ClimateGate news

Sunday, December 12, 2010

What did Cancun accomplish?

The Climate Conference in Cancun, Mexico has wrapped up after a long chilling week. So just what was accomplished at this big conflab? Ronald Bailey has a summary at Here's a snippet:

It would be cynical to call it a bribe, but the Cancun agreements were largely reached because the rich countries continued their vague promises to hand over $100 billion in climate aid annually to poor countries beginning in 2020.

Basically the deal on emissions is that countries will agree to agree on cuts at the next climate change conference in Durban. Big developing country emitters like China and India still refused to agree to any legally binding limits on their emissions. Of course, neither did the developed countries.


I repeat the highlights of the Cancun Agreements below:

(1) As far as I can tell, the COP has indeed kicked the Cancun down the road by agreeing that they "shall aim to complete" further commitments by rich countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions "as early as possible." They do include the saving phrase "and in time to ensure that there is no gap between the first and second commitment period." Translation: Additional cuts should be agreed to before 2012. The telling words are "shall aim to complete." No real promises here.

(2) The shared vision says that the parties set the goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions "so as to hold the increase in global average temperature below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels...." The parties will think about trying to hold average temperature increase to 1.5 later after further scientific review in 2015.

(3) The shared vision drops the earlier text that would have required that the world cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent and that developed countries cut their emissions by 80-95 percent by 2050. Instead, the parties will "work towards identifying a global goal for substantially reducing global emissions by 2050" and consider it at the next meeting in Durban.

(4) The shared vision also drops the proposal that global greenhouse gases should peak by 2015.

(5) The text also sets up a process for creating a system for accounting and monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions from developed countries. As far as I can tell from reading the rather opaque text, the U.S. has not been roped into a process that leads to legally binding emissions reduction commitments.

(6) China, India and other emerging countries also have not been roped into legally binding commitments, but if they take mitigation actions that are supported by outside money, those activities will be subject to some kind of international auditing. On the other, the world will have take their words for their domestically funded activities.

(7) The text also says that the parties decide to establish a Green Climate Fund under the authority of the Conference of the Parties with a board of directors consisting of 24 members, half of whom will be from rich countries and half from poor countries. The devloped country parties commit to "mobilizing jointly USD 100 billion per year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries."

Not much commitment to reducing carbon emissions there, but that $100,000,000,000 per year ain't no chump change!

And that's what it's always been about.

Update #1: JoNova has a roundup of the media response and says it was all about the PR:
After the awful post-Climategate-and-Copenhagen year, more than anything else, the Big Scare Campaign needed a PR win. And in that sense Cancun was a major victory. Nobody agreed to anything legally binding, Kyoto was not extended, and all they achieved amounted to nothing more than an extension of the yearly junkets, and the promise that the gravy train is not dead yet. But the headlines will warm the hearts of all on Team-Scare-Us. The most important thing for the side that’s losing friends, faith and face, was to regain momentum. They’re trying to stop the death spiral.
Update #2: From the Christian Science Monitor:
To prevent the talks from collapsing, the language had to accommodate the developing countries that are clinging to Kyoto as well as a Japan that wants very little to do with it any longer. Observers described the language as “weak” without a direct call for countries to pledge reductions in the second commitment period. [...]

“Anything that is said about a legally binding outcome in the future must make it very clear that that is a legally binding outcome that would apply to at least all the major countries including China, India, Brazil, and so forth,” says Todd Stern, the US special climate envoy.
The Wall Street Journal:
World leaders at a climate-change conference in Cancun, Mexico, made clear that addressing the issue will be all about money, agreeing that rich countries would spend potentially trillions of dollars to help poor countries develop on a greener path.

But the diplomats postponed hashing out which rich countries would pay how much, and exactly what the poor countries would have to do to get the checks.

The two-week United Nations climate conference in the resort city of Cancun underscored that future global efforts to address climate change will likely depend more on economic incentives than on environmental mandates.
From Reuters:
(Reuters) - Global carbon markets will struggle after the deal reached at annual U.N. climate talks did little to ensure mandatory emissions caps would be extended next year.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Gore Effect hits Cancun

The Gore Effect: wherever Al Gore goes, so does record cold weather. I don't know if the Goreacle is in Cancun, but there are enough warmists and climate change activists gathered there at the UN conference to trigger an impressive example of the Gore Effect. From Anthony Watts:

The irony, it burns. Do you think maybe Gaia is trying to send the U.N. and the delegates a message? One record low was funny, three in a row was hilarious, a new record low for the month of December was ROFL, but now six straight days of record lows during the U.N. COP16 Global Warming conference? That’s galactically inconvenient. The whole month so far has averaged below normal

E.P.A. Delays Tougher Rules on Emissions

From the New York Times:

The Obama administration is retreating on long-delayed environmental regulations — new rules governing smog and toxic emissions from industrial boilers — as it adjusts to a changed political dynamic in Washington with a more muscular Republican opposition.

The move to delay the rules, announced this week by the Environmental Protection Agency, will leave in place policies set by President George W. Bush. President Obama ran for office promising tougher standards, and the new rules were set to take effect over the next several weeks.

Now, the agency says, it needs until July 2011 to further analyze scientific and health studies of the smog rules and until April 2012 on the boiler regulation. Mr. Obama, having just cut a painful deal with Republicans intended to stimulate the economy, can ill afford to be seen as simultaneously throttling the fragile recovery by imposing a sheaf of expensive new environmental regulations that critics say will cost jobs.

The delays represent a marked departure from the first two years of the Obama presidency, when the E.P.A. moved quickly to reverse one Bush environmental policy after another. Administration officials now face the question of whether in their zeal to undo the Bush agenda they reached too far and provoked an unmanageable political backlash.
What next? Will Obama try legislation rather than regulation? I doubt that will fly with the new Republican dominated Congress.

It seems that elections do have consequences.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Lord Monckton on the New World Order

Update: Joanne Nova: "The power hungry tyrants learnt from Copenhagen. They realized that they have a far better chance of success by underselling the expectations and sliding in long impenetrable documents in front of underling bureaucrats. The UN wants nothing less than 1.5% of our GDP."

Original Post

Via WUWT, here is the report from the Viscount Monckton of Brenchley in Cancun, Mexico, Dec 9th, 2010 titled The Abdication of the West:

I usually add some gentle humor to these reports. Not today. Read this and weep. Notwithstanding the carefully-orchestrated propaganda to the effect that nothing much will be decided at the UN climate conference here in Cancun, the decisions to be made here this week signal nothing less than the abdication of the West. The governing class in what was once proudly known as the Free World is silently, casually letting go of liberty, prosperity, and even democracy itself. No one in the mainstream media will tell you this, not so much because they do not see as because they do not bl**dy care.

The 33-page Note (FCCC/AWGLCA/2010/CRP.2) by the Chairman of the “Ad-Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Co-operative Action under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change”, entitled Possible elements of the outcome, reveals all. Or, rather, it reveals nothing, unless one understands what the complex, obscure jargon means. All UNFCCC documents at the Cancun conference, specifically including Possible elements of the outcome, are drafted with what is called “transparent impenetrability”. The intention is that the documents should not be understood, but that later we shall be told they were in the public domain all the time, so what are we complaining about?

Since the Chairman’s note is very long, I shall summarize the main points:

I found this particularly disturbing.
The world-government Secretariat: In all but name, the UN Convention’s Secretariat will become a world government directly controlling hundreds of global, supranational, regional, national and sub-national bureaucracies. It will receive the vast sum of taxpayers’ money ostensibly paid by the West to the Third World for adaptation to the supposed adverse consequences of imagined (and imaginary) “global warming”.
The rest is here.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Can anyone be Environment minister?

A post at by Aaron Wherry today entitled The Commons: Anyone can be environment minister described a verbal exchange during Question Period on the latest report from the environmental commissioner. Mr Wherry seems a bit dissatisfied with the answers from Conservative MPs Mark Warawa and Chuck Strahl, who is quoted:

“We welcome the commissioner’s report,” he explained. “We of course are working to address those concerns that were raised. We welcome his suggestions. In fact we are already taking action on preventing and preparing for environmental emergencies, something that he highlighted, strengthening our water monitoring program and investing in climate change adaptation. Those recommendations are welcome and they are consistent with what the government is already doing. [...]

“We are dealing with the Copenhagen accord right now in Cancun to make sure that all major emitters sign on the dotted line,” Mr. Strahl later explained for the benefit of the NDP’s Thomas Mulcair. “There is no use having an accord when the major emitters of the world are not signed on and doing their part. We want all world economies to be part of this program.””
I have included only the above quote from MP Strahl. But if you read the whole article, it becomes apparent that the writer is dissatisfied with the responses. Mr. Wherry is obviously a "believer" and his article seems filled with contempt for not only the responses but the responders.

