Gropenhagen (Formerly Hoaxenhagen) Conference

Prostitutes Offer Free Climate Summit Sex

By Politiken Staff, SPIEGEL Online, Dec 4, 2009 [here]

Copenhagen Mayor Ritt Bjerregaard sent postcards to city hotels warning summit guests not to patronize Danish sex workers during the upcoming conference. Now, the prostitutes have struck back, offering free sex to anyone who produces one of the warnings.

Copenhagen’s city council in conjunction with Lord Mayor Ritt Bjerregaard sent postcards out to 160 Copenhagen hotels urging COP15 guests and delegates to ‘Be sustainable - don’t buy sex’.

“Dear hotel owner, we would like to urge you not to arrange contacts between hotel guests and prostitutes,” the approach to hotels says.

Now, Copenhagen prostitutes are up in arms, saying that the council has no business meddling in their affairs. They have now offered free sex to anyone who can produce one of the offending postcards and their COP15 identity card, according to the Web site avisen.dk.

According to the report, the move has been organized by the Sex Workers Interest Group (SIO).

“This is sheer discrimination. Ritt Bjerregaard is abusing her position as Lord Mayor in using her power to prevent us carrying out our perfectly legal job. I don’t understand how she can be allowed to contact people in this way,” SIO Spokeswoman Susanne Møller tells avisen.dk.

Møller adds that it is reprehensible and unfair that Copenhagen politicians have chosen to use the UN Climate Summit as a platform for a hetz against sex workers.

“But they’ve done it and we have to defend ourselves,” Møller says.

6 Dec 2009, 11:15am
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Understanding Climategate’s Hidden Decline

By Marc Sheppard, American Thinker, December 06, 2009 [here]

Close followers of the Climategate controversy know that much of the mêlée surrounds an email in which Climate Research Unit (CRU) chief Phil Jones wrote about using “Mike’s Nature Trick” (MNT) to “hide the decline.” And yet, 17 days and thousands of almost exclusively on-line op-eds into this scandal, it still seems very few understand exactly which “decline” was being hidden, what “trick” was used to do so, and why Jones’s words have become the slogan for the greatest scientific fraud in history.

As the mainstream media move from abject denial to dismissive whitewashing, CRU co-conspirators move to Copenhagen for tomorrow’s UN climate meeting, intent on changing the world as we know it based primarily on their now exposed trickery. Add yesterday’s announcement of a UN investigation into the matter, which will no doubt be no less corrupt than those being investigated, and public awareness of how and why that trick was performed is now more vital than ever.

So please allow me to explain in what I hope are easily digestible terms.

First and foremost — contrary to what you’ve likely read elsewhere in the blogosphere or heard from the few policymakers and pundits actually addressing the issue, it was not the temperature decline the planet has been experiencing since 1998 that Jones and friends conspired to hide. Certainly, the simple fact that the email was sent in November of 1999 should have allayed any such confusion.

In fact, the decline Jones so urgently sought to hide was not one of measured temperatures at all, but rather figures infinitely more important to climate alarmists – those determined by proxy reconstructions. As this scandal has attracted new readers to the subject, I ask climate savvy readers to indulge me while I briefly explain climate proxies, as they are an essential ingredient of this contemptible conspiracy. …

It’s important to understand that early analyses of these “proxies” clearly demonstrated that three radical temperature shifts occurred within the past millennium, as do many contemporary studies. Indeed, the years 900-1300 AD were labeled the Medieval Warming Period (MWP), as global temperatures rose precipitously from the bitter cold of the previous Dark Ages to levels several degrees warmer than today. The Little Ice Age, a sudden period of cooling, then followed and lasted until the year 1850. And then began the modern warming period, which was by no means unique and appears to have ended with the millennium itself.

But this image of a fluid climate system subject to abrupt and natural up-and-downturns made unprecedented 20th century warming about as marketable as Florida swampland. And opportunists who depended on the aberrance of post-industrial revolution warming in order to condemn and control mankind’s CO2 emissions soon recognized that perhaps the LIA but most certainly the MWP simply had to go.

The first step was taken in the 1995 Second Assessment Report, when the above Figure 7c was replaced with a 1993 reconstruction from RS Bradley and Phil Jones himself that used 1400 AD as its base – effectively wiping the MWP off the radar-screen.

But it wasn’t until the 2001 Third Assessment Report (TAR) that the MWP simply vanished. …

more »

6 Dec 2009, 10:43am
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EPA Poised to Declare CO2 a Public Danger

By IAN TALLEY, Wall Street Journal, Dec 5, 2009 [here]

WASHINGTON-The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will early next week, possibly as soon as Monday, officially declare carbon dioxide a public danger, a trigger that could mean regulation for emitters across the economy, according to several people close to the matter.

Such an “endangerment” decision is necessary for the EPA to move ahead early next year with new emission standards for cars. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has said it could also mean large emitters such as power stations, cement kilns, crude-oil refineries and chemical plants would have to curb their greenhouse gas output.

The announcement would also give President Barack Obama and his climate envoy negotiating leverage at a global climate summit starting next week in Copenhagen, Denmark and increase pressure on Congress to pass a climate bill that would modify the price of polluting.

While environmentalists celebrate EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases, it has caused many large emitters to cringe at the potential costs of compliance.

According to a preliminary endangerment finding published in April, EPA scientists fear that man-made carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are contributing to a warming of the global climate. Senior EPA officials said in November the agency would likely make a final decision in December around the time of the summit. … [more]

2 Dec 2009, 10:53pm
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Former NASA climate scientist pleads guilty to contract fraud

By: Bill Myers , Washington Examiner, December 2, 2009 [here]

A former top climate scientist who had become of one the scientific world’s most cited authorities on the human effect on Earth’s atmosphere was sentenced to probation Tuesday after pleading guilty to steering lucrative no-bid contracts to his wife’s company.

In addition to a year’s probation, former NASA manager Mark Schoeberl, 60, of Silver Spring, was also fined $10,000 and ordered to put in 50 hours of community service. He admitted in the late summer that he had hid some $50,000 in NASA contracts for a company called Animated Earth, which was run by Schoeberl’s wife, Barbara. Prosecutors alleged that Schoeberl tried to help his wife’s firm for years. When his colleagues balked at giving no-bid contracts to his wife’s firm, Schoeberl pressured them to steer money to his wife through indirect means.

Schoeberl was the chief scientist of the Goddard Space Flight Center’s Earth Sciences Division and the head of the Aura Project, a NASA mission to study the Earth’s ozone layer, air quality and climate. He has written extensively about the depletion of the ozone level, and the influence of humans on global climate change. …

As the chief scientist at the Earth Sciences Division and leader on the Aura Project, Schoeberl had a lot of clout on the space agency’s climate change contracting. He helped his wife draw up invoices for her work and wrote “sole source justification” forms for tens of thousands of dollars in no-bid contracts that went to Animated Earth.

Prosecutors confined their efforts to Schoeberl’s business practices and not his scientific one, but it’s been a rough couple of weeks for global warming. Officials at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England — whose research has made up the backbone of world climate policy — are still trying to explain e-mails that show staff suppressing evidence against global warming. … [more]

2 Dec 2009, 7:00pm
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Supercrematorium to save CO2

KR News, 27 November 2009 [here]

- Dead bodies to be transported four at a time in giant hearse to save on costs as they are driven to communal crematorium -

A new plan to build one super crematorium in Ringsted to replace seven smaller ones in the Zealand region will reduce carbon emissions and save on money, but relatives are concerned by the plan to transport up to four bodies together to the facility.

Environmental authorities will introduce a requirement from the start of 2011 that all crematoriums must have mercury filters, and the cost of installing them has proven more expensive than some dioceses can afford, reports DR News.

The crematorium in Slagelse on Zealand is facing an 18 million kroner bill, to be covered either by the church tax or the relatives of those being cremated.

Dean Torben Hjul Andersen of the Roskilde diocese is one of those behind the initiative. He promised it would halve carbon emissions and be cheaper for relatives when the new common crematorium is used.

Andersen said a special hearse will be used that could transport up to four bodies at a time to the crematorium, sometimes travelling up to 100km away. But the dean rejected the idea that the plan would lose the respectful nature of funerals. … [more]

2 Dec 2009, 2:21am
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Denmark rife with CO2 fraud

DN News, 01 December 2009 [here]

Authorities in several countries investigate VAT tax fraud stemming from the Danish CO2 quota register

Denmark is the centre of a comprehensive tax scam involving CO2 quotas, in which the cheats exploit a so-called ‘VAT carrousel’, reports Ekstra Bladet newspaper.

Police and authorities in several European countries are investigating scams worth billions of kroner, which all originate in the Danish quota register. The CO2 quotas are traded in other EU countries.

Denmark’s quota register, which the Energy Agency within the Climate and Energy Ministry administers, is the largest in the world in terms of personal quota registrations. It is much easier to register here than in other countries, where it can take up to three months to be approved.

Ekstra Bladet reporters have found examples of people using false addresses and companies that are in liquidation, which haven’t been removed from the register.

One of the cases, which stems from the Danish register, involves fraud of more than 8 billion kroner. This case, in which nine people have been arrested, is being investigated in England.

The market for CO2 trade has exploded in recent years and is worth an estimated 675 billion kroner globally.

Ed note: At 5.65 kroner to the dollar, that’s $120 billion (an underestimate?) invested in sham, fiat, worthless carbon credits, a false comodity attractive to scam artists. That bubble is going to burst soon, Madoff-style, as all that money disappears in a poof.

Let’s hope it never becomes $trillions and “too big to fail”.

28 Nov 2009, 8:40pm
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A New and Unnecessary Fee for Some Oregon Businesses

by the RoguePundit, November 26, 2009 [here]

There are a number of areas where the state could wisely spend a small amount of time and money on things that would benefit the environment. Collecting greenhouse gas emission data from a select minority of businesses for a non-existent cap-and-trade system certainly isn’t one of them. But leave it to our job-destroying governor to push [here] for it anyway.

Oregon environmental regulators are proposing fees ranging from $54 to $6,000 a year for 180 businesses required to report greenhouse gas emissions beginning in 2010.

The Department of Environmental Quality’s proposal [here] would apply to sources from electric power plants to paper mills to landfills. It goes before the Environmental Quality Commission next month.

DEQ says the fees will pay for two staff members to implement the reporting program, provide workshops and technical assistance and audit emitters’ reports. The agency’s annual budget for greenhouse gas reporting is $330,000.

Costs for businesses are capped at the lower of 15 percent of the air permit fees they currently pay or $6,000, whichever is less. Fourteen businesses would pay the maximum $6,000 charge, DEQ says. Thirty-seven would pay less than $200.

Gee, let’s raise the cost of doing business here in Oregon for absolutely no benefit….and sneak the proposal out just before Thanksgiving in hopes that no one will notice. The goal is for it to take effect in just over a month.

What’s the point of building a bureaucracy in anticipation of regulations that might someday be implemented? And don’t forget that in addition to paying the fee, the businesses will have to spend time and money getting folks trained, gathering and reporting the data, etc.

The best way to cut fat from the government is not to add it in the first place.

Note: the Rogue Pundit [here] is Lt. Col. USAF (ret) living in SW Oregon, a friend, an original blogger, and one of clearest thinkers in Oregon.

28 Nov 2009, 1:36pm
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Cooking the books on climate

By MARK STEYN, Orange County Register, November 27, 2009 [here]

… The trouble with outsourcing your marbles to the peer-reviewed set is that, if you take away one single thing from the leaked documents, it’s that the global warm-mongers have wholly corrupted the “peer-review” process.

When it comes to promoting the impending ecopalypse, the Climate Research Unit is the nerve-center of the operation. The “science” of the CRU dominates the “science” behind the United Nations IPCC, which dominates the “science” behind the Congressional cap-and-trade boondoggle, the upcoming Copenhagen shakindownen of the developed world, and the now-routine phenomenon of leaders of advanced, prosperous societies talking like gibbering madmen escaped from the padded cell, whether it’s President Barack Obama promising to end the rise of the oceans or the Prince of Wales saying we only have 96 months left to save the planet.

But don’t worry, it’s all “peer-reviewed.”

Here’s what Phil Jones of the CRU and his colleague Michael Mann of Penn State mean by “peer review”. When Climate Research published a paper dissenting from the Jones-Mann “consensus,” Jones demanded that the journal “rid itself of this troublesome editor,” and Mann advised that “we have to stop considering Climate Research as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers.”

So much for Climate Research. When Geophysical Research Letters also showed signs of wandering off the “consensus” reservation, Dr. Tom Wigley (”one of the world’s foremost experts on climate change”) suggested they get the goods on its editor, Jim Saiers, and go to his bosses at the American Geophysical Union to “get him ousted.” When another pair of troublesome dissenters emerge, Dr. Jones assured Dr. Mann, “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

Which, in essence, is what they did. The more frantically they talked up “peer review” as the only legitimate basis for criticism, the more assiduously they turned the process into what James Lewis calls the Chicago machine politics of international science. The headline in the Wall Street Journal Europe is unimproveable: “How To Forge A Consensus.” Pressuring publishers, firing editors, blacklisting scientists: That’s “peer review,” climate-style. The more their echo chamber shriveled, the more Mann and Jones insisted that they and only they represent the “peer-reviewed” “consensus.” And gullible types like Ed Begley Jr. and Andrew Revkin of the New York Times fell for it hook, line and tree-ring. … [more]

21 Nov 2009, 12:30pm
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The Evidence of Climate Fraud

By Marc Sheppard, American Thinker, November 21, 2009 [here]

A folder containing documents, data and, e-mails purportedly “hacked” from Britain’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) may be smoking-gun proof of a worldwide conspiracy to exaggerate the existence, causation, and threat of global warming. And the list of apparent conspirators includes many of the world’s leading climate alarmists — the very scientists on whose work the entire anthropogenic global warming theory is based.

In a Friday interview with Investigative Magazine’s TGIF Edition, CRU director Phillip Jones confirmed [PDF] that the incriminating documents, which have been widely disseminated online, are in fact genuine. Accordingly, whether indeed the labor of hackers, or instead that of a CRU whistleblower, the contents of the FOI2009 folder are now public record — and that’s nothing short of dynamite.

After all, the names of the email exchangers represent a who’s-who of the world’s leading climate alarmism scientists, including Stephen Schneider, Gavin Schmidt, and James Hansen. And the e-mails themselves seemingly betray an organized apparatus of deception. …

Both [Michael] Mann and [Keith] Briffa had been challenged for years to produce their data, methods, and source code by Climate Audit’s Steve McIntyre. Both ignored the tenets of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) McIntyre cited and fought every effort to induce their coming clean. And actually not without good reason — last month, CRU was effectively forced to release the Yamal information, whereupon an analysis by McIntyre proved that Briffa et al. had cherry-picked and manipulated data, intentionally omitting records not friendly to their position. …

Criminal? Oh yes, indeed. As this mock-science serves as justification for trillions of dollars in imposed and proposed new taxes, liens, fees, and rate hikes — not to mention the absurd wealth-redistribution premise of international climate debt “reparations” — such manipulation of evidence should be treated as exactly what it is: larceny on the grandest scale in history. … [more]

21 Nov 2009, 11:44am
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The Day Global Warming Stood Still

“We win. You lose. Get a life.”

Investor’s Business Daily, Nov 20, 2009, [here]

Climate Change: As scientists confirm the earth has not warmed at all in the past decade, others wonder how this could be and what it means for Copenhagen. Maybe Al Gore can Photoshop something before December.

It will be a very cold winter of discontent for the warm-mongers. The climate show-and-tell in Copenhagen next month will be nothing more than a meaningless carbon-emitting jaunt, unable to decide just whom to blame or how to divvy up the profitable spoils of climate change hysteria.

The collapse of the talks coupled with the decision by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to put off the Kerry-Boxer cap-and-trade bill, the Senate’s version of Waxman-Markey, until the spring thaw has led Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, the leading Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, to declare victory over Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and the triumph of observable fact over junk science.

“I proudly declare 2009 as the ‘Year of the Skeptic,’ the year in which scientists who question the so-called global warming consensus are being heard,” Inhofe said to Boxer in a Senate speech. “Until this year, any scientist, reporter or politician who dared raise even the slightest suspicion about the science behind global warming was dismissed and repeatedly mocked.”

Inhofe added: “Today I have been vindicated.”

The Ada (Oklahoma) Evening News quotes Inhofe: “So when Barbara Boxer, John Kerry and all the left get up there and say, ‘Yes. We’re going to pass a global warming bill,’ I will be able to stand up and say, ‘No, it’s over. Get a life. You lost. I won,’” Inhofe said.

more »

Forest Service says trees can slow climate change

By MATTHEW DALY (AP), November 18, 2009 [here]

WASHINGTON — National forests can be used as a carbon “sink” with vast numbers of trees absorbing carbon dioxide to help slow global warming, the Forest Service chief said Wednesday, but that goal must be balanced.

He’s also concerned about the risk of catastrophic wildfires that produce massive amounts of carbon dioxide.

Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said his agency is trying to manage forests to combat climate change while still easing the risk of wildfires that have increased in frequency and intensity, in part because of global warming.

Forests now store enough carbon to offset about 16 percent of the nation’s fossil fuel emissions, but that number could be reduced or even reversed if wildfires and insect infestation continue to increase, Tidwell said.

“Disturbances such as fire and insects and disease could dramatically change the role of forests, thereby emitting more carbon than currently sequestered” by tree stands across the country, Tidwell told the Senate Public Lands and Forestry Subcommittee.

Elaine O’Neil, a research scientist at the University of Washington’s School of Forestry, said wildfires in California alone released emissions equivalent to that of seven million cars a year from 2001 to 2007.

The Forest Service and Interior Department spent about $2.4 billion last year fighting fires, double the average amount spent a decade ago.

Tidwell said he hopes to increase the resiliency of federal forests through projects such thinning out young trees and underbrush to control wildfires. Some fires must be allowed to cleanse and regenerate forests that are overly dense, he said.

Lawmakers are looking at the role of forests in climate change, with the goal of including national forests as a key part of a climate change bill being considered by the Senate.

“In my view, it is time to manage the nation’s forests to address climate change and unlock their potential,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., the panel’s chairman.

Proper management can ensure healthy forests that create carbon offsets that can be used to help minimize the cost of carbon reduction in other parts of the economy, Wyden said. Use of such offsets — which now are excluded from the Senate bill — would “finally provide a way to truly account for the economic benefit that federal forests provide to our environment,” Wyden said.

“We can create good-paying, green jobs while preserving our treasures and helping our climate,” he said.

17 Nov 2009, 2:12pm
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EPA Issues Climate Change Gag Order on Civil Servants

Agency Threatens Discipline for Off-Duty Warnings on Cap and Trade Failures

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, November 9, 2009 [here]

Washington, DC — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered two of its attorneys to remove a video they posted on YouTube about problems with climate change legislation backed by the Obama administration or face “disciplinary action”, according to documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The couple had received clearance for posting the video but EPA took issue with its content following publication of an op-ed piece by the two in The Washington Post on October 31.

The video, entitled “The Huge Mistake”, is by Laurie Williams and Allan Zabel, two EPA enforcement attorneys speaking as private citizens. The video explains why the cap and trade plan endorsed by President Obama will not accomplish its goals, let alone effectively curb climate change. On November 5, 2009, EPA ethics officials ordered the two veteran employees to –

* Remove your climate change video from You Tube by the close of business on Friday, November 6, 2009;

* Edit your You Tube video by:

(i) Removing the language starting at 1:06 min – ‘Our opinions are based on more than 20 years each working as attorneys at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the San Francisco Regional Office.’

(ii) Removing the images of EPA’s building starting at 1:06 min …

(v) Remove [sic] the language starting at 6:30 min – ‘In my work at EPA, I’ve been overseeing California’s cap-and-trade and offset programs for more than 20 years.’

* All future requests for approval of an outside writing activity must be accompanied by a draft of the document that is the subject of the approval request

“EPA is abusing ethics rules to gag two conscientious employees who have every right to speak out as citizens,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, who has re-posted the original video [here] and its script. “EPA reversed itself because someone in headquarters had a tantrum about their Washington Post essay.”

Williams and Zabel, who are married to each other, go to great lengths in the video and other writings to provide disclaimers affirming that their views are personal and do not represent the agency. However, EPA now objects to them even referring to their on-the-job experience as the basis for their views.

“How is government supposed to be transparent when public servants are forbidden from discussing the nature of their work?” asked Ruch. “EPA and every other federal agency should have simple, clear guidelines so that government workers can express themselves freely without political prior restraints.”

In August, EPA Administrator Jackson issued an all-employee statement saying the agency will operate as if in a “fishbowl” but left ambiguous whether and how employees may publish papers or communicate with Congress and the media. By contrast, a few agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have dispensed with any pre-approval of employees’ unofficial expressions, as long as they are accompanied by a short disclaimer.

14 Nov 2009, 6:03pm
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Paper Mills Drunk on Black Liquor

Biofuel Tax Incentives Become Black Liquor Boondoggle

by Chris Clayton, DTN ProgressiveFarmer.com, Nov 13, 2009 [here]

OMAHA (DTN) — Thanks to a 2008 Internal Revenue Service ruling, American taxpayers will shell out at least $6 billion this year to subsidize an “alternative fuel” that has actually been the main fuel used in paper mills for decades.

