“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, February 03, 2007

IPCC - The Smoking Gun?

The Smoking Gun? So, can we expect the DA to run down to the Grand Jury and get indictments so that the Carbon Inquisitions can begin in earnest?

This article quotes Congressman Ed Markey as saying the UN report is a smoking gun.
Democrats Say Climate Report Smoking Gun
Feb 2, 9:55 AM (ET)

WASHINGTON (AP) - A strongly worded global warming report from the world's top climate scientists put pressure Friday on the Bush administration to reduce the United States' growing share of gases that trap heat in the atmosphere.

Democrats newly in control of Congress and other critics of President Bush's environmental policies pounced on the long-awaited United Nations report like fresh meat.

"Although President Bush just noticed that the earth is heating up, the American public, every reputable scientist and other world leaders have long recognized that global warming is real and it's serious. The time to act is now," said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who with GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine crafted one of a half-dozen competing bills to address global warming.

Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., a senior member of House panels on energy and natural resources, said that "for those who are still trying to determine responsibility for global warming, this new U.N. report on climate change is a scientific smoking gun."

It is critical that we look at this report ... as a moment where the focus of attention will shift from whether climate change is linked to human activity, whether the science is sufficient, to what on earth are we going to do about it," said Achim Steiner, the executive director of the U.N. Environment Program.

"The public should not sit back and say 'There's nothing we can do'," Steiner said. "Anyone who would continue to risk inaction on the basis of the evidence presented here will one day in the history books be considered irresponsible."

One news report said, "The report blamed man-made emissions of greenhouse gases for fewer cold days, hotter nights, killer heat waves, floods and heavy rains, devastating droughts, and an increase in hurricane and tropical storm strength — particularly in the Atlantic Ocean."

But the World Meteorological Organization has said it could not link past stronger storms to global warming. The debate about whether stronger hurricanes can be linked to global warming has been dividing a scientific community that is otherwise largely united in agreeing that global warming is human-made and a problem. The IPCC Table SPM-1, page 7, footnote f says:

"(f) Magnitude of anthropogenic contributions not assessed. Attribution for these phenomena based on expert judgement rather than formal attribution studies."
In other words, the IPCC admits that some of the gloomier scenarios are based on opinion; not scientific data. The media and environmental activists have seized on the sensational opinions presented in the IPCC and continue to ignore contrary facts such as are illustrated in this article from September 2004, Scientists Debunk 'Global Warming' Effect on Hurricanes.
A group of climatologists, scientists, professors and other experts in climate change on Tuesday pointed out two "misconceptions" reported in the press about hurricanes and their relation to climate change, in a letter to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who chaired a Commerce Committee hearing examining recent scientific research concerning climate change impacts.

"First is the erroneous claim that hurricane intensity or frequency has risen significantly in recent decades in response to the warming trend seen in surface temperature. Second is the claim that a future surface warming trend would lead to more frequent and stronger storms. We believe that both of these are demonstrably false," the scientists wrote.

They noted the National Hurricane Center reports in the last century the decade with the largest number of hurricanes to hit the U.S. was the 1940s, and the frequency of hurricanes has gone down since then.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme of the World Meteorological Organization, "Reliable data ... since the 1940s indicate that the peak strength of the strongest hurricanes has not changed, and the mean maximum intensity of all hurricanes has decreased."

"Recent history tells us that hurricanes are not becoming more frequent," the climate researchers wrote in the letter to McCain.

The second claim in news stories about hurricanes and "global warming," they pointed out, involves the question "if surface warming trends continue, are more or fewer severe storms likely?"

"Computer simulations suggest that in a warmer world most of the warming would occur in the Polar Regions. Atmospheric circulation, which crucially affects storms, is driven primarily by the temperature difference, or gradient, between the tropics and the poles," the experts wrote.

"Warmer polar regions would reduce this gradient and thus lessen the overall intensity or frequency or both of storms - not just tropical storms but mid-latitude winter storms as well (such as blizzards and northeasters)," the climatologists added.

"Again, longer periods of history bear this out. In the past, warmer periods have seen a decline in the number and severity of storms. This is well-documented in scientific journals for data extending back centuries or even millennia. If the surface temperature of the planet rises further in the future, it is likely that these declines will continue," they wrote.

Greens seem much too willing to accept on faith, the pessimistic speculations which promote their agenda and dismiss or ignore the evidence which does not support their orthodoxy. This leads me to distrust their motives.

It seems to me that about the only thing the IPCC report says with 90% certainty is that we’re warmer and “very likely” to stay warmer for a while. IPCC Table SPM1, (page 7) also admits that the Scientists don't know how much man has contributed to "warm spells and heat waves", "heavy precipitation events", or the "increased incidence of extreme high sea level."

The argument is not about whether the earth is warmer but about what has caused that warming and what if anything can be done about it. The alarmist reaction is to shut down all debate and immediately set about on an expensive knee jerk agenda which has no guarantee of success. It is "very likely" that money which might be better used for adaptation, will be wasted and swindled away in the massive wealth redistribution program that the greens so desperately desire.

After I had this post prepared, I noticed that we were getting some referrals from the Guardian UK. It seems Mr. Wilson liked my previous IPCC post title "IPCC Report Says- "Bend Over, Kiss Your Ass Goodbye." Personally, I thought it was a little too vulgar but it figures vulgarity would get international attention.


  1. the deletion was a snake oil sales pitch.

  2. The wind resource off the Mid-Atlantic coast could supply the energy needs of nine states from Massachusetts to North Carolina, plus the District of Columbia--with enough left over to support a 50 percent increase in future energy demand--according to a study by researchers at the University of Delaware and Stanford University.

    Willett Kempton, Richard Garvine and Amardeep Dhanju at the University of Delaware and Mark Jacobson and Cristina Archer at Stanford, found that the wind over the Middle Atlantic Bight, the aquatic region from Cape Cod, Mass., to Cape Hatteras, N.C., could produce 330 gigawatts (GW) of average electrical power if thousands of wind turbines were installed off the coast.

    The estimated power supply from offshore wind substantially exceeds the region's current energy use, which the scientists estimate at 185 gigawatts, from electricity, gasoline, fuel oil and natural gas sources.

    Supplying the region's energy needs with offshore wind power would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 68 percent and reduce greenhouse gases by 57 percent, according to the study.

    Estimating the wind power resource

    The scientists began by developing a model of the lowest atmospheric layer over the ocean. Known as the "planetary boundary layer," it extends vertically from the ocean surface to 3,000 meters (up to 9,842 feet) and is where strong, gusty winds occur due to friction between the atmosphere and the sea surface, solar heating and other factors. It provides the "fuel" for offshore wind turbines, which may stand up to 80 meters (262 feet) tall, with blades as long as 55 meters (180 feet).

    The scientists examined current wind-turbine technologies to determine the depth of the water and the distance from shore the wind turbines could be located. They also defined "exclusion zones" where wind turbines could not be installed, such as major bird flyways, shipping lanes, chemical disposal sites, military restricted areas, borrow sites where sediments are removed for beach renourishment projects, and "visual space" from major tourist beaches.

    To estimate the size of the wind power resource, the researchers needed to figure out the maximum number of wind turbines that could be erected and the region's average wind power. The spacing used between the hypothetical wind turbines was about one-half mile apart. At a closer spacing, Kempton said, upwind turbines will "steal" wind energy from downstream ones.

    The scientists' estimate of the full-resource, average wind power output of 330 gigawatts over the Middle Atlantic Bight is based on the installation of 166,720 wind turbines, each generating up to 5 megawatts of power. The wind turbines would be located at varying distances from shore, out to 100 meters of water depth, over an ocean area spanning more than 50,000 square miles, from Cape Cod to Cape Hatteras.

    In comparison to the oil and natural gas resources of the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf--the submerged land that lies seaward from 3 miles offshore and is under federal jurisdiction--the researchers found that the shelf's reported energy sources would amount to only one-tenth of the wind resource and would be exhausted in 20 years.

    Addressing wind power fluctuations and energy priorities

    While 330 gigawatts is the average output of the entire offshore wind resource over the Mid-Atlantic Bight, the researchers note that offshore wind is not uniform and offer suggestions for addressing power fluctuations.

    "Over a large area like this, the wind blows stronger at some times and places, weaker at others," Kempton said.

    To make wind power more uniform, the study shows that multiple sites could be connected through power lines to reduce the number of times of both maximum and minimum power. Changes in new and replacement energy-using devices, including automobiles, also could provide for greater power storage.

    "Battery and plug-in hybrid automobiles, for example, have large storage that is unused when the car is parked," Kempton said.

    With a scientifically reliable estimate of the region's offshore wind power potential now in hand, how likely are we to actually install more than 100,000 wind turbines off the Mid-Atlantic coast?

    Kempton said it's a matter of priority. "Today, market forces and incremental technology developments will gradually make offshore wind the least-cost power in more and more East Coast locations," Kempton said. "On the other hand, if climate change becomes a much greater priority for the United States, our study shows how we could displace more than half the carbon dioxide emissions of the Mid-Atlantic area quickly, using existing technology."

    On the practicality of producing 166,720 wind turbines, co-author Richard Garvine noted, "the United States began producing 2,000 warplanes per year in 1939 for World War II, increased production each year, and, by 1946, had sent 257,000 aircraft into service.

    "We did that in seven years, using 1940s technology," he said.

    Source: University of Delaware

  3. Yeap, if only 300 million people pass on, why that's the size of the population of the USA.

    Who'd have guessed?

  4. Here is a interesting piece about a plan from MIT for offshore wind generators.

    This type program could overcome the "not in my backyard" objections that the famous enviormentalist, Bobby Kennedy Jr, has made in Cape Cod to off coast wind turbines, there.