Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The Parched West is Heading Into a Global Warming-Fueled Megadrought That Could Last for Centuries

As Dr Goebbels said, if you tell a big enough lie often enough, people will believe it.  The global warming faith is replete with such lies.

It's elementary physics that a warmer world would be a wetter world but the piece below regurgitates the repeated but nonsensical Greenie claim that global warming causes drought

Climate warming would in fact RELIEVE droughts

The American West is well on its way into one of the worst megadroughts on record, a new study warns, a dry period that could last for centuries and spread from Oregon and Montana, through the Four Corners and into West Texas and northern Mexico.

Several other megadroughts, generally defined as dry periods that last 20 years or more, have been documented in the West going back to about 800 A.D. In the study, the researchers, using an extensive tree-ring history, compared recent climate data with conditions during the historic megadroughts.

They found that in this century, global warming is tipping the climate scale toward an unwelcome rerun, with dry conditions persisting far longer than at any other time since Europeans colonized and developed the region. The study was published online Thursday and appears in the April 17 issue of the journal Science.

Human-caused global warming is responsible for about half the severity of the emerging megadrought in western North America, said Jason Smerdon, a Columbia University climate researcher and a co-author of the new research.

"What we've identified as the culprit is the increased drying from the warming. The reality is that the drying from global warming is going to continue," he said. "We're on a trajectory in keeping with the worst megadroughts of the past millennia."

The ancient droughts in the West were caused by natural climate cycles that shifted the path of snow and rainstorms. But human-caused global warming is responsible for about 47 percent of the severity of the 21st century drought by sucking moisture out of the soil and plants, the study found.

The regional drought caused by global warming is plain to see throughout the West in the United States. River flows are dwindling, reservoirs holding years worth of water supplies for cities and farms have emptied faster than a bathtub through an open drain, bugs and fires have destroyed millions of acres of forests, and dangerous dust storms are on the rise.

A similar scenario is unfolding in South America, especially in central Chile, a region with a climate similar to that in western North America. Parts of the Andes Mountains and foothills down to the coast have been parched by an unprecedented 10-year dry spell that has cut some river flows by up to 80 percent.

In both areas, research shows, global warming could make the droughts worse than any in at least several thousand years, drying up the ground and shifting regional weather patterns toward drier conditions. This is bad news for modern civilizations that have developed in the last 500 years, during which they enjoyed an unusually stable and wet climate. And assumptions about water availability based on that era are not realistic, said climate scientist Edward Cook, another co-author on the study who is also with the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

The impacts of a long-lasting drought in the West could also affect adjacent regions. A 2019 study showed that dry conditions in upwind areas may be intensifying agricultural droughts. With west winds prevailing across North America, hot and dry conditions in the Southwest could reduce the amount of atmospheric moisture available to produce rainfall farther east, in Oklahoma and Texas, for example. The study found that such drought linkages accounted for 62 percent of the precipitation deficit during the 2012 Midwest drought.


Green bullying of major corporations

Eight investment groups, including BNP Paribas Asset Management, DWS and Comgest Asset Management, told FTfm that tackling global warming must continue to be a priority for public companies, despite unprecedented pressure on businesses globally after government measures to tackle the pandemic left whole sectors unable to operate.

The investors said businesses would be given leeway when it came to climate change this year, but warned against backtracking on targets to reduce carbon emissions.

“We will be quite vigilant that companies do not use this to cancel or postpone some commitments they have already made,” said Sebastien Thevoux-Chabuel, a portfolio manager at Comgest, the French asset manager. “What is happening now is what we could see with climate change . . . with a lot of supply and demand falling.”

Michael Herskovich, head of corporate governance at BNP Paribas Asset Management, said the €440bn fund house continued to discuss climate change with the businesses it invests in.

“The environmental issues we are facing are not going away,” he said. “For now the main focus is on coronavirus. But we are still discussing environmental and social issues. We hope [the Covid-19 pandemic] won’t change the approach of companies, that they won’t cut their focus on shifting towards a low-carbon economy.”

He added: “We cannot afford to wait.”

Over the past couple of years, big investors have pushed companies to tackle their carbon emissions, teaming up together through initiatives such as Climate Action 100+, amid growing concerns of an economic fallout from global warming.

Partly in response to investor and customer pressure, businesses have begun making so-called net zero commitments — pledging to cut or offset emissions by taking an equivalent amount out of the atmosphere through carbon capture and other technologies.

Companies including oil major BP, British bank Barclays, food company Nestlé, miner Vale and airline group IAG have all set net zero targets, usually for 2050. On Thursday, Royal Dutch Shell became the biggest global energy group to announce a net zero emissions target.

Neville White, head of responsible investment policy at EdenTree Investment Management, said many companies will see a reduction in their carbon emissions this year, because businesses have had to close manufacturing facilities, ground aircraft and close offices.

But he added: “Any company that would ditch a lot of targets because of what they are focusing on at the moment is potentially very short-sighted. There is no reason why longer term targets should be thrown out.”

The UN climate talks that were set to take place in Glasgow in November have already been postponed to 2021 because of coronavirus, delaying a round of new global climate commitments.

Eugenia Unanyants-Jackson, head of environmental, social and governance research at Allianz Global Investors, the €563bn asset manager, said: “We don’t see the reason why the net zero targets for 2050 should be abandoned in 2020.”

Michael Lewis, head of ESG thematic research at DWS, the €767bn asset manager, said it was important that measures to reinvigorate economies in the wake of the pandemic had a green focus. “There will be a huge scrutiny on what is the proportion of green spending in these programmes,” he said.

Last month, BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager, said it would continue to expect companies to report in line with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, a framework headed by Mark Carney, the former Bank of England governor, regardless of the pandemic.


India Now Giving ‘Trump Cure’ To Blunt COVID-19

Mumbai: Maharashtra government will give Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) tablets in slums to curb COVID-19 spread as a preventive measure. The suspected coronavirus patients kept in quarantine centres in Dharavi are likely to be the first to receive them.

Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said that HCQS which is used to treat malaria will be used in Dharavi and other high-infection areas.

He further said it has been used in the United States as preventive medicine against COVID-19.

On Tuesday, Dharavi recorded six new coronavirus disease infections, including two deaths, taking the count of active cases in Asia’s largest slum to 55. The densely populated area has reported seven Covid-19-related deaths so far.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has listed 29 containment zones and six Red Zones, which reported over 15 Covid-19 positive cases, in Dharavi.

According to a report by Hindustan Times, so far, the civic body has quarantined 2,184 Dharavi residents and tested 138 high-risk contacts and 3,450 low-risk contacts of the patients from the slum.

India has lifted the partial ban on the export of hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug used for Covid-19 disease, and has approved the first list of countries that will receive the first batch of the highly-demanded drug touted by US President Trump as a life-saving cure for COVID-19.

The first list of 13 recipient countries includes the USA, Germany, Spain, Bahrain, Brazil, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, the Maldives, Bangladesh, Seychelles, Mauritius and the Dominican Republic. As per the government reports, around 14 million tablets and 13.5 tonnes of API will be exported to these countries.


Green Snouts Sniff Around For A Pandemic Windfall

The Pope, deprived of the counsel of Cardinal Pell, the Church’s most astute voice, foolishly called coronavirus “nature’s response” for failures to act on climate change.

It was, therefore, hardly surprising that coronavirus would be recruited to push for additional renewable energy subsidies to reinforce those that have already created today’s high cost, low quality electricity.

Coal Wire, an anti-fossil fuel publication, was quick to swoop on a Harvard study that said the pollutant PM2.5 exacerbated coronavirus and that coal power stations were an important source of the pollutant.

Actually less than 5 percent of PM2.5 particulate emissions come from energy production.

Also, fast out of the blocks was the anti-fossil fuel head of the Paris based International Energy Agency (IEA), Fatih Birol.

In the ‘never-let-a-crisis-go-to-waste’ style, Birol argued that boosting “clean energy technologies, such as solar, wind, hydrogen, batteries and carbon capture should be a central part of governments’ (stimulus) plans”.

This is echoed by a petition signed by 180 EU politicians and activists. The IEA expects new renewable energy installations to fall this year, largely because of supply disruptions.

The Australian branch of global network Climateworks followed this with a revised Decarbonisation Futures Report and its head, Anna Skarbek, explained to The Guardian’s Adam Morton how the virus could be used to accelerate the subsidized renewables push.

Given the high cost and low reliability of wind/solar, that would be a huge call even if enforced demand reductions had not brought a halving of last year’s $90 per MWh spot price.

Sure enough, the market response differs from that hoped for by the subsidy-seekers and alarmists. Coal use remains on an upward trajectory.

According to GlobalData, “Over the next four years, the production of thermal coal is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 1.9 percent to reach 7.6 billion tonnes by 2023, due to increasing demand from India and China.”

Goldman Sachs has halved its EU carbon price forecast, and Bloomberg notes a collapse of demand for rooftop installations.

Matthew Warren, a former lobbyist for the renewable industry, now calls for a managed “deceleration” in its support by governments.

But, taking its cue from the IEA, Australia continues to pursue the mirage of renewable energy cost innovations.

Captured by his bureaucrats, Energy Minister Angus Taylor is not only allocating $70 million in search of a fanciful breakthrough in converting hydrogen to energy but he is insisting – wait for it! – on grant applicants using renewable energy to power the trials.

I have a piece in the Spectator reviewing the disaster wrought by governments bending to green alarmism and subsidy-seekers.

Subsidies and regulations requiring the use of wind/solar for electricity generation currently cost Australian households and businesses over $4 billion a year.

Moreover, this has caused the closure of low-cost reliable coal plants and, as a result, brought a $55 per MWh increase in the wholesale electricity price between 2015 and 2019.

With a market of 230,000 GWh, the 2015-19 price increase has brought a cost of almost $13 billion per year.

Hence, we are paying $17 billion a year to harm ourselves! Abandoning the electricity subsidies and regulations offers us a benefit of $170 billion – that alone would recoup over half the $320 billion spent on coronavirus-driven stimuli/consumption support.

Regulations like those on energy have for decades led Australia to forfeit what should have been the world’s highest living standards.

Unraveling them offers an opportunity to minimize the impact of the coronavirus measures.  But have we got the caliber of politician that understands this and can push through the necessary reforms?



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