Renewable energy technology is becoming increasingly cost competitive and growth rates are in line to meet levels required of a sustainable energy future, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a report on Wednesday.
The report also said subsidies in green energy technologies that were not yet competitive are justified in order to give an incentive to investing into technologies with clear environmental and energy security benefits.
The renewable electricity sector has grown rapidly in the past five years and now provides nearly 20 percent of the world’s power generation, the IEA said during the presentation of the report titled Deploying Renewables 2011.
The IEA’s report disagreed with claims that renewable energy technologies are only viable through costly subsidies and not able to produce energy reliably to meet demand.
“A portfolio of renewable energy (RE) technologies is becoming cost-competitive in an increasingly broad range of circumstances, in some cases providing investment opportunities without the need for specific economic support,” the IEA said, and added that “cost reductions in critical technologies, such as wind and solar, are set to continue.”
The UK Guardianreports today that the deniers are serving 2-year-old leftovers for Thanksgiving:
Fresh round of hacked climate science emails leaked online
A file containing 5,000 emails has been made available in an apparent attempt to repeat the impact of 2009′s similar release….
The initial email dump was apparently timed to disrupt the Copenhagen climate talks. It prompted three official inquiries in the UK and two in the US into the working practices of climate scientists. Although these were critical of the scientists’ handling of Freedom of Information Act requests and lack of openness they did not find fault with the climate change science they had produced.
Norfolk police have said the new set of emails is “of interest” to their investigation to find the perpetrator of the initial email release who has not yet been identified.
Actually nine independent investigations have vindicated climate science and climate scientists on the hacked University of East Anglia emails (as Skeptical Science explains, for those who want the full history).
As one scientist put it to me today:
“Two years ago, emails were released and the American people were lied to about their content. Now, we are expected to be gullible enough to believe the original liars a second time.”
The good news is that the perpetrators and their fellow deniers apparently think the international climate talks in Durban are actually important enough to try to trick the media once again into prematurely running stories on out-of-context excerpts from private emails from scientists, most of which were written years ago, discussing science that has long since been resolved.
Leftovers, again? One climate scientist calls the email dump, “Two-year-old turkey from Thanksgiving 2009.”
These are the “second string” emails. The Varsity team couldn’t derail the science so it’s really hard to see how the Junior Varsity team could. In other words, if multiple independent investigations showed that climate science was unscathed by the original batch of emails — which must have been the ones the deniers thought were the best they had — then what precisely are the chances these even weaker second-stringers are going to beat the climate science team? After all, the climate science team has gotten considerably stronger in recent years.
The U.S. National Academy of Sciences concluded its 2010 review of climate science, saying it is a “settled fact” that “the Earth system is warming.” As for the cause, last year, Time reported on a comprehensive new review paper of “100 peer-reviewed post-IPCC studies” in an article titled, “Report: The Case for Global Warming Stronger Than Ever”:
By looking at a wide range of observations from all over the world, the Met Office study concludes that the fingerprint of human influence on climate is stronger than ever. “We can say with a very high significance level that the effects we see in the climate cannot be attributed to any other forcings [factors that push the climate in one direction or another],” says study co-author Gabriele Hegerl of the University of Edinburgh.
In a AAAS presentation last year, the late William R. Freudenburg of UC Santa Barbara discussed his research on “the Asymmetry of Scientific Challenge“: New scientific findings since the 2007 IPCC report are found to be more than twenty times as likely to indicate that global climate disruption is “worse than previously expected,” rather than “not as bad as previously expected.”
And, of course, in the real world, Arctic sea ice is disappearing faster than the IPCC climate models projected, the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are disintegrating faster than the climate models projected, the tropical zones are expanding faster than the models projected (a key cause of Dust-Bowlification), and, sadly, greenhouse gas emissions are rising faster than the primary worst-case IPCC scenario — see An Illustrated Guide to the Science of Global Warming Impacts.
