Did John Cook really ‘cook the books’?

Few weeks ago when a posted a blog titled; “Scientific Studies Agrees on Human Caused Climate Change” based on information provided by John Cook and his colleagues, I taught I had a good piece of information. It turns out that the post was based on research that has misleading information.  Forbes online contributor James Taylor posted an article that undermines the credibility of this research and I taught it’s important for me to write a sequel on this post explaining why the information provided might be wrong.  After taking a closer look at the paper, investigative journalist report that the authors’ claims of a 97-pecent consensus relied on the authors misclassifying the papers of some of the world’s most prominent global warming skeptics. It was also alleged that the author created a meaningless survey question so as to twist the response to support their desired interest.

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Investigative journalists looked into the research data and found out that Cook and his colleagues wrongfully classified papers by prominent, vigorous skeptics as Willie Soon, Craig Idso, Nicola Scafetta, Nir Shaviv, Nils-Axel Morner and Alan Carlin as supporting the 97-percent consensus. For example the paper classified a peer-reviewed paper by scientist Craig Idso as explicitly supporting the ‘consensus’ position on global warming “without minimizing” the asserted severity of global warming. When Idso was asked whether this was an accurate characterization of his paper, Idso responded, “That is not an accurate representation of my paper”. The papers examined how the rise in atmospheric CO2 could be inducing a phase advance in the spring portion of the atmosphere’s seasonal CO2 cycle. Other literature had previously claimed a measured advance was due to rising temperatures, but it’s shown that it was quite likely the rise in atmospheric CO2 itself was responsible for the lion’s share of the change. It would be incorrect to claim that our paper was an endorsement of CO2-induced global warming.”   You can find the article here for more information on why Cook’s assumptions were not necessarily all correct.

Misleading information like this sometimes makes me doubt the severity of global warming and its relative anthropogenic contributions.   For me, it sometimes reduces the legitimacy of many global warming researches because most of the finding where influence by the underlining ideologies and interests of the authors. I still believe that human activities influences global warming but the degree and significance of its influence cannot be ascertained for now. Remember, in as much as we cannot stop the natural contribution factors to global warming, we should try to reduce human contributions as much as we can.

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Scientific Studies Agrees On Human Caused Climate Change.

This is a ‘zip-it’ notice to all the climate skeptics out there (laughs…). A study from the University of Queensland is revealing an overwhelming consensus among scientists that recent global warming is human-caused. Many environmental skeptics have always been arguing why we should not believe that anthropogenic climate change is real.This study puts that to rest and substantiate the reasons man-made climate change is real. The study is the most comprehensive yet, and identified 4000 summaries, otherwise known as abstracts, from papers published in the past 21 years that stated a position on the cause of recent global warming — 97 percent of these endorsed the consensus that we are seeing: human-made, or anthropogenic global warming.

John Cook who led this study said “these findings prove that there is a strong scientific agreement about the cause of climate change, despite public perceptions to the contrary. There is a gaYou-Control-Climate-Change-773583ping chasm between the actual consensus and the public perception. It’s staggering given the evidence for consensus that less than half of the general public think scientists agree that humans are causing global warming.” I think this is significant because when people understand that scientists agree on global warming, they’re more likely to support policies that take actions to stop it. It also helps to reduce the criticism of the climate change regulatory programs.

It’s not only man-made effect that causes climate change, the earths itself will experience a level of change since it’s not static in nature and there is evidence of life on it. Those changes are natural and we have no control over. The most important thing to note here is that since we cannot control the nature effects on climate change, we should do something to manage those we can control. We should work together to reduce human activities the influences climate change. Talk to someone about climate change today.

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Your lawn mower is also causing climate change

Most of us want to keep pointing finger at others saying they are the ones causing climate change without looking within to consider how our lifestyle is also influencing it. Dr Bret Simmons’ leadership class at University of Nevada Reno taught me that in other to be an effective leader we should have the “rear view mirror” mentality of prudence. He said that “the evaluation of prudence is best made by looking in your rear view mirror, back at decisions you’ve made to confirm that the sacrifices you endured were justified by the rewards you earned.” Therefore to be an effective leader in the campaign against climate change, we should be able to access our lifestyle to know if we are making the right sacrifices to stop climate change on our part.

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According to several data analysis, it was discovered that in urban cities, more carbon dioxide is released from residential lawns mowers that are adding to the carbon footprint and thereby influencing climate change. Most of us will think that the impact our small lawnmower will make is little or nothing, forgetting the fact that it all adds up when the cumulative effect of all the mowers are considered.  Several states including the state of California has continually reduced lawn mower emission standard and some go to the extent of having a replacement program to exchange resident’s old mowers for a new efficient one. These regulations are working but it’s not by any means eliminating its carbon dioxides production. Some residence even go to the extent of buying mowers in states that have lower standards  to use it a different state that has a higher standard.

I think the best approach to this is by making individual assessment of our lifestyle, and see how much we are contributing to climate change, not to keep blaming the energy or oil and gas industry without making a move to support what we believe in. There are several electric power and rechargeable lawn mower that we can use and it will not emit any carbon to the atmosphere. We can also use solar powered lawn mower which will be the most ideal in this kind of situation. This is another call for us to change our lifestyle in order to stop climate change.  Protests and demonstrations alone cannot solve the problem if we are not resolved in our heart to make a change in our individual activities. Kindly make a move to get a zero emission lawn mower today.

