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March, 2010:

Editorial: Storm clouds over the climate change lobby

storm cloudsLast updated: March 11, 2010

Source: South China Morning Post

We appear to have been battered to a submissive intellectual pulp by the climate change lobby, although it was only 35 years ago, when I interviewed the world’s principal climate experts for The Washington Post, that the consensus was the earth was cooling. Within a few decades, they have fundamentally changed their minds. How could this happen so quickly?

Has everyone already forgotten how the computer boffins told us that the world’s computers would crash at midnight at the start of the year 2000? Businesses, hospitals, universities, airlines and so forth spent a fortune to retool with new computers. On the dot of midnight of the new millennium … the old computers still worked perfectly well.


Science casts doubt on existence of climate change and its causes

climate change

Last updated: March 11, 2010

Source: South China Morning Post

In a letter to the editor of SCMP, James Watkins of Sai Kung writes:

I become quite despondent when I read letters on global warming such as those by Beatrice Yeung and by Jessie Kwok (“Poor nations will need help” and “Habitats are under threat”, March 9).

It is disappointing that your correspondents and many others like them accept the received wisdom without regard to the available evidence.

The view that polar bears and other species are under threat from the consequences of man-made climate change flies in the face of all recent evidence, which demonstrates that the polar bear population is increasing and that the species is flourishing.


Clear The Air views on the replacement of polluting Pre‐Euro and Euro 1 Diesel commercial vehicles.

paper filingClear The Air presented its views to Legco on March 10, 2010. Below are some figures.

By end of 2009, there were a total of 3,880, 920, 700, 160 and 100 licensed buses for Kowloon Motor Bus Company (1933) Limited(“KMB”), Citybus Limited(“CTB”),, New World First Bus Services Limited(“NWFB”),, Long Win Bus Company Limited(“LW”),and New Lantao Bus Company (1973) Limited(“NLB”),. The relevant breakdown by engine types is as follows  :

Engine Type










less than 5


Euro I






Euro I above






Download the CTA submission here.

Higher fees for older vehicles opposed

polluting truckThe commercial vehicle industry has objected to government plans to increase licence fees for older commercial vehicles to reduce air pollution. The industry was hoping the government would extend or increase the current one-off subsidy to get these vehicles off the road. But the Undersecretary for the Environment, Kitty Poon, said that instead, the administration intended to raise the fee. She said the subsidy scheme had run its course.

Agree or disagree? Sound off your opinion after the jump.

Traffic congestion on the three road harbour crossings

harbor crossingFirst published: March 5, 2010

Source: 7th Space

Hong Kong (HKSAR) – Following is a question by the Dr Hon Lam Tai-fai and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Ms Eva Cheng, at the Legislative Council meeting today (March 3): Question: In its paper submitted to the Panel on Transport of this Council in November 2008, the Government has indicated that the traffic distribution among the three road harbour crossings (“RHCs”) is uneven, and there is room for improvement. One of the major causes of uneven distribution is the difference in toll levels of the three RHCs.Moreover, quite a number of members of the public have relayed to me that congestion occurs in north bound and south bound traffic at the Cross-Harbour Tunnel (“CHT”) every morning and evening, and it has not only resulted in longer journey time but has also aggravated air pollution as it has increased vehicle emissions. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council: (a)of the respective average daily vehicular flows, as well as the maximum and minimum traffic flows of CHT, WesternHarbour Crossing (“WHC”) and Eastern Harbour Crossing (“EHC”) in each of the past five years, together with a breakdown by vehicle type; (b)since the implementation of the Journey Time Indication System (“JTIS”) at the end of 2003, whether the authorities have reviewed the effectiveness of JTIS, including the accuracy in its estimation of journey time; if they have, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; (c)whether the Transport Department (“TD”) has received complaints about journey time being wrongly estimated by JTIS; if it has, of the total number of complaints received since the implementation of JTIS and, among such complaints, the maximum and minimum differences in the estimated and actual journey times involved; (d)whether TD has assessed if the traffic congestion problem at CHT is serious at present, and whether it has studied ways to solve the problem, including formulating time indicator for cross-harbour journeys or other vehicle divergent measures (for example, increasing the number of autotoll lanes); if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; (e)whether it had, in the past three years, assessed the impact of the traffic congestion problem at the three RHCs on the journey time to work and to school of members of the public, as well as on air pollution, and whether it had assessed the resultant economic losses to Hong Kong (including the impact on the gross value of production of relevant industries and the development of the tourist industry in Hong Kong); if it had, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; (f)whether it has assessed the impact of the Central-Wanchai Bypass Project, West Kowloon Cultural District Project and the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link Project on the traffic at CHT during their construction; whether it will aggravate the traffic congestion problem at CHT; if it has, of the details, and how such problems are to be solved; (g)whether it has assessed if the traffic congestion problem at the three RHCs can be alleviated after the commissioning of the Shatin to Central Link; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; (h)given that the Government indicated in November 2008 that it had commissioned a 12-month consultancy study on the improvement in traffic distribution among the three RHCs, when the consultancy study will be completed, and whether it will make public the outcome of the study; and (i)given that the franchises of EHC and WHC will expire in 2016 and 2023 respectively, what factors the Government will consider in deciding whether it will propose buying out or extending their franchises; how the outcome of the consultancy study will affect the Government’s decision? Reply: President, (a)A breakdown by vehicle type of the average daily vehicular flow, maximum vehicular flow and minimum vehicular flow of Cross-Harbour Tunnel (CHT), Western Harbour Crossing (WHC) and Eastern Harbour Crossing (EHC) for the past five years is set out in the Annex.

Scientist defends refusal to send data to sceptics

climate change ostrichFirst published: March 3, 2010

Source: South China Morning Post

A British researcher at the centre of a row over global warming science has admitted he wrote some “pretty awful” e-mails to sceptics when he was refusing their requests for data.

But Phil Jones, of the University of East Anglia‘s Climatic Research Unit, defended his decision not to release the data about temperatures from around the world, telling a parliamentary hearing it was not “standard practice” to do so.

“I have obviously written some pretty awful e-mails,” Jones told lawmakers on Monday in response to a question about a message he sent to a sceptic in which he refused to release data for fear it would be misused. The admission by Jones, who has stood aside as director of the unit while investigations take place, came at a parliamentary hearing into the scandal.


Climategate hits Westminster: MPs spring a surprise


First published: Marcn 2, 2010

Source: The Register

‘Don’t panic, carry on’ isn’t working

Parliament isn’t the place where climate sceptics go to make friends. Just over a year ago, just three MPs ( voted against the Climate Act, with 463 supporting it. But events took a surprising turn at Parliament’s first Climategate hearing yesterday.

MPs who began by roasting sceptics in a bath of warm sarcasm for half an hour were, a mere two hours later, asking why the University of East Anglia’s enquiry into the climate scandal wasn’t broader, and wasn’t questioning “the science” of climate change. That’s further than any sceptic witness had gone.


LCQ18: Emissions by non-franchised buses

busesFirst published: February 24, 2010
Source: Hong Kong Government via 7th Space

Hong Kong (HKSAR) – Following is a question by Hon Audrey Eu and a written reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau, in the Legislative Council today (February 24): Question: It has been learnt that at present, quite a number of non-franchised buses carry foreign travellers via the Cross Harbour Tunnel (CHT) every day to areas with high air pollution index such as Central, Wai Chai and Causeway Bay for sightseeing.In this connection, will the Government inform this Council: (a) whether it knows the average daily number of trips run by non-franchised buses carrying overseas visitors via CHT last year, and the average number of such trips run during peak hours; (b) of percentage of respirable suspended particulate and nitrogen oxide emissions from non-franchised buses in the total amount of the emissions concerned from all vehicles in Hong Kong last year; and (c) what new measures will be put in place by the authorities to reduce the air pollutants emitted by non-franchised buses? Reply: Mr. President, (a) A survey conducted by the Transport Department in October 2009 found that on average non-franchised buses providing tour service operated about 1,960 trips via the Hung Hom Cross Harbour Tunnel from 6 am to 10 pm daily.About 860 of these trips were made during the peak periods from 7 am to 10 am and from 5 pm to 8 pm.The survey did not differentiate whether or not the passengers on board were overseas visitors. (b) The compilation of the vehicle emission inventory for 2009 (including non-franchised buses) will be completed around end of this year.However, in 2008, the respirable suspended particulates and nitrogen oxides emitted from non-franchised buses accounted for about 6% of the respective total vehicular emissions in Hong Kong.