Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Fauci-Birx climate models?

Honest, evidence-based climate models could avoid trillions of dollars in policy blunders

Paul Driessen and David R. Legates

President Trump and his Coronavirus Task Force presented some frightening numbers during their March 31 White House briefing. Based on now 2-week-old data and models, as many as 100,000 Americans at the models’ low end, to 2.2 million at their high end, could die from the fast-spreading virus, they said.

However, the President, Vice President Pence and Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx hastened to add, those high-end numbers are based on computer models. And they are “unlikely” if Americans keep doing what they are doing now to contain, mitigate and treat the virus. Although that worst-case scenario “is possible,” it is “unlikely if we do the kinds of things that we’re essentially outlining right now.”

On March 31, Dr. Fauci said, the computer models were saying that, even with full mitigation, it is “likely” that America could still suffer at least 100,000 deaths. But he then added a very important point:

“The question is, are the models really telling us what’s going on? When someone creates a model, they put in various assumptions. And the models are only as good and as accurate as the assumptions you put into them. As we get more data, as the weeks go by, that might change. We feed the data back into the models and relook at the models.” The data can change the assumptions – and thus the models’ forecasts.

“If we have more data like the NY-NJ metro area, the numbers could go up,” Dr. Birx added. But if the numbers coming in are more like Washington or California, which reacted early and kept their infection and death rates down – then the models would likely show lower numbers. “We’re trying to prevent that logarithmic increase in New Orleans and Detroit and Chicago – trying to make sure those cities work more like California than like the New York metro area.” That seems to be happening, for the most part.

If death rates from corona are misattributed or inflated, if other model assumptions should now change, if azithromycin, hydroxychloroquine and other treatments, and people’s immunities are reducing infections – then business shutdowns and stay-home orders could (and should) end earlier, and we can go back to work and life, rebuild America’s and the world’s economies ... and avoid different disasters, like these:

Millions of businesses that never reopen. Tens of millions of workers with no paychecks. Tens of trillions of dollars vanished from our economy. Millions of families with lost homes and savings. Millions of cases of depression, stroke, heart attack, domestic violence, suicide, murder-suicide, and early death due to depression, obesity and alcoholism, due to unemployment, foreclosure and destroyed dreams.

In other words, numerous deaths because of actions taken to prevent infections and deaths from COVID.

It is vital that they recheck the models and assumptions – and distinguish between COVID-19 deaths actually due to the virus ... and not just associated with or compounded by it, but primarily due to age, obesity, pneumonia or other issues. We can’t afford a cure that’s worse than the disease – or a prolonged and deadly national economic shutdown that could have been shortened by updated and corrected models.

Now just imagine: What if we could have that same honest, science-based approach to climate models?

What if the White House, EPA, Congress, UN, EU and IPCC acknowledged that climate models are only as good and as accurate as the assumptions built into them? What if – as the months and years went by and we got more real-world temperature, sea level and extreme weather data – we used that information to honestly refine the models? Would the assumptions and therefore the forecasts change dramatically?

What if we use real science to help us understand Earth’s changing climate and weather? And base energy and other policies on real science that honestly examines manmade and natural influences on climate?

Many climate modelers claim we face existential manmade climate cataclysms caused by our use of fossil fuels. They use models to justify calls to banish fossil fuels that provide 80% of US and global energy; close down countless industries, companies and jobs; totally upend our economy; give trillions of dollars in subsidies to fossil fuel replacement companies; and drastically curtail our travel and lifestyles.

Shouldn’t we demand that these models be verified against real-world evidence? Natural forces have caused climate changes and extreme weather events throughout history. What proof is there that what we see today is due to fossil fuel emissions, and not to those same natural forces? We certainly don’t want energy “solutions” that don’t work and are far worse than the supposed manmade climate and weather ‘virus.’

And we have the climate data. We’ve got years of data. The data show the models don’t match reality.

Model-predicted temperatures are more than 0.5 degrees F above actual satellite-measured average global temperatures – and “highest ever” records are mere hundredths of a degree above previous records from 50 to 80 years ago. Actual hurricane, tornado, sea level, flood, drought, and other historic records show no unprecedented trends or changes, no looming crisis, no evidence that humans have replaced the powerful natural forces that have always driven climate and weather in the real world outside the modelers’ labs.

Real science – and real scientists – seek to understand natural phenomena and processes. They pose hypotheses that they think best explain what they have witnessed, then test them against actual evidence, observations and data. If the hypotheses (and predictions based on them) are borne out by their subsequent observations or findings, the hypotheses become theories, rules or laws of nature – at least until someone finds new evidence that pokes holes in their assessments, or devises better explanations.

Real scientists often employ computers to analyze data more quickly and accurately, depict or model complex natural systems, or forecast future events or conditions. But they test their models against real-world evidence. If the models, observations and predictions don’t match up, real scientists modify or discard the models, and the hypotheses behind them. They engage in robust discussion and debate.

Real scientists don’t let models or hypotheses become substitutes for real-world data, evidence and observations. They don’t alter or “homogenize” raw or historic data to make it look like the models actually work. They don’t tweak their models after comparing predictions to actual subsequent observations, to make it look like the models “got it right.” They don’t “lose” or hide data and computer codes, restrict peer review to closed circles of like-minded colleagues who protect one another’s reputations and funding, claim “the debate is over,” or try to silence anyone who asks inconvenient questions or criticizes their claims or models. Climate modelers have done all of this – and more.

Put bluntly, what climate modelers are essentially saying is this: We don’t need data; we have models. If real world observations don’t conform to our computer model predictions, the real world must be wrong.

Climate models have always overstated the warming. But even though modelers have admitted that their models are “tuned” – revised after the fact to make it look like they predicted temperatures accurately – the modelers have made no attempt to change the climate sensitivity to match reality. Why not?

They know disaster scenarios sell. Disaster forecasts keep them employed, swimming in research money – and empowered to tell legislators and regulators that humanity must we take immediate, draconian action to eliminate all fossil fuel use – the economic, human and environmental consequences be damned. And they probably will never admit their mistakes or duplicity, much less be held accountable.

“Wash your hands! You could save millions of lives!”  has far more impact than “You could save your own life, your kids’ lives, dozens of lives.” When it comes to climate change, you’re saving the planet.

With Mann-made climate change, we are always shown the worst-case scenario: RCP 8.5, the “business-as-usual” ... ten times more coal use in 2100 than now ... “total disaster.” Alarmist climatologists know their scenario has maybe a 0.1% likelihood, and assumes no new energy technologies over the next 80 years. But energy technologies have evolved incredibly over the last 80 years – since 1940, the onset of World War II! Who could possibly think technologies won’t change at least as much going forward?

Disaster scenarios are promoted because most people don’t know any better – and voters and citizens won’t accept extreme measures and sacrifices unless they are presented with extreme disaster scenarios.

The Fauci-Birx team is trying to do science-based modeling for the ChiCom-WHO coronavirus – feeding updated data into their models. Forecasts for infections and deaths are down significantly. Thankfully.

So now we must demand honest, factual, evidence-based climate model as well. No more alarmists and charlatans setting climate and energy policy. Our economy, livelihoods, lives and liberties are too vital.

The fact is, models are also only as good as the number of variables they can handle, and the data quality for every variable. There is no way models can possibly factor in the hundreds of infection, treatment, death and other variables associated with COVID – and Earth’s climate is vastly more complex. Simply put, models play a role but should never be a primary driving force in setting important public policies.

Via email

The Green New Nose Under the Tent

It has been my custom now for several decades when looking at some shiny new policy being proposed, some public threat that “we must all act to counter,” to stand back and ask myself “Cui Bono?” i.e. “Who does this benefit?” Additional considerations are: is this in any way effective or commensurate or even sane for the problem it purports to solve? Who is pushing for this? And what do they let slip?

Under all of those headings, I’ve been getting very worried over the response to COVID-19.

The draconian measures put in place completely out of proportion to the threat they purport to combat. Please, please, please, note that the general death rate fell before any “social distancing” measures were put in place and the Imperial College model was revised after three days of lockdown, well before it could have had any impact on infection and lethality rates, both of which are fudged anyway. We neither have enough tests to test the entire population nor are the death certificates that list COVID-19 as the cause entirely truthful.

Some of these draconian measures also have nothing to do with combating the threat. All of them have to do with totalitarian fever dreams and with the illusion that humans are killing the Earth and must be stopped.

Locking everyone in their houses for months on end may destroy as many lives as it saves. Even without taking into account the economic devastation that will result, humans are social apes, and people cope very, very badly with being put under house arrest with no end in sight.

That’s not taking into account the fact that hospitals have been emptied, left deserted, and are now closing. Because hospitals and most human enterprises are not things you can turn on and off like the lights. They require maintenance and they require staffing, which requires training. Equipment needs to be maintained. Facilities have to be cleaned.

The longer the shutdown goes on, the higher the likelihood that many hospitals won’t come back. That in turn will reduce the availability of health care, and cause increased deaths.

But wait, there’s more! These hospitals are all economic endeavors. The longer they stay closed, the more broke they will be, thereby increasing the likelihood of a government takeover of health systems.

Chicken Little Obama Frets About Trump's 'Climate Denial' Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
Which, of course, will also increase the death rate.

At some point you have to wonder: is the increased death rate the goal? Whom does the increased death serve? Well, leftists and the Greens (BIRM) have for a long time said that we need to bring the world population down to less than ten percent of what it is to “save the Earth.”

Besides, they don’t much like people, anyway.

Other things going on include the destruction of small businesses. The businesses taking it in the shorts, from small restaurants to neighborhood stores, are mostly small and family businesses.  Meanwhile, large corporations like Walmart are open and doing just fine.

Well, leftists always, always prefer to deal with large corporations. Their phony hatred of them vanishes when it actually comes to policy. After all, it’s much better for them to have only a few large corporations to negotiate with so they can decide what can be sold and who will be allowed to work, and who will be allowed to eat.

This brings us to one of the most bizarre insanities of this: the restrictions on buying seeds because they’re not essential. One can’t avoid the sense that – having as little understanding of how likely home gardens are to fail as most first time gardeners – they’d really like to decide who gets to eat this winter.

And of course, what we get to eat.

Look, there is fodder trouble already at too many cattle farms. And, because by stupidity or design (stupidity wouldn’t be that consistent), certain filters necessary to produce commercial milk aren’t considered essential, milk is being dumped rather than sold.

Farmers are also having trouble getting parts for tractors and other agricultural machines. All of this is presaging famine to come. And honestly, the leftists and the Greens (BIRM) want to pick who lives and who dies.

Also, along those lines, we’re already hearing noise about a restriction on paint sales. You see, having more than one paint color – I advise you now to stock up on your favorite toothpaste, because they think the same – is bad for Gaia. And besides, you might make your house better than your neighbor’s, you elitist capitalist.

Oh, and keeping you shut in the house? That reduces emissions. If I had a dime for each empty-headed Green bragging about how this is great for the planet I’d have enough to swim in a bin filled with them, just like Uncle Scrooge.

More than one prominent leftist had made vague noises about COVID-19 being Gaia’s punishment on us faithless disbelievers. (Including the pope, may G-d have mercy on his soul and on the Catholic church under his leadership.)

Now, we’re used to everything from asteroid strikes to the heartbreak of psoriasis being blamed on “climate change.”

However, we could laugh at them with some impunity when they hadn’t scared about half of the country into an unreasoning panic. That unreasoning panic is allowing them to institute the Green New Deal by other means.

Do you think it is a coincidence that insects have been approved as food in the EU just now? Ah.

No, the Greens and the left probably didn’t invent or release the virus. But they are increasing the unreasoning panic, in order to put their boot on your face and keep it there.

I suggest you start looking at the panic and the unreasoning tyranny it brings and pushing back as hard as you can.

It might be too late to stop us from going Venezuela, but if we don’t try we’ll be reviled as the most cowardly and feckless generation on Earth.


Climate Alarmists Invent New Fake Link to California Wildfires

The media are hyping a new study claiming climate change has doubled the number of high-risk wildfire days in California. The claim depends on the assertion that autumn precipitation in California has “dropped 30% since 1980.” In reality, autumn precipitation in California has been rising by 0.02 inches per decade. Oops, time to cancel another fake climate crisis.

Activist scientists representing The Nature Conservancy and government-funded institutions wrote up the study, which should immediately invoke skepticism. The Nature Conservancy is a climate activist organization that raises more than $1 billion each year, much of it based on climate alarmism. Accordingly, Nature Conservancy studies are likely to be biased toward alarmist climate conclusions and should be examined closely.

The study claims, “decreases in autumn precipitation (~30%) over the past four decades have contributed to increases in aggregate fire weather indices (+20%).” The study defines the autumn season as September through November.

However, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) keeps detailed records on California precipitation. Figure 1, below, is a NOAA chart showing historical California precipitation during September and October. NOAA reports a long-term increase of 0.02 inches of precipitation per decade.

So, how do the activist scientists claim autumn precipitation is declining? Easy. The charts above show that precipitation can vary quite a bit from year to year. The authors cherry-picked the beginning of their time period as a period of significantly above-average rainfall. Sure, if you start your analysis beginning with the unusual spike in rainfall around 1980 and pretend that such precipitation was typical, you can create a declining rainfall trend out of thin air. However, if you start your analysis in 1990, you have increasing rainfall. Or, better yet, looking at the entire record also shows increasing rainfall.

By the way, do you see those spikes in precipitation in the final year of each chart, in 2019? The authors conveniently cut off their data in 2018, even though data for the very wet autumn of 2019 is available. Go figure….

MORE here See the original for links, graphics etc.)

NOAA’s Bogus Climate Scare: “Near-Annual” Great Barrier Reef Bleaching

Climate alarmists are back with a new and far-fetched Great Barrier Reef scare, just a few years after their most recent claims of massive coral death in the Reef proved false. No, alarmists, we are not entering a period of “near-annual” widespread bleaching.

Mark Eakin, coordinator of Coral Reef Watch at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told the Australian edition of The Guardian that rising ocean temperatures may have pushed the world’s coral reefs into annual “mass bleaching” events from which corals can’t recover.

However, this year’s bleaching hardly qualifies as the “mass bleaching” Eakin describes. Even The Guardian acknowledged, “Many areas of the Great Barrier Reef are known to have experienced severe bleaching this summer, likely killing many corals, but others, including tourist reefs near Cairns and the Whitsundays, only experienced mild bleaching. Most offshore reefs in the far north escaped bleaching entirely.”

The reefs in the far north, which have “escaped bleaching entirely,” are the ones closest to the equator and thus in the warmest water.

"Climate at a Glance" provides a summary of the scientific evidence regarding coral reefs and climate change. The summary documents that corals have existed continuously for the past 40 million years, surviving and evolving in temperatures and carbon dioxide levels significantly higher than what exists today. Indeed, corals thrive in warm water, not cold water. Among the myriad factors thought to have driven recent coral bleaching episodes are, “oxybenzone (a chemical found in sunscreen), sediment runoff from nearby coastal lands, and cold temperatures like those recorded in 2010 off the Florida coast.”

Australian coral reef expert Dr. Peter Ridd recently debunked claims in 2016 that up to 93 percent of the Great Barrier Reef died during a bleaching event. “At the extreme, 8 percent died,” Ridd reported.

“There’s about the same amount of coral now as there was in 1995,” Ridd added.

“Of all the ecosystems in the world, in fact, the Reef is the one best able to adapt to increasing [temperatures], whether that’s natural or whether that’s anthropogenic. Half a degree temperature change certainly doesn’t cause mass bleaching events.”

Still other peer reviewed studies have indicated modestly warmer oceans cause an expansion of corals’ ranges. For instance, a team of Japanese scientists published a study in the peer-reviewed Geophysical Research Letters indicating corals off the coast of Japan expanded their range as water temperatures increased. The scientists, with access to 80 years of national records from temperate areas of Japan, found corals were expanding poleward as waters warmed, reporting, “[f]our major coral species categories, including two key species for reef formation in tropical areas, showed poleward range expansions since the 1930s, whereas no species demonstrated southward range shrinkage or local extinction.”



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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