Saturday, March 01, 2008

Unwrapping the EU Climate Package

Report from the straight-shooting Roger Helmer, MEP

I attended a European Policy Centre Breakfast Meeting on Feb 28th with Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas. It was well attended with about 300 there: I sat at the top table with the Commissioner. He spent some time "unwrapping the EU Climate Package". When I had a chance to put a question, I spoke as follows:
"Is the Commission aware that 1998 was the hottest year in recent history, and that climate change now seems to have stalled? Is it aware that new data in recent days from four highly respected meteorological institutes shows that in recent months average global temperatures have dropped dramatically, far outside the range of recent years? Is the Commission aware of the exceptional snow-fall in China, in the Middle East, in parts of the USA?" (I could see that the American Ambassador, Boyden Grey, also at the top table, was following my question with interest). "Does the Commission know that sea ice cover in the Antarctic is currently the highest since records began? You may say that these are anomalies against the trend, but we seem to have an awful lot of anomalies and not very much trend.

"Isn't it true that we are relying on predictions from computer models which are increasingly at odds with reality, and that based on those predictions we are putting in place policies which will do huge damage to European economies, and impoverish our grandchildren?".

The guy from the WWF booed. Commissioner Dimas muttered a long reply which contained a lot about the IPCC and the Stern report, nothing at all about the actual climate data .


Viscount Monckton comments:

And a footnote on sea ice. Two months ago there was no sea ice south of Greenland. Today my jet flew over the North Atlantic about 400 nm south of the south cape of Greenland, and there was sea ice as far as the eye could see, extending all the way to Newfoundland. This hasn't been seen for many years. A very strong La Nina indeed, helped along by the eerily-prolonged solar minimum. An excellent moment to be holding a climate conference that raises serious questions about the predictions of the Forces of Darkness.


Phew! It looks like I'm not in the pay of Exxon-Mobil after all! What will the Green/Left do without their "Big Oil" bogeyman? Easy answer: Facts don't matter to them anyhow so they will still claim that Big Oil is behind climate atheism

There's new evidence the oil industry is getting juiced about "clean energy": It's asking the federal government for more mandates and subsidies to make it fly. A new report from Cambridge Energy Research Associates lays out a bullish stance on everything from renewable energy to carbon capture and storage. The CERA report reflects a view that has been developing within mainstream industry for more than a year. But it's a significant marker, because CERA, a prominent Boston-based energy consultancy, is as close as it gets to a proxy for conventional wisdom within Big Oil.

The CERA report says climate-change concerns pose "the first serious challenge" to the dominance of fossil fuels since the dawn of the Industrial Age. It cites a "growing consensus in scientific and public policy circles of the impact of traditional hydrocarbon-based energy in driving up carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere, potentially altering the world's climate patterns." And it calculates an increase in capital investment in "renewable clean energy" that "far surpasses anything that has been done in the past." To wit: Such investment hit $66 billion worldwide during 2006, about double the amount in 2004. That number, CERA says, doesn't include spending on nuclear or hydroelectric power, or on carbon capture and storage.

CERA is hardly arguing that the era of fossil-fuels is ending. A strong opponent of the notion that global oil supply is peaking, the firm notes that fossil fuels are likely to continue to provide the vast majority of global energy for at least the next quarter century. Most analysts agree.

What CERA is saying is that this new-energy market, while small, should get more government help to grow. Traditionally, oil companies have often argued that the fact that renewable energy depends on government mandates and subsidies means it's little more than an expensive dalliance. The CERA report also notes these technologies wouldn't be around without government fiats and handouts. But then it argues for more of both.

"Putting a price on CO2 emissions, setting mandates, and providing subsidies all work to kick-start and sustain many clean energy technologies," CERA says in its report, the findings of which CERA released publicly this month. The goal, CERA says, should be to structure subsidies so they ensure "that these technologies get off the drawing board and are able to wean themselves from the support" as they grow. How to do that will be big debate. But it's a different debate than the traditional one: whether the government should push clean-energy technologies in the first place.



By Andrew Bolt

What a sweet gesture from Trinity Grammar - to pull out its air conditioners and make its students sweat for the planet. But the big question now with all such useless gestures to "save" us from global warming is: Are the Chinese watching? Are they remotely impressed by our suffering? Or isn't it time we realised - after reading last week's Garnaut report - that China is now big enough to decide the future of the planet on its own, regardless of how many whites go red?

Folks, get over this white man's burden thing. China is now in charge. It will set the world's temperature. ... China will in this century emerge a superpower to at least rival the United States, and to certainly bury Europe. As for India, it's frantically trying to make sure it won't be overshadowed by its great rival and neighbour.

That is why, as Garnaut notes: "All developing countries . . . continue to reject binding targets." Bluntly: China says no. It's done the maths and figured it will be better off warmer and richer than cooler and poorer. Too bad if the world really does warm a bit from its gases - by 2050 China will be so rich it could put air-conditioning in every Chinese house to beat the heat, so what's the fuss?

Of course, the Garnaut report doesn't put the case as brutally as that. Garnaut himself is there to preach the gospel, not despair. He still wants us to make impossible sacrifices, suggesting we cut our emissions by 2050 by as much as 90 per cent. That's crazy stuff, given our emissions are predicted by the Rudd Government to in fact soar to 20 per cent of 1990 levels by 2020, despite all the money state and federal governments have spent on stopping land-clearing, cutting power use, promoting low-energy housing and funding useless wind farms.

But if even we can't slash our own emissions, faster-growing China will know it most certainly cannot cut its own, even if it wanted to. Its roaring growth is fuelled by the building of a new coal-fired power station every week, and there is not the slightest chance it will stop building those gassy stations for years yet. No, China figures it can live with the warm, so we'd best get used to it too. The Chinese are in charge, and not even the sweat from the brow of a Trinity boy will persuade them to take their slippers off the accelerator.



I heartily recommend an excoriating piece from Melanie Phillips on her ever-stimulating Spectator blog: `World Saved! (Again)'. Having reviewed the fact that much of the Earth has been experiencing the coldest winter for many decades, Melanie then makes a seminal observation about serious bias in the British media, highlighting a classic case of Foucault's excluded voices, if ever there were one:
"... because here's the strangest thing. Apart from a couple of lonely newspaper pieces, virtually none of this dramatic news has been reported. The world has no idea that it is no longer doomed to fry but maybe should invest instead in some thermals and start emitting more heat. The Chief Scientist has not said anything about it. The Royal Society has not said anything about it. Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth and Sir John Houghton and Sir Jonathan Porritt and the Today programme have not been heard to say anything about it."

Indeed, the silence has been deafening - it is as if all the telephone lines are down in the freeze. And, it is no good coming back at Melanie to declare that "this is only weather", or "just one winter", a point well-addressed in Canada's National Post (`Forget Global Warming: Welcome to the New Ice Age', February 25):
"OK, so one winter does not a climate make. It would be premature to claim an Ice Age is looming just because we have had one of our most brutal winters in decades. But if environmentalists and environment reporters can run around shrieking about the manmade destruction of the natural order every time a robin shows up on Georgian Bay two weeks early, then it is at least fair game to use this winter's weather stories to wonder whether the alarmist are being a tad premature."

Just so - "sauce for the goose", and all that. And, boy has it been cold! Here is The Daily Tech (`Temperature Monitors Report Widescale Global Cooling', February 26) on our precipitate plunge into ice and snow:
"Over the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile - the list goes on and on.

No more than anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But now, that evidence has been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.

... The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C - a value large enough to wipe out nearly all the warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year's time. For all four sources, it's the single fastest temperature change ever recorded, either up or down."

In addition, of course, the `lost' sea-ice has returned, as (`Global Warming? New Data Shows Ice Is Back', February 19) reports:
"Are the world's ice caps melting because of climate change, or are the reports just a lot of scare mongering by the advocates of the global warming theory?

Scare mongering appears to be the case, according to reports from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that reveal that almost all the allegedly `lost' ice has come back. A NOAA report shows that ice levels which had shrunk from 5 million square miles in January 2007 to just 1.5 million square miles in October, are almost back to their original levels.

... there is nearly a third more ice in Antarctica than usual, challenging the global warming crusaders and buttressing arguments of skeptics who deny that the world is undergoing global warming."

So here is the rub. The dramatic lack of reportage on all this, especially in the UK, betrays so much about our failing journalism under the exclusive dominance of hegemonic myths. We joke about 1984, but I sometimes wonder.

Yet, thank goodness for the web. As it was with the invention of printing, this is the new liberator, helping us to break the dangerous hegemonies that seek to enslave our minds and lives. But now, alternative voices can no longer be suppressed by a weakened and often compliant media, trendy editors, or media magnates. Writing in The Times (February 26), David Aaronovitch gave a name to the potential threat from these sources. He called it the Intelligentsia Default Position, or IDP.

Melanie Phillips, and all writers and bloggers like her, are a brave voice for freedom in a world where too many who should know much, much better are seeking to exclude inconvenient truths and facts, but, above all, to shut down the voice of reason. We must not let this happen. Indeed, we must challenge the often self-satisfied and glib IDP at every turn.


Global cooling good for Australia's ski resorts too

Note that it was SUMMER when the above picture was taken a day or two ago

The final day of summer in the Snowy Mountains has taken on a wintry chill after snow fell last night at the ski resorts of Perisher Blue and Thredbo. A light dusting of snow blanketed the NSW ski resorts overnight as temperatures dropped to a low of minus 3.8 degrees Celcius at Perisher and minus 3 degrees at Thredbo. Intermittent light snow flurries continued to fall into the morning on Mount Perisher.

Weather forecasters are already predicting a bumper snow season for 2008, according to resort management. Temperatures are expected to remain low with persistent precipitation throughout winter. "We have barely had a summer this year," said Gary Grant, Perisher Blue's general manager of marketing. "It's felt as though it's remained cold since the end of the 2007 season, apart from a few warm days, there air has always had a nip in it."



AUSTRALIA will meet its Kyoto Protocol emissions targets but greenhouse pollution is growing, mainly due to heavy reliance on coal for electricity. A report from the Federal Government's Department of Climate Change shows that although the rate of growth is slowing, Australia's greenhouse gas emissions are likely to increase by 20 per cent by 2020.

The Minister for Climate Change, Penny Wong, said the figures were good for the country, and showed a cut in expected emissions: "[The analysis] shows that the Rudd Government's policies, such as increasing the use of renewable energy, will trigger much greater emissions reductions in the longer term than had been forecast in 2006 under the previous government." The analysis said emissions would have grown faster under the previous government's policies, rising by 27 per cent by 2020.



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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