For all their efforts to get 200 governments to commit to the toughest possible cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, climate negotiators have all but given up on creating a way to penalise those who fall short. The overwhelming view of member states, says Christiana Figueres, head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat, is that any agreement “has to be much more collaborative than punitive” – if it is to happen at all. To critics, the absence of a legal stick to enforce compliance is a deep - if not fatal - flaw in the Paris process, especially after all countries agreed in 2011 that an agreement would have some form of “legal force”. --EurActiv, 12 October 2015
A federal worker named Bob recently called our local talk-radio station, outraged that a failed budget deal could cause a government shutdown that leaves him unable to pay his bills. He blamed Republicans, failed to mention that compromise also involves Obama and Democrats – and left out another important detail: if there is a shutdown, when it ends he will get paid retroactively.
But when he and his fellow bureaucrats impose mountains of regulations, they cost businesses billions of dollars a year, kill millions of jobs, and leave thousands of families and hundreds of communities worse off, struggling to make ends meet. Those folks never get retroactive pay.
In an important new report published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, former IPCC delegate Dr Indur Goklany calls for a reassessment of carbon dioxide, which he says has many benefits for the natural world and for humankind. --Global Warming Policy Foundation, 12 October 2015
Carbon dioxide fertilises plants, and emissions from fossil fuels have already had a hugely beneficial effect on crops, increasing yields by at least 10-15%. This has not only been good for humankind but for the natural world too, because an acre of land that is not used for crops is an acre of land that is left for nature. Unlike the claims of future global warming disasters these benefits are firmly established and are being felt now. Yet despite this the media overlook the good news and the public remain in the dark. My report should begin to restore a little balance. –Indur Goklany, --Global Warming Policy Foundation, 12 October 2015
When NOAA announced today that a global bleaching event is occurring, scientists took notice. When they wrote that it was the third-worst global coral bleaching event, headlines started blaring "devastating" and "dramatic." But the facts about coral bleaching are usually set aside in the rush to make headlines, and when it comes to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), you really do have to pay attention to what they are declaring. Especially under this current administration.
As we first reported here, NOAA announced in early July that coral reefs are dying off at an unprecedented rate, even though a recently published paper showed that these statements are more alarmist than accurate. Coral reefs can turn white when the algae that surrounds them dies off from too warm (or too cold) water, and the satellites detect that thermal stress. But the paper published in Marine Biology showed that while even though some corals appear bleached, it doesn't mean they are dead or even dying. Why?
India on Wednesday expressed disappointment over the first draft text of the Paris climate change agreement, which was presented to the governments two days ago, and said the country would oppose it during the next round of negotiations at Bonn. In his first reaction to the draft text that completely ignores the crucial issue of ‘equity’ and transparency of action, environment and climate change minister Prakash Javadekar said, “I would like to underline that the first draft text of the Paris agreement is quite disappointing. It does not inspire.” He told the TOI that he was “not at all happy” with the text and the Indian negotiators would certainly oppose it during the next round of negotiations in run-up to the Paris conference. --Vishwa Mohan & Rajeev Deshpande, Times of India, 8 October 2015
story in The Hill, the Obama administration has issued a formal veto threat against a measure that would lift the 40-year-old oil export ban. The ban, which was imposed in the wake of the first Arab oil embargo, is judged by most analysts to be obsolete. Thanks to the fracking boom and the advent of advanced drilling technologies, domestic oil and gas producers are awash in the product that could be sold overseas. The White House, however, believes that such a policy move would interfere with its drive to end fossil fuels and switch to a “non-carbon based” economy based on solar, wind, and other renewables.According to a Wednesday
Sen. Ted Cruz embarrassed Sierra Club President Aaron Mair during Senate hearings Tuesday, as Mair was repeatedly unable to answer straightforward questions about global warming. Under cool, calm, respectful questioning from Cruz, Mair was repeatedly flustered and created long, embarrassing periods of silence while he sought help from aides to answer Cruz’s questions.
In testimony to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts, which Cruz chairs, Mair claimed humans are creating a global warming crisis, the crisis demands immediate action, and the topic should not be open to debate. During questioning at the end of Mair’s testimony, Cruz exposed Mair’s lack of knowledge regarding basic climate facts:
President Barack Obama visited Alaska in September to argue global warming is an urgent problem requiring international action. Alaska Gov. Bill Walker hitched a ride on Air Force One to ask Obama to allow the federal government to help Alaska access more fossil fuels, the consumption of which President Obama views as one of the primary drivers of global warming.
Earlier this year, Gov. Walker argued Obama and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell had declared war on Alaska's future by asking Congress to declare a big portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness, potentially making it off limits to oil and gas exploration.
Robert Dillon, communications director for the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, says Alaskans are being denied the ability to grow their economy.
Los Angeles drivers, sweating and steaming, stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic thanks to a late-night accident, will glance to their left and see a totally open lane. Not a car or truck on it for miles.
Oh, they might see the occasional Prius, or maybe a Chevy Volt packed with enviro-friendly carpooling passengers.
But other than that, nothing but the occasional empty potato chip bag blowing down the highway or an empty Budweiser can bouncing along the pavement. No cars. No trucks. No motorcycles.
So why don’t the gridlocked L.A. drivers know enough to move to the left and get into that empty lane, beating the traffic congestion and unlocking the gridlock?
The global warming alarmist community has for years smeared skeptics by claiming that they are funded by Big Oil. Is that true? Did the oil companies buy allies?
Unlikely. Many of us — probably all of us — came by our doubts that man is warming the planet through his carbon dioxide emissions on our own. All that is required is a little bit of reading and some independent thinking. What tends to happen in the professional ranks is that scientists who have uncertainties about the climate change story received research funding from corporations only after they had taken their position, which they arrived at honestly through their studies.
We are told that summer sea-ice extent is declining and that this threatens the health and population size of polar bears. Ringed seals, the primary prey of polar bears, are likely to also be affected.
What we are not told is that thick sea ice in late winter and early spring have caused greater devastation to polar-bear populations than recent summer sea ice declines. Wide variations in spring sea-ice habitat are a natural phenomenon and some have been known about for hundreds of years. They occur independently of any summer sea-ice changes that may be due to human-caused global warming.
As the Dallas Morning News reported on Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a candidate for president of the United States, took time out from the campaign trail to conduct hearings on the subject of how government regulations hurt the poor. The economic impact of regulations is a chronic but somewhat under reported problem. Government agencies tend to ignore how much compliance to regulations costs. Cruz was performing a public service by attempting to shed some light on the issue. That his effort might also benefit the case for his being elected president would be a happy side effect, from his point of view.
James Kamis suggests "conflicting temperature trends" between oceans and the Earth's atmosphere could dispel the "myth" of man-made global warming.
Put simply, he says our atmospheric temperature has remained static for more than 18 years, the Atlantic has got colder, and it is only the Pacific Ocean where things have heated up.
Mr Kamis said: "Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and many universities are at a loss to explain recent conflicting temperature trends from Earth’s oceans and atmosphere."