Tuesday, June 02, 2009


An email from Norm Kalmanovitch [kalhnd@shaw.ca] below, responding to a comment on this article. See the post here of May 31

The measured global temperature record which started around 1856 shows that the Earth was in a warming cycle until around 1880. The CO2 record shows that CO2 was increasing by about 0.21ppmv/year over this period. During the cooling cycle which followed from 1880 to 1910, the CO2 concentration increased at a rate of about 0.30ppmv/year.

The next warming cycle from 1910 to 1942 saw a dramatic increase in global temperature, but the rate of increase in CO2 concentration only grew to 0.33ppmv over this time period. The well documented global cooling period from 1942 to 1975 that had the world concerned about an impending return to the equivalent of the Little Ice Age, had a contemporaneous rise in atmospheric CO2 that equated to 0.63ppmv/year; almost twice the increase in CO2 of the previous warming cycle.

During the warming that took place from 1975 to 1998, the rate of CO2 increase took another dramatic jump to 1.54ppmv/year, but this was followed by an increase to 1.91ppmv/year that we are currently experiencing during the present ongoing cooling cycle. Each successive cooling cycle has had an increase in the rate of CO2 growth over the previous warming cycle, indicating that there is no possible correlation of CO2 with global warming.

In 1988 Hansen et al published a paper "Global Climate Changes as Forecast by Goddard Institute for Space Studies Three-Dimensional Model" in the Journal of Geophysical Research that introduced a "CO2 forcing parameter". This parameter had no actual physical basis, but was merely based on the assumption that a 100ppmv increase in CO2 was directly and primarily responsible for the measured increase in global temperature of 0.6°C that had been observed over the past century.

This assumption ignored the fact that over this time period there was both cooling and warming concurrent with rising CO2 concentration, and considering that this paper was published just 13 years after a 33 year cooling trend that also had a concurrent increase in CO2 concentration there is no possible valid rationale for this assumption. Essentially in the 46year period from 1942 to when the paper was published in 1988, there were 33years of cooling and only 13years of warming concurrent with increases in CO2, yet the models used a forcing parameter that directly related only warming to CO2 concentration increases.

With no basis in fact, this parameter is entirely a fabrication, and the projections of climate models that are based on this fabricated parameter are also meaningless fabrications. In addition to the fabrication, there is a bit of scientific fraud in the creation of this CO2 forcing parameter.

The Earth had been warming since the Little Ice Age at a rate of about 0.5°C/century. The temperature value that went into determining the CO2 forcing parameter was 0.6°C, with the difference from the 0.5°C/century value likely due to the urban heat island effect. Even if this difference was directly due to CO2 increases, the difference between the observed temperature and the natural warming since the Little Ice Age is only 0.1°C but the full 0.6°C was used to fabricate the forcing parameter.

It seems that one fabrication leads to another, and when it became obvious that the natural warming of 0.5°C/century since the Little Ice Age demonstrated the obvious deficiency in this forcing parameter of the climate models, the MBH98 temperature proxy also known as the "hockey stick" was fabricated to remove the Little Ice Age and allow the full 0.6°C temperature increase to be related to CO2 increases.

Considering that the climate models are the only support for the AGW premise, and the AGW premise is the only support for the climate models, exposing this simple fabrication is all that needs to be done to put an end to this circular argument that forms the basis for the entire climate change lunacy.


World leaders are to meet for an unprecedented second summit on climate change this year to try to get agreement on a tough new treaty by December, and may even get together for a third time before the end of the year.

The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, is to call the world's heads of government to New York in September to "galvanise political will" about what he describes as "the defining issue of our time". And there are plans for another G20 summit to discuss the issue in the autumn. These will follow a meeting of 17 key world leaders convened at the initiative of President Barack Obama immediately after the annual G8 summit in July. Observers cannot remember any similar progression of top-level meetings to address any issue over such a short period of time.

The moves come as pressure mounts on the leaders to reach agreement at December's vital negotiations in Copenhagen, billed as the world's last chance to get to grips with global warming before it escalates out of control.

On Friday a think tank headed by the former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan reported that climate change was already killing 300,000 people and affecting 300 million. The day before, 20 Nobel Prize winners, meeting in London, warned that it posed as great a threat as nuclear war. And in Copenhagen on Tuesday 500 business chief executives called for "an ambitious and effective treaty" to "help establish a firm foundation for a sustainable economic future".

