Cynical New Democrats playing into Harper's hands

Thu, 2008-09-25 09:44Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

Cynical New Democrats playing into Harper's hands

Canada's New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton continues to opt for cheap partisan opportunism over sound environmental policy - most recently decrying the British Columbia carbon tax as “unfair for ordinary working families” and tying it to Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper.

There was a time when the NDP had real credibility as Canada's most environmentally conscious party - a position that they have given over, apparently in equal parts, to the Green party and to Stephane Dion's Liberals.

Now, instead of standing up for a good policy , Layton and the New Democrats provincially and federally are trying to score cheap points against their perceived rivals, in the process, chipping away at public support for any substantive action on climate change.

The only success he is likely to have with this line of attack is to strengthen the position of the Conservatives - a party that at least admits that it cares more about power than about the environment.

People hoping to defeat Stephen Harper - the only political leader in North America with NO plan to address climate change - might start thinking of the NDP as a questionable alternative. Or maybe not, depending on your riding. Go to VoteForEnvironment.ca and find out who is the candidate with the best chance of unseating the Harper Conservatives. 

Comments

Thanks for writing about this. As a former NDP supporter, I find Layton’s campaigning on carbon pricing appalling. I’ve been trying to expose him to others who care about the environment and still think the NDP under Layton is a good choice. Perhaps in ridings where the only alternative will be the Harper Conservatives, this will make sense. However, with the words coming out of Layton’s mouth, anyone who trusts him is setting themselves up for disappointment.

I do think some of the NDP candidates care about the environment, but from my interactions it appears that at least some of them have been fed a lot of misinformation on carbon pricing by the party and would need some nonpartisan training on this topic to get back to an unbiased and more useful view. Too many of them spew this carbon tax hurts people but cap and trade only makes big polluters pay nonsense and lack any real understanding of how the two carbon pricing systems work.

All I’ve heard is “carbon tax = bad for families” but families in BC received $100 per person. That seems pretty good for a very minor tax add-on to gasoline, and I’m quite certain it has worked in my family’s favor.

definitely worked in my favor. We got $200. or about 4 months worth of gasoline. if the idea of the tax was to discourage driving - it failed.

Spending it on gas just means that you’re eager to give the money back via gas taxes, right? My family is going to spend most of our $300 on something that’s taxed less.

yeah - see by driving I’m paying taxes and uh saving the environment or uh something

By driving the same or more and therefore paying more taxes, you’re making it so the BC gov’t doesn’t have to tax our incomes as much. My family ends up keeping more of our $300 than yours does of its $200. Families who figure out ways to drive less will keep more of their money. You burning the same amount or more fuel doesn’t help the environment, but it helps the folks who figure out how to burn less gas.

point taken - I actually don’t drive much - only half as much as I did a few years ago. I keep exact records of my driving too on a excel spreadsheet - I watch the average and try to lower it.

So far this month I’ve driven 320 km.

I live green - I’m just a jerk on the internet.

If people drive less that’s less carbon tax revenue for the government, where does your $300 come from then? Someone has to be a net loser.

If everyone uses less gas than the tax was calculated for, then the government has a deficit. So the gov’t is the net loser because we’ve got money in our pockets.

Don’t doubt that the gov’t will try to make up for it, but be comforted in the fact that spending for roads and associated infrastructure, for car accidents and insurance, for expenditures related to pollution, etc, will all be less. Plus the overall goal of reducing emissions will be reached.

As a Green Party supporter I am disappointed Elizabeth May is cited as supporting strategic voting. Nothing in this country will ever change as long as the Lib-PC regime changes keep occurring. People should vote for the party that they identify with.

From G&M today,

“Meanwhile, the Green Party’s candidate in Nunavut was answering questions Thursday about his past run-ins with the law, including convictions for spousal abuse and cocaine possession.

Peter Ittinuar is well-known in the Eastern Arctic as the first-ever Inuit MP and widely recognized as a driving force behind the creation of Nunavut as a stand-alone territory.

The guilty plea for cocaine posession came just one month after his historic election the House of Commons in May, 1979, as an NDP MP.

In 1984, after crossing the floor to become a Liberal MP, he was charged with breach of trust, theft and uttering a forged document in connection to allegations he used his Parliamentary budget to buy a boat motor. The case went to trial and a jury found him not guilty on all counts.

Lacking the support of local Liberals, he ran as an independent and lost in the 1984 election. He promptly ran into more problems. He pled guilty in 1986 to assaulting his wife Susan and a police officer in Rankin Inlet.

He won the NDP nomination for Eastern Arctic in 1993, but then-leader Audrey McLaughlin rejected him as a candidate.

More recently, his driver’s licence was suspended for six months in 2003 after pleading guilty to careless driving. Three other charges related to impaired and dangerous driving were dropped.

“We certainly allow for redemption and recovery in somebody’s life,” said Jim MacDonald, the Green Party’s campaign manager. “[Mr. Ittinuar] has continued to play an important part in the life of the North and we are certainly aware of those rather ancient charges that were filed against him and feel that enough time has passed by.”

Jim Bell, the editor of the Iqaluit-based Nunatsiuq News, said Mr. Ittinuar is an intelligent and well-respected personality in the North and that his paper did not even mention the criminal convictions when it reported on the former MP’s return to politics.

“He’s a very bright guy who has a lot of interesting things to say,” said Mr. Bell, who recently interviewed Mr. Ittinuar in Iqaluit. “For me, it’s just making it a much more interesting campaign to have him in it.””

September 24, 2008
Solar Winds Cooling Warmist Doomsaying
Timothy Birdnow

Global warming alarmists face yet another challenge to their predictions of an inferno of doom. The solar wind is losing power, and is at a fifty year low, according to NASA.

The Ulysses solar probe reports a 13% drop in temperature, a 20% drop in density, and a 30% drop-off in the sun`s magnetic field, marking this as the weakest period of solar wind on record (records go back to the 1960`s).

What does this mean? The Heliosphere is thinning, and thus will block fewer cosmic rays. Heinrick Svensmark theorizes that an increase in cosmic rays reaching the Earth will drive cloud formation, increase the planet`s albedo, thus cooling it.

Is this the cause of the Earth`s unusually cool year? According to Anthony Watts, the Earth`s albedo reached a nadir in 1997, and has risen sharply since. Is this related to the weakening of solar activity? We`ve seen few sunspots in Solar Cycle 24, the solar conveyor belt has slowed to a crawl, and now the solar wind is bottoming out.

This will allow us to see if we are really in the throes of Anthropogenic Global Warming; if temperatures rise (and they haven`t since 1998) then factors other than solar activity are driving climate trends, if not then the greenhouse gas theory is falsified.

If a cooling trend continues, the climate alarmists will have to throw in the towel. Never fear; they`ll come up with a new cause to keep their adrenaline flowing! Probably ocean acidification, or the loss of bees…

We know that factors other than GHGs affect temperatures. Otherwise we’d be as ridiculous as you and predict that increasing GHGs will result in a steadily increasing temperature without variance around the trend (see below).

1) these solar scientists said they have no clue what the sun is going to do over future years. Thus climate models cannot predict the future.

2) what caused the drop in temp from the 1940s- 1975 inspite of a four-fold plus increase in GHG emissions?

How sure is the 1940 - 75 Cooling period?

- if the data is right - then it’s a major unaccounted for climate shift that doesn’t fit into consensus science.

if those happen - then we don’t know whats coming up

but, JR, how come it’s so much warmer now despite the distinct lack of solar activity?
http://tinyurl.com/4k5a8q

[Begin quotation] Will the winds continue to lose strength?

“We’ve only been monitoring solar wind since the early years of the Space Age – from the early 60s to the present,” said Ulysses program scientist Arik Posner in a press release. “Over that period of time, it’s unique. How the event stands out over centuries or millennia, however, is anybody’s guess. We don’t have data going back that far.”

