Saturday, April 05, 2008

'No Sun link' to climate change

By Richard Black, Environment correspondent, BBC News website

The Greenie article from the BBC below sounds like a sober and balanced account of scientific findings. It is not. It is so evasive that it does not link to, quote or or even name the scientific article it purports to describe. One would normally expect some link on a website. So why is there none? Because the article says some things that DON'T suit the Greenie agenda. And the BBC writer does not mention those things, funnily enough. Rather amazing cheek but very BBC. These days BBC seems to stand for British Bias Corporation.

There are already some loud grumbles about this BBC propaganda effort and I reproduce some of that below. First is a scathing letter to the BBC author from John A. of Climate Audit and then follows a short excert from a very long and outraged email I have from Piers Corbyn of Weather Action. Corbyn is a very successful long-range British weather forecaster who relies heavily for his forecasts on his knowledge of solar cycles. So he KNOWS that solar variations drive temperature etc. here on earth. Corbyn is particularly outraged by the reference to the slapped-together Royal Society paper by Lockwood and Froehlich and it is commentary from Corbyn about that paper that I briefly excerpt

Scientists have produced further compelling evidence showing that modern-day climate change is not caused by changes in the Sun's activity. The research contradicts a favoured theory of climate "sceptics", that changes in cosmic rays coming to Earth determine cloudiness and temperature. The idea is that variations in solar activity affect cosmic ray intensity. But Lancaster University scientists found there has been no significant link between them in the last 20 years.

Presenting their findings in the Institute of Physics journal, Environmental Research Letters, the UK team explain that they used three different ways to search for a correlation, and found virtually none. This is the latest piece of evidence which at the very least puts the cosmic ray theory, developed by Danish scientist Henrik Svensmark at the Danish National Space Center (DNSC), under very heavy pressure.

Dr Svensmark's idea formed a centrepiece of the controversial documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle. "We started on this game because of Svensmark's work," said Terry Sloan from Lancaster University. "If he is right, then we are going down the wrong path of taking all these expensive measures to cut carbon emissions; if he is right, we could carry on with carbon emissions as normal."

Cosmic rays are deflected away from Earth by our planet's magnetic field, and by the solar wind - streams of electrically charged particles coming from the Sun. The Svensmark hypothesis is that when the solar wind is weak, more cosmic rays penetrate to Earth. That creates more charged particles in the atmosphere, which in turn induces more clouds to form, cooling the climate. The planet warms up when the Sun's output is strong.

Professor Sloan's team investigated the link by looking for periods in time and for places on the Earth which had documented weak or strong cosmic ray arrivals, and seeing if that affected the cloudiness observed in those locations or at those times. "For example; sometimes the Sun 'burps' - it throws out a huge burst of charged particles," he explained to BBC News. "So we looked to see whether cloud cover increased after one of these bursts of rays from the Sun; we saw nothing."

Over the course of one of the Sun's natural 11-year cycles, there was a weak correlation between cosmic ray intensity and cloud cover - but cosmic ray variability could at the very most explain only a quarter of the changes in cloudiness. And for the following cycle, no correlation was found.

Dr Svensmark himself was unimpressed by the findings. "Terry Sloan has simply failed to understand how cosmic rays work on clouds," he told BBC News. "He predicts much bigger effects than we would do, as between the equator and the poles, and after solar eruptions; then, because he doesn't see those big effects, he says our story is wrong, when in fact we have plenty of evidence to support it."

But another researcher who has worked on the issue, Giles Harrison from Reading University, said the work was important "as it provides an upper limit on the cosmic ray-cloud effect in global satellite cloud data". Dr Harrison's own research, looking at the UK only, has also suggested that cosmic rays make only a very weak contribution to cloud formation.

The Svensmark hypothesis has also been attacked in recent months by Mike Lockwood from the UK's Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory. He showed that over the last 20 years, solar activity has been slowly declining, which should have led to a drop in global temperatures if the theory was correct.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in its vast assessment of climate science last year, concluded that since temperatures began rising rapidly in the 1970s, the contribution of humankind's greenhouse gas emissions has outweighed that of solar variability by a factor of about 13 to one.

According to Terry Sloan, the message coming from his research is simple. "We tried to corroborate Svensmark's hypothesis, but we could not; as far as we can see, he has no reason to challenge the IPCC - the IPCC has got it right. "So we had better carry on trying to cut carbon emissions."


Letter to Richard Black by John A. below:


I note your latest attempt in your continuing campaign to ignore and demean the considerable and growing evidence of natural influences on climate change, and especially on the cosmic ray/solar cycle hypothesis of Svensmark et al.

Last time you raced out of the blocks with an article entitled "No Sun link' to climate change" about a paper then yet to be published, and couldn't be bothered beyond leaving a few voicemail messages to contact Dr Svensmark for a response. The paper of course was by Lockwood and Froelich.

Then of course, you didn't bother reporting the reply from Svensmark because we don't want the license payers unnecessarily confused with a solid rebuttal, would we Richard? Especially since that paper by Lockwood that you trumpeted was rife with errors.

Here's the reply from Svensmark. Here's another from Ken Gregory. And here's another from Anthony Watts.

Obviously you won't spend any time reporting on them, because life's too short isn't it Richard? After all, what with burning up all of those carbon credits to visit glaciers calving perfectly naturally, and polar bear populations stridently not declining but growing strongly, there's no time for nuanced scientific reporting is there?

Now we have yet another example of your tawdry one-sided reporting with this one: "No Sun link' to climate change" (by the way, are you minimizing your carbon footprint by recycling the titles to articles?).

This time its a letter to a little known and little read environmental science journal - so we're a long way from any expertise in statistics or solar science, aren't we? This time the two scientists are Sloan and Wolfendale, and would you believe it! They come to the same conclusion as the one you want to hear! I'm not a betting man but if I was, I'd bet they contacted you about their forthcoming letter and you got some nice juicy "colour quotes" to pad it out to justify your BBC salary and the rest is history!

Nobody cares, because nobody checks anything! Except that even Sloan and Wolfendale don't show that there is "'No Sun link' to climate change", they say that even with their limited analysis of 20 some years, the Svensmark process on its own contributed perhaps 25% of the warming. That's not insignificant. That's not "no link", that's "some link" Richard. Even this limited analysis showed some connection between the Svensmark process and global climate.

You could have asked them to run the identical analysis looking at the correlation between carbon dioxide rise and temperature over the same time period, but you don't want to rock the boat by showing that the carbon dioxide link is even more tenuous than the Svensmark process you're trying to bury! Carbon dioxide has continued to rise, while global temperatures appear to have stopped rising in 1998 having stabilized below the 1998 level and might even now be starting to fall. Even the Met Office admits this - but you don't report that of course.

But that doesn't save the day, because in the same article that you failed to quote or even link to (and I think I know why you didn't link to it) comes this:
"However, Sloan and Wolfendale are not the only physicists to have recently turned their attention to the cosmic ray hypothesis. Vitaliy Rusov of the National Polytechnic University in Odessa, Ukraine and colleagues do not agree with the IPCC's view that man is to blame for the recent warming. To prove their point, they looked for a direct connection between cosmic ray flux and temperature."

"The team constructed a model of the Earth's climate in which the only significant inputs were variations in the Sun's power output and changes to the galactic cosmic ray flux ( They found that the model's predicted evolution of the Earth's surface temperature over the last 700,000 years agrees well with proxy temperature data taken from Antarctic ice cores ("

"Rusov agrees that Svensmark's cosmic ray ionization mechanism cannot fully account for the observed correlation between cosmic ray flux and cloud cover, as Sloan and Wolfendale have demonstrated. But he believes that a small but direct link between cosmic rays and clouds could itself trigger a mechanism which causes further, and greater, changes in cloud cover."

So here was another model study over 700,000 years and the link between climate change and the solar/cosmic ray variation was crystal clear. But you couldn't be bothered reporting it, could you Richard? It didn't fit the narrative you've constructed.

Between copying and pasting Greenpeace publicity and encouraging reckless damage to the world economy and to the world's poor in the "Green Room", there simply isn't time in your day to even report accurately and fairly on environmental issues.

It doesn't matter that the BBC Trust says that its not the BBC's responsibility to save the planet, nor is it responsible journalism to refuse to report on the criticisms of well-qualified skeptics to the whole global warming scare, because with you and your colleagues in the hot seat to set the agenda of continuing alarm, the BBC Trust can go hang and the concerns of many BBC License payers are so much white noise to be filtered out by the next "Alarm over..." or the next "The IPCC says..." story concocted in the BBC tearoom from the latest mailshot from Greenpeace or Fiends of the Earth or the WWF - those billion dollar multi-national corporations of public alarm.

Of course when you or Shukman or the others are travelling to the four corners of the globe to report on why everyone else shouldn't travel to the four corners of the globe, there isn't time to stop in small faraway places like New York and report on major scientific conferences attended by hundreds of well-qualified scientists who dispute the IPCC reports and the AGW scare? Who knows? You could have interviewed the President of the Czech Republic after he give his keynote speech?

But no. No reporting because its not what you want to hear. So it wasn't reported by the BBC. Problem solved. Your journalistic behaviour has at least been consistent: tawdry, one-sided, lazy, propagandist, alarmist and disgraceful. This isn't BBC journalism that John Reith espoused, its more like extreme left-wing evangelization for the repeal of market economies by way of a faked vision of environmental apocalypse.

I encourage you to get honest: just join Greenpeace's publicity department officially and have done with it. You're doing the job already so you might as well get paid for it.

Excerpt from some comments by Piers Corbyn below:

I think that the BBC link and the related paper by Prof Lockwood is one of the most dishonest pieces of pseudo-science (next to Al Gore's movie) put about in the last 50 years and marks one of the lowest points in the CO2 Global Warming brainwashing enterprise.

The BBC steadfastly refuse to publish anything which refutes their baseless claims, and you may be interested to know that the BBC 'report' on Lockwood's findings appeared at the same time as his paper and had therefore clearly been drawn up in advance as propaganda and NOT a 'report' in the normal (?!) sense of investgating both sides of a subject and reporting fairly. I did appear on News24 and Radio 5 at the time but those comments and also comments by Nigel Calder on BBC around the same time were just to establish pseudo-balance and are not included in the BBC link above which is devoid of comment, gives no opportunity to comment and for which the BBC have refused to allow fair comment.

"Attempts to test influences of solar activity on Earth in detail shorter than 22 years without considering the magnetic links prove nothing. This however is what Prof Lockwood does. Obviously since temperatures driven by solar activity follow a 22yr (solar magnetic) cycle and the measures of solar activity used by Prof Lockwood follow an 11year cycle they must move in opposite directions half the time. Professor Lockwood's `finding' of a period of `oppositely directed trends' is just one such period. In fact Lockwood's finding confirms the general hypothesis of the solar charged particle based theory! The theories he actually tests are something else - involving only 11yr cycles - and amount to `straw men' to be knocked down. The cosmic ray theory is one of these. Although its originators did excellent experiments which showed that charged particles do have weather and climate effects, extra solar cosmic rays as such have no significant weather or climate impact.

It beggars belief that the Royal Society would publish a paper which purports to dismiss all theories of solar influence on Earth's weather while ignoring the ones that actually appear to work (certainly better than all others) and not even mentioning the many published observations of 22yr signals in various weather /flood etc parameters. (I say all theories here because the paper and its write-ups use Lockwood's dismissal of 11 yr theories as proof that all theories of sun-earth drivers fail). This means that the Royal Society peer review process in this case was strained in either integrity or knowledge of the subject.

The 2008 Climate Debate

By William F. Jasper
There goes another beautiful theory about to be murdered by a brutal gang of facts. - Duc de La Rochefoucauld, French writer and moralist (1613-1680)

According to former Vice President Al Gore, "the science is settled" on climate change. "The planet has a fever," Gore said during testimony before Congress in 2007, and its cause, he averred, is too many cars, power plants, factories, and other human-related sources putting too many emissions into the atmosphere. He must be right, many people conclude, since he has received a Nobel Prize and an Oscar for his global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. And many scientists and scientific bodies appear to back him up with endorsements and impressive-looking studies. The media reports repeatedly insist that there is a scientific consensus in favor of the Gore view of climate change

However, for many of the world's leading scientists in the fields of meteorology, climatology, physics, astrophysics, and related sciences, the science is far from settled, Al Gore's media accolades notwithstanding. Over the past few years, more than 19,000 American scientists have signed a dissenting petition coauthored by Dr. Frederick Seitz, renowned physicist and former president of the National Academy of Sciences, and Dr. Arthur Robinson, president of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine ( [1]). The petition urges political leaders to reject the Gore-supported Kyoto Protocol or other similar proposals that would mandate draconian tax and regulatory measures aimed at virtually all human economic activity.

Kyoto and similar proposals are not based on convincing scientific evidence, the petition claims, and "the proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind."

The advocates of Kyoto and other schemes to super-regulate the planet frequently try to portray the scientists who dispute their claims of global warming peril as irrelevant fringies, fogies, and "nut cases" who shouldn't be taken seriously. However, as brutal scientific facts have poked holes in their hypothetical global-warming models, the Gore camp has become more strident and abusive. Rather than answer the scientific critiques, they have tended simply to accuse opposition scientists of being in the pay of the energy companies. Even worse, they have adopted the tactic of labeling scientists who dispute their claims as being "climate-change deniers," on a par with "Holocaust deniers." The more radical elements of the climate-change alarmist movement have targeted dissenting scientists for vilification and harassment, even trying to deprive them of their jobs, research grants, and tenure. The most virulent "Greens" call for them to be tried as "traitors."

According to a January 1, 2007 New York Times article by Andrew C. Revkin, "A New Middle Stance Emerges in Debate over Climate," more scientists are distancing themselves from the extreme fear mongering and exaggerated claims of the climate-change alarmists.

Much of this movement toward the center is the result of the gradual dissemination and percolation through the scientific community of careful research by the scientists who have been denounced as "climate-change deniers." These scientists prefer to call themselves "climate-change realists." Far from denying climate change, they point out that climate is a very complex, dynamic thing that is constantly in a state of change. They note that the Earth's climate has gone through repeated natural warming and cooling periods, many of which have been far more radical than what we are experiencing now or are likely to experience in the next couple centuries.

Jim Martin, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, recently scorned these climate realists, telling the Denver Post, "You could have a convention of all the scientists who dispute climate change in a relatively small phone booth."

On March 2-4, scientists from around the world came to New York City for the "2008 International Conference on Climate Change" sponsored by the Heartland Institute, a research and education organization devoted to promoting free-market solutions to social and economic problems. They didn't meet in a phone booth. The convention was held in the ballroom and conference rooms of the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square. The spacious venue was filled with over 400 delegates, including more than one hundred scientists, many of considerable renown., a website of militant climate alarmists, had predicted that no real scientists would show up at this conference. At the opening of the conference, Heartland Institute president Joseph L. Bast noted that the scientists and policy experts came from Australia, Canada, England, France, Hungary, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, and Sweden, as well as the United States. They came from, among other places, the University of Alabama, Arizona State, Carleton, Central Queensland, Delaware, George Mason, Harvard, The Institute Pasteur in Paris, James Cook, John Moores, Johns Hopkins, the London School of Economics, Ohio State, Oslo, the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, the Russian Academy of Sciences, Suffolk University, and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

"These scientists and economists have been published thousands of times in the world's leading scientific journals and have written hundreds of books," noted Mr. Bast. "If you call this the fringe, where's the center?"

Among the many distinguished scientists who participated in the conference were Dr. Roy Spencer, principal research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer on NASA's Aqua satellite; Dr. Mitch Taylor, one of the premier-polar bear researchers and a continuing member of the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group; Dr. William Gray, a pioneer in hurricane forecasting; Dr. Willie Soon, astrophysicist and geoscientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; and meteorologist John Coleman, original weathercaster on ABC's Good Morning America and founder of The Weather Channel. (See his interview in "Weather Channel Founder's Forecast".)

One of the stars of the conference was Vaclav Klaus, recently reelected president of the Czech Republic. Dr. Klaus, a distinguished economist and an admiring student of America's Founding Fathers, pointed out, as he has in many previous speeches at the European Union and elsewhere, that the frightening crisis scenarios and draconian "solutions" offered by the climate alarmists are based not on science, but on computer models.

"I think that many people are misled by the argument that the debate about climate is a scientific debate in the field of climatology," Dr. Klaus said in an exclusive interview with THE NEW AMERICAN. "I don't believe that's the case. What all are talking about is the attempt to influence human society, and in this respect it's much more about the social sciences - my own, economics - not so much about the details of physics and other scientific disciplines."

President Klaus noted that he spent 10 to 15 years of his professional life doing modeling with complex econometric time-series data that is similar in many ways to the modeling done in climate studies. As an economist, he says, he is very unhappy with the simplistic analysis and the "misuse of data, misuse of statistical techniques, misuse of accounting principles" in the climate models and projections produced by the climate alarmists.

"The Kyoto Protocol will have minuscule impact upon climate," he observed, so much so that it's "difficult to find statistical significance." However, he points out, "the costs are very, very heavy, and I don't think it's worthwhile to do that."

Another star of the conference was Dr. S. Fred Singer, professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and the founder and first director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service. Dr. Singer, who served for five years as the vice chairman of the National Advisory Committee for Oceans and Atmosphere (NACOA), is the author of Unstoppable Global Warming - Every 1,500 Years, which has become a New York Times bestseller. He edited the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) report entitled, Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate, which was released at the conference.

The Singer-edited NIPCC report boasts a stellar international lineup of scientist contributors, including Robert Carter (Australia), Richard Courtney (United Kingdom), Fred Goldberg (Sweden), Vincent Gray (New Zealand), Zbigniew Jaworowski (Poland), Thomas Segalstad (Norway), and Gerd Weber (Germany). Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate (hereafter referred to as the NIPCC report) takes aim primarily at the series of shrill doomsday reports that have been issued over the past decade and a half by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a body established by the United Nations Environmental Program in 1988.

The IPCC issued its First Assessment Report on global climate change in 1990. The release of that report can be viewed as the main launch of the current global campaign to mobilize people and governments in support of political and economic policies that will reduce anthropogenic (human-caused) "greenhouse" gases. Failure to radically reduce our emissions, especially of carbon dioxide (CO2), they warned, would soon lead to catastrophic global warming, with horrendous consequences: enormous sea level rises and flooding of coastal areas; increasing incidence and severity of killer storms, hurricanes, and droughts; extinction of plant and animal species; and increased disease, pestilence, and famine, with massive loss of human life.

The major media in the United States and many other countries irresponsibly hyped the unproven hypotheses and wild forecasts of the IPCC report and gave short shrift to accomplished scientists who credibly challenged the IPCC's computer models, methodologies, and conclusions. The IPCC's prophecies of a coming global-warming apocalypse received a huge send-off in 1992 at the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and the release of each of the IPCC's subsequent reports (1995, 2001, 2007) has provided opportunities for media frenzies retailing ever more sensational and exaggerated alarms of impending doom.

The new NIPCC report takes withering aim at the IPCC's errors, false claims, and fear mongering. The foreword to the NIPCC report is written by Frederick Seitz, president emeritus of Rockefeller University and a former president of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Seitz, a legend in the field of modern physics, was to have been one of the speakers at the Heartland conference. Tragically, however, he was unable to attend, and died on March 2, the opening day of the conference.

Professor Seitz wrote in his foreword that the IPCC "is pre-programmed to produce reports to support the hypotheses of anthropogenic warming and the control of greenhouse gases, as envisioned in the Global Climate Treaty." The 1990 IPCC Summary, he notes, "completely ignored satellite data, since they showed no warming. The 1995 IPCC report was notorious for the significant alterations made to the text after it was approved by the scientists - in order to convey the impression of a human influence. The 2001 IPCC report claimed the twentieth century showed `unusual warming' based on the now-discredited hockey stick graph. The latest IPCC report, published in 2007, completely devaluates the climate contributions from changes in solar activities, which are likely to dominate any human influence."

"It is one thing to impose drastic measures and harsh economic penalties when an environmental problem is clear-cut and severe," noted Seitz. But, he continued, "It is foolish to do so when the problem is largely hypothetical and not substantiated by observations. As NIPCC shows by offering an independent, non-governmental `second opinion' on the `global warming' issue, we do not currently have any convincing evidence or observations of significant climate change from other than natural causes."

In the face of overwhelming and steadily mounting evidence to the contrary, the IPCC's 2007 report claimed that "most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations." (Emphasis in the original.)

The NIPCC report hotly contests this IPCC claim. "NIPCC reaches the opposite conclusion - namely that natural causes are very likely to be the dominant cause," writes Dr. Singer. He goes on to note: "We do not say anthropogenic greenhouse (GH) gases cannot produce some warming. Our conclusion is that evidence shows they are not playing a significant role." Participants at the conference, in their speeches and panel presentations, provided the evidence from long-term and recent data and recently published research to back their claims.

A large part of the problem, says Singer, stems from the fact that "from the very beginning, the IPCC was a political rather than a scientific entity, with its leading scientists reflecting the positions of their governments or seeking to induce their governments to adopt the IPCC position. In particular, a small group of activists wrote the all-important Summary for Policymakers (SPM) for each of the four IPCC reports."

More here


UN-sponsored climate change talks under way in Bangkok this week are likely to result in agreements to hold a whole lot more talks over the next two years to hash out a complex international agreement by 2009, participants said Wednesday. "They are going to more or less have to double the negotiating time," predicted Bill Hare of Greenpeace International. ...

