Friday, October 17, 2008

Crisis Guide on Climate Change

An email from Eben Kaplan [ekaplan@cfr.org] of the Council on Foreign Relations:

I thought you might be especially interested to know that the Council on Foreign Relations has released a new Crisis Guide on Climate Change. It's an interactive feature that offers a unique online experience, combining text, video, maps, and charts to provide an information-rich exploration of climate change, its global impact, and policy options for addressing it. The guide is really impressive, at least that's what the Emmy judges thought of our previous guide on Darfur.

Among the information contained in the Crisis Guide are these surprising facts (though perhaps they're not so surprising to you):

* Melting ice caps are not the largest cause of sea-level rise. Instead, the water in warming oceans is expanding, thus increasing sea levels.

* Coal, not oil, is the world's most abundant fossil fuel.

* Canada uses more energy per capita than the United States.

* France produces 80 percent of its energy with zero emissions.

* Some studies show Antarctica is actually getting cooler.

* Cities, home to half the world's population, consume three-quarters of the world's energy.

I think you'll find nothing else on the web offers this combination of depth, interactivity, and multimedia. I hope you enjoy it.




The Green Agenda

New Book by K. B. Napier, "The Green Agenda" details desire for 'total control over people'

Description:

Al Gore has successfully scammed the entire world with his global-warming, climate-changing, CO2 deception. The IPCC fraudulently changed vital scientific information to produce its 2007 Report that induced panic. Governments and the media have put a gagging order on anyone who tells the truth. The reason is simple - Greens,the UN and EU, and governments, want total control over people. The Green movement has nothing to do with 'saving the planet'... it has everything to do with bringing back Marxism and Fascism on a grand scale, suppressing truth,hiking-up taxes and bringing in crippling energy controls. This book shows the truth behind the Green... ignore it at your peril.

Source






David Archibald's elegant illustration of how late and weak solar cycle 24 is proving

Severe cooling now almost guaranteed



There is another way of looking at solar cycles. Solar cycles actually start with the magnetic reversal near the peak of the previous cycle. The sunspots take seven years to surface and become visible. Almost all sunspot cycles tend to be about 18.5 years long, measured from the peak of the previous cycle.

The above graph compares the average of three cycles, 21 to 23, from the late 20th century with three, 14 to 16, from the late 19th century (which had much colder weather). Also included is Solar Cycle 5, the first half of the Dalton Minimum.

Given we are now 103 months from the peak of Solar Cycle 23, it is now too late to get a late 19th century-type outcome for Solar Cycle 24. Out of the 24 named solar cycles, Solar Cycle 24 is now the latest after Solar Cycle 5.

It is so late that it is now in no man's land and its weakness is now more of a consideration than lateness in itself. It is certain that we will be getting a Dalton Minimum-type experience.

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Real Politics Sink Carbon Claptrap
“Economic storm clouds and a lukewarm reception to the Liberals’ Green Shift plan will likely shelve a national carbon tax for now, experts say. Economists and environmental groups say it’s unlikely future governments would adopt the policy.“ [see: ‘Carbon tax likely shelved for now: experts’, The Canadian Press, October 14]

The Canadian voters have shown the door to the imposition of nonsensical `Green' taxes and costs [`Canadians re-elect Conservatives', BBC Online Americas News, October 15]. With nearly all the votes in, the sitting PM, Stephen Harper [picture], and his Conservative Party have won 143 seats (37.6% of the popular vote), an increase of 16 seats. The opposition Liberal Party, under Stephane Dion, has lost nearly 20 seats (26.2% of the popular vote). The Bloc Quebecois took 50 seats (10% of the popular vote).

The result of the `Canadian Election 2008' is hardly a surprise. Why? The Liberals were touting an onerous `Green' carbon tax [see: `Election 2008', The Chronicle Herald, October 15]: "If Mr. Harper's big campaign error was blowing potential gains in Quebec, Mr. Dion's was building a campaign around the Green Shift.

Electorally, it was a shift that simply didn't work for the Liberals. It shifted old supporters out of the party in fear that it would raise their energy costs, but did not seem to shift idealistic new ones in. Although Mr. Dion was, as he fairly claimed, the greenest mainstream party leader on offer, green voters didn't come to him in any numbers in the end. The shift was beyond what mainstream voters were ready to do for the environment; the green vanguard proved fickle and so the great green gamble was a fizzle."

