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Nov 3 2012

Impacts of Global Warming Legislation on Temperature, Again

C.M. Phippen

We’ve been consistently told that manufacturing is dying in the US. While this isn’t true – we’re the world’s manufacturing leader and we produce more than ever (yes, even more than China) – it is true that productivity gains have led to fewer manufacturing jobs here in the US. While the left pushes businesses to keep more of their manufacturing here (rhetorically, that is; they don’t actually do anything that would make businesses want to operate here), they also preach the gospel of significantly decreasing our use of fossil fuels.

Has anyone ever seen an efficient factory that runs on solar and wind power?

Bill Maher just happened to be talking tonight about global warming, and I finally heard someone – Margaret Hoover – present the facts about the real effect of all of the silly CO2 regulations. When confronted with the facts that I wrote about THREE YEARS AGO regarding the minimal impact that global warming legislation would have on actually impeding global warming, Bill reacted in stunned amazement, stating he’d never heard that before. Uhhh, maybe that’s just because you’ve never educated yourself on the issue.

Just as an aside, Rob Reiner, on the same show, stated that we should all be driving electric cars by now. Apparently he is as unaware as Maher that “green” choices don’t necessarily have the impact the “experts” have led us to believe. In fact, a recent study showed that “the electricity generated to power electric cars caused more particulate matter pollution than that caused by an equivalent number of petrol driven vehicles.”

The difference seems to be a matter of where the emissions occur; for regular gas-powered vehicles the emissions occur while driving, whereas for electric vehicles the emissions occur where the electricity is generated. Apparently this leads to confusion for some, who suppose that if they can’t see it, it must not be happening.

Now back to the piece I wrote three years ago that is apparently news to at least Bill Maher. I complained at the time of writing that nobody in the climate alarmist camp was willing to talk about the issue. Maybe, like Maher, none of them had actually studied the issue before opening their mouths about it. I will reprint portions of that piece:

“If we were to reduce US CO2 output to zero, based on the assumptions made by believers in anthropogenic global warming regarding the effect of those emissions on temperature, the resulting decrease in global temperature would be 0.152°C immediately. This is, of course, wildly unrealistic and would return us immediately to the stone age (as opposed to slowly, over time, so we won’t notice quite so much).

“We pretty much all realize by now that if Kyoto were adhered to by all signing countries, the total reduction in temperature increase would amount to .19°C over 50 years, a miniscule amount that would have “no discernable effect on global climate.” We also are all pretty much aware by now that the countries that bound themselves to the Kyoto protocol haven’t done well at actually reducing emissions.

“Environmental scientist Chip Knappenberger writes that reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to over 80% by the year 2050, the goal of the Waxman-Markey climate change bill, would produce global temperature savings over the next 50 years of about 0.05°C. By the year 2100, the decrease in the temperature increase is projected to be between .112°C and .195°C. His projections are determined using the Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse-gas Induced Climate Change, or MAGICC. These projected reductions in temperature would have the grand effect of simply pushing back the “inevitable” by 2 to 5 years.

“I have searched and dug and investigated, and NOWHERE can I find any sort of rebuttal to this analysis. In fact, every analysis I do find says basically the same thing. NOWHERE is the issue even discussed among global warming believers. The argument seems to be that Waxman-Markey is simply needed in order to mitigate global warming. End of story. And that, apparently, is how the debate ended.”

At least until the truth was spoken . . .

Nah, that would be expecting too much from guys who think they know enough to dictate to us the solutions without ever having asked the most basic of questions.


Feb 2 2010

Global Warming Consensus and Falsehoods

C.M. Phippen

According to believers in anthropogenic global warming, there is a consensus among climate scientists that the earth is in a warming trend and that the warming is man-made and catastrophic.

According Nigel Calder, former editor of New Scientist, “When politicians and journalists declare that the science of global warming is settled, they show a regrettable ignorance about how science works.” He went on to say that, “Twenty years ago climate research became politicised in favour of one particlar hypothesis.” (Italics added) Hmmm, I’ll pick up this issue at a later date.

If we are to believe that there is a scientific consensus, we ought to understand the evidence on which it is based. The past few months have proven that much of the data upon which scientists have relied over the years has been manipulated, inaccurate, and sloppy.

It is important in scientific inquiry for others to be able to access to the data that has been used so the work can be analyzed and conclusions replicated. It seems to be a pretty common problem in climate science that those touting anthropogenic global warming theory have suppressed data, and maybe now we know why.

When the raw data is manipulated, even slightly, major trends can be falsely extrapolated from that data. If scientists refuse to release their data and the information used to adjust it, other scientists are kept from questioning their work and as a result, can make utter falsehoods appear as “consensus.”

Here is an example of how small changes in the way the data is considered can have an enormous impact on ultimate projections. According to Dr. Dick Morgan, former advisor to the World Meteorological Organization and climatology researcher at University of Exeter,

Had the IPCC used the standard parameter for climate change (the 30 year average) and used an equal area projection, instead of the Mercator (which doubled the area of warming in Alaska, Siberia and the Antarctic Ocean) warming and cooling would have been almost in balance. This because many areas of the world have shown cooling, just as many have shown warming over the past decades.

So, simply applying temperature to distorted land mass (Mercator) measurements, makes average temperature variations appear quite extreme when in fact they aren’t. Of course, just reading the IPCC report would give us no indication that this data has been inaccurately represented.

If we were unable to see the information and data used to draw the conclusion that there is much more warming than cooling, on net balance, we would not be aware that the land mass of particular warm countries had been nearly doubled, having the effect of artificially adding weight to a warming trend.

Below are some examples of recently discovered manipulations of data. In each case, the conclusions drawn from the manipulations have helped to form the basis for scientific consensus on catastrophic anthropogenic global warming:

Sea Level
Professor Nils-Axel Morner has written more than 520 peer-reviewed papers on sea level and is considered to be the world’s foremost expert on the subject.

According to Dr. Morner, “the sea is not rising. It hasn’t risen in 50 years.” He goes on to state that if there is any rise this century, it will “not be more than 10 cm, with an uncertainty of plus or minus 10 cm.”

The information we’ve been given by the IPCC predicts a sea level rise of 59 cm by 2100 and Al Gore, in An Inconvenient Truth warns us that we could see 20 foot increases. By the way, not one of the 22 contributing authors on the IPCC’s latest reports is a sea level specialist, according to the professor.

The IPCC data showed no upward trend until 2003. The IPCC “experts” found a single tide-guage in Hong Kong harbor showing a 2.3 mm rise, at which time they adjusted the entire global sea-level projection upward because they, admittedly, “needed to show a trend.”

New Zealand
In November 2009, the raw data gathered by NIWA, which had served as the basis for estimates of temperature increases in New Zealand at the rate of .92°C per century, was analyzed by outsiders and it was discovered that the official data didn’t line up with the raw data. Old temperatures, as far back as 1850, had been manipulated downward and more recent temperatures had been manipulated upward.

The effect of these changes was astronomical. When the raw data was actually looked at by unbiased scientists, it showed no appreciable change in temperature (0.06°C) over the past 150 years.

This was discovered when scientists at the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition were able to obtain both data sets (raw and adjusted) from an associate of Dr. M. James Salinger. Salinger had been at NIWA and, before that, CRU; coincidence?

Over the years, requests were made for the data to no avail, and it wasn’t until this unnamed associate passed it on for scientific review that the discrepancies were found.

NIWA eventually responded by stating that modifications were made to adjust for the movement of weather stations, and named one weather station that had been moved in 1928. They refused to release the data showing how much of an adjustment was made and why (was data collected at the two sites over time in order to determine temperature differentials?), and have given no information of other station site changes.

Himalayan Glaciers
In the IPCC report of 2007, claims were made regarding the disappearance of all Himalayan glaciers by 2035. The average Himalayan glacier is 300 meters thick and at a melt rate of 5 meters a year, much faster than anything we’re currently seeing, it would take 60 years for the average glacier, to disappear, nowhere close to the 28 years in the report.

This information was based on a speculative statement made by a scientist back in 1999. Anyone familiar with glaciers who applies a minimal level of scientific inquiry to this question would have easily found this analysis to be flawed. Even if that weren’t done, not only was this figure never published in any peer-reviewed journal, but its source was never investigated before its inclusion in the UN report.

When the claim was previously criticized, Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC chairman, referred to the criticism as “voodoo science.” Funny, because it turned out that voodoo science was a whole lot more accurate than the “science” being done at the U.N.

Professor Murari Lal, who oversaw the chapter on glaciers in the IPCC report has conceded that he isn’t an expert on glaciers.

Misinformation is easily disseminated when not one of the scientists drawing the actual conclusions and overseeing the aggregation of information is an expert in the field.

Weather-Related Loss and Rising Temperatures
The IPCC has stated that there are increasing weather related losses tied to rising temperatures which are being driven by human activity. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the IPCC chose to use one non-peer reviewed paper to support claims that are contradicted by every scientifically rigorous, peer reviewed paper that exists.

A graph included in the IPCC report which shows these increasing weather related losses is attributed to Muir-Wood et al. 2006 and, according to Roger Pielke Jr., “That paper was not published by the IPCC deadline for inclusion, nor was it peer reviewed, nor did it include the graph shown above, nor did it strongly support the claims being made. But it was highlighted anyway.”

He goes on to explain that in 2008 that paper was included as a chapter in a book, where its conclusions completely contradict those made in the IPCC report.

Pielke himself has said,

I am shocked to see such a figure in the IPCC of all places . . . I am amazed that this figure made it past review of any sort, but especially given what the broader literature on this subject actually says. I have generally been a supporter of the IPCC, but I do have to admit that if it is this sloppy and irresponsible in an area of climate change where I have expertise, why should I have confidence in the areas where I am not an expert?

He goes on to say that the claims made by the IPCC weren’t simply in violation of their procedures, but were wrong and “based on knowledge that just doesn’t exist.”

Anyone interested in scientific, and just plain intellectual, rigor ought to read what comes out of this political body with a pretty big grain of salt . That is precisely what an ever increasing number of scientists are doing, joining the ranks of the ordinary Americans who’ve understood all along that for some, truth all too often appears to be one of the least important pursuits of this investigation.

Reference articles:

http://www.masterresource.org/2010/01/ipcc-consensus-warning-use-at-your-own-risk/

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/01/pachauri-theres-money-in-them-glaciers.html

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6991177.ece?token=null&offset=0&page=1

http://www.canadafreepress.com/2006/harris061206.htm

http://www.examiner.com/x-28973-Essex-County-Conservative-Examiner~y2009m11d25-New-Zealand-climate-agency-accused-of-data-manipulation

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/25/uh-oh-raw-data-in-new-zealand-tells-a-different-story-than-the-official-one/

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/27/more-on-the-niwa-new-zealand-data-adjustment-story/

http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2010/01/castles-built-on-sand.html


Jan 18 2010

Developing Nations and Global Warming

C.M. Phippen

One of the great environmental scares of the last 50 years is that of overpopulation. As mentioned in an article I recently wrote, Actual Effects of Global Warming Legislation on Temperature, it wasn’t so long ago that environmentalists predicted that overpopulation would lead to massive deaths from starvation even among Americans by the 1980s.

The solution proposed by those who feared the imminent population explosion was to greatly limit the number of children in each family, by force of government decree if necessary. This never came to pass in the U.S. but has created myriad unforeseen problems for China, which has had such a policy since 1979. The free market solution, as always, was that of innovation, and in that regard was wildly successful.

