Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Nutty Ethan Siegel falls at the last hurdle

He puts up a painstaking article designed to prove anthropogenic global warming but in the end concludes -- rightly -- that "It cannot be proven that human activity is the cause of global warming".  He knows that correlation is not causation.  Worse: Even the correlation is very poor

Ethan Siegel being manic

The Simplest Explanation Of Global Warming Ever

Let's play pretend for a moment. Pretend, if you can, that you've never heard about the idea of global warming before. Pretend you've never heard anyone else's opinions on the matter, including from politicians, scientists, friends or relatives. Pretend that there are no related concerns, like the economy, our energy needs, or the environment.

If you were going to make a genuine inquiry, there would instead be only two questions to ask and answer:

is the Earth warming or not,
and if so, what's the main cause?

This is a question that was tailor-made for the enterprise of science to answer. Here's how we can figure it out for ourselves.

There are really only two things that determine the Earth's temperature, or the temperature of any object that's heated by an external source. The first is the energy that goes into it, which is primarily energy produced by the Sun and absorbed by the Earth. The second is the energy that leaves the Earth, which is primarily due to the Earth radiating it away.

During the day, we absorb energy from the Sun; this is the power inputted into the Earth. During both the day and the night, we radiate energy back into space; that's the power outputted by the Earth. This is why temperatures heat up during the day and cool off during the night, something that’s pretty much true for every planet that has both a day side and a night side.

To know what the temperature of Earth ought to be, we need to first understand the energy that comes into our world. The source of this energy is the Sun, which radiates with a very well-measured power: 3.846 × 1026 watts. The closer you are to the Sun, the more of this energy you absorb, while the farther away you are, the less you absorb. Over the timespan that we've measured the Sun's power output, it's varied by only about ±0.1%.

Sunlight spreads out in a sphere the farther away you are from it, meaning that if you're twice as far away from the Sun, you only absorb one-quarter the radiation. At Earth's distance from the Sun, we encounter a power of around 1,361 watts-per-square-meter; that's how much hits the top of our atmosphere.

The Earth also orbits in an ellipse around the Sun, meaning that at some points it's closer to the Sun, absorbing more radiation, while at other times it's more distant, absorbing less. The variation from this effect is more like ±1.7%, with the largest amount of energy absorbed occurring in early January, and the least amount occurring in early July.

But that's not the full story. The sunlight that hits us comes in a variety of wavelengths: ultraviolet, visible, and infrared, all of which carry energy. The atmosphere has many layers, some of which absorb that light, some of which allow it to transmit all the way down to the ground, and some of which reflect it back into space.

All told, about 77% of the energy from the Sun makes it down to Earth's surface when the Sun is directly overhead, with that number dropping significantly when the Sun is lower on the horizon.

Some of that energy gets absorbed by Earth's surface, while some of it gets reflected. Clouds reflect sunlight better than average, as do dry sand and icecaps. Other ground conditions are better at absorbing sunlight, including oceans, forests, wet soil, and savannahs. Depending on seasonal conditions on Earth, the individual locations on Earth vary tremendously in how much light they reflect or absorb.

On average, however, the Earth is very consistent: 31% of the incident radiation gets reflected, while 69% gets absorbed. As far as global effects go, this average has changed remarkably little over time, even as human civilization has transformed the landscape of our planet.

When we put in all the factors we know of:

the Sun's power output,

the Earth's physical size and distance from the Sun,

the amount of sunlight that Earth absorbs vs. reflects,

and the intrinsic variability in the Sun over time,

we can arrive at a way to calculate the average temperature of the Earth.

The result?

We calculate that Earth should be at 255 Kelvin (-18 °C / 0 °F), or well below freezing. And that's absurd, and completely not reflective of reality.

Instead, our planet has an average temperature of 288 Kelvin (15 °C / 59 °F), which is much warmer than the naive predictions we just painstakingly calculated. Our world is temperate, not frozen, and there's one big reason for these predictions and observations to be so thoroughly off from one another: we've been ignoring the insulating effects of Earth's atmosphere.