Note: Astronomers recently noted that August was the first month in centuries to pass without a single sunspot. Could there be a relationship between that and whatever is weakening the solar wind? Wired Science will follow this up…. [End quotation]

Drop since 1998

http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CRUT3V_and_MSU.jpg

100 year trend
http://icecap.us/images/uploads/TEMPSvsCO2.jpg

This one shows the drop was from 1935-1975. Maybe someone here can provide peer reviewed evidence as to what caused this drop in spite of increasing CO2 emissions.

Can’t stick to the topic, JR? Seems like a weak tactic to try and switch things.

But here are two things you can read that should lead you to answers. Maybe we can talk about them in the comments of a relevant post:

http://tinyurl.com/2ycajn – you can cherry pick an El Nino year and a La Nina year if you like, but again it seems like a tactic borne of weakness.

http://tinyurl.com/4wxuu9 – aerosols and methodological differences.

“but, JR, how come it’s so much warmer now despite the distinct lack of solar activity?” Except it has not warmed since 1998, right in cue with the NASA findings.

“http://tinyurl.com/4wxuu9 – aerosols and methodological differences.” Doesn say anything about aerosols. Interesting the comments. Seems to make the data fit the models, change the data!! That is exactly what is being done here. This article shows, if anything, that THEY HAVE NO CLUE, what caused the 1945-1975 cooling. BTW, Hansen’s “hockeystick” graph shows the global mean temperature as dropping 1945-1975, regardless of what the oceans did. This does not support your dogma one bit.

Until this is resolved, and until one can explain the rise from 1850-1945 with such a tiny amount of CO2 emissions. Then one has no choice, were one a rational thinker, but to stay skeptical about AGW.

Deny, deny, deny.

Who’s fitting data to models here? You: “right in cue with the NASA findings” – ha, actually the NASA findings suggest the solar effects you assume to be so important are the lowest since the 60’s or perhaps centuries, and yet we’re at high temperatures relative to each of those time periods.

I see you’re still cherry-picking the El Nino and La Nina years. Why? The link I provided shows that with that approach you can still find short non-warming periods over time in which large temperature increases occur.

Why do you think Hansen’s graph shouldn’t show a period of cooling when sulfate emissions first shot up? (See figure 4 on the link and then follow links from there if you don’t know what I’m talking about.)

A rational thinker wouldn’t assume that because climate changed previously, no anthropogenic effect could also change climate.

First off. I don’t trust anything from RealClimate.

Second, I followed those links and I see nothing that says anything about “sulfate emissions first shot up”.

Let’s build some trust, shall we? Did you find this:
“The total energy imbalance is expressed as net forcing, the sum of all the various forcings (eg - solar, aerosols, greenhouse gases, etc). Figure 4 compares net forcing to global temperature over the 20th century:”?
There was a link there, within the parentheses. That takes you to here: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/

Check out the tropospheric aerosols under graph a (it was also available in the comments at the first link). Note the increase when WW2 ended to ~1985 (coal-fired power). The stratospheric aerosols should also be of interest to you.

It’s too bad you don’t trust anything from RealClimate. Would it change your mind if you were to obtain the annual mean estimates and plot 8 year time periods like they did and found a similar result?

unfortunately, there are two graphs labeled “a” at that url. I’m referring to the second one.

I saw these graphs http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/, pointed out the net forcing in my last post. Where does it say these aerosols caused the 1945-1975 cooling? No where.

The dropped values in the aerosols match up with major volcanic eruptions.

As for RC. Check out their LACK of answering my questions

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/09/how-much-will-sea-level-rise/

They also deleted many of my comments that would have been difficult for them to answer. I have them all and wrote a bit for a science blog to be soon published.

and decided that was far enough to decide that you’re a bit of a kook. Why not answer Gavin’s request for a proper source? And why throw in a bunch of unrelated junk? Besides, regardless of whether or not you think RC is part of a conspiracy, the technique of looking at trends over various short time periods during the increase in global temperatures is a valid mechanism for determining whether the current lack of increase means that we’re not in the middle of a longer term warming. Don’t like their calculation? Then try one yourself. But it seems you’d rather propagandize than actually do some real work, just like most AGW-deniers.

