NEW YORK (Fortune) — With Congress about to take up sweeping climate-change legislation, expect to hear more in coming weeks from John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at University of Alabama-Huntsville.
A veteran climatologist who refuses to accept any research funding from the oil or auto industries, Christy was a lead author of the 2001 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report as well as one of the three authors of the American Geophysical Union’s landmark 2003 statement on climate change.
“Oil is not responsible,” the producer group’s Secretary General, Abdullah al-Badri, told reporters on Thursday on the sidelines of the International Oil Summit in Paris.
“It is the industrialized countries which are making all this pollution in the world.”
Scientists say the burning of fossil fuels, such as oil, is a key factor in climate change.
Badri said the revenues from high taxes that some industrialized countries, including most western European nations, place on oil products should be diverted to environmental projects.
OPEC, whose member countries pump more than a third of the world’s oil, has supported the United Nations Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol, which encourage reductions in emissions of greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2).
However, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has also opposed plans to reduce oil consumption and advocated adaptation to climate change.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government wants to require companies for the first time to disclose how much greenhouse gases they’re releasing into the atmosphere.
The Environmental Protection Agency today proposed mandatory reporting of the gases blamed for global warming from approximately 13,000 facilities nationwide. The regulation would cover companies that either release large amounts of greenhouse gases directly or produce or import fuels and chemicals that when burned emit heat-trapping gases.
Refineries, automobile manufacturers, power plants, coal mines and large manure ponds at farms would all have to report to the government emissions of at least six different gases.
Update: 59 Additional Scientists Join Senate Report…More Than 700 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims
March 16, 2009
Posted By Marc Morano – 4:09 PM ET – Marc_Morano@EPW.Senate.Gov
Update: More Than 700 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims
Outpouring of Skeptical Scientists Continues as 59 Scientists Added to Senate Report
‘The science has, quite simply, gone awry’
Link to Introduction of Report
Link to Full Printable 255-Page PDF Report
Washington DC: Fifty nine additional scientists from around the world have been added to the U.S. Senate Minority Report of dissenting scientists, pushing the total to over 700 skeptical international scientists – a dramatic increase from the original 650 scientists featured in the initial December 11, 2008 release. The 59 additional scientists added to the 255-page Senate Minority report since the initial release 13 ½ weeks ago represents an average of over four skeptical scientists a week. This updated report – which includes yet another former UN IPCC scientist – represents an additional 300 (and growing) scientists and climate researchers since the initial report’s release in December 2007.
The over 700 dissenting scientists are now more than 13 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers. The 59 additional scientists hail from all over the world, including Japan, Italy, UK, Czech Republic, Canada, Netherlands, the U.S. and many are affiliated with prestigious institutions including, NASA, U.S. Navy, U.S. Defense Department, Energy Department, U.S. Air Force, the Philosophical Society of Washington (the oldest scientific society in Washington), Princeton University, Tulane University, American University, Oregon State University, U.S. Naval Academy and EPA. (more…)
Nearly one-out-of-four voters (23%) say it is at least somewhat likely that global warming will destroy human civilization within the next century. Five percent (5%) say it’s very likely.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 66% say it’s not likely that civilization will be destroyed by the year 2100. That includes 27% who say it is not at all likely.
Republicans and unaffiliated voters strongly reject the notion that global warming will end human civilization, but Democrats are more evenly divided—38% think that disastrous outcome is likely while 46% disagree.
Overall, voters are evenly divided over whether there’s an immediate need to take action on global warming. Forty-one percent (41%) believe there is, but the same number (41%) say we can wait a few years to see if the problem is real. Sixty-two percent (62%) of Democrats say we must take immediate action, but 64% of GOP voters say it’s all right to wait a few years. A plurality of unaffiliated voters give the edge to waiting.
One of the biggest challenges in fighting global warming is getting countries to act. One of the biggest risks may be that countries do act—with unilateral geoengineering schemes to stave off climate change.
Geoengineering, the idea of raising giant sunshades or seeding the atmosphere with sun-blocking particulates, is taking a lot of heat lately. New scientific research suggests the potential benefits from geoengineering may be wildly overstated, or a very short-term solution at best. Eminent climate-change types like Ralph Cicerone, the president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, doubts it will ever be a climate-change solution.
The problem is that nobody really knows for sure. As Foreign Affairs notes this month (sub reqd.), geoengineering as a dicipline is still well outside the mainstream: “Nearly the entire community of geoengineering scientists could fit comfortably in a single university seminar room, and the entire scientific literature on the subject could be read during the course of a transatlantic flight.”
Bringing geoengineering “out of the closet,” Foreign Affairs suggests, should be a global priority—not as a climate solution necessarily, but as an insurance policy against rogue states or even rich individuals: