Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Global Warming Showdown on Capitol Hill: Hearing to address climate ‘deniers’ head on — Lord Monckton Set to Square off with Warmists

Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) will seek to further restore the public credibility of climate science this Thursday by hosting several top American researchers in an explanatory hearing that, his office promises, “will address the claims of deniers head-on.”

The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming hearing follows news yesterday that the InterAcademy Council, an alliance of many of the world’s science academies, had chosen its panel to review the methods of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Flaws and typos revealed in the IPCC’s influential 2007 report, particularly an error exaggerating the risk global warming poses to Himalayan glaciers, have damaged the panel’s standing and given ammunition to those critical of science underlying climate change.

The IPCC review, requested by the United Nations, will be led by Harold Shapiro, an economist and former president of Princeton University. The peer-review report will examine, among other topics, the literature that may be cited in IPCC reports — several errors stemmed from NGO or government reports that were not peer-reviewed — and data quality control. The panel expects to deliver its findings by the end of August. (See related story in today’s ClimateWire.)

Markey, the committee’s chairman and sponsor of the House-passed climate bill (H.R. 2454), will hear from three past and future American contributors to the IPCC, who will be tasked with laying out the fundamental science behind climate change.

The panel will also hear from Lisa Graumlich, the director of the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona, who served on a British panel investigating the conduct of scientists at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia. Intemperate e-mails leaked from the unit last winter gave rise to allegations that climate scientists sought to squash dissent and manipulate temperature data (ClimateWire, April 15).

Last month, the panel cleared the unit and its researchers of any malpractice.

“We saw no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit and had it been there we believe that it is likely that we would have detected it,” the reviewers said. “Rather we found a small group of dedicated if slightly disorganized researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of public attention.”

Also testifying to the panel will be another Briton, Lord Christopher Monckton, a hereditary peer in the House of Lords and prominent critic of the scientific consensus supporting anthropogenic climate change.


The truth behind green jobs

In his State of the Union speech President Obama claimed that, "Jobs must be our number one focus in 2010." No surprise, since for months the Bureau of Labor Statistics has shown the unemployment rate to be hovering dangerously close to 10 percent. Revised BLS numbers to show additional jobs losses in December and January with 363 out of 372 metropolitan areas in the U.S. reporting that they lost jobs in January.

Thus, it is with some dismay that we find the administration, as recently as Earth Day, continuing to push "green jobs," as the solution to the country's unemployment woes. This is a problem because research shows that every green job created through government mandates or subsidies, actually cost more jobs than it creates.

This should not come as a surprise. After all, if green jobs were cost effective, industries and companies would have adopted them absent government prodding. They haven't because green technologies are usually more expensive than existing technologies, or they are untested, experimental, or unreliable, and thus they are by and large rejected by consumers in the marketplace.

For instance, Spain was lauded by President Obama as a model for a new economy driven by green jobs. Yet Spain's example isn't one to be emulated if one is trying to boost employment. A 2009 study from Madrid's King Juan Carlos University found that for every green job the government "creates," 2.2 jobs are lost in competing industries or as factories lay off workers to cover the higher energy costs of the green technology. In addition, only 10 percent of those green jobs were permanent with the average green job adding nearly $750,000 in costs to consumers' bills.

Germany and Denmark have had similar green job experiences. Both countries are far ahead of the U.S. in forcing consumers to choose expensive green energy. In Germany, green job mandates increase the average consumers electricity prices by 2.2 cents per kilowatt hour to for an average subsidy per green job created in the solar power industry of more than $240,000. In Denmark, About 28,400 people were employed in the Danish wind industry, but only about 1 in 10 were new jobs - the remaining 90 percent were simply positions shifted from one industry to another. Worse, Danish gross domestic product was about $270 million less than it would have been if the wind industry work force were employed in other sectors.

In the U.S. the story is the same. In a Washington Post column, Sunil Sharan, director of the Smart Grid Initiative, pointed argued that green job initiatives will actually increase unemployment. Sharan estimated that President Obama's goal of increasing America's energy efficiency by installing 20 million smart meters in the next five years would create about 1,600 jobs. Unfortunately, Sharan estimated that 28,000 jobs would be lost just among meter readers. Untold more workers will also lose their employment as they will no longer be needed to input the readings back at the office - it's all done automatically. As Sharan put it, "Automation by definition obviates the need for people."

There are good reasons for installing smart meters and updating the power grid. Accordingly, the private sector, even without federal intervention, was already moving to improve the power system through the use of these technologies. But one shouldn't be fooled, green technologies are not a force for short-term job creation.

Environmental lobbyists have sold the Obama administration a green bill of goods. The recently signed HIRE Act provides billions in subsidies for Clean Renewable Energy Bonds and Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds. As a beginning, $150 billion has been pledged to move America towards a green economy over the next decade. This kind of investment will undoubtedly create some jobs, but overall the director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office notes that, "the net effect [of a green jobs policy] would likely be some decline in employment."

