Sunday, November 17, 2019

SUVs in the gun again: Soaring demand for SUVs is cancelling out the "benefits" of electric cars

The increasing demand for sports utility vehicles is eliminating the emissions savings made by those who have switched to electric cars, the global energy watchdog has warned.

There has been a sixfold increase in SUVs since 2010, from 35 million to 200 million, and they now account for 40 per cent of new car sales, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

It said that nearly all manufacturers had increased advertising of the cars because they tended to provide higher profit margins.

The share of motor sales in Britain taken by SUVs rose from 21 per cent in 2014 to 39 per cent last year, according to separate analysis of industry data by the green group Transport & Environment. Four of Britain’s top ten best-selling cars last month were SUVs — the Nissan Qashqai, Ford Kuga, Kia Sportage and Range Rover Evoque.

SUVs consume 25 per cent more fuel per mile than a medium-sized car because of additional weight and poorer aerodynamics. They were responsible for all of the growth in oil demand, of 3.3 million barrels a day, from passenger cars between 2010 and 2018, with total fuel consumption from other types of car falling slightly, the agency said.

If the sales trend continued, SUVs would be responsible for an additional two million barrels of oil a day by 2040, offsetting the savings from nearly 150 million electric cars. The IEA said the car industry planned to offer 350 electric models by 2025 but they would mainly be smaller cars as SUVs were “harder to electrify”. It forecast that global annual sales of electric cars would rise tenfold by 2030 from two million last year. Even so, electric cars would still account for less than 7 per cent of the world’s fleet.

The agency’s annual World Energy Outlook report said: “Unless there is a major change in consumer preferences, the recent boom in SUV sales could be a major obstacle towards developing cleaner car fleets.”

Boris Johnson pledged yesterday to invest an extra £500 million in rapid charging points for electric cars to ensure that drivers would never be more than 30 miles from one.

SUVs have become the second fastest rising source of greenhouse gas emissions globally after power generation, according to the IEA.

Almost half of all cars sold in the US are SUVs, although the agency noted that “this trend is universal”, making up 42 per cent of sales in China, 30 per cent in India and 27 per cent in South Africa.

SUVs produced 700 million tonnes of carbon dioxide last year, a rise of 544 million tonnes on 2010, higher than the growth in emissions from heavy industry, lorries, aviation and shipping. The IEA said that male and younger drivers were more likely to buy SUVs.

The AA said that cheap car finance was partly responsible because it meant that more people could afford an SUV. The government’s decision to charge a standard rate of £140 a year in road tax after the first year for all cars, regardless of emissions, had also reduced the incentive to buy a more fuel efficient car.

Luke Bosdet, an AA spokesman, said that lack of gritting in winter prompted some people to buy SUVs while for others the motivation was “a bit of keeping up with the Joneses”.

Greg Archer, UK director of the campaign group Transport & Environment, said: “The growth in SUV sales is the main reason CO2 emissions from new cars have been rising. This is making it harder for carmakers to achieve targets for reducing emissions.”

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said drivers valued SUVs for their “style, higher ride and commanding view of the road”. It said that average CO2 emissions from new SUVs, or “dual-purpose” cars, had fallen by more than 43 per cent since 2000.


Climate Change is the Least of the Causes of California's Wildfires

Arlington, VA - Biologist Jim Steele, who for more than a decade ran San Francisco University's Sierra Nevada Field Campus and currently serves as a member of the CO2 Coalition, a Virginia-based group of 50 climate scientists and energy economists who use research to explain why they believe people should not be alarmed by the rise in carbon dioxide, finds the increase in wildfires in California since the 1970s has been caused by changes in forest management, not climate change.

In a new piece at science publication WattsUpWith That, Steele outlines a detailed scientific rebuttal to media claims that CO2-driven warming is to blame for California's devastating wildfires, based on tree-ring research at the field campus. It disputes a CNN story,California wildfires burn 500% more land because of climate change based on this study by lead authors Park Williams and John Abatzoglou.

After identifying the primary causes of California's fires, none of which is an increase in average temperature, Steele concludes:

"Doing my best Greta Thunberg imitation, I say to climate alarmists, 'How dare you misrepresent the causes of wildfires. How dare you imply less CO2 will reduce human ignitions and reduce surface fuels and the spread invasive grasses. Bad analyses lead to bad remedies - your bad science is stealing Californian's dreams and your false remedies distract us of from the real solutions."

"Bad analyses cause bad remedies, and here is why Williams and Abatzoglou's last paper exemplifies a bad scientific analysis," writes Jim Steele, the 32-year director of San Francisco State's Sierra Nevada field campus. "Analyzing changes in California's burned areas from 1972 to 2018 they claimed, "The clearest link between California wildfires and anthropogenic climate change thus far, has been via warming-driven increases in atmospheric aridity, which works to dry fuels and promote summer forest fire." But natural cycles of low rainfall due to La NiƱas also cause dry fuels. The increase in burned area is also attributed to increases in human ignitions such as faulty electrical grids, to increased surface fuels from years of fire suppression, and to changes in vegetation that increased the abundance of easily ignited fine fuels like annual grasses.

Furthermore, temperatures in some local regions experiencing the biggest fires have not been warming over the past 50 years (See temperature graphs in this essay's last segment. Data from Western Regional Climate Center). All those factors promote rapid wildfire spread and greater burned areas. Although good science demands separating those contributing factors before analyzing a possible correlation between temperature and area burned, Williams and Abatzoglou oddly did not do so! That's bad science."

Via email from

The Green New Deal Isn’t Just Expensive. It’s Also Bad Environmental Policy

We’re not hearing much about the Green New Deal these days, but it’s still a priority for some candidates, as anyone who’s attended a recent Bernie Sanders rally can attest.

Criticism of the Green New Deal tends to center on cost and rightly so. It would be extremely expensive. Researchers estimate it would take more than $5 trillion just to switch from coal, nuclear, and natural gas to 100% renewables.

But even if you set economic concerns aside, an ironic fact remains: In the United States and around the world, the central planning policies at the heart of the Green New Deal have a horrible track record for the environment.

Governments in countries such as Venezuela and China (or in the past like the Soviet Union and Cuba) either routinely mismanage and waste resources or ramp up production with little to no accountability for environmental damage that comes with it. The absence of price signals reduces the incentive to be more efficient and do more with less.

In addition, the absence of property rights reduces the incentive to conserve and gives government-controlled industries a free pass to pollute without compensating or protecting its citizens.

The Green New Deal would massively expand the size and scope of the federal government’s control over activities best left to the private sector. It would empower the feds to change and control how people produce and consume energy, harvest crops, raise livestock, build homes, drive cars, and manufacture goods.

Secondly, the Green New Deal would result in a number of unintended consequences. For instance, policies that limit coal, oil, and natural gas production in the United States will not stop the global consumption of these natural resources. Production will merely shift to places where the environmental standards are not as rigorous, making the planet worse off.

Moreover, it’s not as if wind, solar, and battery technologies magically appear. Companies still have to mine the resources, manufacture the product, and deal with the waste streams.

There are challenges to disposing potentially toxic lithium-ion batteries and solar panels, or even wind turbine blades that are difficult and expensive to transport and crush at landfills. While these are solvable problems, they’re seldom discussed by Green New Deal proponents.

There would also be massive land use changes required to expand renewable power. Ben Zycher at the American Enterprise Institute estimates that land use necessary to meet a 100% renewable target would require 115 million acres, which is 15% larger than the land area of California.

Two recent National Bureau of Economic Research papers underscore the unintended consequences of energy policy on human well-being. One found that cheaper home heating because of America’s fracking revolution is averting more than 10,000 winter deaths per year. The Green New Deal would wipe all of that away, and reverse course by mandating pricier energy on families.

Another paper found that the Japanese government’s decision to close safely operating nuclear power plants after Fukushima increased energy prices and reduced consumption, which consequently, increased mortalities from colder temperatures. In fact, the authors estimate that “the decision to cease nuclear production has contributed to more deaths than the accident itself.” Unintended consequences.

Another hallmark of bad environmental policy is focusing on outputs, not outcomes. According to the frequently asked questions sheet released along with the Green New Deal, it is “a massive investment in renewable energy production and would not include creating new nuclear plants.”

One would think that if we only have 11 or 12 years to act on climate change, we’d want to grab the largest source of emissions-free electricity we can get. But that’s not the case.

That’s typical for most big-government environmental policies: They’re so focused on prescriptive ways to control peoples’ behaviors that they crowd out or ignore opportunities for innovative solutions.

The reality is that environmental policies aren’t good for the environment if they’re so bad for people. The costs of the Green New Deal would be devastatingly high for households. Government policies that drive up energy bills are not only very regressive, but they would also harm consumers multiple times as they pay more for food, clothes, and all of the other goods that require energy to make.

By shrinking our economy by potentially tens of trillions of dollars, the Green New Deal will cause lower levels of prosperity and fewer resources to deal with whatever environmental challenges come our way. That’s a bad deal for our economy and our environment.


Planners versus people

Writing in Slate, bicycle activist and journalist Alex Baca argues that the Green New Deal has a big blind spot: It doesn’t address the places Americans live. Sprawl, she claims, along with the transportation and other issues it creates, is perhaps the largest contributor to climate change.

Baca mocks progressive Berkeley, California, for spending $40 million to renovate a parking garage a block from a subway station (albeit with rooftop solar, electric-vehicle charging stations, spots for car-share vehicles, rainwater capture, and water treatment). This, she says, shows that “progressive Democrats remain unwilling to seriously confront the crisis of climate change,” given that America’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions is transportation.

In Baca’s view, Green New Dealers should stop building roads that promote suburban and exurban greenfield developments. On top of retrofitting buildings, why don’t “we” build more housing closer to jobs centers and reallocate what we spend on building new roads to paying for public transit. “We,” of course, implies government mandates that force compliance.

The late Henry Hazlitt, author of Economics in One Lesson, in a 1962 speech warned that when we discuss “economic planning,” we must be clear concerning what it is we are talking about. “The real question being raised is not: plan or no plan? but whose plan?”

Hazlitt asserted that planners want to substitute their own plans for the plans of everyone else, often by laying down a government-backed “master plan” that individuals dare not deviate from. Of course, government planners assure us, “the only persons who are going to be coerced are those whose plans are ‘not in the public interest’.”

Daniel John Sobieski, in American Thinker, called Greta Thunberg’s celebrated voyage “a fossil fuel–supported stunt [that] was not about climate and not about real sacrifice. It was about shaming the Industrial Revolution and capitalism, things that have reduced planetary poverty to historic lows and fueled technologies that have raised the global standard of living to historic highs that more people than ever before share in.”

Sobieski pegged Thunberg’s voyage as “not about climate … [but] about creating a climate of fear, a picture of imminent planetary doom that can only be forestalled by government’s control of every aspect of our lives, from the energy we use to the food we eat to the land we use to our modes of transportation. Everything from cows to combustion engines is bad.”

Ever since the 1992 “Earth Summit” in Rio de Janeiro, U.S. Presidents have lauded Agenda 21, a grandiose United Nations scheme to reorganize the world to save the planet from climate change. But as a 2014 CFACT editorial explained, “The only way Agenda 21 can work is to deny private citizens their private property rights.“ This should not have been surprising, given that the UN has long maintained that “public control of land use is … indispensable.”

Indeed, Agenda 21 stated clearly that “Land… cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market…. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes.”

Sobieski reminded us that enviro-socialist globalists believe that a fragile Earth itself is on the brink, “and humanity is the plague infecting it.” In his view, “The globalists are hammering out an agenda that will determine not only how many people there will be, but where they will live, how they will live, and what governments will permit them to do in order to save the planet.”

Baca’s article demonstrates a major flaw in much of enviro-socialist planning. Zillow states that the current median home value in Berkeley is $1.25 million, and the median rent price is $3,775 per month. Is there any wonder people commute to work?

A 2015 study by the nonpartisan California Legislative Analyst’s Office advised the Legislature to change its policies to facilitate significantly more private home and apartment building in California’s coastal urban areas. The study, however, warned that doing so “would require the state to make changes to a broad range of policies that affect housing supply … including policies that have been fundamental tenets of California government for many years.”

In short, the study states that California will have to reverse decades of planning to solve the affordable housing crisis the planners themselves created. Baca’s plan is based on her theory that “sprawl” is inefficient, thus people should be herded into more concise spaces – in a nation where “going to the country” has been a dominant theme throughout its history.


Australia: Climate alarmists are brazen opportunists preying on misery

Chris Kenny writes well below but omits what is probably the most important point:  Global warming CANNOT cause drought.  Global warming would induce more evaporation off the oceans  which would come down as MORE rain, not less.

So the widespread claims that the fires are caused by  of global warming because global warming has induced drought are just another Greenie fraud. Drought is if anything a sign of cooling, not warming. It is true that drought does dry out the vegetation and thus encourages fires but what causes drought?

Nobody knows exactly.  All we know is that Australia is very prone to it.  Australian farmers often go for years without seeing rain -- which is why there is a lot  of irrigation

Like a struck match in the bush, global warming is the spark that triggers a destructive firestorm in public debate. Heated on emotion, fanned by sensationalist media and fuelled by ideology, it burns through common sense, reason and decency, showing no respect for facts or rational thought.

Climate alarmists are using tragic deaths and community pain to push a political barrow. Aided by journalists and others who should know better, they are trying to turn a threat endured on this continent for millennia into a manifestation of their contemporary crusade.

It is opportunistic, transparent, grisly and plain dumb. Contributions this past week take lunacy to new levels in an ominous sign for public discourse. In this land of droughts and flooding rains — Dorothea Mackellar’s “flood, fire and famine” — we now confront an extra injury every time the weather tests us; silly and reckless posturing from climate alarmists trying to prove their point.

History doesn’t matter to them, nor the facts. Rather than consider reality they proffer an almost hallucinogenic alternative, pretending their political gestures will deliver cooler, damper summers unsinged by bushfires.

This repugnant rhetoric must be called out; facts and science must prevail. But engaging in this debate must never be interpreted as downplaying the severity of what has occurred — four deaths, hundreds of properties destroyed, lives changed and trauma ongoing. It is only to say this is the perennial horror of our sunburnt country that will bedevil this land long after all of us, our children and our children’s children are gone.

Australia’s natural history is impossible to interpret without reference to fire; plants evolved to survive bushfire and depend on it for propagation. Indigenous heritage demonstrates an understanding of fire in managing vegetation, protecting kin and hunting animals. Since European settlement our story is replete with the menacing scent of disaster and tragic episodes.

Victoria has suffered most, in 1851 with a dozen people killed, along with a million sheep and five million hectares burned. In 1926, 60 dead; in 1939 there were 71 dead and just five years later at least 15 died. In the 1960s dozens were killed in Victoria in numerous years and just 10 years ago on Black Saturday 173 lives were lost along with more than 2000 houses.

In South Australia and Tasmania there is a similar repetition of tragedy, often during the same heatwaves, only with smaller and sparser populations the casualties are lower. Still, the toll is horrific; 62 people died in the Tasmanian fires of 1967.

Wetter summers and drier winters make the NSW fire season earlier and less intense, with blazes common in late spring. Devastating blazes have been regular, taking multiple lives on multiple occasions in the 1940s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.

Yet so much coverage and commentary in the past week would have it that the latest tragedy is a new phenomenon. Rare as it is for the rainforests of northern NSW and southern Queensland to burn, it happens.

Back in September, Joelle Gergis of the Australian Nationa University’s Climate Change Institute wrote in Guardian Australia about how “I never thought I’d see the Australian rainforest burning. What will it take for us to wake up to the climate crisis?”

The Climate Council member wrote: “As a scientist, what I find particularly disturbing about the current conditions is that world heritage rainforest areas such as the Lamington National Park in the Gold Coast hinterland are now burning.”

But such fires predate climate change: “A bushfire in Lamington National Park today swept through a grove of 3000-year-old Macrozamia palms,” The Cairns Post reported on October 25, 1951. “These trees were one of the features of the park … the fire has burnt out about 2000 acres of thick rainforest country.” That is rainforest burning in Lamington National Park 70 years ago.

Journalists, often encouraged by authorities, have written about the “unprecedented” nature of the Queensland fires. Yet newspaper searches tell a different story. Toowoomba’s The Chronicle in 1946 reported winter fires in late Aug­ust: “From Bundaberg to the New South Wales border … hundreds of square miles of drought-stricken southeastern Queensland were aflame.” Two years later in The Central Queensland Herald there were reports on September 30 of “An 800-mile chain of bushfires fed by dry grass stretched tonight along the Queensland coast from Cairns to Maryborough.”

Earlier this year, former NSW fire commissioner, now ­climate activist, Greg Mullins told ABC radio: “There’s fires breaking out in places where they just shouldn’t burn, the west coast of Tasmania, the world heritage areas, wet rainforest, subtropical rainforest, it’s all burning — and look, this is driven by climate change, there’s no other explanation.”

But The South Australian Chronicle of February 1915 reported lives lost and the “most devastating bushfires ever known in Tasmania sweeping over the northwest coast and other districts. The extent of the devastation cannot be over-estimated.” And in 1982 The Canberra Times detailed a “huge forest fire” burning out 75,000ha of dense rainforest on Tasmania’s West Coast.

Terrible as our fires are — often the worst in a generation or more — they are not abnormal in our landscapes, in our climate. A sober discussion in the global warming context might argue that, across time, our endemic bushfire threat could increase marginally rather than diminish with extra rain.

But to suggest the threat is new or can be diminished by climate policy is to pile false hope and mind-numbing stupidity on top of alarmist politicking.

This week, journalists and politicians have wilfully misrepresented claims from NSW fire authorities that they had never confronted so many emergency-level fires at once. An unprecedented number of fires, especially when deliberately lit, has more to do with expanding population than climate.

There also has been much ­hyperbole about the fire rating of “catastrophic”; a new category added to the rating system after Victoria’s 2009 fires to ensure greater community responsiveness. CNN International went heavy on our fires, saying half of Queensland was facing bushfire emergency.

The US-based broadcaster ran a Nine Network report by Airlie Walsh declaring it was the “first time in history Sydney had been met with such catastrophic conditions”. This was typical of the misleading reporting; it was merely the first time the “catastrophic” category had been invoked since it was introduced a decade ago.

Back in 2009, the ABC reported how the additional category was about raising awareness: “Victorian Premier John Brumby said in the last fire season, only five days would have been classified as code red. The new fire warnings system will provide the community with a better understanding of the level of bushfire threat on any given day based on the forecast weather conditions, he said in a statement.”

CNN also used our fires as the basis for an interview with David Wallace-Wells, author of The ­Uninhabitable Earth. He was asked “how dangerous” it was that our Prime Minister “doesn’t actually want to tackle the problem”. This, in the modern parlance, is fake news.

Wallace-Wells, without resort to science, asserted Australia was ­already “suffering intensely” from climate change which, according to him, was responsible for our current drought. He also wrongly claimed our government was not taking any “meaningful action” on climate.

As a national park staffer, and having studied and trained at bushfire management, I experienced one of the Ash Wednesday infernos in 1983. Temperatures well over 40C, tinder-dry bush in the steepest parts of the Adelaide Hills and winds gusting towards 100km/h; this was hell on earth, when fires become a storm and only survival counts.

I missed the worst of it but joined the mop-up — a miserable task amid burned homes, melted cars and the smell of death — ­before helping to extinguish blazes over following days. No one who was there will ever say they’ve seen worse.

People who have seen bushfires only on television can have no idea, and those who experience the horrors of a firestorm won’t get into silly comparisons. In her nonfiction account of Victoria’s Churchill fire on Black Saturday, Chloe Hooper relays first-person accounts.

“The flames were lying down because the wind was howling through.” “It was basically hailing fire.” “It was like a jet engine, I’ve never heard a noise like it and then the penny dropped — it was the fire coming.” “Trees ignited from the ground up in one blast, like they were self-exploding.”

All of this is so lethal, terrifying and devastating — and always has been. It insults all those who have been lost before to pretend it is worse now.

Heat, wind and fuel are what drive our fire threat, and the worst conditions will involve hot, dry conditions and gale force winds across a heavy fuel load. The only factor we can realistically control is fuel — hazard reduction is crucial but often resisted.

While drought can limit the fire threat in some areas by inhibiting grass and shrub growth, the big dry has turned the forests of northern NSW and southern Queensland into tinderboxes. This situation is directly linked to the drought, so the critical question is whether there is a connection between the drought and climate change.

The most authoritative assessment of this came in June from the director of the Centre for ­Climate Extremes, Andrew Pitman. (I have inserted an additional word, in brackets, that Pitman and his centre later said should have been included.)

“This may not be what you expect to hear but as far as the climate scientists know there is no (direct) link between climate change and drought.

“Now, that may not be what you read in the newspapers and sometimes hear commented but there is no reason a priori why climate change should make the landscape more arid.

“And if you look at the Bureau of Meteorology data over the whole of the last 100 years there’s no trend in data, there’s no drying trend, there’s been a drying trend in the last 20 years but there’s been no drying trend in the last 100 years and that’s an expression of how variable the Australian rainfall ­climate is.”

Pitman is no climate sceptic. These are just the scientific facts. Yet his comments are fastidiously ignored by most media except to deliberately reinterpret them.

Mostly preferred are unfounded prognostications from people such as businessman cum green campaigner Geoffrey Cousins telling Radio National Breakfast “everyone in this country now understands the link between climate change and these fires”.

Or Greens leader Richard Di Natale telling the Senate that global warming is “supercharging these megafires”.

What a confluence: media eager to elevate a sense of crisis; political actors exaggerating to advance a cause; horrendous threats that require no embellishment; public fascinated by weather patterns; and information from official authorities feeding the frenzy (revised fire danger categ­ories; weather bureau rainfall records starting only from 1900, therefore eliminating the first five years of the Federation drought; historical temperature readings revised downwards so that this January a record capital city maximum was declared in Adelaide despite a maximum one full degree higher being recorded in January 1939).

When cold, hard analysis of facts is required, we see wild claims constantly made and ­seldom tested.

Di Natale and ­fellow Greens Adam Bandt and Jordon Steele-John stoop so low as to blame these fatal fires on the ­government, dubbing it “arsonists”. Former fire chiefs gather to suggest, with straight faces, that some additional climate change action from government could have quelled these fires. It is as ­offensive as it is ­absurd, but it is seldom called out by a complicit media.

Even Chief Scientist Alan Finkel has conceded that if we were to eliminate all our nation’s greenhouse gases (about 1.3 per cent of global emissions) it would do “virtually nothing” to the ­climate.

The real situation is even more hopeless, of course, because ­global emissions continue to rise. So, the first crucial furphy perpetrated daily by the virtue signallers is that Australian action can control the climate.

It is too ridiculous to be ­repeated yet it is, seriously, and daily. We also constantly hear, as we did on CNN, claims Australia is doing nothing; this ignores our Paris commitments, energy upheaval and the latest report from ANU experts Andrew Blakers and Matt Stocks. They found the country is on track to meet its Paris emissions reduction targets, investing 11 times the global average in renewable energy.

This has not, and will not, cool our summers or quell our bushfires. Still, even if we magically could freeze the climate — setting it permanently at whatever it was in the 1950s, 1850s or 1750s — we know we would still face catastrophic fire conditions in many, if not most, fire seasons.

Many commentators this week have done what they often do when the green left over­reaches; they say the debate has gone too far at either end.

This is intellectually dishonest; one side of this argument urges getting on with the hard task of battling our brutal and ever-present bushfire threat, the other side is playing inane and opportunistic politics.

No one has cut through the nonsense and sanctimony better than The Weekend Australian’s cartoonist, Johannes Leak. He has given us the brattish little arsonist sitting on his mother’s lap being told, “Don’t blame yourself darling, that bushfire you lit was caused by climate change.”

Then there was “Total Fire Bandt” who was fighting bushfires by installing solar panels while others confronted the flames. And Leak showed the Greens sacrificing the economy in a pointlessly pagan attempt to appease an ­ominous blaze.

The overwhelming majority of Australians, who comprehend the omnipresent bushfire threat, would agree with these points. But our debate is shaped by a media/political class far removed from practical realities, more afraid of the chill winds of the ­zeitgeist than a blistering hot northerly.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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Friday, November 15, 2019

Christmas goes 'woke' as British people rent trees and are urged to stop sending cards

While Christmas has for some time been a time of excess and glittery celebrations, the eco-minded up and down the country are dreaming of a "woke" Christmas.

Campaigners have urged British people to rent their trees this year from companies which plant them back into the ground after use, decorate their homes using pine cones and holly from outside and to stop sending cards in order to reduce waste.

Celebrities including Emma Thompson have joined the trend and said they will refuse to buy presents in order to be more sustainable.

Analysis from consumer trends specialists Mintel found that last year 29 per cent of British gift buyers bought gifts with a lower environmental impact, and it is expected more will this year.

Tree rental is on the rise; seven million Christmas trees enter landfill every year in the UK, and when they rot they produce carbon dioxide. 100,000 tons of greenhouse gases are produced by rotting trees after the festive period annually.

Alastair and Diane Lucking run Galvaston Farm in Leicestershire, and are one of the three businesses in the UK which offer Christmas tree rentals.

They told The Telegraph: "Our sales from last year have already doubled this year and there are still six weeks to go before Christmas Day! On a daily basis since late September we get emails and phone calls from across the UK from people wanting to rent a Christmas tree, which is fantastic news.

"Be assured that our rented trees most definitely get replanted back into the field. We do have a small percentage of returned trees dying (last year 2 per cent) but this is 50 times better than cut trees which is 100 per cent."

They send the trees in biodegradable netting, planted in a sustainable pot, and pick them up in January to be planted in the ground.

Friends of The Earth said: " More and more places, such as garden centres and plant nurseries, now offer a Christmas-tree hire service over the festive season. They'll often even deliver and collect the tree to save you the hassle. And the tree can carry on growing after it's returned. Sounds like a good solution. Just make sure it's grown sustainably by looking for either the FSC or Soil Association logo."

The campaigners also recommended wrapping Christmas presents in a scarf instead of using paper, and sending e-cards instead of cardboard ones.

Plastic waste reduction charity Wrap recommends swapping out tinsel for mistletoe and holly.

A spokesperson said:  "Natural decorations such as ivy, fir cones, mistletoe and holly look festive and can be composted if they are not covered excessively with glitter – though artificial decorations like ribbons and plastic flowers will need to be removed. After Christmas, greenery can be separated from the base and added to your garden/green waste collection or dropped at your local household waste recycling centre."

Emma Thompson, actress and eco-campaigner, said she is not going to be giving Christmas presents this year in a bid to be sustainable and will instead take her family on a walk.

She told Lorraine on ITV: "Christmas is a kind of complicated time of year. Everything comes up at Christmas and we don’t talk about it - we tamp it all down by buying each other stuff…

 “This year we’re going to have a sustainable Christmas - no gifts. So you’re not thinking in the run up to Christmas, ‘Oh what am I going to get…’ You’ve not got that terrible thing of thinking you’ve got to spend all the money and also what are you going to get them because we’ve got everything because some of us do have way too much.

“Then you think, ‘Well, we could go for a walk or we could all cook together. If people want to bring something they can bring bread sauce or whatever. That’s the sort of thing.”

Wrap agrees with this. A spokesperson said: "We all like to show our appreciation of friends and relatives by finding them the perfect gift – but remember that presents don’t have to be ‘things’. You can buy vouchers for all kinds of ready-made experiences, from gin tasting to theatre tickets, zip wires, bungee jumping or more sedate occupations such as researching a family tree. You could even put together your own special ‘experience package’".


Back to Hanoi for Jane Fonda!? Vietnam can’t build coal plants fast enough as economy booms – Fonda urged to take her DC climate protest to Hanoi instead

Vietnam’s coal and crude oil imports surged in the first ten months of this year, government data released on Tuesday showed, highlighting the Southeast Asian country’s increasing reliance on imported energy to support its fast-growing economy.

Vietnam has one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia, backed by robust exports and foreign investment. Economic growth this year is expected to surpass the government’s target range of 6.6%-6.8%, as the country benefits from the Sino-U.S. trade war.

The strong growth has boosted demand for coal. Imports of the commodity, mostly from Australia and Indonesia, during the January-October period more than doubled from a year earlier to 36.8 million tonnes, valued at $3.25 billion, the Customs Department said in a statement.

The imported coal will mostly be used for the country’s growing fleet of coal-fired power plants, which will still play a key role in its power generation mix for the years to come even as Hanoi promotes renewables.

The country’s crude oil imports rose 80.6% from a year earlier to 6.8 million tonnes during the period, the department said.

Once a key export earner for Vietnam, crude oil output of the country has been declining recently as its reserves fall at existing fields and as China’s increasingly assertive stance in the region hampers offshore exploration.

Government data showed crude oil output in the first ten months of this year fell 7.2% from a year earlier to 9.3 million tonnes. Meanwhile, its coal output rose 10.5% to 37.9 million tonnes.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade said in July Vietnam will contend with severe power shortages from 2021 as demand outpaces construction of new plants, with electricity demand expected to exceed supply by 6.6 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) in 2021, and 15 billion kWh in 2023.

Vietnam will need an average of $6.7 billion a year to expand its annual power generation capacity by 10% between 2016 and 2030, the ministry had said.

Tuesday’s customs data also showed Vietnam recorded a trade surplus of $9.01 billion during the first ten months of this year, widening from a surplus of $7.24 billion a year earlier.


Everything You Hear About Billion-Dollar Disasters Is Wrong

Roger Pielke

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) counts the number of disasters in the United States that result in losses of greater than $1 billion, starting in 1980. Over the past three decades that count has shown a sharp increase, from five or less such disasters each year in the decade of the 1980s to ten or more in each of the past 4 years.

That increase must be due to climate change, right? Actually, no. The billion-dollar disaster tally is easy to understand, simple to communicate, but—regrettably—incredibly misleading and just plain bad economics.

Before proceeding, it is important to underscore that climate change resulting from the emission of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels poses significant risks to our collective futures, including influences on extreme events. As a consequence, it makes sense to focus policy on the mitigation of emissions and adaptation to reduce vulnerability and exposure to weather and climate.

But the importance of climate change as a policy issue does not mean that the subject gets a free pass when it comes to scientific accuracy, and especially claims made by authoritative bodies like NOAA. To the contrary, building support for action on climate requires maintaining the highest standards of scientific integrity.

The billion-dollar disaster tally, even though it is popular, doesn’t meet that standard. The biggest problem with the time series is that it is based on a threshold of $1 billion, but both the value of the dollar changes over time (inflation) and, more importantly, the value of property and wealth subject to losses from extremes has grown dramatically over time.

When NOAA first released the billion-dollar disaster dataset in 2012, it neglected historical events that, after considering inflation, would have exceeded the billion-dollar threshold. For example, a disaster that caused $900 million in losses in 1980 (in 1980 dollars) would not have been included, although the actual loss amount would have exceeded $1 billion in contemporary times. After this was pointed out, NOAA corrected the oversight and added 19 additional events to their dataset, warning appropriately: “Caution should be used in interpreting any trends based on this graphic for a variety of reasons.”

But the inflation snafu revealed a far deeper problem with the use of the billion-dollar threshold: U.S. disaster take place at the intersection of a changing and variable climate and a nation growing in population, wealth and development. Consider that an identical hurricane making landfall in Texas in 1980 versus 2019 would result in vastly different loss totals, because today there are simply more people in more homes with more stuff than thirty years ago.  In 2012, I identified nine disasters from 1980 not included in the NOAA tabulation that would likely have exceeded a billion-dollar threshold has those events occurred in 2011.

The NOAA billion-dollar disaster dataset is not a reliable indicator of trends in disasters or their costs, and it certainly is not a time series that says anything meaningful about changes in climate. Anyone wanting to look at trends in climate and weather, including extreme events, should always look first at data on climate and weather, not economic loss data.

So how might NOAA improve its economic loss record for U.S. disasters? The answer is simple: Do away with the billion-dollar threshold and look at the entire record of losses. Even better, address the effects of a growing U.S. economy, and greater loss potentials over time, by normalizing disaster loss data based on GDP (or other factors).

That is exactly what I did in the graph below, based on data from the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (GDP) and Arizona State University (hazard losses). The graph shows U.S. hazard losses from 1980 (the start of the NOAA dataset) to 2016 (the end of the ASU dataset). There is clearly no upwards trend. The apparent slight downward trend results from the “drought” of major hurricanes from 2006 to 2016, which has since ended in 2017 and 2018.

Compare that graph to NOAA’s billion-dollar disaster tally, shown below, over the same time period. You can easily see how the NOAA tally has potential to mislead.

Billion-dollar disasters

To their credit, early on NOAA recognized that there were methodological issues in its approach to collecting and sharing disaster loss data, and commissioned a study of the dataset and methodology, which was peer-reviewed and published in 2013. That study acknowledges that, “the billion-dollar dataset is only adjusted for the CPI [consumer price index, representing inflation] over time, not currently incorporating any changes in exposure (e.g., as reflected by shifts in wealth or population).” NOAA admitted that the lack of such adjustments had implications for the increasing trend in the count of billion-dollar disasters: “The magnitude of such increasing trends is greatly diminished when applied to data normalized for exposure.”

Not surprisingly, due to such methodological concerns, the NOAA study concluded: “it is difficult to attribute any part of the trends in losses to climate variations or change, especially in the case of billion-dollar disasters.” That conclusion is solid.

Yet, in the years since, NOAA has ignored its own research and continued to attribute an increase in the counts of billion-dollar disasters to climate change. On its website today NOAA says: “Climate change is also playing a role in the increasing frequency of some types of extreme weather that lead to billion-dollar disasters.”

With respect to floods, NOAA says, “Billion-dollar inland—non-tropical—flood events have increased in the United States” and attributes this to climate change, “heavy rainfall events and their ensuing flood risks are increasing because warmer temperatures are "loading" the atmosphere with more water vapor.”

NOAA’s claim on rainfall and flood risks is contradicted by the most recent U.S. National Climate Assessment: “in U.S. regions, no formal attribution of precipitation changes to anthropogenic forcing has been made so far, so indirect attribution of flooding changes is not possible. Hence, no formal attribution of observed flooding changes to anthropogenic forcing has been claimed.” What this somewhat technical passage says is that for the United States, it is incorrect to claim that increasing rainfall in some regions or flooding (which has not increased) can be attributed to human-caused climate change. Yet, NOAA – one of our most important and respected scientific agencies – is making such an unfounded claim and extending it even further to disaster losses.

With misinformation coming from one of our most trusted federal agencies, it’s no surprise that bad science propagates widely. Just yesterday Climate Central reported on the latest NOAA quarterly climate report: “this year has been full of devastating extreme weather events—which are getting more costly as the climate warms.”

The billion-dollar disaster time series should provide us a lesson on how easy it is to promote a simple message that fits a particular narrative but which is completely misleading and even outright wrong. NOAA is an important agency – among its many functions it provides the weather data and forecasts that help keep all Americans safe. NOAA is too important an institution to get caught up in dodgy science related to climate change.


We Need an Honest Debate on Climate Change

Pacific Gas and Electric of San Francisco began public safety power shutoffs to prevent equipment from starting wildfires. Deadly fires in the last few years have resulted in PG&E being sued for billions of dollars and the company is now bankrupt. These blackouts have left up to nearly three million people without electricity for up to five days.

Pacific Research Institute (PRI) has published “California’s Blackouts: How Did We Get Here and What Can We Do to Keep the Lights On?” Kerry Jackson of PRI begins the introduction with the reactions by the politicians to the Great Blackouts of 2019.

“The state’s political class quickly played a game of political hot potato, blaming PG&E and others for the blackouts, while positioning themselves as having the best solution to prevent future blackouts moving forward.”

Of course, many politicians seeking more political power are quick to claim California fires are caused by climate change. Jackson provides a few examples.

“PG&E executives as well as political figures and journalists have declared, with no supporting evidence, that “climate change” has fueled California wildfires in recent years.” According to CNN, “deadlier and more destructive wildfires have become the new normal.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted “this is what climate change looks like” as wildfires raged. “Climate change is real, it’s happening, and you and everyone else will recognize that,” said former Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.) who opened his testimony before Congress in October swearing, presumably under oath, that climate change is “a direct cause of California’s increasingly dangerous wildfire seasons.”

Sorry, CNN, Gov. Brown and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, but many studies confirm that wildfires in California peaked in 1980 and have steadily declined since that date. A U.S. Geological Survey of the data showed “there have been fewer and fewer wildfires” in the state. UCLA professor Jon Keeley agrees. “The claim commonly made in research papers and the media that fire activity is increasing throughout the western USA is certainly an overstatement,” Keeley said in a research paper.

Concerning the continuous, safe, and efficient delivery of electricity to everyone in California, there are two enormous political problems. First, PG&E and other utilities are government-controlled monopolies that are very bureaucratic and persistently controlled by political whim and pressure. Second, the politicians and State of California bureaucracies have long been heavily influenced by very aggressive environmental activists who have thwarted known safe forest management practices.

In 1996 there was legislation was passed to “deregulate” the state electricity market. Unfortunately, what was pronounced to be deregulation was more regulations and control. Adrian Moore of the Reason Foundation found that the 1996 law “discourages entry into the market … restricts expansion of capacity, and … sustains the old systems and rules that prevent competition.”

Additionally, Jackson reports on a main reason for California’s blackouts; state law mandates that utilities must only use renewable energy by 2045. Jackson wrote, “If anything, it’s the state’s obsession with global warming that has contributed to the fires. The rush to renewable energy, and the crusade to reduce and ultimately eradicate fossil fuels, have pushed utilities to allocate funds that should have been used for wildfire prevention to programs and projects conceived by politics.”

Terry Anderson of the Hoover Institute knows that environmental activist organizations have badly prevented “scientific management — including logging, prescribed burns, and thinning — to treat forest fuel loads.”

Jackson concludes: “Wildfires are unavoidable in California. It’s truly a place “nature built to burn.” Yet preventive measures can lessen the losses of life and property. The necessary changes will require a new way of thinking in California. The old paradigm that says utilities must be government-protected monopolies has to be left behind. The state that was at one time not afraid of fresh ideas has stayed dedicated to an old one for far too long.”

Also very critically needed is an honest debate on global warming. Actions taken by California and many other jurisdictions are beginning to have a major impact on the lives and needs of their citizens. (I have previously published, "The Climate Crisis that Wasn’t: Scientists Agree there is 'No Cause for Alarm.'”)

“Foreseeing the potential for horrific political decisions based on inadequate science and mob rule, five hundred scientists and professionals in climate related fields have sent a “European Climate Declaration” to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, which strongly states, “There is no climate emergency. Therefore, there is no cause for panic and alarm. We strongly oppose the harmful and unrealistic net-zero CO2 policy proposed for 2050.”

“Thomas D. Williams, the Senior Research Associate at the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame, writes, “The signatories of the declaration also insist that public policy must respect scientific and economic realities and not just reflect the most fashionable frenzy of the day.”

It is long past time to have an honest debate on climate change.


Australia: Green bureaucracy blocking big natural gas developments

Two world-class liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects valued at $40 billion and owned by some of the world’s biggest oil companies, including Shell, BP and PetroChina, are at risk of being permanently marooned by a complex “economy v environment” dispute in Australia.

The Browse and Scarborough projects will only be developed if final government approvals can be obtained and that could mean satisfying the carbon emissions requirements of an international climate-change agreement.

Unfortunately for the companies behind the projects, which have taken more than 30 years to reach the point of a final investment decision, different layers of government in Australia can’t agree on whether local or international rules apply.

At a political level there is support for both Browse and Scarborough because of the economic and job creating benefits from investment.

But at an administrative level there are government officials who argue that approval is not possible for any big resource development, including oil and gas, unless the proponents can demonstrate how they will offset all emissions of carbon dioxide, one of the gases blamed for global warming and climate change.

Australia, like many other countries, is a signatory to the Paris Agreement on climate change which includes a set of recommendations designed to limit carbon dioxide pollution.

But, for a country which is heavily dependent on mining and oil production the Paris deal has become a logistical nightmare and, in the case of natural gas a two-edged sword because while it might be a fossil fuel it is far less polluting than the coal or oil it can replace.

Asian countries such as China, Japan and Korea are major buyers of minerals and energy products produced in Australia and are keen to see a continuation of a reliable LNG supply from a relatively risk-free supplier.

But, if the civil servants working in government departments, such as the Environmental Protection Authority of Western Australia (EPA), both Browse and Scarborough will be subjected to onerous emissions offset requirements which could jeopardize their development.

First hint of a standoff between elected and unelected government officials emerged earlier this year when the EPA said all new LNG projects could only proceed if they could demonstrate “zero net emissions” and needed to meet so-called Scope 3 emissions, or those emitted by countries which consume resources sourced from Australia.

The resources industry has rejected that position even if it does comply with the Paris agreement and Australia’s obligations, warning that all new resource projects face an insurmountable hurdle, especially when it came to Scope 3 because Australia cannot control what a foreign customer does with raw material even if it is sourced from Australia.

Elected government officials are slowing waking to the trap into which they have been led by not reading the fine print of the Paris agreement and by allowing civil servants, many with strong views on environmental protection, commit the country to a set of international rules which do not appear to be in Australia’s best interests.

An attempt to tone down the early EPA ruling has been made by the State Government of Western Australia but that position will soon be tested by the imminent development application for the Scarborough project led by Woodside Petroleum and BHP.

They plan to extract gas from the offshore Scarborough gasfields and pipe it to the onshore Pluto gas processing plant which is, in turn, being connected to the North West Shelf gas plant owned by Woodside, Shell, BP, Chevron, BHP, Mitsubishi and Mitsui.

The next stage in a process to create a major LNG “hub” is to develop the Browse gasfields owned by Woodside, Shell, BP, PetroChina, Mitsui and Mitsubishi.

Sorting out the ownership of the different stages of the projects has been likened to herding cats, a near-impossible task, but that process appears to have been settled, leaving the the challenge of dealing with government which is split between pro-and-anti development positions.

Last week, the Scarborough project took two big steps towards formal approval by its owners. The amount of gas in the fields was recalculated to deliver a 52% increase to now stand at 11.1 trillion cubic feet, just short of Browse with its 13.9tcf, and a contract was signed to build an inter-connecting pipeline between Pluto and the North West Shelf gas processing plants.

With design and ownership issues largely settled the LNG projects have moved to within sight of investment commitments, setting the stage for a showdown between elected and unelected officials over the question of Australia’s economic interest and its international climate-change obligations.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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Thursday, November 14, 2019

EPA wants research data to be readily available

The screech from the NYT below relies, as usual, on a distortion.  

Much of the "science" used by the EPA has in the past been secret.  The conclusions are announced but not the raw data used to arrive at the conclusion. That is a breach of scientific ethics but Greenies don't care about that.  Often, other scientists have doubted the conclusions and asked for a copy of the raw data so that they can do their own analyses.  The EPA has refused, a practice that throws their findings into doubt. 

The new Trump rules aim to stop the rot.  Unless the data is made available to other scientists, the conclusions will be ignored.

The NYT rubbish below pretends that the new rules will cause scientists to breach confidentiality. It will not.  The raw data can be and normally is anonymized.  All that is required is a set of numbers

The Trump administration is preparing to significantly limit the scientific and medical research that the government can use to determine public health regulations, overriding protests from scientists and physicians who say the new rule would undermine the scientific underpinnings of government policymaking.

A new draft of the Environmental Protection Agency proposal, titled Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science, would require that scientists disclose all of their raw data, including confidential medical records, before the agency could consider an academic study’s conclusions. E.P.A. officials called the plan a step toward transparency and said the disclosure of raw data would allow conclusions to be verified independently.

“We are committed to the highest quality science,” Andrew Wheeler, the E.P.A. administrator, told a congressional committee in September. “Good science is science that can be replicated and independently validated, science that can hold up to scrutiny. That is why we’re moving forward to ensure that the science supporting agency decisions is transparent and available for evaluation by the public and stakeholders.”

The measure would make it more difficult to enact new clean air and water rules because many studies detailing the links between pollution and disease rely on personal health information gathered under confidentiality agreements. And, unlike a version of the proposal that surfaced in early 2018, this one could apply retroactively to public health regulations already in place.

“This means the E.P.A. can justify rolling back rules or failing to update rules based on the best information to protect public health and the environment, which means more dirty air and more premature deaths,” said Paul Billings, senior vice president for advocacy at the American Lung Association.

Public health experts warned that studies that have been used for decades — to show, for example, that mercury from power plants impairs brain development, or that lead in paint dust is tied to behavioral disorders in children — might be inadmissible when existing regulations come up for renewal.

For instance, a groundbreaking 1993 Harvard University project that definitively linked polluted air to premature deaths, currently the foundation of the nation’s airquality laws, could become inadmissible. When gathering data for their research, known as the Six Cities study, scientists signed confidentiality agreements to track the private medical and occupational histories of more than 22,000 people in six cities. They combined that personal data with home air-quality data to study the link between chronic exposure to air pollution and mortality.


AOC Suggests We Need to Fight 'White Supremacy' to Combat Climate Change

"White supremacists"are the mythical boogeymen for the Left

On Saturday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) claimed that fighting "white supremacy" is a fundamental part of combatting climate change. She also attacked "consultants" who would encourage climate activists to focus on solar panels more than social justice.

"The way we inoculate ourselves from continuing to burn up our planet at unsustainable level, triggering feedback loops that we have not even begun to comprehend, is by honoring indigenous wisdom and allowing it to guide our climate policy. The way that we preserve our systems is by transitioning to principles of universality. That means I want you clothed, I want you educated, I want you paid a living wage, no ifs ands or buts. And what that also means — and what Naomi talked about as well — is directly, consciously, combatting white supremacy in the United States of America," AOC declared.

She was referring to Naomi Klein, a Canadian activist who had spoken just before her. Klein had been more explicit. She spoke about "two fires": climate change and the divisive conservative politicians like President Donald Trump who champion an "in-group" over an "out-group." She accused Trump of dividing America with "white supremacy."

"At this moment when the climate crisis becomes impossible to deny ... at this very moment these figures who are so expert at the art of spreading division" are rising, she said. "I believe that we all know on the cellular level that there’s something deeply wrong with our common home," and she accused the right of exploiting that fear with the message, "We will protect you against the other."

"Do we think it is a coincidence that these two fires are raging at the exact same time? And as these strongmen turn their populations against each other, that frees them up for the real business at hand which is pillaging the" earth. "We cannot win this fight without battling white supremacy."

Speaking at a rally for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate AOC had endorsed, the congresswoman recalled strategizing about her central policy proposal, the Green New Deal. She said her team planned to launch it not just to fight the alleged catastrophe of climate change but also to help "communities that were left behind."

AOC went on to chide consultants who encouraged her to focus on the technological solutions to the alleged climate crisis, rather than tying climate into her identity politics message.

"Just worry about solar panels, leave the social justice stuff behind," the congresswoman summarized. "Race makes everything complicated." She dismissed this advice as wrong-headed.

As a practical matter, Ocasio-Cortez is entirely wrong. Even if climate change were a catastrophic threat, fighting "white supremacy" would have a negligible impact on the environment. AOC has the uncanny ability to see "white supremacy" behind everything from the tea party movement to The New York Times. In this case, she seems to interpret "white supremacy" as anti-immigrant terrorists like the El Paso shooter.

Terrorism in all its forms should be condemned, and true white supremacy — the doctrine that white people are inherently superior to other racial groups and should rule over them — should also be unequivocally condemned. However, AOC uses "white supremacy" as a catch-all term to describe her political opponents and to connect them with racism and terrorism. This disgusting tactic has everything to do with taking power and nothing to do with saving the environment.

As for the environment, predictions of climate catastrophe — extreme cold, extreme heat, glaciers melting, cities underwater — have failed to come to pass. In one of the most embarrassing examples, alarmists predicted that The Maldives Islands in the Indian Ocean would sink beneath the waves in 2018 — and the islands are still there. In fact, they have actually grown in recent years!

AOC's Green New Deal is a fantasy. Taxing the rich at 100 percent would not even come close to footing the bill for the Green New Deal and Medicare for All, according to a Heritage Foundation study. The $48 trillion or $93 trillion price tags aside, AOC's attempt to remake the American economy in her social justice and climate alarmist image is not possible. If Ocasio-Cortez were serious about fighting climate change, she would talk more about nuclear energy and less about restricting the entire economy, let alone "white supremacy."


'Scientists' Advocate Population Control to Save Planet

Climate alarmists falsely claim the only "real solution" is to have fewer people.

Like something out of a dystopian science-fiction story, more than 11,000 “scientists” from 153 nations recently signed a petition declaring that climate change would bring “untold human suffering” that is “unavoidable” unless drastic action is immediately taken. And what is the drastic action these “scientists” advocate? A socialist tyranny that would end capitalism by stopping all economic growth and … human population control. Why is it that socialists’ solutions invariably call for less stuff, fewer people, and restricted freedom?

As David Harsanyi notes, “Basically, these scientists are advocating for the Green New Deal: a collection of ludicrous solutions wholly unconcerned with economic tradeoffs or political reality. The plan treats nature and people as moral equals, imagining them in an apartment-dwelling, plant-based-food-eating, bicycle-riding society where well-being is administered ‘by prioritizing basic needs and reducing inequality’ — which doesn’t sound creepy or authoritarian at all.”

Oh, the glaring irony in warning of “untold human suffering.” That’s exactly what would be brought by the socialist “solutions” to climate change — solutions that are responsible for creating some of the worst human suffering and misery the world has ever known. So, in order to save the planet and keep humanity from suffering, millions must die.

It’s the overpopulation myth. Harsanyi observes, “‘Overpopulation’ is routinely cited by journalists — who often live in the densest, yet miraculously, the wealthiest, places on earth — as a problem. Yet, if density were itself causing human suffering, Monaco, as Nicholas Eberstadt once pointed out, with its 16,000 people per square kilometer, would be a far bleaker place than Bangladesh, with its 1,000 people per square kilometer.”

The truth, is the greater number of humans existing, the greater amount of human capital leading to greater intellectual capacity to find and develop solutions to the myriad of problems facing humanity and the world. Stopping all modern economics and artificially limiting and controlling the human population will only serve to greatly increase human suffering, not lessen it. Thanks in large part to the spread of capitalism, the number of individuals living in abject poverty across the globe has been halved since the year 2000, even as the population of the planet has continued to increase.


Lettuce Pray: Climate Change, Neo-Paganism, and the End of the World

The climate change movement has become the “modern world’s secular religion,” declared Wall Street Journal columnist Gerard Baker recently.

Climate activists preach a gospel of conservation that aims to redeem humanity’s environmental sins. They counsel us to abstain from eating meat to reduce our “carbon footprint,” and prophesy that Earth will perish unless governments worldwide trust the oracle from whom we received this hallowed revelation.

Climate cultists appropriate aspects of Christianity to call the world to repent for its “Original Sin of a carbon industrial revolution,” wrote Baker. They do that and more. Climate cultists, whether consciously or unconsciously, have adopted the schema of the Christian eschaton, or end of the world. They have also incorporated into their faith elements of neo-paganism.

Baker wasn’t the first to spot traces of the eschaton in the climate gospel. Researchers Rachelle Peterson and Peter Wood remarked in “Sustainability: Higher Education’s New Fundamentalism” that “sustainability, like Christianity, offers a view of the Earth as once-pristine and pure but now fallen; recognizes the sinfulness of humanity,” and “offers forms of expiation and absolution.”

However, rather than seeking to redeem humanity in the “next life,” sustainability promises to stave off the end times and save sinners in the “here and now.”

