Sunday, March 30, 2014

From Benny Peiser's Climate Change Policy Foundation

UN Author Says New Draft Climate Report Alarmist
How Government Officials Are Re-Writing IPCC Draft

One of the 70 authors of a draft U.N. report on climate change said he had pulled out of the writing team because it was "alarmist" about the threat. Richard Tol told Reuters he disagreed with some findings of the summary to be issued in Japan on March 31. "The drafts became too alarmist," the Dutch professor of economics at Sussex University in England said by telephone from Yokohama, Japan, where governments and scientists are meeting to edit and approve the report. --Alister Doyle, Reuters, 27 March 2014

Unfortunately, those expecting the IPCC's Working Group II's report to effect a new note of realism in global economic policy on climate change may be disappointed. That's because the Summary for Policymakers (the only part of the IPCC's reports that policymakers tend to read) will - as usual - strike a much more alarmist tone than the contents of the more detailed report actually justify. "Basically, it has been Pachaurisised," says Benny Peiser of the independent think tank the Global Warming Policy Foundation. --James Delingpole, Breitbart London, 26 March 2014

The draft of the all-important Summary for Policymakers finalized last October by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) [is] far from official. That’s because the IPCC isn’t a place in which scientists have the last word. Everyone involved understands that the summary of the Working Group 2 section of its new report is going to be re-written. This will happen during four days of a meeting now getting underway in Yokohama, Japan. Journalists are barred from attending this four-day meeting. Since the IPCC insists it is a transparent organization, this is outrageous. If nothing improper will be going on, why will the doors be locked? If the science is so cut-and-dried, so clear and unequivocal, why all the secrecy? In turns out that last October’s Final Draft won’t actually get discussed in Yokohama. Instead, it has already been extensively manipulated. --Donna Laframboise, No Frakking Consensus, 25 March 2014

Britain and other governments have been severely critical of a finding from Richard Tol, a Dutch economics professor at Sussex University, according to documents made available to the Guardian. The summary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on the impact of global warming cites research by Tol on global economic losses due to climate change, which he put at between 0.2% and 2% of income. That is far lower than estimates of the costs of climate change by the economist Nicholas Stern. Britain and other governments rejected the finding as an underestimate when the draft was first circulated to officials last December. --Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian, 28 March 2014

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will shortly publish the second part of its latest report, on the likely impact of climate change. Government representatives are meeting with scientists in Japan to sex up—sorry, rewrite—a summary of the scientists’ accounts of storms, droughts and diseases to come. But the actual report, known as AR5-WGII, is less frightening than its predecessor seven years ago. --Matt Ridley, The Wall Street Journal, 28 March 2014

IPCC Working Group 2, “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” is currently meeting to finalise its Summary for Policymakers (SPM), which will be published in a few days time. The draft SPM was leaked last November. Now there is a new leaked version, which is the November version plus some edits marked in blue. The edits are interesting, showing a ramping up of alarm and a down-playing of adaptation in favour of mitigation. --Paul Matthews, The IPCC Report, 25 March 2014

Professor Tol said he was unconcerned about the criticism. “The UK government is just worried about embarrassment,” he said. “They perhaps feel now a little embarrassed that the official estimate of the UK government conflicts with the official estimate that may come out of the United Nations.” However, he acknowledged that his finding may not make it through the review process.--Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian, 28 March 2014

Almost every global environmental scare of the past half century proved exaggerated including the population “bomb,” pesticides, acid rain, the ozone hole, falling sperm counts, genetically engineered crops and killer bees. In every case, institutional scientists gained a lot of funding from the scare and then quietly converged on the view that the problem was much more moderate than the extreme voices had argued. Global warming is no different. --Matt Ridley, The Wall Street Journal, 28 March 2014

David Cameron: Fracking Is Europe’s Top Agenda After Crimea ‘Wake-Up Call’ UK
Prime Minister: Fracking Must Start By End Of Year
Energy independence and the adoption of technologies like shale gas fracking should top Europe’s political agenda, British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday, calling the Crimea crisis a “wake-up call” for states reliant on Russian gas. --William James, Reuters, 26 March 2014

Britain has a “duty” to embrace fracking in the wake of the Ukraine crisis, David Cameron has said, as he accused opponents of shale gas exploration of not“understanding” the issue properly. The Prime Minister said that Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea should be a “wake up call” and that European countries must become less reliant on Russian gas. --Peter Dominiczak, The Daily Telegraph, 26 March 2014

For decades, the West in general, and the U.S. in particular, has had to shape, and sometimes arguably to misshape, its foreign policy in the light of its dependence on Middle East oil and gas. No longer: that era is now over. For decades, too, Europe has been fearful of the threat that Russia might cut off the gas supplies on which it has relied so heavily. No longer: that era will very soon be over, too. Thanks to the shale gas revolution, the new found energy independence of the West is a beneficent game-changer in terms of world politics as much as it is in the field of energy economics. --Nigel Lawson, Daily Mail, 8 December 2012

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is ramping up pressure on President Obama to fast-track natural-gas exports to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russia. During a briefing with Republican leadership on Tuesday, Boehner hit the administration and Senate Democrats for opposing “common-sense measures.” “President Obama is in Europe today. I hope he uses this as an opportunity to discuss how we can help the Europeans reduce their dependence on Vladimir Putin,” Boehner said. --Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill, 25 March 2014

The U.S. shale gas boom should be used to counteract Russian influence in Europe and on Ukraine, a key senator said on Tuesday, as lawmakers weighed changes to export policy to take into account a shifting geopolitical landscape. European worries about the security of energy supplies have skyrocketed since Russian forces seized control of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine this month. Moscow has in years past cut gas supplies during regional disputes. --World Bulletin, 26 March 2014

The Crimean crisis is poised to reshape the politics of oil by accelerating Russia’s drive to send more barrels to China, leaving Europe with pricier imports and boosting U.S. dependence on fuel from the Middle East. China already has agreed to buy more than $350 billion of Russian crude in coming years from the government of President Vladimir Putin. The ties are likely to deepen as the U.S. and Europe levy sanctions against Russia as punishment for the invasion of Ukraine. --Rakteem Katakey, Bloomberg, 25 March 2014

Russia’s strategic strength in Europe springs (apart from its willingness to use force) from the fact that the EU has been asleep at the energy policy switch, blinded by its climate obsessions. While policy makers have been focused on the angels’ pinhead of sustainability, and postured against“intergenerational tyranny,” Europe has disarmed itself in the face of very real this-generation tyranny. Europe’s commitment to green energy has been not merely expensive and disruptive – without measurable impact on climate – it has left the EU comprehensively exposed to Russian blackmail. --Peter Foster, Financial Post, 26 March 2014

What is the reason for the lack of warming observed at the surface of the Earth since about 1997? Many causes have been proposed, and with increasing frequency, but most only represent partial explanations. There are clearly more putative causes than can possibly be the case. --David Whitehouse, The Global Warming Policy Foundation, 26 March 2014

Obama Calls On Europe To Develop Domestic Shale Resources
European Leaders Ask Obama To Allow Increased Exports Of US Shale Gas

The crisis in Ukraine underscores the need for the European Union to consider imports of natural gas from the U.S. and development of domestic resources to diversify supplies, President Barack Obama said. --Ewa Krukowska, Bloomberg Businessweek, 26 March 2014

European leaders on Wednesday asked Barack Obama to share the US's shale gas bonanza with Europe by facilitating gas exports to help counter the stranglehold Russia has on the continent's energy needs. Obama, while not ruling out the possibility, stressed the need for Europe to diversify its sources of energy in order to make it less vulnerable to Russian blackmail, and said Europe should open up to fracking to develop its own gas supply. --Ian Traynor, The Guardian, 27 March 2014

The crisis in Ukraine has intensified calls from industry and political leaders—including senior U.S. officials—for Europe to develop its own shale industry. With 470 trillion cubic feet of potentially recoverable shale-gas reserves, Europe has around 80% of the resource available in the U.S., according to U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates. But some of its biggest potential gas producers, including France and Germany, have banned fracking, the technology used to extract gas, for fear of potential water contamination. --Selina Williams, The Wall Street Journal, 27 March 2014

Major offshore oil discoveries and prospects for shale gas extraction are generating excitement – and resistance. Spain is already the world’s largest olive oil producer but now it’s looking to a very different kind of oil to pull it out of economic decline: petroleum. The discovery of two significant offshore deposits, and prospects for fracking in many areas, have triggered a black-gold rush, with demand for exploration permits up 35% since 2012. Deloitte predicts that Spain could become a gas exporter by 2031 while producing 20% of the oil it consumes. --Stephen Burgen, The Guardian, 26 March 2015

The utopian dream of an economy powered by renewables is more and more turning into a nightmare. Ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, under whom the “green energy revolution” started, is now calling for a revision of this policy; he warns of more damaging and unachievable targets for renewable energy and for CO2 reduction and advocates a longer life for Germany’s remaining nuclear power stations... During the heyday of climate fears in the last decade, centre-left politicians in Britain and Germany were united in the belief that climate change would be the new mass mobilising topic that would help save their parties. A more likely outcome is that this strategy will neither save the centre-left nor will it help to prevent climate change. --Jürgen Krönig, Policy Network, 24 March 2014

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