Saturday, December 26, 2009

Yet Another Human Climate Warming Effect In The Arctic – Aircraft Contrails

We have reported on the role of black carbon (soot) as a major non-greenhouse gas human climate forcing in the Arctic; e.g. see: "New Study On The Role Of Soot Within the Climate In The Higher Latitudes And On “Global Warming" -- where an article in Scientific American by David Biello based on a study by Charlie Zender, a climate physicist at the University of California, Irvine stated: ““…. on snow—even at concentrations below five parts per billion—such dark carbon triggers melting, and may be responsible for as much as 94 percent of Arctic warming”.

Now we have yet another human climate forcing that was reported by Rex Dalton of Nature News in the article: "How aircraft emissions contribute to warming – Aviation contributes up to one-fifth of warming in some areas of the Arctic."

The article includes the text: "The first analysis of emissions from commercial airline flights shows that they are responsible for 4–8% of surface global warming since surface air temperature records began in 1850 — equivalent to a temperature increase of 0.03–0.06 °C overall. The analysis, by atmospheric scientists at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, also shows that in the Arctic, aircraft vapour trails produced 15–20% of warming.”

The photo in the news release has the caption: “Aircraft emissions could be having a dramatic effect on the warming of the Arctic”.

Clearly, as we summarized in our EOS article: "the human role in the climate system is much more than the human emissions of CO2 and a few other greenhouse gases."

SOURCE (See the original for links)

The Population Control Agenda Behind The Global Warming Movement: For The Environmental Extremists At Copenhagen Population Reduction Is The “Cheapest” Way To Reduce Carbon Emissions

For the environmental extremists attending the U.N. climate change summit in Copenhagen, fighting global warming is not just about reducing carbon emissions or promoting alternative energy. Rather, public documents released by some of the most important organizations represented at Copenhagen reveal an absolute obsession with population control and a bizarre belief by environmental extremists that population reduction is the "cheapest" way to achieve a reduction in carbon emissions. You see, to many of those gathered in Copenhagen, the math is simple. Less people = less carbon emitters. In fact, a carbon offset initiative launched by the Optimum Population Trust even allows people to offset their "carbon footprint" by making online payments to support "family planning" in poor countries. In other words, you can now be forgiven for your carbon "sins" by paying for a baby on the other side of the world to be killed.

As bizarre as this may seem, it is actually happening. These new "population carbon offsets" are being offered by the Optimum Population Trust. The OPT calls itself "the leading think tank in the UK concerned with the impact of population growth on the environment". The truth is that the OPT does have some really big names associated with it. Just some of the world famous individuals involved in the Optimum Population Trust include Sir David Attenborough, Stanford Professor Paul Ehrlich and Dr. Jane Goodall. One of the stated goals of the OPT is to "advance the education of the public in issues relating to human population worldwide and its impact on environmental sustainability".

The OPT's website even includes a "Stop At Two" pledge which asks people to take "another green step towards environmental survival for all" by making the following pledge: "I'm going to try not to have more than two children"!

To show just how committed they are to the population control agenda, the OPT launched this population carbon offset scheme on December 3rd - just prior to the beginning of the Copenhagen climate change summit.

In his report on this new carbon offset initiative, John Vidal, the environment editor for the Guardian, noted that many of the participants at the Copenhagen summit could easily offset the carbon emissions that they would be producing during their travel to the conference by paying for one child in Africa to be killed.... Calculations based on the trust's figures show the 10 tonnes emitted by a return flight from London to Sydney would be offset by enabling the avoidance of one unwanted birth in a country such as Kenya.

In fact, the OPT has launched a dedicated website,, which allows people to offset their carbon footprint by making online payments to OPT which will go towards "family planning" around the world.

But not only that, earlier this year the Optimum Population Trust commissioned the London School of Economics to produce a report on population issues. The final report, entitled "Fewer Emitters, Lower Emissions, Less Cost", says that the best way to reduce "greenhouse gases" is to have fewer people on earth.

This report by the London School of Economics actually performed a "cost-benefit analysis" on the various methods for reducing carbon emissions around the world, and they found that the "cheapest" way to reduce carbon emissions by far was to increase funding for "family planning".

But not only is population control the official agenda for organizations such as the OPT, it is also the official agenda of the United Nations. Very few people have talked about the U.N. Population Division policy brief from March 2009, but it is an absolutely explosive document. This shocking policy document openly asks how fertility decline in the least developed countries can be "accelerated" as quickly as possible.

The entire March 2009 U.N. Population Division policy brief can be read here. The policy brief begins with this shocking question.... "What would it take to accelerate fertility decline in the least developed countries?" The report then proceeds to discuss how the earth's population is clearly unsustainable (especially in "developing" countries) and it considers what can be done to make sure that fewer babies are born in the "least developed" nations.

But as bad as that report was, the U.N. recently released a report on population that was even more shocking.

The United Nations Population Fund recently released its annual State of the World Population Report entitled "Facing a Changing World: Women, Population and Climate". This stunning report goes farther than any U.N. report has ever gone before by unequivocally linking population growth with climate change. The report states that the only way a climate disaster can be avoided is to radically increase "family planning" services around the globe and to do whatever it takes to reduce worldwide fertility rates. In a statement accompanying the release of the report, UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Obaid stated that "rapid population growth and industrialization have led to a rapid rise in greenhouse gas emissions. We have now reached a point where humanity is approaching the brink of disaster."

The director of the UNFPA says that we are on the brink of disaster. A "climate change" disaster. And what is causing it? According to him, the biggest cause is population growth.

But the truth is that mankind is not even causing climate change. For those who do not yet understand this, we highly recommend that you read a comprehensive article that we posted about this issue on our sister site entitled "How To Save The Environment? Get Al Gore The Heck Away From It".

But even if you concede that humanity is causing climate change, the truth is that there is still no justification for reducing the population in order to combat it. But according to the authors of this new U.N. report, the link between population growth and climate change is undeniable....


Good Science, Bad Politics

'Climategate' reveals a concerted effort to emphasize scientific results useful to a political agenda

By HANS VON STORCH (Von Storch is director of the Institute for Coastal Research at the GKSS Research Center in Geesthacht, Germany, and a professor at the Meteorological Institute of the University of Hamburg)

"Frankly, he's an odd individual," a well-known climatologist wrote about me in a private e-mail to a friend in the U.K. On this, we agree—I am an odd individual, if by that we mean a climatologist whose e-mails would not document a contempt for such basic scientific virtues such as openness, falsifiability, replicability and independent review.

The colleague is a member of the CRU cartel—the influential network of researchers at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit and their colleagues in the U.S.—whose sanctum was exposed last month when a whistleblower or hacker published e-mails and documents from the CRU server on the Internet. What we can now see is a concerted effort to emphasize scientific results that are useful to a political agenda by blocking papers in the purportedly independent review process and skewing the assessments of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The effort has not been so successful, but trying was bad enough.

We—society and climate researchers—need to discuss now what constitutes "good science." Some think good science is a societal institution that produces results that serve an ideology. Take, for instance, the counsel that then-Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen gave to scientists at a climate change conference in March, as transcribed by Environmental Research Letters: "I would give you the piece of advice, not to provide us with too many moving targets, because it is already a very, very complicated process. And I need your assistance to push this process in the right direction, and in that respect, I need fixed targets and certain figures, and not too many considerations on uncertainty and risk and things like that."

I do not share that view. For me, good science means generating knowledge through a superior method, the scientific method. The merits of a scientifically constructed result do not depend on its utility for any politician's agenda. Indeed, the utility of my results is not my business, and the contextualization of my results should not depend on my personal preferences. It is up to democratic societies to decide how to use or not use my insights and explanations.

