Friday, November 29, 2019

82 Days Under Water: Tide Is High, but They’re Holding On

Fall Flooding Imperils Florida Communities

This is all just NYT nonsense. What is described has little or nothing to do with the sea level or tides. The Southeastern U.S. coast has been subsiding for years and gives no sign of stopping.

The same is true of the East central English cost -- where records showing sinking and erosion go back hundreds of years.  There is no cure for it in either the USA or England and it is most unlikely to stop

All coastal land along the affected coast should be made public parks.  There is no other safe use for it. I believe that has already been done in some cases

The “King Tides” are unusually high this year, creating a maddening logistical task for people along the Blackwater Sound, a low-lying stretch of the Upper Keys. The tides have been six to 18 inches higher than expected.The “King Tides” are unusually high this year, creating a maddening logistical task for people along the Blackwater Sound, a low-lying stretch of the Upper Keys. The tides have been six to 18 inches higher than expected.

The are 215 homes in the neighborhood, whose mangrove-lined streets now look more like stagnant canals.

Life during the unusually high “king tides” in South Florida this fall has become a maddening logistical task for people along the Blackwater Sound, a scenic but low-lying stretch of the Upper Keys. For nearly three months, the residents of Stillwright Point’s 215 homes have been forced to carefully plan their outings and find temporary workarounds to deal with the smelly, stagnant water — a result not of rain, but a rising sea — that makes their mangrove-lined streets look more like canals.

Another Key Largo neighborhood, Twin Lakes, is similarly inundated. Scientists say a combination of factors, including disruptive hurricanes, have contributed to this year’s exceptionally high tides.

“King tides” take place predictably each fall, when the alignment of the moon, sun and Earth creates a stronger gravitational pull on the warm oceans. Rising sea levels caused by climate change make the flooding worse.

This year, Hurricane Dorian and other tropical storms in late August and September likely interrupted the Gulf Stream, which moves water away from southern Florida. Instead, the water backed up, said Chris Rothwell, lead forecaster with the National Weather Service in Key West. Tides from the Carolinas to Florida, and from the Florida Keys to Tampa, have been six to 18 inches higher than expected.

“This is a high anomaly,” said Brian McNoldy, a senior research associate at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

“But as time goes on, what we think of as high anomalies will gradually become more normal. There’ll be a time at some point where what used to be our high tide becomes the mean sea level.”

The last time Miami set a record for an average monthly low tide, measured by a tidal gauge in Virginia Key, was in 2009, Mr. McNoldy said, adding that he would not be surprised if that record is never broken. In contrast, Virginia Key set average monthly records for high tide this year in March, July, August, September and October, “and in November, I have full confidence that we’ll break that monthly record too,” he said.

Longtime Florida Keys residents and officials say they have never seen tidal flooding this bad outside of a hurricane — and certainly not when they bought their properties 20 or 30 years ago. The most flooding that Stillwright Point regulars remember was for 22 days in 2015. When this year’s flooding reached biblical proportions — 40 days and 40 nights — the dramatic news made the front page of The Miami Herald.

That was more than a month ago. The water, which neighbors say reached 18 inches in some places, briefly started to recede; then, overnight during the last full moon, it swelled again, surprising residents who had thought the worst was behind them.

“You feel like a trapped rat,” said Jan Darden, 61, who is Mr. Darden’s wife, as she stood outside the couple’s house with water up to the driveway. She had postponed a trip to the mainland to pick up prescription eyeglasses.

Stillwright Point was once an enclave of fishing cottages that later drew commercial pilots craving the island life, just an hour from Miami International Airport. Now, the neighborhood has some million-dollar homes. A single road, North Blackwater Lane, leads in and out of the community.

Residents want Monroe County to elevate their roads and install pumps, similar to what Miami Beach did to mitigate its sunny-day flooding. Rhonda Haag, the county’s sustainability director, said she would ask commissioners next month to expedite road-modeling work, but any actual construction would still be far-off. Pilot elevation projects for Twin Lakes and a low-lying community in Big Pine Key that have been in the works for years are planned first.

Elevating a third of the county’s 300 miles of roads could cost $1 billion, Ms. Haag said. “We are the most vulnerable county in the state, if not the nation.”

“For sale” signs sit outside several houses. Two streets have handwritten “No wake” signs, reminding drivers to go slow to avoid splashing onto other cars, driveways and what used to be gardens.


Educational deficiencies lead to doomsday projections

Using microscopic sound bites from vast data on social media from celebrities like Jane Fonda, Robert Redford, Barbara Streisand, and Meryl Streep that the Earth will end in ten years is an insult to the intellect of our students and educational system.

So, if we’re not educated by reviewing wider ranges of available data, to see when and where climate changes have and are occurring, then we better start educating the world of upcoming social changes trying to live on electricity alone.

Today, it’s the Green New Deal and the Paris Accord that promotes electricity as the worlds’ savior to replace fossil fuels that are taking the brunt of the blame for the recent changes in climate. The doomsday prognostications have quickly chosen the need to eliminate our use of fossil fuels and replace it with electricity.

Before we shut down the airlines, and rid the world of militaries, and throw away our iPhone, let’s imagine how life was without those fossils before 1900 when we didn’t have TV’s, No computers, NO I Pads, NO cell phones, NO Disneyland, NO militaries, NO vehicles, NO airlines, NO cruise ships, NO space program, NO medications and medical equipment, NO vaccines, NO fertilizers, NO tires for vehicles, and NO asphalt for roads.

But when we look at what intermittent electricity from wind turbines or solar panels CAN NOT do, we see they are blatant failures to qualify as replacements for the fossil fuels that produce those 6,000 products. They are the basis of our lifestyles and of our numerous infrastructures. Which manufacture the aviation, diesel and gasoline fuels every day to meet the demands of the worlds’ transportation and commerce.

It’s obvious that the worlds 4.5 billion years of existence has gone through numerous and continuous climate changes so let’s look at just a few of the topics now perversely on social media.

CO2: To support the microscopic scientific evidence for warming of the climate system, the NASA graph only looks at CO2 levels back 800,000 years to show recent increases to 400 ppm which is tiny in comparison to Earth’s historical levels. NASA dismisses the facts that earths’ CO2 levels reached 3,000 ppm about 150 million years ago, and levels of 8,000 ppm almost 550 million years ago. Today, the real risk is CO2 starvation as mass extinction occurs at levels below 150 ppm. Maybe we should reconsider the current doomsday predictions as the earth survived CO2 levels in the past that were as much as twenty times higher than today.

Sea Levels: We’re constantly being bombarded by NASA with projections that the recent ocean levels rise by millimeters from 1870-2013 are projected to flood major cities and populations. What we’re not being told is why the oceans have been rising by more than 450 feet over the last 20,000 years with the last 8,000 years being flat. In fact, it looks like there has been no rise since civilization began, and that the recent rise of about 20cm is another microscopic interpretation of data to inject fear about climate change. Given factual data to our millennials, about what the sea levels have been doing over a longer period of time, what is their conclusion.?

Heat Waves: The local weather reports constantly over-emphasize those recent heat waves as a reflection of climate change. When one looks at 130 years of data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) we see that the 1930’s was the hottest recent period, while temperatures today are the same as the early 1900’s, more than a century ago. Injecting fear of incurring heat waves into the future from small sound bites, deprives intelligent residents of all the EPA supported evidence to the contrary. What conclusions do millennials have when they see where we’ve been on heat waves?

Temperatures: When its hot outside, we quickly surmise that the end of the world is eminent. But the data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) show we had much hotter periods from the 1800’s to 1955. Concluding that the slight upward trend from 1955 is a rise that is unstoppable, is another doomsday prediction from microscopic data points. What conclusion do millennials have when the see that the hotter temperatures were before 1955?

Wildfires: California has been getting more than their share of recent wildfires and yes, it was former California Governor Jerry Brown was the first to blame manmade global warming on the horrific fires. Jerry appears to be one of many that have yet to review the USDA Forest Service data that documents the greatest number of wildfires occurred from 1926 to 1959 and that today, they’re one-fifth of the record. Jerry is one of many that is only looking back to 1983 when a slight upward trend in fires occurred. Again, Jerry is using a microscopic data snippet as a talking point. But what conclusions do intelligent residents see in the USDA Forest Service data on wildfires?

We’ve had more than 100 years to find an alternative or generic to fossil fuels and the products we get from them. Yet, have only come up with electricity that can be generated intermittently from sunshine and wind. We still haven’t found a replacement for the source of those thousands of products that are now the standard for our lifestyles. As discussed above, the NASA, EPA, NOAA, and Forest Service shows us that not much has changed over the last century.

Thus, just changing to intermittent electricity from industrial renewables will most likely not impact any climate changes. Moving to electricity ALONE would severely impact our lifestyle as wind and solar are unable to produce those 6,000 products that are the basis of our lifestyles and of our numerous infrastructures. It’s obvious we would be unable to support the military, airlines, cruise ship, and merchant ships. As a reminder, without transportation and the leisure and entertainment industries, we have no commerce.

In the event we deprive underdeveloped countries from experiencing an industrial revolution that we’ve enjoyed, how can the world help to reduce the 11 million children deaths per year due to “preventable” causes that developed countries have mastered the cures?

We’ve got a lot of creative minds in our youth and in our educational system. I encourage them to be agnostic before investigating a wider and larger data base, rather than pick upon sound bites, short tweets, and microscopic data points before projecting the demise of the world in the next few years.

Our educational system could do the world a favor and begin to educate our youth about our planet’s natural cycles that have been happening for 4.5 billion years. A species that’s only been around, relatively speaking, a little less than the last two minutes, when we portray the worlds’ total existence into a 24-hour clock, may not be the cause of this weeks’ climate changes.


