Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Top Climate Scientists Warn Governments Of 'Blatant Anti-Nuclear Bias' In Latest IPCC Climate Report

Warmists are split on nukes

Some of the scientists most often cited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have taken the unusual step of warning leaders of G-20 nations that a recent IPCC report uses a double standard when it comes to its treatment of nuclear as compared to renewables.

“The anti-nuclear bias of this latest IPCC release is rather blatant,” said  Kerry Emanuel, a climate scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “and reflects the ideology of the environmental movement. History may record that this was more of an impediment to decarbonization than climate denial.”

Other signers of the letter include Tom Wigley, a widely-cited climate scientist who has contributed to IPCC reports on 13 separate occasions, David Lea, professor of Earth Sciences at University of California, Santa Barbara, and Peter Raven, Winner of the National Medal of Science, 2001.

“Such fear-mongering about nuclear has serious consequences,” the authors write. “As IPCC itself acknowledges, public fears of nuclear are behind the technology’s slower-than-desirable development.

The letter signers include leading radiation experts who expressed outrage that the IPCC had claimed a link between nuclear power stations and leukemia when in reality “there is no valid evidentiary support for it and the supposed connection has been thoroughly dismissed in the literature.”

“Public fear of nuclear drove the panicked over-reaction to past nuclear accidents,” they note, “including mass evacuations, which health experts agree had a far larger negative impact on human health than the low-levels of radiation that escaped from the plants.”

In fact, note the letter authors, which include Gerry Thomas, a Professor of Molecular Pathology at Imperial College London and co-founder of the Chernobyl Tissue Bank, there is “higher radiation exposure from coal plants and the manufacturing of solar panels than from nuclear.”

The authors of the open letter aren’t the only ones finding evidence of anti-nuclear bias in the IPCC report. The day after the letter was published, physicist Jani-Petri Martikainen published an analysis showing that IPCC modelers restricted the role of nuclear by assuming a scarcity of uranium — something that has not been a concern since the late 1950s but has been a talking point of anti-nuclear campaigners since the 1970s.

In other instances, Martikainen finds, IPCC modelers assume uranium mining comes to a halt for an unspecified reason. “For some weird reason, humanity stops mining uranium even when the fuel cost is still massively lower than for fossil fuels,” Martikainen writes.

Such manipulations disturb climate modelers like Wigley. “There are a number of productive climate scientists who are ideologically opposed to nuclear,” he explained. “In some cases this stems from early associations with Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth (or similar organizations).”

The signers, who include nuclear weapons expert and Pulitzer Prize-winner Richard Rhodes, criticize the IPCC’s claim “that the ‘use of nuclear power poses a constant risk of proliferation’ even though no nation in history has ever created a nuclear weapon from civilian nuclear fuel under inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The letter signers note that the report raises concerns about nuclear waste, “without acknowledgment that spent fuel is safely contained, usually on site, nor any mention of the waste from other low-carbon energy sources, including solar panels, which contain toxic metals including lead, chromium, and cadmium, and which in most of the world lack safe storage or recycling.”

In addition to inputting future uranium shortages as an assumption, physicist Martikainen noted that IPCC modelers assume large cost reductions for solar and wind but none for nuclear, gross overestimates of efficiency (capacity factors) for wind, and gross underestimates of efficiency for nuclear.

Martikainen notes that if IPCC modelers removed the uranium scarcity assumption, “Nuclear power would end up dominating the energy supply. I have a feeling that resource constraint was introduced specifically for this reason. Modellers first did their calculations without the constraint and ended up with a result that they found distasteful.”

Concludes Martikainen, “I suspect that modellers worked backwards and set the resource limitation based on the maximum share of the energy supply they were ready to grant for nuclear power. Not cool.”

Other signers of the letter include a growing list of pro-nuclear non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from around the world, including Environmental Hope & Justice, Climate Coalition, Anthropocene Institute, Energy for Humanity, the Ecomodernist Society, Saving Our Planet, Mothers for Nuclear, Voices for Nuclear, Nuklearia, Ren Energi Oplysning, and Partei der Humanisten

Defenders of the IPCC report noted that many of the scenarios in the recent report call for the expanded use of nuclear energy, something the letter authors acknowledge.

“While many of the scenarios in the IPCC report call for the expanded use of nuclear energy,” the signers noted, “the report nonetheless repeats misinformation about nuclear energy, contrasts nuclear negatively to renewables, and in some cases, suggests an equivalency with fossil fuels.”

Climate scientists say including nuclear in the models is a poor excuse for the overall bias of the report. “This is a big deal,” said Wigley. “Dishonesty in any branch of the science that underpins the global warming issue taints us all. Dishonesty must always be exposed. If not exposed, lies can persist and damage the truth for a long, long time.”


