Tuesday, October 02, 2007


An email below from Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore [pmoore@greenspirit.com] to Benny Peiser:

Excellent comment by Chris Horner [See article immediately below] on the fact that EU CO2 emissions are increasing faster than the US. Does this confirm the US position that technology is the key, not political targets?

Perhaps the Danish Environment Minister is not aware of the fact that Denmark has the highest CO2 emissions per capita of the EU 15? Yes, they have 18% wind energy but the other 82% is all fossil fuel. Denmark has no hydro-electric because it is flat and they have no nuclear because they are anti-nuclear. Denmark produces 11 tonnes CO2 per capita whereas Sweden, the lowest per capita of the EU 15, produces 6.3 tonnes per capita, in a colder climate. Sweden's electricity is 50% hydro-electric and 50% nuclear, i.e. no carbon. France has the second lowest at 6.8 tonnes per capita, primarily due to 80% nuclear electricity. Germany produces 10.2 tonnes per capita with only 30% nuclear and a lot of fossil fuel. It is clear that given comparable per capita GDP, CO2 emissions per capita are largely governed by electricity generation technology. The more nuclear, hydro-electric and wind the lower the emissions.

France and Germany provide a stark comparison. France has 80% nuclear, low per capita emissions, and is the only country in Western Europe with a large surplus of electricity for export. Their electricity technology is in line with climate policy. Germany, under the Social Democrat/Green alliance, voted to phase out all their nuclear plants. The only possible replacement is either domestic dirty brown coal or Russian gas, both of which would increase CO2 emissions above present levels. At the same time the German government has committed to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020. These two objectives can not be attained simultaneously thus Germany has logically inconsistent and dysfunctional policies for energy and climate.

Meanwhile Germany is importing billions of dollars worth of nuclear energy from France. And Chancellor Schroeder, who presided over the decision to shut down the nuclear industry, took the job of European representative for Gazprom, the Russian gas monopoly, immediately after stepping down. Talk about creating your own job.

It is clear to me that until the "green" movement recognizes that nuclear and hydro-electric are the primary technologies capable of getting us off fossil fuels, they will remain a primary obstacle to the realistic achievement of CO2 emissions reduction.


Today's Washington Post story was replete with pompous and absurd proclamations - the pompous being the Danish Environment Minister claiming that she and her ilk "are getting a bit impatient, not on our own behalf but on behalf of the planet." The condemnations of the US included "unusually blunt language" about how the rest of the world are waiting for the US to act, and that it is the US resistance to adopting a particular approach to addressing emissions that jeopardizes the climate. Not China, India, Mexico and 155 countries representing the vast majority of emissions seeing theirs skyrocket; certainly not the EU.

Although that specific assertion begs the question, no mention was made of actual emissions (sidebar: this story was written by Juliet Eilperin, who has this beat and is by no means new to the story. Putting aside that the administration has only once uttered something that can be called a robust comparison of US and EU performance, it remains baffling that she and her peers can continue writing as if what it is now well understood were never in fact revealed)

given that the European Environment Agency may play rhetorical games but it makes no secret of the fact that Europe is not lowering but increasing their emissions, which are up since Kyoto was agreed not down, this struck me as possibly clever groundwork-laying for that which ultimately must publicly come to pass: Europe explaining away the gaping chasm between global warming "world leader!" rhetoric and actual emissions performance. We would've cut them but we're waiting on the US to do something. Don't laugh, that wouldn't be all that aberrant for Brussels, Berlin or Paris.

Regardless, yesterday's vulgar display prompted me to tally the comparative, real emission increases in US and EU, given I have heard the counter "well, in percentage terms, but..." when I point out that EU emissions are increasing faster than the US's under any modern baseline (that is, since Kyoto was agreed and the EU commenced its breast-beating).

We know that the US CO2 emissions are going up at a much slower rate than the EU-15 ("Europe" per Kyoto). We know that, as a result of the EU-15's obvious failure to reduce emissions, even Cf. 1990 (with the gift that that baseline was to them, for reasons of unrelated UK and DE political decisions), the EU-likes to redefine Europe. They do this to boast on the EU-25 doing this or that -- usually, being on target to meet its [sic] Kyoto promise...there not being an EU-25 Kyoto promise, but one collective promise for the EU-15 and 10 different other individual promises, plus 2 countries that are exempt from Kyoto. They do this now as a way to ride the economic collapse of Eastern Europe, reclaiming the hoped-for benefits of the 1990 baseline that slipped away for the more developed EU countries.

