Friday, December 04, 2015

Paris climate conference: 10 reasons why we shouldn't worry about 'man-made' global warming

The UN Climate Change Conference in Paris would have us all terrified about the future of the environment. Here's why I'm not

Christopher Booker

Yesterday, President Obama and a phalanx of other world leaders joined 40,000 delegates in Paris for the formal opening of what has been billed as “one of the most important international conferences in history”.

Its aim is to win agreement on a plan that would halt global warming, by holding down temperatures to 2 degrees C above their pre-industrial level.

They want “a binding treaty” committing the world’s nations to make massive cuts in their emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2).

For 30 years we have been told how, thanks to the dramatic rise in CO2, temperatures have been soaring to unprecedented levels. This is causing polar ice to melt, sea-levels to rise and has brought a dangerous increase in “extreme weather events”, such as hurricanes, heatwaves, droughts and floods.

Nothing has been more influential in promoting this “consensus” view than a succession of reports by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). These are based on computer models which predict that, unless the world abandons fossil fuels, temperatures will rise through the 21st century by 0.3 degrees per decade. Indeed by 2100 they could even have soared by as much as 5 degrees.

So what could be wrong about the world’s nations getting together to prevent such a disaster before it is too late?

In fact, in more recent years scarcely a single point in this “consensus” theory has not been questioned by a growing array of independent experts, including some of the most eminent scientists in the world.

Here are 10 of the claims made by those gathered in Paris, with commentary on just how far their fears are really justified:

1. Thanks to the rise in CO2 emissions, we are faced with a rise in global temperatures never before seen in history

It is true that when the alarm over global warming was set off in the 1980s and 1990s, the world was undoubtedly hotting up, apparently in tandem with an inexorable rise in CO2. But this rise in temperatures was not unprecedented. The world has in fact been heating up for 200 years, ever since it emerged from what climatologists call the “Little Ice Age’ when, between 1350 and 1800, it markedly cooled. The temperature rise of 0.5 degrees C between 1975 and 1998, hailed as “the hottest year in history” was no greater than that recorded between 1910 and 1940, before “global warming” was thought of.

The graph by Phil Jones of East Anglia University’s Climatic Research Unit shows that the late 20th century temperature rise was very similar to that between 1910 and 1940

2. But what about the so-called “Pause”, the claim by “climate sceptics”, that after 1998, temperatures again fell, and have shown no rising trend since?

It is true that some surface temperature records have continued to rise, showing 2010 and 2014 as even hotter than 1998. But the much more comprehensive temperature measurements made by satellites have shown a very different picture. Since falling back after 1998, the rising trend in temperatures has for 17 years come to a halt – what even the IPCC accept as “the Pause”.

The significance of this stalling of the temperature rise is that it was not predicted by any of those IPCC computer models, programmed to predict that, as CO2 continued to rise, temperatures must inevitably follow. Even fervent supporters of the “consensus” have found this hard to explain, and have had to admit that natural factors, such as changes in solar radiation and ocean currents have much more influence on climate than their computer models allowed for.

3. The overall temperature rise of the past 200 years has been wholly unprecedented, and the C02 emitted since the start of the industrial revolution must still be a major factor

Nothing more troubled the supporters of the “consensus” theory than worldwide evidence that 1,000 years ago the world was even hotter than it is today: what climatologists call “the Medieval Warm Period”.

But in 1999 this led to the producing of a new graph, nicknamed “the Hockey Stick” and heavily promoted by the IPCC, which rewrote climate history. This purported to show that the Medieval Warm Period had never existed, and that temperatures had suddenly shot up in the late 20th century to 1998 as “the hottest year in history”.

Expert computer analysts then demonstrated, however, that the methods used to construct this graph were hopelessly flawed. It became the most discredited artefact in scientific history. The Medieval Warm Period was back, showing that the heating up of the world 1,000 years ago had nothing to do with human CO2 emissions and was entirely natural.

4. Two recent studies have shown that “97 per cent of all climate scientists” still believe in man-made global warming. How can this evidence be denied?

It is true that no statistic has been quoted more often by supporters of the “consensus” than this, including President Obama. But analysis of how these two studies were conducted have shown them as even more dodgy than the “Hockey Stick”.

The first was based on a survey by a student for a Master’s degree. Of her original sample of 10,257 scientists, she eventually identified only 77 as bona-fide “climate scientists”, all but two of whom had endorsed the “consensus” view on man-made climate change. Hence her “97 per cent”. But this represented only 0.007 percent of her original sample.

