The Week That Was (Dec 13, 2008) brought to you by SEPP
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Quote of the Week:
“Only an insignificant fraction of scientists
deny the global warming crisis. The time for debate is over. The science is
settled." -- Gore (1992):
More than 650 scientists dissent over warming
claims: the full
231-page report is now available: http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=4fabcdd2-6567-4c62-8e5b-2a1411df5804
Obama will select
Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobelist physicist, as Secretary of Energy, Carol Browner as
head of the new National Energy Council, and Lisa Jackson as Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator. Nancy Sutley, Los Angeles's deputy mayor
for energy and environment, will chair the White House Council
on Environmental Quality. Although Chu "is likely to focus
his attention on the Energy Department's core missions: basic science,
nuclear weapons and cleaning up a nuclear-weapons manufacturing complex
contaminated since the Cold War," his selection is a strong signal of
Obama's intentions for science-based climate policy. If confirmed, the
new team will be working closely with leaders in Congress such as Rep.
Henry Waxman (D-CA), the new chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee,
and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chair of the Environment and Public Works
Committee, to “forge a new path in solving the climate crisis." More details on Obama’s energy-environment
team at: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/11/us/politics/11appoint.html?_r=1&th&emc=th http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Steven+Chu?tid=informline
SEPP comment: Chu's views on energy and AGW
show him a ‘true believer;’ but he’ll not ‘call the shots’
It looks as if Browner will run the show on climate and
energy policy per se, and listening is not her strong suit. An experienced bureaucratic infighter, with
allies in Congress, she will become a big problem for Jim Jones (National
Security Council) and Larry Summers (National Economic Council). STAY TUNED…
Editorial #15 (12/13/08)
The Problem with
Sea Surface Temperature (SST) (2)
Oceans cover 71% of the Earth’s surface; SST essentially determines
surface temperature. While not subject
to the problems of land temperature data (urban heat islands, weather station
placement and maintenance, etc), SST has even more severe problems, mainly
related to coverage and to changes in methods of measurement. Just recently, the Hadley Centre had to fix a
‘glitch’ caused by a change from wooden to canvas sampling buckets, which led
to a temperature ‘discontinuity.’
1980 we have a situation where data from floating buoys (from a warm layer of
about 50 cm depth) are increasingly combined with ship inlet data (from a
colder layer at depth of ~10 m). Could
this lead to a fictitious warming trend?
How to check whether this produces a problem? One method would be to process ship data and
buoy data separately before combining them.
I have not been successful in penetrating the data analysis bureaucracy
to arrange for such a test. But there
may be a simpler way (which I first proposed at a conference in Erice in
2005): Compare day-time and night-time
SST trends. If they do not differ, then
the ‘buoy effect’ is likely of little importance.
Singer, S. F. (2006). How
effective is greenhouse warming of sea surface temperatures? In International
Nuclear War and Planetary Emergencies.
Climatology: Global Warming. (ed. A Zichichi and R. Ragini). World
Scientific Publishing Company, Singapore. pp.
to Obama on carbon trading: Watch the
mess in Europe
2. The Obama-Gore Consensus
3. The U.N.'s Global Warming
EU battles over the costs of
“saving the climate”
6. Cheating on carbon
7. UN suspends leading
8. The pitfalls of emission
trading in Europe
9. China sinks a new Kyoto
10. Global Warming – and
11. Blizzard of mad
proposals descends on UK
12. Skepticism on climate
NEWS YOU CAN USE
Despite last year's United Nations
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declaration that climate change was
"unequivocal, is already happening, and is caused by human activity,"
not all experts are convinced. More than 650 international scientists are
disputing those claims in a newly updated U.S. Senate Minority Report. It adds
about 250 scientists to the 400 who spoke out last year and includes current
and former U.N. climate panel members. Atmospheric Scientist Joanne Simpson
writes, "Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor
receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly. As a scientist I remain
skeptical." And from Nobel Prize Winner in physics Ivan Giaever
"global warming has become a new religion." -- Brit Hume Fox News Channel http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,465145,00.html
The European Union's global leadership on
climate change is under threat as Germany heads a rebellion to protect industry
from the extra cost of tough environmental targets. [While politicians in
Poznan argue about CO2 controls] Europe's leaders are gathering in Brussels for
a battle over how to enforce an EU target to reduce CO2 emissions 20 per cent
by 2020 - a decision that was taken before the economic slump. The Daily
Telegraph, 10 December 2008
From CCNet reports:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed Monday to resist any European Union deal
on climate protection this week that might jeopardise jobs. Speaking ahead of
an EU summit starting Thursday in Brussels, Merkel told the top-selling Bild
newspaper: "It must not take decisions that would endanger jobs or
investments in Germany." "I will make sure of that," she added.