A shining example of such innovation is Norman Borlaug, a man credited with saving 1 billion lives through his development of high-yield grains and high-yield planting techniques. In conjunction with research that produced new strains of heartier and more productive wheat, he spent decades living among the poor in developing nations, teaching techniques to local farmers to improve their grain yields.

Mr. Borlaug is credited with saving the people of India and Pakistan from mass starvation during famine in the mid-1960s. He is also considered to be behind the growth in food production that has outstripped the growth of population since the development of his techniques.

Though doubted and questioned by environmentalists for much of his career, thanks to his work the grain production of the world increased from 692 million tons in 1950 (for 2.2 billion people) to 1.9 billion tons (for 5.6 billion people) in 1992. Additionally, less land was needed for the increased yields, protecting forests the world over, all while the average calorie intake rose from 2,063 to 2,495 per day.

This stands in stark opposition to the fearmongering employed by many environmentalists. At times throughout his life, Mr. Borlaug’s work was threatened by environmentalists who didn’t support his work of feeding the starving populations of the world, especially as he shifted his focus to the continent of Africa. They claimed that increasing the food supply would simply lead to greater population growth. Allowing Africans to starve was apparently a preferable outcome.

The amazing contradiction in this whole process is that rather than increasing population, the shift from subsistence agriculture to high yield agriculture actually decreases population over time. As knowledge becomes more important in an economy than physical strength, priorities and resources within the family unit shift toward providing better educational opportunities for (fewer) children and away from simply having many children to support the family through labor in the fields. Coming to this understanding, though, would require looking beyond stage one.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Gregg Easterbrook quoted Norman Borlaug as he spoke of the propensity of environmental activists in developed nations to want to dictate their version of a better way of life to those in less-developed nations in ways that keep the poverty-stricken from enjoying the blessings of modern life. He said, “Borlaug told me a decade ago that most Western environmentalists ‘have never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for 50 years, they’d be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists in wealthy nations were trying to deny them these things.’” Not much has changed.

The debate surrounding global warming is much like the debate that for decades has surrounded the transfer of knowledge to the less-developed countries of the world in order to provide food for their starving masses.

The Norman Borlaug way of doing things: years of research; the development of a life-sustaining product and the knowledge to most efficiently use that product; decades of self-sacrifice and labor for the poor among us – is a far cry from the current “environmentalist” way.

The difference between that life of humble, dedicated service, juxtapositioned with the life of Al Gore and many of his cohorts, is astonishing. We’re all familiar with the excessively high home energy usage, private jet excursions, SUVs, and entourages in oil-spewing buses and jets which typify the lifestyle of many of those preaching global warming armageddon.

To justify such waste and excess, these global warming believers often purchase offsets, many which go to enrich a company owned by Al Gore himself. This enables the wealthy to continue living lifestyles of profligate excess while preaching against such, thus enabling them to avoid any sort of self-analysis or reflection, let alone make any sacrifices.

The difference between these lifestyles is fundamentally one of control: self-control v. control of others. It takes a special level of commitment to change oneself and live a life of service to others while effecting real change, but virtually no commitment at all is required to simply demand change of others while living a life of service to self. The icing on the cake for Al Gore is that he’s actually made potentially hundreds of millions of dollars by implementing this strategy of “other-sacrifice” (as opposed to self-sacrifice).

Fiona Kobusingye, in an article entitled, Africa’s Real Climate Crisis says:

Life in Africa is often nasty, impoverished and short. AIDS kills 2.2 million Africans every year . . . Lung infections cause 1.4 million deaths, malaria 1 million more, intestinal disease 700,000. Diseases that could be prevented with simple vaccines kill an additional 600,000 annually . . .

The average African life span is lower than it was in the United States and Europe 100 years ago. But Africans are being told we shouldn’t develop, or have electricity or cars because, now that those countries are rich beyond anything Africans can imagine, they’re worried about global warming.

Telling Africans they can’t have electricity and economic development – except what can be produced with some wind turbines or little solar panels – is immoral. It is a crime against humanity.

How about all those who tell the rest of the world to sacrifice start living lives of sacrifice themselves. Maybe at some point in that process of self-sacrifice and involvement in the realities of life for the poor of the world, they might come up with some real solutions that could actually start transforming real lives.


Jan 4 2010

Cost of Global Warming Legislation

C.M. Phippen

For the sake of argument, let’s accept that it is worth doing whatever is possible in order to reduce carbon emissions by whatever amount we’re able, regardless of estimated minimal effect on the rise in global temperatures. As noted in an earlier article, Actual Effects of Global Warming Legislation on Temperature, ceasing all carbon-emitting activity would result in an immediate decrease in temperature of 0.152°C, while the Waxman-Markey climate bill would save us between .112°C and .195°C by 2100.

Here, then, is an investigation of the costs that would be required in order to achieve those minimal reductions in temperature increase.

According to economists, the cost of carbon emissions reduction is about $500 per ton of CO2. If the US were to completely eliminate all carbon emissions immediately, this would amount to $2.9 trillion, or $25,000 for each American household annually. This is, of course, a completely unrealistic scenario (although Waxman-Markey does require an 83% reduction in 2005 levels by 2050).

A system of cap and trade would attempt to use bastardized free-market principles by manipulating supply and demand through artificial limits on supply in order to “naturally” decrease demand. The hope (there’s that word again) is that this would spur development of new energy sources and allow them to become economically viable. Nevertheless, this is a costly proposition.

Most economists believe that a carbon tax would be much more efficient, but politicians know it would never be viable politically – their jobs are already at substantial risk even without anymore new taxes. The alternative is to implement a cap and trade system, which has the same effect as a tax without using that undesirable word.

Taking the Obama administration at its word and using its own analysis (which, by the way, had to be pried out of the hands of “the most open and transparent [administration] in history”), the cost would be $200 billion yearly, or up to $1,761 per American household each year. This would be the equivalent of increasing personal income taxes by about 15%, and make no mistake – a tax is a tax is a tax.

According to our president, costs under his proposed plan “will necessarily skyrocket” and increased costs will be “passed on to consumers.”

The administration claims that with all emission allowances being auctioned, “a cap-and-trade program could generate federal receipts on the order of $100 to $200 billion annually.”

The administration, though, has already promised up to 85% of the permits for free to friends of the legislation (and administration?). If the buying of votes we saw with the Senate health care bill is any indication, the remaining 15% will soon be gone as well.

According to The Heritage Foundation,

In our analysis, the higher energy costs kick in as soon as the bill’s provisions take effect in 2012. For a household of four, energy costs go up $436 that year, and they eventually reach over $1,241 in 2035 and average $829 per year over that span. Electricity costs go up $468, gasoline goes up $565, and natural gas goes up $161 by 2035. That’s a 58 percent increase in gas prices, 90 percent for electricity, and 55 percent for natural gas. Cumulative higher energy costs for a household of four from 2012-2035 would reach nearly $20,000.

As if this weren’t bad enough, these estimates of increased costs only include direct costs, not additional expenses which would be inherent in a new economy under cap and trade. Of course, production costs increase whenever we see rising energy costs, and this would be no exception. Increased production costs would impact the average family of four to the tune of $2,979 annually.

The projected impact on employment is significant and the probability of high levels of job loss directly related to a cap-and-trade system is profound, particularly in an economy already struggling to recover a portion of the 7.2 million jobs lost since 2007. Net job losses are estimated at approximately 1.145 million, even when the creation of new green jobs is taken into account.

According to a newly released study on the impact of clean energy policies over a 20 year period in Germany, “Significant research shows that initial employment benefits from renewable policies soon turn negative as additional costs are incurred.” The existence of renewable-energy jobs in Germany has also been found to be completely dependent on government support, and subsidization is as high as US $240,000 per worker. This, again, is after nearly 20 years of development.