The summits are part of an extraordinarily intense series of meetings over the next six months that will take negotiators from Bonn to Bangkok and from Barcelona to the Ilulissat in Greenland. The first three are formal discussions on a UN treaty for the Copenhagen talks, while key ministers from 30 countries will go to the small Greenland town next to the Arctic's fastest melting glacier at the end of next month to try to hammer out a "political declaration" to accompany it.

The next round of negotiations opens in Bonn tomorrow, but no one is expecting a breakthrough. Talks in the former West German capital in April made little progress beyond agreeing to draw up negotiating texts. These will be on the table for the first time tomorrow, but they mainly serve to highlight divisions between countries and show how far there is to go in six short months to meet December's deadline.

One of the main stumbling blocks is how much rich countries will undertake to cut their emissions of greenhouse gases in the short to medium term. There is general agreement that they should be reduced by a drastic 80 per cent on 1990 levels by 2050, the minimum that scientists say will be needed to avoid dangerous climate change. But setting more immediate targets is proving much harder.

Ten days ago, China flung down the gauntlet by calling on rich countries to cut emissions by 40 per cent by 2020. The only advanced economy to come near that is the European Union, which has promised unilaterally to reduce them by 20 per cent by then, rising to 30 per cent if other countries follow suit. But at present there is little sign of other industrialised nations taking up the challenge; despite the new priority President Obama is giving to climate change, his plans would amount to a cut of only a few per cent from 1990 levels.

In return, developing countries, including China and India, would agree to slow the growth of their emissions through "measurable, verifiable and reportable" measures. But India has just signalled that it will not open such plans to global scrutiny unless rich countries deliver on a promise to provide funds to help it tackle and adapt to climate change.

That is the second sticking point. Developing countries want to get at least $200bn a year, which works out at about 0.5 per cent of rich nations' economic output and is about the same size as current development aid. It is a relatively small sum, especially in the context of the amounts spent in recent months on bailing out the banks, but developed country government are baulking at it. Last week Australia described the demands as "unimaginable".

In the end, senior negotiators say, success or failure will depend not so much on the climate talks themselves, but on whether the world adopts a Green New Deal as the best way to revive the world's economy.


Economic crisis shreds climate policies

The Politics of Climate Change conference, organised by Policy Network in association with the Centre for the Study of Global Governance, is to be held at the London School of Economics Friday 5 June. The event’s website states that it “will bring together leaders of the highest rank from the worlds of politics, academia and business” with the aim “to discuss how the present economic crisis can lead to a business revolution in low-carbon industries and how the state can best play an active, incentivising and facilitating role in this process.”

Ahead of the conference, the project leaders Anthony Giddens and Roger Liddle invited conference speakers and delegates to submit a “bold and imaginative answer to the following question:

‘What is the biggest obstacle governments in industrialised economies have to overcome in achieving low-carbon transition and what action should they prioritise.’”

The response of Dr Benny Peiser, a social anthropologist and senior lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University, is interesting:

“The battle over global warming and low-carbon policies will not be decided over scientific issues. It will be determined by governments and law-makers on the basis of hard-nosed national and economic interests. This is where the green utopia for a low-carbon transition in the near future is likely to crash into the buffers.

“As we get closer to the Copenhagen conference, the chances of a global climate agreement are fading rapidly. In fact, the probability of a Kyoto-style treaty with legally binding emissions targets are now close to zero as the gap between the developed and the developing nations has been growing ever wider.

“The global economic crisis has rendered costly climate policies more or less untenable. It has become hugely unpopular among voters who are increasingly hostile to green taxes. The intriguing fact that the global warming trend of the late 20th century appears to have come to a halt has led to growing public scepticism about claims of impending climate catastrophe.

“Carbon taxes and cap-and-trade schemes have turned into considerable liabilities for political parties and governments alike. A climate revolt among Eastern and central European countries has forced the EU to renounce its unilateral Kyoto-strategy. President Obama’s administration is struggling to push its cap-and-trade bill through the US Senate because senators of his own party, the Blue Dog Democrats, are opposed to proposals they fear as being too costly and too risky.

“Developing nations are demanding financial support to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars (per year) in return for their support of a post-Kyoto climate treaty. In view of the astronomical demands made by China, India and Africa, Western governments and their voters are increasingly reluctant to agree to injurious obligations that risk weakening their economic competitiveness even further.

