Majority of Americans Still 'Believe' in Global Warming
Posted 04 July 2010 - 12:56 PM
I didn't lose my mind - I have it backed up on a disk ... somewhere
Posted 04 July 2010 - 08:35 PM
And that would best be done by taking action now. Not against corporations or wrecking our economy doing rediculous things to fight nature. Rather live with nature.
For instance, it is claimed sea levels may rise 20 feet in the next 100 years. So why do we continue to build cities below sea level or right on the coast? Why not require all new construction be at least 30 feet above sea level? Those buildings would be safe if levels came up 20 feet. As for the exisyting cities, let them live their useful lives. By then most will be due for replacement anyway, so then demolish them.
Levees? For now support them. But gradually relocate the areas behind them so that when the inevitable floods come damage will be minimized. Then as above, relocate the areas to higher ground.
Even farm lands. People worry about our agricultural areas becoming deserts. Maybe so, but consider other areas too cold now may at that time be prime farm land. Again we adapt.
Taking this type of approach will minimize the effects of warming and allow us to live with global warming and nature.
Visit my website
Posted 06 July 2010 - 01:12 AM
I didn't lose my mind - I have it backed up on a disk ... somewhere
Posted 06 July 2010 - 11:17 AM
Cynicism comes easily to me.
The good news is the ozone hole is healing. The bad news is that it ain't all good news:
Posted 06 July 2010 - 11:27 AM
Cynicism comes easily to me.
The good news is the ozone hole is healing. The bad news is that it ain't all good news:
Yep, it aint all good news, but I look at it this way........................
Mankind has suffered terribly over the millenia, ice age, black plague, etc, etc, etc. Maybe what we need is a wakeup call to get us off our overweight, out of shape, behinds.
During the depression my parents made do, today many would kill their neighbor for a loaf of bread. Yep, I'm a bit cynical too, maybe a good wakeup call is something that will be good in the long run.
Perhaps we have all put too much distance between Us and God/Nature.
Ok, Ill get off my soapbox now and go back to my air conditioned, direct TV supplied, mancave
Edited by Robot, 06 July 2010 - 11:29 AM.
Posted 06 July 2010 - 11:46 AM
"I know that an active volcano emits more greenhouse gas in a single day than an SUV does in a year".
The "Volcano Chlorofluorocarbon's are "natural" and decompose much more quickly than the "artificially stabilized" manmade Chlorofluorocarbon's.
Posted 06 July 2010 - 01:46 PM
Posted 08 July 2010 - 07:54 PM
Unfortunately, it's also evidence that scientists suck at communication.
But I already knew that. :-P
In fact, the outcomes of the various investigations into “Climate Gate” have produced the expected, and widely predicted, results: whitewash.
What we have seen in these “investigations” is the vested interests in science and politics joining together in an effort to protect each other, and their lucrative sources of income.
Take into account that the fraud perpetrated by Jones, Mann and Hansen resulted in millions of dollars in research grants being awarded to their respective institutions. Consequently, it is hardly surprising that the “investigations” by those same institutions come up with little more than a token slap on the wrist for the offenders. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
However, within the world of real science, real scientists continue to work and are slowly but surely chipping away at this fraud.
One would hope that they will soon be able to get back to addressing the real issues that confront our planetary environment, and which are currently being sidelined by the great gold rush of “The Great Global Warming Scam”.
Posted 10 July 2010 - 07:52 AM
My money stays on the scientific process.
Posted 18 July 2010 - 06:54 PM
The American government has suspended its funding of the University of East Anglia’s climate research unit (CRU), citing the scientific doubts raised by last November’s leak of hundreds of stolen emails.
The US Department of Energy (DoE) was one of the unit’s main sources of funding for its work assembling a database of global temperatures.
It has supported the CRU financially since 1990 and gives the unit about £131,000 ($200,000 USD) a year on a rolling three-year contract.
This should have been renewed automatically in April, but the department has suspended all payments since May pending a scientific peer review of the unit’s work.
The leaked emails caused a global furore. They appeared to suggest that CRU scientists were using “tricks” to strengthen the case for man-made climate change and suppressing dissent.
A spokesman for the DoE said: “The renewal application was placed on hold pending the conclusion of the inquiry into scientific misconduct by Sir Alastair Muir Russell.”
Muir Russell published his report earlier this month. It said that the rigour and honesty of the CRU scientists were not in doubt but criticised them for “a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness”.
The DoE peer review panel will now sift through the report and decide if American taxpayers should continue to fund the unit.
A spokesman for the university said: “We are still waiting to hear if the latest bid for funding to the US Department of Energy has been successful and would not comment or speculate in the meantime.”
The Sunday Times, 18 July 2010
Posted 21 July 2010 - 02:38 PM
Posted 05 August 2010 - 06:40 PM
The EU Connection in Climate Research
by John Rosenthal
Millions of euros come with an agenda
The leaking of the East Anglia “Climategate” e-mails and data last November shattered the appearance of a scientific consensus on supposed “man-made global warming” and provided a disturbing insight into the corruption of the scientific process as it relates to the “man-made global warming” hypothesis. The spectacle of scientists stonewalling freedom of information requests, destroying records, hiding unwelcome results, colluding to keep dissenting viewpoints out of scholarly journals, and even suppressing their own acknowledged doubts — all of this made it perfectly clear that other interests were at stake than the pure pursuit of knowledge. The centrality of the quest for funding in the e-mail exchanges made it equally clear that for the scientists in question, money, unsurprisingly, was first and foremost among those interests.
