Climategate erupted 6 years ago today

November 30, 2009

Ultimately, the climate frauds were seeking power over our economies, our liberties, and our countries. (See full PJM/PJTV coverage of Climategate here.)

Most conspiracy theories are nonsense. But not all, it’s sad to say. A political machine is a successful conspiracy against the public, after all, and we’ve had machine politics in America since the 19th century. Chicago is run by a Democratic machine. Illinois is a machine state. 

Those are successful and profitable conspiracies, at least for the insiders. They are dreadful for average citizens, because in a kleptocracy it is corruption that rules the streets. That is why the inner city schools in Chicago still fail their children; it is why drug gangs kill teenagers on the South Side; it is why kids have kids, and just pass on the social pathology; it is why Chicagoans who can afford it move out of the blasted neighborhoods, leaving them to gangsters and their victims; and it is why Governor Blagojevich openly demanded his share of the loot before appointing a U.S. senator to follow Obama.

It is no comfort to know that Barack Obama rose to power in the hustler world of Chicago politics and that Mayor Daley, Michelle Obama, and Valerie Jarrett, all faithful creatures of the machine, decided on all the appointments in this administration.

So what about the Climategate fiasco, the Watergate scandal of our age and time? Well, the global warming fraud is simply machine politics on the international level. Mark Steyn has coined the word “tranzi” for the transnational left that runs the UN, the European Union, most European capitals, and both left coasts of the United States. Tranzis are the political machine of our time.
The good news is that “anthropogenic global warming” — the most costly and widespread scientific fraud in history — just crumbled to fairy dust. We have emails from some of the biggest malefactors to prove it. (James Lewis, PJM)

If you're wondering how the robot-like march of the world's politicians towards Copenhagen can possibly continue in the face of the scientific scandal dubbed "climategate," it's because Big Government, Big Business and Big Green don't give a s*** about "the science."

They never have.

What "climategate" suggests is many of the world's leading climate scientists didn't either. Apparently they stifled their own doubts about recent global cooling not explained by their computer models, manipulated data, plotted ways to avoid releasing it under freedom of information laws and attacked fellow scientists and scientific journals for publishing even peer-reviewed literature of which they did not approve.

Now they and their media shills -- who sneered that all who questioned their phony "consensus" were despicable "deniers," the moral equivalent of those who deny the Holocaust -- are the ones in denial about the enormity of the scandal enveloping them.

So they desperately try to portray it as the routine "messy" business of science, lamely insisting, "nothing to see here folks, move along."

Before the Internet -- which has given ordinary people a way to fight back against the received wisdom of so-called "wise elites" -- they might have gotten away with it.

But not now, as knowledgeable climate bloggers are advancing the story and forcing the co-opted mainstream media to cover a scandal most would rather ignore.

The problem, however, is those who hijacked science to predict a looming Armageddon unless we do exactly as they say, have already done their damage.

The moment they convinced politicians the way to avert the End of Days was to put a price on emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the unholy alliance of Big Government, Big Business and Big Green was forged.

Big Government wants more of your taxes. Big Business wants more of your income. Big Green wants you and your children to bow down to its agenda of enforced austerity.

What about saving the planet, you ask? This was never about saving the planet. This is about money and power. Your money. Their power. (Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun)

Well, maybe not my top 10…but the first ten that I thought of. (Roy W. Spencer)

IPCC expert reviewer Gray — whose 1,898 comments critical of the 2007 report were ignored — recently found that proof of the fraud was public for years.
Nothing about the revelations surprises me. I have maintained email correspondence with most of these scientists for many years, and I know several personally. I long ago realized that they were faking the whole exercise. When you enter into a debate with any of them, they always stop cold when you ask an awkward question. This applies even when you write to a government department or a member of Parliament. I and many of my friends have grown accustomed to our failure to publish and to lecture, and to the rejection of our comments submitted prior to every IPCC report.
But only recently did I realize that I had evidence of their fraud in my possession almost from the birth of my interest in the subject. (Vincent Gray, PJM)

My favorite moment in the Climategate/Climaquiddick scandal currently roiling the "climate change" racket was Stuart Varney's interview on Fox News with the actor Ed Begley Jr., star of the 1980s medical drama "St Elsewhere" but latterly better known, as is the fashion with members of the thespian community, as an "activist." He's currently in a competition with Bill Nye ("the Science Guy") to see who can have the lowest "carbon footprint." Pistols at dawn would seem the quickest way of resolving that one, but presumably you couldn't get a reality series out of it. Anyway, Ed was relaxed about the mountain of documents recently leaked from Britain's Climate Research Unit, in which the world's leading climate-change warm-mongers e-mail each other back and forth on how to "hide the decline" and other interesting matters.

Nothing to worry about, folks. "We'll go down the path and see what happens in peer-reviewed studies," said Ed airily. "Those are the key words here, Stuart. 'Peer-reviewed studies.'"

Hang on. Could you say that again more slowly so I can write it down? Not to worry. Ed said it every 12 seconds, as if it were the magic charm that could make all the bad publicity go away. He wore an open-necked shirt, and, although I don't have a 76-inch HDTV, I wouldn't have been surprised to find a talismanic peer-reviewed amulet nestling in his chest hair for additional protection. "If these scientists have done something wrong, it will be found out and their peers will determine it," insisted Ed. "Don't get your information from me, folks, or any newscaster. Get it from people with Ph.D. after their names. 'Peer-reviewed studies' is the key words. And if it comes out in peer-reviewed studies."

Got it: Pier-reviewed studies. You stand on the pier, and you notice the tide seems to be coming in a little higher than it used to and you wonder if it's something to do with incandescent light bulbs killing the polar bears? Is that how it works? (Orange County Register)

Climate change: this is the worst scientific scandal of our generation - Our hopelessly compromised scientific establishment cannot be allowed to get away with the Climategate whitewash, says Christopher Booker
A week after my colleague James Delingpole, on his Telegraph blog, coined the term "Climategate" to describe the scandal revealed by the leaked emails from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, Google was showing that the word now appears across the internet more than nine million times. But in all these acres of electronic coverage, one hugely relevant point about these thousands of documents has largely been missed.

The reason why even the Guardian's George Monbiot has expressed total shock and dismay at the picture revealed by the documents is that their authors are not just any old bunch of academics. Their importance cannot be overestimated, What we are looking at here is the small group of scientists who have for years been more influential in driving the worldwide alarm over global warming than any others, not least through the role they play at the heart of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Professor Philip Jones, the CRU's director, is in charge of the two key sets of data used by the IPCC to draw up its reports. Through its link to the Hadley Centre, part of the UK Met Office, which selects most of the IPCC's key scientific contributors, his global temperature record is the most important of the four sets of temperature data on which the IPCC and governments rely – not least for their predictions that the world will warm to catastrophic levels unless trillions of dollars are spent to avert it.

Dr Jones is also a key part of the closely knit group of American and British scientists responsible for promoting that picture of world temperatures conveyed by Michael Mann's "hockey stick" graph which 10 years ago turned climate history on its head by showing that, after 1,000 years of decline, global temperatures have recently shot up to their highest level in recorded history.

Given star billing by the IPCC, not least for the way it appeared to eliminate the long-accepted Mediaeval Warm Period when temperatures were higher they are today, the graph became the central icon of the entire man-made global warming movement. (Christopher Booker, TDT)

As legions of scientists, activists, journalists, bureaucrats and politicians prepare to embark for Copenhagen, a predictable barrage of climate horrors has been unleashed, to advance proposals to slash hydrocarbon use and carbon dioxide emissions, restrict economic growth, and implement global governance and taxation.

CO2 has reached a new high (0.0385% of the atmosphere), we’re told, because of cars and “coal-fired factories of death.” Rising seas are forcing families to “flee their homes.” Oceans are becoming “toxic.” Climate change is driving Philippine women into prostitution. Higher temperatures will “increase the likelihood of civil war in Sub-Saharan Africa” and “bring human civilization to a screeching halt.” The Associated Press, BBC and other “mainstream” media dutifully regurgitate every press release.

However, the planet and science are not cooperating with the fear-mongering. There has been no statistically significant global warming for over a decade, despite steadily increasing CO2 levels – and for several years average annual global temperatures have actually declined.

Carbon dioxide plays only a minor role, many scientists now say, and our climate is still controlled by the same natural forces that caused previous climate changes: periodic shifts in ocean currents and jet streams, water vapor and cloud cover, evaporation and precipitation, planetary alignments and the shape of the Earth’s orbit, the tilt and wobble of Earth’s axis, cosmic ray levels and especially solar energy output.

Far worse for the Climate Armageddon movement, newly released emails from its leading scientists reveal a cesspool of intimidation, duplicity and fraud that could rock Copenhagen and the alarmist agenda to their core. The emails cast deepening suspicion over global warming data, science and models. ( Paul Driessen, Townhall)

From WUWT Tips and Notes comments by Robert E. Phelan:
Ric Werme has been tracking the Science Museum “Prove It!” poll since October 29th here:
Starting November 2 the “count-me-in” votes have substantially outnumbered the “count-me-out” votes, although the outs have remained ahead in the over-all tally. Since November 24th the daily count has begun to favor the “outs” again. It looks like Climategate is starting to have an effect.

For those who may not yet know the story behind the poll and the ups and downs, WUWT has a nice thread here: Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)

Leading British scientists at the University of East Anglia, who were accused of manipulating climate change data - dubbed Climategate - have agreed to publish their figures in full. (TDT)

The Times had an article yesterday reporting the old news that CRU did not have in its possession the original station data from some locations that comprise its global temperature index. I am quoted in the Times article as follows:

“The CRU is basically saying, ‘Trust us’. So much for settling questions and resolving debates with science,” he said.
The quote comes from a blog post I put up last August when CRU announced that it did not have some of the original station data. Here is the full context of my quote:
CRU has in response to requests for its data put up a new webpage [NOTE: Apparently this page is no longer up on the CRU emergency server] with the following remarkable admission (emphasis added):
We are not in a position to supply data for a particular country not covered by the example agreements referred to earlier, as we have never had sufficient resources to keep track of the exact source of each individual monthly value. Since the 1980s, we have merged the data we have received into existing series or begun new ones, so it is impossible to say if all stations within a particular country or if all of an individual record should be freely available. Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some sites, only the station series after adjustment for homogeneity issues. We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e. quality controlled and homogenized) data.
Say what?! CRU has lost track of the original data that it uses to create its global temperature record!? Can this be serious? So not only is it now impossible to replicate or reevaluate homogeneity adjustments made in the past -- which might be important to do as new information is learned about the spatial representativeness of siting, land use effects, and so on -- but it is now also impossible to create a new temperature index from scratch. CRU is basically saying, "trust us." So much for settling questions and resolving debates with empirical information (i.e., science).
Today I received an email from a climate scientist of CRU-email fame complaining about my quote in the Times. He says that the national meteorological services have the original data, suggesting that I was misrepresenting the situation. I replied to him as follows:
I would suspect that there are some very profound disciplinary differences in the handling of data here between the community I am from and yours. If, for instance, an economic research unit were releasing analyses of global economic activity in support of policy claimed to not hold the original country data -- instead saying, well the countries have it -- that would be highly problematic.

