Thursday, April 14, 2016

White House ‘Fact Sheet’ Says Climate Change Could Kill 27,000 Americans In Summer of 2100

They know what will happen nearly a century hence?  Sheer hubris

In a “fact sheet” issued by the White House in conjunction with a climate change report made public last week, one of the impacts of increasing temperatures is the deaths of thousands of American people over the course of one summer.

“Extreme heat can be expected to cause an increase in the number of premature deaths, from thousands to tens of thousands, each summer, which will outpace projected decreases in deaths from extreme cold,” the fact sheet stated.

“One model projected an increase, from a 1990 baseline for more than 200 American cities, of more than an additional 11,000 deaths during the summer in 2030 and more than an additional 27,000 deaths during the summer in 2100,” the fact sheet said.

The summary of the climate change report, titled “The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment,” states that climate change is “a significant threat to the American people” and that the findings in the report “represent an improvement in scientific confidence in the link between climate change and a broad range of threats to public health.”


World Bank Announces Effort to Combat Climate Change

More self-righteous internationalists doing what they do best -- waste money

The World Bank, whose goals are to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity worldwide by 2030, announced last week that it will turn its attention to climate change.

“The World Bank Group’s Climate Change Action Plan, adopted today, is designed to help countries meet their Paris COP21 pledges and manage increasing climate impacts,” the World Bank said in a press release on Thursday, referring to the UN climate change summit in Paris.

The Climate Change Action Plan “lays out concrete actions to help countries deliver on their NDCs,” or Nationally Determined Contributions, “and sets ambitious targets for 2020 in high-impact areas, including clean energy, green transport, climate-smart agriculture, and urban resilience, as well as in mobilizing the private sector to expand climate investments in developing countries.”

“Under the Plan, the World Bank plans to double its current contributions to global renewable energy capacity, aiming to add 30 gigawatts of capacity and to mobilize $25 billion in private financing for clean energy by 2020,” the World Bank stated.

“The Bank Group will also quadruple funding for climate-resilient transport, integrate climate into urban planning through the Global Platform for Sustainable Cities, and boost assistance for sustainable forest and fisheries management,” it stated.

Furthermore, by 2020, the World Bank plans to “bring early warning systems for natural disasters to 100 million people.” It will also “step up advocacy and work with countries and companies to put a price on carbon pollution” and “help countries build climate change into their policies and planning.”

“The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group and the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries, aims to increase its climate investments from the current $2.2 billion a year to a goal of $3.5 billion a year, and will lead on leveraging an additional $13 billion a year in private sector financing by 2020,” the World Bank announced.

“Climate change poses an enormous challenge to development,” the World Bank said. “By 2050, the world will have to feed 9 billion people, extend housing and services to 2 billion new urban residents, and provide universal access to affordable energy, and do so while bringing down global greenhouse gas emissions to a level that make a sustainable future possible.

“At the same time, floods, droughts, sea-level rise, threats to water and food security and the frequency of natural disasters will intensify, threatening to push 100 million more people into poverty in the next 15 years alone,” the World Bank stated.


How Fracking Has Reduced "Greenhouse" Gases

The U.S. Department of Energy published data last week with some amazing revelations — so amazing that most Americans will find them hard to believe. As a nation, the United States reduced its carbon emissions by 2 percent from last year. Over the past 14 years, our carbon emissions are down more than 10 percent. On a per-unit-of-GDP basis, U.S. carbon emissions are down by closer to 20 percent.

Even more stunning: We’ve reduced our carbon emissions more than virtually any other nation in the world, including most of Europe.

How can this be? We never ratified the Kyoto Treaty. We never adopted a national cap-and-trade system, or a carbon tax, as so many of the sanctimonious Europeans have done.

The answer isn’t that the EPA has regulated CO2 out of the economy. With strict emission standards, the EPA surely has started to strangle our domestic industries, such as coal, and our electric utilities. But that’s not the big story here.

The primary reason carbon emissions are falling is because of hydraulic fracturing — or fracking. Some readers now are probably thinking I’ve been drinking or have lost my mind. Fracking technology for shale oil and gas drilling is supposed to be evil. Some states have outlawed it. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have come out against it in recent weeks. Schoolchildren have been bombarded with green propaganda about all the catastrophic consequences of fracking.

They are mostly lies. Fracking is simply a new way to get at America’s vast storehouse of tens of trillions of dollars worth of shale oil and gas that lies beneath us, coast to coast — from California to upstate New York. Fracking produces massive amounts of natural gas, and, as a consequence, natural gas prices have fallen in the past decade from above $8 per million BTUs to closer to $2 this year — a 75 percent reduction — due to the spike in domestic supplies.

This free fall in prices means that America is using far more natural gas for heating and electricity and much less coal. Here is how the International Energy Agency put it: “In the United States, (carbon) emissions declined by 2 percent, as a large switch from coal to natural gas use in electricity generation took place.”

It also observes that the decline “was offset by increasing emissions in most other Asian developing economies and the Middle East, and also a moderate increase in Europe.” We are growing faster than they are and reducing emissions more than they are, yet these are the nations that lecture us on polluting. Go figure.

Here at home, this market-driven transition has caused a pro-natural gas celebration by the green groups, right?

Hardly. Groups like the Sierra Club and their billionaire disciples have bet the farm on wind and solar power. They’ve launched anti-fracking campaigns and “beyond natural gas” advertising campaigns. But wind and solar are hopelessly uncompetitive when natural gas is so plentiful and so cheap. So are electric cars.

The media also have gotten this story completely wrong. Last week The New York Times celebrated the DOE’s emissions findings as evidence that governmental iron-fist policies are working to stop global warming. For the first time “since the start of the Industrial Revolution,” the Times argued, “GDP growth and carbon emissions have been decoupled.”

The Times pretends that this development is because of green energy, but that’s a fantasy. Wind and solar still account for only 3 percent of U.S. energy.

So here is the real story in a flash: Thanks to fracking and horizontal drilling technologies, we are producing more natural gas than ever before. Natural gas is a wonder fuel: It is cheap. It is abundant. America has more of it than anyone else — enough to last several hundred years. And it is clean-burning. Even Nancy Pelosi inadvertently admitted this several years ago before someone had to whisper in her ear that, um, natural gas is a fossil fuel.

Meanwhile, the left has declared war on a technology that has done more to reduce carbon emissions and real pollution emissions than all the green programs ever invented. Maybe the reason is that they aren’t so much against pollution as they are against progress.


How corrupt is government climate science?

Many have suspected that U.S. political intervention in climate science has corrupted the outcome. The new emergence of an old 1995 document from the U.S. State Department to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirms those suspicions, or at least gives the allegation credence enough to ask questions.

It’s troubling that a FOIA lawsuit came up empty – “no such correspondence in our files” – when the old 1995 document was requested from the U.S. State Department late last year. This raises a certain ironic question: If I have a copy of your document, how come you don’t?”

State’s response is also somewhat unbelievable because the document that fell into my hands showed State’s date-stamp, the signature of a State Department official and the names of persons still living – along with 30 pages of detailed instructions on how to change the IPCC’s science document and the summary for policymakers.

The document itself consists of a three-page cover letter to Sir John Houghton, head of IPCC Working Group I (Science), from Day Mount, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Acting, Environment and Development, United States Department of State, along with the thirty-page instruction set with line-by-line “suggestions,” written by scientist Robert Watson and others.

Among the more revealing tidbits is a remark scolding a scientist for being honest about the weakness of aerosol forcing data: “We clearly cannot use aerosol forcing as the trigger of our smoking gun, and then make a generalized appeal to uncertainty to exclude these effects from the forward-looking modeling analysis.”

One instruction was to change a correct statement about warming rates into a flat lie: “Change ‘continue to rise’ to ‘rise by even greater amounts’ to provide a sense of magnitude of the extended change.”

The entire document is too convoluted and technical to summarize here, so it is posted here in PDF form for your detailed examination. The document posted here is unchanged and unaltered in any way from exactly what I received from a well known and credible source that must remain anonymous to avoid harm or retribution.

