Friday, July 06, 2018

Climate change and sport

Environmental activists and climate alarmists criticize international sporting events. During the 2016 Rio Olympics, they made sure climate change took center stage.

Their major concern? Carbon dioxide emissions from these events supposedly harmed the Earth’s climate.

In response, FIFA announced special actions to offset carbon emissions. Some are mere window dressing with no significant impact on emissions. None will have any measurable effect on climate.

But how credible are the allegations in the first place? Not very.

Carbon dioxide is an odorless, colorless, gas. It is non-toxic except at levels 20 or more times the present. Until recently, it was recognized as essential to life. How did it go from hero to villain?

Some scientists, depending on computer climate models, theorized that increasing CO2 concentration in the atmosphere would raise global temperature to catastrophic levels. They managed to persuade policymakers worldwide.

Yet in the real world, as opposed to the make-believe world of computer models, carbon dioxide emissions from human activity failed to cause any significant rise in temperatures during the last 60 years.

It’s not that there’s been no warming. There has been. It’s that all the warming can be explained by variations in three natural causes: volcanic eruptions, energy from the sun, and ocean currents, especially the El Niño/La Niña Southern Oscillation and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

Account for those, and there’s no warming left to blame on CO2.

Scientists became nervous when models predicted warming during the first decade of this century that was drastically greater than what actually occurred. The alarmists kept hoping temperature would catch up with predictions in the second decade, but it didn’t.

As shown in satellite-derived data, there was a temporary upward blip driven by the unusually strong 2015–2016 El Niño, but since then it’s cooled. The overall warming trend for the last 3-1/2 decades has been 0.13 degree C per decade. The computer models predicted two-thirds more.

What went wrong? The models were tuned to be highly sensitive to carbon dioxide emissions. In reality, temperature depends very little on CO2.

The result has been a major mismatch between temperature increase and carbon dioxide emissions.

While emissions were higher than ever, global average temperature failed to increase significantly. Indeed, it rose faster in preceding decades, during lower emissions. And contrary to the popular scare in the media, temperatures have gone the opposite way this year.

Much like top teams entering this year’s World Cup, climate science has suffered shocking knockouts. Starting with the Climategate scandal at the University of East Anglia in 2009, which I witnessed as a student, climate alarmists’ erroneous claims have been exposed repeatedly.

More HERE  (See the original for links)

It’s Roll-Back Time: Ontario Scraps $2 Billion Carbon Tax & Axes Green Subsidies

Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Tuesday cancelled what amounts to a $2 billion a year tax on Ontarians by scrapping all of the government subsidy programs funded by former premier Kathleen Wynne’s cap-and-trade scheme.

Cap and trade, a carbon tax by another name, raises prices on goods and services rather than the taxes on them.

“Every cent from the cap-and-trade slush fund is money that has been taken out of the pockets of Ontario families and businesses,”  Ford said in a written statement, adding he was fulfilling his election promise to scrap the Liberals’ “cash grab” designed to fund “big government programs” that “do nothing for the environment.”

“We believe that this money belongs back in the pockets of people,” Ford said. “Cancelling the cap-and-trade carbon tax will result in lower prices at the gas pump, on your home heating bills and on virtually every other product you buy.”

Ford cited a 2016 report by Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk which concluded that despite its $8-billion price tag from 2017 to 2020, Wynne’s cap-and-trade scheme would not significantly lower Ontario’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Ford’s cancellation of Wynne’s Climate Action Plan that was to spend $8.3 billion over five years from cap-and-trade revenues, means the cancellation of everything from government subsidies of up to $14,000 for people who buy electric cars, to some public transit projects.

Ford said his government will honour arrangements, orders and contracts that have already been signed for things like energy efficient insulation and window retrofits, but all other initiatives will only be funded on a case-by-case basis from general tax revenues, after the PCs complete their value-for-money audit of Ontario’s finances.


Arizona appellate court decides ‘Hockey Stick’ emails must be released

This is not necessarily the end of the appeals process, but it looks like progress.

Press Release from FME Law:

July 3, 2018

One thousand seven hundred and sixty-three days ago, on behalf of its client, the Free Market Environmental Law Clinic, PLLC (FME Law) asked the University of Arizona to hand over public records that would expose to the world the genesis of what some consider the most influential scientific publication of that decade – the Mann-Bradley-Hughes temperature reconstruction that looks like a hockey stick.

The University refused.

On February 26th of this year, and after submissions of legal briefings that now fill two banker’s boxes, and three trips to the Appellate Court, the trial court ordered release of the documents, giving the University 90 days to disclose the documents in a word-searchable form. Three days before the deadline, the University filed a motion asking the trial court to “stay” the disclosure of the public records while they appealed the case.

In a 13 word decision, the trial court found “the requested relief is not warranted.”

The University then asked the Appellate Court for a stay, arguing that once the documents were released, “that genie could not be put back in the bottle,” in the event the trial court’s decision was reversed.

Yesterday, a mere six days after filing of the final legal brief on the motion for a stay, the Appellate Court issued a seven-word decision:

“Motion for Stay Pending Appeal is DENIED.”

The Appellate Court gave no explanation as to why it denied its motion, but it would likely be one of the reasons offered by FME Law in its brief to the court.


Political climate gets hot as global emissions targets face hard tests

Cutting emissions to the degree targeted is looking close to impossible

The climate-change elite jet in to a different city each year to keep alive a global commitment to moderating human impact on the environment. Mostly the UN ­Climate Change Conference is a ­bureaucratic, technical gathering. But every few years there is a meeting that matters.

The catastrophe in Copenhagen in 2009, when a global agreement everyone expected crashed and burned, was one. This was followed by the Durban conference in 2011, which agreed to keep the process alive. In Paris in 2015, aggressive politicking by then US president Barack Obama and secretary of state John Kerry brought China, India and the rest of the world into a hugely symbolic, though not binding, global compact.

This year is supposed to bring another watershed moment for the UN process in which the rules governing how nations will monitor and report on the implementation of their pledged carbon dioxide reductions under the Paris Agreement are set.

The fact that December’s meeting is to be held in Poland, a European coal centre ranked at the bottom of regional climate action, does not bode well.

Brinkmanship ensures that nothing happens until the last minute at UN climate conferences, but five months out the signs are not promising. The US, which brought the glue to Paris, has announced it will exit the Paris deal. President Donald Trump has left open the prospect of rejoining a revised agreement if greater obligations are put on China and India.

Developing nations, however, remain more interested in finalising details of a promised fund of $US100 billion ($136bn) a year, paid for by the developed world and industry.

They are equally determined to preserve a foundation principle of the UN process that developed and developing nations face different circumstances and therefore have different responsibilities.

Against this backdrop, global carbon dioxide emissions are back on the rise. New coal-fired power stations may be off the agenda in developed nations but are springing up like mushrooms across Asia, mostly funded by China.

Coal and oil prices are rising and energy stocks have recently replaced tech giants as the darlings on Wall Street.

Australia, meanwhile, remains paralysed by debate about whether it is doing enough on the one hand, and concern about doing too much on the other. In a speech to the Australian Environment Foundation on Tuesday, Tony Abbott said without the US, Australia should leave the Paris Agreement.

“When the world’s leading country withdraws, it can hardly be business as usual,” the former Liberal prime minister said. “Our 2015 target, after all, was set on the basis that the agreement would be applicable to all … parties. Absent the US, my government would not have signed up to the Paris treaty, certainly not with the present target.

“Yet as long as we remain in the Paris Agreement — which is about reducing emissions, not building prosperity — all policy touching on emissions will be about their reduction, not our wellbeing.

“It’s the emissions obsession that’s at the heart of our power ­crisis and it’s this that has to end.”

Abbott added: “It would be the height of folly to suppress living standards, shrink industries and drive jobs offshore for a moral ­gesture.”

Nothing Australia did to reduce emissions would make the slightest difference to climate, he said. “Of global emissions, China is responsible for 28 per cent, the US 15 per cent, Europe 11 per cent, India 7 per cent and Australia 1.3 per cent,” Abbott said.

“A 26 per cent cut to 1.3 per cent is a statistical blip, so why not scale back our cut to 20 per cent, or to 15 per cent, or to zero; or to whatever would actually be achieved in 2030 through normal business cost-cutting and efficiencies plus whatever is delivered through the emissions-reduction fund?”

