May 13, 2010

The American Power Act: Climatologically Meaningless

Filed under: Climate Politics

As Senators John Kerry and Joseph Leiberman begin to lay out the details of their American Power Act, one thing becomes immediately clear—whatever impacts the bill may have, they won’t be on the climate.

WCR staff wasted little time pointing this out.

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March 11, 2010

Americans’ Global Warming Concerns Continue to Drop

Filed under: Climate Politics

Or so reads the headline of the press release describing the results of Gallup’s annual update on Americans’ attitudes toward the environment.

Gallup summarizes their results this way:

Gallup’s annual update on Americans’ attitudes toward the environment shows a public that over the last two years has become less worried about the threat of global warming, less convinced that its effects are already happening, and more likely to believe that scientists themselves are uncertain about its occurrence.

One particularly interesting finding was this one, regarding a decline in the number of Americans who see global warming as a “serious threat.”

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January 29, 2010

Should IPCC Reports Contain a Warning Label?

Filed under: Climate Politics

Should products produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) carry the following warning label:

“The findings of the IPCC reports were developed in advance and furthered by a careful selection from whatever material could be found to support them. In some cases, supporting material was developed or fabricated where none could otherwise be located. As such, these findings may not necessarily reflect the true state of scientific understanding. Use at your own risk.”

See the story at MasterResource.org to find out!




December 30, 2009

A Response to Mike Mann’s Washington Post Op-ed

On December 18th, the Washington Post ran an op-ed by Penn State’s Dr. Michael Mann—a central figure in the Climategate emails—arguing that the content of the released email “doesn’t alter evidence for climate change.”

But Dr. Mann is only coming at this from one side of the issue—that of the contents of the peer-reviewed literature. However, the Climategate emails contain ample evidence that the contents of the scientific literature were being influenced by an small group of researchers who sought to suppress ‘bad’ science—that is, science that they personally didn’t like. This is not the way things are supposed to work and has an unknown, but potentially large impact, which makes it virtually impossible to make valid assessments of the “evidence for climate change” based on the contents of the extant scientific literature.

An article posted at the new blog from the Science and Public Policy Institute discusses this situation in a bit more detail and includes a letter-to-the-editor that never made its way into print at the Washington Post that makes the point that contrary to Dr. Mann’s assertions, the Climategate emails reveal that it is not so much what is in the literature that is important, but what is not in the literature.

And this situation represents a true disservice to climate science at large.




December 18, 2009

WSJ: How to Manufacture a Climate Consensus

Filed under: Climate Politics

Be sure not to miss Pat Michaels’ view of one of the most important impacts of ‘Climategate’–the biasing of the contents of the scientific literature upon which the EPA bases its Endangerment Finding.

Pat lays out his case in today’s (Dec. 17, 2009) Wall Street Journal.

In summary:

The result of all this is that our refereed literature has been inestimably damaged, and reputations have been trashed. Mr. Wigley repeatedly tells news reporters not to listen to “skeptics” (or even nonskeptics like me), because they didn’t publish enough in the peer-reviewed literature—even as he and his friends sought to make it difficult or impossible to do so.

Ironically, with the release of the Climategate emails, the Climatic Research Unit, Michael Mann, Phil Jones and Tom Wigley have dramatically weakened the case for emissions reductions. The EPA claimed to rely solely upon compendia of the refereed literature such as the IPCC reports, in order to make its finding of endangerment from carbon dioxide. Now that we know that literature was biased by the heavy-handed tactics of the East Anglia mob, the EPA has lost the basis for its finding.




October 29, 2009

Cato Journal

Filed under: Climate Politics

Here is how the Cato Journal describes itself:

Cato Journal is America’s leading free-market public policy journal. Every issue is a valuable resource for scholars concerned with questions of public policy, yet it is written and edited to be accessible to the interested lay reader. Clive Crook of The Economist has called it “the most consistently interesting and provocative journal of its kind.”

Always happy to contribute at least a little something to the public policy debate as it concerns climate change, your humble staff at World Climate Report are pleased announce the inclusion of our article “Scientific Shortcomings in the EPA’s Endangerment Finding from Greenhouse Gases” in the latest issue (Fall 2009) of the Cato Journal.

Hopefully it will prove to be valuable resource for scholars and laypersons alike during the continued debate concerning our national energy policy and how it may (or may not) relate to the issue of global climate change.

Here is a summary of what is contained in our article:

On April 24, 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a finding of “proposed endangerment” from climate change caused by six greenhouse gases, with the largest contributions to warming resulting from emissions of carbon dioxide and methane (EPA 2009a).

The EPA also referred to this document as a “proposed finding” in response to a 2007 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, Massachusetts v. EPA, which empowered the EPA to make such a finding for greenhouse gases under existing law. This was the Court’s interpretation of Section 202 (a) of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.

In Proposed Endangerment, the EPA requested comments “on the data on which the proposed findings are based, the methodology used in obtaining and analyzing the data, and major legal interpretations and policy considerations underlying the proposed findings” (EPA 2009a: 18890).

We answered the EPA’s request in a filing on June 23, 2009 (Michaels, Knappenberger, and Davis 2009). This article details some of the most relevant findings in our response. In general, we found that Proposed Endangerment suffered from systematic errors that were inevitable, given that the way in which the EPA chose to determine the required background science had to result in both biased and outmoded climate science. In addition, the EPA made grand and sweeping assumptions about human adaptation to climate that are of such illogic as to invalidate the entire study. We believe that these systematic errors call into question any attempt on the EPA’s part to subsequently issue regulations on greenhouse gas emissions. Other entities that may use the EPA’s document as a basis for emissions reductions will be using similarly incomplete science and be subject to severe and public criticism. This conclusion has obvious implications for upcoming negotiations in Copenhagen in December 2009, on a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol.

Happy reading!




October 1, 2009

UNEP Report—Deception Starts with the Cover

Filed under: Climate Politics

The United Nations Environmental Programme just released a major report in advance of the Climate Change Summit to take place in Copenhagen this December. The report is intended to “show how the science has been evolving” since the publication of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report in the spring of 2007.

Although we suppose we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, we are having a lot of difficulty bringing ourselves to think that the contents provide a fair representation of the recent state climate change science.

The title says “Climate Change 2009: Science Compendium” but the cover illustration screams “Political Propaganda!”

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September 15, 2009

Cap-and-Trade: Run Over by the Healthcare Train?

Filed under: Climate Politics

President Obama’s risky perseveration on health care is running over another of his pet governmental expansions—cap-and-trade legislation sent by the House on June 26 for Senate consideration.

How soon we forget. By a squeaky 219-212 vote, the House rushed Congressman Waxman’s 1300-page opus out the door so the members could get back to the hustings for the Fourth of July. When many freshman democrats got home, those who voted for it experienced the first angry “town hall” of their careers. The blowback caused by Obamunism began over energy, not healthcare.

Obama is taking great risks with healthcare because he can’t cobble enough votes from his own party. About 50 congressmen won’t vote for anything with Public Option in it, while another 50 won’t vote for anything without it. There’s no doubt that this impasse is going to continue for some time.

Given that health care is bottled up in the house, why isn’t Obama pushing Cap and Trade in the Senate? Simple: the votes aren’t there. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), the new head of the Agriculture Committee calls cap-and-trade a “complete non starter” and said that it is not her “preference to move on cap and trade this year.”

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July 1, 2009

The Risk of Impacts from Climate Change is Growing

The risk of impacts from climate change is rapidly growing—not from potential future changes in the weather, mind you, but instead, from potential massive government oversight in how we generate and consume energy. The governemnt is seriously considering rules that will impact the daily lives of each and every one of us—in the name of protecting the earth’s climate.

The past week has been quite a busy one on this front.

Here are some of the highlights (or lowlights) depending on whether you think that it is climate change or government intervention that needs mitigating:

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June 16, 2009

Does EPA Have the Wrong Gas?

Over at MasterResource.org is an article looking at EPA’s Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases Under Sections 202(a) of the Clean Air Act, and wonders whether or not the EPA has set its sight on the correct gas. The EPA’s focus seems to be on carbon dioxide, but a very strong case can be made that the net effect of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations may not be so bad (in fact, it may be quite good). So instead of risking the possibility that if they consider the climate impacts of CO2 alone they very well may not be able to build a case for an “endangerment to public health or welfare,” the EPA has lumped CO2 together with five other greenhouse gases thus watering down the positive aspects of CO2 with the potential negative ones from the other gases.

The MasterResource piece argues that to make a fair assessment of its effect on climate, CO2 should be unlumped and considered on its own.




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