Perhaps the most critical factor for the growing scepticism in Europe is the vanishing strength of Europe’s centre-left and green parties, whose members were once among the most forceful climate alarmists. Labour and green parties throughout Europe have lost much of their popularity and support. Today, few have remained in positions of power.

“The principles of fairness, technological progress and economic growth used to stand at the heart of social democratic governments. Advancing the interests of poor and disadvantaged members of society was essential to the popular appeal of social democratic and Labour parties. The centre-left have substituted these social democratic ideals for an environmental programme in which the rhetoric of saving the planet has taken priority over the principle of liberating the underprivileged and disadvantaged from poverty and dereliction today.

“In effect, green policies are gradually pricing the working and lower-middle classes out of their comfort zone. Labour parties may sincerely believe that their utopian low-carbon plans will save the planet. But in the process they are destroying the very foundations of their political support and movement.”

SOURCE (See the original for links)


A SPECIES of starfish has confounded climate change doom-mongers by thriving as sea temperatures and acidity increase - a scenario that is likely as the world gets warmer. Most studies have concluded that sea animals with calcified shells or skeletons, such as starfish, will suffer as carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels dissolves in the sea, making the water more acidic and destroying the calcium carbonate on which the creatures depend.

But the sea star Pisaster ochraceus may ride out the climate storm. Rebecca Gooding and colleagues at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, exposed sea stars to rising temperatures and water acidity. They thrived in temperatures of up to 21 °C and atmospheric CO2 concentrations of up to 780 parts per million - beyond predicted rises for the next century (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0811143106).

The sea star seems to survive because its calcium is nodular, so unlike species with continuous shells or skeletons it can compensate for a lack of carbonate by growing more fleshy tissue instead. The team therefore warn against assuming that global warming will have the same impact across groups of similar species.



By B. Sudhakara Reddy and Gaudenz B. Assenza


For over two decades, scientific and political communities have debated whether and how to act on climate change. The present paper revisits these debates and synthesizes the longstanding arguments. Firstly, it provides an overview of the development of international climate policy and discusses clashing positions, represented by sceptics and supporters of action on climate change. Secondly, it discusses the market-based measures as a means to increase the win-win opportunities and to attract profit-minded investors to invest in climate change mitigation. Finally, the paper examines whether climate protection policies can yield benefits both for the environment and the economy. A new breed of analysts are identified who are convinced of the climate change problem, while remaining sceptical of the proposed solutions. The paper suggests the integration of climate policies with those of development priorities that are vitally important for developing countries and stresses the need for using sustainable development as a framework for climate change policies.


The clash between sceptics and supporters is likely to endure, and may even become more pitched as the stakes on climate change are raised. The expansion of scientific knowledge is unlikely to end the debate, as each side will get more data to confirm their case. Sceptics will continue to assail supporters for blending science with environmental activism, and supporters will maintain their doubts about the scientific credibility of sceptics, because of their links to economic interests.

Regardless of who is right in this debate, each side is valuable to the other. A vocal group of contrarians is necessary to achieve scientific progress, since it forces supporters to improve their science and vice versa. It is necessary to point out the flaws in assumptions, logic and method, and to propose counter-arguments for every argument. The problem is not the scientific controversy, but the way in which science is used by economic and political interests, and the risk that scientists become pawns in a high-stakes political game.

Development may well be a better strategy for reducing the impacts of climate change than focusing on greenhouse gas emission reduction. Developing countries, with less ability to prosper, afford and use new technologies, have higher rates of hunger; poorer public health services; greater incidence of infectious and parasitic diseases; less access to education, safe water or sanitation; and, therefore, greater mortality rates and lower life expectancies. It is a proven fact that there are a large number of 'no-regret options' waiting to be exploited. These options have the potential to be welcomed by sceptics, supporters as well as neutral observers as they provide the dual benefit of economic improvement of the masses and climate change mitigation, a concept of win-win situation. Hence the resources that are spent on emission reduction for the sake of avoiding impacts are better spent on vulnerability reduction in developing countries. This approach would enhance societies' abilities to cope not only with climate change, but adversity in general, regardless of its cause, or whether it's man-made or not. Such a multifaceted and holistic approach would help to improve the lives of people living in poverty, without compromising the ability to address future challenges, whether caused by climate change, or something else entirely.

To compare the two strategies to reduce the impact of climate change, one has to address the tradeoffs between environmental protection and development in general, or even between emission reduction and development aid. In a narrow sense, cutting emissions helps alleviating malaria and water shortage. In a broader sense, the same money can be spent differently to alleviate malaria and water shortage even more. Only by considering the broader question, we can decide how much effort should be expended on development, thereby on greenhouse gas emission abatement.

The climate negotiations will succeed only if developing countries are driven by development priorities, and if there are countries or groups of countries among them willing to take a leadership role to push the process forward. This approach offer a chance to make climate change policy matter to developing countries by aligning it more directly with their interests. Since development is a key priority for governments in developing countries climate change policies can be on development priorities that would make it attractive to all the stakeholders. This may be the easiest path for many developing countries to take first steps in longer term action on climate change. However, in the absence of leadership, even well-intentioned players remain uncoordinated, which increases the transaction costs. Hence, the issue of climate change should be approached at multiple levels through local and national development projects, as well as through multilateral efforts to establish cooperation mechanisms within an equitable and efficient sustainable development regime.

Energy Policy, 37:8, August 2009, 2997-3008


By Martin Feldstein -- a professor of economics at Harvard University and president emeritus of the nonprofit National Bureau of Economic Research, and who was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers from 1982 to 1984.

The Obama administration and congressional Democrats have proposed a major cap-and-trade system aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Scientists agree that CO2 emissions around the world could lead to rising temperatures with serious long-term environmental consequences. But that is not a reason to enact a U.S. cap-and-trade system until there is a global agreement on CO2 reduction. The proposed legislation would have a trivially small effect on global warming while imposing substantial costs on all American households. And to get political support in key states, the legislation would abandon the auctioning of permits in favor of giving permits to selected corporations.

The leading legislative proposal, the Waxman-Markey bill that was recently passed out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, would reduce allowable CO2 emissions to 83 percent of the 2005 level by 2020, then gradually decrease the amount further. Under the cap-and-trade system, the federal government would limit the total volume of CO2 that U.S. companies can emit each year and would issue permits that companies would be required to have for each ton of CO2 emitted. Once issued, these permits would be tradable and could be bought and sold, establishing a market price reflecting the targeted CO2 reduction, with a tougher CO2 standard and fewer available permits leading to higher prices.

Companies would buy permits from each other as long as it is cheaper to do that than to make the technological changes needed to eliminate an equivalent amount of CO2 emissions. Companies would also pass along the cost of the permits in their prices, pushing up the relative price of CO2-intensive goods and services such as gasoline, electricity and a range of industrial products. Consumers would respond by cutting back on consumption of CO2-intensive products in favor of other goods and services. This pass-through of the permit cost in higher consumer prices is the primary way the cap-and-trade system would reduce the production of CO2 in the United States.

The Congressional Budget Office recently estimated that the resulting increases in consumer prices needed to achieve a 15 percent CO2 reduction -- slightly less than the Waxman-Markey target -- would raise the cost of living of a typical household by $1,600 a year. Some expert studies estimate that the cost to households could be substantially higher. The future cost to the typical household would rise significantly as the government reduces the total allowable amount of CO2.

Americans should ask themselves whether this annual tax of $1,600-plus per family is justified by the very small resulting decline in global CO2. Since the U.S. share of global CO2 production is now less than 25 percent (and is projected to decline as China and other developing nations grow), a 15 percent fall in U.S. CO2 output would lower global CO2 output by less than 4 percent. Its impact on global warming would be virtually unnoticeable. The U.S. should wait until there is a global agreement on CO2 that includes China and India before committing to costly reductions in the United States.

The CBO estimates that the sale of the permits for a 15 percent CO2 reduction would raise revenue of about $80 billion a year over the next decade. It is remarkable, then, that the Waxman-Markey bill would give away some 85 percent of the permits over the next 20 years to various businesses instead of selling them at auction. The price of the permits and the burden to households would be the same whether the permits are sold or given away. But by giving them away the government would not collect the revenue that could, at least in principle, be used to offset some of the higher cost to households.

The Waxman-Markey bill would give away 30 percent of the permits to local electricity distribution companies with the expectation that their regulators would require those firms to pass the benefit on to their customers. If they do this by not raising prices, there would be less CO2 reduction through lower electricity consumption. The permit price would then have to be higher to achieve more CO2 reduction on all other products. Some electricity consumers would benefit, but the cost to all other American families would be higher.

In my judgment, the proposed cap-and-trade system would be a costly policy that would penalize Americans with little effect on global warming. The proposal to give away most of the permits only makes a bad idea worse. Taxpayers and legislators should keep these things in mind before enacting any cap-and-trade system.



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