Tuesday, January 03, 2012

It's all about money

Bangladesh's foreign minister has revealed the real impetus behind the developing world's participation in climate talks: the carrot of billions from the rich countries that was dangled in front of them to get them to agree. Now the money is still not materialising, the threats have started to get less and less veiled

Efforts by developed countries to redistribute promised funds to help poorer parts of the world avoid environmental disasters have been described as "dismal" by the foreign minister of Bangladesh.

Dipu Moni said wealthier nations must begin immediately delivering the billions of pounds' worth of aid they have earmarked for climate change projects. "Our achievements – social, economic, environmental – of the past decades will be reversed if [rich countries] take away the funds promised for adapting to climate change," she said in an interview. "The disbursement of the financing has been dismal so far. We are not seeing the funds."

A total of $30bn has been promised by the end of this year but, after three years of delays in channelling promised money, only $2.4bn has been made available.

Moni said the world's most vulnerable countries were being "marginalised", even while the danger of disasters related to global warming was increasing rapidly. Bangladesh is among the countries most at risk from climate change, and its low-lying lands and agriculture-dependent people are already frequently prey to devastating floods and storm surges.

She said it was essential for developed countries to make good on their funding promises if their commitments made at recent UN climate change talks in Durban were to be believed: "This is the litmus test for the big emitters, the developed countries, the test of whether they mean it."

Smaller developing countries, such as Bangladesh, could no longer be expected simply to follow the lead of China, India and other rapidly emerging big economies in the climate change negotiations. In a distinction that will reverberate through world capitals as leading nations discuss the next steps towards a legally binding global agreement on climate change, Moni insisted Bangladesh and similar nations would forge their own path, independently of the lead given by countries such as China, India, Brazil and South Africa.

"We have been lumped along with big emitters in the same category [as other developing countries that are much bigger economies]," Moni said. "But we and the most vulnerable countries and the least developed countries should be in a different category. India and China have their development challenges, but we are not big emitters so our challenges and demands are different."

Green technologies such as solar power remained too expensive for small developing countries, Moni added. "For us, it's hugely expensive and that has to be understood by the west."


Bald eagles still not saved by DDT ban…

No matter how many times the myth is repeated

by Steve Milloy

Today’s hapless echo of the DDT-bald eagle myth is reporter Scott Richardson of Bloomington, IL’s Pantagraph.com, who wrote:
Bald eagle numbers were plummeting when I was growing up not far from Starved Rock State Park.

The birds were listed as endangered until after the feds banned DDT. The agri-chemical had found its way into the food chain, first into the fish, then into the eagles that ate them. Egg shells were weakened so much they broke when mature eagles tried to keep them warm.

Today, the birds have rebounded. It’s a joy to see them wintering on the eagle refuge on Plum Island across from Starved Rock State Park. Many can be found there during the cold months when they are forced southward from Wisconsin, Michigan and Canada to find open water to feed. The colder the winter, the more eagles turn up there…

But as JunkScience.com readers know from “100 Things You Should Know About DDT“, DDT had nothing to do with the near demise of the bald eagle, and DDT’s ban had nothing to do with the rebound in bald eagle population:

66. Bald eagles were reportedly threatened with extinction in 1921 — 25 years before widespread use of DDT. [Van Name, WG. 1921. Ecology 2:76]

67. Alaska paid over $100,000 in bounties for 115,000 bald eagles between 1917 and 1942. [Anon. Science News Letter, July 3, 1943]

68. The bald eagle had vanished from New England by 1937. [Bent, AC. 1937. Raptorial Birds of America. US National Museum Bull 167:321-349]

69. After 15 years of heavy and widespread usage of DDT, Audubon Society ornithologists counted 25 percent more eagles per observer in 1960 than during the pre-DDT 1941 bird census. [Marvin, PH. 1964 Birds on the rise. Bull Entomol Soc Amer 10(3):184-186; Wurster, CF. 1969 Congressional Record S4599, May 5, 1969; Anon. 1942. The 42nd Annual Christmas Bird Census. Audubon Magazine 44:1-75 (Jan/Feb 1942; Cruickshank, AD (Editor). 1961. The 61st Annual Christmas Bird Census. Audubon Field Notes 15(2):84-300; White-Stevens, R.. 1972. Statistical analyses of Audubon Christmas Bird censuses. Letter to New York Times, August 15, 1972]

70. No significant correlation between DDE residues and shell thickness was reported in a large series of bald eagle eggs. [Postupalsky, S. 1971. (DDE residues and shell thickness). Canadian Wildlife Service manuscript, April 8, 1971]

71. Thickness of eggshells from Florida, Maine and Wisconsin was found to not be correlated with DDT residues.


Warmist Armageddon prophet has the "Mother of All Hockey Sticks"

Katharine Hayhoe, a research associate professor at Texas Tech University and expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, gave a presentation on climate science to REP members via conference call on March 9, 2010. REP members from across the U.S. participated in this call. Katharine previously spoke to REP members at our annual conference in San Antonio, in September 2007.

A PDF of Katharine's March 9, 2010 presentation is available. From page 49 of the PDF we see The Mother of All Hockey Sticks:

It's just a prophecy so there is no way you can prove it or disprove it -- so Ms Hayhead no doubt thought she might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb. From a scientific point of view however, the prophecy is absurd. A gross and sudden departure from nature's regularities is most unlikely. Real scientists predict the future from what has happened regularly in the past but the Hayhead wants none of that.

More HERE. (See the original for links)

Embarrassed Warmist

He contributed to all five IPCC Assessment Reports but says: "I feel rather unconfortable about using not only unpublished but also un reviewed material as the backbone of our conclusions (or any conclusions)...I feel that at this point there are very little rules and almost anything goes"

A ClimateGate email:

From: GIORGI FILIPPO To: Chapter 10 LAs -- Congbin Fu , GIORGI FILIPPO , Bruce Hewitson , Mike Hulme , Jens Christensen , Linda Mearns , Richard Jones , Hans von Storch , Peter Whetton Subject: On "what to do?" Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2000 16:58:02 +0200 ???(MET DST)

...First let me say that in general, as my own opinion, I feel rather unconfortable about using not only unpublished but also un reviewed material as the backbone of our conclusions (or any conclusions). I realize that chapter 9 is including SRES stuff, and thus we can and need to do that too, but the fact is that in doing so the rules of IPCC have been softened to the point that in this way the IPCC is not any more an assessment of published science (which is its proclaimed goal) but production of results. The softened condition that the models themself have to be published does not even apply because the Japanese model for example is very different from the published one which gave results not even close to the actual outlier version (in the old dataset the CCC model was the outlier). Essentially, I feel that at this point there are very little rules and almost anything goes. I think this will set a dangerous precedent which might mine the IPCC credibility, and I am a bit unconfortable that now nearly everybody seems to think that it is just ok to do this. Anyways, this is only my opinion for what it is worth.

Who is Filippo Giorgi?

Filippo Giorgi obtained a Laurea in Physics from the University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy in 1982 and a Ph.D. from the School of Geophysical Sciences of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA in 1986. From 1986 to 1998 he was a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, USA.

Since 1998 he is at ICTP, where he is the head of the Earth System Physics (ESP) section.

Giorgi is an international expert in climate modeling and climate change research. He authored or co-authored over 200 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and is included in the list of most highly cited scientists in the geosciences (which places him in the top 0.5% of this category). He has been PI or co-PI of over 25 research grants in Europe and the U.S. From 2002 to 2008 Giorgi was one of the vice chairs of Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He contributed to all five IPCC Assessment Reports to date.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Everything is caused by climate change

They give no reasoning for their claim below. It is just a reflex twitch. A hundred years ago they would have said: "It's the Jews" -- with equal lack of logic

SCIENTISTS have found the world's first hybrid sharks in Australian waters. Leading researchers in marine biology discovered 57 animals along a 2000 km stretch from Queensland to NSW.

The predators are a cross between the common blacktip shark and Australian blacktip shark, two related but genetically distinct species.

The scientists say interbreeding between the two shark species is a sign the animals are adapting to climate change. They also warn that hybridisation could make the sharks stronger.

Dr Jennifer Ovenden, of the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, said: "Hybridization could enable the sharks to adapt to environmental change as the smaller Australian black tip currently favours tropical waters in the north while the larger common black tip is more abundant in sub-tropical and temperate waters along the south-eastern Australian coastline."

She added: "Wild hybrids are usually hard to find, so detecting hybrids and their offspring is extraordinary. To find 57 hybrids along 2000km of coastline is unprecedented."

Dr Jess Morgan, a researcher at the University of Queensland researcher, told The Australian that it was unusual for sharks to breed in this way. "Sharks physically mate, which is usually a good way to make sure you don't hybridize with the wrong species," she said.

Colin Simpfendorfer, of James Cook University's Fishing and Fisheries Research Centre, said: "The results of this research show that we still have a lot to learn about these important ocean predators."


Australia: A real environmentalist thinks the Greens are clueless

When the Bureau of Meteorology releases its annual data this week, it will probably announce that Australia has just had the second or third wettest year in its recorded history. No surprise. The most miserable summer in Sydney in 50 years. The coldest autumn nationally in more than 50 years. Record flooding in Victoria. A Christmas Day in Melbourne with hailstones the size of eggs. Massive floods in south Queensland. Cyclone Yasi in north Queensland. Heavy rainfall across the desert inland. Extreme rainfall and cold in Darwin.

Multiple-choice question: what's it all mean?

(a) Onset of global warming impact.

(b) Latest cycle of El Nino - Southern Oscillation.

(c) Combination of global warming and El Nino.

(d) Monumental mishandling of the landscape.

The most interesting explanation I have heard for the extreme weather comes from a landscape restorer, Peter Andrews.

He chooses (d).

"Our landscape is still on a dramatic downward spiral," he told me. "When the heavy rains came recently I saw the Goulburn River was running brown. The river was thick with soil. About one farm an hour was being carried down that river. "

He discounts the argument that we are seeing the impact of global warming. "The whole global warming argument misses the point. Yes, we are facing an environmental disaster. Yes, it is urgent. Yes, it is caused by our own activities. But we have misdiagnosed the problem … In terms of dealing with Australia's problems, the global warming industry is a giant con."

His philosophy, boiled down to its essence, is that our landscape was working brilliantly at retaining water and soil until European settlement began making "improvements".

By changing the landscape, we changed the weather. Transforming the land by cropping, herding and irrigation created a cycle of heating and cooling on the land, a cycle of boom and bust, that could only grow more extreme.

Peter Andrews? We wrote about him several years ago. Since then he's been on the ABC's Australian Story, written two books and gathered a following for his land restoration technique called Natural Sequence Farming. His great calling card is the one landscape he has been able to shape and control, the Baramul Stud in the upper Hunter Valley, owned by the retail magnate Gerry Harvey.

During the long drought, I visited Baramul and it remained watered, retaining moisture in the soil. During the big wet of the last two years, Baramul has gained soil, not seen it washed away.

"While other properties have been eroding around us, in the last five years we've gained about 10 million tonnes of soil and sand," he told me. "The reed beds in the creek are now functioning as the system functioned in the millions of years before settlement. The reeds slow the flow of water and help store water in the landscape. The extensive presence of reeds we have now is the same pattern that [Charles] Sturt described when he made his journey down the Darling River."

Gerry Harvey is happy. His wealth may be taking a beating as the share price of Harvey Norman slides thanks to a structural decline in traditional retailing, but Baramul is thriving.

Andrews, like Harvey, is a businessman, not some anti-farming zealot. He's been a farmer, and thinks farming can be done so much better. Even cotton farming could be transformed into a practice less alien to the landscape and more productively.

He believes most of the agricultural sector has misread its own lifeblood, the landscape, causing a massive build-up of heat on the land, which then draws cool air from the ocean.

"As soon as all the crops ripen, there is a build-up of heat on the land that is not managed by plants. This heat joins the weather system, causing a massive increase in thermal build-up. This causes extreme weather …"

It is a big theme to consider on the first Monday of the year, especially with the linkages Andrews sees between the wet Sydney summer, the storms in Melbourne, and the rainfall across northern and central Australia.

It's all linked, he says, and the accelerating cycle of extreme weather is a challenge made by our own hand.

He regards the global warming debate, and the government's responses via a carbon tax, as an exercise of expensive irrelevance on a massive scale, compared with the immediate challenge of soil and water loss and the build-up of salinity in the landscape. He sees the threat to the nation's long-term productive capacity as more immediate than the threat posed by higher global temperatures.

Andrews is also disenchanted by the attempts to restore the Murray-Darling river system, a process that has so far pleased no one, and led to the federal government's purchase of water rights for billions of dollars.

"Cattle are the main reason why the Murray-Darling is in a mess," he said. "It used to function perfectly. The amount of evaporation today is a disgrace. It is about 54 per cent. It used to be zero. Water was recycled many times after rainfall."

On the other great issue facing farmers, coal seam gas mining, and the practice of extraction by hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, Andrews also has strong views. "Fracking is exceptionally dangerous. Groundwater is the most critical thing in the landscape and coal seam gas is a real threat to groundwater."

All this should make him a hero to the Greens, but he is appalled by the thought. "The Greens have no idea. They are clueless."



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, 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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