Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Global warming and climate change: The never-ending debate

The debate over global warming has engulfed one and all—climatologists, meteorologists and climate alarming scientists, and the scepticism is quite clear. So why are meteorologists more likely to take to climate scepticism? More on it...

An email forwarded to me informs me that The American Meteorological Society (AMS) has once again re-affirmed their policy supporting anthropological global warming (AGW). But I was totally intrigued why the email chose an innocuous news item to circulate among influential members of our government and media including our prime minister and former environmental minister. 


Was it the point of this email that this policy re-affirmation by AMS was construed by it as a major victory for AGW?  

To answer this, we need first to put AMS into perspective. The debate over global warming has created many predictable adversaries such as between climatologists affiliated the UN Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and sceptic climatologists on one hand and an overwhelming majority of the meteorologist community and climate alarmist scientists on the other hand. 


Surveys after surveys have shown that climate scepticism are pretty widespread among TV weather forecasters most of whom have a degree in meteorology and other related fields in climatology. This gives climate sceptics an undue advantage in moulding public opinion within the climate debate.

“What we’ve recognized is that the everyday person doesn’t come across climatologists, but they do come across meteorologists,” said Melanie Fitzpatrick, a climate scientist for the Union of Concerned Scientists.


The AMS is the largest membership-based organization of meteorologists in the US—about 14,000 strong. This is only because they confer its coveted seal of approval on qualified weather forecasters in the US that are important for career considerations, especially freshers. 80% of their membership is accounted by climate sceptics. 


These include weathermen legends like John Coleman who founded the Weather Channel; Anthony Watts who now administers the world’s most popular climate change blog, WUWT; Joe Bastardi of formerly Accuweather, etc. Because of AMS’ AGW policy, many of these legends cancelled their certification with the AMS. A significant majority though still retaining their membership, cook a snook at the AMS by spewing out their anti-climate alarmism venom on a daily basis. 


So why are meteorologists more likely to take to climate scepticism?


Polls show that a vast majority of weather forecasters, about 75%-80%, distrust models of climate change. Weather models are usually only accurate in predicting five- or seven-day forecasts. A common belief of broadcasters is that climate models are just as fallible.


Joseph D'Aleo the first director of meteorology at The Weather Channel explains, "The forecasters live in the real world. They know models in general, and they know these models don't even get tomorrow right. They aren't going to trust them to be right about what is going to happen in 2100."


We in India should instinctively appreciate this logic having the ready illustration of monsoon predictions going haywire, year after year. This year was no exception—with not a single international model, including those of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on course to getting it right. 


So finding themselves totally impotent to stop climate sceptic weathermen from influencing public opinion on the climate debate, the AGW lobby did the next best thing. Get the AMS to endorse AGW. And how would they do that? By offering liberal funding just as the West offers our NGOs to advocate adoption of policies friendly to their interests here in this country.  Lord Monckton, former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, in a lighter vein exposed such funding to AMS in his article Climate ($$$ and) Change. Read here. (http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=10144 )


SC pulls up PMO officials in Cauvery water dispute case

The apex court expressed surprise that PMO officials have been seeking convenient dates from the Committee members, instead of convenience of the Prime Minister 

