Friday, January 25, 2008


But other deceptions remain. Article below by Christopher Monckton

I earned my Nobel Peace Prize by making the United Nations fix a deliberate error in its latest climate assessment. After the scientists had finalized the draft, UN bureaucrats inserted a new table, but with four decimal points right-shifted. The bureaucrats had multiplied tenfold the true contribution of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets to sea-level rise. Were they trying to support Al Gore's fantasy that these two ice-sheets would imminently cause sea level to rise 20ft, displacing tens of millions worldwide?

How do we know the UN's error was deliberate? The table, as it first appeared, said the units for sea-level rise were being changed. But the table was new. There was nothing to change from. I wrote to the UN that this misconduct was unacceptable. Two days later, the bureaucracy corrected, relabeled and moved the table, and quietly posted the new version on its Web site. The two ice sheets will contribute, between them, over 100 years, just two and a half inches to sea-level rise. Gore had exaggerated a hundredfold; the UN tenfold. Hawaii is not about to disappear beneath the waves.

The High Court in London recently ordered the British Government to correct nine of the 36 serious errors in Al Gore’s climate movie before innocent pupils were exposed to it. It was Gore who, in 1994, announced that Mars was covered in canals full of water. This notion had been disproved before his birth. It was Gore who recently spent $4 million of the profits from his sci-fi comedy horror movie on a luxury condo just feet from the supposedly rising ocean at Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco. No surprise that he and the mad scientists with whom he has close financial and political links are under investigation for racketeering -- peddling a false prospectus to investors in his “green” investment corporation by distorting climate science even after the UK judge’s ruling.

It is not so well known that the UN’s climate reports are also error-packed and misleading. To begin with, the UN denies that global temperatures were warmer than today in the medieval warm period. It overlooks the dozens of peer-reviewed papers that establish this fact, and continues to rely on the bogus and now-discredited “hockey-stick” graph by which its previous assessment in 2001 had tried to rewrite history.

It was also warmer than today in Roman times, and in the Minoan warm period or Holocene climate optimum, when temperatures were warmer than today for 2000 years in the Bronze Age, firing the emergence of great civilizations worldwide. In each of the four previous interglacial periods, temperatures were 10F warmer than today’s. For most of the past half billion years, temperatures were nearly always 12.5F warmer than the present. So the warming that has now stopped (there has been no statistically significant warming since 1998) was well within the natural variability of the climate.

The only chapters in the UN’s 1,600-page ramblings that are worth close analysis are those which consider “climate sensitivity” -- how big is the effect of greenhouse gases on temperature? The scientific debate centers not, as the Greens try to suggest, on whether adding CO2 to the atmosphere will cause warmer weather (it will), but instead on how much warmer the weather will be. So the only variable that truly matters in this debate is lambda -- the “climate sensitivity parameter.” Here are just some of the UN’s errors and exaggerations in calculating lambda.

First and foremost, the UN’s crafty definition of lambda allows it to overlook the fact that the oceans -- 1,100 times denser than the atmosphere at the surface, and many times denser still at depth -- soak up a good proportion of any additional radiant energy in the atmosphere (see papers by Lyman et al., 2006; Schwartz, 2007). The oceans cancel a great deal of “global warming,” because the next Ice Age will arrive long before the oceans lose their capacity to take up heat from the atmosphere.

Next, the UN has unwisely repealed the Stefan-Boltzmann radiative-transfer equation, the fundamental astrophysical law that relates changes in radiant energy to changes in temperature. The entire debate is about exactly that matter. Yet in 1,600 pages the UN does not mention this crucial equation once. Result: the UN’s “no-feedbacks” value of lambda is way too high. As an eminent physics professor pointed out to me recently, if the UN were correct, global surface temperature would now be 20F higher than it is.

