February 25, 2009

Swimming Against the Tide

Filed under: Adaptation

The Washington Post ran a front page story on Monday, February 23, describing ecomigration—in this case, people moving to avoid the impacts of global warming. The story was odd because in the starring role was a fellow moving his family from Montgomery County, Maryland, to New Zealand! When we think of reasons people want to leave Montgomery County, global warming doesn’t jump to the top of list—perhaps moving to try to get away from all the traffic produced by the large influx of all the other people moving into the region is a more likely candidate.

Another potential ecomigrant highlighted in the Post article who was considering fleeing from global warming’s way was a guy who was thinking of moving back to Michigan from his home in Florida. Again, someone who is apparently swimming against the tide of domestic (and otherwise) migrants into the state of Florida—one the fastest growing places in the U.S.

Now maybe these examples were selected by Washington Post staffwriter Shankar Vedantam to show that people in places other than the Pacific atolls of Tuvalu or Kiribati are concerned about the coming climate, but the choices were strange.

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February 13, 2009

Subcommittee on Energy and Environment Testimony

On Thursday, February 12, 2009, Dr. Patrick J. Michaels provided testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Environment during their hearing “The Climate Crisis: National Security, Public Health, and Economic Threats.”

Dr. MIchaels’ general message was that the recent behavior of global temperatures is starting to push the (lower) bounds of climate models’ expectations of such behavior and that if the current slowdown in the rate of global warming continues for much longer, we must start to question the reliability of climate projections of the future state of our climate.

His complete written testimony in included below:

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February 11, 2009

Audubon’s Bird-brained Conclusion: More Global Warming Misdirection

Filed under: Adaptation, Animals

There is an interesting (of course!) new post up over at MasterResource.org taking a closer look at the Audubon Society’s latest pronouncement about birds and climate change. Here it the abstract:

On Tuesday, the National Audubon Society released a report “Birds and Climate Change” which interpreted an average northern shift of the over-wintering range of a large collection of North American bird species over the course of the past 40 years or so. Audubon decided that this range shift was due, in part, to “global warming.” Therefore, it was bad and action must be taken to avert it:

It is the complete picture of widespread movement and the failure of some species to move at all that illustrate the impacts of climate change on birds. They are sending us a powerful signal that we need to 1) take policy action to curb climate change and its impacts, and 2) help wildlife and ecosystems adapt to unavoidable habitat changes, even as we work to curb climate change itself.

What the Audubon Society failed to mention

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February 9, 2009

1,000 Years of Boston Hurricanes

Filed under: Climate Extremes, Hurricanes

The next highway from Boston to Los Angeles can be paved with articles at odds with the notion that hurricanes are becoming more fierce or frequent or longer-lived thanks to you driving an SUV or flying to Hawaii for a vacation. Our World Climate Report achive is so chalked-full of material on this subject, we wonder if it can stand any more? If the greenhouse crusade would for once say they are wrong on this subject, we would give it up. But with literally millions websites still loudly promoting the link between hurricanes and warming, we are going to stay in business for another essay on the topic.

A research team from the University of Massachusetts, the University of Pittsburgh, and institutions in Germany and Québec focused on hurricane activity near Boston over the past 1,000 years with substantial funding from NSF, NOAA, and UMass. Besonen et al. begin their article noting “The natural variability of hurricane activity on centennial and longer timescales is poorly known because instrumental records extend back just ~130 years, and aircraft reconnaissance and satellite observations only began in the mid-1940’s. Interest is heightened in light of studies suggesting that hurricane activity may increase due to anthropogenic global warming, and, more recently, that such an increase is already perceptible.”

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February 4, 2009

MasterResource.org

Filed under: Climate Politics

We just want to take the opportunity to draw your attention to the official roll-out of a new blog with content of potential interest to World Climate Report readers:

New Free-Market Energy Blog Launched, Hits Exceed 14,000 In First Month

MasterResource.org spurs “real, fact-driven debate” on costs and unintended consequences of government-driven energy vision

Washington – As a new Congress and administration look to confront our nation’s serious and dynamic energy challenges with static tools and stale philosophies of a bygone era, a group of leading scholars has teamed together to launch MasterResource.org, an energy-focused blog designed to encourage a real discussion of the consequences and externalities of empowering government as chief engineer and executor of our energy future.

“Not since the 1970s have the legislative and executive branches of government been as ready, willing or able to fundamentally reshape the way everyday Americans access and acquire their energy as today,” said Robert L. Bradley Jr., the author of Oil, Gas, and Government: The U.S. Experience, the definitive history of energy regulation in the United States. “Before these changes are instituted, and Americans are asked to underwrite them, the absolute least we should expect in return is a real, fact-driven debate – one that’s willing to weigh costs with benefits, and prepared to take on the sacred cows and golden geese that have paralyzed serious discussions on energy and environmental policy for decades. MasterResource.org is a small contribution to that effort – but ultimately, we hope, a meaningful one.”

Along with Bradley, the blog features the postings of Indur Goklany, author and sustainable-development expert; Kenneth Green, resident energy and environment scholar at the American Enterprise Institute; Michael Lynch, the MIT-educated president of the energy consulting firm Strategic Energy and Economic Research, Inc.; Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger, a climate-science specialist with New Hope Environmental Services; Marlo Lewis, senior fellow in energy and climate policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute; and Jerry Taylor, the Cato Institute’s lead expert on issues related to energy policy and environmental regulation.

“The time for horse-trading and parlor-game speculation is over,” added Bradley, whose two most recent books (Capitalism at Work: Business, Government, and Energy and Energy: The Master Resource) take on a number of energy-related myths and misconceptions considered in greater detail on the blog. “President Obama has laid out his vision for how he’d like to see governments interact with energy markets in the future and, without due deliberation, both parties in Congress appear ready to deliver it to him. This blog serves as a forum for reasoned debate of various approaches based on facts, analysis, and the clear and important lessons imparted to us from history in order to avoid repeating past mistakes, and move the nation’s energy future forward, not backward.”




February 2, 2009

Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don’t Want You to Know

Filed under: Climate History

By Patrick J. Michaels and Robert C. Balling, Jr.

We are happy to announce the publication of our book Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don’t Want You to Know which presents an in-depth look at consistent, solid science on the other side of the gloom-and-doom global warming story that is rarely reported and pushed aside: that global warming is likely to be modest, and there is no apocalypse on the horizon.

Those interested in a copy can purchase one over at the Cato Institute Bookstore.




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