Thursday, April 06, 2006

Global Warming Hysteria Has Arrived

The latest issue of "Time" magazine has a cover story on global warming entitled "Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid". (I wonder if this is meant to provide some balance for stories about the coming ice age that Time published as recently as 1994?)

One of the new Public Service Commission's TV ads uses a freight train about to hit a little girl as a metaphor for the horrible impact of global warming on our children's future in just thirty years. (Even if the recent warming trend, since the 1970's, continues for another thirty years, global temperatures will only rise another 1 degree F.)

For those of us who are visual learners, Al Gore has a new global warming movie coming out in May entitled "An Inconvenient Truth" which no doubt will be met by critical acclaim, Oscar nominations (probably not for best actor, though), and a possible Nobel Prize.

Science magazine recently stuffed as many articles as it could find on the world's melting ice sheets, even though the bulk of the published temperature evidence shows no warming over Greenland or most of Antarctica in recent decades.

One wonders, what in the world is going on here? It seems an undercurrent of anti-technology, anti-progress, anti-humanity sentiment is beginning to grip our culture. Al Gore has been giving very effective, impassioned speeches on the ecological destruction that mankind is unleashing upon Mother Earth. With a mixture of science half-truths and religious zeal, Gore is very successfully rallying thousands of people to his cause.

In an age where many of us believe that science has all the answers, while others believe that religion has all the answers, a clever mixture of science and religion can be very powerful. Even some of our scientists are joining in the chorus: NASA's Jim Hansen thinks we might have only ten years left before irreversible harm is done.

For any of these fears to have an objective basis in fact, one has to believe that the climate system is very sensitive to the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. I have read recent statements, even from the World Meteorological Organization, that CO2 is the "most important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere," which is blatantly false. The warming effect of Earth's most abundant greenhouse gas, water vapor, is about ten times that of carbon dioxide. Water vapor amounts, even globally averaged, go through large fluctuations, with particularly large upward excursions during warm El Ni¤o events. Yet, the climate system never spins out of control. Why is this?

The answer might reside in the fact that about 75 percent of the warming potential of greenhouse gases is never allowed to occur. Weather processes, in the form of clouds and precipitation, cool the climate to temperatures well below what they would otherwise be from Earth's natural greenhouse effect. To believe in catastrophic warming, one would need good knowledge of how clouds, and especially precipitation processes (which is how water vapor is continuously removed from the atmosphere), change with warming. I do not believe we yet have this knowledge.

Yet, the feeling persists that "we need to do something," even if the science isn't settled yet (indeed, the science might never be 'settled'). I would agree whole-heartedly with the sentiment if it were easy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. It is not. Until major technological advances are made, or people start embracing nuclear power again, carbon dioxide emissions will continue to rise, especially in India and China.... more scientists who don't believe in predictions of climate catastrophe need to rise above their fears of losing funding and speak out. Otherwise, this growing storm of global warming hysteria could do some real damage.


Foes in 'Global Warming' Debate Fuss Over Witness List

Neither side in the "global warming" debate is happy over the witness list compiled by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as the panel plans to convene a one-day climate conference Tuesday. Liberal environmental groups are concerned about what they see as a "roster of speakers heavily weighted toward economic interests over the environment."

Meanwhile, a free market environmental think tank skeptical of predictions that human-caused climate change will produce a catastrophe, also accuses the Senate committee of stacking the deck. "This doesn't look like a public spirited discussion. It looks like the pirates all gathered around the table figuring out how to split up the booty," said Myron Ebell, director of Energy and Global Warming at the free market based Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee chairman - New Mexico Republican Pete Domenici - and the committee's ranking Democrat - Jeff Bingaman, also from New Mexico - are hosting the climate conference in order to "address the challenge of how Congress might go about creating a mandatory [emission] trading program to control U.S. greenhouse gas emissions."

But Ebell sees the proposed emissions trading program "as an undeclared tax on energy" that will benefit a few select corporations. Ebell also said environmental groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense, energy companies and other non-governmental organizations will attend the climate conference to leverage the best deal for their agendas. "Every special interest that hopes to make money form higher energy prices is there to present how they can benefit the most at the expense of American consumers. I would call it a conspiracy except that it is right out there in the open," Ebell told Cybercast News Service. "Enforcing arbitrary limits on energy use throughout the economy would have a disproportionate effect on small and medium sized businesses and likely force a significant portion of U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas, where such restrictions are not in effect," he added.

Ebell also warned that there would be an absence of groups that do not view "global warming" as a crisis. "Without a significant voice for critics of a greenhouse gas emissions scheme, the [Senate] hearing amounts to little more than cheerleading for the senators' pet policies rather than an attempt to educate or enlighten," Ebell said.

Environmental groups have also expressed frustration over the Senate climate conference. On Monday, a coalition of more than a dozen environmental groups released a letter urging Sens. Bingaman and Domenici "to focus upcoming discussions on designing a mandatory [emission] program that guarantees today's levels of global warming pollution will be stopped soon enough to prevent irreversible harm to the environment." The environmental groups, pointing to the presence of such corporations as General Electric Co. and Wal-Mart, lamented that the Senate's "roster of speakers heavily weighted toward economic interests over the environment."

David Doniger of the Natural Resources Defense Council warned that the Senate must act immediately to "protect the planet" from human greenhouse gas emissions. "The earlier you start, the less expensive this can be," Doniger told reporters during a teleconference on Monday with representatives from several environmental groups including Greenpeace, Union of Concerned Scientists and the National Environmental Trust. Doniger and the other green group spokesmen urged the Senate to heed what they considered to be the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing to catastrophic human influence on the climate.

But Ebell rejected the notion that there is scientific consensus on human caused climate change and instead offered another reason for the recent media reports about impending "global warming." "We should be much more worried about what [the Senate is] proposing than a little bit of global warming. I think that all the things that are going on right now look to me to be coordinated and one of the climaxes is going to be [former Vice President] Al Gore's book and movie," Ebell said.

Gore's new documentary entitled "An Inconvenient Truth," is set for national release on May 26 by Paramount Pictures. Gore's book of the same name is set to be released on May 16. Both the movie and the book take an alarmist view of what he sees as human caused "global warming." Both endeavors are based on a slide show lecture that Gore has been presenting around the country.

Ebell shrugged off the impact of climate change alarmists, claiming that those groups and individuals have "been trying to move the political ball for several years now but haven't gotten anywhere." Ebell noted that many of the countries that signed the Kyoto Protocol such as Canada, Spain, Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Austria, have all seen their emissions go up more than the U.S. which did not sign Kyoto.



California would become the first state to require power plants and other heavy industry to reduce emissions linked to global warming under bipartisan plans released Monday. Recommendations from Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's environmental advisers and a companion bill introduced by Democratic legislators would require a 10 percent cut in current levels of climate-altering gases by 2020.

California industries are leery of, if not outright opposed to, a mandatory emissions cap. The state Chamber of Commerce argues that such action should be taken at the federal level rather than state by state.

But on Tuesday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he hopes to sign legislation this year, and will host discussions in six cities statewide to examine proposals designed to reduce greenhouse gases. "The federal government has so far fallen short in showing leadership when it comes to the environment," Schwarzenegger said. "I think that I, as governor, don't want to wait for the federal government or any other states, as far as that goes, to see what they're doing. I think it is important that California has always been very innovative and very bold about those things." Schwarzenegger in particular said he would not support a new tax on gasoline, an idea that was once recommended but dropped by the Climate Action Team.

The proposals, applauded by environmentalists, would require power companies, fuel refineries, oil and gas miners, cement manufacturers and owners of landfills to regularly report emissions of carbon dioxide, the principal "greenhouse gas," so named because of its heat-trapping effect in the atmosphere. The measures do not prescribe precisely how industries should make the cuts.

The governor's advisers recommended a cap-and-trade approach that would allow companies that more than meet the ceilings on global warming pollution to sell emission credits to those that underperform. Such an incentive-based strategy, combined with the energy savings from cleaner-burning engines, would ensure that the targets would be met, said Alan C. Lloyd, chairman of the 18-member Climate Action Team. "What's good for the environment has been good for the bottom line," said Lloyd, a former secretary of environmental protection under Schwarzenegger.

The advisory group dropped an earlier recommendation that the state levy a tax on gasoline and diesel to finance research into fossil fuel alternatives - an idea Schwarzenegger rejected.

The emissions cap is the strongest and most controversial of the advisory group's 46 recommendations, contained in a 1,300-page report, available at Terry Tamminen, the governor's special adviser on energy and the environment, called the strategies to combat global warming the "boldest and most aggressive" of any state or nation. Part of the reduction would come from measures already adopted, including California's pioneering law requiring auto manufacturers to cut carbon dioxide emissions. Automakers are seeking a court order blocking the law, and the Bush administration is trying to pre-empt the restriction through proposed federal fuel economy standards.

Release of the climate action report was timed to coincide with introduction of legislation that would mandate a limit on carbon dioxide emissions. Assembly Bill 32 and the climate action report are designed to carry out the first step of Schwarzenegger's pledge last June to set firm targets to reduce the state's contribution to climate change, beginning in 2010.

Many scientists say some of the effects of global climate change already are occurring in California, including earlier snowmelts, shifts in wildlife habitat and more frequent episodes of extreme weather and wildfire. Awareness on the issue is rising at all levels of government. Today, the Sacramento City Council is scheduled to consider its own climate action plan, including uses of alternative fuels such as vegetable-based biodiesel and ethanol

More here


Plans by US billionaire Donald Trump to build a world class golfing centre in Aberdeenshire could be threatened by an offshore wind farm. The 300 million pound golf development for the Menie Estate could bring 150 million to the local economy and create 400 jobs. Mr Trump is said to be unhappy about plans for a wind farm off the coast of Aberdeen which would affect the view.

Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG) said it now hoped for a meeting on its plans with the Trump organisation. Mr Trump searched Europe for a location for his new venture, and confirmed his plans on Friday. He said: "I have never seen such an unspoilt and dramatic sea side landscape and the location makes it perfect for our development."

AREG hopes to build several wind turbines off the coast in a 100 million pound project, south of the planned golf development. Planners will now have to assess the best way forward for the golf and offshore wind farm developments. Iain Todd, of AREG, told BBC Scotland: "I do not think the problem is possibly as great as Mr Trump believes. "What we would like to do is meet the Trump organisation and discuss our programme with them. "Our design and layout are evolving all the time."

First Minister Jack McConnell has welcomed the golf plans, but Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) stressed the local countryside would have to be protected. The centre would include two championship courses, a hotel and a holiday home complex. The developers hope the planned course will one day host the sport's biggest competitions, including the Open.



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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