There is evidence that the document is authentic based on a specific mention in the 2000 Hoover Institution report by S. Fred Singer and Frederick Seitz, “Climate Policy—From Rio to Kyoto: A Political Issue for 2000—and Beyond.”

The 1995 document raises 2016 questions about the State Department’s actions in the subsequent United National IPCC Assessment Reports. What did they do? Where are the correspondence and instructions to change the science in all the IPCC Assessments? What is the Obama State Department doing to corrupt climate science to its forward its radical social and political agenda? Some of that is obvious. It’s the clandestine part we need to know.

I don’t expect our government to answer truthfully. If they did, they might have to start a RICO investigation of themselves.

Read the State Department document and decide for yourself whether these questions are worth asking.


CEI subpoenaed over climate wrongthink

The campaign to attach legal consequences to supposed “climate denial” has now crossed a fateful line:

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) today denounced a subpoena from Attorney General Claude E. Walker of the U.S. Virgin Islands that attempts to unearth a decade of the organization’s materials and work on climate change policy. This is the latest effort in an intimidation campaign to criminalize speech and research on the climate debate, led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and former Vice President Al Gore….

The subpoena requests a decade’s worth of communications, emails, statements, drafts, and other documents regarding CEI’s work on climate change and energy policy, including private donor information. It demands that CEI produce these materials from 20 years ago, from 1997-2007, by April 30, 2016.

CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman said the group “will vigorously fight to quash this subpoena. It is an affront to our First Amendment rights of free speech and association.” More coverage of the subpoena at the Washington Times and Daily Caller.

A few observations:

If the forces behind this show-us-your-papers subpoena succeed in punishing (or simply inflicting prolonged legal harassment on) groups conducting supposedly wrongful advocacy, there’s every reason to think they will come after other advocacy groups later. Like yours.

This article in the Observer details the current push to expand the probe of climate advocacy, which first enlisted New York AG Eric Schneiderman and then California’s Kamala Harris — into a broader coalition of AGs, with Massachusetts and the Virgin Islands just having signed on. More than a dozen others, such as Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, seem to be signaling support but have not formally jumped in. More: Peggy Little, Federalist Society.

CEI people, many of them longtime friends of this site, have been active critics of the Schneiderman effort, with Hans Bader, a senior attorney there, highly critical just a week ago.

In these working groups of attorneys general, legal efforts are commonly parceled out among the states in a deliberate and strategic way, with particular tasks being assigned to AGs who have comparative advantage in some respect (such as an unusually favorable state law to work with, or superior staff expertise or media access). Why would one of the most politically sensitive tasks of all — opening up a legal attack against CEI, a long-established nonprofit well known in Washington and in libertarian and conservative ideological circles — be assigned to the AG from a tiny and remote jurisdiction? Is it that a subpoena coming from the Virgin Islands is logistically inconvenient to fight in some way, or that local counsel capable of standing up to this AG are scarce on the ground there, or that a politician in the Caribbean is less exposed to political backlash from CEI’s friends and fans than one in a major media center? Or what?

I recommend checking out the new Free Speech and Science Project, which intends to fight back against criminalization of advocacy by, among other things, organizing legal defense and seeking to hold officials accountable for misusing the law to attack advocacy.

This is happening at a time of multiple, vigorous, sustained legal attacks on what had been accepted freedoms of advocacy and association. As I note in a new piece at Cato, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has just demanded that the Securities and Exchange Commission investigate several large corporations that have criticized her pet plan to impose fiduciary legal duties on retirement advisors, supposedly on the ground that it is a securities law violation for them to be conveying to investors a less alarmed view of the regulations’ effect than they do in making their case to the Labor Department. This is not particularly compelling as securities law, but it’s great as a way to chill speech by publicly held businesses.


Drought, El Niño, Blackouts and Venezuela

The original of the article below is graphics intensive so I refer readers to the original if they want to check anything

It’s fashionable these days to blame everything that goes wrong with anything on human interference with the climate, and we had yet another example last week when President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela fingered drought, El Niño and global warming as the reasons Venezuela’s lights keep going out. In this post I show that his Excellency has not a leg to stand on when he makes these claims, but that because no one ever looks at the data everyone believes him.

