Monday Morning Read
February 5, 2007
Posted by Matthew_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov (10:05am ET)
A sampling of must-read articles, editorials, and op-eds from around the internet over the past few days focusing on global warming and the latest IPCC report.
Top Israeli Astrophysicist Recants His Belief in Manmade Global Warming - Now Says Sun Biggest Factor in Warming
National Post (February 02, 2007)
Lawrence Solomon Astrophysicist Nir Shariv, one of Israel's top young scientists, describes the logic that led him -- and most everyone else -- to conclude that SUVs, coal plants and other things man-made cause global warming. Dr. Shariv, a prolific researcher who has made a name for himself assessing the movements of two-billion-year-old meteorites, no longer accepts this logic, or subscribes to these views. He has recanted: "Like many others, I was personally sure that CO2 is the bad culprit in the story of global warming. But after carefully digging into the evidence, I realized that things are far more complicated than the story sold to us by many climate scientists or the stories regurgitated by the media."In fact, there is much more than meets the eye."
Iceland Bucks Global Warming Trend - Increasing Ice Brings Polar Bears Closer To People
Sunday Telegraph (04/02/2007)
Iceland fears bears that go with the floe By Gethin Chamberlain, Last Updated: GMT
The oceans may be warming and air temperatures rising, but in recent days Iceland has bucked the global climate trend. Thick pack ice, the like of which has not been seen for decades, stretched into the western fjords as temperatures plummeted and a bitter wind blew in from -Greenland. The ice has proved a headache for fishermen, who have been unable to put to sea, but it is what comes with pack ice that has caused most concern: polar bears. People living around the fjord of Dyrafjördur, which last week was almost filled with the ice, were keeping an eye on the sea, conscious that the bears live on the pack ice that covers much of the Arctic ocean. When chunks break off, as appears to have happened last week, the bears become stranded, drifting wherever the ice takes them. There have been numerous accounts of bears making land on the shores of Iceland in the past. But it is the bears who tend to come off worse in encounters with the Icelanders, who take a distinctly unsentimental approach to wildlife. In 1993, the last time a bear is known to have made it to Icelandic waters, it was caught by a fishing crew and killed. It is believed to have been stranded on a piece of pack ice that broke off the main pack and melted, leaving the animal swimming in the open ocean 70 miles from the main ice sheet. Five years earlier, the last bear to make it to shore was promptly shot when it turned up near the town of Haganesvík in the north of the country.
Environmental Guru Says Global Warming More Devastating Than Nuclear War
Spiegel Online (February 02, 2007)
By Marco Evers
James Lovelock is attracting attention again with his provocative ideas. The former hero of the environmental movement has called for an end to "green romanticism." The only way to delay climate catastrophe, says the environmental guru, is through the massive expansion of nuclear energy. A few days ago, the theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking gave a speech in London in which he said that nuclear war no longer poses the only threat to humanity's very existence. According to Hawking, the dangers posed by climate change are now almost equally as great, and we must do everything that is humanly possible if we are to have any hope of averting them.When James Lovelock heard about Hawkings' lecture, three hundred and fifty kilometers away at his remote estate near Cornwall, he exclaimed loudly: "Hawking is underestimating the danger." Lovelock is a chemist, inventor, author and visionary environmental guru. Using a detector he invented himself, he was the first to provide evidence of ozone-consuming fluorochlorohydrocarbons (FCHC) in the atmosphere. More importantly, Lovelock is the inventor of the famous "Gaia hypothosis," which holds that the planet (which he named after the Greek goddess of the Earth, Gaia), constantly controls all of its systems on land, in the water and in the air in such a way as to preserve life -- almost as if the earth itself were a living organism. Lovelock's fellow scientists were initially appalled by the New Age nature of his theory. But now his ideas have not only become a cornerstone of the environmental movement, but have also acquired a new name: "Earth System Science." Lovelock's current prognoses for the earth's inhabitants are as gloomy as they are provocative. He is convinced that the 21st century will not be a good one. He claims that climate change caused by human activity will devastate large swaths of the earth, and by the year 2100 there will only be about a billion people left -- and possibly only half as many.
Climate of Opinion
The Wall Street Journal (February 5, 2007; Page A16)
Last week's headlines about the United Nation's latest report on global warming were typically breathless, predicting doom and human damnation like the most fervent religious evangelical. Yet the real news in the fourth assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) may be how far it is backpedaling on some key issues. Beware claims that the science of global warming is settled. The document that caused such a stir was only a short policy report, a summary of the full scientific report due in May. Written mainly by policymakers (not scientists) who have a stake in the issue, the summary was long on dire predictions. The press reported the bullet points, noting that this latest summary pronounced with more than "90% confidence" that humans have been the main drivers of warming since the 1950s, and that higher temperatures and rising sea levels would result. More pertinent is the underlying scientific report. And according to people who have seen that draft, it contains startling revisions of previous U.N. predictions. For example, the Center for Science and Public Policy has just released an illuminating analysis written by Lord Christopher Monckton, a one-time adviser to Margaret Thatcher who has become a voice of sanity on global warming.
