Free Markets, Free People

Copenhagen


Snicker-worthy

I’m sorry, I just can’t help myself – sometimes nature provides us with the best situational irony and this case is just hilarious:

A downtown protest of the climate change talks in Copenhagen became a victim of Wednesday’s snowstorm.

“Not many people showed up because of the blizzard conditions,” said organizer Clea Major, an international studies student at the University of Utah.

It didn’t take long for the six friends to pack up a bullhorn and posters they’d planned to use for their “scream-in,” an outlet for their frustration about the failure of the Copenhagen climate talks earlier this month to curb the pollution blamed for climate change.

Damn global warming.

~McQ



Copenhagen FAIL

Although the professional “spinners” are at work trying to shape what happened – or more precisely, didn’t happen – in Copenhagen as a success, I think the chief negotiator for the 130 countries that comprise the G77 characterized it best (and brutally honestly):

Lumumba Di-Aping, chief negotiator for the G77 group of 130 developing countries, said the deal had “the lowest level of ambition you can imagine. It’s nothing short of climate change scepticism in action. It locks countries into a cycle of poverty for ever. Obama has eliminated any difference between him and Bush.”

The last line is classic. It comes on the heels of Hugo Chavez noting that Obama had just recently accepted the Nobel Peace prize at the same time he was sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan to, in his words, “kill more innocents”.

Neither remark characterizes well the supposed renewed reputation (and love) of the US that Obama has claimed to have reestablished, does it?

And of course the radical left was not without its alarmists bell ringers in full fettle after conference ended:

John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said: “The city of Copenhagen is a crime scene tonight, with the guilty men and women fleeing to the airport. Ed Miliband [UK climate change secretary] is among the very few that come out of this summit with any credit.” It is now evident that beating global warming will require a radically different model of politics than the one on display here in Copenhagen.”

Lydia Baker of Save the Children said world leaders had “effectively signed a death warrant for many of the world’s poorest children. Up to 250,000 children from poor communities could die before the next major meeting in Mexico at the end of next year.”

You’ve got to love it – up to 250,000 children could die from slightly warmer weather, even if the facts say it has been slightly cooler if anything. And you have to wonder what Sauven means by “a radically different model of politics”?

Regardless, in terms that the left had defined success in Copenhagen, it was a epic “fail”. Mr. Obama is 0 for 2 in Copenhagen. And for those of us who recognize it for what it was – a grand redistribution attempt based in dubious if not spurious “science”, it is a welcome failure. That hearkens back to the beginning of the Obama administration when there was a controversy about some claiming they wanted Obama (and his agenda) to “fail”. This is an example of the type failure which was being talked about then. If this makes me and others who welcome this failure “unAmerican” to some on the left, then that’s fine. But my first priority is what was promised by this country and the Constitution – freedom and liberty. And in my opinion, anyone who tries to violate, infringe upon or take away those rights and freedoms are the “unAmerican” among us.

Copenhagen was just such an attempt, and the failure to accomplish their freedom limiting goals is welcome news. Now I hope for the same epic fail in this horrific attempt to take over health care, and for the very same reasons.

~McQ


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


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


The Debacle 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.

Just lovely.

~McQ


An Inconvenient Mess

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.

~McQ


Copenhagen Is Not About “Science”, It’s About Income Redistribution (Update)

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.”

~McQ


Warmists and Their “Science” Head To Copenhagen

Those who would like to restrict how you live depending on how big your carbon footprint might be apparently don’t have a problem with the size of theirs.  Theirs will be a 41,000 ton carbon footprint which will include 1,200 limousines, 141 private jets and just about every 5 star hotel in the city is booked up by the 15,000 delegates.

Perhaps it is the members of the world’s oldest profession which best help identify what this is really all about.

And this being Scandinavia, even the prostitutes are doing their bit for the planet. Outraged by a council postcard urging delegates to “be sustainable, don’t buy sex,” the local sex workers’ union – they have unions here – has announced that all its 1,400 members will give free intercourse to anyone with a climate conference delegate’s pass. The term “carbon dating” just took on an entirely new meaning.

This, my friends, is how absurd it has become. In fact, I would suggest the local sex workers are an analogy for exactly what these Warmists intend to do to the entire world. And the world is pretty much giving it up for free.

Pretty sad.

And as the delegates meet, they do so under a shadow. For the first time, not just the methods but the entire purpose of the climate change agenda is being questioned. Leaked emails showing key scientists conspiring to fix data that undermined their case have boosted the sceptic lobby. Australia has voted down climate change laws. Last week’s unusually strident attack by the Energy Secretary, Ed Miliband, on climate change “saboteurs” reflected real fear in government that momentum is slipping away from the cause.

Let’s make sure that’s precisely what happens.

