Sunday, September 06, 2009


An email from Norm Kalmanovitch []

If the Copenhagen conference is about addressing climate concerns, the focus should be on the detrimental effects of ‘global cooling’ and not about ‘global warming’ which ended over a decade ago. While ‘global warming’ was not only benign, it was beneficial, improving the global food supply with extended growing seasons for countries such as Canada which supplies wheat to many parts of the world facing food shortages. ‘Global cooling’ on the other hand has no beneficial attributes as is clearly demonstrated by the historical accounts of the Little Ice Age that caused such great hardships for large parts of the world.

The physical data clearly shows that the world has been cooling since 2002 at a somewhat alarming rate. Unlike the global cooling episode from 1942 to 1975, which was part of a shorter period cycle, this cooling might be part of the longer period cycle that brought the world from the Medieval Warm Period, to the Little Ice Age, to the warming that peaked in 1998, and is now reverting back to a long period of cooling. Most scientists agree that this cooling will last until the end of solar cycle 25 in 2030, but many fear that this cooling may last a lot longer.

To anyone with basic physical data and a modicum of common sense, the concept of a conference about greenhouse gas emissions reductions to stop ‘global warming’ can only be seen as ridiculous; considering ‘global warming’ ended over a decade ago, but CO2 emissions have kept increasing as the Earth continues to cool.

The conference is clearly not about climate and should be renamed to reflect the actual purpose of the conference.

If the conference is about greenhouse gases; it should be restricted to the use of CO2 in greenhouses as a way of improving productivity as CO2 is the only true greenhouse gas in the strictest sense of the word.

If the conference is about curbing fossil fuel energy; it should be restricted to nuclear energy, the only other viable energy source.

If the conference is about biofuels; it should be restricted to the detrimental effects of biofuels on the world food supply and the current global food crisis.

If the conference is about pollution; it should be restricted air water and soil pollution and how to make the western technology, that has come a long way in addressing these problems, and making this available to developing countries who are in desperate need of such technology to solve their pollution problems.

If the conference is about the economy; it should be restricted to the potentially disastrous economic implications of carbon trading which is a multi billion dollar enterprise that is about to collapse because there is absolutely no actual physical basis for it.

The Copenhagen Conference could be pivotal in ending this whole climate change issue that has had such devastating consequences for the world’s poor and has crippled the world economy, but unfortunately anyone with the common sense to make this happen will be barred from attending by those who want to perpetuate this global warming fraud.

The coming Copenhagen charade

This December, world leaders will gather in Denmark to draft a successor agreement to the Kyoto Accord. This means you'll be hearing increasing hysteria this fall -- hard to imagine, I know -- from all the usual "green" suspects about how we have only months left to save the planet from man-made global warming. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon warned last week we have just "four months" -- until Copenhagen -- "to secure the future of our planet" from runaway climate change, or face environmental Armageddon.

Leading up to Copenhagen, "environmental" journalists will breathlessly report the latest doomsday predictions and how the Earth's only hope lies with a post-Kyoto accord, the UN and U. S. President Barack Obama.

In Canada, there will be predictable outrage about Prime Minister Stephen Harper's lack of concern, even though his commitment to lower greenhouse-gas emissions is essentially the same as Obama's. In any event, we'll all be warned to prepare for the worst.

Then, assuming this Kyoto meeting resembles past ones, at the eleventh hour, there will suddenly be reports of renewed hope in Copenhagen, of tense, round-the-clock negotiations, of a new spirit of urgency as world leaders, spurred on by noble environmentalists, realize the enormity of what's at stake. Finally, after several extended (and artificial) deadlines, there will, miraculously, emerge a successor deal to Kyoto that, according to the hype, "may well save the planet," as Canadian Green Party Leader Elizabeth May announced at the end of a similar, now-forgotten meeting in Montreal in 2005 chaired by Stephane Dion.

The thing to remember about all this is that it will be nonsense. A fantasy. "Success" in Copenhagen won't be defined by lowering greenhouse-gas emissions. It will be defined by whether the developed world -- including Canada -- bribes the developing world -- led by China and India -- with sufficient billions of our money, to purportedly reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions emissions, so that participants emerge declaring that a deal to "save the planet" has been reached. But it won't lower emissions. All it will do is make the world safer for hedge fund managers and energy companies as they rake in undeserved profits in the global "cap and trade" market about to be unleashed on us all.

Numbers tell the real story. Under Kyoto, a few dozen industrialized nations, including Canada, responsible for a mere fraction of global greenhouse-gas emissions, agreed to reduce them by an average 5.2% below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. (Canada's target was 6%.)

Meanwhile, the world's two largest emitters -- the U. S. and China, responsible for 40% of emissions (Canada emits 2%) -- and the entire developing world, made no commitments. The U. S. never ratified Kyoto. The developing world wasn't required to cut emissions. So, where do we stand? The latest estimate from Germany, which monitors these things, is that global greenhouse-gas emissions last year were up 40% over 1990, rose every year for the past 10, and increased by almost 2% last year, despite the worldwide recession. Simply put, being at 40% above 1990 levels in 2008 means reducing them to an average 5.2% below 1990 levels by 2012, even for the handful of nations supposed to do it, is impossible. And Kyoto is only about one-thirteenth of what supposedly needs to be done.

