Sunday, November 28, 2021

Study proves climate change driving Australia’s 800% boom in bushfires

This is a childish level of logic. There is no doubt that weather changes impact fires but PROVING that the weather changes are due to global warming shows no awarenes of the scientific and philosophical requirements for proving anything. As David Hume pointed out, you have to show constant conjunction between two things to substantiate a claim of causation and there is NO constant conjunction between any meteorological phenonena. Weak probabilities are all we have.

And there is no recognition below that Greenie restrictions on good forest management have increased the risk and severity of fires. There IS constant conjunction between restrictions on backburning and the severity of fires in the area

I have read the academic article concerned ("Multi-decadal increase of forest burned area in Australia is linked to climate change") and it goes to great length to prove what was in no doubt -- that fires have been on the increase in recent years

Of greater interest is what they found to correlate with fire incidence and severity. Their contribution there is assertions plus some desultory modelling. And the data they put into modelling is of the low quality that we have come to expect of modelling in this area. Let me quote their look at preventive burning:

We found no changes in the mean annual area of prescribed burning over the past 32 years, although we have no information on how successful those burns were in reducing fuel loads. However, given the lack of trend and the fact that on average, only 1% of forests are subject to fuel reduction burns every year, it is very likely that fuel management had no effect on the observed multi-decadal increasing trend in the burned area of forest fires

They correlate "prescribed" burning and admit that such figures tell us nothing. What is prescribed and what Greenies allow to happen are two different things. Their figures are clearly rubbish, as are their conclusions

But here is the clincher. I quote:

"The research also found Australia is bucking an international trend of decreasing fire activity"

If nobody else is getting the trend, how come it is due to global warming? Can you have global warming in one country? Is it global or is it not? Yet another logical failure in this pathetic study.

Climate change is the dominant factor causing the increased size of bushfires in Australia’s forests, according to a landmark study that found the average annual area burned had grown by 800 per cent in the past 32 years.

The peer-reviewed research by the national science agency, CSIRO — published in the prestigious science journal, Nature — reveals evidence showing changes in weather due to global warming were the driving force behind the boom in Australia’s bushfires.

Lead author and CSIRO chief climate research scientist Pep Canadell said the study established the correlation between the Forest Fire Danger Index – which measures weather-related vegetation dryness, air temperature, wind speed and humidity – and the rise in area of forest burned since the 1930s.

“It’s so tight, it’s so strong that clearly when we have these big fire events, they’re run by the climate and the weather,” Dr Canadell said.

The bushfire royal commission identified climate change as a key risk to ongoing bushfire catastrophe but did not make recommendations about reducing greenhouse emissions to curb the threat.

The CSIRO report found other factors have an impact on the extent and intensity of bushfires such as the amount of vegetation or fuel load in a forest, the time elapsed since the last fire, and hazard reduction burning. But Dr Canadell said the study showed the link between weather and climate conditions and the size of bushfires was so tight, it was clear these factors far outweighed all other fire drivers.

“Almost regardless of what we do the overall extent of the fire, really, is dictated by those climate conditions,” he said.

Climate scientists have found climate change is exacerbating the key fire risk factors identified by CSIRO’s study, with south-eastern Australia becoming hotter, drier and, in a particularly worrying trend, more prone to high wind on extremely hot and dry summer days.

The weather system that drove a blast furnace’s worth of westerly wind across NSW and Victoria’s forests, sparking some of the worst fires of the Black Summer in 2019-20, will be up to four times more likely to occur under forecast levels of global warming.

“All the various climate trends, which are so important, are all on the rise and they’re all connected to various degrees with anthropogenic climate change,” Dr Canadell said.

The study shows fires are becoming bigger and more common even when the Black Summer is not factored in. When the first half of the study period, from 1988 to 2001, is compared to the period between 2002 and 2018, the average annual forest burned area in Australia increased 350 per cent. That figured ramps up to 800 per cent when the fires of 2019-20, which burnt more than 24 million hectares of land, are included.

Mega-fires, which burn more than 1 million hectares, have “markedly” increased with three of the four recorded from 1930 occurring since 2000, while the gap between big blazes has had a “rapid decrease”, the study says.

Last year, the bushfire royal commission reported fuel-load management through hazard reduction burning “may have no appreciable effect under extreme conditions” that typically cause loss of life and property.

The CSIRO findings bolster that conclusion and call into question calls for native forest logging to be used as a bushfire management tool.

“This is happening regardless of anything that we might or might not do to try to stop the fires,” Dr Canadell said.

The increased frequency of bushfires is giving the bush less and less time to recover, which is changing ecosystems and threatening the survival of many plants and animals that are struggling to adapt to the pace of change and loss of habitat.


Top-Selling Climate Funds Fail to Deliver on Carbon Emissions

Some of Europe’s most popular climate funds have been found to do no better at avoiding carbon emitters than a benchmark index with no environmental focus, according to new research.

A report by analytics provider Investment Metrics found that four of the seven best-selling European climate funds were more exposed to carbon emissions than the MSCI World Index, which tracks over 1600 of the biggest companies across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

Funds that failed to beat the MSCI index include climate strategies managed by DWS Group, Franklin Resources Inc. and Lombard Odier Investment Management, according to Investment Metrics, which provides portfolio analytics and data to institutional investors and advisers representing $14 trillion.

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The findings underscore the difficulty climate-focused investors face when selecting funds with a view to reducing their carbon footprint. It also raises questions around labeling as financial products marketed as having an environmental, social and governance focus proliferate.

Concerns about greenwashing, a term given to exaggerated or misleading claims of ethical investing, have picked up this year as the ESG market mushrooms. Bloomberg Intelligence estimates ESG assets exceeded $35 trillion last year, and will soar past $50 trillion by 2025.


Challenging the Left’s Climate Alarmism Narrative Is Daring and Dangerous

For decades, those pushing global warming/climate change have tried to silence any opposition to their narrative. Instead of debating the issue, the climate alarmists would rather tar and feather, figuratively speaking, anyone who is brave enough to challenge their assertions.

The most recent example occurred when Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) accused ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods of donating millions of dollars to The Heartland Institute.

Pressley calls Heartland a “shadow” organization, insinuating that Heartland simply does the bidding of Big Oil.

This, however, is completely untrue.

For several years, The Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank, has been a thorn in the side of climate alarmists because Heartland has produced an extensive amount of scientific research that calls into questions many of the absurd, baseless claims made by the likes of Al Gore and John Kerry.

First, Heartland research on climate change has been cited more than 100 times in peer-reviewed journals.

Second, Heartland was opposing global warming alarmism long before ExxonMobil or any other energy company provided funding. Despite Pressley’s claim, Heartland actually ramped up its efforts after energy companies stopped providing funding.

ExxonMobil began donating to Heartland in 1998, four years after Heartland’s first book on global warming was published.

In fact, ExxonMobil stopped donating to Heartland in 2006, two years before Heartland hosted the first International Conference on Climate Change and three years before the first volume in the “Climate Change Reconsidered” series was published.

Third, Heartland has always had science on its side. Claims of a “scientific consensus” in favor of climate alarmism have been debunked again and again.

Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, Heartland’s flagship publications on climate change, the five-volume “Climate Change Reconsidered” series published with the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) from 2009 to 2019, were produced without a dime of financial support from any corporations, energy or otherwise.

Yet, these facts don’t matter to the merchants of smear.

All accusations that oil industry funding somehow influenced or corrupted the work of climate scientists or organizations such as The Heartland Institute are based on lies originating in then-Sen. Al Gore’s office and then repeated endlessly in an echo chamber created by Greenpeace and activists posing as journalists in the so-called mainstream media.

In truth, the mission of The Heartland Institute when it comes to climate change is quite simple: follow the facts, not the feelings.

Heartland’s primary objective has always been to educate elected officials, civic and business leaders, and the general public about the true science and economics of climate change. Climate change is far from the only public policy issue in Heartland’s wheelhouse.

Heartland is a highly respected voice on health care, school reform, taxes and budget issues, and other public policy matters. State elected officials in all 50 states rely on Heartland as an objective and credible source of research and commentary on the most important issues of the day.

Moreover, The Heartland Institute doesn’t “deny climate change.” In fact, Heartland documents how climate has changed in the past and continues to change today, and studies its causes and consequences. Along with thousands of highly qualified scientists around the world, Heartland finds the human influence on climate to be small—probably too small to measure against the background of natural variability—and the case for restricting the use of fossil fuels to be very weak.

To be clear, Heartland’s position in the scientific debate, and that alone, is why Heartland has become the primary target of criticism from the Democratic Party and its cronies in the media. The left’s antipathy toward Heartland has little, if anything, to do with funding, ethics, or credibility.

Lastly, The Heartland Institute doesn’t “oppose climate science.” Heartland actually helped create and promote it. Heartland has published thousands of pages of reviews of the peer-reviewed literature in volumes that have been compared favorably to the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Heartland has invested more, and published more, and reached more people with real climate science than all but a handful of national organizations in the United States.

Pressley’s attempt to smear The Heartland Institute is based on the fact that The Heartland Institute’s courageous position in questioning climate alarmism dogma poses a viable threat to the left’s climate change narrative, which is integral to their insatiable lust for more power and control over “We the People.”


Skepticism about phase-out of coal

Wood Mackenzie is a British mining industry analyst

Coal has been high on the decarbonisation agenda, but Wood Mackenzie metals and mining vice chair Julian Kettle says the inconvenient truth is that we still need coal-fired power to ensure an orderly transition to a low carbon world.

While the COP26 statement is clear – “to accelerate the phase out of coal” Kettle emphasises that it falls short on the detail.

“What’s more, this commitment could be considered something of a pyrrhic victory against coal, primarily because none of the countries with the top three largest coal-fired power fleets – China, India and the US – are signatories to the agreement,” he said.

“China, which possesses the largest coal-fired power plant capacity, has committed to peak carbon emissions, yet has made no firm commitment to reduce reliance on coal.

“And India was late to the decarbonisation pledge party but has committed to net neutrality by 2070.

“More urgently, it has pledged to reduce its projected carbon emissions by a billion tonnes by 2030 and has committed to 50% renewables share of power generation and to reducing the carbon intensity of its economy by 45% by the same date.

“That’s a tough ask for an economy projected to grow by 6-7% a year over the next decade,” he said.

Meanwhile, in the US, President Joe Biden’s plan for a zero-carbon grid by 2035 arguably embraces the spirit of the COP26 text.

But again, Kettle says there is the possibility of a significant reversal in policy should the next presidential election be won by the Republicans.

And regardless of these targets, under Woodmac’s base case, thermal coal demand (where it is burnt to produce electricity) will continue to rise until the mid-2020s.

Under Wood Mackenzie’s base case Energy Transition Outlook (ETO), which is aligned to a 2.7C warming scenario, demand for thermal coal will peak in 2025 at just over 7 billion tonnes, falling by just 5% to 6.7 billion tonnes in 2030.

“That is hardly a transformation,” Kettle said.

And to achieve Wood Mackenzie’s accelerated energy transition (AET) of -2, 2C pathway, demand for thermal coal will need to fall by a billion tonnes by 2030 while an AET-1.5 pathway removes a further 1.9b tonnes of demand.

“This is a dramatic 2.4b tonne reduction compared with the current base case peak in 2025,” he said.

The key question Kettle says, is will the yet-to-be-enacted policies based on watered down commitments made at COP26 be enough to deliver an AET-2 or AET-1.5 decarbonisation pathway?

“If the non-delivery against commitments made at COP Paris in 2015 are anything to go by, success by 2030 looks to be a long shot and is by no means guaranteed,” he said.




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