“This administration will not ignore science or the law any longer”

Reuters: Lisa Jackson, EPA Administrator

Members of the environmental activist group Act!onaid dressed as "climate debt agents" outside the conference centre Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters

This is in MOVIE THEATERS? KIDS are seeing this?

Dear Mr. President:

I would like to express my concern regarding reports that the Administration may believe it has the unilateral power to commit the government of the United States to certain standards that may be agreed upon at the upcoming United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties 15 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The phrase “politically binding” has been used.

Although details have not been made available, recent statements by Special Envoy on Climate Change Todd Stern indicate that negotiators may be intending to commit the United States to a nationwide emission reduction program. As you well know from your time in the Senate, only specific legislation agreed upon in the Congress, or a treaty ratified by the Senate, could actually create such a commitment on behalf of our country.

I would very much appreciate having this matter clarified in advance of the Copenhagen meetings.


Jim Webb
United States Senator

Source:  Washington Times

Saudi Arabia calls for ‘climategate’ investigation

Saudi Arabia called for an independent investigation into “climategate” Monday, warning that the scandal over stolen e-mails threatened to undermine the global-warming negotiations beginning here. “We believe this scandal — or what has been referred to as the ‘climategate’ scandal — we think this is definitely going to affect the nature of what could be trusted in our deliberations,” the Saudi Arabian negotiator said. The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has promised to investigate the scandals, although its chairman said Monday that it provided no basis for questioning the science behind global warming. But the Saudi negotiator told delegates that “the level of confidence is certainty shaken.”

Politico – By LISA LERER

Climate Change Protesters

The president’s decision to attend the international climate conference in Copenhagen needs to be reconsidered in light of the unfolding Climategate scandal. The leaked e-mails involved in Climategate expose the unscientific behavior of leading climate scientists who deliberately destroyed records to block information requests, manipulated data to “hide the decline” in global temperatures, and conspired to silence the critics of man-made global warming. I support Senator James Inhofe’s call for a full investigation into this scandal. Because it involves many of the same personalities and entities behind the Copenhagen conference, Climategate calls into question many of the proposals being pushed there, including anything that would lead to a cap and tax plan.

Policy should be based on sound science, not snake oil. I took a stand against such snake oil science when I sued the federal government over its decision to list the polar bear as an endangered species despite the fact that the polar bear population has increased. I’ve never denied the reality of climate change; in fact, I was the first governor to create a subcabinet position to deal specifically with the issue. I saw the impact of changing weather patterns firsthand while serving as governor of our only Arctic state. But while we recognize the effects of changing water levels, erosion patterns, and glacial ice melt, we cannot primarily blame man’s activities for the earth’s cyclical weather changes. The drastic economic measures being pushed by dogmatic environmentalists won’t change the weather, but will dramatically change our economy for the worse.

Policy decisions require real science and real solutions, not junk science and doomsday scare tactics pushed by an environmental priesthood that capitalizes on the public’s worry and makes them feel that owning an SUV is a “sin” against the planet. In his inaugural address, President Obama declared his intention to “restore science to its rightful place.” Boycotting Copenhagen while this scandal is thoroughly investigated would send a strong message that the United States government will not be a party to fraudulent scientific practices. Saying no to Copenhagen and cap and tax are first steps in “restoring science to its rightful place.”

– Sarah Palin

More than 2000 delegates watched the four-minute long film ‘Please Help the World’ when COP15 opened this morning. Thousands of other delegates watched the opening on screens in meeting rooms at the Bella Center.

“We have made a film which speaks to the heart rather than to the brain,” says the Danish director of the film Mikkel Blaabjerg Poulsen.

The film shows a six-year old girl who has a nightmare about the destruction of the planet due to climate change. She wakes up and begs politicians to “please help the world”, in a touching scene on top of a skyscraper.

“I hope that the film can affect politicians in a positive way, so that they may raise their goals a little higher, because their emotions have been touched,” says Mr. Poulsen. The film is made by Danish production company Zentropa RamBUk.

A dramatic violin soundtrack by Italian composer Davide Rossi created a perfect transition from the film to the Danish National Girls Choir.

The 44 girls sang the first performance of the six-minute composition “All life is your life”, composed and accompanied by legendary Danish jazz trumpet player Palle Mikkelborg.

The goose-bump raising performance included two guest sopranos, a girl from the Faroese Islands and a girl from Greenland, reflecting the cultural variety of the Kingdom of Denmark.

