Thursday, June 25, 2020

UK Environment Official Claims Britain Isn’t Wet And Rainy

Dr. Benny Peiser

The head of the government’s Environment Agency is claiming that the UK is no longer a wet and rainy country and is urging us to turn off taps and take showers rather than baths to save water.

Sir James Bevan, CEO of the Agency, is backing a report, The Great British Rain Paradox, which warns of potential water shortages in the UK in years to come. The report claims that the major factor for this is climate change.

In its foreword, Sir James says:

‘Climate change is causing long spells of dry weather that are putting our water resources under increased pressure. May 2020 has been the driest on record and exceptionally dry weather across the southeast between 2017 and 2019 led to some of the lowest groundwater levels we have ever seen.’

These claims have no basis in fact. Official Met Office data shows that the UK has actually been getting wetter in recent decades.

What is particularly noticeable in England and Wales is the absence of severe drought years in recent decades.
May 2020 certainly was not the driest on record either – in the UK as a whole, it was only the ninth driest since records started in 1862. The driest May was in 1896. Analysis of regional rainfall data also fails to support Sir James’s claims.

Nor does the claim of exceptionally dry weather in the South East of England stand up to scrutiny. Met Office data proves that rainfall there between 2017 and 2019 was close to average.
There are undoubtedly good reasons why water shortages may occur in the future, such as population growth and increased demands.

Spurious claims about climate change will simply serve to draw attention away from these very real issues and the failure to expand storage and deal with water leaks.

This is not the first time Sir James has been caught playing fast and loose with the facts to support a political agenda. He should apologize and issue a correction.


If We Unquestioningly ‘Follow The Science,’ It Leads Us Nowhere

Surely one of the more embarrassing moments in Anderson Cooper’s career as the host of his CNN nightly show was the night back in May when he brought in 17-year-old Greta Thunberg as a star interview for a CNN Town Hall — not on the climate crisis, for which Thunberg has been famously treated as an expert of sorts, but on the COVID-19 crisis.

The link between COVID-19 and climate change is a little unclear, so presumably Cooper and Town Hall co-host Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s medical expert, thought Thunberg would bring some special wisdom and insight to the virus crisis.

The only advice from Thunberg, however, was to urge everyone to “follow the science” as suggested by Cooper, who seemed to be appealing to the 17-year-old for confirmation of his views:

“This is a time, it seems, that the global scientific community is so critically important and we’re really seeing how important it is to follow the science.”

Thunberg took that soft handoff from Cooper as one might expect — as confirmation of her claim that we should also be following the science on climate change.

“People are starting to realize that we are actually depending on science and that we need to listen to scientists and experts. And I really hope that stays,” she said, adding that she also hoped it will apply to other crises “such as the climate crisis and the environmental crisis.”

When it comes to COVID-19, however, Thunberg seemed to have missed some of the science she said we should all be following.

She suggested it was misinformation to believe initial reports that COVID-19 affected only the elderly. “During any crisis, it is always the most vulnerable people who are hit the hardest, and that is children,” she proclaimed.

“Yes, this does affect elderly people a lot, but we also have to remember that this is also a children’s rights crisis because children are the most vulnerable in societies. Children do get the virus and they also spread it.”

The actual science shows, as we all now know, that children are not the hardest hit, nor are they the most vulnerable.

Children are in “extremely low risk” of getting the disease and when they do get it they are more likely to be asymptomatic. Few have died.

Welcome to FP Comment’s 22nd annual Junk Science Week, guided by our standard definition: Junk science occurs when scientific facts are distorted, the risk is exaggerated and the science adapted and warped by politics and ideology to serve another agenda.

Both CNN and Thunberg are manifestations thereof.

Whether the politicization of science is more widespread today is unanswerable, but it seems fair to conclude that there have been few signs of retreat.

As we shall explore later this week, peer-review regimes continue to fail, correlations are propelled into causation, health risks converted into draconian legislation.

Calls to follow the science are heard almost daily from politicians and activists — and many scientists. But what are they advocating?

When a politician declares “I believe in the science” (as per U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren), it’s akin to admitting a lack of knowledge about the science behind whatever policy is being promulgated.

And what if, as is too often the case, the science politicians are following is tainted and falls into the great science world where deliberate distortions and exaggerations — even fabrications — are common?

Lest anyone believe that doesn’t happen, it’s worth recalling the famous words of Stephen Schneider, the late Stanford University climate scientist who — along with many others over the years — saw fudging and fakery as the proper role of scientists.

“On the one hand,” said Schneider, “as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. To do that we need to get some broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, means getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts we might have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”

There is one area of science where a small blow — or maybe it will prove to be large — has been dealt to the “scary scenarios” that have driven climate policy over much of the past two decades.

That scenario is the work of the UN climate agency — the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — which produced a so-called “business-as-usual” scenario implying that without drastic action to curb carbon emissions the world would plunge into economic and environmental hell.

Guelph University’s Ross McKitrick outlines on this page today that the official UN climate scenario known as RCP8.5 — cited by media and others to describe climate change risk — is a form of junk science based on assorted wrong-headed assumptions, including impossible projections of carbon emissions increases.

McKitrick concludes: “If we want to avoid the RCP8.5 future scenario all we have to do is stop feeding it into climate models because that’s the only place it exists.”

If we just unquestioningly “follow the science,” that’s where it seems to be leading, to places that don’t exist, to nowhere.


E&E Alarmist Article on Facebook's Climate Model "Fact-checking" Needs Its Own Fact-Checking

E&E News today published a news story backing the opinions of a partisan climate alarmist group that acts as a censor for opposing opinions on Facebook.

Dr. Caleb Stewart Rossiter, a climate statistician who directs the CO2 Coalition of climate scientists and energy economists that is fighting the censorship, responded that it is the E&E article that desperately needs fact-checking: 

"About the only thing that is accurate in this opinion piece masquerading as news story is this statement: 'climate models, which are the foundation used to craft many carbon regulations.' Climate models indeed are the only thing justifying the array of mandates and subsidies for wind and solar power that are making energy prices four times as high as they should be." 

Dr. Rossiter noted that the UN's own reports show that there has been no statistically significant increase in rates of sea-level rise, hurricanes, droughts, and other extreme weather during the era since 1950, when industrial CO2 could first have affected global temperature. (see Climate Statistics 101.

Said Rossiter, 

"Why do Facebook's censors go after anything we write about climate models? Because these models are the weak link in the alarmist narrative. These rough estimates based on pre-programmed warming assumptions continue to run three times too hot compared to actual temperature data." (see On Climate Sensitivity).
Via email from the CO2 Coalition:

Australia: Leftist leader's letter to PM Scott Morrison to outline climate compromise

Labor leader Anthony Albanese has urged the Prime Minister to end the climate wars in a letter outlining a new bipartisan approach on energy policy that’s being dubbed “a surrender note” by critics.

In an olive branch, Mr Albanese has written to the PM urging the Morrison government to find an energy policy that both sides of politics can support and then get on with legislating it.

The Labor leader said that the ALP would not “seek a specific model” for the bipartisan energy policy as long as it could be scalable to different emissions targets of a future government.

After the Prime Minister spruiked the benefits of bipartisanship during the COVID-19 crisis with Labor state premiers, Mr Albanese is urging the Prime Minister to embrace a new deal on energy policy.

“As we address the greatest health and economic crisis we have seen for generations, it is only by working together that we can deliver the leadership Australian businesses and families are rightly crying out for,’’ Mr Albanese writes.

“It is my sincere hope that you carefully consider and accept this genuine offer.”

Previously, Labor had offered to back the National Energy Guarantee, which the Liberal Party put on ice two years ago during the leadership revolt that toppled Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister.

Whether it’s the carbon tax, the National Energy Guarantee or the emissions reduction scheme, successive governments have tried and failed to deliver a détente in the energy policy space.

While the brawls have toppled prime ministers and political leaders, experts insist the real losers are voters who are paying more for energy as businesses refuse to invest because of the uncertainty.

Business leaders have consistently warned that Australia’s energy prices for electricity and gas are higher than they should be as a result of the policy vacuum in the climate change space.

The new negotiating position was ticked off by the shadow cabinet recently, following negotiations between the Left faction’s Mark Butler and the Right faction’s pro-coal frontbencher Joel Fitzgibbon.

Last year, Mr Albanese carpeted Mr Fitzgibbon in the shadow cabinet over his public call for a “sensible settlement’’ with the Liberal Party on climate change targets.

The brawl prompted Mr Butler to announce he would be announcing a “climate change emergency’’ in parliament, which critics complained was “a crock of sh*t.”

In February, Mr Albanese announced that a Labor Government would adopt a target of net zero emissions by 2050.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Albanese has also offered to support the development and use of Carbon Capture Storage methodologies for the creation of Australian carbon credit units to be available for Emission Reduction Fund auctions.

This is despite the Labor Party insisting it remains opposed to the taxpayer funded Emissions Reduction Fund on the grounds it is an inappropriate use of taxpayer funds.

But while the bipartisan approach has been endorsed by the shadow cabinet, it’s likely to sharpen the differences between the ALP and the Greens and could alarm some inner-city MPs.

“We’ve taken ourselves hostage and now we’re sending the PM a surrender note,’’ a Labor MP quipped.



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