ClimateGate news

Friday, June 29, 2007

Turkey leg carved

Too bad.

The Istanbul, Turkey leg of Al Gore's upcoming Live Earth global spectacular has been canceled. Local media suggests the July 07 concert failed to attract sponsorship or promised financial support from the Turkish government.
Or maybe there just wasn't any taste for it in Turkey.
Tickets had yet to go on sale, although major Turkish stars including Mor Ve Otesi, Sebnem Ferah and Hayko Cepkin had agreed to perform. Officials will instead erect giant screens so locals can gather to watch the global warming awareness gigs.

The 24-hour Live Earth concert series will begin in Sydney, Australia and continue across the world with events in Japan, China, South Africa, Germany, London and Brazil, before concluding in New York.

The Police, Kanye West, Faith Hill, Bon Jovi and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are to perform on the steps of Washington D.C.'s Capitol Building on July 7.

Damn, now I'm going to have to burn all my Faith Hill albums.





On second thought... maybe not.

Trenberth: CGMs cannot predict climate

Some startling comments about the computer models that are "predicting" all the doom and gloom about man-made global warming. Startling considering the source. Via Professor Bob Carter at

KEVIN Trenberth is head of the large US National Centre for Atmospheric Research and one of the advisory high priests of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

A New Zealander by birth, Trenberth has had a distinguished career as a climate scientist with interests in the use of computer General Circulation Models (GCMs), the basis for most of the public alarm about dangerous global warming.

When such a person gives an opinion about the scientific value of GCMs as predictive tools, it is obviously wise to pay attention.

In a remarkable contribution to Nature magazine's Climate Feedback blog, Trenberth concedes GCMs cannot predict future climate and claims the IPCC is not in the business of climate prediction.
Here's the full text of what Trenberth had to say [with emphasis added]:
I have often seen references to predictions of future climate by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), presumably through the IPCC assessments (the various chapters in the recently completedWorking Group I Fourth Assessment report ican be accessed through this listing). In fact, since the last report it is also often stated that the science is settled or done and now is the time for action.

In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios. There are a number of assumptions that go into these emissions scenarios. They are intended to cover a range of possible self consistent “story lines” that then provide decision makers with information about which paths might be more desirable. But they do not consider many things like the recovery of the ozone layer, for instance, or observed trends in forcing agents. There is no estimate, even probabilistically, as to the likelihood of any emissions scenario and no best guess.

Even if there were, the projections are based on model results that provide differences of the future climate relative to that today. None of the models used by IPCC are initialized to the observed state and none of the climate states in the models correspond even remotely to the current observed climate. In particular, the state of the oceans, sea ice, and soil moisture has no relationship to the observed state at any recent time in any of the IPCC models. There is neither an El Niño sequence nor any Pacific Decadal Oscillation that replicates the recent past; yet these are critical modes of variability that affect Pacific rim countries and beyond. The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, that may depend on the thermohaline circulation and thus ocean currents in the Atlantic, is not set up to match today’s state, but it is a critical component of the Atlantic hurricanes and it undoubtedly affects forecasts for the next decade from Brazil to Europe. Moreover, the starting climate state in several of the models may depart significantly from the real climate owing to model errors. I postulate that regional climate change is impossible to deal with properly unless the models are initialized.

The current projection method works to the extent it does because it utilizes differences from one time to another and the main model bias and systematic errors are thereby subtracted out. This assumes linearity. It works for global forced variations, but it can not work for many aspects of climate, especially those related to the water cycle. For instance, if the current state is one of drought then it is unlikely to get drier, but unrealistic model states and model biases can easily violate such constraints and project drier conditions. Of course one can initialize a climate model, but a biased model will immediately drift back to the model climate and the predicted trends will then be wrong. Therefore the problem of overcoming this shortcoming, and facing up to initializing climate models means not only obtaining sufficient reliable observations of all aspects of the climate system, but also overcoming model biases. So this is a major challenge.

The IPCC report makes it clear that there is a substantial future commitment to further climate change even if we could stabilize atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. And the commitment is even greater given that the best we can realistically hope for in the near term is to perhaps stabilize emissions, which means increases in concentrations of long-lived greenhouse gases indefinitely into the future. Thus future climate change is guaranteed.

So if the science is settled, then what are we planning for and adapting to? A consensus has emerged that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal” to quote the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Working Group I Summary for Policy Makers (pdf) and the science is convincing that humans are the cause. Hence mitigation of the problem: stopping or slowing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere is essential. The science is clear in this respect.

However, the science is not done because we do not have reliable or regional predictions of climate. But we need them. Indeed it is an imperative! So the science is just beginning. Beginning, that is, to face up to the challenge of building a climate information system that tracks the current climate and the agents of change, that initializes models and makes predictions, and that provides useful climate information on many time scales regionally and tailored to many sectoral needs.

We will adapt to climate change. The question is whether it will be planned or not? How disruptive and how much loss of life will there be because we did not adequately plan for the climate changes that are already occurring?

Kevin Trenberth
Climate Analysis Section, NCAR
As Prof. Carter says, it would be wise to pay attention to what this man says and:
Trenberth's statements are a direct admission of the validity of similar criticisms that have been made of GCMs and the IPCC by climate rationalists for many years.


These various criticisms of climate modelling can be summed up in the following statement – there is no predictive value in the current generation of computer GCMs and therefore the alarmist IPCC statements about human-caused global warming are unjustified.
h/t: moonbattery

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Ban Ki-moon: Climate Change Behind Darfur Killing

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon wants you to feel very, very guilty about global warming. via Brietbart [emphasis added]:

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that the slaughter in Darfur was triggered by global climate change and that more such conflicts may be on the horizon, in an article published Saturday.

"The Darfur conflict began as an ecological crisis, arising at least in part from climate change," Ban said in a Washington Post opinion column.

UN statistics showed that rainfall declined some 40 percent over the past two decades, he said, as a rise in Indian Ocean temperatures disrupted monsoons.

"This suggests that the drying of sub-Saharan Africa derives, to some degree, from man-made global warming," the South Korean diplomat wrote.

"It is no accident that the violence in Darfur erupted during the drought," Ban said in the Washington daily.

When Darfur's land was rich, he said, black farmers welcomed Arab herders and shared their water, he said.

With the drought, however, farmers fenced in their land to prevent overgrazing.

"For the first time in memory, there was no longer enough food and water for all. Fighting broke out," he said.
A hat tip goes to my favourite radio talk show host, who had this comment:
Just when you thought it couldn't get stranger, just when you thought -- it actually gets stranger after this story. But when you thought it couldn't get stranger, we can all breathe a huge sigh of relief. Well, because for a while there, you know, I thought it was barbaric Islamofascists killing off the blacks and Christians in a religious-based genocidal frenzy.
Bonus: listen to Al Gore sing Ball of Fire.

Cross posted at Mitchieville

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Bryson: Don't make me throw up

via the Madison, Wisconsin Capital Times:

Reid Bryson, known as the father of scientific climatology, considers global warming a bunch of hooey.

The UW-Madison professor emeritus, who stands against the scientific consensus on this issue, is referred to as a global warming skeptic. But he is not skeptical that global warming exists, he is just doubtful that humans are the cause of it.

There is no question the earth has been warming. It is coming out of the "Little Ice Age," he said in an interview this week.

"However, there is no credible evidence that it is due to mankind and carbon dioxide. We've been coming out of a Little Ice Age for 300 years. We have not been making very much carbon dioxide for 300 years. It's been warming up for a long time," Bryson said.


Just because almost all of the scientific community believes in man-made global warming proves absolutely nothing, Bryson said. "Consensus doesn't prove anything, in science or anywhere else, except in democracy, maybe."

Bryson, 87, was the founding chairman of the department of meteorology at UW-Madison and of the Institute for Environmental Studies, now known as the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. He retired in 1985, but has gone into the office almost every day since. He does it without pay.


So, if global warming isn't such a burning issue, why are thousands of scientists so concerned about it?

"Why are so many thousands not concerned about it?" Bryson shot back.

"There is a lot of money to be made in this," he added. "If you want to be an eminent scientist you have to have a lot of grad students and a lot of grants. You can't get grants unless you say, 'Oh global warming, yes, yes, carbon dioxide.'"

Speaking out against global warming is like being a heretic, Bryson noted.


"There is very little truth to what is being said and an awful lot of religion. It's almost a religion. Where you have to believe in anthropogenic (or man-made) global warming or else you are nuts."

While Bryson doesn't think that global warming is man-made, he said there is some evidence of an effect from mankind, but not an effect of carbon dioxide.

For example, in Wisconsin in the last 100 years the biggest heating has been around Madison, Milwaukee and in the Southeast, where the cities are. There was a slight change in the Green Bay area, he said. The rest of the state shows no warming at all.

"The growth of cities makes it hotter, but that was true back in the 1930s, too," Bryson said. "Big cities were hotter than the surrounding countryside because you concentrate the traffic and you concentrate the home heating. And you modify the surface, you pave a lot of it."

Bryson didn't see Al Gore's movie about global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth."

"Don't make me throw up," he said. "It is not science. It is not true."

Monday, June 18, 2007

Carter: High price for load of hot air

Bob Carter says politicians are being deceived and poses some questions for global warming alarmists and NASA chief Michael Griffin at

Griffin seems to be referring to human-caused global warming, but irrespective of that his opinion is unsupported by the evidence.

The salient facts are these. First, the accepted global average temperature statistics used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that no ground-based warming has occurred since 1998. Oddly, this eight-year-long temperature stasis has occurred despite an increase over the same period of 15 parts per million (or 4 per cent) in atmospheric CO2.

Second, lower atmosphere satellite-based temperature measurements, if corrected for non-greenhouse influences such as El Nino events and large volcanic eruptions, show little if any global warming since 1979, a period over which atmospheric CO2 has increased by 55 ppm (17 per cent).

