Political Climate
Jan 07, 2008
Summary Report from Conference in Bali

By Craig Rucker

When the U.N. convened its 13th annual Conference of the Parties (COP) on climate change in steamy Bali in December, it held high expectations that the international community would be united over what course of action should be taken to curb the buildup of greenhouse gases. The event was carefully orchestrated from beginning to end, with an eye toward presenting to the world that a “consensus” had been reached on the need for a second Kyoto Treaty to replace the current one set to expire in 2012. Whatever dissent might yet remain would be given scant voice at this exotic extravaganza set on the sandy shores of the Indian Ocean.

Into this festive setting dropped a small group of scientists and free-market advocates intent on expressing a different point of view regarding the science, economics and policy implications of a new global warming treaty. Arriving from New Zealand, Australia, England, India, and the U.S., these “skeptics” came to present facts and empirical data to anyone who would dare listen. They came with a mission: to make the case for a more reasoned, balanced approach on the climate change issue and challenge the clarion call for a second draconian Kyoto-style treaty based on new revelations in science. But their job, as they soon would discover, would not be easy. Read more here.

Jan 05, 2008
The Hadley Center Tries Again

World Climate Report

The U.K.’s Hadley Center has issued a forecast that 2008 will come in as one of the top 10 warmest years in its 150+ year record of global average temperature. While this forecast is about as risky as predicting that the next box of a dozen doughnuts you buy will contain twelve of the one-holed wonders, the press seems enthralled by it, as virtually all major news wires ran the story under with some variant of the headline “2008 to be among hottest years on record.”

The Hadley Center does not have the greatest track record for making accurate forecasts. Recall that in early January 2007, they issued a stateproclaiming that 2007 would likely be the warmest year on record for the globe. In fact, they went as far as to assign a probability (60%) to their forecast of a record year. And, of course, this prediction was also widely covered in the press (for example, see this BBC story).

When all the numbers are in (they aren’t yet), 2007 will likely come in as around the 6th or 7th warmest year in the Hadley Center global temperature record, probably about a tenth of a degree (which is a lot) behind the record holder (1998). In other words, their forecast was way off.

Apparently stinging from this forecast bust last year, they decided to make one this year that is much broader and virtually certain to be correct. In order for 2008 to fall outside the top 10, the average temperature would have to be about 0.15C or about 2 standard deviations cooler than this year not to fall within the top 10. Statistically speaking, the chance that one year will fall outside of 2 standard deviations from the mean is about 5%. And since we are further requiring it to fall two standard deviations below the mean, then the chance drops to 2.5 percent. Read more here.

Jan 04, 2008
Global Warming a Big Hoax

By John Fogle

In the spirit of being a good neighbor, I’ve decided to offer a needed service for all of the believers in human-caused global warming. That’s right, step right up, folks, I’m going to be selling carbon credits to those who want to assuage their guilt about heating up the planet with their SUVs.

For those of you not familiar with carbon credits, people who don’t want to cut back on their use of fossil fuels just pay someone else to cut back, much the same way you might pay someone to eat healthy foods for you so you can eat anything you want.

My gimmick is that I’m offering $100 carbon credits for only $89 each. If you buy carbon credits from Al Gore, you’ll have to pay the full retail price. But if you send your money directly to me, you’ll receive an official certificate for $100 in carbon credits for every $89 you send. But wait, there’s more. If you are among the first 500 purchasers, we’ll include a fantastic vegetable chopper, a $19.99 value, absolutely free.

And you will be helping to save the planet. I’ve had my eye on a 12-foot jon boat with a used 10-horse Evinrude, which will no doubt pump out oodles of carbon dioxide. But instead, I’m going to use the proceeds of carbon credit sales to purchase a sailboat - in other words, an environmentally friendly boat that uses wind power. The latest issue of Yachts International includes an ad for a 66-foot Van De Stadt for a mere $2,295,000. That’s a lot of carbon credits, but I’m sure if all of you dig deep enough, we can pull this off. Read more here.

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