My advice to you and your colleagues is that the defense that you present in your email to me is not a very good one. Rather, I suggest instead being open and simply saying that in the 1980s and even 1990s no one could have known that maintaining this data in its original form would have been necessary. Since it was not done, then efforts should be made to collect it and make it available (which I see CRU is doing). Ultimately, that will probably mean an open-source global temperature record will be created. If you believe -- and I see no reason to suspect otherwise -- that such an open-source analysis will confirm the work of Jones et al., then you should be welcoming it with open arms.
Obviously, CRU should have taken these steps long before the present circumstances, but regardless, they are now moving towards greater responsiveness and transparency. When the data is available in its original form those skeptical of climate science can then do the temperature math themselves out in the open where everyone can see their work. If the global numbers come out as CRU has presented over the years, then it will strike a blow to skepticism about global temperature trend records produced by CRU and restore a good deal of credibility to this area of climate science. At that point, the fellow who emailed me and his colleagues can rightly boast of their integrity and say "told ya so." Until then, a defensive, circle-the-wagons approach is probably not the best course of action. But old habits die hard. (Roger Pielke Jr)
Penn State University has announced that it has begun an investigation of the work of Michael Mann, the director of its Earth System Science Center, following revelations contained in the Climategate documents that have emerged from East Anglia University in the UK. This decision follows close on the heels of a decision Saturday at East Anglia University to release climate change related data, a reversal of its previous stance. In addition, according to East Anglia’s press office, it will soon be announcing details of its own investigation.
The announcement of the chair of the East Anglia inquiry and its terms of reference are expected to be made Monday.
Here is the full Penn State announcement:
University Reviewing Recent Reports on Climate Information
Professor Michael Mann is a highly regarded member of the Penn State faculty conducting research on climate change. Professor Mann’s research papers have been published in well respected peer-reviewed scientific journals. In November 2005, Representative Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) requested that the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) convene a panel of independent experts to investigate Professor Mann’s seminal 1999 reconstruction of the global surface temperature over the past 1,000 years. The resulting 2006 report of the NAS panel ( ) concluded that Mann’s results were sound and has been subsequently supported by an array of evidence that includes additional large-scale surface temperature reconstructions.
In recent days a lengthy file of emails has been made public. Some of the questions raised through those emails may have been addressed already by the NAS investigation but others may not have been considered. The University is looking into this matter further, following a well defined policy used in such cases. No public discussion of the matter will occur while the University is reviewing the concerns that have been raised. (Financial Post)

Leaked emails have revealed the unwillingness of climate change scientists to engage in a proper debate with the sceptics who doubt global warming (Jonathan Leake, Sunday Times)

SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.

It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.

The UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation. (Jonathan Leake, Sunday Times)

Things are “starting to unravel at the AGW seams,” because, apparently, the “dog ate the homework” – more specifically the temperature data on which the whole global warming “can of worms” depends. Yes, three clichés in one sentence, yet somehow apropos for this unraveling fiasco that every day becomes more eye-rolling. Today’s unraveling – intentionally saved, I am assuming, for the weekend – comes from the Timesonline:
SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.
It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.
Not to worry. Carol Browner – Obama’s climate czar – assures us that global warming science is “settled.” And Carol should know. She has a B. A. in English from the University of Florida, not to mention a law degree from the same institution. (Pop quiz, Carol. What’s the Second Law of Thermodynamics? How about Einstein’s Unified Field Theory? Oh, never mind.) (Roger L. Simon, PJM)

The East Anglia Climate Research Unit (CRU) revelations come as no real surprise to anyone who has closely followed the global-warming saga. The Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) thesis, to give it its semi-official name, is no stranger to fraud. It is no real exaggeration to state that it was fertilized with fraud, marinated in fraud, stewed in fraud, and at last served up to the world as prime, grade-A fraud with nice side orders of fakery and disingenuousness. Damning as they may be, the CRU e-mails are merely the climactic element in an exhaustively long line. (J.R. Dunn, American Thinker)

INTERVIEW-Climate science untarnished by hacked emails-IPCC
The IPCC says ClimateGate doesn’t change anything. (Well Shock Me! Really?)
Source: Reuters
Imagine if a politician called “Jones” had been caught emailing a colleague saying “Delete all those files. Don’t tell anyone about that off-shore tax haven I have. Burn those receipts, ask Keith to burn his too and I’ll let Casper know. By the way, I’ve used that accounting trick Mike talked about to hide the money.”
Let Reuter-wash swing into gear and the “news” article would blandly say Jones’ emails were “seized upon by his opponents, showing he made snide comments, and talked about ways to present his accounts in the most favourable light”. In other words, Reuters wouldn’t mention that he’s  been caught red-handed and implicated as a colluding fraud who squandered funds and mislead the public. What’s really newsworthy is that he’s been exposed being not-very-nice, and glossing up his reports. Would we sack those journalists? We couldn’t. But we could cancel our subscriptions and just go searching blogs for the real news. (JoNova)

(Letter sent to the International Herald Tribune)
> From: Maurizio Morabito
> To:
> Cc:
> Sent: Thu, November 26, 2009 9:39:16 AM
> Subject: Missing pages in my IHT newspaper

Dear Editors
I wish to report a case of missing pages in the IHT I have received for the past couple of days.
A[s] I am sure you know very well, the revelations about the ’scientific’ practices at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia have been causing disconcert and not just among so-called skeptics.
The internal computing code notes about a futile multi-year quest to replicate their own results looks especially worthy of a good journalistic investigation. Could it really be true, that the multi-billion-dollar climate-change bandwagon might be based on computational practices that would have made Enron’s Ken Lay proud?
That’s why I am sure you have been dedicating many pages to the topic and I have just been unlucky as those pages were not included so far in my paper.
So please send them along. I know you have published a piece by NYT’s Andy Revkin a couple of days ago. That is the same Revkin that appears to be treated as a credulous media tool in a couple of the leaked emails, so forgive me if I skip his future contributions if any (as they will be the product either of personal anger or further credulosity).
Please do not betray the trust of this longtime subscriber. I really cannot believe the naysayers claiming you have been silent on this topic because afraid of the legal implications of those emails and other documents among the leaks.
Maurizio Morabito (OmniClimate)

The Economist magazine issue of November 29th has an article titled “ Mail-strom – Leaked e-mails do not show climate scientists at their best“  [subscription required] which is an example of a media outlet that is seeking to trivialize the importance of the leaked e-mails. Examples of their failure to understand the importance of these e-mails is given in their text, excerpts of which I present below:
“IS GLOBAL warming a trick?”
“The result has been a field day for those sceptical of the idea of man-made climate change…”
“…..the scientists are looking tribal and jumpy, and that sceptics have leapt so eagerly on such tiny scraps as proof of a conspiracy.”
The article fails to recognize that even scientists who accept a major role of humans within the climate system are disparaged by the authors in the e-mails (e.g. I was the scientist referred to in the Economist article as a “prat“), and have been excluded from presenting alternative perspectives on the climate issue (e.g. see). 
Despite the attempt to trivialize by the Economist, the issue which has been exposed by the released e-mails are that there are three distinct fundamentally different  perspectives on the role of humans in the climate system. (Climate Science)

ABC's George Stephanopoulos actually brought up the ClimateGate scandal as a topic for discussion during the Roundtable segment on Sunday's "This Week."
As NewsBusters has been reporting since this story broke more than a week ago, television news outlets have been quite disinterested in the controversy now growing with each passing day.
Breaking this trend, Stephanopoulos aggressively waded into this seemingly verboten subject by mentioning how it complicates President Obama's trip to "Copenhagen to deal with climate change."
George Will of course agreed saying that the release of these e-mail messages raises a serious question about why America should "wager trillions of dollars and substantially curtail freedom on climate models that are imperfect and unproven."
Not surprisingly, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman found "not a single smoking gun" in those e-mail messages (video in two parts embedded below the fold with transcript and commentary by myself and others involved in this debate): (Noel Sheppard, NewsBusters)

A French scientist’s temperature data show results different from the official climate science. Why was he stonewalled? Climate Research Unit emails detail efforts to deny access to global temperature data
The global average temperature is calculated by climatologists at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia. The temperature graph the CRU produces from its monthly averages is the main indicator of global temperature change used by the International Panel on Climate Change, and it shows a steady increase in global lower atmospheric temperature over the 20th century. Similar graphs for regions of the world, such as Europe and North America, show the same trend. This is consistent with increasing industrialization, growing use of fossil fuels, and rising atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide.

It took the CRU workers decades to assemble millions of temperature measurements from around the globe. The earliest measurements they gathered came from the mid 19th century, when mariners threw buckets over the side of their square riggers and hauled them up to measure water temperature. Meteorologists increasingly started recording regular temperature on land around the same time. Today they collect measurements electronically from national meteorological services and ocean-going ships. (Phil Green, Financial Post)

by Steve McIntyre
Figure 3. Blowup of IPCC Figure 2-21.
For the benefit of new readers, we discussed some aspects of the “trick” at Climate Audit in the past. Obviously, the Climategate Letters clarify many things that were murky in the past. On the left is a blowup of IPCC 2001 Fig 2.21 showing where the Briffa reconstruction (green) ends. More on this below.
Figure 1 below is the original graphic showing the MBH98-99, Jones et al 1998 and Briffa 2000 temperature reconstructions. I think that it’s fair to say that this graphic gives a strong rhetorical impression of the proxy reconstructions all going up throughout the 20th century, lending credibility to the idea that the “proxy” reconstructions would also be responsive to past warm periods – and obviously not giving any “fodder to the skeptics” by revealing the divergence between the Briffa reconstruction and temperatures. Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)

“WHAT is truth?” That was Pontius Pilate’s answer to Jesus’s assertion that “Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice.” It sounds suspiciously like the modern argument over climate change.

A majority of the world’s climate scientists have convinced themselves, and also a lot of laymen, some of whom have political power, that the Earth’s climate is changing; that the change, from humanity’s point of view, is for the worse; and that the cause is human activity, in the form of excessive emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. A minority, though, are sceptical. Some think that recent, well-grounded data suggesting the Earth’s average temperature is rising are explained by natural variations in solar radiation, and that this trend may be coming to an end. Others argue that longer-term evidence that modern temperatures are higher than they have been for hundreds or thousands of years is actually too flaky to be meaningful.

Such disagreements are commonplace in science. They are eventually settled by the collection of more data and the invention of more refined (or entirely new) theories. Arguments may persist for decades; academics may—and often do—sling insults at each other; but it does not matter a great deal because the stakes are normally rather low.

The stakes in the global-warming debate, however, could scarcely be higher. (The Economist)

Getting it partly right, at least: Secrecy in science is a corrosive force
By Michael Schrage
With no disrespect to sausages and laws, Bismarck’s most famous aphorism clearly requires updating. “Scientific research” is bidding furiously to make the global shortlist of things one should not see being made.
Understandably so. Sciences at the cutting edge of statistics and public policy can make blood sports seem genteel. Scientists aggressively promoting pet hypotheses often relish the opportunity to marginalise and neutralise rival theories and exponents.
The malice, mischief and Machiavellian manoeuvrings revealed in the illegally hacked megabytes of emails from the University of East Anglia’s prestigious Climate Research Unit, for example, offers a useful paradigm of contemporary scientific conflict. Science may be objective; scientists emphatically are not. This episode illustrates what too many universities, professional societies, and research funders have irresponsibly allowed their scientists to become. Shame on them all.
The source of that shame is a toxic mix of institutional laziness and complacency. Too many scientists in academia, industry and government are allowed to get away with concealing or withholding vital information about their data, research methodologies and results. That is unacceptable and must change. (Financial Times)

Details of a university inquiry into e-mails stolen from scientists at one of the UK's leading climate research units are likely to be made public next week.

Announcement of a chair of the inquiry and terms of reference will probably be made on Monday, a source says.