Sure, the Earth radiates the energy it absorbs back into space. But it doesn't all go into space straightaway; the same atmosphere that wasn't 100% transparent to sunlight also isn't 100% transparent to the infrared light that Earth radiates. The atmosphere is made up of molecules that absorb radiation of varying wavelengths, depending on what the atmosphere is made out of.

For infrared radiation, nitrogen and oxygen — the majority of our atmosphere — act as though they're virtually transparent. But there are three gases that are part of our atmosphere which aren't transparent at all to the radiation Earth produces:

water vapor (H2O),
carbon dioxide (CO2),
and methane (CH4).

All three of these gases, when they're present in any planet's atmosphere, act the same way a blanket does when you place it over a warm-blooded animal's body: they prevent the heat from escaping.

In the case of an animal, they need to generate less of their own heat to maintain a constant temperature when there's a blanket on them. And if the blanket is thicker, or if there are a greater number of thin blankets, they need to generate even less. This analogy extends to layers of clothing in any conditions; the more insulation you have around you, the less heat escapes, allowing you to maintain higher temperatures.

For a planet like ours, these gases prevent the infrared radiation from escaping, instead absorbing it and re-radiating it back to Earth. The more of these gases that are present, the longer and more efficiently Earth holds onto the Sun's heat. We can't change the energy input, so instead, as we add additional amounts of these gases, the temperature of our world simply goes up.

The water vapor content is something that's determined by Earth's oceans, the local temperature, humidity and dew point. When we add more water vapor to the atmosphere or take water vapor out of it, the overall water vapor content doesn't change at all. As far as human activity goes, nothing we do has any impact on the net amount of H2O in the atmosphere.

The concentrations of the other two gases (CO2 and CH4), though, are primarily determined by human influence. It's well-documented, for example, that CO2 has risen by more than 50% of its 1700s-era value due to the burning of fossil fuels coinciding with the start of the industrial revolution. According to NASA scientist Chris Colose:

50% of the 33 K greenhouse effect is due to water vapor, about 25% to clouds, 20% to CO2, and the remaining 5% to the other non-condensable greenhouse gases such as ozone, methane, nitrous oxide, and so forth.

All of this leads to a very straightforward conclusion: if we increase the concentrations of infrared-absorbing gases in our atmosphere, like CO2 and CH4, the Earth's temperature will rise. Given that the temperature record unequivocally shows that the Earth is warming, and we have put these additional proverbial blankets onto our atmosphere, it seems like a slam dunk that this is cause-and-effect at work.

It cannot be proven that human activity is the cause of global warming, of course. That conclusion we drew is still a scientific inference. But based on what we know about planetary science, Earth’s atmosphere, human activity and the warming we’re observing, it seems like a very good one. When we quantify the other effects, it's unlikely that anything else could be the cause. Not the Sun, not volcanoes, not any natural phenomenon that we know of. [What about Svensmark's well validated theories about cosmic rays]


What Science Could Teach Ocasio-Cortez About Climate Change

Bjorn Lomborg

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez declared last week that “the world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.”

The freshly minted congresswoman skewered anyone who’d want to talk about the cost of global-warming policies, given the looming doomsday.

Yes, her full remarks made it clear she only meant that the world would begin to end in 12 years if we don’t act. But she was still wildly wrong.

Yet AOC was just saying what many people believe. Shallow, apocalyptic reporting on global warming has made us all panicky, more likely to embrace poor climate policies and less likely to think about the price tag.

The truth is comparatively boring: According to the United Nations climate science panel’s latest major report, if we do absolutely nothing to stop climate change, the impact will be the equivalent to a reduction in our incomes of between 0.2 percent and 2 percent five decades from now.

Yet by the 2070s, personal incomes will be some 300 percent to 500 percent higher than they are today.

Far from the “end of the world,” the impact of warming is what we’d expect from roughly a single economic recession taking place over the next half-century.

Many of us question how this could be true when we are constantly told that extreme weather is wreaking ever-greater devastation. In fact, research shows that extreme weather is having a rather minimal economic effect.

