Thursday, December 30, 2010

Global Warming: A Scheme to Redistribute Wealth

As the “science” behind man-made global warming has been increasingly discredited, the story has changed. Now it's not about saving the environment but about redistributing wealth, says a leading member of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Ottmar Edenhofer, a co-chair of the IPCC's Working Group III and a lead author of the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report, 2007 (its latest), recently said, “One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore.”

Edenhofer told a German news outlet (NZZ AM Sonntag): “Basically, it's a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization. The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War.”

“First of all, developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community,” said Edenhofer. Thus the developers of coal and oil should pay reparations in the form of global carbon emission rights and taxes. Investors Business Daily commented “U.N. Warm-mongers are seeking to impose a global climate reparations tax on everything from airline flights and international shipping, to fuel and financial transactions.”

The Cancun agreement set up a “Green Climate Fund” to administer assistance to poor nations suffering from floods and drought due to global warming. The European Union, Japan and the United States have led pledges of $100 billion per year for poor nations up to 2020, plus $30 billion in immediate assistance.

The agreement says it “recognizes that deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions are required according to science” and calls for “urgent action” to cap temperature rises. But this chart gives lie to such claims. You can clearly see that on a multimillion-year scale global temperatures have been confined to a steady band unrelated to even huge changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Does this graph reveal any need for “urgent action” “according to science?” Yet at the Cancun conference, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned, “Nature will not wait....Science warns that the window of opportunity to prevent uncontrolled climate change will soon close.”

The window of opportunity that is going to close is not a scientific one but a political one—because more and more people are realizing that global warming alarmism is based on phony science and outright lies.

Foremost in the struggle to bring essential scientific truths to light on this issue is the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) founded and directed by the distinguished atmospheric physicist S. Fred Singer. With assistance from climate experts in 16 countries—who donated their time and efforts—the NIPCC produced a massive, extensively-illustrated 880-page report “out of concern that the IPCC was provoking irrational fear of anthropogenic global warming,” in the words of Dr. Singer. The report references 4,000 (!) research papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals that contradict IPCC conclusions but were not used by the IPCC though it claims to be the definitive source of climate research. The entire report can be downloaded free from the Heartland Institute website.

I shall discuss only one item from the NIPCC report, but it is fundamental to the whole carbon dioxide/greenhouse hypothesis of global warming. Worldwide, there are 20-some GCMs (General Circulation Models) for computer modeling of global climate change. They all agree—for sound theoretical reasons—that greenhouse gases cannot warm the earth directly. They must first warm the atmosphere, which in turn warms the surface of the earth. So the atmosphere must be warmer than the earth's surface. The NIPCC Summary Report explains: “Climate models all predict that, if GH gases are driving climate change, there will be a unique fingerprint in the form of a warming trend increasing with altitude in the tropical troposphere, the region of the atmosphere up to about 15 kilometers. Climate changes due to solar variability or other known natural factors will not yield this characteristic pattern; only sustained greenhouse warming will do so.” The models show this “hot spot” perfectly—but it is missing in actual observations, which show instead this area to be cooler than the earth's surface. The Summary Report states—in boldface type: “This mismatch of observed and calculated fingerprints clearly falsifies the hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming.

The Summary Report also notes, “The IPCC has been disingenuous about solar influences on the climate....The demonstration of solar influence on climate is now overwhelming....There now is little doubt that solar-wind variability is a primary cause of climate change on a decadal time scale.”

The disclosure of thousands of emails from climate scientists in November 2009 became known as the “climategate” scandal. It raised concerns about the validity of global warming predictions and the integrity and professional misconduct of some of the world's leading climate scientists. But even before “climategate,” some important scientists tried to alert the public to the unscientific nature of IPCC procedures and conclusions. These scientists were generally derided as “deniers” by the news media and opinion makers.

The IPCC regularly submits its reports to its Expert Reviewers Panel. As you might expect, most of its appointments to this panel have been supporters of global warming. A few nonbelievers have been included to give the appearance of balance, but their comments and questions have been routinely ignored as the IPCC focuses on what it claims to be the “consensus” view.

