The Week That Was (March 15, 2008) brought to you by SEPP


Fred Singer speaking on March 30 noon at the Georgetown Presbyterian Church 3115 P St, Wash, DC


Quotes of the Week:

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
    --Bertrand Russell

The 2008 International Conference on Climate Change (NY City, March 2-4, 2008), organized by the Heartland Institute was a smashing success: 100 skeptics spoke; attendance of 500, incl many media

NIPCC report is released to wide acclaim [ITEM #1 and 2].

Download text:


Manhattan Declaration demands abandonment of emissions reduction efforts  [ITEM #3]

Lord Monckton comments on Conference papers [ITEM #4]

A crucial EPA decision on CO2 threatens economy [ITEM #5]

Polar bears caught in a heated eco-debate [ITEM #6].

California's cap-and-trade won't work: LA Times [ITEM #7]

Big corn and ethanol hoax: Walter Williams [ITEM #8]


Roy Spencer -- on WV and climate incl his ppt from the NY Climate Conference


What do ethanol and the subprime mortgage meltdown have in common? On the surface, nothing at all. But dig down a little, and each is a good reminder of that most powerful of unwritten decrees, the Law of Unintended Consequences -- and of the all-too-frequent tendency of solutions imposed by the state to exacerbate the harms they were meant to solve.

Global warming may be happening. But the extent of the potential danger is such that doing nothing is the best strategy of all.

Maggi’s blog:


Prof Peter Friedman essay  <>




Summary for Policymakers of the Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change
Edited by S. Fred Singer, Ph.D.
Publication Date: March 2, 2008
Publisher: Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change / The Heartland Institute


NIPCC is an international coalition of scientists convened to provide an independent examination of the evidence available on the causes and consequences of climate change in the published, peer-reviewed literature – examined without bias and selectivity.  It includes many research papers ignored by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), plus additional scientific results that became available after the IPCC deadline of May 2006.

The IPCC is pre-programmed to produce reports to support the hypotheses of anthropogenic warming and the control of greenhouse gases, as envisioned in the Global Climate Treaty.  The 1990 IPCC Summary completely ignored satellite data, since they showed no warming.  The 1995 IPCC report was notorious for the significant alterations made to the text after it was approved by the scientists – in order to convey the impression of a human influence.  The 2001 IPCC report claimed the twentieth century showed ‘unusual warming’ based on the now-discredited hockey-stick graph.  The latest IPCC report, published in 2007, completely devaluates the climate contributions from changes in solar activity, which are likely to dominate any human influence.

The foundation for NIPCC was laid five years ago when a small group of scientists from the United States and Europe met in Milan during one of the frequent UN climate conferences.  But it got going only after a workshop held in Vienna in April 2007, with many more scientists, including some from the Southern Hemisphere.  The NIPCC project was conceived and directed by Dr. S. Fred Singer, professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia.


Full text:


Brad Macdonald, Columnist,  March 13, 2008 |

The most inconvenient truth for climate alarmists is the burgeoning number of influential scientists with dissenting opinions on global warming.

Excerpt:  The real truth is that the theory of man-made global warming despite being virtually canonized in the UN and the minds of a slew of politicians and celebrities, and naturally in the mainstream media remains one of the most contentious issues in science.

That contention was on full display in New York City last week.

Those who depend solely on the mainstream newsmedia to keep them informed might have missed the headlines about the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change, sponsored by the Heartland Institute and featuring nearly 100 speakers and 500 attendees skeptical of man-made global warming. The highly successful three-day conference occurred in the wake of recent reports of global cooling and the release of a blockbuster U.S. Senate minority report featuring over 400 prominent scientists disputing the theory of man-made global warming.

Last week's conference testified to one towering truth in the world of science: Debate within the scientific community over global warming is far from dead and buried.

The high-water mark of the conference was the presentation of a report produced by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) claiming nature, not human activity, was the cause of climate change. The NIPCC is comprised of international scientists and was formed as a counterforce to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

International scientists, climate experts and policymakers at the event listened to lectures and panel discussions exposing the fraud of the global warming "truth," perused studies and reports showing stark division in the scientific community over global warming, and swapped stories about how they'd been "denied tenure, shut out of scientific conferences and rejected by academic journals because no matter how scrupulous their research," their conclusions contradicted the truth espoused by the climate change pharisees (National Post, March 10). Many attendees spoke of colleagues too afraid to attend the conference for fear of losing their jobs.

Many of the details at the conference can be found in this piece from the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Those who take the time to investigate the links therein will experience an eye-opening expos of the staggering scale of the global warming scam. Take funding for global warming research, for example. Over the past decade, research intended to prove the veracity of man-made global warming has been funded to the tune of $50 billion, while global warming skeptic research has received a comparatively measly $19 million.



