Wednesday, October 30, 2019

AOC Gets Schooled on Realities of Climate Science By Expert After Prior Attempts to Silence the CO2 Coalition

Arlington, VA - The CO2 Coalition had the opportunity to correct the falsehoods lawmakers are using to push alarmist climate policies during Congressional hearing on October 23rd.

CO2 Coalition member Mandy Gunasekara, who served as the Trump administration's top air and climate adviser at the EPA, was questioned by alarmist climate change activists such as Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform at a hearing entitled Examining the Oil Industry's Efforts to Suppress the Truth about Climate Change.

"It's important to understand that asking questions in the context of science is not denialism," said CO2 Coalition member and Former EPA official Mandy Gunasekara. "The very essence of better scientific understanding is by asking tough questions and challenging the status quo. What's different in the context of climate change science compared to different areas of science I've worked on is that anyone who speaks up and mentions some measure of uncertainty gets attacked and there's a massive backlash for any scientist willing to ask tough questions and have some measure of reason and balance in assessing these sophisticated issues."

"The problem with the Green New Deal is that it's completely unrealistic," she added. "It would force an unnatural shift to renewable energy sources, would lead to an exponential increase of the price of electricity, and there's significant economic consequences to that. The technology that would be required to maintain access to a reliable source of energy in a system that is overly reliant on wind and solar power simply doesn't exist."

Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, clearly unable to address the concerns brought up by Ms. Gunaskara, proceeded to use her time to attack the CO2 Coalition's funding sources. This was the first time that Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez actually talked with members of the CO2 Coalition.

In January of this year, she wrote to Facebook and Google, asking them to ban CO2 Coalition's scientists and economists from speak at tech-sponsored conferences. In April she refused to engage with CO2 Coalition climate statistician Caleb Rossiter during his testimony before the same committee, and instead joined a rally in the hallway trying to shout him down.

The full exchange can be found below -- at 2.12 mark

Via email

Bleak Outlook For UK Energy Usage

Andy Rowlands

A few days ago I was told about a website called Gridwatch. It was created to monitor the daily power requirements for the UK, and shows the contributions of all the current power generators around the country. It updates itself every 15 minutes.

This is the link to the gridwatch website. Below is a screenshot from the site.

The UK currently gets electricity from a variety of sources, depending on the time of year and the prevailing weather conditions each day. The breakdown of the different methods of electricity generation are, in roughly descending percentages of average daily requirements, gas turbines, coal, nuclear, biomass, wind farms, solar arrays, hydroelectric and pumped storage.

As of the time of writing this article, the actual breakdown was:-

Combined Cycle Gas Turbines – 58.8%
Nuclear – 17.2%
Wind – 6.3%
Solar – 5.5%
Biomass – 2.9%
Coal – 2.16%
Hydro – 1.56%
Pumped Storage – 0.37%

Add up the full list of contributors, and you get to around 95% of our daily electrical requirements, so most days we import around 5% through what is known as the French Interconnector, using their spare nuclear capacity.

There are two other Interconnectors through which we can import electricity; the Belgian and Dutch. If you click on the coloured ‘France’ symbol in the top left corner of the screen, you can see the French power requirements and see they get around 75% of their energy from nuclear power.

The Conservatives want to dispense with ‘fossil fuel’ and nuclear electricity generation by 2050, Labour by 2040 and Extinction Rebellion by 2025, and have us thereafter rely solely on wind & solar. The environmentalists also want to dispense with the hydroelectric & pumped storage installations.

Running flat out, our current wind farms can produce around 12.5gw & solar arrays around 10gw. On clear windy days this equates to just over half our daily energy requirements of around 38gw, the rest being made up by the other forms of generation listed above, but that assumes the wind is blowing every day not too little or too much, and every day is cloudless.

If the wind is too slight, the turbines don’t turn fast enough to generate the correct voltage. If the wind is blowing too strongly, the turbines have to be brought to a stop to prevent them over-speeding and damaging the electric motors and bearings.

If we acceded to Extinction Rebellion’s ‘demands’ by 2025 and discontinued every form of electricity generation in the UK apart from wind and solar, we would have permanent 50% power cuts, and that again assumes that every day from then on the wind will be blowing constantly at the right speed, and every day will be cloudless, which rarely happens.

In reality, we would be lucky to have electricity 20% of the time. The effect on homes, businesses and perhaps most importantly hospitals would be devastating.

There are two other major problems. Dispensing with natural gas, which the government wants to do by 2035, will mean that most people would no longer be able to heat their homes or cook, as most houses now have gas-fired central heating and ovens.

The government wants all heating and cooking to be electric, but the existing national grid cannot support such a large increase in demand, estimated to be around ten-fold, so a massive upgrade would be required of the entire electricity distribution system nationwide, which would involve replacing every pylon, every transmission line, every underground cable, all the associated switchgear and the wiring in most houses. Such a colossal project would take many years and cost hundreds of millions of pounds, costs that would be passed onto consumers.

The other major issue is if we stop using oil, we will not be able to maintain the wind turbines, as there will be no lubricants and greases, so once they fail or reach the end of their working lives, they will likely never work again. If we are to fully ‘de-carbonise’, it will require the virtual elimination of manufacturing and industry, so there will be no way to make any news ones, or replacement parts for existing ones.

Whichever way you look at it, the chances of us continuing to have 24-hour electricity on demand are receding with every passing year. The future for the UK is looking cold and dark.


British bird charity expected to announce opposition to game bird shooting

The RSPB is expected to voice its opposition to game bird shooting for the first time as it faces backlash from countryside organisations.

While the bird charity has spoken out about issues pertaining to wild birds on grouse moors, including hen harrier persecution, it has not taken a firm view on the shooting industry as a whole before.

At the organisation's Annual General Meeting on Saturday, Kevin Cox, the Chair of Council announced that the RSPB would be reviewing its policy on game bird shooting and associated land management. ​

He said that while it is an "emotive issue", policy makers would be developing "a set of conservation tests for management practices associated with game bird shooting."

Mr Cox added: "We will use these to guide the RSPB’s conservation policy, practice and communications, consistent with the ongoing climate and ecological emergency, respectful of our charitable objectives and maintaining the confidence and support of our members.

"We intend to do this, informed by the views of members and other stakeholders many of whom we have engaged with on these issues for decades."

The organisation has increasingly taken a firmer view on shooting, and earlier this year urged the government to more closely licence driven grouse shooting.

It is thought the RSPB has been wary in the past of criticising shooting because in the Royal Charter for the charity it says:  "The Society shall take no part in the question of the killing of game birds and legitimate sport of that character except when such practices have an impact on the Objects."

This means the charity can comment on shooting if it affects the wild birds that the RSPB was set up to support, but it cannot comment on shooting for fun as a practice.

However, it is now using environmental concerns as a reason to review its policy.

Mr Cox explained: "Environmental concerns include the ongoing and systematic illegal persecution of birds of prey such as hen harriers on some sporting estates; the ecological impact of high numbers of game birds released into the countryside increasing the density of generalist predators; the mass culling of mountain hares in some parts of our uplands; the use of lead ammunition; the impact of burning peatlands and medicating wild animals for sport shooting.

"In response to the evidence about the scale of the environmental impact and growing public concern, including from our membership, the RSPB’s Council has agreed to review our policy on game bird shooting and associated land management."

This has drawn ire from countryside organisations. Tim Bonner, the chair of the Countryside Alliance, said:  “Disappointingly this seems to be the final step in the RSPB’s long journey to becoming an anti-shooting organisation. It displays the organisation’s bizarrely warped priorities in the face of so many other pressing concerns that face the countryside we know and love. 

"The environmental, economic and social benefits of shooting have been repeatedly illustrated by research and reports. The Countryside Alliance will continue to robustly promote and defend properly conducted game shooting.”

Former RSPB chief Mark Avery has become a vocal anti-shooting activist since leaving the charity, and set up lobby group Wild Justice with BBC Springwatch presenter Chris Packham, which has launched successful legal challenges to curtail shooting.

He said of the RSPB's announcement: "This is welcome news.

"This review is about repositioning the RSPB in an important public debate because it is realised that the RSPB has been lagging not leading. Perhaps it has taken a new Chair of Council and a new Chief Executive to grasp this nettle rather belatedly.

"I understand that some membership pressure has helped to push this statement along. I’m pretty sure that the existence of Wild Justice, getting into some areas where the RSPB has been nervous to tread, has also been a factor."


