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Global governancers' get-together

I missed the occasion of the Earth System Governance conference in Norwich at the start of the month, but it looked as though it was a hoot. Every scientivist in the western hemisphere seems to have flown in for the occasion (#greensgobyair) to hear speakers as varied as, erm, Tony Juniper, Prince Charles and Bob Watson opining about how better "allocation" is the solution to all known environmental ills. No doubt if we take from each according to their ability and give to each according to their need then global temperatures will stop going up and the passenger pigeon will miraculously be found living in a dovecot in Droitwich.

To mark the occasion of the conference, UEA's Heike Schroeder has written an article in the journal Global Environmental Change. Dr Schroeder apparently believes that small-scale organic farming is going to be the solution to the world's problems, so it will not surprise you to learn that her article is a tour de force of economic illiteracy, wide-eyed inanity and bovine stupidity. We learn for example of the horrors of artificial fertiliser:

Click to read more ...


Ends and Means

Guest Post by David Holland

The tragic event of Friday reminded me of a lunch-time chat that I had with a Russian, at the London meeting at which Ross McKitrick presented the Fraser Institute’s independent analysis of AR4 in February 2007.   Like others, I had been disappointed that the Russians had signed up to Kyoto and even more disappointed at the horse trading over gas prices that had led to it.   I had heard of Andrei Illarionov and knew he had been a close advisor to Vladimir Putin.   However, I must confess that I thought some of the shocking and frightening things that he said of Mr Putin might have been sour grapes.   Over the years since, and particularly after Friday, I have realised that Dr Illarionov was perhaps too soft on him.

It's worth looking back at the Guardian of 22 May 2004 with its headline “Putin throws lifeline to Kyoto as EU backs Russia joining WTO”
President Vladimir Putin yesterday reversed months of fervent opposition to the Kyoto protocol and agreed to speed up Russia's ratification of the treaty.
The change of heart - which provides the ratification necessary for the protocol to come into effect - follows a decision by the EU at a summit in Moscow yesterday to drop its objections to Russia joining the World Trade Organisation.
“The fact that the European Union has met us halfway at the negotiations on membership in the WTO cannot but influence Moscow's positive attitude towards ratification of the Kyoto protocol. We will accelerate our movement towards ratifying this protocol,” Mr Putin said at the summit.
In September 2004 Businessweek reported ‘Russia’s path to Kyoto’:
When the EU asked Russia to join in on Kyoto, not surprisingly, “Russia said: What's in it for us?” explains Annie Petsonk, international counsel for Environmental Defense (ED). Russia wanted more than the dollars from emissions trading, it wanted EU support for its entry into the World Trade Organization.
“But the EU wanted Russia in Kyoto badly enough to compromise and support its WTO membership bid. Europe will allow Russia to keep natural gas prices lower at home -- as long as Russia agrees to slowly raise them. The Continent's companies also realized that having Russia sign on to Kyoto would help them because they could meet their own Kyoto targets more cheaply by buying Russian emissions reductions.”
In fact no one bought many Russian emission credits but much of Europe became dependent on Russian gas.   Whether we realised it then or not, gas is a political weapon that we gave Russia in exchange for Kyoto.   Russia has abandoned Kyoto but still has its weapon unless we follow suit, and reopen our coal-fired stations and 're-life' our nuclear power stations in the short term.     For the longer term we need to get fracking and developing safe, socially acceptable and economic low carbon energy sources including nuclear. 
Dr Illarionov came in for some harsh words but I think history may judge him better.



New paper from the Netherlands on C02 emissions

 'A paper published today in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics finds that only about 3.75% [15 ppm] of the CO2 in the lower atmosphere is man-made from the burning of fossil fuels, and thus, the vast remainder of the 400 ppm atmospheric CO2 is from land-use changes and natural sources such as ocean outgassing and plant respiration.'

 Read all about it at Climate Depot and H/T to Swiss Bob in the BBC and Lawson comments.



Pro-Lawson opinion

Ryan Bourne, head of public policy at the Institute of Economic Affairs, offers his support to Nigel Lawson in an article in Friday's City A.M.

Even if you believe global warming is happening and it’s a significant problem, it is lazy thinking to believe this scientific insight means “Case Closed” and that the policy response is obvious. You also have to tot up what the consequences of global warming might be, the costs and benefits of different policies, and work out who picks up the tab. This requires a much-needed economic and political debate – and it’s obvious the likes of Lawson and other public figures have much to contribute.


BBC and Nigel Lawson

There is a letter in the Spectator from the Deputy Director of BBC News and Current Affairs on the subject of the BBC's spat over Nigel Lawson's appearance in discussion with Brian Hoskins.

H/t Is the BBC Biased

No ban on Lawson

Sir: You write that the BBC ‘has effectively banned’ Lord Lawson from items on climate change unless introduced with ‘a statement discrediting his views’ (Leading article, 12 July). There’s a lot of muddled reporting of this story. Lord Lawson hasn’t been in any sense ‘banned’, and the Editorial Complaints Unit finding didn’t suggest that he shouldn’t take part in future items. It found fault with the way the Today item was handled in two respects: firstly that it presented Lord Lawson’s views on the science of global warning as if they stood on the same footing as those of Sir Brian Hoskins, and secondly that it didn’t make clear to listeners that Lord Lawson represented a minority view. There is also no ban on other non-scientists discussing climate change. The BBC is absolutely committed to impartial and balanced coverage on this complex issue. Our position remains exactly as it was — we accept that there is broad scientific agreement on climate change and we reflect this accordingly. We do, however, on occasion offer space to dissenting voices where appropriate as part of the BBC’s overall commitment to impartiality.
Fran Unsworth Deputy director, BBC News and Current Affairs
Happy valleys


Unminced words from Owen Paterson

It was not my job to do the bidding of two organisations that are little more than anti-capitalist agitprop groups most of whose leaders could not tell a snakeshead fritillary from a silver-washed fritillary. I saw my task as improving both the environment and the rural economy; many in the green movement believed in neither.

Link here- but I wonder why the Telegraph editors saw fit to place Paterson's words 9th down the list of "Political" articles, instead of putting it into the section on the environment?


Rewilding envisioning - Josh 283

Click for a bigger image

Rewilding the Highlands - I bet there will be space for more Wind Turbines.

Cartoons by Josh



Rewilding the Highlands

There was an interesting programme, which I tuned into by mistake at 6.30am this morning on BBC Radio Scotland (not currently available on iPLayer) on the benefits of progressing the “rewilding” of areas of the Highlands – one of George Monbiot’s favourite hobbyhorses.

A pro-weighted opinion on the benefits was put forward by Roy Dennis of the Highland Foundation for Wildlife while a briefer counter-argument came from a representative of the Ramblers’ Association. As this proposal would include the reintroduction of wolves it would probably involve fencing off at least 50,000 acres of countryside, reducing the “right to roam” which currently exists in Scotland and necessarily including the possibility of animal escapes through or over the electric fence. Dennis wanted government backing for the move, considering that reintroduction was more important than access. The more libertarian opinions of the Ramblers’ representative suggested that this should not happen without public consultation and that the promotion of such moves by the press and media risked putting private interests over the public rights. 

Butterflies, maybe…. wolves, no? TM


Hoorah for the GWPF

Following on from jamesp's suggestion in the comments yesterday on the GWPF-Roger Harrabin post that we should have an identifying badge supporting the GWPF, suggestions are welcome for the symbol - just for fun, while the Bishop is away. Surely one of Josh's cartoons would be ideal.

I'll weigh in as a start - how about  this one, with "Support the GWPF" included somewhere? TM.


Stiffen the sinews

Pierre Gosselin at NoTricksZone  reports some remarks by Professor Fritz Vahrenholt, who has recently joined the academic advisers to the GWPF. Let's hope that the good prof. is not meted out the same treatment from the opposition that Lennart Bengtsson received, which led to his stepping down from his appointment after a couple of weeks.

Updated 9.20am 18.7.2014. TM

John Christie points out

“There’s a climate establishment, and I’m not in it

More divisions reported here. 

H/T Paul Homewood.



GWPF- Harrabin late with the news

I missed this yesterday. As someone pointed out in the Breitbart comments, why are campaigns from Greenpeace WWF and FoE not similarly targeted for spending charitable money on political causes? 

H/T Biased BBC.


[Link fixed]


Ill wind

Updated 3.15pm 17.7.14.

Here's some encouraging news (except for the installers and the subsidy farmers). TM.

[Two posts amalgamated in error. Last paragraph of this one now deleted. TM.] 



"A paltry $250"

Is this justice? Who can explain why Mann's emails need not be released by the University of Virginia, but those of Pat Michaels could be? Does the size of the award make any difference to the principle?


Renewable optimism

Hope springs eternal in Bloomberg's breast over the future of renewables, but how accurate is their forecast? Ten years to stop "global Co2 emissions? And what cost reductions might there be- removing the extravagant subsidies?

Click to read more ...


Doom-laden Deben

The latest report of the actions of the Committee on Climate Change has been published today. This is how it finishes....

Lord Deben, Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, said: “Climate Change demands urgent action. We have started on the road and we are being joined by much of the rest of the world. However, despite our success, the UK is still not on track to meet our statutory commitment to cut emissions by 80 per cent. The longer we leave it, the costlier it becomes. This report shows the best and most cost-effective ways to ensure we meet our targets. There is no time to lose.”

It is all going really well, except for the parts that aren't.

Today's Moderator.