"But what will take its place?"

Does government really need to regulate everything? Can no program be allowed to expire?

Greg Walcher

In high school and college, I competed in debate tournaments across the state and country. I clearly remember many occasions when a debate team’s plan would include abolishing some government program. Inevitably, the opponents would ask, “What will you replace it with?”

Only once did I hear any debater respond with, “Nothing at all. Government shouldn’t be doing that at all.” Everyone in the room was stunned, and that team lost.

Even today, most people find it hard to imagine abolishing anything. That’s why President Reagan once quipped that a government program is the closest thing to eternal life on this planet.

I couldn’t help reflecting on that a couple months ago, when the EPA released its new version of the “Clean Power Plan,” the Obama Administration’s thinly-veiled attempt to kill the coal industry. More than half the states sued, and the Supreme Court suspended the Obama plan as an unauthorized expansion of the agency’s authority under the Clean Air Act.

That was two and a half years ago, and after the election the Trump Administration withdrew the Obama plan. The entire discussion was in limbo for a long time thereafter. But now we have a new EPA and a new plan to debate. It’s called the “Affordable Clean Energy” rule.

A new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “Special Report” says we must spend $2.4 trillion (!) per year for the next 17 years to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy, or humanity and our planet are doomed. But after all the scare stories and “tipping points” – and empty promises that China, India, Africa and the rest of the world would soon abandon coal, oil and natural gas for wind, solar and biofuels – the American public is growing increasingly skeptical of the fear-mongering. Many are not convinced we need a new carbon dioxide (CO2) rule at all.

Nevertheless, we always knew this new EPA initiative was coming.

The real debate stems from an earlier controversy, at the beginning of the Obama era, when the EPA declared that plant-fertilizing, life-giving, people and animal-emitting carbon dioxide is an unsafe pollutant that “endangers the health and welfare of all Americans.”

That “endangerment finding” was also widely challenged, because Congress never authorized the EPA to regulate the air we exhale as a “greenhouse gas.” Nevertheless, the Supreme Court backed the EPA’s authority to designate CO2 (which makes up about 4 one-hundredths of one percent of the atmosphere) as “dangerous,” if it concluded the risks of global climate change outweighed the trace gas’s benefits. Of course, the Obama EPA then determined that CO2 was unduly dangerous.

That ruling then formed the basis for the Clean Power Plan, a host of other regulations attacking coal, oil and natural gas use, and U.S. participation in the Paris climate treaty. Many observers were thus very guarded in their enthusiasm when President Trump withdrew from the Paris deal, and cancelled the Clean Power Plan. They realized that his new EPA has, so far, made no effort to revisit or reverse the “endangerment finding.”

That is problematic, because EPA probably cannot legally declare something to be a dangerous pollutant, but then decline to regulate it. So the concern is that if EPA does not reverse the “endangerment finding,” federal courts would eventually order a new “clean power plan” anyway. That is why the EPA has released this new plan.

However, thankfully, the new plan is nothing like the original, an outright attack on the very existence of the coal industry. Instead, EPA now acknowledges that our most abundant and affordable energy source can be used without destroying anything.

Sadly, many political leaders on both sides still think big environmental problems require federal solutions, as opposed to letting individuals, businesses or even state and local governments address them, in cases where there actually is a problem and the proposed solution would actually fix the problem.

In any event, this new EPA approach proves federal “authority” doesn’t necessarily require heavy-handed dictates from Washington.

Global Energy Institute President Karen Harbert says the new plan at least calls for “a more collaborative process that fits within EPA’s statutory authority and will result in achievable progress through more practical, state-driven programs.”

As the Clean Air Act intended, EPA now says states can develop and enforce performance standards. States have broad flexibility to consider their unique circumstances; and one-size-fits-all federal regulations rarely succeed in environmental matters.

Pittsburgh’s pollution has nothing to do with Grand Junction, Colorado or Chicago, Illinois. What works in Miami will likely not work in Los Angeles. Local leaders are better arbiters, because they know the territory better than distant bureaucracies can.

That makes a state-based approach better by definition, even if carbon dioxide were a significant problem. In fact, manmade contributions notwithstanding, climate change is governed mostly by the sun and other natural forces. Nothing humans might do will prevent those forces from changing the climate again and again, as they have throughout Earth’s history.

Nevertheless, the new rules represent an improvement over the Obama approach.

The new plan is based on what can be achieved “inside the fence” of a power plant. We shouldn’t expect or demand that a Western Colorado rural utility stop generating power because of some dubious theory about polar bears dying off in Central Canada if the Earth might warm another degree.

But at least the new approach will encourage investment in upgraded electricity generation and pollution control technologies, because such improvements will no longer automatically trigger costly permitting requirements. The previous rule discouraged such investments, defeating its own purpose.

