Sunday, February 09, 2020

Apocalypse now: Combined impacts of rising temperatures, dwindling food supplies and biodiversity loss could trigger 'global systemic collapse', scientists warn

There is not an ounce of sense in this.  A warmer planet would produce MORE food.  A warmer planet would make vast new areas of Northern Canada and Siberia available to grow crops.  And crops everywhere would grow better with more CO2 in the atmosphere

And warm climates have MORE biodiversity. Life just leaps out at you in the tropics.  Warmth is the last thing that would be bad for biodiversity

And there would be MORE rain, not "dwindling sources of fresh water". The earth's surface is two thirds water and warmer oceans would evaporate off more water vapour -- which is where rain comes fro.

It is so tedious that I have to keep repeating the obvious. These people are just con-men who are ignoring the most basic physics

Overlapping environmental crises could tip the planet into a ‘global systemic collapse’, more than 200 global scientists have warned.

Climate change, biodiversity loss, dwindling sources of fresh water and food, and extreme weather events from hurricanes to heatwaves will provide a monumental challenge to humanity in the 21st century.

Out of 30 global-scale risks, these five topped the list both in terms of likelihood and impact, according to scientists surveyed by Future Earth, an international research organisation.

The report, published on Thursday, called on the world’s academics, business leaders and policymakers to ‘pay urgent attention’ to the five risks and consider them as interlinked.

In combination, they ‘have the potential to impact and amplify one another in ways that might cascade to create global systemic collapse,' a team led by Maria Ivanova, a professor at the Center for Governance and Sustainability at the University of Massachusetts, said in a 50-page report.

‘Humanity is at a critical stage in the transition to a more sustainable planet and society,’ said Amy Luers, executive director of Future Earth.

‘Our actions in the next decade will determine our collective future on Earth.

Of the five main issues, extreme heat waves are speeding global warming by releasing planet-warming gases from natural sources.

While Europe had its third-warmest and Asia its fourth warmest October on record, dry and warm conditions in Australia caused intense bushires this season that killed an estimated 1 billion animals in the country.

Australia's bushfires and fires in the Amazon region in 2019 were partly caused by climate change, the report says, as warmer air pulls moisture out of vegetation, creating drier fuel and feeding wind to fan flames.

In the Arctic region, meanwhile, the last five years have been the warmest on record, melting sea ice and affecting wildlife, fisheries and local communities.

But the greater the warming, the greater the anticipated impacts of heatwaves in cities as well, mainly in places of high urbanisation rates, poverty and marginalisation in South East Asia and Latin America.

‘A warmer world has higher risks of flooding, landslides, fire and infectious and parasitic disease,' the report says.

Biodiversity loss, meanwhile, weakens the capacity of natural and agricultural systems to cope with climate extremes, also putting food supplies at risk.

Elsewhere in the report, the authors highlight the undernourishment in impoverished parts of the world compared with the obesity crisis in developed countries.

‘The amount of food produced per person on the planet has gone up by more than 40 per cent since the 1960s,’ it says.

Yet the prevalence of undernourishment has started to go up again – the total number of people undernourished in 2018 stood at more than 820 million people, up from a record low of 785 million in 2015.

At the same time, some 1.9 billion people are overweight and 650 million are obese – highlighting a discrepancy in food security.

The world needs to feed an estimated 9 billion people on a planet with diminished natural resources.

But strains on food production are expected to increase caused by changing climate and environments, the report says – once again highlighting how the top five global-scale risks are closely related.


Harvard study finds wind turbines WARM the U.S.

We at CFACT prioritize responding to asserted climate scares immediately after they are asserted. Nevertheless, some topics are so consequential that they warrant us circling back and reminding people about the issue several months later. A 2018 study by Harvard University scientists documenting how wind turbines increase U.S. temperatures is one of those topics that deserve another look.

The Harvard scientists, while emphasizing they believe people need to take urgent action to mitigate global warming, observed that the interaction of wind turbines and the atmosphere slow down the wind as wind energy is extracted by turbines. This has a warming effect on temperatures. Moreover, they found that many of the best locations for wind turbines are already utilized. This means future wind power installations will utilize lower-quality locations requiring many more turbines and much more land development to produce as the same amount of wind power. As a result, the study determined that current government and industry estimates of wind power production per turbine are significantly inflated.

