Archives - December 2009

For those who yearn for seasons past, here are a few paintings from Little Ice Age Europe:

 

December 23, 2009

 

A vast nexus of influence

No one but the utterly naïve greenies believe that the Mann-made global warming hype is anything to do with climate – much less saving the planet. It is, as always, about power, influence - and money.

Out of literally thin air, the money-men have been able to conjure up a brand new product on which to increase their riches, the fabulous "carbon" which in less than a decade will – they hope – underpin an "industry" worth more than $2 trillion a year.

That alone justified the enormous effort which is being made to cement global warming as an issue in the public consciousness and, more importantly, in the legislative systems of the world. And it is the latter which is most important. Once the elimination of "carbon" is locked into enough legislative systems, it does not matter what people think – the revenue stream will be secure.

Bearing in mind that the issue is based on the central deception that the life-giving gas carbon dioxide is a "pollutant", behind the push to create this multi-trillion dollar industry is a vast nexus of influence, at or near the heart of which – it is emerging – is the chairman of the UN's IPCC, Dr Rajendra Kumar Pachauri.

Carefully cultivating the image of the concerned "scientist", he has on the back of the global warming hype not only been able to amass a considerable personal fortune (about which he is extraordinarily shy) but has also built a powerful global organisation under the brand-name "TERI", as the front for his lobbying and power-broking activities. (EUReferendum)

 

Climategate a leak, not a hack

Climategate – Outside hacker, internal mole or whistle-blower ?

New information reveals that the now-famous break-in of the computers at the University of East Anglia— which revealed that in a few instances leading climatologists seemingly massaged data to show more global warming and discussed excluding contradictory research— in fact, may not have been the act of an intruder. A detailed analysis of the East Anglia’s files by Canadian network engineer discloses that the emails and documents were likely leaked by an internal source, spotlighting a perennial but often neglected threat — old-fashioned espionage or whistle-blowing. (HSNW)

 

Climategate: the corruption of Wikipedia

If you want to know the truth about Climategate, definitely don’t use Wikipedia. “Climatic Research Unit e-mail controversy”, is its preferred, mealy-mouthed euphemism to describe the greatest scientific scandal of the modern age. Not that you’d ever guess it was a scandal from  the accompanying article. It reads more like a damage-limitation press release put out by concerned friends and sympathisers of the lying, cheating, data-rigging scientists

Which funnily enough, is pretty much what it is. Even Wikipedia’s own moderators acknowledge that the entry has been hijacked, as this commentary by an “uninvolved editor” makes clear. (James Delingpole, TDT)

 

The Winter Games At Copenhagen

CHURCHVILLE, VA—Copenhagen was two weeks of uninterrupted game-playing: 

  • CFACT conned their way aboard a Greenpeace vessel with donuts—then unfurled a banner overside reading “Ship of Lies.” 
  • China told the world it really wants to cut its carbon emissions, if the West will just pay them a trillion or so dollars to offset the higher costs of wind and solar. 
  • President Obama warned the poor countries to volunteer fossil fuel cutbacks—in exchange for $100 billion per year that nobody has agreed to pay. 

Our “con of the week” goes, however, to the British climate “scientists” who have been keeping the world’s “official” temperature records. Moscow’s Institute of Economic Analysis charged last week that the “British Team,” led by the Met Office’s Hadley Centre and the now-infamous Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University, cherry-picked Russian climate stations. They chose stations that supported the theory of recent man-made global warming, and ignored valid stations that did not. This “trick,” Russians say, over-estimated Russia’s warming by more than half a degree Celsius. That’s no small thing; global warming since 1900 has totaled only about 0.6 degree C—and Russia has 12.5 percent of the earth’s land area. (Dennis T. Avery, CGFI)

 

Time for a Climate Change Plan B - The U.S. president is in deep denial.

The world's political leaders, not least President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Gordon Brown, are in a state of severe, almost clinical, denial. While acknowledging that the outcome of the United Nations climate-change conference in Copenhagen fell short of their demand for a legally binding, enforceable and verifiable global agreement on emissions reductions by developed and developing countries alike, they insist that what has been achieved is a breakthrough and a decisive step forward.

Just one more heave, just one more venue for the great climate-change traveling circus—Mexico City next year—and the job will be done.

Or so we are told. It is, of course, the purest nonsense. The only breakthrough was the political coup for China and India in concluding the anodyne communiqué with the United States behind closed doors, with Brazil and South Africa allowed in the room and Europe left to languish in the cold outside.

Far from achieving a major step forward, Copenhagen—predictably—achieved precisely nothing. The nearest thing to a commitment was the promise by the developed world to pay the developing world $30 billion of "climate aid" over the next three years, rising to $100 billion a year from 2020. Not only is that (perhaps fortunately) not legally binding, but there is no agreement whatsoever about which countries it will go to, in which amounts, and on what conditions. (Nigel Lawson, WSJ)

 

Of course they do: Bangladesh wants 15 pct of climate fund: minister

DHAKA – Bangladesh, one of the nations most vulnerable to global warming, will seek 15 percent of a 30-billion-dollar climate change fund committed at the Copenhagen summit, the environment minister said Tuesday.

Bangladesh, with a population of 150 million, makes up around 15 percent of the approximately one billion people estimated to be affected by global warming, Environment Minister Hasan Mahmud said.

"We demand per capita compensation: 15 percent of the 30 billion dollar fund," he said, referring to the "fast track" finance pledged by rich nations for adaptation to and mitigation of climate change for the 2010-2012 period. (AFP)

 

Wishful thinking? David King: There is a way ahead after Copenhagen

The climate change talks show, at least, that the world takes the issue seriously. Now we need a truly global carbon-trading scheme (The Independent)

 

U.S. cap and trade looks out of reach in 2010

WASHINGTON - U.S. lawmakers face an uphill battle enacting a climate bill in 2010 that includes a cap-and-trade market in greenhouse gases, after this month's U.N. meeting in Copenhagen failed to hammer out a global pact on emissions cuts. (Reuters)

 

GOP warns of harsh climate on energy bill

Senate Republicans warned Monday that the bruising fight over health care reform could deliver a knockout blow to another Democratic priority: passage of a climate change bill in 2010. 

With a united Democratic Caucus, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was able to get to cloture on health care without a single GOP vote. But Democrats aren’t united on climate change, and the bitter battle over health care has left even sympathetic Republicans with little desire to help — a dynamic that would likely doom the bill to legislative failure. 

“It makes it hard to do anything because of the way this was handled,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). 

Graham didn’t elaborate, but he didn’t have to — the fierce partisan fights during the past few weeks have torn away at the Senate’s clubby decorum, raising temperatures, fraying nerves and creating what one Democratic senator has called a “very high” level of distrust among members. (Politico)

 

Emissions trading best way to go, say economists

AN emissions trading scheme is the cheapest and most efficient way to achieve the greenhouse gas cuts the Federal Government is aiming for from the Copenhagen Accord, economists believe. (Ben Cubby, SMH)

We know economists believe in models, Ben, that's why the world's economy is periodically crashed. There is, however, absolutely no upside in carbon constraint.

 

No, you idiots! Look to Australia for instruction: Conservatives to push Senate over US climate Bill

Senior Conservatives are to lobby Republicans in the US Senate to persuade them to back a climate emissions Bill. As the Tory leadership struggled to prevent party sceptics from dominating the environmental argument after the Copenhagen summit, David Cameron pledged to continue the work started in Denmark in trying to find a legally binding climate change agreement. (The Times)

Down-under the Conservatives deposed their warmie socialist leader, scrapped support for an ETS and moved immediately from joke to alternative government. There's a lesson in that.

 

Chinese and British Officials Tangle in Testy Exchange Over Climate Agreement

BEIJING — Chinese officials, stung by criticism in the West that China had sabotaged a legally binding agreement for reducing greenhouse gases during talks in Copenhagen, fired back on Tuesday, saying that wealthy nations were seeking to sow discord among developing countries in a cynical attempt to avoid reducing their own emissions. 

In comments made to the state-run media, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman took umbrage at the assertions made by Ed Miliband, the British secretary of state for energy and climate change, who said that Beijing had thwarted the passage of an ironclad agreement last week. (NYT)

 

Were AGW Scientists Completely Sidestepped In Copenhagen?

Have to admit, having read an AGW blog about COP-15 I could not avoid committing the sin of wasting time reading the Copenhagen Accord. And yes, there is an interesting and quite telling concept after all. It shows that no scientist, AGW believer or otherwise, has likely participated to the writing of the Accord, or has even been involved in reviewing any of it.

I am referring to a concept that is repeated twice:

(point 1) “recognizing the scientific view that the increase in global temperature should be below 2 degrees Celsius

(point 2) “reduce global emissions so as to hold the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius

In there, “the increase in global temperature” is referred in absolute terms. A much more scientific, logical and legal thing to write would have been

the increase in global temperature due to anthropogenic interference

To understand the absurdity of the Accord as it stands, imagine the world of 2050, with giant emission reductions already achieved, and powerful models showing that “anthropogenic interference” amounts to +1.7C. Still, if by pure misfortune natural variability sums up to +0.4C, the Copenhagen Accord says we have failed (despite having achieved the wildest dreams of the average 2009 greenie).

Imagine now another world of 2050, with no emission reduction at all and “anthropogenic interference” running at +3C. Still, if by pure stroke of luck natural variability sums up to -0.9C (eg a series of giant volcanic eruptions from 2045 onwards), the Copenhagen Accord says we have succeeded (despite having done nothing at all).

Sadly, all of that shows how silly is the idea that there is something good in the Accord because it has followed the lead of scientists. In truth, the Accord has made the IPCC irrelevant apart than as a confirming body for whatever the USA and China would like to see agreed upon regarding “climate change”. (Maurizio Morabito, OmniClimate)

 

Climate change alliance crumbling

Cracks emerged on Tuesday in the alliance on climate change formed at the Copenhagen conference last week, with leading developing countries criticising the resulting accord.

The so-called BASIC countries – Brazil, South Africa, India and China – backed the accord in a meeting with the US on Friday night, and it was also supported by nearly all other nations at the talks, including all of the biggest emitters.

But on Tuesday the Brazilian government labelled the accord “disappointing” and complained that the financial assistance it contained from rich to poor countries was insufficient. 

South Africa also raised objections: Buyelwa Sonjica, the environment minister, called the failure to produce a legally binding agreement “unacceptable”. She said her government had considered leaving the meeting. 

“We are not defending this, as I have indicated, for us it is not acceptable, it is definitely not acceptable,” she said. (Financial Times)

 

Activists should stop talking about global warming and start acting

If climate activists had spent the past 10 years acting instead of wasting time at talkfests such as the one at Copenhagen, we would already have a price signal on greenhouse gas emissions.

It is an indication of the sorry state of community groups that when faced with a problem, they spend millions of dollars whinging and asking other people to do something. This is especially true when it comes to climate campaigners. While this group of young ideologues revel in their self-appointed moral superiority, they have so far achieved very little. (John Humphys, SMH)

He doesn't' get it. Just because they siphon millions from the taxpayer teat doesn't mean they actually want to do something. Fool!

 

The Green Movement's People Problem - Environmentalists need to stop being so misanthropic.

The once unstoppable green machine lost its mojo at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. After all its laboring and cajoling, the movement at the end resembled not a powerful juggernaut but a forlorn lover wondering why his date never showed up.

One problem is that the people of earth and their representatives don't much fancy the notion of a centrally dictated, slow-growth world. They proved unwilling to abandon either national interest or material aspirations for promises of a greener world.

The other problem is that divisions are now developing within the green camp. There are members, like Michael Shellenger and Ted Nordhaus, who recognize the serious fall out from the "Climategate" scandal, while others, including large parts of the media claque, dismiss any such possibility. There are the corporatists aligned with big business--who will live with any agreement that allows them to exact monopoly profits--and the zealots--like Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Bill McKibben--who see Copenhagen as an affront to themselves and to our endangered planet. (Joel Kotkin, Forbes)

 

and a prime example: It's already too late to stop global warming

Global warming deniers are tools of special interests politics, or radio/TV personalities. Liberals deserve no praise, either, for they joined the fray late. Someone should be blamed for the inexcusable GW crimes against humanity. Science. Science should have stated clearly long ago that the problem is overpopulation. Population equals industry = CO2 emissions = global warming. (James Cunningham, News-Leader)

 

Something to guard against: Assembly President hopes next year’s Mexico meeting will forge climate pact

22 December 2009 – While most countries are not happy with the outcome of this month’s summit on climate change in Copenhagen, “really good progress” was made towards a binding agreement “to save the world,” with the United Nations leading the way to possible adoption at next year’s meeting in Mexico, General Assembly President Ali Treki said today. (UN News)

 

Public Cooling On Global Warming - Fewer and fewer people believe climate change is real.

In addition to divisions at Copenhagen between rich and poor countries, climate activists had to contend with some depressing poll results. Four new polls showed declining support for the belief that global warming is real.

The first was a survey taken in late September and early October by the highly respected Pew Research Center. Pew found a significant decline, from 71% in 2008 to 57% in 2009, in the proportion who believe there is solid evidence that global temperatures are rising. Another question in the poll showed that fewer people in 2009 saw global warming as a very serious problem than did in 2008--35% vs. 44%. (Karlyn Bowman, Forbes)

 

Eye-roller: Methane levels in Southern Hemisphere increasing, says report

The amount of methane in the Southern Hemisphere's atmosphere has increased 0.7 percent from 2007 to 2008, according to figures released by New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research's (Niwa) Baring Head station.

The amount of the gas in the atmosphere had more than doubled since 1700 AD, compared to any time over the previous 800,000 years.

Measuring stations in the Northern Hemisphere also recorded slightly higher amounts of methane than the Southern Hemisphere, as that was where most of the gas was produced.

According to Niwa's principal scientist Keith Lassey, methane is the second most important contributor to global warming after carbon dioxide as it traps 21 times more heat than CO2 over the same time period. (IBTimes)

And it's still less than 2 parts per million, in total...

 

Study shows CFCs, cosmic rays major culprits for global warming

WATERLOO, Ont. (Monday, Dec. 21, 2009) - Cosmic rays and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), both already implicated in depleting the Earth's ozone layer, are also responsible for changes in the global climate, a University of Waterloo scientist reports in a new peer-reviewed paper.

In his paper, Qing-Bin Lu, a professor of physics and astronomy, shows how CFCs - compounds once widely used as refrigerants - and cosmic rays - energy particles originating in outer space - are mostly to blame for climate change, rather than carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. His paper, derived from observations of satellite, ground-based and balloon measurements as well as an innovative use of an established mechanism, was published online in the prestigious journal Physics Reports.

"My findings do not agree with the climate models that conventionally thought that greenhouse gases, mainly CO2, are the major culprits for the global warming seen in the late 20th century," Lu said. "Instead, the observed data show that CFCs conspiring with cosmic rays most likely caused both the Antarctic ozone hole and global warming. These findings are totally unexpected and striking, as I was focused on studying the mechanism for the formation of the ozone hole, rather than global warming."

His conclusions are based on observations that from 1950 up to now, the climate in the Arctic and Antarctic atmospheres has been completely controlled by CFCs and cosmic rays, with no CO2 impact.

"Most remarkably, the total amount of CFCs, ozone-depleting molecules that are well-known greenhouse gases, has decreased around 2000," Lu said. "Correspondingly, the global surface temperature has also dropped. In striking contrast, the CO2 level has kept rising since 1850 and now is at its largest growth rate."

In his research, Lu discovers that while there was global warming from 1950 to 2000, there has been global cooling since 2002. The cooling trend will continue for the next 50 years, according to his new research observations.

As well, there is no solid evidence that the global warming from 1950 to 2000 was due to CO2. Instead, Lu notes, it was probably due to CFCs conspiring with cosmic rays. And from 1850 to 1950, the recorded CO2 level increased significantly because of the industrial revolution, while the global temperature kept nearly constant or only rose by about 0.1 C. (InSciences)

The paper, published Dec. 3 in Physics Reports, is available online at: dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.physrep.2009.12.002.

 

Effective Detective Work By John Nielsen-Gammon On The Error In The IPCC Report On Himalayan Glacier Retreat

John Nielsen-Gammon has published an effective summary and further detailed analysis of the error Madhav Khandkkar reported on in a guest weblog Global Warming And Glacier Melt-Down Debate: A Tempest In A Teapot?” – A Guest Weblog By Madhav L Khandekar.

John’s post is titled By the way, there will still be glaciers in the Himalayas in 2035.

Excerpts from John’s detective work include

“Lost amid the news coverage of Copenhagen and Climategate was the assertion that one of the more attention-grabbing statements of the IPCC AR4 was flat-out wrong: [the IPCC text is]

Glaciers in the Himalaya are receding faster than in any other part of the world (see Table 10.9) and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate. Its total area will likely shrink from the present 500,000 to 100,000 km2 by the year 2035 (WWF, 2005).”(IPCC AR4 WG2 Ch10, p. 493).”

“To recap, the available evidence indicates that the IPCC authors of this section relied upon a secondhand, unreferreed source which turned out to be unreliable, and failed to identify this source.  As a result, the IPCC has predicted the likely loss of most or all of Himalaya’s glaciers by 2035 with apparently no peer-reviewed scientific studies to justify such a prediction and at least one scientific study (Kotlyakov) saying that such a disappearance is too fast by a factor of ten!”

The entire post by John is worth reading. (Climate Science)

 

Peer Review in the IPCC

The IPCC has long expressed a strong preference for relying on peer-reviewed scientific literature in its reports (PDF) :

Contributions should be supported as far as possible with references from the peer-reviewed and internationally available literature, and with copies of any unpublished material cited.
However, the IPCC has evolved such that it increasingly relies on "grey literature" in its reports. Its guidelines (PDF) explain the need for additional procedures to handle grey literature:
Because it is increasingly apparent that materials relevant to IPCC Reports, in particular, information about the experience and practice of the private sector in mitigation and adaptation activities, are found in sources that have not been published or peer-reviewed (e.g., industry journals, internal organisational publications, non-peer reviewed reports or working papers of research institutions, proceedings of workshops etc) the following additional procedures are provided.
The IPCC asks its authors to be very discerning in what grey literature to include:
Critically assess any source that they wish to include. This option may be used for instance to obtain case study materials from private sector sources for assessment of adaptation and mitigation options. Each chapter team should review the quality and validity of each source before incorporating results from the source into an IPCC Report.
The IPCC has strict guidelines for obtaining and making available any source from outside the peer reviewed literature.

Obviously, the IPCC's claim to authority rests in its claims to have a very rigorous process for vetting information and including only that which the scientific community finds to be accurate and reliable. A former director of the IPCC explained that the report was "probably one of the most peer-reviewed documents you could ever find." A few weeks ago in Copenhagen the current head of the IPCC touted its rigor while explaining the need to act decisively to reduce emissions (PDF):
The IPCC assessment process is designed to ensure consideration of all relevant scientific information from established journals with robust peer review processes, or from other sources which have undergone robust and independent peer review. The entire report writing process of the IPCC is subjected to extensive and repeated review by experts as well as by governments. In the AR4 there were a total of around 2500 expert reviewers performing this review process.
Given the claims made on behalf of the IPCC, finding flawed information in the report should be cause for serious concern. I have documented how the IPCC has systematically misrepresented the science of disasters and climate change here on various occasions, and it appears that these sorts of errors are not unique.

Consider the case of the melting of Himalayan glaciers as discussed in Chapter 10 of the IPCC WG II report (PDF). The IPCC claimed that Himalayan glaciers could be mostly gone by 2035, prompting much concern since the report was released in 2007. For instance, CNN reported in October of this year:
The glaciers in the Himalayas are receding quicker than those in other parts of the world and could disappear altogether by 2035 according to the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.
It turns out that the 2035 value is not just wrong, but when confronted with the error, the IPCC leadership apparently has refused to look into, clarify or even admit that there may be a problem in its report. (Roger Pielke Jr)

 

From CO2 Science Volume 12 Number 51: 23 December 2009

Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Interglacial Warmth: Does more of the former lead to more of the latter?

EXTRA!!
Copenhagen Climate Concerns: As representatives of the nations of the world meet in Copenhagen on Monday to attempt to restrict the use of energy produced from coal, gas and oil in the guise of fighting global warming, many scientists and scholars are expressing grave concerns about what they are trying to do. Recognizing these concerns, we have posted a series of YouTube video vignettes in which such scientists and scholars present the reasons behind them. Post them on your own website or blog using YouTube!

The Orwellian Movement of Global Warming
Carbon Dioxide: The Breath of Life

Click here to watch additional videos on various global warming topics, to embed any of our videos on your own web page, or to watch them on YouTube in a higher resolution.

Contribute to the Center:
Click Here to Donate: We need your financial support! As a 501(c)(3) public charity, the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change accepts corporate, foundation and individual donations to fund its educational activities. All donations are kept confidential. If you have browsed our website or utilized our material in the past year, please consider making a financial contribution. We need your help to keep us going.

Editorial:
The Cancer-Kale Connection: What's CO2 Got To Do With It?: Chinese scientists reveal the answer.

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 776 individual scientists from 460 separate research institutions in 42 different countries ... and counting! This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from Lake Tutira, North Island, New Zealand. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Extinction (Real-World Observations - Animals: Other Animals): In addition to birds and butterflies, other animals also appear to be well equipped to handle significant increases in temperature throughout their natural ranges.

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Black Cutch (Raizada et al., 2009), Indian Rosewood (Raizada et al., 2009), Mountain Ebony (Raizada et al., 2009), and Sugarcane (Vu and Allen, Jr., 2009).

Journal Reviews:
Intense Tropical Cyclones in a Warming World: Will they become more frequent, as climate alarmists continue to contend?

The Holocene History of Alaskan Land-Based Glacier Activity: What does it reveal about the nature of 20th-century global warming?

Climate Envelope Models of Plants and Animals: How good are they for correctly predicting species responses to global warming?

Allergenic Pollen in Cities of Northwest Spain: How did it vary between 1993 and 2007?

Cotton Response to Rising Air Temperature and CO2 Content: Just how bad can things get, when these two "environmental evils" rise in tandem with each other? (co2science.org)

 

No Substitute For Fossil Fuels

Earlier this year, Congress approved a scheme to pour $80 billion — on top of the tens of billions already spent — into renewables. A government report released last week indicates the money will be wasted.

Renewable energy is the shiny gem that everyone wants but no one can have. Not even a president. Campaigning last year in Lansing, Mich., President Barack Obama said that it was his goal for the U.S. to generate 10% of its electric power from renewable sources by 2012 and 25% by 2025. But he cannot, by the force of will or executive order, change the laws of physics and economics.

America has long relied on fossil fuels to power its economy. Oil, natural gas and coal provide about 84% of the nation's energy.

And for good reason. They are plentiful and typically easy to retrieve, and, consequently, cheap.

At the other end of the spectrum are renewable sources such as solar, wind, biomass and geothermal. They supply only about 4% of our energy, the remainder coming from hydro and nuclear power.

An axis of environmentalists and Democrats want to change this ratio, because, according to the usual complaint, we depend too heavily on the fossil fuels that emit carbon dioxide.

Trouble is, the market for renewables is poor. Few want to use the inefficient, unreliable and expensive sources. But that hasn't slowed the renewable energy campaign, which has succeeded in persuading the public that renewables are a sensible energy source and convincing Congress to fund supporters' daydreams.

The government can continue to "invest" in renewables, and the dreamers will keep using public money to find the magic formula. But little will change over the next 25 years. (IBD)

 

Get The Frackin' Gas

An oil company wants to invest its profits in clean-burning American natural gas. A Hungarian billionaire and a "green" politician want to stop it. This is the real Climate-gate scandal.

While the greenies of the world united in Copenhagen to talk about the weather, emitting a Third World-country-size chunk of greenhouse gases to gather there, the world's largest oil company, Exxon Mobil, was doing something about it.

On Dec. 14, Exxon agreed to buy XTO Energy, a natural gas firm, in a deal valued at $41 billion. XTO is one of the leaders in something called "fracking" technology, in which water, sand and additives are pumped into the ground to unlock trillions of feet of natural gas previously thought to be unobtainable.

This is what energy companies really do with their profits. They find more energy, then sell it to you.

While the technique is not new, the technology exploiting it is. (IBD)

 

Keep Your Eye on DME

Di-methyl-ether (DME) is a fuel that I have been talking about since at least 2006. I have blogged about it, and I have classified it in several of my presentations as a "Sustainable Contender" (including in a slide at last year''s ASPO conference). I want to use this post to explore DME in a little more detail, and explain why I think you should keep an eye on it as an attractive renewable replacement for diesel. [Read More] (Robert Rapier, Energy Tribune)

 

The Cultural Contradictions of Anti-Nuke Environmentalists

Why do environmentalists reject a good bet for renewable energy?

Among the thousands of rowdy protesters and activists at last week's Copenhagen climate change conference was the group Don’t Nuke the Climate. Their big moment came when they unfurled a banner inside the Bella Center to mark their displeasure with the idea that nuclear power is a carbon free source of energy. Currently there is a fierce debate within ideological environmentalism over whether nuclear power is an acceptable energy technology for addressing concerns over man-made global warming.

Seeing the anti-nuke protestors in Copenhagen reminded me that I had recently read James Gustave Speth's environmentalist manifesto Red Sky at Morning: America and the Global Environmental Crisis (2004) as preparation for an academic symposium on global warming. As I explained in my book, Eco-Scam: The False Prophets of Ecological Apocalypse (1993), environmentalism owes a great ideological debt to the anti-nuke movement of the 1950s and 1960s, and in many respects the two have now melded. (Ronald Bailey, Reason)

 

Solar Shutdown: Feinstein to Block Energy Projects

We need to transform to a new, clean energy economy but we can’t build solar panels in the Mojave Desert if California Senator Diane Feinstein has anything to say about it:

Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced legislation in Congress on Monday to protect a million acres of the Mojave Desert in California by scuttling some 13 big solar plants and wind farms planned for the region.

But before the bill to create two new Mojave national monuments has even had its first hearing, the California Democrat has largely achieved her aim. Regardless of the legislation’s fate, her opposition means that few if any power plants are likely to be built in the monument area, a complication in California’s effort to achieve its aggressive goals for renewable energy.

Developers of the projects have already postponed several proposals or abandoned them entirely. The California agency charged with planning a renewable energy transmission grid has rerouted proposed power lines to avoid the monument.”

Continue reading… (The Foundry)

 

Another bunch of shameless subsidy farmers: Green energy scheme 'a fraud'

KEVIN RUDD'S environmental agenda is under attack on two fronts, with the country's biggest private renewable energy business declaring his green power target at risk of failure.

As criticism of the emissions trading scheme grows bolder after the fractured Copenhagen summit, AGL has labelled the administration of the the renewable energy target a fraud. (SMH)

Try actually producing valuable commodities and selling them for a profit -- that's how business is supposed to work.

 

Properly Extending the Right to Keep and Bear Arms to the States

I recently blogged about an interesting op-ed in which Ken Klukowski and Ken Blackwell of the American Civil Rights Union argue that the Supreme Court need not overturn The Slaughter-House Cases while “incorporating” the right to bear arms against the states.  (Josh Blackman fisked the article in more depth here.)   This piece was essentially a distillation of the ACRU’s amicus brief in McDonald v. City of Chicago, which ultimately argues, like Cato’s brief, that Chicago’s gun ban is unconstitutional. (Ilya Shapiro, Cato at liberty)

 

Pandemic flu remains moderate but strikes young: WHO

GENEVA - The H1N1 flu pandemic is moderate but infects and sometimes kills much younger people than traditional seasonal influenza, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday.

Comparing the number of deaths from the pandemic virus known as swine flu with those from seasonal influenza can be misleading, the U.N. agency said.

"WHO continues to assess the impact of the influenza pandemic as moderate," it said in a statement. "Accurate assessments of mortality and mortality rates will likely be possible only one to two years after the pandemic has peaked." (Reuters)

 

US poll shows worry about swine flu shot persists

WASHINGTON - Americans who were worried about the safety of the swine flu vaccine are still worried and it may not be easy to convince them to get themselves or their children vaccinated, researchers said on Tuesday.

About 60 percent of parents polled say they plan to get their children vaccinated and 79 percent of adults will try to get the vaccines for themselves, but there is a hard core of resistance that has not been moved by entreaties by the U.S. government, pollsters said.

"Thirty-five percent of parents say they are not going to get it and 60 percent say the major reason is safety," Robert Blendon of the Harvard School of Public Health said in a telephone interview. "Our view is there just has to be more work on understanding how people think about the vaccine."

Several studies have shown the H1N1 swine flu vaccine does not cause unusual side effects and Blendon said it is not clear why so many parents are fearful. (Reuters)

 

Car airbags not a risk to pregnant women

NEW YORK - For pregnant women involved in a traffic accident, the impact of an airbag does not seem to raise the risks of most pregnancy complications, a new study finds.

Airbags, used along with seatbelts, are known to cut car-crash victims' risk of death and severe injury. However, concerns have been raised about the impact of an airbag on a pregnant woman's abdomen; there have been, for instance, case reports of uterine or placental rupture leading to pregnancy loss. 

But until now, large-scale studies had been lacking.

In the new study, researchers analyzed data on 3,348 collisions involving pregnant women in Washington State between 2002 and 2005. 

They found that for most pregnancy complications -- including placental detachment from the uterine wall, fetal distress and Cesarean delivery -- there was no evidence of a higher risk for women whose crash had involved an airbag deployment. (Reuters Health)

 

C-reactive protein no cause of heart trouble-study

CHICAGO - High levels of a compound called C-reactive protein may be a sign of a future risk for heart attacks, stroke and cancer, though it does not seem to be a cause, researchers said on Tuesday.

An analysis published in the journal Lancet attempts to resolve a long-standing debate over C-reactive protein, or CRP -- whether it is a warning sign of heart trouble, or a direct cause.

Some studies have suggested the protein, which is associated with inflammation, may be as important as high cholesterol in causing heart disease. (Reuters)

 

EPA Seeks to Disclose Pesticide Inert Ingredients

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is requesting public comment on options for disclosing inert ingredients in pesticides. In this anticipated rulemaking, EPA is seeking ideas for greater disclosure of inert ingredient identities. Inert ingredients are part of the end use product formulation and are not active ingredients. Revealing inert ingredients will help consumers make informed decisions and will better protect public health and the environment.

“Consumers deserve to know the identities of ingredients in pesticide formulations, including inert ingredients,” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances. “Disclosing inert ingredients in pesticide products, especially those considered to be hazardous, will empower consumers and pesticide users to make more informed choices.” (EPA)

 

They don't say? Being poor could be the greatest health burden

Poverty trumps smoking, obesity and education as a health burden, potentially causing a loss of 8.2 years of perfect health, according to a new study.

Researchers looked at health and life expectancy data from the National Health Interview Surveys and the Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys and came up with various behavioral and social risk factors that affect quality of life, then used a formula to estimate the quality-adjusted years of life that would be lost.

The average person whose income level is below 200% of the federal poverty line (the bottom third of the country's population) would lose an estimated 8.2 years of perfect health, smokers 6.6 years, high school dropouts 5.1 years and the obese 4.2 years. Binge drinking and being uninsured were at the bottom. (LA Times)

 

Role of addiction cannot be ignored in obesity epidemic

The causes of obesity are complex and individual, but it is clear that chronic overeating plays a fundamental role. But when this behaviour becomes compulsive and out of control, it is often classified as "food addiction" - a label that has generated considerable controversy, according to a McMaster University psychiatrist and obesity researcher (McMaster University)

 

Meddling in mosquitoes' sex life could cut malaria

LONDON - Interfering in mosquitoes' sex lives could help halt the spread of malaria, British scientists said on Tuesday.

A study on the species of mosquito mainly responsible for malaria transmission in Africa, Anopheles gambiae, showed that because these mosquitoes mate only once in their lives, meddling with that process could dramatically cut their numbers. (Reuters)

 

Treasure trove of nearly 300 new plants discovered by Kew experts

A massive tree that is a relative of the pea yet rises more than 135ft above the ground is among a treasure trove of plants and fungi discovered by botanists.

It is one of a "bumper crop" of almost 300 new species discovered in the past 12 months by scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew. (The Independent)

Wouldn't you think something like this would make them stop an think about the incessant hysteria over a potentially warmer, wetter world?

Most finds have been made in tropical areas of the world where many more types of plant and fungus grow than in cooler regions.

 

Ord River dream finally bears fruit

CHIA farmer Fritz Bolten believes he's part of the next big thing in Australian agriculture, an expanding Top End food bowl overflowing with a seemingly endless supply of water.

As seasonal rains arrive to top up Lake Argyle and irrigate 14,000ha of deep, fertile soil at Kununurra, 45km west of the Northern Territory border, stage two of the iconic Ord River irrigation scheme is about to become a reality. With $415 million from the Barnett and Rudd governments in the bank, the long-awaited expansion plan - riddled with various catastrophes and scandals for 30 years - will see a further 8000ha ready for sale by 2011.

If that goes to plan, those pushing to create an agricultural nirvana in Western Australia's East Kimberley believe there is enough water from the 2000sq km Lake Argyle to irrigate up to 100,000ha. (The Australian)

 

French Body Says Monsanto Maize Needs More Study

PARIS - More research is needed into Monsanto's genetically modified maize MON 810, the only biotech crop commercially grown in Europe, to assess its environmental impact, a French advisory body said.

The opinion given by biotech committee HCB, published on Tuesday, was requested by the French government, which last year banned cultivation of MON 810 citing environmental concerns.

In a debate about whether to renew the license for the maize type, France and other European Union states have criticized as insufficient a favorable opinion in June from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). (Reuters)

 

December 22, 2009

 

Still absurdly claiming "hacking" and throwing mud in all directions: Pachauri slams charges about conflict of interest

Amit Bhattacharya, TNN 21 December 2009, 01:04am IST

NEW DELHI: A report in a British newspaper has accused IPCC chief Rajendra K Pachauri of making a fortune from his links with ‘‘carbon trading’’ companies.

Apart from listing the number of companies, banks and institutes with which the IPCC chairman is associated, the report in The Telegraph of London alleges that Pachauri’s The Energy Research Institute (TERI) continues to have ‘‘close links’’ with the Tata Group (which set up the institute) and that this relationship has helped the latter in its green and carbon trading businesses.

Reacting to the report, Pachauri told TOI: ‘‘These are a pack of lies from people who are getting desperate. They want to go after the guy whose voice is being heard. I haven’t pocketed a single penny from my association with companies and institutes. All honoraria that I get goes to TERI and to its Light a Billion Lives campaign for reaching solar power to people without electricity. All my dealings are totally above board.’’

Pachauri pointed out that the previous IPCC chairman was in the World Bank and the one before that was a professor. ‘‘Can you then say the university benefited from his association with IPCC? The people who have flung these charges are part of the same vested interest group which hacked the server of UK’s East Anglia University. They are getting desperate because the world is now serious about moving away from fossil fuels. I want to ask them how much money they spent in the operation? Hacking a server is a costly exercise,’’ he said. (Times of India)

While muddying the issue will probably work with the faithful, too many people immediately noted that the e-mail extracts were all neatly named by Unix timestamp (just plug the numbers before ".txt" into any of the online Unix timestamp utilities to see exactly when they were received by the archive server). The compressed information archive has been gathered from across the enterprise, from multiple drives and in multiple formats -- it is even called "FOIA2009.zip" and was gathered until the end of the day before the outstanding Freedom of Information Act appeal was rejected, making it a virtual certainty it was being collected by CRU staffers in anticipation of complying with the outstanding FoIA request.

Claims of deep conspiracy and well-financed hackers probably play well with media and activists but they do not stand up to even cursory scrutiny.

 

Climategate: 'It's all lies!' lies Pachauri (again)

Surely not even an organisation as a corrupt and dishonest as the IPCC can afford to keep Dr Rajendra Pachauri on as its chairman after the weekend’s damning revelations by Christopher Booker and Richard North?

But Pachauri – with all the chutzpah we have come to expect of our favourite jetsetting, millionaire, troll-impersonating railway engineer - is not going down without a fight. Just as he did after Climategate, Pachauri has produced his classic ‘nothing to see here’ ‘Big Brother knows best’ defence. ( James Delingpole, TDT)

 

Terence Corcoran: Climategate Part 2 — A 2,000-page epic of science and skepticism

There's trouble over tree rings as the Climategate emails reveal a rift between scientists. For Part 1, go here.

In the thousands of emails released last month in what is now known as Climategate, the greatest battles took place over scientists’ attempts to reconstruct a credible temperature record for the last couple of thousand years. Have they failed? What the Climategate emails provide is at least one incontrovertible answer: They certainly have not succeeded.

In a post-Copenhagen world, climate history is not merely a matter of getting the record straight, or a trivial part of the global warming science. In a Climategate email in April of this year,  Steve Colman,  professor of Geological Science at the University of Minnesota Duluth, told scores of climate scientists “most people seem to accept that past history is the only way to assess what the climate can actually do (e.g., how fast it can change).

Click here to read more... (Financial Post)

 

Climategate: Why and When did Keith Briffa change his views on temperatures?

An Open Appeal for the Smoking Briffa Emails--if they exist

Elsewhere on this site are two Climategate posts based on my reading of the Climategate emails (Part 1 and Part 2).  This is an open appeal for an answer to a question I was not able to answer at the time of writing.  It is clear that Keith Briffa, a dendrochronologist at the University of East Anglia, changed his views on the last 1,000 years of climate history and ended up adopting Michael Mann's Hockey Stock. Sometime after 1999, his criticisms of Mann stopped.

When did he make that switch? And why?

I read hundreds of the emails,  including the first five years word for word, along with most of 2009, and scores of pages from many other years.  I searched for clues.  But I work for a daily newspaper, and once I realized there was a great epic story in what I had read so far, I wrote what I wrote.  But despite successive dips into the emails, the 2,000+ page document failed to reveal the answer to the question: When did Briffa change is views, and why?  The answers must be there somewhere.  Or are they? 

No blog posting or published report that I've seen has produced an explanation so far.   If anybody has found the smoking Briffa emails in which he acknowledges and explains why he abandoned his earlier  perspectives on the temperature history of the last 1,000 years, please drop a comment, link to key emails or whatever -- either as a comment below or send me an email: tcorcoran@nationalpost.com

Many thanks (Terence Corcoran, Financial Post)

 

Truth Is Victim When The Left Abuses Science

Science is one of the great achievements of the human mind and the biggest reason why we live not only longer but more vigorously in our old age, in addition to all the ways in which it provides us with things that make life easier and more enjoyable.

Like anything valuable, science has been seized upon by politicians and ideologues, and used to forward their own agendas.

This started long ago, as far back as the 18th century, when the Marquis de Condorcet coined the term "social science" to describe various theories he favored. In the 19th century, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels distinguished their own brand of socialism as "scientific socialism." By the 20th century, all sorts of notions wrapped themselves in the mantle of "science."

"Global warming" hysteria is only the latest in this long line of notions, whose main argument is that there is no argument, because it is "science." (Thomas Sowell, IBD)

 

Climate Change and the Loss of Legitimacy: The List Lengthens

Supreme Climate Folly noted that every institution that touches the climate change issue “gets de-legitimized, including the EPA, the presidency, the scientific community, the mainstream media, and the Supreme Court itself.”

This list lengthens. (James DeLong, The American)

 

No Cap and Tax

FoxNews on AGW and McIntyre

Global warming... or a lot of hot air?

If you have spare 45 minutes, you may check whether this FoxNews report on global warming issues was "balanced".



Full screen...

Click the tape (next to "play") for the six pieces of the playlist.

The first part shows some AGW champions behind Copenhagen. The second part focuses on the hockey sticks, Michael Mann, Ross McKitrick, and Steve McIntyre. Pat Michaels speaks a lot, too. The third part is about the ClimateGate.

The fourth part is dedicated to Bjorn Lomborg's opinions - comparisons of the importance and economic efficiency of carbon mitigation and malnutrition or diseases; George Monbiot adds some hysteria at the end. The fifth part looks into the U.S. Congress and the impact on the Americans. The final, sixth part looks how the EPA may circumvent democracy and directly regulate the households.

By the way, today, the price of European carbon indulgences dropped by 8.7% to a six-month low of EUR 12.40 because of these people's failure in Copenhagen. (The Reference Frame)

 

Oh... Cornellians build computer climate-change model

Researchers are contributing to a new model of climate change that may give more accurate predictions of the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in Earth's future. 

As Yogi Berra said, prediction is hard -- especially about the future. The computer models scientists use to predict climate change are always works in progress.

In a sort of cosmic reality competition, 20 groups around the world are developing new models they plan to submit for review under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the international body whose recommendations are being considered at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, which ends Dec. 17. Three modeling groups are based in the United States, and Cornell researchers are involved in one of them. (PhysOrg.com)

But these are process models and can never "predict" a complex, coupled, non-linear chaotic system.

 

Climategate: The Perils of Global Warming Models

If a model has not been proven to fully reflect reality, then it has very limited use and should be treated like a horoscope.

Everyone readily admits that things aren’t always what they seem. But are we really applying this knowledge in our daily dealings? Are we consciously ferreting out the illusory from the reality? I think not.

For instance, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, we aren’t really being run by pandering politicians, self-serving lobbyists, fanatical environmentalists, and greedy Wall Street manipulators. They are the illusion.

There is another even more powerful (but much less visible) agent behind all of these puppets.

The person behind the screen is the computer programmer. And, just like in the Wizard of OZ, they do not want you to look at this real controller.

I’ll probably have to turn in my membership card, but as a computer programmer (and physicist and environmental activist) I’m here to spill the beans about the Wiz.

The first hint of trouble is spelled out in Wikipedia’s explanation about computer programmers:

The discipline differs from many other technical professions in that programmers generally do not need to be licensed or pass any standardized (or governmentally regulated) certification tests in order to call themselves “programmers” or even “software engineers.”

Hmmm.

My layperson explanation is that computer programming is all about making assumptions, and then converting these into mathematical equations.

The big picture question is this: Is it really possible to accurately convert complex real-world situations into ones and zeros? Hal may think so, but higher processing brains say no. Yet this is continuously attempted, with very limited success. Let’s pull the screen back a bit more.

We’ll start with an example about how such a model makes assumptions. (John Droz, Jr., PJM)

 

Still in the strangling grip of the greenies, we see: Into the heart of the climate debate

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2009 — Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the world's largest scientific society, today published a major analysis of the divisive issues at the heart of the debate over global warming and climate change. The article appears at the conclusion of the much-publicized United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, which sought to seal a comprehensive international agreement on dealing with global warming. An embargoed text is available to journalists upon request. (American Chemical Society)

 

Time for a Separation of Science and State

While many people take for granted the fact that it is dangerous to use articles of faith as the basis for public policy, we often fail to realize that science too represents an extremely dodgy justification for law. With a population that is often willing to unquestioningly defer to the “experts” on matters they feel are above their pay grade, the governed run the risk of empowering legislators to pass law that is just as much a product of faith as anything that can be found in your local church or synagogue.

Policies based on “scientific fact” have a history of being more than just problematic, as with the veneer of absolute truth behind them they have oftentimes been downright irrational. This historic record should act as a guide to our current political occupation with anthropogenic global warming. (Nick Rizzuto, Townhall)

 

Apparently we should be grateful to a select few: Gordon Brown Says "Handful" Of States Wrecked Climate Talks

LONDON - A handful of countries blocked a legally binding deal on climate change in Copenhagen and the talks process needs urgent reform to prevent something similar happening again, Britain's prime minister said on Monday. (Reuters)

 

China says Britain sowing discord in climate talks

BEIJING: China condemned claims ascribed to Britain's climate change minister that it had "hijacked" negotiations 

Tuesday the accusations were a scheme to sow discord among developing countries. 

The sharp words from Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu were the latest baring of diplomatic bad blood after the talks in Copenhagen ended on Saturday with a broad, non-binding accord that fell short of hopes for a robust global agreement on how to curb greenhouse gas emissions. 

Jiang was responding to a report in Britain's Guardian newspaper that said the Environment Minister Ed Miliband had accused China, Sudan, Bolivia and other left-wing Latin American nations of thwarting efforts to reach deeper agreement on how to fight global warming. (Times of India)

 

When Liberal Dreams Collide With Public Opinion

In the Bella Center on the south side of Copenhagen and in the Senate chamber on the north side of the Capitol, we're seeing what happens when liberal dreams collide with American public opinion. It's like what happens when a butterfly collides with the windshield of a speeding SUV. Splat. (Michael Barone, Townhall)

 

The Vacuity Of The Double Climax In Copenhagen And The Congress

It was serendipitous to have almost simultaneous climaxes in Copenhagen and Congress. The former's accomplishment was indiscernible, the latter's was unsightly.

It would have been unprecedented had the president not described the outcome of the Copenhagen climate change summit as "unprecedented," that being the most overworked word in his hardworking vocabulary of self-celebration.

Actually, the mountain beneath the summit — a mountain of manufactured hysteria, predictable cupidity, antic demagoguery and dubious science — labored mightily and gave birth to a mouselet, a 12-paragraph document committing the signatories to ... make a list. A list of the goals they have no serious intention of trying to meet.

The document even dropped the words "as soon as possible" from its call for a binding agreement on emissions.

The 1992 Rio climate summit begat Kyoto. It, like Copenhagen, which Kyoto begat, was "saved," as Copenhagen was, by a last-minute American intervention (Vice President Al Gore's) that midwifed an agreement that most signatories evaded for 12 years.

The Clinton-Gore administration never submitted Kyoto's accomplishment for ratification, the Senate having denounced its terms 95-0.

Copenhagen will beget Mexico City next November. Before then, Congress will give "the international community" other reasons to pout. Congress will refuse to burden the economy with cap-and-trade carbon-reduction requirements, and will spurn calls for sending billions in "climate reparations" to China and other countries.

Representatives of those nations, when they did not have their hands out in Copenhagen grasping for America's wealth, clapped their hands in ovations for Hugo Chavez and other kleptocrats who denounced capitalism while clamoring for its fruits. (George F. Will, IBD)

 

Can't end the year without giving Moonbat another run: If you want to know who's to blame for Copenhagen, look to the US Senate

Obama's attempt to put China in the frame for failure had its origins in the absence of American campaign finance reform (George Monbiot, The Guardian)

 

Lefties just can't find enough people to blame: Copenhagen's failure belongs to Obama

The American president has been uniquely placed to lead the world on climate change and squandered every opportunity ( Naomi Klein, The Guardian)

 

Oh dear, Louise needs a cuppa and a good lie down: Copenhagen climate conference: Who is going to save the planet now?

After the Copenhagen climate conference failed to stop global warming, the next big question for climate change is who is going to save the planet now? ( Louise Gray, TDT)

 

COP15: Ed Milliband, Gordon Brown And Some Other “Jokers”

You know something very odd has happened in Copenhagen between Friday and Saturday when Luboš Motl and Plane Stupid’s Joss Garman write more or less the same thing about it. In the meanwhile, RC is silent, Stoat is silent, tamino is silent, Desmogblog has a pathetic “let’s be cheerful” attempt at blaming “politicians”, and Monbiot is entering paranoia territory.

Finally, a consensus has been reached!

100% of the people all over the world agree that 45,000 humans travelled to Denmark and made a lot of fuss for about two weeks, and all we’ve got is a declaration that is not worth a single paragraph of commentary. Give me another UN conference like this and we’ll be back to the League of Nations.

There’s more one should think about and I am sure it will slowly surface in the next few days. One question is who are the losers out of that all, and by that I mean the “jokers” that were presumed to be able to achieve something, proceeded to huff and puff a lot but were then demonstrated able to achieve nothing at all. Among them:

  • Yvo De Boer
  • Rajendra Pachauri and the IPCC
  • Al Gore and (admittedly, in a considerably lesser amount) Jim Hansen
  • Ed Milliband, Gordon Brown and the whole UK government
  • France, Germany and all other EU countries (apart, one suspects, from the Czech Republic)
  • Japan
  • Greenpeace, Avaaz and a list of greenie organizations just too eager to jump on the AGW bandwagon

When push came to shove, the Powers That Be did not care at all about the opinions of those listed above.

I wouldn’t be too harsh with the Maldives, most of the African nations, etc. They do not have much power to do anything at UN level, anyway. Russia has lost a bit, by not being included in the final five signatories, and for the same reason Brazil, India, and (mysteriously) South Africa have gained a little.

But let me say very clearly, as UK taxpayer I find the performance of the Ed Milliband particularly awful, and the absolute unimportance of anything Gordon Brown had to say especially embarrassing. Go, go, Gordon go!!

Please!

ps looks like it’s high time to get US or Chinese citizenship… (Maurizio Morabito, OmniClimate)

 

The Crone continues its carbon jihad: Copenhagen, and Beyond

The global climate negotiations in Copenhagen produced neither a grand success nor the complete meltdown that seemed almost certain as late as Friday afternoon. Despite two years of advance work, the meeting failed to convert a rare gathering of world leaders into an ambitious, legally binding action plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It produced instead a softer interim accord that, at least in principle, would curb greenhouses gases, provide ways to verify countries’ emissions, save rain forests, shield vulnerable nations from the impacts of climate change, and share the costs. (NYT)

 

The Copenhagen farce is glad tidings for all

After two weeks of increasingly ill-tempered negotiations, one of the European delegates at the Copenhagen summit “to save the planet” had clearly reached breaking point; or perhaps it was the ingratitude of the people he was trying to save that caused this negotiator to tell the BBC’s science correspondent, Susan Watts, that millions of Africans now “deserve” to be incinerated.

Watts was reporting a conversation she had had with an unnamed “European negotiator” after South Africa decided to join the quartet of America, India, China and Brazil in putting its name to a statement rejecting any binding emissions targets, and thus comprehensively sabotaging the entire conference. “South Africa has signed up to this!” the delegate told Watts. “They’re going to fry — and they’ll deserve it.”

One’s heart does not warm to anyone expressing such sentiments, but it’s easy to understand the fury that must have overcome this delegate. Here was Europe offering to impose vast costs on its own industries and peoples to save Africa from the alleged perils of runaway CO2 emissions — and that continent’s most powerful international voice says, thanks very much for the offer, but we think we can best provide health and prosperity to our people by being free to expand our economy exactly as you did in the industrial revolution, by using the wonderfully cheap forms of energy that nature affords: fossil fuels. After all, why is it that in the US many fewer people die as a result of very high temperatures than used to be the case a hundred years ago? Air-conditioning.

I know that for those thousands of “climate activists” who descended on Copenhagen, the idea of air-conditioning in African homes is something almost too revolting to contemplate; but then they have never understood that, for the real inhabitants of the developing world, the American example of achieving health and comfort through technology and subverting harsh nature for human ends is something to be emulated, not shunned. (Dominic Lawson, The Times)

 

Everyone, it seems, is disappointed with the Copenhagen Deal drawn up by world leaders, with its promise of more money to tackle climate change and its commitment to stop the planet from warming by more than two degrees. But never mind all that. As spiked kicks off a major online debate about the future of the planet and humanity post-Copenhagen, here is our Alternative Copenhagen Deal. (sp!ked)

 

Climate change bill tough sell

Earlier this year, Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the leader of an effort to write a U.S. climate change bill, argued that domestic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions would help President Obama pry similar cuts from China and other major developing nations.

The failure by Mr. Obama to win binding reductions at the U.N. climate conference that ended Friday in Copenhagen means he and Mr. Kerry must persuade a skeptical Senate to pass that same bill without a global treaty. The prospects appear as daunting as ever. (Washington Times)

 

Obama Climate-Change Goals Hurt Recovery

President Barack Obama's weak Copenhagen accord may make it harder for Congress to pass punitive cap-and-trade legislation that requires greenhouse- gas emission cuts.

A recent Gallup Poll showed that Americans prefer 75% to 10% not to enter into an emission-reduction scheme that doesn't include nations like China and Brazil.

That should be important news for the president, whose preferred domestic policy solution of a 17% reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2020 would be implemented without the guarantee of similar action by other nations. (Margo Thorning, IBD)

 

Green battle beyond Copenhagen

Participants in the UN climate change conference wave as they exit the Bella Center in Copenhagen on Friday, the 13th day of meeting. The conference rammed through a battle plan against climate change forged by U.S. President Barack Obama and other top leaders, sidelining smaller states.
Photograph by: Attila Kisbenedek, Agence France-Presse; Getty Images, Canwest News Service

Environmentalists digesting their disappointment with the Copenhagen climate conference are already turning their attention to the next eco-battleground, urging Canada to use next year's G8 and G20 summits to set the agenda for the next big climate conference in Mexico in 2010.

Hosting next year's summits will increase expectations on the Canadian government to correct its image as a "laggard" on climate change, Keith Stewart, climate change program director at WWF-Canada, said Sunday.

"Canadians expect their government to do much more to try to be an honest broker, particularly in the coming year when we're going to be the president of the G8 and co-hosting the G20," he said. (Phil Couvrette, Canwest News Service)

Good grief! An honest broker would tell everyone upfront that gorebull warming is a total crock.

 

Don Martin: Frosty provincial relations new climate crisis

There is a new climate-change crisis that Canada needs to address in the wake of the Copenhagen conference: the suddenly frosty relations between energy producing and consuming provinces.

Ontario and Quebec had promised federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice in advance they would refrain from bad-mouthing others, but they were barely off their jets before they started spouting “embarrassment” at the oil patch in general and Alberta’s oil sands in particular.

The way Mr. Prentice sees it — and this is from a minister not prone to shooting off his mouth — the antagonistic anti-oil position taken by Canada’s two largest provinces “was not responsible.”

“We felt it was important to stick to the high road during the negotiations,” he said in an interview. “It was unhelpful and not good for our country to have those comments made on the international stage. No one has ever said the oil sands should get a free pass.”

He is not alone in being disgusted by the podium-seizing antics of Quebec Premier Jean Charest and Ontario Environment Minister John Gerretsen, backed by retiring Toronto Mayor David Miller, whose people insist he is not taking a job with an environment group as I suggested recently (but my sources insist will be proven true). (Don Martin, National Post)

 

AB32's schemes kill jobs

Coming from Hollywood may explain Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s disconnect with reality. In the real world, saying so doesn’t make it so. In Copenhagen last week, he made the astonishing claim that the Golden State is evidence we need not choose between a clean environment and economic growth because: “We’ve proved that over and over again in California.”

Environmental well-being and economic vitality need not conflict. But California is far from proof. The state under Mr. Schwarzenegger is an economic mess, largely thanks to taxes and government regulations. The governor’s pet environmental projects are chief culprits. (The Orange County Register)

 

Climate Change Critics Demand Truth in Government Analysis

Senator Saxby Chambliss and Rep. Frank Lucas, ranking members of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees respectively, sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson on December 18 requesting the agency correct the Forest and Agriculture Sector Optimization Model (FASOM) used as the basis for USDA’s analysis of climate change legislation. Chambliss and Lucas noted that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack had stated that the FASOM, which is often cited in the climate change debate, is not “current” and “complete.” They sent a similar letter to Sec. Vilsack on December 17 requesting the flawed analysis be corrected and that the Secretary report to Congress upon its completion. (Hoosier Ag Today)

 

Rudd and Wong on a climate snow job

EXACTLY which part of the word "failure" can't Kevin Rudd and Penny Wong understand? 

Or Professor Tim "Flim" Flannery for that matter?

By any measure, the just-concluded Copenhagen climate conference was a flopperoo of grand proportions.

It was an abject disaster, a dud, a dog, a bust, yet this heroic trio are intent on snowing the public as completely as the weekend's blizzards chilled cities across the northern hemisphere.

Senator Wong boldly told us that we "have to remember that this Copenhagen Accord was negotiated by and supported by the majority of the world's nations, the majority of the world's economy".

But the reality - a concept alien to Mr Rudd, Senator Wong and Professor Flannery - tells us that the so-called Copenhagen Accord is not only legally non-binding but is effectively meaningless.

This is because the joke United Nations summit, complete with panda-suited fools, didn't "adopt" any motion, it merely "took note" of a range of views.

That's because there was no consensus. Rafts of lawyers can now debate whether there is a UN agreement, or whether the UN climate convention has been killed. ( Piers Akerman, The Daily Telegraph)

 

Wong rules out Greens deal to pass emissions trading scheme

CLIMATE Change Minister Penny Wong has ruled out doing a deal with the Greens to pass the emissions trading scheme in the Senate. 

The refusal to negotiate with the minor parties could deliver the Rudd government a second double dissolution election trigger if the Senate twice rejects the amended legislation that will be reintroduced on February 1.

Senator Wong said today she was willing to talk to the Greens and other crossbench senators to get the legislation through.

“The reality is, though, the Greens have taken a position in relation to targets that the Government was not able to negotiate on,” she said.

“They indicated they do not wish to have a negotiation unless the Government was prepared to put targets of 25 to 40 per cent on the table. That is not the Government's policy and that is not the Government's position. We don't believe that is a responsible way forward.” (The Australian)

 

Put Australia's interests first

Developed nations have the best anti-pollution standards 

IN taking stock after the Copenhagen climate change conference, Australia's policymakers need to protect the national interest by guarding against carbon leakage and the export of jobs to developing nations. Such an approach will also be in the best interests of the global environment, as few developing nations have enforced the strict anti-pollution standards that apply in Australia and other advanced economies.

Essentially, the conference's failure to update the Kyoto Protocol leaves developing nations to do as they like. But as the long list of business interests of Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and head of India's Energy and Resources Institute, suggests, the politics of carbon are replete with vested interests. (The Australian)

 

Rudd leaves Denmark with a rotten deal

TO secure a Copenhagen Accord Kevin Rudd sold out Australia's long-term negotiating interests and accepted the full cost of any future climate change agreement. 

During the Copenhagen conference the Prime Minister claimed "if every country pulls its weight we can secure the agreement which we need in Australia's national interest".

But that isn't what the accord delivers. Instead, countries such as Australia offered all their bargaining chips to get China and India to commit to an agreement that obliges them to offer nothing in return.

And now that the accord has failed to attract the consensus required for it to be formally adopted as a decision of the conference, the Prime Minister has committed us to a worthless agreement while declaring that Australia is prepared to put all its bargaining chips on the table. (The Australian)

 

Coalition calls for new estimate on cost of emissions trading scheme to families

KEVIN Rudd is under pressure to come clean on the likely cost-of-living impact of an emissions trading scheme if Australia goes it alone before other nations act. 

The failure of the Copenhagen talks to deliver a binding treaty has prompted warnings from the opposition that the impact of an emissions trading scheme could now be greater on families.

Opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt said the government should commission modelling on the true impact of the scheme and whether it would go beyond original estimates of $1100 for families on average.

“The real thing now is to release the impact on the cost of living of the ETS. Will the cost rise from $1100 to $1500 to $2000. Because his system was designed to fit in with an international scheme,” Mr Hunt said.

He said the existing Copenhagen Accord was a very weak document. (The Australian)

 

Govt rejects call for 'greenhouse trigger' powers

The federal government has rejected a call for the creation of a greenhouse trigger, a move that would give it the power to block emissions-intensive projects.

Environment Minister Peter Garrett today released the Hawke Report, a lengthy investigation of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.

Report author Alan Hawke has recommended Labor create a so-called greenhouse trigger.

The trigger would give Mr Garrett oversight of projects with at least 500,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.

"The trigger would capture a wide range of actions including projects that would have a large amount of emissions released during construction, and those that would result in a large amount of emissions released during any period of operation," the report says.

Dr Hawke said the trigger was needed so urgently the government should create it by regulation. That means draft laws approving the trigger would not need to be passed by a hostile Senate, although the upper house could later move to disallow it.

"The introduction of an interim trigger may have an additional benefit of removing the incentive for organisations to seek to benefit from delaying the introduction of Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS)," he said.

Mr Garrett said he would consider the 71 recommendations of the report but rejected outright introducing a trigger. (AAP)

 

EU Carbon Closes At 6-Month Low On Copenhagen Accord

LONDON - The benchmark contract for European Union carbon emissions futures closed at a six-month low on Monday, having fallen as much as 9 percent in intra-day trade after a weak U.N. climate deal disappointed investors.

EU Allowances for December 2010 delivery closed 8.62 percent lower at 12.41 euros ($17.78) a tonne, after falling as low as 12.28 euros in the last hour of trade. EUAs have not traded at those levels since June 16.

Prices responded to news over the weekend that U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen ended with a bare-minimum agreement. Delegates said an accord struck by the United States, China and other emerging powers fell far short of the conference's original goals.

Prices fell 8 percent in opening trade and lost more ground toward the end of the day. (Reuters

 

Carbon prices drop in wake of climate talks

Carbon prices plunged on Monday in the aftermath of the Copenhagen conference on climate change, dealing a blow to the credibility of the European Union’s carbon-trading scheme. (Financial Times)

 

Falling carbon price could result in higher bills, energy firms warn

Electricity bills could go up as a result of the weekend's feeble agreement on climate change at Copenhagen, energy suppliers have warned.

The price of carbon – paid by heavy polluters such as power plant operators – plummeted yesterday by almost 10% on Europe's emissions trading market. This was in response to the EU scrapping a planned commitment to cut emissions by 30% by 2020 because other countries failed to show similar ambition.

E.ON and Centrica warned that they would not invest the tens of billions of pounds to build expensive new nuclear reactors and clean coal plants at today's carbon price, which is supposed to penalise dirty coal and gas plants. (The Guardian)

 

Bull spit! Low carbon price threatens investment crucial to meet UK green goals - Post-Copenhagen, calls intensify for a floor under the carbon price

Copenhagen turned out to be a damp squib – derided by the Prime Minister yesterday as "at best flawed, at worst chaotic". But the failure to reach a global deal also left UK electricity generators calling for the Government to guarantee the carbon price, or face missing its ambitious green targets.

Few dispute that the key to cutting Britain's emissions by 34 per cent by 2020, and 80 per cent by 2050, is to clean up electricity generation. But the economics are tricky at best. And with little substance from Copenhagen, generators are warning the Government must intervene soon or the nuclear power and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology the UK needs will not get built. (The Independent)

Forget carbon emissions, they are all upside. There is no excuse for CCS and no safe level of carbon constraint. Get on with building coal-fired power stations.

 

Why now? The Geoengineering Gambit

For years, radical thinkers have proposed risky technologies that they say could rapidly cool the earth and offset global warming. Now a growing number of mainstream climate scientists say we may have to consider extreme action despite the dangers. ( Kevin Bullis, Technology Review)

When it is increasingly debatable whether there has been any warming worthy of note.

 

Q & A Is Global Warming The Same As Climate Change?

Today’s question:  ”Is Global Warming The Same As Climate Change?

The answer is clearly NO.

We continue, however,  to see the use of climate change and global warming used interchangeably (e.g. see).  This is presumably based on the narrow, and scientifically flawed, perspective advocated in policy statements as this (see)

“Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver. “

However, as documented in the EOS article

Pielke Sr., R., K. Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. Chahine, R. Dickerson, D. Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E. Philip Krider, W. K.M. Lau, J. McDonnell,  W. Rossow,  J. Schaake, J. Smith, S. Sorooshian,  and E. Wood, 2009: Climate change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases. Eos, Vol. 90, No. 45, 10 November 2009, 413. Copyright (2009) American Geophysical Union

“……. the natural causes of climate variations and changes are undoubtedly important, [but also] the human influences are significant and involve a diverse range of first- order climate forcings, including, but not limited to, the human input of carbon dioxide (CO2). Most, if not all, of these human infl uences on regional and global climate will continue to be of concern during the coming decades.”

I have posted on the need to broaden the science assessment for years, with examples of my posts on this topic

Is Global Warming the Same as Climate Change?

What is Climate? Why Does it Matter How We Define Climate?

What is Climate Change?

Is There a Human Effect on the Climate System?

What Are The Major Recommendations of the 2005 National Research Council Report Entitled Radiative Forcing of Climate Change: Expanding The Concept And Addressing Uncertainties?

The bottom line message is that climate change involves much more than global warming or cooling. When the two terms are used interchangeably it shows either a lack of knowledge or a deliberate attempt to mislead policymakers and the public. (Climate Science)

 

A Christmas Story: Some Facts about Greenland

The wonderful Christmas season is upon us, and no Christmas story would be complete without snow. If you really like snow, Greenland is the place for you! The snow there lasts all year long and is 1,000s of feet deep in the interior – a white Christmas is guaranteed every year in this winter paradise.

Anyone following the global warming debate is aware that Greenland is a favorite topic of the apocalypse crowd – melt Greenland, sea level will rise, the ocean currents will be disrupted, and the climate of the world will be changed for thousands of years — all thanks to our inability to slow-down our greenhouse gas emissions. The rhetoric from Copenhagen recently was full of disasters involving rapid melting of Greenland. Within the past week alone, we found the headlines “Warming Hits Greenland’s Hunters” and “The Maldives and Greenland’s Ilulissat: Two Countries Experiencing Global Warming at an Alarming Rate”.

Two recent articles form the basis of our 2009 Christmas story. Under the tree is our first box of goodies, ironically from Jason Box of the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University. Box and his colleagues at Ohio State and China, with financial support from NASA, set out to reconstruct the near-surface temperature record from Greenland from 1840 to the near-present. They combined meteorological station records with a regional climate model to create a spatial reconstruction of monthly, seasonal, and annual near-surface air temperatures over Greenland. (WCR)

 

2009 update – Perth dam catchments rainfall still normal, Govt building $Billion seawater desalination plant #2

As this graphic continues to show – year after year, Perth dam catchments rainfall has proved remarkably reliable over 35 years in the face of recent WA Govt propaganda spruiking, “our drying climate”, etc etc. See my late 2007 article, “There never was a rain shortage to justify seawater desalination for Perth’s water supply” and downloadable word doc with several rational proposals vastly cheaper and lower impact than seawater desalination to augment Perth water supply.

35 years Perth dams catchments rain

But the silly WA Govt are going ahead with the plus $Billion new desal plant at Binningup just north of Bunbury.

Disgraceful waste of taxpayer monies, exactly at a time we are entering economic rough times. Crazy. See the full page press advert your taxes paid for;

Read my July 2007; W.A. Govt propaganda takes water supply “post rain” and in May 2007; West Australian Premier talks utter nonsense about rainfall 

What was it he said – from Hansard;

Mr A.J. CARPENTER (WA Premier): “..It has stopped raining in the south west of Western Australia. The rain no longer falls from the sky in sufficient quantities to fill the dams to fill the pipes to fill the cups for people to drink…”

Clearly, politicians fed climate change rubbish from the ruling public service elite are believing their own incestuous propaganda.

All rain data from the Australian BoM – who else. (Warwick Hughes)

 

China Secures Oil and Gas Resources: U.S. Fiddles with ‘Green’ Energy

Around the world, China is investing in oil and gas resources to fuel its booming manufacturing industries and transportation sector to continue its sky-rocketing economic growth. China is not endowed with very much oil and gas resources of its own. Thus, it needs to partner with countries around the world to ensure availability of future supplies of oil and natural gas that it will need to keep up its current pace of economic growth.

The U.S., which does have oil and gas resources, is not following China’s lead in investing in these resources. Instead, the U.S. is looking toward wind and solar technologies to fuel its economy. However, wind and solar power are generating technologies and will not help where oil is needed in the transportation and industrial sectors.

Further, wind and solar power have capacity factors that cannot compete with those of fossil fuel generating technologies, and they can create instability issues with the electrical grid. They are also more expensive technologies and must have government support through tax credits to compete at all with fossil-fuel generating technologies. (Mary Hutzler, MasterResource)

 

After the fiasco at Copenhagen, we must focus on energy security

The risks of electricity blackouts and gas shortages in the middle of the next decade are a lot more tangible than whatever will happen to the climate, writes Dan Lewis. (TDT)

 

Time to rethink, coal chief Keith De Lacy tells 'mate' Kevin Rudd

WHEN Keith De Lacy was treasurer of Queensland, a certain K. Rudd was the other can-do man in the then state government.

Now that the Prime Minister has come up in the world, Mr De Lacy has a message for him: the Australian coal industry was sold out in Copenhagen, and Kevin Rudd needs to drastically revise his climate change response.

These days, Mr De Lacy's main job is with miner Macarthur Coal, which he chairs. His concern after the failure of the summit in Denmark to secure binding international action on global warming is that the Rudd government's decision to persist with emissions trading will do more harm than good to export-exposed industries such as coal. "It (an ETS) will erode our competitive position, while it does absolutely nothing to reduce greenhouse emissions," he told The Australian.

"If you replace Australian coal with Canadian coal or South African coal or Indonesian coal, that doesn't do anything for anyone."

The non-binding Copenhagen deal, which has been on the end of criticism from both Europe and the developing world, was done between the US and the so-called "BASIC" alliance of Brazil, South Africa, India and China.

It has not been lost on a largely dismayed resource sector that South Africa is one of our principal coal export competitors. (The Australian)

 

Inferior Holiday Lighting: Another Cost of the Futile Climate Crusade? (Malthusianism is gloomy in practice, not only theory)

“[LEDs are] not the same. They’re weird-looking. They’re sized different and have these unusual ripples. If you have those interspersed with your traditional lights, they’re going to look dumb.”

An AP piece by Sean Murphy, Many Take Dim View of New-Fangled Christmas Lights (December 21), is another example of some of the problems that occur when an (inferior) product forced on consumers in the name of ”energy sustainability” (aka, the futile climate crusade).

Small, unsafe, high-insurance-premium micro cars are bad enough (do these things work on the highway?). But also troubling is the assault on quality lighting–and more lighting per se–that hinder those whose mood is elevated by brightness and the many who have trouble coping with the dark. (Of course some can go too far with holiday lighting, as with any pleasurable activity.) But for many who need light to overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) syndrome,

And so this holiday season–the time of year when many turn the winter blues into a winter wonderland–consumers are finding themselves increasingly stuck with LED lighting. Some wonder how ‘green’ the ecolights are compared to what is in your attic. Others have tried and given up on solar LED as the ‘green’ way. (Robert Bradley Jr., MasterResource)

 

Potatoes and algae may replace oil in plastics - Frederic Scheer is biding his time, convinced that by 2013 the price of oil will be so high that his bio-plastics, made from vegetables and plants, will be highly marketable.

Scheer, 55, is the owner of Cereplast, a company that designs and makes sustainable plastics from starches found in tapioca, corn, wheat and potatoes.

He has believed for the past 20 years that the price of oil will eventually make petroleum-based plastics obsolete and clear the way for his alternative.

"The tipping point for us is 95 dollars (£59) a barrel," he said. At that price "our product becomes cheaper" than traditional plastic.

"The day where we hit 95 dollars a barrel I think all of a sudden you're going to see bio-plastics basically explode," he said. (TDT)

No Chucky, that's when you'll see coal-to-liquids really boom.

 

Gas could be the cavalry in global warming fight

An unlikely source of energy has emerged to meet international demands that the United States do more to fight global warming: It's cleaner than coal, cheaper than oil and a 90-year supply is under our feet.

It's natural gas, the same fossil fuel that was in such short supply a decade ago that it was deemed unreliable. It's now being uncovered at such a rapid pace that its price is near a seven-year low. Long used to heat half the nation's homes, it's becoming the fuel of choice when building new power plants. Someday, it may win wider acceptance as a replacement for gasoline in our cars and trucks. (AP)

It's a handy fuel, alright. The carbon emission nonsense is completely irrelevant but it is indeed a handy energy source.

 

Violence Policy Center Makes It Up as They Go Along — Again

The gun-control group that sprang from the Joyce Foundation is using false information and bad research to demonize concealed carry permit holders.

Would you trust the statistical and factual reporting acumen of an organization that can’t even tell the difference between someone being dead or alive?

No, this isn’t about the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia or the other bad actors of Climategate (though it could be). This is about a little organization that Barack built. Not ACORN (though it could be). This is about the Violence Policy Center (VPC), one of the gun-control organizations our B+ president helped fund as a board member of the left-wing Joyce Foundation. (Bob Owens, PJM)

 

Shooters complain of 'hysterical' police response to legal field sports - Field sports enthusiasts have complained that they are increasingly being targeted by armed police responding to panicky 999 calls from the public.

Shooting groups are reporting a growing number of cases where officers in armed response vehicles and helicopters are swooping on people who are legally shooting.

In many cases, the shooters are arrested and have had their guns seized. They are sometimes locked up and have their DNA taken, before police accept their error.

The Countryside Alliance has described as "hysterical", the "massive overreaction" by officers, while the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) has warned that an incident could lead to a lawful shooter being killed by police marksmen.

The problem has become so great, that the field sports' bible, Shooting Times, has launched an initiative – called the Campaign for Common Sense – to urge police to improve their dealings with field sports enthusiasts. The publication has also submitted a dossier detailing its complaints and proposals to a recent consultation by the National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA) on police firearm use. (TDT)

 

Snowe Fall In D.C.

Who deserves the most blame for the wrecking ball that Congress and the president will soon take to the greatest health system in the world? The Republican who gave them her vote.

'When history calls, history calls," Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe said in October when she joined Senate Finance Committee Democrats as the lone Republican supporting their health care revolution.

Sometime between then and now "history" hung up on her.

With the vote 14-to-9 on that key panel, Snowe wasn't the deciding factor. But she gave Democrats something to use to optimal effect in the next two months — bipartisan legitimacy for the false notion that doing "something" was better than the "status quo."

"As I pledged to the president in an Oval Office meeting Saturday afternoon, I couldn't agree more that reform is an imperative," Snowe said Sunday. But support for the Democrats' reform is in the low-to-mid 30s today in no small part because most Americans think the private health insurance they enjoy today, while not perfect, is pretty darned good.

Snowe made a calculated blunder, crossing her fingers and hoping for the best from the most left-wing Congress and president in history. She thought her vote would let her in the door of Senate Democrats' deliberations in crafting a final bill, and that she could tell the folks back home how she improved it.

It turns out that the sophisticated, compassionate moderate, supposedly so much smarter than the uncompromising Joe Wilsons and Jim DeMints of her party, was played for a fool.

Sen. Snowe issued a 900-word statement last weekend opposing "the pending Senate legislation as it currently stands" — apparently still under the illusion that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants her input.

It goes on and on complaining about Reid's "nearly 400-page manager's amendment that cannot be changed or altered, with more than 500 cross references," how "we are now expected to vote on the overall, final package before Christmas with no opportunity to amend it" and that it all "was done in the shadows, without transparency, just to garner the necessary 60 votes and nothing more."

Well, welcome to the World's Greatest Deliberative Body, Sen. Snowe, of which you have reputedly been a wide-awake member for 15 years.

Up in chilly Maine, all those ads for "Rolling Snow Plows" may take on new meaning. Washington is where Snowe gets rolled. (IBD)

 

Botox spared over tanning beds in U.S. health fight

In the rush to fund a U.S. healthcare overhaul, Botox injections to smooth wrinkles will not be taxed, but visiting a tanning salon will be.

Plastic surgeons and Botox maker Allergan Inc successfully fought a proposed 5 percent tax on breast implants, face-lifts and other elective cosmetic procedures in Senate Democrats' healthcare legislation.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid dropped that plan, nicknamed the "Botax" after the popular wrinkle fighter, in changes released on Saturday. It was replaced it with a 10 percent tax on indoor tanning services.

California-based Allergan launched a major offensive against the Botax plan after it was included as a late addition to the Senate's healthcare reform bill in November.

Allergan Chief Executive David Pyott personally raised objections with lawmakers and the company launched a website and Facebook page to rally tax opponents. The website called the plan "a tax on self-improvement."

Plastic surgeons also lobbied heavily against the Botax. They argued the tax would unfairly hit middle-class, working women who make up a large portion of their patients, not just the wealthy.

"The lobbying was fierce and intense," particularly from physician groups, said Capitol Street analyst Ipsita Smolinksi. (Reuters)

 

Fear not man-made chemicals

People forget that the dose makes the poison

When reading newspapers or surfing the web, I am still drawn to the issue of man-made chemicals in commerce. I was trained as a toxicologist, and was employed in that capacity with a major international petroleum company for over 30 years. How incredibly lucky — to be able to put into daily practice a science that held me in thrall... and still does.

The details of how living organisms work at the cellular and molecular levels are hugely complex and still incompletely understood, and one of the best methods of finding out how things work is by “perturbing” them … such as by introducing various concentrations of chemical substances that interfere with normal processes. You learn how things normally work by studying the abnormal. When I started my career, almost no one knew what toxicology was. Times have certainly changed.

Click here to read more... (Geoff Granville, Financial Post)

 

Health Canada proposes putting anti-cancer drug into french fries, potato chips

Health Canada is proposing an unorthodox way of combatting a food ingredient suspected in some cancers: It wants to let manufacturers put small amounts of a cancer-fighting drug into potato chips and similar foods to curb production of the harmful chemical.

Ever since acrylamide was discovered seven years ago in such foods as french fries and chips cooked at high temperatures, scientists have struggled for a way to get it out. The chemical is not added deliberately; it is an unintentional byproduct of cooking. 

Though the evidence is far from definitive, acrylamide has been connected to cancer in animals and possibly people.

As a partial answer, Health Canada is suggesting removing the requirement for a prescription to administer the enzyme asparaginase, except when it is injected into leukemia patients as a treatment.

That way, food companies could include small amounts of the drug in their products, the department says in a "notice of intent" document published on Saturday. Evidence suggests that asparaginase lessens the production of acrylamide by as much as 90%. (Tom Blackwell, National Post)

 

Dietary estrogens have little effect on cancer risk

NEW YORK - Dietary "phytoestrogens" -- plant substances that have weak estrogen-like activity -- have little impact on the risks of developing hormone-sensitive cancers like breast and prostate cancer or colorectal cancers, new research suggests.

In a large study of some 25,000 British adults, researchers failed to find any "significant" differences in cancer risk related to dietary intake of these compounds.

Phytoestrogens are found in a wide range of foods including dairy products, soy foods, cereals, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, coffee and tea. Previous studies have suggested dietary phytoestrogen intake is associated with increased breast cancer risk and reduced colorectal cancer risk in women. The results from earlier studies were hampered, however, by limited data about phytoestrogen content in food.

No previous research has examined the association between phytoestrogen intake and prostate cancer risk.

In the current study, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers assigned phytoestrogen values to nearly 11,000 foods following chemical analyses. For the first time, phytoestrogen values were assigned to animal products.

Unlike plants, which themselves contain phytoestrogens, phytoestrogens are generated by the digestion of animal products like meat and dairy products by microbes in the gut, the researchers explain. (Reuters Health)

 

Experts warn of cancer linked to certain herbs

HONG KONG - The consumption of popular Chinese herbal products containing aristolochic acid is associated with an increased risk of urinary tract cancer, a study in Taiwan has found.

Aristolochic acid, known as Mu Tong in Chinese, is found naturally in some herbs that are used in Chinese herbal products to treat hepatitis, urinary tract infection, rhinitis, dysmenorrhea and eczema.

While studies in the past have linked urothelial cancer to the use of aristolochic acid, this is the first study to see if the same association can be made between cancer and herbal products containing aristolochic acid. (Reuters)

 

No link seen between acetaminophen, birth defects

NEW YORK - New study findings offer reassurance to pregnant women that acetaminophen does not appear to raise the risk of birth defects.

Acetaminophen is the active ingredient in Tylenol and certain other painkillers, and is often found in over-the-counter cold and flu remedies. Taken as directed, acetaminophen is considered safe during pregnancy, making it the medication of choice for pregnant women's body aches and fevers.

However, there are still some questions about whether the drug can contribute to birth defects. Studies looking at birth defects as a broad group have either found no link to acetaminophen use or have yielded inconclusive findings. (Reuters Health)

 

Child fitness levels 'declining even in affluent areas'

Sedentary lifestyles are making children less fit - even among those who are not obese, a study suggests.

Essex University staged fitness tests on 600 10-year-olds a decade apart in an area with low levels of obesity. 

They found significant falls in fitness levels, concluding the average 10-year-old in 1998 could beat 95% of youngsters in 2008 in running tests. 

The researchers said the focus on obesity was obscuring the health risks of wider declines in fitness levels. ( BBC New)

 

NHS fat fighter clubs for obese kids aged 4

WEIGHT-LOSS clubs for FOUR-YEAR-OLDS are being launched on the NHS in a bid to tackle Britain's obesity crisis.

The fat-fighting classes are already running in northern England, and will now be rolled out nationwide.

The move comes after official figures last week showed a quarter of five-year-olds are overweight - and experts warned that tubby kids are likely to grow up into obese adults.

Doctors fear many parents dismiss early obesity as "puppy fat". But Paul Gately, professor of Exercise and Obesity at Leeds Metropolitan University, said: "Puppy fat is no longer relevant to our children. They just don't grow out of it any more."

The flab-busting classes - which aim to teach whole families about healthy eating and exercise - are held on weekends. (The Sun)

 

The brain may feel other people's pain

NEW YORK - If you've ever thought that you literally feel other people's pain, you may be right. A brain-imaging study suggests that some people have true physical reactions to others' injuries.

Using an imaging technique called functional MRI, UK researchers found evidence that people who say they feel vicarious pain do, in fact, have heightened activity in pain-sensing brain regions upon witnessing another person being hurt.

The findings, published in the journal Pain, could have implications for understanding, and possibly treating, cases of unexplained "functional" pain.

"Patients with functional pain experience pain in the absence of an obvious disease or injury to explain their pain," explained Dr. Stuart W. G. Derbyshire of the University of Birmingham, one of the researchers on the new study.

"Consequently," he told Reuters Health in an email, "there is considerable effort to uncover other ways in which the pain might be generated."

Derbyshire said he now wants to study whether the brains of patients with functional pain respond to images of injury in the same way that the current study participants' did. (Reuters Health)

 

You'd think they'd at least get this right: Antarctic Researchers Need Solid Sun Block: Study

CAPE DENISON - Expeditioners to Antarctic train for freezing temperatures and social isolation, but a study has found there is something else to be wary of -- sunburn.

The recent joint study by the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency found that more than 80 percent of researchers to the South Pole were potentially exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays in excess of the recommended limits.

Almost a third received more than five times these limits.

The study showed that in some cases the UV exposure levels in Australian Antarctic stations can reach an index level of 8 or more, making exposure levels there similar to what lifeguards in Australia's sunny Queensland state potentially receive.

"It's the first study that we have done to look at the personal doses of solar UV radiation of Australians working in Antarctica," AAD Chief Medical Officer Jeff Ayton, co-author of the report, told Reuters.

Measurements were carried out during unloading of two vessels while they were at Australian Antarctic stations Casey, Davis and Mawson. Participants wore UV-sensitive badges on their chests for the duration of the working day, which ranged from five to 10 hours but could be as long as 14 hours.

Their face, hands and in some cases more of their limbs were uncovered and subjected to UV exposure.

"Despite sun protection being provided to the workers, a large portion of them reported feeling sunburnt," Ayton said.

There is a large variation of UV radiation in Antarctica. In winter, when there's very low levels, vitamin D deficiency is a real threat.

But in summer, the study found that the extended duration of sunlight, the hole in the ozone layer and the light's reflection off the ice and water contributed to the high levels of UV radiation exposure. (Reuters)

Uh, no. The Southern Hemisphere Summer is December, January and February and there is no "hole in the ozone layer" then since it occurs only with the Spring return of sunlight to power ozone-destructive reactions in the super-cold Winter air mass. The Winter-strengthened South Polar vortex which excludes temperate (and ozone-rich) air from mixing with the super-chilled SPAM (South Polar Air Mass) decays with Spring warming and the "hole" (zone of reduce ozone levels) is gone by late October or early November. In fact the high UV exposure comes from long Summer daylight conditions in conjunction with pristine air (virtually no dust or smoke particulates) and low levels of cloud cover. We expect "Antarctic researchers" to know these things. Maybe they need to consult our ozone page.

 

Green theft down-under: Peter Spencer

by Justin Jefferson
December 21, 2009

Last Friday I joined a protest of over 80 people at farmer Peter Spencer’s property in the mountains near Cooma. Peter (61), is now past the twenty-eighth day of a hunger strike, perched high above the ground on a communications tower on his property. Looking down from his eyrie he seemed at first somewhat curious and dishevelled, but when he spoke he was lucid, his arguments were cogent, and passions ran high.

Peter Spencer is demanding the Australian government pay fair compensation to him and all Australian property-holders whose property rights were taken without compensation pursuant to the Kyoto Protocol. He also demands a Royal Commission into the way governments acquired those property rights, because it seems to have been deliberately intended to, and did, subvert the constitutional protection against the unjust acquisition of property.

Why is Spencer directing his fire at the Federal government, since it was the State government, through the Native Vegetation Act (NVA) that passed the laws restricting farmers use-rights? The answer is because the Federal government moved the States for, benefited from, and paid them to make these unjust acquisitions.

The Commonwealth decided to meet its Kyoto Protocol targets to reduce so-called greenhouse gas emissions by restricting farmers land use across Australia. Farmers made an easy target compared to power stations or other emitters.

Under the Australian Constitution, if the Commonwealth wants to acquire a person’s property, it must do so on just terms, i.e. pay fair compensation. Since land-use rights form part of the equity of a property, the taking of those rights, and vesting the control and benefit of them in government bodies, is in effect a compulsory acquisition of property rights.

To give you some idea of the scale, Peter Spencer’s property is 12,000 acres, the use-rights of which were in effect confiscated along with his livelihood. One farmer at the protest said these laws cost him $30,000 a year. Another landowner lost $1.2 million worth of equity from a 40 acre block of land.

Think of the whole of Australia, and you can see that the value of the property rights thus forcibly acquired without payment, from the entire landscape of property-holders, must run into billions of dollars.

Coveting private property, but not wanting to pay for it, what did the Feds do? They got the States to take it instead. Unlike the Federal Constitution, State Constitutions (except one) contain no provision for the payment of fair compensation for the taking of property. NSW legislation requires it, but the NSW State simply overrode that with ordinary legislation, smacking of rule by decree.

Using the Commonwealth Natural Heritage Trust of Australia Act the Commonwealth gave NSW $1.2 billion, that it got from the sale of Telstra, for their part in stealing billions of dollars worth of other people’s property.

So Mr Spencer’s case is this. He can’t sue the Commonwealth because, though they sponsored the acquisitions of property, acquired the benefit for their purposes, and are constitutionally liable to pay compensation, they didn’t actually do the deed themselves.

And then he can’t sue the State because, although they acquired his property rights, they aren’t legally liable to pay for it.

In the High Court, the Commonwealth is arguing that the Constitution was not intended to protect against forced acquisitions of property by the executive arm of government! The absurdity, or dishonesty, of this argument should be obvious. If it were accepted, it would make the very idea of private property, and constitutional and limited government, meaningless.

And now to compound the offence, faced with Peter Spencer’s hunger strike, the Commonwealth says it’s all a State matter.

Either it is entirely appropriate to call for the Commonwealth to fix the problem, since they can obviously use the same measures with the States to fix the problem as they did to cause it.

Or the Native Vegetation Acts should be repealed and replaced with nothing.

If you want someone to grow beef, or wheat, or tomatoes on their property, you don’t pass a law making it a criminal offence to grow something else. If there is a social need for a person’s property which is to be forcibly acquired, then society needs to pay for it. But if society can’t afford to pay, then it can’t afford to have it and is not entitled to it.

To breach this principle, as the Federal and State governments have done, violates basic ethics, blatantly subverts our Constitution, and is already spelling the end of limited government and a free society.

All Australians should understand that the Commonwealth is implicated up to its neck in what it blames on its accomplices the States, and should join in demanding a Royal Commission into this devious and appalling abuse, and fair compensation for all persons affected by this unprecedented case of massive governmental theft. (Quadrant)

 

Environmental groups – bogus information

Monday, 14 December 2009 02:31 
By Forrest Laws
December 10, 2009

You have to wonder when the public will finally grow weary of claims by environmental groups more interested in fund-raising than truth-telling. Example: Go on the Environmental Working Group Web site, ewg.org, and look at its latest fund-raising ploy warning consumers about the dangers of, gasp, hand sanitizers.

If environmental groups don’t drive U.S. agriculture back into subsistence farming, it won’t be for lack of trying. A few days ago, the nation’s media outlets received a press release with this headline:

“New Report Reveals Dramatic Rise in Pesticide Use on Genetically Engineered Crops Due to the Spread of Resistant Weeds. GE Crops Increase Herbicide use by 383 million pounds from 1996 to 2008.”

The article went on to say its author, The Organic Center’s Charles Benbrook, presents “compelling evidence linking the increase in pesticide use on GE, ‘herbicide-tolerant’ crops to the emergence and spread of herbicide-resistant weeds.

Well, duh. Anyone knows that if you increase the sprays of a herbicide, chances are some of the weeds will become resistant. That’s what happened with atrazine in the 1970s and with ALS inhibitors in the 1980s and 1990s. The fact herbicides — mostly glyphosate — have been sprayed on genetically engineered crops has little to do with weed resistance.

And it’s only logical that the number of pounds of herbicides would increase when you’re applying a pound of glyphosate per acre compared to fractions of an ounce of the herbicides it replaced.

“An ounce of one can be more dangerous than a pound of another, so measuring them as if they were exactly the same is nonsense,” said John Reifsteck, an Illinois farmer, writing in the Nov. 20 issue of the Truth About Technology and Trade newsletter.

Others responding to Benbrook’s analysis, funded by the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Center for Food Safety and Greenpeace, noted that other studies have shown the opposite — pesticide use on global biotech crops dropped almost 800 million pounds between 1996 and 2008.

They’ve also shown production costs have gone down and crop yields have risen since 1996. “Glyphosate has been low cost, effective and easy to use,” said economist Ross Korves. “It is not a surprise that producers would use it until a more cost effective product becomes available.”

It’s also not surprising that the sponsors of Benbrook’s study are not above melding the facts to try to fit their own agenda. “We’ve dealt with many critics of modern crop technologies for years, including some associated with today’s report,” said CropLife America President Jay Vroom.

“Much of the rhetoric of the news release is familiar — dozens of claims all of which are refuted by government and university of data sources.”

You have to wonder when the public will finally grow weary of claims by environmental groups more interested in fund-raising than truth-telling. Example: Go on the Environmental Working Group Web site, ewg.org, and look at its latest fund-raising ploy warning consumers about the dangers of, gasp, hand sanitizers.

I’m sure you will want to donate $5 to EWG and get your free “Dirty Dozen” refrigerator magnet telling you about produce and pesticides.

e-mail: flaws@farmpress.com (Delta Farm Press)

 

Dutch cull goats to fight infectious fever

VINKEL, The Netherlands - Dutch farms started culling thousands of goats on Monday as part of efforts to fight an outbreak of the highly infectious disease Q fever, which has been a factor in six human deaths this year.

Q fever is caused by a bacterium that is mostly transmitted to humans from goats and sheep, especially during delivery of young, and the number of human cases of the disease has risen to more than 2,300 currently from about 170 in 2007.

About 60 farms of a total of 410 in the country are now known to be affected and authorities decided about 40,000 goats at these farms should be killed to stop the disease spreading. (Reuters)

 

Indonesia's next big quake due under Mentawais - A massive undersea earthquake is long overdue beneath the Mentawai islands in Indonesia and could cause another deadly tsunami, say scientists mapping one of the world's most quake-prone zones.

Unlike the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which killed around 226,000 people, this tsunami is expected to be smaller but may be just as deadly as it would hit Sumatra's densely populated coast.

"The size of the tsunami may not be as big, but the problem is the size of the population is about three times as great as Aceh," said Kerry Sieh, the director of the Singapore-based Earth Observatory. (TDT)

 

December 21, 2009

 

Questions over business deals of UN climate change guru Dr Rajendra Pachauri

The head of the UN's climate change panel - Dr Rajendra Pachauri - is accused of making a fortune from his links with 'carbon trading' companies, Christopher Booker and Richard North write.

The head of the UN's climate change panel - Dr Rajendra Pachauri - is accused of making a fortune from his links with 'carbon trading' companies.
The head of the UN's climate change panel - Dr Rajendra Pachauri - is accused of making a fortune from his links with 'carbon trading' companies. Photo: EPA

No one in the world exercised more influence on the events leading up to the Copenhagen conference on global warming than Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and mastermind of its latest report in 2007.

Although Dr Pachauri is often presented as a scientist (he was even once described by the BBC as “the world’s top climate scientist”), as a former railway engineer with a PhD in economics he has no qualifications in climate science at all.

What has also almost entirely escaped attention, however, is how Dr Pachauri has established an astonishing worldwide portfolio of business interests with bodies which have been investing billions of dollars in organisations dependent on the IPCC’s policy recommendations.

These outfits include banks, oil and energy companies and investment funds heavily involved in ‘carbon trading’ and ‘sustainable technologies’, which together make up the fastest-growing commodity market in the world, estimated soon to be worth trillions of dollars a year. (Sunday Telegraph)

 

To Denmark, From Russia, With Lies

Russian analysts accuse Britain's Meteorological Office of cherry-picking Russian temperature data to "hide the decline" in global temperatures. Is Copenhagen rooted in a single tree in Siberia?

Michael Mann, a Penn State meteorologist, wrote in Friday's Washington Post that "stolen" e-mails from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit still don't alter the evidence for climate change.

Mann, a creator of the discredited hockey-stick graph used in reports from the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to show man-made warming, attacks climate skeptics, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, saying they "confuse the public."

Chutzpah has been redefined.

As Ronald Reagan used to say, facts are stubborn things. The fact is that imminent man-made climate disaster has been shown to be a massive fraud driven by manipulated data and deliberate suppression of facts to the contrary. (IBD)

 

New Study: Hadley Center and CRU Apparently Cherry-picked Russia’s Climate Data

Yesterday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA), of which I am President, issued a study (in Russian), “How Warming Is Being Made: The Case of Russia.” The report, prepared by IEA director Natalya Pivovarova, suggests that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (CRU) in Norwich (England) apparently cherry-picked Russian climate data. ( Andrei Illarionov, Cato at liberty)

 

Terence Corcoran: My climategate email cameo

There are more than 2,000 pages and millions of words in the Climategate emails (get a searchable archive here), and I am two of those words on one of the pages. This cameo walk-on role doesn't amount to anything in the great 13-year epic chronology of science warfare found in the email cache, but it is still satisfying to be there -- even more satisfying because my bit part appears in a small chain of emails that leads right up to one of the top dogs in Climategate, Phil Jones.

I got the Climategate part by virtue of a column last Oct. 1 about the looming meltdown in the official global warming science and policy machine.

Click here to read more... (Financial Post)

 

Terence Corcoran: A 2,000-page epic of science and skepticism — Part 1

The scientists seem to have become captive of the IPCC’s objectives

Now that the Copenhagen political games are out of the way, marked as a failure by any realistic standard, it may be time to move on to the science games. To get the post-Copenhagen science review underway, the world has a fine document at hand: The Climategate Papers.

On Nov. 17, three weeks before the Copenhagen talks began, a massive cache of climate science emails landed on a Russian server, reportedly after having been laundered through Saudi Arabia. Where they came from, nobody yet knows. Described as having been hacked or leaked from the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, the emails have been the focus of thousands of media and blog reports. Since their release, all the attention has been dedicated to a few choice bits of what seem like incriminating evidence of trickery and scientific repression. Some call it fraud.

Click here to read more... (Financial Post)

 

Obama faces new global warming skeptic: Joe Sixpack

As President Obama returns from Copenhagen, polls show that Americans are becoming more more wary of his global warming agenda – and of global warming itself.

Fresh from a global warming deal in Copenhagen, Denmark, President Obama returned to a cold, snowy Washington where the politics of global warming are slowly shifting underfoot.

Mr. Obama’s Copenhagen promise to cut US emissions 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020 will rely heavily on the cap-and-trade bill currently winding its way through the Senate. But a bill that was never going to be an easy sell has become even more fraught with potential complications during recent months.

Polls suggest that Americans have soured on Obama's climate strategy, and the "climategate" e-mail scandal has highlighted the public's increasing skepticism of the basic science driving some of the White House’s most aggressive policy prescriptions. (Christian Science Monitor)

 

Rightly: On environment, Obama and scientists take hit in poll Climate Change

As President Obama arrives in Copenhagen hoping to seal an elusive deal on climate change, his approval rating on dealing with global warming has crumbled at home and there is broad opposition to spending taxpayer money to encourage developing nations to curtail their energy use, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. 

There's also rising public doubt and growing political polarization about what scientists have to say on the environment, and a widespread perception that there is a lot of disagreement among scientists about whether global warming is happening. (Washington Post)

 

 

Why Barry Jones is wrong

by Bob Carter
December 21, 2009

Professor Bob Carter replies to Mr. Barry Jones

On December 8, ABC’s The Drum – Unleashed posted an opinion piece of mine entitled “Kill the IPCC”. As submitted the piece was entitled, a little more gracefully, I think, “The bell tolls for the IPCC” [full text published in Quadrant Online here]. But the essential message can be represented by either heading.

And that the IPCC should be closed down was indeed the essential message that I wished to convey. For during its 20 year-long existence it has done incalculable economic and political damage (which continues in Copenhagen as I write), but above all else it is the damage that the IPCC has inflicted upon Science that concerns me.

Our citizenry used to able to rely upon practitioners of the scientific method to provide dispassionate analysis of the pros and cons of a problem of public concern. But no longer, I fear, as Climategate has recently displayed.

After my article was posted, there ensued a day or so of busy emailing at The Drum, which included the writing of over 500 blog postings. The authors of most of these contributions seemed particularly upset that the ABC had permitted the expression of a climate rationalist viewpoint - and allegedly an ignorant one at that – on the website of what they had hoped was a balanced public broadcaster.

The rush of emails was shortly followed by an article on The Drum by former Labor Science Minister, Mr. Barry Jones, entitled (doubtless by the editor) “Bob Carter’s attack on reason”, which seems to have been intended as a commentary on, and perhaps a reply to, my own original posting. By December 20, Mr Jones’ piece had attracted a further 792 blog comments, most of which supported his views.

In turn, therefore, I now provide this reply to eight of the points that Mr. Jones raises. (Quadrant)

 

What Scientists Really Think About Global Warming - The answers won't entirely please either side.

These are hard times for climate scientists who want government action on global warming. Not only has the Copenhagen summit largely produced discord, but an embarrassing public release of private e-mails exposed attempts by a group of climate scientists to hide scientific evidence that didn't conform to their beliefs or pronouncements. 

As CBS News put it, the scandal, called "Climategate," is "casting doubts on the very science on which this summit is based." In a widely noted Washington Post column, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin argued, "the documents show that there was no real consensus" among climate scientists. And a new ABC News poll finds that only 29% of the public now place "a lot" of trust in what scientists say about the environment.

The question of whether there is a scientific consensus on human-induced global warming has long inspired heated debate among both scientists and politicians. The most recent assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change describes global warming as "unequivocal" and "very likely" caused by human activity. But skeptics have argued that the IPCC, which is tasked by the United Nations with evaluating the risks of climate change, is itself influenced by political considerations and "pre-conceived agendas." 

In a broader effort to measure scientific opinion, one scholar analyzed peer-reviewed journal articles on climate change and concluded that over 75% supported the notion of anthropogenic (human-induced) warming. But critics argued that the analysis was itself skewed toward finding such a consensus.

So how do you know what scientists really think about global warming? Well, you could always ask them. That's precisely what the Statistical Assessment Service (STATS), which I direct, did in 2007 when it hired Harris Interactive to survey American climate scientists.The results won't entirely please either the Climategate correspondents or their critics. (S. Robert Lichter, Forbes)

 

How to Manufacture a Climate Consensus - The East Anglia emails are just the tip of the iceberg. I should know.

Few people understand the real significance of Climategate, the now-famous hacking of emails from the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (CRU). Most see the contents as demonstrating some arbitrary manipulating of various climate data sources in order to fit preconceived hypotheses (true), or as stonewalling and requesting colleagues to destroy emails to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in the face of potential or actual Freedom of Information requests (also true). 

But there's something much, much worse going on—a silencing of climate scientists, akin to filtering what goes in the bible, that will have consequences for public policy, including the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recent categorization of carbon dioxide as a "pollutant."

The bible I'm referring to, of course, is the refereed scientific literature. It's our canon, and it's all we have really had to go on in climate science (until the Internet has so rudely interrupted). When scientists make putative compendia of that literature, such as is done by the U.N. climate change panel every six years, the writers assume that the peer-reviewed literature is a true and unbiased sample of the state of climate science. (Patrick J. Michaels, WSJ)

 

Douglass and Christy about the DCPS and ClimateGate

Two years ago, this blog described an interesting paper by

Douglass, Christy, Pearson, Singer (click)
in the International Journal of Climatology. It argued that the relationships between the surface and upper troposphere warming trends are very different in reality and in the existing climate models. That suggests a serious problem with the models - and implies that the models may overestimate the CO2 sensitivity by a factor of 2 - 4.



We don't want to talk about the technical issues here. This article is about the process of peer review and publishing. Today, in the American Thinker, David Douglass and John Christy wrote a fascinating reconstruction of the events that led to the publication of their paper and a certain reply by Santer et al.:
A Climatology Conspiracy? (click)
Douglass and Christy knew something about the process of peer review and publishing but the ClimateGate e-mails have expanded their knowledge about the procedures - and especially the behind-the-scenes tricks - by a huge factor. So they could reconstruct the events.

It's just a stunning reading. I would write a similar summary of the corrupt aspects of the process, but let me reproduce theirs instead. Their reconstruction proves

» Don't Stop Reading » (The Reference Frame)

 

American Thinker: A Climatology Conspiracy?

The following article appears today in American Thinker, by David Douglass and John Christy, which tells their story of how scientists involved in Climategate did their best to protect the IPCC global warming party line through manipulation of the peer review process:

A Climatology Conspiracy?

by David H. Douglass and John R. Christy

“The CRU emails have revealed how the normal conventions of the peer review process appear to have been compromised by a team* of global warming scientists, with the willing cooperation of the editor of the International Journal of Climatology (IJC), Glenn McGregor. The team spent nearly a year preparing and publishing a paper that attempted to rebut a previously published paper in IJC by Douglass, Christy, Pearson and Singer (DCPS). The DCPS paper, reviewed and accepted in the traditional manner, had shown that the IPCC models that predicted significant “global warming” in fact largely disagreed with the observational data.

“We will let the reader judge whether this team effort, revealed in dozens of emails and taking nearly a year, involves inappropriate behavior including (a) unusual cooperation between authors and editor, (b) misstatement of known facts, (c) character assassination, (d) avoidance of traditional scientific give-and-take, (e) using confidential information, (f) misrepresentation (or misunderstanding) of the scientific question posed by DCPS, (g) withholding data, and more.

” *The team is a group of a number of climate scientists who frequently collaborate and publish papers which often supports the hypothesis of human-caused global warming. For this essay, the leading team members include Ben Santer, Phil Jones, Timothy Osborn, and Tom Wigley, with lesser roles for several others.”

READ THE STORY at American Thinker (Roy W. Spencer)

 

Treating Peer Review Like a Partisan Blog

John Christy and David Douglass provide a detailed accounting of how a comment on one of their papers was handled in the peer review process (even more detail here). Their experience, with the gory details revealed by the CRU emails, show in all of its unpleasantness how activist scientists sought to stage-manage climate science from the inside.

Their story hits very close to home with me, as I went through a very, very similar process with respect to a comment (PDF) and reply (PDF) on the "shameful article" on hurricanes and global warming that I co-authored in 2005 (PDF). (If my emails ever get hacked you'll see that ugly episode from the inside.;-) That situation had a positive outcome only because at the time I protested efforts to deny us a right to respond in accordance with journal policies and threatened to go public with the improper efforts at stage-management. I am sure that these sort of shenanigans go on in academia more than we'd like to admit, however that does not justify them.

What these episodes reveal is an effort by activist climate scientists to stage-manage the peer review process much like how one might manage a partisan blog for public consumption. The blog management philosophy of Real Climate was described as follows in the CRU emails:

I wanted you guys to know that you're free to use [the RealClimate blog] in any way you think would be helpful. Gavin and I are going to be careful about what comments we screen through, and we'll be very careful to answer any questions that come up to any extent we can. On the other hand, you might want to visit the thread and post replies yourself. We can hold comments up in the queue and contact you about whether or not you think they should be screened through or not, and if so, any comments you'd like us to include.

You're also welcome to do a followup guest post, etc. think of RC as a resource that is at your disposal to combat any disinformation put forward by the McIntyres of the world. Just let us know. We'll use our best discretion to make sure the skeptics dont'get to use the RC comments as a megaphone...
While bloggers are of course free to operate their turf as they see fit, whatever one's views of climate science, climate policy or the Douglass et al. paper, we should all be able to agree that efforts to stage manage the peer review process are not good for science, however they might be justified. (Roger Pielke Jr)

 

Michael Mann on the "Poor Judgment" of His Colleagues

In today's Washington Post, Michael Mann of Penn State University and CRU email fame, gives us some good news about climate science and some bad news about his colleagues.

The good news is that climate science in his view is not at all impeached by the release of the CRU emails.

The scientific consensus regarding human-caused climate change is based on decades of work by thousands of scientists around the world.
The bad news is that some of his colleagues exhibited "poor judgment":
I cannot condone some things that colleagues of mine wrote or requested in the e-mails recently stolen from a climate research unit at a British university. . . Some statements in the stolen e-mails reflect poor judgment -- for example, a colleague referring to deleting e-mails that might be subject to a Freedom of Information Act request -- but there is no evidence that this happened.
I doubt that Professor Mann will be getting many cheery Christmas cards from his CRU-email colleagues. (Roger Pielke Jr)

 

So what’s cooking: is it the planet, or just the evidence?

What we have just witnessed in Copenhagen was a rare spectacle in global affairs: a massive exercise in political groupthink reaching its pinnacle precisely as the rational foundation for it began to unravel in a very public way.

Even as records confirmed the authenticity of the controversial “Climategate” e-mails from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in Britain, true believers at the UN conference were still in denial (the first stage of grief), acting as if CRU were some minor outpost in the climate research landscape. In fact, it is a world leader in global-warming research.

Stretching back over ten years, e-mail records show a culture of corruption at CRU in which researchers fabricated trends in climate data, concealed modifications to their computer models from public scrutiny, attempted to evade Freedom of Information requests and tried to isolate sceptical colleagues in the scientific community.

Among those at the UN who bothered to address the Climategate bombshell, the response generally took the following form: the scandal doesn’t matter much because thousands of scientists have signed letters supporting the theory of man-made global warming. That’s like portraying presidential elections in Iran as models of democratic behaviour; when the outcome is predetermined by those in power, counting ballots is merely an artful conceit.

I would like to trust the signed declarations of scientists supporting the global warming “consensus”. But in my experience, when it comes to political causes, professors are not the Socratic gadflies of academic lore. Scepticism isn’t a habit of academics today any more than candour is a habit of politicians. (Mark Aveyard, The National, UAE)

 

Lawrence Solomon: Wikipedia’s climate doctor

How Wikipedia’s green doctor rewrote 5,428 climate articles

The Climategate Emails describe how a small band of climatologists cooked the books to make the last century seem dangerously warm.

The emails also describe how the band plotted to rewrite history as well as science, particularly by eliminating the Medieval Warm Period, a 400 year period that began around 1000 AD.

The Climategate Emails reveal something else, too: the enlistment of the most widely read source of information in the world — Wikipedia — in the wholesale rewriting of this history.

The Medieval Warm Period, which followed the meanness and cold of the Dark Ages, was a great time in human history — it allowed humans around the world to bask in a glorious warmth that vastly improved agriculture, increased life spans and otherwise bettered the human condition.

Click here to read more... (Financial Post)

Joe D'Aleo suggests:

Contact and demand removal of William Connelly here: (too late, see below:)
Wikimedia Foundation Inc.
149 New Montgomery Street, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
USA
Phone: +1-415-839-6885

 

More on Wikipedia and Connolley – he’s been canned as a Wiki administrator

http://himaarmenia.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/wikipedia-logo.jpg?w=157&h=189WUWT reader Dennis Kuzara wrote to Wikipedia in response to our earlier article on Wikibullies prompted by Lawrence Solomon of the National Post. He has received an eye-opening reply. Emphasis mine – Anthony

=================

Wikipedia replies

notable excerpt:

> > 4. Has William Connolley been removed as a Wikipedia administrator? If so who has taken his place?

In September 2009, the Wikipedia Arbitration Committee revoked Mr. Connolley’s administrator status after finding that he misused his administrative privileges while involved in a dispute unrelated to climate warming. This has now been added to his article.

Nobody has replaced him specifically, but there are more than a thousand other administrators with very varied backgrounds.

Reply follows: Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)

 

Shock: UN Finds Earth’s Thermostat

Source: Satirical Press
Earth Global Climate Control System
In breakthrough news today, The United Nations announced they had found The Global Thermostat to control the Earth’s temperature.

With 45,000 people searching for the controls in Copenhagen at the Bella Convention Center, commentators were shocked when it turned up instead in a closet in the basement of the World Meterological Organization (WMO) headquarters in Geneva.

“It’s a landmark day for human-kind” said Rajendra Pachuri, Chairman of the IPCC.

Barack Obama stood for a standing ovation that lasted 23 minutes and said: “It gives us all hope”.

Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia: “We wouldn’t have found this without Obama’s magic touch. Obama rolled up his sleeves in Copenhagen, and the ancient Sumerian map fell out of his shirt.”

Tim Flannery, an Australian environmental spokesman, said: We must make sure this thermostat does not fall into the wrong hands. It must be managed by an unelected, unaudited government with infinite powers. Nothing else is safe.

Pachuri went on to explain the degree of control the IPCC expected to be able to have:

“Now we’ll be able to keep the global 30 year rolling average within a 2 degree range. At this stage we can’t promise to maintain any specific temperature for any given year. For example we are unable to guarantee Olympic meetings or World Cups will have fine weather, but with further research that may be possible.”

“We’re looking at a budget of $100 billion dollars in the next three years to set up The Intergovernmental Guardians of Climate Control. We plan to convene the working groups every year for eight weeks starting in Barbados in January 2010.

Nations wishing to apply for adjustments to the thermostat need to file a comprehensive application in 14 languages, in a form expected to be 4,000 pages long.

Within 30 minutes of the announcement, new social networks were springing into action on Twitter and Facebook. One, Ice-Age Now (IAN), was lobbying for The Thermostat to be switched down to glacial levels. He said skiers, skaters, and polar bears have been deprived of their full potential since the upper paleolithic era 15,000 years ago. “For most of homo sapiens’ history, temperatures have been a lot lower. It’s time we faced that”. Critics pointed out that he owned property in Texas, which would dramatically improve in value as the ice forced all Canadians to move south, and also that “about 4.56 billion people would starve to death”.

Russians were reported to be trying to hack into the WMO to raise temperatures.

No one could explain how the Sumerians would have known about the Global Thermostat, especially since they lived 3,500 km away (2,200 miles) from Geneva. But paleoclimate experts noted that the Sumerians had flourished during the Holocene Optimum, which was warmer than today, and that possibly the discovery of the ancient thermostat had been key to the development of human civilization.

Over the last 30 years janitors had stored progressively larger vacuum cleaners leaning against the switch, resulting in the climbing world averages.

A janitor had accidentally bumped it last week and was possibly responsible for the blizzards that struck Copenhagen and London this week. Training in Global Temperature Control has been added to his Duty Statement. (Jo Nova)

 

Copenhagen accord keeps Big Carbon in business

The Copenhagen summit achieved its main aim, to maintain the carbon-trading system established by the Kyoto Protocol, says Christopher Booker

Protesters in Copenhagen
Heads of state: protesters at the Copenhagen world summit mask themselves as world leaders, including Australia's Kevin Rudd, Germany's Angela Merkel and President Obama Photo: Casper Christoffersen/EPA

As fairy-tale snow gently descended on Copenhagen, the great global warming conference degenerated through pantomime, boredom, chaos and anger to its entirely predictable conclusion – a colossal pile of fudge with a very hard and nasty rock hidden at its centre. The "world summit" on climate change was never really going to be about saving the world from global warming at all. Even if the delegates had got all they wanted, it would no more have had any influence on emissions of CO2 – let alone on the world's climate – than the 1997 Kyoto Protocol before it. (Christopher Booker, TDT)

 

Protecting Big Carbon

In 2004, it was less than $300 million. But in 2005, the trade really started to soar, ending the year with $10.8 billion-worth of transactions. A year later, in 2006, the "carbon" market had grown to $31 billion. In 2007, again it more than doubled its turnover, to $64 billion. Last year, it did it again, reaching a colossal $126 billion. By 2020, some estimates suggest the annual value will reach $2 trillion.

Not only does this represent a very significant business volume, its stunning growth rate makes carbon trading the hottest item in town, with banks, financial houses and independent brokers piling in to make a killing.

The larger part of the market actually comprises the EU's mandatory Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) – and other very much smaller allowance schemes - accounting for 73 percent of trading volume in 2008. But the whole system is underpinned by what is known as "project-based transactions". These comprise, in the main, so-called "carbon credits" generated by the UN's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

This mechanism was formally created in 1997 by the Kyoto climate treaty and started operating in a very small way in 1998 building to 78 million "credits" (or Certified Emission Reductions, CERs, as they are formally known) to 333 million this year with a projection of 1.7 billion by the end of 2012. (EU Referendum)

 

Saved - the trillion-pound trade in carbon

The city of Copenhagen 'is a crime scene tonight, with the guilty men and women fleeing to the airport'. So said John Sauven of Greenpeace UK after the climate summit broke up. And he is right.

This is the biggest heist in history. As they poured carbon over snow-covered Denmark from their gas-guzzling jets, world leaders were congratulating themselves on securing a deal which will make their backers and financiers a trillion pounds a year. These riches will come from buying and selling permits, the so-called 'carbon credits' which allow industry and electricity generators in developed countries to emit carbon dioxide.

Forget 'Big Oil' - this is 'Big Carbon' making the most of a 'business opportunity' that was created by the first climate treaty at Kyoto in 1997.

The frenzied negotiations we have just seen were never about 'saving the planet'. They were always about money. At stake was this new 'climate change industry' which last year ripped off £129billion from the global economy and is heading for that trillion-pound bonanza by 2020 - but only if the key parts of the Kyoto treaty could be renewed.

With the treaty due to expire by 2012, unless it was replaced, the money tree would fail. Hence, all the power and vested interests of big business were brought into play, stoking up the panic over climate change to create an atmosphere where the parties could keep the money flowing.

Carbon Trading is barely 13 years old yet the scale of the industry is astonishing. Overall control lies with an obscure committee created by Kyoto, The Clean Development Mechanism Executive. It issues firms with the 'golden tickets' known as Certified Emission Reductions (CERs).

At Kyoto, Western governments set targets to cut emissions. In order to achieve this, they set 'caps' on the amount of CO2 a company can produce.

However, if they go over these limits, they may buy permits from firms who have not used up their quotas.

The developing world is not subject to the same caps as the West so they can generate CERs which are then traded by banks.

The actual emissions don't change, it's merely a matter of how much you have to pay for them. For example, in 2006, the NHS spent £6million on carbon permits to keep patients warm. (Daily Mail)

 

Copenhagen Wrap-up: “I have seen the future and it stinks!”

I am only just back last night from the Copenhagen UN climate change conference, yet am convinced of the accuracy of my headline – an obvious parody of Lincoln Steffens’ famous 1921 declaration about the Soviet Union, “I have seen the future and it works. ” In this case, however, the future concerns (supposedly democratic) “global governance” and not the workers’ state. For make no mistake about it, Kenneth Andersen is correct. COP15 was only peripherally about “climate change” and almost entirely about UN hegemony.

I know. I saw it with my own eyes. And it wasn’t for the first time. This was my second international UN conference in less than one year – the first being the so-called Durban Review Conference in Geneva that purported to review the “World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa” of 2001. The latter was as much about real racism as the former was about real climate change. It was also – as will be recalled – something of a farce, with the appearance Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dominating the event as he spewed vitriolic anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. Nevertheless, the UN declared the conference a success.

It will say the same of Copenhagen, no doubt. At least the presence of the various despots (Chavez, Mugabe, the re-upped A-jad, etc.) was not as damaging this time. It was more of sideshow, compared to the true objective of COP15 – the cementing of UN bureaucratic power under the guise of CO2 regulation. That was why the Climategate revelations were particularly poorly timed for the United Nations. Yes, they were largely ignored or dismissed at press conferences, but they were an overwhelming presence about which many were aware. ( Flemming Rose – the illustrious cultural editor of Denmark’s Jyllands Posten – told me in an interview that these revelations were covered much more extensively in the European press than in the US.) Furthermore, rejecting Climategate as an assault on “settled science” is, of course, risible because the concept of settled science itself is tenuous at best, verging on an oxymoron. As a commenter noted on this site, Einstein upended the settled science of Newton and now Einstein is in question. Yet we are supposed to believe without question some unknown mediocrity at the IPCC because of “majority rule” [sic].

Yes, it’s comical, but it’s quite worrisome, if you examine the true game afoot. Copenhagen was intended as an important advance toward world governance. On the face of it, it’s a beautiful idea. When I was younger, I was highly attracted to it. But my up-close-and-personal encounters with the UN have turned that attraction to near revulsion. It’s very clear that under global government – because of its size and natural inefficiencies – accountability is nigh on to impossible, transparency nothing but a distant dream, very often not even desired. In short, it’s 1984. And COP15 was just that – legions staring at world leaders on Jumbotrons as they blathered platitudes, while negotiations were conducted behind closed doors. (That’s bad enough in our Congress, but on a global scale…?)

Well, now jet lag is setting in, so I’m going to shut down for the moment. But I will add that, perhaps fortuitously, my long voyage home (9 1/2 hours from Copenhagen to Atlanta, another 4 from Atlanta to LA) finally gave me ample undisturbed time to finish a book I had wanted to read for a long time – F. A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom. How apropos it turned out to be. Hayek had a lot of this figured out in 1944. I recommend to all who haven’t taken the time. It’s just a sign of my own indoctrination that I had read Marx, Marcuse, Gramsci, etc., etc. first. (Roger L. Simon, PJM)

 

Copenhagen, a $30 billion dollar “success”?

A funny thing happened this week. Humanity did a low-orbit bypass of a totalitarian world government, and pulled away, but only a few noticed the near miss.

Christopher Monckton has already spoken about the draft treaty with it’s message of setting up a new form of global governance, but without any mention of voting. He spoke again yesterday to Alex Jones and pointed out that in a sense Copenhagen succeeded, despite what everyone is saying. After all, it was never really about saving the environment was it? It was about setting up a world government, and they got the odd $30 billion dollars. Not bad for a failure.

“That is the one thing that they are definitely going to succeed in doing here and they will announce that as a victory in itself, and they will be right because that is the one and only single aim of this entire global warming conference, to establish the mechanism, the structure, and above all the funding for a world government.” the British politician, business consultant, policy adviser exclusively told the Alex Jones show yesterday”

“They are going to take from the western countries the very large financial resources required to do that.” Monckton said, adding “They will disguise it by saying they are setting up a $100 billion fund for adaptation to climate change in third world countries, but actually, this money will almost all be gobbled up by the international bureaucracy.”

“The first thing they will do, and the one thing I think they were always going to succeed in doing at this conference is to agree to establish what will be delicately called ‘the institutional framework’. Now that is a code word for world government.”

Big-Government grows one law at a time

When I talk to people about the insidious reach of big government one example I’ve been using lately is that of The Netherlands. In the name of “carbon-pollution” the government of the Netherlands wants to have a GPS in every car in order to charge people for their CO2 emissions. Each GPS will track where and when every car moves, radio the data in and an audit office will calculate CO2 emissions based on kilometers driven and the car model. They will also know exactly where people go and how long they stay there for, 24 hours a day. [Source]

But there is a better more efficient system for taxing carbon emissions, and with the exquisite sensitivity of being directly connected to the exact amount emitted, Governments could just tax… fuel (and it’s not like they haven’t thought of that already).

There is no need for major audits, amassed records, or an invasion of privacy. Plus it’s virtually impossible to cheat. In many ways the GPS solution would be worse for the environment. It would let a poorly maintained car get away with increased emissions without an extra penalty because they would be charged for the average emissions for that car model. Likewise there wouldn’t be as much incentive to pump up your tyres and tune that motor, because if your car was better than average, you don’t save much money, even though you save emissions. It’s too bizarre for words. Yet apparently other state departments (like Oregon) have considered the same thing.

The amount of data that would “need” to be maintained and managed is boggling. And the security would be a headache and a half. (Just think how handy it would be to track all your competitors car movements, or your ex-wife’s, or your employees. Just think how many people would like to track you too? Hackers would come, and then they’d know where you went too…)

Is there any limit to how large and powerful the reach of any government aims to be? (Jo Nova)

 

Earth to Gordon Brown: "Not 'til you pry the weapons from our cold dead hands, mate": Gordon Brown calls for new group to police global environment issues

A new global body dedicated to environmental stewardship is needed to prevent a repeat of the deadlock which undermined the Copenhagen climate change summit, Gordon Brown will say tomorrow.

The UN’s consensual method of negotiation, which requires all 192 countries to reach agreement, needs to be reformed to ensure that the will of the majority prevails, he feels.

The Prime Minister will say: “Never again should we face the deadlock that threatened to pull down those talks. Never again should we let a global deal to move towards a greener future be held to ransom by only a handful of countries. One of the frustrations for me was the lack of a global body with the sole responsibility for environmental stewardship.

“I believe that in 2010 we will need to look at reforming our international institutions to meet the common challenges we face as a global community.” The summit failed to produce a political agreement among all the countries. Delegates instead passed a motion on Saturday “taking note” of an accord drawn up the night before by five countries: the US, China, India, Brazil and South Africa. (The Times)

 

In remission

The Telegraph seems to have mounted a temporary recovery from its bout of Copenhagen fever, if the Sunday edition is anything to go by. Most significant of all is a full page article by Booker and North raising questions about the man at the centre of a malodorous web of finance and power, Rajendra Pachauri. This is one of those topics that the establishment media have been desperately trying to bury, though it is, of course, bubbling away among those irresponsible bloggers.

The Indian connection is just part of the story, but a very significant one for the British. It is serious enough, for example, that 1,700 steel workers in Redcar have had their jobs stolen and removed to Orissa, but do they know that it is facilitated by the system of carbon credits that their own Government has supported and funded with their taxes through the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) scam inflicted on them by the corrupt bureaucrats of the EU? The hapless and hopeless British Government has stood aside while the country it is supposed to represent is being stripped bare. The once prosperous fishing ports are empty, agriculture is tied up in bureaucratic knots and now the remaining heavy industry is being filched from under the eyes of the uncomprehending populace. Government-created poverty and dependence spread inexorably across the benighted land. Meanwhile, as Booker notes separately, Copenhagen accord keeps Big Carbon in business.

Even Matthew d'Ancona, Stuntman Dave’s representative on Earth, weighs in with a piece entitled Copenhagen was the MPs' expenses scandal writ large. The political class, faced with resistance from hoi polloi to their projected impoverishment, have abandoned argument and now resort to puerile name-calling unworthy of the infants’ school playground.

Further, the Telegraph’s letters column is dominated by a collection under the heading Climate science should not be reduced to scare stories

On another tack, the Telegraph has also, at last, noticed the devastation left behind by that philistine political thug, John Prescott, on the streets of Britain’s towns. The main front page headline in the printed version is Thousands of gardens ‘stolen’ by developers. Your bending author now seldom goes further than the short walk (or, to be more accurate, electric vehicle ride) to the village pub. Over the last forty yards or so, three gardens have disappeared in the last two years, to be replaced by houses wedged in the gaps, so that each house in the row has no surrounding space at all. Many beautiful mature trees have been felled and the result is the worst kind of urban blight in what was once an attractive semi-rural area. Greenery and song birds are a thing of the past. New Labour has certainly left its mark here.

Oh, and by the way, the bottom corner of the front page has an article by Chief Hysterian, Louise Gray, and friends, headed Climate summit ends in chaos and ‘toothless’ deal.

Even that home of extreme Green propaganda, The Sunday Times, seems to be moderating. The Copenhagen farce is glad tidings for all is the headline for a piece by Dominic Lawson that exposes the inadequacy of our political leaders.

Rogue columnist Rod Liddle has a piece noting the threatened retirement of Britain’s Health Tsar Zealot, SIR Liam Donaldson: Watch out, world – Dr Doomsayer may be visiting you soon. This master of the fake statistic has also caused great cultural devastation throughout Britain and much unnecessary panic among the credulous.

“Stand not on the order of your going, but go at once.”

On the whole not a bad day for reason. (Number Watch)

 

No Cap and Tax

Much wailing and gnashing...

 

Divided climate talks end with compromise deal

COPENHAGEN — The historic U.N. climate talks ended Saturday after a 31-hour negotiating marathon, with delegates accepting a U.S.-brokered compromise that gives billions in climate aid to poor nations but does not require the world's major polluters to make deeper cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions.

Two weeks of wrangling at Copenhagen exposed sharp divisions between rich and poor nations — and even among major greenhouse-gas emitters like China and the United States — on how to fight global warming.

Yet in the end, nearly all 193 nations at the U.N. climate conference agreed to President Barack Obama's solution, which points toward deeper emissions cuts for rich nations but without mandatory targets that would draw sanctions. (AP)

 

A Grudging Accord in Climate Talks

COPENHAGEN — After two weeks of delays, theatrics and last-minute deal-making, the United Nations climate change talks concluded here early Saturday morning with a grudging agreement by the participants to “take note” of a pact shaped by five major nations. 

The final accord, a 12-paragraph document, was a statement of intention, not a binding pledge to begin taking action on global warming — a compromise seen to represent a flawed but essential step forward. (NYT)

 

Fury As Climate Deal Recognised By UN

Delegates at the Copenhagen conference have agreed not to block a deal brokered by the US president - despite criticism by campaigners and smaller nations. ( Sky News Online)

 

Copenhagen reaction: delegates speak

The "first steps towards a low-carbon future" or a "toothless declaration"? Politicians and campaigners give their response to the deal (The Guardian)

 

Copenhagen: Key questions on climate deal

Amid the chaos and confusion of frantic negotiations on the final night of the summit, what kind of deal actually emerged? (Press Association)

 

Copenhagen Accord: Questions and Answers

How will Copenhagen work, how much will it cost, and why is there so much unhappiness with the outcome? (Louise Gray, TDT)

 

They seem upset: Low targets, goals dropped: Copenhagen ends in failure

Deal thrashed out at talks condemned as climate change scepticism in action (John Vidal, Allegra Stratton and Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian)

 

China stands accused of wrecking global deal - Nations stunned by tactics of world's largest polluter. Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor in Copenhagen, and Jonathan Owen in London report

China "systematically wrecked" the Copenhagen climate summit because it feared being presented with a legally binding target to cut the country's soaring carbon emissions, a senior official from an EU country, present during the negotiations, told The Independent on Sunday yesterday.

The accusation, backed up by a separate eye-witness account from the heart of the talks of obstructive Chinese behaviour, reflected widespread anger among many delegations about the nation's actions at the conference. (The Independent)

 

Copenhagen summit: China's quiet satisfaction at tough tactics and goalless draw

The Chinese government expressed quiet satisfaction at the outcome of the Copenhagen talks despite European accusations that it had systematically wrecked the negotiating process.

China's foreign minister, Yang Jiechi, described the outcome as "significant and positive".

Among the achievements, he said, was the setting of binding emissions cuts for rich nations and voluntary mitigation actions by developing nations, such as China.

"It is not a destination, but a new beginning," he said in a statement that asserted China's right to continue its economic growth without the limits of legally binding emissions cuts.

Xinhua, the state-controlled news agency, also emphasised what was maintained rather than what was achieved.

"The Copenhagen accord protected the principal of 'common but differentiated responsibility' under the climate convention and the Kyoto protocol. (The Guardian)

 

Failure in Copenhagen: Gunning Full Throttle into the Greenhouse

What a disaster. The climate summit in Copenhagen has failed because of the hardball politicking of the United States, China and several other countries -- and because people just can't seem to fathom how catastrophic climate change will be. They probably won't have long to wait before things become a bit clearer. (Der Spiegel)

 

With tensions in the dipstick zone: Open Letter to Bill McKibben: Blaming Obama for Copenhagen Is Wrong

December 19th, 2009

Dear Bill,

Yesterday, in response to the end of the Copenhagen negotiations, you issued a press release with 350.org titled “The President has wrecked the UN (and the planet),” in which you wrote: “The president has wrecked the U.N. and he’s wrecked the possibility of a tough plan to control global warming. It may get Obama a reputation as a tough American leader, but it’s at the expense of everything progressives have held dear.”

Afterward, you published an article on the Grist homepage titled “With climate agreement, Obama guts progressive values,” in which you wrote: “He blew up the United Nations. The idea that there’s a world community that means something has disappeared tonight. The clear point is… when you sink beneath the waves we don’t want to hear much about it.” This followed a recent post by your organization accusing Obama of “corruption” and “conspiracy” for his climate negotiations with Ethiopia.

I’m writing you today because, as a young clean energy and climate advocate, I believe these words are wrong and irresponsible, and I would like to respectfully request that you issue a public apology to President Obama and young climate leaders across the country.

...

Sincerely,
Teryn Norris

Director, Americans for Energy Leadership
Founder, Breakthrough Generation

 

So, that's what it's supposed to be... POLEYS LYNCHED

Copenhagen hopers aren’t coping:

In Brisbane, campaigners tied nooses around the necks of giant soft toy polar bears and threw them off balconies and bridges.

image

The global warming debate is now officially perfect. (Tim Blair)

I had people asking why dipsticks were hanging sheep around town...

 

Johann Hari: The truths Copenhagen ignored

The politicians have chosen low taxes and oil money today over survival tomorrow (The Independent)

Poor Hari doesn't get it -- low taxes and oil money today enables survival tomorrow.

 

Obama's Climate Compromise Leaves a Bitter Aftertaste

It might have seemed safe to assume that the drama of the U.N. Climate Change summit in Copenhagen had finally ended when President Barack Obama emerged from a last-minute bargaining session with leaders of major developing nations to announce a deal. Obama quickly left town, aides saying Air Force One had to rush to beat the major snowstorm bearing down on Washington. Having agreed terms with the leaders of the U.S., China, India, Brazil and South Africa — the major carbon emitters of today and, even more importantly, of tomorrow — the President would have seemed to have brought two weeks of often fruitless negotiations, including at least one all-nighter, to a successful conclusion. Instead, Obama's announcement marked the beginning of the all-nighter that never ended. 

Because the U.N. body that oversees the climate negotiations works by consensus, every country present had an opportunity to voice their disproval of the proposed deal. And many took full advantage of that opportunity. The summit's final negotiating session dragged on for more than 30 straight hours, concluding on Saturday afternoon with the parties agreeing simply to "take note" of what had become known as the Copenhagen Accord. Although the refusal of several nations to endorse the deal meant it fell short of formal approval, according to the U.N. the outcome was enough for aspects of the agreement to become operational. "It may not be everything we hoped for, but this decision of the Conference of the Parties is an essential beginning," said an exhausted U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon. "Finally, we sealed the deal." (Bryan Walsh, Time)

 

Summit Leaves Key Questions Unresolved - U.N. Effort in Copenhagen Sets Stage for Further Haggling Over Emissions Caps, Funds for Poor Nations

COPENHAGEN -- The global effort to combat climate change is stuck in essentially the same place after a massive United Nations summit that it was before the confab: with major emitters deadlocked over how much each of them should have to do to curb the rising output of greenhouse gases.

The two-week summit, billed as an event that would usher in an era of global cooperation against global warming, crashed into the same reality that has slowed the shift to cleaner forms of energy in the U.S. and around the world. Fossil fuel is cheap and convenient. In places where its use is growing most rapidly, its production of heat-trapping gases is widely viewed as less important than its boost to economic growth.

That explains why officials from some of the world's fastest-growing producers of greenhouse gas -- China and India -- resisted calls in Copenhagen to cap their emissions, though they said they would continue a range of domestic environmental initiatives that they see as in their economic interest. Their reluctance, in turn, minimized the environmental steps that industrialized countries were willing to take.

Far from resolving the issue, the Copenhagen conference set up months more of international haggling over what to do about climate change. (Jeffrey Ball, WSJ)

 

<chuckle> Some developing nations slam climate accord

COPENHAGEN - Several developing nations lined up on Saturday to reject a deal worked out by U.S. President Barack Obama and major emerging economies to help fight global warming at the end of a U.N. summit.

"I regret to inform you that Tuvalu cannot accept this document," said Ian Fry, delegate for the low-lying Pacific island state that fears it could be wiped off the map by rising sea levels.

Delegates of Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba also angrily denounced the "Copenhagen Accord," saying it would not help address global warming. (Reuters)

Well, they got that part right -- no "accord" can ever knowingly and predictably adjust the climate.

 

CLIMATE CHANGE: "We're Not Finished Yet," Civil Society Warns

COPENHAGEN, Dec 19 - The climate change summit proved to be a "spectacular failure even according to its own terms," but civil society had "some successes," such as the inclusion of certain issues on the climate agenda, and making the voice of the South heard loud and clear.

That was how activists assessed their efforts at 15th Conference of Parties (COP-15) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as the climate change talks came to an agonising end Saturday in Copenhagen. (IPS)

 

Flimflam man is happy to try to stay aboard though:  Don't undersell Copenhagen deal: Flannery

Leading Australian environmental scientist Tim Flannery says he is happy with the outcome of the Copenhagen climate change negotiations. (Australian Broadcasting Corp.)

 

Wonder if Kevni paid him for this ? Rudd shines as other leaders fail: Flannery

COPENHAGEN Climate Council chairman Tim Flannery says a draft climate accord reached by world leaders is ''good but not perfect'', and described Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's role at the summit as ''outstanding''. (SMH)

 

Rudd’s step too far

Kevin Rudd, talking of Copenhagen, has never said truer words by sheer accident:

“As of 24 hours ago, these negotiations stood on the point of total collapse …at midnight last night, we were staring into the abyss,” he said. He said the “big step forward” in the talks came with rich and poor countries agreeing to the goal of containing global warming to 2ºC.

(Andrew Bolt)

 

<chuckle> 'Extreme views' of some nations cannot derail Copenhagen: Wong

Climate Change Minister Penny Wong says Australia had hoped to achieve more from the Copenhagen conference, but must now move forward and implement the accord.

She said the "extreme views" of some nations cannot be allowed to derail the process, but that Australia would do "no more, but no less" than the rest of the world on climate change. (SMH)

 

China's climate stonewall

THERE were 45,000 people at the Copenhagen summit and more than 100 world leaders, but in the end it came down to an extraordinary personal showdown between the leaders of the world's two superpowers and biggest greenhouse gas emitting countries, China and the US. 

The deal itself was anything but historic. But the implications of how the Chinese handled this negotiation well might be.

In a disastrous result for the world's environment and for 19 years of difficult and painstaking environmental diplomacy, China undoubtedly won.

Chinese chief negotiator Xie Zhenhua said China was leaving Copenhagen "happy", before walking out of the Bella conference centre late on Friday night with his clearly cheerful team .

In a statement, Xie, who is also vice-chairman with China's National Development and Reform Commission, said Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was also happy with the agreement.

They are about the only people in the world who are happy about Copenhagen's failure, except perhaps those who are sceptical about the science of global warming and who therefore think global emission reduction efforts are not necessary in the first place. (Lenore Taylor, The Australian)

So, realists should be grateful to China? Perhaps, it will take several more years for the climate behemoth to finally grind to a halt and it remains immensely dangerous even in its death throes.

 

Message on climate emotive, but a fraud

THE Copenhagen conference was rightly killed by greed, science fiction and a surfeit of hot air emitted by the 45,000 delegates, rent-seekers and assorted hangers-on, all of whom attempted to defy common sense and cripple the global economy. 

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who sought to attain some semblance of world statesmanship as a "friend of the chair" appointed by host, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, again demonstrated his lack of diplomatic negotiating skills as conferees failed to agree to a meaningful conclusion. (Piers Akerman, The Sunday Telegraph)

 

Parturient montes: nascetur ridiculus mus

From The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley in Copenhagen

The mountains shall labor, and what will be born? A stupid little mouse. Thanks to hundreds of thousands of US citizens who contacted their elected representatives to protest about the unelected, communistic world government with near-infinite powers of taxation, regulation and intervention that was proposed in early drafts of the Copenhagen Treaty, there is no Copenhagen Treaty. There is not even a Copenhagen Agreement. There is a “Copenhagen Accord”.

The White House spinmeisters spun, and their official press release proclaimed, with more than usual fatuity, that President Obama had “salvaged” a deal at Copenhagen in bilateral talks with China, India, Brazil, and South Africa, which had established a negotiating bloc.

The plainly-declared common position of these four developing nations had been the one beacon of clarity and common sense at the foggy fortnight of posturing and gibbering in the ghastly Copenhagen conference center. (SPPI Blog)

 

Copenhagen climate conference: Britain 'could make biggest emissions cuts'

Britain may leave Copenhagen committed to making the deepest cuts in its carbon emissions of any industrialised nation . 

Gordon Brown is backing a deal that could lead to the UK trying to almost halve its production of greenhouse gases by 2020, something British officials say would have “real costs” for households. (TDT)

Let's not forget what our "dear leaders" tried to do to us.

 

Climate conference ends in discord

The Copenhagen climate conference ended on Saturday without unanimous agreement as the world’s biggest economies backed a limited accord that leaders said would form the basis for a future deal to tackle global warming.

Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary-general, acknowledged that the outcome was “not everything we hoped for” but described it as an “essential beginning” as he brought a close to two weeks of fractious negotiations in the Danish capital.

Talks had continued through Friday night into Saturday morning in a bid to reach consensus on a tentative agreement struck between the US, China and other big emerging economies on cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and financing to help developing countries cope with climate change.

But several developing countries, led by Venezuela and Bolivia, refused to endorse the deal, ensuring that the conference would end without an official agreement. Instead, all 193 countries agreed to “take note of the Copenhagen Accord” without committing to accept it. (Financial Times)

 

This fiasco will further alienate an angry public

I hate to say I told you so, but I have predicted the failure of the Copenhagen summit to agree to binding commitments for over a year.

The Copenhagen fiasco was not just foreseeable, it was inevitable. The inability of the international community to break the climate deadlock reflects the incompatible national interests and demands that divide the west and the rest. This is now a permanent feature in what is likely to become an indefinite moratorium on international climate law-making.

In light of the Copenhagen non-agreement, there will be increased pressure by EU members states to water down unilateral emissions targets that are conditional on an international treaty. Just like Japan, it will be impossible for Europe or, indeed, the UK to continue with policies that are burdening national economies with huge costs and damaging their international competitiveness.

Climate politics face a profound crisis. Revolts among eastern European countries, in Australia and even among Obama's Blue Dog Democrats are forcing law-makers to renounce support for unilateral climate policies. In the UK, the party-political consensus on climate change is unlikely to survive the general elections as both Labour and the Tories are confronted by a growing public backlash against green taxes and rising fuel bills.

However, the biggest losers of the Copenhagen fiasco appear to be climate science and the scientific establishment who, with a very few distinguished exceptions, have promoted unmitigated climate alarm and hysteria. It confirms beyond doubt that most governments have lost trust in the advice given by climate alarmists and the IPCC. The Copenhagen accord symbolises the loss of political power by Europe whose climate policies have been rendered obsolete. (Benny Peiser, The Observer)

I quite like Benny but he really needs to stop quaffing the carbon Kool-Aid. Carbon-dense energy sources are all upside - they are cheap, plentiful and the primary effluent, CO2, supports the biosphere and underpins the global food supply. Sadly it will not make the world measurably warmer (although that would be a plus, too) but use of carbon-dense fuels is good for people, plants and wildlife. Only misanthropists and the misinformed find it problematic.

 

Rant from insane Greens Senator, Bob Brown: Copenhagen collapse shows the power of polluters over politicians

HE collapse in Copenhagen shows the power of the polluters over the politicians. 

The oil, coal and big-resource companies put off the day of action and edged the world further into super-heating.

