Sunday, December 29, 2019

Record hit for most ice to melt in Antarctica in one day

The "data" comes from a model (which starts in 1979 only) so is not data at all, just guesswork.  And generalizing from one instance is in any case close to brain-dead

What seems to be happening is that the  Antarctic ice sheet is the big frustration for Warmists -- as it is if anything gaining mass -- so this one little glimmer of melting is seized on eagerly, making a mountain out of a pimple

The record in recent decades for the highest level of ice to melt in Antarctica in one day was reached on Christmas Eve, data suggests.

Around 15 percent of the continent's surface melted on Monday, according to the Global Forecast System (GFS) by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP). The data comes from the Modèle Atmosphérique Régional (MAR), a model used for meteorological and climatic research.

Xavier Fettweis, a climatologist at the University of Liège in Belgium, who tweeted the data on Friday, said this is the highest melt extent in Antarctica in the modern era, since 1979. He added the production of melt water is a record 230 percent higher than average since November this year. That's despite the melting season not yet being over.

For the first time, Fettweis said, the melting seemed to explain a negative anomaly in data on Antarctica's surface mass balance (SMB). This is the net balance between what causes a glacier's surface to grow or deplete, for instance because it evaporates or melts away.

"It should be noted that this process is currently missing in most of SMB estimations over Antarctica as melt has been negligible until now. But the climate is changing..." Fettweis said.

Fettweis told Newsweek Antarctica has been "significantly warmer than average" this melting season. But he stressed the data is from a model, and not an in situ observation. The melting could be driven by a number of factors, and experts will need to wait two to three melting seasons to confirm what is going on.

"We have observed a crash of the Antarctica polar vortex just before this melting season," explained Fettweis, referring to low pressure near the pole. "A weaker polar vortex allows warm air masses to reach easier the ice sheet (which is usually protected by its polar vortex as it was the case the previous summer). The fact that the sea ice extent is very low also enhances the possibility of warm air masses to reach the ice sheet."

Asked whether climate change is to blame, he said: "As for most of the anomalies observed on these last months over the Earth (e.g. in Australia), the signal coming from global warming can not be ignored here."


Japanese banks to the rescue of coal power

Financial institutions have chaneled $745 billion over the past three years to new coal power projects worldwide despite effort to reduce fossil fuel use to fight climate change, a report released Thursday said.

The amount was calculated using data covering both lending and underwriting between January 2017 and September 2019 for all 258 coal plant developers identified in the Global Coal Exit List, drawn up by the Urgewald and BankTrack groups.

Altogether, the report cites more than 1,000 new coal power stations or units in the pipeline.

“Most of the top banks providing loans or investment banking services to these companies acknowledge the risks of climate change, but their actions are a slap in the face to the Paris Climate Agreement,” said Greig Aitken, climate campaigner at BankTrack.

The top three lenders listed are the Japanese banks Mizuho, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.

These are followed by Citigroup and BNP Paribas.


America, Not Paris, is the Environment’s Best Champion

President Trump recently shed light on a little-acknowledged but critical fact: Free-market American ingenuity, not the Paris Agreement, is improving our environment.

“The Paris Accord would’ve been a giant transfer of American wealth to foreign nations that are responsible for most of the world’s pollution,” President Trump said at the Shale Insight conference in Pittsburgh. “My job is to represent the people of Pittsburgh, not the people of Paris.”

Three years in, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the Paris Agreement is a sham. Its anti-energy, globalist ideas are not only detrimental to the global economy, prioritizing liberal elite ideology over human well-being, but also utter failures at their ultimate goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Only seven countries are on track to meet their emission targets, and many of the Paris Agreement’s signatories have actually increased their carbon dioxide emissions.

Germany, a supposed world leader in renewable energy, has reduced its emissions by about 10% — but renewables have only been a minor factor. The decrease has been largely attributed to a decline in manufacturing, driven out by high energy prices. While Germany has spent $200 billion in its shift to renewable energy, its electricity prices have risen by more than 50%—some of the highest prices in the world, a significant burden for families and business owners to bear.

Ironically, Germany is now forced to turn to high-emission energy sources to sustain its renewable energy agenda. Unable to rely on wind and solar power alone, the nation is now acquiring much of its energy from biomass (wood pellets imported from the United States) and building natural gas pipelines from Russia. In Europe, importing Russian natural gas produces 41% more lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions than importing American natural gas.

Meanwhile, the United States has cut more total carbon dioxide emissions than any other nation. From 2008 to 2018, our energy-related emissions fell by 9% when the rest of the world increased their emissions by 17%. China’s emissions growth alone wiped out America’s reductions in 2017 by more than threefold, and now its emissions are growing even faster.

