Sunday, March 16, 2008


By Per G. Fredriksson et al.


Does environmental lobbying affect the probability of environmental treaty ratification? Does the level of government corruption play a role for the success of such lobbying? In this paper, we propose that a more corruptible government may be more responsive to the demands of the environmental lobby.We use several stratified hazard models and panel data from 170 countries on the timing of Kyoto Protocol ratification to test this hypothesis. We find that increased environmental lobby group activity raises the probability of ratification, and the effect rises with the degree of corruption.

FULL PAPER at Public Choice (2007) 133: 231-251 (PDF)


Environmentalism is, among other things, an attack on science. This is not the first concerted campaign against science and reason. From the mid-18th to the early 19th century a social movement explicitly attacking science and reason dominated the intellectual culture of the European Continent. The Continental Counter-Enlightenment was forged during a ferocious Republican-Royalist conflict. This social movement was a reaction by the aristocracy to modernization. Their attack on science and reason was an effort to thwart any common-sense empirical policy discussion about feudalism, monarchism and clericalism which they admitted were irrational institutions. In the Continental Counter-Enlightenment's clear and profound legacy one finds the roots of Fascism and Environmentalism.

Much more here


The average temperature across both the contiguous U.S. and the globe during climatological winter (December 2007-February 2008) was the coolest since 2001, according to scientists at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. In terms of winter precipitation, Pacific storms, bringing heavy precipitation to large parts of the West, produced high snowpack that will provide welcome runoff this spring.

A complete analysis is available online here


By Serge Galam


The claimed unanimity of the scientific community about the human culpability for global warming is questioned. Up today there exists no scientific proof of human culpability. It is not the number of authors of a paper, which validates its scientific content. The use of probability to assert the degree of certainty with respect the global warming problem is shown to be misleading. The debate about global warming has taken on emotional tones driven by passion and irrationality while it should be a scientific debate. The degree of hostility used to mull any dissonance voice demonstrates that the current debate has acquired a quasi-religious nature. Scientists are behaving as priests in their will "to save the planet". We are facing a dangerous social phenomenon, which must be addressed from the social point of view. The current unanimity of citizens, scientists, journalists, intellectuals and politicians is intrinsically worrying. The calls to sacrifice our way of life to calm down the upset nature is an emotional ancestral reminiscence of archaic fears, which should be analyzed as such.


Weather Channel Founder: Sue Al Gore for Fraud

The founder of the Weather Channel wants to sue Al Gore for fraud, hoping a legal debate will settle the global-warming debate once and for all. John Coleman, who founded the cable network in 1982, suggests suing for fraud proponents of global warming, including Al Gore, and companies that sell carbon credits. "Is he committing financial fraud? That is the question," Coleman said.

"Since we can't get a debate, I thought perhaps if we had a legal challenge and went into a court of law, where it was our scientists and their scientists, and all the legal proceedings with the discovery and all their documents from both sides and scientific testimony from both sides, we could finally get a good solid debate on the issue," Coleman said. "I'm confident that the advocates of 'no significant effect from carbon dioxide' would win the case."

Coleman says his side of the global-warming debate is being buried in mainstream media circles. "As you look at the atmosphere over the last 25 years, there's been perhaps a degree of warming, perhaps probably a whole lot less than that, and the last year has been so cold that that's been erased," he said. "I think if we continue the cooling trend a couple of more years, the general public will at last begin to realize that they've been scammed on this global-warming thing."

Coleman spoke to after his appearance last week at the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change in New York, where he called global warming a scam and lambasted the cable network he helped create. "You want to tune to the Weather Channel and have them tell you how to live your life?" Coleman said. "Come on."

He laments the network's decision to focus on traffic and lifestyle reports over the weather. "It's very clear that they don't realize that weather is the most significant impact in every human being's daily life, and good, solid, up-to-the-minute weather information and meaningful forecasts presented in such a way that people find them understandable and enjoyable can have a significant impact," he said. "The more you cloud that up with other baloney, the weaker the product," he said.

Coleman has long been a skeptic of global warming, and carbon dioxide is the linchpin to his argument. "Does carbon dioxide cause a warming of the atmosphere? The proponents of global warming pin their whole piece on that," he said. The compound carbon dioxide makes up only 38 out of every 100,000 particles in the atmosphere, he said. "That's about twice as what there were in the atmosphere in the time we started burning fossil fuels, so it's gone up, but it's still a tiny compound," Coleman said. "So how can that tiny trace compound have such a significant effect on temperature? "My position is it can't," he continued. "It doesn't, and the whole case for global warming is based on a fallacy."


