UNITED NATIONS – Trying to jump-start a climate change campaign that has stalled amid claims of fraudulent reports and data manipulation, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the formation of a new high-level advisory group.
University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit
Ban named British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to lead the new panel, which must figure out how to raise the first billions of dollars to address the many “global warming” programs the organization seeks.
The state of the issue, however, was highlighted at the U.N.’s climate summit in Copenhagen just before Christmas, when representatives of nations around the globe were unable to reach agreement on any significant steps.
Despite that failure, and the growing issue over apparently falsified or manipulated data, the U.N. is pursuing its various programs to address the issue. It wants to be raising $100 billion annually within a few years.
The new advisory panel is scheduled to issue a preliminary report by June with a final proposal to be delivered at a climate-summit follow-up meeting in Mexico in December.
Ban was put on the defensive Wednesday when he had to traverse snow mounds to arrive at U.N. headquarters, which were shuttered due to a blizzard that paralyzed the Big Apple.
“I am told by scientists that the weather and climate change is not always correctly related,” Ban said. “But, while it is true you may have seen some cold weather, as we have seen recently in New York in heavy snows, overall traditional scientific evidence suggests that global warming is happening, much faster than one may realize.”
While Ban maintains the international scientific community is “somewhat united” on the issue, he also admits solutions and the money to fund them are yet to be resolved.
Ban called financial answers “critically important” and said the new panel will be entrusted to find answers.
“Its mission is to mobilize the financial resources for climate change pledged in Copenhagen,” said Ban.
With economies in the major industrialized nations still reeling from a worldwide recession, the U.K.’s Brown explained the task will not be easy.
“Let me stress that the United Kingdom is committed to its share of the (up to) $30 billion required by the beginning in 2010 through 2012,” he said.
But just how London will raise the funds wasn’t detailed.
Brown also acknowledged that baselines to judge climate change also need to be established.
“We must put it in place the transparency for measurement reporting and verification,” he said.
December’s Copenhagen summit was plagued by recurrent charges that the scientific evidence presented was slanted and seriously distorted for politics and financial gain.
The president of the summit, Connie Hedegaard of Denmark, resigned shortly before the conclave, under fire for politically slanting the summit’s agenda.
Her move was preceded by reports the U.N. research body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change chaired by R.K. Pachauri of India, was connected to companies poised to collect millions on implementing “green” programs espoused by the panel.
The political and financial clouds left the conclave in disarray.
Meanwhile, two members of Congress have written the Environmental Protection Agency demanding answers about scientific documentation used to support the agency’s determination that “greenhouse gases threaten the public health and welfare of the American people.”
The letter from U.S. Reps. Joe Barton, R-Texas, and Greg Walden, R-Ore., followed a recommendation from officials at Penn State University that the work of one of their own – climate change researcher Michael Mann – be investigated further.
The developments follow a tsunami triggered shortly before Christmas when a cache of e-mails among global warming proponents was hacked from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, one of the world’s premier global warming investigative organizations. The e-mails had references to a “trick” to “hide the [temperature] decline,” and there were indications e-mails were being purged and scientists who did not agree were being excluded from the debate.
The EPA signed two findings regarding greenhouse gases Dec. 7 . The first said, “The administrator finds that the current and projected concentrations of the six key well-mixed greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) – in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.”
The second said, “The administrator finds that the combined emissions of these well-mixed greenhouse gases from new motor vehicles and new motor vehicle engines contribute to the greenhouse gas pollution which threatens public health and welfare.”
The letter noted the determination ultimately can influence legislation, rules, regulations, policy and even the emission of vehicles in the U.S. – all of which can impact American consumers financially.
Also today, students and community leaders in Pennsylvania rallied to demand a “fair and independent” investigation of Mann, saying the university itself has a conflict of interest.
The London Guardian cited one of the e-mails from Mann to Phil Jones, who then headed the East Anglia Unit but later stepped down because of the controversy:
“This is all too predictable. This crowd of charlatans is always looking for one thing they can harp on, where people w/ little knowledge of the facts might be able to be convinced that there is a controversy. They can’t take on the whole of the science, so they look for one little thing they can say is wrong, and thus generalize that the science is entirely compromised,” Mann wrote.
The e-mail appears to suggest that global warming skeptics are “charlatans” who would like to take advantage of “people w/little knowledge” in pursuing their campaign.
The scientific community is anything but unanimous on climate change.
The disunity is documented by the Petition Project, launched some 10 years ago when the first few thousand signatures were gathered. The effort by Art Robinson, a research professor of chemistry and cofounder of the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine in 1973, now lists tens of thousands of qualified scientists who endorse the following statement:
There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.
WND also reported a U.S. researcher accused government agencies of cherry-picking temperature readings used to assess global temperatures.
D’Aleo, a retired climatologist who has been skeptical of claims mankind has had any significant role in climate change, contends climate data has been corrupted and skewed by “urbanization and other local factors such as land-use-land-cover changes and improper siting.”
An analysis of the data by San Jose computer programmer E.M. Smith, D’Aleo noted, “found they systematically eliminated 75 percent of the world’s stations with a clear bias towards removing higher latitude, high altitude and rural locations.”
Among the original e-mails hacked from East Anglia and posted online was, “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August (Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society) 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.”