However, I think that Mr. Strahl's response deserves some study. He says, "In fact we are already taking action on... investing in climate change adaptation". Many would argue that adaptation is a far better response to climate change than an expensive and futile exercise in prevention. Even the UN has admitted that full implementation of the carbon reduction targets in Kyoto would have almost a negligible effect on their climate predictions. So wouldn't the money be better spent on adaptation. Perhaps not an answer that the enviro-marxist crowd wants to hear, but certainly one that's worth persuing.

Mr. Strahl makes another valid point, "There is no use having an accord when the major emitters of the world are not signed on and doing their part." Again, the enviro crowd want Canada to take drastic measures which would surely disadvantage our economy while countries like China, India and the United States who all dwarf us on the emissions scale are bound by no carbon reductions targets. Unfortunately Canada is a very small fish in this big pond and while some think it might be nice to "lead the way" and "set an example", such action would have absolutely no impact on the climate.

The whole anthropogenic global warming scheme is a scam. Always has been. Canada got sucked into Kyoto by the Lliberals under Jean Chretien who then proceeded to do absolutely nothing to reduce emissions. Recent events like climategate have helped to expose the fraud of man-made global warming. The lack of warming over the past decade and a half has helped too. So now that the wheels are falling off the whole climate change thing, why should Canada consider doing anything other than adaptation?

To get back to the question that Mr. Wherry didn't ask but inferred, not just anyone can be Environment minister. The job requires someone who can look at the issue of climate change rationally, see it for what it is and develop a response that is appropriate to the "threat" - while at the same time protecting the country's economy and the jobs that depend on it.

Adaptation seems like a pretty good approach to me.

The Green Collapse

Lawrence Solomon:

The Ontario government paints itself in extreme green. It has outlawed coal — the only jurisdiction on the continent to have done so. It boasts the world’s biggest solar plant. It boasts the western world’s biggest subsidies to the renewables industry. And now, it also boasts the western world’s fastest-growing renewables industry.

But Ontario’s new-found status didn’t arise because Ontario newly increased its level of its subsidies. It arose because the world’s other extreme green jurisdictions — to avert the economic and political ruin that comes of unaffordable green power — recently swallowed their pride, slashed their subsidies and backstabbed their renewables industries. Like its extreme green counterparts elsewhere, Ontario will follow suit soon enough.
Want more?
On Friday, Spain slashed payouts for wind projects by 35% while denying support for solar thermal projects in their first year of operation. Spain’s renewables industry also faces a cap on the number of megawatt-hours eligible for subsidized rates.
Also Friday, France announced a four-month freeze on solar projects and a cap on the amount of solar that can be built, to nip a “veritable speculative bubble” by its rapacious renewables industry. These measures and others continue a retrenchment that saw industry payouts cut twice earlier this year, and that will likely continue as opposition grows to France’s rapidly rising power tax on electricity.
Enough yet? There's more.
Earlier this week, the German government announced it may discontinue the solar industry’s sweetheart tariffs in 2012. This latest announcement follows a surprise reduction in 2009 and another reduction to start in 2011.
You guessed it, there's more...
Also in October, New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, slashed by two-thirds the revenue that homeowners who had installed solar panels would receive, from 60¢ per kilowatt-hour to 20¢.
One last point.
Also in October, the U.K. government announced that withering spending cuts were coming to renewable projects, many of which have already been withering, and not just due to government austerity measures, or to the consumer backlash against rising power rates. Because of fierce grassroots opposition from the U.K.’s 230-odd anti-wind organizations, local governments have shelved or rejected two out of three wind-farm applications that have come before them.
While the rest of the world is retreating from the green energy scam, Dalton McQuinty continues to waste Ontario tax dollars on this pipe dream and endanger our energy future at the same time. Take a look, Mr. McGuinty at the failures of green energy in Europe and you will see our future.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Canada joins in to reject extension of Kyoto

With climate negotiations wasting away in Margaritaville, er Cancun, the AP is reporting that Canada has taken a stand against extending the disastrous carbon emissions targets of the Kyoto Accord.

CANCUN, Mexico - Canada has reportedly aligned itself with Russia and Japan to block the extension of the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012.

U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres says Canada is one of three countries among the 36 signatories that's opposed to extending their emission targets under the pact.
Bravo, Mr. Harper. Bravo.

Update: More from Le Devoir via Norman Spector:
“Yesterday, Canada stirred a veritable commotion [in Cancun] by aligning itself with Japan to block the extension of the Kyoto protocol beyond 2012 – an extension that would see a new period of obligatory reductions in greenhouse gases agreed to by the 36 parties to the treaty.

