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UN chief: World risks oblivion without deal to battle global warming [ITEM #1].
GOP's Fred Thompson asserts skepticism on warming[ITEM #2]
news from the Vatican. [ITEM #3]
Maybe we did some good last spring:
"Pope Benedict XVI has launched a surprise attack on climate change prophets of doom, warning them that any solutions to global warming must be based on firm evidence and not on dubious ideology. The leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics suggested that fears over man-made emissions melting the ice caps and causing a wave of unprecedented disasters were nothing more than scare-mongering."
BALI: THE LONG ROAD TO NOWHERE and other gems from the Bali Gab-fest [ITEM #4]
A new call for reason: Openletter from scientists to UN chief [ITEM #5]. See
List of signatories, see: < http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=164004>
and editorial comment: http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=164001
Why Bush should veto the Energy Bill being shaped in Congress [ITEM #6]
The anti-IPCC paper in Internat’l Journal of Climatology (Royal Meteorological Society)
· Real science vs. IPCC ‘consensus’: The Singer Hendricks debate [ITEM #7]
· Release by the publisher [ITEM #8]
· Release about Dec 14 Press Briefing by SEPP [ITEM #9]
· News story about the paper in
1. UN CHIEF: WORLD RISKS OBLIVION WITHOUT DEAL TO
BATTLE GLOBAL WARMING
Yahoo News - AP ^ | 12/12/07 | JOSEPH COLEMAN
Indonesia - The human race faces OBLIVION if it fails to
confront global warming, the U.N. secretary-general said Tuesday, as delegates
to the U.N. climate conference haggled over a new document strengthening a call
for deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by rich nations.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived on the resort island of Bali to preside over the final days of the two-week conference, which aims to set an agenda and deadline for talks that will lead to a climate change pact to succeed the Kyoto Protocol in 2012.
Ban urged quick action as negotiators worked on a final conference decision document. A version obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday included guidelines for industrialized countries to cut their emissions overall by 2020 by between 25 percent and 40 percent.
"The situation is so desperately serious that any delay could push us past the tipping point, beyond which the ecological, financial and human costs would increase dramatically," Ban said in a speech to delegates.
"We are at a crossroad," he added. "One path leads to a comprehensive climate change agreement, the other to oblivion. The choice is clear."
2. GOP'S FRED THOMPSON ASSERTS SKEPTICISM ON WARMING:
don't know to what extent it's due to manmade causes”
GLENN: … What do you think about this Al Gore global warming?
SENATOR THOMPSON: Well, what troubles me about it is not the analysis and the debate over the analysis. I think that that can be a good thing. It's jumping from there to all of these solutions that people have because they're being proposed on the basis of inadequate knowledge.
We don't have all the answers by a long shot. We know the Earth is warming. We don't know whether or not it's a part of a cycle. We've had cooling stages before. We don't know to what extent it's due to manmade causes. We don't know what effect we can have on that. We don't know what the significance of it is going to be. You have everything, you know, coastline estimation from inches of water rising to feet and everything in the middle. All the answers are not there. I resent trying to close off debate about all this, but a lot of people are trying to do that. Then they're jumping from that to solutions …
what's really going to happen is that the United States is going to be pushed
into making unilateral decisions that will hurt us and not help the overall
problem. We could do a lot of things here in the United States [but if] the
Chinese and Indians did not participate, it would more than swamp whatever
benefits that we could come up with.
3. GOOD NEWS FROM THE VATICAN.
Pope Benedict XVI has launched a surprise attack on climate change prophets of doom, warning them that any solutions to global warming must be based on firm evidence and not on dubious ideology. The leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics suggested that fears over man-made emissions melting the ice caps and causing a wave of unprecedented disasters were nothing more than scare-mongering.
Benedict said those who prophesize catastrophic global warming caused by humans
are wrong. His remarks, to be made on World Peace Day January 1, were
released by the Vatican yesterday as UN Global warming alarmists gathered at a
plush resort on the Indonesian island of Bali.
He said the world needed to take care of the environment but not to the point where the welfare of plants and animals takes precedence over that of mankind, the London Daily Mail reported. It is important for assessments in this regard to be carried out prudently, he said, in dialogue with experts and people of wisdom, uninhibited by ideological pressure to draw hasty conclusions and above all with the aim of reaching agreement on a model of sustainable development capable of ensuring the well-being of all while respecting environmental balances.
