Sunday, November 24, 2019

Ronald Bailey has gone over to the Dark side

Bailey was once a climate skeptic but claims that in 2005  new data made him into a Warmist. I commented on that "conversion" at the time. He has however upped his game since then and we see the result below. His big failing this time can be found in the rubric (red bit) below.  He is precisely wrong in what he says there.  The Climategate emails show that the major players in Warmism are outright crooks. They arbitrarily alter data sources and do their best to ensure that any articles that don't suit them never get published. How surprising that the word "climategate" does not occur once in Bailey's long and diligent aricle.

So it is difficult to ascertain the truth when the chief sources of information about the climate are untrustworthy.  This is particularly so if we realize something that Bailey himself admits:  The data is full of estimates. The climate data is woefully incomplete and all sorts of dodges have to be resorted to to fill in those gaps, with some of the estimates (terrestrial-based measures of arctic temperatures, for instance) being truly heroic.  At almost every point there is room to move estimates in the direction desired. So all the findings that Bailey relies on may or may not be true.  We cannot know. But it is the warmist claim is that we DO know

But that is not a deliberate retreat into nescience. We can still make our own observations and develop our own theories.  And that is what climate skeptics have done. And they have found much that does not support the conventional theories and findings.  Bailey attempts to debunk one by one the dissident theories and findings but he does so by relying on findings from people within the consensus.  And we know that data to be assumption-laden.  So Bailey's large project ends up with circular reasoning:  Warmism is true if you accept what warmists say.  Or putting it another way, you cannot lift yourself up by your own bootstraps.  Once crookedness has been established, it is difficult to find the truth

But vast government activity worldwide is based on Warmist claims being truth.  To use another metaphor, that is a castle built on sand.

The replication crisis

I must stress that I am not putting total reliance on the climategate revelations.  What I am stressing is the constant need for guessing when dealing with incomplete data.  And confirmation bias is well known  even without the climategate revelations. There is now a substantial literature in medical and psychological research showing that unreplicable findings will regularly be accepted until someone comes along and blows the whistle -- by attempting a close replication of the original finding.  A disastrous 60% of findings do not replicate -- indicating that most of what we thought we knew in those disciplines was frankly wrong.

So what about climate findings?  Do they replicate?  We cannot know. Climate researchers have traditionally kept all details of their data and its analyses close to their chest. They defy the basic philosophy of science dictum that your data and analyses must be available for all to check. So that basically tells you all you need to know about the research concerned. The authors know that their results will not replicate when examined by outsiders so make such examinations impossible.

And that suspicion hardens into certainty when we look at Michael Mann's influential hockeystick claim. Mann denied access to his data but inadvertently left some of it on a server where sophisticated computer users could find it.  And when Ross McKitrick and Steve McIntyre did a reanalyis of that data using Mann's program they found that ANY data fed into Mann's program would produce Mann's result.  Mann's findings were a total fraud.  Mann guards his data jealousy to this day.  He was even prepared to lose his lawsuit against Tim Ball rather than reveal it.  And Mann is one of those whom Bailey assumes to be "acting in good faith".

Sadly, global warming is the greatest hoax in human history, perpetrated by grant-hungry scientists with few scruples.  The future of the climate CANNOT be known or predicted but it is the contention of the Warmists that it can be.

The satellite data

I will be mentioning the satellite record of global temperatures shortly  so before I do that I need to spend a little time looking at Bailey's attempt to discredit the satellite data.

He says, rightly, that even the satellite data requires adjustments for various things and points to discrepancies in what the various versions of what the satellite data shows. In the best Leftist practice however he tells only half the story. Let me mention something he leaves out.  The two major versions of the satellite record have long been the UAH record maintained by skeptics and the RSS version by the conventional Carl Mears.

And the two produced such similar results that the RSS figures were often used by skeptics as discrediting warmism.  Even the RSS data from Carl Mears showed little warming.

As Mears himself admits, he was mightily irritated by people accusing his temperature record of supporting the climate skeptics.  He was in fact expressing irritation with that for quite some years.  He declared several times that he still supports Warmism despite what his own data show.

