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.
How did I know that would be the inevitable outcome?
President Obama will propose using $200 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to support creating jobs, White House officials confirmed Monday.
The president, in an economic speech before the Brookings Institution on Tuesday, will argue that the money would be well spent by funding projects to build bridges and roads, weatherize homes, and provide other assistance for small businesses as well as the unemployed.
Fund projects to build bridges and roads? I thought that was the purpose of the 787 billion “stimulus”. Shovel ready projects correct? The great and wonderful stimulus, if passed, was guaranteed to keep unemployment at 8% or below, remember? How’s that worked out for us?
And, the funds will come from TARP which was borrowed to begin with. Instead of not spending (and paying back the lenders), we’re now going to create jobs weatherizing homes, oh, and giving “other assistance for small business as well as the unemployed”? It may come as a surprise to the people in Washington DC, but extending unemployment and giving the unemployed other benefits does not create jobs. Nor does some complicated bureaucratic adventure in “weatherizing”.
Initiatives which make the decision to hire and expand easy will do that, and there are none on the horizon. Instead we’ll see another 200 billion added to the 787 billion (yes, friends, a few billion shy of a trillion) on this spending boondoggle that’s worked so well in dampening unemployment.
In case you’ve forgotten (via Patterico), here’s the adjusted projected 10 year Obama budget:
The dark red CBO shows the actual cost, not the sanitized cost from the White House. This is our future in terms of spending. We’ve certainly seen all the excuses for spending at that level due to the financial crisis (reasons I am still not convinced are necessarily valid), but what are the excuses for the years beyond 2010? And where is that money going to come from?
It is hard to deny this isn’t planned deficit spending on a level we’ve never even contemplated before. You have to wonder how any politician of any stripe could see those budget numbers as doing anything other than worsening a bad situation. The question some are beginning to ask is whether or not this future is based on the naive assumption that government can spend its way out of financial crisis or another thing altogether.
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.
In a London preview of Wall Street’s bonus nightmare, more than 1,000 investment bankers have quit Royal Bank of Scotland to work at rivals due to curbs on their paychecks, according to people familiar with the situation.
Wall Street banks fear top talent would flee en masse for greener pastures if Uncle Sam’s pay czar, Ken Feinberg, and Congress try to put more ceilings on bonuses and pay at financial firms.
In the UK, the rules are modeled after US actions to curb pay at firms bailed out by the government.
The protest exodus at RBS — first reported on the Web edition of the Times of London — involved less than 5 percent of its banking professionals.
Some headhunters see more bankers jumping ship in the coming year as the controversy deepens over pay freezes and curbs.
Pay people less than they think they can earn elsewhere, then “elsewhere” is where you will find them.
Some will say that these ship-jumpers can’t be worth too much if their companies had to be bailed out, but that gets it exactly backwards. For the most part, it’s those who are responsible for the floundering that will be left working for the rotting (and now government owned) corpse, while those most capable find positions in more stable firms.
There’s nothing particularly bad about this sort of slough off, except that with the bailouts thrown into the mix, it’s the public that’s left holding the bag. Absent the government takeovers, the same sort of thing would have happened, only in a quicker, more orderly way (see, e.g. the fallout from the collapse of Arthur Anderson, or the bankruptcy of BearingPoint).
Moreover, the demonization of Wall Street types accomplishes nothing constructive, and may very well convince otherwise enterprising young B-school grads (or potential grads) to employ their intellectual talents in other fields that may not fully capture their potential or interest. All that does is deprive the rest of us of smart, young and industrious business people who might make our world better, and instead treats us to a glut of some other professionals that we likely don’t need (i.e. lawyers). And we really don’t want that now, do we?[ad#Banner]
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.”
Anti-tax zealots denounce all taxation as theft, as depriving citizens of their right to spend their hard-earned incomes as they see fit. Yet nowhere does the Constitution grant us the right not to be taxed. Nor does it grant us the right to harm others with impunity. No one is permitted to steal our cars or vandalize our homes. Why should opponents of taxation be allowed to harm us in less direct ways?
Oh, Jeez. Correcting all of the problems with this statement could fill volumes, but at its core is this mind-numbingly stupid assertion: “Yet nowhere does the Constitution grant us the right not to be taxed.”
That’s right, genius, it doesn’t. Wanna know why? Because nowhere does the Constitution grant us any rights, you imbecile! That’s not what the Constitution is about or for. It doesn’t grant us the right to free speech, or to bear arms, or to due process, or to be secure in our possessions and properties. It doesn’t even grant anyone the right to vote. What it does is protect those individual rights, all of which existed prior to the Constitution even being contemplated. Which, incidentally, was the point to having a government in the first place (and not to use the state’s police powers to dole out goodies to favored constituencies, as seems to be all the rage nowadays).
Indeed, the only thing that Constitution does grant is limited powers to the federal government, all other powers being reserved to the States or the people (see Amendment X to that Constitution you are blathering about).
Accordingly, your argument is not just “insane”, to use Mr. Ponnuru’s term, it is also fundamentally misinformed. In the future, should find the need to expound upon the foundation of our government and/or its relation to individual rights, perhaps you should educate yourself about those concepts first.[ad#Banner]
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Climaquiddick – with Copenhagen next week, why are the warmists trying so hard to pretend the CRU scandal doesn’t mean anything significant.
Afghanistan – the President’s West Point speech – what does it mean? Is there really a withdrawal date or is that as soft as the administration is trying to make it since the speech?
Unemployment – are the new numbers really good news? Really?
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.
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.
In a staggering blow to the credibility of the CRU at the University of East Anglia, the UK’s Met Office will re-examine 160 years worth of climate data in light of the scandal there. You can read about the Met Office here. They have been a very important and influential part of the man-made climate change cabal and are a government agency. They along with the Royal Society and the Natural Environmental Research Council issued a statement as recently as November 24th saying AGW was real and the scientific evidence for that hypothesis has actually “strengthened significantly”.
Now, apparently, it is concerned enough by what has been revealed through the released emails from the CRU to decide to review the entire 160 years of data upon which the hypothesis rests. The Times tells us:
The Met Office plans to re-examine 160 years of temperature data after admitting that public confidence in the science on man-made global warming has been shattered by leaked e-mails.
The new analysis of the data will take three years, meaning that the Met Office will not be able to state with absolute confidence the extent of the warming trend until the end of 2012.
The Met Office’s published data showing a warming trend draws heavily on CRU analysis. CRU supplied all the land temperature data to the Met Office, which added this to its own analysis of sea temperature data.
Why is this important?
The Met Office database is one of three main sources of temperature data analysis on which the UN’s main climate change science body relies for its assessment that global warming is a serious danger to the world. This assessment is the basis for next week’s climate change talks in Copenhagen aimed at cutting CO2 emissions.
Said another way, those in Copenhagen next week, will be making policy based on an assessment in which one of the providers of the data has no confidence.
And you’ll love this:
The Government is attempting to stop the Met Office from carrying out the re-examination, arguing that it would be seized upon by climate change sceptics.
Facts? We don’t need no stinkin’ facts – our minds are made up. It’s much more important that we don’t give the skeptics ammo than actually settle the science. Talk about vested interests.
And, of course, there’s a bit of whistling past the graveyard:
The Met Office is confident that its analysis will eventually be shown to be correct. However, it says it wants to create a new and fully open method of analysing temperature data.
Couldn’t agree more on the “open method of analysing temperature data” – long, long overdue. And NASA needs to release their data as well and the sooner the better.
Meanwhile, even the IPCC has had to finally admit somethings actually going on which may have an effect on their findings:
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change admitted yesterday that it needed to consider the full implications of the e-mails and whether they cast doubt on any of the evidence for man-made global warming.
Here’s an idea – cancel Copenhagen until there’s some level of confidence that the “science” that undergirds the hypothesis claiming human activity is a main source for ongoing climate change is actually based in real, factual data before rushing into economy killing emissions controls.
Fat chance, I know – we’ll soon learn what the term “bureaucratic impetus” means, I’m afraid.
I see that Megan McCardle thinks the unemployment numbers released today are enough to make her make her “cautiously optimistic” about the jobs picture. I’ll meet her halfway. I see room for caution, but not yet for optimism.
Ms. McArdle writes:
It’s very solidly good news: the labor force participation rate was basically unchanged, which means we’re seeing an actual decline in the unemployment rate, not a spike in the number of people leaving the labor force because they can’t find a job.
My reading of the numbers is precisely the opposite. It appears to me that teenagers, high school dropouts, and those with only a high school diploma, all of whom have high unemployment rates, did, in fact, drop out of the labor force, which led to the decrease in the employment rate.
I also think the numbers are skewed by the seasonal adjustments. The BLS adjusts the figures for seasonal changes, with extra weighting given to more recent years. Last November, the Lehman collapse led to the loss of 610,000 jobs–the largest ever recorded by the BLS–so I suspect the weighting for seasonal factors is skewed to the point where the jobs situation may look better than it actually is.
We do see an increase in hours worked of 0.6 hours, but that doesn’t really create new jobs, it just provides more hours for current part-timers.
However, temporary employment rose significantly for the 4th straight month, and it appears that the mass layoffs have petered out.
So, as far as I can tell, there may have been a bottom, but there are still some anomalies that need to be explained before I jump into the optimist camp.
And, of course, none of this even touches on the 800-pound gorilla in the room, which is monetary policy. The Fed’s policy of quantitative easing, i.e. massive increases in the money supply, still present us with hundreds of billions of dollars in low-velocity money floating around, all of which will have to be absorbed through higher interest rates, or through significant inflation. The possibility still remains that necessary credit tightening will strangle any nascent recovery over the next 12-18 months, and send the economy on a another downward leg.