6 Mar 2009, 1:24am
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Climate Science

by Richard Lindzen, reposted at EcoWorld, October 30th, 2008 [here]

Has global warming alarm become the goal rather than the result of scientific research? Is climate science really designed to answer questions?

In this recently presented paper by Dr. Richard Lindzen, published [here] in its entirety, he describes the origins of global warming alarm, the political agenda of the alarmists, their intimidation tactics, and the reasons for their success. Also, in painstaking detail, he debunks their key scientific claims and counterclaims. Dr. Lindzen is not alone - he is one of the prominent members of what has become thousands of reputable scientists who are coming forward to dispute the theory that anthropogenic CO2 is the prevailing threat to global climate. Anyone who firmly believes anthropogenic CO2 emissions must be dramatically reduced in order to protect our planet should read this paper by Dr. Lindzen, and other work by reputable skeptics. There is simply too much at stake, and too many sweeping political changes being justified because of CO2 alarm, for any responsible activist or policymaker, media influencer or ordinary voter, to not take a second look. …

26 Feb 2009, 4:54pm
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Committee guts Gregoire’s emissions-cap plan

By Phuong Le, Seattle Times, Feb 24, 2009 [here]

Gov. Chris Gregoire’s proposal to regulate the emission of greenhouse gases linked to global warming is facing serious challenges in the Legislature.

The Senate Committee on Environment, Water and Energy today passed a version that gutted the heart of the plan by making it voluntary for businesses to participate.

The governor’s proposal would require major industries, from Boeing to Kimberly-Clark, to limit the greenhouse gases they emit, starting in 2012. The plan would create a regional market to let polluters buy and trade pollution credits.

The goal is to reduce overall carbon dioxide and other emissions in the state to 1990 levels by 2020, and to half that level by 2050. The state adopted those targets in 2008.

The Senate bill is significantly different from the governor’s plan. It asks the state Department of Ecology to design voluntary emission targets and a voluntary emissions reduction registry and report back to the Legislature.

“It’s a work in progress,” Ecology Director Jay Manning said Tuesday, adding he was pleased the legislation was still alive. He said the state would work with the Legislature to find a proposal both could support. …

Businesses have fiercely opposed Gregoire’s plan, saying it would put them at a disadvantage in an already slumping economy. …[more]

26 Feb 2009, 4:52pm
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Bill urging exit from climate initiative passes

KSL.com, February 24th, 2009 [here]

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — State lawmakers on Tuesday advanced a resolution that calls on Gov. Jon Huntsman to get Utah out of the Western Climate Initiative, a coalition formed to roll back greenhouse-gas emissions.

House Resolution 3, sponsored by Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, passed the Utah House 51-9. The resolution is nonbinding, but sends Huntsman a message.

WCI seeks to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 15 percent by 2020. Six western states and three Canadian provinces are members of WCI.

Noel says he doesn’t believe global warming is human-caused. He says that capping emissions will hurt Utah’s coal-fired power plants and the overall state economy.

The bill now goes to the Utah Senate.

Huntsman spokeswoman Lisa Roskelley says WCI gives Utah a seat at the table during important discussions of issues that could affect the state’s future.

26 Feb 2009, 12:46am
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Cap-and-Trade vs. Carbon Tax: CO2 Crowd Breaking Ranks with President?

The Heritage Foundation, February 25th, 2009 [here]

In last night’s speech, President Obama remarked, “So I ask this Congress to send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America.”

Today the House Committee on Ways and Means held a hearing on the scientific objectives for climate change legislation, but according to a reliable source, the hearing evolved into a debate amongst Democrats arguing on the merit of a carbon tax versus a cap-and-trade.

Several members of the committee raised concerns over a cap-and-trade program and questioned whether a direct carbon tax may be the better option.

Disagreement among Congressional advocates for CO2 legislation could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back when it comes to regulating carbon dioxide. It will be difficult for any bill labeled a carbon tax in a recessionary environment. Despite a cap-and-trade scheme essentially acting as a tax in disguise, a number of Democrats are beginning to point out the same flaws we’ve been pointing out for years. Cap-and-trade is costly, inefficient and unpredictable. Europe’s current carbon trading debacle is perfect evidence.

Heritage Senior Policy Analyst Ben Lieberman emphasizes that a cap-and-trade program is nothing more than a regressive tax that will raise prices and cost Americans jobs – all for little, if any, environmental gain.

If the legislators calling for carbon cuts are beginning to call a cap-and-trade what it really is, a less predictable version of a carbon tax, there is plenty of hope Americans won’t stand for it.

26 Feb 2009, 12:31am
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Democrats Put Global Warming Rider In Spending Bill

By Jim Meyers, Newsmax.com, February 25, 2009 [here]

Congressional Democrats have inserted a “dangerous” rider into an appropriations bill that would allow the Department of Interior to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., according to a release from Republicans on the House Committee on Natural Resources.

The rider to the Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations bill, Section 429, enables the Interior Department to withdraw two Endangered Species Act rules within 60 days of enactment.

“This would allow the Obama Administration to change rules without any public notice or public comment period, and threatens efforts to create new jobs in an already strapped economy,” the release states. …

“If the rules are withdrawn, then any project that increases carbon dioxide or any greenhouse gas emissions could have to consult with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service on mitigation against the potential impacts on global warming and harming of the polar bear, or else face potential lawsuits,” the committee’s statement asserts.

“The threat posed to job creation and our economy would not only impact energy production, but agricultural practices, increases in livestock numbers, construction of buildings such as schools or hospitals, and any other activity that emits greenhouse gas.”

Doc Hastings, the Ranking Member of the Committee, said: “This is a backdoor maneuver to create vast new climate change powers without any public comment or involvement by the American people. … [more]

25 Feb 2009, 12:44am
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Snow just won’t go away in Darrington

By Gale Fiege, Everett Daily Herald, February 23, 2009 [here]

Darrington, Washington - It’s been a tough winter in this Cascade foothills town.

Two families are waiting to bury loved ones in the frozen, snow- covered cemetery. Town officials have already spent most of the annual $60,000 street budget on snow removal. And the high school baseball team might start the season indoors since it would be hard to run the bases in snowshoes.

Nearly 6 feet of snow fell in Darrington during the last two weeks of December. After that, staff at the Forest Service Ranger Station were so overwhelmed they stopped taking the official measurement. Most people figure the total amount of snow to fall during the past three months was close to 9 feet.

Much of it is still on the ground, in 10-foot-high piles that crowd nearly every vacant lot in Darrington. More dirty snow is stacked at the town’s little airport, which has been closed for months. … [more]

24 Feb 2009, 12:49pm
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NASA global warming satellite crashes after launch

By Alicia Chang, Ap Science Writer, Yahoo News [here]

LOS ANGELES – A NASA mission to monitor global warming from space ended Tuesday when a satellite plunged into the ocean near Antarctica minutes after launch. An equipment malfunction was apparently to blame, officials said.

The loss of the $280 million mission came a month after Japan launched the world’s first spacecraft to track global warming emissions. The failure dealt a blow to NASA, which had hoped to send up its own satellite to measure carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas behind human-caused global warming.

The crash came just after liftoff from the Vandenberg Air Force Base on California’s central coast. A Taurus XL rocket carrying the Orbiting Carbon Observatory blasted off as scheduled shortly before 2 a.m.

Three minutes into the flight, the nose cone protecting the satellite failed to come off as designed, NASA officials said. The extra weight from the cover caused the rocket to dive back to Earth, splashing into the ocean near Antarctica, where a group of environment ministers from more than a dozen countries met Monday to get the latest science on global warming. [Unfortunately the rocket missed them.]

“Certainly for the science community it’s a huge disappointment,” said John Brunschwyler, Taurus project manager for Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corp., which built the rocket and satellite. “It’s taken so long to get here.”

