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Providing Insight
Into Climate Change
Friends of Science Newsletter June 2018

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June 2018

 

FoS MEMBERSHIP QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER

No. 58

The PDF version of this newsletter is here.

“FoS is dedicated to providing the public with insight into Climate Science”


 

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

I am thrilled to have been given the honour to be the next president of this excellent, science based, truth reporting society.  First, I would like to thank Ken Gregory for being president this past year and his ongoing outstanding efforts and support of Friends over the years.  I am very glad that he will be continuing on as a director and will still be able to provide us with his in depth scientific reviews through his CliSci Newsletter.  I also wish to thank all the past directors and executive for their courage and vision to push back against the Global Warming misinformation campaign that started 19 years ago.  I intend to do my best to continue that mandate.  Global Warming has of course morphed from a genuine concern about human effects on climate, into an excuse for green capitalists and activists to pick the pockets of taxpayers with vast subsidies for unreliable, inefficient wind and solar energy.  Furthermore, they use “Climate Change” as the disguise to wage geopolitical warfare against Canada's resource and energy economy. 

At this point, I am pleased to introduce Brian Bass as our next Vice President for FoSS.  Brian has been involved for the past year in an advisory role at our board meetings.  He has been an active volunteer for various not-for-profit and charitable organizations.  He now joins us with a keen interest in accurately disseminating the truth about climate science.  Ian Cameron has volunteered to continue in his roles as Treasurer and Secretary.  I am very happy to have them both as part of the executive.

For those of you that don’t know me, I joined FoSS to “help spread the Science” in September 2016 and I then became Vice President in June of 2017.  I am a geophysicist by training and my 35+ year career has been in the oil and gas industry here in Canada.  Of course, some will want to discount me as being “one of those oil guys”.  To those people, I say that as a geoscientist I know about the history of the earth and as a geophysicist that has worked with gigabytes of data, I know about data processing.  My experience has helped me realize that much of what so called climate scientists call “adjustments” should actually be called misuse and blatant manipulation of their data.  The “Climategate emails” report presents examples of possible intentional misrepresentations.  The scientific community must require scientists to share their data for peer review and not allow the playing of “I review you – you review me” games.  We at Friends of Science speak out on these cases and do our best to review diverse data sources and perspectives.

The past three months have been exceptionally busy as we hosted our annual Climate Science and Policy event.  We had a great turn out with 360 guests attending our May 15 dinner event.  Dr. Madhav Khandekar and Marijn Poels were featured as our guest speakers.  Dr. Khandekar specializes in monsoons and extreme weather.  He clearly presented that extreme weather events are not on the rise contrary to what is regularly reported.  Details of his presentation are here.  Marijn Poels is an award winning independent film director and he came to speak about the effects climate policies have had on German farmers.  He experienced that climate policies have been so “moralized” that you cannot question them without being branded as being against the planet.  Having Marijn here, we decided it would be a great opportunity to expand our event to include special screenings of his new film “The Uncertainty Has Settled” in Calgary and in Edmonton.  Both screenings were well received with 167 patrons in attendance in Calgary and 107 patrons in Edmonton.  If you missed the movie, you can see it on Vimeo for a nominal fee.

I said that I joined because I thought that the fight against the global warming agenda could be defeated by simply needing to get more science out there.  I could not have been more wrong; this is more than a scientific debate.  In some sectors, there is a well-planned strategy by a group of billionaires who want to push “cap and trade” systems worldwide.  Conveniently for them, they never asked if anyone else wanted it.  FoS just issued a press release exposing their interference in the domestic affairs of sovereign nations.  It is unclear if we can call their strategy a true “conspiracy” as much of it is out in the open.  However, what is clear is that there has been a multi-billion dollar effort for over a decade to supplant the existing energy industry with a new, so called green industry by global interests that care more about how many trillions they can make.  Please bear with me before you call me a conspiracy theorist… 

Last week, I attended Vivian Krause’s talk and was appalled to discover that the disinformation tactics used by the “environmentalists” to discredit Canadian oil were not new.  It turns out that the B.C. farmed salmon industry has been subjected to more than two decades of “de-marketing” techniques run by so called environmental groups with the final beneficiary being the Alaskan wild salmon fishery.  Vivian found that more than US$150 million in foreign funding was provided to B.C. organizations to attack B.C. salmon farming.  All the details can be found in this Financial Post article from 2011.  I was very upset that Suzuki had duped me in believing farmed salmon was bad for us.  Every time I passed on farmed salmon, I was indirectly supporting their lies and letting them hit me directly in my wallet with a “Suzuki tax”.

These same tactics were then applied to negatively brand and land lock the oilsands to prevent oversea export of Canadian oil.  Vivian’s report on the “Tar Sands Campaign” details this foreign funded multi-million dollar effort to sabotage our industry.  We, in Alberta, can attest to the efficiency of the domino effect of their campaign: the cancellation of pipelines eliminated access to new oil markets, investment funding disappeared and spending cut backs from the petroleum industry resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of jobs across the country.

Vivian has also discovered that foreign interests have been meddling in our elections.  In her letter to the Commissioner of Canada Elections, she clearly outlines the funding from U.S. organizations used to affect the outcome of the 2011 and 2015 Canadian federal elections by way of Canadian charitable organizations.  The Government of Canada has very clear guidelines of the allowable activities for charitable organizations: 

  • Do not engage in any prohibited political activities, such as supporting or opposing a political party or candidate for public office.
  • A registered charity may take part in limited political activities if they are non-partisan and connected and subordinate to the charity's purposes.

Vivian’s letter clearly presents that charitable funds have been used for partisan political actions in opposition of the government then in power.

Paid protesters are a conundrum.  Why do you need to be paid to stand up for something you believe in?  To those who hire them: how ethical is your cause that you have to pay people to hold your placards?  If your cause was truly righteous, shouldn’t you have volunteers lining up down the street?  Some will say that in our great land everyone has freedom of speech and is free to do what they want with their money…  With freedom of speech comes responsibility.  Since global markets for oil, gas, coal and resources are very active, it is clear that pipeline blockades are a form of economic trade war against Canada, rife with misrepresentations about the industry and its products.  We now know this is part of a scheme by unelected, unaccountable foreign billionaires, to create a carbon market that “is based on the lack of delivery of an invisible substance to no one.”  We must draw the line when Canadians are not using Canadian funds and become nothing more than paid mouthpieces for foreign interests.  We must not allow foreign entities to come to our great country to fund these “Canadian environmentalists” with the sole intent being to destroy our industries and manipulate our electoral process.  These are acts of collusion that should be dealt as criminal offences against all Canadian citizens.  Why should we lose jobs and pay more for our goods so that foreign industries can flourish?

                                                                 Andrew Bonvicini, P.Geoph.
                                                                 President, Friends of Science

 

POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS

The Paris Agreement – Latest Meeting in Bonn

The next big step in the Paris Agreement process will occur December 3 – 14 at COP 24 in Katowice, Poland, where parties to the agreement are supposed to adopt a package of decisions (the “Paris rulebook”) to fully implement the pact.  In order to prepare a single negotiating text for COP 24, over 3,000 delegates and observers met at the regular “intersessional” in Bonn April 30 – May 10.  Carbon Brief has prepared a comprehensive summary of what happened in Bonn.  First, there were six main agenda items that formed the basis for the negotiating text.

Agenda Item

What It Covers

What It Means

3

Climate pledges

 What parties should include in their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and whether guidance should be common to all or split into differentiated versions.

4

Adaptation reporting

 How parties should communicate their adaptation efforts.

5

Transparency

 How parties should report on action they take, progress they make and support they give to others, including climate finance.

6

Global stocktake

 How parties will take stock, in 2023, of collective progress towards the Paris targets.

7

Compliance

 How compliance with the Paris Agreement will be monitored.

8

Other business

 Issues raised include climate finance and the Adaptation Fund.

The Bonn meeting marked the opening of the Talanoa Dialog (see March 2018 Newsletter), a non-judgmental process intended to facilitate progress.  The dialog apparently was not enough, as delegates failed to agree on any form of negotiating text, instead ending up with 165 pages of informal notes.  Agreeing on climate pledges also proved problematic, as a 180-page summary of positions remains on the table.  This impasse has forced parties to meet for an extra week of talks in Bangkok, September 3 to 7.

Reasons for the stalemate in Bonn include:

  • Differentiation – China, India and others argued for two sets of rules, applicable to developed and developing nations, while the US, Europe and Japan want a single set applicable to all parties and for NDCs to be quantifiable.
  • Loss and Damage – This is the need to address climate impacts locked in by past emissions and for which adaptation is not possible.
  • Climate Finance – This is the big one.  For example, African countries have made it clear to the EU that their support in Katowice will be conditional on commitments that the promised $100 billion/year will be flowing by 2020.  Now that the US is withholding $2 billion previously pledged to the Green Climate Fund, the G77 group of developing countries expects other rich nations (mainly the EU) to make up the difference.  Mere billions for climate finance is like “an umbrella in a hurricane” according to UNFCCC head Patricia Espinosa.  She says, “… we should be speaking trillions.  The impacts of extreme weather are already creating chaos.”

