|The Week That Was
August 9, 2003
1. New on the Web: WE TAKE DON KENNEDY, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF SCIENCE, TO TASK FOR POLITICIZING HIS SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL. In his feeble reply, his only reference (Santer 2003) is to a second-hand account of a yet-to-be published analysis that is already suspect.
2. COST OF MONTREAL PROTOCOL RISES - BUT IS IT WORKING?
3. EPA ADDS ANOTHER USEFUL CHLORINE-BASED COMPOUND TO LIST OF BANNED SUBSTANCES
4. MORE PROBLEMS FOR THE HYDROGEN ECONOMY: A HAZARD TO STRATOSPHERIC OZONE?
5. GLOBAL WARMING: ENVIRO SCAREMONGERS FEEDING AT FEDERAL TROUGH
6. CONFUSING CLIMATE AND WEATHER? THE 1990S WERE NOT THE WARMEST DECADE
7. IPCC SCIENCE CHAIRMAN LAYS AN EGG: SHOWS HIS TRUE COLORS: GLOBAL
WARMING LIKE WMD
2. Developing Countries Funded to Phase Out Ozone Depleters
MONTREAL, Quebec, Canada, July 25, 2003 (ENS) - Almost US$100 million will be made available to India, Mexico, North Korea and Trinidad and Tobago to assist their industries to phase out substances that harm the ozone layer. At its 40th meeting last week, the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol resolved to assist these and 21 other developing countries to advance their elimination of ozone-depleting substances.
The ozone layer, which absorbs ultraviolet radiation harmful to living organisms and human health, is in danger from several chemicals currently used in industry and agriculture, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform and methyl bromide. India will receive a total of US$52 million to completely phase-out its production and consumption of the toxic chemical carbon tetrachloride. This chemical is used in making refrigeration liquid and aerosol can propellant. It has been used as a solvent and a cleaning fluid, such as in dry cleaning and spot removers, in fire extinguishers and even as a pesticide. In addition to its harmful effects on the ozone layer, carbon tetrachloride is dangerous to human health. Acute exposure to carbon tetrachloride at high levels can cause headache, weakness, lethargy, nausea and vomiting.
The Executive Committee has also targeted funds to phase out CFCs, which
are still used in refrigerators and air conditioners in developing countries.
These ozone-depleting substances can remain in the atmosphere for decades
or even longer, the committee said. About US$32 million from the Multilateral
Fund will go to Mexico, which has agreed to the gradual cessation of its
CFC production (currently estimated at 13,000 metric tons per year).
SEPP Comments: What a hope! After reading all this bureaucratic garbage,
if you really want to know where your money goes, read TWTW
of July 5-11, 1999. And if you are wondering whether the Montreal
Protocol is "saving the ozone layer," look at the latest report
from the World Meteorological Organization (2002). Ozone-depleting chemicals
are still increasing slowly in the stratosphere but ozone is no longer
depleting - not since 1992! Helloooh? And the best measurements still
show no increasing trend in solar ultraviolet radiation at the Earth surface.
Helloooh again. We'll have more to say about the Montreal Protocol in
a future issue of TWTW. Stay tuned
3. EPA Final Rule Adds Chlorine-Based Compound to List of Banned Substances:
According to BNA's Daily Environment Report, EPA published a final rule July 18 mandating the phase-out of chlorobromomethane (CBM), a compound used as a fire retardant and solvent. Under the final rule, the Agency will ban both production and use of the chemical, a Class I substance under the Clean Air Act. The ban takes effect August 18, and is being enacted in accordance with the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The most common uses of CBM have been in fire extinguishers and explosion-protection materials; however, it is also used as a feedstock in the production of pharmaceuticals, water treatment chemicals and biocides.
SEPP Comment: Its atmospheric lifetime is only 150 days! Still no good evidence that bromine is increasing in the stratosphere, but that doesn't stop the regulators
4. New hydrogen fuel cells could help deplete the ozone layer
Large amounts of leaked hydrogen would enter the stratosphere, according
to researchers at the California Institute of Technology.
5. Global warming: Henry Lamb exposes enviro scaremongers feeding
at federal trough
Sens. John McCain and Kyoto-Joe Lieberman are pushing an amendment to the president's energy bill which is designed more to provide ammunition for Kyoto-Joe's presidential bid than to alter global temperature. Sen. McCain is helping, as is the Environmental Defense Fund.