That means worse drought, bushfires, snow-melt, tropical storm damage and accelerating sea level rises. (Bob Brown, Herald Sun)

 

Beyond Copenhagen: Dialogue, not diktat

As it drifts from the present into the past, the Copenhagen climate change conference looks both better and worse. Worse, because a considered reading of the accord, which was its only tangible output, reveals that it is not just inadequate but in fact utterly empty. Better, because of the novel manner in which this ultimate failure was reached. As the sight of the daily chaos drops out of view, it becomes easier to appreciate that the rich world was forced to haggle with the bigger emerging economies on more equal terms than ever before.

As the dust has settled on the "meaningful agreement" proclaimed late on Friday, it has become plain that it was scarcely an agreement at all. For one thing it was "noted" rather than adopted by the assembly, and for another it contains no commitments with real bite. The gaping hole where emissions targets should have been was immediately apparent, but it took a little longer to spot that seemingly firm pledges on aid were hedged with lawyerly language, and that passages dealing with supposed "easy wins" – such as on forestry – were devoid of all detail. But amid all the multiple omissions in the three pages of waffle that constitute the accord, the most damning of all was a lack of anything firm about what happens next. (The Guardian)

 

GOPenhagen

Not many people showed up to the small side room where a delegation of House Republicans had a news conference Friday afternoon. In general, the GOP team was there to spread the word that the science of climate change is a hoax.

But toward the end, House Energy and Commerce Committee member Fred Upton of Michigan made a remark that, if true, could bring all the work of the Copenhagen conference to a grinding halt.

“I can tell you that if the House had to vote on Waxman-Markey today, it would lose by 50 votes. I can tell you a lot of Democrats, if they had to vote today, would vote the other way,” he said.

Waxman-Markey, of course, is the sweeping climate change bill that passed the House in a dramatic vote in June. It was the first time either chamber of Congress ever passed serious global warming legislation — and it only came after months of negotiations with wary Democrats, leading up to a flurry of arm-twisting in the hours before the vote by President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Even then it only squeaked through with a vote of 219-212, with 44 Democrats voting against it.

Since then, the action on climate change has shifted to the Senate, which has had a starring role at the Copenhagen summit as the rest of the world calls on the chamber to complete legislation and create a U.S. domestic climate change policy. While House Democrats have been welcomed here, the world has paid less attention to the lower chamber as a player, since its work on climate change is already done.

But, of course, it’s not completely done. If the Senate does pass a climate bill, it will have to go to conference with the House bill, and the final product sent to both chambers for yet another vote. And it’s true that with such a close vote the first time around, House passage of a conference report isn’t necessarily guaranteed. If Upton is right, and 50 Democrats voted “no” — which would require vote-switching from just six moderate Democrats who were wary of supporting a climate bill to begin with — that could potentially doom U.S. efforts to pass a climate bill. And that, the world has made clear, will doom efforts to reach a global treaty. (CQ Politics)

 

Vague Copenhagen climate deal could undermine Canadian industry: expert

OTTAWA — The missing details from this week’s international climate change agreement could wind up hitting Canadian industries hard, said the chairman of a government advisory panel on business and environmental issues.

“I see this as a further delay and further uncertainty for business in terms of making investments,” said Robert Page, who chairs the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy. ( Mike De Souza, Canwest News Service)

Giving them certainty is actually quite easy: "The idiotic campaign against carbon is over". There, that wasn't so hard, was it?

 

New climate war looms after Copenhagen

The stage is set for a new war over climate change in Australia after the Copenhagen summit yielded a controversial result and ended in chaos. (AAP)

 

Libs 'vindicated' on ETS, claims Abbott

THE failure of world leaders to strike a legally binding deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions ''entirely vindicates'' the Opposition's decision to reject the Government's emissions trading scheme, Tony Abbott claimed yesterday.

As Australian environmental and business groups last night urged governments to commit to fresh talks early next year, the Opposition Leader said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had been wrong to ''rush Australia into an ill-considered and premature emissions tax''.

''Pretty obviously the best way to go is direct action to tackle climate change rather than a great big tax that will hurt our exporters without actually doing anything to help the environment,'' Mr Abbott said. (The Age)

 

Post-summit forecast not looking good

IT IS difficult to know which is in more trouble after the extraordinary last 24 hours of the Copenhagen climate conference - the environment or multilateralism. Probably the former, but the latter is in bad - some would say irreparable - shape.

Virtually nothing at the summit went right. Put aside the shocking organisation and the terrible food; the failure to agree on a substantial climate change accord in Copenhagen wastes two years of work since the Bali summit and, if not addressed with an increasingly unlikely international treaty in 2010, could mean a return to the pre-Kyoto Protocol days when no countries had binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In climatic terms, this would be potentially opening ourselves up to some of the worst scientific predictions: in Australia, more drought, worsening bushfires, increased deaths due to extreme heat in the summer. (The Age)

 

Clear plan needed for climate

THE Copenhagen summit has ended in disappointment and division. World leaders have reached an agreement including a "target" of limiting future global warming to two degrees Celsius. 

But the deal is not legally binding and contains no decision on the crucial point: exactly how much should we reduce carbon-emissions over the next decade?

That question will be addressed when leaders meet again late next year in Mexico City and The Sunday Telegraph predicts a similar result: plenty of heat and light, and plenty of disappointment. (The Sunday Telegraph)

 

Copenhagen climate summit: plan for EU to police countries' emissions - Gordon Brown is drawing up plans for the European Union to become a global warming "policeman", monitoring individual countries' compliance with carbon-cutting targets.

The plan emerged from the chaotic Copenhagen conference on climate change, which ended in acrimony any mistrust between world leaders.

The summit was unable to reach a substantive deal on cutting greenhouse gases because of a row over how countries would prove that they are honouring promises to cut their carbon emissions. China in particular objected to any external monitoring of its actions.

Mr Brown and French President Nicholas Sarkozy now are working proposals for a "European monitoring organisation" that will oversee every country's actions on emissions. (TDT)

 

Life in a box

“Life in a box is better than no life at all,” playwright Tom Stoppard famously opined, through the personage of Rosencrantz. (Or was it Guildenstern?) That’s lucky for us, because our energy, environmental and economic policies have certainly put us in a box – and there is no easy way out.

Congress passed a $787-billion “stimulus” bill, and a $3-billion cash-for-clunkers program that trashed perfectly good cars, and the energy and raw materials that created them. It’s halfway toward imposing nationalized healthcare that could cost taxpayers another $2.5 trillion over the next decade. Unemployment now stands at 10.2% officially, or 22% if you include people who have given up on finding a job. At this point, 25 states have borrowed $23 billion from the Federal Unemployment Trust Fund, to meet their obligations to employment-deprived workers.

Meanwhile, over in Copenhagen, the G-77 poor nations snubbed Europe’s offer of $10 billion over three years, for climate change reparation, mitigation and adaptation. “The world’s scientists and policy makers say this is the greatest risk humanity has ever faced,” G-77 chairman Lumumba Di-Aiping noted. Something closer to $1 trillion every few years would be more appropriate, he suggested.

That’s in addition to regular foreign aid – and on top of the $50 trillion in life support for corrupt dictators that the developed world has already provided to still-impoverished nations since 1950.

In response, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dutifully pledged that the United States will importune taxpayers, private donors and other countries to raise $100 billion annually through 2020, to help poor nations cope with the “ravages” of global warming – or our current “CO2-driven” global cooling. She claims the money will be provided only if China and other major developing countries agree to binding emission targets that can be verified internationally (a condition that they have steadfastly rejected).

But of course, neither Di-Aiping nor Clinton wants to remind anyone of a few elephantine realities. This “greatest risk humanity has ever faced” is based on fraudulent claims, data, models, analyses and peer reviews. The proposed 83% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050 would send the United States back to levels last seen in 1908 – or 1868 when population, energy use and technology changes are considered. (Paul Driessen, Townhall)

 

An early Xmas present: AGW loons return from Denmark as sore losers

It seems that the Copenhagen summit is finally over. It ended with a vague, non-binding declaration which almost coincides with the document I posted yesterday morning. Because the document is so unimportant, I don't really think that you have to investigate which words have changed a bit.



Nevertheless, most third-world countries have disagreed even with this modest outcome. So the U.N. will only say it has "taken note of" the declaration but it won't dare to put it to vote because everyone knows it couldn't be adopted by the required consensus (given the fact that e.g. Sudan considers the agreement to be equivalent to the Holocaust).

I think and hope that this Copenhagen failure is the beginning of the end of the AGW hysteria in the realm of politics. The Danish capital was effectively able to cope'n'hang (with) the political ambitions of the AGW champions. The key facts behind the dynamics of the "action against climate change" are not hard to understand.

Outsourcing vs suppressing economy

The third-world countries have only endorsed the Kyoto Protocol because it only brought them advantages but no obligations or expenses. Obviously, they will only endorse a new framework that effectively reproduces the advantages of Kyoto.

Most of the sensible people in the richer countries have understood that the only possible effect of the Kyoto arrangement was that some factories and other economic activity has been moved from them to the third-world countries.

» Don't Stop Reading »

 

Climate deal highlights U.N. flaws

COPENHAGEN - A weak U.N. climate deal, agreed on Saturday after two weeks of talks pulled back from near collapse, underscored the vulnerability of a process depending on consensus and may mark a diminishing U.N. role.

The principal negotiations took place among about 30 countries and the biggest breakthrough involved just five -- the United States, China, Brazil, South Africa and India.

The final deal was not legally binding and left it for countries to choose to participate -- all but four or five were expected to do so -- marking a departure from its umbrella U.N. climate convention.

"I don't think it's the end of the U.N.'s climate role but it's a new model inside of it," said Jennifer Morgan, director of the World Resource Institute's climate and energy program. (Reuters)

 

After Copenhagen: Time for Plan B - Statement by The Global Warming Policy Foundation

LONDON, 20 December 2009 - It is now widely recognised that the misguided Copenhagen Conference was a complete failure. Those political leaders and policy makers who refuse to accept this reality are merely burying their heads in the sand and are forfeiting the trust of the public.

"The Copenhagen fiasco was inevitable because the basic approach of current climate policy is fundamentally wrong. The deadlock provides policy makers with an opportunity to recognise that the failure was not accidental but systemic. There must therefore be no more futile conferences with this failed agenda," said Lord Lawson, the Chairman of the GWPF.

Following the failure to agree any binding targets and deadlines at Copenhagen, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) welcomes this opportunity to abandon the UN's inherently flawed approach to climate change. Instead, governments would be well advised to adopt a new policy approach that shifts the focus of future negotiations to adaptation to global temperature change, whatever its direction, and to an agenda aimed at helping to increase the resilience of both advanced and poorer countries to such change. (GWPF)

 

Sharon Begley: Good Riddance to Copenhagen - Can we now try climate talks that actually have a chance of working?

That sound you'll hear in 2010 is a can being kicked down the road. Again. In the wake of the failure of the international negotiations in Copenhagen to reach a legally binding treaty to reduce greenhouse gases, you'll hear a lot of talk about how the world has two good chances in the new year to achieve what it failed to do at Copenhagen. Don't believe it.

Yes, we will have Copenhagen Redux during international negotiating sessions in June (probably in Bonn) and November (Mexico City). But these meetings are unlikely to achieve anything more than Copenhagen did. In the meeting that ended Dec. 18, despite all-night talks and an 11th-hour plea by President Obama, all we got was a "political" agreement, which is basically just a promise to keep talking and try really, really hard to agree to a treaty in 2010. Negotiators dropped the pretense that a binding accord would be reached next year, and a White House official conceded that the paltry accord "is not sufficient to combat the threat of climate change." The best chance of reining in emissions of greenhouse gases and avoiding dangerous climate change is to stamp a big green R.I.P. over the sprawling United Nations process that the Copenhagen talks were part of. (Newsweek)

Well, Begley is right in that we should put the UN, UNFCC, IPCC (and the rest of the misbegotten UN alphabet soup) out of everyone's misery.

 

And you thought it was fractious down-under before Nohopenhagen:

 

Rudd's the biggest loser

There are few national leaders in the world who had more at stake in Copenhagen last week than Kevin Rudd. He and his government managed to manoeuvre themselves into having the most to lose if things didn’t pan out – apart from the government of Denmark.

And pan out is what Copenhagen did not do. The Chinese delegation went home elated, popping champagne in the Peoples’ 747, while a bedraggled Kevin Rudd and Penny Wong would have sat miserably with their seat belts firmly buckled, glum-faced and barely speaking, thinking about having to face a euphoric Tony Abbott.

It seems only yesterday that Climate Change Minister Penny Wong emerged from negotiating with Opposition Energy spokesman Ian Macfarlane declaring “peace in our time”, with predictions of a rapid passage of the CPRS legislation and, at last, certainty for businesses.

Since then, Macfarlane and his boss Malcolm Turnbull have been turfed out in a coup by the anti-appeasers, and the carnival in Copenhagen that was supposed to support the emergence of emissions trading schemes everywhere turned into a circus instead. (Alan Kohler, Business Spectator)

 

Rudd Government will try again for ETS tax

THE Rudd Government will press ahead with its plan to put a price tag on carbon pollution even though the leaders of other nations refused to reach a legally binding agreement on reducing global warming in Copenhagen. (Sue Dunlevy, The Daily Telegraph)

 

Abbott still wants 'big ETS debate' with Rudd

The Federal Opposition has renewed its call for a national debate on the Government's emissions trading scheme in light of the Copenhagen summit outcome. (Australian Broadcasting Corp.)

 

Rudd fails on climate change: Abbott

The Copenhagen conference on climate change has been a "comprehensive failure" for the prime minister, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says. (AAP)

 

Copenhagen hands Kevin Rudd an emissions trading scheme dilemma

THE Rudd government faces a dramatically more difficult task in selling its emissions trading scheme as a result of the weak result from the Copenhagen conference, which has delayed critical decisions on national targets and international timelines. 

The government has now conceded it will not be able to set its own emissions-reduction target until February at the earliest.

That complicates its attack on Tony Abbott's "direct action" climate plan, which is based on trying to prove that it would be a more expensive, less efficient way to meet the national target.

The failure of Copenhagen to set clear timetables or targets will strengthen the Opposition Leader's claim that Copenhagen was always a false deadline for the passage of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

Mr Abbott yesterday described the final outcome of the talks as an "unmitigated disaster" for Kevin Rudd and a vindication of the opposition's anti-ETS position. (The Australian)

 

Tony Abbott argues for climate change re-think by Kevin Rudd

THE weaker-than-expected climate deal in Copenhagen means Kevin Rudd should go back to the drawing board with Australia's scheme to cut carbon emissions, Tony Abbott argued yesterday. (Courier-Mail)

 

Weak outcome a boost for Abbott

Copenhagen's wishy-washy outcome is a boost for Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and a setback for the Prime Minister, as they look to an election year in which climate policy will be a core issue.

A strong agreement would have given Kevin Rudd backing for his decision to bring back rewritten emissions trading legislation in February. At a personal level, a successful conference would have been a diplomatic plus for Rudd, who was a ''friend of the chair''.

Instead, the minimal progress, with eyes shifting to yet another conference some time next year, has made it easier for Abbott to maintain that other ways to cut emissions are better than a ''great big new tax''.

Rudd so hyped the need to get his scheme through before Copenhagen that, now the conference has ended with only a weak ''accord'', people will be inclined to say, ''So what was the hurry? And why rush now?''. (Michelle Grattan, SMH)

 

Labor's push for ETS discredited: Hunt

Labor's argument for emissions trading has been discredited after world leaders failed to reach a binding climate deal at Copenhagen, the federal opposition says. (AAP)

 

Business calls for carbon plan rethink to cut greenhouse emissions

BUSINESS groups have called for a rethink of the Rudd government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, after the Copenhagen climate change talks failed to set targets or timetables to cut greenhouse gases. 

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Peter Anderson yesterday called for a cost-benefit analysis of the CPRS, compared with Tony Abbott's direct action approach to cutting emissions.

"Copenhagen tells us that finding workable responses that are fair to our economic as well as environmental goals is what is necessary," Mr Anderson said, amplifying calls he made for a rethink of the CPRS after it was defeated in the Senate last month.

"We now have the green light from the global community to undertake a cost-benefit analysis of what Australian industry is already doing, of the government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme versus the direct action ideas the Abbott-led Coalition might come up with, and versus other options or policy mixes comparable nations might develop." (The Australian)

 

Global Wealth Can Heal the Planet

As the Copenhagen climate summit comes to close, it seems fair to say that rarely has a gathering of so many doing so little gotten so much attention. But Copenhagen does have its uses. For starters, it reminds us that environmentalism continues to be a cover for uglier agendas.

Bolivian president Evo Morales was interviewed by Al Jazeera television while in Copenhagen. "The principal obstacle to combating climate change is capitalism," he explained. "Until we put an end to capitalism, it will continue to be a big obstacle for life and humanity."

Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe proclaimed in a speech: "When these capitalist gods of carbon burp and belch their dangerous emissions, it's we, the lesser mortals of the developing sphere, who gasp and sink and eventually die."

Right. That is, unless Mugabe kills them first. (Jonah Goldberg, Townhall)

 

After Copenhagen, It’s Still About Physics, Math, and Money

Now that big climate confab in Copenhagen is ending, it’s time to refocus our attention on the issues that matter most when it comes to energy and carbon dioxide: physics, math, and money. [Read More] (Robert Bryce, Energy Tribune)

 

Debating Climate Change on Stossel: Economics to the Fore

Last week, I appeared on the premier of John Stossel’s new show on Fox Business – a show titled (appropriately enough) Stossel.  The topic was global warming and, happily, I had an hour (well, actually only about 43 minutes once you subtract out the commercials) to discuss the issue with John and members of the studio audience.  If you missed the show, you can catch it here.

My arguments on Stossel tracked those offered here at MasterResource last month.  In short, I had no interest in engaging in a debate about the physical science of natural versus anthropogenic climate change.

I was entirely interested in the implications for public policy if we accept the most recent IPCC report at face value.  I think it’s quite interesting that even if one accepts the common definition of what constitutes “mainstream science” on this issue that one is still hard pressed to put forward a defensible mitigation scheme.

Alas, my inbox suggests that a number of people who watched the show thought I was too willing to accept the contention that there has been warming and that man likely has a lot to do with it.  Instead, a number of Fox viewers wanted me to launch World War III over the climate record. 

I didn’t for two reasons.  First, I am not a scientist and am more comfortable leaving that debate to those engaged fully in that field.  I know that this doesn’t stop a lot of people from holding forth regardless, but it stops me.  Second, one can be correct about the climate history being short of what Al Gore or Michael Mann make it out to be without being correct about the contention that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions has little to do with the warming at present.  For some reason, that’s an impossible point for many people to grasp. [Read more →] (Jerry Taylor, Master Resource)

 

Copenhagen: Meeting carbon reduction targets 'implausible' anti-tax group claims

MEETING the carbon emission targets under discussion at Copenhagen could require Britain to shrink its economy by almost one-third, a lobby group claimed last night.
The TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA), a group that campaigns against taxes and government policies, said Gordon Brown's offer of a 42 per cent cut in UK greenhouse gases by 2020 clashes with his policy of seeking rapid economic growth to escape the recessi on and restore the public finances.

In order to achieve the ambitious target, Britain would have to undergo "a recession of unprecedented ferocity", said Matthew Sinclair, research director at the group. In a report, he claimed technological advances needed to achieve deep reductions in Britain's "carbon intensity" – the tonnes of emitted for each £1 million of GDP – will not be available by the end of the next decade.

And he said this means the only way of meeting the target would be to cut the expected size of the economy by 30 per cent – or just over £500 billion. (The Scotsman)

 

Editorial: Freeze global warming regulations

Coming from Hollywood may explain Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's disconnect with reality. In the real world, saying so doesn't make it so. In Copenhagen this week, he made the astonishing claim that the Golden State is evidence we need not choose between a clean environment and economic growth because: "We've proved that over and over again in California."

Environmental well-being and economic vitality need not conflict. But California is far from proof. The state under Mr. Schwarzenegger is an economic mess, largely thanks to taxes and government regulations. The governor's pet environmental projects are chief culprits. (The Orange County Register)

 

Czech President Klaus: Global Warming Not Science, but a 'New Religion'

As the Copenhagen Climate conference comes to a conclusion amidst riots by demonstrators and scrambling by policymakers, Czech President Vaclav Klaus has a message for the world: Global warming is a "new religion," not a science. (Gene Koprowski, FOXNews.com)

 

Reaffirmation of faith: Reaffirming climate science

The conclusion that our planet is warming thanks to human activity must not be forgotten amid discussion of research ethics, say climatologists Hans von Storch and Myles Allen. (Nature)

Really? One thing is clear, atmospheric temperature variation has no apparent relation to trivially increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels:

It isn't even clear from satellite data that we are in a long term trend.

 

UAH MSU: temperatures for 2009 and ranking

Looking at UAH daily temperatures, one can estimate the temperature anomaly for December 2009.

In average, the first 17 days of December 2009 were 0.10 °C warmer than the same days in 2008. The "2009 minus 2008" differences for the month are

{7, 12, 22, 26, 34, 34, 17, 2, -1, 2, 1, -3, 1, 3, 3, -3, 7, f, f, f, f, f, f, f, f, f, f, f, f, f, f}
in units of 0.01 °C. Because the December 2008 UAH anomaly was just 0.18 °C, the December 2009 anomaly will be 0.28 °C plus minus 0.05 °C (standard deviation of my estimate).

To summarize, the 2009 monthly UAH anomalies are
{0.3, 0.35, 0.21, 0.09, 0.05, 0.01, 0.42, 0.23, 0.42, 0.29, 0.5, 0.28}
and their average is 0.263 °C plus minus 0.005 °C which is statistically indistinguishable from 2006.



The annual UAH anomalies from 1995 to 2009 are:

» Don't Stop Reading » (The Reference Frame)

 

A lot of tap dancing going on: Global temperature slowdown — not an end to climate change - A decade of little rise in global temperatures

In 1998 the world experienced the warmest year since records began. In the decade since, however, this high point has not been surpassed. Some have seized on this as evidence that global warming has stopped, or even that we have entered a period of ‘global cooling’. This is far from the truth and climate scientists have, in fact, recognised that a temporary slowdown in warming is possible even under increasing levels of greenhouse gas emissions. (UK Met Office)

 

Rudd’s carbon cops

No, it’s not a parody. Kevin Rudd really is creating a force of carbon cops:

REFORMS TO ENHANCE POLICE CAPABILITY

18 December 2009

Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O’Connor, today announced significant administrative reforms to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) as part of the government’s response to the Federal Audit of Police Capabilities…

The major areas of reform include:

a new funding structure providing flexibility to meet existing and emerging priorities including: counter-terrorism; serious and organised crime, including e-security crime; border protection; overseas deployments and peace keeping; criminal law enforcement in business regulation; and support to the enforcement of the anticipated Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme

Excuse me, sir, but do you have a licence to breathe? (Andrew Bolt)

 

Who could ever confuse this lot with a "science group"? Science Group Urges Rep. Sensenbrenner to Stop Attacking Scientists

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) posted a question to the National Journal's Copenhagen Insider blog that repeated discredited information about emails stolen from the Clamtic Research Unit at East Anglia University. (sic) Rep. Sensenbrenner also repeated an attack on the scientists who had their emails stolen, accusing them of engaging in "scientific fascism." Alden Meyer, the Union of Concerned Scientists' Strategy and Policy Director, attempted to set Rep. Sensenbrenner straight on the blog and urged him to stop his attacks on scientists, which he calls "wrong and dangerous." (Press release)

BTW, they mean the University of East Anglia (UEA)'s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) (who knows what a " Clamtic Research Unit" might be - the study of nervous mollusks, perhaps?).

 

Comment On Tom Karl’s Interview In The Washington Post

There is an interview of Tom Karl, Director of the National Climate Data Center titled Global warming: What the science tells us. His responses repeat his advocacy position that he has presented in other venues.

However, I want to highlight what one of his answers which is quite a dishonest response.

The question and answer are

Silver Spring, Md.: Hello,

“Many people imply that the CRU temperature data are the exclusive or principal basis for climate change predictions. Please identify some key studies that do not rely heavily on CRU data, and their conclusions. Thanks.”

Thomas R. Karl: Hi there – thanks for the question. In fact, there are other global temperature datasets that are calculated by other institutions. For example, NASA calculates an independent global temperature dataset, as does NOAA (here at National Climatic Data Center). The analysis techniques for each of these datasets are all independent of each other and yet they all come to the same conclusion: that global warming is unequivocal….”

This is a dishonest answer and Tom Karl knows it. The NASA data set and the CRU data sets are not independent of the NCDC data set.

I have discussed the interdependence of the data sets in recent posts (e.g. see and see ).

Tom Karl has  even conveniently ignored the text from the CCSP 1.1. report [of which Tom Karl was the Chief Editor!];  i.e.

In the report “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences Final Report, Synthesis and Assessment Product 1.1” on page 32 it is written

“The global surface air temperature data sets used in this report are to a large extent based on data readily exchanged internationally, e.g., through CLIMAT reports and the WMO publication Monthly Climatic Data for the World. Commercial and other considerations prevent a fuller exchange, though the United States may be better represented than many other areas. In this report, we present three global surface climate records, created from available data by NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies [GISS], NOAA National Climatic Data Center [NCDC], and the cooperative project of the U.K. Hadley Centre and the Climate Research Unit [CRU]of the University of East Anglia (HadCRUT2v).”

These three analyses are led by Tom Karl (NCDC), Jim Hansen (GISS) and Phil Jones (CRU).

The differences between the three global surface temperatures  that occur are a result of the analysis methodology as used by each of the three groups…… This is further explained on page  48 of the CCSP report where it is written with respect to the surface temperature data (as well as the other temperature data sets) that

“The data sets are distinguished from one another by differences in the details of their construction.”

On page 50 it is written

“Currently, there are three main groups creating global analyses of surface temperature (see Table 3.1), differing in the choice of available data that are utilized as well as the manner in which these data are synthesized.”

and

“Since the three chosen data sets utilize many of the same raw observations, there is a degree of interdependence.”

The chapter then states on page 51 that

“While there are fundamental differences in the methodology used to create the surface data sets, the differing techniques with the same data produce almost the same results (Vose et al., 2005a). The small differences in deductions about climate change derived from the surface data sets are likely to be due mostly to differences in construction methodology and global averaging procedures.”

and thus, to no surprise,  it is concluded that

“Examination of the three global surface temperature anomaly time series (TS) from 1958 to the present shown in Figure 3.1 reveals that the three time series have a very high level of agreement.”

There are also other major unresolved issues with the surface data sets of NCDC, NASA and CRU which Tom Karl continues to ignore; e.g. see

 Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, D. Niyogi, S. Fall, J. Steinweg-Woods, K. Hubbard, X. Lin, M. Cai, Y.-K. Lim, H. Li, J. Nielsen-Gammon, K. Gallo, R. Hale, R. Mahmood, S. Foster, R.T. McNider, and P. Blanken, 2007: Unresolved issues with the assessment of multi-decadal global land surface temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D24S08, doi:10.1029/2006JD008229

and

Recommended Reading Of An Article By Joe D’Aleo On The Lack Of Quality Of The Long Term Surface Temperature Trend Data Set Over Land

Tom Karl has a serious conflict of interest, as I have documented in these posts

Do The CRU E-Mails Provide Further Documentation Of A Conflict Of Interest In The Preparation Of A CCSP Climate Assessment Report?

E-mail Documentation Of The Successful Attempt By Thomas Karl Director Of the U.S. National Climate Data Center To Suppress Biases and Uncertainties In the Assessment Surface Temperature Trends

He also keeps showing his lack of knowledge of climate science; e.g. see

Erroneous Climate Science Statement By Tom Karl, Director Of The National Climate Data Center And President Of The American Meteorological Society

Tom Karl has clearly demonstrated that he is an advocate and is presenting  erroneous information on the robustness of the surface temperature data record as a metric to assess multi-decadal surface temperature trends. We need a new Director of the National Climate Data Center who will provide policymakers with an accurate balanced monitoring of the climate system. (Climate Science)

 

Another Paper On Soot In The Himalayas “Black Carbon Aerosols And The Third Polar Ice Cap” By Menon Et Al 2009

There is another paper on the role of soot in the climate system in the Himalayas (thanks to Jos de Laat for alerting us to it!).  The paper is

S. Menon, D. Koch, G. Beig, S. Sahu, J. Fasullo, and D. Orlikowski, 2009:Black carbon aerosols and the third polar ice cap. Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 26593-26625, 2009
www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/9/26593/2009/ © Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

The abstract reads

“Recent thinning of glaciers over the Himalayas (sometimes referred to as the third polar region) have raised concern on future water supplies since these glaciers supply water to large river systems that support millions of people inhabiting the surrounding areas. Black carbon (BC) aerosols, released from incomplete combustion, have been increasingly implicated as causing large changes in the hydrology and radiative forcing over Asia and its deposition on snow is thought to increase snow melt. In India BC from biofuel combustion is highly prevalent and compared to other regions, BC aerosol amounts are high. Here, we quantify the impact of BC aerosols on snow cover and precipitation from 1990 to 2010 over the Indian subcontinental region using two different BC emission inventories. New estimates indicate that Indian BC from coal and biofuel are large and transport is expected to expand rapidly in coming years. We show that over the Himalayas, from 1990 to 2000, simulated snow/ice cover decreases by ~0.9% due to aerosols. The contribution of the enhanced Indian BC to this decline is ~30%, similar to that simulated for 2000 to 2010. Spatial patterns of modeled changes in snow cover and precipitation are similar to observations (from 1990 to 2000), and are mainly obtained with the newer BC estimates.” (Climate Science)

 

New Editorial “Land-Use/Land-Cover Change And Its Impacts” By Niyogi Et Al 2009

There is an editorial in a new issue of Boundary Layer Meteorology by three internationally well respected climate scientists that supports the need to include landscape change in the assessment of climate. The article concludes with the text

“Based on the results from these articles we call for a more deliberate inclusion of LULCC and its impacts in future weather, climate, and climate change related studies.”

The editorial is

Dev Niyogi , Rezaul Mahmood and Jimmy O. Adegoke, 2009: Land-Use/Land-Cover Change and Its Impacts on Weather and Climate. Boundary Layer Meteorology. Volume 133, Number 3 / December, 2009. DOI 10.1007/s10546-009-9437-8 (Climate Science)

 

Professors say sea levels sensitive to warmth

Two degrees may be all that distinguish a thriving coastal city from a deluged ghost town, according to a study led by University researchers that was the basis for an article in Wednesday’s issue of Nature.

Conducted by a team of Princeton and Harvard scientists, the study, called “Probabilistic Assessment of Sea Level During the Last Interglacial Stage,” concludes that even moderate global warming could lead to a rapid rise in the global sea level, submerging New Orleans and areas along the East Coast of the United States.

Princeton contributors to the article included geosciences professors Frederik Simons and Adam Maloof, geosciences and Wilson School professor Michael Oppenheimer and Robert Kopp, a postdoctoral researcher in the Wilson School.

According to the paper, a two degree rise could raise the sea level between 20 and 30 feet, which would flood parts of Bangladesh and the Netherlands. Though that process would likely take several centuries to finish, the researchers claim that if greenhouse gas emissions remain constant, then the planet could be irrecoverably put down that path. (Daily Princetonian)

 

Sceptical climate researcher won't divulge key program

A physicist whose work is often highlighted by climate-change sceptics is refusing to provide the software he used to other climate researchers attempting to replicate his results.

Nicola Scafetta, a physicist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, has published a series of papers over the past few years that suggest the sun played a much bigger role in warming over the 20th century than is generally accepted. In particular, one 2006 paper he co-authored concluded that: "The sun might have contributed approximately 50 per cent of the observed global warming since 1900" (Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1029/2006GL027142).

This paper has been widely cited by those seeking to cast doubt on the scientific consensus on the cause of climate change, including US senator James Inhofe. Scafetta has also contributed to a book that claimed that "carbon dioxide probably is not the driving factor behind climate change".

Many researchers in the field (PDF), however, regard Scafetta's scientific papers on the sun's role in global warming as incorrect, despite their publication in peer-reviewed journals. (New Scientist)

 

Obviously not going to happen: The cost of our Copenhagen promise

The Copenhagen agreement to work towards keeping the global temperature rise below two degrees centigrade means that the Rudd government’s ETS target for 2020 is too weak.

Legislating the ETS before the Copenhagen conference, as demanded by the government, would have imposed a policy designed to fail.

Instead of aiming to cut national emissions by just under 140 million tonnes by 2020, the Rudd government now needs to target cuts of around 250 million tonnes.

This will require closure of about half the existing coal-fired electricity generation in Australia, an activity that currently burns 57 million tonnes of black coal and 70 million tonnes of brown coal every year.

Doing so will require replacing about 10,000 MW of black coal plant and a large part of the 7,300 MW of brown coal plant. Achieving this will require building a bigger combined cycle gas power station than the Origin Energy Darling Downs plant in Queensland every year in addition to capacity needed to meet electricity demand growth and the 8,000 MW of wind farms required by the RET.

Darling Downs, the biggest of its kind in the country, will be commissioned in 2010, with 630 MW capacity, at a cost of $780 million. It has taken three years to build.

Pursuing a national task of these dimensions will also require a substantial investment in new gas production. Only natural gas is available to fuel commercially viable replacement for coal power in the short to medium term.

As the gas industry has pointed out many times, a carbon charge of about $20 per tonne will be needed to make the investment viable. (Keith Orchison, Business Spectator)

 

WORKERS UNITED

Sod off, swampy:

Coal power station workers this morning tried to run down protesters picketing against climate change in Collie.

A group of anti-coal demonstrators waving placards, banners and a blow-up dinosaur in front of the Muja power station were targeted by some workers arriving for the early morning shift …

This morning, [protesters] moved to the town’s main power station to try and talk to staff about the dangers of climate change and to persuade them not to work.

According to Climate Camp organiser Emma McIntyre, this tactic was unsuccessful:

Some of the workers tried to drive into people, some stopped and talked, but they all went into work Ms McIntyre said.

Her response:

“We are now deciding what to do this afternoon but there is talk of a mass walk through town.”

No! NO! Not the MASS WALK THROUGH TOWN!

UPDATE. Another swampy smackdown:

It was the slap heard ‘round the coalfields: Cordelia Ruth Tucker, wearing the fluorescent-striped shirt of a miner, strode past West Virginia state troopers and into a stream of marchers protesting mountaintop removal mining to deliver an audible smack.

The 54-year-old Rock Creek woman isn’t talking as she awaits trial on a battery charge. Her neighbor, environmental activist Judy Bonds, says she was on the receiving end of the slap.

(Tim Blair)

 

Shale gas – a fossil fuel with a future

"Everybody knows that this is a game changer," says Aubrey McClendon, chief executive of the $16bn (£10bn) Chesapeake Energy Corporation, the largest independent producer of shale gas in the US. (TDT)

 

This may be the most misinformation in a single sentence that we have ever seen: Clear-Cutting the Truth About Trees

THE Copenhagen climate-change summit meeting is behind us, and did not achieve what was hoped for. There was no lack of good intentions, but they generated conflicts rather than solutions, and the product was a weak agreement to disagree in the future. Forests were part of the discussion, and several things were understood: carbon dioxide is a potentially world-altering lethal pollutant, fossil fuels are the problem, biofuels are part of the solution. But exactly how to pare down the use of fossil fuels and switch to energy sources derived from plant material? That is the problem. (Bernd Heinrich, NYT)

Um, wow! In fact atmospheric carbon dioxide is an essential trace gas and not a "pollutant" at all; fossil fuels have saved more human lives and more wildlife and wildlands than all the greenies and do-gooders that ever have and ever will exist (think of the amount of grazing land, hay and grain crops that would be required to replace tractors with beasts of burden) and; biofuels are an inefficient retro step to the low-density fuels of the past, which were definitely responsible for the sudden spike in grain prices that so harmed impoverished people. No wonder such woeful misanthropic pap found a home in The Crone.

 

India moves ahead with an ambitious nuclear program to combat global warming

More evidence is emerging that the Nuclear Power Corp. of India (NPCIL) is planning to finance future nuclear construction through debt financing. Both local and international sources will be tapped. NPCIL plans to raise at least $6.5 billion from local sources, and another 3 billion euros from international lenders. Local funding will also include equity from NPCIL and at least three Indian partners. Three Billion is being raised locally to finance 4 locally designed 700 MW PHWRs. Another $3.5 billion is being sought to pay for 2 larger Russian PWRs to be built at Kudankulam. In addition equity financing for Indian Nuclear development is expected to come from Large Indian businesses, including the Oil Corporation of India, The National Aluminium Company, and NTCPL. (Energy Collective)

 

How bad is it?

The bad news is that Senator Ben Nelson is not up for reelection until 2012.

The good news is that today, December 19, 2009, is the day we got clarity on the Obama-Pelosi-Reid effort to steal medical care and call it “reform.”

I hope that Ben enjoys his final two years in the Senate.

OK, that’s not quite right. Since it was Ben Nelson of Nebraska that finally got Harry Reid his desperately needed 60th vote for socialized medicine, I hope 1) that the next two year are unpleasant for Sen. Nelson and 2) that he loses in 2012 by a landslide.

I’m still not being entirely candid. Nelson is a pathetic pawn in this game. He’s history and I hope he has plans for a new day job. He’ll need ‘em.

The really bad news is that the American people are just about to find that their medical care got a whole lot worse and a whole lot more expensive and cumbersome.

Why? Because, as Senator Mitch McConnell put it, “This bill is a monstrosity. This is not renaming the post office. Make no mistake — this bill will reshape our nation and our lives.”

And how. (Roger Kimball, PJM)

 

History or Travesty, Health Care Reform Becoming a Reality

Whenever politicians start bandying about the word "historic" to describe something they've just done, grab your wallet and lock up the silver.

Whenever politicians start bandying about the word “historic” to describe something they’ve just done, grab your wallet and lock up the silver. Chances are, the only thing “historic” they’ve accomplished is in coming up with a more unique and inefficient way to separate the taxpayer’s hard-earned coin from his person. (Rick Moran, PJM)

 

And they call US spin doctors? Part 4 of 6 - The consequences of misinformation: How the New York Times worked with an activist group to mislead the nation

In 2002 a relatively unknown study about consumer perceptions of food safety was published (1). In it, three researchers discovered a startling point: Given the choice between information delivered by experts and views offered by activists, consumers overwhelmingly sided with negative information, despite the credibility, or lack thereof, of the source.

The study went like this: A sampled audience was given descriptions about the process of food irradiation to examine the effects of how the information was presented. Participants were grouped into ten groups of six to twelve. Each participant received a neutral description of food irradiation based on current scientific literature. Some groups received additional positive information from a consumer education association, other groups received negative information from a consumer advocacy group and finally, the rest of the groups received both the positive and negative information about food irradiation.

The results showed that “even though the scientific evidence is favorable, claims by opponents, even if they are inaccurate and only suggest potential risks, will tend to reduce consumer demand” (p. 192). Negative information, in other words, dominated the test subjects’ perceptions leading to changed perceptions of food irradiation that disfavored the scientific information.

The researchers concluded:

“The surprising result is that when we presented both positive and negative information simultaneously, the negative information clearly dominated. This was true even though the source of the negative information was identified as being a consumer advocacy group and the information itself was written in a manner that was non-scientific.”

The public, therefore, is more easily swayed by emotional appeals and potentially misleading or incorrect information from non-scientific sources even when expressed simultaneously with scientific information. (TheGoodTheBadTheSpin)

 

Flu pandemic may change US flu approach forever

WASHINGTON - The swine flu pandemic may have changed the U.S. approach to handling influenza forever, and for the better, U.S. officials said on Thursday.

While they said years of work were needed before vaccine production was up to the desired standard, some experiments such as vaccinating children in schools might work to help control seasonal influenza.

But there are still holes in the public health system that will take years to patch, and communication with the public could use a bit more polishing, they acknowledged.

"We still don't have the domestic capacity to make as much (flu vaccine) as we need as fast as we need it," Nicole Lurie, assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the Health and Human Services Department, told a news conference.

She said HHS had been forced by the H1N1 pandemic to work closely with state and local health officials to monitor the virus and deploy drugs and vaccines.

"I actually think our nation's preparedness, our seasonal flu efforts and so on, will never be the same," Lurie said. (Reuters Life!)

 

Testing group data shows swine flu waning in US

WASHINGTON - Results from flu tests show the pandemic of swine flu is definitely on the downswing in the United States, researchers at Quest Diagnostics said on Friday.

The report supports what U.S. health officials have said - the H1N1 is ebbing across much of the United States, having reached a second peak in October.

"Children ages 5 to 14 continue to experience the highest percentage of H1N1 positive test results compared to negative results, with a positivity rate close to 40 percent. By comparison, nearly 80 percent of children in this age group tested positive for the virus in late October," Quest said in a statement.

The company analyzed 170,000 flu tests taken between May and December to map out two peaks in the U.S. epidemic -- one in April and one at the end of October.

"Between this peak week and December 9, testing rates fell by 75 percent. In the most recent week reported, December 9, testing rates were equivalent to volumes experienced in late August, when the second wave began," the company said. (Reuters)

 

Video: Spending is the Real Problem

The Cato Institute’s Dan Mitchell and the Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation, have produced videos explaining why Keynesian economics is wrong, presenting the evidence that big government hurts economic growth, explaining how big government hurts economic growthmaking the case against the Value Added Tax, and detailing the real fiscal cost of Obamacare.

Now Mitchell is back demonstrating that wile Deficits are Bad, but the Real Problem is Spending. Watch:

Be sure to check out The Heritage Federal Revenue and Spending Book of Charts for more great anti-federal spending resources, including: Continue reading… (The Foundry)

 

High Court Rejects Challenge to NRA’s Signature Law

In 2005, the National Rifle Association of America enacted a law that probably saved the American gun-making industry from bankruptcy. And just this last week, the Supreme Court rejected a constitutional challenge to this landmark legislation, ensuring this law stays on the books to preserve America’s culture of lawful firearm ownership.

For years, opponents of the Second Amendment sought to eliminate gun rights by eliminating guns. Anti-gun groups, working with big-city mayors like Michael Bloomberg of New York City, devised a scheme to rid America of firearms.

They filed product liability suits, alleging that firearm manufacturers should be held liable for any injury caused by a firearm. And not just a gun made by that particular gun-maker; the suits go after every gun-maker for every gun injury. ( Ken Klukowski, Townhall)

 

Blacks Have Less 'Bad Fat' Than Whites - It's a puzzle, because less visceral fat should mean less obesity-linked disease, experts say

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 -- Blacks tend to carry around less of a particularly unhealthy type of abdominal fat than whites, even though they suffer more from obesity-linked illness, researchers report.

The new finding suggests that body-mass index (BMI) guidelines may need to be tailored to specific racial groups to better reflect risk, experts say. (HealthDay News)

 

Preschoolers in Child Care Centers Not Active Enough

(Dec. 18, 2009) — Many young children in child care centers are not getting as much active playtime as they should, according to new research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (ScienceDaily)

 

Santa's a Health Menace? Media Everywhere Are Falling for It—But the Study Was Meant as a Joke

Ashley Merryman 

Courtesy of Brendan Halyday

Around the world, news outlets have been reporting on a new study in BMJ, the U.K.'s leading medical journal. In the article, titled "Santa Claus: A Public Health Pariah?," Australian epidemiologist Nathan Grills meticulously lays out the reasons why Santa Claus is a terrible role model—a danger to children everywhere. 

For instance, Grills writes, "Epidemiologically there is a correlation between countries that venerate Santa Claus and those that have high levels of childhood obesity." The researcher warns that the British tradition of leaving brandy along with the cookies means that Santa would be drunk-driving his sleigh. Santa's behind-the-reindeer malfeasance also includes "speeding, disregard for road rules, and extreme sports such as roof surfing and chimney jumping. Despite the risks of high speed air travel Santa is never depicted wearing a seatbelt or a helmet." (Grills somehow forgot to include that Santa is constantly breaking into people's houses—an obvious invitation for children to become burglars.)

Alerted to the article through a journal press release, news outlets everywhere immediately started reporting on Grills's article. Headlines proclaimed: "Santa Should Get Off His Sleigh, Jog to Trim Image, Doctor Says"; "Santa Promotes Obesity and Drink-Driving, Claims Health Expert"; and, of course, "Bad Santa."

Every wire service carried a version of the report. The international wire services AFP and AP wrote that Grills had established a relationship between Santa belief and obesity, and that he also warned against sitting on Santa's lap: it would lead to the spread of infectious disease. The wire stories were in turn picked up by major news networks and other venues. 

Since then, people haven't been just reporting on Grills's work: he's being eviscerated for it. (Newsweek)

Given that it is indistinguishable from the rest of the health nanny crap is was a really bad "joke", on a sensitive topic and poorly executed. How many people do you know with a sense of humor about religious festivals? No? How about kicking festivals of children and charity? Not tickling the funny bone there either? The BMJ can often be considered a joke (editorializing on climate, for example) but they fouled out here and so did Grills (although he could be forgiven for believing being an epidemiologist makes him joke enough).

About as funny as 3rd-degree burns.

 

Fake sugar may alter how the body handles real sugar

NEW YORK - Combining artificial sweeteners with the real thing boosts the stomach's secretion of a hormone that makes people feel full and helps control blood sugar, new research shows.

It's unknown whether this means anything for people's health, but "in light of the large number of individuals using artificial sweeteners on a daily basis, it appears essential to carefully investigate the associated effects on metabolism and weight," conclude Dr. Rebecca J. Brown and colleagues from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Because artificial sweeteners are virtually carbohydrate-free, they have been thought not to have any effect on how the body handles glucose (sugar), the researchers explain.

But there's some evidence that artificial sweeteners may trigger secretion of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). GLP-1 is released from the digestive tract when a person eats as a "fullness" signal to the brain, curbing appetite and calorie intake. (Reuters Health)

 

Newspapers Endangered…By the Telegraph

With the advent of new technology, newspapers are being threatened. Many are expected to go out of business, and the rest will have to change substantially. Many observers fear that journalism will become too driven by speed, and that judgment and deliberation will be lost. Others said that news reporting would be devalued and only those providing analysis and opinion would survive. Worst of all, worries that the new technology will lead to a monopoly over information.

A description of the dire situation faced by newspapers today as they face the Internet? No. These are the concerns expressed in the 1840s as the telegraph transformed the news business. This week’s Economist tells the story of how Samuel Morse’s invention was thought to signal the death knell for newspapers, and to thoughtful journalism. Continue reading… (The Foundry)

 

This is seriously bad: WHO sponsors event at Copenhagen conference to highlight climate change effect on public health

The WHO held a "side event" on Thursday at the U.N. climate change conference in Copenhagen to highlight climate change's effect on public health, CNN reports. "We're reminding people that climate change is not just an environmental issue or an economic issue - it's a health issue that's actually about people's survival," Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, a scientist in the WHO's Public Health and Environment department, said of the event. 

According to Maria Neira, the WHO's director of Public Health and Environment, "The major killers at the moment are all climate-sensitive." She added, "Malnutrition kills 3.5 million people a year, diarrheal diseases kill two million people a year, and malaria kills almost one million people each year. Global warming will probably exacerbate these problems." 

Policy makers are beginning to understand the health benefits of "climate change mitigation strategies," Neira said, adding that she welcomed the recent EPA announcement that declared greenhouse-gas emissions as a "public health threat." The article also includes quotes from Andy Haines, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who recently published a study in the Lancet highlighting the health benefits of some strategies used to cut greenhouse-gas emissions (Tutton, 12/17).

Forget that cold causes more deaths and misery generally, attempting to control the global thermostat is not a cost-effective health measure - delivering potable water and sanitation delivers a far great health bang for the same buck, then there's vaccination programs, nutrition and vector control for slightly dearer but very effective spending. Now consider the health effect of rationing affordable electricity, making compressed natural gas too expensive to compete with wood or dung for cooking/heating fires and you are talking about a gorebull warming hysteria-driven health disaster. We recognize that Gaia-freaks and population panickers are quite happy with such an outcome but we are not about to provide aid and comfort to humanity's enemies.

 

North hides nefarious aims under green cloak

ENVIRONMENTAL groups from rich countries have for years waged a campaign against those in poor countries who want to harness their natural resources for economic growth. Their efforts threaten to do lasting harm to the aspirations of millions of poor people in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and must be resisted at all times and in all places.

One of those places is the Copenhagen climate change summit taking place in Denmark. Thousands of delegates from around the world are gathered there trying to work on ways to limit global warming. But it is increasingly clear to those of us in the south that the north is using the summit as a way to maintain their living standards, while keeping the developing world in a state of destitution.

For example, just this week a document emerged that outlined a plan to stop poor countries from clearing some of their forest lands to make room for more productive uses, such as palm farming, rubber farming and urban development. The suggestion — encapsulated in the so-called “Danish text” — is risible and morally obtuse and its emergence threatens to torpedo the entire conference.

Every nation in history has harnessed its resources in the early stage of its development. Indeed, Europe itself was arguably the most forested region on the planet for most of its history until it started its economic growth path several centuries ago. Over the course of many decades, Europeans sensibly altered and re-altered their land use to permit more productive agricultural use and enterprise, with the resultant job creation.

Today, nations across the developing world aim to do the same thing — to harness some of their natural endowments to create products for sale in world markets. And so countries in Africa and Asia develop palm plantations to sell palm oil across the globe. Farmers in Latin America alter land uses to grow fruits, vegetables and flowers to satisfy customers in their region and beyond.

These efforts come with some ecological costs, just as they did in Europe , North America , Japan and other places in the north in decades past. Only once the northern nations became rich — and not a moment before — could they afford the environmental protections they now demand of their poorer neighbours to the south. (Business Day)

 

More from the virtual world... Exposure to common pesticides may hinder the growth and survival of ESA-listed salmon

Biologists determined that short-term, seasonal exposure to pesticides in rivers and basins may limit the growth and size of wild salmon populations. In addition to the widespread deterioration of salmon habitats, these findings suggest that exposure to commonly used pesticides may further inhibit the recovery of threatened or endangered populations.

"Major efforts are currently underway to restore Pacific salmon habitats in an effort to recover depressed populations," says David Baldwin of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), who co-authored the study with NOAA colleagues in the December issue of the ESA journal Ecological Applications. "However, not much research has been done to determine the importance of pollution as a limiting factor of ESA-listed species."

The researchers studied the impact of pesticides, such as diazinon and malathion, on individual salmon using pre-existing data, and then devised a model to calculate the productivity and growth rate of the population. They used several exposure scenarios to reflect realistic pesticide use across various landscapes and over time. (Innovations Report)

 

Can nuclear solve the global water crisis? - If a person doesn't drink clean water they will be dead in less than three days. That's why water is the most valuable commodity there is.

As the global population expands, demand for water for agriculture and personal use will increase dramatically, but there could be a solution that will produce clean drinking water and help reduce carbon emissions as well. That process is nuclear desalination.

Many areas of the world are suffering from a water crisis – and it's not just arid, developing countries that are suffering. The Western US is particularly vulnerable and its water crisis is getting more severe by the day. (TDT)

Desalination powered by any means is good, nuke is fine but forget the idiotic "reduce carbon emissions" mantra -- it is not only pointless but literally counter productive (net primary production relies on atmospheric carbon dioxide and current levels are low for photosynthesis, 3-10 times as much would be fine).

 

Saving the Reef from alarmists

Finally more scientists dare challenge the shameless apocalypse mongering over the Reef, comparing predictions to performance:

A SENIOR marine researcher has accused Australian scientists of “crying wolf” over the threat of climate change to the Great Barrier Reef, exposing deep division about its vulnerability.

Peter Ridd’s rejection of the consensus position that the reef is doomed unless greenhouse emissions are checked comes as new research on the Keppel group, hugging Queensland’s central coast, reveals its resilience after coral bleaching. Professor Ridd, a physicist with Townsville’s James Cook University who has spent 25 years investigating the impact of coastal runoff and other problems for the reef, challenged the widely accepted notion that coral bleaching would wipe it out if climate change continued to increase sea surface temperatures. Instead of dying, the reef could expand south towards Brisbane as waters below it became warmer and more tolerable for corals, he said.

His suggestion is backed up by an Australian Institute of Marine Science research team headed by veteran reef scientist Ray Berkelmans, which has documented astonishing levels of recovery on the Keppel outcrops devastated by bleaching in 2006.

As The Weekend Australian reports today, some of the corals on the Keppel outcrops are more thickly covered in coral than before bleaching in 2006, raising hope the living heart of the reef can acclimatise to spikes in water temperature through a remarkable process of algal shuffling…

“People say the reef is dying,” Dr Berkelmans said. “The Great Barrier Reef is 2000km long, with 3000 reefs. Are you telling me all of it is going to die?…

Professor Ridd said scientists who predicted corals would be mostly extinct by mid-century had a credibility problem because the Great Barrier Reef was in “bloody brilliant shape”.

And here’s the scientist with the greatest credibility problem of all on that score:

PROFESSOR Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, of Queensland University, is Australia’s most quoted reef expert.

He’s advised business, green and government groups, and won our rich Eureka Prize for scares about the Great Barrier Reef. He’s chaired a $20 million global warming study of the World Bank.

In 1999, Hoegh-Guldberg warned that the Great Barrier Reef was under pressure from global warming, and much of it had turned white.

In fact, he later admitted the reef had made a “surprising” recovery.

In 2006, he warned high temperatures meant “between 30 and 40 per cent of coral on Queensland’s great Barrier Reef could die within a month”.

In fact, he later admitted this bleaching had “a minimal impact”.

In 2007, he warned that temperature changes of the kind caused by global warming were again bleaching the reef.

In fact, the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network last week said there had been no big damage to the reef caused by climate change in the four years since its last report, and veteran diver Ben Cropp said this week that in 50 years he’d seen none at all.

And even Hoegh-Guldberg’s claim that the shells of shell-fish would have trouble forming has now been debunked.

Accountability time. (Andrew Bolt)

 

Ebb and flow of climate coverage

COPENHAGEN has had a language all its own this past fortnight as delegates battled the minutiae of draft agreements. The obscure acronyms of the summit went over the heads of most of us, but it set us thinking about the way some words related to the environment and green issues are now commonplace.

Think about the big one, climate change. A decade ago, it was scarcely used in news reports: this year, it has been hard to escape. In 2000, The Weekend Australian and The Australian published just 128 stories that mentioned climate change. In the year until December 14 this year, the figure was just shy of 3300. That's an average of more than 10 references each day.

It was not always so. Climate change was level pegging with "global warming" until 2005 but the following year it took off as the phrase of choice when talking about what Prime Minister Kevin Rudd likes to call the "moral challenge of our times", overtaking global warming, which this past year was mentioned 899 times.

We ran the computer over a number of other words, looking at their usage each year in the noughties, curious to see which words had become embedded in the language and which had fallen out of use.

Our analysis is admittedly crude, checking the number of times a word shows up in the

library archives of the newspaper. But it is revealing in its own way, the citations signalling the ups and downs of the climate change debate (there we go again).

In 2000, for example, nobody was much interested in carbon emissions (17 mentions) but this year we are (765). And while the idea of an emissions trading scheme was around in the middle of the decade it only took off in 2008, when it jumped from eight citations in 2007 to 314. It has tripled this year, not bad for a scheme that nobody seems to understand.

Eco-warriors are fickle folk, regularly changing the environmental disasters du jour.

Issues we were once assured were central to human survival no longer rate a mention. The hole in the ozone layer was once a big deal, with 64 references in 2000. In the past 10 years, activists drifted away, in part because the hole began to shrink, so that this year, the references are just 36.

And pity the scientists who bet their careers on addressing erosion. This was a huge issue in the 1990s, with activists assuring us that Australia's topsoil was blowing out to sea.

But this year it rated just 16 stories. Some issues are simply not sexy enough to be stayers. Ethanol was the fuel for the future (233 stories in 2007) but ran out of gas this year, with just one-quarter of the coverage it received in 2007.

Clean coal seems to already be fading, more than halving from its peak of 424 stories in 2007. Wind power too, seems not to have flown in media coverage, with about 120 stories each year since 2006.

Activists with a better nose for a winner will have climbed on board the rising sea level raft.

In 2000 The Australian wrote about it just 42 times but by 2009 the figure was up by more than 400 per cent.

Sometimes, the vaguer the concept the better. "Sustainability" is a star example, increasing close to sevenfold across the decade.

After the avalanche of coverage from Copenhagen, it's hard to believe the green "industry" has

peaked. Yet our tables show that the three most recognisable phrases of the environmental movement -- climate change, global warming; and greenhouse gas, were all cited more frequently in 2007 -- the federal election year when Labor ran hard on the issue -- than in 2009.

As for the green capital itself, Copenhagen's role in saving the planet went from a couple of references in 2000 to about 1000 this year.

In contrast the most famous Australian ever to stay in the city, Mary Donaldson, only made it into the paper 16 times. Kevin Rudd will improve on that. (Stephen Matchett and Helen Trinca, The Australian)

 

Western States Take Aim At Antler Gatherers

SALMON, Idaho - Overzealous antler gatherers face a new flurry of regulation by U.S. Western states trying to stop harassment of deer and elk during critical, food-scarce months.

Hard times have boosted the number of people hoping to cash in on antlers -- technically bones, not horns -- that can fetch as much as $18 per pound ($39.60 per kg) and are used to produce everything from furniture to health tonics in Asia.

But wildlife officials say the practice, extremely popular in Wyoming, Montana and other Western states, threatens wildlife, especially in the winter months.

"It has the effect of harassment on animals when they need all their energy just to survive," said Anis Aoude, big game program coordinator at Utah's division of wildlife resources.

Utah's bids to curb antler enthusiasts failed due to public opposition, but Montana this year passed a law that threatens to strip hunting and fishing rights from trespassers, including antler gatherers, on state wildlife management areas.

Mike Korn, assistant chief of law enforcement for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, said the law was needed to deter harassment by antler gatherers, whom he said gathered in droves in early spring. (Reuters)

 

The Dirt on Climate Change - Could soil engineered specifically to maximize carbon storage dampen some effects of climate change? Very possibly.

Conflicts tend to scatter people, and ideas, in unexpected ways. After the American Civil War, a flood of so-called Confederados fled the devastated South and set up farms in the Brazilian Amazon. They planted rice and sugar cane and tobacco, and they prospered. But the lands they settled — primarily high bluffs along rivers — weren't any more pristine than Alabama or the Carolinas had been. As they plowed, the settlers unearthed vast quantities of potsherds that showed the land had been inhabited before. And the ceramics weren't the only sign of previous human cultivation: The deep black earth itself, very different from the pale, nutrient-poor soils of much of the Amazon, quickly revealed that people had been indispensable in creating its fertility.

"The rich terra preta, 'black land,'" of one settlement was "the best on the Amazon. ... a fine, dark loam, a foot, and often two feet thick," wrote an American naturalist named Herbert Smith in 1879. "Strewn over it everywhere we find fragments of Indian pottery. ... The bluff-land owes its richness to the refuse of a thousand kitchens for maybe a thousand years."

Though they have always been prized by farmers, the dark soils of the Amazon were largely forgotten by science for a century after their discovery. They are now re-emerging as an important topic of study, not because they're an ethnographic or historical curiosity, but because they show an exceptional ability to store carbon, which in the form of carbon dioxide has rapidly turned into one of humanity's most pernicious waste products. As a result, they're joining the rapidly growing roster of tactics that might be used to combat climate change. Researchers around the world are considering whether people may, by engineering soils specifically to maximize carbon storage, be able to absorb substantial amounts of our emissions, increase the fertility of agricultural areas and dampen some of the effects of climate change.

Sound utopian? Maybe. But as the long aftermath of the Civil War shows, solutions to deeply ingrained social problems often do emerge — though not always quickly and certainly not without enormous and sustained effort. (Peter Friederici, Miller-McCune)

Building soil fertility is good -- but can we please stop with the absurd carbon-will-kill-us climate crap?

 

December 18, 2009

 

You have to give them points for trying: Battle for climate data approaches tipping point

IGNORE the unwarranted claims that hacked emails from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK expose human-made climate change as a conspiracy. Away from those headlines, an equally intense battle is taking place over access to the data showing global warming is real.

It reached a peak earlier this year, when the UEA's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) turned down freedom of information (FOI) requests for its temperature records. Last week, the UK's Met Office attempted to quell the growing anger at its lack of openness by "releasing" data from 1700 weather stations around the world. The move was a token gesture. The Met Office has admitted to New Scientist that those figures were already publicly available through the World Meteorological Organization.

Much data remains under lock and key. It is tied up in confidentiality agreements with the governments that provided it. The Met Office and the UK government say they are now seeking permission to publish it. What they have not yet publicly revealed is that under a confidentiality agreement between the Met Office and the UK's Natural Environment Research Council, a portion of the UK's own temperature measurements is only made available to "bona fide academic researchers working on agreed NERC-endorsed scientific programmes". Why? So that the data can be sold privately. "We have to offset our costs for the benefit of the taxpayer, so we balance that against freedom of access," says David Britton, a spokesman for the Met Office. (Fred Pearce, New Scientist)

 

Climategate: This time Al Gore lied

Al Gore’s claim last week that the Climategate emails were insignificant relied on two main defences. Both are so flagrantly wrong that it’s not enough to say Gore is simply mistaken.

No, Al Gore is a liar.

Last week we showed that the first of his Climategate defences was so preposterously wrong that it was doubtful he had even read the leaked emails he tried to dismiss. You see, five times in two interviews he dismissed the emails as dated documents that were at least 10 years old:

I haven’t read all the e-mails, but the most recent one is more than 10 years old.

In fact, most of the controversial emails, as I showed, were from just the past two years - and the most recent from just last month - November 12, to be precise.

So Gore was so wrong on the first count that it was difficult to think of any way an honest man could have made such a mistake. Five times.

But now Steve McIntyre has exploded the second argument Gore made. And now all doubt in my mind is gone. Gore must have simply lied.

Gore’s second argument was that these emails which seemingly showed Climategate scientists trying to silence or sack sceptical scientists were taken out of context, since the two sceptical papers they referred to were in fact published, after all.

Here is the relevant passage in his interview with Slate:

Q: There is a sense in these e-mails, though, that data was hidden and hoarded, which is the opposite of the case you make [in your book] about having an open and fair debate.

A: I think it’s been taken wildly out of context. The discussion you’re referring to was about two papers that two of these scientists felt shouldn’t be accepted as part of the IPCC report. Both of them, in fact, were included, referenced, and discussed. So an e-mail exchange more than 10 years ago including somebody’s opinion that a particular study isn’t any good is one thing, but the fact that the study ended up being included and discussed anyway is a more powerful comment on what the result of the scientific process really is.

That is actually false.

But before I go to McIntyre’s evidence on this, first note Gore’s rhetorical trick - or deceit.

His trick is to ignore the mountain of emails that clearly suggest a collusion against sceptics, and the hiding of data, and to suggest instead that the allegations boil down to just a single email about a single instance of two Climategate scientists allegedly blocking two papers.

Here are just some of the Climategate emails that Gore ignored, which all seem evidence of the very collusion to hide data or censor sceptics that he denies. They include ones like this (from 2005):

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Climategate: This time Al Gore lied' (Andrew Bolt)

 

Russians Accuse Met Office of Cherry-Picking Weather Station Data

2009-12-17

THE Met Office was last night facing accusations it cherry-picked climate change figures in a bid to increase evidence of global warming.

UK climatologists “probably tampered with Russian-climate data” to produce a report submitted to world leaders at this week’s Copenhagen summit, it is claimed.

The Met Office’s study, which says the first decade of this century has been the warmest on record for 160 years, is being used to trumpet claims that man is causing global warming.

But experts at the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis say the British dossier used statistics from weather stations that fit its theory of global warming, while ignoring those that do not.

They accuse the Met Office’s Hadley Centre of relying on just 25 per cent of Russia’s weather stations and over-estimating warming in the country by more than half a degree Celsius.

 Daily Express: CLIMATE CHANGE ‘LIES’ BY BRITAIN (CRN)

 

Russians now saying what I have said for years

This digest of Russian media carries a story that the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) had probably tampered with Russian-climate data.

IEA analysts say climatologists use the data of stations located in large populated centers that are influenced by the urban-warming effect more frequently than the correct data of remote stations.

My report “USSR High Magnitude Climate Warming Anomalies 1901-1996″ – shows example after example of what the Russians are talking about.

Climategate is indeed changing our world.

For longer text of Russian article.

Read the rest of this entry » (Warwick Hughes)

 

'CRU cherrypicked Russian climate data', says Russian - Newly released info probed as Climategate, um, snowballs

A prominent Russian climate sceptic and free-market economist says that the British HadCRUT global temperature database - much of which has now been released to the public following the "climategate" email scandal - has been manipulated to show greater warming in Russia than is actually the case.

Andrei Illarionov, a former economic adviser to then-Russian President Putin, is head of his own thinktank in Moscow, the Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA). He is also a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a libertarian American thinktank. He has always been a climate sceptic, having vigorously opposed Russia's signing up to the Kyoto protocols.

On Tuesday, Illarionov released the following report (pdf in Russian), comparing the newly-released HadCRUT data to records from the Russian meteorological service, which supplied the parts of HadCRUT covering Russia. (Lewis Page, The Register)

 

D’Aleo: … And Just Like That, the Warming’s Gone (PJM Exclusive)

The Russian paint-by-numbers data. The CRU data matching NOAA and NASA. What's left?

As James Delingpole, in the Telegraph, noted Wednesday:

Climategate just got much, much bigger. And all thanks to the Russians who, with perfect timing, dropped this bombshell just as the world’s leaders are gathering in Copenhagen to discuss ways of carbon-taxing us all back to the dark ages. (PJM)

 

Climategate: Faster and Faster, the Dominos Fall

With the revelation about the cherrypicked Russian stations (plus six other freshly, independently discovered problems), the real story of how we got here just took a shape.

The Climategate files were made public just a month ago, and the email messages that were revealed have already had real impact. The emails show us scientists being petty and political, even corrupt. Suppressing dissenting science and perhaps even violating the law to prevent data from being shared with the rest of the world. They show us people with failings, egos against egos. But the emails themselves aren’t enough to call the overall science of CO2-driven, human-caused climate change into question.

The Climategate emails, however, make up only five percent of the Climategate files. The other 95 percent, the programs and data and documents, are where the real story is hiding. That story has begun to come out, in several independent analyses of the data we have, using hints from the emails and from other files and raw data that is available from other sources. (Charlie Martin, PJM)

 

 

Fielding threatens IPCC chief with the police

Family First Senator Steve Fielding and Lord Monckton demand answers from Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - and not just over his use of dodgy data:

We should be grateful for your response within 48 hours, failing which we shall be entitled to presume that you, the IPCC and the EPA – to whose administrator we are copying this letter – intend to conspire, and are conspiring, to obtain a pecuniary advantage by deceiving the public as to the nature, degree, and significance of the global surface temperature trend. In that event, conspiracy to defraud taxpayers would be evident, and we should be compelled to place this letter in the hands of the relevant investigating and prosecuting authorities.

In any event, errors and exaggerations such as that which is evidenced in the IPCC’s defective graph do not inspire confidence in the reliability of the IPCC’s scientific case. Given this and other mistakes that an international body of this nature ought not to have made, and given your numerous and direct conflicts of interest that have, in our opinion, been insufficiently disclosed, we are also copying this letter to the delegations of the states parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change with a request that you be stripped of office forthwith.

Meanwhile, Monckton is barred from the conference and knocked out by Danish police. (Andrew Bolt)

 

Hide the Decline ... and More

In this country, even a global warming denialist with a carbon fetish and bad intentions has the right to see the inner workings of government.

Or, at least, he should. (David Harsanyi, Townhall)

 

Dopenhagen update III:

Copenhagen summit battles to save climate deal - Delegates at the climate summit are battling to prevent the talks ending without reaching a final deal. Earlier, a US-led group of five nations - including China - tabled a last-minute proposal that President Barack Obama called a "meaningful agreement". However, it was rejected by a few developing nations who felt it failed to deliver the actions needed to halt dangerous climate change. But the majority of nations are urging the Danish hosts to adopt the deal. To be accepted as an official UN agreement, the deal needs to be endorsed by all 193 nations at the talks. (BBC)

Obama brokers a climate deal, doesn't satisfy all - COPENHAGEN — Two years of laborious negotiations on a climate agreement ended with a political deal brokered by President Barack Obama with China and other emerging powers but denounced by poor countries because it was nonbinding and set no overall target for curbing greenhouse gas emissions. But a final session of climate conference delegates that lasted through the night cast doubt early Saturday on whether the president of the conference, Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen, could declare the Copenhagen Accord approved. (AP)

Climate deal meets furious reception - COPENHAGEN — Fury erupted Saturday at a gruelling climate summit as poor nations ripped into a deal agreed by a core group of world leaders which even its supporters admitted would not stem global warming. (AFP)

Accord? Ambitious title, anyway: FACTBOX: Main points of the Copenhagen Accord - COPENHAGEN - U.S. President Barack Obama reached a climate agreement on Friday with India, South Africa, China and Brazil. The deal outlined fell far short of the ambitions for the Copenhagen summit. Here are key points from the agreement, which is titled "Copenhagen Accord." (Reuters)

The cranks are cranky: Copenhagen: Obama Announces Climate Deal, UNFCCC Crumbles? - In a late night press conference at the close of the international climate negotiations in Copenhagen, President Obama declared that a "meaningful deal" had been reached with major emitting nations moments before boarding Air Force One and returning to the United States. While the final structure of "the Copenhagen Accord" is still in question, the content and reverberations of President Obama's speech today leave little doubt that the UNFCCC process, for all intents and purposes, is dead. Whether it continues to shamble on like a zombie through sheer force of inertia is yet to be determined...

Breaking free from the auspices of the UN's 190+ nation negotiating framework, major emitters, including the U.S., China, India, Brazil, and South Africa, appear poised to move forward with or without the rest of the UNFCCC nations. 

According to a flurry of tweets and reports from observers on the ground in Copenhagen, the leader of the "G77," a large group of developing nations, are crying bloody murder, declaring that the deal "locks countries into a cycle of poverty forever" and saying "Obama has eliminated any difference between him and Bush." The EU is grudgingly signing on to the accord "as better than no accord." And protestors, led by radical activist Bill McKibben, are gathering outside the Bella Center crying "shame on our leaders."

"The President has wrecked the UN (and the planet)," declared a press release from McKibben's 350.org. (Jesse Jenkins, Devon Swezey and Yael Borofsky, originally at the Breakthrough Institute)

At ’Hagen , greens’ love lost for their poster boy - COPENHAGEN: US President Barack Obama’s hesitant appearance in Copenhagen drew dismay on Friday from environmentalists , conceding that the leader who once embodied their dreams is hamstrung politically. (Economic Times)

U.S.-led climate deal under threat in Copenhagen - COPENHAGEN - U.N. climate talks fell into crisis on Saturday after some developing nations angrily rejected a plan worked out by U.S. President Barack Obama and leaders of other major economies for fighting global warming. (Reuters)

India, US accept 'Copenhagen Accord'; EU, others still unsure - After two-weeks of almost never-ending disagreements, the climate change conference in Copenhagen has produced a political accord that was weak and vague, devoid of the most basic targets, and, most importantly, unsure of being accepted by everyone. (Indian Express)

Deal and No Deal: the Copenhagen Uncertainty Principle - What in Hell on Earth Just Happened - By the time the world learned of President Obama's announcement about a "meaningful" agreement to close these climate talks, called the "Copenhagen Accord," Santa-in-chief was already on his Air Force One sleigh. And not a moment too soon.

By the wee hours of Saturday morning, as African negotiators were leading an uproar over the accord and civil society groups were protesting outside, it was still unclear which other countries were willing to support and sign it. At 3 AM, a plenary session was beginning to meet, with plans for talks to continue through Saturday. "If this makes it through the meeting in a couple of hours' time then I see it as a modest success," said Yvo de Boer, who added the understatement of the year: "We could have achieved more."

What remains is for two bodies, the COP and the MOP, to debate the Copenhagen Accord. Each body will also review the documents governing continued debate on climate change on two separate tracks: the Kyoto Protocol -- opposed by most industrialized nations but demanded by China and the G-77 -- and the Long-term Cooperative Action track (LCA). (Feast your eyes on those documents at the COP15 website; see the two bottom documents.)

The basic deal -- or whatever you want to call this un-official document -- agreed to in closed-door sessions between the US, China, South Africa and India, outlines a next step towards another agreement.

Then again, it doesn't do very much. And it may not even really exist as a deal in the eyes of other countries. (Tree Hugger)

Poor countries reject US-BASIC deal on climate change - Copenhagen, Dec 19 A US-brokered deal with four emerging economies, including India, on climate change that places no legally-binding emission cuts on developed nations ran into rough weather today with a majority of poor countries rejecting it, saying that it was one-sided. (PTI)

Americans asked little of Obama, and got little in return - Instead of the transformational leader whose intellect and charm could change the course of history, Barack Obama's anti-climactic visit to Denmark has shown him to be a bit of a wet firecracker. (Globe and Mail)

Copenhagen's Lesson in Limits - And we don't mean carbon limits. - Whatever led President Obama to believe that his personal intercession at the climate-change summit would achieve something major, his very presence in Copenhagen made "a significant breakthrough" a political imperative, no matter how flimsy. And that's exactly what a senior Administration official called a last-ditch deal—details to come—in a media leak as we went to press last evening and the conference headed into overtime.

Mr. Obama's inexplicable injunction yesterday that "the time for talk is over" appears to have produced an agreement to continue talking. The previous 12 days of frantic sound and pointless fury showed that there isn't anything approaching an international consensus on carbon control. What Copenhagen offered instead was a lesson in limits for a White House partial to symbolic gestures and routinely disappointed by reality.

Apparently, the agreement provides "the foundation for an eventual legally binding treaty," but that same "foundation" has been laid many times before. Copenhagen was supposed to deliver "legally binding" limits. However, the successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol became a pre-emptive dead letter because countries like China, Brazil and India said they were unwilling to accept anything that depressed their economic growth. (Wall Street Journal)

Marathon turns into merely ‘a first step’ - After two years of excruciatingly detailed negotiations and two weeks of increasingly frenetic haggling, the ”Copenhagen accord” agreed by major economies on Friday night is just 2½-pages long.

No-one is overjoyed by it. Even US president Barack Obama, the first to proclaim a ”success”, admitted that it was ”not the end but the beginning” of action to fight the threat of climate change.

Gordon Brown, Britain’s prime minister, described it as a “first step”, and stressed the difficulty of persuading 192 countries to sign an unprecedented global agreement to fight the threat of global warming.

European and African countries refused to endorse the text immediately, continuing to discuss it into the small hours of Saturday morning, although the EU fell into line a few hours later. Environmental groups were generally horrified, and businesses that will benefit from restrictions on emissions expressed disappointment. (Financial Times)

 

Dopenhagen, update II:

Copenhagen Climate Conference Ends With Whimper, No Legally Binding Pact, No Commitment to Pursue One in 2010 - President Barack Obama called it a "meaningful" beginning to a new global consensus toward limiting green house gas emissions, but acknowledged climate change talks failed to produce a "legally binding" pact and doing so any time soon would be "very hard." (FNC)

Analysis: Obama the pragmatist gets what he can - COPENHAGEN — The world is coming to know President Barack Obama, the pragmatist whose stand at a messy global warming summit underscored the way he leads: Let's get done what we can, imperfect as it is. (Associated Press)

Obama says 'unprecedented' deal reached on climate - COPENHAGEN — President Barack Obama declared Friday a "meaningful and unprecedented breakthrough" had been reached among the U.S., China and three other countries on a global effort to curb climate change but said much work was still be needed to reach a legally binding treaty. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE-COPENHAGEN (INSTANT VIEW): INSTANT VIEW-Reaction to Copenhagen climate deal - COPENHAGEN, Dec 18 - U.S. President Barack Obama reached a climate agreement on Friday with India, South Africa, China and Brazil, a U.S. official said. The deal outlined fell far short of the ambitions for the Copenhagen summit. Here are reactions: (Reuters)

Copenhagen Climate Conference Collapses - Ronald Bailey's fifth and final dispatch from the Copenhagen climate conference - World leaders are abandoning the Bella Center like rats off a sinking ship after declaring that a deal has been reached at the Copenhagen climate change conference. Two years ago at the Bali climate conference, it was agreed that the signatories to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol would finalize a binding global treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the Copenhagen meeting. That goal was put aside even before the meeting here got started. In turn, the Copenhagen conference was supposed to resolve major issues like the mid-term reduction commitments by developed countries, how to monitor those commitments, and how to fund adaptation and mitigation in poor countries. Now those goals have been put off to the indefinite future. (Ronald Bailey, Reason)

Nations split over Copenhagen ‘deal’ - Some world leaders at the Copenhagen talks on climate change declared on Friday night that they had reached a “meaningful agreement” but admitted it fell well short of their ambitions for the first truly global treaty on cutting greenhouse gases. (Financial Times)

Copenhagen Accord -- Full Draft Text - The following is text extracted from a draft of an Accord among Leaders at Copenhagen. (IBT)

 

Dopenhagen update:

Climate Talks in Copenhagen Heading Into Overtime - President Obama remains huddled with other world leaders in the second floor of the Bella Center where talks are being held. On the main floor, it is a scene of high drama and low expectations, with palpable confusion and frustration among negotiators. (Greenwire)

New climate draft drops 2010 deadline for treaty  - COPENHAGEN — A new draft climate agreement being considered by world leaders at the U.N. summit in Copenhagen drops a previous 2010 deadline for achieving a legally binding treaty to fight global warming. The latest draft obtained by The Associated Press doesn't have a deadline. Like previous drafts it refers to "deep cuts" in global emissions of greenhouse gases but does not give exact figures. (Associated Press)

Copenhagen heading for meltdown as stalemate continues over emission cuts - UN fails in last-ditch efforts to get world leaders to commit to a maximum 2C rise as draft texts get weaker (The Guardian)

Obama urges climate action, offers no new proposals - COPENHAGEN - U.S. President Barack Obama urged world leaders on Friday to "act together" on an accord to fight climate change, but he did not offer new U.S. commitments to cut emissions that some see as crucial to a deal. (Reuters)

House Republicans warn Obama on climate steps - COPENHAGEN - As President Barack Obama labored behind closed doors to break a deadlock over efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, Republicans from the U.S. Congress were outside those meetings urging him not to bother. (Reuters)

In Copenhagen, greens' love lost for Obama - COPENHAGEN — US President Barack Obama's hesitant appearance in Copenhagen drew dismay Friday from environmentalists, conceding that the leader who once embodied their dreams is hamstrung politically. (AFP)

Barack Obama's speech disappoints and fuels frustration at Copenhagen - US president offers no further commitment on reducing emissions or on finance to poor countries (The Guardian)

Leaders cut safeguards to salvage Copenhagen climate deal - Key safeguards on climate change were sacrificed today in a desperate attempt by world leaders to achieve a compromise at the Copenhagen summit. (The Times)

Draft of Copenhagen deal has broad targets, sparse details - Working version of climate change deal calls for 50 per cent cut in 1990 emissions by 2050, but key details will have to be left to later negotiations (Globe and Mail)

From dinner to desperation: The 24-hour race for a deal in Copenhagen - The Copenhagen climate change summit had been meticulously planned to produce a streamlined agreement. Instead, it turned into an epic struggle over the shape of a future world economic order (The Guardian)

Gordon Brown hints at 'plan B' if Copenhagen talks remain unresolved - Officials say the UK prime minister has prepared a back-up up plan involving talks between a smaller group of nations (The Guardian)

Copenhagen climate summit: the talks were another missed opportunity - The Copenhagen climate change conference has been a cause of increasing distress and disappointment, says Helen Baxendale. (Daily Telegraph)

Diplomatic frenzy at final day of UN climate talks - COPENHAGEN — A diplomatic frenzy enveloped the final scheduled day of the U.N. climate conference Friday, with President Barack Obama meeting with China's premier as world leaders pressed to salvage a global warming accord amid deep divisions between rich and poor nations. (Associated Press)

Obama snubbed by Chinese premier at meeting - COPENHAGEN: President Barack Obama’s first closed-door meeting with world leaders in Copenhagen to forge an agreement to slow climate change had a notable absentee: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. On the last scheduled day of negotiations for a global accord, tensions between the US and China are on the rise. The world’s two largest greenhouse-gas emitters came to an impasse over finance for developing countries, pollution-reduction goals and verification of emissions cuts. (Bloomberg)

China 'will honour commitments' regardless of Copenhagen outcome - Wen Jiabao says China will commit and even exceed target in passionate plea for other countries to live up to promises (The Guardian)

Copenhagen's Legacy for Investors? Wait And See - Conferences on environmental policy are usually pretty dry with more talk of pacts and policy than cinematic global calamity. The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen did not buck the trend – it was hardly the stuff of blockbusters, but for investors ready to move early, it did open the door to some potentially lucrative opportunities. Even without a landmark agreement on climate change, investment sectors with a stake in the environment could see renewed interest in the wake of the conference. (Smart Money)

 

Today's psychobabble: Global Warming a Tough Sell for the Human Psyche

NEW YORK -- The Copenhagen talks on climate change were convened with a sense of urgency that many ordinary folks don't share. Why is that? One big reason: It's hard for people to get excited about a threat that seems far away in space and time, psychologists say.

''It's not in people's faces,'' said psychologist Robert Gifford of the University of Victoria in British Columbia. ''It is in the media, but not in their everyday experience. That's quite a different thing.'' (Associated Press)

More likely it's because people know when they are being sold a bill of goods. Gorebull warming is a phony "emergency" and people have realized it.

 

?!! More Wisdom on Activist Climate Science

In the FT today Tom de Castella has a worthwhile piece on the lessons that the climate science community should draw from the aftermath of the CRU email hack/leak. Unfortunately, from my vantage point the community is far from learning these lessons. Here is how de Castella ends his piece:

In short, the e-mails do not undermine the CRU’s surface temperature record or the wider science. But that is not the point – it is the culture of climate science that has been tarnished. A picture emerges of experts who relate tribally, avoid transparency and worry too much about getting a good press. The perception is perhaps unfair, based as it is on a small, activist-minded band, but it goes back to Adam Smith’s remark about producer interests: “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public.”

Mr Trenberth insists the e-mail hack equated to a “swiftboating” of climate scientists, a reference to the smearing of John Kerry’s presidential campaign. He argues there is nothing wrong with scientists advocating policy: “I’m a scientist but I’m also a citizen of the world.” He is right that society wants more guidance from scientists. But what we need most is a more nuanced understanding of the risks and probabilities. That requires an intellectual elite who are climate sceptics in the true sense, rather than busily applying blue facepaint and reaching for a placard.

(Roger Pielke Jr)

Partly right but still not understanding the depth of corruption in climate science. The core advocates applying artificial warming to mean temperature time series deformed the foundation upon which the entire AGW edifice is constructed. This veritable handful of bad actors queered the whole thing, essentially requiring a do-over.

 

Horner & Horner Fight Global Warming Alarmism

 

No Cap and Tax

The Paper that the Australian Government Didn't Want Published

Clive Spash, whose adventures with CSIRO in Australia have been discussed here a few times (here, here and here) has posted on his website a link to "the paper" that caused all the "fuss." The paper focuses on "emissions trading schemes" (ETS) that are the focus of international and many domestic efforts to reign in growing carbon dioxide (and other greenhouse gas) emissions. Spash includes the following footnote at the outset:

This paper has no association with the author's former employer the CSIRO. No such affiliation should be associated with the author in regards to this paper or its citation. Posted on RePEc with permission of the journal editors of New Political Economy. Please cite as: Spash, Clive L. (2010) "The Brave New World of Carbon Trading" New Political Economy vol.15 no.2 forthcoming.
Here are a few excerpts from the paper's conclusions (direct link to PDF):
While carbon trading and offset schemes seem set to spread, they so far appear ineffective in terms of actually reducing GHGs. Despite this apparent failure, ETS remain politically popular amongst the industrialised polluters. The public appearance is that action is being undertaken. The reality is that GHGs are increasing and society is avoiding the need for substantive proposals to address the problem of behavioural and structural change.
The Australian government is pursuing a proposed ETS to reduce its emissions by as much as 25% by 2020. In my own research (PDF) I have shown that the ETS (or any other set of policies) cannot achieve the ambitious emissions reduction targets set by the Australian government. One can understand the political sensitivity of a researcher at a government agency saying the same.

More from Spash's conclusion:
Perhaps the most worrying aspect of the ETS debate is the way in which an economic model bearing little relationship to political reality is being used to justify the creation of complicated new financial instruments and a major new commodity market. In 2008 the financial sector was in a global crisis having manipulated bad debts and mismanaged its own finances to the point of requiring international banks to seek government bailouts. Yet ETS proposals place a new multi-billion dollar market in the hands of the same people and organisations. Recent experience illustrates how market players continually seek new ways to profit from adapting institutional rules, and regulators struggle to keep-up.

There is also something incongruous in governments proposing to host financial markets in their own countries for competitive advantage on the basis that their institutions are well regulated, secure, trustworthy, have good labour and environmental standards, and so on. The incongruity is because they then wish to buy products (i.e., offsets) from countries which clearly fail to meet the same standards. The justification that this is cheaper, least-cost or economically efficient can only be supported if standards are the same across countries. Basic environmental and social standards clearly do matter more than price across all traded commodities, otherwise we might as well, for example, buy shoes made cheaply using unpaid child labour. Non-equivalence is more than a matter of an accounting system to equate units of some physical product (even if this were possible). Such matters are far from irrelevant to how ETS is designed and operated.

A key weakness of an ETS compared to alternative policies—taxes or direct regulation—is that an excessive baseline or regulatory loophole in any one nation or sector eliminates the need for genuine reductions elsewhere. The more complex the scheme and the greater its scope, the greater the potential for a weak link. National carbon markets allow poorly regulated sectors to gain, just as international carbon markets are susceptible to rewarding countries with lax regulations and poor enforcement.

An ETS can in theory provide a similar incentive as under a tax by pricing of all units of pollution. This is meant to encourage development of pollution control technology so as to reduce abatement costs. However, the major difference from a tax is that the revenue stream need not go to government, depending upon how the scheme is established and run. For example, if the government gives all existing polluters permits for free then the public purse gains no revenue; instead polluters can sell the permits on the open market and so avail themselves of a windfall. This adds an incentive for polluting parties to form lobby groups in order to influence policy design to avail themselves of such gains.

The billions of dollars now being generated in trading carbon and offsets has created a powerful institutional structure which has many vested interests whose opportunities for making money rely on maintaining GHG emissions, not reducing them. The transaction costs inherent in these markets are actually being seen as a source of economic growth rather than a deadweight loss to society. Once created, how politicians will cut the market by 80 percent—even within the 40 years they are allowing themselves—is hard to imagine. After all, the reason for emissions trading is that corporations and the technostructure proved too powerful for the political process to establish a tax or direct regulation in the first place.

The framing of the whole issue of human induced climate change is highly important to how it is addressed. There seem two opposing characterisations. On the one hand, financiers, bankers and major polluters argue we must bravely face the new opportunity for markets to innovatively show how the most intangible of objects can be bought and sold, reaping vast financial gains and stimulating economic growth. On the other hand, society can realise that ever increasing material throughput based upon fossil fuels has led to serious environmental problems, and failed to address social inequity, so that a change in economic structure, institutions and behaviour is now necessary. Clearly the former is dominant and perhaps we must await a financial emissions trading crisis and increasing environmental disasters to reverse that situation.

In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, the drug ‘soma’ offered inhabitants of a future Earth the means to distract themselves from addressing life’s problems while supporting the established social and economic order in the promotion of happiness through hedonic pleasures. Today emissions trading promises a painless way to avoid human induced climate change which will leave the growth economy unaffected in its pursuit of happiness through materialism. The reader is left to judge illusion from reality and the desirability of the society created.
Strong stuff. One thing is certain: In trying to suppress Spash's work the Australian government guaranteed that it would receive a much wider reading that it would have otherwise. (Roger Pielke Jr)

Carbon trading is first, last and always a scam It has no hope of knowingly and predictably adjusting Earth's temperature and never did have.

 

Some Truth in Copenhagen

The global-warming economics coming out of Washington doesn’t match the global-warming economics of Copenhagen. For instance, according to Senator John Kerry (D-MA) cutting CO2 creates jobs and stimulates the economy. At least that’s what the press release describing his cap-and-tax legislation claims.

But in Copenhagen this view of economics gets turned on its head. In Copenhagen Senator Kerry talks about the need to pay other countries to adopt the CO2-limiting regulations that supposedly create jobs and stimulate an economy.

If the mandates, regulations, and energy taxes needed for carbon caps are so great for the economy, why do we need to promise hundreds of billions of dollars to other countries to get them to adopt the same?

Continue reading… (The Foundry)

 

China holds the world to ransom - Beijing accused of standing in the way of climate change treaty at Copenhagen as US throws down the gauntlet by backing $100bn fund to help poorest countries

China was under intense diplomatic pressure last night to abandon key demands which risk scuppering an international treaty on climate change in Copenhagen.

Today President Barack Obama is due to arrive in the Danish capital after Hillary Clinton electrified the faltering conference by announcing that America would back the setting-up of a climate fund for poor countries which would have $100bn to give away annually by 2020.

But at the same time she issued a blunt challenge to China, which has now overtaken the US as the world's biggest emitter of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change, to allow its promised emissions cuts to be internationally verified – something the Chinese have been stubbornly resisting. ( Michael McCarthy, The Independent)

 

This is no way to run a planet

The leaders in Copenhagen will reach some agreement. Politically, they have to

As world leaders arrive in Copenhagen, luggage filled with deficit-financed public funds to facilitate the do-or-the-planet-dies climate deal that is the object of this weekend’s last-minute, round-the-clock deliberations, the question arises: Is this any way to run a planet? “Deliberation” is not the right word, by the way. Nothing done by 200 negotiators at three o’clock in the morning on an artificial deadline will be deliberate. Yet deliberate is exactly what’s needed when contemplating large-scale changes in how the world — the world, the whole world — does business.

Click here to read more... (William Watson, Financial Post)

 

Following the standard CoP script: Leaders to agree to climate change deal - but it will fall short of UN minimum

A global deal to address climate change is likely to be agreed today but the commitments it contains on cutting greenhouse gases will fall short of the minimum target set by the UN’s science body.

The European Union is preparing to increase its commitment on cutting emissions as part of an endgame at the Copenhagen summit which will see other countries making similar concessions.

A pledge yesterday by the United States to contribute to a $100 billion (£60 billion) annual climate protection fund appeared to have won sufficient support from developing countries, which are desperate not to walk away empty-handed from the summit.

President Obama, who will join 120 other heads of state in Copenhagen today, may announce a specific financial contribution to make up for not improving on the emissions target he announced last month.

Another big obstacle to a deal was swept away when the US and China appeared to agree a compromise on the issue of independent scrutiny of emission reductions reported by each country. China accepted the need for transparency but stopped short of saying that it would abide the findings of any external audit of its emissions. (The Times)

 

It is not China’s style to let the green inspectors rummage around

For nations of a nervous disposition, there is an ocean of difference between “transparency” and “scrutiny”: a commitment to the first is a sop, a commitment to the second is a surrender.

The climate change debate has blazingly illuminated China’s stance on the issue.

There are many reasons why emotions in Beijing run high over allowing outsiders to verify China’s adherence to its emissions promises. (The Times)

 

 

Copenhagen circus ending with a lame act

A last-minute deal at Copenhagen is proposed that seems no deal at all:

Leaders and ministers from 28 countries including Australia have outlined a draft accord to fight global warming.

The three-hour session ended early today, leaving top advisers to work out the final language before the summit of a draft agreement on how to tame global warming and help poor countries cope with its impacts.

‘‘The advisers will get back to work at three in the morning to craft a proposed political agreement that will be presented to heads of state at 8am (6pm AEDT),’’ a European diplomat said…

The declaration will most likely call for preventing global temperatures from going up more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) compared with pre-industrial times. It will also tally up the pledges from rich nations on cutting greenhouse gases by 2020, and propose a target for all countries by mid-century.

That’s right. Hot air, no fixed targets, promises of a vast transfer of wealth from the West and everyone flies back home thinking they’ve been warriors for mankind.

If the report is true, it’s almost as much as a sceptic could hope for. (Andrew Bolt)

 

Americans Overwhelmingly Oppose Go-It-Alone Emissions Cuts

The headline from Gallup is that developed nations should cut their emissions and that is indeed borne out by their numbers, but there are some other figures that need to be highlighted and a point or two to be made.

Consider this table:

The big take-away for U.S. politicians is that — quite clearly and resoundingly — Americans overwhelmingly favor a plan that includes all nations. In fact, 75-10 is a good ol’ fashioned route for the “everyone” side over the “just us” side. That means any plan that plan that starts with U.S. pain as a means of demonstrating “leadership” on the issue is not going to be well-received.

But, as is often the case, how is as important as whether to cut emissions. The question here doesn’t mention how we do that, though our suspicion is that a question posing several alternatives would show a strong preference for innovation, rather than command-and-control policies such as cap and trade or a hefty carbon tax. (The Chilling Effect)

 

Fox News Poll: Majority of Americans Don't See Global Warming As Crisis

While a majority of Americans believe global warming is happening, far fewer see it as a crisis. (Dana Blanton, FOXNews.com)

 

Live at Copenhagen: How to Make a Bad Climate Deal Worse

The Heritage Foundation’s Steven Groves and Ben Lieberman are live at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference reporting from a conservative perspective. Follow their reports on The Foundry and at the Copenhagen Consequences Web site.

It is hard to do any more wrong by the American people than cap and trade. Whether done by domestic legislation or international treaty, significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions (like the 17 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050 in the House Waxman Markey bill which the Obama administration had hoped to match at Copenhagen or get done at a subsequent UN global warming treaty conference) would raise gasoline prices by 58 percent by 2035, electric rates by 90 percent, impose nearly $3,000 in total annual costs on a household of 4, and destroy over one million jobs. Little wonder such measures are stalled in the Senate and are highly unlikely to be done by the Friday end of the climate conference (where in any event they would fail to get the required two thirds vote for Senate ratification). But Secretary of State Hilary Clinton is certainly trying to make a bad deal worse by pledging America’s support for a massive foreign aid package in the name of helping developing nations address global warming.

Continue reading… (The Foundry)

 

Cap and Trade in Practice - How to get paid for laying off workers.

The world's carboncrats are beavering away this week on a vast new global cap-and-trade scheme that President Obama wants the U.S. to join. But before we do, maybe Americans should understand how this already works in practice. Union workers, take note.

The Kyoto Protocol of 1997 required signatories to reduce their carbon emissions, and the European Union in 2005 launched its own cap-and-trade system. The program sets a limit on carbon emissions, and companies are issued free carbon allowances that they can buy or sell based on their emissions needs.

Fast forward to this month's news that Corus, Europe's second-largest steel producer, is shuttering a giant U.K. steelmaking plant at Redcar, cutting 1,700 jobs. Corus blames the recession that has cut steel demand and says the British government hasn't done enough to help it.

Whatever the truth of that, there's little doubt that cap and trade made the closure much easier. The decline in steel production means European steelmakers have surplus carbon allowances. According to Carbon Market Data, a European research firm, in 2008 Corus had the second largest surplus of EU carbon allowances—7.5 million.

The EU is looking for ways to drive today's depressed allowance price of about $21 apiece back up to former highs of about $50, so Corus has the potential for a $375 million windfall. By closing Redcar's annual capacity of three million tons of steel, Corus will produce six million fewer tons of CO2. That means more carbon allowances, which could translate into about $300 million a year if credits hit $50. Corus is essentially being paid to lay off British workers.

Corus will also profit if it moves the production to India. As part of Kyoto, the United Nations created the Clean Development Mechanism to encourage Western companies to invest in developing-world factories. Participants are financially rewarded based on the amount of carbon they "save" with more efficient plants. (WSJ)

 

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner: Don't be fooled in Copenhagen

If you gained 50 pounds in 2009, would it make sense to pledge to gain only 30 pounds more in 2010? That's essentially what China and India have promised at the current climate talks in Copenhagen. 

No climate treaty will succeed in reducing emissions unless it includes meaningful cuts from all the world's largest emitters. On our current trajectory -- what modelers call a "business-as-usual" scenario -- by the end of the century developing countries will account for more than two-thirds of the carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere. 

Faced with this reality, China and India have proposed voluntary cuts in their greenhouse gas "emissions intensity." Emissions intensity is a ratio between emissions and gross domestic product. China recently offered a 40-45 percent drop in emissions intensity while India offered a 20-25 percent cut. 

The numbers sound impressive, and many proponents of a new treaty in Copenhagen have hailed them as significant progress, but a closer look shows that this proposal is about as serious as a banana-split diet. ( Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner)

 

Inhofe in Copenhagen: "It Has Failed ... It's Déjà Vu All Over Again."

 
Inhofe Press Conference In Copenhagen
Copenhagen, Denmark -Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, arrived in Copenhagen, Demark this morning to "make certain the 191 countries attending COP-15 would not be deceived into thinking the US would pass cap-and-trade legislation."  In his remarks, Inhofe described the political and policy issues that must be addressed before the U.S. Senate would ratify a new climate change treaty.  At this stage, as Sen. Inhofe noted, the prospect of achieving an overarching agreement-one that meets the conditions established in the Byrd-Hagel resolution-are bleak, mainly due to the intractable demands of China, India, and other developing nations.  Those demands-more funds to deal with the impacts of climate change and the right to increase emissions, albeit at a slower rate of growth, among others-have repeatedly been raised by developing nations, but are simply too costly and unworkable for the United States to accept. (E&PW)

 

Why Obama's carbon plans won't work

The $US100 billion a year funding offer that the Obama administration tossed on the table at Copenhagen may be a big number, but what does it actually mean?

Perhaps the best explanation is Hillary Clinton’s: “The US is prepared to work with other countries towards a goal of jointly mobilising $100 billion a year…..we expect this funding to come from a wide variety of sources.”

Is it, in fact, a ploy like the US Environmental Protection agency decision whipped out at the start of the Copenhagen meeting?

A friend in Washington DC reacted to the first move by labelling it a 21st century version of a Potemkin village when I emailed him to get the lowdown on the EPA ruling that carbon dioxide is a health hazard and able to be regulated under the American Clean Air Act.

Potemkin villages were fake settlements erected in the Crimea in the 18th century by a courtier to impress Catherine the Great and to hide the reality of disease, poverty and misery among her subjects there. 

In modern terms it denotes a politically-generated appearance to cover a less impressive underside.

The EPA decision, my friend pointed out, is a ploy on two counts: internationally, it gives Barack Obama a facade for his appearance at the Copenhagen talks, the US Congress having declined to date to deliver an ETS, and, domestically, it is designed to suggest to US senators, including Democrats with big concerns about the impact of carbon costs on their home turf, that he can go round them if they won’t deliver. (Keith Orchison, Business Spectator)

 

Poor nations push for 'new world order' in Copenhagen

An attempt by developing and emerging countries to create "a new world order" in which Western industrialised nations are no longer dominant is threatening to scupper an agreement on climate change in Copenhagen, warned EU delegates. EurActiv reports from the Danish capital. (EurActiv)

 

Climate Hubris

Climate change is one of those issues I know enough about to know how little I really know. And I certainly haven't learned much more during the 193-nation climate talks that concluded in Copenhagen this week. I'm one of those agnostics willing to accept evidence that the earth is warming but not yet convinced that scientists fully understand why. And my skepticism has grown greater in light of the recent climategate scandal involving leaked e-mails that suggested prominent climate-change scientists have manipulated data and tried to stifle dissent in the scientific community. 

But while the Copenhagen talks didn't shed much light on the climate issue per se, they certainly revealed much about the motivations of those involved in the debate. It was clear, both in the meetings and among protestors outside, that the most vociferous advocates for imposing limits on greenhouse emissions are motivated only tangentially by concern for the planet. The real target of radical environmentalism is capitalism. (Linda Chavez, Townhall)

 

Chavez on Climate Change: Blame Capitalism

President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Hugo Chavez received resounding cheers from the audience after saying, “Seven percent of the world population - some 500 million people - are responsible for half of contaminating emissions. Capitalism is to blame for this.” He also asserted, “our revolution seeks to help all people…socialism, the other ghost that is probably wandering around this room, that’s the way to save the planet, capitalism is the road to hell….let’s fight against capitalism and make it obey us.”

If President Chavez means carbon dioxide emissions when he says “contaminating emissions” his point is moot. The scientific evidence simply isn’t there to support that. But even if he’s talking about real pollution, the evidence still isn’t there. Not only has capitalism increased our prosperity and standard of living, it has made us cleaner and healthier in the process. George Mason economist Don Boudreaux explains:

“These complaints remind me of the cancer victim who, cured of his horrible disease by medical science, endlessly complains about the scar left from his successful surgery.

Continue reading… (The Foundry)

 

Copenhagen con: how the socialists are making capitalists pay

First the Copenhagen summit gives Hugo Chavez a standing ovation for savaging capitalism. Then out comes the begging bowl, to be filled by those very same evil capitalists:

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton sought to put new life into flagging U.N. talks Thursday by announcing the U.S. would join others in raising $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poorer nations cope with global warming.

But no sooner have those billions been promised, than the anti-capitalists up the ask:

China and other developing countries say the target should be in the range of $350 billion.

How much is this carpet-baggers’ convention costing us, for heaven’s sake? Recall our prime minister now before our cash is all gone.

UPDATE

Yes, it’s weather, not climate, but what would the warmists have said if Copenhagen today was unusually warm, rather than unusually cold:

World leaders flying into Copenhagen today to discuss a solution to global warming will first face freezing weather as a blizzard dumped 10 centimeters (4 inches) of snow on the Danish capital overnight.

“Temperatures will stay low at least the next three days,” Henning Gisseloe, an official at Denmark’s Meteorological Institute, said today by telephone, forecasting more snow in coming days. “There’s a good chance of a white Christmas.” ...

Denmark… hasn’t had a white Christmas for 14 years, under the DMI’s definition, and only had seven last century. Temperatures today fell as low as minus 4 Celsius (25 Fahrenheit).

 (Andrew Bolt)

 

Thugs in Copenhagen

One of the reasons some Americans become wary of the United Nations is that it gives a platform to obnoxious bores, several of whom have taken the podium this week at the UN climate-change conference in Copenhagen . 

Among them was Hugo Chavez , who paraphrased Marx in assigning blame for climate change: "A ghost is stalking the streets of Copenhagen...it's capitalism, capitalism is that ghost." That's from the leader of a country whose economy is based largely on the export of particularly dirty oil. Awkward.

"The destructive model of capitalism is the eradication of life," Chavez also said. Tell that to the millions of Chinese that Mao killed in the fight against capitalism, or the millions more recently pulled out of poverty because of market-liberalizing reforms.

Even worse was the performance of Zimbabwean strongman Robert Mugabe. "When these capitalist gods of carbon burp and belch their dangerous emissions, it's we, the lesser mortals of the developing sphere who gasp and sink and eventually die." Zimbabwe, of course, used to be one of the most developed countries in Africa -- until Mugabe's thugs pillaged the economy and tortured the population. (WashPost)

 

Chavez (and Marx) a hit at Copenhagen

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez couldn’t resist another opportunity to bash capitalism — and the COP15 Copenhagen Conference on global warming gave him a perfect setup. Protesters against globalization, capitalism, energy use, and other aspects of modern life thronged in the streets, while in the conference center, leaders from rich nations that want to “level the playing field” for CO2 emissions and poor countries looking for massive handouts gave Chavez a warm response.

In his harangue posted on YouTube, Chavez hit the “group of countries who think they’re better than us” and that provide a “world imperial dictatorship.” He, of course, made reference and deference to his hero Karl Marx:

There’s a ghost lurking…and Karl Marx said…a ghost running through the streets of Copenhagen.  And I think that ghost is silent, somewhere in this room…amongst us…coming thru the corridors and underneath.  And that ghost is a terrible ghost.  Nobody wants to name him or her…it’s capitalism.  Capitalism is that ghost.  (applause)

Chavez got a lot of applause here too. He tied capitalism to the degradation of the earth: “the destructive model of capitalism is eradicating life.”

President Robert Mugabe, credited with destroying the economy of his own country,  Zimbabwe, also railed against Western countries and capitalism:

“When these capitalist gods of carbon burp and belch their dangerous emissions, it’s we, the lesser mortals of the developing sphere who gasp and sink and eventually die.”

And this is the conference where “world leaders” are supposedly coming together to plan the world’s energy future?  It’s a scary thought.

  (Fran Smith, Cooler Heads)

 

Global Warming as Groupthink - The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's process institutionalizes groupthink on a global scale.

It is easy to mock the thousands of activists, officials and ministers flying to Copenhagen in their jets, driving around in an immense fleet of limousines, and collectively emitting more carbon dioxide than a small African country—all to force the rest of us to reduce our carbon footprints. But it is one thing to accuse them of hypocrisy in not living out their beliefs. Casting doubt on their belief that global warming poses an imminent threat to life on this planet is another.

To question so much scientific expertise and governmental authority seems arrogant or foolhardy—even in the city where Hans Christian Anderson wrote about the little boy who blurted out that the Emperor had no clothes. (Peter Lilley, WSJ)

 

UN: Human Life Threatens Climate!

A new UN report reveals the fundamentally misanthropic worldview underlying climate alarmism.

“Too Many Births Said to Threaten the Climate” read the headline in the November 19 edition of the French daily Le Monde. The headline refers to the new “State of World Population 2009” report published by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The document is called a “report,” but in light of the unabashed and unrelenting advocacy of which it consists, it might be better described as a “pamphlet.” Subtitled “Facing a Changing World: Women, Population and Climate,” what it advocates is combating “global warming” (“There is no time for delay; we are already on the precipice”) and its novelty is precisely to suggest that limiting population growth could represent a crucial contribution to this end. (John Rosenthal, PJM)

 

Lord Monckton reports on Pachauri’s eye opening Copenhagen presentation

From The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley in Copenhagen

In the Grand Ceremonial Hall of the University of Copenhagen, a splendid Nordic classical space overlooking the Church of our Lady in the heart of the old city, rows of repellent, blue plastic chairs surrounded the podium from which no less a personage than Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC, was to speak.

I had arrived in good time to take my seat among the dignitaries in the front row. Rapidly, the room filled with enthusiastic Greenies and enviro-zombs waiting to hear the latest from ye Holy Bookes of Ipecac, yea verily.

The official party shambled in and perched on the blue plastic chairs next to me. Pachauri was just a couple of seats away, so I gave him a letter from me and Senator Fielding of Australia, pointing out that the headline graph in the IPCC’s 2007 report, purporting to show that the rate of warming over the past 150 years had itself accelerated, was fraudulent.

Would he use the bogus graph in his lecture? I had seen him do so when he received an honorary doctorate from the University of New South Wales. I watched and waited. Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)

 

Peter Foster: James Hansen and mob rule

The climate action group ‘GO’ seeks to influence the politics of climate change through mob intimidation

The CBC seemed yesterday to be very much on the side of the protesters who attempted to break into the deadlocked Copenhagen climate talks.  Reports expressed sympathy with the mob’s  “frustration” at the “lack of progress.” Inside the Bella conference centre, meanwhile, a bunch of NGOs reportedly tried to help those storming the barricades to infiltrate the building.

Far from being unwelcome to promoters of draconian action, these arrogant noisemakers are a welcome force for intimidation. Take James Hansen, the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who appeared yesterday morning on CBC’s The Current. Mr. Hansen’s Al Gore-orchestrated testimony before Congress in 1988 and 1989 was of seminal importance to the UN climate agenda. He has become perhaps the most oft-quoted voice of official climate alarmism.

Click here to read more... (Financial Post)

 

OUR BEST HOPE

“It’s the protesters who offer the best hope for our planet,” according to Johann Hari. We’d best take a look at them, then.

Oh.

UPDATE. In other protest news, Starvin’ Marvin is on his 40th day without food. Maybe he wants to be the new skinny Santa.

UPDATE II. No protests against Copenhagen anti-capitalist Hugo Chavez: “The applause was deafening.”

UPDATE III. Compare Copenhagen’s screeching greens with the sensible and modest Stephen McIntyre. (Via Treacher)

UPDATE IV. Protesters protested!

UPDATE V. Protesters attack a harmless poley bear:

(Tim Blair)

 

Live From Copenhagen: USA Awarded a Truly Noble Prize for Refusing to Give Up Sovereignty

The Heritage Foundation’s Steven Groves and Ben Lieberman are live at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference reporting from a conservative perspective. Follow their reports on The Foundry and at the Copenhagen Consequences Web site.

Though Barack Obama garnered much attention for his Nobel Peace Prize win, the United States has won three lesser-known, tongue-in-cheek awards at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference from a liberal environmentalist organization that has been critical of America’s refusal to wholeheartedly embrace their radical agenda.

And what “ignoble actions” earned the United States these noble prizes? According to the people at Avaaz.org, the U.S. government took home the “Fossil of the Day” award for “stalling negotiation to save life on planet earth.” Along with the Climate Action Network, Avaaz.org runs a daily award show at the Copenhagen Climate Conference. It’s worth noting that Avaaz.org is dedicated to “to clos[ing] the gap between the world we have, and the world most people everywhere want.”

Here’s video of the red carpet ceremony, shot by Heritage expert Steven Groves, who is on the scene at the Copenhagen Conference:

We at Heritage applaud this award in part because, climate change and research aside, signing a colossal UN resolution in Copenhagen this week would mean signing over our sovereignty to unelected bureaucrats in the United Nations and Europe (not to mention the tremendous economic harm Copenhagen regulations would wreak on the U.S. economy). Here’s to fourth “Fossil of the Day Award.” (The Foundry)

 

The Crackup of the Global Warming Alarmist Establishment?

The arrival of President Barack Obama and over one hundred other heads of state in Copenhagen for a photo op at the UN global warming conference has buried the really big story here.  No, it’s not the fact that no agreement will be reached on a new international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  That outcome was foreseen months ago.

The big news is that the grand alliance pushing global warming alarmism and energy-rationing policies has started to break apart here in a spectacular way.  The official United Nations global warming bureaucracy have thrown out the twenty to thirty thousand environmentalists who traveled to Copenhagen to attend the meeting as officially-accredited delegates of non-governmental organizations (or NGOs).  The environmentalists are extremely angry and have every justification for being angry.

This is potentially momentous because the two wings of alarmism are totally dependent on one another.  The UN’s Kyoto bandwagon has been pushed along by the environmental movement and no new treaty to follow the Kyoto Protocol, when it expires at the end of 2012, will have a chance of being adopted without the continuing and unremitting backing of the environmentalists whom the UN has unceremoniously booted out this week.  For the environmental groups, Kyoto and its successor treaty are the only viable vehicles for achieving their goals of reducing emissions and putting the world on an energy starvation diet.

What has happened this week in Copenhagen is not based on any ideological disagreements.  It’s all the result of four things: the size of the room, the number of attendees, total incompetence, and poor manners.  The UN chose to hold what was billed as “the most important meeting in the history of the world” in a conference center that only holds fifteen thousand people.  The environmental NGOs sent lists of delegates that added up to over thirty thousand.  The UN looked at these two numbers and decided everything would work out fine. (Myron Ebell, Cooler Heads)

 

EverGreens: After Failure, Warmists Will Change Hats And Move On

You simply cannot have so many celebrities and political will in one place, and expect them to concede defeat. It is just not in their nature.

First, some good news.

A lefty organization sent me an indignant press release stating that the Danish police have “aggressed on protesters outside the Bella Center.” By this, they mean that the agitants, who moments before were shouting “Push the police away!,” were physically held back from entering an already crowded room.

It is true that it is depressing to see the heretofore useful word aggression turned into another mouth-numbing verb. But it’s heartening to hear that a group of professional whiners were told “No.” True to form, when turned away the perpetually petulant started screaming “Rights!,” by which they mean, as they always do, “My desires, not yours.”

And can it be a coincidence that we now hear from Russia — the land where the Climategate emails were first posted — accusations that the Hadley Climate Research Unit fiddled Siberian temperature data? The charge is that scientists only considered stations which showed warming, and tossed those which did not fit their preconceptions.

What makes this delicious is that the stations Hadley chose had large chunks of missing data, and the stations ignored had uninterrupted records. This makes sense: it’s easier to homogenize data that isn’t there. The explanations to come will no doubt provide for some light comedy.

The best news of all are the rumors that “progress has been halting” in Copenhagen. The word stalemate is showing up with increasing frequency in news reports.

Government ministers can’t agree on the best way to take money from their own citizens, give it to an opaque, above-the-law organization, and yet still control it; because, of course, with all that money comes power. Negotiators are skittish about how they can ensure that the money pledged will actually be paid into the pot, and if it does, who gets to dole out the funds. Everybody wants a piece of it, but nobody trusts anybody.

However, I believe this is only a spate of temporary sanity. (William M. Briggs, PJM)

 

Rudd’s latest scientific advisor: a six-year-old girl

Kevin Rudd would rather take the word of a six-year-old girl than of a 69-year-old climate scientist as distinguished as Richard Lindzen:

PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd quoted from a handwritten note he’d received from Gracie, a six-year-old from Canberra.

“Hi, my name is Gracie. How old are you?’’ he read out.

“I am writing to you because I want you all to be strong in Copenhagen, please listen to us as it is our future.’’

Mr Rudd added, ``I fear that at this conference, we are on the verge of letting little Gracie down’’.

The PM brushed aside the climate sceptics, saying the science of man-made climate change was ``indisputable’’. (Andrew Bolt)

 

Rudd is against what he’s for in Copenhagen

A populist caught out. Kevin Rudd tells Copenhagen negotiatiors that their idea of new taxes is “constructive” , but he tells Australian taxpayers that these taxes are bad:

Mr Rudd said a proposal from Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to raise billions of dollars through levies on aviation and shipping and possibly even financial transactions in order to channel billions of dollars to poor countries in the longer term was “a constructive framework for further development.”

But he said “that doesn’t mean we would sign up to every aspect of it, the possibility of Tobin taxes or aviation taxes is not the view of the Australian Government.”

Rudd is reminded that a great green tax on flying would savage the tourism industry of the most remote of the settled continents:

Imposing climate change taxes on international air travel, as proposed at the Copenhagen climate summit, would be devastating for Australia’s $89 billion tourism industry, the nation’s top tourism lobby group has warned.

(Andrew Bolt)

 

Gillard blinks

Seven times Leigh Sales asks Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard variations of this very simple question about the costs of the Rudd Government’s great global warming tax:

Is $1100 per year for an Australian family about what it’s going to cost?

Seven times she gets no direct answer. And Gillard’s refusal tells you how vulnerable Labor suddenly feels. (Andrew Bolt)

 

Would anyone have noticed Rudd’s scheme?

Remember how Kevin Rudd insisted the Liberals had to pass his emissions trading scheme in time for the Copenhagen meeting? Looking at the all-in brawl it’s become, and how it’s essentially a showdown between the US and China, can anyone detect any sign at all that Australia’s example would have made the slightest difference?

Don’t tell me it [wasn't] just more baseless Rudd spin… (Andrew Bolt)

 

FLIGHT OF THE CONBORES

All aboard for Hopenchangin:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is leading a large delegation on at least two Air Force jets to Copenhagen for the climate summit – where participants harshly condemn the use of jet airplanes for the high amounts of CO2 they emit …

“Climate change is a religion for them, so there was no way they were going to miss this,” said one top GOP aide. “This is their Hajj.”

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s plane to the same destination was delayed when a trolley ran into it. Which is more or less what Copenhagen represents for Australian tourism:

Imposing climate change taxes on international air travel, as proposed at the Copenhagen climate summit, would be devastating for Australia’s $89 billion tourism industry, the nation’s top tourism lobby group has warned …

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has offered only partial backing for the proposed tax on aviation.

That’s nice of him. No flights for you, little Gracie. Oh, and the next time you write to the PM, please ask him how much all of this will cost you. Because Aunty Julia doesn’t want to say.

UPDATE. An unhappy Copenhagen travel development:

A 70-year-old retired priest and green campaigner who cycled to the world climate change summit in Copenhagen has died in his sleep after arriving there.

Sad. In his case, flying may have proved more sustainable.

UPDATE II. Behold the Essex Six, who ask that you honk to stop global warming. Which means you’re driving a car at the time. They haven’t really thought this through. (Tim Blair)

 

Schwarzenegger's Costly War on Climate Change

As the United Nations Climate Change Conference enters its second week in Copenhagen, California will send a delegation to showcase the state’s own climate change policies. Since his election to office in 2003, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has made global warming and climate change a cornerstone of his gubernatorial legacy. When he addresses conference delegates this week, Schwarzenegger will boast that under his watch the state has implemented some of the strictest and most comprehensive environmental regulations in the world. But delegates won’t be presented with the true cost of Schwarzenegger’s war on global warming.

Californians know better than anyone else the devastating effects of severe environmental laws. The state is reeling from a mass exodus of businesses and employees who can no longer operate under such onerous restrictions. In 2008 alone, over a quarter million jobs were lost in the Golden State. Although California’s official unemployment rate is 12.3%, there are estimates it could really be as high as 20%. (David Spady, Townhall)

 

Blunderful Copenhagen kills ETS early poll

BARELY a month ago Malcolm Turnbull was leader of the opposition, Kevin Rudd was insisting Australia pass emissions trading legislation before he went to the climate conference in Copenhagen, action on climate change was the global moral imperative, there was the likelihood of an early double-dissolution election on a carbon emissions trading system and Tony Abbott was supporting the Liberal leader's position of passing the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme in the Senate.

Today, Abbott is Leader of the Opposition opposing an ETS as a "massive tax", Rudd is fighting on all sides in Copenhagen after being attacked for doing secret deals, hypocrisy and walking away from the Kyoto Protocol. The Prime Minister is talking about Australia's national interest not moral imperatives, and there is little likelihood of the early election on climate change that Turnbull feared.

Indeed, the politics of climate change have so dramatically turned around that Abbott is daring the Government to "bring on an election" and Labor is drastically altering its election schedule and strategy.

Of course, Rudd's presence at the UN's organisational and political catastrophe in Denmark and the prospect, still, of some salvageable outcome will be an unknown quantity until just before Christmas, and a political variable.

But there are some conditions and outcomes that are now virtually unalterable and that are entirely different to Labor's original battle plan.

Before the groundswell over ETS in the Liberal party removed Turnbull as leader, the government was working on the basis that its threat of an early election, if the Liberals blocked the CPRS in the Senate, would enable Turnbull to carry the day and pass the ETS. This would allow Turnbull to say he could now "move on" from climate change and get back to economic matters.

Labor was convinced it had Turnbull's number and had a few contentious issues to throw his way, as he was excluded completely from criticising the effects of the ETS on the economy. (The Australian)

 

Tom Friedman Has a Standing Invitation to My Weekly Poker Game: The Abused Insurance Analogy for Climate Change

Editor’s Note: Jim Manzi is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and blogs at both National Review’s The Corner and at The American Scene.

It is amusing to watch advocates of rapid, aggressive carbon dioxide emissions reduction, when confronted with the plain facts of the consensus scientific projections for climate change and its associated damages, move from “science says we must do this or die” to “well, actually, the science is pretty uncertain, so it’s possible that we might die,” and then proceed to some restatement of Pascal’s Wager.

Friedman’s Throw

Tom Friedman’s recent New York Times column is a perfect illustration of this logic.  I’ll quote him at length, before demonstrating that his emission-cuts-as-insurance analogy breaks down once you plug in actual numbers:

This is not complicated. We know that our planet is enveloped in a blanket of greenhouse gases that keep the Earth at a comfortable temperature. As we pump more carbon-dioxide and other greenhouse gases into that blanket from cars, buildings, agriculture, forests and industry, more heat gets trapped.

What we don’t know, because the climate system is so complex, is what other factors might over time compensate for that man-driven warming, or how rapidly temperatures might rise, melt more ice and raise sea levels. It’s all a game of odds. We’ve never been here before. We just know two things: one, the CO2 we put into the atmosphere stays there for many years, so it is “irreversible” in real-time (barring some feat of geo-engineering); and two, that CO2 buildup has the potential to unleash “catastrophic” warming.

When I see a problem that has even a 1 percent probability of occurring and is “irreversible” and potentially “catastrophic,” I buy insurance. That is what taking climate change seriously is all about.

Computing the Odds

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading bookie for this game.  The current IPCC consensus forecast is that, under fairly reasonable assumptions for world population and economic growth, global temperatures will rise by about 3°C by the year 2100 (Table SPM.3). Also according to the IPCC, a 4°C increase in temperatures would cause total estimated economic losses of 1–5 percent of global GDP (page 17). By implication, if we were at 3°C of warming at the end of this century, we would be well into the 22nd century before we reached a 4°C rise, with this associated level of cost. [Read more →] (Jim Manzi, MasterResource)

 

Global Warming Hoax Weekly Round-Up, Dec. 17th 2009

It’s all gone Pete Tong for alarmists in Denmark as the curse of Brown descends and the inconvenience of climategate refuses to go away. Greenpeace was punk’d, Phelim was unplugged and Al Gore turned into the Gaffeinator. It’s all good clean fun in this, your last round-up of 2009. (The Daily Bayonet)

 

Column - 20 tips to save the planet

YOU’LL have freaked at all the reports warning that if we don’t cut our gases, our cities will drown, our farms will turn to dust and giant hurricanes will suck up every last polar bear.

But don’t despair. I’ve scoured the papers to find this year’s 20 top tips to cut your gases and help save this planet from global warming catastrophe.

And, swear to God, every one of these news items is genuine. (Andrew Bolt)

 

CATTLE ESSENTIAL

So cows aren’t the problem after all – in fact, they’re the solution:

Last month, environmental scientist Tim Flannery debunked a lot of the common arguments used against livestock in the carbon and climate debate at an environmental forum in Sydney.

Instead he said large animals like cattle and sheep were essential to restoring the health of the planet and reducing greenhouse gas levels … Dr Flannery said large farm animals helped retain fertility in the land and recycled carbon.

Interesting. An earlier report from the same event:

The forum at which Mr Flannery was speaking last week was organised by Meat and Livestock Australia in a move to get on to the front foot in the increasingly noisy debate about whether people should become vegetarians to save the planet … There was general agreement with Professor Flannery …

Over to you, vegenoids. (Tim Blair)

 

Fact-based climate debate

It is crucial that scientists are factually accurate when they do speak out, that they ignore media hype and maintain a clinical detachment from social or other agendas. There are facts and data that are ignored in the maelstrom of social and economic agendas swirling about Copenhagen.

Greenhouse gases and their effects are well-known. Here are some of things we know: (Lawrence Journal-World)

 

Suspense About James Randi

The Amazing James Randi has stepped into the AGW debate with a reasonable blog, stating truisms several times:

scientists are just as human as the rest of us, in that they are strongly influenced by the need to be accepted, to kowtow to peer opinion, and to “belong” in the scientific community

a growing number of prominent scientists disagree (on the IPCC consensus)

science does not depend on consensus

History supplies us with many examples where scientists were just plain wrong about certain matters, but ultimately discovered the truth through continued research

as far as humans are concerned, ten times more people die each year from the effects of cold than die from the heat

In my amateur opinion, more attention to disease control, better hygienic conditions for food production and clean water supplies, as well as controlling the filth that we breathe from fossil fuel use, are problems that should distract us from fretting about baking in Global Warming.

A Skeptic that is skeptical about making Global Warming THE defining issue of our times?  Obviously, that’s not something that could be left unpunished. And in fact…there are some slightly ominous remarks by Phil “Jekill” Plait (not the usual reasonable Plait one can find talking about every topic but global warming):

I just talked with Randi about it (and sent him some info on AGW), and he’s posting a followup tonight

Let’s see how things develop. (Maurizio Morabito, OmniClimate)

 

Climate: James Randi vs mindless consensus pseudoscientists

Jorge P. has brought my attention to an essay about climate change written by James Randi:

James Randi Educational Foundation: AGW, Revisited
Randi who may be the world's #1 symbol of skepticism towards pseudoscientific charlatans (and magicians claiming to have special abilities: he reproduced lots of their tricks without any paranormal abilities) turns out to be consistent in his skepticism: he is skeptical towards the climate judgement day pseudoscience, too.

Randi's arguments are kind of obviously valid. He enumerates many solar, galactic, geomagnetic, lunar, and other influences that change the temperature by quantities comparable to 1 °C per century and that are not under theoretical control. It follows that the climate "equation" that would reliably predict a century of temperature changes with such an accuracy or a better one cannot be written down at present which is a reason why sensible people shouldn't make far-reaching claims about the future temperature.

Randi also mentions the large number of scientists (signed under various petitions etc.) who have reached similar conclusions.

His newly discovered skepticism may explain why Phil Plait who is not a skeptic but rather an uncritical irrational believer when it comes to te atmospheric Armageddon theories is no longer the president of the James Randi Educational Foundation. Well, he may have been simply yet diplomatically fired by Randi for having brutally violated the main principle that underlies the work of JREF - scientific skepticism.

» Don't Stop Reading » (The Reference Frame)

 

Little Feedback on Climate Feedbacks in the City by the Bay

The Fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) here in San Francisco this week is amazing for it’s sheer size: many thousands of Earth scientists presenting talks and posters on just about every Earth science subject imaginable.

Today was my chance to try to convince other scientists who work on the critical issue of feedbacks in the climate system that some fundamental mistakes have been made that have misled climate researchers into believing that the climate system is quite sensitive to our greenhouse gas emissions. A tough sell in only 14 minutes.

It was standing room only…close to 300 scientists by my estimate. There were only a couple of objections to my presentation…rather weak ones. Afterward I had a number of people comment favorably about the ‘different’ way I was looking at the problem.

And while that should be comforting, it is also disturbing. Since when in science did the issue of ‘causation’ become a foreign concept? When did the direction of causation between two correlated variables (in my case, clouds and temperature) become no longer important?

If temperature and clouds vary together in ‘sort of’ the same way in satellite observations as they do in climate models, then the models are considered to be ‘validated’. But my message, which might not have come across as clearly as it should have due to time constraints, was that such agreement does NOT validate the models when it comes to feedback, and feedbacks are what will determine how much of an impact humans have on the climate system.

Andrew Lacis, who works climate modeling with Jim Hansen, came up and said he agreed with me that, in general, the feedback problem is more difficult than people have been assuming. In a talk after mine, Graeme Stephens gave me a backhanded compliment when he agreed with at least my basic message that the way in which we assume the climate system functions (in my terms, what-causes-what to happen) IS important to how we then deduce how sensitive the climate is to such things as our carbon dioxide emissions.

The three organizers of the session were very gracious to invite me, since they knew my views are controversial. One of the three was Andrew Dessler, who works in water vapor feedback. I had never met Andy before, and he’s a super nice guy. They all agreed that there needs to be more debate on the subject.

But most of the talks presented followed the recipe that has become all too common in recent years: analyze the output of climate models that predict substantial global warming, and simply assume the models are somewhere near correct.

There seems to be great reluctance to consider the possibility that these computerized prophets of doom, which have required so many scientists and so much money and so many years to develop, could be wrong. I come along with an extremely simple climate model that explains the behavior of the satellite data in details that are beyond even what has been done with the complex climate models…and then the more complex models are STILL believed because…well…they’re more complex.

Besides, since my simple model would predict very little manmade global warming, it must be wrong. After all, we know that manmade global warming is a huge problem. All of the experts agree on that. Just ask Al Gore and the mainstream news media. (Roy W. Spencer)

 

Comment On EPA Response To Reviewer Comments On Ocean Heat Content

The EPA has published their response to reviewer comments in Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under the Clean Air Act

I am going to respond to one of their responses below (from the EPA url page)

EPA Summary of Comment (3-8):

Several commenters (3187.4, 7031, 9877) argue that the recent plateau in ocean heat content (from 2003 to 2008) suggests anthropogenic warming is not occurring because it indicates that the climate system is not accumulating heat. The lack of heat accumulation, they state, demonstrates a failure of the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis to account for natural climate variability, especially as it relates to ocean cycles. They claim that the recent trends in ocean heat content suggest the Earth’s energy budget is not out of balance owing to GHGs, in contrast to the findings of Hansen et al. (2005).

 EPA Response (3-8):

 We have reviewed the assessment literature in light of these comments and disagree with the assertions made by commenters. Just as temperature will not necessarily increase monotonically with increases in GHGs (per response 3-6) neither will ocean heat content on short time scales. Many of the same factors that influence global surface temperature in addition to GHG forcing will also result in short-term variability in ocean heat content such as aerosol emissions (anthropogenic and/or volcanic), solar forcing, and internal variability in the climate system. EPA does not suggest that GHGs are the only factors that would influence the global energy budget, and hence ocean heat content. EPA agrees that internal variability likely plays an important role in the interannual and interdecadal variability of ocean heat content, as indicated by IPCC (Bindoff et al., 2007). But as noted in Volume 2 of the Response to Comments document, the long-term trend in ocean heat content is indisputably upward, which is what we would expect given the anthropogenic heating from GHGs. The IPCC notes that ocean heat content is a critical variable for detecting the effects of the observed increase in GHGs in the Earth’s atmosphere and for resolving the Earth’s overall energy balance (Bindoff et al., 2007)

Several commenters (3187.4, 7031, 9877) argue that the recent plateau in ocean heat content (from 2003 to 2008) suggests anthropogenic warming is not occurring because it indicates that the climate system is not accumulating heat. The lack of heat accumulation, they state, demonstrates a failure of the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis to account for natural climate variability, especially as it relates to ocean cycles. They claim that the recent trends in ocean heat content suggest the Earth’s energy budget is not out of balance owing to GHGs, in contrast to the findings of Hansen et al. (2005).

Though the commenters refer to a recent plateau in ocean heat content, there are published papers which find the opposite, as mentioned in Volume 2 of the Response to Comments document. In fact, this work (von Schuckmann et al., 2009) indicates the global ocean accumulated (between the surface and 2,000 meter depth) 0.77 (plus or minus 0.11) watts per square meter of heat between 2003 and 2008, which is roughly consistent with the 0.86 (plus or minus 0.12) watts per square meter of heat (between the surface and 750 meter depth) accumulated between 1993 and 2003 as documented in Willis et al. (2004); and Hansen et al. (2005). These studies suggest the ocean has and continues to accumulate heat, contributing to an overall imbalance in the Earth’s energy budget, as further documented in two other recent studies by Trenberth et al. (2009) analyzing the period March 2000 to May 2004 and Murphy et al. (2009) (analyzing the period 1950–2004).

We have added the following text on this topic to Section 4(f) of the final TSD on this topic:

The thermal expansion of sea water is an indicator of increasing ocean heat content. Ocean heat content is also a critical variable for detecting the effects of the observed increase in GHGs in the Earth’s atmosphere and for resolving the Earth’s overall energy balance (Bindoff et al., 2007). For the period 1955 to 2005, Bindoff et al. (2007) analyze multiple time series of ocean heat content and find an overall increase, while noting interannual and inter-decadal variations. NOAA’s report State of the Climate in 2008 (Peterson and Baringer, 2009), which incorporates data through 2008, finds “large” increases in global ocean heat content since the 1950s and notes that over the last several years, ocean heat content has reached consistently higher values than for all prior times in the record.

Thus, the TSD’s summary of the current state of the science on ocean heat content as reflected in the underlying assessment literature is reasonable and sound.

There are major misinterpretations in the EPA response:

An essential test of  model performance is a direct comparison with observations. I have discussed in several posts (see and see) the inability of Jim Hansen’s GISS model  to accurately predict the accumulation of heat in the upper ocean over the last several years.

I  do agree that the conclusion in Hansen et al. 2005 that the “Earth is now absorbing 0.85 ± Watts per meter squared more energy from the Sun than it is emitting to space” is well supported by their modeling results for the ten years or so ending in 2003.

However, in their paper

Hansen, J., L. Nazarenko, R. Ruedy, Mki. Sato, J. Willis, A. Del Genio, D. Koch, A. Lacis, K. Lo, S. Menon, T. Novakov, Ju. Perlwitz, G. Russell, G.A. Schmidt, and N. Tausnev, 2005: Earth’s energy imbalance: Confirmation and implications. Science, 308, 1431-1435, doi:10.1126/science.1110252,

they wrote

“Our climate model, driven mainly by increasing human-made greenhouse gases and aerosols among other forcings, calculates that Earth is now absorbing 0.85±0.15 W/m2 more energy from the Sun than it is emitting to space. This imbalance is confirmed by precise measurements of increasing ocean heat content over the past 10 years.” 

In the response by Jim Hansen to a comment by Christy and Pielke Sr   Hansen wrote me with respect to their GISS model predictions that

“Our simulated 1993-2003 heat storage rate was 0.6 W/m2 in the upper 750 m of the ocean.”

He further writes

“The decadal mean planetary energy imbalance, 0.75 W/m2, includes heat storage in the deeper ocean and energy used to melt ice and warm the air and land. 0.85 W/m2 is the imbalance at the end of the decade.”

Thus, the best estimate value of 0.60 Watts per meter squared given in Hansen et al can be used to calculate the accumulation of  heat  in Joules that Jim Hansen predicted in the upper ocean data from 2003 to the present.

The observed best estimates of the observed heating and the Hansen et al prediction in Joules in the upper 700m of the ocean are given below:

OBSERVED BEST ESTIMATE OF ACCUMULATION Of JOULES [assuming a baseline of zero at the end of 2002].

2003 ~0 Joules
2004 ~0 Joules
2005 ~0 Joules
2006 ~0 Joules
2007 ~0 Joules
2008 ~0 Joules
2009  ~0 Joules (estimated) 
2010 —— 
2011 —— 
2012 ——     

HANSEN PREDICTION OF The ACCUMULATION OF JOULES [ at a rate of 0.60 Watts per meter squared] assuming a baseline of zero at the end of 2002].

2003 ~0.98 * 10** 22 Joules
2004 ~1.96 * 10** 22 Joules
2005 ~2.94 * 10** 22 Joules
2006 ~3.92 * 10** 22 Joules
2007 ~4.90 * 10** 22 Joules
2008 ~5.88 * 10** 22 Joules
2009 ~6.86 * 10** 22 Joules
2010 ~7.84 * 10** 22 Joules
2011 ~8.82 * 10** 22 Joules
2012 ~9.80 * 10** 22 Joules

Thus, according to the GISS model predictions, there should be approximately 6.86 * 10**22 Joules more heat in the upper 700 meters of the global ocean at the end of 2009 than were present at the beginning of 2003.

For the observations to come into agreement with the GISS model prediction by the end of 2012, for example, there would have to be an accumulation 9.8 * 10** 22 Joules of heat over just the next three years. This requires a heating rate over the next 3 years into the upper 700 meters of the ocean of 3.27* 10**22 Joules per year, which corresponds to a radiative imbalance of ~+2.0 Watts per square meter.

This rate of heating would have to be about 3 1/3 times higher than the 0.60 Watts per meter squared that Jim Hansen reported for the period 1993 to 2003.

While the time period for this discrepancy with the GISS model is still relatively short, the question should be asked by the EPA as to the number of years required to reject this model as having global warming predictive skill, if this large difference between the observations and the GISS model persists.

The EPA failed to discuss this discrepancy between observations and the model predictions. Despite what they wrote, the climate system, as represented by the upper ocean heat content, has not been accumulating heat over the last 6 years or so. Based on the GISS model predictions, there should be approximately 6.86 * 10** 22 Joules more heat in the upper 700 meters of the global ocean at the end of 2009 than were present at the beginning of 2003.

Finally, the EPA is selective (i.e. biased) in terms of what they presented in the justification for their findings. They did not discuss or refute, for example, the conclusions with respect to ocean heat content changes reported in

Douglass, D.H. and R. Knox, 2009: Ocean heat content and Earth’s radiation imbalance. Physics letters A

Pielke Sr., R.A., 2008: A broader view of the role of humans in the climate system. Physics Today, 61, Vol. 11, 54-55.

The EPA Findings perpetuate the culture of ignoring peer-reviewed scientific results which is exemplified in the released CRU e-mails. (Climate Science)

 

Is “several degrees” of warming “virtually certain,” as NASA claims?

Earlier this week, at an American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, NASA unveiled new data on atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs), notably carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor, from its Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) unit on the agency’s Aqua spacecraft. NASA touted two main findings as “breakthroughs” in GHG research.

One supposed breakthrough is the discovery that CO2 is not “well-mixed” through the global troposphere (mid-level atmosphere), but is actually “lumpy” — distributed in higher concentrations in two “belts” circling the globe, especially in Northern hemisphere, which is more heavily industrialized. Now, I suppose this is a breakthrough in the sense that it will allow researchers to improve CO2 “transport models,” which hitherto have assumed that CO2 concentrations are uniform throughout the troposphere. But it would be surprising indeed if scientists did not know until now that industrialized regions have higher CO2 levels than non-industrialized areas.

The second supposed breakthrough is the claim that the AIRS data remove “most of the uncertainty about the role of water vapor [feedback]” in climate change.  “AIRS temperature data have corroborated climate model predictions that the warming of our climate produced as carbon dioxide levels rise will be greatly exacerbated — in fact, more than doubled — by water vapor,” said climate scientist Andrew Dressler of Texas A&M University. According to Dressler, “We are virtually certain to see Earth’s climate warm by several degrees Celsius in the next century, unless some strong negative feedback mechanism emerges elsewhere in the Earth’s climate system.” Dressler is talking about the assumption, common to all IPCC climate models, that the initial warming from rising CO2 levels increases concentrations of the atmosphere’s main greenhouse gas, water vapor, trapping more outgoing longwave (heat or infrared) radiation (OLR) and increasing global average rainfall.

William Gray of Colorado State University, perhaps the world’s leading hurricane forecaster, offers a different perspective on the NASA water vapor data. Gray’s comment follows:

I have just heard that NASA has a new satellite in orbit that can directly measure CO2 content in the atmosphere and that these new measurements are beginning to show that there is a positive association between increased rainfall (from higher CO2 gas amounts) and Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) suppression. This is to be expected in and around the areas of precipitation — but not necessarily in global areas surrounding precipitation where return flow mass subsidence is driving the water vapor radiation emission level to a lower and somewhat warmer temperature.

I and a colleague, Barry Schwartz, have been analyzing 21 years (1984-2004) of ISCCP (International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project) outgoing longwave radiation on various space scales as related to precipitation differences. We have investigated how OLR changes with variations in precipitation from NOAA reanalysis data on time scales from 3 hours, a day, a month, and up to a year scale.

We find that on a small space scale where rainfall is occurring OLR is greatly suppressed. But on the larger regional to global scales, OLR rises with increasing precipitation. This is due to increased return flow subsidence in the surrounding cloud free and partly cloudy areas. Globally, we are finding that net OLR increases with net increased amounts of global precipitation. This is the opposite of what most GCMs [general circulation models] have programmed into their models and, if I’m interpreting the new NASA announcement correctly, opposite to what they are currently reporting to the media.

Dr. Gray presents a more detailed examination of these issues in his March 2009 Heartland Institute climate conference paper, available here. (Marlo Lewis, Cooler Heads)

 

NASA: Quiet Sun Cools the Upper Atmosphere

New measurements from a NASA satellite show a dramatic cooling in the upper atmosphere that correlates with the declining phase of the current solar cycle. For the first time, researchers can show a timely link between the Sun and the climate of Earth’s thermosphere, the region above 100 km, an essential step in making accurate predictions of climate change in the high atmosphere.

Scientists from NASA’s Langley Research Center and Hampton University in Hampton, Va., and the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., will present these results at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco from Dec. 14 to 18.

