Friday, June 28, 2019

UN report on global warming warns of "climate apartheid" between rich and poor

This is all perfectly logical if we assume that a couple of degrees warming is going to affect anything much.  But will it? The population outside the tropics are not be going to be bothered by a couple of degrees warming.

People in the tropics already live in temperatures way above the global average so why should people in more temperate climes experience difficulty with a slightly warmer environment?

The very hottest territories may experience out-movement but that is a problem for their neighbors only.  There is no reason to expect any significant global effect

The UN has published a new report detailing the dangers of climate change, with a particular focus on how it will shape the issue of poverty in the coming decades. It paints a grim picture for not just those suffering in the current day, but the millions upon millions that will be pushed into poverty as a result of a changing climate, which also has the potential to upend democracy and human rights.

The new report echoes the sentiments of past climate reports published by the UN, calling on governments to do more than the steps laid out in the Paris Agreement in order to limit warming to levels considered safe. These have highlighted the issues of climate refugees, diminishing natural resources and extreme weather events, but the latest puts the spotlight on inequality between rich and poor, and how global warming threatens to widen the divide.

"Even if current targets are met, tens of millions will be impoverished, leading to widespread displacement and hunger," said the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights and report author Philip Alston. "Climate change threatens to undo the last 50 years of progress in development, global health, and poverty reduction. It could push more than 120 million more people into poverty by 2030 and will have the most severe impact in poor countries, regions, and the places poor people live and work."

The report leans on figures from the World Bank and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change among others, and in part imagines a world a few decades down the track with 2° C (3.6° F) of warming above pre-industrial levels. It says this could see 100 to 400 million more people at risk of hunger and 1 to 2 billion without access to adequate water. Crop yields could drop by 30 percent by 2080, while malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, and heat stress could cause an additional 250,000 deaths per year by 2030.

It also points out the discrepancies in carbon emissions coming from the poor, who will suffer the most, and the wealthy, who will suffer less. The 3.5 billion people making up the poorer half of the world's population are responsible for only 10 percent of these emissions, while the wealthiest 10 percent contribute half. Strikingly, a person in the richest one percent is responsible for 175 times more carbon emissions than somebody in the bottom 10 percent.

"Perversely, while people in poverty are responsible for just a fraction of global emissions, they will bear the brunt of climate change, and have the least capacity to protect themselves," Alston said. "We risk a 'climate apartheid' scenario where the wealthy pay to escape overheating, hunger, and conflict while the rest of the world is left to suffer."

Equally important as the issues of food security, housing and water, the report says, is the threat to democracy and the rule of law. It says the anticipated mass migrations of people forced to either starve or move will "pose immense and unprecedented challenges to governance" and likely stimulate "nationalist, xenophobic, racist and other responses."

"In such a setting, civil and political rights will be highly vulnerable," Alston said. "Most human rights bodies have barely begun to grapple with what climate change portends for human rights, and it remains one on a long laundry list of 'issues', despite the extraordinarily short time to avoid catastrophic consequences. As a full-blown crisis that threatens the human rights of vast numbers of people bears down, the usual piecemeal, issue-by-issue human rights methodology is woefully insufficient."


G20 members at odds over climate change for summit meeting - sources

G20 negotiators are wrangling over the wording of a summit communique on combatting climate change, with the United States pushing to downgrade the language against European opposition, according to sources and drafts of the text.

The arguments are a reprise of tussles over global warming that have stymied talks in multilateral forums since U.S. President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of a landmark agreement to limit the effects of climate change.

The latest draft, seen by Reuters, includes language supporting implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement, and saying the accord signed by 200 nations is "irreversible".

An earlier draft, also seen by Reuters, did not include such language at the insistence of the United States, two sources familiar with the discussions over the communique told Reuters.

Further changes to the communique are likely before the final adoption of the text on Saturday by Group of 20 leaders in Osaka for this week's summit, but the inclusion of stronger language came as French President Emmanuel Macron said France will not accept a text that does not mention the Paris agreement.

"If we don't talk about the Paris Agreement and if we don't get an agreement on it amongst the 20 members in the room, we are no longer capable of defending our climate change goals and France will not be part of this," he said in Tokyo on Wednesday before heading to Osaka.

France was one of the main drivers behind the Paris accord and the French parliament is now debating an energy bill that targets net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

"Negotiations on the topic of climate will be especially difficult this time," a German government official said on Wednesday.

Nations in Paris agreed to limit the global average rise from pre-industrial temperatures to well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Current policies, though, put the world on track for at least a 3C rise by the end of the century, according to a United Nations report in 2016.

Investors managing more than $34 trillion (26.8 trillion pounds) in assets, nearly half the world's invested capital, piled pressure on G20 leaders on Wednesday, demanding urgent action from governments on climate change.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday also urged G20 countries to back more ambitious climate goals, among other international initiatives.

Summit host Japan has been criticized for backing the continued use of coal for power generation, one of the biggest sources of gas emissions that cause global warming.


California Air Resources Board Evades Public Oversight

California taxpayers have long been aware that politicians and bureaucrats need watching. Accordingly, the 1967 Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act implements a provision of the California Constitution declaring that “the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies shall be open to public scrutiny.” The Act also mandates open meetings for state agencies, board, and commissions, but this mandate does not always prevail. As Katy Grimes of the California Globe reports, the Omnibus Resources Trailer Bill for 2019-20 contains language exempting a commission of the California Air Resources Board and CalEPA from the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act. And as Grimes notes “this isn’t the first time the ARB has found itself exempted from the Open Meetings Act.”

In 2012, CARB boss Mary Nichols teamed with Assembly Speaker John Perez to exempt the ARB from the open meetings act. Senate Bill 2018 “specifically exempted CARB from open meeting rules in upcoming cap-and-trade auctions, allowing CARB’s Western Climate Initiative, Inc. to manage carbon trading auctions without any public scrutiny.”

As it happens, Mary Nichols is a lawyer, not a scientist, and has never seen a regulation she didn’t like. She left CARB in 1983 and ran Tom Bradley’s gubernatorial campaign in 1986. Bradley lost and Nichols became director of Norman Lear’s People for the American Way and founded the Los Angeles office of the Natural Resources Defense Council, where she served as a senior attorney. During the Clinton administration, Nichols worked for the federal EPA as Assistant Administrator of Air and Radiation, followed by a stint with the Environment Now Foundation.

Nichols returned to CARB in 2007 at the request of Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Nichols championed AB 32, the “Global Warming Solutions Act,” with a host of new regulations and restrictions. Gov. Jerry Brown reappointed Nichols in 2011, and on her watch CARB operates with a budget of more than $860 million. That is a lot of power for a regulatory zealot who never has to face the voters and seeks to keep her mammoth agency off-limits to public scrutiny. Whatever Nichols is trying to hide can’t be good for California taxpayers.


Wind And Solar Are Already Costing You Money (And You May Not Even Know It)

It is a safe argument that once we quarry the cement required, mine and refine the steel and aluminum, and dig up the rare earth minerals that every wind turbine requires, Industrial Wind Turbines cannot even be considered green.

Yet at least 23 states require that their electric utilities obtain some portion of the electricity they sell from renewable sources. In all cases in our nation, they mean wind and solar farms.

In most cases this energy costs at least three times more than conventional fossil fuel power plants.

Were they not subsidized by the Federal government (your taxes) and often state subsidies for these sources of power, they would cost 6 to 7 times more than natural gas and coal. When wind and solar costs are folded into your electricity bill, it is raised considerably for most Americans.

The argument in favor of these state-enforced Renewable Energy Standards is that they encourage competition with fossil fuel power plants.

This is actually the equivalent of forcing people to eat in an expensive restaurant when they could get a fine meal at a mid-priced family restaurant; the government will pick up part of the bill at the expensive restaurant making it only 50% more expensive instead of twice the price.

It is helpful to understand where America gets its energy. The United States Energy Information Agency is happy to oblige us with the data.

Natural gas plants supply 34% of our electricity, coal plants 30%, hydroelectric power plants supply 7%, nuclear power plants supply 20%, and as stated above, 6% is from wind and solar installations.

Where every single one of these installations exists energy to your home cost more than it would without it.

The homeowner must pay the price for the government’s belief that it is doing something beneficial for the environment or the Earth’s temperature.

Well speaking of competition, let’s assume that carbon dioxide does have a role in determining the temperature of our planet. Then let’s look at the other known factors that impact our planet’s temperature.

They include reflectivity of dark earth as compared to snow; evaporation of water; condensation; reflectivity of clouds; Infrared Radiation by water; methane content of air; other greenhouse gases; gross movement of air; deep ocean currents; salinity of the oceans; deforestation; crop growth; cities; volcanoes; highways; strength of the Earth’s magnetic field; strength of the sun’s magnetic field; solar storms; solar ultra-violet light; cosmic rays; the solar wind; the location of the earth within our galaxy, the Milky Way; cloud cover leading to warmer nights.

This is just a partial list. Do we have your attention yet?

Is there any doubt that all these factors are important? The real secret is that the best climatologists do not thoroughly understand them.

Our government is willing to force you to pay more for your energy on their wrongheaded knowledge of a single variable, carbon dioxide. This writer believes it is not even remotely involved in the planet’s thermostat.

All of the increases in living expenses associated with renewable energy are a disproportionate toll on low-income families.

