Free Markets, Free People
You may not have even known about Earth Hour last night when environmental activists were urged to turn off their lights from 8:30 to 9:30.
Instead I celebrated “Human Achievement Hour” by leaving mine burning brightly. Helen Whalen Cohen explains:
Technology and innovation have made our lives immeasurably better. We can fly to other countries in hours. Medical achievements have made formerly deadly diseases curable. The poorest people in the United States have what would have, until recently, been considered luxury items. There are seven billion people living on this planet, and lives have never been so long and so prosperous. Talk about a cause worth celebrating.
Nothing makes that clearer than the light at night made by man.
Of course that doesn’t mean, then, that I am against good stewardship of the earth’s resources, all for wiping out animal species or want dirty air and water.
Hardly. That, of course, is the usual false choice set out there by radical environmentalists. I, and most people like me, believe that human achievement and good stewardship can coexist.
What we don’t believe is that human beings are a blight on this earth and that technology does more harm than good. In fact, I think Earth Hour is probably a good thing for demonstrating that point. I’d even go a step further for those who like to do that and tell them to go to the breaker box in their house and trip the main breaker and turn off all the electricity. Then turn off the gas. Finally, walk out to the box in the front yard and turn off the water. And let’s extend it for a while. Say a day? 2 days? A week?
A few days of drawing water from the creek, washing clothes on scrub board, cooking over a fire and reading by candle light might drive the point home. Oh, wait, no books … produced by technology, right? No phones, fast food or driving a car either. Have a doctor’s appointment during that time? No CT, MRIs or much of any sort of test. Sorry … but enjoy!
There is absolutely nothing wrong with what humans have achieved and we should celebrate it. Not sit in the dark for an hour each year pretending things are worse. That doesn’t “save the planet” … the planet is fine, thank you very much.
Anyway, I’m pushing for “Earth Days” next year. Let’s see these folks put their actions where their mouths are.
2 to a week of fun without technology. Make it attractive and better and you may get my attention.
In the meantime I’m planning to celebrate of "Human Achievement Days” during that time where I will essentially live as I am now (yup, I celebrate HAD every day).
Guess who will enjoy their days more?
Roger Pielke Jr notes that the new IPCC report covering climate change seems to take the skeptical argument to heart and stick much more closely to actual facts and what is really known empirically. Says Pielke:
The full IPCC Special Report on Extremes is out today, and I have just gone through the sections in Chapter 4 that deal with disasters and climate change. Kudos to the IPCC — they have gotten the issue just about right, where "right" means that the report accurately reflects the academic literature on this topic. Over time good science will win out over the rest — sometimes it just takes a little while.
His examples from the report:
A few quotable quotes from the report (from Chapter 4):
-"There is medium evidence and high agreement that long-term trends in normalized losses have not been attributed to natural or anthropogenic climate change"
-"The statement about the absence of trends in impacts attributable to natural or anthropogenic climate change holds for tropical and extratropical storms and tornados"
-"The absence of an attributable climate change signal in losses also holds for flood losses"
The report even takes care of tying up a loose end that has allowed some commentators to avoid the scientific literature:
-"Some authors suggest that a (natural or anthropogenic) climate change signal can be found in the records of disaster losses (e.g., Mills, 2005; Höppe and Grimm, 2009), but their work is in the nature of reviews and commentary rather than empirical research.
Maybe he’s right. Maybe, finally, science will “win out”. And I also hope that the administration that has said it will use science in its policy making process will now actually do so.
But that shouldn’t come as a particular surprise for anyone who has watched this economist turn into a political hack over the years.
To be a modern Republican in good standing, you have to believe — or pretend to believe — in two miracle cures for whatever ails the economy: more tax cuts for the rich and more drilling for oil. And with prices at the pump on the rise, so is the chant of “Drill, baby, drill.” More and more, Republicans are telling us that gasoline would be cheap and jobs plentiful if only we would stop protecting the environment and let energy companies do whatever they want.
