The Week That Was
June 8, 2002

1. CLIMATE DOES NOT BEHAVE AS GREENHOUSE MODELS WANT IT TO: Testimony by Dr Sallie Baliunas provided to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, chaired by Sen. James M. Jeffords.




5. GREAT QUOTES FROM OUR INDIAN FRIEND DR. PACHAURI, THE NEW HEAD OF THE IPCC, ABOUT THE PURPOSE OF THE IPCC. I can already guess the conclusion of the 4th Assessment Report, due in 2005.




9. THE KYOTO PROTOCOL IS NOT BACKED BY SCIENCE (30 pp, incl. references)


2. US Climate Action Report - 2002 is the third national report of the USA under the UN Climate Treaty. It is a routine interagency report assembled by the EPA that was put on the web, then leaked to NY Times writer Andy Revkin and followed by a NYT editorial on June 3. Predictably, it released a storm of criticism against the White House from political opponents and environmental groups. Their gripe: If the government now accepts the science, why won't it ratify Kyoto?

Our responses are given below:
First, our Letter to the NY Times, a shortened version of which appears on June 9

The EPA Report delivered to the UN ("U.S. sees problems in climate change," NYT June 3) may well claim a current climate warming from human activities; but that does not make it true. The balance of the observational evidence certainly does not support such a claim, a fact that has been acknowledged by the US National Academy of Sciences as recently as January 2000. We would challenge anyone to look at all of the data, not just at a selected sample.

The EPA authors have simply rehashed a discredited study completed under the former Administration. This so-called National Assessment of future impacts of Climate Change (NACC) relied on the predictions of two climate models that mostly disagree with each other and may both be wrong. In fact, the acting director of the White House science office, a Clinton appointee, acknowledged in writing last September that the study did not "reflect policy positions or official statements of the U.S. government."

The EPA report to the UN is a routine document, updated yearly. It does not list its authors or their qualifications. President Bush reportedly called it "nothing more than a product of government bureaucracy." It endorses the Bush climate policies, however, which may be why its science portion escaped close scrutiny by experts. The White House had not had a Science Advisor aboard until a few weeks ago and has just installed a recognized atmospheric scientist in the Department of Commerce to lead the US research program on climate studies. Next year's report may read rather differently.

An additional paragraph dealt with a serious misunderstanding in the NYT editorial:

Your editorial (Crossroads on Global Warming, June 3) does not mention these relevant facts. It also confuses the issue by suggesting the adoption of "clean-coal" technologies. Cleaning coal of its inorganic sulfur minerals and other impurities is certainly desirable but it requires energy and therefore increases the emission of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. Removing pollutants by "scrubbing" the combustion gases requires even more energy. The public should be made aware that there is a tradeoff: Less air pollution of sulfur, nitrogen and mercury means more CO2. We cannot have both - less pollution and less CO2. Unless, of course, we adopt an existing technology that causes no air pollution and emits no CO2. It is called nuclear energy. Your editorial is silent on the matter.

S Fred Singer is professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and a former deputy assistant administrator of EPA.

Joint Letter to President Bush on Climate Action Report-2002, signed by more than 30 organizations


June 7, 2002

The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, D. C., 20500

Dear President Bush,

We write to share our concerns with Climate Action Report 2002, which your administration recently transmitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and released to the public by posting on the EPA web site. As opponents of the Kyoto Protocol and similar domestic proposals to ration energy, we welcome your remarks of June 4 that you had "read the report put out by the bureaucracy" and that you still opposed the Kyoto global warming treaty. We recognize that your principled opposition to Kyoto has come at considerable political cost, and we admire your resolution in the face of continuing environmental alarmism.

Climate Action Report 2002 is largely a compilation and summary of junk science produced by the Clinton-Gore Administration in order to support their Kyoto agenda. In particular, crucial parts of the report rely on the discredited National Assessment on the impacts of climate change, which your administration stated on September 6, 2001 was "not policy positions or official statements of the U. S. government," as part of a settlement of a lawsuit brought by three members of Congress and several of the organizations signing this letter. In addition, the report clearly does not comply with the requirements of the Data Quality Act.

