Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lawrence Solomon: Enron's other secret

Almost two decades before President Barack Obama made “cap-and-trade” for carbon dioxide emissions a household term, an obscure company called Enron — a natural-gas pipeline company that had become a big-time trader in energy commodities — had figured out how to make millions in a cap-and-trade program for sulphur dioxide emissions, thanks to changes in the U.S. government’s Clean Air Act. To the delight of shareholders, Enron’s stock price rose rapidly as it became the major trader in the U.S. government’s $20-billion a year emissions commodity market.

Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay, keen to engineer an encore, saw his opportunity when Bill Clinton and Al Gore were inaugurated as president and vice-president in 1993. To capitalize on Al Gore’s interest in global warming, Enron immediately embarked on a massive lobbying effort to develop a trading system for carbon dioxide, working both the Clinton administration and Congress. Political contributions and Enron-funded analyses flowed freely, all geared to demonstrating a looming global catastrophe if carbon dioxide emissions weren’t curbed. An Enron-funded study that dismissed the notion that calamity could come of global warming, meanwhile, was quietly buried.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Why I am a Climate Realist

In 1996 the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Second Assessment Report was released, and I was listed as one of approximately 3000 “scientists” who agreed that there was a discernable human influence on climate.

I was an invited reviewer for a chapter dealing with the economic impact of sea level rise on small island nations. In keeping with IPCC procedures, the chapter was written and reviewed in isolation from the rest of the report, and I had no input into the process after my review of the chapter draft. I was not asked if I supported the view expressed in my name, and my understanding at the time was that no evidence of a discernable human influence on global climate existed.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Global warming advocates shifting goalposts

For an Italian documentary on climate I was asked, “Why do you think we don’t all share the same theory about global warming, particularly so far as concerns its causes?”

The simple answer is because there is no general climate theory.

As usual the proper answer is complicated. It is a very good question because it speaks directly to a major issue in the public and scientific debate about climate. It was the subject of my recent speech for the Friends of Science in Calgary. The topic was “Recent Theoretical and Observational Evidence for a Cooling Atmosphere.” This was not my choice because it is too esoteric for a general audience. I spoke to the issue, but in the much broader context of the significance of the new evidence and current cooling. It helps understand how proponents of global warming due to human CO2 hypothesis are able to move the goalposts so easily from global warming to climate change to climate chaos and climate catastrophe.

History records Alexander von Humboldt as the last ‘universal’ person. Significantly, he died in 1859, the same year Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” was published. A renaissance person is one with extensive knowledge in many areas – a diverse scholar. A universal person is one who knows essentially everything there is to know. Von Humboldt knew all the physics, chemistry, biology and other disciplines of his time. He traveled to and was knowledgeable about all the continents except Antarctica.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Is man-made global warming real? 23/05/09 12:41 PM

Is man-made global warming real? 23/05/09 12:41 PM
After the Narnian winter we've just had, a reasonable person could easily agree with controversial
Friends of Science spokesman Dr. Tim Ball on this much: Global warming is just another unfulfilled
government promise.So, why are we still preparing to spend money on it? Good question.
Ball is controversial because the retired science professor bucks the prevailing wisdom on global
warming, calls the science behind it wrong, and questions the good faith of the governmental
agencies promoting it. He gets flak. He also gives it, as he did Thursday to a crowd of 400 at
Calgary's Metropolitan Centre, in an event sponsored by a reinvigorated Friends of Science, and the
Frontier Centre for Public Policy. For instance, the idea that carbon dioxide generated by human
activity is unnaturally warming the atmosphere through some supposed greenhouse effect is not (and
never was) supported by facts that were reasonably easy to obtain. Want to know where the problem
is? It's cycles related to solar activity.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Obama administration trying to make unequal things equal

The worst form of inequality is to make unequal things equal. Aristotle.

Human production of CO2 causing global warming or climate change is the biggest deception in history. Previously this statement met with incredulity. How could the entire world or a majority of scientists be fooled? Now after the almost complete collapse of the global financial system people understand. The Obama government is fooled because it doesn’t want to understand and it suits their political agenda. They ignore facts and abandon logic to produce policies guaranteed to continue US economic decline.