Delegates’ only real hope is that political leaders will break the deadlock.  With the US largely out of the picture, this means the EU and China, whose climate ministers are set to meet at least twice before COP 24.

Not everyone is despondent over the outcome of the Bonn meeting.  The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Myron Ebell found three good-news stories.

  • The US sent only a low-level team of career State Department employees.
  • Developing nations aren’t seeing the cash they were promised in return for cooperating with the Paris charade.
  • Of the 39 side events with announced speakers in Bonn, just one-third had an equal gender balance or a majority of women on their panel.  This conflicts with the UNFCCC’s executive secretary’s commitment to the International Gender Champions Initiative.
                                                                 Ian Cameron
                                                                 Director, Friends of Science

 

SCIENCE NEWS

Controversy over Antarctica Ice

A recent paper by Shepherd et al “Mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from 1992 to 2017” got a lot of media attention and triggered controversy by claiming that Antarctica lost 2700 ± 1400 Gt of ice between 1992 and 2017.  A Washington Post headline said “Antarctic ice loss has tripled in a decade”.  The paper says that the western ice sheet is being melted from below by warm ocean water.  Previous studies have shown much less ice loss or ice increase.

A NASA glaciologist Jay Zwally published a paper in 2015 that shows Antarctica’s ice sheet has been thickening for at least a thousand years and the ice cap increased in mass from 1992 to 2008.  The ice growth on eastern Antarctica was more than the losses in western Antarctica.  Zwally told the Daily Caller that he will soon publish a paper that will show the eastern Antarctic ice sheet is gaining enough ice to offset losses in the west.  He said “Basically, we agree about West Antarctica.  East Antarctica is still gaining mass.  That’s where we disagree.”  Zwally used laser altimetry from satellite data to estimate the ice mass changes.

The biggest reason for the disagreement is in the estimate of the glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), which accounts for land movement under the ice.  The Shepherd paper compared three methods of calculating the ice sheets surface mass balance; satellite laser altimetry, gravimetry and the input–output method. It took the average of the three methods as the final result.  The gravimetry method used the GRACE satellites to measure tiny changes in the gravitational field over Antarctica.  There is very poor agreement and great uncertainty of GIA in East Antarctica, which affects the gravimetry mass balance method six times as much as it affects the laser altimetry mass balance method, which Zwally uses, so it is inappropriate to put the same weight on the gravimetry method as the laser altimetry method.

A study led by the British Antarctic Survey produced a map showing how much heat from the Earth’s mantle is reaching the ice sheet.  The higher ice losses are where there is high heat flux from the Earth’s interior in western Antarctica, which cannot be blamed on human activities.

 

Sea Level Rise

The threat of sea level rise is usually perceived to be the most potentially damaging impact from anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission.  Almost all news media stories on the subject imply that all of the sea level rise is due to GHG emissions, but sea levels were rising long before humans could have had any effect.  There was not much CO2 emissions before 1950, so the global sea level rise before then was natural.  Sea levels fell during the Little Ice Age and began rising around 1860.

Climate scientists often consider an acceleration of sea level rise to be an indication of a human impact.  An analysis of sea level rise shows that an apparent acceleration is statistically insignificant, so we don’t know if it is real or due to random variability.  A review of papers by Dr. Curry found that there is substantial multi-decadal variability which confounds analyses of sea level rise acceleration.

The FUND integrated assessment model calculates the economic impact of sea level rise due to climate change.  Using a 3 °C climate sensitivity (CS) to CO2, the central value of the IPCC likely range, sea level rise from 2000 to 2100 is forecast to cause a 0.023% loss of global wealth, and using a more realistic 1°C CS, the loss is only 0.011%.  In the economic model, coastal protection keeps the sea level rise costs small.  By comparison, the wealth benefit to agriculture is 24 times the loss from sea level rise over the same period using 3 °C CS and 103 times using 1°C CS.  There’s no cause to be alarmed by sea level rise.

 

What Does the 2 °C Paris Agreement Target Mean?

The short answer is: Nobody knows!