In the first six months of 2009, payments to the paper industry for black liquor could reach $2.5 billion, according to the Congressional Joint Committee. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)”Black liquor” sounds like a trendy new drink, but in fact it’s a byproduct of the paper-making process, which paper mills use to run their boilers. Responding to inquiries from paper companies late last year, the IRS says black liquor could qualify for a 50-cent-a-gallon alternative-fuel subsidy Congress created in the 2005 highway bill and extended in the 2007 energy bill.

The provision’s intent seemed to be spurring the development of new fuels. It was only expected to cost $265 million over five years.

For the struggling pulp and paper industry, the subsidy is very good news, turning some money-losing operations into profit makers. It’s bad news for supporters of ethanol, biodiesel and other renewable fuels.

Tom Buis, the chief executive officer of renewable-fuels group Growth Energy, says unhappiness over the loophole could discourage Congress from expanding renewable-fuels subsidies or creating new ones. By his understanding of Congress’s intent, paper mills “would never qualify” to the degree they have. “The cost,” he noted, “is pretty significant.”

Indeed, owing to the black-liquor controversy, Congress may not renew the 50-cent credit, which is scheduled to expire at the end of this year. But even assuming the credit lapses, the controversy continues. A $24 billion cellulosic credit dubbed “son of black liquor” is in line to replace it. … [more]

13 Nov 2009, 2:23pm
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Orwellian Limey Fart Rationing Proposed

Note: this article is not a spoof.

Everyone in Britain should have an annual carbon ration and be penalised if they use too much, the head of the Environment Agency will say.

The UK Telegraph, 09 Nov 2009 [here]

Lord Smith of Finsbury believes that implementing individual carbon allowances for every person will be the most effective way of meeting the targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

It would involve people being issued with a unique number which they would hand over when purchasing products that contribute to their carbon footprint, such as fuel, airline tickets and electricity.

Like with a bank account, a statement would be sent out each month to help people keep track of what they are using.

If their “carbon account” hits zero, they would have to pay to get more credits.

Those who are frugal with their carbon usage will be able to sell their unused credits and make a profit.

Lord Smith will call for the scheme to be part of a “Green New Deal” to be introduced within 20 years when he addresses the agency’s annual conference on Monday.

An Environment Agency spokesman said only those with “extravagant lifestyles” would be affected by the carbon allowances.

He said: “A lot of people who cycle will get money back. It will probably only be bankers and those with extravagant lifestyles who would lose out.”

However, some have criticised the move as “Orwellian” and say it will have a detrimental impact on business.

Ruth Lea, an economist from Arbuthnot Banking Group, told the Daily Mail: “This is all about control of the individual and you begin to wonder whether this is what the green agenda has always been about. It’s Orwellian. This will be an enormous tax on business.”

Under the Climate Change Act, Britain is obliged to cut its emissions by 80 per cent on 1990 levels by 2050. This means annual CO2 emissions per person will have to fall from about 9 tonnes to only 2 tonnes.

Warming forests

by the Baker City Herald Editorial Board, November 04, 2009 [here]

It turns out that a warmer climate might not be a universal disaster.

Turning up nature’s thermostat could help trees in some Northwest forests grow faster, according to researchers from Oregon State University and the U.S. Forest Service.

Which sounds like a good thing in several respects — more timber to harvest and more acres of the old growth habitat that certain animals prefer, to name two examples.
We wonder, though, whether we will glean the full range of benefits from faster-growing forests.

Specifically, we’re skeptical of the notion that we have, collectively, the political will to revive Oregon’s moribund timber industry, even if the supply of raw material gradually rises along with average temperatures.

This worry seems to us especially trenchant in Northeastern Oregon.

The researchers predict the biggest increase in tree growth rates will happen in the Blue Mountains. Trees grow relatively slowly here now in part because winter temperatures are much lower than in the temperate forests of the Western Cascades and Coast Range.

So far so good.

The key question, though, is what do we do with our more fecund forests?

Because if we continue the policies of the past two decades — that is, to favor leaving trees over cutting them even when stands become overcrowded — then our forests could fall victim to the same warming trend that spurred their growth.

Warming, after all, won’t be limited to winter.

Scientists predict that summers will be hotter, too. And that means wildfires are likely to burn hotter and move faster.

Mix in hundreds of thousands of acres of dense forests and you have a volatile concoction.

We’re not advocating for reviving clearcut forestry in the Blues. But in the warmer future, a hands-off forest policy might be a curse rather than a blessing.

 
  
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