"We have just one and a half years to complete negotiations on what will probably be the most complex international agreement that history has ever seen," said Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which is hosting the meeting.

Given the time constraints, many observers said they believe that the most substantive outcome from the Bangkok talks would be an agreement to increase the number of negotiations, which would require new financing. "If they agree to that [more negotiations], it's a good sign because it means that governments are putting up this money to pay for them," Hare said.

Currently, the next climate change meeting is planned later this year in Poznan, Poland, and then the finale in Copenhagan in 2009. The Bangkok talks have drawn about 1,200 delegates from 63 countries.



Blaming alarmists, including the United Nations, for "propelling" global warming from a scientific curiosity to "the mother of all environmental scares in a little over 20 years", a new report released in India by Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, has cast serious doubts over the predictions of the Nobel Prize-winning UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its recent reports. This new report has also questioned the Kyoto Protocol, which has been blamed for costing billions of dollars. The new report has accused the UN and its member countries of blaming climate change "for problems that either they have failed to address or that they have actively caused".

The Civil Society Report on Climate Change has been prepared by 41 civil society organisations present in more than 30 countries. The report has also summarised background papers of some eminent names in the field who have been critical of "undue hype" given to climate change. While releasing the report, Dr Ahluwalia said that he was critical of the recommendations of the recent UNDP report on climate change, which has toed the line of the IPCC report in its predictions.

He said that the UNDP report was not balanced in respect to developing countries and all arguments that arise should be taken into consideration. "The threat has been made more visceral through clever marketing on the part of environmentalists as well as journalists who know that bad news sells. Scientists seeking funding for their research - and perhaps also suffering from ideological bias - have been happy conspirators, writing papers and appearing in the media," states the report. On predictions of climate change affecting India's agriculture, the report states, "These observations serve to highlight the contrast between an entrepreneurial, opportunity-seeking view of the world and the misanthropic, passive recipient view promoted by alarmists." It argues that technology advancement in the field has been overlooked.

Questioning the "scaremongering" over the Kyoto Protocol by the agencies involved, this new report says that the post-Kyoto Protocol hype is an attempt to convince developing countries that a post-Kyoto Protocol agreement with binding targets and timetables for emission reductions is necessary. The report has suggested that instead of pushing emission restrictions and "failed" policies, governments should focus on reducing barriers to economic growth and adaptation methods.

Charging the IPCC report of being "inconsistent" in the forecasts of disease incidence, saying that millions of people continue to suffer even when the so-called climate change effects are not obvious, which means that what is needed is for the international community to address the problem of vaccination and treatment to these diseases like malaria and tuberculosis. The report argues that death rate from climate related natural disasters has drastically reduced since the 1920s due to economic growth and technological development and it is going to further reduce regardless of climate change.

The report states that the UN and its various agencies do not have the capacity, knowledge or competence to implement programmes that would significantly reduce incidents of predicted diseases. Accusing alarmists of using individual weather events as definitive evidence of global warming, the report has rubbished the warning that planetary warming will increase the occurrence of these events which will cause loss of lives.



The Australian delegation to climate change talks in Bangkok has turned the clock back to the Howard era by failing to back binding greenhouse targets, environment group Greenpeace says. Negotiators from more than 160 nations are taking part in the first round of UN-led talks since last December's Bali meeting to advance plans for a new global greenhouse treaty.

According to Greenpeace activists in Bangkok, Australian delegation leader Jan Adams yesterday reverted to Howard government rhetoric of supporting US-style, long-term aspirational goals rather than binding targets. "The Australian delegate suggested that a post-2012 commitment period shouldn't have binding emission reduction commitments, it should be aspirational," Greenpeace spokesman Paul Winn said from Bangkok. "They're still following the line of the US, they still seem to be aligned with the Umbrella Group," Mr Winn said. The Umbrella Group is a loose coalition of non-EU developed countries including the US, Canada and Japan - which has argued against binding targets.

Greenpeace said Ms Adams' rhetoric was out of step with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's climate change policies and more in line with those of former prime minister John Howard, who refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. "If this is (Climate Change Minister) Penny Wong and Kevin Rudd's line, we just don't know." Ms Adams heads the Climate Change Department's international division and has the title of ambassador for the environment, a position she held under the former coalition government.

Mr Winn said much of the international negotiating team in the Howard era had remained under Mr Rudd's Government. "There really needs to be a changing of the guard at some stage."



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