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Archive for June, 2008

Tony Blair Sees The Light (Partially at Least)

Not your usual climate mumbo-jumbo by Tony Blair in today’s International Herald Tribune: “Breaking the deadlock“.

Apparently Mr Blair amongs all his other committments, also is the leader of the “Breaking the Climate Deadlock” initiative. This is good news in the sense that somebody somewhere finally must have recognised that at the current rate of negotiation, all talk about climate change and emission reduction truly is just hot air.

Mr Blair shows more insightfulness in other statements: no politician can count on long-term visions alone; whatever is proposed about climate change must be realistic; people should be able to “enjoy the material and social benefits of growth and consumption” even if CO2 emissions are getting cut; the Kyoto protocol cannot simply be repeated; every further agreement must be flexible and open to renegotiation should circumstances change.

There isn’t even any mention of biblical catastrophes. All in all, not the usual miserabilist rant, with a hint of optimism even. I am sure that’ll make Mr Blair very, very unpopular in AGW circles.

That said, there’s still important points to disagree with:

(a) Mr Blair fears the Copenhagen December 2009 agreement will see “each country giving as little as they believe possible”. Well, that’s what happens with international agreements

(b) The goal is still to set emission targets for 2050. That’s simply way too far in the future: most political leaders of 2050 have barely learnt to read, in 2008.

Is there any chance for a break in the “climate deadlock” I think so: provided there is enough flexibility, to the point of being ready even for the case of the climate not changing after all. Otherwise, we’ll go from one Kyoto to another Son of Kyoto, literally with much ado about nothing (or less).

Honesty on Nature’s Climate Feedback

I want to thank Olive Heffernan for being so honest: her blog at Nature’s Climate Feedback, that will surely make Lord Lawson proud despite a tad too many personal attacks, is definitely neither cool nor rational. Exactly “what it says on the tin”…

As for Rosenzweig et al.: could anybody please confirm or deny if the “30,000 phenomena” are the same 30,000 phenomena mentioned in AR4-WG2, chapter 1?

Earth, then Mars…Venus Next in Line for “Giant Impact” Explanation

Big news today about Mars’ peculiar north-south terrain divide having been caused by the impact of a Moon-size object shortly after the planet formed. Since there is also strong evidence for Earth having undergone a similar impact, with a Mars-size planetoid, thereby forming our Moon, it would be odd to imagine that no such catastrophe ever occurred to Venus.

After all there’s lots still to explain about “Earth’s Twin”: a very slow retrograde rotation, an incredibly massive atmosphere and a relatively young (<500 million years) surface. To me, the whole setting cries out loud for an “impact” explanation, rather than the classic “it’s warm because of the CO2!” theory that says nothing about all the other peculiarities (and it’s not exactly necessary…).

Hansen’s “Desperation 350” – And Still They Travel

2008/06/26 4 comments

Full-page ad on the IHT on June 23 by the Taellberg Forum:

<350

Remember this number for the rest of your life

It is left to the reader’s imagination to hear music like in an old Bela Lugosi movie…

Anyway: such an effort is apparently linked to the 20th anniversary of Hansen’s warning to the US Congress about global warming.

We are told, CO2 concentration at the time was 350 ppm, and now it’s 385. We are also told that “Science says” the worst effects happen above the level of 450ppm.

Looks like it’s not too much of a worry then? Don’t even think about it.

For unfathomable reasons (=otherwise a lot of people would become inconsequential), the ad says that we have to go back to levels lower than 350ppm anyway (and yes, there is no scientific basis at all for choosing the value “350”) “peacefully and deliberately, with all possible speed” (rather ominous words if you ask me…): because “<350 is essential to maintain human and planetary well-being

(planetary???)

Why then “350”? Perhaps as a celebratory level for Hansen’s true guidance. But with planetary temperatures refusing to go up, I do expect lots more of this stuff in the near future

I have a small question though: if they believe in what the ad says then…why are they still travelling so much? For example, to the Taellberg Forum, june 26-29 in Sweden.

Spare a Thought for IATA

2008/06/26 2 comments

They emit very very little CO2 compared to everything else, they have set up a “4-pillar strategy to address climate change”, they have been hardly hit by gigantic fuel prices.

They have also been plagued for decades and decades by poor managerial and cost-control skills, resulting in a multitude of bankruptcies and often disappearance of once-thriving companies.

Still, that’s not enough for the miserabilists at the EU trying to force emission trading schemes on anything that moves. And so today, IATA, the International Air Transport Association, decided to pay for a full-page ad on the International Herald Tribune, detailing their perfectly mainstream ideas about climate change.

Much has been said about coercing evil Big Oil and Big Energy companies into emission trading schemes. Let’s see if airlines will be treated any better: one fears not, as the underlying goal is not so much actual emissions, rather the removal of whatever can provide fun

Algorino’s Opera

Very funny and inspired yesterday John Tierney in his parody of a letter to Al Gore about the upcoming opera based on his book “An Inconvenient Truth“.

No prize to guess who the main character Prince Algorino is meant to resemble closely…

Why Are Weather Forecasters Skeptical of AGW?

2008/06/18 4 comments

An interesting topic via the Global Warming blog on Accuweather, where Brett Anderson points to an article by Bill Dawson of The Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media.

Note in a couple of Dawson’s interviewees, a slight-but-steady series of slurs against weathercasters that don’t buy into the AGW faith:

Broadcast meteorologists are so busy disseminating information about near-term weather conditions[…] that they simply don’t have much time to keep up with scientific developments related to longer-term climate conditions

many “naysayers” […] are coming from a perspective of the policy first

they’re against it because they think it will hurt the economy

[the “naysayers”] are putting their own personal views – sometimes even fundamentalist religious beliefs – first

[they] have no academic training or degrees in meteorology

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Luckily, Messrs Anderson and Dawson don’t engage in such awful rhetoric, with the former publicly declaring

“from what I personally see, there are also a number of current and retired TV meteorologists with a good deal of atmospheric science eduaction/professional background that are also skeptical about man-made global warming”

Myself, I have a weather forecasting background…who knows, that might explain my skepticism about AGW…in any case, I find it natural to respect people whose forecasts are challenged by thousands of viewers against the hard evidence of each day’s weather.

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