But it seems I am an odd individual for taking this position. As a scientist, I strive for independence from vested interests. I am in the pocket of neither Exxon nor Greenpeace, and for this I come under fire from both sides—the skeptics and the alarmists—who have fiercely opposing views but are otherwise siblings in their methods and contempt.

I am told that I should keep my mouth shut, that criticizing colleagues is not "tactful," and will damage the reputation of science—even when the CRU e-mails have already sunk that ship. I hear that the now-notorious "trick" is normal, that to "hide the decline" is just an unfortunate colloquialism. But we know by now that the activity described by these words was by no means innocent.

And what of the alarmists' kin, the skeptics? They say these words show that everything was a hoax—not just the historical temperature results in question, but also the warming documented by different groups using thermometer data. They conclude I must have been forced out of my position as chief editor of the journal Climate Research back in 2003 for my allegiance to science over politics. In fact, I left this post on my own, with no outside pressure, because of insufficient quality control on a bad paper—a skeptic's paper, at that. But in 2006 I urged a CRU scientist to make his data public for critics and, yes, skeptics—as documented in one of the stolen e-mails.

We need to repair the damage, and heal the public's new mistrust of the workings of climate science. True, we are in a difficult situation: Climate science is in an abnormal situation, hounded by manifest political and economic interests of different sorts, and the uncertainties in our work are large and unavoidable. Then this abnormal brew forms, with scientists acting as politicians and politicians posturing as scientists.

But the core of the knowledge about man-made climate change is simple and hard to contest. Elevated greenhouse gas concentrations have led, and will continue to lead, to changing weather conditions (climate), in particular to warmer temperatures and changing precipitation. Such a change causes stress for societies and ecosystems. More emissions mean more stress, fewer emissions less. Thus, when society wants to limit this stress, it has to make sure that fewer greenhouse gases enter and remain in the atmosphere. Societies have decided they want to limit the stress so that temperatures rise no further than the politically produced number of two degrees Centigrade, relative to pre-industrial conditions. Fine. For this goal, it does not matter whether the sea level will rise 50 cm or 150 cm by the end of this century, or if hurricanes do or do not become significantly more severe. These are relevant scientific issues, with great importance for the design of adaptive strategies—but not particularly relevant to the political task of coming to an effective agreement on reducing emissions.

What we need to do is open the process. Data must be accessible to adversaries; joint efforts are needed to agree on test procedures to validate, once again, already broadly accepted insights. The authors of the damaging e-mails would be wise to stand back from positions as reviewers and participants in the IPCC process. The journals Nature and Science must review their quality-control measures and selection criteria for papers.

So please, you media, you NGOs, and you Mr. Rasmussen: You have the knowledge you need for the political decisions. Let us sit in our studies and discuss the remaining issues, the sea level, the ice sheets, the hurricanes, and other issues. Give us time to consider, to test alternative hypotheses, to falsify theories—to do our work without worrying if the results support your causes. Science is a valuable and unique societal institution, but not if it is consumed by short-sighted political goals.

But, admittedly, I am an odd individual, one who loves København—when it is not the "Hopenhagen" for thousands of COP-15 activists, lobbyists, business leaders, and politicians.


From Nicaea to Copenhagen

The global warming jamboree in Copenhagen was surely the most outlandish foray into intellectual fantasizing since the fourth-century Christian bishops assembled in 325 AD for the Council of Nicaea to debate whether God the Father was supreme or had to share equal status in the pecking order of eternity with his Son and the Holy Ghost.

Shortly before the Copenhagen summit, the proponents of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) were embarrassed by a whistleblower who put on the Web more than a thousand e-mails either sent from or received at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, headed by Dr. Phil Jones. The CRU was founded in 1971 with funding from sources including Shell and British Petroleum. It became one of the climate-modeling grant mills supplying tainted data from which the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concocted its reports.

