Thursday, December 3, 2009

Copenhagen Countdown: 5

Counting down to the Copenhagen Climate Conference that starts in just 5 days. Today's roundup:

1. Michael Mann calls ClimateGate a "distraction." "Policymakers in general, Mann said, "are smart enough to recognize that." I call that a non-denial denial.

2. India sets "carbon intensity" target for Copenhagen. India agreed to cut its carbon intensity by 24% by 2020. That sounds great, but what it really means, in green Double-Speak, is that India's CO2 emissions will continue to rise, but not as fast. As fast as what, I can't report. Personally, I would like access to the crystal ball by which India knows what its carbon emissions would have been in 2020 without its proposed carbon "intensity" reductions. (That might be a tad difficult to compute: click on photo of Indian electrical wiring at right.) I'd also like to see China's crystal ball, which has informed China that it will cut its "carbon intensity" by more than 40% while China's carbon emissions go up. However, the EU and the US are talking about actually cutting CO2 emissions, the EU by 20% and the US by 17%. Rumor has it that the EU used to keep its crystal ball in East Anglia, but that it got thrown out with their global warming data to save space.

3. 10 states have already started Cap and Tax, based on the widespread popular acceptance of the PC myth that reduction of carbon dioxide is necessary to avert global catastrophe. It's a mandatory, market-based program to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that power plants are allowed to emit. (h/t Gathering of Eagles: NY)

Anecdotal note. The photo at the left shows the 10 feet of snow that fell in a single 8-day snowstorm three winters ago in "CO2-warmed" New York State (a signatory to the state cap and trade agreement). The little black dot at the far left of the photo is a vehicle driving down the plowed road. Obviously, New York State is in desperate need of higher heating bills caused by Cap and Tax.

4. Barbara Boxer wants jail time for the ClimateGate whistleblower. Surprise. Boxer told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee yesterday: “You call it Climategate; I call it E-mail-theft-gate.” She's way behind the University of East Anglia, who also think the truth-teller is the real crook.

5. Science is dying. At least according to Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal, and I must admit, with deepest personal grief, I couldn't agree more:

Surely there must have been serious men and women in the hard sciences who at some point worried that their colleagues in the global warming movement were putting at risk the credibility of everyone in science. The nature of that risk has been twofold: First, that the claims of the climate scientists might buckle beneath the weight of their breathtaking complexity. Second, that the crudeness of modern politics, once in motion, would trample the traditions and culture of science to achieve its own policy goals. With the scandal at the East Anglia Climate Research Unit, both have happened at once.

I don't think most scientists appreciate what has hit them. . . . Global warming enlisted the collective reputation of science. Because "science" said so, all the world was about to undertake a vast reordering of human behavior at almost unimaginable financial cost. Not every day does the work of scientists lead to galactic events simply called Kyoto or Copenhagen. At least not since the Manhattan Project.

This has harsh implications for the credibility of science generally. Hard science, alongside medicine, was one of the few things left accorded automatic stature and respect by most untrained lay persons. But the average person reading accounts of the East Anglia emails will conclude that hard science has become just another faction, as politicized and "messy" as, say, gender studies. The New England Journal of Medicine has turned into a weird weekly amalgam of straight medical-research and propaganda for the Obama redesign of U.S. medicine.

6. Republicans call for hearings. Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (WI) said, "We're being asked as a Congress to make major changes in American society, in energy use and how much the out-of-pocket cost is to everyone in this country, as a result of this debate. We'd better get it right. The scientists may be able to change their story (but it's) as difficult to repeal the consequences of that law as it is to get milk back in the cow." Candace Miller (MI) said, "I recognize that the e-mails are an inconvenient truth, perhaps, an embarrassment on the brink of Copenhagen... There is at least a debate on whether or not climate change is human-induced." Sen. James Inhofe (OK) warned Malcolm Hughes of the University of Arizona not to delete any of the ClimateGate e-mail messages.

7. World's Leading "Warmer" wants Copenhagen conference to crash.
James Hansen, NASA scientist and chief U.S. global warming spokesman said, "We don’t have a leader who is able to grasp [the issue] and say what is really needed. Instead we are trying to continue business as usual.
The scientist who convinced the world to take notice of the looming danger of global warming says it would be better for the planet and for future generations if next week's Copenhagen climate change summit ended in collapse.

In an interview with the Guardian, James Hansen, the world's pre-eminent climate scientist, said any agreement likely to emerge from the negotiations would be so deeply flawed that it would be better to start again from scratch.

"I would rather it not happen if people accept that as being the right track because it's a disaster track," said Hansen, who heads the Nasa Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York.

8. John Holdren is the Really Big "Denier," next to Michael "Hockey Stick" Mann. Obama's Science Policy Czar, himself implicated in ClimateGate, maintained that the U.S. must "act promptly to reduce global emissions to the atmosphere of carbon dioxide" or face "extreme" and "damaging" consequences. (Like maybe Al Gore and cronies lose a few billion and the U.S. maintains its sovereignty.) When cornered, Holdren called the email and code disclosures "not remotely sufficient to demonstrate a culture of corruption." He must be spending too much time with the Attorney General, who thinks that two uniformed, armed Black Panthers standing guard outside a polling place doesn't intimidate voters.



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