The Vatican hosted a conference on climate change last spring, the Mail article noted and since then senior cardinals close to the Vatican have referred to the environmental movement as being just as dogmatic as any religion.
4. BALI: THE LONG, ARDUOUS ROAD TO NOWHERE?
Nina Brenjo, Reuters, 10 December 2007
The climate change talks have barely begun on the Indonesian island of Bali, but the U.S. broadcaster CNN has already packed its bags and left the island. The reason? "A probable lack of significant news", according to Britain's Financial Times. The lack of reporting about the conference may not be a problem in the rest of the media, but most of the articles caution against high expectations of any tangible results coming out of the gathering of 190 nations.
"This is just talks about talks," says Dominic Lawson, writing in Britain's Independent.
Rather than real negotiations, the Bali meeting, as Sydney Morning Herald explains, is "but one step on a long, arduous road that may or may not lead to a more effective anti-global warming regime after 2012 than the existing Kyoto Protocol".
"The Bali gabfest," is Margaret Wente's verdict in Canada's Globe and Mail.
Both Lawson and Wente think that "despite all the earnest blather", politicians are simply not acting "like they mean it" when it comes to climate change. Take Germany, for example, says Wente. Nothing's been done about the emissions from its vast auto industry. And the Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown "has already shown his colours", says Lawson, when he approved the building of a third runway at Heathrow Airport.
FULL STORY at http://www.alertnet.org/db/blogs/1265/2007/11/10-114403-1.htm
Hoven , The American Thinker, 11
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%.
By Richard Black, Environment correspondent, BBC News website
Decision-makers in the climate change field have little faith in biofuels as a low-carbon technology, the World Conservation Union (IUCN) has found.
Unveiled at the UN climate convention meeting in Bali, its survey shows professionals have more confidence in bicycles than in biofuels.
Christopher Monckton, a UK climate researcher, had a blunt message for UN
climate conference participants on Monday.
"Climate change is a non problem. The right answer to a non problem is to have the courage to do nothing," Monckton told participants.
"The UN conference is a complete waste of our time and your money and we should no longer pay the slightest attention to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,)" Monckton added.
comment: It should really be “your
time and our (tax-payers’) money”
emission reduction targets have been dropped from the draft Bali climate change
accord, which will lead to a new agreement on global warming. The initial draft
proposal outlined the target for developed countries but delegates in the
negotiations have revealed specific numbers have been left out of the latest
draft. The accord will be finalised by the end of the summit on Friday.
--Cara Jenkin, Adelaide Advertiser, 11 December 2007
the US, Japan and Canada are resisting pressure from the UN and developing
countries to adopt dramatic targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions as a major
split emerges at the Bali conference on climate change. As business and
industry warn of catastrophic economic effects if the ambit claims of 25-40 per
cent emission cuts by 2020 are adopted at the conference, [Australian premier]
Kevin Rudd and his Climate Change Minister Penny Wong have declared Australia
will not budge until it knows the full cost of adopting any targets.
--The Australian, 12 December 2007
5. DON'T FIGHT, ADAPT: WE SHOULD GIVE UP FUTILE ATTEMPTS TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE
Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations
National Post, December 12, 2007
His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon
Secretary-General, United Nations
New York, N.Y.
Dear Mr. Secretary-General,
Re: UN climate conference taking the World in entirely the wrong direction
It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages. Geological, archaeological, oral and written histories all attest to the dramatic challenges posed to past societies from unanticipated changes in temperature, precipitation, winds and other climatic variables. We therefore need to equip nations to become resilient to the full range of these natural phenomena by promoting economic growth and wealth generation.
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued increasingly alarming conclusions about the climatic influences of human-produced carbon dioxide (CO2), a non-polluting gas that is essential to plant photosynthesis. While we understand the evidence that has led them to view CO2 emissions as harmful, the IPCC's conclusions are quite inadequate as justification for implementing policies that will markedly diminish future prosperity. In particular, it is not established that it is possible to significantly alter global climate through cuts in human greenhouse gas emissions. On top of which, because attempts to cut emissions will slow development, the current UN approach of CO2 reduction is likely to increase human suffering from future climate change rather than to decrease it.
