Thursday, December 17, 2009

Say what?! Stanford's Schneider claims: 'Hockey stick never used as proof of anthropogenic global warming by IPCC'

So sad to see such desperate attempts at rewriting history

Over at The Huffington Post, Stanford's Steve Schneider makes this remarkable claim: "The amazing scientific thing that nobody seems to be covering is that the "hockey stick" was never used as proof of anthropogenic global warming by IPCC"

This statement is just not true (maybe that will help to explain why no one seems to be covering it). Consider the image below of a BBC news story which covered a 2001 press conference on the occasion of finalizing the IPCC Third Assessment Report.

The man in the photo is John Houghton, head of the IPCC at that time. Look carefully in the background, that is the "hockey stick" graph up on a screen at the press conference. Well, this is perhaps circumstantial evidence. What did the IPCC actually say in its report?

In 2001, the Summary for Policymakers of the IPCC TAR included a section with the following heading: "There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities". In that section it reported: "There is a longer and more closely scrutinised temperature record and new model estimates of variability. The warming over the past 100 years is very unlikely to be due to internal variability alone, as estimated by current models. Reconstructions of climate data for the past 1,000 years (Figure 1b) also indicate that this warming was unusual and is unlikely to be entirely natural in origin."

What was Figure 1b? Why, the "Hockey Stick"!

If climate scientists want to regain lost credibility, and indeed not see it diminish further, they are going to have to stop playing the rest of us for fools. One way to do that is avoid saying things that are not true.


Zogby poll: More Americans Have Little or No Concern About Climate Change

Survey finds less than half (44%) believe U.S. should act to reduce energy use if it means major lifestyle changes

As the United Nations climate change summit in Copenhagen heads into its final week, nearly half of Americans -- 49% -- say they are only slightly or not at all concerned about climate change, while 35% are somewhat or highly concerned, a new Zogby Interactive survey shows. Zogby's latest polling shows an increase in those who hold this view compared with 2007, when 39% said they were slightly or not at all concerned about climate change and 48% said they were somewhat or highly concerned.

Intensity of concern about global climate change has shifted over the past three years in favor of those who are not at all concerned - 27% held this view in 2007, compared to 37% who say the same now. Fewer now say they are highly concerned - 20% today compared to 30% in 2007. This latest survey shows more than two-thirds of Republicans (68%) and 46% of political independents say they are "not at all concerned" about global climate change and global warming, compared to just 7% of Democrats. Thirty-eight percent of Democrats are highly concerned, compared to 4% of Republicans and 14% or independents.


Climategate’s Inconvenient Truth

As global-warming alarmists try to recover from “Climategate,” they have returned to the first principles of selling their product to the public. Among the most important of these, as any advertising professional can tell you, is delivering simple message. And so, following the script, alarmists world-wide spent a great deal of time last week declaring that not only is climate science settled, but the ways in which climate forces affect the entire planet is also beyond dispute.

In an interview with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell last week, the high-priest of the First Church of climate change, Al Gore, said: “A hundred and fifty years ago this year was the discovery that CO-2 traps heat. That is a — a principle in physics. It’s not a question of debate. It’s like gravity; it exists.”

One wonders why Mitchell didn’t ask the obvious follow-up questions: If the science is indeed that cut and dried, why are scientists across the globe spending billions of dollars to confirm something so blindingly obvious? Indeed, why did delegates at Copenhagen commit to spending billions more to explore a question that, according to Gore, does not merit further investigation?

On December 8, New York Times columnist Thomas Freidman echoed the alarmists’ party line, writing: “This is not complicated. We know that our planet is enveloped in a blanket of greenhouse gases that keep the Earth at a comfortable temperature. As we pump more carbon-dioxide and other greenhouse gases into that blanket from cars, buildings, agriculture, forests and industry, more heat gets trapped.”

Both statements belie a shocking ignorance of the science involved. Even the leading degreed cheerleaders in the alarmist community, like NASA’s Gavin Schmidt or Penn State’s Michael Mann, would hurry to distance themselves from these sorts of blanket declarations. It’s one thing to simplify scientific concepts. It’s quite another to bastardize them.

Consider Al Gore. There is one ironic truth in Gore’s statement: there is a striking similarity between the theory of gravity and the science of climate change. Scientists universally acknowledge that a force known as gravity exists, but, though theories abound, none can say how it works. In the same vein, it is undeniable that the earth’s climate fluctuates over time, but anyone who tells you that they understand all of the complex mechanisms that influence those changes displays the sort of hubris that would have either struck a chord with ancient Greek playwrights.

The most important scientific law at issue, when it comes to climate change, is Beer’s Law. Put in technical terms, Beer’s Law, which Gore by all accounts has not yet moved to invalidate, says that the relationship between the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the global warming effect of carbon dioxide is logarithmic, not linear. Put in more friendly terms, Beer’s Law is the law of diminishing climatic returns: The more carbon dioxide one puts into the atmosphere, the less effect it has on the climate.

Water vapor is, by far, our most important global warming gas. Its global warming potential is over forty times that of carbon dioxide and there is over fifty times more water vapor in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. All told, the net warming effect of water vapor exceeds that of carbon dioxide by a factor of more than two thousand.

The alarmists’ argument, such as it is, declares that increased concentrations of carbon dioxide will result in the evaporation of more water vapor, just enough – in theory – to “tip the balance” and lead to an uncontrollable increase in planetary temperatures. This is a more subtle, and much more difficult to demonstrate, argument than that proposed by alarmists like Gore and Friedman.

Skeptical scientists counter that the tiny amount of increased water evaporation associated with increasing carbon dioxide concentrations might just as well result in increase cloud formation, which everyone acknowledges would have a cooling effect, along with increased evaporative cooling. The alarmists spend an untold amount of time and an unimaginable amount of dollars attempting to prove that those mechanisms are not meaningful. It’s the twenty first century equivalent of determining exactly how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, with about as much practical relevance and at much more a cost to society.

If the public truly understood the subtle nuances of climate change science, along with the way that the alarmists have twisted science in order to further their own agenda and further their grant-funding, it’s hard to imagine that any significant portion of public opinion would express a preference for further climate change legislation or regulation.

The only hope, especially in the aftermath of Climategate, for true believers like Gore and Friedman, is to convince the public that there is nothing remarkable or nuanced or complicated about climate science.

The truth of the matter is quite the opposite. Climate science is enormously complicated. The more we learn about it, the less human activity seems to affect the climate. That may be an inconvenient truth, but based on all of the data we have gathered after spending untold billions of dollars that would appear to be the honest truth – even if it doesn’t support Al Gore’s doom-saying prophecies.


Global warming as a political tool

By Jonah Goldberg

On Monday, Lisa Jackson, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, formally announced that her agency now considers carbon dioxide to be a dangerous pollutant, subject to government regulation. The "finding" comes two years after the Supreme Court ruled that CO2 falls under the EPA's jurisdiction.

A day later, an unnamed White House official told Fox's Major Garrett that the message for Congress is clear: "If you don't pass this (cap-and-trade) legislation ... the EPA is going to have to regulate in this area. ... And it is not going to be able to regulate on a market-based way, so it's going to have to regulate in a command-and-control way, which will probably generate even more uncertainty."

And such "uncertainty" is a huge "deterrent to investment," which will hurt the economy even more. Translation: We don't want the EPA to kick the economy in the groin, but if Congress doesn't act, well, a-groin-kickin' we shall go.

This is grotesquely dishonest. The White House and Congress could, quite easily, do something about the EPA's threat. President Obama could instruct Jackson to interpret the Supreme Court's 2007 decision granting the EPA power to regulate greenhouse gases more loosely. He could ask Congress to simply rewrite the Clean Air Act so as to exclude carbon dioxide from its list of official pollutants - the policy the EPA followed for years until the Supreme Court reinterpreted the Clean Air Act.

But no. As part of the enduring statist desire to penetrate ever deeper into every nook and cranny of our lives, Greens have wanted to find a way for the government to regulate CO2, a natural byproduct of fire and breathing, for decades. Now they can.

That is why the White House will use Jackson as a Medusa's head, to petrify cap-and-trade opponents with the prospect of something even worse: the effective seizing of the means of production. The White House says nothing of the sort is going on. Jackson, the former chief of staff to lame-duck New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, is an independent, disinterested public servant simply following sound science with no concern for politics.

If Jackson cares so much about sound science, why is she basing some of her policies on data from the discredited scientific frat house, the Climatic Research Unit? If Jackson cares so little about politics, why did she make her announcement to such fanfare at the opening of Climapalooza in Copenhagen?

In fairness, Jackson is only a Medusa's head to those who care desperately about economic growth and who don't think draconian taxes on energy and massive wealth transfers for white elephants in the Third World are the answer to our problems. But for others, she represents another icon from Greek mythology: the Golden Fleece.

Jason and his Argonauts set out to find the fleece so they might place Jason on the throne of Iolcus. The original story is one of power-seeking in a noble cause. It's debatable whether the modern tale of Jackson and the Goregonauts is quite so noble. But it's obvious they're interested in power and hell-bent on fleecing.

Indeed, some of loudest voices have a weird habit of telegraphing their priorities. Tim Wirth, a former Senator and now chairman of the United Nations Foundation, once said: "We've got to ride the global-warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing, in terms of economic policy and environmental policy." New York Times columnist and prominent warm-monger Thomas Friedman has repeatedly said (most recently this week) that he doesn't care if global warming is a "hoax" because even if it is, the fear of it will force us to do what we need to do.

And it just so happens that with the exception of nuclear power - which most greens still won't support - global warming fuels nearly every progressive ambition. Wealth transfers from rich to poor nations: Check. The rise of "global governance" and the decline of American sovereignty: Check. A secular fatwa not only to erode capitalism but to intrude on every aspect of our lives (Greenpeace offers a guide to carbon-neutral sex): Check. Weaning us off of oil (which, don't let the Goregonauts fool you, was a priority back when we were still worried about global cooling): Check. The checks go on for as far as the eye can see, and we will be writing them for years to come.


Copenhagen 'a big gravy train', says Australian conservative leader

Nice to hear a politician call it for exactly what it is

OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott says the climate change summit in Copenhagen is turning into a gravy train for some countries. Wealthy nations in Copenhagen have so far pledged some $US22 billion ($24.43 billion) to bankroll the war on global warming. Australia was one of six developed countries that promised to set up a fund to fight the loss of forests in neighbouring countries - a leading source for rising temperatures.

Mr Abbott told a gathering of Liberal Party members in the seat of Deakin in Melbourne's east that the coalition would be bringing out its own climate change policy in a few weeks.

He fears that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who is in Copenhagen, will do a deal that will hurt the Australian economy while not doing much to advance world environment. "My problem is, why does Mr Rudd think the best way to save the environment is to increase your cost of living?" Mr Abbott said. "Why does he give us a tax policy and tell us it's an environment policy?" He said the Coalition policy on the environment would be one that tackles the problem and not one that pretends to fix the environment.

"My worry is that the more we see of Copenhagen, the more it looks like a great big gravy train for people whose objective is not so much the environment but it is to get more for them by leaping on the climate change bandwagon."


CFACT drops the banner on Greenpeace ships in daring land and sea raids

Activists tag Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior with “Propaganda Warrior” banner; Arctic Sunrise hit with “Ship of Lies” banner earlier in the day

Global warming skeptics from CFACT yesterday pulled off an international climate caper using GPS triangulation from Greenpeace's own on-board camera photos to locate and sail up long-side of the infamous Greenpeace vessel, Rainbow Warrior. Then in Greenpeace-like fashion, the CFACT activists unfurled a banner reading "Propaganda Warrior" which underscored how the radical green group’s policies and agenda are based on myths, lies, and exaggerations.