--AFP, 8 December 2008 http://www.spacedaily.com/2006/081208094648.upxfcgbz.html
Just days before the EU Summit, Germany's federal government is coming under
increasing pressure to reverse it climate politics: With reference to the
economic recession, Germany's most important states have warned Chancellor
Angela Merkel against climate policies that put additional burden on German
companies. Massive resistance is growing in Germany against the EU's energy and
climate package. German federal states run by the governing Christian Democrats
are vehemently calling for significant corrections of the current mode of
--Handelsblatt, 8 December 2008 http://www.handelsblatt.com/politik/deutschland/laender-fuer-umkehr-in-der-klimapolitik;2104988;0 t
The BBC is institutionally biased, an official
report will conclude this week. The year-long investigation, commissioned by
the BBC, has found the Corporation particularly partial in its treatment of
single-issue politics such as climate change, poverty, race and religion. Small
wonder when this is what they say of their own Editorial Standards:
"BBC News currently takes the view that our
reporting needs to be calibrated to take into account the scientific consensus
that global warming is man-made."
"we must ensure that we avoid bias or an
imbalance of views on controversial subjects and, given the weight of
scientific opinion, the challenge for us is to strike the right balance between
mainstream science and sceptics since giving them equal weight would imply that
the argument is evenly balanced. There may be now a broad scientific consensus
that climate change is definitely happening and that it is at least
predominantly man-made.....the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal
space being given to the opponents of the consensus."
SEPP Comment: This is incredible! The BBC
should read the NIPCC report “Nature –
Not Human Activity – Rules the Climate”
Will the BBC take note of the Heartland Conference in NY March 8-10, 2009, with
500 climate skeptics? Be sure to attend http://www.heartland.org/events/NewYork09/newyork09.html
THE 'GREEN JOBS' MYTH: We hope the incoming Obama economics team is
paying attention to the worker and industry backlash in Europe. The Europeans
once believed the "green jobs" myth too. Now, as blue-collar workers
take to the streets, they have learned that climate-change legislation means green
unemployment. --The Wall Street
Journal Europe, 10 December 2008 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122886086448792609.html
Britons shun the UK and move abroad for a
warmer climate. UK expats prefer living abroad, according
to the latest poll conducted by Alliance & Leicester International (ALIL). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/global/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=A1YourView&xml=/global/2008/11/13/british-expats.xml&source=EMC-exp_08122008
Barrington Moore was a senior research fellow in
Harvard's Russian Research Centre through the height of the Cold War. While he
authored six books and edited a seventh, his fame rests on his "Social
Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy" (1966). Lost in the accolades is one of "Social
Origins"' main assertions - fascism, wherever it developed, was a project
of the aristocratic, landed upper class. This is also a feature of
environmentalism. Moore's list of the signature traits of fascism --
anti-capitalism, anti-industrialism, anti-materialism, pseudo-radicalism,
romantic nostalgia and the denial of progress
-- are also features of environmentalism. From www.ecofascism.com
UNDER THE BOTTOM LINE
Hans Labohm in The Netherlands: Over the
years the lunatic fringe of the man-made global warming believers has
consistently tried to intimidate and discredit climate sceptics in order to
silence them. Many prominent scientists, opposing the AGW hypothesis, have been
accused of being stooges of the oil industry, coal industry, or what have you,
on websites, such as:
the years I had many contacts with prominent protagonists of the AGW
hypothesis. We did not agree on substance. On the basis of these experiences,
it is my firm conviction that my discussion partners had absolutely nothing to
do with the activities of the lunatic fringe referred to above. Nevertheless,
this group of people has been able to frustrate normal scientific dialogue for
many years, with serious consequences for society at large, because of
misguided policies, resulting in massive waste of resources.
Snow in New Orleans: today's was the earliest in the season
ever recorded http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2008/12/the_new_orleans_area_is.html
AND: Rare 50-year Arctic Blast Sets
Sights On Southern California 13-20 December
1. OBAMA BEWARE:
BRINKMANSHIP OVER CARBON TRADING IN EUROPE
By James Kanter, The New York Times, 8 December
Excerpt: Last year, the European Union pledged to take aggressive measures to
cut its greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by the end of the next decade if
other countries adopted similar measures.
