Friday, October 30, 2015
Lessons From Patricia
By Joe Bastardi
Failing to bring about the kind of devastation a 200 MPH hurricane does because (a) it did not have 200 MPH winds when it reached the coast and (b) it hit a sparsely populated area, Hurricane Patricia immediately became an example of how hurricanes have become a ping-pong ball between two different climate agendas, as I wrote about a few days ago. As Patricia grew to scary dimensions, the screams grew from what seems to be a cadre of climatic ambulance chasers who claim this, like Irene or Haiyan, is evidence of so-called climate change. (Again, no one denies that the climate changes, it’s just the cause that is up for debate.) Interestingly enough, Irene fell apart coming up the East Coast, something that may not happen in coming years. And in the late 1800s, a similar storm to Haiyan, instead of weakening, went into Haiphong and killed over 250,000 people.
My point is that every storm now is being blamed on climate change, but no one is accountable for their ideas when one falls apart.
This list should put some of the “it’s worse than ever” cries to rest. Example: A flood on the Yellow River in China killed 900,000 people. What is remarkable is, when you look at the top 16 at the end of the file, in spite of better detection methods and more people living in harm’s way, it seems like the spread is fairly even.
Amazingly, the very day I wrote the hurricane ping-pong ball article, we get the media playing right into the missive with agenda-driven statements on the storm.
Early Friday, I informed people through Twitter that Patricia would be off her peak when she hit: “Patricia should weaken a bit before landfall as monster storms need perfect conditions and drier air may get entrained. Still a beast tho.”
The point is the weakening was being seen, and I assume by more people than me. Monster storms like this need perfect conditions to be perfect. I use the analogy of the 9.1 second 100-yard dash sprinter. Just a tweaked hamstring and he is nothing out of the ordinary anymore. The stronger the system, the more perfect the conditions have to be. So if you “tweak” the perfect hurricane with less than perfect conditions, it will weaken. Patricia “filled” 30-50 millibars (rapid pressure rise) as it approached the coast in the last six hours — the exact opposite of what happened when it ramped up. The power and impact scale I have takes into account pressure rises and falls. A storm filling (intensifying) more than 2 mb/hour gets a category subtracted (added) to it. More than 4 mb/hr it’s two categories.
This is not my original idea. I learned this method from two National Hurricane Center forecasters in the 1980s, Gil Clark and Bob Case. The physical reason likely lies with the fact that in a rapidly weakening system the storm’s ability to bring strongest winds to the surface is impeded, since the very reason it is weakening means there are processes occurring to disrupt it! Naturally, the opposite is true. But my power impact scale said this was no more than a Category 3. It rivaled Lili in the Gulf as it approached Louisiana in 2002, falling from a 4 to a 1 in just 12 hours. In that case it was because of dry air and cool water left from Isadore a week or so earlier, but the same thing happens. With Patricia, there is a chance they will find an area that sustained Cat. 5 winds, but it would be a very tiny area. In the large scale, the rapid weakening means the power and impact scale I have, which is meant to give people an idea of the total power of the storm, says this was a major storm but not as extreme as the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, Camille, 1969, Janet in 1955 and several other storms in the Atlantic basin!
Conversely, storms like Celia in 1971 at Corpus Christi, which went from a 1 to a 4 in 24 hours, or Humberto in 2007 can do the opposite.
But here is my argument as to why a hurricane like Patricia does not support the argument that storms are stronger. We just observed a beast over the water, the strongest ever observed in the Western Hemisphere, right? Well, a lot of Cat. 3s have hit the coast that did not have reconnaissance, so how do we know if they were not that strong over the water? We don’t. The only true metric is landall intensity, which we have known through the years because there have been observations on land all that time. So in reality, though powerful, Patricia was just another strong hurricane that hit the Mexican coast. If this were the 1950s, you may not have even known. Speaking of the 1950s, did you know the only Atlantic basin recon disaster occurred with Janet in 1955, which made landfall as a 914 mb hurricane? The recon went down in the storm, likely because the extremely low pressure of the storm caused its altimeter to malfunction. We had recons, but they were very infrequent, not constant like we see now. Patricia likely did not beat Janet at landfall (it hit from the Caribbean) as the pressure had already risen to 910 mb two hours before landfall and it was filling rapidly. It did not beat the Labor Day hurricane of 1935 with a verified land pressure of 892 mb.
