Wednesday, November 28, 2018

An aging America: Old people will outnumber children for the first time in the country's HISTORY

This is an old scare. It treats as permanent trends that may not be permanent. The major cause of the birth dearth among white women would seem to be mainly a delay of birth, not a cessation of birth.  Where women once tended to have children in their teens and 20s, it is now often in their 30s. So once all those delayed births start happening, the statistics should look  very different.

And an older population is not a total disaster.  In some places already the retirement age has risen to 70 and there are laws in place that prevent forced retirement due to age.  Many oldsters want to continue working and they are increasingly being allowed to do so.

And, finally, the economy could be rearranged to make do with a proportionately smaller workforce.   As any libertarian will tell you, most government work could be dispensed with and the workers thus released could go into more productive occupations

The article below also hints at another interesting process that can be summed up as "Asian mothers often have Caucasian children."  That sounds rather mad but the underlying fact is that East Asians and Caucasians tend to get along fine and the result is many Eurasian births.  And Eurasians often look indistinguishable from Caucasians.  More detail on that here

Adults 65 and older will soon outnumber children for the first time in America's history, it has been revealed.

The US Census Bureau released new projections this year that showed the country's changing - and aging - demographics.

By 2030 all baby boomers will be older than age 65 and one in every five Americans will be retirement age.

The Census Bureau said that deaths will 'rise substantially' between 2020 and 2050, meaning the country's population will naturally grow very slowly.

Projections also revealed that America will become more racially and ethnically diverse, with the country's share of mixed-race children set to double.

The non-Hispanic White-alone population is projected to shrink from 199 million in 2020 to 179 million in 2060.

Meanwhile, the 'Two or More Races' population will be the fastest growing over the next several decades. 


Coral Reef Island Initiation and Development Under Higher Than Present Sea Levels

Higher sea levels will cause some coral islands to GROW

H. K. East et al.


Coral reef islands are considered to be among the most vulnerable environments to future sea level rise. However, emerging data suggest that different island types, in contrasting locations, have formed under different conditions in relation to past sea level. Uniform assumptions about reef island futures under sea level rise may thus be inappropriate. Using chronostratigraphic analysis from atoll rim islands(sand- and gravel-based) in the southern Maldives, we show that while island building initiated at different times around the atoll (~2,800 and~4,200 calibrated years before present at windward and leeward rimsites, respectively), higher than present sea levels and associated high-energy wave events were actually critical to island initiation. Findings thus suggest that projected sea level rise and increases in the magnitude of distal high-energy wave events could reactivate this process regime, which, if there is an appropriate sediment supply, may facilitate further vertical reef island building.

Plain Language Summary

The habitability of reef island nations under climate change is a debatedand controversial subject. Improving understanding of reef island responses to past environmental changeprovides important insights into how islands may respond to future environmental change. It is typically assumed that all reef islands will respond to environmental change in the same manner, but suchassumptions fail to acknowledge that reef islands are diverse landforms that have formed under different sealevel histories and across a range of settings. Here we reconstruct reef island evolution in two contrastingsettings (in terms of exposure to open ocean swell) in the southern Maldives. Important differences in islanddevelopment are evident between these settings in the timings, sedimentology, and modes of islandbuilding, even at local scales. This implies that island responses to climate change may be equally diverse and site-specific. We present evidence that island initiation was associated with higher than present sea levelsand high-energy wave events. Projected increases in sea level and the magnitude of such high-energy waveevents could therefore recreate the environmental conditions under which island formation occurred. If thereis a suitable sediment supply, this could result in vertical island-building, which may enhance reef island future resilience.


Ocasio-Cortez Doubles Down: We’re All Going To Die From Climate Change

The fact that madam emptyhead says it, is pretty good proof that it is wrong

Newly elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is doubling down on her first week’s agenda in Congress, calling on her colleagues in the House of Representatives to pass a “Green New Deal” because “people are going to die” from climate change.

Ocasio-Cortez cited a report released Friday by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, a voluntary committee of scientists from 13 federal agencies and a number of outside pressure groups, that warned that thousands could die, and the United States could suffer a striking 10% reduction in its gross national product by the end of this century if humans do not curb their fossil fuel consumption.

CNN reports that the US Global Change Research Program estimates tens of thousands of “premature deaths” from the effects of climate change, including deaths from starvation, mosquito-borne illnesses, extreme heat, flooding and other natural disasters.

The report seems extreme on its face, and critics were quick to point out that the computer models used to predict the “thousands” of deaths may be outdated, but leftists, including Ocasio-Cortez, soaked up the report without question, inciting mass panic.

“People are going to die if we don’t start addressing climate change ASAP,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “It’s not enough to think it’s ‘important.’ We must make it urgent. That’s why we need a Select Committee on a Green New Deal, & why fossil fuel-funded officials shouldn’t be writing climate change policy.”

The U.S. Global Change Research Program makes no recommendations on how to curb “climate change,” but it’s quite clear that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez believes the only way to make real in-roads on the subject is to enact a massive, socialistic environmentally focused legislative package, using taxation and other “incentives” to help Americans cut down on fossil fuel usage, while pouring millions into “green jobs” and “alternative energy.”

The issue is obviously important to Ocasio-Cortez; her first act upon finding herself in Washington, D.C., as a freshman Congresswoman was to join a sit-in protest at Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) Capitol Hill offices, designed to pressure the presumptive House Majority Leader into tackling the “climate change” issue with a select committee. Ocasio-Cortez called the protest “important work,” but seemed to heavily temper her follow-up criticism of Pelosi, announcing late last week that she intends to support Pelosi’s bid to reclaim the Speakership.

But Ocasio-Cortez seems to miss that the United States is well ahead of its global peers when it comes to curbing fossil fuel emissions, with or without a complex “climate change” legislative scheme. According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, the United States ranks at the top of most major countries in regularly reducing its own carbon footprint.

“The major reason for the reduced pollution levels is the shale oil and gas revolution that is transitioning the world to cheap and clean natural gas for electric power generation,” the Daily Signal reports. “Meanwhile, as our emissions fell, the pollution levels rose internationally and by a larger amount than in previous years. So much for the rest of the world going green.”

The worst climate offender? China. But Ocasio-Cortez’s plan doesn’t include any foreign policy recommendations.


Why a Carbon Tax Is the Wrong Solution

The release of the National Climate Assessment this year and the recent formation of the new bi-partisan, pro-business advocacy group Americans for Carbon Dividends have given new life to promoting a carbon tax as the best approach to reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Climate change activists will endorse any policy that they believe will reduce fossil fuel use. But others should be cautious in embracing a complicated and unnecessary tax scheme.

The goal of Americans for Carbon Dividends is to advocate for the “Baker-Shultz carbon dividends plan,” a proposal put together by the Climate Leadership Council and, specifically, two of its founding members, former Secretary of Treasury James Baker and former Secretary of State George Shultz. The plan would impose a tax on carbon-based fuel wherever it first enters the economy, whether it’s the oil refinery, the mouth of mine, or the port of entry. The starting fee would be $40 per ton of carbon dioxide, which would gradually increase as the tonnage increased. The revenue generated would be returned to all Americans monthly on an equal basis. In exchange for passing the carbon tax, Congress would phase out regulations on carbon dioxide emissions.

Anyone who knows how Congress operates knows that it is extremely unlikely for Congress to enact a simple carbon tax that gives the proceeds back to taxpayers and simultaneously eliminates regulations on carbon emissions. Congress simply does not operate that way. Being able to get broad based support for legislation involves making deals across the aisle to get votes. This means that obtaining votes for a bill enacting the Baker-Shultz plan would probably involve provisions that would benefit low income earners, farmers (because they use a lot of carbon-based fuels), coal miners (whose industry will be negatively affected), and other special interests where a plausible case for exemptions can be made. It will also be difficult to roll back existing regulations because of opposition from environmental advocacy organizations, members of Congress who have strong environmental interests, and organizations that have already made significant investments to comply with those regulations..

But this is simply how Congress works. Consider the history of ethanol subsidies. Members of Congress sold ethanol subsidies by initially claiming ethanol production would reduce the imports of oil, and then by saying it would reduce carbon dioxide emissions as a cleaner form of energy than fossil fuels. It does neither, but subsidies and mandates on use continued to be expanded to benefit corn farmers and ethanol manufacturers while costing motorists billions of dollars annually.

Even if there was a way to get Congress to enact the kind of carbon tax favored by the ACD, there are other reasons to oppose the plan. The size of the tax is supposed to be based on an assessment of damages that are reflected in the social cost of carbon. EPA defines the social cost of carbon as “an estimate of the economic damages associated with a small increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, conventionally one metric ton, in a given year. This dollar figure also represents the value of damages avoided for a small emission reduction.” But the estimates for the social cost of carbon calculated by the Obama administration for the period from 2010 through 2050 ranged from $11/ton of carbon to $90.  But how do you decide which is the more realistic damage estimate?

