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climate change, opinion

A Shakesperian Tale

In 2012 the Kyoto Protocol to prevent climate changes and global warming runs out. At the conference in  Copenhagen 2009 the parties of the UNFCCC – United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – met on government level before the climate agreement needs to be renewed.

Quote from the Conference Website: “An important part of the scientific background for the political decisions taken on the conferences is made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC, based in Geneva, Switzerland. The IPCC is established to provide the decision-makers and others interested in climate change with an objective source of information about climate change. IPCC is a scientific intergovernmental body set up by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). In 2007 the IPCC received the Nobel Peace Price.”

The reason for the Nobel Peace Price was a 2007 IPCC report that supposedly contained all the evidence on climate change and was seen as a major step forward. After the failure to reach agreement at the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen voices emerged that showed that serious flaws are in the report. Those were now seen as responsible for a lack of acceptance in Copenhagen. Let me ask you why it takes three years and a whole list of scandals (Climategate emails?) to finally discover that the report contains several obvious ‘errors’. I would however call most of those ‘errors’ unfounded claims and scare tactics. The IPCC should be forced to return that Nobel Prize in shame!

The IPCC says that its most important activity is the interpretation of scientific studies and translating them into a format that the public will understand. That is rather strange. If the outcome of a scientific study is not understandable by a layperson then I recommend not to trust it. It is questionable to interpret findings until they fit some political agenda. The climate research community says that the errors do not reduce the overall result that humans are causing climate change. It was that interpretation process that supposedly produced the errors and not the science. Who is not surprised? Should it not have been exactly that scientific community to point out the errors in the interpretation? How can they leave those errors in the report for three years – just because they were conveniently errors in the right direction? That again makes the scientists much less believable.

What are those errors?

1) The report stated that 55 percent of Netherlands are below sea level. The correct number is 27. First one has to ask how that can happen. Second, I wonder why that is mentioned at all? Reclaiming land from the sea was a choice that the Netherlands made and it is not a consequence of rising sea levels. If climate change would really bring rising sea levels, then the levels proposed now (one foot or 33 cm in 100 years – if that is still en-vogue) might have little effect on Netherlands. Twenty years ago the guesses were in the several meters (5-10ft) range by the SAME scientists.

2) According to the report, glaciers in the Himalaya will disappear by 2035!  There is no such scientific finding. The panel claims source errors or a typo as the reason for the wrong statement. Once again, why has not one scientist come forward to say that this has to be corrected since 2007?

3) The IPCC also wrongly sourced a statement on the negative effect of reduced rainfall on Amazon rain forests to a report by the WWF, instead of going backward to the scientific discussions around the subject that are by no means conclusive but simply state the possibility. That wrong reference points to the work of the IPCC being obviously done by activists and not by scientists.

4) There is no evidence in regards to the IPCC claim that increased insurance payouts in the US are related to worsening weather extremes and thus caused by climate change. The reasons for these higher payouts could easily be less-stringent zoning laws in danger areas, lower building quality, different insurance models and people simply being better insured than before. Even if it would be the weather causing them, there is no conclusive evidence yet that links some weather extremes of the last decades to climate change. This year’s harsh winters around the globe are immediately dismissed by climate change pundits as local weather patterns that don’t link to a lack of global warming, but when there is a hot summer, it obviously is proof. Isn’t that strange?

5) In an attempt to make the Western world feel guilty about hurting the hungry people in Africa by CO2 emissions, the report sidelines a complete statement about a possible drop in crop-yields in Northern Africa due to several reasons and simply states that climate change will be responsible for it.

Finally, it is certainly not appropriate that the chairman of the IPCC is financially  related to a green-energy foundation which creates a serious conflict of interests. Good that the Climate Conference took place in Copenhagen, because at least we can now quote Shakespeare’s Marcellus in Hamlet to say: ‘Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.’

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About Max J. Pucher

I am the founder and Chief Technology Officer of ISIS Papyrus Software, a medium size software company specializing in communications and process management. I wrote several books and hold a number of patents. My quest is to bring common sense to IT, mostly by focusing in human quality issues rather than cost saving, outsourcing and automation. I am also Chief Architect at VIPorbit software which provides mobile relationship management.

Discussion

6 thoughts on “A Shakesperian Tale

  1. An interesting read for all of us. You said, “The IPCC should be forced to return that Nobel Prize in shame!”

    I agree…

    Posted by William J McKibbin | February 26, 2010, 9:19 pm
  2. I agree with you that it is a pity that the efforts to come to an agreement for reducing CO2 emissions have been foiled by such sillyness. Are you sure that you are helping these efforts with your writing? What are you doing about it?

    Posted by Dan Phelps | February 28, 2010, 10:50 pm
    • Dan, thanks for your comment. I am not helping the efforts of the IPCC or the green activists, because they are scare tactics to convince the public about the need for a new Co2 tax and for mandatory carbon credit trading, which will be a huge bonanza for investment houses and speculators. It does however nothing about our climate and certainly nothing about real problems. Both overpopulation and the destruction of our seas are much more dramatic than climate change. And there is not even any serious research into it! I wonder why? There is only one reason: They have not found a way to tax or otherwise make money from it.

      Writing is what I am doing about it. AND I AM USNG MY OWN BRAIN! I am demanding a lot more solid and plausible evidence that the climate changes we are seeing are connected to human actitivites. I am all for conservation and alternative energy sources (I was always for clean nuclear energy and solar) but the pollution that might be a problem will be coming from the developing countries (with China as the top pundit).

      What are you doing about it?