The term ‘energy poor’ has arisen to describe households forced to spend more than 10% of their income to cover energy costs.

In the US, the government subsidizes all home solar installations so those who do not install them are paying their tax money to those who do.

The only winner in the renewable energy sweepstakes is Big Government. Under the guise of ‘saving the planet’, governments are now in a position where they can micromanage entire economies.

The socialist movement paints a picture of a utopian future in which a benevolent and infallible government oversees all aspects of energy and the economy.

Hopefully, most of us will recognize the absurdity of such a failed political philosophy before it is too late.


How to Create a Country with no Heart

By Viv Forbes

What happened to Australia's once-bipartisan policies favouring decentralisation? Why is every proposal to develop an outback mine, dam, irrigation scheme or a real power station now labelled "controversial" by the ABC and opposed by the ALP/Greens?

This coastal-city focus and the hostility to new outback industry (except for wind/solar toys) has surely reached its zenith with the recent state budget for Queensland.

The population of coastal and metropolitan Queensland is surging with baby-boom retirees, welfare recipients, grey nomads, tourists, overseas students, migrants and winter refugees. But the outback is dying with lagging industry and many aging farmers retiring to the coast. We are creating a country with no heart.

The growing urban and seaside population needs power, water and food.

However two critical power-water-food infrastructure projects that have been on the drawing boards for decades did not even rate a mention in the state budget - an expansion of coal-fired power at Kogan Creek and a water supply dam at Nathan Gorge.

The current policy of all major parties is cluttering the countryside with piddling subsidised intermittent power producers like solar panels and wind turbines plus their expensive network of roads and transmission lines. This is inflating electricity prices, and future generations will see this bi-partisan energy policy as a disastrous blunder. It is also a mistake to encourage or subsidise private electricity cartels and put politicians, not engineers, in charge of power generation.

The Kogan Creek power station with its adjacent coal mine was opened in 2007. It is connected to the National Grid and integrated with local gas-fired and solar supplies. It was always planned to add another generating unit at Kogan Creek, but twelve long years have passed with no action.

Kogan Creek is crucial to maintaining a stable power supply to eastern Australia. This was demonstrated recently when a fault temporarily shut down Kogan Creek. The National Grid was barely maintained for about 30 minutes by the battery in SA until other base load generators could be started. With the likely 7 month closure of one damaged generating unit at Loy Yang power station, East Australian electricity supplies are now even more precarious.

Moreover, with the complete failure of the $105M Kogan solar booster and delays to other solar plants in this area which were to be connected to the grid, the duplication of Kogan Creek is urgently needed.

Coal produces reliable low-cost electricity from a concentrated area with less real environmental damage than gas, wind or solar. These low density energy sources need much more land to collect equivalent continuous energy from a wide area of bores, pipelines, turbines and solar collectors plus their backup generators, connecting roads and transmission lines.

Most CSG wells also need to pump salt water from each bore before the gas will flow. Even if costly processes are used to extract fresh water from this salt water, brines are left behind and must be stored safely. This evil-genie of salt should be left in its underground lair and disturbed as little as possible.

It is becoming clear that that CO2 does NOT drive global warming. Even if it did, when careful life-of-project studies are done for all of Qld energy sources, coal and hydro look likely to have the lowest carbon footprint with the least environmental harm (and they do not slice, dice or fry birds and bats).

The surface disruption from an open cut coal mine is 100% and it shocks the senses. However, it recovers 100% of concentrated energy from a small area of land - far less than is permanently sterilised by roads and schools, and there is no intention of restoring them. Even if the open cut was abandoned at the end of mine life, slow but relentless natural healing would immediately start. However, instead of treating the final void as an expensive liability to be refilled with overburden, it should be seen as an asset to be contoured as a pleasant lake or used for burial of the growing mountains of urban waste.

The need to conserve more water is also urgent. Nathan Gorge has been known as an ideal dam site for 50 years, but still nothing is done. The site and catchment make it likely to be a high-yielding, cost-efficient dam. It is vital to the continuing development of the Surat and southern Bowen Basins and its water could be used for irrigation, power generation or fed into the Condamine/Darling River in droughts.

Kogan and Nathan are decentralising projects that could provide community insurance for blackouts, floods and droughts.

It is the outback that produces most of Australia's food, minerals, energy, water, exports and jobs. And it produces serious income for state governments addicted to ever-rising taxes and royalties.

Anti-development policies, land-use sterilisation, climate alarmism and green law-fare are destroying the future for our kids and grandkids. Current policies will stack-and-pack the coasts and major cities leaving a depopulated outback to uncontrolled floods and droughts, lantana and woody-weeds, wild cats and dogs, wild fires, feral pigs and the occasional park ranger or tourist bus.



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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