Conveyor Belt Model Broken

News has come that the famed ocean conveyor belt, subject of countless TV documentaries and science lessons, is not as simple as scientists believed. The 50 year old model of global ocean circulation that predicts a deep Atlantic counter current below the Gulf Stream has been called into question by an armada of drifting subsurface sensors. As shocking as this news is to oceanographers it is even worse for climate modelers—it means that all the current climate prediction models are significantly wrong.Triggered by a bunch of drifting ocean monitoring instruments, this new revelation represents a major paradigm shift in ocean circulation theory. Even more dramatic is the impact on current ocean circulation models, major components of the general circulation models (GCM) used to predict climate change. To understand how global climate changes in response to natural and human generated changes, it is essential to determine how quickly and by what pathways climate change signals are transported throughout the global ocean. Ocean currents not only redistribute surface warmth, the oceans themselves are a vast reservoir for heat and carbon dioxide, affecting both short term and long term climate change.

Monday, May 11, 2009

All life on planet depends on CO2

A belief is not merely an idea the mind possesses: it is an idea that possesses the mind. Robert Bolton

The Possessive Belief
CO2 (CARBON) IS NOT CAUSING GLOBAL WARMING OR CLIMATE CHANGE. I can’t say it more boldly but it doesn’t seem to matter; the belief persists that CO2 is the cause and therefore a problem. The belief is enhanced by government policies and plans, which spawn businesses to exploit the opportunities they create.

A majority of the mainstream media pushes the belief because of political bias rather than understanding of the science. Evidence continues to show what is wrong with the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), but it is complex and so most don’t understand. The fact they hold definitive positions without understanding is disturbing. However, ignoring the fact that IPCC predictions are always wrong doesn’t require understanding of the science is completely unacceptable and proof of the political bias.

Contradictory Evidence

The 2007 IPCC Report claimed with over 90% certainty that human produced CO2 is almost the sole cause of global warming. But the evidence shows this can’t be true; temperature changes before CO2 in every record of any duration for any time period; CO2 variability does not correlate with temperature at any point in the last 600 million years; atmospheric CO2 levels are currently at the lowest level in that period; in the 20th century most warming occurred before 1940 when human production of CO2 was very small; human production of CO2 increased the most after 1940 but global temperatures declined to 1985; from 2000 global temperatures declined while CO2 levels increased; and any reduction in CO2 threatens plant life, oxygen production and therefore all life on the planet.

Dr Ferenc Miskolczi provided the most recent scientific argument against CO2 as the cause of temperature change. Here is an explanation by Dr Miklos Zagoni.

It illustrates why the scientific arguments that CO2 is not the problem are not making much headway – they’re very complicated. Basically, Miskolczi is saying that the Greenhouse Effect is present but essentially constant over time, therefore temperature variations are due to some other cause. He is extending the idea of saturation, already known about CO2, to all greenhouse gases. I refer to this as the black paint condition. If you want to block light coming through a window a single coat of black paint will stop almost all of it. Second and third coats reduce the light but by decreasing fractions. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is like the first coat of paint – doubling and tripling the amount reduces heat going to space by decreasing fractions. The IPCC got around this problem by incorrectly claiming a positive feedback. This says increased CO2 raises global temperature that increases evaporation of water vapor to the atmosphere. This supposedly enhances the warming due to increased CO2, but the idea is now discredited. Miskkolczi’s argument means any variations in global temperature are almost all due to changes in solar and geothermal energy. Inclusion of geothermal is unusual. This energy from within the earth, especially into the oceans is essentially and as I have long argued, incorrectly ignored.

Failed Predictions

The IPCC claim they do not make predictions but produce what they call scenarios. This is a deception: they are predictions and understood as such by the public. More important IPCC urge politicians to use them as the basis for policy through The Summary for Policymakers (SPM). The scenarios are a range of possible future global temperatures determined from a combination of climate and economic conditions. Ian Castles and David Henderson have roundly criticized them. MIT professor of meteorology Richard Lindzen referred to them as children’s exercises.

