Tuesday, November 30, 2021

EPA Revisiting Soot Standards It Previously Found Adequate

The administration of President Joe Biden has announced it was reconsidering national soot standards that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had determined in 2020 adequately protected public health.

Imposing stricter soot-standards would allow the administration to indirectly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and industrial facilities, without having to get legislative approval.

Changes Reject Scientific Findings

The EPA is considering lowering annual average exposure standard for Particulate Matter (PM) from 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air to as low as 8 micrograms, and the 24-hour standard from 35 micrograms down to 30 micrograms.

A careful review of the existing scientific data concerning the links between existing PM standards and public health, carried out as required by law under the Trump administration, found current standard adequately protected public health.

Citing no new data, the EPA’s draft policy assessment now finds long- and short-term exposure to soot or PM, at current levels, is associated with adverse health effects. As a result, EPA has concluded the current standards must be tightened in order to protect the public.

The change in the EPA’s scientific assessment is likely to result in many areas falling out of attainment of the 1970 Clean Air Act.

Earlier Data Driven Decision

On April 14, 2020, the EPA announced, that after carefully reviewing the best available evidence, the agency would retain, without changes, the existent standards for soot.

“Based on review of the scientific literature and recommendation from our independent science advisors, we are proposing to retain existing [PM] standards which will ensure the continued protection of both public health and the environment.” said Andrew Wheeler, EPA administrator in a statement at the time of the decision.

EPA’s decision to maintain PM standards at existing levels in 2020 was based on science, said Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) press release issued at the time.

“EPA’s decision is scientifically justified and will promote economic recovery and growth,” said Flores. “The EPA’s decision to retain current [PM] standards, without changes, rightly reflects the long-term trend data of dramatically decreased particulate matter as well as the needs of our state and local governments.”

EPA Undermining Science

The obtain its climate policy goals the Biden administration upending its science advisory board and science standards, says John Dale Dunn, a physician, lawyer, and a policy advisor for The Heartland Institute, which co-publishes Environment & Climate News.

“The EPA’s goal is to change a number of air pollution standards and to reconstitute the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC),” Dunn said. “There’s a lawsuit in motion filed by a number of members of the former CASAC, who like me, are upset the EPA is throwing away good scientific analyses for bulls— political reasons”


Scottish policy: Encourage rapid and extensive forestry. Scottish reality: Forests in Scotland can be net emitters of greenhouse gases

Greenie idiocy causes bogs to be preferred to trees

When Jeremy Leggett bought the 1,200-acre Bunloit Estate, overlooking Loch Ness, he discovered an inconvenient truth. A green and pleasant place, with extensive woodlands — the kind most people assume will help to save the planet — was, in fact, doing the opposite. His calculations found that it was a net source of greenhouse-gas emissions; far from curbing climate change, Bunloit was encouraging it.

The problem Leggett identified was trees: too many of them, planted in the wrong place, preventing the magnificent peatland beneath from doing the job it is best at: absorbing carbon emissions. He set about cutting down his conifer plantations.

One of the most comprehensive-ever assessments of the carbon held on a Scottish estate has shown that rewilding the landscape to its natural state could help it store more carbon and increase biodiversity.

The Bunloit Estate covers 1200 acres in the hills above Loch Ness.

By using drone-mounted lasers to scan trees and surveying the extent and depth of peat, scientists were able to measure the amount of stored carbon.

They found the estate held the equivalent of 1.234 million tonnes of carbon.

That's the roughly 2% of Scotland's annual carbon footprint.

The analysis has already led to radical action, with some trees being cut down for the good of the planet.

Figures showed peatland covered in commercial spruce plantations was so dry and damaged that it was releasing more greenhouse gases than the trees were absorbing.

By felling the spruce and allowing the peat to return to its natural boggy state there would be a net benefit of 60,000 tonnes of carbon stored over the next 100 years.

Nicola Williamson, a ranger on the estate, told Sky News: "It's a bit counter-intuitive.

"But we have to take down plantations planted in the wrong places like our peatland bogs and restore that as a habitat in itself.

"And we have to manage our woodlands better so they are meeting biodiversity targets."

Camera traps on the estate show there are already pine martens, red squirrel, and wild boar.

But restoring more mixed woodland would encourage a broad range of species to thrive.

Bunloit is at the eastern end of what could be a 500,000 acre forest stretching all the way to the Atlantic.

The project is being driven by the charity Trees for Life, which says a quarter of the estates in the Affric Highlands area have signed up.


Michigan Gov. Whitmer Sparks an International Pipeline Dispute between the United States

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is doubling-down on her efforts to shut down a key oil and natural gas liquids pipeline running between Superior, Wisconsin and Sarnia, Ontario.

Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline traverses parts of northern Wisconsin, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and the 4.5-mile-long floor of the Straights of Mackinac connecting Lakes Michigan and Lake Huron. Line 5 has for nearly 70 years safely transported hydrocarbons from western Canada to markets in the Great Lakes region of the United States.

Line 5 moves more than a half a million barrels of oil and natural gas liquids a day throughout the Great Lakes region.

Shutdown or Not

Whitmer ordered Line 5’s twin pipelines to shut down in 2020, saying they pose a grave threat to the Great Lakes because of the possibility of oil spills.

Enbridge, the Calgary-based company that operates the pipeline, refused, saying Whitmer lacked the legal authority to unilaterally order the closure of the pipeline which is involved in interstate and international commerce.

Canada asked the Biden administration to intervene and overrule Whitmer, invoking a dispute-resolution article of a 1977 treaty governing pipelines between it and the United States.

In a letter to U.S. District Judge for Western Michigan Janet Neff, Gordon Griffin, a lawyer representing the Canadian government, cited an article in the treaty which states: “No public authority in the territory of either Party shall institute any measures … which are intended to, or which have the effect of, impeding, diverting, redirecting, or interfering with in any way the transmission of hydrocarbons in transit.”

Whitmer Remains Defiant

Whitmer pointed to a 2010 incident at a separate Enbridge pipeline that ruptured in southwestern Michigan to support her claim that Line 5 pipeline should be permanently closed because it threatens the Great Lakes’ unique environmental amenities.

“So long as oil is flowing through the pipelines, there is a very real threat of a catastrophic oil spill in the Great Lakes,” said Whitmer in a statement. “I have made clear to Enbridge that is cannot use our state-owned lakebed for these pipelines, but Enbridge has refused to stop. “Moreover, rather than taking steps to diversify energy supply and ensure resilience, Canada has channeled its efforts into defending an oil company with an abysmal environmental track record,” Whitmer said.

Enbridge paid a stiff fine for the 2010 incident and remediated the affected area.

In a 2021 analysis of the pipeline, the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the federal agency responsible for overseeing Line 5, said it is “presently aware of no unsafe or hazardous conditions that would warrant shutdown of Line 5.”

The bilateral dispute is playing out in the wake of the Biden administration’s cancellation earlier this year of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have brought crude oil from northeastern Alberta to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

That move cost thousands of jobs in both countries and brought a public rebuke protest from the Canadian government to the then newly installed Biden administration.

“A Green Political Stunt”

Pipelines are regulated by the federal government, including the right of eminent domain, for good reason, because the Constitution delegates to Congress the sole authority to regulation interstate commerce,” says David Wojick, Ph.D., an independent energy analyst who often writes for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), co-publisher of Environment & Climate News.

“Pipelines are the embodiment of interstate commerce, often passing through several states in order to serve many,” Wojick said. “In this case, the pipeline is not just interstate; it is international.

“We work closely with Canada; for instance, cars are manufactured in Sarnia for the U.S. market,” said Wojick. “Michigan’s action is nothing more than a green political stunt.”

Policies Contradict Stated Goals

The efforts by Whitmer and the Biden administration to shut down pipelines and end oil and gas use undermine their stated goals of creating jobs and growing the economy, says Jason Hayes, director of environmental policy at Michigan’s Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

“Both the Whitmer and the Biden administrations appear confused,” said Hayes. “Biden claims he wants to ‘build back better,’ and Whitmer, through her ‘MI New Economy Plan’ claims she wants to grow Michigan’s middle class and support its small businesses, but their energy policies are doing the exact opposite.

“Biden cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline in his first days in office and his administration has chosen to remain on the sidelines as Whitmer’s crusade against Line 5 threatens to spike energy prices and actually harms our relationship with Canada, America’s largest trading partner,” Hayes said.

Whitmer and Biden have options that are better for the environment and the economy, says Hayes.

“This is all so unnecessary, because both Biden and Whitmer could focus their administrations on building the Line 5 tunnel,” said Hayes. “Doing this would better protect the waterways of the Great Lakes and maintain an essential piece of the nation’s energy infrastructure.

“Instead, Whitmer appears blindly committed to raising energy prices and putting tens of thousands of Midwesterners out of work, and, for his part, Biden appears content to go on bended knee to Vladimir Putin and the leaders of OPEC asking them to act to bring more oil supplies to the market as he simultaneously squeezes the life out of the American oil and gas industry,” Hayes said.


Australia: Family moves to Canberra to escape ‘atrocious’ temperatures in Western Sydney

She might be disappointed. Canberra is pretty hot in summer

Sydney has always been a hot place. As Watkin Tench recorded, it got so hot in 1790 (Yes. 1790. not 1970) that birds and bats were falling out of the trees dead. And that was in coastal Sydney. Inland has always been even hotter. So the lady's claim that she is escaping anthropogenic climate change is tendentious. There were no SUVs or power stations in 1790

An Australian climate scientist who specialises in heatwaves has told of how she moved her family to a new city to escape “atrocious” temperatures due to climate change.

University of NSW climate scientist Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick shared her story in the documentary series Life at 50 Degrees, available to stream on Flash News.

The mother of two said she was so concerned about the extreme temperatures her family endured where they lived in western Sydney, that she made the decision to relocate.

“I have experienced days of 45 and 47 degrees celsius and that was appalling, it was atrocious. You couldn’t do anything,” Dr Perkins-Kirkpatrick said. “The only way we could stay cool in Western Sydney was to have the aircon running all day and that was a hard thing for me to do.”

She said she made the extreme decision to move her family to Canberra, where the climate is much cooler, for her daughters, aged 2 and 4.

“It really bothers me that the world that they’re experiencing now is a lot different from my childhood,” she said.

“During my first pregnancy, it was so hot that I actually struggled to put the washing on the line. “While I was literally about to bring this child into the world, I was thinking what will the summers be like for her in the future.”

According to Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub, temperatures in Western Sydney already experience 10 degrees higher than in the city’s eastern suburbs. The region’s local government areas (LGAs) including Penrith, where Dr Perkins-Kirkpatrick was living, are expected to be the worst affected with a forecast of an average of four extra days of extreme heat by around 2050.

The climate scientist said the outlook for the area forced her to take action and make the move. “As a scientist, I know how bad the future looks. I understand all that, I comprehend all that. That’s what I do for a living,” she said.

“But as a mum, as a person, as a human being, I really struggle with just how bad those impacts will be.”


My other blogs. Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM )

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)


Monday, November 29, 2021

'Carbon Pipeline' to Cut Through Corn Belt Farmland; Eminent Domain on the Table for Landowners Who Won't Accept

A carbon dioxide pipeline project is being developed across several Midwestern states, including eastern Iowa, but it may have to be built using eminent domain

Navigator CO2 Ventures, based in Texas, is proposing a 1,300-mile line pipeline that takes carbon dioxide from fertilizer and ethanol plants.

Navigator would consider using eminent domain— if Iowa officials will allow it — if farmers do not agree to provide easements to let the line go across their lands, according to The Gazette , a newspaper in Cedar Rapids.

The way the project works is that the gas is pressurized and liquified and sent to a place in western Illinois. The plan calls for the carbon to be injected into rock formations, where, according to the theory behind the project, it calcifies and never gets into the air.

The theory remains unproven, and some are skeptical or concerned about the possible impacts of the pipeline on their land.

“All things considered, it seems like a bad idea,” said Marian Kuper, 68, who lives with her husband Keith near Ackley, Iowa.

The $3 billion project claims it will bury 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.

A similar project, developed by Summit Carbon Solutions, cuts through parts of western Iowa on its 2,000-mile route.

The idea is a money-maker, in theory, for ethanol plants that want lower carbon scores for their fuels to sell in states such as California and Oregon, with low-carbon fuel standards.

A federal tax credit would give out up to $50 a metric ton for permanently stored carbon.

The companies are pushing the idea as a way to benefit everybody.

“These projects have a unique touchpoint to the agricultural community,” Elizabeth Burns-Thompson, a Navigator vice president, told The Gazette.

Burns-Thompson said the idea “has the potential to help keep those (ethanol and fertilizer) plants vital not only for years to come, but decades to come.”

Navigator’s pipeline would be buried at least 5 feet underground, Burns-Thompson said.

“The best way to minimize risk is to go a little bit deeper,” she said. “Then you minimize some of those risks of a line strike.”

State regulators everywhere the line goes, which includes Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Illinois, must sign off on the project.

The company hopes to start construction in 2023.


Why the Energy Transition Will Be So Complicated

To appreciate the complexities of the competing demands between climate action and the continued need for energy, consider the story of an award—one that the recipient very much did not want and, indeed, did not bother to pick up.

It began when Innovex Downhole Solutions, a Texas-based company that provides technical services to the oil and gas industry, ordered 400 jackets from North Face with its corporate logo. But the iconic outdoor-clothing company refused to fulfill the order. North Face describes itself as a “politically aware” brand that will not share its logo with companies that are in “tobacco, sex (including gentlemen’s clubs) and pornography.” And as far as North Face is concerned, the oil and gas industry fell into that same category—providing jackets to a company in that industry would go against its values. Such a sale would, it said, be counter to its “goals and commitments surrounding sustainability and environmental protection,” which includes a plan to use increasing amounts of recycled and renewable materials in its garments in future years.

But, as it turns out, North Face’s business depends not only on people who like the outdoors, but also on oil and gas: At least 90 percent of the materials in its jackets are made from petrochemicals derived from oil and natural gas. Moreover, many of its jackets and the materials that go into them are made in countries such as China, Vietnam, and Bangladesh, and then shipped to the United States in vessels that are powered by oil. To muddy matters further, not long before North Face rejected the request, its corporate owner had built a new hangar at a Denver airport for its corporate jets, all of which run on jet fuel. To spotlight the obvious contradiction, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association presented its first ever Customer Appreciation Award to North Face for being “an extraordinary oil and gas customer.” That’s the award North Face spurned.

Read: Ultra-fast fashion is eating the world

Different people will draw different conclusions from this episode. Central to the response to climate change is the transition from carbon fuels to renewables and hydrogen, augmented by carbon capture. This was highlighted at the historic COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, which emphasized the need for urgency and a greater ambition on climate backed by a host of significant initiatives, including carbon markets, and country pledges of carbon neutrality by 2050 or a decade or two thereafter. The North Face story, however, offers a difficult reminder that the energy transition is a whole lot more complicated than may be recognized.

A New Energy Crisis

As if to remind us of the complexities, a most unwelcome guest appeared on the doorstep of the Glasgow conference: an energy crisis that has gripped Europe and Asia. Energy crises traditionally begin with oil, but this recent one has been driven by shortages of coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG). That sent prices spiking, disrupting electricity supplies in China, which then led to the rationing of electricity there, the closing of factories, and further disruptions of the supply chains that send goods to America.

In Europe, the energy shortages were made worse by low wind speeds in the North Sea, which for a time drastically reduced the electricity produced by offshore wind turbines for Britain and Northern Europe. Gas, coal, and power prices shot up—as much as seven times in the case of LNG. Factories, unable to afford the suddenly high energy costs, stopped production, among them plants in Britain and Europe making fertilizers needed for next spring’s agricultural season.

Trailing the other fuels, oil prices reached the $80 range. With a tightening balance between supply and demand, some were warning that oil could exceed $100 a barrel. Gasoline prices have hit levels in the United States that alarm politicians, who know that such increases are bad for incumbents. That—along with worsening inflation—is why the Biden administration asked Saudi Arabia and Russia to put more oil into the market, so far to no avail. The administration then announced, on the eve of Thanksgiving, the largest-ever release of oil from the U.S. government’s strategic petroleum reserve, in coordination with other countries, to temper prices.

Is this energy shock a one-off resulting from a unique conjunction of circumstances? Or is it the first of what will be several crises resulting from straining too hard to bring 2050 carbon-reduction goals rapidly forward—potentially prematurely choking off investment in hydrocarbons, thus triggering future shocks? If it’s a onetime event, then the world will move on in a few months. But if it is followed by further energy shortages, governments could be forced to rethink the timing and approach to their climate goals. The current shock offered just such an example: Although Britain is calling for an end to coal, it was nevertheless forced to restart a mothballed coal-powered plant to help make up for the electricity shortage.

Jean Pisani-Ferry, a French economist and sometime adviser to French President Emmanuel Macron, is among the most prominent voices pointing to the consequences that could result from trying to move too fast. In August, before the current energy crisis began, he warned that going into overdrive on transitioning away from fossil fuels would lead to major economic shocks similar to the oil crises that rocked the global economy in the 1970s. “Policymakers,” he wrote, “should get ready for tough choices.”

A Different Energy Transition

The term energy transition somehow sounds like it is a well-lubricated slide from one reality to another. In fact, it will be far more complex: Throughout history, energy transitions have been difficult, and this one is even more challenging than any previous shift. In my book The New Map, I peg the beginning of the first energy transition to January 1709, when an English metalworker named Abraham Darby figured out that he could make better iron by using coal rather than wood for heat. But that first transition was hardly swift. The 19th century is known as the “century of coal,” but, as the technology scholar Vaclav Smil has noted, not until the beginning of the 20th century did coal actually overtake wood as the world’s No. 1 energy source. Moreover, past energy transitions have also been “energy additions”—one source atop another. Oil, discovered in 1859, did not surpass coal as the world’s primary energy source until the 1960s, yet today the world uses almost three times as much coal as it did in the ’60s.

The coming energy transition is meant to be totally different. Rather than an energy addition, it is supposed to be an almost complete switch from the energy basis of today’s $86 trillion world economy, which gets 80 percent of its energy from hydrocarbons. In its place is intended to be a net-carbon-free energy system, albeit one with carbon capture, for what could be a $185 trillion economy in 2050. To do that in less than 30 years—and accomplish much of the change in the next nine—is a very tall order.

Here is where the complexities become clear. Beyond outerwear, the degree to which the world depends on oil and gas is often not understood. It’s not just a matter of shifting from gasoline-powered cars to electric ones, which themselves, by the way, are about 20 percent plastic. It’s about shifting away from all the other ways we use plastics and other oil and gas derivatives. Plastics are used in wind towers and solar panels, and oil is necessary to lubricate wind turbines. The casing of your cellphone is plastic, and the frames of your glasses likely are too, as well as many of the tools in a hospital operating room. The air frames of the Boeing 787, Airbus A350, and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet are all made out of high-strength, petroleum-derived carbon fiber. The number of passenger planes is expected to double in the next two decades. They are also unlikely to fly on batteries.

Oil products have been crucial for dealing with the pandemic too, from protective gear for emergency staff to the lipids that are part of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Have a headache? Acetaminophen—including such brands as Tylenol and Panadol—is a petroleum-derived product. In other words, oil and natural-gas products are deeply embedded throughout modern life.


BBC Crushes Climate Debate, Pushes Science Denial

BBC News carried two articles last week denigrating and demonizing the critics of climate-change alarmism.

The first was by Marianna Spring, the BBC’s ‘specialist disinformation reporter’. That is an apt title, as that is precisely what she writes; disinformation.

She asserted that criticism of environmentalism was being fueled by ‘right-wing conspiracy theorists’ who had switched ‘from Covid denial to climate denial’. Only someone who leans hard the other way would make such a statement.

And the second came from reporters Rachel Schraer and Kayleen Devlin, who are both a part of the BBC’s ‘Reality Check’ team of politically-motivated ‘fact-checkers’.

They claimed to have exposed ‘the truth behind the new climate-change denial’.

Both articles are travesties of journalism.

Take Schraer and Devlin’s piece, which claims to debunk four claims supposedly made by climate deniers: that a ‘Grand Solar Minimum’ will halt global warming; global warming is good; climate-change action will make people poorer; renewable energy is dangerously unreliable.

Despite the article’s dismissive approach, it completely fails to debunk what are plausible claims. For instance, the ‘Grand Solar Minimum’ – when the Sun gives off less energy as part of its natural cycle – is, as the article admits, a real phenomenon.

Whether it will reduce the Earth’s global temperatures by a significant enough amount to offset the current warming period is up for debate, but it is a debate worth having.

To write off theories of solar influence on climate in two perfunctory paragraphs, when there is still so much to research and understand, seems highly questionable.

Or take the claim that global warming is ‘good’. There is certainly plenty of evidence to suggest that a warming climate is not the terrible catastrophe many hype it up to be. Cold kills 15 times as many as warmth.

Indeed, thanks to social and economic progress, fewer people today die or suffer from events and phenomena attributable to the climate than at any point in the past. And there is plenty of reason to think that such progress will continue in the future.

And what of the claim that climate-change action will make people poorer? Again, that seems like a fair comment. After all, it is precisely because of the impoverishing consequences of decarbonization targets that so many developing nations are resistant to them – as the failure of COP26 to eliminate coal power showed.

And as for renewable energy, it is unreliable precisely because much of it depends on the weather. If the conditions aren’t right, then wind turbines or solar panels do not produce energy.

This is not a crack-pot theory. It is a simple fact.

Marianna Spring’s article is arguably more wrong-headed still. She contends that Covid conspiracy theorists have moved on from the pandemic to spread conspiracy theories about climate change.

Spring argues that the so-called deniers claim the climate, like Covid, is being used by a shadowy elite to establish a New World Order. But the article goes beyond criticizing ‘conspiracy theories’.

Spring claims that the notion of a ‘climate lockdown’ – that is, the ‘idea that in the future we might have Covid-style lockdowns to counteract climate change’ – is ‘completely unfounded.’

The only problem with this narrative is that, as I reported on spiked in 2020, it wasn’t a rag-tag band of conspiracy nuts who first connected Covid to climate change in this way.

It was environmentalists themselves, aided and abetted by the great and the good.

Indeed, almost from the moment we were first locked down in spring 2020, greens speculated about the possibility of using something akin to a lockdown in order to remake society along ‘sustainable’ lines.

In September last year, economist Mariana Mazzucato even used the phrase ‘climate lockdown’ when speculating about the need for ‘a radical overhaul of corporate governance, finance, policy and energy systems.’

And in April this year, Time ran the headline, ‘The pandemic remade every corner of society. Now it’s the climate’s turn.’ If anything, all the Covid-cum-climate conspiracy theorists have done is take politicians’, journalists’, and activists’ arguments at face value.

But there’s something else about these two BBC articles that tell us much about journalism and the green agenda today. That is, they both ground their claims on the views of political campaigners – which they then pass off as neutral, expert opinion.

For instance, both draw substantially on the views of Jennie King, senior policy manager at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD). The ISD is a think tank devoted to combating ‘extremist movements, hate groups and conspiracy-theory networks worldwide’.

This is not a neutral organization. It is a politically driven one, in which what it views as ‘extremism’ encompasses not just neo-Nazis, but also people concerned about the effects of wind turbines on bird populations.

It demonizes criticism of the green agenda as ‘extremism’.


‘Vandals’: Australian States fume over federal climate intervention

The Morrison government has used sweeping new powers to override state and territory government support for an international agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The federal government has deployed recently passed laws to overturn the participation of five states and territories in the global Under 2 Coalition.

In an email dated 23 November, an official with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told his counterpart in the Victorian government that its participation in the coalition was “no longer in operation”.

The email warned the Victorian government that under the new Foreign Relations (States and Territories) Act 2020, sign up to the agreement was now illegitimate.

The email said Victoria had 14 days to tell the global organisation it had “failed to properly classify” the state’s involvement in a 2015 Memorandum of Understanding.

Two-hundred-and-sixty sub-national governments worldwide have signed up to the the Under 2 coalition, representing 1.75 billion people and 50% of the global economy. Members commit to keeping global temperature rises to well below 2C, with efforts to reach 1.5C. Thirty-five states and regions in the coalition have committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050 or earlier.

“[T]he MOU has also been invalidated for a number of other states and territories,” the official said, naming the ACT, Northern Territory, Queensland and South Australia. He did not cite NSW, which has lately signed up.

Lily D’Ambrosio, Victoria’s energy, environment and climate change minister, said Dfat had used a technicality that was “illogical” to cancel her state’s participation.

“It’s just a really ridiculous technicality,” D’Ambrosio said. “It’s egregious. They are vandals.”

The move came less than a fortnight after the Glasgow climate summit ended. The Morrison government had weathered extensive criticism at the event for being among the few rich nations to avoid raising their 2030 emission reduction targets.

“This is going to be a global embarrassment, not for the Victorian government but the federal government that has already covered itself in ridicule on the climate change stage,” D’Ambrosio said. “Rather than addressing the urgency of climate change, they are actually putting forward more barriers.”

A spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne said the Under 2 Coalition MOU had not come to the minister for a decision.

“The MOU was not properly notified by the relevant states and territory under the Foreign Relations Act 2020 and was therefore automatically invalidated by operation of the Act,” the spokesperson said.

Dfat was also approached for comment, as was energy minister Angus Taylor.

The Dfat official suggested in the email if Victoria wanted to sign up to the Under 2 coalition’s 2021 MOU, his department would consider approving it. He also said Victoria should join with other jurisdictions to make a single submission.

“Under what conditions would they be prepared to consider an application?” D’Ambrosio said. “Are they saying that if there’s one or two states that maybe hadn’t wanted to pursue it or have delayed it, then everyone else will be held up?”

Meaghan Scanlon, Queensland’s minister for the environment and the Great Barrier Reef, said her state had also received the cancellation advice.

“Clearly, the Morrison government aren’t content with their own failures on climate change, they’re now trying to stop the states from taking action.” she said.

“Surely their time would be better spent funding renewable energy projects or delivering a credible policy on reducing emissions, than on playing silly bureaucratic games,” Scanlon said.


My other blogs. Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM )

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)


Sunday, November 28, 2021

Study proves climate change driving Australia’s 800% boom in bushfires

This is a childish level of logic. There is no doubt that weather changes impact fires but PROVING that the weather changes are due to global warming shows no awarenes of the scientific and philosophical requirements for proving anything. As David Hume pointed out, you have to show constant conjunction between two things to substantiate a claim of causation and there is NO constant conjunction between any meteorological phenonena. Weak probabilities are all we have.

And there is no recognition below that Greenie restrictions on good forest management have increased the risk and severity of fires. There IS constant conjunction between restrictions on backburning and the severity of fires in the area

I have read the academic article concerned ("Multi-decadal increase of forest burned area in Australia is linked to climate change") and it goes to great length to prove what was in no doubt -- that fires have been on the increase in recent years

Of greater interest is what they found to correlate with fire incidence and severity. Their contribution there is assertions plus some desultory modelling. And the data they put into modelling is of the low quality that we have come to expect of modelling in this area. Let me quote their look at preventive burning:

We found no changes in the mean annual area of prescribed burning over the past 32 years, although we have no information on how successful those burns were in reducing fuel loads. However, given the lack of trend and the fact that on average, only 1% of forests are subject to fuel reduction burns every year, it is very likely that fuel management had no effect on the observed multi-decadal increasing trend in the burned area of forest fires

They correlate "prescribed" burning and admit that such figures tell us nothing. What is prescribed and what Greenies allow to happen are two different things. Their figures are clearly rubbish, as are their conclusions

But here is the clincher. I quote:

"The research also found Australia is bucking an international trend of decreasing fire activity"

If nobody else is getting the trend, how come it is due to global warming? Can you have global warming in one country? Is it global or is it not? Yet another logical failure in this pathetic study.

Climate change is the dominant factor causing the increased size of bushfires in Australia’s forests, according to a landmark study that found the average annual area burned had grown by 800 per cent in the past 32 years.

The peer-reviewed research by the national science agency, CSIRO — published in the prestigious science journal, Nature — reveals evidence showing changes in weather due to global warming were the driving force behind the boom in Australia’s bushfires.

Lead author and CSIRO chief climate research scientist Pep Canadell said the study established the correlation between the Forest Fire Danger Index – which measures weather-related vegetation dryness, air temperature, wind speed and humidity – and the rise in area of forest burned since the 1930s.

“It’s so tight, it’s so strong that clearly when we have these big fire events, they’re run by the climate and the weather,” Dr Canadell said.

The bushfire royal commission identified climate change as a key risk to ongoing bushfire catastrophe but did not make recommendations about reducing greenhouse emissions to curb the threat.

The CSIRO report found other factors have an impact on the extent and intensity of bushfires such as the amount of vegetation or fuel load in a forest, the time elapsed since the last fire, and hazard reduction burning. But Dr Canadell said the study showed the link between weather and climate conditions and the size of bushfires was so tight, it was clear these factors far outweighed all other fire drivers.

“Almost regardless of what we do the overall extent of the fire, really, is dictated by those climate conditions,” he said.

Climate scientists have found climate change is exacerbating the key fire risk factors identified by CSIRO’s study, with south-eastern Australia becoming hotter, drier and, in a particularly worrying trend, more prone to high wind on extremely hot and dry summer days.

The weather system that drove a blast furnace’s worth of westerly wind across NSW and Victoria’s forests, sparking some of the worst fires of the Black Summer in 2019-20, will be up to four times more likely to occur under forecast levels of global warming.

“All the various climate trends, which are so important, are all on the rise and they’re all connected to various degrees with anthropogenic climate change,” Dr Canadell said.

The study shows fires are becoming bigger and more common even when the Black Summer is not factored in. When the first half of the study period, from 1988 to 2001, is compared to the period between 2002 and 2018, the average annual forest burned area in Australia increased 350 per cent. That figured ramps up to 800 per cent when the fires of 2019-20, which burnt more than 24 million hectares of land, are included.

Mega-fires, which burn more than 1 million hectares, have “markedly” increased with three of the four recorded from 1930 occurring since 2000, while the gap between big blazes has had a “rapid decrease”, the study says.

Last year, the bushfire royal commission reported fuel-load management through hazard reduction burning “may have no appreciable effect under extreme conditions” that typically cause loss of life and property.

The CSIRO findings bolster that conclusion and call into question calls for native forest logging to be used as a bushfire management tool.

“This is happening regardless of anything that we might or might not do to try to stop the fires,” Dr Canadell said.

The increased frequency of bushfires is giving the bush less and less time to recover, which is changing ecosystems and threatening the survival of many plants and animals that are struggling to adapt to the pace of change and loss of habitat.


Top-Selling Climate Funds Fail to Deliver on Carbon Emissions

Some of Europe’s most popular climate funds have been found to do no better at avoiding carbon emitters than a benchmark index with no environmental focus, according to new research.

A report by analytics provider Investment Metrics found that four of the seven best-selling European climate funds were more exposed to carbon emissions than the MSCI World Index, which tracks over 1600 of the biggest companies across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

Funds that failed to beat the MSCI index include climate strategies managed by DWS Group, Franklin Resources Inc. and Lombard Odier Investment Management, according to Investment Metrics, which provides portfolio analytics and data to institutional investors and advisers representing $14 trillion.

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The findings underscore the difficulty climate-focused investors face when selecting funds with a view to reducing their carbon footprint. It also raises questions around labeling as financial products marketed as having an environmental, social and governance focus proliferate.

Concerns about greenwashing, a term given to exaggerated or misleading claims of ethical investing, have picked up this year as the ESG market mushrooms. Bloomberg Intelligence estimates ESG assets exceeded $35 trillion last year, and will soar past $50 trillion by 2025.


Challenging the Left’s Climate Alarmism Narrative Is Daring and Dangerous

For decades, those pushing global warming/climate change have tried to silence any opposition to their narrative. Instead of debating the issue, the climate alarmists would rather tar and feather, figuratively speaking, anyone who is brave enough to challenge their assertions.

The most recent example occurred when Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) accused ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods of donating millions of dollars to The Heartland Institute.

Pressley calls Heartland a “shadow” organization, insinuating that Heartland simply does the bidding of Big Oil.

This, however, is completely untrue.

For several years, The Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank, has been a thorn in the side of climate alarmists because Heartland has produced an extensive amount of scientific research that calls into questions many of the absurd, baseless claims made by the likes of Al Gore and John Kerry.

First, Heartland research on climate change has been cited more than 100 times in peer-reviewed journals.

Second, Heartland was opposing global warming alarmism long before ExxonMobil or any other energy company provided funding. Despite Pressley’s claim, Heartland actually ramped up its efforts after energy companies stopped providing funding.

ExxonMobil began donating to Heartland in 1998, four years after Heartland’s first book on global warming was published.

In fact, ExxonMobil stopped donating to Heartland in 2006, two years before Heartland hosted the first International Conference on Climate Change and three years before the first volume in the “Climate Change Reconsidered” series was published.

Third, Heartland has always had science on its side. Claims of a “scientific consensus” in favor of climate alarmism have been debunked again and again.

Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, Heartland’s flagship publications on climate change, the five-volume “Climate Change Reconsidered” series published with the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) from 2009 to 2019, were produced without a dime of financial support from any corporations, energy or otherwise.

Yet, these facts don’t matter to the merchants of smear.

All accusations that oil industry funding somehow influenced or corrupted the work of climate scientists or organizations such as The Heartland Institute are based on lies originating in then-Sen. Al Gore’s office and then repeated endlessly in an echo chamber created by Greenpeace and activists posing as journalists in the so-called mainstream media.

In truth, the mission of The Heartland Institute when it comes to climate change is quite simple: follow the facts, not the feelings.

Heartland’s primary objective has always been to educate elected officials, civic and business leaders, and the general public about the true science and economics of climate change. Climate change is far from the only public policy issue in Heartland’s wheelhouse.

Heartland is a highly respected voice on health care, school reform, taxes and budget issues, and other public policy matters. State elected officials in all 50 states rely on Heartland as an objective and credible source of research and commentary on the most important issues of the day.

Moreover, The Heartland Institute doesn’t “deny climate change.” In fact, Heartland documents how climate has changed in the past and continues to change today, and studies its causes and consequences. Along with thousands of highly qualified scientists around the world, Heartland finds the human influence on climate to be small—probably too small to measure against the background of natural variability—and the case for restricting the use of fossil fuels to be very weak.

To be clear, Heartland’s position in the scientific debate, and that alone, is why Heartland has become the primary target of criticism from the Democratic Party and its cronies in the media. The left’s antipathy toward Heartland has little, if anything, to do with funding, ethics, or credibility.

