Library filed under Pollution
BOSTON: If there's anything climate-change crusaders are adamant about, it is that the science of the matter is settled. That greenhouse gases emitted through human activity are causing the planet to warm dangerously, they say, is an established fact; only a charlatan would claim otherwise. In the words of Al Gore, America's leading global warming apostle: "There's no more debate. We face a planetary emergency. . . . There is no more scientific debate among serious people who've looked at the evidence." But as with other claims Gore has made over the years ("I took the initiative in creating the Internet"), this one doesn't mesh with reality.........Climate scientists are still trying to get the basics right. The latest issue of Science magazine notes that many researchers are only beginning to factor the planet's natural climate variations into their calculations. "Until now," reports Science, "climate forecasters who worry about what greenhouse gases could be doing to climate have ignored what's happening naturally. . . . In this issue, researchers take their first stab at forecasting climate a decade ahead with current conditions in mind." Their first stab, please note, not their last. The science of climate change is still young and unsettled. Years of trial and error are still to come. Al Gore notwithstanding, the debate is hardly over.
This 4.5 billion-year-old planet has been heating or cooling every minute of its existence. The notion that humans have substantially changed the world which we inherited is just vanity. Some among us cannot tolerate the notion that their mere presence has not changed it.
Gov. Ed Rendell, who has been outspoken on the need to limit emissions of global warming gases, has not delivered on a promise to come up with his own strategy for Pennsylvania. Administration spokesmen would give no reason for the delay, other than to say a plan is still being worked on.
Best-selling author Dennis Avery is the next prominent figure to challenge the facts Al Gore is promoting in his global warming crusade. Mr. Avery is co-author of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1,500 Years. Both Al Gore and Dennis Avery have New York Times best-selling books on global warming, but with opposite conclusions.
A wind farm company has said greenhouse gases released during the construction of a scheme on peat land will be "paid back" in clean energy within months. Lewis Wind Power (LWP) predicts it will take seven months for the turbines planned for Barvas Moor to cancel out the carbon dioxide (CO2) released. The pledge comes in the wake of a call by Wetlands International for greater protection for the world's peat lands. It warns that the areas store huge quantities of harmful gases.
The November passage of Initiative 937 adds Washington to the states with renewable portfolio standards. Wind-powered generation is a resource of choice in meeting renewable standards, and it has been highly touted for its environmental benefits. Considered in isolation, the environmental benefits of a wind resource are undoubtedly warranted. However, it is misleading to consider wind on an isolated basis—that is, outside of the context of the full power-supply portfolio that is necessary to serve load. In the context of an integrated portfolio, much of the environmental benefit disappears and may even be non-existent as compared with other resource portfolio choices. In particular, a full assessment of the impact of wind resources on the environment necessitates a look at the energy consequences of adding wind-generation to an integrated portfolio in the context of meeting load. Accounting for energy, it is likely that there is no significant environmental difference between a resource portfolio adding wind generation and one adding high-efficiency combined-cycle gas turbines. It is also likely that the wind-based portfolio results in little reduction, if any, in the need for fossil fuels and therefore little reduction in the exposure to their price swings and environmental consequences. That is, the emissions and fossil-fuel impacts of a wind-based portfolio appear little better than a non-wind-based portfolio. Editor's Note: This paper makes a critically important point re. wind's purported environmental benefits, i.e. "...it is misleading to consider wind on an isolated basis—that is, outside of the context of the full power-supply portfolio that is necessary to serve load. In the context of an integrated portfolio, much of the environmental benefit disappears and may even be non-existent as compared with other resource portfolio choices." In short, wind's environmental benefits (if any) will be grid-specific depending on the emissions generated (if any) of the reliable generating source(s) required to back it up.
He's Dr. Reid Bryson, considered by many the "father of scientific climatology," and he's also pronounced on the most consequential climate issue of the day - man-made global warming. His verdict: "That is a theory for which there is no credible proof."
It was Michael Crichton who first prominently identified environmentalism as a religion. That was in a speech in 2003, but the world has moved on apace since then and adherents of the creed now have a firm grip on the world at large. Global Warming has become the core belief in a new eco-theology. The term is used as shorthand for anthropogenic (or man made) global warming. It is closely related to other modern belief systems, such as political correctness, chemophobia and various other forms of scaremongering, but it represents the vanguard in the assault on scientific man.