The composition is an imaginative blend of three well-known songs. ‘The Blue Anemone’, by Danish poet Kaj Munk, the Faroese song ‘Tá ið teir sóu landið’ and the Greenlandic song ‘Ilaami unnulermat’.

The lyrics also include an English translation of a text by Norwegian poet Olav H. Hauge, about the healing power of music.

“There is a mood of hope in this song – the verse from the Danish song is about a small flower breaking through the frosty ground in spring. It’s a very nice picture of hope,” says Michael Bojesen, conductor of the choir.

Following the cultural part of the opening ceremony, the negotiations were opened by political speakers including  Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC Yvo De Boer, Chairman of the IPCC Rajenda K. Pachauri and COP15 President Connie Hedegaard.

‘All is your life’ and an updated version of the film will also feature in the ceremony marking the opening of the high-level segment of COP15 on December 15.

Climate change protesters have set up a camp in Trafalgar Square in London. Andy Rain/EPA

Copenhagen climate summit: 1,200 limos, 140 private planes and caviar wedges

Copenhagen is preparing for the climate change summit that will produce as much carbon dioxide as a town the size of Middlesbrough.

Telegraph – By Andrew Gilligan

On a normal day, Majken Friss Jorgensen, managing director of Copenhagen’s biggest limousine company, says her firm has twelve vehicles on the road. During the “summit to save the world”, which opens here tomorrow, she will have 200.

“We thought they were not going to have many cars, due to it being a climate convention,” she says. “But it seems that somebody last week looked at the weather report.”

Ms Jorgensen reckons that between her and her rivals the total number of limos in Copenhagen next week has already broken the 1,200 barrier. The French alone rang up on Thursday and ordered another 42. “We haven’t got enough limos in the country to fulfil the demand,” she says. “We’re having to drive them in hundreds of miles from Germany and Sweden.”

And the total number of electric cars or hybrids among that number? “Five,” says Ms Jorgensen. “The government has some alternative fuel cars but the rest will be petrol or diesel. We don’t have any hybrids in Denmark, unfortunately, due to the extreme taxes on those cars. It makes no sense at all, but it’s very Danish.”

The airport says it is expecting up to 140 extra private jets during the peak period alone, so far over its capacity that the planes will have to fly off to regional airports – or to Sweden – to park, returning to Copenhagen to pick up their VIP passengers.

As well 15,000 delegates and officials, 5,000 journalists and 98 world leaders, the Danish capital will be blessed by the presence of Leonardo DiCaprio, Daryl Hannah, Helena Christensen, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Prince Charles. A Republican US senator, Jim Inhofe, is jetting in at the head of an anti-climate-change “Truth Squad.” The top hotels – all fully booked at £650 a night – are readying their Climate Convention menus of (no doubt sustainable) scallops, foie gras and sculpted caviar wedges.

At the takeaway pizza end of the spectrum, Copenhagen’s clean pavements are starting to fill with slightly less well-scrubbed protesters from all over Europe. In the city’s famous anarchist commune of Christiania this morning, among the hash dealers and heavily-graffitied walls, they started their two-week “Climate Bottom Meeting,” complete with a “storytelling yurt” and a “funeral of the day” for various corrupt, “heatist” concepts such as “economic growth”.

The Danish government is cunningly spending a million kroner (£120,000) to give the protesters KlimaForum, a “parallel conference” in the magnificent DGI-byen sports centre. The hope, officials admit, is that they will work off their youthful energies on the climbing wall, state-of-the-art swimming pools and bowling alley, Just in case, however, Denmark has taken delivery of its first-ever water-cannon – one of the newspapers is running a competition to suggest names for it – plus sweeping new police powers. The authorities have been proudly showing us their new temporary prison, 360 cages in a disused brewery, housing 4,000 detainees.

And this being Scandinavia, even the prostitutes are doing their bit for the planet. Outraged by a council postcard urging delegates to “be sustainable, don’t buy sex,” the local sex workers’ union – they have unions here – has announced that all its 1,400 members will give free intercourse to anyone with a climate conference delegate’s pass. The term “carbon dating” just took on an entirely new meaning.

At least the sex will be C02-neutral. According to the organisers, the eleven-day conference, including the participants’ travel, will create a total of 41,000 tonnes of “carbon dioxide equivalent”, equal to the amount produced over the same period by a city the size of Middlesbrough.

The temptation, then, is to dismiss the whole thing as a ridiculous circus. Many of the participants do not really need to be here. And far from “saving the world,” the world’s leaders have already agreed that this conference will not produce any kind of binding deal, merely an interim statement of intent…]

U.N. chief scientist slams ‘Climategate’

Politico – By LISA LERER

The U.N.’s chief scientist took a shot at “Climategate” Monday, defending the researchers involved as well as their work on global warming.

