Saturday, January 28, 2012

No Need to Panic About Global Warming

There's no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to 'decarbonize' the world's economy

Editor's Note: The following has been signed by the 16 scientists listed at the end of the article:

A candidate for public office in any contemporary democracy may have to consider what, if anything, to do about "global warming." Candidates should understand that the oft-repeated claim that nearly all scientists demand that something dramatic be done to stop global warming is not true. In fact, a large and growing number of distinguished scientists and engineers do not agree that drastic actions on global warming are needed.

In September, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever, a supporter of President Obama in the last election, publicly resigned from the American Physical Society (APS) with a letter that begins: "I did not renew [my membership] because I cannot live with the [APS policy] statement: 'The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.' In the APS it is OK to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?"

In spite of a multidecade international campaign to enforce the message that increasing amounts of the "pollutant" carbon dioxide will destroy civilization, large numbers of scientists, many very prominent, share the opinions of Dr. Giaever. And the number of scientific "heretics" is growing with each passing year. The reason is a collection of stubborn scientific facts.

Perhaps the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now. This is known to the warming establishment, as one can see from the 2009 "Climategate" email of climate scientist Kevin Trenberth: "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't." But the warming is only missing if one believes computer models where so-called feedbacks involving water vapor and clouds greatly amplify the small effect of CO2.

The lack of warming for more than a decade—indeed, the smaller-than-predicted warming over the 22 years since the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) began issuing projections—suggests that computer models have greatly exaggerated how much warming additional CO2 can cause. Faced with this embarrassment, those promoting alarm have shifted their drumbeat from warming to weather extremes, to enable anything unusual that happens in our chaotic climate to be ascribed to CO2.

The fact is that CO2 is not a pollutant. CO2 is a colorless and odorless gas, exhaled at high concentrations by each of us, and a key component of the biosphere's life cycle. Plants do so much better with more CO2 that greenhouse operators often increase the CO2 concentrations by factors of three or four to get better growth. This is no surprise since plants and animals evolved when CO2 concentrations were about 10 times larger than they are today. Better plant varieties, chemical fertilizers and agricultural management contributed to the great increase in agricultural yields of the past century, but part of the increase almost certainly came from additional CO2 in the atmosphere.

Although the number of publicly dissenting scientists is growing, many young scientists furtively say that while they also have serious doubts about the global-warming message, they are afraid to speak up for fear of not being promoted—or worse. They have good reason to worry. In 2003, Dr. Chris de Freitas, the editor of the journal Climate Research, dared to publish a peer-reviewed article with the politically incorrect (but factually correct) conclusion that the recent warming is not unusual in the context of climate changes over the past thousand years. The international warming establishment quickly mounted a determined campaign to have Dr. de Freitas removed from his editorial job and fired from his university position. Fortunately, Dr. de Freitas was able to keep his university job.

This is not the way science is supposed to work, but we have seen it before—for example, in the frightening period when Trofim Lysenko hijacked biology in the Soviet Union. Soviet biologists who revealed that they believed in genes, which Lysenko maintained were a bourgeois fiction, were fired from their jobs. Many were sent to the gulag and some were condemned to death.

Why is there so much passion about global warming, and why has the issue become so vexing that the American Physical Society, from which Dr. Giaever resigned a few months ago, refused the seemingly reasonable request by many of its members to remove the word "incontrovertible" from its description of a scientific issue? There are several reasons, but a good place to start is the old question "cui bono?" Or the modern update, "Follow the money."

Alarmism over climate is of great benefit to many, providing government funding for academic research and a reason for government bureaucracies to grow. Alarmism also offers an excuse for governments to raise taxes, taxpayer-funded subsidies for businesses that understand how to work the political system, and a lure for big donations to charitable foundations promising to save the planet. Lysenko and his team lived very well, and they fiercely defended their dogma and the privileges it brought them.

Speaking for many scientists and engineers who have looked carefully and independently at the science of climate, we have a message to any candidate for public office: There is no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to "decarbonize" the world's economy. Even if one accepts the inflated climate forecasts of the IPCC, aggressive greenhouse-gas control policies are not justified economically.

A recent study of a wide variety of policy options by Yale economist William Nordhaus showed that nearly the highest benefit-to-cost ratio is achieved for a policy that allows 50 more years of economic growth unimpeded by greenhouse gas controls. This would be especially beneficial to the less-developed parts of the world that would like to share some of the same advantages of material well-being, health and life expectancy that the fully developed parts of the world enjoy now. Many other policy responses would have a negative return on investment. And it is likely that more CO2 and the modest warming that may come with it will be an overall benefit to the planet.

If elected officials feel compelled to "do something" about climate, we recommend supporting the excellent scientists who are increasing our understanding of climate with well-designed instruments on satellites, in the oceans and on land, and in the analysis of observational data. The better we understand climate, the better we can cope with its ever-changing nature, which has complicated human life throughout history. However, much of the huge private and government investment in climate is badly in need of critical review.

Every candidate should support rational measures to protect and improve our environment, but it makes no sense at all to back expensive programs that divert resources from real needs and are based on alarming but untenable claims of "incontrovertible" evidence.

Claude Allegre, former director of the Institute for the Study of the Earth, University of Paris; J. Scott Armstrong, cofounder of the Journal of Forecasting and the International Journal of Forecasting; Jan Breslow, head of the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism, Rockefeller University; Roger Cohen, fellow, American Physical Society; Edward David, member, National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences; William Happer, professor of physics, Princeton; Michael Kelly, professor of technology, University of Cambridge, U.K.; William Kininmonth, former head of climate research at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology; Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences, MIT; James McGrath, professor of chemistry, Virginia Technical University; Rodney Nichols, former president and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences; Burt Rutan, aerospace engineer, designer of Voyager and SpaceShipOne; Harrison H. Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut and former U.S. senator; Nir Shaviv, professor of astrophysics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Henk Tennekes, former director, Royal Dutch Meteorological Service; Antonio Zichichi, president of the World Federation of Scientists, Geneva.


Correlating CO2 And Temperature In The Geologic Record

If we accept Warmist claims about the accuracy of temperature and CO2 proxies we get some very awkward findings about long-term trends

During the Ordovician, CO2 was more than ten times higher than at present. Global temperatures ranged between very hot and an ice age. We can state with 100% certainty that as CO2 increases, temperatures will either go up, go down, or stay the same.


Green Lebensraum: The Nazi Roots of Sustainable Development

By Mark Musser

Much of the European Union's green sustainable development plans are largely based on government controlled land use planning theories rooted in the lebensraum tradition. Literally, lebensraum means "living space." Lebensraum was originally developed by German geographer Friedrich Ratzel (1844-1904) and then greatly expanded under the banner of National Socialism (1933-1945).

Ratzel is the father of modern political geography which is commonly called geopolitics. He believed history was largely a natural evolutionary development of peoples looking for geographical living space. Ratzel also held that expanding borders reflected the biological health of a nation. The National Socialists adopted Ratzel's mixing of evolutionary theory, biology, and geopolitics in their own version of lebensraum.

Karl Haushofer (1869-1946), who was an early advisor to Hitler, was the link between Ratzel and National Socialism. Karl Haushofer's father was a friend of Ratzel. Karl was a member of the Thule Society before it was converted into the Nazi Party in 1920. Haushofer was also the mentor of Rudolf Hess, who was a green vegetarian mystic. Hess was Hitler's personal secretary up until 1941. Haushofer and Hess helped Hitler write Mein Kampf.

There was also a strong connection between lebensraum and the growing political empire of the Nazi SS under the leadership of Heinrich Himmler and Walther Darre. Himmler and Darre promoted a "back to the land" movement under the SS slogan of "blood and soil." In Darre's racist ideology, the economic catastrophe of the 1920's confirmed the decadence of the modern cosmopolitan city life. Darre believed that greedy foreign capitalism coupled with international Marxist class warfare divided the German race so that it was not allowed to sustain itself in the soil of its own homeland.

The hunger pangs of the 1920's were blamed on the international city, largely run by Jewish capitalists and communists. Darre and Himmler believed cosmopolitan cities arrogated themselves above the laws of life and nature. The answer to this crisis, therefore, was to get the German race out from under the yoke of dirty industrial cities and re-ruralize them "back to the land." In this way, the German race could recover its cultural and physical health based on a green socialistic agrarianism that was designed to compete against the cultural decadence of the cities.

There was not enough space in Germany itself to re-ruralize the population "back to the land." Without more living space there could be no proper marriage between German blood and soil. Additional lebensraum was required. It would therefore be sought in Eastern Europe and western Russia.

When the SS began to implement its "back to the land" campaign, it found itself in conflict with other powerful forces in Germany. However, by the mid to late 1930's the Office for Spatial Research and Space Planning was set up by the Nazi hierarchy to provide technocratic solutions on how to properly balance all the competing desires of the nation -- everything from the war economy, to industrial needs, housing, and even environmental protection. Sustainable development as a political ideal was thus pioneered under the auspices of Nazi spatial planning.

During the war, the SS had grandiose plans to use research garnered from the Office of Spatial Planning to create an eco-imperial empire in the conquered eastern territories. Inspired by SS planners Konrad Meyer (1901-1973), Emil Meynen (1902-1994), and Walter Christaller (1893-1969) , sustainable development as an applied political policy was to be implemented on the eastern front behind advancing German lines. Shockingly, under the SS, Ratzel's lebensraum came to mean living space for sustainable development.

The SS planned to use industry in the conquered eastern territories along with slave labor to pay for and build master planned communities. The eastern territories would also be filled with socialistic green garden villages and farms, together with national parks, forests, and many cockamamie renewable energy projects. Behind enemy lines, the living space of Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, and western Russia would be cleansed of unnatural Jews and Slavs who were unworthy of the soil they lived on. In particular, planning schemes based on Walter Christaller's Central Place Theory would be applied on a scale unachievable in Germany thanks to the fact that the Nazis were first going to cleanse the landscape. Christaller advocated a hierarchy of towns and villages wrapped around a central city that was to maximize economic and administrative efficiency for state planners.

Toward the end of the war, Nazi spatial and environmental planners destroyed massive quantities of records. They then re-organized themselves into the 'Academy for Area Research and Regional Planning" and the 'Institute for Spatial Planning.' In 1946, Karl Haushofer committed suicide. Konrad Meyer survived Nuremberg and later continued his work in spatial planning and sustainable development. Walter Christaller joined the Communist Party in 1951. His Central Place Theory is sometimes even considered a model for sustainable development and the so-called Green Economy. Emil Meynen, a leading geographer of the Third Reich, became an environmental spatial theorist after the war. He was also present at the infamous Wannsee Conference where the destruction of the Jews was discussed from a technocratic point of view.

After the war, social engineering based on Aryan biology was replaced with a blander form of socialism, but its ties to environmentalism and sustainable development continued unabated and grew exponentially in the decades to come. Environmental planners just exchanged brown paint with red paint -- all the while keeping the interior green. German spatial planners played an early critical role in the development of the EU's sustainable development policies.

Today, the EU is fond of using the concept of "territorial cohesion" and "supra-nationalism" in the place of lebensraum. Its stress on multiculturalism has converted the old Nazi nationalism into an EU Super State. Instead of promoting German supremacy, the EU is now promoting European supremacy. In fact, the EU is using environmental social engineering, i.e., sustainable development, to hasten the evaporation of national borders.

Yet in spite of this multicultural super-state emphasis, Germany has still become the heart of the EU from both a financial and an environmental point of view. EU's expansion has thus only served to strengthen Germany's influence, not weaken it. The global warming apocalypse was first popularized by Austrian Nazi Guenther Schwab in the 1960's, but it was the German green movement in the 1980's that helped convert the theory into the worldwide political issue it has since become.

Today, the EU even has sustainable development plans and ideas for the western Russian living space. Ironically, 65 years after the end of World War II, lebensraum has returned to the gates of Moscow, this time without panzers. The EU is also in North Africa. It wants to cover the Sahara with solar panels for the sake of renewable energy.

Lebensraum is not dead. Ratzel's geopolitics is still in vogue today under the guise of the EU's sustainable development plans. While the Nazi past has been completely ignored and willfully forgotten in the development of the EU's environmental sustainability policies, the geopolitical epicenter of the green movement has been and continues to be: Germany.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Another green company bites the dust

Another green company on the government dole, Ener1, has gone bankrupt

ALG President Bill Wilson responded to the bankruptcy of Ener1 stating, “As early as 2008, an investment advisory firm Citron Research had issued dire warnings about Ener1, saying the company was ‘just a corporate shell company with a long history of failed businesses based on exaggerated promises’, citing the company’s long and shady history. When it was proposed that the ‘stimulus’ be used to give $118.5 million to Ener1, Americans for Limited Government worked with media to help expose this bogus firm for what it was. Predictably, it turns out those warnings were correct, unfortunately for taxpayers.”

This company had boondoggle written all over it from the very beggining.

In a series of articles in the Washington Times, Ener1′s connections to Vladimir Putin were exposed causing ALG’s Bill Wilson to comment in emails to the media, “If Ener 1 is even being considered for an Department of Energy loan or grant someone needs to lose their job or worse. Congress needs to look into this outrage immediately and put a stop to it now. It is as if we were subcontracting Los Alamos to the Iranians”

These loans from Department of Energy to green companies never seem to pay off. Here are some of the facts. In July of 2008 Citron research came to the following conclusion on Ener 1 .

"It is Citron’s opinion that Ener1 is just a corporate shell company with a long history of failed businesses based on exaggerated promises. Management has tried everything from video games to visualization software to set top boxes for television. All of these businesses have failed — miniscule revenues and never a penny of profit delivered to investors. They purchased Delphi’s years-old attempt to get a lithium battery business going, and got a sublease on a manufacturing plant in Indianapolis. Since then we haven’t seen a single sign of a viable business.”

As of 3/23/2009 Ener 1 is in line for a $480,000,000. Loan from the Department of Energy and is applying for part of the $2 billion grant that is part of the Advanced Battery Manufacturing Initiative in the stimulus plan.

Now it gets interesting. As of late February(2009), some 62% of Ener1’s outstanding shares were owned by privately held Ener1 Group. In turn, 66% of Ener1 Group — a recent participant in a $5.7 million loan to Think Global, which is trying to emerge from bankruptcy — is held by Bzinfin, a British Virgin Islands company whose “indirect beneficial owner” is Boris Zingarevich, a Russian businessman. Zingarevich had close ties to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.


Why Brits are no longer so keen on being green: Number of people willing to change the way they live falls by 10%

Public concern about climate change is on the wane

The number of people willing to alter the way they live in the hope of making a difference to global warming fell by around 10 per cent last year. There was also a sharp drop in those who regarded themselves as ‘fairly concerned’ about climate change.

The figures, released by the Government yesterday, suggest that doubts about global warming have been growing since the summer of 2009. This was before the damage inflicted on the cause by the ‘Climategate’ scandal later that year, in which leading scientists were accused of manipulating data to support the case of man-made climate change.

The credibility of global warming and concern about halting it appears to have been affected by the succession of three cold winters between 2008 and 2010.

More recently, doubts about the efficiency of wind turbines and the high costs of the Coalition’s drive for renewable energy have seen enthusiasm for the cause dwindling.

Fewer than two thirds now say they are at least ‘fairly concerned’ about climate change or that they are prepared to do something about it, figures published by the Department for Transport said.

According to the research, carried out by the Office for National Statistics, the share of the population who were at least fairly convinced that climate change was happening has dropped from 86 per cent in 2006 to 76 per cent last summer.

Over the same period, those who felt fairly concerned fell from 81 per cent to 65 per cent, and numbers willing to change their behaviour went down from 77 per cent to 65 per cent.

Fewer people said they were willing to use public transport or reduce how often they used their car, and only one in five said they would cut back on air travel. Most opposed higher taxes on air travel and petrol.

The findings came as the Government published a risk assessment warning of thousands of deaths because of climate change in coming decades. The report from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said Britain risks ‘sleepwalking into disaster’.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said: ‘It shows what life could be like if we stopped our preparations now, and the consequences such a decision would mean for our economic stability.’

But Dr Benny Peiser, of the sceptical Global Warming Policy Foundation, said: ‘Climate change is dropping off the political agenda. The person in the pub no longer cares. It is bottom of their list of priorities.’


Spain Suspends Subsidies for New Renewable Energy Power Plants

Spain halted subsidies for renewable energy projects to help curb its budget deficit and rein in power-system borrowings backed by the state that reached 24 billion euros ($31 billion) at the end of 2011.

“What is today an energy problem could become a financial problem,” Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria said in Madrid. The government passed a decree today stopping subsidies for new wind, solar, co-generation or waste incineration plants.

The system’s debts were racked up as revenue from state- controlled prices failed to cover the cost of delivering power. Costs have swollen in the past five years because of an increase in regulated payments for the power grid, support for Spanish coal mines and subsidies for renewable energy plants.

“It’s clear they have to make major cuts,” said Francisco Salvador, a strategist at FGA/MG Valores in Madrid. “The government has already ruled out a significant increase in prices, so the cuts will fall in many places and the spotlight is on renewables, but not just on renewables.”

Renewables companies fell on the Spanish action. Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS), the biggest wind-turbine maker, slid as much as 2.9 percent in Copenhagen. Abengoa SA, a Spanish engineering firm specializing in solar mirrors, dropped as much as 2.2 percent in Madrid and Iberdrola SA (IBE), the biggest renewable energy producer based in Bilbao, declined as much as 1.5 percent.

First Step

Spain’s decision is a “first step” to rein in debts, and officials are working on a broader package of measures, Soria said. The nation isn’t planning a levy on hydropower or nuclear plants, nor will it take on power-system liabilities, he said.

The Spanish action follows Germany’s announcement last week that it would phase out support for solar panels by 2017 and the U.K.’s legal battle to reduce its subsidies for the industry.

Spain was an early mover in developing renewables plants, and support for wind energy helped Iberdrola become the world’s biggest producer of clean power, with plants in the U.S. and Brazil. The industry sustains about 110,000 Spanish jobs, according to the Renewable Energy Producers Association.

The government is wrestling with competing priorities as it struggles to convince investors it can meet a target to cut the budget deficit to 4.4 percent of gross domestic product this year, from 8 percent last year, while trying to create jobs in a country where 23 percent of workers are unemployed.
Horse Bolted

“This is shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted,” said Peter Sweatman, chief executive officer of consultant Climate Strategy. “The risk is that Spanish firms that are recognized global leaders in renewable energy feel their position undermined by lack of domestic support.”

Generating capacity is about twice Spain’s peak demand following a boom in investment in solar panel installations and combined-cycle gas-fired plants, while the country is ahead of its targets for clean power production, Soria said. The suspension won’t affect operating plants or projects that have already been approved for subsidies by the government, he said.

“It’s a real positive for the developers, the owners of assets, because it removes the risk of retroactive cuts,” said Sean McLoughlin, a renewable energy analyst at HSBC Plc. “The government could certainly have done that again when you think of how much it’s costing them but have decided not to. This suggests that the government is listening to the industry.



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