Earlier in the day the activists daringly boarded Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise with neither stealth nor force, but by baffling the crew with doughnuts, and unfurled a banner that read “Ship of Lies” off the starboard side. “Greenpeace has been using these kinds of tactics for decades, and now they can find out what it’s like to have a little taste of their own medicine, “ said CFACT executive director Craig Rucker who masterminded the operation.

CFACT unfurled the banners for two reasons, CFACT president David Rothbard explained. “Greenpeace ships, like the Rainbow Warrior and Arctic Sunrise, have become global symbols for radical environmentalism, and we wanted to call attention to the harm these groups are causing. And second, it seemed appropriate to use one of Greenpeace’s favorite tactics to make this point.”

Greenpeace protesters frequently hang banners from factories and office buildings, paint slogans on smokestacks, and employ other publicity stunts. Some are relatively harmless, but others reflect a willingness to lie or even destroy property to make a point.

In 1995, Greenpeace launched a $2-million public relations campaign against Shell Oil, claiming the company was planning to dump tons of oil and toxic waste in the ocean by sinking its Brent Spar platform as an artificial reef. It was a full year before the group issued a written apology, admitting it knew all along that there had been no oil or chemical wastes on the platform.

Greenpeace has frequently destroyed bio-engineered crops, wiping out millions of dollars in research efforts designed to develop food plants that are more nutritious, withstand floods and droughts better, and resist insect infestations without the need for chemical pesticides. It has also waged an unrelenting campaign against insecticides and insect repellants that could prevent malaria, a vicious disease that infects 500 million people a year, kills over 1 million and leaves millions more with permanent brain damage. “Greenpeace employs the same deceitful tactics in opposition to nuclear, hydroelectric and hydrocarbon energy, even though 1.5 billion people still do not have electricity – and thus don’t have lights for homes, hospitals and schools, or power to purify water and run offices, shops and factories,” Rucker says.

Rothbard acknowledged Greenpeace was launched for the best of reasons. “But it radicalized its mission. The more power it acquired, the more it abused that power,” he said. “Some of Greenpeace’s original cadre has left, feeling they can no longer associate themselves with its current agenda.”

Greenpeace claims that human carbon dioxide emissions are causing “dangerous global climate change.” Hundreds of climate scientists and thousands of other scientists disagree with that assertion, as frequently noted by Lord Christopher Monckton, former science advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and a CFACT advisor. “The continuing scandal over falsified and destroyed temperature data, manipulated climate models, and a perverted scientific and peer review process further demonstrates that there is no valid basis for this anti-energy, wealth-redistribution, global governance Copenhagen treaty,” said Rucker.

Anti-energy policies represent a “clear and present danger to the health and welfare of billions,” he added. Mandates for wind and solar would send energy prices skyrocketing, sharply constrict economic opportunities and destroy jobs. “People in developing countries simply want to improve their living standards, and give their children a chance to live past age five,” Rothbard said. “Greenpeace is diametrically opposed to giving them access to the modern technologies that would help them do that.”

Greenpeace is one of the “most unethical and irresponsible corporations on Earth,” said Christina Wilson, a recent graduate from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. “It’s time to expose it for what it is, and help promote real environmental justice. So I was really excited to participate in this human rights effort.”

“The ‘Ship of Lies’ and ‘Propaganda Warrior’ banners are part of CFACT’s long-term effort to bring sense and balance back to the environmental debate,” said Rothbard.



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@whut said...

to what end? greens have no money

Unknown said...

Hi, I enjoy reading your site. It certainly can be confusing hearing all the different slants and spin on this issue. I would like to ask a question if I can. How much CO2 is produced by man made emissions (cars, power plants, etc) and how much CO2 comes from natural forces such as volcanoes, plants, etc?