(Link above is a repeat worth relinking. Vault-Co had this news a decade ago.)
Just a few years ago it was so that when a meteorological extreme occurred, the phones would be ringing off the hook. Today hardly anyone calls; climate change has quasi become taboo. --Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Chief Climate Advisor to Angela Merkel, 12 August 2010
Climate is no longer on the front pages, and is not viewed as an earth-moving topic. Nobody cares about it. Climate change has become a loser topic. And Angela Merkel wants nothing to do with it. --Editor Dagmar Dehmer, Panorama, 12 August 2010
[Britain’s government] coalition is watering down a commitment to tough new environmental emissions standards, raising the possibility of dirty coal-fired power stations such as Kingsnorth going ahead. Green groups are aghast that a flagship policy called for in opposition by both Lib Dems and Tories, and which they last year tried to force on the Labour government, will now not be implemented in the coalition's first energy bill to be published this year.
--Allegra Stratton, The Guardian, 16 August 2010
Among the plans being considered by the UK government, which once declared itself "the greenest ever", are selling off national nature reserves; privatising parts of the Forestry Commission; privatising the Met Office, one of the world's leading research organisations on climate change; and withdrawing grants to British Waterways, which manages 2,200 miles of canals and rivers.
--John Vidal, Severin Carrell and Juliette Jowit, The Guardian, 13 August 2010
And now for the climate weather: It may be hot outside, but the political environment for climate science is in a deep freeze. Forecast for sunny Cancun in December: Pack a parka. --Terence Corcoran, Financial Post, 13 August 2010
The 20th century regional and global sea level variations are estimated based on long-term tide gauge records. The global mean sea level for the period January 1900 to December 2006 is estimated to rise at a rate of 1.56 ± 0.25 mm/yr which is reasonably consistent with earlier estimates, but we do not find significant acceleration.
--Manfred Wenzel, Jens Schröter, Journal of Geophysical Research, 13 August 2010
1) Economy First: Britain Puts Decarbonisation On Hold - Allegra Stratton, The Guardian, 16 August 2010
2) UK Government May Sell Off Met Office, Nature Reserves - John Vidal, Severin Carrell and Juliette Jowit, The Guardian, 13 August 2010
3) Data Sharing: A Lesson For Climate Science - Gina Kolata, The New York Times, 13 August 2010
4) New Paper: Sea Level Rise Not Accelerating - The Hockey Schtick, 14 August 2010
5) Climate Weather: Cool And Getting Colder - Terence Corcoran, Financial Post, 13 August 2010
6 ) Indur Goklany: Global Death Toll From Extreme Weather Events Declining - The GWPF Observatory, 15 August 2010
7) Climate Change In Germany Has Become “A Loser Topic” - P Gosselin, NoTricksZone, 15 August 2010
8) And Finally: One Of Our Hemispheres Is Missing! - NoTricksZone, 13 August 2010
1) Economy First: Britain Puts Decarbonisation On Hold
Allegra Stratton, The Guardian, 16 August 2010
The coalition is watering down a commitment to tough new environmental emissions standards, raising the possibility of dirty coal-fired power stations such as Kingsnorth going ahead.
Green groups are aghast that a flagship policy called for in opposition by both Lib Dems and Tories, and which they last year tried to force on the Labour government, will now not be implemented in the coalition's first energy bill to be published this year.
Their criticism of the government's commitment to green issues follows news last week that nature reserves could be sold off as countryside protection measures also bear the brunt of budget cuts in the Department for Environment.
Introducing a so-called "environmental performance standard" (EPS) for power companies would have restricted greenhouse gas emissions from coal and gas plants and encouraged companies wishing to build to use more efficient technology.
The introduction of an EPS was personally championed by David Cameron, George Osborne and Nick Clegg when in opposition; their opposition to Kingsnorth became something of a cause célèbre – and even features in the coalition agreement – but was opposed by energy companies and Tory backbenchers.
The chief executive at one coal-plant operating company warned that the UK's renewable energy technology – which would be used to help new plants meet the target – was too undeveloped to make the EPS feasible.
Now government sources confirm they will not be bringing forward legislation in the autumn and will instead spend the summer working on "the larger picture". They will open a consultation on the idea in the autumn with the results being presented to parliament as a white paper in the new year.
Green campaigners believe this is noncommittal for a policy both parts of the coalition said could be implemented immediately when in opposition.
They believe a delay in the introduction of the standard until next year – with a few years for the legislation to pass through the house and for it to be set up – raises the possibility of new coal-fire power stations slipping through the system.
Greenpeace energy campaigner, Joss Garman, said: "David Cameron made the introduction of new rules to stop the most polluting power stations one of his flagship green policies, and Nick Clegg helped ensure it was a key part of the coalition agreement.
