2011 Almanac of Environmental Trends

Steven F. Hayward
Pacific Research Institute
April 2011

This comprehensive almanac details the state of many environmental concerns, including air pollution, water pollution, climate change, and energy.

Library Topic
Library Topic: Clean Water Act
Library Topic: Clean Air Act
Library Topic: Climate Change 101

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Quote Page

Quotes on the environmental impacts of climate change.

Commentary or Blog Post

"A half mile below the ground at Prudhoe Bay, above the vast oil field that helped trigger construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline, a drill rig has tapped what researchers think could be the next big energy source."

This article vigorously disputes the findings of an article by Chris Thomas published in Nature that claims global warming will cause massive extinction.

"A half mile below the ground at Prudhoe Bay, above the vast oil field that helped trigger construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline, a drill rig has tapped what might one day be the next big energy source."

Danish researchers analysed ancient pieces of driftwood in north Greenland which they say is an accurate way to measure the extent of ancient ice loss.

Few places on Earth have seen starker changes in weather than this icebound island straddling the Arctic Circle. With that in mind, America’s top diplomat arrived here this week intent on calling attention to the perils of climate change.

Al Gore is one of the most vocal advocates for viewing climate change as a crisis. After the speech Mr. Gore drew criticism from the Center for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters, for misrepresenting an upward trend.

"'The catalytic converter has had a profound impact on our environment,' says Jim Kliesch, senior engineer for the Union of Concerned Scientists. Advances in the catalytic converter, which rolled out on GM's 1975 model-year cars, and computer-controlled fuel injection technology have all but eliminated tailpipe emissions, he says."

If the EPA were to administer the Clean Air Act as written with respect to greenhouse gases, then it would need to hire 230,000 more staff and spend $21 billion annually to deal with the deluge of paperwork that would result.

The largest ice shelf in the Arctic, a solid feature for at least 3,000 years, has broken in two and climate change is to blame, say American and Canadian scientists.

Climate change has contributed to a flattening of the complex, multi-layered architecture of Caribbean coral reefs, compromising their role as a nursery for fish stocks and a buffer against tropical storms, a study shows.

"In the 1770s the Lunar Society of Birmingham, England, whose members were some of the leading thinkers of the era, regularly gathered to discuss their concerns about global climate change. They were interested in the scientific aspects of the change, but being entrepreneurs as well as thinkers, they also formulated plans to cope with it. Their basic strategy was to stop the cooling of the earth by dragging icebergs away from the Arctic regions to let them melt in the tropics."

"The Arctic will retain its power to amaze for a long time. Yet it is now changing beyond the usual regional and annual variations in sea-ice formation, glacier melt and so forth. The Arctic is clearly melting. Its floating ice cap is shrinking and thinning and its glaciers are retreating. By the end of this century, maybe much sooner, there will be frequent Arctic summers with almost no sea...

Another good article that shows that the glaciers atop Kilimanjaro are being starved of precipitation because of extensive deforestation around the mountain.

The debate on global warming and increasing concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases highlights the possibility of increased incidences of extreme weather events, as the earth's mean temperature is expected to rise steadily in future.

The arcane world of polar bear research was rocked recently by the suspension of a federal scientist in Alaska whose research on polar bear drownings in the Arctic raised major concerns about climate change.

"New evidence on the melting Pine Island Glacier (PIG), one of the melting Antarctic glaciers that some scientists feel may pose a threat to sea level increases, suggests that it is not climate change that is causing the glacier to melt."

The Ice Ages are not over. We're still feeling the effects of the one that receded 12,000 years ago.

"Late for a party? Miss a meeting? Forget to pay your rent? Blame climate change; everyone else is doing it. From an increase in severe acne to all societal collapses since the beginning of time, just about everything gone wrong in the world today can be attributed to climate change. Here’s a list of 100 storylines blaming climate change as the problem."

Former Vice President Al Gore linked climate change to a rash of environmental catastrophes Thursday, from floods in Pakistan to drought in Texas and rampant algae blooms sucking oxygen from Lake Erie.

As with CO2, atmospheric concentrations of N2O have been boosted by human activity, mostly agricultural, by about 16% since the Industrial Revolution began.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast an 85 percent probability there would be an 'above normal' hurricane season. This was the second year running the government hurricane forecast was wrong.