Our political leaders are right to focus on jobs like a laser beam. But government bureaucrats aren't usually thought of as innovators, and have a poor history of picking worthwhile technologies. The green job boondoggle is no exception to this truth. By contrast, innovations in the private sector will undoubtedly be critical in the energy sector as global energy demand is forecast to increase by 44 percent by 2030. Technological improvements proven through competition, not through the political patronage process, will ensure that the energy will be cleaner as efficiency increases.


Whoops! CO2 has almost nothing to do with global warming, discovers top US meteorologist

The other night I had a nightmare in which a general election was approaching and all three main competing parties had the same suicidal policy. They all believed in this thing called the Big Bad Fairy and were convinced that the only way to drive off the BBF and her evil hordes was by spending huge sums of taxpayers’ money – £18 billion a year was, I believe, the figure quoted in the nightmare – and by ruining the country with ugly, spinning Fairy Towers for the bad fairy hordes to nest in.

Then I woke up and found…

Seriously, though, what do we do? How we can possibly stop the environmental and energy policy of our next government being based on what US meteorologist Dr Roy Spencer calls “the worst case of mass hysteria the world has known.”?

Dr Spencer, formerly senior scientist for climate studies at NASA, now leads the US science team for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS (AMSRE) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. He co-developed the original satellite method for precise monitoring of global temperatures from Earth-orbiting satellites. He’s just the kind of egghead the IPCC claims to represent when it tells us the world is getting dangerously warmer, it’s man’s fault – the result of CO2 emissions – and it must be urgently addressed.

Except Dr Spencer doesn’t agree with any of that. He thinks it’s all nonsense, based on a very elementary error he describes in his new book The Great Global Warming Blunder. I summarise his arguments in this article.
Climate change, he shows, is an almost entirely natural process on which human influence is negligible.

Of course, sceptics have been making this point for years, arguing that the quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by man are so tiny that even if they were to double there would still be no dangerous Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW).

What they have been unable to answer convincingly until now, though, is the alarmists’ counterargument that CO2 emissions are exaggerated by “positive feedbacks”.

One type of positive feedback often cited by alarmists is cloud cover. When CO2 causes the world to warm, they argue, it reduces the number of clouds. Clouds are what help protect our planet from the burning heat of the sun, by reflecting solar radiation.

So even if the effect on climate of CO2 is relatively small, the potential knock-on effect is vast. This is why the predictions of temperature rises made by the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports are so large and terrifying.

But according to Spencer, these alarmists have got completely the wrong end of the stick. The mistake they have made is to confuse cause with effect. It’s not man-made global warming that is causing cloud cover to grow thinner, leading to a spiral of ever-rising temperatures. Rather, it’s natural variations in cloud cover that are helping to cause global warming.

This is what’s so annoying about the drivel produced by people like the Conservatives’ Shadow Secretary for Energy and Climate Change Greg Clark. I mention him because the likelihood is that this ill-informed buffoon will, this time next week, be in charge of arguably the most important sector of our economy: making decisions on how we power our industry, how much our utility bills are inflated through “green taxes”, how much money we waste on windfarms, and so on.

Yet this man’s entire ecological world view – his Weltanschauung, if you prefer, because I know how much some of you love it when I come over all German on you – is based on an urban myth.

I’m not necessarily saying “Don’t vote Conservative?” But “Don’t vote Greg Clark” might be a good start.

PS Telegraph blogs has been having a bit of trouble with the system, so you may need to be patient trying to get your comments in. My guess is that the trolls will be unusually active on this post, and that one of the things they’ll rush gleefully to point out is that Roy Spencer is a proponent of Intelligent Design. As if, somehow, that killer fact is so damning it utterly nullifies Dr Spencer’s meteorological expertise.


The Ultimate in Stupidity-Computer Model shows Plants causing Global Warming

Pull out all plants!

Adding to the Everything-Causes-Global -Warming file comes the nuttiest idea yet! Researchers have used computer modelling to show plants actually cause global warming. The research shows surprise,surprise,that the contribution of CO2 to Global Warming is "worse than we thought". I think that alarmist keyboards have those four words on a function key for fast retrieval.
Plants take carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere to do photosynthesis, and thus help reduce the greenhouse gases warming the planet. At least, that’s how the story went before researchers from the Carnegie Institution for Science (CIS) realized that the today’s carbon dioxide levels cause the plants to behave in a way that actually contributes to global warming.

Writing in the latest issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, the CIS scientists unveiled new research that shows increased carbon levels cause plants to retain water that otherwise would have evaporated from their leaves, entered theatmosphere and helped cool the planet. At local levels, this effect can increase the temperature to be 25 percent more than what the greenhouse effect would have done on its own.

“There is no longer any doubt that carbon dioxide decreases evaporative cooling by plants and that this decreased cooling adds to global warming,” said Long Cao, a CIS scientist and study coauthor . “This effect would cause significant warming even if carbon dioxide were not a greenhouse gas.”