The IPCC Summaries for Policy Makers are the most widely read IPCC reports amongst politicians and non-scientists and are the basis for most climate change policy formulation. Yet these Summaries are prepared by a relatively small core writing team with the final drafts approved line-by-line by government representatives. The great majority of IPCC contributors and reviewers, and the tens of thousands of other scientists who are qualified to comment on these matters, are not involved in the preparation of these documents. The summaries therefore cannot properly be represented as a consensus view among experts.
Contrary to the impression left by the IPCC Summary reports:
· Recent observations of phenomena such as glacial retreats, sea-level rise and the migration of temperature-sensitive species are not evidence for abnormal climate change, for none of these changes has been shown to lie outside the bounds of known natural variability.
· The average rate of warming of 0.1 to 0. 2 degrees Celsius per decade recorded by satellites during the late 20th century falls within known natural rates of warming and cooling over the last 10,000 years.
· Leading scientists, including some senior IPCC representatives, acknowledge that today's computer models cannot predict climate. Consistent with this, and despite computer projections of temperature rises, there has been no net global warming since 1998. That the current temperature plateau follows a late 20th-century period of warming is consistent with the continuation today of natural multi-decadal or millennial climate cycling.
In stark contrast to the often repeated assertion that the science of climate change is "settled," significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming. But because IPCC working groups were generally instructed (see http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/docs/wg1_timetable_2006-08-14.pdf) to consider work published only through May, 2005, these important findings are not included in their reports; i.e., the IPCC assessment reports are already materially outdated.
The UN climate conference in Bali has been planned to take the world along a path of severe CO2 restrictions, ignoring the lessons apparent from the failure of the Kyoto Protocol, the chaotic nature of the European CO2 trading market, and the ineffectiveness of other costly initiatives to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Balanced cost/benefit analyses provide no support for the introduction of global measures to cap and reduce energy consumption for the purpose of restricting CO2 emissions. Furthermore, it is irrational to apply the "precautionary principle" because many scientists recognize that both climatic coolings and warmings are realistic possibilities over the medium-term future.
The current UN focus on "fighting climate change," as illustrated in the Nov. 27 UN Development Programme's Human Development Report, is distracting governments from adapting to the threat of inevitable natural climate changes, whatever forms they may take. National and international planning for such changes is needed, with a focus on helping our most vulnerable citizens adapt to conditions that lie ahead. Attempts to prevent global climate change from occurring are ultimately futile, and constitute a tragic misallocation of resources that would be better spent on humanity's real and pressing problems.
[List of signatories] < http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=164004>
Copy to: Heads of state of countries of the signatory persons.
By Richard W. Rahn
The Washington Times, December 12, 2007
What do you think would happen
if the 1,000-plus page energy bill before the Senate did not pass? Would your
lights go out? Would you be unable to buy fuel for your car?
If the energy bill that passed the House on Dec. 6 is now passed in the Senate, American taxpayers will be burdened with $21 billion in new taxes and have less freedom to drive the cars that they want.
You may be thinking, why would members of Congress want to increase my taxes and reduce my freedom? For all too many, being in government is a power trip, and being able to micromanage the lives of others gives them a kick the proposed energy bill being Exhibit I..
In free-market economies, the price system negates the need for big brothers and mothers in government to manage our lives. When shopping for a car, people make tradeoffs. Bigger cars provide more carrying capacity for people and their belongings, and are generally safer, but they use more gasoline. As gasoline prices go up, increasing numbers of people buy smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles Economics 101 without Congress telling them to do so. Yet, the new energy bill states that cars and trucks must average 35 miles a gallon by 2020, regardless of individual need. My own bet is that with the advances in technology spurred by high gasoline prices, electric cars will be the norm by 2020, and so the regulation will be moot. But if I am wrong with my tech forecast, the congressional mandates will cause more unnecessary highway deaths, more inconvenience to American families, and will force manufacturers to produce vehicles that might be uneconomic for some companies.
The energy bill also mandates that electric utilities produce 15 percent of their power from "renewable sources," which makes no economic sense in many parts of the country. If nuclear energy can be produced for a third of the cost of a renewable, why should all consumers be saddled with higher prices to do things less efficiently? Again, the free-market price system tells producers what fuels they should use far more effectively than lordly senators and representatives ever can.
As you may have noticed, thousands of companies around the world are trying to figure out how to bring more energy to us at lower prices. They are doing this because the present high energy prices signal that great profits are to be made by those who succeed as some surely will.
