Friday, November 28, 2008

REUTERS: US$1 billion lawsuit against world leaders for global warming

http://blogs.reuters.com/environment/2008/11/28/sue-world-leaders-1-billion-for-global-warming/

Aaron Gray-Block reports from Reuters today:

Tags: Environment, climate treaty, crimes against humanity, global warming, greenhouse emissions, international criminal court...James Lovelock, James Hansen, Mark Lynas, Fred Pearce, Tim Flannery, Sharon Astyk, James Howard Kunstler

AMSTERDAM -- In a global stunt, a U.S. environmental activist is poised to lodge a $1 billion damages class action lawsuit at the International Criminal Court (ICC) against all world leaders for failing to prevent global warming.

Activist and blogger Dan Bloom says he will sue world leaders for “intent to commit manslaughter against future generations of human beings by allowing murderous amounts of fossil fuels to be harvested, burned and sent into the atmosphere as CO2″.

He intends to lodge the lawsuit in the week starting Sunday, Dec. 6.

The prosecutor’s office at the ICC, the world’s first permanent court (pictured below right) for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity, says it is allowed to receive information on crimes that may fall within the court’s jurisdiction from any source.

“Such information does not per se trigger a judicial proceeding,” the prosecutor’s office hastened to add.

The question is: will or should the prosecutor take on the case?

One might argue in defence that world leaders are in fact trying to impose climate-saving measures. In Vienna last year, almost all rich nations agreed to consider cuts in greenhouse emissions of 25-40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. Talks on a new climate treaty will be held in Poznan, Poland, from Dec. 1-12.

Rajendra Pachauri, head of the U.N. Climate Panel, says the cuts are needed to limit temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius, an amount seen by the EU, some other nations and many environmentalists as a threshold for “dangerous” climate change.

Granted then that there is growing consensus that climate change poses a real threat, is it not only world leaders who are failing to prevent global warming?

Perhaps the global collective of individuals, governments and industry is to blame and the ICC lawsuit a valid publicity stunt in the constant battle to raise awareness and prompt action?

Because it’s action we need — and now, right?

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

3 comments so far

November 28th, 2008
6:44 pm GMT

From a purely legal point of view, he would have to prove that there is some conceivable and legal course of action (so declaring military law and shooting SUV drivers is out), which could have been taken by these leaders, which if taken would have reduced warming.

Clearly, nobody can prove such a proposition. The real problem is that the most likely outcome is that he will simply harden the resolve of all those SUV drivers.

- Posted by Ian Kemmish

November 28th, 2008
7:35 pm GMT

Take it to court. At least that way the science will prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the globe HAS NOT WARMED in 10 YEARS, even though carbon emissions have continued to rise! Case dismissed. At least the people aren’t fooled. Thank God for democracy.

- Posted by totalkaosdave

November 29th, 2008
2:38 am GMT

“The question is: will or should the prosecutor take on the case?”

As the plaintiff for this class-action lawsuit, I do hope the ICC will take the case. I think they should. However, while some readers here might see my lawsuit is futile, it is not pointless. Some will agree with me, others will disagree. Let the worldwide discussion, pro and con, begin. Politely. While some observers might call this a “publicity stunt”, and in many ways it could be seen as such, I prefer to call it a “publicity gesture” or a “publicity outreach”, to say to all world leaders and IPCC conference participants in Poland next month: “Please listen to James Lovelock and Hames Hansen and Tim Flannery and Fred Pearce and Mark Lynas and Sharon Astyk and James Howard Kunstler now. Before it is too late!”

- Posted by Dan Bloom

dan said...

Climate Protests Escalate Worldwide


Ben Block
November 24, 2008 11:48 AM



Photo courtesy Evergaldes Earth First! Members of Everglades Earth First!, a Florida-based environmental group, block the construction site of a natural gas-fired power plant in February. Lynne Purvis and seven other members face charges next month for trespassing onto the site.
Lynne Purvis stood apart at a Ritz Carlton cocktail party Thursday night.

Surrounded by coal, oil, and natural gas executives at a Bank of America energy conference in Key Biscayne, Florida, Purvis and her six friends had not been invited. Armed with banners and signs, they still made their presence known.

"Bank of America forgot to put alternative energy into the agenda," Purvis, a member of the activist group Everglades Earth First!, said into her megaphone. "So as the clean energy transition team, we were asked to speak to you all tonight."

The party guests were less than impressed with Purvis's sense-of-humor. One guest allegedly wrestled the activists' banner out of their hands. During the melee, Purvis said, two of her associates were doused with beer.

"We did commit trespassing," Purvis said. "But is trespassing truly a crime as opposed to putting the entire planet in turmoil?"

Climate activists worldwide are raising the stakes, with many turning to civil disobedience to make their voices heard. Actions in recent months have ranged from chaining themselves to coal conveyor belts in Sydney, to forming port blockades in the Netherlands, to scaling smokestacks in the United Kingdom.

The rise in activism reflects growing frustration against the continued, and expanding, use of coal as a source of energy. The fuel, while affordable, is directly linked to climate change and air pollution.

"What I see is - in the last year - it just exploded and went from being a sizable amount of people, several thousands of very active youth all around the country, to just hundreds of thousands of young people," said Brianna Cayo Cotter, communications director for Energy Action Coalition, a network of North American youth climate activists. "I feel like the floodgates are about to open. We have the numbers. We have the skills. We have the passion."

In Europe, where some 50 new coal plants are being planned, Greenpeace is leading a continent-wide campaign [PDF] to halt eight upcoming projects in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. In the United Kingdom, plans are under way to build the country's first coal plant in 34 years. Activists have escalated their opposition to the proposed construction this year.

In the United States, a nationwide fight against 150 proposed new coal-fired power plants that began four years ago has put a serious dent in the coal industry's plans. Through the courts, government lobbying, and acts of civil disobedience, activists have helped cut in half the number of new coal power stations.

The movement achieved a major victory last week. In response to a Sierra Club lawsuit, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ruled that a proposed coal plant in Utah would need a plan for controlling its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions before being granted a federal operating permit. The ruling essentially delays all such permits for the time being. "In the immediate future, no new coal plant will be moving forward," said Virginia Crame, a Sierra Club associate press secretary.

Meanwhile, the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has staged campaigns targeting two of the largest funders of such coal projects: Bank of America and Citibank. Last weekend, RAN and Greenpeace organized more than 50 events across the country to protest the banks' financial support of the fossil fuel industry.

"A lot of people are jazzed up about it because global warming was such an important issue in the election on the state and federal level," said Mary Nicol, the Greenpeace student network coordinator. "The cleanest coal plant is the one that isn't built. The youth generation really understands that."

Environmental author Bill McKibben organized 1,400 simultaneous call-to-action events, known as Step It Up, in 2007. He has since founded 350, an organization that raises awareness of the 350 parts per million of CO2 equivalent that many climate scientists consider the maximum level necessary for a stable climate.

Following a rally at the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 18, McKibben said that plans for a fall 2008 global day of action would be announced at the climate conference in Poland next month. "Hopefully there will be rallies on every corner of the planet. We have organizers working on every continent except Antarctica," he said. "We need people to realize that coal is the dirtiest fuel on our planet."

McKibben also said he expects more acts of civil disobedience in the next year. "It'll happen. Keep your eyes open in D.C.," he said.

The Energy Action Coalition is expecting 10,000 participants at its second annual Powershift, a conference of climate workshops, lobbying, and protests in Washington in February. Similar "climate camps" have been held this past year in London, Hamburg, and Newcastle (Australia).

The large-scale campaigns rekindle memories of effective grassroots campaigns from the 1960s and ‘70s. But a saturation of information has made it more difficult now for organizers to attract attention, said Paul Wapner, director of the Global Environmental Politics Program at American University.

"There is a changing landscape in which activism in general, not just environmental, finds its expression," Wapner said. "With the Internet and all sorts of media, it's hard to figure out how one makes a difference and not just have their message get lost in the virtual world."

Regardless of whether the world is watching, more activists are risking arrest for the cause, and more support is coming their way.

In the U.K., six Greenpeace activists faced criminal charges this past summer for damaging a coal-fired power station on the Kent coast. With the support of NASA climatologist James Hansen, an Inuit leader, and other environmentalists, the defendants argued that they were acting on behalf of the world - specifically the Pacific island state of Tuvalu, the Arctic ice cap, and China's Yellow River, they said.

The jury ruled that their actions were indeed protecting property in England and across the globe. The activists were cleared of all charges.

In the United States, 11 protesters who formed a human barrier to a power plant construction site in Virginia in September faced 10 criminal charges and a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison, until a plea bargain was reached last month. Hansen again offered his support.

"If this case had gone to trial, I would have requested permission to testify on behalf of these young people, who, for the sake of nature and humanity, had the courage to stand up against powerful ‘authority,'" Hansen said in a prepared statement [PDF].

Next month, Lynne Purvis will appear in court as well. She faces charges of trespassing, unlawful assembly, and resisting arrest following a protest earlier this year against the construction of a natural gas-fired power plant in the Everglades. She, too, requested that Hansen testify on her behalf, but he has yet to respond.

Stories of climate activists who have avoided punishment did not, however, influence Purvis, she said. "I honestly don't pay too much attention to that kind of stuff. My personal motivation is that whatever the consequence, it's better than the massive consequence that will be felt by the entire community and the entire planet."

Ben Block is a staff writer with the Worldwatch Institute. He can be reached at bblock@worldwatch.org.

Anonymous said...

Global Warming is a Human Rights Issue for Artic Inuit Tribes

>From New York Times

December 15, 2004

Eskimos Seek to Recast Global Warming as a Rights Issue
By ANDREW C. REVKIN


The Eskimos, or Inuit, about 155,000 seal-hunting peoples scattered around
the Arctic, plan to seek a ruling from the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights that the United States, by contributing substantially to global
warming, is threatening their existence.

The Inuit plan is part of a broader shift in the debate over human-caused
climate change evident among participants in the 10th round of international
talks taking place in Buenos Aires aimed at averting dangerous human
interference with the climate system.

Inuit leaders said they planned to announce the effort at the climate
meeting today.

Representatives of poor countries and communities - from the Arctic fringes
to the atolls of the tropics to the flanks of the Himalayas - say they are
imperiled by rising temperatures and seas through no fault of their own.
They are casting the issue as no longer simply an environmental problem but
as an assault on their basic human rights.

The commission, an investigative arm of the Organization of American States,
has no enforcement powers. But a declaration that the United States has
violated the Inuit's rights could create the foundation for an eventual
lawsuit, either against the United States in an international court or
against American companies in federal court, said a number of legal experts,
including some aligned with industry.

