Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Miami Herald Misleads Readers About Reassuring NOAA Hurricane Study

Among the top Google News search results this morning for “climate change,” the Miami Herald published an article asserting a new study shows global warming is causing more Atlantic hurricanes. In reality, the new study shows there is a declining trend in hurricanes in many parts of the world and concludes there will likely be a declining trend globally during the 21st century. Moreover, objective data show the number of Atlantic hurricanes is declining, just like the forecast global trend.

The Herald article, titled “Climate change, pollution impacts hurricane formation in the Atlantic, NOAA study says,” claims, “In the last 40 years, the East Coast, including Florida, has been hit by dozens of hurricanes. New NOAA research suggests human pollution may have increased the likelihood of those Atlantic basin storms….”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) study referenced by the Herald reports, “our climate models project decreases in the number of global TCs [tropical cyclones] toward the end of the 21st century due to the dominant effect of greenhouse gases on decreasing TC occurrence in most of the tropics, consistent with many previous studies.”

The NOAA study reported a trend of “substantial decreases” in Indian Ocean and North Pacific hurricanes is already detected in the record. The study asserts there has been an increase in Atlantic hurricanes since 1980, which “anthropogenic aerosols could have also influenced.”

The major takeaway from the NOAA study is there will be fewer hurricanes as the world continues its modest warming. That is good news. Rather than reporting good climate news, however, the Herald goes to great lengths to try to pull some bad news from a good-news study.

Even the study’s one asserted drawback, that Atlantic hurricane activity has increased, is quite a stretch. A 2017 article in The Economist, titled “Hurricanes in America have become less frequent,” documents how Atlantic hurricanes have became much less frequent during recent decades compared to the first half of the 20th century. In the six decades between 1900 and 1960, there were an average of 19 Atlantic hurricanes each decade. In the six decades since, there has been an average of only 14 Atlantic hurricanes per decade. In fact, there has not been a single decade since 1960 in which more hurricanes formed than the average decade between 1900 and 1960.

The only reason the authors of the NOAA study could report an increase in Atlantic hurricanes since 1980 is because the decade ending in 1980 was an abnormally low year, with the fewest number of Atlantic hurricanes on record. So, any trend line starting at the record-low point of 1980 will show more frequent hurricanes. However, a more complete and representative record shows a long-term and ongoing decline in Atlantic hurricanes.

Located in Florida, the Miami Herald surprisingly did not mention two very important facts about hurricanes and Florida. As documented in Climate at a Glance: Hurricanes, Florida recently concluded an 11-year period (2005 through 2016) without a landfalling hurricane of any size—the longest such period in recorded history. The Gulf of Mexico also recently benefited from its longest hurricane-free period in recorded history (2013 through 2016).

For completely misleading its readers about the recent NOAA study, and for asserting the exact opposite of the truth regarding hurricane frequency and Atlantic hurricane frequency, the Miami Herald earns a gigantic Pinocchio award.


Electric Vehicle Sales Set to Crash in 2020 Amid Coronavirus and Oil Price Shocks

Global electric vehicle sales look set to crash this year, and the coronavirus pandemic won’t be the only culprit. Total EV sales will plunge 43 percent in 2020, according to new research from Wood Mackenzie.

The 2020s are the decade in which EVs are expected to move from the margin of the global auto market to its fast lane, as battery pack prices tumble, driving ranges extend and charging infrastructure becomes more sophisticated and widespread. But the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic shockwaves have not made for a good start.

WoodMac now expects global EV sales of 1.3 million units in 2020, nosediving from a record 2.2 million units sold last year.

The coronavirus pandemic deserves much of the blame. In China, the world’s largest EV market, sales of all types of cars fell 21 percent in January compared to last year, and by an eye-watering 80 percent in February. Things were even worse for EVs, with February sales projected to be down more than 90 percent.
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“Most new EV buyers are still first-time owners of the technology,” Ram Chandrasekaran, principal analyst for transportation and mobility at Wood Mackenzie, said in a research note. “The uncertainty and fear created by the outbreak have made consumers less inclined to adopt a new technology.”

“Once the epidemic is contained in China, we suspect consumers will flock back to car dealers and reaffirm their confidence in EVs.”

The bounce-back could take longer in Europe and North America, where the COVID-19 outbreak is several months behind China's trajectory.

“The first lockdown in the U.S. did not start until March 20, but the effects have already begun to show in EV sales,” Chandrasekaran said. “General Motors is offering a discount of $10,000 for its Chevrolet Bolt. Further such rebates are sure to follow to move inventory as demand drops [more].”

Other factors are contributing to skidding EV sales, including the collapse of oil prices and a relative lack of new EV models set for commercial release this year, Chandrasekaran said.
Tesla's ambitious 2020 goal looks questionable

Tesla, the world’s highest-profile EV manufacturer and the dominant player in the U.S. market, is an exception to the lack of new models on the market, having last month started deliveries of its Model Y, a compact crossover utility vehicle built on the Model 3 sedan platform. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has mused that Model Y could outsell Model S, Model X and Model 3 combined.

Tesla roared into 2020, putting up unexpectedly strong EV delivery numbers in the first quarter after turning out the first vehicles at its new factory in Shanghai, known as Gigafactory 3. But its share price has fallen by 40 percent since achieving an all-time high in February, amid manufacturing disruptions and economic concerns related to the coronavirus outbreak. (The stock has still doubled over the past year.)

Tesla idled production at its Fremont, California EV factory last month, raising serious questions about the company's ambitious goal to hit 500,000 vehicle deliveries this year — concerns Musk has not yet addressed. Most of the workforce has been sent home at Nevada’s Gigafactory, where Tesla makes battery packs and other components with its partner Panasonic. Tesla has reportedly slashed employee salaries across the board, with deeper cuts of up to 30 percent for executives.

Beyond the Model Y, many anticipated EV models were not expected to hit the market until late 2020 or 2021 — and that was true before the novel coronavirus hit, WoodMac’s Chandrasekaran said.

General Motors brought hundreds of analysts, investors, journalists and policymakers to an event near Detroit last month to highlight its big ambitions for EVs, but none of those models will be available until late 2021. Ford's Mustang Mach-E is not expected to be widely available until late 2021, and Volkswagen's long-touted ID.3 won't hit the market until later this year.

Beyond any impact from the coronavirus, those sluggish EV-model launch timelines could weigh on the market this year as consumers hold off on making purchases.

“Unfortunately for EV adoption, this is likely to lead to a plateauing of sales in the near term," Chandrasekaran wrote. "While the pent-up demand from the pandemic will help a bounce-back in sales later in the year, new demand growth will [not be apparent] until 2021."


‘Jurist Legal News’ Prosecutes Phony Case Against Climate, Hunger

Jurist Legal News is doing its best Michael Avenatti impression, prosecuting false claims that climate change is causing hunger and malnutrition.

In a May 14 article, “The Link Between Climate Change and Human Health,” Indian law students Sakshi Agarwal and Aniket Sachan quote speculative World Health Organization (WHO) predictions as proof that climate change is causing starvation and malnutrition.

That is the same WHO, by the way, that reassured us that Chinese officials found no evidence of human-to-human transmission of COVID-19, that wearing face masks makes you more likely to acquire COVID-19, and praised massive government efforts to “socialize the economy.”

“The World Health Organization (WHO) back in 2018 said that climate change will cause around 250,000 additional deaths per year between 2030 and 2050 due to malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, and heat exhaustion,” the Jurist Legal News article reported.

Of course, predictions are not proof or even evidence. They are merely predictions. Let’s take a look at what scientific evidence shows.

History shows colder periods of time are linked to famine and malnutrition as crops fail, as during the little ice age. By contrast, hunger and malnutrition both decline sharply during relatively warm periods.

Indeed, food production, rather than declining as the climate has modestly warmed, has increased dramatically in recent decades.

This is thoroughly documented in Climate at a Glance: Crop Production, as well as in a video-archived panel discussion alongside the United Nations Civil Society Conference in August 2019.

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels, shows how modern agriculture, built upon and entirely dependent upon fossil fuels, is allowing farmers to produce more food than ever on less and less land.

In addition, as detailed by, the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere over the past century, along with modest warming, has resulted in crop yields setting records nearly every year.

The two factors combined have resulted in the largest decline in hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and starvation in human history.

Forty-four percent of the world’s population lived in absolute poverty in 1981 – 40 years of global warming ago. Since then, the share of people living in such poverty fell below 10 percent in 2015.

And although 700 million people worldwide still suffer from persistent hunger, the United Nations reports the number of hungry people has declined by two billion since 1990 – 30 years of global warming ago.

Hunger and malnutrition, like a changing climate, have always been with us. The evidence, however, shows the only climate change consistently linked to increases in hunger, malnutrition, and premature mortality is a cooling climate.


‘Snowpiercer’: Climate ‘Deniers’ ‘Doomed Us With Their Lies’

These days, the last thing we want to think about is being cooped inside for what seems like forever. Unfortunately for us, that happens to be the plot of TNT’s Snowpiercer which premiered May 17.

Based on the 1982 French graphic novel Le Transperceneige as well as the 2013 movie Snowpiercer, we follow a post-apocalyptic society that doesn’t forget to remind us about the true horror: climate deniers.

The pilot “First, the Weather Changed” introduces us to what it conceives as the future. Scientists attempted to fire chemicals into the atmosphere to fight against global warming, but the result instead led to a massive, uninhabitable Ice Age.

To survive, a wealthy industrialist designed and constructed a massive perpetual-motion train called “Snowpiercer” to house the remnants of humanity.

Very quickly, a caste system forms on the train, with the wealthy elite housed in the front and the starving poor at the tail end.

Riots, we soon see, are frequent as the tail-end passengers fight for more food and better conditions from the hoarding rich.

Amid the obvious class allegories and an entire apocalypse happening outside, the show throws several characters and conflicts into the mix to keep this engine going.

There’s Layton (Daveed Diggs), a former homicide detective who now leads the rebellion among the “Taillies,” along with Melanie (Jennifer Connelly), a first-class passenger who helps keep order within the train.

However, none of the characters compare to the horror brought upon by the “deniers” of the old Earth.

In an animated prologue, Layton describes the background of the train as well as what caused the new Ice Age.

Some of the very first words we hear from the episode emphasize how the climate change deniers “doomed us with their lies.” In a way, everything bad that happens in this series can now be attributed to them.

Layton: First, the weather changed. The deniers knew why, but still they doomed us with their lies. War made the Earth even hotter. Her ice melted, and all her species crashed. So, the men of Science tried to cool the Earth, to reverse the damage they had sown. But instead, they froze her to the core.

Contrary to what this show and every other leftist politician would have you believe, “deniers” are not “dooming” us with their “lies.”

In fact, a lot of the so-called “deniers” have actually exposed many lies from the climate activists including but not limited to melting polar ice caps, rising temperatures, and the end of life as we know it.

It’s almost more plausible to believe in a perpetually moving train than a cohesive climate change argument at this point.

As far as the show goes, blaming global warming deniers for the end of the world is hardly anything new. Neither is complaining that the rich are hoarding everything from the starving poor for that matter.

We still have a long way to go with Snowpiercer, but my interest has already left the station.



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