Wikileaks and Climate Change

It appears that U.S. diplomatic efforts in dealing with climate change are part of the latest Wikileaks data dump that came out earlier in the week. The WikiLeaks cables reveal how the U.S. government attempted to manipulate the Copenhagen climate accord last year. Thus far, the embassy dispatches that have been released show America used spying, threats and promises of aid to get support for the accord. In any event this story warrants close attention as more information becomes available.

Climate Change One Year later: From Copenhagen to Cancun

With the upcoming climate talks scheduled to take place in Cancun later this month, it’s interesting how expectations among the press have been managed down significantly from last year’s Copenhagen conference. The press’s coverage of the run-up to this year’s meeting is symptomatic of a more skeptical view among the public in the ability of politicians and governments to try and solve this problem. Below are a few observations of media accounts to date covering the lead up to this year’s meeting:

  • Richard Black of the BBC writes that at most we should only expect constructive dialogue as a result of this year’s meeting.
  • The editors at the Economist indicate that policymakers should begin to consider living with climate change.
  • And, Margaret Wente of the Globe and Mail, argues the intellectual collapse of the environmentalism as a result of the movement’s singular focus on climate change.

November Outliers

Researchers find Global Warming will not have an adverse impact on tropic forests as was previously thought.
Al Gore admits that promoting corn ethanol was not such a good idea. He did it based on his own presidential ambitions back in 2000.
Alex Berezow likes Cool Air.
He’s back: Phil Jones of the CRU speaks.
The folks at Retraction Watch count how many peer reviewed papers are retracted per year.
As a precursor of things to come, the Chicago Climate Exchange shuts down.
Moderate Congressional Republicans lament the party’s denial of climate change

The Climategate Verdict: Redemption or Whitewash?

The long awaited report on last year’s Climategate has just been released. The panel that conducted the inquiry was chaired by former U.K. civil servant Muir Russell. It was in response to the leaking of more than 1,000 confidential emails from the East Anglia Climate Research Unit (CRU). Recommendations from the inquiry focused on minor concerns with the practices of the CRU: Sloppy data management and a lack of transparency in making their data publicly accessible.

Russell stated in his report, “we find that their rigor and honesty as scientists are not in doubt, we do find that there has been a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness.” Overall, the report did not find outright fraud by the unit in their reporting on climate change. Nonetheless, the report, much like Climategate itself, has created a lot of buzz. The responses so far to the report indicate the debate over this controversy is likely to continue even after its release.

I’ve posted links below which really give an array of reactions to the report:

  • The team at Real Climate find vindication in the report.
  • Climate Audit finds fault in the report and provides a detailed account of their contention with its findings.
  • George Monbiot no longer has second thoughts about the CRU and climate change after reading the report.
  • Gene Lyons declares “Mission Accomplished” after the panel’s report.
  • Gerald Warner argues that even after this report the CRU brand remains toxic.
  • The Guardian faults the CRU for too much secrecy in their operations which caused this problem in the first place.
  • Terrence Corcoran argues that even though Russell’s report is in, it does not resolve the issue that climate science is in shambles.

Bias and the IPCC?

The Economist provides a thoughtful, while provocative, account of the work of the IPCC to date. The premise of the Economist’s argument is that though there may not be systemic bias on the part of the IPCC, by only focusing on negative aspects of climate change, the body should nevertheless pay closer attention to its work. I cannot stress the importance of this matter to ensure the body’s work does not become too political in future reporting…more to come.

Is the IPCC too negative?

An Update on Climate Change Legislation

Since the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, climate legislation has been essentially “tabled” among the Democratic leadership. Nevertheless, activity is still underway but overall political consensus for pushing legislation this year is unlikely to meet current efforts by individual members of Congress. Here is a quick recap of what is currently in process:

  1. Senate Energy Chairman Drafting Utility-Only Climate Bill
  2. Environmental groups press President Obama to take stronger lead on climate
  3. Senator Murkowski and Climate Change
  4. Why John Kerry won’t back down from climate change legislation

And BP shows us what to do in case you spill some coffee: