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:
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?
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.
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.
If I were at all amenable to the climate change arguments and felt there was a need to reach an agreement concerning greenhouse gas emissions, I’d still be embarrassed by what is going on in Copenhagen right now. According to the Politico, it appears to be “to be imploding from within and exploding from without on Wednesday.” Protests are turning violent outside and rhetoric is heating up inside (I wonder how much CO2 they’re contributing with their tantrums and tirades?).
But of course, the spin is there are “green shoots” in the talks:
Despite the gloom, U.S. officials told POLITICO they made incremental progress in a variety of areas during marathon sessions Tuesday night and cautioned that all previous climate conferences have experienced similar turbulence. And late Tuesday, negotiators announced a major breakthrough on a deal to preserve wetlands and forests.
Translation: They come to an agreement on how to take your property rights away in the name of “saving the planet”.
Of course that’s not the purpose of the conference, is it (although “progressives” will be happy with just about any collectivist control they can manage out of this, I’m sure)?
On Tuesday, Hedegaard made an emotional appeal for countries to put aside their differences to finalize a deal — after the G-77 bloc of developing nations accused her of trying to ram through an agreement amenable to the U.S. and other big industrialized nations.
But no sooner had Rasmussen assumed the presidency than those tensions burst out in the open again, with China, India, Bolivia, South Africa and Sudan saying they would block attempts by the Danish delegation to produce a draft text favored by most Western countries.
Minutes after taking the gavel, Rasmussen angrily denounced developing countries for seeking to delay consideration of the text, accusing them of focusing on “procedure, procedure, procedure.”
He was immediately rebuked by a representative of China, a member of the G-77 bloc, who said moving forward too quickly was tantamount to “obstructionism” and a bullying attempt by the West.
“I think the matter isn’t ‘procedure, procedure, procedure.’… You can’t just put forth some text from the sky,” the representative said.
Someone should caution the representative from China that using such language isn’t wise – it might remind others that since the “science” is “from the sky” there’s no reason that the language can’t also be from there.
Anyway, as you can tell, Politico’s characterization of “chaos in Copenhagen” isn’t far from the mark. The “developing world” isn’t seeing the type of long term cash pay-off developing as they’d like and the industrialized nations, assuming they learned from Kyoto, aren’t really amenable to hard target emission reductions. And the result is – well the UN displaced to Copenhagen. Sound and fury, but little to show for it. And we still have the circus of world leaders showing up for the final grip and grin to go.
From Lord Monckton, as he takes apart climate alarmists:
The fact is, they’re crooks. That’s what they really are. I call them the traffic light tendency. They call themselves green because they’re too yellow to admit they’re really Reds.
It’s at about 8:25 in the video. But watch the whole thing, even though it’s about half an hour. It’s worth it if you want a no-holds-barred slamming of the climate Cassandras. Charts and graphs included, no extra charge.
Copenhagen has settled into what can only be characterized as an embarrassment for those who had hoped to see a historic treaty limiting greenhouse gases signed.
World leaders — with Gordon Brown arriving tonight in the vanguard — are facing the humiliating prospect of having little of substance to sign on Friday, when they are supposed to be clinching an historic deal.
Yesterday, a bloc of third world nations walked out of the negotiations in a squabble about the lack of legally binding emissions targets for the richer countries. And, of course, the squabble about how much of the wealth to transfer to the developing countries continues to be a contentious subject.
Last night key elements of the proposed deal were unravelling. British officials said they were no longer confident that it would contain specific commitments from individual countries on payments to a global fund to help poor nations to adapt to climate change while the draft text on protecting rainforests has also been weakened.
Even the long-term target of ending net deforestation by 2030 has been placed in square brackets, meaning that the date could be deferred. An international monitoring system to identify illegal logging is now described in the text as optional, where before it was compulsory. Negotiators are also unable to agree on a date for a global peak in greenhouse emissions.
Meanwhile, Al Gore managed to embarrass himself in Copenhagen as well:
Mr Gore, speaking at the Copenhagen climate change summit, stated the latest research showed that the Arctic could be completely ice-free in five years.
In his speech, Mr Gore told the conference: “These figures are fresh. Some of the models suggest to Dr [Wieslav] Maslowski that there is a 75 per cent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years.”
However, the climatologist whose work Mr Gore was relying upon dropped the former Vice-President in the water with an icy blast.
“It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at,” Dr Maslowski said. “I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this.”
Mr Gore’s office later admitted that the 75 per cent figure was one used by Dr Maslowksi as a “ballpark figure” several years ago in a conversation with Mr Gore.
Or, in common parlance, what Mr. Gore used was a SWAG (a “Scientific” Wild-Assed Guess). In fact, given the CRU scandal, much of AGW “science” is now considered a SWAG.
The good news is Copenhagen is shaping up to be a “disaster.” I put disaster is scare quotes because for those of us who’ve fought this nonsense for so long, “disaster” is a good thing.
Instead of the American public being thrown under the bus, it looks like the wheels are coming off the bus. You have to wonder what will meet Obama when he shows up on the 18th.
In a previous post, I talked about Dr. Judith Curry from Georgia Tech. She believes that there is a case for human caused global warming. But, as I noted, she doesn’t think there’s a case for shoddy science and believes that CRU emails show serious problems are likely with the data produced there.
Roger Pielke, Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado, could in no sense be described as a climate change sceptic, let alone a ‘denier’.
‘Human-caused climate change is real, and I’m a strong advocate for action,’ he said. ‘But I’m also a strong advocate for integrity in science.’
Pielke’s verdict on the scandal is damning.
‘These emails open up the possibility that big scientific questions we’ve regarded as settled may need another look.
‘They reveal that some of these scientists saw themselves not as neutral investigators but as warriors engaged in battle with the so-called sceptics.
‘They have lost a lot of credibility and as far as their being leading spokespeople on this issue of huge public importance, there is no going back.’
Or to those trying to wave away the scandal and pretend this isn’t “any big deal” it is you who are in denial now. As you can tell, ethical scientists disagree completely.
The quote is from a must-read article in the UK’s Daily Mail in which we’re shown why, via some blowups of the CRU’s data, one way inconvenient data was omitted (literally – it wasn’t graphed because it showed a marked cooling trend rather than a warming trend – so they left it out).
Also found in the article was this little nugget:
Critics such as McIntyre had been ‘after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone’.
Yesterday Davies said that, contrary to some reports, none of this data has in fact been deleted. But in the wake of the scandal, its reliability too is up for grabs.
Really? So where is it and why hasn’t it been produced by now?
Russian secret service agents admitted yesterday that the hacked ‘Warmergate’ emails were uploaded on a Siberian internet server, but strenuously denied a clandestine state-sponsored operation to wreck the Copenhagen summit.
Read the whole article – there is some excellent info in there and some more detailed analysis of the CRU emails.
One of the things I and others have been saying for years is the biggest influence on our climate (and temperature) hangs in the sky each day and we call “the Sun”. Anthony Watts has a post up today talking about what is going on with the Sun and what that may mean for global temperatures. The process, as I have come to understand it is activity on the Sun (sun spots) generate solar winds (sun’s magnetic field). Solar winds have a tendency to “blow” away cosmic rays and keep them from reaching earth. When cosmic rays reach earth they react with water vapor in our atmosphere and create clouds. Clouds then block sunlight. Heavy cloud cover means cooler temperatures. Light cloud cover means higher temperatures. As I further understand it, none of that is included in climate models.
Well, if Svensmark is right, and Galactic Cosmic Rays modulated by the sun’s magnetic field make a change in cloud cover on Earth, increasing it during low solar magnetic activity, we are in for some colder times.
There’s a presentation by Jasper Kirkby, CLOUD Spokesperson, CERN, which shows what we currently know about the correlations between Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR’s) and variations in the climate.
The CLOUD experiment uses a cloud chamber to study the theorized link between GCR’s and cloud formation in Earth’s atmosphere. Kirkby talks about the results from the first CLOUD experiment and the new CLOUD experiment and what it will deliver on the intrinsic connection between GCR’s and cloud formation. This is from the Cern, one of Europe’s most highly respected centers for scientific research.