Now think about that. Patricia was south of Mexico. The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 went through the Florida Keys!
Storms like 1935, Janet, Celia, etc., are a warning that the rapid weakening of Patricia is not something that occurs with every storm. Large, powerful storms such as Katrina and Rita will weaken as much as a day away because their circulations are such that they pull in drier air from off land. Both weakened to Cat. 3s from Cat. 5s. But storms like Camille (1969) and Charley (2004), both of which by the way occurred in El Nino years, were at their peaks when they hit. The smaller, more intense storms approaching our coasts, which don’t have mountains right on top of the beach, do not act the same way as what we saw with Patricia. Moral of the story: Each one is unique to the circumstance it’s in. And every example of “worst ever” can be countered with an example of the opposite.
One forecast is already verifying though: With the Atlantic coming to life in the coming years, look for that missive to grow even more distorted. That’s a forecast you can bet on!
Study shows climate change made Calif. drought LESS likely to occur
Written by Thomas Richard
A new peer-reviewed study refutes Gov. Jerry Brown's assertion that global warming is behind California's drought, indicating that climate change neither makes droughts more likely to occur nor exacerbates them. saving water
The study, published this week in the Journal of Climate, shows that the "net effect of climate change" has made California's agriculture drought "less likely" to happen and that the "current severe impacts of drought on California’s agriculture" has not been exacerbated by long-term climate changes. This is another stinging indictment that Gov. Brown's belief that global warming is causing California's drought is bordering on wish fulfillment.
As first reported here, two earlier studies also show that natural variability, and not global warming, are behind California's four-year-long drought. An untimely combination of natural events is occurring, but unfortunately for Brown, they have nothing to do with global warming.
This hasn't stopped Gov. Brown from blaming the drought, and wildfires, on climate change and making it one of his key talking points during press events and educational summits. More puzzling, Brown's drought statements have gotten more forceful and extreme, even as the science is telling a far different story. Even the NY Times jumped on the bandwagon,quoting one climate scientist who said global warming has made the drought even worse, but admitting that without climate change, it would be a "fairly bad drought no matter what."
This most recent study looked at how global radiative forcing (the difference between how much sunlight is absorbed by the Earth and radiated back to space.) influences long-term climate change in California, specifically on its drought. Using observations and computer models, the simulations show that increased "radiative forcing since the late 19th Century induces both increased annual precipitation and increased surface temperature over California." This, they write, is consistent with observed long-term changes (what is actually measured) and previous computer model studies (what is expected to happen).
What the authors found was "no material difference in the frequency of droughts" defined using various, multiple indicators of "precipitation and near-surface (10 cm) soil moisture." That's because shallow soil moisture is more responsive to "increased evaporation driven by warming," which makes up for the "increase in the precipitation." Conversely, when using deep soil (~1 meter), "droughts become less frequent" because deep soil moisture is more responsive to "increased precipitation."
Put simply, the study shows how different land surfaces and depths respond to climate changes, which is most pertinent for "near-surface moisture exchange and for root zone moisture availability." Moisture availability for roots is the most important as the deep layer determines "moisture availability for plants, trees, and many crops." In the end, it shows that "climate change has made agricultural drought less likely, and that the current severe impacts of drought on California’s agriculture has not been substantially caused by long-term climate changes."
