Monday, January 24, 2005

Who's up for an "End of the World" scam?

Ruh oh! It's Countdown to global catastrophe:
The global warming danger threshold for the world is clearly marked for the first time in an international report to be published tomorrow - and the bad news is, the world has nearly reached it already.
Good so far - the "End of the World" has to be pretty close or no one would care. But hold on a sec! It has to be far enough away that the marks can be properly milked.
The countdown to climate-change catastrophe is spelt out by a task force of senior politicians, business leaders and academics from around the world - and it is remarkably brief. In as little as 10 years, or even less, their report indicates, the point of no return with global warming may have been reached.
"Impeccable sources" and a comfy 10 year deadline - this is beginning to look promising, but where's the red meat?
And it breaks new ground by putting a figure - for the first time in such a high-level document - on the danger point of global warming, that is, the temperature rise beyond which the world would be irretrievably committed to disastrous changes. These could include widespread agricultural failure, water shortages and major droughts, increased disease, sea-level rise and the death of forests - with the added possibility of abrupt catastrophic events such as "runaway" global warming, the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, or the switching-off of the Gulf Stream.
All right, now we're talking! So after the marks are duly alarmed, you go for their wallets:
The report urges all the G8 countries to agree to generate a quarter of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025, and to double their research spending on low-carbon energy technologies by 2010.
They're for firewood and nuclear power! Er, probably not, but the main point is to get them to lay out some money, no matter how little. Then you keep going back for more.
It also calls on the G8 to form a climate group with leading developing nations such as India and China, which have big and growing CO2 emissions.
It's sure tough deciding which is most promising, being a diplomat organizing meetings of the "climate group" or a scientist fishing for grants to study the problem. Both seem pretty lucrative. Of course, the real fun is when the political loonies show up. Where's Jimmy Carter in his sweater? Or Babs Streisand hanging her wash on the line?

Which reminds me - Hurricane Scientist Leaves U.N. Team:
A federal hurricane research scientist resigned last week from a U.N.-sponsored climate assessment team, saying the group's leader had politicized the process.

Chris Landsea, who works at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's hurricane research division in Miami, said Monday that he would not contribute to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's chapter on atmospheric and surface climate conditions because the lead author had told reporters global warming contributed to intense Atlantic hurricanes last year.

In a letter he posted on the Internet, Landsea said there was little evidence to justify Kevin Trenberth's assertion in October that in light of current warming trends, "the North Atlantic hurricane season of 2004 may well be a harbinger of the future."

"It is beyond me why my colleagues would utilize the media to push an unsupported agenda that recent hurricane activity has been due to global warming," he wrote. "My view is that when people identify themselves as being associated with the IPCC and then make pronouncements far outside current scientific understandings that this will harm the credibility of climate change science and will in the longer term diminish our role in public policy."
They're in on the scam, Chris! And they want a payoff now rather than later.