Thursday, November 29, 2018

How climate change could be causing miscarriages in Bangladesh

This is total speculation. In some parts of Bangladesh land levels are rising.  Who knows what is at work?

Poor people live in worse areas and poor people have worse health.  That is probably all we are seeing in the statistics

In small villages along the eastern coast of Bangladesh, researchers have noticed an unexpectedly high rate of miscarriage. As they investigated further, scientists reached the conclusion that climate change might be to blame. Journalist Susannah Savage went into these communities to find out more.

"Girls are better than boys," says 30-year-old Al-Munnahar. "Boys do not listen. They are arrogant. Girls are polite."

Al-Munnahar, who lives in a small village on the east coast of Bangladesh, has three sons but wished for a girl. Once she thought she would have a daughter, but she miscarried the baby.

She is among several women who have lost a baby in her village.

Almost all the food they eat in Al-Munnahar's village now has to be bought at markets some distance away
While miscarriages are not out of the ordinary, scientists who follow the community have noticed an increase, particularly compared to other areas. The reason for this, they believe, is climate change.

The walk to Failla Para, Al-Munnahar's village, is arduous: in the dry season, the narrow track leads into a swamp, and in rainy season, into the sea. The village itself is not much more than a mound of mud with a few shacks and a chicken pen perched precariously on the slippery surface.

"Nothing grows here anymore," says Al-Munnahar. Not many years ago - up until the 1990s - these swamp lands were paddy fields.

The village, in the district of Chakaria, is built on salty mud, and families often live in wet, damp conditions when the water gets into their home
If rice production back then was not profitable, it was at least viable. Not anymore. Rising waters and increasing salinity have forced the wealthiest among the villagers to change to shrimp farming or salt harvesting. Today, few paddy fields remain.

"This is climate change in action," says Dr Manzoor Hanifi, a scientist from the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research Bangladesh (ICDDRB), a research institute. "The effect on the land is visible, but the effect on the body: that we don't see."

Brine and bribery

ICDDRB have been running a health and demographic surveillance site in and around the district of Chakaria, near Cox's Bazaar, for the last thirty years, enabling them to detect even small changes in the health of the communities they monitor.

Over the last few years, many families have left the plains and moved inland, into the forest hill area—mostly those with enough money to bribe forest wardens.

"We paid a 230,000 Taka ($2,752, £2,106) bribe to build the house," says Kajol Rekha, who moved to the hills from the plains with her husband and two children three years ago. "Because of the water, my kids would always have a fever, especially when our house remained wet after the flood. Everything is easier here."

These environmental migrants are faring relatively well, able to grow crops and nearer transport routes to access jobs and schools. They are also in better health than those they left behind.

In particular, women inland are less likely to miscarry. Between 2012 and 2017, the ICDDRB scientists registered 12,867 pregnancies in the area they monitor, which encompasses both the hill area and the plains.

They followed the pregnant women through until the end of the pregnancy and found that women in the coastal plains, living within 20km (12mi) of the coastline and 7m above sea level were 1.3 times more likely to miscarry than women who live inland.


Global Warming Alarmism Meets a Blizzard of Reality

In a bit of irony lost on big media, the government, on the eve of winter and during a slew of recent snowstorms, released a doomsday report on global warming. As reported in the New York Times,

"A major scientific report issued by 13 federal agencies on Friday presents the starkest warnings to date of the consequences of climate change for the United States, predicting that if significant steps are not taken to rein in global warming, the damage will knock as much as 10 percent off the size of the American economy by century’s end"

Electing Democrats could do far more damage to the US economy in a much shorter time span, but don’t expect the NY Times to discuss that.

One only has to go back in time eight years, when Democrats controlled Congress and the White House, passing Obamacare, and flatlining the US economy.

The NY Times then blames everything on climate change.

"But in direct language, the 1,656-page assessment lays out the devastating effects of a changing climate on the economy, health, and environment, including record wildfires in California, crop failures in the Midwest and crumbling infrastructure in the South. Going forward, American exports and supply chains could be disrupted, agricultural yields could fall to 1980s levels by midcentury and fire season could spread to the Southeast, the report finds."

Are the California wildfires due to climate change? Or government mismanagement and ineptitude? Certainly, hot and dry weather may have contributed to the fires, but such weather is nothing new for California.

Even the California Governor acknowledges his government’s role in fire prevention.

Months ago, California Gov. Jerry Brown urged state lawmakers to loosen restrictive logging regulations put in place to appease environmentalists — a move that appears to have confirmed that President Trump’s recent critiques of state logging practices were correct.

The climate assessment is based on computer models, attempting to predict events 50 to 100 years in the future.

Recall the spaghetti line plots predicting hurricane tracks, each line based on a computer model, dozens of such lines sending the hurricane north, south, straight ahead, or harmlessly out to sea.

If computer modeling were easy and accurate, only one line would be needed, reflecting the model that correctly predicts the hurricane track. And these predictions are for a week into the future, not a century.

This climate assessment originated in Congress. “The Global Change Research Act of 1990 mandates that the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) deliver a report to Congress and the President no less than every four years.”

Why not a similar economic assessment for other initiatives such as a carbon tax, Medicare-for-all, raising taxes on “the rich”, or continued open borders and amnesty for illegals?

Or as the Heartland Institute describes the report,

“This latest climate report is just more of the same – except for even greater exaggeration, worse science, and added interference in the political process by unelected, self-serving bureaucrats,” Tim Huelskamp, president of the Heartland Institute said in statements released by the free-market think tank following the report’s release.

The irony of such a climate report on the eve of winter is the observable weather around us, not projections for the end of the century.

None of the authors of the climate assessment will be around at the end of the century to gloat over the accuracy of their economic forecast, or to explain how wrong they were. In fact, these predictions may quickly be forgotten.

Does anyone remember Walter Cronkite’s 1972 predictions of a “new ice age”? Without the internet, few would remember either Walter or his prognostications. And he is not around to explain how his prediction turned out.

In fact, here is a list of failed climate predictions that no one in the media today cares to review and analyze why they were so off the mark.

That won’t stop Hollywood celebrities from tweeting about the upcoming frying of Planet Earth from their air-conditioned mansions or private jets. Rather than predictions, what’s the word on the street? Let’s see some of that global warming.

Kansas City experienced its earliest snowfall ever this past October. Thanksgiving weekend, Kansas City received 4 inches of snow. “Kansas City has not experienced a 3-inch snowfall since February 2014.”

Further east in New York City, “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the coldest parade on record.”

Has a panel been convened on CNN or MSNBC to explain how this could occur in the face of catastrophic global warming? Don’t hold your breath.

If anything, they will find some “climate scientist” to twist himself into a pretzel explaining how such cold and snow is evidence of global warming.

My own observations are similar, having spent Thanksgiving weekend in Vail. The famous back bowls, over 3000 acres of rugged and exposed terrain, typically do not open early in the season due to lack of snow and abundant sun exposure. Their opening date is a good measure of seasonal snowfall and cold temperatures.

This year, they opened on Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. The last such early opening was in 2014. In 2012, the back bowls didn’t open until mid-January. In 2015, the opening day was in early December. Last year opening was also mid-January.

“Locals’ consensus is that it’s a good season if the back bowls are open by Christmas.” So, opening this year at Thanksgiving is an exceptional season, with cold and snow. Enough to close some the Colorado mountain passes.

Those flying home after Thanksgiving could have used a bit of global warming. Instead, as USAToday reported, “Airline passengers faced delays and cancellations across the Midwest on Sunday, one of the busiest travel days of the year.” Over a thousand flights canceled and close to 5,000 flights delayed.

Why? Too much heat? Not quite. “Most of those came in the Midwest, where a winter storm was bringing snow, ice, and rain to a swath of the Great Plains and Midwest. Blizzard conditions were possible Sunday across parts of Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, and Wisconsin.”

Some winters are warmer, some are colder. Some snowier and others drier. The only real climate change is cyclical changes based on ocean currents and sunspot activity.

If the planet were warming as much as the doomsayers are predicting, why are we seeing so much cold and snow?

Predictions are nothing more than educated guesses. Unfortunately, there are policy and economic implications to such predictions including carbon taxes, curtailed energy exploration, environmental regulations, and increased costs of virtually any type of business.

Those making such bold predictions and proclamations, which cannot be verified in a practical time frame, with no track record of previous predictions coming true, should temper their certitude.

As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change admits, “The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

Reality, including winter storms, serves as a reminder of the folly of turning science into political propaganda.


Building the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will make it cheaper to deliver natural gas in Va. and N.C.—and Congress should approve it

By Robert Romano

Virginia and North Carolina are in need of low-cost natural gas to heat homes, produce electricity and build industrial capacity, and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will be the most efficient way to deliver it. That is why Congress should act in the lame duck session to make sure it gets done as quickly and safely as possible.

Demand for natural gas has been rapidly on the rise the past decade, with consumption growing nationwide 19 percent since 2007 from 23,104 billion cubic feet a year to 27,487 billion cubic feet in 2016, according to data compiled by Energy Information Agency.

In Virginia and North Carolina, the increase has been even more dramatic, with natural gas consumption rising 70 percent and 120 percent, respectively, as the shale boom has made natural gas more plentiful and many power plants have shifted to natural gas to produce electricity.

Unlike coal, which can be stored in large quantities on site at power generators, natural gas requires transportation in order to be used, which is where the pipeline comes in. The fact is that is cheaper and far faster to use a pipeline than it is to put the gas onto trucks and trains.

That is why Congress should make sure that the pipeline gets done as soon as possible in the current lame duck session. This is a worthy project that has been in the planning since 2013 and ought to be expedited so that local communities can see the benefits as soon as possible.

According to, “The 600-mile underground Atlantic Coast Pipeline will originate in West Virginia, travel through Virginia with a lateral extending to Chesapeake, VA, and then continue south into eastern North Carolina, ending in Robeson County. Two additional, shorter laterals will connect to two Dominion Energy electric generating facilities in Brunswick and Greensville Counties.”

That’s a lot of land to cover, and Congress can help ensure that it gets done quickly with its imprimatur.

Utilities which provide home heating, electricity and industrial power to homes and businesses will be the major customers of the new flow of natural gas into the region with rate payers being the ultimate beneficiaries.

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning supported Congressional action to allow the Atlantic pipeline to move forward saying, “It is a no-brainer for Congress to clear the way for the safe, reliable transportation of natural gas. America is the natural gas Saudi Arabia of the world, and transporting it using pipelines simply makes the most sense.”

An abundant, clean power source like natural gas can and should be used, but for it to become available, the U.S. needs more pipelines like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline — giving consumers and industrial interests the access they need to it. With time running out on the Republican majority in the House, now is the perfect time for Congress to make building the Atlantic Coast Pipeline national policy.


Smokey the Bear has a new message for far left environmentalists and they ignore his warning at their own peril.

It’s harsh but it’s accurate:

The wildfires devastating California are terrible, but they are not a new phenomenon. Indeed, wildfires in California and throughout the Western United States have been common, seasonally, throughout history. However, in recent decades, the damage caused by and costs from wildfires has increased greatly.

For three years running, like a broken record playing the same notes over and over again, California Gov. Jerry Brown has blamed human caused climate change for the wildfires that have engulfed much of the Golden State.  By contrast, President Donald Trump’s thoughts about the cause of the wildfires currently blazing in California came, in typical Trump fashion, via tweet:

“There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests,” tweeted Trump on November 10, following up in a second tweet on November 11, “With proper Forest Management, we can stop the devastation constantly going on in California. Get smart!”

Concerning wildfires, Brown is wrong, Trump is right.

The average temperature in California has barely moved over the past 30 years, and numerous analyses, including Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science, a peer-reviewed survey of the literature, demonstrate conclusively neither the Earth in general, nor California in particular have experienced worsened drought conditions or wildfires in greater number or size during the past 150 years—the period when carbon-dioxide-producing humans have purportedly been causing dangerous climate change.

By contrast, forest management has changed radically since George Herbert Walker Bush was elected president in 1988. Historically—prior to burdensome federal regulations—forests on federal lands were logged to provide lumber for commercial activities, to promote forest recreation, species protection and management, and to prevent wildfires.

However, in recent decades forest management policies have substantially changed—and not for the better. Pressure and lawsuits from environmental lobbyists have prevented or delayed commercial and salvage logging, turning many of our national forests into tinderboxes. Moreover, environmentalists successfully lobbied to remove thousands of miles of forest roads, making it more difficult to fight wildfires before they endanger population centers.


Why climate litigation is out of place

Between the Acting New York Attorney General’s lawsuit against ExxonMobil and the Supreme Court’s decision to not intervene to prevent a lawsuit brought by 21 young Americans from moving forward, climate litigation is once again a hot news topic. But, we should be sensible when deciding what branches of government should navigate the heated debate.

The issues surrounding climate change are scientific and largely political. To the extent the law is involved, we need deliberative legislatures and expert agencies to craft responses after considering evidence and examining competing policy recommendations.

From the perspective of comparative institutional competency, those branches of government are best suited to those tasks. Judges, on the other hand, do none of that well. For those who want judges to get involved: Would you want a judge to have the power to deny climate change and give that conclusion legal effect? If not, then why would we trust judges who recognize climate change as a danger to know how to balance concerns and effectively regulate to control climate change?

The bottom line is that we can believe climate change is real and needs to be addressed, yet disbelieve that courts are well-suited to the task of setting policy on it.

Nevertheless, a recent nationwide strategy has looked to unelected judges and juries to craft climate policy. What might be called “the judicial strategy” started in 2015, with states like New York and Massachusetts beginning “civil investigative demand” inquiries into energy companies. And these efforts reached new heights recently when Acting New York AG Barbara Underwood filed a civil suit against ExxonMobil claiming it defrauded shareholders by supposedly hiding knowledge of climate change impacts through accounting practices that are not all that unusual across myriad industries.

In concurrent and coordinated action starting in 2017, a series of lawsuits have also been filed across the country — by municipalities in California, Colorado, New York, Maryland and Washington, as well as by the state of Rhode Island — against energy companies claiming they are liable for billions in damages for climate change, asking the courts to endorse novel modern expansions to ill-fitting common law tort doctrines like “public nuisance.”

Some of these efforts have been rebuffed in the courts. Two federal district courts have already wisely dismissed major lawsuits that were brought under this regulation-by-litigation template.

In June, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed a public nuisance climate change-based lawsuit brought by the cities of Oakland and San Francisco. The court held that it was not the proper role of the courts in a system of separated powers to resolve these types of claims. It refused to entertain a theory of liability that the court called “breathtaking” in scope, especially when court intervention may actually “interfere with reaching a worldwide consensus” on how to address climate change. The judge explained that “questions of how to appropriately balance these worldwide negatives [of climate change] against the worldwide positives of the energy itself, and of how to allocate the pluses and minuses among the nations of the world, demand the expertise of our environmental agencies, our diplomats, our Executive, and at least the Senate.”

A month later, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed a similar public nuisance case against energy companies brought by New York City. Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s precedent in American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut, the court explained that Congress has displaced the courts from any role that they might have had in identifying fault or prescribing remedies for claimed climate change contributors by “expressly delegat[ing] to the EPA the determination as to what constitutes a reasonable amount of greenhouse gas emission under the Clean Air Act.”

Put simply, the court concluded that “the serious problems caused” by climate change “are not for the judiciary to ameliorate. Global warming and solutions thereto must be addressed by the two other branches of government.”

These two federal judges got it right. Furthermore, the same separation of powers rationale causing those courts to dismiss those lawsuits applies whether the novel theory is one of public nuisance, consumer fraud like in the new New York lawsuit, or some other creative tactic to get policy issues into court.

Yet, many states and municipalities persist in trying hard to pursue one or another type of climate case through this judicial strategy.

The message from these recent federal court opinions should be clear: If we are to resolve the complex issues regarding climate change, we should turn our attention away from the courts and back to the policymaking branches.




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


No comments: