|The Week That Was
July 17, 2004
1. New on the Web: THE GLOBAL WARMING SCARE IS DYING. Two papers published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters suggest that the climate has not warmed appreciably in the past quarter-century and that current climate models cannot adequately simulate atmospheric processes. These results contradict two of the three major conclusions of the IPCC that have been advanced as evidence for a human influence on climate warming.. [The third conclusion, i.e., that the 20th century is the warmest in the past 1000 years, has been traced to the mangling of the underlying data.]
2. HOCKEYSTICK DATA WERE MANGLED: CORRECTION IN NATURE
3. Meanwhile, an AAAS CONFERENCE PROMOTES GLOBAL WARMING SCARES. According to a report by the CO2 & Climate team, "never before has a group that purports to represent the purest ideals of scientific discourse put together such a biased look at the issue."
4. CLIMATE CHANGE PRIESTHOOD DESPERATELY SEARCHING FOR 'DREAD FACTOR'
5. DEMOCRATIC PARTY PLATFORM IGNORES KYOTO PROTOCOL - for good reason
6. SHOWDOWN IN MOSCOW: RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES VS. BRITISH SCIENCE ADVISER SIR DAVID KING: Several reports and SEPP Comments
7. SIR DAVID'S APOCALYPTIC VISIONS: A Water World
8. And finally, A TRUE WORD FROM THE IPCC REPORT (not from the Summary)
NOTE by BJ Peiser in CCNet: David Legates, the Director of the Center
for Climatic Research at the University of Delaware, has published part
of his critique in one of the world's leading peer-reviewed scientific
journals; see: W. Soon, D. Legates, S. Baliunas: Estimation and representation
of long-term (>40 year) trends of Northern-Hemisphere-gridded surface
temperature: A note of caution. Geophysical Research Letters, Vol 31,
February 2004; http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2004/2003GL019141.shtml.
On June 15, 2004, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) convened a self-described "all-star" panel of U.S. climate scientists to discuss climate change. Never before has a group that purports to represent the purest ideals of scientific discourse put together such a biased look at the issue.
According to the their website (www.aaas.org), AAAS is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world. AAAS publishes the journal Science, as well as many scientific newsletters, books and reports, and "spearheads programs that raise the bar of understanding for science worldwide." Given that description, you might think people could count on AAAS for a fair, balanced and science-based view on important scientific issues. Not so, at least when it comes to climate change, as evidenced by information presented at their conference.
The "all-star" panel consisted of about a dozen scientists, two of whom appeared in May 2004 onstage with Al Gore during MoveOn.Org's kick-off for The Day After Tomorrow. Although Daniel Schrag and Michael Oppenheimer didn't endorse the movie's non-scientific content, they embraced its sentiment and message. That's a pretty clear indication they'll go to just about any length (stopping just short of embracing gross exaggeration and scientifically-impossible scenarios) to bring attention to the issue of global climate change.
The other "all-stars" can be fairly characterized as holding a similarly strong opinion that humans are altering the earth's climate in a large and negative manner. According to Reuters' health and science correspondent Maggie Fox, the panel expressed frustration that the U.S. government and public are not more concerned over what they see as the risks associated with global warming. Maybe that's because the government and public see through mistruths and exaggerations concerning observed and potential climate change.
An April 2004 Gallup poll reveals that a plurality of Americans now believe that news reports exaggerate the seriousness of global warming. The pollsters asked, "Thinking about what is said in the news, in your view is the seriousness of global warming generally exaggerated, generally correct, or is it generally underestimated?" Thirty-eight percent of the respondents believe the seriousness of global warming is "generally exaggerated" while twenty-five percent think it is "generally correct." The spread in public opinion has risen in the last year when only four points separated those who thought the threat of global warming is exaggerated from those who believe the media get it right. Now the spread is thirteen points. Apparently, the more exaggeration continues, the more adept Americans are at seeing through it.
People who believe the seriousness of global warming generally is exaggerated
have good reason for what they believe. Recall that two leading climate
scientists, Stanford University's Steve Schneider and NASA's James Hansen,
have suggested that exaggeration has been used in efforts to sway public
perception of the seriousness of the issue.