According to a new report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent – 18 percent – than transport.

"The world's governments are beginning to come to grips with the reality that crude oil is a finite resource."

Researchers aren't sure what's killing the state's moose herd, but they suspect the decline has something to do with global warming.

GWPF has just released, for the first time, details of the defective process by which the 2035 Himalayas date got into an IPCC report. Inherent and serious flaws in the review process clearly emerge from this new evidence.

"The world economic downturn and upheaval in the Arab world might grab headlines, but another big problem looms: environmental change. Along with extreme weather patterns, rising sea levels, and other natural hazards, global warming disrupts freshwater resource availability -- with immense social and political implications. Earlier this year, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence published a report, Global Water Security, assessing hydropolitics around the world. In it, the authors show that international water disputes will affect not only the security interests of riparian states, but also of the United States."

"When Energy Secretary Stephen Chu announced a half-billion dollars in federal stimulus loans to solar panel maker Solyndra, he called the move part of an aggressive effort to put more Americans to work and end U.S. dependence on foreign oil. But nearly two years to the day later, the bankrupt Solyndra needs help just to keep it own electricity service from being shut off."

Estimates of future temperature increases derive from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an international body charged with studying and informing policy makers on the science of climate change.

This article notes that while temperatures have been rising in recent decades, air pollution levels have been declining, thus suggesting that the impact on air pollution from global warming might not be as catastrophic as some predict.

Global warming, so the argument goes, is causing Arctic sea ice to melt, and, unless that process is arrested, polar bears will be unable to survive because they need Arctic sea ice to reach their primary source of food: seals.

It’s the very scariest claims — rapidly melting Himalayan glaciers threatening a billion people with flooding and then with drought, an increase in Katrina-scale disasters, and others – that are the ones on the shakiest ground.

If one thing more than any other is used to justify proposals that the world must spend tens of trillions of dollars on combating global warming, it is the belief that we face a disastrous rise in sea levels.

Global warming is supposed to cause dramatic decreases in polar ice caps, but this recent news item from NASA reports the Antarctic sea ice cover is actually increasing.

Recent scientific data and developments reveal that Mother Nature is playing a cruel joke on the promoters of man-made climate fears.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist or a climatologist to realize this has been a killer weather year. Snowmaggedons in the east; deadly super cell tornados pummeling towns across the Midwest and South; record spring floods throughout the Midwest and Gulf; droughts and deadly fires racing through tinder-dry towns in Texas. Now we're on track to have a possible record-breaking number of hurricanes; three cyclones now spinning in the Atlantic and Gulf could threaten our rain-soaked coasts and waterways.

[O]ne of the standout presentations at the Heartland Institute’s fourth International Conference on Climate Change was the one by Nils-Axel Morner, former emeritus head of the paleogeophysics and geodynamics department at Stockholm University.

The University of Colorado’s NASA-funded Sea Level Research Group has announced it will begin adding a scientifically unjustified 0.3 millimeters per year to its Global Mean Sea Level Time Series.

Researchers have discovered that contrary to popular belief half of the ice flows in the Karakoram range of the mountains are actually growing rather than shrinking. It challenges claims made in a 2007 report by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that the glaciers would be gone by 2035.

The general arguments against the possibility of serious adverse environmental impacts caused by global warming and the important point that catastrophic scenarios are the product of unreliable computer models.

This op-ed argues that arctic warming may be helping polar bears thrive and adding diversity of species to the Arctic.

Environmentalists have convinced the public that global warming is looming. Yet the evidence is far from conclusive–and the proposed remedies are based on politics, not science.

Recent research on Kilimanjaro points to manmade local and regional factors playing the leading role in the shrinking ice pack.

Back on April 11th, Gavin Atkins of Asian Correspondent asked this simple question: What happened to the climate refugees?

Six years ago, the United Nations issued a dramatic warning that the world would have to cope with 50 million climate refugees by 2010.

It seems that virtually every news organ has carried the story of scientific claims by 2050 over a million species will be doomed to extinction owing to the effects of global warming.

Climate change plays a role here: as sea levels rose, Tuvalu's groundwater became increasingly saline and undrinkable, leaving the island dependent on rainwater.

