Global warming which has been the subject of so many discussions in recent years, may give way to global cooling. According to scientists from the Pulkovo Observatory in St.Petersburg, solar activity is waning, so the average yearly temperature will begin to decline as well. Scientists from Britain and the US chime in saying that forecasts for global cooling are far from groundless. --The Voice of Russia, 22 April 2013
Last week it was reported that 3,318 places in the USA had recorded their lowest temperatures for this time of year since records began. Similar record cold was experienced by places in every province of Canada. So cold has the Russian winter been that Moscow had its deepest snowfall in 134 years of observations. Here in Britain, where we had our fifth freezing winter in a row, the Central England Temperature record – according to an expert analysis on the US science blog Watts Up With That – shows that in this century, average winter temperatures have dropped by 1.45C, more than twice as much as their rise between 1850 and 1999, and twice as much as the entire net rise in global temperatures recorded in the 20th century.
But, hang on, it wasn’t meant to be like this. Weren’t we told that, thanks to all that carbon dioxide we are pumping into the air, the world was faced with global warming; that, according to the computer models, temperatures were due to rise by at least 0.3C every decade; and that snowfall in Britain was “a thing of the past”?
The Environmental Protection Agency has dramatically lowered its estimate of how much of a potent heat-trapping gas leaks during natural gas production, in a shift with major implications for a debate that has divided environmentalists: Does the recent boom in fracking help or hurt the fight against climate change?
Oil and gas drilling companies had pushed for the change, but there have been differing scientific estimates of the amount of methane that leaks from wells, pipelines and other facilities during production and delivery. Methane is the main component of natural gas.
President Barack Obama’s campaign to smear and intimidate global warming skeptics in Congress is now in full swing. See: Obama campaign launches plan to shame climate skeptics in Congress: ‘It is time to call out U.S. politicians who deny the science behind climate change’ & Obama Tweets about global warming: ‘Climate deniers in Congress refuse to even debate the issue. Make sure they don’t get away with it’
Obama’s new campaign hopes to silence skepticism, despite the fact that the GOP is the party taking a pro-science stand when it comes to man-made global warming fears. See: Lord Christopher Monckton defends GOP from Obama campaign attack: ‘Obama climate video stars GOP truthsayers’ — Monckton says GOP ‘talking common sense about climate’
As the EPA snipes at the State Department's approval, Canada's natural resource minister says failure to approve the pipeline would seriously jeopardize our energy relationship and do nothing to save the earth.
Joe Oliver, not amused by the continued delays in perhaps the most shovel-ready project since the pyramids, said Wednesday that rejection by the U.S. of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline "would represent a serious reversal in our long-standing energy relationship."
This critical energy infrastructure project is also perhaps the most studied and approved. After a reroute at the behest of environmentalists allegedly concerned about the sensitive Ogallala Aquifer, it received approval from the state of Nebraska.
The Japanese government is moving to speed up the environmental assessment process for new coal-fired power plants. According to Japanese media reports, the government intends to make 12 months the maximum period for assessing and approving new coal-fired power plants as its utilities seek to develop more power stations to stem surging energy supply bills. With the government considering the closure of much of the installed nuclear capacity over the medium term, the spotlight is back on coal as the cheapest energy source, notwithstanding plans to cut carbon emissions. A commitment to slice 2020 carbon emissions by 25 per cent from their 1990 level will be revised by October, according to Japanese newspaper reports. --Brian Robins, The Sydney Morning Herald, 26 April 2013
Suzanne Goldberg displayed the establishment media’s inexcusable ignorance and/or willful distortion of the global warming debate in a Thursday ‘news’ article in the prominent UK newspaper The Guardian.
Writing about an effort by the Obama administration to politicize the global warming debate and direct public ridicule at Republicans who are skeptical of alarmist global warming claims, Goldberg describes that effort as one that will “shame members of Congress who deny the science behind climate change.”
Expressing skepticism about alarmist global warming claims and alarmist future predictions by one segment of the scientific population whose prior alarmist claims and alarmist predictions have routinely proven to be false is not “denying the science behind climate change.” Subjecting theories, predictions, and scientific claims to critical scientific scrutiny is the lifeblood of science. Attempting to vilify, stifle, and shut down critical scientific analysis of scientific theories, predictions, and claims is the very definition of anti-science.
A COMMON feature of debates about global warming is that extreme claims often go unchallenged. At best, criticism is impolitic. Worse, critics are portrayed as tools of malign fossil fuel interests. Being impervious to push-back leads to what I describe in my recent book as climate change derangement syndrome, when normally sane people say dumb things. Examples include the claim that global warming is a greater threat than terrorism, shortly before the Tube bombings. Another is that warming could lead to war between the US and Canada (yes, there was one – in 1812).
The latest example is the spectacularly ill-timed claim that global financial markets are dangerously exposed to a giant “carbon bubble”, representing the value of fossil fuels that will have to remain locked in the ground – and here comes the big “if” – if governments around the world stick to their promise to keep the rise in average global temperature below two degrees Celsius.
Waterfront property owners need not flee inland just yet
AFTER alarming predictions that coastal properties would be swamped by monster tides and capital cities would run dry -- if they weren't ravaged by hurricanes first -- Australia's actuaries have looked at the figures to work out what climate change might cost in claims. The results are reassuring.
The Actuaries Institute, representing about 4000 members, predicts that the impact on private insurance premiums will be marginal over the next 60 years.
A Senate Finance Committee white paper on possible federal tax code changes for energy suggested establishing a carbon tax in place of most or all energy tax incentives.
The paper offered the carbon tax with a range of other policy options to help chip away at a Congressional Budget Office-estimated $16 billion of foregone energy-related tax expenditures in fiscal 2013.
The paper, released Thursday, came with the disclaimer that the policy suggestions “do not necessarily have the endorsement” of committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) or ranking member Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).