This should come as good news to Gov. Brown, who fundamentally believes that climate change is causing the severe drought in his state, even though historical records indicate that long-running droughts have occurred in California for millennia. The last multi-year drought happened in 1976, except climatologists blamed that drought, and the subsequent wildfires, on global cooling, not global warming.
The current drought, though, has been made worse by one thing that nature has little control over: man-made interference in the state's poorly regulated water system that favors agriculture over availability. Another factor is the much-hyped delta smelt, a tiny fish that environmentalists claimed was endangered and successfully had it listed on the Endangered Species Act in 1993. Since that time, many scientists have concluded that listing the delta smelt was premature and not based on factual evidence.
According to Examiner.com's Lorraine Yapps Cohen, "Legislation that diverted water into San Francisco Bay was intended to protect the delta smelt mini fish from water pumps." Because environmentalists were able to get the smelt listed as an endangered species, millions of gallons of agricultural water are dumped into the ocean, in a misguided attempt to save a fish at the expense of people's livelihoods.
Tesla’s electric car ‘success,’ a great example of how government regulations manipulate markets
The American consumer is resistant to marketing aimed at selling them electric and hybrid vehicles. For the first quarter of 2015, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Chevrolet sold 1874 Volts — its electric car introduced in 2010 with “high expectations.” That number might not sound so bad, until you read on to discover that it is equivalent to the number of Silverado pick-up trucks sold in one day.
In another report, WSJ states: “Through June, the market share in the U.S. for hybrid electric cars such as the Toyota Prius and C-Max and for electric vehicles such as the Leaf accounted for 2.8 percent of industry sales. That is down from 3.6 percent through the same period in 2014. Volumes of those vehicles fell 22 percent while overall industry volumes rose, according to researcher Edmunds.com.”
“Recent sales data show that consumers don’t want electric cars,” proclaims Investor’s Business Daily. “And these pitiful electric-car sales,” it adds, “mind you, come despite the very generous $7,500 federal tax credit, along with various state incentives — Illinois offers rebates up to $4,000.”
Manufacturers are slashing prices, offering low-priced leases, and 0 percent financing. Despite the deals, dealers view selling the existing electric vehicle inventory as a “challenge.” But selling a used electric car, like Nissan’s Leaf, is even harder. WSJ reports: “used Leafs aren’t attracting much demand.” Though Nissan offers leaseholders $4,000 in incentives to buy the used model they are driving, drivers are not snapping up the opportunity. When the leases expire there is little market for the cars and dealers are returning them to the manufacturer.
While demand for electric vehicles has dropped, contrary to logic, investment in them hasn’t. Earlier this year, USA Today said: “Automakers have already invested billions to offer a wide spectrum of vehicle choices and improve fuel efficiency with turbocharged engines, batteries and electric motors, multi-gear transmissions, more aerodynamic designs and lighter materials. Companies have also spent heavily to market eco-friendly vehicles and have no plans to stop developing them.”
“Why,” you might ask, “don’t manufacturers focus on building the cars consumers want?” The answer: government regulations in the form of the CAFE Standard. The word CAFE, here, means Corporate Average Fuel Economy and is the measure manufacturers must meet to sell cars in the U.S.
First enacted by Congress in 1975, the idea was to reduce energy use, thus preventing an over-dependence on foreign oil and improving national security. In 2009, under the Obama administration, the program morphed to include a higher focus on tailpipe emissions with a two stage implementation process. Phase One demands a 23 percent improvement in pollution standards and a CAFE target of 34.1 miles per gallon (MPG) by model-year 2016. Phase two calls for a further increase of roughly 35 percent in pollution standards, equivalent to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.
While the exact calculations are complicated, these standards are not meant to be met by each vehicle, but by the entire fleet produced by each manufacturer. So a company that makes small, fuel-efficient cars, such has Honda, easily meets the requirements. While a company like Chrysler, known for its Ram trucks and American muscle cars, faces an uphill climb. In fact, it is the CAFE Standards that made the Chrysler/Fiat marriage attractive, as the Fiat fleet includes a 40-MPG car. It is also what makes the Volt a good option for Chevy.
