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Archive for June, 2009

If Waxman-Markey Went Global…

…we might get up to 2.37C total temperature reduction by 2100. That’s around half of the projected BAU rise. And 1.129C of those would be the result of implementing Waxman-Markey targets in China, India and the rest of Asia, minus the Middle East and the former Soviet Union that is.

All figures come from MasterResource.

Now, who or what is going to convince China and India, a combined total of 2.5 billion people, to remain poor in the name of safeguarding the planet, exactly at the moment when their fortunes appear to be turning and future riches start to beacon?

Good luck with that…considering also that the implementation of climate-virtuous solutions developed in the USA and in Europe will not necessarily be feasible outside of the USA and Europe.

Harbingers Of A Climate Dictatorship

2009/06/30 7 comments

I am not referring to Paul Krugman, the best evidence that Alfred Nobel was right in NOT establishing a Nobel Prize in Economics at his (Nobel’s) time (what Krugman’s got is an afterthought sponsored by the Bank of Sweden).

The harbingers of the upcoming climate dictatorship are all those commenters to his NYT article, confirming Krugman’s totalitarian idea that political disagreement about global warming is akin to treason.

If there’s really many of them, there isn’t much hope in the future. Either the scary climate scenarios will happen, and a climate dictatorship will be founded. Or they will not, and thousands and thousands of very angry people will be looking for something else to base their thirst for dictatorship upon.

Scientists: Mediterranean Sea “Not Warming”

2009/06/24 5 comments

(via Piero Vietti’s Cambi di Stagione. My translation of course)

17 JUN 2009 From the ongoing OGS conference on Observational Oceanography in Trieste, Italy – Rome, 17 June (Apcom) – No water warming processes are likely to be undergoing in the Mediterranean. It’s one of the preliminary results obtained under MedArgo, the “sister project”, coordinated by OGS [the Italian National Institute on Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics].

MedArgo deals specifically with the Mediterranean Sea and surrounding countries and is part of EuroArgo, the European component of the international Argo project.

Argo’s objective is an intensive analysis of the seas to see what are the impacts of climate change and global warming on the waters of our planet and, consequently, also on its ecosystems. That is why 60 European scientists are comparing data and knowledge at the Second EuroArgo Conference on Observational Oceanography, being held in Trieste, and organized by OGS.

In order to study the chemical and physical parameters of the waters of the seas, OGS uses special tools called “float profilers” [?], battery-powered cylindrical tubes released into sea currents. Devices last between 3 and 4 years and collect 150-200 profiles before being abandones.

“These instruments – says Pierre-Marie Poulain, Head of the Remote Sensing Group at OGS and coordinator of MedArgo – go down to an average depth of 350 meters and remain there for five days. Then they do a quick foray to 2,000 meters and come back up, measuring the physical parameters of the water column and transmitting the data via satellite. Everything is done in real time: the data arrives at research centers, scattered throughout the world, where it is processed, managed and disseminated to the community of scientists.”

At present, there are around 3,000 profilers worldwide, spaced apart by about 300 kilometers. In the European seas there are 800 profiles, 23 of which in the Mediterranean Sea, with the objective of bringing the total to 30 for a complete coverage of the basin.

As well as coordinating the launching of the profilers, OGS is also involved in collecting the data recorded on the characteristics of currents, temperature and salinity. The researchers from Trieste are, in fact, among the few with the oceanographical skills needed to perform the necessary quality control.

MedArgo so far has collected a series of data that illustrate what is happening in the Mediterranean. “The Mediterranean current – adds Poulain – is an important engine of the local circulation, because it influences all motions of this enclosed sea. On the basis of information gathered so far, all we can anticipate is that at the moment there are no processes warming the waters. But we will have more details only at the end of the project, with the final data in hand.”

Somebody Please Help Me Find BBC Non-Warmist Biases And Errors

2009/06/23 4 comments

As of Monday evening GMT, Richard Black’s “UK ‘must plan’ for warmer future” (Page last updated at 17:04 GMT, Thursday, 18 June 2009 18:04 UK) is still visible under the “Environment” sub-section the of BBC Science & Environment home page.

Pallab Ghosh’s “Climate warnings’ error margins” (Page last updated at 11:58 GMT, Thursday, 18 June 2009 12:58 UK) is nowhere else to be seen than via directly input of the URL. Remarkably, it cannot be found even under FEATURES AND ANALYSIS in the “standard” right-side column sub-section for climate-related pages. It is missing from the GREEN ROOM as well.

Richard Black’s article appears in that same right-side column under LATEST SCIENCE

I am a regular follower of the BBC Science & Environment site. Still, had it not been mentioned in today’s Benny Peiser’s CCNet mailing, Pallab Ghosh’s work would have disappeared without me noticing a thing.

And it is not a matter of when the article was last updated: there are two pages under Environment, one “Page last updated at 09:24 GMT, Thursday, 18 June 2009 10:24 UK” and the other “Page last updated at 08:25 GMT, Thursday, 18 June 2009 09:25 UK”. Both have been written/modified before Pallab Ghosh’s article.

There is one big difference though. Pallab Ghosh’s piece is much more critical of the Defra latest absurd claims on totally-unscientific climate projections over a 5-km grid.

Of course answers could range from “Not everything at the BBC is well planned” to “The Analysis list will be updated soon”, and more. But…if the BBC always and every time inadvertently and unwittingly errs on the side of the warmists, what ever will be left of the feeling that those errors are really inadvertent and unwitting?

Where are the BBC non-warmist inadvertent errors?

Please help me find any, as I have promised Richard Black via private e-mail I will refrain from criticising the BBC about AGW bias for a year, if he (or anybody else) can find anything.

And no, The Blog of Bloom doesn’t count. It would have had counted, had the BBC itself lent it any credibility in the past…

Close-Minded Environmental AGW Lawyer Plays The Bait

2009/06/17 4 comments

It is truly amazing to discover an “Open Letter to Climate Change Denialists” that is as close-minded as they can get, with sentences such as “we also welcome dissenting views, even when we think they’re unfounded” and “there’s no point in debating the science with you“.

The guy signing as Daniel Farber appears to be some sort of a “lawyer” that has written a paper titled “Climate Models: A User’s Guide” with “two goals: providing legal and policy analysts with a basic understanding of the types of computer models that are used in studying climate change, and thinking through the uses and limitations of these models for courts and agencies“.

Trouble is, the “User’s Guide” looks just like a glorified appeal on managing risk by concentrating on the “fat tail”, the potential, enormous risks should things go very badly. Its conclusions are not climate-specific: they apply to any problem with a “fat tail”. And they are wrong.

Man shall not manage risk on “worst-case scenario” alone. If one were to educate one’s children only based on that principle, one’d make their life a hell on earth. If one were to live by that principle, one’d never get out of bed in the morning. And if one were to make politics by that principle, well, no need to imagine things there, it’s been the Cheney/Rumsfeld strand of foreign policy for a few decades.

Luckily Mr Farber is no risk manager, otherwise some serious professional questions could have been made. Anyway, it would have been nice to read something more lawyerly than a rather fallacious attempt at presenting a three-possibilities choice that is obviously a reduction too far (already the second comment found a fourth possibility…)

ps as of now no much support for Mr Farber in the comments

pps Mr Farber appears to make the peculiar argument of having only AGWers as friends and acquaintances (“reaching readers who are well outside our usual circle of friends and acquaintances“)

ppps I would not be surprised if the overall goal is just to write another article attacking all anti-AGW arguments that pop up in the comments

Extracting ‘Climate Refugees’ Out Of Thin Air

The most vaporous of climate-change reports seems to have just been published, and its title is “In Search Of Shelter: Mapping the Effects of Climate Change on Human Migration and Displacement“. Even warmist Tom Zeller Jr could not avoid pointing out that:

  • The idea that drastic, human-induced climate change could have an effect on global stability, particularly to the extent that it might spur mass migrations of people fleeing increasingly inhospitable landscapes, has generated a good deal of academic scrutiny and political hand-wringing over the past decade, and for good reason
  • the very notion of migration spurred by climate change remains scientifically opaque
  • there is little agreement on just how one ought to describe — or even measure — the phenomenon
  • all [labels like “climate change refugees”] tend to suggest a singular driver behind migration — and that, several researchers have begun to argue, is perilously simplistic
  • Environmental migration “is not a real phenomenon […] the decision to move cannot be removed from the economic and political situation […] there is evidence that the decision to leave an area adversely affected by environmental conditions is more a function of political relationships
  • Other researchers have pointed out the near futility in trying to quantify the concept
  • “Because one cannot completely isolate climate change as a cause, however, it is difficult, if not impossible, to stipulate any numbers”

It gets even funnier. Here some quotes almost straight from the mouth of “Koko Warner, a researcher at United Nations University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security in Bonn and one of the principal authors of the most recent analysis

  • “there’s no real science yet”
  • she was careful to note that the surveys her team conducted […] provided only anecdotal evidence
  • “You couldn’t call this statistically significant. It’s probably not a large enough sample”

Ms Warner says that “codifying some connection between climate change and migration in [a post-Kyoto] treaty […] will provide a political basis […] for dealing with whatever might come over the next several decades“. Is there any scientist left doing any science at the United Nations University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security?

ps Thanks to Ms Warner also for admitting that “the numbers [of potential climate change refugees for the future decades] are all over the place“. I guess there is no shortage of methodological embarassments

Text Of Complaint To The BBC About Prepackaged Militant AGW “News”

The following is the text of the complaint I have submitted via the BBC Complaints website. For a history of the BBC Australian Climate demonstrations imbroglio, follow this link:

Phil Mercer’s article about the Australian “National Climate Emergency Rallies” is much less likely to be about informing people than an advocacy piece for the fight against anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Thereby it contravenes the BBC’s stated values of being “independent, impartial and honest”.

It is not independent or impartial because Mr Mercer has published his article before being able to check its truthfulness in full, making a guess on the number of marchers based on what the organizers expected.

It is not honest because it is presented as “news” when it has clearly been pre-packaged long before anything had actually happened, with information that could not have been confirmed at the time (please note that as of now Reuters still talks of hundreds not thousands of marchers).

There is nothing in Mr Mercer’s article that could not have been written beforehand. I understand it could be standard journalistic practice, however I do not understand why the BBC would have had to rush forward without fact-checking. Given the absence of any picture of marchers in Mr Mercer’s article, one is left wondering if he has actually seen any National Climate Emergency Rally at all.

As a further note against the BBC’s impartiality on the topic of AGW in this particular circumstance, only the BBC and a few local media outlets have shown any interest in the “National Climate Emergency Rallies”. And all newsmedia including those from Australia have spoken about the marches several hours after Mr Mercer. Please note that I am not claiming the BBC reported manufactured news. That would have been fraud.

Instead, I am asking on what basis did the BBC found it necessary to rush this kind of news first, and without having had the time to check the contents of the article. That is not fraud. That is bias. And as a TV licence fee payer I have the right to question why my money would have to be spent in AGW advocacy, in direct contrast with the BBC’s own values.

If AGW is so important to you why don’t you rewrite your values accordingly?

Sustainable Energy Is The Way Forward (To Oblivion)

2009/06/15 2 comments

Gabriel Calzada Alvarez PhD. and others’ by-now-famous “Study of the effects on employment of public aid to renewable energy sources” has been hailed as a “blunt and devastating [examination], labeling [green] investments to be ‘terribly economically counterproductive’“. And it has been debunked” as having “numerous flaws.

I think too many people are missing the point…”sustainable energy” is sustainable in the sense that in the medium if not short term it will make all of us poor and jobless, therefore drastically reducing our greenhouse emissions.

As a bonus, it will also make most of the Western world wretched enough to be wholly unattractive to Third World workers, thereby resolving the immigration issues as well.

Here’s a couple of signs of what bright-minded greenies are preparing for us…

Is It Christian To Worry About Climate Change?

2009/06/15 10 comments

There is no shortage of Christian people and groups telling the word we should worry about climate change.

Trouble is, the climate is not actually changing…rather, there are some people that are predicting it eventually will. Even the most rabid globalwarmers cannot in all honesty claim anything more than

there is a increasing risk of abrupt or irreversible climate shifts

Compare that to Matthew, 6:31-34

31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own

And Ecclesiastes, 7:13-15

14 When times are good, be happy;
but when times are bad, consider:
God has made the one
as well as the other.
Therefore, a man cannot discover
anything about his future.

People talk about a Christian duty for stewardship of the planet. If that is a proper concept or not, it would take much more than a blog to evaluate. But it looks obvious that it is the problems of today that should be of interest to a Christian.

And anthropogenic global warming is not a problem of today.

Richard S Courtney: Temperatures, Climate Models…And The Human Brain

2009/06/15 6 comments

(This is part of a private message from Richard S Courtney, answering a third person’s question: “what fundamental principles of thermodynamic, radiative forcing or radiation balance are in conditions to explain the fall of latest global temperatures observed by University of Alabama in Huntsville?”

Published with Richard’s permission)

I look at the records of global temperature and I see a series of cycles that are overlayed on each other. For example,

1. There seems to be an apparent ~900 year oscillation that caused the Roman Warm Period (RWP), then the Dark Age Cool Period (DACP), then the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), then the Little Ice Age (LIA), and the present warm period (PWP).

2. There seems to be an apparent ~60 year oscillation that caused cooling to ~1910, then warming to ~1940, then cooling to ~1970, then warming to ~2000, then cooling since.

So, has the warming from the LIA stopped or not? That cannot be known because the pattern of past global temperature fluctuations suggests that the existing cooling phase of the ~60 year cycle is opposing any such warming. And that cooling phase can be anticipated to end around 2030 when it can be anticipated that then either

(a) warming from the LIA will continue until we reach temperatures similar to those of the MWP

or

(b) cooling will set in until we reach temperatures similar to those of the LIA.

But this begs the question as to why such global temperature fluctuations occur. And I address that issue as follows.

The basic assumption used in the climate models is that change to climate is driven by change to radiative forcing. And it is very important to recognise that this assumption has not been demonstrated to be correct. Indeed, it is quite possible that there is no force or process causing climate to vary. I explain this as follows.

The climate system is seeking an equilibrium that it never achieves. The Earth obtains radiant energy from the Sun and radiates that energy back to space. The energy input to the system (from the Sun) may be constant (although some doubt that), but the rotation of the Earth and its orbit around the Sun ensure that the energy input/output is never in perfect equilbrium.

The climate system is an intermediary in the process of returning (most of) the energy to space (some energy is radiated from the Earth’s surface back to space). And the Northern and Southern hemispheres have different coverage by oceans. Therefore, as the year progresses the modulation of the energy input/output of the system varies. Hence, the system is always seeking equilibrium but never achieves it.

Such a varying system could be expected to exhibit oscillatory behaviour. And, importantly, the length of the oscillations could be harmonic effects which, therefore, have periodicity of several years. Of course, such harmonic oscillation would be a process that – at least in principle – is capable of evaluation.

However, there may be no process because the climate is a chaotic system. Therefore, observed oscillations such as ENSO, NAO, PDO and etc. could be observation of the system seeking its chaotic attractor(s) in response to its seeking equilibrium in a changing situation.

Very importantly, there is an apparent ~900 year oscillation that caused the Roman Warm Period (RWP), then the Dark Age Cool Period (DACP), then the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), then the Little Ice Age (LIA), and the present warm period (PWP). As I suggest above, all the observed rise of global temperature in the twentieth century could be recovery from the LIA that is similar to the recovery from the DACP to the MWP. And the ~900 year oscillation could be the chaotic climate system seeking its attractor(s). If so, then all global climate models and ‘attribution studies’ utilized by IPCC and CCSP are based on the false premise that there is a force or process causing climate to change when no such force or process exists.

But the assumption that climate change is driven by radiative forcing may be correct. If so, then it should be noted that it is still extremely improbable that – within the foreseeable future – the climate models could be developed to a state whereby they could provide reliable predictions. This is because the climate system is extremely complex. Indeed, the climate system is more complex than the human brain (the climate system has more interacting components – e.g. biological organisms – than the human brain has interacting components – e.g. neurones), and nobody claims to be able to construct a reliable predictive model of the human brain. It is pure hubris to assume that the climate models are sufficient emulations for them to be used as reliable predictors of future climate when they have no demonstrated forecasting skill.

So, my bottom line answer to a question that asks, “what fundamental principles of thermodynamic, radiative forcing or radiation balance are in conditions to explain the fall of latest global temperatures observed by University of Alabama in Huntsville ?” is

I don’t know because nobody can know, but I want to know.

And that is why I support attempts to quantify all the “fundamental principles” which you mention because that attempt affords the possibility of telling me what I want to know.

Greenpeace, Poorpeace

2009/06/15 3 comments

Or…how the usual “little” greenie exaggeration can ethically harm people under the unscrutinizing gaze of journalists and politicians…

Ben Pile on Spiked: “Greenpeace: putting trees before people

[…] There may well be an argument that what happens to trees thousands of miles away is a problem. But the problems experienced by the poor in Brazil, and throughout the world, must surely be more pressing. Instead, it is squeamishness about what our shopping habits do to forests that drives the argument for international regulatory frameworks, and it is hard to see how focusing on land, trees and cows will raise the standard of living for people whose labour and lives are cheap. Such campaigns seem to express greater solidarity with wood than with people.

Greenpeace enjoys an increasingly cosy relationship with the establishment. As politicians find it harder to make arguments for themselves, they frequently turn to NGOs to give their policies credibility. For instance, the UK Conservative leader David Cameron recently launched his party’s energy policy at a press event held on the rooftop of Greenpeace’s London HQ (watch it here).

Journalists, too, look to such organisations for moral direction and sensational copy. This means that rather than holding them to account, the claims and broader agendas of NGOs often go without scrutiny or criticism. It is taken for granted that they are ‘ethical’, but no one ever voted for Greenpeace and there is no good reason to believe that the preoccupation with environmental issues is in the interests of people, either in the UK or in Brazil

BBC And Climate: News Before Things Happen?

