Who Pays For Climate Change?
The Debating Chamber Forum Index New Zealand Centre for Political Research - www.nzcpr.com
This week, NZCPR Weekly looks into why climate change has emerged as such a dominant public policy issue, Guest Commentator Atmospheric Physicist Emeritus Professor Fred Singer shows that human activities are not causing global warming, the poll asks what you think should happen to the government's controversial emissions trading scheme, and I announce the publication of a new dynamic electronic book (complete with turning pages and other exciting features) Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate by Prof Fred Singer - for details click < http://www.nzcpr.com/support.htm > here>>>
Last week the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment came out in support of the Government's Emissions Trading Bill as the gateway to a 'carbon-constrained future': "We should not forget the principle at the core of the emissions trading scheme of 'polluter pays'. 'Polluter pays' is actually a variant of 'user pays'; we are using the atmosphere as a dumping ground for waste gases."1 The Commissioner has let New Zealanders down by abandoning the impartiality required of her Office, to buy into the political mantra of the Green movement by inferring that carbon dioxide is a pollutant.
Carbon dioxide, the gas at the centre of the so-called "global warming crisis", is not a pollutant; it is the source of life on earth. Without carbon dioxide, the planet would be lifeless and barren. Plants use carbon dioxide, along with water, as the raw materials to convert the sun's energy into food. Life-giving oxygen is the byproduct. Carbon dioxide is therefore at the heart of the earth's food chain.
Radical environmentalists and their fellow travelers demonise carbon dioxide, claiming it to be the primary exhaust product of modern civilization. They have succeeded in engaging politicians around the globe to join their "de-industrialisation" movement, for de-industrialisation will be the end result of global warming mitigation policies like biofuels, emissions trading, and an over-reliance on variable wind and solar power.
However, opposition to their approach is now growing, not only due to the public's realisation that these policies will come at a huge cost, but because new scientific evidence is emerging to challenge the most basic assumptions of the global warming movement.
Just last week the Wall St Journal, in an article entitled "Kiwi Climatology", concluded that by pushing ahead with our planned emissions trading scheme "other countries will now have a chance to see what the 'anti-carbon crusade' does to an economy". The article states that our government claims "New Zealanders will be willing to take lower wages", but the reality is quite different. As the opinion polls are showing, householders are not that willing to pay an estimated $3,000 a year in costs, nor allow 22,000 jobs to be lost for a threat that they are not yet convinced really exists.2
Meanwhile, the scientific community, which continues to examine the so-called evidence upon which the global warming doomsday predictions were based, have found that the models do not hold up: while man-made carbon dioxide emissions are estimated to have increased by around 5 percent over the last ten years, world temperatures have cooled, not risen as the alarmist's models had predicted.
This has caused the star of "An Inconvenient Truth", the movie promoting an impending global warming crisis (that was found to be full of errors by a High Court Judge3), to launch a $300 million advertising campaign to raise awareness of global warming. Al Gore, who is the chairman of the $5 billion Generation Investment Management, recently became a partner in a venture capital company KPCB, which has invested $1.3 billion into start-up "green growth" companies. These companies "that could profit from government policies designed to fight global warming" will find the going tough if governments back down from imposing their biofuel, renewable energy, and emissions trading schemes.4
Driving the 'anti-carbon crusade' is the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. As New Zealand IPCC "expert reviewer" Dr Vincent Gray explains, "The IPCC was set up in 1988 to assess scientific information on climate change and its impacts and mitigation. The Framework Convention on Climate Change in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 defined 'climate change' as changes in climate caused by human interference with atmospheric composition. All the signatories to that Convention (which included NZ) accepted this definition. The task of the IPCC, therefore, has been to accumulate evidence to support this belief that all changes in the climate are caused by human interference with the atmosphere."5
According to renowned Climatologist Dr Tim Ball, in a series of informative articles about the global warming movement, "Sir John Houghton, first co-chair of the IPCC and lead editor of the first three Reports, signaled that the objectives were political and not scientific. He said, 'Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.' The IPCC has done this with ruthless efficiency while pretending what they are doing is science not politics".6
The compilation of IPCC reports is a case in point. The Summary for Policy Makers is written by government representatives and released some three months ahead of the technical reports on which the summaries are meant to be based. While around 2,500 people are involved in the IPCC, only a handful ever see the final technical reports which are then carefully "massaged" to "ensure consistency with the Summary for Policy-Makers" so that there is nothing in conflict with what the politicians agreed.
