Friday, August 31, 2007

Global Warming: Doomsday Called Off (1/5)

Here is a good video to watch and save......

The Scare Tactics About Global Warming Continue.....

The politics and the media collusion concerning global warming and climate change continue. I forecast it will only increase in intensity. There is too much money to be made and lost. Witness this irresponsible article.....If these are not scare tactics, what is? MSNBC should be ashamed for publishing such sensationalistic so-called journalism.

Study: Warming will worsen inland storms
Twisters, hail, lightning 'likely to happen more often,' NASA expert says

Geography makes the central United States vulnerable to twisters like the one that ravaged the town of Greensburg, Kan., on June 4. A new study predicts more severe storms, and twisters, if global temperatures continue to rise.

WASHINGTON - As the world warms, the United States will face more severe thunderstorms with deadly lightning, damaging hail and the potential for tornadoes, a trailblazing study by NASA scientists suggests.
While other research has warned of broad weather changes on a large scale, like more extreme hurricanes and droughts, the new study predicts even smaller events like thunderstorms will be more dangerous because of global warming.
The basic ingredients for whopper U.S. inland storms are likely to be more plentiful in a warmer, moister world, said lead author Tony Del Genio, a NASA research scientist.

And when that happens, watch out.
"The strongest thunderstorms, the strongest severe storms and tornadoes are likely to happen more often and be stronger," Del Genio said Thursday from his office at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. The paper he co-authored was published online this month in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. Other scientists caution that this area of climate research is too difficult and new for this study to be definitive. But some upcoming studies also point in the same direction.

With a computer model, Del Genio explores an area that most climate scientists have avoided. Simple thunderstorms are too small for their massive models of the world's climate. So Del Genio looked at the forces that combine to make thunderstorms.
A unique combination of geography and weather patterns already makes the United States the world's hottest spot for tornadoes and severe storms in spring and summer. The large land mass that warms on hot days, the contours of the atmosphere's jet stream, the wind coming off the Rocky Mountains and warm moist air coming up from the Gulf of Mexico all combine.
Updrafts could be the keyDel Genio's computer model shows global warming will mean more strong updrafts, when the wind moves up and down instead of sideways.
"The consequences of stronger updrafts are more lightning and bigger hail," he said.
On a normal sunny day, updrafts are less than 1 mile per hour. In a big rainstorm that is not severe, it's about 2 mph. In a severe storm they could be 20 to 30 mph. The faster that updraft, the worse the storms.

The Southeast and Midwest lie in the path of most of the most dangerous of these storms.
However, the new study also forecasts danger for the Western United States. It predicts lightning will increase about 6 percent as the amount of carbon dioxide — the chief global warming gas — doubles.

Previous studies have shown that the West will get drier, making it a tinderbox for more wildfires. This study shows that there will be more matches in the form of lightning strikes to start those fires, Del Genio said. One general benefit of global warming is decreased wind shear, which is the speed of side-to-side wind as the altitude rises, Del Genio said. That would moderate the effects of updrafts.

However, during certain times of the year and under the right conditions in the Midwest and Southeast, wind shear will increase. Combine wind shear and updrafts, and damaging winds result, the scientist said. Related research, concernsOther pending and recent research, especially from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, point in the same general direction, said several scientists who weren't involved in Del Genio's study. But they said research in this area is so new that the NASA study is not the final word.

"It's certainly a plausible result," said Leo Donner, a climate modeling scientist at NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab in Princeton, N.J. Donner earlier this year came out with a study predicting more heavy rain as temperatures rise. Harold Brooks, a top scientist at NOAA's severe storms laboratory in Norman, Okla., has soon-to-be-published studies finding results similar to the new NASA study, especially when it comes to hail. Some of the severe hail that should be increasing could be baseball-sized and come down at 100 mph, "falling like a major league fastball," he said.

He said it's not possible to predict more tornadoes will result from climate change, however.
Jerry Mahlman, who used to be NOAA's top climate model expert, said that a decade ago then-Vice President Al Gore asked if global warming could cause more tornadoes. Then as now, Mahlman said that's something that's just too detailed to derive from complex climate models.
Mahlman, a scientist who has long warned about the dire consequences of global warming, cautions against going overboard on climate change links: "I'm beginning to suspect that global warming is dynamically much less sexy than people want it to be."

© 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Global Warming In Control, Naturally?

Does the Earth have a way of cooling itself, or freeing itself from excessive heat? It is obvious that it must, since heat is added every day by the sun. The question is, how effective is this cooling mechanism? Researchers at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, led by Dr. Roy Spencer, have evidence that the Earth can, and does cool itself quite nicely.

Runaway Climate Captured?
Friday, August 31, 2007
By Steven Milloy
Runaway global warming, the climate alarmist fantasy let loose on the public, has not yet been captured, but it certainly appears to have at least been cornered by new data from researchers at the University of Alabama-Huntsville (UAH).

In a study published in the American Geophysical Union's Geophysical Research Letters on Aug. 9, the UAH researchers provide more real-world evidence of the atmosphere's self-regulating nature. If this particular self-regulatory mechanism is confirmed by additional research, it will represent yet another deal-breaker for the scientific hypothesis that has propped up climate alarmism thus far.

Global warmers claim that increasing levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases are raising global temperatures. But even if this claim was true — and there is ample reason to be skeptical — greenhouse gases by themselves could only warm the planet by so much.
One of the oft-cited predictions of potential warming is that a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels from pre-industrial levels — from 280 to 560 parts per million — would alone cause average global temperature to increase by about 1.2 degrees Centigrade.
But such a modest warming by itself is unlikely to cause catastrophic climate change. At a current atmospheric carbon dioxide level of 380 parts per million, we have already observed about half that predicted temperature change without experiencing any climatic chaos.

Recognizing the ho-hum nature of such a temperature change, the alarmist camp moved on to hypothesize that even this slight warming will cause irreversible changes in the atmosphere that, in turn, will cause more warming. These alleged "positive feedback" cycles supposedly will build upon each other to cause runaway global warming, according to the alarmists.
Existing climate models, for example, assume that a warmer atmosphere will cause an increase in high-altitude cirrus clouds — a positive feedback into the climate system since cirrus clouds trap outgoing radiation emitted by the Earth.

When you feed the above-mentioned warming scenario — the doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels causing 1.2 degrees Centigrade of warming — into a climate model that has been turbo-charged with positive feedback, the resulting estimated warming increases by 250 percent to 3 degrees Centigrade.

Many have questioned the validity of the hypothetical positive feedback mechanism. Massachusetts Institute of Technology atmospheric physicist Richard Lindzen, for example, proposed in 2001 an explanation called the "iris effect" for why amplified warming has never materialized.

Based on a limited set of data, Lindzen hypothesized that cirrus clouds and associated moisture actually work in opposition to surface temperature changes. When the Earth's surface warms, Lindzen supposed, the clouds open up to allow heat to escape. A cooling surface, in turn, causes clouds to close and trap heat.

This elegant atmospheric self-regulatory mechanism was soon attacked for being based on limited data and the inability of other researchers to be able to identify the iris effect in other cloud and temperature data sets. But the new research from the University of Alabama-Huntsville supports the validity of the iris effect.

Analyzing six years of data from four instruments aboard three NASA and NOAA satellites, the UAH researchers tracked precipitation amounts, air and sea surface temperatures, high- and low-altitude cloud cover, reflected sunlight and infrared energy escaping out to space.
Rather than the hypothesized positive feedback of the climate models, the UAH data actually shows a strong negative feedback. As the tropical atmosphere warms, cirrus clouds decrease, allowing infrared heat to escape from the atmosphere to outer space.

"To give an idea of how strong this enhanced cooling mechanism is, if it was operating on global warming, it would reduce [climate model-based] estimates of future warming by 75 percent," said UAH researcher Roy Spencer in a media release. "The role of clouds in global warming is widely agreed to be pretty uncertain," Spencer said. "Right now, all climate models predict that clouds will amplify warming. I'm betting that if the climate models' 'clouds' were made to behave the way we see these clouds behave in nature, it would substantially reduce the amount of climate change the models predict for the coming decades."

If you think about it for a moment, none of this should be surprising. As explained in greater detail at, if positive feedback from warming was really a dominant climatic effect, then it should be very easy to identify by considering an unusual recent weather event — the 1997-98 El Niño event which caused temperatures to spike to the highest level since the 1930s.

But since the Earth cooled almost as abruptly as it warmed, we can only assume that no positive feedback occurred. Our El Niño experience indicates that the Earth is not precariously perched upon some critical temperature threshold beyond which a whole new type of physics takes over and runaway global warming becomes a self-perpetuating nightmare.
The seasonal heating of the hemispheres — quite a severe annual warming event — is also worthy of mention. Average surface temperature in the northern hemisphere, for example, warms by 3.8 degrees Centigrade from January to July every year without triggering any self-perpetuating positive feedback.

It is, therefore, somewhat difficult to view ongoing global temperature change — amounting to an estimated 0.6 plus or minus 0.2 degrees Centigrade over the past 120 years — as being dangerous.

No doubt the iris effect will require more research to confirm its existence. But at least real-world data encourage such research. That's a lot more than can be said for the imaginary notion of runaway climate and the climate models that are rigged to make-believe it exists.

Steven Milloy publishes and He is a junk science expert and advocate of free enterprise and an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

George Taylor, Climatologist Defending Himself From Attacks

Previously, I posted a link to a video interview with George Taylor, of Oregon State University and the Oregon State Climatologist. Here is his reply to an attack article criticizing his view that man and carbon dioxide emissions are not to blame for global warming. The vicious nature of the personal attacks on global warming skeptics is typical.

see video interview here:

George Taylor, Oregon State Climatologist, responds to the Willamette Week article written by Paul Koberstein

opening statement:
An article about me and my viewpoint on global warming was published on August 24, 2005 by Willamette Week. The article contained many misleading statements and errors. Below I address some of statements in the article with which I take issue.George H. TaylorAugust 26, 2005

willamette week article:
"He's also, according to his critics, one of the most dangerous men in Oregon."

Dangerous? I’m merely expressing an opinion that runs counter to what some people think I should be saying. But I believe that the topic of the human influence on the environment should be open to debate, and I do not believe that it is "dangerous" to discuss it.

willamette week article:
"From his third-floor office in the Strand Agriculture building at Oregon State University, Taylor, 58, a state employee who runs an agency with a half-million-dollar annual budget, is often at work discrediting the well-established scientific facts about global warming."

Not even close. State support for Oregon Climate Service is only $105,000 annually. But we share office space and personnel with the Spatial Climate Analysis Service, which gets no state money but relies on outside grants for support. Those total about $400,000 per year, for creating climate maps. Add our state support and you DO get a half-million, but the statement in the article is very misleading. I did point out to Mr. Koberstein that the state budget was much less than the combined budget, but unfortunately only the higher figure was listed.

willamette week article:
"His views have been read on the floor of the U.S. Senate and, most recently, influenced global-warming bills in Salem. In the past, he also has tried to undermine global-warming legislation in Canada."

I was asked by Canadians to write a letter expressing my views on human effects on climate, which I did. No attempt was made to influence the legislature.

willamette week article:
"'There is a valued and much-needed role for skeptics to question the prevailing view," says Philip Mote, Taylor's counterpart in Washington state and a professor at the University of Washington. "Once in a while, the skeptics are right. But there is no debate in the scientific community over whether human-caused global warming is possible or observed. The only way one could come up with that opinion is not being familiar with the scientific literature.'"

The issue is not “do humans affect climate?” Clearly there IS a human influence. The question is, “how much?” In my opinion, natural variations dominate the climate system, and will continue to do so. I have NEVER denied the human influence, but unlike Phil Mote I do not believe human impacts dominate the climate system.

willamette week article:
"Taylor manages the state Climate Service website (, which runs on a state-funded OSU server. It's peppered with criticism of global-warming theories with little rebuttal from the theories' supporters."

There is almost no mention of global warming theories on our server. There are cases where both sides of the argument are shown: for example, a statement I made about the subject as well as links to statements made in rebuttal by two of my colleagues (both of which were referenced in the WW article; I assume the writer obtained those critical statements about me from our Web site). I have endeavored to devote the OCS Web site to Oregon weather and climate issues rather than having it be a forum for global warming theories.

willamette week article:
"Taylor's position as the leading climate expert in Oregon, a state with a national environmental reputation, has given ammo to those who are hostile to the idea that the earth is warming up. On Jan. 4 of this year, Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said in a Senate floor speech, "As Oregon State University climatologist George Taylor has shown, Arctic temperatures are actually slightly cooler today than they were in the 1930s. As Dr. Taylor has explained, it's all relative.""

Journal articles show that Arctic trends are similar to US trends and Oregon trends: the warmest decade of the last 100 years was the 1930s. In Oregon and the US, the warmest year was 1934. In the Arctic, it was 1937 (references available upon request).

willamette week article:
"Accuracy about global warming matters, Mote says. By spreading misinformation about the world's most important environmental issue, Taylor can encourage people not only to have doubts about proven science, but to become complacent. "People will conclude it's still uncertain," Mote says, "so we don't have to do anything.""

The fact that humans have a minor effect on climate does not mean “we don’t have to do anything.” There are plenty of reasons to reduce our fossil-fuel use, for example, including air pollution, foreign trade, and high fuel cost. I ride a bicycle to work every day, partly for the exercise and partly to conserve resources. Most of my most vocal critics drive cars. I wish they all rode bicycles!

willamette week article:
"Scientists have had to find a different source for their climate data. They turned to tree rings, coral, and boreholes dug deep into ice and soil for information. They added some Fortran code and produced a series of results. Since the year 1000, global temperatures were essentially flat until around 1900. In the past 30 years they have been rocketing skyward. When plotted on a graph, the result looks like a hockey stick lying on the ice, its blade pointing toward the sky."

The “hockey stick” graph which appeared in Nature in 1998 and was quickly adopted by the IPCC has been the subject of three scientific journal articles in the last 12 months, all of which have shown that it contains significant errors. There is an interesting blog site by one of the reviewers at

willamette week article:
"The facts of global warming have been confirmed by hundreds of climate scientists around the world, most of whom participated in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, sponsored by the United Nations and the World Meteorological Organization. The panel issued its last report in 2001 and will update it in 2007. The IPCC says that global average surface temperatures have increased over the 20th century by about 0.6 degrees Celsius, or about 1.08 degrees Fahrenheit. Globally, it is very likely that the 1990s was the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year. But the record shows a great deal of variability; for example, most of the warming occurred during two periods, 1910 to 1945 and 1976 to 2000."

Fitting a straight line to a series that goes up and down cyclically is not always appropriate. Start a trend at a cool period (e.g., 1900) and end in a warm periods (the 1990s) and you get an upward trend. Start it at a warm period (say, the 1930s) and end it in a cool periods (1970s) and you get a negative trend. I distrust most linear trends. But what I do is ask myself, “are we seeing unprecedented climate conditions in recent years?” When the answer is “no,” as it is for Oregon, the US, and the Arctic, I’m a lot less worried than I would be if we were seeing things that have never happened before.

willamette week article:
"Satellite data confirm the results recorded by thermometers on the Earth's surface. They also show that the area of Earth covered by snow has decreased by about 10 percent since the late 1960s. Scientists have documented widespread retreats of glaciers and sea ice, and a serious thinning of the polar ice cap in the Arctic. The oceans are warmer since the 1950s, and sea levels have risen several inches in the past century."

This is very common: pick a cool decade (the 1960s) and begin a trend there. Yes, snow cover probably HAS decreased since then. That’s why I prefer to look at a longer record. Granted, we have no satellite data from the 1930s, but a perusal of temperature and snow information shows that the earlier period was significantly warmer and less snowy than the cool 1960s.

willamette week article:
"The National Academy of Sciences, the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Science all agree that humans are forcing global temperatures upward."

I am a member of the American Meteorological Society and a Certified Consulting Meteorologist. No one asked my opinion before crafting the Society’s statement. I understand the same is true of the others. And again, the human influence is acknowledged by scientists everywhere; it’s the DEGREE of influence that is being debated.

willamette week article:
"It is hard to find a single peer-reviewed journal article that agrees with Taylor's views. A report last December in the journal Science found that of 928 major peer-reviewed academic papers on the subject of climate change, all supported the consensus view that a significant fraction of recent climate change is due to human activities."

The report cited has been widely discredited. There are hundreds of journal articles which support my viewpoint (regarding historical trends in climate in the last 100 years) (references available upon request).

willamette week article:
"Another expert is Patrick Michaels, a research professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and a visiting scientist with the Marshall Institute. In a statement posted on a State of Oregon website run by Taylor, Michaels claims he doesn't see global warming as a problem; what worries him more is a global conspiracy to shut down skeptics like himself."
"Taylor himself has supplemented his government salary with oil money. On Nov. 22, 2004, the ExxonMobil-funded website Tech Central Station ("Where Free Markets Meet Technology") published the 2,300-word article by Taylor that Inhofe had read on the Senate floor. Taylor's article was a review of a report that had shown significant warming in the Arctic. Taylor, who has written seven articles on climate change for Tech Central Station, says he was paid $500 for the review."

The statement by Michaels was posted in 2001, in response to a climate statement by the National Academy of Sciences, which was also posted. I wanted to include both sides of the argument, and Dr. Michaels is a renowned expert in climate science (and State Climatologist for Virginia). Why not address both sides?

willamette week article:
"Taylor's review said the authors of the Arctic study looked at only the last 35 years, ignoring data from the 1930s that show conditions were comparable to those of today. "Why not start the trend there?" he wrote. "Because there is no net warming over the last 65 years?""
"It's not clear what report Taylor was reading. In fact, the Arctic study takes into account an entire thousand years and places the Arctic in the context of the entire globe."
"In fact, the report does list most of Taylor's references-among hundreds of others."

My review of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment was made shortly after its release in November, 2004. I reviewed a very cursory summary, and made my comments based on that summary. A longer report was issued in June, 2005, and I have not published comments on that report, but I was pleased to see that more detail and many additional references had been added. These included most of the journal articles I had listed in my review, so perhaps my review enabled the authors to bring more balance to their report. Perhaps, in a sense, I served as an unofficial peer reviewer.

willamette week article:
'"The best explanation I can come up with is, George is very tied into the conservative bent," Coakley added. "He gets all his information from the conservative-type think tanks. George picks it up and regurgitates it. Some of the stuff is half-baked at best, but sometimes it's so bad we have to call him on it and write letters to the editor. It's just not right; it just counters all the evidence.'"

Actually, I get most of my information from peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Climate, Journal of Geophysical Research, and Climate Research. The articles I write (including, for example, the Arctic article) are based on journal articles and contain full bibliographies. Admittedly, I seldom give“both sides” of the argument, because the “other side” (the one that suggests that human activities exert a dominant role in the climate system) is well-represented in journals and the media. My goal is to be a voice saying “wait, maybe there’s another side to this. Take a look at THIS data and see what you think. Then let’s talk about it.” Unfortunately, this issue has become such a divisive and angry one that ad hominem attacks have replaced dialogue..

final statement:
When I write about global climate issues, I do so on my own time from home. I'm cautious about having my opinion construed as representing the State of Oregon or Oregon State University, and I try to separate my analyses of global climate from my day to day work as the State Climatologist.

link to the Willamette Week article:
Hot or NotOregon's official weatherman has good news about global warming-it doesn't Paul Kobersteinpublished 8/24/2005

For Al Gore/NeilDiamond Fans

This is clever. I don't know how people do these things.

You have to see this......clever and baaaaad......

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Global Warming, A Voice Of Reason In A Sea Of Alarmism

Here is an excellent and serious interview with George Taylor, of Oregon State University and the Oregon State Climatologist. His is a voice of reason regarding global warming and climate change. He expresses calming, careful skepticism about man's role in climate change. He does not think carbon dioxide emissions are the great evil that is so prevalent an idea in today's popular perceptions. He cautions against alarmism and over-reaction. This is very much worth viewing and considering.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Wealthy Protected From Wildfires

With all the media attention on wildfires, with the dramatic video images on the nightly news, and the effort to find blame for the loss of lives and property, I thought this was an interesting article. If you have the money, you can be protected. I say fine, as long as it is not done at taxpayers expense.

Listen to the wealth some of these people have. And this is not limited to Sun Valley, Idaho; this is all across the American West, and I'm sure other places. Is it right for taxpayers (Forest Service firefighters) to pay to protect the luxurious estates of the wealthy who choose to build on the edge of National Forests that have burned in the past, and will certainly burn again in the future?
What do you all think?


The Wealthy Get an Extra Shield for Wildfires
Published: August 28, 2007
KETCHUM, Idaho, Aug. 26 — The wind shifted, and suddenly the wildfire that has been raging just west of these exclusive high desert hills appeared closer than ever to Al LaPeter’s 7,000 square feet of the sweet life.
Tom Futral and Mark Keuter prepare to spray fire retardant on Al LaPeter’s home in Idaho.
“Oh, God,” Mr. LaPeter said.
Then he exhaled, and relaxed. After all, he has insurance. His big house on the Big Wood River? The Ferrari 430 Spider in the garage? The immaculate Model A Ford? Covered. Literally.
Right then and there, Tom Futral, a guy from Montana with a spray gun and a truckload of the magical goop that has quickly become the envy of the second-home set in this pricey part of the parched West, was applying fire retardant to Mr. LaPeter’s shake roof and wood house, courtesy of his insurer, the AIG Private Client Group.

“They called me,” Mr. LaPeter, 62, said. “I didn’t even know that they did this.”
That may be because this is the first time in memory that a wildfire has so closely threatened the A-list redoubts of Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley (there are $3.7 billion in assets to protect, according to the incident commander leading the fire fight), and it is the first time AIG has deployed a crew to Idaho as part of its Wildfire Protection Unit for high-end clients who are willing to pay what the company says is an average of $10,000 annually for homeowner’s insurance.

The company, which insurance industry experts say is the only major insurer applying emergency fire retardant as part of some policies, has offered the service since 2005 in parts of California and Colorado. But increasing development at the fringes of national forests, recent drought and higher temperatures are combining to expand the risk of property damage and expand the AIG client list. Last year, the insurer sent crews to fires in Montana and Texas. Federal firefighters largely welcome the help.

“There are people that are building in places where they never used to build before,” said Dorothy Sarna, vice president and national director of risk management for AIG Private Client Group. “They’re getting more and more into what we call the urban interface,” where development meets publicly owned wilderness.

The Forest Service has emphasized that the federal government needs help protecting structures given the increase in private development next to public lands.
Of the assist from AIG, Don Smurthwaite, a spokesman for the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, said, “We don’t see any downside to it. The homeowner receives added protection, the insurer may be able to avoid a large payoff and it frees up firefighters to work on suppression rather than protecting structures. That’s one of the big changes in firefighting in the last 20 years. People are moving into areas that have burned historically.”

AIG is not alone in offering premium service for higher premiums. Several companies, including Chubb and Fireman’s Fund, will help prepare homes in advance of wildfires by creating plans for clearing the kind of brush and branches that become fire fuel and, for a fee, sometimes hiring contractors to do the work. Insurers provide similarly specialized service to limit damage from hurricanes, such as specifying what kind of shutters a house should have and which valuable furnishings should be moved where in the event of flooding and quickly coming out to cover damaged roofs.

But out West, AIG is taking special treatment to a new level. It has a contract with Firebreak Spray Systems to deploy crews to apply retardant wherever policy holders are threatened by wildfire. This year, the fire season has been so busy and widespread that Firebreak has had to subcontract work in Idaho to Mr. Futral, a distributor of Phos-Chek, the fertilizer-like retardant Firebreak uses. Firebreak and Mr. Futral also install permanent sprinkler systems that can be activated remotely, even by cellphone, to spray retardant on homes when their owners are away.

The Phos-Chek used by the companies is clear, but Firebreak says it is chemically similar to the red-dyed retardant wildfire crews have been dropping on parts of Bald Mountain and the Sawtooth National Forest since the fire, known as the Castle Rock fire, broke out last week. The fire has expanded to about 25,000 acres, though part of the increase is because of “burn-back” efforts to keep fire from reaching populated areas. So far no structures have been lost.
Jeanne Pincha-Tulley, the incident commander with the United States Forest Service who was overseeing the crew of 1,300 that was fighting the fire over the weekend, is based in fire-prone California and said that in three decades of firefighting she had never heard of an insurance company showing up to spray retardant on homes while a fire is threatening.
“That’s a first, I have to admit,” Ms. Pincha-Tulley said. “But that’s the kind of affluence there is here.”

Mr. Futral said he and an employee expected to treat 40 or more of the approximately 200 houses that AIG Private Client Group insures in the area, and that his list was growing rapidly as people had heard about the service or simply seen neighbors being given the treatment.
Mr. LaPeter, who owns shopping centers and splits his time between Idaho and Maui, said the service might be a security blanket for the rich, but that it was also good business.
“At first I thought, I’ve never heard of an insurance company coming and doing that. But, duh! Of course they should,” he said. “I mean, compare the cost of these guys’ coming out to the cost of replacing a $3 million or $4 million home.”

Mr. Futral weighed in. “Save one $10 million house and it pencils out pretty quickly,” he said. “And there are a lot of nice homes here — Arnold Schwarzenegger, Clint Eastwood.”
He stopped short of saying whose houses he had sprayed. Ms. Sarna, of AIG, acknowledged a business incentive but said the priority was “making sure people don’t lose their home.”
Mr. Futral said he has had to procure permission from Ms. Pincha-Tulley to enter some evacuated areas.

All is not lost for homeowners who lack high-end coverage. Some private fire-protection companies will apply various kinds of retardants for a one-time fee — Mr. Futral said he would do so for $800 to $1,000. Thermo-Gel, based in North Dakota, has been applying a retardant to some homes near the Castle Rock fire. And when houses are severely threatened, fire officials say, firefighting crews are often stationed at individual houses, where they may cut down trees, clear brush and wet roads, roofs and landscaping.

But the idea of an extra ounce of prevention for those who can afford it has a special allure here where plenty of people can.
Michel Lalanne, who splits his time between Sun Valley and France, watched Mr. Futral apply retardant to a house across the street and asked whether he might obtain his services for a price, even though he was not covered by AIG Private Client Group.
“He said, ‘No,’ ” Mr. Lalanne said. “ ‘We’ve got a long list.’ ”

Britain Having Second Thoughts About Climate Change Bandwagon?

This article caught my eye, note it is from "grist" the online environmental website. It seems that at least some people in Britain are questioning the logic of focusing completely on the global warming and climate change issue, to the detriment of other more pressing environmental issues. I think maybe people are beginning to see what a big scam the global warming scare-mongers are pulling off. They don't like it, and they are going to like it even less as it continues.


Brit's Eye View: Are we too obsessed with climate change?
Other enviro issues are getting less attention
Posted by Peter Madden at 4:23 AM on 21 Aug 2007

Peter Madden, chief executive of Forum for the Future, writes a monthly column for Gristmill on sustainability in the U.K. and Europe.
Are we too obsessed by climate change? Over here, climate change is coming to completely dominate the sustainability agenda. This is true in politics, business, the media, and civil society.
I was talking to our new secretary of state for the environment, Hilary Benn, the other day, about his department's strategy. He argued that all the other issues -- such as air quality, waste, water, and so on -- could all be dealt with under the climate change umbrella; government action on climate change would deliver for the other issues, and vice versa.

When we talk to companies or public authorities, it is the same. All they want is advice on going low-carbon. And since this is where the money and political attention are going, the NGO activity seems to follow, reinforcing the trend.
Of course, this is a good thing in many ways. Climate change is the major challenge we face. Sir David King, the U.K. Government's chief scientific advisor, was right when he reminded his government colleagues that "climate change is a far greater threat to the world than international terrorism."

For those of us who want to see green thinking integrated into other areas of life, climate change works well. It can't be thought of as peripheral. It will affect everything, including how we run the economy and how we live our lives.

I worry, however, that we risk missing other important stuff too. Twenty-five years ago we hardly knew about climate change, which was then mostly the preserve of a few scientists. Pollution, biodiversity loss, waste, resource use, and protection of special habitats were the things that obsessed us; and they should be still.
Of course, climate change will touch everything. If the earth warms as predicted, we may not have tropical forests or the special habitats we are trying to protect. On this basis, many argue that we should focus solely on climate change. There is some merit in this argument. But I also think that an overemphasis on climate change does bring some risks.

Climate change does not touch people in the heart. It is a very complicated concept to get across. This is fine for people who deal well with graphs, and projections, and abstract concepts. But we all need to relate to real-life experiences, too. Very few of the public are motivated and changed by rational abstractions, or by things that won't happen for decades.

