Category — Climate Change
The international global-warming theater is again in session. The doomed-from-the-start, out-of-time Kyoto Protocol of 2007 (“this agreement will be good for Enron stock!“) was followed by the failure of the Copenhagen Summit in 2009. The frequent flyers are now in Warsaw in hopes of making progress towards the Paris, France finale in December 2015 for a global agreement to–in the United Nations’ formulation–keep global temperatures from rising beyond 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.
To say that the confab is off to a slow start is an understatement. First, Poland (the sponsoring country) held a two day conference touting its home grown coal industry. Australia is on track to eliminate its “socialistic” carbon tax and cutting ’green’ energy subsidies. And Japan declared its intention to deemphasize its CO2 reduction plans, adding “gloom” to the Warsaw conference.
All this comes on top of an inconvenient truth: European countries have failed to reduce CO2 emissions despite huge efforts that have impoverished electricity users and national treasuries. [Read more →]
November 19, 2013 2 Comments
“Given the current state of climate science, I don’t see evidence that these and other complex interacting factors stand a reasonable chance of being predicted, beyond what is possible through a basic understanding of historical variability.”
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently released its first major global warming manifesto since 2007. Once again, the IPCC makes dramatic predictions of future warming and catastrophic consequences due to manmade carbon dioxide emissions. Typically, these predictions are reported as proven “findings” that have the same status as the readings of a thermometer.
But predictions are fundamentally different from measurements, and the more complex the system, the more difficult the prediction. The climate is a complicated combination of atmospheric, land, and ocean systems whose dynamics must be pieced together on scales from the size of a single cloud to wind streams spanning continents. Common sense should make us suspicious of any individual or group who claims a high degree of confidence in predicting it decades into the future–especially when that group doesn’t seem to acknowledge what kind of scientific breakthroughs would be necessary for such a task.
Industrial progress over the last 75 years has increased the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from 0.03% to the current value of 0.04%. It is very difficult to determine the exact impact of this change as it melds into the swirl of constant natural variability of the climate system, including changes in the intensity of solar radiation, poorly understood short and long-term thermal phenomena in the oceans, changes in the growth trends of carbon dioxide-sucking vegetation, and fluctuating volcanic emissions.
Given the current state of climate science, I don’t see evidence that these and other complex interacting factors stand a reasonable chance of being predicted, beyond what is possible through a basic understanding of historical variability.
November 12, 2013 7 Comments
“Despite media horror stories, many species have benefitted from recent climate change. Those species that are struggling have invariably been affected by issues other than climate change and require very different remedies. Controlling our carbon footprints will never address the most pressing issues of habitat loss and watershed degradation.”
- Book Description, Amazon
Book Review: Landscape and Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism by Jim Steele, 2013.
In 1615 astronomer Galileo Gallei wrote a famous letter called the Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina in the Duchy of Tuscany, Italy, giving his heliocentric position that the sun – not the earth — was the center of the earth’s solar system. By 1632, Galileo had expanded his letter into his scientific manifesto titled Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems, for which he ended up being brought to trial by a faction of Dominican priests before Catholic Pope Urban as a religious heretic.
Jim Steele, a biologist at San Francisco State University in California, has perhaps written no less than the modern day equivalent to Galileo’s letter and his Dialogues in his book Landscapes and Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism.”
A New, Credible Voice
Just as Galileo’s book was monumental because he was a pious Roman Catholic who once considered the priesthood, Steele’s book is important because of who he is.
Steele enlisted in the military at age 17 and was honorably discharged. He was a computer programmer for a major Sacramento newspaper for 10 years. Steele’s environmental pedigrees are too long to list.
Steele dropped out of the mechanical engineering program at the University of Massachusetts in 1968 out of concern that his career would involve Vietnam War time industrial production. He embraced several social justice issues and toured many national parks around the U.S. Later, he completed a master’s degree in biology from San Francisco State University, where he went on to direct their field biology program. [Read more →]
November 5, 2013 7 Comments
“The very real positive externality of inadvertent atmospheric CO2 enrichment must be considered in all studies examining the SCC [social cost of carbon].”
- Craig Idso, “The Positive Externalities of Carbon Dioxide: Estimating the Monetary Benefits of Rising Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations on Global Good Production.” Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change (October 2013).
The Carbon Sense Coalition has accused those waging a war on carbon dioxide of being “anti-green.” Why? Because CO2 is the gas of life, feeding every green plant, producing food for every animal and in the process releasing oxygen, another gas of life, into the atmosphere.
A recent study in Remote Sensing, Measuring and Modeling Global Vegetation Growth: 1982–2009) notes that data from remote sensing devices show significant increase in annual vegetation growth during the last three decades.
They also report that CO2 fertilization is more important than climate variation in determining the magnitude of the vegetation growth. In its words: [Read more →]
October 24, 2013 7 Comments
“[Enron was] the company most responsible for sparking off the greenhouse civil war in the hydrocarbon business.”
- Jeremy Leggett, The Carbon War (London: Penguin Books, 1999), p. 204.
“The United States fully intends to be the world’s preeminent leader in protecting the global environment. [E]nvironmental protection makes growth sustainable…. [This] recognition … by leaders from around the world is the central accomplishment of this important [United Nations] Rio Conference.”
- George H. W. Bush, “News Conference in Rio de Janeiro, June 13, 1992.
The rise and fall of Enron Corp. is Exhibit A by government advocates for increasing regulation of what is seen as unbridled, market-failure-ridden capitalism. As one economics textbook states: “The story about Enron reminds us of a serious fact of economic life—that markets fail….” 
But upon closer inspection, Enron is Exhibit A against political capitalism, not free-market capitalism. Enron was about the political means, or rent-seeking, rather than about economic means of consumer service.
Enron is a fascinating case study about the perils of interventionism, not the perils of business in a free society.
Ken Lay and Enron set in 1990 set out to become the world’s first natural gas major; the most innovative and reliable provider of clean energy worldwide for a better environment.  The enemy to natural gas was coal, and Lay worked not only to remove artificial advantages of coal over natural gas (Fuel Use Act of 1978; incremental pricing rate design, etc.). He worked to reverse the tilt in favor of gas.
Before Lay and Enron were done, seven profit centers were created around the climate-change issue, or more specifically, pricing carbon dioxide (CO2). And when the Kyoto Protocol was signed in December 1997, a euphoric Enron lobbyist wrote back home: “This agreement will be good for Enron stock!!).
So where did the road to Kyoto begin, both in terms of Enron and the United States?
Just perhaps it began with a three-page, carefully orchestrated letter from Enron’s chairman Ken Lay to George H.W. Bush in April 1992, a few months ahead of a major kickoff UN global warming meeting . A reluctant Bush went, spoke … and the rest is history.
October 17, 2013 3 Comments
“The IPCC seems more intent on trying to maintain the now-dying consensus than in following climate science to its logical conclusion—a conclusion that increasingly suggests that human greenhouse gas emissions are less important in driving climate change than commonly held.”
Several weeks ago, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the climate science portion of its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). The AR5 is so burdened by fundamental flaws that it is worthless, or worse, misleading, as a resource to ground policy decisions regarding energy choices.
The IPCC seems to favor the output of computer climate models over that of hard observational science—science which indicates that computer models warm the earth’s temperature too fast for a given input of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Using climate models which are too sensitive to greenhouse gases leads to projections of future warming and all its resultant impacts—the meat of the IPCC report—which are too high.
By putting forth such projections, and ignoring the new science, the IPCC seems more intent on trying to maintain the now-dying consensus than in following climate science to its logical conclusion—a conclusion that increasingly suggests that human greenhouse gas emissions are less important in driving climate change than commonly held.
It should be clear that he IPCC has outlived whatever usefulness it may ever have had. It is time to disband this central climate “authority” and disperse the assessment of climate science to a broader, more diverse community.
Unprecedented Criticism [Read more →]
October 14, 2013 2 Comments
“I did worry that my comment on my not being willing to sign on to Kyoto right now got into the [Houston] Chronicle and in our local paper. I do not like being too public on policy matters. It ain’t my thing.”
- Gerald North (email communication, October 2, 1998)
“In his article Sunday, Rob Bradley reminds us of the errors made about dire climate predictions proffered by some climate science outliers…. Virtually all of these dire predictions were never made or endorsed by the mainstream climate community of researchers in the field.”
- Gerald North, “Fringe Predictions,” Letter to the Editor, Houston Chronicle, April 1, 2008.
“So what is the argument about? The answer is policy…. [W]e both support balanced action to address the clear and present danger of climate change.”
- Andrew Dessler and Gerald North, “Climate Change is Real and Denial is Not About the Science,” San Antonio Express News, October 6, 2013.