Such a petition could have decent prospects now that industrial countries,
including the United States, have concluded in recent reports and studies
that warming linked to heat-trapping smokestack and tailpipe emissions is
contributing to big environmental changes in the Arctic, a number of experts
said.

Last month, an assessment of Arctic climate change by 300 scientists for the
eight countries with Arctic territory, including the United States,
concluded that "human influences" are now the dominant factor.

Inuit representatives attending the conference said in telephone interviews
that after studying the matter for several years with the help of
environmental lawyers they would this spring begin the lengthy process of
filing a petition by collecting videotaped statements from elders and
hunters about the effects they were experiencing from the shrinking northern
icescape.

The lawyers, at EarthJustice, a nonprofit San Francisco law firm, and the
Center for International Environmental Law, in Washington, said the
Inter-American Commission, which has a record of treating environmental
degradation as a human rights matter, provides the best chance of success.
The Inuit have standing in the Organization of American States through
Canada.

Sheila Watt-Cloutier, the elected chairwoman of the Inuit Circumpolar
Conference, the quasi-governmental group recognized by the United Nations as
representing the Inuit, said the biggest fear was not that warming would
kill individuals but that it would be the final blow to a sturdy but
suffering culture.

"We've had to struggle as a people to keep afloat, to keep our indigenous
wisdom and traditions," she said. "We're an adaptable people, but
adaptability has its limits.

"Something is bound to give, and it's starting to give in the Arctic, and
we're giving that early warning signal to the rest of the world."

If the Inuit effort succeeds, it could lead to an eventual stream of
litigation, somewhat akin to lawsuits against tobacco companies, legal
experts said.

The two-week convention, which ends Friday, is the latest session on two
climate treaties: the 1992 framework convention on climate change and the
Kyoto Protocol, an addendum that takes effect in February and for the first
time requires most industrialized countries to curb such emissions.

The United States has signed both pacts and is bound by the 1992 treaty,
which requires no emissions cuts. But the Bush administration opposes the
mandatory Kyoto treaty, saying it could harm the economy and unfairly
excuses big developing countries from obligations.

That situation makes the United States particularly vulnerable to such
suits, environmental lawyers said.

By embracing the first treaty and signing the second, it has acknowledged
that climate change is a problem to be avoided; but by subsequently
rejecting the Kyoto pact, the lawyers said, it has not shown a commitment to
stemming its emissions, which constitute a fourth of the global total.

The American delegation at the Buenos Aires conference declined to comment
on Tuesday on the petition or the arguments behind it. "Until the Inuit have
presented a complaint, we are not responding to that issue," a State
Department official said. "When they do, we will look at what they have to
say, consider it and then respond."

Christopher C. Horner, a lawyer for the Cooler Heads Coalition, an
industry-financed group opposed to cutting the emissions, said the chances
of success of such lawsuits had risen lately.

From his standpoint, he said, "The planets are aligned very poorly."

Delegates who flew to the conference from the Arctic's far-flung
communities, where retreating sea ice imperils traditional seal hunts, said
they planned to meet in Buenos Aires with representatives from small-island
nations that could eventually be swamped by rising seas, swelled by
meltwater from shrinking glaciers and Arctic ice sheets.

Enele S. Sopoaga, the ambassador to the United Nations from Tuvalu, a
15-foot-high nation of wave-pounded atolls halfway between Australia and
Hawaii, said he still saw legal efforts as a last resort.

Tuvalu had threatened to sue the United States two years ago in the
International Court of Justice, but held off for a variety of reasons.


Larry Rohter contributed reporting from Buenos Aires for this article.

m/revkin

Anonymous said...

Publicity stunt?: Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. But I could almost get behind this guy. (I don’t think it’s the answer, though.) Sue world leaders $1 billion for global warming?

dan said...

Scientists: Earth is still heating up
By GLENN HUROWITZ | 11/27/08 6:13 PM EST Text Size:



Glenn Hurowitz says that scientists are not abandoning evidence of global warming.
Photo: AP





The Nov. 25 Politico article, “Scientists urge caution on global warming,” suggested that a “growing” number of scientists have suddenly abandoned 50 years of research and the evidence in front of their eyes and decided that the Earth is cooling.

In fact, the opposite is happening: almost every day, new peer-reviewed scientific reports are published showing that the Earth is heating up fast due to increased use of fossil fuels, deforestation, and bad agricultural practices – all of which spew global warming gases into the atmosphere.

Here’s the truth about what’s happening to the planet:

As we burn more and more fossil fuels and cut down the world’s forests, concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen from 250 parts per million in the preindustrial age to 386 today. Every year, it’s creeping up about 2 million parts per million as we burn more and more.

All those extra greenhouse gases are trapping a lot of heat in the atmosphere. As a result, global temperatures have increased a little over one degree since the start of the industrial revolution. According to the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global warming will cause temperatures to increase an additional 11.5 degrees this century.

Because of the extra heat, the Earth’s natural systems have stopped functioning like they’re supposed to:

The Arctic is melting. This summer, sea ice in the Arctic reached its second lowest level ever( the lowest was in 2007), a whopping 860,000 square miles below average, according to satellite monitoring by the National Snow and Ice Data Center. As the sea ice disappears, polar bears, who spend most of their life hunting from the sea ice, are being spotted in large numbers in the open ocean, too far for even them to swim. One polar bear was sighted 60 miles from shore in the Chukchi sea.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research and other scientists project that summer sea ice will disappear entirely by mid-century, spelling doom for all but a few remnant populations of polar bears – and serious trouble for the planet.

