Set up by Sir William Leech in 1972, the charity exists to help volunteers from the North East, and also to support charitable projects which benefit primarily people of the North East.
Binky wrote: I now have the clarification that escaped me earlier concerning which direction you were coming from and the climagegate as a whole;
The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) is a forum for collaboration on climate change for European investors. The group’s objective is to catalyse greater investment in a low carbon economy by bringing investors together to use their collective influence with companies, policymakers and investors. The group currently has over 50 members, including some of the largest pension funds and asset managers in Europe, and represents assets of around €4trillion. A full list of members is available on the membership page.
BMS World Mission is in the business of changing lives. We work in 34 countries of the world, on four continents. Every day our personnel and partners meet people who are being transformed by God through the work of BMS.
We are responsible for administering the Local Government Pension Scheme in South Yorkshire. The Authority formally consists of 12 Elected Members nominated by the four South Yorkshire district councils. They act as quasi-trustees and have ultimate legal responsibility for the Fund and the services that we provide. Their priorities are to maximise pension fund investments, focus on the service we provide to fund members and to have a close relationship with the fund employers.
The aim of the IIGCC public policy workstream is to ensure that policymakers take into account the long-term interests of institutional investors in their decision-making process and responses to climate change. The IIGCC provides a forum for investors to use their influence to encourage governments to adopt policies that provide incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and for investment in solutions to climate change. In addition, the group emphasises the importance of policies that encourage appropriate responses to the physical impacts of climate change.
The scientist at the centre of the “climategate” email scandal has revealed that he was so traumatised by the global backlash against him that he contemplated suicide.
Professor Phil Jones said in an exclusive interview with The Sunday Times that he had thought about killing himself “several times”. He acknowledged similarities to Dr David Kelly, the scientist who committed suicide after being exposed as the source for a BBC report that alleged the government had “sexed up” evidence to justify the invasion of Iraq.
Merlyn wrote:Or perhaps this group;
I wonder if those people know where their pension money goes.. or went completely..We are responsible for administering the Local Government Pension Scheme in South Yorkshire. The Authority formally consists of 12 Elected Members nominated by the four South Yorkshire district councils. They act as quasi-trustees and have ultimate legal responsibility for the Fund and the services that we provide. Their priorities are to maximise pension fund investments, focus on the service we provide to fund members and to have a close relationship with the fund employers.
We maintain, invest and administer the South Yorkshire Pension Fund (approximate value £3.3 billion) on behalf of over 130 contributing employers and some 120,000 members.
Let's have a peek at this one;
Oh my, another UK charity...
The vision of the fund
...It is not my intention to subsidise social services even if grants by the Government or Council have been reduced. It is my intention to do what the Social Services do not support or do.
I would fully support the independant boys' and girls' clubs, YMCA, YWCA, Scouts, Guides, (Boys' Brigade) and Christian Youth clubs and Christian Teaching Colleges..."
The Guidelines for distribution of the interest, dividends and rental income... They were, by their very nature, broadly based so as to leave the Trustees the opportunity to react to the great changes that he foresaw and to enable them to meet the basic criterion of helping the people of the North East of England to help other people in the community.
A LEADING British government scientist has warned the United Nations’ climate panel to tackle its blunders or lose all credibility.
Robert Watson, chief scientist at Defra, the environment ministry, who chaired the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from 1997 to 2002, was speaking after more potential inaccuracies emerged in the IPCC’s 2007 benchmark report on global warming.
The most important is a claim that global warming could cut rain-fed north African crop production by up to 50% by 2020, a remarkably short time for such a dramatic change. The claim has been quoted in speeches by Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC chairman, and by Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general.
This weekend Professor Chris Field, the new lead author of the IPCC’s climate impacts team, told The Sunday Times that he could find nothing in the report to support the claim. The revelation follows the IPCC’s retraction of a claim that the Himalayan glaciers might all melt by 2035, dubbed 'Glaciergate' by commentators.
The IPCC's Synthesis Report (See section 3.3.2)
International Institute for Sustainable Development - report on how climate change might affect crop yields
Climate change speech by Ban Ki-Moon, UN secretary-general
'Climategate' professor considered suicide
The leak was bad. Then came the death threats
The African claims could be even more embarrassing for the IPCC because they appear not only in its report on climate change impacts but, unlike the glaciers claim, are also repeated in its Synthesis Report.
This report is the IPCC’s most politically sensitive publication, distilling its most important science into a form accessible to politicians and policy makers. Its lead authors include Pachauri himself.
In it he wrote: “By 2020, in some countries, yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50%. Agricultural production, including access to food, in many African countries is projected to be severely compromised.” The same claims have since been cited in speeches to world leaders by Pachauri and Ban.
Speaking at the 2008 global climate talks in Poznan, Poland, Pachauri said: “In some countries of Africa, yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by 50% by 2020.” In a speech last July, Ban said: “Yields from rain-fed agriculture could fall by half in some African countries over the next 10 years.”
Speaking this weekend, Field said: “I was not an author on the Synthesis Report but on reading it I cannot find support for the statement about African crop yield declines.”
Watson said such claims should be based on hard evidence. “Any such projection should be based on peer-reviewed literature from computer modelling of how agricultural yields would respond to climate change. I can see no such data supporting the IPCC report,” he said.
The claims in the Synthesis Report go back to the IPCC’s report on the global impacts of climate change. It warns that all Africa faces a long-term threat from farmland turning to desert and then says of north Africa, “additional risks that could be exacerbated by climate change include greater erosion, deficiencies in yields from rain-fed agriculture of up to 50% during the 2000-20 period, and reductions in crop growth period (Agoumi, 2003)”.
“Agoumi” refers to a 2003 policy paper written for the International Institute for Sustainable Development, a Canadian think tank. The paper was not peer-reviewed.
Its author was Professor Ali Agoumi, a Moroccan climate expert who looked at the potential impacts of climate change on Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. His report refers to the risk of “deficient yields from rain-based agriculture of up to 50% during the 2000–20 period”.
These claims refer to other reports prepared by civil servants in each of the three countries as submissions to the UN. These do not appear to have been peer-reviewed either.
The IPCC is also facing criticism over its reports on how sea level rise might affect Holland. Dutch ministers have demanded that it correct a claim that more than half of the Netherlands lies below sea level when, in reality, it is about a quarter.
The errors seem likely to bring about change at the IPCC. Field said: “The IPCC needs to investigate a more sophisticated approach for dealing with emerging errors.”
The sudden pullout of three corporate giants from a leading alliance of businesses and environmental groups could be the death knell for climate change legislation languishing on Capitol Hill. ConocoPhillips, BP America and Caterpillar's announced Tuesday they will pull out of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, citing complaints that the bills now in Congress are unfair to American industry. BP spokesman Ronnie Chappell said Tuesday's announcements are not a statement on the likelihood that climate change legislation will fail. "I would never speculate as to what would happen with a pending piece of legislation," Chappell said.
But he said the bills on the table no longer "conform" with what USCAP envisioned for a climate change bill. He said the legislation -- including one bill that passed the House but is stalled in the Senate -- does not provide adequate protections to U.S. refineries. If any bills are passed, they will result in more oil imports, the closure of U.S. refineries and the loss of U.S. jobs. Plus he said it's too hard on the transportation sector. "We do not believe that the bills now pending in Congress conform to the USCAP blueprint, in that a disproportionate share of the emissions reductions and disproportionate share of the cost fall on the transportation sector and on transportation consumers and motorists," he said.
Both BP America and Caterpillar were founding members of the group.
ConocoPhillips CEO Jim Mulva also said in a statement that the House and Senate bills "disadvantaged the transportation sector and its consumers" and "unfairly penalized" domestic refineries that would have to face international competition on an unbalanced playing field. "We believe greater attention and resources need to be dedicated to reversing these missed opportunities, and our actions today are part of that effort," he said. The companies described their withdrawal from the group as a way to advocate for climate change legislation in other ways. "Our position on the need for comprehensive climate change legislation has not changed," Chappell said. "We can be a more effective voice in the climate change debate if we participate as BP and not as part of a larger organization. ... We will still be very active in the climate change discussions and we will still be advocating for legislation that conforms to the USCAP blueprint."
USCAP released a brief statement Tuesday announcing that the member companies were leaving the organization. The group said the companies "provided invaluable assistance, expertise and significant commitments of time and resources" in pushing for a major climate bill. The group reiterated its view that Congress should act on a climate bill this year.
"We believe that U.S. action on energy and climate legislation in 2010 will preserve and create American jobs, secure our energy future and generate new investment in the global clean energy economy," the statement said. The statement noted that while three companies were leaving, others have recently joined and USCAP "expects to add new members in the coming months." The push for climate change legislation has been hampered by more than just concern over its impact on the U.S. economy. The record snowfall this year in Washington, D.C., and other areas of the country has fueled skeptics who see the snow-covered capital as evidence that global warming is a myth, though scientists argue that temperatures have risen over the long term and that extreme weather -- even snow -- can be a symptom of climate change.
The U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December ended with a non-binding agreement. And that was preceded by controversy over leaked e-mails from a British climate research center that appeared to show scientists discussing ways to obscure certain climate data. Add to that Republican Scott Brown's election to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts in January -- a win that broke the Democrats' 60-vote filibuster-proof majority. The conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute seized on the departure of the three companies from USCAP as a sign that "cap-and-trade legislation is dead in the U.S. Congress and that global warming alarmism is collapsing rapidly".
The challenge? A complete overhaul of the world's energy system — eliminating all carbon emissions — to avoid catastrophic climate change.
His solution? Re-purpose spent nuclear fuel to make electricity, according to CNN.
Here's where the big idea comes in, since Gates sees nuclear as providing the mostly likely miracle in this situation. All the leftover waste produced by today's reactors can be transformed into fuel. The uranium from a single plant could satisfy the US's energy needs for 200 years.
"A molecule of uranium has a million times more energy than a molecule of coal," he said. "In terms of fuel this really solves the problem."
Aelfarh wrote:This is one of my favourite blogs, and I like his entry on climate change
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badas ... te-change/
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED [...]
(2) That there are a variety of climatological, meteorological, astrological, thermological, cosmological, and ecological dynamics that can affect world weather phenomena and that the significance and interrelativity of these factors is largely speculative; and
Wait, what? Did those guys in the South Dakota legislature actually say astrological?
Just one year ago a pronouncement from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) was all that was needed to move nations and change environmental policies around the world. But today, the panel's creditability and even its very existence are in question.
In the wake of its swift and devastating fall from grace, the panel says it will announce "within the next few days" that it plans to make significant though as yet unexplained changes in how it does business.
Brenda Abrar-Milani, an external relations officer at the IPCC's office in Geneva, Switzerland, said changes have been slow in coming because "we have to inform the governments (all 194 member States) of any planned steps, and they are the ones who eventually take decisions on any revision of procedures."
"We put everything on the table and looked at it," she said, explaining that the panel's reforms would be extensive. She refused to detail any of the changes, but she did confirm that are in response to recent scandals involving the panel.
"We used to operate in the dark, and now we seem to be in the spotlight," she said.
Britain's Weather Office Proposes Climate-Gate Do-Over
Top U.N. Climate Official Yvo de Boer Resigning
U.K. Announces Independent Probe Into Climate-Gate
But critics of the IPCC say it has been slow to understand the gravity of the crisis it has created, and it is incapable of making significant internal changes. Since the crisis began, the panel's only reaction has been to post two documents to its Web site -- on Feb. 2 to explain its "principles and procedures," and on Feb. 4 to detail the procedures the panel uses in its reports.
In perhaps an indication of what changes the IPCC may unveil, the British government's official Meteorological Office proposed Monday that the world's climate scientists start all over again on a "grand challenge" to produce a new, common trove of global temperature data.
