Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Good Old Pachauri: Admits next IPCC report too will be heavily muddled in Conflict of Interest

"Of course if you look at conflict of interest respect to authors who are there in the 5th Assessment Report we’ve already selected them and therefore it wouldn’t be fair to impose anything that sort of applies retrospectively."
Rajendra Pachauri is every climate sceptic’s dream. He proved it again in an interview to Oliver Morton of The Economist at an IPCC event in Brussels when he admitted that conflict of interest policies would not apply to AR5 authors. IPCC thereby sabotaged recommendations from the Inter-Academy Council and announced its plans to evade the conflict of interest policies passed at the 33rd IPCC plenary only a month ago. The event was the release of IPCC's latest report : Special Report on Renewable Energy which projected scenarios looking at the energy mix over the next four decades under various assumptions. Read the full article here

The penetration of renewables in Tamil Nadu is 30% and its effect was of transformation of the state from a net surplus energy producer to a net energy importer. This policy has plunged the state into massive power cuts and has shaved off  at least 2% of its GDP. And here is the latest IPCC report projecting  the highest penetration of renewables at 77% by 2050.  Imagine the plight of Tamil Nadu if penetration of renewables is 80%, most notably through a massive expansion of wind and solar power! So what is the empirical basis of this study? It was found that the report was a rehash of a campaign material of Greenpeace and the author itself a Greenpeace renewable energy campaigner. This revelation engulfed the IPCC in a new controversy. Read Christopher Booker's article: The IPCC declares Greenpeace in our time.

The US  Chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee on Science, Space, and Technology sent the IPCC a strong letter on their conflict of interest debacle and demanding the IPCC not be permitted to delay implementation of Conflict of Interest policy until after AR5. Here's extracts of the letter to letter to United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, calling for the adoption of a Conflict of Interest Policy for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
“Recent press reports have once again highlighted the need for the IPCC to address conflicts of interest” Broun wrote.
“If these press reports are true, it would seem as though one of the lead authors of Chapter 10 of the IPCC ‘Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation’ was not only an employee of the advocacy group Greenpeace International, but also the co-author of one of the studies being reviewed in that Chapter.”

Read the full letter here.

US Supreme Court ruling: Climate science is not settled.

When Albert Einstein observed No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong" he was simply reiterating the principle of falsifiability in science.
Falsifiability or refutability is the logical possibility that an assertion could be shown to be false by a particular observation or physical experiment. The concept was made popular by Karl Popper in his philosophical analysis of the scientific method. Popper argued that a hypothesis, proposition, or theory is "scientific" only if it is, among other things, falsifiable. Popper asserted that unfalsifiable statements are non-scientific, although not without relevance.

But this is exactly the principle the so called climate science contradicts when it claims that "the science is settled". Einstein, one of the world's greatest scientist, if not the greatest ever, also observed that "A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be." Anthropogenic Global warming (AGW) precisely goes against this principle too when it concentrated exclusively on the human signal behind the phenomenon of climate change. The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was in fact established not to study climate change in its entirety but to prove that the human signal is the most significant factor in climate change.

Two weeks ago, the US Supreme Court struck a blow against AGW by declaring that global warming is by no means a settled issue, they made clear, suggesting it would be foolhardy to assume it was. Lawrence Solomon, executive director of Energy Probe and author of The Deniers, in an article in the Financial Post, reports on this ruling.

Supreme skeptics
Courtesy: Financial Post

The justices of the United States Supreme Court this week became the world’s most august global warming sceptics. Not by virtue of their legal reasoning – the global warming case they decided turned on a technical legal issue — but in their surprising commentary. Global warming is by no means a settled issue, they made clear, suggesting it would be foolhardy to assume it was.
“The court, we caution, endorses no particular view of the complicated issues related to carbon-dioxide emissions and climate change,” reads the 8-0 decision, delivered by the court’s acclaimed liberal, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The court decision noted that the Environmental Protection Agency itself had “Acknowledg[ed] that not all scientists agreed on the causes and consequences of the rise in global temperatures,” before suggesting readers consult “views opposing” the conventional wisdom. Specifically, the justices’ recommended reading was a superb profile of Princeton’s Freeman Dyson, perhaps America’s most respected scientist, written in the New York Times Magazine, March 29, 2009.

Dyson, an unabashed skeptic, believes that carbon dioxide, rather than being harmful, is both necessary and desirable, arguing that “increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”

Somewhat in the same vein, Justice Ginsburg notes carbon dioxide is necessary and ubiquitous, and thus shouldn’t be the target of indiscriminate attacks. “After all, we each emit carbon dioxide merely by breathing,” she notes, repeating a point that Dyson couldn’t have said better himself.

To see exactly what the Supreme Court said in its remarkable American Electric Power v. Connecticut decision, click here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Climate Change Reconsidered - Invitation to Workshop

The Karnataka Environment Research Foundation (KERF),
Institution of Engineers, Karnataka state Centre (IEI-KSC)
Liberty Institute New Delhi

Cordially invite you to

A Panel Discussion on

Climate Change Reconsidered & Release of the summary in Kannada

 Release of the executive summary of book Climate Change Reconsidered: 

Prof. H. R. Ramakrishna Rao, Science Communicator and former professor of Physics from Christ College, Bangalore

Date: Friday, June 17, 4 pm to 7 pm
Venue: Institution of Engineers, Karnataka State Centre, 
Dr. Ambedkar Veedhi, Opposite Indian Express, Bangalore 560 001

Changing Climate 
Over the past few years, the scientific debate has intensified on the nature and possible causes underlying changing climate. Questions have arisen over the significance of man-made green house gases in stimulating global warming. Science progresses through such rational criticism and objective discourse, and not through consensus invoked by any authority.
The United Nation’s Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, was formed in 1988, to provide an assessment of global climate change.  IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) released in 2007 linked the warming over the past 30 yrs, about 0.7 C, to anthropogenic green house gases, particularly CO2. At he UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), countries have been debating possible carbon emission targets to minimize future adverse impact of changing climate on human societies.

However, over the last few years, a number of errors have been identified in the AR4. Also, a number of plausible alternative theories have emerged explaining possible changes in climate. Consequently, there is a growing need to reassess the policy options and the economic impact of climate. The government of India too has taken a number of initiatives to improve understanding of the underlying science and policy options. 

The Purpose

The purpose of this event is to initiate a fresh discussion on the different dimension of the debate on global warming. The aim is to build a movement, a network of scientists, economists, policymakers, elected representatives and concerned citizens who believe in sound science and economic policy options. The goal is to limit the rampant fear mongering, exaggerated claims and media hype, which are casting a shadow on rational assessment of climate and objectively shaping policy, if any, to address the possible impact of changes in climate.

In 2009, the Heartland Institute, a non-profit organization in the USA, had published the “Climate Change Reconsidered”, a 800-page report put together by an independent panel of scientists, under the banner of Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC).  This report is perhaps the most comprehensive response to the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The next report of the NIPCC is expected to be released in 2013. 

In 2010, Liberty Institute in New Delhi, in partnership with the Heartland Institute, reprinted the NIPCC report “Climate Change Reconsidered” for wider dissemination in India. In addition, the executive summary of the report has been translated in to half-dozen Indian languages. These may help contribute to a more rational discourse on climate change.