But Congress, by giving tens of billions of dollars of subsidies to political favorites, such as corn farmers to make uneconomic ethanol, and engaging in mindless regulation, is distorting those price signals and actually slowing energy innovation. Also, the ethanol scam, by diverting crop land, is a major factor in the rise in food prices.
By proposing $21 billion more in taxes to pay for the subsidies and misallocating scarce resources, Congress will make all Americans poorer, less safe and less free. A new study indicates the legislation will cause a net loss of 4.9 million jobs and by 2030 diminish the average American household’s annual purchasing power by about $1,700 from baseline levels.
One truly foolish and arrogant provision of the bill would mandate a phase-out of the standard incandescent electric light bulb. But the private sector has already invented high-brightness LEDs and other new lighting technologies that use a small fraction of electricity and last far longer than the traditional bulb. As the price of these new technologies drop, individual consumers will quickly switch over as they are already doing without the nannies in Congress telling them to do so. (LEDs have become standard for stop lights and are used on the White House Christmas tree this year).
Members of Congress want to be able to claim credit for something the private sector is already doing, because the price system gives entrepreneurs the appropriate signals to speed up innovation.
For the first 150 years of the American Republic, members of Congress would come to Washington for a several weeks to tend to the appropriate functions of government, which are few. But, sadly, they now hang around Washington all year, getting into mischief and acting like a bunch of socialist bureaucrats in a never-ending quest to manage our lives.
The beauty of the free-market price system is that it provides the private sector with all the information it needs to fulfill the wants, needs and desires of the people including energy far more quickly and efficiently than any government can.
The biggest gift Congress could give the American people is to forget about the energy bill and take a longer Christmas vacation.
Richard W. Rahn is the chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth.
7. REAL SCIENCE VS ‘CONSENSUS’
Sun, Not Man, Main Cause of Climate Change, New Study Says
By Monisha Bansal, CNSNews.com Staff Writer, December 11, 2007
(CNSNews.com) - According to a new study on global warming, climate scientists at the University of Rochester, the University of Alabama, and the University of Virginia found that the climate change models based on human influence do not match observed warming.
That is contrary to the views held by former Vice President Al Gore, who accepted the Nobel Prize on Monday along with the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and who thinks that climate change is largely caused by human action.
Gore wants nations to tax carbon dioxide emissions and not build any new coal plants, among other steps. "It is time to make peace with the planet," Gore said in his Nobel speech, as reported by the Associated Press. "We must quickly mobilize our civilization with the urgency and resolve that has previously been seen only when nations mobilized for war."
The new report, which challenges the claims of Gore and the IPCC, was published in the December 2007 issue of the International Journal of Climatology of the Royal Meteorological Society.
The report was written by David Douglass at the University of Rochester, John Christy at the University of Alabama, and Benjamin Pearson and S. Fred Singer at the University of Virginia.
"Our findings basically are that fingerprints - that is to say, the pattern of warming - that's predicted by greenhouse models does not match the fingerprints of observations, so there is a disconnect between greenhouse models and the actual reality of observations," Singer told Cybercast News Service.
"This means that the greenhouse effect - while real - is not very important in producing climate change," he said. "It's a lot smaller than what the models calculate."
Singer said the reason why the models "overestimate the effectiveness of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases is that the models ignore what are called negative feedbacks that occur in the atmosphere, such as clouds, which reduce the effect of the greenhouse gases."
"Their models just don't consider them properly," he said.
But Bracken Hendricks, a senior fellow at the liberal Center for American Progress, told Cybercast News Service, that the study is "radically out of step with the complete scientific consensus."
"The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is not just a report. It's not just a random gathering of scientists. It's the largest scientific body ever assembled," he said. "Their most recent assessment determined that there's 90 percent certainty that global climate change is happening and that it is caused by human beings."
But Singer said, "We have to remember that the climate has always been changing ever since we have records, and we have geologic records going back millions and millions of years. We know that there have been huge climate changes on the earth long before human beings actually came into existence.
"We are fairly sure that what's causing the warming are changes in the sun," he said. "These are very subtle changes that are very difficult to observe. The sun is really a quite variable star."
Hendricks, however, said because of the IPCC report, "the assertion that this is caused by increased solar activity or these sorts of things is out of step with the vast consensus."
"It's dangerous to get into a game of dueling science," he added. "We don't want to be gambling with the fate of the planet."
But Singer said because global warming is a natural event. "There is little point to try to control emission of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, which means that all of this legislation and all of these efforts to find substitutes for fossil fuels are pointless, useless and very, very expensive," he said.
Hendricks countered, saying that alternative energy will be a multi-billion dollar industry and "an opportunity to revitalize our global competitiveness" through innovation and job creation.
8. NEW STUDY INCREASES CONCERNS ABOUT CLIMATE
PhysOrg, 11 December 2007
A new study comparing the composite output of 22 leading global climate models with actual climate data finds that the models do an unsatisfactory job of mimicking climate change in key portions of the atmosphere.
This research, published on-line Wednesday in the Royal Meteorological Society’s International Journal of Climatology, raises new concerns about the reliability of models used to forecast global warming.
“The usual discussion is whether the climate model forecasts of Earth’s climate 100 years or so into the future are realistic,” said the lead author, Dr. David H. Douglass from the University of Rochester. “Here we have something more fundamental: Can the models accurately explain the climate from the recent past? “It seems that the answer is no.”
Scientists from Rochester, the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) and the University of Virginia compared the climate change “forecasts” from the 22 most widely-cited global circulation models with tropical temperature data collected by surface, satellite and balloon sensors. The models predicted that the lower atmosphere should warm significantly more than it actually did.
“Models are very consistent in forecasting a significant difference between climate trends at the surface and in the troposphere, the layer of atmosphere between the surface and the stratosphere,” said Dr. John Christy, director of UAH's Earth System Science Center. “The models forecast that the troposphere should be warming more than the surface and that this trend should be especially pronounced in the tropics.
“When we look at actual climate data, however, we do not see accelerated warming in the tropical troposphere. Instead, the lower and middle atmosphere are warming the same or less than the surface. For those layers of the atmosphere, the warming trend we see in the tropics is typically less than half of what the models forecast.”
The 22 climate models used in this study are the same models used by the UN Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC), which recently shared a Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore.
The atmospheric temperature data were from two versions of data collected by sensors aboard NOAA satellites since late 1979, plus several sets of temperature data gathered twice a day at dozens of points in the tropics by thermometers carried into the atmosphere by helium balloons. The surface data were from three datasets.
After years of rigorous analysis and testing, the high degree of agreement between the various atmospheric data sets gives an equally high level of confidence in the basic accuracy of the climate data.
“The last 25 years constitute a period of more complete and accurate observations, and more realistic modeling efforts,” said Dr. Fred Singer from the University of Virginia. “Nonetheless, the models are seen to disagree with the observations. We suggest, therefore, that projections of future climate based on these models should be viewed with much caution.”
The findings of this study contrast strongly with those of a recent study that used 19 of the same climate models and similar climate datasets. That study concluded that any difference between model forecasts and atmospheric climate data is probably due to errors in the data.
“The question was, what would the models ‘forecast’ for upper air climate change over the past 25 years and how would that forecast compare to reality?” said Christy. “To answer that we needed climate model results that matched the actual surface temperature changes during that same time. If the models got the surface trend right but the tropospheric trend wrong, then we could pinpoint a potential problem in the models.
“As it turned out, the average of all of the climate models forecasts came out almost like the actual surface trend in the tropics. That meant we could do a very robust test of their reproduction of the lower atmosphere.
“Instead of averaging the model forecasts to get a result whose surface trends match reality, the earlier study looked at the widely scattered range of results from all of the model runs combined. Many of the models had surface trends that were quite different from the actual trend,” Christy said. “Nonetheless, that study concluded that since both the surface and upper atmosphere trends were somewhere in that broad range of model results, any disagreement between the climate data and the models was probably due to faulty data.
“We think our experiment is more robust and provides more meaningful results.”
for Press Briefing at National Press Club, Washington, DC, Dec. 14, 2007 at 8:30am
Contact: Dr S Fred Singer, President, SEPP singer@SEPP.org 703-920-2744
Climate warming is naturally caused; shows no significant human influence:
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant.
Climate scientists at the University of Rochester, the University of Alabama, and the University of Virginia report that observed patterns of temperature changes (‘fingerprints’) over the last thirty years are not in accord with what greenhouse models predict.
These results are in conflict with the conclusions of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and also with some recent research publications based on essentially the same data. However, they are supported by the results of the US-sponsored Climate Change Science Program (CCSP).