When another academic, John Cook, attempted to produce a more convincing result, based on a sample of 4,011 academic papers, he claimed that “97 percent” of them endorsed the “consensus” that “humans are the primary cause of recent global warming”. But closer examination showed that only 65 papers argued that man-made CO2 was responsible for more than half of the warming. Cook’s true percentage should have been far, far smaller.

5. Melting polar ice is threatening a disastrous rise in sea-levels (not to mention those vanishing polar bears)

Ever since 2007, when Arctic summer ice hit a record low, we have been warned that summer ice in the Arctic ocean is melting so fast that that it will soon be “ice free”. But repeatedly the date when this would come about has been moved forward. In fact, since 2007 satellite measurements have shown the ice recovering, until in 2013 less of it melted than at any time for nine years.  In 2013 and 2014, according to the European Space Agency, the volume of Arctic ice jumped back by more than 30 per cent.

Even more remarkable, however, is what has been happening at the other end of the world. In recent years the extent of sea ice around Antarctica has been greater than at any time since Nasa’s satellite records began in 1979. A recent Nasa study showed that the mass of ice and snow covering the 5th largest continent on earth has been growing dramatically.

In recent years the extent of sea ice around Antarctica has been greater than at any time since Nasa’s satellite records began in 1979

In fact there is as much polar ice in the world today than at any time since satellite measurements began in 1979. As for those polar bears, they are doing absolutely fine. Experts such as biologist Dr Susan Crockford who rely on direct observation rather than computer models agree that their numbers are well up on where they were 40 years ago.

6. Global sea levels are still rising – so worryingly that little island nations like Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Maldives may soon have vanished beneath the waves

Despite the best efforts of those supporting the “consensus” to use their computer models to claim otherwise, all direct evidence indicates that if anything these “small island states” are not shrinking but actually growing in size.

According to one study, the main atoll on Kiribati has recently been increasing its area by up to 4 per cent or more for four decades

As for the Maldives, where their former President famously staged a Cabinet meeting under water to publicise his country’s plight, Dr Niklas Morner, a former president of the International Commission on Sea Level Changes, says that in 40 years of studying their tide gauges and shorelines, he has observed no sea level rise at all.

7. No evidence for the impact of climate change is more alarming than the increase in “extreme weather events”, such as heatwaves, storm, droughts, floods and hurricanes

Again, however often we are told this – as we are by the BBC and others every time there is a disastrous heatwave, flood or cyclone somewhere in the world – even the IPCC itself had to concede this in its latest report that there is no hard evidence that any of these things are becoming more frequent or intense than they were previously.

As for droughts, one comprehensive study showed that, far from becoming worse as the 20th century progressed, they actually became rarer. Of the last century’s “30 major drought episodes”, 22 were in the first six decade. The two decades between 1961 and 1980 produced just five. The final two decades, when the global warming scare was taking off, saw only two.

8. Terrible hurricanes and cyclones like Katrina and Erica give clear proof of how global warming is bringing us more deadly storms.

The curious thing is that, however much these storms may make global headlines, not one has broken any records from the days before global warming was heard of.

In fact the evidence shows that in the past 45 years the world has seen no increase in the frequency or intensity of such storms at all.

9. It’s still better to rely on “renewable energy” than fossil fuels

Christiana Figueres, the UN’s “climate chief” and organiser of this week’s conference argues that, even if global warming is not taking place as fast as predicted, it would still be sensible to “decarbonise” the world’s economy and rely on renewables, because fossil fuels are a finite resource.

Ms Figueres argues that not only should richer countries abandon their dependence on coal, oil and gas, to rely on renewables, they should also be prepared to pay “$1 trillion a year” to help poorer countries develop their economies on the same lines.

But, despite all the hundreds of billions of dollars, euros and pounds Western countries have already put into windfarms and solar panels, the results are not, so far, encouraging, According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, wind turbines are currently supplying only 1.2 per cent of the world’s energy. The contribution from solar is just 0.3 per cent. To realise Ms Figueres’s dream, we still have some way to go.

10. The Paris summit will come up with a result: a binding treaty that will change the world

Unlikely. China, already responsible for 50 per cent of all the world’s CO2 emissions, has made clear that it now plans to double them within 15 years. India, the third largest emitter, insists that it will treble its CO2 output by 2030.

The story from most of the other major “developing countries”, such as Russia, Brazil, South Korea and Vietnam, is much the same. Not one of them has any intention of reducing its “carbon emissions”.

The best they can offer is that, if Western countries want them to build more windmills and solar farms, we must be prepared to pay them to do so out of a “Green Climate Fund”, which the UN plans by 2020 to be handing out $100 billion a year. Pledges so far amount to just $700 million. We still have $99.3 billion to go.