So in 2016 he finally devised a solution to his embarrassment.  He "adjusted" his data.  He said his old data had errors in it and he has now corrected the errors, to show some warming  -- a warming of 18 hundredths of one degree over nearly 20 years, no less!  One hundredth of a degree per annum! (If there had been errors in it, one wonders why he rode with the "erroneous" data for so long but let that be by the by).

And the explanation he gives for his adjustments is reasonable in principle, but, as always, the devil is in the details.  And the details do contain devilry, as Roy Spencer has pointed out.  Carl's adjustments were so bad in fact that the paper in which he described them was rejected as unpublishable by a major climate journal, eventually being accepted by a meteorological one.  However you look at it, however, one hundredth of a degree per annum is negligible warming. Both major versions of the satellite data continued to show no significant warming

The skeptical response

Most of the prominent climate skeptics have looked at Bailey's article and are mocking of it.  I thought I might close by reproducing a emailed comment on it from Don Easterbrook:

"The latest evidence shows that the likelihood of an apocalyptic climate change are about as close to zero as you can get. The NASA and NOAA portrayals of 'hottest  year ever' are totally fraudulent. NOAA temperatures in the US have cooled slightly over the past 20 years  and global satellite temperatures show no warming (see below).

We are now entering a Grand Solar Minimum, guaranteeing that temperatures will plunge, not warm catastrophically. The chances of cataclysmic warming are not worth worrying about!

Excerpts from Bailey

Researchers use complicated computer climate models to analyze all these data to make projections about what might happen to the climate in the future. My reporting strategy has been to take seriously what I believe to be the principal objections made by researchers who argue on scientific grounds that panic is unwarranted. I also assume that everyone is acting in good faith. What follows is based on what I hope is a fair reading of the recent scientific literature on climate change and communications with various well-known climate change researchers.

Ice Age Climate Change

To decide how worried we should be, we need to go back much further than 1992. Starting about 2.6 million years ago the Earth began experiencing ice ages lasting between 80,000 and 120,000 years. The world's most recent glacial period began about 110,000 years ago.

Most researchers believe that variations in Earth's orbital path around the Sun is the pacemaker of the great ice ages. Ice ages end when wobbles in Earth's orbit increase the sunlight heating the vast continental glaciers that form in the northern hemisphere. These orbital shifts initiate a feedback loop in which the warming oceans release of large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which in turn further boosts global temperatures. Higher temperatures increase atmospheric water vapor which further boosts warming that melts more ice and snow cover. Less snow and ice enables the growth of darker vegetation which absorbs more heat and so forth.

At the height of the last glacial maximum 19,000 years ago atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide stood at only about 180 parts per million. The level of atmospheric carbon dioxide increased to around 280 parts per million by the late 18th century. This chain of feedbacks eventually produced a rise in global average surface temperature of about 4 degrees Celsius. That's the difference between the last ice age in which glaciers covered about one-third of the Earth's total land area and today when only 10 percent of the land area is icebound.

As a result of human activities, the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen to about 415 parts per million now. The annual rate of increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide during the past 60 years is about 100 times faster than the rate of increase that occurred at the end of the last ice age. How much this increase is responsible for having warmed the planet over the last century, along with how much more warming will result if carbon dioxide concentrations continue to rise, is the central issue in climate change science.

Just Add Carbon Dioxide

Of course, the sun powers the Earth's climate. About 30 percent of solar energy is directly reflected back into space by bright clouds, atmospheric particles, and sea ice and snow. The remaining 70 percent is absorbed. The air and surface re-emit this energy largely as infrared rays that are invisible to us but we feel as heat.

The nitrogen and oxygen molecules that make up 99 percent of the atmosphere are transparent to both incoming sunlight and outgoing infrared rays. However, water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone are opaque to many wavelengths of infrared energy. These greenhouse gas molecules block some escaping heat and re-emit it downward toward the surface. So instead of the Earth's average temperature being 18 degrees Celsius below zero, it is 15 degrees Celsius above freezing. This extra heating is the natural greenhouse effect.

NASA climate researcher Andrew Lacis and his colleagues contend that carbon dioxide is the key to greenhouse warming on Earth. Why? Because at current temperatures carbon dioxide and other trace greenhouse gases such as ozone, nitrous oxide, methane, and chlorofluorocarbons do not condense out of the atmosphere. Overall, these noncondensing greenhouse gases account for about 25 percent of the Earth's greenhouse effect. They sustain temperatures that initiate water vapor and cloud feedbacks that generate the remaining 75 percent of the current greenhouse effect. Lacis and his colleagues suggest that if all atmospheric carbon dioxide were somehow removed most of the water vapor would freeze out and the Earth would plunge into an icebound state.

Princeton physicist and lately resigned Trump administration National Security Council member William Happer has long questioned the magnitude of carbon dioxide's effect with respect to warming the atmosphere. In fact, Happer is the co-founder and former president of the nonprofit CO2 Coalition established in 2015 for the "purpose of educating thought leaders, policy makers, and the public about the important contribution made by carbon dioxide to our lives and the economy."His 2014 article, "Why Has Global Warming Paused?" in the International Journal of Modern Physics A, Happer argued that climate scientists had gotten crucial spectroscopic details of how atmospheric carbon dioxide absorbs infrared energy badly wrong. As a result, he asserts, a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide would likely warm the planet by only about 1.4 degrees Celsius. If the effect of carbon dioxide on temperatures was indeed constrained to that comparatively low value man-made global warming would probably not constitute a significant problem for humanity and the biosphere.

In 2016, NASA Langley Research Center atmospheric scientist Martin Mlynczak and his colleagues analyzed Happer's claims in a Geophysical Research Letters article and found, "Overall, the spectroscopic uncertainty in present-day carbon dioxide radiative forcing is less than one percent, indicating a robust foundation in our understanding of how rising carbon dioxide warms the climate system." In other words, the details of how carbon dioxide absorbs and re-emits heat are accurately known and unfortunately imply that future temperatures will be considerably higher than Happer calculated them to be.

 Another related claim sometimes made is the effect of carbon dioxide on the climate is saturated, that is, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is already absorbing re-emitting about as much heat as it can. Consequently, increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere won't much increase the average temperature of the globe. But is this so?

This claim is based on the fact in the current climate era that, as Princeton University climatologist Syukuro Manabe in a 2019 review article "Role of greenhouse gas in climate change," notes, "surface temperature increases by approximately 1.3 degrees C in response to the doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration not only from 150 ppm [parts per million] to 300 ppm but also from 300 ppm to 600 ppm." To get a further increase of 1.3 degrees Celsius would require doubling atmospheric CO2 concentration to 1200 ppm. A metaphorical way of thinking about this issue is to visualize that the atmosphere consists of layers and as each layer fills up with enough carbon dioxide to absorb all the heat that it can, the extra heat radiates to the next layer that then absorbs it and re-emits it, and so forth. Consequently, the effect of CO2 on temperatures does decline but it does not saturate at levels relevant to future climate change.

Again, an increase of 1.3 degrees Celsius due to doubling carbon dioxide doesn't seem too alarming. "It is much smaller than 2.3 degrees C that we got in the presence of water vapour feedback," notes Manabe. Researchers find under current climate conditions that "water vapour exerts strong a positive feedback effect that magnifies the surface temperature change by a factor of ∼1.8." A warmer atmosphere evaporates and holds more water vapor which again is the chief greenhouse gas. Just as predicted, water vapor in the atmosphere is increasing as average global temperatures rise. Citing satellite data, a 2018 article in Earth and Space Science reported, "The record clearly shows that the amount of vapor in the atmosphere has been increasing at a rate of about 1.5% per decade over the last 30 years as the planet warms."

Evidence Tampering?

Researchers have devised various records to track changes in global average temperatures. These include surface records incorporating thermometer readings on land and at sea; remote sensing of atmospheric trends using satellites, and climate reanalyses to calculate temperature trends for two meters above the surface.

All temperature records must be adjusted since all have experienced changes that affect the accuracy of their raw data. For example, surface temperature records are affected by changes in thermometers, locations of weather stations, time of day shifts in measurements, urban heat island effects, shipboard versus buoy sampling and so forth. Satellite data must be adjusted for changes in sensors and sensor calibration, sensor deterioration over time, and make corrections for orbital drift and decay. Climate reanalysis combines weather computer models with vast compilations of historical weather data derived from surface thermometers, weather balloons, aircraft, ships, buoys, and satellites. The goal of assimilating and analyzing these data is to create past weather patterns in order to detect changes in climate over time. Since climate reanalyses incorporate data from a wide variety of sources they must be adjusted when biases are identified in those data.

Some skeptics allege that the official climate research groups that compile surface temperature records adjust the data to make global warming trends seem greater than they are. A recent example is the June 2019 claim by geologist Tony Heller, who runs the contrarian website Real Climate Science, that he had identified "yet another round of spectacular data tampering by NASA and NOAA. Cooling the past and warming the present." Heller focused particularly on the adjustments made to NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) global land surface temperature trends.

One general method used by climate scientists of adjust temperature records, explains Berkeley Earth climate data scientist Zeke Hausfather (now at Breakthrough Institute) is statistical homogenization. Researchers compare each weather station to all of its nearby neighbors and look for changes that are local to one station, but not found at any others in the area. A sharp sustained jump to either lower or higher temperatures at a particular station generally indicates a change such as a shift in location or a switch in instrumentation. The records of such out-of-line stations are then adjusted to bring it back in line with its neighboring stations.

In general, temperatures increase more rapidly over land compared to the oceans because of the oceans' greater capacity to absorb heat and ability to get rid of extra heat through evaporation. Heller is right that raw land station adjustments by NOAA/NASA have increased overall land warming by about 16 percent between 1880 and 2016. On the other hand, NOAA/NASA adjustments of raw sea temperature data to take account of the shift from measuring ocean temperatures using buckets and intakes aboard ships to a widely deployed network of automatic buoys reduced the amount of warming in past. The adjustments result in about 36 percent less warming since 1880 than in the raw temperature data. When taken together the NOAA/NASA adjustments to land and ocean data actually reduce, rather than increase, the trend of warming experienced globally over the past century. Adjustments that overall reduce the amount of warming seen in the past suggest that climatologists are not fiddling with temperature data in order to create or exaggerate global warming.


Group To Air Thanksgiving-Themed Ad Knocking Green New Deal

A right-leaning group is continuing its months-long attack on the Green New Deal by releasing an ad warning about the climate policy proposal as Democrats prepare to take the debate stage on Wednesday night.

The ad depicts a family who refuses to drive to their grandmother’s house, citing the Green New Deal’s impact on gas prices. “Desperate times call for desperate measures,” the mother in the ad says before the family rides off on scooters.

Titled “Scooters,” the ad will be the latest installment in a $250,000 campaign by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).

It will air on MSNBC during the lead-up to the Democratic primary debate on Wednesday. The ad will air in the Washington, D.C., market and will appear on other cable news stations over the following week.

Each of the three Democratic frontrunners — former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. — have all endorsed the GND’s basic framework.

The costs of their plans range from $1.7 trillion over 10 years to $16 trillion over 15 years.

“Since Washington politicians are asking the American people to support energy rationing that will lead to higher costs and a complete restructuring of our economy, CEI is asking families to imagine what life would be like under the Green New Deal,” CEI President and CEO Kent Lassman said in a statement provided to Fox News.

“The Green New Deal would cost families tens of thousands of dollars in higher energy, housing and logistics costs and everyone should think about how those higher costs would affect their daily lives.”

The group debuted its ad campaign during October’s Democratic debate, claiming low gas prices and easy transportation would be disrupted by the Green New Deal.

In a dramatic tone shift, the ad showcased what it called the “other option” — alarmism, intrusive government intervention, and skyrocketing energy prices.

CEI has come under fire for taking donations from groups associated with the Koch brothers, two figures progressives have attacked for opposing climate change efforts.

CEI describes itself on its website as a “non-profit public policy organization dedicated to advancing the principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty. CEI’s mission is to promote both freedom and fairness by making good policy good politics.”

Since the plan’s release, conservative groups have warned that the policy — notably sponsored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., — would be a nightmare.

For example, CEI released a study in July that estimated the plan would cost the average household in swing states an average of $70,000 in the first year of the policy’s rollout.


Despite all the Greenie heartburn and protesting, world coal use is surging

A series of reports this week makes clear that, led by China, global coal use is surging, not in decline. India, Africa and much of Asia are getting ready to follow.

For years environment groups have said China was giving permits to new coal-fired power stations that would not be built. But that confidence has been dispelled in a Global Energy Monitor report, which shows that reductions in coal use in the developed world are being offset many times over by increases in China alone.

Global Energy Monitor, originally called CoalSwarm, started life as a bunch of activists and journalists wanting to put pressure on coal-plant developments in the US. It now tracks China, which it says has the power to make or break the Paris climate goals.

China has been given until 2030 to peak its emissions under the Paris Agreement but on the latest figures that is looking like a pipe dream.

Something radical urgently is needed to reshape the coal-burning trajectory of China and India for there to be any hope of even getting close to achieving the least ambitious targets of the Paris Agreement.

At a nuclear energy conference at the White House this week, US Energy Secretary Rick Perry offered a view from space. “If we look at a satellite image of the globe,” he said, “we see vast tracts of land that are shrouded in darkness. More than a billion people are completely without electricity; they are trapped in energy poverty.”

Perry said the pursuit of a “renewables only” approach to climate change and sustainable development would “lock them into that state maybe forever”.

In discussion with MIT Technology Review early this year, Microsoft founder Bill Gates said further technological evolution was essential. “If we freeze technology today you will live in a 4C warmer world in the future, guaranteed,” Gates said.

The big discussion playing out around the world gives context to the debate in domestic politics where the Greens have sought to link Australia’s bushfires directly to a lack of domestic action on climate change.

Scott Morrison says the suggestion that individual actions of Australia, accounting for 1.3 per cent of the world’s emissions, are impacting directly on specific fire events, here or anywhere else in the world, is not scientifically credible.

One response is that Australia must lead by example.

But the big picture is that China appears to have stopped reading the climate change script. According to Global Energy Monitor, for the first time since China’s coal-building boom began in the 1980s the coal fleet outside China shrank.

From January last year to June this year, countries outside China decreased their total coal power capacity by 8.1 gigawatts through steady retirements and an ongoing decline in the commissioning of new coal plants. But across the same period China increased its coal fleet by 42.9GW, and as a result the global coal fleet overall grew by 34.9GW.

In short, the increase in China’s coal-fired capacity across the 18-month period was equal to about eight times Australia’s total electricity capacity of 51GW.

“As more countries turn away from coal and retire their plants, China’s continued pursuit of coal is increasingly out of step with the rest of the world, and is now effectively driving the ongoing expansion of the global coal fleet,” the report says.

Today, 147.7GW of coal-fired plants are under active construction or under suspension in China and likely to be revived. This is an amount nearly equal to the existing coal-fired power capacity of the EU (150GW).

Some of China’s new coal-fired power development is to replace existing more polluting plants. However, the Global Energy Monitor report says given the amount of capacity under development, China’s central government looks ready to increase its 1100GW coal-fired power cap, as set by its 13th Five-Year Plan to 2020.

Coal and power industry groups are proposing the central government increase total coal-fired power capacity by 20 per cent to 40 per cent to between 1200GW and 1400GW as part of China’s 2035 infrastructure plan. That plan is expected to be released next year.

“The continued growth of China’s coal fleet and consideration of plans to significantly raise the nation’s coal power cap show that while the country is often hailed as a clean energy leader, the momentum of coal power expansion has yet to be halted,” the report says.

According to the report, an increase in China’s coal-fired power capacity is not compatible with the Paris climate agreement to hold warming well below 2C, and “almost certainly forecloses the possibility of China achieving greater emission reductions under the Paris Agreement — currently pegged at peaking carbon dioxide emissions by 2030”.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has found keeping warming well below 2C requires a 58 per cent to 70 per cent reduction in global coal-fired power generation by 2030 below current levels, ramping up to between 85 per cent and 90 per cent by 2035. Global Energy Monitor says China needs to have phased out most of its coal-fired power capacity by 2035 to meet the IPCC scenario.

