Archive for the ‘green economy’ Category
The notion that our carbon dioxide emissions are causing the oceans to warm at an alarming rate making glaciers flow faster into the sea (Staying afloat in a sinking world, Bangkok Post, November 24, 2010) is logically and scientifically flawed in many ways. I would like to cite only one of them and it has to do with the Argo Project. It was launched with much fanfare about six years ago. Thousands of robotized floats were installed in oceans around the globe to measure “just how fast the ocean is warming”. By their own reckoning, these measurements provide the most accurate and comprehensive sea temperature data available to them. Yet, mysteriously, the hype went out of the Argo Project almost as soon as it was implemented. Not only that, the Argo data are apparently being shunned by climate scientists who prefer the old measuring devices whose inadequacy was apparently the reason that they had sought funding for Argo. NASA’s JPL, the keepers of the Argo data, admitted that it is because there are no trends in the temperature or salinity data from the Argo floats. Had the data showed the kind of warming they had hoped to find, the media would have been inundated with that information. The fundamental bias in climate science is that data that do not support its presumptions are not considered valid.
1960s: The over-population theory explores the fear that there are too many people on earth and they are breeding too fast. It is predicted that by 1987 human activity will exceed the planet’s ability to sustain us with food, energy, and raw materials. The scenario, explored in the movie “Soilent Green”, is predicted to includes Biblical famine and death, anarchy, and the devolution of human society possibly including cannibalism. Human activity will have destroyed the earth’s ability to sustain human beings.
1970s: The “limits to growth” theory disseminates the fear that society will collapse by the year 2000 because there is a hard upper limit to the amount of fossil fuels, minerals, and other planetary resources that we can consume and therefore a limit to the level of economic growth that is achievable. Continued economic growth will run into this upper limit and cause a complete collapse of civilization as we know it.
1970s: The first ozone depletion scare campaign is waged against the development of the SST high altitude airliner with the allegedly scientific argument that nitric oxide (NOx) in the jet exhaust will deplete ozone in the ozone layer. The campaign is successful and the SST program is canceled. Their success emboldens environmental extremists and the modern version of planetary environmentalism based on fear takes form. Twenty years later the same scientists, alarmed by falling NOx concentration in the lower atmosphere declared that “NOx is the immune system of the atmosphere” because it prevents chlorine from depleting ozone.
1980s: The second ozone depletion scare campaign is waged against refrigerants that contain CFC chemicals saying that human activity was causing an ozone hole over the Antarctic and causing the establishment of the Montreal Protocol and a comprehensive ban on the most efficient and inexpensive refrigerants used worldwide. The ozone depletion science is proven wrong but the media that helped hype the ozone hole scare are silent on the issue. The ozone hole scare quietly disappears from the media.
1990s to present: The global warming scare campaign rises like a Phoenix from the ashes of the failed ozone hole scare campaign with the theory that carbon dioxide from fossil fuels accumulates in the atmosphere, traps heat, and warms up the planet with catastrophic consequences of Biblical proportions.
Reference: Peaks whitewashed to slow melting, Bangkok Post, September 15, 2010
Up in the Peruvian Andes, a World Bank funded project is painting the mountain-tops white to keep global warming from melting the glaciers (Peaks whitewashed to slow melting, Bangkok Post, September 15, 2010). The area in question is a semi-arid region subject to droughts and supplied by melt water from evanescent glaciers that have come and gone in cycles for thousands of years. Glaciers recede during the dry period of these cycles – not because it is too hot but because there is not enough snowfall. The current state of relative dessication is a part of a natural and well known weather pattern in the Andes and it cannot in any way be related to GHG emissions or to global warming. The project to paint mountain tops is just the kind of lunacy that bad science often engenders.
In 2005 they were telling us that biofuels are the answer to global warming and that we should all “go green” by consuming renewable biofuels instead of fossil fuels. In fact they went so far as to put biofuel consumption and production as “offsets” in the strange mathematics of carbon emission “reduction” used by the industrialized countries to meet their Kyoto targets. Around 2008, when Indonesia and other Asian countries responded to this call with an aggressive biofuels program we were told that these activities were bad for the environment and for biodiversity and that biofuels actually caused global warming. And now in 2010 we find that biofuels are being promoted once again to fight global warming (Jet biofuel to take flight from 2012, Bangkok Post, August 18, 2010). Is “the science” really “settled” on the global warming issue? If so what is the “consensus” on the question of biofuels?
Reduced water flow caused by dams upstream allows brackish water to encroach farther into deltas than it normally does and thereby to adversely affect traditional agriculture in coastal regions. Yet, the UNDP is trying to pin the salinity problem in the Mekong delta on global warming knowing full well that dams in China have significantly reduced the flow in the Mekong River (Salty waters parched earth, Bangkok Post, July 18, 2010).
The further claim, that global warming has afflicted Vietnam with worsening droughts, floods, typhoons, and tides, is derived from the 2007 UN-IPCC report which says that global warming is causing extreme weather. This claim by the IPCC was based on a single research paper that had found a rising cost of weather disasters from 1970 to 2005.
This paper has since been discredited as it was found that the effect was an artifact of Hurricane Katrina. If you remove 2005 from the data the effect disappears. The IPCC was challenged with these findings and it was subsequently forced to withdraw its 2007 claim that global warming causes extreme weather.
In any case, if drought and salinity are devastating rice farming in the Mekong delta, it is not evident in the production statistics which show that overproduction has left the delta awash in rice with the urgent problem being low demand and falling prices, not global warming (Vietnam rice growers face low prices, Bangkok Post, July 19, 2010).
The performance of green stocks is assessed as the weighted average value of green ETFs in excess of a corresponding normalized value of the S&P500 index with the difference set at zero at the beginning of the comparison period. The chart below shows that over the period from April 2008 to June 2010, green stocks have lost almost have their value relative to the S&P500 stocks.