You’ll not see such a broad field of strawmen erected in such a short paragraph for quite some time.
Anyone know any Republicans who are calling for “more tax cuts for the rich” (as I recall, Republicans are saying no tax increases for anyone)? That’s the first strawman.
Second? Not a single “Republican” I know is claiming that we should “stop protecting the environment” and “let energy companies do whatever they want”. I defy Krugman to produce them. Instead what I see are those that want more drilling point out that the technology exists to do it safely and in an environmentally friendly way and thus there’s no real reason to stop it other than ideology. Nor do I know of any who oppose the pursuit of alternative fuels. They just are realistic about the fact that none of those being pursued are anywhere yet ready for prime time, unlike our President. So they naturally look to what we have as the main staple of our economy’s energy demand now and in the near future.
It’s called “common sense” for the Krugman’s of the world who seem to have not been blessed with much of it.
As for jobs and cheaper gas, you should be able to ask an economist if increased supply of a commodity would have the effect of downward pressure on cost and expect to get an honest answer – unless it’s this guy.
Oh, and you’d also expect an economist to understand that if you expand production of any such commodity which is labor intensive, you’re going to create a lot of jobs. You may expect that, but you too can read this so-called economist’s words. When the choice is between political hackery and economic integrity, guess which he chooses?
Charles Krauthammer lays out a little ground truth about why “drill, baby, drill” hasn’t been able to have the effect it might have had if allowed. Yes, “allowed”:
President Obama incessantly claims energy open-mindedness, insisting that his policy is “all of the above.” Except, of course, for drilling:
●off the Mid-Atlantic coast (as Virginia, for example, wants);
●off the Florida Gulf Coast (instead, the Castro brothers will drill near there);
●in the broader Gulf of Mexico (where drilling in 2012 is expected to drop 30 percent below pre-moratorium forecasts);
●in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (more than half the size of England, the drilling footprint being the size of Dulles International Airport);
●on federal lands in the Rockies (where leases are down 70 percent since Obama took office).
But the event that drove home the extent of Obama’s antipathy to nearby, abundant, available oil was his veto of the Keystone pipeline, after the most extensive environmental vetting of any pipeline in U.S. history. It gave the game away because the case for Keystone is so obvious and overwhelming. Vetoing it gratuitously prolongs our dependence on outside powers, kills thousands of shovel-ready jobs, forfeits a major strategic resource to China, damages relations with our closest ally, and sends billions of oil dollars to Hugo Chavez, Vladimir Putin and already obscenely wealthy sheiks.
The opportunity to see gas at a lower price, plentiful jobs created and supply increased have been squandered by this administration and Krugman, as if channeling our President, is trying to pass this failure off on the GOP. He’s essentially trying too claim the laws of supply and demand have been suspended.
The irony here is that these claims come just as events are confirming what everyone who did the math already knew, namely, that U.S. energy policy has very little effect either on oil prices or on overall U.S. employment. For the truth is that we’re already having a hydrocarbon boom, with U.S. oil and gas production rising and U.S. fuel imports dropping. If there were any truth to drill-here-drill-now, this boom should have yielded substantially lower gasoline prices and lots of new jobs. Predictably, however, it has done neither.
Again, a half-truth. The boom is a boomlet compared to what it might have been had Obama and his merry permit slow-walkers gotten out of the way. The only thing that has saved Obama is the boom on state and private land. What Krugman won’t say is it is most likely true that had that boom not materialized on non-Federal land, gas prices would be even higher. And so would unemployment. Don’t forget the tens of thousands of jobs lost due to the Obama administration’s Gulf “permatorium”.
Krauthammer points out what should have been obvious to an economist but are inconvenient truths to a political hack:
“The American people aren’t stupid,” Obama said (Feb. 23), mocking “Drill, baby, drill.” The “only solution,” he averred in yet another major energy speech last week, is that “we start using less — that lowers the demand, prices come down.” Yet five paragraphs later he claimed that regardless of “how much oil we produce at home . . .that’s not going to set the price of gas worldwide.”
So: Decreasing U.S. demand will lower oil prices, but increasing U.S. supply will not? This is ridiculous. Either both do or neither does. Does Obama read his own speeches?
Obama says of drilling: “That’s not a plan.” Of course it’s a plan. We import nearly half of our oil, thereby exporting enormous amounts of U.S. wealth. Almost 60 percent of our trade deficit — $332 billion out of $560 billion — is shipped overseas to buy crude.
Drill here and you stanch the hemorrhage. You keep those dollars within the U.S. economy, repatriating not just wealth but jobs and denying them to foreign unfriendlies. Drilling is the single most important thing we can do to spur growth at home while strengthening our hand abroad.
It is truly wondrous to me how poorly Krugman comes off in these sorts of debates. He concludes his hack job with:
And intellectual bankruptcy, I’m sorry to say, is a problem that no amount of drilling and fracking can solve.
The irony is so thick you could cut it with a knife.
The global warming debate brought Lord Monckton to Union College in Schenectady, New York, and, much to his delight, a hostile crowd:
As they filed in, Lord Monckton was chatting contentedly to a quaveringly bossy woman with messy blonde hair who was head of the college environmental faction. Her group had set up a table at the door of the auditorium, covered in slogans scribbled on messy bits of recycled burger boxes held together with duct tape (Re-Use Cardboard Now And Save The Planet). “There’s a CONSENSUS!” she shrieked.
“That, Madame, is intellectual baby-talk,” replied Lord Monckton. Had she not heard of Aristotle’s codification of the commonest logical fallacies in human discourse, including that which the medieval schoolmen would later describe as the argumentum ad populum, the headcount fallacy? From her reddening face and baffled expression, it was possible to deduce that she had not. Nor had she heard of the argumentum ad verecundiam, the fallacy of appealing to the reputation of those in authority.
And it goes down hill for the militant warmists from there.
Read the whole thing here.
Watch the whole thing here.
You probably remember these lines in President Obama’s State of the Union address this year:
Over the last three years, we’ve opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration, and tonight, I’m directing my administration to open more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources. (Applause.) Right now — right now — American oil production is the highest that it’s been in eight years. That’s right — eight years. Not only that — last year, we relied less on foreign oil than in any of the past 16 years. (Applause.)
Anyone … what’s the implication? Yes, that’s right, the implication is that this president and his administration have worked tirelessly to aid in the exploitation of oil during his three years in office. And he’s right about one thing, American oil production is the highest its been in eight years.
But it true despite of him and his administration, not because of them. The rise in oil and gas production has been because of an increase in production on state and private land, not federal land as this chart demonstrates:
Another myth destroyed. In fact, as most who’ve followed this administration’s energy policies for three years know, they’ve been anything but friendly toward the petroleum industry. The chart simply quantifies how unfriendly they’ve been. In fact, if it wasn’t for production on state and private land, we’d be looking at the lowest production in eight years.
Oh, by the way, another myth was also offered up that night in an appeal to justify more money to “green” energy, i.e.:
But with only 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves, oil isn’t enough. This country needs an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy. (Applause.) A strategy that’s cleaner, cheaper, and full of new jobs.
According to the Institute for Energy Research’s North American Energy Inventory published in December of 2011, the total recoverable oil resources in North America (and that obviously includes Canada) is 1.79 trillion barrels, or “enough oil to fuel every passenger car in the United States for 430 years”. Any guess why Keystone XL is so critical?
The problem, according to IER isn’t that we have low proven reserves (the usual figure backing that 2% number is 20 billion barrels). The problem is where there are recoverable oil reserves there are also federal prohibitions against drilling and exploiting those reserves. The US has 1.4 trillion barrels in recoverable oil with the largest deposits located offshore, Alaska and in the Rocky Mountain West’s shale. Combined with Canadian and Mexican resource’s, the total recoverable oil in North America is 1.79 trillion barrels or, as the IER points out, “more [oil] than the world has used since the first oil well was drilled over 150 years ago…”. If you need more context, Saudi Arabia has about 260 billion barrels of proven oil reserves.
And if you really want to see some eye-popping numbers, take a look in the IER Energy Inventory at our gas reserves. At current natural gas generation levels, there are enough recoverable gas resources to provide the US with electrical energy for 575 years.
If we do what is necessary to recover it.
The myth of America being an energy poor country is just that, a myth. And, as the State of the Union proves, it is still used by those who are determined to scare Americans into accepting their more expensive (and thus heavily subsidized) alternatives. The Co2/global warming/cap and trade scare has failed. The alternative is to claim we don’t have the petroleum base to support our consumption. It simply isn’t true.
But you can count on continuing to hearing both myths continued during this election year.
Don’t buy into them … demand the federal government get the hell out of the way and let us do what is necessary (safely and sanely) to exploit the tremendous petroleum and gas reserves we enjoy.
Lomborg points out that when the global warming scare was at its height, Germany bought in, hook, line and sinker. And, as is their way, decided they’d become the “photovoltaic world champion” as it switched to solar power.
How much did the German government commit to this pursuit of clean and green? $130 billion dollars.
What happened when this tax payer funded gravy train left the station?
Germans installed 7.5 gigawatts of photovoltaic capacity last year, more than double what the government had deemed “acceptable.” It is estimated that this increase alone will lead to a $260 hike in the average consumer’s annual power bill.
Because, you see, solar power is more expensive than that nasty fossil fuel generated energy. Details, details.
Anyway the government handed out $130 billion in subsides, German’s responded and the net result was a huge drop in greenhouse gasses, namely CO2, right? Yeah, not so much:
Moreover, this sizeable investment does remarkably little to counter global warming. Even with unrealistically generous assumptions, the unimpressive net effect is that solar power reduces Germany’s CO2 emissions by roughly 8 million metric tons—or about 1 percent – for the next 20 years. To put it another way: By the end of the century, Germany’s $130 billion solar panel subsidies will have postponed temperature increases by 23 hours.
Reality … what a slap in the face that must have been. Suddenly, the German government gets “religion”:
According to Der Spiegel, even members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s staff are now describing the policy as a massive money pit. Philipp Rösler, Germany’s minister of economics and technology, has called the spiraling solar subsidies a “threat to the economy.”
But, as usual, the German government had to learn this the hard way. Markets, we don’t need no stinkin’ markets. For a $130 billion dollar “investment”, Germany now gets 0.3% of its total power from solar. Any guess why governments should steer clear of picking winners and losers?
The German government has burned $130 billion to raise the average power bill by $260 a year and delay the dreaded temperature increases by … 23 hours.
Sometimes it is interesting to let a story play out for a couple of day to see what’s what. A couple of days ago I noticed a story on a blog which supports the Goresqe AGW nonsense with a story headlined “Heartland Insider Exposes Institutes Budget and Strategy”.
Listed under the story are a number of documents which Desmog Blog claims to be from an email package sent to contributing members of the Heartland Institute.
I sent the link to Jim Lakely, an old friend and communications director at Heartland. I’ve known Jim for years and wondered if he’d seen the story at the link.
He wrote back quickly saying “yes” he’d seen it and it appears that one of the documents is a fake.
That’s about the time I decided to sit back and watch while taking the time to read the documents for myself. For most of them, nothing was particularly surprising and certainly there was nothing particularly damning. If you’re familiar with the Institute, everything mentioned in the documents was pretty well known except perhaps some of the donor information Desmog chose to expose. Obviously it was too important in their opinion to release the information quickly (apparently they released it within hours of getting it) and to heck with privacy concerns. These are the “bad guys” for heaven sake. They don’t deserve the same rights or respect Desmog would most likely demand for themselves. After all, they take money from the Koch brothers.
But to the fake document. You can see it here.
What was missing from this collection of documents was something really damning. Something Desmog and their ilk could point too and condemn the Heartland Institute.
Well, conveniently, there was this “confidential memo” which fit the bill perfectly. It made statements like this:
Development of our "Global Warming Curriculum for K-12 Classrooms" project [emphasis original].
Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective. To counter this we are considering launching an effort to develop alternative materials for K-12 classrooms. We are pursuing a proposal from Dr. David Wojick to produce a global warming curriculum for K-12 schools. Dr. Wojick is a consultant with the Office of Scientific and Technical Information at the U.S. Department of Energy in the area of information and communication science. His effort will focus on providing curriculum that shows that the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain – two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science. [emphasis mine]
After reading that, you’re supposed to believe that the dastardly Heartland Institute is against teaching science and, of course the further implication is that AGW is “science” while the skeptical side is anti-science. Of course that belies the fact that the Heartland sponsored climate conference this year, open to everyone, was billed as “returning the scientific method” to climate science, not abandoning it.
And can you imagine pitching “dissuading teachers from teaching science” to donors who have previously sponsored your effort to get the complete science out there?
Warren Meyer comments at Forbes:
For those of us at least somewhat inside the tent of the skeptic community, particularly the science-based ones Heartland has supported in the past, the goal of “dissuading teachers from teaching science” is a total disconnect. I have never had any skeptic in even the most private of conversations even hint at such a goal. The skeptic view is that science education vis a vis climate and other environmental matters tends to be shallow, or one-sided, or politicized — in other words broken in some way and needing repair. In this way, most every prominent skeptic that works even a bit in the science/data end of things believes him or herself to be supporting, helping, and fixing science. In fact, many skeptics believe that the continued positive reception of catastrophic global warming theory is a function of the general scientific illiteracy of Americans and points to a need for more and better science education.
Is the Heartland Institute developing such a curriculum? Yes. Is it designed to point out that the topic is “controversial and uncertain” and therefor be used to dissuade teachers from teaching “science”. Hardly … what’s the point in developing the curriculum then?
In fact the curriculum is designed to present those parts of the science of climate change that don’t fit or contradict the faith based nonsense being taught and pushed by the alarmist side. You know, the “inconvenient truths”. Controversy and uncertainty have and always will be a part of science, but certainly nothing which would stop it from being taught. This Rather-gateish attempt is the left trying to discredit an institution which has mounted a threat and is actually taking action against its alarmist creed.
Why do I compare it to Rather-gate? Two reasons. One, the fake doc. Heartland acknowledged the authenticity of all the documents but one. That document, it unequivocally stated, was a fake:
One document, titled “Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy,” is a total fake apparently intended to defame and discredit The Heartland Institute. It was not written by anyone associated with The Heartland Institute. It does not express Heartland’s goals, plans, or tactics. It contains several obvious and gross misstatements of fact. [emphasis original]
Finally, again to compare it to Rather-gate, at least one journalist has decided to cool it for the moment, given the document that is the most damning is said to be fake. Heartland is pleased with that, however Warren Meyer made a little bet at the end of his Forbes piece:
If the strategy memo turns out to be fake as I believe it to be, I am starting the countdown now for the Dan-Rather-esque “fake but accurate” defense of the memo — ie, “Well, sure, the actual document was faked but we all know it represents what these deniers are really thinking.” This has become a mainstay of post-modern debate, where facts matter less than having the politically correct position.
Andrew Revkin, the journalist in question, has indeed backed off for the moment, but:
Is Revkin himself seeking to win my fake-but-accurate race? When presented with the fact that he may have published a fake memo, Revkin wrote:
looking back, it could well be something that was created as a way to assemble the core points in the batch of related docs.
