Friday, December 06, 2013

Global-warming ‘proof’ is evaporating

By Michael Fumento

The 2013 hurricane season just ended as one of the five quietest years since 1960. But don’t expect anyone who pointed to last year’s hurricanes as “proof” of the need to act against global warming to apologize; the warmists don’t work that way.

Warmist claims of a severe increase in hurricane activity go back to 2005 and Hurricane Katrina. The cover of Al Gore’s 2009 book, “Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis,” even features a satellite image of the globe with four major hurricanes superimposed.

Yet the evidence to the contrary was there all along. Back in 2005 I and others reviewed the entire hurricane record, which goes back over a century, and found no increase of any kind. Yes, we sometimes get bad storms — but no more frequently now than in the past. The advocates simply ignored that evidence — then repeated their false claims after Hurricane Sandy last year.

And the media play along. For example, it somehow wasn’t front-page news that committed believers in man-made global warming recently admitted there’s been no surface global warming for well over a decade and maybe none for decades more. Nor did we see warmists conceding that their explanation is essentially a confession that the previous warming may not have been man-made at all.

That admission came in a new paper by prominent warmists in the peer-reviewed journal Climate Dynamics. They not only conceded that average global surface temperatures stopped warming a full 15 years ago, but that this “pause” could extend into the 2030s.

Mind you, the term “pause” is misleading in the extreme: Unless and until it resumes again, it’s just a “stop.” You don’t say a bullet-ridden body “paused” breathing.

Remarkably, that stoppage has practically been a state secret. Just five years ago, the head of the International Panel on Climate Change, the group most associated with “proving” that global warming is man-made and has horrific potential consequences, told Congress that Earth is running a “fever” that’s “apt to get much worse.” Yet he and IPCC knew the warming had stopped a decade earlier.

Those who pointed this out, including yours truly, were labeled “denialists.” Yet the IPCC itself finally admitted the “pause” in its latest report.

The single most damning aspect of the “pause” is that, because it has occurred when “greenhouse gases” have been pouring into the atmosphere at record levels, it shows at the very least that something natural is at play here. The warmists suggest that natural factors have “suppressed” the warming temporarily, but that’s just a guess: The fact is, they have nothing like the understanding of the climate that they claimed (and their many models that all showed future warming mean nothing, since they all used essentially the same false information).

If Ma Nature caused the “pause,” can’t this same lady be responsible for the warming observed earlier? You bet! Fact is, the earth was cooling and warming long before so-called GHGs could have been a factor. A warm spell ushered in the Viking Age, and many scientists believe recent warming was merely a recovery from what’s called “the Little Ice Age” that began around 1300.

Yet none of this unsettles the rush to kill debate. The Los Angeles Times has even announced that it will no longer print letters to the editor questioning man-made global warming. Had the Times been printing before Columbus, perhaps it would have banned letters saying the Earth was round.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration continues to push to reduce supposed global-warming emissions. Last month, the president even signed an executive order establishing a Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience that could dramatically expand government bureaucrats’ ability to restrict Americans’ use of their property, water and energy to reduce so-called “greenhouse gas emissions.”

Such attempted reductions in other countries have proved incredibly expensive, while barely reducing emissions. But damn the stubbornly weak economy, says President Obama, full speed ahead!

This, even as new data show that last year the US median wage hit its lowest level since 1998 and long-term unemployment is almost the highest ever.

People have a right to religious and cult beliefs within reason. But the warmists have been proved wrong time and again, each time reacting with little more than pictures of forlorn polar bears on ice floes and trying to shut down the opposition. (More bad timing: Arctic ice increased by almost a third this past year, while that at the South Pole was thicker and wider than it’s been in 35 years.)

In war and in science, the bloodiest conflicts always seem to be the religious ones. Time for the American public to say it’s no longer going to play the victim in this one


U.N. Repudiates Global Warming

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations (U.N.) is regarded by the believers in anthropogenic global warming (warmists) as a definitive authority on climate change.  That the reports issued by the IPCC are filled with errors, are internally inconsistent, and have consistently and laughably backtracked from their own conclusions (as widely reported in AT) seems not to have cooled warmists' ardor.  Nor, it seems, have warmists lost any love for the totalitarian, national sovereignty-sapping U.N.

