Quotes of the day

“Scientists have been forced to withdraw a study on projected sea level rise due to global warming after finding mistakes that undermined the findings.

“Siddall said that he did not know whether the retracted paper’s estimate of sea level rise was an overestimate or an underestimate…

“In a statement the authors of the paper said: ‘Since publication of our paper we have become aware of two mistakes which impact the detailed estimation of future sea level rise. This means that we can no longer draw firm conclusions regarding 21st century sea level rise from this study without further work.

“‘One mistake was a miscalculation; the other was not to allow fully for temperature change over the past 2,000 years. Because of these issues we have retracted the paper and will now invest in the further work needed to correct these mistakes.'”

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“The freezing temperatures and persistent heavy snowfall have meant this winter is on course to be the coldest [in Britain] since the late 1970s.

“Rob Hutchinson, forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, explained: ‘This winter is shaping up to be the coldest for 30 years.

“‘There is a 95% chance that the period will have been the coldest since the winter of 1978/79’.”

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“According to Mr Schapiro, carbon trading is now the fastest growing commodities market on earth. Since Kyoto signatories bought in to the cap and trade concept in 2005, there have been more than $300bn carbon transactions, prompting several investment banks, including Goldman Sachs and Barclays, to set up their own carbon trading desks. But that’s just the start. If President Obama and his supporters can institute a cap-and-trade system in the United States – and that’s a big if for this increasingly marooned presidency – demand could explode into a $2 to $3 trillion market…

“‘Carbon developers’, many of them employed by large multinationals, travel the world in search of carbon reduction projects to sell, while firms of carbon accountants have been established to verify on the United Nations’ behalf that those reductions are real. The whole thing, though well intentioned, looks wide open to abuse and scams. Mr Schapiro’s account of the carbon trading market is obviously a sceptical one, and no doubt there are others that take a less cynical view. But I wonder what all the wide eyed climate change campaigners are going to say when the first scandals begin to break, still more what they’ll make of it when the whole thing turns out to be another giant asset bubble – if indeed the non production of carbon can be described as an asset.”