Now let's watch Europe likewise take the fizz - the CO2 - out of the `Green' bottle. As Carl Mortished writes in The Times [`Banks face dark days after Brown's "finest hour"', The Times, October 15]: "Even as we move into an era of rising unemployment, the Government wants to impose even greater costs on businesses and consumers in the fight against climate change. Greenhouse gas reductions of 20 per cent would be extremely challenging in a thriving economy. Today, they look onerous, if not impossible." Just so.

So, watch this space, as Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, and lots of other EU states swiftly grasp political reality, namely that their voters - just like those of Canada - prefer jobs and prosperity to carbon claptrap, `Green' taxes, and the imposition of punishing costs. Even Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, was recently reported as admitting that she "could not support the destruction of German jobs through an ill-advised climate policy" [see: `Climate change fears after German opt-out', Financial Times, September 22].

Yet, never mind! All is well. The UK has a Minister for Climate Change.

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Let the data speak for itself

Despite the message favoured by environmental campaigners, temperatures in this decade have not been worse than expected

By Bjorn Lomborg

Have you noticed how environmental campaigners almost inevitably say that not only is global warming happening and bad, but also that what we are seeing is even worse than expected? This is odd, because any reasonable understanding of how science proceeds would expect that, as we refine our knowledge, we find that things are sometimes worse and sometimes better than we expected, and that the most likely distribution would be about 50-50. Environmental campaigners, however, almost invariably see it as 100-0.

If we are regularly being surprised in just one direction, if our models get blindsided by an ever-worsening reality, that does not bode well for our scientific approach. Indeed, one can argue that if the models constantly get something wrong, it is probably because the models are wrong. And if we cannot trust our models, we cannot know what policy action to take if we want to make a difference.

Yet, if new facts constantly show us that the consequences of climate change are getting worse and worse, high-minded arguments about the scientific method might not carry much weight. Certainly, this seems to be the prevailing bet in the spin on global warming. It is, again, worse than we thought, and, despite our failing models, we will gamble on knowing just what to do: cut CO2 emissions dramatically.

But it is simply not correct that climate data are systematically worse than expected; in many respects, they are spot on, or even better than expected. That we hear otherwise is an indication of the media's addiction to worst-case stories, but that makes a poor foundation for smart policies.

The most obvious point about global warming is that the planet is heating up. It has warmed about 1C (1.8F) over the past century, and is predicted by the United Nations' climate panel (IPCC) to warm between 1.6-3.8C (2.9-6.8F) during this century, mainly owing to increased CO2. An average of all 38 available standard runs from the IPCC shows that models expect a temperature increase in this decade of about 0.2C.

But this is not at all what we have seen. And this is true for all surface temperature measures, and even more so for both satellite measures. Temperatures in this decade have not been worse than expected; in fact, they have not even been increasing. They have actually decreased by between 0.01 and 0.1C per decade. On the most important indicator of global warming, temperature development, we ought to hear that the data are actually much better than expected.

Likewise, and arguably much more importantly, the heat content of the world's oceans has been dropping for the past four years where we have measurements. Whereas energy in terms of temperature can disappear relatively easily from the light atmosphere, it is unclear where the heat from global warming should have gone - and certainly this is again much better than expected.

We hear constantly about how the Arctic sea ice is disappearing faster than expected, and this is true. But most serious scientists also allow that global warming is only part of the explanation. Another part is that the so-called Arctic oscillation of wind patterns over the Arctic Ocean is now in a state that it does not allow build-up of old ice, but immediately flushes most ice into the North Atlantic.

More importantly, we rarely hear that the Antarctic sea ice is not only not declining, but is above average for the past year. IPCC models would expect declining sea ice in both hemispheres but, whereas the Arctic is doing worse than expected, Antarctica is doing better.

Ironically, the Associated Press, along with many other news outlets, told us in 2007 that the "Arctic is screaming," and that the Northwest Passage was open "for the first time in recorded history." Yet the BBC reported in 2000 that the fabled Northwest Passage was already without ice.

We are constantly inundated with stories of how sea levels will rise, and how one study after another finds that it will be much worse than what the IPCC predicts. But most models find results within the IPCC range of a sea-level increase of 18-59cm (7-23in) this century. This is of course why the thousands of IPCC scientists projected that range. Yet studies claiming one metre or more obviously make for better headlines.

Since 1992, we have had satellites measuring the rise in global sea levels, and they have shown a stable increase of 3.2mm per year (1/8 of an inch) - spot on compared to the IPCC projection. Moreover, over the last two years, sea levels have not increased at all - actually, they show a slight drop. Should we not be told that this is much better than expected?

Hurricanes were the stock image of Al Gore's famous film on climate change, and certainly the United States was battered in 2004 and 2005, leading to wild claims of ever stronger and costlier storms in the future. But in the two years since, the costs have been well below average, virtually disappearing in 2006. That is definitely better than expected.

Gore quoted MIT hurricane researcher Kerry Emmanuel to support an alleged scientific consensus that global warming is making hurricanes much more damaging. But Emmanuel has now published a new study showing that even in a dramatically warming world, hurricane frequency and intensity may not substantially rise during the next two centuries. That conclusion did not get much exposure in the media.

Of course, not all things are less bad than we thought. But one-sided exaggeration is not the way forward. We urgently need balance if we are to make sensible choices.

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Australia: Greenie crocodile stupidity

There's tens of thousands of them in the far North; probably hundreds of thousands. There is no way they would be "endangered" if all the ones found in close proximity to people were shot immediately. Two separate stories below:



1). A huge crocodile has been terrorising road workers building a bridge in the Gulf of Carpentaria in Queensland's northwest after a rival male was shot and beheaded by trophy hunters. Wildlife rangers revealed the 5.8m crocodile had become highly aggressive in the aftermath of the illegal killing three weeks ago of its smaller rival.

Police and Environmental Protection Agency officers have been investigating the mystery shooting, which has upset both locals and crocodiles. Officers said the big croc has since been stalking and lunging at construction crews working on the Albert River near Burketown. "He is a monster and he is very upset," said Carpentaria Land Council ranger co-ordinator Kevin Anderson. "He has been hanging around the bridge and snapping and lunging at anything in the water. Those workers need eyes in their backsides."

Mr Anderson said the huge bull croc became enraged when the dead body of the killed crocodile, a rival male living upstream, floated through his territory. Workers at the construction site used a large crane to pull the dead 4.4m reptile from the water. It had a bullet wound in its side. Later that night, an unknown "trophy hunter" cut off its head.

Penalties for killing a crocodile, protected under law, include fines up to $15,000.

Meanwhile, the 4.3m crocodile believed to have taken tourist Arthur Booker near Cooktown two weeks ago will probably go to a crocodile farm. Under the State's crocodile management plan no animal involved in an attack is allowed to be put on display. "It will not be released back into the wild," a spokeswoman said. "As it is an iconic animal, the crocodile will not be harmed or killed."

Two smaller crocs trapped in the Endeavour River near where Booker disappeared will probably be released.

Source

2). Rangers have released photographs of a 3.5m male saltwater crocodile lurking in the waterways of a Queensland island popular for swimming. The crocodile has mainly taken up residence in the mangroves of Magnetic Island, which is a short ocean ferry ride from the city of Townsville Queensland's far north, the Townsville Bulletin reports.

Outspoken Kennedy MP Bob Katter yesterday slammed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for monitoring rather than removing the large predator from an area frequented by swimmers. The saltwater croc surfaced in the island's Cockle Bay last week, around the corner from the main swimming area in Picnic Bay.

The EPA said there had not been any further sightings of the reptile, however if spotted again in the area, it would be removed if it was deemed a problem. An agency spokeswoman yesterday said rangers believed the croc had moved away from the island again.

However, Mr Katter accused the agency of putting the animal ahead of humans. "It will remain in a situation where it can continue to threaten human beings," he said. "The prevailing attitude is quite extraordinary. "The number of people who would protect crocodiles and not human beings is significant. "If they love this crocodile so much, I strongly recommend they spend more time with it, and less time with the human beings, for which they have no respect at all. "There's been a human being torn to pieces here."

Source

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