By John Lettice 10th March 2008

A group of dissenting scientists and climate researchers has affirmed that there is no convincing evidence that CO2 emissions from modern industrial activity cause climate change, and has called on world leaders to abandon all efforts to reduce emissions "forthwith." Issued last week at the close of the International Conference on Climate Change in New York, the Manhattan Declaration challenged the notion that a scientific consensus on climate change exists, and claimed that efforts at emissions reduction would diminish prosperity while having no appreciable impact.
    The Declaration stems from the work of the Nongovermental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), which one might term the evil twin of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which published a closely-argued report on the subject this month. The report takes the form of a critique of the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report, which last year helped win the organisation a joint Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.
     The report's arguments, however, probably deserve more than satirical remarks in response. The NIPCC, set up by a group of scientists at a workshop in Vienna last year, sets out to provide a "second opinion" on the data used by the IPCC and on its conclusions, factoring in 'inconvenient' research that it claims the IPCC has missed or ignored, and seeking to disrupt the widely-held global consensus that the questions surrounding climate change are settled. "The IPCC seems to be aware of... contrary evidence," says the report, "but has tried to ignore it or wish it away."
    The report states that climate change has always happened and always will, and accepts that man-made CO2 emissions are growing, but argues that the effect on climate is insignificant.. Solar activity, which it says has been pretty much ignored as a possible factor by the IPCC, is in the NIPCC's view the most likely cause of climate change.
    It further argues that the fatal flaw in the IPCC lies in its brief. It is "pre-programmed to produce reports to support the hypotheses of anthropogenic [man-made] warming and the control of greenhouse gases, as envisioned in the Global Climate Change Treaty." The evidence supporting the consensus, effectively, is being sought after its establishment - scientists are being hired to support a hypothesis, rather than to conduct a broad examination of the possible causes of climate change.
    The NIPCC's conclusions so far are that the global warming trend is less significant than claimed, as is the case with sea level rises, that the models used by the IPCC do not establish human activity as the main cause, and that this is possibly explained by their failure to take into account negative feedback. Accordingly, efforts spent on tackling CO2 emissions will have no significant effect on the 'problem', and will take resources away from more pressing issues.



Comment by Christopher Monckton, The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

Scientific evidence presented by leading climatologists at the New York climate conference (March 2-4) demonstrates that the costly "global warming" scare is at last over.

Professor Ross McKitrick, who had previously demolished the shank of UN's "hockey-stick" graph that had falsely abolished the mediaeval warm period, has now destroyed the blade as well. Global temperature, he said, had risen by only half as much since 1980 as the official records showed. The UN, in its 2007 climate assessment, has been unable to find a single scientific paper refuting this conclusion.

Dr. Bill Gray showed that changes in the deep oceans over the decades accounted for two-thirds of the warming that has recently been observed.

Dr. Willie Soon, of the Harvard Center for Astrophysics, demonstrated very close correlations between changes in solar activity and changes in global surface temperature. During the 70-year-long solar grand maximum that has just ended, the sun was more active (and for longer) than at almost any similar period in the past 11,400 years, but this fact has gone entirely unreported in the news media. Now that solar activity is declining, so is global temperature: the drop between the monthly mean for January 2007 and January 2008 was the greatest since records began in the 1880s. According to some solar physicists, the sun has accounted for up to half of recently-observed warming.

Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN's climate-change panel, has noticed that global temperature is not rising anything like as fast as its climate assessments in 1990, 1995, 2001, and 2007 had predicted. He has said that the UN's calculations now need to be reviewed. My own short presentation at the New York conference told him exactly where to look. My Nobel-prizewinning contribution to the UN's 2007 report took the form of a correction to a table of figures - inserted by the UN's bureaucrats after the scientists' final draft had been submitted - in which the contributions of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice-sheets to sea-level rise had been incorrectly (and, I think, deliberately) multiplied by ten, through the ingenious shifting of not one but four decimal points in the table. At my insistence, this error was hastily corrected after publication.

In my presentation, I showed that the UN's statement of the value of a key variable to one rather than three decimal places had led to a 50% overstatement of the effect of all greenhouse gases on temperatures. I also demonstrated that the UN, without justification or explanation, had increased the value of the temperature-feedback multiplier by 71% in little more than a decade. Removing these and other embarrassing errors and exaggerations on the part of the UN, I calculated that global temperature would be likely to rise by less than an entirely harmless 1 degree Celsius (2 F) in response to a doubling of CO2 concentration.

But it was Vaclav Klaus, the President of the Czech Republic, who brought the conference to its feet with an elegant speech that accurately presented the "global warming" alarmists as the latest in a series of political movements whose real ambition is to take away our prosperity and our liberty. "It's not about climatology," he concluded: "It's about freedom."