The Paris Agreement webpage says “The Paris Agreement central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels”.  But strangely, the agreement never defines the pre-industrial temperature, or even what time period should be used to determine that temperature.  Several scientists have made suggestions as to what temperature should be used, but natural variability makes this extremely hard to determine.  The Industrial Revolution began in the late 1700s, but it took a long time before CO2 emissions became significant enough to affect climate.  The theoretical temperature change from 1750 to 1900 due to CO2 changes, assuming the climate sensitivity from the Lewis and Curry 2018 paper, is only 0.12 °C, which is insignificant.  One study suggested using the global average temperature of 1720 to 1800 as the pre-industrial temperature, but there is very little data before 1850, so the uncertainty range is a rather large 0.25 °C.  The Met Office, UK, suggests that 1850 to 1900 period should be used.

                                                                 Ken Gregory
                                                                 Director, Friends of Science

 

FUNDRAISING COMMITTEE: MEMBERSHIPS AND DONATIONS

FoS funded monthsOur Operational funds fuel gauge on the right shows that we have about five months of funding available for 2018.  This amount hasn’t changed from the last newsletter as we received enough donations to cover our basic operating costs for this past quarter.

We are happy to announce that we successfully ran our annual spring speaker event in the “black”.  Our event is run to inform and not meant to be a fund raiser, so we are thrilled when we can run it and breakeven.  The primary reason we do not fund raise with this event is so we can provide great speakers at a reasonable price.

As you are all aware we function purely from your donations.  We do not represent any industry or political party.  We are a Society that was started in 2002 to provide climate science and policy insights to the public and policy-makers.  Our founders saw climate science as a complex, interdisciplinary issue that was being reduced to a mantra of carbon dioxide and carbon taxes – and that real problems related to environment and climate change were being ignored.  Real, destructive implications of these policies were lost in the rhetoric of ‘saving the planet’ – while devastating people and the economy.  We are a small group primarily of volunteers that works with an operational budget that is a fraction of the governments’ or NGO budgets that disseminate the fear mongering of human induced climate change.  We are committed to maintaining free delivery of our information to the public.

Please remember that to maintain our spokesperson Michelle and our contracted administration and sub-contracted services through the rest of the year we will need more donations.  Every dollar counts towards keeping us focused on the task of bringing you the latest climate information.  Battling deep pocketed, often foreign-funded, activist groups that rely on half-truths and wild rhetoric to create faulty public policy does not happen without spending.

As we are not fully funded for 2018 we appeal to you to please continue to make donations to Friends of Science.  Share our materials by email, tweet, Facebook or any way you can.  We can be a voice for your climate change issues – and we thank all of you who have given us tips on the misinformation they see in the marketplace.  We have made aggressive outreach efforts with short, current commentaries on video, through our blogs and billboards. 

This debate matters, you are making a difference. 

You can also help us expand our pool of members and donors.  If every person brought us five new people, it would make a huge difference to our ability to get out the message.  Do you have a local Chamber of Commerce or service club?  Invite one of our speakers or ask for one of our presentations and present it yourself (or perhaps do your own version if you feel up to it). 

For us to make sure our voice is heard, we will need much more support - personal, financial, and through your networks of friends and colleagues.  Thank you for your continued support.

Contributions can be made at friendsofscience.org by clicking on “Become a Member/DONATE” in the upper right of the home page.  The PayPal donation link will allow you to pay with your credit card even if you do not have a PayPal account.  If you prefer, you may phone us at 1-888-789-9597 Ext 2 to pay by credit card.  Alternately, you can mail donations to Friends of Science at the following address:

Friends of Science Society
P.O. Box 23167 Mission P.O.
Calgary AB Canada T2S 3B1
Toll-Free Telephone: 1-888-789-9597 Ext 2
E-mail:   contact@friendsofscience.org

At the Annual General Meeting we were asked for the breakdown of our funding.  So as promised here is the information.  Please note that the majority of our funding is from individual donations.  Also that two thirds of our 2017 memberships are for a 3 year period so they will not contribute any revenue for the next two calendar years.

2017 Funding Summary

Total Funding = CDN$159,071

funding 2017 

Numeric Breakdowns


  250 Memberships (new & renewals):                                      170 Donations:

 numeric breakdown

 

Check out our social media platforms:

bilingual plain language website             climatechange101.ca
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active twitter feed                                   twitter.com/FriendsOScience
very active Facebook page                    facebook.com/FoSClimateEd
207 mostly short videos                          youtube.com/FriendsofScience/videos
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