The Ranting Kraut

19.3.2006 – 27.9.2010

Archive for the ‘Global Warming’ Category

Global Warming: respect for science depends on the convenience of its truth

Posted by rantingkraut on January 31, 2010

The BBC tells us that “… Ed Miliband has warned that recent rows over scientific data must not damage efforts to control climate change. (…) I think it would be wrong that when a mistake is made it’s somehow used to undermine the overwhelming picture that’s there …” (source)

OK, let’s first clarify that this is not a matter of ‘a mistake’ being made. People -including scientists- make mistakes all the time. This is one reason why we rely on testing, replication and open debate to arrive at findings which are less susceptible to individual human error.

In the case of the IPCC and its sources, the occasional honest mistake is not the issue. Systematic deceit is and Read the rest of this entry »

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Carbon Tax as Insurance?

Posted by rantingkraut on December 30, 2009

Fareed Zakaria has suggested that “Carbon Taxing” and cap and trade arrangements should be understood as insurance against the costs of climate change. By Zakaria’s argument, you pay a small charge now to insure yourself against the larger cost of climate change.

The argument correctly identifies the equivalent to an insurance contribution. What about the payout? Maybe Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Global Warming, In The News, Regulation | Comments Off

Did Al Gore Deserve the Prize?

Posted by rantingkraut on October 13, 2007

From Melanie Phillips to the audience of BBC online, people seem to feel strongly that Al Gore did not deserve his award since he did fairly little for peace. If contributions to peace are the issue, then that is a fair point. As Damian Thompson put it in the telegraph: “Climate change is a threat to the environment, not to “peace” and international order.

Gore’s defenders are likely to argue that there is an indirect connection: the consequences of global warming Read the rest of this entry »

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Al Gore’s tenth mistake

Posted by rantingkraut on October 12, 2007

A UK judge has pointed out nine mistakes in Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’. I am pleased to contribute a tenth: In his film, Al Gore warms up the old tale about the frog which supposedly doesn’t notice a gradual increase in water temperature and therefore dies when the water eventually becomes too hot, although in Al Gore’s version of the tale the frog is rescued by a benevolent outside force.

I doubt that Al Gore has tested his frog hypothesis, but Read the rest of this entry »

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The second IPCC report on climate change… ???

Posted by rantingkraut on April 6, 2007

The BBC reports on ‘political wrangling’ prior to what it calls the release of the second IPCC report on climate change. Three things are worth noting here:

1. There are political negotiations about what should be emphasized how strongly in the ‘report’. This is no bad thing as such—all forecasts come with some uncertainty, so subjective expectations and preferences would normally have some impact on the interpretation of forecasts. However, reports of this kind are often presented as completely objective scientific research so one should remember—and quote this BBC news item as evidence—that this is a multilateral policy document, and nothing like a peer reviewed journal article.

2. The EU seems to be more alarmist than most, with developing countries and the US pressing for a calmer message: “Correspondents say the US, Saudi Arabia, China and India were unhappy with the strength of the language in the draft summary, due to be released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).” (source)

3. The BBC again gives the impression that the document released is a major UN report—the second one this year. It doesn’t seem to be! From what I can see on the IPCC website, the first ‘report’ released earlier this year was a summary of a chapter of a report which is yet to be published. I would expect the upcoming publication (the ‘WG2 release’ as the IPCC calls it) to be the summary for the next chapter. There is nothing wrong in principle with publishing this kind of press release, but one should remember this: the IPCC is gradually releasing summaries on work in progress, not one major report after another.

[UPDATE]: There are some worthwhile critical comments on this posting here. (There is a link in the comment section but it is not too obvious what is being linked to.)

As a result of the above, I have corrected the first sentence under 2. This sentence originally began ‘2. According to the BBC, the EU seems to be…’ thus attributing my own interpretation on the BBC.

As for 3. I originally referred to the chapters as drafts. That was the impression I got from the first summary released in February, where it was clearly indicated-at the time of publication-that figures are still subject to checking and editorial adjustments. The link to the first summary now leads to a different copy, where it states that text, table and figures are final and subject to copy editing only.

Posted in Global Warming, In The News | 1 Comment »

Global Warming Hysteria: Gordon Brown calls for New World Order

Posted by rantingkraut on March 12, 2007

It should come as no surprise that Germany’s mainstream press is greener and more pro-EU than at least the right wing of the UK’s MSM. This makes for some interesting comparisons:

The British press has today been busy commenting on the details of the green-totalitarian competition between Brown and Cameron. Germany’s ‘Der Spiegel’ highlights the EU’s role in all those and quotes Brown not only stating that UK citizens need his help so they know how to behave properly, but also that a new world order should be established under UN leadership and in the context of global warming.

