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What if global-warming fears are overblown? May 14, 2009

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What if global-warming fears are overblown?

Fortune, May 14, 2009

In a Fortune interview, noted climatologist John Christy contends the green crusade to fight climate change is “all cost and no benefit.”

NEW YORK (Fortune) — With Congress about to take up sweeping climate-change legislation, expect to hear more in coming weeks from John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at University of Alabama-Huntsville.

A veteran climatologist who refuses to accept any research funding from the oil or auto industries, Christy was a lead author of the 2001 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report as well as one of the three authors of the American Geophysical Union’s landmark 2003 statement on climate change.

Yet despite those green-sounding credentials, Christy is not calling for draconian cuts in carbon emissions. Quite the contrary. Christy is actually the environmental lobby’s worst nightmare – an accomplished climate scientist with no ties to Big Oil who has produced reams and reams of data that undermine arguments that the earth’s atmosphere is warming at an unusual rate and question whether the remedies being talked about in Congress will actually do any good.

Christy’s critics in the blogosphere assume his research is funded by the oil industry. But Christy has testified in federal court that his research is funded by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration and that the only money he has ever received from corporate interests – $2,000 from the Competitive Enterprise Institute for penning a chapter of a global warming book in 2002 – he gave away to a charity, the Christian Women’s Job Corps.

Read the rest here

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Another in the Non-Consensus Camp May 13, 2009

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Another in the Non-Consensus Camp

Via ICECAP

By Paul Chesser, Heartland Institute Correspondent

That would be Karl Bohnak, chief meteorologist at WLUC-TV on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, who calls global warming alarmism his “pet peeve” and finally got so fed up with it that he wrote to his congressman, Democrat Rep. Bart Stupak. He shared his letter in a blog post on his station’s Web site:

For years as a broadcast meteorologist, I kept silent about the issue of “global warming.” Declaring skepticism labeled you (and still does) as an anti-environmentalist. After former VP Gore’s movie hit the big screen, I could remain silent no more.  “An Inconvenient Truth” was filled with so many gross distortions and outright scientific misrepresentations; I felt it was my obligation to speak out.

CO2 is not a pollutant and it’s not a problem.  The problem is rent-seeking corporations looking to cash in on cap and trade and low-output, high-cost alternative energy.  As your Michigan House colleague Congressman Dingell says “cap and trade is a tax, and it’s a great big one.” This is not the time to raise energy prices, which is what this bill will surely do.  I believe the majority of your constituents will suffer adversely if this legislation is passed.

After receiving Stupak’s standard constituent letter, Bohnak responded with some data that clarified some of the congressman’s misconceptions. Then Bohnak addresses readers of his blog, and specifically takes aim at his own industry – the media:

Note Congressman Stupak’s response on the issue of higher energy costs.  He states that he wants to make sure “unreasonable costs” are not passed on to consumers.  I ask, “What are unreasonable costs?” I do not want to pay ANY higher costs (reasonable or unreasonable) for a problem that just isn’t there.

I ask you to look at the data.  Don’t fall for the line that “An overwhelming majority of scientists agree that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are causing this unusual warming of our planet.” Majority rule is not how science is conducted.  If one wants to play that game, there’s a growing segment of scientists that have declared themselves “global warming skeptics.” Get as much information as you can, but you will NOT get it from the mainstream media (MSM).  The MSM is in the business of whipping up fear (look at the recent swine flu story).  Stories that the world is heading toward a precipice are right up its alley.  Also, there is at least one corporate media owner (My note, not Bohnak’s: this is General Electric, owner of NBC) that has a high stake in seeing this bill passed.

A subtly brave statement by Bohnak, considering his station/s network affiliation. Good for him. See Paul’s post here.

Windpower: Foolish Energy May 11, 2009

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Windpower: Foolish Energy

Bryan Leyland
NZCPR
10 May 2009

The drive for renewable energy in the form of windpower, marine power and the like, is driven by a belief that man-made greenhouse gases will cause dangerous global warming and that large-scale adoption of these technologies will “fight climate change”. To this end, thousands of MW of heavily subsidized wind power capacity are being added worldwide each year.

In New Zealand we are told that windpower is economic compared to alternatives, that the unpredictable short term fluctuations can easily be covered by our “abundant hydropower” and it helps conserve hydropower storage. Therefore, we are told, we should happily accept destroying iconic landscapes and seriously upsetting people who live nearby.

Compared to conventional power generation, wind has a low capacity factor (the ratio between the average output and the maximum output). Capacity factors of overseas wind farms vary from 18 – 30% while 37 – 40% is typical in New Zealand.

The truth is, as I will show, that windpower is expensive compared to alternatives, hydropower schemes have no spare capacity to back up windpower in a critical dry year and wind power output is lowest in the late summer and autumn when we need it most.

Furthermore, windpower adds a new source of major fluctuations to power systems that are, anyway, inherently unstable. Constant adjustment is needed to ensure that the total generation in a power system matches the normal fluctuations in load – seldom above 50 MW – on a minute by minute basis. If the fluctuations are excessive, the lights go out. With about 1000 MW of windpower on the system we are likely to see swings of 500 MW in a few minutes. The system operator will find it very difficult – and expensive – to find generating plant that can match these swings. The cost will be passed on to the consumers.

Windpower is seasonal. I recently analysed the output of wind farms in New Zealand since 2000. I found that the output was down 9% during the critical late summer – autumn period – when the hydro lakes are at their lowest levels – and at a maximum in the springtime when it is raining and the snow is melting. So a large amount of backup from new gas turbine stations will be needed. The cost will be passed on to the consumers.

I have calculated the cost of power generated by new wind farms such as Makara in Wellington which cost $440 million for 143 MW ($3100/kW), to be about 12 c/kWh at the station gate. Geothermal power costs about 8 cents. Generation from hydropower, gas or coal costs 8 – 10 cents. When the nuclear industry begins to mass produce new, small, sealed, inherently safe, high-temperature gas reactors, or advanced versions of existing reactors, the costs are likely to be similar.

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Media melting May 10, 2009

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Media melting

Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun, May 10, 2009

Another crack, albeit small, in the media ice shelf. This time it’s The Age’s Tony Wright:

Better to be safe than sorry when much of the world’s scientific community says we are sending the planet down the dunny by spewing ridiculous amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. If we can’t do better than to continue burning the Earth’s fossil fuel deposits when alternatives not only exist, but are being improved at a furious pace, we’re not trying.

Still, it’s hard not to be mildly amused when the cracking up of the Wilkins ice bridge in Antarctica earns worldwide front-page screamers, complete with full-colour pictures from space, while the fact that the extent of Antarctic sea ice has increased at a rate of 100,000 square kilometres a decade since the 1970s gets a column on the inside pages. It is as if we WANT to embrace bad news rather than consider that it is not the whole story.

Our Current Minimum is More Maunder than Dalton May 9, 2009

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Our Current Minimum is More Maunder than Dalton

From Watts Up With That, May 8, 2009

Guest Post by David Archibald

This is a plot of three year windows on the Maunder and Dalton Minimum and the current minimum:

Maunder-Dalton1

What it is showing is how the start of the current minimum compares with the starts of the Maunder and Dalton Minima.  The solar cycle minimum at the start of the Dalton was a lot more active than the current one.  If you consider that very small spots are being counted now, the activities are very similar.  This is how they look without the Dalton:

Maunder-Dalton2

If you consider the [current sunspot] counting problem, they are actually a pretty good match.

David Archibald

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/08/more-maunder-than-dalton

A licence to tell warming lies May 9, 2009

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A licence to tell warming lies

Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun, 9 May 2009

Harvard University PhD candidate Monika Kopacz insists global warming scientists have a duty to lie:

It is no secret that a lot of climate-change research is subject to opinion, that climate models sometimes disagree even on the signs of the future changes (e.g. drier vs. wetter future climate). The problem is, only sensational exaggeration makes the kind of story that will get politicians’ — and readers’ — attention. So, yes, climate scientists might exaggerate, but in today’s world, this is the only way to assure any political action and thus more federal financing to reduce the scientific uncertainty.

We’ve heard such admissions before, of course:

Professor Stephen Schneider, global warming guru at Stanford University (said) ”we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.”

Then there was this defence of – and allegedly by – Alarmist of the Year Tim Flannery. And this use of the warmists’ licence to exaggerate by Robyn “100 metres” Williams.

Ian Plimer says science, not religious zeal, should govern the climate change issue May 8, 2009

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Ian Plimer says science, not religious zeal, should govern the climate change issue

AC | May 7 2009

Professor Ian Plimer speaking at the
Melbourne launch of Heaven and Earth.

ABOUT 300 ATTEND MELBOURNE BOOK LAUNCH

When the long history of planet Earth is considered, “we can see that climate has always changed,” Professor Ian Plimer told about 300 people at the Melbourne launch of Heaven and Earth, his climate change best seller.

“What would be extraordinary is if we had no climate change.”

Professor Plimer said the planet came out of an ice age in 1850 and has been warming since.

“A little bit of cooling in the First World War time, [it] warmed again to 1940, then it cooled to 1976, then it warmed up to the great El Nino of 1998, then it was static for a while and it’s been cooling since 2003.

“Now I find it absolutely extraordinary that that fabulous story of history, archaeology and geology gets denigrated to where we say there’s one parameter, that is, [a] small amount of carbon dioxide … coming from us is changing climate.

“Because we’ve seen so many massive climate changes in the history of time, driven by everything except carbon dioxide, and to denigrate that to just one factor in a very complex, multi-component system, I think is a non-scientific argument.”

Professor Plimer said the collapse of Western socialism and the ineffectiveness of Western Christianity has left a spiritual vacuum which has been filled by the environmental movement.

“People have to believe in something … and I think that what we are seeing is a religious movement that has embraced a number of factors which are common to Christianity. Guilt, for example.”

“I argue very strongly that science is married to evidence.”

He pointed to chapter eight of his book, where he argues:

“Science where a majority of votes by climate scientists determines a scientific truth is politics, not science. And that is exactly what human-induced global warming is: politics. After the consensus method fails one too many times, there will be a quiet advance to real science. In the interim we have to live with the carping of ascientific unelected political pressure groups who behave like scalded cats should anyone have the temerity to argue that global warming is not a man-made phenomenon. Some scientists have placed science on the platform of religious dogma.”

Read the rest here

AARI Predicts Arctic Cooling/Ice Recovery To Continue May 7, 2009

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AARI Predicts Arctic Cooling/Ice Recovery To Continue

By Joseph D’Aleo (h/t to Dr. Gary Sharp)

Via ICECAP

Arctic ice extent appears to have bottomed out in 2007, and has recovered the last two years as shown by this graph from the University of Illinois Cryosphere.

image

It has returned to very near the 1979-2000 year average (NSIDC). Had NSIDC used the entire period of record as their base period (1979-2008), we would be at or above the average.

image

The most competent polar scientific organization, Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) in St. Petersburg, Russia published recently 3 books summarizing scientific results of climate changes in the Arctic region for the last century. One of it dedicated to Arctic climate. Based on the results obtained they forecast coming temperature and sea ice cover area changes in the Polar seas for the next several decades.

image
Anomaly of mean annual air surface temperature 1900-2006 in the zone of 70-90 N and its predicted trend (Frolov et al. Scientific research in Arctic. Vol. 2. Climatic changes in the ice cover of the Eurasian shelf seas. -SPb.: “Nauka”, 2007, 158 p.) Larger image here.

