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The official Montreal Climate Change Meeting thread (Nov 28-Dec 9)

Old 11-28-05, 09:50 AM
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The official Montreal Climate Change Meeting thread (Nov 28-Dec 9)

Today the biggest international climate change meeting since Kyoto starts and runs for 12 days through December 9. It wasn't easy to find a relatively neutral article about the talks to kick off the thread so this is short (and I slightly changed the headline):

http://www.cfra.com/headlines/index.asp?cat=2&nid=34351

Climate Change Summit Opens Today in Montreal
Josh Pringle
Monday, November 28, 2005 4:25 AM

Eight-thousand delegates from around the world are in Montreal for a major United Nations conference on global warming.

They will spend the next 12 days talking about how to slow the effects of greenhouse gases.

The Canadian hosted conference will try to step up a fight against global warming by drawing the United States and developing nations into UN-led agreements beyond 2012.

Environment Minister Stephane Dion says "we have no choice" but to act.

Dion says climate change "is the worst threat the world is facing from an environmental perspective. ... It's putting at risk our relationship with the planet."

The United States and Australia have rejected Kyoto. 40 industrialized nations have agreed to cut their emissions of heat-trapping gases by 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12.
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Old 11-28-05, 09:54 AM
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You don't have to take everything Red Dog says literallyi.
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Old 11-28-05, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
You don't have to take everything Red Dog says literallyi.
As if I wasn't going to start this thread anyway. I've been planning it for weeks.

And who starts most of the environmental threads around here? If it weren't for Myster X and me there probably wouldn't be any.

Last edited by movielib; 11-28-05 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 11-28-05, 10:21 AM
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Yeah, talk about being obsessive.
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Old 11-28-05, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by eXcentris
Yeah, talk about being obsessive.
Guilty as charged.
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Old 11-28-05, 11:12 AM
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I'll probably end up trying to find parking for hours in downtown montreal, adding to the climate problems.
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Old 11-28-05, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by nomaan
I'll probably end up trying to find parking for hours in downtown montreal, adding to the climate problems.
Where's this thing held? Palais des Congrès?
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Old 11-28-05, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by eXcentris
Where's this thing held? Palais des Congrès?
yeah.. and apparently they've blocked a lot of nearby roads. security measures.
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Old 11-29-05, 10:38 AM
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Battle lines are being drawn:

http://abcnews.go.com/International/...ory?id=1353715

U.S, Defends Decision Not to Join Kyotob As U.N. Climate Control Conference Begins

By BETH DUFF-BROWN Associated Press Writer

MONTREAL Nov 28, 2005 — The United States defended its decision not to sign the Kyoto Protocol on Monday, saying during the opening of a global summit on climate change that it is doing more than most countries to protect the earth's atmosphere.

The 10-day U.N. Climate Control Conference is considered the most important gathering on global warming since Kyoto, bringing together thousands of experts from 180 nations to brainstorm on ways to slow the alarming effects of greenhouses gases.

Leading environmental groups spent the first hours of the conference blasting Washington for not signing the landmark 1997 agreement that sets targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions around the world.

Dr. Harlan L. Watson, senior climate negotiator for the State Department, said that while President Bush declined to join the treaty, he takes global warming seriously and noted that U.S. greenhouse gas emissions had actually gone down by eight-tenths of a percent under Bush.

"With regard to what the United States is doing on climate change, the actions we have taken are next to none in the world," Watson told The Associated Press on the sidelines of the conference.

Watson said the United States spends more than $5 billion a year on efforts to slow the deterioration of the earth's atmosphere by supporting climate change research and technology, and that Bush had committed to cutting greenhouses gases some 18 percent by 2012.

Elizabeth May of the Sierra Club Canada, however, accused the world's biggest polluter of trying to derail the Kyoto accord, which has been ratified by 140 nations.

"We have a lot of positive, constructive American engagement here in Montreal and none of it's from the Bush administration, which represents the single biggest threat to global progress," May said.


The Kyoto accord targets carbon dioxide and five other heat-trapping gases blamed for rising global temperatures that many scientists say are disrupting weather patterns. The treaty, which went into effect in February, calls on the top 35 industrialized nations to cut emissions by 5.2 percent below their 1990 levels by 2012.
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Old 11-29-05, 11:01 AM
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"We have a lot of positive, constructive American engagement here in Montreal and none of it's from the Bush administration, which represents the single biggest threat to global progress," May said.
Of course, these nitwits have it wrong. Terrorists blowing things up and corrupt 3rd world governments are 2 of the biggest threats to global progress.
These watermelon types should think before they speak.
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Old 11-29-05, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by bhk
Of course, these nitwits have it wrong. Terrorists blowing things up and corrupt 3rd world governments are 2 of the biggest threats to global progress.
These watermelon types should think before they speak.
Maybe she was referring to progress in the environmental arena?
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Old 11-29-05, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by VinVega
Maybe she was referring to progress in the environmental arena?
Maybe, but then she's very wrong.

IMO, this is one of the few areas the Bush administration is doing any good in.

Without the U.S. there, the global warming is a disater advocates could quite possibly just have an alarmistheaven for two weeks.

Last edited by movielib; 11-29-05 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 11-29-05, 03:04 PM
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If they really wanted a treaty signed, they should have made it based on the amount of emmissions per industry, and not that of a nation. That would actually get people to produce more efficient, less polluting technology, rather than simply killing growth while exempting nations like China. If you look at pollution as a percentage of what is produced, I would bet you wouldn't find any as efficient as us. And in so doing you wouldn't kill growth (as much).

But this was just a huge "Get the US" deal that let most everyone else off free.
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Old 11-29-05, 03:26 PM
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cost of Kyoto so far
US$ 117,765,981,682
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Old 11-29-05, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Myster X
cost of Kyoto so far
US$ 117,765,981,682
Yes, but we have saved more than a thousandth of a degree in warming!

http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/Kyoto_Count_Up.htm

And, of course, these figures are very conservative.
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Old 11-30-05, 12:35 PM
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Maybe she was referring to progress in the environmental arena?
Believe me, corrupt 3rd world govts. have a huge impact in the environmental arena.
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Old 12-02-05, 09:31 AM
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Problems in Montreal?

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,177380,00.html

Global Warming Blues
Thursday, December 01, 2005
By Steven Milloy

The 11th annual meeting of global warming enthusiasts in Montreal isn’t turning out to be a very happy event. Even though this is the first opportunity for the burgeoning global climate bureaucracy to celebrate the full implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, the realities of science, economics and politics are raining on its parade.

First, a new study published this week in the journal Nature (Dec. 1) turns global warming alarmism on its head. British researchers reported that the ocean current responsible for the tropical winds that warm Europe’s climate has decreased by an estimated 30 percent since 1957. The headline of the New Scientist report (Nov. 30) on the study nicely captured its import, “Failing ocean current raises fear of mini ice age.”

That conclusion, however, doesn’t jibe at all with the reality of European climate, which began warming 200 years ago and is now setting the modern records for warm temperatures that the pro-Kyoto crowd likes to hyperventilate about. The European Environment Agency, in fact, claimed on Nov. 29 that Europe is currently facing the “worst” warming in 5,000 years with 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2004 being the four hottest years on record.

While temperatures can only go up or down at any given moment, global warmers seem to want to have it both ways so that any change in climate, regardless of direction, can be attributed to human activity.

The British newspaper The Independent, for example, reported in its Nov. 30 article about the Nature study that “the real evidence does point to a possible one degree Centigrade cooling over the next two decades.” But the newspaper reported in another same-day article that, “the [record hot] summer of 2003 was triggered by global warming caused by man-made emissions of greenhouse gases.” Such contradictory reporting casually ignores the reality that greenhouse gas emissions can’t simultaneously cool and warm Europe.

The second paragraph of The Independent’s article on the Nature study stated, “Disruption to the conveyor-belt mechanism that carries warm water to Britain's shores was the basis of the Hollywood disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow.” But two paragraphs later, however, the paper noted “Scientists say such predictions are fantasy.”

It’s cooling. It’s warming. It’s disaster. It’s fantasy. Whatever “it” is, it can’t be comforting to the Kyoto believers in Montreal who seem to think they know for certain whether and how human activity impacts global climate.

A more sober reality, though, is that whatever slight impact humans might have on the climate, it is too small to measure – a point made in a study just published by Swiss researchers in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews (November 2005).

The study reviewed prior efforts to reconstruct global temperatures of the last 1,000 years. It concluded that natural temperature variations over the last millenium may have been so significant that they would “result in a redistribution of weight towards the role of natural factors in [causing] temperature changes, thereby relatively devaluing the impact of [manmade] emissions and affecting future predicted [global climate] scenarios.”

“If that turns out to be the case,” the researchers stated, “agreements such as the Kyoto protocol that intend to reduce emissions of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, would be less effective than thought.”

So senior U.S. climate negotiator Harlan Watson was on very firm ground when he stated this week in Montreal that, “I reject the premise that the Kyoto-like agreement is necessary to address the issue.”

The U.S. stance angered the Montreal revelers. “When you walk around the conference hall here, delegates are saying there are lots of issues on the agenda, but there's only one real problem, and that’s the United States,” a Greenpeace International spokesman told the Associated Press.

But the U.S. isn’t the “real problem” for global warmers – reality is.

First, the available scientific data simply don’t add up to their desired conclusion that humans are harming global climate. Next, even if we were to forsake science and consider a position of “erring on the side of caution,” the economic cost – 2 percent or more of global economic productivity – is a steep and certain price to pay for extremely uncertain, and potentially negative, consequences.

Finally, the Kyoto protocol itself has been a colossal flop. European signatories to the treaty aren’t meeting their current emissions reduction targets, aren’t likely to in the future, and are looking for ways out of their commitments.

Even Kyoto’s knight-in-shining armor, UK prime minister Tony Blair, in what has been dubbed the “Blair Switch,” has embraced the latter two points. In September, Blair announced that he had given up on climate change treaties because, “The truth is, no country is going to cut its growth or consumption substantially in light of a long-term environmental problem.”

Especially if that “problem,” so far as we can tell after several decades and many billions of dollars of research, is entirely unproven.
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Old 12-02-05, 09:37 AM
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I don't agree with everything in this article by the "Skeptical Environmentalist" but it makes far more sense than Kyoto or the "Beyond Kyoto" agreement they are trying to work out in Montreal.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/edit.../02/2003282647

The relative unimportance of trying to stop global warming

Instead of spending enormous amounts of money on the Kyoto strategy, which focuses on early cuts that will do little good, we should be concentrating on research into cheaper and cleaner energy

By Bjorn Lomborg

Friday, Dec 02, 2005, Page 9

Global warming has become the pre-eminent concern of our time. Many governments and most campaigners meeting in Montreal now through next Friday tell us that dealing with global warming should be our first priority. Negotiating a follow-up treaty to the Kyoto Protocol, they argue, requires that we seek even deeper cuts in the pollution that causes global warming.

But they are wrong about our priorities, and they are advocating an inefficient remedy. As a result, we risk losing sight of tackling the world's most important problems first, as well as missing the best long-term approach to global warming.

To be sure, global warming is real, and it is caused by carbon dioxide. The trouble is that today's best climate models show that immediate action will do little good. The Kyoto Protocol will cut carbon dioxide emissions from industrialized countries by 30 percent below what it would have been in 2010 and by 50 percent in 2050. Yet, even if everyone (including the US) lived up to the protocol's rules, and stuck to it throughout the century, the change would be almost immeasurable, postponing warming for just six years in 2100.

Likewise, the economic models tell us that the cost would be substantial -- at least US$150 billion a year. In comparison, the UN estimates that half that amount could permanently solve all of the world's major problems: It could ensure clean drinking water, sanitation, basic health care, and education for every single person in the world, now.

Global warming will mainly harm developing countries, because they are poorer and therefore more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. However, even the most pessimistic forecasts from the UN project that by 2100 the average person in developing countries will be richer than the average person in developed countries is now.

So early action on global warming is basically a costly way of doing very little for much richer people far in the future. We need to ask ourselves if this should, in fact, be our first priority.

Of course, in the best of all worlds, we would not need to prioritize. We could do all good things. We would have enough resources to win the war against hunger, end conflicts, stop communicable diseases, provide clean drinking water, broaden educational access, and halt climate change. But we don't. So we have to ask the hard question: If we can't do it all, what should we do first?

Some of the world's top economists -- including four Nobel laureates -- answered this question at the Copenhagen Consensus last year, listing all major policies for improving the world according to priority. They found that dealing with HIV/AIDS, hunger, free trade and malaria were the world's top priorities. This was where we could do the most good for our money.

On the other hand, the experts rated immediate responses to climate change at the bottom of the world's priorities. Indeed, the panel called these ventures -- including the Kyoto Protocol -- "bad projects," simply because they cost more than the good that they do.

The Copenhagen Consensus gives us great hope because it shows us that there are so many good things that we can do. For US$27 billion, we could prevent 28 million people from getting HIV. For US$12 billion we could cut malaria cases by more than 1 billion a year. Instead of helping richer people inefficiently far into the future, we can do immense good right now.

This does not mean losing sight of the need to tackle climate change. But the Kyoto approach focuses on early cuts, which are expensive and do little good. Instead, we should be concentrating on investments in making energy without carbon dioxide emissions viable for our descendants. This would be much cheaper and ultimately much more effective in dealing with global warming. The US and UK have begun to tout this message.

The parties in Montreal should rule out more Kyoto-style immediate cuts, which would be prohibitively expensive, do little good, and cause many nations to abandon the entire process. Rather, they should suggest a treaty binding every nation to spend, say, 0.1 percent of GDP on research and development of non-carbon-emitting energy technologies.

This approach would be five times cheaper than Kyoto and many more times cheaper than a Kyoto II. It would involve all nations, with richer nations naturally paying the larger share, and perhaps developing nations being phased in. It would let each country focus on its own future vision of energy needs, whether that means concentrating on renewable sources, nuclear energy, fusion, carbon storage, or searching for new and more exotic opportunities.

Such a massive global research effort would also have potentially huge innovation spin-offs. In the long run, such actions are likely to make a much greater impact on global warming than Kyoto-style responses.

In a world with limited resources, where we struggle to solve just some of the challenges that we face, caring more about some issues means caring less about others. We have a moral obligation to do the most good that we possibly can with what we spend, so we must focus our resources where we can accomplish the most first.

By this standard, global warming doesn't come close. Rather than investing hundreds of billions of dollars in short-term, ineffective cuts in carbon dioxide emissions, we should be investing tens of billions in research, leaving our children and grandchildren with cheaper and cleaner energy.

Bjorn Lomborg is the organizer of the Copenhagen Consensus and adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School.
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Old 12-02-05, 10:12 AM
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My dad is at this. He's a very staunch proponent of changing the use of energy (and switching to alternate forms too) and he's been pushing alternate energy policies for damn near 40 years at this point. In fact he's writing about it for his blog. The problem is his writing is tough to process since he doesn't have an editor and he's not a native English speaker. Actually, that sounds like most blogs.