The widespread failure to comply with the Paris Agreement proves its just empty political posturing—virtue-signaling fanfare with no promise of action. But even if the signatories managed to rise to the occasion and meet their emission reduction targets for the rest of the century, global temperatures would be just 0.17 degrees lower in 2100.

Does two-tenths of a degree really justify strangling our energy industry and, therefore, our economy and way of life?

In reality, there’s no evidence to suggest climate change will be anything other than mild and manageable. The environment will be better off if we prioritize cutting pollution and encouraging economic growth and innovation. Contrary to the popular narrative, economic growth and environmental quality historically go hand-in-hand.

More important than greenhouse gases are reducing toxic pollution known to cause human harm. Here the United States is a leader as well. Despite the common belief that our environment is deteriorating, America’s air is the cleanest on record. We’ve cut the EPA’s six key air pollutants, toxic substances that cause humans harm, by 74% since 1970.

We’ve achieved these unprecedented improvements while growing our economy by 275%, our energy consumption by 49%, our vehicle miles traveled by 191%, and our population by 60%.

And our air might be even cleaner were it not for Asia’s air pollution problem. Several studies show a significant portion of the West Coast’s air pollution is blown over from Asia. Ironically, states like California that continually pass stricter environmental regulations often force manufacturing jobs overseas, further contributing to this problem. Our competitors in Asia can produce goods cheaply in part because they don’t utilize our advanced pollution control technology—something President Trump was right to call attention to.

America’s environmental leadership is something to celebrate, but it shouldn’t stop there. We should challenge world leaders to take a bold step: to meet America’s air quality standards. We should expect our allies and trading partners to share our commitment to environmental stewardship.

While other nations feign moral superiority by fighting a so-called crisis, the United States is leading the world through its actions. It’s only fair we ask the rest of the world to step up to the plate and do the same.


750 Billion Reasons Why Goldman Is Rooting For Greta Thunberg's Success

Having lost much of its central banker incubation skills over the past decade, and handing over the crown of Wall Street's most profitable trading desk to Morgan Stanley, in recent years Goldman Sachs has been best known for enabling and profiting wildly from Malaysia 1MDB criminal fraud, which culminated with the arrest of former Malaysia PM Razak, but not before Goldman made billions in illicit profits from selling bonds offered by the country's sovereign wealth fund.

And while Goldman is still waiting to learn its criminal and civil fate, and more importantly, how many billions it will have to pay Malaysia/the DOJ to put its 1MDB fraud in the rearview mirror, the company - which a decade ago was hoping to make billions from aggressively entering the carbon credit/offset market as profiled delightfully in Matt Taibbi's "The Great American Bubble Machine" - is already scheming how to profit from the latest round of anti-climate change euphoria, conveniently spawned by a 16-year-old child with Asperger's Syndrome.

On Monday, Goldman Sachs said it will provide $750 billion in financing, advisory services and investments for initiatives that fight climate change, as well as those that foster economic opportunities for under-served people over the next decade. What Goldman did not say is that it will pocket a generous commission, somewhere in the 3-5% ballpark, by peddling "green" products to naive investors (including central banks) who have fallen for the whole ESG virtue signalling charade.

The bank also updated its internal environmental policy framework to rule out providing financing to any new projects that will drill for oil in the Arctic or that create new thermal coal plants or new thermal coal mines. Of course, the destructive consequences of the bank's involvement in the 1MDB scandal would be quietly excluded from this virtuous charade.

Ironically, Goldman's policy changes come just as the United Nations concludes a conference that failed to ramp up efforts to combat global warming, according to Reuters.

Goldman CEO David Solomon announced the plans in an editorial in the Financial Times, where he wrote that there is "a powerful business and investing case" for the bank to take steps to address climate change and the growing worldwide opportunity gap.

Very powerful: having failed to make almost any money from the bank's last foray into carbon tax and cap-and-trade, Goldman is now seeking to directly appeal to fellow fake virtue signalers, who in turn will hope to extract capital from naive investors pursuing the oh so noble goal of only investing in green, renewable, and "clean" (whatever that means) projects. Goldman's bottom line, assuming a blended 3% commission on the $750BN in financial services it sells to gullible clients, works out to about $22.5 billion - a "powerful business case" indeed.

Additionally, Goldman emphasized that it will not pass up any significant amount of revenue as a result of the $750 billion commitment and the ban on financing certain drilling and coal activities. A Goldman Sachs executive said on a call with reporters that the bank has not financed any projects like those in recent memory. However, since US shale producers, most of whom are funded by the ultra-generous US junk bond market, are hardly losing sleep, it only means that other, less "virtuous" banks will be delighted to pocket a far higher commission by stepping into the "dirty" market where ESG virtue signalers now refuse to tread.

And speaking of drilling and coal activities, the bank said it has a rigorous due-diligence process that takes into consideration, among other things, impacts on endangered species and indigenous populations, the executive said.

The $750 billion commitment will be deployed in several ways, including by investing in and advising companies to take steps to reduce their carbon emissions and become more sustainable, the bank said. For example, earlier this year Goldman worked with Italian electricity company Enel to raise $1.5 billion through a bond offering that linked the investments to Enel’s commitment to increase its renewable energy base by 25% before 2022.

Translation: Goldman made about $15 million selling a bunch of bonds to a bunch of "green" liberals managing other liberals' money. Because when central banks have taken over the market and Goldman's own trading desk is shrinking quarter after quarter, and when the coming negative rates will make Goldman's recent investment into retail banking a disaster, one can always make money betting on liberal guilt, and nobody knows this better than Goldman Sachs... and Greta Thunberg.

And just in case Thunberg falls short of sparking the next major revenue driver on Wall Street, there is always the Fed. On Monday, the San Fran Fed published a paper titled "The Economics of Climate Change: A First Fed Conference" in which the authors concluded that "the economic consequences of climate change are likely to be substantial and will require responses from a wide range of policy institutions". More importantly, they will make tens of billions in revenue for such idealistic, progressive, "green" organizations as Goldman Sachs.


Australia: GetUp stirs the climate claims of fire activists

The GetUp activist group is driving the campaign of some bushfire survivors who blame climate change for fires burning in southeast Australia and are calling for “100 per cent renewable energy for all”.

Key among demands of the Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action group is that the Morrison government curb the nation’s ­reliance on fossil fuels by vetoing development of the Adani coalmine in north Queensland — a campaign priority similar to GetUp’s own.

The bushfire survivors’ group gained national attention when it was launched in February with a personal endorsement from decorated former NSW Fire and Rescue commissioner Greg Mullins.

GetUp promoted the launch on its Twitter feed in advance, telling supporters Mr Mullins would join Bushfire Survivors for ­Climate Action at a press conference in Canberra.

Mr Mullins leads a group of ex-fire chiefs — Emergency Leaders for Climate Action — funded by Tim Flannery’s Climate Council. They have accused Scott Morrison of a “policy-free zone” on climate change and urged the government to respond to the bushfire crisis with curbs on carbon emissions. A spokesman for the former NSW fire chief stressed that, while not demurring from his support of the bushfire victims’ group, he had “no affiliation” with GetUp.

The GetUp website promoting Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action provides harrowing ­accounts of fire victims’ experiences. It seeks support for their cause and is authorised by GetUp’s ­national director, Paul Oosting.

The site says GetUp provides “in-kind support” while “ad hoc media support” comes from the Climate Media Centre.

Asking supporters to “join us” in urging the government to take action, Bushfire Survivors says the Morrison government can no longer ignore the way climate change is hurting communities. “They must take Australia ­beyond coal projects like Adani and move to 100 per cent renewable energy for all,” it states.

Prominent among the group’s survival stories is Lyn Trindall’s account of how she escaped her lower Blue Mountains home at Winmalee in October 2013. Ms Trindall, the local GetUp group co-ordinator and a former Blue Mountains councillor, tells of a frightening evacuation as the wheelchair she uses spilt into a garden bed and a fire team came to her aid.

Another survivor, ­retired teacher Janet Reynolds from Bega and a supporter of ­recent “school strike” protests over climate change, tells of confronting a wall of flames and fallen trees during her escape.

The fire chiefs group led by Mr Mullins has no direct link to GetUp but some of the Climate Council’s supporters and contractors do have GetUp connections. The Mullins group, with Climate Council support, is pledging to hold a national summit after the fire season has ended early next year to devise a strategy on combating future fires that would take account of climate change.

The Prime Minister has been criticised by both Mr Mullins and the Bushfire Survivors group for refusing to meet them.

Government insiders say Mr Morrison has been reluctant to kowtow to lobby groups linking climate change to bushfires.

His office is believed to be wary of the politics involved, arguing the groups’ associations with the Climate Council and GetUp as support organisations suggests they are anti-Coalition, leaning more to Labor or the Greens.

A Climate Council spokesman rejected claims of an “anti-­Coalition association”, saying his organisation was strictly non-­partisan.



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