Manufacturers who don’t comply with the regulations face fines — or they can buy credits. Either way the costs ultimately get passed on to the consumer who dares to purchase a vehicle based on his or her personal preference rather than the fuel-efficient vehicles the government wants automakers to produce.
These government regulations manipulate the markets and make winners and losers that would not be the case if we had a true free market.
Interesting stories emerge.
One is Ferrari, which by the nature of the car, can’t meet the U.S. government regulations. As one report on the topic declared: “Ferraris are beautiful. They are fast. They are nimble. And they are thirsty.” The hybrid LaFerrari gets 14 MPG.
Most readers are not likely to buy one of the 499 LaFerrari cars built, but its story is illustrative of the market manipulation.
Since 1969 Ferrari has been part of the Fiat family, but that will soon change as Ferrari is being spun off to make it an independent automaker. While the sale is reportedly being done “to finance expansion plans,” it will remove the gas-guzzler from the Fiat Chrysler fleet — making meeting CAFE easier. Yet, earlier this year, CEO Sergio Marchionne said: “the U.S. auto industry should ask the U.S. government to push back fuel economy targets.”
While an independent Ferrari will have challenges meeting CAFE without Fiat to help create an acceptable average, another single focused manufacturer meets the requirements handily — so well, in fact, it has credits to sell. I am talking about Tesla, the car company that the Environmental Protection Agency smiles upon because it produces only electric cars.
Most U.S. car companies — like Fiat Chrysler — want the federal fuel economy mandates to be watered down. Tesla wants the targets to be tougher.
Companies — like Ferrari — that don’t meet the fleet standards can purchase compliance credits. CNN Money reported: “Since Tesla sells nothing but electric cars, it is rolling in the credits and is one of the few sellers.” The Los Angeles Times (LAT) says: “Since 2008, the company has earned more than $534 million from the sale of environmental credits.” It adds: “Tesla has created a brisk market in credits, selling to automakers that either don’t produce electric cars or have made a strategic decision to buy credits and cap their own sales of such vehicles.”
But it is not just Ferrari that will have trouble meeting the 2025 standard. According to LAT, Mitch Bainwol, chief executive of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers — which represents companies like General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, and others — said: “While consumers have more choices than ever in energy-efficient automobiles, if they don’t buy them in large volumes, we fall short.”
With the American car-buying public resistant to doing what the government wants them to do, making a car that few can afford and that many of those who can don’t like (On October 20 Consumer Reports pulled its “recommendation” of the Tesla Model S after owners complained about a “range of issues”), Tesla is receiving a huge windfall from its competitors while the standards drive up costs for consumers.
Addressing the 54.5-MPG for the 2025 model year, Marchionne said: “There is not a single carmaker that cannot make the 54 number. The question is, at what price?”
HEAVEN AND HELL: The Pope condemns the poor to eternal poverty
The Encylical Letter of Pope Francis Laudato Si "care for our common home" was influenced by atheists, communists and green activists, claims Professor Ian Plimer, a world-renowned climate critic.
In "Heaven and Hell" Professor Plimer, a successful geologist and long-time critic of climate alarmists, takes Pope Francis to task, looking purely at the science rather than the theology. Plimer shows the failure of the current Pope in his understanding of the real issues causing poverty, especially in Third World countries.
Plimer's is a trusted voice in the heated climate debate and, as in his previous books, his new publication again shows that ‘anthropogenic global warming’ is a dangerous, ruinously expensive fiction, a ‘first-world luxury’ with no basis in scientific fact.
"The hypothesis that human activity can create global warming is extraordinary because it is contrary to validated knowledge from solar physics, astronomy, history, archaeology and geology," says Plimer, and while his thesis is not new, you’re unlikely to have heard it expressed with quite such vigour, certitude or wide-ranging scientific authority.
Professor Plimer tells Principia Scientific International that he "hops into Naomi Klein in this book." (Klein is a trumpeter for the alarmist movement and recently admitted that man-made climate change is not about the science). The book is on general release from October 23, 2015.
Plimer has previously warned that:
"The Climate Change Authority and the Greens want more renewables because apparently, human emissions of CO2 drive global warming. I am a patient chap, was fabulously good looking in the long ago and have a dog that’s never bitten me but please, dear readers, can someone show me from basic science and mathematics that the human emissions (3% total) of plant food (CO2) drive climate change yet the 97% of natural emissions of CO2 do not.
This has never been done and I’m still waiting for the proof. It’s easy to show that human emissions of CO2 don’t drive climate change and there are many scientific arguments to show that the total atmospheric CO2 does not drive climate change"
Should We Celebrate Carbon Dioxide?
Written by Dr Patrick Moore
As I have stated publicly on many occasions, there is no definitive scientific proof, through real-world observation, that carbon dioxide is responsible for any of the slight warming of the global climate that has occurred during the past 300 years, since the peak of the Little Ice Age. Patrick Moore If there were such a proof through testing and replication it would have been written down for all to see.
The contention that human emissions are now the dominant influence on climate is simply a hypothesis, rather than a universally accepted scientific theory. It is therefore correct, indeed verging on compulsory in the scientific tradition, to be skeptical of those who express certainty that “the science is settled” and “the debate is over”.
But there is certainty beyond any doubt that CO2 is the building block for all life on Earth and that without its presence in the global atmosphere at a sufficient concentration this would be a dead planet. Yet today our children and our publics are taught that CO2 is a toxic pollutant that will destroy life and bring civilization to its knees. Tonight I hope to turn this dangerous human-caused propaganda on its head. Tonight I will demonstrate that human emissions of CO2 have already saved life on our planet from a very untimely end. That in the absence of our emitting some of the carbon back into the atmosphere from whence it came in the first place, most or perhaps all life on Earth would begin to die less than two million years from today.
But first a bit of background.
I was born and raised in the tiny floating village of Winter Harbour on the northwest tip of Vancouver Island, in the rainforest by the Pacific. There was no road to my village so for eight years myself and a few other children were taken by boat each day to a one-room schoolhouse in the nearby fishing village. I didn’t realize how lucky I was playing on the tide flats by the salmon-spawning streams in the rainforest, until I was sent off to boarding school in Vancouver where I excelled in science. I did my undergraduate studies at the University of British Columbia, gravitating to the life sciences – biology, biochemistry, genetics, and forestry – the environment and the industry my family has been in for more than 100 years. Then, before the word was known to the general public, I discovered the science of ecology, the science of how all living things are inter-related, and how we are related to them.At the height of the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the threat of all-out nuclear war and the newly emerging consciousness of the environment I was transformed into a radical environmental activist. While doing my PhD in ecology in 1971 I joined a group of activists who had begun to meet in the basement of the Unitarian Church, to plan a protest voyage against US hydrogen bomb testing in Alaska.
We proved that a somewhat rag-tag looking group of activists could sail an old fishing boat across the north Pacific ocean and help change the course of history. We created a focal point for the media to report on public opposition to the tests.When that H-bomb exploded in November 1971, it was the last hydrogen bomb the United States ever detonated. Even though there were four more tests planned in the series, President Nixon canceled them due to the public opposition we had helped to create. That was the birth of Greenpeace.
Flushed with victory, on our way home from Alaska we were made brothers of the Namgis Nation in their Big House at Alert Bay near my northern Vancouver Island home. For Greenpeace this began the tradition of the Warriors of the Rainbow, after a Cree Indian legend that predicted the coming together of all races and creeds to save the Earth from destruction. We named our ship the Rainbow Warrior and I spent the next fifteen years in the top committee of Greenpeace, on the front lines of the environmental movement as we evolved from that church basement into the world’s largest environmental activist organization.
Next we took on French atmospheric nuclear testing in the South Pacific. They proved a bit more difficult than the US nuclear tests. It took years to eventually drive these tests underground at Mururoa Atoll in French Polynesia. In 1985, under direct orders from President Mitterrand, French commandos bombed and sank the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland Harbour, killing our photographer. Those protests continued until long after I left Greenpeace. It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that nuclear testing finally ended in the South Pacific, and it most other parts of the world as well.
Going back to 1975, Greenpeace set out to save the whales from extinction at the hands of huge factory whaling fleets. We confronted the Soviet factory whaling fleet in the North Pacific, putting ourselves in front of their harpoons in our little rubber boats to protect the fleeing whales. This was broadcast on television news around the world, bringing the Save the Whales movement into everyone’s living rooms for the first time. After four years of voyages, in 1979 factory whaling was finally banned in the North Pacific, and by 1981 in all the world’s oceans.In 1978 I sat on a baby seal off the East Coast of Canada to protect it from the hunter’s club. I was arrested and hauled off to jail, the seal was clubbed and skinned, but a photo of me being arrested while sitting on the baby seal appeared in more than 3000 newspapers around the world the next morning. We won the hearts and minds of millions of people who saw the baby seal slaughter as outdated, cruel, and unnecessary.
Why then did I leave Greenpeace after 15 years in the leadership? When Greenpeace began we had a strong humanitarian orientation, to save civilization from destruction by all-out nuclear war. Over the years the “peace” in Greenpeace was gradually lost and my organization, along with much of the environmental movement, drifted into a belief that humans are the enemies of the earth. I believe in a humanitarian environmentalism because we are part of nature, not separate from it. The first principle of ecology is that we are all part of the same ecosystem, as Barbara Ward put it, “One human family on spaceship Earth”, and to preach otherwise teaches that the world would be better off without us. As we shall see later in the presentation there is very good reason to see humans as essential to the survival of life on this planet.
In the mid 1980s I found myself the only director of Greenpeace International with a formal education in science. My fellow directors proposed a campaign to “ban chlorine worldwide”, naming it “The Devil’s Element”. I pointed out that chlorine is one of the elements in the Periodic Table, one of the building blocks of the Universe and the 11th most common element in the Earth’s crust. I argued the fact that chlorine is the most important element for public health and medicine. Adding chlorine to drinking water was the biggest advance in the history of public health and the majority of our synthetic medicines are based on chlorine chemistry. This fell on deaf ears, and for me this was the final straw. I had to leave.
When I left Greenpeace I vowed to develop an environmental policy that was based on science and logic rather than sensationalism, misinformation, anti-humanism and fear. In a classic example, a recent protest led by Greenpeace in the Philippines used the skull and crossbones to associate Golden Rice with death, when in fact Golden Rice has the potential to help save 2 million children from death due to vitamin A deficiency every year.
The Keeling curve of CO2 concentration in the Earth’s atmosphere since 1959 is the supposed smoking gun of catastrophic climate change. We presume CO2 was at 280 ppm at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, before human activity could have caused a significant impact. I accept that most of the rise from 280 to 400 ppm is caused by human CO2 emissions with the possibility that some of it is due to outgassing from warming of the oceans.
NASA tells us that “Carbon Dioxide Controls Earth’s Temperature” in child-like denial of the many other factors involved in climate change. This is reminiscent of NASA’s contention that there might be life on Mars. Decades after it was demonstrated that there was no life on Mars, NASA continues to use it as a hook to raise public funding for more expeditions to the Red Planet. The promulgation of fear of Climate Change now serves the same purpose. As Bob Dylan prophetically pointed out, “Money doesn’t talk, it swears”, even in one of the most admired science organizations in the world.