The dropped values relate to all the forcings combined, and you can pick out the expected reductions from both the volcanic aerosols and the tropospheric aerosols. I don’t see what your problem is here.

I hope I’m wrong about your tendancy to propagandize. I look forward to finding out when you publish your science blog piece. (Why not send it to a reputable journal?)

I just might. Been published before May 1998 issue of the Journal for Geological Education.

“and decided that was far enough to decide that you’re a bit of a kook. ” You should have read the rest. Gavin REFUSES to present peer reviewed papers that cxonclusively shows 1850-1945 was caused by CO2, and refused to give peer reviewed papers that shows what caused the drop from 1945-1975 in spite of a 4 fold increase in CO2. He also deleted many of my comments which would have been embarissing for him to answer.

“The dropped values relate to all the forcings combined, and you can pick out the expected reductions from both the volcanic aerosols and the tropospheric aerosols. I don’t see what your problem is here.”

Look at the graph more closely. Those drops are AFTER 1945, in fact the first one is around 1963. So THERE IS NO WAY AEROSOLS CAUSED THE DROP IN 1945. Thus CANNOT be used to answer my question. What caused the drop from 1945-1975?

Lindzen shows what’s going on here: http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0809/0809.3762.pdf page 12:

The fourth example is perhaps the strangest. For many years, the global mean temperature record showed cooling from about 1940 until the early 70’s. This, in fact, led to the concern for global cooling during the 1970’s. The IPCC regularly, through the 4th assessment, boasted of the ability of models to simulate this cooling (while failing to emphasize that each model required a different specification of completely undetermined aerosol cooling in order to achieve this simulation (Kiehl, 2007)). Improvements in our understanding of aerosols are increasingly making such arbitrary tuning somewhat embarrassing, and, no longer surprisingly, the data has been ‘corrected’ to get rid of the mid 20th century cooling (Thompson et al, 2008). This may, in fact, be a legitimate correction (http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3114). The embarrassment may lie in the continuous claims of modelers to have simulated the allegedly incorrect data.

GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 34, L22710, doi:10.1029/2007GL031383, 2007

Twentieth century climate model response and climate sensitivity

Jeffrey T. Kiehl

Climate Change Research Section, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Abstract
Climate forcing and climate sensitivity are two key factors in understanding Earth’s climate. There is considerable interest in decreasing our uncertainty in climate sensitivity. This study explores the role of these two factors in climate simulations of the 20th century. It is found that the total anthropogenic forcing for a wide range of climate models differs by a factor of two and that the total forcing is inversely correlated to climate sensitivity. Much of the uncertainty in total anthropogenic forcing derives from a threefold range of uncertainty in the aerosol forcing used in the simulations.

Here is the attempt to ALTER THE DATA TO FIT THE MODEL

Nature 453, 646-649 (29 May 2008)
A large discontinuity in the mid-twentieth century in observed global-mean surface temperature
David W. J. Thompson1, John J. Kennedy2, John M. Wallace3 & Phil D. Jones4

Data sets used to monitor the Earth’s climate indicate that the surface of the Earth warmed from 1910 to 1940, cooled slightly from 1940 to 1970, and then warmed markedly from 1970 onward1. The weak cooling apparent in the middle part of the century has been interpreted in the context of a variety of physical factors, such as atmosphere–ocean interactions and anthropogenic emissions of sulphate aerosols2. Here we call attention to a previously overlooked discontinuity in the record at 1945, which is a prominent feature of the cooling trend in the mid-twentieth century. The discontinuity is evident in published versions of the global-mean temperature time series1, but stands out more clearly after the data are filtered for the effects of internal climate variability. We argue that the abrupt temperature drop of 0.3 °C in 1945 is the apparent result of uncorrected instrumental biases in the sea surface temperature record. Corrections for the discontinuity are expected to alter the character of mid-twentieth century temperature variability but not estimates of the century-long trend in global-mean temperatures.

Speaking of RC. You do know that they are owned and funded by Environmental Media Services, which is a radical left wing political lobby organization with deep pockets. Gore also funds it, and Gavin Schmidt’s boss is James Hansen. Who we know is fudging the numbers (www.climateaudit.org). Both Gore and Hansen are making big bucks because of this climate alarmism (Hansen gets money from Gore). Thus RC is highly biased and not scientific in the least.

quote on Planet Gore:

“Campaigns to ‘save the cuddly animals’ or ‘protect the ancient forests’ are really disguised efforts to raise money for Democratic political campaigns,” Senator Inhofe said during a floor speech today presenting the new report. “Environmental organizations have become experts at duplicitous activity, skirting laws up to the edge of illegality, and burying their political activities under the guise of non-profit environmental improvement.

imagine that - green orgs being crass political groups than anything else.

say it aint so!

what do you know – it ain’t so.

NDP still has the best environmental policies. In fact, while the Greens have great environmental ideology, I can’t see that they have any actual policy in terms of concrete proposals–except supporting the Liberals’ carbon tax policy.
And I still can’t see carbon tax as effective. It doesn’t assure reduced emissions–it just provides incentives for them. Gasoline and heating fuels have always been heavily taxed (as have tobacco and alcohol) but people continue to pay the price and consume them.
Besides, the incentives don’t hit where they’ll do the most good. If a big landlord, for example, has to pay more for heating oil, he’ll do it and pass the cost on to his tenants. And he gets a greater tax benefit than they do.
When I heard the president of Syncrude say that he (and other members of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers) favoured carbon taxes, I knew it had to be the wrong approach. Because, of course, they won’t be paying carbon taxes; they don’t buy oil. They sell it to the people who have to pay the tax.
Emissions have to be capped, period. No options. That’s the NDP position, and it’s right.
So is the Green-Collar Jobs plan.
So is the Environment Action bond issue.
The NDP is the environmentalist’s only real ally in this political landscape, and this is not least because, back in 2003, they chose an accomplished environmentalist, Jack Layton, as leader.

Canadian Chamber of Commerce and an economist came on Mike Duffy today and blasted Layton’s policies claiming Layton has no idea how business works, provides jobs, provides taxes, that support Jack’s sacred social programs. Without corporations making a descent profit, Jack’s union pentioners would not have any income. Tax the banks and big oil? Where does Jack think his pension fund sits! Think about that.

Layton’s rating of 8 out of 10 on climate seen elsewhere on DeSmogBlog is the exact kind of BS DeSmogBlog was created to cut through.

In BC the NDP went along with the Liberal government as they prepared to implement their cap and trade scheme and carbon tax, UNTIL it became apparent that there were votes to be had if the NDP opposed it. So that’s what they did. Instead of offering leadership at a critical time on a difficult and vitally important issue, the provincial NDP is now mobilizing and encouraging opposition to the carbon tax to the point that a lot of observers are saying the tax might actually be withdrawn.

The B.C. NDP is doing their best to torpedo the most progressive climate policy so far enacted in North America.

Layton is doing the same thing federally. He voiced his opposition to Dion’s carbon tax during the TV debate. All I hear him say on the issue is that the ordinary Canadian can rest easy as they will be expected to do nothing while Layton’s policy, in the unlikely event he became Prime Minister, would be to go after the “big polluters”. Any cap and trade scheme he implements will necessarily increase costs for his “average Canadian” and so we can expect him to do nothing as he supposedly defends their interests. All we can expect him to do in opposition would be to pretend to stand for doing something, while he opposes any action at all.

Its time to realize the NDP is not a progressive force on climate. They are neanderthals, pretending to be on both sides of the issue in their words, but in their actions they are only on the one side - they are firmly standing for no action at all, no matter what is proposed.