Finally, the new rules will no longer shut down existing power plants before their useful life is over, or their financing is paid off. Such waste drove average electricity rates up 60% in many areas under Obama – hurting factories, businesses, hospitals, schools, and families that were least able to pay.

Ironically, EPA estimates that U.S. CO2 emissions will continue to decline at about the same rate (roughly 33% between 2005 and 2030) under the new plan as under the Obama plan – or under no new regulation at all. In other words, our emissions are declining anyway, not because of government intrusion, but because of improving and changing technologies.

The new EPA plan is a significant improvement. Now, let’s also abolish the “endangerment finding” and replace it with – nothing at all.


the Land and Water Conservation Fund or don’t renew it to just do more federal land grabs

By Robert Romano

The Land and Water Conservation Fund was enacted in 1965, according to the act, to “provid[e] funds for and authorizing Federal assistance to the States in planning, acquisition, and development of needed land and water areas and facilities and … providing funds for the federal acquisition and development of certain lands and other areas.”

Although it started out to help state and local governments with recreation projects, over the years, the primary mission of the fund has shifted almost entirely to federal land purchases, with as little as 12 percent going to stateside projects, according to U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), writing for the Daily Caller on Oct. 9.

That is why Bishop offered an amendment to H.R. 502, which reauthorizes the fund, that would require that at least 40 percent of the taxpayer money in the fund indeed goes to the states. It’s a good start, but it might not make up for other shortcomings of the legislation.

For starters, the bill raises the amount of the fund to $900 million from its FY 2018 level of $425 million, a 112 percent increase, and the highest level since 2001.

The bill also permanently reauthorizes the fund, abdicating Congress’ constitutional prerogative to allow the legislation to sunset.

As of this moment, the fund’s authorization lapsed on Sept. 30. Meaning, Congress will be looking for an excuse to reauthorize it. But that gives Congress leverage to reform the program without expanding it so dramatically.

It is unfortunate that the only way it was perceived that state and local government programs could be funded was to simply double the agency’s budget. Under the well-intentioned Bishop amendment, stateside projects would now get $360 million. But it comes at the cost of doubling land acquisition funding to more than $400 million, even though the Trump administration request hundreds of millions of dollars less than that.

If anything, the reauthorization should be an opportunity to limit federal land grabs. The federal government already owns 46.4 percent of western states’ land as it is, according to a 2017 study by the Congressional Research Service. How much more does it really need?

Surely, in the lame duck session of Congress, this will come up again, especially now that the bill has cleared committees in both the House and Senate. But the haste to get the bill done during the lame duck should not come at an exorbitant cost to taxpayers. It might be better to just wait until 2019 if the alternative is doubling the amount of federal land grabs.


Lunatic climate alarmists now say the entire system of free market enterprise must be dismantled to save the planet

The Cult of Climate Change is finally coming out of the closet in conveying its true agenda for the world. As relayed by The Daily Signal, the only way to stop global warming, according to the world’s “top scientists,” is to completely dismantle all forms of capitalism and free enterprise.

This is the conclusion reached by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which recently announced that the only system of government that offers humanity both dignity and the opportunity to flourish and prosper must be abolished in order to protect the polar bears, stop the oceans from rising, and increase sales for Al Gore’s latest climate fiction novels.

“If you are wondering what you can do about climate change,” tweeted meteorologist and apparent soy boy Eric Holthaus, “The world’s top scientists just gave rigorous backing to systematically dismantle capitalism as a key requirement to maintaining civilization and a habitable planet.”

Well, isn’t that just convenient? A globalist organization known as the United Nations has decided that the only way to stop a fictitious phenomenon known as climate change is to force all remaining non-globalist countries, such as the United States, to basically forego their sovereignty and merge with the New World Order.

Even though a great number of the world’s “top scientists” also oppose the climate change hoax, the IPCC wants everyone to believe their “top scientists” who insist that everything they say is climate fact, including the ridiculous notion that free societies are somehow responsible for leading us to the point where we apparently have just 11 years to fix this “problem” before it’s too late.

Remember back in 1989 when climate lunatics said global warming would destroy the planet by the year 2000?
While this is hardly the first time that the U.N. has tried to use unsubstantiated fear-mongering in an attempt to strong-arm countries like the U.S. into giving up their freedoms in order to “save the planet,” it is a milestone for these globalists to openly admit in no uncertain terms that stopping “global warming” and “climate change” really means forcing every country to become either socialist or communist.

Some readers may recall that, back in 1989, the U.N. attempted a similar coup using the excuse of climate change. The Associated Press (AP) reported back at that time that a senior U.N. official warned that “entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.”

“Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of ‘eco-refugees,’ threatening political chaos,” the report added, quoting then-director of the New York office of the U.N.’s Environmental Program, Noel Brown.

Similar to this latest 11-year warning from the U.N., Brown claimed at the time that the world had just 10 years, the deadline being 1999, to fix the “greenhouse effect” before “it goes beyond human control.”

Eighteen years later and, last we checked, Americans are still living along coastlines, bothered by little more than rainstorms and the occasional hurricane. There are still no “eco-refugees” anywhere to be found, and ocean levels are much the same as they were back when Brown lied to the world about the imminent dangers of climate change.

“Free, competitive energy markets drive innovation and provide the affordable, reliable energy that families and businesses need, and yield a cleaner environment,” writes Nicolas Loris for The Daily Signal.

“Conversely, international efforts to combat climate change have been centrally planned boondoggles. They’ve resulted in wasted taxpayer money, higher energy prices, and handouts for preferred energy sources and technologies – all for no noticeable impact on climate.”


Institute of Public Affairs blasts Australian goverment's  'un-Liberal' energy policies

IPA’s John Roskam says government should ‘stop all subsidies to coal, wind and anything else’

The Institute of Public Affairs has blasted the Morrison government’s “big stick” in energy policy – a threat to break up energy companies in a bid to lower prices – accusing it of breaching Liberal values and endangering investment.

The IPA executive director, John Roskam, told Guardian Australia that “heavy-handed intervention” was “positively un-Liberal” and would open the door for Labor to campaign on policies bashing big businesses – which are “simply responding to the policy settings the government itself has created” to make a profit.

Roskam also warned against any form of subsidy for electricity generation including renewables subsidies, underwriting new power generation and indemnifying coal power against a possible future carbon price.

The intervention from the influential rightwing thinktank exposes divisions in the conservative side of politics on energy policy. Some, including MP Craig Kelly and former prime minister Tony Abbott, have called for an end to renewable subsidies and withdrawal from the Paris agreement, in line with demands from the IPA.

The Morrison government has indicated it wants to preserve popular solar subsidies and to stay in Paris while it pushes ahead with competition measures to lower price in the absence of a policy to reduce emissions by 2030.

Roskam said breaking up energy companies “continues the trend of targeting particular industries” as the Coalition did with the bank tax in the 2017 budget and would “further confuse Australians” about what it stands for.

“The idea that the government would determine the shape and size of the industry in this way cuts across every principle of the Liberal party,” he said. “If you want a guarantee that nobody will ever invest in Australia again, this is how you do it.”

The Coalition has promised policies to encourage new generation – including providing a floor price, contracts for difference and government loans – and has not ruled out using those measures to support new coal-fired power stations.

The energy minister, Angus Taylor, has said the government should address investors’ concerns about “political risks”, in a sign it could also indemnify coal power against future emissions reduction policies such as a carbon price. Taylor has also said there is “no plan” to change the small-scale renewable energy scheme.

Roskam said the government should “stop all subsidies to coal, wind and anything else” because “picking winners should be an anathema to the Liberal party”.

Although the IPA wants to see more coal power, Roskam said the government should “reduce the regulatory barriers to them being funded”, not keep the barriers and overcome them with subsidies.

He said he had “some sympathy” for the idea the government should “compensate coal for the disadvantage they have been put under” by support for renewables, but warned that indemnifying coal against political risk would be a “further distortion” in the market.

Roskam said the Liberal Party is “hopelessly conflicted on climate change” and “riven down the middle”. He warned the party can not appeal both to “rich people virtue-signalling because they can afford to” in the blue-ribbon seat of Wentworth who want emissions reduction, and voters who want lower power prices in Longman in Queensland, both sites of recent byelection defeats.

“Wentworth is not Australia,” Roskam said, echoing conservative commentators who have played down the byelection defeat.

The sentiment is not shared by moderate Liberal MPs who privately note the Liberals hold many seats with a base of supporters with high incomes and progressive social attitudes including Brisbane, Goldstein, Higgins, Kooyong, Warringah, Mackellar and North Sydney.

Roskam suggested the Liberal party should present a “sharp difference” with Labor by exiting the Paris agreement. “You can’t out virtue-signal the Labor party,” he said.

Despite the suggestion emissions and price reductions are incompatible, renewables are forecast to lower prices while coal subsidies would increase energy costs.

On Friday Scott Morrison told ABC’s AM that “all the information before us” is that Australia will meet its emissions reduction target of 26% by 2030, particularly due to “increased investment in renewables which is happening as a result of common sense and technology”.

The claim is contradicted by environment department figures showing emissions are rising and advice from the Energy Security Board that Australia will fall short under a business-as-usual scenario.

Morrison said the government needs to prioritise “making sure we’ve got reliable power”.




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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