Dr Richard Lindzen, Professor of Meteorology at MIT described the IPCC process in a Testimony to a Senate Committee: "It uses summaries to misrepresent what scientists say; uses language that means different things to scientists and laymen; exploits public ignorance over quantitative matters; exploits what scientists can agree on while ignoring disagreements to support the global warming agenda; and exaggerates scientific accuracy and certainty and the authority of undistinguished scientists".7
Over the years, thousands of scientists have spoken out against the IPCC and its reports. Following the publication of the 2005 report, Dr Frederick Seitz, President Emeritus of Rockefeller University and past President of the US National Academy of Sciences stated: "I have never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer-review process that the events that led to this IPCC report."
In the Foreword to the Report of the Nongovernmental Panel on Climate Change, "Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate", which provides an independent examination of the evidence on climate change that is available in peer reviewed literature, Dr Seitz states: "The IPCC is pre-programmed to produce reports to support the hypothesis of anthropogenic warming and the control of greenhouse gases, as envisioned in the Global Climate Treaty. The 1990 IPCC Summary completely ignored satellite data, since they showed no warning. The 1995 IPCC report was notorious for the significant alterations made to the text after it was approved by the scientists - in order to convey the impression of a human influence. The 2001 IPCC report claimed that the twentieth century showed 'unusual warming' based on the now discredited hockey-stick graph. The latest IPCC report published in 2007, completely devalues contributions from changes in solar activity, which are likely to dominate any human influence".8
The NIPCC report is the brainchild of Professor S. Fred Singer, Professor Emeritus at Vancouver University and former director of the US Weather Satellite Service. One of the most distinguished scientists in the US, Prof Singer, who, as a former IPCC reviewer shares the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore, is this week's NZCPR Guest Commentator. In his article "The Great Global Warming Debate", Prof Singer explains:
"In the past few years there has been increasing concern about global climate change on the part of the media, politicians, and the public. It has been stimulated by the idea that human activities may influence global climate adversely and that action is required on the part of governments to do something about this problem. My purpose here is to show that this concern is misplaced, that human activities are not influencing the global climate in a perceptible way, and that, in any case, very little can be done about global climate change. It is unstoppable; we should not even try to influence it. Climate will continue to change, as it always has in the past, both warming and cooling on different time scales and for different reasons, completely unrelated to any human action. I will also argue that - should it occur - a modest warming is on the whole beneficial".
In his article he warns, "There is however a serious problem. In the mistaken idea that something needs to be done, policies are arising that have the potential of distorting energy policies, severely damaging national economies, make us poorer, and hurting standards of living. Such a misdirection of resources will adversely affect human health and welfare in industrialized nations - and even more so in developing nations. It can lead to social tensions within nations and to conflict between nations. If it were not for this potential of inflicting serious economic damage, one might consider the present concern about climate change nothing more than just another fad or human aberration. But once it affects energy policy, it becomes essential to understand the issue to avoid inflicting any severe harm". To read the full article, please click the sidebar link>>>
The global warming juggernaut, driven by our politicians (aided by the IPCC) is charging ahead in New Zealand. Our Prime Minister promised that we would lead the world by becoming the first to be carbon neutral. We are therefore the only country in the world to include all greenhouse gases in a Kyoto agreement, a situation that could cripple our farming industry. We are the only country to even contemplate exposing the economy to the full cost of the volatile world price of carbon in the proposed emissions trading scheme. And we are the only country in the world to set renewable energy targets as high as 90 percent, even though the consequences in terms of threats to the security of supply and power price hikes are well known.
The issue is: Are consumers prepared to bear that cost?