Friday, January 30, 2009


An email from Nicholas Sault [] in New Zealand

Here indeed is what AGW sceptics are up against, especially here in New Zealand. The following is taken from a debate that was set up by the Avenues magazine of Christchurch. The debate featured Dr Gerrit van der Lingen as the AGW sceptic and Professor Bryan Storey as the AGW advocate. Their opposing arguments were then judged by a retired high court judge, Justice John Hansen, who claimed to be an unbiased observer.

In Dr van der Lingen's argument, he made the observation that Al Gore refuses to debate the points in his film, An Inconvenient Truth. In Professor Storey's response he said, quote:
"Our professional bodies recommend that we do not publicly engage in debates over climate change as it gives a platform for the vocal minority to express their views, often scientifically incorrect or carefully selected to distort a longer term trend. This will undoubtedly be the advice that the former US Vice President Al Gore will have received, influencing his decision not to engage in televised debates."

If this is not totally unscientific I do not know what is. The statement unequivocally precludes discussing the issues with anybody, scientists included. It is not as if the TV people would make the mistake of putting a layman up against Gore, and even if they did, he could then be excused for refusing to debate (even though he is a layman himself). Also it makes nonsense of the judge's claim of being unbiased, since if New Zealand scientists are told not to debate the issue, the evidence against AGW is going to go unheard by the supposedly unbiased public, to which the retired judge belongs.

At first I thought Dr Lingen's comparison of the one-sided reporting of climate change issues with Nazi propaganda a little strong, but if peer debate about climate change is not going to be conducted, the whole issue is an attempt at a scientific whitewash by the AGW proponents.

For a full transcript of the debate, see here

A John Kerry foot shot

An email from Dr. Henry Geraedts []


I noted with interest in Steven Power's article [US tells Europe No unilateral cuts in Copenhagen, WSJ, January 27, 2009] the statement by Senator John Kerry that "there is scientific evidence that greenhouse gases are increasing at four times the rate they were in the 1990s".

The article does not tell us what "scientific evidence" Senator Kerry is referring to. What we do know however, is that all reliable temperature metrics available to us [such as satellite sea surface and land surface, satellite deep ocean and lower troposphere data] provide hard-to-argue-with and to some, inconvenient, evidence that global temperatures have been falling for the better part of the past decade. Basic scientific principles tell us that if GHGs are growing four times faster than before but that temperatures are falling, the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis is falsifying at an accelerating rate, four tines faster than before, in fact.

Climate realist gets a day in court

A global warming sceptic has claimed wind farms have no environmental benefits because carbon emissions are a good thing, a New Zealand court was told. Christopher de Freitas, an Auckland University climate scientist, was giving evidence in New Zealand's Environment Court against Meridian Energy's consent bid for Project Hayes, a $NZ2 billion, 176-turbine, wind farm on the Lammermoor Range in Central Otago, NZ media reported.

"Climate is not responding to greenhouse gases in the way we thought it might," Professor de Freitas told the court. "If increasing carbon dioxide is in fact increasing climate change, its impact is smaller than natural variation. "People are being misled by people making money out of this."

Mild warming of the climate was beneficial, especially in New Zealand, which had a prominent agricultural industry, he suggested. "There is no data to show benefits in terms of mitigating potential dangerous changes in climate by offsetting carbon dioxide."

De Freitas has previously argued against wind energy in New Zealand and urged the Government to consider "clean coal". Meridian has said that Project Hayes will contribute to a new renewable power suppply meeting New Zealand's obligation to cut carbon emissions under the Kyoto Protocol.



Lord Turner of Ecchinswell is to investigate the collapse of funding for renewable energy projects in Britain after the recent exit of a string of companies, including BP and Shell.

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, Lord Turner, chairman of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and of the Government's Committee on Climate Change, said that the study was a response to mounting scepticism over the Government's plans for a huge expansion of wind and tidal power.

He said he was concerned that a number of key projects had been thrown into jeopardy, including London Array, a œ3 billion scheme to build the world's largest offshore wind park in the Thames Estuary. "We have to make sure that the present climate does not set back our plans," he said.

Doubts have surfaced over the Government's commitment to cut UK greenhouse gas emissions by at least 34 per cent by 2020 as falling oil prices and the global credit crisis have triggered a funding crisis. Last week E.ON, the German utility group, and Masdar, a fund controlled by Abu Dhabi, said that they were reconsidering the viability of the London Array.