Third, there are strong indications from solar studies that Earth's current temperature stasis will be followed by climatic cooling over the next few decades.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


As they promote thier dogma, environmental alarmists are always quick to dismiss and demonize those who disagree with their position as "deniers" or discredit them for being in the pocket of "big oil". It reminds one of totalitarian censorship and propaganda. At the Reference Frame, Luboš Motl investigates the similarities in Green and Communist propaganda: a comparison.

Those readers who haven't lived in a totalitarian system may have problems to understand why the rest of us finds the structure of the environmentalist propaganda almost identical to the structure of the communist propaganda. To fix this problem, let me translate the official response to Charter 77, the pro-freedom statement penned by Václav Havel. You can compare it e.g. with DeSmogBlog's new defamatory pages against 61 of the "climate change deniers".


Let me now try to identify some basic common features of the propagandistic algorithms of both ideologies; it won't be too hard:
  • They try to convey the message that the opposition doesn't exist
  • If the opposition exists, it is composed of unsuccessful or dead bodies who have been defeated decades ago
  • The members of the opposition are being controlled by others, usually by demonized sources of power, with hints of corruption
  • Opposition gets badges that are meant to be derogatory - capitalist, Zionist, deniers, renegades, contrarians, reactionary, burgeoisie, oil-funded etc.
  • Opposition is presented as being against all the people - and all the people should agree and do agree with that; statements that everyone agrees and everyone keeps on supporting the official position are repeated all the time
  • The opposition members are criticized for their very existence and for the tiniest deviations from the official ideology, to assure everyone else that one simply can't join them if he wants to survive
  • Opposition is claimed to misinterpret words and facts even though it is pretty obvious that it is the official party who is doing that
  • The opposing individuals are deconstructed one by one by carefully crafted ad hominem attacks
  • The propaganda openly states that a debate or a dialogue itself is unacceptable and no details of the opponents' opinions are ever analyzed
  • Whenever it's possible, the opponents must be fired or otherwise harassed
Sound familiar?

Europeans not on track to meet Kyoto

The European Union (EU) is not on track to meet it's greenhouse gas emissions targets under Kyoto, according to an environmental group:

EU emissions slightly decreased in 2005 relative to the previous year, by 0.7 percent - the first decrease since 2001. But in 2005, the combined EU-15 emissions were still only 1.5 percent below 1990 levels, meaning that the EU-15 is not on course to meet its international Kyoto Protocol obligations to cut greenhouse gas pollution by 8 percent by 2012. Spain, Luxembourg, Austria, Portugal, Italy and Ireland are still furthest from their Kyoto emissions targets.

Sonja Meister, Climate Campaigner at Friends of the Europe said: "The new data clearly shows that the EU is still way off course to meet its Kyoto target. The slight drop in emissions in 2005 is a decrease over only one year and is by no means a trend yet. European governments have to seriously increase their efforts to combat climate change, with drastic measures now to set the EU's emissions on a downward path into the long term."

The slight reduction in emissions in 2005 was mainly due to large emissions reductions from Germany, Finland and the Netherlands, which masked increases in many other countries, like Spain and Lithuania. The reduction in Germany and Finland results partly from a shift from coal to cleaner energy sources in the production of public electricity. But at the same time, Friends of the Earth Europe highlights that the decrease in household emissions in Germany and also the Netherlands could be a result of warmer weather conditions, especially since these countries experienced particularly warm winters in 2005.
Emphasis added.

Interesting statement above, "the decrease in emissions... could be a result of warmer weather". So warmer weather accounts for the lowers ghg emissions from energy used for heating. Hmmm.

Interview: Patrick Michaels

Katie Fehlinger at Headline Earth interviews Dr. Patrick Michaels, Sr. Fellow for Environmental Studies at the CATO Institute on global warming, economic development and how to cut greenhouse gas emissions. It's about a minute into the video after the headlines.

Michaels: "Propserous societies are clean societies. They invest in efficient things".

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

When your past statements come back to haunt you

YouTube Video of Al Gore from 1992 commenting on President George Herbert Walker Bush.

...did his judgment of foreign policy come into play when he was told that this nation with a record of terrorism, continuing... was making a sustained, concerted effort to acquire weapons of mass destruction - nuclear, chemical and biological?

Wow. Al must really regret having invented the internet...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The T3 tax

Canadian economist, Dr. Ross McKitrick proposes a carbon tax based on and tied to actual measured levels of anthropogenic global warming. To the climate alarmists, this is called putting you money where your mouth is.

From today's Financial Post: [emphasis added]

The approach is based on two points of expert consensus. First, most economists who have written on carbon-dioxide emissions have concluded that an emissions tax is preferable to a cap-and-trade system. The reason is that, while emission-abatement costs vary a lot, based on the target, the social damages from a tonne of carbon-dioxide emissions are roughly constant. The first ton of carbon dioxide imposes the same social cost as the last ton.

In this case, it is better for policy-makers to guess the right price for emissions rather than the right cap. Most studies that have looked at that the global cost per tonne of carbon dioxide have found it is likely to be rather low, less than US$10 per tonne. We don't know what the right emissions cap is, but, if we put a low charge on each unit of emissions, the market will find the (roughly) correct emissions cap.

Second, climate models predict that, if greenhouse gases are driving climate change, there will be a unique fingerprint in the form of a strong warming trend in the tropical troposphere, the region of the atmosphere up to 15 kilometres in altitude, over the tropics, from 20? North to 20? South. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that this will be an early and strong signal of anthropogenic warming. Climate changes due to solar variability or other natural factors will not yield this pattern: only sustained greenhouse warming will do it.

Temperatures in the tropical troposphere are measured every day using weather satellites. The data are analyzed by several teams, including one at the University of Alabama-Huntsville (UAH) and one at Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) in California. According to the UAH team, the mean tropical tropospheric temperature anomaly (its departure from the 1979-98 average) over the past three years is 0.18C. The corresponding RSS estimate is 0.29C.

Now put those two ideas together. Suppose each country implements something called the T3 tax, whose U.S. dollar rate is set equal to 20 times the three-year moving average of the RSS and UAH estimates of the mean tropical tropospheric temperature anomaly, assessed per tonne of carbon dioxide, updated annually. Based on current data, the tax would be US$4.70 per ton, which is about the median mainstream carbon-dioxide-damage estimate from a major survey published in 2005 by economist Richard Tol. The tax would be implemented on all domestic carbon-dioxide emissions, all the revenues would be recycled into domestic income tax cuts to maintain fiscal neutrality, and there would be no cap on total emissions.

This tax rate is low, and would yield very little emissions abatement. Global-warming skeptics and opponents of greenhouse-abatement policy will like that. But would global-warming activists? They should -- because according to them, the tax will climb rapidly in the years ahead.

The IPCC predicts a warming rate in the tropical troposphere of about double that at the surface, implying about 0.2C to 1.2C per decade in the tropical troposphere under greenhouse-forcing scenarios. That implies the tax will climb by $4 to $24 per tonne per decade, a much more aggressive schedule of emission fee increases than most current proposals. At the upper end of warming forecasts, the tax could reach $200 per tonne of CO2 by 2100, forcing major carbon-emission reductions and a global shift to non-carbon energy sources.

Global-warming activists would like this. But so would skeptics, because they believe the models are exaggerating the warming forecasts. After all, the averaged UAH/ RSS tropical troposphere series went up only about 0.08C over the past decade, and has been going down since 2002. Some solar scientists even expect pronounced cooling to begin in a decade. If they are right, the T3 tax will fall below zero within two decades, turning into a subsidy for carbon emissions.
More at Newsbusters.

It sounds logical enough. A carbon emissions tax offset by income tax cuts. If anthropogenic global warming continues to increase, the carbon tax will increase accordingly. If, as many suspect, man-made global warming is greatly exaggerated and temperatures do not rise as predicted, the tax will remain low or even disappear if temperatures cool.

Let's see if this proposal has any legs.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

G8 plays Let's Make a Deal

The CBC is reporting that the G8 leaders have reached a deal on climate change:

Group of Eight leaders have agreed on a plan calling for "substantial cuts" to greenhouse gas emissions, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced Thursday.

While few details of the agreement have been released, Merkel, at the G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, said the goal is to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050.
2050? Sounds a lot more like the recent Bush proposal than the deal Merkel was after.
The agreement does not commit to Merkel's "two-degree" goal to cap a rise in the Earth's temperature to within two degrees.

Still, Merkel said leaders took the tough step of declaring emissions have to be cut in half.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper had this to say:
Harper said there needs to be extensive discussion before settling on finite global targets. He said targets chosen too hastily do not work, citing the Liberal government's commitment to the Kyoto Protocol in 1998.

"We committed to targets without thinking those targets through 10 years ago and then we were unable to reach them," he said.

"When others [G8 leaders] say we want a full discussion before we determine what reasonable targets are, I think that's something we have to be flexible on."
The opposition parties are predictably furious. But they have always wanted to follow the Europeans on climate change, so it should be interesting to see how they spin their opposition to this new agreement.

Is it the end of Kyoto? As the CBC article says, "few details of the agreement have been released" and until they are, we really won't know.

Update: Tony Blair's comments on the deal:
"I think everyone wants to be part of a post-Kyoto deal.

"Everyone wants to try and make sure that that is a deal - it's got to be - that includes all the major emitters.

"And everyone wants to make sure that that deal can then command board agreement right across the international community and deliver what people want to see both for reasons of the environment and for reasons of energy security."


Bush talked of a "nostalgic" moment at Blair's last G8 session and repeated his pledge that the US would be "actively involved if not taking the lead in the post-Kyoto agreement".
A few more details from the BBC:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the G8 would negotiate within a UN framework to seek a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol by the end of 2009.