In the 20th Century, sea levels rose a half foot. In the 21st Century, unless we act to stop it, they’re going to rise somewhere between one half and two feet, according to the IPCC. But recent studies in the journals Nature and Science noted that the IPCC had neglected some important factors like, er, the impact of melting glaciers, raising estimates of sea-level rise to as much as 4.2 feet – which would put large swathes of the United States under water, including much of Manhattan, Miami, and even the Capitol Mall.

Between 2000-2007, 74 percent of U.S. cities recorded average temperatures at least .5 degree higher than the 30 year average. Alaska, the Southeast, and the West are feeling the most severe impacts.

As the Earth warms, there’s more energy in the oceans, leading to stronger storms. As residents of the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts know well, severe storms are getting more extreme and may even be getting more frequent. If you live in California or the Mountain West, you’ve probably experienced first-hand the boom in wildfires. Today, they’re burning an average 10,000 square miles a year, compared to just 5000 square miles between 1920-1980, according to a recent study in the journal Science. And once they start, they burn more than four times as long.

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JOIN THE CONVERSATION (read all 33 comments)
POSTReplies: 33
Dayahka
Party: Independent Reply #1

Date: Nov. 27, 2008 - 10:25 PM EST


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Could we get everyone to agree that if there is global cooling or warming that both natural and human factors may play a role. If global warming is increasing, surely the tens of thousands of undersea volcanoes and other natural processes, like insolation, have something to do with it, so it's not just nature or humans--but both. If we can agree on that, we next need to ask how much from each source. Now, as for the changes the climate system seems to be undergoing we need to ask: Why is the current climate, or the climate of a few years ago, considered to be the ideal climate? Could not the climate be either cooler or warmer and still be OK? Or is this a purely anthropocentric idea: that the current climate is ideal for us, or a few of us. Surely we could do with a few less deserts? Surely we could enjoy a bit less ice and cold? Or it it written somewhere that there must be frigidity in Siberia, but not in Minnesota; and there must be ice in the Arctic and on mountaintops? Any, any hypothesis that cannot be questioned and subjected to sceptical inquiry is not a scientific, but a pseudo-scientific, maybe religious, belief rather than a hypothesis. Why is any scepticism regarding global warming treated as if the sceptic were violating the laws of god?
Reply Quote Report Abuse
Chuz Life
Party: Conservative Reply #2

Date: Nov. 27, 2008 - 10:50 PM EST


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Excellent points, Dayahka!

Like I said in the other thread!

"As far as "global warming" is concerned? I can accept the fact (theorized) that "man" can and has caused an increase in "global temperatures."

One of the first "laws" that I learned in early childhood "science" classes... is that "for every action, there is an equal and opposite re-action." "Heat" is a byproduct of any and everything that uses energy. Period. So, How anyone can believe that the millions of running vehicle engines, generators, incenerators, air conditioners, heat pumps, electronics.... etc do NOT have the equal and opposite effect of "heating" the environment.... it is beyond my ability to understand it.

Every TV, computer, toaster, water heater, source of friction (tires, gears, etc).... EVERYTHING we do... produces heat.

To those who doubt "man-made" global warming... have you ever walked barefooted on a rooftop, sidewalk, parking lot etc... on a sunny day? Hot enough for you? Where do you think that heat came from... and where do you think it is going?

Well consider how many THOUSANDS of square miles of roofs, roads, and sidewalks the Earth has now... that it didn't have hundreds of years ago. Think about ALL of the sources of heat that I have listed (and consider how many I have missed).... Consider the fact that concrete and blacktop actually STORE heat well into the night after the sun goes down.

Then remember that simple law that "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction" and tell me how "man" could not possibly be affecting average temperatures.

But beyond ALL of that,... and despite all of that (all of the heat produced by man)... We have only managed to nudge the average "global" temperature a small and insignificant amount. ESPECIALLY when you consider the fluctuations we can and have (as a planet) endured throughout the Planet's lifespan.

Natural changes involving solar flares, tectonic plates, and volcanic activity for example.... have (according to the fossil record) caused far greater shifts in the Earths temperatures than man could do un-intentionally.

So, we have managed to raise the average temperature a degree or two (maybe) despite the earths ability to regulate (and essentially negate) our impact.... Maybe.

I don't see that in itself as a "sky is falling" panic worthy reason to radically change our uses of technology and resources... based solely on the need to bring the temperatures back down."

This article does no more to sway my perspective than the other one did.



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OBAMORON; "One who declares that a child is NOT a child until it lives too long and looks too much LIKE a child to be denied anymore."-www.ChuzLifenet
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Dick Day
Party: Democrat Reply #3

Date: Nov. 27, 2008 - 10:57 PM EST


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But the senators from Oklahoma say global warming is a fiction made up by evil scientists in an attempt to push a liberal agenda. Maybe its just cooler in Oklahoma. What is going to happen once the White House stops editing the scientific documents?
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Dick Day
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'BamaDon
Party: Independent Reply #4

Date: Nov. 28, 2008 - 12:37 AM EST


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Here's my take -

I see no reason (motive) for scientists to make up crap, so I accept that a large part of gloabl warming is caused by man.

