Wednesday, December 09, 2015
‘Complete Transformation’ of US Energy System Will Stop four hundredths of one Degree of Global Warming, Congress Told
The projected increase in global temperature averted by President Obama’s pledge to reduce U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions 28 percent over the next decade comes out to an “environmentally inconsequential” 0.04 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, the assistant director of the Cato Institute’s Center for the Study of Science testified before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology last month.
“I basically told the committee that U.S. actions aimed at mitigating future climate change by limiting CO2 emissions from U.S. power plants and the rest of the economy would have a very small impact on future climate change," Paul “Chip” Knappenberger told CNSNews.com.
"So small, in fact, that it probably wouldn’t be scientifically detectable."
Knappenberger said a widely available climate modeling tool developed under funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shows that compared to worldwide CO2 emissions, any cutbacks by the U.S. would amount to “a proverbial drop in the bucket, they’re so small,” he said.
Knappenberger warned Congress that President Obama’s stated goal to decrease CO2 emissions 80 percent by 2050 will require a “complete transformation of the energy system beyond what we can even imagine.”
“Basically there’s no way to get there right now with current technology.”
But even if CO2 emissions were scaled back to Civil War-era levels, it would only avert four one-hundredths of a degree of global warming by the end of the century, he told CNSNews.com.
Although some people are going to gauge the success of the United Nations’ COP21 climate change conference in Paris “on whether they come back with something that’s legally binding,” Knappenberger said he would be “surprised” if they did.
“The pledges just weren’t designed that way,” he told CNSNews.com. They are “very loosey-goosey, along the lines of ‘We’re going to try to reduce our emission intensity by 40 percent by some year in the future’.”
However, even if all the carbon-reduction pledges were honored, their total impact comes “very, very close to the same temperature you get if you just presume business as usual going forward with no directed actions at mitigating climate change,” he said.
“So basically whatever comes out of Paris will have no impact on the future course of climate.”
The Burden of Proof on Climate Change
By S. Fred Singer
The burden of proof for Anthropogenic Climate Change falls on alarmists. Climate Change (CC) has been ongoing for millions of years—long before humans existed on this planet.
Obviously, the causes were all of natural origin, and not anthropogenic.
There is no reason to believe that these natural causes have suddenly stopped; for example, volcanic eruptions, various types of solar influences, and (internal) atmosphere-ocean oscillations all continue today. (Note that these natural factors cannot be modeled precisely.)
Let’s call this the “Null Hypothesis.” Logically therefore, the burden of proof is on alarmists to demonstrate that the Null Hypothesis is not adequate to account for empirical climate data; alarmists must provide convincing observational evidence for Anthropogenic CC (ACC)—by detailed comparison of empirical data with GH models.
I am not aware of such proofs, only of anecdotal info—although I admit that ACC is plausible; after all, CO2 is a GH gas, and its level has been rising, mainly because of burning of fossil fuels.
However, ACC appears to be much smaller than predicted by GH models; there is even believed to be a period of no warming [“hiatus”] during the past 19 years—in spite of rapidly rising atmospheric CO2 levels .
There seems to be no generally accepted explanation for this discrepancy. Yet as the gap grows, the five IPCC reports insist there is no gap—with ever greater claimed certainty; rising from 50% to 99%.
Even necessary conditions for empirical data (like temperature rise vs altitude and latitude; cloud cover; precipitation) are difficult to establish; any major disagreement with models disproves ACC.
IPCC’s GH models are not validated—and not policy-relevant
In other words, GH models have not been, and may never be validated; hence are not policy-relevant. They are scenario-generation machines that rest on assumptions and incomplete science—not on actual observations .
Anyway, warming appears to be trivially small, and most likely economically beneficial overall—as established through careful studies by leading economists.
I therefore regard the absence of any significant GH warming as settled, and policies to limit CO2 emissions as wasting resources needed for genuine societal problems—and even as counter-productive, since CO2 promotes plant growth and raises crop yields 
Surviving a coming climate cooling
I am much more concerned about a cooling climate, as predicted by many solar scientists , with its adverse ecological effects and severe economic consequences for humanity.
Singer and Avery  have described the cyclical CC, seen during the past major glaciation; Loehle and Singer  see evidence for extension of the cycles into the current Holocene.
