The Week That Was
September 1 , 2007
The Great Tragedy of science, the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis with an ugly fact,
How distortion of the IPCC report (1995) ultimately led to the Kyoto Protocol [ITEM #2]
From the archives: http://www.sepp.org/Archive/controv/ipcccont/Item05.htm
Trying to rectify the misleading Summary of the CCSP report on Wikipedia is proving to be difficult [ITEM #3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_Change_Science_Program I put in a correcting paragraph but someone keeps removing it. I NEED HELP.
According to the Summary, the observations agree with greenhouse models. But according to the data in the report itself, they do not. For more detail, see ITEM #4.
Anyway, the surface data are less reliable than the atmospheric temperature data from balloons and satellites. Douglas Keenan has uncovered some strange inconsistencies and suggests fraud. See Motl Lubos http://motls.blogspot.com/2007/08/urban-heat-islands-fabricated-papers.html and ITEM #5.
From reader Odd Andersen in Trondheim, Norway:
The Danish manufacturer Bonus, now taken over by Siemens, has supplied 109 windmills to three different locations in Norway. On Monday this week it was announced that public access to these locations was temporarily suspended, also all work inside the nacelles, until the cause of an accident on a similar windmill in the United States had been determined. No details were given about this accident, but it must have been severe. Do you know anything about it?
My guess is that the accident was fatal, and that it probably was caused by a wing thrown off due to runaway speed. Such an accident occurred in Norway in December 2005. Four workers were in the nacelle when the windmill started to spin wildly and a wing was thrown off. In this case the windmill stopped due to damage caused by the huge unbalance that followed, and the workers were saved.
SPPI's new website is up and running.
1. PREFACE: NIPCC VS. IPCC
Before undergoing a major operation, wouldn’t you seek a ‘second opinion’? When a nation faces an important decision that risks its economic future, or perhaps the fate of the ecology, it should do the same. It is a time-honored tradition to set up a ‘Team B,’ which examines the same original evidence but may reach a different conclusion. So here: the NIPCC (Non-Governmental International Panel on Climate Change) was set up to examine the same climate data used by the IPCC [the UN sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change]. On the most important issue, whether current climate change is caused by human activities, we reach a completely different conclusion – namely, that natural causes dominate.
Below, we sketch out the history of the two organizations and list the conclusions and responses that form the body of the NIPCC report. But first, what about the claimed scientific consensus on Global Warming? It doesn’t exist; it’s all fiction [see Appendix 1].
The rise in environmental consciousness since the 1970s has focused on a succession of ‘calamities:’ cancer epidemics from chemicals; extinction of birds and other species by pesticides; the depletion of the ozone layer by supersonic transports and later by freons; the death of forests [‘Waldsterben’] because of acid rain; and finally, Global Warming, the “mother of all environmental scares” (according to the late Aaron Wildavsky). The IPCC can trace its roots to World Earth Day in 1970, the Stockholm Conference in 1971/72, and the Villach Conferences in 1980 and 1985. In July 1986, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) set up the IPCC as an organ of the United Nations. Its key personnel and lead authors were appointed by governments, and its Summaries for Policymakers (SPM) have been subject to approval by member governments of the UN. The scientists involved with the IPCC are almost all supported by government contracts, which not only pay for their research but for the work they do in participating in IPCC activities. Of course, all travel to exotic locations of the drafting authors is paid for by government funds – and hence by taxpayers.
The history of the IPCC has been described in several publications. What is not emphasized, however, is the fact that it was an activist enterprise from the very beginning. In other words, it had an agenda: to achieve control of the emission of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide. The three chief ideologues were Professor Bert Bolin (a meteorologist at Stockholm University), Dr. Robert Watson (an atmospheric chemist at NASA, and later at the World Bank), and Dr. John Houghton (an atmospheric radiation physicist at Oxford University, later head of UK Met Office as Sir John Houghton). Watson, especially, has had the experience of chairing a self appointed group to document trends in stratospheric ozone and was instrumental in pushing for the 1987 Montreal Protocol to control the emission of CFCs. Using the ‘blueprint’ of the Montreal Protocol, environmental lawyer David Doniger (of the Natural Resources Defense Council) then laid out a plan to achieve the same kind of control mechanism for greenhouse gases, eventually adopted as the Kyoto Protocol.
From the very beginning, the IPCC was quasi governmental -- in the sense that the leading scientists reflected the positions of their governments or tried to induce their governments to adopt the IPCC position. In particular, a small group of activists wrote the all-important Summary for Policymakers for each of the four IPCC assessment reports. These SPMs turned out, in all cases, to be highly selective ‘summaries’ of the voluminous science reports -- typically 800 or more pages, with no index, and essentially unreadable except for dedicated scientists. Table 1 lists the chief conclusions of the four IPCC Assessment Reports and the SEPP responses thereto.
The IPCC’s First Assessment Report [FAR 1990] concluded that the observed temperature changes were ‘broadly consistent’ with greenhouse models. Without much analysis, it gave the ‘climate sensitivity’ of 1.5 to 4.5 degC temperature rise for a doubling of greenhouse gases. The IPCC-FAR led to the adoption of the Global Climate Treaty at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro; but it drew a critical response from the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP), consisting of an overview and appendices from cooperating scientists. [See “The Greenhouse Debate Continued: An analysis and Critique of the IPCC Climate Assessment” (S. Fred Singer, Editor)].
The IPCC’s Second Assessment Report [SAR] was completed in 1995 and published in 1996. Its SPM contained the memorable conclusion “the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate.” The SAR is also noteworthy for having made significant changes in the body of the report to make it ‘conform’ to the SPM -- after it was finally approved by the scientists involved in writing it. Not only was the report altered but a key graph was also doctored to suggest a human influence; yet the evidence presented to support the SPM conclusion turned out to be completely spurious. There is voluminous material available about these text changes, which were also documented in a Wall Street Journal editorial article by Dr. Frederick Seitz . It led to heated discussions between supporters of the IPCC and those who were aware of the altered text and graph, including an exchange of letters in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society .
It also provoked the 1996 publication of the Leipzig Declaration by SEPP, which was signed by some 100 climate scientists. The booklet “The Scientific Case Against the Global Climate Treaty” followed in September 1997.
In spite of its obvious shortcomings, the IPCC report provided the underpinning for the Kyoto Protocol, which was adopted in December 1997. The background is described in detail in the booklet “Climate Policy – From Rio to Kyoto,” published by the Hoover Institution in 2000. The Kyoto Protocol also provoked the adoption of a short statement expressing doubt about its scientific foundation. It was published by the Oregon Institute for Science and Medicine and attracted over 17,000 signatures from scientists, mainly in the US.
The Third Assessment Report of the IPCC, IPCC-TAR, published in 2001, is noteworthy for its use of spurious scientific papers to back up the SPM claim of ‘new and stronger evidence.’ One of these was the so called ‘hockey-stick,’ an analysis of proxy data, which claimed that the 20th century was the warmest in the past 1000 years. The paper was later found to contain basic errors in its statistical analysis. The IPCC also supported a paper that claimed pre-1940 warming was of human origin and due to greenhouse gases. This work, too, contained fundamental errors in its statistical analysis. It is significant that the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC no longer makes use of these two research papers. The SEPP response to TAR was a 2002 booklet “The Kyoto Protocol is Not Backed by Science,” translated into several languages.
The Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC, AR4, was published in 2007; the SPM was released in February and the full report in May -- after it had been changed to ‘conform’ to the summary. IPCC-AR4 concluded that “most of current warming is ‘very likely’ human caused.” However, it ignored solid evidence against a human contribution to current warming. It also ignored the substantial research of the past few years on the effects of solar activity on climate change.
The NIPCC (Non-Governmental International Panel on Climate Change)
Because of these omissions, which became evident from the initial drafts of AR4, the SEPP decided to set up a ‘Team B’ to produce an independent evaluation of the available scientific evidence. While the initial organization took place in 2004, Team B only became activated after the SPM appeared in February 2007; it changed its name to NIPCC and organized an international climate workshop in Vienna in April 2007.
Our present report stems from the NIPCC workshop. For highlights, see Table 2.
Our report is both timely and important. The fear of global warming, based on incomplete and faulty science, is distorting energy policy in many nations and has the potential of inflicting severe economic harm, which will be particularly burdensome on low-income groups. Global warming hype has led to demands for unrealistic efficiency standards for cars; for the construction of uneconomic wind and solar energy stations; for the requirement for electric companies to purchase ‘renewables’; for the establishment of large production facilities for uneconomic biofuels, such as ethanol from corn; and for plans to sequester carbon dioxide emitted from power plants. In addition, policies have been developed that try to hide the huge cost of greenhouse-gas controls -- such as cap and trade, Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), carbon offsets, and similar scams that enrich a few at the expense of the rest of us.
Many voices have been raised in the political debate. Skeptics include, inter alia, the President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus, the former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, and the Russian Academy of Sciences. On the other side are global warming fearmongers, like UK science advisor Sir David King and his predecessor Robert May (now Lord May). In spite of increasing pressures to join Kyoto and institute emission limits on CO2, President George Bush in the United States and Prime Minister John Howard in Australia have resisted – so far. Instead of focusing on the science, the debate has now degenerated into questions about motivation, name calling, and ad hominem attacks.
We trust that the NIPCC critique of the IPCC will convince fair-minded individuals that the evidence against anthropogenic global warming is sound and that schemes to control GH gas emissions are useless, pointless, and a huge waste of resources that could better be applied to genuine societal problems.
1. Seitz, F. 1996. "A Major Deception on Global Warming" WSJ June 12
2. Singer, S.F. et al 1997. Bull Am Meteorol Soc. 78: 81-82
Table 1: IPCC Conclusions and SEPP responses
IPCC Conclusion [In SPM]
FAR 1990: “The size of the warming over the last century is broadly consistent with the predictions of climate models, but is also of the same magnitude as natural climate variability” (p.xxix)
“The Greenhouse Debate Continued: An Analysis and Critique of the IPCC Climate Assessment” (S. Fred Singer, Editor). ICS Press, San Francisco, 1992. ISPN: 1-55815-233-4
SAR 1995: “… the balance of evidence suggests that there is a discernible human influence on global climate” (p.5)
“The Scientific Case Against the Global Climate Treaty” Sept. 1997 <http://www.sepp.org/publications/GWbooklet/GW.html> [Also available in German, French, and Spanish]
S. Fred Singer. “Climate Policy – From Rio to Kyoto,” Essays in Public Policy No.102. Hoover Institution, Stanford CA, 2000. ISBN 0-8179-4372-2. http://www.SEPP.org
S. Fred Singer “Hot Talk Cold Science – Global Warming’s Unfinished Debate.” Independent Institute, Oakland CA, 1997 & 1999. . http://www.SEPP.org
TAR 2001: “There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.” (p.10)
S. Fred Singer “The Kyoto Protocol is not Backed by Science” May 2002. . http://www.SEPP.org
AR4 2007: “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations” (p.10)
“Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years” 2007
NIPCC Report 2007
(Emphases added throughout)
Table 2: Highlights of the NIPCC Report
2. A MAJOR DECEPTION ON GLOBAL WARMING
Op-Ed by Frederick Seitz
Wall Street Journal, June 12, 1996
Last week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations organization regarded by many as the best source of scientific information about the human impact on the earth's climate, released "The Science of Climate Change 1995," its first new report in five years. The report will surely be hailed as the latest and most authoritative statement on global warming. Policy makers and the press around the world will likely view the report as the basis for critical decisions on energy policy that would have an enormous impact on U.S. oil and gas prices and on the international economy.
This IPCC report, like all others, is held in such high regard largely because it has been peer-reviewed. That is, it has been read, discussed, modified and approved by an international body of experts. These scientists have laid their reputations on the line. But this report is not what it appears to be--it is not the version that was approved by the contributing scientists listed on the title page. In my more than 60 years as a member of the American scientific community, including service as president of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society, I have never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer-review process than the events that led to this IPCC report.