BUT even if I didn't, there is pollution - causing increased asthma, etc, AND the fact there is only so much oil in existence, and we're using it at an increasing rate.

Sooo - If we reduce the use of fossil fuels, we'll send less money to countries that hate us, reduce pollution, and decrease global warming.

I see no down side to going to other forms or sustainable energy - solar, wind, tidal, nuclear, and cellulosic-derived fuels (not corn alcohol).

The "drill here drill now" crowd is the ostrich philosophy.

One other observation - it cracked me up to here Palin say she doesn't feel man is causing global warming and said there have temperature swings in the past - that's true, but it's a contradiction since she believes in creationism, and the evidence of temperature swings was learned through study of fossil evidence - which she doesn't believe in!!!

I hate hypocrisy...


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I feel the best won. Let's move on and fix what's wrong.
Reply Quote Report Abuse
mememine69
Party: Green Reply #5

Date: Nov. 28, 2008 - 7:54 AM EST


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Global warming is a cottage industry of research grants, public speakers, books, movies, websites and politico's preying on the easily duped.
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Silence the Lambs of Greensheep Warm-Mongering EnvironMENTALism
Reply Quote Report Abuse
mememine69
Party: Green Reply #6

Date: Nov. 28, 2008 - 8:01 AM EST


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This media insanity that you glowbull whiners fall for is 23 years old now. Yes a quarter of a century of the end of the world predictions. History will laugh at this.

Why do you pathetic eco terrorists scaring our kids believe what PR firms, corporate media, consultants posing as scientists and pandering politicians push for their self serving agendas say?

I used to be a believer as all deniers were. We know both sides of the story so let's protect our world , not save it with fear from a CO2 crisis that does not exist.

The CO2 theory is not about pollution.

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mememine69
Party: Green Reply #7

Date: Nov. 28, 2008 - 8:41 AM EST


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Few challenges facing America and the world are less urgent than combating the non-problem of "global warming". On all measures, there has been no increase in global mean surface temperatures since 1995; and, according to the University of Alabama at Huntsville, near-surface temperatures in 2008 will be lower than in 1980, 28 years ago, the first complete year of satellite observations. On all measures, global temperatures have been falling for seven full years since late 2001. The January-to-January fall in temperatures between 2007 and 2008 was the greatest since global temperature records were first compiled in 1880, 128 years ago. The rate of new Arctic sea-ice formation in mid-October 2008 was among the fastest since satellite records began almost 30 years ago. There has been no decline whatsoever in the total global extent of sea ice since satellite records began. New records for the extent of northern-hemisphere snow cover were observed by the satellites in the winter of 2001 and again in 2007. This year, many ski resorts are opening early as Arctic weather strikes. Many temperature stations in the northern hemisphere recorded record low temperatures in October/November 2008. These facts are inconsistent with the notion that "global warming" is occurring, still less that it is dangerous. The Sun continues to show very few sunspots. Many solar physicists now predict at least half a century of global cooling, which would be a far greater and more destructive problem than a little warming.
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Silence the Lambs of Greensheep Warm-Mongering EnvironMENTALism
Reply Quote Report Abuse
Murphree
Party: Independent Reply #8

Date: Nov. 28, 2008 - 12:12 PM EST


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Even Palin admits global warming is obvious in Alaska. Yet, the deniers live on. For those more interested in findings than rants, Science News has a readable summary of the latest IPCC report in, http://www.sciencenews.org/vie... Other reputable sources abound: Scientific American, New Scientist, Nature, Science, etc. Meanwhile, the Pentagon expounds on implications. From a 4/17/2007 AP article by Seth Borenstein, 'Retired Gen. Charles Wald said, "One of the biggest likely areas of conflict will be over water". He pointed to the Middle East and Africa. The military report's co-author, former Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, also pointed to sea-level rise driven floods as potentially destabilizing Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam. With global warming, water and food shortages in already volatile regions will destabilize them, "fomenting internal conflicts, extremism, increased authoritarianism, and radical ideologies," states the 63-page military report by the CNA Corp., a national security think tank.' Further, from neo-con hawk, ex-Navy Undersecretary and CIA director, James Woolsey, in the National Review, http://energy.nationalreview.c... "It is true that some who promote oil independence spice their remarks by implying that we might substitute oil from domestic sources or from our near neighbors for cheap Middle Eastern imports, and somehow manage to insulate ourselves from the world oil market. But speechwriters' tropes shouldn't be taken as serious policy proposals. Geology will not cooperate in any such fantasy. There is no reasonable way that we can leave oil in place as the near-exclusive fuel for the world's transportation systems and simultaneously wall ourselves off from the world oil market. If we want to end dependence on the whims of OPEC's despots, the substantial instabilities of the Middle East, and the indignity of paying for both sides in the War on Terror, we must define oil "independence" sensibly - as doing whatever is necessary to avoid oil's being the instrument of despotic leverage and foreign chaos."
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factfinder
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CountryClubRepublican
Party: NA Reply #9

Date: Nov. 28, 2008 - 12:46 PM EST


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Haha. I read this today: Glaciers in Norway Growing Again and then came here. Nowhere in the global warming debate do I see anything about feedback mechanisms that may cause a warming planet to cool again. The earth has warmed and cooled many times in geologic history. What are the mechanisms that causes a warming planet to cool again? What? Scientists don't know? But, I thought the science was "settled" by "consensus"...
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aaronjlevitt
Party: NA Reply #10