“The internal consensus from multiple lines of evidence strongly supports the work of the scientific community, including those individuals singled out in those email exchanges,” Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, told participants at the U.N. climate-change conference here.

The release of roughly 1,000 e-mail exchanges stolen from a British climate research institute has given new fuel to climate skeptics who question the scientific underpinnings of the Copenhagen talks. The messages show climate scientists debating whether to manipulate scientific data to strengthen the case for man-made global warming.

Skeptics say those messages disprove the research done by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a global network of 2,000 scientists that won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for work on climate science.

The group has published four comprehensive reports. The 2007 report found that global warming was “unequivocal,” attributing most of the increase in temperatures to human activity. If left unabated, climate change would lead to significantly more intense storms, the possible disappearance of all sea ice and severe droughts and wipe out a third of all species on earth, the group said.

Pachauri said the emails do not undercut his group’s work.

“My colleagues and I at the IPCC are conscious of the responsibility we bear and the expectations we must deal with in providing fair comprehensive and objectively produced analyses,” he said. “I find no basis for any exception.”

But some who support taking action on climate change say the emails have been harmful.

WSJ – Business Fumes Over Carbon Dioxide Rule

EPA: Greenhouse Gases Threaten Public Health and the Environment

Science overwhelmingly shows greenhouse gas concentrations at unprecedented levels due to human activity

WASHINGTON – After a thorough examination of the scientific evidence and careful consideration of public comments, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that greenhouse gases (GHGs) threaten the public health and welfare of the American people. EPA also finds that GHG emissions from on-road vehicles contribute to that threat.

GHGs are the primary driver of climate change, which can lead to hotter, longer heat waves that threaten the health of the sick, poor or elderly; increases in ground-level ozone pollution linked to asthma and other respiratory illnesses; as well as other threats to the health and welfare of Americans.

“These long-overdue findings cement 2009’s place in history as the year when the United States Government began addressing the challenge of greenhouse-gas pollution and seizing the opportunity of clean-energy reform,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Business leaders, security experts, government officials, concerned citizens and the United States Supreme Court have called for enduring, pragmatic solutions to reduce the greenhouse gas pollution that is causing climate change. This continues our work towards clean energy reform that will cut GHGs and reduce the dependence on foreign oil that threatens our national security and our economy.”

EPA’s final findings respond to the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision that GHGs fit within the Clean Air Act definition of air pollutants. The findings do not in and of themselves impose any emission reduction requirements but rather allow EPA to finalize the GHG standards proposed earlier this year for new light-duty vehicles as part of the joint rulemaking with the Department of Transportation.

On-road vehicles contribute more than 23 percent of total U.S. GHG emissions. EPA’s proposed GHG standards for light-duty vehicles, a subset of on-road vehicles, would reduce GHG emissions by nearly 950 million metric tons and conserve 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of model year 2012-2016 vehicles.

EPA’s endangerment finding covers emissions of six key greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride – that have been the subject of scrutiny and intense analysis for decades by scientists in the United States and around the world.

Scientific consensus shows that as a result of human activities, GHG concentrations in the atmosphere are at record high levels and data shows that the Earth has been warming over the past 100 years, with the steepest increase in warming in recent decades. The evidence of human-induced climate change goes beyond observed increases in average surface temperatures; it includes melting ice in the Arctic, melting glaciers around the world, increasing ocean temperatures, rising sea levels, acidification of the oceans due to excess carbon dioxide, changing precipitation patterns, and changing patterns of ecosystems and wildlife.

President Obama and Administrator Jackson have publicly stated that they support a legislative solution to the problem of climate change and Congress’ efforts to pass comprehensive climate legislation. However, climate change is threatening public health and welfare, and it is critical that EPA fulfill its obligation to respond to the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that determined that greenhouse gases fit within the Clean Air Act definition of air pollutants.

EPA issued the proposed findings in April 2009 and held a 60-day public comment period. The agency received more than 380,000 comments, which were carefully reviewed and considered during the development of the final findings.

Information on EPA’s findings

Mohamad Shinaz, a climate activist from the Maldives, is submerged in water in a 9ft-deep perspex tube outside the conference centre. His re-creation of a flood scene from his home island is intended to symbolise the human cost of failure to reach agreement in Copenhagen Peter Dejong/AP

U.S. Government Web Sites

Climate Change Partners

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