Recall the foundation of the phony Climategate charge. Somehow the climate scientists at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, led by Phil Jones, were manipulating the data and the peer review process as part of a grand conspiracy to convince the public the earth has been warming faster than it really is. The “CRU compiles the land component of the record and the Hadley Centre provides the marine component.”
The BEST team vindicated climate science. The key paper found “a degree of global land-surface warming during the anthropogenic era that is consistent with prior work (e.g. NOAA) but on the high end of the existing range of reconstruction.
D’oh! The BEST data shows considerably higher warming in recent years than HadCRU. The group whose emails were hack have been UNDERestimating global warming!
If you waste your time looking at these second-string emails, you’ll see, for instance, the perpetrators tout e-mails involved the urban heat island issue, but BEST have already demonstrated for the umpteenth time that that it isn’t tainting the surface temperature record.
So you can see why these emails didn’t make the Varsity team. These truly are minor league emails.
Here is the UEA response to the emails, yet one more plea to the media from the scientists involved not to fall for the trick of the out-of-context excerpt:
Markey Calls For Intel Investigation Of Unsolved Climate Hacking Incident |
Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) has called on the United States intelligence community to uncover the Climategate hackers who stole emails from climate scientists and released them in advance of two major climate negotiations. “This is clearly an attempt to sabotage the international climate talks for a second time, and there has not been enough attention paid to who is responsible for these illegal acts,” said Markey. “If this happened surrounding nuclear arms talks, we would have the full force of the Western world’s intelligence community pursuing the perpetrators. And yet, with the stability of our climate hanging in the balance with these international climate treaty negotiations, these hackers and their supporters are still on the loose. It is time to bring them to justice.”
“What appears to be a new batch of emails and other documents from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit has been released,” reports the BBC. The emails are accompanied by a new selection of pull-quotes that include words like “trick” and “deceptive” and “scheme,” causing right-wing hacks like the Telegraph’s James Delingpole to salivate about the threat of “Climategate 2.0″ to “global warming loons.”
Climategate was a scandal of corrupt, deceitful, and shoddy reporting. In 2009, as all of the world’s leaders prepared to meet in Copenhagen to tackle global warming, thousands of emails from the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit webmail server — a top climate research center in the United Kingdom — were hacked and dumped on a Russian web server. Polluter-funded climate skeptics, along with their allies in conservative media and the Republican Party, sifted through the e-mails, and quickly cherry picked quotes to falsely accuse climate scientists of concocting climate change science out of whole cloth.
The results weren’t pretty — for the credibility and reputation of the news media. As several progressive and environmental organizations wrote in a letter in July 2010:
News outlets across the globe hastily published hundreds of stories — based on rumors, unsubstantiated claims, and the shoddy reporting of their competitors — questioning the overwhelming scientific consensus that human activities are causing climate change. One by one, the pillars of evidence supporting the alleged “scandals” have shattered, causing the entire storyline to come crashing down.
Pollution from burning fossil fuels continues to destroy our climate. There is now a record-breaking Category 4 storm, Hurricane Kenneth, in the eastern Pacific. The real scandal continues to be the failure to report and to act on the incontrovertible threat. Hopefully, journalists have learned their lesson.
Climate scientist John Abraham tells Climate Crocks: “While Texas experiences record droughts that cost $9 billion and while the evidence of climate change becomes more clear, the denialists quit discussing the science. Instead, billionaire oil tycoons continue their personal attacks against scientists.”
Shawn Lawrence Otto responds: “The illegally hacked personal emails go on like this for reams and reams of mind-numbing back and forth that even the climate deniers that are happily hosting them say they haven’t had time to read – they just do text searches for any damning-sounding words they can think of, pull up those highlights, take the ones that seem to confirm their position out of context, and direct attention to them.”
Media Matters‘ Jocelyn Fong agrees with me: “The question is: will mainstream media outlets allow themselves to be made part of a campaign to distract the public from the big picture on climate change? Or will they fulfill their responsibilities as journalists? Looks like we’ll find out if they’ve learned their lesson to research first, then report.”
At Climate Progress, Joe Romm responds: “So again, much ado about not bloody much.”