The authors showed that the Arctic climate changes are natural in origin and several orders or magnitude greater than the anthropogenic impact on the climate. Estimates of possible changes of Arctic air temperature and ice cover propagation area for the 21st century are given on a basis of the revealed stable cyclic oscillations of 10, 20 and 50 to 60 years. See PDF here.

The publishers who rejected Plimer’s bestseller May 6, 2009

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The publishers who rejected Plimer’s bestseller

Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun
Thursday, May 07, 2009

Professor Ian Plimer‘s Heaven and Earth – a book sceptical of global warming theory – has been an instant bestseller, already selling 20,000 copies in just a fortnight.

Some have wondered how it came to be published by a small Melbourne firm, Connor Court Publishing, and critics (such as the ABC’s Fran Kelly) have hinted that it’s to Plimer’s discredit.

In fact, the discredit belongs entirely to the bigger publishers who turned down the book, so sure of their faith in global warming that they were unable or unwilling to see there was a big market of sceptics desperate to hear the other side of a debate that the mainstream media had insisted for years was “over” and “settled”.

Here is a list of the publishers who turned down Plimer’s book, even though he already had a proven record of success, having produced best-sellers such as Telling Lies for God (Random House, around 23,000 copies) and A Short History of Planet Earth (ABC Books, around 16,000 copies), which won him a Eureka Prize:

– ABC Books

– Random House

– Allen and Unwin

– East Street

Here’s the latest book Allen and Unwin chose to publish on global warming instead:


The Clean Industrial Revolution

The race is on to find ways to reduce our impact on the environment. Ben McNeil shows us how we can make the most of our natural advantages and how Australia businesses can benefit economically when adapting to the new environmental realities.

Description

‘A passionate and informative demonstration of how mitigating climate change can be compatible with economic growth’ – Professor Ross Garnaut, the Garnaut Climate Change Review

Heard of it?

Here’s the latest global warming title published by East Street:

Cool Hunting Green

By Dave Evans…

This, the second book in the Cool Hunting series, recognises the hottest designs right now are those that promote a cleaner, greener and more beautiful planet. Designers all over the world are hailing ‘green’ as the new ‘black’ and taking up the call to reduce, reuse and repurpose existing resources in their products to inspire a greener world.

Detecting a pattern already?

Here, now, is how Random House, a ”carbon aware business”, describes its “green policy”:

At Random House Australia we believe that, like all businesses, we need to examine and assess our environmental impact… We encourage our employees to support our local community, treasure our local environment and behave responsibly within society at large.

Here are three pages of titles Random House published recently that come up when you type “climate change” in its search function. Here’s the three pages of Random House titles you get when you search for “global warming”.  Not one, you’ll see, puts the sceptical case.

And here’s the three pages of book and DVD titles that ABC Books offers on climate change – only one of which, a foreign-published DVD, argues (at last!) against the alarmism.

Debate? How lucky you are to have it.

COLLAPSE OF CLIMATE CONSENSUS by Professor Will Alexander May 6, 2009

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COLLAPSE OF CLIMATE CONSENSUS

By Professor Will Alexander

Received via email, Friday 1 May 2009

Following this climate change issue is like watching one of those crime thrillers on TV. They all have a surprise ending.

This whole climate change issue has three distinct components. They are scientific, economic and political. It started with the science. After Gleneagles it shifted gear. The economists under the leadership of Nicholas Stern took over. Then the politicians under the influence of Al Gore saw huge opportunities. It became like a ballet performance. All three parties danced to the same tune.

The climax is rapidly approaching. All the nations of the world (there are about 190 of them) have to agree to adopt very costly emissions control measures by December this year. It is like expecting a crowd of people, rich and poor, to cut off their little fingers in unison.

True to those crime thrillers, the plot thickens. Read the attached memo for details. Now I challenge you to identify the surprise ending.

