Monday, February 16, 2009

Hotshot British Greens caught wasting home heat

A survey of the homes of top environmentalists has found they leak energy. "Do as I say, not as I do"

THEY may shout their green credentials from the rooftops, but some of Britain's most prominent environmental champions are living in homes that produce up to half a ton of excess carbon dioxide a year.

An audit of properties, measuring heat loss, has revealed that Chris Martin, the pop star, Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, and Sir David Attenborough, the broadcaster, are among those who reside in homes that are "leaking" energy. Some lack even the most basic energy saving measures such as cavity wall insulation and double glazing.

Thermal images of the residences of 10 high-profile green campaigners found that their heat loss was either worse or no better than that found in the average family home.

Simon Hughes, the Liberal Democrat energy and climate change spokesman, owned the least energy-efficient property. He bought his œ150,000 flat in Southwark, south London, 25 years ago but has failed to fit it with any significant insulation. Only last week Hughes unveiled plans to make every home in Britain energy efficient within the next decade. He could start with his own flat.

According to IRT Surveys, which analysed the thermal images for The Sunday Times, an estimated 1,812 kilowatt hours of heat a year seeps out through the walls and windows. The extra heating needed to make up for this loss produces 471kg of CO2 This weekend Hughes said he was planning to move. "I'm conscious that the house does need some more work to be as well insulated as possible," he said. "If I stay, it will have a full survey and anything that's necessary. In theory it doesn't waste much energy because for large parts of the day there's nobody there."

The IRT analysis assumes the property is in use the whole year round. However, Steve Howard of the Climate Group, which advises businesses and governments about reducing emissions, said: "Even a poorly paid MP can afford cavity wall insulation - it will pay for itself in three years. It's a no-brainer."

More here

AP notes that NASA moonwalker declares 'global warming scare is being used as a political tool to increase government control'

Former astronaut Harrison Schmitt, who walked on the moon and once served New Mexico in the U.S. Senate, doesn't believe that humans are causing global warming. "I don't think the human effect is significant compared to the natural effect," said Schmitt, who is among 70 skeptics scheduled to speak next month at the International Conference on Climate Change in New York.

Schmitt contends that scientists "are being intimidated" if they disagree with the idea that burning fossil fuels has increased carbon dioxide levels, temperatures and sea levels. "They've seen too many of their colleagues lose grant funding when they haven't gone along with the so-called political consensus that we're in a human-caused global warming," Schmitt said.

Dan Williams, publisher with the Chicago-based Heartland Institute, which is hosting the climate change conference, said he invited Schmitt after reading about his resignation from The Planetary Society, a nonprofit dedicated to space exploration. Schmitt resigned after the group blamed global warming on human activity. In his resignation letter, the 74-year-old geologist argued that the "global warming scare is being used as a political tool to increase government control over American lives, incomes and decision making."

Williams said Heartland is skeptical about the crisis that people are proclaiming in global warming. "Not that the planet hasn't warmed. We know it has or we'd all still be in the Ice Age," he said. "But it has not reached a crisis proportion and, even among us skeptics, there's disagreement about how much man has been responsible for that warming." Schmitt said historical documents indicate average temperatures have risen by 1 degree per century since around 1400 A.D., and the rise in carbon dioxide is because of the temperature rise.

Schmitt also said geological evidence indicates changes in sea level have been going on for thousands of years. He said smaller changes are related to changes in the elevation of land masses - for example, the Great Lakes are rising because the earth's crust is rebounding from being depressed by glaciers. Schmitt, who grew up in Silver City and now lives in Albuquerque, has a science degree from the California Institute of Technology. He also studied geology at the University of Oslo in Norway and took a doctorate in geology from Harvard University in 1964. In 1972, he was one of the last men to walk on the moon as part of the Apollo 17 mission.

Schmitt said he's heartened that the upcoming conference is made up of scientists who haven't been manipulated by politics. Of the global warming debate, he said: "It's one of the few times you've seen a sizable portion of scientists who ought to be objective take a political position and it's coloring their objectivity."


An Egregious Example Of Biased News Reporting

I was quite stunned this morning to read the following news articles:

"Global warming seen worse than predicted" by Julie Steenhuysen of Reuters

"Scientists: Pace of Climate Change Exceeds Estimates"By Kari Lydersen of the Washington Post.

