Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Comment from tornado-hit Arkansas
by Doug L. Hoffman
The state of Arkansas, in the south central portion of the United States, was struck last night by a number of storms that spawned deadly and destructive tornadoes. One of these tornadoes was a half mile wide at its base and reportedly stayed on the ground for eighty miles. The towns of Mayflower and Vilonia were particularly hard hit and the death toll currently stands at 16. Emergency officials and rescue crews are still searching for survivors. In the face of such a natural calamity people ask questions such as “could we have been more prepared” and “how can we help the victims.” Equally predictable in these times, a number of green pinheads have implied that this natural disaster was caused by global warming, and that we only have ourselves to blame. This is simply not true.
As tragic as this event was, and as selfless and heroic as the efforts of Arkansans to help their fellow citizens has been, there are still a number of lowlifes who cannot help but use this disaster to further their own agenda. I am, of course, referring to the human scum who waited less than a day to proclaim global warming as the cause of this tragedy.
Let me set the record straight: Tornadoes have not increased in frequency, intensity or normalized damage since 1950, and there is some evidence to suggest that they have actually declined. That statement is taken from testimony of Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr., before the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the U.S. Senate. It should be noted that Pielke has been studying extreme weather and climate since 1993 at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO. Over the past 20 years he has published dozens of peer-reviewed papers on hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, Australian bushfires, earthquakes and other subjects related to extreme events. Since 2001, he has been a professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado. He is not a climate change denier, he is a self-proclaimed luke warmer.
Moreover, he takes his data from the U.S. government, specifically the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Climate Data Center (NCDC). Those data indicate that the number of tornadoes occurring each year has not increased. This is shown in the figure below.
Not only have the yearly counts risen, the number of strong storms (EF3 and above) has not increased either. This shows that the intensity of the tornadoes is not increasing over time, so both of the points made by eco-scaremongers are incorrect.
The science here is conclusively inconclusive—there is no discernible trend in tornado activity. This will come as no surprise to those who actually study severe weather and the damage it can cause. Even the IPCC has concluded: “There is low confidence in observed trends in small spatial-scale phenomena such as tornadoes and hail.” The sad truth is that natural disasters have always afflicted humanity and will continue to do so in the future, but at no greater a rate, and with no increase in force, than in the past.
In today's victim culture it is required that every calamity have a source, someone on whom the misfortune can be blamed. In the ultimate blame game promoted by environmental fanatics and climate alarmists we are all at fault. This is because we are causing global warming and everything bad stems from that. But this is a pernicious lie. Arkansas' tornado outbreak was simply a random act of nature, and nature is both cruel and capricious.
So, to the heartless ideologues who seek to use human suffering to promote their erroneous and unscientific claims, slink back under the rocks you emerged from. The good people of Arkansas will not be pawns in your deceitful game. Pray for us. Help if you can. But otherwise, have the common decency to leave us alone while we morn our dead and rebuild our lives.
The World's Resources Aren't Running Out
Ecologists worry that the world's resources come in fixed amounts that will run out, but we have broken through such limits again and again
How many times have you heard that we humans are "using up" the world's resources, "running out" of oil, "reaching the limits" of the atmosphere's capacity to cope with pollution or "approaching the carrying capacity" of the land's ability to support a greater population? The assumption behind all such statements is that there is a fixed amount of stuff—metals, oil, clean air, land—and that we risk exhausting it through our consumption.
"We are using 50% more resources than the Earth can sustainably produce, and unless we change course, that number will grow fast—by 2030, even two planets will not be enough," says Jim Leape, director general of the World Wide Fund for Nature International (formerly the World Wildlife Fund).
But here's a peculiar feature of human history: We burst through such limits again and again. After all, as a Saudi oil minister once said, the Stone Age didn't end for lack of stone. Ecologists call this "niche construction"—that people (and indeed some other animals) can create new opportunities for themselves by making their habitats more productive in some way. Agriculture is the classic example of niche construction: We stopped relying on nature's bounty and substituted an artificial and much larger bounty.
Economists call the same phenomenon innovation. What frustrates them about ecologists is the latter's tendency to think in terms of static limits. Ecologists can't seem to see that when whale oil starts to run out, petroleum is discovered, or that when farm yields flatten, fertilizer comes along, or that when glass fiber is invented, demand for copper falls.
That frustration is heartily reciprocated. Ecologists think that economists espouse a sort of superstitious magic called "markets" or "prices" to avoid confronting the reality of limits to growth. The easiest way to raise a cheer in a conference of ecologists is to make a rude joke about economists.
I have lived among both tribes. I studied various forms of ecology in an academic setting for seven years and then worked at the Economist magazine for eight years. When I was an ecologist (in the academic sense of the word, not the political one, though I also had antinuclear stickers on my car), I very much espoused the carrying-capacity viewpoint—that there were limits to growth. I nowadays lean to the view that there are no limits because we can invent new ways of doing more with less.
This disagreement goes to the heart of many current political issues and explains much about why people disagree about environmental policy. In the climate debate, for example, pessimists see a limit to the atmosphere's capacity to cope with extra carbon dioxide without rapid warming. So a continuing increase in emissions if economic growth continues will eventually accelerate warming to dangerous rates. But optimists see economic growth leading to technological change that would result in the use of lower-carbon energy. That would allow warming to level off long before it does much harm.
It is striking, for example, that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's recent forecast that temperatures would rise by 3.7 to 4.8 degrees Celsius compared with preindustrial levels by 2100 was based on several assumptions: little technological change, an end to the 50-year fall in population growth rates, a tripling (only) of per capita income and not much improvement in the energy efficiency of the economy. Basically, that would mean a world much like today's but with lots more people burning lots more coal and oil, leading to an increase in emissions. Most economists expect a five- or tenfold increase in income, huge changes in technology and an end to population growth by 2100: not so many more people needing much less carbon.
In 1679, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, the great Dutch microscopist, estimated that the planet could hold 13.4 billion people, a number that most demographers think we may never reach. Since then, estimates have bounced around between 1 billion and 100 billion, with no sign of converging on an agreed figure.
Economists point out that we keep improving the productivity of each acre of land by applying fertilizer, mechanization, pesticides and irrigation. Further innovation is bound to shift the ceiling upward. Jesse Ausubel at Rockefeller University calculates that the amount of land required to grow a given quantity of food has fallen by 65% over the past 50 years, world-wide.
Ecologists object that these innovations rely on nonrenewable resources, such as oil and gas, or renewable ones that are being used up faster than they are replenished, such as aquifers. So current yields cannot be maintained, let alone improved.
In his recent book "The View from Lazy Point," the ecologist Carl Safina estimates that if everybody had the living standards of Americans, we would need 2.5 Earths because the world's agricultural land just couldn't grow enough food for more than 2.5 billion people at that level of consumption. Harvard emeritus professor E.O. Wilson, one of ecology's patriarchs, reckoned that only if we all turned vegetarian could the world's farms grow enough food to support 10 billion people.
Economists respond by saying that since large parts of the world, especially in Africa, have yet to gain access to fertilizer and modern farming techniques, there is no reason to think that the global land requirements for a given amount of food will cease shrinking any time soon. Indeed, Mr. Ausubel, together with his colleagues Iddo Wernick and Paul Waggoner, came to the startling conclusion that, even with generous assumptions about population growth and growing affluence leading to greater demand for meat and other luxuries, and with ungenerous assumptions about future global yield improvements, we will need less farmland in 2050 than we needed in 2000. (So long, that is, as we don't grow more biofuels on land that could be growing food.)
But surely intensification of yields depends on inputs that may run out? Take water, a commodity that limits the production of food in many places. Estimates made in the 1960s and 1970s of water demand by the year 2000 proved grossly overestimated: The world used half as much water as experts had projected 30 years before.
The reason was greater economy in the use of water by new irrigation techniques. Some countries, such as Israel and Cyprus, have cut water use for irrigation through the use of drip irrigation. Combine these improvements with solar-driven desalination of seawater world-wide, and it is highly unlikely that fresh water will limit human population.
The best-selling book "Limits to Growth," published in 1972 by the Club of Rome (an influential global think tank), argued that we would have bumped our heads against all sorts of ceilings by now, running short of various metals, fuels, minerals and space. Why did it not happen? In a word, technology: better mining techniques, more frugal use of materials, and if scarcity causes price increases, substitution by cheaper material. We use 100 times thinner gold plating on computer connectors than we did 40 years ago. The steel content of cars and buildings keeps on falling.
Until about 10 years ago, it was reasonable to expect that natural gas might run out in a few short decades and oil soon thereafter. If that were to happen, agricultural yields would plummet, and the world would be faced with a stark dilemma: Plow up all the remaining rain forest to grow food, or starve.
But thanks to fracking and the shale revolution, peak oil and gas have been postponed. They will run out one day, but only in the sense that you will run out of Atlantic Ocean one day if you take a rowboat west out of a harbor in Ireland. Just as you are likely to stop rowing long before you bump into Newfoundland, so we may well find cheap substitutes for fossil fuels long before they run out.
The economist and metals dealer Tim Worstall gives the example of tellurium, a key ingredient of some kinds of solar panels. Tellurium is one of the rarest elements in the Earth's crust—one atom per billion. Will it soon run out? Mr. Worstall estimates that there are 120 million tons of it, or a million years' supply altogether. It is sufficiently concentrated in the residues from refining copper ores, called copper slimes, to be worth extracting for a very long time to come. One day, it will also be recycled as old solar panels get cannibalized to make new ones.
Or take phosphorus, an element vital to agricultural fertility. The richest phosphate mines, such as on the island of Nauru in the South Pacific, are all but exhausted. Does that mean the world is running out? No: There are extensive lower grade deposits, and if we get desperate, all the phosphorus atoms put into the ground over past centuries still exist, especially in the mud of estuaries. It's just a matter of concentrating them again.
In 1972, the ecologist Paul Ehrlich of Stanford University came up with a simple formula called IPAT, which stated that the impact of humankind was equal to population multiplied by affluence multiplied again by technology. In other words, the damage done to Earth increases the more people there are, the richer they get and the more technology they have.
Many ecologists still subscribe to this doctrine, which has attained the status of holy writ in ecology. But the past 40 years haven't been kind to it. In many respects, greater affluence and new technology have led to less human impact on the planet, not more. Richer people with new technologies tend not to collect firewood and bushmeat from natural forests; instead, they use electricity and farmed chicken—both of which need much less land. In 2006, Mr. Ausubel calculated that no country with a GDP per head greater than $4,600 has a falling stock of forest (in density as well as in acreage).
Haiti is 98% deforested and literally brown on satellite images, compared with its green, well-forested neighbor, the Dominican Republic. The difference stems from Haiti's poverty, which causes it to rely on charcoal for domestic and industrial energy, whereas the Dominican Republic is wealthy enough to use fossil fuels, subsidizing propane gas for cooking fuel specifically so that people won't cut down forests.
Part of the problem is that the word "consumption" means different things to the two tribes. Ecologists use it to mean "the act of using up a resource"; economists mean "the purchase of goods and services by the public" (both definitions taken from the Oxford dictionary).
But in what sense is water, tellurium or phosphorus "used up" when products made with them are bought by the public? They still exist in the objects themselves or in the environment. Water returns to the environment through sewage and can be reused. Phosphorus gets recycled through compost. Tellurium is in solar panels, which can be recycled. As the economist Thomas Sowell wrote in his 1980 book "Knowledge and Decisions," "Although we speak loosely of 'production,' man neither creates nor destroys matter, but only transforms it."
Given that innovation—or "niche construction"—causes ever more productivity, how do ecologists justify the claim that we are already overdrawn at the planetary bank and would need at least another planet to sustain the lifestyles of 10 billion people at U.S. standards of living?
Examine the calculations done by a group called the Global Footprint Network—a think tank founded by Mathis Wackernagel in Oakland, Calif., and supported by more than 70 international environmental organizations—and it becomes clear. The group assumes that the fossil fuels burned in the pursuit of higher yields must be offset in the future by tree planting on a scale that could soak up the emitted carbon dioxide. A widely used measure of "ecological footprint" simply assumes that 54% of the acreage we need should be devoted to "carbon uptake."
But what if tree planting wasn't the only way to soak up carbon dioxide? Or if trees grew faster when irrigated and fertilized so you needed fewer of them? Or if we cut emissions, as the U.S. has recently done by substituting gas for coal in electricity generation? Or if we tolerated some increase in emissions (which are measurably increasing crop yields, by the way)? Any of these factors could wipe out a huge chunk of the deemed ecological overdraft and put us back in planetary credit.
Helmut Haberl of Klagenfurt University in Austria is a rare example of an ecologist who takes economics seriously. He points out that his fellow ecologists have been using "human appropriation of net primary production"—that is, the percentage of the world's green vegetation eaten or prevented from growing by us and our domestic animals—as an indicator of ecological limits to growth. Some ecologists had begun to argue that we were using half or more of all the greenery on the planet.
This is wrong, says Dr. Haberl, for several reasons. First, the amount appropriated is still fairly low: About 14.2% is eaten by us and our animals, and an additional 9.6% is prevented from growing by goats and buildings, according to his estimates. Second, most economic growth happens without any greater use of biomass. Indeed, human appropriation usually declines as a country industrializes and the harvest grows—as a result of agricultural intensification rather than through plowing more land.
Finally, human activities actually increase the production of green vegetation in natural ecosystems. Fertilizer taken up by crops is carried into forests and rivers by wild birds and animals, where it boosts yields of wild vegetation too (sometimes too much, causing algal blooms in water). In places like the Nile delta, wild ecosystems are more productive than they would be without human intervention, despite the fact that much of the land is used for growing human food.
If I could have one wish for the Earth's environment, it would be to bring together the two tribes—to convene a grand powwow of ecologists and economists. I would pose them this simple question and not let them leave the room until they had answered it: How can innovation improve the environment?
People are the ONLY resource
Everyone on the planet who worries that free markets generate “unsustainable” economic growth should read Matt Ridley’s superb essay “The World’s Resources Aren’t Running Out” (April 26). An insight implied in Mr. Ridley’s refutation of environmental doomsayers is the late Julian Simon’s understanding that the ultimate resource is the human mind.
Most environmentalists think that resources are “natural.” But they’re not. No substance on earth - not iron ore, not petroleum, not even land - is a resource unless and until human beings creatively figure out how to use that substance to produce outputs cost-effectively. And innovative, free markets are by far the most powerful engine ever stumbled upon to power such human creativity. As the economic historians Gavin Wright and Jesse Czelusta put it, “the abundance of … mineral resources should not be seen as merely a fortunate natural endowment. It is more appropriately understood as a form of collective learning, a return on large-scale investments in exploration, transportation, geological knowledge, and the technologies of mineral extraction, refining, and utilization.”*
So the great irony is that the chief source of “natural resources” is the very economic institution - entrepreneurial capitalism - that environmentalists accuse of destroying natural resources.
Mora County’s drilling ban: The moral high ground or moronic?
In the circumstances, it would be fair to deny them all petroleum products. They might find something good about drilling then
In a little “frontier” community in northern New Mexico, a property rights battle is playing out with huge national implications and almost no one knows it is taking place. The outcome of two lawsuits that are pending against Mora County and its Community Water Rights and Local Self-Government Ordinance have the potential to impact an individual’s ability to use and profit from his or her own land — not just in New Mexico, but from coast-to-coast.
One year ago, on April 29, 2013, in a 2-1 vote, Mora County Commissioners made headlines by making the little county the first in the country to ban oil-and-gas exploration and production outright. Several communities have passed moratoriums or bans on hydraulic fracturing. Others, such as nearby Santa Fe County, have enacted rules and regulations that are so restrictive on drilling practices that they essentially do ban oil-and-gas drilling. But none have gone so far as to totally outlaw all development of hydrocarbons.
Mora County is proud to be taking a stand and believes that it has done an important thing. The commissioners think they have the rights locally. They don’t care what the federal or state constitutions say. They’ve passed this ordinance anyway. It’s one thing to say you can’t drill in this county. It’s something else again to say, “You know those constitutional rights you thought you had? Well, they don’t apply in this county.”
Marino Rivera’s family has been in Mora County for generations. He supports the drilling ban, but, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican (SFNM), he knew the county would get sued. “The ban is unconstitutional. I think we all knew that going in.” He felt that it was worth the fight just to “make a statement.”
County Commissioner John Olivas, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners — who is on staff at the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance as a “traditional community organizer” and is also listed as the “northern director,” believes “the ordinance is defensible” and claims the little county is “ready for the fight.”
“Why is it wrong for citizens of Mora Country to say no to corporations?” Olivas asks.
Olivas characterizes himself as a part of a great crusade. He said: “we see these lawsuits as merely a beginning — of a waking up that must occur across our communities and the country to understand that we are caught within a system that virtually guarantees our destruction.” Olivas sees the effort as part of a movement that is bigger than an oil-and-gas ban in an area that doesn’t have any current drilling activity. He wants to “not only call out corporate decision makers for what they do — but begin to dismantle what they’ve spent so many years building.”
Olivas concludes his statement with a call to join the resistance movement, citing 150 communities that “have now begun to walk the path the people of Mora are walking.” He told New Mexico Watchdog: “I think it can lead to a domino effect.”
The Community Water Rights and Local Self-Government Ordinance
Mora County’s ordinance was a triumph for the Pennsylvania-based Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) — which calls itself a “public-interest law firm.” About its work, the website states: “CELDF has assisted more than 150 communities across the country to establish Community Rights ordinances that today are protecting communities from a range of harmful practices, from shale gas drilling and fracking to the land application of sewage sludge.”
Funding for CELDF has come from such sources as the Heinz Endowments of Pittsburgh, chaired by Secretary of State John Kerry’s wife, Teresa Heinz ($162,000 from 2000-2002); the Norman Foundation of New York City ($180,000 from 2003-11); the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation of New York City ($165,000 from 2001-11); and the Park Foundation of Ithaca, New York ($135,000 from 2008-11). It has also received support from RSF [Rudolf Steiner Foundation] Social Finance, a leader in what the magazine Inc. calls “do-gooder finance.”
In a press release about Mora County’s vote, CELDF Executive Director Thomas Linzey, Esq., claims: “Mora is joining a growing people’s movement for community and nature’s rights.”
The Mora ordinance states: “It shall be unlawful for any corporation to engage in the extraction of oil, natural gas, or other hydrocarbons within Mora County.” In June 2013, the commission voted to expand the ban to individuals as well. Additionally, under the ordinance, any permits or licenses issued by either the federal or state government that would allow activities that would compromise the county’s rights would be considered invalid.
Commissioner Paula Garcia, was the one “no” vote a year ago. Like her two colleagues, she opposes oil-and-gas drilling in Mora County, but she voted against the ordinance because, as she told the E&E (Environment and Energy) reporter: “the ordinance is so ambitious and experimental that it leaves the county vulnerable to a legal challenge by industry and then the county will have to go back to square one if it loses in court.” Garcia told the Albuquerque Journal: “It’s very experimental in that it has a lot of provisions in there that haven’t been tested. Most of the attorneys I’ve talked to said this is not likely to hold up in court.”
The ordinance tests U.S. Supreme Court decisions dating back to the 1800s that recognize corporations as having many of the same rights as citizens and challenges state and federal powers. IPANM President Richard Gilliland, in a press release, said: “What the Mora County Commission has done with the ordinance is an insult to the U.S. Constitution and every free citizen.”
Mora County doesn’t have any drilling activity but it is important as a part of the national battle.
La Jicarita—which calls itself “an online magazine of environmental politics in New Mexico” — states: “CELDF works in a national arena and sees itself as taking the high road, a radical approach to social change that asserts the ‘rights’ of communities and ecosystems and works towards ‘federal constitutional change.’”
In November seven fracking bans were on ballots — three in Ohio and four in Colorado. Several were in locales with no oil-and-gas potential development. As Pendley indicated, all of these fracking and drilling bans and/or moratoriums are part of an attempted national movement. The “symbolic” votes in communities with no oil-and-gas development are part of a strategy to target left-leaning constituencies where ordinances can be passed and momentum can be built.
On February 28, 2014, the Los Angeles City Council passed (10-0) a largely symbolic ban on hydraulic fracturing within city limits. Officials from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the agency that oversees oil drilling in Southern California, said there have been no recent reports of fracking within Los Angeles’ city limits. There are 1800 oil and gas wells in the city of Los Angeles, only about 10 percent are active. The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce is concerned about the possibility of people losing their jobs in the oil industry due to the decision.
The left, understanding the potential national implications, is paying attention to what happens in Mora County. A piece posted on ThinkProgress.com’s ClimateProgress site, states: “the amount of resources now unavailable to the oil and gas industry does not matter as much as the precedent the ordinance sets for other counties, cities, and even states that want to put an end to fossil fuel extraction. … If the IPA’s lawsuit against Mora succeeds, there will be a strong basis for future challenges to any other similar law or ordinance. However, if Mora’s ordinance holds up in court, it will become that much harder for the oil and gas industry to challenge future bans on fossil fuel extraction that may crop up in other places.”
The Mora County story, isn’t just about Mora County and it isn’t just about oil-and-gas drilling — or even about fracking. It reflects a battle being played out across America.
Karin Foster, executive director for the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico (IPANM), who was working with the group to file the first of the two lawsuits, says: “It is about business and our American way of life. It is time for industry, business and the general public to fight back to expose the hypocrisy of the people who drive their cars, turn on their lights, take hot showers, wear their Patagonia jackets, and drink their Starbucks coffee at town hall meetings in Mora County.”
British energy companies 'to reap £2bn windfall' from green levies deal
Britain's biggest energy suppliers could pocket a £2bn windfall over the next three years after the government miscalculated a deal to cut green levies, new research claims.
Households face overpaying by up to £23 a year for an energy efficiency scheme, unless suppliers cut bills or are made to use the money to install more insulation, analysis for the Insulated Render and Cladding Association (Inca) suggests.
The Prime Minister approved an overhaul of the 'Energy Company Obligation’ (ECO) home insulation scheme in December, watering down targets as part of a deal to cut £50 from bills by reducing green levies. The ECO changes were estimated to save companies up to £35 per household.
In a joint open letter to the Prime Minister, Inca, the trade association for the solid wall insulation industry, and other energy efficiency groups, say: “The actual savings to the 'Big Six’ go far beyond the £35 you have persuaded them to give back to customers, representing a £1bn-£2bn windfall to energy suppliers over the next three years."
This equates to an extra £15-£23 per household per year.
Earlier this month The Telegraph disclosed research by the Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE) claiming companies would save more than expected, leading to a £245m windfall.
But the new analysis for Inca finds the windfall will be much greater because companies will benefit not only from having to install fewer measures - as highlighted by ACE - but also from substantially lower costs for the measures that they do have to carry out. Market prices for some of measures are less than half those assumed by the government.
The research was conducted by AgilityEco, a consultancy run by two former British Gas executives with extensive experience implementing energy efficiency schemes.
Labour’s Julie Elliott MP, shadow energy minister, called on companies to pass on any savings. “It is clear that the Government has underestimated the amount that would be saved by reducing support under the ECO scheme,” she said.
Solid wall insulation bore the brunt of the cuts to ECO targets because it is the most expensive type of insulation. But, in its consultation response to the changes, Inca argues the windfall leaves room for the targets to be doubled without increasing consumer bills.
It also argues that the 8m households in “energy-leaking” solid wall homes deserve help after contributing £2.7bn over the last decade to subsidise insulation for other households.
“At the rate proposed in your consultation, it will take 300 years to get these homes to a decent state of energy efficiency,” it says.
Angela Knight, chief executive of Energy UK, said the green levies deal was based on “the best estimates that both companies and government could make”.
Suppliers were in discussion with government about running costs, she added, although final costs would not be known until the end of the programme.
A spokesman for the organisation, which represents the energy industry, added that they did not recognise Inca's numbers. "The cost of delivering ECO will vary from company to company but the industry welcomes further transparency to make ECO more open and easy to understand," they said.
A British Gas spokesman said: “In terms of the Government changes to ECO, as part of our January price cut we made it clear that we passed all the benefit of the savings to our customers in full. We were the first supplier to announce the price cut and it applied to all customers whether on variable or fixed tariffs."
A DECC spokesperson said it was still analysing responses to its proposed changes to the ECO scheme and hoped to publish its response to the consultation before the summer break.
Some skepticism from Wales
SIR – John Childs’ blind support for the IPCC (Letters, April 10) is wildly misplaced and, if his views were not so harmful to our economy, would be humorous.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports are not peer reviewed, they are pal reviewed.
The IPCC is a government-funded organisation which supplies whatever predetermined “proof” of man’s alleged harm to the planet politicians require. This is then used to tax us and limit our freedoms in the name of “saving the world for the children”.
IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachaury has confirmed this at interview and is reported as saying: “We are an intergovernmental body and we do what the governments of the world want us to do. If governments wanted us to come up with something different... we would be at their beck and call.”
IPCC summaries are very different from the scientific reports and are gone through in fine detail behind closed doors by government representatives and members of so-called green groups to ensure the message is enough to terrify to public into compliance.
Dr Pachauri, a railway engineer and economist – not a climate scientist – said in 2009: “When the Fifth Assessment comes out in 2014 people are going to say: My God, we are going to have to take action much quicker than we planned”
Perhaps Mr Childs can explain how Dr Pachauri knew that, five years before the report was published.
IPCC projections suggesting varying degrees of warming as carbon dioxide levels rose have been proven wrong by Mother Nature.
There has been no net warming now in 17 years and six months. Since mythical man-made warming was supposed to cause the climate to change, perhaps Mr Childs can explain how something which does not exist can cause anything.
He is entitled to his own opinions but not entitled to his own facts.
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Posted by JR at 6:40 PM