Monday, March 01, 2021

Amidst Global Warming Hysteria, NASA Expects Global Cooling

Please consider "NASA Sees Climate Cooling Trend Thanks to Low Sun Activity".

“We see a cooling trend,” said Martin Mlynczak of NASA’s Langley Research Center. “High above Earth’s surface, near the edge of space, our atmosphere is losing heat energy. If current trends continue, it could soon set a Space Age record for cold.”

The new data is coming from NASA’s Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry or SABER instrument, which is onboard the space agency’s Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) satellite. SABER monitors infrared radiation from carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitric oxide (NO), two substances that play a vital role in the energy output of our thermosphere, the very top level of our atmosphere.

“The thermosphere always cools off during Solar Minimum. It’s one of the most important ways the solar cycle affects our planet,” said Mlynczak, who is the associate principal investigator for SABER.

The new NASA findings are in line with studies released by UC-San Diego and Northumbria University in Great Britain last year, both of which predict a Grand Solar Minimum in coming decades due to low sunspot activity. Both studies predicted sun activity similar to the Maunder Minimum of the mid-17th to early 18th centuries, which coincided to a time known as the Little Ice Age, during which temperatures were much lower than those of today.

If all of this seems as if NASA is contradicting itself, you’re right — sort of. After all, NASA also reported last week that Arctic sea ice was at its sixth lowest level since measuring began. Isn’t that a sure sign of global warming?

All any of this “proves” is that we have, at best, a cursory understanding of Earth’s incredibly complex climate system. So when mainstream media and carbon-credit salesman Al Gore breathlessly warn you that we must do something about climate change, it’s all right to step back, take a deep breath, and realize that we don’t have the knowledge, skill or resources to have much effect on the Earth’s climate.

Incredibly Complex Systems

See the problem? Alarmists take one variable, CO2 that is only a tiny part of extremely long cycles and make projections far into to the future based off it.

When I was in grade school, the alarmists were worried about global cooling. Amusingly, I recall discussing in science class the need to put soot on the arctic ice to melt it to stop the advance of glaciers.

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report said we have only 12 years left to save the planet. It triggered the usual frantic and ridiculous reactions.

NBC News offered this gem: “A last-ditch global warming fix? A man-made ‘volcanic’ eruption” to cool the planet.” Its article proclaimed, “Scientists and some environmentalists believe nations might have to mimic volcanic gases as a last-ditch effort to protect Earth from extreme warming.”


Biden Increases the Cost of Carbon, Setting the Stage for Drastic Climate Rules

For four long years, Democrats were out of power. It must have seemed like an eternity to them, given the frenetic activity they’ve been engaged in since January 20.

Like a starving man walking into a banquet room full of food, Democrats can’t seem to decide what to eat first. So, they’re trying to eat everything at once.

The next three months will see an unbelievable amount of cash getting shoveled out the door in Washington. Two trillion for pandemic relief, another 2 trillion for a massive infrastructure bill, an attempt to reinvent Obamacare, an immigration bill, student loan debt — and they’ll just be getting started.

Indeed, it’s not just the president and his Congress who will be busy. The green geeks at the Environmental Protection Agency have had 4 years to watch the planet heat up and sizzle. That’s got to eat at them. They have so much pent-up energy, we should probably figure out a way to tap into it and run Los Angeles or New York for a couple of days.

The EPA is about to become very, very busy.


President Joe Biden on Friday restored an Obama-era calculation on the economic cost of greenhouse gases, a step that will make it easier for his agencies to approve aggressive actions to confront climate change.

But the administration stopped short, for now, of boosting the cost figure to higher levels that economists and climate scientists say are justified by new research.

The interim figure — $51 for every ton of carbon released into the atmosphere — is well above the $8 cost used under former President Donald Trump, who declined to factor the global impacts of climate pollution into his calculation. It’s on par with a price based on analyses undertaken between 2010 and 2016 under former President Barack Obama, whose administration was first to calculate the figure known as the social cost of carbon.

People who hate capitalism are calculating how much the capitalists have to pay for “polluting” the planet with CO2? I smell a rat. A slimy, green, rat.

I confess to not having any expertise when it comes to calculations like this. I’m sure Biden’s green-eyeshade guys could trot out their charts, and graphs, and calculations showing us all exactly what they are basing their estimate of $51 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions on. There is probably no silliness like factoring in racism and oppression or gender inequities into the cost of CO2. So we have to take Biden at his word that his staff really thunk this through.

The social cost of carbon is an effort to quantify the economic and societal damage from greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades. The figure will be baked into the administration’s number-crunching on the costs and benefits of a wide array of regulations.

Friday’s notice, posted on the Office of Management and Budget website, fulfills a promise Biden made on Inauguration Day when he signed an executive order on climate change that called for a recalculation of the social cost of carbon, which the Trump administration had sharply reduced.

The “social cost” of carbon? Maybe I spoke too soon about the silliness.

“This is to be celebrated for getting the social cost of carbon out from being a political football, which is what Trump did, but it’s Step One. Step Two is restore a transparent process and to return the social cost of carbon to the frontier of climate science and economics,” said Michael Greenstone, a University of Chicago economist.

When you’re talking about other people’s money, being at the “frontier of climate science and economics” is so easy. There’s no need to be careful or even realistic in your estimates. You’re on the “frontier.” There’s no time to be cautious. The earth is in danger and only the ministrations of the high priests of climate can save us.

Using carbon as a whipping boy for our climate problems is more political than scientific. But that’s what climate change advocacy has degenerated into and it will continue to grind us down until they get their way.


US imperialism goes green

Environmental activists and NGOs are demanding that the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, be investigated by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for the possible crime of ecocide – that is, for devastating the Amazon rainforest and its indigenous inhabitants, with knock-on consequences for global warming were the rainforest to be turned into savannah due to excess logging.

Given the putative urgency of tackling climate change, it is worth asking whether the lengthy legal process of indicting and extraditing a sitting president of a major power really is the most expeditious and effective means of addressing global warming. From another point of view, however, the attempt to charge Bolsonaro for international crimes could not be better timed.

In Washington, DC, the newly installed administration of President Joe Biden is looking for ways to restore the credibility of the US as a global leader following the inward turn of Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump. The reputation of liberal globalism that was championed by President Barack Obama, under whom Biden had previously served as vice president, has since been badly tarnished. This is due, not least, to the legacy of ruinous wars across North Africa, the Horn of Africa and the Greater Middle East. In his closing address as US president, Donald Trump pointedly noted that he was the first US president since Jimmy Carter not to launch any new wars during his term in office.

The wars launched by Trump’s predecessors were all variously justified by liberal idealist aims of relieving human suffering, liberating women from Islamist tyranny, overthrowing dictatorship, protecting embattled ethnic minorities, and spreading democracy and human rights. These war aims were so broad and nebulous, and so inattentive to the most basic questions of power and conflict, that they inevitably metastasised into ‘forever wars’, in which war became the justification for more war. The failure of earlier cycles of liberal intervention justified further intervention to rectify the problems caused by previous campaigns, thereby creating the doom loop of endless conflict. Given this disastrous legacy, the prospect of recycling liberal humanitarian globalism as green globalism offers the Biden administration some distinct opportunities for political gain.

Consider the political opportunities afforded by green globalism. Global problems necessitate and justify global power and a global reach, and there is no grander global challenge than climate change. Climate change provides the perfect pretext for the global ambitions of a superpower eager to re-establish its globalist credentials. It is well known that climate change threatens poor developing countries the most, as they are the least able to adapt – thereby providing a potential pretext for far-reaching oversight over poorer countries, as well as providing a writ for interference in their internal affairs should they fail to abide by internationally imposed climate standards. Just as many liberal globalists saw international law and mega transnational trade deals as too important to be left in the hands of voters, so too the dangers of climate change demand that new, remote institutions be established at the global level – a level that also happens to be safely remote from the electoral vagaries of popular accountability.

Green globalism would also offer some advantages over the old liberal globalism. Given the scale and likely duration of global warming across this century, climate change provides an indefinite justification for prolonging US globalism far into this century. The vast scope of climate change also has the added benefit that there is no single figurehead – no Saddam, no Gaddafi, no Soleimani – whose death or overthrow risks undercutting the justification for continued projection of power.

Much like liberal globalism, green globalism can also be justified by reference to easing the plight of beleaguered minorities – the more powerless and beleaguered the better, as this makes it far easier to speak on their behalf. In this respect the indigenous peoples of the Amazon offer an advantage over, say, the Kurds, as the Amazonian tribes have no desire to establish an independent state – and therefore claiming to act on their behalf does not risk the same kinds of geopolitical shocks that sponsoring secessionist movements does.

The attempt to fuse liberal intervention and green globalism has been brewing for a while. The staunchly interventionist former French foreign minister and founder of Medecins Sans Frontières, Bernard Kouchner, called for military intervention in Myanmar back in 2008 under the terms of the liberal ‘responsibility to protect’, claiming that the Burmese junta of the day was unable to deal with the devastating aftermath of Cyclone Nargis in the Irrawaddy delta. There has been plenty of discussion of potential deployments of ‘green helmets’ to protect the planet, analogous to the way that the UN’s ‘blue helmets’ peacekeepers protect people trapped in conflict. Legal theorists have even advocated repurposing the old trusteeship institutions of the UN. Originally conceived as supranational mechanisms of tutelage that would substitute for the old colonial empires in overseeing dependent peoples in their transition to national self-government, it is suggested that such trusteeship could be now be justified afresh on environmental grounds rather than on the grounds of the alleged political immaturity of specific peoples.

Seen in this light, the script being used to indict Bolsonaro is a familiar one: a neo-fascist strongman, insensitive to international opinion, is cruelly trampling over the rights of minorities in his country and threatening global stability in the process. If we imagine transplanting this scenario from Latin America to the Middle East, we can very clearly see that we have been here many times before, and it is precisely this very same script that has legitimated forever wars in Iraq, Libya and Syria. We should be strongly suspicious of attempts to recreate globalist power projection in new guises. To be sure, Brazil is too large to invade, and liberal globalists always preferred preying on relatively small and isolated nations such as Libya and Iraq. Nonetheless, what we are seeing in the attempt to prosecute Bolsonaro through the ICC is a clear portent of a new morally charged green globalism.

As the experience of the past 30 years makes clear, the Manichean denunciation, criminalisation of national leaders and moralisation of international relations heads in one direction only. Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal of the 1930s and 1940s went in tandem with the US’ emergence as a global superpower. Does Joe Biden’s Green New Deal presage a new green empire today?


UK: The Cumbria coal mine must go ahead

The green blob's attempt to reverse a democratic decision is a disgrace.

When plans for a coal mine were recently given the go-ahead by Cumbria County Council, green campaigners, journalists and quangocrats were outraged. They demanded that MPs, ministers and the prime minister intervene, and overrule the decision. They complained that if the decision is allowed to stand, Britain will be unable to meet its 2050 Net Zero target. And, worse still, Britain will lose credibility at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be hosted in Glasgow later this year, they said. In response to all the green outrage, Cumbria County Council has stated it will be reviewing its decision.

This demonstrates the undue influence of the green lobby in British politics. And it shows why its power to distort policymaking priorities needs to be reined in.

The planned coal mine is a remarkable proposition, given the predominance of green orthodoxy in UK politics. In 2019, for instance, Cumbria County Council was one of many to declare a ‘climate emergency’. Yet the same council’s development control committee also granted approval for the coal-mine development – twice – in 2019. Though this may seem like a contradiction, as it does to many greens, the planning consent was granted by a democratically appointed council that believed the proposed mine could be built in accordance with its Net Zero commitments, and that ‘it provides national, local or community benefits which clearly outweigh the likely impacts’. Whereas greens see only CO2 emissions, local governments, despite overbearing green ideology, are still occasionally forced to think about jobs, the economy and industry.

Everyone should be happy. The planning consent for the project, which will create 500 jobs, requires the mine to close by 2050. And the coal mined from under the Cumbrian coast will not be used in Britain’s power stations, but in steel production. You can’t build wind turbines without steel, the production of which requires coking coal. And with the Net Zero agenda requiring the near doubling of Britain’s wind-farm fleet – and likely more – that new steel is a necessity.

But the chair of the Climate Change Committee (CCC), John Gummer (aka Lord Deben), disagrees. ‘It is not the CCC’s role to act as a regulator or a planning authority’, said Gummer in a letter to communities secretary Robert Jenrick, but the new coal mine ‘will commit the UK to emissions from coking coal, for which there may be no domestic use after 2035’.

Gummer’s objection stems from the CCC’s Sixth Carbon Budget, in which it insists ‘that UK ore-based steelmaking be near-zero emissions by 2035’. This will be achieved through a ‘combination of hydrogen direct reduction and electric-arc-furnace technology’. Green academic activists also contend, in a letter to the prime minister, that these experimental technologies, if successfully developed, could ‘produce fossil-free steel by 2026’.

Innovation in the field of fossil-free steel production is surely a good thing. But it should be clear that a mere promise to deliver is a poor basis for strategic policymaking. Green technocrats and green activists alike put the cart before the horse in two respects. First, technology should be delivered, and second it should be proven economically viable, before being included in policymaking decisions. The technocrats at the CCC, and the assorted academic activists, have no skin in this game. They are unaccountable should technological development, as is likely, come up short.

The potential shortcomings are not trivial. Even if developments, such as the use of hydrogen in steel making, do arrive, the problems of producing hydrogen in sufficient quantities and at an economic price have yet to be solved. No matter what green ideologues claim, coal is always going to be cheaper, barring government intervention, than hydrogen produced by renewable energy sources. Moreover, the electrification of everything (from transport to domestic heating) mandated by Net Zero will then create enormous demand and competition for electricity among an ever-increasing number of consumers, from electric vehicle owners to hydrogen producers. The prospect of Britain being left underpowered, economically paralysed and globally uncompetitive is extremely real.

The whole of climate policy to date has put the cart before the horse: emissions targets are set before the existence of a means to achieve them. Likewise, policies, with far-reaching consequences, are made law before there is public support for them. As I pointed out on spiked, the UK Climate Assembly was one such after-the-fact attempt to manufacture consensus for the Net Zero agenda. One of the academics at the centre of the assembly, Rebecca Willis, is also one of the academics behind the letter to the prime minister, urging him to cancel the coal mine. She used to be the director of the Green Alliance, which has also published a briefing document for MPs, authored by Willis, which repeats the claims that steel can be made fossil-free, on the basis of experimental technologies.

Yet Willis only has to look as far as the Green Alliance blog to find a robust argument for the limited utility of hydrogen – it is expensive, unwieldy and unfeasible. Moreover, Willis also proposes using natural gas in furnaces. But gas from where? Not from fracking, obviously, given the Green Alliance ruled that out, too. The likely result of Willis et al’s lobbying will be net-zero domestic energy production, net-zero domestic steel production and net-zero domestic wind-farm manufacturing – it all being displaced by Net Zero policies to where production is possible.

Yet, it does not matter to Willis and the Green Alliance, or Gummer and the CCC, that their inconsistent claims rest on unproven technologies, or that the consequences of basing policy on incautious speculation may be hardship for millions. The fate of the coal mine is only of symbolic significance to them. It is a means for them to assert their political power. If it really were a debate about which industrial techniques best serve society’s needs, green technocrats, academics and lobbying organisations would accept the shortcomings of their arguments and the prematurity of their preferred technologies with respect to the policy-target deadlines they themselves demanded were made law.

Despite local support for the coal mine and the opportunities it will create, it looks likely that Cumbria County Council’s decision will be made for them by the sheer weight of the billionaire-backed green blob. If it was not for that powerful, unaccountable and self-serving lobby, and its influence over the UK government, the routine decision-making of a humble local council would be of no consequence to even the next county, let alone the international community.

Let’s hope, though, that Cumbria County Council does not give in to the pressure of international agreements and the Net Zero agenda, and the nexus of academia and lobbying that support them. There is a debate to be had about climate change and how we deal with the problem, including weighing up the pros and cons of coal use. But that debate has been distorted by the hysterical framing of the problem by greens, and the implausible solutions they offer.

Glasgow may be the place that the green blob has decided to congeal this year, but it is in Cumbria that the reality of what it decides in Glasgow is exposed.




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