Today, the bloc members have whittled that to 20 percent, and they are
still struggling to set the rules to make it happen. Indeed, it seems clearer by the day that
while carbon trading represents a neat and economically sound solution to cutting
emissions on paper, in practice it may be unleashing a new bonanza of corporate
lobbying and political brinkmanship.
[Obama has promised to cut U.S. emissions, almost 17 percent above 1990 levels
in 2007, back to 1990 levels by 2020. That is far more ambitious than President
George W. Bush, who foresaw emissions keeping rising until they peaked in
you can change the climate, Mr Obama" http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20026855.800-yes-you-can-change-the-climate-mr-obama.html
Kyoto is noble but
ineffective; at worst, it is a deadly distraction, wasting time
we cannot afford to lose and blocking better policies. You are the only leader who can persuade the
world to change tack.
flaw is that it is based on "cap and trade", the same approach you
plan to introduce in the US: a target is set for emissions, and countries
or companies that beat their targets gain carbon credits they can sell to those
that don't. Cap-and-trade schemes might
look good on paper but they are doomed to fail when it comes to weaning the
world off its addiction to fossil fuels. For starters, without a strong
enforcement regime, any cap is meaningless. Under the Kyoto Protocol, for
instance, countries that do not meet their targets just increase them next time
around. It is a joke.
What's more, the
approach is a bureaucratic nightmare, needing complex regulation and providing
all sorts of opportunities for corruption, particularly when attempted on a
global scale. For example, under Kyoto's "clean development
mechanism", companies in China are claiming
carbon credits for hydroelectric schemes, which they'll sell to polluters
in Europe. But these schemes were going to be built anyway, so the overall
change to emissions is zero. The UN is cracking down, but many think the whole offsetting approach is flawed.
2. THE OBAMA-GORE CONSENSUS
By Holman W. Jenkins Jr., The Wall Street Journal, 8 December 2008
Barack Obama's great virtue is his ability to behave like a cynical politician
without getting a reputation as a cynical politician. The latest example is his left-pleasing
promise during the campaign for a windfall oil tax, now quietly removed from
his transition Web site. Explained an aide, the tax was all along meant to
apply only if oil prices are over $80 a barrel. "They are below that now
and expected to stay below that."
Mr. Obama here makes a choice in favor of good economic policy. But there's
something else going on. He's a student of the late radical thinker Saul
Alinsky, who argued that you do or say what's necessary in a democracy to gain
power, while keeping your true aims to yourself. Mr. Obama's novel contribution
has been to turn this exploitation on his supporters on the left (who
admittedly are so wedded to their hero that, so far, they don't seem to mind).
His next big challenge is an upcoming conference updating the Kyoto targets.
Mr. Obama has not backed off his overwrought climate rhetoric, but listen
carefully to Al Gore. Now that Democrats are on the verge of power, he's
backing off cap-and-trade and carbon-tax proposals (i.e. visible energy price
hikes for consumers) in favor of a new approach -- massive government subsidies
for "green technology."
Two fans, Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, co-founders of the
Breakthrough Institute, write approvingly of what they call Mr. Gore's highly
"significant shift." "He knows that cap-and-trade, and most any
new regulation, would raise energy prices -- a political nonstarter during a
Uh huh. Mr. Gore, when he's close to power, always drops the politically
unpopular medicine his climate views would seem to necessitate. When he ran for
president, he tried to lower gasoline prices by opening up the petroleum
reserve. There was no recession at the time.
But the former veep is perfectly in sync with Mr. Obama. Energy taxes popular
with the left but unpopular with voters will soon be off the table to preserve
his second-term hopes. But that doesn't mean an end to "climate policy,
" which can still be used to foster a network of trade groups willing to
kick back some of their taxpayer subsidies to maintain Democrats in power. This
will do nothing for climate change (and indeed nothing proposed or entertained
in Washington would make a difference to climate). But it will help cement
Democratic ascendancy over Washington's iron triangle of interest groups,
politicians and the bureaucracy.
3. THE U.N.'S GLOBAL WARMING
By Investor's Business Daily, December 11, 2008
When the United Nations insists that man-made global warming is now
proved beyond doubt, it's practicing one of the few things it has proved itself
good at: censorship of dissenting viewpoints.