The Climate change money machine

For far too long the public has been deluded into believing that groups whose titles indicate their efforts to protect our environment are the Davids in a battle with the Goliath industrial complex of our nation. They tell a story of protecting our air, our water, our forests and our wild life. In the past 20 years with few exceptions, a central theme on which their fundraising letters and advertisements depend, is the need for money to stop the existential threat that a rising temperature from the carbon dioxide emissions from the use of fossil fuels is causing.

Ron Arnold and Paul Driessen, authors of the 2018 book Cracking Big Green, learned to read IRS form 990 in the annual reports of non-profit organizations. They focused on the readily available year 2012. You can be sure the dollars they found to have been received that year have increased in the more recent years of Climate Change hysteria. Here is what they found to have been the incomes of some of the major well known groups in 2012 alone.

The Sierra Club took in $97,757,678

The Sierra Club Foundation took in $47,163,599

The Environmental Defense Fund took in $111,915,138

Natural Resources Defense Council $98,701,707

National Audubon Society $96,206,883

National Wildlife Federation $84,726,518

Greenpeace USA $32,791,149

National Parks Conservation Association $25,782,975

The Wilderness Society $24,862,909

Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection $19,150,215

But those are the medium sized incomes, here are the biggies:

The Nature Conservancy $949,132,306

Greenpeace International $406,000,000

Wildlife Conservation Society $230,042,654

World Wildlife Fund $208,495,555

The picture the green groups make of the big bad energy companies like Exxon-Mobile and BP is that of gigantic sums of lobbying money to keep the government on its side. This is not true. They do not spend even a small fraction of the sums listed above in an effort not to be driven out of business. These companies and their competitors, rather than battling the Green Ideology, spend money to join them by embracing wind and solar energy, even energy from bacteria as well as efforts to pump CO2 emissions underground.

But the money the above environmental groups take in is not the whole story of their gigantic power. They work their magic through a program of law suits against the government which the government settles rather than going to court and thereby giving the groups success in their goals without reducing the funds in their coffers.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s report “Sue and Settle:Regulating Behind Closed Doors, shines a long overdue light on the back-room manipulations that are now common between Big Green and the Environmental Protection Agency. It works like this.

A private environmental group sues the EPA to issue new regulations by a date certain. The agency and the environmental group meet behind closed doors. In the typical case, the government agrees to do whatever the activist group wants because for decades the EPA has been peopled by men and women who have long had a relationship with the ideology of the activist groups. There are no messy congressional hearings, no public comment period, no opportunity for parties that will be adversely affected by the deal, to have their day in court. Still better for them, in most cases you the taxpayer paying the litigators legal fees.

In addition, the international banking community is a major part of the green money machine. It has financed the worlds rush to solar and wind projects regardless of there dim future in providing economic energy across the globe. Germany’s Deutsche Bank, Switzerlands Credit Suisse, America’s Morgan Stanley and Goldman Saks and nearly all their competitors are knee deep in the billions of dollars spent by the global warming industry.

F. William Engdahl, in a perceptive essay titled ‘Climate and the Money Trail’ in the Journal NEO, published on September 25, 2019 said: “the links between the largest financial groups, central banks and global corporations, to the current push for a radical climate strategy to abandon the fossil fuel economy in favor of a vague unexplained Green Economy, it seems, is less about genuine concern to make our planet a clean and healthy environment to live. Rather it is an agenda, intimately tied to the UN Agenda 2030 for “sustainable” economy, and to developing literally trillions of dollars in new wealth for global banks and financial giants who constitute the real powers that be.”

We must recognize that today’s radical environmentalists are not attempting to solve problems but instead are calling for changes in our political system, in the reach of our laws, our methods of agriculture and industry, in the structure of capitalism, the profit system, international relations and definitely in education. They are now working toward these goals with the best financed lobby in our history. Global warming and climate change just turned out to be the very best mechanism to achieve these goals.

Portions of this article were excerpted with permission of the authors and publisher of Cracking Big Green by Ron Arnold and Paul Driessen. It is a stunning expose of the modern environmental movement and its hidden financial masters.


Clive James, Legendary Author, Poet, Humorist & Climate Sceptic Has Died

Below is his 2017 essay on global warming.  I liked Clive. He was a conservative but hid it behind humour

Mass Death Dies Hard

When you tell people once too often that the missing extra heat is hiding in the ocean, they will switch over to watch Game of Thrones, where the dialogue is less ridiculous and all the threats come true.

The proponents of man-made climate catastrophe asked us for so many leaps of faith that they were bound to run out of credibility in the end. Now that they finally seem to be doing so, it could be a good time for those of us who have never been convinced by all those urgent warnings to start warning each other that we might be making a comparably senseless tactical error if we expect the elastic cause of the catastrophists, and all of its exponents, to go away in a hurry.

I speak as one who knows nothing about the mathematics involved in modelling non-linear systems. But I do know quite a lot about the mass media, and far too much about the abuse of language. So I feel qualified to advise against any triumphalist urge to compare the apparently imminent disintegration of the alarmist cause to the collapse of a house of cards. Devotees of that fond idea haven’t thought hard enough about their metaphor. A house of cards collapses only with a sigh, and when it has finished collapsing all the cards are still there.

Although the alarmists might finally have to face that they will not get much more of what they want on a policy level, they will surely, on the level of their own employment, go on wanting their salaries and prestige. To take a conspicuous if ludicrous case, the Australian climate star Tim Flannery will probably not, of his own free will, shrink back to the position conferred by his original metier, as an expert on the extinction of the giant wombat. He is far more likely to go on being, and wishing to be, one of the mass media’s mobile oracles about climate. While that possibility continues, it will go on being dangerous to stand between him and a TV camera. If the giant wombat could have moved at that speed, it would still be with us.

The mere fact that few of Flannery’s predictions have ever come even remotely true need not be enough to discredit him. The same fact, in the case of America’s Professor Ehrlich, has left him untouched ever since he predicted that the world would soon run out of copper. In those days, when our current phase of the long discussion about man’s attack on nature was just beginning, he predicted mass death by extreme cold. Lately he predicts mass death by extreme heat. But he has always predicted mass death by extreme something, and he is always Professor Ehrlich.

Actually, a more illustrative starting point for the theme of the permanently imminent climatic apocalypse might be taken as 3 August 1971, when the Sydney Morning Herald announced that the Great Barrier Reef would be dead in six months. After six months the reef had not died, but it has been going to die almost as soon as that ever 1 since; making it a strangely durable emblem for all those who have wedded themselves to the notion of climate catastrophe.

The most exalted of all the world’s predictors of reef death, President Obama, has still not seen the reef even now but he promises to go there one day when it is well again. Assurances that it has never really been sick won’t be coming from his senior science adviser John Holdren. In the middle of 2016 some of the long-term experts on reef death began admitting that they had all been overdoing the propaganda. After almost half a century of reef death prediction, this was the first instance of one group of reef death predictors telling another group to dial down the alarmism, or they would queer the pitch for everybody. But an old hand like Holdren knows better than to listen to sudden outbursts of moderation. Back in the day, when extreme cooling was the fashion, he was an extreme coolist. Lately he is an extreme warmist. He will surely continue to be an extremist of some kind, even if he has to be an extreme moderate. And after all, his boss was right about the ocean. In his acceptance speech at the 2008 Democratic convention, Obama said – and I truly wish that this were an inaccurate paraphrase – that people should vote for him if they wanted to stop the ocean rising. He got elected, and it didn’t rise.

The notion of a count-down or a tipping point is very dear to both wings of this deaf shouting match, and really is of small use to either. On the catastrophist wing, whose ‘narrative’, as they might put it, would so often seem to be a synthesised film script left overfrom the era of surround-sound disaster movies, there is always a countdown to the tipping point. When the scientists are the main contributors to the script, the tipping point will be something like the forever forthcoming moment when the Gulf Stream turns upside down or the Antarctic ice sheet comes off its hinges, or any other extreme event which, although it persists in not happening, could happen sooner than we think (science correspondents who can write a phrase like ‘sooner than we think’ seldom realise that they might have already lost you with the word ‘could’).

When the politicians join in the writing, the dramatic language declines to the infantile. There are only 50 days (Gordon Brown) or 100 months (Prince Charles wearing his political hat) left for mankind to ‘do something’ about ‘the greatest moral challenge . . . of our generation’. (Kevin Rudd, before he arrived at the Copenhagen climate shindig in 2009.)


Australia: NSW Labor Leader: Shorten Daylight Saving Time To Fight Climate Change

Labor leader Jodi McKay has lobbied the NSW government to consider a request made by one of her constituents that daylight saving be shortened to help combat climate change.

In the letter sent by the Strathfield MP to Energy Minister Matt Kean, Ms McKay writes that her constituent "advises that daylight saving time in NSW had made last summer too hot for walking in Hammond Park, her local park, at 8pm as the temperature at that time remained at the 40°C mark".

"[The constituent] has requested the duration of the daylight saving period in NSW be shortened as it has a significant impact on climate change," Ms McKay wrote on October 11. "I await your consideration and response on this matter."

Daylight saving has been a fraught issue since being introduced in 1971, with multiple referendums in Queensland and Western Australia rejecting the arrangement.

Over the years, critics have attributed the change of time to a fall in robberies, increased petrol sales, a jump in heart attacks, less milk being produced by cows and faster fading curtains.

There are also various studies that show the change in time leads to higher or lower energy use.

A spokesman for Ms McKay said it was not her view that daylight saving should be changed. "Strathfield has a diverse community with a wide variety of views," he said. "It is the job of the local member to represent those views to government without judgment ... she will never apologise for making sure that members of her community have their concerns heard."

Mr Kean, who is in London, declined to comment.

Without daylight saving, which begins on the first Sunday of October and continues until the first Sunday in April, the sun would rise in Sydney between 4.30am in summer and 7am in winter.

