Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Green wave batters Emmanuel Macron in local elections as his centrist party suffers humiliating loss to socialist alliance with eco warriors

A Green wave proved disastrous for French president Emmanuel Macron tonight as his party suffered significant loses in municipal elections.

An alliance between ecological candidates and traditional Left-wing ones saw Mr Macron’s candidates swept away.

Among the biggest winners was Anne Hidalgo, who was re-elected Socialist Mayor of Paris for a second term of six years.

Exit polls on Sunday night suggested she has won with 50.2 per cent of votes, in front of the conservative Republicans candidate Rachida Dati on 32 per cent.

Agn├Ęs Buzyn, the former health minister and candidate for Mr Macron’s LREM party (The Republic on the Move!) was pushed into third place, with only 16 per cent.

Ms Hidalgo’s comfortable win was the result of an alliance with Greens leader David Belliard, of the Europe Ecology-Greens.

Ms Hidalgo has pledged to continue her ambitious programme to cut pollution, encourage cycling and expand green spaces, while pedestrianising more of Paris.

Exit polls in major cities including Strasbourg and Lyon suggested that they had been won outright by the Greens.

France was holding the second round of municipal elections in 5,000 towns and cities on Sunday – one which were postponed because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Voters chose mayors and municipal councillors at polling stations operating under strict hygiene rules.

Face masks and hand gel were all made available, and those voting had to stay one metre apart.

The spread of Covid-19 has slowed significantly in France, following nearly 200,000 confirmed cases and 29,781 deaths. By 5pm on Sunday, voter participation was at just 34.67 per cent, compared to 38 per cent in March.

This is much lower than the participation rates during the 2014 municipal elections when it was already above 50 per cent at 5pm.

The polls are seen as a key political indicator ahead of the 2022 French presidential election.

Paris is a major battleground, because the mayor will oversee the 2024 Olympics.

Mr Macron’s three-year-old centrist party fielded municipal candidates for the first time but lacks deep rooted support.

His government has faced criticism during the pandemic over mask shortages, testing capacity and a lack of medical equipment.

Despite this, Mr Macron’s prime minister, Edouard Philippe, won the post of Mayor in his hometown of Le Havre on Sunday night.

A government reshuffle is expected to be carried out by Mr Macron in the wake of Sunday’s result.

Opinion polls currently show Mr Macron’s popularity rating is hovering around 40 per cent – higher than before the virus outbreak.

The anti-immigration, far-right National Rally, led by Marine Le Pen, was focusing on consolidating its 2014 results, when candidates backed by the party won in 12 towns.


CMIP6 Climate Models Producing 50% More Surface Warming than Observations since 1979

Those who defend climate model predictions often produce plots of observed surface temperature compared to the models which show very good agreement. Setting aside the debate over the continuing adjustments to the surface temperature record which produce ever-increasing warming trends, let’s look at how the most recent (CMIP6) models are doing compared to the latest version of the observations (however good those are).

First, I’d like to explain how some authors get such good agreement between the models and observations. Here are the two “techniques” they use that most annoy me.

They look at long periods of time, say the last 100+ years. This improves the apparent agreement because most of that period was before there was substantial forcing of the climate system by increasing CO2.

They plot anomalies about a common reference period, but do not show trend lines. Or, if they show trends lines, they do not start them at the same point at the beginning of the record. When you do this, the discrepancy between models and observations is split in half, with the discrepancy in the latter half of the record having the opposite sign of the discrepancy in the early part of the record. They say, “See? The observed temperatures in the last few decades nearly match the models!”

In the following plot (which will be included in a report I am doing for the Global Warming Policy Foundation) I avoid both of those problems. During the period of strongest greenhouse gas forcing (since 1979), the latest CMIP6 models reveal 50% more net surface warming from 1979 up to April 2020 (+1.08 deg. C) than do the observations (+0.72 deg. C).

Note I have accounted for the trends being somewhat nonlinear, using a 2nd order polynomial fit to all three time series. Next, I have adjusted the CMIP time series vertically so that their polynomial fit lines are coaligned with the observations in 1979. I believe this is the most honest and meaningful way to intercompare the warming trends in different datasets.
As others have noted, it appears the CMIP6 models are producing even more warming than the CMIP5 models did… although the KNMI Climate Explorer website (from which all of the data was downloaded) has only 13 models archived so far.


A Drowned World? The Latest False Alarm About The Climate

Bjorn Lomborg has an article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Examining the Latest False Alarm on Climate, ($)” which contains a helpful illustration of the way the media uses studies to whip up anxiety around one of their pet projects.

In the piece, he discusses a spate of recent startling headlines all of which suggest that, in his words, “Rising sea levels from climate change could flood 187 million people out of their homes.”

This claim has its origin in a paper published all the way back in 2011, and when you actually read the paper, you see that it needed to make some pretty questionable assumptions in order to arrive at that figure.

As Lomborg explains, the paper found that “187 million could be forced to move in the unlikely event that, in the next 80 years, no one does anything to adapt to dramatic rises in sea level.”

In other words, in order for their projection to make sense, the paper’s authors had to take worst-case climate scenarios (which are already questionable) projected out over a century and then disregard what we know about actual human behavior.

If sea-levels rise as much as these authors are claiming (which is, once again, not certain), leading to significant coastal flooding, one hundred eighty-seven million people — not to mention their governments — aren’t just going to sit there until they’re neck-deep in water.

What would actually happen, says Lomborg, is we would deal with those problems as they arise.

We have more know-how and technology than ever to build dikes, surge barriers and dams, expand beaches and construct dunes, make ecosystem-based barriers like mangrove buffers, improve building codes and construction techniques, and use land planning and hazard mapping to minimize flooding.

The one hundred eighty-seven million displaced people headline, then, is a canard, based on dubiously applied data, whose object it is to frighten you into signing onto a sprawling environmentalist program.

While flooding will likely be a serious problem over the next 80 years, as it is in many parts of the world today, targeted policies and spending could go a long way towards reducing their human and financial costs.

They’re also more likely to be successful than the beef-and-airplane bans our mainstream media overlords have in mind.


Amid the lockdowns, mining saves the Australian economy

The global economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic has sliced almost $7 billion from the value of Australia's key resource and energy exports in three months, with warnings of bigger hits next financial year.

But new forecasts from the Industry Department, released on Monday, show the iron ore sector will defy the coronavirus gloom with high prices and surging exports to help it offset the broader economic weakness.

In its June quarterly outlook report, the department's office of the chief economist forecasts total resource and energy exports to reach a record $292.7 billion in 2019-20 before falling to $263.2 billion.

In March, the department predicted $299.3 billion in commodity exports this financial year and then $276.1 billion in 2020-21.

The department said overall resource and energy exports had been resilient in the face of the pandemic recession, noting earnings from the sector were 50 per cent higher than during the global financial crisis.

"These forecasts come with significant risks: a second outbreak of COVID-19, another surge in trade tensions, or an unexpectedly slow global recovery," it said. "But on balance it remains likely that Australia's resources and energy sector will once again buffer the Australian economy against external headwinds."

Holding up resource exports is iron ore with $102.7 billion worth expected to be shipped this financial year. This was an upgrade on the March forecasts. Gold, which is touching all-time highs as investors seek to protect themselves, is also remaining strong with exports tipped to hit $27.4 billion this year. The department had expected gold exports to fall to $21 billion next year but now thinks they will rise to $32 billion.

But energy exports, on the back of falling demand and prices, are tipped to fall away.

Thermal coal exports are forecast to edge down to $16 billion next financial year from a downwardly revised $20 billion in 2019-20.

LNG exports, which in March were expected to reach $48.6 billion this year and $44.2 billion in 2020-21, are now forecast to make $47 billion and $35 billion respectively. LNG prices are closely tied to oil prices, which remain extremely low.

Overall energy exports have been downgraded by $58.5 billion for the next two years since the March forecast.

While the mining sector contributed growth through the first three months of the year, the department noted that none of this came from the coal sector.

"In the coming year, it is likely that this sector will make a much smaller contribution to GDP growth, as low prices and mine closures and cutbacks impact on the sector’s output," it said.

The department said that while resource export volumes had climbed by 4.6 per cent over the past year, energy volumes were down by 2.5 per cent, with warnings they were likely to stagnate over the coming two years.



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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