Canada on Monday became the first country to announce it would withdraw from the Kyoto protocol on climate change, dealing a symbolic blow to the already troubled global treaty.
Environment Minister Peter Kent broke the news on his return from talks in Durban, where countries agreed to extend Kyoto for five years and hammer out a new deal forcing all big polluters for the first time to limit greenhouse gas emissions.http://www.reuters.com/resources_v2/flash/video_embed.swf?videoId=226709026&edition=BETAUS
Canada, a major energy producer which critics complain is becoming a climate renegade, has long complained Kyoto is unworkable precisely because it excludes so many significant emitters.
"As we’ve said, Kyoto for Canada is in the past … We are invoking our legal right to formally withdraw from Kyoto," Kent told reporters.
The right-of-center Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, which has close ties to the energy sector, says Canada would be subject to penalties equivalent to C$14 billion ($13.6 billion) under the terms of the treaty for not cutting emissions by the required amount by 2012.
"To meet the targets under Kyoto for 2012 would be the equivalent of either removing every car truck, all-terrain vehicle, tractor, ambulance, police car and vehicle off every kind of Canadian road," said Kent.
Environmentalists quickly blasted Kent for his comments.
"It’s a national disgrace. Prime Minister Harper just spat in the faces of people around the world for whom climate change is increasingly a life and death issue," said Graham Saul of Climate Action Network Canada.
Frozen Planet fakery row: BBC filmed tender scene of mother polar bear with newborn cubs at Dutch ZOO
The BBC’s landmark wildlife documentary was four years in the making and took intrepid cameramen to the ends of the Earth to film.
But now it’s been revealed the method used to capture key scenes might send a chill down the spine of Frozen Planet viewers.
Instead of being filmed in a sub-zero natural habitat, the BBC has admitted a polar bear and her cubs that were the centrepiece of the show were caught on camera in a zoo.
On thin ice: Sir David Attenborough with an anaesthetised polar bear in Svalbard during episode seven of the hit show Frozen Planet
Preparing for the new arrivals: The fake nest being built in a German zoo, ahead of the birth of the polar bear cubs
Not as it seems: The ‘den’ in the wildlife park was constructed out of plaster and wood, built below the zoo’s polar bear enclosure. It was fitted with cameras shortly before the birth
The breathtaking footage was watched by more than eight million viewers. It showed a polar bear tending her newborn cubs but the snow was fake and real Arctic shots were mixed with zoo scenes.
The scene was filmed last Christmas in the comfort of a Dutch wildlife park enclosure made of plaster and wood.
Situated beneath the zoo’s polar bear enclosure, the den was fitted with cameras shortly before the cubs’ birth.
Documentary makers have been accused of misleading the audience into believing the footage was gathered by daring cameramen in the wilderness.
The filming of the moving scene is explained by producer Kathryn Jeffs in a hard to find clip on the programme’s website.
A blockbuster Chinese study of Tibetan tree rings by Liu et al 2011 shows, with detail, that the modern era is a dog-standard normal climate when compared to the last 2,500 years. The temperature, the rate of change — it’s all been seen before. Nothing about the current period is “abnormal”, indeed the current warming period in Tibet can be produced through calculation of cycles. Liu et al do a Fourier analysis on the underlying cycles and do brave predictions as well.
In Tibet, it was about the same temperature on at least four occasions — back in late Roman times (those chariots!), then again in the dark ages (blame the collapse of industry), then in the middle ages (the Vikings?), then in modern times (blame the rise of industry).
Clearly, these climate cycles have nothing to with human civilization. Their team finds natural cycles of many different lengths are at work: 2-3 years, 100 years, 199 years, 800 years, and 1,324 years. The cold periods are associated with sunspot cycles. What we are not used to seeing are brave scientists willing to publish exact predictions of future temperatures for 100 years that include rises and falls. Apparently, it will cool til 2068, then warm again, though not to the same warmth as 2006 levels.
Now some will argue that skeptics scoff at tree rings, and we do — sometimes — especially ones based on the wrong kind of tree (like the bristlecone) or ones based on small samples (like Yamal), ones with aberrant statistical tricks that produce the same curve regardless of the data (Mann’s hockey-stick), and especially ones that truncate data because it doesn’t agree with thermometers placed near air-conditioner outlets and in carparks (Mann again). Only time will tell if this analysis has nailed it, but, yes, it is worthy of our attention.