Deceitful manipulation of data, concealment or straightforward destruction of inconvenient evidence, vindictive conspiracies to silence critics, are par for the course in all scientific debate. But in displaying all these characteristics, the CRU e-mails graphically undermine the claim of the Warmers that they command the moral as well as scientific high ground. It has been a standard ploy of the Warmers to revile the skeptics as whores of the energy industry, swaddled in munificent grants and with large personal stakes in discrediting AGW. Actually, the precise opposite is true. Billions in funding and research grants sluice into the big climate-modeling enterprises and a vast archipelago of research departments and "institutes of climate change" across academia. It's where the money is. Skepticism, particularly for a young climatologist or atmospheric physicist, can be a career breaker.

Many of the landmines in the CRU e-mails tend to buttress longstanding charges by skeptics (yours truly included) that statistical chicanery by professor Michael Mann and others occluded the highly inconvenient Medieval Warm Period, running from 800 to 1300 AD, with temperatures in excess of the highest we saw in the 20th century, a historical fact that makes nonsense of the thesis that global warming could be attributed to the auto-industrial civilization of the 20th century. Here's Keith Briffa, of the CRU, letting his hair down in an e-mail Sept. 22, 1999: "I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards 'apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data' but in reality the situation is not quite so simple. ... I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago."

Now, in the fall of 1999, the IPCC was squaring up to its all-important "Summary for Policymakers" — essentially a press release, one that eventually featured the notorious graph flatlining into nonexistence the Medieval Warm Period and displaying a terrifying, supposedly unprecedented surge in 20th-century temperatures.

Briffa's reconstruction of temperature changes, one showing a mid- to late-20th-century decline, was regarded by Mann, in a Sept. 22, 1999, e-mail to the CRU, as a "problem and a potential distraction/detraction." So Mann, a lead author on this chapter of the IPCC report, simply deleted the embarrassing post-1960 portion of Briffa's reconstruction. The CRU's Jones happily applauded Mann's deceptions in an e-mail in which he crowed over "Mike's Nature trick."

Other landmines include e-mails from Kevin Trenberth, the head of the Climate Analysis Section of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. On Oct. 14, he wrote to the CRU's Tom Wigley: "How come you do not agree with a statement that says we are no where close to knowing where energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter. We are not close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we can not account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geo-engineering quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty!"

Only a few weeks before Copenhagen, here is a scientist in the inner AGW circle disclosing that "we are no where close to knowing" how the supposedly proven AGW warming model might actually work, and that therefore geoengineering — such as carbon mitigation — is "hopeless."

This admission edges close to acknowledgment of a huge core problem: that "greenhouse" theory violates the second law of thermodynamics, which says that a cooler body cannot warm a hotter body without compensation. Greenhouse gases in the cold upper atmosphere cannot possibly transfer heat to the warmer earth, and in fact radiate their absorbed heat into outer space. (Readers interested in the science can read Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf Tscheuschner's "Falsification of the Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within the Frame of Physics," updated in January 2009.)

Recent data from many monitors including the CRU, available on, show that the average temperature of the atmosphere and the oceans near the surface of the earth has decreased significantly across the past eight years or so. CO2 is a benign gas essential to life, occurring in past eras at five times present levels. Changes in atmospheric CO2 do not correlate with human emissions of CO2, the latter being entirely trivial in the global balance.

The battles in Nicaea in 325 were faith based, with no relation to science or reason. So were the premises of the Copenhagen summit, that the planet faces catastrophic warming caused by manmade CO2 buildup, and that human intervention — geoengineering — could avert the coming disaster. Properly speaking, it's a farce. In terms of distraction from cleaning up the pollutants that are actually killing people, it's a terrible tragedy.