Let me give you a clue. About 10 years ago I appeared as an expert witness before the 16 judges of the International Court of Justice in The Hague. I often imagine a repeat performance. It would have to be on behalf of the EU. I would have no difficulty in proving beyond reasonable doubt, that their emissions could not possibly have caused droughts, floods and environmental damage in Africa.

On the other hand, if I succeeded, it would deprive Africa of billions of dollars of compensation from the EU and the USA.

Of course none of this will happen. So how will it all end?

Watch this space.

Memo 19/09

Collapse of climate consensus

Will Alexander

Friday 1 May 2009

This is their school bus. Photo Richard Alexander, Windhoek.

The glue that held this whole climate change alarmism together was one word – ‘consensus’. Whenever anybody objected, they were told that there was an overwhelming consensus that supported climate change science.

In 2005 the academies of science of the world’s leading nations addressed an appeal to the G8 nations ahead of a meeting at Gleneagles, in the UK. They urged the G8 nations to take measures to reduce their dangerous greenhouse gas emissions (principally carbon dioxide). Appreciating that this would cost a lot of money, the UK Prime Minister Tony Blair appointed a British economist Nicholas Stern to review the whole issue. He duly warned the world that while these emissions reduction measures would affect world economies, failure to do so would result in the end of civilisation on this planet. We had no option.

There was one issue that this renowned economist failed to predict. It was the collapse of the world’s economy. The world is now experiencing its most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression of the early 1930s. But he failed to predict it. How then can we trust his prediction relating to the economic consequences of climate change by the end of the century?

Incidentally, at Gleneagles, the world’s most wealthy nations also promised to provide financial assistance to Africa’s struggling economies. But this was not forthcoming. Africa has not forgotten these failed promises. It has repeatedly stated that Africa requires trade not aid. This has also not been forthcoming.

Bali roadmap

With the proclaimed overwhelming scientific consensus and failed promises of economic aid in mind, let us skip to the UNFCCC conference held in Bali in December 2007. The negotiations failed to reach a financial consensus. Instead a roadmap was negotiated that would lead to a unanimous agreement by all nations. It had a deadline of December 2009. This was required because the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

The Bali target was a 20% reduction in global emissions by 2020 with further reductions thereafter. It was also agreed that the developing nations, including South Africa, would receive financial assistance from the wealthy nations.

Consensus consequences

The global economic recession/depression upset the apple cart. There were also other factors. On the scientific front the globe stopped warming several years ago despite worldwide increases in undesirable emissions. The climate alarmists were compelled to increase their rhetoric or face losing their research funding. They now predict that the consequences will be larger and will occur sooner than previously predicted.

What the alarmists failed to appreciate is the consequence of their consensus conclusion that these emissions have already caused serious increases in floods, droughts, environmental and health damage in Africa. Africa is just across the Mediterranean from the source of these emissions.

Clearly, African nations now have a legally incontestable claim for damages from the EU nations. Who would win if the AU took the EU before the International Court of Justice in The Hague and demanded astronomical compensation for past damage and annual future damages until such time that the EU reduces its damaging emissions?

Now the long-suffering African nations are on the war path.

National submissions

The United Nations has just published the submissions by the parties ahead of the next round of discussions to be held in June. This is yet another attempt to break the growing deadlock. These submissions can be downloaded via the Reuters website

http://www.reuters.com/articlePrint?articleId=USLS544223 which leads you to the United Nations website.

On 14 April Algeria produced a submission on behalf of the African group. South Africa expanded on this in its negotiating text dated 24 April. It consists of six pages. The short quotes below are directly from the submissions. Comments in square brackets are mine.

Submission by Algeria on behalf of the African group.

The shared vision must unite the countries of the world in further building an inclusive, fair and effective climate regime, recognizing that solving the climate problem will only be possible if it is undertaken in the context of developing countries need for development space.

Africa is one of the most vulnerable continents to climate change, with major development and poverty eradication challenges and limited capacity for adaptation. International co-operation of implementation of adaptation action in Africa is urgent and must be accorded the same level of priority and emphasis is that given to mitigation.

By 2020 the scale of financial flows to support adaptation in developing countries must be at least $67 billion/year.

A firewall must be maintained between mitigation commitments by all developed countries and mitigation actions by developing countries. [Emphasis in the original.]

In numerical terms: Annex 1 Parties [i.e. developed countries] reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% below the 1990 levels by 2020 and at least 80% to 95% below 1990 levels by 2050, to make a meaningful and fair contribution to choosing the lowest level of stabilisation assisted by the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report. At lower stabilisation levels, the additional climate impacts are unacceptable to Africa. [My emphasis. Note these two very stringent requirements.]

A 2020 target for the scale of financial flows to support  mitigation in developing countries is set at $200 million by 2020 (0.5% of GDP of Annex II parties). [This is in addition to the $67 billion for adaptation.]

Provision of finance, technology and capacity-building must be legally binding, with consequences for non-compliance. Action by developing countries is dependent on the level of support by developed countries.

Submission by South Africa.

South Africa supports the submission by Algeria on behalf of the African Group, on 14 April 2009, on key elements of the negotiation text under the Bali Action Plan.

A comprehensive and action-oriented international programme and adaptation implementation is established, aimed at reducing vulnerability and building resilience of developed countries to impacts that are already occurring [My emphasis.]

In numerical terms Annex I parties shall, individually or jointly, ensure that the aggregate anthropogenic carbon dioxide equivalent emissions of the greenhouse gases are reduced by at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2020 and at least 80% to 95% below 1990 levels by 2050, to make a meaningful contribution to achieving the lowest level of stabilisation assisted by the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report. At less ambitious stabilisation levels, the additional climate impacts are unacceptable to Africa.  [My emphasis.]

The register is a mechanism to enhance the implementation of the relevant provisions of the Convention related to mitigation action to be taken by developing countries, in the context of their overriding poverty alleviation and sustainable development priorities. [My emphasis. This is a convenient escape mechanism.]

The level of mitigation efforts by developing countries shall be commensurate with the level of support received. South Africa would expect the level of support for mitigation actions by developing countries to reach $200 billion annually by 2020. [i.e shared by all developing countries.]

As shared vision for an inclusive, fair and effective climate regime must be based on sound science, a balance between climate and development imperatives, and a balance between adaptation and mitigation. As shared vision combines all the above of its in order to achieve the full, effective and sustained implementation of a convention is through a long-term cooperative action, now, up to and beyond 2012. [Sound science?]

Joint submission by Australia, Belarus, Canada, the European Community and its member states, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, and Ukraine.

This is the list of achievable reductions by 2020 with the reference year in parentheses.

Australia: -5% up to -15% (2000).

Canada: -20% (2006).

European Union: -20% to -30% (1990).

Compare these with the African demands of -40% (1990). This is in an unbridgeable gap. There is no way whatsoever that any nation in the world can reduce its emissions by 40% during a 10-year period.

Submission by India.

No mention is made of specific targets or specific financial requirements.

Adaptation needs to receive the same level of attention as that given to mitigation for reasons that the adverse effects of climate change can pose a serious risk to a sustainable economic and social development.

The financial resources for enhanced adaptation action should be adequate, agreed for costs, predictable, timely and stable with provisions of direct, simplified and expeditious access to developing country parties.

Submission by China.

China welcomes the opportunity to submit additional views paragraph 1 of the Bali action plan and submits the following as elements to be included in the negotiating text.

The most urgent requirement at present is to set the mid-term emission reduction targets for developed country parties, rather than a general and long-term global goal. Only with such mid-term target being clearly determined, is meaningful to talk about any long-term goals for missions reductions. All developed country parties to the convention shall commit to reduce their GHG emissions by at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2020. [Note the reference to 40% reduction by 2020 insisted by the African group.]

The right to development is a basic human right that is undeprivable. Economic and social development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of the developing countries. [This is exactly my view. See photo above.]

Developed country parties shall have deeper cuts in their GHG emissions so as to ensure adequate spaces for developing countries to achieve their goals of substantive development and eradication of poverty.

Given historical responsibility, equity and development stage, the Annex I parties as a group shall reduce the GHG emissions by at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2020.

No submissions by the USA were included in the United Nations’ news release. This must be causing a lot of headaches.

My interpretations

These are political negotiating positions. The question is whether it will be possible to reach a consensus agreement by December. However, there are further complications.

The following are extracts from a report in our morning newspaper Business Day on 28 April.

IMF warns of ‘human calamity’. Call on member nations to speed up aid and give even more to the most vulnerable

How to help the developing world cope with the worst global slump since the Great Depression was top of the agenda for the bank’s steering committee meeting that wrapped up the sibling institutions’ two day talks.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) have warned the global economic crisis is turning into a “human calamity”, and called on members to speed up pledged aid and give even more to help the most vulnerable. At the end of meetings in Washington on Sunday, the two multilateral lending institutions told their 185 member countries that the worst global slump in generations had already driven more than 50-million people into extreme poverty.

“The global economy has deteri­orated dramatically…. Developing countries face especially serious con­sequences as the financial and eco­nomic crisis turns into a human and development calamity,” the IMF and World Bank joint development committee said.

“No one knows how long this crisis will last,” World. Bank president Robert Zoellick said. While the bank’s finances were “in a strong position to heIp our partner countries”, the crisis put the United Nations’ Millennium Deve]opment Goals to reduce poverty by 2015 increasingly at risk.

The World Bank launched a $55bn infrastructure investment pro­gramme on Saturday. It is designed specifically to help developing countries weather the global slump.

“The Bank and IMF said all the right things, but the true test is whether their rich-country sharehold­ers will turn words into action,” said Marita Hutjes of Oxfam International.

Meanwhile, China called for reform of the global currency system, dominated by the dollar, which it said was the root cause of the crisis. Chi­nese Finance Vice-Minister Li Yong said the “flawed” international mon­etary system was “a major defect in the current international economic governance structure”. Sapa-AFP

Collapse of scientific consensus

The following are some pertinent reports published in recent issues of CCNet.

As a result of promoting environmental alarmism, Western governments find themselves trapped in a perilous, yet largely self-constructed catch. As long as climate change is elevated as the principal liability of industrial countries, as long as Western CO2 emissions are blamed for exacerbating natural disasters, death and destruction around the globe, green pressure groups and officials from the developing world will continue to insist that the West is liable to recompense its exorbitant carbon debt by way of wealth transfer and financial compensation. Ultimately, there is now a growing risk that the whole global-warming scare is creating more anti-Western hostility and further loss of influence on the international stage.
–Benny Peiser, Financial Post, 8 April 2008

Gradually the world of science has evolved to the dangerous point where model-building has precedence over observation and measurement, especially in Earth and life sciences. In certain ways, modelling by scientists has become a threat to the foundation on which science has stood: the acceptance that nature is always the final arbiter and that a hypothesis must always be tested by experiment and observation in the real world.
–James Lovelock, The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning

Can we solve climate change? No we can’t, according to a leading climate change professor.  Mike Hulme, professor of Climate Change at East Anglia University, reckons we are heading up a “dead end” by putting climate change science at the top of the political agenda. In fact he thinks we are pretty arrogant to think we can control the climate.
–Mike Swain, The Mirror, 27 April 2009

The international battle over global warming and how to deal with it will not be decided over scientific issues. It is being determined by governments and law-makers on the basis of national interests – that is on the basis of hard-nosed economic, political and geo-political considerations. Nowhere can the veracity of this realpolitik be better observed than in Europe and the United States, where costly climate policies face mounting opposition and gridlock amid deepening economic turmoil.
–Benny Peiser, Post-Kyoto and the Impasse of International Climate Negotiations
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