In our view, Climate Action Report 2002 undermines your position on the Kyoto Protocol and damages efforts in the Congress to advance your energy policies and to oppose environmental policies that would implement Kyoto-style controls on energy use. We do not believe that these negative effects will go away merely by ignoring the report.

We therefore urge you to withdraw Climate Action Report 2002 immediately and to direct that it be re-written on the basis of sound science and without relying on discredited products of the previous administration. As production and release of this report demonstrates, pursuing your global warming and energy policies effectively will not be possible as long as key members of your administration do not fully support your policies. We therefore also urge you to dismiss or re-assign all administration employees who are not pursuing your agenda, just as you have done in several similar instances.

Thank you for your attention to our concerns. We stand ready to work with you and your administration on pro-consumer, pro-taxpayer policies.

Yours sincerely,


3. The U.S. Data Quality Act was passed by the U.S. Congress in December 2000 and has suddenly emerged as a potential time bomb under all the suspect science that has so permeated public policy in recent times.

It charges the US government to create procedures "ensuring and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility and integrity" of scientific information and statistics disseminated by federal agencies. The most obvious candidate for review under this new act is the National Assessment, a government publication that contained lashings of political hype and alarmism disguised as science.

Senator James Jeffords of Vermont who is also chairman of the Senate environment committee, said "Opponents of government action to protect the public's health and the environment have latched on to the Data Quality Act and are attempting to misuse it to prevent the public from getting valid information about threats to their well being and quality of life."

What he is saying is that it is OK for the public to be given sub-standard information as long as it is `for their own good'. This from a senator who showed contempt for his own constituents by accepting their election of him as a Republican, but then crossed the floor of the Senate without doing the right thing and resigning, then offering himself for re-election in his new self-appointed status as guardian of the public's health.

New guidelines for the act say that the more influential the data are likely to be, the higher the quality standard they must meet. In some cases even studies published in respected peer-reviewed journals will require further confirmation. This is only common sense in a world where the boundaries between science and policy have become increasingly blurred. It is unacceptable in a democratic society that anonymous `peer review' by a few in-house peers should impact directly on public policy. Any scientific findings that have public policy implications should be open to public review and a much higher standard of rigour than currently exists in many sciences, including climate science.


4. Climate is more stable during warm periods. So perhaps a higher level of greenhouse gases would present "less danger to the climate system" -- the goal of the Climate Treaty

From CO2 Science Magazine, 15 May 2002

Glacial and interglacial climates are both very similar and very different at one and the same time. The commonality they share is an approximate 1500-year cycle of relatively warmer and colder temperatures (see Climate Oscillations in our Subject Index). What differentiates them - in addition to their vastly different mean temperatures - are the vastly different amplitudes of their millennial-scale climate oscillations, which are an
order of magnitude greater during glacial periods than during interglacials. So why the big difference?

Recent modeling work by Ganopolski and Rahmstorf (2001, 2002) and Alley and Rahmstorf (2002) suggests that the North Atlantic branch of the global thermohaline circulation possesses two potential modes of operation during glacial times: a cold stable mode and a warm marginally unstable mode, the latter of which typically lasts for but a few hundred years. The cold stable mode is characterized by deep-water formation south of Iceland; while the warm unstable mode is characterized by deep-water formation in the Nordic Seas and shares many characteristics with the circulatory mode of the current interglacial, although it is not quite as strong.

All else being equal, the cold stable mode of the ocean's thermohaline circulation would be expected to persist throughout an entire glacial period. However, as Ganopolski, Rahmstorf and Alley (GRA) note, a weak real-world forcing with a periodicity on the order of 1500 years produces small cyclical variations in freshwater input to high northern latitudes at approximately the same periodicity; and these perturbations, when in the declining phase, often, but not always, initiate a transition to the warm unstable mode of thermohaline circulation, which includes a shift in the location of deep-water formation from south of Iceland to the Nordic Seas. This new mode of circulation (warm unstable, which is accompanied by rapidly warming air temperatures) then persists for a few hundred years before reverting back (because of its inherent instability) to the cold stable mode of circulation (and its accompanying colder air temperatures).