No mandatory target was set for the cuts, but Mrs Merkel's preference for a 50% emissions cut by the year 2050 was included in the agreed statement.

Developing nations should also cut emissions, the leaders agreed.


Her preferred benchmark of 50% cuts by 2050 - backed by the EU, Canada and Japan - would be given serious consideration, she said.

According to an extract from the agreed text published on the G8 website, the leaders agreed to take "strong and early" action.

"Taking into account the scientific knowledge as represented in the recent IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] reports, global greenhouse gas emissions must stop rising, followed by substantial global emission reductions," the text says.

Yvo de Boer, head of the UN's climate change division, quickly welcomed the agreement.

Goldstein: Kyoto is globalization

In today's Toronto Sun, Lorrie Goldstein asks why anti-globalization protesters are siding with the west on Kyoto despite strong objections of developing nations:

Question: Why aren't anti-globalization protesters at this week's G8 meeting in Germany up in arms over the Kyoto accord?

Kyoto is an example of the worst aspects of globalization these protesters perpetually complain about.

It's a global treaty being driven by the First World to address a problem it created, which it is now attempting to fix by imposing a solution on the Third World, over its objections.

Worse, the solution is to deny the Third World the tool the First World employed to improve its living standards -- using fossil fuels to create advanced technological/industrial societies.

Only an anti-globalization protester, apparently, fails to understand the irony of Britain, France and Germany, given their imperialist pasts, telling China, India and the nations of Africa that they must forgo using their own fossil fuels to do what they did.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

impôt de carbone

And so it begins. This is a first in Canada.

Natural Resources Minister Claude Bechard said he hopes the oil companies, who are reporting record profits, would absorb the tax, which he said is based on the principle polluters pays.
Good luck with that.

And I ask why should any private company sacrifice its profits (yes, companies are actually in business to make profits for their shareholders) in order to relieve a politician of the responsibilty for an idiotic tax increase?

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Kyoto: RIP

Lorne Gunter:

At this week's G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, the climate show will be on display every time one of the major industrial leaders step to the bank of microphones. Yet when they go behind close doors, a very different climate reality will be discussed.

Kyoto is dead. And the G8 leaders all know it's dead, too. It's just that some -- Canada, Australia, Japan and the United States -- have been more honest about giving Kyoto's loved ones the sad news.
Kyoto. May it rest in peace.

Update: Some Canadian politicians haven't got the message yet.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Water Power

You aren't going to believe your eyes. Watch this video.

Who is Al Gore?

Some interesting answers to that question can be found at Planck Time.

Be sure to follow ALL the links.

You might just be in for a surprise or two.

Harris responds to attacks

Tom Harris responds to criticism from a letter writer in the Owen Sound Sun Times.

I certainly hope Queen's University professor John Smol insists that his student Kyle McIver is more careful and considerate in his studies than he is in his activism ("Credibility of authors of climate change article questioned", letter, May 15).

Careful, because much of what McIver says is either groundless or entirely misleading. Considerate, because a quick phone call to either Dr. Ball or myself (our phone numbers are prominent on would have revealed that much of what passes for "fact" on the Web about us is simply fabricated by people who seem bent on discrediting us. That McIver would regurgitate what amounts to rumour and innuendo without engaging in basic fact checking is most unfortunate.

[...] aside from self-evident statements such as "the science of climate change is real," he makes no reference to the vitally important science presented in our article; he merely engages in ad hominem attacks against us. The climate change issue is far too important for advocates of differing points of view to resort to such base tactics.
This "shoot the messenger" strategy of the climate alarmists has been going on far too long. I'm glad to see such a well stated rebuttal. Well done, Mr. Harris. Well done.

Carbon trading: gross incompetence, rule-breaking and fraud

The Guardian blows the whistle on a scam: carbon trading.

A Guardian investigation has found evidence of serious irregularities at the heart of the process the world is relying on to control global warming.

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which is supposed to offset greenhouse gases emitted in the developed world by selling carbon credits from elsewhere, has been contaminated by gross incompetence, rule-breaking and possible fraud by companies in the developing world, according to UN paperwork, an unpublished expert report and alarming feedback from projects on the ground.
Related: The truth about Kyoto.

End of the IPCC?

Last Thursday, after President Bush's announcement on climate change I lamented, "Apparently there a no politicians remaining who are able to withstand the political pressure of the climate change alarmists." I was happy when I read this post today at small dead animals, because it appears that my initial take on the Bush announcement was dead wrong.

Has President Bush outfoxed and out-maneuvered both the Europeans and the UN on climate change policy? Planet Gore's Steven Hayward:

It seems to me that lots of people are missing a notable feature of Bush's proposal to convene a "Big 15" to contemplate long-range greenhouse gas emissions targets: Bush is in effect threatening to put the UN's IPCC out of business as the main diplomatic forum for global climate policy. Whatever else may be said—both good and bad—about Bush's initiative, putting the UN out of the climate business can't entirely be a bad thing.
I think it would be entirely a good thing! Chris Horner has more analysis at Planet Gore:
Non-alarmist, “global governance”-type followers of the Kyoto process have to love this. President Bush stunned the Europeans with his Thursday announcement, playing their game as well as they do but from a better position: US carbon dioxide emissions from 2000-2006 are flat. Europe’s are up and steadily rising, 6 years out of the 9* since Kyoto was agreed, in fact; US CO2 emissions over that same period are equally superior.

The truth which the Administration refuses to say (more than once) is that big-talking Europe is a bossy non-performer. Bush diplomatically doesn’t say so, but instead preempted a planned political trap at the G-8 talks by clearly delineating the US position, incompatible with and pulling the rug out from under G-8 president Germany’s plan. German and G-8 president Angela Merkel planned to draw the US to an event to have pies thrown at them, then strong-arm them into agreeing to something the US otherwise rejected. That is, to replicate what happened at the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992.

At first this was trumpeted with a chorus of media “aha, at last, and it’s about time!”, indicating that they have not broken their practice of refusing reading the text of anything in this context, beginning with the Rio and Kyoto treaties down to the EU’s actual reports instead of press releases. In emails, some peers of mine despaired over the announcement. Green fury was more indicative of the substance, however, as Bush actually announced nothing not previously floated, and he did not commit the US to anything damaging. In addition to no damage on the policy front (Note: I limit my praise to the climate front; it still advances the horrible renewable fuel boondoggles), this was very good politics.

The 2050 horizon is grounded in more than a desire to replicate Gov. Schwarzenegger’s “I won’t be around by then” delegation. Nor is it simply seizing on observations of recent years, the opining of numerous solar physicists and the odds militating toward the possibility that by well before then we will have entered a cooling phase shutting the alarmists down, uh, “cold”. No, one of Kyoto’s biggest downsides is its absurdly short-term focus for fairly draconian reductions (bigger downsides still being that these cuts would according to no one have a detectable climate impact under any scenario or set of assumptions in the face of a crisis they cannot establish).

That’s benefit number two, on top of preempting a G-8 circus (inside, not outside where the barbarism celebrated by our intellectual elites continues its sorry resumption, in a country well versed in such a phenomenon). Better, Bush reiterated his “do your own thing” policy that China and other significant players have made unavoidably clear is a non-negotiable condition precedent. Immediately garnering the support of world leaders such as Japan’s Abe and the departing-but-Kyotophilic Tony Blair is priceless.

In short, with an offering far more credible on the global stage than Kyoto, Bush changed the news story and split European and relevant global opinion — I’m not concerned about whether the latter was his intent as churlish Europeans pout; they are responsible for their own feelings and actions and complaining about this result is infantile and substance-free.

He also did this without changing policy. Who knows, maybe the White House now “gets it” so much that, if our EU friends keep pushing it, we will hear about actual emissions performance since Kyoto was agreed.

As if on cue, the WWF released a climate scorecard:
An international environmental organization has ranked Canada and the U.S. last among the G8 nations when it comes to tackling climate change.
Amazing how they can place the U.S in last place when, as Horner states above, the U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from 2000-2006 are flat while Europe’s are up and steadily rising. I guess it's not emissions that matter, it's whether or not you sign on to the Euro-UN game plan.

In other news, Prime Minister Harper will tell the G8 that Canada will not meet its Kyoto targets. China has unveiled its first national plan for climate change, saying it is intent on tackling the problem but not at the expense of economic development.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

The truth about Kyoto

Huge profits for some, but very little carbon saved. That's the conclusion of Nick Davies in this article from today's issue of the Guardian:

On the eve of a G8 summit focused on climate change, Nick Davies reveals major flaws in the global system designed to reduce emissions

Saturday June 2, 2007
The Guardian

In autumn 2005, three journalists working for the environmental group the Centre for Science and Environment decided to investigate some of the Indian projects which were trying to break into the lucrative new business of carbon trading.

They started looking at four schemes in Andhra Pradesh which were trying to convert biomass - dead plants, animal dung - into fuel. They studied the formal reports which the schemes had commissioned from a UK company, Ernst and Young, to satisfy the demanding requirements of the UN's Clean Development Mechanism. And they noticed a very odd thing.

Each of the four Ernst and Young reports had had to consult people near the proposed schemes to ensure that there was no risk to the local economy or environment. One report quoted three different community leaders, each expressing enthusiastic approval for the project and concluded: "Poor farmers are getting reasonable monitory gains for harvesting the available biomass and supplying it to project activity."

What was odd that with two of the other schemes, each many miles from the other, Ernst and Young quoted three sources who had the same job descriptions, the same opinions, summarised in precisely the same words which even included the same spelling mistakes (Secretry, monitory). In the fourth case, the wording was slightly different, but the opinions were the same, and it too concluded that "poor farmers are getting reasonable monitory gains etc."

