Friday, October 22, 2021

99.9% Of Climate Scientists Agree With Whoever Is Paying Them

More than 99.9 percent of peer-reviewed scientific papers agree that climate change is mainly caused by humans, according to a [alarmist-funded] survey of 88,125 [alarmist-funded] climate-related studies.

The research updates a similar 2013 paper revealing that 97 percent of studies published between 1991 and 2012 supported the idea that human activities are altering Earth’s climate. The current survey examines the literature published from 2012 to November 2020 to explore whether the consensus has changed.

“We are virtually certain that the consensus is well over 99 percent now and that it’s pretty much case closed for any meaningful public conversation about the reality of human-caused climate change,” said Mark Lynas, a visiting fellow at the Alliance for Science at Cornell University and the paper’s first author.

“It’s critical to acknowledge the principal role of greenhouse gas emissions so that we can rapidly mobilize new solutions, since we are already witnessing in real time the devastating impacts of climate related disasters on businesses, people and the economy,” said Benjamin Houlton, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell and a co-author of the study, “Greater than 99 percent Consensus on Human Caused Climate Change in the Peer-Reviewed Scientific Literature,” which published Oct. 19 in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

In spite of such results, public opinion polls as well as opinions of politicians and public representatives point to false beliefs and claims that a significant debate still exists among scientists over the true cause of climate change. In 2016, the Pew Research Center found that only 27 percent of U.S. adults believe that “almost all” scientists agreed that climate change is due to human activity, according to the paper. A 2021 Gallup poll pointed to a deepening partisan divide in American politics on whether Earth’s rising observed temperatures since the Industrial Revolution were primarily caused by humans.

“To understand where a consensus exists, you have to be able to quantify it,” Lynas said. “That means surveying the literature in a coherent and non-arbitrary way in order to avoid trading cherry-picked papers, which is often how these arguments are carried out in the public sphere.”

In the study, the researchers began by examining a random sample of 3,000 studies from the dataset of 88,125 English-language climate papers published between 2012 and 2020. They found only four out of the 3,000 papers were skeptical of human-caused climate change. “We knew that [climate skeptical papers] were vanishingly small in terms of their occurrence, but we thought there still must be more in the 88,000,” Lynas said.

Co-author Simon Perry, a United Kingdom-based software engineer and volunteer at the Alliance for Science, created an algorithm that searched out keywords from papers the team knew were skeptical, such as “solar,” “cosmic rays” and “natural cycles.” The algorithm was applied to all 88,000-plus papers, and the program ordered them so the skeptical ones came higher in the order. They found many of these dissenting papers near the top, as expected, with diminishing returns further down the list.

Overall, the search yielded 28 papers that were implicitly or explicitly skeptical, all published in minor journals.

If the 97 percent result from the 2013 study still left some doubt on scientific consensus on the human influence on climate, the current findings go even further to allay any uncertainty, Lynas said. “This pretty much should be the last word,” he said.


Climate Change Calls for Adaptation, Not Panic

Catastrophic scenarios presuppose people will do nothing to adjust to differences in the weather.

By Bjorn Lomborg

Editor’s note: As November’s global climate conference in Glasgow draws near, important facts about climate change don’t always make it into the dominant media coverage. We’re here to help. Each Thursday contributor Bjorn Lomborg will provide some important background so readers can have a better understanding of the true effects of climate change and the real costs of climate policy.

It’s easy to construct climate disasters. You just find a current, disconcerting trend and project it into the future, while ignoring everything humanity could do to adapt. For instance, one widely reported study found that heat waves could kill thousands more Americans by the end of the century if global warming continues apace—but only if you assume people won’t use more air conditioning. Yes, the climate is likely to change, but so is human behavior in response.

Adaptation doesn’t make the cost of global warming go away entirely, but it does reduce it dramatically. Higher temperatures will shrink harvests if farmers keep growing the same crops, but they’re likely to adapt by growing other varieties or different plants altogether. Corn production in North America has shifted away from the Southeast toward the Upper Midwest, where farmers take advantage of longer growing seasons and less-frequent extreme heat. When sea levels rise, governments build defenses—like the levees, flood walls and drainage systems that protected New Orleans from much of Hurricane Ida’s ferocity this year.

Nonetheless, many in the media push unrealistic projections of climate catastrophes, while ignoring adaptation. A new study documents how the biggest bias in studies on the rise of sea levels is their tendency to ignore human adaptation, exaggerating flood risks in 2100 by as much as 1,300 times. It is also evident in the breathless tone of most reporting: The Washington Post frets that sea level rise could “make 187 million people homeless,” CNN fears an “underwater future,” and USA Today agonizes over tens of trillions of dollars in projected annual flood damage. All three rely on studies that implausibly assume no society across the world will make any adaptation whatever for the rest of the century. This isn’t reporting but scaremongering.

You can see how far from reality these sorts of projections are in one heavily cited study, depicted in the graph nearby If you assume no society will adapt to any sea-level rise between now and 2100, you’ll find that vast areas of the world will be routinely flooded, causing $55 trillion in damage annually in 2100 (expressed in 2005 dollars), or about 5% of global gross domestic product. But as the study emphasizes, “in reality, societies are likely to adapt.”

By raising the height of dikes, the study shows that humanity can negate almost all that terrible projected damage by 2100. Only 15,000 people would be flooded every year, which is a remarkable improvement compared with the 3.4 million people flooded in 2000. The total cost of damage, investments in new dikes, and maintenance costs of existing dikes will fall sixfold between now and 2100 to 0.008% of world GDP.

Adaptation is much more effective than climate regulations at staving off flood risks. Compare the two types of policies in isolation. Without any climate mitigation to help, dikes would still safeguard more than 99.99% of the flood victims you’d see if global warming continued on current trends. Instead of 187 million people flooded in 2100, there would be only 15,000. Climate policy achieves much less on its own. Without adaptation, even stringent regulations that keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius would reduce the number of flood victims only down to 85 million a year by the end of the century.

Stringent climate policy still has only a mild effect when used in concert with dikes: Instead of the 15,000 flood victims you’d get with only adaptation, you’d have 10,000. And getting there would cost hundreds of trillions of dollars, which is hardly mitigated by the $40 billion drop in total flood damage and dike costs climate regulations would achieve. As I’ve explained in these pages before, this kind of policy has a high human cost: the tens of millions of people pricey climate regulations relegate to poverty.

You don’t have to portend doom to take climate change seriously. Ignoring the benefits of adaptation may make for better headlines, but it badly misinforms readers.

Nationalism to Confront Globalism in Glasgow over Climate Change

Patrick J. Buchanan

“Extraordinary, isn’t it? I’ve been hearing all about COP,” said the queen to the duchess of Cornwall. “Still don’t know who is coming. … We only know about people who are not coming. … It’s really irritating when they talk but they don’t do.”

Queen Elizabeth II was expressing her exasperation at the possible number of no-shows at the U.K.’s coming climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland.

Among the absentees may be Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose country generates more carbon dioxide than the U.S. and EU combined.

Behind the queen’s exasperation, however, lies a political reality.

Nations like China are discovering that meeting goals for cutting carbon emissions can stall economic growth to where the regime itself is at peril.

Forced to choose between what is best for the country now and what is better for mankind in some indeterminate future, leaders are putting the needs of the nation today over the call of the world of tomorrow.

As the countdown to Glasgow proceeds, China’s energy situation is described by The New York Times:

“China’s electricity shortage is rippling across factories and industries, testing the nation’s status as the world’s capital for reliable manufacturing. The shortage prompted the authorities to announce on Wednesday a national rush to mine and burn more coal, despite their previous pledges to curb emissions that cause climate change.

“Mines that were closed without authorization have been ordered to reopen. Coal mines and coal-fired power plants that were shut for repairs are also to be reopened. Tax incentives are being drafted for coal-fired power plants. … Local governments have been warned to be more cautious about limits on energy use that had been imposed partly in response to climate change concerns.”

Earlier this year, Beijing had pledged to stop building coal-fired power plants outside China. But at home, Beijing is going all-out to mine and burn coal to keep the world’s greatest manufacturing plant producing and the world’s largest labor force employed.

Forced to choose between fighting climate change and preventing a possible recession or depression, Xi is unapologetically putting China first.

Nor is China the only Asian economic power grappling with an energy shortage. India, the world’s third-largest producer of carbon emissions after China and the U.S., is facing a potential power crisis.

Coal accounts for 70% of India’s electricity generation. Yet, 4 in 5 of its 135 coal-fired power plants have critically low levels of coal inventory. With its economy picking up, New Delhi is going to be in the market for more coal to burn. Lectures about carbon emissions are likely to go unheeded.

In Europe, wholesale electricity prices have increased 200% since 2019, a result of surging natural gas costs driven by high demand in Asia and lower-than-expected deliveries from Russia.

Most EU countries rely on gas-fired power stations to meet electricity demand. Some 40% of that gas comes from Russia. With completion of the Nord Stream II pipeline, German and EU dependence on Russian gas is going to rise.

Is Russia, rich in fossil fuels that are still in demand, and the world’s fourth-largest producer of carbon dioxide, likely to placidly accept watching its customers move away from Russian coal, oil and gas to solar and wind?

On Friday, U.S. oil prices hit a seven-year high amid a surge in global demand and a supply crunch induced by OPEC. West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. oil benchmark, climbed to $82 a barrel. Gas prices followed.

Oil is at its highest price since OPEC launched its price war against U.S. shale producers. In November 2014, OPEC stunned world oil markets by refusing to curb production amid soaring shale output.

