Monday, April 19, 2010
European Greenies openly admit destructive aims
Their aim is a much more impoverished world under strict State control. "Selective degrowth" is a term Orwell might have invented in his visions of a coming dystopia
The global environmental crisis requires replacing the existing capitalist model of production with one that promotes "selective degrowth" of the economy and the restricted and responsible exploitation of natural resources, according to European experts and activists.
The movement led by French economist Serge Latouche, Swiss political scientist Marie-Dominique Perrot, the Climate Justice Action (CJA) association and the monthly "La Décroissance" (Degrowth), among others, calls for different forms of consumption, the redistribution of wealth, and technology transfer towards developing countries.
Alexis Passadakis, CJA representative in Berlin, told Tierramérica that "the goals of this restructuring of the economy are the conservation of natural resources and the democratisation of their use in favour of the peoples who live in the zones of exploitation, like the Amazon or the Congo Basin."
He also said it is necessary "to break away from the market logic that characterises the current instruments for fighting climate change, such as trading the rights for emissions of greenhouse-effect gases."
This carbon market is intended to manage and redistribute greenhouse gas emissions, when its main objective should be to reduce emissions at the source, such as from transportation or energy production, both in the industrialised world and poor countries, he added.
CJA will participate in the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, taking place Apr. 19-22 in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The association will lead a workshop on creating inter-continental connections between grassroots movements for climate justice.
Climate Justice Action is a federation of environmental groups and activists that joined forces in 2009 to coordinate actions during the United Nations Climate Summit in Copenhagen last December.
Its members share Perrot's critique of "sustainable development" and Latouche's proposal for selective economic degrowth, which in turn are based on thermodynamics theories applied to environmental analysis of the global economy, put forth in the 1970s by Romanian economist Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen.
In his book, "The Entropy Law and the Economic Process," published in 1971, the "founder" of the economy of degrowth utilised the concept of entropy and its related laws of thermodynamics to analyze the irreversible environmental degradation caused by the consumption of raw materials.
Following Georgescu-Roegen's argument and taking into account the worsening of the global ecological crisis, Latouche advocates economic degrowth as an indispensable condition for the survival of humanity.
"The logic of economic growth applied since the 18th century has led us to far surpass the planet's physical capacity," Latouche, professor emeritus of economics at the University of Paris-Sud 11, told Tierramérica.
As such, degrowth emerges as the only economically viable formula, not just in benefit of nature but also "to restore a minimum of social justice, without which the world is condemned to destruction," he said.
In parallel with degrowth, Latouche promotes values like frugality, sobriety and austerity - in other words, he calls for renouncing the uncontrolled consumerism of contemporary capitalist societies.
A notion shared by those who promote degrowth is the right to development of the emerging nations, such as China, India and Brazil. But they also share criticism of many of those governments' measures for promoting growth.
Passadakis emphasised reducing consumption of imported goods as a way to promote regional products. "In that sense, the CJA has adopted the Vía Campesina (an international peasant movement) programme to ensure food sovereignty of the people through encouraging consumption of what they themselves produce."
Passadakis suggested that activists promoting these alternatives should focus on two levels: the national level, to foment a vision that is ecological and entails economic degrowth, "for example, through opposition to new carbon-based power plants and in favour of reducing the workday in order to redistribute employment and income."
At the international level, Passadakis pointed out that for the negotiations leading to the 16th Conference of Parties (COP-16) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, "our vision should be to prevent the worst... We have to convince the governments that the World Bank has no role to play in the fight against climate change."
Furthermore, "civil society and indigenous peoples should make it clear that they won't accept it if the conference approves the REDD plan as another market-based instrument that is supposedly useful against global warming," he said.
REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) involves putting a monetary value on tropical forests in order to incorporate them into market mechanisms, just like the trade of emissions credits.
The Greenhouse Gas Theory Under a Cloud
A new study by a leading climate change expert proves clouds and solar radiation better explain global warming than do greenhouse gases - including carbon dioxide
Climate researcher, Jeffrey A. Glassman, PhD presents a compelling new analysis, ‘The Cause of the Earth’s Climate Change is the Sun' that uses respected peer-reviewed data that indicates the sun, not human emissions of greenhouse gases, control our planet’s climate. By employing the data as used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this study cleverly refutes key IPCC conclusions, including those drawn from Lean (2000).
The analysis finds something is clearly amiss with the IPCC model of the Earth’s climate. Glassman identifies a gaping hole of understanding about clouds where the IPCC fails to represent notable peer-reviewed cloud theories (notably Svensmark’s). Critics have accused the UN of politicising the man made global warming debate with unsubstantiated advocacy while it possesses poor levels of scientific comprehension of Earth's climate. It officially has ‘low’ or ‘very low’ understanding of 9 of the 12 variables that impact climate (including solar climate forcing).
Below is a summary of Glassman's key findings:
Climate Change Scientists Omit Cloud Albedo: ‘Cloudgate'?
In the first instance, the study finds that the IPCC erred by abandoning consideration of the Sun and its interaction with clouds as an important instrument of climate change. Incongruously, the IPCC admits “Cloud feedbacks remain the largest source of uncertainty.” (AR4 Summary for Policymakers, p. 12) while conceding that “Water vapour is the most important greenhouse gas…” (AR4, FAQ 1.3 What is the Greenhouse Effect? P. 115).
Despite its obvious lack of understanding the IPCC bizarrely concludes all climate-forcing factors shall be adjudged as being constant. According to Glassman this position is a scientifically invalid and amounts to an arbitrary decision. Cloud albedo is, in fact, ever-changing.
The paper addresses contradictions by the IPCC that cloud cover, and thus cloud albedo (reflectivity) relies heavily on specific humidity and the availability of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) so that humidity is dependent on surface temperature. This thus affirms a negative feedback mechanism counter to any apocalyptic scenario. But this fact is omitted from climate computer models and reported conclusions.
Put simply, when the temperature in the atmosphere rises water vapour concomitantly increases by evaporation to form more cloud. This then provides greater cloud cover from the sun that in turn cools ground temperatures. This natural mechanism is, and always has been, a 'safety valve' to prevent catastrophic runaway global warming. Yet this self-correcting process is not mentioned in any IPCC report.
However, global warming proponents continue to posit that the greenhouse gas (GHG) theory is analogous to a blanket effect whereby CO2 and other GHG gases increasingly retain the radiant heat energy of the sun leading to runaway global warming. This scenario is contradicted by the fact that the Earth's atmosphere, despite witnessing ever-rising levels of CO2, has seen no statistically significant rise in global temperatures since 1995.
Are IPCC Numbers Fudged to Fit the Conclusions?
Glassman dissects the IPCC's numbers and uses them persuasively to contradict the conclusions of IPCC's climate scientists. The paper examines the global average surface temperature in a solar formula overlay using the IPCC's AR4 Figure 3.6 from HadCRUT3 (known as the Brohan record - similar to the NOAA monthly record). This record, it seems, merely requires its models to have the correct amplitude and slope attached to the end point of the current temperature record. It is not an accurate representation and thus is unhelpful in distinguishing climatic forcing elements.
Glassman censures the IPCC for pursuing the fallacy of "equilibrium" of our climate that ignores ocean oscillations and solar changes. He further accuses the IPCC of disregarding plausible alternative theories (e.g. Svensmark, Lindzen) that argue a build up of greenhouse gases ( e.g. water vapour and CO2) in fact, leads to increased cloud which, in turn, increasingly reflects solar energy back into space. Svensmark likens his cloud theory to the mechanism of the iris of the human eye - the more heat (light) there is the more the iris (clouds) protectively restrict the inflow of solar energy.
Glassman's analysis of the HadCRUT numbers gives credible support to Svensmark's hypothesis based on the temperature record's correlation to solar variance. He reminds observers that because our oceans have a high heat capacity, ocean currents cause delays to neutralize or reinforce solar patterns.
Where Does This Leave the Greenhouse Gas Theory?
Dr. Glassman shows that the greenhouse gas theory correlates only temporarily with temperatures in the period 1850-present. He finds that cloud albedo mitigates warming from any cause, and because of its great power is unfriendly to the greenhouse gas effect. These findings appear to eliminate humans from the climate equation.
Unfortunately, the IPCC is shown to have ignored the fact that cloud albedo is at the same time, both a positive feedback that amplifies solar radiation as well as a negative feedback to mitigate warming from any cause. Advocates of the more alarmist global warming catastrophe theory will view this study as a serious rebuttal of their thesis. Glassman concludes the IPCC willfully ignored the importance of the interaction between the sun and clouds probably to suit a pre-conceived agenda supportive of the man-made greenhouse gas theory.
SOURCE (See the original for links & references). The Glassman paper is here
Aussie Skeptic Attacks Climate Data Fraud
Climate skeptic, Malcolm Roberts, mounts a lucid rebuttal of the man-made global warming theory in his publication, 'Two Dead Elephants in Parliament.'
Among others, Roberts exposes two fatal flaws in the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) greenhouse gas theory. Firstly, the IPCC incorrectly relies on the analogy that the Earth’s atmosphere acts like a giant greenhouse, which it doesn’t. Secondly, Roberts then points out that by their own admission, the IPCC admits to ‘low’ or ‘very low’ understanding of 80% of all factors impacting climate.
Glass Greenhouse is Not Analogous to Earth's Atmosphere
The evidence provided by Malcolm Roberts appears even more credible in light of the alleged data fraud controversy made public since the Climategate scandal of November 2009.
‘Two Dead Elephants in Parliament’ cogently refutes the greenhouse analogy because it improperly envisions the Earth as having a glass barrier acting like a greenhouse. But in truth, this is a bogus comparison because the properties of glass prohibit convection: the greatest remover of heat from the Earth's surface.
By reference to the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics, skeptics argue that the Earth’s actual heat transfer occurs not just by radiation alone, a minor player, but also by conduction (contact) and convection (fluid movement). The atmosphere gives off excess heat mainly by conduction and convection because:
* the Sun radiates light
* that heats the Earth
* the Earth’s surface warms air molecules by contact
* this warm air is less dense and rises, causing convection currents which cool the surface
* Earth and air together radiate heat to space
* At night, without incoming solar radiation, Earth and air cools
Thus, excess heat energy is transported into space. This common sense truth controverts the established wisdom of the IPCC and supports the argument that there has been data fraud.
The IPCC's Woeful Levels of Climate Understanding
Roberts draws our attention to the IPCC's Table 2.11 (2007). This depicts 16 climate factors that the UN IPCC claims drive radiative forcing. The table reveals that the IPCC has only understanding of carbon dioxide plus a moderate level of understanding of 2 other factors. It then admits to an alarming ‘low’ or ‘very low’ level of understanding of an astonishing 13 of the 16 other possible drivers of climate.
Thus, skeptics argue, with the IPCC having looked nowhere else to increase their understanding, the politicized IPCC appears to have focused on the pre-determined 'villain'- human emissions of fossil fuels.
No Measured Data Supports Warming Theory
To substantiate his case Roberts refers to the fact that the IPCC has found no specific scientifically measured real-world evidence of any causal relationship between human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and Earth's latest modest cyclic warming.
Instead the UN IPCC relies on flawed computer models that are contradicted by real-world temperature measurements of the troposphere. In their Third Report the IPCC claimed that as CO2 levels increased then global temperatures would increase. However, since 1998, despite unending rises in atmospheric CO2 global temperatures have fallen.
Atmospheric Temperatures Support Skepticism
To further embarrass the IPCC and other environmental advocates Roberts asks readers to examine actual tropospheric measurements.There is, in fact, a growing divergence between the untampered and accurate measurements of tropospheric temperature and the ‘fudged’ ground stations data now discredited since the Climategate scandal.
‘Two Dead Elephants in Parliament’ cites weather balloon (radiosonde) and satellite temperature measurements of the troposphere that together prove no net global warming since 1958. Roberts is supported in his argument that the ground temperature data should be discarded as flawed or fraudulent data per the findings of leaked emails of key IPCC climatologists from Climategate scandal.
Climategate Revelations Undermine Public Confidence
Environmentalists and leaders of some the world’s wealthiest nations championed the greenhouse gas theory as a promising vehicle for cap and trade green taxes. Disillusionment in the greenhouse gas theory is increasing among other scientists and in public opinion polls also appears to be related to the growing number of embarrassing revelations undermining the credibility of the IPCC for using dubious non-peer reviewed findings.
Moreover, as the IPCC admits to 'low' and 'very low' levels of understanding of the climate, skeptics have attacked the IPCC's conclusions for over reliance on flawed computer modeling data.
Roberts has provided skeptics with a robust rebuttal to the accepted view that mankind is set to cause catastrophic global warming unless greenhouse gas emissions are drastically reduced.
SOURCE (See the original for links)
The latest scare: Not enough pollution
Believe it or not
You're likely to hear a chorus of dire warnings as we approach Earth Day, but there's a serious shortage few pundits are talking about: air pollution. That's right, the world is running short on air pollution, and if we continue to cut back on smoke pouring forth from industrial smokestacks, the increase in global warming could be profound.
Cleaner air, one of the signature achievements of the U.S. environmental movement, is certainly worth celebrating. Scientists estimate that the U.S. Clean Air Act has cut a major air pollutant called sulfate aerosols, for example, by 30% to 50% since the 1980s, helping greatly reduce cases of asthma and other respiratory problems.
But even as industrialized and developing nations alike steadily reduce aerosol pollution -- caused primarily by burning coal -- climate scientists are beginning to understand just how much these tiny particles have helped keep the planet cool. A silent benefit of sulfates, in fact, is that they've been helpfully blocking sunlight from striking the Earth for many decades, by brightening clouds and expanding their coverage. Emerging science suggests that their underappreciated impact has been incredible.
Researchers believe greenhouse gases such as CO2 have committed the Earth to an eventual warming of roughly 4 degrees Fahrenheit, a quarter of which the planet has already experienced. Thanks to cooling by aerosols starting in the 1940s, however, the planet has only felt a portion of that greenhouse warming. In the 1980s, sulfate pollution dropped as Western nations enhanced pollution controls, and as a result, global warming accelerated.
There's hot debate over the size of what amounts to a cooling mask, but there's no question that it will diminish as industries continue to clean traditional pollutants from their smokestacks. Unlike CO2, which persists in the atmosphere for centuries, aerosols last for a week at most in the air. So cutting them would probably accelerate global warming rapidly.
In a recent paper in the journal Climate Dynamics, modelers forecast what would happen if nations instituted all existing pollution controls on industrial sources and vehicles by 2030. They found the current rate of warming -- roughly 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit per decade -- doubled worldwide, and nearly tripled in North America.
Despite intransigence on carbon emissions, even China is taking aggressive steps to cut sulfate pollution, and temperatures have risen as a result.
But surely the answer can't be to slow our drive to clean our air. One way to buy time might be to tackle another air pollutant that warms the planet: soot. In 2008, scientists estimated that so-called black carbon, soot's prime component, is responsible for 60% more global warming above that caused by greenhouse gases. Cleaner-burning diesel engines in the West and more efficient cookstoves in the developing world are the answer. But on both scores, "relatively little has been done to address the problem," says the Boston-based Clean Air Task Force.