“This research suggests that not only will wind farms require more land to hit the proposed renewable energy targets but also, at such a large scale, would become an active player in the climate system,” states a Harvard press release announcing the study (

“Harvard University researchers find that the transition to wind or solar power in the U.S. would require five to 20 times more land than previously thought, and, if such large-scale wind farms were built, would warm average surface temperatures over the continental U.S. by 0.24 degrees Celsius,” through at least the year 2100, the press release observed.

The scientists studied 411 wind farms and 1,150 solar facilities to determine their results.

“For wind, we found that the average power density — meaning the rate of energy generation divided by the encompassing area of the wind plant — was up to 100 times lower than estimates by some leading energy experts,” one of the scientists explained in the press release.

“For solar energy, the average power density (measured in watts per meter squared) is 10 times higher than wind power, but also much lower than estimates by leading energy experts,” the press release noted.

According to the press release, “This research suggests that not only will wind farms require more land to hit the proposed renewable energy targets but also, at such a large scale, would become an active player in the climate system.”

To meet present-day U.S. electricity demand, the scientists determined wind turbine projects would need to cover one-third of the continental United States. Transforming transportation vehicles to electric batteries would require even more.

“The direct climate impacts of wind power are instant, while the benefits of reduced emissions accumulate slowly,” noted one of the scientists in the press release.


Fewer recessions thanks to the shale revolution

The United States economy currently enjoys the longest period of expansion in history. The economy has been growing for more than ten and a half years, since the end of the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Behind the current expansion is the rise of the US to become the world’s leading energy producer.

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) defines a recession as “a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real gross domestic product (GDP), real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.” US recessionary periods trigger business failures, changes in political leadership, and impact the daily lives of US citizens.

According to NBER, there have been seven US recessions during the last 50 years. The recession of 1969-1970 coincided with attempts to close budget deficits from the Vietnam war and the raising of interest rates by the Federal Reserve.

In 1973, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) quadrupled oil prices, triggering the 1973-1975 recession, which at the time was the most severe recession since World War II. Rising gasoline prices hammered consumers and unemployment reached 9%. Fewer recessions thanks to the shale revolution 2The federal government mandated a 55-mph speed limit and established the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. This was the first of recent recessions caused by high oil prices.

The next decade brought a short recession in 1980, followed by a deeper recession in 1981-1982. The Iranian Revolution of 1979 caused oil prices to rise to over $120 per barrel, causing a world energy crisis. To counter rising inflation from the 1970’s, the Federal Reserve tightened monetary policy, boosting home mortgage rates to double digit levels. Unemployment soared to 10.8%.

Fewer recessions thanks to the shale revolution

The recession of 1990-1991 was caused by a combination of the 1987 stock market crash, and the collapse of the US savings & loan industry. Soaring oil prices from Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in the summer of 1990 also contributed to the slowdown.

The economic slump of 2001 was one of the few recent recessions where oil prices were not involved. This recession was caused by a combination of the collapse of the speculative dot-com bubble, the stock market pull-back in 2001, and the September 11, 2001 attacks. This recession ended the decade-long period of growth in the 1990s.

The Great Recession of 2007-2009 was 18 months long, the longest since the Great Depression of 1929. The subprime mortgage crisis caused the recession, leading to the collapse of a US housing bubble and the failure of several financial institutions. World crude oil prices spiked to $164 per barrel in June of 2008, adding to the crisis.

Of the seven US recessions since 1969, high world oil prices were the primary cause of three of the slumps and a contributing factor in two other recessions. Oil price shocks played a major role in both US and global economic instability over the last 50 years.

But during the last three decades, US geologists and petroleum engineers learned to extract oil and natural gas from shale rock formations by using the technological breakthroughs of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. This US shale revolution now appears to have removed oil shock as a factor in economic instability.

Prior to the shale revolution, US crude oil production fell from 9.6 million barrels per day in 1970 to 5 million barrels per day in 2008. US oil production, an annual $200-billion industry, was in long-term decline. Industry experts proclaimed that we had reached “peak oil” and that world oil output would soon fall.

Fewer recessions thanks to the shale revolution 1

Yet because of breakthroughs in shale oil technology, US crude production soared beginning in 2008, reaching 12 million barrels per day last year, more than double the 2008 output. Production of natural gas also more than doubled from 2008 to 2019.

In 2011, the US surpassed Russia as the world’s largest producer of natural gas. In 2018, the US became the world’s largest producer of crude oil, passing Saudi Arabia. Oil prices are now largely determined by US production, rather than OPEC or Russia output.

Back in 2005, 60 percent of US consumption of petroleum products was provided by imports. This year will be the first year in more than 70 years that the US is a net exporter of petroleum products, thanks to the shale revolution.