It gets worse. The UN’s computer models predict that in the tropics the rate of increase in temperature five miles above the surface will be three times the rate of increase down here. But 50 years of atmospheric measurement, first by balloon-borne radiosondes and then by satellites, show that the air above the tropics is not merely failing to warm at three times the surface rate: for 25 years it has been cooling. The absence of the tropical mid-troposphere “hot-spot” indicates that the computer models -- expensive guesswork -- on which the UN’s rickety case is founded are, in a fundamental way, misunderstanding the way the atmosphere behaves (Douglass & Knox, 2004; Douglass et al., 2007).

On top of the “radiative forcings” from greenhouse gases, the UN says the mere fact of temperature change will cause more change still, through what it calls “feedbacks.” The UN has hiked the feedback multiplier by more than 52 percent since its 1995 report, without quite saying why. Shaviv (2006) and Schwartz (2007) calculate that the sum total of all feedbacks is either nil or very small; Wentz et al. (2007) report that the UN has missed out two-thirds of the cooling effect of evaporation in its assessment of the water-vapor feedback; Spencer (2007) finds that the cloud albedo feedback, which the UN says is strongly positive, is in fact negative; Ahlbeck (2004, 2005) says the CO2 feedback has been enormously exaggerated.

I have mentioned a dozen scientific papers. I could have mentioned hundreds more that challenge the UN “consensus.” There has never been and can never be a scientific consensus on climate change. Lorenz (1963), in the landmark climate paper that founded chaos theory, stated and proved his famous theorem that the long-run evolution of mathematically chaotic objects like the climate cannot be predicted unless one knows the initial state of the object to a degree of precision that is in practice unattainable. Whenever you hear anyone recite the propaganda mantra “The Science Is Settled,” laugh at his redneck scientific illiteracy. The science can never be settled.

Schulte (2008: in press) reviewed 539 papers on “global climate change” in the scientific journals. Only one paper mentioned that “global warming” might be catastrophic, and even that paper offered not a shred of evidence for the supposed apocalypse.

Bottom line: a recent peer-reviewed paper (Lindzen, December 2007) says all the UN’s climate sensitivity estimates should be divided by three. We don’t have a climate problem. The correct policy to deal with a non-problem is to have the courage to do nothing. Don’t let your legislators in Hawaii waste time on this non-problem. The real problem of the 21st century will not be “global warming” but resource depletion, starting with oil. Let your lawmakers do some real work, and get to grips with that.



The president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, appears to have lost it completely. Speaking yesterday in London, he has threatened to impose carbon tariffs on imports unless the US agrees to a global climate-change deal ('Barroso trade threat on climate', BBC Online World News, January 22):

Jose Manuel Barroso wants to protect energy-intensive sectors such as aluminium, steel and cement. He says there is no point these industries cutting emissions in Europe if they lose business to countries with more lax rules on carbon emissions. Mr Barroso made the comments in a speech to business leaders in London.

That way madness lies. With the world economy experiencing a significant downturn, the economic engine of the US stuttering, and the sub-prime market undermining banks to housing, trade wars should be the last thing on anyone’s mind. It is crass irresponsibility, though the underbelly politics are all too apparent and involve the usual EU attack on the US, combined with a sweetener to Nicolas Sarkosy, the French President, and Germany, both of which have become increasingly critical of EU policies on emissions. Luckily, the political response to such dangerous nonsense will be as politically tart as one can get. Here are some recent apposite quotes:

+ “I don’t believe trade restrictions are the way forward to combat climate change. They’re not cost efficient, they carry a risk of retaliation, they would result in increasing cost for European industry at large.” [Peter Mandelson, EU Trade Commissioner, January 21];

+ Washington is “dismayed at a variety of suggestions where we see climate or the environment being used as an excuse to close markets.” [Susan Schwab, Peter Mandelson’s US counterpart];

+ “Britain said on Tuesday it did not support proposed punitive trade measures threatened by the European Commission against countries that do not sign up to greenhouse gas emissions cuts. Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks said proposals on Monday from European Commission President José Manuel Barroso that importers may have to obtain emissions permits equivalent to those of the European competitors ‘might look like trade barriers.’ ‘We believe in global trade, we want more of it in the future, not less, and that is good for the European economy,’ Wicks told BBC radio. ‘So we are against any measures which might look like trade barriers.’” [Reuters, January 22];

+ “I don’t imagine any instance of any party of any candidate whereby the Kyoto treaty would be signed and ratified by the US.” [Andy Karsner, US Department of Energy, January 20/21];

+ “The great experiment in Europe with cap-and-trade so far is an absolute failure. There’s no other way to put it. The prices their economies are paying is going up and emissions are going up, too. Now, their apologists say that that’s only because they don’t have it just right. But I predict that no matter how much they tinker with it, when you’re trying to cap-and-trade something as ubiquitous as CO2, most of which is not manmade, it’s folly, it’s an impossible situation.” [U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, January 17].

This latest outburst from Barroso is deeply embarrassing. Can’t the man see the folly of casually inciting trade wars while promoting a European agenda that is so clearly failing and is hypocritical at its very core? He should know better too - he comes from Porto, the home of trade. At least the UK Government has responded sensibly. Well done Malcolm Wicks. This is the EU at its most arrogant, stupid, and potentially dangerous.



Temperatures on Earth have stabilized in the past decade, and the planet should brace itself for a new Ice Age rather than global warming, a Russian scientist said in an interview with RIA Novosti Tuesday. "Russian and foreign research data confirm that global temperatures in 2007 were practically similar to those in 2006, and, in general, identical to 1998-2006 temperatures, which, basically, means that the Earth passed the peak of global warming in 1998-2005," said Khabibullo Abdusamatov, head of a space research lab at the Pulkovo observatory in St. Petersburg.

According to the scientist, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere has risen more than 4% in the past decade, but global warming has practically stopped. It confirms the theory of "solar" impact on changes in the Earth's climate, because the amount of solar energy reaching the planet has drastically decreased during the same period, the scientist said. Had global temperatures directly responded to concentrations of "greenhouse" gases in the atmosphere, they would have risen by at least 0.1 Celsius in the past ten years, however, it never happened, he said.

"A year ago, many meteorologists predicted that higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would make the year 2007 the hottest in the last decade, but, fortunately, these predictions did not become reality," Abdusamatov said. He also said that in 2008, global temperatures would drop slightly, rather than rise, due to unprecedentedly low solar radiation in the past 30 years, and would continue decreasing even if industrial emissions of carbon dioxide reach record levels.

By 2041, solar activity will reach its minimum according to a 200-year cycle, and a deep cooling period will hit the Earth approximately in 2055-2060. It will last for about 45-65 years, the scientist added. "By the mid-21st century the planet will face another Little Ice Age, similar to the Maunder Minimum, because the amount of solar radiation hitting the Earth has been constantly decreasing since the 1990s and will reach its minimum approximately in 2041," he said.

The Maunder Minimum occurred between 1645 and 1715, when only about 50 spots appeared on the Sun, as opposed to the typical 40,000-50,000 spots. It coincided with the middle and coldest part of the so called Little Ice Age, during which Europe and North America were subjected to bitterly cold winters.

"However, the thermal inertia of the world's oceans and seas will delay a 'deep cooling' of the planet, and the new Ice Age will begin sometime during 2055-2060, probably lasting for several decades," Abdusamatov said. Therefore, the Earth must brace itself for a growing ice cap, rather than rising waters in global oceans caused by ice melting.

Mankind will face serious economic, social, and demographic consequences of the coming Ice Age because it will directly affect more than 80% of the earth's population, the scientist concluded.


Green Desperation Time

News of a January 31 “teach-in” on more than 1,000 college campuses nationwide strikes me of just one more example of the growing desperation of the environmental movement that has bet its credibility and influence on global warming.

Mark your calendar for any news about a March 2-4 conference in New York that is expected to draw between 400 and 500 global warming skeptics, i.e., scientists, economists, and policy experts. I suspect that print and broadcast journalists will do their best to ignore this event in what is arguably the media capitol of the nation, if not the world. Organized by the Heartland Institute and co-sponsored by the International Climate Science Coalition, Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, and the Science & Environmental Policy Project, it should put to rest the very core of the “teach-in”, the notion that there is a consensus among the world’s scientists that global warming is happening or about to happen.

In one way, even the Greens are right. There is global warming and the reason is that it is a perfectly natural phenomenon based entirely on the activity of the Sun. No one disputes that the Earth has warmed about one degree Fahrenheit since the end of the last mini-ice age around 1850. And, as Martha Stewart would say, that’s a good thing. What is not happening is a huge warming that is melting all the ice at the North and South Poles, causing hurricanes, or any of the several hundred other things attributed to global warming. It is definitely not something that human activity is causing or can “control” in any fashion. Try controlling the Sun, the oceans, clouds, volcanoes, et cetera!

As for the dreaded carbon dioxide, it represents 0.038% of the earth's atmosphere. Alex Tinker, the public relations director of Focus the Nation, an environmental advocacy group, said that the teach-in would be a day when an entire college or university campus turns its attention to a single issue, global warming. “The premise behind Focus the Nation is that ‘The Science is in. Global warming is real,” said Tinker. “There’s no longer a meaningful debate about whether or not global warming is caused by human kind—the debate should be about what policy solutions we need to enact to address it.”

This is a lie.This perfectly articulates the Green’s agenda and the science is in, but it refutes all of the more fanciful claims made about global warming and its affect on, well, everything. The agenda, however, is not about global warming. It’s about doing everything possible to destroy the economy of the United States and all industrialized nations. Anyone who tells you we can replace coal, natural gas, hydroelectric, and nuclear power with wind turbines and solar panels is blowing smoke up your skirt. The only way such “alternative” energy sources even exist is with millions in government subsidies, i.e., your tax money being thrown down an indefensible rat hole.

It’s worth noting that Tinker used the word “enact” with regard to the Greens proposed “solutions.” The environmental movement exists to use legislation to force people to do their bidding. Its entire philosophy is coercive because they know that anyone with any common sense understands their “solutions” are idiotic. As but one example, the State of California recently floated the idea of being able to control the thermostats in private homes and elsewhere so that the decision of how much energy was used no longer would be exercised by the consumer.

In just the United States where our population now tops 300 million, do you really think we need less electricity to meet our needs? Do you really think that we should not tap the estimated billions of barrels of crude oil in a tiny part of Alaska’s vast national wildlife reserve? Do you think we should continue to limit exploration of 85% of the nation’s continental shelf? Do you seriously believe that polar bears that have been around for millennia are “endangered” and will disappear by 2050?

And why have a national teach-in when every single day of the year every one of us is hammered with global warming propaganda? Why take college student’s time to blather away about global warming when they have had this nonsense forced down their throats since they were in pre-school?

I will tell you why. Desperation. Time is running out for the global warming hoax. Focus the Nation says it wants to create support for the creation of "one million new 'green jobs' – workers who would service America’s infrastructure to be more ecologically friendly.” What the hell does that mean? The nation’s infrastructure of roads and bridges exists to serve the needs of millions of cars and trucks, and we know the Greens hate them because they run on gasoline and diesel. The infrastructure includes power generation plants and we know the Greens hate the ones that use coal (providing over half of all the electricity in the nation) and oppose the building of nuclear plants.

I guess people who work for airlines or sea-going cargo lines should find another line of work as well because both use large amounts of energy to function. Parents and the students who have taken on huge debt in order to attend college should tell Focus the Nation to focus on leaving the faculty to teach something that doesn’t come with an agenda that blames the human race for the climate and does not seek to undermine capitalism and the globalization that is increasingly increasing and spreading wealth throughout the world.


Yale’s Game of Make-Believe

Yale has just released its 2008 Environmental Performance Index (EPI). The EPI ranks countries based on their ostensible environmental performance and has made headlines by giving poor marks to the U.S. But as with so many supposedly dispassionate environmental analyses, Yale’s EPI is an exercise in make-believe, cloaked in a thin scientific veneer.

The EPI is a score between zero and 100 for each country, based on a weighted average of more than a dozen individual factors. Human health-related factors — water quality, air quality, and the environmental burden of disease — form the “Environmental Health” (EH) index, which accounts for half of the overall EPI. The other half is an “Ecosystem Vitality” (EV) index that includes water quality and availability, regional air pollution (for its ecological effects), biodiversity, productivity of natural resources, and climate change.

The U.S. scored 81 on the overall EPI, putting it 39th out of 149 countries. The U.S. scored worse than such environmental edens as Russia, Albania, Croatia, and the Dominican Republic, and barely edged out Cuba, Mexico, and Poland. That alone gives you an idea of the EPI’s tenuous relationship to the real environment. But let’s dig into the numbers a bit deeper to see how the Yale scientists played their game of let’s pretend.

Two words: climate change. Carbon dioxide emissions account for half of the Ecosystem Vitality score and 25 percent of the overall EPI score. The U.S. scored 56 out of 100 on climate change, and that is the main reason for America’s low overall EPI. If you look only at the Environmental Health index — in other words, the factors that directly affect people’s health — the U.S. scored 98.5 out of 100. In fact, virtually all the world’s wealthy countries scored above 95 on this measure.While the Yale researchers style their EPI as a valid measure of a country’s overall environmental performance, only one factor — greenhouse gas emissions — accounts for most of the variation in developed countries’ EPI scores.

Yale’s EPI is misleading in other ways. For example, ozone levels account for 3.75 percent of the overall EPI index score. But according to Yale’s report, the score was based on data for 2000 rather than current data. Ozone has dropped considerably in the U.S. since 2000. Fifty-four percent of the nation violated the federal eight-hour ozone standard in 2000. But the violation rate had dropped to 15 percent by the end of 2006. The average number of days per year exceeding the eight-hour standard declined 65 percent over the same period.

In any case, the ozone score isn’t even based on measured values, but on the output of a global atmospheric chemistry model whose predictions have little relationship to actual ozone levels across the country. U.S. air quality is among the best in the world. Nevertheless, in a New York Times story, one of the Yale researchers claimed that the U.S. “is at the bottom of the world right now” on regional smog.

The EPI’s air quality score also includes sulfur dioxide (SO2). But the score is based on SO2 emissions per unit of populated land (which doesn’t appear to be defined in the report), rather than on actual SO2 levels in the air. The U.S. scores poorly here (88 vs. 100 for most countries) even though U.S. SO2 levels are only a fraction of the federal health standard virtually everywhere in the U.S.

Even on its own terms, the EPI’s climate score is incoherent. It is based on three equally weighted factors: CO2 emissions per capita, CO2 emissions per unit of electricity generation, and industrial carbon intensity. But for climate change, only the first of these three matters. The other two are subsets of the first and vary from country to country based on their particular energy mix, wealth, and technological advancement. The result is that some countries with high CO2 emissions per capita nevertheless get a good score on climate change, while some countries with low CO2 per capita get a poor score.

For example, Canada’s CO2 per capita (23.1 tons per year) is similar to that of the U.S. (24.9 tons per year), but Canada’s climate index score is 69.3 vs. 56.1 for the U.S. Thus, even though Canada and the U.S. have similar per capita CO2 emissions — and therefore similar per-capita impacts on the Earth’s climate — Canada’s better climate score adds 3.3 points to its overall EPI relative to the U.S. If the U.S. got the same climate score as Canada, it would move from an EPI rank of 39 up to 23. On the other hand, China has relatively low CO2 emissions per capita — only 5.7 tons per year — but its climate index score is only 53, because of its relatively high industrial carbon intensity and high CO2 emissions per unit of electricity.

Yale’s EPI doesn’t tell you much about countries’ real environmental quality. But it does show that you can manufacture just about any results you want through shrewd analytical choices and assumptions.



For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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