Ross Gelbspan's blog

New Study Shoots Down Exxon-Massey's Pipedream of Carbon Sequestration

A new research paper from American academics is threatening to blow a hole in growing political support for carbon capture and storage as a weapon in the fight against global warming. The document from Houston University claims that governments wanting to use CCS have overestimated its value and says it would take a reservoir the size of a small US state to hold the CO2 produced by one power station.

When the Skeptics Cry "Global Cooling," It's Proof They Don't Know Their Ash From A Hole in the Ground

Longer term, sulfur from volcanoes has the potential to cool the Earth. Sulfur reacts with water in the air to form sulfuric acid droplets that reflect sunlight hitting Earth, thus blocking some rays. The reduction in sunlight can reduce temperatures for a year or so, until the droplets fall out of the atmosphere. When Mount Pinatubo erupted, it cooled the planet by 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit.

There's No Accounting for Carbon-Credit Scammers

The UN’s carbon offsetting scheme has become mired in yet more controversy after the panel overseeing the initiative suspended its third auditor in 15 months. The board of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) last week suspended Germany’s TUEV SUED and also partially suspended Korea Energy Management Corporation, after spot checks undertaken at their offices revealed procedural breaches.  Both firms are recognised by the UN as so-called designated operational entities (DOEs) and provide official verification of emission reduction claims made by projects operating within the CDM. Emission reduction projects have to gain approval from DOEs before they can sell carbon credits under the scheme, making their auditing and verification role essential to the credibility of the scheme.

It Takes More than Dead Trees to Make a Credible Newspaper

An article in last week’s British paper, The Telegraph, claimed that the IPCC had made yet another significant mistake – this time overstating the sensitivity of the Amazon rainforest to drought.  It turns out that the article severely misrepresented the state of the science. While that one very dry year did not produce the kind of vegetation changes detectible by satellite imagery, it did, in fact, kill a number of trees, turning the rainforest from a “sink” that absorbed 2 billion tons of CO2, to a “source” of even more CO2 from the resulting number of dead trees. The culpa for an initial post to Desmogblog, taking the IPCC to task, is exclusively mea.  The correct narrative of the rainforest’s vulnerability to severe drought comes courtesy of the scientists at Realclimate.

Is Canadian Government Muzzling the Messengers?

A dramatic reduction in Canadian media coverage of climate change science issues is the result of the Harper government introducing new rules in 2007 to control interviews by Environment Canada scientists with journalists, says a newly released federal document.  “Scientists have noticed a major reduction in the number of requests, particularly from high profile media, who often have same-day deadlines,” said the Environment Canada document. “Media coverage of climate change science, our most high-profile issue, has been reduced by over 80 per cent.

Intelligent Designers Enlist Climate Skeptics in the War on Reality

Critics of the teaching of evolution in the nation’s classrooms are gaining ground in some states by linking the issue to global warming, arguing that dissenting views on both scientific subjects should be taught in public schools. The linkage of evolution and global warming  is partly a legal strategy: courts have found that singling out evolution for criticism in public schools is a violation of the separation of church and state. By insisting that global warming also be debated, deniers of evolution can argue that they are simply championing academic freedom in general. They are also capitalizing on rising public resistance in some quarters to accepting the science of global warming, particularly among political conservatives who oppose efforts to rein in emissions of greenhouse gases.


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