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Daily Archives: December 17, 2009


China Sees No Agreement Forthcoming In Copenhagen

And that’s the good news:

With just two days remaining in historic and contentious climate talks here, China signaled overnight that it sees virtually no possibility that the nearly 200 nations gathered would find agreement by Friday.

A participant in the talks said that China would agree only to a brief political declaration that left unresolved virtually all the major issues.

The conference has deadlocked over emissions cuts by, and financing for, developing nations, including China, who say they will bear the brunt of a planetary problem they did little to create. Leaders had hoped to conclude an interim agreement on the major issues that would have “immediate operational effect.” The Chinese, it appears, are not willing to go that far at this meeting.

The New York Times goes on to wonder if this is just a bit of political brinksmanship on the eve of world leaders arriving. Obviously the NYT thinks this is about a negotiating position. One can only assume they make that assessment based on the supposed promise Obama said he extracted from the Chinese during his visit there.

If that’s the case, I’d say that both Obama and the NYT most likely have it wrong. China has made it clear for years that it exempts itself from hard emissions cuts because it considers itself a “developing country”. After years of preparing that position and presenting it to the world, it’s a little naive to believe a single visit by a new president would be likely to change it. China wants its cut of the loot. It’s not seeing that happen. It isn’t establishing a “negotiating position” in front of the arrival of world leaders, it is stating a fact – China foresees little if anything coming out of Copenhagen. While other countries and world leaders may feel intense pressure to make something happen, China doesn’t. If Copenhagen falls flat on its face, as it appears it will, nothing changes for China in terms of limiting emissions. It will simply patiently wait for the next international conference, where the pressure on industrialized nations will be even higher, to again make its demands.

Why am I making that assertion? Buried further on in the story is this paragraph:

China has been a natural godfather to many of the Group of 77 countries because its government has extensive investments in Africa and Latin America, often involving lucrative deals to bring oil and minerals home.

China is emerging as a leader among the 130 nations that make up the misnamed Group of 77. While Hugo Chavez may be the court jester, the real power of that group lays with China. And China sees a developing power vacuum with the diminished role of the US – partially due to the financial crisis and partially due to a young and inexperienced president. Again, they’re not staking out a negotiating position, they’re telling the rest of the powers the way the table is set. Demands will follow later.

Meanwhile Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in town flashing your cash as an incentive for “poorer” nations to cooperate and collect:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who arrived in Copenhagen overnight, announced on Thursday that the United States would participate in a $100 billion fund to help poor and vulnerable nations adapt to climate change and build more energy efficient economies. She cautioned, however, that American participation in the fund was contingent on reaching a firm agreement this week.

It was the first time the Obama administration had made a commitment to a medium-term financing effort and a clear effort to unblock a negotiation that has been stalled. She said the money would be a mix of public and private funds, including “alternative sources of finance,” which she did not specify.

Nor did she say what the American share of the fund would be, although typically in such multilateral financial efforts the United States contributes about 20 percent.

Of course 100 billion isn’t anywhere near what the “poorer” nations want. In fact, a group of Central America nations want somewhere in the neighborhood of 115 billion alone.

The circus reaches crescendo tomorrow as the remaining world leaders, including President Obama arrive. Given the way this is shaping up, it appears it may be another “Olympic event” for the president.

~McQ


Fumbling Gitmo

I think perhaps the promise to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba – a supposed symbol of American shame – and the subsequent inability to do so is symbolic of how inept, to this point, this administration has been.  President Obama, while a candidate, had a guaranteed applause line each time he promised to close the facility.  The left had so thoroughly demonized it that it was prime red-meat for every campaign rally.  And, in fact, Obama signed an executive order on his first day in office ordering it closed.

And here we are, a year later, with the facility still open and the administration still dithering about what to do with the inmates.  In the meantime, the American public has come to realize that it is the inmates that are the problem, not where the inmates are incarcerated.  Closing Gitmo doesn’t solve a thing.   In fact, the public realizes, it forces some very unappetizing choices – like housing those we deem to dangerous to our country to release not in some isolated prison on a island far away, but in the heartland of America.

That realization has sparked some pretty heavy push-back from the public as it has come to realize those truths:

Americans remain opposed to closing the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba and moving some of the terrorist suspects being held there to U.S. prisons: 30% favor such actions, while 64% do not. These attitudes could present a significant roadblock for President Obama at a time when he seeks congressional approval to move terrorist suspects from Guantanamo to a converted state prison in northwestern Illinois.

You see, hollering about how we had to close Gitmo during the campaign and then making it a priority on his first day of office then ran up against the “then what” question. And, as is obvious, they – the campaign and Obama- hadn’t considered the “then what” question. They had no plan. It is indicative of how poorly prepared they were to assume office (they apparently thought that the “King” would sign a “proclamation” and the “serfs” would make it so) and how little they understood of how things really work. Closing Guantanamo Bay has gone from being a symbol of “hope and change” to being an albatross around the administration’s neck. No matter what they do now, it is most likely to be unfavorably received by a majority of Americans and provide campaign fodder for a future Republican opponent.

Gitmo, in a nutshell, characterizes this administration in so many ways. Naive, unprepared, leaderless and yet arrogant. That is not a good combination for a successful presidency and unsurprisingly, so far, it hasn’t been one.

~McQ


UK Climate Scientists Accused Of Manipulating Russian Temperature Data

Things just got a worse for the “consensus science” of the AGW crowd. Russia has accused the Hadley Center for Climate Change in the UK’s Met Office of cherry picking Russian temperature data. The timing couldn’t be more perfect, with Copenhagen underway.

The Russian business daily Kommersant reports:

On Tuesday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) had probably tampered with Russian-climate data.

The IEA believes that Russian meteorological-station data did not substantiate the anthropogenic global-warming theory. Analysts say Russian meteorological stations cover most of the country’s territory, and that the Hadley Center had used data submitted by only 25% of such stations in its reports. Over 40% of Russian territory was not included in global-temperature calculations for some other reasons, rather than the lack of meteorological stations and observations.

The data of stations located in areas not listed in the Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature UK (HadCRUT) survey often does not show any substantial warming in the late 20th century and the early 21st century.

The HadCRUT database includes specific stations providing incomplete data and highlighting the global-warming process, rather than stations facilitating uninterrupted observations.

In anyone’s world, that’s “fudging the numbers”. And this is a different crew than that at the University of East Anglia’s CRU. In fact, as you recall, the UK’s Met announced quite recently that in light of the CRU emails, it was going to do a 3 year study of all the temperature data from the last 160 years. You have to wonder if, in fact, they’d already internally uncovered this charge by the Russians (or knew it was coming) when they made that announcement.

To put this in perspective, Climategate just got a whole lot bigger. And again, we’re talking about fundamental data here – the basis for all of the AGW claims can be found in the data of these two institutions.

Fudging numbers isn’t all that has been done in this scandal. The message has been mightily manipulated as well. Here’s an example.

Graph one (via Wolf Howling) – the AGW claim that human beings are responsible for heating up the planet:

GL Graph 1 1400-2000

This is how the AGW argument has been presented. The data has been conveniently graphed from 1400 till now.

But what if we expand that a bit?

Graph 2:
GL Graph 2 - 800-1900

But if you take it back to the year 900, the beginning of the Medieval Warm period, suddenly the hockey stick looks like a toothpick.

And to really stress the point, let’s take it back a few thousand years.

Graph 3:

GL Graph 3 2500 bc to present

Suddenly the horror of AGW, in perspective and sans any possible influence by man in the past temperature increases, looks so puny as to be insignificant – even if the data wasn’t fudged!

This is the state of the scandal called “AGW science”. Fudged, manipulated and more and more discredited every day. And they’re still trying to use it to redistribute wealth in Copenhagen.

~McQ

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