Alexander Cockburn is co-editor with Jeffrey St. Clair of the muckraking newsletter CounterPunch. He is also co-author of the new book "Dime's Worth of Difference: Beyond the Lesser of Two Evils," available through To find out more about Alexander Cockburn and read features by other columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at


Warmism now in the textbooks

The change from pure science to political science has invaded college atmospheric science classes. A few months ago one of us and another co-author lamented the intrusion of politics into the science debate concerning climate change (see "Global-warming politics," The Washington Times, April 22). Now, much of the same politically motivated "science" is appearing in the newest editions of university textbooks.

Hopefully, the students exposed to these instances of revisionist history will have knowledgeable professors and the personal critical evaluation skills to see through the deception. Sadly, though, many in academia accept textbook information as gospel truth, and future generations of students will be indoctrinated through exposure to "fancy," rather than fact.

A specific example from a popular climatology textbook is most egregious. The example involves the infamous "hockey-stick" graph, supposedly portraying global temperature fluctuations over the past 1,000 years, with the long, relatively flat handle for the first 900 years and the sharply upward-angled head of the stick for the last 100 years. This temperature graph became the showcase of the Summary for Policymakers, Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published in 2001. The diagram was instrumental in convincing many in government to buy into the idea that human-related emissions of carbon dioxide were causing an unprecedented increase in global temperature.

But there was a problem. The "hockey stick" contradicted the time-tested, nonpolitical temperature trend graphs generated by climatology professionals dating back to the science's beginning.

In the early days of climatology, it was anybody's guess how global temperatures fluctuated in the distant past. So, the pioneers of the field coupled recent temperature measurements with "proxy" data (such as historic written records, tree ring growth patterns, polar ice core analysis and river bed sediment studies) to estimate temperatures back more than 1,000 years. Data gleaned by numerous atmospheric scientists revealed a distinct medieval warm period from roughly 950 to 1250 A.D., which they labeled the Little Climatic Optimum. The scientists also documented a significant cooling period between 1645 and 1715, called the Maunder Minimum because of the apparent lack of sunspots. Climatologists believed these temperature extremes in the historic record, and climatology textbooks displayed a temperature trend chart showing such extremes.

Alas, these dramatic events were missing from the hockey-stick graph. How could that be? The investigative work of a couple of dedicated scientists demonstrated how the raw proxy data was analyzed and subjected to questionable statistical manipulation to create the hockey stick. By 2005, the graph had been exposed as invalid, and it is now disavowed by climate scientists. Even the IPCC stripped the graph from subsequent publications of its organizational reports.

Despite the rejection of this particular piece of tenuous science, the new editorial team tasked with producing the 2010 edition of the particular textbook in question has resurrected the hockey-stick graph. In this newest edition, the hockey-stick graph replaces the original temperature trend graph that remains the field's accepted and verified representation of temperature changes over the past 1,000 years.

Scientific theory should not be discarded because it conflicts with a popular political agenda, or because it is desirable for someone in a position of power to advance their personal agenda. And it is unconscionable for educators to present refuted data and theories to students as the prevailing state of the science. You may be entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. Working with reality produces better results than relying on fantasy.

The truth can be hard to see when a lie is hidden in plain sight. The hockey-stick graph and the rewriting of climate history may be honest misrepresentation. However, the cumulative effect of invalid theories and manipulated data is damaging to the science of climatology in particular and the practice of science in general.

Moreover, the damage goes beyond science. Classroom science eventually makes its way into the community as educated citizens are asked to consider and vote on consequential programs such as carbon emission "cap-and-trade" legislation. The entire rationale for restricting carbon dioxide emissions is a concern that carbon dioxide emissions will impact global temperatures. But, if temperature trends and other data are manipulated to influence voters and the decision-makers to a particular outcome, our planet is indeed in trouble.


Let's face it: Australia's ETS is dead

By financial journalist Terry McCrann

TONY Abbott almost singlehandedly put the Emissions Trading Scheme on life support. Now Copenhagen has killed it stone cold, motherless dead. Climate change minister Penny Wong, who is too emotionally committed to it to accept that truth, will carry it into the new year.