On the one hand we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but which means that we must include all the doubts, caveats, ifs and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists, but human beings as well. And like most people, we'd like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change. To do that we have to get some broad-based support, to capture the public's imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This "double ethical bind" which we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both. [emphasis added].
Fourteen years later, in 2003, Hansen called for the practice to stop,
writing in the on-line journal Natural Science:
Bad news for Dr. Hansen: the forces of exaggeration are in full cry. Maggie Fox reports, "[The AAAS panelists] said even as sea levels rise and crop yields fall, officials argue over whether climate change is real.
What Michael Oppenheimer told the audience is another example of gross distortion "The sea-level rise over the past century appears greater than what the model says it should be," he claimed. "The [Greenland and Antarctic] ice sheets may be contributing more than the models predict."
This statement shows no regard for the latest scientific evidence. Only days before Oppenheimer made his claim, Geophysical Research Letters published results of a sea-level rise study by Cambridge University's Peter Wadhams who, along with Scripps Institution of Oceanography's Walter Munk, carefully calculated the known contributions to sea-level rise (ocean warming, Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, and mid-latitude glaciers) over the 20th century and concluded, "We do obtain a total rise which is at the lower end of the range estimated by the IPCC" [emphasis added].
Wadhams and Munk also find, "One interesting consequence is that the continental run-off which is 'allowed' after subtracting the effect of sea ice melt is considerably lower than current estimates of sub-polar glacier retreat, suggesting a negative contribution from polar ice sheets (Antarctica plus Greenland) or from other non-glacial processes" [emphasis added]. This is precisely opposite what Oppenheimer told his AAAS audience!
This type of biased and misleading presentation from invited speakers at a specially-convened AAAS conference is the reason why the Bush/Cheney Administration and American public are not nearly so impassioned about the issue of anthropogenic climate change as interest groups would prefer them to be.
Hansen, J.E., 2003. The global warming time bomb? Natural Science, http://naturalscience.com/ns/articles/01-16/ns_jeh.html
Schneider, S., 1989. Discover, October, 1989, p47.
Wadhams, P., Munk, W., 2004.Ocean freshening, sea level rising, sea ice
melting. Geophysical Research Letters, 31, doi:10.1029/2004GL020039, June
Global sea level rise likely overestimated
An analysis of recent sea level change indicates that fresh water added
to the global ocean, combined with ocean warming, leads to a rise of nearly
1.1 millimeters per year, a figure slightly lower than previous estimates.
Wadhams and Munk estimated that approximately 650 cubic kilometers [170
million gallons] of fresh water is added into the world's oceans each
year. The authors note that melting sea ice, seen in the shrinkage and
thinning observed on the edges of the Arctic ice sheet, contributes nearly
two thirds of the new freshwater and also leads to reducing the salinity
of seawater, but does not cause any changes to the sea level. They also
suggest that any sea level increase from fresh water running from the
land is offset by a growth in the Antarctic ice sheet.
Boulder, CO (UPI) Jul 6, 2004
Selling the public on the importance of climate change, then, requires a search for what National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) senior scientist Michael Glantz calls the dread factor. At first, the dread factor is CO2 doubling, Glantz told United Press International. That didn't catch on, so they went to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) collapse. Then three degrees C (Celsius) increase in global temperature in a hundred years. Most people don't know what C is. If you live in Minnesota, it sounds OK -- until you find out that you can't go cross-country skiing.
The dread list continues, Glantz said. They came up with thermohaline circulation (THC) breakdown. Then abrupt climate change on the order of decades. They keep trying to get the hook in. I don't think these are the arguments that catch people.
The climate change priesthood is looking for something as attention-getting as the Antarctic ozone hole. The international effort to address the depletion of atmospheric ozone can probably be called the most successful environmental effort ever. In 1985, British researchers reported a massive reduction in ozone concentrations above Antarctica -- an ozone hole.