However, having a higher percentage increase for even an economy smaller than the US's (EU-15) means that one might actually produce a larger real emission increase as great or greater than the US. One cost of redefining one's self as is convenient is that it allows others to do so, possibly guaranteeing that a larger real emission increase is the case.

It turns out that a quick review indicates that real EU-25 CO2 emissions have increased more than the US since, say, 2000, by a third as much (133.1%) in fact. If my numbers are right, that means +177.7 MMT for the EU-25 in 2005 Cf. 2000, as compared to the US's +133.5 MMT 2005 over 2000, per the Energy Information Administration numbers (I have only just done this and do not know how it holds for older baselines, e.g., 1997 being the only potentially relevant year).

And oh, dear, even without the EU-10, the EU-15, "Old Europe" - a smaller economy than the US's - increased emissions by 161.67 MMT to the US's 133.5 over the same period; that is our climate hectors have increased real emissions more than the US's, in real terms, by 21%.

So there is no need to rely on the "in percentage terms" qualifier when noting that Europe's emissions have risen faster than the US's (as Kyoto defines Europe). Instead, it appears that Europe's emissions (as Kyoto defines Europe, and certainly as Europe defines Europe, including for these purposes) have not only increased much faster than the US's but also that the EU has increased CO2 emissions much more than the US.

It seems the only thing standing between Europe and a reality check is a White House calling them on their bluster.



It sure is tricky in what it does. Note the contrasting reports from Australia in the two articles below. Perth and Adelaide are roughly in the same latitude but have a big desert in between them. Extreme weather is ALWAYS blamed on global warming so we KNOW what is causing the events below

Perth wettest for four years

PERTH has recorded its wettest September in four years. The city got 101mm of rain in September, slightly above the long-term normal of 90mm. It was a wet month right across the southwest corner of the state, weatherzone.com.au meteorologist Matt Pearce said. "However, the rain did not penetrate very far eastward," he said.

"Forrest, in the Eucla district, did not record any rain during the month, the first time this has occurred for September in 11 years of (the company's) records." With the exception of the stormy southwest, the rest of WA experienced warmer than normal days. "Warburton, in the state's Interior, had an average maximum of 31C, making it the equal hottest September there in 28 years of records." Perth had an average maximum of 20C, right on the long-term average.

Mr Pearce said he was expecting the next few months to continue wetter than normal across WA. "It is also likely to remain warm, especially by night."


Adelaide suffers driest September in decades

This September has been the driest in Adelaide for 20 years. The city had 23 millimetres of rain, compared with the average of 64. Temperatures were also above average. Weatherzone meteorologist Matt Pearce says there is more rain on the way. "The waters of the Indian Ocean, just off the west coast of Australia, are in the process of warming up at the moment," he said. "Now that does tend to result in increased rainfall, especially in Western Australia but also extending into South Australia as well. "I guess the bad news however is that temperatures will remain above average, especially the daytime temperatures so we're looking at quite a warm spring and summer."


Inconvenient Truths: The unintended consequences of bad environmental policies

IF YOU FOLLOW THE media you must think that everyone agrees that the earth is warming, and that it is our fault because we create greenhouse-gas emissions by driving, flying, heating and cooling our homes, and making other uses of fossil fuels. And you must think that everyone agrees that unless something is done, and soon, the polar ice cap will melt, floods around the world will become more frequent and more lethal, and hurricanes will increase in intensity and frequency. If you don't believe this calamity is upon us, go see Al Gore's movie, Inconvenient Truth.

Well, not everyone thinks our future is so dire. There are responsible scientists who attribute recent warming to the natural, long-run rhythms of the weather cycle. Others concede that the earth is warming, but say that it is important not to panic lest we rush to adopt excessively costly solutions. Still others urge us to Cool It, the title of a wonderfully readable new book by Bjorn Lomborg, an economist specializing in environmental matters.

No matter: enough people believe something must be done to propel politicians into action--not always a good thing. The Bush administration and the congress want to lavish still more funds on growers of corn so that what was once a food crop can be converted into ethanol, a gasoline substitute. This has had at least two unfortunate and unintended consequences.