Australia: Malcolm Turnbull repels anti-mines push with coal hard facts
Prime Minister Turnbull has repudiated calls for a moratorium on new coal mines, in a fundamental break with environmental activists. The Prime Minister drew industry acclaim but sparked fury from green groups
The International Energy Agency also countered predictions of an end to the coal trade, declaring yesterday that other energy sources had little chance of beating the cost of coal-fired power stations in the rising economies of Asia. With global demand for coal rising 2.1 per cent a year for the next five years, the Turnbull government sees the nation’s $40 billion in annual coal exports as vital to the economy, despite a price slump that has hit the federal budget.
The coal trade has seen a doubling of capacity at Port Waratah in Newcastle, NSW, in the time that coal services worker Shaun Sears has made his living from the exports. “The port’s capacity has gone from 70 million tonnes to 145 million in the 12 years I’ve been here,” the 52-year-old said yesterday.
The Prime Minister yesterday issued a swift response to an open letter from 61 prominent Australians, including Nobel laureate Peter Doherty, rugby union player David Pocock, former Reserve Bank governor Bernie Fraser and ABC radio host Adam Spencer, in which they called for a global climate change agreement to stop new coal mines.
Mr Turnbull embraced the prospect of cheaper renewable energy from solar and wind power but debunked the idea of a rapid shift away from fossil fuels and warned against driving the world’s poor into “energy poverty” by clamping down on coal.
“If Australia were to stop all of its coal exports it would … not reduce global emissions one iota,” Mr Turnbull said when asked about the call. “In fact, arguably it would increase them because our coal, by and large, is cleaner than the coal in many other countries. So with great respect to the motivations and the big hearts and the idealism of the people that advocate that, that is actually not a sensible policy, either from an economic point of view, a jobs point of view or, frankly, from a global warming or global emissions point of view.”
Government ministers and backbenchers saw the remarks as a signal of Mr Turnbull’s approach to climate change policy after the bitter Coalition divisions of the past, with a pragmatic new message that rejects the extreme positions taken by some green groups or those who reject the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Trade Minister Andrew Robb stepped up the government’s message, declaring that Australia had a “moral obligation” to sell its coal to developing nations. Mr Robb, who is in India for the latest round of talks on a free-trade deal, said it would be wrong to deny electricity to millions of people. “No matter which way you look at it, over the next 50 to 70 years there is no alternative to coal as part of the mix,” he said.
Bill Shorten also rejected a moratorium yesterday.
The IEA, the world’s top energy authority, has issued robust forecasts for the use of coal. Its executive director, Fatih Birol, told a conference in Singapore yesterday that coal would not “disappear quickly” because it had a significant cost advantage over gas.
Dr Birol cautioned, however, that unless policies changed there would be “serious environmental impacts” from the widespread use of coal-fired power across Southeast Asia.
The IEA estimates that coal demand will rise 2.1 per cent a year to 2019, down from the 3.3 per cent rate in recent years but still growing. Chinese coal consumption will not peak during the five-year outlook.
The signatories to the moratorium turned on the Prime Minister yesterday, saying he should act on a warning from Kiribati President Anote Tong to halt new mines. “In essence, Malcolm Turnbull misses the whole point,” said La Trobe University emeritus professor Robert Manne. “The call is for an international moratorium on new coal mines and that reflects our understanding that the planet is not to be destroyed. Eighty per cent of known reserves of fossil fuels have to be left in the ground. The issue is as simple as that.”
The Australia Institute’s executive director, Ben Oquist, said Mr Tong had not called for an export ban but had made a “considered call” for a global moratorium on new mines.
Company director and former Business Council of Australia president Tony Shepherd said critics of coal needed to accept that wind and solar were not capable of providing reliable base-load power. Mr Turnbull had made “sensible, balanced comments” that Australians should welcome, he said.
Australian Mines and Metals Association chief Steve Knott said Mr Turnbull had highlighted that if Australia did not export coal then other countries would.
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