Banner
    UN Agrees To Do Nothing On Climate Change, Arranges More Meetings
    By Hank Campbell | September 5th 2012 03:00 PM | 40 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Hank

    I'm the founder of Science 2.0®.

    A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone ever had. Others may prefer Newton or Archimedes...

    View Hank's Profile
    Being on a UN committee to discuss climate change must be a lot of fun; you get to fly to exotic locations and no one ever expects you to get anything done.  I guess that applies to the UN overall.

    Bangkok held the latest meeting that accomplished nothing and everyone is gearing up now for the annual UN summit in Doha later this year, where the exciting news will be that they will take no further action on climate change this decade. Countries of the world, witness your tax dollars at work.

    Sure, "Long-term Cooperative Action" will be discussed - there has to be a reason to fly to exotic countries and eat well while caring about poor people - but it won't mean anything.  Activists will blame President Obama (1), of course, and the irrational belief held by Americans that Chinese cars also cause global warming, but Europe cannot escape unscathed and they are being criticized because they refused to take on deep emission cuts and feel proper guilt that their organic farming industry caused flooding in the Philippines.

    "The Kyoto Protocol the European Union wants here is one that is not legal, but merely a "political decision." It would also not include a science-based determination of countries' targets. And the EU is now trying to negotiate an out where it doesn't have to talk about what it's really going to do until 2016. It's a sham of what was agreed in Durban and it would be a suicide pill for the world to swallow this." said Asad Rehman, Head of International Climate at Friends of the Earth EWNI. "The EU is using cynical politics to suggest it might increase its target at some  future date, for some future agreement. It's turned the climate into a trading chip and the world's most vulnerable communities into hostages. The 20% target the EU is offering is "business as usual", business as usual is killing the climate - it is criminal."

    "No cuts by rich industrialized countries now means stopping that disaster is not possible and won't happen,"  said Harjeet Singh, of Action Aid International.

    No cuts? America has done its part.  Thanks to its support of fracking and deft handling of the economy, the Obama administration has us back at 1992 levels of energy emissions - and we were at 1995 levels overall a year ago.  Coal is back at early 1980s levels of emissions in America because energy companies have embraced cleaner natural gas. Emissions are almost at what Kyoto wanted anyway.

    There have been declines in CO2 emissions of OECD countries across the board but worldwide emissions are still rising - which means it isn't the rich countries ignoring the science. It just turns out poor countries want to have air conditioning and food too.

    NOTES:

    (1) Who will blame George W. Bush.

    Comments

    These conferences are the UN version of the Bill Murray movie "Groundhog Day". You are correct on US emissions and it looks like we will end 2012 with a 14% reduction of CO2 from 2005 6Gt. With 106 more coal plants set to close between 2012 and 2016 emissions will continue to drop. We will hit the 2020 Waxman-Markey cap and trade target of 17% reduction from 2005 levels, as early as 2014 a full six years ahead of schedule. Somehow I don't think progressives will be satisfied with success that didn't rely on cap and trade, social justice or taxes, and was achieved with the help of fossil fuel.

    Hank
    You're kinda spoiling a classic movie for me, when you put it that way.
    "Thanks to its support of fracking and deft handling of the economy"?...ba ha ha ha...

    Hank
    Thank you!  Glad to know people are really reading this stuff.
    In a related note, Arctic ice extent has suddenly increased significantly over the past week, according to satellite images just obtained by meteorologist Joe Bastardi. After much news coverage concerning 'record low' Arctic ice, I wonder if this will get any coverage at all.

    Gerhard Adam
    Oh yeah .... let's listen to Bastardi

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/one-confusedi-bastardi.html

    http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-08/28/record-arctic-melt

    http://summitcountyvoice.com/2012/06/19/global-warming-arctic-sea-ice-extent-dips-toward-new-lows/


    I'm hearing a lot of politics, and little science.  But let's not be coy.  Are you suggesting that all the other scientists in the world are engaged in a conspiracy to keep such satellite imagines from the public?  Are you suggesting that only Joe Bastardi is engaged in doing real climate research, so that all the other scientists in the world are either incompetent or corrupt?

    If so, please take a number and stand with those arguing that scientists are trying to kill us with GMO foods. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    MikeCrow
    I think they think they're trying to save the planet.

    As for your links, the first one points out that Joe is wrong about no appreciable warming for 10-15 years.