From International Business Times:  Venezuelan Leader Blames El Niño And Global Warming For Nation’s Energy Crisis

The fierce El Niño event under way in the Pacific Ocean and warming global temperatures have helped create the brutal drought now racking Venezuela, President Nicolás Maduro said Wednesday night. Venezuela is facing its worst drought in almost half a century. The nation depends on hydropower for nearly two-thirds of its electricity, but the reservoirs that fuel its facilities are evaporating. Power outages in recent weeks have forced factories to send workers home early, slowing production, and many residents are now scrambling to secure enough drinking water supplies.

The fierce El Niño created the brutal drought now racking Venezuela, the worst in almost half a century. No pulling of punches. Boiled down to essentials, however, there are three issues here – a) is there really a “brutal” drought in Venezuela, b) if so, did the “fierce” El Niño cause it and c) has global warming made it worse? We’ll take a look at these issues shortly, but first it’s important to note that about 70% of Venezuela’s electricity comes from one massive installation, the Guri dam on the Caroni River (officially the Simon Bolívar Hydroelectric Plant) which holds back a 4,000 square kilometer lake, about the same size as Rhode Island or Somerset.

It’s hard to think of such a huge lake drying up, but that indeed now seems to be the case. According to this panampost article water levels are now so low that complete shutdown could result by early May if it doesn’t rain in the meantime.

But why is Lake Guri drying up? Time to review the possibilities:

1. Drought:

Rainfall is as always the key variable here, and to check on rainfall around Lake Guri I selected the five Global Historic Climate Network V2 records shown in the Figure 2 Google Earth image. They ring Lake Guri except to the south, where there are no stations.

So where’s the brutal drought? Maybe we’re standing back too far to see it, so let’s zoom in on recent years:

Ciudad Bolívar had a dry 2015 but rainfall at the other four stations was about normal. Clearly there is no significant drought in Venezuela at the moment, brutal or otherwise, or at least not in the area around Lake Guri.

2. El Niño

The fact that there is no drought in Venezuela makes the impact of the recent El Niño irrelevant, but I did some work to see how closely monthly rainfall at the five stations correlates with the Niño3.4 Index over time anyway. Here are the results:

Niño3.4 versus San Fernando, R squared = 0.00
Niño3.4 versus Ciudad Bolívar, R squared = 0.00
Niño3.4 versus Tumeremo, R squared = 0.02
Niño3.4 versus Santa Elena, R squared = 0.04
Niño3.4 versus Puerto Ayacucho, R squared = 0.00

We can conclude from these results that ENSO events have historically had little or no impact on rainfall in Venezuela.

3. Temperature:

President Maduro also claimed that warming temperatures are exacerbating the “drought”, which indeed they could if a) there was a drought and b) the temperature increases were large enough. But temperatures in Venezuela haven’t increased that much, if at all. The trend line through the GHCNv2 temperature record for Ciudad Bolívar, the closest station to Lake Guri, shows a 0.2C increase at most since 1950:

We can conclude here that Venezuela is not suffering too much from global warming either.

4. Undersupply

This is of course the real reason. Venezuela does not have either the installed capacity or the reliable grid network needed to supply the country’s electricity demand (the retail electricity price in Venezuela in 2014 was only $0.02/kWh) and it’s being forced to drain Lake Guri to get whatever electricity it can.

5. Conclusions

President Maduro, that’s four strikes. You’re out.

But unfortunately he isn’t. If you do a web search for “Venezuela drought” you will be hard pressed to find a single story that questions whether there really is a drought there. Everybody accepts that there is. And while it’s widely acknowledged that Venezuela’s difficulties are largely a result of mismanagement of its electricity sector it’s still generally believed that there would be no electricity shortage if there were no drought. Indeed, it seems that all you have to do these days if your misguided energy policies happen to plunge your country into darkness is to go on television and blame it all on some aspect of climate change and you are off the hook.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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