Thursday, October 10, 2019

IPCC Lead Author’s Research Uncertain About UN Climate Goal


Advocates of aggressive government intervention in the name of fighting climate change have posed as the defenders of “consensus science,” labeling any who dissent from their agenda as “deniers” with all of the baggage that term entails. And yet, as I’ve been pointing out for years, the peer-reviewed economics literature does not support the popular United Nations’ policy goals, of limiting global warming to either 2.0°C or the even more stringent ceiling of 1.5°C. Back in 2014, I used the latest issue of the UN’s own authoritative report—the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—to make my case, and last fall I explained that the new Nobel laureate, William Nordhaus, had a career in climate modeling that did not come anywhere close to supporting the aggressive UN goals.

In the present post I’ll make my point with yet another striking example. I will show that one of the lead authors from the UN’s “Special Report” on the 1.5°C target is a co-author of a 2018 paper that admits the goal is difficult to justify. This should be shocking to naïve citizens and those who assumed that “the science” must all support the UN’s temperature goals. Yet as this example demonstrates, the UN’s new goal is so extreme that it’s difficult for even sympathizers to come up with a way to try justifying it using conventional economic analysis.

Rachel Warren’s Credentials
To set the context: Last fall, the United Nation’s IPCC released a Special Report telling policymakers various ways to (attempt to) hit the goal of limiting cumulative global warming to 1.5°C. The third chapter of the report summarized the recent economic research that had been published since the previous IPCC report (the Fifth Assessment Report or AR5). Rachel Warren of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research (located at the University of East Anglia in the UK) is one of the lead authors of the chapter. Furthermore, Warren was author or co-author on at least four of the publications cited in the chapter. Here is an excerpt from her bio:

"Rachel Warren is Professor of Global Change and Environmental Biology at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of East Anglia, UK. Her research focuses on the production of policy relevant science related to climate change and sustainability. A particular recent focus has been the quantification of the climate change impacts that can be avoided by timely mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, in particular in relation to risks to biodiversity. She was a coordinating lead author of the 5th (2014) assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and lead author of the 4th assessment which was awarded the Nobel Peace prize on 2007. Presently she is a lead author of the IPCC’s Special Report on 1.5°C warming. She has produced over 70 peer reviewed publications and over 40 scientific reports to government departments.


Her academic background and training is in physics and the natural sciences at Cambridge University. After completion of her PhD she pursued an interest in atmospheric sciences and rapidly became involved in policy relevant research, a purpose to which she remains committed today. She has assisted in national, European and international policy development relating to combating stratospheric ozone depletion, acid deposition, eutrophication, and (since 2002) climate change. In particular, her former work at the NOAA Environmental Research Laboratories provided evidence on the environmental acceptability of CFC substitutes, leading to inclusion of fluorocarbons in the Kyoto Protocol, winning the NOAA Aeronomy Laboratories Outstanding Scientific Paper Award."

As the above description makes clear, we are not dealing with a “denier” or a “stooge for Big Oil” here. Warren is a leader among scientists who are advising governments on various policies through which they can intervene in the market to reduce emissions from businesses.

Given her background, it is extremely revealing to see that Warren (and co-authors) have a 2018 paper entitled, “The Economics of 1.5°C Climate Change.” Now because I know just how ludicrous (given standard modeling assumptions) this latest UN target is, I was curious to see how Warren and her co-authors could possibly try to justify it.

The reader can hopefully appreciate my shock when I read the first two sentences from the Abstract of their paper: “The economic case for limiting warming to 1.5°C is unclear, due to manifold uncertainties. However, it cannot be ruled out that the 1.5°C target passes a cost-benefit test.”

The skeptical reader should go ahead and click through to read the quote in context; I’m being completely fair. Believe it or not, the authors—including a Lead Author on the UN Special Report which advises governments on how to hit the 1.5°C limit—are arguing that because we understand this area so poorly, for all we know the UN target makes economic sense.

