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Hamilton Roddis Lecture



A comprehensive look at global warming, delivered to the University of Wisconsin's School of Forestry

A comprehensive look at global warming, delivered to the University of Wisconsin's School of Forestry



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  • Arctic cooling Feb and March, claims of warming don’t work; no trend, and not now. Since 2005 cooling at rate of 1.8 deg/century…too short? Huh. We’d heard that the 4 years leading up to then showed meaningful warming…double standard?
  • A painting of the Thames River by James Grifier in 1683. It depicts a medieval ice ‘fayre’ events that were held from the reign of Elizabeth I up to about 1830 when the the overall warming meant the ice did not form sufficient to support a coach and horses as depicted in this painting or the ice fayre.
  • Another painting of the ice conditions in London in 1683. The old London Bridge is in the background. Some have tried to argue the ice formed because of the bridge. This is rubbish. The ice was forming before the bridge was built. In addition, the bridge would constrict the water flow that would increase the rate of flow.
  • That the early European settlers arrived in North America in the middle of the Little Ice Age did little to make things more comfortable for them. Early records of European settlers in North America are full of accounts of bitter winters. In the accompanying illustration an Arctic chill in January 1844 froze Boston Harbor and trapped Britannia, one of the Cunard liners, threatening the Cunard's reputation for reliability. Luckily some of Boston's leading citizens put up the money to cut an ice channel through which the ship made a daring escape. Boston harbor froze many times during the 19th century.
  • Another symbolic painting by the master of symbolism Pieter Breughel. The scene shows cold conditions of the Little Ice Age. The painting is titled “Winter Scene with Birdtrap” The trap has a string running from the string attached to the stick holding the boards up. The housewife “lards” the trap and when birds are underneath pulls the string. If you sum up human history in one word it is “hunger”. Birds were a major source of food supply especially in long hard winters.
  • The colder weather ultimately put an end to the daring fashions of the years after the French Revolution which 'exposed the person': it was said at the time that 'it took the aid of the north wind to enforce the return to modesty in women's dress' (The Diary of a Country Parson 1758-1802 by James Woodforde).
  • composite index of global mean surface temperature anomalies, taking the mean of two surface and two satellite datasets and updated through November 2008
  • No peer-reviewed articles that cast doubt on theory of catastrophic climate change? These are just a sample from the past few months.
  • Considering that each tick mark is 10,000 years, you can see why there was initially some confusion about cause and effect. But everyone now agrees that temperature generally goes up about 800 years before CO2. There's no doubt whatsoever, though, about falling temperatures: they plummet while CO2 levels are still high. Mr. Gore claims the relationship between CO2 and temperature is very complicated. As such he does not attempt to actually superimpose the two graphs. The ice core data comes from ice cores drilled to a depth of nearly 12,000 feet or 2.2 miles at the Vostoc Station in Antarctica. Like Mr. Gore, the United Nations uses this information to “prove” that earth’s CO2 and temperature are highly correlated. And they are right. However, a high correlation proves nothing. To give an extreme example, there is a 100 percent correlation that any human that breaths air will die. But that does not prove that breathing air kills people. Far from it. We would all die if we didn’t breath air. But even the correlation used by Mr. Gore and the United Nations is misleading. Notice, they kept the two graphs separate. By doing so, the human eye perceives that CO2 causes temperature to rise. However, when the temperature graph is superimposed over the CO2 graph is become apparent than CO2 tends to follow temperature, not proceed it, strongly suggesting that CO2 does not cause the temperature to change, but that temperature causes CO2 to change.
  • Club for Growth…may have heard Stephen and Glenn Beck yesterday discussing GlobGov and cap-n-trade as pretext

Hamilton Roddis Lecture Hamilton Roddis Lecture Presentation Transcript

  • Global Warming: Science, Economics, Ethics Iain Murray UW-Madison Hamilton Roddis Lecture Kemp Natural Resources Station August 18, 2009
  • What is the Global Warming Debate About?
    • It’s About Science
      • What is the evidence telling us?
      • Are we hearing that?
    • It’s About Economics
      • How much does ‘doing something’ cost?
      • Do the benefits outweigh the costs?
    • It’s About Ethics
      • What will be the effect of ‘doing something’ on the developing world?
    • So Global Warming is a Policy question, not a Scientific one
  • The Science What is the evidence telling us?
  • The Temperature Record
  • What Does This Mean?
    • Is the Earth currently warming?
    • Is the recent warming unusual?
    • Is there an identifiable CO2 fingerprint?
  • Isn’t There Less Arctic Sea-ice?
  • 2008 + 700,000 sq km > 2007
  • So What About Those Polar Bears?
  • Warmer than it was in 1880
  • But colder than it was in 1934
  • What’s Happening Globally?
  • Is This Unusual? What do we know about previous temperature variations?
  • Glaciers melting ...NOT since SUVs , but since the end of the LIA ! See e.g., Frtiz Range, since 1865 Or, Glacier Bay, since 1860
  • Thames in London painted by Jan Grifier in 1683; The Year of the Great frost
  • The Frozen Thames 1683 - Anonymous
    • Early records of European settlers in North America recount bitter winters.
  • Symbolism 16th century: Breughel Winter Scene with Bird Trap
    • “ Snows are less frequent and less deep. They do not often lie, below the mountains, more than one, two, or three days, and very rarely a week. They are remembered to have been formerly frequent, deep, and of long continuance. The elderly inform me the earth used to be covered with snow about three months in every year. The rivers, which then seldom failed to freeze over in the course of the winter, scarcely ever do so now…”
    Thomas Jefferson on Global Warming -- Notes on the State of Virginia 1781
    • Colder weather put an end to the daring fashions 'which exposed the person' of the years after the French Revolution.
    • It was said at the time that it took the aid of the north wind to enforce the return to modesty in women's dress ( The Diary of a Country Parson 1758-1802 by James Woodforde).
    Look to the French: How did they deal with the last appreciable climate change?
  • The Hockey Stick IPCC 2001
  • The Data Re-analyzed Burger & Cubasch 2005
  • If The Hockey Stick Is Broken…
    • “ [E]nhanced variability during pre-industrial times, would result in a redistribution of weight towards the role of natural factors in forcing temperature changes, thereby relatively devaluing the impact of anthropogenic emissions and affecting future predicted scenarios. If that turns out to be the case, agreements such as the Kyoto protocol that intend to reduce emissions of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, would be less effective than thought.”
    • Jan Esper, Robert J.S. Wilson, David C. Frank, Anders Moberg, Heinz Wanner, Jurg Luterbacher, “Climate: Past Changes and Future Ranges,” Quaternary Science Reviews, 24 (2005), 2164-2166
  • What About Other Metrics?
    • Sea-level Rise?
    • Ocean Temperature?
    • Sea-ice extent in Antarctic?
    • Hurricane Activity?
  • Sea-level Rise?
  • Ocean Temperature?
  • Sea-ice Extent in Antarctic?
  • Hurricanes and Cyclones?
  • But Isn’t There an Indisputable Link Between CO2 and Warming?
    • Up to a point, Lord Copper!
    • Basic physics says, all other things being equal, more GHGs = warmer world
    • But are all other things equal?
  • Scientific Understanding is Lower than You Might Think
  • So now we’re told of “faster than predicted” warming…even as it cools CO2 rising but global temps falling (forget sun, clouds, oceans)
  • Isn’t CO2 Increasing Faster Than Anticipated?
  • How much more warming can we expect? Probably less than they tell us
  • IPCC projections – NOT predictions
  • The Models Are Essentially Linear
  • Data – the Modeler’s Burden
  • Models vs Data
  • Testing The Theory
    • Jim Hansen’s predictions in 1988
    • The IPCC Predictions
    • Lindzen’s Test
  • So What Do We Hear?
  • No Peer-Reviewed Articles!
    • Really?
    • Lindzen and Choi 2009
  • J.R. Petit, J. Jouzel, et al. Climate and atmospheric history of the past 420,000 years from the Vostok ice core in Antarctica, Nature 399(3June), pp 429-436, 1999. As constructed by the United Nations Environmental Program.
  • UK High Court Throws Out: All of AIT’s money claims, and its premise
    • Polar bears drowning
    • Pacific Islanders evacuating
    • Thermohaline shutdown…“scientific impossibility”
    • Greenland melt yielding enormous sea level rise
    • Antarctic ice loss…nope, increasing
    • Melting Mt. Kilimanjaro, drying Lake Chad
    • Causing coral bleaching and species loss
    • Global warming causing hurricane Katrina
    • CO2-increases-cause-temperature-increases: the premise from which they all flow is BACKWARD
  • What Does All This Mean?
    • “ We don’t really know!” – Magnus Pyke
    • There is significant room for doubt
    • Projections are meaningless for policy purposes
    • Claims of catastrophe are overblown
  • The Economics What will emissions reduction cost the US and the world?
  • Benefits of Affordable Energy
    • “ Energy is an indispensable ingredient of material prosperity. . . . Where and when energy is in short supply or too expensive, people suffer from lack of direct energy services (such as cooking, heating, lighting, and transport) and from inflation, unemployment, and reduced economic output.”
    • - John Holdren
  • Emissions Reduction
    • Replacing high-emissions fuel sources with low-emissions fuel sources is expensive
    • High prices mean less energy used
    • Gas demand fell 3% thanks to $4 gas
    • Burden falls mostly on the poor
  • Changes in Net GHG Emissions 1 2000-2006 from 17 Major Economies 1 Includes emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons, and perfluorocarbons, as well as emissions and removals of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide from land-use, land-use change and forestry activities. ** No UNFCCC data available for time period; 2001 through 2005 IEA data used. Sources: UNFCCC, 2008 National Inventory Reports and Common Reporting Formats and IEA Online Energy Services.
  • The Truth About Kyoto
  • How Expensive is the Gore Plan?
  • Environmental Energy Goals Are Fantasy
    • Massive effort is required to cut emissions
    • ‘Approved’ environmental fuels cannot meet energy demands
    • Developing world is not going to comply, even if we completely eliminate emissions
  • Massive Effort Needed to Meet Emissions Goals Source: Clarke, L. et al. 2006. Climate Change Mitigation: An Analysis of Advanced Technology Scenarios . Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Cumulative global emissions reductions ranging from about 1,100 to 3,700 gigatons of CO 2 equivalent would be need over the course of the century to meet a range of atmospheric concentration goals (450 to 750 ppm). 1st GtC Avoided CO 2 Emissions (GtCO 2 /yr) Cumulative Emissions Cumulative Avoided Emissions Unconstrained Emissions Scenario CO 2 Stabilization Scenario ≈ 1,100 to 3,700 gigatons of cumulative CO 2 emission reductions will be needed to meet a range of stabilization scenarios (≈750 ppm to 450 ppm). Time 0
  • How Big is One Gigaton* of CO 2 ? *Gigaton = 10 9 Metric Tons Install 1,000 sequestration sites like Norway’s Sleipner project (1 MtCO2/year)—Only 3 sequestration projects of this scale exist today. Geologic Sequestration Build 273 “zero-emission” 500 MW coal-fired power plants—Equivalent to about 7% of current global installed coal-fired generating capacity of 2 million MW. Coal-Fired Power Plants Convert a barren area of about 4,800,000 km 2 —Equivalent to about 2 times the size of the United Kingdom. Biomass Fuels from Plantations Install capacity to produce 273 times the current global solar PV generation instead of new coal-fired power plants without CCS. Solar Photovoltaics Actions that Provide One Gigaton CO 2 / Year of Mitigation or Offsets Technology Convert a barren area of about 900,000 km 2 —Equivalent to more that the size of Germany and France combined. CO 2 Storage in New Forest Install capacity to produce 14 times the current global wind generation capacity (about 74 GW) instead of new coal-fired power plants without CCS—Equivalent to more than 1 million 1 MW wind turbines. Wind Energy Deploy 273 million new cars at 40 miles per gallon (mpg) instead of 20 mpg (or at 14 km/L instead of 7 km/L). Efficiency Build 136 new nuclear power plants of 1 GW each instead of new coal-fired power plants without CCS—Equivalent to about one third of existing worldwide nuclear capacity of 375 GW. Nuclear
  • 2050 Reference Emissions 2050 Annex I Reference Emissions (18.2 Gt) Annex I Countries Non-Annex I Countries 2050 Non-Annex I Reference Emissions (32.4 Gt) Annex I Emissions at 20% 2000 Emissions Annex I Emissions at 50% 2000 Emissions -100% ( -18.2 Gt ) -84% ( -15.2 Gt ) -59% ( -10.7 Gt ) -62% ( -20.1 Gt ) -71% ( -23.1 Gt ) -85% ( -27.6 Gt ) 1 Includes fossil and other industrial CO 2 . 2 50% of 2000 global GHG emissions equals 12.3 Gt. 3 Equals reduction from 2050 reference for that group ( i.e ., Annex I or Non-Annex I). Source: Climate Change Science Program . 2007. Scenarios of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Atmospheric Concentrations (MINICAM Model results). 2050 Annex I Emissions (0 Gt) 2050 Non-Annex I Emissions (12.3Gt) 2050 Annex I Emissions (3.0 Gt) 2050 Non-Annex I Emissions (9.3 Gt) 2050 Annex I Emissions (7.4 Gt) 2050 Non-Annex I Emissions (4.9 Gt) Annex I Emissions at “0” 2000 2000 To Achieve a 50% Reduction in Global CO 2 Emissions by 2050, Need Significant Reductions from Developing Countries Annual Gigaton CO 2 and Percent Reductions from 2050 Reference 3 CO 2 , Emissions (Gt CO 2 /yr)
  • But Won’t Waxman-Markey Literally Save the Planet?
  • How Much Will Waxman-Markey Cost?
  • Total Costs of Waxman-Markey
    • Gasoline prices will rise 58 percent (or $1.38);
    • Natural gas prices will rise 55 percent;
    • Heating oil prices will rise 56 percent;
    • Electricity prices will rise 90 percent;
    • A family of four can expect its per-year energy costs to rise by $1,241;
    • Including taxes, a family of four will pay an additional $4,609 per year;
    • A family of four will reduce its consumption of goods and services by up to $3,000 per year, as its income and savings fall;
    • Aggregate GDP losses will be $9.4 trillion;
    • Aggregate cap-and-trade energy taxes will be $5.7 trillion;
    • Job losses will be nearly 2.5 million; and
    • The national debt will rise an additional $12,803 per person ($51,212 per family of four).
  • Huh? The President Says It Will Cost a Postage Stamp a Day
    • This is from EPA study that is flawed in several ways
    • Study discounts from future costs to today, after accounting for inflation
    • So real cost to family of $1287 in 2050 is discounted down to $140
    • EPA measures lost consumption, not lost income, so misses 60% of cost
    • EPA measures cost per household (2.6 people), not cost per family of 4
  • What Does This All Mean?
    • Reducing emissions is extremely expensive
    • Even reducing emissions slightly is very expensive
    • Attempts to ‘do something’ are all economic pain for no climate gain
  • The Ethical Issues Who stands to suffer – and who stands to gain – from climate policies?
  • CO 2 Emissions (Gt CO 2 /yr) Important Transitions in Emitting Countries Over the Coming Decades: CO 2 Emissions 1 by Region - 2000 & 2050 About 80 to 90% of the expected increase in GHG emissions between now and 2050 will come from developing countries, primarily China, India & SE Asia. 1 Includes Fossil and other industrial CO 2 . Source: Climate Change Science Program. 2007. Scenarios of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Atmospheric Concentrations (MINICAM Results). Non-Annex I Regions Annex I Regions
  • 2050 Reference Emissions Annex I Countries Non-Annex I Countries Annex I Emissions at 20% 2000 Emissions Annex I Emissions at 50% 2000 Emissions -100% -84% -59% -62% -71% -85% 1 Measured as MMTCO 2 per million people, excluding LULUCF. 2 50% of 2000 global CO 2 emissions equals 12.3 Gt. 3 Equals reduction from 2050 reference for that group ( i.e ., Annex I or Non-Annex I). Source: Climate Change Science Program . 2007. Scenarios of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Atmospheric Concentrations (MINICAM Model results). Annex I Emissions at “0” To Achieve a 50% Reduction in Global CO 2 Emissions by 2050, Per Capita Emissions from Developing Countries Must Go Down Percent Reductions from 2050 Reference 3 2000 Annex I Reference Emissions/ Capita (12.7) 2000 Non-Annex I Reference Emissions/ Capita (4.4) 2050 Annex I Emissions/ Capita (0) 2050 Non-Annex I Emissions/ Capita (1.7) 2050 Annex I Emissions/ Capita (2.1) 2050 Non-Annex I Emissions/ Capita (1.3) 2050 Annex I Emissions/ Capita (5.2) 2050 Non-Annex I Emissions/ Capita (0.7) CO 2 , Emissions per Capita (MMTCO2 per million pop.) 2000 2000
  • Scale of Biomass Land Area Land Use Scenario ≈ 550 ppmv Source: Global Energy Technology Strategy, Addressing Climate Change: Phase 2 Findings from an International Public-Private Sponsored Research Program , Battelle Memorial Institute, 2007. Land Use Scenario with 0.5% annual agricultural activity growth. By 2050, land use required for bioenergy crops may account for approximately 4 to 5% of total land use; by 2095 approximately 20%.
  • The Developing World Knows This
    • “ Indian environment minister Jairam Ramesh told Clinton that "there is simply no case for the pressure that we, who have among the lowest emissions per capita, face to actually reduce emissions".
    • “ During an hour-long private meeting with Clinton, Ramesh also accused the US of threatening to impose carbon tariffs on Indian exports if it failed to sign up to international emission redcuction targets.”
    • -- BusinessGreen, July 21, 2009
  • Reality of an Energy-Starved World
  • The Undercover Economist Speaks
    • “ If we are honest, then, the argument that trade leads to economic growth, which leads to climate change, leads us then to a stark conclusion: we should cut our trade links to make sure that the Chinese, Indians and Africans stay poor. The question is whether any environmental catastrophe, even severe climate change, could possibly inflict the same terrible human cost as keeping three or four billion people in poverty. To ask that question is to answer it.”
    • -- Tim Harford, The Undercover Economist , 2006
  • Emissions Reduction - Cui Bono?
    • Rent-seeking businesses
    • Politicians
    • Ideologues
  • Certain “entrepreneurs” began the global warming industry … John Palmissano post-Kyoto memo to Ken Lay, 12/97
    • “ if implemented, this agreement will do more to promote Enron's business than will almost any other regulatory initiative outside of restructuring of the energy and natural gas industries in Europe and the United States.”
    • "Enron now has excellent credentials with many 'green' interests including Greenpeace, [World Wildlife Fund], [Natural Resources Defense Council], German Watch, the U.S. Climate Action Network, the European Climate Action Network, Ozone Action, WRI, and Worldwatch."
    • "This position should be increasingly cultivated and capitalized on ( monetized ).”
    Kyoto “is exactly what I have been lobbying for” "This agreement will be good for Enron stock!!"
  • Why policymakers are so enamored of “Cap-and-Trade”
    • It imposes a rationing scheme under which the State decides how much, e.g., gasoline or electricity from disfavored sources such as coal the private sector can use, imposing a ration (e.g., WWII gas rationing)
    • This ration – or “cap” – is set on basis of historic emission levels…so, e.g., success is penalized
    • A means to raise the price of energy – it’s the Point – without taking the painful vote on a less costly direct tax
    • Price hikes are not some side-effect they’re working to fix
    • Cap-and-trade rationing is “the most significant revenue-generating proposal of our time.” Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) 4/09
  • “ The Perfect Enemy” Talk about a No Spin Zone
    • To attain public acceptance of anti-growth agenda, "New enemies therefore have to be identified. New strategies imagined, new weapons devised
    • … In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill . ”
      • The Club of Rome
      • “ The First Global Revolution”
      • 1991, page 104
  • Conclusion
    • The science is much less certain than it is being portrayed
    • The economics clearly shows that emissions reduction is vastly more expensive than the benefits gained
    • Developing world cannot afford further energy starvation
    • There are powerful vested interests that will benefit while everyone else suffers
  • A Final Thought
    • “ In short, if we can rise to the challenge, the permanent abolition of the wheel would have the marvelously synergistic effect of creating thousands of new jobs - as blacksmiths, farriers, grooms and so on - at the same time as it conserved energy and saved the planet from otherwise inevitable devastation.”
    • -- Catherine Bennett, The Guardian, 2004