Friday, May 29, 2020

Media Champions Fake ‘Climate’ Death Certificates

Five college employees in Australia published a letter in the medical journal Lancet demanding medical doctors list climate factors like heat more often as a person’s cause of death. The authors observed that death certificates don’t reflect as many climate-caused deaths as their models and predictions suggested, so medical doctors should begin listing heat and other climate factors on the death certificates of people who died from other reasons. And Lancet published the letter. And the media are promoting the effort.

“Climate change is a concern to many people. But if the effect of extreme temperatures is not recorded, its full impact can never be understood. Death certification needs to be modernised, indirect causes should be reported, with all death certification prompting for external factors contributing to death, and these death data must be coupled with large-scale environmental datasets so that impact assessments can be done,” the authors argue.

A story in Science Alert uncritically discusses the Lancet editorial, while misrepresenting scientific evidence. “People around the world are already dying from the climate crisis, and yet all too often, official death records do not reflect the impact of these large-scale environmental catastrophes,” the Science Alert article claims.

Death certificates in Australia and elsewhere do actually have a section for pre-existing conditions and other factors. Doctors, however, rarely find evidence of external weather or climate conditions causing or contributing to a person’s death.

Data from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as well as scientific bodies in Australia, the United States, and elsewhere, indicate extreme events including droughts, floods, hurricanes, and wildfires have neither become more common nor more severe during the recent period of modestly warming temperatures.

Also, the actual research that has been done on climate and premature mortality indicates it is cold, not heat, that causes more death. Indeed, a study published in the Lancet in 2015, researchers examined health data from 384 locations in 13 countries, accounting for more than 74 million deaths—a huge sample size from which to draw sound conclusions—and found cold weather, directly or indirectly, killed 1,700 percent more people than hot weather. No, that is not a typo – 1,700 percent more people die from cold temperatures than warm or hot temperatures.

Well heck, if people aren’t dying as often from climate change as you say they are, then just change the death certificates.


Media Warns of Cassava Crisis as Production Keeps Setting Records

At the top of Google News searches this morning for “climate change” is an article suggesting climate change imperils cassava crops in Africa and tropical regions by boosting diseases and pests that threaten cassava. Buried in the article, “Impact of Climate Change on Pests and Diseases of Cassava Crop,” is a lack of any evidence of worsening diseases and pests. To the contrary, objective data show rapidly rising cassava production as the world warms. Indeed, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports global cassava production is enjoying long-term growth, with the past 10 years providing the 10 years with the highest ever cassava production.

Cassava is a starchy crop that is a staple food for 800 million people worldwide, including 500 million in Africa alone. Cassava is one of the most important crop in tropical regions. Cassava thrives in high heat, and can tolerate varying rainfall prevalence.

Buried in the manufactured concern about cassava production, the article acknowledges, “cassava is a crop which will likely be highly resilient to future climate change stressors.”

Rising cassava production should surprise nobody. Data from the market data firm Tridge shows cassava production has grown consistently since at least 1997, when world cassava production was 161.75 million tons. By 2016, production topped 277.1 million tons.

Data from FAO expand on Tridge’s findings. According to FAO, total cassava production has grown significantly faster than the area devoted to production, illustrating large increases in yields per acre as well as total production.

The report provides no evidence diseases or pests worsening as the climate warms. Even if that were the case, the bountiful increases in cassava production are clearly much greater than any incidental increase in pests or disease, as shown in the overall crop data.

So, when you see today’s Climate Scare of the Day raising concern about cassava production, feel free to enjoy a guilt-free partaking of your favorite tropical foods


Not Guilty! Jurist Legal News Prosecutes False 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, have 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.


A Queensland university that unlawfully sacked a professor for criticising colleagues for their research on the impact of global warming on the Great Barrier Reef is back in court

James Cook University is appealing the Brisbane Federal Circuit Court's finding that it contravened the Fair Work Act when it dismissed Peter Vincent Ridd in 2018.

Judge Salvatore Vasta made 28 findings in April 2019 against the university, which censured Prof Ridd for remarks against a coral researcher, the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.

The university was later ordered to pay Prof Ridd more than $1.2m for lost income, lost future income and other costs.

Before sacking the geophysicist, the university alleged Prof Ridd had violated its code of conduct during an August 2017 interview on Sky News when he remarked some of the university's research could "no longer be trusted".

It also alleged Prof Ridd wrote of a researcher in an email to a student: "It is not like he has any clue about the weather. He will give the normal doom science about the (Great Barrier Reef)".

Judge Vasta found the university's actions, including the dismissal, were unlawful.

"Incredibly, the university has not understood the whole concept of intellectual freedom," he wrote in his findings.

"In reality, intellectual freedom is the cornerstone of this core mission of all institutions of higher learning."

Freedom of expression and the interpretation of the university's code of conduct were the focus of the appeal submissions on Tuesday.

The university's lawyer, Bret Walker SC, said the university was responsible for enforcing standards of behaviour to protect intellectual freedom and the code of conduct.

Mr Walker said staff had the right to intellectual freedom and the right to express certain views but not bully, harass or intimidate others.

"Freedom .... is not without limit, restriction or standard," he told the court.

The two-day hearing continues.



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.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


Thursday, May 28, 2020

Coronavirus has more Americans rethinking plastic

One overlooked policy response to the coronavirus has been a changing of attitudes toward plastic. While plastic has drawn the ire of environmentalists in recent years due to concerns regarding pollution, some businesses are now being forced to use more plastic – as a matter of public health.

In the late 1980s, concerns over the environmental impact of logging for the production of paper products, and a belief that plastic bags were more sanitary, led to a widespread adoption of the material in the U.S. As a returning Navy veteran in 1989, after having been in Iceland for 18 months, I (Collier) remember going to California and being asked “paper or plastic” for the first time. While the past few years have seen a shift in environmental priorities, in 2020 plastic is reappearing many places out of necessity.

Starbucks, for instance, stopped allowing customers to use refillable cups (a previously encouraged practice) for fear of contaminating their stores with the coronavirus. The popular coffee chain offers only disposable cups now – and many of them, like those for iced tea and iced coffee, are made of plastic. Though the practice was well intentioned, Starbucks was correct in now acknowledging that “reusable” cups are germ factories.

Grocery stores have also had to rethink plastic in the age of coronavirus. In California, a state which had moved to ban single-use plastic bags several years back, customers are now being asked to leave their reusable shopping bags at home due to health concerns.

The shift toward plastic has also been extremely pronounced when considering the sale of water bottles. The Washington Post reports that Costco has seen a spike in bottled water sales as people stock up to ensure they have an adequate supply to self-quarantine. One cannot overlook the fact that in some places, like the infamous case in Flint, Michigan, the need for clean, storable drinking water is especially urgent when facing a stay-at-home-order and your tap water is compromised. In fact, a recent national poll showed that only 24% of Americans were “very confident” their tap water was always safe.

All of this should be kept in mind when lawmakers are considering policies to tax, regulate, or outright ban the use of certain plastics. Can Chicago really defend its 5 cents per bottle tax on water at a time when residents are stocking up out of necessity?

Moreover, once the coronavirus has been beaten back, shouldn’t we expect a similar surge during the next crisis?

It will be interesting to see what the public’s appetite for single-use plastic bans will be once fears of the coronavirus dissipate. After experiencing the biggest emergency we’ve faced in a lifetime, we may want to think twice about getting rid of the things we need most. While coronavirus fears will eventually fade, the underlying sanitary issues with reusable items will not.

While we share the concerns about plastic pollution in the ocean – the vast majority of which stems from nations other than the U.S. – and are fully supportive of private sector efforts to address this, such as Evian’s decision to shift to bottles made from 100% recycled plastic, the coronavirus has served as a reminder as to why we use plastic in the first place.

Lawmakers should address the environmental concerns by applying more pressure to the countries that are the predominant sources of pollution — not by instituting draconian bans or immoral Chicago-style taxes.

We sympathize with environmental interests, but the road to a lot of bad places is paved with good intentions.


The Renewable Fuel Standard is the gift that keeps on taking

By Rick Manning

As we approach Christmas it is time to take another look at one of the “gifts” Congress gave the U.S. and how it continues to be the gift that keeps on taking. It is a gift that has not only failed to do what it was supposed to do, it has had the exact opposite impact. Of course, that gift is the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). If Congress wanted to give the American people a gift this Christmas, they should repeal this un-environmental, expensive, job killing regulation.

The RFS was initiated to accomplish two main goals: Reduce foreign dependence on energy; and Improve energy efficiency and protect the environment.

Sadly, the mandate has failed at the two jobs it had.

Every year the amount of biofuel the federal government mandates be used goes up. It goes up regardless of the much-improved vehicle fuel mileage since its inception. The mandate continues to increase regardless of the number of electric cars on the road, or the increased amount of people taking public transportation in major cities. The RFS mandate has expanded so much it has now made the U.S. dependent on foreign sources of biofuel.

Yes, that’s right. The law passed by Congress in 2005, and “updated” in 2007, has turned one of its mandates, to reduce foreign dependency on energy, and increased it.

Thanks to a 15-billion-gallon biofuel mandate, the U.S. must import hundreds of millions of gallons of biofuel to meet, not the demand for the fuel, but the artificial requirement put on the U.S. consumer by the federal government. This happens because the U.S. does not have the infrastructure to produce more biofuels nor is there the demand. Primarily, the U.S. is importing the hundreds of millions of gallons of biofuel from nations that heavily subsidize their industries, like Brazil and Indonesia.

It is not hard to see the problem on the horizon with this. Because fuel refiners must either produce the ethanol, buy the ethanol, or purchase the Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) to comply — RINs are how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tracks compliance with the RFS, the refiners are going to go with the cheapest option. The cheapest option is often going to be the government subsidized one. This will end up in a subsidy vs subsidy battle with the U.S. taxpayer coming out the loser.

The RFS was supposed to be more environmentally friendly but recent studies have proven that false. The Department of Energy even posts on its website that E10 and E15 get 3 to 5 percent fewer miles per gallon than regular gasoline. Flex fuel vehicles, E85 are even worse at an astounding 15 to 27 percent fewer miles per gallon. That’s the exact opposite of environmentally friendly.