Ms McKay's constituent is not alone in calling for the daylight saving period to be shortened. Adam Marshall, now the Agriculture Minister, told the Moree Champion in 2015 that he would propose cutting the first and last months of the daylight saving period.

"While it's not in my top two or three burning issues, it's an old chestnut, but it's a real burr in the saddle and it grates for many of my constituents," he said at the time.

Despite the Strathfield electorate resident's concern, and numerous university studies, there appears to be no strong connection between daylight saving and climate change.

A 2011 study published in The Review of Economics and Statistics found daylight saving time increased the social cost of pollution emissions by up to $US5.5 million that year. Another paper, published in the journal Energy Policy in the same year, found energy had been saved in southern Norway and Sweden.

Earlier research by two University of California, Berkeley, academics — which focused on Sydney during the 2000 Olympics — decided there was no effect on energy consumption whatsoever.



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Thursday, November 28, 2019

The world 'will miss its chance to avert climate disaster' without an almost impossible fall in fossil fuel emissions, the United Nations warned today
That CO2 levels keep rising and yet nothing seems to change -- despite their prophecies -- does rather dent the credibility of their prophecies.  We are said to be already "too late" but you would never know it

The UN Environment Programme said global emissions need to fall by 7.6 percent, each year, every year until 2030 to limit global temperature rises to 1.5C.

But emissions have continued to soar, smashing a record 55.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2018 - three years after 195 countries signed the Paris treaty on climate change.

'We are failing to curb greenhouse gas emissions,' UNEP's executive director, Inger Andersen said. 'Unless we take urgent action now and make very significant cuts to global emissions we're going to miss the target of 1.5C.'   

The World Meterological Organization said Monday that atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations hit an all-time record in 2018.

The Paris deal committed nations to limit temperature rises above pre-industrial levels to 'well below' 2C, and to a safer 1.5-C if at all possible.

To do so they agreed on the need to reduce emissions and work towards a low-carbon world within decades.

Yet the UN found that even taking into account current Paris pledges, the world is on track for a 3.2C temperature rise, something scientists fear could tear at the fabric of society.

Even if every country made good on its promises, Earth's 'carbon budget' for a 1.5-C rise - the amount we can emit to stay below a certain temperature threshold - would be exhausted within a decade.

In its own words, the UN assessment is 'bleak'.

While it insisted the 1.5-C goal is still attainable, it acknowledged that this would require an unprecedented, coordinated upheaval of a global economy that is still fuelled overwhelmingly by oil- and gas-fuelled growth.

The Emissions Gap report, now in its tenth year, also details the cost of a decade of government inaction.

Had serious climate action begun in 2010, just after the Copenhagen summit that breathed new life into the debate, annual needed emissions cuts would be 0.7 percent for 2C of warming and 3.3 percent for 1.5C.

'10 years of climate procrastination has led us to where we are today,' said executive director Andersen.

The report highlighted specific 'opportunities' for big emitters to push their economies into line with the Paris goals.

While advice varies between countries, the theme is clear: completely phase out coal, significantly pare back oil and gas, and dramatically build up renewable energy.

G20 nations were singled out as laggards: although they produce around 78 percent of all emissions, only 15 rich nations have outlined plans to reach net-zero.

The Trump administration, meanwhile, notified the UN earlier this month that the US will pull out of the Paris treaty, and has taken steps to boost fossil fuel production, including subsidies for technology to capture and store CO2 emissions from power plants.

In all, countries must increase their contributions to the climate fight five-fold to deliver the cuts needed for 1.5C.

Last year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - the world's leading scientific body on the subject - issued a stark warning that going beyond 1.5C would increase the frequency and intensity of heatwaves, superstorms and mass flooding.

With just 1C of warming so far, 2019 is projected to be the second hottest in human history, a year marred by deadly wildfires and cyclones rendered more frequent as temperatures climb.

And despite the need for urgent action, with global energy demand set to continue rising for years, the UN itself conceded Tuesday that 'there is no sign of (greenhouse) gas emissions peaking in the next few years.'

That turning point should have come years ago, said Alden Meyer, director of policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

'We are not running out of time - we are already out of time,' he told AFP.

The report said emissions would need to drop 55 percent by 2030 to stay on a 1.5C track - an unprecedented fall at a time of sustained global growth.

John Ferguson, director of country analysis at The Economist Intelligence Unity, said he was pessimistic that countries could undertake emissions cuts in the time required.

'There's the emissions gap but there's also the gap between rhetoric and action, and that gap explains my pessimism that we're not going to limit it to 1.5C,' he told AFP.


Big Business and Climate Cronyism

After all the endless debate over climate change, the central topic of conversation remains what to do about our CO2 output. Carbon dioxide — now at record levels — is blamed for rising surface temperatures, which aren’t rising as fast as we are led to believe. And America is blamed as the cause, even though the U.S. pumps less CO2 into the atmosphere than countries that have joined the Paris Climate Accord. In any case, an unlikely group has gotten behind a new plan to reduce CO2 emissions, and the makeup of this group has many on both sides of the political aisle scratching their heads.

The Climate Leadership Council (CLC) is made up a who’s who of Republican and Democrat lawmakers, consultants, and policy wonks who have supposedly come up with a plan to develop a “revenue neutral” carbon tax that would provide dividends to low- and middle-income Americans to offset the inevitable higher energy costs that would be produced by said tax.

The CLC plan has the support of several energy producers, including ExxonMobil, BP, ConocoPhillips and other oil and natural-gas companies. It might sound intriguing at first glance, but as with all things revolving around climate policy, it’s necessary to drill deeper.

This plan appears to be an attempt by energy producers to eliminate their competition in the coal sector. Any carbon tax is sure to hit coal producers the hardest, and leftists have not been shy about their desire to remove coal from our energy options altogether. They have found a fair-weather ally in oil and natural-gas producers.

If the CLC’s revenue-neutral carbon tax, supported by some of the nation’s largest oil and natural-gas producers, sounds like cronyism, well, it is. Remember Enron? The natural-gas company lobbied the George W. Bush administration in the early 2000s to place caps on CO2 emissions, knowing that this would hit coal producers the hardest. Since 93% of all the coal produced in the U.S. is used by the electrical power grid, Enron hoped to fill the void left by the loss of coal with its own natural-gas production. This would have made Enron and a few other companies the de facto providers of the nation’s electricity. Of course, that whole idea went down the drain when it was revealed that Enron was the most crooked company in modern history.

Additionally, the roster of Republican names on CLC’s board doesn’t hide the fact that it’s also receiving a large chunk of financial support from left-of-center groups that also fund numerous activist organizations, including some of the very same groups that go after large energy producers. And let’s not forget that revenue-neutral schemes rarely ever work because the revenue never seems to find its way to its intended target, which in this case would be energy consumers.

It’s a tangle web, and generally that means that it’s the citizens at the bottom of the pyramid who get the shaft. The best solution to our climate troubles, exaggerated though they may be, is to let the market do what it does best. Innovation free of government meddling is what works best. There are too many special interests in government to trust that taxes and increased regulation will bring about the desired solution. And in the end, no drastic solution is even necessary.


The silly notion of “speed limits for ships”

Occasionally a report appears which claims to be wisdom, but after careful analysis, offers solutions that don’t make much sense. Such a report was issued earlier this month by United Kingdom consulting firm GL Reynolds, titled “The multi-issue mitigation potential of reducing ship speeds.” The report proposes that we can reduce global warming by imposing speed limits on ocean-going ships.

The GL Reynolds report concludes that a 10-20 percent reduction in ship speeds would have a “highly positive potential impact” on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and nitrous oxide (NOx) and sulfur oxide (SOx) pollutants. The report also projects that a ship speed reduction may reduce fatal collisions with whales.

The report is actually conservative and recommends that more study is needed. But the BBC and environmental groups now hail the report as a roadmap for international maritime policy.

Matt McGrath, environment correspondent for BBC News, wrote “Cutting the speed of ships has huge benefits for humans, nature and the climate, according to a new report.” John Maggs from Seas at Risk told the BBC, “It’s a massive win, win, win, win.”

According to the International Transport Forum, ships carried 10.7 billion metric tons of freight in 2017, 70 percent of world freight volumes. ITF projects maritime freight volumes to triple from 2015 to 2050.

Like almost all modern transportation, ships emit carbon dioxide when they burn fuel. Ships emitted about 932 million tons of CO2 in 2015, about 2.6 percent of global emissions. When ships move at lower speeds, they consume less fuel and emit less carbon dioxide. A 2017 study by CE Delft estimated that a 20 percent reduction in commercial ship speeds would reduce CO2 emissions by 19 percent, after a required 13 percent increase in the number of ships to provide the same transport work.

In 2017, the value of the world shipping fleet was estimated at $829 billion. Increasing the size of the fleet by 13 percent would cost over $100 billion, plus additional costs to hire and train additional crews.

Today, most global corporations practice cycle time reduction as a key business process. Apple, currently the world’s most valuable company, calls it “reducing time to value.” On-line retailing giant Amazon implemented one-day delivery for many products this year. Footwear and apparel producer Nike announced a goal to reduce supply chain lead times by 83 percent.

Regulations to reduce the speed of ocean-going ships by 20 percent would increase cycle times and costs for the shipping industry. Crews would need to be paid more for longer voyages and each ship would take 20 percent more time to deliver the same cargo. Cycle-times and costs would also increase for Apple, Amazon, Nike, and all freight customers.

Advocates point out that emissions of sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides can be reduced with slower ship speeds. But international regulations are already in place to reduce SOx emissions by reducing the sulfur content of fuels and to reduce NOx emissions through new diesel engine emission standards.

Collisions with whales have been rising with the growth of the world shipping fleet. National measures such as routing and speed restrictions are now in place in coastal whale migration areas at certain times of the year to reduce collisions. But how will increasing the number of ships by 13 percent reduce the number of whale impacts?

In 1975 during the first oil crisis, the US federal government imposed a National Maximum Highway Speed Limit of 55 mph. Officials estimated that lowering highway speeds would cut national gasoline consumption by over two percent. Later studies showed actual savings to be less than one percent. Today the world is awash with petroleum and the US 55 mph limit no longer exists.

We could certainly run our ships, planes, and vehicles at slower speeds. And if we returned to horse-drawn wagons, vehicle collisions with deer would be eliminated. But does anyone really think this would stop sea levels from rising?


Indian Farmers Rejoice as Best Monsoon in 25 Years -- Vanquishes Climate Fears

In India, monsoon is synonymous with joy. That’s probably because the majority of India’s 1.3 billion people directly or indirectly depend on agriculture, the success of which depends largely upon the rains of the annual monsoon season.

Climate alarmists have long argued that India would suffer from global warming because of its negative impact on the monsoons. But reports of doom and gloom are nowhere to be seen this year.

The people of India have special cause to rejoice this year. The 2019 Indian summer monsoon was the best in 25 years.

September witnessed the highest rainfall in the 102-year record and was 153% of the Long Period Average (LPA, average rainfall received during the south-west monsoon over a 50-year period).

The central, western, and southern parts of India received above-normal rainfall, causing large-scale floods and filling up most of the country’s reservoirs — important for providing water to the vast agrarian landscape and acting as lifelines for many important cities where groundwater levels are low.

Local farmers are greatly encouraged by the estimate of the types and amounts of crops they can expect to plant and harvest in the coming months.

Cotton producers and the textile industry expect a banner year. Cotton production is likely to reach 36.5 million bales (over 6.8 million tons) this crop year, 15% higher than the year just ended. This is especially good news for my childhood homes — Bombay (now Mumbai) and Coimbatore, respectively nicknamed “The Manchester of India” and “The Manchester of South India” for their cotton production and textile mills.

The Indian monsoons have been largely unaffected by the meager increase in global average temperature (GAT). They have also been healthy. Studies show that there has been a “revival of summer monsoon” in the north and central parts of India during recent decades.

This monsoon health — coupled with increased use of agricultural technology — has translated into record-high crop output in three consecutive years (2016, 2017, 2018). Even the El NiƱo-driven dry phase in 2016 failed to disrupt agricultural output significantly in following years.

To be sure, the Indian monsoon remains generally unpredictable, as evidenced in the historical record (1871–2017). If anything, the monsoon displays epochal trends over multiple decades, and these trends don’t seem to be cyclic.

So, although short-term trends can be captured and quantified, forecasts remain difficult. What does seem clear, however, is that climate alarmists’ fears about monsoon failure rest on poorly informed science.

The reality is that India has great reason for joy after this year’s monsoon. And it is not just the farmers! A favorable monsoon season is also expected to directly benefit the overall economy.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s central bank, has announced that the best monsoon in 25 years will have positive impact on the economy.

“Comfortable reservoir levels augur well for rabi [winter] sowing and foodgrains stocks above the buffer norms provide a cushion against potential inflationary pressures,” read its latest Monetary Policy report.

The report also stated, “The prospects of agriculture have brightened considerably, positioning it favourable for regenerating employment and income, and the revival of domestic demand.”

For many of us here in India, the fears about climate change portrayed in the media have no practical relevance. Our monsoon has hardly shown any signs of climate fatigue, and our agricultural outputs are skyrocketing like never before.


Australia: "Green" Victoria is locking up almost all publicly-owned land from any use

Victoria is the vanguard of states in major struggles over the control and use of public lands.  These comprise around 35 per cent of the state, the majority of which is in parks and reserves that aim to minimise human impact. Such areas have long been seen as under-managed and infested with exotic flora and fauna. They are increasingly recognised as perilous host to ferocious and destructive fires.

The rest of the public land is state forest, traditionally available for forestry, grazing, mining and a whole range of leisure activities such car rallies, hunting, horse riding, camping and dog walking, none of which are generally permitted in National Parks.

Two developments are changing the nature of Victoria’s public lands. The first is increasing restrictions on the activities allowed in the state forests. Over the past 30 years governments have progressively constrained the use of the forests for timber harvesting and grazing.  Grazing has been all but eliminated and only 6 per cent of Victoria’s public forests are available for timber production, the annual harvesting area having been reduced from 25,000 hectares 40 years ago to just 3,000 hectares today.  Last week, the Andrews government announced a 2030 phase-out of all timber-getting in the state forests.

The second change is the conversion of state forest to national park and other conservation reserve categories.  This not only imposes restrictions on use but is also an essential step to converting the land to Aboriginal title, which unlike Native title, grants beneficial-use and veto rights over the activities and intentions of others.  Even within the remaining state forest, the government is moving to enhance designated Aboriginal groups’ influence by granting them controls over exploration licences.

To effect the transfer the title of the land to National Parks or similar classifications, the government funds the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC), an environmental bureaucracy comprised largely of former eco-activists, to sequentially investigate regional areas. Under the guise of community engagement, VEAC acts largely at the behest of environmental activists and Aboriginal groups (see, for example, the latest annual report).  The latter are paid to rediscover long-dormant attachments to the area under investigation and, with the prospect of title and financial support for management, are quite naturally all in favour of a change.

VEAC also hires economic consultants, who over the course of several investigations have demonstrated a skill for divining how much people supposedly value land being redesignated as being exclusively for conservation. In their most recent investigation, applying an alchemistic methodology called “contingent valuation” VEAC’s consultants have estimated that the Victorian public would be willing to pay $247 million in order to convert 60,000 hectares of state forest in the Victorian Goldfields (the Central West) into National Park.

The valuation ($4600 per hectare) of restraining public use of public land is not based on some marginal change to land use.  It would be equally applicable to the whole of the state. Its logic means people would be willing to sterilise all of the 3,100,00 hectares of state forest from commercial and most leisure uses and consider themselves to be $14 billion better off as a result!  It would mean that, if half the state’s agricultural land were to be surrendered to non-uses, we, the people, would be better off! In addition, the consultants place a trivial value on the loss from preventing car rallies, hunting, horse riding and camping. They do so with little evidence of usages.

In the case of forestry, there has been a steady, politically-driven erosion of the area permitted to be harvested.  The Regional Forest Agreements at the turn of the century were supposed to have settled the conservation/harvesting split, but harvesting has since been reduced by three quarters.  The latest proposals envisage further reductions on the road to the total embargo.

VEAC’s consultants also argue against mining and prospecting and claim that future mineral discoveries are well-nigh impossible. This view about minerals is remarkable since the Geological Survey of Victoria estimates that half the state’s gold is yet to be found, and the area has hosted much mineral production in the past.  In relatively recent times, two major gold mines have been opened near the area – one of which, Fosterville, actually has the second-richest gold concentrations of any mine in the world and is presently producing at over one billion dollars per annum. 

Moreover, entrepreneurs risking their own money take a different view to VEAC – expenditure in the 42 exploration licenses current in the area is around $9 million a year. A recent discovery in the area of a nugget worth $160,000 by an amateur prospector is further evidence of the region’s prospectivity. Uncovering any further hidden wealth would be foreclosed by reclassifying the land as National Park which VEAC have recommended.

So, we have a double whammy.  First, policies are being pursued to banish commercial and much leisure-use activities that have proven to be perfectly compatible with forest conservation.  Secondly, requiring the cessation of commercial forestry also means eliminating many of the roads, and thereby heavy machinery, essential to fight fires. It would be hard to devise a more destructive set of policies.

Several hundred regional forest workers have held a rally outside Parliament House to protest the new measures that will bring needless and counterproductive job losses.  Coalition MPs showed their solidarity, but with green philosophies dominating the bureaucracy and a state government  determined to court inner-city votes, the march to transform Victoria into an unproductive tinderbox continues apace.



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 27, 2019

Are We Doomed?

Climate alarmists spread myths and declare impending doom.

No Plan B for Planet A

Replacing fossil fuels with “renewable” energy would devastate the only planet we’ve got

Paul Driessen

Environmentalists and Green New Deal proponents like to say we must take care of the Earth, because “There is no Planet B.” Above all, they insist, we must eliminate fossil fuels, which they say are causing climate change worse than the all-natural ice ages, Medieval Warm Period or anything else in history.

Their Plan A is simple: No fossil fuels. Keep them in the ground. More than a few Democrat presidential aspirants have said they would begin implementing that diktat their very first day in the White House.

Their Plan B is more complex: Replace fossil fuels with wind, solar, biofuel and battery power – their supposedly renewable, sustainable alternatives to oil, gas and coal. Apparently by waving a magic wand.

We don’t have a Planet B. And they don’t really have a Plan B. They just assume and expect that this monumental transformation will simply happen. Wind, solar, battery and biofuel technologies represent the natural evolution toward previously unimaginable energy sources – and they will become more efficient over time. Trust us, they say.

Ask them for details, and their responses range from evasive to delusional, disingenuous – and outrage that you would dare ask. The truth is, they don’t have a clue. They’ve never really thought about it. It’s never occurred to them that these technologies require raw materials that have to be dug out of the ground, which means mining, which they vigorously oppose (except by dictators in faraway countries).

They’re lawyers, lawmakers, enforcers. But most have never been in a mine, oilfield or factory, probably not even on a farm. They think dinner comes from a grocery store, electricity from a wall socket, and they can just pass laws requiring that the new energy materialize as needed. And it will happen Presto!

It’s similar to the way they handle climate change. Their models, reports and headlines bear little or no resemblance to the real world outside our windows – on temperatures, hurricanes, tornadoes, sea levels, crops or polar bears. But the crisis is real, the science is settled, and anyone who disagrees is a denier.

