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Providing Insight
Into Climate Change
Friends of Science Newsletter June 2013

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                                                 June 2013

 The PDF version of this document is here.

FOS MEMBERSHIP QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER No. 38

"FOS is dedicated to providing the public with insight into Climate Change"


PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

As mentioned in previous Newsletters, we are continuing to expand our efforts concerning communication via the media in order to inform and educate the public and government concerning the science and reality of climate change. We continue to broaden our exposure primarily through the diligent efforts of our communications committee, who are kept very busy preparing press releases to submit to the media. There is no shortage of opportunities to respond to incorrect and foolish statements made by various "warmers", all the way up to President Barack Obama.

Following is a list of our accomplishments, year-to-date:

1.     On-line Marketing Suite:  We purchased a subscription to an on-line marketing suite, which provides marketing and public relations services to businesses including unlimited press releases for the year.  The company's integrated services help businesses market their message to customers through social media monitoring and engagement, search engine marketing, email marketing and media publicity services. 

2.     Press Releases:  To date have sent out 26 press releases into the US market that spreads throughout the world.  Typically our press releases are picked up by over 100 news services in the US. We have been featured in major papers like the Houston Chronicle.  Web analytics reveal that thousands of people have seen each release.  Through the web, these releases have reached the UK, France, India, Australia, New Zealand and Ghana.  We have sent 7 press releases through Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) distributed throughout Alberta.  As you receive our press releases, feel free to share these with your friends and your local newspaper, Facebook contacts or through other social media. We appreciate your ongoing support.

3.     Facebook:  Our Facebook page for FoS has been rapidly growing in the number of "Likes" and is currently at 2100 "Likes".  That is an increase of 1000 "Likes" in 6 months.  Some posts have received 50,000 views or more.

4.     FoS Website:  Continues to average around 250,000 hits per month. 

5.     Premier Redford:  FoS sent a detailed review of our position on climate change and against CCS and other ‘carbon reduction' measures in early 2013. This was copied to all MLAs and to the media.

6.     CAPL Meeting:  FoS supplied speaker Tom Harris of the International Climate Science Coalition to the CAPL (Canadian Association of Petroleum Landmen) dinner meeting February 21, 2013 at the Westin Hotel. Tom Harris was also interviewed by Dave Rutherford during his stay in Calgary.

7.     BluEarth Renewable Response:  BluEarth is a new company that is trying to get the Alberta School Boards to finance a wind farm near Provost Alberta, funded by taxpayers.  FoS sent out a press release, had an interview on Rutherford and sent a letter to the Alberta government.  We put together a detailed power point and comprehensive assessment of wind farm risks for the School Boards Contract Purchasing Consortium. Our concern is that the school board, by investing in the wind farm for the purpose of providing them with power, is engaging in a business they are unfamiliar with and making a dangerous long term commitment, which will eventually have to be borne by the taxpayers.

8.     Joe Oliver, Federal Energy Minister:  FoS sent a letter of support to the Hon. Joe Oliver as he is the first federal politician to speak out on Climate Change.

9.     Speaking Engagements:  Have provided speakers for talks to the Petroleum Accountants Society of Canada, Knights of Columbus, Medicine Hat Chapter of APEGA and engaged in a debate with Shawn Marshall for the Canadian Prairies Group of Chartered Engineers.

10.  Annual Luncheon:  Hosted Dr. Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation of the UK at the 10th Annual Friends of Science luncheon on May 14 in Calgary.  Dr. Peiser is the founder and editor of the world's leading climate policy network and one of Europe's most influential climate policy analysts.  He is neither a "warmer" nor a "sceptic", but merely reports on the results of climate change policy. The topic of his speech was "To Heat or Eat: Europe's Climate Policy Fiasco".  He explained how Europe's policies to promote inefficient wind and solar power and impose carbon taxes and emissions trading have caused soaring energy prices, economic decline and plunged millions of families into fuel poverty.  As he stated, "My main aim is to warn Canadians about the European fiasco and its disastrous economic and social consequences".  We were pleased to get a substantial response and editorial coverage in the Calgary Herald by Licia Corbella.  Shaw TV and CBC News also attended the event. His presentation can be viewed on our website here.

11.  Climate Reality Confrontation:  FoS members attended a presentation by Climate Reality (Al Gore-trained) citizen presenters.  We confronted them during the question period and issued both a press release and a comprehensive letter to them explaining our point of view.

12.  Premier Brad Wall:  One of our people contacted Premier Brad Wall of Saskatchewan and subsequently provided him and his ministers with our DOHA paper.

13.  Pembina Institute "Costly Diagnosis":  Friends of Science worked with Dr. Ross McKitrick on assessing claims by Pembina that coal-fired plants cause large volumes (6%) of Particulate Matter (PM 2.5) which lead to deaths and large medical costs.  In fact coal only contributes 0.4% of PM 2.5 - Dr. McKitrick and FoS director Ken Gregory did the statistical/mathematical analysis to show Pembina had forgotten to mention much more PM 2.5 comes from unpaved roads, residential fire places, forest fires, agriculture etc.

14.  Canadian Medical Journal:  On the advice of a member, FoS issued an on-line rebuttal comment to a ‘global warming hysteria' editorial in the CMJ.

15.  Cheap Energy at What Cost?:  A member and our communications consultant attended a public forum with 3 sitting MLAs and the leader of the Green Party where the Pembina Institute's "Costly Diagnosis" was under discussion.  Friends of Science provided supplementary information for a comprehensive rebuttal letter filled with evidence sent to these 4 lawyers (who all said they go by science and evidence in decision-making) following the session wherein the FoS people challenged the Pembina report statistics. An amusing summary of these adventures was emailed to members.

As you can see, our group has been very active. We would certainly appreciate any support our members and others could provide to assist us in any possible way. 

                                                Len Maier
 
                                                President, Friends of Science
 

POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS

The EU's Great Green U-Turn

In his talk at the Friends of Science luncheon on May 14, Dr. Benny Peiser began with the EU's 2000 Lisbon Agenda ("To make the EU the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion by 2010"). This agenda eventually led, in 2008, to the legally binding 20-20-20 EU targets of 2008 (20% lower greenhouse gas levels, 20% less energy consumption and 20% more renewable energy - all by 2020).  Also in 2008, one country in particular, the UK, passed the Climate Change Act (with only five MPs voting against), which makes 80% decarbonization by 2050 legally binding.

Energy Prices

The above utopian vision came crashing down in the financial and unemployment (particularly youth unemployment) crises that have afflicted the EU since 2008. These issues will take years to resolve, but two other matters that really have got EU leaders' immediate focus are the shale gas revolution in North America and Europeans' unsustainable subsidies for "green" energy. They now realize that their industries can't compete, as this chart shows.

The result is that industry is relocating from Europe to the US. To address this EU leaders met in Brussels on May 22 and backed the shale gas revolution in order to promote competition rather than stop global warming. The UK Prime Minister noted that the US is drilling 10,000 wells per year, while in Europe, with 75% as much shale gas as the US, it's less than 100. Green groups called the EU's focus on prices as "deluded and misguided."

   

How "Consensus" Stymies UN Climate Talks

Decisions taken at UN climate meetings are supposed to be by consensus, but with 190-odd parties involved, total unanimity is impossible. Thus, at last December's Doha climate summit, the conference president, repeatedly "hearing no objections", cheerfully gaveled through a package of decisions in less than four minutes, bringing the conference to a close. Despite the visible objections of Russia, one of these decisions extended emission reduction targets and carbon markets under the Kyoto Protocol, imposing harsh targets on Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

The slight at Doha came back to haunt the UN during the June 3-14 climate talks in Bonn, supposedly the last before the next annual summit at Warsaw in November-December. Russia, Belarus and Ukraine used the Bonn meeting to stall progress over procedural matters as the Russian delegate called what happened in Doha an "absolutely obvious violation of the procedure". The Russians demanded a debate on how UN decisions are to be adopted, but China and 100 developing countries (G77 Group) objected to putting the issue on the agenda. After two weeks of procedural wrangling, the talks collapsed. With only five negotiating sessions left before the 2015 climate agreement is to be signed in Paris, environmental organizations fret about delay.

