Monday, March 20, 2017
Papal adviser Schellnhuber: 'Scientists have to take to the streets' to counter climate denial
The worm himself, looking weird as usual. He's off his rocker. He makes most Warmists look moderate. Sadly, Schellnhuber is advisor to Angela Merkel as well.
Comment from Dick Lindzen: "He makes Holdren sound almost rational. Schellnhuber is the embodiment of green totalitarianism. He knows nothing about climate, and he doesn’t care. His job is to scare".
The interview below is with DW, which in a faroff day was known as "Die Deutsche Welle" (The Voice of Germany), German government media
DW: Where are we at with the world's carbon budget - how much have we spent and how much have we got left?
Hans Joachim Schellnhuber: If we want to hold the 1.5 degrees [Celsius; 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit] line, which is the ambitious goal of the Paris agreement, we have maybe 300 billion tons left - more or less the budget of 10 years - if we do business as usual. If we want to hold the 2 degrees line, which is more realistic, we have another 20 to 30 years to go, but no more actually. So it's a very tight budget.
DW: And in order to meet this tight budget, what do you see as being the major things that need to happen between now and then?
HJS: It's quite mind-boggling - for example, by 2030, we have to phase out the combustion engine. And we have to completely phase out the use of coal for producing power. By 2040 we will probably have to replace concrete and steel for construction by wood, clay and stone.
DW: We now have an international climate agreement signed and ratified. Are we on track to meet our emissions reduction targets?
HJS: Germany actually has the more ambitious goal - here within the European Union - a 40 percent reduction by 2020. It looks fairly bleak actually, with the current policies in place we will not even meet our own target. Something fairly disruptive needs to happen, like closing down some of the operating coal-fired power stations.
The European Union is underambitious - it should have raised its ambition immediately after Paris, but that did not happen So it's a very sluggish process.
Globally, there is some good news.
China has probably already peaked its emissions now, which is amazing. India has an extremely ambitious solar energy program - [and is] now investing a lot. So, the only black horse in the race is the US.
DW: US President Donald Trump has threatened to pull out of the Paris accord. How big an impact would this have on the international climate action we've achieved so far?
HJS: That's the one-billion-dollar-question. First of all, it's not clear whether Trump will pull the US out of the Paris Agreement. I don't think he will. Like other laggards and obstructers, in the past - like Saudi-Arabia - I think the US will just stay on-board and try to slow down all the processes.
What effect will it have? 10 years ago this would have been a complete disaster for climate policy. Now with China - the biggest emitter and also the biggest investor in renewables - and with the Asian economies now slowly changing, I think the world could achieve climate protection even without the US.
DW: Scott Pruitt, who now heads the US Environmental Protection Agency, recently denied carbon dioxide was a major contributor to global warming. His comments go against the 97 percent consensus of the world's scientists. Scientists generally tend to stay out of politics, but do you think given the current political climate there, scientists will become more politicized and outspoken?
HJS: I have the big privilege to work in the office where Albert Einstein worked. He's one of the greatest geniuses and physicists of all time. And he was a very political animal actually.
I think if the very system of the scientific method and the scientific research is in doubt, then scientists have to take to the streets in the end and have to demonstrate and say: "Hey we are doing a job for you!"
We scientists love to sit in our ivory towers, untainted by the dirt of the real world and so on, [but] we have to take to the streets, we have to speak up. We have to leave our ivory towers, and we have to communicate to everybody that we want to be part of the solution.
Ya gotta laugh. Warmist site now worried about cold winters
Anything to attack Trump. Below is the latest wisdom from Think Progress. These are the guys who want to make electricity prices skyrocket, in order to help the poor heat their homes. What a bunch of total scumbags! Also see here how OBAMA regulations could mean fatally cold winters for some of America's poor
Last winter, you helped six million American households?—?all of them poor and most of them home to a senior citizen, young child, or disabled adult?—?keep the heat on through the winter.
You didn’t do it on purpose. The government did it for you, through a program American lawmakers created in 1980 in hopes that no one in the world’s richest country would have to choose between buying groceries and avoiding hypothermia.
Since the dawn of the Reagan era, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has subsidized the utility bills of tens of millions of Americans through hoary northern winters and blistering southern summers.
That nearly four-decade legacy would end forever under President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal. The plan’s broader fiscal irresponsibility is clear?—?it hands wealthy people hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks while paring back or outright canceling scores of public services and investments in the nation’s future?—?but its true cruelty is easier to spot down in the details.
Trump’s budget deems LIHEAP “a lower-impact program…unable to demonstrate strong performance outcomes” and calls for its extinction. Yet the small chunks of cash LIHEAP doles out to eligible families change the way people live?—?and keep some alive who would otherwise have died.
“Look at what happened before LIHEAP. People used kerosene heaters. People left their stoves on. And people died,” said Mark Wolfe, head of the National Energy Assistance Director’s Association. “We created LIHEAP to stop that.” I've used a kerosene heater myself. I didn't die. They're pretty effective in a bedroom -- JR
G20 leaders roll back commitment to free trade and climate change following US pressure
The G20 financial leaders dropped a decade-long pledge to reject protectionism on Saturday after opposition from the US, raising fears the Trump administration could upset the global economic order.
The annual meeting of 20 finance ministers closed on Saturday afternoon without a statement voicing the bloc's longstanding opposition to "all forms" of tariffs and rules favouring one economy over another, after it failed to find a suitable compromise with Donald Trump's administration.
After leaders failed to draft new measures that would satisfy the US, they opted for just a fleeting reference to strengthening trade in their statement.
The free trade change comes as a surprise and blow to many of the representatives at the summit including China, Japan and European countries that have supported the policy for many years. It is set to pave the way for increasing protectionism from the new US Government.
Steven Mnuchin, the US treasury secretary, dismissed the group's traditional economic playbook of opposing protectionism as "not really relevant" any longer, and said the US now prioritised "balanced trade" over low border tariffs.
As well as the free trade agreement falling apart, the deal to prevent climate change was also undermined. But the G20 leaders did agree to stabilise the foreign exchange and stop competitive currency devaluation.
In a major international clash, the new US administration also teamed up with Saudi Arabia to condemn the reference to climate change funding in the agreement.
After the two countries took umbrage with the environmental commitments, a reference to the Paris deal from 2015 was also watered down.
Donald Trump's administration is mulling a new border tax that could curb imports as a boost to US workers.
But as an offer of some reassurance, Mr Trump and Steven Mnuchin, the US trade secretary, said this week that they don't want to start a trade dispute and that the US is not pursuing isolationist goal.
There is less room for interpretation on climate change, which Trump has called a "hoax" and "waste of money".
To Protect Climate Money, Obama Stashed It Where It’s Hard to Find
Obama’s aides spread money across the government, eluding cuts
Most recent estimate puts tab at $77 billion from 2008-2013
President Donald Trump will find the job of reining in spending on climate initiatives made harder by an Obama-era policy of dispersing billions of dollars in programs across dozens of agencies -- in part so they couldn’t easily be cut.
There is no single list of those programs or their cost, because President Barack Obama sought to integrate climate programs into everything the federal government did. The goal was to get all agencies to take climate into account, and also make those programs hard to disentangle, according to former members of the administration. In some cases, the idea was to make climate programs hard for Republicans in Congress to even find.
"Much of the effort in the Obama administration was to mainstream climate change," said Jesse Keenan, who worked on climate issues with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and now teaches at Harvard University. He said all federal agencies were required to incorporate climate-change plans into their operations.
The Obama administration’s approach will be tested by Trump’s first budget request to Congress, an outline of which is due to be released Thursday. Trump has called climate change a hoax; last November he promised to save $100 billion over eight years by cutting all federal climate spending. His budget will offer an early indication of the seriousness of that pledge -- and whether his administration is able to identify programs that may have intentionally been called anything but climate-related.
The last time the Congressional Research Service estimated total federal spending on climate was in 2013. It concluded 18 agencies had climate-related activities, and calculated $77 billion in spending from fiscal 2008 through 2013 alone.
But that figure could well be too low. The Obama administration didn’t always include "climate" in program names, said Alice Hill, director for resilience policy on Obama’s National Security Council.
"Given the relationship that existed with Congress on the issue of climate change, you will not readily find many programs that are entitled ‘climate change,’" Hill, who is now a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, said in an interview. At the Department of Defense, for example, anything with the word climate would have been "a target in the budget process," she said.
The range of climate programs is vast, stretching across the entire government.
The Department of Agriculture created "climate hubs" to help farmers and ranchers cope with extreme weather. The Department of Health and Human Services began analyzing the effects of climate change on occupational safety. The Bureau of Reclamation started a program called "West-Wide Climate Risk Assessments," measuring changes to water supply and demand. The Bureau of Indian Affairs created the Tribal Climate Resilience Program. The Agency for International Development created a program to help "glacier-dependent mountain areas" deal with the risk of those glaciers melting.
In other cases, agencies expanded existing programs to account for global warming. In 2012, the Federal Highway Administration made climate-adaptation projects eligible for federal aid. Last year, the Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $1 billion through its Community Development Block Grant program to projects protecting against climate change-related natural disasters.
Meanwhile, a handful of lesser-known offices saw their funding increase while Obama was in office. The budget for NASA’s Earth Science program increased 50 percent, to $1.8 billion. Funding for the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which is mandated by Congress to report every four years on the state of climate change, rose 45 percent to $2.6 billion. At the National Science Foundation, the geosciences program almost doubled to $1.3 billion.
Republicans noticed, and tried to force the administration to offer a tally of climate funding. Last December, senior House Republicans sent a letter to Obama’s budget director, demanding that his office report how much federal money had gone toward climate programs in fiscal years 2015 and 2016.
Any cuts may face opposition in Congress, as Democrats and some Republicans support the spending, especially that to help communities withstand floods, hurricanes or droughts associated with climate change. Wednesday, a group of 17 Republicans announced their support for climate science -- and policy measures to address it.
"Budget cuts to programs -- or elimination of entire agencies -- designed to help stem the costs of climate change will only hurt ranchers, agriculture producers, and coastal communities already experiencing the impacts of this global challenge," Christy Goldfuss, managing director of the Council on Environmental Quality in Obama’s White House, said by email.
Some in Trump’s party now urge him to use his authority to find those programs, and take them apart.
"The Trump Administration needs to defund the entire apparatus of the climate change federal funding gravy train," said Marc Morano, a former Republican staffer for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "In order to dismantle the climate establishment, agencies and programs throughout the federal government need to be targeted."
"The climate funding has spread to almost every aspect of the federal government with sometimes wacky results," said Morano, who doubts global warming and runs the website climatedepot.com. He cited one example of a Department of Transportation query about the link between climate change and fatal car crashes.
Others argue that the spread of climate programs throughout the federal government simply reflects the evolving nature of the risk.
"It is irresponsible not to examine the possibilities and understand our sensitivity to them," said Ed Link, a former director of research and development for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who led the forensic analysis of Hurricane Katrina’s effect on New Orleans. If federal agencies stop doing that work, he said by email, "shame on them."
The sun has set on Australians Greens' dreams - and they may not be renewable
By GRAHAM RICHARDSON (They've taken most of his insides out but Richo's brain still seems to be working as well as ever. He was always a realist)
Twenty years ago, the Greens were forming governments in Europe and were on the rise. In Australia, they even entertained dreams of winning power, state or federally. In all the words written and said about the election in Western Australia barely a sentence has been about the Greens. The Greens' dream has well and truly faded. Their vote has hovered about 10 per cent for all of those two decades and they have been utterly useless when it comes to convincing Australians to support them. They continue to run up their flag and they continue to see only that loyal 10 per cent prepared to salute.
During those two decades Australians have moved further to the right and the Greens, our only genuinely left-wing political party, are stuck on 10 per cent with almost no hope of ever seeing their support increase. It is disappointing that the Greens, like Labor, never seem to try to convince voters that man-made climate change is a big problem. They seem to assume that a big majority here believes in climate change. That may have been the case a decade ago but now the sceptics and the non-believers are able to argue the lack of evidence to support the onset of climate change without any real effort to defeat their arguments.
The blind pursuit of ridiculous renewable energy targets is a Greens push adopted by Labor and now works against them both.
I felt almost sorry for Jay Weatherill this week when he announced the building of this useless, mega-expensive battery farm. Flim-flam won't replace solid policy. The Greens led the South Australian Premier down the road to ruin and he acquiesced too quickly. The lights have gone out on South Australians several times now and the state Liberals, as pathetic as they appear to be, will no doubt turn the lights out on the Weatherill government at the next election.
Meanwhile, as if to reaffirm their vote of no confidence in the electorate, the Greens go further and further to the left. The bleatings of Sarah Hanson-Young served only to alienate ordinary Australians. The Greens' spend-up-big policies on every form of government endeavour frightens the horses. Then this week their leader, Richard Di Natale, scaled new heights of madness suggesting a four-day week. While the rest of us try to find ways to make this country more productive, the good old Greens want to take us backwards.
No party of the left can do well in Australia in today's electoral climate so the Greens are guaranteed to remain fringe players in the game of winning real power. Sure, they will win the odd inner-city seat and each time this occurs they will tell us that this is the dawn of a new era. The false dawns have come and gone before but the Greens are destined to be cellar dwellers for a very long time.
The goals of the Greens in some cases are absolutely right but time is never adequately allocated to achieve them. Renewable energy makes sense and I congratulate Malcolm Turnbull for seeking to increase by 50 per cent the output of the Snowy River Hydroelectric Scheme. This is real forward thinking, a commodity in short supply in our nation. It won't be enough on its own to solve our energy crisis but it is a giant stride in the right direction.
Let us all hope that it may embolden the Prime Minister to push for the building of other dams around Australia. We don't build dams any more on a continent infamous for its lack of water. Usually the Greens can find an endan-gered toad or rat that needs to be protected and judge its needs as much more important than the aspirations of a country looking for a drink or for some irrigation.
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Posted by JR at 1:39 AM