for California CO2 control law.

By Dr. Willie Soon (astrophysicist, Harvard Observatory) 07/24/2002

Fears over the alleged catastrophic effects due to man-made greenhouse gases continues to terrorize Californians.

Assembly Bill 1058, authored by Assemblywoman Fran Pavley (D-Woodland Hills), and signed by Gov. Gray Davis "instructs" the California Air Resources Board to come up with regulations that allow "maximum and cost-effective" cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from new cars and light trucks by the years 2006-2009.

But why the rush to action called for in AB 1058?

According to Assemblywoman Pavley, "Unless we act, California will experience heat waves, droughts, floods and forest fires that could devastate the economy of the state, including agriculture, fishing, timber, real estate, insurance, construction and tourism. ... Climate change is already beginning to impact California, the world's fifth largest economy."

Assemblywoman Pavley's extreme claims are deeply rooted in the "story-lines" fueled by computer climate models that purport to show a connection between human-induced greenhouse gas emissions - such as CO2 emitted from automobiles -- and rising temperatures on Earth. But as a scientist, I have been searching for evidence of global warming that can be attributed to rising man-made greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide for some ten years now. Thus far, I have found none.

Computer climate models say that the largest greenhouse gas heating is supposed to occur in air layers a few miles above the surface. But intensive monitoring by both satellites and weather balloons over the last 22 years have demonstrated no warming in this part of the atmosphere. Thus, the idea of using computer models to confirm the impact of man-made greenhouse gases on California is most likely a futile, if not confusing, effort.

Why is this so?

For starters, the Earth's climate is an enormously complex, dynamic phenomenon, and many climatic processes are still mysterious. For example, our knowledge of the way sunlight at different colors or wavelengths interacts with clouds is limited.

Right now somewhere on the order of 5 million different parameters have to be followed in a computer mock-up of the climate system. All their important interactions and impacts must be known. But they are not known.

Moreover, how long would it take to conduct a full climate mock-up, covering all the spatial scales and generating a 40-year forecast of climate change? It would take more than 10 to the power of 34 years of supercomputing! This is a septillion (10 to the power of 24) times longer than the current age of the universe (about 10 billion years). In other words, an incredibly long wait and a near-impossible task.

Yet, the main goal of serious climate research is to find out if any observed regional or global warming can be properly attributed to rising greenhouse gases. Has California been warming at an alarming rate as suggested by the rapid increase of man-made greenhouse gases? I propose a simple test to answer this question.

Temperature is among the most direct climatic variables from which one would expect to discern the effects of added greenhouse gases. So let us look at the statewide averaged temperature record for California from 1900 to 2001. Consider these two important points: First, the year-to-year temperature fluctuations are very large -- about 2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit. So claiming a 100-year warming trend in the California record will not be possible unless those larger year-to-year changes are properly understood. Second, over the full 100-year temperature record, no systematic warming trend is attributable to the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. And if one considers that 80% of the gradually accumulated carbon dioxide of the 20th century in air came only after 1950s, then one should expect a large warming in the post-1950 period. But nothing unusual can be seen in the record. Thus, it is clear that one cannot link temperature change in California to the increased emissions of greenhouse gases. Reason for concern over disastrous climatic impacts from greenhouse gases simply cannot be found in the real climate system.

Despite these facts, Assemblywoman Pavley continues to mislead California voters by saying that with AB 1058, "we can help avert a devastating worldwide calamity." This promise is simply untrue. No one really knows if reducing or adding carbon dioxide will actually impact the climate. Moreover, carbon dioxide reduction from California will be extremely small on a global scale. But efforts to reduce CO2 - in the form of taxes or smaller and thus less safe autos -- will prove extremely costly to the Golden State's drivers. That is a fact we know for sure.


3. Governors vs. the Constitution

By Jon Reisman (Tech Central Station, July 16, 2002)
Jon Reisman is an associate professor of economics and public policy at the University of Maine at Machias where he teaches environmental policy

New England's Governors will travel to Quebec this summer and likely sign an agreement with Eastern Canada's premiers to essentially implement the Kyoto Protocol's caps on carbon dioxide. Last year the group adopted <> climate change action plans agreeing to implement Kyoto; this year they have some specific goals and implementation schemes in mind.

The agreement reflects Kyoto clearly, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2010 and to 10% below 1990 levels by 2020. Action steps include establishing a regional, standardized greenhouse gas emissions inventory and emissions reduction plan, "educating" the public about the "problem, causes and solutions" of global warming, decreasing emissions from the electricity and transportation sectors and creating a regional registry and trading mechanism.

Somehow missing from this discussion are the following facts:

* Article 1, Section 10 of the Constitution: "No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance or Confederation... No State shall, without the Consent of Congress...enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power..."

* President Bush has rejected Kyoto;

* The Senate voted against the provisions of Kyoto 95-0;

* The National Academy of Sciences found that the cause or causes of global warming couldn't be identified with any certainty or precision.

Even the very flawed models global warming advocates rely upon indicate that the proposed reductions in carbon dioxide emissions will have essentially no influence on climate. But they certainly will affect our wallets, our freedoms and our lives.

President Bush has taken a lot of grief on Kyoto and the environment, much of it coming from New England. It's no accident that nine New England Senators are backing Senator Jeffords' "Clean Power Act", which also seeks to implement Kyoto on the installment plan. Environmentalism is a civic religion in New England, and Senators and Governors most definitely read public opinion polls.

Nevertheless the Bush administration should notify the Governors that the United States Constitution still applies in New England, even on environmental matters, even with the recent relaxation of church/state concerns. We have not, as yet, dispensed with the formality of having the Senate ratify international agreements before we implement them. States are proscribed from making foreign or interstate agreements without the consent of Congress. It has not been given. And, one suspects, if there is ever an open and honest vote on the matter on the floor of the United States Senate, it won't be.

SEPP Comment: Also missing from the discussion are "teeth": energy tax proposals to reduce consumption


4. White House CEQ Tightens Control Over EPA Science Policy:

The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) may be planning to extend its power to review any and all scientific documents EPA prepares to release. The additional review would allow the administration to voice process-related concerns before the documents are made available to the public. The White House CEQ however says that reviews of any additional documents do not differ from long-standing practices. According to Inside EPA, the review plan does not extend to other environmental agencies such as the Department of Interior or the Department of Agriculture


5. Colin Powell defines the US role in the WSSD

By Henry Lamb, executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation Organization and chairman of Sovereignty International.

Bush said "no" to the Kyoto Protocol, for good and valid reasons. Europe, and the U.N. went bonkers. Then, from deep within the bowels of the EPA, there emerged a report to the U.N. that says the Bush administration recognizes that "human activity" causes global warming. Neither the EPA Administrator nor George Bush knew that the report contained this language, or that it was being released. Sabotage?

Kyoto enthusiasts quickly took their efforts to Congress, and to state legislatures. California has passed its version of "Little Kyoto," forcing state regulation of carbon dioxide. A similar bill is floating around in Congress.

Secretary of State, Colin Powell, is dancing on a very narrow tightrope, attached on one end to the Bush administration, with the other end attached to the U.N.' s World Summit on Sustainable Development, scheduled for August 26 through September 4, in Johannesburg, South Africa.

On July 12, his speech to a gathering of folks preparing for the WSSD was entitled: "Making Sustainable Development Work." It would be easy to condemn the Bush administration for dignifying the WSSD by even recognizing it, but that would surely bring more howls from Europe, and ridicule from domestic opponents. So Powell is doing a sort of U.N. Hokey Pokey - where "you put your left foot in, and take your right foot out … and then you shake it all about"

Powell's speech was carefully drafted. He said many of the right things to comfort the sustainable-development crowd. But if the crowd was listening closely, he said some things that should scare them to death. Powell selectively replaced the term "sustainable development" with the term "sustained development." The two things are not at all the same. Terms such as "good governance," and "entrepreneurship" were sprinkled throughout his speech, instead of the usual "global governance," and "economic equity."
Rather than simply dismissing the U.N. as irrelevant, and ignoring the political backlash, the Bush administration appears to be trying to go the extra mile to interject into the U.N. some awareness of the principles of freedom.

If this is an accurate read of the intentions of the Bush administration, he can't be faulted for trying. Realistically, however, it only postpones the inevitable.

The purpose and mission of the U.N. is to secure world peace by controlling every possible threat to peace, which means controlling the United States and its people.

The purpose and mission of the United States is to guarantee and protect the freedom of its people. People cannot be free if they are controlled by any government.

These purposes and missions are in direct conflict. The Bush administration seems to be resisting U.N. control, where it is blatant, as in the Kyoto Protocol, and the International Criminal Court. Where the control is less blatant, so is the resistance. Land-use control, for example, is a top priority for the U.N. The Clinton-Gore administration greatly expanded government control of land use and, so far, the Bush administration has not stopped, nor reversed the trend.

Sooner or later, the people must decide whether or not they want to be free, as our Constitution envisions, or be controlled by a hierarchy of "stakeholder councils," designed by the U.N. to implement global governance.


6. Global warming is behind rain failure: UN climate panel head

From the Indian Express, New Delhi, July 26, 2002; Front Page

New Delhi, July 25: The current Indian drought may be directly linked to the larger climate change that is affecting the globe, feels R K Pachauri, chief of the UN-sponsored Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Geneva. It's a position directly at odds with that taken by the Indian Meteorological Department, which says there's no question of climate change. ...

Pachauri feels once the delicate balance in the global circulation patterns is disturbed due to man-made circumstances, ''non-linear and sudden changes are bound to be the outcome'' and emphasises that this current erratic behaviour of the monsoon is probably the first strong signal of climate change having had a direct impact on India. ....

Interestingly, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has never acknowledged that global warming and climate change are taking place and could seriously affect the pattern of precipitation for India. In fact, the IMD goes to great lengths to condemn any notions of climate change despite the growing body of evidence from across the globe.

S R Kalsi, IMD deputy director-general, feels it is ''incorrect to say that there is a change in climate'', adding that this is merely a part of the ''natural behavior of the monsoon'' borne out by the over 125 years of data with the IMD.

Pachauri reacts to this by saying the IMD is ''entitled to have their opinions but the indications of climate change are very strong since the curves from the world over suggest a gradually warming Earth''.

The TERI [Tata Energy Research Institute, Bombay] chief, who took over as chairman of the IPCC this April, says India needs to step up its primary research on climate change to fully understand the implications of changing climate and to build suitable mitigation measures. He calls for at least a 20-fold increase in the spending on climate related research since the impact of global warming will be felt by all sectors of the Indian economy.

SEPP Comment: Pachauri, an energy engineer, graciously permits meteorologists to express their opinion. Meanwhile, in the 26 July issue of Science, NOAA researcher David Anderson et al document an increase in monsoon strength as temperature warmed since the Little Ice Age. It suggests that any future warming may give more rains to India -- not a bad outcome.


But others go beyond Pachauri, acc. to Press Trust of India (2 August 2002):
"Scientist blames failure of monsoon on US warplanes "

The chief scientific officer at the Centre for Atmospheric Sciences in New Delhi says large volumes of greenhouse gases have been released by US warplanes. Murari Lal believes the war has contributed significantly to the global warming factors he says are behind the low rainfall.

He told the Press Trust of India: "The injection of large amount of greenhouse gases and aerosols over Afghanistan, Pakistan and Arabian Sea by US fighter planes during the Afghanistan war in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere contributed to significantly deficient rainfall over north-west and central India."

SEPP Comment: Wild speculation; has no quantitative basis


7. Energy conservation can kill

VERONICA Webb's eco-friendly electric car turned into a fire-spewing death machine the other night, burning down her Key West house and killing her beloved dog, Hercules.
Despite her long devotion to various Green causes, the six-month pregnant supermodel says she's through with electric cars after her Chrysler Gem overloaded while charging late last Monday night, sending flames through her air-conditioning system and consuming everything in its wake.




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