Friday, December 14, 2018

The Long Dry: Why the world's water supplies are shrinking (?)

Uni NSW has now released a slightly more scholarly version -- in part below -- of their implausible claim that the world is drying out.  But it still makes no sense.  They now admit that it sounds crazy to say a warmer world would be dryer amid increased rainfall but still say it will be.

Their basic datum is reduced flows in many rivers and they say that is because the soils are sucking up more of the rain than they used to.  That's still pretty crazy.  They are saying that soils will be dryer in a rainier world.  There's a bridge in Brooklyn they might like to buy.

There's a blindingly obvious explanation for reduced river flows: Diversion of water for human and animal use, particularly irrigation. Farmers worldwide are always putting in dams and diversions. Prof. Sharma sounds Indian so let me tell him how it's done in Australia.

When rains are good and river flows are up, farmers lucky enough to have a river nearby dig a big hole in their land and cut a channel from the river to that hole.  The hole fills up, the channel is blocked and that hole becomes a dam which can supply water next year when the rains fail.  There are dams like that all along Australia's inland rivers.  See Cubbie station for a large scale example.

And every one of those dams will reduce river flow.  They really will!  Need I go on?

A global study has found a paradox: our water supplies are shrinking at the same time as climate change is generating more intense rain. And the culprit is the drying of soils, say researchers, pointing to a world where drought-like conditions will become the new normal, especially in regions that are already dry.

The study – the most exhaustive global analysis of rainfall and rivers – was conducted by a team led by Prof Ashish Sharma at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney. It relied on actual data from 43,000 rainfall stations and 5,300 river monitoring sites in 160 countries, instead of basing its findings on model simulations of a future climate, which can be uncertain and at times questionable.

Large rivers drying out

“This is something that has been missed,” said Sharma, an ARC Future Fellow at UNSW’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “We expected rainfall to increase, since warmer air stores more moisture – and that is what climate models predicted too. What we did not expect is that, despite all the extra rain everywhere in the world, is that the large rivers are drying out.

“We believe the cause is the drying of soils in our catchments. Where once these were moist before a storm event – allowing excess rainfall to run-off into rivers – they are now drier and soak up more of the rain, so less water makes it as flow.

“Less water into our rivers means less water for cities and farms. And drier soils means farmers need more water to grow the same crops. Worse, this pattern is repeated all over the world, assuming serious proportions in places that were already dry. It is extremely concerning,” he added.

'Blue water' vs 'green water'

For every 100 raindrops that fall on land, only 36 drops are ‘blue water’ – the rainfall that enters lakes, rivers and aquifers – and therefore, all the water extracted for human needs. The remaining two thirds of rainfall is mostly retained as soil moisture – known as ‘green water’ – and used by the landscape and the ecosystem.

As warming temperatures cause more water to evaporate from soils, those dry soils are absorbing more of the rainfall when it does occur – leaving less ‘blue water’ for human use.

“It’s a double whammy,” said Sharma. “Less water is ending up where we can store it for later use. At the same time, more rain is overwhelming drainage infrastructure in towns and cities, leading to more urban flooding.”

Media release: CONTACT Prof Ashish Sharma  +61 425 332 304 |

Spotsylvania, Va., Residents Outraged Over Massive Solar Plant Proposal, About Half the Size of Manhattan

More than 300 residents of rural Spotsylvania County, Virginia gathered at the Spotsylvania Courthouse on Dec. 5 to protest plans for a massive solar energy plant – half the size of Manhattan -- which would be built close to residential areas and the historic sites of three Civil War battlefields.

The public hearing at the Spotsylvania Courthouse, where Utah-based solar power company sPower attempted to secure permit approval for its 500-megawatt facility, lasted several hours due to a flood of comments from the community.

Kevin McCarthy, a resident of Spotsylvania and member of the grassroots group Concerned Citizens of Spotsylvania County (Concerned Citizens), which opposes the proposal, said the plant is “extraordinarily incompatible” with the county’s “aura and history.”

“The biggest objection we have to this thing is that it’s totally out of character for this county, whose comprehensive plan calls for maintaining the rural, agricultural, and residential nature of this county,” McCarthy said. “Yet this proposal is going to consume the largest tract of designated forest in the entire county.”

“They call it a solar ‘farm,’” he said. “That’s real smart marketing because it’s not a farm. It is a massive industrial-scale power plant.”

At about 10 square miles, or roughly half the area of Manhattan, the facility would be the fifth largest solar plant in the United States. It would require the clearing of 6,500 acres of forest to make way for 1.8 million solar panels that would help power Microsoft, Apple, and the University of Richmond.

It would also be the only U.S. solar plant located close to residential areas or farmlands; according to McCarthy, the distance of the plant from some residents’ yards would only be 50 feet, while the average distance of most other large U.S. solar plants from residential areas is eight miles.

According to sPower, the project would benefit the county and the State of Virginia by creating “green” jobs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, generating electricity through “clean, renewable technology,” increasing tax revenues, and stimulating the local economy during the project’s construction.

“This is the future,” said Charlie Payne, an attorney for sPower, in an interview with NBC4. “And look who our partners are at the table. It’s Microsoft. It’s Apple. There’s some real opportunity for this area, for Spotsylvania County, and I’m looking forward to seeing it happen.”

Many Spotsylvania residents, however, have serious reservations about the plant. On its website, Concerned Citizens says taxes and the price of electricity would go up, and property values would go down if the plant is built.

In addition, none of the energy from the plant would go to the Spotsylvania community.

Residents are also worried that the plant’s construction could seriously damage the aquifer that supplies water to their homes. The clearing of forested land could cause soil erosion and runoff that could “devastate” streams and wetlands in the area, and the potential leakage of cadmium, a carcinogen, from solar panels could increase health problems among residents.

The Spotsylvania County Planning Commission will hold a follow-up hearing on the proposal on January 2.


University of Washington climate scientist Cliff Mass pushes against attacks from faculty and students

Climate scientist Cliff Mass is speaking out against “academic political bullying” from University of Washington faculty and students, stemming from Mass’s rejection of a carbon tax initiative favored by activists.

“Science can only flourish when there is tolerance for a diversity of viewpoints and ideas,” Mass told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Name calling and politicization of science are toxic to the scientific enterprise, and undermines our credibility in the general community.”

“I am hopeful that the exposure of such intolerance will lead to an improved working environment in my department and among others in my discipline,” Mass said via email Wednesday.

Climate scientist Judith Curry detailed in a blog post Wednesday the actions UW and student activists have taken against Mass in recent months. Curry said Mass was a “victim of academic political bullying.”

There are clearly UW faculty “that don’t like Cliff Mass,” including, his department chair, and “most fundamentally, they seem to dislike that his blog is getting in the way of their own political advocacy,” Curry wrote.

Mass joined UW’s Atmospheric Sciences Department in 1982 where he specializes in numerical weather modeling and weather patterns in the Pacific Northwest. Mass also publishes a science blog and has a popular weekly radio show.

Mass is no global warming “denier” as many critics try to label him. Mass has repeatedly called global warming a serious threat and supported policies, including carbon taxes, to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Despite his agreement with the climate consensus, Mass has increasingly come under fire from activists for not toeing the alarmist line when it comes to blaming extreme weather events on global warming.

What seems to have driven Mass’s critics over the edge this time was the atmospheric scientist’s public opposition to a Washington state carbon tax ballot initiative, called I-1631. In particular, critics went after a blog post Mass wrote in mid-October detailing why he opposed I-1631. Voters overwhelmingly rejected the carbon tax measure in November, despite support from Gov. Jay Inslee and other Democrats.

“I-1631 will be a trough of billions of dollars of cash for left-leaning social action and ‘progressive’ groups, and dealing with climate change will be a secondary priority,” Mass wrote in a blog post with a picture of pigs feeding at a trough. The picture has since been removed.

The imagery of pigs feeding at a trough has long been used to describe special interest groups trying to syphon off government spending. State spending seen as wasteful or geared toward a special interest is often called “pork” or “pork barrel” spending. However, UW students and climate activists claimed it was “racist.”

I-1631 campaigner Izzy Goodman tweeted in October that “this alone proves that he is a blatant racist (which is probably why his climate policies are too!).” She later added, “[UW] you going to stand for this?”

When Mass tried to reason with her, UW philosophy Ph.D. candidate Alex Lenferna tweeted, “Calling you racist for saying racist things is not name calling, it’s an accurate description.” The post showed Mass’s “small [government], racist, anti-working class view,” tweeted Lenferna, who also campaigned for I-1631.

Student activists didn’t stop at Twitter insults. Curry, who spoke at length with Mass about the events, wrote, “The attacks ramped up when a group of students complained to the Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.”

Curry said the students accused Mass of “deception, being on the payroll of oil companies, purposely obfuscating with multiple twitter accounts, racism, misogyny, tokenism, Trumpism.”

“Rather than meet with Cliff Mass to discuss, the Assistant Dean sent a mass email to the faculty of the Atmospheric Sciences Department” echoing student complaints,” Curry wrote. The assistant dean’s email claimed the blog had “imagery and text that was racially insensitive and caused offense to a significant number of members in the departmental community.”

The assistant dean made no attempt to contact Mass or try to “understand that there was no racism evident or intended, and that the image in question was quickly removed from the blog post,” Curry wrote.

The matter didn’t end there, however, and Atmospheric Sciences Department Chair Dale Durran “sent a mass email to the Department faculty including the link to Lenferna’s post, and voicing concern about Mass’ behavior and ‘racism,'” Curry noted.

Durran held a faculty-wide meeting on Dec. 4. Durran reportedly took control of the meeting and even prevented Mass from finishing his opening remarks.

Durran “hectored Mass throughout the meeting,” Curry wrote. “The activist students were true to form, hurling all kinds of insulting, personal and inappropriate remarks” as Mass sat through the inquisition.

Duran was an ardent supporter of I-1631. Durran got 21 of his colleagues to sign a public letter, published in The Seattle Times in late October, endorsing the carbon tax ballot measure.

“Now is the time to take a big step to kick our carbon habit,” Durran and his colleagues wrote. However, Curry reported that “several faculty members felt uncomfortable signing this,” including one who told her they actually voted against the measure.


Calif. bureaucacy Fails To Enforce New Law That Could Have Prevented Wildfires

A new report revealed that incompetent state regulators in California failed to implement plans required by state law that could have prevented the devastating California wildfires.

Senate Bill 1028 required the three big California power companies, San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric, to provide detailed strategies for reducing fire threats, according to The San Diego Tribune.

The California Public Utilities Commission was responsible for reviewing the filings, making comments on the material and ensuring that the plans were being followed.

Well, it turns out the government regulators completely failed to issue directives to the power companies, and it’s been more than two years since the law was passed.

The government agency’s utter incompetence is finally getting attention now that dozens of lives have been lost and an entire town has been completely destroyed in the wildfires.

A spokesman for Edison, one of the power companies, put the blame on the regulators. “At the time SB 901 was enacted, no CPUC rulemaking on prior legislation had been established,” the spokesman said.

“While the commission delayed enforcing the new law, wildfires suspected of being caused by overhead powerlines and other utility equipment killed at least 125 people,” the Tribune reported. “They also destroyed 18,000 buildings and charred hundreds of square miles of the California landscape.”

State Sen. Jerry Hill, the San Mateo Democrat who introduced SB 1028, expressed frustration with the government utility regulators. “They have done absolutely nothing in those two years,” Hill said.

Hill also admitted that state lawmakers should have given the regulators a deadline. “The unfortunate thing is we gave them that authority but we did not put a timeline on it,” Hill said.

This situation is just another example in a long list of government failure and incompetence.

“We assumed it would be prioritized, but sadly it takes a tragedy to realign priorities — and that’s what we’ve seen — tragedy and devastation,” Hill said.

Some believe the wildfires could have been prevented through proper forest management, but California’s state government failed on that front as well.

In August, Zinke said the “overload of dead and diseased timber in the forests makes the fires worse and more deadly.”

If the government is unable to follow through to prevent the loss of life and destruction of property from wildfires, why would anybody want the government to have control over something like health care?

When the government is in charge of something, it typically ends in disaster.


Are the Australian Greens a party of sex pests and predators?

Internal chaos has struck the NSW Greens after upper house MP Jeremy Buckingham was asked to step down by the party’s state delegate council in light of claims made by Greens MP Jenny Leong in NSW parliament accusing him of committing an “act of sexual violence” against party aide Ella Buckland in 2011.

Buckingham responded, accusing the Greens of being “corrupt and rotten” while fellow Greens MP Cate Faehrmann declared herself “beyond appalled” and described the vote as being the result of her party having been “infiltrated by extreme left forces”.

This is only the latest in a long line of embarrassing revelations for what is widely seen as one of Australia’s most pro-feminist political parties. In the recent Victorian State election it was revealed one candidate Angus McAlpine seemed to have endorsed date rape, drink spiking and domestic violence while another candidate Dominic Phillips was stood down over an actual accusation of rape.

In NSW self-proclaimed Anarchist, power broker for the Left Renewal faction and candidate for the inner city seat of Summer Hill Tom Raue had to try and explain exactly why he endorsed, and even campaigned for the legalisation of bestiality and necrophilia. He said it was a lark from his student days, which considering that his student days also included getting banned from campus for attacking Julie Bishop and getting sued for $50,000 by the very board of the student council that he was Vice President of seems scarily plausible.

That came only months after it was revealed that former Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber paid out a $56,000 settlement with a female staff member over sexual discrimination and bullying allegations, and that he quit politics two days after the claims were aired within his party. Mr Barber was also alleged to have regularly referred to female left wing activists as “hairy-legged feminists” and “fat, hairy lesbians” behind their backs.

Less hilariously and slightly more seriously it was also suggested that the incident was kept as quiet as possible due to Barber’s status as brother-in-law of Federal Greens leader Richard Di Natale.

Similar allegations of cover up, “victim blaming” and a complete unwillingness to take seriously the complaints of female staffers and volunteers about the inappropriate and sometimes criminal behaviour of elected male representatives and staff members have been made in Victoria, NSW and the ACT.

The ABC reported that Lawyer Rory Markham is suing the party on behalf of a former Greens volunteer who alleges she was sexually assaulted by another volunteer in the back of a car in Canberra on the night of the 2016 federal election campaign. She has asked not to be identified.

“That perpetrator cornered her, forced her, by placing his hands on her shoulders into the side of the car and whispered into her ear that he hated her and then started to digitally penetrate her,” Mr Markham said.

“She was speechless. She couldn’t scream out. She immediately got out of the car and was shaking.”

Holly Brooke also a member of the extremist “Left Renewal” faction also says the party ignored her complaints after a male party member tried to force his hand down her pants against her wishes while she was co-convenor of the NSW Young Greens in 2017.

Journalist Lauren Ingram claims she was violently raped by a Greens staffer in 2015 after he invited her over to his apartment in Sydney’s eastern suburbs for pizza. The photos of her bruises and the story she tells are horrific. In her case the Greens party apparatus faced with such an obvious wrongdoing leapt into action (after around six months)… and suspended the member in question.

That’ll show him.

If this was happening inside any party on the right, if this was happening inside the Liberals, One Nation, the Australian Conservatives or the Katter Australia Party then that party would not only be a public laughing stock but would probably (in the case of the minor parties) have been driven out of politics. There would be endless jeers from the commentariat, endless cartoons in the newspapers, endless stand-up routines poking fun at any party of the right that so publicly preaches virtue while privately covering up vice. Hell even the ALP would have trouble escaping the smell of repeated revelations such as these.

But the Greens? Well they’re the party overwhelmingly favoured by the people who write for the newspapers, the people who book the stand-up comedy acts, the people who produce the programs for the ABC and SBS. They’re the feminist party, the progressive party, the party that preaches every moral virtue dictated by the pulpits of modern academia.

They’re the “good” guys. Except it seems some of the guys aren’t so good.

Funny that.



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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Sea rise scenarios barely possible, says climate scientist Judith Curry

A catastrophic rise in sea levels is unlikely this century, with ­recent experience falling within the range of natural variability over the past several thousand years, according to a report on peer-­reviewed studies by US climate scientist Judith Curry.

Writing in The Australian today, Dr Curry says predictions of a 21st-century sea level rise of more than 60cm are increasingly difficult to justify, even if the predicted amount of global warming is correct.

“Predictions of higher than 1.6m require a cascade of ­extremely unlikely to impossible events using overly simplistic models of poorly understood processes,” Dr Curry says.

The review coincides with ­debate about whether some warnings about climate change relied too heavily on worst-case scenarios.

Dr Curry, a professor emeritus form Georgia Institute of Technology, said extreme, barely possible values of sea level rise were driving policies and local ­adaptation plans. She said an ­additional sea level rise of 60cm or less over a century could be a relatively minor problem if it was managed appropriately.

She said there was not yet any convincing evidence of a human fingerprint on global sea level rise because of the large changes driven by natural variability. “An increase in the rate of global sea level rise since 1995 is being caused by ice loss from Greenland,” she said. “Greenland ice loss was larger during the 1930s, which was also associated with the warm phase of the Atlantic Ocean circulation pattern.”

Dr Curry said predictions of sea level rise depended on climate models to predict the correct amount of warming.

Based on current greenhouse gas emissions, temperature rises to 2100 have been predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports to be 3C.

However, there were reasons to think the climate models were predicting too much warming. She said observed warming for the past two decades was smaller than the average warming predicted by climate models.

When compared with observations over the past 150 years, climate models produced too much warming in response to increasing atmospheric carbon ­dioxide, she said.

The latest IPCC report on 1.5C warming said there was a medium confidence that sea level rise would be about 10cm less by the end of the 21st century in a 1.5C compared to a 2C warmer world. Projections for a 1.5C and 2C global warming cover the ­ranges of 20cm to 80cm and 30cm to 100cm respectively.

There was high confidence in the IPCC report that sea level rise would continue well beyond 2100.

“Marine ice sheet instability in Antarctica and/or irreversible loss of the Greenland ice sheet could result in multi-metre rise in sea level over hundreds to thousands of years,” the IPCC report said. “These instabilities could be triggered at around 1.5C to 2C of global warming (medium confidence).”


Trump EPA takes aim at Obama-era clean water rules, prompting outcry from environmentalists

The Trump administration is moving forward with a significant rollback of an Obama-era clean water regulation that has become a rallying cry for farmers and property-rights activists opposed to federal overreach.

The new proposal, unveiled Tuesday morning by acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and other administration officials, would ease Washington's oversight of small bodies of water, undoing a regulation President Donald Trump has called "a massive power grab."

The new rule would replace an Obama administration regulation, known as the "Waters of the United States" rule that expanded federal protections to smaller rivers and streams.

Environmental advocates warn the proposed rule could remove pollution and development protections from most U.S. waterways and pose far-reaching effects on the safety of the nation's tap water for more than 100 million Americans.

“Even a child understands that small streams flow into large streams and lakes – which provide drinking water for so many Americans,” said Craig Cox, senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources for the Environmental Working Group. “By removing safeguards and allowing industry to dump pollutants into these water sources, Trump’s EPA is ensuring more contamination challenges for utilities and dirtier water for their customers.”

But opponents of the Obama-era WOTUS rule say it unduly prevents property owners from being able to fully use their land because the rule's overly broad definition regulates ditches that temporarily flood as federally protected waterways.

“The old rule put Washington in control of ponds, puddles, and prairie potholes," said Wyoming GOP Sen. Tom Barrasso, who chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee. "The regulation was so confusing that property owners and businesses could not determine when permits were needed."

The crux of the rollback is a change in how "navigable waterways" are defined under the Clean Water Act.

The 2015 definition crafted under President Barack Obama would narrow considerably under Trump, a move that Wheeler told reporters would make it "clearer and easier to understand ... that will result in significant cost savings, protect the nation's navigable waterways, and reduce barriers to important economic and environmental projects."

Wheeler cited the Missouri Farm Bureau, which launched a "Ditch the Rule" campaign opposing the 2015 proposal because it was concerned the Obama-era definition was so broad it could apply to almost every acre in the state.

The Obama administration "claimed it was in the interest of water quality but it was really about power, power in the hands of the federal government over landowners," Wheeler said.

It's also confusing because the rule is enforced in only 22 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories.

Under Trump's proposed rule, federal protections would remain for major waterways, rivers, tributaries, wetlands adjacent to federally protected waterways, certain lakes and ponds, reservoirs, and ditches used for navigation or affected by the tide.

States would oversee most ditches, terrain that fills with water during or in response to rainfall, certain wetlands that have been used to grow crops, stormwater control ponds, and water and wastewater treatment systems. Additionally, groundwater would not be federally protected, an exclusion Wheeler said that was never supposed to be included.

Wheeler disputed claims by environmental groups that the rule would remove federal oversight from at least 60 percent of the nation's waterways. But EPA officials also could not say what percentage would lose those protections.

Delaware Sen. Tom Carper, the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, said the rollback would send the country back to a time when environmental protections were few and far between.

"Back then, the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio, was so polluted that it actually caught on fire. Polluters were allowed to dump toxic waste into our waterways without consequence. Garbage littered our shores," Carper said. "It isn’t just a coincidence that this is no longer the reality in our country."

In one of his first acts as president, Trump signed an executive order in February 2017 to undo the clean water rule and instructed the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to come up with a new approach.

In a Roosevelt Room ceremony with farmers and lawmakers at the time, Trump called the rule "one of the worst examples of federal regulation."

The debate over the water rule was part of a larger political flashpoint over environmental issues during the 2016 presidential campaign as Trump tried to appeal to rural Americans exasperated by federal regulations and the loss of property rights.

While the broader debate centered on climate change and clean air rules, the waters rule was nearly as polarizing because its broad application could affect farming, construction and other activities near federally regulated waters.

The issue has often come down to the definition of "navigable waters" under the Clean Water Act.

The Clean Water Act of 1972 makes it illegal to pollute "navigable" waters. Over the decades, disputes arose over the government's changing definition of "navigable" with opponents complaining the definition was too broad.

Two Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006 came down on the side of landowners, ruling that ponds at the bottom of a gravel pit and a marsh miles from any lake or river were not navigable and thus not subject to the act.

Wheeler said he wants the rule to reflect the court rulings.


Protests erupt as Trump team pushes fossil fuels at climate talks
KATOWICE, Poland — Trump administration officials at high-stakes climate talks here offered an unapologetic defense of fossil fuels Monday, arguing that a rapid retreat from coal, oil, and gas was unrealistic.

While that stance brought scorn from environmentalists and countries that favor stronger action to fight global warming, there are signs that the administration is finding a receptive audience among other major fossil-fuel producers, including Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Australia.

President Trump’s international energy and climate adviser, Wells Griffith, hosted a panel discussion on fossil fuels at the United Nations conference, arguing that the developing world would be heavily reliant on coal, oil, and gas for some time and that it was in the world’s interest to find more efficient ways of developing and burning those fuels.

Midway through, the panel was interrupted by scores of noisy protesters, who chanted, “Shame on you!” and “Keep it in the ground!” Griffith responded that the administration’s policy on fossil fuels like coal “is not to keep it in the ground, it’s to use it in a way that is clean and efficient.”

Also on the panel was Patrick Suckling, Australia’s ambassador for the environment, who agreed that “fossil fuels are projected to be a major source of energy for a significant time to come.” He spoke in favor of technology for capturing carbon dioxide from coal plants and burying it, and noted that such technology could be exported.

The public endorsement of fossil fuels came just days after the Trump administration helped to block the UN climate conference from embracing the findings of a major scientific report on global warming.

The United States — along with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Russia — refused to allow a collective statement that would “welcome” the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, which detailed a variety of strategies for cutting global fossil-fuel emissions roughly in half by 2030 in order to avoid many dangerous climate impacts.

Instead, the countries, all major oil and gas exporters, demanded the conference only “note” the existence of the report and thank the scientists for their work.


Trump was right about “raking” Finnish forests

Heavy machinery “rakes” Finland’s forest floors after tree cutting, greatly reducing fire risks

Mikko Paunio

President Donald Trump was recently ridiculed for telling California Governor Jerry Brown that the Golden State should do as my country does. Trump critics laughed at what some called his “bizarre” claim that foresters in Finland “rake” areas that have been thinned or clear-cut, to remove leaves and other debris that could otherwise start conflagrations like the recent tragic fires in California.

The Washington Post spread similar misinformation. The Los Angeles Times carried an article by Finnish “green” journalist Anu Partanen. “Finland to President Trump: We don’t rake the forest floor, but we do other things you should emulate,” the headline read. Late night talk show hosts had more fun at the President’s expense.

Ironically, all this happened at just about the time that Finland’s own forest specialists declared that Mr. Trump was correct about what he told Governor Brown. The foresters disseminated that information widely to the Finnish media and public.

As a result, much of Finland’s mainstream news media began ridiculing Finns who posted photos of garden rakes with the hashtag #RakingAmericaGreatAgain. Now the media are saying the self-styled comic activists were wrong to laugh at the President.

Of course, that too is ironic, since many of that same, very green Finnish mainstream media had actively questioned and ridiculed Mr. Trump just days earlier.

Back in America, not surprisingly, the exoneration story has been largely ignored. The media, pundits and late-night comedians had already made up their minds, don’t want to be confused by the facts – and don’t want their audiences confused by facts, either. Here’s the rest of the story: the missing facts, anyway.

One of the most pressing ecological problems today is preservationist forestry principles. This ideological approach prevents harvesting mature (or even any) trees, thinning out dense stands of timber to remove excess biomass (and thus allowing remaining trees to grow better, faster, thicker and taller), or even removing dense underbrush. This leads to an over-accumulation of biomass in trees and on forest floors. It makes forests vulnerable to raging and fast moving forest fires, especially during dry seasons, even more so when winds are blowing.

If these policies are accompanied by active suppression of forest fires over long periods of time – or by policies of not dousing “natural” fires until they become really big and dangerous – any ignition can lead to catastrophic events that cause tragic loss of property and human lives.

The “confusion” over what President Trump said unfortunately came initially from the Finnish side, as even our media thought “raking” meant only light removal of leaves, pine cones and other debris from forest floors. Even Finnish president Sauli Niinistö did not understand that the practice really involves “raking” with heavy machinery that removes extensive amounts of combustible material. Mr. Niinistö simply told Mr. Trump he could rely on advice from Finland to prevent catastrophic wildfires.

In Finland, after clear-cutting a forest area, crews use heavy machinery (similar to what is used in this video) to “rake” or gather tree harvesting residues, tree roots and other material into huge piles. The biomass is then chipped onsite after it has dried up sufficiently, and chips are hauled to local heat-producing plants to generate warmth for local residents.

In addition, throughout the clear-cut area, crews heavily till the soil so that a fire cannot move easily into or through the clear-cut area. This harvesting policy is motivated by the idea that clear-cutting mimics wildfires in pristine forests. Wildfires start a new succession: a new generation of trees in forests. Cutting does too, but without destroying soils and soil organisms the way raging fires do.

When the new succession has started in the previously clear-cut forest, Finnish law requires thinning operations around the best remaining trees, and accumulating biomass is again removed from time to time from these young forests. This again lessens the probability of uncontrolled wild fires, while allowing the strongest, healthiest trees to grow more fully in less confined spaces and with improved access to water, sunlight and nutrients.

There was some sense in Washington Post writer Rick Noack’s suggestion that forest roads can help prevent fires from spreading. They help fire brigades gain rapid access to fires before they get too big to control. They also provide open areas (“fire breaks”) that stop fires at their perimeters, if the fires aren’t too big.

Finland is about the size of New Hampshire and Vermont combined. It has an extensive forest road network (120 thousand kilometers, or 75,000 miles!) – and significantly more trees than 100 years ago, despite clear-cutting being at the center of our wood harvesting policy.

However, Mr. Noack also said, “The forest service in Finland does carry out controlled burns of the forest floor, mostly to clear away underbrush and also promote new saplings.” This is misleading, because it makes controlled burns seem more important than they actually are.

As a recent Finnish morning television program pointed out, the yearly acreage of controlled forest fires is only 200-300 hectares (500-750 acres), which is next to nothing. Moreover, these controlled burns are apparently performed on state lands only to symbolically please environmentalists.

Finland’s last “large” forest fire took place in 1997. It burned 250 hectares (625 acres) of forest in Southern Finland – a tiny fraction of what many U.S. fires burn every year.

The catastrophic fires seen in California and elsewhere are not due to climate change – natural or manmade – although warmer, drier, windier weather can certainly be a major contributing factor. The important point is that foresters must adapt to both weather and climate change, and revise past practices that are now known to cause serious problems. They must manage forests better, more scientifically and more responsibly, with special attention to areas where large populations of people reside.

Governments could also implement new standards for homes built in or near forests. Homes should have fire-resistant roofs and walls, and people should be required to keep brush and debris from accumulating.

Governor Brown and others seem to cite climate change as a way to absolve them of responsibility for ideological or incompetent decisions that help create or perpetuate conditions that spawn horrific, deadly infernos. This must not continue.

One final point regarding climate change. Finland’s official forest studies estimate that climate change (warmer temperatures and more atmospheric carbon dioxide) will help increase annual timber growth from the current 102 million cubic meters (m3) to 130 million m3 by 2050. The current wood harvesting rate is around 72 million m3, and the government announced recently that annual growth increased by five million m3 to a staggering 107 million in 2018.

Finland manages theses forests for timber, wildlife, controlled fires – and protection of nearby homes and people. Its lessons can and should be applied elsewhere. President Trump understands that. His incomplete grasp of Finnish “raking” and other practices led to confusion and ridicule, but should not result in these principles and practices being rejected out of hand.

Via email

What are they Plotting in Poland?

By Viv Forbes, Secretary of the Saltbush Club

The Saltbush Club today called on the Morrison Government to come clean on what additional burdens for Australians are being discussed at COP24, the UN climate jamboree now taking place in Poland.

The Secretary of The Saltbush Club, Mr Viv Forbes of Australia, said that Australia will suffer badly from the destructive energy policies being promoted by the UN’s war on cheap, reliable hydro-carbon fuels.

“Like the Trump supporters in USA, Brexit in Britain, Solidarity in Poland, the Yellow Vests in France and the new Brazilian government we do not support the UN energy plans and we fear their hidden agenda.

“Australia’s backbone industries were built on cheap reliable power. We have huge overheads in the bureaucracy, academia and the welfare state which must be supported by real industry - mining and smelting, farming, fishing, forestry, processing, transport and manufacturing. These industries rely on hydro-carbon energy – coal, gas, oil, diesel and petrol.

“Because Australia has no nuclear or geothermal power, limited hydro potential, an aging fleet of coal generators and several bans on gas exploration, we are very vulnerable to the UN’s war on hydro-carbons.

“PM Morrison must answer three specific questions:

“Who represents Australia at COP24?

“What instructions have they been given?

“When will he report to the Australian people?

“Australia should sign nothing, agree to nothing and signal its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

“COP24 will produce zero benefits for Earth’s climate, but their goals are economically irresponsible for those selected to pay the bills.

“The Paris Agreement they seek to enforce is negative for the Australian people, and for everyone not on the climate gravy train.”

Via email


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.  

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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

No dissent allowed

A skeptical event during the big global warming conference in Poland was shut down by U.N. officials

KATOWICE — The United Nations gave its blessing to a massive climate protest during the Trump administration’s pro-energy event today at the climate summit (COP24) in Poland, according to the U.S. delegation. The UN pre-authorized and pre-planned the wide-scale interruption that shut down the Trump White House’s pro-fossil fuel event.

Officials from the U.S. delegation told Climate Depot on Monday that the UN informed the U.S.  that the environmental activists would be authorized by the UN  to disrupt the U.S. event for at least “7 minutes” and the green protesters would be granted the floor, halt the event and give speeches during the U.S. event.

Like clockwork, when U.S. Special Advisor the to President, P. Wells Griffith of the Energy Department was speaking, the protesters began to laugh and chant about how the Trump administration was “funny” because they did not want to keep coal, oil and gas “in the ground.”

The protesters chanted “keep it in the ground” (fossil fuel energy which accounts for over 80% of world energy) to both the Trump administration officials as well as the climate skeptics who were seated in the front row.

The UN-supported protesters verbally targeted “climate deniers” Marc Morano of CFACT’s Climate Depot and author of the new skeptical book, and CFACT’s Craig Rucker and Adam Houser as well as author and writer Rupert Darwall, all of whom were sitting in the front row.

Climate protesters yelled at the climate skeptics, calling them “deniers” and “profiteers” and they also declared that “nuclear energy is genocide.”

CFACT president Craig Rucker commented, “It almost seems like the UN, by giving its stamp of approval to the protesters, it trying to punish President Trump for withdrawing from the UN Paris climate pact.”

When the “skeptic” Darwall responded to the protesters “rubbish,” there were calls to remove him immediately. “It tells you everything you need to know about their utter artificiality,” Darwall said.  “The one thing you can’t do at UN climate conference is heckle the hecklers. Instead, people are forced to listen to their childish ranting and be prevented from hearing what serious people on the platform had to say,” Darwall added.

“There should be an open and vigorous debate and it doesn’t help of the U.N. appears to have a dog in the race,” Kevin Mooney, an investigative journalist from Washington D.C. told Climate Depot.  Mooney added that instead of taking sides, the UN should hold a “detached, dispassionate position where protests are concerned.”


Extreme Fraud In The National Climate Assessment

People from President Trump down have mocked the recent National Climate Assessment as extreme scaremongering.  Climate historian Tony Heller has however gone one further and had a close look at their figures.  What he has found can only reasonably be described as fraud.  His posts are too extensive and too detaied for me to reproduce but go here for a detailed expose of this concoction of lies. Video version below

Subsidies for 'Renewables' on Chopping Block?

“As a matter of our policy, we want to end all of those subsidies.” That warning shot was given this week by Larry Kudlow, President Donald Trump’s economic adviser, regarding the future of electric vehicles. Currently, EV purchasers can take advantage of a hefty tax credit of up to $7,500. However, that tax credit is, at least notionally, slated for nullification. Kudlow added, “And by the way, other subsidies that were imposed during the Obama administration, we are ending, whether it’s for renewables and so forth.”

According to Reuters, “The tax credits are capped by Congress at 200,000 vehicles per manufacturer, after which the subsidy phases out. … Experts say the White House cannot change the cap unilaterally.” In other words, subsidy repeal should have been addressed long before Republicans lose their majority in the House next month. Nevertheless, the Trump administration’s position is salient.

Investor’s Business Daily opines that the eradication of subsidies “would be a major victory on the road to energy freedom.” The editors add, “No doubt there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth within the Green Movement. How will electric cars survive without government’s guiding hand? The answer is, most won’t. Otherwise, the federal government wouldn’t need to subsidize them.”

At its core the government is aggrandizing certain products above others, which is antithetical to and a mockery of free enterprise. “Moreover,” Investor’s notes, “the dirty little secret of the electric-car industry is that electric cars are dirty, too, and not necessarily cleaner than regular cars. … A big reason for this is the electric cars’ batteries, the heart of the industry. Many of the batteries are built in high-pollution countries like China, Thailand, Germany and Poland, all of which depend heavily on coal for their energy. So the CO2 produced just in making the electric cars is far greater than for a regular, gasoline-powered car.”

Consider also the primary source from which these batteries are charged — fossil fuels. Or as Investor’s put it, “It’s like someone dumping their garbage on the lawn of a neighbor down the street, while defending their own yard as pristine.” And as far as slashing emissions? Economist Jonathan Lesser says, “The net reduction in carbon dioxide emissions between 2018 and 2050 would be only about one-half of 1 percent of total forecast U.S. energy-related carbon emissions.”

Finally, just like with state and local tax deductions, electric vehicle subsidies principally assist more wealthy individuals due to the bloated costs of EVs that make them unaffordable to most of the middle class. “Wind, solar and other ‘alternative’ energies are near-perfect examples of political cronyism at its worst,” Investor’s concludes. “They produce electricity at outrageously high cost. They aren’t necessarily cleaner or better for the environment than fossil fuels. And they require subsidies to privileged, politically connected groups to exist.”

For these reasons, Trump should pursue subsidy repeal, even if that means waiting until the next election. Now if only we could get him to see the similarities with King Corn…


Climate Change Alarmism Is the World's Leading Cause of Hot Gas
Even as anti-gas tax riots raged in France this week, naturalist David Attenborough warned a crowd at a United Nations climate change summit in Poland that “the collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.” U.N. General Assembly President Maria Espinosa told the media that “mankind” is “in danger of disappearing” if climate change is allowed to progress at its current rate.

Speakers, who flew in to swap doomsday stories, advocated radical changes to avoid this imminent environmental apocalypse. These days, “the point of no return” is almost always in view yet always just out of reach.

Sorry, but by now, this rhetoric is familiar. You can go back to 1970, when Harvard biologist George Wald, riding a wave of popular environmental panic during the decade, estimated, “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”

Or you can go back to 1977, when Barack Obama’s future science “czar,” John Holdren, co-authored a book with Paul R. Ehrlich predicting that global warming could lead to the deaths of 1 billion starving people by 2020. (The authors theorized, “Population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution.”)

Or you can go back to 2006, when Al Gore warned in his Oscar-winning documentary that sea levels would rise by 20 feet “in the near future.” The producers even offered chilling depictions of cities underwater. Gore was only off by 20 feet or so. Anyway, South Beach is still with us.

The problem for alarmists is that warming is now here — allegedly the cause of an untold number of disasters, small and large — yet somehow humanity slogs onward, living longer, safer, richer lives. People internalize this reality, no matter what they tell pollsters.

At a big 2005 conference of concerned climate scientists and politicians in London, attendees warned that the world had as little as 10 years before it would reach “the point of no return on global warming.” They warned that humans would soon be grappling with “widespread agricultural failure,” “major droughts,” “increased disease,” “the death of forests” and the “switching-off of the North Atlantic Gulf Stream,” among many other terrible calamities.

Who knows? Maybe one day, humanity will be ravaged by new diseases because of a rise in temperature. Right now, though, we are on the cusp of eradicating such diseases as polio, measles and syphilis.

There is new hope that all mosquito-borne diseases will be eradicated someday, that a cure for AIDS is within reach and that a vaccine will be able to cut Alzheimer’s disease cases in half. Cancer survival rates have soared.

So perhaps in some far-flung era, humans will be toiling in a dystopian world of “widespread agricultural failure” as alarmists have been warning for many decades, but trends do not look promising for the Chicken Littles. Since 2005, humans have seen a spike in the use of genetically modified crops, as well as advances in heat-resistant crops, leading to booming yields in agriculture. According to the U.N., there were 200 million fewer hungry people in 2015 than there were in 1990.

Although not so big as the massive spike in climate change hysterics since 2005, there also has been a spike in fossil fuel consumption among nations that are slowly embracing the most effective poverty-killing program ever invented by man. And capitalism, even its worst iterations, runs best on cheap energy. This reality has produced a giant reduction in poverty, the extreme variety being cut in half around the world, according to the World Bank. The less poverty there is the more cars we will see and the less the U.S. and Europe can do about it.

Fortunately, Attenborough, Gore and the 22,000 delegates attending the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change can’t begin to contemplate the staggering number of advancements in productivity and science that await humans.

Of course, simply because Malthusians have been completely wrong about human ingenuity and adaptability for more than 100 years doesn’t necessarily mean they are wrong now. On the other hand, at no point in history has a massive top-down social engineering project ever worked as intended. It’s worth noting, for example, that the 10 worst famines of the 20th century were caused not by the excesses of capitalism or by environmental disasters but by collectivists trying to control human nature.

Trade-offs, ignored by doomsdayers since the beginning of history, are something people intuitively understand. That’s why the fearmongering hasn’t worked and probably never will.


There are none so blind as those who will not see

World’s water supplies are shrinking, says the Australian guff below. How Warmists arrive at that absurdity time after time is a wonder.  Basic physics tell us that in a warmer world the oceans will evaporate off more and so MORE rain will fall.  And it is uncontested that the world has warmed by about one degree Celsius over the last century or so.

And CO2 levels have also risen a lot, though not in synchrony with the warming.  And high CO2 makes plants drought-tolerant, a result we see  in the greening of the Sahel, for instance.  The people behind the conference may be religious fanatics but they are not scientists.  They spit in the face of science

Climate change results of global significance, collected over the past few years by researchers at the University of New South Wales, will be discussed at a news conference in Sydney.

The research will show evidence that drought-like conditions are becoming more commonplace, and likely worsen in the years ahead. The research has identified the localised mechanisms driving this effect, and a way to predict how this global drying will unfold as the climate warms.

Evidence will also be shown that global warming has caused storms to change behaviour, leading to more intense downpours that quickly overwhelm stormwater infrastructure and create flooding in urban areas.

To cope, major investments will need to be made to re-engineer farms and cities – in some places, similar in scope to the Snowy Mountain Scheme. The researchers will call for a national conversation on the implications for Australia.

The results of these global studies, the most exhaustive ever undertaken, rely on actual data rather than climate modelling. They show that both of these effects – driven by global warming – will have serious consequences for cities and rural areas in Australia and around the world.

When:      9:00 am – 9.45 am, Thursday 13 December 2018
Where:     Theatre 8, Level 6, UNSW City Centre Campus

Media release. Contact: Wilson da Silva |


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


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Greenland is losing ice at fastest rate in 350 years (?)

Is anybody bothered that the researchers examined meltwater that did NOT run off into the sea to estimate how much meltwater DID run off into the sea?  A large question about the validity of their measuring instrument there, I think. That one type of melting estimates the other is just an assumption and not a terribly plausible one.  Processes in the two areas are known to be different in one way so why are there not differences in other ways?

And they used results from a few icecores in one part of Greenland to estimate what has happened in the whole of Greenland.  How did they accomplish that vast feat of overgeneralization?  By running models.  But you can get whatever you want out of models.  I am betting that there were a few "adjustments" before a final model run was accepted

Too many assumptions there for any firm conclusions.  Different methods could yield different conclusions

Vast ice sheet's dramatic transformation revealed by ice cores, satellite data and climate models.

Ice melt across Greenland is accelerating, and the volume of meltwater running into the ocean has reached levels that are probably unprecedented in seven or eight millennia. The findings, drawn from ice cores stretching back almost 350 years, show a sharp spike in melting over the past two decades.

Previous studies have shown record melting on parts of Greenland's ice, but the latest analysis includes the first estimate of historical runoff across the entire ice sheet. The results, published on 5 December in Nature, show that the runoff rate over the past two decades was 33% higher than the twentieth-century average, and 50% higher than in the pre-industrial era.

“The melting is not just increasing — it’s accelerating,” says lead author Luke Trusel, a glaciologist at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. “And that’s a key concern for the future.”

Centuries of ice

A team led by Trusel drilled a series of ice cores, the biggest 140 metres long, in central West Greenland in 2014 and 2015. There, snow that melts in the summer later refreezes, rather than running off into the ocean — creating an annual record of ice melt. The researchers compared data from these ice cores, and an older core from the same area, with satellite observations of melting across Greenland, and estimates of melt and runoff from a regional climate model.

The team’s analysis suggested that the rate of melting at its drilling sites is representative of trends across Greenland. Armed with this knowledge, the researchers used the ice-core data as a proxy to estimate runoff rates going back centuries — before satellites and climate models existed.

The findings bolster a study published in March that found that West Greenland is melting faster than it has in at least 450 years2. “What this paper does nicely is expand that record to the whole ice sheet,” says Erich Osterberg, a climatologist at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and a co-author of the March study.


Journal Abstract:

Nonlinear rise in Greenland runoff in response to post-industrial Arctic warming

Luke D. Trusel et al.


The Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) is a growing contributor to global sea-level rise1, with recent ice mass loss dominated by surface meltwater runoff2,3. Satellite observations reveal positive trends in GrIS surface melt extent4, but melt variability, intensity and runoff remain uncertain before the satellite era. Here we present the first continuous, multi-century and observationally constrained record of GrIS surface melt intensity and runoff, revealing that the magnitude of recent GrIS melting is exceptional over at least the last 350 years. We develop this record through stratigraphic analysis of central west Greenland ice cores, and demonstrate that measurements of refrozen melt layers in percolation zone ice cores can be used to quantifiably, and reproducibly, reconstruct past melt rates. We show significant (P < 0.01) and spatially extensive correlations between these ice-core-derived melt records and modelled melt rates5,6 and satellite-derived melt duration4 across Greenland more broadly, enabling the reconstruction of past ice-sheet-scale surface melt intensity and runoff. We find that the initiation of increases in GrIS melting closely follow the onset of industrial-era Arctic warming in the mid-1800s, but that the magnitude of GrIS melting has only recently emerged beyond the range of natural variability. Owing to a nonlinear response of surface melting to increasing summer air temperatures, continued atmospheric warming will lead to rapid increases in GrIS runoff and sea-level contributions.

Nature volume 564, pages104–108 (2018)

Climate lunacy takes center stage in Poland

IPCC Poland conference presents fictional climate chaos and fake renewable energy salvation

Paul Driessen

The unwritten rule seems to be that each successive climate report and news release must be more scarifying than any predecessors, especially during the run-up to international conferences.

Thus Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report 15 claims governments worldwide must make “unprecedented changes in all aspects of society,” spend $40 trillion by 2035 on renewable energy, and impose carbon taxes that climb to $5,500 per ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) by 2030. Or temperatures could climb another 1 degree F (0.5 C) and bring utter cataclysm to human civilization and our planet.

Not to be outdone, the 1,700-page 2018 US National Climate Assessment wailed that failure to eliminate fossil fuels and roll back American industry and living standards would send global temperatures soaring 15 degrees F by 2100! Chaos and food shortages would ensue; US economic growth would plummet.

The hyperbole continues in Katowice, Poland – where 30,000 activists and bureaucrats (and a few scientists) are meeting to finalize regulations to implement the 2015 Paris climate treaty and compel wealthy nations to give trillions of dollars in “adaptation, mitigation and compensation” money to poor countries that have been “victimized” by climate change, even as the rich nations de-industrialize.

All of this certainly plays well with those who orchestrated these reports and programs, are ideologically opposed to fossil fuels, or get paid to advance climate chaos and renewable energy narratives. However, a very different response among other audiences is increasingly evident around the world.

People look out their windows and realize the “unprecedented climate and weather chaos” isn’t actually happening, is little different from what they and previous generations experienced, and cannot possibly be attributed solely to fossil fuel use. They know the sun and other powerful natural forces have driven frequent climate changes throughout history, and play equally important roles today.

They understand that the scary headlines are the product of “scenarios” conjured up by computer models that blame climate change on greenhouse gases. They see the boy who cried “fifty 20-foot-tall wolves” far too often. They don’t buy the notion that today’s incredibly wealthy, high-tech, energy-rich societies are somehow less able to deal with climate change than those that lived through the Little Ice Age, for example. They typically put climate change at the bottom of any list of pressing concerns.

More and more people understand that fossil fuels provide 80% of US and global energy – and are essential to lifting billions more people out of crushing poverty. They see Asian and African countries building thousands of new coal- and gas-fired electrical generating plants, and making and driving millions of new cars. They know even Germany and Japan are burning more coal, as they realize that wind and solar subsidies and facilities raise energy costs, kill jobs and hurt poor families the most.

People resent being scammed and get angry when they realize their taxes and energy payments often line the pockets of climate activists, scientists, bureaucrats, politicians, and wind, solar and biofuel cronies.

Above all, a growing number see the proposed solutions as far worse than the wildly exaggerated and even fabricated climate disasters. They won’t tolerate having their livelihoods and living standards disrupted or destroyed by carbon taxes, even higher energy prices or fossil fuel bans – especially when the antipathy toward those fuels is combined with plans to terminate nuclear and even hydroelectric power.

In recent weeks, millions of mostly poor, working class and rural French citizens have joined the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) movement, protesting and even rioting against President Macron’s proposed carbon tax hikes on their driving and living standards. Even a French police union has sided with the protesters. A shaken Macron finally postponed the tax for six months, then scrapped the plan entirely.

The protests are the first serious backlash against international eco-imperialism. They won’t be the last.

In Africa alone, twice as many people as live in the USA still do not have electricity, or have it only rarely and unpredictably. Can you imagine your life without electricity? And yet they are told by the EU, environmentalists, the World Bank and others that they must restrict their ambitions to what is possible with wind, solar and biofuel energy. Would you accept such carbon colonialism? Can actual, real-world climate risks possibly be worse than the horrid poverty, deprivation and disease that afflicts them now?

The World Bank recently said it would kindly give poor countries $200 billion during its FY2021-25 cycle, for “adaptation and resilience” in the face of manmade climate change. But still nothing for fossil fuel or nuclear power. The White House should read it the riot act, especially if US money is involved.

Poor countries don’t need climate cash. They need to develop: energy, infrastructure, factories, jobs, health, living standards. They need to do what rich countries did to become rich – not what (some) rich countries are doing (or at least saying) now that they are rich. Thankfully, many are doing exactly that.

Abundant, reliable, affordable electricity, motor fuels and factory power creates its own prosperity; its own ability to improve roads, hospitals, schools, homes and so on; its own “drop dead money” to tell carbon colonialists to take a hike. “Green” energy is insufficient, unsustainable and ecologically harmful.

With America likely being joined soon by Brazil in rejecting the Paris climate trap, poor nations are on firm ground. Ontario (Canada), Poland. Australia, China, India and other countries have also rejected carbon taxes and coal use restrictions. The Paris deal is fast becoming a climate Potemkin Village.

But what about that National Climate Assessment? Wasn’t that a Trump White House document? It certainly needed some adult supervision, to ride herd on the 1,000 Deep State scientists and bureaucrats who prepared it. However, the White House let them prove how loony climate alarmism has become.

Indeed, as Nick Loris, Roger Pielke, Jr. and other experts have pointed out, the NCA was based on absurd assumptions (eg, vastly increased coal use and no energy technology advances over the next 70 years) and a ridiculous worst-case global temperature increase of 15 degrees F by 2100. That’s twice as high as even the IPCC’s worst-case projections, and far worse than Garbage In-Garbage Out climate models are predicting. It’s more than 15 times the total warming our Earth has experienced since 1820!

The NCA is also based on rampant cherry-picking of data, to wildly inflate climate risks; an almost total failure to factor in the incalculable benefits of fossil fuels; and a refusal to consider the plant-fertilizing benefits of more atmospheric carbon dioxide. It just depicts the CO2 we exhale solely as a dangerous climate-changing pollutant. The NCA also ignored the fact that actual observations show no increases in drought, no increases in the frequency or magnitude of floods, no trends in the frequency or intensity of hurricanes. It didn’t mention the 12-year absence of Category 3-5 hurricanes making US landfall.

Just as egregious, the Deep State NCA claimed continued fossil fuel use would hit the United States with $500 billion in annual climate related costs by 2090. That’s more than twice the percentage lost during the Great Depression. It’s 10% of the US economy in 1971. Even with modest economic growth, it’s likely to be a trivial 0.6% of America’s GDP in 2090. The NCA bogeyman is a little stuffed bear.

But based on IPCC and NCA fear mongering, America and the world are supposed to keep their fossil fuels in the ground – including what the US Geological Survey says is the “largest continuous oil and gas resource potential ever assessed!!” Over 46 billion barrels of oil, 280 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 20 billion barrels of natural gas liquids in just part of the Texas-New Mexico Permian Basin.

No one denies that the climate changes, or even that human activities have some effects on climate and weather. But there is no real-world evidence that human CO2 emissions have replaced the sun and other natural forces; that another degree of warming would be cataclysmic; or that humans can control climate changes and weather events by tweaking the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Via email

US Leads the World in Cutting CO2 Emissions While Most Countries Go the Opposite Way

The United Nations is urging countries to pursue more aggressive emissions-cutting policies to keep post-Industrial Revolution global warming under 2 degrees Celsius.

The U.N. released a report Tuesday that says the world must revamp efforts several times what they are currently to avoid climate change's worst effects.

The United States leads developed countries in cutting emissions. President Donald Trump ignited a furor in the environmental community when he announced he would pull the U.S. out of the 2015 Paris climate accord.

The agreement outlined strategies and goals for combatting climate change, but the deal, without an enforcement mechanism, has done little to reduce the world's carbon output.

Most countries continue to increase their carbon emissions.

China, the largest contributor to increasing emissions, has said it will continue to increase emissions for several more years before peaking and focusing on reducing emissions.

India will continue to develop and increase its fossil fuel use.

European countries increased emissions by 1.5 percent in 2017 on average, according to an annual report by British Petroleum.

Germany and France, both attempting to ratchet up environmental policies, increased emissions by 0.1 and 2 percent, respectively.

"The science is clear; for all the ambitious climate action we've seen - governments need to move faster and with greater urgency. We're feeding this fire while the means to extinguish it are within reach," U.N. Environment Deputy Executive Director Joyce Msuya said in a statement.

The U.N. blames the climate accord's failure on world leaders' reluctance to act. Most of the world's electricity and standard of living is propped up by fossil fuels, but recent reports have claimed that unchecked climate change will devastate the Earth with extreme heat, flooding and rampant poverty.

"The missing link here is leadership," U.N. Environment program officer Philip Drost told The Wall Street Journal.

"It's a matter of countries not yet wanting to take those bold steps. It is, of course, an incredibly difficult task to move from a fossil-fuel-based economy to a carbon-free economy."

The United States's emissions hit a near-seven decade low in 2017. The U.S. power sector has cut emissions by roughly 28 percent since 2005.


Even Accelerated Energy Transition Can't Keep Global Warming Below 2 Degrees

Even an accelerated clean energy transition will fall short of the effort required to limit global warming to 2 degrees.

That's the headline finding of a new report by international energy market research firm Wood Mackenzie looking at electricity, mobility, energy efficiency and ongoing demand for oil.

The study compares a base case and a "Carbon-constrained" scenario. Even in a world where 100% of new vehicles in the U.S., EU and China are all electric by 2040, WoodMac forecasts that 2 degrees is beyond reach.

The 2 degrees figure is considered the global average warming that the world's societies, and economies, could reasonably bear. There were calls for this to set at 1.5. The target is a cornerstone of the UN's climate process which begins its latest round of negotiations in Katowice, Poland next week.

"The global energy transition will continue to progress, led in large part to technologies and decarbonization trends we're already seeing in the marketplace - the rise of renewables, growth in electric vehicles, electrification of end-use demand, increasing efficiency," said David Brown, senior analyst at Wood Mackenzie.

That growth in renewables for Wood Mac's Carbon-constrained scenario is 11% annually until 2035. That leaves wind and solar with a 40% share of electricity production compared to 7% today.

The more ambitious scenarios brings forward the research firm's Peak Oil date by five years to 2031.

The report flags renewables as the big winner under the more ambitious conditions with coal the unrivaled loser. WoodMac predicts a global halving of demand by 2040, even with an effective carbon pricing mechanism.

The more ambitious scenario relies on certain assumptions and when matched against today's political reality a lack of urgency is exposed.

Brown adds:

Our carbon-constrained scenario pushes the boundaries of our base-case view to illustrate a world where these trends join, and potentially outstrip, policy as a key force behind decarbonisation.

Even with an accelerated pace of change, a `2 degree world' remains out of reach in our accelerated scenario. Much more needs to happen around lowering non-power sector emissions to achieve such an outcome. Political momentum will be crucial and at present climate leadership is lacking."

A report earlier this week from the German insurance giant Allianz found the U.S. to be sliding down the clean energy rankings among its G20 peers. It dropped to ninth position after cuts to Federal support for wind and solar. Investment for 2017 was $57 billion, one-third of the total needed to align with the commitments set out in the Paris Agreement.

France, Germany and the U.K. took the top three spots respectively.


Cold Hard Facts for Climate Change Alarmists: Civilization Isn’t Ending – Not in 1985 and Not in 2100

“Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”

Sounds dire. A reaction to the National Climate Assessment published the day after Thanksgiving? No. Harvard biologist George Wald made that claim in 1970.

So if Wald had been correct, just about everything would have crumbled to ruin sometime between 1985 and 2000.

Wald, however, wasn’t alone. He and others came up with some incredibly over-the-top predictions as the 1960s came to a close.

“Earth Day” founder Denis Hayes, for example, didn’t hedge his bets: “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.” Or take Paul Ehrlich (please). The author of 1968’s “The Population Bomb” was another gloom-and-doom prophet who made so many failed predictions over the years that it’s almost hard to keep count.

“Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make,” he said in a 1970 interview. “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next 10 years.”

Off by about 180 degrees. Food production spiked in the ensuing years. And starvation on such a massive scale never materialized, thank God.

Many other examples could be cited (I haven’t even touched on predictions by global-warming luminaries such as Al Gore), but I hope the point is clear: Take sky-is-falling claims with a large grain of salt.

Particularly because they never seem to go out of style. You’d think, given the track record I’ve just referred to, that doomsayers would learn to temper their warnings, at least a little bit. But no. We see the same trend at work with the National Climate Assessment.

“Global greenhouse gas emissions is expected to cause substantial net damage to the U.S. economy throughout this century,” we read in the 1,700-page report.

How substantial? As The New York Times noted: “All told, the report says, climate change could slash up to a tenth of gross domestic product by 2100, more than double the losses of the Great Recession a decade ago.”

Sounds awful, to put it mildly. Then again, so did the first Earth Day predictions. And these latest claims are just as plausible, according to climate expert Nicolas Loris.

“The study … calculates these costs on the assumption that the world will be 15 degrees Fahrenheit warmer,” he writes. “That temperature projection is even higher than the worst-case scenario predicted by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“In other words, it is completely unrealistic.”

So where do these Chicken Little claims come from? In the report, climatologists lay out four possible future trajectories for the environment. Alarmists seized on the worst one.

It’s also the least likely. It assumes a combination of bad factors will somehow coincide – that global population will climb at the fastest-possible rate (about double the current amount), that technology will develop at the slowest-possible rate, and that world poverty will increase massively, along with energy use and emissions.

Would it be responsible to assume the best-case scenario? Of course not. But assuming the worst-case is no better. In fact, considering the policy changes that believers wind up pushing as a result – such as huge carbon taxes and giant subsidies for dubious “green” projects – it’s even less responsible.

Not that the alarmists need an excuse like the National Climate Assessment to make bad recommendations. Even before it came out, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had proposed a tax of between $135 and $5,500 per ton of carbon emissions by the year 2030.

“An energy tax of that magnitude would bankrupt families and businesses, and undoubtedly catapult the world into economic despair,” Loris writes.

If the doomsayers want to spread pessimism, that’s their business. But the rest of us shouldn’t have to pay for it.

It’s time for the global-warming crowd to realize, once and for all, that civilization isn’t ending – not in 1985 and not in 2100. And those are the cold facts.



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


Monday, December 10, 2018

Global carbon emissions reached a record high in 2018

Half the story again, in the usual Leftist way.  I have yet to see them give the whole story on anything.  They can't afford to. Reality is solidly against their dreams.

I am not for a minute going to challenge their claim of maximal CO2 levels this year.  CO2 has been rising fairly steadily for many years now.  But why does that matter?  CO2 is referred to only because of its supposed influence on the global temperature.  So it is the temperature that is the real issue. It is the temperature that is the important part of the story.  Warmist theory does say that as CO2 levels go up so will temperatures.  So were the temperatures in fact higher in 2018?

We can check that.  Anyone can check that. Go here for the official GISS monthly temperature record.  You will see that in all months but one the 2018 temperatures were LOWER than 2016.  If we can take just one year as informative -- which Warmists regularly do -- the temperature is in fact FALLING!

Global emissions of carbon dioxide have reached the highest levels on record, scientists projected Wednesday, in the latest evidence of the chasm between international goals for combating climate change and what countries are actually doing.

Between 2014 and 2016, emissions remained largely flat, leading to hopes that the world was beginning to turn a corner. Those hopes have been dashed. In 2017, global emissions grew 1.6 percent. The rise in 2018 is projected to be 2.7 percent.

The expected increase, which would bring fossil fuel and industrial emissions to a record high of 37.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year, is being driven by nearly 5 percent emissions growth in China and more than 6 percent in India, researchers estimated, along with growth in many other nations throughout the world. Emissions by the United States grew 2.5 percent, while emissions by the European Union declined by just under 1 percent.

As nations are gathered for climate talks in Poland, the message of Wednesday’s report was unambiguous: When it comes to promises to begin cutting the greenhouse gas emissions that fuel climate change, the world remains well off target.

‘‘We are in trouble. We are in deep trouble with climate change,’’ United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said this week at the opening of the 24th annual UN climate conference, where countries will wrestle with the ambitious goals they need to meet to sharply reduce carbon emissions in coming years.

‘‘It is hard to overstate the urgency of our situation,’’ he added. ‘‘Even as we witness devastating climate impacts causing havoc across the world, we are still not doing enough, nor moving fast enough, to prevent irreversible and catastrophic climate disruption.’’

Guterres was not commenting specifically on Wednesday’s findings, which were released in a trio of scientific papers by researchers with the Global Carbon Project. But his words came amid a litany of grim news in the fall in which scientists have warned that the effects of climate change are no longer distant and hypothetical, and that the impacts of global warming will only intensify in the absence of aggressive international action.

Scientists have said that annual carbon dioxide emissions need to plunge almost by half by the year 2030 if the world wants to hit the most stringent — and safest — climate change target. That would be either keeping the Earth’s warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius — when it is already at 1 degrees — or only briefly ‘‘overshooting’’ that temperature.


Brendan Clark is a sad soul.  He is brimming over with hate

Brendan Clark [] sent the following message to Marc Morano.  Most of the Left cannot argue.  Abuse is all they have.  It must be very uncomfortable to be so full of rage

Messaging you to let you know how much of a horrible person I believe you to be. The propaganda you spread is horrifying. I cannot wait for the day you die and are sent straight to hell, in fact I pray for it every day. From now on you will receive an email from me once a day until you are dead. Dont try to block me as I will just make a new email.
Go fuck your mother

America turned into a net oil exporter last week, breaking 75 years of continued dependence on foreign oil

The shift to net exports is the dramatic result of an unprecedented boom in American oil production, with thousands of wells pumping from the Permian region of Texas and New Mexico to the Bakken in North Dakota to the Marcellus in Pennsylvania.

While the country has been heading in that direction for years, this week’s dramatic shift came as data showed a sharp drop in imports and a jump in exports to a record high. Given the volatility in weekly data, the U.S. will likely remain a small net importer most of the time.

“We are becoming the dominant energy power in the world,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research. “But, because the change is gradual over time, I don’t think it’s going to cause a huge revolution, but you do have to think that OPEC is going to have to take that into account when they think about cutting.”

The shale revolution has transformed oil wildcatters into billionaires and the U.S. into the world’s largest petroleum producer, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia. The power of OPEC has been diminished, undercutting one of the major geopolitical forces of the last half century. The cartel and its allies are meeting in Vienna this week, trying to make a tough choice to cut output and support prices, risking the loss of more market share to the U.S.

The U.S. sold overseas last week a net 211,000 barrels a day of crude and refined products such as gasoline and diesel, compared to net imports of about 3 million barrels a day on average so far in 2018, and an annual peak of more than 12 million barrels a day in 2005, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The EIA said the U.S. has been a net oil importer in weekly data going back to 1991 and monthly data starting in 1973. Oil historians that have compiled even older annual data using statistics from the American Petroleum Institute said the country has been a net oil importer since 1949, when Harry Truman was at the White House.

The massive Permian may be even bigger than previously thought. The Delaware Basin, the less drilled part of the field, holds more than twice the amount of crude as its sister, the Midland Basin, the U.S. Geological Service said Thursday.

While the net balance shows the U.S. is selling more petroleum than buying, American refiners continue to buy millions of barrels each day of overseas crude and fuel. The U.S. imports more than 7 million barrels a day of crude from all over the globe to help feed its refineries, which consume more than 17 million barrels each day. In turn, the U.S. has become the world’s top fuel supplier.

“The U.S. is now a major player in the export market,” said Brian Kessens, who helps manage $16 billion at Tortoise in Leawood, Kansas. “We continue to re-tool our export infrastructure along the Gulf Coast to expand capacity, and you continue to see strong demand globally for crude oil.”

On paper, the shift to net oil imports means that the U.S. is today energy independent, achieving a rhetorical aspiration for generations of American politicians, from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush. Yet, it’s a paper tiger achievement: In reality, the U.S. remains exposed to global energy prices, still affected by the old geopolitics of the Middle East.

U.S. crude exports are poised to rise even further, with new pipelines from the Permian in the works and at least nine terminals planned that will be capable of loading supertankers. The only facility currently able to load the largest ships, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, is on pace to load more oil in December than it has in any other month.


SCOTUS Rejects Ecofascist Challenge to Border Wall

President Trump gets an all-too-rare immigration win in the courts

A gaggle of three ecofascist groups just saw their hopes of preventing President Donald Trump from constructing a border wall based upon their environmental “concerns” rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices refused to take up the case in which California Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel had ruled in February in favor of Trump. Curiel determined that the president had not exceeded his powers and had the legal authority to waive environmental laws based upon a 1996 law that was designed to stem illegal immigration.

In his ruling, Curiel quoted Chief Justice John Roberts: “Court(s) are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgements. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.” That was Roberts’s opinion in upholding ObamaCare despite clear constitutional reasons to strike it down, so Curiel’s choice of a quote was … interesting.

It’s important to note that it takes the approval of only four justices for a case to be heard before the High Court. Thus, the fact that not even four justices agreed to hear arguments sends the message that this case — obviously aimed at stymying Trump’s immigration-enforcement agenda — didn’t meet muster even for the Court’s left wing.

This is a clear win for Trump. It’s also ironic given that it originated with Curiel, a judge Trump previously criticized in a 2016 lawsuit regarding his now-defunct Trump University. At the time, Trump accused Curiel of being biased due to his Mexican heritage. But Curiel acted as any good judge should — upon the merits of the case as it relates to the law and not upon personal animus or bias.

Whether Trump gets congressional funding to build the wall is another matter entirely, but at least this roadblock cooked up by anti-Trump ecofascists has been removed.


Barmaid Sandy declares climate change 'the civil rights movement of our generation'

It's just a political football

Liberal Democrats and environmental groups are urging the next Congress to do more to push back against the effects of climate change after watching the issue get sidelined over the first two years of the Trump administration.

Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont hosted a town hall Monday where he and other “climate justice” warriors, including Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, warned that the longer President Trump and elected leaders refuse to address the “great crisis,” the more that people, the planet and the economy will be hurt.

“The time is late,” Mr. Sanders said. “Countries all over the world are going to have to stand up [and] take on the fossil fuel industry if we are going to leave our kids and our grandchildren a planet that is habitable.

“This is a crisis situation,” he said. “It is unprecedented and we have got to act in an unprecedented way.”

The town hall event coincided with the start of the United Nations climate change summit in Poland and came about a month after Democrats took control of the House — leaving activists excited about the role that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and other activists turned politicians could play in focusing more attention on the issue.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez highlighted her push for a “Green New Deal” that calls for a select committee to put together a plan to combat climate change by 2020.

“This is going to be the great society, the moon shot, the civil rights movement of our generation,” she said.

The calls for action on climate change spiked last month after 13 federal agencies released a report — the Fourth National Climate Change Assessment — that provided stark warnings about how rising temperatures could lead to more drought, fires and flooding, and devastate the economy and people’s health.

Mr. Trump, who has rolled back regulation targeting carbon emissions, dismissed the findings and GOP lawmakers have basically followed suit.

Likely contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination have pounced on the report, and the issue. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is slated on Tuesday to be in Iowa to screen a new documentary called “Paris to Pittsburgh” that highlights the impact of climate change and what people are doing to address the problem.

The title of the documentary, which Mr. Bloomberg helped finance, alludes to Mr. Trump’s announcement last year that he was pulling the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement because, “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”

“Iowans understand what too many leaders in Washington don’t: Fighting climate change is good for our health and our economy,” Mr. Bloomberg said Monday in a Des Moines Register op-ed.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, another likely 2020 contender introduced legislation this year that would mandate public companies disclose more information about their exposure to climate-related risks. Half the bill’s eight co-sponsors — Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Kamala D. Harris of California and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York — are thought to be lining up presidential bids.

Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, meanwhile, has called on her caucus to revive a select committee on climate change that was defunded when Republicans took over the chamber, and others have vowed to tackle the issue in congressional hearings.

It remains to be seen how much could change legislatively in Washington next year — particularly with Republicans calling the shots in the Senate.

What is clear is that climate is poised to get more of a look in the Democrat-controlled House, where lawmakers already are laying out plans to hold a series of congressional hearings on the subject early next year.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez helped thrust the issue into the headlines last month when she joined grass-roots activists protesting outside Mrs. Pelosi’s office last month demanding more action on climate change.

“I believe that the progressive movement is the only movement that has answers right now,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said Monday.


The Climate Change Ignorance Of Millenials

If the hair doesn’t go up on the back of your neck when reading this sort of thing, it damn well should.

It was a moment of the kind that changes lives. At a press conference held by climate activists Extinction Rebellion last week, two of us journalists pressed the organisers on whether their aims were realistic. They have called, for example, for UK carbon emissions to be reduced to net zero by 2025. Wouldn’t it be better, we asked, to pursue some intermediate aims?

A young woman called Lizia Woolf stepped forward. She hadn’t spoken before, but the passion, grief and fury of her response was utterly compelling. “What is it that you are asking me as a 20-year-old to face and to accept about my future and my life? … This is an emergency. We are facing extinction. When you ask questions like that, what is it you want me to feel?” We had no answer.

Softer aims might be politically realistic, but they are physically unrealistic. Only shifts commensurate with the scale of our existential crises have any prospect of averting them. Hopeless realism, tinkering at the edges of the problem, got us into this mess. It will not get us out.

Oh really?

The entire premise rests on the belief that there are exponential tipping points beyond which there is no redemption, ever, when it comes to climate — and we’re driving the Earth’s systems in the direction that will reach them.

Let me point that there is no scientific evidence for that position.  None whatsoever.

There is, however, nearly-irrefutable evidence for the converse.  It rests in the fact that we’re here, today, on this rock.

What am I referring to?  What are known in concert as buffering reactions.

The Earth possesses them as does every living thing on the planet both through physical chemistry and, in the case of living things, biological process. This is irrefutable fact.

You are alive because of such buffering reactions.  One of hundreds in your body, which is a complex biochemical process, deals with respiration.  The process of biochemical reactions that produce energy in your body result in CO2 and other waste products (uric acid, etc) being released.

The CO2 in the blood stream is a dissolved gas and dissolving a gas disassociates the ions in question; the result is a small amount of CH2O3, or carbonic acid, being present in the blood.  That in turn slightly lowers blood pH since acids, by definition, have a lower than neutral pH.

Your body reacts to this by increasing the respiration (breathing) rate.  The CO2 is thus expelled from the body and the carbonic acid is removed, slightly raising the pH of the blood.  Your breathing then slows.

Let me emphasize something here: The change in pH as a result of this process is extremely small; normal blood pH ranges from 7.35 to 7.45 (7.0 is neutral.)

Yet your body, indeed that of every animal that respires, is tuned to these extraordinarily small changes and responds with a buffering reaction that attempts to reverse that change.  It does so automatically and immediately — within seconds.

Most people believe that the body keeps arterial O2 saturation in the blood at almost-100% by direct biochemical measurement.  Not so.  This is why you will suffocate silently and painlessly if you breathe an atmosphere that has no oxygen in it.

Your body doesn’t think anything is wrong because there is no increase in CO2 level nor change in blood pH, there is no respiratory response or distress (breathing faster trying to get what little O2 may exist), you just pass out and die.

Now if you are chronically diseased (such as by smoking for decades) then this reaction will become damaged.  Normally, without a secondary mechanism to regulate respiration, that condition would immediately kill you as your O2 saturation would fall below lethal limits or your blood pH would go out of the required range to support life.

It doesn’t, because the body has a secondary mechanism; it can directly determine O2 saturation to some degree and if your CO2 sensing mechanism is damaged to the point that it doesn’t function properly it is capable of taking over sufficiently to keep you alive.  But that “backup” is much slower, much less-precise and your exercise tolerance is essentially zero if your body is using that mechanism.

The Earth has thousands of such buffering reactions.  The oceans, specifically and just as one of these reactions, have an utterly enormous amount of carbonate dissolved in them.  You might recognize that word, and you should, because it’s the same molecule — CO2 — that is dissolved in the blood.

The oceans (indeed, all bodies of water) constantly exchange CO2 with the atmosphere.  This is known.  But what’s not known well at all is exactly what sort of boundaries are on this reaction, where equilibrium points are, what shifts said equilibrium points, or what the shape of the curve looks like in the actual world rather than in a laboratory.

It’s a hell of a lot more-complex than it first appears and there’s a damn good argument to be made that this singular buffering reaction is largely responsible for the possibility of life on this rock.

Throughout the history of the planet some extremely large disruptive events have happened.  Very large volcanic eruptions that make anything experienced in the history books look like firecrackers and asteroid strikes to name two.  We know these happened because they leave behind direct evidence, and we know roughly when they happened.

In the absence of buffering reactions within the larger context of the planet’s chemistry life on this rock would have been extinguished millions of years ago and this would be a lifeless rock.  It wasn’t and isn’t.

Now it is absolutely true that the Earth cannot support unlimited and permanent exponential population growth of any species.

There is no such thing as permanent exponential growth of anything, ever, period.  You must stop such growth voluntarily at some point or you will be forced to stop by a foldback event where you cannot support what you grew.  This is true for populations and it is true for economies.

Governments refuse to accept this and make promises based on the belief they can violate this law of mathematics.  They’re not just “wrong” by accident either — they know they’re lying.

As I pointed out in Leverage behind every unit of GDP is a unit of energy.  Energy can neither be created or destroyed; it can be exchanged through nuclear reactions with matter (E = MC^2 and all) but if stored by some process and then released it is inherently dissipated back into the environment.

Sequestering the product somewhere (again) also requires energy from some other place; CO2 is sequestered into plant material by solar energy as just one example. All chemical reactions have (although often omitted when not being quoted by a chemist or other scientist) an energy term in joules/mol — either liberated or required.  There is no such thing as a free lunch.

While it would be nice to postulate that we will come up with some sort of Star Trek technology improvement before we hit the natural limits and foldback points of exponential expansion, especially of people, that’s not exactly comforting.

Maybe we will and maybe we won’t, but history suggests it will be won’t and we’ll get the nasty.  Nature has a way of doing that, and the “nasty” is frequently something like the plague that kills off a material percentage of the population!

In point of fact warming and higher CO2 levels are, on a planetary scale, beneficial.  Higher atmospheric CO2 levels make plants grow faster, which is good if you need them to either feed people directly or feed animals that then feed people.  In addition while warmer temperatures will shift crop production they too are beneficial in that longer growing seasons also improve crop yields.

While it is absolutely true that severe warming would inundate certain areas that’s a local issue, not a global one.  On a global — not local — basis if you are interested in trying to sustain an exponential population growth pattern for a longer period of time you want more CO2 in the atmosphere and you want a warmer climate — period.

This is a function of math, not politics.

If you could stop warming and CO2 emission then you need to also not only stop population growth you must kill off a material percentage of the people already here.  Those screamers who are hollering “emergency!” are in fact intending to do exactly that as it is the only way to get where they want to go.  What they won’t discuss is exactly who and how they intend to murder.  May I remind you that at least Hitler was quite clear in who he intended to (and did) target?

But for the globull-warming screamers as I noted recently in this column the more-likely scenario — by far — is that we’re setting up for a Maunder Minimum sort of event and there is nothing we can do about it since the source is that nuclear-fusion-based flaming ball in the sky commonly called “the Sun.”

If if in fact we are at the entry to a prolonged period of much less solar sunspot activity then the decrease in radiation absorbed by the planet will produce not warming but cooling which will utterly decimate global crop production and kill a couple of billion people.

Most of those who die won’t be in the “developed” world; the United States and Europe are capable of producing sufficient food, even with crop yields well below current levels, to avoid a famine-style problem.  Other parts of the world have managed to survive exponential population growth by importing food from places like the United States and if a Maunder Minimum style event comes to pass that source will be cut off because we will need that food here.

Thinking though the implications of that sort of thing ought to sober you up fast.  See, starving people do desperate things, and in a world where advanced, mass-destructive weaponry is not only fairly common it can be stolen and “proliferated” if you think such an event is going to take place without at least some of the starving trying to take what they need by force you also need to become a better student of history.



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