The University of East Anglia's (UEA) press office did not confirm the date. ( Roger Harrabin, BBC)

Methods used to tabulate the number of experts who are skeptical of climate change leave something to be desired
There you go,” concluded Anna Maria Tremonti of CBC’s morning radio show, The Current. “According to Jim Prull’s database, of the 615 scientists who published papers on climate change, the skeptics are outnumbered 601 to 14.”

Case closed, she was saying, after Prull, a computer network manager, explained how anyone can use a spreadsheet and Google Scholar searches to separate the real climate experts from the phony ones. Just key someone’s name into Google Scholar if you think he’s a scientist and see how often he has been cited. Those who aren’t cited much have little scientific credibility, CBC’s national audience was told, and those who are cited a lot have lots. Not once during her interview of Prull did Tremonti question Prull’s methodology or his premises or his results.
Click here to read more... (Financial Post)

Copenhagen and the art of looking committed
Copenhagen (pop. 1.7 million) is the capital of Denmark (pop. 5.3 million). Unless you are from Mars, you also know that Copenhagen is about to be transmogrified from being a dullish euro capital with a cute mermaid in the harbour into a grand global symbol of climate change with dead policies in the harbour. Just as Kyoto used to be a city in Japan before it became the brand name of a failed global warming protocol, the same fate appears to await Copenhagen.

The two-week United Nations Climate Change Conference doesn’t begin in Copenhagen until Dec. 7, but the meeting is already dominating international news agendas and driving political strategists and corporate schemers all over the world.
Click here to read more... (Financial Post)

By Steve McIntyre from his site.
For the very first time, the Climategate Letters “archived” the deleted portion of the Briffa MXD reconstruction of “Hide the Decline” fame – see here. Gavin Schmidt claimed that the decline had been “hidden in plain sight” (see here. ). This isn’t true.
The post-1960 data was deleted from the archived version of this reconstruction at NOAA here and not shown in the corresponding figure in Briffa et al 2001. Nor was the decline shown in the IPCC 2001 graph, one that Mann, Jones, Briffa, Folland and Karl were working in the two weeks prior to the “trick” email (or for that matter in the IPCC 2007 graph, an issue that I’ll return to.)
A retrieval script follows.
For now, here is a graphic showing the deleted data in red.
Figure 1. Two versions of Briffa MXD reconstruction, showing archived and climategate versions. The relevant IPCC 2001 graph, shown below, clearly does not show the decline in the Briffa MXD reconstruction.
Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)

Ivan Kenneally
For years, the left has spun the debate over global warming in the starkest Manichean terms. Those who disagree with the scientific and policy orthodoxy have been maligned as greedy capitalists bent on raping the earth of its natural resources for cheap material gain; they have been cast as the benighted enemies of reason itself. Efforts to publicly challenge the science behind global warming have too often resulted in professional and political character assassination. To be skeptical about the fashionable scientific and policy platform aggressively advocated by the mainstream media and self-indulgently championed by the Hollywood elite is nothing less than an “assault on reason,” to borrow Al Gore’s hyperbolic rhetoric. In predictably technocratic fashion, the left has claimed its own peculiar position as the only scientifically legitimate one—everything else reduces to craven interest, manifest dishonesty, or antiquarian faith.
However, maintaining this self-serving narrative just got a lot harder. In the last few days, the cause of climate alarmism took a big hit when more than a thousand e-mails exchanged by scientists at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) suddenly surfaced online. These e-mails were published by the computer hackers who apparently stole them, a crime that should be investigated and prosecuted. But notwithstanding the e-mails’ route to publication, their actual content is extraordinary. These behind-the-scenes discussions among leading global-warming exponents are remarkable both in their candor and in their sheer contempt for scientific objectivity. There can be little doubt after even a casual perusal that the scientific case for global warming and the policy that springs from it are based upon a volatile combination of political ideology, unapologetic mendacity, and simmering contempt for even the best-intentioned disagreement. Especially in anticipation of the major climate summit taking place in Copenhagen next month, the significance of this explosive disclosure is hard to underestimate. According to climatologist Patrick J. Michaels, “This is not a smoking gun; this is a mushroom cloud.”
The evidence of scientific dishonesty supplied by these communications is so copious it’s hard to know where to begin an attempt to describe them. Many of the e-mails brazenly discuss the manipulation of scientific data either to provide the appearance of greater support for global warming science or to undermine the claims of skeptics. For example, CRU scholar Timothy J. Osborn explicitly describes how data can be reconfigured so that evidence of an apparent cooling period disappears. His colleague Tom Wigley discusses recasting the data on sea-surface temperatures so that the results seem considerably warmer but also scientifically plausible. The director of CRU, Phil Jones, brags about his use of eminent climatologist Michael Mann’s “Nature trick” which deliberately confuses scientific data to “hide the decline” in current temperatures. (New Atlantic)

From his web page: Why I think that Michael Mann, Phil Jones and Stefan Rahmstorf should be barred from the IPCC process
by Eduardo Zorita, Scientist at the Institute for Coastal Research, specialist in Paleoclimatology, Review Editor of Climate Research and IPCC co-author.

Short answer: because the scientific assessments in which they may take part are not credible anymore.
A longer answer: My voice is not very important. I belong to the climate-research infantry, publishing a few papers per year, reviewing a few manuscript per year and participating in a few research projects. I do not form part of important committees, nor I pursue a public awareness of my activities. My very minor task in the public arena was to participate as a contributing author in the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC.
By writing these lines I will just probably achieve that a few of my future studies will, again, not see the light of publication. My area of research happens to be the climate of the past millennia, where I think I am appreciated by other climate-research ’soldiers’. And it happens that some of my mail exchange with Keith Briffa and Timothy Osborn can be found in the CRU-files made public recently on the internet. Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)

This is a surprise. Professor Mike Hulme of the University of East Anglia suggests that the “I.P.C.C. has run its course”. I agree with him. We really need to remove a wholly political organization, the United Nations, from science.

Republished from New York Times Reporter Andrew Revkin’s Dot Earth:
Dot Earth: Insights from Mike Hulme at the University of East Anglia, which was the source of the disclosed files. Hulme, a climate scientist at the University of East Anglia and author of “ Why We Disagree About Climate Change,” has weighed in with these thoughts about the significance of the leaked files and emails. In November 2009, Hulme was listed as “the 10th most cited author in the world in the field of climate change, between 1999 and 2009. (ScienceWatch, Nov/Dec 2009, see Table 2).
Hulme Key Excerpt:
[Upcoming UN climate conference in Copenhagen] “is about raw politics, not about the politics of science. [...] It is possible that climate science has become too partisan, too centralized. The tribalism that some of the leaked emails display is something more usually associated with social organization within primitive cultures; it is not attractive when we find it at work inside science. It is also possible that the institutional innovation that has been the I.P.C.C. has run its course. Yes, there will be an AR5 but for what purpose? The I.P.C.C. itself, through its structural tendency to politicize climate change science, has perhaps helped to foster a more authoritarian and exclusive form of knowledge production – just at a time when a globalizing and wired cosmopolitan culture is demanding of science something much more open and inclusive.
Full Hulme Statement: Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)

Appearing on The Alex Jones Show yesterday, Lord Christopher Monckton went further than ever before in his vehement opposition to the elitists running the climate change scam, calling for the UN to be shut down and for fraudulent peddlers of global warming propaganda like Al Gore to be arrested and criminally prosecuted.

Monckton said that those who are threatening to shut down economies, bankrupt nations, and deepen the problems of the third world by implementing draconian policies in the name of global warming should be indicted, prosecuted and imprisoned “for a very long time”.

“The fraudsters and racketeers from Al Gore to the people at the University of East Anglia who have been making their fortune at the expense of taxpayers and the little guy,” should be criminally charged, said Monckton, in response to the climategate scandal.

“We the people have got to rise up worldwide, found a party in every country which stands for freedom and make sure we fight this bureaucratic communistic world government monster to a standstill – they shall not pass,” he added. (Paul Joseph Watson, Prison

Just over a week ago, violent storm clouds swept over scientists working in the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia. The ‘Warmergate Scandal’ had broken.

On a Russian web site there appeared a decade of their personal e-mails sent to colleagues around the world. It seemed that a malevolent hacker had broken into one of their computer servers and stolen a vast amount of data. One can imagine what they must have felt. How many of us, I wonder, would like to have our e-mails out there in the Cloud for all to read?

But this was worse, because the people involved were leading climate scientists, some of the key players in establishing ‘global warming’, the controversial thesis that it is our greenhouse gas emissions, like carbon dioxide, that are the main driving force behind present-day climate change. They knew they had critics desperate to prove them wrong, who would be only too delighted to finger through their dirty linen now hanging in the public domain. (Clamour of the Times)

There’s an essay by Dr. James Hansen in the Guardian, the header of which is shown below. Next time people accuse of “big oil” connections for skeptics, point out that the most pro-agw newspaper on the planet is pushing Shell Oil ads.

That distraction aside, Dr. Hansen has some stunning things to say, excerpts below. Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)

Writing in today’s The Times (‘I’m with Blaise Pascal when it comes to betting on climate change’, Saturday Review, p.4), Antonia Senior interrogates the question: Is it a better ‘bet’ to believe in ‘global warming’ [she really means ‘global warming’, and not climate change, in which everybody must believe] than not to do so? Can we apply the game theory of Pascal’s gambit, or logic, to ‘global warming’?

I am often challenged publicly with the same questions. Accordingly, I thought it might be of value to examine these propositions in more depth here, especially as I would argue that Antonia, in her thoughtful piece, has not got it quite right. (Clamour of the Times)

The ‘carbon market’ – trading in an invisible gas which cannot be used – has involved the redistribution of resources to unproductive green pursuits and the creation of a vast bureaucracy. Let’s bring it down before it gets any bigger. (Josie Appleton, sp!ked)

Market could be worth $3tn a year but enthusiasm to place it at heart of Copenhagen is matched by growing criticism of concept (Terry Macalister, The Guardian)
That's $3 trillion of your money they are talking about, stolen from the pockets of taxpayers and consumers everywhere, at every stage of manufacture, transport and consumption, even at end of product life disposal it will cost you.

Carbon capture costs show folly of idea - Spending billions won't even make a dent in problem
Ten thousand years from now, an archeologist will mount the platform at an academic conference to reveal the findings of his research team's latest dig -except, of course, he won't be at a physical gathering of other academics. (How 21st Century!) He'll be on a virtual platform and his team won't actually have had to dig anything up; they will merely have sent nanobots underground to analyze what's buried.

After much clearing of throat, our future PhD will announce he has discovered beneath Alberta a vast labyrinth of pipes and pumps, relays and reservoirs designed to store millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide underground.

The first reaction of his audience will be stunned silence. But after a few seconds' hush, they will break into gales of laughter.

Our earnest professor will attempt to continue, but someone will rise up from the back of the electronic hall and call out, "Hey, you mean they pumped air into the dirt?Oh, please. Who's going to believe that!"

Still, that is what the Alberta government intends to do, spend billions over the next 15 years to capture carbon emissions from industrial plants and pump it into holes in the ground. (Lorne Gunter, Edmonton Journal)

SISTERS, Ore. — A patch of ponderosa pines here in the Deschutes National Forest has been carefully pruned over the last few years to demonstrate the United States Forest Service’s priorities in the changing West: improving forest health and protecting against devastating wildfire while still supporting the timber economy.

Yet occasionally, when tour groups come through, someone will ask what role the trees might play as the nation addresses global warming. After all, forests soak up carbon dioxide as they grow.

“We’ve always said that’s outside the scope of this project,” said Michael Keown, the environmental coordinator for the Sisters Ranger District, which includes more than 300,000 acres in the Deschutes forest in central Oregon. “But those days have come and gone.”

