ClimateGate news

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Scientists Counter AP Article Promoting Computer Model Climate Fears

Marc Morano at The Inhofe EPW Press Blog:

Nearly two dozen prominent scientists from around the world have denounced a recent Associated Press article promoting sea level fears in the year 2100 and beyond based on unproven computer models predictions. The AP article also has been accused of mischaracterizing the views of a leading skeptic of man-made global warming fears. The scientists are dismissing the AP article, entitled “Rising Seas Likely to Flood U.S. History” (LINK) as a “scare tactic,” “sheer speculation,” and “hype of the worst order.” (H/T: Noel Sheppard of - LINK)


Notes for the speech of the President of the Czech Republic at the UN Climate Change Conference

Václav Klaus:

Distinguished colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

As responsible politicians, we know that we have to act when it is necessary. We know that our duty is to initiate public policy responses to issues that could pose a threat to the people of our countries. And we know that we have to form partnerships with colleagues from other countrieś when a problem cannot be confined to national boundaries. To help us doing it is one of the main reasons for the existence of institutions such as the United Nations.

However, the politicians have to ensure that the costs of public policies organized by
them will not be bigger than the benefits achieved. They have to carefully consider and seriously analyze their projects and initiatives. They have to do it, even if it may be unpopular and if it means blowing against the wind of fashion and political correctness. I cońgratulate Secretary General Ban Kimoon on organizing this conference and thank him for giving us an opportunity to address the important, but until now onesidedly debated issue of climate changes. The consequences of acknowledging them as a real, big, imminent and manmade threat would be so
enormous that we are obliged to think twice before making decisions. I am afraid it is not the case now.

Let me raise several points to bring the issue into its proper context:
1. Contrary to the artificially and unjustifiably created worldwide perception, the increase in global temperatures has been – in the last years, decades and centuries – very small in historical comparisons and practically negligible in its actual impact upon human béings and their activities.

2. The hypothetical threat connected with future global warming depends exclusively upon very speculative forecasts, not upon undeniable past experience and upon its trends and tendencies. These forecasts are based on relatively short time series of relevant variables and on forecasting models that have not been proved very reliable when attempting to explain past developments.

3. Contrary to many selfassured and selfserving proclamations, there is no scientific consensus about the causes of recent climate changes. An impartial observer must accept the fact that both sides of the dispute – the believers in man's dominant role in recent climate changes, as well as the supporters of the hypothesis about their mostly natural origin – offer arguments strong enough to be listened to carefully by the nonscientific community. To prematurely proclaim the victory of one group over another would be a tragic mistake and I am afraid we are making it.

4. As a result of this scientific dispute, there are those who call for an imminent action and those who warn against it. Rational behavior should depend on the size and probability of the risk and on the magnitude of the costs of Its avoidance. As a responsible politician, as an economist, as an author of a book about the economics of climate change, with all available data and arguments in mind, I have to conclude that the risk is too small, the costs of eliminating it too high and the application of a fundamentalistically interpreted "precautionary principle" a wrong strategy.

5. The politicians – and I am not among them – who believe in the existence of a significant global warming and especially those who believe in its anthropogenic origin remain divided: some of them are in favor of mitigation, which means of controlling global climate changes (and are ready to put enormous amounts of resources into it), while others rely on adaptation to it, on modernization and technical progress, and on a favorable impact of the future increase in wealth and welfare (and prefer spending public money there). The second option Is less ambitious and promises much more than the first one.

6. The whole problem does not only have its time dimension, but a more than important spatial (or regional) aspect as well. This is highly relevant especially here, in the UN. Different levels of development, income and wealth in different places of the world make worldwide, overall, universal solutions costly, unfair and to a great extent discriminatory. The already developed countries do not have the right to impose any additional burden on the less developed countries. Dictating ambitious and for them entirely inappropriate environmental standards is wrong and should be excluded from the menu of recommended policy measures.
My suggestions are as follows:
1. The UN should organize two parallel IPCCs and publish two competing reports. To get rid of the onesided monopoly is a sine qua non for an efficient and rational debate. Providing the same or comparable financial backing to both groups of scientists is a necessary starting point.