A comparison between the report approved by the contributing scientists and the published version reveals that key changes were made after the scientists had met and accepted what they thought was the final peer-reviewed version. The scientists were assuming that the IPCC would obey the IPCC Rules--a body of regulations that is supposed to govern the panel's actions. Nothing in the IPCC Rules permits anyone to change a scientific report after it has been accepted by the panel of scientific contributors and the full IPCC.
The participating scientists accepted "The Science of Climate Change" in Madrid last November; the full IPCC accepted it the following month in Rome. But more than 15 sections in Chapter 8 of the report--the key chapter setting out the scientific evidence for and against a human influence over climate--were changed or deleted after the scientists charged with examining this question had accepted the supposedly final text.
Few of these changes were merely cosmetic; nearly all worked to remove hints of the skepticism with which many scientists regard claims that human activities are having a major impact on climate in general and on global warming in particular.
The following passages are examples of those included in the approved report but deleted from the supposedly peer-reviewed published version:
The reviewing scientists used this original language to keep themselves and the IPCC honest. I am in no position to know who made the major changes in Chapter 8; but the report's lead author, Benjamin D. Santer, must presumably take the major responsibility.
IPCC reports are often called the "consensus" view. If they lead to carbon taxes and restraints on economic growth, they will have a major and almost certainly destructive impact on the economies of the world. Whatever the intent was of those who made these significant changes, their effect is to deceive policy makers and the public into believing that the scientific evidence shows human activities are causing global warming.
If the IPCC is incapable of following its most basic procedures, it would be best to abandon the entire IPCC process, or at least that part that is concerned with the scientific evidence on climate change, and look for more reliable sources of advice to governments on this important question.
Mr. Seitz is president emeritus of Rockefeller University and chairman of the George C. Marshall Institute.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, July 11, 1996
My June 12 editorial-page article "A Major Deception on Global Warming" presents facts indicating that Benjamin D. Santer, and possibly others, made major unauthorized changes in a key technical chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report after that report had been accepted by governments. The consequence of these changes was to delete the expressions of skepticism with which many scientists react to global warming claims.
Dr. Santer's June 25 Letter to the Editor in reply attempts to confuse the basic issue: Was the scientific report changed after the governments had formally approved it?
The facts of the case are quite simple. The deadline for reviewers' comments on Chapter 8 of the IPCC report was July 7, 1995, according to a letter from IPCC Chairman Bert Bolin. In November 1995, the final draft of Chapter 8 was accepted by a working group of government representatives in Madrid. That identical version was accepted by the full lPCC at the plenary session in Rome the following month. But the version of Chapter 8 that was published was not the version that was approved at the IPCC plenary in Rome. All the major changes I pointed out in the published version -- for example, deletion of the important statement that we cannot yet attribute the observed warming to the greenhouse effect -- came to light only after the government representatives in Rome had accepted the supposedly final version and gone home.
Dr. Santer says that "IPCC procedures require changes in response to comments," Of course they do, but not after the governments have accepted the final draft. The fact is that someone connected with the presentation of the published version -- presumably Dr. Santer and others -- rewrote basic technical material in Chapter 8 with the result that scientific doubts about man-made global warming were suppressed. Clearly, governments will have to look elsewhere than the IPCC for sound science on climate change.
Dr. Seitz, former president of the U. S. National Academy of Sciences, has revealed that a UN-sponsored scientific report promoting global warming has been tampered with for political purposes. Predictably, there have been protests from officials of the IPCC, claiming that the revisions in their report, prior to its publication, did nothing to change its emphasis. They also claim that such unannounced changes of an approved draft do not violate their rules of transparency and open review.
It is good therefore to have on hand an editorial from the international science journal Nature (June 13). Even though the writer openly takes the side of the IPCC in this controversy, impugning the motives of the industry group that first uncovered the alterations in the text, the editorial confirms that:
The IPCC summary itself, a political document, is economical with the truth: It has problems with selective presentation of facts, not the least of which is that it totally ignores global temperature data gathered by weather satellites, which contradict the results of models used to predict a substantial future warming. It seems to me that IPCC officials, having failed to validate the current climate models, are now desperately grasping at straws to buttress their (rather feeble) conclusion that "the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on climate." In this crusade to provide a scientific cover for political action, they are misusing the work of respected scientists who never made extravagant claims about future warming.