Chart or Graph

Despite concerns that air pollution levels have been rising in recent years, this chart demonstrates how various air pollution contributors such as carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide have actually declined in the last several decades.

This map was originally released by the United Nations in an attempt to show how climate change would displace a decent amount of the world's population. The U.N. specifically stated that there would be "50 million climate refugees by 2010."

The red bars show the global annual average near-surface temperature anomalies from 1850 to 2007. The error bars show the 95% uncertainty range on the annual averages.

The chart shows the global average sea-surface temperature from 1850 to 2008.

The chart shows the estimated global average temperature between 1850 and 2008.

Until Democrats and Republicans start launching their own satellites into space you can count on this site to show you the up-to-date raw facts about global sea ice.

Sea level curve for the last 5000 years for the Maldives.

Despite claims that global warming will contribute to environmental problems such as air pollution, this chart demonstrates that air pollution levels have declined as temperatures have risen over the last several decades.

Site records of sea ice around Antarctica reveal an overall increase in the southern hemisphere ice since the late 1970s.

Current Arctic sea-ice extent is barely distinguishable from the extent observed by the satellites on the same day in 1980, the first year in which satellite coverage allowed the extent of the ice to be reliably monitored.

The difference between IPCC sea level models and observed sea level changes.

Analysis Report White Paper

This comprehensive almanac details the state of many environmental concerns, including air pollution, water pollution, climate change, and energy.

Most assessments of the environmental and economic consequences of climate change focus solely on negative, often catastrophic, scenarios. This article seeks to achieve a balance by exploring the potential economic benefits of a rise in global temperatures, as well as addressing the potential costs.

How sensitive are intensively-managed and lightly-impacted ecosystems to different levels of climate change?

This Article examines the challenges global climate change presents for the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and its primary administrative agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).

"The Heartland Institute is pleased to partner once again with the Science and Environmental Policy Project and the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change on a report that makes a serious contribution to the global debate over the causes and consequences of climate change."

Scientific debate continues regarding the extent to which human activities contribute to global warming and what the potential impact on the environment might be.

"Recent weather events such as deadly heat waves and devastating floods have sparked popular interest in understanding the role of global warming in driving extreme weather. These events are part of a new pattern of more extreme weather across the globe, shaped in part by human-induced climate change.

"The popular notion that polar bears are declining or already expatriated worldwide has been initiated and perpetuated by environmental organizations and individuals who apparently believe that current subpopulation numbers and trends are an insufficient basis for an appropriate status determination."

Dr. Legates argues against the political bias in Environment America, and he proposes that their statements regarding global warming are false.

"This paper brings forth observational and theoretical evidence to show that rising levels of CO2 have not had any observable association with increases in global tropical cyclone frequency and intensity."

"As global warming causes hot summer days to get hotter, concentrations of an air pollutant called ozone increase—forming lung-damaging pollution commonly known as smog."

On the basis of current evidence, it is difficult to sustain the notion that climate change is the greatest threat to public health or the environment today. But what about the future?

"Environmental groups are intensely aware of the power charismatic species have to both capture the imagination of the public and serve as levers to emplace environmental restrictions and regulations."

"In the last two years, a remarkable amount of disturbing news has been published concerning global warming, largely concentrating on melting of polar ice, tropical storms and hurricanes, and mass extinctions."

Livestock’s long shadow helps raise the attention of the general public to the very substantial contribution of animal agriculture to climate change and air pollution, to land, soil and water degradation and to the reduction of biodiversity.

Climate change is mainly projected to add to existing problems, rather than create new ones. Of particular significance are four categories of hazards to human health and safety which have frequently been cited as major reasons for controlling greenhouse gas emissions.

Research done to determine whether the vacation paradise of the Maldives will be underwater due to glacial melting.

Researchers have found extreme and destructive rainfall events were more common in many parts of the world during the Little Ice Age than they have been subsequently, contradicting the forecasts of the IPCC.

A study on whether or not polar ice melt is negatively affecting polar bears.

This report discusses a variety of ways in which anthropogenic global warming proponents believe greenhouse gas emissions are harming the environment.

This paper, published by Oregon State University professors Paul Murtaugh of the Department of Statistics and Micheal Schlax of the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, extends the study of individual's carbon footprints to the realm of reproduction.

Morphological and stratigraphical observational facts in the Sundarban delta provide data for a novel sea level reconstruction of the area. This sea level documentation lacks traces of a global sea level rise.

"Boston University's Robert Kaufmann and colleagues recently published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examining the causes of the recent dearth of 'global warming.' They concluded that it's simply natural variability, augmented by increasing sulfate emissions from dramatically growing coal consumption by China."

Observational facts indicate that sea level is by no means in a rapidly rising mode, but rather quite stable.

This paper assesses the economic impact of climate change on global timber markets. ... The results suggest that climate change may enhance global timber production and reduce prices.

I am a strong supporter of a clean environment. We need to be vigilant to keep our land, air and waters free of real pollution, particulates, heavy metals, pathogens, but carbon dioxide (CO2) is not one of these pollutants.

An article discussing the estimates in regional and global observed temperature changes. It notes a rising uncertainty in previous data.

"In an assessment on Global Water Security, U.S. Intelligence Community predicts that exploding populations in developing countries coupled with climate change would be naturally transformed into drought, floods and lack of fresh water."

This piece presents several common worries that global warming proponents fear will happen to the environment if global temperatures rise.

There is and will be no better example of these limiting factors than the fit between the ESA and climate change. In short, asking the ESA to take on the causes of climate change is like asking pit bulls to fly.


2009 International Conference on Climate Change Videos

From the site: "About 800 scientists, economists, legislators, policy activists, and media representatives attended the event, which took place at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel. Produced by The Heartland Institute and 60 co-sponsoring...

This is the program summary page, each speaker listed links out to a video of their presentation. 2009 International Conference on Climate Change.

In this podcast, Patrick J. Michaels declares that there is such a thing as climate change, but it is not as bad as some make it out to be. Michaels declares that those who take this position are often severely condemned by both global warming proponents and opponents.

In this podcast, Patrick J. Michaels discusses the 2009 G20 summit and the worldwide struggle over climate change and emission issues.

Khandekar believes our advanced technology makes us more aware of extreme weather, thus causing us to believe that global warming is indeed contributing to increased environmental disasters.

That was the question at the core of a recent Oxford-style debate called Intelligence Squared U.S. Three experts argue in favor of a motion; three others argue against it. In this debate, the proposition was: "Global Warming Is Not a Crisis."

'Global Warming Is Not a Crisis' (listen)
Intelligence Squared & National Public Radio
March 22, 2007

In Favor of the Motion: Michael Crichton, Richard S. Lindzen, Philip Stott

Against the Motion:...

"We typically think of climate change as the biggest environmental issue we face today. But maybe it's not? In this presentation, Jonathan Foley shows how agriculture and land use are maybe a bigger culprit in the global environment, and could grow even larger as we look to feed over 9 billion people in the future."

Al Gore makes the case for the extreme crisis of climate change. After the presentation he pulled his slide showing the huge spike in natural disasters over the past century under pressure from the group that originated it. They complained that Mr. Gore misrepresented the data. See related content under Commentary and Blog Posts, regarding Al Gore's speech before AAAS.

Real Player video...

Consistent alternative view of climate change, which has arisen in the peer-reviewed scientific literature yet receives little public attention.

In this clip, Al Gore ... [compares] skeptics of climate change to racists during the Civil Rights Movement. Gore was sitting down for an interview with Alex Bogusky of the Climate Reality Project, and suggested that young people today whose parents do not believe in climate change are asking the same questions now that race-conscious young people in the 60s asked their parents.

In this video, long-time sea level scientist, Nils-Axel Morner, explains why sea levels are really not rising to such extreme levels as global warming alarmists contend.

In this eye-opening documentary viewers will discover how the most respected researchers from all over the world explode the doom and gloom of global warming.

A culture of scientific exaggeration and a political community that takes credit from having saved us from certain doom—a doom played out nightly on the network news.

This video features a debate on fossil fuels and their effect on the environment. Patrick Michaels argues that implementing a carbon tax in order to save the environment would be deadly, but his discussion partners disagree.

This video clip describes how attempts to place animals such as the polar bear and walrus on the endangered species list can help to lend credibility to the case of anthropogenic global warming proponents.

In his first address to the United Nations as Commander-in- Chief, President Obama addresses the pressing issue of climate change. The one-day UN summit brought together delegations from 90 nations.

"The United States Fish and Wildlife Service, at the urging of environmentalist groups, has added polar bears to the list of 'threatened' species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) despite record high populations of 25,000. What is the logic? Alleged CO2 induced global warming will lead to losses in Arctic sea ice, denying polar bears their habitat. Linking ESA and global warming has...

A dedicated, unabashed, free market capitalist, T. J. Rodgers takes a businessman's and engineer's view of global warming.

This film by the documentary-maker Martin Durkin presents the arguments of scientists and commentators who don't believe that CO2 produced by human activity is the main cause of climate change.

An excerpt of the documentary 'Global Warming Doomsday Called Off!' In this clip professor Nils Axel Morner, from Stockholm University travels to the Maldives and finds out that the ocean levels have dropped in recent years.

Primary Document

The question of how well the 1990 Amendments have succeeded in protecting public health and the environment from air pollution is very important.

In order to create a clean energy economy that will increase our Nation's prosperity, promote energy security, protect the interests of taxpayers, and safeguard the health of our environment, the Federal Government must lead by example.

That so many of us are here today is a recognition that the threat from climate change is serious, it is urgent, and it is growing.

The Clean Air Act is the law that defines EPA's responsibilities for protecting and improving the nation's air quality and the stratospheric ozone layer.

This is the text of the act, the link was provided via the organization River Network.

Of all the great social and technological changes of the 20th century, none may be more crucial to our well-being and that of future generations than the change that has occurred in the way we view our environment.

Climate change involves complicated science and generates vigorous debate. Many are concerned about the effect of climate change on our environment.

This report summarizes the science of climate change and the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future.

The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming will hold a hearing examining the links between global warming, extreme weather events, and how these events affect the world now and will in the future.

Climate change now looms as a more immediate and serious threat than ever before and in need of swift, effective Congressional action.

The main activity of the IPCC is to provide at regular intervals Assessment Reports of the state of knowledge on climate change. The latest one is "Climate Change 2007", the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released this statement following the discovery that some of their climate change assessments were based on faulty research. In their original report, the IPCC argued that climate change could melt glaciers in prominent mountainous regions. This statement declares that the report's "conclusion is robust, appropriate, and entirely consistent with the underlying science and the broader IPCC assessment."

"The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These amount to an average of five per cent against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012."

A letter from Senator Inhofe requesting information on the investigation of polar bear scientist Dr. Charles Monnett.

For centuries Americans have drawn strength and inspiration from the beauty of our country. It would be a neglectful generation indeed, indifferent alike to the judgment of history and the command of principle, which failed to preserve and extend such a heritage for its descendants.

Here the Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency must develop automobile carbon dioxide (C02) emissions standards because the relationships of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses to global warming pose "a risk..."

You have recently held an undersea Cabinet meeting to raise awareness of the idea that global sea level is rising and hence threatens to drown the Maldives. This proposition is not founded in observational facts and true scientific judgements.

This brief speech given by Ban-Ki Moon elucidates the mindset that the UN has adopted in approaching the global climate change issue.

Lindzen talks about the natural variability in earth's climate, and the need to refrain from viewing climate change as a crisis.

My testimony today addresses the rising risk of extreme weather-related events as a result of climatic changes and their impact on water resources, with a focus on the western United States. In the short time available, let me provide a summary overview.

Unfortunately for the polar bear, the 'best available science,' and in fact all available science relating to global warming, sea ice, and polar bears, indicates the species faces global extinction in the wild by century’s end.

For 40 years, the Clean Air Act has safeguarded the health of all Americans, including our most vulnerable.

Congress should amend the CAA so that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not authorized to regulate GHGs for climate change purposes. Concerns about GHG emissions and climate change should be addressed through a different path.

Gore testifies about what he believes is "... a planetary emergency - a crisis that threatens the survival of our civilization and the habitability of the Earth."

This document provides a copy of some weather observations from 1922. According to the document, individuals were beginning to see signs of melting Arctic ice due to warming trends. The observations in this article suggest that warming and cooling cycles have been a part of recent climatic history.

To declare a national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment; to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man.

My research is especially focused on the great ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, their potential for causing major changes in sea level, the climate records they contain, and their other interactions with the environment.




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