In particular, historical records  identify the recent cycle of a (beneficial) Medieval Warm Period and the (destructive) Little Ice Age (LIA) with its failed harvests, starvation, disease, and mass deaths.
I have therefore explored ways  to counter the (imminently expected) next cooling phase through low-cost and low-ecological-risk methods of a specific GH effect—not based on CO2.
At the same time, assuming that our scheme does not work, we need to prepare for adaptation  to a colder climate—with special attention to supply of food, and of sustainable water and energy.
The outlook appears promising—provided there is adequate preparation. However, the coming cold period will test the survivability of our technological civilization.
The Paris Summit on Climate Change: Another Kyoto?
The climate summit underway in Paris will almost certainly not be an occasion to take stock of what’s been wrong with policymakers’ approach to rising temperatures in the past few decades. What a pity. If this were all it did, its contribution would be far more useful than the unrealistic goals, ideological sophistry, and political posturing likely to fuel the final conference report.
What should the fiasco of the Kyoto Protocol have taught our leaders? If anything, it should have taught them that, in public policy, the means by which one tries to achieve a goal are at least as important as the goal itself, and that pursuing an objective with ideological obsession, without understanding the consequences of the means employed, can cause much harm.
Signed in 1997, the Kyoto Protocol aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2 percent below 1990 levels within a decade and a half. To achieve this, it placed binding caps on emissions in industrialized countries. The deadline passed, and Kyoto is now synonymous with utter failure. What conclusion did the major players extract? Basically, the idea that its fatal flaw was the international imposition of caps, something that could be easily remedied by having each country impose a reduction in emissions on itself. Thus, the United States decided to cut emissions about 27 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, and the European Union set for itself the aim of cutting them 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. And so on.
They should have been paying attention to the real problem. One statistic says it all: coal, the dirtiest of the dirty energy sources, is now responsible for 40 percent of the world’s electricity and about 30 percent of its energy overall, the highest level in decades—a testament to the failure of the politically favored alternatives.
By setting arbitrary goals for themselves, the leading countries went on to pick whatever means were deemed necessary. A major effort was made, for instance, to spread the use of wind turbines and solar panels. This effort proved extremely expensive and achieved almost nothing. Less than half of one percent of our energy comes from solar and wind sources today. According to the International Energy Agency, another $2.5 trillion in subsidies will be needed over the next 25 years to keep up with political promises. What would that achieve? By 2100 the temperature rise would be a mere 0.03 degrees Fahrenheit less than without the subsidies.
Not to mention other sources dear to politicians, especially biofuels (which comprise about three-quarters of renewable sources today). Pursuing them has worsened the pressure on scarce water resources, caused more pollution through the expanded use of fertilizers, led to greater deforestation in several counties and, of course, made food a lot more expensive. Several times in the past few years these consequences even triggered violent riots in Asia.
The realization that the emission goals were unrealistic, and that the means adopted to achieve them were useless or even counterproductive, has led long-time supporters of these policies to admit that, in the words of The Economist, “global warming cannot be dealt with using today’s tools and mindsets.”
We need to conduct a lot more research, use market mechanisms to bring about innovative technology, have a much clearer understanding of the economic trade-offs related to the various options available and, above all, approach the subject with humility. Bombastic goals and pernicious means have not led us anywhere since Kyoto. Paris looks likely to prolong the tradition.
Why China Shouldn’t Be Trusted on Its Climate Commitment
There has been a lot of attention given to China at the climate conference in Paris. As the largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in the world, a lot depends on what China will do—or more accurately what it won’t do. Lots of media reports have commended China for its sudden commitment to climate change. But how the media is portraying China’s commitment to combat global warming isn’t based on reality.
China’s Air Pollution Is Not Carbon Dioxide
Many stories about China and climate change mention China as the top polluter, complete with nasty pictures of factories spewing out black smoke, while also discussing the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
It’s true that China has serious air and water quality problems. But do not associate those problems with carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a colorless, odorless, non-toxic gas. The U.N.’s push to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions is predicated solely on carbon dioxide’s alleged impact on the climate, which appears to be much smaller than the climate models are projecting.
Unlike China, America’s power plants are largely clean of the pollutants that we know have adverse health effects.
