December 2004

As in all other climate conferences, the major environmental pressure groups are making their presence felt here. Friends of the Earth International (FoE) is pushing bans on genetically modified trees, promotion of hydroelectric projects by international bodies like the U.N., and climate change litigation against business and governments.

FoE are pursuing these efforts through various coalitions. It is pushing the GM tree ban alongside the World Rainforest Movement. Especially significant for the United States, however, is FoEs efforts on behalf of climate change litigation, which it is promoting in conjunction with fellow environmentalist giants Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Greenpeace. The three groups are sponsoring an event–to occur minutes from now–featuring Ken Alex from the California State Attorney Generals office. The event announcement states that the speakers, “will explain the recent legal actions around the world against governments and companies, highlighting their scientific backing, and warning that there will be more to come unless deep cuts are made in emissions are victims are compensated.”

Tonight, WWF also co-hosts a reception on “Bringing Climate Change Home – How People Witness Climate Change,” at which “WWF will thank our Climate Witnesses from Nepal, India, Fiji, and Argentina, for their willingness to come to COP 10 and for their hard work in testifying about the impacts of climate change on their communities.” The event will feature “cultural perfomances,” which “will be supported with films and statements.”

So global warming is now a crime for which there are culprits and victims and that occurs within a short period of time with immediately observable effects?

Last month the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment issued a report predicting the extinction of polar bears and other Arctic-related calamities supposedly caused by the dreaded global warming. At the time, I didn’t understand what the big deal was since, among other things, the claims in the report weren’t new — for example, the data underlying the polar bear scare had been published in 1999! But an article in today’s New York Times cleared up my confusion.

Inuit leaders announced today at the COP-10 meeting in Buenos Aires that they will seek a ruling from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (an arm of the Organization of American States) that the U.S. is threatening their existence by contributing to global warming. The Inuit plan is to sue either the U.S. in international court or U.S. companies in federal court for damages allegedly due to global warming. The Inuits hope to get from the Commission a declaration that the U.S. has violated the Inuit’s rights.

According to the Times, experts say the Inuit petition “could have decent prospects” since recent studies (read last month’s Arctic Climate Impact Assessment report) have concluded that greenhouse gas emissions are contributing to “big environmental changes in the Arctic.”

The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment report, then, was really all about laying the groundwork for the Inuits to sue the U.S. and U.S. companies! Moreover, U.S. taxpayers paid for the report, which will now be used as a basis to sue us!

Last night, before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Center for International Environmental Law announced a complaint on behalf of Arctic Inuit peoples against the United States “for causing global warming and its devastating impacts.” 

    And what are the devastating impacts? 

    “Apparently their snowmobiles are falling through the ice,” relays Christopher C. Horner, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who is attending this week’s global-warming negotiations in Buenos Aires. 

    “Leaving aside for the moment this action’s legal merits (there are none), a remarkable approach to oral argument on this case was tried at a Monday night event publicizing a report underpinning this complaint,” Mr. Horner tells this column. 

    The speaker was Dr. Robert Corell, “most famous for his steady hand guiding the conveniently timed November 2000 ‘National Assessment on Climate Change,’ a compendium of scary climate stories released by the Clinton-Gore administration,” he says. 

    “According to Dr. Corell, it seems that the Inuits, who he boasts have lived a subsistence lifestyle just as their ancestors have done for 9,000 years, now have that cold, hand-to-mouth bliss threatened by global warming.”

 Wednesday, December 15, and Im finally at the COP–though its been much busier outside of the convention center.

Ironically the meeting is being held at the Argentine Rural Society (La Rural, for short), an agriculture promotion body. Next to the convention hall is an amphitheater that looks like it could be used for equestrian or cattle shows.

Myron and I arrived in Buenos Aires on Sunday, December 12, nearly 5 hours late after we were bumped from our flight and rerouted through Sao Paulo. Our luggage did not arrive, but, luckily, I did have one carry-on bag with some clothes.

I contacted Armando Ribas, the host of a live weekly  political commentary TV show on which I was set to appear. We made it to the studio, and I appeared for about eight minutes near the end of the show. I focused on the fact that many of the biggest country supporters of Kyoto–mainly Europe–are projected to decline in population, while developing countries population is projected to expand. Greater population means greater energy demand. Thus, Kyoto, by leading to energy rationing, would be a disaster for the developing world.

