Saturday, August 16, 2008

Unashamed Fascism from Australian Warmists

A wet dream about police action to enforce Warmism below. The authors are Anthony Bergin, director of research programs at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) and Ross Allen, an "independent researcher". We read: "ASPI is an independent, non-partisan policy institute. It has been set up by the government to provide fresh ideas on Australia's defence and strategic policy choices". The "fresh" ideas below go back to Mussolini in the 1920s. Musso was a Greenie too

AFTER the release of the Rudd Government's green discussion paper on climate change last month, eyes are focused on how business and the community will be affected by the mitigation costs of climate change. But there has been little attention given to climate change and its implications for Australian policing. As the principal domestic security actor in Australia, with 44,000 officers, the eight police forces that serve this country need to think harder about how climate change may affect their core business.

Most Australian senior police officers haven't considered climate change to have much relevance for their work. The notable exception is Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Keelty, who suggested last September that climate change could eclipse terrorism as the security issue of the century.

Climate change could have wide-ranging implications and challenges for Australia's police. New legal regimes are required to manage carbon markets and these will require compliance and enforcement. Compliance under the carbon pollution reduction scheme will involve liable entities monitoring and reporting emissions at least annually.

The Government proposes establishing an emissions trading regulator as an incorporated body with a high degree of operational independence. The regulator will have its own investigation and enforcement mechanisms, and trading activities could be covered by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Detailed compliance and enforcement arrangements are to be developed, but the regulator and ASIC may wish to invite police involvement to investigate criminal breaches of the scheme once legislation has been defined. This will require police to develop knowledge and competencies on the use of emissions trading for money laundering and fraud.

But we may have expectations of law enforcement agencies that they're not in a position or resourced to deliver: large-scale fraud has proven to be resource intensive, particularly when the territory is uncharted. The possibility of a "green shoe" brigade emerging as the scheme begins can't be discounted. The financial scale of emissions trading and the proposed future linkages to existing international carbon trading schemes suggests the AFP will need to explore what opportunities exist for criminal activity, particularly where emission trading intersects with world financial markets.

While we may be confident in the capabilities of Australian policing and our regulatory institutions, there's cause to be concerned that Pacific Island states will be vulnerable to criminal activity associated with carbon markets. They don't have the capacity to handle large and complex investigations.

We may see changes in the type, rate and frequency of crimes as our climate alters. Anecdotal evidence suggests that weather does encourage particular types of criminal behaviour, such as changes in domestic violence patterns, a rise in drunkenness and associated anti-social behaviour, especially in the aftermath of disasters.

A key risk is that climate change could push already vulnerable pockets of communities further into hardship. The drought, for example, is changing the demographic make-up in areas affected by water availability. Lower socio-economic groups are relocating into drought-affected towns because the cost of living is cheaper. This could create a vicious cycle of poor economic prospects and associated social ills, including increases in personal and property crime rates. If drought conditions continue we may see increases in a range of water thefts. Crimes of opportunity will increase with more climate-affected natural disasters: if custodial sentences are given to looters this will have obvious implications for our prison system.

Climate change may have implications for police budgets; responding to a higher frequency of weather-induced disasters will divert already scarce resources from core police business. Climate change may contribute to regional events that require police to act in complex emergencies. Australian police could provide, for example, a security presence at refugee camps or at key transit areas in regional countries to help manage any potential mass movement of people. More climate refugees or climate migrants could pose problems for community policing, possibly leading to changes in the rates and types of crime that police forces will have to confront.

In vulnerable areas, police will need to play an active role enhancing community preparedness by educating the public in disaster-response protocols. The co-operation between state police and the military will need to improve to aid the Australian civil community in times of traumatic environmental stress.

In the face of increasing numbers of state police involved in responding to disasters, police agencies will need to consider the physical and psychological effects of climate change on their personnel. The emotional trauma of dealing with affected communities in natural disaster areas could have a psychological effect on some officers when they return to normal duties.

Australian police forces will also need to take on board the lessons from recent natural disasters and start a process to climate-proof their infrastructure and address redundancies in systems to adapt to climate change. Our police officers may have to face more environmental protest groups challenging governments to go further in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Law enforcement bodies would want to avoid aggressive and heavy-handed approaches in responding to this potential problem.