Date: Nov. 28, 2008 - 4:12 PM EST


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This is an incredibly complex topic. I don't have time to address even the arguments that I do know about and understand, and those are almost certainly outnumbered by the ones that I don't. Amidst the confusion, though, I can say with confidence that the statement... "For instance, a plug-in hybrid car that runs on clean electricity and gasoline costs less than $1.50 per gallon to drive." ...is only true if gas costs less than $1.50 per gallon. I'm not sure what Mr. Hurowitz meant to say, but hopefully this wasn't it.
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Aaron Levitt
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mememine69
Party: Green Reply #11

Date: Nov. 28, 2008 - 4:20 PM EST


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So melting snow causes global warming? Show proof that any climate trend is our fault. Correlation is cave man logic.
Reply Quote Report Abuse
mememine69
Party: Green Reply #12

Date: Nov. 28, 2008 - 4:21 PM EST


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Ah yes, climate. The great unknown. It's still the mystery that it always was.



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Silence the Lambs of Greensheep Warm-Mongering EnvironMENTALism
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ko
Party: Libertarian Reply #13

Date: Nov. 28, 2008 - 4:41 PM EST


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Wow, this was the biggest piece of global warming propaganda that I have seen yet on politico.


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ko
Party: Libertarian Reply #14

Date: Nov. 28, 2008 - 4:42 PM EST


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TeamPolitico: Nov. 27, 2008 - 6:15 PM EST
California's strong conservation, efficiency, and clean energy increased wages by $44.6 billion and created 1.7 million jobs.


And that's a result even the slickest scientist-for-hire can't dispute.


Arn't they also facing an 11 billion budget defecit? hmm...

Reply Quote Report Abuse
frankdallasjr
Party: Independent Reply #15

Date: Nov. 28, 2008 - 4:53 PM EST


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Looking for objectivity on global climate from Greenpeace is like asking for Talmudic interpretation by Nazis.
Reply Quote Report Abuse
mememine69
Party: Green Reply #16

Date: Nov. 28, 2008 - 5:09 PM EST


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Glowbull whining will be in history what WMD's were to neocons. Lies, myths and tools of power. Get with it Poltico. You will be laughed at.
Reply Quote Report Abuse
jeffmojo
Party: Independent Reply #17

Date: Nov. 28, 2008 - 7:01 PM EST updated


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IS AL GORE STILL BUYING 'CARBON CREDITS' FROM HOMELESS PEOPLE?!


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Israelis 6 | enemies o...anti-Jewish hate rally over at Huff Po!

Reply Quote Report Abuse
andy123
Party: Independent Reply #18

Date: Nov. 28, 2008 - 11:37 PM EST


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If Politico is going to offer space to rebut a simple report by a propaganda piece than I believe it is time to open a forum for serious discussion. This is a serious issue that requires data based discussion and not polemic. The personal attacks really need to stop! The data on global warming is there and sorry, but from about 1998 to 2008 the temperature reported is either dropping or staying flat. There are reports of ice melting and there are reports of substantial ice build-up. There are those who argue that ten years trend is not long enough to be significant, that climate requires long term consideration. At best, or worst what the data suggests is that we are at the low end of the models predictions based on forcing. But we need to look at all the data, and not just pick what we like and discard what we don't. Most probably there is a human contribution and a natural one as well. I do think that we need discussion and not shouting and yelling.
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123andy
Reply Quote Report Abuse
ba4563070
Party: Green Reply #19

Date: Nov. 29, 2008 - 11:10 AM EST


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The earth has heated up and cooled down cyclically throughout it's history. We have circumpolar oil deposits because the average circumpolar temperatures used to be 72 degrees F alleged in a study that was published (and not publicized) about 2 years ago. There are political pressures within the scientific community that have nothing to do with who's in the WH. For those not in the scientific community, it would be hard for me to explain but, in essence, it's "The esteemed Dr, so and so says so, who are you to disagree with him?" Global warming is happening, the assertation humans have anything to do with it is not proven, the earth is a closed environment and will recover, whether people do or not is unknown, although I read a projected population study a few years ago that had our projected earth population at 12 billion max and back down to 3 million in about 200-250 years. That's a pretty massive die-off. We are exceeding the carrying capacity of our environment. Scientists have been saying that for about 50 years and nobody's putting that on the front page. If indeed humans are contributing to global warming, that's proof positive there's too many of us here.
Reply Quote Report Abuse
ntconserv
Party: Democrat Reply #20

Date: Nov. 29, 2008 - 12:17 PM EST


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Wow, what an unbiased article. Can you imagine someone from the discredited Greenpeace organization, spewing this man made global warming psuedo science. The prevailing science is that the earth will go trhu a cooling period due to a decrease in sunspot activity. I love the part about wildfires in CA, I have been hearing about them since I was old enough to read a newspaper. I agree we should go after non oil based energy production, not because of the discredited man made global warming, but to stop sending our money to peolpe that hate us. Ther only scienctest that truly believe in man made global warming now are the ones that need it to keep thier grants going.

dan said...

Debra J. Saunders Archive | E-mail |
When the warmest year in history isn't
Debra J. Saunders

Sunday, November 30, 2008


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Here's another reason why people don't trust newspapers. When science reporters write about, say, hormone therapy or drinking red wine, they report on studies that find that hormones or red wine can be good for you, as well as studies that suggest otherwise. Any science involving complex organisms is rarely black and white.


