Thursday, December 05, 2019

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

Heat waves, Cold winters explained in the Oct. 18, 1877 issue of the Royal Cornwall Gazette, Truro, Cornwall, England.

The UN’s ‘Woke’ Climate Propaganda Is An Insult To Science

The climate change “emergency” is fake news. Many will roll their eyes in exasperation at the conspiratorial bombastry of yet another “denier”. But for years I have been a plastic recycling, polar bear cooing middle-grounder.

In fact, Aristotle would probably turn in his grave at the logical fallaciousness of my long-held presumption that the truth must lie somewhere between those two mutually loathing opposites – Skepticism and Armageddon.

But as the doom-mongering acquires the rubber-stamped smell of institutionalized illness, it is impossible to ignore that the “woke” are the new “slept” – too deep in their sugar coma of confected hysteria to realize they are being duped by disinformation.

Before I explain why the climate “emergency” is the most electrifyingly effective propaganda exercise of the 21st century, two clarifications.

I have no fight to pick with glaring evidential realities: surface records clearly show the planet is getting warmer.

Nor do I have a culture war-bloodied ax to grind with the fundamental chemistry: carbon dioxide indisputably contributes to the greenhouse effect.

But I do take issue with how the mainstream debate has become an insult to both the public’s intelligence and basic science.

This was clearer than ever yesterday, as bureaucratic catastrophists kicked up dystopian dust-clouds on their way into the UN Madrid climate change summit.

As Greta Thunberg arrived by yacht (after her British skipper likely clocked up 3 tonnes of carbon emissions flying to the US to pick her up), UN Secretary-General António Guterres rumbled that, over the horizon, he could see “the point of no return”.

Delegates waved the UN’s latest Emissions Gap Report as if it were both a millenarian death oracle and a methodologically indisputable text; in it, the recommendation to cut emissions by at least 7.6 percent per year for the next decade.

One can’t help but feel that we have heard such curiously precise warnings before. Last year the UN warned that we had just 12 years to save the planet.

Scientists have since revised this to approximately 18 months. Or perhaps it is already too late. The experts don’t seem quite sure.

Indeed, the distinction between present and future seems to be fading to discardable subtlety.

Take the study which has gone viral in recent days for claiming that parts of the world have either already reached – or are inching towards –“tipping point”, whereby the planet becomes caught in destructive feedback loops.

Are we already doomed, or nearly doomed, or nearly already doomed? More is the mystery.

Claims such as these are projections, but they are routinely presented to the public as unquestionable facts. This effectively reduces them to fake news.

Even more so, given that the accuracy of the climate modeling upon which these figures and scenarios rely is contested, and the climate does not change in a straight line.

To take one example, the UN’s international climate change body, the IPCC, said in 2007 that temperatures had risen by 0.2C per decade between 1990-2005 and used that figure for its 20-year projection.

Inconveniently, warming turned out to have been just 0.05C per decade over the 15 years to 2012.

The IPCC acknowledges the uncertainty of the computations it champions; hence the disclaimer squirreled away on its website stating that it does not guarantee the accuracy of the information it contains. A caveat lost in translation at the resplendently funereal press conferences.

This post-truth scam is having a chilling effect on science. Experts are locked in a race to the bottom to make detailed and disastrous premonitions.

And despite the fact that disciplined debate is the motor of scientific discovery, eco-extremists are shutting down discussions that dissent from the Apocalypse narrative.


Historic Cold in U.S., Record Snow Across Northern Hemisphere: Winter Arrives Early

If you haven’t heard about the historic snow across the northern hemisphere this winter, hear it now. Yes, winter began early with unusually heavy snow and extraordinary cold.

Many parts of the U.S. recorded historic lows in November, especially during the second week. Media reports confirmed “record-breaking temperatures across the U.S.” Buffalo, New York, broke its highest snowfall record for Nov. 11 with 8.7 inches of snow.

On Nov. 12, the National Weather Service (NWS) in Indianapolis tweeted, “The current temperature is 13 [degrees Fahrenheit] which breaks a 108 year old record low for the city. Old record low was 14 [degrees Fahrenheit] in 1911.”