But just who or what had corrupted the science in order to produce the phantom “consensus”? Commentators in U.S. online discussion forums and blogs wasted no time in identifying two prime suspects: the reputed prophet of green energy, Al Gore, and the right’s least favorite leftist billionaire, George Soros. Such speculation said a lot about the top bogeymen in the conservative blogosphere, but it was prima facie implausible or even indeed absurd. After all, no single individual, no matter how wealthy, has the resources that it takes to politicize weather and corrupt the entire global scientific enterprise. Indeed, in the grand scheme of things, one of the named suspects is not even particularly wealthy. Despite the prominent role he has played as a spokesperson for climate alarmism, it is far more likely that the former vice president is a passenger on the global warming bandwagon, not a driver.
If no individual has the money it takes, states — especially if they pool their resources — most certainly do. The real culprit in the corruption of the scientific process and the promotion of climate alarmism is named again and again in the East Anglia e-mails and documents. But the culprit is named with many different names, mysterious combinations of letters and numbers and lyrical code words, names like “dgxii, dgxi fp5 fp6 fp7 life enrich.” What do they mean? In the final analysis, it is but one and the same multinational organization that lurks behind all these designations: the European Union.
The eu funding stream
All the designations refer either to departments of the European Commission or eu funding schemes. “dgxii” is the acronym by which the Commission’s Directorate General for Research was formerly designated, and “ dgxi” was the acronym for the Directorate General for the Environment.
The Research dg is essentially a funding organization. It controls a massive multi-year budget for research support known as the “Framework Programme” — or “fp,” for short. The European Network for Research into Global Change — or “ enrich” — was an early climate change research initiative that was launched already under the fourth Framework Programme (1994–96). The Environment dglikewise has at its disposal a “financing instrument” (albeit a more modest one). The financing program of the Environment dg is called “ life.” The Research Directorate’s Framework Programme 6 — or “fp6” — ran from 2002 through 2006 and comprised a budget of some € 17.5 billion. The current Framework Programme 7 began in 2007 and will run through 2013 It comprises a research support budget of some €50.5 billion.
fp6 funded 26 projects on climate change. The total eu contribution to these projects was a whopping € 165,580,451. The University of East Anglia was a partner institution in no less than eight of these projects and it was the coordinating institution for one. Under fp7, the “climate research” manna has flowed even more freely. In just the first three years (2007–09) of the current Framework Programme, the European Commission has already funded 28 projects on climate change for a total eu contribution, according to provisional data, of some € 116,271,772. The University of East Anglia is a partner institution in four of these projects.
Several of the fp7 projects bear suitably alarmist abbreviated titles like climsave, redd-alert, and even HighNoon. As the example of HighNoon illustrates, not all the beneficiaries of the European financing are European research institutions. HighNoon is funded under an fp7 funding scheme known as cp-sica (“Collaborative Project-Specific International Cooperation Action”) that is specifically dedicated to funding research with “international,” i.e. non-eu, partner institutions. As it so happens, the lead international partner in the HighNoon project is none other than The Energy and Resources Institute (teri) in New Delhi. teri is the research center of Rajendra Pachauri, the embattled chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (ipcc).
No single individual, no matter how wealthy, has the resources that it takes to politicize weather.
In as much as the “principal aim” of HighNoon is “to assess the impact of Himalayan glaciers retreat” (as well as “possible changes of the Indian summer monsoon”), the short-form title can be presumed to be an allusion to what is now perhaps the most infamously alarmist claim associated with Pachauri and the ipcc: namely, the prediction that at the present rate of “warming” the Himalayan glaciers can be expected entirely to disappear by 2035.
As recently as early January, Pachauri rudely dismissed an Indian government report that found the “sensational” prediction to be unsupported by the evidence. Pachauri called the government report “voodoo science.” Barely two weeks later, the ipcc was forced officially to retract the claim, after the supposed expert on whose authority it had been based refused to stand behind it. The expert in question, Syed Iqbal Hasnain, is a teri “distinguished fellow” and, per a recent teri press release, the head of teri’s “glaciology team.” He is also the coauthor of a presentation on the “Status of Indian Glaciers under Climatechange Scenarios” available on the HighNoon website.1 It now appears that the 2035 date was the product of a misreading of the findings of the geologist V.M. Kotlyakov, who in a 1996 paper estimated that at then-present rates of warming the world’s extra-polar glacier cover would diminish by 80 percent by . . . 2350.
The projected eu contribution to HighNoon is €3,311,756. It is telling that a recent and related Carnegie Corporation grant to teri and an Icelandic partner institution is worth barely one-tenth of this total. This is to say that for scare-mongering “climate researchers” like Pachauri and Hasnain, private American foundation money is just, so to speak, icing on the cake. eu money is the cake. Pachauri’s teri is a partner institution in no less than six research projects that have thus far been funded under the eu’s Seventh Framework Programme. Three of the six are on “climate change.” Numerous U.S. institutions, both public institutions and private educational institutions, are likewise participants in eu-funded “climate research” projects.
Among the files to be found in last November’s online document dump is a spreadsheet of grant monies received by Professor Phil Jones, the former director of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (cru). Jones “stood aside” from his post shortly after the compromising documents were made public. Above all on account of its imposing £13,718,547 total — or over $21 million at current exchange rates — the spreadsheet attracted attention in both new and even some old media. The data in it clearly reflect the importance of eu funding for the “climate research” agenda of Jones and the cru. But they also in fact underestimate the importance of eu funding. By far the largest grants included in the spreadsheet are operating grants to two research centers: the Institute for Connective Environmental Research and the Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research. As a British public educational institution, the University of East Anglia naturally relies on British public sources to cover the operating costs of its research centers.
But they underestimate the importance of EU funding. By far the largest grants in the spreadsheet are operating grants to two centers.
If one removes these two operating grants and considers only the project-related funding, Jones’s total haul falls to £4,379,264 for the roughly decade-and-a-half (1990–2006) covered by the spreadsheet. Of this amount, some £1,882,706 — or 43 percent — came from the European Union. Moreover, the importance of the European funding clearly increases with time, representing some 48percent of the project-related grant monies after 2000< and fully 52 percent after 2002. The latter date is of particular significance for European “climate activism,” since it was in 2002 that the European Union and all its then-member states simultaneously submitted their ratifications of the Kyoto Protocol, the eu’s showcase international initiative for “combating” climate change. The year 2002 also marked the start of the sixth Framework Programme.
It should be noted that some of Jones’s domestic British sources of research funding are themselves in turn beneficiaries of eu money. This is the case for both the uk Met Office — which is a partner in several eu-funded climate research projects —and the Natural Environment Research Council (nerc). The nerc, moreover, makes no bones about its avid interest in helping uk scientists to “leverage” eu money.2 As it happens, such a “leverage effect” — i.e., the stimulation of additional public and private investment as a consequence of eu funding — is one of the express aims of the eu legislation adopting the current Framework Programme.3
That eu money would come to swamp domestic British sources of funding even in the work of Professor Phil Jones is particularly impressive given just how relatively limited the horizons of the professor appear to have been. The real “internationalist” in the East Anglia group was clearly Mike Hulme, the director of the Tyndall Center. Thus, on June 18, 2004 Hulme and two of his associates sent an e-mail to Jones and several other recipients announcing:
The Tyndall Centre is intending to lead a bid for a large eu research project (ca. 12-15 million Euros in the initial bid) on climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in Europe. The call was announced this week with outline bids (ca. 20 pages) due by October (3rd call of the sixth framework programme, fp6).
The Tyndall trio went on to invite the recipients to participate in the bid. Jones then proceeded to forward the e-mail to two of his Climate Research Unit colleagues along with the following note:
Dave and Clare,
I am presuming we (cru) don’t want to get involved with this.
“Err! yes i think this would be good to get involved,” Dave Viner replied. The successful bid would become adam — “Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies: Supporting European Climate Policy” — a project funded by the European Union to the tune of nearly €13 million. According to an “indicative budget” included in the East Anglia document file, as the lead participating institution the University of East Anglia alone was slated to receive a cool €1.84 million.4 Another document contained in the file indicates that Jones was part of a group applying for fp7 funding at the very time that the “Climategate” scandal broke. The document is dated November 9, 2009. The abbreviated title of the proposed project offers some curious insight into just how Jones and his colleagues viewed the eu. The full title is “European Reanalysis and Observations for Monitoring,” out of which the authors managed creatively to extract the abbreviation euro4m. But the short-form title would seem more obviously to refer to something else: namely, the €4 million in support that the researchers were requesting!
EU funding and the politicization
It is no accident that eu funding leads to politicized science. “Promoting research that supports eu policies” is, after all, one of the stated “main strategic objectives” of the Research dg’s framework programmes.5 Indeed, the joint European Council/European Parliament decision adopting Framework Programme 7 promises “a new approach . . . which should allow the political objectives of Community research policy to be reached more easily.”6
The decision identifies ten thematic areas for research support and “community action.” For each of them, a “rationale” is provided and key “activities” are identified. The rationale for including “energy” among the ten areas is explained by, among other things, “the need to curb dramatically emissions of greenhouse gases in order to mitigate the devastating consequences of climate change.” In keeping with this rationale, “co2 capture and storage technologies for zero emission power generation” is identified as a key “activity.” Not surprisingly, “Environment (including climate change)” is another of the ten thematic areas. The “rationale” provided for its inclusion notes that “earth’s natural resources and the man-made environment are under intense pressure from . . . climate variability and warming at local, regional and global scales.”
In other words, the eu’s funding for climate research is based on the proverbial assumption that the science is “settled,” the debate “over.” Skeptics, so to say, need not apply. That the earth is warming, that the causes are anthropogenic, and that the consequences will be devastating — all these propositions, despite their largely empirical character, are treated as axiomatic by the eu’s program and hence placed outside the realm of legitimate inquiry. The program is thus at variance with the very nature of the normal scientific process. When Barack Obama went to Copenhagen in December and declared that “the reality of climate change is not in doubt” and that all that remained was to agree on actions “to meet the challenge,” he was merely repeating European dogma. The eu decision adopting the seventh “framework programme” serves, in effect, to promulgate this dogma: to establish it by law for the entire “European research area,” i.e. for all the eu member states and their some 500 million inhabitants. While decreeing empirical truths may have been a matter of course for Church authorities in the Middle Ages, it is surely extraordinary to find the political authorities of supposedly democratic nations doing the same in the 21st century.
If we consider, moreover, the concrete policy objectives that eu-funded “climate research” is designed to support, it is hardly surprising that eu funding would favor dogma over science. The centerpiece of eu“climate change mitigation” efforts is, after all, the Kyoto protocol. Indeed, the Kyoto protocol has arguably been the single most high-profile eu policy initiative bar none. With the protocol set to expire at the end of 2012, the focus of current eu efforts is to have a new Kyoto-like international agreement in place by that date and to succeed in involving the United States this time as party to it. But unless all three of the highly contestable propositions enumerated above are true, the emissions-trading scheme at the heart of the Kyoto arrangements amounts to nothing more than an enormous and wasteful boondoggle. All the various and sundry “mitigation” strategies — such as the development of “carbon capture” technologies, for instance — would be boondoggles as well.
But just why would the eu want to promote such a system of boondoggles? In order to answer that question, one needs to go back in time: to 1990.
1990: Kyoto’s secret history
According to abelief that is widespread among “climate skeptics,” the global warming scare and Kyoto’s ostensible solution are just means to an end, and the end in question is in fact entirely unrelated to climate or the environment. They are, in effect, just a backdoor route to global socialism. Now, it is certainly true that Kyoto hands over enormous power to international bureaucracies and subordinates markets to their whims. Indeed, the emissions trading scheme does more than just subject markets to political control. By dictating companies’ and countries’ need for carbon credits, it actually conjures a market into existence purely by government fiat. But the socialist Trojan horse explanation for Kyoto requires that we attribute an implausibly large degree of foresight and premeditation to European actors and/or their un “co-conspirators.”
eu bureaucrats and the national political elites in the two major continental European powers, Germany and France, are undoubtedly overwhelmingly inclined to favor a directive role for state institutions. But they did not need to have any grand design for global government in order to find Kyoto attractive. Simple opportunism and the aggressive pursuit of national interest were sufficient. For the terms of the Kyoto accord are in fact enormously advantageous for the eu. Most fundamentally, they are advantageous for the country representing the eu’s largest economy: Germany. They are more or less neutral for most other eu member states. And they are enormously disadvantageous for the United States.
Kyoto was essentially conceived as a deal between the eu and the U.S., the world’s two largest economic areas in terms of gdp. Other parties to the agreement are largely window dressing. Under the banner of “common but differentiated responsibilities,” the treaty implicitly recognizes this fact. “Common but differentiated responsibilities” is a bizarre sort of newspeak for a novel type of international “agreement” under which many of the parties, in effect, only “agree” to other parties doing things. The Kyoto accord creates no concrete obligations whatsoever for some 150 of the 189 countries that are presently party to it. It is hardly surprising, then, that it was possible to get them to sign on.
Many of the Annex I countries, however, benefit from targets that are so lenient that they too incur no real obligations.
Indeed, by allowing developing countries to sell carbon credits to industrialized countries as part of the so-called Clean Development Mechanism (cdm), Kyoto creates a positive financial incentive for the developing countries to join. Only countries that have ratified Kyoto may participate in the cdm. In light of its existence, it would have been astonishing for poorer countries to refuse to join the Kyoto system. They had literally nothing to lose and cold hard cash to gain. India’s National cdmAuthority estimates that the country will be able to earn nearly $6 billion on the carbon credit market by the year 2012.7 China and Brazil are likewise major beneficiaries of the cdm.
So-called Annex I countries are a different matter. “Annex I” refers to Annex I of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Kyoto accord is a protocol to the convention. Unlike the developing countries, the Annex I countries do incur practical obligations under Kyoto in the form of emissions reduction or limitation targets — at least, in theory. The targets concern a bundle of “greenhouse gases” of which co2is the key component. Many of the Annex I countries, however, benefit from targets that are so lenient that they too incur no real obligations. Russia, for instance, is only required to hold its emissions at or below 1990nbsp;levels. Given the collapse of Soviet-era industries, this meant that Russia would be sure to have plenty of “hot air” to spare and could only be a financial beneficiary of the Kyoto arrangements.
Australia is one of three Annex I countries assigned a positive emissions target under the treaty, thus being officially allowed to increase its emissions in relation to the 1990 base year. But Australia was not only given the benefit of a positive target. By virtue of what is commonly referred to in the literature as the Australia clause, it was also allowed to include emissions from land clearing in the calculation of its emissions total for the base year. The effect of this was massively to inflate the base year emissions total, thus rendering the real allowance even greater than the official 8 percent.
On the other hand, all but two of the present day eu member states are officially required to reduce their emissions under the treaty. Twenty-three of them incur the maximum requirement of an 8 percent emissions reduction. On closer inspection, however, it turns out that for the most part this apparently stringent requirement translates in practice into minimal requirements or indeed none at all.
In 1990, of course, something rather epoch-making occurred in Europe: German reunification.
The fundamental source of the legerdemain is the selection of the year 1990 as the reference date for measuring emissions reductions. In 1990, of course, something rather epoch-making occurred in Europe: German reunification. As a result of reunification, East Germany’s highly inefficient, highly carbon-intensive industries were quickly wound down. This would be reflected in a sudden and substantial drop in the reunified country’s overall co2 emissions figures. Now, it might be thought that only Germany itself could benefit from this fact under Kyoto. Why should the other eu countries have gone along with the trick?
But under Kyoto other countries are in fact also able to benefit from Germany’s statistical “good fortune.” The protocol permits groups of countries to share their emissions reduction burden. Among Kyoto cognoscenti, this arrangement is colloquially known as a bubble. Nominally, each of the fifteen states that comprised the eu at the time of Kyoto’s adoption is supposed to reduce its emissions by 8 percent in relation to 1990 levels. But thanks to their formation of a bubble, in reality they are only committed to collectively reducing their emissions by this amount. The actual individual commitments are laid out in Annex 2 of the April 2002 European Council decision approving the ratification of Kyoto.
Germany graciously agreed to take on the seemingly disproportionate “burden” of a 21 percent reduction in emissions. As the top line in Figure I below illustrates, the country has already achieved such a 21 percent reduction in co2 emissions. The graph is adapted from the textbook Renewable Energy and Climate Change (Wiley & Sons, 2010) by Professor Volker Quaschning of Berlin’s Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft. As the other two curves in the graph make clear, however, Germany’s prima facie impressive achievement is largely just a statistical by-product of the precipitous fall in eastern German emissions in the early 1990<. The evolution of co2 emissions in eastern Germany is represented by the bottom curve. The middle curve represents the evolution of co2 emissions in western Germany. As can be seen, on Professor Quaschning’s calculations, from 1990 until today, they have remained almost unchanged.
And what of Germany’s principal partner in European integration? Under the eu bubble arrangement, France has no obligation to reduce its “greenhouse gas” emissions. It is only supposed to hold them steady at 1990 levels. All told, seven of the fifteen eu member states forming part of the eu “bubble” have no emissions reduction requirement. Five members of this group are indeed permitted to increase their emissions, some of them by vast amounts.
The 1990 Kyoto base year was also, of course, beneficial for the ten “post-Communist” Eastern European countries that were candidates for eu-membership at the time of Kyoto’s adoption in 1997 and that would subsequently join the eu. In case it was not beneficial enough, however, the ten countries were permitted to opt for a year other than 1990 as their base year or even to use the average over a period of years. Unsurprisingly, several of them opted to employ a base year or period upstream of 1990 when their still communist-era industries were pumping out the maximum amount of co2. Equally unsurprisingly, almost all of these countries will be able to meet their Kyoto targets without any difficulty and without having to have taken any special measures to do so.
And what of the United States? Under the terms of the Kyoto protocol, the U.S. is supposed to reduce its emissions by 7 percent. On the face of it, this is a slightly less stringent target than that accepted by the eu15. But what does this 7 percent mean in practice? Well, it means 7 percent. The U.S. was granted none of the hidden indulgences that have allowed other industrialized nations to continue emitting “greenhouse gases” at unchanged levels or even to increase their emissions.
It is hardly surprising, then, that according to calculations undertaken by Yale economist William Nordhaus, the United States alone was slated to bear some two-thirds of the total costs of the protocol as originally conceived and four times the costs borne by the eu15.8 From both Nordhaus’s analysis and the details of the treaty itself, it would appear that the other major loser under the terms of the Kyoto accord is Japan, which is saddled with a hard and fast 6 percent emissions reduction target.
The march of the pgos
Here is an update on the Inter-reg proposal,” Tyndall Center associate Iain Brown writes to Mike Hulme and two other colleagues in an e-mail dated January 29, 2004, “ . . . Aiming for a 3 year project of 3–4 million Euros.” interreg is yet another eu funding scheme, this one attached to the Directorate General for Regional Policy. The proposal in question would become the interreg-funded project branch: Biodiversity Requires Adaptation in Northwest Europe under a Changing Climate. But in case the interreg application failed, Brown suggested some possible backups: “Other alternatives are life and Framework VI.”
As mentioned above, lifeis the financing instrument of the Directorate General for the Environment. The current life + program, covering the period from 2007 through 2013, makes available €2.143 billion in funding.9 Contrary to Iain Brown’s apparent expectation, ordinarily life would not in fact fund scientific research. But what it does fund is highly relevant to the story of climate alarmism. If the eu’s Research dg and its Framework Programmes have corrupted the scientific process as it pertains to climate, the Environment dg and its life program have distorted public debate and thereby undermined the very democratic process. They have done so, notably, by financing ngos.
The leaking of the East Anglia e-mails and documents sparked a remarkable and, in many ways, unprecedented process of public scrutiny of the supposed climate science consensus via blogs and online discussion forums. One of the most troubling discoveries made by the scrutinizers was the vast number of allegedly scientific claims in the ipcc’s 2007 Fourth Assessment Report that were referenced not to peer-reviewed scientific journals, but rather to advocacy groups or ngos. As judged by the number of citations, perhaps the most authoritative of the nonscientific “authorities” cited in the ipcc report is the self-styled conservation organization that goes by the initials wwf. The acronym originally stood for “World Wildlife Fund,” and the American branch of the organization still uses this name. The organization as such, however, is now officially known as “wwf—World Wide Fund for Nature.”
According to publicly available European Commission data, WWF was awarded nearly 9 million euros in EU support in 2008 alone.
The infamous Himalayan glacier retreat prediction in Chapter 10 of the ipcc report, for instance, is supported by nothing more than a citation of a 2005 wwf paper (which cites in turn Syed Iqbal Hasnain). As Donna Laframboise of the No Frakking “Scientific Consensus” blog has pointed out, a search of the ipcc’s Fourth assessment report turns up dozens of citations of no less than sixteen wwf-sponsored papers or pamphlets.10
Now, it is commonly assumed, even by many ipcc critics, that wwf is a private advocacy organization funded by donations from the public. This is hardly surprising given that wwf does, of course, engage in high-profile fundraising efforts. wwf commercials have indeed helped to popularize what is undoubtedly the most iconic image of the supposedly nefarious effects of a warming climate: the stranded polar bear floating aimlessly on what we are led to believe are ever diminishing chunks of ice.
But wwf also receives substantial funding from the European Union. Indeed, the financial ties between the eu and wwf are so regular and systematic that it would be more accurate to describe the organization as a pgo — or “para-governmental organization” — rather than an ngo.
According to publicly available European Commission data, wwf was awarded nearly €9 million in eu support in 2008 alone. In 2007, the figure was over €7.5 million. The money came from several different eu budget lines, including development aid, “communication,” and the environment dg’s life+ program. Most of the support took the form of ostensibly project-linked grants to wwf-International or its national affiliates. The largest single grant — for €3,499,999 — went to wwf-International in 2007. wwf is so intimately familiar with eu money that it has even edited a handbook on eu environmental funding on behalf of the European Commission. In February of this year, the organization advertised a job opening with the title “European Funding Coordinator.” “The European Funding Coordinator will promote funding interactions between the eu as a donor and the wwf Global programme,” the job description explains.
