Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Deciding the conclusion before examining the evidence?

It's not science but it is standard IPCC procedure

United Nations leaders will demand "concrete results" from the looming Cancun climate summit as global warming is accelerating, a top UN organizer of the event said Monday.

Robert Orr, UN under secretary general for planning, said the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on global warming will be much worse than the last one. [How does he know? I think I know!]

Representatives from 194 countries are to meet in the Mexican resort city of Cancun from November 29 to December 10 for a new attempt to strike a deal to curb greenhouse gases after 2012.

Orr told reporters that negotiators heading for the Cancun conference "need to remind themselves, the longer we delay, the more we will pay both in terms of lives and in terms of money."
He said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon would make it clear to world leaders in Cancun "that we should not take any comfort in the climate deniers' siren call."

"The evidence shows us quite the opposite-- that we can't rest easy at all" as scientists agree that climate change "is happening in an accelerated way."

"As preparations are underway for the next IPCC report, just about everything that you will see in the next report will be more dramatic than the last report, because that is where all the data is pointing."

The fourth IPCC assessment released in 2007 said that global warming is "unequivocal" and mainly caused by human activity.
Its next report, involving contributions from thousands of scientists around the world, is due in 2014.

With many countries fearful of a repeat of last year's bitter Copenhagen summit failure, Orr said that progress is possible in Cancun. If governments "understand the peril that their populations are in, it is much easier to get over the political hurdles to do what you have to do," he said.


Somerville, Oreskes Refuse To Debate Fred Singer

Fred Singer offered to debate Richard Somerville and Naomi Oreskes in January in San Diego. Both declined. Oreskes said she didn’t want to debate someone “with a known record of promoting public misrepresentation of science.”

Richard Somerville works in La Jolla and claims that sea level is rising “at the high end of forecasts.” This in spite of the fact that the beach outside his office has shown little visible change in sea level over the last 140 years – as seen in the animation below.

The NOAA tide gauge in La Jolla shows no change over at least the last 25 years, and only a few inches difference in the last 80 years.

Perhaps what Oreskes meant to say was that she didn’t want to debate someone “with a known record of exposing public misrepresentation of science.”

SOURCE (See the original for links and graphics)

Fred Singer comments: I fully understand the unwillingness of Somerville (and Oreskes) to debate the scientific evidence underlying current fears of Global Warming. They obviously prefer to avoid scrutiny of the 'facts' that they so widely trumpet.

In Oreskes' case, a debate would also constitute a tacit admission that there is no complete 'scientific consensus,' and thereby destroy her dogmatic claims.

"Climate scientists are more than willing, at any time, any place, to explain their science and show their results to anybody that asks"

As long as you are not Fred Singer, presumably, and as long as you are allowed to "hide the decline"

Recently I got the chance to speak with Michael Mann—by far the most attacked climate researcher on the planet—and to ask what he was expecting from the next Congress, and how he might respond. Mann pulled no punches. “I think I speak for the entire scientific community,” he answered, “in saying that if scientists are subject to the sorts of McCarthyite witch hunts that took place during the 1950s, there will I suspect be a very fierce pushback by the scientific community, and by public interest groups that support science.” ....

One type of hearing would be open minded and informational, calling upon scientists to testify about their federally funded research and its implications. That’s what Congress ought to be doing, and scientists will participate eagerly. “Climate scientists are more than willing, at any time, any place, to explain their science and show their results to anybody that asks,” observes climate modeler Gavin Schmidt of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who along with Mann created the leading climate science website “Real Climate.”


Experts Tell Global Warming Liars to Lie Differently Not to Stop Lying

So climate change experts having finally got the message. And the message is: their message sucks. In fact, their “Scare the hell out of us” screed was so awful, researchers claim, that it actually undermined their mission. Which, I always thought, was to scare the hell out of us.

Yep, according to Cal-Berkeley shrinks, dire predictions about global warming can “backfire if presented too negatively.” Of course that raises one question: how to do present dire predictions, positively? “Hey, were all gunna die. LOL.”

Which leads me to a theory: these Berkeley researchers are dopes. Look the fact is, people like me questioned global warming evidence because we’d seen this hysteria before – with emotional warnings about the coming ice age, the dangers of nuclear power, artificial sweeteners and DDT.

And this caused us to grow cold to such crap, and overlook real threats like terrorism, the resurgence of malaria, and of course, the rise of Ed Hardy t-shirts. Worse, with global warming, we saw that anyone who dare to question the hysteria would be labeled a “skeptic,” and treated like a “leper.” And never get “laid.”

But the climategate scandal proved that inevitably, these cocky GW experts would overstep the science, get humbled, retreat into therapy. (Have you seen Gore lately?)

So now, finally, shrinks are saying these experts should rethink their messaging.

Of course, this is still not tackling the real problem. Note that the shrinks aren’t telling experts to stop exaggerating consequences – instead, they say, “present solutions to global warming.”

Meaning: just assume your lies were right all along and push the curly light bulbs.