The Midwest registered over 850 daily temperature records. NWS in Grand Rapids tweeted, “Preliminary numbers from G.R., Lansing, Muskegon, and Kalamazoo indicate this has been a Top 3 coldest first-half of November, competing with 1991 and 1951, with temperatures averaging near 32 degrees! Normally we’re around 41 degrees.”

A similar situation prevailed in Canada. Pearson airport in Toronto recorded 5.5 inches of snow. That was four times higher than the previous record set in 1983. The Weather Network observed that “record January-like cold, bitter wind chill” descended in Ontario. The nation’s capital, Ottawa, registered at least four record-breaking cold days in November.

The northern hemisphere as a whole experienced above-normal snowfall.

The European Space Agency’s Global Snow Monitoring for Climate Research (GlobSnow) quantifies snow levels in terms of snow water equivalent (SWE). SWE is “the amount of liquid water in the snow pack that would be formed if the snow pack was completely melted.”

Data from GlobSnow confirm that snow-mass levels for the past few weeks have been well above the 30-year average (1982–2012).

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, the snow extent in the northern hemisphere is at its highest levels in recent decades.

National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) reported that the daily snow extent for November has been at a 14-year high (2005–2019).

If the trend continues, the winter of 2019–2020 could be one of the coldest, and snowiest, in recent decades.

Regardless, we can say with certainty that winter has arrived early this year. Arctic blasts have provided us with record-breaking new lows.

Climate activists are largely silent on the record cold and snow. They seem increasingly out of touch with climate reality.

These record lows may or may not presage long-term changes in climate. They do, however, belie false predictions that winters would become milder due to rapid climate change.

Ecclesiastes is right: There is nothing new under the sun!


Pelosi blows climate hot air in Europe

As the Democrats' effort to convince the country that President Donald Trump deserves to be impeached falters and is on the verge of backfiring, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decided it was time to change the subject. So, with a delegation of House Democrats in tow, Pelosi jetted off to the UN's latest climate summit, known as COP25, in Madrid, Spain. She declared that, despite the fact that Trump initiated our official withdrawal from the dubious 2015 Paris Agreement, the U.S. is "still in." Pelosi asserted, "By coming here we want to say to everyone we are still in. The United States is still in. Our delegation is here to send a message that Congress's commitment to take action on the climate crisis is ironclad."

The Democrats' favorite boogieman is "climate change," but they clearly don't believe it's real based upon their behavior and proposed "solutions." Nevertheless, they love to ring the alarm bells, virtue signaling their "commitment" to "save the planet." Of course, as we have repeatedly noted, the solutions Democrats offer would do nothing to mitigate climate change and in fact would cause greater local ecological damage, while at the same time destroying the American economy — which is their real agenda.

The reality is that since 2007, CO2 emissions have fallen in the U.S. by 14%, thanks in large part to the natural-gas boom from shale fracking, which the ecofascists and Vladimir Putin want to shut down. Furthermore, as of 2017, America's emissions were 5% lower than in 1990, despite a population increase of at least 75 million. And a majority of Americans recognize that the climate alarmists' proposed solutions would only lead to less freedom and more government interference in their lives, followed by more suffering. They simply aren't buying the Democrats' "solution."

Hence the climate alarmists' push to rebrand "climate change" into something that sounds much more dire and imminent. "Global meltdown" or "global melting" are a couple of terms proposed by climate activist Aaron Hall. He explains, "After the global climate strike this past September, I found myself thinking about the terms 'climate change' and 'global warming.' Are these scientific terms too neutral? Do they do enough to grab attention and inspire people to take action?" While his proposed alternative terms sound silly, Pelosi has clearly bought into the concept, as she emphasized that climate change was a "crisis." In fact, the term "climate crisis" has increasingly gained traction with the mainstream media. And former Secretary of State John Kerry continues the half-century leftist obsession with treating domestic concerns as warfare, insisting, "We've got to treat this like a war."