Of course we now need and have been given a new climate computer model to rectify any minute inaccuracies in the old ones.
Most climate models don’t take the cooling effect of this escaped plant water into account, so the CIS researchers generated new climate models based on their understanding of this phenomenon.

The new model showed that, averaged over the entire globe, the loss of released plant water accounts for 16 percent of warming of the land surface, with greenhouse effects accounting for the rest. But in some regions, such as parts of North America and eastern Asia, the effect can account for more than 25 percent of the total warming.

Unfortunately, these results don’t just confirm that the contribution of CO2 to global warming is worse than scientists previously thought, but also greatly complicate any attempts to reverse the warming process.

Somewhere,sometime' these loons in white coats will have to learn that not every single natural process in this world has to be related to Global Warming and some things just are!


April 2010 cooler than April 1998

News: the RSS AMSU data for April 2010 are out. The anomaly, 0.546, is the lowest one for 2010 so far. It is the second warmest April on their record but it's more than 0.3 °C cooler than April 1998 and April 2005 was just a bit cooler than April 2010.

When you look at the daily UAH AMSU temperatures for April 2009 and April 2010, you will find out that the near-surface average brightness temperature for April 2010, -15.50 °C, was 0.4 °C warmer than that of April 2009, which was -15.90 °C.

That's a substantial year-on-year warming. However, with the anomaly around 0.55 °C using these centidegree conventions, as well as with the anomaly around 0.48 °C using these millidegree conventions, April 2009 will be the coolest month of 2010 so far.

It will be calculated to be the second warmest April on the UAH record, after April 1998 which remains the hottest month since 1978 when the UAH records began (and probably for a few centuries, too). The UAH anomaly in April 1998 was 0.76 or 0.77 °C, respectively, so the April 2010 anomaly will still be a whopping 0.2 or 0.3 °C cooler than April 1998.

The El Nino has weakened but the El Nino conditions continue and will continue through the summer. The year 2010 is likely to end up pretty close to 1998, the warmest year on the UAH record so far.

Note: the daily data contain some systematic error - because they use a "wrong" satellite - so they're not the best ones that the UAH team uses for their official figures now. But they're the best data that are instantly available on the daily basis. Sorry for the mess with the multiple datasets, it's not my fault. Because of these and various errors and confusions, my estimates must be understood as figures with a 0.05 °C error margin.


The smell of money

Thanks to Glenn Beck, we get bit more insight into the tangled web that The House of Global Warming was built on.

Who would have thought? Goldman Sachs has been working hard to save the environment for years.

Generation Investment Management (GIM) was founded by Al Gore, and a few friends, which included David Blood (former Goldman executive), Mark Ferguson (Goldman) and Peter Harris (Goldman). They are the fifth largest shareholder in the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX). Then in 2006, when the CCX needed some extra funding, who should step up to buy 10% of the company – Goldman Sachs.

CCX is an exchange that won’t be doing a heck of a lot if carbon trading doesn’t become mandatory. All of these players have a vested interest in Cap N Trade legislation.

But it’s not just Goldman Sachs getting in on the deal to make money out of the trading-scheme-based-on-thin-air.

In 2001, a man was apparently working on a device (?) to make carbon trading possible. He filed a patent, then died. His wife onsold this patent application — to Franklin Raines, the CEO of … wait for it, Fannie Mae. The same CEO who has committed massive accounting fraud.

Now the story gets more slippery: In 2000 the Chicago Climate Exchange was helped to get started by the Joyce Foundation. It’s a charity set up years ago, that now manages around a billion in funds. Here’s how Beck tells it:
The Joyce Foundation is like the George Soros’ TIDES Foundation. In fact, it’s actually bigger than TIDES and even funds TIDES. Think of it as a place where uber-rich and powerful liberals like to dump their money into, so the cash can be spread around to their pet projects without a direct link.

There was one influential member on the board of the Joyce Foundation at the time the Chicago Climate Exchange got its seed money; someone instrumental in steering the funds towards the creation of the Chicago Climate Exchange. They were on the board from 1994-2002. The founder of the Chicago Climate Exchange, Richard Sandor, said that he “knew (this person) well,” which is perhaps how the money was awarded to the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, where Sandor was a research professor. I’ll get back to that person in a minute.

Who could it be — that one influential member of the board, who was active in getting the CCX started? Apparently it was a man named Barack Obama.

And that patent application owned by the Fannie Mae CEO? It was finally approved by the patent office on Nov. 7, 2006. Coincidentally the day after the Democrats took control of Congress.
So now, Fannie Mae, who is congressionally mandated to “make housing more affordable,” is poised to reap billions on a system that has nothing to do with housing except for that it would make housing costs go up.



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1 comment:

John A said...

"the CIS scientists unveiled new research that shows increased carbon levels cause plants to retain water"

that otherwise would vastly add to the `Greenhouse Effect` aspect of Global Warming...

Dont they even talk to each other, or are they too busy lecturing us?