Thursday, November 08, 2018

Natural Disasters Are Destroying a Lower Percentage of Humanity's Stuff Since 1990

Absolute losses increased, but the proportion of losses relative to global GDP has dropped

"Economic losses caused by climate-related disasters have soared by about two and a half times in the last 20 years," reported Reuters citing a new United Nations report last month. The report, Economic Losses, Poverty & Disasters 1998-2017, cited direct losses of $2.9 trillion, of which 77 per cent were attributed to extreme weather events amounting to $2.25 trillion in losses. The report notes that this is a "dramatic rise" of 151 per cent compared with losses reported between 1978 and 1997, which amounted to $895 billion. That sounds bad and it is; after all hundreds of thousands of people were killed or injured in these disasters plus losing their houses and businesses.

But is toting up annual absolute losses really the best way to measure how disaster trends are affecting humanity? Actually, the United Nations doesn't think so. The U.N.'s General Assembly endorsed in 2015 the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction which sets as a global target the reduction of "direct disaster economic loss in relation to global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030." This target recognizes that as the world grows wealthier that people are building much more stuff that can to be exposed to natural disasters.

The U.N. report observes that with the notable exception of Puerto Rico (due to the destruction of Hurricane Maria) that the top 10 countries that have lost the highest proportion of their GDPs to disasters are all poor countries including places like Haiti, Honduras, Mongolia, and North Korea.

In a new study in Environmental Hazards, University of Colorada political scientist Roger Pielke, Jr. reports that while absolute disaster losses have been increasing since 1990, percentage losses have been declining. Using loss data from reinsurance companies Munich Re and Aon Benfield, the study finds that in constant 2017 US dollars, both weather-related and non-weather related catastrophe losses have increased, with a 74 percent increase in the former and 182 percent increase in the latter since 1990. However, since 1990 both overall and weather/climate losses have decreased as proportion of global GDP.

Eyeballing the graph suggests that the annual disaster losses have trended downward from 0.3 to about 0.25 percent of global GDP since 1990. That means that some progress has been made toward meeting the Sendai Framework's global target of reducing direct disaster economic loss in relation to global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030.

Pielke does warn that "extending this trend into the future will require vigilance to exposure, vulnerability and resilience in the face of uncertainty about the future frequency and magnitude of extreme events." Mother Nature never gives up trying to kill us and wreck our things.


New Book Out! "The Green Swastika: Environmentalism in the Third Reich", By William Walter Kay

Approx 185 pages, 400 footnotes and 20 years of research.

Available from Amazon

The Nazis had all sorts of Greenie priorities. They could be regarded as the world's first Green party.  Their ideal world was the same:  An imaginary rural past

Study: Natural Cycles Caused As Much As Half Of Arctic Sea Ice Melt

Up to half the observed decline in Arctic sea ice is likely the result of natural climate cycles, according to a new study out of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).

The study, published Monday, found that “internal variability contributes to about 40–50% of observed multi-decadal decline in Arctic sea ice” observed since the late 1970s, based on climate model simulations.

Natural climate cycles, like El Ninos and La Ninas, can speed up or negate Arctic sea ice retreat driven by man-made global warming, the study found.

“Internal variability can enhance or mute changes in climate due to greenhouse gas emissions. In this case, internal variability has tended to enhance Arctic sea ice loss,” co-author Stephen Po-Chedley, a climate scientist at LLNL, said in a statement.

Po-Chedley and his colleagues wanted to find out why Arctic sea ice decline has been larger than climate models predicted. Researchers hope their study can help climate models better predict changes in the Arctic in a warmer world.

Arctic sea ice reached its third-lowest extent on record in October, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Sea ice covered 2.34 million square miles of the polar seas that month.

October sea ice extent has shrunk 31,000 square miles per year, which is about 9.5 percent per decade below the 30-year average in the satellite record.

“When natural variability is taken into account, Arctic sea ice loss is quite similar across models and observations,” Po-Chedley said.

The study was led by scientist Qinghua Ding of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Ding was also the lead author of a 2017 study that found natural fluctuations in the climate “may be responsible for about 30–50 percent of the overall decline” in sea ice.

Scientists published similar findings in 2017 regarding Antarctic sea ice. In that study, British Antarctic Survey researcher John Turner found Antarctic sea ice decline recorded in 2016 was likely caused by a series of Southern Ocean storms, not global warming.

“It highlights the fact that the climate of the Antarctic is incredibly variable,” Turner said in 2017.

Antarctic sea ice had actually been increasing up until this point, hitting record levels in late 2014. South pole sea ice also defied climate model expectations by increasing, despite global warming.


UK Government Is Feeding The Green Blob


Would you pay an Irish environmental lawyer £232,000 a year to lobby to the government to raise your taxes and to make it harder to do business if he told you it was for the “public good”?

Well if you’re a UK taxpayer you already do.

His name is James Thornton and he heads a charity called Client Earth, which the UK government currently funds to the tune of nearly £1 million a year via the Department for International Development.

The problem is, as Paul Homewood notes, Client Earth is the Green Blob with bells on.

Essentially, it’s an outfit of environmental lawyers who use the court system to obstruct industrial progress in the name of saving the planet.

One of their areas of specialty is, you guessed it, ‘climate change.’

They are working, for example, with the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) to force “important financial institutions to engage with the risks posed to their businesses by climate change at a strategic level and to demonstrate to both regulators and customers that they are looking ahead to manage future risks as they develop.”

They are encouraging a Shell pension fund member to pursue the company for failing to act on “the threat that climate change poses to its investments.”

They are busily touting for more legal action like the Urgenda Foundation case brought by 886 Dutch citizens against their government for violating their human rights by failing to reduce the country’s CO2 emissions sufficiently.

Now it’s possible — if you’re a climate loon, say — that you’ll thoroughly applaud the kind of prissy, meddling, pettifogging, red-tape-increasing, tax-squandering, virtue-signaling, right-on busybodying in which this outfit specializes.

In which case, you’re perfectly entitled to spend your money (presuming you have a job which, as a greenie, you might well not) funding this splendid charity and keeping its hive of lawyers in the style to which they’ve become accustomed.

Judging by their accounts, unearthed by Homewood, they’re very, very good at spending their donors’ money, mostly on themselves.

As for aid itself, precious little seems to filter through to the third world. According to their latest accounts, their annual expenditure of £7.3m all goes on personnel costs, consultants, travel, publications, and Head Office costs.

They have 83 staff on their books, equating to the average remuneration of £50K a year.

What is less clear, though, is why the rest of us should have to stump up for their Teslas and their yoga retreats in Greece and their colonic irrigation treatments and whatever else it is that high-powered environmental lawyers do with their money.

This grinning enviro-loon James Thornton defines what his firm does as acting in “the public good.”

But as his expensive Yale education must surely have made him aware “the public good” is a subjective concept, dependent largely on the political outlook of the person defining it.

Speaking for myself — and I imagine most of my readers — I’d define most of what Client Earth does as the very opposite of public good.

I think they’re a bunch of do-gooding leftists who have no right to a penny of our earnings, let alone nearly an annual £1 million of them.

We’re told by Chancellor Phillip Hammond that the age of “austerity” must come to an end.

But if the shysters at Client Earth are the kind of people our government has been spunking our money on for the last few years, then it looks to me like the age of “austerity” never actually started…


Battered Australian Power Consumers Cry Mercy as Climate Cult Ramps Up Renewables Rhetoric

Wind and solar power have never been about logic and reason, it’s a deranged form of ideology that drives their promoters. The zealots that promote that pathetic pair are screaming blue murder, as the political tide turns against them. The rhetoric gets ramped up, even as reality bites.

Sydney billionaires living in $100 million Harbourside mansions are just the latest class of virtue signalling cynics to condescend from their very privileged positions to dictate the terms on the form of electricity that only their peers can afford. Mike Cannon-Brookes, who has a Masters in Smug, is now lecturing Australians on what constitutes ‘fair dinkum power’. He’s made his fortune out of the Internet, which in Australia runs on coal-fired power; always has, always will.

Now Cannon-Brookes is demanding an end to what powers Australia and his beloved Internet.

Naturally, Cannon-Brookes commences his pontification by claiming the moral high ground on climate change and runs the line that urgent action is required to save the planet from everybody else’s energy use (not his, of course).

Cannon-Brookes recently targeted STT as part of his Twitter storm, unleashing his push from all sun and wind powered future – he reckons he can take “Australia 100% onto renewables eventually”. A Sydney boy, Cannon-Brookes may have never heard of South Australia where, having only reached the halfway mark, it’s already the butt of international jokes, suffering the world’s highest power prices and Third World reliability, to boot.

Unwilling to deal with troubling facts such as the skyrocketing power prices and blackouts that plague SA, Cannon-Brookes and his ilk instead attack STT and our fellow travellers as “anti-wind, climate deniers”.

The guff about STT (or any other repository of common sense, for that matter) being “anti-wind” is … well … just plain silly.

STT loves a summer breeze just as much as the next family sweating on the beach – we’re partial to surfing a ‘winter-stormy’ – and love being tucked up inside during a winter squall. And sailing wouldn’t be much without a southerly bluster.

No, it’s the nonsense that is wind power that’s the prime target for STT.

The use of words and phrases such as “anti-wind”, “denier”, “denial”, “belief” and “believer” have no place in science, politics or economics. Then there’s the hysterical phrase: “climate denier”.

No one at STT, well, actually no one anywhere, denies that there’s such a thing as the “climate”.

That word, by definition, incorporates within it the concept of “change”; for if the climate had not changed over the 4.6 billion years that our Earth has been lapping around the Sun, it would have probably remained a solid frozen lump of ice; and we wouldn’t be here arguing the toss about a few degrees, one way or the other.

Climate hysterics run a kind of ‘Goldilocks fantasy’ that, at some point in the recent past (we can’t quite pin down when) the climate was “just right”. Ever since, apparently, we’ve been lurching towards a man-made climate catastrophe.

In the 1970s school kids were terrorised with forecasts of a looming ice age. 20 years on and the reign of terror was reversed: catastrophic global warming was the next big thing.

As global surface temperatures stubbornly refused to budge for nearly 20 years – ‘the pause’ – the rhetoric shifted from global warming to “climate change”: a tautology if ever there was one.

As any geologist will tell you, the Earth’s climate is in a constant state of change: change is endogenous to the model. Whether that change is significant or “dangerous”, as the most strident would have us believe, is yet to be seen. Humans have tolerated severe ice ages and, somehow, miraculously managed to survive. If the planet warms, we’ll survive that, too. It’s called “adaptation”: a central feature of humanity, without which the species wouldn’t have 8 billion units presently roaming the planet.

STT takes the position that man-made emissions of CO2 may increase atmospheric temperatures. But we don’t concede that wind or solar power has made – or is even capable of making – one jot of difference to CO2 emissions in the electricity sector; principally because they are not – and will never be – an ‘alternative’ to conventional generation systems, which are always and everywhere available on demand:

Assume that man-made CO2 emissions in the electricity sector are a problem. Then the only presently available solution is nuclear power; unless, of course, you’re prepared to live in Stone Age darkness.

STT’s work is aimed at a pair of meaningless power sources; that are insanely expensive, and utterly pointless, on every level. For those on both sides of the argument (including “climate deniers”) that slavishly connect industrial wind turbines or solar panels with global warming (or climate change) they, in effect, box themselves into a logical corner.

On the one hand, if the AGW champions are wrong and we are in fact on the brink of the next ice age, applying their (by then failed) man-made CO2/warming argument, we should scrap every last (planet cooling) wind turbine and solar panel and start burning coal and gas as fast as humanly possible and prevent the next ‘big freeze’.

Alternatively, if the “climate deniers” are wrong, temperatures start to rise and Australia becomes a lifeless desert, then the AGW camp gets to claim victory and the high moral ground.

From that platform, the anti-CO2 crowd will have the imperative to carpet the entire planet with an endless sea of giant industrial wind turbines and solar panels as far as the eye can see.

Having pinned their arguments against wind power on the basis that CO2 caused AGW is a furphy, the “deniers” would be forced to concede their opponents’ case; and to also concede the need for a completely wind and solar powered electricity system.

And that’s why STT seeks to disconnect arguments for and against global warming, from arguments about generating electricity with sunshine and breezes.

As wind power can only ever be delivered (if at all) at crazy, random intervals it will never amount to a meaningful power source and will always require 100% of its capacity to be backed up 100% of the time with fossil fuel generation sources; in Australia, principally coal-fired plant. As a result, wind power generation will never “displace”, let alone “replace” fossil fuel generation sources.

Contrary to the anti-fossil fuel squad’s ranting, there isn’t a ‘choice’ between wind power and fossil fuel power generation: there’s a ‘choice’ between wind power (with fossil fuel powered back-up equal to 100% of its capacity) and relying on wind power alone. If you’re ready to ‘pick’ the latter, expect to be sitting freezing (or boiling) in the dark more than 60% of the time.

Placed in the practical context of the needs of a functioning industrial society, wind power can be seen as the patent nonsense that it clearly is. If a country didn’t have a conventional power generation system (as we have), it would build one, anyway.

Despite the hype from RE zealots, the completely chaotic and very occasional delivery of wind and solar won’t be cured with giant batteries. Sure, at a technical level, it is possible to store volumes of electricity for a period, such that it might be released when power consumers need it. However, were such a thing ever attempted, the cost of the electricity generated, stored and later released would be astronomical and beyond the reach of all but billionaires and rock stars – people just like Mike Cannon-Brookes.

The world’s largest battery cuts a lonely figure in a paddock near Jamestown in South Australia’s mid North; it doesn’t generate power; it stores a piddling 100 MW worth; it consumes power during each charge/discharge cycle, lost as heat energy; it cost taxpayers $150 million; and would satisfy SA’s minimum power demand for all of four minutes. On those numbers, anyone talking about batteries providing an economic solution to Australia’s energy crisis, is either delusional or hoping to sell them.

Facts, logic and reason of never stopped the likes of Mike Cannon-Brookes from trying to destroy the system that works, by pushing wind and solar, which never will.

But, always and everywhere, central to their case is the idea that the only way to save the planet is to run it entirely on sunshine and breezes.




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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