Monday, May 07, 2007


Below is the first of a series of excerpts about the new IPCC encyclical

A United Nations panel today released its most comprehensive strategy to avoid the catastrophic effects of global warming, but experts said that political and economic realities likely doom it to failure. Despite backing by more than 100 countries, including the United States and China, the report's call for trillions of dollars to pay for immediate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions make it largely symbolic, experts said.

There is little sign that the United States and China -- which account for nearly half the world's emissions -- would agree to mandatory reductions, they said. "The notion that all countries are going to sign on tomorrow is ridiculous," said John Reilly, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.



Preventing dangerous man-made global warming? It'll be cheap, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). That's the conclusion of the Summary for Policymakers (SPM3) from the IPCC's Working Group III on "Mitigation of Climate Change" that was issued in Bangkok earlier today.

Even the most stringent goal of following a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction trajectory that aims to stabilize greenhouse concentrations at around 535 parts per million (ppm) would reduce annual GDP growth rates by less than 0.12 percent per year by 2030. In that scenario, global GDP in 2030 would be 3 percent lower than it would otherwise have been without emissions reductions. The current world GDP is around $47 trillion, and in 23 years, at 3 percent per year growth rate, it would double to about $94 trillion without any emissions reductions. A 3 percent GDP reduction in 2030 implies that world GDP would drop to $91.3 trillion.

In other words, putting humanity on a path to stabilizing GHG concentrations to below the equivalent of 535 ppm of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would cost humanity an average of $117 billion per year in lost economic growth for the next 23 years....

Finally, if claims by the IPCC Working Group III Summary for Policymakers are right about the low cost of mitigating climate change-and analysts will have to wait to see the full report before thoroughly assessing their accuracy-then big sacrifices from consumers and massive changes in lifestyles will not be necessary.

Even better news is that the economies of all countries, especially those of poor countries, can grow rapidly throughout this century. And that's especially good news because the best insurance against catastrophe-climatic and otherwise--is increased wealth and technological progress.



World leaders will have to agree the shape of a "son of Kyoto" treaty before the end of the year if the most catastrophic effects of climate change are to be averted, UN officials said yesterday.

Could harmful emissions from power plants really be a thing of the past? UN officials believe the world is ready to change They were speaking after scientists and officials from 120 countries agreed in Bangkok that the world has the technology and can afford to tackle the effects of climate change - provided it begins immediately.

Envoys sent out by the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-Moon, have begun seeking advance agreement from heads of state on the principles of a post-2012 climate change treaty, negotiations for which begin at a meeting in Indonesia in December. The secretary-general's latest initiative comes after a new consensus on what could be done was agreed by scientists and officials, including those from the US, China and the European Union.

The prompt adoption of biofuels, renewable energy sources, greater energy efficiency and nuclear power can slow down what would otherwise be a worldwide disaster, said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's working group. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the 2,000-strong network of UN scientists and energy experts, said of the final summary of its report: "It's stunning in its brilliance and relevance. It's a remarkable step forward." He said the report would have a "profound" effect on ministers attending the negotiations in Indonesia later this year - which will include the US even though it is not a member of the Kyoto treaty.

David Miliband, the Environment Secretary, said after the report was published: "Without a new global deal on climate change, emissions of greenhouse gases will continue to increase. That's why we're pushing hard for negotiations to start on a new global climate deal this year and are working through the G8 group of nations and the UN climate change conference."

Ogunlade Davidson, co-chairman of the group that wrote the report, said: "If we continue what we are doing now, we are in deep trouble." Coming out of the meeting early yesterday, delegates said science appeared to have trumped politics - especially opposition from China, which wanted to condone a greater build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere before action would be taken. Beijing and its supporters had argued that moves to make deep cuts in carbon dioxide emissions risked stifling its spectacular economic growth, delegates said. China failed to remove mention of a stringent emission target. The Chinese delegation could not be reached for comment.

Yvo de Boer, the UN's most senior climate change official, said: "One of the key sectors in terms of mitigation is the energy supply sector. More than two thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions come from this sector. "The way in which the future energy needs are met will determine whether the efforts to address climate change will remain manageable."

The head of the US delegation, Harlan Watson said: "The US leads the world in deploying a range of technologies that scientific and economic experts have now agreed can provide a global solution to reduce emissions and sustain economic growth."



The Minister of the Environment, the Honourable John Baird, today welcomed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report by Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change, released earlier today in Bangkok, Thailand. "The IPCC summary report further demonstrates that we are heading in the right direction with our Turning the Corner Plan," said Minister Baird. "Our Government's plan will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution which is a major step towards mitigating years of Liberal inaction." Climate change is a global issue that requires global solutions. As each country is also shaped by its own domestic realities, Canada's New Government is taking a leadership role in tackling this challenge.


Australian government says IPCC report backs their position

The Federal Environment Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, says the last of the United Nations reports on climate change has confirmed that his Government's policies are correct. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report found that stabilising emissions would cost around 3 per cent of global GDP at most. It also found that emissions must peak within 13 years to avoid a temperature increase of more than two degrees centigrade, and called for urgent political action to address the situation.