The 2007 IPCC report says,

For the next two decades a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emissions scenarios. Even if the concentrations of all GHGs and aerosols had been kept constant at year 2000 levels, a further warming of about 0.1°C per decade would be expected. (SRES is Special Report on Emissions Scenario)

That simply hasn’t happened. What is happening cannot happen according to the IPCC. Their 2007 Report painted them into a corner. It claimed with over 90% certainty that CO2 was increasing because of human economic activities and was almost the sole cause of temperature increase. Notice the quote says temperature will rise even if greenhouse gases don’t increase. The problem is CO2 has increased yet the temperature has declined.

Equally important the recent economic downturn was not anticipated, which is a measure of the failure of the entire IPCC approach. They claim that economic activity is the key to human production of CO2, which causes warming. Over the last 18 months the dramatic increase in gasoline prices and then the serious recession should have caused a measurable drop in CO2 levels. It didn’t! There is no evidence of a decline as the NOAA graph illustrates.


Ignoring the Obvious

At what point does misrepresentation of facts become lies? A general definition of the word lie is “an intentionally false statement”, but this applies to a single statement and the key word is “intentional”. A single misunderstanding or a misstatement can occur, but what if there are a series of misstatements from an individual or group? What happens when many statements are proved incorrect, but they continue to repeat them or fail to acknowledge they were false?

There is a long and growing list of statements by promoters of human CO2 induced global warming that have proven incorrect. Yet they continue to push their claim by ignoring the evidence and diverting attention with new specious and spurious claims. Most politicians and mainstream media continue to believe because they don’t understand or don’t want to understand for political reasons. However, even they must understand when the predictions are consistently wrong. Science is simply defined as the ability to predict, so the failure invalidates the science even if you don’t understand the science. People who persist only have a blind belief and as the adage says, there are none so blind as those who will not see. What a terrifying basis for devastating and totally unnecessary energy and economic policies.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Seeking to Save the Planet, With a Thesauru

WASHINGTON — The problem with global warming, some environmentalists believe, is “global warming.”

The term turns people off, fostering images of shaggy-haired liberals, economic sacrifice and complex scientific disputes, according to extensive polling and focus group sessions conducted by ecoAmerica, a nonprofit environmental marketing and messaging firm in Washington.

Instead of grim warnings about global warming, the firm advises, talk about “our deteriorating atmosphere.” Drop discussions of carbon dioxide and bring up “moving away from the dirty fuels of the past.” Don’t confuse people with cap and trade; use terms like “cap and cash back” or “pollution reduction refund.”

EcoAmerica has been conducting research for the last several years to find new ways to frame environmental issues and so build public support for climate change legislation and other initiatives. A summary of the group’s latest findings and recommendations was accidentally sent by e-mail to a number of news organizations by someone who sat in this week on a briefing intended for government officials and environmental leaders.

Asked about the summary, ecoAmerica’s president and founder, Robert M. Perkowitz, requested that it not be reported until the formal release of the firm’s full paper later this month, but acknowledged that its wide distribution now made compliance with his request unlikely.

The research directly parallels marketing studies conducted by oil companies, utilities and coal mining concerns that are trying to “green” their images with consumers and sway public policy.

Environmental issues consistently rate near the bottom of public worry, according to many public opinion polls. A Pew Research Center poll released in January found global warming last among 20 voter concerns; it trailed issues like addressing moral decline and decreasing the influence of lobbyists. “We know why it’s lowest,” said Mr. Perkowitz, a marketer of outdoor clothing and home furnishings before he started ecoAmerica, whose activities are financed by corporations, foundations and individuals. “When someone thinks of global warming, they think of a politicized, polarized argument. When you say ‘global warming,’ a certain group of Americans think that’s a code word for progressive liberals, gay marriage and other such issues.”

The answer, Mr. Perkowitz said in his presentation at the briefing, is to reframe the issue using different language. “Energy efficiency” makes people think of shivering in the dark. Instead, it is more effective to speak of “saving money for a more prosperous future.” In fact, the group’s surveys and focus groups found, it is time to drop the term “the environment” and talk about “the air we breathe, the water our children drink.”