In the face of severe climate risks, credible scientists are beginning to study geo-engineering -- tinkering with global systems to reduce warming directly. One scheme is to spew sulfates or other sun-blocking particles miles high in the stratosphere. If it worked, it would mimic the natural cooling effect of volcanoes, replacing the near-surface sulfate mask with a much higher one. But the possible side effects could be dire, including damage to the ozone layer. The potential geopolitical implications, like wars over the thermostat, could be devastating as well.
We might need geo-engineering to stave off the worst effects of the warming. But most climate scientists think we're not there yet. And so the most important thing we can do now is to train our sights on both the unexpectedly helpful sulfates and the unexpectedly pernicious carbon. We can't continue to only focus on traditional pollutants without reducing greenhouse emissions. We simply have to find a way to clean our air of both.
Some fiery comments from Judith Curry
Prof. Curry is a moderate Warmist and is commenting below on Lord Oxburgh's whitewash of "Climategate"
The primary frustration with these investigations is that they are dancing around the principal issue that people care about: the IPCC and its implications for policy. Focusing only on CRU activities (which was the charge of the Oxbourgh panel) is of interest mainly to UEA and possibly the politics of UK research funding (it will be interesting to see if the U.S. DOE sends any more $$ to CRU).
Given their selection of CRU research publications to investigate (see Bishop Hill), the Oxbourgh investigation has little credibility in my opinion. However, I still think it unlikely that actual scientific malfeasance is present in any of these papers: there is no malfeasance associated with sloppy record keeping, making shaky assumptions, and using inappropriate statistical methods in a published scientific journal article.
The corruptions of the IPCC process, and the question of corruption (or at least inappropriate torquing) of the actual science by the IPCC process, is the key issue. The assessment process should filter out erroneous papers and provide a broader assessment of uncertainty; instead, we have seen evidence of IPCC lead authors pushing their own research results and writing papers to support an established narrative. I don't see much hope for improving the IPCC process under its current leadership.
The historical temperature record and the paleoclimate record over the last millennium are important in many many aspects of climate research and in the communication of climate change to the public; both of these data sets are at the heart of the CRU email controversy.
In my opinion, there needs to be a new independent effort to produce a global historical surface temperature dataset that is transparent and that includes expertise in statistics and computational science. Once "best" methods have been developed and assessed for assembling such a dataset including uncertainty estimates, a paleoclimate reconstruction should be attempted (regional, hemispheric, and possibly global) with the appropriate uncertainty estimates.
The public has lost confidence in the data sets produced by CRU, NASA, Penn State, etc. While such an independent effort may confirm the previous analysies, it is very likely that improvements will be made and more credible uncertainty estimates can be determined.
And the possibility remains that there are significant problems with these datasets; this simply needs to be sorted out. Unfortunately, the who and how of actually sorting all this out is not obvious. Some efforts are underway in the blogosphere to examine the historical land surface data (e.g. such as GHCN), but even the GHCN data base has numerous inadequacies. Addressing the issues associated with the historical and paleo temperature records should be paramount.
SOURCE. For follow-up to her comments, see here
Green bigots want to keep blacks "in their place"
By Richie Ahmat, chairman of the (Aboriginal) Cape York Land Council, Australia
THE confrontation between the Aboriginal traditional owners of Cape York Peninsula and The Wilderness Society in relation to Queensland's Wild River laws is fundamental. If it is not resolved fairly and soon, it will be the beginning of a long war that our people will never abandon until justice is restored.
What is at stake here is the very meaning of land rights. While our people are defending the principle that Australia was not a terra nullius, TWS is pursuing the restoration of terra nullius through the concept of wilder nullius.
Wilder nullius, which is a vision that TWS has for indigenous homelands across northern and remote Australia, allows for black people in the landscape but in a highly restricted form. These blacks are not supposed to engage in any form of wealth creation or development. They are only allowed to pursue traditional activities. They are to eschew employment or consumption, and not participate in or be in favour of any form of industry.
If the blacks abide by the role envisioned for them, then TWS will arrange for the environmental agencies of government to provide funding programs for them to be employed as rangers and so on. If they step outside of this role, then TWS will get the government to stop the funding. Only compliance to the TWS vision of wilder nullius will receive support.
To us in Cape York Peninsula it is disturbing that an environmental organisation born in the genocidal context of Tasmania is seeking to reverse the Mabo principle that Australia is not and has never been terra nullius.
If you want to do anything with Aboriginal land you must get the free and informed consent of the Aboriginal traditional owners. This is our right to self-determination. These are our land rights.
Whether you want to undertake development or you want to create protected areas: the principle is free and informed consent.
And the mechanism for securing this free and informed consent is via Indigenous Land Use Agreements that are registered under the Commonwealth Native Title Act. ILUAs are ultimately supervised by the Federal Court of Australia, which ensures that all of the traditional owner groups have been fully informed, and that they have given their free consent.
Our job as a land council under the law is to make sure the proper process is followed, that all of the traditional owner groups are properly identified and are given all of the relevant information. We are required to ensure that the necessary meetings take place, and that the traditional owner groups have legal representation throughout the whole process. We must make sure that consent is provided by the whole group, not just individuals or subgroups. Where there is dispute within the group, we are required to assist in the mediation of the disputes.
Land councils are like trade unions. We provide support to traditional owner groups, so they are not left vulnerable in their dealings with governments and third parties over traditional lands. We make sure proper negotiation processes are followed. We make sure legal and anthropological advice is available.
We don't allow individuals and subgroups to make agreements without ensuring that the whole group is involved. Otherwise unscrupulous bureaucrats, developers and other third parties will rip the landowners off.
Just look at what has happened and is still happening in Papua New Guinea and throughout the South Pacific with timber companies and tribal groups. Tribal groups are being ripped off because they do not have strong representative bodies with legal and other expertise to support them.
My colleague from the Kimberley Land Council, Wayne Bergman, and my fellow countryman from Cape York Peninsula, Noel Pearson, have pointed out the sinister parallels between the way in which TWS is pursuing its wilder nullius campaign across northern Australia and the way the mining industry used to operate in the 1970s and 80s.
The mining industry used to split tribal groups up, peeling off individuals and subgroups from the main group and setting them against the land councils and the majority of their own people. They discredited the land councils and pushed governments to weaken land rights because they did not want strong land councils. They wanted to rip off the traditional owners without any interference.
TWS has been pursuing the same tactics in its campaigns in the Kimberley and Cape York. As Pearson wrote recently, it is the extreme environmentalists who are today the real rednecks.
My own analogy of what is going on is a bit different. I come from a trade union background; I worked for many years for the Comalco bauxite mine in Weipa and participated in the strike against Rio Tinto's individual contracts.
I know from my CFMEU days about the tactics undertaken by opponents who don't want equality at the bargaining table. They want to peel individuals off and have direct dealings with them without dealing with the tribal group as a whole. This is what TWS is now doing across northern Australia.
The most curious thing about all this, is that the Labor politicians who are playing key roles in the Wild Rivers imbroglio have close affiliations with the trade union movement. Queensland minister Stephen Robertson was the state secretary and national president of United Firefighters Union of Australia. The chairwoman of the senate committee inquiring into Tony Abbott's private members bill which seeks to overturn the Queensland Wild Rivers Act, Senator Trish Crossin, was an industrial officer in Darwin with the National Tertiary Education Union and the Australian Education Union, as well as having been a development officer for the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers' Union.
They should be the first ones to recognise that the way in which the Queensland government has conducted itself, and the divide and rule tactics employed by the environmental groups is exactly what trade unions have experienced throughout the history of organised labour. Robertson should hang his head in shame.
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Posted by JR at 5:35 PM