It is clear that politicians and activists striving for international controls on energy use (to be discussed in Geneva in July when the parties to the Global Climate Treaty convene) are anxious to stipulate that the science is settled and trying to marginalize the growing number of scientific critics. It is disappointing, however, to find a respected science journal urging in an editorial that "charges . . . that [the IPCC report on global climate change has been 'scientifically cleansed' should not be allowed to undermine efforts to win political support for abatement strategies."
S. Fred Singer, President
The Science & Environmental Policy Project
In May 2006, the first of 21 planned CCSP Synthesis and Assessment reports was issued with NOAA serving as the lead agency. Titled "Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences" the report identified and corrected errors in satellite temperature measurements and other temperature observations, allowing for increased confidence in the conclusion that on a global scale the lower atmosphere is growing warmer and that:
"there is no longer a discrepancy in the rate of global average temperature increase for the surface compared with higher levels in the atmosphere." ... "the observed patterns of change over the past 50 years cannot be explained by natural processes alone".
The report also noted that:
"all current atmospheric data sets now show global-average warming that is similar to the surface warming. While these data are consistent with the results from climate models at the global scale, discrepancies in the tropics remain to be resolved."
In the June 2006 Geotimes, Michael Glantz eloquently expresses a widely held concern about global warming. I want to expand his apt taxonomy of birds (hawks, doves, owls and ostriches) by adding “Chicken Littles,” who fear that the sky is falling just because some ice is melting.
Glantz points out, quite correctly, that climate is always either warming or cooling -- and, of course, this means that ice is either melting or growing. The real problem though is to determine how much of current warming is due to natural causes and how much is manmade. This requires a comparison of the patterns of the observed warming with the best available models that incorporate both anthropogenic (greenhouse gases and aerosols) as well as natural climate forcings.
Fortunately, we have the just published U.S.-Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) report
([[www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap1-1/finalreport/default.htm]]), based on best current information. As shown in Figure 1.3F in the report, modeled surface temperature trends are seen to change little with latitude, except for a stronger warming in the Arctic. The observations, however, show a strong surface warming in the northern hemisphere but not in the southern hemisphere (see Figures 3.5C and 3.6D in the CCSP report). The Antarctic is found to be cooling and Arctic temperatures, while currently rising, were higher in the 1930s than today.
Although the Executive Summary of the CCSP report inexplicably states that a discrepancy no longer exists between tropospheric and surface temperature changes, a disparity is quite apparent in the report itself. The greenhouse models indicate that the tropics should provide the most sensitive location for their validation; trends there increase strongly with altitude, peaking at around 10 kilometers. The observations, however, show the opposite: flat or even decreasing tropospheric trend values (see Fig. 3.7 and also Fig. 5.7E). This disparity is demonstrated most strikingly in Figure 5.4G, which shows the difference between surface and troposphere trends for a collection of models (displayed as a histogram) and for balloon and satellite data.
Allowing for uncertainties in the data and for imperfect models, there is only one valid conclusion from the failure of greenhouse models to explain the observations: The human contribution to global warming is quite small, so that natural climate factors are dominant. This may also explain why the climate was cooling from 1940 to 1975 -- even as greenhouse-gas levels increased rapidly.
An overall test for climate prediction may soon be possible by measuring the ongoing rise in sea level. According to my estimates, sea level should rise by 1.5 to 2.0 centimeters per decade (about the same rate as in past millennia); the U.N.-IPCC (4th Assessment Report--draft) predicts 1.4 to 4.3 centimeters per decade. Writing in The New York Review of Books (July 13, 2006), NASA scientist James Hansen, however, suggests the scary value of 20 feet or more per century -- equivalent to about 60 centimeters or more per decade.
Atmospheric physicist S. Fred Singer is professor emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia and former director of the US Weather Satellite Service.
Regarding station movements over time, the papers of Jones et al. and Wang et al. make the following statements. "The stations were selected on the basis of station history: we chose those with few, if any, changes in instrumentation, location or observation times. [Jones et al.] They were chosen based on station histories: selected stations have relatively few, if any, changes in instrumentation, location, or observation times...." [Wang et al.] ... The essential point here is that the quoted statements from Jones et al. and Wang et al. cannot be true and could not be in error by accident. The statements are fabricated.
--Douglas J. Keenan, Informath, 3 August 2007
The lead author of Jones et al. is Phil D. Jones. Jones is one of the foremost global warming researchers in the world; he is also one of the two Coordinating Lead Authors of the chapter in the IPCC report subtitled "surface and atmospheric climate change" (here "surface" refers to the surface of the Earth, i.e. where people live). This might be considered the most important chapter of the IPCC report. It is also the chapter that cites the study of Jones et al.
--Douglas J. Keenan, Informath, 3 August 2007
The conclusions are clear. First, there has been a marked lack of integrity in some important work on global warming that is relied upon by the IPCC. Second, the insignificance of urbanization effects on temperature measurements has not been established as reliably as the IPCC assessment report assumes.
--Douglas J. Keenan, Informath, 3 August 2007
The conclusions are clear. First, there has been a marked lack of integrity in some important work on global warming that is relied upon by the IPCC. Second, the insignificance of urbanization effects on temperature measurements has not been established as reliably as the IPCC assessment report assumes.
Source CCNet. FULL REPORT at http://www.informath.org/WCWF07a.pdf
6. WHY NOT NUCLEAR ENERGY?
by Ernest Lefever, in the Daily Standard, 7/25/2007
In their zeal, the extreme American environmentalists have overlooked, or even condemned, the best source of clean power--nuclear energy. The most efficient way for the United States to produce more clean energy is to build new nuclear power plants. We now operate 103 such plants that produce 20 percent of the nation's electricity, all built before the Three Mile Island accident in 1979 that stuck such fear in professors, politicians, and the press. In fact, the accident produced only one casualty. Dr. Edward Teller, father of the H-bomb, is fond of saying the he was that casualty--because the widespread apocalyptic assessment caused him to have a heart attack!
The false perception of Three Mile Island has virtually stopped America from building any new nuclear power plants for 25 years, while Britain, France, Germany, and India have forged ahead. Since their beginning, nuclear plants have caused no fatalities except for Chernobyl, the massive meltdown at the Soviet-built power reactor that in 1986 killed at least 56 persons.
And nuclear power plants are clean. They throw no pollutants into the air in contrast to coal plants that produce large quantities of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.
America's demand for electricity will increase 50 percent by 2025. Since we cannot depend on foreign oil, we must embark on a vigorous effort to build new nuclear energy plants that are safe, efficient, clean, and whose fuel is not dependent on imports from abroad.
Two bits of good news. President George W. Bush gingerly mentioned the need for more nuclear energy in his recent State of the Union address. And more down to earth, the Tennessee Valley Authority has just requested permission to build two new nuclear power reactors and to restart the one at Browns Ferry, Alabama, which had been shut down for 22 years. When Browns Ferry first went on line in 1974 it was the largest nuclear power plant in the world.
Ernest W. Lefever is a senior fellow at the Ethics & Public PolicyCenter and editor of The Apocalyptic Premise. Copyright 2007, News Corporation, Weekly Standard, All Rights Reserved.
7. ECONOMIC CLIMATE CHANGES
By Marlo Lewis, American Spectator, July 10, 2007
Congress is considering global warming legislation to require substantial cuts in emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the inescapable byproduct of the fossil fuels -- coal, oil, and natural gas -- that supply 85 percent of the world's energy. China, India, and every other developing country refuse to limit their emissions because they fear CO2 controls more than global warming. What do they know that our lawmakers don't?
National Review's Jonah Goldberg http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MmJiZDEyYzkxYWE0OWYxMWY4Y2ZjYzI2YmNmOGExMDE= notes that that Earth warmed about 0.7 degrees Celsius in the 20th century while global GDP increased by some 1,800 percent. For the sake of argument, he says, let's agree that all of the warming was anthropogenic -- the result of economic activity. And let's further stipulate that the warming produced no benefits, only harms. "That's still an amazing bargain," Goldberg remarks.
