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.



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1 comment:

C. S. P. Schofield said...

"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."

In my experience, any gathering called a (fill-in-the-blank)-in is almost certain to be as jargon-filled and sense-free load of drivel.