Federal report scorns Canada's climate-change plan for exaggerating carbon cuts

Sat, 2007-09-22 11:43Bill Miller
Bill Miller's picture

Federal report scorns Canada's climate-change plan for exaggerating carbon cuts

The Canadian government’s own environmental advisory panel has slammed Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives for overestimating the greenhouse-gas reductions that will be achieved through its climate-change policies.

The National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy, comprised of leaders from business, labor, universities and environmental groups, examined 22 programs in the government’s climate-change plan and found they either overestimated projected emission reductions or based them on insufficient data.

In some cases, the Tory plan double counts some of the cuts it is supposed to make, the advisory council says.

That said, however, the panel supported Harper’s contention it is better to focus on long-term plans for climate change than cause short-term havoc to meet Kyoto targets. It backed the government's stand that Kyoto targets will not be met, but emissions will start to go down in 2010.

The government released its climate-change plan last summer as a result of the passing of C-288, a private member's bill that required government to table a strategy for Canada to comply with Kyoto. The roundtable is required under the law to assess that plan.

Essentially, the government plan promised to stop the rise of greenhouse gases during the Kyoto period and reduce them 20 per cent below 2006 levels by 2020. Canada's Kyoto target is to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions to 6 per cent below 1990 levels during the years 2008 to 2012.

Ecojustice and Friends of the Earth, meanwhile, have filed suit in federal court saying the Tories’ failure to uphold the Kyoto Protocol amounts to an illegal act.

 

Comments

Dear Editor, Sept. 23/07

Recent research by Henrik Svensmark and his group at the Danish National
Space Center points to the real cause of the recent warming trend. In a
series of experiments on the formation of clouds, these scientists have
shown that fluctuations in the Sun’s output cause the observed changes in the
Earth’s temperature.

In the past, scientists believed the fluctuations in the Sun’s output were
too small to cause the observed amount of temperature change, hence the need
to look for other causes like carbon dioxide. However, these new
experiments show that fluctuations in the Sun’s output are in fact large
enough, so there is no longer a need to resort to carbon dioxide as the
cause of the recent warming trend.

The discovery of the real cause of the recent increase in the Earth’s
temperature is indeed a convenient truth. It means humans are not to blame
for the increase. It also means there is absolutely nothing we can, much
less do, to correct the situation.

Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Canada

http://discovermagazine.com/2007/jul/the-discover-interview-henrik-svensmark

http://environment.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn11462 http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/188993.php

And it does not work in such absolute terms:

A new scientific study concludes that changes in the Sun's output cannot be causing modern-day climate change.


“It shows that for the last 20 years, the Sun's output has declined, yet temperatures on Earth have risen.

It also shows that modern temperatures are not determined by the Sun's effect on cosmic rays, as has been claimed.

Writing in the Royal Society's journal Proceedings A, the researchers say cosmic rays may have affected climate in the past, but not the present.”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6290228.stm

To Mr. Thomas Laprade

Sir,

I don’t know if you understand the full picture regarding Mr. Svensmark’s research. What he basically asserts is that variations in the sun cause changes in the Earth’s magnetic field, which in turn increase or decrease the number of cosmic rays reaching the Earth (cosmic rays are high energy particles from space). He asserts that increasing cosmic rays cause increasing cloud formation, and the increased amount of clouds result in a cooler climate. Thus, by his reasoning, the recent warming has been caused by a decrease in the number of cosmic rays, which then has reduced the cloud cover and increased the temperature.

There is a fairly significant problem with this idea. The number of cosmic rays has NOT DECREASED since 1985. It has in fact increased. And here is a very reliable scientific article to prove it:

Lockwood, M. and Claus Frohlich. “Recent oppositely directed trends in solar climate forcings and the global mean surface air temperature”. Proceedings of the Royal Society A (doi:10.1098/rspa.2007.1880)

http://www.journals.royalsoc.ac.uk/content/h844264320314105/fulltext.pdf

I refer specifically to page 5, figure 1, graph (c) in the above article. If you examine that graph, you should clearly see that the cosmic ray count has largely gone up, and that it certainly bears little or no relation to graph of the Earth’s temperature increases shown on the same page in graph (e).

Having studied a fair amount of physics in my time, I am in the position to say that it is virtually impossible to fake such data, as it is relatively easy to measure. Most university physics laboratories have the devices needed to measure cosmic ray flux. The data is commonly available enough to call it public knowledge.

By the tone and format of your posting, you seem to want to sound like someone who is serious, and familiar with the science surrounding climate change. But your apparent ignorance of reliable science that largely negates your assertions would indicate to me that you are not serious about understanding climate science.

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