So for the moment, Let’s not challenge their climate or fossil fuel ideologies. Let’s just ask: How exactly are you going to make this happen? How will you ensure that your Plan A won’t destroy our economy, jobs and living standards? And your Plan B won’t devastate the only planet we’ve got? I’ll say it again:

(1) Abundant, reliable, affordable, mostly fossil fuel energy is the lifeblood of our modern, prosperous, functioning, safe, healthy, fully employed America. Upend that, and you upend people’s lives, destroy their jobs, send their living standards on a downward spiral.

(2) Wind and sunshine may be renewable, sustainable and eco-friendly. But the lands, habitats, wildlife, wind turbines, solar panels, batteries, transmission lines, raw materials, mines and laborers required or impacted to harness this intermittent, weather-dependent energy to benefit humanity absolutely are not.

(3) The supposed cure they say we must adopt is far worse than the climate disease they claim we have.

Using wind power to replace the 3.9 billion megawatt-hours that Americans consumed in 2018, coal and gas-fired backup power plants, natural gas for home heating, coal and gas for factories, and gasoline for vehicles – while generating enough extra electricity every windy day to charge batteries for just seven straight windless days – would require some 14 million 1.8-MW wind turbines.

Those turbines would sprawl across three-fourths of the Lower 48 US states – and require 15 billion tons of steel, concrete and other raw materials. They would wipe out eagles, hawks, bats and other species.

Go offshore instead, and we’d need a couple million truly monstrous 10-MW turbines, standing in water 20-100 feet deep or on huge platforms in deeper water, up and down our Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Not as many of the beasts, but each one a lot bigger – requiring vastly more materials per turbine.

A Category 4 hurricane going up the Atlantic seaboard would wipe out a lot of them – leaving much of the country without power for months or years, until wrecks got removed and new turbines installed.

Using solar to generate just the 3.9 billion MWh would require completely blanketing an area the size of New Jersey with sunbeam-tracking Nellis Air Force Base panels – if the Sun were shining at high-noon summertime Arizona intensity 24/7/365. (That doesn’t include the extra power demands listed for wind.)

Solar uses toxic chemicals during manufacturing and in the panels: lead, cadmium telluride, copper indium selenide, cadmium gallium (di)selenide and many others. They could leach out into soils and waters during thunderstorms, hail storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and when panels are dismantled and hauled off to landfills or recycling centers. Recycling panels and wind turbines presents major challenges.

Using batteries to back up sufficient power to supply U.S. electricity needs for just seven straight windless days would require more than 1 billion half-ton Tesla-style batteries. That means still more raw materials, hazardous chemicals and toxic metals.

Bringing electricity from those facilities, and connecting a nationwide GND grid, would require thousands of miles of new transmission lines – onshore and underwater – and even more raw materials.

Providing those materials would result in the biggest expansion in mining the United States and world have ever seen: removing hundreds of billions of tons of overburden, and processing tens of billions of tons of ore – mostly using fossil fuels. Where we get those materials is also a major problem.

If we continue to ban mining under modern laws and regulations here in America, those materials will continue to be extracted in places like Inner Mongolia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, largely under Chinese control – under labor, wage, health, safety, environmental and reclamation standards that no Western nation tolerates today. There’ll be serious pollution, toxics, habitat losses and dead wildlife.

Even worse, just to mine cobalt for today’s cell phone, computer, Tesla and other battery requirements, over 40,000 Congolese children and their parents work at slave wages, risk cave-ins, and get covered constantly in toxic and radioactive mud , dust, water and air. Many die. The mine sites in Congo and Mongolia have become vast toxic wastelands. The ore processing facilities are just as horrific.

Meeting GND demands would multiply these horrors many times over. Will Green New Dealers require that all these metals and minerals be responsibly and sustainably sourced, at fair wages, with no child labor – as they do for T-shirts and coffee? Will they now permit exploration and mining in the USA?

Meeting basic ecological and human rights standards would send GND energy prices soaring. It would multiply cell phone, laptop, Tesla and GND costs five times over. But how long can Green New Dealers remain clueless and indifferent about these abuses?

Up to now, this has all been out of sight, out of mind, in someone else’s backyard, in some squalid far-off country, with other people and their kids doing the dirty, dangerous work of providing essential raw materials. That lets AOC, Senator Warren, Al Gore, Michael Mann, Greenpeace and other “climate crisis-renewable energy” profiteers preen about climate justice, sustainability and saving Planet Earth.

They refuse to discuss the bogus hockey stick temperature graph; the ways Mann & Co. manipulated and hid data, and deleted incriminating emails; their inability to separate human influences from the powerful natural forces that have caused climate changes throughout history; or the absurd notion that the 0.01% of Earth’s atmosphere that is carbon dioxide from fossil fuel use over the past 50 years is somehow responsible for every extreme weather event today. But they won’t be able to ignore this fraud forever.

Meanwhile, we sure are going to be discussing the massive resource demands, ecological harm and human rights abuses that the climate alarm industry would impose in the name of protecting the Earth and stabilizing its perpetually unstable climate. We won’t let them dodge those issues in 2020.

Via email

No Beef with Cows: Study for EPA Finds Fears About Methane Increase "Not Justified By the Facts"

Spectroscopy Paper by Former Trump Science Adviser is First to Challenge the "Methane Scare"

Arlington, VA - The CO2 Coalition, a group of climate scientists, today released a study showing that the projected doubling of methane levels over the next 180 years would have a barely measurable effect on global temperature. The paper, Methane and Climate, was written by CO2 Coalition founder and board member Will Happer, a Princeton physics professor, and W. A. van Wijngaarden, of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at York University, Canada. Happer recently served as director of emerging technologies at the National Security Council, where he was President Trump's top adviser on climate science.

The Life:Powered Initiative of the Texas Public Policy Foundation included the paper as the scientific basis for a letter submitted today to the Environmental Protection Agency opposing the regulation of methane during oil and gas extraction and pipeline transportation. Some states and countries have been imposing restrictions on extraction, pipelines, and animal husbandry because of fears of methane's warming potential. Even "cow farts" have been cited as a concern for Green New Deal legislation, which calls for the end of fossil-fueled energy. Over 80 percent of U.S. and world energy comes from fossil fuels.

The paper's Abstract explains that while the "radiative forcing" of each methane molecule is indeed 30 times larger than that of a carbon dioxide molecule, the increase in global methane is 300 times less than that of carbon dioxide. As a result, methane is only one tenth (30/300) as powerful in forcing as carbon dioxide. A methane doubling would provide only a tiny fraction of total greenhouse forcing, the paper says.

The paper uses spectroscopic measurements from the HITRAN data base of the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories. The minimal effect of methane emissions is summarized by numbers and figures in the paper.

"Cows and oil drillers can rest easy," said Dr. Caleb S. Rossiter, the executive director of the CO2 Coalition. "This report by respected physicists Drs. Happer and van Wijngaarden show that methane is irrelevant to global warming, and alarmist reactions to an increase are unjustified."

For more information or to connect with biologist Jim Steele, please reach out to

Via email from The CO2 Coalition:

Claim: Jet steam ‘is being shrunk by climate change, scientists say’

In the Times yesterday, we read the following:

"The jet stream — the powerful transatlantic wind that dominates British weather — is being shrunk by climate change, scientists say."

Climate change shrinks many things: the US economy, fisheries, fish, chips, Salamanders, wasps, tropical moths, plankton (could they get much smaller?), mountain goats, the Winter snowpack, the Sahara Desert, oyster habitat in California, the ranges of Adelie Penguins and bumble bees and Sweden’s tallest mountain.

In fact, probably the only thing which climate change doesn’t shrink is hurricanes, which are becoming ginormous and threatening to gobble up huge areas of the US. Note also how climate change obligingly shrinks mountain goats and mountains – meaning the poor dimininutive critters won’t feel so overwhelmed by their environment because as they shrink, it shrinks also. How sweet. I guess that’s what you call #ClimateJustice for small(er) furries. But anyway, we can now add the Jet Stream to that long list above, courtesy of research scientist Tim Woollings:

Tim Woollings, associate professor of atmospheric physics at Oxford University, who has published a new book, Jet Stream, said: “The planet is warming rapidly due to humanity’s greenhouse gases. It means the whole of the Earth’s tropical belt is likely to expand, pushing the jet stream north so it shrinks in size and accelerates.”

The warning comes as greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere hit a new high, keeping Earth on track for global temperature rises of 4C-5C by 2100. This weekend CO2 levels reached 410 parts per million (ppm) at one global reference laboratory in Mauna Loa, Hawaii, and 414ppm at another in Alaska. Such figures are a huge rise on the 350ppm seen in 1990.

Apparently, this “means that Britain is at growing risk of more violent storms in winter and searing heatwaves in summer”.

Woollings suggests that, as the world warms, the jet stream will spend more of the winter across the British Isles and go further into Europe, letting storms keep their power as they reach the UK.

In summer it is likely to shift further to the north than now, opening Britain to hot air from the tropics.

Scientists have long been reluctant to link weather events to climate change but, said Woollings, the number of extremes means connections can be made. He cited the stormy winter of 2013-14 as the first evidence that the jet stream was altering.

Reluctant? Who is he kidding? They’re falling over themselves to attribute extreme weather to climate change. They can’t get in there quick enough!

Now this is all very well but what the Times doesn’t tell you in its eagerness to convince readers that heatwaves in summer and storms in winter are heading their way is that this is just another hypothesis about what might happen to the jet stream due to GHG warming and it is a hypothesis which relies upon a predicted consequence of GHG warming which has not been observed, despite the best efforts of scientists to torture the data in order to claim that it has been observed.

The predicted consequence is accelerated warming in the tropical troposphere, the so called tropospheric tropical ‘hot spot’, which has remained annoyingly elusive.

Woolings explains his hypothesis in more detail at the Nonversation:

"Scientists are however increasingly confident that important changes are afoot in the tropics. Driven by the vast quantities of energy pouring in from the Sun directly overhead, these are the great powerhouses of Earth’s climate.