The sun is in a funk – has been for years. Some of the lowest activity every recorded. And what has been happening here? Recorded temperatures have been cooling. Perhaps the funniest (in a sad sort of thing) thing I’ve read are the so-called climate scientists who were lamenting their inability to explain why their models weren’t reflecting this cooling trend and wishing they could explain it.
Look at the charts on Watts’ site, read about the lack of activity on the sun, understand the relationship between activity, solar winds, cosmic rays and clouds and you’ll understand that this is high school science we’re talking about.
Now go read this, especially the commenter’s remarks highlighted in the article, and much of what is going on becomes considerably clearer.
Which leaves me asking – again – how can such “science” that disregards the sun’s effect and raises an 800 year lagging effect (CO2) into a “cause” be taken seriously by intelligent and seemingly rational adults? Forget “consensus” and “conspiracy”. How did the Sun get ignored and CO2 changed from effect to “cause” in this hypothesis which can’t be reproduced?
For the past decade or so, it’s been generally believed that global temperatures have at least leveled off, if not slightly cooled. That doesn’t make it true, but using the old eyes-ears-and-nose test has convinced most people that the 00’s were generally less warm than the 90’s.
Thankfully, we have scientists who keep track of these things for us. Of course, when temperatures don’t do what certain scientists expect them to do, we get expressions of confusion like the following (emphasis added):
From: Kevin Trenberth
To: Michael Mann
Subject: Re: BBC U-turn on climate
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 08:57:37 -0600
Cc: Stephen H Schneider , Myles Allen , peter stott , “Philip D. Jones” , Benjamin Santer , Tom Wigley , Thomas R Karl , Gavin Schmidt , James Hansen , Michael Oppenheimer
Well I have my own article on where the heck is global warming ? We are asking that here in Boulder where we have broken records the past two days for the coldest days on record. We had 4 inches of snow. The high the last 2 days was below 30F and the normal is 69F, and it smashed the previous records for these days by 10F. The low was about 18F and also a record low, well below the previous record low.
This is January weather (see the Rockies baseball playoff game was canceled on saturday and then played last night in below freezing weather).
Trenberth, K. E., 2009: An imperative for climate change planning: tracking Earth’s global energy. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 1, 19-27, doi:10.1016/j.cosust.2009.06.001. [PDF] (A PDF of the published version can be obtained from the author.)
The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.***
That, of course, is from the infamous leaked Climate-Gate emails. It’s written by Kevin Trenberth who was commiserating with his fellow CRU scientists just a few weeks ago in October about how gosh darn cool its been, contrary to what their AGW models predicted. Not to be outdone by mere facts, Trenberth hopefully offers “the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.”
Well never fear, dear Kevin, for the UK Met Office and World Meteorological Organization has your back!
The first decade of this century is “by far” the warmest since instrumental records began, say the UK Met Office and World Meteorological Organization.
Their analyses also show that 2009 will almost certainly be the fifth warmest in the 160-year record.
Burgeoning El Nino conditions, adding to man-made greenhouse warming, have pushed 2009 into the “top 10” years.
The US space agency Nasa suggests that a new global temperature record will be set “in the next one or two years”.
World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Met Office scientists have been giving details of the new analysis at the UN climate summit in Copenhagen.
The WMO said global temperatures were 0.44C (0.79F) above the long-term average.
“We’ve seen above average temperatures in most continents, and only in North America were there conditions that were cooler than average,” said WMO secretary-general Michel Jarraud.
“We are in a warming trend – we have no doubt about it.”
“Only” North America saw cooling? Pfft, who cares about that piddly little place and its historically superior instrumentation and methods of recording temperature? Or anyplace else that doesn’t fit the warmist model? It’s not like “Global Warming” means it’s actually global or anything. So just ignore all that and concentrate on what’s important here: the planet is boiling, people! DON’T YOU SEE THAT!!!!1!ONE!oNe
Before getting too cozy with that MET pronouncement, however, one might want to do a little data integrity check. Y’know, just to be sure we’re going to wreck the world’s economy for a good reason.