The term ‘new world order’ used to be the preserve of conspiracy nuts. Even though, this is probably not so much an accidental revelation of a secret world government as part of an openly pursued strategy of big government types like Brown: the combined use of esoteric policy aims and of some form of multilateral infrastructure to circumvent the checks on political power that have been established in most nation states. Global warming is the ideal vehicle here: the debate is officially over and the conclusion is thus put beyond rational argument in a way that religious dogma once was. Moreover, the impact of measures taken or not taken today is linked to predictions of what may happen 100 years or so hence. Add an element of existential panic and violà: an all purpose argument for just about any form of government intrusion into peoples’ private lives.

Whatever your opinion on man made global warming: there is every reason to be highly sceptical about government measures justified by it. The apocalyptic meta-context is just to conveniently pro-interventionist not to be abused.

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More on Al Gore’s Indulgences

Posted by rantingkraut on March 6, 2007

The CEI’s Fred Smith has an interesting video appearance discussing Al Gore’s indulgences. It is posted on youtube here (& unfortunately the audio is out of synch with the lip movements, at the moment it looks almost like one of those Holywood movies dubbed into German).

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Indulgences anyone?

Posted by rantingkraut on March 5, 2007

Mark Steyn reflects on Al Gore’s record breaking energy consumption:

“According to the Nashville Electric Service, the Eco-Messiah’s house uses 20 times more electricity than the average American home. The average household consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours. In 2006, the Gores wolfed down nearly 221,000 kilowatt-hours. (…)

Also he buys — and if you’re a practicing Ecopalyptic please prostrate yourself before the Recycling Bin and make the sign of the HDPE — Al buys “carbon offsets,” or “carbon credits.” Or, as his spokesperson Kalee Kreider put it (and, incidentally, speaking through a spokesperson is another way Al dramatically reduces his own emissions), the Gores “also do the carbon emissions offset.” They do the Carbon Emissions Offset? What is that — a ’60s dance craze? No, it’s way hotter. I mean, cooler. All the movie stars are doing it. (…)

How do “carbon offsets” work? Well, let’s say you’re a former vice president and you want to reduce your “carbon footprint,” but the gorgeous go-go Gore gals are using the hair dryer every night. So you go to a carbon-credits firm and pay some money and they’ll find a way of getting somebody on the other side of the planet to reduce his emissions and the net result will be “carbon neutral.” (…)And, in fact, in the Reverend Al’s case it’s even better than that. Al buys his carbon offsets from Generation Investment Management LLP, which is “an independent, private, owner-managed partnership established in 2004 and with offices in London and Washington, D.C.,” that, for a fee, will invest your money in “high-quality companies at attractive prices that will deliver superior long-term investment returns.” Generation is a tax-exempt U.S. 501(c)3. And who’s the chairman and founding partner? Al Gore.

So Al can buy his carbon offsets from himself. Better yet, he can buy them with the money he gets from his long-time relationship with Occidental Petroleum.”

(source)

Now that’s a real indulgence scam! Offend Gaia, then atone by buying carbon indulgences, while the high-priest buys them from himself.

While we are at it, I suggest introducing a new unit of measurement. Degrees Celsius and Fahrenheit are named after people, so why not carbon footprints? Let’s have the AlGore: According to the online carbon footprint calculator, Al Gore’s electricity consumption alone sums up to around 95 tons of CO2. So let’s define 1 Algore = 95,000 Kg of CO2, which would give the average UK individual a footprint of 0.05 AlGore.

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David Friedman on Global Warming

Posted by rantingkraut on February 20, 2007

“My current conclusion, looking over what I can see of the opinions of people who don’t have an obvious axe to grind in either direction, is that global warming is probably real, is probably but not certainly anthropogenic, is probably not going to have large effects on size and frequency of hurricanes and is probably not going to have large effects on sea level. It is a real problem but not, on current evidence, an impending catastrophe.

(…)

1. Governments, and people in government, seek power for obvious reasons. Over the past fifty years the intellectual justification for the large expansion in government power from about 1930-1970 has largely collapsed. The belief that capitalism is inherently unstable and inefficient and must be fixed with large elements of governmental intervention and central planning is no longer taken very seriously by either the general public or economists.

Environmentalism in general and global warming in particular provide new arguments for expanded government power, new taxes, and the like. That does not mean, of course, that those arguments are wrong, but it does mean that there are a lot of people who have an incentive to support them whether wrong or right. That seems to me consistent with what I observe—what is probably a real problem being extensively exaggerated for political reasons, with a predicted sea level rise of up to 80 cm over 93 years being reported in terms of massive flooding around the world, converting the World Trade Center Site into an aquarium in the piece I commented on in my earlier post.

2. Global warming provides arguments for things that a lot of people, mostly left of center, want to do anyway—shift lifestyles away from automobiles towards mass transit, reduce consumption of depletable resources, and the like. Environmentalism is in part a real argument, in part a religion, in part an aesthetic; the second and third parts make people too willing to accept the first.”

(source)

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