Over the past few years, it has become apparent that at high altitudes, the Earth’s tropical regions are heating up more quickly than the rest of the world. At least partly because of this, the tropical regions of the atmosphere have been widening, expanding ever so slightly away from the equator, and impinging more on the jet stream."

Woolings’ link which he uses to justify his claim that the tropical atmosphere is heating faster than the rest of the world goes to a 2013 paper entitled ‘Revisiting the controversial issue of tropical tropospheric temperature trends‘ by four authors including Stott of the Met. He gets around does Peter Stott. Popping up here, there and everywhere in scientific defence of the climate worrier culture. The abstract says:

Controversy remains over a discrepancy between modeled and observed tropical upper tropospheric temperature trends. This discrepancy is reassessed using simulations from the Coupled Climate Model Inter‐comparison Project phase 5 (CMIP 5) together with radiosonde and surface observations that provide multiple realizations of possible “observed” temperatures given various methods of homogenizing the data. Over the 1979–2008 period, tropical temperature trends are not consistent with observations throughout the depth of the troposphere, and this primarily stems from a poor simulation of the surface temperature trends. This discrepancy is substantially reduced when (1) atmosphere‐only simulations are examined or (2) the trends are considered as an amplification of the surface temperature trend with height. Using these approaches, it is shown that within observational uncertainty, the 5–95 percentile range of temperature trends from both coupled‐ocean and atmosphere‐only models are consistent with the analyzed observations at all but the upper most tropospheric level (150 hPa), and models with ultra‐high horizontal resolution (≤ 0.5° × 0.5°) perform particularly well. Other than model resolution, it is hypothesized that this remaining discrepancy could be due to a poor representation of stratospheric ozone or remaining observational uncertainty.

They tortured the data.  Alas, the discrepancy between observed tropospheric warming vs. that predicted by models is still apparent as shown by Christy and by McKitrick &  Vogelsang.  This means that Woolings’ idea is an interesting hypothesis not currently backed up by data. Indeed, not only this, but the fact that the jet stream, in contrast to becoming more powerful and straighter (zonal) has apparently given rise to an increase in extreme weather events in the 21st century precisely because it has tended to be weaker and more meridional. This has been much remarked upon by climate activists, scientists and the alarmist press and presented as evidence for the correctness of Jennifer Francis’ hypothesis that Arctic warming has weakened the jet stream. Woolings is not convinced by this alternative hypothesis.


At MIT, a new name (Shell Auditorium) for an old standby (54-100) fuels outrage

For years, the lecture hall at the base of MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences building has been known rather prosaically as 54-100. But MIT’s decision to rename it Shell Auditorium — after the energy giant, a major donor — has ignited a backlash among students and environmental activists.

The auditorium, the first room that most students encounter after climbing several flights of stairs in a building designed by the famed architect I.M. Pei, is among MIT’s largest lecture spaces. The building, known as the Green building, is home to the university’s geologists, planetary scientists, and oceanographers. Many of the faculty and graduate students in the department study climate science.

Naming the main auditorium after Royal Dutch Shell PLC, which has historically backed climate change skepticism and remains heavily invested in oil and gas, sends the wrong message, said Catherine Wilka, 29, a doctoral candidate at MIT studying climate, physics, and chemistry.

“When you put a name of someone or something on the building, it becomes a statement of the values and priorities of the department,” Wilka said. “It feels to me that the administration cares more about oil money than the integrity of the science that is done in the building.”

The name Shell Auditorium has added to an already heated debate about whom the university should take money from and how to honor gifts.

The campus has been in an uproar this fall over donations from a disgraced financier and convicted sex offender, the late Jeffrey Epstein; revelations about his gifts led to several resignations.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology also faced criticism last year for taking money from the Saudi government after the kingdom’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, was linked to the brutal killing of a journalist who wrote for the Washington Post.

After the Epstein scandal, MIT formed two committees to review how the university accepts and solicits gifts.

The Shell gift is part of the more than $30 million that the university has raised for the $60 million renovation of the Green Building and construction of a new earth and environment pavilion.

MIT officials declined to say how much Shell contributed, but several students said they were told by department officials that the oil company gave $3 million for the project.

“I appreciate that Shell stepped forward to support the renovation of the lecture hall and, in doing so, MIT’s commitment to education,” said Robert van der Hilst, head of the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences.

“This project brings us closer to creating a vibrant hub on campus for interdisciplinary earth and environmental sciences programs and action.”

Shell has had extensive ties to MIT for more than two decades. In 2010, the company announced it would spend $25 million over five years on research and development of sustainable energy technologies. Last year, the company worked with MIT to develop its “sky scenario,” which outlined how to get to a future where emissions are at net-zero by 2070.

Shell has also contributed to MIT’s research on how climate change will disrupt transportation, said Curtis Smith, a company spokesman.

But Shell has also funded research at MIT on energy exploration and production.

“We’re proud of our relationship with MIT and look forward to continuing a partnership that advances society’s understanding of the most important issue of our time,” Smith said.

Deepa Rao, 29, who earned her undergraduate degree at MIT and is now there to complete a doctoral degree in oceanography, said Shell gets credit for tackling climate change in recent years.

This year, Shell left the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers lobby over the group’s lack of support for the Paris climate accord. But the company is also being sued by environmental groups and the State of Rhode Island over its alleged failure to address climate change, despite knowing about problems for decades.

By putting Shell’s name on a frequently used auditorium on campus, MIT is allowing the company to boost its environmental reputation, Rao said. It also helps to inoculate the energy company from criticism that it isn’t doing enough to address climate change, she said.

It’s a classic example of “greenwashing,” Rao said, referring to the criticism that energy companies give money to environmental causes to divert attention from their otherwise questionable track records.

Rao is among a group of students who have organized a teach-in on Monday at MIT about greenwashing and the renaming of the auditorium.



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


Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Hundreds of climate protesters disrupt Harvard-Yale game, demand fossil fuel divestment

NEW HAVEN, CONN. — Demonstrators stormed the field during halftime at the Harvard-Yale football game Saturday, delaying the game for about an hour to demand that both universities divest their investments in fossil fuels and to call attention to the issue of climate change.

The protest, which began with a few dozen protesters staging a sit-in midfield as the Yale band finished its halftime routine, swelled to about 500 people at one point as others in the stands joined the demonstration, The New York Times reported.

Some held banners urging the schools’ presidents to divest from the fossil fuel industry and others spoke out against Puerto Rican debt and the treatment of Uighurs in China.

“Students are tired of Harvard and Yale profiting off of climate destruction and neocolonial investments in Puerto Rico’s debt,” protesters said in a statement to news organizations Saturday. “It’s time for more than lip service and greenwashing from academic leaders. Harvard and Yale must address the climate emergency at the scale and with the urgency it demands. This action is only the beginning.” ESPNU replaced the live broadcast with another game.

During the midfield protest, the protesters chanted: “Hey hey! Ho ho! Fossil fuels have got to go!” One banner read, “This is an emergency.”

Some of those involved with the game, such as Yale captain J.P. Shohfi, took the disruption in stride. “If we can’t control it, we can’t worry about it. In the locker room we were just re-focusing on our game plan, trying to stay loose,” Shohfi said.

Harvard coach Tim Murphy said you just deal with the circumstances that you have. “You don’t make a big issue out of it with your team,” he said. “It is what it is.”

Demonstrators were surrounded by police and security and the public address system asked them to clear the field “as a courtesy to players.”

Finally, police formed a line and moved from the Yale sideline to the Harvard sideline. Protesters began leaving the field.

Up to about two dozen protesters remained on the field, and Yale Police Chief Ronnell Higgins warned them they would face arrest, according to the AP.

Rachael Dane, a Harvard spokeswoman, said the university would not comment on the student protest or police response. A New Haven police spokeswoman directed comment to Yale University.

In a statement on Harvard’s climate actions, the university said that Harvard Management Company, which manages the University’s endowment, “engages directly with companies to address issues related to climate change through its work with the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment and the Climate Action 100+.”

The university statement said commitments in its Climate Action Plan “explicitly recognize” that the world must move quickly to end its use of fossil fuels. “While we agree on the urgency of this global challenge, we respectfully disagree with divestment activists on the means by which a university should confront it,” the statement said.

“Universities like Harvard have a crucial role to play in tackling climate change and Harvard is fully committed to leadership in this area through research, education, community engagement, dramatically reducing its own carbon footprint, and using our campus as a test bed for piloting and proving solutions.”

In a statement posted to Twitter Saturday afternoon, the Ivy League conference said it supports the right to freedom of speech and demonstration.

“It is regrettable that the orchestrated protest came during a time when fellow students were participating in a collegiate career-defining contest and an annual tradition when thousands gather from around the world to enjoy and celebrate the storied traditions of both football programs and universities,” the conference statement said.

Karen Peart, a Yale spokeswoman, said in a statement that the university “stands firmly” for the right to free expression, and also stands with the statement issued by the Ivy League.  “We are grateful to the staff members and police officers who ensured the peaceful departure of students from the field,” Peart said in the statement. “The exercise of free expression on campus is subject to general conditions, and we do not allow disruption of university events.”


UK: Green grandstanding is out of control

The parties’ ever more outlandish climate plans will eviscerate our living standards.


Brexit aside, this General Election campaign will be remembered for parties’ promises to spend more than their rivals. From the NHS to ‘free’ broadband for all, a bidding war has erupted. But it is the promises to spend on the green agenda that reveal just how ridiculous and empty most politicians’ promises are.

As reported previously on spiked, Boris Johnson’s green thunder was stolen from him before he became Conservative leader back in the summer. Theresa May, in her last days as prime minister, secured the ‘Net Zero’ CO2 emissions-reduction policy for her ‘legacy’. But this green competition to outbid and outmanoeuvre political rivals harks back even further. During the 2000s, David ‘hug-a-husky’ Cameron aimed to steal a march on the then Labour government by rebranding his party as an environmental champion.