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Lessons from Euro carbon market

Last November, California Air Resources Board flags off the first carbon market program in the United States of America despite the US senate’s 2010 failure to pass a national program. Given the state’s history of implementing environmental regulations that later becomes national policy, a successful cap-and-trade system could serve as a federal model in the future. I think the cap-and-trade idea is to make it more expensive to emit CO2, and to make green technologies-including renewable fuels, and carbon capture and sequestration-that are initially expensive more competitive with fossil fuels.If cap-and-trade in California fails, then that could be a big blow to its consideration as a national policy instrument in Washington.

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The European carbon program is going through some hard times. last week, the European parliament  voted 334-315 (with 60 abstentions) against a controversial “back-loading” plan that aimed to boost the flagging price of carbon, which since 2008 has fallen from about 31 euros per ton to about 4 euros (about $5.20).  This blog post is to make a quick assessment of the European carbon program and highlight some lesson the world could learn from its mode of operation.

I believe that what really plummet the European carbon market were the 2008 economic Recession and the subsequent anemic recovery that still lingers on till now. Due to the slow economic recovery, the demand for carbon reduces and the supply continues to increase; forcing a bad economics of scale. Tomas Wyns, director of the Center for Clean Air Policy Europe, a Brussels-based nonprofit said there should be a price-stabilization reserve that buys up allowances when prices are too low. The EU should have introduced a back-loading system that will take a chunk of the excesses out of the market creating an artificial scarcity that would have boosted the price of carbon.

The major opponents to the carbon market program are the major industries ranging from the steelmakers to beer brewers who argue that if the price of carbon goes up they will not be able to compete against competitors from other countries that are still benefiting from the already cheap energy sources like the shale gas in America. While I think it is a legitimate argument especially with the fragile state of European economic, it equally important to think about its potential risk

Although the US senate voted down the 2010 cap and trade proposal, I hope the European experience will not be a deterrent for future consideration.  I believe the complexity of European politics has contributed to the European carbon market problem and that with a stable political system and support, the US will definitely gain from a thoroughly planned emission trading program. The California carbon market is relatively young and will appreciate your positive criticism and comments below in order to make it better.

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U.S. Energy-related CO2 emission lowest in 20 years

Hey guys, I’ve got good news today.  According to the data posted by the US energy information administration, Carbon dioxide emissions from energy consumption in the United States during 2012 fell to the lowest level since 1994.  I believe this is a step in the right direction if want to meet our goal of reducing CO2 and other related GHGs in the near future.The assessment concludes that about 5.3 billion metric tons of CO2 were emitted from coal, natural gas, and oil consumption during the year 2012, a 3.7 percent decline relative to 2011 and 12.1 percent below the peak of 6 billion tons hit in 2007. The EIA cited increased use of natural gas and falling consumption of coal as the primary reason for the drop in emissions of the greenhouse gas.

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The report stated an increase in natural gas and decrease in Coal plants CO2 production. CO2 emissions from coal were down 18% to 387 million metric tons in the January-March 2012 period. That was the lowest-first quarter CO2 emissions from coal since 1983 and the lowest for any quarter since April-June 1986. The decline in coal-related emissions is due mainly to utilities using less coal for electricity generation as they burned more low-priced natural gas.About 90% of the energy-related CO2 emissions from coal came from the electric power sector. Coal has the highest carbon intensity among major fossil fuels, resulting in coal-fired plants having the highest output rate of CO2 per kilowatt-hour.

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This CO2 reduction was attributed to three main reasons as stated in the report which are;

  • A mild winter that reduced household heating demand and therefore energy use
  • A decline in coal-fired electricity generation, due largely to historically low natural gas prices
  • Reduced gasoline demand

Words cannot express how glad I am to see this report, but it’s also important to say that we still have a long way to go as a country. The US still remains the second highest producer of CO2 emissions just a little behind china. Remember to drop your comments and join us in this battle to make the world a better place.

Thanks.

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Hurray! US Power Plants reduced Green House Gas emission.

According to the Department of transportation (DOT) report, the power generating industry remains the highest producer of green house gases in the united state of America. It generates approximately two-thirds of total U.S. GHG emissions.  In recent reports, Greenhouse gas emissions from power plants fell by 4.7 percent from 2,327 to 2,221 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from 2010 to 2011, largely due to an increase in electricity generation from natural gas and renewable energy, according to the EPA’s second annual release of greenhouse gas data.

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The facility level information on green house gases tool created by the US EPA through mandated Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program which includes information from facilities in 41 source categories that emit large quantities of greenhouse gasses. The power generating industry showed significant improvement in reducing the quantity of GHGs emission.  Despite the increasing energy production and demands, GHG emissions from 2011 were estimated to be lower than that of 2010. EPA’s annual Toxics Release Inventory report, found toxic air releases in 2011 declined 8 percent from 2010, EPA attributes the decline to decreases in hazardous air pollutant emissions including hydrochloric acid and mercury.

This development might be assumed to be influenced by the increasing energy production from renewable sources and the increase natural gas energy production. The state of Texas remains the highest GHG emission state and it’s important the state of Texas begin to think of how to follow the state of California by introducing means to reduce emissions. I think this is a step in the right direction for the country as a whole and I hope we will continue as individuals, community, state and citizens to continue in the reduction of GHGs and combat climate change.