On September 14 of last year, 25 drones and missiles exploded at two oil processing facilities of Saudi Arabia. More than 5.7 million barrels of Saudi production capacity was taken offline, more than half of Saudi output. But oil prices hardly budged.

On January 8 of this year, Iran fired more than a dozen missiles at two Iraq facilities housing US military personnel. Yet, world oil prices today remain at low levels, just above $50 per barrel. The missile attacks on Saudi Arabia and Iraq in previous decades would likely have triggered large oil price spikes.

The shale revolution and ramping US oil production brings a new level of stability to US and world economic systems. There will still be recessions, but US recessions will be less frequent and less severe since oil dependency and price shock are no longer significant factors.


Models vs. reality

Climate computer simulations have run hotter than reality since their inception.

As they say in computer programming, “GIGO,” garbage in, garbage out.

Dr. David Wojick explains at

The CLINTEL “There is no Climate Emergency” Manifesto puts it this way: “Stop with the Misleading Computer Models” and I agree completely. It is clear by now that these models predict temperatures that appear much too high. No policies should be based on them and the ones that are should be revoked…

Tests clearly show that the models are running dramatically hotter than reality. This exaggeration has led to the description of a future full of doom and gloom. If climate researchers would have followed genuine validation tests, the models would have now been falsified and updated…

As the CLINTEL Manifesto says — “Mass application of poorly validated climate models on a global scale may be the biggest mistake of mankind in its recent history.”

The divorce between computer models and observational science is the kind of thing climate pressure groups are trying to prevent Dr. Patrick Moore from explaining in the keynote address he is scheduled to deliver to the “Reimagine Conference 2020” which will take place May 20-21 in Regina, the capitol of Saskatchewan, Canada.

CFACT asked you to take action by contacting Regina’s Mayor Michael Fougere and asking him not to prevent Patrick Moore from being heard. Thank you to everyone who heeded the call.  A local radio station reports that 327 have contacted the Mayor asking him to let Moore speak, while 93 sought to censor him.

If you’ve not yet had a chance to contact Mayor Fougere, or if you’d like to as they say in Congress, “revise and extend your remarks,” please click here and let the Mayor know you support sound science and free speech and don’t want Patrick Moore silenced.

Computer models are useful tools, but once reality disproves them, they must be adjusted or discarded.


Australia: Bushfire politicking latest trick in Green New Squeal

Climate politics in this country are so wacky that informed adults ought to scoff at them and move on. But with Labor, the Greens, much of the media and some Liberal moderates caught up in this nuttiness, Scott Morrison is confronted by a serious challenge.

The climate election should have settled all this but, alas, the climate saga is alive again. The Prime Minister should accept this long-running policy schism as a useful opportunity that can give shape to his agenda and put the government on a positive footing — he should relish the climate wars.

To get a sense of how ludicrous this debate has become, consider this: Inexperienced, soc­ialist US Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proposes a radical climate and redistributive agenda dubbed the Green New Deal. It sets the practically impossible and economically destructive goal of having the US reach zero net emissions in a decade.

It will never happen, of course, but the revolutionary agenda and catchy phrase have been adopted by the new leader of the Australian Greens, Adam Bandt.

While Bandt and Ocasio-Cortez are the sort of politicians who are one soy latte away from gluing themselves to the road, there is another prominent political figure who has adopted this slogan. Writing in Guardian Australia, former Liberal prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said this country should have its “own green new deal” to deliver zero net emissions.

And before we dismiss him as an embittered former leader exacting revenge on his former colleagues — true as that might be — it is worth reminding ourselves that many of his supporters are still in the Liberal partyroom and acted up this week demanding more climate action.

Never mind that cautious climate policies got them into government and allowed them to stay in power; never mind the Coalition is committed to the Paris climate targets; never mind that Australia’s emissions effort is incapable of having any impact because global emissions are rising; and never mind that we just had an election on these issues, these opportunists are spooked by the bushfire politics and want to go closer to matching Labor and Greens climate gestures. At this rate there will be Liberal MPs supergluing themselves to the partyroom carpet.

Driven by the public broadcasters and woke elements of the Canberra press gallery, the media is relentlessly alarmist. There is a McCarthyist zeal to their gotcha questions that distil a vast array of complex scientific modelling, observations and possible policy responses into a banal binary: Do you believe in human-induced climate change?

Aside from the ridiculous conscription of belief into science, the point about this question is that nothing turns on it — except perhaps political humiliation for anyone who considers the wrong answer. What matters is not what our politicians believe but what they do, their policy responses.

In this emotive climate there is widespread reluctance or refusal to discuss practical policy options and their costs and benefits. The hysterical, ugly and deceptive pointscoring over our horrific summer bushfires had Greens, Labor and media activists linking the Coalition’s emissions reduction policies to the fire conditions.

As I argued from November last year, when former NSW fire commissioner Greg Mullins and other climate activists positioned themselves to make political points out of inevitable bushfire challenges, the linking of Australian emissions reduction policies to global climate trends is a science-denying absurdity.

We know this country will always experience catastrophic fire conditions and if they have or will become more prevalent because of global warming, then the role of our emissions, one way or the other, is nil or infinitesimal.

Even Chief Scientist Alan Finkel publicly declared that if we took all of Australia’s annual emissions out of the atmosphere it would do “virtually nothing” to the climate. Yet still the vicious and absurd attempts to blame the terrible fire season on the Coalition continue.

While relevant facts are deliberately ignored by the public broadcasters, social media and a largely progressive journalistic groupthink, none of this changes the facts. As Winston Churchill said of the truth, “Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”

This week Labor MP Matt Thistlethwaite joined me on television and sought to make the now familiar political attack against the Morrison government over the bushfire season. This raised the question about what climate policies could possibly have done to make things less severe, so I asked Thistlethwaite whether Labor would be taking climate policies to the next election that would ameliorate the bushfire threat in Australia.

It is nonsense, obviously, that any national emissions reduction policy could influence our fire weather. Thistlethwaite could do no more than dodge a direct answer. So I asked him if it was possible for national climate policies to reduce our bushfire threat. Again, a non-answer.

I persisted, asking whether Australia’s emissions reduction policies could lower our bushfire risk. Despite being implored to give a yes or no answer, he continued to talk around the issue.

The only truthful answer to these questions is no.

But if Labor, the Greens, activists and campaigning journalists were to answer this question honestly they would effectively be admitting that their entire political pile-on against the Coalition was baseless.

Members of the green-left often point to “the science” but they are not interested in science-based, factual analysis of policy costs and benefits. They demand climate gestures as a political ploy or as a form of virtue signalling but have nothing to say on practical outcomes or costs.

Imagine if we tried to assess the practical and economic costs of Australia shifting to zero emissions within a decade and compared them with the environmental benefits. Clearly, the costs would be too immense and complex to quantify accurately, and the benefits would be too small to identify.

This is not my argument for doing nothing — although that is a perfectly rational position — but it is my case for doing our bit under Paris and not a tonne of emissions more until we see more concerted global action and firmer scientific cost-benefit analysis.

Morrison needs to embrace this debate and avoid offering head nods to the activist left by pretending our policies will improve the climate, even while global emissions rise.

Members of the left don’t thank him for Paris, they just up the ante. They don’t thank Don­ald Trump for lowering US fixed-energy emissions or promising to plant a trillion trees.

The climate evangelists cannot be reasoned with and they must be defeated in a blunt and factual debate.

Even within his own party the Prime Minister faces weathervane moderates who think they can trade deeper emissions for holding leafy Liberal seats. Such pathetic politicking should have no place in a serious policy debate that presumes to encompass the future of our national economy and the planet itself.

There is nothing about the climate debate in Australia that is normal. The level of misinformation is disturbing and deliberate. The amplification of the issue’s significance in this country by environmental, media and political activists is inversely proportional to the nation’s global role in the solution.

A moderately important policy issue has been elevated to an existential threat and almost two decades of partisan polarisation, drowning out much more pressing policy debates. From this, surely, springs Morrison’s main opportunity.

He deftly charted a centrist course on climate in the lead-up to the election and beyond, sticking with the Paris emissions reduction commitments. But now he must fight against the alarmists and demolish arguments to inflict further economic pain.

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis wrote last week that “climate change is capitalism’s Waterloo”. He said we could not achieve “restabilisation of the climate” and maintain “capitalism’s main pillars”.

His piece was highlighted on Twitter by the ABC’s Jonathan Green, who commented: “The great truth we are circling.” This is an argument the left and its allies will continue to pursue relentlessly, for all kinds of reasons — and it must be defeated.

Green’s tweet demonstrates the institutional jaundice the Coalition and the Prime Minister are up against.

This is not a minor battle. It is a crucial social, environmental and economic debate that demands a rational, ideological and political campaign.

Morrison must fight back against the climate madness. The country needs it, the economy needs it, and the contest will give shape to a Coalition agenda that looks a little anaemic.



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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