But green politics is a game of politics-by-numbers that disfavours first-movers. The Labour government responded to Cameron’s initiative by proposing the UK should reduce its CO2 emissions by 60 per cent by 2050. The Conservatives upped the bid to 80 per cent. The Liberal Democrats said it should be 100 per cent. To settle the argument, MPs decided that an ‘independent’ panel should be appointed to determine the UK’s so-called carbon budget. The Committee on Climate Change was thus formed and it decided that the target should be 80 per cent.

A decade on, and after MPs from all parties had talked themselves into the 100 per cent target (ie, Net Zero), the only two parameters left to compete with were the date, and how much money to spend to get there.

Sure enough, not long after the Net Zero target was waved through by parliament, Labour Party members passed a motion at their autumn conference committing the party to bringing the Net Zero target date forward by 20 years, to 2030. It’s worth spelling out that this would mean decarbonising the economy. Essentially, the Labour membership voted to abolish every petrol and diesel car, to abolish the gas grid and every gas-fired central-heating boiler, to abolish flights, and to force every homeowner in the country to spend tens of thousands of pounds to make their homes ‘Net Zero’ compliant. How could any party up that ‘ambition’?

Then, after months of parliamentary paralysis over Brexit, the election was called. Eager to quash green speculation that the Conservatives were not as committed to the climate-change agenda as they claimed, the party announced an indefinite moratorium on fracking. Small beer, perhaps. By virtue of it requiring the government to do nothing at all and coming from the odds-on favourite to win the next election, it has been the most realistic policy proposal. But it has also dashed any hopes for a sensible energy policy in the near future. The Tories also promised that 30million new trees would be planted every year between now and 2025.

The Lib Dems then upped the stakes. Net Zero would be achieved by 2045 and 60million trees per year would be needed to hold off the climate apocalypse. Additionally, a Lib Dem government would ban petrol and diesel cars 10 years earlier than the Tories, and bow to Extinction Rebellion’s demands to hold ‘citizens assemblies’ charged with deciding how to achieve these off-the-cuff climate targets.

Despite the endless green pledges and whinging, it has been Brexit that continued to dominate coverage of the election. The Green Party now argues that the election is not about Brexit, but is instead a ‘climate election’. ‘This election is the last chance to stop climate change’, it warns. This might be a more believable claim if the Green Party were to commit to never again mentioning climate change if they failed to win the ‘climate election’. But Greens are not ones for respecting the expressed wishes of the voting public in any case, as illustrated by their participation in a ‘Remain Alliance’.

The Green Party’s manifesto says that a 2030 ‘Net Zero’ target would be achieved by spending £100 billion a year over the next decade. This includes £91 billion per year of borrowing. Not including interest, that trillion-pound ‘Green New Deal’ is equivalent to £15,000 per head of the population.

But the green grandstanding didn’t end there. During the drafting of the Labour Party’s manifesto, the unions voiced scepticism about the party’s 2030 Net Zero target. It was unachievable, it would lead to mass job losses, and it would dent the living standards of millions of workers, they said. Shadow trade secretary Barry Gardiner suggested the target would be softened to apply only to energy production. But shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey was on hand to quash rumours of an outbreak of common sense and to reiterate the party’s target. ‘Our manifesto will set out a pathway towards Net Zero by 2030’, she tweeted.

Just as with Brexit, the rift on climate change reflects the widening divisions between Labour’s traditional base and the urban middle-classes that dominate its outlook. In fact, Labour’s disorientation reflects the wider disconnect between all of the disoriented parties and the public.

All their absurd jostling to be the climate champions might make sense if the election was to be decided by the votes of some 45million Guardian readers. But the only thing passing for a test of the public’s appetite for radical green policies are poorly conceived opinion polls that attempt to measure the emotional impact of David Attenborough’s films. Yes, people largely agree that climate change is a problem. But asking people if they prefer mountain fresh clean air and trees or toxic pollution and dead polar bears is not a meaningful test of the public’s commitment to tackling climate change. No doubt, people’s enthusiasm for climate action cools when faced with the prospect of spending more each year on the climate than is spent on education or of being forced to make drastic lifestyle changes.

Another problem is that it is merely assumed, by all parties, that spending – ‘investing’, in the Westminster vernacular – trillions on green projects and environmental legislation will yield trillions in return. But there exists in the public domain no evidence whatsoever that spending a trillion on green energy, for example, will yield a single penny of benefit to the average voter. It will much more likely saddle households and the public purse with rising prices and substantial debt. The policies envisaged will kick people out of their cars on to inadequate public transport and will raise the cost and lower the standard of living. Politicians have barely begun to contemplate these consequences, let alone respond to them.

Far away from reality, politicians who claim to be championing climate change promise jobs, ‘social justice’, and economic renewal. But what the evidence suggests, from places as far afield as Iran, Chile, France, the Netherlands, and now Germany, is that rising energy prices and overbearing green legislation very quickly give rise to social discontent and often radical anti-government protests. No politician has yet explained how the UK will manage the inevitable difficulties ahead.

The only sense, then, that can be made of promises to spend trillions on the green agenda is that they are not offers to the public at all. They are instead pledges by the extant political establishment to itself. They are certainly nothing to do with representing the public’s wishes. After all, if no political party will depart from the cross-party consensus, then the cross-party consensus cannot be meaningfully tested. If nobody can vote against Net Zero, nobody can meaningfully vote for Net Zero, either. The point of green politics is to deny voters any choice whatsoever: not just over what to eat and how to travel, but also over how we are governed.


Global Warming’s Apocalyptic Path

Global warming has been characterized by its critics (and occasionally by followers like Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono) as a religious movement. While this is correct, it is a religious movement of a special kind, that is, an apocalyptic movement.

And although it is widely known that apocalyptic movements foretell an end of days, demand huge sacrifices by followers, and demonize dissent, what is less known is that these movements follow predictable patterns. The general “laws” that an apocalyptic movement follows over time explain both its short-term strength and, fortunately, its longer-term vulnerability.

In Heaven on Earth: The Varieties of the Millennial Experience (2011), Richard Landes chronicles recurring apocalyptic eruptions over the last 3,000 years. Typically there is belief in an imminent cataclysmic destruction that can only be averted by a total transformation of society. Precisely because the stakes are so high, a successful apocalyptic movement has extraordinary initial power. Believers are committed, zealous, and passionate, the urgent need for prompt action putting them at a high pitch of emotional intensity.

Landes describes the four-part life cycle of such movements. First comes the waxing wave, as those whom Landes calls the “roosters” (they crow the exciting new message) gain adherents and spread their stirring news.

Second is the breaking wave, when the message reaches its peak of power, provokes the greatest turmoil, and roosters briefly dominate public life.

Third is the churning wave, when roosters have lost a major element of their credibility, must confront the failure of their expectations, and mutate to survive.

Last is the receding wave, as the “owls” — those who have all along warned against the roosters’ prophecies — regain ascendancy.

While Landes does not apply his apocalyptic model to global warming, the fit is obvious. In the 1980s and ’90s, a series of UN conferences on climate launched the waxing wave. This was followed at the beginning of this century by the breaking wave.

In 2006, Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth (which later became a classroom staple) persuaded a broad public that man-made global warming threatened doomsday. That same year Sir Nicholas Stern, appointed by Prime Minister Tony Blair to lead a team of economists to study climate change, prophesied it would bring “extended world war” and the need to move “hundreds of millions, probably billions of people.” In 2009, then–UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon told the Global Economic Forum, “We have just four months. Four months to secure the future of our planet.”

Remarkably, in November of that same year, 2009, at the height of its urgency, the global warming apocalypse suddenly fell into the churning wave phase. Someone hacked into the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in England and downloaded emails exchanged among the top scientific climate roosters. The messages bemoan recalcitrant data that fail to support the claim of “unprecedented warming,” describe the tricks (their term) used to coax the data to buttress the theory, report efforts to keep the views of scientific dissenters out of reputable journals and UN reports, and boast of deletion of data to make it unavailable to other researchers.

Given that public belief in the global warming apocalypse depended upon its supposed rock-solid scientific foundation, the scandal, dubbed “Climategate,” was devastating. Beleaguered owls, especially at the Heartland Institute, ground zero of what the mainstream media dismissed as “science deniers,” had high expectations that the credibility of the apocalypse had suffered a fatal blow.

It didn’t. One can only speculate as to the reasons. One major factor may be that political elites had become too committed to go back. Landes writes that elites are typically a hard sell, especially in the case of prophecies demanding a society self-mutilate. In this case they were won over with astonishing ease. Only a month after Climategate, in December 2009, England passed the Climate Change Act, in the works for several years, that mandated an 80-percent cut in six greenhouse gases by 2050 (relative to 1990 emissions).

Journalist James Delingpole, a long-time owl, has called it “the most stupid, pointless and wasteful piece of legislation ever passed in British parliamentary history,” with the costs likely to exceed a trillion pounds. It is a mark of the inroads the apocalypse had made in the political class that there were only five dissenting votes out of the nearly 650 cast. Not to be outdone, Germany’s politicians in 2010 passed the Energiewende, a program that looked forward to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80 to 95 percent by 2050.

Whatever the reasons, the churning wave turned out to be a mini-wave. For a few years polls showed greater public skepticism, with the issue ranking low compared to others. But this July, a BBC program called ‘Climategate’: 10 years on, what’s changed? found Climategate (the charges of scientific misbehavior come off in the program as “a smear”) might as well not have happened. Since then, the BBC reports, the public has reengaged, former skeptics have changed their minds, politicians are increasingly concerned, and children are speaking out “authentically.”

Rather than completing the normal cycle by going into a receding wave, the climate apocalypse has come roaring back as a breaking wave, this time with children in the forefront. (The classroom indoctrination of the previous decade paid off.) Led by a 15-year-old (now 16) in pigtails, Greta Thunberg, beginning in March millions of children in over 120 countries skipped school to embark on a series of “climate strikes.” At the March UN climate summit, Thunberg announced, “We are at the beginning of a mass extinction.” Berating the respectful audience of world leaders for having “stolen my dreams and my childhood,” she produced her electrifying (to her followers), “How dare you?”

“Time has almost entirely run out,” say the activists of Extinction Rebellion, a civil disobedience movement launched in England in October 2018 (it expanded to the U.S. this January). Its red-robed adherents have shut down traffic from London to Australia to Washington, D.C. ER, as it is called, demands that governments declare “a disaster and ecological emergency” and reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025. As a think tank sympathetic to the group has pointed out, this requires an end to air travel and taking 38 million cars off the road.

Nonetheless, this second breaking wave is also doomed to give way to churning and eventually receding waves. What eventually dooms apocalyptic prophecies is their failure to materialize. In the case of global warming, true believers are in a bind. The public is likely to accept a major reduction in its standard of living only if it believes “mass extinction” is the alternative. Yet the closer and more threatening the scenarios, the more they are subject to disproof. Believers may postpone the apocalyptic date, but eventually cognitive dissonance becomes too great.

What will trigger a successful “churning wave” and when it will occur is impossible to predict. But some of the factors likely to bring it closer are obvious. EU countries, with their legally binding commitments, have taken on the chief economic burden of “saving the planet.” Pushback has already begun from segments of the population feeling the effects. France’s Yellow Vest movement originated as a protest against the fuel tax President Macron sought to impose to reduce fossil fuel use (he retracted it). Last month Dutch farmers descended on Amsterdam in thousands of tractors to protest against government demands that they cull their herds to meet EU-imposed climate targets.

As the years go by and requirements for emissions reductions rise according to existing laws, these restrictions become ever more costly and burdensome to meet. Sooner or later some in the EU are bound to ask, “Why are we making these sacrifices when world CO2 emissions are rising anyway and most countries are more interested in economic growth than saving the planet?”

While the Paris Climate Agreement of 2016 was considered a milestone in bringing the world on board, a report co-authored by Sir Robert Watson, former chair of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, examined the pledges made by 184 countries and found that the 28 EU nations were the only sizable emitters of greenhouse gases to make a significant commitment to reduce them. Indeed, 127 nations made their pledges for any reduction at all conditional on funding from rich nations, to the tune of 100 billion dollars a year. The Trump administration has pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Accords, leaving the EU, already struggling economically, to foot that bill as well.

Fearful of being labeled “science deniers,” European politicians have been unwilling to challenge global warming orthodoxy. But with the rise of populist parties, even that is changing, One study by the Adelphi Institute found that seven of the 21 populist parties studied were “deniers and skeptics.” In Germany, ground zero for climate virtue, Alternative for Germany is making opposition to government policies on climate change its signature issue, with co-leader Alexander Gauland declaring that renewable energy will turn Europe into a “de-industrialised settlement region covered in wind farms.” These parties are still marginal, but if establishment politicians see that they make electoral headway with the issue, they too will be tempted to reexamine their most economically self-destructive policies.

It is very important that the receding wave come as soon as possible. That’s because, as Landes points out, that apocalyptic movements are always wrong does not mean their effects are not profound. In the case of global warming, the longer the roosters are ascendant, the more difficult it is to undo the damage. Even in the United States, where at the federal level global warming hysteria has not had the impact it has had in Europe (states like New York and California are another matter) entrenched interests become very hard to dislodge. There is an ethanol lobby, a solar lobby, and a wind energy lobby, all determined to hang on to their mandates and subsidies.

Owls can feel frustrated and helpless as they see the roosters rising. But by what they do — and avoid doing — owls can bring the end nearer. The worst thing they can do is try to compete with roosters, for example by offering, as so many have done in ostensibly conservative journals of opinion, so-called market-based plans for carbon taxes. Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida has advanced a “Green Real Deal” to counter the Democrats’ Green New Deal, with the idea of appealing to young people eager for action on climate change. All this only lends more credibility to the roosters.

What’s more, appeasement doesn’t work. Despite its pioneering role in the fight against climate change, its huge investment in renewables and setting binding targets even more stringent than other EU countries, Germany has seen the largest turnout of angry child planet-savers, with an estimated 1.4 million participating in a recent (September 20) school strike.

There are issues the owls can usefully exploit. While climate science is mysterious, something the public does understand is costs, and owls can demand more transparency. Recently the state of New York legally committed itself to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 by at least 85 percent over 1990 levels. If the average citizen was made aware of the huge impact on his energy bills of this exercise in climate virtue, he might find it less alluring.

The chief apocalyptic danger is not a “sixth mass extinction,” as the current crop of roosters maintain, but an economic collapse should leaders in the West succumb to their demands. Robert Harris’ 2019 novel The Second Sleep could then prove prophetic. He describes a future in which a mysterious calamity has led drastically shrunken Western societies to revert to the horse-driven, torch-lit, homespun clothed existence of their ancestors.


The wicked Chamber of Commerce

Comments by Chuckie Schumer and Shelly Whitehouse, two of the most rabid Democrat Senators.  Unintentionally, they rather make the chamber look good

The earth is spinning toward climate catastrophe. The international community has about a decade to take the steps necessary to avoid breaching the 1.5 degrees Celsius safety zone that the scientific community has established. It will take American leadership to achieve that goal, which means not only bold action in Congress, but meaningful leadership from the president, our allies around the globe, and leadership from powerful forces like major corporations.

Unfortunately, much of corporate America so far failed to step up and sufficiently support policies that would begin to address the existential threat of climate change. Many individual corporations, perhaps out of conviction, perhaps out of the desire to keep and win over new customers, profess to be on the side of fighting climate change. But in an act of rank hypocrisy, they turn around and support business associations, like the US Chamber of Commerce and the American Petroleum Institute, which have been relentless adversaries of climate action.

Take the Chamber. The US Chamber is not the local chamber of commerce sponsoring your main street businesses. It runs a massive influence machine on behalf of big corporations, touching every part of the federal government.

In federal agencies, the Chamber is an 800-pound gorilla in virtually every room where climate policy comes up. It lobbies agency officials, files regulatory comments by the dozen, and deploys its public relations machine whenever regulators turn to matters affecting the fossil fuel industry.

In courts, the Chamber is in a league of its own. During a three-year period late in the Obama administration, the Chamber filed friend-of-the-court briefs in 476 cases and was a litigant in another 25. Environmental issues were its third most litigated subject, and its position always aligns with polluters.

In Congress, the Chamber is the largest lobbyist, spending roughly three times more than the next biggest group. Energy and environmental issues are a big part of that lobbying effort. Every year, the Chamber sends out dozens of letters and key vote alerts telling members which way it expects them to vote. Those letters and alerts inevitably support fossil fuel and oppose reducing emissions.

The Chamber aggressively attacks climate action with the last piece of its machine: election spending. The Chamber has spent almost $150 million on congressional races since the Citizens United decision of 2010. In most congressional election cycles, it is the biggest dark-money spender. The Chamber is known for having sharp political elbows. Cross them and you risk triggering an ad against you — like the one run against a US Senate candidate in Pennsylvania in 2016 suggesting her climate position was akin to stealing youthful energy from American children.

Some Chamber members who say they support climate action may well be funding the efforts to oppose climate action in Washington through the Chamber and other groups. This doubletalk needs to end.

To fight back, companies that care about climate ought to demand full disclosure of who funds climate obstruction at the Chamber, as well as at API and other big lobbying and influence groups. Justice Louis Brandeis said, “Sunlight is . . . the best of disinfectants.” Send sunbeams into the dark-money corners where climate denial and obstruction fester.

Better yet, these “pro-climate” companies should demand that those organizations stop blocking climate action and instead support real action in Congress to address climate change. Corporate shareholders ought to know whether their company funds groups that block climate legislation. And corporations who are board members of these denial and obstruction groups have their own governance obligations to know if they’re throwing good money after bad, allowing their goals to be diluted by the influence of the fossil fuel industry.

The stakes are high: There are massive economic risks flowing from climate change. Don’t take our word for it; listen to the Bank of England, Freddie Mac, Nobel Prize laureate economists, and hundreds of our own government’s most knowledgeable experts.

Corporate America can still choose which side of the climate fight to be on. But the clock is running out.


Marine heatwaves threatening Australia's oyster industry and affecting Great Barrier Reef, scientists warn

Note the dog that didn't bark below.  The people involved are NOT barking about global warming.  They cannot logically do so.  If waters are warming much more rapidly than the global rate, it is not global warming!  Sometimes a tautology is needed

Waters off parts of Australia are warming at some of the most rapid rates in the world, threatening the future of some of the country's most important marine industries, scientists say.

Scientists say the heatwaves are having a severe impact on oysters — and threaten the future of the industry — as well plants and creatures that rely on the ocean for life, pushing some into new areas, while killing others.

"The oceans are really ringing the alarm bells," said CSIRO biological oceanographer Alistair Hobday, a leading expert on MHWs.

"[The oceans] are telling us we've got big problems and those problems are not going to go away."

A MHW is defined as a period of warm water that lasts five days or longer, where temperatures are in the top 10 per cent of events typically experienced in that region.

They are graded in severity — similar to how cyclones are — with category five being the most intense.

The heatwaves lead to outbreaks of diseases that can be fatal to oysters and other molluscs, and reduce the reproduction rates of species such as salmon and abalone as well as killing seagrass and kelp.

"[We thought] marine heatwaves were an example of what the climate would look like in 100 years time," Dr Hobday said. "But we [are] getting it today."



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