Police will need to adopt a "low carb" approach to daily business; like other large organisations in Australia, police agencies will have to contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. There has been little planning to make existing police infrastructure more energy efficient. Police fleets still largely consist of petrol-guzzling vehicles that are out of touch with efficiency trends and spiralling fuel costs.

Australia's police should bring together in a national information hub present knowledge and future thinking on climate change and its implications for law enforcement. Understanding the criminal implications of drought conditions would be an obvious starting point. Australia's police forces should co-operate with research bodies to develop risk assessments of locations likeliest to be affected by climate change as part of a multi-agency strategic approach to climate change adaptation.

While it's unlikely we will see climate-change squads in our police forces in the near future, the release of the Government's green paper provides the opportunity for Australian police officers to start considering how they will need to adapt to the challenges posed by the severity and effect of climate change.


Arctic ice refuses to melt as ordered

Despite the best that the crooks at the National Snow and Ice Data Center could do

Just a few weeks ago, predictions of Arctic ice collapse were buzzing all over the internet. Some scientists were predicting that the "North Pole may be ice-free for first time this summer". Others predicted that the entire "polar ice cap would disappear this summer".

The Arctic melt season is nearly done for this year. The sun is now very low above the horizon and will set for the winter at the North Pole in five weeks. And none of these dire predictions have come to pass. Yet there is, however, something odd going on with the ice data.

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado released an alarming graph on August 11, showing that Arctic ice was rapidly disappearing, back towards last year's record minimum. Their data shows Arctic sea ice extent only 10 per cent greater than this date in 2007, and the second lowest on record.

The problem is that this graph does not appear to be correct. Other data sources show Arctic ice having made a nice recovery this summer. NASA Marshall Space Flight Center data shows 2008 ice nearly identical to 2002, 2005 and 2006. Maps of Arctic ice extent are readily available from several sources, including the University of Illinois, which keeps a daily archive for the last 30 years. A comparison of these maps (derived from NSIDC data) below shows that Arctic ice extent was 30 per cent greater on August 11, 2008 than it was on the August 12, 2007. (2008 is a leap year, so the dates are offset by one.)

The video below highlights the differences between those two dates. As you can see, ice has grown in nearly every direction since last summer - with a large increase in the area north of Siberia. Also note that the area around the Northwest Passage (west of Greenland) has seen a significant increase in ice. Some of the islands in the Canadian Archipelago are surrounded by more ice than they were during the summer of 1980.

The 30 per cent increase was calculated by counting pixels which contain colors representing ice. This is a conservative calculation, because of the map projection used. As the ice expands away from the pole, each new pixel represents a larger area - so the net effect is that the calculated 30 per cent increase is actually on the low side.

So how did NSIDC calculate a 10 per cent increase over 2007? Their graph appears to disagree with the maps by a factor of three (10 per cent vs. 30 per cent) - hardly a trivial discrepancy. What melts the Arctic?

The Arctic did not experience the meltdowns forecast by NSIDC and the Norwegian Polar Year Secretariat. It didn't even come close. Additionally, some current graphs and press releases from NSIDC seem less than conservative. There appears to be a consistent pattern of overstatement related to Arctic ice loss.

We know that Arctic summer ice extent is largely determined by variable oceanic and atmospheric currents such as the Arctic Oscillation. NASA claimed last summer that "not all the large changes seen in Arctic climate in recent years are a result of long-term trends associated with global warming". The media tendency to knee-jerkingly blame everything on "global warming" makes for an easy story - but it is not based on solid science.

And what of the Antarctic? Down south, ice extent is well ahead of the recent average. Why isn't NSIDC making similarly high-profile press releases about the increase in Antarctic ice over the last 30 years?


Al Gore's Doomsday Clock

Al Gore gave a speech last week "challenging" America to run "on 100% zero-carbon electricity in 10 years" -- though that's just the first step on his road to "ending our reliance on carbon-based fuels." Serious people understand this is absurd. Maybe other people will start drawing the same conclusion about the man proposing it.