The environment most of us experience is the one we meet when we step outside our front doors. We need to respect and tap into more immediate motivations for people. This is a lesson the green movement in the U.K. learned back in the early 1990s. The major environmental groups were so focused on big, faraway issues that ordinary people switched off. Instead, there was a flowering of local protest groups concerned with their own backyards.

Is there also a danger that policy-makers can use the long-term nature of climate change as an excuse not to take action on other issues today? By talking up targets for 2020 and 2050, we might miss urgent problems that are with us now, such as overfishing, deforestation, and the loss of species.

There certainly are trade-offs between tackling different environmental issues. And with a limited pot of money, other important areas can suffer. Policies can be in conflict, too. Remember the catalytic converter in the 1980s: good for tackling pollution, but bad for fuel efficiency. And bad for biofuels today, which may be good news for tackling climate change; but if poorly sourced, is very bad news for orangutans.

This is a difficult one to call. Climate change is a huge problem, and maybe we should give it priority over everything else. Or maybe we could do a better job of remembering that there are other important environmental issues out there.

Chilled Global Warming Fears

It is better if I post the entire message:


New Peer-Reviewed Scientific Studies Chill Global Warming Fears
August 20, 2007
New Peer-Reviewed Scientific Studies Chill Global Warming Fears
Posted By Marc Morano – Marc_Morano@EPW.Senate.Gov – 4:44 PM ET
Washington DC – An abundance of new peer-reviewed studies, analysis, and data error discoveries in the last several months has prompted scientists to declare that fear of catastrophic man-made global warming “bites the dust” and the scientific underpinnings for alarm may be “falling apart.” The latest study to cast doubt on climate fears finds that even a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide would not have the previously predicted dire impacts on global temperatures. This new study is not unique, as a host of recent peer-reviewed studies have cast a chill on global warming fears.

“Anthropogenic (man-made) global warming bites the dust,” declared astronomer Dr. Ian Wilson after reviewing the new study which has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Geophysical Research. Another scientist said the peer-reviewed study overturned “in one fell swoop” the climate fears promoted by the UN and former Vice President Al Gore. The study entitled “Heat Capacity, Time Constant, and Sensitivity of Earth’s Climate System,” was authored by Brookhaven National Lab scientist Stephen Schwartz. (LINK)

“Effectively, this (new study) means that the global economy will spend trillions of dollars trying to avoid a warming of ~ 1.0 K by 2100 A.D.” Dr. Wilson wrote in a note to the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee on August 19, 2007. Wilson, a former operations astronomer at the Hubble Space Telescope Institute in Baltimore MD, was referring to the trillions of dollars that would be spent under such international global warming treaties like the Kyoto Protocol.

“Previously, I have indicated that the widely accepted values for temperature increase associated with a doubling of CO2 were far too high i.e. 2 – 4.5 Kelvin. This new peer-reviewed paper claims a value of 1.1 +/- 0.5 K increase for a doubling of CO2,” he added.
Climate fears reduced to ‘children’s games’
Other scientists are echoing Wilson’s analysis. Former Harvard physicist Dr. Lubos Motl said the new study has reduced proponents of man-made climate fears to “playing the children’s game to scare each other.”

“Recall that most of the 1.1 degree - about 0.7 degrees - has already occurred since the beginning of the industrial era. This fact itself is an indication that the climate sensitivity is unlikely to be much greater than 1 Celsius degree: the effect of most of the doubling has already been made and it led to 0.7 K of warming,” Motl wrote in an August 17, 2007 blog post. (LINK)
“By the end of the (CO2) doubling i.e. 560 ppm (parts per million) expected slightly before (the year) 2100 -- assuming a business-as-usual continued growth of CO2 that has been linear for some time -- Schwartz and others would expect 0.4 C of extra warming only - a typical fluctuation that occurs within four months and certainly nothing that the politicians should pay attention to,” Motl explained.

“As far as I can say, all the people who end up with 2 or even 3 Celsius degrees for the climate sensitivity are just playing the children's game to scare each other, as [MIT climate scientist] Richard Lindzen says, by making artificial biased assumptions about positive feedbacks. There is no reasonable, balanced, and self-consistent work that would lead to such a relatively high sensitivity,” Motl concluded.

Overturning IPCC consensus ‘in one fell swoop’
The new study was also touted as “overturning the UN IPCC ‘consensus’ in one fell swoop” by the American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) Joel Schwartz in an August 17, 2007 blog post. (LINK)
“New research from Stephen Schwartz of Brookhaven National Lab concludes that the Earth’s climate is only about one-third as sensitive to carbon dioxide as the IPCC assumes,” wrote AEI’s Schwartz, who hold a master’s degree in planetary science from the California Institute of Technology.

The study’s “result is 63% lower than the IPCC’s estimate of 3 degrees C for a doubling of CO2 (2.0–4.5 degrees C, 2SD range). Right now we’re about 41% above the estimated pre-industrial CO2 level of 270 ppm. At the current rate of increase of about 0.55% per year, CO2 will double around 2070. Based on Schwartz’s results, we should expect about a 0.6 degrees C additional increase in temperature between now and 2070 due to this additional CO2. That doesn’t seem particularly alarming,” AEI’s Schwartz explained.

“In other words, there’s hardly any additional warming ‘in the pipeline’ from previous greenhouse gas emissions. This is in contrast to the IPCC, which predicts that the Earth’s average temperature will rise an additional 0.6 degrees C during the 21st Century even if greenhouse gas concentrations stopped increasing,” he added.

“Along with dozens of other studies in the scientific literature, [this] new study belies Al Gore’s claim that there is no legitimate scholarly alternative to climate catastrophism. Indeed, if Schwartz’s results are correct, that alone would be enough to overturn in one fell swoop the IPCC’s scientific ‘consensus’, the environmentalists’ climate hysteria, and the political pretext for the energy-restriction policies that have become so popular with the world’s environmental regulators, elected officials, and corporations. The question is, will anyone in the mainstream media notice?” AEI’s Schwartz concluded.

UK officially admits: Global warming has stopped!
Recent scientific studies may make 2007 go down in history as the "tipping point" of man-made global warming fears. A progression of peer-reviewed studies have been published which serve to debunk the United Nations, former Vice President Al Gore, and the media engineered “consensus” on climate change.
Paleoclimate scientist Bob Carter, who has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works (LINK), noted in a June 18, 2007 essay that global warming has stopped.

“The accepted global average temperature statistics used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that no ground-based warming has occurred since 1998. Oddly, this eight-year-long temperature stasis has occurred despite an increase over the same period of 15 parts per million (or 4 per cent) in atmospheric CO2. Second, lower atmosphere satellite-based temperature measurements, if corrected for non-greenhouse influences such as El Nino events and large volcanic eruptions, show little if any global warming since 1979, a period over which atmospheric CO2 has increased by 55 ppm (17 %),” (LINK)

In August 2007, the UK Met Office was finally forced to concede the obvious: global warming has stopped. (LINK) The UK Met Office acknowledged the flat lining of global temperatures, but in an apparent attempt to keep stoking man-made climate alarm, the Met Office is now promoting more unproven dire computer model projections of the future. They now claim climate computer models predict “global warming will begin in earnest in 2009” because greenhouse emissions will then overtake natural climate variability.

Meteorologist Joseph Conklin, who launched the skeptical website in 2007, recently declared the “global warming movement [is] falling apart.”
“A few months ago, a study came out that demonstrated global temperatures have leveled off. But instead of possibly admitting that this whole global warming thing is a farce, a group of British scientists concluded that the real global warming won’t start until 2009,” Conklin wrote in an August 10, 2007 blog post on his website. (LINK)

But the credibility of these computer model predictions took a significant hit in June 2007 when Dr. Jim Renwick, a top UN IPCC scientist, admitted that climate models do not account for half the variability in nature and thus are not reliable. (LINK) In addition, Dr. Hendrik Tennekes, former CEO and director of research for the Netherlands Royal National Meteorological Institute, recently compared scientists who promote computer models predicting future climate doom to unlicensed “software engineers" who were "unqualified to sell their products to society." (LINK)

Sampling of very recent inconvenient scientific developments for proponents of catastrophic man-made global warming:
1) New peer-reviewed study finds global warming over last century linked to natural causes: Published in Geophysical Research Letters: Excerpt: “Tsonis et al. investigate the collective behavior of known climate cycles such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, the El Nino/Southern Oscillation, and the North Pacific Oscillation. By studying the last 100 years of these cycles' patterns, they find that the systems synchronized several times. Further, in cases where the synchronous state was followed by an increase in the coupling strength among the cycles, the synchronous state was destroyed. Then a new climate state emerged, associated with global temperature changes and El Nino/Southern Oscillation variability. The authors show that this mechanism explains all global temperature tendency changes and El Nino variability in the 20th century. Authors: Anastasios A. Tsonis, Kyle Swanson, and Sergey Kravtsov: Atmospheric Sciences Group, Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A. See August 2, 2007 Science Daily – “Synchronized Chaos: Mechanisms For Major Climate Shifts” (LINK)

2) Belgian weather institute’s (RMI) August 2007 study dismisses decisive role of CO2 in warming: Excerpt: "Brussels: CO2 is not the big bogeyman of climate change and global warming. This is the conclusion of a comprehensive scientific study done by the Royal Meteorological Institute, which will be published this summer. The study does not state that CO2 plays no role in warming the earth. "But it can never play the decisive role that is currently attributed to it", climate scientist Luc Debontridder said. "Not CO2, but water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas. It is responsible for at least 75 % of the greenhouse effect. This is a simple scientific fact, but Al Gore's movie has hyped CO2 so much that nobody seems to take note of it." said Debontridder. "Every change in weather conditions is blamed on CO2. But the warm winters of the last few years (in Belgium) are simply due to the 'North-Atlantic Oscillation'. And this has absolutely nothing to do with CO2," he added. (LINK)

3) New peer-reviewed study on Surface Warming and the Solar Cycle: Excerpt: The study found that times of high solar activity are on average 0.2 degrees C warmer than times of low solar activity, and that there is a polar amplification of the warming. This result is the first to document a statistically significant globally coherent temperature response to the solar cycle, the authors note. Authors: Charles D. Camp and Ka Kit Tung: Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. Source: Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) paper 10.1029/2007GL030207, 2007 (LINK)

4) New peer-reviewed study finds clouds may greatly reduce global warming: Excerpt: This study published on August 9, 2007 in the Geophysical Research Letters finds that climate models fail test against real clouds. "To give an idea of how strong this enhanced cooling mechanism is, if it was operating on global warming, it would reduce estimates of future warming by over 75 percent," Dr. Roy Spencer said. "At least 80 percent of the Earth's natural greenhouse effect is due to water vapor and clouds, and those are largely under the control of precipitation systems. Until we understand how precipitation systems change with warming, I don't believe we can know how much of our current warming is manmade. Without that knowledge, we can't predict future climate change with any degree of certainty," Spencer added. The paper was co-authored by University of Alabama Huntsville's Dr. John R. Christy and Dr. W. Danny Braswell, and Dr. Justin Hnilo of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA. (LINK)

5) New peer-reviewed study finds that the solar system regulates the earth’s climate - The paper, authored by Richard Mackey, is published in the Journal of Coastal Research - Excerpt: “According to the findings reviewed in this paper, the variable output of the sun, the sun’s gravitational relationship between the earth (and the moon) and earth’s variable orbital relationship with the sun, regulate the earth’s climate. The processes by which the sun affects the earth show periodicities on many time scales; each process is stochastic and immensely complex. (LINK) & (LINK)

6) A July 2007 review of 539 abstracts in peer-reviewed scientific journals from 2004 through 2007 found that climate science continues to shift toward the views of global warming skeptics. Excerpt: “There appears to be little evidence in the learned journals to justify the climate-change alarm.” (LINK)

7) Chinese scientists Lin Zhen-Shan, and Sun Xian’s 2007 study, published in the peer-reviewed Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, noted that CO2’s impact on warming may be “excessively exaggerated.” Excerpt: “The global climate warming is not solely affected by the CO2 greenhouse effect. The best example is temperature obviously cooling however atmospheric CO2 concentration is ascending from 1940s to 1970s. Although the CO2 greenhouse effect on global climate change is unsuspicious, it could have been excessively exaggerated. It is high time to reconsider the trend of global climate change,” the two scientists concluded. (LINK) & (LINK)

8) Several recent scientific studies have debunked a media hyped UK study alleging there has not been a solar-climate link in the past 20 years. Excerpt: “The earth temperature does respond to the solar cycle as confirmed by numerous studies. The 11 year solar cycle is clearly shown in sediment cores obtained from Effington Inlet, Vancouver Island, B.C. by Dr. Tim Patterson, and in records of the Nile River , to name just two studies.” (LINK) & (LINK) & (LINK)

9) An August 2007 NASA temperature data error discovery has lead to 1934 -- not the previously hyped 1998 -- being declared the hottest in U.S. history since records began. Revised data now reveals four of the top ten hottest years in the U.S. were in the 1930's while only three of the hottest years occurred in the last decade. Excerpt: "NASA has yet to own up fully to its historic error in misinterpreting US surface temperatures to conform to the Global Warming hypothesis, as discovered by Stephen McIntyre at" (LINK) [EPW Blog note: 80% of man-made CO2 emissions occurred after 1940. (LINK) ]

10) Numerous U.S. temperature collection data errors exposed by team of researchers led by Meteorologist Anthony Watts in 2007 (LINK) - “The (U.S.) National Climate Data Center (NCDC) is in the middle of a scandal. Their global observing network, the heart and soul of surface weather measurement, is a disaster. Urbanization has placed many sites in unsuitable locations — on hot black asphalt, next to trash burn barrels, beside heat exhaust vents, even attached to hot chimneys and above outdoor grills! The data and approach taken by many global warming alarmists is seriously flawed. If the global data were properly adjusted for urbanization and station siting, and land use change issues were addressed, what would emerge is a cyclical pattern of rises and falls with much less of any background trend,” Meteorologist Joseph Conklin wrote in an August 10, 2007 blog post. (LINK)

11) Team of Scientists Question Validity Of A 'Global Temperature' – The study was published in Journal of Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics. Excerpt from a March 18, 2007 article in Science Daily: “Discussions on global warming often refer to 'global temperature.' Yet the concept is thermodynamically as well as mathematically an impossibility, says Bjarne Andresen, a professor at The Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, who has analyzed this topic in collaboration with professors Christopher Essex from University of Western Ontario and Ross McKitrick from University of Guelph, Canada.” The Science Daily article reads: "It is impossible to talk about a single temperature for something as complicated as the climate of Earth", Bjarne Andresen says, an expert of thermodynamics. "A temperature can be defined only for a homogeneous system. Furthermore, the climate is not governed by a single temperature. Rather, differences of temperatures drive the processes and create the storms, sea currents, thunder, etc. which make up the climate.” He explains that while it is possible to treat temperature statistically locally, it is meaningless to talk about a global temperature for Earth.

The Globe consists of a huge number of components which one cannot just add up and average. That would correspond to calculating the average phone number in the phone book. That is meaningless. Or talking about economics, it does make sense to compare the currency exchange rate of two countries, whereas there is no point in talking about an average 'global exchange rate.’” The article concludes: “Thus claims of disaster may be a consequence of which averaging method has been used, the researchers point out.” (LINK)

12) A July 2007 analysis of peer-reviewed literature thoroughly debunks fears of Greenland and the Arctic melting and predictions of a frightening sea level rise. In addition, the latest scientific study reveals Antarctica is not following predicted global warming models. [See July 30, 2007 - Latest Scientific Studies Refute Fears of Greenland Melt – (LINK) ]

13) Even the alarmist UN has cut sea level rise estimates dramatically since 2001 and has reduced man’s estimated impact on the climate by 25%. Meanwhile a separate 2006 UN report found that cow emissions are more damaging to the planet than all of the CO2 emissions from cars and trucks. (LINK)

14) A May 2007 Senate Environment & Public Works report detailed a sampling of scientists who were once believers in man-made global warming and who now are skeptical. [See May 15, 2007 report: Climate Momentum Shifting: Prominent Scientists Reverse Belief in Man-made Global Warming - Now Skeptics: Growing Number of Scientists Convert to Skeptics After Reviewing New Research – (LINK) ]

15) An upcoming Fall 2007 blockbuster U.S. Senate report is set to be released that will feature a sampling of peer-reviewed studies and hundreds of scientists (many current and former UN scientists) who have spoken out recently against Gore, the UN, and the media engineered climate “consensus.” Please keep checking this blog for updates.

Prominent scientists speak out to calm CO2 emission fears
Many prominent scientists have spoken out in 2007 to debunk many fears relating to increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Climatologist Dr. Timothy Ball recently explained that one of the reasons climate models are failing is because they overestimate the warming effect of CO2 in the atmosphere. Ball described how CO2’s warming impact diminishes. “Even if CO2 concentration doubles or triples, the effect on temperature would be minimal. The relationship between temperature and CO2 is like painting a window black to block sunlight. The first coat blocks most of the light. Second and third coats reduce very little more. Current CO2 levels are like the first coat of black paint,” Ball explained in a June 6, 2007 article in Canada Free Press. (LINK)

Boston College paleoclimatologist Dr. Amy Frappier recently explained how carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can cease to have a warming impact. Frappier noted in a February 1, 2007 article in Boston College’s newspaper The Heights, that greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere do not consistently continue to have a warming effect on Earth, but the impact of the gases instead stabilize and cease having a warming effect.

"At some point the heat-trapping capacity of [CO2] and its effect gets saturated," said Frappier, "and you don't have increased heating." (LINK) "The geologic record shows that many millions of years ago, CO2 levels were indeed higher - in some cases many times higher - than today," Frappier, who believes mankind is having an impact on the climate, explained. According the article, Frappier criticizes Gore because “the movie (An Inconvenient Truth) fails to mention any ancient incongruity between carbon dioxide and temperature.”

Spitting outside has ‘same effect’ as doubling CO2
In May 2007, the “father of meteorology” Dr. Reid Bryson, the founding chairman of the Department of Meteorology at University of Wisconsin, dismissed fears of increased man-made CO2 in the atmosphere.
“You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide,” Bryson, who has been identified by the British Institute of Geographers as the most frequently cited climatologist in the world, said. (LINK) “All this argument is the temperature going up or not, it’s absurd. Of course it’s going up. It has gone up since the early 1800s, before the Industrial Revolution, because we’re coming out of the Little Ice Age, not because we’re putting more carbon dioxide into the air,” Bryson added.

‘Temperature drives CO2’
Ivy League geologist Dr. Robert Giegengack, the chair of Department of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania, recently spoke out against fears of rising CO2 impacts promoted by Gore and others. Giegengack does not even consider global warming among the top ten environmental problems.