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Debra J. Saunders
When the warmest year in history isn't 11.30.08
Whining, vendettas will do GOP no good 11.23.08
Revenge of the boxes 11.13.08
Palin smeared by unnamed campaign leaks 11.11.08
More Debra J. Saunders »

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When it comes to global warming, newspapers play up stories that reinforce the prevalent the-sky-is-falling belief that global warming is human-caused and catastrophic. But if a study or scientist does not portend the end of the world as we know it, it rarely rates as news.

In that spirit, many papers (including The Chronicle) have reported on a UC San Diego science historian who reviewed 928 abstracts of peer-reviewed articles on global warming published between 1993 and 2003, and concluded, "Remarkably, none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position."

Over 10 years, not one study challenged the orthodoxy - does that sound right to you? If that were true, it would strongly suggest that, despite conflicting evidence in this wide and changing world, no scientist dares challenge the politically correct position on the issue.

No wonder David Bellamy - an Australian botanist who was involved in some 400 TV productions, only to see his TV career go south after he questioned global warming orthodoxy - wrote in the Australian last week, "It's not even science any more; it's anti-science." Bellamy notes that official data show that "in every year since 1998, world temperatures have been getting colder, and in 2002, Arctic ice actually increased." Exhibit B: MIT Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences Richard S. Lindzen recently wrote, "There has been no warming since 1997 and no statistically significant warming since 1995."

Such findings rarely are reported, even though - as Marc Morano, communications director for the Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, told me - "Scientists keep coming out of the woodwork" to challenge the so-called consensus. "It's almost like a bandwagon effect."

The Global Warming Petition Project urges Washington to reject the Kyoto international global warming pact because there is "no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. So far, the Politico reports, more than 31,000 scientists have signed it.

The latest skirmish in the global warming war - barely reported in America - occurred after two bloggers found that the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies data wrongly cast October as the warmest in recorded history. It turns out that the mistake was due to an error that wrongly tapped September temperature records from Russia. Christopher Booker of the Sunday Telegraph of London found the mistake startling in light of other contrary climate statistics, including National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration findings of 63 local snowfall records and 115 lowest-ever temperatures for the month.

In an e-mail, Goddard researcher Gavin Schmidt said, "The incorrect analysis was online for less than 24 hours." (Thank bloggers Anthony Watts, an American meteorologist, and Steve McIntyre, a Canadian computer analyst, for catching the mistake.) The error occurred because a report "had the wrong month label attached. There is quality control at NOAA and GISS but this particular problem had not been noticed before and the existing QC procedures didn't catch it. These have now been amended."

As for the snowfall records and low temperatures cited by Booker, Schmidt chalked them up to "cherry picking" data. He added, "Far more important are the long-term trends."

Now honest mistakes happen - even in high-powered, well-funded research facilities. Just last year, again thanks to the vigilance of Watts and McIntyre, Goddard had to reconfigure its findings and recognize 1934 - not 1998, as it had figured - as the hottest year on record in American history.

Alas, it is hard to see Goddard as objective when its director, James Hansen, testified in a London court in September in support of six eco-vandals. A jury then acquitted the six Greenpeace activists on charges of vandalizing a British coal-fired power plant based on the "lawful excuse" defense that their use of force would prevent greater damage to the environment after Hansen predicted the one Kingsnorth plant could push 400 species into extinction.

Of course, he could be wrong.

You can e-mail Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@sfchronicle.com.

Anonymous said...

Poznań Climate Change Conference Begins Dec. 1
by Francine Hardaway

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will be meeting for 12 days to try to nail down proposals for its 2009 Copenhagen meeting, at which an ambitious political agreement on how to deal with climate change is expected to be crafted.

This will be complicated. There are 183 Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (a treaty to the UNFCCC), which the U.S. did not sign. The UNFCCC itself has 192 Parties (the U.S. is a Party here).

Under the Protocol, 37 Parties, consisting of both industrialized countries and countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy, have legally binding emission limitation and reduction commitments to stabilize greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.

How Will They Do It?
In addition to the obligation to adopt climate-friendly business practices, one of the easiest way to meet these obligations is for industrialized and developing countries to trade emissions with undeveloped countries.

The Protocol allows industrialized countries to meet their emission targets through trading emission allowances on a newly created carbon market. Countries that reduce emissions below their targets can sell some of their surplus allowances to other countries that have deficits.

Companies in these countries investing in climate-friendly projects, such as reforesting the Amazon, can obtain additional carbon credits in exchange for every ton of emissions saved. These credits can be freely traded on the emerging carbon market.

Unfortunately, the UNFCCC has received data that emissions of 40 industrialized countries with GHG reporting obligations under the Convention rose by 2.3 percent between 2000 and 2006.

For the smaller group of those industrialized countries that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol, emissions in 2006 were about 17 percent below the Protocol’s baseline, but still growing, after the year 2000.

In Poznań, new legistlation to replace the Protocol once it expires in 2012 will begin to be determined.


Francine Hardaway
Working with startup technology companies, entrepreneurs, and social causes. Angel investor, business coach, mom, yoga practitioner, blogger, golden retriever fan, social media junkie. Connected woman.

More articles by Francine

Anonymous said...

Richard Dixon: Lots of words but what is needed is real progress



« Previous « PreviousNext » Next »View GalleryPublished Date: 01 December 2008
DECEMBER is going to be a big month for climate change.

