Update from Copenhagen

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 11:44 AM GMT on December 11, 2009

Update from Copenhagen

There's nothing new from me here, but I wanted to give some specific links to the blogs from our delegation in Copenhagen. Some are leaving today, a few more are coming. The meeting is half over.

I've been looking at the coverage on the newspapers' web sites. With the exception of the Washington Post and the New York Times coverage of COP15 seems to have dropped off the front page. I can't figure out the Wall Street Journal, as it keeps redirecting me to the European edition.

If you are paying attention to the news, then you know there were some big protests urging the "leaders" to act more definitively.

Protest links:

March on Copenhagen

Demonstration and Candlelight Vigil

50,000 Protesters Expected

Global Climate Day from the Detroit Free Press

Population and Climate Change

IPCC Press Briefing and Climategate

IPCC Press Briefing

Climategate: Not IPCC

Finance:

Breaking the Funding Deadlock

Financing the Beast

There's a LOT more there, and I just don't have the ability to list them all. Just started at the top and worked backwards.

And I know no one starts here and then goes to Jeff, but I was completely unaware of this paper. The Arctic Dipole


And my current entry.


Copenhagen: What’s going on here?

In the English newspaper in Copenhagen, the Copenhagen Post, there is a front page story of the statue that sank and has been recovered. The statue is by Jens Galshoit, and is “an obese Lady Justice sitting on an emaciated African man.” A protest piece on temporary exhibit, whose toppling and sinking was a seeming act of vandalism. That is one of the themes here, protest, advocacy, and social justice.

Out in front of the discussions are the issues of justice. Sometimes it is social justice, but more often it is a matter of economic, financial, and ethical justice. As is recognized by most, the developed nations have largely used and benefited from the use of fossil fuels – they are rich. In many cases developing and poorer nations suffer the consequences. The consequences come in two sorts: 1) Those associated with the impacts of climate change, and 2) Those associated with the possibility of retarding economic development in order to mitigate climate change. Many of the words I hear from the official plenary sessions are just how little has been done on issues of carbon dioxide emission reduction and on addressing these issues of justice and fairness in the duration of the Kyoto Protocol.

The meeting has formal sessions discussing issues of policy and science informing policy. Much of the activity, however, is on the floor of the events and side shows that are outside of the official meeting rooms. There are people protesting and advocating specific many positions. This morning I saw signs talking about how carbon offsets are a false solution … something I agree with. There are people dressed up like aliens looking for the absent climate leaders. There is a vocal group advocating vegetarianism and how being vegetarian would have vast changes on the environment.

There is a lot in interest in the Michigan Delegation in finance and the REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). One of most informative discussions I have had was with an employee of the Global Environment Facility , which is an organization that helps to take current development programs and provide the incremental financing for those programs to also address climate change. Since my life seems a long quest of reducing ignorance, this organization has been around since 1991. They have been addressing adaptation to climate change since the Kyoto Protocol was implemented; they work with the countries that ratified the Protocol. So this organization is doing things. I love to find these organizations that push on, trying to do smart things, despite all of the turmoil and the rhetoric that goes on about global warming.

Speaking of the rhetoric, I have heard remarkably little about the emails of climategate. This seems to be an issue of, primarily, the U.S. It has riled up U.S. politicians, and in particular Congressman Sensenbrenner has called for action to not allow certain U.S. scientists to participate in future IPCC assessment activities. This is the sort of overt politicization that occurs in the U.S. which, ultimately, serves to politicize both scientists and science. It’s an escalation. What is, perhaps, a more consequential result of climategate in the U.S. will be any investigation that occurs due to perceived violations of the Freedom of Information Act. (this article again).

I think it is safe to say that this does not really impact the conference as a whole. It creates anxiety amongst those directly involved with the IPCC and some of the government agencies. It creates an extra level of people who have to deal with the turmoil, but there are others who carry on with the work. It is the type of wasted aggravation that contributed to my leaving the U.S. government.

Enough for now. Given the immense size of this meeting, the scores of nations, it is an amazingly well run meeting. I sit amongst the 100s of computers that have been set up for the participants. There are signs all over the city directing people to the right trains and buses. Haven’t found where I can buy the COP scarf. Every one searches for their platform, to say what they feel they need to say.

r

If you want to see the statue mentioned above click here


And here is

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61. biff4ugo
3:58 PM GMT on December 14, 2009
Oneclimate.net was going on about a developing nations walkout related to the two track system. What was that all about?

Can anyone help me with 2 questions?
1. The hole in the ozone layer seems to be shrinking (yea). Will the increased ozone, increase temperature and if so, how much?
2. If the high pressure over the arctic slows the polar jet and decreases exchange with the tropics, why doesn't that help to cool the arctic back down? Is that linked to a slowing of the Gulfstream that would also help cool the arctic back to "normal"?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
59. martinitony
8:16 PM GMT on December 13, 2009
Quoting JFLORIDA:
He was hoping to stand for Africa and the impoverished.

But unfortunately the use of the emaciated male form, the female form, the races and the overweight metaphor are counter productive. They are the wrong negatives for reasons many in the art community miss but shouldn't.

Additionally Any agreement in Copenhagen will benefit the worlds poor - just by the establishment of a world body looking at climate extremes and how they affect peoples. Not to mention disaster and displacement funds.

And also to appeal to nationalism and chauvinism in the way that statue is appealing to the micro geopolitical disasters in tribal, militant and dictatorial leadership, that are Africa's PROBLEM. ( there is actually plenty of AID - food and water now to solve hunger and thirst - its just logistics)

So thank you - lol - you made me like it even less.

And bottom line the people that want to appreciate it are not the ones it needs to convince. So the intended audience is wrong too.


I think you are missing the most important point. We, the people of the west,have a magnificent view of our sense of justice. Lady justice holds the scales and she is statuesque. The third world view is that our justice is onerous to the third world. We have become fat and bloated because of our gluttonous behavior and it is all at the expense of the third world. Note that lady justice is not blind in the statue but appears to just have bad vision.

The artist mocks our view of ourselves. I don't see the race or sex thing as important to the art.

This view that the third world has of us is their justification for asking us to now make things right by subsidizing their economies.

It's actually a pretty decent piece ofd art in that hundreds of years from now it will say something about the history of our time and the emotions of the peoples. All in my opinion FWIW.

I don't like it either, but I think that the artist would approve of that.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
56. martinitony
7:40 PM GMT on December 13, 2009
Quoting JFLORIDA:
As an artist and knowing something of GW and the perspective it was created from I dont care for the statue.

Its offensive probably racist and provides no constructive direction.


What do you think the artist was hoping to convey with the statue?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
55. presslord
7:03 PM GMT on December 13, 2009
I assume there are laws against intentional propaganda dissemination

Of course there aren't...Who would actually believe that?!?!?! There is, however, on most TV sets with which I'm familiar, a function which enables the user to change the channel setting...or turn the device off...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
53. coiltesla3
5:39 PM GMT on December 13, 2009
Quoting cyclonebuster:


I give FOX NEWS an "F" in their answers on the test missing 1,3,5,6,10.
This Shocks the Concious! I assume there are laws against intentional propaganda dissemination - when will it stop?! At minimum, the name "NEWS" must be removed from FOX
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
52. atmoaggie
4:36 PM GMT on December 13, 2009
Quoting JFLORIDA:
I am anxious to see the Pacific Cyclone data from recent years incorporated into studies.

Problem is, our observational data is useless before satellites for TC numbers and intensity.

Before the Dvorak method, peak recorded TC intensity commonly coincided with landfall, thanks to ships appropriately avoiding the eye and eyewall at sea. Thus, true peak intensities were certainly missed in most cases.
Now, we know very well that peak intensity occurs at sea in nearly all TCs, worldwide. Very tough to effectively compare TC data before and after satellites...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
47. martinitony
1:40 AM GMT on December 13, 2009
Quoting whosonfirst:
"Al Gore says AGW is true because he says so. Without the movie and the Nobel Prize, do you really believe the people of this country would as a majority believe in AGW? I don't.
So what you have is a fool who made a movie full of inaccuracies about science that he knows little about influencing a nation of people.
That bothers some of us."


So what I'm getting is that, for you, it has nothing to do with the science - it's all about Al Gore. Al says global warming is a threat, you hate Al and therefore global warming has to be fiction.

At least we know where you're coming from.

And rational, it's not.




You seem to have a problem with reading comprehension. I clearly stated that my problem with al Gore is that his science is full of inaccuracies. How does that statement get me to "nothing to do with science..you hate Al Gore and therefore global warming has to be fiction."

You never answer the hard questions. You just blow them off and come back with some emotional accusation. Actually, you're not alone on this board as there never seems to be attempts to answer the questions just the same old same old.

Guys, if it's warmer out there, and no one disagrees with that, maybe some disagreement as to how much warmer, there will be changes in the world. So, pointing each of these changes out is pretty meaningless as a proof of AGW.

When I took statistics the example of correlation that was used to demonstrate that correlation is not regression was "The sun is shining. There are cracks in the sidewalk. the shining sun causes cracks in the sidewalk."

JFLORIDA is about to say that he didn't know the sun causes cracks in the sidewalk and AL Gore is about to make a movie about the inconvenience of cracks in the sidewalk and how the sun is now responsible for untold broken bones from people tripping on sidewalks cracked by an out of control sun.

Whosonfirst, you and your roommate, I hope, are wiser than the gobbledegook you post here.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
43. martinitony
7:36 PM GMT on December 12, 2009
Quoting whosonfirst:
"You're right, no serious person connects hurricane activity with climate change, but you might want to discuss that with Al Gore and the Nobel Prize committee. He got a Nobel Prize making connections and predictions like that. As to hurricanes being a proxy, where did you get that from? If hurricanes increased with global temperatures as Al Gore has stated, would that be the only cause for increased hurricanes? To be a proxy, I would assume we could measure temperatures by observing hurricane activity. I'm afraid you have made a logic error. Go think about that."

I just don't get the obsession you guys have with Al Gore. There seems to be some assumption on your part that if you're able to discredit the man, global warming doesn't exist.

Your first problem is that folks have been trying for a long time to discredit Al Gore and none have succeeded. He's a good man who has served his country with distinction and your efforts to denigrate him only make you look even smaller.

Your second problem is that the IPCC reports are based on science, very substantial science at that. I don't recall anyone making the claim that AGW is real just because Al Gore said so.

Bottom line, shooting the messenger is not going to make the problem go away.


Al Gore says AGW is true because he says so. Without the movie and the Nobel Prize, do you really believe the people of this country would as a majority believe in AGW? I don't.
So what you have is a fool who made a movie full of inaccuracies about science that he knows little about influencing a nation of people.
That bothers some of us.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
40. martinitony
6:22 PM GMT on December 12, 2009
Quoting JFLORIDA:
Actually the jury is still out on storm frequency as well as strength. So far no statistical connection has been found.

Al Gore won the Nobel prose for bringing public attention to GW.

Since he has been made now a proxy for the whole scientific debate by some Id say they were correct.


Is it a good idea to have a fool, I meant a non serious guy, as a proxy, your word not mine, for the GW movement?
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39. martinitony
6:19 PM GMT on December 12, 2009
Quoting JFLORIDA:
Actually the jury is still out on storm frequency as well as strength. So far no statistical connection has been found.

Al Gore won the Nobel prose for bringing public attention to GW.

Since he has been made now a proxy for the whole scientific debate by some Id say they were correct.


But Al Gore isn't a serious person, right? I mean there doesn't seem to be a connection, as you have stated, and the temperature a few miles down or even 4,000 miles down isn't MILLIONS of degrees as Al Gore stated. Maybe he said it on Letterman and was joking. He was joking, wasn't he?
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37. martinitony
5:37 PM GMT on December 12, 2009
Quoting streamtracker:


Your statement on hurricanes fails on two points:

I have never seen any climate scientist suggest that the number of severe hurricanes is a good proxy for global temperatures.

Nor have a I seen any climate scientist suggest that we expect to see the number of severe hurricanes to increase each year. As with any climate data trends dip and bob.

And I have never seen a serious climate scientist suggest that you could conclude anything about climate trends from three years of data.





You're right, no serious person connects hurricane activity with climate change, but you might want to discuss that with Al Gore and the Nobel Prize committee. He got a Nobel Prize making connections and predictions like that. As to hurricanes being a proxy, where did you get that from? If hurricanes increased with global temperatures as Al Gore has stated, would that be the only cause for increased hurricanes? To be a proxy, I would assume we could measure temperatures by observing hurricane activity. I'm afraid you have made a logic error. Go think about that.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
34. martinitony
5:27 PM GMT on December 12, 2009
Quoting whosonfirst:
"You shouldn't hold your breadth for that one. He could start by explaining away the lack of severe hurricane seasons for the last three years. That should be interesting."

Why do you think that he needs to explain away anything?

"Those of you who have any belief in random observations might want to check the weather for a handful or two of cities across the northern hemisphere for the upcoming week. You might try try starting with Seattle , Chicago , Boston, London, Copenhagen, Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Beijing, and Honolulu. Those were the ones I checked forecasts versus seasonal averages. All were forecast below normal. I know, it's not as accurate as those satellite figures, but it was a pretty good random sample. Probably doesn't mean much unless you invest in natural gas and heating oil futures."

What you're describing is weather. The topic of this blog is climate change.




Pardon me, but how do we know anything about the climate without measuring the weather? You're really going to need to answer that question or be regarded as a fool.

Also, silly one, I didn't say he anyone needed to do anything. I suggested he do something. You know the difference don't you?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
33. streamtracker
4:49 PM GMT on December 12, 2009
Quoting atmoaggie:

Sometimes, yes, indeed. Waiting patiently for his post on the manufactured fear industry so we will have a complete story.


Why are you waiting - I just posted a link to it. Go ahead dig in.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
31. streamtracker
4:47 PM GMT on December 12, 2009
Quoting martinitony:


You shouldn't hold your breadth for that one. He could start by explaining away the lack of severe hurricane seasons for the last three years. That should be interesting.