Is that the slam-dunk “consensus science” that citizens have been assured undergirds the suggested power grabs? Hardly. As I have been warning readers for years, the case for a carbon tax is far weaker than they’ve been led to believe.


One of the standard talking points among progressives is that the right-wing obfuscation machine will hide behind “uncertainty” in order to stall necessary action on climate change. And yet in this latest episode, the tables have turned. As Rachel Warren—a Lead Author on several important IPCC reports—and her co-authors argued in a 2018 paper, the uncertainty in our understanding keeps alive the possibility that the latest UN climate goal might pass a cost/benefit test after all.


Forbes ignores record crop production in the name of global warming

The climate alarmist echo chamber must have decided that this week will be national crop production alarmism week. As of Monday morning at 7:00 am Eastern, the top items for a Google News search on “climate change” are top-heavy with articles asserting global warming is destroying crop production all over the world. Yet the science is soundly settled and nothing could be farther from the truth.

In an article titled, “What You Can Do To Increase Food Security In The Face Of Climate Change,” Forbes columnist Joan Michelson writes, “Yes, climate change affects what you eat; you need look no further than how extreme weather and droughts have destroyed harvests and increased produce prices.”

Yet global crop yields are setting new records, yet again this year. This follows the past six years being the six highest years for crop production in human history. In fact, crop yields per acre are rising all over the world, setting new records almost every year. The facts demonstrate the complete opposite of Forbes lies about climate change destroying harvests, creating food shortages, and raising food prices.

The columnists at always-alarmist Forbes have developed a perfect recipe for manufacturing a climate crisis. Don’t worry about the facts; just make stuff up.


German Environmental Cofounder Calls Climate Movement Hysterical, Overhyped

Yesterday, the online Hamburg Abendblatt published an interview with Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt on the recent climate demonstrations and alarmism.

Vahrenholt calls the demonstrations and demands “over-the-top”, and a real threat to the economy. He says the climate models are unreliable and predictions of great warming “absurd.”

Vehrenholt is one of the founders of Germany’s modern environmental movement, the founder of the country’s largest renewable energy company, Innogy and a member of Germany’s SPD socialist parties.

Lately, the retired professor has become renegade among his peers by criticizing the “over-the-top climate debate” and warning against “hasty reforms.”

Vahrenholt tells the Abendblatt the climate debate has become hysterical and that in fact “we don’t have a climate emergency.”

He adds: “If Greta Thunberg’s demands are implemented, global prosperity and development will be massively endangered.”

Vahrenholt is one of the more prominent signatories of the letter to the UN: “There is no climate emergency.”

In the interview with the Abendblatt, Vahrenholt rejects Thunberg’s bleak world view, noting that human society has markedly improved on almost every front over the recent decades.

“The number of hungry people in the world has halved, life expectancy has doubled, and infant mortality has been reduced to tenths. These successes have been largely due to the supply of energy for electricity, heat, transport, and nutrition,” said Vahrenholt.

When asked why so few German scientists (12) signed a letter to the UN, Vahrenholt told the Abendblatt: “People no longer dare to express themselves differently.”

The German chemistry professor says spreading panic and fear is “irresponsible” and that we should: “Stop scaring the children – they are already getting delusions.”

Vahrenholt then tells the Abendblatt that “we have until the end of the century” to tackle greenhouse emissions – and not 12 years –  and that the situation is nowhere near as serious as the alarmist voices claim it is.

Moreover, Vahrenholt reminds that the models still – which serve as the basis for the panic – have a long way to go before being reliable: “Many climate models have been shown to show too much warming and cannot reproduce the fluctuations of the past because they know only one factor: CO2.”

Later in the interview, he asks:

“What are we to think of models that neither reproduce the Little Ice Age nor the Medieval Warm Period – when it was about as warm as it is today?”

In other words: If they don’t even work for the past, then they are completely unreliable for the future.