The CO2 hysteria is absurd, considering the minute contribution made by human beings. Of course the climate is changing - it always has done, hence the thriving vineyards of Northumberland in the 12th century and the Thames frozen three feet deep in the 19th - but human activity is largely irrelevant. The world's climate is controlled by solar activity, by variations in the earth's rotation and orbit, by external factors in space and, terrestrially, by clouds and volcanic activity. If the Canutes of the IPCC imagine they can control those elements, they are even more infatuated than they appear.
Some might think Dr. Griffin is entitled to think for himself. Apart from his PhD in aerospace engineering, he holds five masters degrees, he is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the International Academy of Astronautics, he manages a US$1.1-billion climate-research budget and was unanimously confirmed to head NASA by the United States Senate. But no. He is either "totally clueless" or "a deep anti-global warming ideologue," concludes Jerry Mahlman, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, in a statement similar to many. Dr. Griffin's radio interview drew this storm of controversy after he was asked about the seriousness of global warming. He replied by saying, "I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with. To assume that it is a problem is to assume that the state of Earth's climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had, and that we need to take steps to make sure that it doesn't change."
BEIJING - China acknowledged Monday that it soon may become the world's biggest source of harmful greenhouse gases but said the United States and other advanced countries must take the lead in fighting global warming because they had been polluting heavily for longer.
The only proven source of the steady base load electricity necessary for a modern society to function is nuclear fission. James Lovelock - deeply pessimistic about the effects of what he calls global heating - recognises this. However, Greenpeace and others stick to their long-established opposition to nuclear power. Some people see bio-fuels as an important component of a lower-carbon future. Others believe they are a distraction and cause more environmental problems than they solve. Of course, these are not the only options, but they illustrate the point that specific technologies should not to be rejected out of hand. It is ludicrous to suggest that we could rely on wind and solar power entirely. And the agenda for some seems to be to eliminate all private transport and scale back international trade enormously, to take us back to smaller, self-contained economic units; the very reverse of a globalisation trend which has been in progress for centuries.
Wind power could also reduce coal-plant carbon dioxide, which is thought to cause climate change, but the impact may be small, the report said. By 2025, wind turbines could cut carbon dioxide output by 4.5 percent compared with what it would otherwise have been, but this "would only slow the increase," said Dr. Risser. "It wouldn't result in a decrease in the amount of CO2."
Whether it is called "emissions trading", carbon credits, or cap and trade, the practice amounts to buying and selling the right to pollute. It is an administrative solution to pollution and doesn't, in the final analysis, prevent pollution at all.
RALEIGH - A nonprofit environmental advocacy group, which staunchly believes global warming must be reduced through reductions in human-caused carbon dioxide emissions, controls another nonprofit organization that advises a climate action panel started by the N.C. Division of Air Quality. The DAQ-created group, in turn, makes recommendations on carbon-dioxide reductions to the Legislative Commission on Global Climate Change. The advisory organization, the Center for Climate Strategies, is Pennsylvania-based and helped establish the study commission through a proposal to DAQ. But there is question whether the study panel, called the Climate Action Plan Advisory Group (CAPAG), is authorized under N.C. law.
Zichichi pointed out that human activity has less than a 10% impact on the environment. He also cited that models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are incoherent and invalid from a scientific point of view. The U.N. commission was founded in 1988 to evaluate the risk of climate change brought on by humans.
This Earth Day, Professor Richard Lindzen, an atmospheric physicist and the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT, wants you to calm down. The Earth, he says, is in good shape. "Forests are returning in Europe and the United States. Air quality has improved. Water quality has improved. We grow more food on less land. We've done a reasonably good job in much of the world in conquering hunger. And yet we're acting as though: "How can we stand any more of this?" A leading critic on the theory of man-made global warming, Professor Lindzen has developed a reputation as America's anti-doom-and gloom scientist. And he's not, he says, as lonely as you might think.
Dr. Friis-Christensen questions the very premise that human activity explains most of the global warming that we see, and through his work he has convinced much of an entire scientific discipline to explore his line of inquiry. Of all the scientists who are labelled "deniers" because they don't support the orthodoxy of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, none comes in for more vilification than Eigil Friis-Christensen. For understandable reasons.
The alleged solutions have more potential for catastrophe than the putative problem. The conclusion of the late climate scientist Roger Revelle, Al Gore's supposed mentor, is worth pondering: the evidence for global warming thus far doesn't warrant any action unless it is justifiable on grounds that have nothing to do with climate.
The planet deserves the benefit of the doubt. Climate change is serious and must be a political priority. But the arguments must be subject to free and rigorous debate and the facts separated from fanciful predictions - the environment is too important to be bequeathed to the hysterical.