More here


The European Union made its opening gambit in negotiations for a global framework on climate change on Wednesday with proposals that developing nations curb the growth of their greenhouse gas emissions.

Rich countries, including those in the EU as well as the US, are adamant that poor countries must take on such obligations if negotiations this year on a successor to the Kyoto protocol - the main provisions of which expire in 2012 - are to be successful.

The proposal, tabled by the European Commission, said developing countries should curb emissions by 15-30 per cent of their projected growth by 2020. The proposed target would not require developing countries actually to cut their emissions, but would oblige them to make efforts to increase energy efficiency.

Yvo de Boer, the United Nations official charged with bringing this year's talks to a successful conclusion in Copenhagen in December, warned that developing countries were ready to fight a hard battle. "I don't think developing countries will accept binding targets," he said. A "very robust financing mechanism" would need to be agreed to ensure the finance flows to the developing world.

The Commission said developed countries should take on the lion's share of cuts. It estimated that meeting the targets would require $231bn in additional investment by 2020 for new technology, energy efficiency projects and other measures, with roughly 100bn euros of that destined for the developing world. It also predicted that up to 54bn would be required annually by 2030 to help poorer countries cope with even modest warming.

Development groups believe rich countries should contribute far more. Elise Ford, head of Oxfam International's EU office, said: "Unless developing countries see hard cash on the table, there is a real danger they will simply walk away."


The Greenie menace at work in Australia: Water tanks help spread of dengue fever

Because Greenies go ballistic at plans to build dams, politicians are very slow to build them. So we have water shortages. And the very expensive "solution" to that -- promoted by the government -- is for each house to have its own rainwater tank. Talk about "drought" below is a coverup. It rains every couple of days where I live -- which must be the world's strangest "drought" -- but we still have severe restrictions on water usage and subsidies for people to buy household tanks. But the cost of the tanks is not the only problem:

Backyard water tanks, a key weapon for Australian households in the battle against drought and climate change, may prove a double-edged sword if they help the mosquito that spreads dengue fever to penetrate deep into southern and inland Australia. Melbourne researchers who set out to measure how much further the dengue mosquito might spread as the climate heats up discovered that water hoarding by households was likely to prove a much bigger help to the insect. The species responsible for spreading dengue in Australia, Aedes aegypti, is largely confined to Townsville, Cairns and Queensland's far north, where two outbreaks of dengue are continuing to worsen.

There have now been 198 confirmed cases of dengue fever in Cairns and 21 in Townsville, according to figures released last night. The Townsville outbreak is particularly alarming because two of the four types of dengue are circulating simultaneously, raising the risk that someone will suffer a potentially fatal second infection.

Scientists from Melbourne University say climate change and evolutionary adaptation are making more of Australia habitable for the insect, but human behaviours may be smoothing the mosquito's path even more. "While we predict that climate change will directly increase habitat suitability throughout much of Australia, the potential indirect impact of changed water storage practices by humans in response to drought may have a greater effect," the authors write.

Lead researcher and zoology lecturer Michael Kearney said there had been a "dramatic increase" in domestic rainwater storage in response to drought. "Water tanks and other water storage vessels, such as modified wheelie bins, are potential breeding sites for this disease-bearing mosquito," Dr Kearney said. "Without due water-storage hygiene, this indirect effect of climate change via human adaptation could dramatically re-expand the mosquito's range." Dr Kearney said the findings did not mean water tanks should be avoided. Instead, it was important for householders to realise the tanks should be properly sealed to prevent mosquito access, which meant avoiding improvised or badly made tanks and opting for versions that met Australian standards. "Australian-standard water tanks have brass mesh protecting the inlet and outlet valves, which are less likely to degrade," he said.

About 100 years ago, Aedes aegypti was more widespread, being found in Darwin and Broome, along the east coast as far south as Sydney, inland to Bourke and even in Perth. Its range diminished through the last decades of the 20th century for reasons not well understood, but Dr Kearney said his team's work suggested the removal of old galvanised water tanks and installation of town water supplies may have helped.

The invention of insecticides and even lawnmowers may also have played a part by encouraging householders to keep gardens under better control and to clear away discarded pots and other receptacles that could provide the mosquito with a place to lay eggs.

Queensland Institute of Medical Research's Tim Hurst has studied water storage in Brisbane households and how this might affect mosquito breeding. "About 50 per cent of the houses we surveyed have rainwater tanks, but about 30 per cent of those are collecting water in other containers -- such as buckets and wheelie bins," he said. [You would do that too if you were forbidden by law to water your garden]



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