The three journalists wrote up their conclusions in the group's magazine, Down to Earth, and made it clear that they were accusing Ernst and Young of simply cutting and pasting the same material into four supposedly separate and independent reports. Ernst and Young said there was nothing wrong: the local people in all four places happened to have said very similar things in response to a standard set of questions. But the environmental journalists were concerned enough to write to the executive board of the Clean Development Mechanism, offering further information. The CDM board never even acknowledged their letter.

The CDM is one of two global markets which have been set up in the wake of the Kyoto climate summit in 1997. Both finally started work in January 2005. Although both were launched with the claim that they would reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, evidence collected by the Guardian suggests that thus far, both markets have earned fortunes for speculators and for some of the companies which produce most greenhouse gases and yet, through a combination of teething troubles and multiple forms of malpractice and possibly fraud, they have delivered little or no benefit for the environment.

While the CDM is run under the umbrella of the UN, the second market is overseen by the European commission. Before launching, it churned through a mass of figures and produced a maximum number of tonnes of carbon dioxide which could be produced by each nation in the scheme; each nation then handed its big corporations and organisations a set number of permits - EU allocations - defining the number of tonnes of carbon dioxide they could produce between January 2005 and December 2007. But they got their sums wrong.

The carbon market's leading analysts, Point Carbon, recently calculated that this scheme handed out 170m too many EUAs. In the early days, nobody realised quite how badly the commission had miscalculated, and so the price of the EUAs was quite high, at up to €30 a tonne. But individual companies, particularly energy companies, rapidly saw they had millions of tonnes of EUAs that they didn't need, and so they sold their surplus, making huge profits. A 2005 report by IPA Energy Consulting found that the six UK electricity generators stood to earn some £800m in each of the three years of the scheme.

A separate report by Open Europe, in July 2006, found that UK oil companies were also poised to make a lot of free money: £10.2m for Esso; £17.9m for BP; and £20.7m for Shell. And behind this profiteering, the environmental reality was that these major producers of carbon emissions were under no pressure from the scheme to cut emissions.

At the other end of this EU market, smaller organisations like UK hospitals and 18 universities, who had been given far fewer EUAs, were forced to go out and buy them - while the price was still high. So, for example, the University of Manchester spent £92,500 on EUAs. Now that the truth about the glut has been revealed, the university would be doing well if it managed to get £1,000 for the lot of them.

While this EU market has failed to make any serious impact on climate change, the UN's Clean Development Mechanism has done little better. In contrast to the EU system, which sells permits to produce supposedly limited quantities of greenhouse gases, the CDM sets up projects which are supposed to reduce the quantity of greenhouse gases and then sells carbon credits which allow buyers to emit more gases.

Ten years after the idea was launched at Kyoto; six years after the guidelines were drawn up at Marrakech; a year and a half after it finally went to work: the CDM thus far has issued only 50m tonnes of certified emissions reductions to offset global warming: Britain produces more emissions than that in a single month.

There are doubts about the validity of some of these CERs, on two separate grounds. First, some of them appear to breach the CDM's requirements for sustainable development - 53% of the existing CERs come from just six monster projects, in India, China and South Korea, all of which engage in the most controversial form of carbon reduction. They manufacture refrigerant which produces as a side effect a gas called HFC-23. Although carbon dioxide is the most common greenhouse gas, HFC-23 is 11,700 times more likely than carbon dioxide to encourage global warming. Refrigerant companies find it relatively cheap to instal an incinerator to burn the HFC-23 and, once that is converted into certified reductions of emission, each tonne saved can be sold as 11,700 carbon credits. These companies are now earning millions of euros from these credits - more than from selling their refrigerant products.

The environmental problem is two-fold, first that HFC factories tend to pour out other pollutants which don't happen to be greenhouse gases but which are unpleasant or dangerous for local communities; and second, that the potential profits from burning HFC-23 are so great that companies are being encouraged to expand production of refrigerants so they can produce more HFC-23 to incinerate, thus increasing the net amount of pollution.
Emphasis and links added. This looks like more proof that Kyoto is totally ineffective and that European style carbon trading is a scam designed to make some people very, very rich.

There's more. And I'm tempted to post it all. But follow the link and read it from the source.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Audio of Griffin interview

Audio of the NPR interview with NASA administrator Michael Griffin is now available. Listen here.

Excerpt (questions in bold, answers in normal text) from NPR:

It has been mentioned that NASA is not spending as much money as it could to study climate change — global warming — from space. Are you concerned about global warming?

I'm aware that global warming exists. I understand that the bulk of scientific evidence accumulated supports the claim that we've had about a one degree centigrade rise in temperature over the last century to within an accuracy of 20 percent. I'm also aware of recent findings that appear to have nailed down — pretty well nailed down the conclusion that much of that is manmade. Whether that is a longterm concern or not, I can't say.

Do you have any doubt that this is a problem that mankind has to wrestle with?

I have no doubt that … a trend of global warming exists. I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with. To assume that it is a problem is to assume that the state of Earth's climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had and that we need to take steps to make sure that it doesn't change. First of all, I don't think it's within the power of human beings to assure that the climate does not change, as millions of years of history have shown. And second of all, I guess I would ask which human beings — where and when — are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now is the best climate for all other human beings. I think that's a rather arrogant position for people to take.

Is that thinking that informs you as you put together the budget? That something is happening, that it's worth studying, but you're not sure that you want to be battling it as an army might battle an enemy?

Nowhere in NASA's authorization, which of course governs what we do, is there anything at all telling us that we should take actions to affect climate change in either one way or another. We study global climate change, that is in our authorization, we think we do it rather well. I'm proud of that, but NASA is not an agency chartered to, quote, battle climate change.

NASA scientist and global warming alarmist James Hansen was stunned by Griffin's comments:
Griffin's comments immediately drew stunned reaction from James Hansen, NASA's top climate scientist at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York.

"It's an incredibly arrogant and ignorant statement," Hansen told ABC News. "It indicates a complete ignorance of understanding the implications of climate change."

Hansen believes Griffin's comments fly in the face of well-established scientific knowledge that hundreds of NASA scientists have contributed to.

"It's unbelievable," said Hansen. "I thought he had been misquoted. It's so unbelievable."

Update & bump: Scientists Rally Around NASA Chief After Global Warming Comments
WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Jun. 1 -/E-Wire/-- "NASA's top administrator, Michael Griffin, speaking on NPR radio made some refreshingly sensible comments about the present global warming scare," said Robert Ferguson, Director of the Science and Public Policy Institute. "Many rationalist scientists agree with him, clearly demonstrating there is no scientific consensus on man-made, catastrophic global warming," said Ferguson.

May 2007 worldwide chills

These won't get reported in the mainstream media, but here's a quick roundup of cold weather reports for the month of May, 2007.

From Mississippi State University Office of Agricultural Communications:

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Unseasonably cold weather in May hurt cotton and led to increased numbers of thrips in many crops, but a bigger problem has been too much or too little rain.

Charlie Wax, state meteorologist at Mississippi State University, said May temperatures ranged from 5 to 9 degrees below normal. The Coast was comparably colder and drier than the rest of the state. Many areas received rain the last few days of May.
From the University of New Hampshire:
DURHAM, N.H. – This was the fourth wettest May on record in Durham and the first ever with 11 days of consecutive precipitation (May 21-31), according to state climatologist David Brown at the University of New Hampshire. And if it felt unseasonably cold, that’s because the average daily high temperatures for May were the coldest since at least 1931.
From the Missouri Ruralist:
Extreme cold weather brought more trouble for grazers this spring than ever before, says Rob Kallenbach, University of Missouri Extension forage specialist. The prolonged wet weather has brought more grazing challenges.
In Argentina, the cold weather is causing serious problems. Argentina cold snap causes energy woes:
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - A cold snap in Argentina led to electricity and natural gas shortages this week, idling factories and taxis and causing sporadic blackouts in the capital.

Beset by the coldest May since 1962, millions of residents fired up space heaters, straining Buenos Aires' electrical grid for three nights and forcing authorities to slash power supply nationwide and briefly cut domestic natural gas provisions and exports to Chile.
Similar story from South Africa's Sunday Times in this report:
Certainly, the evidence in May all points to a sharp increase in both production and consumption, as the unseasonally cold weather in the second half of the month has led to record demand for heating power.
From the Daily Mail in the UK which headlines:
If you thought our weekend was bad look at the weather across the water...

Freak snow, freezing temperatures and tropical storms across Europe are making the Bank Holiday washout here look almost pleasant.

In Spitzing in Germany, locals have been forced to wrap up after ten centimetres of snow brought out the snowploughs for the first time this year.

It was the same story in towns close to the Alps in Austria, Switzerland and even northern Italy where temperatures in May routinely climb into the 80s.

In one Swiss valley, 3,000 were trapped in hotels and guest houses because trains could not reach them in the snow.

Ironically, the weather follows one of the worst winters ever for snow at Alpine ski resorts.

On the Mediterranean island of Corsica, two hikers died in freezing fog and on its beaches a 19-year-old man was killed by a wave.

Further north in cities like Berlin, tropical storms have brought four days of chaos, dumping hailstones as big as golf balls, uprooting trees and causing widespread flooding.

Britain was drenched over the weekend in some of the worst rain of the year.

Arctic winds hit the country on Monday at speeds of up to 50mph in what was described as one of the coldest Whitsun Bank Holidays.

From Paris, Fwance:
This isn't supposed to be winter but it's a good impersonation: cold, dank, wet while the French Open stops, starts, stops, starts, and tries to dry out.
But then things weren't so bad in beautiful San Diego. From the Union Tribune:
SAN DIEGO – In a year with record cold snaps and heat waves, May's weather is turning about as average as average gets. The normal high temperature this time of year in San Diego is 69 degrees. The forecast this week calls for highs ranging from 67 to 70. The normal low is 60 degrees; the forecast is for lows of 58 to 61.
Am I cherry-picking cold weather stories? You bet. Somebody has to do it.