If China continues to increase total coal-fired power capacity through 2035, its coal-fired power generation alone will be more than three times as large as the global limit determined by the IPCC to keep warming well below 2C.

Global Energy Monitor concludes that China’s continued expansion of its coal fleet is not inevitable but the path that China’s central government chooses could make or break the Paris Agreement’s goals.

There is no doubt that enormous investment will continue in renewable energy sources including solar and wind with an increasing emphasis on storage. China has been held up as an exemplar in renewable energy.

But it is becoming increasingly clear globally that something is still needed for the world to replace the heavy lifting of coal.


Let’s not pollute minds with carbon fears


As soon as the words carbon footprint, emissions, pollution, and decarbonisation, climate emergency, extreme weather, unprecedented and extinction are used, I know I am being conned by ignorant activ­ists, populist scaremonger­ing, vote-chasing politicians and rent seekers.

Pollution by plastics, sulphur and nitrogen gases, particulates and chemicals occurs in developing countries. That’s real pollution. The major pollution in advanced economies is the polluting of minds about the role of carbon dioxide. There are no carbon emissions. If there were, we could not see because most carbon is black. Such terms are deliberately misleading, as are many claims.

But then again, we should be used to this after the hysteria about the Great Barrier Reef bleaching that has really been occurring for hundreds of years, fraudulent changing of past weather records, the ignoring of data that shows Pacific islands and the Maldives are growing rather than being inundated, and unsubstantiated claims polar ice is melting. By ignoring history and geology, any claim of unusual weather can be made sensational.

We’ve had reefs on planet Earth for 3500 million years. They came and went many times. The big killer of reefs was because sea level dropped and water temperature decreased. In the past, reefs thrived when water was warmer and there was an elevated carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere. Reef material is calcium carbonate, which contains 44 per cent carbon dioxide. Reefs need carbon dioxide; it’s their basic food.

We are not living in a period of catastrophic climate change. The past tells us it’s business as usual.

It has never been shown that human emissions of carbon dioxide drive global warming.

Climate models have been around 30 years. They have all failed. Balloon and satellite measurements show a disconnect from climate model predictions. If they have failed across the past 30 years when we can compare models with measurements, there is little chance that the climate projections across the next 50 years will be more successful. Modellers assume carbon dioxide drives climate change. It does not. The role of the sun and clouds was not considered important by modellers. They are the major drivers for the climate on our planet.

We emit a trace atmospheric gas called carbon dioxide at a time in planetary history of low atmospheric carbon dioxide. The geological history of the planet shows major planetary climate changes have never been driven by a trace gas. Just because we are alive today does not mean we change major planetary systems that operated for billions of years. Earth’s climate dances to rhythms every day, every season and on far larger lunar, ocean, solar, orbital, galactic and tectonic cycles. Climate change is normal and continual. When cycles overlap, climate change can be rapid and large. Sporadic events such as supernovas and volcanic eruptions can also change climate.

The main greenhouse gas is water vapour. It is the only gas in air that can evaporate, humidify and condense into clouds that precipitate rain, hail and snow. These processes involve a transfer of energy, and water vapour makes the atmosphere behave like a giant airconditioner. Carbon dioxide is a non-condensable atmospheric gas like nitrogen and oxygen. Water vapour in air varies depending on temperature and location from five times the atmospheric carbon dioxide content in deserts to more than 100 times in the tropics. Water is 12 times more effective than carbon dioxide with respect to all incoming and outgoing radiation.

Earth is unevenly heated. Our spinning oblate globe is influenced by two fluids of different composition and behaviour moving chaotically against each other over the irregular solid surface of the planet. Oceans hold most of the planet’s surface heat, not the atmosphere. Processes that occur during sunlight do not occur at night due to the prime driver of our planet’s surface temperature: the sun.