However much the EU and President Obama may huff and puff, and however much they may end up with a meaningless fudge of an “agreement”, the binding treaty they want is simply not going to happen. Now or ever.

But don’t worry. This won’t have the slightest effect on the world’s climate. We shall just have to go on putting up with whatever nature sends us – as we have had to do throughout history.

SOURCE  (See the original for links and graphics)

The Paris climate scam treaty about wealth redistribution, nothing more

“Justice demands that, with what little carbon we can still safely burn, developing countries are allowed to grow. The lifestyles of a few must not crowd out opportunities for the many still on the first steps of the development ladder.”

That was Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, writing in the Financial Times on Nov. 29 on the new Paris climate treaty.

Here, Modi explains why India and other developing economies should be given unfair economic advantages over the West as a matter of treaty law, and why the Paris agreement should treat his country differently than ours.

Not that anyone can blame him. The treaty stinks.

And yet, no more concise explanation of the current state of the global economy exists. Global climate pacts, like that being negotiated in Paris, or even trade agreements, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership are designed with one intention: To redistribute wealth globally.

That is, to hamper growth in the West by continuing to increase the cost of doing business, and continuing to shift production to so-called developing economies like China or India.

There may not be much more to it than that.

Sure, it is shrouded in all sorts of happy talk like saving the planet or creating jobs, all the while carbon emissions targets are never met and the jobs are still nowhere to be found.

Global emissions will still increase 25 percent in the next 20 years based on continued growth in emerging markets, the BP Energy Outlook 2035 finds.

Meanwhile, the employment-population ratio in the U.S. of the working age population — 16 to 64 years old — still has not recovered from the last recession, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows.

In 2007, the percent of the non-seasonally adjusted working age population with jobs averaged 71.8 percent. Today it stands at 68.9 percent, representing 6.4 million potential jobs that have been lost in the past 8 years alone.

The U.S. via the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal government agencies is one of the most heavily regulated economies in the world. Rules have been put forth with the singular intention of restricting coal-fired electricity plants, to reduce our output on the grid. In the process, electricity becomes more expensive. In the meantime, labor costs here are prohibitively high. Why build a factory in the U.S.?

All because world trade rules and these silly climate agreements grant favors — special and differential treatment — to developing economies like India.

Why would we continue with an approach that already subsidizes foreign competition with unfair rules, and then offer them even more subsidies on top of that? Because “justice demands it”?

Yes, it creates an opportunity for lower cost investment in certain quarters, which, if you know the right people or where to look, could be very lucrative from an investment standpoint.

But with the loss of productive capacity and the ability to employ one’s own citizens to do jobs, it is insane from a national standpoint to continue making these bad deals.

Sometimes if something sounds like a scam, or too good to be true, it usually is. This is a scam through and through that will saddle the U.S. with a higher cost of business and fewer jobs, and redistribute wealth overseas. Why would we do that?

This is all about knocking America down a notch. Nothing more.


The emotional David  Suzuki makes “Big Foot” size carbon footprint to attend Ottawa rally —- to tell attendees to drive and fly less

Like most progressives, David Suzuki believes in one set of rules for himself, and another set of rules for the rest of us.

This week Suzuki flew all the way to Ottawa from Vancouver to attend a climate change rally. He was joined by thousands of other believers who were bused in from outside Ottawa. Did I mention their bus was left idling while they tended to the important business of listening to people like Suzuki lecture everyone else about climate change?

According to a website that lets people pay their climate guilt through offsets, his flight to Ottawa spewed out nearly two tons of carbon emissions which is almost a quarter of the average Canadian’s yearly output.

Why didn’t Suzuki send a video message instead of flying across the country for a few minutes of speaking and a photo op? The protestors ended their march on Parliament Hill where a large TV screen was parked, running off of a truck and generator, showing images of other climate change rallies, so it shouldn’t have been too difficult to “connect” all these individuals who are so worried about climate change.

When you tally up all of the jet-setting Suzuki and other progressive heroes do, I can only conclude they don’t really mean what they say. They just believe in lecturing the rest of us, trying to control us and making government bigger so they can push their agenda on us.

But don’t expect them to change any time soon because with progressives, it’s always just more “do as I say, not as I do”.


Cocaine users endanger the environment

This is getting serious now

Affluent middle-class cocaine users who turn a blind eye to the misery caused by the drug were accused of ‘hypocrisy’ last night.

They were urged to ‘look to their consciences’ because of the grave toll it inflicts on those enslaved by ruthless cartels and on the environment.

A leading expert in stemming its flow into Britain called on the country’s dinner party set and professional classes to ‘open their eyes’.

Tony Saggers, of the National Crime Agency (NCA), said people may campaign against fur or consume fair trade coffee but are often happy to snort cocaine at weekends.

This is despite the fact it is responsible for murder, violence, slave labour and massive damage to the South American rainforests where it is produced.

‘Cocaine is an attractive drug and the majority of people who use it can afford to do so and make a choice to use it,’ he said.

‘They live affluent lifestyles, they may be at university, and they choose to consume the drug. But do they release it is behind such human exploitation?

‘If people continue to use cocaine knowing the misery that lies behind it and at the same time have other conscience issues I do believe that is hypocritical.

‘There are people in society performing a range of roles and functions designed to make this country safe and make it a better place.

‘If these people are also snorting cocaine its use is in complete contradiction with their general lifestyles.

‘This is not saying I would like to lock people up and throw away the key for using this exploitative drug, but I would like them to look to their conscience.’

His comments came as the NCA launched a campaign to highlight the harm caused by the production and distribution of cocaine.

The #everylinecounts campaign is aimed at users who care about social issues but are apparently happy to ignore them with their recreational drug habit.

Britain is a lucrative market for cocaine gangs who are flooding the country with the drug, which sells for a minimum of £40 a gram, in the hunt for huge profits.

Earlier this year it was revealed cocaine use has trebled in two decades with rising consumption among people in their forties and fifties.

A government report found the drug is now ‘firmly embedded in UK society’ amid concern it is seen as safe and no longer ‘the preserve of wealthy bankers and celebrities’.

Mr Saggers, who has appeared as an expert witness in many high profile drug cases, said Britain is an ‘attractive market’ to drug traffickers.

But those who consume it are often not aware of the grim reality of how it is produced or transported, often inside the bodies of drug mules.

‘People sit there at dinner parties and discuss what they find abhorrent in the world and then they make a choice to consume something generating huge exploitation,’ he said.

‘A classic example is the fur trade. People may have a very noble and high profile publicity campaign saying ‘not on my body – I won’t wear fur.’

‘What if these people go on to snort cocaine which is significantly more directly exploitative – a glamourous white powder they perceive to be harm free and socially acceptable.’

Police chiefs have repeatedly vowed to crack down on middle-class cocaine users, amid fears they are not seen as a priority for over-stretched officers.

Cocaine can cause significant harm even in first-time or occasional users, including strokes, heart attacks, life-threatening over-heating and psychiatric problems.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs said the drug has spread throughout all areas of society since the mid-1990s.

Experts have warned that its use poses a ‘huge challenge’ to the health service, law enforcement and educators.


Just Keep on Pumping Ethanol

The EPA announced updated renewable fuel standards this week, choosing to perpetuate the travesty that is ethanol rather than let the overhyped fuel additive die the death it so richly deserves. The new standards, though lower than originally mandated in 2007, are still high enough to place undue pressure on energy producers and consumers, which will ultimately pay the price in higher gas prices.

The new EPA regulations mandate that companies will have to blend 18.11 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol into gasoline in 2016. This is up from the 17.4-billion-gallon mark proposed in May, but down from the 22.25 billion gallons the 2007 guidelines required. As a consequence, nearly everyone is upset.

Ethanol producers and farmers claim the numbers represent a shift away from renewable fuels. Bob Stallman of the American Farm Bureau Federation, told The Wall Street Journal he was disappointed to see the EPA “move forward with a decision that will stall growth and progress in renewable fuels.”

Jeff Broin, head of Poet LLC, an ethanol producer, said, “[T]hese numbers fall well short of our capacity to provide clean, domestic ethanol to America’s drivers.”

On the other side, gasoline refiners expressed optimism about the lower standards, but remain concerned that the mandate still exists at all. “Today’s rule is further proof that the [renewable-fuel standard] program is irreparably broken and that the only solution is for Congress to repeal it outright,” said Chet Thompson, president of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, an industry trade group.

Fully 10% of gasoline consumption in the U.S. comes from biofuels, and nearly all of that is corn-based ethanol. The latest numbers mandated by the EPA push the ethanol quota to the “blend wall,” the point at which the oil industry believes the amount mandated exceeds the amount that can realistically and safely be blended into the gasoline supply.

There is also concern that the vast quantity of ethanol being added to gasoline will have an adverse effect on the vehicles and small equipment that is running on the fuel additive. Environmentalists and corn-based ethanol producers have brushed off these concerns as overblown. Tell that to the consumers making trips to the repair shop because of ethanol-damaged engines.

The mandates may also be tied to the gas-price bubble that is costing consumers billions. Gas prices routinely rise and fall based on the price of oil, but, while the price of crude oil has fallen close to 50% in the past year, the price of a gallon of gas has only fallen 28%. This amounts to a pricing disparity in which drivers are paying $1 billion more for gas than they would have if the typical market pattern was in place.

Refiners have been keeping a larger chunk of profits by spending less for oil, but federal taxes and the additional manufacturing cost of adding ethanol to gasoline are also part of the problem. “The gap is higher than it has been since the 1970s,” according to Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service. “There is no question: gasoline should be cheaper.”

It is for no other reason than political posturing that we are still dealing with the ethanol issue. It has been well documented that ethanol production is actually a boondoggle causing more harm to the environment than good. It uses billions of gallons of water that would otherwise be left alone. It is responsible for soil erosion due to the increased production of corn, not to mention the pollution of water tables by the added use of fertilizers.

Furthermore, there has been no substantive proof that ethanol is leading to lower CO2 emissions or that it is linked to the slightly lower overall CO2 levels in the atmosphere over the past several years. The supposed need for ethanol is further negated by the fact that global surface temperatures have been stagnant for 18 years without any rise. This comes as bad news to the group now gathered in Paris to hamstrung American manufacturing in the name of the planet.

While Republicans frequently battle with the EPA and the ecofascists over their plans to remake the economy for their own purposes, few politicians left or right are willing to go against the farm lobby, which stands to lose big if ethanol standards are repealed.

Ted Cruz is the only GOP presidential candidate who had the backbone to tell Iowans that he was against renewable-fuel standards. None of the other candidates, even the bombastic Donald Trump, have delivered a full-throated refusal to the continued adherence to the ethanol mandate. Until more politicians open their eyes to the truth about ethanol, we’ll continue to be stuck with this loser.


Climate mumbo jumbo

This reminds me of medieval controversies about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.  I know the answer but I'm not telling

Australia: Environment Minister Greg Hunt says Australia will back a call from small island nations for a Paris climate change agreement to include an aspirational goal of capping global temperature rises at 1.5 degrees celsius which is lower than the United Nations current target of 2C.

Pacific states and other nations vulnerable to rising sea levels are calling for a tougher cap on global warming at the UN Paris talks taking place over the next fortnight. Their concerns are heightened by the series of national carbon reduction pledges made in the lead up to the UN conference which will not be enough to meet the agreed goal of keeping warming to within 2C of pre-industrial levels - estimates suggest the current commitments add up to about 2.7 degrees of warming.

The government's attitude towards its smaller regional neighbours came into question this week after an attempt by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to ridicule Labor's Tanya Plibersbek backfired. Ms Bishop accused her rival of wrongly claiming the island of Eneko had "disappeared" but instead got the name of the island wrong herself.

However, the Alliance of Small Island States, whose members include Fiji and Jamaica, has used Australia as broker in its discussions with bigger nations about including the 1.5C aspiration in the wording of any agreement. The 1.5C goal cannot be included as a firm target because it would be vetoed by larger developing nations who argue it would put too much pressure on the their growing economies which require fossil fuels to overcome issues such as access to electricity.  

"The small island states would obviously like to see a clear goal for 1.5 degrees," Mr Hunt said. "Some of the largest developing countries are more resistant to that. Australia is happy to have a reference to 1.5 degrees with obviously the clear over-arching goal fo the agreement being below 2C. We are acting as a broker in that space. Our approach is to be flexible and construtive."

Mr Hunt said one of the main challenges for the more than 190 countries represented at the Paris summit will be agreeing on "genuine" five-yearly reviews of national carbon reduction targets. Developed countries such as the US, Australia and France - as well as some fast-growing economies such as China - believe reviews are critical to ensuring nations meet and then progressively improve their carbon reduction targets for 2030.

"I think that the central element to a solution here will be the review mechanisms," Mr Hunt said.  "We have said that genuine five-year reviews beginning with a review that takes real effect in 2020, 2025, 2030 is the right way to do it."

France has set a Saturday deadline for the various negotiating groups to come up with a draft document that eventually could form the basis of a formal agreement. The text of this preliminary document will be at the heart of further negotiations between countries - Australia will be represented by Ms Bishop - during the second week of the conference.

Mr Hunt caused a minor commotion when he appeared to suggest the host nation had already produced a "French text". Smaller nations are sensitive to suggestions that France and other richer countries have pre-judged the process. However, Mr Hunt's office later clarified his reference was meant to refer to the text that would be produced as a result of the negotiating groups.

Mr Hunt said he remained confident that India - which is resisting strict five year reviews - would not be an obstacle to a binding agreement.

"I remain confident it will be hard fought two weeks but at the end of the day we are likely to achieve - and will achieve - an agreement," he said.



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