    If you look at some of my work (follow my name), measured temps were pretty equal in the 30's. What's different is there were a lot fewer weather stations in the 30's, Climatologist average measurements over the earths surface between stations. Which would be fine is temperatures from one area to another were linear, but they aren't.
    Same with increasing co2 causes warming, there might be a trend in measured temps, but is way over whelmed by weather.

    The other links about arctic ice, we'll have to see over the next month or so what this seasons melt turns out to be. But some of the concern about open water absorbing more incoming solar energy does not take into account that light reflects off of water, and above +/- 75-80 degrees lat about half of the light is reflected, and warm waters radiate much more heat into space than ice will.

    Think of open water in the arctic as an open thermostat in your cars cooling system. What I can't quantify is exactly how good the cooling system is.

    And while I'd take my place in the anti-GMO line, you know my feelings on that topic :)
    Never is a long time.
    Gerhard Adam
    Seems to me that the problem here is the assumption that either warming or cooling is explicitly taking place.  Since the issue is climate change, I fail to see the relevance of specific temperature readings [unless the only point is to argue about warming].

    In other words, the climate of North America could swap places with the climate of Antarctica and probably produce little if any change in global temperature averages, although I expect that the impact on people might be viewed a bit differently.

    I get the issues about public policy and fully agree that if we don't know exactly what's happening, then any action is suspect.  However, I'm not keen on people that simply wish to deny that anything is happening because they think that they can use that as the lever to manage public policy. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    I'm not suggesting anything of the kind. You'll have to re-read my original post. I'm saying the mainstream media usually ignores stories unless they support the global warming narrative. And by the way, "all the other scientists in the world" do not subscribe to the AGW theory, despite what you've read in the papers or on the alarmist websites.

    Gerhard Adam
    Good, then you should have no problem pointing me to peer-reviewed studies that contradict the mainstream view.  I'm not interested in the media [mainstream or otherwise], nor am I interested in the self-styled mavericks that will reinvent science to whatever political agenda they support.

    Peer-reviewed.  Show me the articles.

    BTW ... if the Arctic ice is melting, then that isn't exactly just a "story", since it can be readily confirmed by satellite photos [especially if there's an increase in open water].
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    Doesn't look like it to me.  Just in choosing three papers near the beginning of the list.

    Has Arctic Sea Ice Rapidly Thinned?

    This paper addresses the errors introduced in measuring Arctic ice.  It says nothing about AGW.

    http://www.agu.org/journals/gl/v028/i006/2000GL012308/2000GL012308.pdf

    Again, the issue is addressing the measurement of Arctic ice.

    Response of Sea Ice to the Arctic Oscillation

    This paper begins with this sentence (which doesn't exactly sound like an AGW denial).

    "Dramatic changes in Arctic climate have been noted during the past two decades."

    Basically I don't see much of anything that actually refutes AGW, although I'm sure there are numerous papers that might dispute particular measurements or interpretations.  However, that kind of dispute is what science is about.

    Your claim that scientists don't accept AGW doesn't ring true from the papers I'm seeing, so unless you've got something specific, you're attempting to derive a conclusion from these papers that they aren't actually making.
    Mundus vult decipi
    The list includes papers that support skeptic arguments against ACC/AGW or ACC/AGW Alarm. Therefore there are papers on it that many not explicitly mention ACC/AGW but still support skeptic arguments, such as Tornadoes are not getting worse due to global warming. There are also an extensive amount of papers that explicitly mention ACC/AGW that you are intentionally ignoring. Cherry picking papers that do not mention ACC/AGW does mean they are not on the list in large numbers. I suggest looking through the highlights section,

    http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting...

    and the general section,

    http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting...

    Here you will find the most papers that explicitly mention ACC/AGW.

    You asked for peer-reviewed papers that "contradict the mainstream view" and were given a resource that includes hundreds of which you intentionally skipped over hundreds of such papers and then seven more in the arctic section until you cherry picked one in an attempt to misrepresent the contents of the list. These sort of games do not work anymore. Try again.

    Gerhard Adam
    Sorry, but you're the one cherry-picking.  It doesn't particularly matter whether tornadoes are getting worse, or whether hurricanes are getting worse.  Those are local events where models may be wrong or require correction.  There are literally hundreds of such possible data points.

    However, unless they explicitly deny that ANYTHING is happening, then they can't be consider anti-AGW.  That's my point.  These papers aren't disputing AGW, they're simply arguing about some of the data points and their interpretation.

    That isn't the same thing as claiming that there's nothing happening and that AGW doesn't exist.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I have not cherry picked anything as the list does not discriminate against any paper that supports a skeptic argument. It may not matter to you if they are getting worse but these are used to justify alarmist positions on climate change and thus are included to support skeptic arguments against these positions.

    Those papers have nothing to do with your strawman argument of "anti-AGW" they are "supporting skeptic arguments against ACC/AGW Alarm". Papers that are anti-AGW are on the list but that is not all that the list includes.

    You keep changing your argument as the list extensively includes peer-reviewed papers that "contradict the (what you consider) mainstream view". Being intellectually dishonest about this does not help your argument.

    Papers such as these are extensively included in the general section,

    http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting...

    The continuing search for an anthropogenic climate change signal: Limitations of correlation-based approaches
    (Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 24, Number 18, pp. 2319–2322, September 1997)
    - David R. Legates, Robert E. Davis

    CO2-induced global warming: a skeptic's view of potential climate change
    (Climate Research, Volume 10, Number 1, pp. 69–82, April 1998)
    - Sherwood B. Idso

    Human Contribution to Climate Change Remains Questionable
    (Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, Volume 80, Issue 16, pp. 183-183, April 1999)
    - S. Fred Singer

    Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics
    (International Journal of Modern Physics B, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp. 275-364, January 2009)
    - Gerhard Gerlich, Ralf D. Tscheuschner

    Global Warming: A Critique of the Anthropogenic Model and its Consequences
    (Geoscience Canada, Volume 38, Number 1, pp. 41-48, March 2011)
    - Norman R. Paterson

    Is Global Warming Mainly Due to Anthropogenic Greenhouse Gas Emissions?
    (Energy Sources, Volume 33, Issue 21, pp. 1985-1992, August 2011)
    - Xiaobing Zhaoa

    And no I am not interested in your arguments against these papers or discussing them. My point is to demonstrate these papers exist on the list contrary to your claims.

    Of course you don't. This is the usual response from AGW alarmists when faced with disputing evidence. The evidence is always invalid for whatever reason. The authors don't have the right credentials. The papers don't address the argument. The evidence represents only a small number of scientists, and no number--100 or 1,000--is sufficient. You asked for peer-reviewed papers because you didn't believe any could be produced. The truth is, there are many such papers. There is no scientific consensus on AGW, but the mainstream media virtually ignores anything but the narrative that supports AGW, which was my original point.

    Gerhard Adam
    Well, you're right about one thing ... the science seems to be "broken" on this.

    I've never seen so much cherry-picking, and deliberate obfuscation by the scientific community as on this issue.  It's little wonder that no one knows what's going on.

    Mundus vult decipi
    I agree. It's a travesty. Science should be science. It shouldn't be given any more or less weight simply because it does or doesn't adhere to a political party's desired narrative. It's going to take years to settle the issues surrounding climate change. In the meantime, I reject the claim that the "science is settled."

    Interesting that Bastardi feels compelled to discard the usual and accepted tools for measuring Arctic ice and instead chooses to pore over satellite photos.

    Cherrypicking, anyone?

    Bastardi was using satellite photos in a before-and-after visual presentation to demonstrate the enormous amount of ice that had formed in just the past week. Ice extent is still low, and certainly below normal, but much of it has reformed and very quickly. The NANSEN Environmental and Remote Sensing Center graph from Sept. 3 also seems to have recorded an uptick in ice extent. It's still early in the season, but further monitoring will prove if ice extent recovers to average or near-average levels by the end of the year. I don't believe Bastardi is trying to pull a fast one. He's just showing something he's noticed. What's interesting (or not) is that you won't see this in any major media outlets.

    MikeCrow
    We need to consider ourselves lucky they are so inept that nothing gets done.
    Never is a long time.
    Gerhard Adam
    Depends ... are you talking about science or public policy?
    Mundus vult decipi
    MikeCrow
    Both, the science will ultimately sort itself out, 5-20 year will tell, either temps will level off and then fall, or continue to climb following the GCM's(which I don't believe will happen).

    But until then we need to keep the politicians from derailing the world economy.
    Never is a long time.
    Gerhard Adam
    That's fine, but that's not the argument I"m hearing from these people.  They are claiming that the science is simply wrong and there's nothing to sort out.  Invariably their rationale always introduces economics, which tells me that they know nothing about the science.  They simply peddling an agenda.

    As soon as I hear economic arguments, I already know that it is merely rationalization for whatever science position supports the economic beliefs.
    Mundus vult decipi
    MikeCrow
    Well, I'm not convenienced the science is correct, and in fact think generally it's wrong. But what I think doesn't really matter, and I will admit there is a slim chance I'm wrong :)
    I think GCM's and a number of key climatologists have drastically over estimated climate sensitivity to CO2, the rest (mostly) take that CS is correct, temps are (were) going up, and in the best Sherlock Holmes tradition what's left must be true, but that just doesn't strike me as being science.

    And to your other post, both sides are are using this to influence public policy. I think we should do reasonable things like invest in alternate energy research, which we need whether there's an issue with CO2 or not, and not try to revert society to a 19th century life style for whatever reason.
    Never is a long time.
    Gerhard Adam
    So you don't think the Arctic ice is melting.  You don't think that glaciers are melting [I'm not concerned with the accuracy of the rates, just overall trends].  In short, you don't believe the climate is changing.  Is that correct?

    If that's your position, then what science do you base it on?  If it's not, then what is your position? 
    Mundus vult decipi
    MikeCrow
    The arctic has melted, glaciers have melted, but I don't believe they represent a unique event, either in the recent past, or further back.



    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/09/05/is-the-current-global-warming-a-natural-cycle/

    I base my opinion on my knowledge of simulators, my work with the temperature record, and my study of the physics involved. Together they lead me to believe CS is over estimated, and while I have a hypothesis as to the cause, it's not been identified by science (it's the Sun, though it does not seem to be based on luminance), I believe because a few key scientists have decided it is CO2, and work to dismiss other causes of the measured changes.
    Never is a long time.
    Gerhard Adam
    ...but I don't believe they represent a unique event, either in the recent past, or further back.
    So what does that mean, in your view?  The ice age wasn't a particularly unique event, yet it would be catastrophic for modern society.  So, what are you suggesting?
    Mundus vult decipi
    MikeCrow
    Are you suggesting we're facing a coming ice age due to CO2?
    History has shown we get ice ages, and the general consensus is it's due. I don't think we're going to get a say in that matter, one way or another.

    If you're suggesting that our CO2 is going cause it to happen, and climate change is the beginning signs, no I don't buy that. Most of the rise in sea levels can be attributed to expansion, not influx of melt water.

    As for my unique event comment, The current climate warming is not unique, temps were very similar in the 30-40's, and the MWP. And with the Sun's current level of activity, I'm more worried that we will begin to see a strong cooling for many years, again like we've seen in the past, such as the Maunder Minimum, or worse still the Little Ice age.
    Never is a long time.
    Gerhard Adam
    I'm not suggesting anything in particular.  I only used the "ice age" as an example of a recurring event throughout Earth's existence.  The point is that many people want to argue about climate change as being a "naturally" occurring event; a cycle.  So, I'm simply saying that events from the Earth's past [regardless of how "natural"] would have catastrophic consequences today, so I don't think that's a particularly responsible nor reassuring stance to take.

    BTW ... I'm not suggesting that this is your position, which is why I'm asking for some of these specifics.
    Mundus vult decipi
    MikeCrow
    I believe the variance in the climate we're currently measuring, is almost all natural. I will in general agree that CO2 probably makes some difference, but that it is insignificant compared to weather, and natural climate change(AMO/PDO, solar, and orbital). GCM's do not model most of these correctly(if at all).

    I also think we'll find that the Sun's output is affected by the gravitation pull of the Solar Systems CoG. And the major events of our climate are driven mostly by this, and Earths orbital variations. I do not know how the sun's changes cause these changes, insolation by itself do not seem to be enough. We do need to continue to do research on the sun and our climate.

    Attempts to correct excess CO2 emissions are premature, and would have significant impact to society that are not yet justified.
    Never is a long time.
    Gerhard Adam
    First, I agree that there isn't good data on which to base public policy decisions.  I also agree that more research is necessary.

    However, where I have the basic problem is in people asserting that nothing is happening.  It seems that this question, of all of them, should be the easiest to resolve.  Natural or man-made, is irrelevant in answering this question.

    Is the climate changing?  Yes or no. 

    I also happen to think that regardless of what is causing the climate to change, we simply don't know enough to understand what the effects of any actions will be.  To those that argue that humans couldn't possibly have an affect, well ... that's just foolishness.  Similarly to those that wish to argue that everything's fine simply because these cycles have appeared in the past is equally foolish.  Earth's history consists of some of the most radical environmental changes wrought by biological organisms imaginable [consider how oxygen was introduced into the atmosphere].

    So, I guess I'm trying to understand what all the tap-dancing is around the basic question I posed.  There may be thousands of points on which individuals [scientifically] disagree.  That's not  a problem, that's what science is supposed to do.  What I do question are those that wish to compromise the science by behaving as if nothing is occurring, because the only reason for it is to advance a political agenda.

    This is no different than those that wish to argue against evolution.  They aren't interested in science, but rather in simply finding an opening in which to inject their own particular beliefs.

    I've said before, that regardless of the causes, we are in no position to be making policy decisions under the assumption that we know how to "fix" anything.  Even if CO2 is the problem, we don't know enough to "fix" it.

    That's why I used the example of the ice age.  Suppose that we discovered that there was unequivocal evidence that we were facing another ice age, similar to those in our past.  It is obviously a "natural" event, in the sense that it's occurred before, so what is the difference?  Do we really think that we understand the complexities of this weather/climate system well enough to appreciate what small changes in input will do?  Obviously not, but it would be ridiculous to argue that because we don't know what to do that an ice age can't be happening.  That's the sense I get about the climate change controversy.

    I also happen to view words like "alarmist" or "denier" as politically motivated and having nothing to do with the science.  So when people wish to form sides on an issue like this, the one thing that emerges is that they aren't interested in the science.
    Mundus vult decipi
    MikeCrow
    I think the number of people who say 'nothing' is happening is very small. IMO I think many, who might even say 'nothing' are really saying 'there's little to no evidence, humans are doing anything'. The climate is changing, all on it's own. I will admit that I've questioned the validity of the data being used, and after examining it myself, I still think that. But long term averages are tweetering around, so I have no real issue with saying the climate is changing.

    Yes I am putting words into their mouth.

    To those reading this, if I am mistaken, feel free to comment.

    The rest of your comment, I generally agree with, except, there are 'alarmist', who demand action, who proclaim the 'science is settled'. And because of this, politicians keep making attempts to do something. There has to be pressure applied in opposition to make sure any action is proportional to the actual science.
    Never is a long time.
    Gerhard Adam
    As I said though, "alarmist" is a political term and concept.  After all, anyone demanding action isn't talking science, they're talking policy.
    Mundus vult decipi
    MikeCrow
    I won't disagree, but point out then that a number of the lead climate scientists should stop representing their position as a scientific position, and call it what it really is a political position.
    Never is a long time.
    Hank
    Yes, any time you see 'agw alarmist' or 'global warming/climate change denier' you know you have left the realm of science and entered the parallel universe of politicization of science.
    IT IS TRUELY A FACT THAT THE CLIMATE IS NOT CONTROLLED BY THE INDUSTRES OF MAN BUT TRUELY IT IS A TRUE FACT THAT GOD AND OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST CONTROL THE CLIMATE. OUR LORD GOD JESUS CHRIST CONTROLS THE ICE AND THE WEATHER AND WEATHER IT IS HOT OR COLD IS TRUELY UP TO JESUS CHRIST AND IT IS SINFUL AND OF THE DEVIL TO THINK THIS IS NOT TRUE. ALL THESE "SCIENTISTS" AND MEMBERS OF THE SATANIC "UN" SHOULD GET DOWN ON THERE KNEES AND PRAY FOR FORGIVENESS AND THEN AND ONLY THEN WILL THE WEATHER IMPROVE!

    We don't need a pathway to committment when we have magical thinking expressed as prophecy on our side.

    http://www.hark.com/clips/shfmfmqdmn-rise-of-the-oceans

    Ashwani Kumar
    "Climate change is not a hoax " Its really happening. Floods droughts, rising temperatures.But while NGO busy making seminars in 7 star hotels in exotic locations globally  and UN distributing funds: I appreciate your comments 
    "Being on a UN committee to discuss climate change must be a lot of fun; you get to fly to exotic locations and no one ever expects you to get anything done". 
    Who will do something  ? 


    MikeCrow
    Floods droughts, rising temperatures.
    But are these events unheard of? Frequently while listening to weather reports on severe weather I hear this hasn't happened for 20-50-100 years. Not that they haven't happened before(in the same area currently experiencing said events).
    Never is a long time.