Climate skepticism a winner for Trump
Americans who fear Muslim terrorists love Donald Trump, as do Americans who want to keep out illegal Mexican immigrants. Trade protectionists and foreign-policy isolationists also love Trump. These voting groups, all part of the Trump coalition and all marginalized by elites because of their stance would see themselves as vindicated and count themselves as winners should Trump become president of the United States.
But other important groups, little discussed by the punditry, also embrace Trump for validating the causes that animate them, also form part of the Trump coalition and also stand to be vindicated.
Trump’s success comes of his ability to recognize major visceral issues and then to champion them unapologetically, often through seemingly outlandish positions like making Mexicans pay for a wall. His politically incorrect, categorical positions not only win the public’s approval, they win for Trump intense loyalty.
Global-warming skeptics represent an immense and often passionate demographic. Though skeptics receive little favourable coverage in the mainstream press, polling over the years consistently shows the American public is evenly split on whether human activity imperils the climate, with the most recent Gallup Poll finding only 41 per cent answering yes when asked if “global warming will pose a serious threat to you or your way of life in your lifetime.”
Trump, who has repeatedly mocked global warming as a hoax, is their guy. “Global warming is a total, and very expensive, hoax!” reads one of his tweets. “This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps, and our GW scientists are stuck in ice,” reads another. Unlike the Obama administration, which demeans global-warming skeptics and even treats them as criminals, a Trump administration would legitimize their views, enable them to speak their minds freely and end a longstanding indignity.
While many conservatives doubt Trump’s conservative credentials, he’s a clear hit with conservatives who have a loathing for the United Nations, and see it as a world government in waiting as well as ineffectual, bureaucratic and costly. Anti-UN conservatives also form a sizable demographic. In a Gallup Poll earlier this year, just 17 per cent of Republicans said the “United Nations is doing a good job in trying to solve the problems it has had to face.”
These conservatives support Trump for railing against “the utter weakness and incompetence of the United Nations.” He’s said the UN “is not a friend of democracy, it’s not a friend to freedom, it’s not a friend even to the United States of America where, as you know, it has its home.” Trump’s answer is a much-diminished United Nations, which the U.S. would fund to a much lesser degree.
Trump may also become the candidate for championing Israel, another issue that inflames passions. Until recently, Democrats and Republicans alike backed Israel, but the base of the Democratic party is turning against Israel, and at July’s Democratic convention the pro-Palestinian Bernie Sanders faction will cast Israel as an oppressor of peace-seeking Palestinians. The vitriol certain to be expressed against Israel is likely to alarm Jews, who historically have overwhelmingly voted Democratic, making them open to a Trump charm offensive.
That courtship has already begun. “When you live in a society where athletes and movie stars are the heroes, little kids want to be athletes and movie stars. In Palestinian society, the heroes are those who murder Jews. We can’t let this continue,” Trump recently told AIPAC, a pro-Israel lobby, to cheers and applause.
The Trump coalition isn’t based on any single ideology or any consistent set of rational policies — it is a populist assemblage of largely disparate groups whose common bond is their exclusion from the orthodoxy. These are passionate voters, for whom voting is very personal.
SEC issues climate chaos “guidance”
What about risks from anti-energy policies imposed in the name of stopping climate change?
President Obama continues to use “dangerous manmade climate change” to justify a massive regulatory onslaught that will “fundamentally transform” America’s energy, economic, business, industrial, social, legal and constitutional systems before he leaves office.
The more science batters alarmist claims, the more people realize that plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide makes life on Earth possible, the more China, India and other developing countries burn oil, gas and coal and increase their CO2 emissions to lift billions out of poverty, malnutrition, disease and brutally short lives – the more the administration issues draconian climate edicts.
Almost every department, agency and bureaucrat that didn’t eagerly volunteer has been dragooned to aid the campaign: from the EPA and Agriculture, Interior, Defense and State Departments, to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. The Securities and Exchange Commission is the latest agency to re-up.
Pressure from climate and environmental activist groups “persuaded” the SEC to release its initial “interpretive guidance” on climate change in January 2010. It purported to help companies decide when they must disclose how their business might be affected by actual physical climate change, by direct impacts from laws, regulations or international agreements, or indirectly by effects on business trends.
In March 2016, the Commission told ExxonMobil and Chevron they had to let shareholders vote on whether the companies must explain how their profitability might be affected by climate change and laws to prevent it. Both resolutions were rejected, but proponents vowed to return as often as it takes to win.
On April 13, 2016, the SEC published a 341-page Concept Release intended to “seek public comment” on ways to modernize, improve and enhance Regulation S-K business and financial disclosure requirements for registered companies’ annual and other reports. It asks whether new specific disclosure requirements should be added to ensure greater transparency and aid investors in determining whether companies are being socially responsible, properly handling diversity and inclusion concerns – and adequately addressing needs and risks associated with climate change, resource scarcity and sustainable development.
Many people certainly view these as legitimate concerns. They certainly are on the minds of certain investors and interest groups – especially CERES, Environmental Defense, and the California State Teachers and Public Employees Retirement Systems, all of which seek to advance their narrow parochial interests on climate change, “appropriate” energy, and particularly taxpayer subsidies for their favorite causes and cronies. The issues are certainly being used to drive Obama Administration agendas.
However, prudent investors (as well as employees, consumers and voters) might want greater disclosure, transparency and honesty regarding the full panoply of risks associated with laws and regulations imposed in the name of stabilizing Earth’s always-unstable climate and weather … mandates, preferences and subsidies enacted to support “eco-friendly” wind, solar and biofuel “alternatives” to oil, natural gas and coal … and campaign contributions that keep supportive legislators and judges in office.
This climate crisis edifice owes its existence to assertions that fossil fuel emissions have replaced natural forces in climate change, and any future changes will be disastrous. As those claims are further debunked, or enough voters and legislators become disgusted about the $1.5 trillion spent every year on climate crisis programs, the risks won’t come from climate change. They will come from a vengeful public.
No wonder Al Gore, Mike Mann and their comrades refuse to debate, jealously guard their kingdom, and chortle as state AGs prosecute “climate deniers” for racketeering. Prudent investors might want to study these issues in greater depth and raise a few questions that Obama’s SEC prefers not to entertain.
* As scientist John Christy told Congress in February, the climate agenda is driven by data that have been massaged and manipulated, assertions and predictions that are contradicted by Real World data and observations, and “demonstrably deficient” computer models that predict global temperatures way above what have actually been measured, and cannot even reproduce past temperatures. Climatology remains an immature science that cannot even explain major historical climate events, much less predict the future.
Those problems are compounded by phony “hockey stick” temperature graphs, ClimateGate emails, once reputable scientific journals rejecting papers that contest climate catastrophe claims, and headline-grabbing disaster “studies” that are based on rank speculation or written by environmental activists.
Are the alleged physical impacts of climate change real, or merely generated by computers and activists? Are they due to fossil fuels, or to natural forces that have driven climate and weather throughout history?
* Regardless of how much the United States, Europe and other developed countries slash their fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions, developing nations will continue using those fuels at a feverish pace. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations will thus continue to climb beyond the 400 ppm (0.04%) level. Job losses, reduced living standards and countless other sacrifices by Americans, Europeans, Canadians and Australians – especially by poor, working class and minority families – will not affect this trend.
Will we even be able to detect the effect of developed nation sacrifices on Earth’s climate, against normal, natural fluctuations? Why aren’t we measuring the harmful effects of anti-fossil fuel laws, regulations and treaties? How are these policies and actions moral, socially responsible or sustainable?
* Many positive profit projections and other indirect benefits to business trends are based on assertions that manmade climate chaos is real and massive subsidies for renewable energy will continue. Negative effects on profits and corporate reputations are assumed to result from associations with fossil fuels.
But if governments begin to reject climate alarmism or eliminate mandates, subsidies, guaranteed loans, feed-in tariffs and exemptions from endangered species laws, companies built on this house of cards will collapse. A number of EU and Chinese wind and solar companies have already gone belly-up or lost up to 90% of their market value, as demand for their products waned. Meanwhile, companies now vilified for producing or using fossil fuels that sustain our economies, jobs and living standards would benefit.
Coal, oil and natural gas still provide over 80% of all US and global energy. Largely because of abundant natural gas produced via fracking. US CO2 emissions declined in 2014, while the EU’s rose 0.7 percent.
Shouldn’t wind turbine companies have to disclose that generating just 20% of US electricity with wind power would require some 186,000 turbines, 19,000 miles of new transmission lines, 18,000,000 acres of land, and 270,000,000 tons of concrete, steel, copper, fiberglass and rare earths, plus millions of dead birds and bats every year? Is that sustainable?
Shouldn’t insurance companies and reinsurers have to “disclose” that their higher rates and profits are based on 20-foot higher sea levels and more violent hurricanes conjured up by bogus computer models? Doesn’t that amount to deceptive advertising, fear-mongering and corporate social irresponsibility?
* If President Obama and the SEC are going to demand full disclosure, honesty, transparency and accountability, those fundamental principles should also apply to government officials. They rarely do.
Justice Department lawyers have knowingly lied to judges in immigration cases. Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes and other officials have been caught in multiple bald-faced lies. The IRS deliberately targeted conservatives, and then destroyed records and lied about its actions. EPA bungled a mine cleanup, polluted waterways in four states and lied about the impacts. NOAA and EPA have engaged in systematic misrepresentations and data manipulation on climate change. No one has been punished.
The impacts on company profits, investors, employees, families and communities have been extensive. Government agencies want more and more power and control over our lives – but refuse to accept any accountability for incompetence, malfeasance, deliberate lies or the serious harm they cause.
This is why Americans are fed up. Perhaps the 2016 elections will finally bring long overdue change.
14,000 Abandoned Wind Turbines Litter the United States
The towering symbols of a fading religion, over 14,000 wind turbines, abandoned, rusting, slowly decaying. When it is time to clean up after a failed idea, no green environmentalists are to be found. Wind was free, natural, harnessing Earth’s bounty for the benefit of all mankind, sounded like a good idea.
Wind turbines, like solar panels, break down. They produce less energy before they break down than the energy it took to make them. The wind does not blow all the time, or even most of the time. When it is not blowing, they require full-time backup from conventional power plants.
Without government subsidy, they are unaffordable. With governments facing financial troubles, the subsidies are unaffordable. It was a nice dream, a very expensive dream, but it didn’t work.
California had the “big three” of wind farm locations — Altamont Pass, Tehachapi, and San Gorgonio, considered the world’s best wind sites. California’s wind farms, almost 80% of the world’s wind generation capacity ceased to generate even more quickly than Kamaoa Wind Farm in Hawaii. There are five other abandoned wind farms in Hawaii. When they are abandoned, getting the turbines removed is a major problem. They are highly unsightly, and they are huge, and that’s a lot of material to get rid of.
Unfortunately the same areas that are good for siting wind farms are a natural pass for migrating birds. Altamont’s turbines have been shut down four months out of every year for migrating birds after environmentalists filed suit. According to the Golden Gate Audubon Society 75-110 Golden Eagles, 380 Burrowing Owls, 300 Red-Tailed Hawks and 333 American Kestrels are killed by the turbines every year. An Alameda County Community Development Agency study points to 10,000 annual bird deaths from Altamont wind turbines. The Audubon Society makes up numbers like the EPA, but there’s a reason why they call them bird Cuisinarts.
Palm Springs has enacted an ordinance requiring their removal from San Gorgonio Pass, but unless something else changes abandoned turbines will remain a rotting eyesores, or the taxpayers who have already paid through the nose for overpriced energy and crony-capitalist tax scams will have to foot the bill for their removal.
President Obama’s offshore wind farms will be far more expensive than those sited in California’s ideal wind locations. Salt water is far more damaging than sun and rain, and offshore turbines don’t last as long. But nice tax scams for his crony-capitalist backers will work well as long as he can blame it all on saving the planet.
Met Office: Gulf Stream Slowdown Due To Nature Not Climate Change
Natural long term cycles in the ocean and not climate change are behind the well publicised slow down in the Gulf Stream that has been observed in recent years, according to new research from Met Office scientists. The observed decrease in the so called Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation – of which the Gulf Stream is a part – over the past decade was preceded by a period where the circulation intensified, they report in a new paper.