“Another key finding: remember to speak in TALKING POINTS aspirational language about shared American ideals, like freedom, prosperity, independence and self-sufficiency while avoiding jargon and details about policy, science, economics or technology,” said the e-mail account of the group’s study.

Mr. Perkowitz and allies in the environmental movement have been briefing officials in Congress and the administration in the hope of using the findings to change the terms of the debate now under way in Washington.

Opponents of legislation to combat global warming are engaged in a similar effort. Trying to head off a cap-and-trade system, in which government would cap the amount of heat-trapping emissions allowed and let industry trade permits to emit those gases, they are coaching Republicans to refer to any such system as a giant tax that would kill jobs. Coal companies are taking out full-page advertisements promising “clean, green coal.” The natural gas industry refers to its product as “clean fuel green fuel.” Oil companies advertise their investments in alternative energy.

Robert J. Brulle of Drexel University, an expert on environmental communications, said ecoAmerica’s campaign was a mirror image of what industry and political conservatives were doing. “The form is the same; the message is just flipped,” he said. “You want to sell toothpaste, we’ll sell it. You want to sell global warming, we’ll sell that. It’s the use of advertising techniques to manipulate public opinion.”

He said the approach was cynical and, worse, ineffective. “The right uses it, the left uses it, but it doesn’t engage people in a face-to-face manner,” he said, “and that’s the only way to achieve real, lasting social change.”

Frank Luntz, a Republican communications consultant, prepared a strikingly similar memorandum in 2002, telling his clients that they were losing the environmental debate and advising them to adjust their language. He suggested referring to themselves as “conservationists” rather than “environmentalists,” and emphasizing “common sense” over scientific argument.

And, Mr. Luntz and Mr. Perkowitz agree, “climate change” is an easier sell than “global warming.”

Sunday, May 3, 2009

NYT and Reporter Revkin Issue 'Correction' – Admit 'Error' in Front Page Global Warming Article Touted By Gore!

Washington, DC – The New York Times has issued a “climate correction” for an “error” in its April 24, 2009 (posted online April 23) high profile front page global warming article that was touted by former Vice President Al Gore during his Congressional testimony as evidence that industry was clouding the science of climate change. [ See: Gore Mouthing-Off About Make-Believe Madoffs & NYT Corrects Article Gore Cited in Congressional Testimony]

But just little more than a week after publishing the front page article, The New York Times and reporter Andrew Revkin have now admitted the article “erred” on a key point. Revkin wrote about the now defunct Global Climate Coalition and documents that suggest the group had scientists on board in the 1990's who claimed “the science backing the role of greenhouse gases in global warming could not be refuted.” As Climate Depot exclusively reported, Revkin's article came under immediate fire from scientists and others who called into question the central claims and the accuracy of the story.

In a May 2, 2009 post titled “A Climate Correction”, Revkin and the New York Times wrote: “The article cited a 'backgrounder' that laid out the coalition's public stance, published in the early 1990s and distributed widely to lawmakers and journalists. However, the article failed to note a later version of the backgrounder that included language that conformed to the scientific advisory committee's conclusion. The amended version, which was brought to the attention of The Times by a reader, acknowledged the consensus that greenhouse gases could contribute to warming. What scientists disagreed about, it said, was 'the rate and magnitude of the 'enhanced greenhouse effect' (warming) that will result.'"

The New York Times also posted an “Editors' Note” on May 2 with the same correction.

In addition, the original Times article now has a May 2 “Editors' Note” and Revkin's Dot Earth Blog has a note, “describing an error in the news story.”

Australian Paleoclimate researcher Dr. Robert M. “Bob” Carter was the first to dismiss the NYT's Revkin article as “strange, silly even.”

Carter wrote to Climate Depot on April 23, 2009:

Revkin's latest article in the New York Times makes for strange reading; silly, even. For though the technical experts may have been advising (for some strange, doubtless self-interested reason) this: “even as the coalition worked to sway opinion, its own scientific and technical experts were advising that the science backing the role of greenhouse gases in global warming could not be refuted”, I'll eat my hat if anyone could show that was actually the case at any time since 1990. My guess is that Revkin -- like all other promulgators of AGW (anthropogenic global warming) hysteria throughout the media and scientific communities -- is starting to really feel the weight of the evidence that shows all too clearly that dangerous AGW is a myth, and is simply thrashing around in any and every direction to try to find a way of continuing to obfuscate the issue until December. #

UK's Lord Christopher Monckton was even more outraged and accused the New York Times and Revkin of “deliberate misrepresentation” in climate article and of writing a “mendacious article.”

Monckton wrote the following to New York Times Public Editor and Readers' Representative Clark Hoyt, Esq., on April 28, 2009:

The New York Times guidelines for staff writers on 'Journalistic Ethics' begin by stating the principles that all journalists should respect: impartiality and neutrality; integrity; and avoidance of conflicts of interest. Andrew Revkin's front-page article on Friday, 24 April, 2009, falsely alleging that a coalition of energy corporations had for many years acted like tobacco corporations, misrepresenting advice from its own scientists about the supposed threat of "global warming", offends grievously against all of these principles.”

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Shock: Global temperatures driven by US Postal Charges

Back in 1885 it cost 2 cents to post a letter. Who would have thought that as postal charges climbed by 40 cents through the next 120 years, that global temperatures would mirror that rise in timing and slope and gain almost one full degree?

Ominously, US Post is set to raise the charges 2c to 44c on May 11, 2009. Postal Action Network (PAN) has already sprung into existence this afternoon and plans to produce a boycott campaign of the new 44c Homer Simpson stamps. Overworked postal workers are enthusiastic. Homer Simpson is reported to have said “Give me the number for 911.”
homer simpson stamp 44c

Barbara Boxer, majority Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, immediately set up an inquiry, announcing that all future changes in price for US post must be approved by the EPA. “We’ll need a full environmental impact statement. We can’t just let global damage be done willy nilly on the basis of some arbitrary postal expenses committee’s need to balance the books. No other government service has to balance their budget, why should US Post?”

President Obama immediately convened a task force at the Federal Reserve to loan $450 billion to US Post to keep prices constant until 3400 A.D..

Tuvalu promptly announced they would cut their postal charges in half ‘just in case’. They are asking for donations in order to keep their postal service running, but are considering shifting to carrier pigeons.

The mechanism is far from clear. Professor Chrichton-Boots from the Chicago Schools of Economics, cautioned that US Post prices are a good proxy for inflation, and that it may be inflation that is really behind the recent change in climate. He admitted it was puzzling that there appears to have been global temperature changes for 3-5 billion years before the advent of either US Postal services, or inflation. “You would think the planetary climate would have been stable.” But Harvard social researchers are calling for funding for archaeological digs to find postage stamps from the precambrian. “It’s under-researched”. US Post said this type of finding would be very important but, if any stamps were found, they would be unable to honor them: “Since at the time, the US didn’t exist, in government, in theory, or even as a landmass”.

A spokesman from US Post pointed out that the ‘Forever’ series of stamps (which cost 41c, but are ‘good forever, regardless of price rises’) are anti-inflationary. They were issued in 2007 which “may explain the cooler weather since then”*.

Critics pointed out that correlation is not causation, and “you can produce a link between any two monotonically rising lines on a graph”. The newly formed UN Intergovernmental Panel on Postal Changes called them deniers, while Jim Hansen from NASA pronounced that executives from The Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service should be jailed henceforth and also retrospectively.

The Russians (Pochta Rossii) announced they would lift the cost of letters from 10 roubles to 100, effective from Monday. “Siberia is too cold”.
*(As a curious aside, the Forever stamps may have been the US Government’s most successful investment tool in recent times, gaining 14% in value since 2007, while the Dow and everything else, lost over 40%. Thus proving that the US Federal Reserve could better maintain US purchasing power parity if they switched the world’s Reserve Currency from US Dollars to “Forever Stamps”. )