|December 26th, 2012||#281|
Join Date: Feb 2007
Global Warming? Not a snowball's chance in hell
By James Delingpole Environment
Last updated: December 19th, 2012
By "global warming", I mean, of course the kind of runaway, unprecedented, catastrophic warming which George Monbiot et al have been bleating on about for the last two or three decades. And by "not a snowball's chance in hell", I mean, that the likelihood of such a thing occurring is now roughly on a par with Elvis being discovered alive and well and living in Bolivia and ready to rush record a new album just in time for Christmas. (Cue: a stampede to the record stores by Michael Mann, Al Gore, the Prince of Wales, Tim Flannery, and the rest of the climate fool gang).
How can we be so sure? Because this is what the weight of evidence tells us – as Matt Ridley explains in the Wall Street Journal [click on the first link]. He has been talking to Nic Lewis, an expert reviewer of the recently leaked draft of the IPCC's WG1 Scientific Report.
Mr. Lewis tells me that the latest observational estimates of the effect of aerosols (such as sulfurous particles from coal smoke) find that they have much less cooling effect than thought when the last IPCC report was written. The rate at which the ocean is absorbing greenhouse-gas-induced warming is also now known to be fairly modest. In other words, the two excuses used to explain away the slow, mild warming we have actually experienced—culminating in a standstill in which global temperatures are no higher than they were 16 years ago—no longer work.
In short: We can now estimate, based on observations, how sensitive the temperature is to carbon dioxide. We do not need to rely heavily on *unproven models. Comparing the trend in global temperature over the past 100-150 years with the change in “radiative forcing” (heating or cooling power) from carbon dioxide, aerosols and other sources, minus ocean heat uptake, can now give a good estimate of climate sensitivity.
The conclusion—taking the best observational estimates of the change in decadal-average global temperature between 1871-80 and 2002-11, and of the corresponding changes in forcing and ocean heat uptake—is this: A doubling of CO2 will lead to a warming of 1.6°-1.7°C (2.9°-3.1°F).
This is much lower than the IPCC’s current best estimate, 3°C (5.4°F).
Ridley says it's "dynamite." Well, possibly. It's definitely one in the eye for climate catastrophist establishment.
To understand why, let's remind ourselves of what constitutes the disputed territory in the great global warming debate. For many years, scientists on both sides of the argument have agreed that if atmospheric CO2 doubles from pre-industrial levels – as it will before the end of the century – its "forcing" effects will result in between 1.1 degrees C and 1.2 degrees C of global warming.
This gentle rise in temperature, as the IPCC's scientists have acknowledged, will be largely beneficial: rainfall will increase slightly, growing seasons will lengthen, etc.
So why all the fuss? Because the part scientists disagree on is not the "forcing" effects of CO2-induced warming – but the "positive" or "negative" feedbacks which might arise from it. The alarmists, whose views have dominated the debate these last few decades, have long insisted that these feedbacks – mainly created by additional clouds and water vapour – have a "positive", amplifying effect.
It goes like this: A little warming (from whatever cause) heats up the sea, which makes the air more *humid—and water vapor itself is a greenhouse gas. The resulting model-simulated changes in clouds generally increase warming further, so the warming is doubled, trebled or more.
But what all the observational data now tells us is that this alarmist theory (which was only given credence in the first place as a result of some ropey computer models) is bunk.
That's the good news.
The bad news is that it's not going to make the blindest bit of difference. As I show in Watermelons, this was never really a debate about science but is, and always has been, about ideology.
Lots of people are buying this funny, feisty, fact-rich work for their loved ones for Christmas. As the author I strongly recommend that you do the same – but don't take my word for it, take Matt Ridley's.
Do not be deceived by his sometimes flippant and always highly readable prose. This is a serious and significant book.
|December 27th, 2012||#282|
Join Date: Feb 2007
Professor: Global Warming “Deniers” Should be Executed
The funny thing is, Professor Richard Parncutt of the University of Graz isn’t even a climate scientist. He teaches Systematic Musicology. So, if you’re one of those global warming deniers, then you shouldn’t be allowed to have an opinion because you don’t have enough expertise in climate science, or if you do, you should have your credentials stripped from you because you’ve proven yourself unworthy to have them. On the other hand, if you support the theory of anthropogenic global warming, it doesn’t matter what credentials you have or don’t have, your opinion is vital and true. You could be a bum living in a cardboard box in D.C. with an 8th grade education and believe that man is causing the earth to warm, and that if the “lords” over in the D.C. castle don’t “do something” about it, humanity will be wiped out, and it will be the fault of all those “deniers.” And that poor bum’s opinion will have more respect than the climate scientists with 18 Ph.D.’s who believe the only thing that’s manmade about anthropogenic global warming is the theory itself.
So what did this professor actually say? You can read his entire rant here. Here’s an excerpt from the beginning:
|January 6th, 2013||#283|
Join Date: Feb 2007
Jan 5, 7:52 AM EST
Brrr! China's coldest winter in decades at new low
BEIJING (AP) -- China is experiencing unusual chills this winter with its national average temperature hitting the lowest in 28 years, and snow and ice have closed highways, canceled flights, stranded tourists and knocked out power in several provinces.
China Meteorological Administration on Friday said the national average was -3.8 degrees Celsius (25 degrees Fahrenheit) since late November, the coldest in nearly three decades.
The average temperature in northeast China dipped to -15.3 degrees C (4.5 degrees F), the coldest in 43 years, and dropped to a 42-year low of -7.4 degrees C (18.7 degrees F) in northern China.
In some areas - northeastern China, eastern Inner Mongolia, and north part of far-western Xinjiang province - the low has hit -40 degrees C (-40 degrees F), the administration said.
The state-run, English-language China Daily reported Friday that about 1,000 ships were stuck in ice in Laizhou Bay in eastern China's Bohai Sea.
The meteorological administration said Saturday that ice had covered 27,000 square meters (10,500 square miles) of the sea surface by Thursday, the most expansive since 2008 when authorities began to collect such data. The administration expects the ice to continue to grow.
In southwest China's Sichuan province, more than 1,000 tourists were stranded Wednesday in a scenic mountainous area because of icy road, the state-run Beijing News reported.
In southern China, snowstorms from Thursday night have disrupted air and road traffic.
In eastern China's Zhejiang province, at least eight flights were canceled at an airport in Hangzhou city on Thursday, and authorities told state media the airport might be closed if the snow should continue. Utility workers also rushed to restore power in parts of the province, according to state media.
Several highways, including some sections of the Beijing-Hong Kong-Macao Expressway in central China's Hunan province, were closed Friday because of icy condition, state media reported.
An airport was temporarily shut down in Nanchang city in Jiangxi province, as workers were trying to clear ice and snow from its runway, state media said.
The national meteorological administration said China is seeing dropping temperatures partly because of south-moving polar cold fronts, caused by melting polar ice from global warming. It said the air is moist and likely to dump heavy snow in China, Europe and North America.
On Saturday, the forecast by China's National Meteorological Center said southern China would have more snow and rain in the coming days and that icy rain could hit some regions.
|January 12th, 2013||#284|
Join Date: Feb 2007
Oy! Rare snow shuts down Jerusalem
JERUSALEM - An incredible and a rare site in the Holy Land: The biggest snowstorm in decades covered Jerusalem with a blanket of white Thursday, paralyzing the city, but thrilling residents.
Looking out at the hills around the ancient city is more like looking at Colorado or Switzerland than the arid Middle East. Cars, pine trees and palm trees are all covered with snow.
The city was completely shut down, schools closed, businesses closed. Snow is so rare in Jerusalem that it essentially brings an unscheduled national holiday.
"First of all in Jerusalem snow is really rare so it's a really special occasion, and another bright side is that school was cancelled," one young woman told CBS News, as she enjoyed the day off.
In a country beset by conflict for decades, Israeli newscasters were also elated -- that Israel could be like a "normal" country and talk about the weather.
On Thursday, anyway, Jerusalem is white, it's peaceful and it's beautiful.
|January 12th, 2013||#285|
Join Date: Feb 2007
California cold snap threatens citrus crop, strands motorists
By Brandon Lowrey
LOS ANGELES | Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:33pm EST
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - An Arctic air mass sent temperatures plunging across California, forcing the 17-hour closure of a key interstate highway through the mountains north of Los Angeles and threatening citrus crops in the state's vast central valleys, authorities said on Friday.
Temperatures throughout the state fell by as much as 20 degrees Fahrenheit (11 degrees Celsius) below normal, allowing snow to accumulate at elevations as low as 1,500 feet, the National Weather Service reported.
Although no further snow was expected to fall over the weekend, temperatures were expected to continue to drop on Saturday before gradually warming into next week, the weather service said.
About 4 inches of snow fell on Thursday on a winding stretch of the Interstate 5 known as the Grapevine, which passes through mountains between Los Angeles and Bakersfield, prompting authorities to shut down the north-south artery for 17 hours beginning Thursday afternoon.
Stranded motorists packed motels on either side of the Grapevine overnight. California Highway Patrol officers reopened the roadway at about 9 a.m. local time on Friday and began escorting cars along the treacherous route, CHP Officer Mike Harris said.
Precise weather conditions along the Grapevine during the freeze were not recorded, but neighboring areas posted temperatures in the mid-20s Fahrenheit, said Stuart Seto, a forecaster for the National Weather Service.
In the San Joaquin Valley, a major agricultural area, low temperatures in the teens threatened to kill citrus crops, which are in danger of perishing whenever the mercury falls below 28 degrees, said meteorologist Jeff Barlow said.
The Weather Service alerted farmers to the danger so they could take precautions, but there may still be a heavy loss.
"They won't be able to save all of the crops," Barlow said. "This is going to be a pretty significant freeze event for the central California citrus crops."
In normally temperate San Diego, temperatures were expected to reach 39 degrees on Friday night, closer to the record low of 34 degrees set in 1888 than the normal 59 degrees, said Robert Balfour, a National Weather Service forecaster.
"The rest of the country is probably laughing at us, saying, ‘You call that cold?'" Balfour said.
|January 22nd, 2013||#286|
Join Date: Feb 2007
Obongo vows action on climate change
By BYRON TAU | 1/21/13 12:02 PM EST
Midway through his second inaugural address, President Obama vowed to address the challenge of climate change — a key liberal priority.
"We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations," Obama said.
"Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms," Obama said.
Obama — who has faced a congressional investigation into his green energy loan programs — vowed that the United States will continue to lead the transition to renewable and clean energy sources.
"We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared," Obama said.
|January 22nd, 2013||#287|
Join Date: Feb 2007
Davos call for $14trn 'greening' of global economy
Political and business leaders warned of need to ensure sustainable growth
Tom Bawden Tuesday 22 January 2013
An unprecedented $14trn (£8.8trn) greening of the global economy is the only way to ensure long-term sustainable growth, according to a stark warning delivered to political and business leaders as they descended on the World Economic Forum in Davos yesterday.
Only a sustained and dramatic shift to infrastructure and industrial practices using low-carbon technology can save the world and its economy from devastating global warming, according to a Davos-commissioned alliance led by the former Mexican President, Felipe Calderon, in the most dramatic call so far to fight climate change on business grounds.
This includes everything from power generation, transport, and buildings to industry, forestry, water and agriculture, according to the Green Growth Action Alliance, created at last year's Davos meeting in Mexico.
The extra spending amounts to roughly $700bn a year until 2030 and would provide a much-needed economic stimulus as well as reduce the costs associated with global warming further down the line, said Mr Calderon, who leads the alliance.
It is better to try to pre-empt events like Hurricane Sandy, which cost $50bn, by keeping a lid on global warming, concluded the report, researched by the Accenture consultancy.
Mr Calderon, whose six-year term as Mexican President ended in November, said: "It is clear that we are facing a climate crisis with potentially devastating impacts on the global economy.
"Greening global economic growth is the only way to satisfy the needs of today's population and up to 9 billion people by 2050, driving development and wellbeing while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing natural resource productivity."
He added: "Economic growth and sustainability are inter-dependent, you cannot have one without the other, and greening investment is the pre-requisite to realising both goals".
Mr Calderon is calling on the UK Government and other members of the G20 to unleash a wave of private investment in green infrastructure by giving potential backers of low-carbon projects the confidence and incentives to step up their spending.
The alliance, which includes the World Bank, Deutsche Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, proposes that governments use public money to give guarantees, insurance and incentives to potential low-carbon investors at the same time as phasing out fossil fuel subsidies.
The investment is needed to stimulate spending on everything from low-emission crop practices with reduced chemical and fertiliser use to renewable power generation and energy-efficient buildings and transport.
In addition to the need for an extra $14trn of extra spending, a substantial part of the $5trn-a-year that has been earmarked worldwide for investment in traditional, fossil-fuel heavy infrastructure by 2020 will need to be diverted to greener alternatives "to avoid locking in less-efficient, emissions-intensive technologies for decades to come".
