Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A probably inadvertent admission from Fred Krupp, Head of the Environmental Defense Fund

His advice that "Our response to this political problem must be to engage more widely and listen more carefully, not dismiss or belittle those with whom we disagree" is certainly a welcome change but do the words highlighted below in red reveal the reasons for that stance?

His accusation that big companies are what is preventing Warmist laws is a laugh of course. He doesn't name a single such company! The truth is that it is Congressmen who fear for the jobs of their voters who are the biggest block in his way. Despite saying lots of Warmist things in his article, he has clearly put no effort into his argument for it

Every major reform in our nation's history has suffered defeats on the path to victory. From free trade to civil rights, setbacks have been a part of progress. But ultimate victory comes to those who learn from their defeats and press forward with new determination and perseverance.

The failure of the United States Senate to pass comprehensive climate and energy legislation this year was a serious setback for America, and for the world. The continuing cascade of scientific evidence shows that we are dangerously changing our climate, and the urgent need to act remains. So what do we do?

Our view is that we must be much more aggressive in pursuing pollution reductions under existing law, through America's never-ending ability to innovate, and through partnerships with companies that can transform the marketplace. There are many companies making real change, and we intend to work with them.

However, we have well-financed enemies in this fight, and it is time to sharpen the nation's focus on the businesses that obstruct vital progress.

For EDF, that means our historic interest in cooperation over confrontation will be recalibrated. We will always negotiate where possible, and we will continue to look for collaborative opportunities and flexible solutions. That is who we are, and we will continue to pursue those goals.

But there are companies that continue to choose short-term profits over public health, and who feel they are better off opposing progress. These companies have friends in the Congress, and they believe they will have more political leverage against the Environmental Protection Agency as the balance of power shifts in Washington next year.

Meanwhile, they are already marching into the courts to challenge virtually every breath EPA takes in this area. Our view is that the public and the investor community need to have far greater awareness of the companies engaged in indiscriminate obstructionism. We will look for ways to hold them accountable through every reasonable lever at our disposal. We will learn to be as tough with them as they have been with us.

We are evaluating everything from engaging more actively in corporate governance -- the annual meeting of shareholders and outreach to boards of directors -- to more active involvement in state Public Utility Commissions where the rubber meets the road on the scope of pollution -- or pollution reductions -- associated with major capital investments. And we are looking at a variety of ways to involve the public more actively in a conversation about who the big emitters are, where they operate, and what steps they are taking to reduce their pollution.

It doesn't have to be this way, and we would rather spend our time working on smart policy and win-win solutions. But we have no choice. We cannot allow the efforts of a few powerful companies to block necessary progress for the rest of us.

At the same time, we must accept the reality that climate change has a political problem. For too many people, opposing a solution to climate change has become a political and ideological dogma. As long as many in Congress feel required to oppose any measure in this area, we will not succeed.

If we are going to de-carbonize our economy, we have to de-polarize the politics surrounding the conversation. It is worth remembering that no major environmental law has ever passed without substantial bipartisan support. This has always been the case -- but the incoming Congress is a fresh reminder that bipartisanship must be the foundation of future progress.

In short, while being more aggressive and vigorously fighting to achieve critical emissions reductions, we -- the environmental community -- must be more open. Our response to this political problem must be to engage more widely and listen more carefully, not dismiss or belittle those with whom we disagree.

We will have to reach out to new partners, make new allies, and engage new constituencies. We have done so with a large part of the business community, and we will learn to do so with others.

We cannot expect that the public will support change without understanding the reasons for it. But we cannot browbeat our way to a broader understanding of the science behind climate change and the benefits of taking action. We need to start with the real problems people face in America today - from jobs and energy security to clean air and water -- and work with them to find answers to those problems and the common challenge that faces all of us.


So climate change is not a real problem?

Amusing: Global warming could make us cooler, say Germany's chief Warmists

They sure know how to cover their bets with their silly computer games. Press Release below from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) []

The shrinking of sea-ice in the eastern Arctic causes some regional heating of the lower levels of air - which may lead to strong anomalies in atmospheric airstreams, triggering an overall cooling of the northern continents, a study recently published in the Journal of Geophysical Research shows.

"These anomalies could triple the probability of cold winter extremes in Europe and northern Asia," says Vladimir Petoukhov, lead author of the study and climate scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

"Recent severe winters like last year's or the one of 2005-06 do not conflict with the global warming picture, but rather supplement it."

The researchers base their assumptions on simulations with an elaborate computer model of general circulation, ECHAM5, focusing on the Barents-Kara Sea north of Norway and Russia where a drastic reduction of ice was observed in the cold European winter of 2005-06. Those surfaces of the sea lacking the ice cover lose a lot of warmth to the normally cold and windy arctic atmosphere.

What the researchers did was to feed the computer with data, gradually reducing the sea ice cover in the eastern Arctic from 100 percent to 1 percent in order to analyse the relative sensitivity of wintertime atmospheric circulation.

"Our simulations reveal a rather pronounced nonlinear response of air temperatures and winds to the changes of sea-ice cover," Petoukhov, a physicist, says. "It ranges from warming to cooling to warming again, as sea ice decreases."

An abrupt transition between different regimes of the atmospheric circulation in the sub-polar and polar regions may be very likely. Warming of the air over the Barents-Kara Sea seems to bring cold winter winds to Europe. "This is not what one would expect," Petoukhov says.

"Whoever thinks that the shrinking of some far away sea-ice won't bother him could be wrong. There are complex teleconnections in the climate system, and in the Barents-Kara Sea we might have discovered a powerful feedback mechanism."

Other approaches to the issue of cold winters and global warming referring to reduced sun activity or most recently the gulf stream "tend to exaggerate the effects," Petoukhov says. The correlation between these phenomena and cold winters is relatively weak, compared to the new findings referring to the processes in the Barents-Kara Sea.

Petoukhov also points out that during the cold winter of 2005-06 with temperatures of ten degrees below the normal level in Siberia, no anomalies in the north Atlantic oscillation have been observed. These are fluctuations in the difference of atmospheric pressure between the Icelandic low and the Azores high which are commonly associated with temperature anomalies over Europe.

But temperatures in the eastern arctic were up to 14 degrees above normal level. However, distinct anomalies in the north Atlantic oscillation could interact with sea-ice decrease, the study concludes. One could amplify the other and more anomalies would be the result.

Petoukhov's study is not about tomorrow's weather forecast but about longtime probabilities of climate change. "I suppose nobody knows," he says, "how harsh this year's winter will be."

Article: Petoukhov, V., and V. A. Semenov (2010), A link between reduced Barents-Kara sea ice and cold winter extremes over northern continents, J. Geophys. Res., 115, D21111 [doi:10.1029/2009JD013568]

How narrow can a "consensus" get?

It has been found that the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been embarrassed by a Thomson Reuters analysis in which it found there is very little peer-reviewed literature backing up climate alarmism.

In their ‘Essential Science Indicators (Research Fronts 2004-09),’ Reuters proved that the IPCC uses only 13 peer-reviewed papers to justify blaming human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) for global warming; thus disproving the so-called "consensus" of world scientists

Indeed, the IPPC stands very much apart from most scientists in predicting climate catastrophes. In their 2007 ‘Summary for Policymakers’ the IPPC use the word ‘catastrophe’ or its conjugated derivatives no less than 338 times despite the word never appearing in any of the scientific literature.

Moreover, so scant was IPCC regard for expert opinion about the role of the sun that they entrusted its analysis to just one expert. But worse, that sole IPCC scientist referred only to her own studies - a clear conflict of interest that no mainstream media outlet has ever addressed.

So poor was the examination of the role of the sun that the issue of cosmic rays was ignored completely even though it is considered a key climate factor by most scientists and a world leading theorist on this issue, Henrik Svensmark.

More HERE (See the original for links)

Climate scare no longer important enough for Congress to bother with?

Global warming skeptics eager to see ascendant House Republicans put climate science under the microscope might be disappointed in Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).

Issa – the likely chairman the Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the next Congress – signaled to reporters Monday that his interest in probing “climate-gate” has waned.

“I will have limited resources and limited time. I am looking at things that fall between the cracks, but also I am looking for the largest dollars of waste, and although this is a significant issue, it may not be the issue that first comes to my committee, and we are willing to realize that I only have so many resources and so much time,” he told reporters in the Capitol Monday evening.

The comments appear to mark a change in position for Issa. In the past has called attention to emails among climate scientists associated with the Climatic Research Unit – a prominent U.K. institute – that were made public late last year.

Climate skeptics — including a host of GOP lawmakers — have alleged the messages revealed efforts to squelch information that undercuts evidence of human-induced climate change. However, multiple probes of the researchers in the “climate-gate” affair have concluded the scientists did not seek to manipulate or suppress data.

Issa last year slammed what he called a White House refusal to probe the matter and called for inquiries.

And Issa has said he would probe the emails and climate science if Republicans regained the House, according to ClimateWire, the New Yorker and other outlets.

But Monday Issa downplayed the prospect. He said that climate science overall is a matter for other House committees, including the Science and Technology Committee, and the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming if it remains intact next year.

“A lot of it will, rightfully so, fall to the Science Committee,” he said. “We are not a committee of jurisdiction on the science of it. We are about waste, fraud and abuse, and organization and cost. So probably a lot of that is going to fall to the committees of jurisdiction.”

“We haven’t made any plans on climate change because, quite frankly, the lead committee will look at what part they will take,” Issa added. He didn’t slam the door completely, noting, “there may be a piece for us,” but overall indicated that the committee's emphasis will lie elsewhere.


As cap 'n trade dies, a new threat emerges

Although preparations are in place for a summit on climate change in Cancun, Mexico, at the end of November, it is clear that the goal of cutting carbon emissions through coordinated action by the world's governments is dead. Nevertheless, it would be too early to celebrate, as the threat of fear-driven and economically costly climate policies is not gone yet. It is merely being transformed into a more subtle - and potentially more dangerous - agenda.

The Copenhagen summit last year was the last nail in the coffin of the Kyoto process. Under Kyoto, countries would agree to specific emission targets and then use "cap-and-trade" to allocate the limited amount of carbon emissions to various industrial uses. However, in 2009, the world's leaders failed to agree on any measurable commitment to cutting carbon emissions by this method.

In fact, they did so for a very good reason. Meeting the initially envisaged objectives of reducing CO2 emissions by 50 percent by 2050 and 80 percent by 2100 is, under current technology, not feasible without drastic reductions in economic activity and, therefore, standards of living. This may not seem like much to Western politicians and celebrities. However, for the political leaders of large emerging economies such as China and India, forestalling their current economic expansion in order to obtain very uncertain benefits some hundred years from now would be the height of folly.

The dominant view that animated Kyoto and Copenhagen - and is now disintegrating in view of the latter's failure - was focused on reducing emissions through massive deployment of currently existing sources of "clean" energy. Notwithstanding the cheerleading about wind farms and solar panels, these methods proved to be overly expensive and were introduced and sustained in the first place only by government subsidies. In times of financial crisis, they have become burdensome political liabilities, and their widespread use in emerging countries, which need cheap and readily available sources of energy, is unthinkable. If we are fortunate, they will be abandoned over time.

However, while the climate-change alarmists are slowly becoming aware of the impasse the traditional approach has created, their agenda has not gone away. A number of thinkers from across the political spectrum are progressively gaining influence and are likely to be the ones who will set the tone for climate and energy policies in the years to come.

This rising group is a heterogeneous bunch. It includes Gwyn Prins of the London School of Economics in England, Roger Pielke Jr., author of "The Climate Fix," and the "skeptical environmentalist" Bjorn Lomborg, who is releasing his new movie focused on climate-change policies, "Cool It." Finally, it includes experts from both the American Enterprise Institute and the liberal Brookings Institution in the United States, who recently published a joint proposal for fostering energy innovation.

This last fact is probably the most disturbing. Whenever the most influential left-wing and right-wing experts agree, the odds are that the matter will involve expanding government and taking resources away from the private sphere.

The central argument made by this group is as follows: Because emission cuts using current technologies are not practicable, the main thrust of new policies should lie in subsidizing research and development so that a new "breakthrough" technology can arise, which will allow easy and costless "decarbonization" of the world economy in the future.

This argument relies on a rather naive understanding of the economics of innovation. It is simply assumed that pouring money into research will bring the desired technology - and also that this technology could not have been obtained through privately funded research technology alone.

Furthermore, where is the compelling argument that governments are especially qualified to identify those technologies that have a high social but low private return - technologies that are worth developing but that no private organization has the incentive to bring about? More commonly, governments fund research-and-development projects that would have been very profitable anyway. As a result, companies just save their own resources that they would have used for the research and development and use the public money instead....

In short, as this new research-and-development-centered approach gains prominence, we are likely to be in for more government spending and waste. Instead of celebrating the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the old-style climate alarmism, we should be wary of its new form - perhaps subtler but no less damaging to the economy and to the future of free societies.


Rage at the Washingtom Post

Strenous efforts at character assassination and nothing more. That Fred Singer is "aging" is even held against him! See below

Last week, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) announced it would assist journalists covering the upcoming United Nations climate conference in Mexico by linking reporters with climate science experts who can field science-related queries. This Q&A service was first tried last year during the Copenhagen climate talks, when several high profile publications utilized the service, including Newsweek and National Public Radio.

A nonprofit scientific society, the AGU is not an advocacy organization, and the goals of the effort, as explained on its website, include aiding journalists who are "seeking to communicate climate science" and to "contribute to raising the overall level of understanding of climate science among journalists and the general public."

Sounds innocent enough, right?

Not to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Editorial Board, which published an online video accusing the AGU of weeding out at least three scientists who have climate science expertise, but who may question the scientific consensus that human activities are likely responsible for much of the planet's recent warming.

In a segment of the WSJ "Opinion Journal" web video program, editorial writer Anne Jolis criticizes the AGU's innocuous effort for selectively excluding three climate skeptics: Fred Singer, Richard Lindzen, and John R. Christy.

Notably, Jolis describes the three skeptics as "very renowned in explicitly climate-related fields."

That is certainly true in Christy's case. A professor at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, Christy studies temperature readings taken by satellites and weather balloons, has served as a lead or contributing author for multiple U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, and has received awards from the American Meteorological Society, among others. But Christy is not without his detractors and is a controversial figure in the climate science community.

Similarly, while Lindzen is well-regarded in some scientific circles, he has increasingly ruffled feathers in the community and been subject to criticism.

As for the aging Singer, very few climate scientists would describe him as "renowned" for his climate research. He has long headed up his own think tank, the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP), and has ties to the fossil fuel industry. According to the DeSmogBlog, a website that aims to counter climate skeptics, although Singer has published about 45 papers on climate science in the peer-reviewed literature during the course of his career, he is affiliated with numerous conservative interest groups and think tanks, many of which receive funding from the fossil fuel industry. He has also argued against the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer, according to DeSmogBlog.

Nevertheless, in the video Jolis says other scientists told her the work of the three skeptics is "very valuable," and need to be part of "the debate."

"The question is, are journalists going to have access to their work?" she says, raising the disturbing - and illusory - specter of a world in which the AGU controls who the press can and can't talk to, via a voluntary Q&A service.

"Talking to someone like John Christy would be extremely valuable to get the full picture of the knowledge that's out there and the uncertainties that remain, and it seems unfortunate if this initiative didn't include someone like that...." Jolis says.

"Obviously journalists could call them on their own," she admits. (Seems to me like she had no trouble getting in touch with them).

Jolis doesn't discuss the possibility that Singer, Lindzen and Christy received the email solicitation to participate in the initiative, but ignored it or deleted it. She also fails to indicate whether she even reached out to the AGU to check if the three researchers were included in the voluntary effort, which netted about 700 participants.

According to Jolis, the AGU, which has 58,000 members in more than 135 countries, is deliberately excluding people like Christy and Lindzen from an initiative aimed at improving climate scientists' engagement with the media. This accusation was termed "ignorant and dishonest" in a tweet by climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe, who is helping to oversee the AGU project. "How can the WSJ get away with this?" Hayhoe asked.

Unfortunately, spouting ridiculous climate science conspiracy theories is nothing new for the WSJ editorial board, which is legendary within the climate science community for distorting the vast body of evidence pointing to the role of human activities in helping to drive the recent increase in global temperatures. Despite the solid science reporting that is printed within the paper's news pages, the influential editorial board has held onto the view that climate science is unreliable, poorly established, and essentially little more than junk science.


Fred Singer comments:

So, the AGU is NOT an advocacy organization? Read their incendiary Climate Statement.

And, Christy has "detractors" and is "controversial." Lindzen has "ruffled feathers" and "been subject to criticism". Singer is described as "aging" [but very gracefully, I should note] and "affiliated with numerous conservative interest groups and think tanks, many of which receive funding from the fossil fuel industry"

The WSJ comes in for castigation "from sources as varied as the Real Climate blog to Jeffrey Sachs, the noted economist who heads up Columbia University's Earth Institute." And worse, they "knock Al Gore, and cast doubts on businesses that work in the clean energy and carbon trading sectors. "

This whole thing is just too funny and reads like a parody.

Look at the Readers' comments. No support for the WaPo


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