Monday, October 20, 2008

Eminent and much acclaimed German scientist has near-psychotic delusion

And this article both documents the imbecility and shows it for what it is. Unfortunately it is in German so I will just present and translate an excerpt. The key point is in one of those huge long-winded German sentences so I guess that I had better translate it all:

Als im Oktober weltweit die Boersen eine noch nie dagewesene Talfahrt begannen und am 9. Oktober ein regelrechter Crash zu beobachten war, der binnen Stunden reale Werte in der Hoehe von hunderten von Milliarden Euro vernichtete, als die Regierungen weltweit fieberhaft daran arbeiteten riesige uns alle belastende Rettungspakete fuer das angeschlagene internationale Finanzwesen zu schnueren, trat der Kanzlerinberater Prof. Dr. Schellnhuber seines Zeichens Chef des Potsdam Instituts fuer Klimafolgenforschung (PIK) und bekanntester Klimakatastrophenforscher der Republik zusammen mit seinem Mentor und Zahlmeister Sigmar Gabriel ungeruehrt vor die verdutzten Berliner Medien und erklaerte professoral, da  die Finanzkrise (1) ja nur virtuelle Werte vernichtete, das Abschmelzen des Groendlandeises sei aber real und unumkehrbar.

While in October worldwide the stock-exchanges began a never-before-seen fall and on the 9th of October a real crash could be observed which within hours wiped out real assets as high as hundreds of millions of Euros, while governments worldwide feverishly made giant efforts to put together a rescue-package for the stricken international financial system, Chancellor-adviser and chief of the Potsdam Institute for climate research (PIK) and the best known climate catastrophist of the republic, Prof. Dr. Schellnhuber, came calmly before the bewildered Berlin media with his mentor and paymaster Sigmar Gabriel and declared professorially that the finance-crisis (1) only wiped out virtual wealth but the melting of the Greenland ice is real and irreversible.

Phew! Sorry if that is a bit rough but German does that to you.

But do you see the idiocy? The melting of the Greenland ice is "irreversible". Not only has the Greenland icecap waxed and waned in geologic time but it has even waxed and waned in the 20th century! The man is a utter nut. Yet he must be one of the world's most eminent Germans. Read about him here and weep.

The rest of the article gives lots of the facts that refute the eminent man but just translating the sentence above exhausted me so maybe someone else will translate the rest. It is an excellent article. One hopes it will be widely read in Germany.

One of the points made in the article is from Prof. Hans von Storch -- who points out that there has been no correlation between sea-level and CO2 level over the last 1000 years. The article ends with the graph below, which also shows the irrelevance of CO2 levels.

The Greenie hostility to conventional energy sources precipitated the financial crisis

The Fed was trying to fight the high prices of food and fuel by restricting the money supply. So money that was needed to keep the financial system floating was suddenly no longer there

Larry Kudlow (TCSDAILY, 06 October 2008) correctly emphasizes the monetary tightening that unwittingly set the stage for the current financial crisis. How can such an old-fashioned liquidity crisis panic financial markets under today's regime of fiat money? The Federal Reserve was fighting energy and food inflation by slowing the money growth rate. The low interest rates were an ambiguous indicator of monetary policy because an energy crisis was depressing the return on expansions of the capital stock. The energy crisis of the 1970s also depressed the real or inflation adjusted interest rate in a feedback loop that further discouraged petroleum extraction.

After growing at annualized monthly rates of about 17% and 12% in February and March of 2008, the growth of the M2 money supply slowed to 2.4%, 1.3%, -0.2%, 6.1%, and -1.5% in April, May, June, July, and August (seasonally adjusted). Indeed, the rate of growth of the money supply has slowed prior to every recession in the post World War II era, according to Frederic Mishkin (2007, p. 9), in the latest edition of his widely adopted Money and Banking textbook. The Federal Reserve tightened money growth (or failed to ease it) when the real estate market underlying the then and now collapsing mortgage derivatives market was already in a free fall.