The wasteful, corrupt, dictatorship-dominated
U.N. may not be successful in fulfilling very many of its supposed objectives —
world peace, the end of poverty, mutual understanding, etc. — but when it comes
to suppressing contrarian points of view that interfere with official U.N.
stances, the organization ranks with the best.
…the U.N. is telling the world that only nuts on
the fringe question dismantling the global economy to fight global warming. The
U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year stated that warming
was "unequivocal" and "caused by human activity." Now, as 10,000 delegates and
environmentalists meet in Poland to negotiate the successor to the Kyoto
treaty, we hear complaints about demands that they prove warming is man-made.
"The skeptics are doing a good job,"
Lawrence Buja of the National Center for Atmospheric Research told the
Associated Press, "because they are making us present ironclad
proof." Men and women of science
are supposed to demand of themselves ironclad proof — not resent such
challenges. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., ranking Republican on the Senate Environment
and Public Works Committee, on Wednesday released a wealth of information
contradicting the U.N. line.
Dissenting scientists on the subject now top
650. They include Nobel physics laureate Ivar Giaever, who calls global warming
"a new religion," and Japanese chemist and IPCC member Kiminori Itoh,
who calls warming alarmism the "worst scientific scandal." New Zealand chemical engineering professor
Geoffrey Duffy notes that "even doubling or tripling the amount of carbon
dioxide will virtually have little impact, as water vapor and water condensed
on particles as clouds dominate the worldwide scene and always will."
Inhofe and minority committee members are about
to release an updated report with the dissenting arguments of those 650-plus
scientists. Many of them are or used to be with the IPCC but have come to
oppose the U.N. on climate change.
"The report has added about 250 scientists (and growing) in 2008 to
the over 400 scientists who spoke out in 2007," Inhofe's office notes.
They far outnumber the 52 U.N. scientists who authored the IPCC's 2007 Summary
It increasingly seems that ideology and a wish to
see the industrialized free West reduced in economic status is what motivates
U.N. climate policy, not science. But these hundreds of competent scientists
dedicated to the truth are not about to let their mouths be covered — even by a
United Nations olive branch.
4. EU BATTLES OVER THE COSTS OF “SAVING THE
by CCNet 12/9/2008
The European Union is facing mounting pressure
from European-based steel companies to reshape the world's largest
carbon-emission trading system [ETS] or face a massive loss of jobs. The
conflict pits the EU's environmental goals against its desire to keep
high-paying jobs on the Continent. Europe's steel industry generates 140
billion ($178 billion) in sales annually, employs about 370,000 people directly
and about one million people indirectly.
-- WSJ, 9 Dec 2008
European Union nations on Monday dug in for a
battle over the costs of tackling climate change, with few signs of compromise
emerging ahead of a summit of EU leaders later this week. About 10 percent of
ETS revenues has been earmarked for a 7.5 billion euro "solidarity fund"
to compensate these former communist nations for the heavy cost of overhauling
their power stations. Any exemptions for West European industry would reduce
the portion available to Poland and its allies. Poland is now pushing for the
solidarity fund to be topped up, but meeting stiff resistance from Britain and
Germany. --Pete Harrison, Reuters, 8 Dec 2008
Italy is sticking to its guns over demands to ease the European Union's climate
package in light of the global financial crisis, Foreign Minister Franco
Frattini said Monday. "We have some red lines (that must be respected),
principally the defence of some sectors in the manufacturing industry," he
said. According to Industry Minister Claudio Scajola, Italy's demand for a
review of renewable energy issues in 2014 was accepted on Monday. But a request
for a second review of the entire package after the world climate conference in
Copenhagen at the end of 2009 was still on the table. ---ANSA, 8 December 2008
Chancellor Angela Merkel has been keen to promote herself as a tough actor on
climate change, but with a new EU climate deal in the making, she's issued a
new caveat: It must not jeopardize German jobs. With the recession tightening
its grip on the German economy, Merkel is betting that job reassurance is more
important to the average worker than being a pioneer in tackling climate
change. On Monday, she vowed to fight any EU climate deal that could jeopardize
German jobs. --Deutsche Welle, 8
FROM COP MEETINGS IN POZNAN
Richard Black (BBC) reports from Poznan:
The first week's talks have brought fairly
predictable condemnations from environment groups that western nations are not
doing enough to curb their greenhouse gas emissions, either in the scale of the
cuts they are contemplating or in the cuts they are actually implementing.
