Monday, December 10, 2007

Environmental double-think

Here's a quick-recap of environmental news stories:

* Al Gore and his wife Tipper arrive in Oslo Airport and do the right thing by catching a train to their hotel, making sure the press is all too aware of their eco-friendly choice.

Their luggage however, travelled by Mercedes van, leaving a nasty carbon footprint behind.

* Tim Blair analyses Gaza's performance towards meeting its Kyoto obligations. But in a hypocritical statement, a U.N spokesperson is actually denouncing these brave efforts to reducing their carbon emissions:

"Israel reduced the supply of diesel by 49 per cent on October 28, and petrol by 40 per cent and industrial diesel for the power plant by 14 per cent,” said Mahmoud Daher, the Gaza head of the United Nations-affiliated World Health Organisation.

"This is in a situation where electricity is already in short supply and there are frequent power cuts. We know that some health facilities have zero stocks of fuel and that in several hospitals the situation is critical. The main pediatric hospital is critically low in fuel for its generators. All transport vehicles and most ambulance travel have also come to a halt."

Gaza is leading the world by example, and the international community is all too eager for Australia, Europe and America to follow in their footsteps. But is the U.N for or against more C02 emissions ? Make up your mind folks !

* A climate scientist lashes out at the U.N's IPCC, and notes that "For example, Antarctic sea ice reached a record maximum coverage in 2007, and the globally averaged lower atmosphere has not warmed in the last nine years":
EcoWorld: What is your criticism of the IPCC?

Pielke: Mainly the fact that the same individuals who are doing primary research into humans' impact on the climate system are being permitted to lead the assessment of that research. Suppose a group of scientists introduced a drug they claimed could save many lives: There were side effects, of course, but the scientists claimed the drug's benefits far outweighed its risks. If the government then asked these same scientists to form an assessment committee to evaluate their claim (and the committee consisted of colleagues of the scientists who made the original claim as well as the drug's developers), an uproar would occur, and there would be protests. It would represent a clear conflict of interest. Yet this is what has happened with the IPCC process. To date, either few people recognize this conflict, or those that do choose to ignore it because the recommendations of the IPCC fit their policy and political agenda. In either case, scientific rigor has been sacrificed, and poor policy and political decisions will inevitably follow.
* Greenie Watch looks back at the UK Met Office's catastrophically gloomy predictions for 2007 being a hot and dry year, with a very poor score-card.