Tuesday, March 12, 2019

If You're Serious About Climate...
Do you ever wonder why people run for office? I mean, unless you’re a total cynic, you must assume that at least part of the motivation is wanting to do good. Sure, those who run for office want fame and prestige, but they also have strongly held views and want to affect public policy, right? So why in the world would they engage in sabotage of the ideas they hope to advance?

That’s undeniably what Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey have done with their juvenile Green New Deal.

Consider: The caricature of environmentalists is that they are just using climate change as a stalking horse for their true agenda, which is to socialize the entire economy. And lo and behold, what does the Green New Deal resolution call for? Net zero carbon emissions in 10 years, universal health care, guaranteed jobs for all, paid family leave, paid vacations, refurbishing every single building in the country to meet environmental standards, eliminating nuclear power and on and on. In fact, most of the resolution doesn’t even address climate change. Here’s a flavor:

The Green New Deal seeks “To promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth (referred to in this resolution as ‘frontline and vulnerable communities’).”

Okaaaaay. So what Ocasio-Cortez and Markey have achieved, along with all of the Democrats who’ve endorsed this childish wish list, is to make themselves look like dummies and to reinforce the impression that they are totally unserious about combating climate change.

If they were committed to mitigating what they claim to believe is a looming catastrophe, you might imagine they would study the question for at least a few minutes, even swallow hard and make some tough choices about the way forward. That’s what others have done.

Recently, the Union of Concerned Scientists issued a statement noting that the “sobering realities” of climate change “dictate that we keep an open mind about all of the tools in the emissions reduction toolbox — even ones that are not our personal favorites.” In other words, they don’t like nuclear power, but they concede that it is necessary.

As Samuel Thernstrom of the Energy Innovation Reform Project points out, renewables get all the love, but they are simply incapable of meeting the energy demands of our whole economy. It’s not because the sun goes down at night and the wind doesn’t always blow. It’s because in some regions, the sun gets weak and the wind stops blowing for months at a time. Batteries are advancing, but not fast enough to make an all-renewables power grid practical for some time.

Other technologies, by contrast, are on the shelf and ready to go. Nuclear power, though it gives left-wingers the shakes, is safe and reliable. The accidents make headlines, but nuclear plants have not been responsible for a single death in the United States. Three Mile Island caused no damage to human beings. Even Russia’s 1986 Chernobyl meltdown, which caused many to predict tens of thousands of cancer deaths in its wake, has shown nothing of the kind. A 2015 National Institutes of Health paper found that, “In spite of the best efforts of statisticians and epidemiologists, the claimed Chernobyl-induced cancers and mutations have yet to manifest themselves.” The U.S. has been using compact nuclear reactors in submarines and aircraft carriers for decades — without a single accident, says Thernstrom.

The greatest reductions in greenhouse gas emissions were achieved by France in the 1970s and ‘80s when the country made a big switch to nuclear energy. They reduced their carbon emissions by 2 percent per year while still providing their people with affordable energy.

Carbon capture is showing promise, too. NET Power has opened a new natural gas plant in La Porte, Texas, that buries all of the excess carbon dioxide underground.

None of the choices we face is cost-free. But if people are serious about addressing climate change, they must, at the very least, acknowledge the simple reality that you cannot stamp your foot and demand that the entire U.S. economy be transformed in 10 years. Evaluate the trade-offs. Be serious, or risk becoming a joke and making your issue a punchline, too.


UK: Keep kids out of the climate debate

Primary school children are being needlessly frightened about the future.

Last week, St John’s Catholic Primary School in Bebington, Wirral, tweeted a video of its schoolchildren staging a classroom protest against fracking. ‘Stop fracking’, chant the children in unison, sat around their desks, holding placards they made in class.

The tweet was one of many showing children drawing pictures of pollution and environmental damage. Twitter users accused the school of ‘indoctrination’. The video has since been deleted and the school has made its Twitter account private

Sadly, this kind of overt politicisation of the classroom is all too common today. Environmentalism has been a feature of education for the past two decades. In 2000, the National Curriculum was revised to make teaching sustainable development compulsory in geography, design and technology, science and citizenship. The National Curriculum Handbook for Teachers, published in 2004, stated that one of the aims of the curriculum was to secure children’s ‘commitment to sustainable development at a personal, local, national and global level’.