Carbon dioxide is plant food. It is neither a pollutant nor a toxin. Without carbon dioxide, all life on Earth would die. Plants convert carbon dioxide, water and sunlight during photosynthesis into sugars, cellulose, fruit, vegetables and grains, which animal life uses as food. Marine organisms also take up and use carbon dioxide. Plants need almost three times today’s carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere to thrive. For decades horticulturalists have pumped carbon dioxide into glasshouses to increase yields. The fossil record shows that a thriving and diversification of plant and animal life occurs every time the atmosphere had a very high carbon dioxide content. In the past, warming has never been a threat to life on Earth. Why should it be now? When there is a low atmospheric carbon dioxide content, especially during very cold times, life struggles.

For the past 500 million years, the atmospheric carbon dioxide content has been decreasing and if we halved today’s atmospheric carbon dioxide content, all life would die. This carbon dioxide has been removed into the oceans and is sequestered into coral, shells, limey sediments and muds and on the land into coals, muds, soils and vegetation.

Air contains 0.04 per cent carbon dioxide. We add carbon compounds to our bodies from food and drinks and exhale carbon dioxide. The human breath contains at least 4 per cent carbon dioxide. Our bodies contain carbon compounds. If we were so passionately concerned about our carbon footprint, then the best thing to do is to expire.

In our lifetime, there has been no correlation between carbon dioxide emissions and temperature. On a larger scale, the ice caps show that after a natural orbitally driven warming, atmospheric carbon dioxide content increases 800 years later. Rather than atmos­pheric carbon dioxide driving temperature, it is the opposite. Geology shows us again there is no correlation between atmospheric carbon dioxide and temperature. Each of the six major past ice ages began when the atmospheric carbon dioxide content was far higher than at present. The thought that a slight increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide will lead to unstoppable global warming is demonstrably wrong.

In the past decade China has increased its carbon dioxide emissions by 53 per cent, 12 times Australia’s total carbon dioxide output of 1.3 per cent of the global total. The grasslands, forests, farms and continental shelves of Australia absorb far more carbon dioxide than Australians emit. The attack on emissions of the gas of life is an irrational attack on industry, our modern way of life, freedoms and prosperity. It has nothing to do with the environment.


Australia: Farmers ‘subsidising drivers of electric cars’

Farmers who drive long distances, and pay hefty petrol excise, are subsidising inner-city electric car drivers who pay none, prompting a peak infrastructure body to call for a “road user charge” on electric vehicles to share the tax burden more fairly.

Rapid forecast growth in electric vehicle sales will sap federal government fuel tax revenue but give state governments an ­opportunity to secure a growing source of revenue, according to a report by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia. “Applying a simple distance-based charge to electric vehicles will ensure every motorist makes a fair and sustainable contribution to the use of the roads and will help secure a vital stream of transport funding for generations to come,” said IPA head Adrian Dwyer.

The report, released on Thursday, says: “Electric vehicle motorists pay nothing at the pump, and only contribute to the road network through state-based road access charges such as registration and licence fees.

“All motorists should pay their fair share. Without reform fewer road users, especially in regional areas who drive vast distances, will increasingly subsidise electric vehicle motorists.”

Fuel excise collected per kilometre driven has steadily fallen from more than 7c in the late 1990s to just over 4c in 2017 as consumers switch to more ­efficient cars and electric vehicles, which are expected to grow from 0.3 per cent of new car sales in 2018 to 8 per cent by 2025.

“While a shift to electric vehicles could be great for the environment, we still need to make sure we can fund transport services to help people spend less time in their cars,” Mr Dwyer said.

The IPA said a 4 cent per kilometre road user charge, broadly equivalent with what most other motorists pay, wouldn’t discourage take-up of electric vehicles, which are expected to increase in cost effectiveness against petrol-powered cars as battery technology improves and charging stations become more prevalent.

It was imperative to act soon, though, given electric vehicles made up only 0.076 per cent of the light vehicle fleet, before a new tax became politically untenable. “While the revenue raised is unlikely to be substantial in the short term, it could raise rapidly as uptake grows — into the hundreds of millions each year for a large state and the billions by 2030,” the report says.

The NSW government’s review of federal financial relations, released last month, canvassed alternative state revenue sources to replace “highly inefficient” property stamp duty, shrinking coverage of the GST, including road user chrging.

The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics predicts the electric vehicle share to hit 27 per cent in 2030 and 50 per cent by 2035.



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