|The Week That Was
Nov. 6, 2004
NO TWTW FOR NOV 13
Fred Singer will be in England, seminaring and debating
Seminar talks in UK -Nov 2004
In October, Singer spoke in Oregon. Here is a brief report by Prof Fred Decker of Oregon State University:
Our Mt. Hood Soc. (MHS, membership centered in Portland) during 16-18
Oct. sponsored or co-sponsored four presentations by our most distinguished
meteorological colleague, Dr. S. Fred Singer, at the Portland site of
the annual meeting of the National Weather Assn., at Oregon State University
in Corvallis, and at Portland State University. The last was a formal
debate organized by PSU Prof Aslam Khalil, with Dr. Conway Leovy of the
U. of Washington (Seattle) taking the pro side of a question stated as,
"The threat of global warming calls for serious responses in U.S.
Energy Policy.". Dr. Singer took the negative side on this. We made
video recordings and expect to develop a documentary.
In Cambridge, Singer will be following up on Sir Crispin Tickell, a former diplomat and government adviser, who says urgent action is needed because climate change is more serious even than terrorism.
In a speech in Cambridge [before the Nov 3 elections], Sir Crispin says "Many in the US administration are "in a state of denial." He thinks the world will finally act together to confront the threat.
He says the understandable desire of most poor countries to follow the industrialised world in raising living standards and joining the consumer culture is in many ways impossible. Sir Crispin identifies the global division between rich and poor as "a prime and growing source of insecurity for all".
2. POST-ELECTION THOUGHTS
3. US MUST ACT ON CLIMATE, SAYS QUEEN*
4. MORE ON KYOTO --
5. GREENHOUSE GAS REDUCTIONS AREN'T CHEAP
6. CLIMATE CHANGE MAY REVERSE PROGRESS ON FIGHTING POVERTY
7. THE SUN WILL CONTROL 21ST--CENTURY CLIMATE
8: ARCTIC ICE HYPE
9. A CHAIR OF ECONOMIC DECLINE -IN BERLIN
2. Post-Election Thoughts
Over 55,000,000 Requests for Citizenship Since Tuesday Night
Canadian immigration officials have reported a huge increase in the number of requests for Canadian citizenship in the past twenty-four hours, with over fifty-five million such inquiries pouring in since late Tuesday night.
Of those fifty-five million requests, well over 99.99% of them came from U.S. citizens, the lion's share residing in such states as New York, California, Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew said that he was "flabbergasted" by the fifty-five-million-plus requests for Canadian citizenship, adding that it was difficult to pinpoint the precise reasons for the staggering increase.
"My only theory is that after many years of exposure in the U.S., ice hockey is finally starting to catch on," Mr. Pettigrew said.
He cautioned, however, that it is impossible to know exactly what is sparking the sudden interest in America's frozen neighbor to the north: "People answering our immigration hotline say that it is hard to understand many of the American callers because they are sobbing uncontrollably."
In other news, President Bush used his acceptance speech Wednesday to reach out to supporters of Sen. John Kerry, telling them, "You can run, but you can't hide."
Meanwhile, in his first statement since being voted out of office Tuesday night, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle said, "Do you want fries with that?"
Elsewhere, experts said that exit polls may have falsely predicted a
Kerry victory because Kerry voters exited while Bush voters stayed behind
and voted again.
3. US must act on climate, says Queen*
Mark Townsend and Gaby Hinsliff*
The Queen has made a rare intervention in world politics to warn Tony Blair of her grave concerns over the White House's stance on global warming. She is understood to have asked Downing Street to lobby the US after observing the alarming impact of Britain's changing weather on her estates at Balmoral in Scotland and Sandringham in Norfolk. The revelation gives an unusual glimpse into the mind of the monarch, who normally strives to stay above politics.
Further evidence of the Queen's views on global warming will be seen this week when she opens one of the most high-profile conferences ever staged in Europe on the issue. She is keen for this to be interpreted as a symbolic and political statement.
The Berlin summit will come a day after the US presidential elections and its outcome will dictate the tone of key climate talks. George Bush's administration has remained hostile to international attempts to reduce emissions of climate change gases.
'There has been dialogue between Downing Street and Buckingham Palace on all issues relating to climate change including the US position and the latest science. She is very keen to get involved,' said one of the UK's most eminent experts on climate change, who agreed to speak to The Observer on condition of anonymity.
He added: 'From her own observations on the climate she has become worried like the rest of us. She has made it clear she wants to raise the importance of the issue.'
In addition to her own fieldwork, the Queen was inspired by briefing papers supplied by Blair's chief scientist, Sir David King - who has described the threat of climate change as greater than global terrorism - and John Schellnhuber, research director of the Tyndall Centre, where Britain's pioneering work on global warming is conducted.
Schellnhuber, who this week will receive a CBE from the Queen for his
work on climate change, added that the identity of the next President
Environmentalists believe that the Queen's intervention is likely to prove crucial, particularly as Blair has promised to make climate change a key issue at the G8 group of major industrial nations next year.
Among those present for the Queen this week will be Sir David King, Environment
Secretary Margaret Beckett and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who sounded
a fresh warning only last week about the perils of climate change.
Bin Laden, the Queen, and Kyoto
By S Fred Singer, Letter to Editor
Karl Rove really should give some credit to Osama bin Laden, whose "October Surprise" on al Jazeera TV forcefully reminded American voters that terrorism is the world's number-one problem and that George Bush is the better leader.
By contrast, on the day Kerry delivered his concession speech, the Queen of England at her Berlin Embassy listened attentively as chief scientist Sir David King ("Global Warming is a greater threat than terrorism") pontificated yet again on the menace of climate change. Sir David is clearly bucking for a peerage; I think Lord King of Kyoto would be a nifty name.
A propos Kyoto: Britain is reported to be vying with Germany for leadership in the battle against climate change - to see who can make greater economic sacrifices -- which sort of reminds me of the Indian custom of "potlatch."
As Mr. Blair assumes the presidency of the G-8 group and also of the EU in 2005, he has promised to convince his good friend George Bush to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Lots of luck, Tony! The elections have made the US Senate Kyoto-proof. So Bush can safely submit the treaty for ratification; it will meet the same fate as the proverbial snowball in Hell.
S Fred Singer is professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the
University of Virginia and the author of "Climate Policy: The Road
From Rio To Kyoto" published by the Hoover Institution.
4. More on Kyoto --
In Japan, the Ministry of Industry is battling the Ministry of Environment. Outcome unknown.
EU emissions-trading scheme: details are becoming known:
On the basis of the allowances allocated to existing facilities covered by the EU ETS, we forecast that European industry will be allowed to increase annual CO2 emissions by 5% during the first phase of the scheme (2005 to 2007) relative to their emissions in 2000. Additional allowances will also be available through reserves set aside for the construction of new plants. If all these reserve allowances are issued, then emissions would be permitted to increase by an additional 6%. In total, the first phase of the scheme could therefore allow emissions to increase by up to 11% relative to 2000 levels.
These increases are in stark contrast to the commitments of European
Member States under the Kyoto Protocol which require a collective reduction
in emissions across all EU 15 countries of 8% by 2010 from 1990 levels."
McCain-Lieberman 2004 retains the mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 2000 levels by 2010, but it drops the subsequent requirement to reduce emissions to 1990 levels. Charles Rivers Associates, in cooperation with the National Black Chamber of Commerce's United for Jobs project, analyzed the projected costs of McLieberman 2004 in a study released in June.
According to the study, McCain-Lieberman 2004:
O Will cost the average U.S. household at least $600 per year by 2010, rising to at least $1,000 per year by 2020.
O Will cost the U.S. economy at least 39,000 jobs in 2010 and at least 190,000 jobs by 2020.
O Will force at least a 13 percent rise in electricity prices by 2010 and at least a 19 percent rise in electricity prices by 2020.
O Will force at least a 9 percent rise in gasoline prices by 2010 and at least a 14 percent rise in gasoline prices by 2020.
In an observation that will be important to both state and federal governments, the study notes the economic costs of McLieberman 2004 will reduce tax revenues. The federal government will lose at least $7.5 billion in annual tax revenue by 2010, with the states suffering similar proportional losses. The declining revenues will be compounded by greater spending pressures than baseline forecasts, as higher unemployment and falling purchasing power result in demands for greater social spending to care for the unemployed and compensate for falling living standards.
Source: James M. Taylor, "New Study Shows Hefty Price Tag for McCain-Lieberman Bill," Environment and Climate News, August 2004, Heartland Institute; and Anne E. Smith, Paul Bernstein and W. David Montgomery, "The Full Costs of S.139, With and Without its Phase II Requirements," Charles River Associates, April 2004.
