Monday, March 30, 2020

Fight the virus, not carbon

Often obsessive focus on climate wastes scarce money and distracts from real health crisis

Paul Driessen and David Wojick

The many trillions of dollars proposed to be spent under dubious “green new deals” should be spent instead (effectively and within reason) on health care, especially virus prevention, protection and cures. This is the gist of an “Open Letter to World Leaders” from the Climate Intelligence Foundation.

The Foundation, or CLINTEL, makes this clear right up front: “Your Excellencies, compared to COVID-19, climate change is a non-problem! It is based on immature computer models, and it looks into the distant future. In the current health emergency, however, your attention to the peoples’ needs is today! Please, don’t continue pushing your zero carbon emission ambition in a time that the world is dealing with a deadly global crisis. Yes, there is an emergency, but it is NOT climate.”

CLINTEL specifically speaks to the leaders of the UN and EU, saying “People need an inspiring narrative that promises them a hopeful future. Today, for instance, it is totally inappropriate that the billion-dollar Green New Deal focused on climate is still on the agenda of leaders such as Mr. Antonio Guterres of the UN and Mr. Frans Timmermans of the EU.” We do not have a manmade climate and weather crisis.

In the EU, green funds could begin flowing to the virus crisis almost immediately, by reprogramming €100 billion ($110 billion) of European Green Deal money. The GED has a Just Transition Mechanism to “help mobilise at least €100 billion over the period 2021-2027,” by way of “financial support and technical assistance to help people, businesses and regions that are most affected by the move toward the green economy.” All they have to do is replace the Mechanism’s “green economy” with “corona crisis.”

All the EU has to do is abandon its compulsory transition to a so-called “green economy,” which would in reality be very poor and uncompetitive, with tens of millions unemployed. The European Green Plan (EGP) proposes spending a trillion euros on a foolish attempt to control the global climate, even as China, India and other emerging economies build hundreds of new coal and gas-fired power plants, hundreds of new airports, thousands of fossil fuel-based factories, and millions of internal combustion vehicles.

CLINTEL says it would be far wiser to spend that money on improving health care, with priority to virus protection. Far more necessary, too. Anyone following the coronavirus news out of Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Britain and other EU countries, knows CLINTEL is right. Awake EU leaders know it too.

In the United States, President Trump has signed into law Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the $2.2 trillion emergency relief bill, the largest such package in US history. It will help hospitals and state and local governments, assist with critical medical needs, and provide relief for small businesses and furloughed workers. It eliminated most of the liberal wish list items in an earlier bill.

(By contrast, any European Green Deal would cost many trillions of dollars, as would the US Green New Deal endorsed by Democrat presidential candidates, to address conjectural future risks. Candidate Bernie Sanders pegs his pet version at “just” $11 trillion, while other estimates run as high as $93 trillion!)

Some of that spending should go to upgrading the health care system, testing people and getting COVID patients respirators and medicines that work, conducting clinical trials to evaluate anecdotal evidence about various treatments, and saving lives! Other spending should assist families whose breadwinners have been laid off by the lockdowns and quarantines, and businesses that have been closed down.

Right now, some 15 million workers are unemployed in the restaurant industry alone, plus millions more in restaurant support industries. If the business lockdown continues another month or so, some 75% of independently owned restaurants will never reopen, business insiders say. Moreover, across the USA, it is minorities who are most seriously harmed by the shutdown, since they dominate worst-affected sectors.

(A suggestion: Order an occasional takeout-pickup meal from local eateries – and leave a generous tip.)

The rest of the money should simply not be spent, especially since it’s mostly more government debt. Spending it would further damage the economy and future taxpayers, in Europe and the United States.

Any thinking legislator should endorse CLINTEL’s call for action, instead of foolish green new deals.

But instead, the manmade-climate-crisis-obsessed United Nations continues to pressure all nations to adopt expensive zero-carbon-dioxide plans, preferably as soon as its Glasgow climate summit in November. That underscores how wrongheaded and intransigent the UN has been for decades. No. The world needs to fix the current virus problem – and prepare for the inevitable next ones.

The economic crisis due to the corona pandemic will hit all countries, including those with relatively small virus outbreaks at the moment or in the future. With proper prevention and response systems in place, there is no reason these economic disasters should escalate. But those systems will not be in place in impoverished nations – largely because UN, EU, climate and other eco-imperialist activists for decades have prevented those countries from building fossil fuel, nuclear and even hydroelectric generating plants, forcing them instead to be content with minimal, unreliable, habitat-destroying wind and solar power.

CLINTEL’s strong advice to the world’s leaders is spot-on: “To revive the global economy, don’t further increase government debts. Instead, apply the money intended for your costly Green New Deal to the present needs of people and society. Call it the COVID-19 RECOVERY PLAN. Be aware that, in today’s crisis, the conjectural policy of CO2 reduction is highly counterproductive!”

The letter’s eloquent summary statement says it all: “The world is moving to an open global economy of ten billion people. Top priority must be given to significant investments in a global health system that makes any pandemic less catastrophic. Considering COVID-19, climate alarmists and climate critics should admit that global warming is a non-problem. Therefore, stop fighting, step over your own shadow and work together against the deadly virus. In this tough battle we need each other!”

Imagine what would happen if abundant, reliable, affordable electricity from fossil, nuclear and hydroelectric were replaced by expensive, limited, intermittent, weather-dependent wind and solar power. The impacts on our coronavirus response, healthcare, living standards and life spans would be horrific.

Without reliable, on-demand energy sufficient to power modern, industrialized society – which neither wind nor solar power can provide at current levels of technology – hospitals could not maintain sterile conditions. Food and vaccines could not be grown, developed, preserved or transported. Protective equipment to safeguard front-line health care workers from COVID-19, and respirators for critically-ill patients, could not be delivered where they’re needed, let alone manufactured in the first place.

We would not even have clean water or reliable sanitation systems. We would not have jobs, industries, decent living standards, or anything approaching a vibrant, functioning, job and tax-generating economy.

That’s the situation African and other impoverished nations found themselves with Ebola – and will find themselves if (when) COVID-19 reaches them. It is where a GED or GND would take the United States.

President Trump is absolutely right. We need to fight the coronavirus and keep it from spreading. But we also need to begin soon to balance the virus threat against threats created by our response to the virus: deaths from COVID-19 itself (which could be overstated) versus deaths due to mass unemployment and recession because of the shutdowns: from stress, depression, despair, strokes, heart attacks, suicides and murder-suicides ... amid bankruptcies, loss of life savings, and destruction of years’ of work and sacrifice.

And yet there are some who applaud the corona-economic recession for driving down fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions – or want more wind and solar mandates and subsidies built into any corona response plans.

Our health and economic emergency is real and immediate. The manmade climate emergency is years or decades away – if it even exists outside the realm of computer models that generate worst-case scenarios but cannot even forecast average global temperatures accurately ... and pseudo-scientific studies that blame every observed (and imagined) temperature shift, climate fluctuation and extreme weather event on fossil fuels.

Fight the virus, not carbon.

Via email

Media Lies Debunked: Coronavirus, Pandemics, and Climate Change

Climate alarmists and major media outlets are deceitfully exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to tell the public lies that climate change makes pandemics more likely and severe. In reality, the evidence is quite clear that warmer temperatures make pandemics and underlying outbreaks of viruses like the flu less frequent and severe.

In a March 24 editorial in The Hill, Vinod Thomas, former direct-general of the Independent Evaluation Group at the World Bank Group, writes, “There is a link to pandemics, like COVID-19, and a warmer world….”

Thomas’s claim follows many others in the media. For example, a recent Time magazine article states, “I have no evidence that climate change triggered this particular virus to jump from animals to humans at this particular time, or that a warmer planet has helped it spread. That said, it’s pretty clear that, broadly speaking, climate change is likely to lead to an uptick in future epidemics caused by viruses and other pathogens.”

Both writers know or, at least should know, that they are telling lies. Numerous studies demonstrate that transmissible diseases like the flu and the coronavirus are far more prevalent and deadly during the late-fall, winter, and early spring, when the weather is cold and damp, rather than in the summer months when it is warm and dry. That is a reason the flu season runs from fall through early spring, and then peters out. And colds, while not unheard of, are less common in the summer as well.

Chapter 7 or the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change’s report of Climate Change Reconsidered: Biological Impacts details the results of dozens of peer reviewed studies and reports showing premature deaths from illness and disease are far more prevalent during colder seasons and colder climate eras rather than during warmer seasons and warmer climate eras.

In 2010, British Broadcasting Channel’s health correspondent Clare Murphy analyzed mortality statistics from the UK’s Office of National Statistics from 1950 through 2007 and found, “For every degree the temperature drops below 18C [64 degrees Fahrenheit], deaths in the UK go up by nearly 1.5 percent.”

U.S. Interior Department analyst Indur Goklany studied official U.S. mortality statistics and found similar results. According to official U.S. mortality statistics, an average of 7,200 Americans die each day during the months of December, January, February, and March, compared to 6,400 each day during the rest of the year.

In an article published in the Southern Medical Journal in 2004, W. R. Keatinge and G. C. Donaldson noted, “Cold-related deaths are far more numerous than heat-related deaths in the United States, Europe, and almost all countries outside the tropics, and almost all of them are due to common illnesses that are increased by cold.”

More recently, in a study published in the Lancet in 2015, researchers examined health data from 384 locations in 13 countries, accounting for more than 74 million deaths—a huge sample size from which to draw sound conclusions—and found cold weather, directly or indirectly, killed 1,700% more people than hot weather. No, that is not a typo – 1,700% more people die from cold temperatures than warm or hot temperatures.

Contrary to the fear-mongering assertions in The Hill and Time, the overwhelming scientific evidence shows it is cold, not heat, that kills. Therefore, a modestly warmer world, with shorter, less severe winters, should result in fewer premature deaths from disease, viruses, pandemics, hunger, and other natural causes.


Even coronavirus couldn't stop the climate madness

Fear of the coronavirus has taken over the world – but some people are determined to promote lies and propaganda even in the midst of the pandemic.

Climate doomsayers recently held a protest in Brussels despite the coronavirus fears. On Twitter, some doomsayers, stuck in oblivion, continue to preach climate change as the planet's most imminent threat. Are they so blinded by their ambition to create climate fears that they undermine imminent health threats?


Though the media have exaggerated coronavirus' risks, the virus is not to be taken lightly. It can live up to nine days on metal, glass and plastic surfaces, according to recent scientific studies. Scientific evidence suggests that containment and precautionary measures in the early stages of an outbreak can significantly reduce the number of infections and deaths. Precaution, not panic, is the right way forward.

One of the key ways to stop the spread of the virus is to avoid mass gatherings. A public rally at a time like this was foolish. If one protester is infected with the coronavirus, then the protest jeopardizes the health of all the other protesters and all the people to whom they go home – and all the people with whom they, in turn, come in contact.

The most dangerous part is that not everyone infected will show signs of infection in the early stage. An individual who appears completely healthy can be carrying the virus. Unless every individual is tested, there is no way of knowing if people are infected or not. To make things more complicated, people who have tested negative have turned out be positive within a couple of days, which was the case with a Google employee in India.

So a public rally in the name of climate alarmism endangers lives and does nothing to save the planet or its environment.

The protesters think climate change is as dangerous as coronavirus. "It's pick your evil. Do you want to die from global warming or from coronavirus?" a protester commented at the Brussels rally, led by Greta Thunberg.

But this dismal attitude is not limited to rally organizers. Doomsday activists like Greta continue to preach about the dangers of climate change, calling it the biggest crisis we have faced.

People are free to preach their own opinions. However, no one should be selling fake climate-crisis news when a medically verified pandemic is threatening to sweep the world.

Climate has always changed. In the past, cold climate caused a global emergency during the Little Ice Age in the 16th century.

In the past seven decades, there have been hardly any scientific indications that the climate is in crisis. Scientists have even acknowledged a slowdown of warming during the first 14 years of this century.

Despite the El-NiƱo driven warmth in 2016 and other years, the last two decades have shown no signs of crisis. Agricultural outputs have increased in the past 55 years, societies have had higher life expectancies, and there has been global progress in reducing poverty.

Preaching about a non-existent climate threat during times of real health emergency is ironic, and it exposes the doomsday obsession of climate alarmists.

Once the coronavirus outbreak is over, climate doomsayers will restart their decades-long propaganda. Soon we will have a dozen hypotheses about how man-made climate change helped spread the coronavirus. They have done this blame game with other issues like the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe.

Meanwhile, stay safe!


Can History Cast Doubt on the Evidence of Global Warming?

A recent article in Commentary informs its readers that, “there has been no increase in average temperatures in the continental United States over the last 14 years…. If anything, overall temperatures are slightly cooler than they were.”

These are not the ravings of a “climate change denier.” This information comes from an agency of the United States Government called the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN). The USCRN collects data for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). These findings are reported by “Real Clear Energy.”

Unlike the “settled science” of former Vice-President Al Gore, this information is not garnered from computerized “climate models.” USCRN bases its conclusion on real data, gathered over the last fourteen years.

Reasons to Distrust the Data

The study behind the Commentary article provides ample reason to doubt the conclusions of the global warming alarmists.

The article’s author is the financial historian John Steele Gordon, who is no right-wing extremist. On his resume is staff work for two members of Congress, both New York Democrats, and frequent appearances on PBS and NPR.

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Mr. Gordon points out a severe problem with many of the 1221 weather stations NOAA uses to collect weather information. He raises a hypothetical case – one with many real-world counterparts. Many weather stations have big problems for these reasons:

“While they haven’t changed appreciably over the years, the land around them has changed, often profoundly, with the great growth in urban and suburban areas. The weather station that was put, say, in the middle of a Nassau County, Long Island, potato field in 1923 is still in the same spot. But the potatoes are long gone, and now it’s behind a strip mall, twenty feet from the kitchen exhaust fan of a Chinese take-out joint.”

For comparisons of weather over time, the station needs to remain in the same location. Moving it will not work since no two places are exactly alike. However, a weather station set up in a small forest in the early twentieth century will record very different information when that location has become the roof of a convenience store. The cool of the forest has been replaced by a hot roof that receives unfiltered sunlight for an average of twelve hours a day.

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Mr. Gordon’s article refers to a study conducted by Anthony Watts in 2009. It reveals that, “89 percent of the stations – nearly 9 of every 10 – fail to meet the National Weather Service’s own siting requirements that stations must be 30 meters (about 100 feet) or more away from an artificial heating or radiating/reflecting heat source. The conclusion is inescapable: The U.S. temperature record is unreliable.”

The Arrogance of Scientism

Those who sustain the theory that man-made global warming is an “existential threat” dismiss such information. Mr. Gordon’s analysis is that of a historian. It is anecdotal, even though it points to the failure of a system, it is not per se scientific. This attitude is the product of a mistaken idea called scientism – the idea that only science can determine truth.

However, both historians and scientists are on different searches for the same truth. Anything that is scientifically true must also be historically accurate. A historically false proposition can never be scientifically true.

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The Plight of the Non-Scientist

Most people are not scientists. For at least thirty years, climate experts have claimed that non-scientists cannot have valid opinions about global warming. If people are to appear intelligent, they will jump on the solar-powered bandwagon, abandon fossil fuels and renounce cows and other producers of “greenhouse gases.” Those with contrary opinions are simply disregarded.

However, as Mr. Gordon’s article proves, the scientists base themselves upon a minimal amount of real data. In addition, the National Weather Service was only established in 1890. Its methodology and systems of recordkeeping developed over time. At most, there is only a century of real data. The rest is computer-generated projections.

The “scientific” data used by the climate alarmist scientists is thus questionable. The dire warnings are dubious. If a gradually warming climate cannot be proven by unquestionable “scientific data,” there must be other means to look at the record to reach conclusions. That other means is found in history.

The Little Ice Age

History offers an alternate explanation to the “man-made global warming” phenomena that is no less true that real science.

This author’s grandfather, born in 1899, used to say that winters were colder when he was a child. He was right. His youth began shortly after the end of the Little Ice Age. Some specialists speculate that it started about 1400 A.D. It lasted until the late nineteenth century. The twentieth century ushered in a period of gradually increasing temperatures.

Therefore, the Weather Service’s data, beginning in 1890 would logically show that winters are growing warmer. However, the data cannot conclude that the world was considerably warmer between A.D. 1000 and 1400, reaching a peak sometime during the late twelfth century. Historic accounts however do record this “Medieval Warm Period” when food became more plentiful, and travel became more comfortable. Such weather was a blessing upon the Christian civilization that was then reaching its peak.

The Danger of Incomplete Information

In comparison to the historic record of the world, the century of scientifically collected data is ridiculously small. The climate experts feed that minimal data, their biases and politically correct narratives into computers to predict the long term future. They blithely disregard other forms of evidence that contradict their idea of “science.”

It is like moaning that you are going to die when you catch the ghastly flu. If you extrapolate that evidence to predict the future, then you appear to be declining and will soon die. Of course, the week of the flu represents the downhill slope of a natural process. In another week, you will feel better.


Trump wants prime-time climate science challenge — Happer

President Trump wants a climate science review where he might take center stage as host in front of a prime-time television audience, a former adviser said yesterday.

Trump is also interested in bringing back a hostile review of climate science if he wins reelection, but he's concerned that it would affect him in the general election, according to William Happer, a former senior director in the National Security Council. The emeritus Princeton University professor worked for months to promote a hostile review of climate science.

Happer told E&E News he's interested in a purely academic challenge to the National Climate Assessment, while Trump wants a televised event.

"The biggest audience, which is the average American public, has to be informed, and he thinks he's better at doing that than I am. I'm sure he's right," Happer said. "He would prefer it be on prime time, maybe with he himself participating, who knows, but it's impossible to make much of an impact on the scientific community that way."

Happer said Trump was already familiar with his view of climate science, which holds that the world needs more carbon dioxide, before they met in the Oval Office with former national security adviser John Bolton and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. In those early days of his White House tenure, in the fall of 2018, the climate science review seemed a certainty. Happer said Trump was receptive to his scientific claims but that the president already had his own ideas about climate.

Happer, who left the White House last September, said he stressed to the president that there was no urgency to address climate change.

"I don't think I told him anything that he didn't really know. I continually stressed that he's not really dealing with so much with science as with a popular movement," he said.

Happer said that in subsequent meetings, Trump would engage with the idea of the review but was largely focused on his political fortunes.

"When you talk to him, he is interested, but his main focus is politics, how's the next election going," he said. "It's hard to distract him too long from his main focus. I don't think I was with him, I think ever, when at some point in the conversation, some political issue would come up, how's the latest hearing, how is such and such Democratic candidate looking in the polls."

NASA, NOAA and the world's top science agencies have all warned that humans are warming the planet at an unprecedented pace and that, absent significant mitigation, the world is on pace to experience changes with dire consequences for humanity.

Happer spoke to E&E News on the sidelines of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in suburban Washington. He participated in a panel on the "debate" around climate science, which also included a panelist, Alex Bozmoski of RepublicEn, a conservative group that pushes for climate action, who criticized Happer's version of science. In previous years, CPAC events were critical of climate science.

Trump campaign officials worked to block the climate review because polling shows it's a vulnerability for the president in districts he must win to stay in the White House.

In the panel, Happer criticized Republican women, who polls show are increasingly concerned about climate change and have weakened in support for Trump.

"Let me say a little about Republican women and housewives: They've been brainwashed," he said.

"What are they supposed to believe?" he added. "They've got Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Gore and other great scientists explaining this and Bill Nye the Science Guy, well, what else do you expect them to think, and so we've done this to ourselves."

Happer said Trump supported his planned science review and approved it to go forward but that it was sabotaged by "carefully orchestrated delays" from White House and campaign officials who didn't want it to proceed. He said Trump told him it was "too close to the election" to do the review this year but that it could happen if he wins a second term.

"He was very apologetic and said there is a time for everything, and this is just the wrong timing, this is on hold, we're not going to abandon it," he said. "He's a politician. So what do you expect a politician to say?"



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