The social cost of carbon is based on model calculations that involve numerous assumptions. The damages that advocates cite, such as those in the National Climate Assessment, are based on higher temperatures than have been observed since 1998. For example, although the sea level is estimated to have risen by about 7 inches since 1900, the National Assessment states that it could rise by 4 to 8 feet by 2100. Based on the work of oceanographers such as Carl Wunsch, a reasonable person would have to conclude that such an increase is unrealistic.

Fossil fuels produce both positive and negative externalities. An honest calculation of the social cost of carbon would incorporate the benefits they produce and the net damages after the costs of regulations are taken into account. That is a very challenging analytical task.

If most economists were honest on the subject, they would admit that with the exception of a very low probability outcome—e.g. the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet—the benefits of fossil fuels outweigh the costs: that is, realistic economic growth is going to be far greater than the projected damages from climate change. The magnitude of damages to the United States from climate change are 1.2% for every 1 degree of temperature increase according to an article in Science. If we double GDP by 2050 to about $40 trillion, which is an achievable goal, but lose as much as 6% GDP to climate damages, that means GDP would come to $37.6 trillion—not that big of a difference.

Finally, a carbon tax that is based on assumed damages over the next century can never be right because the future reveals uncertainties and unknowns that are impossible to incorporate in model calculations. Given that, the carbon tax exercise violates a basic principle of planning—as uncertainties increase, the planning horizon should be reduced. A Lewis and Clark approach is best. In their explorations, Lewis and Clark made decisions based on the best information available, collect new information as they moved west, and then adjust their decisions based on that new information. In the case of climate change, we should use the knowledge at hand for short-term decisions and invest in research that can be used to make better informed decisions down the road.

That is not a do-nothing strategy. If sea levels are rising, we have solutions: dikes and man-made dunes. If we fear climate change causing drought, we can genetically engineer crops that are drought resistant. If we are worried about climate disasters, we can focus research and development on mitigation strategies. There are many other ways to address climate change without passing a new, costly piece of legislation.


Zinke Blames ‘Radical’ Environmentalists for California Fires
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke blamed “radical” environmentalists for blocking efforts to clear forests of dead and dying trees that have fueled destructive and deadly wildfires in California.

Work to manage forests and prevent wildfires has been stymied by “lawsuit after lawsuit by — yes — the radical environmental groups that would rather burn down the entire forest than cut a single tree or thin the forest,” Zinke said Tuesday. During a conference call with reporters, Zinke and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue asked Congress to give the federal government more authority to clear trees and conduct controlled burns that can pare forests of fire-fueling underbrush.

President Trump later issued a statement calling on Congress to pass legislation “to improve forest management and help prevent wildfires.”

Zinke stressed he didn’t “want to finger point,” and cited a number of factors that have contributed to the blazes, including hotter temperatures, drought conditions, excessive underbrush, and a bark beetle infestation. But he maintained that special interest groups have pushed an agenda favoring pristine forests that has resulted in a “buildup of fuels.”

Experts say forest management can mitigate some wildfire risk but isn’t a panacea.

Perdue and Zinke said they want Congress to expand the availability of an existing “Good Neighbor” program so that Indian tribes and county governments can collaborate in forest restoration activities. They also asked lawmakers for more power to waive required environmental analysis.

The White House said in a fact sheet that Congress also needs to expedite salvage operations after catastrophes and management activity on Forest Service lands surrounding at-risk communities.

Both the House- and Senate-passed farm bills would broaden the Good Neighbor program. But lawmakers are still negotiating environmental waivers. The House-passed farm bill would create 10 so-called “categorical exclusions” allowing forest management activities to be waived from environmental analysis, but the Senate version of the legislation is more limited.

The scale of these wildfires “requires more authority,” Zinke said, adding that the waivers could expedite projects to thin forests and improve the accessibility of forestland. “We’re not talking about clear-cutting” forests, he said.

The appeals come as firefighters are struggling to control blazes that have swept across California.

Environmentalists argued Zinke’s criticism is misplaced and ill-timed.

“The blame game at this juncture — when we are still digging dead people out of the rubble — is pretty callous,” said Susan Jane Brown, an attorney with the Oregon-based Western Environmental Law Center. “We are a nation of laws, and when conservation organizations feel like the federal government has violated those laws we sometimes do resort to the federal court system in order to redress those grievances.”




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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