Some episodes have emphasized the climate cult’s resemblance to neo-paganism. Sumantra Maitra at The Federalist pointed to an event at Union Theological Seminary in New York City where students confessed their sins to plants. Maitra argued that this means climate activists are “pagan animists.” In other words, they believe that worshipping nature enables one to “grow as a living soul connected to the universe.”

Maitra also highlighted a gathering at the Glarus Alps where 250 Swedes hosted a funeral to mourn a melting glacier. And Martha Sheen at The Irish Times identified shades of paganism in the climate gospel’s code of how to live, which prescribes “ritualistic sacrifices” like abstaining from meat to “satisfy the gods.”

Maitra and Sheen noted that, as opposed to Christians, Jews, and Muslims, who worship a personal creator that engages humanity from without space and time, neo-pagans worship Earth and other created things.

The emergence of pagan themes in climate activist circles is part of a trend away from Judeo-Christian-based faiths and toward religions like Wicca, which has surged in popularity among millennials, the demographic that worries most about climate change.

Wiccans aren’t the only neo-pagan sect. “Druids, Goddess worshipers, Heathens, and Shamans” count too. And although neo-pagan beliefs vary, historian Ronald Hutton of Bristol University has said that neo-pagans practice “forms of worship which regard nature as sacred.”

Some worship inanimate objects such as “trees, plants, and animals” to glorify the “soul” of each. Pre-Christian Celts, for example, worshipped the River Boyne in Ireland as Boann, the “Celtic Goddess of Poetry, Fertility, Inspiration, Knowledge, and Creativity,” to quote one feminist writer. Almost all pagans consult an astrology guru and play with tarot cards.

Neo-pagans form a small segment of Americans, but their ideas have permeated elites. Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in March indulged fans who obsessed over what her time of birth and horoscope meant for the future of the republic. In response to “fervent public interest,” she allowed astrologer Arthur Lipp-Bonewits to tweet the information.

Singer and climate crisis believer Lana Del Ray described herself in 2017 as a “witch” and said she hexed President Donald Trump. She bade her Twitter followers do the same, directing them to “bind” the president on dates that “corresponded to monthly waning crescent moons.”

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady trumpeted his connections to neo-paganism after winning his sixth Super Bowl title in February. He told reporters that his wife, supermodel and climate crisis apologist Gisele Bundchen, “always makes a little altar” for him before the big game and provides him with “healing stones and protection stones.”

Bundchen allegedly predicted that the Patriots would overcome the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl 53 and said to Brady later that night, “You’re lucky you married a witch.”

There have also been reports claiming that conservative icon and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who played a formative role in persuading the United States to sign on to the Montreal Protocol in 1987, consulted an astrologer after she was nearly assassinated in 1984 by IRA terrorists. The Irish Times in 1996 quoted astrologist Marjorie Orr alleging she was asked by Thatcher to “warn her of future threats.”

Former President Ronald Reagan, without whom there wouldn’t have been a Montreal Protocol, leveraged his influence to help the treaty along for reasons, said The New York Times in 2013, “no one has ever quite understood.”

Reagan was, of course, warned that failing to join the protocol would deplete the earth’s ozone layer. But according to former White House Chief of Staff Don Regan, “virtually every major move” at the Reagan White House was cleared by Joan Quigley, an astrologer hired by Mrs. Reagan after John Hinckley Jr. failed to assassinate the president outside the Washington Hilton in March 1981.

At one point, wrote historian H. W. Brands in “Reagan: The Life,” it appeared to some in the administration that Quigley’s consultations determined even the president’s medical regimen.

None of this suggests that all climate crisis believers are neo-pagans, but wherever one hears among elites a call to save the planet, one also finds neo-paganism.

The outbreak of essays revealing the climate change movement’s religious underpinnings bothered at least some of its defenders.

According to a blog post at Sightings, an outlet published by The University of Chicago’s Martin Marty Center for the Public Understanding of Religion, conservatives have made similar arguments about everything from “Marxism to socialism, liberal progressivism, [and] Silicon Valley capitalism,” all of which also combined the Christian eschaton with its own worldview.

Critiquing secular ideas about the eschaton isn’t a niche market for right-wingers, however. In “God and Gold: Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World,” historian Walter Russell Mead traced the Christian, or, Abrahamic origins of today’s secular ideologies not to discredit them, but to explain how they influence domestic political movements and foreign policy.

The Abrahamic understanding of history teaches that events are “part of a narrative that extends back into the misty prehistoric past and forward to some unimaginable climax in the future.”

Liberalism borrowed from Abrahamism the idea that history has a “shape and purpose: a beginning, middle, and an end”: Humanity began prehistory in a state of natural freedom. The first despotic governments sank it into an era darkened by class warfare, wars over religion, and arbitrary state rule. History ends when representative democracies, religious liberty, free markets, and low tariffs between trading countries fulfill liberalism’s purpose to create a “peaceful, liberal, and prosperous world order.”

Climate activists (and most secular liberals) fall under the category of what Mead called “Unconscious Abrahamists,” or, “those whose mental and political worlds are shaped in an Abrahamic context without the influence of a conscious religious belief.”

In the climate activist’s version of history, Earth’s “Garden of Eden” spanned the years that preceded the Industrial Revolution. Man fell into history when he began to deforest the world and burn carbon-emitting fossil fuels to shelter his offspring and grow the economy. The last days will come when his refusal to recognize the “integrity of non-human nature” causes a global catastrophe that destroys the planet as we know it. An eschaton.

Appropriating Abrahamic themes isn’t likely to make climate cultists treat their political opponents amiably.

“Wars of religion are largely an Abrahamic trait, found among the Abrahamic peoples and, in self-defense, among their neighbors,” Mead wrote.

A survey of the news stories coming out of the world of climate activism shows that even secular citizens who claim to be relativists share the Abrahamic faiths’ tendency to insist upon the universality of truth. And like the warring sides in conflicts past, they intend to shape human beings and political institutions to reflect that understanding.

Climate cultists so far haven’t organized to resist the carbon-emitting powers by the sword, but they have assumed responsibility for remaking civilization in their image.

Ocasio-Cortez became an icon of climate cultism when she proposed the Green New Deal in February. The bill alleged that “human activity” is melting glaciers, and increasing the rate of occurrence of wildfires, severe storms, and droughts.

If the earth warms “two degrees Celsius beyond pre-industrialized” temperatures, she warned, 99% of coral reefs will go extinct and over 350 million people will fall victim to “deadly heat stress.”

Ocasio-Cortez also catastrophized that the climate crisis will cause the American economy to crumble. She predicted the United States will lose $1 trillion caused by damage to public infrastructure and “coastal real estate.” This detail likely hit home with AOC’s big-money donors and members of Congress.

The Green New Deal counted pilots, farmers, and coal miners together. It proposed that we mobilize the country to a degree not seen “since World II” to purge the earth of farting cows and airplanes.

To get there, we must first “overhaul transportation and agriculture,” which is to say the federal government must shut down transportation and agricultural industries as they currently exist. These policies will guarantee that the United States emits “zero greenhouse gases.”

Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old of Swedish origin, bore witness to Ocasio-Cortez’s testimonial when she addressed the United Nations in September.

“My message is that we will be watching you,” Thunberg began before an audience of world leaders. She upbraided the carbon-emitting civilization that transmitted her image around the world crowing, “You have stolen my dreams.” Even 50% cuts won’t suffice to heal the planet. “If you choose to fail us,” she concluded, millennials “will never forgive you.”

The climate gospel of Thunberg and Ocasio-Cortez is spreading. Extinction Rebellion, a British environmentalist group, recently blockaded thoroughfares in London to “address the climate crisis.” It entreats its followers to create a “world that is fit for generations to come.” And hopes to regenerate our culture by making it “healthy, resilient, and adaptable.” Its members actively hose nonbelievers with fake blood. What does this mean for us?

No civilization has a pass to trash the planet, of which the post-industrialized world is guilty. Nevertheless, climate cultists have amalgamated ideas that should not mix. The heirs of the Wicker Man should not be flattered to think that they can deliver humanity’s salvation.

Despite their talk of bringing us together, neo-pagans behave like people unfit to rule. They mock climate skeptics, prophesy phony predictions, worship themselves more than “Mother Earth,” and threaten to harm us unless we do what they say.

A 2018 Gallup Poll survey showed that climate cultists are winning the minds of millennials. We’re running out of time to stop the disciples of AOC from taking their agenda to Washington. The best we can do now is show that climate cultists are exaggerating their claims to attain political power.

Perhaps we can. The concept of “solar geoengineering,” which would have us blast particles into the atmosphere to reflect the sun’s rays back into space to cool the planet, is gaining favor among climate scientists. Research is ongoing, though it appears we’ll be spared after all.


Australian Labor party lost in climate fog

Most of the fatal flaws exposed by the internal review of Labor’s ­emphatic electoral repudiation were so obvious that many of us had been pointing them out ­before, during and after the campaign. None of which detracts from the hilarity of watching the majority of players and commentators who argued Labor had a plausible agenda, campaigned well and would easily win the election now also say the findings are ­obvious.

Still, there is one glaring exception — a planet-sized blind spot — wilfully ignored by the review and much of the analysis. Yet even this hopeless oversight was predictable, simply because of who the ALP chose to conduct its review.

It was dubbed the climate election by many in Labor who were eager to accentuate the choice ­between targets and plans, yet the ALP chose as one of two reviewers Jay Weatherill — he was the premier of South Australia who pushed his state to a 50 per cent renewable energy share and allowed coal and gas-fired generators to close, delivering some of the world’s highest electricity prices but leading to the lights going out in the first statewide blackout.

When one of the most contentious policy choices in the campaign was about whether to embrace Labor’s plan to more than double the national renewable ­energy target (to the same level that created chaos in SA) and ­almost double the national emissions reduction goal, how could a renewables zealot such as Weatherill give an objective assessment? For him to call out the recklessness of Labor’s federal climate policy would be for him to admit his own costly legacy.

Labor has twice gone to a ­national election with radically more ambitious emissions reductions plans than the Coalition — in 2013 and this year — and the results speak for themselves. But Weatherill is deaf and blind to this reality; if he and others have their way, the next election will offer a similar choice.

On Thursday, delivering the review he conducted along with the pedestrian former trade minister Craig Emerson, Weatherill said it was clear Labor must continue to “stand for strong action on climate change” and that this was a “bedrock principle” for the party.

Yet elsewhere in the review there is clear evidence that its anti-coal rhetoric and climate evangelism contributed strongly to the party’s abysmal performance in Queensland, NSW’s Hunter ­Valley and elsewhere in regional Australia.

To be fair, sensible people might argue this nation had long been engaged in “strong action” on climate change, so Weatherill’s aim could easily be satisfied by ­offering bipartisan support for the Paris emissions reductions targets. But we know this is not what Weatherill and other members of Labor’s Socialist Left want.

The policy “bedrock” will be interpreted as something close to the extreme and uncosted policies Labor put to the people on May 18, which means one of the most obvious lessons from the election will be rejected by large elements of the party. Only Hunter Valley MP and Labor resources spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon seems willing to urge his colleagues to see sense.

Labor has made itself a victim to its own straw-man strategy. The review finds: “A modern Labor Party cannot deny or neglect human-induced climate change. To do so would be wrong, it would cause enormous internal instability and it would be a massive electoral liability.” This is true but pointless because no major party argues this position.

By pretending its opponents proffer denial and inaction, Labor locks itself into reckless policies and indefensible arguments. It is conned by its own hyperbole, hemmed in by its own hype.

The review goes on to say that the way forward for Labor is to focus on jobs from renewable ­energy and on the “costs of inaction”. But this is exactly what Bill Shorten and others did during the campaign, especially to avoid talking about the costs of their policies.

And the reality is that renewable energy jobs have not materialised to the extent promised anywhere, and voters are wise enough to understand the costs of climate inaction in Australia are approximately zero. No matter how dramatic Australia’s cuts, they cannot improve the global environment while global emissions continue to grow substantially — our costly policies will not stop a single storm, ease a drought or avoid a flood.

The only benefit they deliver is a down payment on international action. Obviously, then, there can be no financial or economic cost to inaction.

While the climate cannot be ­altered by anything we do alone, the only price to pay for inaction would be possible diplomatic repercussions for rejecting multilateral climate gestures. The “cost of inaction” argument is an exercise in stupidity and, as the election demonstrated yet again, mainstream voters tend to be smarter than that.

On climate, the ALP review is alarmingly myopic; it effectively recommends Labor sticks with the same extreme policies and inane arguments. It is unclear how it expects voters, who have repeatedly seen through this, to suddenly fall under its virtue-signalling spell.

Yet Anthony Albanese is sticking with this rhetoric; at the ­National Press Club on Friday the Opposition Leader continued with the pretence that additional climate action will create jobs rather than cost them. And he regurgitated Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young’s line from the day before about how the government’s drought response failed to mention climate change — does Labor argue a higher renewable energy target can end the drought? This is absurd stuff.

At Tony Abbott’s farewell dinner on Thursday there was some well-received triumphalism from conservative forces, especially from Peter Dutton, who was received as a hero for bringing on the move to take down Malcolm Turnbull. But ­Abbott made the most incisive point; he said that without Morrison’s victory this period of Coalition government would have gone down in history as an “embarrassing failure”.

Abbott then pointed out that both he and Turnbull owed Morrison a debt of gratitude. Yes, the Morrison win means all three can bathe in some of the success of a tumultuous period that has restored border integrity, rescued the budget, axed onerous taxes, struck significant free-trade deals and ushered in same-sex marriage.

Climate is the issue that repeatedly has divided the Liberal Party and is always a chance to do so again. This is where the Prime Minister has been proven right and others, including me, got it wrong. The proposition that he should abandon Paris as a means of ­accentuating policy difference has been proven unnecessary. His pitch of “Paris and no more” has seen him pick the economic, environmental and political sweet spot where Australia is doing enough but not too much, in a cautious but prudent response.

Taking extreme action on climate is to impose certain economic harm for dubious or non-existent benefits. Best leave that to Weatherill and Labor.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Global cooling!

A terrifying video shows the moment an American Airlines plane skidded off a snowy runway at the O'Hare International Airport in Chicago as the Arctic blast grounds more than 800 flights in the Midwest.

None of the 38 passengers and three crew members aboard the Envoy Air flight from Greensboro, North Carolina, were hurt when the plane slid off the runway at about 7.45am Monday morning amid the quick-moving storm system that is expected to affect at least 60 million people across the US.

In the video, flight 4125 is seen sliding off the runway shortly after the plane landed. The passenger who recorded the video is heard in the background saying 'oh sh*t' once he realized the plane was heading off the runway.

'We're sliding! We're sliding!' another passenger yells in the background shortly before the plane's wing hit the ground, bringing the aircraft to a stop.

The city's aviation department says 803 flights in and out of the airport have been canceled since the incident.

Besides the flights canceled at O'Hare, snow and ice have forced airlines to cancel 93 flights at Chicago's Midway International Airport, putting the total cancellations at 896 between both airports.

The National Weather Service (NWS) expects as much as 6 inches of snow in Illinois and up to 10 inches in northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan.

The snow also caused some minor delays for Metra trains going in and out of Chicago on Monday.

A winter weather advisory has been issued for Chicago and surrounding areas, according to the NWS. 


'Climate emergency' declaration takes heat for fictional 'world scientists'

There was something goofy about the petition signed by 11,258 “world scientists” from 153 countries declaring a “climate emergency.”

One “scientist” was named “Mouse, Micky” from the “Micky Mouse Institute for the Blind, Nambia.” Another was Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts. And then there was “Araminta Aardvark” from the fictional University of Neasden.

Among the “Alliance of World Scientists” members who were apparently real people, many identified themselves as teachers, students, administrators, statisticians, economists, technicians, therapists, doctors, psychologists — not climate scientists.

As it turns out, however, being recognized as a “world scientist” may be easier than you think.

The alliance is a project of the Oregon State University College of Forestry, which invited “all scientists” to add their names to the four-page statement, “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency,” by clicking on a green “sign the article” button on the college’s website.

Following a round of fact-checking in the press and on social media, the college removed 34 names, including “Micky,” “Araminta” and “Dumbledore,” bringing the total to 11,224 signatories on the Nov. 5 article published in the journal BioScience, part of the Oxford University Press.

“During our original signature screening process, we attempted to remove all signatures that appeared to be invalid,” said a post on the OSU website. “Although, a few invalid ones were missed. We are thoroughly reviewing the full list at the moment and will make further updates if required.”

That said, the less-than-scientific signature-gathering process and ensuing media mockery did no favors for the climate-crisis movement, nor the major media outlets that trumpeted the story.

“More than 11,000 scientists from around the world declare a ‘climate emergency,’” said the headline in the Washington Post.

Said the CNN article: “11,000 scientists warn of ‘untold suffering’ caused by climate change.”

“Climate crisis: 11,000 scientists warn of ‘untold suffering,’” said the [U.K.] Guardian, while ABC News reported, “11,000 scientists sign declaration of global climate emergency.”

Ezra Levant, a conservative commentator on Canada’s Rebel News, said the alliance is “not a thing. It’s a one-page homemade website set up by some guy in the forestry department at Oregon State University.”

He noted that one signer identified his speciality as “BS Detection and Analysis.”

“I’m sorry, but that’s a joke,” Mr. Levant said on his Thursday show. “But it sure was important for the propaganda to say there were 11,000 scientists signing this. I wonder, are there even 11,000 climate scientists in the world? Maybe, come to think of it, because what a great way to get government grants.”

No Michael Mann

Climate Depot’s Marc Morano noted that the alliance posted a similar declaration in 2017, and that both were spearheaded by OSU forestry professor William J. Ripple, but that the previous petition was signed by 15,000 “world scientists.”

“Here we go again: The same organization is attempting to recycle their non-scientific commentary about a ‘climate emergency’ with a heavy dose of grad students, social workers, psychologists, veterinarians, librarians, and of course, Disney’s famous mouse character,” said Mr. Morano in an email.

Cracked Breitbart’s James Delingpole: “Now they’re down to just 11,000. Presumably, this time, Professors Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, the Little Mermaid, the Seven Dwarfs and the 101 Dalmatians just weren’t available.”

Australian climate blogger JoNova pointed out that none of the world’s leading climate scientists, including Penn State’s Michael Mann and NASA’s Gavin Schmidt, signed the article.

“Strangely, the world’s about to die and yet none of the top climate scientists are willing to put their name on the list,” she said.

The biggest kahuna on the article may be Stanford biology professor Paul Ehrlich, author of the 1968 doomsday book, “The Population Bomb,” which may explain the petition’s focus on reducing world population to combat climate change. He was also listed as a “contributing reviewer.”

In his bestselling book, Mr. Ehrlich predicted that “hundreds of millions of people will starve to death” in the 1970s due to global overpopulation. He famously lost a 1980 bet with economist Julian Simon over whether commodity prices would rise or fall in the next decade, with Mr. Ehrlich predicting they would rise due to scarcity.

“How fitting if he is involved in the ‘climate emergency,’ since he was the inventor of the population emergency,” said Mr. Morano.

The Washington Times has reached out to Mr. Ehrlich, Mr. Ripple and Oregon State for comment.

The article declared that “the planet Earth is facing a climate emergency” and recommended eliminating fossil-fuel use; increasing forestation; eating more plant-based foods and less meat; lowering fertility rates, and curtailing economic growth.

“Our goals need to shift from GDP growth and the pursuit of affluence toward sustaining ecosystems and improving human well-being by prioritizing basic needs and reducing inequality,” said the alliance.

Mr. Morano described the piece as “a political activist ‘statement’ designed to lobby for ‘social and economic justice’ and ‘a sustainable and equitable future.’”

“Despite the obvious agenda and flaws of this declaration, the media promoted it as expected,” he added.


When Wolves Infiltrate the Sheepfold: Discerning Climate Truth From Falsehood in Churches

In recent decades, environmental issues have emerged as a major source of concern for our society. Churches, except for a small percentage, have largely remained silent on how Christians should approach and even help overcome the environmental challenges.

As a result, Christians have remained susceptible to being deceived by unbiblical principles that demand subscription to radical environmental viewpoints, often antithetical to the biblical doctrines on our relationship with the creation.

These radical theories are often promoted as scientific theories. In reality, they are merely predictive guesses, not hard truth based on solid evidence. With no proactive discourses on such matters in the church, Christians tend to absorb the radical principles and make choices based on them.

Vegetarianism and veganism, for example, are the most common radical environmentalist principles that have infiltrated the church. They have roots in Eastern philosophy and cannot be justified as a morally superior dietary lifestyle.

Other, more radical, principles are often mixed with science to make them more appealing to the masses.

In the 20th century, population control was the most dominant radical environmental theory. Proponents argued that the world will run out of food and other essential resources by the end of the 20th century because of growing population.

But their theories failed. Twentieth-century population growth failed to lead to resource depletion. The world now produces a record number of food crops. Most resource prices are falling—signaling that they are more abundant now, not less. Life expectancy has increased dramatically throughout the world.

Today, a new radical principle is being injected into the church: catastrophic anthropogenic (man-made) global warming (CAGW). In simple terms, CAGW is the belief that greenhouse gas emissions from human activity have caused a dangerous increase in global average temperature (GAT).

However, this time, the radical environmentalists—learning from all the mistakes they made in the 20th century—have made their CAGW theory closely resemble science, making it hard to distinguish it from truth.

Yet CAGW is a radical proposal. Unlike climate change, which is real and continuous, CAGW largely relies on assumptions and forecasts about GAT that are far from the truth.

Real science, using paleoclimate data, shows that current changes in climate (predominantly warming) are neither unprecedented nor dangerous. The radical environmentalists want people to believe current climate changes are unprecedented and will worsen in the future.

Real climate science says warming is driven by many various factors, including changes in the earth's rotation and tilt toward the sun, cycles of energy and magnetic wind output from the sun, ocean circulations, cloud cover, changes in concentration of greenhouse gases (GHG) and various other natural factors. But the radicals want the masses to blindly believe that increased atmospheric GHG concentrations, driven by human activity, are the primary driving force behind the modern warming.

Real climate science has shown us that climate and weather are unpredictable. CAGW radicals want us to trust their faulty computer climate models as legitimate, dependable, accurate tools of climate prediction. Yet computer models failed constantly in the past two decades to predict the trend and magnitude of change in GAT.

Radical environmentalists use several strategies to silence those who try to critically review their distortion of climate science. One is to call anyone who disagrees with their theory a "denier."

As E. Calvin Beisner put it, "belief in 'climate change' (shorthand for dangerous man-made warming that must be mitigated even at the cost of trillions of dollars and potentially trapping billions in poverty) really is a leap of faith." But unlike the Christian faith, which is based on evidence, CAGW is based on imaginary forecasts about future climate states.

Surprisingly, the church has fallen for this crafty bait. The pope, the archbishop of Canterbury and many other Christian leaders are now ardent supporters of the climate alarmist movement. Even some Christian scientists have joined the chorus.

Not one but many wolves have infiltrated the sheepfold. It is high time that the shepherds equip themselves with sound doctrine on environmental stewardship, the counter perspectives and how to discern between lies and truth.

The church needs to do a great deal of study to understand the complex web of climate science, the radical players involved in the debate, and how it compares with the biblical command to steward the creation while wisely using natural resources to meet people's needs.

The scientists, economists, theologians and other scholars of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation think human-induced global warming is real. They also think empirical evidence indicates that it is relatively small and largely benign. They think efforts to reduce it by substituting wind, solar and other renewable energy sources for fossil fuels would do more harm than good both to humanity and to the entire biosphere. They provide scientific, economic and engineering reasons for this view in hundreds of articles and several major papers on their website.


Prominent Geologist Dr. Robert Giegengack dissents – Laments ‘hubris’ of those who ‘believe that we can ‘control’ climate

Global Warming/Climate Change began as a scientific discussion.  It has evolved into a polarizing political argument (whenever a scientific understanding depends on a “consensus”, we know it has become political), and from there to a semi-religious campaign advanced by well-intended people who feel, deep in their hearts, that they are “saving the planet”. 

Many of those people have chosen to allow their good intentions to override their scientific objectivity. As soon as people who disagree about scientific conclusions start calling each other pejorative names, we know that the discussion has become primarily political, not scientific.

I know the work of [MIT’s Dr. Richard] Lindzen, [Climatologist Dr. Roy] Spencer, [Georgia Tech Climatologist Dr. Judith] Curry, [Climatologist Dr. John] Christy, [Princeton Physicist Dr. Will] Happer, etc.I share the skepticism that these people have expressed that anthropogenic CO2 emissions represent the primary driver of the climate change now under way.

We know that the climate “warmed”, with a few unexplained reversals, from ~18,000 years ago until ~1830 AD, as a consequence of factors that have controlled climate for all of Phanerozoic time.  It defies the imagination to suggest that those factors abruptly ceased to operate ~300 years ago just to accommodate our need to attribute contemporary climate change to human activity.

It beggars the imagination to assert that the natural factors that drove the warming trend from 18,000 years ago to ~300 years ago (with some unexplained temperature reversals) abruptly stopped operating at the end of the Little Ice Age to accommodate our political need to attribute climate variability to human industrial activity.

Climate models are instructive, but they lead to scenarios, not predictions. They can be manipulated to yield desired outputs.
Removing the groundwater contribution, not directly the consequence of climate change, yields a rate of global sea-level rise that is the slowest in the last 18,000 years.  In prior “interglacial” times, most recently to ~125,000 years ago, global sea level rose to levels higher than the present sea level, and no humans were burning fossil fuels.

We run an insidious risk:  When/if a) we learn that anthropogenic CO2 is not the primary driver of contemporary climate change; b) we drastically reduce anthropogenic output of CO2 and the climate does not respond as we have predicted; or c) we enter a period of unexplained cooling, as the mid-20th-century cooling episode, or the Little Ice Age, the credibility of climate scientists will be dashed, and with it the credibility of any scientist who tries to inform environmental policy via rigorous science.

More HERE 

Australia: Greens playing politics with fire, say Labor and Coalition

Senior Coalition and Labor MPs have launched a bitter attack on the Greens for suggesting climate change policies are responsible for the catastrophic bushfire threat confronting NSW and Queensland.

As firefighters braced for the arrival of high winds and low ­humidity that threaten some of the worst conditions seen since the Black Saturday bushfires a decade ago, Greens leader Richard Di ­Natale sparked fury from both major parties when he said the ­nation’s emissions policy had caused the fires that killed three people and injured 100.

Senior Nationals turned the ­attack back on the Greens, suggesting that environmental opposition to backburning, particularly in national parks, had exacerbated the bushfire threat.

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro criticised his state’s ­National Parks Service for contributing to the catastrophic threat facing the state by failing to carry out extensive backburning in the lead-up to bushfire season.

“We need to do more hazard ­reduction, (burning) in national parks to manage the fuel load,” Mr Barilaro told The Australian. “Everyone knows that this is a real issue and I’ve got the guts to say it.”

Senator Di Natale sparked the row on Monday when he said: “Every politician, lobbyist, pundit and journalist who has fought to block serious action on climate change bears responsibility for the increasing risk from a heating planet that is producing these deadly bushfires.”

Federal Labor agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon, who is facing fire threats in his NSW seat of Hunter, lashed the Greens for politicising the catastrophe.

Mr Fitzgibbon said it was ­“absolutely the wrong time to be looking for political opportunity and it’s also hypocritical given the Greens opposed the CPRS (the Rudd government’s carbon pollution reduction scheme)”.

“But if Scott Morrison wasn’t sitting back and allowing emissions to increase every year there would be less political tension in the necessary community conversation about the need to act and adapt to our changing weather patterns,” he added.

Deputy Prime Minister ­Michael McCormack criticised the Greens’ comments as the “disgraceful, disgusting” behaviour of “raving inner-city lunatics”.

The Nationals leader said Australia had experienced bushfires since “time began” and he found it “galling” that people linked the ­catastrophe with climate change. “What people need now is a little bit of sympathy, understanding and real assistance, they need help, they need shelter,” Mr McCormack said. “They don’t need the ravings of some pure, enlightened and woke capital-city greenies at this time when they’re trying to save their homes.”

However, Greens MP Adam Bandt said Mr McCormack was a “dangerous fool” who was putting lives at risk through the government’s inaction on climate change.

“Thoughts and prayers are not enough; we need science and ­action too,” Mr Bandt said. “They’ve done everything in their power to make these catastrophic fires more likely. When you cuddle coal in Canberra, the rest of the country burns.”

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd hit out at the Greens’ comments, pointing out it was the Greens who had blocked action on climate change when they ­opposed the CPRS in 2009.

“Seriously? If it weren’t for the Green party’s political opportunism in 2009-10, we would now be 10 years into an emissions trading scheme, a fully functioning carbon price, a long-term transition from coal and leading global action on climate,” Mr Rudd told The Australian.

“Instead, what did the Green party do? To try and score political points off my government, they hypocritically jumped into bed with the Liberals to defeat my legislation in the Senate. The rest is history.”

NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall echoed Mr Barilaro’s sentiments, saying: “More needs to be done to clear fire trails, back burning operations and allow controlled stock grazing to keep fuel loads down. Better management would help enormously and lack of good quality local management has contributed.”

Mr Marshall told parliament three weeks ago that he had written to state Environment Minister Matt Kean “requesting a full and immediate review of fire management in the state’s national parks”.

“It is clear that landholders felt that there is a ‘lock it and leave it’ approach to management in ­national parks, which is not good enough,” Mr Marshall said at the time.

Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce said it was “infuriating” the Greens were attempting to score political points by saying the government’s “inaction” on climate change had contributed to fires that had killed three people.

Mr Joyce said climate change action in Australia would do nothing to reduce the bushfire risk ­unless there was also action taken by China, India and the US.

Australia produced 1.3 per cent of the planet’s emissions, compared with China’s 27.5 per cent and the 14.75 per cent that comes from the US.

Mr Joyce, a former deputy prime minister, said people were “once again talking about indigenous land management” because there were too many regulations around controlled burning ahead of bushfire season.

“We haven’t had the capacity to easily access (hazard) reduction burns because of all of the paperwork that is part of green policy,” Mr Joyce said.

Shine Energy chief executive Ash Dodd, an indigenous businessman trying to build a coal-fired power station in central Queensland, said traditional owners had undertaken hazard ­reduction to manage the fire risk “since time immemorial”.

“The responsibility of the build-up of surplus fuel must lay at the hands of state governments which do not allow seasonal burning based upon the traditions and customs of Australian traditional owners such as the Birri people,” Mr Dodd said.

Hazard-reduction burning has also been a contentious issue in Queensland.

A Queensland Audit Office ­report issued last year ­revealed the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services had missed key deadlines to improve the state’s bushfire readiness.

The report, itself a follow up to a highly critical audit of QFES in 2014, had “improved its visibility and oversight” of bushfire risk, ­including establishing the Office of Bushfire Mitigation and area fire management groups. However, the audit office said the authority had not fully implemented any of the original 2014 recommendations despite committing to do so by the following year.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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