Only one person has been been on every IPCC Expert Reviewers Panel. That man is Dr. Vincent Gray. He submitted a very large number of comments to IPCC drafts, including 1,898 for the Final Draft of the 2007 Report. Here are some of his comments from a letter he wrote on March 9, 2008:

Over the period I have made an intensive study of the data and procedures used by IPCC contributors throughout their whole study range....Right from the beginning I have had difficulty with this procedure. Penetrating questions often ended without any answer. Comments on the IPCC drafts were rejected without explanation, and attempts to pursue the matter were frustrated indefinitely.

Over the years, as I have learned more about the data and procedures of the IPCC I have found increasing opposition by them to providing explanations, until I have been forced to the conclusion that for significant parts of the work of the IPCC, the data collection and scientific methods employed are unsound. Resistance to all efforts to try and discuss or rectify these problems has convinced me that normal scientific procedures are not only rejected by the IPCC, but that this practice is endemic, and was part of the organization from the very beginning. I therefore consider that the IPCC is fundamentally corrupt. The only "reform" I could envisage, would be its abolition.

[The] flagship set of data promoted by the IPCC are the figures showing the increase in atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide. They have manipulated the data in such a way to persuade us (including most scientists) that this concentration is constant throughout the atmosphere.

The models are so full of inaccurately known parameters and equations that it is comparatively easy to  "fudge" an approximate fit to the few climate sequences that might respond. This sort of evidence is the main feature of most of the current promotional lectures.

By drawing attention to these obvious facts I have now found myself persona non grata with most of my local professional associations, Surely, I am questioning the integrity of these award-winning scientific leaders of the local science establishment. When you get down to it, that is what is involved....

Yes, we have to face it. The whole process is a swindle. The IPCC from the beginning was given the license to use whatever methods would be necessary to provide "evidence" that carbon dioxide increases are harming the climate, even if this involves manipulation of dubious data and using peoples' opinions instead of science to "prove" their case.

The disappearance of the IPCC in disgrace is not only desirable but inevitable....Sooner or later all of us will come to realize that this organization, and the thinking behind it, is phony.  Unfortunately severe economic damage is likely to be done by its influence before that happens.

For more on the IPCC—including new revelations since “climategate”—click here to see my article “The IPCC-led Global warming Hoax Implodes.”

For more extensive coverage of global warming, see my three-part article “Global Warming, Global Myth” at here .

For some surprising facts out the Copenhagen Climate Summit, see my article “Copenhagen Climate Summit: Hidden Agenda” at here .

Monday, December 06, 2010

More Fluorescent Bulb Problems, incl. Fires

In my previous, comprehensive article on problems with the new compact fluorescent blubs (CFLs) Link, I did not include mention of fire danger. This was because everything I read at that time indicated it was rare and occurred only with the first CFLs on the market. Now I find that is not the case. Two emails to me have described recent personal experiences with fires from CFLs. Please note, in the second email, that when the incident was reported to the local fire department, the fireman wasn't at all surprised and said that it was not an uncommon occurrence” and that “the Fire Marshall had issued reports about the dangers of these bulbs.”

The first email is from a Mr. John Brazell. He wrote:Two or three weeks ago in a motel suite as I reached to turn on a lamp (and very lightly tapped the bulb in the process) the CFL bulb separated, or had previously separated, from its base just as illustrated below.  Fire and sparks shot out several inches and scared the daylights out of me - a definite fire hazard.  I unplugged the lamp immediately.” 

Here is the full text of the second email:
Below is a picture of a CFL light bulb from my bathroom.  I turned it on the other day and then smelled smoke after a few minutes.  Four inch flames were spewing out of the side of the ballast like a blow torch!  I immediately turned off the lights.  But I'm sure it would have caused a fire if I was not right there.  Imagine if the kids had left the lights on as usual when they were not in the room.
I took the bulb to the Fire Department to report the incident.  The Fireman wasn't at all surprised and said that it was not an uncommon occurrence.  Apparently, sometimes when the bulb burns out there is a chance that the ballast can start a fire.  He told me that the Fire Marshall had issued reports about the dangers of these bulbs.
Upon doing some Internet research, it seems that bulbs made by “Globe” in China seem to have the lion's share of problems.  Lots of fires have been blamed on misuse of CFL bulbs, like using them in recessed lighting, pot lights, dimmers or in track lighting.  Mine was installed in a normal light socket. I bought these at Wal-Mart.  I will be removing all the Globe bulbs from my house.  