If Texas A&M scientists calculated that an asteroid was heading our way, we would likely head for the hills with a lot of pills. But when Texas A&M climatologists warn of dangerous man-induced global warming and call for government action (think new taxes and regulation), many of us roll our eyes and watch our wallets.
We live in a postmodern world where emotion and desire substitute for reason and scholarship. With climate alarmism in deep trouble on a variety of data fronts, from temperature increase to sea-level rise to hurricane frequency and intensity, elder Texas A&M climate scientist Gerald North joined climate scientist/campaigner Andrew Dessler to write (sign on to?) a disingenuous opinion-page editorial for the San Antonio Express, “Climate change is real and denial is not about the science.”
The Dessler/North wolf cries of recent years have been made in the face of growing contradictory evidence. While alarmism may have once gotten attention, the two are are now like the Enron carnival barkers of 2000/2001, proclaiming surety and shouting ‘you just don’t get it’ at the skeptics. Andy Dessler and Jerry North are, indeed, the smartest guys in the climate room.
Emotional Scientists, Bad Science [Read more →]
October 11, 2013 3 Comments
“Obama’s sloppy use of science was carefully crafted to gain public support for ‘carbon pollution’ as the source of climate change. Using the term 20 times in his speech, he again conflated carbon dioxide, which is essential to plant life on this planet, with anthropogenic emissions (particularly from coal-fired power plants) as the principal cause of climate change. This rhetorical trick should now be obvious to all who were listening closely (or reading the transcript, as I did).”
Robert Peltier, Dr. Peltier, has been many things in his life: professor, marine, policeman, electric utility manager, and scholar/writer. He is honest and a realist, which led him to the free-market side of the energy debate.
Peltier has written a number of posts for MasterResource over the years (see Appendix A). We hope to hear from him in the future if his retirement priorities allow.
Here is Peltier’s final editorial from the August issue of POWER. Enjoy–and let’s hope Robert adds his weight to the coming free-market correction of errant state and federal energy policies premised on energy and climate alarmism. [Read more →]
September 27, 2013 1 Comment
“There is no longer any getting around it. What we are dealing with here is nothing short of massive and systematic fraud. The IPCC and Political-Scientific-Environmentalist-Industrialist Climate Complex are deliberately and dishonestly taking billions in hard-earned taxpayer and consumer dollars – and using it to devise computer models, horror movie disaster scenarios, bogus official reports and countless “studies” purporting to link every imaginable event or oddity to human carbon dioxide emissions.”
The updated edition of Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) – Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science – makes a compelling case that the computer models, hypotheses, and policy prescriptions of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are at odds with reality.
The 1,018-page report systematically debunks IPCC claims that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions are causing “dangerous” global warming/climate change – and that computer models can be relied on as a credible basis for alarming climate forecasts and scenarios.
The 14-page NIPCC Summary for Policymakers is illuminating and easy to understand. It should be read by legislators, regulators, journalists and anyone interested in climate change science.
The report makes it clear that the UN climate project has greatly exaggerated the amount of warming that is likely to occur if atmospheric CO2 concentrations were to double, to around 800 ppm (0.08%). [Read more →]
September 24, 2013 18 Comments
“The real climate change ‘deniers’ are the alarmists who deny that natural forces still dominate weather and climate events, and refuse to acknowledge that thousands of scientists do not agree with IPCC proclamations and prescriptions.”
The old saws of climate alarmism getting increasingly desperate and intolerant in the face of contrary theoretical evidence and empirical anomalies.
The ad hominem attacks seem strange. Shouldn’t all good citizens of the earth be buoyed by the fact that yet another Malthusian-like alarm is becoming more and more implausible?
Shrilling, If Not Shilling
Al Gore is in full attack model, employing his “Climate Reality Project” to “Draw the Line on Denial,” even as he laid off 90% of the staff at his “Alliance for Climate Protection.” Greenpeace has joined the fray, launching a “Dealing in Doubt” campaign that blames ExxonMobil for funding the “global warming denial machine.”
ClimateProgress.org blogger Joe Romm faithfully echoes Greenpeace hysterics and blame-casting, even though the climate cataclysm cabal outspends the “deniers” by at least $1,000 to $1, and ExxonMobil hasn’t supported ‘skeptic’ groups for years. [Read more →]
September 23, 2013 3 Comments