Mr Turnbull says the report shows that the Government is heading in the right direction: "There is nothing in there that isn't consistent with our policy," he said. "If you look at the things that they say we should be doing now, they are all things which Australia is leading the world in. "Energy efficiency, we're the first country to phase out incandescent lights, we are leading the world in a campaign to reduce deforestation." ....

Mr Turnbull says Labor's plan to reduce Australia's emissions by 60 per cent by 2050 will cost jobs and have little global impact. "If you put a heavy price on Australia's energy intensive industries, those industries will move offshore and their emissions with them," he said.

More here


The marathon talks to tackle climate change that ended in Bangkok yesterday were a "step backward", Thai experts say. An imbalance in the 35-page report shows that developing countries lost a political battle, said Sitanond Jessadapipat, a member of Thailand's national climate change subcommittee. The report only suggests how developing countries can contribute to mitigating climate change, while mentioning no significant roles for developed countries, Sitanond said. "This is a step backward compared to the Kyoto Protocol, which clearly mentioned that developed countries have to take leading roles in reducing greenhouse gas emissions," he told The Nation. "I feel the report leaves the burden of reducing greenhouse gas on developing countries," said Sitanond, who was a commentator on the report, but was not among the 22 Thai delegates at the climate change summit.



And what is the right price? The report says that to stabilise greenhouse-gas concentrations at 550 parts per million (a level most scientists think safeish) would require a price of $20-50 per tonne of carbon by 2020-30. That is along the lines of the carbon price established the European Emissions-Trading Scheme, which varied between $6 and $40 in 2005-06. It has not bankrupted the European economy so far.

The IPCC's economic models reckon, on average, that if the world adopted such a price the global economy would be 1.3% smaller than it otherwise would have been by 2050; or, put another way, global economic growth would be 0.1% a year lower than it otherwise would have been. The world would barely notice such figures; so one might think that climate change can be easily sorted.

The problem, of course, is that the numbers work only if they are applied globally. If a few countries-even a few big countries-adopt a carbon price, it will make little difference. All the world's big emitters need to do it. Which brings the world straight back to the problem that sank Kyoto. No country alone can make a difference, and it is in every country's interest to ensure that everybody else bears the burden. As the IPCC report convincingly argues, the technology and the economics of this problem are easily soluble. It is the politics that is so difficult.



Climate scientists, economists and policy researchers are all in agreement: limiting long-term global warming is achievable at a "negligible" cost. Now, the responsibility for action lies in the hands of politicians, they say.

The cost estimates for stabilising greenhouse gases in the atmosphere were released on Friday in the latest chapter of the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report: it will cost between 0.2% and 3.0% of global GDP by 2030 (see Price placed on limiting global warming).

The IPCC cost estimates can be put in perspective by comparing them with what the average voter would have to contribute, says Ralf Martin of the London School of Economics, UK. In 2005, UK households had an average weekly income of 350 pounds ($700). Reducing that by 0.2% to achieve the smallest greenhouse gas reduction considered by the IPCC would cost each household 36 pounds ($72) a year. At 3% per year, achieving the greatest reduction considered would cost 546 ($1092).

"The cheaper scenario would mean going out to dinner one time less a year, whereas the higher figure gets into the range of having or not having a car," says Martin. "The higher figure might be a hard sell. However, I would suggest that whether either figure is acceptable depends largely on how it will be sold to voters."

Benito Mueller, a climate policy researcher at Oxford University in the UK agrees: "All these things are open to spin. If you put it in so many trillions, everyone gets frightened. But once you put the numbers into perspective they must become politically acceptable. If not, we are being totally irrational."



There's no such thing as a happy Greenie

Environmental Groups Condemn IPCC Call For Large Scale Biofuels as a Climate Disaster In The Making .... Environmental groups are, however, deeply concerned that the IPCC's Summary for Policy Makers on climate mitigation, released earlier today, includes a recommendation for large- scale expansion of biofuels from monocultures, including from GM crops, even though monoculture expansion is a driving force behind the destruction of rainforests and other carbon sinks and reservoirs, thus accelerating climate change.

The IPCC also recommend the expansion of large-scale agroforestry monoculture plantations. These plantations, which will include GM trees, are similarly linked to ecosystem destruction. Monoculture expansion is a major threat to the livelihoods and food sovereignty of communities many of which are already bearing the brunt of climate change disasters caused largely by the fossil fuel emissions of industrialised countries.

Almuth Ernsting of Biofuelwatch stated: "It is already clear that the burgeoning demand for biofuels that has been created to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is actually increasing them by deforestation in the tropics and accelerating climate change. So far, only 1% of global transport fuel comes from biofuels, yet already biofuels cause steep rises in grain and vegetable oil prices, threatening the food security of poor people and spurring agricultural expansion into forests and grasslands, on which we depend for a stable climate".



Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is generally to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

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