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Tags: Global Warming

Obama Unveils New Plan to Work with Foreign Governments to Ignore the Constitution



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From the midweek edition of the Morning Jolt:

President Obama’s a big NBA fan, right? What if he’s tanking this year of his presidency because he thinks he gets a better lottery pick in the draft next year?

Obama Unveils New Plan to Work with Foreign Governments to Ignore the Constitution

You know why Obama seems so disconnected and disinterested in the presidency? Because he doesn’t want to be president, he would rather be king:

The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress.

In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.

To sidestep that requirement, President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions. The deal is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from poor countries around the world, but negotiators say it may be the only realistic path.

“If you want a deal that includes all the major emitters, including the U.S., you cannot realistically pursue a legally binding treaty at this time,” said Paul Bledsoe, a top climate change official in the Clinton administration who works closely with the Obama White House on international climate change policy.

Look at how these people speak. If you cannot get the Senate to ratify a treaty (technically, passing a resolution of ratification), then the United States is not a party to that treaty. Period. Full stop. The Constitution is not iffy on this. This part is not a suggestion. There is no wiggle room.

There are a lot of nonsensical or highly exaggerated chain e-mails accusing the president of working with foreigners to subvert the U.S. Constitution. But this time you’ve got the foreigners and administration officials themselves confirming it on the front page of the New York Times!

“There’s a strong understanding of the difficulties of the U.S. situation, and a willingness to work with the U.S. to get out of this impasse,” said Laurence Tubiana, the French ambassador for climate change to the United Nations. “There is an implicit understanding that this not require ratification by the Senate.”

“The difficulties of the U.S. situation” is a reference the fact that we have a Senate that opposes the treaty.

The Times casually notes that President Obama ignored the legislative process in his domestic climate-change agenda, too:

In seeking to go around Congress to push his international climate change agenda, Mr. Obama is echoing his domestic climate strategy. In June, he bypassed Congress and used his executive authority to order a far-reaching regulation forcing American coal-fired power plants to curb their carbon emissions. That regulation, which would not be final until next year, already faces legal challenges, including a lawsuit filed on behalf of a dozen states.

“ . . . days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America . . . ”

Tags: Barack Obama , Climate Change , Constitution , Global Warming , United Nations

Jerry Brown Slams Republicans Over California Wildfires



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California governor Jerry Brown took the opportunity of the San Diego wildfires to assail Republicans over global-warming dissent, noting that the state is now “in the third year of a very dry season.”

“The state’s climate appears to be changing, the scientists tell us that definitely,” the three-term governor told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week Sunday. He added that the state’s future would be “radically different” from its past.

“There’s virtually no Republican who accepts the science that is virtually unanimous,” Brown said. “There is no scientific question. There’s just political denial for various reasons best known to those people who are in denial.”

Brown also called for heavier regulation on how residents “live, how they build their homes, and what kind of vegetation is allowed to grow around them.”

The Golden State already has by far the heaviest environmental regulations in the country. The region appears to have been prone to wildfires since before the formation of the California territory, and in fact this year is not even the state’s driest of the last 20 years. Republicans hold no statewide offices in California, make up less than a third in both houses of the state legislature, and only have gained partial clout against the Democratic supermajority this year because three legislative Democrats have been criminally indicted or convicted.

Brown, who challenged Bill Clinton in the 1992 presidential primary (running on a flat-tax platform), also denied that a Hillary Clinton presidential nomination would be the “coronation” he accused Bill Clinton of receiving 22 years ago. He cautioned that Hillary’s front-runner status puts her at risk of a challenge.

Tags: California , Global Warming , Jerry Brown , Sunday Shows May 18 2014

Environmentalist Billionaire Made His Fortune From Asian Coal Mines



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It’s a safe bet that environmentalist billionaire and big-time Democratic donor Tom Steyer has a bigger carbon footprint than you do:

Steyer, 56, stepped down as co-managing partner of Farallon in 2012 to devote himself to full-time activism because, as he later wrote, he “no longer felt comfortable being at a firm that was invested in every single sector of the global economy, including tar sands and oil.”

But he has provided few details of the extent of those fossil fuel investments or how he profited from them. He said in July 2013 that when he had left Farallon, which manages much of his estimated $1.6 billion wealth, he had instructed the fund to divest his holdings in fossil fuels. Neither he nor Farallon has said whether that process has been completed. Farallon declined to comment.

A spokesman for Steyer declined to comment for this article.

Until now, most of the conservative ire against Steyer has focused on Farallon’s energy investment record in the United States. Little attention has been paid to foreign investments such as its forays into Asian coal.

During Steyer’s tenure, Farallon helped finance coal project acquisitions in Indonesia and Australia valued at more than $2 billion and covering some of the region’s biggest mines, some of which swiftly ramped up production afterward, according to a close examination by Reuters of company disclosures and interviews with people involved in the deals.

Of course, Steyer made clear that this year he would not run ads against Democrats who voted to build the Keystone Pipeline — even though that’s at the heart of his objection to Republicans. Democratic strategist Chris Lehane, who advises Steyer, told The Hill that Steyer’s group would not run ads against Democrats, even if they support Keystone. “We aren’t going to go in to try to undermine and hurt Democrats.”

To sum up, it’s okay for him to make a fortune from Asian coal mines, and it’s okay for Democrats to vote to build the Keystone Pipeline; all of our environmental problems can be blamed on Republicans and you eating a Big Mac today.

The only thing that’s green in this picture is the background.

 

 

Tags: Tom Steyer , Global Warming , Democrats

Chris Hayes Wants to Kill About 5.7 Billion People



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MSNBC host Chris Hayes is getting an alarming amount of attention for his latest effort in The Nation, a stemwinder arguing that the abolition of fossil fuels is like the abolition of slavery.

The argument may sound forced, but Hayes has a logical premise that goes something like this: Socrates does not wear sandals; a potato kugel does not wear sandals; therefore Socrates is a potato kugel. It’s also tricked out with quasi-erudition and broad claims such as this one: “Before the widespread use of fossil fuels, slaves were one of the main sources of energy (if not the main source) for societies stretching back millennia.” (Busy old fool, unruly Sun!)

Hayes, who serves as an editor-at-large for The Nation, manages to make 4,600 words feel even longer, with overflowing adjectives (“obvious,” “ungodly,” “brute, bloody”); lethal compound modifiers (“heart-stopping,” “full-throated”); cascades of adverbs (“immensely,” “basically,” “unfathomably” “probably,” “literally,” and even “downright”). There’s a to-be-sure paragraph guaranteeing the reader that Hayes is not making a “moral comparison between the enslavement of Africans and African Americans and the burning of carbon to power our devices” — followed by another 3,600 words comparing the enslavement of Africans and African Americans with the burning of carbon. (Hayes is coy as to what devices are in fact powered by these exotic carbon energy sources — about which more in a moment.)

So how does it make sense to compare the use of hydrocarbons with the enslavement of people? Turns out it’s the One Percent again, still clinging jealously to their privileges:

To preserve a roughly habitable planet, we somehow need to convince or coerce the world’s most profitable corporations and the nations that partner with them to walk away from $20 trillion of wealth . . . 

The last time in American history that some powerful set of interests relinquished its claim on $10 trillion of wealth was in 1865—and then only after four years and more than 600,000 lives lost in the bloodiest, most horrific war we’ve ever fought.

That’s more or less all there is to Hayes’s case.

The virtuous cadre of fossil-fuel “abolitionists” will have to compel these fat cats to give up their wealth. And like John Brown and Julia Ward Howe before them, they can take heart despite the immensity of the task, because the toll of human suffering is right before their . . . because the horrors of the vile institution are clear to . . . because the conscience recoils at the sight of . . . Well, it’s kind of hard to say what the actual societal gain of eliminating fossil fuels would be, because fossil fuels are the main reason modern society exists at all.

Keep reading this post . . .

Tags: Global Warming

Midwest: Record Global Freezing



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“To the surprise of no one, the winter of 2013–14 has shaped up to be one of the coldest on record,” report my colleagues at the Detroit News, of this year’s record-breaking Michigan temps. “The average temperature for (December, January, February) was 20.9 degrees, making it the coldest winter since 1977–78 and securing it the No. 8 spot for all-time cold winters.”

To the surprise of no one?  

Democratic pols, lefty climatologists, and their media parrots have been predicting to us Midwesterners that the Atlantic Ocean would be lapping at our ankles by now thanks to melting ice caps (thus the tens of billions Detroit automakers have already spent to meet the EPA global warming mandate of 54.5 mpg-by-2025).

More records fell this week. Wednesday’s March Madness dumped 6.5 inches of snow on Detroit, breaking the previous March 12 record of 1984. “Nighttime lows could dip near zero, plummeting past the previous records of 4 and 5 from 1896,” reports the News.

Yes, we are back to the 1970s when  the “scientific consensus” claimed a global freezing crisis. The solutions?  ”Melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot or diverting arctic rivers,” claimed Newsweek in 1975.

But the Green Left  is boxed in. After an enormous investment in films, legislation, and media propaganda, they cemented “global warming” as their Armageddon of choice. Desperate to continue their choke hold on industrial CO2 emissions, Gore and his media allies have tried to rename the crisis “climate change.”

But how do you whitewash the title of your bible, “An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming”?

Tags: Al Gore , Global Warming , Climate Change

Toughen Up, Beltway!



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Can you stand a bit more complaining about the weather?

A friend in Fairfax County points out that between Christmas break, Martin Luther King Day, and snow days, kids in Fairfax County public schools have attended 22 days of school in the last 39 weekdays. Schools are closed entirely today because of snow that fell Tuesday. As noted in a Morning Jolt earlier this week, the Washington region takes risk-averse decision-making to new heights.

Toughen Up, Beltway

By 11 p.m. Monday night, most of the school districts in the Washington, D.C., area had announced they were closed in anticipation of an approaching “Alberta Clipper” snowstorm.

Tuesday morning, the federal Office of Personnel Management announced that federal-government offices in the D.C. region would be closed. Emergency employees and telework-ready employees were expected to work.

The first snowflakes didn’t fall until about 11 a.m. At 1 p.m., most of the major roadways remained clear, with the salt trucks having had plenty of time to prepare the roads. The Clipper did amount to a genuine snowstorm by the standards of the mid-Atlantic region, dumping three to seven inches.

My suspicion is that the Washington, D.C., area is a lot more capable of toughing its way through a few inches of snow. We would like to try, but nervous-Nelly school administrators won’t let us. Either that, or those administrators are terrified of nervous-Nelly parents.

Jake Tapper:

When I was a kid they waited for snow to accumulate before they called snow days. Then we had to walk home in it barefoot with bags of rocks.

The AP wrote that the U.S. is becoming a nation of “weather wimps,” attributing it to . . . global warming, contending that the warmer globe means we’re less used to cold weather, so we have a harder time coping with it. That article featured a Rutgers University climate scientist positing that melting Arctic sea ice is generating “more weirdness” in our weather. That darn indecipherable, precise scientific jargon!

But this isn’t really about the actual temperatures or precipitation; it’s about how we react to them. Winter’s always going to be cold, ranging from pretty cold to bitterly cold. Some years we won’t get much snow, some years we’ll get a blizzard or two. What’s stupefying is how this region always seems shocked by it.

Washington, D.C.,’s snow accumulation this year, now including Tuesday’s Alberta Clipper is . . . 7.2 inches. Yuppie Acres, Northern Virginia has already had five snow days and two delayed openings. The annual usual total snowfall in the Washington, D.C., area is . . . 5.4 inches. So we’re getting a bit more snow than usual, but not much.

(You can check out snowfall totals and averages for 57 cities here.)

The Washington Post’s Petra Dvorak spoke for exasperated parents a few weeks ago when there was talk that some school districts would close school because of the “Polar Vortex.” No actual precipitation, snow, sleet, or ice, just a blast of really cold air.

A cold day has no resemblance to the glory of an actual snow day — where the rinse-and-repeat cycle of getting all the snow pants, hats, mittens on, then going outside to play, then fighting and screaming because snow went down someone’s back and someone else got smacked with an iceball, then going home for hot chocolate — makes the day feel Sysiphean, but makes it go by faster.

A bitterly cold day?

Let’s crack an egg on the sidewalk and watch it freeze? Test that “Christmas Story” tongue scene?

Nah. This is our big chance to show the rest of the country that flintiness that President Obama longed for when he moved here from Chicago and learned his daughters’ school had closed because of a dusting of snow.

It’s time for the folks of Our Town to show the government how to keep functioning despite a deep freeze, how to hunker down, wear an extra layer and get it done.

Please? For the sake of parents?

. . . Human beings are capable of walking, driving, and functioning in snow; otherwise places like Boston, Buffalo, Cleveland, and Minneapolis (and Canada) would be abandoned throughout winter. But not only does Washington, D.C., fail to do that . . . it seems afraid to even try.

Tags: Weather , Global Warming , Washington D.C.

UN Global Warming Summit Reaches ‘Consensus’ as Obama Brings U.S. Aboard



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After a marathon after-hours session, the UN climate summit has reached consensus. Details are beginning to emerge.

“Consensus,” there’s that word again — one of the most abused terms in the global-warming lexicon.

Russia blocked the last UNFCCC subsidiary meeting in Bonn over the UN’s using consensus decision making in place of actual voting. Although Russia sent a strongly worded letter to the Secretariat in October, things have been moving along on uncounted voice votes and rulings of the chair as a matter of course. It will be interesting to see what Russia received this time around in exchange for not pressing its objections. Could it have been billions in carbon credits?

The public face of the climate talks in Warsaw was drama, conflict, and greed.

Yeb Sano of the Philippines kicked off the drama by announcing a hunger strike over the tragic Haiyan/Yolanda typhoon. Although the storm was a natural disaster, and not the result of global warming, the typhoon remained the rallying cry for global-warming redistribution for the remainder of the conference.

(In case you were wondering, yesterday Sano announced that he is eating again and will work his way up from vegetable soup to full meals within three days.)

China kicked off the conflict by leading a walkout of 132 poor nations, after developing nations balked at immediately adopting and funding a “loss and damage” mechanism which would essentially accept legal liability and compensate poor nations for natural disasters.

Warming-left pressure groups staged a walkout of their own. As many as 800 representatives of radical NGOs walked out, demanding immediate funding for global-warming redistribution and in protest of business representatives exercising the same rights of participation that they enjoy.

COP 19’s Polish hosts were the focus of considerable drama throughout the summit. CFACT rallied over 50,000 Poles against a global-warming treaty on Polish Independence Day. Poland ran a coal summit in parallel with the warming summit and fired the president of the COP with only two days left to go.

While all this was going on, however, the bureaucrats kept working behind the scenes to keep things moving towards the goal they’ve set — signing a full global warming treaty in Paris in 2015 — a treaty which for the first time includes the United States.

Just as the conference was collapsing, the Obama administration came to the rescue and committed the United States to the treaty timetable and agreed to have American emissions-reduction targets in place in time for Paris. This brought the parties back to the table and permitted the bureaucrats to cobble together a consensus. 

The details are just emerging, but it appears that developing nations and the warming pressure groups got their loss-and-damage mechanism. They are still complaining that they would have preferred immediate funding and less wiggle room in the language – but consider the concession they’ve been given. By acknowledging loss and damage as legitimate, the developed world has abandoned science, accepted a present-day link between global warming and natural disasters that no data shows, and exposed their taxpayers to potentially unlimited future liability.

The UN has also reached consensus on a framework and funding for its REDD program, a dream come true for would-be carbon profiteers seeking to make fortunes the way Al Gore did. The REDD program enables developers to rack up huge profits from the sale of carbon offsets for forestry programs in poor countries. Almost all the financial gain is exported to investors, while the pain remains with the poor. The age of eco-imperialism is upon us.

With all nations back at the table, the global-warming elite were able to announce progress on their main goal: advancing towards a Paris treaty in 2015 under which both the U.S. and developing nations agree to limit their CO2 emissions.  The U.S. did not join the first global-warming treaty which was signed in Kyoto, Japan in 1997. The “Kyoto Protocol” gave the developing world a pass.

This consensus was reached only after the word “contributions” was exchanged for “commitment” to provide the weasel word that would permit Brazil, India, China, and other developing nations to expect that the U.S. and other industrialized nations will suicidally contract their own economies while the BRICs continue to expand.

The outcome of the Warsaw climate summit is too tepid to satisfy the radical enviro-left. Their complaints will be shrill and many.

Realists who disagree with the UN’s take on global-warming science and policy will take comfort from the outcome’s lack of firm commitments, weasel words, and delays. If they let down their guard, they will demonstrate the true meaning of global-warming denial.

While the UN’s global-warming mandarins and profiteers may have liked more, they jet out of Warsaw still in control of the game. They leave Poland with the U.S. finally inside the global-warming tent, no nettlesome procedural reforms, and their road to a Paris global-warming treaty difficult but still in sight. They will immediately resume their endless series of backroom deals at quiet subsidiary meetings. Bureaucracy may be inefficient, but it is persistent. When UN global-warming bureaucrats are persistent, you pay.

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After a marathon after-hours session, the UN climate summit has reached consensus. Details are beginning to emerge.

“Consensus,” there’s that word again. Consensus has become one of the most abused terms in the global warming lexicon.

Russia blocked the last UNFCCC subsidiary meeting in Bonn over the UN using consensus decision marking in place of actual voting. Although Russia sent a strongly worded letter to the Secretariat in October, keeping things moving along on uncounted voice votes and rulings of the chair continues to be the order of the day. It will be interesting to see what Russia received in exchange for not pressing its objections. Could it have been billions in carbon credits?

The public face of the climate talks in Warsaw was drama, conflict and strife .

Yeb Sano of the Philippines kicked off the drama by announcing a hunger strike over tragic Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. Although the typhoon was a natural disaster, and not the result of global warming, the typhoon remained the rallying cry for global warming redistribution for the remainder of the conference. In case you are concerned, yesterday Sano announced that he is eating again and will work his way up from vegetable soup to full meals within three days.

China kicked off the conflict by leading a walkout of 132 poor nations, after developing nations balked at immediately adopting and funding a “loss and damage” mechanism which would essentially accept legal liability and compensate poor nations for natural disasters.

Warming-left pressure groups added to the conflict and staged a walkout of their own. Up to 800 representatives of radical NGOs walked out, demanding immediate funding for global warming redistribution measures and in protest of business representatives exercising the same rights of participation that they enjoy.

COP 19′s Polish hosts were the focus of drama, conflict and strife throughout the summit. CFACT rallied over

CFACT President David Rothbard rallies over 50,000 Polies against the UN treaty

CFACT President David Rothbard rallies over 50,000 Polies against the UN treaty

50,000 Poles against the global warming treaty on Polish Independence Day. Poland ran a coal summit in parallel with the warming summit and fired the president of the COP with only two days left to go.

While all this was going on, however, the bureaucrats kept working behind the scenes to keep things moving towards the goal they’ve set – signing a full global warming treaty in Paris in 2015 – a treaty which for the first time includes the United States.

Just as the conference was collapsing, the Obama administration came to the rescue and committed the United States to the treaty timetable and agreed to have American emissions reduction targets in place in time for Paris. This brought the parties back to the table and permitted the bureaucrats to cobble up a consensus.

The details are just emerging, but it appears that developing nations and the warming pressure groups got their loss and damage mechanism. They are still complaining that they would have preferred immediate funding and less wiggle room in the language, but think about what they have achieved. By acknowledging loss and damage as legitimate, the developed world has abandoned science, accepted a present-day link between global warming and natural disasters that no data shows, and exposed their taxpayers to potentially unlimited future liability.

The UN has also reached consensus on a framework and funding for its REDD program, a dream come true for would-be carbon profiteers seeking to make their future the way Al Gore did. The REDD program enables developers to rack up huge profits from the sale of carbon offsets for forestry programs in poor countries. Almost all the financial gain is exported to investors, while the pain remains with the poor. The age of eco-imperialism is upon us.

