Sunday, February 11, 2007


A response by Benny Peiser [] to the many Greenies who are disappointed with the latest IPCC Summary -- in particular, the editors of "New Religion" (aka "New Scientist")

That the editors of New Scientist would be incensed by the IPCC AR4 report was to be expected. Most of the worst-case disaster scenarios they have peddled, pushed and published over the last few years have been either debunked altogether or are widely regarded as highly unlikely to happen in the foreseeable future. The apparent disgruntlement voiced in today's editorial is thus a clear indication that climate alarmists are beginning to worry about the new, moderate mood within the IPCC.

Despite media campaigns, false leaks and antechambering, the SPM has thrown out the more extreme scenarios regarding sea level and temperature rise, polar ice melting, hurricane activity, the Gulf-Stream-collapse-ice-age, etc. Not surprisingly, this has come as a huge disappointment to many dogmatic neo-catastrophists. After all, these extreme scenarios have been carefully advanced by the disaster lobby since the notorious Met Office conference in Exeter ("Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change") exactly 2 years ago. Now they bitterly complain that "last week's [IPCC] summary report virtually ignored most of the Exeter findings.

One only has to compare the SPM with the Stern Review to appreciate just how much the IPCC has softened its assessment and estimates of core issues. Many doom merchants are fuming about the new moderate temper. Others are simply denying that any moderation has actually occurred. To make matters worse, every single government has now signed on to the IPCC consensus.

Some bloggers are seething about President Bush's conversion as this newfangled consensus deprives campaigners of a natural target in the "science wars." Now, that no government is disagreeing with the basic science, campaigners are forced to engage in the much more complex issues of climate policy and economic analysis. The issue is no longer about action versus inaction. Quite the opposite. The real debate about the most cost-effective ways of dealing with climate change: revolutionary change as advocated by climate alarmists, or gradual adjustment as suggested by climate moderates.

Nonetheless, I don't expect that the prophets of doom will surrender that easily and accept the IPCC consensus. In fact, I expect the stream of disaster predictions, catastrophe scenarios and hyped media alarmism to go on as usual, in the hope that -never mind the set back - the next IPCC report will, for sure, be more alarmist!

Indeed, the editors of New Scientists are as certain as true believers that this will happen in the end: "[The AR4] omits some very real risks either because we have not yet pinned down their full scale or because we do not yet know how likely they are... It's a fair bet that much of what we do not yet know for sure will turn out to be scarier than most of us like to imagine."

In sharp contrast to such statements of complete belief, I keep an open mind and will adjust my views on the potential risks of climate change as new data and observations emerge. Nevertheless, I will always defend the editors of New Scientist against accusations that they are too sceptical of the IPCC consensus and that they focus too much on minority positions among climate researchers [sarcasm]. Tolerance cuts both ways, doesn't it?


(From Science Magazine, 9 February 2007)

Small Phytoplankton and Carbon Export from the Surface Ocean

By Tammi L. Richardson and George A. Jackson

Autotrophic picoplankton dominate primary production over large oceanic regions but are believed to contribute relatively little to carbon export from surface layers. Using analyses of data from the equatorial Pacific Ocean and Arabian Sea, we show that the relative direct and indirect contribution of picoplankton to export is proportional to their total net primary production, despite their small size. We suggest that all primary producers, not just the large cells, can contribute to export from the surface layer of the ocean at rates proportional to their production rates.


Greenland isn't melting as fast as we feared. It was big news when the rate of melting suddenly doubled in 2004 as ice sheets began moving more quickly into the sea. That inspired predictions of the imminent demise of Greenland's ice - and a catastrophic rise in sea level. But a paper published online this afternoon by Science reports that two of the largest glaciers have suddenly slowed, bringing the rate of melting last year down to near the previous rate. At one glacier, Kangerdlugssuaq, "average thinning over the glacier during the summer of 2006 declined to near zero, with some apparent thickening in areas on the main trunk."

I asked the lead author of the paper, Ian Howat of the University of Washington, for some perspective. Here's his take: "Over the past few years there has been a major revolution in the way scientists think about ice sheet response to climate change. Previously, it was assumed that the big ice sheets react very slowly to climate, on the order of centuries to millenia. This is because surface melting and precipitation was thought to be the dominant way in which ice sheets gain and lose mass under changes in climate. However, over the past five years we have observed that the flow speed of the ice sheets, and therefore the rate at which the ice flows to ocean can change dramatically over very short time scales." By short, he means months or less.

I also asked Dr. Howat about the argument that, since Greenland went through decades of relatively warm weather in the first half of the 20th century without catastrophic consequences, it's unlikely that the glaciers are suddenly going to plunge into the ocean because of the current warming. His response: "Greenland was about as warm or warmer in the 1930's and 40's, and many of the glaciers were smaller than they are now. This was a period of rapid glacier shrinkage world-wide, followed by at least partial re-expansion during a colder period from the 1950's to the 1980's.

Of course, we don't know very much about how the glacier dynamics changed then because we didn't have satellites to observe it. However, it does suggest that large variations in ice sheet dynamics can occur from natural climate variability. The problem arises in the possibility that, due to anthropogenic warming, warm phases will become longer and more severe, so that each time the glaciers go through a period of retreat like this, they won't fully grow back and they will retreat farther the next time."

That sounds like a reasonable concern. But for now, with the glaciers moving in fits and starts, it's wise not to make any sweeping predictions based on a few measurements. Although the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was criticized for not incorporating the recent scary data from Greenland into its long-range projections, these new results seem to vindicate its caution. As Dr. Howat and his co-authors warn: "Special care must be taken in how these and other mass-loss estimates are evaluated, particularly when extrapolating into the future because short-term spikes could yield erroneous long-term trends



(Below is the abstract of the research article mentioned above)

By Ian M. Howat et al.


Using satellite-derived surface elevation and velocity data, we find major short-term variations in recent ice discharge and mass-loss at two of Greenland's largest outlet glaciers. Their combined rate of mass-loss doubled in less than a year in 2004 and then decreased in 2006 to near the previous rates, likely due to fast re-equilibration of calving front geometry following retreat. Total mass-loss is a fraction of concurrent gravity-derived estimates, pointing to an alternative source of loss and the need for high-resolution observations of outlet dynamics and glacier geometry for sea-level rise predictions.



By Bjorn Lomborg

You would have had to be stuck in deepest Mongolia to avoid hearing that the United Nations' climate panel issued a new report last week. Perhaps even in the depths of Mongolia, you would have heard the dire warnings emitted by journalists. You would have distilled from these agonized noises that the report concluded that global warming is worse than we had imagined.

You would have been misinformed. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, has produced a good report - an attempt to summarize what the world's scientists know about global warming. ....

But lost among the hype is the unexciting fact that this report is actually no more dire than the IPCC's last report, issued in 2001. The report contained two surprising facts. Both went unmentioned in most reports. First, the world's scientists have re-jigged their estimates about how much sea levels will rise. In the 1980s, America's Environmental Protection Agency expected oceans to rise by several meters by 2100. By the 1990s, the IPCC was expecting a 67-centimeter rise. Six years ago, it anticipated ocean levels would be 48.5 centimeters higher than they are currently. In this year's report, the estimated rise is 38.5 centimeters on average.

This is especially interesting since it fundamentally rejects one of the most harrowing scenes from Al Gore's movie - "An Inconvenient Truth." The report also revealed the improbability of another Gore scenario: That global warming could make the Gulf Stream shut down, turning Europe into a new Siberia. The IPCC simply and tersely tells us that this scenario - also vividly depicted in the Hollywood movie "The Day After Tomorrow" - is considered "very unlikely."


Greenie idiocy in Australia: Coal is "a deadly threat"

This story was headlined in some Australian newspapers -- to the implicit detriment of the Greenies

A Greens demand that Australia's entire coal industry be shut down within three years yesterday rocked the growing campaign against harmful emissions. A coal ban would cost the nation $25 billion-a-year in export earnings, eliminate thousands of jobs, and switch off five NSW power stations. Prime Minister John Howard called the idea reckless and job destroying and Labor said it was absurd.

But Greens Leader Bob Brown said it was necessary to reduce global climate change as Australia was the world's biggest coal exporter. "To suddenly ban coal exports would be massively dislocating but we have got to do it and we have to do it within a period (a three-year term) of a government," he said. "This is where politicians will panic. But we are exporting to the rest of the world what is effectively a deadly threat to the whole planet and our children." Some five billion tonnes of coal are consumed worldwide every year and Australia exports 230 million tonnes.

Other campaigners against dangerous emissions advocate a longer-term phasing out of the fuel. "No sane person wants to shut down the coal industry in NSW overnight," said Patrice Newell, a Climate Change Coalition candidate for the NSW Legislative Council.

The Prime Minister told The Saturday Daily Telegraph: "That is a reckless commitment. It would cost thousands of jobs and cause immense damage to the Australian economy. It's the very kind of knee-jerk reaction that we don't need."

Labor's Wayne Swan said: "It's absurd and ill-informed to assert that you can't have a strong coal industry as well as taking effective steps to combat climate change".

The Brown proposal would cost an estimated 50,000 jobs in mining, port handling, power generation and other related occupations. But Senator Brown said coal towns such as Newcastle and Wollongong would be helped to create other jobs in new renewable energy industries. "It is part of our responsibility to see that people can transform and go into jobs where they're creating a safe future." The Department of Industry and Resources said the number of people directly employed by the industry rose from a low of about 19,000 in 1999 to about 30,000 in 2005.



No mainstream support for Greenie madness in Australia

Opposition frontbenchers yesterday insisted the future of the coal industry was safe, amid fears within the party that an aggressive stance on climate change could unsettle mining and power workers, becoming a potent election liability. Still living with the political fallout of the disastrous timber policy pushed by former leader Mark Latham - which alienated blue-collar workers on the eve of the 2004 election - Labor yesterday rounded on Australian of the Year Tim Flannery as "irresponsible" for his plan to close the coal industry, calling it a recipe for massive job losses.

Some elements within Labor fear that by appearing too bullish on climate change, the party could raise concerns among workers that jobs will be sacrificed to the environment. This could push workers' votes towards an economically hard-nosed Howard Government. Others want their colleagues who represent mining seats to be more vocal.

New Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull last night warned, during his first live television debate with Opposition environment spokesman Peter Garrett, that Labor's climate change policies risked "enormous damage to jobs". Mr Turnbull accused Labor of scaremongering on climate change, but Mr Garrett used the debate on the ABC's 7.30 Report to accuse the Howard Government of failing to respond to the "crisis" of global warming.

Professor Flannery, the prominent environmental scientist, and the Greens have said that in an era of global warming, coal is losing its social legitimacy. Australia needed to close its coal-fired power plants, after developing less-polluting technologies, Professor Flannery said.

However, senior Labor figure Craig Emerson condemned him, saying a mix of policy responses to the greenhouse problem was needed. "But at the heart of those responses has to be a clean coal future for this country," he said. Opposition Treasury spokesman Wayne Swan insisted Labor was "proud of our heritage and our links to the mining" sector, and said reducing emissions did not mean wiping out the coal industry, which employs more than 30,000 people. "Setting ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions does not mean we have to eliminate coal exports or shut down the coal industry," Mr Swan said.

Professor Flannery on Wednesday urged Australia to leave the coal industry behind, saying that as the pollution problem grew, "the social licence to operate those old polluting technologies will be withdrawn". Mr Garrett said there was a "huge market out there for energy efficiency" and renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal power.

But Mr Emerson said the country could not "simply rely on generating power in Australia by solar and other renewable sources". "Nor should we be saying to the rest of the world that it is wrong to generate electricity from coal," he said. "We should be investing and supporting the development of clean coal technologies." {which is what PM Howard also says!]

The Government is pushing substantial investment into clean coaltechnologies to help make cleaner coal exports, which generate $24.5 billion for the country each year. Mr Turnbull said clean coal technology "may well be the most important thing Australia does" to reduce emissions. He said with China consuming 2.2 billion tonnes of coal a year, that dependency was not going to change, and unless a technological solution could be found then any of the "sacrifices" in Australia would mean nothing. He accused Mr Garrett of wanting to sacrifice jobs to achieve cuts in emissions.

John Howard also accused Labor of putting ideology ahead of jobs, attacking Mr Garrett for refusing to endorse the expansion of the Olympic Dam uranium mine in outback South Australia, even though the state's Labor Premier, Mike Rann, was pushing for more uranium mining. "We do not want thousands of coalminers thrown out of work, and we do not want thousands of people denied an opportunity of employment in the development of the uranium mines of South Australia," he said.

Mr Garrett would not be drawn on the expansion of uranium as way of bolstering clean power production, insisting Labor was yet to have that debate.

More here


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 generally 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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