We should also be wary of any commitment from China because they’ve been grossly underreporting their carbon dioxide emissions and use of coal.
According to a recent story from the New York Times:
China, the world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gases from coal, has been burning up to 17 percent more coal a year than the government previously disclosed, according to newly released data. The finding could complicate the already difficult efforts to limit global warming. Even for a country of China’s size, the scale of the correction is immense. The sharp upward revision in official figures means that China has released much more carbon dioxide—almost a billion more tons a year according to initial calculations—than previously estimated.
China is building more than 350 coal-fired power plants and has plans to build another 800. This is the country we’re going to trust to peak emissions 15 years from now?
The rest of the world should encourage China to address the issue of smog and water contamination. These environmental problems have real adverse human health and environmental impacts. Instead, international bodies are pressing for China to divert resources to address global warming—resources that country could use to truly clean up its environment.
The Problem With International Climate Negotiations
Generally speaking, there are two fundamental issues that have broken down international climate negotiations every year. The developing world’s refusal to curb economic growth to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and the amount of money developing countries want compared to what the developed world is willing to shell out.
Proponents of a negotiation argue that this time is different and that China is making moves to reduce its carbon footprint. China has entered into a climate pact with the U.S. to peak greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 and has set up a pilot cap-and-trade program, and its government continues to pour billions into renewable energy.
If China is not addressing its harmful smog and poor water quality issues, we should be skeptical of its commitment to address global warming. (Again, nor should we be encouraging CO2 reduction. Instead, we should focus on real environmental problems.)
We should also be skeptical of the notion that China will stay true to its word 15 years into the future. Effectively, the agreement the Obama administration made with China is that American households and businesses will suffer from higher energy costs now because of carbon regulations in exchange for China maybe doing something in 2030. Importantly, there has been no discussion of India. If China actually did follow through with its commitment to peak carbon emissions in 2030, India likely will have overtaken China as the most populous country.
China’s Increased Greenhouse Gas Emissions Are a Good Thing
The developing world’s use of coal, oil, and natural gas should be celebrated, not condemned. Affordable and reliable energy is an essential input for a better standard of living and economic growth. China’s gross domestic product per capita has increased from a little more than $300 in 1990 to nearly $7,000 today. The increase is impressive, but it’s nowhere near the levels of the GDP per capita of the developed world. The U.S. GDP per capita is more than $53,000.
The focus for China, India, and the rest of the developing world should be promoting economic development and introducing economic freedom. Economically freer countries also enjoy cleaner environments.
Freer economies have access to more products and technologies that make our lives healthier and the environment cleaner. For instance, the availability of simple products like soaps, cleaners, and detergents makes our homes dramatically cleaner and healthier. Freer economies with a sound rule of law protect private property rights. And as a country grows economically, it increases the financial ability of its citizens and businesses to care for the environment and reduce pollutants emitted from industrial growth.
You don’t have to scratch the surface too deeply to understand that China’s about-face on climate change is nothing more than a charade.
Inhofe leads the way against Obama’s climate slush fund
Imagine a country paying other countries to regulate itself out of productivity and prosperity. Then imagine that the same regulations would bind the first country more so than the others. Then again, imagine that the first country in question was doing all of this for a reason that cannot effectively be quantified or scientifically replicated, but persists anyway in the midst of stagnating growth and crushing debt.
So much for imagination.
The Obama administration is rushing onward in Paris with the hopes of funding an ongoing global scheme to pay poorer countries to atone for our supposed contributions to climate change. The administration is pledging to siphon $3 billion annually into what will eventually become a $100 billion a year fund, with the U.S. contribution rising to more $25 billion annually. This money is leveraging cooperation from reticent countries who themselves are looking to grow their economies, as well as their carbon output.
In true United Nations (U.N.) fashion, American taxpayers present and future, will be paying the countries that ultimately compete with us on the world stage. Their incentive is to take the money, and return to future climate conferences where they will have a say in further limiting American carbon emissions and production, and with it our economic productivity. What can be done about it?
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) was the first to say no. Sen. Inhofe, along with 36 other Senate colleagues, said in a letter that no funds would be disbursed to the U.N. fund until the President introduced his climate agreement to the Senate as a treaty. The President likely plans to bypass the Senate’s constricting purse strings as well as the treaty clause and unilaterally obligate the United States to the terms of the Paris agreement.