Since 1990, the cost associated with extreme weather worldwide has actually declined, to 0.25 percent of the global gross domestic product, from 0.30 percent.

Extreme weather costs each French citizen about $25 a year; each American, about $56 per year. That’s what the average US worker spends on coffee in less than a month.

What about the escalating costs of hurricanes, now inevitably held up as examples of climate change? Actually, a major study in Nature shows hurricane damage today costs about 0.04 percent of global GDP.

By 2100, even if hurricanes were to get twice as bad as they are now, increased prosperity and resilience mean the cost will have halved to 0.02 percent of GDP.

What’s more, the UN panel finds there is no observable increase in hurricane frequency.

Likewise, extreme weather is killing fewer people now than at any point in the last 100 years: In the 1920s, extreme weather killed about half a million people annually.

Now, despite there being four times as many people, it kills fewer than 20,000 each year.

If the world isn’t ending, and the impact of global warming by 2030 is much less than 0.2 percent to 2 percent of GDP, then we need to start comparing costs with benefits.

This is the bread and butter of William Nordhaus, the only climate economist to win the Nobel Prize. His careful work over many decades shows that a globally coordinated, moderate and rising carbon tax could reduce temperatures modestly.

This would cost about $20 trillion and avoid some climate-related harms, ensuring a net benefit of $30 trillion over coming centuries.

But aiming to reduce temperatures more escalates the costs and eventually leaves the planet $50 trillion worse off. Limiting temperature increases to 2°C or less, as many leaders promise, would prove even more costly.

Green fretting about Armageddon is nothing new, of course. In the 1960s, mainstream environmentalists worried that the world was running out of food.

In the 1980s, acid rain was going to destroy the planet’s forests. There were good reasons for concern, but a panicked response led to a poor, overly expensive response.

We need to get smarter. Climate change is a problem but not the end of the world. The United States now has little or no federal climate policy, which is inexcusable.

But almost every other nation is making climate proclamations that would impose huge costs for rather paltry gains.

This approach has failed to deliver progress against climate change for decades. We should instead embrace ingenuity and innovation and spend far more on green-energy research and development.

If we push the price of green energy below fossil fuels through innovation, everyone will switch.

If Ocasio-Cortez had stuck to the facts, she would have said: “The world is going to see costs worth about 1 percent of GDP in 50 years if we don’t address climate change — and your biggest issue is how to pay for it?”

Well, yes: We need to make sure our solution doesn’t cost more than the problem. If we look at the science and stop believing the end of the world is nigh, our decisions will be much smarter.


Saved by pseudo-renewable energy?

Climate alarmists must prove expensive, weather-dependent energy is green and sustainable

Paul Driessen

The IPCC says it’s still possible to limit planetary warming to an additional 0.5 degrees C (0.9 F) “above pre-industrial levels” – but only if global CO2 emissions are halved by 2030 and zeroed out by 2050.

So climate alarmists intend to carbon-tax, legislate and regulate our energy, factories, livelihoods, living standards, liberties and lives to the max. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal would eliminate and replace US fossil fuels by 2030. It’s an unprecedented economic and political power grab.

We went to war with King George over far less serious abuses and usurpations. And yet today we seem to have few Patrick Henrys or other stalwart, principled leaders willing to defy this insanity.

Those accusing someone of a crime must prove his guilt; the accused need not prove his innocence. But not only are alarmists bringing what amount to criminal charges against fossil fuels; wiping out the fuels that provide over 80% of our energy would bring widespread chaos, poverty, misery, disease and death.

As I said just days ago, those who claim fossil fuels and greenhouse gases are causing dangerous global warming and climate change have the burden of proving their case. Not with allegations, computer models, headlines, mob rule and demands for instant sentencing. With solid, irrefutable evidence.

Those who intend to use climate change accusations to disrupt and destroy modern energy systems and industrialized economies likewise have the burden of proving that wind, solar and biofuel energy can actually replace fossil fuels. That they are actually clean, green, affordable, renewable and sustainable.

Thus far, they have offered no real-world evidence whatsoever. And there is no way they can do so.

Fossil fuels are compact and dense. Small land and raw material impacts provide bountiful, affordable, reliable energy. America and the world have enough of these fuels to last at least a century at current rates of consumption – by which time human ingenuity will almost undoubtedly provide workable alternatives.

By contrast, wind, solar and biofuel energy is dispersed, weather-dependent, expensive and land-intensive. Every industrial wind facility, solar installation and biofuel plantation requires far more land – and far more raw materials – than their energy-generation-equivalent fossil fuel counterparts. Add in backup fossil fuel generators or massive battery arrays, and those impacts become astronomical.

To eliminate our fossil fuel energy – and replace it with these pseudo-renewable systems – we would have to remove tens of billions of tons of rock, to extract billions of tons of ores, to create millions of tons of metals, concrete and other materials, to manufacture and install millions of wind turbines and solar panels, and grow billions of barrels of biofuels. Vast acreage of croplands, wildlife habitats and scenic areas would be torn apart, covered with mining debris and blanketed with “renewable” energy facilities.

Moreover, as long as anti-mining radicals have effective control of US courts, legislatures and regulatory agencies, America’s deposits of rare earth and other strategic metals and materials will remain off limits. As Ned Mamula and Ann Bridges point out in Groundbreaking! America’s new quest for minerals independence, that would leave the USA 50-100% dependent on often unfriendly foreign sources for the “next era” energy systems that we have repeatedly been promised are “just around the corner.”

The same well-funded groups also battle mining by Western companies all over the world. That means global raw material supplies will be rapidly depleted … utopian green energy dreams will never become reality … and nations will descend into deprivation, disease, starvation, anarchy and war.

To put it simply, so that even Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Al Gore and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can understand this energy reality: The wind and sun may be free, green, renewable and sustainable. But the energy, land and materials required to harness and utilize that energy certainly are not.

Wind and solar systems also break down faster and must be replaced earlier and more often than coal, gas or nuclear power plants – which have operational life spans of 30-50 years, and generate power about 95% of the time. Wind energy proponents claim turbines last half that long: 20-25 years. They don’t.

A 2018 UK analysis of 3,000 onshore wind turbines found that they generate electricity efficiently for just 12-15 years (and maybe 25-30% of the time) – generating more than twice as much electricity in their first year than when they are barely 15 years old. So wind turbine raw materials depletion and land use impacts are far higher than advocates have admitted. These realities are no better for solar installations.

All of this also means the cost of wind and solar electricity is far higher than their advocates admit. Those costs may be partially hidden by taxpayer subsidies. But they are real, and punitive.

Electricity prices in US states that rely heavily on coal, gas, nuclear or hydroelectric generation hover around 9 cents per kilowatt-hour. In California, Connecticut, New York and other states that oppose these sources and impose hefty “green” energy mandates and feed-in tariffs, prices are almost twice as high. In Germany and Denmark, families must pay four times as much: 35-37 cents per kWh!

Try to run a factory, hospital, school, business, home, city or country on electricity priced at those rates. Imagine trying to do so when fossil fuels are driven into oblivion – by the same “environmentalists” who detest and want to eliminate nuclear and hydroelectric power plants.

Middle classes are already fleeing California’s and New York’s oppressive taxes, regulations, high energy and housing prices, job destruction, and predominantly Democrat politicians who blame every problem on manmade climate change. Just wait until their states go “100% renewable energy” by 2030 or so.

Meanwhile, more rational countries in Asia, Africa and elsewhere are building coal- and gas-fired generating units by the thousands, to power modern, industrialized societies and lift billions more people out of poverty. That means global emissions of plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide will continue to increase – even if climate alarmists succeed with their power plays in the USA, Canada, Europe and elsewhere. It means a number of Asian and African countries could soon outpace many of today’s industrial and economic powerhouses.

As to biofuels, how are farmers going to grow enough corn, soybeans, sugar cane and switchgrass to replace the petroleum that radical greens want kept in the ground, if they don’t have modern equipment and fertilizers – which eco-fanatics also despise? Farmers may have to get human “fertilizer” from sewage treatment plants, since many “environmentalists” also demand that we stop raising cows, pigs and chickens … which means farmers won’t even be able to get enough animal manure.

One of the latest climate scare stories claims that our warming planet will soon drive many insect species to extinction. What are people going to eat, if they can’t even find bugs to dine on?

All these are more reasons why the United States we must formally exit the Paris climate treaty by subjecting it to a two-thirds Senate “advice and consent” vote that would most assuredly fail. They are more reasons why we must revisit and reverse the EPA carbon dioxide “Endangerment Finding.”

Climate alarmists’ increasingly shrill claims … their refusal to engage climate and energy realists in debate … their escalating efforts to silence us – are proof that they are getting desperate. We need to continue ramping up our efforts – and cajole, embarrass and harangue politicians to show some spine, intestinal fortitude and intelligence, by standing up to the forces of climate dictatorship and darkness.

What can the average person do? Speak out. Write letters to editors, legislators, corporate executives and President Trump. Attend town meetings, press briefings, committee hearings and other events. Ask tough questions. Demand evidence to back up alarmist assertions. Above all, bombard politicians, climate activists and media talking heads with the F-word they most detest and fear: Facts.

Via email

Mathematical modeling illusions

The global climate scare – and policies resulting from it – are based on models that do not work

Dr. Jay Lehr and Tom Harris

For the past three decades, human-caused global warming alarmists have tried to frighten the public with stories of doom and gloom. They tell us the end of the world as we know it is nigh because of carbon dioxide emitted into the air by burning fossil fuels.

They are exercising precisely what journalist H. L. Mencken described early in the last century: “The whole point of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be lead to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

The dangerous human-caused climate change scare may well be the best hobgoblin ever conceived. It has half the world clamoring to be led to safety from a threat for which there is not a shred of meaningful physical evidence that climate fluctuations and weather events we are experiencing today are different from, or worse than, what our near and distant ancestors had to deal with – or are human-caused.

Many of the statements issued to support these fear-mongering claims are presented in the U.S. Fourth National Climate Assessment, a 1,656-page report released in late November. But none of their claims have any basis in real world observations. All that supports them are mathematical equations presented as accurate, reliable models of Earth’s climate.

It is important to properly understand these models, since they are the only basis for the climate scare.

Before we construct buildings or airplanes, we make physical, small-scale models and test them against stresses and performance that will be required of them when they are actually built. When dealing with systems that are largely (or entirely) beyond our control – such as climate – we try to describe them with mathematical equations. By altering the values of the variables in these equations, we can see how the outcomes are affected. This is called sensitivity testing, the very best use of mathematical models.

However, today’s climate models account for only a handful of the hundreds of variables that are known to affect Earth’s climate, and many of the values inserted for the variables they do use are little more than guesses. Dr. Willie Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysics Laboratory lists the six most important variables in any climate model:

1) Sun-Earth orbital dynamics and their relative positions and motions with respect to other planets in the solar system;

2) Charged particles output from the Sun (solar wind) and modulation of the incoming cosmic rays from the galaxy at large;

3) How clouds influence climate, both blocking some incoming rays/heat and trapping some of the warmth;

4) Distribution of sunlight intercepted in the atmosphere and near the Earth’s surface;

5) The way in which the oceans and land masses store, affect and distribute incoming solar energy;

6) How the biosphere reacts to all these various climate drivers.

Soon concludes that, even if the equations to describe these interactive systems were known and properly included in computer models (they are not), it would still not be possible to compute future climate states in any meaningful way. This is because it would take longer for even the world's most advanced super-computers to calculate future climate than it would take for the climate to unfold in the real world.

So we could compute the climate (or Earth’s multiple sub-climates) for 40 years from now, but it would take more than 40 years for the models to make that computation.

Although governments have funded more than one hundred efforts to model the climate for the better part of three decades, with the exception of one Russian model which was fully “tuned” to and accidentally matched observational data, not one accurately “predicted” (hindcasted) the known past. Their average prediction is now a full 1 degree F above what satellites and weather balloons actually measured.

In his February 2, 2016 testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space & Technology, University of Alabama-Huntsville climatologist Dr. John Christy compared the results of atmospheric temperatures as depicted by the average of 102 climate models with observations from satellites and balloon measurements. He concluded: “These models failed at the simple test of telling us ‘what’ has already happened, and thus would not be in a position to give us a confident answer to ‘what’ may happen in the future and ‘why.’ As such, they would be of highly questionable value in determining policy that should depend on a very confident understanding of how the climate system works.”

Similarly, when Christopher Monckton tested the IPCC approach in a paper published by the Bulletin of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2015, he convincingly demonstrated that official predictions of global warming had been overstated threefold. (Monckton holds several awards for his climate work.)

The paper has been downloaded 12 times more often than any other paper in the entire 60-year archive of that distinguished journal. Monckton’s team of eminent climate scientists is now putting the final touches on a paper proving definitively that – instead of the officially-predicted 3.3 degrees Celsius (5.5 F) warming for every doubling of CO2 levels – there will be only 1.1 degrees C of warming. At a vital point in their calculations, climatologists had neglected to take account of the fact that the Sun is shining!

All problems can be viewed as having five stages: observation, modeling, prediction, verification and validation. Apollo team meteorologist Tom Wysmuller explains: “Verification involves seeing if predictions actually happen, and validation checks to see if the prediction is something other than random correlation. Recent CO2 rise correlating with industrial age warming is an example on point that came to mind.”

As Science and Environmental Policy Project president Ken Haapala notes, “the global climate models relied upon by the IPCC [the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] and the USGCRP [United States Global Change Research Program] have not been verified and validated.”

An important reason to discount climate models is their lack of testing against historical data. If one enters the correct data for a 1920 Model A, automotive modeling software used to develop a 2020 Ferrari should predict the performance of a 1920 Model A with reasonable accuracy. And it will.

But no climate models relied on by the IPCC (or any other model, for that matter) has applied the initial conditions of 1900 and forecast the Dust Bowl of the 1930s – never mind an accurate prediction of the climate in 2000 or 2015. Given the complete lack of testable results, we must conclude that these models have more in common with the “Magic 8 Ball” game than with any scientifically based process.

While one of the most active areas for mathematical modeling is the stock market, no one has ever predicted it accurately. For many years, the Wall Street Journal chose five eminent economic analysts to select a stock they were sure would rise in the following month. The Journal then had a chimpanzee throw five darts at a wall covered with that day’s stock market results. A month later, they determined who preformed better at choosing winners: the analysts or the chimpanzee. The chimp usually won.

For these and other reasons, until recently, most people were never foolish enough to make decisions based on predictions derived from equations that supposedly describe how nature or the economy works.

Yet today’s computer modelers claim they can model the climate – which involves far more variables than the economy or stock market – and do so decades or even a century into the future. They then tell governments to make trillion-dollar policy decisions that will impact every aspect of our lives, based on the outputs of their models. Incredibly, the United Nations and governments around the world are complying with this demand. We are crazy to continue letting them get away with it.

Via email

Does Fighting Global Warming Help or Hurt the Poor?

Want to “bring nothing but misery to poor people, especially in the developing world”?

Simple: Just follow the advice of the international cabal of UN leaders and their organizations calling for drastic action to fight global warming.

The harangue is familiar everywhere by now: Global warming will harm everybody, but it’ll harm the poor most of all. Curbing it will help everybody, but it’ll help the poor most of all.

Is that true?

Not according to Dr. Mikko Paunio, an expert on public health and adjunct professor in general epidemiology at the University of Helsinki in Finland.

In a newly published report from the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Paunio challenges claims by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the World Health Organization, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that “co-benefits” of holding global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial times will be a boon to humanity.

The more likely result will be up to 200 million excess premature deaths by 2050, according to Paunio.


