Tuesday, October 26, 2010

An email from Howard Hayden [corkhayden@comcast.net] in reply to the NYT

Howard Hayden is Prof. Emeritus of Physics, UConn

The NYT has run an Editorial castigating Republicans for not being on board with right and proper Democrats whose unassailable beliefs about "climate change" are to be emulated. I wrote the following letter, which will undoubtedly not be printed.
The notion that there is a scientific "consensus" about global warming is at once false and irrelevant. There has never been a poll of scientific opinion on the subject, and rightly so, because scientific veracity is a matter of objective reality, not of opinion.

What would you think of a drug company that approached the FDA for licensing of a new product with the following case? "Our supercomputers say the drug is safe and effective. We can't think of any other reason for the results to come out the way our computers say they do. Moreover, failure to license the drug will have disastrous consequences."

The FDA will demand, "Show us your dose-response graphs. How much dose gives how much benefit? How much dose results in how much hazard?" If the drug company representatives failed to produce dose-response graphs of real data, they would be thrown out on their ears.

Corresponding to dose-response curves for drugs, there are cause-effect graphs for other scientific data. For global-warming alarmists, the cause is called "forcing," (heat retention, in watts per square meter). The effect is temperature rise.

To prove their case, alarmists would produce a graph of temperature rise versus the "forcing." The stunning fact is that no such graph, or even a distant cousin of such a graph, has ever been published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Failure to produce the cause-effect graph is scientific incompetence of the highest order. If you find yourselves in denial of this fact, I ask you to challenge any global-warming alarmist on the planet to show you any refereed publication whatsoever that has the requisite cause-effect graph. The response will be like somebody shaking a feather pillow in your face.

Big embarrassment for Germany's top Warmists

Scratch off the Potsdam Institute For Climate Impact Research from the alarmist list. No kidding!

The European Institute For Climate and Energy has a new piece written by Raimund Leistenschneider that takes a look at two interesting papers dug up from 2003. I wonder if Rahmstorf and Schellnhuber are going to feign amnesia on this.

The paper by Prof Stefan Rahmstorf confirms that today’s temperatures are actually quite cool compared to temperatures earlier in the Holocene.

In a paper he authored: ”Timing of abrupt climate change: A precise clock“, Geophys. Res. Lett.. 30, Nr. 10, 2003, S. 1510, doi:10.1029/2003 GL017115, Ramhstorf examined the Dansgaard-Oeschger (DO events).

These events are rapid climate changes occurring 23 times during the last ice age between 110,000 and 23.000 BP and were reconstructed from the GISP-2-ice cores from Greenland.

On Rahmstorf’s paper, EIKE writes:

Easy to recognize, at least using the studies done by Rahmstorf, we are living in a comparably cold time today. During the MWP 1000 years ago, when the vikings were farming Greenland, it was 1°C warmer than today. During the Roman Optimum 2000 years ago, when Hannibal crossed the Alps with his elephants in the wintertime, it was even 2°C warmer than today. And during the Holocene climate optimum 3500 years ago it was about 3°C warmer than today. Since about 3200 years ago, there has been a cooling of about 2°C.

Meanwhile Prof. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Rahmstorf’s boss at the Potsdam Institute, was unable to discern any warming when examining a multitude of worldwide temperature records back in 2002 and 2003.

In a paper published in 2003, using their own studies, the authors concluded there had been no global warming over the last decades. (J.F. Eichner, E. Koscielny-Bunde, A. Bunde, S. Havlin, and H.-J. Schellnhuber: Power-law persistence and trends in the atmosphere, a detailed study of long temperature records, Phys. Rev. E 68 2003),

More HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

The hurricane dearth

To this day Warmists declare that "extreme weather events" will become more frequent with global warming. Going by recent experience, then, we must be undergoing global cooling

Adam Lea, of University College London, shares these interesting hurricane factoids related the the remarkable dearth of US hurricane landfalls in recent years. His comments are reproduced here with his permission:

"As the 2010 hurricane season (with 10 hurricanes) starts to wind down I thought I would share a few statistics on how unusual this season has been historically for its lack of US hurricane landfalls:

1. Since 1900 there is no precedent of an Atlantic hurricane season with 10 or more hurricanes where none has struck the US as a hurricane. The five previous seasons with 10 or more hurricanes each had at least two hurricane strikes on the US.

2. The last precedent for a La Nina year of the magnitude of 2010 which had no US-landfalling hurricane is 1973.

3. Since hurricane Ike (2008) there have been 16 consecutive non US-landfalling hurricanes. Such a sequence last happened between Irene (1999) and Lili (2002) with 22 consecutive non US-landfalling hurricanes, and between Allen (1980) and Alicia (1983) with 17 consecutive non US-landfalling hurricanes.

4. The period 2006-2010 is one of only three 5-year consecutive periods without a US major hurricane landfall (the other two such periods were 1901-1905 and 1936-1940). There has never been a six year period without a US major hurricane landfall.


Energy companies tell British government: If you want us to go Green, you will have to pay for it

Britain’s “big six” energy companies will this week warn Chris Huhne, secretary of state for energy, that the government’s proposed “floor price” for carbon emission permits is not enough of an incentive for them to invest in new nuclear power stations.

Executives from the companies, including Centrica, EDF Energy and Scottish Power, now owned by Iberdrola, are due to make their views clear at a dinner with Mr Huhne on Wednesday.

The industry has reached a consensus position with all companies agreeing that some form of additional incentive is required. Options range from a feed-in tariff to guarantee the price for low-carbon electricity to payments to companies as reward for having available generation capacity.

The government has already said it is seeking to put a floor under the price of carbon dioxide permits under the European Union’s emissions trading scheme. But executives believe if that were to be the only incentive the floor would have to be set at a pretty high level, with estimates ranging between €80 and €90 a tonne of carbon. The companies argue any floor price should start at a relatively low level and then gradually step up towards a level of about €35 a tonne of carbon. Prices are currently hovering at around €15 a tonne.

Volker Beckers, the chief executive of RWE npower, the German-owned energy supplier that has teamed up with fellow German Eon to build new reactors, told the Financial Times last week that the government should not “discriminate different technologies against each other” but should ensure there is a “level playing field” for all. He wants the renewables obligation, which supports wind power, to be expanded to a low-carbon obligation that would include nuclear.

Mr Huhne last week gave the green light for the development of new nuclear reactors but vowed there would be no public subsidy. Mr Beckers said he did not think of the renewables obligation as a subsidy.

“It is an obligation to a supplier to comply with environmental legislation . . . in other words, you either invest or you pay,” he said.

Two consultations – one on the carbon price floor and another on electricity market reform – are expected later this autumn. Mr Beckers said that RWE npower would make its supplier decision in the first quarter of next year and if there was “uncertainty still” it would “be very difficult”.

His comments echo those of Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF Energy, which owns 80 per cent of British Energy, who called last week for “a timely consultation on how the government will implement its stated policy to provide a carbon price floor”. “We also need progress on reform of the electricity market where EDF Energy has proposed low carbon capacity payments to support security of supply.”

Mr Huhne will meet other industry stakeholders when he chairs the next meeting of the Nuclear Development Forum, which advises the government’s Office of Nuclear Development, on Thursday.


The British government will have to confront public anger over soaring electricity costs

Thanks to Gordon Brown's profligacy, the public is about to have to pay more tax for fewer services. But the cost of green policies does not feature much in the latest debates, because most of it comes not through taxes, but through electricity bills. It is programmed to rise. This year, the total levy adds £6 billion to our household and business bills. In 2015, it will be £10 billion; in 2020, £16 billion (which equals 4 pence on the basic rate of income tax today).

For the Government, and the generators, this is a beautiful way of doing things, because they get their money effortlessly. So it is ugly for you and me. We pay for the renewable obligation subsidies, we fund the Feed-in Tariff. We pay more and more for sources of energy which will not reward us with cost reductions for at least a generation. For years, governments have gone on about the wickedness of "fuel poverty". Today, 4.6 million households are officially defined as living in it. The prevailing policies make it inevitable that fuel poverty will rise for as far as the eye can see. By 2020, our energy prices will be between 30 and 40 per cent higher than they would have been without them.