Some will also, rightly, point out this is just Tibet, not a global average. True. But the results agree reasonably well with hundreds of other studies from all around the world (from Medieval times, Roman times, the Greenland cores). Why can’t we do solid tree-ring analysis like this from many locations?
oday’s endangered polar bear story du jour comes, you won’t be at all surprised to hear, from the BBC’s news website. An "environmental photojournalist" named Jenny E Ross took a photograph of a polar bear eating a cub – and concluded, as of course any self-respecting environmental photojournalist would, that this was probably the result of "climate change".
"This type of intraspecific predation has always occurred to some extent," she told BBC News.
"However, there are increasing numbers of observations of it occurring, particularly on land where polar bears are trapped ashore, completely food-deprived for extended periods of time due to the loss of sea ice as a result of climate change."
Don’t you just love that having-it-both-ways fudge? On the one hand, she concedes that polar bears have been doing this kind of thing since time immemorial. On the other, for all that, it’s just gotta be climate change hasn’t it – because, well, isn’t just about everything the result of climate change these days?
Certainly is if you work for the BBC as we were reminded yet again last night on the final episode of Frozen Planet. This was the episode so tendentious that it wasn’t even included in the package sent for broadcast in the US. But apparently here in Britain we’ve been simply too naughty to deserve such a let-off. No, like POWs captured at the Imjin River, we have to sit there and be indoctrinated by the Commissars at our Re-education camp.
What’s particularly depressing is that the Chief Re-education Commissar in this case was none other than David Attenborough. Cosy, nice, whispery, reverend, sensitive, super-dooper, brother of Dickie, gorilla-hugging doyen of all that was ever wonderful about the BBC David Attenborough.
New and explosive revelations continue to emerge from the Climategate 2 emails, two weeks after the 5,000-plus emails were first publicly unveiled. While Climategate 2 does not share the “novelty factor” of Climategate 1, the contents of the Climategate 2 emails are at least as appalling as Climategate 1. Most importantly, the Climategate 2 emails show scientists at the forefront of global warming activism acknowledging serious flaws in alarmist global warming theory, working together to hide data contradicting alarmist global warming theory, and taking concerted and nefarious action to ruin the careers of scientists and peer-reviewed science journal editors who publish studies and data that undermine alarmist global warming claims.
Global warming activists and their sympathetic media allies are attempting to paint the Climategate stories as merely frustrated scientists understandably acting catty in response to incessant personal attacks from global warming skeptics. Such a storyline is about as accurate and believable as painting the Watergate scandal as Richard Nixon merely and understandably acting catty in response to incessant personal attacks from Democrats and a hostile media.
Just in time for the Durban, South Africa, climate summit that began Monday, two publications appeared that will reduce the already low expectations that anything will be done to replace the Kyoto Protocol.
The more spectacular has been dubbed Climategate 2.0. It consists of around 5,000 e-mails, many of them refreshingly vulgar. The exchanges were mostly among individuals featured in Climategate 1.0, which helped scuttle the 2009 Copenhagen summit.
The new batch shows that, for example, many so-called climate scientists were fully aware that proof of melting tropical glaciers was bunk, but treated such evidence as “dirty laundry.” Others complained of “nitpicky jerks” who found anomalous data. They grew fretful about anthropogenic global warming skeptics having “extreme religious views.” One such miscreant apparently “has links to the Vatican.” Who knew that conspiratorial Catholics were inspired global warming deniers?
It is not all so comical. Climate superstar Michael Mann of Penn State, the inventor of the hockey stick graph that wrongly showed unprecedented increases in mean global temperatures in recent decades, was particularly irate about critics of “the cause.” His reference was not to science, but to “the PR battle.”
His British counterpart, Phil Jones of the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia, told how he searched in vain for a Japanese scientist who would state that increased numbers of tornadoes in that country resulted from global warming. Another climate research unit scientist wanted to claim that the Great Barrier Reef was disintegrating because of global warming, though he knew that fertilizers and starfish did the damage.
The correspondence also featured a few understated critics. Peter Thorne of the U.K. Met Office (formerly the Meteorological Office) wrote Jones that relying on a single and questionable study to support tropical warming was “downright dangerous.” Putting “political spin” on the data, he said, “might not be too clever in the long run.”
Tom Wigley, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., wrote Mann that one of his graphs was “very deceptive.” Douglas Maraun of the climate research unit said Mann’s response to the hockey stick fraud was “not especially honest.”
Climategate 2.0 indicates that a few honest climate scientists have survived. The second publication, by Ross McKitrick of the University of Guelph, is called What’s Wrong with the IPCC? This study on how the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change conducts its business removes the last glimmer of scientific probity.