Monday, February 09, 2015
Divesting people of better living standards
“Disinvestment” of fossil fuel holdings is misguided, irresponsible, lethal – and racist
By Paul Driessen and Roger Bezdek
“Social responsibility” activists want universities and pension funds to eliminate fossil fuel companies from their investment portfolios. They plan to spotlight their demands on “Global Divestment Day,” February 13-14. Their agenda is misguided, immoral, lethal … even racist.
A mere 200 years ago, the vast majority of humans were poor, sick and malnourished. Life expectancy in 1810 was less than 40 years, and even royal families lived under sanitation, disease and housing standards inferior to what poor American families enjoy today. Then a veritable revolution occurred.
The world began to enjoy a bonanza in wealth, technology, living standards and life spans. In just two centuries, average world incomes rose eleven-fold, disease rates plummeted, and life expectancy more than doubled. Unfortunately, not everyone benefitted equally, and even today billions of people still live under conditions little better than what prevailed in 1810. Bringing them from squalor, disease and early death to modernity may be our most important economic, technological and moral challenge.
Many factors played vital roles in this phenomenal advancement. However, as Julian Simon, Indur Goklany, Alex Epstein and the authors of this article have documented, driving all this progress were fossil fuels that provided the energy for improvements in industry, transportation, housing, healthcare and environmental quality, and for huge declines in climate-related deaths due to storms, droughts, heat and cold. Modern civilization is undeniably high energy – and 85% of the world’s energy today is still coal, oil and natural gas. These fuels support $70 trillion per year in global gross domestic product, to power virtually everything we make, grow, ship, drive, eat and do. The rest of the world deserves nothing less.
Demands that institutions eliminate hydrocarbon stocks, and society stop using fossil fuels, would reverse this progress, jeopardize people’s health and living standards, and prevent billions of still impoverished people worldwide from enjoying the living standards that many of us take for granted.
Trains and automobiles would not run. Planes would not fly. Refrigeration, indoor plumbing, safe food and water, central heating and air conditioning, plastics and pharmaceuticals would disappear or become luxuries for wealthy elites. We would swelter in summer and freeze in winter. We’d have electricity only when it’s available, not when we need it – to operate assembly lines, conduct classes and research, perform life-saving surgeries, and use computers, smart phones and social media.
Divesting fossil fuels portfolios is also financially imprudent. Fossil-fuel stocks are among the best for solid, risk-adjusted returns. One analysis found that a 2.1% share in fossil fuel companies by colleges and universities generated 5.7% of all endowment gains in 2010 to 2011, to fund scholarship, building and other programs. Teacher, police and other public pension funds have experienced similar results.
That may be why such institutions often divest slowly, if at all, over 5-10 years, to maximize their profits. One is reminded of St. Augustine of Hippo’s prayer: “Please let me be chaste and celibate – but not yet.” The “ethical” institutions selling fossil fuel stocks also need to find buyers who are willing to stand up to divestment pressure group insults and harassment. They also need to deal with hard realities.
No “scalable” alternative fuels currently exist to replace fossil fuels. To avoid the economic, social, environmental and human health catastrophes that would follow the elimination of hydrocarbons, we would need affordable, reliable options on a large enough scale to replace the fuels we rely on today. The divestment movement ignores the enormity of current and future global energy needs (met and unmet), and the fact that existing “renewable” technologies cannot possibly meet those requirements.
Fossil fuels produce far more energy per acre than biofuels, notes analyst Howard Hayden. Using biomass – instead of coal or natural gas – to generate electricity for one U.S. city of 700,000 people would require cutting down trees across an area the size of Rhode Island every year. Making corn-based ethanol to replace the gasoline in U.S. vehicles would require planting every single acre of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, North and South Dakota and Wisconsin in corn for fuel. Wind and solar currently provide just 3% of global energy consumption, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports; by 2040, as the world’s population continues to grow, hydroelectric, wind, solar, biomass and geothermal energy combined will still represent only 15% of the total, the EIA predicts.