2009/06/13 7 comments

[ UPDATED 22:50 GMT June 15: Andrew Bolt kindly links here and then makes a good point in his blog, with the help of “reader Anthony“, further demonstrating the BBC bias on the topic of AGW: “That’s not reporting, but propagandising. You disagree? Then ask why the BBC reported on a Melbourne protest of a few hundred believers of its preferred green faith, but ignored this Melbourne protest by even more believers of a more traditional one“]

[ UPDATED 23:47 GMT: According to Singapore’s Straits Times, it was “Hundreds of environmental activists” marching in Australia. The Sydney Morning Herald focuses on Brisbane and “a crowd of 600“, after reporting that “thousands of environmental activists marched in central Sydney“. Finally, Melbourne-based The Age writes that “The rallies attracted about 6,000 people nationwide“.

That article is timestamped at 6:24PM, or 8:24AM GMT, a little less than 4 hours after Phil Mercer’s piece for the BBC. QED.]

[ UPDATED 13:50 GMT: I have inserted the pictures grabbed earlier today.

There is now an ABC article saying “At a protest rally in central Sydney, streets were blocked off as more than 1,000 people marched through the city streets to the office of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd“. And yes, it mentions just Sydney.

There is also a blog (with a photo) claiming “Thousands marched from Melbourne’s State Library to the Treasury Gardens to demand more action on climate change“.

To be perfectly clear, the point of this blog is not to ask if thousands have marched in Australia against climate change or not. Had the BBC reported manufactured news, that would have been fraud. Instead, the point is to ask on what basis did the BBC find it necessary to rush this kind of news first, and without having had the time to check what they were writing about.

That is not fraud: it is bias. And I do not think the BBC can afford to show bias.]

Australians demand climate action“, writes Phil Mercer from Sydney on the BBC News web pages

Thousands of demonstrators have rallied across Australia to demand greater government action to protect the environment from climate change

BBC report on marching Australians

BBC report on marching Australians

Or have they? Has Mr Mercer written his piece before the fact (could happen), and much worse, before having the information needed to verify the contents of his article?

It is rather strange, for example, that there was no picture of those thousands of people available for the BBC to publish…

Mercer’s article as of now is timestamped as “Page last updated at 04:20 GMT, Saturday, 13 June 2009”. That corresponds to 2:20pm in places like Brisbane and Sydney. The National Climate Emergency Rallies were scheduled for 1pm Brisbane time. I suppose that could put Mercer’s article in the “breaking news” category.

But look now at what else is available on the ‘net about thousands of people marching in Australia. When limited to the past 24 hours, and sorted by time, Google results include only two relevant news articles apart from the BBC’s

Google's web results sorted by date

Google's web results sorted by date

thewest.com.au report on hundreds of Perth marchers

thewest.com.au report on hundreds of Perth marchers

AFP picture of Sydney marchers from Business Recorder

AFP picture of Sydney marchers from Business Recorder

(the Nigeria Best Forum entry is a copy-and-paste from the BBC)

from Nigerian Best Forum blog

from Nigerian Best Forum blog

Notably, the AFP picture cannot be used to judge a crowd’s size. Even more notably, there is nothing as of now from Australian’s sites and blogs about “thousands of people“.

So if there’s no pictures, and the only local report is about “hundreds of people” in one city, where is the BBC picking up its “thousands…across Australia” figure? Why, look at the National Climate Emergency Rallies website:

National Climate Emergency Rally web site

National Climate Emergency Rally web site

On June 13, join thousands of people around the country at the National Climate Emergency Rally. The rally is a vital opportunity to send our governments a united message that the Australian public wants strong, swift and real action to solve the climate crisis

———-

In summary, BBC’s Phil Mercer’s “news” article has likely been pre-packaged with an “informed guess” using activists’ own estimates made long before any demonstration had taken place.

And it has been rushed up to appear as top “Top Story” in the Science & Environment page just in time for Britons to read early on Saturday morning: before any meaningful check about its content could be done. More: before any other major news media thought is meaningful to report about it. Google News, in fact, shows nothing else apart from what already listed above.

———-

Now…by what stretch of imagination can an organization rushing itself forward, with pre-packaged rathern than breaking news, present itself as reporting on climate change impartially and without a bias? Were this any other aspect of politics, BBC news could easily be categorized as a political outlet.

Perhaps some Editor over there will have an answer to this…

(note: I have grabbed most of the sites above as PNGs…later today I will insert the relevant pictures)

For President Obama, Energy Is More Important Than Climate Change

2009/06/12 1 comment

(You can read previous blogs on similar topics here, here and here).