The giant evergreens of the West have long been proclaimed essential, whether the cause was saving salmon and spotted owls or small towns and their sawmills. Now, with evidence showing that American forests store 15 percent or more of the carbon gases produced in the nation, expectations are growing for them to do even more.

Over the next 50 years or so, experts say, some forests could be cultivated to grow bigger, more resilient trees, potentially increasing their carbon storage by 50 percent and providing an important “bridge” to a time when the nation will theoretically have shifted away from greenhouse-gas producing fossil fuels. (NYT)

by Nicole Kurokawa
The United Nations Food Population Fund recently issued a new report warning that climate change pushes women into prostitution.
From GMA News:
Suneeta Mukherjee, country representative of the United Nations Food Population Fund (UNFPA), said women in the Philippines are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change in the country.
"Climate change could reduce income from farming and fishing, possibly driving some women into sex work and thereby increase HIV infection," Mukherjee said during the Wednesday launch of the UNFPA annual State of World Population Report in Pasay City.
Although this is a tragic tale, and one with a clear-cut solution (stop climate change! Cut emissions now!) it's not really true. The world's poor are stuck in their permanent underclass status because they don't have better opportunities available, and have a limited number of (sometimes unsavory) professions to choose from.
Mine Your Own Business, a great movie by filmmakers Phelim McAleer and Ann McIlhenney, documents how environmentalists - bent on preserving the environment and what they perceive to be an indigenous way of life - have actually prevented economic development that would provide the world's poor with real, sustainable options. In trying to maintain the "quaintness" of rural areas, they deprive the poor of the choice to improve their lot. Nobody wants to be poor - but in many cases, they don't have the chance to become anything else. Of course, this creates a big market for development professionals to distribute aid to needy people... but I digress.

What do poor women really need? They need infrastructure to get goods to market. They need microloans to give them the seed capital to start their own businesses. They need education. They don't need the UN lecturing them about slowing population growth rates and bureaucratic reports on population dynamics.
(PS: Check out the Heritage Foundation's guide to 100 storylines blamed on global warming.) (Independent Women's Forum)

The controversial Bjorn Lomborg doesn't deny global warming. But he believes it's ‘an incredibly bad deal' to spend so much money on cutting carbon emissions, he tells John Allemang (Globe and Mail)
Um... what heat?

One reason it is so hard to slash carbon emissions is that climate change occurs globally. The countries that produce the most greenhouse gas all need to take action to fix the problem. That raises a classic economic dilemma called the tragedy of the commons. ( David Kestenbaum, NPR)
Atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions are the reverse case of a tragedy of the commons since increasing CO2 actively feeds the commons, nourishing green plants and reducing their water requirement, increasing crop and forage production and sparing the need for more wildlands to go under the plow. It is not a tragedy but an extremely fortunate accident that a byproduct of fossil fuel use is so generally beneficial.

As it happens I was Green before the word came to mean what it does now.

From a very early age, I hated the ploughing up of this country for the motor car, and grieved at the mad closure of the railways, a view that has now become much more widespread than it was then.

I began bicycling to work before bike lanes had been invented, when Boris Johnson was still at Eton.

To this day I get a sort of red mist when I see great trees being cut down by over-cautious councils, and I gaze with limitless regret on the bleak prairies of Southern England, where hedgerows once grew.

If I can take a ship and a train rather than a plane, I will do.

So it’s no use trying to dismiss me as some kind of petrolhead polluter who wants to cover the planet with runways and motorways, nor to allege I’m in the pay of Big Oil, when I say that I doubt the existence of man-made global warming.

I just doubt it because I am not convinced it’s true. Actually, now that Big Oil has bought into the man-made warming scare itself, I generally get even cruder abuse, being called a ‘denier’ as if I were some kind of Nazi.

And if I mention my doubts at public occasions, I can feel the swelling wrath of the unreasoning mob gathering against me.

There’s seldom time to make more than a few points before you are howled down by righteous zealots.

And that is why I, and anyone seriously interested in this subject, owes a great debt to Christopher Booker, who has set down all the arguments for doubt in a single, concise book that will no doubt be either ignored or abused. (Peter Hitchens, Daily Mail)

MORE than 70 Australian marine scientists have called for immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions after the release of the first report card on the impact of climate change on the marine environment.

Oceans around the continent have warmed and become more acidic and the East Australian Current has strengthened, bringing hotter, saltier water 350 kilometres further south than 60 years ago.

This has caused coral bleaching and is the likely cause of a 10 per cent reduction in growth rates of corals on the Great Barrier Reef, according to the report, Marine Climate Change in Australia, 2009 Report Card. (SMH)
Drawn from this CSIRO profile- / fund- raiser.

WINNIPEG — One of Canada's top northern researchers says the permanent Arctic sea ice that is home to the world's polar bears and usually survives the summer has all but disappeared.

Experts around the world believed the ice was recovering because satellite images showed it expanding. But David Barber says the thick, multi-year frozen sheets crucial to the northern ecosystem have been replaced by thin "rotten" ice which can't support the weight of the bears. (Canadian Press)

Scientists say shrinking Arctic sea ice may be forcing some polar bears into cannibalizing young cubs.

"When (bears) are very hungry, they go looking for something to eat," biologist Ian Stirling said yesterday. "There's nothing much to eat along the Hudson Bay coast in the fall other than other bears."

So far this fall, tour operators and scientists have reported at least four and perhaps up to eight cases of mature males eating cubs and other bears in the population around Churchill, Man. Four cases were reported to Manitoba Conservation; four to Environment Canada.

"That's a very big number," said Stirling, a retired Environment Canada scientist, who has studied the Churchill population for 35 years.

"I worked there well over 30 years and never saw a single case of cannibalism."

Bears lose up to 30% of their body mass as they spend the summer and autumn on land waiting for the sea ice to refreeze so they can use it as a platform to hunt seals. (Canadian Press)
Do they think maybe finding more of these instances has a lot more to do with people with mechanized transport venturing out to look at bears?
Factors affecting the survival of polar bear cubs (Ursus maritimus) are poorly understood (Derocher and Stirling, 1996). Low food availability and accidents on the sea ice may be the main sources of cub mortality (Uspenski and Kistchinski, 1972; Larsen, 1986; Derocher and Stirling, 1996). Intraspecific predation, infanticide, and cannibalism have been reported in polar bears (Belikov et al., 1977; Hansson and Thomassen, 1983; Larsen, 1985; Lunn and Stenhouse, 1985; Taylor et al., 1985). However, some of the instances have followed human activities such as harvest or immobilization (Taylor et al., 1985). Regardless, intraspecific predation has been suggested as a regulating feature of ursid populations (e.g., McCullough, 1981; Young and Ruff, 1982; Larsen and Kjos-Hanssen, 1983; Stringham, 1983; Taylor et al., 1985). (Infanticide and Cannibalism of Juvenile Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus) in Svalbard, ARCTIC, VOL. 52, NO. 3 (SEPTEMBER 1999) P. 307–310) [my emphasis]

From the New York Times, 128 years of looming polar doom:
1881: “This past Winter, both inside and outside the Arctic circle, appears to have been unusually mild. The ice is very light and rapidly melting …”

1932: “NEXT GREAT DELUGE FORECAST BY SCIENCE; Melting Polar Ice Caps to Raise the Level of Seas and Flood the Continents”

1934: “New Evidence Supports Geology’s View That the Arctic Is Growing Warmer”

1937: “Continued warm weather at the Pole, melting snow and ice.”

1954: “The particular point of inquiry concerns whether the ice is melting at such a rate as to imperil low-lying coastal areas through raising the level of the sea in the near future.”

1957: “U.S. Arctic Station Melting”

1958: “At present, the Arctic ice pack is melting away fast. Some estimates say that it is 40 per cent thinner and 12 per cent smaller than it was fifteen years [ago].”

1959: “Will the Arctic Ocean soon be free of ice?”

1971: “STUDY SAYS MAN ALTERS CLIMATE; U.N. Report Links Melting of Polar Ice to His Activities”

1979: “A puzzling haze over the Arctic ice packs has been identified as a byproduct of air pollution, a finding that may support predictions of a disastrous melting of the earth’s ice caps.”

1982: “Because of global heating attributed to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from fuel burning, about 20,000 cubic miles of polar ice has melted in the past 40 years, apparently contributing to a rise in sea levels …”

1999: “Evidence continues to accumulate that the frozen world of the Arctic and sub-Arctic is thawing.”

2000: “The North Pole is melting. The thick ice that has for ages covered the Arctic Ocean at the pole has turned to water, recent visitors there reported yesterday.”

2002: “The melting of Greenland glaciers and Arctic Ocean sea ice this past summer reached levels not seen in decades, scientists reported today.”

2004: “There is an awful lot of Arctic and glacial ice melting.”

2005: “Another melancholy gathering of climate scientists presented evidence this month that the Antarctic ice shelf is melting - a prospect difficult to imagine a decade ago.” (Tim Blair)

In Greenland, global warming fuels dreams of uncovering untapped riches as ice retreats (Associated Press)

You'd think under the circumstances they'd duck and cover but: Warming will 'wipe out billions'
MOST of the world's population will be wiped out if political leaders fail to agree a method of stopping current rates of global warming, one of the UK's most senior climate scientists has warned. (Scotland on Sunday)

The buffering effect of El Niño helped shield South Florida from hurricanes this year, but a study suggests climate change might weaken its protective power. (Miami Herald)
But gorebull warming was supposed to increase El Niños, making hurricanes less likely.

OSLO - An Australian project tapping Aborigines' knowledge to avert devastating wildfires that stoke climate change is the world's best example of linking indigenous peoples to carbon markets, the U.N. University said on Sunday. (Reuters)
Where do these idiots get their information? The indigenous fire regime was specifically about reducing forest cover and clearing undergrowth to facilitate hunting. In fact Australia is considering ways of reducing forest spread on Cape York Peninsula and the Gulf Country to protect savannah habitat in lieu of the old indigenous burn cycle (Queensland is one of those relatively rare regions where tropical forest expansion is considered problematic).

Moreover, only in the monsoon belt, where this regime specifically inhibited tree growth and carbon sequestration, was there any real change in the landscape due to fire management and that led to reduced carbon sequestration. Outside this relatively predictable rainfall belt (i.e., the Center, South and West) mostly dry grasses were burned in small patches to encourage fresh growth and aggregate game, something with little or no effect on net carbon balance in good years and lossy in dry years as Australia's old friable soils blow away in the absence of protective dry grass cover.

How, one must wonder, does a regime which reduces forest cover and associated carbon sequestration in wet areas and increases soil erosion elsewhere pose a model to "cut CO2"? And why does Reuters meekly regurgitate obvious nonsense without even a moment's pause for thought?

Rajendra Pachauri, head of the "policy neutral" IPCC (does anyone take this seriously?), suggests that responding to climate change means dramatically changing our unsustainable lifestyles:
Hotel guests should have their electricity monitored; hefty aviation taxes should be introduced to deter people from flying; and iced water in restaurants should be curtailed, the world's leading climate scientist has told the Observer.
Rajendra Pachauri, the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), warned that western society must undergo a radical value shift if the worst effects of climate change were to be avoided. A new value system of "sustainable consumption" was now urgently required, he said.
"Today we have reached the point where consumption and people's desire to consume has grown out of proportion," said Pachauri. "The reality is that our lifestyles are unsustainable."
With the head of the IPCC saying that you can't have ice water in restaurants, the opponents to action on climate change can probably go on vacation. They just can't buy advocacy of this quality.