At least two things result. One is that prosperity is impaired. Cheap energy is the prerequisite of industrial success. The figures for carbon production in the West are now mildly declining, but that is not true of our carbon consumption. All that is happening is that we are, in effect, exporting the production to China, proving, by doing so, that being green and clean does not pay. Global carbon production grows. The only important country where both the production and consumption of carbon slumped was Russia. That was because, in the 1990s, it suffered economic collapse. Economic collapse is, indeed, the answer to too much carbon, but in the same way that bubonic plague is the answer to the common cold.

The other result is that people get angry. They have been conscripted by their governments into an unwinnable war without end. The bills will rise, but the emissions will not fall. The country will not get cleaner, but its people will get poorer. There will come a point – provoked by power cuts, or by the bill for a cold winter – when we will be utterly sick of being ordered to save the planet, and we shall mutiny.

Politicians who want to stay in office should realise this, and take evasive action. Hard times provide the moment. In Spain the other day, the government realised that it was spending so much on price guarantees to solar power "entrepreneurs" that it decided to cut back. The same will have to happen with wind power here. It would be so much better, and cheaper, if it came before turbines have stalked their way across every lonely and lovely place in these islands.

The obvious objection to what I am saying is that we must save the planet. Of course we must, if it needs saving. But the great rows about the emails at the Climatic Research Unit, the evidence used by the working group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and so on, have forced a retreat from the favourite claim that "the science is settled". The Royal Society has long been alarmist about climate change, but its latest publication, Climate Change: A Summary of the Science, produced because of criticism about bias, is careful. It sets out areas where there is "wide agreement", areas of "continuing debate and discussion" and "aspects that are not understood very well". Although the authors clearly believe that climate change is real and risky, and is aggravated by human activity, they also emphasise uncertainties – about cause, effect, timing, modelling and the accuracy of data. In my admittedly untutored reading, it looks as if, by the Society's own account, only about a third of the science is settled.

It seems a small [platform] on which to erect the next half-century of policy, nearly £1 trillion of costs and the claim that the end of the world is nigh. In this country and the whole of the West, a strange thing has happened. A fascinating scientific theory about a controversial subject has been falsely magicked by its supporters into a hard fact. I know this Government dislikes spending money on logos, but the next time "The Department of Energy and Climate Change" orders new stationery, it should delete those last three contentious words which Gordon Brown added to the masthead.


Obama adviser finds the cause of hostility between India and Pakistan

It's global warming, of course. Nothing to do with a thousand years of Moslem/Hindu rivalry

For some, global warming is the sinister cause of every problem plaguing the world-even the conflict between India and Pakistan.

This misapprehension has apparently taken hold of Richard Holbrooke, President Obama's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to Bob Woodward's new book, Obama's Wars, Holbrooke believes there is a "global warming dimension" of the India-Pakistan conflict.

"In one discussion about the tensions between Pakistan and India," Woodward wrote, "Holbrooke introduced a new angle. 'There's a global-warming dimension of this struggle, Mr. President,' he said."

Woodward wrote that Holbrooke's "words baffled many in the room." It's not hard to see why.

“‘There are tens of thousands of Indian and Pakistani troops encamped on the glaciers in the Himalayas that feed the rivers into Pakistan and India,’ [Holbrooke] said. ‘Their encampments are melting the glaciers very quickly. There's a chance that river valleys in Pakistan and perhaps even India could be flooded.’"

Woodward reported that attendees were incredulous. "After the meeting," Woodward wrote, "there were several versions of one question: Was Holbrooke kidding? He was not. Holbrooke subsequently detailed his concerns in a written report."

Even more troubling is Holbrooke's apparent acceptance of the notion that global warming poses national security threats, requiring the imposition of energy rationing schemes such as cap-and-trade, at home and abroad, to alleviate international conflict.

But those schemes, as even the Environmental Protection Agency has confirmed, would do little to affect climate or Earth's temperature, and therefore would be of no consequence in international relations.

What they would do is harm America's economy through, among other things, higher costs for energy, food, and other consumer goods, more dependence on foreign oil, and further decline of our manufacturing base.

That, not global warming, is the real national security threat.



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 blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


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