Not using fossil fuels is tantamount to not using energy. It is economic suicide and eco-manslaughter.
Over the past three decades, fossil fuels enabled 1.3 billion people to escape debilitating energy poverty – over 830 million thanks to coal alone – and China connected 99% of its population to the grid and increased its steel production eight times over, again mostly with coal. However, 1.3 billion people are still desperate for electricity and modern living standards. In India alone, over 300 million people (the population of the entire United States) remain deprived of electricity.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, some 615 million (100 million more than in the USA, Canada and Mexico combined) still lack this life-saving technology, and 730 million (the population of Europe) still cook and heat with wood, charcoal and animal dung. Millions die every year from lung and intestinal diseases, due to breathing smoke from open fires and not having the safe food and water that electricity brings.
Ending this lethal energy deprivation will require abundant, reliable, affordable energy on unprecedented scales, and more than 80% of it will have to come from fossil fuels. Coal now provides 40% of the world’s electricity, and much more than that in some countries. That is unlikely to change anytime soon.
We cannot even build wind and solar facilities without coal and petroleum: to mine, smelt, manufacture and transport materials for turbines, panels and transmission lines – and to build and operate backup power units that also require vast amounts of land, cement, steel, copper, rare earth metals and other materials.
Coal-fired power plants in China, India and other developing countries do emit large quantities of sulfates, nitrous oxides, mercury and soot that can cause respiratory problems and death. However, modern pollution control systems could – and eventually will – eliminate most of that.
Divestment activists try to counter these facts by claiming that climate science is settled and the world faces a manmade global warming cataclysm. On that basis they demand that colleges and universities forego any debate and rush to judgment on hydrocarbon divestment. However, as we have pointed out here and elsewhere, the alleged “97% consensus” is a fiction, no manmade climate crisis is looming, and there is abundant evidence of massive “pHraud” in all too much climate chaos “research.”
We therefore ask: What right do divestment activists and climate change alarmists have to deny Earth’s most destitute people access to electricity and motor fuels, jobs and better lives? To tell people what level of economic development, health and living standards they will be “permitted” to enjoy? To subject people to policies that “safeguard” families from hypothetical, exaggerated, manufactured and illusory climate change risks 50 to 100 years from now – by imposing energy, economic and healthcare deprivation that will perpetuate disease and could kill them tomorrow?
That is not ethical. It is intolerant and totalitarian. It is arrogant, immoral, lethal and racist.
To these activists, we say: “You first. Divest yourselves first. Get fossil fuels out of your lives. All of them. Go live in Sub-Saharan Africa just like the natives for a few months, drinking their parasite-infested water, breathing their polluted air, enduring their disease-ridden flies and mosquitoes – without benefit of modern drugs or malaria preventatives... and walking 20 miles to a clinic when you collapse with fever.
To colleges, universities and pension funds, we suggest this: Ensure open, robust debate on all these issues, before you vote on divestment. Allow no noisy disruption, walk-outs or false claims of consensus. Compel divestment advocates to defend their positions, factually and respectfully. Protect the rights and aspirations of people everywhere to reliable, affordable electricity, better living standards and improved health. And instead of “Global Divestment Day,” host and honor “Hydrocarbon Appreciation Day.”
Backgrounder on Lord Christopher Monckton
A couple of years out of date but still very impressive
The Rt. Hon. Christopher Walter Monckton, Third Viscount Monckton of BrenchleyThe Rt. Hon. Christopher Walter Monckton, Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley - The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, born 14 February 1952, businessman, newspaper editor, inventor of the million-selling Eternity puzzles and of a promising new treatment for infectious disease, classical architect, Cambridge-trained public orator, autodidact mathematician and “high priest” of climate skepticism, prevented several government-level scientific frauds while serving as a Downing Street domestic and science policy advisor to Margaret Thatcher, saving British taxpayers billions. In 1986 he was among the first to advise the Prime Minister that “global warming” caused by CO2 should be investigated. Two years later she set up the Hadley Centre for Forecasting: but she, like him, has since changed her view.
In 2006 a finance house in London consulted Lord Monckton on whether “global warming” would prove catastrophic. His 40-page report concluded that, though some warming could be expected, it would be harmless, and beneficial. At the request of a US Senator, he discovered evidence that a well-funded clique of scientists, officials and politicians had been manipulating data and results to exaggerate the imagined (and imaginary) problem. Two weeks after his report, the Climategate emails confirmed the existence and identities of the clique he had named, revealing not only their questionable methods but also the close links between them.
Lord Monckton’s two articles on global warming in The Sunday Telegraph in November 2006 crashed its website after attracting 127,000 hits within two hours of publication. Al Gore replied to the articles, which also provoked the then Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett, to say during a speech on terrorism that “climate deniers” should be treated like Islamic terrorists and refused all access to the news media. Beckett was subsequently dismissed. The European Union is now making plans for a “European Environmental Criminal Court” to prosecute those who publicly express scientific doubts about the magnitude of “global warming”. Journalists in Australia have demanded that “deniers” be publicly branded with tattoos to mark them out as society’s pariahs, and have also called for them to be gassed. The same journalists criticized Lord Monckton for having described one of the opinions of a government adviser as “a fascist opinion”, in that the adviser had demanded unquestioning deference to authority.
Lord Monckton is widely consulted by governments on climate issues. He has discussed the subject with President Vaclav Klaus of the Czech Republic, who accepted his invitation to participate in a climate conference at Cambridge University in May 2011. Lord Monckton has twice spoken before representatives of the Chinese Government, one of whom asked for copies of his papers on climate sensitivity for forwarding to the administration in Peking, saying that his research conclusions to the effect that manmade global warming would be small enough to do little harm had major implications for China. Lord Monckton has also prepared a brief on the climate for Canada’s Prime Minister.
In 2009 Kevin Rudd, Australia’s former Prime Minister, devoted a 45-minute speech to criticizing Lord Monckton and other “deniers … small in number but too dangerous to be ignored”, who, he said, base their thinking on the notion that “the cost of not acting is nothing”, and whose logic “belongs in a casino, not a science lab”. Lord Monckton’s 2010 speaking tour of Australia in response to these allegations played to packed houses, with hundreds turned away from many meetings. The tour, reported some 650 times in news media, is credited with having achieved a 10% shift in public opinion away from climate alarmism in one month, particularly among opposition parties. Rudd is no longer Prime Minister. During the visit, Lord Monckton was invited to give a personal briefing to Tony Abbott, leader of the Opposition.
Lord Monckton returned to Australia for another successful tour in June/July 2011, during which he delivered the annual Hancock Free Enterprise Lecture at the University of Western Australia. He was also the first-ever sceptic to be allowed to address the nationally-televised weekly meeting of the National Press Club, in a debate against the head of the Australia Institute. A second-by-second tracking survey by the Roy Morgan polling organization among 300 previously-neutral members of the public during the debate found a 9% swing towards Lord Monckton’s position at the end of the hour. Gary Morgan, the CEO, said this result was unprecedented in his long experience of polling.
During the debate a journalist asked whether Lord Monckton should be addressed as such, given that the Clerk of the Parliaments in the UK – apparently at the instigation of environmentalists determined to damage Lord Monckton’s reputation (as they have tried to libel many others) – had published a statement that Lord Monckton was not entitled to say, “I am a member of the House of Lords, but without the right to sit or vote.” However, a legal Opinion by Hugh O’Donoghue, a leading constitutional lawyer, concludes that he “is a member of the House of Lords, albeit without the right to sit or vote, and he is fully entitled to say so.”
Lord Monckton has testified four times before the US Congress on climate science and economics, and is credited with having influenced the Republicans in both Houses to reject collaboration with the Democrats on the climate question, preventing the Bill to enact a cap- and-tax regime for carbon dioxide in the US from passing the Senate.
He was invited to submit a paper to the Royal Air Force College at Cranwell, UK, on the strategic implications of “global warming”. His abstract pointed out that national defence is inevitably expensive and that, if foreign powers implacably hostile to the free-market, democratic West wish to destroy our capacity to defend ourselves they have only to infiltrate our environmental movement, fund it, and steer it towards persuading us to dismantle our economies from within, using the climate as a pretext.
Lord Monckton has organized and led international climate conferences and has given speeches, lectures, and faculty-level lectures and seminars throughout the world. He gave a public lecture at the convocation of all 12,000 staff and students at Liberty University, Virgina; lectured at Hartford University, Connecticut, before the university’s President; and gave a seminar on climate sensitivity to the physics faculty at Rochester University, after which the Professor of Physics presented him with a Nobel Peace Prize pin made of gold recovered 35 years previously from a physics experiment, saying he had earned it for correcting a major error in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report. The international Left failed to see the joke.
Lord Monckton gave an invited presentation on climate sensitivity at the 2010 annual seminar of the World Federation of Scientists on planetary emergencies – one of the very few laymen ever to be asked to address the Federation on an explicitly scientific topic. His talk contributed to the Federation’s decision to establish a permanent monitoring panel on the climate, addressing the mathematics, the data, the predictions and the economics. He suggested a session at the World Federation’s annual meeting in 2011 on the cosmic-ray effect posited by Professor Henrik Svensmark, who attended and led the session at his invitation, during the week when CERN in Geneva announced experimental results confirming the theory. For the 2012 meeting, Lord Monckton has been asked to chair a session on climate economics.
Lord Monckton has addressed numerous student groups, including the Oxford, Cambridge, Durham and St. Andrews University Unions and the Trinity College Dublin Philosophical Society, and numerous environmental groups, including Friends of Science in Canada and several university chapters of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow. At St. Andrews in 2009, the undergraduate audience voted down “global warming” alarmism. This is believed to be the first time a student vote anywhere in Europe has opposed the climate scare. The Oxford Union followed suit in 2010, the first student audience in England to reject the climate scare.
Lord Monckton is much in demand to speak before corporate audiences. His major speeches include a presentation to the 2009 annual conference of the Advent International Investment Fund; the keynote opening address at a conference on renewable energy in China and addresses to senior officials in Hong Kong in 2010; and board-level presentations to the Pratham Institute, to leading law corporations, to clients of major clearing banks in Sydney, Australia, in London, England, and in Shenzhen, China, and to an international conference in Kerala, India, organized by the Santhigiri Foundation, in 2010.
In 2011 Lord Monckton delivered the opening keynote speech at the first climate conference to be held at official level in Colombia and also gave talks in the UK, Ireland and Sicily. He also gave a lecture on climate economics at the Prague School of Economics, and will address the World Affairs Group at Keele University in November, during a week in which he will also address audiences at the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and St. Andrews, following his return from a visit to the United States, where he addressed a scientific conference in New Mexico, the county commissioners of Maryland, and staffers in both Houses of the US Congress. In December 2011 he will attend the UN climate talks at Durban. In 2012 he will speak during Oxford University’s “climate change week” and will also give the Nerenberg Memorial Lecture on Mathematics and Physics at the University of Western Ontario.
In 2009 the South-Eastern Legal Foundation in the United States awarded him the Meese- Noble Award for Freedom jointly with Congressman John Linder for their work on climate.
He has authored more than 100 papers on the climate issue for the layman (many of them published at www.scienceandpublicpolicy.org), as well as for the scientific journals. His 8000- word paper Climate Sensitivity Reconsidered, published in Physics and Society in July 2008, shows that a doubling of CO2 concentration, expected by 2100, will be harmless, causing ~1 Co (2 F°) of warming. Numerous recent results by leading climatologists support his estimate. The commissioning editor who had asked for the paper and the review editor – an eminent Physics professor – who had reviewed it were both dismissed for publishing it. The new editors then pretended it had not undergone any scientific review, leading several dozen fellows of the American Physical Society to protest, and to demand that it should revise or abandon its official statement on global warming.
A further paper, Global brightening and climate sensitivity, appeared in the 2010 Proceedings of the World Federation of Scientists’ Seminars on Planetary Emergencies, and also in a book on empirical climate science published in 2011 under the editorship of Dr. Don Easterbrook. Another paper Is CO2 Mitigation Cost-Effective?, on climate economics, is currently out for review, and yet another, an 8000-word work entitled On the Coherence of Climate Sensitivities, demonstrating by a dozen distinct methods in the data and the literature that little more than 1 C° of manmade warming is likely occur this century, is in draft.
Lord Monckton has challenged Al Gore and John Kerry to a televised debate, but without response. The Republicans in the US Congress invited him to testify before the House in response to testimony due to be given by Gore, but the Democrats – for the first time since Congress was founded – denied the elected minority their right to choose their own witness, saying the Republicans could have “anyone but Monckton”. Newt Gingrich stood in for him.
Lord Monckton’s movie, Apocalypse? NO!, based on a lecture he gave at the Cambridge Union when all invited speakers for a proposed global warming debate withdrew when they learned he was to be among their opponents, has been seen throughout the world. The BBC broadcast an hour-long documentary on his climate-related activities in January 2011.
The peroration of a speech by Lord Monckton to 1000 citizens of St. Paul, Minnesota, in October 2009, in which he drew public attention to a then little-known draft plan by the UN to establish an unelected world government at the (now-failed) climate summit at Copenhagen in December 2009, received 1,000,000 YouTube hits in a week – thought to be the fastest-ever YouTube platinum for a political speech. Some five million have now seen the extempore peroration (text attached) on various websites, despite a well-funded attempt by persons unknown to post up dozens of pages of gibberish on the Web containing the words “Monckton Video” in the hope of breaking the viral chain by preventing viewers from finding the speech on search engines. An expert on the internet has said that the cost of giving the gibberish pages a ranking above the page with the genuine video was probably not less than $250,000.
Lord Monckton’s speech about “global warming” to 100,000 mineworkers and their families on a mountain-top in West Virginia in summer 2009 and his address to 15,000 at a Tea-Party Rally in Houston, Texas, in September 2009 are also on YouTube. His now-famous interview with a Greenpeace activist in Berlin in December 2009 is used in US university law classes to teach the techniques of cross-examination.
Lord Monckton is now writing a book, entitled Climate of Freedom, which is expected to be a worldwide bestseller among his millions of followers on YouTube and Facebook.
SOURCE. (A recent audio interview with Monckton also at link).
The Alarming Thing About Climate Alarmism
Exaggerated, worst-case claims result in bad policy and they ignore a wealth of encouraging data
By BJORN LOMBORG
It is an indisputable fact that carbon emissions are rising—and faster than most scientists predicted. But many climate-change alarmists seem to claim that all climate change is worse than expected. This ignores that much of the data are actually encouraging. The latest study from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that in the previous 15 years temperatures had risen 0.09 degrees Fahrenheit. The average of all models expected 0.8 degrees. So we’re seeing about 90% less temperature rise than expected.
Facts like this are important because a one-sided focus on worst-case stories is a poor foundation for sound policies. Yes, Arctic sea ice is melting faster than the models expected. But models also predicted that Antarctic sea ice would decrease, yet it is increasing. Yes, sea levels are rising, but the rise is not accelerating—if anything, two recent papers, one by Chinese scientists published in the January 2014 issue of Global and Planetary Change, and the other by U.S. scientists published in the May 2013 issue of Coastal Engineering, have shown a small decline in the rate of sea-level increase.
We are often being told that we’re seeing more and more droughts, but a study published last March in the journal Nature actually shows a decrease in the world’s surface that has been afflicted by droughts since 1982.
Hurricanes are likewise used as an example of the “ever worse” trope. If we look at the U.S., where we have the best statistics, damage costs from hurricanes are increasing—but only because there are more people, with more-expensive property, living near coastlines. If we adjust for population and wealth, hurricane damage during the period 1900-2013 decreased slightly.
At the U.N. climate conference in Lima, Peru, in December, attendees were told that their countries should cut carbon emissions to avoid future damage from storms like typhoon Hagupit, which hit the Philippines during the conference, killing at least 21 people and forcing more than a million into shelters. Yet the trend for landfalling typhoons around the Philippines has actually declined since 1950, according to a study published in 2012 by the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate. Again, we’re told that things are worse than ever, but the facts don’t support this.
This is important because if we want to help the poor people who are most threatened by natural disasters, we have to recognize that it is less about cutting carbon emissions than it is about pulling them out of poverty.
The best way to see this is to look at the world’s deaths from natural disasters over time. In the Oxford University database for death rates from floods, extreme temperatures, droughts and storms, the average in the first part of last century was more than 13 dead every year per 100,000 people. Since then the death rates have dropped 97% to a new low in the 2010s of 0.38 per 100,000 people.
The dramatic decline is mostly due to economic development that helps nations withstand catastrophes. If you’re rich like Florida, a major hurricane might cause plenty of damage to expensive buildings, but it kills few people and causes a temporary dent in economic output. If a similar hurricane hits a poorer country like the Philippines or Guatemala, it kills many more and can devastate the economy.
In short, climate change is not worse than we thought. Some indicators are worse, but some are better. That doesn’t mean global warming is not a reality or not a problem. It definitely is. But the narrative that the world’s climate is changing from bad to worse is unhelpful alarmism, which prevents us from focusing on smart solutions.
A well-meaning environmentalist might argue that, because climate change is a reality, why not ramp up the rhetoric and focus on the bad news to make sure the public understands its importance. But isn’t that what has been done for the past 20 years? The public has been bombarded with dramatic headlines and apocalyptic photos of climate change and its consequences. Yet despite endless successions of climate summits, carbon emissions continue to rise, especially in rapidly developing countries like India, China and many African nations.
Alarmism has encouraged the pursuit of a one-sided climate policy of trying to cut carbon emissions by subsidizing wind farms and solar panels. Yet today, according to the International Energy Agency, only about 0.4% of global energy consumption comes from solar photovoltaics and windmills. And even with exceptionally optimistic assumptions about future deployment of wind and solar, the IEA expects that these energy forms will provide a minuscule 2.2% of the world’s energy by 2040.
In other words, for at least the next two decades, solar and wind energy are simply expensive, feel-good measures that will have an imperceptible climate impact. Instead, we should focus on investing in research and development of green energy, including new battery technology to better store and discharge solar and wind energy and lower its costs. We also need to invest in and promote growth in the world’s poorest nations, which suffer the most from natural disasters.
Climate-change doomsayers notwithstanding, we urgently need balance if we are to make sensible choices and pick the right climate policy that can help humanity slow, and inevitably adapt to, climate change.
Lukewarm About Climate Change
By Alan Caruba
“In short, climate change is not worse than we thought,” wrote Bjorn Lomborg in a recent issue of The Wall Street Journal. He is best known as the author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist” and his skepticism is welcome, but insufficient.
First of all, climate change is a very long-term process and always has been. The climate takes decades and centuries to change, largely based on well-known warming and cooling cycles. During the course of these cycles, both related to comparable cycles on the Sun, all manner of climate-related events occur, from hurricanes to blizzards. Nothing new here.
The problem with Lomborg’s commentary is that he confuses climate change with global warming, the hoax concocted in the late 1980s by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in order to have an international tax imposed on “greenhouse gas emissions”, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2), that the IPCC guaranteed was going to heat up the Earth in a few decades unless greatly reduced. Lomborg even cites the IPCC which has grown notorious for its lies.
The predictions about when the heat would become lethal ranged from ten to fifty years as the amount of CO2 increased. The problem for Lomborg and others is that CO2 has been increasing in the Earth’s atmosphere without any evidence of the predicted heating. That explains why Lomborg and other “Warmists” don’t refer to global warming anymore. As for the increase, the latest, best science points to the fact that CO2 has no affect whatever on the climate.
Lomborg wrote, “A well-meaning environmentalist might argue that, because climate change is a reality, why not ramp up the rhetoric and focus on the bad news to make sure the public understands its importance.” Even Lomborg acknowledged that is exactly what the environmentalists have been doing for the past twenty years.
“The public has been bombarded with dramatic headlines and apocalyptic photos of climate change and its consequences. Yet despite endless successions of climate summits, carbon emissions continue to rise, especially in rapidly developing countries like India, China, and many African nations.” That’s called development and that requires electricity and other means of powering manufacturing and transportation.
One thing Lomborg got right is that “Alarmism has encouraged the pursuit of a one-sided climate policy of trying to cut carbon emissions by subsidizing wind farms and solar panels.” These are two of the most costly and worthless forms of energy generation and Lomborg notes that even the International Energy Agency doesn’t expect them to provide any more than “a minuscule 2.2% of the world’s energy by 2040.”
Lomborg continues to do his best to be on both sides of the issue of “climate change” when, in fact, it is not an issue because there is nothing humans anywhere on planet Earth can do to have any impact on it. What we can do, however, is encourage the development which he points to. “This is important because if we want to help the poor people who are most threatened by natural disasters, we have to recognize that it is less about cutting carbon emissions than it is about pulling them out of poverty.”
It has nothing about cutting carbon emissions because that is not a threat. Indeed, without CO2 all life on Earth would cease to be. It is the gas on which all vegetation depends, just as mammals and other creatures depend on oxygen.
“In short, climate change is not worse than we thought. Some indicators are worse, but some are better. That doesn’t mean global warming is not a reality or a problem. It definitely is,” says Lomborg.
No, despite his science credentials and the two books he has written, Lomborg is just dead wrong. Global warming is neither a reality nor a problem because the Earth has been in A COOLING CYCLE for nineteen years at this point and one might think Lomborg would know this; particularly since his views are being published in an eminent U.S. newspaper that should also know this.
H. Sterling Burnett, the Managing Editor of Environment & Climate News, took note of the current weather, saying “Despite the cold, temperatures in the U.S. at present are closer to the normal winter range than they were in 2014 during the depth of the polar vortex," adding a tweak to the Warmists, saying "Seems like a good time to protest global warming.”
The real issue for Americans is an Obama administration that is imposing regulations based on the utterly false assertion that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced because of global warming.
In June 2014, James Delingpole, wrote: “Here is the Obama administration’s green strategy reduced to one damning equation: 19 million jobs lost plus $4.335 trillion spent = a reduction in global mean temperature of 0.018 degrees C (0.032 degrees F). These are the costs to the U.S. economy by 2100 of the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory war on carbon dioxide, whereby all states must reduce emissions from coal-fired generating plants by 30% below 2005 levels.”
If you still wonder why the U.S. economy has just barely begun to pull itself out of the Great Recession triggered by the 2008 financial crisis, the answer is the Obama administration’s spectacular failures typified by massive wasteful spending, ObamaCare’s impact on the healthcare sector, and its continuing attack on the energy sector.
Only Congress and the courts stand between us and Obama as he pursues the destruction of the nation while claiming he is acting to “combat climate change.”
Energizing an Energy Policy
Consumers make better choices than bureaucrats
If you’re like most Americans, you’re enjoying the fact that it costs a lot less to fill up your car’s gas tank these days. If you’re a fan of big government, you may feel a bit ambivalent, though.
Why? Because one of the biggest drivers behind the drop in gas prices is the rise in directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) here at home. While the government is busy micromanaging the energy industry — trying to saddle it with more regulations while showering favors on so-called “green” companies — the free market is showing how to actually get things done.
Indeed, the country is in the midst of its own oil boom. Drilling and fracking has supported millions of new jobs, including geologists, engineers, rig workers, truck drivers, pipe welders and others. And not just in the energy industry itself: In states with increased production, there’s more demand for restaurants, repair shops, hardware stores, hotels, box stores and laundromats, among other things.
Then we have what government is doing: trying to pick winners and losers itself — and doing a very bad job of it.
Take Solyndra. “The future is here,” President Obama said of this solar-cell manufacturing firm. Perhaps his rosy prediction had something to do with the fact that Solyndra was backed by George Kaiser, a major campaign contributor to the Democrats. Whatever the reason, Solyndra received a $535 million loan guarantee as part of the president’s 2009 stimulus package, and the administration promised thousands of jobs would result.
Solyndra closed its doors in 2011.
“The situation was a microcosm of the worst of government favoritism,” writes energy expert Nicolas Loris in “Opportunity for All, Favoritism to None,” a new policy guidebook. “The well-connected navigate the regulatory process with remarkable ease and socialize the risk of their private endeavors.”
Better transparency would help protect taxpayer dollars from this kind of waste, but we need more. These cozy relationships between lobbyists and the federal government shouldn’t exist in the first place, but we can’t end them without ending the bad policies that fostered them in the first place.
Take the Renewable Fuel Standard. It requires refiners to blend billions of gallons of ethanol into fuel each year. Most of that ethanol comes from corn. That helps inflate gas prices, but it costs us in more ways than that.
Ethanol, after all, is less efficient and causes long-term damage in small engines. Worse, because corn is a staple in diets around the world, the Renewable Fuel Standard drives up food prices, both here and abroad.
Such unintended consequences help illustrate why we need to oppose bad policies so strenuously. As former Vice President Al Gore himself once said, “It’s hard once such a program is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going.”
It’s clear that we need to limit government involvement in the energy sector. Among the many steps that Mr. Loris recommends:
End energy handouts. Congress should ensure that no taxpayer dollars go directly to energy production, storage, efficiency, infrastructure, or transportation for nongovernment consumers. And no special tax treatment, either.
Widen access to domestic and foreign markets. Open federal lands and waters that are currently off-limits to exploration and development.
Repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard. Stand up to big agribusiness.
Prevent new efficiency mandates and restructure existing ones. Consumers can make those choices by themselves, and the government should not override their choices by nudging them toward its preferred outcome.
Prohibit regulations that drive out energy sources for little to no environmental benefit. For instance, the Environmental Protection Agency has set greenhouse gas emission regulations so stringent that they effectively prohibit construction of new coal-fired power plants. This will needlessly drive up energy costs for American families.
There are other ways to improve our energy policy, but they boil down to one thing: letting the market work with minimal interference from Washington. As the price at the pump has been proving, we all stand to win when we decide — not bureaucrats.
Australia: Greenies versus forest-fire control
WESTERN Australia needs to have more controlled burns to curb the risk of out-of-control bushfires, the premier says.
FIREFIGHTERS have been working for a week to save lives and homes in the state's south from a bushfire surrounding Northcliffe.
The blaze has burnt more than 80,000 hectares of karri and jarrah forest.
Fewer controlled burns have been done in WA since 2011, when two prescribed burns at Margaret River and the Perth Hills destroyed more than 100 homes.
Premier Colin Barnett said on Thursday that more controlled burns were needed in vast forest areas despite opposition from local communities.
"I think we need to take a stronger stand," Mr Barnett told Fairfax radio. "In those areas of vast forest, it's a natural phenomenon. You will get lightning strikes and you will get bushfires. It's been going on for millions of years."
Northcliffe resident Brad, who lives on a bush block and has held out until Thursday to leave town, told ABC radio he did not agree with prescribed burning because he did not believe it worked.
He said he would rather be forced to leave the forest-enveloped town and live with the risk of big fires than have authorities clear it every few years so the area resembled parkland.
"I think the loss of habitat, flora and fauna is far more destructive than what we've seen for the odd big fire that comes through," Brad said.
Roger Underwood, chairman of prescribed burning advocacy group Bushfire Front and veteran firefighter, told AAP this week that WA was the world leader in prescribed burning in the 1970s and '80s, but that was no longer the case.
Mr Underwood said Australia was "doomed to savage bushfires" without prescribed burns.
Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis said prescribed burns would not have prevented the Northcliffe bushfire because it was sparked by lightning.
He also said the karri and jarrah forests of the South West were the key reason they were so popular, and removing vast tracts would not go down well.
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Posted by JR at 1:38 AM