Was Venus once warm and wet? New study of lava flow suggests not

A new study of the Ovda Fluctus lava flow on Venus indicates that it is made of basaltic lava. This discovery weakens the notion that Venus might once have been Earth-like with an ancient ocean of liquid water.

Previous studies suggested that early Venus was once warm and wet based on the chemistry of its atmosphere and the presence of highlands. These highlands were thought to be formed of granitic rock, like Earth's continents, which required oceans of water to form.

Scientists at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), including undergraduate student intern Frank Wroblewski from Northland College, find that a volcanic flow on Venus' Ovda Regio highlands plateau is composed of basaltic lava, calling into question the idea that the planet might once have been Earth-like with an ancient ocean of liquid water.

The LPI team re-mapped the Ovda Fluctus lava flow using radar data. They discovered that the flow is not granitic as was expected from its location, but is more likely made up of basalt rock which can form with or without water. The result has potentially significant implications for the evolutionary history of Venus. The new map and results are published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.

"We know so little about Venus' surface," says team member Dr. Allan Treiman, a Universities Space Research Association (USRA) scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI). "If the Ovda Regio highlands are made of basaltic rock as is most of Venus, they were likely squeezed up to their current heights by internal forces, possibly like mountains which result from plate tectonics on Earth.


Australia: Protesters to be sent straight to JAIL under new laws after reports of Extinction Rebellion activists using 'booby traps'

Protesters could be jailed for two years under new laws after Extinction Rebellion activists were accused of booby-trapping devices with wire, metal and glass.

The controversial environmental group was condemned by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today after weeks of disruptive demonstrations besieged Brisbane.

On Tuesday, 29 protesters were charged after blocking roads, chaining themselves to fences and attaching themselves to devices such as drums filled with cement.

Among the protesters was Paul Jukes, 49, who suspended himself in a hammock from Brisbane's Story Bridge, demanding Ms Palaszczuk declare a climate emergency.

Ms Palaszczuk said the new laws would be fast-tracked as activists continued to put their own lives at risk and drain valuable police and emergency services resources.

'Enough is enough ... Someone is going to get hurt,' she told The Courier Mail. 'I say to protesters, what if it was your mother or grandmother that was held up from getting to hospital because of your actions, blocking streets?

'It's time to get these laws passed. We will bypass the normal submissions period and get them promulgated within days.'

But human rights advocates said the regulations could erode the public's right to peaceful protest. 

The Human Rights Law Centre says the government has a legitimate interest in ensuring peaceful protests but that this law goes too far.

'Ms Palaszczuk has reportedly refused to produce evidence to support her claims that people have deliberately created lock-on devices that could harm police and emergency services attempting to remove them,' lawyer Alice Drury said.

'This proposed law could impose harsh prison sentences for their use in very broad circumstances, even if it's just blocking a footpath.

'We are seeing a clear and worrying wave of laws from governments across Australia that restrict people's ability to stand together and speak out on issues they care deeply about.'

But state Police Minister Mark Ryan said there was plenty of anecdotal evidence that protesters were 'booby-trapping' devices with wire, metal and glass.

'We've received advice from police that they have found evidence of materials in these devices that could cause harm,' he told ABC radio.

'What we're seeing is an escalation in some activities and of course the laws have to be nimble to respond to these escalating tactics.'

The protests are part of a week of action across Australia by activists trying to force the federal and state governments to declare a 'climate emergency' and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero within five years.

Many of them will appear in court.



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1 comment:

C. S. P. Schofield said...

The limits of Peaceful Protest need to be established, soon. To my mind, blocking streets is not 'peaceful'. Setting fires and damaging property os certainly not 'peaceful'. Well defined limits should be established, so that protesters know when a line has been crossed. And, also, so fed-up authority can't make up the limits as they go along.

The passel of idiots who protest just about anything need to be impressed with the idea that while they have a right to protest, and bring their grievances to the attention of the public, the public has the right to ignore them.