Warming has vanished

THE WINTER this year was unusually long and harsh. What possibly could explain the occurrence of unusual cold wave conditions this year throughout the globe when environmentalists voicing their concerns about the human-led global warming had predicted that the rise in carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere would result in shorter winters with no significant dip in the mercury? Was this winter an exception to the rule or is it simply following a trend? After all, studies conducted by a small group of `sceptic' scientists reveal that global warming has been waning since 2001. Latest studies supported by satellite data cast doubt on the climate fears propounded by environmentalists supported by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Satellite measurements available since 1979 show no warming in the southern hemisphere and the trend in the northern hemisphere appears to have waned since 2001. In August 2007, the UK Met Office acknowledged that obvious global warming had stopped. Paleo-climate scientist Bob Carter testifying before the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works has noted that the accepted global average temperature statistics used by IPCC show no ground-based warming has occurred since 1998. A research led by David Bromwich, Professor of Atmospheric Science in the Department of Geography at Ohio State University and researchers with the Byrd Polar Research Centre at Ohio State University shows that during the late 20th century, the temperature in Antarctica did not rise to the level predicted by many global warming models. According to UN scientist Madhav L. Khandekar, a retired Environment Canada scientist and an expert IPCC reviewer in 2007, the recent worldwide analysis of ocean surface temperatures shows that sea surface temperatures over world oceans are slowly declining since mid-1998.

While the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is steadily rising from 280 ppm and might reach 560 ppm by 2100 as predicted by IPCC, the world's average temperature, instead of following a steep upward gradient, is actually plunging after a period of upward trend. However, the IPCC is not coming out publicly with the truth surrounding the correlation between rise in carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere and its possible consequence on global warming, if any.

A study by researchers of the Atmospheric Science Group, Department of Mathematical Science, at the University of Wisconsin, found that global warming in the last century was linked to natural causes. The Royal Meteorological Institute at Brussels in its report last year said that not carbon dioxide but the most important greenhouse gas was water vapour; it was responsible for 75 per cent of the greenhouse effect. According to Belgian climate scientist Lu Debontridder, the warm winters of the last few years in Belgium are simply due to the North-Atlantic oscillation that has absolutely nothing to do with carbon dioxide. A study published in Science last September found that contrary to past inferences from ice core records, carbon dioxide did not cause the end of the last ice age. According to the same study, deep-sea temperatures warmed about 1,300 years before the tropical surface ocean and well before the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide. USC geologist Lowell Scot, the lead author of the study, said that the climate dynamics are much more complex than simply saying that carbon dioxide rises and the temperature warms.

The IPCC climate model is based on the assumption that increased warming would cause more rainfall that would produce more clouds on the higher reaches of the atmosphere. Since high clouds have a net warming effect this would cause more warming, more rainfall and the cycle will continue. It is this positive feedback that causes the UN climate models to predict a temperature rise in the range of 2.5 degree Celsius to 4.7 degree Celsius due to rise in the level of carbon dioxide to 560 ppm. Dr Roy Spencer along with researchers at the University of Alabama Huntsville and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California, after observing the temperatures, clouds and rainfall reported that warming is actually associated with fewer high clouds. There is no data to support the theory that more rainfall will produce more high-altitude clouds.

The mainstream media seems to be purposely ignoring the bulk of the findings by renowned researchers throughout the globe that the current global warming fear attributed solely to carbon dioxide rise is utterly unfounded. Why is the IPCC, which has been blamed for relying on climate models based on wrong assumptions, continuing with its false prophecy? Is there more to it than what meets the eye? Has the politics of carbon trade got anything to do with it? Critics say that carbon trading as propounded by IPCC, as a mean to combat global warming is a smokescreen. It will allow corporate polluters in rich countries to evade their emission reduction obligations at home by buying up and trading carbon emission quotas and credits from other countries, projects or industries. It is meant to create further global economic disparities by robbing the poor of their rights while the rich will manage to extract maximum benefit from the mechanism.


Deceptive emission statistics

EU leaders will gather today and tomorrow in Brussels to sign off on the European Commission's proposals to cut carbon emissions by 20% by 2020 -- with the added bait of a 30% reduction if the U.S. and other countries make meaningful commitments. For the U.S., it appears that the question is no longer about whether it will adopt targets, but rather about how and what.

To some this all looks like good progress. Yet it is based upon the very shaky arithmetic of the Kyoto Protocol and its legacy. The Kyoto framework looks at the emissions that countries produce within their borders, and this is seductively flattering. Both the U.S. and Europe have seen their CO2 output growth slowing even as economic growth has marched on. It might appear that economic growth and emissions have been decoupled.

The 2006 Stern report seemed to confirm this rosy scenario, suggesting that additional emissions cuts could be achieved at the comparatively trivial cost of around 1% of gross domestic product. But this is just smoke and mirrors. The projected growth of global emissions clearly tracks the growth of energy demand. The world's CO2 output is likely to increase by some 50% by 2030, paralleling the growth of energy demand and economic growth. There is no global decoupling.

But, say the U.S. and the Europeans, this is because of China and India and their failure to match our emissions reductions. The U.S. in particular insists that any post-Kyoto agreement must, at a minimum, involve emissions caps on China as well. And in one sense the Americans are right: There will be no solution to global warming if China builds 1,000 new coal power stations in the next couple of decades.

This is, however, only half right. The critical question is: Who "owns" the emissions? China is an energy-intensive, export-oriented country. It makes many of the highly polluting industrial products which used to be made in the U.S. and Europe. We exported our smoke-stack industries to developing countries like China and import their products.

If this carbon outsourcing is factored back in, the U.K.'s impressive emissions cuts over the past two decades don't look so impressive anymore. Rather than falling by over 15% since 1990, they actually rose by around 19%. And even this is flattering, since the U.K. closed most of its coal industry in the 1990s for reasons unrelated to climate change. No doubt, recalculating the figures for other European countries and the U.S. would reveal a similar pattern.

After all, the U.S. and the EU together account for nearly half of world GDP. And it is consumption, not production, that matters. This means that if global warming is to be limited, the U.S. and Europe will have to take much more drastic action to reduce those emissions embedded in their own consumption. Their appropriate emissions-reduction targets will have to be based on the consumption of goods that cause those emissions in the first place.

This not only means that the true scale of required emissions reductions in the Western world will be much higher but that the impact on economic growth and living standards there will also be more severe than so far believed.

Politicians like to cite the 1% of GDP quoted in the Stern report, as this sounds like a manageable figure. But they delude themselves and the voters by not looking at the small print. The report says it would cost 1% of GDP only if there is an optimal use of new technology. The report also assumes that there will be no policy costs, meaning the implementation of new technology will effectively be cost-free.

A moment's reflection tells us otherwise. There is no evidence that policy designed to reduce emissions is going to be optimal or efficient. In the U.K., for example, official figures indicate renewables have turned out to be staggeringly expensive. Some wind-generated energy, for example, has cost between o280 and o510 per ton of carbon abated. This compares with the o10-o20 per ton price of carbon on the European emissions trading market.

But even these astonishing costs pale into insignificance against biofuels. The inefficient and costly production of ethanol in the U.S., which may not even be carbon-neutral, is perhaps only topped by such examples as Indonesia, where virgin rainforest is being cut down to grow palm oil. There is no reason at all to believe that these enormous policy costs are about to be rectified. On the contrary: The recent EU commitments to biofuels and renewables are very likely to compound the damage.



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.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We are feeding at their trough though. Conspiracy theory alert: they stop real criticism of policy by the body politic by throwing up a burning red flag of...oh...let's pick one based on nursery rhymes. Werewolves? Frankenstein (foods)?

"Ah! The SKY IS FALLING!!! Science will take decades to catch up, by which time money will be already exchanged, judges appointed, and policies put in place, and we will be on lecture circuits and own piles of golden parachutes."

"he who controls your eyes, controls your brain. The heavily emotional content of TV aims in keeping you "adrenalinally addicted" - althewhile influencing the drowsy receptive cognition..." - Timothy Leary (1990s lecture circuit)

"Environmentalism is, among other things, an attack on Aristocracy."

Science was an attack not only on Aristocracy but its unchanging church-based acceptance of Aristotle.

"They were actually deceptive. If they had not been so obscure and so confusing, this kind of philosophy would not have held its own very long. But most men revere words that they can not understand and consider a writer whom they can understand to be superficial. That is a touching sign of modesty." - Einstein on the works of Aristotle (in a letter to Solovine)

Indeed. But so what? THE "kindly rich" found our weak spot, eh? So we should spend all our time on a fake game play, as the guy who actually holds the ball runs freely to the finish line? Why don't we just turn the TV off?

"I have no patience with so-called common sense (a spurious article, unutterably different from the genuine one) one is told to use, and which they say one does not use as soon as one deviates from the ordinary course and takes a risk. I repeat, I have no patience with it. I have no patience with it for the very reason that my own common sense, if I reflect, leads me to wholly different results than the conclusion of narrow-minded worldly wisdom and prudent, half-hearted righteousness. Oh, that dawdling, oh, those hesitations, oh, that not believing that good is good, that black is black, that white is white." - Vincent van Gogh (letter to Theo, 1883)

"Our times are so wretched that not one enlightened man is left. On the one hand are fools with evil intentions; on the other, a base egotism." - Einstein (another letter to Solovine)

"But the Emperor has nothing on at all!' cried a little child." - Hans Christian Anderson, 1846

"IN THE PROFESSIONAL literature of social science, 'misanthropy' is treated as a form of personal disturbance or maladjustment. It could in fact be argued that for a highly social creature like man, a generalized aversion for his own species would be the ultimate form of maladjustment." - John Ray, 1974