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Old 12-02-05, 11:28 AM
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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspap...900224,00.html

The Times
December 02, 2005

Off with all their heads
By Philip Stott

CLIMATE CHANGE has passed Through the Looking Glass with Alice. The Red Queen is berating us to believe “six impossible things before breakfast”.

This week a group of scientists from the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton gave a warning that a weakening Gulf Stream will make Britain like Canada, with a cooling of 1C over the next couple of decades, leading to a deeper freeze later. Global warming, of course, is to blame, as melting ice caps reduce the salinity of Arctic waters, preventing them from sinking and driving the ocean conveyor belt.

Clearly researchers in Southampton need to talk to each other. In October a different lot, writing in the Journal of Applied Ecology, were busy employing computer models to calculate that fly and bluebottle populations would rise by nearly 250 per cent as Britain warmed some 2-3C, leading to more dire infections transmitted by insects.

In June we were informed by experts at a Royal Horticultural Society conference that vast swaths of Britain would turn into a Van Gogh landscape, our native woods replaced by Mediterranean horrors such as walnuts, sweet chestnuts, kiwi fruit, olives and sunflowers as temperatures soar by 3-6C. “It’s already happening — you can see fields of sunflowers,” Professor Jeff Burley of Oxford University announced.

Likewise in June, the redoubtable Baroness Young of Old Scone, chief executive of the Eeyore-like Environment Agency, ever in its boggy place, intoned: “Climate change and the issues that surround it are the biggest challenge — and that flows through to some real pressure points for people in the future in terms of their water supply and their risk of flooding” — basing everything, inevitably, on warming.

In reality, nobody has a fog what will happen. This is Virtualia, not the UK. During the last year, global warming has been predicted to lead to wetter winters, drier winters, another ice age, blazing-hot Mediterranean summers killing thousands, greater biodiversity and less biodiversity.

Hence the impossible things to believe from the Today programme before breakfast. But I’m with Alice: “There’s no use trying,” she said. “One can’t believe impossible things.”
Maybe it will all average out to no change.
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Old 12-02-05, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Gil Jawetz
My dad is at this. He's a very staunch proponent of changing the use of energy (and switching to alternate forms too) and he's been pushing alternate energy policies for damn near 40 years at this point. In fact he's writing about it for his blog. The problem is his writing is tough to process since he doesn't have an editor and he's not a native English speaker. Actually, that sounds like most blogs.



What is his native language?

Being that you seem to be up on this, what did you think of my suggestion, which is based more on encouraging the most efficient factories rather than playing favorites, etc?
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Old 12-02-05, 02:53 PM
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Eight-thousand delegates from around the world are in Montreal for a major United Nations conference on global warming.
Instead of traveling there by a method of transportation that is environmentally friendly, such as sailboat, rowboat, walking, or bicycling, most of them chose to travel on greenhouse gas emitting airplanes.

The biggest purpose of this meeting was to make those 8,000 delegates feel morally superior.
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Old 12-02-05, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by movielib
I don't agree with everything in this article by the "Skeptical Environmentalist" but it makes far more sense than Kyoto or the "Beyond Kyoto" agreement they are trying to work out in Montreal.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/edit.../02/2003282647
Thanks for posting that!
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Old 12-02-05, 02:59 PM
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The biggest cause of global warming is irrational opposition to nuclear power.
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Old 12-02-05, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by grundle
The biggest cause of global warming is irrational opposition to nuclear power.
Not really. That would be true if the human component actually caused very much global warming but I think the evidence strongly points to our contribution being negligible. That is why our cutting back on CO2 emissions will accomplish so little. See the link in post #15.

The biggest cause of global warming by far is: Nature.

But if we want to cut back on our emissions, nuclear power is the clear way to go. It's the clear way to go even if we are not particularly concerned about CO2 emissions. Safer, cleaner, cheaper (if we can get rid of the environmentalists' roadblocks).

Last edited by movielib; 12-03-05 at 07:23 AM.
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