In 1986 and 1987, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientist Susan Solomon pretty firmly established the cause of the depletion was the use of chlorofluorocarbons, the coolant in most air conditioners and the propellant in household spray cans -- the ozone layer was being sacrificed for underarm deodorant and stick-free frying pans. By May 1989, 36 countries had ratified the Montreal Protocol on CFCs, banning them in most of the world and giving the story a happy ending. CFCs are long-lived in the atmosphere -- about 50 years -- but Solomon said she plans to live long enough to see the end of the ozone hole.
The episode showed that when a clear environmental threat is identified and brought home to the public, the response can be strong enough to power coordinated and effective global action. In the case of ozone depletion, the identified threat was fear of a dramatic increase in skin cancer. That seemed to get people's attention.
[SEPP Comment: Bunk. There is no evidence of an increase in solar UV at the surface.]
The climate change version of Montreal is, of course, the Kyoto Protocol, which has had tough sledding in the world community.
The fear of skin cancer got action on ozone depletion, Glantz said. Even though there was no direct proof of this, the fear of it was enough. With global warming, they haven't figured out how to bring it to the individual -- how to make it personal.
Not that the climate issue lacks fearsome threats -- sea level rise, for instance. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide live on the seacoasts in large cities, and millions more farm the fertile coastal deltas. Global sea level has risen at the rate of 1.8 millimeters per year over the last 50 years. That rate likely will increase over the next 100 years to 5 millimeters a year, according to John Church, an oceanographer with Australia's Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organization's marine research office in Hobart, Tasmania.
[SEPP Comment: This is sheer bunk]
Still, the slogan, Don't Buy Beachfront Property, does not appear to be one that rallies the populace.
What about more widespread disease? There have also been fears that diseases now largely confined to the tropics -- malaria, dengue fever and others -- will migrate northward with changing climate, though there is little evidence of this so far and some scientists warn about inciting fears, either prematurely or erroneously.
A paper by Dr. Paul Reiter, head of Insects and Infectious Disease at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, says that, in the case of malaria, at least, this fear is based partly on a necessity to simplify things for public consumption ... it is immoral for political activists to mislead the public by attributing the recent resurgence of these diseases to climate change, particularly in Africa.
There are other threats that may or may not be associated with long-term changes in climate. Thousands of people died in France last year from a prolonged heat wave. This is another example of an extreme event that may become more frequent with a warming global climate. The severe floods in Europe also have been blamed on global climate change in some quarters.
Nevertheless, the general populace seems unmoved. It is, after all, just the weather, and everyone knows nothing can be done about the weather.
Copyright 2004, UPI
In an initial draft of its 2004 platform released this past Saturday, the Democratic Party has unveiled several positions certain to surprise its anti-Bush supporters in Europe. For example, the Democrats have elected not to describe the war in Iraq as a mistake or to call for the withdrawal of U.S. troops participating in the coalition effort. Also, and so far as only reported by the left-wing "DemocracyNow.org", "In a shift from the party's 2000 platform, the Democrats have dropped a reference to endorsing the Kyoto treaty on global warming." http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/07/06/1426204
FULL ARTICLE at http://www.eureporter.co.uk/articles/article.cfm?id=1505
MOSCOW. July 8 (Interfax) - Russian presidential economic advisor Andrei Illarionov called the Kyoto Protocol an "undeclared war against Russia" at a Moscow press conference.
"The Kyoto Protocol is an undeclared war against Russia from all sides - the left, the right, from liberals, conservatives and businesses. It uses absolutely all means and its main prize is the ratification by Russian authorities of the Kyoto Protocol, which would mean a complete capitulation to a dangerous ideology imposed via international diplomacy," Illarionov said.
"The nature and content of the Kyoto Protocol is one of the largest, if not the largest, escapade of all times and nations," Illarionov said. "Not one of the claims contained in the Kyoto Protocol and the "scientific" theory on which they are based have been confirmed by real facts. Extreme natural occurrences are not becoming more frequent, and there has been no increase in infectious diseases either," he said.
Supporters of Russia's ratification of the Kyoto Protocol demonstrate an "approach to Russia similar to that of a 'banana republic,' a country, which, if it hasn't already become a colony, will soon do so, if the document is ratified," Illarionov said. "If this decision is approved, it won't be on the basis of a substantial analysis, and not for substantial reasons, but for other reasons. We can't completely rule this out," Illarionov said on the possibility of Russia approving this decision.
President Vladimir Putin's personal adviser on all things economic last week accused British Prime Minister Tony Blair's government of declaring "all-out and total war on Russia" and using "bribes, blackmail and murder threats" to force it to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.
In a six-hour diatribe, Andrei Illarionov accused visiting Blair adviser Sir David King, the British government's top scientist, of trying, through pressure from Blair's office and through Foreign Secretary Jack Straw personally, to hijack a two-day conference on the global environmental treaty at the Russian Academy of Sciences.
"During the past year [the British] have used bribes, blackmail and murder threats to put pressure on Russia, which shows how desperate their case is," Illarionov said without elaborating. "This has not been in the press, but it had to come out after Sir David King's behavior at the conference," he said.
King filibustered the conference for four hours in an effort to block opponents of the protocol from presenting their findings, Illarionov said.
Illarionov, an outspoken and respected liberal economist, has often clashed with government officials on a variety of reform issues -- including the Kyoto Protocol, which will die if Russia does not ratify it. It is not clear how much sway Illarionov has with Putin, a fellow St. Petersburger.
Putin appeared to back the protocol earlier this year in exchange for the European Union supporting Russia's bid to join the World Trade Organization. But late Thursday, when asked by a Japanese journalist whether his fierce opposition to Kyoto reflected the Kremlin's position, Illarionov said Putin had never said he backs the treaty. "Putin didn't say he supports the Kyoto Protocol, he said he supports the Kyoto process," Illarionov said. He did not elaborate.
After signing a trade deal with the EU in May, Putin said Brussels had met Russia "halfway" on WTO, which "cannot but affect positively our position on the Kyoto Protocol." But he also stressed that Russia "did not package the issues of WTO and the Kyoto Protocol." "I cannot say how things will be 100 percent, because ratification is not an issue for the president but for parliament," Putin said at the time.
Illarionov accused Britain and other "imperialist" rich nations of using Kyoto to keep poor nations from developing. Britain denied the charge. "Global warming is an issue of concern for all citizens of the world and we need to tackle it," British Embassy spokesman Richard Turner said.
Peter Cox, head of the British Meteorological Office's climate, chemistry and ecosystems department, said last week's conference was a publicity stunt by Illarionov, who brought in well-known skeptics to discredit the findings of the International Panel on Climate Control, the basis for Kyoto, Cox said. "The meeting was set up to challenge the IPCC line," he said. "Illarionov hijacked the meeting by inviting people who were outside the IPCC process and who were bitter about that."
Cox said the conference was "like no other" he had ever attended and said he felt very sorry for the Russian scientists that were used as a "rubber stamp for Illarionov's agenda." The [Russian] Academy issued a statement after the conference saying that it found "no scientific basis" for the Kyoto Protocol, and that a warmer Earth is actually positive for Russia.
The stated aim of the 1997 Protocol is to roll back global carbon dioxide emissions -- which many scientists say cause global warming -- to 1990 levels. Many poor countries have argued that the agreement puts a disproportionate amount of pressure on their carbon-intensive, manufacturing-based economies. Illarionov, however, has also opted to attack the very scientific principles on which IPCC bases its argument for implementing the treaty.
Illarionov argued that the real reason every rich nation but America, the world's biggest polluter, backs the Protocol is because they want control of emissions quotas, something he said will give developed nations unprecedented control of poor countries' economies.
"Europe has seen the effects of the national-socialist ideology
and the Marxist ideology. The imperialist philosophy behind Kyoto is nothing
short of these in its scale," he said. "This is war. But our
cause is just and we will prevail."
A political hurricane blew through an international scientific meeting on climate change held in Moscow last week, sparking a major row between top advisers to the British and Russian governments. U.K. scientists complained that the meeting had been "hijacked" by opponents of the Kyoto Protocol, while Russian officials accused the British delegation, led by Chief Scientific Adviser David King, of trying to suppress dissenting views.
Russia's Andrey Illarionov says Kyoto would trigger "undeclared war."
Russia holds the key to the Kyoto climate treaty, which enters into force only if adopted by countries that together are responsible for at least 55% of the world's carbon dioxide output. In May, President Vladimir Putin hinted that he might ratify the treaty in exchange for the European Union's support of Russian membership in the World Trade Organization. That came shortly after the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) produced a report criticizing the Protocol, saying it lacks scientific validity and would not be effective.
British climate experts expected the meeting, organized by RAS, to be a forum to discuss global warming and the Kyoto treaty with RAS members. On the eve of their departure for Moscow, however, the U.K. group learned about the addition of several well-known "skeptics" in the climate change debate. The list included Stockholm University's Nils-Axel Mo"rner, who has cast doubts on claims of rising sea levels, British climate maverick Piers Corbyn, and the Pasteur Institute's Paul Reiter, who disputes predictions that infectious diseases will explode as temperatures rise.
The new program was "unacceptable" to King, says Peter Cox of the U.K.'s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Exeter. "We knew that we would not get to the scientific issues if we went down every rabbit hole of skepticism." In fact, the opening session was delayed while King and RAS President Yuri Osipov attempted to negotiate an alternative agenda. King also asked British foreign secretary Jack Straw to intervene, several participants say.
"It's very sad, but the Russian Academy seems to have been taken over" by Andrey Illarionov, a top adviser to President Putin and a vocal opponent of the Kyoto treaty, says John Houghton, another participant.
At a press conference after the meeting, Illarionov called the treaty
an "undeclared war against Russia," based on a "totalitarian
ideology." But he denies having a hand in the agenda and says he
was "shocked" by British attempts at "censorship."
Climate change symposium in Moscow plagued by "totalitarian ideology"
This week's issue of the international journal Science reports a bizarre event that took place recently in Moscow. A serious confrontation arose between a small group of British scientists and their Russian hosts during a symposium on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, which had been organized by the prestigious Russian Academy of Science. The clash was more than a minor diplomatic incident because it revealed a form of intellectual bullying that is beginning to dominate the scientific community on the question of climate change.
Since its rejection by the United States in 2001, the fate of the Kyoto Protocol has lain in the hands of the Russians. This is because the treaty can only enter into force if it is ratified by countries that, as a group, are responsible for at least 55% of the world's output of carbon dioxide. Because Russia emits 17% of this output (the United States emits 25%), it is being wooed from all quarters. The Europeans dearly want them to sign whereas the United States are strongly against the idea. Faced with this situation, Vladimir Putin has raised the bidding by ordering Russian climatologists to study the question in detail.
Months ago, the Academicians had posed a long list of searching questions to clarify the widely publicized viewpoints of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC), but they have never received a word of reply. That was the initial affront. In May, the Russians published a report that was fairly critical of the Kyoto Protocol, judging it unfair to developing countries. This verdict was close to that of Andreï Illarionov, principal economic adviser to President Putin, who believes the Protocol could ruin the Russian economy. It was in this context that the Academicians, who include several of the world's leading climate scientists, had arranged the Moscow symposium.
The second affront came from the British scientists, who refused to accept the Russian programme. In particular, they adamantly rejected the presence of several international experts whom the Russians had chosen to invite. Motive: these experts have been denouncing the "IPCC dogma" for many years. The British referred to them as "climate skeptics". Notable among these were Richard Lindzen, Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); British specialist in mosquito-borne diseases, Paul Reiter, currently Professor at the Pasteur Institute, Paris; Swedish Professor Nils-Axel Mörner, specialist in sea-level science; Madhav Khandekar, Canadian specialist in severe weather, and Australian climatologist William Kininmonth, ex-Director of the Australian National Climate Centre. These names are not well-known to the general public, but are regarded as infamous in the eyes of climatologists who support the IPCC.
The third affront came from the President of the British delegation, Sir David King, who remained absent for much of the meeting, following his unsuccessful efforts to eliminate the "skeptics".
In a later interview, Paul Reiter stated: "The simple truth is that we are not extremists". A scientist of international stature, he dismissed as fantasy the catastrophic scenarios promoted by the IPCC in which global warming will cause malaria to move into temperate regions. "Poverty, not climate, is the dominant factor in the distribution of malaria" he asserted. "When I asked whether any of the Russian Academicians at the symposium had had malaria, nearly all raised their hands. Several had contracted the disease in Siberia"!
At a Moscow press conference after the symposium, Andreï Illarionov denounced the "totalitarian ideology" of the British climatologists who support the IPCC, giving his support to the "dissident scientists", victims of ostracism by "official science". Truly an irony of history.
Translated from Le Figaro, Friday July 16, 2004, page 9
Remarks By Russian Presidential Economic Adviser Andrei Illarionov
Below are some highlights. Probably most remarkable is the Russian view of the ideology underlying the UN Kyoto Protocol:
"That ideological base can be juxtaposed and compared, as Professor
Reiter has done just now, with man-hating totalitarian ideology with which
we had the bad fortune to deal during the 20th century, such as National
Socialism, Marxism, Eugenics, Lysenkoism and so on. All methods of distorting
information existing in the world have been committed to prove the alleged
validity of these theories. Misinformation, falsification, fabrication,
mythology, propaganda. Because what is offered cannot be qualified in
any other way than myth, nonsense and absurdity."
SEPP Comment: The Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) is the only one to take a realistic position on the science underlying the Kyoto Protocol. By contrast, the Royal Society (UK) has led in imagining climate disasters and has attempted to get other national academies to join. [The US National Academy has declined to participate.]
All is not lost in Britain. The Royal Academy of Engineering has maintained
a sane and levelheaded position on climate change and energy policy.
London is under threat from submersion by melting ice as greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere reach levels not seen for 55 million years, the Government's Chief Scientific Adviser has warned. Sir David King has said there is enough carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to melt all the ice on the planet and submerge cities such as London, New York and New Orleans.
"You might think it is not wise, since we are currently melting ice so fast, to have built our big cities on the edge of the sea where it is now obvious they cannot remain," he is reported as saying in The Guardian today. "On current trends, cities such as London, New York and New Orleans will be among the first to go."
Sir David's remarks were made at the launch of a scientific expedition to Cape Farewell in the Arctic, which aims to raise students' awareness of climate change. In his talk, Sir David said most recent science bore out the worst predictions for global warming.
Records show that, at the peak of the Ice Age 12,000 years ago, the sea was 150 metres below where it is now, he said. Ice melting was a relatively slow process but was speeding up, he added. "When the Greenland ice cap goes, the sea level will rise six or seven metres - and when Antarctica melts it will be another 110 metres."
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was around 200 parts per million (ppm)
during the Ice Ages and during warm periods reached around 270ppm before
sinking back down again.
It was now up to 379ppm and increasing at the rate of 3ppm a year - reaching a level not seen for 55 million years when there was no ice on the planet because the atmosphere was too warm.
"I am sure that climate change is the biggest problem that civilisation has had to face in 5,000 years," he told his audience.
A spokesman for the scientist said: "Sir David continues to be keen to raise public awareness about the threat of global warming. These are views which he has expressed on many previous occasions in public."
He added: "We are talking about the very worst case scenario, if nothing is done to reduce greenhouse gases, and then we are talking about hundreds if not thousands of years."
Dr King warned earlier this year that global warming was a more serious threat than international terrorism. Former UN weapons inspector Hans Blix has also said the international community has overestimated the danger of terrorism and environmental global risks were of equal, if not greater, magnitude.
SEPP Comment: Sea level rise has not accelerated during the strong warming
of the first half of the 20th century. The origins of Sir David's doomsday
prophecies may well come from Armageddon Online. Click here for other
"In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we
are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that
the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible."