The Week That Was (May 3, 2008) brought to you by SEPP

Quotes of the Week:

"Those who have knowledge, don't predict.  Those who predict, don't have knowledge. "
--Lao Tzu, 6th Century BC Chinese Poet


IS THE TIDE TURNING?  Are we close to the ‘tipping point’ when the public will reject the UN-IPCC, the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) nonsense, and the alarmists among scientists, media, and politicians?  Read on and rejoice!


A climate model exercise, published in Nature (May 1), predicts cooling for the next decade.  But before rejoicing, let’s take a closer look [ITEM #1]


The NIPCC SPM+TS (Summary for Policymakers and Technical Summary) “Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate is going into massive printing and will also be available in German and Italian (initially).  SEPP donors can receive a complimentary copy.  It can be viewed in pdf format on the SEPP home page -- and in E-book format (to be announced soon).  [ITEM #2]


London election for Mayor:  A referendum on Global Warming – an omen for the future? [ITEM #3]


The public is getting tired of GW.  Gore may need more than $300 million, esp. if the climate refuses to warm [ITEM #4]


GW fears are distorting energy decisions and raising the price of everything: food, electricity, gasoline, gas [ITEM #5]


Smear campaigns against Climate Realists (a better choice than ‘Climate Deniers’) [ITEM #6]


US politicians like Cap & Trade regulation better than an energy tax [ITEM#7].  Meanwhile, the UN soldiers on to draft a successor to the Kyoto Protocol – in Copenhagen 2009 – and the EU is fighting European industry giants who see financial ruin in GW mitigation. 


We don’t know when the GW bubble will burst.  Will it be when the IPCC science is exposed as shoddy and their climate models are shown to be invalid?  Or when the climate cooling causes real hardships and makes GW desirable?  Or when GW mitigation hits the pocketbook of the average citizen?  Or when politicians sense the mood of the public and decide to speak out and take action?



Good reading:

Chill Out on Climate Hysteria: The Earth is currently cooling. By Deroy Murdock, May 02, 2008

The authoritative article on polar bears,


News you can use:

Group warns of global warming alarmism
Excerpt: A touring political rally designed to highlight the "dangers of global warming alarmism" made a stop in downtown Oklahoma City this week. The so-called "Hot Air Tour" is sponsored by an anti-tax group called Americans for Prosperity. Speakers gathering stood in front of a mock hot air balloon that was printed with this statement: "Global warming alarmism: lost jobs, higher taxes, less freedom."

News you can do without:

Invasion of giant squid blamed on global warming - LA Times


Middle school kids fear global warming - NY Times

Lord Nicholas Stern, author of the notorious ‘Stern Report’ warns that “Climate Change is Considerably Worse Than Previously Estimated,” The Independent, April 17, 2008.  We have not heard recently from the peerless Sir David King, former UK Science Adviser and Chief Climate Alarmist.

Princeton physics professor John Archibald Wheeler has passed away at age 96.  He was my thesis supervisor, mentor, and friend.  He pioneered the theory of nuclear fission and of ‘black holes’ – among many other contributions.  Read this obituary from the LA Times,1,4081990.story




Noel Keenlyside et al. "Advancing decadal-scale climate prediction in the North Atlantic sector

Abstract:  The climate of the North Atlantic region exhibits fluctuations on decadal timescales that have large societal consequences. Prominent examples include hurricane activity in the Atlantic, and surface-temperature and rainfall variations over North America, Europe and northern Africa......Our results suggest that global surface temperature may not increase over the next decade, as natural climate variations in the North Atlantic and tropical Pacific temporarily offset the projected anthropogenic warming.

Keenlyside of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences, Kiel, Germany, is quoted: "The IPCC would predict a 0.3°C warming over the next decade.  Our prediction is that there will be no warming until 2015 but it will pick up after that."



Before we all go overboard about the paper in Nature that predicts another decade of cooling, let’s stop and ask some questions: 


1.  The claim that natural climate fluctuations can and do overwhelm the ‘expected’ warming from an increase in GH gases is not only plausible but fairly certain.  But we knew that; see NIPCC report “Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate”

NIPCC presents convincing evidence that the human influence (from greenhouse gases) is not significant and that natural variations dominate climate variations on all time scales. 
     But this means that the IPCC climate models have all overestimated the ‘expected’ warming.  The likely reason is that they incorporate a ‘positive feedback’ from water vapor that amplifies the meager warming from CO2.  The actual feedback is likely to be negative.  The Nature authors don’t spell this out.


2.  As I understand it, the claim is that by using a set of initial values of actual ocean data they find circulation changes that lead to a temporary (a decade or so) cooling.  But the accuracy and completeness of such ocean data is dubious.  So how sensitive is the result to small errors in the initial values?  More important, since models can run time backwards, will the same initial values simulate the climate of the past decade.  [Note that over such short periods the GH effect is not relevant; the model tests mainly the dynamics of the ocean circulation.]

     Based on what we know about climate models, we are not convinced yet that the predicted cooling is caused by internal natural forcing.  There is a good chance that the  observed lack of warming is caused by external natural forcing, i.e. by the Sun.


“I don’t make climate predictions because I don’t know what the Sun will do next, but analysis of the best data of the past 30 years has convinced me that the human contribution has been insignificant — in spite of the real rise in atmospheric CO2, a greenhouse gas.” – S.Fred Singer, as quoted by Deroy Murdock


3.  Finally, if changes in ocean dynamics can produce cooling, then an appropriate set of initial conditions must exist that produces a warming (natural) trend.  It seems to me this shows that a warming trend per se cannot be used to support anthropogenic warming unless it persists for at least several decades.





The NIPCC SPM+TS (Summary for Policymakers and Technical Summary) “Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate” is going  into massive printing and will also be available in German and  Italian (initially).  SEPP donors can receive a complimentary copy.  It is available in pdf format on the SEPP home page -- and in E-book format (to be announced soon).  A badge of honor:  ABC World News reports (March 23) that (unnamed) climate scientists at NASA, Princeton, and Stanford consider the  NIPCC report “fraudulent nonsense.”  We think we know who they are and would love to ask them – preferably while under oath—whether they really told this to ABC or whether ABC invented the quote.



  Boris Johnson claimed a remarkable victory in the London mayoral contest on Friday night to cap a disastrous series of results for Gordon Brown in his first electoral test as Prime Minister. Mr Johnson's landmark victory, a result that would have been almost unthinkable six months ago, was the most symbolic blow to Mr Brown's authority on a day that left the Prime Minister facing the gravest crisis of his leadership. --      --Andrew Porter and Robert Winnett, The Daily Telegraph, 3 May 2008

  Mr Livingstone made clear he views 1 May as a referendum on his policies to tackle climate change and protect the health of Londoners. Aides claimed it would be the first election in British history to be decided largely on environmental issues.       --The London Evening Standard, 25 March 2008

  Londoners now face a stark choice. Boris Johnson is an environmental vandal, whose main contribution to environmental policy was as a cheerleader for George W Bush's disastrous decision to oppose the Kyoto climate treaty. The election is neck and neck and everyone who cares about the environment needs to vote with the first and second preferences for myself and Sian Berry if we are to stop Boris Johnson wrecking London's environment.'        --Ken Livingstone, 25 April 2008

  There are a hundred reasons why Boris Johnson should not be Mayor of London. But his dinosaur views on the environment alone are enough to show what a disaster he would be for our city. The man who backed Bush against the Kyoto treaty and who doesn't believe there's a risk from passive smoking cannot be trusted with our future - or even, really, with his own. He's a 19th century man in a 21st century city
       --Sian Berry, Green Party, 25 April 2008

  Under a climate change denier like Boris Johnson, we would have to fear for our futures, and for the jobs of all the hundreds who work for us. We would also have to fear for the physical security of the city itself, under the assault of unmitigated global warming, were others to follow Johnson's 'lead' on climate change.
        --Jeremy Leggett, SolarCentury, 25 April 2008

  The prospect of Boris as Mayor of London is just so scary. The prospect of Boris taking over London's Climate Change Action Plan is even scarier. He may have learnt not to reveal his full contrarian bigotry on climate change, but he really doesn't get it, and would rapidly scale back or completely get rid off the ambitious targets in the Action Plan. And that would be a massive set back. I just hope all the environmental NGOs can rally the troops in London in a pro-Ken campaign, even if they can't come out and explicitly endorse him.    --Jonathon Porritt, Sustainable Development Commission, March 2008

  The hypocrisy of the Europeans over Kyoto is staggering. They attack America in hysterical terms, and yet the 15 EU countries have never come close to meeting their own eight per cent target for cuts in carbon dioxide emissions. They have not even agreed which countries should cut the most. If America were to meet its Kyoto targets now, it would require a cut of 30 per cent in emissions, and how, exactly, is that supposed to work in the current economic downturn? It would exacerbate the recession, and when Bush says no, he is doing what is right not just for America but for the world.        --Boris Johnson, The Daily Telegraph, April 2001.                                                                All quotes courtesy of CCNET





The public may be getting  tired of hearing about climate change, esp when they learn that the climate is cooling not warming.  Many are getting confused -as they did from the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” and ask: “How can global warming cause a cooler climate?  Anyway, the average voter does not really care about Global Warming  and may say: “Let’s wait until 2020 and see if the climate really warms.”  Al Gore’s $300 million propaganda campaign may not be enough to persuade the public to undergo economic hardships to avoid a fictitious climate catastrophe.





GW fears are distorting energy policies in Europe and North America and are raising the price of electricity, transportation, heating, and food – all essentials.  Forcing the use of natural gas for electric generation in place of cheaper coal is not only raising electric power costs but also the price of gas.  In turn, this raises the cost of fertilizer – and of food.  The scarcity of gas may mean LNG imports for the US and  greater dependence on Russian supplies for Europe.


It will get worse if electric utilities are forced to buy more ‘renewable energy’ (from uneconomic and unreliable wind and solar) at premium prices.  It will get much worse if coal-fired powerplants are forced to use CCS (carbon capture and sequestration).


The ethanol/bio-fuel boondoggle may have played itself out – although lobbyists are trying hard to persuade governments to keep and enlarge a variety of subsidies.  Not only is ethanol uneconomic but it may lead to additional CO2 emissions from land-clearing.  Forests throughout the world will suffer – and enlightened environmentalists are getting upset – finally.


All these mistaken GW policies are causing distress for low-income groups, food riots in poor nations, and other kinds of societal and international problems.  And the irony is that all policies designed to reduce CO2 emissions are pointless since CO2 isn’t a significant cause of climate change.


The main cause is natural and therefore unstoppable.




Global warming fanatics are becoming desperate.  With no good arguments to defend the dogma of AGW, they increasingly resort to smear tactics and ad hominem attacks.  Just check out ExxonSecrets, SourceWatch or desmogblog.  These are staffed by professionals who have no appreciable scientific background but are paid – and paid well – to sling mud.  Prominent climate skeptics are attacked s being ‘corrupt,’ in the pay of oil companies, or part of the tobacco lobby.  Even Wkipedia has been taken over by these types who manage to put libelous accusations into Wiki biographies.  For example, Fred Singer is supposed to believe in Martians –a real wacko.  In other places, FS is ‘linked’ (whatever that word means) to the Rev. Moon, Lyndon LaRouche, and the John Birch Society.  The venerable but not always reliable magazine Science has even ‘linked’ me to the George C. Marshall Institute.  Horrors!




All three US presidential candidates are on record in support of Cap and  Trade legislation for CO2 emissions.  John McCain has not announced quantitative targets. 

    It’s a thoroughly bad scheme, not working in Europe, and not likely to work in the US. 


Letter to Editor: Comments on ‘Combating Global Warming’

by Ian W.H. Parry and William A. Pizer [Resources for the Future]

Regulation Vol. 30 Fall 2007, pp. 18-22


Is taxation or cap-and-trade the better strategy for reducing greenhouse emissions?  One would think this matter has been adequately discussed over the past 40 years by environmental economists and others. It is well known that taxation can fix the price of emitting the pollutant but not the amount, while cap-and-trade determines the quantity emitted, but doesn’t set the price.  These two approaches are equivalent to some extent except that economists generally prefer a tax and politicians prefer cap-and-trade.  One reason for this is that the geniuses at RFF sometime back invented something called a ‘soft cap.’  The idea is that when the price of emission rights rises too far, one could relax the cap and therefore moderate the price. 


You can see why politicians would like this.  It allows Congress to do what it does best, namely to grant political favors.  It gives them the possibility of interfering with the market by changing the cap according to the wishes of their major supporters.  The fact that it destroys property values of those who hold emission rights in order to  benefit those who want them seems to be secondary. 


Now, I maybe a curmudgeon, a troglodyte, or a dinosaur, but I’m certainly not a Scrooge.  I don’t begrudge economists the few million dollars a year to carry out these kind of arcane discussions.  But I should point out that they really amount to intellectual masturbation.  There are three points that need to be considered:


1. Carbon dioxide is quite ineffective in influencing climate change, contrary to the (published) graph that indicates the (very imperfect) correlation with surface temperature.  The correlation with atmospheric temperatures is even worse.  And the fact that atmospheric temperatures in recent decades do not show the trends expected from greenhouse-gas models is a final argument against CO2 influence on climate.  Evidently, climate models cannot represent adequately what is happening in the real atmosphere, including strong negative feedbacks from clouds and water vapor that diminish the effects of CO2.  Evidently also, natural forcings, primarily solar variations, are far more important than any anthropogenic forcing from the rise in greenhouse gases. 


2. Many competent economists agree that a modest warming is beneficial, would raise GNP and average income, and is much to be preferred to a cooling.  Logically, a warming and a cooling cannot both be bad; otherwise the present climate would have to be optimum – an unlikely occurrence.  But if warming creates benefits, then the endless efforts to do cost-benefit analyses, for example in the British Stern Report, are clearly a waste of time. 


3. Finally, we have the fact, unlikely to change, that emissions from developing countries, especially China, now dominate the annual growth rates of carbon dioxide.  Trying to impose controls on U.S. emissions therefore is like ‘spitting in the wind.’  There have been some misguided schemes proposed, for example by Stewart and Wiener [in an AEI book], to make a deal with China whereby the United States essentially subsidizes Chinese emissions.  We haven’t heard much about this proposal in the last few years. 


To sum up, perhaps economists should heed the advice of Bjorn Lomborg and “cool it” -- and figure out better ways of spending scarce resources on real problems rather than on non-problems like anthropogenic global warming.