Read more here. (CRN)

 

Stat Model Predicts Flat Temperatures Through 2050

While climate skeptics have gleefully pointed to the past decade's lack of temperature rise as proof that global warming is not happening as predicted, climate change activists have claimed that this is just “cherry picking” the data. They point to their complex and error prone general circulation models that, after significant re-factoring, are now predicting a stretch of stable temperatures followed by a resurgent global warming onslaught. In a recent paper, a new type of model, based on a test for structural breaks in surface temperature time series, is used to investigate two common claims about global warming. This statistical model predicts no temperature rise until 2050 but the more interesting prediction is what happens between 2050 and 2100. (Doug L. Hoffman, The Resilient Earth)

 

Oh... Amazon Losing Ability to Curb Global Warming

The Amazon's flying rivers"—humid air currents that deliver water to the vast rain forest—may be ebbing, and in turn drying out the Amazon's diverse ecological and economic resources and the region's ability to absorb carbon dioxide and curb global warming, an expert said this week at the Copenhagen climate conference. 

Rising t emperatures in the Amazon region, in large part due to climate change, are creating more arid savannas that disable the water cycle vital to Brazil's farming and energy industries. 

Deforestation also plays a role. As more of Brazil's rain forests fall to logging and agriculture, there are fewer trees to release the water vapor that creates these flying rivers. 

In addition to releasing water vapor, the Amazon forest have played a critical role in trapping greenhouse gas emissions that are a root cause of global warming. (National Geographic News)

NatGeo hits all the nonsense buttons: " greenhouse gas emissions that are a root cause of global warming". If only someone, anyone, could demonstrate such a thing.

 

Sea Levels and Temperature in the Previous Interglacial

There’s a new paper in Nature suggesting higher sea levels and temperature during the previous interglacial, which, of course, didn’t have man-made CO2 in the atmosphere:

Probabilistic assessment of sea level during the last interglacial stage
Robert E. Kopp, Frederik J. Simons, Jerry X. Mitrovica, Adam C. Maloof & Michael Oppenheimer, doi:10.1038/nature0868

Abstract:

With polar temperatures ~3–5 °C warmer than today, the last interglacial stage (~125 kyr ago) serves as a partial analogue for 1–2 °C global warming scenarios. Geological records from several sites indicate that local sea levels during the last interglacial were higher than today, but because local sea levels differ from global sea level, accurately reconstructing past global sea level requires an integrated analysis of globally distributed data sets. Here we present an extensive compilation of local sea level indicators and a statistical approach for estimating global sea level, local sea levels, ice sheet volumes and their associated uncertainties. We find a 95% probability that global sea level peaked at least 6.6 m higher than today during the last interglacial; it is likely (67% probability) to have exceeded 8.0 m but is unlikely (33% probability) to have exceeded 9.4 m. When global sea level was close to its current level (≥-10 m), the millennial average rate of global sea level rise is very likely to have exceeded 5.6 m kyr-1 but is unlikely to have exceeded 9.2 m kyr-1. Our analysis extends previous last interglacial sea level studies by integrating literature observations within a probabilistic framework that accounts for the physics of sea level change. The results highlight the long-term vulnerability of ice sheets to even relatively low levels of sustained global warming. (CRN)

 

Past Sea Level Rise and Adaptation off Orkney

A unique discovery of submerged man-made structures on the seabed off Orkney could help find solutions to rising sea levels, experts have said.

They said the well preserved stone pieces near the island of Damsay are the only such examples around the UK.

It is thought some of the structures may date back thousands of years.

Geomorphologist Sue Dawson said that people have survived and adapted in the past and it is that adaption to climate change that needs to be learned from.

Caroline Wickham-Jones said: “The really interesting thing about this bay is the stories relating to things under the sea and sea-level change. Our ancestors were dealing with similar problems to ourselves and we’d like to see how they coped with it.”

BBC News website: Rising seas ‘clue’ in sunken world off Orkney (CRN)

 

What part of "Take a hike, Chucky!" don't they get? Climate Deal On Ships And Planes Seen Slipping Away

COPENHAGEN - Climate negotiators warned on Wednesday they may miss the opportunity to cap emissions from shipping and aviation and so miss out on billions of dollars in taxation to help poor countries cope with climate change. (Reuters)

 

Stumbling Climate Talks Seen Knocking EU Carbon

LONDON - Dwindling prospects a strong climate deal at a U.N. summit in Copenhagen were likely to knock carbon permits under the European Union emissions trading scheme, traders said, and prices fell to a two-week low on Thursday.

Prices for the carbon permits called EU Allowances (EUAs) fell five percent to around 13.60 euros ($19.59) a tonne.

Some traders and analysts saw varying scope for further falls, ranging from the limited and temporary to the drastic, as the likelihood of a deal being clinched for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol looked increasingly remote. (Reuters)

 

Nonsense, Peak Oil, and Oil Prices

We are nowhere close to the end of the oil age. A careful examination of the facts shows that most arguments about peak oil are based on anecdotal information, vague references and ignorance of how the oil industry goes about finding fields and extracting petroleum. [Read More] (Michael C. Lynch, Energy Tribune)

 

Funding cuts 'threaten to kill UK's nuclear research programme'

They predicted that the cuts will leave the UK incapable of training the technicians required for a planned new generation of nuclear plants.

The Science and Technology Facilities Council announced which projects would by slashed from its portfolio in order to fill a £40 million hole in its budget. Two of the country’s three largest nuclear research projects will be scrapped completely.

Jim Al-Khalili, Professor of Physics at the University of Surrey, said: “At a time when the UK are planning on building eight new plants, to be killing off the entire discipline is mind-bogglingly stupid.” (The Times)

 

Scientists Demystify Utility of Power Factor Correction Devices

(Dec. 18, 2009) — If you've seen an Internet ad for capacitor-type power factor correction devices, you might be led to believe that using one can save you money on your residential electricity bill. However, a team including specialists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have recently explained* why the devices actually provide no savings by discussing the underlying physics. (ScienceDaily)

 

"The Wind Farm Scam" by John Etherington (the UK environmental civil war builds)

Editor Note: Author John Etherington, formerly a Reader in Ecology at the University of Wales, has extensively researched the implications of intermittently available renewable electricity generation, particularly wind power. He is a Thomas Huxley Medallist at the Royal College of Science and a former co-editor of the International Journal of Ecology.

 

 It may be a bit too late to order copies of the just published 198-page The Wind Farm Scam (Stacy International, 2009) by British ecologist John Etherington as a holiday gift, but it’s well worth getting (and giving) copies of the book as soon as you can secure them.

The book should be required reading for every high school, college, and university student — especially in those institutions offering energy and environmental programs.

Although the book written about the UK experience, most of its facts about “wind farms” are applicable worldwide.  It explains wind energy—and its limitations and environmental insults—in easily understood terms  It explains why wind will never provide a significant, reliable source of electricity.

As in the US, “wind farms” in the UK are being built primarily because of government fiat and huge government-forced subsidies, not because of their true environmental, economic, or energy benefits.  Apparently, the tax breaks and subsidies in the US are even more attractive than those in the UK since two major oil companies, BP and Shell, have pulled out of UK “renewable” energy programs with the intent of focusing their attention (and renewable rent seeking) on the US and Canada.

Personally, I found Dr. Etherington’s well-researched and clear-headed discussion of wind energy a very welcome relief from the wind energy madness now underway in the US.

For example: [Read more →] (Glenn Schleede, MasterResource)

 

That Tap Water Is Legal but May Be Unhealthy

The 35-year-old federal law regulating tap water is so out of date that the water Americans drink can pose what scientists say are serious health risks — and still be legal.

Only 91 contaminants are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act, yet more than 60,000 chemicals are used within the United States, according to Environmental Protection Agency estimates. Government and independent scientists have scrutinized thousands of those chemicals in recent decades, and identified hundreds associated with a risk of cancer and other diseases at small concentrations in drinking water, according to an analysis of government records by The New York Times.

But not one chemical has been added to the list of those regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act since 2000. (NYT)

The reason none have been added is there are no indications of any need to do so.

 

NDEP issues statement about safe drinking water in Nevada

UPDATED December 17, 2009

CARSON CITY, Nev. – State officials said today that information sent recently to national news media by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is inaccurate, misleading and does not tell the true story of drinking water quality in Nevada.

“The fact is that Reno and Las Vegas drinking water meets and is significantly better than federal Environmental Protection Agency’s water standards,” said Allen Biaggi, director of the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, which oversees the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, the agency responsible for Nevada’s safe drinking water program.

“EWG’s criticism amounts to saying federal water quality requirements are not adequate. It’s like saying driving 25 miles an hour in a 55-mile-an-hour zone is too fast.” (Nevada Dept. of Conservation & Natural Resources)

 

Obesity, Inactivity Keeping Heart Health Stats Down - Treatments have improved, but Americans fall down on prevention, experts say

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 -- While physicians and surgeons are getting better at treating heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems, too many Americans are ignoring the basic rules for preventing them, according to new statistics from the American Heart Association.

Topping the list: too little exercise, too much weight. (HealthDay News)

 

What's new about this? Scientists developing food to prevent overeating

London, Dec 17 In a bid to fight the global epidemic of obesity, Dutch scientists are developing a new generation of foods that would prevent people from overeating by releasing "anti-hunger" aromas. (PTI)

All my kids' early solo efforts in the kitchen had such qualities ;-)

 

Proximity to Convenience Stores Fosters Child Obesity, Study Finds

(Dec. 18, 2009) — Childhood obesity is directly related to how close kids live to convenience stores, according to the preliminary findings of a major Canadian study presented at the Entretiens Jacques-Cartier in Lyon, France. The ongoing study is named QUALITY for Quebec Adipose and Lifestyle InvesTigation in Youth. (ScienceDaily)

 

Forest Service will rewrite environmental-impact rules

After striking out three times, the U.S. Forest Service is embarking on another rewrite of the basic planning rule that balances logging against fish and wildlife and clean water in national forests.

Laying out a greener future for the national forests, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Thursday that work is starting on an environmental-impact statement to replace one produced by the Bush administration that was struck down by a federal judge. ( Associated Press)

Far better to take the judiciary out of the system altogether (scrapping all "environmental" laws would be a moderate start).

 

BAGS OF MONEY

Following SA’s example, the Northern Territory government takes action against plastic bags:

The South Australian Government introduced a similar ban in April and the major grocery stores started selling 15c reusable plastic bags.

And how did that work out?

In the first two months, grocery-giant Woolworths sold 400,000 bags - making $60,000.

Wait a second. Wasn’t Woolworths the target of Kevin Rudd’s price justice plan? And now green policies have delivered the grocery giant a minor windfall? Just another example of unintended consequences. (Tim Blair)

 

December 17, 2009

 

Climategate goes SERIAL: now the Russians confirm that UK climate scientists manipulated data to exaggerate global warming

Climategate just got much, much bigger. And all thanks to the Russians who, with perfect timing, dropped this bombshell just as the world’s leaders are gathering in Copenhagen to discuss ways of carbon-taxing us all back to the dark ages.

Feast your eyes on this news release from Rionovosta, via the Ria Novosti agency, posted on Icecap. (James Delingpole, TDT)

 

Met Office 'manipulated climate change figures' say Russian think tank

An explosive new claim that the Meteorological Office in Britain 'manipulated' climate change figures has come from a leading Russian think-tank founded by a former adviser to Vladimir Putin.

As the Copenhagen summit comes to a climax on Friday, it was alleged that Siberian weather statistics were selected in a way that masks evidence not showing global warming.

The think tank strongly disputes the use of data from the Met Office's Hadley Centre for Climate Change which were released in a bid to diffuse the recent row over hacked emails from the Climate Research Unit in East Anglia.

The emails were seized upon by global warming sceptics as evidence that academics were massaging the figures.

The Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) claimed the Hadley Centre used statistics from weather stations in Russian and Siberia that fitted its theory of global warming, while often ignoring those that did not.

The report was seized on by media with close ties to the Kremlin, which is opposed to rigid new curbs on carbon emissions demanded by many Western countries at the Danish summit. Russian meteorological station data did not substantiate the global-warming theory,' stated semi-official RIA Novosti news agency. ( Will Stewart, Daily Mail)

 

Russian IEA claims CRU tampered with climate data – cherrypicked warmest stations

I wonder if they used this station, which is famous in Russia? See details here

Stevenson Screen at Verhojansk Meteo Station looking ENE

Steve McIntyre reports on Climate Audit that there’s an email from Michael Mann that is relevant:

Recently rejected two papers (one for JGR and for GRL) from people saying CRU has it wrong over Siberia. Went to town in both reviews, hopefully successfully. If either appears I will be very surprised, but you never know with GRL.

More bullying from the team.

=============================

Guest post by Jeff Id of the Air Vent

It’s true, and it’s huge. Today another example of CRU having their foot on the scale, Russian papers are reporting that the Russian surface station data was sorted by CRU to use the highest warming stations only.

The article is linked here:

Russia affected by Climategate

A discussion of the November 2009 Climatic Research Unit e-mail hacking incident, referred to by some sources as “Climategate,” continues against the backdrop of the abortive UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen (COP15) discussing alternative agreements to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol that aimed to combat global warming.

The incident involved an e-mail server used by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, East England. Unknown persons stole and anonymously disseminated thousands of e-mails and other documents dealing with the global-warming issue made over the course of 13 years.

Controversy arose after various allegations were made including that climate scientists colluded to withhold scientific evidence and manipulated data to make the case for global warming appear stronger than it is.

Climategate has already affected Russia. On Tuesday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) had probably tampered with Russian-climate data.

Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)

 

Open science & Climategate

Gary Richmond wrote a very nice essay about the Climategate and the poor standards in climate science:

Open Science and Climategate: The IPCC/CRU needs to take a leaf out of CERN's Book (click)
He argues that the IPCC and friends should imitate CERN - which Richmond has enthusiastically written about previously - and adopt the philosophy of open source software etc.

There's a lot of wisdom about the essence of science (and the importance of skepticism and verification), peer review (and how it was devastated), the Harry file in the hacked/leaked CRU documents (and what software standards have been violated according to this file), comparisons with sub prime coding and other things in the software industry (and some promotion of the free software framework - well, I would stay skeptical), questions why professional IT guys were not hired in the climate science (who would also choose different programming languages to deal with the formatting issues), interactions with politics (which partly provide the answer to the previous point), and other things. Recommended.

» Don't Stop Reading » (The Reference Frame)

 

Really funny: Group to expose climate science profiteer

Washington, D.C. – PolluterWatch was launched today to expose and push back the polluting industry's propaganda. The project aims to legally obtain, organize and post large numbers of emails by top global warming “deniers” and top polluting industry lobbyists that “served” in the Bush Administration. 

“Hard-working Americans don’t have the money or lack of scruples to hire hackers to sort and post stolen emails,” said PolluterWatch Director Kert Davies. 

“It’s the guys making money lying about climate science who have been cooking the science books. Once their emails are brought to the light of day, we’ll know the truth. If they haven’t been lying, they’ll have nothing to hide, and we’ll be happy to organize and post all of their emails for them so the public can judge for themselves.”

PolluterWatch is currently investigating Patrick Michaels, a former University of Virginia professor financed by polluters who has been widely attacking credible climate scientists. (Deborah Dupre', Examiner)

 

I’m warming to that bear

What, no one laughed? That’s the scary bit:

To a chorus of boos, a man dressed as a polar bear entered Copenhagen’s main conference center Tuesday and began paging the discredited climate scientist whose hacked e-mails sparked the Climate-Gate scandal.

Using a megaphone to pierce the rumble of hundreds gathered inside the Bella Center, which is hosting the city’s global climate summit, the polar bear boomed out:

“PHIL JONES??? HAS ANYONE SEEN PHIL JONES???” …

While no one in the highly partisan crowd attacked the bear, one woman advised him to “get out of here now while you still can.” (Andrew Bolt)

 

Article of faith

It is surprising how much baggage can be carried by one little word. Have you ever noticed the difference in modern communication between “Science” and “The Science”? The first is a term we have used for centuries and is part of the common language, but just add that little definite article and you enter a whole new world of  belief, prejudice and hostility.

Likewise, there is a world of difference between “Earth” and “The Planet”. Again one is just a word in our common tongue, but the other phrase immediately sets a whole agenda as soon as you hear it. Mass political and religious movements seem to develop a need for a jargon of their own, just as thieves develop their own cant. It gives them identification and a sense of belonging. Fortunately for the rest of us it also enables us to spot them and, if wise, avoid them. (Number Watch)

 

Oh... Climate change e-mail scandal underscores myth of pure science

The East Anglia controversy serves as a reminder that when the politics are divisive and the science is sufficiently complex, the boundary between the two may become indiscernible. (Daniel Sarewitz and Samuel Thernstrom, LA Times) 

Look, the physics is actually rock-solid, there can not be catastrophic CO2-driven warming, period. This has always been political crap and there is no excuse for continuing it, just a mandatory study of the debacle of what never to do.

 

Johnny Ball booed by an aggressive audience

Johnny Ball, a TV legend from BBC of the 1970s and 1980s who popularized mathematics and science - see e.g. The Red Planet - was booed by a far-left audience during a Christmas party of the fans of science and atheism. The reason? His AGW skepticism. See The Telegraph:

Johnny Ball booed by atheists over climate change denial
Balls to Johnny (Chortle)
Johnny Ball on BBC Radio, March 09
Shame on you, these people - if you deserve this name at all. You're just pathetic, folks.

You're members of a gang of narrow-minded idiots who seem to believe that the more obnoxious left-wing fanatics you are, the more scientific you become. Or at least you successfully pretend that you believe that. Except that it is not true at all. Science has no permanent correlation with politics and if there exists a correlation today, left-wing politics and science are on the opposite sides of the barricade.

Johnny Ball is apparently an atheist himself. It's just amazing to watch what kind of a radical hardcore is evolving inside the community of left-wing self-described champions of science who are actually not champions of science at all. (The Reference Frame)

 

Gore stung

Paul Reiter, one of the world’s greatest experts on mosquitos, nails Al Gore on yet another deceit:

I am a scientist, not a climatologist, so I don’t dabble in climatology. My speciality is the epidemiology of mosquito-borne diseases. As the film [An Inconvenient Truth] began, I knew Mr Gore would get to mosquitoes: they’re a favourite with climate-change activists. When he got to them, it was all I feared.

In his serious voice, Mr Gore presented a nifty animation, a band of little mosquitoes fluttering their way up the slopes of a snow-capped mountain, and he repeated the old line: Nairobi used to be ‘above the mosquito line, the limit at which mosquitoes can survive, but now…’ Those little mosquitoes kept climbing.

The truth? Nairobi means ‘the place of cool waters’ in the Masai language. The town grew up around a camp, set up in 1899 during the construction of a railway, the famous ‘Lunatic Express’. There certainly was water there — and mosquitoes. From the start, the place was plagued with malaria, so much so that a few years later doctors tried to have the whole town moved to a healthier place. By 1927, the disease had become such a plague in the ‘White Highlands’ that £40,000 (equivalent to about £350,000 today) was earmarked for malaria control. The authorities understood the root of the problem: forest clearance had created the perfect breeding places for mosquitoes. The disease was present as high as 2,500m above sea level; the mosquitoes were observed at 3,000m. And Nairobi? 1,680m.

Reiter also gives yet more evidence at the corruption of the scientific process that is at the heart of the IPCC.

UPDATE

Yet another Gore whoopsie, this time on extra “tree mortality” thanks to global warming. At what stage can we call this fraud a bare-faced liar? It’s odd that not one of his many, many mistakes errs on the side of calm. (Andrew Bolt)

 

Climategate, Copenhagen and the EPA

Perhaps it's the rule of threes--that similar significant events are grouped as triplets. Celebrity deaths and/or scandals, sporting achievements, all have been the cause of speculation. Let's add the politics of climate change to the list.

I was hoping to look at how Climategate has influenced the debate one month after the release of emails and documents that appear to show climate scientists and paleoclimatologists (The Team) trying to massage presentations, prevent publication of contrary points of view and evade the requirements of the UK's Freedom of Information Act. But I find that the effects can't be teased out from consequences of two other events--the COP15 summit in Copenhagen and the Obama administration's decision to allow the EPA to proceed with its endangerment finding for CO2. (Thomas Fuller, Examiner)

 

No Cap and Tax

Live From Copenhagen: U.N. Official Admits Copenhagen Conference “is Not a Climate Change Negotiation”

The Heritage Foundation’s Steven Groves and Ben Lieberman are live at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference reporting from a conservative perspective. Follow their reports on The Foundry and at the Copenhagen Consequences Web site.

As the developed and developing worlds continue to spar here in Copenhagen over the terms of a comprehensive climate change treaty, a key United Nations official let the actual truth slip out as to what this conference is really about.

Janos Pasztor—the Director of U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon’s Climate Change Support Team—was characterizing the nature of the talks between the rich and poor nations of the world when he said the following: “This is not a climate-change negotiation … It’s about something much more fundamental. It’s about economic strength.” The nations at the negotiation, he added, “just have to slug it out.”

That is a remarkable statement, and may turn out to be the most truthful comment made during this entire two-week conference. Continue reading… (The Foundry)

 

Putting our economy in the hands of Chavez fans

image

These maniacs in Copenhagen are voting on your future:

President Chavez brought the house down.

When he said the process in Copenhagen was “not democratic, it is not inclusive, but isn’t that the reality of our world, the world is really an imperial dictatorship…down with imperial dictatorships” he got a rousing round of applause.

When he said there was a “silent and terrible ghost in the room” and that ghost was called capitalism, the applause was deafening.

But then he wound up to his grand conclusion – 20 minutes after his 5 minute speaking time was supposed to have ended and after quoting everyone from Karl Marx to Jesus Christ - “our revolution seeks to help all people…socialism, the other ghost that is probably wandering around this room, that’s the way to save the planet, capitalism is the road to hell....let’s fight against capitalism and make it obey us.” He won a standing ovation.

UPDATE

And at the end of this first clip, Chavez rouses the rabble with more anti-Americanism, too:

(Andrew Bolt)

 

Cash Is King, Even at Copenhagen

Although apparently brief, the suspension of the Copenhagen climate conference after a walkout by the Group of 77 developing countries confirms that the talks are as much about money as about healing the world’s climate. [Read More] (Geoffrey Styles, Energy Tribune)

 

How you’ll pay for the Third World’s great climate shakedown

Kevin Rudd is considering a deal that will see us hand over hundreds of millions of dollars each year to countries such as China and Zimbabwe as a bribe to sign a global warming treaty:

AFRICAN nations, led by Ethiopia and backed by France and Britain, have presented a plan to break the deadlock at the Copenhagen talks by raising billions of dollars to help poor countries cope with climate change through levies on international aviation and shipping and possibly even a controversial global financial tax.

Kevin Rudd discussed the plan with Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi…

The financing plan proposes to raise $80bn a year after the three-year “fast-start” program expires, rising to $160bn a year by 2020, through levies on international shipping and aviation and possibly a financial transaction tax such as the Tobin tax on global financial transactions… (T)he fact that it is being presented by Ethiopia could help overcome developing-nation suspicions and encourage major developing-country emitters such as China and India to promise internationally binding emission reductions....

So far, Japan has reportedly offered $11bn a year for the “fast-start” financing fund, and the EU about $10.5bn. The US and Australia have promised to contribute their “fair share”, without specifying amounts.

With Rudd and West handing over cash like that, I’d be a warming believer, too, if I were an African or Chinese despot.

This is the greatest gathering of carpetbaggers in our history, and our sorry role under Rudd is to fill those bags until they say “when”.

UPDATE

For Heaven’s sake, just how much of our money is Rudd shipping overseas in his warming crusade?

AUSTRALIA is among six Western countries that announced they had agreed $US3.5 billion ($3.87 billion) to help fight climate change by attacking deforestation, in a program that would run from 2010-2012… They described this as “an initial investment” in developing countries that submit “ambitious” plans for preserving their forests instead of logging the resources for timber.

An urgent question: Mr Rudd, how much are you spending at Copenhagen?

UPDATE 2

The ABC finally gets a price - on just Rudd’s Copenhagen downpayment:

Fast-track financing worth $3.5 billion has been committed to the developing world, including a $120m contribution from Australia.

That’s each year, of course, and just the beginning. (Andrew Bolt)

 

Copenhagen 'a big gravy train'

OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott says the climate change summit in Copenhagen is turning into a gravy train for some countries. 

Wealthy nations in Copenhagen have so far pledged some $US22 billion ($24.43 billion) to bankroll the war on global warming.

Australia was one of six developed countries that promised to set up a fund to fight the loss of forests in neighbouring countries - a leading source for rising temperatures.

Mr Abbott told a gathering of Liberal Party members in the seat of Deakin in Melbourne's east that the coalition would be bringing out its own climate change policy in a few weeks.

He fears that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who is in Copenhagen, will do a deal that will hurt the Australian economy while not doing much to advance world environment.

"My problem is, why does Mr Rudd think the best way to save the environment is to increase your cost of living?" Mr Abbott said. "Why does he give us a tax policy and tell us it's an environment policy?" (AAP)

 

They gotta point: Agreement Reached in Copenhagen... The U.N. Shouldn't Be in Charge of Climate Change Policy

After waiting hours in the cold with intermittent periods of snow on Monday and Tuesday in unsuccessful bids to get into the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP-15) of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, many of those who have long-supported a strong global response to the threat of global warming began questioning the wisdom of leaving these decisions to the United Nations.

The venue for the conference, the Bella Center in Copenhagen, has a maximum occupancy of 15,000, yet the U.N. organizers permitted some 45,000-50,000 people to register.

If they can't get something as simple as math correct, why should we expect them to get anything as complicated as climate science correct?

To resolve the problem, the organizers decided to scale back the size of delegations by cutting their size by - according to some reports - up to 80% after they'd already travelled vast distances at great expense to be here by requiring them to obtain highly-rationed "secondary passes." To say Non-Governmental Organizations were angry about the cuts would be an understatement.

On Monday, those who'd waited for up to 10 hours before being turned away began chanting "Shame on You U.N.," while others yelled "the U.N. Sucks."

Hmm... People angered about rationing... an 80% cut... something sounds very familiar about that figure. (National Center)

 

Ed, you are years too late, mate: Copenhagen summit veering towards farce, warns Ed Miliband

Climate talks at least 18 hours behind schedule as world leaders set to arrive in Copenhagen (John Vidal and Allegra Stratton, The Guardian)

 

Analysis: 48 hours to go and no progress at Copenhagen summit

With a little over 48-hours left of the two-week Copenhagen climate change conference, there has been no significant progress on any of the major issues.

There are no numbers from individual countries on how much each would be willing to contribute to a global climate protection fund. Nor has any country improved on its opening offer for cutting emissions.

Most developing countries, led by China, are still refusing to commit to legally binding actions to reduce the rate of growth of their emissions. They are clinging to the ten-year-old Kyoto Protocol, which allows them to carry on increasing their emissions indefinitely.

There is no certainty that any of the pledges made to date will be fulfilled because the 193 countries cannot agree on a consistent, independent monitoring system. (The Times)

 

Good indication there'll be no deal: Climate talks resume in Copenhagen after major delay

Formal negotiations have reopened at the UN climate summit in Copenhagen after a delay of nine hours.
The hold-up was caused by wrangles over the texts to be used as the basis for the talks.

Beneath the dispute lies a long-running accusation from developing countries that the Danish hosts are trying to sideline their concerns.

New funds have been pledged, notably by Japan which will provide $5bn a year to poor nations if a deal is reached. (Richard Black, BBC News)

 

China Sees No Chance Of Climate Deal - Source

COPENHAGEN - China has told participants in the U.N. climate change talks that it sees no possibility of achieving an operational accord this week, an official involved in the Copenhagen talks said on Thursday. (Reuters)

 

Climate talks on brink of failure as time runs out - Gordon Brown holds series of meetings in desperate bid to help salvage deal

Gordon Brown was last night engaged in a major round of shuttle diplomacy to try to save the UN climate talks in Copenhagen, which yesterday became bogged down in intense procedural wrangles.

The Prime Minister held more than a dozen meetings with other world leaders In the centre of the Danish capital. The talks lasted through the day and into the evening as they sought common ground on which a new international treaty to combat global warming can be agreed.

The talks themselves, being held in the city's Bella Centre four miles away, looked dangerously stuck last night – and this morning there are only 24 hours left to secure an agreement before the 120 heads of state, who have come to Copenhagen to shake hands on it, have to fly home. (The Independent)

 

It’s the end of the world - again

Environmentalists claiming that the Copenhagen summit is ‘the last chance’ to save the planet sound like a broken record. (Patrick Hayes, sp!ked)

 

 

Prospect of Global Warming Pact Fades in Copenhagen (Update3)

Dec. 16 -- World leaders will arrive in the Danish capital of Copenhagen in the next three days to agree on an accord to fight global warming. There may be nothing to sign. 

Envoys from China, the U.S., the European Union and India, the world’s top polluters, have bickered, quarreled and walked out during talks among 193 nations. They’ve left presidents and prime ministers a choice between a fudge or a flop for the accord that the United Nations framed as the most comprehensive deal to curb global warming. (Bloomberg)

 

EU says Kyoto Protocol not enough to win climate battle

COPENHAGEN, Dec. 16 -- A battle is brewing over the future of the Kyoto Protocol, with the European Union saying Wednesday it was not enough to curb climate change and an agreement that was legally binding for all was needed. 

Developing countries' are calling for the protocol to remain central to climate change negotiations. 

Swedish Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren, speaking on behalf of the European Union at the high-level segment of the Copenhagen climate change talks, said the EU wanted a comprehensive agreement building on all essentials of the Kyoto Protocol. 

"The Kyoto Protocol alone covers less than a third of global emissions and will not be enough to win the battle against climate change," he said. (Xinhua)

 

Wary Nations Face Cultural Divide on Climate Treaty's 'Transparency'

COPENHAGEN -- Trust between nations is in short supply at the U.N. climate talks. Dealing with it has emerged as the linchpin in the negotiations of a new global warming treaty.

"Transparency" is the buzzword du jour for U.S. negotiators, representing what they insist they want to see in a new deal: one that holds China, India and other major emerging countries to account for the emission reductions they make. (Greenwire)

 

Really? Copenhagen: World leaders 'face public fury' if agreement proves impossible

Miliband warns heads not to stall on technicalities as some progress is made between the biggest polluters US and China (Suzanne Goldenberg, Jonathan Watts and John Vidal, The Guardian)

Just imagine what they'd face if they did sign onto anything as the scientific fraud self-immolates...

 

This could see them out of office: Jet, ship tax to fund climate poor: Copenhagen deal

AFRICAN nations, led by Ethiopia and backed by France and Britain, have presented a plan to break the deadlock at the Copenhagen talks by raising billions of dollars to help poor countries cope with climate change through levies on international aviation and shipping and possibly even a controversial global financial tax. 

Kevin Rudd discussed the plan with Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown soon after his arrival in Copenhagen. Mr Brown, along with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, is backing the Ethiopian scheme, although the financial tax proposal was last night meeting resistance from other developed countries. (The Australian)

 

Climategate: European Carbon Credit Trading System Plagued by Fraud

A main aim of the Copenhagen climate conference is to expand the EU’s fraud- and corruption-plagued carbon trading scheme into a global system for trading carbon.

The European Union’s flagship cap-and-trade carbon credit trading system is plagued by massive fraud and is effectively under the control of organized crime, according to a December 9 statement issued by European police. Europol, an EU-wide criminal intelligence agency similar to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, says bogus trading at the EU’s Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) has exceeded €5 billion (U.S.$7 billion) over the past 18 months alone. Europol says that in some EU countries, up to 90 percent of the entire market volume is fraudulent.

News of the scale of the fraud, which comes just weeks after hundreds of hacked emails suggest that scientists have manipulated and exaggerated global warming data, will cast further doubt over the effectiveness of carbon trading as a way to curb emissions. It may also provide fresh ammunition to critics of the Obama administration’s plans to implement a cap-and-trade system in the United States that is largely based on the European model. (Soeren Kern, PJM)

 

At COP-15: Mind the Gum

Copenhagen – On the heels of the 90s "tech bubble" and recent "mortgage bubble," participants at the U.N. COP 15 meeting in Copenhagen are being warned by the Washington D.C.-based National Center for Public Policy Research not to create a new "carbon bubble" based on an artificial market in carbon credits.

To highlight this threat to financial stability, the National Center for Public Policy Research is distributing bubble gum balls bearing the warning: "Carbon Credit Gum: World's Biggest Bubble" in Copenhagen.

"This colorful candy is meant to elicit laughter, but the joke warns of grave implications," said Amy Ridenour, president of the National Center for Public Policy Research. "If our government creates an allegedly-tradable product in carbon allowances it will be creating an artificial market. What will happen when the carbon bubble bursts?" (National Center)

 

Nations Capping Carbon Emissions Mocked as "Suckers" at Climate Change Conference... With Suckers

Copenhagen, Denmark – Hundreds of candy suckers are being distributed at the U.N. climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark today to mock nations that are imposing harsh limits on their carbon emissions at great economic cost for little or no environmental benefit. The group distributing them is the Washington, D.C.-based free market National Center for Public Policy Research.

The suckers bear the caption "Sucker for CO2 Limits." (National Center)

 

Wary Nations Face Cultural Divide on Climate Treaty's 'Transparency'

COPENHAGEN -- Trust between nations is in short supply at the U.N. climate talks. Dealing with it has emerged as the linchpin in the negotiations of a new global warming treaty.

"Transparency" is the buzzword du jour for U.S. negotiators, representing what they insist they want to see in a new deal: one that holds China, India and other major emerging countries to account for the emission reductions they make. (Greenwire)

 

Copenhagen Collapse

A Greenpeace demonstrator dresses as death on horseback to represent the impact of climate change outside Parliament in Copehagen. AP

A Greenpeace demonstrator dresses as death on horseback to represent the impact of climate change outside Parliament in Copehagen. AP View Enlarged Image

Copenhagen: When an overblown environmental conference culminates with Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lecturing the West on virtue, color it another shakedown.

The United Nations' Copenhagen Climate Conference is going fast into meltdown. It may be because it's not about climate anymore, but fitting a noose on the world's productive economies and extracting wealth transfers.

Poor countries have gone from defending their right to economic development as a reason for exemptions to emissions cuts to claiming a "legitimate" right to vast wealth transfers from the West to prevent emissions. They call it "climate justice." (IBD)

 

He seems safe from ever having to try to deliver: John Kerry vows to get climate laws passed if Copenhagen deal succeeds

Senator tries to settle doubts about US commitment to emissions cuts but says China must meet accountability demands (The Guardian)

 

<chuckle> Evo Morales stuns Copenhagen with demand to limit temperature rise to 1C

Bolivian president warns of climate 'holocaust' in Africa as Hugo Chávez blames capitalism for climate change ( John Vidal, The Guardian)

 

Live at Copenhagen: Great news - Copenhagen is a disaster

The Heritage Foundation’s Steven Groves and Ben Lieberman are live at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference reporting from a conservative perspective. Follow their reports on The Foundry and at the Copenhagen Consequences Web site.

“Collapsing in chaos” is a phrase the media is using to describe the Copenhagen climate conference, and that certainly is the feeling among many here at the Bella Center. Little has gone right, and indeed many registered participants were never even let in. The Danish minister in charge has resigned. Now, those of us who managed to make it in may get turned away for the crucial last two days Thursday and Friday.

Substantively, it looks as though little has been accomplished towards binding emissions targets to replace the expiring provisions in the existing Kyoto Protocol. The reason is simple - reducing carbon dioxide emissions is prohibitively expensive. The citizens of none of the 192 nations represented here really want this done to them. Certainly not Americans, whose concern for global warming is plummeting while concern for the economy and jobs remains high. Not the Europeans whose words are rarely backed up by actions- many have not reduced their emissions under Kyoto yet are asking for tougher targets here. And not developing nations who insist on being exempted from any binding targets while demanding aid packages in the hundreds of billions annually, well above anything the developed world is willing to offer.

Continue reading… (The Foundry)

 

Catch 22

Prospects for U.S. climate legislation hinge on a successful outcome at Copenhagen, says Senator John Kerry (D-MA):

If international climate change talks falter this week, chances for the United States approving its own carbon pollution-reduction plan will seriously erode, U.S. Senator John Kerry warned on Wednesday.
Meantime, negotiators in Copenhagen await leadership from the United States as the basis for an international agreement:
Everyone is waiting to see if President Obama will improve the offer from the US when he joins the conference on Friday. There is a widespread reluctance among other countries to make significant concessions until the country which has caused most of the problem takes more of its fair share of the burden of solving it.
But the United States won't go further than its legislative process will allow:
. . . the United States poured cold water on the notion that it would deepen its offer of cutting greenhouse-gas emissions, as outlined by President Barack Obama in the run-up to the conference.

"I am not anticipating any change in the mitigation commitment," US chief delegate Todd Stern told a press conference.

"Our commitment is tied to our anticipated legislation and there are elements in that legislation that could result in an overall target or an overall reduction amount that could actually be a fair amount higher.

"But we're not making a commitment to that right now because it's just uncertain and we don't want to promise something that we don't have."

Unless President Obama can spring a substantive surprise this week in Copenhagen, guess who is going to once again be the bad guy in the negotiations? (Roger Pielke Jr)

Ah, but being the hero is so easy! All any political leader has to do is stand up and say it's time to put all this nonsense to bed -- go home everybody and forget about plant food phobias. Save the world from gorebull warming hysteria and at no cost, too.

What do we call it, this fear of plant food? Botanophobia is the fear of plants and cibophobia is the fear of food, is botanocibophobia correct for the fear of plant food? Maybe it is supposed to be carbonophobia for the more general fear of carbon?

Help us out, forum open for suggestions here. Self-register for a free account if you haven't already.

 

Stotty's Corner

My Four Theses for Copenhagen

"Hier stehe ich."
[Attributed to Martin Luther, painted in 1533 by Lucas Cranach the Elder]

Unlike Martin Luther [main picture], whom we believe posted his famous Ninety-Five Theses [below right] at All Saints' Church, the Schlosskirche (‘Castle Church’), Wittenberg, on October 31, 1517, I have only only Four Theses on Copenhagen to post.

I thus herewith Nail to this Great Web Portal my Four Theses...

Read more...

 

Now the Front Page - Global Warming is Going Down Like Nine Pins

[Photo: by Zellreder, reproduced under the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2]

First, it was the Mail on Sunday, and the brilliant exposé by David Rose about the alleged manipulation of climate data.

Today, the critique of ‘global warming’ hits the front page of the mainstream media with the Daily Express in full flight: ‘100 REASONS WHY GLOBAL WARMING IS NATURAL’:

“CAMPAIGNERS yesterday...

Read more... (Emeritus Professor Philip Stott, The Clamour of the Times)

 

So where are these weapons of mass warming really?

Why didn’t they tell us before the science wasn’t half as settled as they pretended? Did they lie to build the case for war against warming?

Tony Blair on September 14, 2004:

WHAT is now plain is that the emission of greenhouse gases, associated with industrialisation and strong economic growth from a world population that has increased sixfold in 200 years, is causing global warming at a rate that began as significant, has become alarming and is simply unsustainable in the long term. Apart from a diminishing handful of sceptics, there is a virtual worldwide scientific consensus on the scope of the problem.

The end of certainty. Blair in Copenhagen on Monday:

IT is said the science around climate change is not as certain as its proponents allege. It doesn’t need to be. What is beyond debate, however, is that there is a huge amount of scientific support for the view that the climate is changing and as a result of human activity. Therefore, even purely as a matter of precaution, given the seriousness of the consequences if such a view is correct, we should act. Not to do so would be grossly irresponsible. (Andrew Bolt)

 

Rudd fends off Tuvalu bullying claims at Copenhagen

KEVIN Rudd today brushed off accusations of bullying by tiny Pacific nations at Copenhagen climate change talks as the "slings and arrows" of the negotiations. 

Tuvalu's Prime Minister Apisai Ielemia said the pressure was continuing from the Australian delegation to drop a demand that global warming temperature rises be limited to 1.5 degrees. (The Australian)

 

How much would you spend to insure against an impossible outcome? Planetary Airbags to Cushion Climate Change

The current climate talks in Copenhagen have exacerbated the controversy between climate skeptics and environmentalists. The arguments used by both denialists and supporters of the anthropogenic climate change idea have hardly changed since the late 1980s when the effect of greenhouse gases on the atmosphere first hit the headlines. 

The truth is that no matter how much we know about climate change, there never will be an agreement among scientists on all the aspects. When there is a full agreement and absolute truth about something, this cannot be science; it can only be religion. Therefore, economists and politicians have to handle the issue under circumstances of uncertainty — a typical but not unique feature of climate change policies. 

An excellent example of addressing probabilities of unfavorable outcomes is buying airbags for your car. Airbags reduce the risk of an injury or death in a car accident, even though there are chances that the people who have airbags do not get into accidents and that the airbags do not always help if there is a car crash. 

In decision theory, this approach is known as a “minimax solution,” or assessing the maximum possible losses and trying to minimize them usually at a cost much lower that the value at risk. In the language of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, “minimax” is explained as the “precautionary principle”: “Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing such measures, taking into account that policies and measures to deal with climate change should be cost-effective so as to ensure global benefits at the lowest possible cost” (Article 3). But while the threat of a car accident is immediate, most of the severe climate change risks are projected to mature in several decades. (Ivetta Gerasimchuk and Theodore Panayotou, Moscow Times)

 

The Precautionary Principle and Global Warming

How much risk from climate change should there be before we spend trillions of dollars to address the problem?

Those advocating that we upend the global (and particularly the U.S.) economy to stave off climate change resort to a concept called the “precautionary principle“. Simply stated, it is that if there is some risk of an irreversible disaster in taking an action, then that action should be foregone.

In this formulation, the risk is climate change that will be disastrous for humanity, and the action to be foregone is continuing to add the carbon dioxide that is ostensibly causing it to the planetary atmosphere. The beautiful thing about the principle (at least for them) is that, because it doesn’t assign any particular probability to the risk (i.e., it is uncertain), then it doesn’t matter whether the science backing it up is known to be valid, because even if the science has only a small probability of being correct, the principle applies.

The original advocate of the precautionary principle was the mathematician Blaise Pascal, who came up with a famous “wager.” To wit: we can’t calculate the probability of the existence of God, but if he exists, the cost of believing in him is small, and the wages for not doing so is eternal damnation. Therefore, it makes sense to believe.

Many in the centuries since have pointed out the flaws in the argument. For instance, there is a non-zero probability that God will consign you to perdition if and only if you believe in him. Thus, to avoid this fate, the only safe course is to be an atheist.

Which points out the flaw in the principle in general. While it doesn’t require a precise accounting of the odds, it also doesn’t necessarily provide guidance as to what to do if there’s any chance that the proposed cure (or “insurance policy”) is worse than the feared disease. And a good case can be made (as has been by people such as Bjorn Lomborg) that in fact there is not just an excellent chance, but almost a certainty that this is the case with most of the proposed solutions to anthropogenic global warming. (Rand Simberg, PJM)

 

Cope Notes #1: The Snows of Kilimancrazy

Before I head out to the demonstration this morning, I thought I’d throw up the first of my notes on the Copenhagen Climate Conference.

First the good news: it’s snowing out (big flakes, beautiful) and I didn’t drink too much last night.

Now the bad news: The rest. This whole event so far, what I can see of it anyway, is just silly. Basically, it’s a combination of a trade fair for eco products that are being flogged everywhere (I’m staying in a CO2 neutral hotel – you can see it on PJTV), third world operators looking for hand-outs (a couple of African scientists admitted to one of the skeptic scientists they knew AGW was a schuck, but it was a great oppo to get some cash) and leftover, re-upped hippies doing what they do — demonstrate and carry-on. I’m supposed to join them as they storm the Bella Center (conference central) today, for what I’m not sure. Well, I’m being disingenuous. It’s partly for a soupcon of more money for developing nations mixed with a dollop of the death of capitalism — the latter of which would be disastrous for them since they are the sons and daughters of the bourgeoisie on the dole from their parents. But what do they care? It’s action — and I’ll try to be there.

But that’s the big problem here. It’s CROWDED. The whole place is crawling with journalists like rodents in a pirate ship. One estimate I heard was thirty thousand. They line up for hours for to get into events only to find their accreditation is lost. This may be Scandinavia, but it is wildly disorganized. I don’t think anyone anticipated the numbers. Certainly not the UN that is used to organizing events like Oil-for-Food. You have to root around for what’s important. Last night I headed out with some folks to an event that was supposed to be for ClimateSpark.org, supposedly a party/meet-and-greet with “industry” movers and shakers, some of whom reputedly knew AL GORE. (Gore’s name is thrown around here like Tom Cruise’s in Hollywood.) Unfortunately, very few showed, and yours truly high-tailed it in a matter of minutes.

Speaking of Gore, I haven’t bumped into him yet, but he has now heard of me (sort of), according to Variety. If I run into him, I’ll certainly let you know. Meanwhile, his face blares out from the front page of the daily “Cope 15 Post.” He blathers on about acid in the issue, a point that was apparently discredited but Al didn’t realize or care.

Further down that front page is a far more telling little boxes ad. It reads: “Want to reach everyone involved with the Climate Conference? Call our sales team now on 33 32 33 00.”

Sales team?

More later.

(Watch Roger’s report: The Real Copenhagen: Hippies, Goofballs and Climate, Inc.) (Roger L. Simon, PJM)

 

These bears having nothing to teach us

At last a bear cull worth backing:

THE climate change talks in Copenhagen have killed off all the polar bears. And the koalas. And the rabbits and chickens, as well as a few aliens.

All the environmental activists who turned up in silly costumes to attract the cameras at the UN climate summit were banished yesterday in an official cull of the thousands of people who have been allowed in as representatives of non-government organisations…

(I)t is a very bad thing in the eyes of groups such as Greenpeace, which labelled the clampdown on NGO access to the conference a dangerous attempt to “restrict the participation of civil society” in the crucial last days.

Just who out there is so dull of mind as to think they have something to learn about climate science from people dressed like this:

image (Andrew Bolt)

 

An Open Letter to Chairman Pachauri

Written by Lord Monckton and Senator Fielding 
Wednesday, 16 December 2009

For the Full Report in PDF Form, please click here.

[Illustrations, footnotes and references available in PDF version]

Open letter to IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri: A DEFECTIVE IPCC GRAPH AND ITS IMPLICATIONS (SPPI)

 

Still trying to pay people not to develop: Climate Talks Near Deal to Save Forests

COPENHAGEN — Negotiators have all but completed a sweeping deal that would compensate countries for preserving forests, and in some cases, other natural landscapes like peat soils, swamps and fields that play a crucial role in curbing climate change.

Environmental groups have long advocated such a compensation program because forests are efficient absorbers of carbon dioxide, the primary heat-trapping gas linked to global warming. Rain forest destruction, which releases the carbon dioxide stored in trees, is estimated to account for 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions globally.

The agreement for the program, if signed as expected, may turn out to be the most significant achievement to come out of the Copenhagen climate talks, providing a system through which countries can be paid for conserving disappearing natural assets based on their contribution to reducing emissions. (NYT)

 

Al Gore tries to cool ‘climate spin’ by correcting claims of North pole thaw

Al Gore’s office issued a formal correction yesterday to a speech the former US Vice-President had given earlier in the week that started the latest in a series of “climate spin” rows.

Mr Gore told the Copenhagen summit meeting that the latest research suggested that the North Pole would be ice-free within five to seven years. The Times revealed that this was not the information provided to Mr Gore’s office by the climatologist Wieslaw Maslowski, who works at the US Naval Postgraduate School in California.

Dr Maslowski said that his projections suggested that the North Pole would be near ice-free, but that some ice would remain beyond 2020. He also denied providing the 75 per cent figure used by Mr Gore. “It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at, based on the information I provided to Al Gore’s office,” he said.

The clarification said that Mr Gore “misspoke” on the polar ice prediction and that he meant that the cap would be nearly ice-free. (The Times)

 

Q & A Is The Human Addition Of Carbon Dioxide The Primary Human Climate Forcing?

Today, I am going to start a series of Q&A posts with respect to the climate issue. The first question is

 Is The Human Addition Of Carbon Dioxide The Primary Human Climate Forcing?

This is the focus of the Copenhagen meeting. The clear answer, based on a wide range of peer-reviewed papers is NO.

The human addition of carbon dioxide is an important climate forcing, as I have posted on previously (e.g. see) but it is not the only important forcing and does not appear to even be the most important (e.g. see our paper Matsui and Pielke, 2006 with respect to aerosols where the forcing of wind circulations from the heterogenous spatial distribution of human caused aerosols was around 6oX greater than that of the radiative effect of CO2).

As I wrote in the post

Is The Human Input Of CO2 A First Order Climate Forcing?

Thus, while I agree that the human addition of CO2 is a first order climate forcing, the claims that it is the primary human climate forcing is not supported by the science. This means that attempts to “control” the climate system, and to prevent a “dangerous intervention” into the climate system by humans that focuses just on CO2 and a few other greenhouse gases will necessarily be significantly incomplete, unless all of the other first order climate forcings are considered.

 Moreover, as I have written on extensively, climate change is much more than global warming and cooling (e.g. see  and see).  Human caused climate change can occur even in the absence of global warming (such as from land use change).  This makes attempts to mitigate climate change a much more daunting problem than assuming that all we need to do is control the human emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion into the atmosphere.

Thus the Copenhagen COP15 meeting is only addressing a relatively small portion of the issue of how human climate forcings influences society and the environment.

Moreover, natural climate variability and change in the past, even without significant human intervention., has played a major role in society; e.g see

Meko, D., C. A. Woodhouse, C. A. Baisan, T. Knight, J. J. Lukas, M. K. Hughes, and M. W. Salzer (2007), Medieval drought in the upper Colorado River Basin, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L10705, doi:10.1029/2007GL029988

and

Rial, J., R.A. Pielke Sr., M. Beniston, M. Claussen, J. Canadell, P. Cox, H. Held, N. de Noblet-Ducoudre, R. Prinn, J. Reynolds, and J.D. Salas, 2004: Nonlinearities, feedbacks and critical thresholds within the Earth’s climate system. Climatic Change, 65, 11-38.

We need a robust and effective set of comprehensive policies to address adaptation and mitigation to the entire spectrum of human- and natural- caused climate change and variability, such my son has proposed (e.g. see the end portion of the text in his post of October 30, 2009). The Copenhagen COP15 completely fails in this requirement. (Climate Science)

 

Cloud Feedback Presentation for Fall 2009 AGU Meeting

UPDATED 12/16/09 1415 PST with final pdf version of talk…and press release, 1425 PST.

I decided to make my invited presentation on estimating cloud feedbacks from satellite measurements available here (final version-pdf): Spencer-Forcing-Feedback-AGU-09-San-Francisco-final. There will be a UAH press release on Wednesday, December 16, which is embargoed until 11 a.m. PST (1 p.m. CST).

UAHuntsville Press Release
EMBARGOED: For release after 11 a.m., PST, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009

Chicken and egg question looms over climate debate

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (Dec. 16, 2009) — Which came first, the warmer temperatures or the clearer skies?

Answers to that and similar “chicken and egg” type questions could have a significant impact on our understanding of both the climate system and manmade global warming.

In an invited talk scheduled for today at the American Geophysical Union’s fall meeting in the Moscone Convention Center, Dr. Roy Spencer from The University of Alabama in Huntsville will discuss the challenge of answering questions about cause and effect (also known as forcing and feedback) in the climate.

“Feedbacks will determine whether the manmade portion of global warming ends up being catastrophic or barely measurable,” Spencer said recently.

Spencer’s interest is in using satellite data and a simple climate model to test the simulated feedback processes contained in climate models that are used to forecast global warming.

“I am arguing that we can’t measure feedbacks the way people have been trying to do it,” he said. “The climate modelers see from satellite data that warm years have fewer clouds, then assume that the warmth caused the clouds to dissipate. If this is true, it would be positive feedback and could lead to strong global warming. This is the way their models are programmed to behave.

“My question to them was, ‘How do you know it wasn’t fewer clouds that caused the warm years, rather than the other way around?’ It turns out they didn’t know. They couldn’t answer that question.”

One problem is the simplicity of the climate models. Because cloud systems are so complex and so poorly understood, all of the climate models used by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change use greatly simplified cloud parameters to represent clouds. But the calculations that set those parameters are based on assumed cause-and-effect relationships.

Those assumptions might be working in the wrong direction, Spencer said. “What we have found is that cloud cover variations causing temperature changes dominate the satellite record, and give the illusion of positive feedback.”

Using satellite observations interpreted with a simple model, Spencer’s data support negative feedback (or cooling) better than they support positive feedback.

“This critical component in global warming theory – cloud feedback – is impossible to measure directly in the real climate system,” Spencer said. “We haven’t figured out a good way to separate cause and effect, so we can’t measure cloud feedback directly. And if we don’t know what the feedbacks are, we are just guessing at how much impact humans will have on climate change.

“I’m trying to spread the word: Let’s go back to basics and look at what we can and cannot do with measurements of the real climate system to validate both climate models and their predictions.”

A former NASA scientist, Spencer is a principal research scientist in UAHuntsville’s Earth System Science Center. (Roy W. Spencer)

 

Comments On A New Paper “Strong Alpine Glacier Melt In The 1940s Due To Enhanced Solar radiation” By Huss Et Al 2009

There is a new paper

Huss, M., M. Funk, and A. Ohmura (2009), Strong Alpine glacier melt in the 1940s due to enhanced solar radiation, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L23501, doi:10.1029/2009GL040789

with the abstract

“A 94-year time series of annual glacier melt at four high elevation sites in the European Alps is used to investigate the effect of global dimming and brightening of solar radiation on glacier mass balance. Snow and ice melt was stronger in the 1940s than in recent years, in spite of significantly higher air temperatures in the present decade. An inner Alpine radiation record shows that in the 1940s global shortwave radiation over the summer months was 8% above the long-term average and significantly higher than today, favoring rapid glacier mass loss. Dimming of solar radiation from the 1950s until the 1980s is in line with reduced melt rates and advancing glaciers.”

Excerpts from the paper read

“The drivers for these long-term variations cannot be detected based on the available data sets as they do not resolve all components of the energy balance. ……We therefore caution against using classical temperature-index models calibrated in the past for projecting snow and ice melt in glaciological and hydrological studies and to calculate future sea level rise.

“Our data sets provide evidence that the extraordinary melt rates in the 1940s can be attributed to enhanced solar radiation in summertime. Models for past and future glacier changes should take into account the effect of decadal radiation variations as they significantly alter the relationship between glacier melt and air temperature.”

This is yet another study that documents the inability to properly describe the climate system when it is oversimplified by focusing on just the metric of surface air temperature anomalies.  The higher Alpine glacier melt in the 1940s, also provides evidence that this climate event is not primarily caused by a long-term trend in the global warming (or cooling). (Climate Science)

 

Claims getting sillier by the minute: IPCC forecasts 9m sea-level rise if temperatures meet 2C threshold

Hundreds of millions of people around the world would be affected as low low-lying coastal areas became inundated, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report warns ( Alok Jha, The Guardian)

 

NASA says AIRS satellite data shows positive water vapor feedback

From this NASA press release I’ll have more on this later. The timing of this release is interesting.

Distribution of mid-tropospheric carbon dioxide

Animation of the distribution of mid-tropospheric carbon dioxide. The transport of carbon dioxide around the world is carried out in the "free atmosphere" above the surface layer. We can observe the transport of carbon dioxide across the Pacific to North America, then across the Atlantic to Europe and the Mediterranean to Asia and back around the globe. The enhanced belt of carbon dioxide in the southern hemisphere is also clearly visible. Image credit: NASA

› Play animation (Quicktime) | › Play animation (Windows Media Player)
› Related images and animations
WASHINGTON – Researchers studying carbon dioxide, a leading greenhouse gas and a key driver of global climate change, now have a new tool at their disposal: daily global measurements of carbon dioxide in a key part of our atmosphere. The data are courtesy of the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA’s Aqua spacecraft.

Moustafa Chahine, the instrument’s science team leader at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., unveiled the new product at a briefing on recent breakthroughs in greenhouse gas, weather and climate research from AIRS at this week’s American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. The new data, which span the seven-plus years of the AIRS mission, measure the concentration and distribution of carbon dioxide in the mid-troposphere–the region of Earth’s atmosphere that is located between 5 to 12 kilometers, or 3 to 7 miles, above Earth’s surface. They also track its global transport. The product represents the first-ever release of global carbon dioxide data that are based solely on observations. The data have been extensively validated against both aircraft and ground-based observations.
Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)

 

Comments On A New Paper “A Strong Bout Of Natural Cooling in 2008″ By Perlwitz Et Al 2009

There is a new paper

Perlwitz, J., M. Hoerling, J. Eischeid, T. Xu, and A. Kumar (2009), A strong bout of natural cooling in 2008, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L23706, doi:10.1029/2009GL041188

with a remarkably convoluted way to rationalize recent cooling in North America so that it conforms with the IPCC perspective of global warming.

The  abstract reads

“A precipitous drop in North American temperature in 2008, commingled with a decade-long fall in global mean temperatures, are generating opinions contrary to the inferences drawn from the science of climate change. We use an extensive suite of model simulations and appraise factors contributing to 2008 temperature conditions over North America. We demonstrate that the anthropogenic impact in 2008 was to warm the region’s temperatures, but that it was overwhelmed by a particularly strong bout of naturally-induced cooling resulting from the continent’s sensitivity to widespread coolness of the tropical and northeastern Pacific sea surface temperatures. The implication is that the pace of North American warming is likely to resume in coming years, and that climate is unlikely embarking upon a prolonged cooling.”

Excerpts from the paper read

Our appraisal of the natural SST conditions in the Nino 4 region, with anomalies of about 1.1 K suggests a condition colder than any in the instrumental record since 1871…..We illustrated that North America would have experienced considerably colder temperatures just due to the impact of such natural ocean variability alone, and that the simultaneous presence of anthropogenic warming reduced the severity of cooling.

“This, and similar recent attribution studies of observed climate events [Stott et al., 2004; Hoerling et al., 2007; Easterling and Wehner, 2009] are important in ensuring that natural variability, when occurring, is not misunderstood to indicate that climate change is either not happening or that it is happening more intensely than the true human influence. In our diagnosis of 2008, the absence of North American warming was shown not to be evidence for an absence of anthropogenic forcing, but only that the impact of the latter was balanced by strong natural cooling. Considering the nature of both the 2008 NA temperature anomalies and the natural ocean variability that reflected a transitory interannual condition, we can expect that the 2008 coolness is unlikely to be part of a prolonged cooling trend in NA temperature in future years.”

This paper is an amazing example of ignoring the obvious. None of the models anticipated this record cooling in the Nino 4 region.  These sea surface temperatures are very much a part of the real climate system, which the IPCC claims can be skillfully predicted decades into the future.

Yet, the model simulations (which themselves are just hypotheses; e.g. see)  are being used to claim that this cooling is just a short-term blip on a long-term upward trend.

The authors, of course, may be correct that the warming will recommence and continue into the future. However, while they did not intend this message, what they have shown convincingly is that natural climate variations exceed what the IPCC models can skillfully simulate. This should give pause to anyone who claims that these models are skillful predictions of the climate in the coming decades. (Climate Science)

 

Shell's promise of a bright future turns out to be yet another false dawn

Oil company has been splashing out on ads about its shallow commitment to low-carbon technologies during Copenhagen (Fred Pearce, The Guardian)

 

Wind Integration: Incremental Emissions from Back-Up Generation Cycling (Part IV – Further Reflections)

Three previous posts have examined the emissions problem related to intermittent industrial windpower that is firmed up with fossil-fuel generation.

  1. Part I  presented a framework of the necessary considerations and an interim assessment of the effects on fossil fuel consumption and CO2 emissions until sufficiently comprehensive studies can be performed in the areas indicated. This analysis shows approximately the same gas burn and an increase in related emissions, including CO2, compared to the no-wind case.
  2. Part II reviewed the simplistic, incomplete approach that is usually claimed by wind proponents and policy makers. Introducing necessary considerations shows the dramatic, negative impacts presented in Part I.
  3. Part III critically reviewed an article by Milligan et al, introduced in a post on Knowledge Problem in response to Part I. The Milligan article claims negligible reductions from the theoretical maximum and contains questionable material.

This post deals with issues raised in comments and other feedback received to date. Further comments and debate on new issues will continue this series. (Kent Hawkins, MasterResource)

 

Will your digitized health care data be secure?

Probably not, unless there are some big changes in the culture of how health care organizations operate.

My latest HND piece examines this issue, and details some of the latest horrific data breaches. Yes, it is way worse than you probably thought. How about a "missing" hard drive with seven years' worth of personal financial and medical info on 1.5 million Health Net customers, for example?

The Feds have mandated that medical records go digital by 2014, and naturally, all the IT companies are offering their (very) expensive solutions. Unfortunately, though, technology is only a small part of the answer, and unless the health care industry figures out a way to bring DOD type data security to your local hospital—and get the little people on board—things could get ugly.

Read the complete article. (Shaw's Eco-Logic)

 

Global warming is a prime example of what is killing the major media

A raft of reasons are advanced to explain why newspaper circulation and the ratings of major networks are falling faster than a rock down a well. Global warming encapsulates many of the media failings that have contributed to their own problems.

Can you think of one element of the global climate controversy that has been introduced by the major media? Can you think of one example where the major media has actually contributed to the public's better understanding of any of the issues involved?

Major media have bought the party line. They have accepted without questioning the pronouncements of principal establishment figures and have bought into the symbology used by environmental groups and advocates. Had this generation of reporters and editors been working 30 years ago, we would still be fighting in Vietnam. (Thomas Fuller, Examiner)

 

Academic probably even takes himself seriously... Santa 'global ambassador for obesity'

SANTA Claus has been accused of acting in ways that could "damage millions of lives".

As the mythical man in red zooms around the planet delivering gifts, he is an unwitting promoter of obesity, unhealthy products, disease and even drink driving, according to an Australian academic.

"Other dangerous activities that Santa could be accused of promoting include speeding, disregard for road rules and extreme sports such as roof surfing and chimney jumping," said Dr Nathan Grills, public health fellow at Monash University's Department of Epidemiology and Preventative Medicine.

"Despite the risks of high speed air travel, Santa is never depicted wearing a seatbelt or helmet." ( AAP)

 

Dirty air makes for wheezy kids: study

NEW YORK - Small particles from traffic and heating oil combustion may cause children younger than two to wheeze and cough, according to a new study. 

High air pollution levels have previously been linked to asthma symptoms in children living in urban areas with heavy traffic, but this study is one of the first to investigate the types of particles that may be the most harmful, the researchers point out in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 

"This study shows that there are multiple components of air pollution that we should be looking at in terms of health effects," Dr. Rachel L. Miller, lead investigator of the study, said in a telephone interview with Reuters Health. (Reuters Health)

 

Childhood brain power tied to adult heart health

NEW YORK - People who had greater intellectual ability as children may have fewer heart disease risk factors in middle-age, a new study suggests.

A number of studies have linked higher childhood IQ to better adulthood health and a longer life, but the reasons have not been entirely clear.

For example, early environment -- starting in the womb -- may affect both a child's intellectual ability and long-term disease risks. On the other hand, childhood ability also affects a person's chances of getting a good job or adopting a healthy lifestyle in adulthood. 

These latest findings, published in the American Journal of Public Health, suggest that childhood intelligence indirectly affects long-term heart health -- mostly by influencing a person's education, job and health habits in adulthood. (Reuters Health)

 

Crank of the Week - December 14, 2009 - Sandra Upson

Maybe it was just supposed to justify a boondoggle trip to Finland or her actual tree-hugger tendencies coming to the fore, but in this month's IEEE Spectrum magazine, Associate Editor Sandra Upson turned a report on the world's only working nuclear waste repository project into an eco-rant that any Greenpeace member would be proud of. Visiting Finland's Olkiluoto Island, where the industrious Finns are quietly taking care of their nuclear future, Ms Upson transformed what should have been an uplifting example of what serious minded engineers can accomplish when government makes a decision and then gets out of the way, into a distopian hit piece.

The article starts out as one would expect for an piece in Spectrum, the official magazine of the IEEE—a respected society of professional engineers—lots of technical details about how precisely engineered the process of welding the massive copper casks of waste will be and all of the intricate precautions that are designed into the storage facility. In America, nuclear waste disposal has been a political football for decades which finally ended with the selection of the Yucca Mountain site, in Nevada. The Obama administration has since canceled the Yucca Mountain project after wasting some $9 billion of taxpayer money over the course of 20 years. America now has no plan at all.

Unlike the United States, the Finns are a serious, methodical and practical people. After realizing that the best source of energy for the 21st century would be nuclear, they decided that they would keep their nuclear power plants running at least until 2080. Knowing that this would mean something had to be done to handle the radioactive waste created by the plants, back in 1983 the Finnish parliament mandated that the country’s two nuclear power plant companies set aside funds and begin planning immediately for disposal to begin in 40 years.

Their solution is a repository, named Onkalo, which is set to open in 2010. That is about the same time Finland's fifth nuclear power plant will come on line (there is talk of building a sixth plant as well). The repository plan is impressive: waste is to be placed inside of iron containers, sealed inside of welded copper casks and then buried, surrounded by bentonite clay, under more than 1,000 ft of solid rock (Project research and development director Johanna Hansen stands between a 1-meter-wide copper canister and its iron interior in the picture on the right, taken from the article).

After doing a thorough review of the site and plans for the repository, Upson's article took a turn for the strange when the author started speculating on what effect the onset of the next ice age could have on the deeply buried repository. Despite the fact that Onkalo is carved into rock that has been geologically stable for more than 1.8 billion years the author proclaimed: “In as little as 20 000 years, Finland may enter an ice age, and advancing ice sheets kilometers thick could carve out the rock and force more water into its fractured depths. The liquid may then diffuse through the bentonite barrier, eat through the copper, and carry off still-hot radionuclides. No one can be sure.”

Did she think to consult with a geologist or two, or was the opportunity to cast aspersions on Finland's plans too enticing? At least the article quoted Michael Apted, chairman of an advisory group to Finland’s nuclear safety authority, as saying “We’re talking millions of years for water to get through clay.” Because in the next paragraph Upson totally abandons any pretense of rationality for a flight into the imagined depths of a future ecological nightmare:

In 1000, 10 000, or 100 000 years, it might not be unreasonable to think our descendants will have abandoned this toxic land for a cozier alternative, on space pods or newly colonized planets. Where once there were humans, now hermaphroditic fish and finned flamingos may slither through our poisonous landscapes. Or perhaps evolution’s charge will have delivered beings who are healthier, cuter, and more intelligent than the ones designing today’s disposal systems. Or evolution may go in the opposite direction and cockroaches will reign supreme, just as we always suspected they might.

Hermaphroditic fish? Finned flamingos? Cockroaches reigning supreme? Maybe Ms. Upson always suspected that this would happen but I doubt most people do. The question is, why end a perfectly serviceable article in an engineering magazine with such utter tripe? Here are the Finns, perhaps the only nation on the planet taking a rational scientific and engineering approach to meeting their future energy needs in an ecologically responsible way, and this twit uses an article on how they are doing it as an opportunity to slide off the deep end into the seventh level of tree-hugger hell.

IEEE should be highly embarrassed that their flagship journal printed such balderdash. At least the article should have ended on an upbeat note, right? Not a chance. Upson caps off her crackpot musings this way: “Then perhaps, as one epoch slides into the next, whoever remains will come to Onkalo to study, with great curiosity, their distant ancestors’ struggle with the dark side of Earth’s bounty.”

While the real scientists and engineers of the world are busy “struggling with the dark side,” perhaps Ms Upson should seek therapy for those frightening visions—or alternative employment. Any number of green advocacy groups would be happy to have her if this article's last few paragraphs are an indication of her mindset. Perhaps she can use this Crank of the Week as a reference. (The Resilient Earth)

 

Put down the coke or the rainforest gets it

Having lost the war on drugs, the UK police now want to wean young people off cocaine by flagging up its eco-impact. (Nathalie Rothschild, sp!ked)

 

Still waiting, yearning, for the apocalypse

Humans have never lived lives so long, healthy, comfortable and secure. Yet such plain facts cannot disrupt the theoretical certainties of a Guardian columnist such as Madeleine Bunting:

Copenhagen reminds us we have been living in a civilisation that has been destroying the life systems on which human wellbeing depends.

In fact, catch Bunting on another day, and she’ll confess:

Contrary to the naysayers, we are having it all.

UPDATE

Another eco alarmist demonstrates the pleasures of preaching austerity from first class:

He may be the green prince, but Britain’s heir to the throne has been slammed for being a hypocrite after flying to the Copenhagen climate change summit to deliver a keynote speech on an executive jet with a large carbon footprint, UK media reports say.

Prince Charles attended the conference in Denmark on the $21,800 RAF Royal Flight that emitted about 6.4 tons of carbon dioxide, the Daily Mail reported… The Prince, an avowed environmentalist, will offset the carbon emissions by investing in green initiatives using taxpayers’ money, the Daily Express reported…

At Copenhagen, the Prince said in a speech that the human exploitation of the earth’s resources had pushed it “to the brink” and the planet has reached a point of crisis that can only be resolved with global action. (Andrew Bolt)

 

‘We need a planetary one-child policy’

Malthusianism is so widespread that greens can now openly sing the praises of China’s population authoritarianism. (Brendan O’Neill, sp!ked)

 

Sing Along: 'This Land Is EPA's Land'

Posted 06:55 PM ET

Regulations: The Clean Water Act is being rewritten to give a government bureaucracy the power to regulate every body of water from the Mississippi River to a rain-flooded field. The first casualty may be American coal.

With all the concern for the harm that cap-and-trade and regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant might do to the American economy and free markets, the Environmental Protection Agency is doing quite enough damage with an existing law on the books — the Clean Water Act. Congress plans to revise it to make it an even more powerful bludgeon against industry, energy producers and just plain folks.

The 1972 Clean Water Act was originally intended to protect the "navigable waters of the United States" — you know, the kind boats travel down. It was broadly and quickly interpreted to any pool of water in America capable of supporting a bathtub variety boat. The word "navigable" was forgotten and ignored, and even those trying to improve the environment were not immune.

In the name of clean water and wetlands-protection, people were literally being arrested for putting dirt on dirt. In August 1987, Bill Ellen was hired to construct a 103-acre wildlife sanctuary, including 10 duck ponds, on the Eastern Shore of Chesapeake Bay, on land so dusty it had to be watered down to protect construction workers' safety according to federal regulations.

But in September 1989, after three days of torrential downpour, angry government officials descended on his sanctuary looking for wetlands. Having found incriminating puddles, they arrested him for having the previous March dumped two loads of dirt where one federal agency said it was okay. It was also charged that the droppings of the migratory birds drawn to his ponds constituted waterway pollution.

For his crime against humanity, Bill Ellen was sentenced to six months in prison and four months of home detention. Guess he didn't notice the boats.

Such abuses of the law in which every puddle was considered protected eventually led to two Supreme Court decisions, Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. United States in 2001, and Rapanos v. United States in 2006, which partially reined in these excesses.

The Clean Water Restoration Act of 2009 (S. 787), legislation that would challenge these Supreme Court rulings, is now moving through the Senate. Introduced by Sen. Russell Feingold, this legislation seeks to re-establish the nearly unlimited powers of the Clean Water Act.

"Well, this bill removes the word 'navigable,' so for ranchers and farmers who have mud puddles, prairie potholes — anything from snow melting on their land — all that water will now come under the regulation of the Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency," warns Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo.

Aside from striking "navigable," the bill defines U.S. waters as "all waters subject to the ebb and flow of the tide, the territorial seas, and all interstate and intrastate waters, and their tributaries, including lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent streams)," as well as "mudflats, sand flats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows" etc. Virtually everywhere water is or collects, even on a temporary basis, is covered.

Some 500 more jobs will have to be saved or created to make up for the 500 workers who will be laid off next year in West Virginia by Pittsburgh-based Consol Energy. The coal company blames lawsuits under the current Clean Water Act and other laws for the action.

The EPA is currently suspending 79 such surface mining permits in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee. The agency says these permits could violate the Clean Water Act and warrant "enhanced" review.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson says she's not against coal mining, but wants to see it "done in a way that minimizes impact to water quality."

This is not about clean water any more than cap-and-trade is about climate change. It is about increasing government power over every aspect of our lives. Every breath we take, and every drop we drink, they will be regulating us. (IBD)

 

Panel: Great Lakes not losing extra water

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Lakes Huron and Michigan are not losing extra billions of gallons of water daily because of navigational dredging as a Canadian group contends, a scientific panel said Tuesday.

After a two-year, $3.5 million study, the U.S.-Canadian panel concluded there was no reason to stem the flow from Lake Huron by placing structures in a river that connects Huron with Lake Erie to the south.

The report disagreed with Georgian Bay Forever, a Canadian environmental charity that has commissioned engineering studies of the St. Clair River. Those studies found that human activities, primarily dredging during the early 1960s, enlarged the river bottom and increased the volume of water moving down the river from Lake Huron to Lake Erie.

Because of that, the group says, Lake Huron is losing up to 12 billion gallons per day in addition to its normal outflow — enough to fill 10,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

The excessive loss is causing artificially low levels in Lakes Huron and Michigan, Georgian Bay Forever says. Geologists consider those lakes a single water body because they converge and have the same surface levels.

Low water has been a contentious issue for a decade on both lakes, causing millions in losses for shippers, marina owners and other businesses, although levels have edged upward the past couple of years and are near their historical averages.

The government report said several factors — especially precipitation and evaporation — have influenced differences in levels since the early 1960s.

It contradicted the Canadian group's belief that losses through the St. Clair River are a leading cause of the slump on Michigan and Huron. The river's average flow jumped by 3 to 5 percent during the mid-1980s, possibly because of ice jams or maintenance dredging. But the flow dropped within a few years and today is less than 1 percent above the normal rate, it said. (Associated Press)

 

Turning children into Orwellian eco-spies

Frank Furedi recalls being educated through fear in Stalinist Hungary, and is disturbed that the same tactics are now used by environmentalists. (Frank Furedi, sp!ked)

 

Greenpeating the tactic

image

Surely Greenpeace would approve of this homage to their tactics:

Global warming skeptics from CFACT yesterday pulled off an international climate caper using GPS triangulation from Greenpeace’s own on-board camera photos to locate and sail up long-side of the infamous Greenpeace vessel, Rainbow Warrior. Then in Greenpeace-like fashion, the CFACT activists unfurled a banner reading “Propaganda Warrior” which underscored how the radical green group’s policies and agenda are based on myths, lies, and exaggerations.

image

(Thanks to several applauding readers.) (Andrew Bolt)

 

A Fish Oil Story

“WHAT’S the deal with fish oil?”

If you are someone who catches and eats a lot of fish, as I am, you get adept at answering questions about which fish are safe, which are sustainable and which should be avoided altogether. But when this fish oil question arrived in my inbox recently, I was stumped. I knew that concerns about overfishing had prompted many consumers to choose supplements as a guilt-free way of getting their omega-3 fatty acids, which studies show lower triglycerides and the risk of heart attack. But I had never looked into the fish behind the oil and whether it was fit, morally or environmentally speaking, to be consumed.

The deal with fish oil, I found out, is that a considerable portion of it comes from a creature upon which the entire Atlantic coastal ecosystem relies, a big-headed, smelly, foot-long member of the herring family called menhaden, which a recent book identifies in its title as “The Most Important Fish in the Sea.” (Paul Greenberg, NYT)

 

December 16, 2009

 

Not a weighty tome but a big breakthrough into the mass market: Better late than never to hold this debate

image

The tide has turned. The Daily Express’s 100 reasons here. (Andrew Bolt)

 

Climategate: Something’s Rotten in Denmark … and East Anglia, Asheville, and New York City (PJM Exclusive)

The focus belongs not just on CRU, but on all of the organizations which gather temperature data. All now show evidence of fraud.

The familiar phrase was spoken by Marcellus in Shakespeare’s Hamlet — first performed around 1600, at the start of the Little Ice Age. “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” is the exact quote. It recognizes that fish rots from the head down, and it means that all is not well at the top of the political hierarchy. Shakespeare proved to be Nostradamus. Four centuries later — at the start of what could be a new Little Ice Age — the rotting fish is Copenhagen.

The smell in the air may be from the leftover caviar at the banquet tables, or perhaps from the exhaust of 140 private jets and 1200 limousines commissioned by the attendees when they discovered there was to be no global warming evident in Copenhagen. (In fact, the cold will deepen and give way to snow before they leave, an extension of the Gore Effect.)

But the metaphorical stench comes from the well-financed bad science and bad policy, promulgated by the UN, and the complicity of the so-called world leaders, thinking of themselves as modern-day King Canutes (the Viking king of Denmark, England, and Norway — who ironically ruled during the Medieval Warm Period this very group has tried to deny). His flatterers thought his powers “so great, he could command the tides of the sea to go back.”

Unlike the warmists and the compliant media, Canute knew otherwise, and indeed the tide kept rising. Nature will do what nature always did — change. (Joe D'Aleo, PJM)

 

DOE sends a “litigation hold notice” regarding CRU to employees – asking to “preserve documents”

http://www.er.doe.gov/News_Information/Logo_Gallery/Logos/New_DOE_Seal_Color.jpg

UPDATE: I’ve confirmed this document, see below the “read more” line.

It appears bigger things are brewing related to CRU’s Climategate.

WUWT commenter J.C. writes in comments:

I work at the Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina. I’ve been following the Climategate scandal since its inception. The first time many of my coworkers had heard of the situation was when I asked them about it.

Well, well, well.
Look what was waiting in every single email Inbox on Monday morning:
______________________________________________

“December 14, 2009

DOE Litigation Hold Notice

DOE-SR has received a “Litigation Hold Notice” from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) General Council and the DOE Office of Inspector General regarding the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England. Accordingly, they are requesting that SRNS, SRR and other Site contractors locate and preserve all documents, records, data, correspondence, notes, and other materials, whether official or unofficial, original or duplicative, drafts or final versions, partial or complete that may relate to the global warming, including, but not limited to, the contract files, any related correspondence files, and any records, including emails or other correspondence, notes, documents, or other material related to this contract, regardless of its location or medium on which it is stored. In other words, please preserve any and all documents relevant to “global warming, the Climate Research Unit at he University of East Anglia In England, and/or climate change science.” Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)

 

“…anything short of the absolute pursuit of science cannot be accepted or tolerated.”

While Dr. Mann has made statements in the press during the last week to the effect of “I welcome this investigation” I wonder if he’s seen some of the correspondence being sent to PSU regarding him. Here’ s one from Pennsylvania State Senator Jeff Piccola that has some very pointed language.

click to enlarge

PDF of letter is here Sen-Piccola-Letter-on-PSU-Prof-Michael-Mann

And here is one of the letters to Senator Piccola that prompted his letter to PSU: Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)

 

Inconvenient Question to Al Gore

Journalist and filmmaker Phelim McAleer (Mine Your Own Business, Not Evil Just Wrong) attempts to ask Al Gore a question about 'Climategate' emails at the UN Climate Change Conference. Al Gore's Press Secretary grabs his McAleer's microphone and UN security guard pulls the cable from the microphone. For more Inconvenient Questions and answers about The True Cost of Global Warming Hysteria visit www.noteviljustwrong.com

 

10 Global Warming Doomsday Predictions

Have you ever seen one of those wild-eyed people with a sandwich board around his neck standing on the corner, screeching incoherently about how the end of the world is coming? Now, what if those people were insisting that you were really the crazy one? What if the newspapers agreed with them and the politicians wanted to pass taxes and spend hundreds of billions to implement their ideas? Sound too unbelievable to be true? Well, guess what? It's happening.

Global warming alarmists are regularly prophesying about doomsday scenarios -- except they're doing it in newspapers and from the stages of swanky resorts where they've flown in their private jets. Unlike the old school soothsayers, the Al Gore's of the world have figured out how to turn doom-mongering into a multi-billion dollar industry.

As you read these global warming predictions, visions, prophecies, fantasies, whatever you want to call them, ask yourself a question: if this is based on science, why do we have these huge differences in scenarios and dates? It's almost as if these people are all just pulling numbers out of their hats and putting them out there instead of basing their projections on any sort of real scientific evidence. (John Hawkins, Townhall)

 

New Scientist becomes Non Scientist

Non Scientist Cover

You might think journalists at a popular science magazine would be able to investigate and reason.

In DenierGate, watch New Scientist closely, as they do the unthinkable and try to defend gross scientific malpractice by saying it’s OK because other people did other things a little bit wrong, that were not related, and a long time ago. Move along ladies and gentlemen, there’s nothing to see…

The big problem for this formerly good publication is that they have decided already what the answer is to any question on climate-change (and the answer could be warm or cold but it’s always ALARMING). That leaves them clutching for sand-bags to prop up their position as the king-tide sweeps  away any journalistic credibility they might have had. (Jo Nova)

Hmm... I think it's a long time since Nude Socialist was accused of being a science magazine but...

 

Superficially attractive but... Trusting Nature as the Climate Referee

Imagine there’s no Copenhagen.

Imagine a planet in which global warming was averted without the periodic need for thousands of people to fly around the world to promise to stop burning fossil fuels. Imagine no international conferences wrangling over the details of climate policy. Imagine entrusting the tough questions to a referee: Mother Earth.

That is the intriguing suggestion of Ross McKitrick, an economist at the University of Guelph in Ontario who, like me, is virtuously restricting his carbon footprint by staying away from Copenhagen this week. Dr. McKitrick expects this climate conference to yield the same results as previous ones: grand promises to cut carbon emissions that will be ignored once politicians return home to face voters who are skeptical that global warming is even a problem.

To end this political stalemate, Dr. McKitrick proposes calling each side’s bluff. He suggests imposing financial penalties on carbon emissions that would be set according to the temperature in the earth’s atmosphere. The penalties could start off small enough to be politically palatable to skeptical voters.

If the skeptics are right and the earth isn’t warming, then the penalties for burning carbon would stay small or maybe even disappear. But if the climate modelers and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are correct about the atmosphere heating up, then the penalties would quickly, and automatically, rise.

“Either way we get a sensible outcome,” Dr. McKitrick argues. “The only people who lose will be those whose positions were disingenuous, such as opponents of greenhouse policy who claim to be skeptical while privately believing greenhouse warming is a crisis, or proponents of greenhouse gas emission cuts who neither understand nor believe the I.P.C.C. projections, but invoke them as a convenient argument on behalf of policies they want on other grounds even if global warming turns out to be untrue.” (John Tierney, NYT)

... we already have massive incentive for cheating (just look at Climategate). Then, even if we went by satellite measures there's the problem of Earth's climate cycles, for maybe 30 years people could be paying a lot of unjustified taxes, would they get them back during cooling phases (and why should they have paid them to begin with)?

No, the more I think about it, the less acceptable this concept becomes.

 

Randi, You Old Goat

Nothing can surprise about the climate debate any more. First, UK homeopath-slayer Dr Ben Goldacre lays his climate cards on the table. Now his comrade in arms across the pond, James Randi, has done the same – only completely differently. (Climate Resistance)

 

No Cap and Tax

EPA's Greenhouse Gases Notice Sets Stage for Regulation Writing, Lawsuits

U.S. EPA published its finding that greenhouse gases threaten public health in the Federal Register today, setting a stage for a series of rules to begin regulating the heat-trapping emissions.

The endangerment finding takes effect on Jan. 14, the notice (pdf) says. And EPA is expected to roll out its first round of greenhouse gas rules by March, the first-ever federal tailpipe standards for greenhouse gases.

The tailpipe standards would automatically trigger requirements that stationary sources install "best available control technology," or BACT, according to EPA. The agency has proposed a separate rule to shield smaller facilities from those requirements, the "tailoring rule," which is also expected to be in place by March.

Today's formal publication of the endangerment finding also opens the door to litigation. Some opponents of EPA regulations are vowing lawsuits. Challengers to the endangerment finding have until Feb. 16 to file petitions in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration continues to press Congress for a legislative solution. (Greenwire)

 

Worry Over Global Warming Cools

Even as the Copenhagen conference generates headlines, polls show Americans' concern is tepid

Even as this month's Copenhagen conference generates front-page headlines, polls show Americans' concern about global warming is tepid. If marketers wish to tap into consumers' green sentiment -- of which there is plenty -- survey data and some expert opinion give reason to think a focus on global warming will be a tough way to do it.

Many a tree has been felled lately to print findings of opinion surveys in which people increasingly shrug off global warming as a major concern, or express doubt that it's happening at all. In an Ipsos/McClatchy poll released last week (and fielded earlier this month), 70 percent of respondents agreed that the world's temperatures "have been going up slowly over the past 100 years." But just 43 percent said they think the earth has been warming "mostly because of human activity."

And the Ipsos/McClatchy poll is scarcely an outlier in its findings. In a Harris Poll last month, a bare majority of respondents (51 percent) said they "believe the theory that increased carbon dioxide and other gases released into the atmosphere will, if unchecked, lead to global warming," down from 75 percent in 2001. That's in sync with the findings of Pew Research Center polling over the years. In surveys in 2006 and 2007, 77 percent of respondents agreed that there is "solid evidence the earth is warming." By this October, the number holding that view had fallen to 57 percent. So, where does global warming now stand on the hierarchy of Americans' worries? In a Bloomberg poll this month, a grand total of 3 percent of respondents picked "climate change" as "the most important issue facing the country right now." (AdWeek)

 

He's still at it: Maurice Strong’s Outlook on COP15 Climate Change Negotiations

Maurice Strong: The climate change challenge requires us to make changes in the fundamental nature and functioning of our economic system and resist the temptation merely to patch up the existing system to enable to continue, however, temporally, on the pathway that led to its crisis. 

Moving to the carbon-free economy requires, as I already have said, that Copenhagen produces a commitment to a Climate Security Program and at least the main elements of it as well as establishment of a “Climate Security-Fund” to finance its implementation. 

This would require firm and continuing commitments by the more developed countries based on their emissions and their Gross National Products (GDP). 

The initial scale of this Fund will need to be on the order of USD 1 trillion over the initial ten year period. This will inevitably be viewed as unrealistic in the current financial crisis which will be used to justify such resistance. 

But it must go well beyond foreign aid as conventionally defined and be integrated into the process of fundamental changes in our economy. It will ultimately exceed the initial target figure of USD1 trillion which is the estimated cost to the United States alone of its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It will take a strong will and binding commitments by the more developed countries to undertake the changes of their economies that this will require and for the developing countries to be in the position to absorb the resources they receive to build sustainable and competitive economies.

Some of the measure which could contribute to this process would be the fees on the use of the global commons – the ocean, the atmosphere and outer space that are not under national jurisdiction, a Tobin-type tax on financial transactions, taxes on fossil fuels and other sources of emissions and by shifting subsidies from those substances and practices which contribute to climate change to those which contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions. (MaximsNews Network)

 

Time for a Smarter Approach to Global Warming - Investing in energy R&D might work. Mandated emissions cuts won't.

The saddest fact of climate change—and the chief reason we should be concerned about finding a proper response—is that the countries it will hit hardest are already among the poorest and most long-suffering. (Bjørn Lomborg, WSJ)

Still only partly right.

That carbon dioxide emission limits will have no measurable effect on global temperature or climate generally is perfectly true.

That these emissions somehow harm less developed regions is a nonsense.

That underdeveloped regions suffer disproportionately from adverse events is true.

That we can increase assistance and improve the lot of developing regions by driving the world economy off a cliff and destroying reliable, affordable energy supply is criminally insane.

 

Finally got one right: "Nature does not negotiate," warns UN head on arrival in Copenhagen

With talks at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen ailing significantly—but by no means hopeless—the UN Secretary-General, Ban-Kai Moon, arrived today announcing: "We do not have another year to negotiate. Nature does not negotiate." (Jeremy Hance, mongabay.com)

No, the nasty old bitch does not negotiate but kills people will casual indifference. That is why we must maximize development and wealth generation so everyone can protect themselves and each other.

 

Here he is -- the best friend the Australian Republican Movement's got: Copenhagen climate summit: Prince Charles warns climate change will drive starvation and terrorism

The world has only seven years before climate change causes a “point of crisis” that will drive food shortages, terrorism and poverty, the Prince of Wales has warned. (TDT)

 

Just think - fomenting all this fear and adversarial "negotiation" is the path to a Nobel "Peace" Prize :-)

 

Climate summit organisation in disarray

EUOBSERVER / COPENHAGEN - It was billed as the most important meeting in history. Naturally, as the whole purpose is to save the planet, or at least keep it inhabitable for human beings. But the UN climate conference in Copenhagen itself has so far been pretty uninhabitable for many of the human beings trying to attend.

Waiting for Godot in the queue for the climate summit venue (Photo: adopt a negotiator)

Thousands of participants from civil society and the media, but also high-level officials from international institutions and members of national delegations to the conference, have had to wait outside in the blustery, sub-zero Nordic winter for up to nine hours only to be told in the end that the Bella Centre venue in the southeast of the Danish capital has reached capacity and they will have to try again tomorrow.

A total of 192 nations are represented at the meeting, with their attending teams of lawyers, advisors, officials and trailing NGO observers, lobbyists, reporters and activists. 

Organisers estimate the number of participants at over 45,000, including 14,000 national delegates, as well as another 4,000 just from the United Nations and 5,000 journalists. 

The conference centre only has room for 15,000 people. (EUobserver)

 

World leaders 'could boycott failing Copenhagen talks'

European ministers worked to salvage a deal at the Copenhagen climate summit today as fears grew that some world leaders, scenting failure in the negotiations, could decide to stay away.

The past several days have been marked by increasingly bitter exchanges between the world's two biggest polluters, China and the United States, and a five-hour walkout by African delegates. The conference chairwoman, Connie Hedegaard of Denmark, today asked a group of European ministers to lead "informal" negotiations on the key blockages. (The Times)

 

Why? U.N. chief calls for compromise at climate talks

COPENHAGEN - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Danish conference hosts warned ministers on Tuesday to compromise at deadlocked global talks to salvage agreement on a new U.N. climate pact. (Reuters)

We can not knowingly and predictably adjust the climate. Go home, ya silly blighters!

 

Rudd's climate change strategy under fire as leaders converge on Copenhagen

KEVIN Rudd's climate change agenda is under fire from three fronts this morning with India, the G77-China bloc and former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton attacking Australia's approach. 

Lumumba Di-Aping, the chief negotiator for China and G77 group of developing nations at Copenhagen, said today that what Australia had done so far was “simply not good enough”.

“The message Kevin Rudd is giving to his people, his citizens, is a fabrication, it's fiction,” he told ABC radio.

“It does not relate to the facts because his actions are climate change scepticism in action. All that Australia has done so far is simply not good enough.”

Mr Bolton, a prominent neo-conservative during the Bush administration, accused the Prime Minister of using the climate change debate to re-regulate the economy and give governments too much power

“It's typical not just of the Prime Minister but of a number of other advocates of the kinds of solutions being discussed at Copenhagen, that these solutions, greater government control of the economy, greater government regulation, government interference in all of our daily lives, is something many of these people have believed in for decades even before global warming was an issue,” he told ABC2.

“There is another agenda in play, one that is philosophically attuned to increased government regulation whether there is global warming, global cooling or no change at all. (Samantha Maiden, The Australian)

 

D'oh! Copenhagen negotiator accuses Rudd of lying

The chief negotiator for China and the small African nations at Copenhagen has accused Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of lying to the Australian people about his position on climate change.

Lumumba Di-Aping, who represents China and the G77 group of small countries, was speaking as the talks remained deadlocked and world leaders, including Mr Rudd, began arriving in the Danish capital.

Mr Di-Aping said he had high expectations of Mr Rudd, but claimed that throughout the negotiations the Australian Government has not matched its actions with its rhetoric. 

"The message Kevin Rudd is giving to his people, his citizens, is a fabrication, it's fiction," he said. 

"It does not relate to the facts because his actions are climate change scepticism in action. 

"All that Australia has done so far is simply not good enough. 

"It's puzzling in the sense that here is a Prime Minister who actually won the elections because of his commitment to climate change," he added.

"He was the only Prime Minister who came and clearly said we have to do something, we have to join Kyoto protocol and all the rest.

"And within a very short period of time he changes his mind, changes his position, he starts acting as if he has been converted into climate change scepticism. (Australian Broadcasting Corp.)

Kevni believes only in Kevni, he sure isn't there for the world or the environment. Of course he has converted to skepticism -- he's suddenly facing the prospect of a revived Opposition and the serious risk of losing the next election (which he almost certainly will if the Opposition can keep the election about gorebull warming and K.Rudd's great big new tax rammed in under the phony guise of "addressing" it).

So, how do you like our plastic, inflatable Prime Minister (would you like to keep 'im?)?

 

"My Government Went to COP 15 and All I Got Was This Lousy Economy"

Copenhagen – Members of the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change have convened in Copenhagen to negotiate for a climate treaty likely to devastate the economies of compliant nations.

To poke fun while warning of this folly, the National Center for Public Policy Research is handing out T-shirts that display a photo of a Great Depression soup line and read, "My government went to COP 15 and all I got was this lousy economy."

"The shirts aim to remind COP 15 participants of the economic damage inherent to carbon reduction mandates. Adhering to restrictive carbon emissions standards will result in skyrocketing energy prices and devastate the economy," said David Ridenour, vice-president of the National Center for Public Policy Research. "While the fat cats in government can easily sign onto a feel-good environmental agreement, average people will be left to cope with the economic consequences." (National Center)

 

Lack of long-term aid threatens climate deal

The United Nations has conceded that a deal in Copenhagen on climate change might not include promised financial aid for developing countries, an admission that will infuriate poorer nations and potentially scupper a broad-based agreement. (Financial Times)

 

U.S., Europe at Odds Over Emissions

COPENHAGEN -- The top U.S. climate negotiator brushed back European calls for faster short-term reductions in U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions, saying that by many measures the U.S. already matches or surpasses the European Union in fighting climate change. 

The comments by Todd Stern, at a briefing by reporters, highlight an issue that continues to divide European and U.S. officials nine days into this month's United Nations summit: what baseline to use in measuring progress in cutting emissions.

While U.S. officials prefer to measure emissions cuts against the year 2005, the European Union prefers measuring cuts against the year 1990. A 1990 timeline greatly favors the EU because of economic and political developments since then that have reduced emissions, including the collapse of the Eastern Europe's economy following the break-up of the Soviet Union.

Conversely, a 2005 baseline favors the Obama administration in international talks, partly because it leaves out the entire first term of George W. Bush. Mr. Bush, as president, resisted imposing economy-wide emissions caps on the grounds that it would damage the U.S. economy. (WSJ)

Interestingly the US did much better than Europe when comparing emissions/GDP over the period, making the Bush/Cheney Administration much more effective carbon-cutters than the, uh, carbon-enlightened EU. Funny ol' game, innit guv'na?

 

Trade Disagreements Fuel U.S.-China Tension at Climate Talks

Dec. 16 -- China is demanding that a global agreement to cut greenhouse gases prohibit nations from imposing trade sanctions, further pitting the world’s No. 1 emitter of greenhouse gases against U.S. lawmakers. 

The draft accord from a meeting in Copenhagen to forge a climate treaty bars rich nations from adopting trade actions tied to global warming. China said such language will avert “trade wars.” (Bloomberg)

 

China and U.S. Hit Strident Impasse at Climate Talks

COPENHAGEN — China and the United States were at an impasse on Monday at the United Nations climate change conference here over how compliance with any treaty could be monitored and verified.

China, which last month for the first time publicly announced a target for reducing the rate of growth of its greenhouse gas emissions, is refusing to accept any kind of international monitoring of its emissions levels, according to negotiators and observers here. The United States is insisting that without stringent verification of China’s actions, it cannot support any deal. (NYT)

 

China, US refuse to budge on climate emissions

COPENHAGEN — The world's two biggest carbon emitters, China and the United States, Tuesday warned they would not shift on the offers for tackling their pollution, a question lying at the heart of the UN climate talks here. (AFP)

 

U.S. Emissions Target "Protectionist": German Minister

COPENHAGEN - U.S. greenhouse gas emissions targets pledged ahead of United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen have "protectionist aspects," Germany's environment minister said on Tuesday.

"The American position has certain protectionist aspects, so they want to avoid a level playing field because they are afraid that we are front runners in this competition," said Norbert Rttgen, referring to the race to shift away from carbon-intensive fossil fuels.

"The Chinese are not very interested in a level playing field either," he added. (Reuters)

 

India fears Copenhagen climate talks may collapse

COPENHAGEN: With no signs of breakthrough in the tough negotiations in climate change conference here, India 

As negotiators raced against time to hammer out a deal, four developing countries -- India, Brazil, South Africa and China – on Tuesday issued a joint statement accusing the rich nations of trying to derail the talks. (Times of India)

 

Peter Foster: Canada’s Galileo government

The Copenhagen agreement will increase bureaucracy and Swiss bank accounts without helping the planet

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon announced this week on his way to Copenhagen that “There is no time for posturing or blaming.” Good heavens, if there is no time for the UN’s two main activities, the climate talks must really be in peril.

Yesterday the U.S. and the EU were at loggerheads, China accused rich nations of making “empty promises,” and a leaked Cabinet document suggested that Canada, outrageously, wanted to pursue sensible policies by not penalizing particular industries more than the U.S. does. Environment ministers were burning the midnight biomass ahead of the arrival of 115 world leaders.

Will this supertanker of fools succeed by Friday in cobbling together an agreement that will ensure both more intrusive government and more global poverty without doing anything for the environment? Will they manage to sweep Climategate under the carpet?

Click here to read more... (Financial Post)

 

'Death of Kyoto would be death of Africa': AU

The African Union on Tuesday estimated that the Copenhagen summit on climate change could lead to the "death warrant for the Kyoto Protocol," the only instrument currently regulating emission of greenhouse gases.

"Representatives of the continent have unanimously made known their absolute and determined refusal to pursue consultations that would sign the death warrant for the Kyoto Protocol," said a statement sent to AFP.

 

Emissions Rights Could Negate New Climate Pact: EU

COPENHAGEN - Trade in controversial carbon rights under the Kyoto Protocol after 2012 could undermine emissions targets agreed under a new global climate pact, the European Union environment commissioner said on Tuesday.

Under the Kyoto treaty, which expires in 2012, nations that are comfortably below their greenhouse gas emissions targets can sell the difference in the form of rights called Assigned Amount Units (AAUs) to countries struggling to meet their own targets.

"If we have this amount of AAUs (post-2012), no matter how ambitious we are in Copenhagen, it will be not be enough because of this hot air," European Union environment commissioner Stavros Dimas told reporters at a U.N. climate talks in the Danish capital.

Critics call AAUs "hot air" because most of them are the result of the collapse of eastern European industry rather than investment in clean energy. U.N. climate talks this week to find a replacement for Kyoto have shed little light on the future of AAUs.

Seven eastern European countries proposed that AAUs be bankable under a new agreement, while green groups pushed to abolish AAU banking and large-scale trade in the rights.

"The political deal that will be forged in Copenhagen ... should keep the door open for allowing the full transfer of the surplus represented by the AAUs to the post-2012 framework," the group which includes Poland, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria said.

Greenpeace warned against the idea, saying post-2012 trade in AAUs threatens the environmental integrity of a new pact. (Reuters)

Environmental integrity? Of a "climate pact"? Sheesh!

 

Their greatest achievement: Copenhagen Summit Carbon Footprint Biggest Ever: Report

COPENHAGEN - The Copenhagen climate talks will generate more carbon emissions than any previous climate conference, equivalent to the annual output of over half a million Ethiopians, figures commissioned by hosts Denmark show. (Reuters)

At least they are feeding the biosphere, so that's one useful outcome -- the only one.

 

Businesses hold world hostage over carbon credits - Even U.N. climate chief tied to new, 'green' extortion scam

WND research reveals the European Union's cap-and-trade exchange is vulnerable to a sophisticated form of corporate extortion in which EU bureaucrats in Brussels are manipulated into paying hundreds of millions of dollars in carbon permit bribes to keep companies from moving jobs to Third World nations.

In fact, it appears the scam is already under way. (Jerome R. Corsi, WorldNetDaily)

 

Reward third world klepotocrats? Not sure what that's supposed to help really: Copenhagen: why can't we write off Third World debt at the same as dealing with the environment?

As climate change negotiations get into full swing ahead of the upcoming United Nations Climate Change conference in Copenhagen, debate over the basis upon which developed countries should compensate developing countries for their historic emissions intensifies. ( Fraser Durham, Director, CarbonSense)

 

Gordon Brown throws yet more millions at Third World in climate change 'bribe'

Gordon Brown is offering hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to try to bribe Third World countries into signing a climate change deal.

With many developing nations refusing to back an agreement they claim favours the West, officials yesterday indicated that Mr Brown is prepared to offer ‘long-term’ cash to help finalise a deal.

Britain has already committed an extra £1.5billion to help developing countries tackle global warming – nearly a quarter of the £6.5billion offered by the rest of the EU.

But Mr Brown’s aides signalled yesterday that he is prepared to drive the UK economy even deeper into the red to burnish his reputation as a world statesman. (Daily Mail)

 

Decline and fall

We have long noted the fall of our once great media institutions, such as The Times and the BBC into the maw of the climate/ world-governance movement, but the descent of the Daily Telegraph into this gaping abyss of nonsense propaganda is harder to take. It was always far, far from perfect, but there was clearly an attempt to maintain a balanced view, plus the fragile hold of Christopher Booker in his small, irregular columns of reason. In recent weeks, however, there has been a sea change. Presumably some sort of coup has taken place. For the centre of the paper is now occupied by Greenies of the wildest disposition. They are Geoffrey Lean and Louise Gray, plus attendant courtiers. No wonder that EU Referendum has taken to dubbing it The Scarygraph. Oddly enough, the web version of the journal still seems to demonstrate some effort to keep on an even keel, with quite a different emphasis. This makes it harder to illustrate a commentary as it is hard to find links to the pieces that actually align with the printed page.

Page 12 of the edition of December 15th is typical. It is dominated by pictures of fluffy Emperor penguin chicks, cuddly koalas and a clown fish. Believe it or not, this last is at the top of the list of these endangered species. Apparently, the acidification of the sea by carbon dioxide has caused his fish to lose its sense of smell so that it cannot find its protective host.

Come off it! The only reason that the clown fish is there is that it was the sympathetic hero of a Disney cartoon. Until then the great majority of the population had never heard of it.

The bottom right hand corner of the page is reserved for the ersatz sceptic, Bjorn Lomborg, damaging to science as usual, but the rest of it is taken up by the dynamic duo, who have been drumming up the Copenhagen hysteria for weeks.

By the way, the intrusion of ocean acidification is no accident. You might not have noticed, but this has been opened up as a second front after setbacks on the warm front. The vital strategy is to keep up the war on carbon, both as a proxy for energy and the mainstay of western economies, to say nothing of the little matter of all life on Earth.

One of the stories that the establishment media have been energetically burying is the emerging detail of the financial web of intrigue surrounding Dr Pachauri, the prime driver of the climate scam at the UN. You can read all about it at EU Referendum, but to find it at The Telegraph you have to delve into the web version and the still independent blog of James Delingpole. By the way, you can also find within those confines a pointed comment on the suicide of the establishment media, which the editors of the Telegraph would do well to contemplate. As for our erstwhile hero, Boris Johnson, just another fall of the mighty. (Number Watch)

 

Rudd's ETS a 'transfer of wealth'

TONY Abbott will today accuse Kevin Rudd of attempting to use his proposed emissions trading system to disguise an old-fashioned Labor-style attempt to redistribute wealth to the poor. 

The new Opposition Leader will virtually dare the Prime Minister to call an early election on climate change, vowing: "Bring it on. We will be ready for you."

In a speech to be delivered in Sydney this morning, Mr Abbott will declare himself "John Howard's heir, not his clone" as he gives voters their first detailed glimpse at his electoral posture since he ousted Malcolm Turnbull as Liberal leader on December 1.

He will use the speech -- obtained by The Australian last night -- to hammer Mr Rudd for producing little in two years beyond extra trade union power and his rejected Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

The new leader will sharpen his attack on the CPRS, moving beyond attacking it as "a great big tax" to accusing Labor of using it as a wealth-transfer mechanism. (The Australian)

 

ETS costs will hurt: Abbott

OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott has attacked Kevin Rudd's stance on carbon emissions, saying the Prime Minister was going to Copenhagen ''with an open cheque written on the Australian people''.

Mr Abbott said Mr Rudd had refused to tell the country by how much more he wanted emissions cut. ''He won't tell us exactly how it is going to be achieved. And he won't tell us how much it is going to cost.''

He seized on projected NSW electricity price rises to buttress his argument about the consequences of an emissions trading scheme. The NSW pricing regulator has estimated electricity prices in the state would increase by 62 per cent in the next three years ''and those massive increases are due in significant measure to Mr Rudd's emissions tax'', Mr Abbott said.

''Mr Rudd is trying to tell us that there is a painless way to tackle climate change. There isn't.'' (The Age)

 

Natural Disasters At Decade Low In 2009-UN Report

COPENHAGEN - The world this year suffered the fewest number of natural disasters in a decade, but floods, droughts and other extreme weather continued to account for most of the deaths and economic losses, according to a United Nations report released on Monday.

There were 245 natural disasters recorded this year, down from the decade high of 434 in 2005, said the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.

The figures were released mid-way through an international climate conference in which 192 nations hope to nail down new firm targets for reducing carbon pollution, which is blamed for a long-term trend in more extreme weather. (Reuters)

 

From CO2 Science Volume 12 Number 50: 16 December 2009

Editorial:
The Future of Life on Earth: What to Do about CO2: It is the grand question facing humanity, as well as the world of nature.

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 774 individual scientists from 459 separate research institutions in 42 different countries ... and counting! This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from Northeastern Slope of the Cariaco Basin, Venezuela Coast. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Lakes: How have earth's lakes been impacted by natural and anthropogenic-induced changes in the environment over the course of the Little Ice Age-to-Current Warm Period transition?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Black Cutch (Raizada et al., 2009), Mountain Ebony (Raizada et al., 2009), Spinach (Jin et al., 2009), and Sugarcane (Vu and Allen, Jr., 2009).

Journal Reviews:
A Warming Bias in the U.S. Temperature Record???: In light of the disturbing revelations of the recently-leaked University of East Anglia emails, we felt it appropriate to revisit a paper one of us coauthored back in 2002.

The "Little" Medieval Warm Period in the Bahamas: The "junior partner" of the Medieval Warm Period surfaces once again, manifesting itself in a study of coral growth rates in the vicinity of the Bahamas.

How Best to "Weatherproof" Earth's Corals Against Warming-Induced Bleaching: You mean it can actually be done???

Evolution to the Rescue: Can earth's many life forms evolve rapidly enough to survive rapid climate change?

Effects of Warming and Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment on Wheat Photosynthesis and Biomass Production: Just how severely do the "twin evils" of the radical environmentalist movement impact wheat productivity? (co2science.org)

 

News Release On Soot Effects On Climate In The Himalayas – Its Larger Than the Forcing From The Human Input Of CO2

There is a news release that indicates the major effect of soot on the climate, including glaciers, in the Himalayas (thanks to Charles Martin for alerting us to this!).  The news release dated December 14 2009  is

New Study Turns Up the Heat on Soot’s Role in Himalayan Warming

Excerpts from the news article are

“……the new research, by NASA’s William Lau and collaborators, reinforces with detailed numerical analysis what earlier studies suggest: that soot and dust contribute as much (or more) to atmospheric warming in the Himalayas as greenhouse gases. This warming fuels the melting of glaciers and could threaten fresh water resources in a region that is home to more than a billion people.”

“The Indo-Gangetic plain, one of the most fertile and densely populated areas on Earth, has become a hotspot for emissions of black carbon……. Winds push thick clouds of black carbon and dust, which absorb heat from sunlight, toward the base of the Himalayas where they accumulate, rise, and drive a “heat pump” that affects the region’s climate.”

“Over areas of the Himalayas, the rate of warming is more than five times faster than warming globally,” said William Lau, head of atmospheric sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “Based on the differences it’s not difficult to conclude that greenhouse gases are not the sole agents of change in this region. There’s a localized phenomenon at play.”

“He has produced new evidence suggesting that an “elevated heat pump” process is fueling the loss of ice, driven by airborne dust and soot particles absorbing the sun’s heat and warming the local atmosphere and land surface. A related modeling study by Lau and colleagues has been submitted to Environmental Research Letters for publication.”

“……said Lau. “We need to add another topic to the climate dialogue.”

This news study reinforces the conclusion that a broader perspective of the role of humans in the climate system is needed, and that the radiative effect of CO2 may not the dominate human role as concluded by the IPCC report and as being discussed in Copenhagen. (Climate Science)

 

Here Comes The Sun

Drip by drip, like a glacier melting in the sun, the claim that man is changing the climate is dissolving into irrelevance. The recent findings of Swiss researchers expose another hole.

Former Vice President Al Gore has for years warned that man-made global warming is melting the world's glaciers — a tactic commonly used by alarmists who want to whip up hysteria. Swiss researchers, however, have presented evidence that weakens the argument.

Scientists at Zurich's Federal Institute of Technology have found that solar activity caused Alpine glaciers to melt in the 1940s at rates faster than today's pace, even though it's warmer now.

The study found that the sun in the 1940s was 8% stronger than average and far more powerful than it is today. It also concluded that solar activity was weaker from the 1950s to the 1980s, an era in which the glaciers advanced.

The Swiss researchers are spinning their own work, saying that the evidence doesn't mean the public can stop worrying about man-made warming. But their finding validates other researchers who have said solar activity has a far greater impact on temperatures than human CO2 emissions. (IBD)

 

Climate change blamed for Great Lakes decline

Canadian-U.S. study attributes discernible drop in water levels in Huron and Michigan to drier weather (Globe and Mail)

Hmm... just last March:

The Great Lakes and Global Warming

Our recent story about the freeze over on Lake Superior prompted a lot of discussion. Steven Goddard has submitted this article on the Great Lakes for consideration. – Anthony (WUWT)

 

Looking to the land for climate change solutions

The high alpine grasslands in the heart of Asia have been home to yak and sheep herders for centuries. But they are starting to disappear from much of this vast area. One major reason is overgrazing and depletion of the soil. Some parts of the grasslands are now called the "Black Beach" - a parched moonscape that has had its nutrients sucked out of the earth. 

Largely gone, too, is the land's ability to hold large amounts of carbon. It's no small loss. The depleted grasslands here and around the world, along with degraded farmlands, are an open wound not only because of the loss of productive land but also because they are a lost opportunity to slow and reverse climate change. (China Daily)

 

US counting on cows to reduce emissions

COPENHAGEN -- The United States is counting on cows to help save the planet.

U.S. Secretary Tom Vilsack announced an agreement with the American dairy industry Tuesday to reduce the industry's greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020, mostly by convincing farmers to capture the methane from cow manure that otherwise would be released into the atmosphere. (Associated Press)

 

Micronesia will be sunk by a Czech coal plant, wrote a protest memo

This story seems to be beyond parody. You couldn't make it up except that Michael Crichton was able to predict the story in his State of Fear which included a class action lawsuit on behalf of the people of the island nation Vanutu:

7th space: Climate victims fight back
Google News in Czech
The Czech ministry of environment has received a request from the Federated States of Micronesia for a transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment of our biggest coal-burning power plant in Prunéřov ["proo-neh-rzoff", Google Maps], the 18th largest institutional producer of CO2 in the world whose further expansion has been scheduled.

It may be the first time in the human history when such a transboundary, 13,000-kilometer (along the surface) lawsuit occurred.



The idea is that the carbon dioxide emissions from our power plant will lead to a sea level rise that will sink the islands of our Micronesian friends. So let me perform the Environmental Impact Assessment for them.

» Don't Stop Reading » (The Reference Frame)

 

Exxon finds good use for its money

ExxonMobil’s announcement that it was buying XTO Energy for $41bn ($31bn stock and $10bn in debt) is a good answer to the critics who have been looking for the world’s biggest publicly listed oil company to do something besides pay dividends and buy back shares with its huge stockpile of cash.

While the Rockefeller family’s push of last year for Exxon to stake out a future beyond oil sounded good, Exxon insisted those sectors were not right for the company. Exxon has been built on fossil fuels. And it knows the business well.

In moving decisively into unconventional natural gas with the XTO purchase, Exxon is investing further in the fossil fuel business it already has perfected. Yet natural gas is not only less carbon intensive than oil, but new technology has made it abundant.


Accessing unconventional gas from sources such as shale rock, tightly packed sands and coal bed methane may be different from just capturing the gas that comes up during drilling a typical oil well, but it is a business Exxon understands.

And Exxon is smart enough to bring the XTO team on board to help it learn what it does not know. The boom in shale gas in the US has been dominated by the small oil and gas producers who figured out how to economically extract the gas, but the business is now big enough that the majors should be getting into it, if they are not already. (Financial Times)

 

China Puts Coal (Lots of it) in Copenhagen’s Stocking

While political leaders and environmental activists are gathered in Copenhagen to talk about carbon footprints, cap-and-trade schemes, and a “carbon-constrained world” China continues burning coal at record rates. And that coal consumption means that all of the rhetoric in Copenhagen will largely amount to nothing. [Read More] (Xina Xie and Michael J. Economides, Energy Tribune)

 

Electricity prices set to rise by 62% by 2013

NSW households will need to brace themselves for the first impact of the Federal Government's proposal to cut emissions, with electricity prices expected to rise steeply over the next few years.

The state's pricing regulator, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has today recommended that electricity prices rise by up to 62 per cent, including inflation, over three years.

Electricity prices are already rising at a double-digit pace, following agreed price rises to allow big capital spending programs by electricity retailers such as EnergyAustralia and Integral Energy.

IPART says the biggest impact on the proposed price rises is the Federal Government's recommended emissions trading scheme and increased network prices. (SMH)

 

Power bills could send people 'into poverty'

SOME customers could be paying almost $900 more for a year's electricity by 2013, as the impact of the Federal Government's proposal to cut carbon emissions is felt in the household budget for the first time, with one group warning the increases ''will send many households into poverty''.

A large part of the increase stems from the Federal Government's proposed emissions trading scheme, which is aimed at reducing carbon pollution, with the intent that higher electricity prices will reduce electricity use.

Household electricity prices are already rising at a double-digit pace, following increases agreed to earlier by the Australian Energy Regulator, to finance large capital spending programs by electricity retailers such as EnergyAustralia.

Yesterday the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal included the impact of the Federal Government's carbon pollution reduction scheme in the household electricity bill, which is scheduled to take effect from mid-2011 once legislation passes Federal Parliament. (SMH)

And just what makes them think this decaying corpse can be animated through the Senate? There's growing expectation the government will lose a gorebull warming election and MPs have lost the will to make climate an issue -- they are going to rabbit but it will not help now the Opposition has found an issue to motivate voters. Below is a sample of where this is going:

 

Cutting wealth, not emissions

Other than this, and the higher prices and power blackouts, it won’t hurt a bit, honest:

THE amended emissions trading scheme put forward by the Government threatens to wipe off about 3 per cent of the value of Australia’s top 200 companies, according to research to be released today…

An analysis of the revised plan by carbon risk firm RepuTex and Arbor Partners, consultants to institutional investors, shows that indirect factors such as electricity and supply chain costs, will make up 60 per cent of the total carbon liability of S&P/ASX 200 companies.

That would add $3.1 billion to the $2.1 billion in direct costs companies face through trading permits.

And then there are the fines the United Nations will impose on us - fines some countries already face under the Kyoto Protocol:

Because of breaches of its emissions target under the Kyoto Protocol, Canada owes about $1 billion... (Andrew Bolt)

 

Climate change a smokescreen for Kevin Rudd's high taxing agenda

AN election fought over the emissions trading scheme will be an election on tax. 

It won't be an election on the environment. Kevin Rudd's policy will be to save the environment by raising the cost of living. My policy will be to save the environment by taking direct action to improve it.

When it comes to environmental credentials, I am more than happy to match mine against the Prime Minister's. I'd welcome any election that the Prime Minister called as a referendum on his emissions trading scheme because Australians have always been suspicious of governments that try to panic people into change on the argument that it's our one and only chance to get things right. (Tony Abbott, Leader of the Opposition, From: The Australian)

 

Another one of those, uh, "dreadful Bush Administration initiatives":  Global Methane Partnership

The International Methane to Markets Partnership is publishing its first comprehensive report detailing the achievements of its 31 partner governments. Methane gas capture and use projects supported by the partnership since its creation in 2004 are currently reducing emissions by more than 27.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually -- equivalent to the annual emissions from 5 million passenger vehicles.

"The Methane to Markets Partnership is a true success story in the fight against climate change and the transition to a clean energy economy," said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office for Air and Radiation and current chair of the Methane to Markets steering committee. "Methane to Markets," said Ms. McCarthy, "is helping countries mitigate climate change, develop new sources of clean energy, and protect their local environments."

The Methane to Markets Partnership reduces greenhouse gas emissions by promoting the cost-effective, near-term recovery and use of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, while providing clean energy to markets around the world. (VOA News)

 

How quickly things date: ETS should consider rightful ownership of emissions

Climate change has become the global catch phrase of the 21st Century and decisions made at the current United Nations talks in Copenhagen will have a lasting influence on the global economy and the mining industry.

Here in Australia, we are not immune from the climate change movement and the government is positioning the country to be a global leader in this area. Already, we have implemented legislation requiring Australian corporations to record their Greenhouse Gas Emissions through the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 (the Act).
More recently, debate has raged about the introduction of an emissions trading scheme (ETS), which, whilst still highly controversial, is likely to occur sooner rather than later. (Jeames McKibben & Michelle Clarke, Australian Journal of Mining)

In fact the chances of Australia having an emissions trading scheme are negligible and declining. How things have changed this past month :-)

 

U.S. Unveils a $350-Million Energy-Efficiency Initiative at Copenhagen

Solar lanterns and more efficient appliances are part of a new U.S.-led effort to deploy clean energy across the globe to combat climate change and other ills ( David Biello, SciAm)

Efficiency is good but fear of carbon dioxide emissions is no reason to do anything.

 

IEA offers blue print to deliver on ambitious climate change goals and urges all governments to send a strong signal to spur new investment for clean energy

“While the details of a binding agreement may not be completely worked out in Copenhagen, it is more important than ever that participants send a strong, indicative and ambitious signal that can guide energy investment and policy decisions globally,” said Nobuo Tanaka, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), today at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP-15) in Copenhagen. “This conference is the most important climate meeting to date, as we urgently need a framework that goes beyond 2012, the end of the Kyoto Protocol first commitment period. The economic crisis, with the resulting fall in global energy-related CO2 emissions of around 3% in 2009, gives us a unique window of opportunity to change our current, highly unsustainable energy path,” said Mr. Tanaka. “Current pledges point in the right direction, but fall short of what is needed to keep the global temperature rise to around 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The IEA proposes an energy policy and technology blueprint that can deliver ambitious climate goals to be agreed in Copenhagen, with energy efficiency at the core of CO2 reduction strategy in both the near and long term.” (Source: International Energy Agency)

 

Carbon capture is put on hold

As some countries have reservations on carbon capture and storage (CCS) the emerging technology will not be added to the UN-backed carbon reducing mechanisms here in Copenhagen. (CoP15)

 

Americans may live longer and cost more: study

WASHINGTON - Americans may live significantly longer in the future than current U.S. government projections, and that could mean sharply higher costs than anticipated for Medicare and other programs, researchers reported on Monday.

The researchers say that by 2050 Americans may live as much as eight years longer than government forecasts and that spending by Medicare and Social Security could rise by $3.2 trillion to $8.3 trillion above current projections.

Advances in medical care will accelerate, stretching out lifespans, the MacArthur Research Network on an Aging Society wrote in the report, published in The Milbank Quarterly.

"If we're right we've got a problem," Dr. Jack Rowe of Columbia University's School of Public Health and chairman of the MacArthur Research Network said in a telephone interview. "Can we really afford to have everybody quit work at 65?"

The research did not address any effects of longer lifespan on the current effort to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system. (Reuters)

 

The Three Senators Who Could Save You From Government-Run Health Care

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) may have announced that he expects to vote for Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) health bill this afternoon, but that leaves Reid with just 59 votes. He needs to get all three of the following holdouts to sign on the dotted line by Christmas:

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE)
As we have thoroughly documented before, there are nearly two dozen abortion funding prohibitions in current federal law that reflect two basic principles: 1) that, except in situations involving the life of the mother, rape and incest, the federal government will not pay for or reimburse for abortions under federal programs like Medicaid; and 2) that, with the same exceptions listed above, the federal government will not subsidize insurance plans that offer coverage for abortion. This is why the Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB), military insurance through TRICARE, and the Indian Health Service do not cover abortion unless the mother’s life is at risk.

Reid’s health bill would change all that, forcing Americans to subsidize elective abortions for the first time in more than 30 years. Nelson told Face the Nation this Sunday: “I still have the unique issue of abortion. I’ve said I can’t support the bill with the abortion language that’s there.” Continue reading… (The Foundry)

 

HGWA: Plasticizer may be tied to boys' breast enlargement

NEW YORK - A report out today points to yet another possible harmful effect of exposure to phthalates -- a controversial plastics chemical used widely in the manufacture of consumer products. 

Researchers from Turkey found higher blood levels of the most commonly used plasticizer, DEHP, in a group of boys with abnormal enlargement of the breasts -- a common condition seen in up to 65 percent of adolescent boys called pubertal gynecomastia. The condition usually resolves on its own after boys get through puberty.

"Unfortunately," Dr. Elif N. Ozmert from Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey noted in an email to Reuters Health, "we are exposed to this (chemical) in many ways via direct contact," breathing, and eating. (Reuters Health)

 

Federal Group Proposes Curbs on Marketing Food to Kids

WASHINGTON -- A working group made up of officials from several federal regulatory agencies Tuesday proposed restricting marketing of foods and beverages that contain significant amounts of sugar, sodium and saturated fat, in response to concerns about childhood obesity.

Food marketing to children should be limited to foods that provide a "meaningful contribution to a healthful diet," the proposals say.

The recommendations of the group, which was created by Congress, reflect concerns that current marketing practices are influencing children's eating habits. (WSJ)

 

Psychotherapy Offers Obesity Prevention for 'at Risk' Teenage Girls

(Dec. 15, 2009) — A team of scientists at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the National Institutes of Health has piloted psychotherapy treatment to prevent excessive weight gain in teenager girls deemed 'at risk' for obesity. (ScienceDaily)

 

Smart Growth: Lower Carbon Footprint Not

Recent reports from the Urban Land Institute and other planning advocates insist that so-called smart growth—a term meaning more compact urban development, combined with heavy investments in mass transit as an alternative to driving—is an essential tool in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In heeding this call, the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress want to impose a national land-use planning policy that threatens the property rights of every landowner in the country. (Randal O'Toole, MasterResource)

 

On wasting productive farmland in order to waste even more environmental asset in the form of atmospheric carbon dioxide -- damn fools! USDA chief says carbon bill won't hurt farmland

WASHINGTON - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Tuesday downplayed his department's analysis that U.S. climate legislation will result in carbon-capturing trees taking over millions of acres of farmland, saying "more current" studies do not foresee that result.

Up to 59 million acres, 6 percent of U.S. pasture and cropland, could be converted to woodland by 2050 under a cap-and-trade system, according to the Agriculture Department analysis. Trees, to control greenhouse gases, would be more lucrative than crops.

It was the first time Vilsack commented on the analysis, whose conclusions were released on Dec 3. The complete study will be released soon, said Vilsack. Foes of the House-passed climate bill say it will drive up farmers' production costs and allow only a minority of them to reap money from offsets. (Reuters)

 

Increased funds show results in malaria battle: WHO

LONDON - Increased funding is starting to pay off in the battle against malaria but prevention and treatment must be increased to try to halt the killer disease, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday.

The WHO's World Malaria Report 2009 found "significant progress" in the delivery of mosquito nets and malaria drugs, thanks largely to an increase in funds to $1.7 billion in 2009 from $0.3 billion in 2003. But it said $5 billion more was needed every year to get maximum global impact worldwide.

"The tremendous increase in funding for malaria control is resulting in the rapid scale up of today's control tools," WHO director-general Margaret Chan said in a statement.

"This, in turn, is having a profound effect on health -- especially the health of children in sub-Saharan Africa. In a nutshell, development aid for health is working." (Reuters)

 

In Search of New Waters, Fish Farming Moves Offshore

As wild fish stocks continue to dwindle, aquaculture is becoming an increasingly important source of protein worldwide. Now, a growing number of entrepreneurs are raising fish in large pens in the open ocean, hoping to avoid the many environmental problems of coastal fish farms. (John McQuaid, e360)

 

December 15, 2009

 

The Great Climategate Debate

Moderator: Henry D. Jacoby
Kerry Emanuel '76, PhD '78
Judith Layzer PhD '99
Stephen Ansolabehere
Ronald G. Prinn SCD '71
Richard Lindzen
December 10, 2009
Running Time: 1:58:31

About the Lecture

In mid-November, thousands of emails were hacked from servers at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the U.K. A small fraction of them address controversial issues; how to present climate data in the most favorable light and how to combat climate skeptics, among others. The responses reported in the press have ranged from these emails being a confirmation of climate change deniers' assertions that global warming is a conspiracy and a hoax, to the whole affair being a tempest in a teapot with no relevance to the reality of global warming and the need to combat it.

This panel of experts gives its views on what 'Climategate' really means for climate science, the integrity of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, public perception of climate, and the ongoing policy negotiations in the Congress and at Copenhagen. (MIT)

 

Confused? You might BE a psychologist

Some scientists just keep looking in the wrong places for answers. Here’s Stephan Lewandonsky, professorial fellow of psychology, in The Age trying to answer the most important question in modern science and economics. He refers to ClimateGate and asks if the stunning accusations of serious misconduct are true? Watch the flat out assertion backed by a non-sequiteur:

They are not. Even if we presume that the stolen material is authentic, the notion that climate data is being nefariously withheld is fantastical.

This does not even make sense within the confines of it’s punctuation. Is there a new Natural Law of Thermodynamics that says it’s impossible to withhold data? The data is gone, even Phil Jones, head of the East Anglia Climate Research Unit admits he has withheld it and won’t ever provide it:

“The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone.”

We know the emails are real. Phil Jones has said as much. He admits he has withheld data for years, and that he’ll delete it as well if he has too. So it’s not “fantastical” to  think that data is being withheld, it’s documented. (Jo Nova)

 

Climategate means they're gonna need a bigger boat

I hope I'm not betraying my age by referring to Steven Spielberg's classic move 'Jaws' in my headline. It comes from the moment when Roy Scheider first sees the shark that has been terrorising the beach population. Here I use it to refer to the task that faces those who believe strong action is needed to combat global warming.

It's as if Climategate (the leak of over 1,000 emails detailing chicanery and shenanigans among The Team of climate scientists and paleoclimatologists that produced The Hockey Stick and other scary fictions) triggered a flood of pent-up queries and complaints about the data that The Team says is proof that our planet is in peril, but that scientists and engineers are saying may not even be data--it may be fiction.

Let's start with AJSrata, a blogger whose work I ran across only today. This very plain language description of both the flaws of IPCC data and what it would take to correct them is instructional, to say the least. He will immediately be branded a denialist in the pay of Big Oil, of course (and hey--sooner or later alarmists will stumble upon a critic who actually is), but his explanation is compelling and should be evaluated.

London's Daily Mail online has a plain language description of what it took to 'hide the decline' and why The Team needed to do it. The story will not increase your respect for Michael Mann, Phil Jones or the rest of The Team.

Obviously, if you haven't read Steve McIntyre's explanation of the 'trick' that puts 'hide the decline' into context, you should do so.

Is it possible that GHCN temperature measurements for Antarctica (which show a warming trend unlike other measurements) are dependent on one station? And that the one station is perched on the Antarctic peninsula that juts into the warmest part of the ocean nearby? And that the station measurement device is actually contaminated by the urban heat island effect? Jeff Id at The Air Vent makes the case.

Echoes of Tom Lehrer--it's so simple, that only a child can do it. A 4th grader teases out the urban heat island (UHI) effect and asks some questions that might be tough to answer. (Thomas Fuller, Examiner)

 

What’s going on? CRU takes down Briffa Tree Ring Data and more

Odd things are going on at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.

Widely available data, existing in the public view for years,  is now disappearing from public view.

Google shows the link was once valid

For example this link to Keith Briffa’s Yamal data:

http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/people/briffa/yamal2009/

Now redirects to a generic page of UEA. Try it yourself.

Now here is what that page says: Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)

 

The hidden policy pitfalls of Climategate and the future of global warming

The leaked emails from East Anglia University have revealed apparent misconduct by climate scientists and paleoclimatologists that in some cases rises to the level of criminal activity. But are there more important consequences of their behaviour? I think so.

In U.S. domestic politics alone, Climategate looks as though it is restricting policy options for the current administration. Barack Obama campaigned on a portfolio of energy policies--weatherising homes and offices, investing in green energy research, raising mileage standards, and creating a smart electricity distribution grid, with a sideline issue of Cap and Trade. When President Obama took office, the people who 'brung him to the dance' sidelined the more focused (and more intelligent, IMO) parts of his plan and created omnibus Cap and Trade legislation that is a disgrace to the Democratic Party to which I have belonged for all of my adult life. It is most deservedly stalled in Congress, where I hope it lingers indefinitely, but the other parts of Obama's plan seem to have disappeared.

Meanwhile, again at the insistence of the alarmist converts in Congress, the EPA has declared CO2 a danger to the public health, I assume to be shortly followed by water--after all, if global warming continues, we all will drown, right? The consequences of this folly are far-reaching. The EPA has to regulate emitters of dangerous substances--if your small business has a fleet of vehicles, welcome to the world of regulation. If your small school or small church has more than 1 bus... well, you get the picture. The EPA is hoping that Congress will rescue it by exempting small emitters. So is President Obama. But Republicans, who are gleefully seizing the new club that Climategate has placed in their hands, will not be loath to just say no, and saying the President chose the EPA route, and now he can deal with the consequences.

Worse, the EPA, which is supposed to conduct independent scientific inquiry into the substances it chooses to regulate, did not do so for CO2. They chose instead to rely on IPCC reports on global warming. Those IPCC reports were in large part prepared by the scientists under investigation now, and rely heavily on the data that up and disappeared. Expect a decade of lawsuits. (Thomas Fuller, Examiner)

 

Deprogramming Children After Global Warming Scam

The opening film at the Copenhagen “climate meeting” was an apt reminder of the long-term damage done by global warming propagandists. A little girl has nightmares about being alone in a desert where her life is threatened by floods and hurricanes.

Al Gore’s sci-fi horror fantasy in documentary style – An Inconvenient Truth – has been shown to school children, as young as 4 years old, around the world for years. Lesson plans aimed to convince children that the threat was real and that anyone doubting the message was wrong. They intentionally frightened children into emotional and psychological trauma.

Closing the Copenhagen film, many children repeated the phrase; “Please help save the world.” Now parents and teachers are faced with the sticky question of how that should be done. How can we deprogram millions of children the world over without allowing the experience to leave permanent psychological scars?

Teachers were put in the position of effectively turning children against their wiser parents. Now that we have to tell them that their teachers were wrong, will they ever trust teachers again?

Efforts to politically indoctrinate and manipulate school children are not new but they have intensified in the west in recent years. Parents in the old Soviet Bloc at least had enough experience before its fall to have some wisdom on dealing with it. Westerners however, are newbies.

There may be some good news mixed with the bad. Interviews with people who grew up in Communist controlled countries yielded claims that many recognized much of the propaganda and tended to ignore it. There was a certain comradeship in playing ignorant, ignoring selected homework, and making sure that the grading curve for indoctrination lessons was very low. (Roger F. Gay, MND)

 

No Cap and Tax

Greenhouse gas change fuel for lawsuits?

WASHINGTON—The Environmental Protection Agency's finding last week that greenhouse gases threaten public health and welfare could bolster global warming-related litigation against emitters of such gases, legal experts say.
Advertisement

At the same time, the government's endangerment finding also could bolster the argument that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are pollutants and that pollution exclusions contained in various commercial insurance policies should apply in coverage disputes, some say.

The EPA finding, which was widely expected after it issued preliminary findings in April, stems from the 2007 Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts et al. vs. Environmental Protection Agency et al. In that ruling, the high court ruled that greenhouse gases fall within the definition of pollutants under the Clean Air Act. It then ordered the EPA to determine whether greenhouse gases emitted by new motor vehicles cause or contribute to air pollution and endanger public health. Such a determination is a prerequisite for regulating those emissions under the Clean Air Act.

The EPA endangerment finding came on the eve of the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, where delegates from 192 countries, including the United States, are gathered to try to reach a consensus on how to prepare for an international treaty to limit global warming. The conference continues this week.

Many said they believe the Obama administration will use the EPA move to spur Congress to enact climate change legislation, which could create federal pre-emption complications for common law global warming suits. (Sally Roberts, Business Insurance)

 

Tide is turning on climate change

Suddenly the doomsayers aren't having it all their own way, as people stubbornly refuse to be terrified, says Eilis O'Hanlon  (Irish Independent)

 

Look out Al! The press are starting to tell people how fullovit you really are :-) Inconvenient truth for Al Gore as his North Pole sums don't add up


Al Gore's office admitted that the percentage he quoted in his speech was from an old, ballpark figure

There are many kinds of truth. Al Gore was poleaxed by an inconvenient one yesterday.

The former US Vice-President, who became an unlikely figurehead for the green movement after narrating the Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, became entangled in a new climate change “spin” row.

Mr Gore, speaking at the Copenhagen climate change summit, stated the latest research showed that the Arctic could be completely ice-free in five years.

In his speech, Mr Gore told the conference: “These figures are fresh. Some of the models suggest to Dr [Wieslav] Maslowski that there is a 75 per cent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years.”

However, the climatologist whose work Mr Gore was relying upon dropped the former Vice-President in the water with an icy blast.

“It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at,” Dr Maslowski said. “I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this.”

Mr Gore’s office later admitted that the 75 per cent figure was one used by Dr Maslowksi as a “ballpark figure” several years ago in a conversation with Mr Gore.

The embarrassing error cast another shadow over the conference after the controversy over the hacked e-mails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, which appeared to suggest that scientists had manipulated data to strengthen their argument that human activities were causing global warming.

Mr Gore is not the only titan of the world stage finding Copenhagen to be a tricky deal. (

 

Who is calling global warming's tune?

I guess we can relax about Climategate, now that IPCC head Rajendra Pachauri has said everything's okay. Pachauri said he doubted that trust in the IPCC would be damaged by the affair. “People who are aware of how the IPCC functions and are appreciative of the credibility that the IPCC has attained will probably not be swayed by an incident of this kind,” he said.

Just today, I was discussing with some commenters here the subject of tainted associations with Big Oil and large energy firms. There are those who say that because Steve McIntyre's boss once gave a lecture at a thinktank that once received funding from an oil firm, that his comments on global warming are tainted. (Thanks to Bishop Hill for that).

What then are we to make of the head of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri? I think after reading this article in EUReferendum, you will at least join me in acknowledging him as very familiar with energy issues. Some quotes from the article: (Thomas Fuller, Examiner)

 

A nice little earner for the IPCC chief, and Rudd chips in

The head of the IPCC, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, sure makes a good living from the great global warming scare. But with so many business ties with the alarmism industry, isn’t he too hopelessly compromised to be at the head of the United Nation’s climate change organisation?

Oh, and don’t think Kevin Rudd has missed the opportunity to steer some business Pachauri’s way, which might prove coincidentally to be a useful investment in Rudd’s ambitions to become UN secretary general:

Australian Prime Minister Mr. Kevin Michael Rudd announced $1 million contribution to The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) for the project between CSIRO and TERI, aiming to develop a zero emissions solar cooling system for use in remote rural communities in un-electrified areas.... Reciprocating to the Australian premier..., Dr R K Pachauri, Director General TERI, and Chair Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), said “Our aim is to broaden this interaction over the coming years...” (Andrew Bolt)

 

The press asks the question (finally): Rudd ducks questions of ETS cost

KEVIN Rudd has refused to directly address Tony Abbott's claim that Labor's proposed carbon emissions trading system will cost average Australian families $1100 a year.

Instead, the Prime Minister has forecast a Coalition government's response to climate change would wrap Australians in red tape by allowing Canberra bureaucrats to dictate individual behaviour.

In a television interview yesterday, Mr Rudd was asked three times to respond to Mr Abbott's $1100 claim, which has been at the centre of the Opposition Leader's political attack since he won the Liberal leadership a fortnight ago.

Each time, he refused to address the figure. (The Australian)

By golly it took them long enough.

 

Lots of climate news

There are way too many events related to the climate to describe all of them, especially when I am a bit busy. So just a few of them.

Henrik Svensmark - who gave an excellent talk on December 4th in Berlin during a conference I attended - had a heart attack on live Danish TV - or a malfunction of his pacemaker. Lomborg was standing nearby. A very worrisome video. Think twice whether you want to watch it. An excellent scientist like Svensmark is the last one who deserves such things. He's doing OK now, they say, and I wish him a full recovery.

The poor countries got so upset in Copenhagen that the talks were suspended.

Canada's Alberta - Edmonton etc. - is experiencing record cold temperatures up to around -46 °C which often feels like -59 °C in the wind (Edmonton Airport). I am sure that the residents of Edmonton are eager to reduce their usage of fossil fuels in order to cool the planet by additional 0.00001 °C.

Czechia feels like a tropical paradise in comparison. For this week, the meteorologists predicts something like balmy minus 20 °C.

If you want to see what kind of discussions we had with Greenpeace on Friedrichstrasse in Berlin, December 4th, see this Monckton-Greenpeacechick debate in front of the Melia Hotel.

From next Monday, Andy Revkin is leaving the New York Times for Pace University. (The Reference Frame)

 

Mail service

The Daily Mail has always been a bit of a curate’s egg – good in parts. Much of it involves irritating insubstantial scares, the dull doings of so-called celebrities etc. It has the great merits however of featuring several sound columnists and not subscribing to the environmental self-censorship adopted by the rest of the establishment media. Now it has created a breakthrough by actually showing to ordinary people just one example of the sort of scam that is being perpetrated in order to filch the hard earned pennies from their deflating pockets. It is almost a small miracle that a popular newspaper has shown its readers what “hiding the decline” actually means by a simple graphical illustration. This does not, of course, convey the sheer scale of obfuscation that has been going on over the years, but it is a dramatic beginning.

Meanwhile, Tony Blair, who will shortly be called to give evidence about the alleged threat of WMD, attacks sceptics on Global Warming and pronounces the evidence for it overwhelming.

If you believe that Sir, you will believe anything. Many of us think it represents the greatest fraud in human history (by a long, long way), but what are a few billions here and there when you are a world figure? (Number Watch)

 

Should be an award for reporters this dumb: Abbott's warriors place their trust in an ancient virtue

Minchin and Joyce are proud of holding doubts about the science, writes Rick Feneley.

Few non-scientists are better read or briefed on climate change than Nick Minchin, which raises the question: why does he remain such a determined sceptic in the face of so much science? (SMH)

Minchin is well-read and well-briefed on the topic, which probably explains why he is a skeptic...

What amazes me is that reporters have allowed themselves to be herded past the fundamental questions:

  • How can we claim catastrophic global warming when we don't know with sufficient precision
    • the expected temperature of the planet
    • the actual temperature of the planet
  • How can we model complex, coupled, non-linear, chaotic systems and claim we can predict their state even two weeks into the future?
  • Why do we fear atmospheric carbon dioxide when we know it to be an essential trace gas, one valued by photosynthesizing plants in greater abundance than currently available and which form the basis of our food chain?
  • How can we claim carbon dioxide is a key climatic determinant when research has quantified thermal response equal to 10-40% of estimated change over the last 250 years from each of:
    • land use change
    • airborne soot and other particulates
    • altered cloud formation from
      • changed atmospheric dust loads from agriculture, livestock grazing pressure, mining and construction
      • industrial particulate emissions
      • biomass burning (viz. Asian Brown Cloud; South East Asian Haze)
      • Svensmark Effect
    • observed changes in solar brightness
  • How can we claim to understand the system when Kevin Trenberth (Mr. Energy Balance) explicitly states:
    • "... we are no where close to knowing where energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter. We are not close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we can not account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not!"

We have no idea whether the planet is too warm or ever likely to be. We have no reason to believe a warmer world would be more hostile than the current configuration. We have no reason to suspect atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are anything other than beneficial. We don't understand how energy moves through the system.

What's not to be skeptical?

 

Why we are less than excited by Lomborg: A Blessing in Disguise

For all the good will and great intentions that fill the Bella Center, it’s becoming clear that COP15 is not going to produce a comprehensive agreement to limit emissions of greenhouse gases

This has led to much gnashing of teeth among millions of well-meaning people who worry about global warming. But they (and we) should take heart. This “failure” may actually be a blessing in disguise. It might even bring us closer to a real solution to climate change.

Now don’t get me wrong. I believe that global warming is real, that it is caused by man-made carbon-dioxide emissions, and that we need to do something about it. But what we need is action that actually does good — as opposed to empty agreements that merely make us feel good. (Bjørn Lomborg, CoP15 Post))

He's still a total believer, not merely in gorebull warming but top down central control. He's not such a big improvement on the other socialist nitwits who constitute such a danger to impoverished people everywhere.

There is no safe level of carbon constraint at all and no plausible reason to attempt such a stupid enterprise. Leave carbon dioxide alone and ramp up the energy supply and development.

 

It's the poor who will pay for Copenhagen's circus

MORE people attend UN conferences than make a meaningful contribution, but even by UN standards delegates are describing the Copenhagen climate conference as a circus.

Twenty-odd thousand green activists predominantly from developed countries are overwhelming the 8000 government officials and demanding meetings with delegations so they can push their proposals into any final agreement.

A handful of green, anti-capitalist activists has even infiltrated official negotiations and are representing countries in some negotiating streams.

While public attention is focused on debates about emissions reduction targets and peak emissions years, it is in second-tier negotiations that green groups are having the greatest influence.

A motley crew of negotiators representing Bangladesh, Bolivia, Ghana and India have put into technology transfer negotiating texts the scrapping of intellectual property rights necessary to attract private investment in the development of climate-friendly technologies that are needed to cut emissions.

In deforestation discussions, greens are attempting to limit developing country conversion of forest lands to agriculture use that could achieve the dual purpose of carbon sequestration and poverty alleviation. And when they're not thrusting themselves into negotiations they're providing spectacles for the media such as last week's Greenpeace resuscitation of a giant inflatable globe dying from a high temperature. (Tim Wilson,  The Australian)

 

Poor old Moonbat doesn't know if he's coming or going... This is bigger than climate change. It is a battle to redefine humanity

It's hard for a species used to ever-expanding frontiers, but survival depends on accepting we live within limits (George Monbiot, The Guardian)

... "This is the moment at which we turn and face ourselves." Right. Perhaps we just have to turn around really fast, right George? One of the younger dogs in the Hearn household pack seems to think he can catch up with his tail performing a maneuver like that...

 

China supports amendments to Kyoto Protocol

Copenhagen: China supported the G77 and other developing countries for removing obstacles and speeding up work on amending the Kyoto Protocol, Xie Zhenhua, China’s chief climate change official, told the press later on Dec 14.

China favors that the first installment of climate change fund goes to the African, the small islands and least developed countries that most need them, even though it doesn’t mean that China does not qualify, Xie said.

China is also willing share its experiences and developing cooperative projects with developing countries in mitigation and adaptation of climate change.

An air of disappointment clearly took hold earlier yesterday as African countries and the Group of 77, an alliance of developing countries warned that they would leave the negotiation table of the UN climate change conference mainly because the rich countries want to supplant the Kyoto Protocol and show no willingness to discuss binding emission by 2020.

At a press conference yesterday, African countries said that they refuse to continue negotiations unless talks on a second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol are prioritized ahead of broader discussions under a second long-term cooperation action track. Australia, Japan and others have succeeded in stopping Kyoto Protocol discussions as a result. (China Daily)

 

Frustrations heat up as climate change talks resume

After a half-day suspension, emission reduction talks have resumed in Copenhagen, but those promoting significant action on climate change are concerned the talks are missing the point.

African countries suspended the climate talks yesterday in the face of wealthier countries’ reluctance to discuss legally binding emissions reductions.

They refused to continue negotiations unless talks on a second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol were prioritised ahead of broader discussions under a second negotiating track.

Australia, Japan and others succeeded in stopping Kyoto Protocol discussions as a result.

Of the two tracks of negotiations underway in Copenhagen, the Kyoto Protocol is the only one that includes a mechanism for legally binding emissions reductions by rich countries.

But crucially, the US had not ratified the Kyoto agreement. (NBR)

 

The U.S. Is on Board

Our world is on an unsustainable path that threatens not only our environment, but our economies and our security. It is time to launch a broad operational accord on climate change that will set us on a new course. 

A successful agreement depends upon a number of core elements, but two are shaping up to be essential: first, that all major economies set forth strong national actions and resolve to implement them; and second, that they agree to a system that enables full transparency and creates confidence that national actions are in fact being implemented. 

Transparency, in particular, is what will ensure that this agreement becomes operational, not just aspirational. We all need to take our share of responsibility, stand behind our commitments, and mean what we say in order for an international agreement to be credible. 

Representatives from more than 190 countries have gathered in Copenhagen in the hopes of meeting this urgent challenge to our planet. If we are serious about that goal, we will all embrace these principles. 

It is no secret that the United States turned a blind eye to climate change for too long. But now, under President Obama’s leadership, we are taking responsibility and taking action. ( HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, NYT)

 

The Surprise at Copenhagen

It is only logical that President Obama will sign the Copenhagen Climate Change Treaty if one results from this week's negotiations. His worldview demands it. His past statements and ongoing actions presage it. 

Obama believes in the AGW (anthropogenic or man-made global warming) theory. He believes in "economic and social justice" and that logically leads to "climate justice." He may believe that the US owes a "climate debt" to the rest of the world. What better way to lead the charge than to carry the ultimate banner of the radical left -- wealth redistribution -- under the auspices of the "crises of climate change." AGW even has victims: "climate refugees."

Many doubt his ability to legally commit to a binding treaty and obligate the United States. The possibility however, prompted Senator Webb to issue a letter to President Obama reminding him not to sign any treaty in Copenhagen. The letter cautioned him to not make commitments that will not pass the Article II treaty ratification framework under the Constitution requiring a super-majority vote (67 votes) in the Senate. I submit that this thinking is flawed and he has no intent of taking that path.

The President has obligations under US law to "enforce" regulations and "follow the law." It is this foundation he would use to sign the Treaty in Copenhagen. In 1996 the 
Supreme Court ruled that the EPA must regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as pollutants. (Massachusetts et al. v. EPA et al.). ( David Boehmer, American Thinker)

 

Tensions Increase as Poor Nations Stage a Protest - Hopes Dim for Tough Decisions on Money

COPENHAGEN -- Tempers flared Monday at the United Nations climate summit as poor nations staged a walkout to protest what they called inadequate aid offers from rich countries, and the U.S. and China jockeyed for position. 

World leaders, including President Barack Obama, are expected to arrive in Copenhagen later this week, ostensibly to try to seal an international agreement to curb greenhouse-gas emissions and subsidize efforts by developing countries to adopt low-carbon energy technology and adapt to shifts in weather patterns or rising sea levels.

But the talk in Copenhagen is increasingly about scaled-back expectations. One possibility is a very general agreement in which developed countries promise to try to reduce their collective emissions by some amount and to provide a pot of money to help pay for a cleanup in the developing world. But such an agreement would leave the toughest questions -- how much each country would cut, and how much each would pay -- up in the air. (WSJ)

 

Well d u h ! Australia 'trying to kill Kyoto'

Developing nations have staged a two-hour walkout at the Copenhagen climate talks, accusing the developed world, led by the European Union, Australia and Japan, of pushing to "kill the Kyoto Protocol".

The walkout was organised by the G77 group, which represents 130 small, mostly African nations. (Australian Broadcasting Corp.)

 

'Get to work', urges Copenhagen climate summit head

The president of the UN climate summit has urged delegates to "get to work" after protests from developing nations forced a suspension of several hours.

Talks resumed late on Monday after the president, Danish minister Connie Hedegaard, addressed some of the developing countries' concerns.

Their key demand - separate talks on the Kyoto Protocol - was met.

Some delegates talked forlornly of the vast amount of negotiating left to be done before the summit concludes. (BBC News)

 

Of course, it's the UN: Copenhagen another costly UN failure?

No one really has any idea what climate change deal might come out of Copenhagen. While most Albertans probably sympathize with the general objective-- burning less carbon-based fuel--there are two ways to get there: A sensible way which will probably work, and the political Copenhagen way which will prove to be another costly United Nations failure. (Danielle Smith, Calgary Herald)

 

Prospect of Copenhagen climate deal recedes as key elements unravel

Gordon Brown will arrive in Copenhagen tonight as world leaders face the humiliating prospect of having little of substance to sign on Friday, when they are supposed to be clinching a historic deal on climate change.

The Prime Minister, who will be the first senior leader at the summit, has more to lose than most because he has effectively staked his reputation on securing a robust agreement.

Last night, key elements of the proposed deal were unravelling, with British officials saying they were no longer confident that it would contain specific commitments from individual countries on payments to a global fund to help poor nations to adapt to climate change.

The draft text on protecting rainforests has also been weakened, with the deletion of a key target for cutting the rate of forest loss by 50 per cent by 2020. Even the long-term target of ending net deforestation by 2030 has been placed in square brackets, meaning the date could be deferred. An international monitoring system to identify illegal logging is now described in the text as optional, where before it was compulsory.

Negotiators are unable to agree on a date for a global peak in greenhouse emissions. Ed Miliband, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, has said that the most important outcome from the talks would be an agreement that emissions would decline after 2020. The draft text refers only to emissions peaking as soon as possible.

Another sticking point is whether there will be any independent system of checking whether countries are meeting their pledges on cutting emissions. China is refusing to allow any form of independent audit but Britain is insisting on this in any new treaty. (The Times)

 

Doesn't the NYT fact check any of its reporters & their nonsense any more? Australia’s Rudd Looks for Success in Copenhagen

SYDNEY — Fresh from failing — twice — to pass his widely contested plan to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd headed to Copenhagen on Monday hoping to succeed internationally where his domestic agenda has thus far fallen short.

Mr. Rudd is expected to play a key, behind-the-scenes role in the negotiations. He accepted an invitation from Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen of Denmark to join the U.N. secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, and President Felipe Calderón of Mexico as “friends of the chair” to help press other leaders to commit to action.

In the two years since Mr. Rudd received a standing ovation from delegates at a U.N. conference for reversing Australia’s longstanding refusal to ratify the Kyoto Protocol — his first official act as prime minister — he and his ministers have been fighting an increasingly fractious battle over the best way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at home.

Earlier this month, the Australian Senate rejected, for the second time this year, the government’s plan to implement a carbon pollution reduction system. The agreement would have placed Australia in the company of the European Union and other countries that already have, or are now debating, a “cap-and-trade” style approach to cutting greenhouse gases.

The Senate, where the balance of power is controlled by pro-business conservatives and a vocal minority of climate change skeptics, voted, 41-33, on Dec. 2 to reject the government’s plan to set a nationwide cap on greenhouse gas emissions and issue pollution permits to be bought and sold on a newly created carbon market. (NYT)

Had the 5 Australian Greens voted with the government in the Senate then the rotten ETS (or CPRS for 'carbon pollution reduction scheme', as K.Rudd & co. like to call it) would have passed 38-36 because the 5 Greens (and 1 Independent, 1 nominally Conservative Family First) hold the balance, not the Coalition -- it isn't the Conservatives who had the only key at all. The Conservative Coalition were going to wave it through under direction of then Leader and obvious watermelon Malcolm Turncoat Turnbull, until voters objected and mounted a grassroots consultation that politicians had neglected to do. It's called democracy and it actually does work. Emissions trading is dead in Australia because voters simply will not accept it.

We all know K.Rudd is looking for a few trinkets to pad his UN General Secretary CV (and believe us, the world is welcome to the damn fool) but we are damned if we are going to pay to get rid of him when we can do it for free by the end of the coming year, when we have to go to the polls again.

 

He thinks he's important, anyway: Climate cuts not sufficient, says PM

KEVIN RUDD has rejected as inadequate the offers by all major developed and developing nations to cut carbon emissions.

As the Prime Minister prepared to travel to the Copenhagen negotiations to help craft an agreement to contain global warming, he said all the major countries had to do better if the conference were to succeed. (SMH)

Ol' Kevni... man's a legend in his own lunchtime :-)

 

I feel better already: Rudd heading to troubled climate summit

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will arrive at the Copenhagen climate summit on Tuesday, where negotiations are hanging by a thread. (AAP)

If anyone can crash this, Kevni can :-)

 

Time running out for climate deal: Rudd

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has acknowledged time is running out for a global deal on climate change as he prepares to enter the fray in Copenhagen.

And he's unlikely to be welcomed with open arms after taking an early battering over Australia's handling of land use emissions, which have prompted cries of cheating from countries such as France.

Talks have hit a critical stage with just four days left to negotiate a global pact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

With the clock ticking and ructions continuing to flare between developed and developing nations, Mr Rudd has acknowledged the risk of failure remains. (AAP)

 

Forget it -- Australia will not be cutting emissions: Down and dirty: farm soil will offset emissions in Australia's carbon cut scheme

IT WAS a candid remark in a private briefing. But unfortunately for the Government, comments by an Australian climate negotiator late last week in Copenhagen have pretty much let the cat out of the bag on where Labor intends to find any ambitious cuts to Australia's 2020 greenhouse gas emissions.

Ironically, it will be in exactly the same places that the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, goes looking for his ''practical measures'' to solve climate change.

And they will not be anywhere near the smokestacks of dirty coal-fired power stations or the big polluting industries. They will be in the rolling back paddocks, grazing lands and grasslands of rural Australia - a green pot of carbon gold.

The premise is that simple changes in how we manage agricultural land - reducing tillage and fertiliser use or improving fire management - help return carbon to the soil. It is hard to put a dollar value on the bonanza but the numbers are enough, some say, to make Australia carbon neutral for the next three or four decades - all without having to impose a nasty tax, set up a complicated emissions trading scheme or clean up a single polluting pipe.

The climate change negotiator reportedly told an NGO group at a Copenhagen briefing that Australia would be able to commit to 25 per cent greenhouse gas cuts by 2020 - if land use rule changes driven by Australia and other developed countries are accepted as part of a new global climate deal. (SMH)

 

Lack of money could hurt forest deal

A proposal aimed at saving the world's tropical forests suffered a setback Sunday, when negotiators at the U.N. climate talks ditched plans for faster action on the problem because of concerns that rich countries aren't willing to finance it.

Most of the headlines at climate talks have revolved around greenhouse gases that come from coal, oil and other fossil fuels. But the destruction of forests _ burning or cutting trees to clear land for plantations or cattle ranches _ is thought to account for about 20 percent of global emissions. That's as much carbon dioxide as all the world's cars, trucks, trains, planes and ships combined.

So a deal on deforestation is considered a key component of a larger pact on climate change being negotiated in Copenhagen. (Associated Press)

 

Look how dangerous this carbon obsession is: New science estimates carbon storage potential of US lands - Nation's forests and soils store equivalent of 50 years of US CO2 emissions

The first phase of a groundbreaking national assessment estimates that U.S. forests and soils could remove additional quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere as a means to mitigate climate change.

The lower 48 states in the U.S. hypothetically have the potential to store an additional 3-7 billion metric tons of carbon in forests, if agricultural lands were to be used for planting forests. This potential is equivalent to 2 to 4 years of America's current CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels. (United States Geological Survey)

They are talking about taking out of production some of the most productive agricultural lands in the world, at a time when we need to increase food supply for a still growing human population. Does it get any more stupid than this?

 

World's Top Polluter Emerges as Green-Technology Leader

BEIJING -- Xu Shisen put down the phone and smiled. That was Canada calling, explained the chief engineer at a coal-fired power plant set among knockoff antique and art shops in a Beijing suburb. A Canadian company is interested in Mr. Xu's advances in bringing down the cost of stripping out greenhouse-gas emissions from burning coal.

Engineers led by Mr. Xu are working to unlock one of climate change's thorniest problems: how to burn coal without releasing carbon into the atmosphere. (WSJ)

Carbon dioxide is not an atmospheric pollutant...

 

Funny: Analysts: EU cap-and-trade is working

Poll of leading energy firms finds that EU emissions trading scheme is driving investment in low-carbon technologies (James Murray, BusinessGreen)

 

UN Carbon-Capture Decision Faces Delay to Next Year at Earliest

Dec. 15 -- Climate-treaty negotiators proposed delaying until at least 2010 a decision on letting companies in industrialized nations offset their emissions by investing in carbon-capture projects in the developing world. 

Envoys at the United Nations-led talks in Copenhagen debated adding the experimental technology to a list of UN- approved methods to limit the release of greenhouse gases. 

The UN’s technical board must examine issues including who would be liable for any leakages of carbon dioxide pumped for permanent storage underground and report back to envoys either next year or in 2011, according to a UN draft paper. 

Some countries “have registered concerns regarding the implications of this possible inclusion and highlighted a number of unresolved issues,” the UN said in the document, posted on its Framework Convention on Climate Change Web site. (Bloomberg)

 

Sounding totally wired: The Psychology of Climate Change Denial

Even as the science of global warming gets stronger, fewer Americans believe it’s real. In some ways, it’s nearly as jarring a disconnect as enduring disbelief in evolution or carbon dating. And according to Kari Marie Norgaard, a Whitman College sociologist who’s studied public attitudes towards climate science, we’re in denial. ( Brandon Keim, Wired)

 

United Nations Kicks NGOs Out of COP-15 Climate Conference

Washington DC: The United Nations announced today it is permanently banning thousands of accredited non-governmental organizations* from the COP-15 climate conference in Copenhagen.

The restriction was announced today outside the Copenhagen conference center after several thousand accredited NGO conference delegates, including three from the National Center for Public Policy Research, waited outside for eight hours or longer in 32-degree F temperatures for admission.

NGOs apparently are being banned because the United Nations accredited 45,000 people for a building with a capacity of 15,000, although the stated reason was "security concerns." The "security concerns" may be related to the fact that, after waiting several hours in the cold, delegations began to chant, "Let us in! Let us in!"

"To be an "accredited" or "admitted" NGO to a COP conference, NGOs must apply months in advance, and typically only make travel plans to attend after receiving complete credentials from the United Nations," said Amy Ridenour, president of the National Center for Public Policy Research, an accredited COP-15 NGO organization that is as of now banned from the conference. "To give credentials to 45,000 people while choosing a building that holds 15,000 people is insane, though the United Nations, to be fair, has never been known for competence."

"What makes this an even greater travesty," said Ridenour, " is the COP-15 conference ostensibly is trying to find ways to reduce the burning of fossil fuels. If 30,000 people fly to Copenhagen for no reason, doesn't that put unnecessary greenhouse gases into the atmosphere?"

Ridenour has formally asked the U.N., which is permitting some NGOs to have many delegates inside while others are permitted none, to limit each NGO to one representative as long as space limitations remain a concern.

"Some of these NGO delegations are from rich countries like our own," said Ridenour, "but for some NGOs, raising the funds to attend a conference in Copenhagen is a real financial hardship. The least the U.N. can do is let in at least one member of these delegations so all of their money won't be wasted." (National Center)

 

The Myth of Global Warming

A good question for today would be whether a fraud on the scale of the one being consummated at the Copenhagen "Earth summit" has even been attempted before in human history.

I've been trying to think of examples. Things like the fake Protocols of the Elders of Zion come to mind -- a hoax out of Russia around the turn of the last century. It has been very consequential in the lives of Jews, and remains an issue in most Middle Eastern countries today, where state media continue to present this most vicious of all anti-Semitic slurs as historical fact.

But it is different from the "anthropogenic global warming" myth. It was published with murderous intentions, which takes us beyond fraud. Whereas, the numbers cooked up to support the global warming hysteria in such places as the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia were for the purpose of extorting money, which is fraud in the more conventional sense. (David Warren, RealClearPolitics)

 

Climategate: McIntyre and the ‘Divergence Problem’

It’s been less than a month since the Climategate files were first disclosed, but they’ve already had a dramatic impact on the debate over climate change.

On the one hand is the dominant so-called consensus — that human emission of greenhouse gases has been the primary cause of an unprecedented warming of Earth’s climate. On the other hand, there has been an underground opposition trying to make itself heard. What the disclosure of the files did was demonstrate that these opposition voices had been suppressed unfairly and unscientifically.

As a result, the raw data that had been withheld is becoming available to outside researchers. This new openness is already having results. (Charlie Martin, PJM)

 

Hockey Stick over Time - Narrated

 

The fanciful pap is flying thick and fast... Loss of ice heralds an emergency

The planet's ''canary in the coal mine'' is showing disturbing symptoms and we have only years, not decades, to save it.

The figure of our planet - a shining blue-and-white orb silhouetted against the stars, the swirl of clouds with the blinding white of polar icecaps set against ocean blue - is an image almost every human carries as the symbol of our common home.

But for how long will future generations see that blinding polar white anchoring the only place of human existence? While climate negotiators in Copenhagen speak in terms of 2020, 2030 or 2050, the future of the global climate system may be determined not in decades, but by our actions - or inaction - of the next few years, determined instead by the speed of melting ice. (The Age)

 

“rotten” sea ice – not even in Denmark

There’s plenty of stories about how Arctic sea ice is now “rotten”. There’s darn few that talk about yearly comparisons or what other scientific outlets are saying about the claim.

As many WUWT readers know, 2007 was the minimum year of summer extent in sea ice, a year that is routinely held up as a cause for alarm. Another cause for alarm has been the “decline of multi-year sea ice”. Most recently we’ve gotten claims of “rotten ice” in the news media. That “rotten” ice is “duping the satellites” they say. This all from one fellow, Dr. David Barber on a  ship that took a short expedition in the Arctic and observed what he called “rotten ice”. Here’s Dr. Barber using the poster child for sea ice loss in a  presentation.

http://www.umanitoba.ca/research/media/barber_dave_web.jpg

David Barber hypes polar bears - Image from University of Manitoba files

Seems that his “rotten” message resonated, even the media in Alaska (who can observe sea ice on their own) are saying it: New study: Arctic ice is rotten (Anchorage Daily News)

Over at the Greenbang Blog, they say that: ‘Rotten’ sea ice creates false impression of Arctic recovery

They cite: Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)

 

Taiwan's sea levels on the rise due to global warming

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Like many countries around the world, Taiwan's sea levels have risen steadily as a result of global warming and measures need to be taken urgently to combat an increased threat of flooding, local environmental scientists said Sunday.

Taiwan's sea level has risen by an average of 3 centimeters over the past 10 years, or about 0.3 cm each year, said Fan Kuang-lung, a professor in National Taiwan University's Institute of Oceanography. (China Post)

It is possible for wandering currents to cause such local deformations of sea level but the oceans actually haven't been accumulating heat recently (at least according to Argo autonomous float data), so gorebull warming has most assuredly not influenced recent changes in Taiwan's local mean sea level.

 

Warmest Ever, or Getting Cooler?

You might hear climate change "deniers" saying recent temperatures show global cooling. But then you hear climate "scientists" say that the last ten years are the warmest on record. Who's right?

They both are.

...That is, if you accept, say, the NASA/GISS Global Annual Mean Surface Air Temperature Change (land-ocean mix) as the "true" global temperature.

(By the way, I do not accept that the NASA/GISS data represent truth. The data NASA provides are not raw temperature readings, or even simple averages of temperature readings. They are adjusted, quality-controlled, homogenized, and fudge-factored in ways we don't know and they're not telling. But for the purposes of the question at hand, let's accept NASA's adjusted and homogenized data.) ( Randall Hoven, American Thinker)

 

Why not the Sun

CHURCHVILLE, VA - Why do global warming researchers ignore the sun, the ultimate source of earth’s heat? Especially as we know virtually all of our warming occurred before 1940 while 85 percent of the human-emitted CO2 came after 1940? Dennis Bray of Germany’s Institute for Coastal Research just polled an international group of climate researchers on what they believe and why. In light of the recent leaked documents from East Angelia University’s Climate Research Unit, the poll seems to provide important answers. (Dennis T. Avery, American Daily)

 

Copenhagen climate conference: sunspot theory for global warming attacked - The theory that signs of global warming could be the result of sunspots rather than carbon dioxide emissions caused by humans has come under attack from climate scientists.

Sceptics about man-made climate change frequently cite research apparently linking natural variations in solar activity with fluctuations in temperatures on Earth.

The alternative explanation was the centrepiece of The Great Global Warming Swindle, a 2007 Channel 4 documentary which provoked fierce argument.

It is based on the work of Prof Eigil Friis-Christensen and Henrik Svensmark of the of the Danish National Space Centre, who both published studies in the 1990s appearing to show a remarkable link between solar activity and variations in the climate.

But a group of scientists now says that the research was flawed and that when "flaws" in the analysis are removed the apparent correlation disappears.

It follows work by Peter Laut, a former adviser to the Danish Energy Agency, who pinpointed what he said were flaws in the research.

André Berger, honorary president of the European Geosciences Union, told The Independent: "Their controversial papers must be retracted or at least that there will be an official statement by them acknowledging their mistake."

Prof Stefan Rahmstorf, of Potsdam University, added: "I've looked into this quite closely and I'm on Laut's side in terms of his analysis of the data."

But Prof Friis-Christensen told the newspaper that Mr Laut's critique represented "character assassination" and denied that the original work contained flaws. (John Bingham, TDT)

And of course they have a peer-reviewed rebuttal paper or two in the published literature? (Why does that sound familiar?) Can someone send in the links please, I can't seem to find the papers to review.

 

Can't have a day without an eye-roller: Pacific islands will have to be abandoned to the sea

An eminent Australian scientist says the real problem will come when low-lying, densely populated Asian nations are flooded (The First Post)

 

Or two. Well-worn nonsense retreaded: Koalas to starve as the world warms: IUCN

Koalas are highly vulnerable to climate change and face starvation, a leading conservation group has warned.

The koala - an Australian icon known the world over - has made it on to a global list of 10 well-known species threatened by climate change, along with the fish that inspired the cartoon character, Nemo.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) says higher levels of carbon dioxide in the air mean there is less nutritional value in gum leaves, the koala's food of choice.

"Australia's iconic koala faces malnutrition and ultimate starvation as the nutritional quality of Eucalytpus leaves declines as CO2 levels increase," the IUCN warned as it released its list at the Copenhagen climate summit on Monday.

Conservationists don't like more CO2 in the air but plants do - they need CO2 to grow, so tend to grow faster when there's more of it around. The problem is that fast-growing gum leaves contain less protein and more tannin, so koalas have to eat more to survive.

The IUCN says koalas already eat up to 500g of leaves a day and their guts may not be able to hold much more. (SMH)

Oddly enough Australia used to host mega fauna (including much larger koalas) when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were significantly higher. Reduced forage nutritional value would be a very strange reason for animals to grow larger, so it is fairly safe to say returning atmospheric carbon dioxide levels at least part way to where they were is unlikely to starve koalas.

 

Louise gray can't resist: Copenhagen climate conference: Top ten species in danger from global warming

The clownfish that inspired Disney film Finding Nemo and Australia’s iconic koala bear are just some of the species that could be wiped out by climate change, according to a new study. (TDT)

 

Oh... More pores could ease global warming - By boosting the number of pores in leaves, scientists hope to one day absorb more CO2 from the atmosphere.

TOKYO: Japanese researchers last week said they had found a way to make plant leaves absorb more carbon dioxide - an innovation that may help ease global warming and boost food production.

The Kyoto University team found that soaking germinated seeds in a protein solution raised the number of pores, or stomas, on the leaves that inhale CO2 and release oxygen, said chief researcher Ikuko Hara-Nishimura.

"A larger number means there are more intake windows for carbon dioxide, contributing to lowering the density of the gas," she said. (Agence France-Presse)

No, it can't make a significant difference to gorebull warming since CO2 levels are not a significant determinant but it could wreck the water efficiency of the target plants by increasing the evaporative loss through more open stoma. Sigh...

 

Sheesh... Australian Firm Hopes to Cash In by Giving Away Light Bulbs

SYDNEY — How can a company give away millions of products, help poor people, address climate change and turn a profit? A boutique energy company run by the unlikely partnership of an Anglican priest and a handful of business executives thinks it has the key. 

The Melbourne company, Cool nrg International, is handing 30 million energy-efficient light bulbs out to poor and middle-income families in Mexico in a bid to capture a previously untapped corner of the carbon offset trading market and to nudge the developing world toward cleaner energy.

Cool nrg is one of a growing number of businesses trying to cash in on the multibillion-dollar market for carbon offsets approved by the United Nations under its Clean Development Mechanism, a program created by the 1997 Kyoto Protocol to fight emissions of greenhouse gases. The program allows wealthy countries that have binding greenhouse gas targets to offset their emissions by investing in clean technology in developing countries, which have no targets.

The Mexican venture, called Cuidemos Mexico, or Let’s Take Care of Mexico, is the first C.D.M. project to focus on reducing energy demand by improving efficiency at the household, rather than the industrial, level. It is also the first project to receive “programmatic” status, meaning that it can be introduced at multiple sites without needing U.N. approval each time. (NYT)

 

Eek! A bomb! Under the icy north lurks a ‘carbon bomb’

Tropical deforestation is a climate change crisis, but scientists fear for boreal wilderness, too (Boston Globe)

 

Sunshine speeded 1940s Swiss glacier melt: scientists

GENEVA: A surge in sunshine more than 60 years ago helped Swiss mountain glaciers melt faster than today, even though warmer average temperatures are being recorded now, Swiss researchers said Monday.

Their study into the impact of solar radiation on Alpine glaciers made the "surprising discovery" that in the 1940s, and especially summer 1947, the ice floes lost the most ice since measurements begin 95 years ago, according to Zurich's Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ). (Geo World)

 

Climategate: Australian records under scrutiny

A seminal study into global warming by those at the centre of the ClimateGate controversy is now under scrutiny, with claims that the selection of weather data from Australia may have created an exaggerated warming trend.

Australian scientist Warwick Hughes says that up to 40 per cent of the data used in the Australian study from long-term records came from urban areas where data may have been affected by the Urban Heat Island effect – the phenomenon where heat-retaining surfaces in metropolitan areas cause significant increases in temperature compared to surrounding rural areas.

Hughes claims that the important 1986 study by Professor Phil Jones and colleagues has significant flaws. Professor Jones recently stood aside from his position as Director of the Climate Research Unit of East Anglia University pending an inquiry into information released in leaked emails - the so-called ClimateGate affair.

“For over 200 years Earth has been recovering from the Little Ice Age and the associated solar minimums so, of course, warming has taken place. Our position is to draw attention to what we believe are deficiencies in the Jones et al. methodologies which were important studies in the development of the global warming hypothesis,” Mr Hughes said. (Gavin Atkins, Shadowlands)

 

Arctic Ocean drilling draws disapproval - Salazar announced an exploratory drilling plan in the Chukchi

ANCHORAGE - While some federal agencies are expressing caution on Arctic development, the federal Minerals Management Service continues to forge ahead with petroleum exploration drilling off the shores of the remote northern Alaska coast.

Environmental groups say the location is environmentally fragile, hammered by global warming and woefully unprepared to handle a major spill.

It's likely a court ultimately will decide whether drilling will take place in the remote marine waters.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Monday that the MMS had conditionally approved an exploratory drilling plan for 2010 in the Chukchi Sea by a subsidiary of Shell Oil. He said reducing the country's dependence on foreign oil must include responsible exploration of conventional resources. ( Associated Press)

 

U.S. should share oilsands environmental costs: Prentice

Environment Minister Jim Prentice and former prime minister Paul Martin both say the United States should pay for some of the environmental costs of Alberta's oilsands, to help fight climate change.

"At the end of the day, if American consumers buy Canadian oil and consume it in the United States ... the environmental compliance cost should really be absorbed on the United States' side of the border," he said in a phone interview with CTV News Channel from Copenhagen.

"So that's why we're working so closely with the United States, so that we have a harmonized system here -- that we do this on a continental basis so that we don't get those kinds of difficulties where environmental costs are now downloaded onto us as Canadians because that's not fair."

Martin has also been quoted as saying the U.S. should shoulder some of Canada's carbon emissions burden because it is the primary buyer and user of energy from the oilsands. (CTV.ca News)

 

For crying out loud... Clean coal plan gets fast track

A MAJOR clean coal power plant and carbon storage project is being considered for planning approval in Queensland, even though a feasibility assessment has not been completed and a site is yet to be found, along with the necessary $4.2 billion in funding.

The Bligh government confirmed on Friday that Co-ordinator-General Colin Jensen had given significant project status to ZeroGen, which is wholly owned by the state with initial backing from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Shell and the coal industry.

The declaration signals the start of comprehensive environmental assessments, even though the project is still at the pre-feasibility stage. (Sean Parnell, The Australian)

 

No! Consider carbon capture, not cap and trade

As world leaders congregate in Copenhagen for climate-change discussions, one solution to the increasing CO2 concentrations lies right beneath our feet.

Porous rocks thousands of feet underground can securely contain all the CO2 we will produce for hundreds of years. The EPA's move to control CO2 emissions escalates the urgency to use a technique called carbon capture and sequestration (CCS). This process removes CO2 from flue gases at power plants, refineries and other emitting sites, then pumps it into deep wells or geological formations for long-term storage.

The process has been working successfully for decades. Without fanfare, CCS has been quietly doing its job at Shady Point power plant in Oklahoma for 19 years. CO2 gets extracted from flue gases and stored in depleting oil wells or sold to soft-drink makers. In West Texas, CO2 has been driving more oil to the surface for over 30 years near towns of 100,000 — with no leaks. In the North Sea, near Copenhagen, CO2 has been injected into a saltwater-filled formation so successfully that scientists say it can store all of Europe's CO2 for over 100 years. ( Gerry Calhoun, The Tennessean)

Apart form the fact we do not want to waste the atmospheric resource it is not true that enhanced oil recovery sequesters CO2 "with no leaks" -- you get 80% of your CO2 back with the enhanced product flow. CCS is a nonsense.

 

Dan Lewis: Our politicians must act on energy before the lights go out in Britain

BRITAIN is at great risk of electricity and gas shortages from the middle of the next decade. Thanks to a toxic combination of technical innocence, political naivety and economic illiteracy, few disagree that this might happen. 
And be in no doubt, in today's always-on, connected economy, should those cuts ensue, the impact will be far worse than in the 1970s. The damage to the UK's economy and international reputation would be inestimable.

Yet, from the depths of the wor st recession on record, the next government still has time to re-think, cut wasteful programmes and get back to basics – prioritising investment which puts a public good – energy security – first and affordability second and the environment third. (Yorkshire Post)

 

Coal remains king in China, despite climate change vow

The choking soot that coats Linfen is testament to an inconvenient truth behind Beijing's promises to curb its greenhouse gas emissions: cheap and carbon-belching coal remains king in China.

Although they say things are improving, residents of this city in northern Shanxi province live in one of the most polluted places on Earth thanks to China's reliance on coal, a dependence expected to continue for decades. (AFP)

 

In Exxon Deal, Signs of the New Gusher

Over the last decade, a handful of the nation’s small energy companies pulled off a coup. Right under the noses of the industry’s biggest players, they discovered huge amounts of natural gas in fields stretching from Texas to Pennsylvania.

One of these companies, XTO Energy, grew almost unnoticed into the nation’s second-largest gas producer, amassing a substantial portfolio of gas fields, and developing expertise in the complex technology needed to extract the gas from beds of a dark rock called shale. 

Now, the biggest energy companies are paying attention.

Exxon Mobil, the world’s largest publicly traded oil and gas producer, said Monday that it had agreed to buy XTO in an all-stock deal valued at $31 billion, the biggest oil and gas deal in four years. 

The purchase allows Exxon to expand in shale gas, an area that has seen tremendous growth, and increase its gas resources by 45 trillion cubic feet, roughly equivalent to two years of domestic demand. The transaction is the company’s biggest since the $81 billion merger of Exxon and Mobil in 1999.

The acquisition extends Exxon’s bet that fossil fuels will remain a critical part of the nation’s energy supply for decades. At the same time, Exxon expects the demand for natural gas, which emits half as much carbon dioxide as coal when burned, will rise as the United States looks to pare its global warming emissions and the world seeks greener sources of energy. (NYT)

 

350: The Most Important Number in the World for Global Warming

When Kevin Garnett led the Boston Celtics to the 2008 NBA Championship, his memorable post game interview included him screaming, “Anything is possible!” – A slight rendition of his shoe sponsor Adidas’ motto, “Impossible is nothing.” At Copenhagen where world leaders are gathering to discuss policies to ratchet down the emission of carbon dioxide, the goals of some proponents of a climate treaty are as close to impossible as you can get.

Many global warming activists believe 350 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the upper limit before we reach climate disaster. For reference, we are currently at 390ppm and we were at 280ppm before the Industrial Revolution. Bill McKibben, founder of the group 350.org says, “It’s the most important number in the world. It’s the line between habitability on this planet and a really, really desolate future.”

What does it take to reach 350 ppm? In short, a miracle. Energy chemist Nate Lewis of the California Institute of Technology ran the numbers and found that for the earth not to surpass 450ppm by the year 2050, 26.5 of the 45 terawatts the world uses would have to come from carbon-free sources (assuming low population and economic growth). What would this< /a>entail? (The Foundry)

 

Alex Salmond's nuclear opposition 'threatens climate change targets


Alex Salmond’s opposition to nuclear power could sabotage targets to cut Scotland’s greenhouse gases by half, a report prepared for SNP ministers has suggested. (TDT)

 

Yes, envy... that's it, envy.... On Green Technology, Germany Is the Envy of the World

Danish statistician Bjørn Lomborg argued in SPIEGEL last week that efforts to halt global warming should be postponed. Fritz Vahrenholt, head of the renewable energy operations at German energy company RWE, disagrees. Never before has there been a better chance for a global climate deal, he says. (Der Spiegel)

 

Will nonfood beets be an ethanol feedstock?

FARGO, N.D. — “Energy beets.” That’s what a small group of agribusiness leaders want you to call them.

“Not sugar beets,” emphasizes Maynard Helgaas of West Fargo, N.D.

Helgaas and a small band of like-thinkers want the region to envision that by 2012, a series of five ethanol-producing factories, dotting North Dakota, and making ethanol from a new source — beets — not corn, and not sugar beets that would otherwise be used as food.

Unlike the 100 million-gallon corn ethanol plants that are recent standard size, these ethanol plants would produce 10 million to 20 million gallons of ethanol per year, each associated with 28,000 acres of beets.

The plants would be built in “modules,” so they could be replicated, but would take in beets from a 30-mile radius. Each of the plants would cost about $43 million, including about $10 million in operating funds.

While the economics are preliminary, promoters think its possible to produce from $500 to an $800 an acre in profits from these kinds of plants — at least $335 from the production side, and $114 from the processing, assuming they own part of it.

“All that depends on the price of ethanol,” Helgaas says. “You can see that this would be big — and exciting,” Helgaas says. (Mikkel Pates, Agweek)

 

Nicholas Kristof: STATS winner of the worst “science” journalist of the year

Columnist promotes “fear-based science” as a solution to breast cancer and other diseases.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has won well-deserved praise for his heroic efforts to draw attention to genocide and child prostitution in the developing world. Recently, however, he has taken to warning about some “terrifying dangers” closer to home -- the tiny amounts of chemicals in everyday consumer items and their alleged links to a host of diseases.

His most recent column created panic on parent blogs with claims that the rise in cancers and asthma are linked to chemicals in the environment – specifically, kitchen and plastic containers. (Trevor Butterworth, STATS)

 

Lung cancer overtakes breast cancer among women

MORE women are being diagnosed with lung cancer than breast cancer for the first time as many refuse to give up smoking. 

While less women overall are being diagnosed with cancer, experts expect lung cancer will make up 22 per cent of all cancer deaths by 2021.

The figures were released yesterday in the NSW Cancer Institute's Mortality and Incidence Report.

Experts believe more regular breast screenings and less women using hormone replacement therapies has led to a drop in breast cancer deaths.

However, women were finding it harder to give up smoking compared with men, leading experts to predict lung cancer would make up a larger proportion of deaths among women in the next decade.

For the first time there has been a downward trend in women being diagnosed with cancer in Australia - a trend which is mirrored in the US. ( Daily Telegraph)

 

Does loneliness raise breast cancer risk?

A new report suggesting that loneliness trebles the odds of developing breast cancer is the latest addition to a long list of recognised risk factors — such as being tall or having one breast bigger than the other — that cause widespread anxiety but do precious little to help in the fight against the disease. 

My advice to the millions of British women who are single, separated, divorced or widowed is to take this news with a pinch of salt, not least because the link between loneliness and breast cancer is an overenthusiastic extrapolation of a study on laboratory rats. (Dr Mark Porter, The Times)

 

Zhu Zhus Won't Kill You - How the media fell for a bogus health scare.

In early-December, something terrible happened in the world of the Zhu Zhu pets: Mr. Squiggles, one of four electronic hamsters, was declared unsafe. There was too much antimony in his fur, said Good Guides, a San Francisco-based environmental group that bills itself as "the world's largest and most reliable source of information on the health, environmental, and social impacts of the products in your home."

Was this a catastrophe for the hottest toy of the holiday season? Was Mr. Squiggles heading back to the great toy recall store in the sky, leaving Num Nums, Chunk and Pipsqueak to gibber plaintively for their missing pal as they zoomed along poop-free trails in homes across the world?

Or was this all just a cheap stunt that would generate massive publicity for another Grinch-like environmental watchdog group dedicated to saving the holidays, one "toxic" toy at a time? After hundreds of news stories warned parents about getting cancer from Mr. Squiggles, it all turned out to be a cheap stunt.

Good Guides has had to issue an embarrassing retraction. The Consumer Product Safety Commission confirmed that Mr. Squiggles was, indeed, safe. (Trevor Butterworth, Forbes)

 

HWGA: Atrazine: As bad for wildlife as it is for weeds?

The widely used herbicide atrazine may be responsible for a host of health problems seen in fresh water fish and amphibians, according to researchers who evaluated a group of published studies that examined the chemical's effects. (EHN)

One of the things about these dopey meta analyses (other than trying to extract information they were not designed to discover) is that they guarantee confirmation bias (null results are less frequently published and so meta analyses harvest the weasels: "may"; "might"; "could"... ).

Forget it. 50 years of direct observation have failed to demonstrate any ill effect. When will the whackos ever admit a product exhibits reasonable safety if 50 years of trouble-free use is not sufficient?

 

Back to the old dioxin myth: Decades-old dioxins pollute river, divide US community

The signs posted along Michigan's Tittabawassee River warning of dangerous dioxin levels don't really worry fisherman David Mitchell.

If he catches a fish that swims here year round he tosses it back. But if he hooks a walleye -- only an occasional visitor to the river and has lower dioxin levels than the year-rounders -- then it's time for dinner.

"I don't think it's as big a concern as what people are saying it is," said Mitchell, 51, as he sat on a pail on the muddy bank and cast his line out into the water.

"I can remember when the rivers never froze in the winters and now they're freezing over, so the pollution in the rivers has got to be a lot less than it was."

The Tittabawassee may be clean enough to freeze now, but it remains one of the most contaminated waterways in the United States and a key example of the nation's struggle to deal with its industrial past.

President Barack Obama's administration has vowed to take tougher action against polluters and has invested nearly a billion dollars of stimulus funds to spur cleanup efforts.

But the decades-long conflict over this one watershed underscores the complexities of trying to force companies into environmental action.

It also foreshadows the bitter battle the White House will face when it comes to implementing the emissions cuts needed to address climate change -- the focus of talks in Copenhagen to thrash out a deal for the global warming summit there on Dec 17 and 18. (Space Daily)

Remember Viktor Yushchenko?

Deliberately poisoned with dioxin in September, 2004, in an assassination attempt.

Demonstrably, it was an inefficient assassination attempt.

When tested almost 4 months later, in December, 2004, Yushchenko's blood dioxin concentration was still about 100,000 units per gram of blood fat, the second highest ever recorded in human history. (People exposed to dioxins through cooking emissions, wood fires, etc., usually exhibit levels <15 units)

As it happens dioxin's only demonstrated effect on humans is chloracne.

Clearly, a whopping dose of dioxin did not do Victor Yushchenko any good but equally clearly the greenies mislabeled "most toxic substance known to man" is markedly short in the lethality department.

Pictured: Victor Yushchenko, before and after he was poisoned.
Photo: AFP/AP

 

They get their wish and then some: Australian doctors debunk vaunted swine flu potency

Sydney - If only worries about climate change were as overblown as the alarm over swine flu. The pandemic H1N1 virus has proved to be not as serious as predicted, Jim Bishop, Australia's chief medical officer, admits. "The fact is that everyone ... with mild illness will get over this very quickly and with a short illness and that will happen whether anti-virals are used or not," he said.

In fact, researchers in Australia argue that swine flu is no more potent than other strains of flu.

"Our findings show that, for hospital patients, the clinical manifestations and severity of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 and seasonal influenza were similar," they said in a study published in the Medical Journal of Australia.

The study, the work of doctors at Liverpool Hospital, the Sydney South West Pathology Service and the University of Western Sydney, tracked 64 admissions at Liverpool Hospital over a six-week period in June and July when the pandemic was peaking in Australia.

Even among children and pregnant women, where the risks had been assessed to be most severe, the researchers were "unable to demonstrate a difference in clinical severity."

Unsurprisingly, two months into a mass inoculation programme the health authorities are fretting over the low take-up rate. The shots are free, but only 5 million doses out of the 21 million stockpiled have gone out to surgeries, clinics and hospitals - and many of these have not been used. (DPA)

Climate change worries are not "as overblown" but vastly more so than the absurdly hyped Influenza A:H1N1. Climate might switch into a cool phase, which will definitely cause some miseries and increased deaths but gorebull warming is not worth a second thought.

 

But don't worry, the media have an endless supply of scares for you: Sick of swine flu? Toxic algae could be the next big threat

WASHINGTON -- With a new theory surfacing that toxic algae rather than asteroids killed the dinosaurs, scientists are still trying to unravel the mystery of what caused a massive algae bloom off the Northwest Coast that left thousands of seabirds dead and may have sickened some surfers and kayakers.

The bloom, which stretches roughly 300 miles from Newport, Ore., north to the Canadian border, still persists, though it's a shadow of its September and October peak.

Whipped by waves and storms, the microscopic phytoplankton, which had turned the ocean a rust color, broke apart, releasing toxins and creating meringue-like foam that coated the feathers of birds like spilled oil. Up to 10,000 birds died of hypothermia in September, and researchers are still trying to come up with a count for October.

Researchers are also checking reports that surfers and kayakers who came in contact with the foam may have suffered cold-like symptoms, including temporary loss of smell and taste. The toxins also may have become aerosolized and affected beachcombers. In another strange twist, pathologists performing necropsies found that some of the birds lacked normal bacteria in their stomachs and other internal organs.

"It's definitely a warning sign of something," said Julia Parrish, a professor of aquatic and fishery sciences at the University of Washington. "We don't know what." (McClatchy Newspapers)

 

Should health care reform include payment for intercessory prayer?

A provision to allow payment for the healing power of third party prayers has been dropped for now - but it's worth going where journalists feared to tread and ask, what's the scientific evidence for prayer?

The merged health care reform bill (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), now being considered by the Senate, has dispensed with a controversial provision to pay for “religious or spiritual health care,” a move hailed by many concerned about the separation of church and state. Many news organizations noted the possible constitutional issues with a law that mandates that health insurance cover faith-healing expenses as if they were valid medical costs. Some mentioned the possible child abuse that comes from those who chose prayer over standard medical care for their kids. But few, if any, journalists tackled the fundamental scientific problem with the provision: Is there any evidence that intercessory prayer works?

This is perplexing to say the least: Evidence-based medicine has routinely dismissed the benefit of paid third-party prayer; and yet, the media treated the issue as if it were simply a matter of what would pass muster with the Supreme Court.

The spiritual healing provision was, as the Los Angeles Times reported, originally “inserted by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) with the support of Democratic Sens. John F. Kerry and the late Edward M. Kennedy, both of Massachusetts, home to the headquarters of the Church of Christ, Scientist.” (Rebecca Goldin, STATS)

 

Rescue workers adjust for obesity

Todd Stepp remembers an unusual call for help his family-owned towing company received more than a decade ago.

An 1,150-pound Tampa woman needed to get to a hospital, but there was no ambulance that could accommodate her.

"She was having cardiac arrest," recalled Stepp, 40, of Stepp's Towing Service.

The Tampa firefighters who responded called Stepp, and a crew removed the exterior wall of the woman's bedroom in her first-floor apartment.

Several men, including paramedics, emergency medical technicians and tow-truck staff, rolled the woman onto four stretchers they had fashioned together using heavy-duty straps.

A tow truck with a boom attached maneuvered and parked sideways as close as it could get to the woman, who was either in her late 30s or early 40s, as far as Stepp can recall.

Then the boom was moved above her and, with the help of cabled winches, she was lifted up and carried outside. Her mattress was moved to the waiting flat-bed truck and she was gently placed on it and strapped down. Paramedics joined her and police escorts surrounded the truck for the 10 mph ride to St. Joseph's Hospital, where she died later that day. (Tampa Bay Online)

 

Food Industry Faulted for Pushing High-Calorie, Low-Nutrient Products

(Dec. 14, 2009) — A new study criticizes the nation's food and beverage industry for failing to shift their marketing efforts aimed at children. The report said television advertising continues to contribute to epidemic levels of obesity, despite industry promises of reform. (ScienceDaily)

 

Less TV time may help overweight adults burn more calories, researcher says

Adults may stave off weight gain by simply spending less time watching television, according to a new study. Overweight adults who cut television time in half burned more calories as a result. (PhysOrg.com)

 

Man Drinks Glass of Fat in New York City Anti-Soda Video

YORK — The New York City health department has released a nauseating video in an effort to prevent people from drinking sugary beverages.

The video was posted Monday on YouTube.

A man opens a soda can and pours the liquid into a glass. It's actually a mess of goopy fat.

When he tries to drink it, he ends up with fat globs on his face.

The message: Drinking just one can of soda a day can add up to 10 pounds of weight in a year.

Health Commissioner Thomas Farley says sugary drinks are a large part of the obesity epidemic.

A 2007 health department survey found that more than 2 million New Yorkers drink at least one sugar-sweetened beverage each day. (Associated Press)

On the Net: www.youtube.com/drinkingfat

 

Have a Coke and a Tax - The economic case against soda taxes

With the federal deficit reaching $1.4 trillion and most state budgets deep in the red, policy makers are desperately searching for new sources of revenue that the tapped-out American public might support. They think they’ve found one at the corner store: a tax on carbonated beverages. Charging a few more cents for a soft drink, legislators claim, will not only refresh exhausted state and federal revenues; it will make us thinner.

Several versions of this year’s health care bills included a soda tax to help offset new costs. In a September interview with Men’s Health, President Barack Obama called it ‘‘an idea that we should be exploring” because “our kids drink way too much soda.” The idea had been dropped from the health care legislation at press time but is expected to resurface next year. (Veronique de Rugy, Reason)

 

Childhood obesity 'still rising in poorer families'

The childhood obesity epidemic could be levelling off in affluent homes but rising among those from disadvantaged backgrounds, research suggests. 

People who are less well off tend to be wary of health messages telling them what to do - regarding it as "nanny-statism", experts said. 

They calculated that obesity levels among children are set to "increase considerably" overall by 2015, echoing trends seen in other research. (Jane Kirby, Press Association)

 

Child obesity trends 'suggest class divide is emerging' - Child obesity levels have been rising for decades

A widening class gap is likely to be seen in the coming years in childhood obesity, a study suggests.

Previous research has suggested rates in England may be levelling off. 

But the University College London team found this was happening most in children aged two to 10 from wealthier backgrounds. 

Researchers said obesity rates among the lower classes were likely to be significantly higher by 2015 - for girls the levels may even be double. (BBC News)

 

Obesity increases the risk for obstructive sleep apnea in adolescents, but not in younger children

Westchester, Ill. – A study in the Dec. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine shows that being overweight or obese increases the risk for developing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in adolescents but not in younger children. 

Results indicate that the risk of OSA among Caucasian adolescents 12 years of age and older increased 3.5 fold with each standard-deviation increase in body mass index (BMI) z-score, while the risk of OSA did not significantly increase with increasing BMI among younger children. According to the authors, the results suggest that the increase in risk among overweight and obese adolescents may result from developmental changes such as reductions in upper airway tone and changes to anatomic structures. 

"These results were a little surprising to us initially, as obesity is generally considered to increase the risk of sleep apnea amongst all children," said principal investigator Mark Kohler, PhD, research fellow at the Children's Research Centre at the University of Adelaide in Australia. "Previous results have been inconsistent, however, and appear to be confounded by using mixed ethnic populations and different ages of children." (American Academy of Sleep Medicine)

 

Obesity bad for pets, too

Every year, Americans are getting heavier; not surprisingly, so are our pets. The latest research indicates that half of all pets are overweight or obese. This closely mirrors the obesity epidemic in the human population.

This may explain why pet owners who were surveyed about pet body types (ideal, overweight, obese) thought their pets were at an ideal weight, even when they were obese. ( Chris Rainey, Sun Herald)

 

A Cheap Way to Chop up Nitrogen

Nitrogen atoms are needed to make many important chemicals from drugs to fertilizers. But getting those atoms into chemicals is challenging, because nitrogen molecules are tough nuts to crack. They consist of two atoms sharing a stubborn triple bond, which chemists can break up only by scorching them with temperatures of up to 500°C. And that results in the simple chemical ammonia, which needs further processing to produce more complicated compounds. Now chemists have bypassed the energy-intensive reaction and devised a new one that splits molecular nitrogen at room temperature and synthesizes a common fertilizer. (ScienceNOW Daily News)

 

December 14, 2009

 

WARMERGATE - Special report by David Rose, Mail on Sunday

So The Mail is the sole remaining paper actually engaged in journalism? What happened to The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian? FOIA2009.zip has been in the wild for almost a month, where are the media?

 

Online version: SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: Climate change emails row deepens as Russians admit they DID come from their Siberian server

The claim was both simple and terrifying: that temperatures on planet Earth are now ‘likely the highest in at least the past 1,300 years’.

As its authors from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) must have expected, it made headlines around the world.

Yet some of the scientists who helped to draft it, The Mail on Sunday can reveal, harboured uncomfortable doubts. (Mail on Sunday)

Not too bad at all, although this ending rather spoils their bit of fun with the headline:

Yes, emails came from here - but we didn't do it, say Russians

Russian secret service agents admitted yesterday that the hacked ‘Warmergate’ emails were uploaded on a Siberian internet server, but strenuously denied a clandestine state-sponsored operation to wreck the Copenhagen summit.

The FSB - formerly the KGB - confirmed that thousands of messages to and from scientists at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit were distributed to the world from the city of Tomsk, as revealed by The Mail on Sunday last week. 

Now, it has emerged that IT experts specialising in hacking techniques were brought in by the Russian authorities following this newspaper’s exposure of the Tomsk link. 

They have gathered evidence about how and where the operation was carried out, although they are not prepared to say at this stage who they think was responsible.

A Russian intelligence source claimed the FSB had new information which could cast light on who was behind the elaborate operation. 

‘We are not prepared to release details, but we might if the false claims about the FSB’s involvement do not stop,’ he said. ‘The emails were uploaded to the Tomsk server but we are sure this was done from outside Russia.’

The Kremlin’s top climate change official, Alexander Bedritsky, denied the Russian government was involved in breaking into the CRU’s computer system. 

‘You can post information on a computer from any other country. It is nonsense to blame Russia,’ he said.

 

Peter Foster: The Goracle speaks on Climategate

The emails, far from being meaningless or out of context, show alteration of data and attempts to rig the peer review process

True believers in catastrophic man-made climate change have been waiting for Al Gore to lead them through the Valley of Climategate. This week, The Goracle spoke. Appearing on CNN, he claimed that the emails to and from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia were more than 10 years old and amounted to a mere discussion of “arcane points.” What this was really about, he said, was an example of “people who don’t want to do anything about the climate crisis taking things out of context and misrepresenting them.” But then what would you expect Mr. Gore to say about his co-recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize? If they go down, he goes down.

Click here to read more... (Financial Post)

 

Al Gore and the Wizards of Climategate

In trying to minimize the importance of “ClimateGate,” Al Gore sounds like the Wizard of Oz, "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

During a CNN interview, Gore downplayed the meaning of the emails at the center of the controversy by saying, “Well, they took a few phrases out of context. These are private e-mails, more than 10 years old, and they've tried to blow it up into something that it's really not."

Like Dorothy’s dog Toto, the posting of emails and documents on the internet from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit has pulled back the green curtain on the secret world of leading climate scientists, exposing a disturbing pattern of apparent scientific misconduct.

Most concerning, the scientists involved played a key role in the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the body responsible for producing the reports on global warming politicians use to justify mammoth interferences in the free market such as the Kyoto Treaty and cap-and-trade legislation.

These disclosures are a serious blow to Gore and to global warming alarmists at the United Nations and elsewhere.

While it’s easy for Gore to dismiss the significance of “ClimateGate” and continue to skip down the yellow brick road, concerns of scientific fraud in global warming research is an inconvenient truth for the CEOs who have banked on cap-and-trade legislation as a business strategy. (Tom Borelli, Townhall)

 

Poor Clive, still the believer: Trust the public on climate change

It is not enough for climate scientists and environment ministers to go to Copenhagen and tell each other how right they are. They also need to convince the public. National politics – the democratic process – is awfully inconvenient sometimes, but cannot be waved away.

The climate-science establishment – scientists subscribing to the global warming consensus and most governments, judging by words not deeds – understands this. This is why the Copenhagen meeting has a theatrical aspect; it is as much about public relations as about serious efforts to confront global warming. 

The experts are intent on stirring up – they would say “educating” – public opinion. From their own point of view, however, they are making a hash of it.

The evidence for the climate consensus, they say, is stronger year by year. But in the US, public confidence in their statements is falling: less than half the electorate now regards man-made global warming as a proven fact. Admittedly, the US is an outlier in this, but few electorates anywhere seem sufficiently convinced to support, when push comes to shove, the policies that many climate scientists are calling for.

I recognise the consensus and believe it justifies, on prudential grounds, a big effort to curb emissions. But the climate-science establishment is making itself an obstacle. ( Clive Crook, Financial Times)

 

Climategate: Disdain for the Scientific Method

Compare the obfuscation and arrogance of the implicated scientists to the openness and humility of Albert Einstein.

It has become a common defense of global warming alarmists against the Climategate scandal to argue that the emails, leaked from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU), show science working — perhaps at its best. Yet a judicious reading of the emails shows that nothing could be farther from the truth. The emails display a disturbing disdain for the scientific method itself.

Specifically, the emails indicate that some of the world’s most prominent climate scientists have abandoned the basic scientific principle of subjecting empirical evidence, and the treatment of that evidence, to external scrutiny, so that findings can be verified and — when necessary — abandoned or revised. (Ian Murray and Roger Abbott, PJM)

 

The "Trick" in Context

Steve McIntyre is at it again. He has a new post up [UPDATE: And this further clarification] that puts the much-discussed little-understood CRU email "trick" into definitive context. The "trick" does not show scientific fraud. It does not show that climate science is a sham. What it does show is a group of scientists at the highest levels of the IPCC stage managing their presentation of climate science for the greatest possible effect via their creation of a graphic showing paleoclimate reconstructions -- the so-called "hockey stick." It also shows the conflict of interest faced by an IPCC lead author with responsibility for placing his own work into broader context.

McIntyre writes:

The Climategate Letters show clearly that the relevant context is the IPCC Lead Authors’ meeting in Tanzania in September 1999 at which the decline in the Briffa reconstruction was perceived by IPCC as “diluting the message”, as a “problem”, as a “potential distraction/detraction”.
The emails show that the "trick" was fairly obviously shaped by at least two clear incentives.

First, it was the result of an author of the IPCC (Mann) seeking to present his own work unencumbered by that of his colleagues/competitors. The relevant email cited by McIntyre shows this scientist expressing a desire to use his work as the basis for the overall IPCC consensus. I have no doubts that Mann believes his work to be true and others less true, and that is the problem:
But …Keith’s [Briffa] series… differs in large part in exactly the opposite direction that Phil’s [Jones] does from ours. This is the problem we all picked up on (everyone in the room at IPCC was in agreement that this was a problem and a potential distraction/detraction from the reasonably concensus viewpoint we’d like to show w/ the Jones et al and Mann et al series. (Mann Sep 22, 0938018124.txt
The second incentive was clearly to avoid burdening the readers of the IPCC with complexity, lest it detract from the clear message that the authors wanted sent:
So, if we show Keith’s series in this plot, we have to comment that “something else” is responsible for the discrepancies in this case.…Otherwise, the skeptics have an field day casting doubt on our ability to understand the factors that influence these estimates and, thus, can undermine faith in the paleoestimates. I don’t think that doubt is scientifically justified, and I’d hate to be the one to have to give it fodder! (Mann Sep 22, 0938018124.txt)
Rather than simply presenting what the peer review literature actually said, warts and all, these scientists decided to create a facsimile of that literature that represented how they thought the literature should be represented in order to maximize "faith" in their work and to deny "skeptics" an opportunity to "cast doubt." They thus misrepresented the science to present a more digestible picture in line with the message that they wanted policy makers to receive. I've seen this before.

Not only does McIntyre put the "trick" into its contemporary context, but his efforts also helps us to understand the present spinning by the scientific community suggesting that the "trick" is just science-speak for a clever method. It is not. The "trick" in context is clearly an effort by activist scientists at the highest levels of the IPCC to misrepresent scientific complexity to policy makers and the public. (Roger Pielke Jr)

 

Well, yes and no: AP on Leaked CRU Emails

A team of AP reporters reviews the leaked/stolen CRU emails and come up with a damning indictment of their authors. The AP finds no evidence of fraud or misconduct, and no evidence that the science of climate change is a hoax. But they what they do find is, in their words, "not pretty." Here is an excerpt (emphasis added):

The scientists were keenly aware of how their work would be viewed and used, and, just like politicians, went to great pains to shape their message. Sometimes, they sounded more like schoolyard taunts than scientific tenets.

The scientists were so convinced by their own science and so driven by a cause "that unless you're with them, you're against them," said Mark Frankel, director of scientific freedom, responsibility and law at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He also reviewed the communications.

It is these efforts to stage manage climate science that I have argued is the most troubling aspect of the emails. These activist scientists stated that they were interested in the truth, but their actions as revealed by the emails showed a greater interest in truthiness in order to shape a public message and defeat their nefarious opponents. (Roger Pielke Jr)

The emails in and of themselves are not proof of much beyond attempts to circumvent FOIA requests and self-reinforcing groupthink. The evidence is in the code and associated files, not the emails. That and the difference in raw and homogenized data somehow generally exacerbating rather than removing UHIE...

The emails are not pretty but really are only "one round smoke" for ranging purposes -- you want "fire for effect" then go to the documents and code.

 

AP Analysis Overlooks Scientific Implications of Climategate

By William DiPuccio

The Associated Press has published an independent investigation into the scientific implications of the recent emails hacked from East Anglia University in England.  In, “AP IMPACT: Science not faked, but not pretty”, AP writers Seth Borenstein, Raphael Satter, and Malcolm Ritter concluded that “the messages don’t support claims that the science of global warming was faked.”

The Scientific Consensus

But the article misses two very important points and stumbles in its logic.  First, regarding the scientific consensus, the reporters conclude:  “However, the [email] exchanges don’t undercut the vast body of evidence showing the world is warming because of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.”

The emails, as the article admits, reveal that “skeptical” scientists were stonewalled, blacklisted, and repeatedly denied access to data under the FOI.  If the views of these scientists had been welcomed as a check and balance on the work of others, if they had been made partners at the table, if they had been given full access to the same data, if their research was published, and if those who opposed their findings had been forced to respond to their conclusions in peer reviewed literature, then the consensus would probably look much different than it does now. 

At the very least, the pretense of utter certainty which proponents of the IPCC hypothesis maintain, would have been substantially diminished and they would have been forced to acknowledge that their position was not fully supported by the peer reviewed literature. 

It is circular reasoning to appeal to a consensus that was shaped by scientists conspiring to eliminate all opposition.  These scientists, though relatively few in number, wielded a disproportionate influence on the scientific community.  Moreover, from the private emails it is evident that they were less confident about their own conclusions than they appeared to be in public discourse. 

The Significance of Errors in Past Temperature Reconstructions

Second, the writers of the AP study are totally oblivious to the implications of the attempt by Phil Jones and others to “hide the decline” in a graph that was later published in the 2001 IPCC report.  The decline refers to an unmistakable deviation in proxy temperatures derived from tree ring studies.  The cause of the deviation has never been resolved.  Tree ring proxies are used to reconstruct temperature data for the last 1000 years (instrumental data did not start until around 1850). 

Though actual temperatures were rising after 1960, the tree ring data in one major study, by Keith Briffa, indicated that temperatures were falling precipitously.  It is clear from the emails that this deviation in proxy temperatures (the “divergence problem") was not disclosed to the public or policy makers because it would raise questions and uncertainties about the overall reliability of past climate reconstructions. 

Historical temperature reconstructions are a crucial plank in the IPCC’s hypothesis which claims that our current warming trend is the result of CO2 emissions.  If it can be shown that today’s warming is unprecedented, then it is more likely (though not certain) that CO2 emissions are interfering with nature and skewing temperatures upward.

But over the last 1000 years, average temperature has varied by only one degree according to the reconstructions.  The case for today’s extraordinary temperatures rides on only four or five tenths of a degree.  The large shaded area in the attached graph (from IPCC TAR), which delineates the margin of error, clearly shows the imprecise nature these reconstructions.  Briffa’s reconstruction (green line) was truncated at 1960 to “hide the decline.”

image
2001 IPCC Third Assessment Report (Figure 2.21) comparing different Northern Hemisphere temperature reconstructions from 1000 A.D. to 2000 A.D. The recent instrumental Northern Hemisphere temperature record to 1999 is shown for comparison.  Two standard error limits (shaded region) for the smoothed Mann et al. (1999) series are shown. The horizontal zero line denotes the 1961 to 1990 reference period mean temperature. Enlarged here.

Questions raised about the reliability of temperature reconstructions using tree ring data can effectively undermine the claim that our current warming is unprecedented.  For example if temperatures in the medieval period were actually closer to the upper portion of the shaded area, as most paleoclimate histories have shown, then there would be no cause for alarm. 

The AP investigation was misleading on this particular.  The authors tell us that the so-called “hockey stick” reconstruction (shown on the graph) which asserted the 1990s were the hottest years in a millennium, was “upheld as valid” by a National Academy of Sciences study. 

But, in fact, there were two studies.  The second, conducted by a team of statisticians led by Edward Wegman, chair of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics, was highly critical of the hockey-stick reconstruction. 

image
A pre-publication draft version of the same graph showing the deviation in Briffa’s reconstruction after 1960 (yellow line).  Overall, Briffa’s reconstruction shows a significant departure from the other series. This was apparently adjusted in the final version.  Image courtesty of Steve McIntyre, climateaudit.org. Enlarged here.

The AP article never mentioned this investigation.  Nor did it mention that in the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment, the hockey stick temperature profile was barely discernable.  Temperatures in the middle ages were noticeably elevated over those in the 2001 assessment, though still not as high as the current instrumental record. 

Contrary to the conclusions drawn by the AP investigation, there are serious scientific implications surrounding the Climategate emails.  Though defenders continue to beat the drums in favor of the scientific consensus, it is becoming clear not only that this consensus was partially manufactured through manipulation, but also that the science it represents does not rise to the level of certainty it has auspiciously claimed.

Over the last couple of years, numerous studies have challenged various aspects of the IPCC’s science, including the dominance of CO2.  Natural variability - ocean oscillations, solar cycles, etc. - plays a larger role in climate change than once thought.  A spate of recent research has shown that aerosol pollution (e.g., soot, sulfur, nitrogen, dust) and changes in land use changes (e.g., deforestation, agriculture, urbanization) have a greater impact on climate than CO2. 

Before we pull the trigger and spend billions of dollars on controlling carbon emissions, we need to consider the entire range of scientific research and reassess our policies in light of these findings. (Icecap)

Bill DiPuccio was a weather forecaster for the U.S. Navy, and a Meteorological/Radiosonde Technician for the National Weather Service.  More recently, he served as head of the science department for Orthodox Christian Schools of Northeast Ohio.  He continues to write science curriculum, publish articles, and conduct science camps.

 

Climategate: Anatomy of a Public Relations Disaster

The way that climate scientists have handled the fallout from the leaking of hacked e-mails is a case study in how not to respond to a crisis. But it also points to the need for climate researchers to operate with greater transparency and to provide more open access to data. (Fred Pearce, environment360)

 

What climategate really tells us

AL Gore and the rest of the die-hard climate campaigners are huffing and puffing that nothing in the e-mails and documents that were hacked or leaked from the Climate Research Unit in England have any bearing on what we know about climate change or the political response we should make to deal with it. The entire matter is settled science, don’t you know — nothing to see here, move along. That’s rich, coming from the same people who told us for more than a decade that findings derived from the CRU’s work constituted the “smoking gun” of human-caused climate change. Gore relied heavily on this work in his climatehorror film “An Inconvenient Truth.” (Steven F. Hayward, NYP)

 

Vindicating climate change skeptics

Ever since the UN-based Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change adopted the view, following the 1992 Rio Summit -- also known as the Earth Summit -- that global warming is caused by the human activity of burning fossil fuel, scientists skeptical of this view have sought to caution governments and the public about the unsettled nature of the science of climate change. 

But the voices of skeptics went unheeded as the environmental or "green" agenda-driven science of the IPCC, backed by a host of governments and bought by the media, brought us the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and now the Copenhagen conference with a much more ambitious agenda as a follow-up to the Kyoto treaty. 

It is worth recalling that then-U.S. President Bill Clinton and Vice-President Al Gore failed to win the approval of the U.S. Senate for the 1997 treaty. Kyoto was rejected by a bipartisan vote of 95-0. 

The recent revelations -- now known as Climategate -- of how proponents of man-made global warming fudged and manipulated temperature data at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit in the U.K. to back the IPCC claim confirms the skepticism of many scientists for more than a decade. 

Among scientists voicing concerns over the IPCC claim was Freeman Dyson, the eminent physicist and mathematician at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. 

Dyson's voice was a reminder of Galileo's observation, "In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual." 

In a lecture given at the American Physical Society meeting in March 1999, Dyson spoke about the science and politics of climate. He noted, "that the climate models on which so much effort is expended are unreliable." 

Dyson explained the models "use fudge-factors rather than physics" and, besides "the general prevalence of fudge-factors," there were other specific defects adding to their unreliability. (Salim Mansur, Toronto Sun)

 

Portrait of a local climate skeptic - Retired mining analyst Stephen McIntyre isn't a warming denier. He's merely a stickler

During the 12-day climate summit underway in Copenhagen, countries are trying to forge consensus on how best to protect the planet from global warming. An international all-star roster of academics is providing critical scientific data as the evidentiary backbone for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which hopes to prod perceived green slackers like Canada into more aggressive environmental reforms.

So why is a retired mining analyst living near Broadview and Danforth Aves. – a squash-playing grandfather who prompted a U.S. congressional hearing by crunching global warming research on his home computer – not invited to the party?

Because Stephen McIntyre is an enemy of climate change believers, a man who, essentially, double-checks the math behind research accepted as green gospel. Though his painstaking "hobby" has exposed flawed data supporting studies like the "hockey stick" graph – it claimed the 1990s was the millennium's hottest decade – he's considered a denier by those who fear the planet is burning up.

But the Toronto native won't stop asking the tough questions. (Toronto Star)

 

Naïve or stupid? Science forgotten in climate emails fuss

No one identifies any scientific flaws in Phil Jones's work, yet the 'fallen idol' narrative is too alluring for the media to resist ( Myles Allen, The Guardian)

Does Allen really not know Jones's work is still not "in the wild" but is under internal review? Surely he realizes the parlous state of climate data will now become common knowledge, that the absurd claim of insignificant UHIE contamination of the record is finished? Does he not realize the emails detailing FOIA avoidance measures and determination to destroy records rather than let "the enemy" have access are sufficient to ensure Jones can not direct CRU nor author IPCC synthesis reports?

Maybe it's just a believer's wishful thinking?

 

Climategate’s Harry_Read_Me.txt: We All Really Should

The comprehensive collection of excerpts from the appalling CRU text file. A must read.

One of the most damning pieces of evidence in Climategate (so far) is a text file called HARRY_READ_ME.txt. This file is supposedly written by Ian “Harry” Harris, a researcher at the University of East Anglia’s CRU (Climatic Research Unit). In it he details the trials and tribulations of being tasked with creating a new climate information database from previous publications and databases. According to Harry’s documented struggle, he is confronted with missing, manipulated, and undocumented data that he has to use to try to piece together the newer TS 3.0 database. (Andie Brownlow, PJM)

 

Inhofe Calls for Independent Investigation of IPCC

More than 25 U.S. senators, led by Oklahoma Republican Jim Inhofe, are calling for an independent investigation of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in the wake of the Climategate scandal.

Inhofe, ranking member on the Environment and Public Works Committee, outlined several reasons for an independent investigation in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is among those who signed the letter.

Speaking at The Heritage Foundation this week, Inhofe said he had no confidence in the United Nations’ conducting an investigation of its own panel. “The U.N. isn’t accountable to anyone,” he argued, highlighting the problem of rooting out possible corruption in the IPCC. Continue reading… (The Foundry)

 

GOP Senators Urge U.N. to Appoint Independent Investigator Over 'Climate-Gate'

A band of 28 Republican senators is calling on the United Nations to appoint an independent investigator to probe leaked e-mails they claim raise serious questions about the science behind global warming. (FOXNews.com)

 

This portion is quite correct: Global warming: back to basics

Global concern over climate change is unprecedented. For those working on research in to this topic, even just ten years ago, we would have been amazed to see the level of discussion currently taking place on this issue. How is it that a problem with its roots in scientific understanding can generate responses that are often emotional and at times clearly contradictory? 

At the very centre of the climate change debate are a basic set of rules governing the transfer of energy through the atmosphere. For our planet to have a stable temperature, then the energy coming from the Sun must roughly balance that being emitted back out to space. The concern is that the particular form of the outgoing energy interacts with what are called atmospheric “greenhouse gases”. This happens in such a way that if their concentrations increase, higher temperatures are required to achieve the same loss of energy from Earth. The atmosphere naturally has high levels of such gases, and this supports life by preventing extremely low temperatures. But as the activities of humans increase these greenhouse gases, one of which is carbon dioxide, we can expect global temperatures to rise.

Our planet is remarkably complex, and weather patterns are controlled by interactions between the oceans, polar ice sheets, the response of the land surface and atmospheric transfer of water in clouds and rain. In addition, there are what are termed “geo-chemical cycles” at play, for instance where carbon dioxide is cycled through the Earth system. It is known from ice-core records that there are natural cycles in climate. There have been times in the past where, overall, the planet has been both warmer and cooler than at present. Similarly geological records indicate periods that have been both wetter and drier. (Chris Huntingford, The Times)

Unfortunately from this point Huntingford wanders off into AGW religion and PlayStation® climatology but the above is true enough.

 

A Guest Weblog By Will Alexander “Climategate Chaos”

The following is a guest weblog by Will Alexander [and thanks to Madhav L Khandekar for introducing us to Professor Alexander!].  As I have posted before, I encourage climate scientists with peer-reviewed papers on this subject to present their viewpoints as guest posts on my weblog. Following is his brief biographical sketch: (Climate Science)

 

Art Horn: Climategate in the Classroom? (PJM Exclusive)

The longtime meteorologist and public speaker came out as a climate skeptic and is now getting blackballed. From public schools.

As an independent meteorologist, I do a lot of public speaking about weather and climate. I bring my weather program, called “How the Weather Works,” to elementary and middle schools. Most of the program is about the basics of our atmosphere, and a little bit covers how a forecast is made.

Last year, I started to include a section about global warming — and about how I am a skeptic — towards the end of my program.

At several of the elementary schools, this was actually met with approval. Some teachers approached me at the end of my talk and thanked me for giving the kids a different point of view — since all they hear otherwise is that the future will be a climate calamity.

However, there have been different reactions.

A school told me I would not be able to return this year because of my global warming comments. When I visited the school last year, I told the students that the polar bears were not drowning and that their numbers have been increasing. I also showed them reasons to believe that nature has changed climate in the past and would likely continue to do so in the future.

One of the students then went home and told the parents. Apparently this did not fit the parents’ understanding of what is going on in the Arctic. I was told the student was upset; I tend to believe it was the parents that were upset. (Art Horn, PJM)

 

They're still trying: Markey: Climate-Gate Has Become 'Tree Ring Circus'

The release of e-mails that suggest climate change data were manipulated is causing a "tree ring circus" that is trying to inflate a scandal to prevent international efforts to reduce global warming, a leading House proponent of climate change legislation said Sunday. (FOXNews.com)

 

Kind of sad, really: Don't let the climate doubters fool you

Don't be fooled about climate science. In April, 1994 -- long after scientists had clearly demonstrated the addictive quality and devastating health impacts of cigarette smoking -- seven chief executives of major tobacco companies denied the evidence, swearing under oath that nicotine was not addictive. (Alan I. Leshner, Washington Post)

 

Climategate: George Monbiot, the Guardian and Big Oil

For a brief moment I had a scintilla of respect for George Monbiot. His abject apology immediately after the Climategate scandal was noble, proper, honest – and fittingly grovelling.

First he implicitly acknowledged that newspaper environment correspondents these days do little more than write PR handouts for the climate fear promotion industry:

I apologise. I was too trusting of some of those who provided the evidence I championed. I would have been a better journalist if I had investigated their claims more closely.

Second, he admitted Climategate was a scandal which could “scarcely be more damaging” to the cause of AGW.

But that was three weeks ago.

Here he is in his latest column, back to his old tricks, accusing anyone who disagrees with him of being a shill in the pay of Big Oil.

“Think environmentalists are stooges? You’re the unwitting recruit of a hugely powerful oil lobby – I’ve got the proof.”

He invites us to note:

“The contrast between the global scandal [George can't bring himself to use the word Climategate] these emails have provoked and the muted response to 20 years of revelations about the propaganda planted by fossil fuel companies.”

In a separate article, he presents us with four case studies of how fossil fuel companies have used their evil petrodollars to corrupt and suborn the debate on “Climate Change”. (And see the difference it has made! That’s why Copenhagen isn’t happening this year; why the world’s governments aren’t still hell bent on spending $45 trillion of our money to combat ManBearPig….)

Well he has chutzpah, I’ll give him that.

But who is it that sponsors the Guardian’s Environment pages and eco conferences? Why, only that famous non-fossil-fuel company Shell. (Though I notice their logo no longer appears on top of the Guardian’s eco pages: has the Guardian decided the relationship was just too embarrassing to be, er, sustainable?)

And which company has one of the largest carbon trading desks in London, cashing in on industry currently worth around $120 billion – an industry which could not possibly exist without pan-global governmental CO2 emissions laws ? BP (which stands for British Petroleum)

And how much has Indian steel king Lakshmi Mittal made from carbon credits thanks to Europe’s Emissions Trading Scheme? £1 billion.

And which companies were the  CRU scientists revealed cosying up to as early as 2000 in the Climategate emails? There’s a clue in this line here: “Had a very good meeting with Shell yesterday.”

And how much was Phil Jones, director of the discredited CRU, found to have collected in grants since 1990? £13.7 million ($22.7 million)

And why does this Executive Vice-Chairman of Rothschild’s bank sound so enthusiastic in this (frankly terrifying) letter about the prospects of the “new world order” (his phrase not mine) which result from globally regulated carbon trading?

Or why not try this blog, in which a German Green party MP is revealed being given hefty donations by a solar power company?

Or how about this tiny $7o million donation to the climate change industry from the Rockefeller Foundation?

And what about the £6 million the UK Government squandered on its climate-fear-promoting Bedtime Stories ad campaign?

What about the billions of dollars Al Gore stands to make from his ManBearPig scam?

I could go on. Many of Monbiot’s readers already have below his blog, most of them ridiculing the absurdity and hypocrisy of his position. Here’s one:

Who is the bigger stooge, the unwitting recruit of the “hugely powerful oil lobby” or the one blindly willing to spend millions of billions on AGW plans for which no one has the slightest idea of whether they will work?

I couldn’t agree more. The other day, following our debate, Monbiot gloated that debating me was like “shooting rats in a bucket.” Is that so? Well I’d say that trying to argue with someone who plays as fast and loose with the truth as George Monbiot is like trying to wrestle an electric eel smeared with KY jelly. (James Delingpole, TDT)

 

I Pledge Allegiance to Global Warming - British scientists sign a government loyalty oath.

The Met Office, Britain's national weather service, "has embarked on an urgent exercise to bolster the reputation of climate-change science" in the wake of a whistle-blower's revelation of widespread misconduct by climate scientists, London's Times reports:

More than 1,700 scientists have agreed to sign a statement defending the "professional integrity" of global warming research. They were responding to a round-robin request from the Met Office, which has spent four days collecting signatures. . . .
One scientist told The Times he felt under pressure to sign. "The Met Office is a major employer of scientists and has long had a policy of only appointing and working with those who subscribe to their views on man-made global warming," he said.

The concept of scientists--or journalists, or artists--signing a petition is ludicrous. The idea is that they are lending their authority to whatever cause the petition represents--but in fact they are undermining that authority, which is based on the presumption that they think for themselves.

The problem with the petition as a form is also a problem with the Met Office petition's substance. The purpose of the petition is to shore up scientists' authority by vouching for their integrity. But signing a loyalty oath under pressure from the government is itself a corrupt act. Anyone who signs this petition thereby raises doubts about his own integrity. And once again, the question arises: Why should any layman regard global warmism as credible when the "consensus" rests on political machinations, statistical tricks and efforts to suppress alternative hypotheses?

To be sure, Joseph McCarthy was right about communism even though the ways he combated it were wrong and counterproductive. But that's all the more reason that honest scientists who view global warmism as credible--if such creatures exist--should rise up against these McCarthyite tactics. (James Taranto, WSJ)

 

…”perhaps a conspiracy is unnecessary where a carrot will suffice”

We recently had a story about the UK Met Office putting out a petition amongst scientists (even non-climatologists) to prop up the image of the CRU. Some scientists said they felt “pressured” to sign.

This story explains how they might feel that way.

(WUWT)

 

The ever truthful BBC – a crack in the wall?

In an extraordinary development a maverick commentator, Clive James, tells it how it is on the media coverage of Global Warming - HERE. The man is so rational! (Number Watch)

 

Climategate: One Must Ignore 200 Years of Observations to Believe in AGW

A summary of the compendium of evidence refuting manmade global warming. (See also Roger L. Simon: Watch out, Al Gore — I’m going to Copenhagen!)

There is no evidence of carbon dioxide being a poison, or that it is capable of causing a warming Armageddon. What follows is a summary of the proof — straight from real science, peer-reviewed over the past 232 years by legions of physicists, thanks to Newton’s Principia.

Remember the famous picture of Miss Marilyn Monroe with her skirt blown high? Even at the age of 76, when I see this picture my temperature goes up — followed by the amount of carbon dioxide I exhale. Never the other way ’round. Now, thanks to the study of a series of ice cores, this appears to be an inconvenient truth for the global warming industry.

Al Gore used this ice core data to claim that carbon dioxide made the temperature of the world rise, threatening life on earth, because there was a correlation between atmospheric CO2 levels and the world’s average temperature. Yet the data from the much-celebrated Vostok ice cores paints a very different picture: Up goes the temperature,  followed by a rise in carbon dioxide.

Effectively flattening Gore’s dreams of hedging his funds.

More troubles lie ahead for the warmists. Independent researchers have pointed out that crucially important pieces of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) evidence were based on false statistical analysis. For starters, take a look at historical evidence from the last 1,000 years. There was a worldwide Medieval Warm Period — no, not just in Europe — and a few centuries prior to that period it was warm enough for the Romans to produce red wine on the borders of Scotland. (David J. Bellamy, PJM)

 

Stotty's Corner

Explosive: the UK Media’s Most Important Analysis of Climategate

“Maybe the emails have started to open people’s eyes.”
“The surface temperature record is being called into question.”
The Hubert Lamb Building, University of East Anglia, UK, where the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) is located [photo by ChrisO, reproduced here under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License]

“Climate change emails row deepens as Mail on Sunday investigation reveals...

Read more...

 

Two Thoughtful Essays with Clarity and an Absence of Cant

“So science was not speaking with one voice on the matter. It only seemed to be, because the media, on the whole, was giving no other story. Then this Climatic Research Unit thing happened, and it was the end of the monologue. The dialogue has begun again.

The scientists are arguing on the matter, which is the proper thing for science to do, because in science the science is never settled.” [Clive...

Read more...

 

Gordon the Big Engine Huffs and Puffs with Brussels

Gordon the Big Engine huffs and puffs, and annoys everybody [the base picture of a 8F class locomotive is courtesy of The Stanier 8F Locomotive Society Limited, and it is reproduced here under the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2]

Gordon Brown’s ability to annoy everyone is quite spectacular for a politician, matched only by the shameful hypocrisy of the EU.

Today, EU leaders ended their...

Read more... (Emeritus Professor Philip Stott, The Clamour of the Times)

 

The EPA's Carbon Bomb Fizzles

By KIMBERLEY A. STRASSEL

In the high-stakes game of chicken the Obama White House has been playing with Congress over who will regulate the earth's climate, the president's team just motored into a ditch. So much for threats.

The threat the White House has been leveling at Congress is the Environmental Protection Agency's "endangerment finding," which EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson finally issued this week. The finding lays the groundwork for the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions across the entire economy, on the grounds that global warming is hazardous to human health.

From the start, the Obama team has wielded the EPA action as a club, warning Congress that if it did not come up with cap-and-trade legislation the EPA would act on its own—and in a far more blunt fashion than Congress preferred. As one anonymous administration official menaced again this week: "If [Congress doesn't] pass this legislation," the EPA is going to have to "regulate in a command-and-control way, which will probably generate even more uncertainty."

The thing about threats, though, is that at some point you have to act on them. The EPA has been sitting on its finding for months, much to the agitation of environmental groups that have been upping the pressure for action.

President Obama, having failed to get climate legislation, didn't want to show up to the Copenhagen climate talks with a big, fat nothing. So the EPA pulled the pin. In doing so, it exploded its own threat.

Far from alarm, the feeling sweeping through many quarters of the Democratic Congress is relief. Voters know cap-and-trade is Washington code for painful new energy taxes. With a recession on, the subject has become poisonous in congressional districts. Blue Dogs and swing-state senators watched in alarm as local Democrats in the recent Virginia and New Jersey elections were pounded on the issue, and lost their seats.

But now? Hurrah! It's the administration's problem! No one can say Washington isn't doing something; the EPA has it under control. The agency's move gives Congress a further excuse not to act.

"The Obama administration now owns this political hot potato," says one industry source. "If I'm [Nebraska Senator] Ben Nelson or [North Dakota Senator] Kent Conrad, why would I ever want to take it back?"

All the more so, in Congress's view, because the EPA "command and control" threat may yet prove hollow. Now that the endangerment finding has become reality, the litigation is also about to become real. Green groups pioneered the art of environmental lawsuits. It turns out the business community took careful notes.

Industry groups are gearing up for a legal onslaught; and don't underestimate their prospects. The leaked emails from the Climatic Research Unit in England alone are a gold mine for those who want to challenge the science underlying the theory of manmade global warming.

But the EPA's legal vulnerabilities go beyond that. The agency derives its authority to regulate pollutants from the Clean Air Act. To use that law to regulate greenhouse gases, the EPA has to prove those gases are harmful to human health (thus, the endangerment finding). Put another way, it must provide "science" showing that a slightly warmer earth will cause Americans injury or death. Given that most climate scientists admit that a warmer earth could provide "net benefits" to the West, this is a tall order.

Then there are the rules stemming from the finding. Not wanting to take on the political nightmare of regulating every American lawn mower, the EPA has produced a "tailoring rule" that it says allows it to focus solely on large greenhouse gas emitters. Yet the Clean Air Act—authored by Congress—clearly directs the EPA to also regulate small emitters.

This is where green groups come in. The tailoring rule "invites suits," says Sen. John Barrasso (R., Wyo.), who has emerged as a top Senate watchdog of EPA actions. Talk of business litigation aside, Mr. Barrasso sees "most of the lawsuits coming from the environmental groups" who want to force the EPA to regulate everything. The agency is going to get hit from all directions. Even if these outsiders don't win their suits, they have the ability to twist up the regulations for a while.

Bottom line: At least some congressional Democrats view this as breathing room, a further reason to not tackle a killer issue in the run-up to next year's election. Mr. Obama may emerge from Copehagen with some sort of "deal." But his real problem is getting Congress to act, and his EPA move may have just made that job harder.

Write to kim@wsj.com
Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A19

 

Obama has no power to make climate deal: US lawmaker

US President Barack Obama is heading to the Copenhagen climate talks with empty promises on curbing US greenhouse gas emissions that he cannot fulfill, a top lawmaker said Sunday.

"He doesn't have that power to do that. And people in other countries don't realize that," Republican Senator James Inhofe, a leading critic of global warming legislation, told Fox News Sunday.

Inhofe said he wanted to press the message home in the final week of the Copenhagen conference that Obama will not be able to follow through on a pledge to cut emissions by 17 percent by 2020 off 2005 levels as he will not get the necessary legislation through Congress.

"That's (the) reason I'm going, to make sure people in these other 191 countries know the president can't do that," Inhofe said. (AFP)

 

No Cap and Tax

Kerry-Lieberman-Graham-Boxer-Waxman-Markey

Yesterday, Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) unveiled an outline of their cap-and-trade proposal. Interestingly, their version of a national tax on American energy is hard to distinguish from earlier proposals such as the House-passed Waxman-Markey or the Senate committee-passed Boxer-Kerry.

All of these proposals have one thing in common: they hurt the economy. However, the Senators Kerry, Lieberman and Graham take great care in their 5-page document to detail the benefits of their proposal, and implicitly suggest why it is superior to each. Let’s debunk the major claims.

Continue reading… (The Foundry)

 

Senator Lieberman’s Honest Quote on Cap and Trade

Senators Lieberman, Graham, and Kerry have come forward with a bold, new proposal on global warming… or not.

Here is Senator Lieberman’s description of the “new” proposal:

“You remember the artist formerly known as Prince?” Lieberman said. “This is the market-based system for punishing polluters previously known as ‘cap and trade.’ “

Who will be punished under this re-badged clunker? The Center for Data Analysis estimated that cap-and-trade legislation will cost the economy $7-9 trillion in lost national income and lead to millions of lost jobs (even after credit for any green jobs).

Continue reading… (The Foundry)

 

Two U.S. Senators Unveil Alternative Climate Bill

WASHINGTON Two more U.S. Senators jumped into the climate bill debate on Friday, offering a proposal that would cap planet-warming emissions but reduce the role of Wall Street in carbon markets.

Unlike the climate bill passed by the House of Representatives earlier this year, financial speculators would be shut out of carbon markets created under this legislation, introduced by moderate Senators Maria Cantwell, a Democrat, and Susan Collins, a Republican.

Instead of placing carbon limits on most major polluters, the bill would focus only on producers and importers of fossil fuels such as coal mining companies and not power plants and manufacturers.

The companies covered by their legislation would be required to buy permits for their carbon emissions in monthly auctions.

The majority of the revenue from the auctions would be refunded back to consumers to offset higher energy costs, with the remaining 25 percent going to clean energy development.

This market, known as "cap and dividend", would be more streamlined than the House's cap and trade scheme. (Reuters)

The answer is "No, no carbon constraint, not now, not ever".

 

Countering Kerry's Catastrophic Climate Claims

On November 10, 2009, Kenneth P. Green was invited to testify before the Senate Committee on Finance about global warming. A summary of his testimony appears below. During the course of his testimony, Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) asked Green a number of questions about the science of global warming. His responses are printed here. (Kenneth P. Green, AEI Online)

 

Inhofe: Climategate Will End Cap-and-Trade Battle

Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe tells Newsmax that the climategate scandal is the “clincher” that kills once and for all the cap-and-trade proposal to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Inhofe, the senior Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, also said Democrats are “flat-out lying” and doing a “great disservice” to the rest of world by claiming Congress will take major steps to curb emissions.

And he predicted that Republicans will take over the Senate in the 2010 elections. ( Jim Meyers, Newsmax)

 

Copenfrauden: The Scandals Behind Global Warming

Forget the dire economic consequences of a Copenhagen climate change treaty for a second and think about the fraud involved.

Carbon Trading Fraud

Take the European Union, for instance, which implemented a carbon trading scheme analogous to a cap and trade system. And it has been fraught with fraud. French officials are investigating a $230 million carbon trading fraud scheme and this is only the tip of the iceberg in what is a startling revelation and huge blow to the climate talks in Copenhagen:

Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement arm against organized crime, announced on Wednesday that carbon-trading fraud has cost the bloc’s governments $7.4 billion in lost tax revenue over the last 18 months.

Continue reading… (The Foundry)

 

The joys of paying people not to be productive: Steel firm Corus could get £90m 'pollution payoff' after closing plant and axing 1,700 jobs

Steel firm Corus could qualify for millions of pounds' worth of Government environmental credits for a plant it is closing with the loss of 1,700 jobs.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change yesterday confirmed that Corus's foreign owner, Indian steel giant Tata, was 'likely' to get its £90million allocation of carbon credits, including an allocation for the 150-year-old steel works in Redcar, Teeside, the mothballing of which was announced last week.

The decision prompted fears last night that Tata could profit from the closure by selling on the permits or using them at its other plants.

The credits allow firms to emit a certain level of pollution each year. Though issued for free, they can be sold to other firms. Over time the aim is to cut carbon emissions by issuing fewer credits. (Daily Mail)

 

What links the Copenhagen conference with the steelworks closing in Redcar? The carbon credits boom is already costing British jobs, says Christopher Booker.

What is the connection between Dr Rajendra Pachauri, the Indian railway engineer who has been much in evidence at the Copenhagen climate conference, as chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and an Indian-owned steel company's decision to mothball its giant Teesside steel works next month, ripping the heart out of the town of Redcar by putting 1,700 people out of work?

Nothing of this complex story is likely to be heard in the dreary concrete shed outside Copenhagen where, as temperatures drop towards freezing, 17,000 prime ministers, officials and climate activists are earnestly discussing how the planet is warming up towards extinction. But it certainly sheds a little light on a colossal worldwide racket these delegates are helping to promote, because the end of the story is that we shall all be paying to export thousands of British jobs to new steel plants in India, for no gain in the reduction of worldwide CO2 emissions. (Christopher Booker, TDT)

 

Climategate: ‘Hello,’ the UN Secretary General Lied (Thomas Friedman, Too)

Faster? Please. Yet another proclamation that global warming is "accelerating, much faster than we anticipated," as activists have been telling us since the late '90s.

Using his best Chuck Schumer imitation, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon jumped in front of some cameras at Copenhagen and assured us that his cause was noble.

His demeanor was serious. Contemplative.

He searched his vocabulary for the precise phrase to convey his deepest conviction … and you could see his eyes sparkle when he hit upon the shim-sham-inducing word, accelerating, to describe what was happening to global warming.

Good Lord! I thought to myself. This is bad! If global warming is accelerating, if it is worse than we have predicted — happening three times faster than any scientist ever feared in his worst nightmare — then, by golly, we sure ought to do something!

But as I was jumping up to write a check to the Sierra Club, I remembered. Hadn’t I heard Ban Ki-moon’s phrase somewhere else before?

I had. And often. (William M. Briggs, PJM)

 

Seth Boringtheme: The push for 350: Contradictions and carbon levels

COPENHAGEN -- As police cracked down on climate protesters, church bells tolled 350 times Sunday to impress on the U.N. global warming conference a number that is gaining a following, but is also awash in contradictions.

Conference negotiators went behind closed doors in talks to pin down an elusive new pact on climate, talks in which the figure 350 looms as a goal for true believers, but one that appears impossible based on progress so far.

It refers to 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the highest concentration that some leading scientists say the world can handle without sparking dangerous climate effects.

"It's the most important number in the world," said Bill McKibben, founder of the environmental activist group 350.org. "It's the line between habitability on this planet and a really, really desolate future."

Not everyone buys into that. But an entire environmental group has sprung up around the number, pushing 350 as a goal, sporting it on T-shirts and flags waved by throngs of protesters that marched to the conference center over the weekend. About 100 nations at the U.N. climate summit have signed on to the idea of heading for 350. (AP)

 

Climategate: AP asks believers to give the all clear

Why doesn’t AP just cut out the middleman and publish the Climategate scientists’ press releases? (Andrew Bolt)

 

To scare or not to scare, that is the question

The recently released Copenhagen Diagnosis assessment has been accomplished by 26 scientist, down from 4000 or so that contributed to the Fourth IPCC Report. These 26 have been described to be 'leading scientists', raising the question ‘what are they leading us to’?. (Klimazwiebel)

 

2010 is looking hot: Get ready for a barbecue year, say weathermen

After the fiasco of this year's 'barbecue summer' prediction, you might have thought the Met Office would have hesitated before making such grand statements again.

But yesterday it declared that 2010 will be a 'barbecue year'.

Forecasters say it is likely to be the hottest year globally since records began nearly 160 years ago. (David Derbyshire, Daily Mail)

 

Met Office Criticised for Political Lobbying

LONDON, 11 December 2009 - The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) today criticised the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the UK Met Office for their political intervention in the international negotiations currently taking place in Copenhagen.

The Met Office claims that preliminary temperature data for 2009 show that global temperatures continue to rise and that the argument that global warming has stopped is flawed.

According to the Met Office, the final temperature data for 2009 will not be made available until early next year. A spokesperson, however, stated that the preliminary estimates were released by the Met Office in order to influence the negotiations at the Copenhagen Summit.

"We are very concerned that both agencies have overstepped their scientific remits, which are supposed to provide governments with balanced advice and empirical data, and not to lobby politically," Dr Benny Peiser, the Director of the GWPF said.

The GWPF is also concerned that global temperature data is being misrepresented to give the impression of continuous global warming. In reality, there has been no statistically significant warming trend for the last decade. The GWPF says this is a vital fact that must not be ignored. (GWPF)

 

Media finally taking Deep Throat's advice? Is Blair trying to cash in on climate change?: Ex-PM arrives at summit to urge greenhouse gas deal

Tony Blair turned up in Copenhagen yesterday to preach to world leaders about the dangers of climate change. 

In a speech - which the former Prime Minister insists he did for free - he said it would be 'grossly irresponsible' not to sign a deal curbing global emissions of greenhouse gases. 

But his appearance will raise suspicions that he is planning to cash in on global warming. 

It comes just weeks after he registered the internet name 'Low Carbon Capital Fund' - thought to be a way of making money out of the demand for green technology. ( David Derbyshire, Daily Mail)

 

Cool heads better than hot air in Copenhagen - There's no point wrecking the global economy further until we know much more about climate change, says Ruth Dudley Edwards

WITH its thousands and thousands of delegates, officials, journalists and protesters, the hundreds and hundreds of planes (commercial and private), and the trains and cars and limos required to transport people, food, drink and equipment, the Copenhagen climate summit is on course to create more C02 than would a medium-sized African country. It looks set to deliver little other than pious rhetoric and ambiguous promises, and I'm glad, as I deplore bad decisions and ruinous expenditure based on dodgy science and scaremongering. 

To those of you howling 'denier', may I point out that what I am is a sceptic. As I was a sceptic about papal infallibility, imminent epidemics of mad cow or flesh-eating diseases, avian flu and the millennium bug. Or boom and bust being a passe concept. 

There are many like me. To the horror of most scientists, politicians, the educational establishment, the media, the liberal elite, green zealots and brainwashed children, a substantial chunk of the population of Ireland, the UK and the US have so far resisted being bullied into becoming blind adherents of this new religion. 

Sceptics mostly believe in treating the planet decently, respecting nature, conserving flora and fauna, keeping the population at sustainable levels and developing clean and cheap sources of energy, but we need convincing: a) that the planet is warming up dangerously; b) that if it is, that is mainly the fault of man; and, c) that even if man is guilty, that the currently fashionable ill-thought out and hysterically presented solutions will make matters better. (Irish Independent)

 

Looks like Thomas may finally be getting a handle on the climate "debate": Did Climategate kill Copenhagen?

COP15, the global warming summit currently underway and underwater in Copenhagen, was meant to be some combination of a coronation, papal blessing and environmental Woodstock. It isn't turning out that way. Could the scandal involving leaked emails from a UK university be the reason why?

The emails have certainly changed the nature of the discussions around the world. Although we are still seeing pictures of polar bears and ice caps, the dialogue surrounding the pictures is about containing the damage, limiting the repercussions, and (forgive me) hiding the decline in support of actions to fight global warming.

For Al Gore, who canceled his trip to Copenhagen, this must bring a nightmarish sense of deja vu. He was expecting a coronation in his run for the presidency, after being vice president for 8 years of peace and prosperity. A Texas governor who had confessed to a drinking problem must have seemed like a patsy. But then in an instant, it seemed like the media had turned on him, twisting his words to make it seem like he claimed to have invented the Internet, critcising his debate performances, and on and on until he lost. I think he's seeing it again for the battle against global warming.

Support for environmental issues traditionally is wide but not deep. We're all green until governments want some of our green, and then we start thinking differently, and we seize on almost any excuse to do so. In the past few months, the world has started to be informed about the costs of mitigating climate change, and you don't need to say $1 trillion a year too many times for it to be remembered. (Tom Fuller, Examiner)

 

Doesn't matter how often they say it: Europeans Pay Companies to Pollute More

BRUSSELS, Dec 12 - Some of the world's most polluting companies are receiving financial support from the European taxpayer to promote the continued use of the fuels that cause global warming, according to a new report.

In 2005, the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, set up a group known as the Zero Emissions Platform (ZEP) to advise it on the possibility of capturing carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants and burying it underground. Dominated by large energy firms, ZEP has secured 1.5 billion euros (2.2 billion dollars) in public subsidies and is busily lobbying for support from policy makers at the international climate change talks now under way in Copenhagen.

Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), an organisation which monitors the influence of big business on the EU's institutions, deems it inappropriate that such vast sums are being allocated to carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects when the technology they employ has not yet proven to be environmentally benign.

In a report titled 'Public funds used to lobby for fossil fuels in Copenhagen', CEO notes that the proponents of carbon storage admit that it will not be ready for use before 2020. As a result, it will not help realise the EU's objective of reducing by 20 percent its greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the next decade.

Yet while the technology it is extolling is still in its infancy, ZEP is holding an event in the Danish capital this weekend to urge that carbon storage should be eligible for funding under the United Nations' clean development mechanism. This mechanism allows industrialised countries to invest in low- polluting projects in poorer nations as an alternative to cutting their own emissions of greenhouse gases. (IPS)

Carbon dioxide is not an atmospheric pollutant but remains an essential trace gas.

 

The comic capers of chuckle king Kevin Rudd before climate change talks in Copenhagen

CLIMATE talks in Copenhagen still have several days to run, but I'm calling it early. Australia wins. No other nation can possibly match the level of comedy that we've brought to this international save-the-planet chucklefest. ( Tim Blair, The Daily Telegraph)

 

What’s Rotten for Obama in Denmark

WASHINGTON — President Obama jets off to Copenhagen later this week to try to place an American stamp on a global climate change agreement. He will be trailed by a cloud of diplomats and bureaucrats all proclaiming the progress his administration has made on global warming in its 11 months in office. 

What he will not be carrying is the assent of Congress to whatever he commits the United States to do. That’s a problem for a leader who represents the world’s second biggest greenhouse gas polluter, behind China. (John Broder, NYT)

Except greenhouse gases are not atmospheric pollutants... we are basically talking water vapor and plant food here, absolute must-haves for the biosphere.

 

Copenhagen stalls decision on catastrophic climate change for six years

The key decision on preventing catastrophic climate change will be delayed for up to six years if the Copenhagen summit delivers a compromise deal which ignores advice from the UN’s science body.

World leaders will not agree on the emissions cuts recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and are likely instead to commit to reviewing them in 2015 or 2016.

The delay will anger developing countries who, scientists say, will face the worst effects of climate change despite having contributed relatively little of the man-made greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

A draft text published by the UN says that there should be a review in 2016, which could result in an “update of the long-term global goal for emissions reductions as well as of the adequacy of commitments and actions”.

The Times has learnt that negotiators from developed countries are planning to use the idea of a review to justify failing to agree the 25-40 per cent cut in the 1990 level of emissions by 2020, recommended by the IPCC.

Even the most ambitious provisional offers made by all the countries amount to a reduction of only 18 per cent. (The Times)

Bu there is no safe level... of carbon constraint.

 

Go ahead, drop it anyway: Japan to drop CO2 pledge if no broader climate deal

TOKYO - Japan threatened on Friday to drop a pledge to cut greenhouse emissions by 25 percent by 2020 if the Kyoto Protocol is extended without setting emission reduction goals for the United States and China. (Reuters)

 

China emissions could double by 2020: experts

BEIJING – Despite China's pledges to improve energy efficiency, its carbon emissions could double by 2020 as compared with 2005 levels, surpassing limits seen as key to fighting global warming, experts say.

As officials in Copenhagen discuss how nations can share the global burden of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, experts are crunching the numbers to determine the future level of emissions by China, the world's top polluter.

Even if China keeps its promise to reduce carbon emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 40 to 45 percent by 2020, and if its economy grows by just eight percent, its gas output could still double, they say.

"With eight percent growth, emissions will increase by 74 percent," said Emmanuel Guerin, a climate analyst at France's Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI). (AFP)

Fortunately that is good for them and the planet, so get amongst it, guys.

 

Copenhagen: US, China clash in climate ping-pong

COPENHAGEN — They sang each other's praises in the run up to the Copenhagen climate summit, but China and the United States traded sharp barbs in a superpower standoff that has helped set the UN talks on edge.

On key issues ranging from how to share out the burden of slashing greenhouse gases, whether such efforts should be independently verified, or if the United States owes developing countries -- including China -- a "climate debt," the world's two largest carbon polluters were at loggerheads.

"The atmosphere seems extremely negative. Every one is taking tough positions, talking to their domestic audiences," said Isabel Hilton, editor of online environmental newsletter China Dialogue.

"Its a big change of tone. Before coming, China made positive noises, even suggesting they were ready to announce a date at which their carbon emissions would peak," she told AFP.

"But here they have been hanging very tough." (AFP)

 

Rising Tide of Dueling Climate Proposals Swamping U.N. Summit

COPENHAGEN -- Crunch time draws near at the global warming summit.

Hundreds of ministers descend on the Danish capital this weekend, the midway point of the two-week negotiations. Just a few days later, more than 110 world leaders, including President Obama will join them.

Amid the photo-ops and handshakes -- not to mention a dinner with the Danish queen -- the leaders will expect progress in the world's quest for a new global warming agreement. Negotiators scrambled today to deliver.

The cavernous Bella Center, home of the U.N. climate talks, is awash in paper. The chairmen of two key U.N. panels released drafts that could form the basis of a new agreement, condensing 180 pages of dueling proposals into eight. Almost immediately, small island nations countered with their own outline. The Danes are expected to put forward their text tomorrow. China, India, Brazil and South Africa are busy drawing up a new list of must-haves that they call "nonnegotiable."

Some of the old hands at U.N. climate talks say this kind of document flurry is not normally seen until the final hours. (ClimateWire)

 

What does "1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels" mean?

The dignified representatives of the world's countries who gathered in Copenhagen enjoy many childish games. But one of the favorite ones was a pissing contest: who can restrict the rise of the global mean temperatures more toughly?



Does Earth on August, 17th, 1773 plus 1.5 °C equal Eta Carinae? Al Gore probably "thinks" it does. Click to zoom in a little bit.

Some primitive tribes from some small Pacific islands - such as Tuvalu and Kiribati - want to improve the previous 2 °C limit proposed by officials from richer countries. They demand that the globe's temperature will never jump more than 1.5 °C above the pre-industrial level: Google News.

» Don't Stop Reading » (The Reference Frame)

 

The Crone's editorial writers actually seem surprised: This Week in Copenhagen

We didn’t expect much from the first week of the global warming conference in Copenhagen. Countries need to do a little posturing before getting down to the hard work, which is supposed to start on Monday. But the belligerent talk from China seemed to go well beyond the usual positioning. 

The best hope is that the talks will produce an interim understanding under which industrialized countries would commit to fairly precise targets for reduced emissions, and others, like China, to broader but measurable goals. The industrial countries would be expected to help poorer countries shift to less-polluting forms of energy. 

That would set the stage for a legally binding deal in 2010. But there is no chance of even an interim agreement without the enthusiastic participation of China, the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. China’s absence would give other developing countries — and the United States Senate — an excuse to do less than needed. (NYT)

 

Crunch Time in Copenhagen: Will Week Two Make a Difference?

The first week of the annual U.N. climate change summit is usually a relatively sedate affair. Sub-ministerial level diplomats (or "sherpas," so called because they do most of the work) quietly exchange drafts of negotiating texts and trial balloons, while a small number of environmental journalists and activists follow the proceedings. It's not until the second week of talks, when ministers, heads of state and protesters show up, that the summit really takes off.

Not so in Copenhagen this year. The 15th Conference of the Parties has been an undeniably major event from the start, from the lavish opening ceremony on Dec. 8, which included a video of children literally begging the assembled delegates to save the world, to the largest organized demonstration of the summit on Saturday, attended by an estimated 40,000 to 100,000 environmentalists, climate activists and other protesters. While largely peaceful, the march was accompanied by smaller, more violent protests that led to several hundred arrests. (Bryan Walsh, Time)

 

Certain to be contentious: Russia says no plans to sell Kyoto carbon rights

MOSCOW - Russia does not plan to sell its unused Kyoto Protocol emissions rights and instead wants to carry them into a new climate change agreement, a senior Kremlin official said on Friday.

Analysts said Moscow could swamp the market with its own unused quotas, called Assigned Amount Units (AAUs) and theoretically worth billions of dollars, if it decided to attempt to sell them before Kyoto expires in 2012.

"Russia is going to carry the saved quotas in the Kyoto Protocol over to a new agreement," the Russian presidential advisor on climate, Alexander Bedritsky, told a Moscow press briefing.

"As far as I know, there are no plans to sell emission quotas," he said.

Under Kyoto, countries comfortably under their emissions targets can sell the difference in the form of AAUs to other nations.

Russia has an inventory of billions of AAUs due to the collapse of its industry in the 1990's. (Reuters)

 

Farmers Must Earn Carbon Market Rewards: Report

COPENHAGEN - Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack said on Saturday farmers worldwide must be rewarded for fighting global warming, for example using carbon markets which would add to public climate cash.

Vilsack was speaking on the fringes of U.N. climate talks which have traditionally focused only on cutting carbon from power plants and factories rather than from farms or forests. (Reuters)

 

U.S. Climate Negotiator 'Lacks Common Sense,' Chinese Diplomat Says

COPENHAGEN -- Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei lashed out today at U.S. climate negotiator Todd Stern, calling "extremely irresponsible" his recent pronouncement that no American climate change funding would go to China.

Speaking to reporters at a U.N. climate change conference where nearly 200 countries are trying to negotiate an international emissions agreement, He said he was "shocked" by Stern's comments.

Industrialized countries are expected to deliver billions of dollars through midcentury to help poorer nations avert climate disasters and develop low fossil-fuel economies. The United States and other nations have proposed $10 billion through 2012 but have not made it clear how much they would make available beyond that. Yet even that short-term funding should not go to China -- at least not the U.S. share, Stern said earlier this week.

"I don't envision public funds, certainly not from the United States, going to China," Stern said (Greenwire, Dec. 9). (Greenwire)

 

Summit Is Seen as U.S. Versus China

COPENHAGEN -- The political script for a big climate-change conference in this Danish city has U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders flying in later this week to christen a new era of global environmental cooperation. In reality, the summit is shaping up as a pivotal economic showdown between the U.S. and China.

The International Energy Agency projects that nearly all the growth in global greenhouse-gas emissions over the next two decades will come from developing countries -- and that fully half of that total will come from China alone. A central point of contention here is whether China, amid all its newfound economic might, still deserves billions of dollars in annual aid from the U.S. and Europe to help it shift to a cleaner pattern of growth. (Jeffrey Ball, WSJ)

 

Geopolitics - China's strategic game: China To Back African Compensation Demand At Climate Summit

Ethiopian PM Meles warns Africa will be watching to see whether funds being pledged by European countries are real, or recycled (VOA News)

 

Copenhagen climate change summit in deadlock over rival texts

The Copenhagen climate change summit is likely to end with two rival texts because the main countries cannot agree on the key question of how to share the burden of cutting emissions to a safe level. 

The extent of the disagreement was exposed by the publication yesterday of two draft agreements, neither of which contained clear numbers or language on any of the most contentious issues, despite two years of negotiations before the summit. 

The US refusal to ratify the Kyoto Protocol has forced negotiators to work on two separate texts and there is now little chance of the twin-track process producing a single document. The negotiators from 193 countries are hoping that the early arrival at the summit of several leaders next Wednesday, including Gordon Brown, will help to break the deadlock. (The Times)

 

EU pledges to repay "climate debt"

The Financial Times and others report that the EU has promised to pay EUR 2.4 billion per year to the third world. This amount should be repeated thrice, between 2010 and 2012, to give them a total of EUR 7.2 or 7.3 billion.

That is pretty much equal to the amount promised by Obama, USD 10 billion, on behalf of the U.S.



Many people in Africa are using cars efficiently. ;-)

For some of the poor countries, this modest amount could be a welcome contribution to their funds. Except that they will have to waste these funds instantly - for a "fight against climate change". Consequently, the help may actually end up being a negative one because the money is going to be used to suppress their industry.

» Don't Stop Reading »

 

Copenhagen climate summit: Gordon Brown pledges £1.5bn to European fund

Gordon Brown has said Britain will pay £1.5 billion to a European Union climate change project despite the British recession and his Government’s huge deficit. (TDT)

 

But the greenies promised... EU climate cash pledge 'not enough' say small nations

Developing countries and aid agencies have derided the latest pledges by richer states to tackle global warming.

EU leaders ended a Brussels summit with a three-year deal to pay 7.2bn euros (£6.5bn; $10.6bn) to help poorer nations cope with climate change. 

The EU contribution is part of a global "fast start" package being debated at the UN Copenhagen summit. 

But leaders of poorer nations and some aid agencies described the sum offered by the EU as inadequate. 

The 7.2bn euros is Europe's contribution to a proposed package of $10bn (7bn euros) a year designed to help Africa, island nations and other vulnerable states cope with climate change from next January until 2012. (BBC News)

 

All about the handouts: G77 walks out of COP15 meeting

Tension between developing and developed countries builds as climate summit enters its fifth day

The chief negotiator for 134 developing nations left the UN Climate Change Conference (COP15) yesterday in anger.

Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping from Sudan, the G77 group’s top negotiator, is also accusing Denmark of driving the climate summit into the ground.

‘Things are not going well,’ he said after walking out from an hour-long negotiation. ‘It’s very problematic that there’s a different agenda running alongside the official UN process,’ Di-Aping told Politiken newspaper.

When asked to elaborate on those comments, he said:

’Your prime minister has chosen to protect the rich countries, and that’s not ok,’ referring to Denmark’s Lars Løkke Rasmussen.

‘If the Copenhagen summit ends in failure, the whole Scandinavian multilateral tradition will be jeopardised. What your prime minister is doing is completely against the spirit of the foreign aid Denmark and the Danish people have given to Africa for so many years,’ said Di-Aping.

The G77 group represents 134 mainly developing countries, including China, Indonesia and Argentina.

COP15 President Connie Hedegaard, Denmark’s former climate minister, has refused to comment on the case. (Copenhagen Post)

In fact it should be about development.

 

As they should: Saudi Arabia Tries To Stall Global Emissions Limits

Saudi Arabia is a major dissident at the global climate conference in Copenhagen, where representatives of more than 190 countries are trying to agree on a new international initiative to combat climate change.

Many environmental groups say the oil-producing giant has long played an obstructionist role in climate change negotiations. Saudi officials fear that reducing emissions will reduce oil exports and be catastrophic for their economy.

For years, Saudi Arabia and other oil-producing countries claimed that scientific evidence that people cause climate change was inconclusive. Then, a few years ago, the Saudis shifted their focus to stall tactics and demanding payments of $100 billion to $200 billion to offset future losses in oil revenue.

After a file of e-mail messages by environmental researchers emerged in late November that appeared to question whether humans influence climate change, Saudi negotiators are back to their original tactic: Deny the science. (NPR)

It is a good tactic, especially as the science is badly flawed.

 

Australia ‘Pushing Hard’ for Climate Deal, Swan Says

Dec. 13 -- Australia, the world’s biggest coal exporter, will be “pushing hard” for an agreement on climate change at Copenhagen this week, Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan said in a statement. 

Australia will be hardest and fastest hit by climate change because it is one of the hottest and driest continents, Swan said. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is this week due to attend the conference, which will conclude on Friday. (Bloomberg)

Bless K.Rudd, doing everything in his power to restore Conservative politics in Australia -- definitely the best kind of socialist (one even other socialists are coming to despise).

 

BEAT THAT, WORLD

We’re up by 82 per cent:

Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions have soared by more than four-fifths since 1990 – far exceeding the 8 per cent permitted by the Kyoto Protocol.

This is a measure of progress. We’re winning. And if any local warmers want to cry about it, they should ask themselves a few questions first, including: Have I had any children since 1990? Have I flown anywhere? Do I own nice televisions and computers that I didn’t own in 1990? How much better is the car I drive? And so on, until the link between emissions and quality of life becomes evident.

UPDATE. Our politicians are also contributing. Fairfax political correspondent Stephanie Peatling reports:

Taxpayers spent $4.3 million last year on cars and petrol for federal MPs and their families …

Overall the total cost of cars and petrol has jumped by 25 per cent - or $1 million - in just two years.

Another eco-success from Canberra! But even worse, according to Peatling, is that our politicians are driving poisonous cars:

Thirty-five of the 42 federal ministers and parliamentary secretaries chose large six-cylinder petrol-powered cars that emit significantly more carbon monoxide into the atmosphere than smaller vehicles or cars powered by alternative fuels.

Isn’t carbon dioxide meant to be the current gas of fear? Peatling, formerly her paper’s environmental correspondent, should know. (Tim Blair)

 

Major Emitters Must Join Climate Pact: Australia

COPENHAGEN - A U.N. climate pact must expand the circle of countries in the fight against warming, Australia said on Saturday, but officials at talks in Denmark have a long way to go to seal the outlines of a global deal.

Australia fears rising temperatures will trigger more intense bushfires and greater extremes of droughts and floods, threatening crops and livelihoods. It says all major greenhouse gas emitters should sign up to legally binding steps to reduce emissions. (Reuters)

Actually "Australia" has no such fears, only Wong and the gorebull warming cranks harbor those.

 

Australian emissions proposal divides Copenhagen

Australia has led the charge on proposed land-use rule changes to the new global climate deal.

The changes would open the door to the bonanza of green carbon that could be stored away in the world's rural lands.

UN figures show Australia's greenhouse gas emissions have risen by 82 per cent since 1990, largely as a result of bushfires and drought.

An Australian climate change negotiator has reportedly said the country could cut its emissions by 25 per cent by 2020 if it could count land use changes.

But the move is deeply dividing the Copenhagen conference, as Australia - and other big players - have been accused of trying to pull off an accounting rort. (Australian Broadcasting Corp.)

 

Copenhagen talks won't save the planet, Australia warns

AUSTRALIA has formally warned the Copenhagen climate summit that negotiations to save the planet are not on track.

There are six days left before world leaders are supposed to seal a deal to tackle climate change.

At the summit's halfway mark, Australia's climate change ambassador Louise Hand has announced that things are not going well.

"Australia is seriously concerned by existing gulfs on those issues essential for a deal," Ms Hand told the summit overnight.

"We are currently not on a path to deliver the environmental outcome we need."

Australia is worried about an official UN draft treaty, which would force rich countries to cut emissions quickly while being more lenient on developing countries like China.

Climate Change Minister Penny Wong, who is in Copenhagen, reiterated that the draft "isn't good enough". ( AAP)

So don't let dopey Kev sign it.

 

Give us honesty

December 7, 1941. “A day which will live in infamy”, according to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. How ironic then, that the Copenhagen Convention opened on December 7, 2009, exactly 68 years after that fateful day which led to direct US involvement in World War 2. Let us hope that what results from Copenhagen is nowhere near as catastrophic.

Many reading this article have no doubt heard of the infamous draft treaty that some hoped would be ratified at Copenhagen. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apparently was heavily involved in the drafting of the treaty, yet when asked about it in Parliament he dissembled and in general refused to answer questions relating to it. Rudd was quite happy to sell off portions of Australia’s sovereignty in the hopes of ingratiating himself with the international community, and more particularly the United Nations (tragically, thousands of Australians have sacrificed their lives defending that same sovereignty that Rudd is so comfortable just surrendering). It is well known in Canberra circles that Rudd’s long term goal is Secretary General of the UN; prime minister of Australia is a mere stepping stone. (Dennis Jensen, Quadrant)

 

Copenhagen failure 'won't harm business'

Australian company leaders overwhelmingly think a failure of world leaders to reach agreement at the Copenhagen climate summit will not harm business, a new survey shows.

Brushing aside fears that a failure in Copenhagen could ultimately hit companies' bottom lines, the survey shows 60 per cent of 354 business leaders said it would have no impact.

A further 14 per cent of respondents believed it would have a positive impact, with only 25 per cent concerned it would have a negative impact. (AAP)

No, only Copenhagen "success" will be harmful, something which really must be avoided.

 

U.N. Sets High Bar On Emissions Cuts

COPENHAGEN -- The United Nations proposed that rich countries pay to help poor ones curb pollution, while cutting their own emissions by at least 75% and possibly more than 95% by 2050 -- a suggestion that heightened tensions between the U.S. and China over climate change.
Journal Community

It isn't clear that the Copenhagen summit will yield a binding agreement on nations' efforts to combat climate changes. The U.N. document is the first official attempt to outline a substantive agreement from the summit. (WSJ)

 

Australia may foot huge climate change bill for China

AUSTRALIA faces having to make a hefty payout to help developing countries such as China and India cope with climate change in order to clinch a deal in Copenhagen.

Despite Australia facing a domestic Budget deficit of about $50 billion for the coming year, Climate Change Minister Penny Wong told The Sunday Mail from Copenhagen that Australia would have to contribute to so-called climate "abatement" funds if India and China were to come into the climate-change tent.

"There are a range of figures flying around," Senator Wong said. "(British Prime Minister) Gordon Brown has proposed a $100 billion mix of public and private money. We have not indicated a figure but we have indicated we're prepared to do our fair share." (Glen Milne, Sunday Mail)

Onya, Kev! Definitely the way to make sure Australia never votes in climate legislation :-)

 

Luxury digs at climate talkfest

AUSTRALIAN government officials are living it up in a 127-year-old luxury hotel amid criticism that the Copenhagen climate change conference has become an overpriced talkfest that will do nothing to halt global warming.

A large contingent of Australia's 100-plus delegation, including Climate Change Minister Penny Wong and her offsiders, has set up camp at the $850-a-night Kong Arthur Hotel in the heart of Copenhagen.

A bowl of soup in one of the hotel's restaurants costs $51.

A Sunday Mail investigation has also found more than 100 Australian businesspeople and political lobbyists were treated to a lavish drinking session at the Australian ambassador's residence in Copenhagen on Thursday night.

The revelation comes as climate change campaigners at the conference question the green credentials of those involved. (Sunday Mail)

Interesting that some of the complaints were leveled by a representative of the [wait for it...] Koala Foundation (presumably she swam to Copenhagen). The Australian Koala Foundation would have to be one of the bigger collection of tinkerbells in the down-under enviro coterie, doing absolutely no research or anything of value to anyone, especially koalas.

 

And the anarchists come out to play: Copenhagen police detain 900 in climate change rally

Police in the Danish capital Copenhagen say 900 protesters have been detained following a huge climate change rally.

The move came after youths threw bricks and smashed windows as more than 30,000 demonstrators marched to demand action at the UN climate change summit.

Similar marches have been held in cities around the world, calling for decisive action on global warming. (BBC News)

 

Apparently unlimited supply of useful idiots: Copenhagen Protesters Detained

COPENHAGEN -- Danish police outnumbered protesters on Sunday, detaining more than 200 people on a second day of demonstrations as environment ministers met for informal talks to advance negotiations on a new pact.

Meanwhile, church bells in Denmark and other countries rang 350 times, a number that refers to what many scientists consider a safe level of carbon dioxide in the air.

Police stopped an unauthorized demonstration headed toward the city's harbor and carried out a security check of some of the participants, Copenhagen police spokesman Flemming Steen Munch said.

The hundreds of demonstrators were outnumbered by police officers in riot gear who surrounded them. Steen Munch said police found bolt-cutters and gas masks when they searched a truck that led the demonstration. At least 200 activists were detained, he said.

A day earlier, police had detained nearly 1,000 activists at the tail end of a 40,000-strong march toward the suburban conference center where the 192-nation U.N. climate conference is being held. (Associated Press)

40,000 of these gullible nitwits the day before? Sheesh!

 

Check out the off-the-planet stunts: Copenhagen climate change conference: protests and art installations

 

What would a Greenpeace supporter know?

Christopher Monckton holds a Socratic dialogue on climate data with a Greenpeace supporter. It’s the wanting to believe that is the key in this debate, and also the reason why facts barely count. The disgraceful role of the media in creating this scare is very clear:

This line from the Greenpeace fan, in dismssing Monckton’s data on a lack of recent warming, is a classic:

I’m talking about a planet where it does happen.

A fascinating and illuminating discussion.

UPDATE

Against Monckton’s courtesy and data, warmists at Copenhagen from the Australian Youth Climate Coalition offer abuse, heckling, smears and the old sticker-on-the-back trick:

Judge for yourself where reason lies. And where the new fascism resides.

Oh, and sponsoring these young barbarians are these guilty:

The Purves Environmental Fund, The Climate Institute, the Myer Foundation, Foundation for Young Australians, Insurance Australia Group, Greenpeace, GetUp, VISY, ClimateWorks and Monash University. We also thank our many pro bono partners including Baker & McKenzie lawyers, NAB and KPMG.

You may wish to inform some of these business where you are taking your business in future. (Andrew Bolt)

 

After climate talks, scientists worry about enforcement

COPENHAGEN — Ray Weiss looks at the chanting protesters, harried delegates and the 20,000 other people gathered here for a global warming summit and wonders: What's the fuss all about?

Weiss, a geochemist who studies atmospheric pollution at San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography, says the numbers at the core of the debate in Copenhagen are flawed.

Specifically, he says the cuts that countries including the USA are proposing in greenhouse gas emissions are difficult to measure and highly susceptible to manipulation by government officials and companies.

"I don't see the point in doing all this if the numbers are so far off," Weiss said, shaking his head as he watched conference attendees hurry by Thursday. "When you hear politicians tell you that they can measure these things, just because they passed a deal in Copenhagen, I think you should take that with a few grains of salt." ( Brian Winter, USA TODAY)

As in, so what? The whole thing is built on a nonsense to begin with.

 

The real Copenhagen conference

Reality check from Copenhagen

Two Copenhagen climate conferences took place last week. The UN Copenhagen conference was attended by politicians, 16,500 bureaucrats, thousands of journalists, activists and NGOs. Hundreds of limos, over 100 private jets and huge amounts of energy were expended by more than 30,000 attendees. Many of the attendees were ascientific agitators with a political agenda. 

Australia’s prime minister had a Copenhagen photo opportunity whistle stop in his dedicated jet and expended more fuel on this trip than the Arkaroola Wilderness Resort does in a year. Your taxes payed for 114 Australian bureaucrats to attend this junket yet some 71 UK delegates attended. 

The UK Taxpayers’ Alliance calculated the conference cost as much as the GDP of Malawi. If such funds were used to provide electricity and drinking water to Malawian families, then land clearing, wood and dung burning and disease would decrease. Now, that would have been true environmentalism! 

The carbon footprint of these moralising folk, most of whom are self-appointed, is astronomical. Never fear, their great sacrifices are saving the planet. Saving us from wanton energy expenditure, hypocrisy, blackmail and irrationality at Copenhagen would be a good start. (Ian Plimer, Quadrant)

 

Well, kind of... Naked Copenhagen - Temperature is increasingly at the mercy of the developing world.

Imagine a "dream" agreement emerging from Copenhagen next week: The U.S. agrees to cut greenhouse emissions 80% by 2050, as President Barack Obama has been promising. The other developed countries promise to cut emissions by 60%. China promises to reduce its CO2 intensity by 70% in 2040. Emerging economies promise that in 2040, when their wealth per capita has grown to half that of the U.S., they will cut emissions by 80% over the following 40 years. And all parties make good on their pledges.

Environmental success, right? Wrong. Even if the goals are all met, emissions will continue rising to nearly four times the current level. Total atmospheric CO2 will rise to near 700 parts per milion by 2080 (the current level is 385), and—if the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) models are right—global temperature will rise about six degrees Fahrenheit at mid latitudes.

The reason is that most future carbon emissions will not come from the currently industrialized world, but from the emerging economies, especially China. And China, which currently emits 30% more CO2 per year than the U.S., has not promised to cut actual emissions. It and other developing nations have promised only to cut their carbon "intensity," a technical term meaning emissions per unit of GDP.

China claims it is already cutting CO2 intensity by 4% a year as part of its five-year plan. President Hu Jintao has hinted that at Copenhagen China will offer to continue such reductions. By 2040, that will add up to a 70% reduction in intensity.

Sounds good, but here's the catch: With 10% annual growth in China's economy, a 4% cut in intensity is actually a 6% annual increase in emissions. India and other developing countries have similar CO2 growth. That 6% yearly increase is what is shown in the nearby chart.

True, China's CO2 per capita is only a quarter of the U.S. emissions rate. But warming doesn't come from emissions per capita, it comes from total emissions. (Richard Muller, WSJ)

This is true only to the extent that CO2-driven warming is true, i.e., not much.

 

Carbon rises 800 years after temperatures

Ice cores reveal that CO2 levels rise and fall hundreds of years after temperatures change

 Vostok Ice Core Graph 150,000 years ago to 100,000 years ago

In 1985, ice cores extracted from Greenland revealed temperatures and CO2 levels going back 150,000 years. Temperature and CO2 seemed locked together. It was a turning point—the “greenhouse effect” captured attention. But in 1999 it became clear carbon rose and fell after temperatures did. By 2003 we had better data showing the lag was 800 ± 200 years. CO2 was in the back seat.

AGW replies: There is roughly an 800-year lag. But even if CO2 doesn’t start the warming trend, it amplifies it.

Skeptics say: If CO2 was a major driver, temperatures would rise indefinitely in a “runaway greenhouse effect.” That hasn’t happened in 500 million years, so either a mystery factor stops the runaway greenhouse effect, or CO2 is a minor force. Either way, CO2 is trivial, or the models are missing the dominant driver.

Amplification is speculation; it’s a theory with no evidence that it matters in the real world.

Conclusion:
1. Ice cores don’t prove what caused past warming or cooling. The simplest explanation is that when temperatures rise, more carbon enters the atmosphere (because as oceans warm they release more CO2).
2. Something else is causing the warming.

Al Gore’s movie was made in 2005. His words about the ice cores were, “it’s complicated.” The lag calls everything about cause and effect into question. There is no way any honest investigation could ignore something so central.


Source: Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center http://cdiac.ornl.gov (See references at the bottom also).
A complete set of expanded full size graphs and print quality images is available from my Vostok Page.

Extra notes, references, and discussion about this page

The media blackout on “the lag” continues

The lag in the ice cores is old news to skeptics, but most people in the public still have no idea. This is page 5 of the HTML version of The Skeptics Handbook (the first booklet). I should have posted it long ago. This graph series and data is so compelling. It’s one of the most basic features of climate science evidence, and yet it is so misused. Even tonight, I did a radio interview for NewstalkZB, New Zealand, and the pro-climate scare spokesman still referred to both the fraudulent Hockey Stick Graph and the Vostok Ice Cores as if they helped his case.

Between 1999 and 2003 a series of peer reviewed papers in the highest journals came out showing that carbon rises hundreds of years after temperature, and not before. What amazes me is that fully 6 years after Caillon et al in 2003 published their definitive paper, people still think the ice cores are evidence supporting the scare campaign.  “The climate is the most important problem we face”, yet somehow not a single government department, popular science magazine or education department thought it was worth doing a close up of the graph and explaining that there was a definitive, uncontested long lag to the general public and that carbon always followed temperature?

The Al Gore style version (of which there are hundreds online, see below) hides the lag by compressing 420,000 years into one picture. If the public had known that temperatures lead carbon, Al Gore would not have been able to get away with using it they way he did.
Graph: Vostok - all 420,000 years of temperature and carbon in one graph.

In 2008 I marvelled that with billions of dollars available to agencies and education campaigns, no one had graphed the lag as a close up. Why did it take an unfunded science communicator to get the data and graph it “as a hobby project”? I wanted to see that long lag, I wanted to be able to point at a graph and explain the lag to all the people who have no idea.

If you want to explore the thousands of years of those famous ice cores, the Vostok page has the full set of graphs, and this page right here is the place to comment and ask questions.

References

Petit et al 1999 — as the world cools into an ice age, the delay is several thousand years.

Fischer et al 1999 — described a lag of 600 ±400 years as the world warms.

Monnin et al 2001 — Dome Concordia – found a delay on warming from the recent ice age 800 ± 600 years

Mudelsee 2001 — over the full 420,000 year Vostok history, Co2 lags by 1,300 ± 1000 years.

Caillon et al 2003 — analysed the Vostok data and found a lag of 800 ± 200 years (Jo Nova)

 

Self-appointed moralists cloud meeting's agenda

TWO Copenhagen climate conferences took place this week.

The UN Copenhagen conference is attended by politicians, 16,500 bureaucrats, thousands of journalists, activists and non-government organisations. Hundreds of limos, more than 100 private jets and huge amounts of energy were expended by more than 30,000 attendees.

The UK Taxpayers Alliance calculated the conference cost as much as the GDP of Malawi. If such funds were used to provide electricity and drinking water to Malawian families, then land clearing, wood and dung burning and disease would decrease.

The carbon footprint of these moralising folk, most of whom are self-appointed, is astronomical. Never fear, their great sacrifices are saving the planet. Saving us from wanton energy expenditure, hypocrisy, blackmail and irrationality at Copenhagen would be a good start. (Ian Plimer, SMH)

 

Climate talks neglecting food crisis, says UN

The Copenhagen climate talks are neglecting a food crisis, which requires measures that can both curb climate change and boost food production, the head of the UN's food agency has said.

"We would like to see greater conscience of the importance [of agriculture]," Jacques Diouf, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), told Reuters this week at the Copenhagen climate talks. 

"Historically the discussion centred on the industrial aspects of climate change, be it in terms of factories or transport, but less on the primary sector of agriculture." (EurActiv)

 

Coca-Cola warns green taxes could cut its profits by 50pc

Coca-Cola and Unilever have warned that their profits could halve over the next decade unless they reduce their emissions, as business leaders in Copenhagen called for a global fixed price on carbon dioxide. (TDT)

Really? The could cut CO2 emissions immediately by not putting the fizz in their soda (wouldn't do a lot for their profits though...).

 

Lawrence Solomon: The gas of life

Western carbon dioxide emissions increase plant yields in the Third World. So why are they asking for reparations?

At Copenhagen, Third World countries are demanding hundreds of billions of dollars in reparations from the West for the consequences of the West’s fossil fuel burning, among them droughts and crop failures.

Third World countries have it backwards. The West’s CO2 emissions have been increasing crop yields while helping to ease the Third World’s water shortages. Rather than plead for reparations, Third World governments should offer a paean to Providence.

The bureaucrats at Copenhagen dread high CO2 levels. The biosphere craves them. Plants evolved when CO2 levels in the atmosphere stood at a healthy 1000 parts per million, two-to-three times today’s paltry level of about 380 parts per million.

Click here to read more... (Financial Post)

 

First episode of Stossel on Global Warming.

Stossel 10/12/09 Part 1

Stossel 10/12/09 Part 2

Stossel 10/12/09 Part 3

Stossel 10/12/09 Part 4

Stossel 10/12/09 Part 5

Stossel 10/12/09 Part 6

Stossel 10/12/09 Part 7

 

Old Hay and Alpine Ibex Horns Reveal How Grasslands Respond to Climate Change

(Dec. 10, 2009) — How do plant ecosystems react to rising concentrations of the greenhouse gas CO2 in the atmosphere over the long term? This fundamental question is becoming increasingly pressing in light of global climate change. Researchers from the Chair of Grassland Science at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) have now -- for the first time worldwide -- taken up this issue for grasslands. The scientists found their answers in two unlikely places: in horns of Alpine ibex from Switzerland and in 150-year-old hay from England.

...

The result: In both locations the intrinsic water-use efficiency of the grassland vegetation rose over the years. This implies that the plants improved their water storage potential as temperatures rose and the level of CO2 in the atmosphere increased. Based on these results the TUM scientists have now, for the first time ever, managed to demonstrate the long-term effects of anthropogenic climate change on the water-use efficiency of grasslands. (ScienceDaily)

 

Disagreement Over What Constitutes a Forest May Be Achilles' Heel of REDD Plan

(Dec. 10, 2009) — Disagreement over what constitutes a forest could undermine an agreement to protect forests, which is expected to be one of the bright spots at the UN climate change meeting in Copenhagen, according to an analysis by the Alternatives to Slash and Burn (ASB) Partnership for Tropical Forest Margins. (ScienceDaily)

 

The Indy is trying hard: Sunspots do not cause climate change, say scientists - Key claim of global warming sceptics debunked

Leading scientists, including a Nobel Prize-winner, have rounded on studies used by climate sceptics to show that global warming is a natural phenomenon connected with sunspots, rather than the result of the man-made emissions of carbon dioxide.

The researchers – all experts in climate or solar science – have told The Independent that the scientific evidence continually cited by sceptics to promote the idea of sunspots being the cause of global warming is deeply flawed.

Studies published in 1991 and 1998 claimed to establish a link between global temperatures and solar activity – sunspots – and continue to be cited by climate sceptics, including those who attended an "alternative" climate conference in Copenhagen last week.

However, problems with the data used to establish the correlation have been identified by other experts and the flaws are now widely accepted by the scientific community, even though the studies continue to be used to support the idea that global warming is "natural". (The Independent)

Skeptics do have some key claims:
  1. We don't know the precise expected temperature of the Earth.
  2. We don't know the precise current surface temperature of the Earth.
  3. We don't have an agreed methodology or definition of what we are trying to measure.
  4. We don't know how the climate works or what drives it sufficiently well to attempt to control it.
  5. We don't know whether clouds are a negative or a positive feedback (nor do modelers) but empirical measures suggest negative.
  6. We don't know why Earth was warmer in the earlier portion of the Holocene (current interglacial) than it is now.
  7. We do know that there are many drivers of Earth's climate and that atmospheric carbon dioxide cannot be responsible for more than one-third of estimated contemporary warming (too many other drivers are known to have taken some part, soot, land use chang