"Both Lib Dem and Conservative MPs voted for the introduction of such a measure just a few months ago, and if they U-turn on this and fail to put this measure into their new energy law, how can they claim to be the greenest government ever?"
The energy company Peel Power has already come forward with a proposal in Scotland to build a largely unabated coal plant.
The government's advisers, the Committee on Climate Change, said if the UK is to meet its climate targets it needs to decarbonise the whole power sector by 2030.
If the EPS is abandoned it would almost certainly reopen the debate about what the industry needs to change and encourage utilities to push forward with their original plans for a whole new fleet of dirty coal stations in the UK (the first to be built here for 30 years).
The consequences would be that the battle of Kingsnorth could be refought.
2) UK Government May Sell Off Met Office, Nature Reserves
John Vidal, Severin Carrell and Juliette Jowit, The Guardian, 13 August 2010
Some of the most beautiful areas of Britain could be sold off and wildlife and countryside protection measures cut to the bone to meet expected 40% cuts in the budget of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, it emerged.
Among the plans being considered by the government, which once declared itself "the greenest ever", are selling off national nature reserves; privatising parts of the Forestry Commission; privatising the Met Office, one of the world's leading research organisations on climate change; and withdrawing grants to British Waterways, which manages 2,200 miles of canals and rivers.
Natural England, the government's principal nature conservation agency, has put forward 400 job cuts next year, and up to another 400 after that, potentially one third of its workforce.
There are also concerns that the Environment Agency, which looks after waterways, air and soil, will have to slash spending on pollution and waste controls and river protection after the environment secretary, Caroline Spelman, recently said she had made it "perfectly clear" that the government would maintain the level of spending on flood defences – which take up more than half the agency's budget.
3) Data Sharing: A Lesson For Climate Science
Gina Kolata, The New York Times, 13 August 2010
In 2003, a group of scientists and executives from the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the drug and medical-imaging industries, universities and nonprofit groups joined in a project that experts say had no precedent: a collaborative effort to find the biological markers that show the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in the human brain.
Now, the effort is bearing fruit with a wealth of recent scientific papers on the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s using methods like PET scans and tests of spinal fluid. More than 100 studies are under way to test drugs that might slow or stop the disease.
And the collaboration is already serving as a model for similar efforts against Parkinson’s disease. A $40 million project to look for biomarkers for Parkinson’s, sponsored by the Michael J. Fox Foundation, plans to enroll 600 study subjects in the United States and Europe.
The work on Alzheimer’s “is the precedent,” said Holly Barkhymer, a spokeswoman for the foundation. “We’re really excited.”
The key to the Alzheimer’s project was an agreement as ambitious as its goal: not just to raise money, not just to do research on a vast scale, but also to share all the data, making every single finding public immediately, available to anyone with a computer anywhere in the world.
4) New Paper: Sea Level Rise Not Accelerating
The Hockey Schtick, 14 August 2010
A paper published yesterday in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans, confirms other studies of tide gauge records which show that there has been no statistically significant acceleration in sea level rise over the past 100+ years, in contrast to statements of the IPCC and Al Gore. Sea levels have been rising naturally since the end of the last major ice age 20,000 years ago, and the rate of rise began to decelerate about 8,000 years ago:
JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 115, C08013, 15 PP., 2010: Reconstruction of regional mean sea level anomalies from tide gauges using neural networks
Authors: Manfred Wenzel, Jens SchröterThe 20th century regional and global sea level variations are estimated based on long-term tide gauge records. For this the neural network technique is utilized that connects the coastal sea level with the regional and global mean via a nonlinear empirical relationship. Two major difficulties are overcome this way: the vertical movement of tide gauges over time and the problem of what weighting function to choose for each individual tide gauge record. Neural networks are also used to fill data gaps in the tide gauge records, which is a prerequisite for our analysis technique. A suite of different gap-filling strategies is tested which provides information about stability and variance of the results. The global mean sea level for the period January 1900 to December 2006 is estimated to rise at a rate of 1.56 ± 0.25 mm/yr which is reasonably consistent with earlier estimates, but we do not find significant acceleration. The regional mean sea level of the single ocean basins show mixed long-term behavior. While most of the basins show a sea level rise of varying strength there is an indication for a mean sea level fall in the southern Indian Ocean. Also for the the tropical Indian and the South Atlantic no significant trend can be detected. Nevertheless, the South Atlantic as well as the tropical Atlantic are the only basins that show significant acceleration. On shorter timescales, but longer than the annual cycle, the basins sea level are dominated by oscillations with periods of about 50–75 years and of about 25 years. Consequently, we find high (lagged) correlations between the single basins.Note: The 1.56 mm/yr non-accelerating rate of sea level rise would result in sea levels 6 incheshigher than the present in100 years. The oscillations noted in this study correspond to the typical full and half-cycle lengths of the natural Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the natural 60-yearclimate cycle. The Pacific Decadal Oscillation warm phase has been shown to produce a marked temporary rise in global mean sea levels.