The 986-pound satellite was supposed to be placed into a polar orbit some 400 miles high. The project was nine years in the making, and the mission was supposed to last two years.

The observatory was NASA’s first satellite dedicated to monitoring carbon dioxide on a global scale. Measurements collected by the satellite were expected to improve climate models and help researchers determine where the greenhouse gas originates and how much is being absorbed by forests and oceans.

“Wow! Bad news this morning,” said Scott Denning, an atmospheric science professor at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., and a member of the team that planned to analyze data from the satellite. “We put years into getting ready for this.”

Carbon dioxide is the leading greenhouse gas and its buildup helps trap heat from the sun, causing potentially dangerous warming of the planet. [Excuse me, but that is utter BS, Alicia.]

Scientists now depend on 282 land-based stations — and scattered instrumented aircraft flights — to monitor carbon dioxide at low altitudes. … [more]

Note: For some interesting commentary see Watts Up With That [here]

23 Feb 2009, 9:32pm
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The Green Jobs Scam - and Confusion

By IAIN MURRAY, DC Examiner, February 23, 2009 [here]

With the massive $787-billion stimulus bill including provisions to encourage the creation of “green jobs,” Americans deserve an honest appraisal of how such green jobs will work. So far, they aren’t getting it.

In fact, a recent statement by Al Gore shows just how much Americans are being misled on this issue. Green jobs are a shell game, and we’re falling for it. In the Financial Times, on February 17, Gore, in an op ed co-authored with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, asserts that, “In the US, there are now more jobs in the wind industry than in the entire coal industry.”

But as Roger Pielke Jr of the University of Colorado points out, there is something wrong there. In November 2008, the coal industry generated 155 million megawatt-hours of electricity, while wind generated only 1.3 million megawatt-hours. If wind really does employ more people than coal, it is doing so at a huge cost to American efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness.

Of course, the wind industry does not employ more people. Gore and Ban were flat out wrong in their assertion, which should make one question any assertions in Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, or any U.N. document, for that matter. … [more]

22 Feb 2009, 12:32am
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Arctic Sea Ice Underestimated for Weeks Due to Faulty Sensor

By Alex Morales, Bloomberg.com news, Feb 20, 2009 [here]

A glitch in satellite sensors caused scientists to underestimate the extent of Arctic sea ice by 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles), a California- size area, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center said.

The error, due to a problem called “sensor drift,” began in early January and caused a slowly growing underestimation of sea ice extent until mid-February. That’s when “puzzled readers” alerted the NSIDC about data showing ice-covered areas as stretches of open ocean, the Boulder, Colorado-based group said on its Web site.

“Sensor drift, although infrequent, does occasionally occur and it is one of the things that we account for during quality- control measures prior to archiving the data,” the center said. “Although we believe that data prior to early January are reliable, we will conduct a full quality check.” … [more]

Note: the glitch was reported by Joseph D’Aleo of ICECAP on Feb 15 [here]. The story was then picked up by Anthony Watts of Watts Up With That on Feb. 16 [here]. After these citizen scientist bloggers informed the NSIDC, the Center discovered the satellite sensor had problems and issued a statement that was reported at Watts Up With That on Feb 18 [here].

Bloomberg’s report is thus 4 or 5 days late and fails to credit D’Aleo and Watts for their vital roles in all this. Citizen bloggers Anthony Watts and Steve McIntire of Climate Audit also uncovered and reported on data defects in an article in Nature last month about Antarctic temperature trends [here].

15 Feb 2009, 12:08am
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Global warming ‘underestimated’

BBC World News America, 15 February 2009 [here]

The severity of global warming over the next century will be much worse than previously believed, a leading climate scientist has warned.

Professor Chris Field, an author of a 2007 landmark report on climate change, said future temperatures “will be beyond anything” predicted.

Prof Field said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report had underestimated the rate of change.

He said warming is likely to cause more environmental damage than forecast.

Speaking at the American Science conference in Chicago, Prof Field said fresh data showed greenhouse gas emissions between 2000 and 2007 increased far more rapidly than expected.

“We are basically looking now at a future climate that is beyond anything that we’ve considered seriously in climate policy,” he said.

Prof Field said the 2007 report, which predicted temperature rises between 1.1C and 6.4C over the next century, seriously underestimated the scale of the problem. … [more]

Note: The BBC got it wrong. Dr. Fields is Professor of Biology in an Ecology Department, not a climate scientist [here].

10 Feb 2009, 9:42pm
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High CO2 boosts plant respiration, potentially affecting climate and crops

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Press Release, 9-Feb-2009 [here]

The leaves of soybeans grown at the elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) levels predicted for the year 2050 respire more than those grown under current atmospheric conditions, researchers report, a finding that will help fine-tune climate models and could point to increased crop yields as CO2 levels rise.

The study, from researchers at the University of Illinois and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, appears this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Plants draw CO2 from the atmosphere and make sugars through the process of photosynthesis. But they also release some CO2 during respiration as they use the sugars to generate energy for self-maintenance and growth. How elevated CO2 affects plant respiration will therefore influence future food supplies and the extent to which plants can capture CO2 from the air and store it as carbon in their tissues. …

The results were striking. At least 90 different genes coding the majority of enzymes in the cascade of chemical reactions that govern respiration were switched on (expressed) at higher levels in the soybeans grown at high CO2 levels. This explained how the plants were able to use the increased supply of sugars from stimulated photosynthesis under high CO2 conditions to produce energy, Leakey said. The rate of respiration increased 37 percent at the elevated CO2 levels.

The enhanced respiration is likely to support greater transport of sugars from leaves to other growing parts of the plant, including the seeds, Leakey said.

“The expression of over 600 genes was altered by elevated CO2 in total, which will help us to understand how the response is regulated and also hopefully produce crops that will perform better in the future,” he said. … [more]

Note: see also the discussion at Watts Up With That [here]

10 Feb 2009, 9:40pm
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Taking a Time Machine Ride Back to the 1960s or 1800s?

By Joe D’Aleo, Intellicast.com and ICECAP, February 9, 2009 [here and here]

Note: please visit the links to view the excellent graphs.

There are signs our weather is taking a time machine ride back to the regimes of the 1960s or even the late 1700s early 1800s.

Our climate operates in cycles, which favors different regimes of weather. We have come out of a few decades that thanks to a warm Pacific resulted in a dominance of El Ninos and its typical southern storm tracks and warm, dry western North America.

The Pacific has cooled and now favors La Ninas, which have dominated the last two winters. This has resulted in a more northern storm track (and as we reported in earlier stories), record monthly or seasonal snows.

The Atlantic is cooling too. The AMO has declined from its 2004/05 peak. The sum of the PDO and AMO we have shown correlates well with US annual temperatures.

In earlier reports, we have shown how the solar cycles also have a profound affect on climate. An active sun through direct and indirect factors leads to warming oceans and through them the land, and a quiet sun to cooling of oceans and land.

Longer term the sun is behaving like it did in the late 1700s and early 1800s, leading many to believe we are likely to experience conditions more like the early 1800s (called the Dalton Minimum) in the next few decades. That was a time of cold and snow. It was the time of Charles Dickens and his novels with snow and cold in London.

David Archibald has estimated that if indeed this early 1800s analog is real, a significant cooling is possible.

During these cold modes, more La Nina winters like this occur, El Ninos occasionally develop, and they tend to be briefer and weaker and thus colder and snowier than the El Ninos of the warm eras. If a major volcano occurs, the cold deepens

3 Feb 2009, 3:33pm
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Carbon Credits: Another Corrupt Currency?

By Joanne Nova, Science and Public Policy, Feb 3, 2009 [here] (1.58 MB)

Carbon credits are a form of fiat currency, yet as calls for carbon trading grow, ironically, another fiat currency collapses - destroying life savings, wiping out jobs, and taking down historic institutions overnight. Fiat money has a long history of failure, corruption and fraud. The inevitable booms, busts and inflation act as an invisible tax, transferring wealth from people who work and save to speculators, middle men, and crooks. The US dollar - sovereign issue of a great capitalist, democratic nation - is on life support. So far at least eight hundred billion dollars has been created from thin air to stop the banking system from crashing.

Meanwhile, global warming alarmists are asking us to create another fiat currency, this time based on hot air. Large multinational conglomerates are already pouring billions into exchanges and derivatives in anticipation of carbon trading. There are ‘options’ to buy credits in the future. There’s no longer any evidence that carbon matters much to our climate; and in the unlikely event that carbon might matter, the benefits of trading carbon don’t add up. If the US adopted Obama’s strict 80% reduction in emissions tomorrow, thus transforming the main energy source used by Americans since Columbus, the savings in carbon merely delay the claimed warmer-Armageddon by six years.

Currencies based on nothing are powerful tools that have reshaped civilizations. But they draw out the darkest elements of human nature. We open this Pandora’s Box with trepidation. Is the risk worth the benefit? … [more]

Note: whether or not you are concerned with global warming or carbon credits, Joanne Nova’s discussion of fiat money and looming hyperinflation are required reading for all (intelligent) citizens. Special thanks to ICECAP [here] for pointing out this essay.

2 Feb 2009, 11:45pm
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With Al Due Respect, We’re Doomed

By Dana Milbank, Washington Post, January 29, 2009 [here]

The lawmakers gazed in awe at the figure before them. The Goracle had seen the future, and he had come to tell them about it.

What the Goracle saw in the future was not good: temperature changes that “would bring a screeching halt to human civilization and threaten the fabric of life everywhere on the Earth — and this is within this century, if we don’t change.”

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Kerry (D-Mass.), appealed to hear more of the Goracle’s premonitions. “Share with us, if you would, sort of the immediate vision that you see in this transformative process as we move to this new economy,” he beseeched.

“Geothermal energy,” the Goracle prophesied. “This has great potential; it is not very far off.”

Another lawmaker asked about the future of nuclear power. “I have grown skeptical about the degree to which it will expand,” the Goracle spoke.

A third asked the legislative future — and here the Goracle spoke in riddle. “The road to Copenhagen has three steps to it,” he said.

Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) begged the Goracle to look further into the future. “What does your modeling tell you about how long we’re going to be around as a species?” he inquired.

The Goracle chuckled. “I don’t claim the expertise to answer a question like that, Senator.”

It was a jarring reminder that the Goracle is, indeed, mortal. Once Al Gore was a mere vice president, but now he is a Nobel laureate and climate-change prophet. He repeats phrases such as “unified national smart grid” the way he once did “no controlling legal authority” — and the ridicule has been replaced by worship, even by his political foes. … [more, with video]

30 Jan 2009, 4:50pm
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Al Gore’s Climate of Extremes

by Patrick J. Michaels, National Review Online, January 30, 2009 [here]

Ho-hum. On January 28, in the midst of a pelting sleet storm, Al Gore told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the end is nigh from global warming.

He told the Senate that “some scientists” predict up to 11 degrees of warming in the next 91 years (while failing to note that the last 12 have seen exactly none), and that this would “bring a screeching halt to human civilization and threaten the fiber of life everywhere on earth”. Hey folks, this is serious!

Besides having a remarkable knack for scheduling big speeches on remarkably cold or snowy days (it’s known as the “Gore Effect” in journalistic circles), Gore has been incredibly ineffective in bringing his message home.

According to the New York Times, Gore told the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco last November, “I feel, in a sense, I’ve failed badly. . . . [T]here is not anything anywhere close to an appropriate sense of urgency [about global warming]. This is an existential threat.”

And fail he has. The Pew Foundation recently asked Americans to choose which of 20 prominent issues is of most importance. They included the economy, crime, education, and, of course, global warming, which came in dead last. … [more]

 
  
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