Crude prices went into free-fall as OPEC sought to drive the higher-cost U.S. producers out of the market.

Such economic nationalism raises a relevant question:

Why would OPEC nations that depend on oil exports for much of their national income champion a worldwide abandonment of the fossil fuel sales upon which their regimes’ survival depends?

In brief, world demand for coal, oil and natural gas is surging, as are prices, just as the climate conference, whose goal is to reduce and eventually eliminate the burning of coal, oil and gas, is about to meet in Glasgow.

Will nations such as China, India and Russia be willing to forgo the coal, oil and gas upon which 80% of the world’s power plants currently depend, to be replaced by windmills and solar panels?

At the insistence of Sen. Joe Manchin, the heart of President Joe Biden’s climate agenda — a program to replace U.S. coal- and gas-fired power plants with wind, solar and nuclear energy by steadily increasing taxes on the former and subsidies for the latter — will apparently be dropped from the $3.5 trillion budget bill.

Prediction: In the long run, nationalists fighting to meet near-term needs of their constituents and countries are likely to prevail over the globalists who profess to be serving all of mankind.


Lawsuit Alleges Cronyism at Biden EPA to ‘Rubber-Stamp’ Green Agenda

The Biden administration’s Environmental Protection Agency is violating the law in a “purge” of advisory committees in order to “rubber-stamp” regulations, a lawsuit alleges, and in the process sweeping away a Trump administration policy against conflicts of interest.

The lead plaintiff in the case is Stanley Young, who in March was ousted from the EPA’s Science Advisory Board. Young previously worked for Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, and the National Institute of Statistical Sciences.

“In an unprecedented purge, EPA eliminated all industry representatives from two important advisory committees in order to stack those committees with academics who are financially beholden to EPA for multimillion-dollar research grants,” reads Young’s complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The lawsuit identifies the Environmental Protection Agency panels in question as the Science Advisory Board and the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee.

The complaint says of the Environmental Protection Agency under Administrator Michael Regan:

Through this mass dismissal, EPA guaranteed that the committees will rubber-stamp the new administration’s regulations without the inconvenience of an objecting voice from the very industries targeted by those regulations and bearing the cost of those regulations, to the tune of billions of dollars a year.

These newly constituted, industry-free advisory committees are neither fairly balanced, nor protected from inappropriate influence in violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

The Federal Advisory Committee Act requires that each board or committee must be “fairly balanced in terms of the points of view represented and the functions to be performed by the advisory committee.”

Any agency with one or more advisory committees, the law says, must adopt “appropriate provisions to assure that the advice and recommendations of the advisory committee will not be inappropriately influenced by the appointing authority or by any special interest, but will instead be the result of the advisory committee’s independent judgment.”

During the Trump administration, to avoid conflicts of interests, individuals associated with organizations getting federal grant money were prohibited from serving on federal advisory boards.

However, after the Biden administration took over, Regan restored recipients of federal grants as members of advisory panels—meaning, critics say, the grant recipients could be beholden financially to the administration’s political goals.

“EPA also abandoned—again without acknowledgment or explanation—its policy of addressing grant-based conflicts of interests on an individual appointment-by-appointment basis,” the lawsuit says.

Former President Donald Trump appointed Young, the lead plaintiff in the case, to a three-year term in 2017 and reappointed him in 2020. After taking office as EPA chief, Regan cut short the terms of Young and other industry representatives.

The EPA did not respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment for this report.

Conservatives who are not parties to the lawsuit took notice.

The Young v. EPA case is “hugely important” to protect the intent of federal law requiring a balanced and independent panel of qualified scientists, said Steve Milloy, senior policy fellow at the Energy and Environment Legal Institute and author of “Scare Pollution: Why and How to Fix the EPA.”

“The Biden EPA has turned the law on its head by first deciding what its policy is and then stacking the panel with its cronies,” Milloy said in a public statement, adding:

These EPA cronies are academic researchers who have been awarded tens of millions of dollars’ worth of EPA grants. This will not be independent and balanced scientific review. Rather, it will be the rubber-stamping of EPA’s predetermined policy in contravention of congressional intent.

EPA appears to be engaging in cronyism, said Garrett Bess, vice president of Heritage Action for America, the grassroots partner organization of The Heritage Foundation. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s multimedia news organization.)

“[President Joe] Biden is again showing just how radical his administration is, by stacking advisory committees with left-wing academics, who depend on government grants, to rubber-stamp the left’s extreme job-killing agenda,” Bess said in a public statement.

“At every opportunity, the Biden administration has chosen to implement policies that hurt American businesses and workers,” Bess said, adding:

Now, [Biden] has rigged the advisory boards to hide the harm these ‘Green New Deal’ policies will cause. Heritage Action will continue to call attention to just how extreme Biden’s economic policies really are, even as he tries to hide the impact from the American people.




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