5) Climate Weather: Cool And Getting Colder
Terence Corcoran, Financial Post, 13 August 2010
From Washington to Cancun to British Columbia, the climate issue is heading for the deep freeze.
And now for the climate weather: It may be hot outside, but the political environment for climate science is in a deep freeze. In Washington, plans for a national carbon-trading system are colder than the ice in the mint juleps at the Round Robin Bar. The economy comes first in the U.S. Senate, where a new climate bill ran into a brick wall, putting an end to environmentalists’ hopes for a national cap-and-trade system any time in the next few years. “We fell victim to much broader politics that were beyond our control,” said a leading green activist.
In Bonn last weekend, climate politics got so cold that negotiators working on a new global climate treaty to replace the soon-to-expire Kyoto Protocol walked away from the talks, saying that the policy direction was going backward rather than forward. As part of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Control, the Bonn talks were aiming at recovering from last year’s Cop-out in Copenhagen. “These negotiations have if anything gone backwards,” said Connie Hedegaard, the EU’s climate action commissioner. The world is still divided over — among other issues — carbon-emission reduction targets, without which any convention would be useless. Another attempt to regroup will take place in China in October in preparation for a grand Meeting of the Parties in Cancun, Mexico, in December.
Forecast for sunny Cancun in December: Pack a parka.
Meanwhile, across parts of the United States and Canada, the Western Climate Initiative is struggling to keep its agenda alive. Made up of California, Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Manitoba, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia, the WCI recently produced a formal “design” for a market-based system that would cap carbon emissions in member states and provinces. The caps would be based on emissions allowances issued in each jurisdiction, but which could be applied through the WCI group and freely traded on open markets.
The design agreement looks dense and is filled with regulatory proposals and enough busy work to keep bureaucrats in each member state and province fully occupied for years to come. Fortunately, the WCI initiative hasn’t a chance of coming into existence. Many of the member states, notably California, are in the midst of gubernatorial elections and the climate issue isn’t exactly top of mind among voters. Arizona and Nevada are already reported to be opting out of the WCI, with Montana possibly set to follow. New Mexico’s continued adherence to the initiative is also doubtful following the coming November elections.
As for the Canadian provinces, their participation in the WCI has always been a political mystery, given the improbability of, say, Quebec and Ontario getting into a compulsory carbon-control regime and trading system in conjunction with far-off states such as California and New Mexico. Cap-and-trade programs across borders present international trade issues that are irreconcilable between states and provinces. There are also trade and development issues within each country. A cap-and-trade regime between B.C. and Ontario that damaged Alberta’s industrial development would be highly divisive, if not legally suspect.
The trade risks are well known. Ottawa has said it will only adopt cap-and-trade in conjunction with the United States. Since the United States now will not have a system, nor will Canada. Any provincial pacts that are not part of a national Canadian system make no economic sense.
WCI forecast: All member plans will freeze in the dark.
6 ) Indur Goklany: Global Death Toll From Extreme Weather Events Declining
The GWPF Observatory, 15 August 2010
A Primer on the Global Death Toll from Extreme Weather Events — Context and Long Term(1900–2008) Trends
Based on 2000–08 data, extreme weather events are responsible for about 0.05% of all global deaths (31,700 deaths vs. 58.8 million, annually). That is, despite the media attention to such events, extreme weather events have a minor impact on global public health.
Long term (1900–2008) data show that average annual deaths and death rates from all such events declined by 93% and 98%, respectively, since cresting in the 1920s (Figure 1). These declines occurred despite a vast increase in the populations at risk and more complete coverage of extreme weather events (Figure 2). [...]
Whether the magnitude or frequency of extreme weather events has increased because of global warming is not evident from long term data on deaths and death rates from extreme weather events.
In any case this issue is secondary to the fact that casualties from all such events have been reduced by over an order of magnitude in the past decades.
These reductions are due in large part to factors that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
Reducing these emissions through efforts to make fossil fuel energy scarcer and more expensive could, therefore, be counterproductive in humanity’s efforts to limit death and disease from not only such events but also other, far more significant sources of adversity.
7) Climate Change In Germany Has Become “A Loser Topic”
P Gosselin, NoTricksZone, 15 August 2010
The German European Institute For Climate and Environment (EIKE) brings our attention to a report by the publicly funded NDR German television news show Panorama concerning the state of climate science and politics today in Germany. If you’re a climate activist, things just couldn’t be worse.
NDR Panorama report on Germany”s mood with regards to climate change (in German).