That ain’t gunna work either. And if you disagree with me you’re a racist homophobic globalphobe.


A leading environmental group (John Muir Trust) speaks against wind energy plans

The Scottish Government has no way of verifying claims by wind-farm developers on the carbon footprint of their turbines, a leading wildlife charity has revealed.

Now the John Muir Trust claims no large wind farms should be approved by planners until developers' environmental claims can be independently confirmed by government scientists.

Both the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) say verifying claims of "carbon payback" by wind-farm companies is not part of their remit.

The carbon payback period - the length of time it will take for the wind farm to compensate for carbon emissions resulting from its development - is often highlighted by firms to promote their green credentials.

In their response to the proposed Viking wind farm on Shetland, SEPA said they had been requested by the Scottish Government to review the carbon balance of wind developments but that they had no funding or expertise available.

Helen McDade, head of policy for the John Muir Trust, said it was "extraordinary" that no government agency is equipped to give an independent answer on carbon payback. She added: "For the Scottish Government to deliver on its commitment to reducing carbon emissions, it needs to give its agencies the resources to effectively review this important aspect of applications.

"Without independent auditing of carbon payback, we are basically forced to rely on the word of developers who stand to make millions of pounds if an application goes ahead. "We need to stick to a precautionary principle and avoid siting major developments of this scale on fragile peatlands, which are an important carbon store."

SNH, which is officially consulted by the Scottish Government over the impact of wind farms, confirmed that it does not assess carbon payback claims made by developers. Spokesman Calum Macfarlane said: "It is not part of our remit. If a carbon payback figure is mentioned by a developer, it is not something that features in our response. We look at landscape, wildlife and habitat considerations."

SEPA also confirmed it does not carry out its own audit of developers' carbon payback claims.

Viking Energy has cut the number of turbines proposed for its contentious wind farm by 23 and says the carbon payback time for the £685 million project will be less than one year. The downward revision of the carbon payback time stems from an estimate that more than two-thirds of peat on the site is "already deteriorating and releasing stored carbon".


There Will Be Fossil Fuels in Abundance – For Decades To Come

THREE summers ago, the world’s supertankers were racing across the oceans as fast as they could to deliver oil to markets growing increasingly thirsty for energy. Americans were grumbling about paying as much as $4 a gallon for gasoline, as the price of crude oil leapt to $147 a barrel. Natural gas prices were vaulting too, sending home electricity bills soaring.

A book making the rounds at the time, “Twilight in the Desert,” by Matthew R. Simmons, seemed to sum up the conventional wisdom: the age of cheap, plentiful oil and gas was over. “Sooner or later, the worldwide use of oil must peak,” the book concluded, “because oil, like the other two fossil fuels, coal and natural gas, is nonrenewable.”

But no sooner did the demand-and-supply equation shift out of kilter than it swung back into something more palatable and familiar. Just as it seemed that the world was running on fumes, giant oil fields were discovered off the coasts of Brazil and Africa, and Canadian oil sands projects expanded so fast, they now provide North America with more oil than Saudi Arabia. In addition, the United States has increased domestic oil production for the first time in a generation.

Meanwhile, another wave of natural gas drilling has taken off in shale rock fields across the United States, and more shale gas drilling is just beginning in Europe and Asia. Add to that an increase in liquefied natural gas export terminals around the world that connected gas, which once had to be flared off, to the world market, and gas prices have plummeted.

Energy experts now predict decades of residential and commercial power at reasonable prices. Simply put, the world of energy has once again been turned upside down.

“Oil and gas will continue to be pillars for global energy supply for decades to come,” said James Burkhard, a managing director of IHS CERA, an energy consulting firm. “The competitiveness of oil and gas and the scale at which they are produced mean that there are no readily available substitutes in either one year or 20 years.”

Some unpleasant though predictable consequences are likely, of course, as the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico this spring demonstrated. Some environmentalists say that gas from shale depends on drilling techniques and chemicals that may jeopardize groundwater supplies, and that a growing dependence on Canadian oil sands is more dangerous for the climate than most conventional oils because mining and processing of the sands require so much energy and a loss of forests.

And while moderately priced oil and gas bring economic relief, they also make renewable sources of energy like wind and solar relatively expensive and less attractive to investors unless governments impose a price on carbon emissions.

“When wind guys talk to each other,” said Michael Skelly, president of Clean Line Energy Partners, a developer of transmission lines for renewable energy, “they say, ‘Damn, what are we going to do about the price of natural gas?’ ”

Oil and gas executives say they provide a necessary energy bridge; that because both oil and gas have a fraction of the carbon-burning intensity of coal, it makes sense to use them until wind, solar, geothermal and the rest become commercially viable.

“We should celebrate the fact that we have enough oil and gas to carry us forward until a new energy technology can take their place,” said Robert N. Ryan Jr., Chevron’s vice president for global exploration.

Mr. Skelly and other renewable energy entrepreneurs counter that without a government policy fixing a price on carbon emissions through a tax or cap and trade, the hydrocarbon bridge could go on and on without end.



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