“In terms of [global warming’s] capacity to cause the human species harm, I don’t think it makes it into the top 10,” Giegengack said in an interview in the May/June 2007 issue of the Pennsylvania Gazette. (LINK) Giegengack also noted “for most of Earth’s history, the globe has been warmer than it has been for the last 200 years. It has rarely been cooler.” (LINK) “[Gore] claims that temperature increases solely because more CO2 in the atmosphere traps the sun’s heat. That’s just wrong … It’s a natural interplay. As temperature rises, CO2 rises, and vice versa,” Giegengack explained. “It’s hard for us to say that CO2 drives temperature. It’s easier to say temperature drives CO2,” he added. (LINK)

“Certain ‘feedback loops’ naturally control the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. A warmer temperature drives gases out of solution in the ocean and releases them,” he continued. “[Today, humans] are putting 6.5 billion tons of fossil-fuel carbon into the atmosphere, and only 3.5 billion is staying there, so 3 billion tons is going somewhere else. In the past, when the Earth’s climate rose, CO2 came out of the ocean, the soils, and the permafrost. Today as temperatures rise, excess CO2 is instead going into those and other reservoirs. This reversed flux is very important. Because of this, if we reduced the rate at which we put carbon into the atmosphere, it won’t reduce the concentration in the atmosphere; CO2 is just going to come back out of these reservoirs ... If we were to stop manufacturing CO2 tomorrow, we wouldn’t see the effects of that for generations,” Giegengack said.

Man-made CO2 equivalent to linoleum on first floor of 100 story building
Meteorologist Joseph D’Aleo, the first Director of Meteorology at The Weather Channel and former chairman of the American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) Committee on Weather Analysis and Forecasting, explained how miniscule mankind’s CO2 emissions are in relation to the atmosphere.

“If the atmosphere was a 100 story building, our annual anthropogenic CO2 contribution today would be equivalent to the linoleum on the first floor,” D’Aleo wrote in an August 15, 2007 blog on his website (LINK)

“Carbon dioxide is 0.000383 of our atmosphere by volume (0.038%). Only 2.75% of atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic in origin. The amount we emit is said to be up from 1% a decade ago. Despite the increase in emissions, the rate of change of atmospheric carbon dioxide at Mauna Loa remains the same as the long term average (+0.45%/year). We are responsible for just 0.001% of this atmosphere. If the atmosphere was a 100 story building, our anthropogenic CO2 contribution today would be equivalent to the linoleum on the first floor. This is likely because the oceans are a far more important sink for excess carbon dioxide than generally accepted,” he explained.

NASA's James Hansen calls climate skeptics ‘court jesters’
In the face of this growing surge of scientific research and the increasing number of scientists speaking out, NASA scientist James Hansen wrote this past week that skeptics of a predicted climate catastrophe were engaging in “deceit” and were nothing more than “court jesters.”
“The contrarians will be remembered as court jesters. There is no point to joust with court jesters. They will always be present,” Hanson wrote on August 16, 2007. (LINK) & (LINK) & (LINK) [EPW Blog Note: It is ironic to have accusations of ‘deceit’ coming from a man who conceded in a 2003 issue of Natural Science that the use of “extreme scenarios" to dramatize global warming “may have been appropriate at one time” to drive the public's attention to the issue --- a disturbing admission by a prominent scientist. (LINK) Also worth noting is Hansen’s humorous allegation that he was muzzled by the current Administration despite the fact he did over 1400 on-the-job media interviews. (LINK) ]

If the scientific case is so strong for predictions of catastrophic man-made global warming, why do its promoters like Hansen and his close ally Gore feel the need to resort to insults and intimidation when attempting to silence skeptics? [EPW Blog Note: Gore and Hansen are not alone - See: EPA to Probe E-mail Threatening to ‘Destroy’ Career of Climate Skeptic - LINK ]
Media continues to ignore growing scientific evidence
The mainstream media’s response to these recent scientific developments casting significant doubt on warming fears has been – utter silence.

In fact, the media is continuing to promote the unfounded scaremongering of both Gore and actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Both Newsweek (LINK) and NBC Nightly News (LINK) thoroughly embarrassed themselves recently with “news” items on global warming. (EPW Blog Note: Newsweek’s cover article featured such shoddy reporting that the magazine was forced to debunk itself in the very next issue, as one of its own editors slapped the magazine down for a “highly contrived” and “ fundamentally misleading” article on global warming. See: (LINK) ]
# # #

Related Links:
Cutting Emissions May Cost U.S. Economy Up to $1.8 Trillion
Senators Propose $4500 Climate Tax on American Families
Newsweek Editor Calls Mag's Global Warming 'Deniers' Article 'Highly Contrived'
Newsweek's Climate Editorial Screed Violates Basic Standards of Journalism
Latest Scientific Studies Refute Fears of Greenland Melt
EPA to Probe E-mail Threatening to ‘Destroy’ Career of Climate Skeptic
Prominent Scientists Reverse Belief in Man-made Global Warming - Now Skeptics
Senator Inhofe declares climate momentum shifting away from Gore (The Politico op ed)
Scientific Smackdown: Skeptics Voted The Clear Winners Against Global Warming Believers in Heated NYC Debate
Global Warming on Mars & Cosmic Ray Research Are Shattering Media Driven "Consensus’
Global Warming: The Momentum has Shifted to Climate Skeptics
Prominent French Scientist Reverses Belief in Global Warming - Now a Skeptic
Top Israeli Astrophysicist Recants His Belief in Manmade Global Warming - Now Says Sun Biggest Factor in Warming
Warming On Jupiter, Mars, Pluto, Neptune's Moon & Earth Linked to Increased Solar Activity, Scientists Say
Panel of Broadcast Meteorologists Reject Man-Made Global Warming Fears- Claim 95% of Weathermen Skeptical
MIT Climate Scientist Calls Fears of Global Warming 'Silly' - Equates Concerns to ‘Little Kids’ Attempting to "Scare Each Other"
Weather Channel TV Host Goes 'Political'- Stars in Global Warming Film Accusing U.S. Government of ‘Criminal Neglect’
Weather Channel Climate Expert Calls for Decertifying Global Warming Skeptics
ABC-TV Meteorologist: I Don't Know A Single Weatherman Who Believes 'Man-Made Global Warming Hype'
The Weather Channel Climate Expert Refuses to Retract Call for Decertification for Global Warming Skeptics
Senator Inhofe Announces Public Release Of "Skeptic’s Guide To Debunking Global Warming"
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Global Warming Fears Chilled

Happy Days are here again......we can now sleep more comfortably.

August 20, 2007
New Peer-Reviewed Scientific Studies Chill Global Warming Fears
Posted By Marc Morano – Marc_Morano@EPW.Senate.Gov – 4:44 PM ET
Washington DC – An abundance of new peer-reviewed studies, analysis, and data error discoveries in the last several months has prompted scientists to declare that fear of catastrophic man-made global warming “bites the dust” and the scientific underpinnings for alarm may be “falling apart.” The latest study to cast doubt on climate fears finds that even a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide would not have the previously predicted dire impacts on global temperatures. This new study is not unique, as a host of recent peer-reviewed studies have cast a chill on global warming fears.

“Anthropogenic (man-made) global warming bites the dust,” declared astronomer Dr. Ian Wilson after reviewing the new study which has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Geophysical Research. Another scientist said the peer-reviewed study overturned “in one fell swoop” the climate fears promoted by the UN and former Vice President Al Gore. The study entitled “Heat Capacity, Time Constant, and Sensitivity of Earth’s Climate System,” was authored by Brookhaven National Lab scientist Stephen Schwartz. (LINK)

“Effectively, this (new study) means that the global economy will spend trillions of dollars trying to avoid a warming of ~ 1.0 K by 2100 A.D.” Dr. Wilson wrote in a note to the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee on August 19, 2007. Wilson, a former operations astronomer at the Hubble Space Telescope Institute in Baltimore MD, was referring to the trillions of dollars that would be spent under such international global warming treaties like the Kyoto Protocol.

“Previously, I have indicated that the widely accepted values for temperature increase associated with a doubling of CO2 were far too high i.e. 2 – 4.5 Kelvin. This new peer-reviewed paper claims a value of 1.1 +/- 0.5 K increase for a doubling of CO2,” he added.

Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide Before It Is Too Late!

I may have posted this before, but it is worth a repeat.

Here is the video........asking to ban Dihydrogen monoxide....

Monday, August 27, 2007

Important News......

New from

Great Global Warming Swindle Now Available on DVD!
'The Great Global Warming Swindle' is now available on DVD at the Store. It's not available anywhere else.

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China Roars, Pollution Soars

Is air and water pollution a major problem? It sure is in China. Read the following article. The problem in China defies comprehension, as does any possible short term solution. Considering what is happening in China puts global warming and climate change in perspective. Our problems here in the US are minor by comparison. The air pollution created in China is transmitted around the world, and it can not be ignored. What to do about it is a major question.

China is a force that is going to have to be carefully considered by all governments, everywhere in the world. It seems the worst is yet to come.


As China Roars, Pollution Reaches Deadly Extremes
Published: August 26, 2007
BEIJING, Aug. 25 — No country in history has emerged as a major industrial power without creating a legacy of environmental damage that can take decades and big dollops of public wealth to undo.
China’s cement factories, like this one in Ningxia Province, use 45 percent more power than the world average, and its steel makers use about 20 percent more.

But just as the speed and scale of China’s rise as an economic power have no clear parallel in history, so its pollution problem has shattered all precedents. Environmental degradation is now so severe, with such stark domestic and international repercussions, that pollution poses not only a major long-term burden on the Chinese public but also an acute political challenge to the ruling Communist Party. And it is not clear that China can rein in its own economic juggernaut.
Public health is reeling. Pollution has made cancer China’s leading cause of death, the Ministry of Health says. Ambient air pollution alone is blamed for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. Nearly 500 million people lack access to safe drinking water.

Chinese cities often seem wrapped in a toxic gray shroud. Only 1 percent of the country’s 560 million city dwellers breathe air considered safe by the European Union. Beijing is frantically searching for a magic formula, a meteorological deus ex machina, to clear its skies for the 2008 Olympics.

Environmental woes that might be considered catastrophic in some countries can seem commonplace in China: industrial cities where people rarely see the sun; children killed or sickened by lead poisoning or other types of local pollution; a coastline so swamped by algal red tides that large sections of the ocean no longer sustain marine life.

