Friday, August 28, 2009


An email from Norm Kalmanovitch []

The Earth started to cool around 1942. By 1970, scientists were concerned that the world was returning to another Little Ice Age and advised governments of this prediction. The response of the governments was to put resources into initiatives that would help lessen the blow from the cooling temperatures. The most important of these initiatives was to develop crops that could withstand shorter growing seasons.

Global cooling came to an end in 1975, as the Earth returned to its previous (natural) warming trend, and within two years scientists, optimistic that the cooling had ended, started to advise the public as such.

All of the initiatives to protect against global cooling ended up being beneficial to the world's population. Most importantly the crops developed to withstand global cooling could also withstand other severe climate problems resulting in a greater food supply for the world.

The global warming trend unfortunately has not continued, and after global warming ended in 1998, global cooling took over in 2002 and the world has been cooling ever since with no end in sight.

Unlike the global cooling period, it was environmentalists, with an underlying ideological agenda, and not climate scientists that made predictions about continued catastrophic global warming, and instead of proposing intelligent measures to help society cope with the effects of this predicted global warming, they proposed measures that were supposed to stop this global warming. In reality these measures were only to serve the environmentalists' ideological agenda, and when global warming ended and cooling started, continuing these measures became far more important than honestly admitting that these measures were no longer necessary.

The world has already been cooling for over seven years, and the EPA which has a duty to the country to inform the public that global cooling is now the problem, continues to fail in its mandate and promotes measures that are not only meaningless but have crippled the economy, increased the cost of food, and increased the cost of power, all for the purpose of maintaining a self serving environmentalist agenda.

There has never been any science involved in the promotion of catastrophic global warming. When the Earth cooled from 1942 to 1975 CO2 emissions were increasing five times more rapidly than any time in history completely contrary to the AGW hypothesis proposed just 13 years after this cooling ended. None of the other greenhouse gases mentioned in the Kyoto Protocol are of sufficient quantity or affect a portion of the Earth's radiative spectrum that will result in any detectable effect on global temperature. These radiative bands are so narrow and in such low energy portions of the Earth's radiative spectrum, that even a ten-fold increase in all of the mentioned "greenhouse gases" will still not have a detectable effect on global temperature.

We breathe in CO2 at 400ppmv and breathe out CO2 at 40,000ppmv, which makes humans polluters for just breathing according to the EPA.

We already have pollution controls on our vehicles that remove all of the other pollutants mentioned as greenhouse gases, so this is a non issue.

Science is always putting hypotheses on trial and according to science protocol AGW lost its case in the opening arguments.

It is the EPA that needs to be put on trial to defend its continued promotion of economically crippling initiatives designed to combat something that ended well over a decade ago. The EPA must demonstrate current global warming; but all physical data refutes this. The EPA must demonstrate benefit of its initiatives; but there have been no benefits because the air is just as clean as it has been since actual pollution controls were mandated. The EPA must justify the cost to the economy of its measures; but the measures have only hurt the economy.

Any court case against the EPA will pit environmental ideology and consensus opinion against hard physical data, and when the global thermometers testify the trial will be over.


An email from James Rust [], Professor of Nuclear Engineering (ret.)

The BBC Earth News article on trees advancing in a warming world did not mention if the researchers had considered increased atmospheric carbon dioxide being the primary factor for trees advancing in high elevations. Carbon dioxide is the major nutrient for plants and trees and I would think the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide the past century would have been a major factor on any increase in tree growth.

The positive aspects of increased carbon dioxide needs to be explained to the general public to help dispense this foolish notion carbon dioxide is a poison gas.


An email from Will Alexander [] in South Africa

I trust that your readers have noticed the mounting resistance of African countries to what they perceive to be measures to use climate change to maintain the colonialist master-servant relationship. They perceive that climate change is intended to suppress the rise to economic competitiveness of the African nations.

Africa is fragmented as a result of historical colonialism. The African countries may find it difficult to speak with one voice but the underlying feeling is very clear. No African country will dare to impose restrictions which they perceive to be limitations on their development imposed by the Western nations. These are two examples that occurred during the past week.

The Libyan who was jailed because of his role in the Lockerbie disaster was released on health grounds. He received a hero's welcome when he returned to Libya. A South African woman athlete won the 800 m event in record time at the international athletics function in Berlin. She was immediately humiliated when the organisers publicly announced that she would undergo femininity tests. South Africans were outraged by the publicity and claimed that this was a racist reaction. She will receive a hero's welcome when she returns to South Africa.


There are two important facts that are deliberately suppressed by climate alarmists. The first is that nearly all African countries are net absorbers of carbon dioxide. This far outweighs their emissions. They should be entitled to financial benefits, not penalties.

The second is within my personal sphere of knowledge. It is the Secretary General's erroneous statement that if we fail to act, climate change will intensify droughts and floods, and that water shortages will affect hundreds of millions of people. This statement is demonstrably false. Since the establishment of the IPCC in 1988, there has not been a single loss of life in subcontinental Africa due to floods that can be provably attributed to climate change. The same applies to droughts and threats to water supplies.

The Secretary General's claim is based solely on theory that completely ignores the natural extremes that have been known since biblical times. The extreme events that were experienced in subcontinental Africa prior to 1988 have not been exceeded since then.

There is an opposing view propagated by the alarmists. The public have been informed that virtually every serious event is a consequence of climate change. This has already started to backfire. If this is the case, African countries have a right to claim compensation from the developed countries for each event.


Following on my last comment the WMO has just issued a warning that an El NiƱo event is developing in the Pacific. The South African Weather Service has issued a public warning that this could have serious effects in South Africa. When the drought occurs, African countries will have a strong case if they refer to the Secretary General's warning, blame it on emissions produced by the Western nations and demand compensation.

It will be a very serious mistake if the affluent nations of the West believe that they can bully the African nations into submission on this climate change issue. I have seen no evidence that the affluent nations fully appreciate the minefields that await them at Copenhagen.


Comment from Britain

Giant fly-swat shaped "synthetic trees" line the road into the office, where blooms of algae grow in tubes up the walls and the roof reflects heat back into the sky - all reducing the effects of global warming. All this could be a familiar sight within the next two decades, under proposals devised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers to alter the world's climate with new technology.

A day after John Prescott, the former Deputy Prime Minister and Environment Secretary, warned that negotiations for a global deal to cut carbon emissions were in danger of collapsing, the institution is recommending a series of technical fixes to "buy time" to avert dangerous levels of climate change.

It says that the most promising solution is offered by artificial trees, devices that collect CO2 through their "leaves" and convert it to a form that can easily be collected and stored.Tim Fox, head of environment and climate change at the institution, said that the devices were thousands of times more effective at removing carbon from the atmosphere than real trees.

In the first report on such geo-engineering by practising engineers, the institution calculates that 100,000 artificial trees - which could fit into 600ha (1,500 acres) - would be enough to capture all emissions from Britain's homes, transport and light industry. It says that five million would do the same for the whole world.

Dr Fox said that prototypes had been shown to work using a technology, developed by Klaus Lackner of Columbia University in New York, that isolated CO2 using low levels of energy. "The technology is no more complex than what is used in cars or air-conditioning units," he said.

Professor Lackner estimates that in production the units would cost $20,000 (£12,000) each, while the emissions associated with building and running each unit would be less than 5 per cent of the CO2 it captures over its lifetime.



The Climate Camp, which has been the focus of much overblown angst amongst the police this week, has finally revealed its secret location: Blackheath. The site has apparently been chosen for its historical connections, as the place where Wat Tyler rallied his army during the Peasants' Revolt in 1381. But is Wat an appropriate figurehead for what the Climate Campers want, or is he being hijacked wrongly?

Ironically, the two issues over which the Peasants revolted in 1381 were:

* Excessive taxation of the poor.

* Centralised state control of prices - in the aftermath of the Black Death, the number of farm labourers was reduced, so the price for their labour rose. The state sought to set prices artificially through legislation, and the peasants opposed this.

What is it that the climate campers want? Well, let's see:

* Higher taxes on: petrol, air travel, production of goods, electricity and gas.

* Centralised state control of prices.

Hmm. I get the impression that if Wat and the Campers were on Blackheath together rather than 628 years apart, they wouldn't all be signing Kumbayah together and making each other friendship bracelets, there would be an almighty scrap probably involving pitchforks.

The Climate Camp movement is part of the really extremist end of the environmentalist movement, who would happily impose vast increases in the cost of living for some of the poorest in our society. Already, as a result of green policies the average domestic energy bill is 14% higher than it would otherwise be. Millions of people who need to drive to work pay huge bills, far in excess of the social cost of their carbon emissions, of which the vast majority is taxation. (If you want to find out your own green tax bill, our Green Tax Calculator is here.)

Is this a new Peasants' Revolt? No, it is a small movement of political extremes and wealthy individuals who given half a chance would do the real poor immense harm. If they were in charge, then the real Peasants would be on the march.

PS: It's also been pointed out to me that the first action of the campers when they arrived on the Heath, which has been common land for a thousand years, was to ... erm ... fence it off.


The "Green jobs" go to China

Comment from Australia

JUST before the passage of the Rudd government's renewable energy target legislation, which was designed to ensure 20 per cent of our electricity came from solar, wind and geothermal sources by 2020 and to foster Australia's renewable energy industry, Australian Greens leader Bob Brown reassured the public about the viability of the renewable energy industry.

