A long, long article by Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus looking at where the green movement went wrong.
Yet today, environmental efforts to address climate change and build a green economy lie in ruins. The United States Congress this summer once again rejected climate legislation that even had it succeeded would have had virtually no impact upon U.S. carbon emissions over the coming decade. The magnitude and consequence of this defeat are poorly understood outside of Washington. Greens had the best opportunity in a generation -- a Democratic White House and large Democratic majorities in Congress. But they banked everything on a single bill and walked away with nothing -- or rather worse than nothing, since today environmental credibility with lawmakers of both parties is today at an all-time low.
Meanwhile, green stimulus investments ended up creating very few jobs. Those that it did create were low-wage and temporary custodial jobs -- not the high-wage manufacturing jobs that created the black middle-class after World War II. And today, the clean tech sector-- the darling of high tech VC's at the height of the green bubble-- is in a state of collapse as stimulus funds expire, large public deficits threaten clean energy subsidies both here and abroad, and Wall Street firms short clean tech stocks.
The Royal Society of Edinburgh has produced a report on how Scotland should move to a low-carbon economy. This seems to demonstrate that the spirit of Chairman Mao's `Great Leap Forward' is alive and well and living in Auld Reekie. Yes folks, the answer to all our problems is a plan to be developed in Holyrood.
Here are the report's recommendations:
1. The UK Government should urgently improve the infrastructure and management of the electricity grid in Scotland to optimise the development of renewable energy and to permit the export of surplus renewable energy.
Bob Carter has an article up in Quadrant, which is worth a look:
Run that past me again, Professors Garnaut and Flannery – your advice to government still remains that human carbon dioxide emissions are causing dangerous global warming?
Do you understand the meaning of the phrases “empirical science” and “hypothesis testing”?
Do you understand that the correct null hypothesis is that gentle warmings, such as that which occurred between 1979 and 1998, and equivalent coolings, are to be viewed as due to natural causes unless and until evidence indicates otherwise. Gentlemen, where is that evidence, and why is it not presented in the voluminous reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that you and the government so often refer to?
...to the show that never ends. Yes, the story of Muir Russell's inquiry unfolds a little further, with David Holland digging a little further into the details of the financial arrangements for the inquiry. UEA look like they are going to end up in trouble with the ICO again. Full story at Climate Audit.
In the meantime, David Roberts of Grist looks at the various Climategate inquiries, including the Russell inquiry, and shows just how desperately ill-informed he is:
The U.K.'s Royal Society (its equivalent of the National Academies) ran an investigation that found "no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice."
No it didn't - the inquiry was run by UEA and the Royal Society merely helped find people who could be relied upon to come up with the right answer (we have the emails showing this, Mr Roberts) and then pretended that they had selected the papers chosen (we have the emails showing this too - but don't worry Mr Roberts, nobody expects you to do any investigation either).
The University of East Anglia appointed respected civil servant Sir Muir Russell
You're kidding, Mr Roberts, surely? Russell - the man who closed off the construction project on the Scottish Parliament building ten times over budget - respected?
to run an exhaustive, six-month independent inquiry;
He didn't even attend the interviews with the principals. He didn't interview any of the complainants?
he concluded that "the honesty and rigour of CRU as scientists are not in doubt ... We have not found any evidence of behaviour that might undermine the conclusions of the IPCC assessments."
That's because they didn't look for any!
Snow has fallen in Lahore, apparently for the first time ever.
LAHORE: The city on Saturday received heavy rain and hailstorm measuring 4.5 millimetres, which carpeted several roads and sidewalks with snow sending a wave of cheerfulness among citizens.
The hailstorm, witnessed at isolated places in the city in the evening, was enjoyed by citizens especially children, who were seen forcing their parents to stop by footpaths to play with snow at Zafar Ali Road, Gulberg Main Boulevard and Davis Road.
There seems to be some doubt over whether it was snow or hail, but there are pictures of snowmen on the page linked. Comments under this video suggest that it was graupel, which seems to be something of a cross between the two.
Updated on Feb 28, 2011 by Bishop Hill
Updated on Feb 28, 2011 by Bishop Hill
As if any further evidence were required to demonstrate the point, the Scottish Government has received a report showing that their policies are costing us dearly.
Government support for the renewable sector in Scotland is costing more jobs than it creates, a report has claimed. A study by consultants Verso Economics found there was a negative impact from the policy to promote the industry. It said 3.7 jobs were lost for every one created in the UK as a whole and that political leaders needed to engage in "honest debate" about the issue.
Reader Dead Dog Bounce has had some correspondence with Freeman Dyson on the subject of his recent interview with Freeman Dyson. I am reproducing their correspondence with permission.
Dead Dog Bounce to Freeman Dyson
Dear Professor Dyson,
I read today your correspondence with the Science Editor of the Independent, Mr Steve Connor. What came across to me was that you seemed to have more to say than the nature of the discussion allowed or encouraged. I realise that it is slightly impertinent for an interested lay-person like myself to write to a man of as much substance as yourself, but I have been following the discussions about AGW for some time, and feel that a huge opportunity presented by this correspondence appears to have been wasted. I will of course understand if this email goes without response.
Christopher Booker is on a roll at the moment, with an excoriating article about wind turbines in the Mail.
What we are seeing, in short, is the price we are beginning to pay for the past two decades, during which our energy policy has become hopelessly skewed by the siren calls of the environmentalists, first in persuading our politicians to switch from coal and not to build any more nuclear power stations, and then to fall for the quixotic dream that we could gamble our country’s future on the 'free' and 'clean' power of wind and sun
Environmentalists - working every day to mar your present and ruin your future.
This is a guest post by Richard Drake.
Three minor things went wrong when I attempted to take part in a debate called Has the media failed science? at Imperial College London last Thursday, as advertised on Bishop Hill six days before. One was that the event ran for two hours, not one, as advertised. This helped to make interaction feasible but had a bad impact on what I'd planned for the rest of the evening! Second, no wireless internet connection was provided for those not at the university or in UK academia generally. Third ... well, the third was quite amusing and humour may be in short supply here so it'll keep for later. There were more serious flaws, the biggest of which was that the debate was not a debate. It was a media love-fest, as one of the audience rightly said in the Q&A.
The Guardian interviews Berkeley's Richard Muller about his new surface temperature record. This is a really interesting article on several levels. Firstly, it manages to mention sceptical views without denigrating them and manages to take on board Muller's support for some parts of the sceptical case without seeing him as the devil incarnate:
[For Muller to] concede that climate sceptics raise fair criticisms means acknowledging that scientists and government agencies have got things wrong, or at least could do better. But the debate around global warming is so highly charged that open discussion, which science requires, can be difficult to hold in public. At worst, criticising poor climate science can be taken as an attack on science itself, a knee-jerk reaction that has unhealthy consequences. "Scientists will jump to the defence of alarmists because they don't recognise that the alarmists are exaggerating," Muller says.
There are also some fascinating details of the new record - it will not be a gridded series, but will weight series according to how reliable they are.
Publishing an extensive set of temperature records is the first goal of Muller's project. The second is to turn this vast haul of data into an assessment on global warming. Here, the Berkeley team is going its own way again. The big three groups – Nasa, Noaa and the Met Office – work out global warming trends by placing an imaginary grid over the planet and averaging temperatures records in each square. So for a given month, all the records in England and Wales might be averaged out to give one number. Muller's team will take temperature records from individual stations and weight them according to how reliable they are.
Exciting times, I would say.