More ridiculous are proposed future cuts of up to 40% below 1990 by 2020, 80% by 2050. Indeed, Obama, the alleged global green knight, is only promising to reduce U. S. greenhouse- gas emissions to 4% below 1990 levels by 2020. If the doomsayers are right, we've failed to stop runaway global warming. We're already dead.

But if, as seems increasingly likely, early research into global warming underestimated natural influences on climate, while overestimating man's impact, we still have time to develop a rational program to address the real issue -- weaning ourselves off finite fossil fuels and on to cleaner energy sources in a realistic time frame, given that renewable power is in its infancy.



Forecasts of climate change are about to go seriously out of kilter. One of the world's top climate modellers said Thursday we could be about to enter "one or even two decades during which temperatures cool. "People will say this is global warming disappearing," he told more than 1500 of the world's top climate scientists gathering in Geneva at the UN's World Climate Conference. "I am not one of the sceptics," insisted Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University, Germany. "However, we have to ask the nasty questions ourselves or other people will do it."

Few climate scientists go as far as Latif, an author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. But more and more agree that the short-term prognosis for climate change is much less certain than once thought. This is bad timing. The UN's World Meteorological Organization called the conference in order to draft a global plan for providing "climate services" to the world: that is, to deliver climate predictions useful to everyone from farmers worried about the next rainy season to doctors trying to predict malaria epidemics and builders of dams, roads and other infrastructure who need to assess the risk of floods and droughts 30 years hence.

But some of the climate scientists gathered in Geneva to discuss how this might be done admitted that, on such timescales, natural variability is at least as important as the long-term climate changes from global warming. "In many ways we know more about what will happen in the 2050s than next year," said Vicky Pope from the UK Met Office. [Wow! A genuine prophet!]

Latif predicted that in the next few years a natural cooling trend would dominate over warming caused by humans. The cooling would be down to cyclical changes to ocean currents and temperatures in the North Atlantic, a feature known as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Breaking with climate-change orthodoxy, he said NAO cycles were probably responsible for some of the strong global warming seen in the past three decades. "But how much? The jury is still out," he told the conference. The NAO is now moving into a colder phase.

Latif said NAO cycles also explained the recent recovery of the Sahel region of Africa from the droughts of the 1970s and 1980s. James Murphy, head of climate prediction at the Met Office, agreed and linked the NAO to Indian monsoons, Atlantic hurricanes and sea ice in the Arctic. "The oceans are key to decadal natural variability," he said.

Another favourite climate nostrum was upturned when Pope warned that the dramatic Arctic ice loss in recent summers was partly a product of natural cycles rather than global warming. Preliminary reports suggest there has been much less melting this year than in 2007 or 2008.

In candid mood, climate scientists avoided blaming nature for their faltering predictions, however. "Model biases are also still a serious problem. We have a long way to go to get them right. They are hurting our forecasts," said Tim Stockdale of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts in Reading, UK. The world may badly want reliable forecasts of future climate. But such predictions are proving as elusive as the perfect weather forecast.



Differences between rich and developing countries prevented G20 finance ministers from agreeing measures on Saturday to curb global warming, casting more doubt on U.N. efforts to agree a new climate treaty.

Industrialised nations had pressed to include climate change financing on the agenda of a meeting of G20 finance ministers but met resistance from emerging nations including China, who fear the proposals could stifle their economic growth, a G20 source said.

A draft statement from the meeting seen by Reuters omitted any reference to discussion of richer nations' plans to use both public and private sector financing to cut CO2 emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

U.S. President Barack Obama said in July that finance ministers should report on climate finance at a Sept. 24-25 G20 leaders' summit in the U.S. city of Pittsburgh, raising expectations of progress this weekend in London.

Emerging nations in the G20 club of industrialised and developing countries said their opposition to discussing climate change funding was purely procedural. "We reaffirm the UNFCCC should be the main channel for international negotiations of climate change," the finance ministers of Brazil, Russia, India and China said in a statement on Friday, in reference to the UN's Framework Convention on Climate Change, the body that overseas drafting of the new treaty.

However, developing nations are suspicious rich countries are trying to avoid paying the full amount needed to tackle climate change, and seeking to push some of the financial burden on to them. "Many developing countries are concerned that the global issue of climate change will constrain their ability to industrialise without creating additional costs," said Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati on Friday.

Developing nations are especially sceptical of proposals for private sector funding of the fight against climate change. They are keen for developed countries' governments to stump up the cash needed.

The failure to make any progress on the issue puts more pressure on the leaders in Pittsburgh and will boost fears that a UN meeting in Copenhagen in December to agree a new treaty on climate change, to succeed the Kyoto Treaty, will not be successful. The global economic crisis has made a deal more difficult to achieve.