With all nations back at the table, the global warming elite were able to announce progress on their main goal: advancing towards a Paris treaty in 2015 under which both the U.S. and developing nations agree for the first time to join the Kyoto Protocol annex one nations in limiting their CO2 emissions.

This consensus was reached only after the word “contributions” was exchanged for “commitment” to provide the weasel word which would permit China, India, Brazil and other developing nations to preserve their concept that the U.S. and other industrialized nations should contract their economies while theirs continue to expand.

The outcome to the Warsaw climate summit is too tepid to satisfy the radical enviro-left. Their complaints will be shrill and many.

Those who disagree with the UN’s take on global warming science and policy will take comfort from the outcome’s lack of firm commitments, weasel words and delays. If they let down their guard, they will demonstrate the true meaning of global warming denial.

While the UN’s global warming mandarins and profiteers may have liked more, they jet out of Warsaw still in control of the game. They leave Warsaw with the U.S. finally inside the global warming tent, no nettlesome procedural reforms, and their road to a Paris global warming treaty difficult, but still in sight. They will immediately resume their endless series of backroom deals at quiet subsidiary meetings. Bureaucracy may be inefficient, but it is persistent. When UN global warming bureaucrats are persistent, you pay.

- See more at: http://www.cfact.org/2013/11/24/cop-19-un-consensus-at-global-warming-su...
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After a marathon after-hours session, the UN climate summit has reached consensus. Details are beginning to emerge.

“Consensus,” there’s that word again. Consensus has become one of the most abused terms in the global warming lexicon.

Russia blocked the last UNFCCC subsidiary meeting in Bonn over the UN using consensus decision marking in place of actual voting. Although Russia sent a strongly worded letter to the Secretariat in October, keeping things moving along on uncounted voice votes and rulings of the chair continues to be the order of the day. It will be interesting to see what Russia received in exchange for not pressing its objections. Could it have been billions in carbon credits?

The public face of the climate talks in Warsaw was drama, conflict and strife .

Yeb Sano of the Philippines kicked off the drama by announcing a hunger strike over tragic Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. Although the typhoon was a natural disaster, and not the result of global warming, the typhoon remained the rallying cry for global warming redistribution for the remainder of the conference. In case you are concerned, yesterday Sano announced that he is eating again and will work his way up from vegetable soup to full meals within three days.

China kicked off the conflict by leading a walkout of 132 poor nations, after developing nations balked at immediately adopting and funding a “loss and damage” mechanism which would essentially accept legal liability and compensate poor nations for natural disasters.

Warming-left pressure groups added to the conflict and staged a walkout of their own. Up to 800 representatives of radical NGOs walked out, demanding immediate funding for global warming redistribution measures and in protest of business representatives exercising the same rights of participation that they enjoy.

COP 19′s Polish hosts were the focus of drama, conflict and strife throughout the summit. CFACT rallied over

CFACT President David Rothbard rallies over 50,000 Polies against the UN treaty

CFACT President David Rothbard rallies over 50,000 Polies against the UN treaty

50,000 Poles against the global warming treaty on Polish Independence Day. Poland ran a coal summit in parallel with the warming summit and fired the president of the COP with only two days left to go.

While all this was going on, however, the bureaucrats kept working behind the scenes to keep things moving towards the goal they’ve set – signing a full global warming treaty in Paris in 2015 – a treaty which for the first time includes the United States.

Just as the conference was collapsing, the Obama administration came to the rescue and committed the United States to the treaty timetable and agreed to have American emissions reduction targets in place in time for Paris. This brought the parties back to the table and permitted the bureaucrats to cobble up a consensus.

The details are just emerging, but it appears that developing nations and the warming pressure groups got their loss and damage mechanism. They are still complaining that they would have preferred immediate funding and less wiggle room in the language, but think about what they have achieved. By acknowledging loss and damage as legitimate, the developed world has abandoned science, accepted a present-day link between global warming and natural disasters that no data shows, and exposed their taxpayers to potentially unlimited future liability.

The UN has also reached consensus on a framework and funding for its REDD program, a dream come true for would-be carbon profiteers seeking to make their future the way Al Gore did. The REDD program enables developers to rack up huge profits from the sale of carbon offsets for forestry programs in poor countries. Almost all the financial gain is exported to investors, while the pain remains with the poor. The age of eco-imperialism is upon us.

With all nations back at the table, the global warming elite were able to announce progress on their main goal: advancing towards a Paris treaty in 2015 under which both the U.S. and developing nations agree for the first time to join the Kyoto Protocol annex one nations in limiting their CO2 emissions.

This consensus was reached only after the word “contributions” was exchanged for “commitment” to provide the weasel word which would permit China, India, Brazil and other developing nations to preserve their concept that the U.S. and other industrialized nations should contract their economies while theirs continue to expand.

The outcome to the Warsaw climate summit is too tepid to satisfy the radical enviro-left. Their complaints will be shrill and many.

Those who disagree with the UN’s take on global warming science and policy will take comfort from the outcome’s lack of firm commitments, weasel words and delays. If they let down their guard, they will demonstrate the true meaning of global warming denial.

While the UN’s global warming mandarins and profiteers may have liked more, they jet out of Warsaw still in control of the game. They leave Warsaw with the U.S. finally inside the global warming tent, no nettlesome procedural reforms, and their road to a Paris global warming treaty difficult, but still in sight. They will immediately resume their endless series of backroom deals at quiet subsidiary meetings. Bureaucracy may be inefficient, but it is persistent. When UN global warming bureaucrats are persistent, you pay.

- See more at: http://www.cfact.org/2013/11/24/cop-19-un-consensus-at-global-warming-su...

Tags: COP 19 , CFACT , Global Warming , climate , UN , UNFCCC , Warsaw

UN Climate Summit Goes into Overtime as Obama Rides to the Rescue



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As has become the usual practice at the UN climate summits, COP 19 in Warsaw has gone past its Friday closing time and is now in overtime.

This year’s talks became bogged down by a series of challenges.

Russia raised fundamental issues of procedural fairness — little things like the UN not recognizing nations seeking to speak or permitting them to vote.

Then 132 poor nations walked out to pressure industrialized nations to accept legal liability for “loss and damage” they suffer as a result of natural disasters, though science cannot show a meaningful causal relationship between natural disasters and global warming. 

In a truly bizarre twist, hundreds of members of far-left enviro NGOs walked out of the talks to express their frustration when the UNFCCC did not immediately cave in to their demands to fund loss and damage and a host of other redistributive schemes.  They also found sponsorship of the COP by charitable gifts from industry and the presence of business representatives in the proceedings to be intolerable — that they themselves are tolerated in the proceedings under the same rules is quite conveniently beyond their ken.

All that Sturm und Drang left the climate talks way behind schedule.

Negotiators did emerge from behind closed doors to announce that they had an agreement in hand to finalize the UN’s REDD scheme.  If you’ve been dreaming of becoming a billionaire by selling carbon offsets from third world forests that will have no meaningful effect on world temperatures, your moment has come.

With most negotiating tracks way behind schedule, the Obama administration tried to ride to the rescue. U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern announced that for the first time the U.S. now supports all nations declaring their targets for reducing CO2 emissions before 2015. This would clear the path for the UN to adopt a full climate treaty and successor to the Kyoto Protocol in Paris in 2015, while Obama is still in office. 

E.U. climate chief Connie Hedegaard has been trying to get the U.S. on board for years. Stern’s announcement gave her something with which to encourage the delegates that their climate treaty of Paris remains in sight. However, major stumbling blocks remain. Developing nations remain simultaneously reluctant to reduce their own emissions and adamant that they want immediate funding for both the Green Climate Fund and Loss and Damage.  

As the talks enter their final hours, how big a bribe can Hedegaard and the industrial world come up with to get developing nations to agree to a COP 19 outcome? Alternatively, will developing nations defer their global warming distribution dreams to at last have the U.S. on board?

Whose money after all do you think it is that they are so eager to redistribute?

Tags: COP 19 , CFACT , Global Warming , Climate Change , Waraw , Poland , UN , UNFCCC

Climate Conference Collapsing



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The global warming crowd just experienced a double whammy.

COP 19 was shocked when China led a block of 132 nations in a walkout over “loss and damage.”

Loss and damage is an entirely bogus concept which would assign legal liability to prosperous nations for natural disasters and other problems experienced by developing nations.

The hunger strike by Philippine negotiator Yeb Sano over Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda has been the most dramatic moment of these negotiations. Climate campaigners have seized upon the Philippines typhoon as a rationale for supporting the proposed UN global warming treaty.

While we continue to encourage donations and humanitarian assistance to the Philippines and others in need, “loss and damage” is nothing more than a bid by developing nations to reap a tremendous redistribution windfall.

As Marc Morano of Climate Depot said at CFACT’s UN press briefing yesterday, “Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda was not the most powerful typhoon to hit the Philippines in recent history… it was the seventh worst.”

While climate pressure groups continue to attribute the typhoon to man-made global warming, there is no scientific or historical basis for that claim. Neither pro-warming scientists nor those who question warming accept the connection. However, campaigners and delegates from developing nations at COP 19 are asserting the typhoon-warming link as fact.

The Guardian attributes the walkout in part to the Australian delegation which wanted to table funding loss and damage until after a full treaty is signed in 2015. The Australian delegation is apparently fearlessly following the national mandate they received in their recent election and are openly speaking out against the most egregious elements of the climate process.

As UN delegates were waiting to find out whether China’s coalition would be able to successfully pressure prosperous nations into agreeing that the weather in the developing world is their fault, they learned of a second stunner.

Poland fired its environment minister, who is also president of the UN climate summit, just two days before the end of the COP. Why? Because Polish prime minister Donald Tusk wanted someone with a deeper commitment to fracking.

Poland has been bullied for decades and they are not about to cede their energy independence to Russia, the UN, or anyone. (Nor, should they.)

Reuters frets that “the president of the talks has the power to wield the gavel, fighting off any last-minute objections and therefore forcing through some sort of agreement . . . but if the president does not have the authority of his government, then his power in the eyes of other countries is reduced.”

Poland is the host country for COP 19. With Australia blocking treasured warming-left initiatives, Russia formally calling into question the fairness of the entire UN process and Poland scheduling a coal conference and firing its environment minister in the middle of the COP, it is clear that many major countries no longer feel a need to go along with the global warming agenda.

Add all that to a 132-nation walkout, and one must ask: Can COP 19 recover and keep the global warming treaty on schedule for signing in Paris in 2015? Let us hope not.

Meanwhile: Bravo, Poland! Bravo, Australia! (And, dare we say?) Bravo, Russia!

Tags: UN , COP 19 , Warsaw , Global Warming , climate , CFACT , Poland , China , Russia , Australia

Radical youth tossed from COP 19 over Filipino’s typhoon hunger strike



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Three members of far-left global warming youth groups “Push Europe” and “Earth in Brackets” had their badges confiscated, were escorted out of the official venue and banned from the UN climate negotiations for five years after demonstrating in support of the Philippines’ negotiator’s hunger strike at COP 19, the UN climate summit in Warsaw. 

Naderev “Yeb” Saño of the Philippines announced at the start of COP 19′s plenary session that he will conduct a hunger strike for the remainder of the UN climate summit in Warsaw. After Sano left a subsequent meeting, a large number of young global-warming boosters surrounded him, hoisted banners and chanted their demands for a UN climate treaty based on the false premise that global warming caused the Philippines typhoon. In doing so, they violated UN “civil society” rules forbidding anyone from interfering with free movement throughout the conference. 

While the leftist kids who were tossed couldn’t have been more wrong about correlation vs. causation when it comes to global warming and extreme storm activity, the UN bureaucrats could have been less harsh. Americans are used to erring on the side of free speech, messy though that may be. A warning would have sufficed. The last thing organizations like CFACT – who are here to challenge warming with facts — want to see is a clampdown on dissent.

In announcing his hunger strike Sano said:

“I speak for the countless people who will no longer be able to speak for themselves after perishing from the storm. I speak also for those who have been orphaned by the storm. I speak for the people racing for time to save survivors and alleviate the suffering of the people affected. We can take drastic action now to ensure we prevent a future where super typhoons become a way of life. . . . By failing to meet the objectives of the convention we may have ratified our own doom. We have to confront the issue of loss and damage. Loss and damage today is a reality across the world. . . . In solidarity with my countrymen who are struggling to find food back home and with my brother who has not had food for the last three days. . . . I will now commence a voluntary fasting for the climate. This means that I will voluntarily refrain from eating food during this COP until a meaningful outcome is in site. Until concrete pledges have been made to ensure mobilization of resources for the Green Climate Fund.”

Earth in Brackets took Mr. Sano’s position to the extreme saying the typhoon was, “a gross reminder that these deaths were result of 20 years of inaction from the men and women sitting in that room. . . . [T]hose men and women, representing their governments, holding so much power in their hands, are the only people capable of taking actions that could stop this trail of dead, once and for all.”  How high do they think the carbon tax would have to have been to have prevented the typhoon?

This is Mr. Sano’s second tear-filled speech to a COP plenary. Last year Mr. Sano demanded that the delegates in Doha, Qatar, accelerate the climate funding and treaty process after another typhoon struck his homeland. 

We accept Mr. Sano’s pleas at face value. Unlike so many involved in international global warming politics, Mr. Sano’s tears appear completely sincere. We can’t help but admire Yeb’s compassion for those in need and the strength of the protective instinct he feels towards his countrymen.

When devastation strikes, the nation’s of the world should be there for one another. Taiphoon Haiyan/Yolanda was a terrible and tragic storm. We again encourage people to make a gift to aid the victims of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. We posted several reliable groups you can make your gift with in CFACT’s previous typhoon coverage. You can find them here.

However, as CFACT observed last year, Mr. Sano’s wholly appropriate tears are also misdirected.

Typhoon activity in the Philippines is normal. Despite over-the-top reporting before the typhoon struck (timed perfectly for COP 19) Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda was not the strongest typhoon recorded in the Philippines. It was the seventh.  1970’s Typhoon Sening was over 20 mph stronger. Warm tropical weather is the norm for the Phillipines. And with tropical splendor comes tropical storms.

There are no worthwhile science or historical records which support the notion that extreme storms have worsened in the Philippines or elsewhere as a result of a warming planet. We must soberly remind ourselves that global temperatures have not risen since the nineties and that warming to date peaked at less than a degree Centigrade, with only a few years coming anywhere near that.

Further, weather remains normal. Reports in the media continually attribute individual incidents to global warming. However, today’s storms, floods, droughts, fires, famines, etc. have to do with weather, not climate. Global warming pressure groups continually attribute weather events to climate as a propaganda technique and the media, always on the lookout for drama, plays along. See, Extreme weather debunked which features Climate Depot’s extreme weather report.

Not only is global weather historically normal, this year’s Atlantic hurricane season has been one of the gentlest on record.

As he concluded his speech, Mr. Sano said, “Mr. President, this process has been called a farce. It has been called an annual carbon-intensive gathering of useless frequent fliers… It has also been called saving tomorrow today. We can fix this. We can stop this madness.”

Mr. Sano’s conclusion is loaded with wisdom. Yes, Mr. Sano, useless frequent fliers are precisely what the delegates to the COP are. “Farce” and “madness” are highly descriptive terms, perfect to describe international efforts to lock the world into a global warming treaty. However, the UN climate summit does not offer salvation for the future, but a threat to the freedom and prosperity of all mankind.

We stand with Yeb Sano in mourning the losses in the Philippines. However, we cannot allow appeals to emotion, that most potent of logical fallacies, to take the place of rational decision making.

Philippines climate negotiator Naderev “Yeb” Saño of the Philippines announced to COP 19′s plenary session that he will conduct a hunger strike for the remainder of the UN climate summit in Warsaw.

“I speak for the countless people who will no longer be able to speak for themselves after perishing from the storm. I speak also for those who have been orphaned by the storm. I speak for the people racing for time to save survivors and alleviate the suffering of the people affected. We can take drastic action now to ensure we prevent a future where super typhoons become a way of life… By failing to meet the objectives of the convention we may have ratified our own doom. We have to confront the issue of loss and damage. Loss and damage today is a reality across the world… In solidarity with my countrymen who are struggling to find food back home and with my brother who has not had food for the last three days… I will now commence a voluntary fasting for the climate. This means that I will voluntarily refrain from eating food during this COP until a meaningful outcome is in site. Until concrete pledges have been made to ensure mobilization of resources for the Green Climate Fund.”

This is Mr. Sano’s second tear-filled speech to a COP plenary. Last year Mr. Sano demanded that the delegates in Doha, Qatar accelerate the climate funding and treaty process after another typhoon struck his homeland. Read The misdirected tears of the Philippines at CFACT.org.

We accept Mr. Sano’s pleas at face value. Unlike so many involved in international global warming politics, Mr. Sano’s tears appear completely sincere. We can’t help but admire Yeb’s compassion for those in need and the strength of the protective instinct he feels towards his countrymen.

When devastation strikes, the nation’s of the world should be there for one another. Taiphoon Haiyan/Yolanda was a terrible and tragic storm.  We again encourage people to make a gift to aid the victims of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. We posted several reliable groups you can make your gift with in CFACT’s previous typhoon coverage. You can find them here.

However, as CFACT observed last year, Mr. Sano’s wholly appropriate tears are also misdirected.

Typhoon activity in the Philippines is normal. Despite over-the-top reporting before the typhoon struck (timed perfectly for COP Phillipines typhoon chart19) Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda was not the strongest typhoon recorded in the Philippines. It was the seventh. The Philippines enjoys warm tropical weather. However, with tropical splendor comes tropical storms. This duality is a fact of life in the tropics.

There are no worthwhile science or historical records which support the notion that extreme storms have worsened in the Philippines or elsewhere as a result of a warming planet. We must soberly remind ourselves that global temperatures have not risen since the nineties and that warming to date peaked at less than a degree Centigrade, with only a few years coming anywhere near that.

Further, weather remains normal. Reports in the media continually attribute individual incidents to global warming. However, today’s storms, floods, droughts, fires, famines, etc. have to do with weather, not climate. Global warming pressure groups continually attribute weather events to climate as a propaganda technique and the media, always on the lookout for drama, plays along. See, Extreme weather debunked which features Climate Depot’s extreme weather report.

Not only is global weather historically normal, this year’s Atlantic hurricane season has been one of the gentlest on record.

As he concluded his speech, Mr. Sano said, “Mr. President, this process has been called a farce. It has been called an annual carbon-intensive gathering of useless frequent fliers… It has also been called saving tomorrow today. We can fix this. We can stop this madness.”

Mr. Sano’s conclusion is loaded with wisdom. Yes, Mr. Sano, useless frequent fliers are precisely what the delegates to the COP are. “Farce” and “madness” are highly descriptive terms, perfect to describe international efforts to lock the world into a global warming treaty. However, the UN climate summit does not offer salvation for the future, but a threat to the freedom and prosperity of all mankind.

If you want to restore public confidence in the UN’s climate proceedings, we must cease to tolerate the propaganda which festoons the proceedings and which has shaken public confidence in climate science. Science must be unbiased and it must be sober. It must be open to alternative hypotheses and it must be verifiable through observation. Lose the scientific method and the result is dogma fueled hysteria.

We stand with Yeb Sano in mourning the losses in the Philippines. We count upon the people of the world to help their neighbors in need. However, we cannot allow appeals to emotion, that most potent of logical fallacies, to take the place of rational decision making.

- See more at: http://www.cfact.org/2013/11/16/cop-19-filipino-negotiator-goes-on-hunge...

Tags: CFACT , COP 19 , UN , Warsaw , Global Warming , climate

50,000+ Poles Cheer CFACT Speech Against UN Global-Warming Treaty



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As the UN kicked off COP 19 a few kilometers away, more than 50,000 enthusiastic Poles gathered in downtown Warsaw on Monday to celebrate National Independence Day while millions more watched on television. CFACT president David Rothbard delivered an impassioned address which celebrated freedom and warned Poland against the dangers a UN global warming treaty holds for their nation and the world. The speech was carried live on national television and covered by a large number of international media outlets.

David Rothbard and I co-founded CFACT over 25 years ago. When David took the stage, he was speaking before perhaps the largest audience ever to hear a speech directly challenging the UN global warming policy. Rothbard said he was honored to stand with the Poles in a “new battle for freedom against those who would use environmental and climate alarmism to steal away our liberties and give international bureaucrats control over our energy sources, our daily lives, our prosperity, and our national sovereignty.”

Rothbard stood beside a large CFACT banner which read, “No to UN climate hype!” in Polish red and white. “Last year, he told the world, “UN climate chief Christiana Figueres said that what the UN was undertaking is “a complete economic transformation of the world. This is not good news for those who love freedom, and it is not good news for Poland… The Book of Proverbs tells us that ‘the wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion’… the environmentalists and the bureaucrats don’t want to debate these issues because they know they are deceiving the world… There hasn’t been any global warming in more than 15 years and this is simply an excuse for more government oppression”

We stand for freedom. We stand for opportunity. We stand for our families. And we stand for a strong and prosperous future. Together let us be bold as a lion,” he concluded.

The rally took place one day after CFACT keynoted a climate-policy conference in Warsaw co-sponsored by Solidarity, the Institute for Globalization, and other Polish and European NGOs. There, members of the European Parliament, along with representatives from the U.S., Italy, Sweden, Hungary, and Poland formally signed the “Warsaw Declaration” calling on the UN to discontinue work on a new treaty until a genuine “scientific consensus is reached on the phenomenon of so-called global warming.”

The UN made a big mistake choosing Poland to host its global warming treaty summit.  The Poles see right through warming propaganda. Enduring generations of socialism has left them with a deep distaste for propaganda and bureaucratic control. Polish prosperity was blocked first by war and then by ideology. Poland deserves freedom and prosperity and knows it can’t move forward without energy. The brave Poles are not about to cede their sovereignty to UN control.

Polish feelings about the UN climate treaty echo what Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher told the Soviet Union. “Let Poland be Poland!”

 

Tags: COP 19 , Poland , CFACT , Global Warming , climate , UN

A Global-Warming Treaty without a Vote?



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UN climate chief Christiana Figueres opened COP 19, the UN climate conference in Warsaw by proclaiming that, “a new universal climate agreement is within our reach.”

Speeches today made continual references to Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. Philippine negotiator Yeb Sano said, “We can stop this madness. Right here in Warsaw. Typhoons such as Haiyan and its impacts represent a sobering reminder to the international community that we cannot afford to procrastinate on climate action.” Mr. Sano disagreed with those of us who have characterized the typhoon as “natural” saying that, “it is not natural when people continue to eradicate poverty and pursue development and get battered by the onslaught of a monster storm.”

The devastation that occurred in the Philippines is gut wrenching. When you see scenes of such devastation, your heart goes out to the victims of the storm. Our prayers are with them, and for nations and individuals to lend a helping hand is the right thing to do. However, using this tragic storm to boost the global warming agenda is either naive or shameless. Natural is exactly what the typhoon was. That is the reliable scientific verdict. Nothing in the climate data shows otherwise.

Whether Ms. Figueres can actually make the progress she hopes for toward the new climate treaty is largely dependent on whether Russia and its former satellites are willing to drop the serious allegations they have made regarding procedural fairness in the UN climate process.

Russia blocked a crucial negotiating track at the UN’s subsidiary climate talks held in Bonn in June. The Russian move caused the most important part of the talks to collapse. No real business could be conducted.

In the topsy-turvy world of UN climate politics, Russia — joined by Ukraine, Belarus and other former members of the Soviet Union — have become the champions of democratic process.

On October 28, Russia sent a strongly worded letter [Read a PDF here] to the UNFCCC secretariat decrying the UN’s use of “consensus” rather than permitting nations to vote on matters as important as conference outcomes. “Decision-making in the UNFCCC process has suffered evident setbacks over the past few years with serious procedural and legal flaws being multiplied, transparency eroding, frequency of dubious proceedings acquiring alarming magnitude and conduct of business deviating” from UNFCCC rules, Russia complained.

“Consensus” has become perhaps the most abused word in the global-warming dictionary. Many are familiar with the talking point that claims some huge number of scientists as being on board with extreme global warming views (97 percent in the latest version). That consensus talking point was long ago debunked, yet it keeps cropping up. We even heard it recently from the lips of the President of the United States.

The “consensus” the Russians are talking about is still worse. Top officials at the climate talks, finding due process and democracy to be tiresome wastes of time, have dispensed with formal voting and resorted to gaveling through back-room agreements even on final conference outcomes.

As COP 18 in Doha drew to a close, the presiding officer gaveled down the Russian delegation which was furiously seeking to be recognized. Representatives of other countries The fast with his gavel Qatari chairman of COP 18 including India, Venezuela, Bolivia report being denied recognition, threatened, or coerced at prior conferences.

E.U. Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard was not sympathetic to Russia’s case saying, “It would be irresponsible and reckless if we let the Warsaw COP get drowned in procedural issues. What we need to discuss is real action and real commitments. The rest — it’s not that it’s uninteresting but it should not be at the centre stage.” Commissioner Hedegaard ia apparently ready to cede the sovereignty of nations and vast sums of money to the UN in the name of global warming with little regard for process and without even a vote.

Russia’s objections are motivated by national interest. As CFACT reported from Bonn, Russia is concerned with the “hot air” issue. Russia was not at all pleased when the UN COP pulled the plug in Doha on all the emissions credits Russia had acquired under the first Kyoto treaty and told Russia it couldn’t carry them forward. Russia, which has announced that it will not be part of a second commitment period for the Kyoto protocol and has signaled a reluctance to sign on in Paris, wants to keep its credits anyway. Russia would like to sell its old credits to the countries which do sign.

Russia accrued the carbon credits it is so set on retaining as a reward for its economy having for so long lagged behind the West’s, thanks to Russia’s failed experiment with and painful transition out from under communism. As CFACT observed in Bonn, the notion that Russia deserves compensation for inflicting communism on Eastern Europe is bizarre at best. If anything, Russia should be compensating Poland, the rest of the Warsaw block and a host of developing nations which had their prosperity stymied by communism for generations.

As COP 19 moves into working sessions, we will learn more about whether Russia was able to gain sufficient concessions in closed, pre-conference negotiations to placate it. Will Russia drop or table its objections? Russia was willing to shut down a subsidiary meeting in Bonn. Is Russia willing to do the same to a full-blown UN conference of the parties?

If Russia drops its objections, could the Warsaw outcome and ultimately the UN’s long sought climate treaty of Paris be adopted with world nations never having been given the opportunity to actually voting?