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday expressed displeasure over the failure of officials from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) to hold a meeting of the committee, headed by the Prime Minister, to resolve the Cauvery water-sharing dispute between southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, reports PTI.
A bench of justices DK Jain and Madan B Lokur expressed surprise when it was told that the meeting had not been held till now as the PMO officials had been seeking convenient dates from the committee members, which includes the chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry.
The bench observed whether "the Prime Minister is to see his own convenience or that of others." 
"Sometimes we are short of words when it involves the highest functionary of the government," the bench remarked and adjourned the matter to Friday, 7th September.
The court had earlier asked the government to convene a meeting of the committee to resolve the dispute.
The Centre on 30th August had told the apex court that it would soon convene a meeting of the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) headed by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to consider Tamil Nadu's plea for release of 25.373 thousand million cubic feet (tmfct) of water from Cauvery river to save the state's standing crops.
In its affidavit, the Centre had said it had written to Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry on the proposed meeting for their consent as the meeting was subject to the availability of the quorum.
Once the consents of the states are obtained, the date would be fixed for the same, the Centre had stated. 
On 13th August, Tamil Nadu had made a plea to the apex court for a direction to the Centre for convening the CRA meeting immediately to perform its statutory obligations and approve the distress-sharing formula evolved by the Cauvery Monitoring Committee for sharing of flows of the river Cauvery in view of the prevailing "distress" situation in Tamil Nadu.
Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa has also written letters to the Prime Minister for the CRA meet.
In its application, Tamil Nadu had said during the current irrigation year 2012-2013, though the south west monsoon is not vigorous in the Cauvery catchment of Karnataka, the state of Karnataka has received 21.9 tmcft of inflow in its four major reservoirs up to 20th July.
"But it has not shared the water with Tamil Nadu. Instead it started to build the storages in its 4 major reservoirs and letting water in the canals of Krishna Raja Sagar for irrigation with the result that the state of Tamil Nadu has been deprived of its due share of water as per the interim order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal," the application said.
It had complained that over the years, Karnataka did not agree to the distress sharing formula evolved by the Central Water Commission/Cauvery Monitoring Committee, with the result that it "resorts to impounding all the flows in its reservoirs depriving the state of Tamil Nadu in getting its legitimate flows, more so during the lean years, thus aggravating the distress situation." 
Tamil Nadu had said "during the current irrigation season 2012-13 also, the southwest monsoon has not been active so far in the Catchment area of Cauvery, with the result that there is a distress situation and since there is no agreed formula for sharing the flows in such distress years, the state is put to hardship."


A total of 90 coal blocks face de-allocation threat

The government has already issued de-allocation notices to these 58 blocks -- 33 allotted to government firms and 25 to private entities. Besides these, there are 32 more whose cases would be reviewed by the Inter-Ministerial Group

New Delhi: Amid the raging row over coal block allocation in India, as many as 90 mines face the threat of de-allocation as these are under scanner for non-production, reports PTI.
Of these, 58 coal blocks are in the immediate focus with an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) set to decide their fate Monday.
The government has already issued de-allocation notices to these 58 blocks -- 33 allotted to government firms and 25 to private entities. Besides these, there are 32 more whose cases would be reviewed by the IMG in its subsequent meetings, sources said.
These 32 cases had been reviewed by the IMG in its previous meeting, they said.
Indian Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal had said Sunday that any number of coal blocks could be cancelled if found that allocation was made in a wrongful manner or failed to start production in the stipulated time frame.
"On the basis of the IMG report, the allocations which were made in a wrongful manner or those allottees who have failed to start production of coal in a time-bound manner may face action. Any number of coal blocks can be cancelled," Jaiswal had said.
Of the total 195 coal blocks allocated to both public and private firms over a decade, only 30 mines have begun production as per the government records.
In its recent report tabled in Parliament, the CAG stated that undue benefits to the tune of Rs1.86 lakh crore were extended to private firms on account of allocation of 57 mines to them without auction.
The IMG comprising representatives from different Ministries may recommend cancellation of such blocks, which did not comply to the development norms. 
The sources said the firms in their replies furnished to the Ministry have cited various reasons, including land acquisition problems, delays in forestry and environment clearances and law and order problems for delays in developing the blocks.
The government in April began the process of issuing notices to companies that failed to develop the 58 coal blocks within the stipulated time.
The notices were issued to firms like Reliance Power's Sasan, Tata Power, Hindalco and Grasim Industries, ArcelorMittal, GVK Power, MMTC and others.
In July, the government formed the IMG to review progress of coal blocks allocated to companies for captive use.
The government had last year cancelled the allocation of 14 coal mines and one lignite mine to companies, including NTPC and DVC for failure to develop the blocks.


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