Because the path to 1.5C is a “highway to hell” — a highway paved with converting over one-fourth of agricultural land worldwide from food production to energy production while failing to provide the abundant, affordable, reliable energy indispensable to population-wide water purification, sewage sanitation, and electrification that are indispensable to lifting and keeping whole societies out of severe poverty and the high rates of disease and premature death that invariably accompany it.

Paunio notes that the claims that the poor will benefit from fighting global warming rest on claims of reduced air pollution as the world shifts from fossil fuels to wind, solar, and biofuels to generate electricity.

The problem, he explains, is that the world’s poor aren’t using fossil fuels for their energy today. They’re using wood, dried dung, and other rough biofuels, burned on open hearths or low-tech stoves often inside their huts, for heating and cooking. (Never mind providing light by which to study at night and gain knowledge that will enable them to work in an increasingly advanced economy.) Says Paunio,

Air pollution, and, in particular, indoor air pollution, is a genuine problem, particularly in poor countries, where wood and dung fires and crude coal-burning stoves are often the main ways of heating and cooking. But the suggestion that action on climate change will reduce the death toll is grossly misleading. The real solution has been understood for decades, and lies in a progressive movement away from solid fuels, firstly to cleaner fossil-fuel alternatives, such as liquified petroleum gas, and eventually to centralised power production and modern electricity grids.

(Paunio developed this theme in an earlier report.)

“Centralised power production has, time and again, cleaned ambient air and also reduced indoor air pollution,” Paunio continues. “More importantly, it has enabled a revolution in environmental health practices: electricity grids not only give us clean indoor air but also clean and abundant water supplies — the basis of public health in all advanced economies — and cold-chain food storage, a vital component of effective environmental health practice.”

The trouble with the prescription for curbing global warming is that it rests heavily on “widespread adoption of biofuels and bioenergy, with the carbon dioxide produced when these are burnt being removed from the atmosphere using … afforestation [and] carbon capture and storage,” coupled with “drastic reductions in energy demand, although bioenergy would still be required even in these.”

Yet, as Paunio quotes Drew Shindell, a leading researcher and advocate of the policies, most of the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions would “come from technologies that have not been demonstrated at commercial scales and may not materialize.” For instance, “Biofuel energy with carbon capture and sequestration” (BECCS) “faces biophysical, logistical and social constraints, and if it were to be deployed at the scales envisioned would require a substantial fraction of the world’s arable land and water resources, with potential severe consequences for biodiversity and food security.” (Yes, you read that right: These are the words of an advocate of the policies!)

The devil’s in the details. That “substantial fraction of the world’s arable land” comes to about 13 million square kilometers — about 27% of the world’s current agricultural land. With world population rising, that means “the biofuels route to a 1.5°C future would involve famine and environmental desecration.”

Paunio concludes, “To their shame, those at the top of the WHO have another agenda entirely: an agenda that involves reckless decarbonisation, in the process preventing the world’s poorest from getting access to the energy they so desperately need, and deceiving the rest of the world into thinking that there are ‘co-benefits’ from doing so.”

One question Paunio doesn’t address is “Why?”

Why do these global elites embrace a policy the predictable consequence of which is not fewer deaths among the world’s poorest?

The specter of Malthusian fears of “overpopulation,” which launched the racist/eugenics movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, lies at the root of demands to fight global warming by instituting policies that will slow, stop, or reverse the climb out of poverty for roughly 2 billion people.

Famed biologist Paul Ehrlich (who can’t tell the difference between people and bacteria and so argues that just as bacteria’s exponential multiplication until they consume all the nutrients in a Petri dish leads to their sudden death, so also human multiplication will do likewise) says the world’s optimal population is 1.5 to 2 billion — meaning we must get rid of about three-fourths of us.

The real driver behind demands to fight global warming is fear of overpopulation — particularly of people of the wrong ethnicities. Fighting global warming is just one more way of stopping it.



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1 comment:

C. S. P. Schofield said...

"What Science Could Teach Ocasio-Cortez About Climate Change"

Absolutely nothing. The little idiot is fact-proof.