TCS Daily

Coalition of the Seething

By Tim Ball - September 16, 2005 12:00 AM

The banner "STOP CLIMATE CHAOS" was unfurled in London earlier in September to announce a new coalition of eighteen social and environmental groups including Greenpeace, Oxfam, WWF, Friends of the Earth, People and Planet. What the banner should say is "STOP THE POLITICAL EXPLOITATION OF CLIMATE CHAOS".

The coalition is a desperate collective response to the collapse of Kyoto, cynically coincident with hurricane Katrina. It's a response to the view that the G8 nations didn't listen or act properly; to the better and more workable plans of the US energy policy; and to the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development that includes 45% of the world's population. The environment and especially global warming are seen as an opportunity to defeat the democratic, free trade, and capitalist view of the world. The battle for a single worldview is being won but not as anticipated.

Claims that Katrina is due to global warming are not supported by scientific or historical evidence, but that doesn't stop the hysteria. Beliefs that hurricanes have increased in frequency and severity are simply false. The only measurable increase is in the cost of repairing the damage. This is mostly explained by natural cost increases, exploitation of demand for materials and more people living in regions of climate hazards.

Claims of severe weather increasing in the future are also scientifically and historically wrong. More severe weather is associated with cooling not warming. Storms and tornadoes occur along the boundary between the warm subtropical air and the cold polar air known as the Polar Front. The power of the storms is a function of the temperature contrast across the Front known as the Zonal Index. Global warming theory says the polar air will warm more than the subtropical air thus reducing the temperature contrast and the potential for severe weather.

Kyoto was an attempt to control, limit or even weaken industrialized nations built on capitalism, trade and democracy. Maurice Strong, principle architect of the Rio conference and it's offspring Kyoto, reportedly said. "Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized nations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about?" Now Kyoto is unmasked as unworkable because it pays very high economic cost for absolutely no gain. Even attempts to suggest it was about pollution failed. Charles Dumont of Lombard Street Research says it "would in no way prevent global warming" and puts the cost at 16 trillion dollars.

European leaders going to the G8 knew they couldn't meet commitments despite lower targets than North America. They also knew of the pact signed prior to the G8 by nations who did not sign Kyoto. The countries are the U.S, Australia, Japan, India, China and South Korea and they account for 45% of the world's population, 48% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions and 48% of the world's energy consumption. Three of them, the U.S., India and China, will drive the world economy in this century. The pact follows the lines of the new U.S. Energy Bill signed by the President on August 8 in New Mexico. Like all bills, there was pork, but overall it's sensible, balanced, provides for development of better technology, and pursues alternative energy without jeopardizing the economy.

A communiqué issued after the G8 meeting in Scotland sounded a hidden death knell. Like so many political statements, the devil was in the detail. "While uncertainties remain in our understanding of climate science, we know enough to act now to put ourselves on a path to slow and, as the science justifies, stop and then reverse the growth of greenhouse gases," the communiqué stated. The devil words that kill Kyoto and angered the extremists are "slow" and "as the science justifies."

To see more of the extensive coverage of Hurricane Katrina from TCS, click here.



TCS Daily Archives