A responsible prime minister would give the ETS a decent Christian burial. And it has to be a formal state funeral. A Treasury that was not so absolutely compromised by a bizarre combination of religious zeal, institutional pomposity and basic incompetence would be gently but persistently and emphatically advising the government that the ETS was no longer a good idea. If indeed it ever was.

While an argument could have been mounted before Copenhagen for moving towards an ETS, that is not possible after the chaos in doleful Hamlet's hometown that produced the "China solution".

There will be no global agreement to cut emissions of carbon dioxide. Formally, it was "Chindia" -- China and India. But China is the elephant in that pairing. And in any event, nothing that President Barack Obama might have promised in Copenhagen was ever going to be endorsed by the US Senate, as it has to be.

While we wouldn't have quite seen a replay of the 95-0 vote that rejected the Kyoto Treaty in 1997, there is zero prospect of the US adopting either binding CO2 emission targets or a cap-and-trade policy, their name for an ETS.

So we have a situation post-Copenhagen, where the two countries that between them are responsible for nearly half of all global emissions of CO2 are not committed to cutting emissions, far less binding targets. And more pointedly, they won't have an ETS.

It is the latter that makes any move by Australia to have an ETS even more senseless than before. We would become ground zero for every spiv and main-chancer that would have an emission permit or million in their pocket to sell us. Indeed, even "respectable" Wall Streeters would be -- correction, are -- salivating over the next big thing.

Two things simply cannot be denied about Copenhagen. Australia locking in its ETS wouldn't have made the slightest difference to the outcome. Not even Kevin Rudd is delusional enough to believe that if only he and Penny had been able to arrive with their bit of paper, China would have agreed to destroy its future.

Secondly, but for Abbott's aggression -- helped in no small part by Malcolm Turnbull's overweening arrogance -- we would have been locked into a bad policy and a disastrous process, which is even worse. The ETS.

It's time the business community woke up from its dozy slumber, with the doziest of all being the Business Council. This is something they should be able to understand. Copenhagen has shattered any prospect of a local ETS delivering the "certainty" they crave. Now it would only be the certainty of the grave. That of carbon export and permit volatility and rip-offs.

That's the export of jobs, businesses and investment to other places that had no price on carbon dioxide. Those "other places" are essentially the rest of the world except for Europe -- which doesn't matter and in any event has totally debased the permits system, just as it has cynically approached the whole sorry climate saga, starting with Kyoto.

Our ETS could only work as part of a properly regulated and audited global system in which at the very minimum the US, the second-biggest emitter, participated. Even then it would still have been extremely volatile, open to manipulation and outright rorting: the very antithesis of certainty. Without the US, an Australian ETS is an invitation to chaos.

Are our Australian Federal "Carbon Cops" Police going to control the permits that would fall from the sky like confetti from Africa, Asia and Russia? Do you sincerely believe that ASIC, Australia's Simply Ineffective (corporate) Cop, is a match for the masters of Wall St manipulation? They couldn't nail Jodee Rich and Andrew Forrest. But never fear, they'll be right on top of global real-time trading in complex permit derivatives.

It remains extraordinary that any government could embark on a policy that directly attacked its own country. The "production" of carbon dioxide is the absolute foundation of not just our economy but our modern society. It is an ironic comment on the crass stupidity of both our politicians and our bureaucrats that if they'd actually succeeded at Copenhagen, they would have succeeded in destroying our future export growth.

The issue of emission cuts has to be cut free from the dead parrot, the ETS. That leaves one or both of Abbott's direct action emission cuts or a carbon tax. If we believe we have to join hands with the rest of the world in a mutual suicide pact, let us at least choose the more efficient method.



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 are mirrors of this site here and here


1 comment:

NikFromNYC said...

John, you lost relevancy for a few weeks. Now your monotonous niggling again be effective.