China is choking on its own success. The economy is on a historic run, posting a succession of double-digit growth rates. But the growth derives, now more than at any time in the recent past, from a staggering expansion of heavy industry and urbanization that requires colossal inputs of energy, almost all from coal, the most readily available, and dirtiest, source.

“It is a very awkward situation for the country because our greatest achievement is also our biggest burden,” says Wang Jinnan, one of China’s leading environmental researchers. “There is pressure for change, but many people refuse to accept that we need a new approach so soon.”
China’s problem has become the world’s problem. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides spewed by China’s coal-fired power plants fall as acid rain on Seoul, South Korea, and Tokyo. Much of the particulate pollution over Los Angeles originates in China, according to the Journal of Geophysical Research.

More pressing still, China has entered the most robust stage of its industrial revolution, even as much of the outside world has become preoccupied with global warming.
Experts once thought China might overtake the United States as the world’s leading producer of greenhouse gases by 2010, possibly later. Now, the International Energy Agency has said China could become the emissions leader by the end of this year, and the Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency said China had already passed that level.

For the Communist Party, the political calculus is daunting. Reining in economic growth to alleviate pollution may seem logical, but the country’s authoritarian system is addicted to fast growth. Delivering prosperity placates the public, provides spoils for well-connected officials and forestalls demands for political change. A major slowdown could incite social unrest, alienate business interests and threaten the party’s rule.

But pollution poses its own threat. Officials blame fetid air and water for thousands of episodes of social unrest. Health care costs have climbed sharply. Severe water shortages could turn more farmland into desert. And the unconstrained expansion of energy-intensive industries creates greater dependence on imported oil and dirty coal, meaning that environmental problems get harder and more expensive to address the longer they are unresolved.
China’s leaders recognize that they must change course. They are vowing to overhaul the growth-first philosophy of the Deng Xiaoping era and embrace a new model that allows for steady growth while protecting the environment. In his equivalent of a State of the Union address this year, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao made 48 references to “environment,” “pollution” or “environmental protection.”

The government has numerical targets for reducing emissions and conserving energy. Export subsidies for polluting industries have been phased out. Different campaigns have been started to close illegal coal mines and shutter some heavily polluting factories. Major initiatives are under way to develop clean energy sources like solar and wind power. And environmental regulation in Beijing, Shanghai and other leading cities has been tightened ahead of the 2008 Olympics.

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Yet most of the government’s targets for energy efficiency, as well as improving air and water quality, have gone unmet. And there are ample signs that the leadership is either unwilling or unable to make fundamental changes.
Land, water, electricity, oil and bank loans remain relatively inexpensive, even for heavy polluters. Beijing has declined to use the kind of tax policies and market-oriented incentives for conservation that have worked well in Japan and many European countries.
Provincial officials, who enjoy substantial autonomy, often ignore environmental edicts, helping to reopen mines or factories closed by central authorities. Over all, enforcement is often tinged with corruption. This spring, officials in Yunnan Province in southern China beautified Laoshou Mountain, which had been used as a quarry, by spraying green paint over acres of rock.
President Hu Jintao’s most ambitious attempt to change the culture of fast-growth collapsed this year. The project, known as “Green G.D.P.,” was an effort to create an environmental yardstick for evaluating the performance of every official in China. It recalculated gross domestic product, or G.D.P., to reflect the cost of pollution.

But the early results were so sobering — in some provinces the pollution-adjusted growth rates were reduced almost to zero — that the project was banished to China’s ivory tower this spring and stripped of official influence.
Chinese leaders argue that the outside world is a partner in degrading the country’s environment. Chinese manufacturers that dump waste into rivers or pump smoke into the sky make the cheap products that fill stores in the United States and Europe. Often, these manufacturers subcontract for foreign companies — or are owned by them. In fact, foreign investment continues to rise as multinational corporations build more factories in China. Beijing also insists that it will accept no mandatory limits on its carbon dioxide emissions, which would almost certainly reduce its industrial growth. It argues that rich countries caused global warming and should find a way to solve it without impinging on China’s development.

Indeed, Britain, the United States and Japan polluted their way to prosperity and worried about environmental damage only after their economies matured and their urban middle classes demanded blue skies and safe drinking water.
But China is more like a teenage smoker with emphysema. The costs of pollution have mounted well before it is ready to curtail economic development. But the price of business as usual — including the predicted effects of global warming on China itself — strikes many of its own experts and some senior officials as intolerably high.

“Typically, industrial countries deal with green problems when they are rich,” said Ren Yong, a climate expert at the Center for Environment and Economy in Beijing. “We have to deal with them while we are still poor. There is no model for us to follow.”
In the face of past challenges, the Communist Party has usually responded with sweeping edicts from Beijing. Some environmentalists say they hope the top leadership has now made pollution control such a high priority that lower level officials will have no choice but to go along, just as Deng Xiaoping once forced China’s sluggish bureaucracy to fixate on growth.

But the environment may end up posing a different political challenge. A command-and-control political culture accustomed to issuing thundering directives is now under pressure, even from people in the ruling party, to submit to oversight from the public, for which pollution has become a daily — and increasingly deadly — reality.

Perpetual Haze
During the three decades since Deng set China on a course toward market-style growth, rapid industrialization and urbanization have lifted hundreds of millions of Chinese out of poverty and made the country the world’s largest producer of consumer goods. But there is little question that growth came at the expense of the country’s air, land and water, much of it already degraded by decades of Stalinist economic planning that emphasized the development of heavy industries in urban areas.

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For air quality, a major culprit is coal, on which China relies for about two-thirds of its energy needs. It has abundant supplies of coal and already burns more of it than the United States, Europe and Japan combined. But even many of its newest coal-fired power plants and industrial furnaces operate inefficiently and use pollution controls considered inadequate in the West.
Expanding car ownership, heavy traffic and low-grade gasoline have made autos the leading source of air pollution in major Chinese cities. Only 1 percent of China’s urban population of 560 million now breathes air considered safe by the European Union, according to a World Bank study of Chinese pollution published this year. One major pollutant contributing to China’s bad air is particulate matter, which includes concentrations of fine dust, soot and aerosol particles less than 10 microns in diameter (known as PM 10).

The level of such particulates is measured in micrograms per cubic meter of air. The European Union stipulates that any reading above 40 micrograms is unsafe. The United States allows 50. In 2006, Beijing’s average PM 10 level was 141, according to the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics. Only Cairo, among world capitals, had worse air quality as measured by particulates, according to the World Bank.

Emissions of sulfur dioxide from coal and fuel oil, which can cause respiratory and cardiovascular diseases as well as acid rain, are increasing even faster than China’s economic growth. In 2005, China became the leading source of sulfur dioxide pollution globally, the State Environmental Protection Administration, or SEPA, reported last year.

Other major air pollutants, including ozone, an important component of smog, and smaller particulate matter, called PM 2.5, emitted when gasoline is burned, are not widely monitored in China. Medical experts in China and in the West have argued that PM 2.5 causes more chronic diseases of the lung and heart than the more widely watched PM 10.

Perhaps an even more acute challenge is water. China has only one-fifth as much water per capita as the United States. But while southern China is relatively wet, the north, home to about half of China’s population, is an immense, parched region that now threatens to become the world’s biggest desert.

Farmers in the north once used shovels to dig their wells. Now, many aquifers have been so depleted that some wells in Beijing and Hebei must extend more than half a mile before they reach fresh water. Industry and agriculture use nearly all of the flow of the Yellow River, before it reaches the Bohai Sea.

In response, Chinese leaders have undertaken one of the most ambitious engineering projects in world history, a $60 billion network of canals, rivers and lakes to transport water from the flood-prone Yangtze River to the silt-choked Yellow River. But that effort, if successful, will still leave the north chronically thirsty.
This scarcity has not yet created a culture of conservation. Water remains inexpensive by global standards, and Chinese industry uses 4 to 10 times more water per unit of production than the average in industrialized nations, according to the World Bank.

In many parts of China, factories and farms dump waste into surface water with few repercussions. China’s environmental monitors say that one-third of all river water, and vast sections of China’s great lakes, the Tai, Chao and Dianchi, have water rated Grade V, the most degraded level, rendering it unfit for industrial or agricultural use.

Grim Statistics
The toll this pollution has taken on human health remains a delicate topic in China. The leadership has banned publication of data on the subject for fear of inciting social unrest, said scholars involved in the research. But the results of some research provide alarming evidence that the environment has become one of the biggest causes of death.
An internal, unpublicized report by the Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning in 2003 estimated that 300,000 people die each year from ambient air pollution, mostly of heart disease and lung cancer. An additional 110,000 deaths could be attributed to indoor air pollution caused by poorly ventilated coal and wood stoves or toxic fumes from shoddy construction materials, said a person involved in that study.

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Another report, prepared in 2005 by Chinese environmental experts, estimated that annual premature deaths attributable to outdoor air pollution were likely to reach 380,000 in 2010 and 550,000 in 2020.
This spring, a World Bank study done with SEPA, the national environmental agency, concluded that outdoor air pollution was already causing 350,000 to 400,000 premature deaths a year. Indoor pollution contributed to the deaths of an additional 300,000 people, while 60,000 died from diarrhea, bladder and stomach cancer and other diseases that can be caused by water-borne pollution.

China’s environmental agency insisted that the health statistics be removed from the published version of the report, citing the possible impact on “social stability,” World Bank officials said.
But other international organizations with access to Chinese data have published similar results. For example, the World Health Organization found that China suffered more deaths from water-related pollutants and fewer from bad air, but agreed with the World Bank that the total death toll had reached 750,000 a year. In comparison, 4,700 people died last year in China’s notoriously unsafe mines, and 89,000 people were killed in road accidents, the highest number of automobile-related deaths in the world. The Ministry of Health estimates that cigarette smoking takes a million Chinese lives each year.

Studies of Chinese environmental health mostly use statistical models developed in the United States and Europe and apply them to China, which has done little long-term research on the matter domestically. The results are more like plausible suppositions than conclusive findings.
But Chinese experts say that, if anything, the Western models probably understate the problems.
“China’s pollution is worse, the density of its population is greater and people do not protect themselves as well,” said Jin Yinlong, the director general of the Institute for Environmental Health and Related Product Safety in Beijing. “So the studies are not definitive. My assumption is that they will turn out to be conservative.”

Growth Run Amok
As gloomy as China’s pollution picture looks today, it is set to get significantly worse, because China has come to rely mainly on energy-intensive heavy industry and urbanization to fuel economic growth. In 2000, a team of economists and energy specialists at the Development Research Center, part of the State Council, set out to gauge how much energy China would need over the ensuing 20 years to achieve the leadership’s goal of quadrupling the size of the economy.

They based their projections on China’s experience during the first 20 years of economic reform, from 1980 to 2000. In that period, China relied mainly on light industry and small-scale private enterprise to spur growth. It made big improvements in energy efficiency even as the economy expanded rapidly. Gross domestic product quadrupled, while energy use only doubled.
The team projected that such efficiency gains would probably continue. But the experts also offered what they called a worst-case situation in which the most energy-hungry parts of the economy grew faster and efficiency gains fell short.

That worst-case situation now looks wildly optimistic. Last year, China burned the energy equivalent of 2.7 billion tons of coal, three-quarters of what the experts had said would be the maximum required in 2020. To put it another way, China now seems likely to need as much energy in 2010 as it thought it would need in 2020 under the most pessimistic assumptions.
“No one really knew what was driving the economy, which is why the predictions were so wrong,” said Yang Fuqiang, a former Chinese energy planner who is now the chief China representative of the Energy Foundation, an American group that supports energy-related research. “What I fear is that the trend is now basically irreversible.”
The ravenous appetite for fossil fuels traces partly to an economic stimulus program in 1997. The leadership, worried that China’s economy would fall into a steep recession as its East Asian neighbors had, provided generous state financing and tax incentives to support industrialization on a grand scale.

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It worked well, possibly too well. In 1996, China and the United States each accounted for 13 percent of global steel production. By 2005, the United States share had dropped to 8 percent, while China’s share had risen to 35 percent, according to a study by Daniel H. Rosen and Trevor Houser of China Strategic Advisory, a group that analyzes the Chinese economy.
Similarly, China now makes half of the world’s cement and flat glass, and about a third of its aluminum. In 2006, China overtook Japan as the second-largest producer of cars and trucks after the United States.
Its energy needs are compounded because even some of its newest heavy industry plants do not operate as efficiently, or control pollution as effectively, as factories in other parts of the world, a recent World Bank report said.
Chinese steel makers, on average, use one-fifth more energy per ton than the international average. Cement manufacturers need 45 percent more power, and ethylene producers need 70 percent more than producers elsewhere, the World Bank says.
China’s aluminum industry alone consumes as much energy as the country’s commercial sector — all the hotels, restaurants, banks and shopping malls combined, Mr. Rosen and Mr. Houser reported.

Moreover, the boom is not limited to heavy industry. Each year for the past few years, China has built about 7.5 billion square feet of commercial and residential space, more than the combined floor space of all the malls and strip malls in the United States, according to data collected by the United States Energy Information Administration.
Chinese buildings rarely have thermal insulation. They require, on average, twice as much energy to heat and cool as those in similar climates in the United States and Europe, according to the World Bank. A vast majority of new buildings — 95 percent, the bank says — do not meet China’s own codes for energy efficiency.

All these new buildings require China to build power plants, which it has been doing prodigiously. In 2005 alone, China added 66 gigawatts of electricity to its power grid, about as much power as Britain generates in a year. Last year, it added an additional 102 gigawatts, as much as France.

That increase has come almost entirely from small- and medium-size coal-fired power plants that were built quickly and inexpensively. Only a few of them use modern, combined-cycle turbines, which increase efficiency, said Noureddine Berrah, an energy expert at the World Bank. He said Beijing had so far declined to use the most advanced type of combined-cycle turbines despite having completed a successful pilot project nearly a decade ago.
While over the long term, combined-cycle plants save money and reduce pollution, Mr. Berrah said, they cost more and take longer to build. For that reason, he said, central and provincial government officials prefer older technology.
“China is making decisions today that will affect its energy use for the next 30 or 40 years,” he said. “Unfortunately, in some parts of the government the thinking is much more shortsighted.”

The Politics of Pollution
Since Hu Jintao became the Communist Party chief in 2002 and Wen Jiabao became prime minister the next spring, China’s leadership has struck consistent themes. The economy must grow at a more sustainable, less bubbly pace. Environmental abuse has reached intolerable levels. Officials who ignore these principles will be called to account.
Five years later, it seems clear that these senior leaders are either too timid to enforce their orders, or the fast-growth political culture they preside over is too entrenched to heed them.
In the second quarter of this year, the economy expanded at a neck-snapping pace of 11.9 percent, its fastest in a decade. State-driven investment projects, state-backed heavy industry and a thriving export sector led the way. China burned 18 percent more coal than it did the year before.

China’s authoritarian system has repeatedly proved its ability to suppress political threats to Communist Party rule. But its failure to realize its avowed goals of balancing economic growth and environmental protection is a sign that the country’s environmental problems are at least partly systemic, many experts and some government officials say. China cannot go green, in other words, without political change.
In their efforts to free China of its socialist shackles in the 1980s and early 90s, Deng and his supporters gave lower-level officials the leeway, and the obligation, to increase economic growth.

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Local party bosses gained broad powers over state bank lending, taxes, regulation and land use. In return, the party leadership graded them, first and foremost, on how much they expanded the economy in their domains.
To judge by its original goals — stimulating the economy, creating jobs and keeping the Communist Party in power — the system Deng put in place has few equals. But his approach eroded Beijing’s ability to fine-tune the economy. Today, a culture of collusion between government and business has made all but the most pro-growth government policies hard to enforce.

“The main reason behind the continued deterioration of the environment is a mistaken view of what counts as political achievement,” said Pan Yue, the deputy minister of the State Environmental Protection Administration. “The crazy expansion of high-polluting, high-energy industries has spawned special interests. Protected by local governments, some businesses treat the natural resources that belong to all the people as their own private property.”
Mr. Hu has tried to change the system. In an internal address in 2004, he endorsed “comprehensive environmental and economic accounting” — otherwise known as “Green G.D.P.” He said the “pioneering endeavor” would produce a new performance test for government and party officials that better reflected the leadership’s environmental priorities.

The Green G.D.P. team sought to calculate the yearly damage to the environment and human health in each province. Their first report, released last year, estimated that pollution in 2004 cost just over 3 percent of the gross domestic product, meaning that the pollution-adjusted growth rate that year would drop to about 7 percent from 10 percent. Officials said at the time that their formula used low estimates of environmental damage to health and did not assess the impact on China’s ecology. They would produce a more decisive formula, they said, the next year.

That did not happen. Mr. Hu’s plan died amid intense squabbling, people involved in the effort said. The Green G.D.P. group’s second report, originally scheduled for release in March, never materialized.
The official explanation was that the science behind the green index was immature. Wang Jinnan, the leading academic researcher on the Green G.D.P. team, said provincial leaders killed the project. “Officials do not like to be lined up and told how they are not meeting the leadership’s goals,” he said. “They found it difficult to accept this.”

Conflicting Pressures
Despite the demise of Green G.D.P., party leaders insist that they intend to restrain runaway energy use and emissions. The government last year mandated that the country use 20 percent less energy to achieve the same level of economic activity in 2010 compared with 2005. It also required that total emissions of mercury, sulfur dioxide and other pollutants decline by 10 percent in the same period.

The program is a domestic imperative. But it has also become China’s main response to growing international pressure to combat global warming. Chinese leaders reject mandatory emissions caps, and they say the energy efficiency plan will slow growth in carbon dioxide emissions.
Even with the heavy pressure, though, the efficiency goals have been hard to achieve. In the first full year since the targets were set, emissions increased. Energy use for every dollar of economic output fell but by much less than the 4 percent interim goal.

In a public relations sense, the party’s commitment to conservation seems steadfast. Mr. Hu shunned his usual coat and tie at a meeting of the Central Committee this summer. State news media said the temperature in the Great Hall of the People was set at a balmy 79 degrees Fahrenheit to save energy, and officials have encouraged others to set thermostats at the same level.

By other measures, though, the leadership has moved slowly to address environmental and energy concerns.
The government rarely uses market-oriented incentives to reduce pollution. Officials have rejected proposals to introduce surcharges on electricity and coal to reflect the true cost to the environment. The state still controls the price of fuel oil, including gasoline, subsidizing the cost of driving.

Energy and environmental officials have little influence in the bureaucracy. The environmental agency still has only about 200 full-time employees, compared with 18,000 at the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States.
China has no Energy Ministry. The Energy Bureau of the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s central planning agency, has 100 full-time staff members. The Energy Department of the United States has 110,000 employees.

China does have an army of amateur regulators. Environmentalists expose pollution and press local government officials to enforce environmental laws. But private individuals and nongovernment organizations cannot cross the line between advocacy and political agitation without risking arrest.
At least two leading environmental organizers have been prosecuted in recent weeks, and several others have received sharp warnings to tone down their criticism of local officials. One reason the authorities have cited: the need for social stability before the 2008 Olympics, once viewed as an opportunity for China to improve the environment.