Not all of the eu’s funding of wwf, moreover, is project-linked. Most significantly for present purposes, wwf’s European Policy Office in Brussels receives an annual “operating grant” from the Environment dg. According to publicly available European Commission data, in 2009 this contribution amounted to €661,878, representing 15.46 percent of the office’s total budget. wwf’s European Policy Office has been awarded an annual operating grant from the eu every year since 1997. In earlier years, the subsidy represented as much as 28 percent of the office’s budget. In addition, since 2002 the organization’s Danube-Carpathian Programme Office in Vienna has likewise received regular operating grants from the eu.11
The period of the eu’s financing of the wwf policy office happens largely to coincide with the period covered by the East Anglia e-mails. wwf and wwf officials make several appearances in the e-mails. The general tenor of the organization’s interaction with the scientists is unmistakable.
In October 1997, for instance, just two months before the Kyoto climate conference, Andrew Kerr of the wwf Climate Change Campaign can be found berating the Japanese government for proposing “scandalous” emissions reduction targets for industrialized nations: i.e., more realistic, less misleading, and more equitable targets than those that would ultimately be adopted. “It is vital that European governments reject the proposal in no uncertain terms and urge Japan to at least support the eu standpoint,” Kerr writes. In July 1999, Dr. A. Barrie Pittock of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (csiro) can be found well-nigh pleading with Mike Hulme to alter climate change scenarios being prepared by Hulme on a wwf grant. “Our main concern . . . is your use of the 95% confidence limits of natural climatic variability as some sort of threshold for change,” Dr. Pittock writes.
This is a reasonable thing to do if you are addressing the question of whether climatic change will be detectable at a “scientific level” of confidence, but that is certainly not the question I would expect wwf to want answered . . . I would be very concerned if the material comes out under wwf auspices in a way that can be interpreted as saying that “even a greenie group like wwf” thinks large areas of the world will have negligible climate change.
After receiving assurances from Hulme about changes in the latter’s presentation, a relieved Pittock (“I am now much happier”) sheepishly explains the background to his intercession:
I should perhaps explain my delicate position in all this . . . I have a son who is now a leading staff member of wwf in Australia and who is naturally well informed on climate change issues. Moreover, Michael Rae, who is their local climate change staffer, is a member of the csiro sector advisory committee.
One day after receiving Pittock’s plea, Hulme received still more indirect “input” from wwf, this time via Adam Markham. Markham tells him that “in particular, they [wwf] would like to see the section on variability and extreme events beefed up if possible.” In an e-mail sent August 6, 2003, Stephan Singer of wwf’s European Policy Office can be found flogging that summer’s European heat wave as proof of “truly global warming” and offering money for a study on the “economic costs of these weather extremes.”
How could allegedly man-made global warming come to eclipse unquestionably man-made terrorism?
Several other so-called ngos that have played important roles in the promotion of the Kyoto protocol and the supposed fight against “global warming” are likewise beneficiaries of eu operating subsidies. During the Copenhagen conference in December, the youthful militants of the environmentalist group Friends of the Earth earned a particular reputation for rowdiness, leading to the group’s highly publicized banning from the Bella conference center. Friends of the Earth is commonly described as a “grassroots” organization. Magda Stoczkiewicz, the director of Friends of the Earth Europe, complained bitterly about the ban: “If Friends of the Earth is not allowed inside the un negotiations we cannot play our crucial role in bringing the voices of citizens to the talks, especially the voices of those who are disadvantaged and already suffering most because of climate change.”
But consultation of eu funding data reveals Stoczkiewicz’s pretence to representing “civil society” and the “climate-disadvantaged” global masses to be a sham. In every year from 2003 through 2009, Friends of the Earth Europe was awarded operating grants from the eu’s Environment dg representing anywhere from 40 percent to 53 percent of its annual budget. Friends of the Earth Europe has been receiving eu subsidies since 1997. The Climate Action Network Europe, an umbrella group of European ngos, has received operating grants from the eu’s Environment dg representing anywhere from 34 percent to 64 percent of its budget in every year from 2003 through 2009. In all but one year, the grant was over 50 percent.
One of the great political puzzles of the last decade is how allegedly manmade global warming — a purely hypothetical threat, of which no one has to date suffered any known consequences — could come to eclipse unquestionably manmade terrorism as the greatest “global challenge” of our times. That this development could occur during a decade in which by all accounts global temperatures have on the average declined renders the mystery all the greater. During this same decade, at least tens of thousands, and more likely hundreds of thousands, have fallen victim to Islamist-inspired terror attacks in the United States, India, Iraq, Great Britain, Tunisia, Russia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Israel, Somalia, Spain, and numerous other countries around the world.
The eclipsing of the real and immediate threat of Islamist terror by the hypothetical long-term threat of “global warming” represents an obvious aberration. It simply cannot be the result of the spontaneous uprising of the global masses, as Friends of the Earth and other eu-funded pressure groups would like to make us believe. Instead, it would appear that the very practice of eu-funding of ngos has helped to create a sort of pseudo civil society, amidst the din of whose protests and press releases and media campaigns the interests of actual civil society have become all but inaudible.
John Rosenthal writes regularly on European politics for publications such as the Weekly Standard and the Daily Caller. More of his work can be found at www.trans-int.com.
1 Accessed January 22, 2010.
2 See Natural Environment Research Council, “An International Plan for nerc.” According to nerc’s 2008–09 annual report, nerc itself received £4.3 million in support from the eu in the 2008–09 fiscal year.
3 See Decision No. 1982/2006/ec of the European Parliament and of the Council.
4 The university’s final take was presumably even higher, since the proposed budget assumes an eu grant of “only” €12 million.
5 European Commission, FP7 in Brief (2007), 7.
6 See Decision No. 1982/2006/ec of the European Parliament and of the Council.
7 See http://www.cdmindia.nic.in/, (accessed February 26, 2010). For a revealing example of how the cdm works, see Christopher Booker, “£60m bill for the co2 of our political class,” Telegraph (February 20, 2010).