Those of you who have any belief in random observations might want to check the weather for a handful or two of cities across the northern hemisphere for the upcoming week. You might try try starting with Seattle , Chicago , Boston, London, Copenhagen, Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Beijing, and Honolulu. Those were the ones I checked forecasts versus seasonal averages. All were forecast below normal. I know, it's not as accurate as those satellite figures, but it was a pretty good random sample. Probably doesn't mean much unless you invest in natural gas and heating oil futures.


Your statement on hurricanes fails on two points:

I have never seen any climate scientist suggest that the number of severe hurricanes is a good proxy for global temperatures.

Nor have a I seen any climate scientist suggest that we expect to see the number of severe hurricanes to increase each year. As with any climate data trends dip and bob.

And I have never seen a serious climate scientist suggest that you could conclude anything about climate trends from three years of data.



Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
30. Patrap
4:26 PM GMT on December 12, 2009
Dr. James Hansen on Letterman Thursday Night.




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29. martinitony
4:17 PM GMT on December 12, 2009
Quoting atmoaggie:

Sometimes, yes, indeed. Waiting patiently for his post on the manufactured fear industry so we will have a complete story.


You shouldn't hold your breadth for that one. He could start by explaining away the lack of severe hurricane seasons for the last three years. That should be interesting.

Those of you who have any belief in random observations might want to check the weather for a handful or two of cities across the northern hemisphere for the upcoming week. You might try try starting with Seattle , Chicago , Boston, London, Copenhagen, Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Beijing, and Honolulu. Those were the ones I checked forecasts versus seasonal averages. All were forecast below normal. I know, it's not as accurate as those satellite figures, but it was a pretty good random sample. Probably doesn't mean much unless you invest in natural gas and heating oil futures.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
28. atmoaggie
3:38 PM GMT on December 12, 2009
Quoting streamtracker:


Looks like WU's own Dr. Jeff Masters is cherry-picking too.

The Manufactured Doubt industry and the hacked email controversy


Sometimes, yes, indeed. Waiting patiently for his post on the manufactured fear industry so we will have a complete story.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
26. streamtracker
2:42 PM GMT on December 12, 2009
Quoting atmoaggie:

Me, too.

And I did look at the link. Reminded greatly of cherry-picking data to show a desired result...


Looks like WU's own Dr. Jeff Masters is cherry-picking too.

The Manufactured Doubt industry and the hacked email controversy

In 1988, the fossil fuel industry realized it had a serious problem. The summer of 1988 had shattered century-old records for heat and drought in the U.S., and NASA's Dr. James Hansen, one of the foremost climate scientists in the world, testified before Congress that human-caused global warming was partially to blame. A swelling number of scientific studies were warning of the threat posed by human-cause climate change, and that consumption of fossil fuels needed to slow down. Naturally, the fossil fuel industry fought back. They launched a massive PR campaign that continues to this day, led by the same think tanks that worked to discredit the ozone depletion theory. The George C. Marshall Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Heartland Institute, and Dr. Fred Singer's SEPP (Science and Environmental Policy Project) have all been key players in both fights, and there are numerous other think tanks involved. Many of the same experts who had worked hard to discredit the science of the well-established link between cigarette smoke and cancer, the danger the CFCs posed to the ozone layer, and the dangers to health posed by a whole host of toxic chemicals, were now hard at work to discredit the peer-reviewed science supporting human-caused climate change.
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20. mobal
3:34 AM GMT on December 12, 2009
Quoting whosonfirst:


Vanderbilt, that's another one of those Southern schools, right?


You are no longer worth my time.
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18. mobal
2:37 AM GMT on December 12, 2009
I Think my uncle played for Michigan, may have been M state. I need to ask my mother. He ended up doing the wrestling thing and then a preacher......go figure.....

Either way, I did not get his Genes! Big guy!
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17. martinitony
2:31 AM GMT on December 12, 2009
Quoting mobal:


Good one....I am sure my daughter at Vanderbilt would agree.


Mobal, you're right to avoid Michigan. Their football team is comparable to a high school JV team.

My daughter went to Michigan and eventually moved to California. We avoid discussing politics and most other things. That way we get along just fine.

She now lives in San Diego where there is no weather. Ohio has weather.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
16. mobal
2:20 AM GMT on December 12, 2009
Quoting whosonfirst:


I think that's a wise choice as Big 10 schools are generally quite challenging academically. I'm sure your kids would be a lot more comfortable in a SEC school. Much more relaxing - academically that is.


Good one....I am sure my daughter at Vanderbilt would agree.
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13. mobal
1:43 AM GMT on December 12, 2009
Note to self, DO NOT PAY TUITION FOR ANY OF MY CHILDREN TO UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN!
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