In Canberra on August 19 Brown responded to a statement by the ABC's Lyndal Curtis that "you can't export the sun or the wind, you can't export those renewables" with the confident declaration that indeed you could export renewables. "Oh yes, you can, and the Germans have made a feast of it and of course they've got a multi-billion-dollar export industry in renewable energy with 250,000 jobs created," Brown said.

Brown, like Climate Change Minister Penny Wong and other government ministers, was reassuring the Australian public that creation of a target for renewable energy made economic sense and would be the source of jobs, jobs, jobs.

After a compromise was reached with the Coalition in the Senate on reassurances for compensation for existing industries to protect existing jobs in Australia, the RET legislation passed, to the great relief of the Rudd government and the opposition.

Despite serious misgivings within the Coalition about supporting an RET, a political compromise was reached. Malcolm Turnbull was given credit for holding together his troops and Kevin Rudd was given credit for being prepared to negotiate and not hold national policy to ransom over the calling of an early election.

As the mid-November deadline nears for the second debate on an emissions trading scheme, it is worth considering the political processes of passing the RET and some of the policy implications in the real world of market economy and government subsidy distortions. These will end up limiting competition, pushing up prices in the long term and not cutting global greenhouse gas emissions. Which brings us back to Brown's glowing reports of renewable energy industry jobs in Germany.

Brown was right, Germany has made a feast of renewable energy. Its largest producer of solar cells, Q-Cells, indeed the world's largest producer, had been exporting huge amounts of cells, employing thousands and making millions of euros. In the first half of last year Q-Cells made a business operating profit of E119.1 million ($204m). But, six days before Brown spoke, Q-Cells announced a first-half operating loss of E47.6m, laid off 500 workers, closed a plant, put a further 2000 workers on short shifts and stepped up plans to establish a solar cell plant in Malaysia employing 2000 workers. Q-Cells production had remained almost constant, according to its business statement.

In Spain, one of the leaders in the installation of solar panels, the industry came to a halt and the main panel maker cut the shifts of 400 workers to a few hours a week. Other manufacturers simply shut down. The Wall Street Journal has reported that the collapse in Spain's photovoltaic sector "has been so drastic that jobs plunged from a peak of 41,700 early last year to 13,900 in the spring of 2009".

So what happened? In one word: China.

In its efforts to supplement its energy needs from renewable sources and fulfil its highly ambitious targets to feed in energy to supplement its growing coal-fired and nuclear-powered electricity sources, China has provided lavish subsidies to solar industries. Under these subsidies and ultra-cheap loans from Chinese banks a plethora of Chinese manufacturers has sprung up and flooded the world market with solar cells and panels, which vary remarkably in quality. (It must be said that some of the best use Australian technology.)

The biggest Chinese company, which is about to become the world's biggest solar company, Suntech, has cut the price of its panels and cells across the world. That's why Q-Cells in Germany has lost so much while maintaining the same production: cut-price Chinese products are driving down returns and making production in Europe unviable without continuing heavy government subsidies. The price of solar panels in some markets in the US has halved in the past year and in the past six months the cost of some solar panels has dropped by one-third in Australia.

This week Shi Zhengrong, chief executive and founder of Suntech Power Holdings, told The New York Times Suntech was selling solar panels on the US market for less than the cost of materials to build market share. This sounds suspiciously like dumping into a market, but there is no doubt Californian producers are pointing the finger at Suntech's prices as a reason for the global collapse in solar cell production. Another reason is that some European governments are beginning to wean the renewable energy industry off subsidies and sweetheart deals with inflated returns on rooftop electricity fed back into the national electricity grid.

All of this occurred in a two-week period when Australia's politicians were breaking their necks to do their own political deals over renewable energy, and to encourage homegrown solar industries and create instant jobs as part of the economic stimulus. The combination of a Chinese-induced price slump in Australia and the Rudd government's green stimulus, which includes roofing insulation subsidies, is that consumers have rushed to buy solar panels that may be of lesser quality and haphazardly installed because they are effectively free.

But the jobs created are for people bolting on the panels; the longer-term incentive for establishing solar cell production in Australia is diminished. Even some solar panel outlets are struggling because they have been caught with higher-priced European panels.

The supporters of the RET legislation argue that without a target and government support such industries will not get under way without a high price being set for carbon in the emissions trading scheme. This is true. The problem is that the promises of new green jobs to replace all the old brown jobs lost will be difficult to fulfil while China, for strategic reasons - not environmental sympathy - is prepared to open its bottomless pockets and distort a world market.

You'd think the global financial crisis would teach people a lesson about markets, government subsidies and intervention.



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