It sounds like he is saying that while the memo is faked, it may have been someones attempt to summarize real Heartland documents. Fake but accurate! By the way, I don’t think he has any basis for this supposition, as no other documents have come to light with stuff like “we need to stop teachers from teaching science.”
Expect to see the argument that the document does indeed expose “the core points” when, in fact, it does nothing of the sort, but instead implies things not in evidence in order to discredit the Heartland Institute and characterize it as an activist organization instead of a think tank. What this attack essentially says to me is that Heartland has finally achieved the level of “threat” to the AGW crowd.
Some things never change.
Well, except the climate.
Of course you’d think the bright set would know that:
Gone with the wind? Hurricanes could destroy the offshore wind farms the US is planning to build in the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico.
The US Department of Energy set a goal for the country to generate 20 per cent of its electricity from wind by 2030. One-sixth is to come from shallow offshore turbines that sit in the path of hurricanes.
Talk about a “d’oh” moment.
Stephen Rose and colleagues from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, modelled the risk hurricanes might pose to turbines at four proposed wind farm sites. They found that nearly half of the planned turbines are likely to be destroyed over the 20-year life of the farms. Turbines shut down in high winds, but hurricane-force winds can topple them.
You don’t say. Each wind farm costs about $175 million.
Safe, reliable and eco-friendly – well except for the birds they regularly grind up. But hey, in the ocean those birds drop into the sea and no one ever sees them. They provide chum for the fish (if a bird gets chopped up in the ocean and no one sees it does it make a sound?).
That’s good … right? No? I’m confused. PETA, where are you?
Reading the obvious and understanding that they’re going to do this anyway (somewhere in this you, Mr and Mrs. Taxpayer, are paying a hefty chunk of the bill and taking most of the risk) makes you realize how, well, “not so bright” many of those who “lead” us are or how much they really don’t care about the outcome of what they do if it satisfies some voting constituency. As long as they have access to your tax dollars or borrowed dollars with little or no accountability, this sort of nonsense will continue unabated.
Funny how some projects attract the EPA like flies to, well, you know and others? Meh. The LA Times reports:
Construction cranes rise like storks 40 stories above the Mojave Desert. In their midst, the "power tower" emerges, wrapped in scaffolding and looking like a multistage rocket.
Clustered nearby are hangar-sized assembly buildings, looming berms of sand and a chain mail of fencing that will enclose more than 3,500 acres of public land. Moorings for 173,500 mirrors — each the size of a garage door — are spiked into the desert floor. Before the end of the year, they will become six square miles of gleaming reflectors, sweeping from Interstate 15 to the Clark Mountains along California’s eastern border.
BrightSource Energy’s Ivanpah solar power project will soon be a humming city with 24-hour lighting, a wastewater processing facility and a gas-fired power plant. To make room, BrightSource has mowed down a swath of desert plants, displaced dozens of animal species and relocated scores of imperiled desert tortoises, a move that some experts say could kill up to a third of them.
Despite its behemoth footprint, the Ivanpah project has slipped easily into place, unencumbered by lasting legal opposition or public outcry from California’s boisterous environmental community.
Interesting. No EPA interference. The Enviro crowd rolls over. The project has all of the things which in normal circumstances (i.e. if it was a petro-chemical project) would have it tied up for years both in red tape and court cases.
But for this?
Endangered species? Fuggitaboutit. This is important ideological agenda stuff for the “enviro” crowd.
Away from public scrutiny, they crafted a united front in favor of utility-scale solar development, often making difficult compromises.
Compromises? It is full-scale capitulation. It is abject hypocrisy. It is an example of why the environmental community is seen by many as more ideologically driven than environmentally driven. It explains why their motives are suspect.
Take a look at this page in which you’ll see a conception of the finished project, the impact it has on the desert and the number of projects being developed in California and then just ask yourself what that same environmental community would be doing if the name of the developer was Exxon-Mobil instead of BrightSource.