Possibly even worse than the lower mileage, is the land use and lost opportunity costs. Because it is a mandate, farmers grow corn to be used in ethanol because they know it is a guaranteed consumer. That land is now not being used to grow other crops for human consumption, nor are the crops being used to feed other parts of the farm industry, such as beef, port, and poultry.

The RFS is so bad for the environment groups that once pushed for RFS are now calling it a failure. Scott Faber, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs of the Environmental Working Group, testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public works in 2013. He stated, “the RFS has delivered too many ‘bad’ biofuels that increase greenhouse gas emissions, pollute air and water, destroy critical habitat for wildlife and drive up the price of food. The corn ethanol mandate of the RFS, once promoted as a tool to combat climate change, has instead raised greenhouse emissions, exacerbated air and water pollution challenges and inflated the price of staple foods.”

If most of the oil industry and environmental groups can agree on the uselessness of the RFS, why can’t Congress?

Let’s take a final look at the RFS score card. Did it make the U.S. less dependent on foreign sources of energy? No. Did the RFS improve energy efficiency? No. Does the RFS protect the environment? No. The RFS is an abject failure on every level. It is a favorite of farmers that want the government to subsidize their crops instead of competing in the marketplace, and Wall Street speculators love it because the RINs it creates are another artificial product they can sell and get enormous fees for. It is time for Congress to give the American taxpayer and consumer a Christmas gift and end the Renewal Fuel Standard which has become just another example of government mandates turning into crony capitalism gone wild. It is a Christmas gift that only a Bad Santa would give and should be rejected by Congress.


‘Man-Made Warming’ Demolished In 500 Words

The United Nations IPCC says ongoing warming is due to man’s CO2 emissions, hence ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’ (AGW). The 3 pillars on which they base this claim are unscientific and quickly disproved.

IPCC’s Three Pillars

PILLAR I: Earth’s average surface temperature and man’s CO2 emissions have both risen since 1850, so CO2 must have caused the warming

Five disproofs …

What else has risen? The Sun’s magnetic output, affecting cloudiness (Svensmark), more than doubled from 1901 to 1991 (Lockwood), to its highest peak in 10,000 years (Higgs 1).
In those last 10,000 years …

simple visual cross-correlation shows changes in temperature lagged 60-160 years behind solar-output changes, due to the ocean’s vast heat capacity and slow mixing (Higgs 1, 2) &
… temperature and CO2 were uncorrelated, until their joint rise from the late 1800s.

CO2 is still rising (NOAA), but Earth has cooled since 2016 (Met. Office). Every passing day not ‘warmest ever’ for that date, at multiple sites worldwide, embarrasses the IPCC.
Warming since 1910 paused 1945-75 (30 years) and 1998-2012 but CO2 kept rising

PILLAR II: Global warming’s continuance despite the Sun’s weakening after 1991 absolves the Sun and incriminates CO2

Disproof …

This mismatch is simply due to the oceanic time-lag, currently about 60 years. Thus global warming will continue (with ups and downs, mainly due to the Sun’s 11-year cycles) until around 2050, about 60 years after the Sun’s 1991 grand peak (Higgs 2).

Pillar II was asserted in IPCC’s 2013 ‘Fifth Assessment Report’, Chapter 10 (IPCC 1 p.887, co-author Lockwood [see (1) above], citing 4 of his own papers). But IPPC already knew about the lag, Chapter 3 having stated the “ocean’s huge heat capacity and slow circulation lend it significant thermal inertia” (IPCC 2 p.266).

PILLAR III: Sea level (SL) for the last few thousand years varied less than 25cm, so the 30cm SL rise since 1850 proves abnormal warming by CO2

Disproof …

The 25 cm claim (only “medium confidence”; IPCC 3 p.385) is based on selected evidence (Higgs 3) and on dismissal of the famed 1961 SL curve (Fairbridge; Wiki) with SL oscillations of 2 to 5 metres in the last 6,000 years, confirmed by dozens of later geologists worldwide, and lately with very strong archaeological support (Higgs 4, 5, 6).


That’s it. That’s all they have. Be surprised.

The Sun was by far the main driver of global temperature for the last 10,000 years.

CO2 is innocent; it has no climate effect; the simultaneous rise in temperature and CO2 is pure accident; CO2’s residual ‘greenhouse effect’ is effectively nil (Higgs 7, 8).

The IPCC urgently needs to consult geologists (Higgs 9, 10).
Another Sun-driven large sea-level rise is predictable (Higgs 11).



Australia: The coal, hard fact is we must put jobs first in this economic climate

As the biblical saying goes, you can’t serve two masters. For a decade we have been trying to con ourselves we could. We thought you could serve the master of ­climate change and keep a strong manufacturing sector.

The data doesn’t lie. You can’t.

While we have reduced our emissions by 5 per cent (largely by making it illegal for farmers to clear their own land), our manufacturing industry has gone backwards for the first time. During the past decade Australian manufacturing has declined in real, absolute terms. The 1990s and 2000s were not boom times for manu­facturing but the sector still managed to grow by 10 per cent each decade. Since 2010, it has shrunk by 5 per cent.

During that time, our pursuit of climate change and renewable ­energy policies helped double the cost of energy, despite our abundant reserves. The COVID-19 pandemic shows what a mistake this has been.

Now everyone wants to secure our supply chains and start making things again. None of this talk will lead to renewed manufacturing strength, however, if we do not get serious about reducing energy costs. And to do that we need to make tough choices about what is important in a post-COVID, economically depressed world.

Talk of the immediate importance of reducing our small carbon footprint now sounds like a dis­cordant echo from a bygone era. With millions are out of work, and our major trade partner threatens our economic security, why would we continue to self-flagellate by imposing the additional costs of reducing carbon emissions for no environmental benefit?

China’s recent actions demonstrate beyond a doubt that there is no hope a global agreement to reduce carbon emissions will lead to any meaningful global action. If we can’t trust China to keep faith with a trade agreement signed just a few years ago, and can’t trust it to be upfront on the pandemic, how can we trust China to honour a global agreement to reduce carbon dioxide emissions?

I do not make these points to critique others. I made the mistakes too. I have been a supporter of the Paris Agreement because Australia has benefited from international agreements. But things have changed. With the need to secure our manufacturing industry and the clear breakdown of international co-operation, we must face the fact that era is over.

We should end our participation in the Paris Agreement, given the more immediate need to secure our manufacturing jobs. And we should rule out any moves to net-zero emissions or a future global agreement on carbon until other countries, much larger than us, demonstrate real reductions in their carbon emissions.

Our future targets continue to restrain our ability to make the tough choices to rebuild Australian manufacturing. Because of those targets, many are rushing to promote gas over coal. Gas in eastern Australia is not a pathway to globally competitive energy prices any time soon. The geology of our gas is not the lucrative shale seams from which the US has benefited.

At best we might hope to get the wellhead energy cost of Australian onshore gas down to $6 a gigajoule. That is still double the mining costs of most Australian black coal (and more than 10 times the cost of brown coalmining). It is also more than double the cost of US shale gas.

If we are not going to pursue and fight for the cheapest energy costs, then we are not serious about rebuilding an Australian manufacturing industry.

Some say the politics of building a coal-fired power station is too tough. I am a big supporter of gas developments but I drove to Canberra last week and I saw about 20 “no coal-seam gas” signs in western NSW. But I didn’t see a single “no coal” sign. Sure, lots of inner-city greenies oppose coal, but all politics is local. As last year’s federal election showed, if you have the locals supporting a project (such as Adani), that is a political fight you can win.

The political battle we should engage in is the one to return manufacturing jobs to Australia. To pursue naive policies that reduce our carbon emissions, regardless of what other countries are doing, hurts our ability to win that battle. To recover from this pandemic we must recognise that the era of rampant globalism is over and put Australian jobs first.



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.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Beware! Post-lockdown stimulus policies worldwide are likely to be "Green"

Administrations are likely to adopt green stimulus policies for the following eight reasons:

1. Green spending is still perceived as unobjectionable because it generates a common benefit, partly because the economic character of renewable technologies is not well understood. Green spending is seen as less threatening than, say, spending on conventional energy, nuclear, coal and gas with carbon capture and sequestration, since those energy sources are perceived as standard, selfish, big business. Green businesses are in fact if anything even less self-denying, less virtuous, but that is not currently the perception. Governments are well aware of this.

2. Furthermore, green public spending would be seen to benefit businesses that can plausibly pretend to address a common threat in climate change. Therefore that spending will be less resented. The fact that there are other, much less resource-hungry ways of reducing emissions is not well understood by the public, and in fact that resource-heavy character is a positive attraction for an administration because…

3. The immediate gross effect of green spending is large. Lowcarbon energy sources, and green technologies generally, are almost all very low productivity – nuclear would be the exception – and a great deal must be spent on both labour and other resources to deliver measurable results. The Net Zero target as outlined by the UK’s Committee on Climate Change, for example, implies extremely heavy spending, on the electrification of transport, and also on hydrogen generation, carbon capture and storage, hydrogen storage and distribution infrastructure, not to mention the re-equipping of 26 million households to use hydrogen boilers in conjunction with heat pumps. And these are only some of the most important costs that are additional to the previous target. This is attractive for an administration since they can spend a great deal with a relatively small number of policy instruments, reducing legislative and administrative burden. There will be no risk of missing the 16.45 departure from Victoria.

4. Furthermore, there are presentational benefits arising from the scale of the spending necessitated by low productivity technologies. The spending results in highly salient action; the consequences of green spending will be highly visible because they will be everywhere, and the numbers of people involved will be large. It will seem as if something is being done to rebuild the economy.

5. While low-productivity investments are clearly undesirable, administrations will persist in supporting them because the green industries have successfully misrepresented themselves as cheaper than conventional energy, a falsehood in which the British government has colluded and now may even believe. Capital costs for both wind and solar are still very high, contrary 3 to the propaganda; the operation and maintenance costs are high and perhaps even rising, and the grid system management costs of introducing wind and solar are vast; no other word will do. Nevertheless, British government departments and indeed some academics persist in claiming otherwise. It is a pitiful intellectual failure, and will eventually be found out, but not soon, which is in fact a further reason that government will be drawn to wasteful and harmful green spending as a post-Covid stimulus, namely…

6. The gross effect of all public spending is immediate, while net effects – positive or negative – are delayed. Thus, it is the gross effect that interests bureaucracies and elected politicians; the net effect is somebody else’s problem. For example, a large upfront expenditure on green technologies has a rapid gross impact, while the inevitable negative net effect will only materialise in a decade’s time. This can be compared with spending on highly productive and valuable technologies; the upfront spending is smaller so the gross effect is reduced, while the positive net effect, like all net effects, is delayed. The result of this is that, paradoxical though it may seem, administrations aiming to stimulate an economy are actually positively drawn to what in other circumstances would be thought of as malinvestment. History, I think, shows this, but a misunderstanding of that history is actually one of the reasons that government will be drawn to Net Zero as a post-Covid stimulus.

7. The positive aura of a Green state intervention rests very heavily on the continuing positive public understanding of Roosevelt’s New Deal, which of course also had a large renewable energy component in the Tennessee Valley Authority. Greens in the UK have been relying on this comparison for some time now, at least since 2008 when the Green New Deal Group was formed, and the phrase Green New Deal is all the more powerful since, with hindsight, the New Deal seems green before its time. However, the net benefit of Roosevelt’s policy is highly questionable, a matter well understood in the United States, but almost undiscussed in the United Kingdom. Indeed in the US there is a sizeable body of analysis suggesting that while Roosevelt’s moves to stabilise the banking system were successful, the massive public spending that followed, and for which the President is most often praised, actually delayed recovery, and that it was only the demand created for war materiel that returned growth to trend. That is still controversial, of course, but at least there is an ongoing adversarial debate in the US. Here in the UK, the history is taught in schools without any qualification, supported by a background of cultural indoctrination: the teaching in schools of the Grapes of Wrath as a set text, and informally from films such as It’s a Wonderful Life. Our understanding of Roosevelt’s New Deal is shallow and obtuse, with consequences for our grasp of the threats posed by any attempt to employ Net Zero spending to restore the economy after lockdown. 4

8. And finally, to these powerful concerns we can add the regrettable truth that the British government at almost every level is wracked by a timid fear of breaking step with what they take to be the consensus of international policy, a timidity brought into sharp focus by the fact that the UK happens to hold the chair of the COP process. They are concerned that by trying to protect British interests they will be seen to align the UK with that part of US opinion with which it most dreads association, namely those that reject the Paris Agreement in order to ‘Make America Great Again‘.

China’s Ascent To Global Superpower Based On Cheap Coal

This year's record drop in carbon emissions due to the COVID-19 crisis has renewed questions about China's continued push for coal-fired power as the government pursues economic recovery.

Last week, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimated that worldwide carbon emissions linked to global warming will plunge nearly 8 percent this year in the wake of the pandemic and production shutdowns.

Global energy demand will fall by 6 percent, a loss seven times greater than during the 2008 financial collapse, the IEA said in a 41-page report.

In the first quarter, China recorded the biggest cut with a slump in demand of over 7 percent following an eight-week lockdown to limit the spread of the disease.

"The absolute decline in global energy demand is without precedent, and relative declines of this order are without precedent for the last 70 years," the Paris-based agency said.

Among the stunning figures in the IEA's forecast, global oil demand could fall by 9 percent this year, rolling back consumption to levels of 2012.

Worldwide demand for electricity is expected to shrink by nearly 5 percent, driving coal demand down by 8 percent and cutting coal-fired power by over 10 percent.

The magnitude of the declines will draw attention to questions of not only when but how economies recover.

One of the wild cards in the forecast is what China will do to resume growth as the rest of the world struggles to restore demand in staggered time frames and recovery rates.

China's gross domestic product tumbled by a record 6.8 percent in the first quarter, according to official statistics.

The International Monetary Fund has forecast a partial improvement this year with 1.2-percent growth, rising sharply with expansion reaching 9.2-percent in 2021.

But if China's recovery relies on a big rebound in coal-fired power, the damage in terms of climate change could cancel out much of the emissions reduction expected this year.

"The recovery of coal demand for industry and electricity generation in China limits the global decline in coal demand," the IEA outlook said.

Global coal use could recede only half as much as forecast, "if China and other large consumers ... recover more quickly," the IEA said.

The report classifies China as "a coal-based economy." Despite gains in renewable sources and lower-carbon natural gas, the country still relies on coal for 57.7 percent of its primary energy, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Roughly two-thirds of China's electricity is generated from coal, raising the odds that when the economy bounces back, so will coal consumption and carbon emissions.

"As after previous crises ... the rebound in emissions may be larger than the decline, unless the wave of investment to restart the economy is dedicated to cleaner and more resilient energy infrastructure," the IEA warned.

Recovery so far has been gradual, judging by China's recent data on power production.

Generation in the first half of April rose just 1.2 percent from a year earlier after consumption fell 6.5 percent in the first quarter, the China Electricity Council and state media said.

But the IEA also noted the close links between industrial output and electricity use in China, a factor that points toward future growth of greenhouse gas emissions.

Industry accounted for over 60 percent of power consumption in China last year compared with 20 percent in the United States, it said.

A recovery for industry may inescapably drive a rebound of carbon emissions. But environmental advocates argue that the consequences will increasingly be a matter of choice as the cost of renewables comes down.

Environmental groups have argued for years that falling costs for solar and wind generation would undercut coal and eventually force investors to abandon coal-fired plants, turning them into "stranded assets."

According to a recent report by the Carbon Tracker Initiative, an independent financial think tank, the tipping point of price competition has already passed.

The report estimated that 71 percent of China's coal-fired generating capacity will cost more to run than building and operating renewable projects.

Yet, China appears to be pressing ahead with new coal-fired projects, responding to industry arguments that the country could face a supply squeeze in the next two to three years.


Earth records 600 millionth consecutive cooler-than-average month

The Earth just had its 600 millionth straight cooler-than-average month thanks to naturally-driven cooling.

An historical reconstruction of the Earth’s temperature by Northwestern University Adjunct Professor Dr. Christopher Scotese provides an illuminating and surprising comparison of today’s temperatures to that of the past. And it’s not what you think.

According to Dr. Scotese the Earth “has alternated between a frigid ‛Ice House’, like today's world, and a steaming ‛Hot House’, like the world of the dinosaurs.”

That’s correct, he described today’s temperatures as frigid. It turns out that most of Earth’s history since the explosion of life in the Cambrian Period nearly 600 million years ago was hotter than our climate today — a lot hotter.

For fully two-thirds of that time the Earth experienced temperatures that were much warmer than today. During these periods of “Hot House” conditions there was no ice at either pole. We “only” entered our current “Ice House” conditions about 50 million years ago. Using the average temperature of the Earth for the last 600 million years, we have experienced 50 million consecutive years of below average temperature.

While factually correct and, for a climate geek and geologist like myself, quite interesting, this information has nothing to do with the current climate debate.

And neither does a recent widely publicized report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) that the planet had its 420th consecutive month with above-average temperature. Bear in mind that the “average temperature” they were referring to was that of the 20thcentury. Well, duh.

Of course recent temperatures would be higher than the 20th century average. That is because the Earth’s temperature has been increasing for more than 300 years. Had NOAA used a 300-year average they could have added even more months of above-average temperatures because the average would have been even lower.

The blessed rise of temperature that we are experiencing is lifting us out of the death-dealing cold of the horrific Little Ice Age, when half the population of Iceland perished. The beginning of this warming started in the late 1600s, long before man could have had any effect on temperature. In fact, the rate of warming over the first 40 years of the trend, extending into the early 1700s, was several times the rate of the 20th century warming and was 100 percent naturally driven.

At least the first 150 years of our current warming were also entirely naturally-driven and contributed about the same amount of warming as the last 150 or so years during which we have been adding CO2 to the atmosphere.

The question is not whether the planet is warming. It is, and demonstrably so. We know this from both direct measurement and thousands of historical records.

The real question is did the natural forces that were driving the temperature increase in the 17thcentury, or for that matter over the last hundreds of millions of years, suddenly stop for some reason in the 20th century? Of course not, but that is what the Ayatollahs of Alarmism want you to believe.

So why the media firestorm and portrayal of the latest data as dangerous? H. L. Mencken warned us of imaginary “hobgoblins of alarm” that governments needed to create to frighten the population into accepting onerous regulations such as the Paris Climate Accords. Climate change today is one of those hobgoblins of alarm used to convince people that our current warming is “unusual and unprecedented” when it is neither.

Six hundred million months of below average temperature or 420 months of above average temperature? Both are true, depending on what metric you choose to use, but the media are publicizing what is designed to best promote fear of catastrophic climate alarm. We have seen in the recent COVID-19 pandemic that fear is one of the most potent motivators of public action. Those promoting the economically destructive green policies will be using this and any other event deemed out of the ordinary to further the climate of fear that they need for public acceptance of these harmful policies.


Net-Zero Greenhouse-Gas Emissions, and Extinction Capitalism


To climate-shame corporations is to hobble economic dynamism.
Shutting down the whole global economy is the only way of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Centigrade, Yvo de Boer, the former United Nations climate chief, warned in the runup to the 2015 Paris climate conference. Thanks to COVID-19 we now have an inkling what that looks like. The conference went further and chose to write into the Paris agreement an aspiration to pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C. The 1.5°C backstory reveals much about the quality of what passes for science and gets enshrined in U.N. climate treaties — and is directly relevant to American corporations that now find themselves on the front line of the climate wars.

Nine weeks before the Copenhagen climate conference, the one where Barack Obama was going to slow the rise of the oceans, President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives held the world’s first underwater cabinet meeting. “We are trying to send our message to let the world know what is happening and what will happen to the Maldives if climate change isn’t checked,” Nasheed told reporters after resurfacing. It was part of a campaign by the Alliance of Small Island States claiming that climate change magnified the risk that their islands would drown.