At the bottom of this energy and food inflation was a political effort to fight global warming by discouraging investment in fossil fuel production capacity and encouraging the use of renewables such as ethanol made from corn. During the past year, major petroleum producing firms announced drastic cutbacks in energy infrastructure investment plans. Similar efforts were in progress in other countries. Rising gasoline and diesel fuel prices rippled through the economy, affecting everything that moves by fuel-powered vehicles. A massive diversion of farm capacity toward fuel ethanol production occurred while federal and state governments eliminated MTBE, a virtually harmless gasoline component synthesized from natural gas and constituting about 3% of the nation's gasoline supply. The inflation surge was reminiscent of the mid-1970s energy crisis that also produced an inflation that the Federal Reserve elected to fight with tight monetary policy.

The use of monetary policy to arrest a cost-push or supply-side inflation driven by an energy crisis distressed the American economy in the middle of the 1970s. Raburn Williams, in his The Politics of Boom and Bust in Twentieth-Century America (West Publishing Company, 1994, pp. 386-388), explains how the Federal Reserve tightened monetary policy in response to skyrocketing energy and food prices in 1974. This forced the other sectors of the economy, outside of food and energy, to experience sharp deflationary pressure as Arthur Burns used slow money growth to drive down inflation in them relative to the rising inflation in food and energy. The worst recession since the 1930s resulted then, and the stock market crashed, and President Nixon ended his presidency by resigning.

Unlike when the Great Depression of the 1930s began, the world is unconstrained in its ability to create money today. Governments will probably soon reverse the liquidity crisis underlying the collapsing financial markets by an infusion of money from central banks all over the world. However, asset appreciation that can save equities and financial corporations will also affect another asset -- the reserves of petroleum lying in the oil fields owned by today's major global producers. The value of that asset will probably again rise in tandem with another rise in fuels prices at the pumps. Low inflation adjusted interest rates seem a likely repercussion from resurgence of our present energy crisis, as stagflation mimics the late 1970s malaise once again.

A root cause of this situation begs for an obvious remedy if the public can muster the political will to call for it. An abrupt turn away from the policy of seizing every opportunity to obstruct and discourage the supplying of fossil fuels might moderate a late 1970s style resurgence of the recent energy crisis, and with it, the monetary roller coaster ride that is devastating the retirement dreams of the present generation of Americans and baby-boomers all over the world. An economically efficient response to the global warming problem would be far more modest than what we are unwittingly imposing right now.


Global Warming as a Natural Response to Cloud Changes Associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO)

by Roy W. Spencer, PhD, Principal Research Scientist, The University of Alabama in Huntsville

A few excerpts from a large scientific paper below:


A simple climate model forced by satellite-observed changes in the Earth's radiative budget associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is shown to mimic the major features of global average temperature change during the 20th Century - including two-thirds of the warming trend. A mostly-natural source of global warming is also consistent with mounting observational evidence that the climate system is much less sensitive to carbon dioxide emissions than the IPCC's climate models simulate.

1. Introduction

For those who have followed my writings and publications in the last 18 months (e.g. Spencer et al., 2007), you know that we are finding satellite evidence that the climate system could be much less sensitive to greenhouse gas emissions than the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) climate models suggest.

To show that we are not the only researchers who have documented evidence contradicting the IPCC models, I made the following figure to contrast the IPCC-projected warming from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide with the warming that would result if the climate sensitivity is as low as implied by various kinds of observational evidence. The dashed line represents our recent apples-to-apples comparison between satellite-based feedback estimates and IPCC model-diagnosed feedbacks, all computed from 5-year periods (Spencer and Braswell, 2008a):


4. Discussion & Conclusions

The evidence continues to mount that the IPCC models are too sensitive, and therefore produce too much global warming. If climate sensitivity is indeed considerably less than the IPCC claims it to be, then increasing CO2 alone can not explain recent global warming. The evidence presented here suggests that most of that warming might well have been caused by cloud changes associated with a natural mode of climate variability: the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

I am posting this information in advance of publication because of its potential importance to pending EPA regulations or congressional legislation which assume that carbon dioxide is a major driver of climate change. Since the mainstream news media now refuse to report on peer-reviewed scientific articles which contradict the views of the IPCC, Al Gore, and James Hansen, I am forced to bypass them entirely.

We need to consider the very real possibility that carbon dioxide - which is necessary for life on Earth and of which there is precious little in the atmosphere - might well be like the innocent bystander who has been unjustly accused of a crime based upon little more than circumstantial evidence.