Where now? As the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice spread simultaneously to cover more millions of square meters than at any time since records began, it is not only poor Dr. Pachauri who is beginning to realize that the politicians and bureaucrats who dominate the UN's climate-change panel have gotten their sums wrong. Ordinary voters, faced with absurd intrusions into their private lives in the form of compulsory poison-filled light-bulbs and fraudulent "carbon trading" schemes, are beginning to ask the searching questions that the news media would have asked if they had not been so mesmerized by the circulation increases that their original stories of doom and disaster had engendered. Now, the hype is wearing off, and the media that are winning the ratings war are those who give a more careful and balanced presentation of the facts. It's only a matter of time before a leading investigative journalist earns himself a Pulitzer by exposing the (very unsavory) financial and political links between the dozen scientists who are chiefly responsible for the "global warming" scare and certain national and international politicians, most of them on the near-Communist left.

The voters now sense that the "global warming" scare is indeed over. As always, it will take the politicians rather longer to catch up. But those who have been most sedulous in peddling the false prospectus of climate alarm will in due time find themselves flung out of office, perhaps forever. As the Good Book says, "Great is truth, and truth prevaileth."



WSJ editorial, March 14, 2008; Page A18

Combine the Bush White House, global warming, and a policy conclusion that environmentalists don't like, and the dudgeon is bound to be high. Even so, it's been stratospheric since the Environmental Protection Agency denied California special permission to regulate greenhouse gases. Senator Barbara Boxer draws parallels to Watergate, "the most infamous cover-up in history," while Senator Bernie Sanders so savaged EPA chief Stephen Johnson during a recent hearing that he was reduced to pleading, "I consider myself to be a human being."

Not to spoil the party, but this is the outrage of sore winners. True, the EPA's ruling is a minor setback for the global warmists. But it may pour the bureaucratic foundation for their larger policy goal, which is economy-wide regulation of carbon dioxide. Worse, the Bush EPA may do so by rewriting current environmental law, with little or no political debate.

The fracas concerns California's attempt to limit CO2 emissions via the federal Clean Air Act, which allows state air-quality standards that are stricter than Capitol Hill's. By California's reasoning, climate change is an air-quality problem, caused by a "pollutant," CO2, that goes into the air. Ergo, the state is entitled to a waiver. Not coincidentally, this is also the pet theory of the environmental left, which wants the EPA to declare greenhouse gases a threat to humanity. Last year, the Supreme Court agreed, to a point. It ruled that the EPA must determine whether or not carbon "endangers public health and welfare," and that if it does, the agency must regulate. That process is now underway.

The reason the EPA has never included CO2 with pollutants restricted by the Clean Air Act, like NOX or SOX, is that it is fundamentally different. It does not contaminate the air or make it unhealthy to breathe. It is natural: Think human respiration. Because there's no technology that can limit its release as carbon fuel combusts, it is unavoidable. Plus, when the Act was amended in 1990, Congress specifically rejected provisions for greenhouse gases.

Unfortunately, the EPA didn't mention any of this when it refused California's waiver, relying instead on a technicality. Clean Air Act exemptions are only allowed for local pollution -- say, smog over Los Angeles. The EPA's Mr. Johnson ruled that global warming is by definition a world-wide phenomenon, and that while "the conditions related to global climate change in California are substantial, they are not sufficiently different from conditions in the nation as a whole to justify separate state standards."

The EPA avoided a bad precedent, but conceded a lot. Legally, Mr. Johnson concludes that "warming of the climate system is unequivocal . . . very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations" and refers to climate change as "a fundamentally global air pollution problem" and CO2 as "a global pollutant." These assumptions matter as the agency lurches toward the larger "endangerment finding." If CO2 is classified as a "pollutant," it triggers a long sequence of regulatory booby traps, and the EPA staff, by law, is granted limited discretion as to enforcement or cost.

For instance, an endangerment finding must apply beyond cars and trucks to "stationary sources," i.e., buildings. The floor for EPA permitting rules is 250 tons of a Clean Air Act pollutant per year, sometimes as few as 100. Those limits might be reasonable for sulfur dioxide. But it's nothing for CO2. A midsized office building that uses fossil fuels for heating easily exceeds the threshold. So do almost all factories, farms, restaurants, schools, hospitals . . .

Another section of the Clean Air Act requires the EPA to reduce the concentration of a pollutant to an "adequate margin of safety." Even if the U.S. were diminished to North Korean energy levels tomorrow, it would have almost no effect on global temperature. But the EPA would be pressured to set standards below what they are now, creating a de facto carbon cap.