At the little-publicized Bonn conference, earnest young delegates were unaware that global warming had stopped. One delegate blamed the cold German spring outside the conference hall on global warming

                                                Ian Cameron
 
                                                Director, Friends of Science
 

SCIENCE NEWS

Canadian Climate Model Epic Failure

  The Canadian climate model is run by the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis located at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. The graph compares the climate model projection of global average temperatures from 1960 to 2040 (blue line) to the observation (red line) as recorded by the Hadley Centre and the Met Office in the U.K. The average of 38 models (green line) is also shown. Canadian Climate Model

The Canadian climate model forecasts the most extreme warming for the 21st century of all models. With the model matched to the observations during the 1960s, the discrepancy between the model and 2012 average temperature is 0.71 Celsius. 

History matching is a critical step in modeling. Input parameters are adjusted within the confines of their uncertainties so that the model output best matches the historical record. There is never a unique history match because there are numerous input parameters that can be adjusted, so a model with a good history match might not produce good projections. However, a model without a good history match is useless and there is no confidence in its projections. The lack of a history match in the Canadian model output shows that the modeling team led by Dr. Andy Weaver have ignored a fundamental requirement of modeling and have no clue of how the climate works. 

Patrick Michaels and Paul Knappenberger compared the model output to actual 20th century temperature data to determine what portion of the actual data can be explained by the model. They compared the variability of the difference between 10-year running averages of the model output and the observations to the variability of the observations. They write, "The differences between the predictions and the observed temperatures were significantly greater (by a factor of two) than what one would get just applying random numbers." 

"No information" is a random number simulation. The Canadian model is much worse than 'no information' by a factor of 2, so it only produces anti-information. 

Wind Power is Nine Times More Expensive than Natural Gas

A major report published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation on the economics of wind power in the U.K. shows that wind power including all of its associated costs is more than nine times more expensive than electrical power generated by natural gas.

The report shows that the cost to meet Britain's target for renewable energy in 2020 would require an investment of £120 billion. The same amount of electrical energy could be provided by natural gas-fired generation at a cost of only £13 billion.

The report shows that wind power is so expensive because:

  • Wind power variability imposes large costs on conventional generators
  • Wind power decreases low-cost and increases high-cost conventional power
  • Wind cannot be relied upon during peak demand periods
  • Wind power is extremely diffuse, so it is capital intensive
  • Wind requires large investments in transmission systems
  • Wind requires 100% back-up by conventional sources
  • Wind generates only 10% to 20% of the theoretical capacity
  • Wind power storage is impractical
  • Wind farms have high maintenance costs. 
                                               
                                                Ken Gregory
 
                                                Director, Friends of Science
 

DONATIONS

To accomplish our goal of educating the broader public and policy makers on the diversity of views on climate change, and the important natural factors, we need financial help from our members. Thank you for your help to date.  This debate matters, you are making a difference. 

Please continue to make donations to Friends of Science.  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.  Donations made directly to Friends of Science will help us bring in quality guest speakers, expand our media presence and create a platform for informed debate. To make a contribution at www.friendsofscience.org; click on DONATE in the upper right of the home page. Alternately, you can mail donations to FoS at the following address:

Friends of Science               

P.O. Box 23167
Connaught P.O.
 
Calgary AB T2S 3B1
 
Canada
 
Toll-Free Telephone: 1-888-789-9597
 
E-mail:   contact (at) friendsofscience.org         

Websites:        www.friendsofscience.org                                                                                                                                                                                                                     www.climatechange101.ca

 


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