The former vice president has also recently disavowed any intention of returning to politics. This is wise. As America's leading peddler of both doom and salvation, Mr. Gore has moved beyond the constraints and obligations of reality. His job is to serve as a Prophet of Truth. In Mr. Gore's prophesy, a transition to carbon-free electricity generation in a decade is "achievable, affordable and transformative." He believes that the goal can be achieved almost entirely through the use of "renewables" alone, meaning solar, geothermal, wind power and biofuels.

And he doesn't think we really have any other good options: "The survival of the United States of America as we know it is at risk," he says, with his usual gift for understatement. "And even more -- if more should be required -- the future of human civilization is at stake."

What manner the catastrophe might take isn't yet clear, but the scenarios are grim: The climate crisis is getting worse faster than anticipated; global warming will cause refugee crises and destabilize entire nations; an "energy tsunami" is headed our way. And so on.

Here, however, is an inconvenient fact. In 1995, the U.S. got about 2.2% of its net electricity generation from "renewable" sources, according to the Energy Information Administration. By 2000, the last full year of the Clinton administration, that percentage had dropped to 2.1%. By contrast, the combined share of coal, petroleum and natural gas rose to 70% from 68% during the same time frame.

Now the share of renewables is up slightly, to about 2.3% as of 2006 (the latest year for which the EIA provides figures). The EIA thinks the use of renewables (minus hydropower) could rise to 201 billion kilowatt hours per year in 2018 from the current 65 billion. But the EIA also projects total net generation in 2018 to be 4.4 trillion kilowatt hours per year. That would put the total share of renewables at just over four percent of our electricity needs.

Mr. Gore's argument would be helped if he were also willing to propose huge investments in nuclear power, which emits no carbon dioxide and currently supplies about one-fifth of U.S. electricity needs, and about three-quarters of France's. Britain has just approved eight new nuclear plants, and the German government of Angela Merkel is working to do away with a plan by the previous government to go nuclear-free.

But Mr. Gore makes no mention of nuclear power in his speech, nor of the equally carbon-free hydroelectric power. These are proven technologies -- and useful reminders of what happens when environmentalists get what they wished for.

Mr. Gore's case would also be helped if our experience of renewable sources were a positive one. It isn't. In his useful book "Gusher of Lies," Robert Bryce notes that "in July 2006, wind turbines in California produced power at only about 10% of their capacity; in Texas, one of the most promising states for wind energy, the windmills produced electricity at about 17% of their rated capacity." Like wind power, solar power also suffers from the problem of intermittency, which means that it has to be backed up by conventional sources in order to avoid disruptions. This is especially true of hot summers when the wind doesn't blow and cold winters when the sun doesn't shine.

And then there are biofuels, whose recent vogue, the World Bank believes, may have been responsible for up to 75% of the recent rise in world food prices. Save the planet; starve the poor.

None of this seems to trouble Mr. Gore. He thinks that simply by declaring an emergency he can help achieve Stakhanovite results. He might recall what the Stakhanovite myth (about the man who mined 14 times his quota of coal in six hours) actually did to the Soviet economy.

A more interesting question is why Mr. Gore remains believable. Perhaps people think that facts ought not to count against a man whose task is to raise our sights, or play Cassandra to unbelieving mortals.

Or maybe he is believed simply because people want something in which to believe. "The readiness for self-sacrifice," wrote Eric Hoffer in "The True Believer," "is contingent on an imperviousness to the realities of life. . . . All active mass movements strive, therefore, to interpose a fact-proof screen between the faithful and the realities of the world. They do this by claiming that the ultimate and absolute truth is already embodied in their doctrine and that there is no truth nor certitude outside it. . . . To rely on the evidence of the senses and of reason is heresy and treason. It is startling to realize how much unbelief is necessary to make belief possible."


How NOT to Have Electricity

Every week there’s some new proposal to cover the nation with wind farms and solar panels.

Electricity is so commonplace that no one gives any thought to not having access to it. Few give any consideration to how it is generated, but we are now being inundated with the most virulent nonsense about how wind or solar power is “clean” and practically “free.” Every week there’s some new proposal to cover the nation with wind farms and solar panels.

The problem for everyone who wants to get rich with these energy sources or those who think they are the answer to our energy needs is that neither wind, nor solar can ever power anything more than relatively small projects like a farm or a local stadium. A nation of more than three hundred million people, however, needs a lot of generation capacity.