Climate Stalinism: Today’s radical green movement demands submission to an elite governing class—and its views are entering the mainstream

The Left’s fixation on climate change is cloaked in scientism, deploying computer models to create the illusion of certainty. Ever more convinced of their role as planetary saviors, radical greens are increasingly intolerant of dissent or any questioning of their policy agenda. They embrace a sort of “soft Stalinism,” driven by a determination to remake society, whether people want it or not—and their draconian views are penetrating the mainstream. “Democracy,” a writer for Foreign Policy suggests, constitutes “the planet’s biggest enemy.”

Today’s working and middle classes are skeptical about policies that undermine their livelihoods in the promise of distant policy goals. Even now, after a decade-long barrage of fear-mongering, a majority of Americans, Australians, and even Europeans doubt that climate change will affect their lives substantially. A recent UN survey of 10 million people found that climate change ranked 16th in concerns; most people in the developing world, notes environmental economist Bjorn Lonborg, “care about their kids not dying from easily curable diseases, getting a decent education, not starving to death.”

Like other people in high-income countries, most Americans want to improve the environment and many, if not most, are concerned about the potential impact of climate change. But they still rank climate as only their 11th leading concern, behind not just health care and the economy but also immigration, guns, women’s rights, the Supreme Court, taxes, income, and trade. A recent Harris-Harvard poll found that three-fifths of Americans reject the portfolio of Green New Deal policies, including a third of Democrats and half of people under 25.

Simply put, once the current green agenda is understood in terms of its impact on jobs and energy prices, it does not play well. In recent Australian elections, voters soundly rejected a progressive agenda that targeted suburban residents and the country’s large fossil-fuel industry. Opposition was particularly strong in primarily blue-collar areas like Australia’s Queensland. The results in Australia led local celebrities and pundits to brand their fellow citizens as unremittingly “dumb.”

Areas dependent on energy and manufacturing—such as Appalachia, Ontario, Alberta, the U.S. Midwest, and the British midlands, have pushed back against the prospective green regime. Even Germany has seen mounting opposition to green policies, which have sent the country’s powerful industrial base reeling from the associated high energy costs. But it’s not just miners, oil-riggers, and factory hands resisting the greens. French residents trying to make a living outside central Paris, and their counterparts in normally placid places like Norway and the Netherlands, have taken to the streets, sometimes violently.

Imagine what will happen if a President Elizabeth Warren bans fracking in places like Texas, North Dakota, Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania; in Texas alone, by some estimates, 1 million jobs would be lost. Overall, according to a Chamber of Commerce report, a full ban would cost 14 million jobs—far more than the 8 million lost in the Great Recession. And the environment itself would be somewhat of a loser in this game—natural gas has done more to reduce emissions than all the greens’ efforts.

Across the world, green-backed policies have hurt the working class far more than the affluent rich who most enthusiastically embrace them. The militant Extinction Rebellion—which the online magazine Spiked has described as “an upper-middle-class death cult”—has tried to disrupt commuters in Britain in their drive to “save the planet” but has earned more angry contempt than support from harried workers. Though cast by the media as heroic outsiders, greens have historically clustered in elite academic, nonprofit, media, and corporate sectors. The influential Limits to Growth, published in 1972 by the Club of Rome, was backed by major corporate interests, led by Fiat’s Aurelio Peccei. The authors’ long-term vision, based on the notion that the planet was running out of resources at a rapid rate, was to create “a carefully controlled balance” that would restrict growth, particularly in advanced countries.

Whatever its failings, twentieth-century socialism was growth-oriented and in principle devoted to expanding working-class wealth. In contrast, the green version of socialism consciously seeks to depress the average family’s prospects, since prosperity will generate more greenhouse gases. Some zealots, such as the Guardian’s George Monbiot, argue in favor of economic recession as a way to reduce carbon emissions, even if it causes people to lose their jobs and homes.

Draconian climate austerity does not threaten the jobs of the so-called “clean rich,” who may benefit as investors in solar and wind energy, the trading of carbon offsets, and other activities of the “climate industrial complex.” Some old-style leftists, like British Marxist historian James Heartfield, see the emergence of “green capitalism” as a new ruse for the upper classes to suppress the lower by creating artificial scarcity in everything from energy to housing and food. Greens seek to restrict air travel for the masses, but climate activists like Prince Charles, Richard Branson, Leonardo di Caprio, the rapper Drake, and Al Gore continue to fly in private jets, even to climate-crisis summits. They enjoy, and develop, luxury resorts far from population centers, and consume prodigiously while imploring the rest of us to curb our more modest habits.

For most families, the policies of climate radicals promise only a degraded quality of life, including calls for restrictions on having children due to their “carbon legacy,” a proposal endorsed by climate researchers at Lund University in Sweden and Oregon State University. Some scientists even suggest that we shift from eating hamburgers to low-resource-intensity “maggot sausages.” A Swedish economist recently suggested that we recycle ourselves and discover the refinements of cannibalism.

Not surprisingly, the advocates find democratic politics increasingly inconvenient. Climate scientist Roger Pielke’s 2010 notion of “the iron law of climate policy”—that support for reducing greenhouse emissions is limited by the amount of sacrifice demanded—determines people’s willingness to cut back on their carbon output. “People will pay some amount for climate goals,” he suggests “but only so much.” At a cost of $80 a year per household, he suggested, most people, polls found, would support climate measures—but raise it to $770 annually, and support drops below 10 percent.

Given this reality, it’s likely that a future president will not be able to get a majority of both houses to embrace extreme policies inimical to middle-class life. This will force the chief executive, following the model established by President Obama (and reversed by President Trump), to impose the climate agenda through executive orders and the administrative state. The idea of a top-down approach—handing over power to credentialed “experts” operating in Washington, Brussels, or the United Nations—has been advanced by influential progressives like former Obama budget advisor Peter Orszag and journalist Thomas Friedman.

Climate activists increasingly embrace these post-democratic notions. Some, including former California governor Jerry Brown, seem to prefer China’s authoritarian approach to addressing climate issues, despite that country’s largest-in-the-world and still-expanding carbon footprint. Brown has helped launch a “California-China Climate Institute” that embraces the Chinese model. He even embraces “brainwashing” the population to get support for draconian climate measures, along the lines of Chinese thought control.

Once respectable and mainstream, the climate movement now resembles something inspired by religious fervor. Instead of debate, there’s enforced ideological conformity. Climate skeptics of any kind—even those who agree that climate change poses a serious challenge—have been all but banned, with rare exceptions, from the mainstream media. Others, including those in the fossil fuel industry, face court challenges that portray them as so-called “climate criminals.”

Such movements don’t tolerate infidels and have little patience with constitutional limits and procedures. Social Democrat Wolfgang Thierse, former president of the German Bundestag, recently told Die Welt that green militants display an “anti-democratic affection.” A German television reporter covering climate protesters described a movement dismissive of “our understanding of freedom and responsibility” that “borders on a collective psychosis, paired with wild fear and demands. Ever shriller, ever louder, ever faster.”

Demands to “decarbonize” the planet at once draw inspiration from scaremongering as much as from science. Ever since the 1968 publication of Paul Ehrlich’s Population Bomb and the 1972 Club of Rome report, environmentalists have predicted massive shortages of natural resources, the end of economic growth, and widespread starvation, claims generally accepted without skepticism in media, academic, and even political circles. Yet energy and food are more plentiful than ever, as the world has experienced the largest growth in affluence in its history.

Being proved wrong has failed to get greens to rethink their doomsday assumptions. Instead, every decade sees predictions that planet has five or ten years left if extreme measures are not taken immediately. After the election of President Obama in 2009, NASA’s James Hansen, an icon of the climate-change movement, announced that the new chief executive had four years to save the earth. Many phenomena ascribed to climate change—hurricanes and droughts, for example—turn out to have multiple and more complex causes. In the case of California’s wildfires, some of the problem can be traced back to green policies that prevent the thinning of the state’s forests. Similarly, the now-ended drought was made much worse by environmentalist opposition to new water infrastructure. Activists even blame the recent power outages on climate, though the primary cause was lack of investment and maintenance by local electrical utilities.

Today’s aggressive green policies have little chance of making an impact on the climate. California, the hotbed of climate radicalism, has reduced its greenhouse gases between 2007 and 2016 at rate that places it 40th, per capita, among the states. Similar failures can be seen in Germany, where much-heralded energiewende have led to soaring costs but disappointing results in terms of emissions declines. Even if the U.S. adopted the Green New Deal, the impact on climate, note some recent studies, would be almost infinitesimal. What we do in the West is increasingly irrelevant when virtually all the growth in emissions comes from developing countries, led by China, where hundreds of millions still live in near poverty. Globally, over 1 billion people lack reliable electricity. Leaders in countries such as India tend to be more concerned with access to power than with avoiding greenhouse-gas emissions.

Long-time environmentalist and author Ted Nordhaus suggests that, to make headway with the public, the green movement should give up “utopian fantasies” and “make its peace with modernity and technology.” Green virtue-signaling needs to be replaced by a practical program that could win public support, including focusing on resiliency against expected change and expanding production of hydroelectric, nuclear, and increasingly abundant natural gas rather than ruinously expensive renewables. In contrast, the Green New Deal’s pledge to abandon fossil fuels by 2030, notes former Obama energy secretary Ernest Moritz, presents “impractical targets” that may “lose a lot of key constituencies who we need to bring along to have a real low-carbon solution.”

The fundamentalist green approach now being adopted represents a political dead-end that requires authoritarian means while saving the planet at the expense of upward mobility for the vast majority. Rejecting the middle ground that exists in properly functioning democracies, green extremists are doing a profound disservice, both to our constitutional order and to the sustainability of our society—and planet.


Australia: Climate abounds with deception

Chris Kenny

Blatant deception has become endemic in what is an extreme debate on global warming. The alarmists who sneer at so-called climate deniers are, all too often, fact deniers. The ABC and The Guardian Australia have shown when the assessments of climate scientists don't fit their catastrophist narrative, they are prepared to ignore or verbal scientists and attack other media for sharing the information.

Consider a forum at the University of Sydney on "The Business of Making Climate Change" in June that included the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes director Andrew Pitman. Asked about climate and drought, Professor Pitman said this:

"This may not be what you expect to hear but as far as the climate scientists know there is no 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."

You will not have heard that comment, in full, on the ABC, nor read it in The Guardian Australia; yet they have run many comments from Greens and Labor politicians saying the drought is linked to climate change. This self-censorship is extraordinary enough because there could hardly be a more relevant and factual contribution from such a reputable source that puts the lie to the political posturing over a crippling drought that is dominating political debate.

But it gets worse. What the ABC's MediaWatch did a fortnight ago, and The Guardian Australia replicated last week, is run cut-down versions of that quote and accuse me and others at Sky News of misrepresenting Professor Pitman. That's right, it is commentators sharing a reputable climate scientist's own words, uncut, that they criticise.

These journalists failed to run the pertinent information but slammed others for running it. Their tenuous justification is a statement from Professor Pitman's centre claiming he should have said "no direct link" rather than "no link". The insertion of the word "direct" into his assessment is mere semantics and changes nothing. Indeed the statement begs the question of how and why this ex post facto qualification came about, not directly from Professor Pitman, but from his centre.

In that June forum Professor Pitman also said the "fundamental" problem in this field of science is that "we don't understand what causes droughts" — again under-scoring the absence of a climate change/drought link. Last week he was reported on the topic again in The Guardian Australia "But the fact that I can't establish something does not make it true or false, it just means I can't establish it."

Astonishingly, the website argued this quote bolstered its claims of misrepresentation when clearly it reaffirms his critical point; there is no link established between our drought and global warming. The evidence is in, no matter how much it is buried, denied and spun away by the ABC and Guardian Australia.

All of Professor Pitman's comments demonstrate that politicians are making a link between global warming and drought that climate scientists have not established. In comparison, some of us at Sky News have run Professor Pitman's comments in full a number of times, drawn our conclusions, asked others to comment and allowed audiences to make their own judgments.

Additionally, I have repeatedly invited Professor Pitman to discuss the issues, live and uncut to air. He shrinks away. We can imagine it is difficult for scientists to have their work pushed and pulled for political point-scoring but they have a public duty to share the facts.

Professor Pitman's work is being grossly misrepresented by the ABC and The Guardian Australia, who argue the opposite to his declared reality. His centre should be clearing the air but is doing the opposite.

The dishonesty of the reporting by Paul Barry's Media Watch, at your expense, is stunning. They cut, trim and misrepresent what has been broadcast on Sky News, fail to ask pertinent questions of Professor Pitman and try to convince the public that his research shows the exact opposite of what he has said repeatedly.

There has seldom been a clearer demonstration of George Orwell's 1984 maxim: "War is Peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength."

The Guardian Australia should be left to its own devices, I suppose, but Ita Buttrose should not sit idly by and allow Media Watch to implement the antithesis ofthe ABC's charter mission.

From "The Australian of 28/10/2019


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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