Monday, 30 March 2009

U.S. to Push for UN Global-warming Accord

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IcebergTodd Stern, the Obama administration's special envoy for climate change, told representatives of 175 nations in Bonn, Germany, on March 29, that global warming "requires a global response" and that rapidly developing economies like China "must join together" with industrialized nations to solve the problem.

"We are very glad to be back. We want to make up for lost time, and we are seized with the urgency of the task before us," Stern told the 2,600 delegates present for the UN negotiations. AP reported that the delegates applauded Stern's remarks loudly and clapped again when Stern said the United States recognized its "unique responsibility ... as the largest historic emitter of greenhouse gases," which he suggested has created a problem threatening the entire world.

The two-week series of meetings that began is meant to draft a UN climate deal that would be agreed on at the Climate Conference in Copenhagen, to be held from December 6-18. The stated purpose of that conference (stated on the conference website) is to draft a new Copenhagen Protocol to replace the Kyoto Protocol "to prevent climate changes and global warming" that will expire in 2012. Though the United States signed the Kyoto Protocol, that gesture was primarily symbolic because it is non-binding on the United States unless ratified by the Senate. On July 25, 1997, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed by a 95-0 vote the Byrd-Hagel Resolution (S. Res. 98), which stated the sense of the Senate that the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol that did not include binding targets and timetables for developing nations (in addition to industrialized nations) or "would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States."

Stern said no one on the Obama climate team doubted that climate change is real, stating ominously: "The science is clear, the threat is real, the facts on the ground are outstripping the worst-case scenarios. The cost of inaction or inadequate action are unacceptable."

Reuters news reported that the warm reception given to Stern in Bonn was "in stark contrast to the frosty reception given to President George W. Bush's envoys who were often accused of inaction and were even booed at U.N. talks in Bali in 2007."

Stern cautioned the assembled delegates, however, that the United States could not make the most stringent cuts in greenhouse gases advised by the UN Climate Panel, which call for a reduction in such gasses by 2020 to amounts 25 and 40 percent below 1990 levels. "We should be guided by a combination of science and pragmatism," Stern said. Many developing nations, led by China and India, have said that Obama should do more.

President Obama has proposed cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by about 16-17 percent from current levels to reduce them to 1990 levels by 2020, and to 80 percent below current levels by 2050.

Yvo de Boer, head of the UN Climate Change Secretariat Environmentalists, has stated in the past that he consider Obama's goals for the year 2020 to an "opening offer" that he hopes will be increased in Copenhagen. However, Stern said the U.S. position will be limited by what kind of deal Obama can make with Congress. "I do not think that it is realistic to believe that we will then be able to go into an international setting and get a higher number than that," said Stern, adding that he could not predict if Congress would pass climate legislation before the Copenhagen conference.

The German DW-World.DE news reported that although there was strong enthusiasm in Europe for Obama's departure from earlier U.S. positions, many Europeans thought Obama's 2020 goal is too modest. The German news organ quoted a European negotiator, who said of the U.S. proposals: "We're going to tell them that we don't agree, we think that this is not enough."

In the time between the Bonn and Copenhagen conferences, the Obama administration will engage in international lobbying to build support for its agenda at the December event. A statement posted on the White House website on March 28 reported that President Obama had announced the launch of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate. That statement noted that the forum would "help generate the political leadership necessary to achieve a successful outcome at the UN climate change negotiations that will convene this December in Copenhagen."

The statement also noted:

President Obama has invited the leaders of 16 major economies and the Secretary General of the United Nations to designate representatives to participate in a preparatory session at the Department of State on April 27-28 in Washington, D.C. The preparatory sessions will culminate in a Major Economies Forum Leaders' meeting, which Prime Minister Berlusconi has agreed to host in La Maddalena, Italy, in July 2009.

However, a key factor ignored by the Obama administration and the overwhelming majority of both U.S. and international media reports regarding "global warming" as a foregone conclusion is that credible scientific evidence has not been presented to prove that any increase in the average temperature of the Earth is anthropogenic — caused by man's activities.

As noted in our article, "Cap and Trade: A Huge, Regressive Tax," global-warming doomsayers tend to ignore the history of the Earth's temperatures, which have constantly varied. Climate scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen has pointed out that "two centuries ago, much of the Northern Hemisphere was emerging from a little ice age. A millennium ago, during the Middle Ages, the same region was in a warm period. Thirty years ago, we were concerned with global cooling." During the global-cooling scare of the 1970s, some observers even worried that the planet was on the verge of a new ice age!

As for man's impact on global temperatures, in the April 3 issue of the Wall Street Journal, deputy editor George Melloan noted that, according to "serious scientists," "the greenhouse gases are a fundamental part of the biosphere, necessary to all life, and ... industrial activity generates less than 5 percent of them, if that."

An even greater indictment of the global-warming doomsayers is found in a report compiled by Roy Spencer, Ph.D., a climatologist and former senior scientist for climate studies at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, which indicates that not only is it unproven that global warming is anthropologically cause, it may not exist at all!

As Dr. Spencer demonstrates, data that he and colleague John Christy compiled from the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU-A) flying on NASA's Aqua satellite indicates that average global temperatures have actually declined in recent years.

Dr. Spencer has also disputed the theory that CO2 is the prime culprit in so-called global warming. In the compendium Earth Report 2000, Dr. Spencer noted: "It is estimated that water vapor accounts for about 95 percent of the earth's natural greenhouse effect, whereas carbon dioxide contributes most of the remaining 5 percent. Global warming projections assume that water vapor will increase along with any warming resulting from the increases in carbon dioxide concentrations." (Emphasis added.)

Dr. Spencer points out that such assumptions are unproven, however, noting that "there remain substantial uncertainties in our understanding of how the climate system will respond to increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases." He observes that the natural greenhouse effect that heats the Earth is offset by natural cooling processes. "In other words," concluded Dr. Spencer, "the natural greenhouse effect cannot be considered in isolation as a process warming the earth, without at the same time accounting for cooling processes that actually keep the greenhouse effect from scorching us all."

And Dr. Spencer is far from alone. A U.S. Senate minority report entitled "More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims," subtitled "Scientists Continue to Debunk 'Consensus' in 2008," was released on December 11, 2008. [The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works has made available a downloadable PDF of the full report at their minority website http://epw.senate.gov/minority/. Click on "White Papers and Reports"; the PDF is listed as "Senate Minority Report 2."]

Here is a very brief sampling of statements made by the 650 scientists included in the report:

  • Warming fears are the "worst scientific scandal in ... history.... When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists." — UN IPCC Japanese scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning Ph.D. environmental physical chemist.
  • "It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don't buy into anthropogenic global warming." — U.S. Government atmospheric scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • "The 'global warming scare' is being used as a political tool to increase government control over American lives, incomes and decision making. It has no place in the Society's activities." — Award-winning NASA astronaut/geologist and moonwalker Jack Schmitt, who flew on the Apollo 17 mission and is formerly of the Norwegian Geological Survey and the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Obama administration's plans to subvert the sovereignty of our nation by making our national energy policies subject to international agreements — while mandating domestic energy policies likely to make our current economic woes seem mild by comparison — are a triumph of fear mongering over scientific evidence.

And yet, Todd Stern had the audacity to state: "The science is clear, the threat is real, the facts on the ground are outstripping the worst-case scenarios. The cost of inaction or inadequate action are unacceptable." What is unacceptable is destroying our economy, our nation's industrial self-sufficiency, and our sovereignty in deference to the UN's international climate bureaucracy and their allies in the world's governments and media.

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Shedding Light on the Earth Hour

Cap and Trade: A Huge, Regressive Tax

Whatever Happened to Global Warming?

Earth in Carbon Dioxide Famine, Says Scientist