I spent much of Monday trying to track down our luggage whlile Myron was at the COP. The bags finally arrived that evening, and I had to leave Bjorn Lomborgs  Copenhagen Consensus event early to meet the delivery driver. I made it to the convention center once that day. When we found La Rural, which is quite huge, I asked a police officer where we could find the entrance. He directd us to look for “the arc that says Greenpeace.” Word had it that Myron was being denounced at various events by leftist environmentalists.

Tuesday I prepared all day for the evening event at Fundacion Atlas, who were kind enough to lend me office space for the day. The event, a forum featuing six speakers, was largely successful. We got a large crowd, most of whom stayed through what turned out to be a fairly long event. Myron made a concise presentation on the bad science beind Kyoto, while I concluded with the economic argument against it, once again citing population. The event was in Spanish; and I translated for Myron. After the event, a few people told me that theyd seen me on TV on Sunday night.

On Wednesday, we participated in a lunch discussion with local media, academic, and business leaders, also arranged by Fundacion Atlas, to whom we owe a great deal of thanks. We made some very valuable contacts at these events. We hope to collaborate with them in the future in our fight for freedom.

Kyoto global-warming negotiations have resumed in Buenos Aires, where yesterday it was 85 degrees and sunny (being that the start of summer is a week away in the Southern Hemisphere). 

    “With what appears to be everyone consigned to drying their clothes on the rooftop here, it is curious why such an energy-impoverished country would splurge an estimated $10 million to host thousands of bureaucrats pushing a treaty premised on too much energy use,” remarks conference attendee Christopher C. Horner, senior fellow at Washington’s Competitive Enterprise Institute. 

    Still, the last time Buenos Aires hosted such talks in 1998, the United States signed the Kyoto Protocol. While the United States never actually rescinded that signature, its team once again finds itself in a hostile “environment.” 

    “Right off the bat, U.S. negotiators publicly minced no words about joining Kyoto or anything resembling its ‘targets and timetables’ of energy rationing,” notes Mr. Horner. 

    Treaty negotiations are nothing without intrigue, and there is a buzz over two interesting developments. First, the Times of London late last week splashed word of Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, who vows a monomaniacal climate crusade to match his campaign-finance ‘reform’ victory, mediating a face-saving U.S. climate-treaty commitment for British Prime Minister Tony Blair. 

    “All parties denied this was the goal, but attendees here claim McCain’s visit is being quietly followed up this week by his more moderate colleague and presidential hopeful Senator Chuck Hagel, the Nebraska Republican,” reports Mr. Horner.”Blair remains under increasing pressure from neighbors such as French President Jacques Chirac to show that he has ‘gotten something’ for his cooperative relationship with President Bush over Iraq. 

    “If a U.S. ‘global warming’ commitment is indeed the pound of flesh that Blair seeks to shed his ‘poodle’ moniker, one wonders how replacing a claim of ‘blood for oil’ with ‘blood for Kyoto’ would sit any better with the voters he faces next year.” 

    Stay tuned.

University Park, Pa. — To date, most research associated with global climate change has focused on determining whether it really is happening, and trying to gauge how much — and how fast — average temperatures and precipitation levels will change.

But a researcher in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, in a study funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the last five years, has taken a different tact. His work assumes global warming is occurring and accepts the tendency of models that predict Pennsylvania will grow slightly warmer and wetter in the not-so-distant future. His research focuses on the effect of global climate change on Pennsylvania’s agriculture, water resources and economy.

“My interest is primarily in the adaptation to climate change,” says James Shortle, distinguished professor of agricultural and environmental economics. “There are a lot of people who are worrying about modeling climate change, trying to determine to what extent it is happening and looking at influencing climate change through pollution control, but my research is much more about how we should be adjusting to what we expect is happening.”

Shortle doesn’t think there is much doubt left about global climate change. “The evidence only continues to accumulate,” he says. “Even the more credible skeptics are being converted. I had colleagues who said this is not happening, but I have seen those opinions change. People are having a hard time maintaining their skepticism of global climate change. The large societal risks cannot be ignored.”

But the effects for Pennsylvania won’t be all bad, according to research done by Shortle and his colleagues. “Climate change is likely to benefit our state’s agriculture,” he explains. “Higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere should stimulate photosynthesis and raise crop yields, while crops may also benefit from additional spring and summer rainfall and warmer temperatures.”

Experts are uncertain whether climate change will enhance the Keystone State’s position in the national and international agricultural markets. If Pennsylvania’s growing conditions improve while those in other regions deteriorate, the state’s production of crops and livestock could bring higher prices.