Average life expectancies doubled during the 20th century. The world's population nearly quadrupled, yet per capita food supply substantially increased. Literacy, medicine, leisure, and "even in many respects the environment hugely improved, at least in the prosperous West."
This suggests a thought experiment that I recently posed to Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and her colleagues on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee:
Suppose you had the power to travel back in time and impose carbon caps on previous generations. How much growth would we be willing to sacrifice to avoid how many tenths of a degree of warming? Would humanity be better off today if the 20th century had half as much warming -- but also a half or a third or even a quarter less growth? I doubt anyone on this committee would say "yes." A poorer planet would also be a hungrier, sicker planet. Many of us might not even be alive.
So, how much future growth are Boxer and company willing to sacrifice to mitigate future warming? That is not an idle question. Some people believe we're now smart enough to measurably cool the planet without chilling the economy. But Europe is having a tough time meeting its Kyoto commitments, http://www.ippr.org.uk/uploadedFiles/pressreleases/2005/trafficlights.pdf and Kyoto would have no detectable impact on global temperature. http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=20859TARGET=BLANK
Three of the main climate bills introduced in the Senate this year would require CO2 emission cuts of about 60 percent by 2050. http://www.rff.org/rff/Documents/RFF-07-16.pdf Yet the Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that in 2030 U.S. emissions will be about 33 percent above year 2000 levels. http://www.eia.doe.gov/ . Nobody knows how to meet the targets in those bills without severe cuts in either economic growth or population growth.
But won't the bills' carbon penalties make deep emission reductions achievable by spurring technological change? Don't bet on it.
European countries have been taxing gasoline for decades at rates that translate into carbon penalties of $200 to $300 per ton of CO2. (A $1.00 a gallon gasoline tax roughly translates into a $100 per ton CO2 penalty, http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/1605/coefficients.html and Europe taxes gasoline at rates of $2- $3 a gallon or more. http://www.iea.org/textbase/stats/surveys/mps.pdf
Where in Europe is the miracle fuel to replace petroleum? Where are all the zero emission vehicles? Europe is not one mile closer than we are to achieving a "beyond petroleum" transport system. On the contrary, European Union transport sector CO2 emissions in 2004 were 26 percent higher than in 1990. http://www.eea.europa.eu/pressroom/newsreleases/ghgtrends2006-en
The EIA analyzed the market impacts of the relatively modest -- $7 per ton -- CO2 emission cap in "discussion draft" legislation sponsored by Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Arlen Specter (R-PA). The bill's proposed cap would cut projected investment in coal generation by more than half. http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/servicerpt/bllmss/pdf/sroiaf(2007)01.pdf
However, it does not make carbon capture and storage (CCS) economical. Would a bigger regulatory hammer do the trick? No, it would just drive more investment out of coal generation.
An MIT study finds that it will take billions of dollars over a decade to find out whether CCS is economical under a $30-per-ton CO2 penalty. http://web.mit.edu/coal/The_Future_of_Coal_Summary_Report.pdf Note that even if CCS is determined to be "economical," the MIT study estimates that coal generation over the next five decades grows by less than 20 percent of what it would in the absence of a carbon penalty.
Regulatory climate strategies put the policy cart before the technology horse. Not until markets are capable of producing vast quantities of affordable energy without emissions would it be reasonable for Congress to consider mandatory emission cuts.
Policy makers concerned about global warming should do three things. First, as Danish statistician Bjorn Lomborg recommends, encourage worldwide R&D investment in non-carbon-emitting energy technologies. http://downloads.heartland.org/Lomborg testimony 3-21-07.pdf This -- not tougher CO2 controls -- should be the focus of post-Kyoto diplomacy.
