NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Tony Blair’s turn around on global warming

From Dr. Roy Spencer at Tech Central Station
Tony Blair's opinion editorial in the 31 October Guardian Unlimited Observer represents a well reasoned and stark departure from much of what is heard being advocated by politicians these days on the subject of global warming. Blair's major points are:

1) Quit blaming Bush. The U.S. Senate voted 95-0 against Kyoto during the Clinton Administration, and the U.S. participation would have had little effect on future emissions anyway.

2) Huge growth in energy consumption in China and India must be addressed as part of any future solution (Kyoto gives those countries a pass). The emerging and established economies of the world will have to work together.

3) Since even the (relatively modest) Kyoto emission reduction targets are proving difficult to meet, how are we going to achieve the much larger reductions necessary to make an measurable impact on global warming after Kyoto ends?

4) The wealthy countries of the world can afford the investments in technological progress to make alternative fuels -- solar, wind, biofuels, even more nuclear -- more cost competitive. Those countries must share those new technologies with developing nations.

Some political reality from across the Atlantic. I wish our Governor would get some political reality on greenhouse gas regulations in California. They are going to cost us directly, and in the loss of jobs in California. The gains in automotive fuel efficience and polution technology have improved air qulaity, and the growth in hybrid vehicles continues to advance. Technology and the market will win over punitive regulations.

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Blogger Frederic Christie said...

The market is what got us here, Russ. With no incentives, ironically the incentives you and other rightists loudly declare to be proof of progress, market activity (and this is uncontroversial in economic theory) will always externalize costs, especially ecological ones, to future generations and the poor and weak. Even more ironically, while you pull a smokescreen, people like Larry Summers (see "Let Them Eat Pollution" and an excellent Albert article about Summers' position) loudly yell that we should and can FURTHER increase the inequity in the way costs are externalized.

What makes it funnier is that Kyoto INCLUDES "market-based" provisions, the infamous "pollution credits".

#2 is funny, since China has pretty good efficiency standards given their stage of industrial development, but more importantly because such a proposal is an OBVIOUS attempt by the current empire to push aside the real problem: that the US and other European countries disproportionately consume gas (especially the US, which has one fifth of China's population yet consumes MORE absolutely). If China and India are hamstrung, they can't develop to be the new empires. How funny that Blair is saying this. Is the leash getting tighter?

#3 puts the cart before the horse. Apologia like Blair's prevents the more radical alternatives, and your own argument about letting the market expand is the same crap too.

#4 is INCREDIBLY funny, since it is precisely the right that is preventing such initiatives, and also establishing the draconian intellectual property rights of, say, the Uruguay Round that block innovation.

Wed Nov 02, 09:49:00 PM PST  
Blogger Iceberg said...

"Modeling Of Long-term Fossil Fuel Consumption Shows 14.5 Degree Hike In Temperature":

To all skeptics out there, this was done on a CLIMATE MODEL and not a WEATHER MODEL. There is a great difference! Don't let Richard Lindzen confuse or brainwash you.

Thu Nov 03, 07:55:00 AM PST  
Blogger Russ Steele said...


Models are based on assumptions, not direct observations. This from Dr Pielke at Climate Science.

Our conclusions are the following:

Peer-reviewed papers, and national and international assessments, which present model results for decades into the future, or provide impact studies in response to these model simulations, should never be interpreted as skillful forecasts (or skillful projections). They should be interpreted as process (sensitivity) studies, even though the authors use definitive words (such as this “will” occur) and display model output with specific time periods in the future.
The US National Assessment, which provided model simulations on regional scales for the coming decades, is inaccurately portrayed when their results are given to stakeholders with the interpretation that their results bracket what is expected in the future. This is misleading when transmitted to policymakers, as process studies are inappropriately interpreted to be forecasts.
Climate forecasts (projections) decades into the future have not demonstrated skill in forecasting local, regional, and global climate variables. They have shown that human climate forcing has the capacity to alter the climate system, but we should not present these model simulations as forecasts. To present them as forecasts is misleading to policymakers and others who use this information.

More details on the limits of climate models here:

Thu Nov 03, 10:30:00 AM PST  
Blogger Iceberg said...

The US National Assessment was censored in many areas where climate change was mentioned. The Bush Administration did this to satisfy their cronies in the oil and gas industry.

Thu Nov 03, 10:55:00 AM PST  
Blogger Russ Steele said...


You call it censorship. Others consider it editing and fact checking.

The IPCC report was edited by non-scientist. They took out the scientific doubts about the validity of climate change models in the summary and overview. They brought forward the "hockey stick" as the poster for global warming. Was this censorship under your definition? Really?

The real issue, it that Dr Pielke was pointing out why the information in the US NA need some editing and facts checked. Models are indicators, not forecasts.

Thu Nov 03, 02:11:00 PM PST  

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