The next commodity to collapse will be mass-marketed environmentalism, which will come to be disdained

Comment from Canada

Stock market indexes have plummeted from their inflated peaks. Oil and other commodities have likewise plummeted. The next commodity to tumble from unsustainable peak levels: environmentalism.

In part, I am making this prediction because, in my 30 years as an environmentalist, I have never seen so many governments and so many corporations so profusely espousing so many environmental causes. Where promoting environmentalism was once seen as daring and counter-cultural, today it has become banal, no longer the exclusive preserve of a Body Shop chain, but of every retailer down to Wal-Mart. For the same reason that clothes go out of fashion after the masses embrace them, mass-marketed environmentalism will come to be disdained. That won't sell for long.

I am predicting a collapse of today's Wal-Mart environmentalism for another reason, too: Much of it is misguided, based on misunderstanding and vacuity.Global warming is by far the biggest such example. Those who have been following my Denier series in these pages know that large numbers of distinguished scientists dispute the conventional wisdom on climate change, making absurd the claim that the science is settled on climate change. And yet government and corporate propaganda - in global warming and elsewhere - strip away all subltety and uncertainty in their public relations programs, portraying environmental problems and proposing environmental solutions in cartoon-cutout simplicity that, more often than not, accomplish nothing good or make matters worse.

While governments and industry discount major environmental issues that affect crown corporations and crown resources (nuclear power, forestry), they stir up concerns in consumer areas that have high visibility and often pose few true hazards. The results are often perverse: Blue Box recycling programs that promote waste; ethanol blends for automobiles that benefit the farm lobby while depleting the land and fouling the air; bans on incandescent bulbs that ignore consumer preferences but please light bulb manufacturers seeking lucrative new markets; public transit systems that run near-empty buses along low-density routes; "Right-to-Farm" laws that legalize polluting practices; demonization of private water systems, including bans on water bottles, when private systems have a superior safety and environmental record - in short, most of the environmental policies that governments put before the public are wrong-headed.

A third reason for my prediction that environmentalism has peaked is the instinct for self-preservation among the political leadership. Thinking they could raise revenues while appearing green, opportunistic politicians have been promoting environmental taxes without having a credible case to make. The result, increasingly, is political ruin. The federal election results this week are, in good part, a testament to Liberal leader St‚phan Dion's failure to sell his Green Shift - the Liberals obtained the lowest share of the vote since Confederation.

In England, where citizens face the world's highest burden of green taxes, the ruling Labour Party received a miserable 3% of the vote in by-elections earlier this year and London's mayor, the greenest in Europe, was thrown out of office. Across Europe, once-green politicians are now backing away from their earlier commitments to push green agendas.

In stock and commodity markets, when values fall from unrealistically high levels, they often fall further than justified. When environmentalism falls from its high values on the realization that many concerns have been oversold, it too will likely fall further than justified. Environmentalism will then need to re-establish public trust before real environmental gains can be made.

As history shows, after being burned in the stock market, investors often stay away for years, fearful of being burned again. The lack of trust harms the greater economy. We have no history of what happens when citizens feel taken in by false environmental claims. But we may soon find out.


Upset for Greenies in the diaper wars

And the British government tried to hide it!

A [British] government report that found old-fashioned reusable nappies [diapers] damage the environment more than disposables has been hushed up because ministers are embarrassed by its findings. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has instructed civil servants not to publicise the conclusions of the $100,000 nappy research project and to adopt a "defensive" stance towards its conclusions.

The report found that using washable nappies, hailed by councils throughout Britain as a key way of saving the planet, have a higher carbon footprint than their disposable equivalents unless parents adopt an extreme approach to laundering them. To reduce the impact of cloth nappies on climate change parents would have to hang wet nappies out to dry all year round, keep them for years for use on younger children, and make sure the water in their washing machines does not exceed 60C.

The conclusions will upset proponents of real nappies who have claimed they can help save the planet. Restricted Whitehall documents, seen by The Sunday Times, show that the government is so concerned by the "negative laundry options" outlined in the report, it has told its media managers not to give its conclusions any publicity.

The report found that while disposable nappies used over 2® years would have a global warming , impact of 550kg of CO2 reusable nappies produced 570kg of CO2 on average. But if parents used tumble dryers and washed the reusable nappies at 90C, the impact could spiral to . 993kg of CO2 A Defra spokesman said the government was shelving plans for future research on nappies.


Australian climate plan to cause huge unemployment

More than ever, it is all about numbers in the political arena at the moment as the Rudd Government confronts the global market meltdown and the steps needed to counter the dangers of economic recession. Employment statistics, declining economic growth data and billions of dollars pumped into selected community pockets to encourage retail spending are all suddenly news.

Which makes it the more interesting that Climate Change Minister Penny Wong could deliver a 14-page speech last week to the London School of Economics on the Government's emissions trading plans without even mentioning the challenge of implementing the policy while not losing many of the million-plus people employed in Australia's energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries. The speech was delivered far away as the $10.4 billion Rudd rescue package for retailers, via consumer pockets, was being unveiled, so it slipped under the domestic media radar.

Wong found time and space to trot out statistics about Australia's per capita emissions but not to mention that more than 70per cent of the growth in national electricity consumption since 1990 has been business related and facilitated by access tosome of the world's cheapest, coal-fired power. In round terms, power stations in Victoria, NSW and Queensland, which supply most of Australia's power and a large part of generation-based emissions, are burning 20million tonnes more black coal and 21.5million tonnes more brown coal today than in 1990, and this is feeding business demand that is three-quarters more than it was then.

One-third of total electricity consumed is used by the energy-intensive manufacturers, another number that would have provided context to the data used by Wong.

She took the opportunity of the speech, delivered soon after her colleague Wayne Swan had ducked a television current affairs question about whether the global crisis might cause the Government to put off implementation of emissions trading, to strenuously assert the need for sticking to the mid-2010 deadline.

There is another set of numbers that may be of some interest to the Treasurer - and to Kevin Rudd - in the context of ensuring that the community is able to continue to spend enough to sustain the national economy. They are to be found in Australian Bureau of Statistics data on employment and pay in Australian manufacturing industries. The latest ABS data shows that the manufacturing sector employed 1,063,000 people directly in 2006 and paid them $51billion in salaries and wages.

Wong managed to devote almost two pages of her LSE speech to the hypothetical potential for Australia to become a world leader in clean energy, a regional hub for global trading in emissions and a bigger agricultural product power in the world as a result of an aggressive approach to greenhouse gas abatement without even a passing glance for what jobs already exist here and how much they are worth to the economy.

The additional jobs downstream of manufacturing businesses are harder to calculate but, as an example, the pulp and paper manufacturing industry, which employs 19,000 people, mainly in rural and regional communities, has undertaken research that shows it generates 1.3 indirect jobs for every direct one. Which tends to suggest that manufacturers overall could be responsible for another million jobs in businesses servicing their operations.

The "unintended consequence" risks of emissions trading to the economy are well illustrated by the pulp and paper mills. They have virtually no capability to pass on extra costs to customers because they are exposed to vigorous international competition - from countries such as China, Brazil and Indonesia - within Australia as well as overseas. Overseas suppliers have managed to grab 40per cent of the Australian papermarket. As the sector is striving to get across to Wong and her colleagues, if the domestic mills become non-viable and close in the medium term, there is a flow-through effect to tree growers and sawmillers.

Overall, the forest industry employs more than 80,000 Australians. Ultimately, argue the millers, if they fail, fewer trees will be planted (because the growers have less income), less timber will be available to the construction industry (because the sawmillers will be less viable) and more concrete and steel will be used in buildings, involving an increase in carbon emissions.

How much of this information will be on the table when federal cabinet finally comes to make a decision about emissions trading - not just when to introduce it but, even more important, how to support emissions-intensive, trade-exposed domestic industries against global rivals - is anybody's guess. Wong's focus is transparently on positioning the Government on the high ground for the critical negotiations on a post-Kyoto Protocol treaty at a meeting to be held in Copenhagen in 14 months. Who in the cabinet, therefore, has responsibility for ensuring that this ground is not made up of the rubble of the Australian manufacturing sector?



For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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