DDP Newsletter January 2009, Vol. XXVI, No. 1
As Al Gore has said, global warming is a “moral issue,” one that “affects the survival of human civilization.” And indeed the “solutions” raise moral questions.
The government of Chad has banned charcoal, in an effort to stop tree-cutting to stave off desertification. Imports have been halted, and existing supplies confiscated. Charcoal is the only source of fuel for 99% of Chadians. Those who can afford to, cross the border into Camaroon to buy propane; poor women and children scavenge for tree branches and cow dung. Charcoal sellers are without a livelihood.
“Chadians must find other ways to cook and forget about charcoal and wood as fuel,” said Environment Minister Ali Souleyman Dabye. “Cooking is of course a fundamental necessity for every household. On the other hand…with climate change every citizen must protect his environment” (IRIN News 1/16/09).
Soldiers and police hit desperate demonstrators, mostly women, massing in the capital. The government admitted to making a mistake in not preparing the public, but announced no change in policy.
One woman demonstrator said: “Until the government makes a change, we will not give up. Better to die swiftly and en masse than to continue dying slowly as we are now.”
In China, forced relocations are becoming common to make way for development–in one case to offset emissions from a plant in Germany, while putting lucrative “carbon credits” into the hands of Chinese developers. About 7,500 Chinese had to move to make way for a hydroelectric dam. While costing Westerners billions, such projects of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) have “uncertain effects” on emissions (AP 1/25/09).
While poor countries are suffering most, some 5.5 million Britons face a choice between heating and eating as their energy bills soar (Daily Mail 10/3/09). Britain is in effect bankrupt, according to some senior officials, as the value of the pound plummets (London Evening Standard 1/20/09). But it’s not too poor to send heat-detector vans down the street to identify energy “wasters” (Daily Mail 1/22/09).
World food prices have increased 83% since 2005; there have been food riots in about 30 countries (Foreign Affairs, November/December 2008). Yet the EPA proposed an annual “belching and flatulence” tax that would have cost cattle, dairy, and hog producers about $11 billion/yr, driving thousands of producers out of business. After a storm of protest, it denied being serious about the plan (FGF 12/31/08).
The real problem is not cattle but humans. An article by Paul Murtaugh, Dept. of Statistics, and Michael Schlax, College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, is based on the premise that “a person is responsible for the carbon emissions of his descendants, weighted by their relatedness to him.” They note that the UN “medium variant” projections of total fertility assume a convergence of fertility in all countries to 1.85 children per woman by 2050. “[A]ny country having net reproductive rate exceeding one daughter per woman…will have lineages with exponentially increasing person years, unless fertility decreases in the future.” Under current conditions in the U.S., each child adds about 9,441 tonnes of CO2 to the carbon legacy of an average female, which is 5.7 times her lifetime emissions. “Clearly,” the authors conclude, “the potential savings from reduced reproduction are huge compared to the savings that can be achieved by changes in lifestyle”–important as those changes are (Global Environ Change , doi:10.1016.j.gloenvcha.2008.10.007). No implementation method is suggested, but there is historical precedent for the logical consequence of such beliefs:
“Separating humanity from nature, from the whole of life, leads to humankind’s own destruction…. Humankind alone is no longer the focus of thought, but rather life as a whole…. This striving toward connectness with the totality of life, with nature itself,…is the deepest meaning of *** thought.”
These beautiful thoughts were expressed in 1934 by Ernst Lehmann, the leading biologist of the Nazi regime: replace the asterisks with “National Socialist”–the most environmentalist major regime in world history. The desire to regulate all human life for a noble end is an excellent rationale for totalitarian opportunists (http://motls.blogspot.com/ 2008/12/roots-of-environmentalism.html).
In Britain, the government has created a new imprisonable offense every 4 days for the last decade. Many of the new offenses in the coming year are sure to stem from the new religion of global warming, writes Andrew Alexander (Daily Mail 1/1/09).
DID NAPOLEON USE HANSEN’S TEMPERATURE DATA?
This question is asked by Stephen McIntyre (www.climateaudit.org/?p=4318), who called attention to a recent error by NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). James Hansen announced that the hottest October on record was in 2008. This seemed odd, as record lows are being set worldwide this winter. In the United Arab Emirates, there was snow in an area that doesn’t even have a word for it in the language (Anna Zacharias, National 1/24/09). From the American Great Plains to China, and from the Alps to New Zealand, 63 local snowfall records and 115 lowest-ever temperature records were set (Christopher Booker, Telegraph 11/16/08).
GISS’s computerized maps seemed to show readings 10 higher than normal over most of Russia. Looking at actual readings, McIntyre found that October temperatures were exactly the same as reported in September–and Russia cools rapidly in the fall. GISS did not respond to McIntyre’s email pointing out the error, but had pulled the erroneous data off its website an hour later, blaming the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Then, GISS claimed to have discovered a new hot spot in the Arctic, although satellite images showed Arctic sea ice to be 30% more extensive than last year.
“The London Daily Telegraph calls this ‘a surreal blunder [that] raised a huge question mark about the temperature records that underpin the worldwide alarm over global warming’” (Wesley Pruden, Wash Times 11/21/08).
GISS uses a complex algorithm to convert actual temperature readings into its reported output, so the error affected previously published values for other months. In 2007 McIntyre proved that NASA had been unjustifiably adding a significant 0.15 C to U.S. temperature reports since 2000 (Heartland, Environ Climate News, January 2009).
THE WARMIST SHAMANS
The short deadline to prevent climate Armageddon is part of the Shaman Shamboozle, writes Andrew Thomas. The evil global warming spirits must be chased away before the tribe sees that the climate is getting cooler, so that the shamans can take credit and cement their power irreversibly. Hence their increasing desperation (TWTW 1/24/09).
SAVE THE DATE
The 2008 meeting is scheduled for Jul 31-Aug 2 at the Doubletree Denver in the Stapleton area. There is a free shuttle from the airport. The DDP conference rate is $94.
In the meantime, don’t forget the Heartland International Conference on Climate Change in NYC, Mar 8-10. See www.heartland.org. Speakers include Christopher Monckton, Stephen McIntyre, Willie Soon, Arthur Robinson, Fred Singer, and Benny Peiser.