“There are clearly a number of factors that are going to influence agriculture in Pennsylvania,” Shortle says. “My guess is that climate change will be the least significant. We need to distinguish between what’s good for farmers and what’s just good for crop production. Markets will change, and competition will affect farm profits, so we really must look at agricultural changes across the globe to determine what changes might mean to Pennsylvania.”

Factors such as environmental regulations, new agricultural technology, nutrient and water resources management, and farmland preservation are important. “Of course, if we don’t save enough farmland in Pennsylvania, future market demands won’t matter much,” Shortle says. “And pests are a wildcard in this kind of prognostication, because it may be that the same warmer, wetter weather that will boost crops also will benefit pests, and we may be dealing with more and different invasive pests than we do now.”

If, as predicted, ocean levels rise, storm surges increase and the state sees more — and more-severe — hurricanes and other storms in coming decades, Pennsylvania’s neighbors with shoreline and coastal plains, such as New Jersey and Maryland, likely will have to deal with inundation of wetlands and drastically increased beach erosion. “But the Keystone State won’t get off unscathed, and we will have to deal with much less obvious changes in our ecosystem,” Shortle says. “That’s why we are involved in risk assessment now. Pennsylvania will have to adjust to the impacts of global climate change too, but it’s harder to say what they will be.

“Changes are not likely to be radical, but we have to look simultaneously at human systems and physical systems — they cannot be separated,” Shortle adds. “Global climate change will have an impact on Pennsylvania’s economic and social systems over time.”

International global warming activists will have CEI sound-science team Myron Ebell, Director of International Environmental Policy, and Ivan Osorio, CEI Editorial Director, to contend with at the 10th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec. 13-17.

Contact Myron Ebell in Argentina at 202-320-6685 or

Ebell and Osorio will be available for interviews live from Argentina (Osorio in Spanish and English) and will report breaking news and eye-witness accounts on:

 This is the first UNFCCC Conference of the Parties since Russias ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, which will enable the treaty to go into effect on February 16, 2005. 

 CEI is an officially-accredited NGO to the UNFCCC and one of the few accredited groups opposed to the Kyoto agreement.

 Ebell and Osorio will participate in public and media events, including the conference : 

Climate Change, Energy, and the Future of the World Economy, Tuesday, December 14, 6:45 pm – Conference: co-sponsored with Fundacin Atlas. For more information on this event, please email or call (54) 11.4343.3886.

CEI global warming experts Iain Murray and Fred Smith will also be available for U.S.-based interviews on the conference.

Visit to view CEI commentary and analysis on global warming.

Sen. Lout-enberg?

by William Yeatman on December 10, 2004

in Politics, Science

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) complained to the Washington Post in a published letter (Dec. 11) that too much space was given to the views of Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute in a Dec. 2 Post article on global warming. Lautenberg’s letter is below. My comments are in bold and indented.

Juliet Eilperin’s Dec. 2 news story on climate change, “Humans May Double the Risk of Heat Waves,” is the latest example of the media’s “he said, she said” treatment of what reputable scientists say is one of the greatest threats to the human race.

I dont know what Frank is referring to here. The media usually takes the side of the global warming alarmists!

Even worse, the article countered the findings of the world’s top climate scientists by quoting an oil industry-funded economist.

Myron may not be a scientist, but I cant think of too many people that know as much as he does about the science, economics and politics of the global warming controversy.

Such reporting is not credible, nor does it illuminate a subject of significant importance.

Uh, Frank, in journalistic circles, giving adequate voice to opposing sides is called balance.

The article began by citing a peer-reviewed study published in the revered scientific journal Nature, which reported that the risk has more than doubled for the type of lethal heat wave responsible for 35,000 deaths in Europe last year.

Frank may not know this, but the journal Nature doesnt really have any credibility on the global warming issue any more. It decided in the 1990s that manmade global warming was real and that it would only print studies that supported its pre-determined position. In any event, the study in question isnt really science — like most other global warming fearmongering, its computer modeling that is constructed to produce pre-determined answers. Garbage-in, garbage-out, as they say.

But the last half of the article is squandered on the views of Myron Ebell, an economist — not a climate scientist — whose “studies” at the American Enterprise Institute are funded by Exxon Mobil.

Actually, Myron is at the Competitive Enterprise Institute — a completely different organization than the American Enterprise Institute. I guess to Frank, all free-market/limited government supporters look alike! Im not quite sure why Frank is throwing stones at AEI for being supported by ExxonMobil — Frank has accepted campaign contributions from Exxon and other energy companies in the past – more than $275,000 between 1989-1996.

The article fails to mention this shameless conflict of interest.

Shooting the messenger is typical strategy of the junk science crowd. Rather than address the substance of Myrons comments, Frank chose to engage in ad hominen attack. And what about the conflict of interest among the authors of the Nature study? After all, the study authors are from the U.K.s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research — an organization that is funded by the U.K. government, whose official policy is that manmade global warming is real. Hadley is so predisposed towards global warming that it even describes the science supposedly underlying the global warming movie The Day After Tomorrow as real enough.

The problem with this type of reporting was highlighted at a recent Senate Commerce Committee hearing. Robert Correll, senior fellow at the American Meteorological Society, warned, “The trouble with a debate of this nature is you put 2,600 [scientists] against two or three or four [scientists who disagree].”

Corrells statement is misleading in two respects. First, Correll has the numbers way wrong. Most importantly, it doesnt really matter how many scientists are on one side or the other. In science, hypotheses are supported by data, not opinion polls.

Ebell is not in the same league as the qualified climate scientists who report that the climate is changing before our eyes;

Frank, climate has always been changing and always will be changing — thats the nature of climate. Im tempted to say that Franks almost old enough to remember when advancing glaciers in the 14th century announced the onset of the deadly Little Ice Age in Europe!

only the intensity and the speed of those changes are unknown.

The direction of climate change is also unknown – and for my money, Id rather that climate warm up than cool down, which is famine-inducing.

Your newspaper does an injustice to its readers by giving Ebell’s caterwauling equal weight with the widely accepted views

Widely accepted by who? Frank Lautenberg? Environmental activist groups? The liberal media?]

of reputable and unbiased scientists.

I suppose that depends on what the meaning of reputable and unbiased is!

— Frank R. Lautenberg
The writer is a Democratic senator from New Jersey.

Tell Sen. Lout-enberg what you think of his desite to censor those who dare disagree with global warming ortho-doxy.


 MSU1278-1104.gif (29171 bytes) As determined by NOAA Satellite-mounted MSUs

Information from Global Hydrology and Climate Center, University of Alabama – Huntsville, USA
The data from which the graph is derived can be downloaded

Global Mean Temperature Variance From Average, Lower Troposphere, November 2004: +0.151C
(Northern Hemisphere: +0.292C , Southern Hemisphere: +0.010C )
Peak recorded: +0.746C April 1998. Current change relative to peak recorded: -0.595C

GISS1278-1104.gif (30202 bytes) GISTEMP Anomaly November 2004 +0.72C .
The data from which the graph is derived can be downloaded here

Peak recorded: +0.97C February 1998. Current change relative to peak recorded: -0.25C

Best estimate for absolute global mean for 1951-1980 is 14C (57.2F)
Estimated absolute global mean November 2004 14.72C (58.5F)

Discrepancy between GHCC MSU & GISTEMP November 2004: 0.569C

Global temperature trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.08 C per decade

November temperatures (preliminary):

Global composite temp.: +0.15 C (about 0.27 degrees Fahrenheit) above 20-year average for November.

Northern Hemisphere: +0.29 C (about 0.52 degrees Fahrenheit) above 20-year average for November.

Southern Hemisphere: +0.01 C (about 0.02 degrees Fahrenheit) above 20-year average for November.

October temperatures (revised):

Global Composite: +0.24 C above 20-year average
Northern Hemisphere: +0.25 C above 20-year average
Southern Hemisphere: +0.23 C above 20-year average

(All temperature variations are based on a 20-year average (1979-1998) for the month reported.)

Notes on data released Dec. 8, 2004:

A color map of temperature anomalies from the previous month may soon be available on-line at:

The processed temperature data is available on-line at:

As part of an ongoing joint project between UAH, NOAA and NASA, Dr. John Christy, a professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center (ESSC) at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), and Dr. Roy Spencer, an ESSC principal research scientist, use data gathered by microwave sounding units on NOAA satellites to get accurate temperature readings for almost all regions of the Earth.

This includes remote desert, ocean and rain forest areas for which reliable climate data are not otherwise available.

The satellite-based instruments measure the temperature of the atmosphere from the surface up to an altitude of about eight kilometers above sea level. Once the monthly temperature data is collected and processed, it is placed in a “public” computer file for immediate access by atmospheric scientists in the U.S. and abroad.

Neither Spencer nor Christy receives any research support or funding from oil, coal or industrial companies or organizations, or from any private or special interest groups. All of their climate research funding comes from state and federal grants or contracts.

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Vol. 14, No. 7

For Additional Information:

Dr. John Christy, UAH, (256) 961-7763

Dr. Roy Spencer, UAH, (256) 961-7960