These news is also reported at 431 other sites according to a search on google. These articles are based on statements by Christopher Field, founding director of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University. I have a lot of respect for Dr. Field as an expert on the carbon cycle [I also have worked with him in the past]. However, while he is credentialed in climate science and certainly can have his own opinion, the selection of his statements to highlight in prominent news articles, without presenting counter perspectives by other climate scientists, is a clear example of media bias. Dr. Fields is reported to have said
"We are basically looking now at a future climate that's beyond anything we've considered seriously in climate model simulations".

This claim, though, conflicts with real world observations! For example, Climate Science has recently weblogged on the issue of global warming; see: Update On A Comparison Of Upper Ocean Heat Content Changes With The GISS Model Predictions.

Since mid-2003, there has been no upper ocean global average warming; an observation which is not consistent with the GISS model predictions over this time period. The recent and current tropospheric temperature data (e.g. see Figure 7 in this RSS MSU data), also show that the global lower tropospheric temperatures today are no warmer than they were in 2002. The recent global warming is less than the IPCC models predict, and, even more so, in disagreement with the news articles.

Since papers and weblogs have documented that the warming is being over-estimated in recent years, and, thus, these sources of information are readily available to the reporters, there is, therefore, no other alternative than these reporters are deliberately selecting a biased perspective to promote a particular viewpoint on climate. The reporting of this news without presenting counter viewpoints is clearly an example of yellow journalism: "Journalism that exploits, distorts, or exaggerates the news to create sensations and attract readers."

When will the news media and others realize that by presenting such biased reports, which are easily refuted by real world data, they are losing their credibility among many in the scientific community as well as with the public.


Not A Peep from Scientists in response to Goremania

Last week Vicky Pope of the UK Met Service caused a bit of a stir by calling for some restraint in the misrepresentation of climate science in political debates. She wrote:
Overplaying natural variations in the weather as climate change is just as much a distortion of the science as underplaying them to claim that climate change has stopped or is not happening. Both undermine the basic facts that the implications of climate change are profound and will be severe if greenhouse gas emissions are not cut drastically and swiftly over the coming decades.

But to get a sense of how difficult reining in such claims will actually be, consider the reaction of the scientific community to Al Gore’s invited speech at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) last week (a video can be found here).

In his speech Gore attributed a wide range of recent weather events to human-caused climate change including floods in Iowa, Hurricane Ike, and the Australian bush fires. Gore sought to sum up all of these weather anecdotes by citing data from the CRED in Belgium showing that the total number of disasters has increased in recent decades (at about minute 38:00 of the video), showing this graph for effect.

What does CRED say about its own dataset (emphasis added)? (here in PDF)
. . . the linking of past trends in the EM-DAT figures and to climate change needs to remain guarded. Indeed, justifying the upward trend in hydro-meteorological disaster occurrence and impacts essentially through climate change would be misleading. Climate change is probably an actor in this increase but not the major one- even if it impact on the figures will likely become more evident in the future.

The task of identifying the possible impact of the climate change on the EM-DAT figures is complicated by the existence of several concomitant factors. For instance, one major contributor to the increase in disasters occurrence over the last decades is the constantly improving diffusion and accuracy of disaster related information.

Furthermore, disaster occurrence and impacts do not only depend on exposure to extreme natural phenomena but also depend on anthropogenic factors such as government policy, population growth, urbanisation, community-level resilience to natural disaster, etc. All of these contribute to the degree of vulnerability people experience.

How did AAAS and the many scientists in attendance respond to being blatantly misled with scientific untruths in a speech calling for political action? Why, by issuing a press release repeating the misrepresentation:
With charts and images, Gore described the immediate nature of the threat . . . A 500-year flood that has wrecked Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Wildfires in Greece that nearly toppled a government, and wildfires this month in Australia that have left scores of people dead and sparked a new national debate about climate change.

And of all of those scientists in attendance, here is a list of those who sought to set the record straight on blogs and in the media:

OK, I couldn’t find any, but if you know of any such reactions, please share in the comments. Pope’s leadership on this topic is as admirable as it is unique. But as the non-response to Al Gore’s in-your-face untruths shows, the misrepresentation of climate science for political gain has many willing silent collaborators.


"Dangerous and growing threat of climate crisis"

A response to Al Gore's Senate testimony of January 28, 2009

The Testimony Al Gore, testifying before a Senate Committee on a bitterly cold, snowy late January day in 2009, said the "global community" was facing "the dangerous and growing threat of the climate crisis". He used the words "climate crisis" eight times in his written 15-minute testimony. The text of Gore's testimony, unlike previous statements by him about the "climate crisis", contained no scientific information. Gore's "science", such as it was, was confined to a series of slides shown to the Committee but still unavailable to public enquirers thereafter.

Gore now says little in public about the science of climate, because he has been proven wrong on his facts so often in the past. Two years ago a High Court Judge in London ordered the British Government to correct nine "errors" in Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth, before allowing innocent schoolchildren to be exposed to it. Gore's propaganda movie in fact contained at least 352 serious scientific errors.

Gore's Senate testimony, as published, was little more than a string of childishly Apocalyptic generalities - "Earth is in grave danger"; "urgent and unprecedented threat to the existence of our civilization"; "dangerous over-reliance on carbon-based fuels"; buying oil from "dangerous and unstable regimes"; "national security at risk"; oil's "roller-coaster is headed for a crash, and we're in the front car"; "70 million tons of global warming pollution"; "we move closer and closer to several dangerous tipping points" that will "make it impossible for us to avoid irretrievable destruction of the conditions that make human life possible"; burning oil "in ways that destroy the planet"; "securing the future of human civilization"; "new evidence and fresh warnings from scientists"; etc., etc.

Gore urged the Senate to support President Obama's "recovery package" - energy efficiency, renewable energy, a national electricity grid, and "clean cars" -- that would create "millions of new jobs". He also said Congress must "place a price on carbon". He said there was "much stronger support for action than when we completed the Kyoto Protocol in 1997".

His ideal Copenhagen treaty to replace the expiring Kyoto Protocol would contain asymmetrical limits on carbon emissions, hitting the West hard but letting off Communist China and other developing countries with lesser restrictions, softened by cash subsidies from Western nations. He also wanted a "strong compliance and verification regime".

He said the treaty to protect the ozone layer had banned most of the "major substances that create the ozone hole over Antarctica".

Finally, Gore discussed "in more detail why we must do all of this within the next year". But the further "detail" was not included in the published text of his speech, and the Kerry Committee staff have not released Gore's "few new pictures that illustrate the unprecedented need for bold and speedy action this year", even though the Senate Committee hearing was supposedly public.

The Fact-Based Response

There was not, is not, and will not be any "climate crisis" - or, if there is, the human contribution to it will be negligible. In the four years since Gore's movie was released, global surface temperatures have fallen at a rate equivalent to 6 degrees Celsius per century, enough to usher in an Ice Age if this exceptional and rapid rate of global cooling were to continue as far as 2100

The above graph shows the very rapid decline in global mean surface temperatures between January 2005 and December 2008, compared with the range of projections (shown as a pink region) made by the UN's climate panel, the IPCC, in its 2007 report. The shortfall between the IPCC's central projection and the real-world decline in temperatures is an astonishing 0.4 Celsius degrees (0.7 F) in only four years. This is hardly the profile of a "climate crisis" caused by "global warming".

Gore now routinely refers to CO2 as "global warming pollution" - a term he used twice in his presentation to the Senate Committee. However, CO2 is not a pollutant - it is essential food for plants

Much more here

Australia: Where did Sydney's summer go?

About one week after western suburbs endured its hottest four-day heatwave in 37 years; Sydney is likely to be heading for it coolest February period in more than 50 years. The city is in the middle of at least a week where the temperature stays below 25 degrees. The likely number of days is nine, with next Wednesday being the first day warmer than 25 since last Sunday. This will make it the longest February stretch below 25 degrees since the 1950s. Sydney also had nine days in-a-row below 25 in February 1953 and eight in 1996. The last time there was a longer stretch was in 1950 when there were 13.

The extraordinary turnaround from last week's heat is a due to plenty of cloud and showers being blown in by persistent onshore southeasterly winds. When will the summer warmth return? The middle of next week as winds turn warmer northeasterly, but it will only be brief, just a few days. The city is likely to reach the high 20s, possibly the low 30s, but a cooler change late next week will put an end to that warmth. Western suburbs will hit the low-to-mid 30s before the change.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, 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.


1 comment:

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