Full Editorial: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117063707532997789.html (Subscription Required)
Inconvenient Kyoto Truths
Was life better when a sheet of ice a mile thick covered Chicago? Was it worse when Greenland was so warm that Vikings farmed there?
By George F. Will, Newsweek Feb. 12, 2007
Enough already. It is time to call some bluffs. John Kerry says that one reason America has become an "international pariah" is President Bush's decision to "walk away from global warming." Kerry's accusation is opaque, but it implies the usual complaint that Bush is insufficiently enthusiastic about the Kyoto Protocol's binding caps on emissions of greenhouse gases. Many senators and other experts in climate science say we must "do something" about global warming. Barack Obama says "the world" is watching to see "what action we take." Fine. President Bush should give the world something amusing to watch. He should demand that the Senate vote on the protocol. Climate Cassandras say the facts are clear and the case is closed. (Sen. Barbara Boxer: "We're not going to take a lot of time debating this anymore.") The consensus catechism about global warming has six tenets: 1. Global warming is happening. 2. It is our (humanity's, but especially America's) fault. 3. It will continue unless we mend our ways. 4. If it continues we are in grave danger. 5. We know how to slow or even reverse the warming. 6. The benefits from doing that will far exceed the costs.
Not So Dire After All
New York Sun (February 2, 2007)
S. Fred Singer
This morning the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its Fourth Assessment Report, but just in the form of a 12-page Summary for Policymakers. The report itself, about 1,600 pages, will be available only in May. The IPCC explains it needs time to adjust the scientific report to make it consistent with its summary. The summary actually is a semipolitical document negotiated by delegates from 150 governments. Evidently, the IPCC, which prides itself on being strictly scientific and policy-neutral, wants to make its report politically correct.This raises legitimate doubts about the scientific credibility of the IPCC's conclusions. The cleansing of the report — and the attendant delay in publication — is also feeding wild speculation about climate catastrophes, with many leaks to compliant newspapers. Compared to earlier reports, the Fourth Assessment is really quite sober, perhaps because a real scientist less given to ideology heads the effort. The summary projects slightly lower temperature increases than previous reports, for example. Also, the last report, in 2001, featured the Hockeystick, a graph that purportedly illustrated that the 20th century was unusually warm. Its underlying science was flawed by incorrect statistics, and apparently the IPCC now implicitly agrees, for the Hockeystick does not appear in the summary.
Senator Inhofe Press Release (2/2/07)
Inhofe Calls UN IPCC Summary For Policymakers ‘Corruption of Science’
Washington, DC – Sen. James Inhofe, (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment & Public Works Committee, today commented on the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Summary for Policymakers."This is a political document, not a scientific report, and it is a shining example of the corruption of science for political gain. The media has failed to report that the IPCC Summary for Policymakers was not approved by scientists but by UN political delegates and bureaucrats," Senator Inhofe said. The IPCC is only releasing the Summary for Policymakers today, not the actual scientific report which is not due out until May 2007.
Climatologist Calls Global Warming Fears 'Greatest Deception in the History of Science' (Monday, February 5, 2007)
By Timothy Ball
Global Warming, as we think we know it, doesn't exist. And I am not the only one trying to make people open up their eyes and see the truth. But few listen, despite the fact that I was the first Canadian Ph.D. in Climatology and I have an extensive background in climatology, especially the reconstruction of past climates and the impact of climate change on human history and the human condition. Few listen, even though I have a Ph.D, (Doctor of Science) from the University of London, England and that for 32 years I was a Professor of Climatology at the University of Winnipeg. For some reason (actually for many), the World is not listening. Here is why.
What would happen if tomorrow we were told that, after all, the Earth is flat? It would probably be the most important piece of news in the media and would generate a lot of debate. So why is it that when scientists who have studied the Global Warming phenomenon for years say that humans are not the cause nobody listens? Why does no one acknowledge that the Emperor has no clothes on?
Believe it or not, Global Warming is not due to human contribution of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). This in fact is the greatest deception in the history of science. We are wasting time, energy and trillions of dollars while creating unnecessary fear and consternation over an issue with no scientific justification. For example, Environment Canada brags about spending $3.7 billion in the last five years dealing with climate change almost all on propaganda trying to defend an indefensible scientific position while at the same time closing weather stations and failing to meet legislated pollution targets.
No sensible person seeks conflict, especially with governments, but if we don't pursue the truth, we are lost as individuals and as a society. That is why I insist on saying that there is no evidence that we are, or could ever cause global climate change. And, recently, Yuri A. Izrael, Vice President of the United Nations sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed this statement. So how has the world come to believe that something is wrong?