Perhaps the most significant events are taking place away from Poznan, as EU
countries [in Brussels] try to finalise their
climate and energy package, which will include a unilateral commitment
to reduce emissions by 20% [by 2020], or by 30% if a global deal materialises.
Saturday saw a meeting in Gdansk where
President Nicholas Sarkozy of France - which currently holds the EU presidency
- tried to alleviate the fears of the Poles and others that the package would
come with a crippling price tag.
…a long-running dispute between developed and developing countries over how to
manage the UN Adaptation Fund, which
channels money from the international carbon market into climate protection,
appears still to be a live issue. The
developed countries paying the money regard it as theirs; but so do the
developing nations, who argue that it is merely what the West owes them for
having created the problem of man-made climate change.
So last week saw fresh objections from
developing states - and the group of NGOs that acts with them - to having the
World Bank involved in its management, or indeed in the management of any UN
funds connected with climate change. They say that the Bank is in the political
pocket of the West, and that some of its development programmes effectively
The fund contains nothing like the $50bn that development agencies believe is a
necessary annual sum, which also grates with developing states. But especially in straitened times, are
developed countries going to cough up more - especially to a fund whose
management they are not happy with? One Japanese delegate reportedly said that rich governments could not
become "the ATM for the world".
6. CHEATING ON CARBON EMISSIONS TRADING
Independent, 9 December 2008
This fabricated market in carbon has at its heart
the UN's Clean Development Mechanism. This is how the EU, which had an
obligation under Kyoto to reduce its emissions by two per cent by 2012, has
managed to claim success while actually increasing its emissions by 13 per
cent. By purchasing so called "offsets" from countries such as China,
Britain, for example, proclaims itself a "leader in the fight against
Most of this is entirely fraudulent, in the sense that the Chinese have been
paid billions to destroy particular atmospheric pollutants, such as CFC-23,
which have actually been manufactured in order to be destroyed -- and for no
other purpose. This is hardly surprising: if something is accorded a price
(especially a fixed one) then companies will queue up to produce it.
The EU is inordinately proud of its Emissions Trading Scheme, which it calls
"the world's first carbon market." But it is this scheme that has
created the creative accounting scam known as "offsets". Even
mortgage-backed securities, the financial instrument at the heart of the credit
crunch, at least had something useful: houses at the bottom of the pile of
Now that the EU is attempting at Poznan to set up a scheme, which will make its
industries buy carbon allocations via an auction, rather than simply receiving
them free of charge, reality is finally intruding on the madness.
7. UN SUSPENDS LEADING
CARBON-OFFSET FIRM: EMISSIONS TRADING ROCKED AS NORWEGIAN COMPANY IS LEFT IN
By Quirin Schiermeier, 9 Dec 2008 | Nature 456, 686-687 (2008) |
As international climate talks began last week
in Poland, the United Nations (UN) suspended the work of the main company that
validates carbon-offset projects in developing countries, sending shockwaves
through the emissions-trading business.
Based in Oslo, Det Norske Veritas has in the
past four years validated and certified almost half of the 1,200 projects
approved under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). At
its meeting on 28 November in Poznan', the CDM's executive board temporarily
withdrew Det Norske Veritas's accreditation after a spot check carried out in
early November at the firm's headquarters revealed serious flaws in project
The board did not specify which projects are
affected, but cites problems with the company's internal auditing processes,
and says that one of its staff members was verifying CDM projects without
proper qualifications. As a result, "validation activities could not be
demonstrated to be based on appropriate sectoral expertise", the board
Det Norske Veritas is a risk-assessment and
consulting company with about 8,000 employees in more than 100 countries. Its
2007 revenue was 8 billion Norwegian krone (US$1.1 billion). It was the largest
of 19 companies entitled to validate and certify projects proposed under the
CDM, which aims to cut greenhouse-gas emissions by promoting climate-friendly
energy technologies, such as wind or hydropower.
Certified emission-reduction credits from
verified projects can be traded and sold on the emissions market, helping
industrialized countries to meet their emissions-reduction targets under the
Kyoto Protocol. However, only environmentally sustainable projects that would
demonstrably not go ahead without additional revenue from sales of these
credits are meant to be approved.
Det Norske Veritas says that it is surprised by
the board's strong reaction, and promised immediate action to regain its
accreditation. "It is very unfortunate, but we don't want to start arguing
about the decision," says Tore Høifødt, a senior vice-president and
director of corporate communication for the company. "We feel that CDM, an
emerging business, is still under development. We do have the required
competencies, but we accept that we have to improve."
While suspended, Det Norske Veritas cannot
propose new CDM projects to the UN for formal approval. Høifødt says that 20–30
projects currently in the process of validation are likely to be delayed, and
that the company will not take on new projects for as long as the suspension is
valid. It will continue to validate and verify ongoing projects.
Critics of CDM have long warned of possible
conflicts of interest, pointing out that private companies such as Det Norske
Veritas have a business interest in not deterring customers by being too
critical about proposed projects.
The environmental campaign group International
Rivers, based in Berkeley, California, for example, claims that firms such as
Det Norske Veritas and the Munich-based TÜV-SÜD Group, the largest German
verifying company, have been too lax in their assessment of the social and
environmental impacts of hydropower projects in India and China.
The companies reject these accusations.
"Our reviews, such as of the Xiaoxi hydropower project in China, are
carried out in agreement with guidelines set up by the World Commission on
Dams," says Thomas Oberst, a spokesman for TÜV-SÜD. The company has not
yet had a spot check by the CDM executive board, but expects one very soon, he
Since 2005, when the Kyoto Protocol came into force,
CDM projects under way in 51 countries are thought to have saved some 250
million tonnes in greenhouse-gas emissions. The UN hopes that the scheme will
help to abate almost 3 billion tonnes by the end of 2012, when the Kyoto
Protocol is due to be replaced by a new treaty, currently being debated at
Poznan'. But analysts say that ensuring
reliable verification is a serious problem, and that the decision to suspend
the largest player sends a powerful signal to others in the business.
8. THE PITFALLS OF EMISSION
TRADING IN EUROPE
After the system kicked off, in 2005, power consumers in Germany started
to see their electrical bills increase by 5 percent a year. RWE, the power
company, received 30 percent of all the permits given out, more than any other
company in Germany.
The company said its price increases from 2005 to 2007 predominantly reflected
higher costs of coal and natural gas. But the company acknowledged charging its
customers for the emission permits, saying that while it may have received them
free from the government, they still had value in the marketplace.
The German antitrust authority later investigated. In a confidential document
sent to RWE lawyers in December 2006, that agency accused RWE of "abusive
pricing," piling on costs for industrial clients that were
"completely out of proportion" to the company's economic burden,
according to the document, which was obtained by The New York Times.
Without admitting wrongdoing, RWE last year agreed to a settlement that should
provide lower electricity rates to industrial customers in Germany from 2009
9. CHINA SINKS A NEW KYOTO
China has now destroyed Western hopes for a new
global warming agreement, just weeks before global talks in Poland aimed at
writing a successor for the Kyoto Protocol -- which expires in 2012, says
Dennis Avery, a senior fellow with the Hudson Institute and Director for the
Center for Global Food Issues.
China has attached a ransom note to its Polish
meeting RSVP: They might go along with a new warming pact if the rich countries
agree to hand over 1 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) -- about
$300 billion per year -- to finance the required non-fossil, higher-cost energy
systems the West wants the developing countries to use.
"Climate change policies need a lot of
money to be invested. However, developed countries have not made any
substantive promises about how much they are going to spend on this," said
Gua Guangsheng, head of China's Climate Change Office on Oct. 28.
Don't spend much of your "worry time"
on a new climate treaty however, says Avery.
Global temperatures are doing their best to tell us that CO2 isn't very
important after all:
thermometers stubbornly refused to rise after 1998, and have plummeted in the
past two years by more than 0.5 degree C.
world is now colder than in 1940, when the Post-WW-II Industrial Revolution
started spewing lots of man-made CO 2 in the first place.
October 29, the United States beat or tied 115 low-temperature records for the
date; Alaska, which was unusually warm last year, recorded 25 degrees below
zero Fahrenheit that night -- beating the previous low by 4 degrees F.
had snow in October for the first time in more than 70 years.
The 2007-08 temperature drop wasn't predicted by
the global climate models, but it had been predicted by the sunspots since
2000. Both the absent sunspots and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation now predict
a 25-30-year global cooling. After that,
the remaining enthusiasm for global warming agreements will presumably have
vanished -- without any big payoff to the Chinese government, says Avery.
Source: Dennis Avery, "China Sinks New
Kyoto," American Conservative Union Foundation, December 3, 2008. http://www.acuf.org/issues/issue121/081203cul.asp Courtesy NCPA
10. GLOBAL WARMING FREEZE?
President-elect Barack Obama recently declared
his intention to mitigate global warming by enacting a cap-and-trade policy
that would reduce carbon emissions 80 percent by the year 2050. But the last two years of global cooling have
nearly erased 30 years of temperature increase.
To the extent that global warming ever existed, it is now officially
over, says David Deming, a geophysicist and adjunct scholar with the National
Center for Policy Analysis.
In fact, there is worldwide evidence of the end
of global warming, says Deming:
o By the
end of January 2008, blizzards and cold temperatures in China killed 60 people,
caused millions to lose electric service, damaged nearly a million buildings,
airports had to close and Hong Kong had the second-longest cold spell since
February, cold in the northern half of Vietnam wiped out 40 percent of the rice
crop and killed 33,000 head of livestock, and the city of Mumbai, India
recorded the lowest temperatures of the last 40 years.
o In the
United States, the city of International Falls, Minn., set a new record low
temperature of minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit, breaking the old record of minus 37
(1967); in Reading, Pa., the temperature stayed below 40 degrees for 6
consecutive days and for the first time since the 18th century, Alaskan
But even though global warming is over,
politicians are still trying to enact solutions to a non-existent problem. Instead, we must recognize that weather and
climate change are natural processes beyond human control. To argue otherwise is to deny the factual
evidence, says Deming.
Source: David Deming, "Global warming
freeze?" Washington Times, December 10, 2008. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/dec/10/global-warming-freeze/ Courtesy NCPA
11. BLIZZARD OF MAD
PROPOSALS DESCENDS ON UK
By Christopher Booker , The Telegraph, Dec 7,
The timing was immaculate. Last week, as
blizzards closed roads and schools across northern England and Scotland and
large parts of the country were carpeted with snow for the third time this
winter, the Government's Committee on Climate Change, chaired by Lord Turner of
Ecchinswell, issued its first report on how Britain is to meet the terrifying
threat of runaway global warming
In his day job Adair Turner is chairman of the
Financial Services Authority, responsible for helping to sort out the chaos in
our banking system, which the FSA failed to foresee or prevent. A measure of
his fitness for his other new role as "Britain's first climate tsar"
was the suggestion he made when he was appointed last March that, as a first
step towards saving the planet, men should stop wearing ties and suits to the
office, and women give up wearing skirts, because this would lessen the need
for air-conditioning and encourage them to walk or cycle to work.
Now, after eight months hard at work with his
committee made up of various "professors of climate change" and other
unworldly academics, he has come up with suggestions as to how Britain can lead
the world in cutting emissions of CO2 back to just 20 per cent of where they
were in 1990. Only one of the committee, all naturally hard-line believers in
man-made global warming, appears to have had any experience of the world of
industry. Unsurprisingly they have produced a wearisomely familiar list of
proposals, none of which have the slightest hope of being achieved.
They want us, for instance, to switch from
eating beef and lamb to "less carbon-intensive types of meat". Within
11 years they want to see 40 per cent of all the cars on Britain's roads
powered by electricity, in the very week when it was reported that sales of
all-electric cars have this year halved, from 374 to 156, making a grand total
of 1,100. (One of the two companies that make them has just gone bankrupt.)
Nor, of course, do they explain where all the electricity to power these
vehicles might come from.
They seem blissfully oblivious, for instance, to
the fact that, within a few years, we shall face a shortfall of 40 per cent in
the supply of electricity we need to meet current peak demand, thanks to the
forced closure of so many of our existing power stations. They insist that no
more coal-fired power plants should be built unless they can be fitted with
"carbon capture" (burying the CO2 in holes in the ground), seemingly
unaware that, even if this were technically possible, it would double the cost
of electricity and make us even more dependent on Russian and other imported
coal which already supplies 70 per cent of our needs.
So what will provide the juice to fuel those
millions of imaginary electric cars, let alone keep our lights on and our
computers running? Inevitably they want to see thousands more wind turbines,
but nothing better illustrates the cloud-cuckoo land in which these academics
live than their graph showing how, by 2020, we shall have enough of them to
meet our EU target of deriving a third of the electricity we need from
These, they claim, will provide 28 gigawatts
(GW) of "capacity", representing more than a third of the 80-odd GW
of capacity we have today. Yet, as the rest of us know, thanks to the
intermittency of the wind those thousands of turbines would only generate on
average around 27 per cent of their capacity, some 7.5GW. This represents a
mere 13 per cent of current peak demand, leaving us woefully short of our
agreed EU target and doing nothing to plug that fast-looming 40 per cent gap in
In other words, a more vacuously dotty ragbag of
proposals would be hard to imagine. Although the latest six-point "Moonbat
Plan" to save the planet, from The Guardian's George Monbiot, is a
contender. It includes reducing air travel by 95 per cent, barring "key
roads" to private cars, and a ban on grouse-shooting because burning the
heather on grouse-moors creates "a staggering proportion of UK
Alas, however. the blethering of Lord Turner's
committee cannot just be dismissed as a joke. The awful fact is that it was set
up by our Government in all seriousness, to advise on how we are to achieve
those EU targets to which we are now legally bound by the Climate Change Act,
passed virtually unanimously by Parliament.