In “Can Obama Change the Climate?” (New York Review of Books, June 11, 2009) Bill McKibben has warm words for President Barack Obama, including the following

“Obama himself has continued to mention global warming at every turn, and in commendably strong terms”

I am afraid Mr McKibben is missing the point. During the first 6 months in office, President Obama has mentioned “global warming” almost exclusively as just one aspect of the “energy” issue.

Take for example the New York Times’ archives, where between January 1 and June 11 2009 there are:

  • 114 articles about President Obama speaking on “energy
  • 22 articles about him mentioning “global warming
  • 16 articles with the President of the United States talking about “global warming” and “energy

That is, only 6 articles are left when “global warming” appears without “energy“.

There are also 42 articles with President Obama talking on “climate change”: only 12 of which are not about “energy”.

Remarkably, the situation is more skewed when one visits the White House’s own website (www.whitehouse.gov).

A search via Google on that website shows:

  • 3,260 pages with “Obama” and “energy
  • 68 pages with “Obama” and “global warming
  • the very same 68 pages with “Obama”, “global warming” and “energy

That is, 3,066 “Obama” whitehouse.gov pages talk of “energy” but not of “global warming”; and not even once “Obama” pages mention “global warming” but not “energy”.

Just out of curiosity: only 4 “Obama” pages talk of “climate change” but not of “energy”.

One can safely assume that for President Obama, global warming/climate change is a sideshow to the far, far bigger issue of the future of energy. Therefore, when and if a choice will have to be made between “energy” and “global warming”, in all likelihood the current US Administration will choose “energy”.

“Copenhagen Climate Treaty” An Incentive To Remain Poor and Under-developed

2009/06/11 2 comments

The “Copenhagen Climate Treaty” drafted by a group of environmental organizations singles out a particular set of countries:

Newly industrialized countries like Singapore, South Korea and Saudi Arabia should also take on binding targets in line with the Convention principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. The criteria for designating newly industrialized countries should be negotiated in Copenhagen.

Consider that with what is expected from industrialized countries:

have a dual obligation under the Treaty, representing their overall responsibility for keeping the world within the limits of the global carbon budget and ensuring that adaptation to the impacts of climate change is possible for
the most vulnerable

The end result is that as far the the “Copenhagen Climate Treaty” is concerned, there is a clear disincentive for countries not only in being recognized as “industrialized”, but even in becoming “newly industrialized”.

After all, given that the request is that somebody forks out 160 gigadollars a year, it will just make perfect sense to steadfastly remain at the receiving end of that sum…poor and non-industrialized.

Is this a case of unwanted consequences? Or wanted…perhaps

From Sweden, A New Hypothesis On The Popularity of AGW

2009/06/11 1 comment

Klimatpolitiken en ny skattebas?“…”Climate Policy, another tax revenue source?”

That is the title of an article (original in Swedish, here’s Google’s translation) making the allegation that by at least some politicians, AGW is being used as a way to extract more money from the people, thus covering rising health care costs

Runaway costs of health care, medication and care for a rapidly aging population have sent the entire political class in a treasure hunt – they must quickly find a new tax revenue source. In the taxation of carbon dioxide, they believe they have found the solution. Through an unprecedented disinformation campaign following Lex Luthor’s principle: “The more fear you create, the greater the change”, they will lead us into enthusiastically accepting a sharp rise in the tax burden in the belief that we are saving the world.

Numerical Evidence Of Richard Black’s (And the BBC’s) Biased Climate Reporting

2009/06/10 2 comments

Numerical evidence for Richard Black’s (hence, the BBC’s) biased reporting on climate can be found in the amount of space dedicated to the various arguments in the “appalling” article about Japan’s emission targets.

The article is made of 469 words. Of those, 249 make up “neutral” sentences (54%). Negative comments are made of 156 words (34%). Only 58 words (13%…a mere three sentences!!) are left to explain the reasons for the Japanese government’s decision (see below for separate extracts).

In other words, for each word supporting the decision, there are a little less than three words against it. And with direct quotes, as if somebody had actively sought pro-AGW opinions…

How many times does a point need to be made before falling into readers’ brainwashing, one asks?

NEUTRAL

Japan has announced a target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 15% over the next 11 years –
The target equates to a cut of about 8% from 1990 levels, the commonly used baseline. By comparison, the EU plans a 20% reduction over the same period.
The announcement comes in the middle of talks on the UN climate treaty in Bonn.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN advisory body, has recommended that developed nations cut emissions by 25-40% from 1990 levels by 2020.
Mr Aso’s target puts Japan roughly in line with the US. President Obama has pledged to bring emissions back down to 1990 levels by 2020, although legislation coming through Congress is likely to impose a target of about 6%.
Last year, Mr Aso’s predecessor Yasuo Fukuda set a longer term target of cutting emissions by 60-80% by 2050, and indicated the 2020 target would be close to the EU’s.
The US, and some EU nations, are determined that major developing countries such as China and India should adopt emission curbs.
But they have repeatedly said they will not sign up to measures that could curb their economic growth, arguing that the developed world must lead the way.
The two-week meeting in Bonn, which ends on Friday, is the latest in a series leading up to December’s key summit in Copenhagen, which is supposed to usher in a climate agreement to supersede the Kyoto Protocol, whose current emissions targets only run as far as 2012.

NEGATIVE REMARKS

a figure derided by environmentalists as “appalling”.
Some observers say Japan’s goal is not enough to persuade developing countries to cut their own emissions.
“The target is not strong enough to convince developing nations to sign up for a new climate change pact,” said Hidefumi Kurasaka, professor of environmental policies at Japan’s Chiba University.
But Kim Carstensen, leader of the global climate initiative at environment group WWF, said the 8% target represented virtually no advance from the 6% cut that Japan had pledged, under the Kyoto Protocol, to achieve by 2012.
“Prime Minister Aso’s plan is appalling,” he said.
“[It] would mean that Japan effectively gives dirty industries the freedom to pollute without limits for eight years.”
Japan’s annual emissions are currently about 6% above 1990 levels, despite its Kyoto Protocol pledge to make cuts.
To the chagrin of environment groups – who point the finger at lobbying from Japanese industry – this has not transpired.

JAPANESE GOVERNMENT’S REASONS

Announcing the target, Prime Minister Taro Aso argued it was as strong as the EU’s because it does not include “flexible mechanisms” such as international carbon trading.
But the government points out that the society uses energy much more efficiently than other industrialised countries. Per-capita greenhouse gas emissions are about half the rates in Australia and the US.

The Temptation of AGW

2009/06/09 1 comment

To the left, somebody that believes that “global warming is essentially a hoax“. To the right, some…bodies that have just shot a calendar “to raise awareness about global warming“.

For once, there is no skepticism here about…warming.

At The UK Hadley Centre, They Know Something Nobody Else Knows…

2009/06/09 9 comments

…or alternatively, somebody has just used giant amounts of computing power to provide the UK Government’s Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs ) with antiscientific numbers on alleged future climate “forecast”, “predictions” or “projections” (pick your preferred choice…).

What’s happening? Since last Sunday, there has been a curious slow-feeding of news about an upcoming “UK Climate Impact Projections” document prepared by the Met Office’s Hadley Centre for Defra, “which is trying to plan for future changes brought about by global warming“.

Even more curious is the fact that as of today neither the Hadley Centre’s website nor DEFRA’s make any mention of such document. Full results are expected by June 18, so we will have to rely on news reports in the meanwhile.

Google News shows articles from The Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times (and again), Sky News, Daily Mail, Southern Daily Echo, with mentions of 41C in London, vineyards all around, a Mediterranean climate in Devon and a list of expected temperatures at county level.

Since there is no original document to read, those news reports must have been based mostly on each other, and hopefully at least one on some sort of “hidden” press release. And in fact, there is at least one section that appears in most articles pretty much unchanged:

Some may question how the Met Office can make predictions a lifetime into the future, when it struggles to produce forecasts for the next few months. However, climate change impacts are predicted to be so strong that, over decades, they are easier to predict than short-term changes.

There are positive and negative aspects to the text above. Whoever wrote it, they had to face the fact that the time when multidecadal climate projections would be left unchallenged, has ended some time ago. Therefore they had to imagine what climate skeptics would question, and come up with some sort of an answer. Trouble is, the answer is no good at all.

  1. They are admitting that the state of the climate in the long term is uncertain
  2. There is a misuse of the word “predictions” (see below)
  3. The author tries to convey the idea that future climate is easier to forecast, the stronger the “climate change impacts”. But this means that not even the people at the Hadley Centre are confident in the projections computed in anything but the worst possible scenario (every other scenario having weaker climate change impacts, is by definition more of a struggle to predict)

Perhaps more importantly, the trouble with long-term climate predictions is not just due to their intrinsic temporal timeframe, spanning decades. Even admitting that as a possibilty (and I have my strong doubts about it), still the problem of how to go from planet-wide analyses to a regional level has not been solved. And by regions I am talking “continents”.

How did anybody at the Hadley Centre manage to compute anything meaningful at the level of Yorkshire or East Anglia? Is there anything they have not told us, a major breakthrough in climate science that will be revealed to the masses by Thursday next?

Or have they just computed and published figures that have no basis in Science?

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Another antiscientific aspect is in the use of words. I am not talking about the journalists…those are forever going to mix up “prediction” and “projection”. What is wrong is when scientists, or in any case people that should know better, add to the confusion by mixing those words up.

Look at the “answer” text above (that we can assume having been written by somebody at the Hadley Centre or Defra, the only people with access to the original document): “impacts are PREDICTED“.

Sky’s weather presenter Lucy Verasamy says: “These PREDICTIONS“.

A Met Office spokesman says: “These FORECASTS“, “Our PREDICTIONS“.

Myles Allen, head of climate dynamics at Cambridge University, is quoted: “Cities in the Midlands and south, ARE GOING to start experiencing some increasingly uncomfortable summers.

There might be very few things I understand about climate, but one there is: whoever speaks of PREDICTIONS or FORECASTS concerning the climate many decades in the future, they have failed to understand an extremely important aspect of climatology.

The Key To Changing The UK’s Stance On Global Warming

2009/06/07 2 comments

Climate Forecasts: Intrinsically All For Nought?

2009/06/05 11 comments

It is commonly accepted that all it will take for us to be able to predict future climate, is faster computers with gigantic computing power, in a progression analogous to meteorology’s.

I find that unlikely. And that’s why climate forecasting is likely to go nowhere, just like…alchemy. Not due to anybody’s fault: rather, because it is intrinsically impossible for it to do otherwise.

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Climatology is the study of the long term behavior of something that is stable, and predictable, but only until it goes through a state change, perhaps all of a sudden.

Imagine what if anything would nuclear physicists be able to study if there were not even sure if today’s proton-proton accelerators would or would not transform themselves into proton-neutron accelerators, in ten, thirty or a hundred years, thereby completely changing all results and all predictions?

Add to that the climatological possibility, or shall I say the absolute certainty, that in any meaningful (i.e. multi-decadal) period of study, there will be external, uncontrollable, unpredictable inputs such as volcano eruptions and changes in the Sun…as if the energy available to power the LHC would vary at random.

Check for example this statement from German climate scientists, just published on the Süddeutsche Zeitung:

“If we had had 10% more cloudiness over Germany, that would have compensated for the warming of the past 30 years”

In other words, a minor change in a climate detail is enough to modify the end result altogether.

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How do you study in a scientifically appropriate manner a system whose simplest scientifically appropriate representation is…itself?

You don’t. You cannot even follow the usual statistical route, because in the long term every possible solution is equally probable. And if you don’t work on the long term, on the decadal or secular scale, then you are not doing climatology.

The problem of climate forecasting is therefore unassailable, just as it is not possible to predict the stock market, another system that is heavily influenced by external factors.

Think of the money thrown for nothing in the financial forecasting route. Then, think of the results.

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Of course, the above does not mean that we can not do any climatological study, for example to determine which crops appear to be more suitable for a certain territory…just as one can play the stock market using reasonably objective parameters and computer models without falling necessarily into financial ruin.

But climate forecasting might be the one and only science where “blacks swans”, the events that throw all predictions up in the air, are ironically the one thing that can be predicted.

ADDENDUM 00:27GMT June 5: Isn’t it beautiful to write something on your own in the middle of the night, and then to discover that even Roger Pielke Sr. has just been dealing with a very similar topic?

ADDENDUM #2: There is one point that needs to be clarified in the above.

The climate forecasts I am talking about are multi-decadal. The stuff just criticised by Pielke Sr.  Those, I am educately guessing, are impossible, even if we knew all the physics and we had vast amounts of computing power.

The simplest way to compute the climate of 20-30 or more years in the future, is to build a system at least as complex as the climate own’s . In other words, the Earth’s climate is its own simplest multidecadal computer.

Since “climate” is usually taken as a multi-decadal concept, then perhaps we can move the forecast of what next season will bring, into meteorology.  Of course, before anybody says anything, no, I do not think meteorology is “inferior” to climatology.

ADDENDUM #3: many thanks to Douglas Hoyt for pointing out that Roger Pielke Jr. has just published a blog and article along the same lines of thought

Rather than basing decision-making on a predict (probabilistically of course) then act model, we may have to face up to the fact that skillful prediction of variables of interest to decision makers may simply not be possible. And even if it were possible, we would not be able to identify skill on the same time scales as decisions need to be made. The consequence of this line of argument is that if stationarity is indeed dead, then it has likely taken along with it fanciful notions of foreseeing the future as the basis for optimal actions. Instead, it may be time to rethink how we make decisions in the face of not simply uncertainty, but fundamental and irreducible ignorance

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