All the razzle-dazzle of television advertising and public relations propaganda cannot justify the building of massive wind or solar farms. They are simply inadequate to the production of the electricity the nation requires now and in the future. The weird thing about T. Boone Pickens' pitch is that he talks about oil dependency to justify wind power, but vehicles are not powered by wind. Nor are they likely to be powered by liquified natural gas as Pickens suggests.

By contrast, the July edition of Energy Tribune devoted some of its pages to the comeback of nuclear power in America. What jumped out at me was co-editor Robert Bryce’s citation of the fact that, “The U.S. government has spent some $7 billion building a repository for nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada” and that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has declared that it “is never going to open” and is “not the answer to nuclear waste storage.”

Senator Reid recently said that, “Coal is making us sick. Oil is making us sick,” and then went on to blather insanely about global warming.

According to Bryce, “On June 3, the Department of Energy submitted an 8,600-page application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission seeking approval of the Yucca Mountain site for waste storage. Just one day later, Nevada urged the agency to reject the application.” This is a glaring example of how to make sure America lacks the electrical energy it needs.

Throughout the debate over energy use, the Big Lie has been that industrial and other activities generate carbon dioxide emissions that, in turn, are causing global warming. Ergo, we have to radically alter every aspect of modern life to avoid the Earth’s destruction.

The problem with that is a decade-old cooling period that the Earth entered in 1998 and which is getting colder, not warmer. The other problem is the fact that the Earth has passed through periods in which the levels of CO2 in our atmosphere were much higher than they are today.

Since it is getting colder, we are going to need more electricity and other sources of energy to keep us warm in our homes, offices, schools, et cetera. We are going to have to burn coal, currently the major source of power, to generate electricity as well as the cheapest and most abundant. We will continue to use natural gas as well. All the hydroelectric sources have been identified and are in use at present.

That leaves nuclear. An Energy Tribune article by William E. Burchill serves up lots of information about the nuclear production of electrical energy. Worldwide, 441 nuclear reactors are providing electricity to one billion people. Presently nuclear power provides twenty percent of America’s electricity needs, thanks to the 104 nuclear plants operating in the U.S.

Here’s something to keep in mind. “No U.S. plant worker or member of the public has ever been injured or killed by an accident caused by nuclear power.” Moreover, amidst the frenzy over CO2, nuclear is “an emissions-free source of electricity.”

There is a literal renaissance of nuclear energy in America and this is a good thing. The U.S. Department of Energy forecasts that, by 2030, U.S. demand will increase by 30 percent. This increase reflects a worldwide trend. Currently, China, India, Russia, South Korea, Pakistan, and Japan are in the process of building a total of thirty-five nuclear plants and other nations have announced plans.

The worldwide demand for more electricity is growing right along with population growth and the spurt of industrialization occurring in nations that have looked at the Western model and are now beginning to compete in the process called globalization. By mid-century, the demand for electricity will double or triple.

The elected leaders of America have been largely deaf and blind to our national needs, opposing electrical generation no matter what source is used. Resistance to nuclear energy was part of the environmental agenda, but these days their cries and lies are mostly about what they now call “dirty fuels,” oil and coal.

What can Americans do when we have loonies like Senator Harry Reid or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spouting nonsense and blocking efforts to meet current and future energy needs? One answer is almost too obvious. They and others can and should be voted out of office. They can be replaced!

Or maybe you want to wait while wind power, currently 0.77 percent of the sources of electricity energy, or solar power, about 0.01 percent, replaces coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydroelectric power. Bundle up! You’re going to be very cold.


U.S. on verge of grand-scale blackout

Five years after the worst blackout in North American history, the country's largest utilities say the U.S. power system faces the prospect of even bigger and more damaging outages. The specific flaws that led to 50 million people losing power in 2003 have largely been addressed, they say, but even bigger problems loom. Excess generating capacity in the system is shrinking, for example, and power-plant construction has slowed as costs to build and operate plants have soared.