8 See William D. Nordhaus, “Global Warming Economics,” Science, 294 (November 9, 2001), Figure 3. By “total costs” here I mean just the sum of the costs of all the countries or regions bearing costs. Nordhaus’s chart includes a bar representing “world costs,” which is something different.
9 See Regulation No. 614/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council.
10 Richard North’s EUReferendum blog should be mentioned as another blog that played a major role in drawing attention to the ipcc’s dependence upon wwf.
11 Data on eu operating subsidies to environmental ngos is available at http://ec.europa.eu/...t_ngos97_07.htm, (accessed June 30, 2010).
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Posted 12 October 2010 - 01:03 AM
Brave scientist calls out the global warming fraudsters
Big money and big politics have corrupted Big Science, and global warming is the proof.
The American Physical Society is the pre-eminent academic organization of American physicists, and supportive of the global warming fraud, which has generated billions of dollars in research funding for Big Science. In an extraordinary act, a prominent scientist has resigned from the APS, in protest of its forsaking of genuine science. Generally, scientists do not voluntarily separate themselves from such honors as membership in the APS.
Harold Lewis, Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, sent the following letter to Curtis G. Callan Jr, Princeton University, President of the American Physical Society, an act Anthony Watts likens to Martin Luther nailing his theses to the door of Wittenburg Cathedral. The letter speaks for itself, laying out the problem of corruption of big science:
When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago). Indeed, the choice of physics as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence-it was World War II that changed all that. The prospect of worldly gain drove few physicists. As recently as thirty-five years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate pressure on us as physicists. We were therefore able to produce what I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that time. We were further enabled by the presence of an oversight committee consisting of Pief Panofsky, Vicki Weisskopf, and Hans Bethe, all towering physicists beyond reproach. I was proud of what we did in a charged atmosphere. In the end the oversight committee, in its report to the APS President, noted the complete independence in which we did the job, and predicted that the report would be attacked from both sides. What greater tribute could there be?
How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d'être of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.
It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford's book organizes the facts very well.) I don't believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.
So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it. For example:
1. About a year ago a few of us sent an e-mail on the subject to a fraction of the membership. APS ignored the issues, but the then President immediately launched a hostile investigation of where we got the e-mail addresses. In its better days, APS used to encourage discussion of important issues, and indeed the Constitution cites that as its principal purpose. No more. Everything that has been done in the last year has been designed to silence debate
2. The appallingly tendentious APS statement on Climate Change was apparently written in a hurry by a few people over lunch, and is certainly not representative of the talents of APS members as I have long known them. So a few of us petitioned the Council to reconsider it. One of the outstanding marks of (in)distinction in the Statement was the poison word incontrovertible, which describes few items in physics, certainly not this one. In response APS appointed a secret committee that never met, never troubled to speak to any skeptics, yet endorsed the Statement in its entirety. (They did admit that the tone was a bit strong, but amazingly kept the poison word incontrovertible to describe the evidence, a position supported by no one.) In the end, the Council kept the original statement, word for word, but approved a far longer "explanatory" screed, admitting that there were uncertainties, but brushing them aside to give blanket approval to the original. The original Statement, which still stands as the APS position, also contains what I consider pompous and asinine advice to all world governments, as if the APS were master of the universe. It is not, and I am embarrassed that our leaders seem to think it is. This is not fun and games, these are serious matters involving vast fractions of our national substance, and the reputation of the Society as a scientific society is at stake.
3. In the interim the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news, and the machinations of the principal alarmists were revealed to the world. It was a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to describe its enormity. Effect on the APS position: none. None at all. This is not science; other forces are at work.
4. So a few of us tried to bring science into the act (that is, after all, the alleged and historic purpose of APS), and collected the necessary 200+ signatures to bring to the Council a proposal for a Topical Group on Climate Science, thinking that open discussion of the scientific issues, in the best tradition of physics, would be beneficial to all, and also a contribution to the nation. I might note that it was not easy to collect the signatures, since you denied us the use of the APS membership list. We conformed in every way with the requirements of the APS Constitution, and described in great detail what we had in mind-simply to bring the subject into the open.<
5. To our amazement, Constitution be damned, you declined to accept our petition, but instead used your own control of the mailing list to run a poll on the members' interest in a TG on Climate and the Environment. You did ask the members if they would sign a petition to form a TG on your yet-to-be-defined subject, but provided no petition, and got lots of affirmative responses. (If you had asked about sex you would have gotten more expressions of interest.) There was of course no such petition or proposal, and you have now dropped the Environment part, so the whole matter is moot. (Any lawyer will tell you that you cannot collect signatures on a vague petition, and then fill in whatever you like.) The entire purpose of this exercise was to avoid your constitutional responsibility to take our petition to the Council.
6. As of now you have formed still another secret and stacked committee to organize your own TG, simply ignoring our lawful petition.
APS management has gamed the problem from the beginning, to suppress serious conversation about the merits of the climate change claims. Do you wonder that I have lost confidence in the organization?
I do feel the need to add one note, and this is conjecture, since it is always risky to discuss other people's motives. This scheming at APS HQ is so bizarre that there cannot be a simple explanation for it. Some have held that the physicists of today are not as smart as they used to be, but I don't think that is an issue. I think it is the money, exactly what Eisenhower warned about a half-century ago. There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club. Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise. As the old saying goes, you don't have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. Since I am no philosopher, I'm not going to explore at just which point enlightened self-interest crosses the line into corruption, but a careful reading of the ClimateGate releases makes it clear that this is not an academic question.
I want no part of it, so please accept my resignation. APS no longer represents me, but I hope we are still friends.
Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chmn of Technology panel; Chairman DSB study on Nuclear Winter; Former member Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Former member, President's Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee; Chairman APS study on Nuclear Reactor Safety
Chairman Risk Assessment Review Group; Co-founder and former Chairman of JASON; Former member USAF Scientific Advisory Board; Served in US Navy in WW II; books: Technological Risk (about, surprise, technological risk) and Why Flip a Coin (about decision making)
Posted 02 November 2010 - 07:48 PM
Wednesday, November 03, 2010 at 06:37am
SO you think I exaggerate when I say global warming is just the latest cause of the closet totalitarian?
Then pay close attention to an experiment the warmists are about to inflict on the people of Norfolk Island.
Be warned. What’s being trialled there with $390,000 of Gillard Government money may, if it works, be spread to the mainland, say the researchers.
Which means it’s coming for you.
The plan - and, no, I’m not joking - is to put Norfolk Islanders on rations to fight both global warming and obesity.
Funded by the Australian Research Council, and approved by the Socialist Left Science Minister Kim Carr, researchers from the Southern Cross University will give each volunteer on the island a “carbon card”.
Every time they buy petrol, electricity or an air flight, they will have “carbon units” deducted from the fixed allowance on their card.
More units will be lost each time they buy fatty foods, or produce flown in from a long way away.
If, at the end of each year or so, they have carbon units left over, they can sell them. If they’ve blown their allocation, they must buy more.
But each year, the number of carbon units in this market will be cut, causing their price to soar - and thus the price of extra food, power and petrol to rise - because the idea is to cut greenhouse gases and make Norfolk Islanders trim, taut and terrifically moral.
Conservatives well aware of human fallibility will immediately spot the obvious flaw in this latest scheme of the Left to remake humanity.
It’s this: what happens when people run out of their carbon rations, and can’t afford the extra units they need to buy more fuel, power or even food?
This is precisely what I put this week to Garry Egger, head of this experiment and professor of Lifestyle Medicine and Applied Health Promotion at SCU.
His response was astonishing and revealing, because this basic question - which so exposes the teeth of the totalitarian - would have been one you’d think he’d long wrestled with.
After all, his personal carbon trading idea is not new, so much does it appeal to the fingerwaggers and bullies infesting the global warming faith.
As far back as 2006, Britain’s then environmental minister, David Miliband, proposed a similar scheme, since endorsed by the Environment Agency and House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee, which even insisted the Government defy howls of protest from mere voters.
“Widespread public acceptance, while desirable, should not be a pre-condition for a personal carbon trading scheme; the need to reduce emissions is simply too urgent,” the MPs said, before being driven off to dinner.
(Or as our own Professor Clive Hamilton, author and former Greens candidate, puts it, global warming is so “horrible” that leaders must look to “canvassing of emergency responses such as the suspension of democratic processes”.)
Nor is Egger’s idea new in Australia, The farcical “ideas summit” of prime minister Kevin Rudd’s 1000 “best and brightest” Australians also recommended it - which is a very good reason to be alert and alarmed.
“We have the technology now to create a ‘carbon account’ for individuals,” says the summit’s report, in between appeals for chairbound workers to be given 30 minutes a day of exercise and stairs to climb at work.
Yet although carbon rationing plans have been kicked around for years by the Left, that key question of the conservative has still not been answered. As in: what if people don’t want to live your dream? What if they rebel, or merely fail you?
Let’s go to the transcript of my interview with Egger on MTR 1377 this week, to see how he answered.
Me: What happens to those people who overdraw their carbon emissions ...
Egger: In the first year you are just warned ... (Later) if you overspend, you’ve got to buy the units that are cashed in ...
Me: If you put this in on the mainland and you were really strict about it - you really thought the world was warming very, very dangerously and someone exceeded their rations of these carbon units - one would presume that you would make food, for example, too expensive for them to buy.
Egger: That’s right ... so if you’ve got, for example, a very fatty unhealthy food that is imported from overseas which takes a lot of carbon to develop it, then the price would go up ...
Me: What happens to a very fat family, a very irresponsibly fat family, and they’ve blown their carbon budget to the scheissenhausen and you’ve made their food terribly expensive? What about the kids? They go to breakfast and they’ve got one baked bean?
Egger: In general you’ll find that in a very fat family they are low-income earners ... so those people would actually benefit from a scheme like this because the food that they buy, the energy that they use, they don’t use as much energy as the rich anyway ...
Me: But what happens? Their ration of carbon credits runs out and you’ve made food too expensive for them to buy. What happens to them?
Egger: Again, they get money back from doing the right thing.
Me: No, but they’ve done the wrong thing. That’s why they are fat and poor. They’ve done the wrong thing, they’ve run out of their carbon credits. What are you going to do to them then, when the food’s too expensive to buy?
Egger: There are going to be personal cases like this that need to be worked out and they need to be worked out in the tax system as well as in the carbon credits system.
Egger, founder of GutBusters, undoubtedly means to do good. He has no wish to see children starve.
YET I think we have here an insight into a key failing of so many grand schemes of the Left to improve resistant humans or build for them someone else’s idea of the perfect society.
These schemes so often are too perfect for the flawed humans they supposedly serve. But it’s the humans who must then adapt to the system, and not the other way around. Which is where some force is required; some democracy sacrificed.
What a buzz for the closet totalitarian then, to bully other people “for their
own good” - in this case, to “save the planet”.
When the cause is so just, which planet-saver could let some contemptible fatty stand in their way, begging for the carbon credits to feed their chubby children?
On the other hand, which planet-saver would deny themselves any aid or comfort in this great struggle?
Need an illustration of what I’m talking about? Egger himself plans to jet off to Mexico next month to boast to a United Nations global warming conference how he persuaded Norfolk Islanders to ration just such joy flights for themselves.
This is your future coming right at you, folks. Best you realise it’s no longer a joke.
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