Today the UK's new Committee on Climate Change tells us what they think the UK should be doing and the annual UN conference on climate change starts in Poznan in Poland.

This week or next the Scottish Government will unveil its draft Climate ChaADVERTISEMENTnge Bill.

The UK Committee on Climate Change was set up by the UK Climate Change Bill, which became an act last week.

The committee is chaired by Lord Adair Turner, former director of the CBI, and made up of experts in environment, energy and economics. It is required to advise the UK and devolved governments on targets and policies to meet them.

Its first report in October persuaded the UK government to increase its target from a 60 per cent to an 80 per cent reduction by 2050.

It is charged with setting the first 15 years' worth of carbon budgets under the Climate Act, so its conclusions are vitally important.

Although the first report was very useful it also raised some concerns.

Almost everything they suggested was a "technofix". Clever people in white coats would save us in the end.

While new technology, from electric cars to carbon capture for power stations, may have a very big part to play, we know we also need people to change their behaviour.

This may be voluntary, as people become more concerned about climate change, or it may be the result of the government sending price signals to make people change, but people just doing things differently can bring some of the most rapid reductions in emissions.

There are rumours that the committee may go easy on international aviation, the fastest rising source of climate emissions and something not covered by the Kyoto targets.

Their advice in October was unclear and the UK government has agreed to measure aviation emissions but not to include them in the UK's targets for now.

More positively, it is likely that the committee will say that there is no place for new coal power stations, putting an end to proposals at Kingsnorth and Hunterston.

Lord Turner himself is stepping down from chairing the committee. He has enough to do saving the economy as the chairman of the Financial Services Authority.

But this will reduce confidence in the future work of the committee because Lord Turner was that very rare thing :a person trusted by both the environmentalist and the business lobby.

The UN climate conference in Poznan is the annual two-week get-together for the world's nations.

This one is half-way between Bali last year, where everyone agreed to set new targets for 2013 and beyond, and Copenhagen in a year's time where these targets will have to be finalised.

The Kyoto Protocol's modest targets have worked quite well for those who played ball, but now we need much more ambitious targets, not just to reduce emissions from the industrialised countries covered by Kyoto but also to limit the growth of emissions from the developing countries.

The negotiators and ministers who attend know that the science speaks of an ever more urgent need for rapid action.

Almost every week another report comes out saying that some important thing, from the ice caps to ocean currents, is changing faster than expected.

Keeping the planet below the danger threshold of a 2 deg C temperature rise means global emissions need to peak and start falling by 2015.

Failing to step up to this challenge will make the current global economic woes look like a picnic.

Small steps like Kyoto will not be enough; the world is looking for major progress.

If Poznan does not produce a clear process and timetable there will be little hope of success in Copenhagen.

The EU is an important political player, coming with promises of strong emissions cuts, but already Italy and unfortunately the hosts, Poland, are weakening on this offer.

Although President Bush still picks the US negotiators, they will not have failed to notice that one of president-elect Obama's first speeches was on climate change.

He is promising tough targets in the long term but less in the short term.

The UK Climate Change Act and the new Scottish bill could be very influential.

Both are promising 80 per cent cuts by 2050 and the Scottish bill will set annual targets of about 3 per cent a year reductions, as well as including aviation and shipping from the start.

Our climate change minister, Stewart Stevenson, is planning to be in Poznan, promoting the Scottish bill and including aviation and shipping will probably be its most world-leading feature.

For all of our sakes, let's hope the other countries are listening.

• Dr Richard Dixon is director of WWF Scotland.

Anonymous said...

"#poznan" working on my lawsuit related to Poznan talks here -- http://northwardho.blogspot.com

Citizen Shelly said...

Dan, good for you!

SESALMONY@aol.com said...

Dear Danny,

Forward movement toward reasonably acknowledging and sensibly addressing the human-driven destabilization of Earth's environs looks like the direction the human family has to go... and go quickly.

Thanks for all you are doing to protect biodiversity from mass extinction, the environment from wanton degradation and Earth's body from being recklessly dissipated.

Sincerely,

Steve

Steven Earl Salmony
AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population
established 2001
http://sustainabilityscience.org/content.html?contentid=1176

SvenAERTS228 said...

Dear Dan, I'm a Kyoto Protocol Consultant and based in Brussels. I'm giving monthly workshops on the topic. Also working now with 16 young university students/alumni from the African Diaspora living here. Some are lawyers. I've been mentioning a lawsuit preparation just like the hamburger and tabacco lawsuits during our workshops and thus happy to find out about your actions. We have some law people here as well. Let's continue to build action: contact: skype SvenAERTS

dan said...

The China Post

Letter to Editor

Page 8, December 18, 3008

Tjeff said...

Bloom, its a publicity stunt nothing more. I dispise fundamentalist whether they're on the right or left. Clowns like you hurt the environmental movement. You might even do a little research on the ICC---this is not a civil court nor do you have any standing---and the U.S. which to world's largest polluter is not a signatory to the Rome treaty. You might try educating yourself on the details. http://www.icc-cpi.int/library/about/officialjournal/Rome_Statute_English.pdf
Why don't you post what actually filed?

Anonymous said...

Tjeff,
thanks for coming by here and posting your comment. WHy are you so angry?

Taru said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Sarah

http://wordwhomp.net

charles said...

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