Friday, December 09, 2005

Climatologist Rejects 'Global Warming' As Cause for Island Evacuation

A climatologist has dismissed a Reuters news report claiming that residents of the Pacific Island of Vanuatu had to move to escape "global warming." The article, published Tuesday, cited United Nations officials' claims that the effects of "global warming" caused rising sea levels and more storms, forcing islanders to flee inland. The article's publication coincided with the 11th annual U.N. Climate Change Conference in Montreal.

"That is a shame, quite frankly, that this issue is being played like this at the [U.N.] climate change conference. It demeans the issue when it's so easy to counter a strident assertion with facts," said Patrick J. Michaels, the author of several books on climate change, including a new one that will be released next week entitled "Shattered Consensus: The True State of Global Warming." Michaels, who believes claims of catastrophic human-caused "global warming" are scientifically unfounded, is an environmental sciences professor at the University of Virginia and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. "It would seem that [the Reuters article] about the combination of sea level rise and increased storminess causing people to evacuate (to the island's interior) isn't based upon much real data," Michaels told Cybercast News Service on Tuesday.

The Dec. 6 Reuters article by environmental correspondent Alister Doyle claimed that about 100 residents in the Lateu settlement on Tegua island in Vanuatu were forced to move inland because of cyclone-enhanced "king tides" that caused flooding and made the island uninhabitable. The Reuters article included a statement from the U.N.'s Environment Program claiming that the residents of Vanuatu had "become one of, if not the first, to be formally moved out of harm's way as a result of climate change." However, the report did not feature any scientists or experts questioning the conclusion that human-caused "global warming" was to blame for the residents' coastal retreat.

Michaels said the scientific data does not back up the claims in the Reuters article about the evacuation of Vanuatu being linked to the U.N.'s projections of melting icecaps and rising sea levels. "The island in question has experienced no net sea level rise in the last half century, according to the combined satellite and submarine data," Michaels said. "In fact, areas to the west such as [the island of] Tuvalu show substantial declines in sea level over that period," he added. Michaels added that "the United Nations intergovernmental panel notes a decline in the frequency of tropical storms and hurricanes in the South Pacific in recent decades. "With sea level not showing a rise and the decline in the frequency of tropical cyclones, it's very hard to make the strident statements that were made in the [Reuters article,]" he added.

The fact that Reuters published the article without quoting experts who question the science behind the "global warming" claim did not surprise Michaels. "Reuters has generally been very radical on 'global warming.' This is nothing new for them," he said, noting that in much of the media, "the appropriate level of journalistic cynicism does not apply to 'global warming.'" ....

Michaels challenged the accuracy of computer-generated models that project an alarming rise in sea levels to the melting of icecaps. "There is a lot of recent research showing that Antarctica has been gaining ice, in other words is contributing negatively to sea level rise. Research published just two months ago in Science Magazine shows that Greenland is still gaining ice at two inches per year, average, over the island," Michaels said. "I expect that the estimates of sea level rise are going to have to be revised downward. That's a prediction that you just heard from me based upon reality. Computer models eventually have to come in line with reality," he added.

More here

Wealthy Nations Owe 'Climate Debt' to Poor, Greens Say

Environmental groups attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference have demanded that the U.S. and the other industrialized nations pay a "climate debt" to the poor nations for contributing to catastrophic, human-caused "global warming." "Let's face it, [the developing countries] are not responsible for the problem and yet they are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change," said Catherine Pearce, international climate campaigner for Friends of the Earth International (FOEI). Pearce spoke with Cybercast News Service at the 11th annual U.N. Climate Change Conference in Montreal. "It is total over-exploitation by the North[ern Hemisphere] and the North is just using up the natural resources of the world for its own gain and its own benefit," Pearce said. She noted that "people are being thrown off their land (in developing countries) to grow mono-culture plantations" that are used by industrialized countries. "What Northern countries can be doing is to repay some of [their climate] debt in terms of resources, financing, [and] technology to countries of the South[ern Hemisphere]," she added.

Friends of the Earth International sponsored a panel discussion on "climate justice" at the U.N. conference on Monday. FOEI demanded that "a fair share of the earth's resources" be shared by all nations and declared, "Everybody has a right to an equal share of the available capacity of the atmosphere." The U.S. was singled out by FOEI as the one nation that owes the largest "climate debt" to the poorer nations of the world. "The average American emits seven tons of carbon a day and that's in comparison to much, much lower levels in India," Pearce asserted. To achieve climate justice, the industrialized nations must make dramatic reductions in their emissions and undertake a "massive rethinking in terms of the financial support that these countries are getting," according to Pearce.

But Chris Horner, senior fellow with the free market environmental group Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), ridiculed the notion of "climate debt." "This movement seeks to impede poor countries from capitalizing on their greatest natural assets and in return locks them into welfare dependency. This is another name and excuse for increasing foreign aid to what are, in large part, failed governments," Horner told Cybercast News Service. CEI takes a skeptical view on the theory of human caused catastrophic climate change.

Spending time and resources worrying about "climate justice" takes away from "addressing the real reasons for [developing nations'] poverty, including corrupt governments that provide inadequate respect for property rights and the need for a transparent judiciary," Horner said. "Pretty soon, we're going to run out of new names for wealth redistribution, and maybe even new rationales," he added.


Global Warming Blues

The 11th annual meeting of global warming enthusiasts in Montreal isn't turning out to be a very happy event. Even though this is the first opportunity for the burgeoning global climate bureaucracy to celebrate the full implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, the realities of science, economics and politics are raining on its parade.

First, a new study published this week in the journal Nature (Dec. 1) turns global warming alarmism on its head. British researchers reported that the ocean current responsible for the tropical winds that warm Europe's climate has decreased by an estimated 30 percent since 1957. The headline of the New Scientist report (Nov. 30) on the study nicely captured its import, "Failing ocean current raises fear of mini ice age."

That conclusion, however, doesn't jibe at all with the reality of European climate, which began warming 200 years ago and is now setting the modern records for warm temperatures that the pro-Kyoto crowd likes to hyperventilate about. The European Environment Agency, in fact, claimed on Nov. 29 that Europe is currently facing the "worst" warming in 5,000 years with 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2004 being the four hottest years on record.

While temperatures can only go up or down at any given moment, global warmers seem to want to have it both ways so that any change in climate, regardless of direction, can be attributed to human activity.

The British newspaper The Independent, for example, reported in its Nov. 30 article about the Nature study that "the real evidence does point to a possible one degree Centigrade cooling over the next two decades." But the newspaper reported in another same-day article that, "the [record hot] summer of 2003 was triggered by global warming caused by man-made emissions of greenhouse gases." Such contradictory reporting casually ignores the reality that greenhouse gas emissions can't simultaneously cool and warm Europe.

The second paragraph of The Independent's article on the Nature study stated, "Disruption to the conveyor-belt mechanism that carries warm water to Britain's shores was the basis of the Hollywood disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow." But two paragraphs later, however, the paper noted "Scientists say such predictions are fantasy."

It's cooling. It's warming. It's disaster. It's fantasy. Whatever "it" is, it can't be comforting to the Kyoto believers in Montreal who seem to think they know for certain whether and how human activity impacts global climate.

A more sober reality, though, is that whatever slight impact humans might have on the climate, it is too small to measure - a point made in a study just published by Swiss researchers in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews (November 2005). The study reviewed prior efforts to reconstruct global temperatures of the last 1,000 years. It concluded that natural temperature variations over the last millenium may have been so significant that they would "result in a redistribution of weight towards the role of natural factors in [causing] temperature changes, thereby relatively devaluing the impact of [manmade] emissions and affecting future predicted [global climate] scenarios." "If that turns out to be the case," the researchers stated, "agreements such as the Kyoto protocol that intend to reduce emissions of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, would be less effective than thought."

So senior U.S. climate negotiator Harlan Watson was on very firm ground when he stated this week in Montreal that, "I reject the premise that the Kyoto-like agreement is necessary to address the issue."

The U.S. stance angered the Montreal revelers. "When you walk around the conference hall here, delegates are saying there are lots of issues on the agenda, but there's only one real problem, and that's the United States," a Greenpeace International spokesman told the Associated Press.

But the U.S. isn't the "real problem" for global warmers - reality is. First, the available scientific data simply don't add up to their desired conclusion that humans are harming global climate. Next, even if we were to forsake science and consider a position of "erring on the side of caution," the economic cost - 2 percent or more of global economic productivity - is a steep and certain price to pay for extremely uncertain, and potentially negative, consequences.

Finally, the Kyoto protocol itself has been a colossal flop. European signatories to the treaty aren't meeting their current emissions reduction targets, aren't likely to in the future, and are looking for ways out of their commitments. Even Kyoto's knight-in-shining armor, UK prime minister Tony Blair, in what has been dubbed the "Blair Switch," has embraced the latter two points. In September, Blair announced that he had given up on climate change treaties because, "The truth is, no country is going to cut its growth or consumption substantially in light of a long-term environmental problem." Especially if that "problem," so far as we can tell after several decades and many billions of dollars of research, is entirely unproven.


Senator Bingaman's bogus climate proposal: "U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) is scheduled to deliver a speech at the UN global warming meeting in Montr‚al this afternoon on his plan for mandatory carbon dioxide emissions controls in the United States. If similar to proposals Sen. Bingaman intended to offer earlier this year in the Senate, the plan would represent significant economic sacrifice without measurably reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. 'While Sen. Bingaman's approach has been presented as a moderate and sensible response to the possibility of global warming, it clearly is neither,' said Competitive Enterprise Institute Director of Global Warming Policy Myron Ebell."


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

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