In a statement on Thursday, Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning weighed in, saying, “Congress should just say no to Obama’s $3 billion promise to the U.N. Green Climate Fund by explicitly stipulating in the omnibus that no funds shall be spent on it. The reality is that the U.S. commitment to the Green Climate Fund is anticipated to dramatically expand in the years to come to more than $25 billion annually as part of a $100 billion a year global wealth transfer to developing economies.”
“We already subsidize developing economies with world trade rules that grant special and differential treatment, and the new Paris climate deal will exempt developing economies from the punitive regulations that the U.S. adheres to. Not to be outdone, then those same countries will receive $100 billion a year that U.S. taxpayers will disproportionately fund,” Manning added.
Most of the Republicans in the Senate have already taken a stand to withhold funds from the President’s U.N. climate fund scheme. Their leadership should be matched in the House of Representatives with a formal defund in the coming omnibus that overtly bans further monies from being spent to undermine the American economy with this climate fund. The majorities in both chambers were empowered to stop job killing policies such as this one, and funding the President’s reckless, unilateral climate policies endanger both their majorities and their constituents.
Wanted’ posters targets Climate Criminals at Paris summit
Reminiscent of Stalin's "enemies of the people"
The seven most insidious fossil fuel lobbyists in Paris to weaken attempts to agree a global climate deal have been named and shamed as ‘climate criminals’ in a dossier published by the global citizens movement Avaaz.
The group, which spearheaded last weekend’s climate marches which saw 785,000 people take to the streets globally, posted over a thousand ‘Wanted’ posters outside 5-star hotels in the French capital on Monday morning. The poster highlighting the seven most notorious dirty energy lobbyists unearthed from the list of more than 50,000 delegates at summit.
On Monday morning, Avaaz ‘Climate Cops’ will hand out flyers outside key Metro stations leading to the Le Bourget with photos of the lobbyists, who are expected to ramp up their efforts to derail a deal when ministers arrive this week to negotiate the deal.
Emma Ruby-Sachs, Acting Executive-Director of Avaaz says: "These lobbyists have come to Paris to sabotage a global deal for ambitious climate action, despite over 3.6 million citizens around the world calling for 100% clean energy. Ministers must listen to their people, not polluters, and refuse meetings with climate criminals who want to derail a deal the whole world wants."
Each of the seven named lobbyists is renowned for their backroom dealings to to stop the transition to clean energy and push the interests of dirty fossil fuels. Some have resorted to harassing climate scientists and even calling for them to be ‘publicly flogged’.
The lobbyists include:
* Benjamin Sporton, head of the World Coal Association
* Fiona Wild, representative of mining-giant BHP Billiton
* Marc Morano, whose trademark activity is to publish the email addresses of climate scientists to expose them to hate mail.
* Myron Ebell, director of US think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute known for receiving money from ExxonMobil
* Chris Horner, funded by the coal industry and known for “harassing” climate scientists in order to access to their email
* Bjorn Lomborg, previously backed by funders with links to the Koch brothers, he’s most known as the 'delayer in chief' when it comes to climate
* James Taylor, senior fellow at climate denial lobby group Heartland Institute
Examples of lobbyists’ far-reaching influence within climate meetings include The World Coal Association setting up shop next to the COP19 summit in Warsaw in 2013 to convince negotiators to embrace coal as a solution to climate change.
This resulted in the Warsaw Communiqué promoting clean coal, which has been deemed as “a myth” by National Geographic. At the COP17 in Durban in 2011, the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (comprised of major fossil fuel and power companies) successfully lobbied for carbon credits for new coal plants.
With global warming a clear scientific reality, the world has become increasingly intolerant of the fossil fuel industry’s attempts to undermine climate science and climate legislation. The campaign comes off the back of recent cases cracking down on “climate criminals,” including the investigation into Exxon for allegedly lying to the public about the risk of climate change.
The dossier is published as part of Avaaz’s 100% Clean campaign, which has been backed by more than 3.6 million people.
How embarrassing! I have been left off the list of "criminals" -- JR
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Posted by JR at 1:38 AM