2. The countries should listen to one another, learn from mistakes and successes of others, but any country should be left alone to prepare its own plan to tackle this problem and decide what priority to assign to it among its other competing goals.
We should trust in the rationality of man and in the outcome of spontaneous evolution of human society, not in the virtues of political activism. Therefore, let's vote for adaptation, not for the attempts to mastermind the global climate.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Dion in deep doo-doo

Some articles from the national press today:

Dion to judge Tory fate after throne speech

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion says he will wait until after next month's throne speech before deciding to vote down the Conservative government. (...)

Former Liberal cabinet minister and political analyst Jean Lapierre told CTV's Question Period that the Liberal caucus will have to debate the likelihood of Dion gaining popularity against voting down the throne speech.

"Mr. Dion has to realize that he really can't sell himself to Canadians so he's got to have a very strong team to make up for his weaknesses," Lapierre said on Sunday.
The sinking Liberal ship
Both provincial and federal Liberals are in trouble in Quebec

"Humility" is the word used by Liberal MP Denis Coderre to describe party leader Stéphane Dion's public self-flagellation after the Liberals' disastrous performance in Monday's federal by-elections. "Humiliation" might more accurate.

It was almost painful to watch Dion beat himself up, first in an interview on Radio-Canada television on Wednesday evening, then in front of reporters after a speech in Montreal the following day.

He said he recently realized he has an image problem among his fellow French-speaking Quebecers, which makes him the last person in the province to realize this.
Last, but not least, Sheila Copps: The Liberal civil war has officially started.

Is Stephane Dion really in any position to defeat Stephen Harper's government and force a winter election? He can't be thinking seriously about this.

Unless, of course, he's getting his advice from the Ignatieff camp.

WaPo: U.S. Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming

From Investors Business Daily (with emphasis added, of course):

Did NASA scientist James Hansen, the global warming alarmist in chief, once believe we were headed for . . . an ice age? An old Washington Post story indicates he did.

On July 9, 1971, the Post published a story headlined "U.S. Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming." It told of a prediction by NASA and Columbia University scientist S.I. Rasool. The culprit: man's use of fossil fuels.

The Post reported that Rasool, writing in Science, argued that in "the next 50 years" fine dust that humans discharge into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuel will screen out so much of the sun's rays that the Earth's average temperature could fall by six degrees.

Sustained emissions over five to 10 years, Rasool claimed, "could be sufficient to trigger an ice age."

Aiding Rasool's research, the Post reported, was a "computer program developed by Dr. James Hansen," who was, according to his resume, a Columbia University research associate at the time.

So what about those greenhouse gases that man pumps into the skies? Weren't they worried about them causing a greenhouse effect that would heat the planet, as Hansen, Al Gore and a host of others so fervently believe today?

"They found no need to worry about the carbon dioxide fuel-burning puts in the atmosphere," the Post said in the story, which was spotted last week by Washington resident John Lockwood, who was doing research at the Library of Congress and alerted the Washington Times to his finding.

Hansen has some explaining to do. The public deserves to know how he was converted from an apparent believer in a coming ice age who had no worries about greenhouse gas emissions to a global warming fear monger.

This is a man, as Lockwood noted in his message to the Times' John McCaslin, who has called those skeptical of his global warming theory "court jesters." We wonder: What choice words did he have for those who were skeptical of the ice age theory in 1971?

People can change their positions based on new information or by taking a closer or more open-minded look at what is already known. There's nothing wrong with a reversal or modification of views as long as it is arrived at honestly.

But what about political hypocrisy? It's clear that Hansen is as much a political animal as he is a scientist. Did he switch from one approaching cataclysm to another because he thought it would be easier to sell to the public? Was it a career advancement move or an honest change of heart on science, based on empirical evidence?

If Hansen wants to change positions again, the time is now. With NASA having recently revised historical temperature data that Hansen himself compiled, the door has been opened for him to embrace the ice age projections of the early 1970s.

Could be he's feeling a little chill in the air again.
Or then again, maybe he's feeling a litlle heat...