The sinking-islands trope has been endlessly recycled by the U.N. for decades. In 1989, a U.N. official stated that entire nations could disappear by 2000 if global warming was not reversed. Like so many others, that prediction of climate catastrophe came and went. The failed prediction didn’t prevent the current U.N. secretary-general, António Guterres, from declaring last year, “We must stop Tuvalu from sinking.” There was no science behind 1.5°C and the sinking-island hypothesis. Studies show, here and here, that the Maldives and Tuvalu have increased in size. As the 25-year-old Charles Darwin might have told the U.N., coral atolls are formed by the slow subsidence of the ocean bed.

Having incorporated 1.5°C into the sacred texts of the U.N. climate process, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was charged with coming up with a scientific justification for it. In 2018, the IPCC published its report on the 1.5°C limit. It debunked the sinking-islands scare, reporting that unconstrained atolls have kept pace with rising sea levels. The IPCC had a bigger problem than non-sinking islands. The IPCC’s existing 1.5°C carbon budget — the maximum amount of greenhouse gases to keep the rise in global temperature to 1.5°C — was on the verge of being used up. Like some end-of-the-world cult after the clock had passed midnight, it would find itself in a predicament that promised to be more than a little embarrassing.

Help was at hand. As skeptics had long been pointing out, IPCC lead author Myles Allen confirmed that climate model projections had been running too hot and that they had been forecasting too much warming since 2000. Together with some other handy adjustments, the IPCC managed to more than double the remaining 1.5°C budget. Although it could muster only medium confidence in its revised carbon budget, the IPCC had high confidence that net emissions had to fall to zero by 2050 and be cut by 45 percent by 2030. In this fashion, net zero by 2050 was carved in stone.

That timeline is now being used to bully American corporations into aligning their business strategies with the Paris agreement and force them to commit to eliminating greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050. In fact, the text of the Paris agreement speaks of achieving a balance between anthropogenic sources and removals “in the second half of this century.” The net-zero target has no standing in American law or regulation. Net zero is not about a few tweaks here and there. It necessitates a top-down coercive revolution the likes of which have never been seen in any democracy. This is spelt out in the IPCC’s 1.5°C report, which might as well serve as a blueprint for the extinction of capitalism.

The IPCC makes no bones about viewing net zero, it says, as providing the opportunity for ‘intentional societal transformation.’ Limiting the rise to rise in global temperature to no more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels — an ill-defined baseline chosen by the U.N. because the Industrial Revolution is our civilization’s original sin — requires ‘transformative systemic change’ and ‘very ambitious, internationally cooperative policy environments that transform both supply and demand.’

Thanks to COVID-19, we have a foretaste of what the IPCC intends. It envisages, for example, the industrial sector cutting its emissions by between 67 and 91 percent by 2050, implying a contraction in industrial output so dramatic as to make the 1930s Great Depression look like a walk in the park, a possibility the IPCC choses to ignore. The IPCC places its bets on a massive transition to wind and solar, but no amount of wishful thinking can overcome the inherent physics of their low energy density and their intermittency, which explains why countries with the highest proportion of wind and solar on their grids also have the highest energy costs in the world. One option the IPCC does not favor — a wholesale transition to nuclear power — seems unachievable anyway on the timetable it has in mind. Nuclear power stations typically take well over five years to build, and not many are planned for now. Germany is switching out of nuclear power, the Japanese are, to quote the New York Times “racing to build new coal-burning . . . plants” and the Chinese are wary of overdoing their nuclear construction because of the risk of accident.

Rather than address the possibility of a sustained slump in economic activity the IPCC’s approach is to say the benefits of holding the line at 1.5°C are — surprise, surprise! — greater than at 2 degrees Centigrade while studiously ignoring the extra costs of the more ambitious target. A few numbers show why. A carbon tax sufficiently high to drive emissions to net zero would range up to $6,050 per metric ton, over 60 times the hypothetical climate benefits estimated by the Obama administration, indicating that the climate benefits of net zero are less than 2 percent of its cost. In a rational world, discussion of net zero would end at this point.

You don’t have to be a Milton Friedman to fathom the incompatibility with free markets and capitalist growth of what the IPCC terms “enhanced institutional capabilities” and “stringent policy interventions.” So it’s easy to understand why the governments of the world have no intention of achieving net zero by 2050. As Todd Stern, one of the principal architects of the Paris agreement, remarked last November, “there is a lack of political will in virtually every country, compared to what there needs to be.”

Led by Britain, several European countries have legislated net-zero targets without having a clue how they might meet them or their economic impact. Indeed, Britain can claim to be the world’s leading climate hypocrite. Having offshored its manufacturing base to China and the European Union, it is the G-7’s largest per capita net importer of carbon dioxide emissions. Before adopting its net zero target, the Committee on Climate Change observed that Britain lacked a credible plan for decarbonizing the way people heat their homes and that government policy was insufficient to meet even existing targets.

If governments — the legal parties to the Paris Agreement — have no collective intention to achieve net zero, why should America’s corporations? There is no environmental, economic, or ethical good when a corporation cuts its carbon dioxide emissions to meet the net-zero target when the rest of the world doesn’t, unless, that is, you’re one of the select few who believes that self-impoverishment is inherently virtuous. Yet corporations are increasingly being held to ransom by billionaire climate activists like Mike Bloomberg and BlackRock’s Larry Fink with the demand that they commit to net zero, make their shareholders and stakeholders poorer, and give a leg up to their competitors in the rest of the world, especially in the Far East.

The arrogation of the rule-making prerogatives of a democratic state by a handful of climate activists raises profound questions on the demarcation between the rightful domains of politics and of business. It also raises profound questions about the future of capitalism. “Capitalism pays the people that strive to bring it down,” Joseph Schumpeter, the greatest economist of capitalism, observed in the 1940s. They won’t succeed, but for the efforts of soft anti-capitalists within the capitalist system.

The moral case for capitalism rests on its prodigious ability to raise living standards and transform the material conditions of mankind for the better. To climate-shame corporations without the sanction of law or regulation will extinguish the economic dynamism that justifies capitalism. Remove its capacity to do so, and we will have entered a post-capitalist era. This is how capitalism ends.



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.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Prioritizing climate over pandemics

We need a full accounting of what was spent preparing for the ‘climate crisis’ versus COVID

Paul Driessen

As of May 20, the United States had more than 1.5 million confirmed cases of Wuhan Coronavirus. US deaths related or attributed to the virus topped 92,000 (though many were really due to old age and related co-morbidities). Because of COVID, much of the US economy has been shut down since late March. More than 36 million American workers have now filed for unemployment insurance, while tens of millions more have been furloughed or seen their hours and/or salaries reduced severely.

With infections, cases and deaths declining, lockdowns and stay-home orders are finally easing, though only slightly and slowly in many areas. Millions of businesses face bankruptcy or simple disappearance, and rebuilding the recently vibrant US economy will likely take years. Lockdown-related deaths from medical screenings and treatments foregone, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, other diseases of despair, and other causes will likely kill many tens of thousands of Americans in the coming years.

The Eurozone is likewise in dire straits, as are countless other countries around the world. Impoverished Africa is being hit by the Coronavirus and starvation amid one of the worst locust plagues in its history.

Perhaps the most vital and fundamental role of government, at every level, is to protect its citizenry from criminals, foreign invasions, natural disasters and other threats – including pandemics that have ravaged mankind repeatedly throughout history. This raises two enormously important questions.

One, aside from the sudden appearance of the Wuhan COVID-19 pandemic – and bungling and duplicity by Chinese and World Health Organization (WHO) officials – why was the US response so slow?

Wall Street Journal and other articles suggest that “missteps” nearly everywhere helped magnify problems. Multiple federal government reports called attention to potential threats and inadequacies during future pandemics, but only modest steps were ever taken to prepare for them.

For example, a Strategic National Stockpile was established in 1999 for pharmaceuticals needed in a terrorist attack, natural disaster or pandemic, but Congress never allocated ongoing funding for pandemic preparations. The Bush, Obama and Trump administrations focused more on preparing for chemical, biological and other terrorist attacks than on pandemics. Reliance on foreign production (mostly Chinese) for N95 masks (30%) and surgical masks (90%) was highlighted but not addressed; expanding Made in America capacity was mostly just a slogan.

Left with large quantities of personal protective equipment (PPE), respirators and other items after the Swine Flu epidemic that ended in 2009, most manufacturers that had ramped up production during the epidemic refused to maintain high output capacity. Hospitals with similar experiences slashed inventories of masks, respirators and other supplies, to reduce costs; their inventory tracking software and programs focused on economic efficiency, rather than availability and resiliency during pandemics.

One healthcare system that did stock up on masks failed to replace them after their expiration date, and brittle elastic bands made them unusable. After Maryland (and probably other states) acquired abundant Coronavirus test kits, regulatory red tape and inefficiencies prevented their use for over a week.

Little has been reported about state or local studies, plans, actions or stockpiles for pandemics. However, in recent years New York City sold off its ventilator stockpiles to avoid spending more money on storage and maintenance. Perhaps logical at the time, NYC’s decision led to shortages and chaos amid Corona.

Far more lethal was NY Governor Cuomo’s decision to compel nursing homes with acutely vulnerable patients to admit recovering (and likely still contagious) COVID patients – even though the Javits Center and USS Comfort had some 2,000 empty beds. Other states did likewise, and far too many imposed blanket policies for all hospitals and clinics statewide, based on acute problems in a few urban centers.

Post-pandemic analyses, actions and preparations must ensure these “mistakes” never happen again.

Two, what were all these government entities focusing on – if not recurrent pandemics? Put another way: How much money, attention, task force time and policymaking was devoted during the past several decades to preparing for pandemics, drug and PPE needs, and safe nursing homes – versus:

How much was devoted to “dangerous manmade climate change” ... closing down fossil fuel production, pipelines and use ... mandating and subsidizing wind, solar and biofuel operations ... and adapting bridges and other infrastructure to rising seas and other alleged manmade climate crisis disasters?

Cumulative climate and renewable energy spending at federal, state and local levels over the past several decades was certainly in the hundreds of billions of dollars over this period, if not trillions. Government time devoted to climate change and renewable energy certainly totaled many millions of hours.

It is unclear whether anyone has any idea how much money, time and resources were devoted to climate research, modeling, preparation, mitigation, “educations,” conferences and just plain fear-mongering.

It’s equally uncertain whether any federal or state study examined how much was devoted to preparing for pandemics. But it was very likely a tiny fraction of the climate change/renewable energy total.

What is clear is that hardworking American taxpayers absolutely deserve and must get a full accounting of how much money and personnel time were devoted to both of these threats.

They deserve to know how much was devoted to protecting families and communities from pandemics like the Wuhan Coronavirus and ensuing economic collapse (and perhaps to other bona fide real-world disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and droughts) – versus crises that exist primarily in unverified computer models and endless assertions that every temperature rise, drought, species loss and extreme weather event was unprecedented and due to fossil fuel use – despite a near total absence of real-world evidence to support any of those claims.

The Department of Defense alone spent billions on climate initiatives and renewable fuels during the Obama era. How much did it spend preparing for pandemics on aircraft carriers and during basic training? How many billions did federal, state and local healthcare agencies spend on climate change versus past and future pandemics? How much money and attention did those healthcare agencies devote to our excessive dependence on China for masks, pharmaceutical components, metals, critical materials and solar panels?

The United States and individual states established countless agencies, task forces, and special legislative and regulatory panels devoted to climate change. How many did they establish for pandemics? In the seven years following the 2009 Swine Flu Epidemic, how much money and attention did the Obama Administration devote to pandemic prevention and mitigation? How about all those House and Senate committees and staffers? All those state agencies, state legislatures, counties and city councils?

In just a few months, the Wuhan Coronavirus locked us in our homes, shuttered our businesses, cost the United States trillions of dollars in lost economic output, and resulted in hundreds of billions in lost tax revenues. Even if we attribute every flood, drought, hurricane, tornado and dead polar bear to manmade climate change, the cumulative impact of our fossil fuel use won’t come anywhere near that.

Does Congress have the stomach for digging into this? for appointing a “blue ribbon task force” to do so? Will any editors and “investigative journalists” at the Washington Post or New York Times take up the challenge? Will any states, counties or cities? Will President Trump appoint a special commission?

They don’t have to address the issue of real-world crises versus those that exist only in climate models and environmentalist press releases. They just need to tally up expenditures on the pandemic and climate sides of the ledger. That would ensure a factual, data-driven analysis, and minimize the politics.

Indeed, Europeans, Canadians, Australians and people everywhere deserve to know how national, state and local governments allocated and spent tax revenues on climate versus disease preparation and relief.

There are good reasons why only 2% of Americans believe “climate change” (manmade, dangerous, natural or otherwise) is the most important problem facing the United States. Federal, state and local accountings are long overdue – as are a reordering of government priorities. Will we ever get them?

Via email

British wind farms paid record £.9.3m to switch off their turbines on Friday

The so-called 'constraint payments' have been declared a "national embarrassment" and a power management "disgrace" by campaigners

More than 80 plants across England and Scotland were compensated for the lack of demand

Wind farms in Britain were paid a record £.9.3m to switch off their turbines on Friday, The Telegraph can disclose.

More than 80 plants across England and Scotland were handed the so-called 'constraint payments', when supply outstrips demand, by National Grid, as thousands of buildings lying empty following the coronavirus lockdown contributed to a nosedive in demand for energy.

In what has been declared a "national embarrassment" and a power management "disgrace" by campaigners, consumers will ultimately foot the bill of £6.9m to 66 Scottish plants and £1.9m to 14 offshore plants in England.


Small Algae Bloom In Antarctica Freaks Out Alarmist Media

Life is spawning in a few, tiny locations in Antarctica that recently did not sustain life.

As small amounts of surface ice turn to slush in a few locations, small amounts of algae have sprung to life in the icy slush.

The cumulative total of algae is less than a square mile. Incredibly (or maybe not), alarmists and their media stooges are declaring a crisis.

CNN’s scaremongering headline announces, “Snow is turning green in Antarctica — and climate change will make it worse.”

IFL Science hypes the horror with a headline, “The Climate Crisis Is Turning Antarctic Snow Green.” Many other prominent media outlets published articles with similarly alarmist titles.

A team of British researchers published a study in Nature Communication, indicating that during the Antarctic summer, temporary algae blooms cover a combined 1.9 square kilometers (0.73 square miles) on the Antarctic peninsula.

Two-thirds of the algae formed on small low-altitude islands. Most formed in the immediate vicinity and thriving on the droppings of penguin colonies flourishing on the Antarctic peninsula.

To put the size of the algae blooms in perspective, Antarctica is 14,200,000 square kilometers in size, so the seasonal blooms affect approximately 0.00001% of the continent.

Although sometimes dormant or covered with snow, algae, lichen, and moss have always been present in these areas, particularly where large groups of penguins congregate and huddle, fertilized by the nutrients of their excrement.

Indeed, the study shows most or all of the blooms were located either within 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) of a penguin colony, or where other birds nest or where seals congregate onshore.

The media uniformly claim that a small bit of life forming from the nutrients in penguin excrement in very small portions of Antarctica is a climate crisis.

But is that truly the case?

The fake new media claim this less-than-one-square-mile of temporary algae absorb light and heat, unlike white snow, and therefore will cause substantial additional global warming.

IFL Science reports, “White snow reflects around 80 percent of the Sun’s radiation, while green snow only reflects about 45 percent.” But this only tells part of the story.

The algae act as carbon dioxide sinks, meaning they take more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere than they release.

As the ISL Science article admits, “these blooms, which act as a carbon sink, remove 479 tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide per year—equivalent to the emission of 486 planes traveling between New York and London.”

Well, if you believe in a climate crisis, isn’t that good news?

The algae blooms will always be constrained by Antarctica’s long, extremely cold winters. Winter temperatures average −10°C on the Antarctic coast to −60°C at the highest parts of the interior.

Even if the algae expand modestly in the short summer months, the algae will mitigate global warming by taking more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

So how and why is a tiny bit of algae that takes carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere a “crisis,” ISL Science? And why will this make climate change worse, CNN?

It doesn’t really matter to them, so long as they can add another fictitious “crisis” to The Climate Delusion.


Global Warming: Still Junk Science After All These Years

Climate alarmists insist that an increase of one degree in the average global temperatures is a signal that the end of civilization is near.

Every day a new revelation: more fires in California, snow in Antarctica is turning green, salmon are dying in Alaska – all attributed to rising temperatures.

The first question an inquiring mind would ask is, does the Earth maintain the same average temperature over millennia and how does it accomplish that task?

The answer is that it doesn’t.

Civilization began because of global warming.

About 6,000 years ago, according to experts, hunter-gatherers were driven from the higher lands because rising temperatures brought drought, loss of plants and animals, and famine.

They moved to river valleys in three or four places around the globe, most notably the Nile River.

There they had water and the water also provided food. But planting by hand did not suffice.

Someone devised the plow.

It was the “trigger” that led to a series of technological inventions and discoveries and brought about civilization, according to the book Connections, by James Burke, which also became a highly popular TV series in 1978.

Plowed fields meant surplus crops, and planning for the harvest and storage included preparing for the annual Nile floods, which brought about math, writing and cloth clothing, and a series of events subsequently that Burke linked to the 1965 electrical shutdown in Northeast America.

All because the Earth’s temperature had increased 6,000 years ago.

Has the global temperature remained the same every year since then? Climate alarmists admit it has not but say it has risen about one degree since 1850, which they say is way too fast.

It will mean crops can’t be grown in some places where they now flourish.

But won’t they grow in places where it has been too cold?

Those who predict the end of civilization by the very mechanism that brought about civilization still have a lot of explaining to do if they expect people to give up their freedom and wealth to a global government that promises to control the climate that experts admit they don’t fully understand.



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.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


Monday, May 25, 2020

Highly Touted Alarmist Hurricane ‘Study’ Sets New Low for Misleading Deception

The media are breathlessly touting a cheap new “study” falsely asserting climate change is causing an increase in strong hurricanes. In reality, the study relies on deception, unethical data manipulation, and aggressive misrepresentation of quite normal short-term trends to support its false claim.

The study, published by government-employed and government-funded researchers whose jobs and income depend on perpetuation of the alarmist Climate Delusion, has been reported – without any critical examination – by the New York Times, Washington Post, The Weather Channel, and others. The Environmental Defense Fund is even using the new study to raise money for itself.

The headline for the Washington Post article tells us what the alarmists are peddling in this new study: “The strongest, most dangerous hurricanes are now far more likely because of climate change, study shows.” The truth, as shown by objective scientific facts, is quite different.

The study’s authors report that an examination of tropical storms that formed between 1979 and 2017 indicates that after the first half of the 39-year time period, the chance of a given tropical storm growing to become a major hurricane (category 3 or higher) rose by 8 percent in each of the latter two decades.

As an initial matter, the authors are dubiously claiming that merely 20 years of a minor variation in hurricane numbers is sufficient to prove a substantial long-term trend and a definitive link to climate change as the causal factor. This is a preposterous claim to make over such a short period. For example, objective data – as shown in the graph below (see – show that over a 25-year period from 1992 through 2014, the frequency of hurricanes declined significantly and the frequency of major hurricanes did not increase at all. This was also during a period of global warming. Why is that 25-year period irrelevant when it is so similar in time and length to the authors’ cherry-picked 29-year period? The fact is, there will always be natural and largely random variation in the frequency of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, droughts, etc., within periods of just a few decades.

Second, the data show essentially no change in the frequency of major hurricanes since the early 1990s. Any claim of more frequent recent hurricanes requires cherry-picking the abnormally quiet 1980s as the baseline for comparison rather than the past 30 years, during which there has been no trend. The fact that the 1980s were quieter than the 1990s is largely r relevant to the assertion that global warming is currently causing an increase in strong hurricanes. To the contrary, the lack of any increase during the past 30 years is much more relevant.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, the authors and their media sock-puppets bury the fact that the authors are reporting on the percentage of tropical storms that become major hurricanes rather than the raw number of major hurricanes. Objective data – as shown in the chart below (see, show that the number of tropical storms has been declining throughout the time period of the authors’ study.

So, the authors and the media can technically claim that the percentage of tropical storms that become major hurricanes is growing, even while there is no increase in the overall number major hurricanes. The percentage of tropical storms that become major hurricanes is largely irrelevant if the overall number of major hurricanes stays the same. If anything, the new study simply illustrates that fewer tropical storms are forming, which would largely be seen as a beneficial climate development.

Fourth and finally, media outlets like the Washington Post even misrepresent the misleading and cherry-picked conclusions of the authors’ study. As noted, the authors note a very minor increase in the percentage of tropical storms that become hurricanes, even while the overall frequency of major hurricanes has not increased during the past 30 years. Compare that to the Washington Post’s headline assertion that “The strongest, most dangerous hurricanes are now far more likely.” Strong hurricanes are not more likely at all, let alone “far” more likely.

The new study, and its accompanying media coverage, represent a perfect example of the horse-dung sensationalism that climate alarmists tell us is “settled science.” The only settled science is that alarmists will go to incredible lengths to manipulate and misrepresent objective scientific facts for the cause of promoting their alarmist Climate Delusion.


Turbine output drops steadily -- steeply after ten years: US research

The performance of newer US wind turbines degrades at a slower rate than that of older projects, with a relatively abrupt decline in output after ten years of operation coinciding with the withdrawal of federal support, according to a new study.

Output from a typical US wind farm shrinks by about 13% over 17 years, with most of this decline taking place after the project turns ten years old, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) found.

On average, output decreased by only 0.17% per year in the first ten years of operation, the researchers found.

Increased downtime for maintenance, the erosion of blade edges, and increased friction within rotating components all contributed to declines in output, they explained.

The research suggested project operators are incentivised to maintain turbines during the first decade by the tax credit support system. The fall in performance is noticed more acutely after a project is no longer receiving the subsidy.

As the production tax credit (PTC) is paid in line with a turbine’s output, operators maximise the benefit of the support before it is phased out by keeping their turbines in better condition to maintain output levels, the researchers explained.

The acceleration of declining performance after ten years — observed in the data from 917 wind farms across the United States — was not found in prior studies focusing on European wind fleets, in which output declined consistently over time, they added.

This rate of decline is apparently unique to US sites further supporting the hypothesis.

Elsewhere, the researchers found a variety of project specifics afford gentler rates of decline.

They suggested a flatter terrain around projects means turbines encounter less wind turbulence and so reducing stresses put on them.

However, data on turbulence is not systematically available, the researchers noted.

Meanwhile, turbines with lower specific power ratings — which have longer blades relative to their generator size and are increasingly common — also fared better.

The researchers said this might be because these turbines are capable of harvesting a greater portion of the available wind energy, which partially offsets the decreasing aerodynamic efficiency experienced by all turbines.

Direct-drive turbines were also found to perform better than geared turbines, as gearboxes may be more subject to mechanical failure, leading to higher levels of output degradation. Although the data set for this was small.

The Berkeley Lab’s study was based on data from 917 wind farms across the US and was included in the peer-reviewed journal Joule.


Mexico pulls the plug on “renewables”

As Mexico is poised to plunge into its worst recession in recent-memory the leftist president is making cuts and pulling the plug on subsidy dependent intermittent power from wind and solar that has been driving up the cost of electricity for its financially challenged population.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador won the 2018 election by a landslide. His approach to government spending — even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout — might best be compared to that of conservative icons Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

Recognizing that industrial wind and solar electricity bring little to no value to electrical grids, Mexico is moving to avoid the higher electrical prices.  Of which have been experienced by Germany, Denmark, Great Britain, South Australia, California, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and other governments that have heavily subsidized their supply of intermittent electricity.

The only things ‘inevitable’ about the ‘transition’ to wind and solar are rocketing electricity prices and unstable power grids. As to the latter, the Mexican government has taken a stand that has sent renewable energy rent seekers into a tailspin.

The Mexican government’s concept, not without merit, is that if you are looking for a reliable electricity supply, then it doesn’t make much sense to rely on the ‘unreliables’.  Mexico needs reliable and affordable power, more than ever.

Mexico’s Centro Nacional de Control de Energia (Cenace), which oversees the electrical system, indefinitely suspended critical tests for new intermittent electricity projects as the nation grapples with the spread of the coronavirus.

The stage is now set for yet another legal dispute between Mexico’s government and the intermittent electricity sector. The Mexican government is acting to freeze project connections in a supposed bid to underpin system stability in the COVID-19 era.

While the wind and solar industries seem eager to deliver their peculiar brand of a ‘healthy environment’ for Mexicans, their government appears more inclined to ensure the delivery of affordable electricity as and when Mexicans need it.

You could be a South Australian business owner trying to keep your head above water. How about a  farmer’s wife in Ontario trying to keep her head on the pillow and sleep despite incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound. Whether you’re any of these or an Eagle just trying to keep its head, you’ve probably formed a pretty strong opinion about the ‘merits’ of subsidized wind electricity.

Oaxaca is a state in southern Mexico that is home to almost two-thirds of Mexico’s wind-power capacity, including the Tehuantepec turbines. Many people in towns with wind parks seem to still favor them, but over time, people have seen less benefits than originally promised. Job opportunities, for example, have fallen short of expectations, locals say. The touted improvements to roads or schools have also not materialized, overall.

Trillions have been spent on industrial wind turbines and solar panels that do not deliver as advertised. The worldwide ecological destruction from the mining of precious minerals leave lands uninhabitable and worthless for plants and trees. Renewable taxpayer handouts have stripped landscapes. Left in the wake of intermittent electricity farms and subsidized biomass-fueled power plants is cynical at best. They are mercenary in their ability to destroy nature’s ability to alleviate the coronavirus via cleaner air.

During this global pandemic, dependence on China for rare earth minerals, which solar panels and wind turbines are useless without, makes clean energy a costly proposition.

The environmental destruction that wind turbines create is extraordinary – “building one wind turbine requires 900 tons of steel, 2,500 tons of concrete and 45 tons of plastic.”

Wind and solar also bring little to no value to electrical grids. When the sun does not shine, and the wind does not blow at set speeds it destroys a grid spinning reserve mode, peaking mode, and backup mode. Similarly, in Great Britain Prime Minister Boris Johnson catches coronavirus, and his country struggles with an unstable grid over widespread adoption of renewables for electricity. In the age of COVID-19 there are life and death matters if electricity is hampered for any length of time.

Renewables then make no sense when the entire world is sick. Only using Warren Buffet’s logic does chaotic wind power bring financial wealth when Mr. Buffett said: “We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That is the only reasons to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”

What makes the entire notion of relying on chaotically intermittent renewables dangerous is a seminal work by energy expert Robert Bryce titled, “Question of Power: Electricity and Wealth of Nations,” which highlights this startling fact:

“Roughly 3.3 billion people – about 45 percent of all the people on the planet – live in places where per-capita electricity consumption is less than 1,000 kilowatt-hours per year, or less than the amount used by a refrigerator.”

Uncertainty is the one constant the coronavirus has shown. Long-term planning is no longer in vogue – now it is understanding cratering oil prices and a possible Great Depression. If the World does not get back to work soon, it’s trillion-dollar deficits as the new norm, and prosperity will be taking a backseat to police-state-like shut-ins.

More than 6,000 products come from the derivatives of crude oil, including every part in solar panels and wind turbines. Additionally, renewables cannot produce the critical medical equipment like ultrasound systems, ventilators, CT systems, and X-ray, medicines, masks, gloves, soap and hand sanitizers for hospitals, and protective gear for doctors and nurses. All those products begin from crude oil, or as the Wall Street Journal states – “Big Oil to the Coronavirus Rescue.”

More damning for renewables than endless subsidies or the billions of people needing reliable electricity, is the fact that without the products from petroleum derivatives the coronavirus would rage unchecked.


Coldest day in a CENTURY: Parts of Australia's east coast shiver through the briskest May day in 98 years

Global cooling!

Brisbane has endured its coldest May day in a century with the mercury hitting 15C at about 1pm on Friday - and the chilly snap is here to stay.

Including wind chill the apparent temperature was even colder - dropping to 10C at 3pm, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

The cold snap wasn't just confined to the north with New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia also experiencing an icy weekend courtesy of cold fronts sweeping over the states.

Australians have been warned to brace for continuing cold weather as the week progresses and we head into winter, with most major cities forecast with maximums of 20C or lower on Sunday.

The cold fronts also mean the wet weather will continue with large areas of the country forecast to experience overcast conditions and showers.

In New South Wales the cold fronts brought wind, rain and even snow in some places such as the Blue Mountains and Bathurst. 

On Saturday in Sydney, a severe weather warning was issued as massive waves battered many of the city's surfing beaches, including Bondi.

A layer of cold dry air, rain and thick cloud cover is causing the unseasonal weather. 'That acts kind of like an evaporative air conditioner,' meteorologist Lauren Pattie said on Friday. 

Ms Pattie also said the cool weather is expected to persist into next week, with frost possible in some areas from Sunday.

Her Bureau colleague, meteorologist Rosa Hoff agreed, saying the cold weather would continue into Sunday. 

Brisbane is forecast to drop to just 9C overnight, before warming up to a top of 21C by midday, she said. [It was 27 degrees at 1:30pm Sunday]

The last time Brisbane hit a top of 15C like on Saturday was in 1922 - with other regional centres also breaking decades-long records.

Longreach and Charleville in the state's mid-west had their lowest May maximum temperatures in 50 years at 14.6C and 13.2C respectively. 



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.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


Sunday, May 24, 2020

Another Crack in the Climate Censorship Wall

In 'Reading Seawater," a review essay in the December 2019 issue of the science journal Inference, Lawrence University geosciences professor Marcia Bjornerud wrote that changes in ocean chemistry from carbon dioxide emissions damage shell health and may be leading to mass extinctions. Professor Bjornerud also argued that as deep oceans remove CO2 from the surface today, they "regulate" the climate.

Ecologist Patrick Moore, the chair of the CO2 Coalition, submitted a footnoted response to Inference disputing Professor Bjornerud's conclusions. In another sign of a reopening of debate in mainstream journals on claims of CO2-driven climate catastrophe, Inference printed the response in its May 2020 issue. This spring, the Chronicle of Philanthropy also printed an exchange on such claims.  However, daily news sources such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg, and CNN continue to refuse to print critiques of their climate narrative. 

Dr. Moore's response, below, is followed by the relevant excerpts from the Bjornerud article. The CO2 Coalition will shortly be publishing a more detailed White Paper on this topic, Ocean Health: Is there an 'Acidification' problem? This summary of decades of research on CO2 and ocean health was prepared by biologist Jim Steele, long-term director of San Francisco State University's Sierra Nevada research campus.

Here is Dr. Moore's letter to Inference, published May 4, 2020:

To the editors:

Marcia Bjornerud has written a tour de force on the history and chemistry of the oceans. She ties many aspects of the world's seas together in a thoughtful narrative. There are, however, a few subjects on which I believe some comments are needed.

Bjornerud asserts that "leakage of carbon from the surface into the deeper ocean is, in fact, essential for climate regulation" and that "this process, known as the carbon pump, has partly offset anthropogenic increases in CO2 arising from the combustion of fossil fuels." No evidence can be found in the geological record going back 500 million years that the oceans have regulated the climate by absorbing CO2. During this period, there is little correlation between atmospheric CO2 levels and global temperature. There is no support for a causal relationship.

During this 500-million-year history, atmospheric CO2 has declined from at least 6,000 parts per million (ppm) to 180 ppm. It reached its lowest level during the last major glaciation, 20,000 years ago. Far more CO2 has been sequestered into sediments as fossil fuels and carbonate rocks, such as limestone, than has been released back to the atmosphere. If this process had continued without anthropogenic emissions, CO2 would eventually have been reduced to lower than 150 ppm, leading to the eventual death of plant life. In this light, emissions can be seen as inadvertently rescuing life on earth from an early demise due to continued sequestration of an essential ingredient for all life.1

Even at the present 415 ppm, of which 135 ppm are due to industrial emissions, CO2 is still a limiting factor for the growth of most plants, including farm crops and trees. The anthropogenic increase in CO2 has raised crop production globally by 15 to 30 percent since 1900. Field experiments show that the expected increase in the next 100 years will have an even greater impact.2 It is standard procedure for commercial greenhouse growers to elevate CO2 to 800­-1200 ppm, increasing growth and yield 20-50 percent.3

Bjornerud also asserts that "excess CO2 in seawater can eat away at the shells of the tiny calcitic organisms that help to sequester carbon in mineral form." She refers to the contention that higher CO2 levels in seawater will result in ocean acidification that harms aquatic species, especially those that produce calcium carbonate from CO2 and calcium to build protective shells. There is no evidence to support this hypothesis. Marine and freshwater calcifying species survive in a wide variety of pH values, including freshwater species of clams, mussels, and crayfish that calcify in the acidic range at pH 6 and lower.4

There is no conceivable atmospheric CO2 concentration that will result in offshore ocean pH becoming lower than an alkaline 7.5, let alone neutral 7.0, in the foreseeable future.5 Many of the calcifying species evolved when atmospheric CO2 was 4,000 ppm or higher. These include the microscopic phytoplankton coccolithophores, the zooplankton foraminifera, the molluscs, marine arthropods, and corals. It is primarily these species that have removed large amounts of CO2 from the oceans in order to armor themselves with shells. Human emissions of CO2 have inadvertently reversed the worrisome depletion of CO2, the primary food for all carbon-based life on earth.

In her final paragraph, Bjornerud states, "All the mass extinction events evident from the fossil record have been linked to variations in ocean chemistry," and that "the demise of the dinosaurs, for example, can be attributed in large part to oceans poisoned by the constituents of the carbon and sulfur-rich rocks vaporized by the Chicxulub impactor." The cause of the Permian extinction is widely contested and there is no consensus on any of the suggested explanations. The only extinction for which there is relatively good evidence is that of the dinosaurs at 65 million years BP, which was coincident with a large asteroid striking the Yucatan peninsula. It is surmised that the asteroid penetrated the earth's crust. This caused a vast amount of material to be thrown into the stratosphere, where it remained for years, blocking the sun, ending most photosynthesis, and cooling the earth until it cleared. It is difficult to imagine how a change in ocean chemistry could eliminate all the terrestrial dinosaurs in addition to the marine species. It is not difficult to imagine that both terrestrial and marine species would die out for lack of photosynthesis and the food it provides.

Bjornerud concludes, "For this reason, some of the changes in ocean chemistry observed during the Anthropocene ought to give pause. The magnitude of these changes is comparable to the Great Dyings of the geologic past." It should be noted that the proposal to adopt the term "Anthropocene" has not yet been approved by the International Commission on Stratigraphy, which oversees the official geologic time chart.6 On the question of CO2 emissions, there is simply no possibility that current emissions could make the oceans toxic for marine life.

Joy Ward et al. "Carbon Starvation in Glacial Trees Recovered from the La Brea Tar Pits, Southern California," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 102, no. 3 (2005), doi:10.1073/pnas.0408315102. ↩
"What Rising CO2 Means for Global Food Security," CO2 Coalition, February 23, 2019. ↩
T. J. Blom et al., "Carbon Dioxide in Greenhouses," Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Government of Ontario, December 2002. Yunpu Zheng et al., "The Optimal CO2 Concentrations for the Growth of Three Perennial Grass Species," BMC Plant Biology 18, no. 27 (2018), doi:10.1186/s12870-018-1243-3. ↩
Wendell Haag, North American Freshwater Mussels: Natural History, Ecology, and Conservation (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012), doi:10.1017/cbo9781139048217. ↩
Caitlin Kennedy, "Ocean Acidification, Today and in the Future," National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, November 3, 2010. ↩
Meera Subramanian, "Anthropocene Now: Influential Panel Votes to Recognize Earth's New Epoch," Nature, May 21, 2019, doi:10.1038/d41586-019-01641-5. ↩

Here are the relevant excerpts from "Reading Seawater" by Professor Bjornerud:

On CO2-driven "acidity" and shell health: "Some of the carbon in organic matter is reoxidized-that is, decomposed and converted to CO2 again-which is one factor causing the oceans to become more acidic. Excess CO2 in seawater can eat away at the shells of the tiny calcitic organisms that help to sequester carbon in mineral form." 

On changes in ocean chemistry and mass extinction: 
"All the mass extinction events evident from the fossil record have been linked to variations in ocean chemistry, such as widespread acidification, anoxia, and associated perturbations to the carbon cycle.... For this reason, some of the changes in ocean chemistry observed during the Anthropocene ought to give pause. The magnitude of these changes are comparable to the Great Dyings of the geologic past."

On climate regulation:

"(L)eakage of carbon from the surface into the deeper ocean is, in fact, essential for climate regulation.... This process, known as the carbon pump, has partly offset anthropogenic increases in CO2 arising from the combustion of fossil fuels."

Email from tThe CO2 Coalition []

Calls to add ‘climate change’ to death certificates – New study demands ‘climate change’ be added as ‘pre-existing condition’

Professors in academia are touting a new study that is being used to call for “climate change” to be added as a cause of death on death certificates. “Climate change is a killer, but we don’t acknowledge it on death certificates,” co-author Dr Arnagretta Hunter, from The Australian National University (ANU) Medical School, said. The study was published May 20, 2020 in The Lancet Planetary Health.

Given the focus on COVID-19 infection rates and death tolls, it appears the climate activists in academia may want in on the scary and emotional death toll counts in order to draw attention back to their climate cause.

Hunter explained: “There is second component on a death certificate which allows for pre-existing conditions and other factors. “If you have an asthma attack and die during heavy smoke exposure from bushfires, the death certificate should include that information.”

“We can make a diagnosis of disease like coronavirus, but we are less literate in environmental determinants like hot weather or bushfire smoke.” …  “Climate change is the single greatest health threat that we face globally even after we recover from coronavirus,” Dr Hunter said.

The study claims: “Death certification needs to be modernized, indirect causes should be reported, with all death certification prompting for external factors contributing to death, and these death data must be coupled with large-scale environmental datasets so that impact assessments can be done.”

Statistician Dr. Matt Briggs reacted this way: “They discovered a way to boost fear and keep control!” Briggs added, “Daily body counts blasted from the evil media, ‘Over 100 people died from climate change today, raising questions about … blah blah…'”

But the climate skeptic blog Tallbloke was not receptive to claims that “climate change” should be added to death certificates. “Climate alarmists yet again strain credulity to the limit, no doubt hoping to stir up guilt in the populace about energy use,” the blog noted.

A comment on the Tallbloke blog also ridiculed the study’s claims, noting: “Australia must have a lot of health threats if the ‘single greatest’ one accounts for 2% of the mortality rate.”


Destroying Virginia’s environment to save it

By Paul Driessen

Mere weeks after Governor Ralph Northam signed a partisan “Clean Economy Act” that had been rushed through the state legislature, Dominion Energy Virginia announced it would reach “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To do so, the utility company will raise family, business, hospital and school electricity bills by 3% every year for the next ten years – as they and state and local governments struggle to climb out of the financial holes created by the ongoing Coronavirus lockdown.

Just as bad, renewable energy mandates and commitments from the new law and Dominion’s “integrated resource plan” will have monumental adverse impacts on Virginia and world environmental values. In reality, Virginia’s new “clean” economy exists only in fantasy land.

The infamous Vietnam era quotation, “We had to destroy the village in order to save it,” may or may not have been uttered by an anonymous US Army major. It may have been misquoted, revised, apocryphal or just invented. But it quickly morphed into an anti-war mantra.

For Virginia, it could reemerge as “we had to destroy our environment in order to save it.” (The same will be true for any state that travels this make-believe “clean, green, renewable, sustainable” energy path.)

Supposedly to reduce emissions of plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide, Dominion Energy plans to expand the state’s offshore wind, onshore solar and battery storage capacity by some 24,000 megawatts of new (pseudo)renewable energy by 2035 and far more after that. It will retain just 9,700 MW of existing natural gas generation, and only through 2045, build no new gas-fired units, and retire 6,200 megawatts of coal-fired generation. The company also intends to keep its four existing nuclear units operating.

To “replace” some of its abundant, reliable, affordable fossil fuel electricity, Dominion intends to build at least 31,400 megawatts of expensive, unreliable solar capacity by 2045. Dominion estimates that would require a land area some 25% larger than Fairfax County, west of Washington, DC.

Fairfax County is 391 square miles (250,220 acres). It has more than 23,000 acres (36 square miles) of parks. That means Dominion Energy’s new solar facilities alone will blanket 490 square miles – 313,000 acres – of what are now beautiful croplands, scenic areas and habitats, teeming with wildlife.

That’s nearly half the land area of Rhode Island. It’s eight times the District of Columbia – and nearly 14 times more land than all Fairfax County parks combined. All will be blanketed by imported solar panels, plus more land for access roads and new transmission lines. Just for Dominion. Just for solar.

And those solar panels will actually generate electricity maybe 20-25% of the year, once you factor in the nighttime hours, cloudy days, and wintertime, early day and late afternoon to evening times when the sun is not shining brightly enough to generate more than a tiny smidgeon of electricity.

Dominion and other Virginia utility companies also plan to import and install over 400 monstrous 850-foot-tall offshore wind turbines – and tens of thousands of half-ton battery packs, to provide backup power for at least a few hours or days when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. They will supposedly prevent the economy from shutting don’t even more completely during each such outage than it has during the Corona lockdown.

Most of these solar panels, wind turbines and batteries – or their components (or the metals and minerals required to manufacture those components) – will likely come from China or from Chinese-owned operations in Africa, Asia and Latin America … under mining, air and water pollution, workplace safety, fair wage, child labor, mined land reclamation, manufacturing and other laws and standards that would get US companies unmasked, vilified, sued, fined and shut down in a heartbeat.

However, those laws and regulations do not apply to most of the companies and operations that will supply the supposedly “clean-tech” technologies that will soon blight Virginia landscapes.

Thus far, no one has produced even a rough estimate of how much concrete, steel, aluminum, copper, lithium, cobalt, silica, rare earth metals and countless other materials will be needed. All of them will require gigantic heavy equipment and prodigious amounts of fossil fuels to blast and haul away billions of tons of rocky overburden; extract, crush and process tens of millions of tons of ores, using explosives, acids, toxic chemicals and other means to refine the ores; smelt concentrates into metals; manufacture all the millions of tons of components; and haul, assemble and install the panels, turbines, batteries and transmission lines, setting them on top of tens of thousands of tons of cement and rebar.

No one has tallied up the oil, natural gas and coal fuel requirements for doing all this “Virginia Clean Economy” work. Nor the greenhouse gases and actual pollutants that will be emitted in the process.

Nothing about this is clean, green, renewable or sustainable. But neither Dominion Energy nor Virginia government officials have said anything about any of this, nor about which countries will host the mining and other activities, under what environmental and human rights standards.

When will we get a full accounting? Just because all of this will happen far beyond Virginia’s borders, does not mean that we can ignore the global environmental impacts. Or that we can ignore the health, safety and well-being of children and parents in those distant mines, processing plants and factories. This is the perfect time to observe the environmentalist creed: think globally, act locally. Will that be done?

Will Dominion and Virginia require that all these raw materials and wind, solar and battery components be responsibly sourced? Will it require independently verified certifications that none of them involve child labor, and all are produced in compliance with US and Virginia laws, regulations and ethical codes for workplace safety, fair wages, air and water pollution, wildlife preservation and mined lands reclamation? Will they tally up all the fossils consumed, and pollutants emitted, in the process?

Science journalist, businessman and parliamentarian Matt Ridley says wind turbines need some 200 times more raw materials per megawatt of power than modern combined-cycle gas turbines. It’s probably much the same for solar panels. Add in the backup batteries, and the environmental and human health impacts become absolutely mindboggling in their scale.

If you ignore all the land and wildlife impacts from installing the wind turbines, solar panels, batteries and transmission lines – you could perhaps call this “clean energy” and a “clean economy” within Virginia’s borders. But beyond those borders? A compelling case could be made that the world would be far better off if we just built modern combined-cycle gas turbines (or nuclear power plants) to generate electricity in the first place – and avoided all the monumental human and ecological impacts of pseudo-renewable energy.

And when it is time to select sites for these 490 square miles of industrial solar facilities, will Virginia, its county and local governments, its citizens, environmentalist groups and courts apply the same rigorous standards, laws and regulations – for scenic views, habitats, wildlife and threatened or endangered species – as they do for pipelines, drilling, fracking, coal and gas power plants, and other projects? Will they apply the same standards for 100-foot-tall transmission lines as they do for buried-out-of-sight pipelines?

Virginia’s Clean Economy Act will likely plunge every project and every jurisdiction into questions of race, poverty and environmental justice. Dominion Energy and other electric utilities will have to charge means-tested rates (even as rates climb 3% per year) and exempt low-income customers from some charges. They will have to submit construction plans to environmental justice councils – even as the utility companies and EJ councils ignore the rampant injustices inflicted on the children and parents who are slaving away in Chinese, African and Latin American mines, processing plants and factories.

Talk about breaking new ground. It will be interesting to see how Governor Ralph Northam, Attorney General Mark Herring, Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, and other Virginia government, utility and industry officials handle all these fascinating issues.


The dark side of renewable electricity

The “Praise the Lord” (PTL) empire that preacher Jim Bakker built with wife Tammy crumbled thirty years ago. Today, it seems like we’re being mesmerized again in the press and social media. The rhetoric is about dispensing with thousands of products from petroleum derivatives so we can save the world from human destruction by switching to industrial wind and solar generated electricity.

Everyone knows that electricity is used extensively in residential, commercial, transportation, and the military. All of which to power motors, lite the lights and make all our medications and medical equipment. Yet it’s the thousands of products that get manufactured from crude oil that are used to “make” those motors, lights, medications and electronics.

We’ve had almost 200 years to develop clones or generics to replace the products demanded by society that we get from crude oil. The social needs of our materialistic societies are most likely going to remain for the products that have become part of our daily lifestyles, and for continuous uninterruptable electricity, not just intermittent electricity from wind and solar.

Despite the preaching about these renewable saviors, it’s becoming obvious that due to their intermittency, unreliability, and their inability to replace any of the derivatives from petroleum, societies around the world may not be too thrilled about needed social changes to live on just electricity.

Electricity is one of those products that came AFTER the discovery of oil. All the mineral products and metals needed to make wind turbines and solar panels rely on worldwide mining and transportation equipment that are made with the products from fossil fuels and powered by the fuels manufactured from crude oil.

A single electric-car battery weighs about 1,000 pounds. Fabricating one requires digging up, moving and processing more 500,000 pounds of raw materials somewhere on the planet. Never discussed by the GND or Paris Accord sponsors are the questionable and non-transparent labor conditions and loose, or non-existing, environmental regulations at the mining sites around the world for the products and metals required for renewables. To meet the goals to go “green” will most likely cause a rare earth emergency as those “green” goals require a massive worldwide increase in mining for lithium, cobalt, copper, iron, aluminum, and numerous other raw materials such as.

A list of the sixteen components needed to build wind turbines are: Aggregates and Crushed Stone (for concrete), Bauxite (aluminum, Clay and Shale (for cement), Coal, Cobalt (magnets), Copper (wiring), Gypsum (for cement), Iron ore (steel), Limestone, Molybdenum (alloy in steel), Rare Earths (magnets; batteries), Sand and Gravel (for cement and concrete), and Zinc (galvanizing).

A list of the seventeen components needed to build solar panels are: Arsenic (gallium-arsenide semiconductor chips), Bauxite (aluminum), Boron Minerals, Cadmium (thin film solar cells), Coal (by-product coke is used to make steel), Copper (wiring; thin film solar cells), Gallium (solar cells), Indium (solar cells), Iron ore (steel), Molybdenum (photovoltaic cells), Lead (batteries), Phosphate rock (phosphorous), Selenium (solar cells), Silica (solar cells), Silver (solar cells), Tellurium (solar cells), and Titanium dioxide (solar panels).

The origins of the products for wind and solar are mined throughout the world, inclusive of more than 60 countries of Algeria, Arabia, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Congo (Kinshasa), Cuba, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guinea, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, New Caledonia, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Western Sahara, and Zambia.

The signatories to the Green New Deal (GND) and Paris Accord, to sunset the fossil fuels industry for a world surviving on renewable electricity would also sunset its own renewable industry that’s supposed to be the salvation for the world, as there would be no components to build the turbines and panels!

All mining and processing activities to get the iron ore and other metals that go into turbine manufacturing, transporting the huge blade beasts to the sites, and decommissioning them, are all energy intensive activities that rely on fossil fuels and the products from crude oil and leave difficult wastes behind to dispose of during decommissioning.

The useful life of wind turbines is limited, generally from 15 to 20 years, but none of the decommissioning plans are public. Mining projects, oil production sites, and nuclear generation sites are required to provide for decommissioning and restoration details down to the last dandelion. Would governments and greenies allow a decommissioned mine, oil or nuclear site similar latitudes given to renewable sites?

We can be preached to forever about “clean electricity” messages, and bedazzle farmers with the prospects of on-going revenue from renewables. However, the extensive mining worldwide for materials for millions of wind turbines and solar panels, and the decommissioning and restoration details, and the social changes that would be necessitated for societies to live without the thousands of products from petroleum derivatives remain the dark side of the unspoken realities of renewables.

The dark side of renewable wind, solar and biofuel energy is that they are not clean, green, renewable or sustainable. They are horrifically destructive to vital ecological values that will last for generations to come.



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.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here