At the same time, it is estimated that electricity use will increase 29 percent between 2006 to 2030 - much of it driven by residential growth, according to a government report issued in June. "I'm really not a `Chicken Little' player, but I worry that no one seems to be focusing in on this," said Michael Morris, chairman, president and chief executive of American Electric Power, which runs the nation's largest electricity transmission system. Morris said massive outages this year in South Africa, which forced gold, diamond and platinum mines to stop production for five days, should serve as a warning to the United States.

Industry experts back Morris and say there is even more resistance to building new plants because of the debate over climate change and opposition to new transmission lines. The blocking of two coal-fired plants in Kansas is one example of the resistance. "The level of excess capacity has shrunk ... to a level barely within the planning toleration of the industry," said Marc Chupka, with the Brattle Group, an energy consultant.

The blackout five years ago today shut off power to vast swaths of the Northeast and Midwest for as much as four days. Rolling blackouts continued in Ontario for a week. The outages caused as much as $10 billion in damages to the U.S. economy. FirstEnergy Corp. of Akron, Ohio, which got the blame for the spread of the outages, has worked to shore up its transmission system. But the larger issues of the country's total generating ability and the overall health and capacity of the transmission grid remain a problem, the experts say.

Rick Sergel, president of the North American Electric Reliability Corp., the agency that oversees the nation's power grid, said, "We're to the point where we need every possible resource: renewables, demand response and energy efficiency, nuclear, clean coal - you name it, we need it. And we especially need the transmission lines that will bring the power generated by these new resources to consumers."

Construction of coal-fired generating plants has almost stopped, and new nuclear plants are years away, if they are approved at all, said Arshad Mansoor, vice president of power delivery and use for the Electric Power Research Institute. Better efficiency will go only so far, he said.

Morris, of American Electric Power, sees a potentially dire situation ahead, including the sort of power rationing that occurred in South Africa. "It would ruin the economy," Morris said.


Climate-Change Skeptics Revisited

The article below by comrade John P. Holdren is an extension of an earlier article by him mentioned on this blog on 5th. He claims that the lack of scientific detail in his original piece was because the editor left that stuff out. Amusingly, however, this time too he simply makes sweeping assertions rather than discussing anything in detail. That evil editor again, I guess. Following it are replies to the original Holdren piece by Prof. Fred Singer and by The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

I did not expect that my op-ed in Monday's Boston Globe, to which the editors gave the title "Convincing the Climate-Change Skeptics", would actually convince many skeptics. It was aimed more at reinforcing the resolve of the majority in the public and the policy-making community who, betting on the scientific consensus, are ready to move forward with a serious approach to dealing with the problem but are being slowed down by the ill-founded skepticism of a minority. That is why my own title for the piece was "Climate-Change Skeptics Are Dangerously Wrong".

I am being castigated by many respondents for resorting to reference to authority rather then providing substantive responses to the specific arguments of climate-change deniers. I suggest that this criticism is in part based on a misunderstanding of what is possible within the length constraint of an op-ed piece. The "top ten" arguments employed by the relatively few deniers with credentials in any aspect of climate-change science (which arguments include "the sun is doing it", "Earth's climate was changing before there were people here", "climate is changing on Mars but there are no SUVs there", "the Earth hasn't been warming since 1998", "thermometer records showing heating are contaminated by the urban-heat-island effect", "satellite measurements show cooling rather than warming") have all been shown in the serious scientific literature to be wrong or irrelevant, but explaining their defects requires at least a paragraph or two for each one.

This cannot be done in the 700 words of an op-ed piece. But there are plenty of other forums where it can be.and has been. Persuasive reefutations are readily available not only at a high scientific level in (among others) the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (, the UN Scientific Expert Group on Climate Change and Sustainable Development (, the US National Academy of Sciences (, the US National Center for Atmospheric Research ( ), and the UK Meteorological Office ( - as well as on a myyriad of websites run by serious climatologists (e.g.,,, ) - but also in a form boiled down for the intelligent layperson by organizations skilled in scientific communication, such as the BBC ( ) , the New Scientist magazine ( ), and the promising new Climate Central organization ( featuring The Weather Channel's climatologist, Heidi Cullen. Any skeptic who actually wants to know what's wrong with the standard deniers' arguments can easily find out.