The Obama administration was informed that, with regard to such climate change policies, “Economic costs will likely be on the order of 1 percent of GDP, making them equal in scale to all existing environmental regulation.” The Heritage Foundation has also estimated that overall GDP losses will average $491 billion per year from 2012 through 2035, resulting in a total GDP loss of $9.4 trillion during that period.

The German study also found that because more workers are needed to produce a given amount of energy in a green economy than is necessary with traditional energy production, the output potential of the overall economy is diminished, which in turn leads to lower net job creation.

There is also significant risk that countries such as China, India, and Vietnam aren’t willing to substantially curb their economic growth in exchange for feel-good (but do little) greenhouse gas emissions cuts. The net result of our passing this legislation without developing countries curbing their outputs as well is that our decrease in GDP could potentially be much greater than estimated as jobs shift overseas to those countries that don’t tax greenhouse gases.

There are myriad problems with a cap and trade system, not the least of which is that it will do very little to actually impact temperature, while significantly burdening the average American worker. Is it really worth so much to do so little?


Dec 22 2009

Actual Effects of Global Warming Legislation on Temperature

C.M. Phippen

Like so many ecological/environmental scares that have been presented to us over the past 40 years, the science of global warming is anything but settled.

We were warned in the late 1960s that as a result of increasing population, the US would inevitably face mass starvation and that, “By 1985 enough millions will have died to reduce the earth’s population to some acceptable level, like 1.5 billion people.” It was prophesied that food riots would ensue in the 1980s and that 60 million Americans would die of starvation.

We were also warned that by 1980 the life expectancy of Americans would be 42 years as a result of pesticide use and that by 1999, the population of the US would drop to 22.6 million. Newsweek reported that because of the increased dust, cloud cover, and water vapor in the atmosphere, “…the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born.”

We were told that “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years,” and that if present trends were to continue “the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. . . . twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”

I remember, during the 1970s in New York, being taught this “science” in school as though it were fact. All of this matters because many of the same individuals and groups who endorsed the aforementioned apocalyptical prophesies are at the forefront of the current global warming hysteria.

This is one of a series of articles which will address various aspects of the debate surrounding climate change, its impact on our earth, and our impact on it.

I begin with this question: Before examining any of the science, and assuming the accuracy of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports with regard to the effect of CO2 on temperature, what would be the “savings” of temperature increase through the implementation of climate legislation over time?

If we were to reduce US CO2 output to zero, based on the assumptions made by believers in anthropogenic global warming regarding the effect of those emissions on temperature, the resulting decrease in global temperature would be 0.152°C immediately. This is, of course, wildly unrealistic and would return us immediately to the stone age (as opposed to slowly, over time, so we won’t notice quite so much).

We pretty much all realize by now that if Kyoto were adhered to by all signing countries, the total reduction in temperature increase would amount to .19°C over 50 years, a miniscule amount that would have “no discernable effect on global climate.” We also are all pretty much aware by now that the countries that bound themselves to the Kyoto protocol haven’t done well at actually reducing emissions.

Environmental scientist Chip Knappenberger writes that reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to over 80% by the year 2050, the goal of the Waxman-Markey climate change bill, would produce global temperature savings over the next 50 years of about 0.05°C. By the year 2100, the decrease in the temperature increase is projected to be between .112°C and .195°C. His projections are determined using the Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse-gas Induced Climate Change, or MAGICC. These projected reductions in temperature would have the grand effect of simply pushing back the “inevitable” by 2 to 5 years.

I have searched and dug and investigated, and NOWHERE can I find any sort of rebuttal to this analysis. In fact, every analysis I do find says basically the same thing. NOWHERE is the issue even discussed among global warming believers. The argument seems to be that Waxman-Markey is simply needed in order to mitigate global warming. End of story. And that, apparently, is how the debate ended.

We will next look at the economic impact of global warming legislation.