If the climate science community is going to reverse the perception that it is a highly politicized clique, then it will at some point be necessary to reign in the IPCC leadership from being overt political advocates. (Roger Pielke Jr)

* Commonwealth leaders see convergence for Copenhagen pact
* EU's Barroso says commitments not yet enough for deal
* Adequate funding, emissions cuts seen as crucial factors

PORT OF SPAIN, Nov 29 - Commonwealth states representing a third of the world's people said on Sunday momentum was growing towards a global climate deal, but nagging doubts remained over funding levels and degrees of commitment.

Seeking to successfully tip the outcome of U.N. climate talks on Dec. 7-18 in Copenhagen, the group of more than 50 nations from across the world made the climate change issue the centerpiece of a three-day summit in Trinidad and Tobago.

They declared firm support for an "operationally binding" deal to be achieved in Copenhagen that would cover tougher greenhouse gas emissions targets, climate adaptation financing for poorer nations and transfer of clean-energy technology. (Reuters)

‘What you'll see is the President expressing a strong personal commitment ... but at the same time he's going to be deferential to Congress' (Globe and Mail)

There's an experiment going on in the redwood forests of northern California: people are trying to turn trees into "carbon banks."

The idea is to manage forests so they absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and slow down global warming. Carbon banking will be a hot topic at next month's big climate conference in Copenhagen, especially if negotiators can't agree on how to get industrialized countries to lower their own emissions. Carbon banking could be a way to cut those emissions by paying poor countries to save their forests and manage them better.

But to do this, climate scientists need to become climate accountants — to put hard numbers on how much carbon trees breathe in and out. That's what the California experiment is all about. (Christopher Joyce, NPR)

Consumer carbon offset schemes do not lead people to change their behaviour, the first holiday firm to run such a scheme has argued.

Responsible Travel said they were a "distraction" from climate change's real urgency and is ending its scheme.

Such schemes involve individuals paying a premium for the emissions generated by certain choices, such as flying.

The International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance says offsetting has an impact, but governments must do more.

Carbon offset schemes also cover things like choosing to drive a car or choices around the way homes are heated. (BBC)

Global carbon markets may well have been hailed as the saviour of the planet by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but in many ways they are doing more harm than good, according to new evidence.

In fact, two academics have compiled a book which argues that measures put in place to reduce carbon emissions following the Kyoto Protocol Treaty on climate change have only made matters worse. (ScienceDaily)

Nasa's James Hansen was the first to point out the perils of climate change to the US Congress. Here, he begins a heated debate with experts from around the world, from China to the threatened Maldives, and argues that our leaders must be shaken out of their complacency. But will they show enough courage at next week's Copenhagen summit to take the first steps to saving the planet? (James Hansen, The Observer)

WASHINGTON -- NASA's high-profile competitions to create moon landers, astronaut gloves, ribbon-climbing robots and other space technology have been so successful they are inspiring a copycat co-directed by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo.

Barrasso is pushing legislation that would launch a similar contest -- modeled after NASA's Centennial Challenges -- for technology to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. ( Hearst Newspapers)
Atmospheric carbon dioxide is an asset, a resource. We do not want to reduce it for any reason!

China, the world's leading emitter of greenhouse gasses, announced Thursday that will set specific targets for reducing emissions at next month's climate change conference in Copenhagen. China will pledge to reduce "carbon intensity," the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per unit of economic growth, by 40 to 45 percent by 2020. The plan is an unusual one compared to most other countries, which pledge to reduce the specific tonnage of greenhouse gas emissions rather than pegging it to economic growth.  (Atlantic Wire)

China has put some numbers on its carbon intensity pledge -- that is, its aim to reduce carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP. China has promised to reduced its carbon intensity of GDP by 40-45% by 2020. While a few folks have been fooled (or are trying to fool you) into thinking that it is meaningful, others including the Obama Administration are not fooled. The reality is a bit more subtle and complex than either of these perspectives.

The head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change , Yvo de Boer spun the announcement as a breakthrough:

"The US commitment to specific, mid-term emission cut targets and China's commitment to specific action on energy efficiency can unlock two of the last doors to a comprehensive agreement. Let there be no doubt that we need continued strong ambition and leadership,"
In The New York Times, the Obama Administration was a bit less enthusiastic:
A senior Obama administration official said that the United States had pressed hard for a public commitment from China and was relieved that it had delivered. But the official, who spoke anonymously because of the delicacy of the matter, called the carbon intensity figure “disappointing,” and said that the administration hoped it represented a gambit that would be negotiated upward at Copenhagen or in subsequent talks.
Understanding the various receptions of the proposed target from China requires understanding a bit of the geopolitical context. Europeans simply want the US and China to come to the table talking about numbers, so any proposal is a step forward. Meantime, the US wants to avoid being cast as the international climate bad guy so will do whatever it can to portray its own proposed 17% cut from 2005 levels as more ambitious that China's intensity target.

But what do the numbers actually mean?

A 40-45% cut in carbon intensity in China is essentially business-as-usual as projected by the IEA. According to the IEA World Energy Outlook 2009 (p. 350), here are China's GDP and CO2 projections under its BAU "reference scenario" (with GDP in 2008 PPP dollars):

2007 -- 6.1 GtC and $7.6T
2020 -- 9.6 GtC and $18.8T

These numbers result in a decrease in carbon intensity of GDP of 40% by 2020 (from 2007 values, China's pledge is off a 2005 baseline, so right in the middle of the 40-45% range).

Other analysts have seen the proposal as little more than a promise to achieve business as usual, from the NYT:
Michael A. Levi, director of the climate change program at the Council on Foreign Relations, called the target announcement disappointing because it did not move the country much faster along the path it was already on.
“The Department of Energy estimates that existing Chinese policies will already cut carbon intensity by 45 to 46 percent,” Mr. Levi said. “The United States has put an ambitious path for emissions cuts through 2050 on the table. China needs to raise its level of ambition if it is going to match that.” Some environmental advocates have also said that the substance of Mr. Obama’s announcement on Wednesday was weak as well.
President Bush also used a carbon intensity target with goals based on achieving business as usual, and his administration was skewered (and rightly so) for trying to couch business as usual 9BAU) as some sort of meaningful emissions reduction policy. The difference between the Bush Administration's carbon intensity goals and those promised by China are that the Bush Administration based its targets on historical BAU whereas China has its based on BAU inclusive of a set of very aggressive energy efficiency goals. I recently had a correspondence in Nature questioning China's BAU trajectory (more details here and here and here). While the IEA numbers suggest a less aggressive version of BAU than do China's domestic numbers, they still imply an annual average rate of decarbonization of China's economy of about 3.7% per year.

A focus on carbon intensity of economic activity is a step in the right direction. At the same time, policy makers and analysts should not be distracted by the details of China's promises in the context of various BAU reference scenarios. What matters is the actual annual rate of decarbonization in coming years, and to discern this will require good data on both emissions and economic activity. If China can sustain a rate of decarbonization of 3.7% per year or more that would be a very impressive achievement. However, if China is going to continue to grow its economy at 9% per year, it is obvious that much more would need to be done to address ever growing emissions.

Bottom line? China's decarbonization target is indeed very similar to some versions of BAU, suggesting a lack of ambition. At the same time these versions of BAU already have rapid rates of decarbonization built in, so much so that I am skeptical about their realism. Even so, discussions about climate these days are more focused on politics than policy, so the exact details of China's emissions policy probably matter less than how its promises are perceived and spun in the negotiating process. (Roger Pielke Jr.)

* China will only allow checks on foreign-funded projects
* No room for increase of emissions intensity target
* Rich nations must not shirk obligations, China says

BEIJING, Nov 27 - A top Chinese climate envoy said on Friday Beijing would only allow outside scrutiny of emissions reduction projects which had international financial support, probably only a "very small proportion" of its total cuts.

Yu Qingtai, China's climate change ambassador, also said the world should not expect China to push up a new target to curb growth in emissions of greenhouse gases -- described by some as modest -- because it represented the "very best of our efforts". (Reuters)

NEW DELHI — India's chief climate change negotiator has flatly rejected taking on emission reduction targets a day after Premier Manmohan Singh said the country would commit to cuts conditionally.

India, one of the world's top greenhouse gas emitters, has yet to offer figures on reining in its carbon output, with just over a week to go until UN climate talks start in Copenhagen.

Singh said on Saturday that India was "willing to sign on to an ambitious global target for emissions reductions or limiting temperature increase" provided developed countries shared in the burden of funding mitigation.

But in an interview broadcast Sunday, chief negotiator Shyam Saran told the NDTV news channel that India was under no pressure to join the United States and China -- the world's top two carbon sources -- in announcing firm numbers ahead of the summit.

"There cannot be any emission cuts," said Saran, adding that the developed world did not expect countries like India to adopt emission reduction targets but instead to accept "deviation from business as usual." (AFP)

This is what it comes down to:

Turnbull is sacrificing his leadership ambitions, ignoring his party members, brushing off thousands of emails, denying the devastating ClimateGate scandal and the evidence of fraud, and doing his utmost to force through legislation in a break-neck rush when the only reason for the hurry is to make Rudd (his opponent) look good in Copenhagen.

D-Day is tomorrow. If Turnbull can find six complicit senators they can pull the “guillotine” on questions, and force a vote. With their seven votes the ETS legislation could be passed, and from that instant, Australians will be poorer. Even if the scheme doesn’t start, from that moment on businesses and banks will ‘invest’ and demand compensation if it’s not carried through.

Turnbull will face almost certain wipeout the next day as leader in a spill he claims he can win, but has “deferred” from Monday until Tuesday. He is nothing but naked bluff. His determination to help the Labor Party at the expense of his own ambition defies logic and begs dark questions.
Turnbull could stay on as leader if he delays the ETS
“My office has had an absolute deluge of emails,” Abbott said.
“The phone lines have been in meltdown with people saying the Liberal Party would not be doing its job as an opposition simply to pass this thing without the scrutiny that the people calling my office think it demands.

“Even at this late stage if Malcolm was prepared to change his mind, if he was prepared to say, `Well, look, there is a case for being a bit more collegial on this issue, then I think that I’d be very very happy to support Malcolm.” [The Australian]
His party members have approached him offering to avoid a leadership spill if he just agrees to delay the ETS and allow a full inquiry into it. But what’s extraordinary is that this man who obviously had hoped to lead the country is so willing to give that up in order to pass legislation on a topic that is hardly that close to his heart (or so it would seem anyway).

It’s not like Turnbull has made it his moniker to save forests, spotted quolls, or rescue islands (that aren’t sinking). He hasn’t spent his life working with Greenpeace, or written books about saving whales. He’s an ambitious, aggressive investment banker. And that’s now looking like an ominous connection. I haven’t made a lot of his past work with Goldman Sachs, but there is an inexplicable undercurrent here.
It’s one hell of a legacy to leave the country. Turnbull is going out of his way, and at considerable personal cost to force this legislation through. Why?
He’s sacrificing his ambitions and going to extreme lengths to force through a piece of legislation that is so detested within his party that his front bench has mutinied en masse, and on what is widely tipped to be his last day as opposition leader. It’s one hell of a legacy to leave the country. He is going out of his way, and at considerable personal cost, to force this legislation through.
Maybe this is just blind determination. He’s a determined man. But it doesn’t add up. Wonder where his next job will be?
Maybe the dark shadows of the tentacles of Goldman Sachs are at work. (JoNova)

Look at these two quotes:
Kevin Rudd at the Lowy Institute on November 6:
“The overwhelming need for Australia to tackle the great challenge of our generation is being frustrated by the do-nothing climate change sceptics. My message to the climate change sceptics, to the big betters and the big risk-takers, is this: You are betting our children’s future and the future of our grandchildren.”
Malcolm Turnbull on ABC radio’s AM, 27 Nov 09:
“This is not a game. We are talking about the future of our children and their children, we’re talking about the future of our planet. The vast majority of Australians want to see action on climate change. The issue boils down in the mind of the Australian people, which party can we trust to take effective action on climate change?”
Turnbull has already used trickery to frustrate the majority in the party room who wanted to at least delay the Ration-N-Tax Scheme.

Now Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull have devised a another tricky plan to get the CPRS Bill through the Senate on Monday 30th November, the day before the Liberal party meeting he has called for Tuesday, where he is expected to be blasted out of office.

The plan is to move the guillotine in the Senate on Monday where the ALP’s 32 senators will be supported by Turnbullite Liberal senators in sufficient numbers to pass the guillotine. Once that has been done the CPRS Bill will be immediately put to the vote, and the same coalition of ALP and Turnbullite senators will pass the Bill.
This is indeed a cunning plan and demonstrates the length of trickery to which Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull are prepared to go together to impose this monstrous regime of command and control on Australia.
Read the full document: [PDF, 91KB] (Carbon Sense Coalition)

Hey lookit! Mikey's tripped over the LIA and the Medieval Warm Period! Past regional cold and warm periods linked to natural climate drivers
Intervals of regional warmth and cold in the past are linked to the El Nino phenomenon and the so-called 'North Atlantic Oscillation' in the Northern hemisphere's jet stream, according to a team of climate scientists. These linkages may be important in assessing the regional effects of future climate change.

'Studying the past can potentially inform our understanding of what the future may hold,' said Michael Mann, Professor of meteorology, Penn State.

Mann stresses that an understanding of how past natural changes have influenced phenomena such as El Nino, can perhaps help to resolve current disparities between state-of the-art climate models regarding how human-caused climate change may impact this key climate pattern.

Mann and his team used a network of diverse climate proxies such as tree ring samples, ice cores, coral and sediments to reconstruct spatial patterns of ocean and land surface temperature over the past 1500 years. They found that the patterns of temperature change show dynamic connections to natural phenomena such as El Nino. They report their findings in today's issue (Nov. 27) of Science.

Mann and his colleagues reproduced the relatively cool interval from the 1400s to the 1800s known as the 'Little Ice Age' and the relatively mild conditions of the 900s to 1300s sometimes termed the 'Medieval Warm Period.'  (ScienceCentric)

In my post
An Erroneous Statement Made By Phil Jones To The Media On The Independence Of The Global Surface Temperature Trend Analyses Of CRU, GISS And NCDC
I discussed that Phil Jones implied that the GISS and NCDC surface temperature data sets confirmed the robutness of the magnitude of the multi-decadal global average surface temperature trend, even if his CRU data was excluded, since GISS and NCDC provide  independent assessments.
To present this issue further, I have reproduced below my question in 2005 on this issue and the CCSP response from
Compilation of Comments on the Public Review Draft of CCSP Synthesis and Assessment Product 1.1: “Temperature trends in the lower atmosphere – steps for understanding and reconciling differences”
Question [by Roger A. Pielke Sr]:What is the overlap in the raw data that utilized by the three groups?
The best estimate that I am aware of has a 90-95% overlap. The analyses from the three groups are hardly independent assessments, and this should not be hidden in the report.  The overlap is particularly important for the grid points analyzed in the analyses where only 1 or 2 observational data points exist. We have documented for the tropical land areas, for example (20N to 20S) about 70% of the grid points have had zero or less than one observation site! Thus to compute an average surface temperature trend over land in the tropics, which is the area where the report narrowly focuses, almost all of the raw data used on the three analyses is from the same source. Thus to present a Figure to purportedly illustrate uncertainty in the surface temperature trends is misleading. (Climate Science)

There is a new paper of relevance to the role of landscape change on the climate system (and thanks to Marcel Severijnen to alerting us to!). The paper is
Uwe Ballhorna, Florian Siegerta, Mike Mason and Suwido Limin, 2009: Derivation of burn scar depths and estimation of carbon emissions with LIDAR in Indonesian peatlands. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. November 25, 2009, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0906457106
The abstract reads

“During the 1997/98 El Niño-induced drought peatland fires in Indonesia may have released 13–40% of the mean annual global carbon emissions from fossil fuels. One major unknown in current peatland emission estimations is how much peat is combusted by fire. Using a light detection and ranging data set acquired in Central Kalimantan, Borneo, in 2007, one year after the severe peatland fires of 2006, we determined an average burn scar depth of 0.33 ± 0.18 m. Based on this result and the burned area determined from satellite imagery, we estimate that within the 2.79 million hectare study area 49.15 ± 26.81 megatons of carbon were released during the 2006 El Niño episode. This represents 10–33% of all carbon emissions from transport for the European Community in the year 2006. These emissions, originating from a comparatively small area (approximately 13% of the Indonesian peatland area), underline the importance of peat fires in the context of green house gas emissions and global warming. In the past decade severe peat fires occurred during El Niño-induced droughts in 1997, 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2009. Currently, this important source of carbon emissions is not included in IPCC carbon accounting or in regional and global carbon emission models. Precise spatial measurements of peat combusted and potential avoided emissions in tropical peat swamp forests will also be required for future emission trading schemes in the framework of Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation in developing countries.”

The abstract includes the text
“Currently, this important source of carbon emissions is not included in IPCC carbon accounting or in regional and global carbon emission models.”
This is in addition to the failure of the 2009 IPCC assessment to consider, as just two examples,  the effect of this biomass burning on the generation of atmospheric aerosols and their effect on precipitation (e.g. see) and of the alteration of the surface fluxes of heat and moisture into the atmosphere with a resultant alteration of large scale atmospheric patterns (e.g. see). (Climate Science)

Guest post by Dr David Evans
PDF at
Now that ClimateGate has buried the fraudulent hockey stick for good, it is easily to prove that global warming is not man-made: just compare the timing of our carbon dioxide emissions with the timing of global warming.
Human Emissions of Carbon Dioxide
Emissions of carbon dioxide by humans are easy to estimate from our consumption of coal, oil, and natural gas, and production of cement:
Human carbon emissions
Figure 1: Carbon emissions by humans. Source: Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center.
The vast bulk of human emissions occurred after 1945, during post-WWII industrialization. Half of all human consumption of fossil fuels and cement production has occurred since the mid 1970s.
Global temperature proxies (sediments, boreholes, pollen, oxygen-18, stalagmites, magnesium to calcium ratios, algae, cave formation, etc. over a wide geographical range) show a warming trend starting around 1700, with warming and cooling periods about the trend:
Midieval Warming Period - Loehle Graph
Figure 2: Mean global temperature reconstruction based on 18 non-tree-ring proxies, to 1935. Only 11 proxies cover the period after 1935, dotted line. Sources 1, 2, 3, 4: Dr Craig Loehle, National Council for Air and Stream Improvement.
Global thermometer records are more reliable and precise, but only go back to 1880. They confirm that the warming trend extends back to at least 1880, and show warming and cooling periods of about thirty years in each direction:
Akasofu Graph of last 200 years and IPCC predictions
Figure 3: The global instrumental temperature record to 2000, in the yellow box. Simply draw a trend line through the data. In 2009 we are where the green arrow points. .  Source: Dr Syun Akasofu, International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Compare the Timing
The timing is all wrong for the theory of manmade global warming:
  • Temperature increases started in 1700, and the underlying rate of increase has been roughly steady (though there have been warming and cooling fluctuations around the trend).
  • Human emissions of carbon dioxide were negligible before 1850, and really only took off after 1945.
If human emissions of carbon dioxide caused global warming, then there would be massive and accelerating global warming after 1945 and almost no global warming before 1945. Obviously this is not the case.
  1. There is almost no relationship between human emissions and global temperature, so global warming is not mainly due to human emissions of carbon dioxide.
  2. Something other than human emissions caused the global warming prior to 1850.
  3. The steadiness of the underlying temperature trend since 1700 suggests that whatever caused the warming prior to 1850 is still causing warming, and that the effect of human emissions of carbon dioxide is relatively insignificant.
QED (JoNova)

We’ve already seen serious questions raised about the way a warming rise was calculated in New Zealand. Willis Eschenbach now describes how the Climategate scientists misled Sweden’s Professor Wibjorn Karlen about the temperatures over Nordic countries, too, when he asked how the IPCC had produced graphics like these for northern Europe:
What puzzled Karlen was that the data he was looking at for Nordic countries in fact showed no warming above what had been witnessed in the 1930s:
Wrote Karlen to the Climategate scientists:
It is hard to find evidence of a drastic warming of the Arctic. It is also difficult to find evidence of a drastic warming outside urban areas in a large part of the world outside Europe. However the increase in temperature in Central Europe may be because the whole area is urbanized (see e.g. Bidwell, T., 2004: Scotobiology – the biology of darkness. Global change News Letter No. 58 June, 2004).
So, I find it necessary to object to the talk about a scaring temperature increase because of increased human release of CO2. In fact, the warming seems to be limited to densely populated areas.
Eschenbach then describes the snow job. (Andrew Bolt)

I asked Dr. Judith Curry if I could repost her letter which she originally sent to Climate Progress, here at WUWT. Here was her response:
From: Curry, Judith A
Sent: Friday, November 27, 2009 2:10 PM
To: Anthony Watts – mobile
Subject: Re: request
Hi Anthony, by all means post it. I am trying to reach out to everyone, pls help in this effort. Judy
Judith A. Curry Dr. Judith A. Curry
Dr. Curry gets props from the skeptical community because she had the courage to invite Steve McIntyre to give a presentation at Georgia Tech, for which she took criticism. Her letter is insightful and addresses troubling issues. We can all learn something from it. – Anthony

An open letter to graduate students and young scientists in fields related to climate research – By Dr. Judith A. Curry, Georgia Tech

Based upon feedback that I’ve received from graduate students at Georgia Tech, I suspect that you are confused, troubled, or worried by what you have been reading about ClimateGate and the contents of the hacked CRU emails. After spending considerable time reading the hacked emails and other posts in the blogosphere, I wrote an essay that calls for greater transparency in climate data and other methods used in climate research. The essay is posted over at (you can read it at 2009/ 11/ 22/ curry-on-the-credibility-of-climate-research/ ).

What has been noticeably absent so far in the ClimateGate discussion is a public reaffirmation by climate researchers of our basic research values: the rigors of the scientific method (including reproducibility), research integrity and ethics, open minds, and critical thinking. Under no circumstances should we ever sacrifice any of these values; the CRU emails, however, appear to violate them.

My motivation for communicating on this issue in the blogosphere comes from emails that I received from Georgia Tech graduate students and alums. As a result of my post on climateaudit, I started receiving emails from graduate students from other universities. I post the content of one of the emails here, without reference to the student’s name or institution: Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)

This comment was sent to me in case it was not posted at all or in it’s entirety over at Climate Progress. It wasn’t, so I’m repeating it here because I think it is relevant to the discussion that Dr. Judith Curry started. From my perspective, the best way to begin to foster understanding is to stop using labels that degrade, and that goes for both sides of the debate.
- Anthony

Kate says:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
November 27, 2009 at 9:59 pm Judith Curry wrote “I reserve the word “deniers” for people that are explicitly associated with advocacy groups that are politicizing this issue…”
I reserve the word “deniers” for people that explicitly reject the history of Jewish extermination in wartime Germany. Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)

Nothing in the climate debate which I’ve been paying sporadic attention to is more repulsive than the global warming advocates’ attempt to smear skeptics of their theories and models and predictions as “denialists.” As if they were some analog of holocaust deniers.
Not all those concerned about climate change use the term. (Some stick to a sneering use of “skeptics” as a stigmatizing word, as if science itself wasn’t an ongoing process of skepticism about received wisdom. Copernicus was a skeptic about the idea the sun revolved around the earth. He wasn’t a “solar denialist.”)
But nothing causes me more revulsion — and skepticism — than the warming advocates’ (I think the CRU scandal — and the shameful reaction to it — has revealed many of the most celebrated of them to be more p.r. advocates than scrupulous scientists) application of the opprobrious term “denialist” to anyone who questions the work they have so assiduously screened from scrutiny.
When I started paying attention again to the controversy after the release of the pathetic CRU e-mails, I noticed the most desperate of the last ditch defenders of the CRU charlatans — and indeed the CRU charlatans themselves — would resort to calling any of those who disagreed “denialists.” That the use of “denialist” had grown as the failure of their predictions (the discredited “hockey stick” chart) increased.
To me that shameful, trivializing word use alone is more exposure than any e-mail could be of their lack of critical intelligence of the sort that makes them unfit to call themselves scientists, or, in the case of many of their “green journalist” sycophants, ignorant of how actual science works. (Ron Rosenbaum, PJM)

An internal document circulating among members of an industry-environmental coalition that favors action on global warming provides a window into the oil industry’s fight to scale back mandates in Democratic climate-change bills.

The U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), formed with a huge splash in early 2007, helped provide an early push for cap-and-trade legislation by uniting several big green groups, large utilities, and major oil companies Shell, ConocoPhillips and BP.

But the oil industry says current Capitol Hill plans would create costly burdens, and companies inside and outside the group are seeking major changes to requirements for refiners.

The document circulating within USCAP, obtained by The Hill, offers a different approach for addressing emissions from car and truck tailpipes.

Sources inside the group say the document has been circulated by ConocoPhillips and BP. (The Hill)

I noted with interest the outlandish comments made by Al Gore suggesting greenhouse gas emissions from Alberta's oil sands threaten our survival.

A realistic and reasonable discussion about oil-sands development must be based on fact. Sadly, Gore's doomsday assertions about an industry that makes up less than one-tenth of 1 per cent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions are neither realistic, reasonable nor factual. (Ed Stelmach, Premier of Alberta)

ScottishPower says it has reduced the energy requirement for carbon capture and storage (CCS) by around a third.

Following tests at its Longannet pilot, the firm says its prototype carbon capture unit has clocked up 2,000 hours, capturing 90 per cent of the carbon content from 1,000 cubic meters an hour of exhaust gas.

ScottishPower claims a combination of process engineering and low energy solvents are behind the breakthrough, which in turn will lower operating costs of future CCS plants.

"The ability to capture CO2 without it being cost prohibitive is key to the future of CCS," said chief executive, Nick Horler. He claims that the Longannet plant will be up and running at full scale (ie 300MW) using CCS and existing pipelines to store the carbon by 2014. (Utility Week)

WASHINGTON — Two years ago, Congress ordered the nation’s gasoline refiners to do something that is turning out to be mathematically impossible.

To please the farm lobby and to help wean the nation off oil, Congress mandated that refiners blend a rising volume of ethanol and other biofuels into gasoline. They are supposed to use at least 15 billion gallons of biofuels by 2012, up from less than seven billion gallons in 2007.

But nobody at the time counted on fuel demand falling in the United States, which is what has happened during the recession. And that decline could well continue, as cars become more efficient under other recent government mandates.

At the maximum allowable blend, in which gasoline at the pump contains 10 percent ethanol, updated projections suggest that the country is unlikely to be able to use all the ethanol that Congress has ordered up. So something has to give.

“The market is full,” said Jeff Broin, chief executive of Poet, a company in Sioux Falls, S.D., that produces ethanol.

In theory, the Environmental Protection Agency has the power to solve this problem by tweaking the mandates imposed by Congress, and it may act as early as next week. (NYT)

THE ethanol industry, once the darling of corn growers, environmentalists and the auto industry, has fallen on hard times. Producers spent this year caught between falling ethanol prices and rising corn costs, causing many to go bankrupt. In response, they are pushing the Environmental Protection Agency to increase the amount of ethanol they can blend into gasoline to 15 percent, up from the current 10 percent. Allowing this, however, would only double down on a discredited environmental policy without solving the industry’s fundamental economic problem.

That problem is simple: Ethanol prices trend higher and lower along with the price of gasoline, yet the cost of producing ethanol tends to rise with demand, since higher ethanol production exerts upward pressure on the price of corn. In a free market, corn prices might be expected to eventually fall as the market adjusts to increased demand. But because the government heavily promotes ethanol use through subsidies and regulation, the market is continually strained.

The problem is magnified because corn is a water- and fertilizer-intensive crop that requires considerable investment. Worse, since fertilizer is often an oil-based product, the cost of growing corn tends to rise at the very moment ethanol prices, which rise with oil prices, might bring a good return. (NYT)

* Ethanol emissions 62 pct lower measuring all stages
* Skeptics say biofuel uses more fuel than it produces

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Nov 26 - Canadian ethanol emits 62 percent less greenhouse gas than conventional fuel, taking into consideration all stages of the fuel's production from planting a crop to burning the fuel, a new report prepared for Canada's biofuel industry said on Friday.

The results rebut a key argument against producing biofuels, that they use more energy than they can generate, said Gordon Quaiattini, president of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association. (Reuters)

One of the biggest environmental stories in recent years is the sad saga of Chinese drywall. Upwards of 60,000 homes, and possibly as many as 300,000, are affected by the sulfide spewing gypsum board. In addition to the highly publicized corrosion of all sorts of metal parts, including air conditioning coils, and the obnoxious sulfide odors, nearly all residents of these homes are reporting health effects—usually upper respiratory complaints.
Moreover, there are dozens of reports of affected families who have left their homes, whose symptoms disappear completely in a few days. Absent actual medical tests, field confirmation of health effect etiology does not get a whole lot better than this. (Shaw's Eco-Logic)

THREE Australian experts are making waves in the medical community with a report suggesting swine flu may have developed because of a lab error in making vaccines.

"It could have happened in a lab where somebody became affected and then travelled with it," virologist Dr Adrian Gibbs said yesterday.

Conjuring up a vision of Frankenstein's fictional monster fleeing the laboratory, he added: "Things do get out of labs and this has to be explored. There needs to be more research done in this area.

"At the moment there is no way of distinguishing where swine flu has come from." (Daily Telegraph)
Well, there is this:
US Patent Application 20090010962 - Genetically Engineered Swine Influenza Virus and Uses Thereof
Application Filed on June 1, 2005
Application Published on January 8, 2009

ONE of the profound mysteries of medicine is why in the midst of an epidemic some people become severely ill and die while others remain unscathed.

During the great plagues of past centuries, like the Black Death, smallpox and yellow fever, the answer was often cast in religious terms: survival was a miracle and succumbing was a punishment. During this influenza pandemic of H1N1, doctors and health officials invoke “underlying conditions.” This phrase, now so ubiquitous in news reports, is rightly understood to mean concurrent medical problems like diabetes and lung disease. But such underlying conditions are only part of the mystery of why this flu is so mild for some and so serious for others. (NYT)

Congressional Democrats are using several budget gimmicks to disguise the cost of their health care overhaul, claiming the House and Senate bills would cost only (!) about $1 trillion over 10 years.  Now that critics have begun to correct for those budget gimmicks, supporters of ObamaCare are firing back.
One gimmick makes the new entitlement spending appear smaller by not opening the spigot until late in the official 10-year budget window (2010–2019).  Correcting for that gimmick in the Senate version, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) estimates, “When all this new spending occurs” — i.e., from 2014 through 2023 — “this bill will cost $2.5 trillion over that ten-year period.”

Another gimmick pushes much of the legislation’s costs off the federal budget and onto the private sector by requiring individuals and employers to purchase health insurance.  When the bills force somebody to pay $10,000 to the government, the Congressional Budget Office treats that as a tax.  When the government then hands that $10,000 to private insurers, the CBO counts that as government spending.  But when the bills achieve the exact same outcome by forcing somebody to pay $10,000 directly to a private insurance company, it appears nowhere in the official CBO cost estimates — neither as federal revenues nor federal spending.  That’s a sharp departure from how the CBO treated similar mandates in the Clinton health plan.  And it hides maybe 60 percent of the legislation’s total costs.  When I correct for that gimmick, it brings total costs to roughly $2.5 trillion (i.e., $1 trillion/0.4).

Here’s where things get really ugly.  TPMDC’s Brian Beutler calls “the” $2.5-trillion cost estimate a “doozy” of a “hysterical Republican whopper.”  Not only is he incorrect, he doesn’t seem to realize that Gregg and I are correcting for different budget gimmicks; it’s just a coincidence that we happened to reach the same number.
When we correct for both gimmicks, counting both on- and off-budget costs over the first 10 years of implementation, the total cost of ObamaCare reaches — I’m so sorry about this — $6.25 trillion.  That’s not a precise estimate.  It’s just far closer to the truth than President Obama and congressional Democrats want the debate to be.

Beutler and other supporters of ObamaCare can react to this news in two ways.  They can continue to deny the enormous cost of the legislation they support.  Or they can question how President Obama’s health plan came to be so blessedly expensive, and how (and by whom) they were duped into thinking it wasn’t. (Michael F. Cannon, Cato at liberty)

FIRST-TIME mothers feel they are leaving hospitals as failures because they are being pressured to breastfeed at all costs, with many saying breastfeeding was harder than giving birth.

In an exclusive The Daily Telegraph online survey, more than 500 new mothers shared their experiences and experts said the striking findings show how a fragmented and biased system is letting down NSW families.

One in two mums said they felt pressured to breastfeed, while 42 per cent said they were given no information about alternatives and 65 per cent of women said they were given contradictory advice by midwives.

Nearly one in two mums reported they hated breastfeeding and said they found it tougher than the actual labour, while a third of mothers surveyed said they moved to using formula after eight weeks.

The World Health Organisation recommends babies should be breastfed for at least 12 months. ( Daily Telegraph)

A NATIONAL children's activity program that has already snared more than $200 million of public money is proving an expensive flop, according to experts who say children who take part are doing barely more exercise overall than non-participants. (The Australian)

Only two months ago our piece on the CRU was entitled Beyond satire. At that time they were still comfortable within the protection of political and bureaucratic patronage. Now that their cover has been blown, probably by an anonymous whistle blower, the patrons are in a spin, hovering between brushing it all under the carpet and setting up one of their carefully primed enquiries. Even staunch allies, such as George Monbiot and the environmental editor of the Sunday Times, are shocked at the revelation of truths that many of us had long ago already inferred.
The truly shocking thing about it all, however, is the destructive effect that the environmental movement has had on science in general.  It is bad enough that outfits such as CRU absorb such a large proportion of available funding, with their inflated staffing and inordinately costly super-computers. But as the Cat in the Hat would say, that is not all. It has been an enduring and bitter joke in these pages and throughout the scientific community that to secure your research grant you have to add to your application title “and the effect of global warming”. The line of sensor research that your bending author bequeathed only continues because it was linkable to “sustainability”. The heavy hints that such was the only path to funding were among the many reasons for deciding that it was time to leave the stage. Younger academic scientists do not have that choice. For two decades now, British universities have been closing down physics and chemistry departments. That this should happen in a nation that fought well above its weight in these fields (just look at the Nobel Prize lists) is a tragedy for humanity. Physics is dead, long live environmental science.

In parenthesis, the memory of a lovely summer afternoon spent sitting by a richer neighbour’s swimming pool leaves an indelible image that now seems so relevant. A pair of pied wagtails were desperately trying to satisfy the hunger of a cuckoo chick that had been foisted on them. It was so large that they had to stand on its back to reach its insatiable gape.

In Britain, the wiser political heads of yore created the University Grants Committee, which was designed, among other things, to insulate academia from the instant demands of political and administrative exigency. For that very reason it met its demise in 1989. Yet again a Thatcherite tactic, designed to constrain the occupation of much of academia by the destructive left, was a strategic error that enabled Tony Blair to drive his wrecking ball through the university system (though one must not forget the contribution of the woeful Major Government that demolished the economically vital polytechnics by turning them into Mickey Mouse universities). Worse, that and related policies turned universities into quasi-industrial bodies, in which harassed chief executives and centralised administrations made poor decisions based on inadequate information and undue financial pressure. Back in 2004 Number Watch made the ironic comment that Britain was planning to achieve world dominance in media studies. Well that has come to pass and we can add other essential areas, such as golf course design and surfing. Experimental sciences are expensive luxuries when government polices are based on a drive to get bums on seats. This is especially so when their potential research funds are being diverted to more politically correct activities.

One of the delusions of the new political class is that you can create institutions instantaneously (schools for example): just add water. This is a gross and destructive fallacy. Such institutions build up a corporate knowledge that cannot be written down and takes generations to accumulate, though they can be destroyed overnight. The demolition of the grammar schools in Britain was an economic as well as a cultural disaster, which virtually put an end to social mobility.

Likewise, you cannot recreate physics departments overnight. You can retrieve the condensed information from published work, but you cannot recreate the know-how of technicians that made the work possible. The political class do not understand the role of technicians, so they have simply ended their production.
These facts, however ruinous, are side issues. The monopolising of precious resources by any academic discipline, even if it were one less fatuous than the theology of modern, politically-correct environmentalism, would always be a downward step in the path of human progress. (Number Watch)

JENNIE SUNSHINE doesn’t need horror movies. She has witnessed numerous chain-saw massacres right on Ravencrest Road, her sleepy suburban block in this upper Westchester town.

“It seems like every time someone moves onto the block, they begin cutting down trees,” said Ms. Sunshine, 38, a stay-at-home mother of a 2-year-old girl. Three neighbors have deforested parts of their yards in the past two years, she said.

“I’m not a nosy neighbor, but every time I hear the saws, I’m like, ‘Oh, my God, there it is again,’ ” she said. “These trees were not sick or a safety hazard; these people just wanted to rearrange the landscape. I thought, ‘If this continues, what’s Yorktown going to look like in 30 years, the Lower East Side?’ ”

Ms. Sunshine never confronted her neighbors, but she joined a group of like-minded residents who are pushing for a town ordinance requiring property owners to get approval before removing certain trees on their property.

Protecting trees on public land and parkland, and on property under development, is standard in municipalities in the New York area. But more local governments — Larchmont and Rye in Westchester County, and Chatham, Madison and Rutherford in New Jersey, to name a few — have considered or are debating more controversial restrictions on what homeowners can do with the trees on their own property. (NYT)

Motorway lights should be turned off at night to protect the environment, experts have said.

Light pollution stops us enjoying the beauty of the night sky and could be disrupting the delicate life cycles of birds, bats and other wildlife, according to the Royal Commission of Environmental Pollution.

They say that motorway lights, other than those at junctions, do little to prevent accidents, and that the benefits are likely to be too small to justify the costs. (Daily Mail)
If they save even one human life then they are worth having on.

The longest and least uplifting chapter in my new Cato book Mad about Trade is Chapter 9, where I describe all the remaining duties and restrictions our government imposes on our freedom to trade with people in other countries. We are certainly not “the most open market in the world,” as a member of President Obama’s Cabinet asserted in China last week. In fact, by one measure we rank a lowly 28th.
After mentioning this fact in speeches lately, I’ve been asked more than once to name the markets that ARE the most open in the world. Here, according to the latest 2009 Economic Freedom of the World Report, are the top ten most open economies:
1. Hong Kong
2. Singapore
3. Chile
4. Ireland
5. Panama
6. Netherlands
7. United Arab Emirates
8. Slovak Republic
9. Hungary
10. Luxembourg
(The list is a bit different from the one I cite in the book, which was based on the 2008 EFW report.)
One of the most remarkable members on the list is Chile. Decades ago, it was one of the most closed, protectionist economies in Latin America. Today it is the most open. In fact, when you consider that Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China, and Singapore is a tiny city state, Chile is the most open full-sized country in the world. (I hope our free-trade friends in Singapore won’t take offense at that!)
It is no coincidence that Chile has become the economic star of Latin America.
Will our own president and Congress learn from Chile’s example? (Daniel Griswold, Cato at liberty)

Bill C-300 would put Canadian firms at a competitive disadvantage and damage their reputations
The committee hearings on Bill C-300, designed to hobble Canadian mining and oil and gas companies operating overseas, heard further hysterical and bizarre testimony this week. At times accounts were reminiscent of scenes from Syriana, or a Michael Moore movie, at others like something manufactured on a psychiatrist’s couch.

The highest-profile testimony alleging Canadian corporate skullduggery came from Romina Picolotti. The former secretary for the Environment and Sustainable Development of Argentina. Testifying by video link, Ms. Picolotti, who is also the founder and president of an environmental NGO, the Centre for Human Rights and the Environment, made astounding claims that Toronto-based Barrick, the world’s largest gold miner, was responsible for physically threatening not merely her and her staff, but also her children.
Click here to read more... (Financial Post)

The Financial Times have humiliated themselves by printing an article by two crackpots, Blood and Gore (no kidding), called
Time is up for short-term thinking in global capitalism.
Let's ignore the fact that one of the authors is a criminal and a template for all hypocrites who should have been sitting in a jail for years, and look at their "ideas" instead. (The Reference Frame)
DALI, China — Justin Franchi Solondz, an environmental activist from New Jersey who spent years evading charges of ecoterrorism in the United States by hiding out in China, was sentenced to three years in prison by a local court on Friday on charges of manufacturing drugs in this backpacker haven.

After serving his time, Mr. Solondz, 30, who is on the F.B.I.’s wanted list, will be deported to the United States, where he faces charges stemming from what the authorities say was his role in an arson rampage that destroyed buildings in three western states as a member of a group related to the environmental extremist organization Earth Liberation Front. He was indicted in absentia in 2006. (NYT)

A climate change expert endorsed Tesco’s position on reducing plastic bag use after his institute received a £25million donation from the supermarket, it has been revealed.

Professor Mohan Munasinghe said the retailer’s policy of rewarding customers who reuse the bags with ClubCard points was ‘more effective’ than charging.

His comments appeared in the Consumers, Business and Climate Change report, which was published amid much fanfare at the Royal Society last month.

The professor, one of Britain’s leading experts on climate change, is head of the Sustainable Consumption Institute at Manchester University, set up with the aid of a £25million donation from Tesco in 2007.

The retailer’s employees were also involved in compiling the report, it has emerged. They were mentioned by name, but their connection to the store was not disclosed. (Daily Mail)

OTTAWA -- Brock Fenton shudders when he thinks of a world without bats.

For more than 40 years, Fenton - a professor at the University of Western Ontario and Canada's foremost bat expert - has been visiting an abandoned mine 75 kilometres west of Ottawa near Renfrew, Ont., where bats hibernate by the thousands.

Fenton knows that one day soon they may all be gone, killed by a lethal fungus that is destroying the bats of eastern North America. ( Blair Crawford , Ottawa Citizen)

November 27, 2009

One of the released emails has the preeminent U.S. junk science critic renaming his allies: "We are no longer The Skeptics. We are The Vindicated." (See full PJM/PJTV coverage of Climategate here.)
What’s the real smoking gun among the emails allegedly “hacked” from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit? We’ll get to that in a moment, but let’s first address the alarmists’ first line of defense — that the emails were stolen, and more than likely by some dastardly skeptic.

Since news of embarrassing, if not incriminating emails broke last Friday, it has become clear that the CRU computer system was not “hacked” and the emails were not stolen. In fact, the file containing the emails had been assembled by CRU staff in preparation for compliance with a Freedom of Information request. The file was then stored in a publicly accessible portion of the CRU computer network — making it just a matter of time before someone discovered it. Why the file was so stored may never be known, but that’s not really what’s important.

Nothing illegal or unethical was done to affect the file’s release.

Moving on. (Steve Milloy, PJM)

LONDON - The head of the U.N.'s panel of climate experts rejected accusations of bias on Thursday, saying a "Climategate" row in no way undermined evidence that humans are to blame for global warming.

Climate change skeptics have seized on a series of e-mails written by specialists in the field, accusing them of colluding to suppress data which might have undermined their arguments.

The e-mails, some written as long as 13 years ago, were stolen from a British university by unknown hackers and spread rapidly across the Internet.

But Rajendra Pachauri, who chairs the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), stood by his panel's 2007 findings, called the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). "This private communication in no way damages the credibility of the AR4 findings," he told Reuters in an email exchange. (Reuters)

You can’t put honesty in a test tube.

“Science” doesn’t say anything—scientists do.

Those are a couple of the illuminating conclusions we can draw from the global warming e-mail scandal.

“You mean science is not objective?” No, unless the scientists are, and too often they are not. I don’t want to impugn all scientists, but it is true that some of them are less than honest. Sometimes they lie to get or keep their jobs. Sometimes they lie to get grant money. Sometimes they lie to further their political beliefs. Sometimes they don’t intentionally lie, but they draw bad scientific conclusions because they only look for what they hope to find. ( Frank Turek, Townhall)

How to Forge a Consensus - The impression left by the Climategate emails is that the global warming game has been rigged from the start.
The climatologists at the center of last week's leaked-email and document scandal have taken the line that it is all much ado about nothing. Yes, the wording of the some of their messages was unfortunate, but they insist this in no way undermines the underlying science, which is as certain as ever.

"What they've done is search through stolen personal emails—confidential between colleagues who often speak in a language they understand and is often foreign to the outside world," Penn State's Michael Mann told Reuters Wednesday. Mr. Mann added that this has made "something innocent into something nefarious."

Phil Jones, Director of the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit, from which the emails were lifted, is singing from the same climate hymnal. "My colleagues and I accept that some of the published emails do not read well. I regret any upset or confusion caused as a result. Some were clearly written in the heat of the moment, others use colloquialisms frequently used between close colleagues," he said this week.

We don't doubt that Mr. Jones would have phrased his emails differently if he expected them to end up in the newspaper. His May 2008 email to Mr. Mann regarding the U.N.'s Fourth Assessment Report: "Mike, Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?" does not "read well," it's true. (Mr. Mann has said he didn't delete any such emails.)

But the furor over these documents is not about tone, colloquialisms or even whether climatologists are nice people in private. The real issue is what the messages say about the way the much-ballyhooed scientific consensus on global warming was arrived at in the first place, and how even now a single view is being enforced. In short, the impression left by the correspondence among Messrs. Mann and Jones and others is that the climate-tracking game has been rigged from the start. (WSJE)

A respected British scientist has admitted that emails taken from his inbox, calling into question many of the accepted truths of global warming, were genuine. The documents appear to show scientists are holding back, or ignoring, evidence. One even suggested using a "trick" to hide a trend of falling temperatures. (Russia Today)


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