November 6, 2003

Kyoto Protocol flaws

Calgary Herald has a followup article on the McIntyre/McKitrick temperature re-analysis:

Kyoto critics better duck
Global warming industry doesn't want to hear that their pet project is flawed

Michael Campbell
For the Calgary Herald

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

When you question a multi-billion-dollar windfall, you'd better look out and, make no mistake about it, the Kyoto protocol translates into monster money for many researchers, bureaucrats and public institutions.

Kyoto is also perhaps the most potent weapon in the arsenal of those who oppose western capitalism and push instead for massive intervention.

That's why Toronto-based analyst Steve McIntyre and University of Guelph economics professor Ross McKitrick had better be battening down the hatches. Their paper, published last week in the respected British journal, Energy and Environment, is arguably the most damaging attack to date on the science behind Kyoto.

In a nutshell, they convincingly reveal that flawed calculations, incorrect data and a biased selection of climate records led Kyoto linchpin Michael Mann of the University of Virginia to declare that the 20th-century temperature rise was unprecedented in the past millennium. After correcting the data and then employing Mann's own methodologies, they found no such increase in global temperature variations had taken place, which places Kyoto's whole rationale in question.

The Canadian study comes on the heels of a recent Harvard climate study that made headlines in the scientific community by arguing that we are not living in the warmest period in the past 1,000 years, as Kyoto proponents claim. The authors, Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas, reviewed more than 250 research papers in the peer-reviewed scientific literature on past climate and concluded temperatures were higher in medieval times, from about 800 to 1300, than they are now.

Upon reviewing the study, David Legates, director of the Centre for Climatic Research at the University of Delaware, stated that it should lead the scientific community to the "inescapable conclusion that climate variability has been a natural occurrence."

A year ago, respected scientist Christopher Essex observed, "global warming ceased to be the subject of scientific debate years ago," but that sorry state of affairs now seems to be changing as an increasing number of scientists, even before the recent Canadian study, were recoiling against the political hijacking of the debate.

In September, at the closing session of the UN's World Climate Change Conference in Moscow, the conference chairman acknowledged that scientists who questioned the Kyoto "consensus" made up 90 per cent of the contributions from the floor. They pointed to numerous flaws and doubts in the scientific case underlying worries about climate change.

Keep in mind that this new research focuses on the science of climate change and doesn't include the numerous attacks on the economic analysis and modelling in Kyoto that John Reilly of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change declared were "an insult to serious analysis."

Asked why he changed his position on a particular issue, John Maynard Keynes once responded, "Sir, the facts have changed and when the facts change, I change -- what do you do, sir?"

In the case of Kyoto, the answer is predictable -- shoot the messenger. Both McKitrick and McIntyre can expect an avalanche of personal attacks from the politically motivated. In Canada, far too much money is at stake to derail the Kyoto juggernaut.

Posted by DaveH at November 6, 2003 10:59 AM