      Posted by Max J. Pucher | April 7, 2010, 5:17 pm
  3. I’m not saying your wrong (or even that I disagree with you), but in the interest of getting all the information out, it’s important to note the following developments since you referred to “Climategate” in your post.

    The British House of Commons issued a report exonerating Professor Phil Jones, the scientist at the center of the “Climategate” scandal. See
    http://www.desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/phil%20jones%20house%20of%20commons%20report.pdf

    Regarding Dr. Michael Mann, the American scientist who was also the focus of Climategate, The New York Times reported in July: “An American scientist accused of manipulating research findings on climate science was cleared of that charge by his university on Thursday, the latest in a string of reports to find little substance in the allegations known as Climategate.” (see “Climate Scientist Cleared of Altering Data”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/02/science/earth/02climate.html).

    As the foregoing article mentioned, the State Attorney General in Virginia also accused Mann of fraud. The New York Times reported yesterday that a judge rejected the supeona. In his ruling, the judge wrote of Cuccinelli (the conservative Republican attorney general), “What the attorney general suspects that Dr. Mann did that was false or fraudulent in obtaining funds from the commonwealth is simply not stated.” (see “Virginia Case Against Climate Researcher Is Rejected” http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/31/science/earth/31climate.html). So in other words, Cuccinelli made an accusation of fraud, but did not even provide a description (never mind evidence) of how the fraud was committed.

    I admit that I’d have to do a lot more research before I could take a position on this subject. It seem plausible that some people want legislation so they can get into the carbon trading/speculation business. I have to say, however, that it seems even more plausible that entrenched interests also want to make sure that the oil, coal, car and other carbon-intensive businesses keep humming along, which will keep the billions flowing into their pockets.

    Posted by Jim F | August 31, 2010, 1:17 pm
    • JIm, thanks for updating the lastest status. I have no problem with that at all. My worry is not Climategate and some scientist faking results for one reason or the other. if if they are not bending it, the results are just guesswork. What annoys me is the clear attempt to fold all problems into the silly CO2 issue because it will not do anything and can’t be proven. It allows for a lot of legislation, taxation and money making by those who make money with/from fossil products today just by means of a huge guilt complex that is currently being created. There are 12 year old children that are suffering from neurosis about climate change because of all he unproven claims in the media hype.

      I just read ‘The Necessary Revolution’ by Senge & Co and it contains the phrase ‘climate change’ 72 times but NOT ONCE mentions the word ‘overpopulation’. it is one of the worst books I have read on the subject without ANY sensible action being discussed except the request to produce less CO2. There is nothing to be gained by anyone to discuss overpopulation and no one wants to touch the subject. That alone proves the conspiracy behind climate change. The problem is created to hide all the other ones that politicians are unable to deal with, like the world financial situation. If people worry about our planet going under, they wont pay attention to the financial mess we are in.

      That is my point and I propose that scientists are willing accomplices in this scheme – for money and for reputation.

      Thanks again. Feel free to keep us updated on your thoughts. They are very enlightening. Max

      Posted by Max J. Pucher | August 31, 2010, 3:40 pm
  4. As far as the need to prioritize issues, I’m in complete agreement with you. But alas, I’m skeptical that our politicians and people are really capable of doing an honest cost-benefit analysis of each issue. An unconscionable number of children die because they lack access to clean water. But God forbid I use an extra paper towel at my friends’ house (who also own 3 cars 2 recreational motorcycles and take a dozen jumbo jet trips per year) because that would be “bad for the environment.” Most people want to save the world, provided that they won’t have to give up anything they really like, such as the TV remote control.

    I find it plausible that some scientists would bend the rules for fame. I’m somewhat less confident that many would do it for cash since I think there are much more direct ways to make money for anyone cleaver enough to get a PHD in meteorology. Most scientists that I’ve met are far less motivated by money than others with the same capabilities. The ones who were interested in money tended to get MBAs and then jobs at places like Goldman Sachs.

    While we’re on the topic of money, I took a look at who’s funding Proposition 23 in California, which would roll back the state’s restrictions on carbon emissions (I downloaded a spreadsheet from http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Campaign/Committees/Detail.aspx?id=1323890 and consolidated multiple contributions). Here are the top 10 contributors:

    NAME OF CONTRIBUTOR STATE AMOUNT
    VALERO SERVICES, INC. TX $1,058,000
    ADAM SMITH FOUNDATION MO $ 498,000
    TESORO COMPANIES CA $ 425,000
    OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORP. CA $ 300,000
    NO NEW TAXES CA $ 102,386
    NAT. PETROCHEM. & REFINERS ASS. DC $ 100,000
    TOWER ENERGY GROUP CA $ 100,000
    WORLD OIL CORP. CA $ 100,000
    CALIFORNIA TRUCKING ASS. CA $ 50,000
    SOUTHERN COUNTIES OIL CO. CA $ 50,000

    Clearly, corporations that make BIG money from CO2-emitting businesses are, in large part, bankrolling Prop. 23. I searched the same site for AB32 (the 2006 law that Prop 23 would roll back) to see if any money was behind it, but unfortunately nothing was listed. It would have been interesting the see if any hedge funds (presumably a group that might make money trading on carbon emissions) had contributed.

    Again, I’m not saying that I disagree with your skepticism. Honestly, I don’t know enough about the science to even make an informed guess. But I also think we should apply the BS-filter to both sides of the debate. So while the climate change skeptics may well be right, I have to point out that there seems, at least to me, to be a very strong and direct financial link between them and BIG money interests. Although I intend to keep trying, I haven’t yet found the same strong links on the other side. Perhaps you have?

    Posted by Jim F | September 6, 2010, 1:31 pm

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