The report acknowledges that an extra $700bn is a lot of extra cash to find each year, but says that the money could be raised with an increase in global public spending of a relatively small $36bn a year, if it was targeted effectively through the right measures to support private investment.
|February 7th, 2013||#288|
Join Date: Feb 2007
Sweden Mulls Carbon Tax on Meat to Reduce Emissions
January 22, 2013
By Susan Jones
From The Local (Sweden): Sweden's Agricultural Board on Tuesday proposed a tax on meat, to discourage consumption of a product that supposedly strains the environment because much of it has to be imported.
The news report said Swedish meat consumption has increased around 33 percent over the past 30 years and is now higher than the EU average.
Beef production in particular uses a lot of resources, the agriculture board said in a report.
"Our mandate includes looking at sustainable development and food production that benefits the consumer," board spokeswoman Gabrielle Cahlin was quoted as saying.
The report offered three solutions: Less meat consumption globally, the possibility of taxing meat, and international agreements to support sustainable meat production.
Sweden's finance minister reportedly has ruled out a specific meat tax.
|February 7th, 2013||#289|
Join Date: Feb 2007
Study: Opinions on Climate Change Rise and Fall With the Temperature
People, newspapers more likely to believe in climate change during hot years
By Jason Koebler
February 6, 2013
Americans' opinions on climate change blow with the wind—with more concern shown in years that are much warmer or much colder than normal—according to a new study released Tuesday.
Five of the nation's top newspapers were also more likely to publish opinion pieces that showed "belief" in climate change during years that were colder or warmer than normal. Previous studies have suggested that people are more likely to believe in or "show worry" about global warming when the weather is particularly bad, but the study, published in the journal Climatic Change, is the largest to date and uses data from 1990 to 2010, a much longer time period than previous studies.
"I'm not surprised by the results judging by how pervasive these opinions were in the polls," says study author Simon Donner, of the University of British Columbia's department of geography. "I think certainly on a public understanding of science issue it's a problem. Even if the planet is warming, we're going to have cold years."
Donner says that newspapers were more likely to publish opinion pieces about climate change during heat waves in an attempt to make the connection between day-to-day weather and climate. Climate change is not a "breaking story," according to Donner.
"It's easier for someone to get something published that's skeptical about climate change during a cold spell because it has a good hook," he says. "But newspaper editors and opinion columnists need to trust what scientists are saying—climate doesn't change on a day-to-day basis."
The study also shows that most Americans aren't steadfast in their opinions on climate change, whether they are a believer or a skeptic. Donner describes a "large swath in the middle" whose opinion is malleable depending on the weather.
"It means what people are learning isn't going very deep," he says. "If you had a fundamental feeling for the issue, your opinion wouldn't change with the weather."
Though the world has seen a steady trend of increasingly hot years, public belief in climate change, at least in the United States, has remained relatively stagnant over the past decade, though most recent polls (taken during one of the hottest years on record), seem to show that many Americans are starting to see global warming as an important issue. With 2014 expected to be a bit cooler due to La Nina, Donner says those gains in public acceptance and worry may change.
"Maybe it'll be enough to knock back some of the progress that's been made," Donner says. "Scientists need to get used to being on offense more to make people realize this is an everyday issue—we can't get into the habit of only talking about it during the heat waves."
|February 7th, 2013||#290|
Join Date: Feb 2007
Study: Global Warming Can Be Slowed By Working Less
A new analysis suggests that a more 'European' schedule would reduce the effects of climate change
By Jason Koebler
February 4, 2013
Want to reduce the effects of global warming? Stop working so hard. Working fewer hours might help slow global warming, according to a new study released Monday by the Center for Economic Policy and Research.
A worldwide switch to a "more European" work schedule, which includes working fewer hours and more vacation time, could prevent as much as half of the expected global temperature rise by 2100, according to the analysis, which used a 2012 study that found shorter work hours could be associated with lower carbon emissions.
The Center for Economic Policy and Research is a liberal think tank based in Washington.
"The relationship between [shorter work and lower emissions] is complex and not clearly understood, but it is understandable that lowering levels of consumption, holding everything else constant, would reduce greenhouse gas emissions," writes economist David Rosnick, author of the study. Rosnick says some of that reduction can be attributed to fewer operating hours in factories and other workplaces that consume high levels of energy.
Rosnick says that as developing countries' economies grow, they have two choices—they can have a "European" work schedule, or an "American" schedule of little vacation and 40-hour work weeks.
"There's a lot of controversy—should the developing world follow an American or European model?," he says. "If the world were to follow a more European model of work, we would expect fewer hours, less output, and lower emissions of greenhouse gases."
Rosnick says a move toward the European system would result in a trade-off of up to one quarter of income gains in exchange for increased leisure time and vacation. His best-case scenario, which predicts prevention of up to a 1.3 degree Celsius temperature increase, assumes that Americans would begin working about 0.5 percent less each year, starting with a 10-hour reduction in 2013. "We can get a similar amount of work done as productivity and technology improves," he says. "It's something we have to decide as a country—there are economic models in which individuals get to decide their hours and are still similarly productive as they are now."
He admits there are flaws to his analysis—the study didn't take into consideration the rise of telecommuting, which has and will continue to cut down on transportation emissions, and there is no way to know what a person would do with their increased vacation or leisure time. Working fewer office hours is unlikely to have much of an impact on carbon emissions if a person were to then take a vacation, for example.
"If people are taking a vacation, that means they're not commuting, but it might mean they're taking a plane ride," he says.
|February 7th, 2013||#291|
Join Date: Feb 2007
What If Atlas Shrugged?
by David Deming
Atlas Shrugged is the title of Ayn Rand's 1957 novel in which the world grinds to a halt after the productive segment of society goes on strike. Tired of being demonized and exploited, the world's innovators and entrepreneurs simply walk away.
What would happen to the US today if the fossil fuel industry went on a strike of indefinite duration? What would happen if we gave the environmentalists what they want? Instead of nibbling around the edges, what if we just went all the way? What would be the consequences if Atlas shrugged?
Within 24 hours there would be long lines at service stations as people sought to purchase remaining stocks of gasoline. The same people who denounce oil companies would be desperately scrounging the last drops of available fuel for their SUVs. By the third day, all the gasoline would be gone.
With no diesel fuel, the trucking industry would grind to a halt. Almost all retail goods in the US are delivered by trucks. Grocery shelves would begin to empty. Food production at the most basic levels would also stop. Without gasoline, no farm machinery would function, nor could pesticides or fertilizers be produced on an industrial scale. The US cannot feed 315 million people with an agricultural technology based on manure and horse-drawn plows. After two weeks mass starvation would begin.
Locomotives once ran on coal but today are powered by diesel engines. With no trains or trucks running there would be no way to deliver either raw materials or finished products. All industrial production and manufacturing would stop. Mass layoffs would ensue. At this point, it would hardly matter. With virtually all transportation systems out, the only people who could work would be those who owned horses or were capable of walking to their places of employment.
Owners of electric cars might smirk at first, but would soon be forced to the unpleasant reality that the vehicle they thought was "emission free" runs on coal. Forty-two percent of electric power in the US is produced by burning coal. With natural gas also out of the picture, we would lose another 25 percent. The environmentalist's favorite power sources, wind and solar, could not fill the gap. Wind power currently generates about 3 percent of our electricity and solar power accounts for a scant 0.04 percent. The only reliable power sources left would be hydroelectric and nuclear. But together these two sources could only power the grid at 27 percent of its normal capacity. With two-thirds of the electric power gone, the grid would shut down entirely. No electricity also means no running water and no flush toilets. When the bottled water ran out, people would drink from streams and ponds and epidemic cholera would inevitably follow.
Hospitals could continue to function for a few days on backup generators. But with no diesel fuel being produced, the backups would also fail. Emergency surgeries would have to be conducted by daylight in rooms with windows. Because kerosene is a petroleum byproduct, lighting by kerosene lamps would not be an option. Even candles today are made of paraffin, another petroleum byproduct. It is doubtful if sufficient beeswax could be found to manufacture enough candles to light the 132 million homes in the US.
With no electricity, little to no fuel, and no way to transport either people or commodities, the US would revert to the eighteenth century within a matter of days to weeks. The industrial revolution would be reversed. The gross domestic product would shrink by more than 95 percent. Depending on the season and location, people would begin to either freeze or swelter in their homes. My academic colleagues who think human progress is an illusion would have to face the bitter reality of reverting to a time when life expectancy was less than half of what it is today.
But I'm wrong. Reversion to the eighteenth century is not what would happen. It would be much worse than that. In eighteenth-century America, about eighty percent of the population lived on family farms and were largely self-sufficient. They had horses and blacksmiths. People knew how to work and relied upon valued networks of family and neighbors. Today, less than two percent of our population is engaged in farming. And virtually all modern agriculture depends on machinery powered by petroleum. People today could not survive in a world that lacks fossil fuels.
The picture I paint is grim, but it is nothing less than what environmental activists want: to put all fossil fuel companies completely out of business. If you don't understand or accept this, I can only suggest that you acquaint yourself with the philosophy of biocentrism. Groups of college students are now demanding that universities divest stock holdings in fossil fuel companies – as if the production of fossil fuels was the moral equivalent of apartheid. And every March environmentalists celebrate "Earth Hour," an hour in which they literally turn off all the lights.
Our industrialized and technological civilization does not run on rainbows and moonbeams. Nor is it likely to at any time in the foreseeable future. Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are not viable replacements for fossil fuels. It is not a question of politics, but limitations imposed by the laws of physics and chemistry. Instead of apologizing for the use of fossil fuels, we ought to be damn glad we have them.
February 7, 2013
|February 17th, 2013||#292|
Join Date: Nov 2003
Blog Entries: 34
Of climate science and stomach bugs
by Tom Quirk
January 21, 2013
There are some instructive examples to make us wary of the claims that thousands of scientists support the “certainty” of climate change being due mostly to atmospheric carbon dioxide from the use of fossil fuels, and one of the most persuasive case studies of the “so convinced” collective view being proven wrong is the celebrated and once-controversial debate about the cause of stomach ulcers and the best way to cure them.
It was long an article of faith among doctors that ulcers were caused by stress, spicy foods, and too much acid. The practice of removing ulcers, a major operation and lucrative revenue stream for surgeons, was first challenged in 1976 with the appearance of Tagamet, a drug 12 years in development. The medication inhibits the production of acid in the stomach and, as such, proved a direct threat to many surgeons’ financial well-being. Tagamet became the first blockbuster drug, amassing sales in excess of $1 billion in a single year for manufacturer Smith, Kline & French. Five years later, in 1981, Glaxo followed with Zantac, a similar product destined to become the world’s best-selling drug.
These medications were classic examples of treating the symptoms, not the cause of a condition. These were also perfect products to sustain a continuing pharmaceutical business.
A great deal of money and prestige was riding on ulcers by 1982, when West Australians Barry Marshall and Robin Warren proved that the Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacterium caused most peptic ulcers, neatly reversing decades of medical doctrine. Even worse for the revenue streams of drug companies and medicos, the bacteria could be eliminated by the use of antibiotics.
No ulcers meant no ongoing business, so it should come as no surprise that, in medical circles, all hell broke loose. Drug companies would not countenance the idea that Marshall and Warren’s findings were valid. Revenue was under threat, as were share prices and the egos of those who had driven the drugs’ remarkably successful marketing campaigns. Doctors were slow to change their habits, so surgeons continued to put their patients under the knife, all the while insisting that Marshall and Warren were peddling nonsense.
By 2005 the once-ridiculed researchers were celebrating their Nobel Prize and the pharmaceutical industry had adjusted. The superseded ulcer drugs were found to be useful for limiting the gastric symptoms of hangovers, fresh blockbuster medications appeared, and drug-company revenues increased.
Marshall and Warren published and found acceptance of their results in the peer-reviewed literature. But there was no threat to the funding of medical research institutions from their work. Climate research seems very different, with well publicized examples of rejected work that might threaten the received wisdom.
Let us bear the ulcer example in mind as we examine climate-change theory and its loudest and most ardent advocates.
First, we should note the extraordinary inverted pyramid constructed atop the belief that fossil fuels are the main source of the annual increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide. The issues of temperature changes and sea-level rises, even the predicted spread of malaria and other tropical diseases, are no more than secondary or tertiary issues. Move further up our inverted pyramid and we find all the industrial research and development programmes, which range from the so-far unsuccessful attempts to sequester carbon dioxide –to extract it at great cost from emissions and bury it -- to methane-free cows and alternative energy sources. Curiously, there appears no enthusiasm for nuclear energy, which is entirely carbon-free.
Moving even higher up the topsy-turvy pyramid, we come to the financially fertile fields of industry-assistance programmes, subsidies for grossly inefficient wind power developments and the like, and billions of dollars in taxpayer-backed loans and grants to renewable energy corporations – handouts distributed despite a near-total absence of documentary evidence attesting to the technologies’ viability.
We have now climbed to very top of the inverted pyramid, where we find a financial heaven for the bankers who buy and sell carbon “indulgences”, much as medieval pardoners once presented pig bones as the relics of saints and persuaded the gullible that purchasing them, or a written indulgence expiating past sins, represented the best hope of salvation. All the faithful had to do was hand over their cash.
There is no doubt with a structure of this sort that the upper-level inhabitants get a bit edgy whenever doubts are raised about the soundness of the foundations. After all, careers and funding are at risk, not to mention the asset value of pension funds, companies’ market capitalisations and bankers’ bonuses.
Floating through all levels are the NGOs. Their role has been that of parasites, deriving nutrition from the host while simultaneously threatening its essential functions. In nature, however, host and parasite have evolved to co-exist, if not always happily. Just as the parasite that kills its host has no future, we should keep a close eye on the “environmental” NGOs. While they appear to have not yet recognised the dangers their buidgets and credibility face as public faith in climate-change nostrums erodes, any change in their behavior – any sign that they have found a new “threat” to promote – should be taken as a clear sign that global-warming bubble is deflating.
Much the same could be said for the political chancers who bear out H.L. Mencken’s famous statement: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
In terms of dollars and political momentum, this climate-change edifice is many orders of magnitude greater than the peptic-ulcer pyramid, so that it is worth making a brief survey of the inverted tip of this edifice.
Are we certain that the sources and sinks of greenhouse gases are really understood? After all, the continuing rise in atmospheric methane in the last half of the twentieth century was blamed on cattle and paddy fields, but leaky natural-gas pipelines may bear a greater responsibility! As for carbon dioxide, bushfires and brush fires during the El Nino of 1997-98 may have been responsible for a third of the carbon dioxide increase in the atmosphere at the time. El Nino events also limit the growth of phytoplankton so less carbon dioxide was absorbed by the oceans, which left more in the atmosphere.
And what of all the projections of future temperatures, sea levels, rainfall and disasters, which are all visions conjured by computer models? The inputs critical to those computer prophesies are all subject to uncertainties:
Billions of dollars have been ventured following risk-benefit analyses by distinguished economists who based their work on the science's alleged certainty.
But the edifice has not been built upon a secure foundation. Indeed, as we may now be seeing, it could be very close to its own tipping point!
Tom Quirk trained as a nuclear physicist at the University of Melbourne where he took courses in meteorology. He has been a Fellow of three Oxford Colleges
|April 27th, 2013||#293|
Join Date: Feb 2007
Green groups rally on climate, urge Obama to reject Keystone project
By Zack Colman - 02/17/13 03:20 PM ET
Environmental groups gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Sunday and marched on the White House for a climate change rally largely aimed at pressuring President Obama to reject the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.
Organizers said 35,000 activists attended the rally, where speakers portrayed the battle over the pipeline as a struggle between grassroots green groups and deep-pocketed special interests.
“They’ve got the lobbyists. They’ve got the super-PACs. They made the campaign contributions. They’ve got this town in their pockets — they have got the situation under control. And then you show up. And then we show up. And we change the game,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) told the crowd not long before it marched on the White House.
Obama will decide whether the project goes forward because it crosses national boundaries.
The pipeline would bring fossil fuels from Canadian tar sands fields to the Gulf Coast. Environmentalists are painting Obama’s upcoming decision as the litmus test for whether he plans to make good on recent comments about tackling climate change.
Activists at Sunday’s rally said approving the pipeline would taint Obama’s record on climate change. They said they hoped the demonstration would give the president the will to nix Keystone, even when a majority of both the House and the Senate want it built.
“His heart is there. The question is can we change the politics enough so he can do what he knows is right. And I believe that he will,” Van Jones, a former Obama adviser, told The Hill.
The politics surrounding the project are formidable.
Blocking Keystone would play into Republican assertions that the president is scuttling a project that could enhance energy security and create thousands of jobs to appease environmental supporters. They have pressed the White House to green-light the pipeline.
Oil-and-gas groups, such as the American Petroleum Institute, have helped lead a lobbying effort to get Keystone built.
Canada also has tried to sway the administration into approving the pipeline, as it would benefit that nation's oil sands industry.
Obama also has his own base to consider, as several union groups are eager for the jobs Keystone would bring to their members. The AFL-CIO’s building and construction trades division has endorsed the pipeline, and that department’s leader expects the full labor federation to lend its support.
But there is no time to delay when it comes to climate change, Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) international program, told The Hill.
“There is no deal to be done,” she said. “We need to do everything we can on every front.”
That is why NRDC and other green groups also want Obama to pursue more stringent carbon emissions standards.
The environmental community is pushing the White House to set emissions standards for existing power plants to build on proposed rules in Obama's first term that effectively barred construction of new coal-fired power plants.
Greens also want Obama to forge ahead with clean-energy research and deployment on federal lands, measures to boost energy efficiency in homes, buildings and manufacturing and efforts to make coastal towns and cities more storm resilient.
The green groups are focusing their pressure on Obama because of gloomy prospects for passing climate bills this Congress. Republicans will not accept fees on carbon emissions — the same goes for some conservative Democrats.
In an interview with The Hill, Whitehouse said killing Keystone and pushing ahead with stronger regulations could jolt polluting industries into working on climate legislation.
“That’s what’s going to bring them to the table very quickly,” Whitehouse said. “And as soon as the polluters want it, then obviously the Republicans are right there with them.”
|April 27th, 2013||#294|
Join Date: Feb 2007
If the leader of the free world can lie with such impunity we are doomed
By James Delingpole US politics
Last updated: February 16th, 2013
Earlier this week in his State of the Union address President Obama made some observations on climate change so brimming with falsehoods I'm surprised his nose didn't fall off.
It really doesn't matter where he himself was deliberately lying or whether he was merely lending the gravitas of his office to the deliberate lies of others. The point is that the President of the USA has access to any number of fact checkers and advisers and if he stands up and addresses the nation with a farrago of complete untruths then the buck stops with him. This dissembling and mendacity becomes all the more culpable when it forms the basis of major public policy decisions which will have a serious impact on people's lives in the US and beyond.
So why this snake-oil salesman being allowed to get away with it?
Here's the offending part of Obama's speech.
Obama's war on climate change is a war against a chimera. He is enlarging the state, holding back the economic recovery, restricting freedoms, driving up the price of energy and killing jobs in order to deal with a problem which only exists in the discredited computer projections of a shameless cabal of grant-troughing activist scientists increasingly out of touch with real world data.
So why, outside the internet, has no one called him on it?
The answer, I think, lies partly within the question. The internet, it seems to me, is the last bastion of truth in a world corrupted beyond measure.
Who is standing up for Rachel Frosch? Just a bunch of political bloggers and Tweeters.
Who is exposing the lies of the climate change industry? Bloggers, mostly.
Who kept the story of the Obama administration's shameful betrayal of the embassy staff it allowed to be murdered in Benghazi? Conservative bloggers, again – though with support from conservative journals like the American Spectator, which has a must-read piece on the subject here.
I'll tell you what I fear. I think we have now reached that stage of last-days-of-the-Roman-Empire intellectual and moral depravity where almost no one in our dominant corporate/political/financier/lawyer class believes it's worthwhile or even possible to do the right thing any more. Some of them may be vaguely aware that, yes, the only way the world is ever going to recover from the economic mess we're in is through a radical agenda of cost-cutting, contraction of the state, sound money, and lower taxes. But they've made up their minds that none of this is a votewinner in our heavily socialised Western economies and that therefore the only hope is simply to grab what you can while you still can – and forget any fancy, idealistic notions you may have had about making the world a better place.
It disgusts me so much I wonder why I bother. Indeed, if I had my life over again, I don't think I would. I'd train as a lawyer. I'd be running an energy fund with close links to government. I'd be Al Gore or Dale Vince.
Seriously, does anyone have an answer to what I've written here?
|April 27th, 2013||#295|
Join Date: Feb 2007
Kerry Gives First Foreign Policy Speech … on Climate Change
1:33 PM, Feb 20, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Secretary of State, the dullard John Kerry, gave his first major foreign policy speech today. In his address, delivered at the University of Virginia, he discussed tackling climate change.
"We as a nation must have the foresight and courage to make the investments necessary to safeguard the most sacred trust we keep for our children and grandchildren: an environment not ravaged by rising seas, deadly superstorms, devastating droughts, and the other hallmarks of a dramatically changing climate," said Kerry, according to prepared remarks.
"And let’s face it – we are all in this one together. No nation can stand alone. We share nothing so completely as our planet. When we work with others – large and small – to develop and deploy the clean technologies that will power a new world, we’re also helping create new markets and new opportunities for America’s second-to-none innovators and entrepreneurs to succeed in the next great revolution."
Kerry called for collective action to deal with this problem. "So let’s commit ourselves to doing the smart thing and the right thing and truly commit to tackling this challenge," he said. "Because if we don’t rise to meet it, rising temperatures and rising sea levels will surely lead to rising costs down the road. If we waste this opportunity, it may be the only thing our generations are remembered for. We need to find the courage to leave a far different legacy."
"We cannot talk about the unprecedented changes happening on our planet without talking about the unprecedented changes in its population – another great opportunity at our fingertips," he warned.
But midway through the climate change section, Kerry paused. "Can we all say thank you and to our signers?" the secretary of state said referencing those who were translating his speech into sign language.
The audience applauded.
|April 27th, 2013||#296|
Join Date: Feb 2007
World cools on global warming as green fatigue sets in
Worldwide concerns about climate change have dropped dramatically since 2009
Sam Masters Wednesday 27 February 2013
Public concern about environmental issues including climate change has slumped to a 20-year low since the financial crisis, a global study reveals.
Fewer people now consider issues such as CO2 emissions, air and water pollution, animal species loss, and water shortages to be “very serious” than at any time in the last two decades, according to the poll of 22,812 people in 22 countries including Britain and the US.
Despite years of studies showing the impact of global warming on the planet, only 49 per cent of people now consider climate change a very serious issue – far fewer than at the beginning of the worldwide financial crisis in 2009.
Worries about climate change first dropped in industrialised nations but they have now also fallen in developing economies including Brazil and China, according to the survey by GlobeScan Radar.
The declining interest in climate change comes amid a backlash against costly green energy investments in an age of austerity. David Nussbaum, head of WWF UK, said “sustained pressure” was required from political leaders to combat climate change. He said it was only when “real indicators” of climate change came, such as floods and droughts, that public perceptions changed.
He told The Independent: “Of course people’s concerns about climate change changed in 2009 when economic pressures were rising… [But] the problems haven’t gone away… There are longer-term concerns that may not seem imminent that are extremely serious. A skilled political leader has got to grapple with how you act and respond to the immediate pressure people feel while helping [to take] account of the wider concerns and interests.”
Campaigners said the “perceived seriousness” of climate change had also fallen sharply since the unsuccessful UN Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen in December 2009. The summit ended in what was described as “confusion, disagreement and disarray” as political leaders failed to agree a legally binding deal to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Graham Thompson, a spokesman for Greenpeace, said: “The public can see that the response of our politicians is completely inadequate to the threat scientists have revealed, and that dissonance is reflected in these polls.”
Doug Miller, chairman of GlobeScan, said: “Evidence of environmental damage is stronger than ever , but our data shows that economic crisis and a lack of political leadership mean that the public are starting to tune out.”
The Department of Energy and Climate Change reiterated the view of Ed Davey, Climate Change Secretary, that “the basic physics of climate change is irrefutable”.
The GlobeScan survey found that water pollution is viewed as the most serious environment problem worldwide with 58 per cent of people polled saying it represents a very serious concern.
|April 27th, 2013||#297|
Join Date: Feb 2007
Gore full of hot air over global warming on 'Today' show
By MICHAEL STARR
Last Updated: 4:00 PM, March 8, 2013
Posted: 3:58 PM, March 8, 2013
Is bluster considered part of global warming?
Al Gore, who recently pocketed an estimated $100 million from selling his struggling Current TV network to Qatar-based Al-Jazeera, sidestepped questions of “hypocrisy” on yesterday’s “Today” show.
Gore was on the show to promote his new book, “The Future: Six Drivers of Social Change.”
Matt Lauer immediately asked Gore — known for his strong beliefs in global warming — about a section of his book in which Gore criticizes “virtually every news and political commentary program on television” for being “sponsored in part by oil, coal and gas companies . . . with messages designed to soothe and reassure the audience that everything is fine, the global environment is not threatened.”
“Critics jumped, ‘Here’s the guy who just sold Current TV to Al Jazeera, which gets an undetermined amount of funds from Qatar, which gets its money from oil reserves,” Lauer said.
“Isn’t there a contradiction in that?”
“I certainly understand the criticism,” Gore answered. “I disagree with it, because I think Al Jazeera has obviously long-established itself as a really distinguished and effective newsgathering organization.
“And, by the way, its climate coverage has been far more extensive and of high quality than any of the [US] networks.”
Lauer, though, pressed Gore on the issue.
“But if [Al Jazeera] gets funding from a country that bases its wealth on fossil fuels, and fossil fuels is the enemy [of global warming], isn’t there a bit of hypocrisy in that?” he asked Gore.
“I get the criticism. But I disagree with it,” Gore repeated. “[Al Jazeera] has established itself . . . and its climate coverage has been outstanding and extensive.”
|April 27th, 2013||#298|
Join Date: Feb 2007
The Great Green Con no. 1: The hard proof that finally shows global warming forecasts that are costing you billions were WRONG all along
By David Rose
PUBLISHED: 18:37 EST, 16 March 2013 | UPDATED: 12:13 EST, 20 March
No, the world ISN'T getting warmer (as you may have noticed). Now we reveal the official data that's making scientists suddenly change their minds about climate doom. So will eco-funded MPs stop waging a green crusade with your money? Well... what do YOU think?
The Mail on Sunday today presents irrefutable evidence that official predictions of global climate warming have been catastrophically flawed.
The graph on this page blows apart the ‘scientific basis’ for Britain reshaping its entire economy and spending billions in taxes and subsidies in order to cut emissions of greenhouse gases. These moves have already added £100 a year to household energy bills.
global warming graph
Steadily climbing orange and red bands on the graph show the computer predictions of world temperatures used by the official United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The estimates – given with 75 per cent and 95 per cent certainty – suggest only a five per cent chance of the real temperature falling outside both bands.
But when the latest official global temperature figures from the Met Office are placed over the predictions, they show how wrong the estimates have been, to the point of falling out of the ‘95 per cent’ band completely.
The graph shows in incontrovertible detail how the speed of global warming has been massively overestimated. Yet those forecasts have had a ruinous impact on the bills we pay, from heating to car fuel to huge sums paid by councils to reduce carbon emissions.
The eco-debate was, in effect, hijacked by false data. The forecasts have also forced jobs abroad as manufacturers relocate to places with no emissions targets.
A version of the graph appears in a leaked draft of the IPCC’s landmark Fifth Assessment Report due out later this year. It comes as leading climate scientists begin to admit that their worst fears about global warming will not be realised.
Academics are revising their views after acknowledging the miscalculation. Last night Myles Allen, Oxford University’s Professor of Geosystem Science, said that until recently he believed the world might be on course for a catastrophic temperature rise of more than five degrees this century.
But he now says: ‘The odds have come down,’ – adding that warming is likely to be significantly lower.
Prof Allen says higher estimates are now ‘looking iffy’.
The graph confirms there has been no statistically significant increase in the world’s average temperature since January 1997 – as this newspaper first disclosed last year.
At the end of last year the Met Office revised its ten-year forecast predicting a succession of years breaking records for warmth. It now says the pause in warming will last until at least 2017. A glance at the graph will confirm that the world will be cooler than even the coolest scenario predicted.
Its source is impeccable. The line showing world temperatures comes from the Met Office ‘HadCRUT4’ database, which contains readings from more than 30,000 measuring posts. This was added to the 75 and 95 per cent certainty bands to produce the graph by a group that amalgamates the work of 20 climate model centres working for the IPCC.
Predictions of global warming, based on scientists’ forecasts of how fast increasing CO2 levels would cause temperatures to rise, directly led to Britain’s Climate Change Act. This commits the UK to cut emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.
The current Energy Bill is set to increase subsidies for wind turbines to £7.6 billion a year – leading to a combined cost of £110 billion. Motorists will soon see a further 3p per litre rise in the cost of petrol because this now has to contain ‘biofuel’ ethanol.
Many scientists say the pause, and new research into factors such as smoke particles and ocean cycles, has made them rethink what is termed ‘climate sensitivity’ – how much the world will warm for a given level of CO2.
Yesterday Piers Forster, Climate Change Professor at Leeds University, said: ‘The fact that global surface temperatures haven’t risen in the last 15 years, combined with good knowledge of the terms changing climate, make the high estimates unlikely.’
And Professor Judith Curry, head of climate science at the prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology, said: ‘The models are running too hot. The flat trend in global surface temperatures may continue for another decade or two.’
James Annan, of Frontier Research For Global Change, a prominent ‘warmist’, recently said high estimates for climate sensitivity now look ‘increasingly untenable’, with the true figure likely to be about half of the IPCC prediction in its last report in 2007.
Avowed climate sceptics are more unequivocal. Dr David Whitehouse, author of a new report on the pause published on Friday by Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation, said: ‘This changes everything. It means we have much longer to work things out. Global warming should no longer be the main determinant of anyone’s economic or energy policy.’
I said the end wasn't nigh... and it cost me my BBC career says TV's first environmentalist, David Bellamy
Challenged the orthodoxy: Former BBC Botanist David Bellamy said that he was regarded as heretical for not toeing the line on global warming
This graph shows the end of the world isn’t nigh. But for anyone – like myself – who has been vilified for holding such an unfashionable view, possibly the most important thing about it is its source: the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Since its creation in 1988, the IPCC has been sounding the alarm about man-made global warming. Yet here, in a draft of its latest report, is a diagram overlaying the observed temperature of the earth on its predictions.
The graph shows a world stubbornly refusing to warm. Indeed, it shows the world is soon set to be cooler.
The awkward fact is that the earth has warmed just 0.5 degrees over the past 50 years. And Met Office records show that for the past 16 years temperatures have plateaued and, if anything, are going down.
As the graph shows, the longer this goes on, the more the actual, real-world temperature record will diverge from the IPCC’s doom-laden prediction.
Yet this prediction is used to justify the ugly wind farms spoiling our countryside and billions in unnecessary ‘green’ taxes that make our industry less competitive and add up to £100 a year to household energy bills.
Man-made global warming has become scientific orthodoxy, with no room for dissent. Tragically, the traditional caution of my brethren has gone out of the window along with the concept of sceptical peer reviewing to test new theories.
Opponents of man-made global warming are regarded as dangerous heretics, as I learnt to my cost. Soon after the IPCC was created, I was invited to what is now the Met Office’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Exeter to hear a presentation on global warming.
As the face of natural history on the BBC and a science academic, they wanted to enrol me in their cause. But when I read the so-called evidence, I realised it was flawed and refused to ‘sign up’.
I rapidly found myself cast out from the BBC and the wider scientific community. When I helped some children campaign against a wind farm as part of a Blue Peter programme, I was publicly vilified. Abusive emails criticised me. I realised my career at the BBC was over.
But scientific theory should be tested. That’s why I question the science which casts carbon as the villain that will bring about the end of the world.
Open discussion: David Bellamy argues that we should be able to test theories about global warming and that the world can live with fluctuations of carbon levels in the air
Geology tells us that fossil fuels are predominantly carbon which was part of our atmosphere before being locked away in the earth millions of years ago. At that time, there were more than 4,000 carbon parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere. Over time this has been as low as 270ppm and is now about 385ppm.
It is obvious the world can live with these fluctuations in the level of atmospheric carbon.
There is a correlation between temperature and CO2, but some of my colleagues have put the cart before the horse.
The evidence shows CO2 levels follow temperature, not the other way around.
Indeed, there may be many factors that determine our climate. Australian scientist David Archibald has shown a remarkable correlation between the sun’s activity and our climate over the past 300 years. Climate scientists insist we must accept the ‘carbon’ orthodoxy or be cast into the wilderness.
But the scientists behind the theory have a vested interest – it’s a great way to justify new taxes, get more money and guarantee themselves more work.
The reality is that man-made global warming is a myth: the global temperature is well within life’s limits and, indeed, the present day is cooler by comparison to much of Earth’s history. Perhaps this will be the moment that this fact becomes the new scientific orthodoxy.
The original graph was produced by Dr Ed Hawkins, a senior research scientist at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science. Discussion of the graph and its meaning can be found on the website Climate Lab Book.
|April 27th, 2013||#299|
Join Date: Feb 2007
Twenty-year hiatus in rising temperatures has climate scientists puzzled
by: Graham Lloyd, Environment Editor
From: The Australian March 30, 2013 12:00AM
DEBATE about the reality of a two-decade pause in global warming and what it means has made its way from the sceptical fringe to the mainstream.
In a lengthy article this week, The Economist magazine said if climate scientists were credit-rating agencies, then climate sensitivity - the way climate reacts to changes in carbon-dioxide levels - would be on negative watch but not yet downgraded.
Another paper published by leading climate scientist James Hansen, the head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, says the lower than expected temperature rise between 2000 and the present could be explained by increased emissions from burning coal.
For Hansen the pause is a fact, but it's good news that probably won't last.
International Panel on Climate Change chairman Rajendra Pachauri recently told The Weekend Australian the hiatus would have to last 30 to 40 years "at least" to break the long-term warming trend.
...But the fact that global surface temperatures have not followed the expected global warming pattern is now widely accepted.
Research by Ed Hawkins of University of Reading shows surface temperatures since 2005 are already at the low end of the range projections derived from 20 climate models and if they remain flat, they will fall outside the models' range within a few years.
"The global temperature standstill shows that climate models are diverging from observations," says David Whitehouse of the Global Warming Policy Foundation.
"If we have not passed it already, we are on the threshold of global observations becoming incompatible with the consensus theory of climate change," he says.
Whitehouse argues that whatever has happened to make temperatures remain constant requires an explanation because the pause in temperature rise has occurred despite a sharp increase in global carbon emissions.
The Economist says the world has added roughly 100 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010, about one-quarter of all the carbon dioxide put there by humans since 1750. This mismatch between rising greenhouse gas emissions and not-rising temperatures is among the biggest puzzles in climate science just now, The Economist article says.
"But it does not mean global warming is a delusion."
The fact is temperatures between 2000 and 2010 are still almost 1C above their level in the first decade of the 20th century.
"The mismatch might mean that for some unexplained reason there has been a temporary lag between more carbon dioxide and higher temperatures in 2000-2010.
"Or it might mean that the 1990s, when temperatures were rising fast, was the anomalous period."
The magazine explores a range of possible explanations including higher emissions of sulphur dioxide, the little understood impact of clouds and the circulation of heat into the deep ocean.
But it also points to an increasing body of research that suggests it may be that climate is responding to higher concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide in ways that had not been properly understood before.
"This possibility, if true, could have profound significance both for climate science and for environmental and social policy," the article says.
There are now a number of studies that predict future temperature rises as a result of man-made carbon dioxide emissions at well below the IPCC best estimate of about 3C over the century.
The upcoming IPCC report is expected to lift the maximum possible temperature increase to 6C.
The Research Council of Norway says in a non-peer-reviewed paper that the best estimate concludes there is a 90 per cent probability that doubling CO2 emissions will increase temperatures by only 1.2C to 2.9C, the most likely figure being 1.9C.
Another study based on the way the climate behaved about 20,000 years ago has given a best guess of 2.3C.
Other forecasts, accepted for publication, have reanalysed work cited by the IPCC but taken account of more recent temperature data and given a figure of between 1C and 3C.
The Economist says understanding which estimate is true is vital to getting the best response.
"If as conventional wisdom has it, global temperatures could rise by 3C or more in response to a doubling of emissions, then the correct response would be the one to which most of the world pays lip service; rein in the warming and the greenhouse gases causing it," the article says.
"If, however, temperatures are likely to rise by only 2 degrees Celsius in response to a doubling of carbon emissions (and if the likelihood of a 6 degrees Celsius is trivial) the calculation might change," it says.
"Perhaps the world should seek to adjust to (rather than stop) the greenhouse-gas splurge.
"There is no point buying earthquake insurance if you don't live in an earthquake zone."
According to The Economist, "given the hiatus in warming and all the new evidence, a small reduction in estimates of climate sensitivity would seem to be justified." On face value, Hansen agrees the slowdown in global temperature rises can be seen as "good news".
But he is not ready to recalculate the Faustian bargain that weighs the future cost to humanity of continued carbon dioxide emissions.
Hansen argues that the impact of human carbon dioxide emissions has been masked by the sharp increase in coal use, primarily in China and India.
Increased particulate and nitrogen pollution has worked in the opposite direction of rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.
Another paper published in Geophysical Research Letters on research from the University of Colorado Boulder found small volcanoes, not more coal power stations in China, were responsible for the slowdown in global warming.
But this did not mean that climate change was not a problem.
"Emissions from volcanic gases go up and down, helping to cool or heat the planet, while greenhouse gases from human activity just continue to go up," author Ryan Neely says.
Hansen's bottom line is that increased short-term masking of greenhouse gas warming by fossil fuel particulate and nitrogen pollution represents a "doubling down" of the Faustian bargain, an increase in the stakes.
"The more we allow the Faustian debt to build, the more unmanageable the eventual consequences will be," he says.
|April 27th, 2013||#300|
Join Date: Feb 2007
Claim: Germany Spends $110 Billion to Delay Global Warming by 37 Hours
9:24 AM, Mar 30, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Bjorn Lomborg claimed on John Stossel's television show last night that money isn't being spent well to combat "global warming":
"The Germans are spending about $110 billion on subsidies for these solar panels," said Lomborg. "The net effect of all those investments will be to postpone global warming by 37 hours by the end of the century."
"All those billions, for 37 hours delay?," asked Stossel.
"Yeah," said Lomborg, "so remember them in [the year] 2100 and say, 'Wow.'"
Stossel clarified, "You believe in global warming and man-made--"
"Global warming is real," said Lomborg, "and it is we need to fix. But we should fix it smartly, and not in a very, very costly way as we're doing it now. Germany is probably spending $660 for every ton of CO2 they're cutting."
|global warming hoax, global warming scam, hoax of the 21st century|