India challenges global warming fears
Published: 25 Jul 08 - 0:00
India has issued a report challenging global warming fears. This is dramatic. The Indian Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change said that India would rather save its people from poverty than global warming, and would not cut growth in order to cut gases.
Referring to claimed changes in climate attributed to human activity, the report declares: "No firm link between the documented charges described below and warming due to an anthropogenic climate change has yet been established."
The report goes on to state: "It is obvious that India needs to substantially increase its per capita energy consumption to provide a minimally acceptable level of wellbeing to its people . . . India is determined that its per capita greenhouse-gas emissions will at no point exceed those of developed countries."
The Australian Herald noted that this declaration "means India won't stop its per capita emissions (now at 1,02 t) from growing until they match those of countries such as the US (now at 20 t)."
This Indian report was music to my ears. I have constantly said that developing countries cannot afford to let their school children do homework at night by candle light rather than by electric light, in an effort to save on electricity production, on the basis of the flimsy evidence presented in favour of man-induced climate change.
So we must ask ourselves: what is the main source of these claims that the Indian report referred to? The answer is that the claims mainly originate from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, commonly referred to as the IPCC.
Note the term 'governmental' – this is important. In July 1986, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) established the IPCC as an organ of the UN.
The IPCC's key personnel, and lead authors, were appointed by governments. In addition, the IPCC regulations state that its most important documents, its Summaries for Policymakers (SPM) documents, have to be approved by UN member governments.
So when the SPMs are released to the public and the media, they are ‘government approved'.
From the start, the IPCC was more of a political entity rather than a scientific one. Frequently, the public is told of the thousands of scientists whose work forms part of the IPCC output. This is true. By far the majority of the scientists are good, competent folks. I know a few of them personally. But it is not their work that the public sees – the pubic is given the filtered version, which is published in the SPMs, and these SPMs are voted on, line by line, by representatives of the UN member governments.
The IPCC's second assessment report, of 1996, stated: "The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate." In fact, the scientists never said this; they said that it was too early to tell. The third assessment report of the IPCC, in 2001, used the now infamous Hockey Stick graph, which purported to show that there had been a steep rise in global temperature during the twentieth century.
This graph was later shown to be wrong, and the IPCC's fourth report, of 2007, no longer uses it.
This should make people think a bit about government representatives voting on what version of the science they want the public to see. Many scientists, like me, have been irritated by all this, particularly when a result can be the retardation of the economic growth of the world's poor people. A number of the scientists involved in the IPCC work have quit very publicly, over the years, stating that what they actually determined scientifically and what was subsequently fed to the media differed greatly.
In parallel to all this, there has been a substantial, but rather silent, undercurrent of scientists who have been upset by this distortion of the truth.
A recent result of the existence of this agitated scientific bloc has been the establishment of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change. This group was activated in early 2007, and was formalised at a climate workshop in Vienna in April 2007.
It is interesting to note that the president of the Czech Republic, Dr Vaclav Klaus, stated at the UN climate conference on September 24, 2007, that it would help the debate on climate change if the current monopoly and one-sidedness of the scientific debate over climate change by the IPCC were eliminated.
The NIPCC is a collection of eminent independent scientists directed by Dr S Fred Singer, the first director of the US Weather Satellite Service. He subsequently retired as chief scientist of the US Department of Transport. The founding core of scientists of the NIPCC came from a dozen countries, and all are totally independent. They state that their primary concern is the dissemination of scientific truth.
In accurately formulated scientific documents, the NIPCC rejects many of the claims of the IPCC, particularly the notion that man-induced climate change is upon us, and is causing great harm.
Keep your eyes open for good sense from the NIPCC.
Blueprint based on climate action plan to be submitted in Nov
New Delhi, July 18 (PTI) A detailed and exhaustive blueprint prepared on the basis of the National Action Plan on Climate Change guidelines will be submitted in November to National Council for Climate Change, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
With National Action Plan on Climate Change unveiled recently by Singh as a roadmap, the measures would involve tax concessions, incentive schemes including legislative framework for various stakeholders to deal with the threat of global warming.
"It would also motivate Indian Inc to effectively undertake carbon emissions reduction programme," Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said on the sidelines of a function here.
Sibal said that the steps would be as per guidelines of National Action Plan on Climate Change and his Ministry was presently engaged into evolving the measures keeping in view the strength and limitations of the industries.
"In the context of national action plan we have given a clear signal that we are serious about the issue and chalked out eight missions with emphasis on solar energy which is the best alternative," Sibal said.
Rejecting the developed countries' proposal to commit to greenhouse gas emissions, India has been maintaining that at no point of time its per capita emissions of carbon dioxide, a major GHG, will be more than that of the developed nations.
According to UN data, India's per capita emissions are around 1.2 tonnes compared with 20.6 tonnes for the US in 2004. PTI
In India, growth trumps sustainability
Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post
Published: Saturday, July 26, 2008
India loves the UN's climate change policies and so does India's representative at the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri.
Why the love-in? The Indian government's new "National Action Plan on Climate Change," which Pachauri helped craft, plainly explains why: The UN formally establishes that global warming is a matter of secondary importance to India, allowing the world's largest democracy to pursue its own best interests.
As the National Action Plan unapologetically puts it, the UN's climate change convention "recognizes that 'economic and social development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of the developing country parties.' Thus, developing countries are not required to divert resources from development priorities by implementing projects involving incremental costs."
And India doesn't. Throughout its National Action Plan, India demonstrates that it will divert precious little of its scarce resources to solving the climate crisis. Where greenhouse gases will be curbed -- for example, by aggressively building hydro dams or modernizing industry -- the curbs will be a by-product of India's national security concerns or economic development plans.
The UN's climate change convention is even better than that -- it's a money-maker for India and a lever with which to obtain western technology. As the Action Plan makes clear, there's only one condition under which India need spend a rupee to help curb global warming "--(if) these incremental costs are borne by developed countries and the needed technologies are transferred."
Apart from wanting to develop, and wanting transfers of western wealth, the Indian government has one other reason for putting global warming on the back burner -- although it agrees that climate change may one day pose a threat, the National Action Plan states boldly that man-made global warming may not exist, and that if it does exist, its existence may be of no account to India.
"No firm link between the changes described below and warming due to anthropogenic climate change has yet been established," the report states matter-offactly, before proceeding to list the areas in which the science is not settled.
Parts of India have warmed, the Action Plan explains, and parts have cooled. Monsoon rains have increased in some areas and decreased in others. There have been no marked long-term trends in droughts or floods. Some regions have had a greater and others a lesser frequency of severe storms. Neither do the Himalayan glaciers demonstrate any consistent trend.
The upshot? With climate change such an ephemeral threat, why spend money on this possible non-event. Much better to focus on maximizing wealth and health.
The prescription? Grow the economy as fast as one billion people can possibly manage by building hundreds of new coal-fired power plants -- India is planning a five-fold increase by 2030,making it the world's third largest CO2 producer.
This National Action Plan is no ordinary report from a low-level government bureaucracy. It was commissioned last year by the Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change, chaired by the Prime Minister of India himself, and has the imprimatur of both the Government of India and the Prime Minister's council.
Neither is Rajendra Pachauri an ordinary government representative at the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He is its chairman, in effect the world's most senior climate change official. As such, he has been a vehement defender of the UN Panel's position, brooking no dissent from the view that time was short if the planet was to avert climate change catastrophe. As one example, when the mild-mannered Danish statistician Bjorn Lomberg, a believer in man-made climate change, concluded that climate change was unlikely to cause catastrophe, Pachauri likened him to Hitler.
How did Pachauri react when his own prime minister, and the government that he represents at the UN, not only down-played man-made global warming but positively asserted that there is no proof for it?
He vehemently endorsed his Prime Minister's National Action Plan. "We are an expanding economy. How can we levy a cap [on CO2 emissions] when millions are living with deprivation?," he told the Indian press. The National Action Plan should be implemented and the west should "get off the back of India."
-Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Energy Probe and Urban Renaissance Institute.
India just said "**** You!!"