A huge chunk of the education system is thus geared towards teaching children that our current society is unsustainable and that fossil fuels are destroying the planet. It is little wonder, then, that well-meaning teachers are encouraging their pupils to ‘show their commitment’ to environmental causes through classroom demos. But we shouldn’t let the strangeness of all this escape us.

Most political movements aim to persuade adults to their cause. But as very few adults have been convinced to make the sacrifices demanded by environmentalists, children have instead become the focus of green campaigning. Children instinctively trust the adults around them and accept that what they are taught by teachers is true. But environmental campaigns often go further than simply informing future generations about the climate. Many initiatives urge children to use emotional pressure to change their parents’ behaviour. One example is ‘Climate Cops’, run by the energy firm npower: school pupils are given police-officer-style notebooks so that they can ‘book’ themselves, friends or family members who are caught wasting energy or performing other ‘climate-unfriendly’ actions.

The previous chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Rajendra Pachauri, has often argued that greens should focus on children. In an interview on Al Jazeera, he said that children should be used to ‘shame adults into taking the right steps’. Pachauri’s ideas are echoed in UNICEF’s manual on climate-change education, which aims to help children become ‘agents of change’.

Last month, when thousands of children in the UK went on an officially sanctioned ‘strike’ to protest climate change, it was clear from the placards, chants and news vox pops that many children today are frightened and upset about the prospect of a burning planet. Some protesting children even said that education was a waste of time because climate change would soon render the world uninhabitable. The kind of doom-mongering these children are subjected to in the classroom may be useful for environmentalists, but it is giving our kids sleepless nights.

Children today have no reason to fear the future. Quality of life has improved substantially over recent decades across the globe, and it will likely continue to do so. Schools should be helping young children to learn and have fun, instead of scaring them stiff.


Howard Schultz Tears into Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal: ‘Let’s Propose Things That Are True’

Potential presidential candidate and former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz scoffed at the proposed Green New Deal on Saturday and challenged advocates such as Democratic New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to embrace reality instead of socialism.

Schultz spoke at the South by Southwest Conference & Festival in Austin, Texas. His criticism of the Green New Deal echoes criticism from GOP lawmakers who have told The Western Journal that the proposal would be a disaster.

Schulz has said he may run for president in 2020 as an independent but has been vague about his plans. He said that Democrats’ drift toward socialism is a political gift to President Donald Trump.

“For us to start moving towards a level of socialism is such an extreme position and something that is inconsistent with the values, the heritage, and the tradition of the country,” Schultz said. “And that is what Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and others are proposing to try and defeat Donald Trump with a far extreme proposal.”

“If Donald Trump runs against one of those types of candidates it’s my belief that Donald Trump will be reelected, that the vast majority of Americans are not going to embrace socialism,” Schultz said.

Schultz said the Green New Deal has lost touch with reality.

“I read that by 2030 they’re suggesting that every building in America becomes clean energy, conforms to clean energy, just to put that in perspective, because it’s not realistic, that would mean that between 2,000 and 3,000 buildings a day would have to be reconstructed to conform to what they’re saying,” Schultz said. “So let’s be sensible about what we’re suggesting.”

Schultz added that the concept was “a well-intentioned idea but it’s never going to happen.”

“Let’s propose things that are true, that are honest, that are sincere, and that are realistic,” Schultz said.

Ocasio-Cortez could not let the comments pass without a reply. "Ah yes, because we‘ve all drawn upon the rich inspiration of American leaders who‘ve inspired a nation in crisis by saying, “No, You Can’t.”

Schultz also said that the growing litany of “free” programs proposed by Democrats ignore the reality that all programs have costs.

“There’s nothing free in America,” Schultz said. “So these proposals about Medicare for all, and free college, and a government job for everybody, that is not free. So someone is going to have to pay for that and that means that taxes for everyone is going to have to go up or someone’s going to have to wave a magic wand and do something that doesn’t exist but that has to be paid for by somebody and the difficulty in trying to pay for any of that is we’re sitting with $22 trillion of debt that has to be addressed.”

He added that a job guarantee is a promise that government cannot keep. “I don’t understand how you’re going to give a job for everybody, how you’re going to give free college to everybody, how you’re going to create clean energy throughout the country in every building of the land,” he said. “I think it’s immoral to suggest that we can tally up $20, $30, $40, $50 trillion of debt to solve a problem that could be solved in a different way.”


Climate Change Theory: What's Wrong with it?

For the record, climate does vary -- think ice ages. And a combination of natural climate variability and measurement problems make the likelihood of singling out a human fingerprint very low. I look here at how climate alarmism is being sold in a distinctly unscientific manner.

The term ‘science’ properly refers to the scientific method, which is a system of inference designed to weed out incorrect ideas in favor of those supported by experiment and observation. The crux of the scientific method is rejection of theory rather than proof of it. From Bacon to Hopper and Feinman, it has been well understood that scientific theory must be “falsifiable,” that is, subject to test and rejection. Falsifiability depends on narrow and specific conditions imposed by theory. If the conditions fail, the theory is wrong.

On the other hand, we hear a lot these days about consensus, skepticism, and denial. Warmists often cite the “97-percent consensus” that manmade climate change is true and “settled.” This claim stems from a single study of article abstracts dealing with climate. The study suffers from a number of serious method flaws and has been roundly debunked. A more reasonable conclusion from the study is that 3% of the abstracts support manmade warming, not 97%. In reality the science is not at all settled.

What else is wrong with climate change alarm?

First, how did global warming get to be climate change? At least with warming there is a scientific theory: increase CO2 levels and get two or three degrees of direct and indirect warming. Why the switch to talking about too cold/too hot and other severe weather? Perhaps it’s because satellite and weather balloon data have failed to bear out GW theory for almost 20 years. Well, says NASA, surface weather station data do show warming as expected. But this picture emerges only as a result of serial and unexplained fudging of the data. Plus, NASA is from the government and has made such a mess of land and sea surface data as to make it useless as evidence for anything but data manipulation.

Second, there’s an awful lot of argument from authority going on in the alarmist camp. The researchers there call themselves climate scientists and make the ostentatious claim that only they can understand the atmosphere. Did you get what I said about the scientific method? What in that description suggests that only experts can be critics? Not to mention, the most powerful cohort in the warmist universe is the computer modelers. These guys design code that reflects theory, what they think is going on in the air. CO2 is in; solar is out. Then they run the models to get a whole bunch of curves and say, well then; that proves it. The models did just what we told them to do. Anything funny about this logic?


Another "heatwave" in Australia

The BoM are always trying to pretend that global warming is here.  They are not brazen enough these days to say exactly that but constant talk of heatwaves creates that impression. The weather they refer to is in fact fairly normal -- as they admit further down in the story.

A Brisbane summer extends into March and a normal mid-afternoon summer temperature in Brisbane is 34C.  At mid-afternoon on Monday 11th  the temperature was 32C.  The BoM forecast was 36C.  So the "heatwave" impression is entirely false

Look at the graphic they supply as part of their report.  With all the red ink it looks rather terrifying but all it shows is a normal weather pattern.  Western Australia and Western Queensland (the purple bits) are always extraordinarily hot. The graph is a good example of how you can be truthful but deceptive

Parts of the east coast are set to swelter through extreme temperatures this week due to a post-summer heatwave.

The mercury will hit 36C in Brisbane's CBD on Monday and 39C in the western suburb of Ipswich - around 10C above average for this time of year.

The March record stands at 37.9C degrees for Brisbane and 38C for Ipswich.

The forecast has prompted the Bureau of Meteorology to issue a severe heatwave warning for south Queensland.

Meanwhile, Sydney will reach 28C on Monday and top 34 degrees on Tuesday - before three days of showers bringing 10mm of rain.

Perth will also be hot, reaching 30C on Monday, the same temperature as Canberra.

The south coast will be cooler, with Melbourne and Adelaide peaking at 23C while Hobart will reach 22C. 

Brisbane will on Tuesday cool down slightly but still reach 33C and temperatures will remain in the 30s until at least next Saturday.

Further west, the Darling Downs and Lockyer Valley regions will swelter through the high 30s.

'A trough off the south-eastern Queensland coast has been quite persistent in its location, so the northerly winds will bring warm air to the region over the next few days,' Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Michael Gray told Daily Mail Australia.

Mr Gray said the warm weather isn't unusual for this time of the year in south-east Queensland. 'It's only been a few weeks since summer has ended,' he told Daily Mail Australia.

'Stay inside  in the air conditioning, keep water bottles full and don't go outside in the hottest part of the day between 10am and 3pm,' he said.



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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