Abbott’s view may be dismissed as heresy by many but Newspoll surveys ahead of the Queensland election in October showed strong community support for getting out of Paris. The poll found 45 per cent of Australians would support abandoning the non-binding Paris target if it meant lower household electricity prices. It also found 40 per cent said they would oppose opting out of the agreement, with 15 per cent of people uncommitted.

More than a third of Labor voters backed ditching the Paris target when asked to consider whether the economic cost outweighed the likely benefit, while 54 per cent of Coalition voters backed withdrawing from the agreement if it did. The survey found 70 per cent of One Nation voters supported ditching the treaty if this action led to lower electricity prices.

Nonetheless, Abbott is regarded by many in the media as a lunatic on the issue.

Australia’s Paris target is to reduce emissions by 26-28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030. This target represents a 50-52 per cent reduction in emissions per capita and a 64-65 per cent reduction in the emissions intensity of the economy between 2005 and 2030.

In its seventh national report on climate change to the UN in December, Australia said its ­efforts were having a positive effect. National per capita emissions were declining as a result of ­government policies, “an overall decline in land clearing, and structural changes in Australia’s economy including a move away from manufacturing and heavy industrial activities for export’’.

The full cost of meeting Australia’s emissions obligations is difficult to quantify. It is generally accepted that high electricity prices are here to stay. Fears that Australia will continue to lose its heavy industry and manufacturing base have been a key feature of debate over the national energy guarantee. The NEG only represents cuts to stationary power sector emissions. Proportionate cuts to emissions from transport and agriculture are yet to come.

Against this is the potential for new economic activity in areas such as land care, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Environment ambassador Peter Suckling told the Climate Leadership Conference in Sydney in March: “For those that argue the costs should preclude action … there will be increasing costs from inaction. The cost of doing nothing is not nothing.

“Inaction could see potentially catastrophic costs of climate change, and the Paris Agreement says the world gets this.”

Many, including state governments, the federal opposition and the Greens, still argue that Australia is not going far enough.

But according to the Environment Department, Australia’s target will exceed those of the US, Japan, the EU, South Korea, and Canada on a ­reduction in per person and emissions-intensity basis.

“This is a significant achievement given that emissions are linked with population and economic growth, and Australia’s population and economy are growing faster than most other developed countries,” the department says.

A paper by Cory Bradshaw from the University of Adelaide, published in Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies last year, highlights the challenge posed by Australia’s growing population.

If the population grows at the average rate it reached between 1971 and 2014, it will hit 75.9 million in 2100.

If the population grows at the average rate it did between 2006 and 2014, the total in 2100 will be 104.2 million.

Migrants to Australia tend to increase their energy consumption and therefore carbon dioxide emissions. Bradshaw says Australia has no credible mechanisms in place to achieve its carbon reduction goals, which top out at 80 per cent by 2050.

More population growth driven by immigration will hamper Australia’s ability to meet its commitments and worsen its already stressed ecosystems, unless a massive technological transformation of Australia’s energy sector is immediately forthcoming, Bradshaw argues.

Nuclear energy is cited as the most promising solution.

But it says even a complete decarbonisation of the nation’s electricity production will not be enough to meet a 2050 target of an 80 per cent reduction.

The challenge is proving ­equally daunting in Europe. Recent analysis by CAN Europe, a collection of civil society climate groups, says all EU countries are failing to increase their climate action in line with the Paris Agreement goal.

“No single EU country is performing sufficiently in both ambition and progress in reducing carbon emissions,” the report says.

Most countries that advocate for more ambitious policies for the future are lagging behind in achieving targets for 2020, it adds. Conference host Poland scores the lowest on all measures.

In Germany, meanwhile, Energy Minister Peter Altmaier has cautioned the EU against setting overly ambitious targets.

“Citizens across Europe are losing faith in politics,” Altmaier said. “When they see that we are setting very ambitious targets and that a few years later we’re deferring this, we are way off their expectations.”

And in Canada, Ontario’s new Premier, Doug Ford, has taken an Abbott-like axe to his state’s ­climate actions.

