It's unlikely we'll ever meet Kyoto targets

By Peter Worthington -- For the Toronto Sun

The Kyoto protocol on global warming -- of which Canada was a prime mover and enthusiastic supporter -- took effect 11 days ago.

Yet Canada, for all its firm intentions, is unlikely to ever to live up to its pledge -- thank goodness, because the whole Kyoto thesis is not only controversial, but probably a hoax.

As a former finance minister, Paul Martin surely knows this. But he also knows that by the date that Canada must live up to its pledge -- 2012 -- he'll be long gone as PM, and it'll be the next PM's problem.

The Kyoto protocol is based on the thesis that global warming, supposedly caused by the emission of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide -- CO2), is bad, and must be curbed. Some 130 countries have ratified the protocol which now must be executed.

I and others like me remain unconvinced that there is such a thing as global warming -- as opposed to cyclical climate changes that have been going on for millions of years.

For all man's scientific wisdom, the ability to accurately predict climate changes has eluded human competence. Heck, we can't even predict next week's weather with any reliability.

Want to know why Canada, for all its zeal, will fail wretchedly to live up to its Kyoto agreements, negotiated in 1997?

Emissions rising

Consider: Canada is pledged, by 2012, to have reduced its CO2 emissions (from cars and other fossil fuel devourers) to 6% below what these emissions were in 1990 -- but our emissions are rising at an average of 1.5% a year.

At our present rate, by 2012, we'll have to cut CO2 emissions by about 33% to meet the 6% reduction pledge. Unlikely.

As individuals, Canadians are the world's second-largest (after Americans) consumers of energy. And the U.S. hasn't signed the Kyoto protocol, which both Democrats and Republicans think is nuts. Without American participation, the whole thing will fall apart.

The U.S. says bluntly that to agree to Kyoto would be destructive to its economy. (When he was president, Bill Clinton went along with Kyoto, but the Senate and House hugely rejected it, as did President George W. Bush).

Ludicrously, China, the world's second largest emitter of greenhouse gases, is exempt from Kyoto's terms because the treaty doesn't apply to underdeveloped or developing countries.

If CO2 emissions are so bad, it's absurd that some countries are exempt from controls or restraints under Kyoto -- until their economies catch up to developed countries.

No sense

Does that make sense? Of course not. If it's true that CO2 emissions are bad, surely they're bad for everyone -- not just developed countries. To exclude developing countries is like a doctor telling a patient that his cancer is small, so wait until it's further developed before treating it.

There's irony in Canada having huge natural gas reserves in the Arctic which, if developed, would cut CO2 emissions. But to exploit these reserves will require burning lots more fossil fuel in machinery to get at it. And this doesn't even get into developing Alberta's oilsands -- which constitute the world's largest sources of crude oil, which China wants!

Under the Kyoto arrangement, developed countries can swap "credits" with other countries to limit their own commitment, which smacks of voodoo economic diplomacy.

As it is, Canada has already spent nearly $4 billion -- with more to come after last week's federal budget -- to persuade (con?) individual Canadians to voluntarily reduce greenhouse emissions. Predictably, most have ignored the pleas.

The greater the strength of our economy, the less likely we can ever meet our Kyoto commitments.

But that isn't important, because global warming is a myth and Kyoto a fraud -- it's more a wealth distribution scheme to curb the economies of affluent countries and assist poor ones.

"Hockey Stick" global warming theory reduced to sawdust

Cooler Heads Coalition
By Iain Murray
October 08, 2004

Once again (see previous issue), a new study finds that the “hockey stick” reconstruction of past temperatures produced by Michael Mann and colleagues is based on methodological errors and shortcomings. In “Re-constructing Past Climate from Noisy Data” (Science Express, Sept. 30), Hans von Storch and colleagues first looked at the likelihood of being able to get an accurate climate signal from historical proxy data (tree rings, boreholes, ice cores, etc.) by estimating the amount of statistical “noise” inherent in such data. They discovered that the amount of noise was such that it was likely that hockey-stick like reconstructions had severely underestimated past climate variability.

This would explain why the hockey stick, which claims to show that the global mean temperature during the first 900 years of the last millennium was relatively stable and then rose sharply in the twentieth century, failed to show evidence of the Medieval Climate Optimum and the Little Ice Age, for which there is a great deal of historical and paleo-climatological evidence. The hockey-stick graph was featured prominently in the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report, published in 2001.

In a commentary on von Storch et al’s paper, T. J. Osborn and K. R. Briffa, prominent paleo-climatologists from the University of East Anglia, stress the importance of the findings. They say, “The message of the study by von Storch et al. is that existing reconstructions of the NH temperature of recent centuries may systematically underestimate the true centennial variability of climate” and, “If the true natural variability of NH [northern hemisphere] temperature is indeed greater than is currently accepted, the extent to which recent warming can be viewed as “unusual” would need to be reassessed.”

In an interview with the German newspaper Der Spiegel, von Storch commented, “We were able to show in a publication in ‘Science’ that this [hockey stick] graph contains assumptions that are not permissible. Methodologically it is wrong: rubbish.” Von Storch also pointed out the IPCC’s role in cutting off questioning on the subject: “It remains important for science to point out the erroneous nature of the Mann curve. In recent years it has been elevated to the status of truth by the U. N. appointed science body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This handicapped all that research which strives to make a realistic distinction between human influences and climate and natural variability.”

Von Storch also commented on Mann’s defense of his now thoroughly discredited research. “His influence in the community of climate researchers is great,” he said. “And Mann rejects any reproach most forcefully. His defensiveness is understandable. Nobody likes to see his own child die. But we must respect our credibility as research scientists. Otherwise we play into the hands of those skeptics of global climate change who imagine a conspiracy between science and politics.”

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