[SEPP Comment: Lomborg still believes IPCC science: that CO2 is responsible for warming and that warming is dangerous]
Second, eliminate tax and other political barriers to innovation and capital stock. A recent study by the American Council for Capital Formation http://www.accf.org/pdf/Energy-Depreciation-Comparison.pdf shows that the United States lags behind many of our trading partners in capital cost recovery for investment in electric power generation, transmission lines, pollution control equipment, and petroleum refining capacity.
Third, as economist Indur Goklany recommends http://www.fraserinstitute.ca/admin/books/files/AdaptiveManagementPost.pdf
for a fraction of Kyoto's cost, target international assistance on those threats to human health and welfare where we know how to do a lot of good for each dollar invested. This would not only save millions of lives today, it would also help developing countries become wealthier and less vulnerable to climate-related risk.
Marlo Lewis is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
8. ABRUPT CLIMATE CHANGE
CO2Science.org, Volume 10, Number 29: 18 July 2007
Climate alarmists are always talking about abrupt climate changes resulting from earth's rising temperature passing some ominous "tipping point" that triggers the occurrence of more numerous and severe storms, floods and droughts. One need only look to Al Gore's testimony of 21 March 2007 before the United States Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee for confirmation of this fact, wherein he states - without equivocation - that "droughts are becoming longer and more intense," but, of course, without offering any evidence in support of his contention.
To fill this gaping void with respect to drought, we here report the findings of Narisma et al. (2007), who analyzed "global historical rainfall observations to detect regions that have undergone large, sudden decreases in rainfall [that] are statistically significant at the 99% level, are persistent for at least ten years, and .. have magnitudes that are [mostly] 10% lower than the climatological normal (1901-2000 rainfall average)."
Working with the gridded high-resolution (0.5 x 0.5 degrees of latitude and longitude) global precipitation data set of Mitchell et al. (2004), which covers the period 1901-2000, the four researchers identified 30 drought episodes throughout the world that satisfied these stringent criteria during the 20th century. Among this major drought directory was the sudden and prolonged Sahel drought of Africa in the late 1960s, the United States Dust Bowl of the 1930s and Southwest drought of the 1950s (which also affected parts of Mexico), the strong and persistent droughts that occurred in northeast China in the 1920s, in Kazakhstan and regions of the former Soviet Union in the late 1930s, in southeast Australia in the late 1930s, and in southern Africa and eastern Europe in the 1980s, as well as the World War II droughts of 1937-1945 and the droughts that occurred over large regions of East India and Bangladesh in the 1950s.
With respect to the temporal distribution of the 30 severe and persistent droughts identified by Narisma et al., seven of them occurred during the first two decades of the 20th century (1901-1920), seven occurred during the next two decades (1921-1940), eight during the middle two decades of the century (1941-1960), but only five during the next two decades (1961-1980), and a mere three during the final two decades of the century (1981-2000), which is not at all what one would have expected if the climate-alarmist thesis that is propounded by Gore and his followers was correct.
So just what is the situation here? The scientists who performed the analysis note that the 30 major droughts they identified were "mostly located in semi-arid and arid regions" that "are naturally prone [our italics] to large fluctuations." And it's as simple as that. The 30 major droughts of the 20th century were likely natural in all respects; and, hence, they are "indicative of what could also happen in the future," as Narisma et al. state in their concluding paragraph. And happen they will. Consequently, the next time a serious drought takes hold of some part of the world and the likes of Al Gore blame it on the "carbon footprints" of you and your family, ask them why just the opposite of what their hypothesis suggests actually occurred over the course of the 20th century, i.e., why, when the earth warmed - and at a rate and to a degree that they claim was unprecedented over thousands of years - the rate-of-occurrence of severe regional droughts actually declined.
by Sherwood, Keith and Craig Idso
Mitchell, T.D., Carter, T.R., Jones, P.D., Hulme, M. and New, M. 2004. A comprehensive set of high-resolution grids of monthly climate for Europe and the globe: The observed record (1901-2000) and 16 scenarios (2001-2100). Tyndall Center Working Paper 55, Norwich, UK.
Narisma, G.T., Foley, J.A., Licker, R. and Ramankutty, N. 2007. Abrupt changes in rainfall during the twentieth century. Geophysical Research Letters 34: 10.1029/2006GL028628.