Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Below is an email to Benny Peiser from Prof. Syun Akasofu [sakasofu@iarc.uaf.edu] of the International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

The most serious issue heads of state in the world faces today is the health of the economy of their own countries. This issue is of the same importance whether they were democratically elected or not. If their economic policies fail or collapse, they face a vote of non-confidence or may not be re-elected in a democratic country. In a dictatorial country, revolution might occur.

However, because the economy, energy consumption, and the amount of manmade CO2 released are closely tied together, they cannot simply reduce the release of CO2. And efficient use of energy and conservation alone will not be sufficient to maintain the present economic growth, unless a vast amount of sustainable energy unrelated to CO2 can be found.

One of the major topics today is the great economic growth of China and India. Both countries have reportedly stated that they will refuse any international regulation on their CO2 release. On the other hand, some countries are demanding that both China and India should reduce their CO2 release. Here is a great contradiction. The developed countries, including the US and Japan, have made China in effect the 'factory' of the world by outsourcing their production. This can easily be recognized by the fact that practically everything available in our retail stores is "Made in China". It is reported that China plans to build 650 coal-fired power plants by 2010. Therefore, it appears that China plans to continue to be the 'factory' of the world in the future.

Therefore, it is selfish for the outsourcing countries to demand that China and India, the 'factories' of the world, reduce their CO2 release. If the developed countries have to stop outsourcing the work presently done in China and India, they will have to bring their factories back to their own countries, which would not resolve the CO2 problem.

If the great disaster scenario predicted by the IPCC were to occur, it could be said to be the fault of the developed countries, which have been promoting "outsourcing" by promoting global capitalism. Following this line of thought, one could even say that if the IPCC predicted disaster were to occur, global capitalism will collapse by itself and destroy the world.

The heads of the worlds must be well aware of the simplistic scenario mentioned above, but they cannot reduce their economic activities and CO2 release. Indeed, carbon is money. Thus, in order to escape from this seeming quagmire, they hold high-level, international meetings, including the G8 summits, one after another. In the past, they could not reach any substantive agreement on the reduction of CO2 release, nor did they respect any of the agreements they did reach. For instance Japan, the host country of the Kyoto Protocol, could not follow it, in spite of their efforts.

It appears that the sole purpose of such meetings in the past has been (and probably will be in the future) nothing more than to make joint declarations to the world to show that they are serious about global warming, in order to avoid being called 'enemies of mankind' by the world mass media and global-warming-mongers. So far, I have not heard of any serious initiatives by economic and financial institutions to take measures to meet the IPCC's recommendations. At present, they are busy in dealing with the "sub-prime lending" problems, which should be somewhat less important than the future of mankind.

In reality, however, there is a high probability that most of the present warming trend is caused by natural changes, in spite of the fact that the IPCC claims "most" of the warming is caused by the greenhouse effect of CO2 (IPCC Summary, 2007). It is important to note that the IPCC claim is only a hypothesis, it is not a fact. The earth experienced a cool period called the "Little Ice Age" (LIA) from about l400 AD. The recovery from the LIA began in about l800 AD or earlier. This recovery trend has been in progress since then almost linearly, continuing even at the present time, at a rate of about 0.5øC per 100 years. There is no way to explain this linear temperature increase in terms of the CO2 greenhouse effect. The IPCC claims that the temperature rise is about 0.6øC per 100 years. Thus, it is possible that the greenhouse effect on temperature increase is about 0.1øC per l00 years, instead of 0.6øC.

There were at least several periods during the last l00,000 years, when the temperature was higher than at the present, so there is nothing unusual or abnormal about the present warming trend and the present temperature. This fact is quite obvious when paleoclimate and geological data are examined (even including the temperature trend during the l930's in the US). The existence of dinosaurs supports the past long-term data. The IPCC focused its main efforts only on the recent temperature increase from 1900. Examining only such recent data provides a sort of snap-shot view from the climatological perspective. It is like chasing dragons, which are imaginary creatures, corresponding to the IPCC's unproven hypothesis and the exaggerated greenhouse effect of CO2.

Basing their predictions only on recent data, it is possible that the IPCC has greatly over-estimated the greenhouse effect, and their future predictions are also uncertain. Their climate models are nothing more than a sort of academic exercise at the present time and should not be used for international policy-making. There is much uncertainty about climate change, and careful, basic research is needed, instead of harmful, panicky decisions that may severely affect the world economy. It is not possible to stop the climate change caused by natural processes. Our adaptation to naturally-caused climate changes should be different from our actions to address man-made causes. If the natural causes are dominant, the reduction of the man-made CO2, while made at a great expenditure to the world economy, will not have much effect.

What is needed now is an international panel on environmental destruction (IPED). In his book entitled, "The Crisis of Global Capitalism", George Soros, a well-known investor, mentioned that global capitalism cannot deal with environmental destruction. Indeed, environmental destruction, can be and should be a major and worthwhile topic for joint discussion by the heads of state of the world.


PROMOTING CARBON RATIONING AND A GREEN POLICE STATE. This is a more extensive coverage of a shocking interview with a highly-esteemed Greenie totalitarian that I mentioned yesterday. Hitler has a passionate belief that Germany's troubles were due to the Jews. Mayer Hillman has a passionate belief that a harmless gas we all breathe out is a huge threat. Given their assumptions, the policies of both men become reasonable. But the world is full of self-serving beliefs that have only dubious evidence to support them so we heed such fanatics at our peril

The amount of travel will fall dramatically when the Government introduces personal carbon rationing, says leading green thinker Mayer Hillman. He tells Andrew Forster that rationing is the only way to prevent runaway climate change....

Turning to the practicalities of Hillman's rationing plan, I can't help thinking that cutting emissions ten-fold in five to ten years is a bit ambitious. Hillman has a well-rehearsed line to respond to this point. "If you exceed the one tonne then the only outcome is you know that you're complicit in a process which is leading to the accelerating destruction of the planet for generations succeeding us, "he says.

Rationing is beginning to sound like a social justice programme as well as one to 'save the planet'. Indeed, that is exactly what it is. "It delivers social justice as well as protection of the global environment because the energy thrifty are the beneficiaries of others' profligacy but the profligacy isn't maintained because it gets progressively and hugely costly to maintain," Hillman explains.

But I still can't understand how governments could introduce rationing, particularly at the strict levels Hillman suggests. Think about the developing world, I say. The economies of China and India are booming; most of their people are probably looking optimistically towards the future instead of worrying about climate change; they probably aspire to the same high-energy lifestyles that we already have. How are you going to convince them to stick to living on a one tonne allowance of CO2?

Actually, he says, developing countries will like rationing because they will make money by selling surplus credits. And anyway, he says, in some countries it won't be necessary to convince the public that this is a good idea. "The Chinese live in a totalitarian state," he points out. "You don't have to persuade the Chinese, you've got to persuade the Chinese Government." What about the developed world? How's he going to convince the citizens of the UK that personal carbon rations are a good thing?

"Well, you may be surprised to know that contraction and convergence has been an element of Liberal Democrat policy for about three or four years," he says. "They don't trumpet it." The idea also has supporters within the Conservative and Labour parties, he adds, and the UK is supporting its discussion at this month's United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali.

But Hillman concedes that rationing will be controversial. "Nobody wants to acknowledge that this is the only way because of its implications," he says. "As I say, this spells out the end of flying, this spells the end of longdistance travel because the per capita ration cannot stretch to this." Which is going to be a huge shock to most people, I suggest. "Well all I can say is 'hard luck'."

But if a government does come forward with rationing, people will legitimately ask 'What about my job?, 'What about my holiday?' How would he respond to such concerns? "We have a responsibility to pass the planet on to future generations in a reasonable state," he begins. "Imagine if I were to be around in 2057 and accountable to our little granddaughters and they said tome 'What were you doing in 2007 when all the evidence was there of the devastating process to which you and all the people who were alive at the time were adopting?' Imagine if I said, 'Well we worried about the employment implications, we were worried that we couldn't visit our friends and family if they lived a long distance away because that would entail flying.' It's almost monstrous I think to wheel out that line of reasoning. It is just unacceptable."

Some people might not accept that view. "Yeah, well they need bloody educating," he says. "And I draw comfort from the fact that when food rationing was introduced in 1939 there were no demonstrations in Trafalgar Square."

Hillman thinks many people in the UK would actually welcome carbon rationing because, in the early years, much of the population would be financially better off (though they would, of course, be restricted in what they could spend their new-found wealth on). "Others will support it because the Government at the time of its introduction will be in the process of educating the public that this is the way to go," he says. "People realise that's the way it is in a time of shortage, of scarcity."

I still think he's underestimating the uproar such a policy would bring. What if people aren't convinced even after the education programme? I just can't see how a democratically elected government could introduce this.

The word "democratic" triggers an interesting exchange. "Ah, that's right," he says. "Very good and you're absolutely right. And that's why in 1990 I wrote a paper saying that the most dangerous threat of climate change was to our democratic institutions because the implication of democracy is that if you can't persuade the majority to support a particular policy then you can't introduce it.

"Can you imagine saying in 50 years' time, 'I'm sorry, you've inherited a devastated planet but we couldn't persuade the majority to go down the route to prevent that happening because that entailed carbon rationing and the majority of people weren't prepared to accept that - they preferred to flout the implications or pretend to ignore the implications of what they were doing and so that's why you're now in this state.'

"When the chips are down I think democracy is a less important goal than is the protection of the planet from the death of life, the end of life on it. This has got to be imposed on people whether they like it or not."

By whom? "Government." What sort of government is that? "It's a government that recognises that priority."

It's not a democratically elected government? "Well, whether it is or not, I mean, you know, you're pressing me."

Is it a police state? "Erm, well, I, to a degree I shouldn't answer your question because I find it almost impossible to believe-" He seems to be saying he finds it impossible to believe people wouldn't accept rationing once they've been taught about the problem but he breaks off and changes tack.

"Ah yes, I've got another line of defence and it's an important one. You don't have to persuade the public to support the introduction of carbon rationing. All you have to do is persuade political leaders to do it. So that, for the next General Election, all the political parties will say the only way ahead is carbon rationing. So the electorate is then presented with no party saying we don't want carbon rationing, except perhaps the BNP but I think even they have expressed concern about climate change. "We've got a year-and-a-half to get that message across so there is a combined front from the political community to the general public. I mean if they're all agreed, you can't have individuals saying, 'Well I don't go along with it'. Because there's no alternative."

I put it to Hillman that rationing won't be politically deliverable and that, instead, we're going to have to rely on a long-term technological solution to cutting CO2. He's exasperated. "But we don't have time for a long-term solution to this! We are at this critical stage and you're saying technology will ride to the rescue in the longer term. It can't! It's too late!"



The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently released the Summary for Policymakers of its Synthesis Report (SR). The SR synthesizes information from the three IPCC "Working Group" reports issued earlier this year. The full SR will be released after it is modified to conform to the SPM, which was wordsmithed by IPCC management and UN bureaucrats just before Thanksgiving.

Steve Hayward, Ken Green and I have written a preliminary analysis and critique of the Synthesis Report. I've included a summary of the paper below. You can download the full article here.

On a related note, you might also be interested in my analysis of a climate change editorial in yesterday's Sacramento Bee. According to the Bee's editorial writers, the IPCC's reports suggest rising seas are likely to submerge California's cities. Unfortunately, the Bee left out a few pesky details--including contrary evidence within the IPCC reports themselves.

Politics Posing as Science: A Preliminary Assessment of the IPCC's Latest Climate Change Report


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) new Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of its Synthesis Report (SR) should be taken with several chunks of salt. The summary itself is a political document that downplays assessments of uncertainty from the scientific reports written by the main body of the IPCC, which themselves are far more subjective than the IPCC would have one believe. Equally important, both the IPCC's summaries and main reports omit much contrary evidence. In several cases, the SR disagrees with the reports on which it is based, and it fails to take account of cautionary publications in the scientific literature that were available early enough to have been incorporated into the SR. Climate change and climate policy are key issues for future human welfare, but that concern should translate into sober analysis and actions that are likely to do more good than harm. The people of the world should not let themselves be steamrolled by a report that reflects the IPCC's interest in promoting climate change fears, rather than in conveying the weight of the scientific evidence.


Greenie attacks on dissent

In the finest Fascist tradition. It's clear that they know how fragile the evidence for their claims is

Taking a page from their mentor, Al Gore - and determined to keep the focus on a global warming “consensus” and U.S. heresy – the U.N. continued its campaign to muzzle dissenting scientists at this week’s Bali climate conference.

Just as Gore has refused requests to debate the warming threat, Bali organizers cancelled a scheduled press conference Thursday morning by the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) - a group of international scientists who protest the scientific basis of climate alarmism.

It’s the second such incident in a week. The Heartland Institute reports that “earlier in the week. . . (UN official) Barbara Black interrupted the press conference and demanded the scientists immediately cease. She threatened to have the police physically remove them from the premises. (In addition) ICSC scientists have been prevented from participating in panel discussions, side events, and exhibits.”


US says climate deal not good enough

THE United States has voiced "serious concerns" about a deal reached at the UN climate conference in Bali, emphasising the need for major developing countries to be included in greenhouse gas emissions targets. In a statement following the end of the global conference, in which the United States found itself isolated in its stance against new emissions goals for developed countries, the White House said big developing economies also had to be covered by specific emissions targets. And it said that any new agreement to succeed the UN Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012, must acknowledge a country's sovereign right to pursue economic growth and energy security.

While there were positive aspects to the conference's deal to seek a new treaty by 2009, the "United States does have serious concerns about other aspects of the decision as we begin the negotiations", the White House said. "The negotiations must proceed on the view that the problem of climate change cannot be adequately addressed through commitments for emissions cuts by developed countries alone. "We must give sufficient emphasis to the important and appropriate role that the larger emitting developing countries should play in a global effort to address climate change," it said.

The White House also said coming talks need to differentiate between wealthier emerging countries and those with smaller economies in the commitments made toward reducing emissions. "In our view, such smaller and less developed countries are entitled to receive more differentiated treatment so as to more truly reflect their special needs and circumstances."

The statement was a reiteration of the adamant US position toward the Kyoto Treaty and the Bali talks that large, rapidly growing economies like China, India and Brazil must themselves commit to emissions cuts if efforts to slow climate change are to be equitable and effective. The US position nearly scuttled the Bali deal before a last-minute compromise allowed Washington's negotiators to sign on. Washington had said it would not accept a joint statement agreed by nearly all of the 190 nations present as it wanted developing countries such as China to make tougher commitments.

But on an unscheduled 13th day of talks, the United States - the only major industrial nation to reject Kyoto - reached a last-minute compromise with the European Union to avoid mentioning any figures as a target for slashing greenhouse gas emissions.

Despite finally going along with the Bali pact, in its statement Washington insisted that the agreement has "not yet fully given effect to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities that is a pillar of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change". "Empirical studies on emission trends in the major developing economies now conclusively establish that emissions reductions principally by the developed world will be insufficient to confront the global problem effectively," it said. "Accordingly, for these negotiations to succeed, it is essential that the major developed and developing countries be prepared to negotiate commitments, consistent with their national circumstances, that will make a due contribution to the reduction of global emissions."

The US statement stressed that any successful negotiations on reducing global emissions had to accommodate the national economic interests of those taking part.



One would think that countries that signed the Kyoto treaty are doing a better job of curtailing carbon emissions. One would also think that the United States, the only country that does not even intend to sign, keeps on emitting carbon dioxide at growth levels much higher than those who signed.

And one would be wrong.

The Kyoto treaty was agreed upon in late 1997 and countries started signing and ratifying it in 1998. A list of countries and their carbon dioxide emissions due to consumption of fossil fuels is available from the U.S. government. If we look at that data and compare 2004 (latest year for which data is available) to 1997 (last year before the Kyoto treaty was signed), we find the following.

Emissions worldwide increased 18.0%.
Emissions from countries that signed the treaty increased 21.1%.
Emissions from non-signers increased 10.0%.
Emissions from the U.S. increased 6.6%.

In fact, emissions from the U.S. grew slower than those of over 75% of the countries that signed Kyoto. Below are the growth rates of carbon dioxide emissions, from 1997 to 2004, for a few selected countries, all Kyoto signers. (Remember, the comparative number for the U.S. is 6.6%.)

Maldives, 252%.
Sudan, 142%.
China, 55%.
Luxembourg, 43%
Iran, 39%.
Iceland, 29%.
Norway, 24%.
Russia, 16%.
Italy, 16%.
Finland, 15%.
Mexico, 11%.
Japan, 11%.
Canada, 8.8%.

World and U.S. opinion seems to revolve around who signed Kyoto rather than actual carbon dioxide emissions. Once again, stated intent trumps actual results. Can even the global warming believers possibly believe this treaty has anything to do with it?



For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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