I provided all the above-mentioned references and more in a longer essay on climate-change skepticism that I wrote in June in response to requests for an explanation of the apparent continuing influence of deniers in the U.S. policy process, and from which I abstracted the op-ed I submitted to The Globe. The references wouldn't fit within the op-ed word limit without losing too much else that I thought needed to be said.

Even more regrettably, I agreed to a further shortening of what I submitted by the editors at The Globe. I regret agreeing to it because it's clear (from the responses I'm receiving) that the resulting omission of a sentence about the value of skepticism in science left the impression that I am unaware of the positive role that healthy skepticism has played in the scientific enterprise over the centuries. The omitted sentence was in the middle of a passage that in the original read as follows (omission italicized):

"All three factions are wrong, but the first is the worst. We should really call them "deniers" rather than "skeptics", because they are giving the venerable tradition of skepticism a bad name. Their arguments, such as they are, suffer from two huge deficiencies".

As my original reference to "the venerable tradition of skepticism" indicates, I am in fact well aware of its valuable and indeed fundamental role in the practice of science. Skeptical views, clearly stated and soundly based, tend to promote healthy re-examination of premises, additional ways to test hypotheses and theories, and refinement of explanations and arguments. And it does happen from time to time - although less often than most casuual observers suppose - that views initially held only by skeptics end up overtuurning and replacing what had been the "mainstream" view.

Appreciation for this positive role of scientific skepticism, however, should not lead to uncritical embrace of the deplorable practices characterizing what much of has been masquerading as appropriate skepticism in the climate-science domain. These practices include refusal to acknowledge the existence of large bodies of relevant evidence (such as the proposition that there is no basis for implicating carbon dioxide in the global-average temperature increases observed over the past century); the relentless recycling of arguments in public forums that have long since been persuasively discredited in the scientific literature (such as the attribution of the observed global temperature trends to urban-heat island effects or artifacts of statistical method); the pernicious suggestion that not knowing everything about a phenomenon (such as the role of cloudiness in a warming world) is the same as knowing nothing about it; and the attribution of the views of thousands of members of the mainstream climate-science community to "mass hysteria" or deliberate propagation of a "hoax".

The purveying of propositions like these by a few scientists who do or should know better -and their parroting by amateur skeptics who laack the scientific background or the motivation to figure out what's wrong with them - are what I was inveighing against in the op-ed and will continue to inveigh against. The activities of these folks, whether witting in the case of the scientists or unwitting in the case of their gullible adherents, have nothing to do with respectable scientific skepticism.

It also needs to be understood by publics and policy makers alike that, while it can never be guaranteed that a mainstream scientific position will not be overturned by new data or insight, the likelihood of this occurring gets smaller as the size and coherence of the body of data and analysis supporting the mainstream position get larger. The lines of evidence and analysis supporting the mainstream position on climate change are diverse and robust - embracing a huge body of direct measurements by a varietyy of methods in a wealth of locations on the Earth's surface and from space, solid understanding of the basic physics governing how energy flow in the atmosphere interacts with greenhouse gases, insights derived from the reconstruction of causes and consequences of millions of years of natural climatic variations, and the results of computer models that are increasingly capable of reproducing the main features of Earth's climate with and without human influences.

The public and the policy makers who are supposed to act on the public's behalf are constantly having to make choices in the absence of complete certainty about threats and outcomes. If they are smart, they make those choices on the basis of judgments about probability: Which position is more likely to be right? On climate change, the probability is high that the scientific mainstream is right about its main conclusions, even if all the details are not yet pinned down. Those main conclusions are that climate is changing in ways unusual against the backdrop of natural variability; that human activities are responsible for most of this unusual change; that significant harm to human well-being is already occurring as a result; and that far larger -- perhaps catastrophic - damages will ensensue if serious remedial action is not started soon.

The rationale for calling the attention of the public and policy makers -- the audiences for an op-ed - to the number, diversity, and distincction of scientists and scientific organizations embracing these conclusions is to inform them of the extent to which this is the view of the most qualified people and groups that have studied the matter. Given the unavoidable fact that most people do not have the training (or the time) to reach an independent conclusion on a scientific matter of this kind, knowing where most of the people who do have the training and who have taken the time come down on the matter is the best guide available on where the public and its policy makers should place their bets.


Comment from Fred Singer:

John Holdren, of the Kennedy School, Harvard University, and Woods Hole Research Center (not to be confused with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) presents a polemic that distorts relevant science. As he himself points out, many scientists agree that current climate changes are not unusual and that human-released greenhouse gases play only a negligible role - contrary to his own view. He does not provide any references, but readers may scrutinize the report "Nature, not human activity, rules the climate," of the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), a group of more that two dozen climate experts from 16 nations. It is available on the Internet here. (Unlike the UN-sponsored IPCC, the NIPCC, while an international team, does not include experts ranging from Albania to Zimbabwe.)

Holdren cleverly tries to shift the burden of proof away from himself, Al Gore, and the IPCC, which claims to be 90 to 99 % sure that warming is anthropogenic. They have no evidence to support this claim. None. Yet they all call for Draconian steps to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by effectively imposing a huge tax on the already high price of energy. (New Englanders will bear the full brunt of these misguided policies in their household heating bills this coming winter.). Well, perhaps Dr. Holdren can explain to us why it is that the climate has refused to warm during the past decade -- in spite of rising CO2 levels.

Comment by The Right Honourable The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley;

Professor John Holdren wrote recently here that no one should heed the few climate change skeptics with any sort of scientific credentials. Yet, in 676 words, he did not offer even one scientific argument in favor of climate alarm. In this reply, I offer nothing but scientific arguments.

First, global warming began 300 years back. Humankind was not to blame. Warming stopped ten years ago. For the last seven of those years, all five major global surface temperature datasets show cooling. The cooling between January 2007 and January 2008 was the sharpest since records began in 1880. Not one of the 22 costly computer models relied upon by the UN's climate panel predicted the present long cooling. Now scientists expect no more warming till 2015.

Today's temperature is 10 F below its peak during each of the past four interglacial periods; and up to 5 F below where it was in the Bronze Age, Roman, and mediaeval warm periods. For most of the past 10,000 years, temperatures were above today's.

The Sun was more active in the past 70 years than at almost any time in the previous 11,400 years. Even if it had not caused the warming that stopped a decade ago, the UN's climate panel has not convicted humankind. CO2 occupies only one-ten-thousandth more of the atmosphere today than it did in 1750. In the Cambrian era, 550 million years ago, there was 18 times as much CO2 in the air as there is today. Life throve: otherwise we should not be here. The climate panel, in its 2001 report, admitted that the observed changes may be natural.

The UN's models predict a human fingerprint - warming in the tropical mid-troposphere at thrice the surface rate. This fingerprint is absent from 50 years of radiosonde data and 30 years of satellite data. Whatever caused the warming in the 300 years ending in 1998, it was not us.

Why are the climate models so wrong? Because in 1963 it was proven impossible to predict the long-run future of the complex, chaotic climate unless we first know its initial state to a precision that is not attainable in the real world.

There is only one question that matters in the climate debate: By how much will temperature rise if we double the pre-industrial concentration of CO2 in the air? The answer to this question is an input to the computers, not an output from them. Models cannot predict future rates of warming, because they are told the answer in advance.

Even if minuscule increases in the concentration of a trace gas could impact temperature significantly, the peer-reviewed literature is near-unanimous in not predicting climate catastrophe. A High Court judge in London, finding against Al Gore's sci-fi comedy horror movie, said bluntly: "The Armageddon scenario that he depicts is not based on any scientific view."

Scientifically-baseless precautions are already starving millions as biofuels, which the UN at first recommended and now calls a "crime against humanity", have pre-empted agricultural land, doubling staple cereal prices in a year.

The UN's proposed "precautions" would work no better than the "precautionary" ban on DDT, which killed 40 million worldwide - mostly children - before the World Health Organization ended the ban in 2006.

The strategic harm to humanity caused by killing the worlds poor and destroying the economic prosperity of the West would far outweigh any conceivable climate benefit from Warner-Lieberman. Adaptation as or, rather, if necessary would be far more cost-effective and less harmful. Futile schemes by bureaucrats to mitigate imagined global warming will have no more effect on the climate than King Canute's command to the tide not to come in and wet the Royal feet.

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.


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