~McQ


This Is “Science?”

No, this is shocking:

Scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.

It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.

The UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation.

The data were gathered from weather stations around the world and then adjusted to take account of variables in the way they were collected. The revised figures were kept, but the originals — stored on paper and magnetic tape — were dumped to save space when the CRU moved to a new building.

The point, of course, is in the absence of the original data, other scientists have no way to reproduce CRU’s results using their methods. None.

In a statement on its website, the CRU said: “We do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (quality controlled and homogenised) data.”

“Quality controlled?” Not according to the bit of code I talked about yesterday.

The CRU is the world’s leading centre for reconstructing past climate and temperatures. Climate change sceptics have long been keen to examine exactly how its data were compiled. That is now impossible.

Of course this has been rumored to be true for quite some time – now I suppose, it is “official”. Let me revise that first sentence above – “The CRU was the world’s leading centre for reconstructing past climate and temperatures”.

Roger Pielke, professor of environmental studies at Colorado University, discovered data had been lost when he asked for original records. “The CRU is basically saying, ‘Trust us’. So much for settling questions and resolving debates with science,” he said.

So this is how science is “settled”? This is what the “consensus” bought into. It says more about the scientific rigor of those who accepted this twaddle without checking it than it does about the skeptics, doesn’t it?

Yet, as we speak, politicians are using their findings as a basis for a worldwide treaty which will cost trillions and cripple the economies of industrialized nations. To me, what they’ve done borders on criminal. They should be absolutely shunned by the real scientists of the world. More importantly, politicians should be called upon to step back and demand a credible team of scientists look into both this scam and the underlying question of climate change in such a way that real and open scientific findings and debate are the result. As should be clear to everyone but the religionists taking all this nonsense of faith, the science is no longer considered “settled” (not that it ever was by real scientists) and there is no “consensus” concerning man’s part in climate change.

Copenhagen should be called off and no other meetings like it should be scheduled until everyone is convinced that there is some real science underlying the climate change issue.

~McQ


Obama To Offer Target Cuts In Greenhouse Gases At Copenhagen

World in recession?

Check.

Wheels coming off the science of AGW?

Check.

High unemployment continuing to rise?

Check.

2010 an election year?

Check.

Senate historically opposed to international treaties that hurt the economy?

Check.

Great – why not go to the UN’s Copenhagen treaty summit and offer some totally unrealistic and probably unachievable cuts in greenhouse gas emissions so we can feel like one of the cool kids?

President Barack Obama is considering setting a provisional target for cutting America’s huge greenhouse gas emissions, removing the greatest single obstacle to a landmark global agreement to fight climate change.

This is absolutely perfect for the talker-in-chief. Go. Promise. Bask. This is how you turn a useless conference which will most likely never accomplish a thing in reference to its primary goal into one all about the president.

Nigel Lawson points out the obvious:

But the meeting will still be declared a great success. Politicians do not like being associated with failure, so they will make sure that whatever emerges from Copenhagen is declared a success, and promise to meet again next year. This will at least give our political leaders the time to get themselves off the hook.

“Off the hook” in Obama’s case will be bringing a provisional treaty back with cuts he’s promised included and trying to get the Senate to ratify it. Kyoto went 98-0 against and is widely recognized – given the utter failure of other countries to even get close to their promised targets – as the smart move of the time.

Copenhagen is to go one step further. As PM Gordon Brown declared last week:

Copenhagen must “forge a new international agreement … [which] must contain the full range of commitments required: on emissions reductions by both developed and developing countries, on finance and on verification”.

Meaning? Meaning the idea is to stop developed countries from “outsourcing” their carbon emissions to “developing” countries. And to put those developing countries – in the middle of a global recession – on a restricted carbon diet.

It. Is. Not. Going. To. Happen.

Developing countries may agree the industrialized countries need to go on that diet, but they’re not going to hobble themselves unless massive transfer payments are involved. Massive. They are going to have to be satisfied that this sort of agreement causes them no harm economically. Good luck with that.

And, of course, with the lion’s share of the transfer payment bill and his promised cuts in hand, President Obama has to come back and convince the Senate, in a re-election year, that giving away even more money we don’t have and further crippling our economy for, at best, a marginal effect on the climate, is a good idea.

Cap-and-trade is on hold until at least the spring of ’10 in the Senate. Depending on what Obama does in Copenhagen (being loved means giving away the farm if necessary) it could be DOA when it is taken up again in the Senate. Senators, at the time, are going to be sticking their political fingers into the wind and assessing the popularity of an economy killing bill in the midst of a full bore scientific scandal about AGW’s science, continuing high unemployment and negative economic numbers. Most are not going to like what they see or hear – especially with November 2010 approaching for a third of them.

~McQ

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