The truth is, the Democrats' problem isn't with "climate change" or whatever new alarmist term they adopt; it's with capitalism. This is demonstrated by their continual refusal to praise and recognize the American free-market economy as the most effective means of producing practical solutions to tackle the challenges caused by climate change, all while they turn a blind eye to the planet's largest polluter, communist China.


Why Don’t Climate Change Alarmists Promote Nuclear Power?

In 2008 Al Gore said climate change threatens to “destroy the future of human civilization.” He continued, “We are facing a planetary emergency which, if not solved, would exceed anything we’ve ever experienced in the history of humankind.” To address the problem will “require us to end our dependence on carbon-based fuels.” Not everyone agrees with Mr. Gore’s conclusions on climate change, but for those who do, why are they not strong advocates of nuclear power? It is a proven technology in use today that emits no greenhouse gasses and can substitute for massive amounts of fossil fuels.

If we need to take action now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, there is no surer way to do it than to build nuclear power plants. According to the EPA, electricity generation and transportation account for 57 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Assuming that most transportation emissions are from motor vehicles, then generating all electricity from nuclear power (and other zero-emissions technologies like solar and wind) and replacing petroleum-fueled vehicles with electric vehicles could eliminate more than half of greenhouse gas emissions. Residential and commercial is another 12 percent, which could shift almost entirely to electricity, and industry accounts for another 22 percent, which also could be largely electrified.

By using existing technology to substitute nuclear power for fossil fuels in the generation of electricity, by substituting electricity for petroleum to fuel motor vehicles, and by shifting commercial and residential heating to electricity, emissions of greenhouse gasses could be reduced by 80 percent or more.

If climate change is a catastrophe on the horizon, and immediate action is needed, why are climate change alarmists not solidly backing nuclear power—a remedy that is available today?

I’m not siding with (or against) the climate change alarmists here. Maybe they are right. Maybe not. But they think they are right, and if they hold these strong convictions, their lack of active support for nuclear power is completely baffling. They perceive a problem. A proven and readily available remedy already exists, but they are not clamoring to implement it. They are not advocating the one change we could implement now to avoid what they see as the biggest planetary emergency to have ever faced humankind.

Admittedly, nuclear power has its own drawbacks, but they are small and manageable compared to the alternative of global catastrophe. France generates about 75 percent of its electricity through nuclear, and many countries generate 30 to 50 percent of their electricity through nuclear power, so the substitution of nuclear power for fossil fuels for electricity generation, and to power motor vehicles and heat homes and commercial spaces, is obviously feasible because it is being done now.

Meanwhile, Germany and Switzerland have started phasing out their nuclear power plants and will completely eliminate them. I’m not objecting to their decision, but the climate change alarmists should be. Those who view greenhouse gasses as a serious threat to human civilization should be outraged at nations that are eliminating zero-emissions sources of power.

Some economists advocate carbon taxes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While carbon taxes would undoubtedly have an effect—look at the difference in the size of the average automobile in Europe, where taxes push the price of gasoline to more than double the US price, and in the United States—they won’t eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. Small cars still emit greenhouse gasses. A political problem with carbon taxes is that people resist being taxed, so carbon taxes will be a tough sell.

If governments around the world encouraged nuclear power, and perhaps even subsidized it, energy prices would fall, which people would like much more than rising energy prices, adding to the attractiveness of nuclear power. Electric cars are already cheaper to operate than petroleum-powered cars. What if governments offered reduced cost, or even free, charging stations for electric cars? I’m not suggesting governments should do this. I’m wondering why climate change alarmists aren’t advocating it.

Some climate change alarmists might not advocate nuclear power out of ignorance: They don’t realize the potential of nuclear energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Some alarmists might be hypocrites: They don’t really believe their own arguments. Some alarmists are more anti-capitalist and support climate change hysteria because the remedies proposed would move in the direction of undermining capitalism.

Surely some climate change alarmists are both sincere and knowledgeable. So, why is there no visible support within that group for nuclear power?



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


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