CIVIL DEFENSE PERSPECTIVES

May 2003 (vol. 19, #4)
1601 N Tucson Blvd #9, Tucson AZ 85716
c 2003 Physicians for Civil Defense

JUNK SCIENCE, JUNK ECONOMICS, JUNK LAW

Although it isn't a Franco-German plot, it might as well be. While some Americans are depriving themselves of French wine, to punish the French for Iraq, the Global Warmers are still intent on depriving Americans of energy through covert implementation of Kyoto-which is certain to damage the American economy, to the advantage of France and Germany.

Climate Science and Political Science

There are still at least 17,000 American scientists who do not accept the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming myth. The science that supports their view is increasingly strong.

More than 240 research papers written by thousands of researchers over the past four decades were recently reviewed. Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics led the effort; coauthors included Sherwood and Craig Idso. (All four will speak at the 2003 DDP meeting.) The geophysical and biological indicators of historical climate change included borehole data; cultural data; glacier advances and retreats; geomorphology; isotopic analysis from lake sediments or ice cores; tree or peat celluloses, corals, stalagmite or biological fossils; seafloor sediments; pollens; tree rings; and shifting tree-line positions.

``Like forensic detectives, we assembled these series of clues in order to answer a specific question...: Is there evidence for notable climate anomalies ... during the past 1,000 years?'' Soon stated. The evidence says yes. Many parts of the world were warmer in medieval times than during the 20th century (cfa-www.harvard.edu/press/pr0310.html).

Baliunas and Soon also assembled four centuries of telescopic data, showing correlations of high solar activity with warm periods, such as 800 to 1300, when the Vikings settled Greenland and Newfoundland. Similarly, there was a reduction in solar activity during cooler periods such as the Little Ice Age from 1300 to 1900 (Harvard Univ Gazette 4/24/03).

In addition to solar cycles, there are natural atmospheric, oceanic, and sedimentation cycles: a ``self-organizing process of search for the system equilibrium as a system reaction to external disturbance.'' A rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide could even be an effect rather than a cause (Khilyuk LF, Chilingar GV, Energy Sources 2003;25:357-370).

Is there evidence of ongoing warming? Satellite data showing no warming trend since 1979 have been a serious problem for the Global Warmers. Just coincidentally, a press release from the federally supported National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) announced a study to be available at www.sciencexpress.org on May 1, just prior to hearings before the Senate Commerce Committee chaired by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and well before normal publication.

``New look at satellite data supports global warming trend'' of 0.1 C/decade, stated the press release. The lead author, Ben Santer, is notorious for surreptitiously altering the text of a crucial chapter in the 1995 UN-IPCC Report to make it conform to the politically inspired Summary for Policymakers.

The actual article in the May 23 issue stated that ``claimed inconsistencies between [global climate] predictions and satellite tropospheric temperature data (and between the latter and surface data) may be an artifact of data uncertainties'' (Science 2003;300:1280-1284.)

``Evidently, the strategy being used by Santer et al. is that if their models don't agree with the data, then change the data,'' wrote science journalist Ron Bailey (TWTW 5/10/03).

Getting to Kyoto Through Economic Suasion

A brilliant political force-multiplier that will mobilize Kyoto's natural enemies to effectuate energy rationing is a Department of Energy program to award ``transferable credits'' for verified greenhouse gas emission reductions, according to Marlo Lewis, Jr., of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Originated by the pro-Kyoto activist group Environmental Defense, the plan was endorsed by Bill Clinton and marketed to corporations by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, headed by Clinton/Gore Kyoto negotiator Eileen Claussen. Its chief current sponsors, anti-Kyoto stalwarts George W. Bush and Senators Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Pete Domenici (R-NM), have apparently not calculated the unintended consequences.

Although supposedly a ``voluntary,'' ``win-win'' program, companies that do not ``volunteer'' will be penalized in a later compliance period. In effect, participating companies acquire stock that pays dividends if and only if Kyoto or a similar plan is enacted. They thus have a cash incentive to lobby for such a plan: a scheme with huge potential to corrupt energy policy.

``If they create energy rationing coupons,'' Lewis predicts, ``America will have energy rationing.''

Enron, by the way, lobbied aggressively for Certified Emission Reduction Credits that it could trade and thereby make huge profits at the expense of other industries.

Anti-Energy Legislation and Litigation

In 2001-2002, more than 60 bills were introduced in state legislatures to explicitly regulate carbon dioxide, and many more that sought to list CO2 as a pollutant. California, Oregon, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Suffolk County, NY, already regulate CO2. Pending bills and a map of greenhouse gas action in the states can be downloaded from www.alec.org.

The Attorneys General (AGs) of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Maine have filed notice of intent to sue Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Christine Todd Whitman unless she agrees to impose mandatory CO2 emission controls-although the EPA clearly lacks the authority to do so.

If EPA classified CO2 as a pollutant, tens of thousands of hitherto law-abiding, environmentally responsible businesses- indeed, all hydrocarbon fuel users-would instantly become ``polluters,'' increasing the AGs' prosecutorial domain by orders of magnitude, as States have primary enforcement authority.

The notices put Whitman in the cross-fire between President Bush and the career EPA bureaucracy, which has long sought the power to control CO2, explained Marlo Lewis, Jr. (www.eco.freedom.org/el/20030302/marlo.shtml).

Whitman has resigned to spend more time with her family.


Regulation Unlimited

``The carbon in coal, oil, and natural gas is not an impurity or contaminant that can somehow be scrubbed out. Once government starts restricting fuels based on their carbon content, or activities based on their CO2 emissions, there is no logical stopping point short of total suppression. [Such laws] would launch a regulatory enterprise unconstrained by any objective public health or welfare criteria'' (Lewis M, The State Factor, 4/02, American Legislative Exchange Council, www.alec.org).

 

Cost: Benefit Ratio Infinite

The present-value cost of the Kyoto Protocol to cut emissions 5% below the 1990 level is $3 trillion, according to Yale economist William Nordhaus (Singer F, letter to editor, Wilson Quarterly 5/7/03). Virtually the entire cost of this ``economic dragon'' would be imposed on the United States, thanks in part to negotiations by the environment ministers of France and Germany (Michaels PJ, State Factor, 4/02).

Although cost estimates may vary, ``all agree that Kyoto would produce an imperceptible reduction of any future warming,'' Singer writes. It's like trying to stop the world.

``No known mechanism can stop global warming''[if indeed it's still occurring], states Patrick J. Michaels, Professor of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia (ibid.).

Because x/0 = infinity, for all values of x, the cost, even if much less than anticipated, is infinitely greater than the possible benefit to global climate.

 

E.U. Out of Compliance

Although it was expected that European countries could meet Kyoto targets more easily than developing countries, only Germany and Britain have cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than the agreed amount, and France has just reached its goal. Ten of the 15 European Union members are falling behind, and greenhouse gas emissions from the E.U. have risen for the second year running (NY Times 5/7/03).

 

Kyoto Depends on Russia

The Kyoto treaty comes to life only when countries accounting for 55% of the world's anthropogenic CO2 emissions sign up. With the E.U., Japan, and others, but without the U.S., the total is only 37.1%. Ratification by Russia would add 17.4% and assure the treaty's success.

``Russia can save Kyoto, if it can do the math,'' states a headline in Science. After a year's deliberation, President Vladimir Putin finally declared in April, 2002, that ``we'll do it,'' pending ratification by parliament.

Russia became an ``environmental champion,''Science stated, when an economic downturn shuttered its factories and Kyoto offered the prospect of selling tens of billions of dollars worth of emissions credits to nations with viable economies.

The ``dark cloud'' over Russia's greenhouse bonanza is doubts about its emissions statistics. There are no figures at all from important industries, including pulp and paper, asphalt, glass, iron and steel, and nonferrous metal production. The petroleum industry, now the largest in the world, is especially ``shy,'' providing numbers only ``in confidence to the government.'' One sore spot is the widespread industry practice of burning off byproduct gases in giant torchlike flares. Despite official figures, satellite images show that the practice seems to have increased between 1992 and 2002.

Additionally, Russian commitment to climate change research is considered ``marginal'' (Science 2002;296:2129-2130).

By September, headlines read ``Moscow threatens U-turn on Kyoto.'' The reason: in the absence of the U.S., Russia was losing its potential market for trading credits. ``The economic stimulus to the Kyoto Protocol is disappearing,'' said Deputy Minister Mukhamed Tsikanov (Moscow Times 9/2/02).

E.U. Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstrom said that Russian participation was ``about money,'' but that the E.U. was not prepared to give any more (Reuters, May 12, 2003).

``Another problem was that the consequences of global warming were not taken seriously by many in Russia, which stretches across the Arctic Circle, she said. `The basic climate knowledge is very bad,' she said. `Even some scientists seem to claim that maybe it would even be good for Russia'.''

``No further comment necessary,'' observes S. Fred Singer of the Science & Environmental Policy Project (www.sepp.org).

 

Forests Encroaching on Desert

The Yatir Forest, planted at the edge of Israel's Negev Desert 35 years ago, is expanding at an unexpected rate, taking up desert land and devouring CO2. Findings published in Global Change Biology suggest that forests elsewhere are also expanding into arid regions. Professor Dan Yakir of the Weizmann Institute's Environmental Sciences and Energy Department suggested that the 30% increase in atmospheric CO2 permits plants to take up the CO2 it needs while losing less water.

The effect of increasing CO2 concentrations on the biosphere will be discussed by Sherwood and Craig Idso at the DDP meeting in Phoenix July 12-13.

 

Politics Stalls Research

As much as half of any global warming attributable to human activity might be caused by soot and similar pollutants remaining aloft instead of raining out, according to meteorologist James Mahoney, assistant secretary of commerce and coordinator of climate change research for the Bush administration. A possible culprit: the two-mile-thick, continent-sized ``Asian Brown Cloud'' hovering over the Indian Ocean, discovered in 1999 by Veerabhandran Ramanathan. The cloud contains soot from dung-fueled cooking fires and inefficient coal furnaces, traveling as far as 1,000 miles from the source.

In February, 2003, the Indian government persuaded the U.N. to terminate research efforts, fearing that the results might bolster the U.S. position on Kyoto (Fialka JJ, Wall St J 5/6/03).

 

Real Data

The counter to the Santer paper (see p. 1) is a study by John Christy et al. comparing four different real data sets, published at the same time (J Atmospheric Oceanic Technol 2003;20:613-639-copy available on request). Santer et al. want people to think that ``models are better than balloon data'' and ``RSS [Remote Sensing Systems] data are better than UAH [Univ. Alabama at Huntington] data,'' Christy notes.