From the UK Meteorological Office (Met Office):
Any substantial weakening of a major North Atlantic ocean current system would have a profound impact on the climate of north-west Europe, including the UK.
The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation – part of which is known as the Gulf Stream – has been observed over the past 10 years, and has been seen to weaken over that time, raising the question of whether the weakening has been caused by climate change. New Met Office research published today instead suggests that the trend is likely due to variability over decades.
Laura Jackson of the Met Office Hadley Centre is the lead researcher. Commenting on the paper, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, she said: “The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation plays a vital role in our climate as it transports heat northwards in the Atlantic and keeps Europe relatively warm.”
Reanalysis captures Gulf Stream changes
The Met Office research produced a new ocean ‘reanalysis’ combining a state-of-the-art model of ocean dynamics with ocean observations from satellites, and ocean floats sampling below the surface. This has captured year-to-year variations and recent decadal trends with unprecedented accuracy.
Laura Jackson said: “Our research produced a picture of how the ocean has evolved over the last couple of decades. The reanalysis reproduces the observed decrease in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation over the past decade, but finds that this was preceded by a period where the circulation intensified. This suggests that decadal timescale variability likely played a key role in the weakening of the circulation seen over the last decade.”
The researchers are keen to stress that this does not rule out the possibility that the observed weakening is a combination of decadal variability and a longer term decrease that would only be detectable after more years of observations.
The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) has weakened substantially over the past decade. Some weakening may already have occurred over the past century, and global climate models project further weakening in response to anthropogenic climate change. Such a weakening could have significant impacts on the surface climate. However, ocean model simulations based on historical conditions have often found an increase in overturning up to the mid-1990s, followed by a decrease. It is therefore not clear whether the observed weakening over the past decade is part of decadal variability or a persistent weakening. Here we examine a state-of-the-art global-ocean reanalysis product, GloSea5, which covers the years 1989 to 2015 and closely matches observations of the AMOC at 26.5° N, capturing the interannual variability and decadal trend with unprecedented accuracy. The reanalysis data place the ten years of observations—April 2004 to February 2014—into a longer-term context and suggest that the observed decrease in the overturning circulation is consistent with a recovery following a previous increase. We find that density anomalies that propagate southwards from the Labrador Sea are the most likely cause of these variations. We conclude that decadal variability probably played a key role in the decline of the AMOC observed over the past decade.
Laura C. Jackson, K. Andrew Peterson, Chris D. Roberts and Richard A. Wood; Recent slowing of Atlantic overturning circulation as a recovery from earlier strengthening; Nature Geoscience (2016) doi:10.1038/ngeo2715.
Global Warming Scaled Back, Say Two New Studies
Climate models may be running 2 to 4 times too hot
Last year was the hottest year in the surface temperature record according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In contrast, 2015 was the third warmest year according to the satellite temperature record. Given record breaking heat in the first few months of 2016, NOAA is now projecting that there is a 99 percent chance that the current year will be the hottest on record - basically about 1.5 degrees Celsius above the 1891-1910 baseline. The 1.5 degree Celsius increase is significant because last December the nations of world agreed at Paris U.N. climate change conference to try to keep future average temperatures below that threshold.
A strong El Nino which greatly warms the Eastern Pacific Ocean is responsible for boosting average global temperatures in the past year. That phenomenon is now abating and may soon be replaced by a La Nina which will dramatically cool the waters of the Eastern Pacific and drag down the global average. Clearly natural variations in temperature can and do drive temperature trends in the short-run, but what about the long-run?
Two new studies look at the long-run projections of climate computer models and suggest that they are running too hot. One critical parameter is equilibrium climate sensitivity, which is conventionally defined as the amounf of warming that can be expected from doubling atmospheric carbon dioxide. In the current issue of the journal, Earth and Space Science, mathematician J. Ray Bates, from the Meteorology and Climate Centre at the University College Dublin, calculates climate sensitivity focusing specifically the meteorological dynamics in the tropics that are mostly ignored in climate models. Basically, the tropics are more effective at expelling extra heat into space than the models project.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change widened its range of climate sensitivity estimates to 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celsius in its latest report, dropping the lower bound from 2 degrees. The new study suggests that climate sensitivity could be much the lower, about 1 degree C for doubling atmospheric carbon dioxide. If this were true, then the climates models are proejcting future temperarture increases that are 2 to 4 times hotter than the actual likely trend. It is worth noting that the satellite data find that the global rate of temperature increase since 1979 has been +0.12 degree Celsius per decade which suggests that the lower estimates of climate sensitivity may be correct.
Another study published in Nature by the researchers at European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN finds that the world was much cloudier in the pre-industrial age than previously thought. The researchers suggest that a cloudier world was a cooler world. Computer climate models assume that man-made atmospheric pollutants like sulfur dioxide have increased modern cloudiness which has further shielded the planet from higher temperatures. If it turns out that early eras were somewhat cloudier than represented in the models that means that future warming has again been overestimated.
But always remember: The science is settled!
Australia: Homeowners kept in dark about climate change risk to houses, says Greenie report
They are asking for information that does not exist. There is no way sea level rise can be predicted. No Greenie prediction has come true yet -- and they have made many, most of which were hilariously wrong. The Climate Institute is a privately funded Warmist organization that is at present struggling for funding. The "report" referred to would seem to be an attempt to drum up funding for themselves
The risk that houses in some areas of Australia are likely to become uninsurable, dilapidated and uninhabitable due to climate change is kept hidden from those building and buying property along Australia’s coasts and in bushfire zones, a Climate Institute report says.
The report says there is untapped and unshared data held by regulators, state and local governments, insurers and banks on the level of risk, but that most homebuyers and developers are not told about the data and do not have access to it.
“Even when public authorities, financial institutions and other stakeholders possess information about current and future risk levels, they are sometimes unwilling, and sometimes unable, to share it with all affected parties,” the report released on Monday says.
“Thus, foreseeable risks are allowed to perpetuate, and even to grow via new housing builds. The full scale of the risk may only be recognised either through disaster or damage, or when insurance premiums become unaffordable. Any of these events can in turn affect housing values.”
The economic costs are high and could ultimately represent a real risk to the financial sector itself, the report says. While insurers, regulators and governments have started to recognise this risk, banks who approve the mortgages for at-risk properties have not yet begun working towards a solution.
For example, the report says, banks could integrate the impact of climate into their risk assessment processes, work with other stakeholders in the public, private and civil society sectors to research and develop ways to minimise climate impact risk to housing, and address losses that will occur in an equitable way.
It also says that state, federal and local governments could do more to protect buyers, by including climate risk in planning, development and approval processes, mandating the disclosure of all available hazard mapping, and requiring that all dwellings be built or renovated as fit-for-purpose for the maximum projected impacts of climate change.
Extreme weather and climate change risks associated with a property should also be disclosed at the point of sale.
“Even if these ‘uninsurable’ and ‘unadaptable’ properties are only a tiny minority of the total housing stock, the eventual devaluation could be financially devastating to individuals,” the report says. “It could also be damaging to banks, other financial companies and public balance sheets at all levels of government.
An author of the report and the manager of investment and governance at the Climate Institute,Kate Mackenzie, said the sector had to be proactive before houses became damaged, otherwise there could be a costly and messy battle over who bore responsibility.
For example, she said, councils could be liable for not providing flood data and for permitting a vulnerable development to go ahead, the developer for building it, the home owners for not realising the risk, the building code authority, the banks for financing the development and the mortgages, or the insurers.
“There’s definitely a big need for governments to show leadership on this,” she said.
“There have been a few very good recommendations made in the past by public policy reviews which really haven’t been followed up at the federal level or at the state level or through Coag, which would provide a mechanism for a national adaptation strategy.”
These included the reports from an Australian Treasury taskforce, the natural disaster insurance review, and two Productivity Commission inquiries, she said.
Her report concludes: “A sense of exasperation is evident among those who have spent any length of time seeking to address the economic and policy challenges posed by extreme weather.”
Some researchers are already taking the matter into their own hands and developing products to help buyers manage risk. Last month, the website Coastal Risk Australia was launched. It combines Google maps with detailed tide and elevation data, as well as future sea-level rise projections, to help people see whether their house or suburb is likely to be inundated.
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