"The scale of impacts that we are facing, collectively across the desert, is phenomenal," said Dennis Schramm, former superintendent at neighboring Mojave National Preserve. "The reality of the Ivanpah project is that what it will look like on the ground is worse than any of the analyses predicted."
In the fight against climate change, the Mojave Desert is about to take one for the team.
Yet barely a whimper raised by environmentalists over the scale and impact of these projects on what they claim to hold most sacred.
In fact, it seems as if it isn’t really much of a debate anymore.
First, let me be clear, the debate among scientists isn’t whether CO2 is a greenhouse gas or whether, even, it can cause warming, but instead on what real (if any) total effect it has overall on the climate. In other words, is there a saturation point where additional CO2 has little marginal effect, or does it build to a tipping point where the change is radical? Robust climate or delicate climate?
Evidence is building toward the robust climate theory, which would mean that while there may be more CO2 being emitted, it has little to no effect on the overall climate. That, of course, is contrary to the AGW crowd’s theory.
So, on to the latest high profile defections:
One of the fathers of Germany’s modern green movement, Professor Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt, a social democrat and green activist, decided to author a climate science skeptical book together with geologist/paleontologist Dr. Sebastian Lüning. Vahrenholt’s skepticism started when he was asked to review an IPCC report on renewable energy. He found hundreds of errors. When he pointed them out, IPCC officials simply brushed them aside. Stunned, he asked himself, “Is this the way they approached the climate assessment reports?”
Vahrenholt decided to do some digging. His colleague Dr. Lüning also gave him a copy of Andrew Montford’s The Hockey Stick Illusion. He was horrified by the sloppiness and deception he found. Persuaded by Hoffmann & Campe, he and Lüning decided to write the book. Die kalte Sonne cites 800 sources and has over 80 charts and figures. It examines and summarizes the latest science.
Vahrenholt concluded, through his research, that the science of the IPCC (if you can call it that) was mostly political and had been “hyped.”
Germany’s flagship weekly news magazine Der Spiegel today also featured a 4-page exclusive interview with Vahrenholt, where he repeated that the IPCC has ignored a large part of climate science and that IPCC scientists exaggerated the impact of CO2 on climate. Vahrenholt said that by extending the known natural cycles of the past into the future, and taking CO2′s real impact into effect, we should expect a few tenths of a degree of cooling.
That, as I said, points to the “robust” climate model.
Once more to make the point before I leave the subject:
Skeptic readers should not think that the book will fortify their existing skepticism of CO2 causing warming. The authors agree it does. but have major qualms about the assumed positive CO2-related feed-backs and believe the sun plays a far greater role in the whole scheme of things.
As Dr. Roy Spencer says, CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Adding CO2 should cause warming. The argument is “how much” and that’s based on competing theories about the climate’s sensitivity. Skeptics think the sensitivity is very low while alarmists think it is very high. The building evidence is that rising CO2 has little warming effect in real terms regardless of the amount of the gas emitted. That there is a “saturation level”. If that’s true, and indications are it is, then there’s a) no justification for limiting emissions and b) certainly no justification to tax them.
That, of course, is where politics enter the picture. Governments like the idea of literally creating a tax out of thin air, especially given the current financial condition of most states. Consequently, governments are more likely to fund science that supports their desired conclusion – and it seems that in this case there were plenty who were willing to comply (especially, as Patrick J. Michael has noted, when that gravy train amounts to $103 billion in grants).
What Vahrenholt is objecting too is the IPCC’s key definition in which it clearly states that “climate change” is a result of and because of “human contributions”. As noted above, he thinks that the sun is a much greater factor (something mostly ignored in the models) and he finds past CO2 trends to forecast nothing like the IPCC’s forecast.
What we’re finding as this argument goes forward is that Patrick Michaels was right – “AGW theory functions best in a data free environment”.