In an interview last week, Mr. Johnson assured us that his decision was "not a determination of endangerment" and was "based on the facts and the law." But the real issue is his interpretation of the law, and his mistake was thinking he could appease the anticarbon lobby by accepting its premises while still denying the California waiver.

The Supreme Court did not require the EPA to change its position on CO2, only to justify it within the scope of the Clean Air Act. In fact, the Court said the agency could defer a judgment because the science is complex and still evolving. But Mr. Johnson's waiver decision welds shut that escape hatch -- and he's still getting pounded by Democrats.

Given the political climate and Presidential contenders, a new warming policy is likely in 2009. But a change this momentous should be made by Congress, and only after a public debate in which the costs, benefits and risks can be aired and weighed. It should not be imposed by bureaucratic fiat in the waning days of a Presidency.




Excerpt: Eskimos in Alaska and Canada have joined to stop polar bears from being designated as an endangered species, saying the move threatens their culture and livelihoods by relying on sketchy science for animals that are thriving. Although they say sea ice has melted, some Natives question the accuracy of the most dire predictions of a warming climate in the Northern Hemisphere, and members of the Inuit Circumpolar Council seek evidence that a change would seriously harm the bears. Their stance has put them at loggerheads with a usual ally: environmentalists who say the bears need protection now to survive a warmer climate in the future The [Endangered Species Act] petition marks the first time a healthy species would be considered at risk under the Endangered Species Act and the first time global warming would be officially labeled a species' main threat. Polar bears have increased from a population of 5,000 in 1972 to between 20,000 and 25,000 today.   


An editorial from the Los Angeles Times shows remarkable economic and political acumen when it comes to so called global warming solutions like cap-and-trade legislation.  The paper noted that California has committed to cut its greenhouse gases 25% by 2020, and electricity generation is the state's second-biggest source of greenhouse emissions after the transportation sector.  The paper then bluntly describes the potential impact of these efforts.

To spur the needed changes, regulators are designing a cap-and-trade program, in which carbon emissions are capped and power generators can trade carbon credits -- permits to pollute -- among themselves. This is a staggeringly complex undertaking that will once again create opportunities for dishonest traders to manipulate the market. In other words, unless the cap-and-trade program is designed extraordinarily well, we could be looking at deregulation deja vu. And the consequences won't just be higher power bills. If California, which leads the country in addressing the threat of global warming, gets this program wrong, it could discredit efforts to fight the problem nationwide, if not worldwide.  [...] To sum up: Carbon-trading markets are easy to manipulate and produce volatile energy prices, and the political influence of business and other lobbies can skew the system to produce unfair outcomes.

The paper further declared that cap-and-trade legislation   won't work in California, because from 22% to 32% of our power is generated out of state, and California can't regulate plants outside its borders. Moreover, those out-of-state plants tend to be much dirtier than local ones. 

The editorial concluded:
Carbon taxes are a simpler, harder to manipulate and less economically damaging way to make polluters pay the costs of their environmental damage than cap and trade. Yet because taxes have so little political support, California regulators are charging ahead with a far riskier strategy, which has never been tested. Cap and trade stands a decent chance of working at the national level, where individual power plants could be regulated regardless of which state they're in, but California will be asking for trouble if it imposes a statewide program.


Hat tip to Marc Morano



One of the many mandates of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 calls for oil companies to increase the amount of ethanol mixed with gasoline. Unfortunately, there will be many unexpected consequences when we use ethanol as a replacement for gasoline, says Walter E. Williams, Professor of Economics at George Mason University.

For example, ethanol contains water that distillation cannot remove:

o   As such, it can cause major damage to automobile engines not specifically designed to burn ethanol.

o   The water content of ethanol also risks pipeline corrosion and thus must be shipped by truck, rail car or barge.

o   These shipping methods are far more expensive than pipelines.

Other issues:

o   Ethanol is 20 to 30 percent less efficient than gasoline, making it more expensive per highway mile.

o   It takes 450 pounds of corn to produce the ethanol to fill one SUV tank. That's enough corn to feed one person for a year.

o   Plus, it takes more than one gallon of fossil fuel -- oil and natural gas -- to produce one gallon of ethanol.

o   1,700 gallons of water are needed to produce one gallon of ethanol.

o   On top of all this, if our total annual corn output were put to ethanol production, it would reduce gasoline consumption by 10 or 12 percent.

Ethanol is so costly that it wouldn't make it in a free market, says Williams.  That's why Congress has enacted major ethanol subsidies:

o   $1.05 to $1.38 a gallon, which is no less than a tax on consumers.

o   In fact, there's a double tax -- one in the form of ethanol subsidies and another in the form of handouts to corn farmers to the tune of $9.5 billion in 2005 alone.


Source: Walter E. Williams, "Big Corn and Ethanol Hoax,"  March 12, 2008    [Hat tip NCPA]