The IPCC was created in 1988 to periodically review the state of climate change science. It has has issued four reports so far, with a fifth in the works. Governments based their programs and policies on its findings solely because it was considered the "final word" on the state of the planet's climate. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, its reputation for accuracy and fairness, to a large degree, was responsible for building a consensus around the world that global warming was both real and a potentially devastating phenomenon largely caused by man.
But the panel, which has predicted massive and devastating storms as a result of global warming, ran into the perfect storm itself, beginning with the leak of thousands of e-mails from the prestigious climate program at East Anglia University in England.
Those e-mails raised troubling questions about the panel's impartiality and how deeply politics influenced its decisions. They show scientists discussing how to avoid sharing information with skeptics despite freedom of information laws and how to keep people with contrary ideas out of peer-reviewed journals. Dubbed "climate-gate," the piercing of the aura of its authority prompted many to take a deeper look at the panel's workings.
Then came more "gates": Africa-gate, an exaggerated prediction of drought and crop losses on the continent; glacier-gate, a false claim that Himalayan glaciers would disappear in two decades; disaster-gate, an unsubstantiated claim that extreme weather, caused by global warming, was responsible for growing billions in financial losses; Amazon-gate, its prediction that the Amazon rain forest was dangerously shrinking; and Pachauri-gate, named for the panel's chief.
In the first four "gates," source materials were examined to determine the scientific basis for the panel's claims, and in each case the materials used to support panel assessments were flawed or not peer-reviewed.
Then came Pachauri-gate. Press reports revealed that the head of the panel, Rajendra Pachauri, an Indian engineer, lived an opulent lifestyle despite a meager wage and ran a consulting business on the side that presented severe conflict of interest issues. Greenpeace called for Pachauri to step down. And in a severe slap to his credibility, his own country set up its own climate panel to assess emerging scientific climate studies — the same job the IPPC does.
Because the panel was supposed to conduct the most rigorous examination of data possible, one error was bad enough. But the onslaught of sloppiness and errors was so devastating that many of the panel's strongest supporters called for reform and, in some cases, abandonment of the panel.
Mike Hulme of East Anglia University in England, who has played critical roles in the panel's earlier reports, wrote in Nature magazine that the IPPC "is no longer fit" to fulfill the purpose it was set up for in the 1980s because science and public involvement had changed. He suggested breaking the panel into three parts and allowing each to focus on a different aspect of global warming. One would look at the pure science, the second would look at regional changes and the third would focus on policy analysis and propose options based on new scientific findings.
Canadian climate scientist Andrew Weaver, who helped write the last three IPCC reports, also called for a massive overhaul and the resignation of Pachauri. He said that the panel had become "tainted by political advocacy" and that its approach to science should be radically changed. He told the Canwest News Service that the panel should act only as a neutral advisory body and not as an advocate of any political goal, and he said that "there has been a dangerous crossing of that line."
Whether the as-yet-unannounced IPCC reforms will be enough to save the panel's creditability and status remains to be seen. But it will be an uphill battle.
Steve McIntyre, who also worked at the IPPC and whose blog, Climate Audit, has been one of the most vocal critics of the panel, says that while cries for reform have become loud, "very little thought has yet been put into what changes have to be made."
"I don't think they plan to change very much," he said. "They just don't know how to reform it."
the major topics are a global system of governance and what amounts to the next stage of a radical transformation of the world economic and social order, in the name of saving the planet.
The authors of the UNEP "discussion" papers see that organization — the U.N.'s principal environmental watchdog — and especially its governing "Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environmental Forum," as the central nexus of that new eco-centric regime — and that strengthening its authority at both the national and international levels will be a growing theme as the 2012 Rio Conference looms nearer.
The House of Commons' Science and Technology Committee has found no evidence that professor Phil Jones and his fellow climate researchers at University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) manipulated data, but urged the scientists to provide easier access to their work in the future.
The hearing, which was held in response to the "Climategate" controversy surrounding emails obtained by hackers that suggested that the climate scientists may have manipulated their findings, exonerated Jones and his associates. The inquiry said that "Professor Jones's actions were in line with common practice in the climate science community" and that there was no wrongdoing.
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