An interesting aspect of this recurring rapid-warming-followed-by-slower-cooling scenario is that the cyclical perturbation that leads to the change in the ocean's mode of thermohaline circulation is directly responsible for only a small fraction of the change in deep-water formation that is required to trigger the rapid warming events. By applying the concept of stochastic resonance to the problem, however, Ganopolski and Rahmstorf (2002) demonstrate that it is the background noise in the climate system that "triggers the events and thus amplifies the weak cycle into major climatic shifts with global reverberations."

These several observations, some empirical and some theoretical, suggest a number of important things. First, very weak forcing factors may well have the potential to produce large changes in earth's climate under certain circumstances; and one such forcing factor that presents itself to our minds within this context is solar variability. This possibility has also presented itself to GRA. Ganopolski and Rahmstorf (2001), for example, state that the low-amplitude cycle in freshwater forcing responsible for the large-amplitude cyclical changes in glacial climate could be "ultimately due to solar variability," while Alley and Rahmstorf (2002) say that "a possible cause could be a weak periodic variation in the output of the sun." In fact, Bond et al. (2001) have actually committed themselves to this conclusion, particularly as it applies to the Holocene, for which period of time they have assembled a vast array of compelling evidence that essentially proves the sun-climate connection.

An interesting thing about the Holocene, however, is the fact that Ganopolski and Rahmstorf (2002) report that - in their model, at least - its climate "is not susceptible to regime switches by stochastic resonance with plausible parameter choices and even unrealistically large noise amplitudes, and neither is it in conceptual models." Also, as they correctly report - and of even more significance, since the observation is based on real-world data - "there is no evidence for regime switches during the Holocene."

This, thus, is the other important lesson to be learned from these several studies: Holocene climate - both in theory and point of fact - is not susceptible to catastrophic changes. Indeed, the Holocene is only known to have experienced much more modest climatic oscillations of the Medieval Warm Period-to-Little Ice Age-to-Modern Warm Period type, which are serious enough when in the cooling mode, but actually welcome when in the warming mode.

In conclusion, we are about as convinced as we can possibly be that predictions of catastrophic CO2-induced global warming are totally out of sync with reality. Also, there is no question in our minds but what the historical increase in global temperature over the past two centuries, which has recently been characterized by Esper et al. (2002), is solar-induced and represents a return to climatic conditions akin to those of the Medieval Warm Period. We welcome this modest climatic transition; and we welcome the contemporaneous increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration, which poses no threat of additional warming, but holds out instead the promise of enhanced biological activity.

Dr. Sherwood B. Idso, President
Dr. Keith E. Idso, Vice President



Alley, R.B.S. and Rahmstorf, S. 2002. Stochastic resonance in glacial climate. EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union 83: 129, 135.

Bond, G., Kromer, B., Beer, J., Muscheler, R., Evans, M.N., Showers, W., Hoffmann, S., Lotti-Bond, R., Hajdas, I. and Bonani, G. 2001. Persistent solar influence on North Atlantic climate during the Holocene. Science 294: 2130-2136.

Esper, J., Cook, E.R. and Schweingruber, F.H. 2002. Low-frequency signals in long tree-ring chronologies for reconstructing past temperature variability. Science 295: 2250-2253.

Ganopolski A. and Rahmstorf, S. 2001. Rapid changes of glacial climate simulated in a coupled climate model. Nature 409: 153-158.

Ganopolski, A. and Rahmstorf, S. 2002. Abrupt glacial climate changes due to stochastic resonance. Physical Review Letters 88: 038501.


5. Summary of BBC interview of 5/17/02 of Dr. Pachauri, the new head of the IPCC.

He defends the Kyoto Protocol - designed to reduce human influence on the global climate - as being better than nothing, and says the panel's job is to provide compelling evidence for the need by countries to make new commitments to fight global warming.

There was a need for a dialogue on what commitments nations should make in a second wave after Kyoto, he said. "I think that the science must provide a compelling reason and a logic to take those steps, and this is what I hope the IPCC will be able to do in the future," he added.


6. What's That About Oil Industry "Profiteering?"

Capitol Hill politicians have been hauling out the repeatedly discredited accusations that the major oil companies have been manipulating petroleum markets in order to boost gasoline prices in order to enhance their profits.

But economists advise politicians to look themselves in the mirror when they throw around accusations of "profiteering." The fact is that the oil industry pays in taxes more than it makes in profits.

According to Energy Information Administration data, oil industry income and excise taxes, combined with non-income taxes paid by the companies, dwarf the industry's net income by tens of billions of dollars every year.

In 2000, the tax harvest from oil was around $85 billion -- while the industry earned about $53 billion, a record year for profits.

In March, the national price for a gallon of gas was $1.25. Of that, 25 percent went to refining, distribution, marketing and profits, while 41 percent went to pay for crude oil -- and 34 percent, or 43 cents, went to taxes. But, of course, oil companies really don't pay taxes. In the long run, it's consumers and investors who do.

Source: Editorial, "The Real Profiteers," Investor's Business Daily, May 15, 2002. Courtesy of National Center for Policy Analysis


7. Canada wants free north american energy markets

Few Americans may be aware of it, but Canada is the largest energy supplier to the U.S. -- furnishing 15 percent of all natural gas consumption, and more crude and oil products than Saudi Arabia. In fact, Canada provides 9 percent of all the oil consumed in the U.S.

At a time when Congress is considering two major intrusions into natural gas markets, Canadian officials are urging the U.S. to stick with traditional market-based energy policy.

Our neighbor to the North points out that
Both the House and Senate have intervened in private sector decision-making concerning the construction of a pipeline along a route through Alaska -- and would prohibit industry from considering a shorter, and perhaps cheaper, route under the Beaufort Sea with access to significant proven Canadian reserves. The Senate has also approved loan guarantees of up to $10 billion for the pipeline.

Second, the Senate has approved a tax credit to guarantee a floor price for Alaskan gas -- which could result in a vast, open-ended U.S. taxpayer subsidy of tens of billions of dollars to producers of Alaskan gas.

Canada argues that artificially diminishing the large potential of Canadian gas imports will weaken U.S. energy security. And it urges Congress to abandon plans that depart from market principles by embracing subsidies.

Source: Michael Kergin (Canada's ambassador to the U.S.), "Trust the Market (and Canada)," Wall Street Journal, May 15, 2002. Courtesy of National Center for Policy Analysis


8. Global warming: a Canadian heretic's view

Thursday, May 23, 2002 - Page A17

On Victoria Day, as snowflakes settled on my freshly planted asters, a traitorous thought crossed my mind. Maybe global warming won't be such a bad thing after all.

I didn't share this thought. Some things you just can't say in public. People will think you don't care about the environment. Worse, they'll think you're in bed with George W. Bush, Big Oil, and other deviants.

In Canada, the Kyoto accord has bogged down because Alberta has walked away. (Trust us to turn global climate change into another fight over federal-provincial relations.) Even so, nearly all the leaders say they're for it. They just have to iron out the details. No one can accuse them of being against the planet.

"All we need is a simple change in personal values," said the guest commentator on the CBC, who was delivering yesterday's sermon on Kyoto. Which struck me as a whole lot easier than trying to get my head around the ins and outs of carbon sinks, emissions trading, and megatons of CO2. As she spoke about the path to virtue, it occurred to me that Kyoto isn't about politics or economics. It's about morality. It isn't about reason. It's
about faith.

Even so, I don't advise you to go around in public suggesting that global warming might not be so bad after all. People will be chilly. Global warming is at the heart of our cultural belief system. And it's never prudent to attack the faith.


9. The Kyoto Protocol is not backed by Science (30 pp, incl. References)

This essay discusses cogent reasons why the Kyoto Protocol should not be implemented. The first argument is a legal one, based on Article 2 of the FCCC (Rio Climate Treaty). A more substantive argument is based on climate science, which does not support the actions envisioned in the Protocol. A third argument is perhaps the most convincing to the general public: Enacting the Kyoto Protocol would be economically harmful, raise fuel prices, destroy jobs, create poverty, and lower the standard of living. A fourth argument is that the Kyoto Protocol is quite ineffective; it would not produce the desired results; in addition, it is unworkable, too complicated and contentious. Its real basis appears to be ideological, rather than a concern with climate.

We will mail one or more copies to members of our TWTW family who make a free-will donation to SEPP. Mail your check to SEPP, 1600 S, Eads St., #712-S, Arlington, VA 22202




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