First, corn prices have been driven so high that (even after a recent easing) poor Mexicans can no longer afford their tortillas, and American housewives find the prices of everything from salad oil to dairy products and meat (corn is an animal feedstock) hitting new highs. Second, farmers around the world are rushing to clear land to make room for products that can be converted to fuel--it's called deforestation. These unintended consequences matter little to most politicians, especially those eager to please corn-growing Iowans who will troop to the polls in the nation's first presidential primary.

Those who are less enthusiastic about the ethanol solution see our salvation in a revival of the nuclear power industry. These plants produce electricity without emitting the greenhouse gasses that are alleged to cause global warming. But they are expensive, and cannot be built without substantial subsidies, either paid directly by taxpayers or hidden as a surcharge on electricity bills. And they do produce radioactive waste that Senate leader Harry Reid has sworn will never find its way into the storage site that can accommodate it, that site being located in his home state of Nevada. Besides, new nukes can't do much to reduce consumption of oil by our cars and trucks, at least until we figure out how to run these vehicle for long distances at high speeds on batteries, without sacrificing other economies of operation.

Then there are the technology worshippers, each of whom has an invention that will enable our automobiles to do without gasoline, or permit us to heat and cool our homes without connecting to the electricity grid, or will generate power from renewable resources. There is no question that many of these technologies do work. But they are expensive--and not without environmental problems of their own, ranging from the vast spaces needed by solar generating plants, to the visual and noise problems incident to the operation of wind machines.

Still, congress stands ready to spend taxpayers' money on research and development of these sources, although history suggests that our government, which squandered something like a cool billion dollars on a failed attempt to liquefy coal, is just not well suited to picking winners. Better to leave this chore to the many hard-nosed venture capitalists who stand ready to bet their own money on technologies that look promising....

Meanwhile, approach media reports with care. One example: we are told that global warming will increase flooding. The fact is that warming will indeed increase precipitation but, as Lomborg points out, "If we check out when the increase happens, it turns out that it happens mostly during the fall, when there is generally lower [river] flow and little risk of flooding..." Facts matter, even when making environmental policy.

More here


Another Bush convert

Advances in technology to reduce carbon emissions will be key to solving the issue of climate change without damping growth for developing countries, Tony Blair, the former UK prime minister, said on Thursday. "The problem is now very simple: how do you get a global framework that incentivises the development of the technology to reduce emissions? How do you get such a global framework that includes America, but also China and India?" said Mr Blair at the Clinton Global Initiative.

Technological development is crucial to addressing the risk of climate change because of the impossibility of asking developing countries to compromise their growth or forcing consumers to reduce demand, Mr Blair said. "The brutal reality is, you're not going to stop people consuming, or taking flights, and you're not going to stop China," he told a panel that included Hank Paulson, US Treasury secretary, and Gro Harlem Brundtland, UN special envoy on climate change.

Mr Paulson, defending the Bush administration's position on climate change, said that all parties wouldl need reassurance that they won't be disadvantaged by investing in solutions to climate change, and that trade needs to be a part of the solution.

Bill Clinton, the former US president who is hosting world leaders at his conference this week, has repeatedly asserted that alternative energy will generate more economical benefit than cost. Al Gore, his former vice president, said on Wednesday that a "global Marshall plan" was needed to make job creation and measures to address climate change compatible.

That was met with concerned remarks from Robert Zoellick, World Bank chief, who said poor countries were worried their growth would be set back with the world's focus on the issue. "It is impossible to solve this without technology development, it is impossible to solve this without engaging globally," Mr Paulson said, adding that a successful conclusion to the Doha talks would allow efficient trade in grains, which are in high demand with the growing biofuels industry.

Mr Blair also said the private sector was poised to address climate change, but was being held back by domestic and international politics that had failed to provide a direction for companies. "You're at a point now where the business community internationally is ahead of the politics," he said.

The two leaders' remarks were met by strong calls for "cap and trade" systems from Meles Zenawi, the Ethiopian prime minister , who said Africa would pay a disproportionate price for pollutions it had no part in creating. "We have recognized that global warming could be the next colonialism and slavery, another of those shocks that could affect the future of the continent," he said.


Gore Dodges Repeated Calls to Debate Global Warming

As over 150 heads of state and government gather at UN headquarters in New York to discuss climate change, former Vice President Al Gore, the most prominent proponent of the theory of the human-induced, catastrophic global warming, continues to refuse repeated challenges to debate the issue.

Czech President Vaclav Klaus, who addressed the General Assembly on climate change September 24, is but the latest global warming skeptic to receive the cold shoulder from Gore. In ads appearing in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Washington Times, Klaus has called on Gore to face him in a one-on-one debate on the proposition: "Global Warming Is Not a Crisis."

Earlier in the year, similar challenges to Gore were issued by Dennis Avery, director of the Center for Global Food Issues and senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, and Lord Monckton of Brenchley, a former adviser to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. All calls on the former vice president to face his critics have fallen on deaf ears.

The Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based free-market think tank, launched the debate campaign in April, using ads, press releases, and other tactics to prod Gore into confronting those who reject his alarmist views on global warming.

For his part, President Klaus has not minced words on what he sees as the real agenda of those promoting climate hysteria. In an op-ed in the Financial Times (June 13, pointedly titled "Freedom, Not Climate, is at Risk," Klaus said: "Let us not scare ourselves with catastrophic forecasts, or use them to defend and promote irrational interventions in human lives."

Arguing that the issue of global warming "is more about social than about natural sciences and more about man and his freedom than about tenths of a degree Celsius changes in average global temperature," Klaus rejected the notion of a "scientific consensus" on climate change as an effort by a "loud minority" to impose its will on a "silent majority."

However, Klaus reserved his unkindest cut of all for the movement that has joined forces with Gore is spreading fear about global warming:

"As someone who lived under communism for most of his life, I feel obliged to say that I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not in communism. This ideology wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central (now global) planning."

Gore's refusal to take on the likes of Klaus, Avery and Lord Monckton is no isolated incident of the former vice president's lacking the courage of his convictions. In June, Professor Scott Armstrong of the University of Pennsylvania urged Gore to put his global warming money where his mouth is. Armstrong, one of the world's leading experts on forecasting, has studied the forecasts made by Gore and such organizations as the UN's Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) and found their methodology wanting.

Convinced that Gore and the IPCC are overstating how much temperatures will rise in the years to come, Armstrong has challenged Gore to the following wager: Each man bets $10,000 on how much temperatures will go up in the next ten years.

The money will stay in escrow until 2017. The one whose forecast come closer to the actual change in temperature will be declared the winner and be allowed to donate the $20,000 plus accumulated interest to the charity of his choice. But despite being flush with cash from his movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," and from lucrative speaking engagements around the world, Gore has not taken Armstrong up on the bet.

Gore's reluctance to go toe-to-toe with global warming skeptics may have something to do with the - from the standpoint of climate change alarmists - unfortunate outcome of a global warming debate in New York last March. In the debate, a team of global warming skeptics composed of MIT scientist Richard Lindzen, University of London emeritus professor of biogeology Philip Stott, and physician-turned novelist/filmmaker Michael Crichton handily defeated a team of climate alarmists headed by NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt. Before the start of the nearly two-hour debate, the audience of several thousand polled 57.3 percent to 29.9 percent in favor of the proposition that global warming is a "crisis." At the end of the debate, the numbers had changed dramatically, with 46.2 percent favoring the skeptical point of view and 42.2 percent siding with the alarmists.



The Lockwood paper was designed to rebut Durkin's "Great Global Warming Swindle" film. It is a rather confused paper -- acknowledging yet failing to account fully for the damping effect of the oceans, for instance -- but it is nonetheless valuable to climate atheists. The concession from a Greenie source that fluctuations in the output of the sun have driven climate change for all but the last 20 years (See the first sentence of the paper) really is invaluable. And the basic fact presented in the paper -- that solar output has in general been on the downturn in recent years -- is also amusing to see. Surely even a crazed Greenie mind must see that the sun's influence has not stopped and that reduced solar output will soon start COOLING the earth! Unprecedented July 2007 cold weather throughout the Southern hemisphere might even be the first sign that the cooling is happening. And the fact that warming plateaued in 1998 is also a good sign that we are moving into a cooling phase. As is so often the case, the Greenies have got the danger exactly backwards. See my post of 7.14.07 and a very detailed critique here for more on the Lockwood paper

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