If the UN succeeds in adopting a climate treaty in Paris that treaty will still be subject to ratification by the U.S. Senate, which appears very unikely to occur. However, we should not underestimate the damage such a treaty will inflict. The Senate never ratified the Kyoto protocol and the Clinton administration did not press the issue. Nonetheless, Americans are dealing with the ramifications of Kyoto every day. The Obama administration has no scruples about going it alone, bypassing the Senate and using EPA and other agencies to implement the UN climate agenda through regulation and executive order. Does any doubt remain that if the UN gets its treaty, that the Obama administration and its fellow travelers will do all they can to implement it — with or without a vote?

Tags: CFACT , COP 19 , UN , climate , Global Warming

As UN COP 19 Opens in Warsaw, A Counter Treaty Is Signed



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With COP 19, the most important UN climate conference of the year, kicking off today in Warsaw, a coalition of Polish organizations held their own global warming forum on Sunday. But this one, organized by groups including the renowned Solidarity labor union, Poland’s Institute for Globalization and other Polish and European NGOs, raised strong questions about UN global warming policy and denounced efforts by environmental bureaucrats and activists to stymie Poland’s energy resources and the prosperity of people around the globe.

Despite the presence of Solidarity (which leans left), the conference attracted the attention of the radical warming left, which pelted the building with red dye (making the building the appear to be dripping with blood).

The Polish attendees took this in stride; they’ve seen this kind of thing before. No one seemed particularly alarmed or distracted — just amused. It was another sign of the growing desperation on the warming left as their cause continues to lose credibility with the public each day.

The conference — co-sponsored by CFACT, the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow — included representatives and spokesmen from the U.S., Italy, Sweden, Hungary, and Poland. They, along with a member of the EU Parliament, joined in voicing their opposition to climate change alarmism and the troubling globalist policies of the UN.

The forum concluded with the signing of a declaration entitled “Address of Free Nations to Participants of UN Climate Summit (COP 19) — Let Us Revise Global Climate Policy.” The declaration noted that “media manipulation” and “an international bureaucracy of organizations representing extreme views on environmental protection” have promoted an ideology supporting global warming, and that their agenda has had destructive consequences on “competitive economies” of the world. It then called on delegates attending the UN COP19 conference to discontinue work on a new treaty until a genuine “scientific consensus is reached on the phenomenon of so-called global warming.”

This morning, as the UN bangs the opening gavel at COP 19, tens of thousands of Poles are converging on Warsaw to celebrate their independence day. This year’s celebrations are marked by outrage and anxiety about the harsh impacts a UN climate treaty hold in store for Poland’s future. The Poles are still struggling to modernize their economy after their long years under socialism. After their long struggle to shake off Soviet domination, they have no appetite to cede control to a meddlesome UN bureaucracy.

CFACT will be posting regular updates from UN COP 19 throughout the summit.

Tags: CFACT , Warsaw , COP 19 , UN , Global Warming , climate

Climate Change Belief Down 27 Percentage Points in Four Years?



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A fascinating bit of polling found over at UPI:

Three-quarters of Americans say natural disasters are on the increase, but fewer than ever believe the climate is heating up, a new poll finds..

.Only 44 percent say they “believe the theory” that carbon dioxide emissions are warming the Earth, down from 51 percent in 2009 and 71 percent in 2007, but most movement has been into the “not sure” column.

The online poll of 2,163 adults was conducted June 13 through 20. Harris does not give margin-of-error figures.

I can’t help but notice that this steep drop in belief in global warming coincides with three years’ worth of tough economic times. There’s been plenty of controversy surrounding the issue in recent years (“Hide the decline!“) but I wonder if the simplest explanation is that when Americans are worried about paying the bills, losing their jobs, finding a job, avoiding foreclosure, coping with high gas prices, etc., they’re less worried about things like what global temperatures will be like in 20, 50, or 100 years. Worrying about such things seems silly, in fact, when the bill collector is at the door and there are no employment prospects in sight.

In times like these, global warming belief may be a luxury item.

Tags: Global Warming

To Save the Earth, Keep Friedman Home More Often



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Over in the Corner, Jonah finds Thomas Friedman going Malthusian. Quoting a Australian environmentalist-entrepreneur, he shares a prediction that the world will realize ”that the consumer-driven growth model is broken and we have to move to a more happiness-driven growth model, based on people working less and owning less.”

Working less, owning less, and, if reducing carbon emissions is the goal, traveling less?

Back in 2009, I started wondering about the carbon footprint of the widely traveling New York Times columnist. I worked up this rough calculation:

In June, Thomas Friedman called on young people to “get a million people on the Washington Mall calling for a price on carbon.”

His bosses, the editors of the New York Times have written that putting a price on carbon emissions “is an important beginning to the urgent task of averting the worst damage from climate change.” If they really wanted to reduce carbon emissions, they would trim Friedman’s expense account.

Even by a very conservative estimate, the carbon footprint of just the air travel from Thomas Friedman’s business trips from January to September of this year more than doubles the entire carbon footprint of the average American family for a year.

The average American family has a carbon footprint of 19.5 tons of carbon dioxide per year; I put a conservative estimate of the carbon footprint of Friedman’s known trips (over nine months) at 42.03 tons.

Thomas Friedman lives, according to The Washingtonian, in “a palatial 11,400-square-foot house, now valued at $9.3 million.” (We’re not even going to get into the carbon footprint of powering his house.) For our purposes, I calculated his flights from Dulles International Airport to the international airport nearest his column datelines. We included no additional flights or carbon costs from additional travel. For this calculation, we presumed he flies business class; the carbon footprint of first class is considerably more.

All carbon footprints were calculated at http://calculator.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx which bases its numbers on data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Thomas Friedman’s known travel schedule, 2009:

January 31: Davos, Switzerland

3.48 tons of CO2

(calculated using a round-trip from Zurich)

Feb. 7: Jenin, West Bank

4.94 tons

(calculated using a round trip from Tel Aviv)

Feb. 10: Bangalore; February 17: New Delhi, India

7.15 tons

(calculated using a round trip from Bangalore)

February 24: Seoul, South Korea

5.84 tons

March 14: San Francisco

2.05 tons

April 11: Liberia, Costa Rica

(calculated using a round trip from San José’s Juan Santamaría International Airport)

1.02 tons

June 9: Beirut, Lebanon

4.89 tons

July 18 Pushghar, Afghanistan, July 25 Jalozai Camp, Pakistan, August 4 Ramallah, West Bank:

5.83 tonnes

(an extremely generous estimate simply using a round trip from Afghanistan)

August 15 Botswana (reference to flying to Johannesburg)

(limited to round trip to and from Johannesburg; additional flights ignored)

6.83 tonnes

Tags: Carbon Emissions , Global Warming , Thomas Friedman

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