It was the chair of the conference herself, Christiana Figueres, who confirmed the identity of the three countries opposed to extending Kyoto beyond 2012. She spelled out that Russia, the final country to have ratified Kyoto – thereby giving it international binding legal effect – had joined with Japan and Canada to form what from now will be known as the ‘Group of Three.’”
It sounds like Canada has (finally) decided to do the right thing about Kyoto. I'll be watching for more on this in upcoming days. I'm sure that PM Stephen Harper is going to get a roasting in the liberal news media here. But I'm just as sure that he has calculated the backlash and is ready for it.

Climategate Round II

Could Wikileaks bring us the next round of Climategate? Some iinteresting posts from the Guardian:

Close reading of the cables released by WikiLeaks reveals in excruciating detail the US tactics deployed to achieve its aim of overwhelming the opposition to the Copenhagen accord.
Well, we know that the Copenhagen thing didn't work out so well for the warmists, but it is interesting to learn of all the behind the scenes manipulation and intimidation that went into the effort.
Embassy dispatches show America used spying, threats and promises of aid to get support for Copenhagen accord [...]

Hidden behind the save-the-world rhetoric of the global climate change negotiations lies the mucky realpolitik: money and threats buy political support; spying and cyberwarfare are used to seek out leverage.

The US diplomatic cables reveal how the US seeks dirt on nations opposed to its approach to tackling global warming; how financial and other aid is used by countries to gain political backing; how distrust, broken promises and creative accounting dog negotiations; and how the US mounted a secret global diplomatic offensive to overwhelm opposition to the controversial "Copenhagen accord", the unofficial document that emerged from the ruins of the Copenhagen climate change summit in 2009.
Looks like they have lowered their expectations for Cancun.
Cancún climate talks doomed to fail, says EU president. Herman van Rompuy dismisses Copenhagen climate summit as 'incredible disaster' and expects Cancún to be no better. [...]

Van Rompuy said the Copenhagen climate change talks had been "an incredible disaster". Looking forward to the current negotiations in Cancún in Mexico, the European leader predicted that these would be a disaster too.

Wasting away in Margaritaville

To say that Rex Murphy has a way with words is to say that Michelangelo was pretty good with a paint brush. Rex offers his thoughts on the big climate party in Cancun.

Perhaps they know that this show of theirs is on its last legs, the jig is up, the great game is over. After the unsuccessful 2009 Copenhagen conference, they had to have realized that even Al Gore and all Al Gores’ grim little men would never be able to put the whole rickety, tendentious machine back together again. After Copenhagen, and especially after Climategate, even the true believers must have lost heart. Witness this year’s confabulation. Notice who’s not there?
Right. The world's leaders are conspicuously absent from this latest warmist gathering. The shine is off the apple. And this group of self-serving elites is becoming more and more irrelevant.

With my apologies to Jimmy Buffett:
Wasting away again in Margaritaville
Searching for a transfer of wealth
Some people claim that there's a carbon to blame
But I know... it's nobody's fault

Friday, December 3, 2010

Senator Jim Inhofe

on Copenhagen, Cancun and the death of Cap & Trade.

h/t: Captain Ed

As if we needed proof...

UN moonbattery confirmed.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, invoked the ancient jaguar goddess Ixchel in her opening statement to delegates gathered in Cancun, Mexico, noting that Ixchel was not only goddess of the moon, but also "the goddess of reason, creativity and weaving. May she inspire you -- because today, you are gathered in Cancun to weave together the elements of a solid response to climate change, using both reason and creativity as your tools."
While these UN elites cavort in sunny Cancun, a couple feet of global warming gets dumped on Buffalo, NY.

Oh wait! It appears that we're freezing because of global warming!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Burying the Kyoto Accord once and for all

The Kyoto Accord has been on life support for a while now. Warmists who were hoping for some form of resuscitation at the big climate conflab in Mexico this week must surely be disappointed by this news:

Talks threatened with breakdown after forthright Japanese refusal to extend Kyoto emissions commitments.

The delicately balanced global climate talks in Cancún suffered a serious setback last night when Japan categorically stated its opposition to extending the Kyoto protocol – the binding international treaty that commits most of the world's richest countries to making emission cuts.
Given that Japan was the birthplace of this disaster, it seems only fitting that the Japanese should be the ones to drive the silver stake through it's heart.

h/t: WUWT