In summary the topic of climate change in Germany has gone far beyond its shelf-life. It is used up and no longer draws a bit of interest from the public. As the clip shows, the German public has grown tired of the constant barrage of climate alarmism, and is now über-bored by it. Editors have since taken climate news off the front pages. The public doesn’t want to hear it anymore, the editors fret.
At 0:36 of the clip, normal citizens are asked about climate change. The reaction: they couldn’t care less about it. Indeed some even say warmer is better. Climate change? No worries at all!
The depth of public apathy has left climate activists and experts like Professor doom & gloom Hans Joachim Schellnhuber frustrated, depressed and resigned. Schellnhuber at the 1:39 mark:
Just a few years ago it was so that when a meteorological extreme occurred, the phones would be ringing off the hook. Today hardly anyone calls; climate change has quasi become taboo.
Nobody wants to talk about it. And after the disaster that was Copenhagen, neither do the political leaders. In Schellnhuber’s view, the optimism of achieving a climate treaty is gone. That was clearly visible at the recent UN Climate Conference in Bonn. Says Karsten Sach, leader of the German Negotiating Delegation:
Everyone knows we’ve reached a dead-end.
The media has lost interest in reporting on the constant failure by policymakers. At the 3.56 mark, accompanied by gloomy music, a chart shows how the number of reports on climate change appearing in three major centre-left newspapers has dwindled. The hype is over. The public is fatigued, fed up, and disinterested.
Editor Dagmar Dehmer of Berlin’s Der Tagesspiegel says somberly:
Editors know the topic is important, but it’s not topic no. 1 at the moment. Climate is no longer on the front pages, and is not viewed as an earth-moving topic.
The video clip then moves to a car-tuning meet, where one auto-tuning enthusiast says:
Nobody cares about it.
And what about Chancellor Angela Merkel? Climate change has become a thorn in her side. She associates the issue with failure and hopelessness. Says Tagesspiegel editor Dagmar Dehmer at the 5:38 mark:
Climate change has become a loser topic. And Angela Merkel wants nothing to do with it.
Yet, Merkel’s minister of environment insists that climate change is an important topic for the future.
For the future, yes. But not for today. The report ends with relaxed vacationers chuckling when asked by the journalists about the threats of climate change.
8) And Finally: One Of Our Hemispheres Is Missing!
NoTricksZone, 13 August 2010
The earth’s southern hemisphere is now in the winter season, and it is proving to be a severe one. There have been many deaths of people, animals, fish, and crops. But you haven’t heard about that from the northern hemisphere media.
As far as the media is concerned, there is no southern hemisphere. All the media coverage is about fires in Russia, Arctic ice melting, glaciers calving icebergs, heat waves on the U. S. east coast, and other “weather” occurrences up north. So let me bring you up to date on the highlights from down south.
June 17, 2010, “500 African penguins freeze to death in South Africa”.“Nearly 500 rare African Penguins have died in the past 24 hours as a result of extremely cold weather in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province.” Here
July 19, 2010, “South Africa, Freezing Cold destroys several 100 (sic) Solar Thermal Systems”. Here
August 5, 2010, “Snow in Brazil, below zero Celsius in the River Plate and tropical fish frozen”. Here.
August 6, 2010, “Chilly in Chile: South America Hit by Cold Snap”. Here,Here, and HereTemperatures in eastern Bolivia fell to 0° Celsius. Fish in rivers that normally flow at 20° C froze to death in water temperatures down to 6° C. Millions of fish, turtles, reptiles, and birds have died, the river waters are undrinkable, and the government closed them to fishing for at least a year. Normally these winter cold snaps last for a few days at a time. This “Surazos” (a cold wind from Argentina) lasted for 8 days.
The total death toll among people and animals across Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and southern Brazil is rising. A meter of snow across Patagonia and along the Andes is hampering communications. Many people have died across southern South America, and the livestock toll is in the millions. True numbers won’t be known until the snow melts.
Citrus and avocado crops in Chile have been damaged by frosts, and fruit exports may be reduced by 40%.
August 9, 2010, “Australians shiver through the coldest winter morning in 30 years.”“Sydney was blanketed in frost on Wednesday as the city shivered through the coldest June morning in nearly 30 years, with temperatures at just 4C (39F).” Here
Meanwhile, the Southern Ocean ice cover is 1.3 million square kilometers above the mean value (1979 to 2008, since measurements began), and growing. This balances out the Arctic ice cover, giving us a global ice cover of almost 20 million square kilometers. See WUWT Ice Page Here.
These reports are from local sources. The mainstream media rule seems to be “If it doesn’t support our agenda, don’t report it.” For their practical purposes, the globe stops at the equator. Not only do they shut out scientific dissent, but also the cold hard facts from half the globe.
NoTricksZone, 13 August 2010