Now comes another report, from the very same U.N. so beloved and relied upon by the warmists, that tells a different story.

The U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division (2) was established in the earlier years of the United Nations to serve as the Secretariat of the then Population Commission, created in 1946. Over the years, the Population Division has played an active role in the intergovernmental dialogue on population and development, producing constantly updated demographic estimates and projections for all countries. The World Population Prospects publications released by the Population Division are the official U.N. population estimates and projections.  These are used widely throughout the United Nations and by many international organizations, research centers, and academic researchers, as well as by the media.

The Population Division recently released the 2012 Revision, its most recent update to the World Population Prospects, as its twenty-third round of global demographic estimates and projections.  (By contrast, the IPCC is still working on its fifth round.)  The 2012 Revision includes yearly population projections for 233 countries beginning in the year 2010 and continuing each year for 90 years until 2100.  Eight different scenarios are presented, representing different levels of fertility, migration, and mortality.  Might some indication of the effects of so-called global warming lie inside?

The answer is yes.  A close look at the fortunes of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) in the 2012 Revision unmasks the folly of global warming.  AOSIS is an intergovernmental organization of low-lying coastal and small island countries, established in 1990 to address global warming and climate change.  One would expect that these low-lying island nations would be the most strongly affected by the global warming and sea level rises predicted by the warmist IPCC and that their populations would experience dramatic reductions during the 21st century.

Unfortunately for the warmists, the 2012 Revision demonstrates the opposite.  The countries of AOSIS grow +25.2 percent in population through 2100, giving a lie to the warmist claims that they are threatened by global warming and are rapidly sinking beneath the waves.  Even the infamous Indian Ocean islands that include the Seychelles, Mauritius, Maldives, and Comoros, whose very existence was said to be threatened by global warming according to 2007 Nobel Peace Prize co-winners Al Gore and Rolph Poyet, are predicted in the 2012 Revision to increase in population by a robust +75.1 percent throughout the 21st century (by contrast, the global population growth rate during the same time period is +56.9 percent, while ex-Africa it is only +13.3 percent).  Thus, it is closer to the truth to state that AOSIS thrives during the period of so-called global warming, the exact opposite of what is predicted by the liberal warmist catechism.  Thus, the U.N.'s own population studies soundly repudiate its own so-called global warming studies.

So who is to be believed: the tiny and shrinking group of deluded warmists and their error-filled upstart IPCC reports, or the rest of the rational world and the venerable U.N. Population Division World Population Prospects?  This is more than hilarious.


Warmists want to stamp out meaningful debate

Andrew Bolt

Former Australian prime minister John Howard is called a "conviction politician". But the media - corrupted by alarmists - got too much even for him.

This week Howard admitted he'd caved in to the global warming hype not because of "the science" but the votes.

"I am unconvinced that catastrophe is around the corner," Howard said in London, where he told the pro-sceptic Global Warming Policy Foundation he was a warming "agnostic".

But in his last year as prime minister, Howard could no longer resist the panic pushed by our Leftist media.  "Late in 2006 my Government hit a 'perfect storm' on the issue," Howard said.

"Drought had lingered for several years in many parts of Eastern Australia, leading to severe restrictions on the daily use of water; not for the first or last time the bushfire season started early; the report by Sir Nicholas Stern hit the shelves . . . and . . . Al Gore released his movie An Inconvenient Truth.

"To put it bluntly 'doing something' about global warming gathered strong political momentum in Australia."

Howard, in desperation, promised an emissions trading scheme, but still lost to the more convincingly warmist Kevin Rudd.

It is easy to damn Howard for weakness - and I do. Still, how could he keep fighting a media that screamed down any sceptics?

Now, of course, the drought is ended, the dams have refilled and the atmosphere hasn't warmed in 15 years. The hype has receded.

But in 2007, almost no one in the media pointed out Gore's movie was riddled with errors.

Almost nobody in the media pointed out warmist scientists were also wrong in claiming the drought was evidence of global warming, although even Tim Flannery's Climate Commission years later had to admit it couldn't "identify anything that is distinctly unusual about the post-1950 pattern" of rainfall, after all.

One TV station even showed animation of huge fireballs smashing into our cities as a warning.

And still the media misleads us. Worse, journalism academics praise what is the most shameful collective failure of journalism in my lifetime.

Wendy Bacon [an old communist from a Communist family] is a professorial fellow at the UTS Australian Centre for Independent Journalism and led students in an investigation into how newspapers report global warming.

Astonishingly, Bacon, interviewed last week on the ABC's Media Report, praised Fairfax papers such as The Age and Sydney Morning Herald as true believers in the global warming faith who'd silenced heretics.

"Fairfax media basically says and does in practice accept the consensus position and recently they've said that very explicitly and they are not publishing sceptic letters," she said.

"What that means in practice is that they've pretty much stopped publishing any columns from outside by sceptic authors."

A real journalist should be horrified by newspapers shutting down a debate in which even leading global warming scientists disagreed.

But, no, the sympathetic Media Report host didn't even blink. And Bacon, who earlier this year declared "I'm voting Green in the election because I'm a journalist", reserved her outrage for the country's "most prominent sceptic". Yes, modest me.

Why, Bacon protested, were my editors "providing this strategic role to this person who is actually abusive to climate scientists".

Abusive? Yes, because "he says it in a factual way that they are lying".

Indeed, I've presented evidence in such a factual way that Bacon and her students do not identify a single error. (I don't actually call scientists "liars", by the way.)

Let me now demonstrate the kind of journalism that so offends Bacon and which the ABC deplores rather than practises.

Two weeks ago Greens leader Christine Milne made at least seven false or misleading claims about global warming when interviewed by the ABC.

Another non-surprise: not one of her claims was challenged by the host, exposed on the ABC's Media Watch or criticised on any ABC program.

But "mistakes" they clearly were. For instance, Milne linked last month's NSW fires to global warming because "we know that south-eastern Australia is experiencing a drying trend".

In fact, NSW's rainfall has increased over the past century.

Milne claimed we've had "the hottest winter". In fact, that's not true of Australia or the Southern Hemisphere and not a measure of global warming anyway.

Milne even urged us to "look at Cyclone Yasi" as evidence of warming.  In fact, the Bureau of Meteorology reports a big fall in the number of cyclones here.

A warmist like Milne can exaggerate wildly, yet gets nothing but praise on the ABC and in Fairfax newspapers.

A sceptic can point out Milne's mistakes and that's just "abuse".

That's just another wicked sceptic who "says it in a factual way that they are lying".

No wonder John Howard gave up.


Warmists preach hunger, but crops grow and grow

How often have warmists peddled the starvation scare?  Some examples:

* Mark Rosegrant, International Food Policy Research Institute , February 2013:

* FRAN Kelly: Dramatic falls in staple crop production, and a jump in malnutrition are predicted across the Asia Pacific in coming decades due to climate change. . . (Dr Mark Rosegrant) . . . according to your research which crops would be most affected?

* Rosegrant: We’re finding that the key staples of rice, wheat and maize are going to have very large declines through most of Asia—anywhere from 15 to 25 per cent compared to a no-climate-change scenario.

* Professor Ian Lowe, president of the Australian Conservation Foundation, December 2012:

For example, the United Nations food agency has warned that it will be less and less likely that we can feed the human population if climate change continues on its present trajectory.

* The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2001:

Acute water shortage conditions combined with thermal stress should adversely affect wheat and, more severely, rice productivity in India even under the positive effects of elevated CO2 in the future.

* German Advisory Council on Global Change, 2007:

The Climate Change as a Security Risk report by the German Advisory Council on Global Change called on governments meeting this week at the climate change conference in Bali to adopt deep emissions cuts to avert disaster.... According to the report… India, Pakistan and Bangladesh could see falls in wheat and rice yields as the monsoon changes.

* David Lobell, Stanford University, 2008:

Impoverished farmers in South Asia and southern Africa could face growing food shortages due to climate change within just 20 years, a new study says…

“The majority of the world’s one billion poor depend on agriculture for their livelihoods,” said the lead author of the new study, David Lobell of Stanford University.

“Unfortunately, agriculture is also the human enterprise most vulnerable to changes in climate.”

* Elizabeth Ainsworth, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2008:

Rice is arguably the world’s most important food source and helps feed about half the globe’s people. But yields in many areas will drop as the globe warms in future years, a review of studies on rice and climate change suggests.

...when the evidence from some 80 different studies is combined, the outlook is bleak, says Elizabeth Ainsworth of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

* Green activist Cameron Scott :

Most major political shifts are caused at least in part by economic pressures. Food prices are now at an all-time high. Those prices have, according to a wide range of analysts, contributed to the political revolts first in Tunisia and now in Egypt… But here’s the kicker: Food prices aren’t just some arbitrary economic statistic. They measure (inversely) the planet’s success at sustaining its human population. And right now, it’s not doing so well. The reason? Erratic weather spurred by climate change.

* The Age, 2013:

Imagine India in 2033. It has overtaken China as the most populous nation. Yet with 1.5 billion citizens to feed, it’s been three years since the last monsoon. Without rain, crops die and people starve.

* The seeds of conflict take root.

This is one of the scenarios Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, presented today to members of the United Nations Security Council in New York to show the connection between climate change and global security challenges.



Warmists urge allies to support nuclear power

    Four scientists at the forefront of global warming activism published an open letter this week encouraging their fellow warmists to embrace safe nuclear power as a means of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

    The four scientists are pretty close to embodying a Mt.Rushmore of global warming activists. They are James Hansen at the Columbia University Earth Institute, Tom Wigley at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Kerry Emanuel at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Ken Caldeira at the Carnegie Institution.

    “Continued opposition to nuclear power threatens humanity’s ability to avoid dangerous climate change,” the scientists wrote. “We call on your organization to support the development and deployment of safer nuclear power systems as a practical means of addressing the climate change problem. Global demand for energy is growing rapidly and must continue to grow to provide the needs of developing economies. At the same time, the need to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions is becoming ever clearer.”

    Nuclear power is about 50 percent more expensive to produce than conventional power. Much of that cost disadvantage is due to excessive government regulation that is unique to nuclear power, but there is no reason to expect government will ease such regulation anytime soon.

    Nuclear power is much more reliable and substantially less expensive than wind and solar power. Also, nuclear power avoids many negative environmental impacts of wind and solar power, including millions of bird and bat kills each year and a huge land development footprint.

    It will be interesting to see how other warmists, and particularly the large environmental activist groups, respond to the embrace of nuclear power by some of the most prominent scientists leading their cause.


A strange alliance in Australia

Greens and conservatives agree to increase debt ceiling with the left opposed

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has mocked Labor’s response to a deal he struck with the Australian Greens to end the row of the debt ceiling, calling it "absolutely bizarre".

Mr Hockey on Wednesday reached the extraordinary last-minute deal with the Greens - once dubbed "economic fringe dwellers" by the government - to scrap Australia's $300 billion borrowing limit.

The rare Coalition-Greens alliance, designed to circumvent Labor's opposition, means the Treasurer will no longer have to seek parliamentary approval to lift the maximum borrowing cap.

The deal requires further debt reporting in the budget and its updates.

 Greens leader Christine Milne said the debt ceiling had been a "toxic political tool" that rendered the Australian debate around debt artificial.

The new agreement will allow for a "reasonable debate" to take place, she said.

But shadow treasurer Chris Bowen questioned how the new measures would improve the transparency over debt.

"More transparency is always welcome but the ultimate transparency is seeking parliamentary approval and having to answer questions," Mr Bowen told ABC radio.

To suggest that the new requirements would boost transparency "is a bit of a big call", he said.

He accused the Greens of an about-face on the debt issue, saying Senator Milne had originally opposed lifting the ceiling to $500 billion.

"She’s gone from saying that the increase wasn’t justified to ‘why do we have this debt limit at all’," Mr Bowen said.

Mr Hockey said that the reaction of Labor to the debt deal was "absolutely bizarre".

"It’s like a husband being upset that their ex-wife went off and had a cup of coffee with some other man," he said, in reference to the Greens support for the minority Gillard government.

Labor’s Kelvin Thomson joked that the Greens-Coalition alliance was "a bit more than a cup of coffee".

"I think it’s the candlelit dinner and flowers," he told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.

The Coalition, which railed against debt continually while in opposition, will have unrestricted access to credit, only having to issue a statement to both houses of Parliament every time it racks up another $50 billion in debt.

With just days to go before the existing legislated debt ceiling was reached on December 12, the Treasurer sealed the agreement late on Wednesday with Greens leader Christine Milne.

To do so, he has agreed to increased reporting requirements to Parliament on the nature of Commonwealth borrowings and the ongoing debt position of the government, but Parliament will have surrendered its capacity to veto government borrowings.

Mr Hockey praised the Greens for coming to the "sensible middle" on economic policy.

"The Labor Party is stuck in the basement on economic policy and all of their own making," Mr Hockey told Sky News.

Senator Milne was due to introduce the legislative repeal of the debt ceiling in the Senate on Wednesday evening with a view to the controversial bill being passed by the House of Representatives on Thursday.

The strange political marriage came after Coalition frustrations reached boiling point as Labor and the Greens used their combined numbers in the Senate to block an increase to a new limit of half a trillion dollars - a $200billion increase in one increment.

In a letter to Senator Milne on Wednesday, Mr Hockey wrote: "We have agreed to repeal the current legislative limit on the total face value of stock and securities on issue set out in the Commonwealth Inscribed Stock Act 1911."

Earlier in the day, Labor had sought to head off the deal which it knew would render its opposition to the proposed $200 billion debt increase irrelevant.

In response to a question from Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he agreed that the Greens were on the economic margins.

"I agree, Madam Speaker, that the Greens have been economic fringe-dwellers, and that just means that [Labor] members opposite are worse," he said.

Labor brandished a photo of Senator Milne in the lower house to taunt the government, suggesting it was taking its orders from the minor party.

It was the second day in a row that her photo had been used after Immigration Minister Scott Morrison made the same case against Labor on Tuesday when it sided with the Greens to block temporary protection visas.

Under the arrangement, Mr Hockey has agreed to "comprehensive debt reporting" in the annual budget papers as well as in other regular economic statements and forecasts.

There will also be additional debt statements tabled in Parliament within three sitting days of a $50billion increase in debt, setting out the reasons, the extent of the debt incurred as a result of falling revenue, higher spending, capital purchases, or payments to states and territories.

Other transparency measures have been agreed to but the statements will not set out specific borrowing purposes in all cases, despite a Greens request for that level of detail.

Shadow finance minister Tony Burke was furious, and slammed the Coalition for breaching its intentions to reduce debt and its statements opposed to dealing with the Greens.

He said Mr Hockey "was no Peter Costello" and had even suffered the humiliation of not getting to announce the move, which had been announced first by Senator Milne.

"In one stroke today, they cut a deal with the Greens, to make Australia's debt allowed to be unlimited," he said.

"The level of hypocrisy today from the government is way beyond where I thought they would be."

Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox strongly supported the removal of the debt ceiling, saying it was "good public policy".

He said the ceiling was an "artificial device" that imposes unnecessary inflexibility and creates unhelpful openings for political opportunism.

"It is vital that we have transparency of, and clear accountabilities for, public finances but the debt ceiling is a poor substitute for these and, at best, gives a false assurance that appropriate restraint is being exercised," he said in a statement.



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


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