The media that couldn’t bring themselves to report on the growing scandal surrounding falsified data is all on board with reporting this latest news. Yet it is clear that the Huffington Post, CBS News, the New York Times and others didn’t even bother to check the data that was released from the the UK MET (UK Government Department of Climate and Weather Change). If they had they would have immediately discovered what I found, that the US csv (comma delimited) data dump from 1851 to 2009 is erroneous in its compilation. The January column for each year shows period information instead of temperature records and the latitude appears transposed as well. It appears that they incorrectly shifted the column headers when compling the dump. (Load the raw file into Excel and compare it with the UK csv data to see the erroneous data columns side by side. Data provided by the Guardian UK.)
Still, that doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s anything funny going here. It could just be an honest mistake, and maybe the planet (minus certain sections that are inconvenient to this narrative) really is sizzling away. After all, it’s not like they “adjusted” the temperatures to account … er, for something or other … resulting in a temperature chart that shows and unmistakable trend ever-upward.
Intrigued by the curious shape of the average of the homogenized Darwin records, I then went to see how they had homogenized each of the individual station records. What made up that strange average shown in Fig. 7? I started at zero with the earliest record. Here is Station Zero at Darwin, showing the raw and the homogenized versions.
Yikes again, double yikes! What on earth justifies that adjustment? How can they do that? We have five different records covering Darwin from 1941 on. They all agree almost exactly. Why adjust them at all? They’ve just added a huge artificial totally imaginary trend to the last half of the raw data! Now it looks like the IPCC diagram in Figure 1, all right … but a six degree per century trend? And in the shape of a regular stepped pyramid climbing to heaven? What’s up with that?
Those, dear friends, are the clumsy fingerprints of someone messing with the data Egyptian style … they are indisputable evidence that the “homogenized” data has been changed to fit someone’s preconceptions about whether the earth is warming.
One thing is clear from this. People who say that “Climategate was only about scientists behaving badly, but the data is OK” are wrong. At least one part of the data is bad, too. The Smoking Gun for that statement is at Darwin Zero.
Oh … hmmm …. well, then. There you have it. CAN’T YOU SEE THE WARMING!?!?!?
Of course, don’t expect the MSM to alert you to any of these little glitches, or when they eventually get “fixed”. The media will be too busy chasing down Tiger’s mistresses and copying press releases from the Copenhagen
Screw The World Climate Conference. They’ve got priorities you know.
UPDATE: Well thank goodness somebody is doing some actual science to get to the bottom of all this rampant warming around (certain, strategically located parts of) the world:
The Australian has an article out today highlighting two recent peer-reviewed (as if that has any credibility anymore) studies which disprove AGW. Both are studies of planet Earth, not buggy SW models with biased data meant to produce the desired result. They are empirical (measured), not theoretical (SWAG – a.k.a. scientifically based wild ass guess).
The first is from the historic CO2 record, and how it was many times hire than today over a period of hundreds of thousands of years WHILE THE EARTH COOLED DRASTICALLY!
Pearson’s work contains a couple of remarkable results.
First the greenhouse atmosphere pre-cooling contained a CO2 concentration of 900 parts per million by volume, or more than three times that of the Earth in pre-industrial days.
Second, while the cooling of the Earth took place over a time-span of around 200,000 years, the atmospheric CO2 first dropped in association with the cooling, then rose to around 1100ppmv and remained high for 200,000 years while the Earth cooled further and remained in its new ice ages cycle.
CO2 levels 3-4 times present day levels, and the result was global cooling. The UN believes only modest increases will cause out of control warming. But if it did not happen before at much higher levels -why not? Simple – the theory of CO2 as a green house feed back mechanism on a global scale is false (it never has been proven scientifically at the global level). Earth is much more complicated than the alarmists could possibly imagine.
The second study is from 3o years of satellite data … So here is the result of measuring planet Earth from space:
Building on a methodology published 15 years ago in Nature, climatologist and NASA medallist John Christy and colleague David Douglass studied global temperature impacts of volcanic activity and ocean-atmospheric oscillations (the “El Nino” effect) and separated these from global temperature trends over the past 28 years.
The result of their analysis is a CO2-induced amplification factor close to one, which has implications clearly at odds with the earlier IPCC position.
The result was published this year in the peer-reviewed journal Energy and Environment and the paper has not yet been challenged in the scientific literature.
What this means is that the IPCC model for climate sensitivity is not supported by experimental observation on ancient ice ages and recent satellite data.
Again, no runaway feedback from CO2. This is not a SW model – as the article notes. This is not clumsy or exaggerated statistical mysticism. This is measuring reality and learning what is happening.
This is real science, with small error bars.
Well, now that can’t be right. As Trenberth said, the data must be wrong.
So this can all be ignored then since it doesn’t actually have anything to do with fancy modeling that predicts, er, nothing very well really. But those models do prove, in a complicated consensusy way that you peons shouldn’t concern yourself with, that we’re getting warmer! All the time. Up, up, UP!
Now back to the limos. These citizens aren’t going to rule themselves![ad#Banner]
Incredible projection on view in an article by George Monbiot today. If you’re not familiar with Monbiot, he’s been a leading supporter of AGW writing for the Guardian. And when Climaquiddick broke, he agreed that there was fire within the smoke and made the point that the damage to the AGW cause from the emails is real.
Today we see him trying mightily to erect a strawman and beat it to death. But he does that after again admitting the problem brought on by the emails but not quite as much as he has in the past. So here is his first of three apparent observations in the wake of the email disclosures:
When you survey the trail of wreckage left by the climate emails crisis, three things become clear. The first is the tendency of those who claim to be the champions of climate science to minimise their importance. Those who have most to lose if the science is wrong have perversely sought to justify the secretive and chummy ethos that some of the emails reveal. If science is not transparent and accountable, it’s not science.
I believe that all supporting data, codes and programmes should be made available as soon as an article is published in a peer-reviewed journal. That anyone should have to lodge a freedom of information request to obtain them is wrong. That the request should be turned down is worse. That a scientist suggests deleting material that might be covered by that request is unjustifiable. Everyone who values the scientific process should demand complete transparency, across all branches of science.
I agree completly with his first observation. It is “not science” (and because it has yet to be reproduced, it’s not a theory either) and since the public is funding it, it should – no must – all be out in the open. And that’s doubly true when the so-called “science” is going to be used to make public policy.
Great. Now we come to the strawman:
The second observation is the tendency of those who don’t give a fig about science to maximise their importance. The denial industry, which has no interest in establishing the truth about global warming, insists that these emails, which concern three or four scientists and just one or two lines of evidence, destroy the entire canon of climate science.
What “canon of climate science?” He admits that the data is unavailable and untested and that those supporting AGW have a tendency to minize the “wreckage”. Then he does exactly that. The person who obviously doesn’t “give a fig about science” is projecting that on those who are skeptical of the “science” – for the very reasons he previously gave. It’s a stunning few paragraphs.
In fact, the skeptics, like all good scientists, actually want to see the science upon which the assertions about climate change are based. You’d think that was the very “canon of science” every person would want to see upheld. His strawman – that skeptics don’t give a fig about the science – is in direct contradiction with the demand of skeptics – let us see the science.
Even if you were to exclude every line of evidence that could possibly be disputed – the proxy records, the computer models, the complex science of clouds and ocean currents – the evidence for man-made global warming would still be unequivocal. You can see it in the measured temperature record, which goes back to 1850; in the shrinkage of glaciers and the thinning of sea ice; in the responses of wild animals and plants and the rapidly changing crop zones.
But it is not unequivocal, as the disclosure of the emails proves. And there is much controversy concerning the cause of the shrinkage of glaciers and whether the amount of sea ice is declining or increasing. Just recently, one of the favorite AGW claims about the melting snow on Mt. Kilimanjaro has been declared not a result of global warming. And since the temperature data has been shown to have been fudged, that portion of it has never moved beyond hypothesis stage to that of a scientific theory via the scientific method.
And then there’s the bothersome fact that science has said that CO2 is a lagging indicator (by 800 years) and is an “effect” of warming, not a cause. Lastly there’s the exclusion of the sun, cosmic rays and solar wind from these supposedly infallible computer models that have been unable to duplicate the past and have been wrong about the present for at least 10 years. And I’m still waiting for someone to tell me what the earth’s optimum global temperature should be.
Monbiot’s final observation has to do with what he calls the denial industry. He classifies anyone who is “paid to say that man-made global warming isn’t happening.” He cites four cases where various entities with vested interests in seeing the status quo maintained have paid to have studies done that support their supposition.
Apparently irony free, Monbiot misses completely how the same effect has been achieved through public funding on the AGW side with grants going to those scientists who essentially support the premise of man-made global warming, and little if any money going to those who don’t.
He concludes by calling those who question the science and the cause stooges:
These people haven’t fooled themselves, but they might have fooled you. Who, among those of you who claim that climate scientists are liars and environmentalists are stooges, has thought it through for yourself?
I for one have done exactly that and continue to be very skeptical of the science and especially of the alarmist “industry”. If what Mr. Monbiot presents here is the best case for his side, then I can only say his case is weak and my skepticism is only deepened by it.
As regular readers know, we’ve been talking about why businesses are sitting on the sidelines and not hiring at the moment. Businesses don’t like unsettled questions about the arena in which they must operate. Health care legislation will effect the cost of doing business. Until that is settled, there’s little incentive to take a chance and hire or expand their business. If it costs more to do so after the legislation is passed – and it seems it will, they’ll wait to see the eventual outcome (and cost) and adjust accordingly. Same with cap-and-trade.
However, in that regard, the EPA seems ready to proceed on it’s own schedule and businesses are not liking what they’re hearing:
Officials gather in Copenhagen this week for an international climate summit, but business leaders are focusing even more on Washington, where the Obama administration is expected as early as Monday to formally declare carbon dioxide a dangerous pollutant.
An “endangerment” finding by the Environmental Protection Agency could pave the way for the government to require businesses that emit carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases to make costly changes in machinery to reduce emissions — even if Congress doesn’t pass pending climate-change legislation. EPA action to regulate emissions could affect the U.S. economy more directly, and more quickly, than any global deal inked in the Danish capital, where no binding agreement is expected.
Bottom line – if the administration can’t get it done legislatively, they’ll just assume the authority and implement what they wish to do to restrict emissions and require “changes in machinery” unilaterally.
An EPA endangerment finding “could result in a top-down command-and-control regime that will choke off growth by adding new mandates to virtually every major construction and renovation project,” U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue said in a statement. “The devil will be in the details, and we look forward to working with the government to ensure we don’t stifle our economic recovery,” he said, noting that the group supports federal legislation.
Can you imagine a more pervasive “emission” or arbitrarily applied set of mandates? Start asking yourself who the favored and unfavored industries are out there? Do you suppose coal fired power plants might be target one? And I’d guess that refiners would be in the same boat – unless they make ethanol.
The point of course is this is a perfect way to target and increase the cost of operating businesses that the EPA decides are the worst CO2 polluters. They’ll just write regulations that require costly renovations and changes. The net outcome, of course, is increased cost to consumers – most likely in their electricity bills, the cost of goods (transportation) and just about every other aspect of life you can imagine.
An endangerment finding would allow the EPA to use the federal Clean Air Act to regulate carbon-dioxide emissions, which are produced whenever fossil fuel is burned. Under that law, the EPA could require emitters of as little as 250 tons of carbon dioxide per year to install new technology to curb their emissions starting as soon as 2012.
The EPA has said it will only require permits from big emitters — facilities that put out 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year. But that effort to tailor the regulations to avoid slamming small businesses with new costs is expected to be challenged in court.
Legislators are aware that polls show the public appetite for action that would raise energy prices to protect the environment has fallen precipitously amid the recession.
Understanding that the public appetite for such action is very low, legislators are perfectly happy to let cap-and-trade languish. So the bureaucracy is being empowered to go where no elected politician dares at the moment. And if you’re a business, that means you’re still not clear what that means to you at the moment.
And so, you don’t hire. You don’t expand. You’re barely competitive in the global market as it is and now they’re talking about adding more cost? Yeah, that settles everything, doesn’t it? They’ll start hiring tomorrow.
The Guardian today, in its sub headline above an editorial concerning the Copenhagen summit announces:
This editorial calling for action from world leaders on climate change is published today by 56 newspapers around the world in 20 languages.
