I was looking forward to the RCRC discussion on Climate Change Facts and Questions: Perspectives on the Policy and Science of Global Warming by Joe Nation and Warren Meyer. It was long day with a two hour drive from my house to South Lake Tahoe and another two hours home. One side benefit was an opportunity take a picture of the surface station at the Glenbrook Fire Station. This station did not see the same temperature rise as the Tahoe City station, yet they are just across the lake from each other. More the station in future post. Now on to analysis of the presentation.
Joe Nation opened the discussion with this statement. "The science does not matter that much as the policy is already in place." He went on to explain that AB32 is on the books and the Western Climate Initiative will set price for carbon pollution with a cap and trade program. Using his Power Point presentation The Science of Climate Change, Nation explaining how green house gases increase global temperatures. Nation went onto defend Jim Hansen's climate models and how they prove the connection between CO2 and global warming. He then used the IPCC reports as justification for action by the Legislature, stressing the increasing confidence level in the science. None of Nation's charts and graphs show the cooling after January 2007. The presentation was a straight forward defense of the the need for AB32, which Nation co-authored. I have asked him for a copy of his presentation. He made some claims about CO2 warming that need to be examined in more detail, plus some of his answers during the Q&A how we can meet AB32 goals in three easy steps. There will be more posts on this once I get his Power Point presentation.
Warren Meyer gave a much more impassioned presentation he labeled Do Not Panic. He agreed that the planet has warmed but the warming started long before human caused CO2 started to rise, then he showed the satellite data there was no accelerated warming, in fact the planet was cooling. He demonstrated that Nation's justification of Jim Hansen's models were wrong, and the models have not shown a good fit with the data and he misrepresented the models results. He discussed the Mann Hockey Stick and its flaws, the danger of inflection points and the divergence problem, where the 20 century tree rings are not following the rise in temperature. He also pointed out where some of Mann's team truncated the data which did not support their global warming hypothesis. He explained how wild feed back is necessary to reach the IPCC forecast temperatures, and they we are dealing with a relatively stable system over the past 1,000 years, thus we should not expect some highly dramatic changes. One change he did note was the PDO shift from warm to cool, and that Supervisors should be concerned about future early and late frosts that will damage crops and harvests. I have asked Warren for his Power Point Slides, he had some neat graphics.
Following the presentation there was a 30 min question and answer period. All the questions were directed to Joe Nation. Warren did not get one question. One of the biggest issues for the Supervisors was that AB32 did not address forest fires and their contribution to the rise in CO2. They wanted to know why Federal forests were exempt from AB32, since federal lands make up more than 50% of some counties. "We have no control over our destiny," said one Supervisor. Another asked after we spend billions of dollars what will be the impact on temperatures. Nation's answer, "Zero." He went on to explain that the Governor and Legislature wrote AB32 to force the rest of the world to get on board to reduce CO2 warming, pointing out that 25 states are now looking at emission reduction mission statements. But, he pointed out that unless China, United States and EU nations gets on board, their will be no reduction and no impact on global temperatures. After Meyer had pointed out there was no unusual warming, this did not set well with the Supervisors, who pointed out that AB32 and implementing legislation will force rural business to close and ranchers to stop farming their land. They thought this was too high a price to pay for zero change in the climate and the world seem to be cooling.
The questioning then turned to what can we do. Nation pointed out that the Scoping Plan was under review and that CARB will be implementing those provisions that "piss off the fewest people," so it was important make their voices heard. One Supervisor pointed our that none of the Scoping Plan workshops were scheduled in rural areas, so he attended one of the urban workshops. He found the meeting dominated by multiple environmental organizations. He was only one voice challenged by multiple environmental organizations. The informal conclusion among Supervisors seem to be that the RCRC and individual Supervisors need to become more proactive in addressing Scoping Plan issues.
Update #1: Warren has posted on his impressions of the meeting here. He also has a link to download the Power Point he used at the meeting. I will post comments on some of his charts and graphs, which are excellent.