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« Planning for power cuts | Main | Met Office privately predicted cold winter »
Tuesday
Jan042011

Climate cuttings 46

There are quite a few climate-related stories doing the rounds today, so here is something of a New Year's roundup.

Der Spiegel looks at the failures of scaremongering tactics and wonders if maybe the environmental groups shouldn't adopt the quiet tactics of Amnesty international. Similar thoughts, including some academic research on the subject, are discussed at Collide-a-Scape.

Politico notes that contrary to common perceptions, Republicans are much keener on global warming than they are letting on.

The cost of CFL (low-energy) lightbulbs is set to soar, as subsidies designed to soften the blow of their introduction are removed.

Tropospheric temperatures are dropping sharply, with the current anomaly only 0.180 degrees above its long-term average.

Matt Briggs has been much amused by his elevation to "villain of the day" by the Global Warming Superheroes site. One of his commenters, writing from Spain, notes that the Iberian Peninsula has a similar group called Ecoheroes.es, whose antics included getting college students to generate electricity from static bicycles hooked up to generators. As Briggs puts it:

The only point of bringing this up is to offer one more (minor) piece of evidence that the fight about “climate chance” is an ideological and not a scientific one. Evidence has little to do with it, belief is everything.

Some frightening stuff from Germany. First Haunting the Library discusses a climate change conference at which putting an end to democratic government is once again proposed as part of a solution to global warming. Almost as bad is the news from P Gosselin that Germany appears to have put in place legislation that will permit energy rationing as a means to save the planet. This is apparently a response to an EU directive, so similar legislation will be coming the way of all readers in the EU soon.

And lastly, as an antidote to all this pessimism, Matt Ridley looks at reasons to be cheerful.

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Reader Comments (16)

Re Matt Briggs, HtL, P Gosselin

The whining, Western middle-class guilt brigade is beyond belief dangerous.

They enable lunatic and destructive energy 'policy' with their hyper-focus on our 'responsibility' for emissions, despite the obvious trajectory of emissions profiles from industrialising economies serving their own internal markets.

Instead of accepting that they are wrong about everything, they then propose to suspend democracy and shut down the entire Western economy. Meanwhile they will screech ineffectually at the BRIC nations and others who will continue frantic growth and gigantic emissions increases.

This kind of self-serving, self-indulgent fantasy economics can no longer be tolerated.

Jan 4, 2011 at 11:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

The Big Green Lie (or Delusion, to be charitable) isn't so much that climate change is happening and that it is very likely caused or at least exacerbated by human activity. The Big Lie is that the green movement is a source of coherent or responsible counsel about what to do.

Walter Russell Mead

Jan 4, 2011 at 12:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

The Der Spiegel article is a good read. A good overview of the challenges faced by those who wish to promote more climate change action. And useful to get a non 'anglo' view of the subject.

Jan 4, 2011 at 12:10 PM | Unregistered Commenteroakwood

I've read Pierre Gosselin's report, and that new German Law is beyond belief.
The amount of snooping on private citizens to enforce this law is unbelievable.

Anybody thinking it can't happen here - well, the German government seems to have based this new law on EU directives. So it bl**dy well will happen here unless we pull the plug on the EU.

Jan 4, 2011 at 12:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

Oakwood says:

The Der Spiegel article is a good read. A good overview of the challenges faced by those who wish to promote more climate change action.

This sounds like an endorsement of green anti-democracy. Or do I misunderstand you?

Jan 4, 2011 at 12:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

O/T but why are comments off at "Briggs on doommongers". Was it something I said?

[BH adds - it was turning into a food fight. Nothing to do with you though].

Jan 4, 2011 at 12:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterGrantB

Der Spiegel article is a hoot!

Are you bored? Let's talk about sex.

Sex: Perhaps advertising's most potent weapon can be harnessed for climate protection campaigns as well. One initial experiment showed an attractive female researcher posing in a bathing suit in front of Arctic ice. "Climate change is sexy," was also the motto of several working groups at the Global Media Forum in Bonn.

India has even managed to turn a sex symbol into an icon for climate protection. The Ice Shiva Lingam, an enormous ice stalagmite in the Amarnath caves of northern India, is revered as a fertility symbol. Major news outlets in the country have begun reporting on global warming since the frozen phallic symbol began to melt.

You want more fun? Let's talk about realprophets:

The search for a new messiah: Just as Martin Luther King Jr. awakened the civil rights movement, the climate cause needs its own messiah, says environmental researcher Andreas Ernst from Kassel University. That messiah's analogous message might run along the lines of, "I had a nightmare," Ernst suggests. Al Gore, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his film that jolted viewers out of their climate complacency, seemed to be successfully fulfilling this role for a while, but he has since all but disappeared from the public eye.

The President of the Planet left the office without leaving a note in the drawer.

If I read this article in a British publication, I would admire it for its sense of humour. But this is a German publication. Very little funny have come out of Germany since the unique, somewhat family friendly sex and violence story lines of Inspector Rex.

PS: BBD, chill out, man!

Jan 4, 2011 at 1:02 PM | Unregistered CommentersHx

Bishop,

You missed this pearler from Australia's leading alarmist, Tim Flannery:

"We'll never be able to control the earth, there's no doubt about it. We can't control its systems. But we can nudge them and we can foresee danger. Once that occurs, then the Gaia of the Ancient Greeks really will exist. This planet, this Gaia, will have acquired a brain and a nervous system. That will make it act as a living animal, as a living organism, at some sort of level. That to me is the most exciting threshold for humanity. It's as if the little embryo is about to hatch out of the shell, as a formed being. After four billion years, I think that's where we're at. We'll see it, I think, this century."

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/scienceshow/stories/2011/3101365.htm (click on transcript).

Further comment is really not necessary, except to note that the federal and some state goverments let him influence policy, including the imposition of desalination plants to protect from the effects of the endless drought he predicted.

Jan 4, 2011 at 1:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterDocbud

Der Spiegel article is a hoot!

Are you bored? Let's talk about sex.

Sex: Perhaps advertising's most potent weapon can be harnessed for climate protection campaigns as well. One initial experiment showed an attractive female researcher posing in a bathing suit in front of Arctic ice. "Climate change is sexy," was also the motto of several working groups at the Global Media Forum in Bonn.

India has even managed to turn a sex symbol into an icon for climate protection. The Ice Shiva Lingam, an enormous ice stalagmite in the Amarnath caves of northern India, is revered as a fertility symbol. Major news outlets in the country have begun reporting on global warming since the frozen phallic symbol began to melt.

You want more fun? Let's talk about realprophets:

The search for a new messiah: Just as Martin Luther King Jr. awakened the civil rights movement, the climate cause needs its own messiah, says environmental researcher Andreas Ernst from Kassel University. That messiah's analogous message might run along the lines of, "I had a nightmare," Ernst suggests. Al Gore, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his film that jolted viewers out of their climate complacency, seemed to be successfully fulfilling this role for a while, but he has since all but disappeared from the public eye.

The President of the Planet left the office without leaving a note in the drawer.

If I read this article in a British publication, I would admire it for its sense of humour. But this is a German publication. Very little funny have come out of Germany since the unique, somewhat family friendly sex and violence story lines of Inspector Rex.

PS: BBD, chill out, man!

(Apologies for HTML error, Bish. Please delete the earlier one)

Jan 4, 2011 at 1:05 PM | Unregistered CommentersHx

The Wiki says Kommissar Rex is an Austrian production. Apologies to the Germans.

Jan 4, 2011 at 1:10 PM | Unregistered CommentersHx

GrantB

Re Briggs comments off.

It was because I was having a prolonged disagreement with 'legjoints'. BH intervened in the end.

Jan 4, 2011 at 1:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I had a look at the Rational Optimist link Bish.

My worry is the the UK will ignore much of the opportunity to benefit from all the newly available Hydrocarbon and just build a whole load of windmills.

Sort of reduces my optimism. At least they are letting the West of Shetland drilling go ahead.

Jan 4, 2011 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterRetired Dave

BBD to oakwood: "This sounds like an endorsement of green anti-democracy. Or do I misunderstand you?"

No, I don't endorse the proposals. I meant the article is a good overview of how it looks from a pro-AGW perspective (not mine).

Jan 4, 2011 at 2:52 PM | Unregistered Commenteroakwood

oakwood

Thanks for the clarification. It was ambiguous and there are rather a lot of bad 'uns about at the moment ;-)

Just checking.

Jan 4, 2011 at 3:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

The energy savings from compact fluorescents are generally overstated. Yes, they use less energy than an incandescent bulb for the amount of light they give out, because more of the energy from an incandescent bulb is given out as heat. However, household lighting is mostly used at night and during dark winter days, when heating is needed. When compact fluorescents are used, the heat not released into the room by the incandescent bulbs has to be supplied by the space heating system, i.e. the boiler has to run a little bit more to compensate for the heat energy saved by the compact fluorescent bulbs. Of course there will be times when lighting is used without needing to heat the room, but the 75%-80% energy saving usually quoted for using compact fluorescents is misleading.

Jan 5, 2011 at 2:09 AM | Unregistered Commentercoldfinger

Compact fluorescent bulbs(CFLs) can be installed by consumers in a manner that provides adequate lighting in some situations but there is a corresponding drop in energy savings:

http://tinyurl.com/2wh7bvr

Jan 9, 2011 at 4:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul in Sweden

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