For text http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=15431
For Charles River study http://www.crai.com/pubs/pub_3694.pdf
The Working Group on Climate Change and Development, a coalition of environmental and relief aid organizations, released a report last week stating that the onset of global warming threatens to undermine progress made in recent decades on lifting residents of many developing nations out of poverty.
"As the Third Assessment Report of the IPCC clearly indicates, 'the impacts of climate change will fall disproportionately upon developing countries and the poor... within all countries,'" said R.K. Pachauri, director-general of The Energy and Resources Institute and chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). "I urge governments, development and environmental organizations to work together to find sustainable solutions to avert a catastrophe that will exacerbate human suffering to a magnitude that perhaps the world has not yet seen."
In the report, entitled "Up in Smoke," the coalition calls on industrialized nations to cut their greenhouse gas emissions to 60-80 percent below 1990 levels. Meanwhile, the report authors call for low-lying communities threatened by rising sea levels as a result of climate change to be relocated, and for governments around the world to join together in conducting a global risk assessment of the likely costs of such adaptations, especially in poor countries.
SEPP Comment: How's this for a lack of bias? It's comforting to
know that the head of the IPCC already knows the conclusion of the 2007
report. Note the call for a 60-80% reduction of emissions. (Kyoto calls
for only 5%)
7. The Sun will Control 21st--century climate
Solar activity is currently DECREASING. Should the sunspot activity drop
below the norms of recent history, the Earth may even start to cool. Here
is an opportunity for model verification on a grand scale. Unfortunately,
the framers of the Kyoto accord will take all of the credit for any slowing
of global warming, using the serendipitous cooling of the Sun to prove
that the Protocol was effective in reducing global warming.
Is there to be no limit to this environmental degradation of the Solar System?
by S Fred Singer, Letter to Financial Times
Your story informs that the Arctic ice cap will disappear by year 2070 (Nov 2) -- with all kinds of dire consequences to the ecology, the Gulf Stream, and sea level. According to an Arctic Council report put together by 250 scientists from eight nations "the Arctic is warming at twice the global rate." And separately, a strategy to combat this imminent catastrophe is being developed at a conference in Berlin just opened by Queen Elizabeth.
What can I say -- except: What warming? Forget about the tundra and about the wildlife for just a moment; the way to measure temperatures is with thermometers -- and they don't show any Arctic warming
Of course, I know that such warming is what greenhouse theory predicts. But there is this pesky matter of actual measurements that leads to the inconvenient conclusion that Arctic temperatures are not rising. In fact, the highest temperatures were recorded before 1940. Quite independently, Danish ice core data confirm that the climate "cooled between 1940 and 1995."
And why, pray, is the Antarctic continent cooling so strongly while theory predicts a major warming? In fact, growing sea ice is interfering with the resupply of Antarctic weather stations, latest reports tell us.
Admittedly, the Arctic ice cap, the sea ice that covers the Arctic Ocean, has indeed thinned. But ice reacts slowly to temperature changes and is still responding to the remarkable pre-1940 warning that was of natural origin.
In any case, when floating sea ice melts, it does not raise sea levels
- any more than melting ice cubes in a highball glass raise the water
level. It is positively embarrassing to find a "scientific"
report claiming that the rise from melting sea ice will be one meter when
it is really zero. Big difference, don't you agree?
Berlin's oldest university, the famous Humboldt University, is going to transform one of his chairs of economics (http://www.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/2-2.php) into a chair of economic decline (called environmental economics).
On December 1st Mrs. Claudia Kemfert who is until now working as head of the energy and environment department at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) in Berlin will pronounce her inaugural lecture entitled "50 Years After Tomorrow - Where Will we be? Or: The Economic Costs of Climate Change". Mrs. Kemfert recently published a paper on this subject in N° 42 of the weekly review of the DIW (http://www.diw.de).
Given the fact that US economists had calculated that the possible benefits of climate policy would amount to only the half of the estimated total costs (see previous blog on "Eco-Nihilism"), Mrs. Kemfert in an econometric simulation model called WIAGEM gave all her best to amplify the expected costs of climate change. She found that the environment and health costs of climate change summed up until 2050 would amount to no less than US $ 214 trillion worldwide and that they could attain in Germany alone € 137 billion for one single year.
Her message: The billions of Euros spent in Germany to construct more
than 16,000 giant windmills in order to produce electric power at costs
three times higher than the actual average are not lost but would be very
beneficial to people's health. We do not need sophisticated econometric
models in order to understand that students in Berlin will learn in the
near future how to accelerate the economic decline of Germany, which is
already on the way.