With only three months to the Copenhagen conference, countries are still far off agreeing CO2 cuts that would be consistent with limiting climate change to levels scientists deem acceptable. Differences also remain on how to pay for mitigation measures and the transfer of CO2 reducing technology to poor nations. (Additional reporting by Sebastian Tong and Carolyn Cohn; editing by Keith Weir)



The greenhouse gas emissions target for 2020 set by Japan's incoming Democratic Party government is based on the premise that there will be an international agreement including China and India, a party executive said on Friday.

The party, promising a more aggressive green policy than the outgoing government, has called for a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels, although the target faces resistance from industries. "This is not something Japan will do on its own," party secretary-general Katsuya Okada said in an interview with Reuters. "The premise is an agreement that includes other countries such as China and India."



The Democratic Party has won the White House and both houses of Congress. While Democrats won support from across the country their base of support is in the North-East. The US is in the midst of real economic, and alleged environmental, crises. During the Hundred Days the President has brought environmentalists into the senior realms of government and Congress has floated a raft of environmentalist legislation. The stage is set for a major federal government expansion that will change how electricity is generated and will restrict the amount of land available for development. The year is 1934.


Tilting at Green Windmills

Each "Green" job entails the loss of 2.2 other jobs

The Spanish professor is puzzled. Why, Gabriel Calzada wonders, is the U.S. president recommending that America emulate the Spanish model for creating "green jobs" in "alternative energy" even though Spain's unemployment rate is 18.1 percent -- more than double the European Union average -- partly because of spending on such jobs? Calzada, 36, an economics professor at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, has produced a report which, if true, is inconvenient for the Obama administration's green agenda, and for some budget assumptions that are dependent upon it.

Calzada says Spain's torrential spending -- no other nation has so aggressively supported production of electricity from renewable sources -- on wind farms and other forms of alternative energy has indeed created jobs. But Calzada's report concludes that they often are temporary and have received $752,000 to $800,000 each in subsidies -- wind industry jobs cost even more, $1.4 million each. And each new job entails the loss of 2.2 other jobs that are either lost or not created in other industries because of the political allocation -- sub-optimum in terms of economic efficiency -- of capital. (European media regularly report "eco-corruption" leaving a "footprint of sleaze" -- gaming the subsidy systems, profiteering from land sales for wind farms, etc.) Calzada says the creation of jobs in alternative energy has subtracted about 110,000 jobs from elsewhere in Spain's economy.

The president's press secretary, Robert Gibbs, was asked about the report's contention that the political diversion of capital into green jobs has cost Spain jobs. The White House transcript contained this exchange:

Gibbs: "It seems weird that we're importing wind turbine parts from Spain in order to build -- to meet renewable energy demand here if that were even remotely the case."

Questioner: "Is that a suggestion that his study is simply flat wrong?"

Gibbs: "I haven't read the study, but I think, yes."

Questioner: "Well, then. (Laughter.)"

Actually, what is weird is this idea: A sobering report about Spain's experience must be false because otherwise the behavior of some American importers, seeking to cash in on the U.S. government's promotion of wind power, might be participating in an economically unproductive project.

It is true that Calzada has come to conclusions that he, as a libertarian, finds ideologically congenial. And his study was supported by a like-minded U.S. think tank (the Institute for Energy Research, for which this columnist has given a paid speech). Still, it is notable that, rather than try to refute his report, many Spanish critics have impugned his patriotism for faulting something for which Spain has been praised by Obama and others.

Judge for yourself: Calzada's report can be read here. And here you can find similar conclusions in "Yellow Light on Green Jobs," a report by Republican Sen. Kit Bond, ranking member of the Subcommittee on Green Jobs and the New Economy.

What matters most, however, is not that reports such as Calzada's and the Republicans' are right in every particular. It is, however, hardly counterintuitive that politically driven investments are economically counterproductive. Indeed, environmentalists with the courage of their convictions should argue that the point of such investments is to subordinate market rationality to the higher agenda of planetary salvation.

Still, one can be agnostic about both reports while being dismayed by the frequency with which such findings are ignored simply because they question policies that are so invested with righteousness that methodical economic reasoning about their costs and benefits seems unimportant. When the president speaks of "new green energy economies" creating "countless well-paying jobs," perhaps they really are countless, meaning incapable of being counted.

For fervent believers in governments' abilities to control the climate and in the urgent need for them to do so, believing is seeing: They see, through their ideological lenses, governments' green spending as always paying for itself. This is a free-lunch faith comparable to that of those few conservatives who believe that tax cuts always completely pay for themselves by stimulating compensating revenues from economic growth.

Windmills are iconic in the land of Don Quixote, whose tilting at them became emblematic of comic futility. Spain's new windmills are neither amusing nor emblematic of policies America should emulate. The cheerful and evidently unshakable confidence in such magical solutions to postulated problems is yet another manifestation -- Republicans are not immune: No Child Left Behind decrees that by 2014 all American students will be proficient in math and reading -- of what the late Sen. Pat Moynihan called "the leakage of reality from American life."



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