Paul Rainwater
Fire Protection Training Instructor
Cook Nuclear Plant
1 Cook Place, zone 11
Bridgman, MI  49106
Wal-Mart alone has over 4,300 stores in the U.S. and 4,100 in 14 other countries.  It claims 176 million people visit its stores every week. So they must have sold thousands—maybe tens of thousands—of these problem bulbs already.  Note, too, that while the article says Globe is the manufacturer of the lion's share of the problem bulbs, the problem evidently occurs with other manufacturer, too, though maybe not as much.
Here's another type of problem. Recently I was in a local Ace Hardware store to buy some paint. When I went to the checkout counter with it, there was an elderly gentleman ahead of me who wanted a refund or replacement for a CFL that wasn't working properly. The woman behind the counter said this was her first day on the job and she didn't know how to handle a refund or replacement and would have to get the manager, who was in the back of the store.
While we were waiting for the woman to return with the manager, I said to the man, “It's none of my business, but I'm interested in fluorescent bulbs, and I wonder if you would mind telling me why you are returning this one.” He said, “When you turn it on, only the bottom half of the bulb lights up. You have to wait a minute and a half—sometimes two minutes, but always at least a minute and a half—before the top half of the bulb lights up. My wife likes to read a lot, and she gets very irritated that she has to waste a minute and half for the darn thing to light up so she can read.”
I asked him if he had come to the store solely to return that CFL or if he had other shopping to do. He said he made the trip solely to return the bulb. I've never heard of such trips occurring because of incandescent bulbs, but the cost of the driving and inconvenience of such trips is never included in the claims of all the money you save by buying CFLs. Since the man had no other reason for his trip, the entire cost should have been charged to his cost for CFLs, but he told me he that, even though he had a bad experience, “everyone knows these bulbs save you a lot of money.” I told him the claims of big savings from CFLs were not true, that there were other problems, too, such as false claims about how long they last, damage from ultraviolet light to plastics, fabrics, pictures, and furniture finishes, plus environmental costs and disposal problems. I said if he had a computer, I would tell him were he could read my article on my blog (link) explaining these things. He said he didn't have a computer and never intended to get one.
Finally, there is the news from Germany that consumer protection organizations have demanded suspension of the European Union ban on incandescent light bulbs, citing official tests of danger from CFLs if broken. According to test results released Thursday, December 2, by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), the mercury levels from broken CFLs are twenty times higher than regulations allow in the surrounding air for five hours after breakage. Jochen Flasbarth, President of UBA, said the phase-out should occur “with safer products that have no avoidable health risks” and called the mercury danger “the Achilles heel” of the energy saving bulbs. Yet the U.S. government claims they are safe and promotes them, trying to show it is better at deciding what is good for people than their own choices in the marketplace.
It can't be that the state bans a safe product and replaces it with a dangerous one,” said Gerd Billen, the leader of the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (VZVB).
In September the European Union began phasing out incandescent bulbs. The complete phase-out is to occur by 2012.
POSTSCRIPT:  On December 13, one week after posting this blog, I received an email from a man who had installed CFLs in his home about a year ago in order to save money from their much-ballyhooed long lives.  Three of them had already failed far short of their advertised life expectancy.  And on one of them the base had melted and showed evidence of charring. 

Also, three other points should be made about John Brazell's experience above. First, notice that breakage of CFLs can occur for a reason other than dropping them; thus dropping them isn't the only way the dangerous mercury can be released. Second, it is likely that whoever cleaned up the broken CFL in the motel was unaware of the proper cleanup procedure and thus did not follow it. If that person vacuumed up the broken glass, the vacuum would have been contaminated, as demonstrated by extensive testing by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Therefore, if the vacuum was then used in other motel rooms, it would have created a health hazard to future occupants of all those rooms for many weeks, perhaps even longer. The MDEP found there was no practical way to decontaminate a vacuum cleaner, and the pollution it would emit into a room from subsequent use could be hundreds of times—sometimes thousands of times—greater than the allowable safety limit.  (See link.)  Third, we don't know how the broken bulb in this instance was disposed of, but many jurisdictions prohibit discarding broken or burned out CFLs in regular trash, requiring instead they be taken to a toxic waste site.  They do this to prevent the danger of mercury pollution of land and ground water. Since only about 25 percent of broken or used CFLS are disposed of properly, there is a good chance the CFL in this case was disposed of in an environmentally unsafe manner. And the person responsible would have been breaking the law.