Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Britons Question Global Warming More Than Americans and Canadians

Half of respondents in the two North American countries think climate change is a fact and is caused by emissions—fewer Britons concur.

While Canadians continue to be more likely than Americans and Britons to blame global warming on man-made emissions, they are not as unwavering about it as they were last year, a new three-country Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

The online survey of representative national samples also shows that belief in man-made climate change has reached the highest level in the United States since 2009, and has fallen considerably in Britain.

Overall, half of Canadians (52%, -8 since October) and Americans (49%, +7) say that that global warming is a fact and is mostly caused by emissions from vehicles and industrial facilities. Only 43 per cent of Britons (-4) agree with this assessment.

In the United States, one-in-five respondents (20%, -5) think that global warming is a theory that has not yet been proven, along with 20 per cent of Britons (+2) and 14 per cent of Canadians (=).

More than half of Canadians (55%, -6) believe it is more important to protect the environment, even at the risk of hampering economic growth, while 22 per cent (+4) would prefer to foster economic growth, even at the risk of damaging the environment.

In the United States, 47 per cent of respondents (+2) would emphasize protecting the environment, while 26 per cent (-4) would foster economic growth. The biggest change since last year comes in Britain, where only 40 per cent of respondents would protect the environment (-11) and 33 per cent would prefer to foster economic growth (+11).


Since 2009, Angus Reid Public Opinion has conducted five three-country surveys on global warming. The latest poll outlines one of the lowest proportions of believers in man-made climate change ever recorded in Canada (52%). Still, Canadians are more likely than Americans or Britons to both believe in emissions as the primary source of global warming and to choose environmental protection over economic growth.

In the United States, despite the economic crisis, belief in man-made global warming has reached the high level that was observed before the so-called “climate-gate” controversy. In addition, the proportion of Americans who brand climate change as an unproven theory fell by five points, the biggest fluctuation observed in the past three years.

Britain has become the main source of skepticism, with the lowest proportion of believers in man-made global warming, and with a third of Britons acknowledging that they would foster economic growth even at the risk of damaging the environment—the largest proportion observed in all three countries.


Last ditch Goreathon: Scare, smear and slur

No one from the big scare campaign is even pretending that this is about the science anymore. It’s just tribal name-calling, voo-doo dolls and poo jokes from preschool.

Al Gore hopes he has reality on his side. But the reality is the relentless slide of the polls. It’s the crashed Chicago Climate Exchange, the kaput green jobs. It’s the long list of countries who are are shaking themselves free of the eco-shackles. The apostles of a bygone cult are reduced to saying that warming causes cooling, death, disease and even prostitution in Ghana. The babbling last players standing are talking about saving the world from aliens. Sadly, those are not the nutters, no, they’re the ones from NASA.

The NASA crew worry that the aliens who have been blind to the last 60 years of I love Lucy beamed out to space, have instead been transfixed by a trace gas composition change from 0.028% to 0.039% on the third rock from the sun in a distant galaxy. I’m scared now, not of the aliens, but of our collapsing collective IQ. This is modern public debate (and from the team that got the man on the moon.)

Gore’s seedy scare will be viewed in history books as we marvel at Fowlers Arsenic Cure now.

Gore is the modern witchdoctor incarnate, armed with special effects, no scruples and buckets of money. He knows he’s losing the war with the thinkers, he’s given up even trying to win the educated. Now it’s straight from the Saul Alinsky playbook of personal smear.

Fossil Fuel interests have money, influence, control…

“Deniers will be revealed”

So lets send it back to him ten-fold and more. Reality!

Tell him fossil fuel interests only dream of the kind of power that the real vested interests in this policy have.

Major financial houses have more money, more influence and more control. When the GFC hit the fan, who got bailed out? Who got the blank cheques for trillions with a T?

It wasn’t BP.

Last year $144 billion turned over in carbon markets worldwide, and $243 billion was invested in renewable energy. And the market doesn’t include mandatory action in … most of the world. The dollar signs are a calling, but it’s not from coal or oil – they know they’re in no danger of being replaced by whale-killing windmills, and symbolic solar panels. The bald truth is that nuclear could be a threat, but no one’s rushing to replace the Prius with hybrid fission hatchback. (For renewables though, the carbon scare is life and death for an industry that can’t come close to competing without bubbly subsidies.What renewables lack in financial clout, they make up for in motivation.)

But at the end of the day, the bankers* win, rain, hail or shine, no matter who buys, who sells or what the price is, as long as there is a carbon-credit fiat currency, they stand to make a fortune, and you can hardly blame them for holding their hands out and saying Yes Please.

Deniers will be revealed! We can’t wait!

The deniers are the ones who ignore millions of weather-balloons and thousands of ARGO buoys; who insist that yellow is really red; who tell us there will be endless droughts, then when people drown in floods, they say “we told you it would rain”. Spot the denier indeed.

The most hilarious video of the Gore-rama event is the “Making Of” compilation (if you can bear to watch it). It’s positively oozing self-anointed importance: They think their ten seconds of toilet-humour and baseless smear was worthy of being analyzed or recorded for posterity?

*No I don’t hold anything against the hundreds of thousands of honest bank workers, shareholders, and decent managers.


BOMBSHELL: Solar and Wind Power Would Speed Up, Not Reduce, Global Warming

I had a tough time picking a good hyperbolic title for this one, because I had my choice of so many good ones. Last week a new study reported that replacing coal with natural gas might actually worsen climate change in the short term. The study was done by Tom Wigley, who is a senior research associate at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The title of the study is Coal to gas: The influence of methane leakage and will be published in next month’s Climatic Change Letters.

What the study projects is that the amount of methane leaking from gas wells will influence the future temperature rise from climate change: The higher the methane leakage, the higher the future temperature.

Since there is always some methane leakage, and because methane is a very strong greenhouse gas, it was widely reported that the predicted poor showing of natural gas in the short term was due to the gas leakage. More importantly, the widely-reported message relayed by the media is that this study shows that natural gas can’t do much to mitigate climate change.

Ah, but there is a catch that hasn’t gotten much attention (and has been in some cases purposely suppressed).

Notice that the projected temperature increases in every case — even when there is no methane leakage. That indicates that something else is going on here, which is explained in the following story (which is where I got my headline):

Natural Gas Would Speed Up, Not Reduce, Global Warming: Study

Advocates for natural gas drilling have trumpeted its environmental benefits as an alternative to the coal that produces most of America’s electricity, noting that natural gas emits about half the amount of carbon dioxide when burned as coal does.

But a new study sheds doubt on that claim, finding that a shift from coal to natural gas would in fact accelerate the planet’s rising temperatures before slightly reducing them. Tom Wigley of the National Center on Atmospheric Research found that swapping the two fuels would increase global temperatures over the next four decades by about a tenth of a degree.

Wigley’s study does not dispute the fact that natural gas produces far less carbon dioxide, a key culprit in pushing temperatures steadily upwards. But coal also gives off sulfates and other particles that dissipate more quickly than coal fumes and effectively reflect sunlight away from the earth, cooling rather than warming. Those particles do increase air pollution and the likelihood of acid rain, but from a global warming perspective they are a source of relief.

Did you follow that? Coal has higher particulate emissions that increase air pollution, but they help reflect the sun away from the earth. Thus, cities like Linfen, China, pictured below, are sitting in the catbird seat as far as global warming goes. As you can see, no global warming concerns for them as the particulate emissions are quite effectively preventing sunlight from reaching the surface:

So as Linfen, China switches to natural gas (which they have in fact been doing), it will simply speed up global warming. Now I suspect you are beginning to see that this story may be more complex than the refutation of natural gas that the media headlines have indicated.

Since the graphic shows that even zero leakage of methane caused the projected temperature to rise, I was curious as to just how much of the effect was due to the emissions of the coal plants themselves. So I contacted Tom Wigley, the author of the paper, and posed the following question: “Is it true per your models that if we switched from coal to a zero emissions source of electricity that the short-term climate change impact would also be negative due to the loss of the cooling effect from coal’s particulate emissions?”

He replied to my e-mail fairly quickly: “Yes. This “problem” was first pointed out by me in 1991. I’ll attach this paper, plus the coal-to-gas paper. In 1991 I did not consider carbonaceous aerosols. The issue of balancing the disbenefit of less aerosols implies warming vs the benefit of less SO2 emissions implies pollution benefits is a tricky one.” (The 1991 paper he referred to was “Could Reducing Fossil-Fuel Emissions Cause Global Warming?” — published in Nature).

So there you have it. Per this study, shutting down all coal-fired power plants and not even replacing them would cause the temperature to increase in the short term because of the loss of sunlight-reflecting pollutants. Thus, the real story here is about the secondary effect of coal-fired power plants and not about any deficiencies of natural gas.

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

The hubris of an Australian Warmist professor: "We put the physics in and then the answer pops out"

The Australian global warming lobby is desperately trying to convince an increasingly sceptical audience about the blessings of their climate models Dr. Dave Griggs, from the Monash Sustainability Institute and Dr. John Church of the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research made the following claims at an online briefing organised by the Australian Science Media Centre:
"models were getting more accurate as scientists incorporated data from more areas. Scientists were often surprised by their results because the climate system was so complicated, Prof Griggs said. "We don't tune these models to get the answer we want. "We put the physics in and then the answer pops out - so yes, you can be surprised."

The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research's John Church says virtually all climate data is shared among scientists worldwide. While there is a variety of models in his study area of sea levels all show the same trend

Reality check:

There is a multitude of evidence about the total failure of the warmist climate change models. The fact is that the warmists are doing exactly what Dr. Griggs says they are not doing. Warren Myer, writing in Forbes magazine, summarizes what´s wrong with the models:
"a lot climate experimentation occurs within computers, rather than via direct observation of natural phenomena. For example, in the last IPCC report, their conclusion that most of the recent warming had probably been man-made was based mainly on computer study of the period between 1978 and 1998. They ran their models for this period both with and without manmade CO2, and determined that they could only replicate the temperature rise in this period with by including manmade CO2 in their models.

Believe it or not, that is the main evidence that global warming catastrophism is based on. Yes, I am sure you can raise all the concerns I have — what if the computer models don’t adequately model the climate? What if they leave out key factors or over-emphasize certain dynamics? Drawing firm conclusions from these models is like assuming you can be a rock star after winning a game of Guitar Hero.

But it is when these models are used to project catastrophic outcomes in the future that they are perhaps the most suspect. Scientists often act as if the projected warming from various CO2 forecasts is just an output of the models — in other words, “we built in a sophisticated understanding of how the climate works and out pops a lot of warming.” (exactly what Dr. Griggs is doing! NNoN) And in the details this is true. The timing and regional distribution of the warming tends to be a fairly unpredictable product of the model. But the approximate magnitude of the warming is virtually pre-determined. It turns out that climate sensitivity, the overall amount of warming we can expect from a certain rise in CO2 concentrations, is really an input to most models.

This means that the inputs of the model are set such that a climate sensitivity of, say, 4 degrees per doubling is inevitable. The model might come up with 4.1 or 3.9, but one could have performed a quick calculation on the inputs and found that, even without the model, the answer was already programmed to be close to 4. Rather than real science, the climate models are in some sense an elaborate methodology for disguising our uncertainty. They take guesses at the front-end and spit them out at the back-end with three-decimal precision. In this sense, the models are closer in function to the light and sound show the Wizard of Oz uses to make himself seem more impressive, and that he uses to hide from the audience his shortcomings.

And if you want the opinion of a real scientific heavyweight, here is what Dr. Freeman Dyson thinks about the climate models:
The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world we live in ...

John Church is partially right when he claims that virtually all climate data is shared among scientists worldwide. The truth is, of course, that all the warmists share the same false data (obtained from the false models) worldwide.

It may very well be true that all the warmist sea level models show the same trend , as Church claims, but studies based on real observations tell another story: Reality check:
AGAINST all the odds, a number of shape-shifting islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean are standing up to the effects of climate change.

For years, people have warned that the smallest nations on the planet - island states that barely rise out of the ocean - face being wiped off the map by rising sea levels. Now the first analysis of the data broadly suggests the opposite: most have remained stable over the last 60 years, while some have even grown.

Paul Kench at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and Arthur Webb at the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission in Fiji used historical aerial photos and high-resolution satellite images to study changes in the land surface of 27 Pacific islands over the last 60 years. During that time, local sea levels have risen by 120 millimetres, or 2 millimetres per year on ...


Memorandum by Professor Nils-Axel Mörner, Head of Paleogeophysics & Geodynamics, Stockholm University, Sweden President, (1999-2003) of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution, Leader of the Maldives Sea Level Project:
It is true that sea level rose in the order of 10-11 cm from 1850 to 1940 as a function of Solar variability and related changes in global temperature and glacial volume. From 1940 to 1970, it stopped rising, maybe even fell a little. In the last 10-15 years, we see no true signs of any rise or, especially, accelerating rise (as claimed by IPCC), only a variability around zero. This is illustrated in Fig 3. ...

In conclusion; observational data do not support the sea level rise scenario. On the contrary, they seriously contradict it. Therefore, we should free the world from the condemnation of becoming extensively flooded in the near future.
There are more urgent natural problems to consider on Planet Earth like tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, etc.


It is not surprising that Dave Griggs and John Church are so busy promoting climate alarmism, when one considers their background:
in 1996 he was appointed Head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientific assessment unit. IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. In 2001 he became Deputy Chief Scientist and Director of the Hadley Centre for Climate Change, widely acknowledged as the world's leading centre for climate change research. After a brief spell as Met Office Director of Government Business, in September 2007 he moved to Australia to become Director of the Monash Sustainability Institute (MSI). Dave is also CEO of ClimateWorks Australia.

Dr Church has recently accepted a position as coordinating lead author of the Sea Level Change chapter for the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, to be completed in 2013.
He was co-convening lead author for the Chapter on Sea Level in the IPCC Third Assessment Report.


A lamebrain speaks

You need a Ph.D. to be skeptical about Warmism? Simple facts like the minuscule amount of 20th century warming (See the header on this blog) should sow doubts in anyone able to understand numbers

As one of the more than 1,200 people arrested outside the White House during the recent tar sands action protesting plans to build a crude oil pipeline from Canada through the American heartland, I'm always amused by the Republican claim that climate change is just a theory, or worse, a hoax.

Unless we all get PhDs in climate science, we have to accept the opinion of experts in the field who overwhelmingly endorse global climate change as both a reality and as something influenced by human activity.

Does anyone doubt that if another scientific theory with exactly the same empirical support turned out to be good for corporate profits, these same round-earth deniers would be touting the theory as scientific truth?


Australian conservative leader launches stinging attack on Leftist Prime Minister Julia Gillard over carbon tax

THE parliamentary battle over the Government's carbon price scheme has begun with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott launching a ferocious attack on the Prime Minister.

Mr Abbott opened his 30-minute speech by declaring the package of clean energy bills amounted to a bad tax, based on a lie, that should be rejected.

He finished by declaring it "the longest suicide note in Australian history".

Julia Gillard sat stony-faced opposite him throughout the speech, which was delivered to a nearly full chamber.

But the chamber emptied when parliamentary secretary for climate change Mark Dreyfus started the Government's counterattack in a debate that will dominate today's proceedings. Mr Dreyfus accused the opposition of "being in hysterics" over a policy that was essential to save the world from catastrophic climate change.

Mr Abbott began with a sustained attack on Ms Gillard, calling her claim to be on the side of history "arrogant presumption". In fact, she was on "the wrong side of truth".

He said she'd sabotaged Kevin Rudd on the issue, had a variety of positions herself and finally said there'd be no carbon tax, a promise that haunts the Government and makes the debate "fundamentally illegitimate".

The Opposition Leader moved on to say the scheme would make the essentials of modern life, like power and fuel, more expensive. Now, when the world economy was so fragile, was not the time to add to the burdens of business and families.

Mr Abbott jeered at the Government's claim the policy would create jobs, calling it "nonsense on stilts".

However at the heart of his objections was that the scheme wouldn't reduce emissions. All the bold claims about emissions cuts were disproved by the government's own figures, he said.

Mr Abbott finally turned to a "much better way" - the Opposition's direct action plan which encourages Australians to do intelligent, sensible things like plant trees. Businesses were reducing their power and fuel bills.

Mr Abbott said part of the Government's motivation was to satisfy the Greens.

"Also, deep in the DNA of every Labor member there is an instinct for higher taxes and more regulation and that's exactly what we're getting," he said.

Mr Dreyfus said the scheme would curb pollution and increase investment in clean energy. It would mean a better, cleaner place for our children's children. Mr Dreyfus said carbon pollution could no longer be free and the Government had to act to correct "the greatest market failure the world has seen". A carbon price would "break the link between pollution and economic growth".

"If we don't reduce emissions, the world risks catastrophic climate change," he said.

Mr Dreyfus said the Opposition was pandering to climate change deniers while attacking scientists and economists.


Australia: Tiny crab v $900m mine - the money's on the crab

A NEWLY-discovered crab about the size of a 10c piece might stop mining giant Rio Tinto's new $900 million Cape York bauxite mine.

Scientists contracted by Rio to prepare an environmental impact statement on the project 50km south of Weipa have found what is thought to be a new species of freshwater crab.

They have also discovered a shrimp not previously recorded in Australia, prompting conservationists to call on federal Environment Minister Tony Burke to immediately halt the project.

The Wilderness Society's Glenn Walker said yesterday the crab would be threatened, nearly 30,000ha of bush cleared and a river destroyed if the big mine was approved.

"Incredibly, Rio Tinto still plans to mine in this area and threaten this new species, so greedy are they to make an extra buck," he said.

"The crab hasn't even yet been assessed for protection under federal environment laws, which would likely list the species as endangered and potentially stall approval of the mine."

The find has been referred to Peter Davie, Queensland Museum senior curator of crustacea.

Mr Davie said he believed it was a new species, although it would be about two years before this would be confirmed.

"We have very little information for (about 20 species of) freshwater crabs but they are all potentially endangered or vulnerable," he said. "There's a bit of detective work to go but many are restricted to single catchments. They may well be vulnerable to climate change and all sorts of things."

A Rio Tinto Alcan spokesman said it was now up to the State and Federal governments to assess the findings. "We've had the best experts out there studying the area ... and we're pleased to have been able to make a contribution to understanding the ecology of the cape," the spokesman said. "We're being quite open about this. It was our people that turned this up."

Rio's EIS said a total of six species of crustacean were found. "These species are unlikely to be significantly impacted by the project," it says. If any species are found to be which the crab could be Mr Burke will have to rule on whether the project can proceed. A comment has been sought from Mr Burke.

Rio Tinto Alcan Weipa employs about 870 staff and wants to begin what is known as the South of Embley mine in about two years.



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