The Guardian reports: “Norfolk police have said the new set of emails is ‘of interest’ to their investigation to find the perpetrator of the initial email release who has not yet been identified.”
Blue Marble‘s Kate Sheppard: “I’d hesitate to call attention to a bunch of stolen, out-of-context emails at all, except for the fact that part of the reason that Climategate 1.0 was blown so far out of proportion is that most people ignored it for so long and let the denial crowd frame the conversation.”
Journalists have not learned their lesson, it seems. Associated Press reporter Raphael Satter (@razhael) smears the climate scientists with the same charges debunked last year: “Although their context couldn’t be determined, the excerpts appeared to show climate scientists talking in conspiratorial tones about ways to promote their agenda and freeze out those they disagree with.” The Washington Post‘s Juliet Eilperin irresponsibly posits the stolen emails “may ignite a renewed debate, at least among some bloggers and climate-change skeptics, over whether scientists have exaggerated the link between human activity and global warming.”
By Climate Guest Blogger on Nov 2, 2011 at 2:38 pm
Reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere temperatures, Mann et al, 2008. Multiple, independent analyses confirm recent warming is unprecedented in magnitude and speed and cause (so the temperature history looks like a Hockey Stick).
Yesterday in a Virginia courtroom, Michael Mann—who is quickly becoming the Galileo of climate science—triumphed over the conservative American Tradition Institute, and ongoing attempts at scientist-harassment.
More specifically, Prince William County Circuit Court Judge Gaylord Finch both allowed Mann to join the case that ATI is pursuing against the University of Virginia to get Mann’s emails, and allowed UVA to back out of an agreement with ATI to let it review some of Mann’s emails that the university is nevertheless claiming are exempt from disclosure.
This is a bit technical, as is often the case in ongoing court proceedings, but let’s remember why it matters.
The ATI lawsuit is a follow-on to Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli’s outrageous harassment of Mann. And protecting Mann’s emails from disclosure is critical for ensuring that ideological fishing expeditions that attack and harass scientists aren’t permitted. The contrary result, as many scientific groups have asserted, could have a chilling effect on academic research and freedom of inquiry in controversial areas.
Mann has been greatly supported by the Union of Concerned Scientists, the American Geophysical Union, and other organizations, and by grassroots fundraising efforts to support his legal expenses. To contribute see here.
We have learned two important things from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study (BEST):
Denier claims that prior scientific analysis of the key land surface temperature data OVER-estimated the warming trend were not merely wrong, but the reverse was true. Warming has been high and accelerating.
The Deniers and Confusionists and their media allies can never be convinced by the facts and will twist themselves into pretzels to keep spreading disinformation.
We also learned that BEST’s Judith Curry still would rather be a confusionist than a scientist — but that ain’t news (see “Judith Curry abandons science“).
The decadal land-surface average temperature using a 10-year moving average of surface temperatures over land. Anomalies are relative to the Jan 1950 – December 1979 mean. The grey band indicates 95% statistical and spatial uncertainty interval.
Recall the foundation of the phony Climategate charge. Somehow the climate scientists at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, led by Phil Jones, were manipulating the data and the peer review process as part of a grand conspiracy to convince the public the earth has been warming faster than it really is. A key point is that “the CRU compiles the land component of the record and the Hadley Centre provides the marine component.”
we find that the global land mean temperature has increased by 0.911 ± 0.042 C since the 1950s…. our analysis suggests a degree of global land-surface warming during the anthropogenic era that is consistent with prior work (e.g. NOAA) but on the high end of the existing range of reconstruction.
D’oh! The BEST data shows considerably higher warming in recent years than HadCRU (the red line above).
As an aside, Muller, in a March 2010 talk (near the end) clearly states that if warming is on the high range, then humanity should be more concerned because we have “less time to react.”
What’s even more worrisome is that the study clearly shows that the warming trend is accelerating. First, “Our analysis technique suggests that temperatures during the 19th century were approximately constant (trend 0.20 ± 0.25 C/century).” No big surprise there.
But then as human emissions kick into overdrive, things heat up:
The trend line for the 20th century is calculated to be 0.733 ± 0.096 C/century, well below the 2.76 ± 0.16 C/century rate of global land-surface warming that we observe during the interval Jan 1970 to Aug 2011.
That is, in the past 40 years, the land has warmed nearly 4 times faster than it did in the last century. This really kills the denier meme that the observed data suggests we will see only a small amount of warming this century.
In fact, even the high and accelerating warming of the past 4 decades was reduced by human and volcanic aerosol emissions and the general lags between emissions and warming. Thus, it is now patently obvious that if we stay on our current emissions path, the acceleration of warming will continue as greenhouse gas concentrations continue rising. That’s without even considering the amplifying carbon-cycle feedbacks.
Another mini-bombshell in the paper, which has led co-author Curry to (try to) frag team leader Muller, is this conclusion:
Michael Mann, the lead author on the original Hockey Stick paper, is one of the nation’s top climatologists and a source of first-rate analysis.
We know these things because both the Hockey Stick and Mann have been independently investigated and vindicated more times than any other facet of climate science or any other climate scientist (see links below).
No, it doesn’t refer to Climategate, but you’ll be shocked, shocked to learn that the NY Times is reporting today:
Scotland Yard will expand its investigation of The News of the World and its parent company, police officials said Saturday, adding a new inquiry into possible instances of computer intrusion to the current accusations of phone hacking and payments to police officers.
The new investigation was opened after an examination of “a number of allegations regarding breach of privacy” received since the Metropolitan Police, also known as Scotland Yard, reopened inquiries in January into possible crimes by newspaper employees, a statement said.
I am one to say “I told you so” — it’s half the reason to have a blog, especially on climate, where the nation’s ongoing inaction all but guarantees that those of us warning of the most dire climatic consequences will be vindicated.
Inspired by climate denial pundits, right-wing Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik railed against global warming “enviro-communism” in his manifesto. Breivik — who confessed to killing 93 people in two attacks in Norway — published on the web a 1,500-page manifesto describing his Christian conservative conspiracy theories. In one section, “Green is the new Red – Stop Enviro-Communism!” Breivik argues that global warming is actually a eco-Marxist plot “to create a world government” using the “Anthropogenic Global Warming scam”:
You might know them as environmentalists, enviro-communists, eco-Marxists, neo-Communists or eco-fanatics. They all claim they want to save the world from global warming but their true agenda is to contribute to create a world government lead by the UN or in other ways increase the transfer of resources (redistribute resources) from the developed Western world to the third world. They hope to accomplish this through the distribution of misinformation (propaganda) which they hope will lead to increased taxation of already excessively taxed Europeans and US citizens.
Although Breivik’s conspiracy theories are insane, they are in line with mainstream opinion among American conservatives. He cites Christopher Monckton’s speech before the Minnesota Free Market Institute in 2009, accusing President Obama of trying to cede United States sovereignty to the United Nations through climate treaties. Monckton — a rabid conspiracy theorist who claims his opponents are Nazis — was a Republican witness before Congress on global warming in 2010.
Breivik also believed that the “Climategate” hacking incident “revealed how top scientists conspired to falsify data in the face of declining global temperatures in order to prop up the premise that man-made factors are driving climate change.”
One of his sources for this delusional claim is right-wing climate conspiracy theorist James Delingpole, who regularly appears on Fox News, including Glenn Beck‘s now defunct show. The Norwegian terrorist also cited climate conspiracy blogger Steve McIntyre, who appeared in a one-hour Fox News special on global warming in 2009. McIntyre’s conspiracy theories have been promoted by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK). Dozens of Republican members of Congress have endorsed the Climategate conspiracy theory.
In reality, science is not partisan. It is a fact that the burning of hundreds of billions of tons of coal and oil is dangerously warming the planet. The torrent of propaganda spewed by conservative outlets and politicians to fight action is toxic and irresponsible.