And, as you might imagine, it is an editorial unwritten by any of them. Of course we all know papers routinely give over editorial space for guess editorialists. But this goes beyond that to pure propaganda. And, as you read the editorial, it completely ignores the scientific scandal now growing ever larger and more serious, to declare the “facts are clear” and that the world needs to take “steps to limit temperature rises to 2C.
I’m reminded of how well our steps to limit unemployment by blowing 787 billion we didn’t have worked in a complex economy which apparently those who claim to know about seemingly didn’t. You can imagine my skepticism (and those of many others like me) concerning the assertion we can change anything (much less have an effect) on anything as complex as a global climate.
Yet these 56 newspapers uncritically reprint this editorial (to include the Miami Herald).
In reality, I’ve come to understand this isn’t about “climate change”, this is about the politics of income redistribution. I’ve spoken of it in the past. This has been a goal of the third-world debating club, also known as the UN, since it has come into existence. The IPCC is just a convenient vehicle on which to base their claims and put them forward to the industrialized countries for fulfillment. The underlying “science”, like a wet paper box, is coming apart at the seams. And not a single mention in the editorial. But it becomes clear, the further you get into it, that it is about what I contend it is about:
Social justice demands that the industrialised world digs deep into its pockets and pledges cash to help poorer countries adapt to climate change, and clean technologies to enable them to grow economically without growing their emissions. The architecture of a future treaty must also be pinned down – with rigorous multilateral monitoring, fair rewards for protecting forests, and the credible assessment of “exported emissions” so that the burden can eventually be more equitably shared between those who produce polluting products and those who consume them. And fairness requires that the burden placed on individual developed countries should take into account their ability to bear it; for instance newer EU members, often much poorer than “old Europe”, must not suffer more than their richer partners.
If you were playing buzz word bingo with this paragraph you’d be at the prize table right now picking one out. It hits all of the favorite themes of income redistributionists. And its blatancy should scare you. This is about your wallet, your money and the rest of the world making a claim on it. This is the third world’s dream come true.
In Copenhagen these next two weeks, our “leaders” will attempt to find a way to accommodate those who are making this claim on your money. What they won’t do is question the “science”. They won’t ask how CO2, which science has told us is an 800 year lagging indicator and an effect of warming suddenly became a cause of warming. They won’t question why the models that predict our environmental Armageddon can’t duplicate the past and have been totally wrong about the last 10 years. Or why those models don’t take into account the effect of the sun, solar wind, cosmic rays or cloud albedo – all things which heavily effect our global climate.
Instead they plan on doing what has been in the works for decades – use this as an excuse to loot the riches of the more industrialized world. The 56 tools of that movement who’ve uncritically reprinted this editorial call the Copenhagen meeting “14 days to seal history’s judgment on this generation” and conclude:
It is in that spirit that 56 newspapers from around the world have united behind this editorial. If we, with such different national and political perspectives, can agree on what must be done then surely our leaders can too.
The politicians in Copenhagen have the power to shape history’s judgment on this generation: one that saw a challenge and rose to it, or one so stupid that we saw calamity coming but did nothing to avert it. We implore them to make the right choice.
I go with “stupid” in this case. Unfortunately the real “stupid” thing to do would be to rush into something using unproven, or even untested science, as the basis for the action – but that’s precisely what the plans are for Copenhagen. And we’ve seen this before. Kyoto was simply a less ambitious attempt than Copenhagen. And we “stupidly” sat it out. Temperatures have cooled since.
So my hope is we stupidly do that again. I’ll be glad to suffer the brickbats from the alarmists and the redistributionists. But until we have real science which is transparent, open and actually tested, I’m not willing to consider letting anyone near my wallet and my freedoms. And that’s what our politicians need to know – loud and clear.
UPDATE: If you’re still doubting my point, I don’t think this fellow could done a better job of making it for me:
A similar theme will play out in Copenhagen as rich countries wrangle over how much they should have to pay to help the developing world shift to cleaner technologies.
“There is no agreement without money,” says Rosário Bento Pais, a top climate negotiator for the European Commission, the European Union’s executive arm. “That is clear.”