According to the New York Times, the Environmental Defense Fund is sponsoring a series of print and TV ads aimed at "putting the heat on Congress." EDF has taken more than $1.7 million in grants from the EPA and the Department of Energy in the last few years - both are agencies whose budget, staff and power would swell significantly were Kyoto-Joe's amendment to be adopted. In the TV ad, Sen. McCain is pictured saying something to the effect that "the science is with us." Ha! The science has never supported the exaggerated claims of the global-warming scaremongers. The very first U.N. assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was severely edited by the policymakers - to omit comments by skeptical scientists. As research has mounted since that first U.N. assessment report, the gap between science and the claims of the global-warming industry has widened dramatically. More than 19,000 scientists from around the world have now signed a statement that rejects the scaremongers' global warming claims.
The amendment to be offered by Kyoto-Joe and John McCain, would create a mini-Kyoto in the United States. It would establish an incredibly complex emissions trading scheme that would have the effect of rationing energy. It would also appropriate a ton of money to be used as grants to organizations such as the EDF. No wonder EDF is buying ads to promote passage of the amendment. They would never admit that the money to buy the ads ultimately came from the public trough.
The EDF website offers what it calls "Myth vs. Fact" on global warming. What they call "Myth" is often "Fact," and what they call "Fact" is little more than scaremongering propaganda. For example, the site says: "... and the scientific consensus is that in all likelihood the 1990's - the warmest decade in recorded history - were warmer than any decade in the last thousand years." Dr. John Christy's research dumps tons of ice on this hyperbole. He told a congressional hearing in May 2003 that, "In my region of Alabama, the 19 hottest summers of the past 108 years occurred prior to 1955. In the Midwest, of the 10 worst heat-waves, only two have occurred since 1970, and they placed 7th and 8th."
Both senators agree that the amendment has little chance of passage in a Republican-dominated Congress. Why, then, the big push? As Marlo Lewis, of the Competitive Enterprise Institute put it in his brilliant analysis back in January, Lieberman is setting up a political issue that he can exploit during his presidential campaign: Kyoto-Joe is for saving the planet, while the big bad Bush is for destroying the planet so his oil-loving cronies can get rich. McCain's motivation, as is often the case, is more mysterious. In the past, he has voted against similar measures. In the last Congress, he actually co-authored an op-ed piece with Sen. Kyl, in the East Valley Tribune, which blasted efforts to mandate tax-credits for "alternative fuel" use. It was also John McCain who promoted the election-reform bill, which would outlaw third-party ads, such as the current EDF campaign, but only 60 days before an election.
Science has thoroughly trashed the notion that human activity actually causes global warming. The die-hard beneficiaries of the global-warming industry ignore and ridicule the science that negates their claims. It is high time that the American public realizes that the global-warming scaremongers, who feed from the federal trough, care only about keeping their coffers full, regardless of the price everyone else has to pay.
6. Confusing climate and weather?
I read with some amusement the contention by paleoclimatologist Jonathan Overpeck of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that current global temperatures are the warmest in 1,200 years because the "Medieval Warm Period" a thousand years ago was merely a "regional" phenomenon ("More heat in debate over global warming," Providence Journal, Dec. 9).
As any scientist who has examined a map of current temperatures around the world can tell you, what we are now experiencing is also a regional phenomenon, and that is true whether temperatures are taken by satellites or surface temperature stations.
Both sets of data show "hot spots" at northern mid-latitudes (i.e., over the United States and Western Europe) that skew global averages. I am certain this would even show up in Dr. Overpeck's low-tech tree-ring data. Because these "hot spots" are so striking, some scientists have speculated that these temperature readings are either badly tainted by things like the urban "heat island" effect or indicate a regional influence of other kinds of human activities.
For example, one theory is that contrails from commercial airline traffic (which has been increasing at the rate of 5 percent a year) are creating high cirrus clouds and a regional enhancement of the greenhouse effect. That, of course, would be completely unrelated to any build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Your report appears to confuse "climate" with "weather." Those are two very different things. Weather can change suddenly or even be altered regionally for longer periods. Climate changes too - naturally - but it takes decades of careful observations to detect a trend.
Dr. James Hansen of NASA, so certain only a decade ago that a human-induced global warming was upon us, now says "the forcings that drive long-term climate change are not known with an accuracy sufficient to define future climate change."
He published that in a research paper just two months ago, but many climate scientists have been saying the same thing for years.
7. Global Warming is like WMD: Houghton blasts US refusal to join Kyoto
You may have missed this little bombast by former IPCC science head Sir
John Houghton. It was printed in the The Guardian on July 28. I've attached
the article, but you can access it directly at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1007042,00.html
Global warming is now a weapon of mass destruction
SEPP Comment: Global climate warmed between 1900 and 1940 (before substantial emission of GH gases) and has remained at roughly that level since - in spite of large fluctuations. A short-lived peak occurred in 1998 as a consequence of a strong El Nino event. No evidence at all that Global Warming causes extreme weather.