Meanwhile in Poznan 10,000 delegates from 192
countries shiver in near-freezing temperatures as they squabble over the UN's
next treaty on global warming. They face impasse over demands by China and
India that richer countries should hand over 0.7 per cent of their annual GDP
to help "developing" countries to meet their "carbon"
targets (for Britain that would represent nearly £10 billion a year). And in
Brussels, where 11,000 metal workers demonstrated last Tuesday to protest that
the EU's climate change policies would spell doom to Europe's steel industry,
the entire package has been thrown into chaos by threatened vetos from Italy
and Poland - which still derives 95 per cent of its electricity from
"dirty" coal. It is nice to think that all those UN delegates in
Poznan are only being kept warm by a fuel that they and the EU would like to
12. SKEPTICISM ON CLIMATE CHANGE
By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist | December 7, 2008
THE MAIL brings an invitation to register for the 2009
International Conference on Climate Change, which convenes on March 8 in
New York City. Sponsored by the Heartland
Institute, a Chicago-based think tank, the conference will host an
international lineup of climate scientists and researchers who will focus on
four broad areas: climatology, paleoclimatology, the impact of climate change,
and climate-change politics and economics.
But if last year's gathering is any indication, the conference is likely to
cover the climate-change waterfront. There were dozens of
presentations in 2008, including: "Strengths and Weaknesses of Climate
Models," "Ecological and Demographic Perspectives on the Status of
Polar Bears," and "The Overstated Role of Carbon Dioxide on Climate
Just another forum, then, sounding the usual alarums on the looming threat from
Actually, no. The scientists and scholars Heartland is assembling are not
members of the gloom-and-doom chorus. They dispute the frantic claims that
global warming is an onrushing catastrophe; many are skeptical of the notion
that human activity has a significant effect on the planet's climate, or that
such an effect can be reliably measured or predicted. Some point out that
global temperatures peaked in 1998 and have been falling since then. Indeed,
several argue that a period of global cooling is on the way. Nearly all would
argue that climate is always changing, and that no one really knows whether
current computer models can reliably account for the myriad of factors that
cause that natural variability.
They are far from monolithic, but on this they would all agree: Science is not
settled by majority vote, especially in a field as young as climate science.
Skepticism and inquiry go to the essence of scientific progress. It is always
legitimate to challenge the existing "consensus" with new data or an
alternative hypothesis. Those who insist that dissent be silenced or even
punished are not the allies of science, but something closer to religious
Unfortunately, when it comes to climate change, far too many people have been all
too ready to play the Grand Inquisitor. For example, The Weather Channel's
senior climatologist, Heidi Cullen, has recommended that meteorologists be denied
professional certification if they voice doubts about global-warming
alarmism. James Hansen, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies,
wants oil-company executives tried for "crimes against humanity if they
continue to dispute what is understood scientifically" about global
warming. Al Gore frequently derides those who dispute his climate dogma as
fools who should be ignored. "Climate deniers fall into the same camp as
people who still don't believe we landed on the moon," Gore's spokeswoman told
The Politico a few days ago.
In fact, what prompted The Politico to solicit Gore's comment was its decision
to report on the mounting dissent from global-warming orthodoxy. "Scientists
urge caution on global warming," the story was headlined; it opened by
noting "a growing accumulation of global cooling science and other
findings that could signal that the science behind global warming may still be
too shaky to warrant cap-and-trade legislation."
Coverage of such skepticism is increasing. The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Michael
Scott reported last week that meteorologists
at each of Cleveland's TV stations dissent from the alarmists' scenario. In
the Canadian province of Alberta, the Edmonton Journal found, 68
percent of climate scientists and engineers do not believe "the debate
on the scientific causes of recent climate change is settled."
Expect to see more of this. The debate goes on, as it should.