“I made a promise to the people that we would take immediate ­action to scrap the cap-and-trade carbon tax and bring their gas ­prices down,” Ford said last month. “Today, I want to confirm that as a first step to lowering taxes in Ontario, the carbon tax’s days are numbered.”

Ford also announced that Ontario will be serving notice of its withdrawal from the joint agreement linking Ontario, Quebec and California’s cap-and-trade markets as well as the pro-carbon tax Western Climate Initiative.

Abbott’s argument is that a non-binding Paris deal is a flimsy basis on which to undertake reforms without taking strong heed of the economic costs.

But Suckling says there is support for a global agreement in which “everyone has to play their part”. He says countries like Australia, with less than 2 per cent of ­global annual emissions, together account for more than 40 per cent of total emissions.

“Every bit counts when added up,” he said in March, adding: “Like others, Australia is playing its part. We do so in recognition that it is in our national interest not only to take action to mitigate the risks, but to do it as part of a collective global effort because no one country can address this global challenge alone.

“We emphasise the importance of maintaining a strong global rules-based system for the collective good. The Paris Agreement is this principle in action.”

The US withdrawal is disappointing, he says, and a setback to the momentum around the ­agreement. But with the agreement still covering about 75 per cent of ­global GDP and 85 per cent of global emissions, US withdrawal will not derail it, Suckling says.

Australia has a record of taking its international agreements seriously. When world leaders arrive in Poland for this year’s UN Climate Change Conference, the challenge will be to demonstrate they too are prepared to back their words with actions.


Bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef could happen every two years, report finds

Another Greenie prophecy that is bound to look absurd in the near future!  Greenies never tire of making scary prophecies even though they have yet to get one right. 

We read: "The Climate Council is Australia’s leading climate change communications organisation".  That should tell you that they will never find that all is well.  People who believe in climate change never do.  Couple that with dissenting scientists like Peter Ridd getting fired and you can be sure that the "report" below is just propaganda based on cherry-picking and exaggeration.

You can tell it is propaganda by their maniacal insistence that only global temperature control will be of any benefit to the reef. They are in the grip of a reality-denying cult

THE Great Barrier Reef could be hit with catastrophic bleaching every two years unless more is done to limit climate change.

A new report from the Climate Council reveals coral bleaching is now happening on average every six years, compared to once every 27 years back in the 1980s.

Based on current rising greenhouse gas levels, bleaching will happen every two years by 2034.

In the report released today Lethal Consequences: Climate Change Impacts on the Great Barrier Reef, the Climate Council says the current rate of bleaching is not sustainable because it will continuously set back recovery of the reef.

At the same time, the reef will also need to deal with other threats caused by climate change — such as ocean acidification and tropical cyclones.

The report found average coral cover in the northern section of the reef is at its lowest point on record, and coral cover in the central section of the reef declined from 22 per cent in

2016 to 14 per cent in 2018, largely due to the 2017 bleaching event.

It said the damage to the reef may be irreversible and it has already resulted in a drop in the diversity of fish species and in the number of juvenile fish settling on the reef.

“Intensifying marine heatwaves around the world are now occurring more often, lasting longer and are more intense than ever before,” Climate Councillor and ecologist Professor Lesley Hughes said.

Professor Hughes said the bleaching events in 2016 and 2017 resulted in mass coral mortality, with the 2016 bleaching event at least 175 times more likely to occur due to intensifying climate change.

“Unless drastic action is taken, extreme coral bleaching will be the new normal by the 2030s. We will see extreme ocean temperatures, similar to those that led to these bleaching events possibly occurring every two years, which will effectively sign the death certificate for the world’s largest natural living wonder that is the Great Barrier Reef,” she said.

The report makes clear that doing things like improving water quality are not the solution.

It says that unless “deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions are made as a matter of urgency — the reef stands little chance no matter what measures are taken to enhance its resilience”.

In particular, global warming must be limited to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

“A 2C rise in average global temperature will almost certainly mean the collapse of warm water tropical reefs around the world,” the report states.

“The decisions and actions that we take today to reduce greenhouse pollution will have a critical effect on the long-term survival of the iconic Great Barrier Reef.”

Climate Council acting chief executive officer Dr Martin Rice said the future of coral reefs around the world depended on nations including Australia doing their part to tackle climate change.




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


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