Monday, August 11, 2008

"On a planet 4C hotter, all we can prepare for is extinction"

Excerpt below from an article by Oliver Tickell. Tickell is a professional alarmist who is also "concerned" about trans fats in food etc. His alarmist books must be a nice little earner

We need to get prepared for four degrees of global warming, Bob Watson told the Gurdian last week. At first sight this looks like wise counsel from the climate science adviser to Defra. But the idea that we could adapt to a 4C rise is absurd and dangerous. Global warming on this scale would be a catastrophe that would mean, in the immortal words that Chief Seattle probably never spoke, "the end of living and the beginning of survival" for humankind. Or perhaps the beginning of our extinction.

The collapse of the polar ice caps would become inevitable [Fact check, O ticklish one: Antarctica contains 91% of the world's glacial ice and the temperature of all but the margins of Antarctica is WAY below zero Celsius, so a mere 4 degree rise would melt NOTHING of that] , bringing long-term sea level rises of 70-80 metres. All the world's coastal plains would be lost, complete with ports, cities, transport and industrial infrastructure, and much of the world's most productive farmland. The world's geography would be transformed much as it was at the end of the last ice age, when sea levels rose by about 120 metres to create the Channel, the North Sea and Cardigan Bay out of dry land. Weather would become extreme and unpredictable, with more frequent and severe droughts, floods and hurricanes. The Earth's carrying capacity would be hugely reduced. Billions would undoubtedly die.

More here

Global Warming Task Force: all cost, no benefit

A squeak of protest from Wisconsin -- by Jim Ott, formerly a meteorologist with WTMJ-TV (Channel 4)

Predictably, the climate scientists on the Journal Sentinel Editorial Board endorsed the recommendations of Gov. Jim Doyle's Global Warming Task Force ("Making it happen," July 29) But the Editorial Board - and the task force - left out important facts you should know: The task force was charged by the governor at the outset to assume that human use of fossil fuels is a major contributor to global warming. The fact that a significant number of climate scientists do not share this view or have serious reservations was ignored.

The Editorial Board forgot to mention that there have been many dramatic natural climate variations in the past that are not fully understood, such as the "Little Ice Age" that affected Europe for several centuries. Has the Journal Sentinel determined that natural causes of climate change are no longer relevant? Where is the science to back this up?

The editorial mentioned the "recommendations" of the task force regarding nuclear energy. In fact, the task force states on page 49 that, "This recommendation is not a recommendation by the Task Force that a new nuclear power plant be built." The easiest way to reduce greenhouse gases - increased use of nuclear energy - is clearly not a priority of the task force.

And, like the task force, the Journal Sentinel fails to make any mention of the potential cost to you or to our state's economy if the "recommendations" are enacted into law. Isn't this important information? Would you be willing to pay $6 a gallon for gas to fight global warming? How does a 40% increase in the cost of electricity sound? The price of virtually everything would rise. Last year, Wisconsin's economy grew by a paltry 1%. What will raising prices, taxes and the cost of doing business do to Wisconsin's economy?

It's important to understand that if the task force's recommendations are adopted, we all will be forced to make dramatic changes in how we live. The state will interject itself into every facet of our lives, including but not limited to requiring an energy audit when we sell our homes, telling farmers what to feed their cows, adjusting the school funding mechanism, mandating what type of lighting landlords must install and maybe even regulating how many miles we can drive our cars - all in the name of "fighting global climate change."

Finally, any effort by an individual state to address global warming is pointless. Even if Wisconsin's greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced to zero, there would be no measurable impact on global atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases and therefore no measurable effect on global temperatures. So a cost/benefit analysis of the task force's recommendations reveals major increases in prices and taxes for consumers, massive growth in state government rules and regulations and no impact or benefit to Earth's climate.

Regardless of how you feel about "global climate change," the task force's recommendations are a recipe for disaster.



So this is the Kyoto Protocol in action: A marginally-economical chemical factory in an industrial superpower finally installs 1970s-era technology to clean up its act, and as a result makes 30 times more money by selling "carbon credits" to fight global warming than it makes by selling chemicals. This isn't a last-ditch effort to upgrade Outer Mongolia-this is a French factory in South Korea. From the WSJ today:
"The company, Rhodia SA, manufactures hundreds of tons a day of adipic acid, an ingredient in nylon, at its factory here. But the real money is in what it doesn't make. The payday, which could amount to more than $1 billion over seven years, comes from destroying nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, an unwanted byproduct and potent greenhouse gas. It's Rhodia's single most profitable business world-wide. Last year, destroying nitrous oxide here and at a similar plant in Brazil generated _189 million ($300.5 million) in sales of pollution "credits." [.] The Rhodia factory in [South Korea] alone is slated to bring in more money, under the U.N.-administered program, than all the clean-air projects currently registered on the continent of Africa."

Fears over the effectiveness of Kyoto at reducing global emissions of greenhouse gases have multiplied as the treaty nears its expiration date in 2012. And that matters, because Kyoto is still the main template for what comes next, to be decided by the end of 2009 at another global climate-change conference in Denmark. The apparent shortcomings of a Kyoto-style approach are two-fold.

Plenty of economists suspect a cap-and-trade system is just asking to be gamed, and that a straight tax on emissions of carbon dioxide would be more transparent. Rhodia, the French company with the Korean factory, says it's just following the rules that were laid down. Even so, the United Nations-which runs the Kyoto plan-is trying to crack down on bogus "emissions reductions" schemes which threaten to undermine confidence in the whole idea.

And climate-change plans that leave big chunks of the global economy-like South Korea's $1 trillion economy, or China and India-outside the picture are bound to cause distortions. South Korea is considered a "developing economy," so it wins points-and factories there earn millions-by doing things that other industrialized countries do out of habit nowadays. That seems to flunk Kyoto's own acid test that lucrative carbon credits have to come from projects that wouldn't otherwise make sense.

The Bush administration has caught a lot of flak for insisting that any global agreement on climate change must include developing countries, as well as the U.S., a Kyoto holdout. But when companies are making more money cleaning up their factories than running them, something does seem wrong with the current system. Is it time for a rethink?


Cap and Trade: Economic Suicide

There have been many texts and many analyses written about big governments, specifically the tyranny of big governments. Those who have studied them notice big governments such as those of Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Red China, Cuba, North Korea, Myanmar, and others, have commonalities among them. "The Road to Serfdom" by Nobel winner Friedrich Hayek, for example, is a short and excellent analysis.

There are invariably major losses of personal freedoms, personal liberty, speech codes, loss of freedom of the press, to assemble, of religion, expression, confiscation of personal property, confiscation of wealth, wages, and overall government sponsored destitution. Most have led in their final stages to tyranny involving huge terror and police states, rendering its citizens broken, deprived, and destitute.

Big Federal Government

Recently Congress attempted to impose its big government hand into CO2 mitigation. Called the Climate Security Act (sponsored by senators Warner and Lieberman) it proposed, according to the Heritage Foundation analysis of the bill, many economy-killing features. The Act relies upon 3 dubious assumptions: The climate is warming, man-made CO2 is the cause, and it is always harmful.

A look at the scientific literature shows that the earth has not been warming for 10 years and has been actually cooling for the last 7 years, man-made CO2 is not the cause of significant warming or cooling, and warming is not necessarily harmful. It shouldn't need saying but life is better at the lower latitudes. CO2 is a nutrient essential for all life. Nonetheless, the Senate bill proposed an "economy killer" by restricting CO2 emissions, throughout nearly all human activities in American life. No government should have this much power, let alone one that espouses freedom.

Most Americans would never accept or believe that our leaders would seriously propose legislation that could destroy the American economy, and that would take our liberties.

As serious as this proposed federal legislation is, many in Congress are also compounding the economic threat by restricting the oil supplies, opposing drilling, wishing to wean Americans off cars and gasoline. Washington's Senator Maria Cantwell was quite explicit in supporting this agenda ( The Senators seem to have forgotten that our constitution was written specifically to protect US citizens from heavy handed government. Leaders with such whimsical and shallow understanding of energy and how it is made, are frightening and dangerous.

Big State Governments

Now we find that it is being casually put forth at the state levels too, as if these were just routine legislation. The expansion of federal and state government bureaucracies in the Western United States is of major concern to many Americans in noticing the similar growing expansion of big US state governments into their lives, much of it menacing, unwelcome and unsolicited. What is going on in the Western states may be called "assisted suicide".

This history of big government intrusions continues in the western US such as the Washington State legislature passing House Bill 2815 and signed into law by Governor Christine Gregoire. The bill spells out the need and a multi-billion dollar climate change mitigation program.

More bureaucratic activities have been formed such as the Western Climate Initiative (WCI). The WCI released its recent planning document entitled "Draft Design of the Regional Cap-and-Trade Program." The document is available on the Washington State Dept. of Ecology's website

Concurrently another bureaucracy was formed, the Washington State Climate Action Team (CAT). The big government fests continued when the big government CAT team was briefed on the status of WCI accomplishments to-date, and discussed these draft recommendations.

The driving force behind these massive well-funded government activities is the global warming scare in general, now renamed "climate change", and a huge, largely wasteful program for mitigation of Washington State CO2 emissions.

Based upon incomplete climate "evidence", the Washington State programs-and the thousands of proposed new hires needed to enforce them, will require billions of dollars to be spent in implementation, monitoring, testing, measuring, permitting, approving, auditing, recording, filing, and enforcement throughout, the program is grotesquely misguided, wasteful, and unnecessary.

The Origins of it all

Going back to the beginning of this giant scare story, the leader of the United Nation Environmental Program stated in 1992 "Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about?" -- Maurice Strong, (Strong was head of the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and Executive Officer for Reform in the Office of the Secretary General of the United Nations).

Strong's statement was quite clear in its intent, ominous in significance, and an integral part of UN policy. His statement is fundamental in helping us understand the essence of the global warming agenda at the state and federal levels as well. But it is not science, even though it may look and sound like it.

Secondly, the entire climate undertaking by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was not to push research toward a greater understanding of the very complex climate systems. The stated purpose of the IPCC with regard to climate change was to show man-made effects only. The effects of the significantly larger natural forces were to be ignored---vastly different from the purpose of understanding the complex climate-changing forces.

For example, the United Nation's Framework on Climate Change states in its Article 1 defines "Climate Change" as "a change of climate which is attributed directly and indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to the natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods". (Green Delusions, by Vincent Gray, p. 11).

Once we understand the IPCC's original guidance to limit studies solely to human impacts on climate and ignoring the rest, the entire discussion changes. Given man's small impacts the entire global climate, this effort seems to be more political activity than science. (See the Maurice Strong quote above).

Many in the media, Hollywood, educators, state and federal governments, (including the funding agencies providing $5 billion in climate research per year), nevertheless have failed to notice such limiting distinctions.

The level of science intolerance continues far beyond the Washington State policy makers. Since the policy makers have forbidden any discussions of the underlying and changing science, they have forced science illiteracy upon themselves. This, of course, will result in extremely misguided, costly, and intrusive policy, that is based upon bad science. Even worse some of the operating assumptions appear to be questionable. Some of these include:

* Climate change is always unusual---its not

* Climate change is always harmful-its not.

* The change is always caused by humans (especially in the capitalist and free nations---See Maurice Strong's statement above)

Climate change, no matter its largely natural origins, no matter that it has been changing for millions of years, must now be stopped no matter how costly, how futile, and how harmful to Americans. Thus, when the CAT team, politicians, and others attempt to end the science discussion, they also cut themselves off from recent evidence.

One of these is that the global temperatures have not increased for 10 years. In fact in has declined since 2001. The CAT team is not alone in its self-imposed isolation, since many in the media have yet to learn this either, and are still repeating old mantras that the earth is warming and doom is imminent. Even though CO2 is increasing, the climate is not currently warming.....

There are many other serious yet unanswered climate questions about which we have little information. There is significant information that is directly contrary to what the dogmatic climate change "templates" require.

Americans would be better served if the policy makers paid closer attention to the continuing flood of new climate information. The fact that the climate is currently cooling, is unknown to the CAT team which now seems hell-bent on creating a multi-billion dollar bureaucracy, that is premised on warming which ended 10 years ago. We are not even permitted to ask why. Why the rush? Why the secrecy? How can we respect such heavy handed state policies, when the need for such policies and huge costs are not justified?

In the recent words of Christopher Monckton, science advisor to Margaret Thatcher, "We must get the science right or we shall get the policy wrong. There is no manmade "climate crisis". It is a non-problem. The correct policy approach to a non-problem is to have the courage to do nothing."

He continued to an Australian government official: "If you introduce an emissions-trading scheme, when it transpires that the scheme and its associated economic damage had never been necessary - and it will, and sooner than you think - you and your party will be flung from office, perhaps forever. It is, therefore, in the long-term vested interest of your party to think again." Amen, Lord Monckton.


Carbon-Based Prohibition

If some environmentalists have their way, simple math suggests life as we know it will end

In 1916 a blanket ban on beer seemed like far-fetched idea. But prohibitionists cracked the door open by promising to keep whiskey available by prescription. Within three years, the country was dry. Nearly a century later, environmentalists are thinking the same way about carbon. Converting fossil fuels into controlled substances today could lead to outright carbon prohibition tomorrow.

In a magazine interview last year, Al Gore upped his call for a 90 percent cut in fossil fuel use, demanding Congress "eliminate the payroll tax and replace it dollar for dollar with a CO2 tax." A research paper published this year in Geophysical Research Letters went further. "Avoiding future human-induced climate warming," the authors said, "may require policies that seek not only to decrease CO2 emissions, but to eliminate them entirely." As the New York Times business section headlined it in March, "For Carbon Emissions, a Goal of Less Than Zero."

Those who view fossil fuel the way Carrie Nation did Demon Rum point out that were everyone on Earth to burn just a gas tank's worth of carbon each day, CO2 in the atmosphere would still double in a decade. Skeptics may discount climate models as metaphysical, but true believers consider the human costs of prohibition an acceptable price for environmental salvation. Gore's 2006 Nobel Prize speech elevated environmentalism from a pretext for social intervention to a categorical imperative by declaring: "We must abandon the conceit that individual, isolated, private actions are the answer..They will not take us far enough without collective action."

It took two centuries for daily per capita carbon consumption in America to reach the roughly 100-pound level that currently lights homes, powers industry, and keeps the Internet humming. But like driving, all those welcome activities increase the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The average American currently generates 22 tons of CO2 a year, but to limit 21st century warming to 2.5 degrees Celsius, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggests cutting the global rise in CO2 to one part per million by 2050. That's only a small multiple of the weight of the CO2 people exhale, and realizing this goal within 42 years could require America to burn less carbon in a month than we do now in a day.

This draconian downturn unfolds from a single statistic: the 5-quadrillion-ton weight of Earth's atmosphere. Your 792,000-ton share of the air may seem hefty, but one part per million of it is less than one ton. Goodbye, central heating; an average New England home furnace belts out six tons of CO2 a year. Ditto private cars; families living on a truly Earth-friendly carbon ration might spend breakfast debating whether to blow their half-pint gasoline coupon on a moped ride to town or use the daily kilowatt-hour allotment to turn the communal electric blanket up to 4. Holiday turkeys may end up as sashimi, since oven roasting could mean a heatless Thanksgiving night or Christmas Eve.

A personal CO2 limit of less than a ton per year does not even imply the right to buy that much fuel, because CO2 is only 27 percent carbon. Multiply your 1,745-pound annual CO2 ration by 27 percent, divide the result by 365 days, and.yikes! It's 21 ounces of carbon a day-and falling. If the global population reaches 9 billion by 2050, expect a daily fossil fuel ration of a latte cup of gasoline, three Pilates balls of natural gas, or a lump of coal the size of a turnip.

If you suspect life on a pound of coal a day might be solitary, brutish, nasty, and short, you're right. The countries with the smallest carbon footprints already feature the shortest life expectancies on Earth. Not that real prohibitionists should mind: When it comes to carbon, Sudan is bone dry.



"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it". --Voltaire (attributed)

That's what we used to call it - refereeing. The term "peer review" seemed to spring up and take over at about the same time as the rise of political correctness. It was a burden that most senior academics and some industrial engineers and scientists were expected to bear as part of their duty to their profession, and an onerous one it was too. It took up many hours of one's week, with no recognition and certainly no payment. Many of us would now have a more comfortable retirement if we had devoted the time to fee earning.

The duties of the referee were mainly concerned with preserving the integrity of the institution and its publications, to identify provable errors and infelicities of expression. It did not involve rewriting an author's paper, changing its slant or imposing an opinion.

The European tradition of refereeing was that it was to be done with a light touch, but that curious intensity that invades some American academic institutions often resulted in little short of a demolition job. There was something of a schism, one side thinking the other was idle, while in the other direction there were mutterings of "over the top". For what was understood was that the process was corruptible. Many referees in their early careers had experienced coteries that attempted to take over particular small areas of disciplines to enforce their own views and theories. It was, however, only in the new era of Green politics that the threat of a universal censorship emerged.

It was always a difficult course to negotiate. There will inevitably be submissions that are just silly or even insane, such as the old perennial that pi is exactly three. It is not uncommon for people to acquire a bit of jargon and go on to delude themselves that they are making a fundamental contribution to knowledge. Such delusions became institutionalised with the rise of fashionable nonsense under the name of post-modernism. This was just one of the enormous tectonic shifts that were taking place in society, the rise of the new left. At the same time political control was being established over science and research. In Britain it took the form of outright nationalisation of the universities, begun under Thatcher and completed under Blair. In America it was the founding of new public institutions, richly endowed with taxpayers' money, such as Nixon's EPA. They had the resources and therefore the patronage. A new self-sustaining political class had formed, insulated from the laws of science and economics, yet demanding sovereignty over both. Science was no longer a democracy of scholars seeking after truth; it was now an instrument of political power and control.

The creation of the UN IPCC was a cataclysmic event in the history of science. Here was a purely political body posing as a scientific institution. Through the power of patronage it rapidly attracted acolytes. Peer review soon rapidly evolved from the old style refereeing to a much more sinister imposition of The Censorship. As Wegman demonstrated, new circles of like-minded propagandists formed, acting as judge and jury for each other. Above all, they acted in concert to keep out alien and hostile opinion.

"Peer review" developed into a mantra that was picked up by political activists who clearly had no idea of the procedures of science or its learned societies. It became an imprimatur of political acceptability, whose absence was equivalent to placement on the proscribed list.

As global warming alarmism stumbles inevitably towards the later stages of Langmuir's Laws, its defenders have become increasingly shrill. The pressure on science, both from external politicians and internal quislings, has become intense.

The question of whether science can ever recover its innocence is moot. After life as a harlot on the mean streets of political imperative, a return to the sanctity of the cloister looks out of the question. If so, humanity has forever lost a bright jewel in its culture.



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John A said...

Re Tickell: "The world's geography would be transformed much as it was at the end of the last ice age, when sea levels rose by about 120 metres to create the Channel, the North Sea and Cardigan Bay out of dry land."

Ah, so now we know why the British Isles, Denmark, and so many other places are unpopulated. There is no longer enough ice to support a human population, which largely drowned in the advancing flood waters or suffered heat death. Even today, these areas are a desert of greenery and water rather than the clean ice required for a self-sustaining population.

OBloodyHell said...

re: Tickell:

> bringing long-term sea level rises of 70-80 metres.

I'm not sure, but that sounds absurdly high. It seems like this guy's been watching the opening scene from Waterworld too much.

Correct me if I'm making an error here:

For that sort of sea level rise to be the case, a total volume of not less than the total ocean surface of the planet (335,258,000 sq km x 70) cubic meters (about 23.5 quadrillion cu.m.) of ice would have to be located ABOVE current sea level -- more, since water expands as it freezes, meaning that it would then occupy a smaller volume when melted.


According to this, The Antarctic's volume (largest figure) is only 62.5 million, or 62.5 trillion cu.m. Another stat there is that the Antarctic represents 70% of the fresh water, so assuming ALL the rest is bound up the ice caps (can't complain if we overestimate it), that gives us a factor, for all the world's ice, of 90 trillion cu.m.

So going from the worst numbers, this idiot is off by a factor of 250 on the volume -- the actual change in sea level depth if ALL the ice was above sea level, *and* it all melted, should be on the order of 4 meters, based on the above ocean surface area and the 90tcm figure.

Am I missing something and/or making an error somewhere, or is this guy just making this 70-80 m. number up out of whole cloth, assuming no one is going to check it?