Lastly, The Heartland Institute doesn’t “oppose climate science.” Heartland actually helped create and promote it. Heartland has published thousands of pages of reviews of the peer-reviewed literature in volumes that have been compared favorably to the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Heartland has invested more, and published more, and reached more people with real climate science than all but a handful of national organizations in the United States.

Pressley’s attempt to smear The Heartland Institute is based on the fact that The Heartland Institute’s courageous position in questioning climate alarmism dogma poses a viable threat to the left’s climate change narrative, which is integral to their insatiable lust for more power and control over “We the People.”


Skepticism about phase-out of coal

Wood Mackenzie is a British mining industry analyst

Coal has been high on the decarbonisation agenda, but Wood Mackenzie metals and mining vice chair Julian Kettle says the inconvenient truth is that we still need coal-fired power to ensure an orderly transition to a low carbon world.

While the COP26 statement is clear – “to accelerate the phase out of coal” Kettle emphasises that it falls short on the detail.

“What’s more, this commitment could be considered something of a pyrrhic victory against coal, primarily because none of the countries with the top three largest coal-fired power fleets – China, India and the US – are signatories to the agreement,” he said.

“China, which possesses the largest coal-fired power plant capacity, has committed to peak carbon emissions, yet has made no firm commitment to reduce reliance on coal.

“And India was late to the decarbonisation pledge party but has committed to net neutrality by 2070.

“More urgently, it has pledged to reduce its projected carbon emissions by a billion tonnes by 2030 and has committed to 50% renewables share of power generation and to reducing the carbon intensity of its economy by 45% by the same date.

“That’s a tough ask for an economy projected to grow by 6-7% a year over the next decade,” he said.

Meanwhile, in the US, President Joe Biden’s plan for a zero-carbon grid by 2035 arguably embraces the spirit of the COP26 text.

But again, Kettle says there is the possibility of a significant reversal in policy should the next presidential election be won by the Republicans.

And regardless of these targets, under Woodmac’s base case, thermal coal demand (where it is burnt to produce electricity) will continue to rise until the mid-2020s.

Under Wood Mackenzie’s base case Energy Transition Outlook (ETO), which is aligned to a 2.7C warming scenario, demand for thermal coal will peak in 2025 at just over 7 billion tonnes, falling by just 5% to 6.7 billion tonnes in 2030.

“That is hardly a transformation,” Kettle said.

And to achieve Wood Mackenzie’s accelerated energy transition (AET) of -2, 2C pathway, demand for thermal coal will need to fall by a billion tonnes by 2030 while an AET-1.5 pathway removes a further 1.9b tonnes of demand.

“This is a dramatic 2.4b tonne reduction compared with the current base case peak in 2025,” he said.

The key question Kettle says, is will the yet-to-be-enacted policies based on watered down commitments made at COP26 be enough to deliver an AET-2 or AET-1.5 decarbonisation pathway?

“If the non-delivery against commitments made at COP Paris in 2015 are anything to go by, success by 2030 looks to be a long shot and is by no means guaranteed,” he said.


My other blogs. Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM )

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)


Friday, November 26, 2021

Germany to complete the transition away from coal over the next nine years

They are going to rely on Russian natural gas instead. Rather hilarious, really

Germany plans to phase out coal use by 2030, eight years earlier than previously planned, as part of its latest climate pledge. That same year, the country wants 80 percent of its electricity to come from renewable sources. Per the BBC, Olaf Scholz, the leader of Germany’s Social Democratic Party, announced the plan on Wednesday as part of a deal that will see the former vice-chancellor govern the country at the head of a three-party coalition made up of the Greens and Free Democrats.

Germany’s September 28th national election saw the Greens claim 118 seats in the Bundestag, making it the party’s best-ever showing. Scholz is expected to tap Greens leader Annalena Baerbock to serve as his foreign minister. Moreover, it’s likely Greens co-leader Robert Habeck will get the vice-chancellorship and the chance to oversee the country’s energy transition.

Notably, the coalition didn’t set a more aggressive emissions reduction target. By 2030, the country still plans to cut emissions by 65 percent from 1990 levels. According to an estimate from nonprofit Climate Action Tracker, Germany needs to reduce its greenhouse gas output by at least 70 percent by the end of the decade to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius target put forward by the Paris Agreement.

Additionally, in making a deal with the Social Democratic Party, the Greens made a significant compromise. Per Bloomberg, the country will use natural gas to ease the transition between coal and renewables. Critics also say the coalition had to do more to push electric vehicle adoption. The government only plans to have 15 million EVs on German roads by 2030. “This does not look like a coalition for progress,” Christoph Bautz, the head of Campact, told Clean Energy Wire. “The climate movement will have to keep pushing the coalition to truly make it a climate government."


British Net-zero plans scaled back amid concerns over rising fuel and heating bills

A key component of the government’s net-zero strategy, which would have pushed up gasoline and heating bills, has been scaled back amid concerns over the cost of living.

The Telegraph has learned that proposals to expand Britain’s emissions trading system in an effort to cut carbon emissions have been watered down significantly after a backlash from senior ministers.

A consultation on where the scheme, which limits carbon emissions in certain sectors, should be applied, covered fuel used for vehicles and heating in the UK.

But both elements have now been removed for fear it could set off a political storm as gasoline and utility bills have risen significantly in recent months.

The battle in Whitehall is set in private, with repeated reformulations of the consultation before it is released to the public.

The paper outlining the approach was set to be published in the summer, ahead of the UN COP26 UN climate summit in November.

It is now expected in the spring of 2022. Early drafts said the emissions trading system would be expanded “radically”, but that word would have been removed from the latest version of the document.

The scaling back reflects pressure from Tory MPs over how Boris Johnson will deliver on his promise to make the UK a “net zero” carbon emitter by 2050.

Polls indicate broad support for tackling climate change, but support wanes as voters face personal costs that may be related to greening the economy.

The plans will still aim for emissions trading for the maritime sector and waste incineration, which could ultimately drive up costs for shippers and municipalities.

The door will also be opened to one day creating a trade emissions scheme for the agricultural sector by announcing a new impetus to measure CO2 emissions there. Government figures, however, continue to claim publicly and privately that no decision has been made on limiting agricultural emissions, given the political sensibility of adopting what critics call a “meat tax.”

The UK Emissions Trading Scheme sets limits on CO2 emissions in certain sectors, imposing a price on each tonne of carbon dioxide or its equivalent. The cap is then lowered over time, pushing the price up and encouraging businesses — and consumers, who can see the price increase pass them on — to use cleaner energy sources.

The arrangement, which came into effect in January and replaced a version of the European Union, is seen as a crucial way to help the UK achieve its net-zero ambition by encouraging change.

It currently applies to energy-intensive industries, the power generation sector and aviation, but the government wants to expand its scope.

Plans that the scheme would apply to vehicles and heating leaked out to . in July The times, with suggestions that average car and utility bills could each rise by £100 a year or more. But both elements have now been removed from the consultation, The Telegraph understands, despite the fact that the sectors contribute a large proportion of total UK emissions.


Keep burning those fossil fuels

Fossil fuel. No two words evoke greater disgust in the 21st century. Newsreaders utter these dread words with naked disdain. Green campaigners speak of fossil fuels in the same fearful, besmirching tones that medieval Christians would have used when speaking of Beelzebub. Google these two F-words and you’ll be treated to photo after photo of black, choking factories. ‘Keep it in the ground!’, environmentalists cry, convinced that humanity’s digging for coal, oil and gas, and our burning of these long dormant fuels to create energy, has propelled our planet into a hellscape of pollution. The Extinction Rebellion death cult marches behind banners declaring ‘Fossil fuels = death’. These dug-up fossils are ‘fuelling the apocalypse’, academics claim.

The relentless demonisation of fossil fuels reaches to the very top of political life. The great and the good have spent the past fortnight at COP26 wondering out loud when fossil fuels might be phased out. The draft text of the COP26 agreement contains, in CNN’s words, ‘unprecedented language around fossil fuels’. It calls for an acceleration of ‘the phaseout of unabated coal power and of inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels’. Of course even these fossil-bashing promises are not enough for the eco-doomsters who dominate so much of political and media discussion today, who are convinced that humanity’s exposure of the evil black sludge of oil and coal has been an unmitigated disaster for the planet. They want a drastic reduction in fossil-fuel use now. ‘We need urgent, deep cuts in emissions this decade’, says Caroline Lucas of the UK Green Party.

The feverish loathing of fossil fuels unites people from across the political spectrum. One-time climate sceptic Boris Johnson is these days indistinguishable from environmentalism’s prophetess of doom, Greta Thunberg. Both used their platforms at or around COP26 to demonise Britain’s Industrial Revolution, which of course was powered by the burning of coal. That started the clock ticking on ‘doomsday’, Boris madly claimed. Capitalists and anti-capitalists alike bristle at fossil fuels. BP once rebranded itself Beyond Petroleum. Two descendants of the Rockefeller and Getty capitalist dynasties wrote a piece for the Guardian on the eve of COP26 titled: ‘Fossil fuels made our families rich. Now we want this industry to end.’ Talk about raising the drawbridge! Meanwhile, self-styled anti-capitalists beat the streets to demand an end to the oil industry and the closure of coalmines, sounding more Thatcherite than Trotskyist.

Everywhere one turns, fossil fuels are getting a bad rap. They’re the source of all our woes, apparently. We must keep them buried, in Earth’s guts, forever. There’s only one problem with this rash, hyperbolic onslaught on fossil fuels: everything about it is wrong. Far from destroying life on Earth, our discovery and exploitation of these fuels improved it enormously. If it wasn’t for humankind’s liberation of the ancient sunlight trapped in coal, or our burning of the petroleum that accrued from chemical reactions in the seas of the prehistoric era, modernity as we know it simply would not exist. Fossil fuels gifted us the wealth, comfort and liberties we in the West enjoy, and they’re doing the same right now for emerging countries like China, India and Brazil. We need to utterly flip the script on fossil fuels. They shouldn’t be demonised; they should be celebrated for helping to radically improve human existence.

The first thing to note about the demand that we ‘keep fossil fuels in the ground’ is just how staggeringly obtuse and callous it is. Fossil fuels supply the vast majority of the world’s energy. The vast bulk of all the heat, electricity and fuel humankind needs in order to ward off the cold, create light, produce food, make and power machines, transport goods and essentials, power hospitals and generally protect itself from the vagaries and diseases of nature comes from the coal, oil and gas we are encouraged to loathe. According to the 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy, no less than 84 per cent of global energy comes from fossil fuels. Oil supplies 33 per cent of world energy, coal supplies 27 per cent, and gas supplies 24 per cent. There is something genuinely bizarre, if not outright perverse, about a world in which we are educated in schools and instructed by the political class to feel fear and hatred for the fuels that underpin almost every facet of our lives. Fuels that energise production, consumption, travel, health. What next – a global crusade against the evils of water? Air?

It is worth considering how borderline psychotic the demand for Net Zero is in a world in which 84 per cent of our energy comes from fossil fuels. The ‘deep and urgent’ reduction in fossil-fuel use that greens dream of would, if it ever came to fruition, be a calamity for humankind. It would do far more to bring about the parched, impoverished conditions of their apocalyptic fantasies than carbon emissions ever could. As Alex Epstein, author of the brilliant book The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, puts it: ‘Environmentalists’ climate proposals would result in exactly the kind of apocalyptic scenario they claim climate change is causing.’ Climate change is a problem, but a ‘middling one’, as Bjorn Lomborg describes it. It threatens nothing as horrendous as a sudden reduction in fossil-fuel use would. Keeping fossil fuels in the ground would stall growth in emerging countries, plunge millions back into the poverty they’ve only recently been liberated from (courtesy of the burning of fossil fuels), and set a precedent in which the protection of nature from carbon emissions would be accorded more importance than the liberation of human beings from drudgery. Progressives should fear the ideology of Net Zero far more than the burning of coal and oil.

Listening to the neo-aristocrats of the Western environmentalist movement, you could be forgiven for thinking fossil fuels nurtured a hellish dystopia. In truth, these fuels made life better than it has ever been in human history. The coal-fuelled Industrial Revolution dragged humankind from the old era into a brand new one – one in which life expectancy leapt up, health vastly improved, new discoveries were made, cities sprung up, workers’ rights were secured, and democracy was born. And one in which climatic events have less impact on human beings than they did in the past. As Epstein points out, the more fossil fuels humanity has burnt, the fewer ‘climate-related deaths’ there have been. Over the past century CO2 emissions have risen inexorably, but climate-related deaths – that is, deaths from storms, floods, droughts and wildfires – have fallen spectacularly, from around half a million each year to just 14,000 in 2020.

In short, burning fossil fuels has helped to protect us from climatic events and ‘weather of mass destruction’. How can this be? How is it that the burning of fossil fuels, which we are constantly told is causing climatic catastrophe and untold human suffering, has coincided with the lowest risk ever of dying from a disastrous weather event? Because contrary to the fossilphobia of Western greens, contrary to the anti-production, anti-consumption prejudices of the eco-elites, humanity’s increased use of oil, gas and coal over the past couple of centuries has not been some crazed, greedy, destructive endeavour. It is not just about driving SUVs, taking cheap flights, and eating as many hamburgers as we can (though there’s nothing wrong with any of that). Rather, it is a process that has birthed a world of machines that assist in the protection of humankind from the hunger, sicknesses and climatic tragedies that stalked our species prior to the modern era. The truth is that we would be facing far worse environmental conditions and living conditions if we hadn’t used as much fossil fuel as we have.

And we don’t have to go all the way back to our own Industrial Revolutions to see the benefits of these fuels. Just look at China and India today. Sniffy Westerners, wallowing in the gains and comforts of the industrialisation their own nations underwent two centuries ago, look at China and India as bleak, black carbon nightmares. Think again. Globally, fossil-fuel use has risen enormously since 1980. Between 1980 and 2012 worldwide use of fossil fuels rose by 80 per cent. And much of this was down to the rise of China, India and other countries as emerging industrial powers. These nations continue to account for much of the growth in fossil-fuel consumption. The 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy notes that China had been responsible for a full three-quarters of the growth of energy consumption in the previous year, followed by India and Indonesia. China is also a leading player in the growing demand for oil. What has been the impact of all this fossil-fuel use in these countries? Disaster? Far from it.

In China and India, just as in Western countries in the past, the huge hike in fossil-fuel consumption has coincided with a massive growth in life expectancy. Not coincided, in fact – caused. As Epstein points out, fossil-fuel use really started to take off in China and India in 1970, and then rose enormously from 1990 onwards in China in particular. And in this same period, life expectancy in China went from under 65 in 1970 to around 75 in 2010 (it’s now closer to 77), and from around 50 to 65 in India in the same period (it’s now almost 70 in India). Income has also risen exponentially in China and India. All of these things are intimately related. Fossil fuels powered growth and industry, leading to more jobs and higher wages, leading to longer, healthier lives. If we kept fossil fuels ‘in the ground’, as noisy green doom-mongers insist we must, life in China and India would be a great deal harder and more unpleasant than it currently is.

But won’t we run out of fossil fuels? They’re finite, after all, and eventually all this fuel will dry up, right? This is another favoured argument of the eco-doom lobby, though, notably, it’s one we hear less of these days in comparison with the past. Which isn’t surprising, because this dystopic vision of humanity running out of fuel was built on highly questionable science. Peak Oil, Peak Coal, Peak Gas – around 20 years ago these millenarian fears were widespread in polite society. Yet as Michael Lynch of the Energy Policy Research Foundation says, ‘the entire concerns about peak oil were based on misinformation or junk science’. In 2013, the World Energy Council reported an ‘abundance’ of energy resources. ‘There is a greater abundance of energy resources in the world today than at any other time’, the council said.

So fossil fuels aren’t running out, their use has brought about fewer climate-related deaths, and they have helped to power a radical transformation in the life expectancy, living standards, health and knowledge of humankind. Then why do we hate them? How have they become the most raged-against things on Earth? Burning them emits carbon, of course. But here’s the thing – the very world that fossil fuels have helped to create is one in which we have more and more resources to devote to alleviating the impact of carbon emissions and solving the problems of pollution. The richer a country becomes, the more it can afford to focus on cleaning up its natural environment as well as lifting its populace out of poverty. Fossil-fuel consumption did not create a world of filth and disaster; it created the conditions in which we have far greater leeway to master our own living conditions and the environment.

The hostility to fossil fuels seems increasingly to be driven by misanthropy rather than reason; by an elitist feeling of revulsion for the gains of modernity rather than by a rational assessment of the undoubted problems humankind still faces. To my mind, our unlocking of the long-hidden wonders of fossil fuels, and our use of this furious energy to make the world anew, has been the most important thing humanity has done thus far. Consider coal, the most feared fossil fuel. Coal stores the surging heat of the Carboniferous period of about 300million years ago. It was about a thousand years ago that people first started to tap into these black, glistening containers of ancient heat, using it to heat homes, which meant less forestland had to be cut down and more croplands could be created. Later came the Industrial Revolution, when the heat of long-gone eras was unlocked to the end of motoring machines, factories, trains and unprecedented movements of things and people. It should be a source of pride for our species, taught in schools across the world, that we developed the means and the capacity to transform the deathly heat of the Carboniferous period into the fuel of the modern era; that we marshalled the ancient past to invent a brand new future. But it isn’t. Instead we’re meant to view coal as a filthy thing, and our burning of it as a sin against Mother Nature. The modern rage against fossil fuels is at root an irrational turn against modernity itself, and against the human endeavour that made it possible.

As Epstein has argued, the entire debate about energy in the 21st century is the wrong way around. ‘How can we reduce fossil-fuel use?’, campaigners and politicians ask, when what they should be asking is this: ‘How can we create such an abundance of energy that every human being will enjoy comfort, health and happiness?’ We need a human-centred view of the future, a human-centred morality, not the pre-modern, nature-worshipping fears and hysteria of contemporary environmentalism. Of course we could go beyond fossil fuels at some point, but only if we get serious about nuclear, about unlocking the awesome power of uranium. Until then, fossil-fuel consumption should not be demonised and it certainly should not be halted. And it should also not be merely tolerated, viewed as an unfortunate necessity in a world that needs energy. No, it should be encouraged, it should be cheered, and it should be celebrated as the modern wonder that it is.


Australia to support private sector in natural gas push

Taxpayers will fund the private sector to accelerate gas exploration across Australia, with the federal government’s new strategy pinpointing locations off the coast of Victoria and the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo Basin as priorities for development.

The national gas infrastructure plan, released on Friday, says the government must act to alleviate the risk of gas supply shortfalls and support companies to open up new gas basins and construct gas pipelines.

A fortnight after nations at the Glasgow climate meeting, including Australia, affirmed the need to keep global warming within 1.5°C and phase out “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies, the new plan has angered climate and environment groups, which describe it as “corporate welfare”.

Under the plan, the Commonwealth will support the private sector to search for viable gas fields and develop an extensive network of new pipelines and related infrastructure. The plan’s modelling suggests at least one new basin will be required to meet projected domestic and export requirements.

“There may be circumstances where private sector investment is not available in time to ensure priority infrastructure projects are in place when required,” the plan says. “In such conditions, the government stands ready to drive new infrastructure development.”

The 36-page plan document, which does not mention climate change, was released along with an investment document that details which types of projects would be prioritised.

Australia’s energy market operator, AEMO, has warned that Victoria and the other southern states face a shortfall of natural gas on peak-demand winter days by 2024, and probable gas price rises.

To date, $285 million has been committed by the federal government to the development of private gas projects, including $224 million for the Beetaloo Basin in the Northern Territory and $21 million for Queensland’s North Bowen and Galilee Basin.

The gas industry’s expansion sets Australia at odds with the global shift towards renewables. Earlier this year the International Energy Agency released analysis that found the global route to net zero emissions was “narrow and extremely challenging”, and that no new fossil fuel projects should be approved.

The federal priorities include the development of the Port Kembla gas terminal in NSW, and envisages opening up new gas basins. The Beetaloo Basin in the Northern Territory should be brought into production by 2025, Narrabri in NSW from 2026 and Queensland’s Galilee and North Bowen basins in production by 2028, the plan says.

The plan also identifies potential offshore supply from the Bass, Otway and Gippsland basins. But the majority of new southern fields within these basins are in the ‘discovery’ phase, and it is unclear when production might start.

Protect Country Alliance spokesperson Graeme Sawyer said the fracking industry in the Northern Territory, still in an exploratory phase, was being supported by “corporate welfare”.

“The Morrison government would be better off giving taxpayer money to just about any other industry if it wanted to seriously stimulate the economy,” Mr Sawyer said.

The Climate Council’s head of research, Dr Simon Bradshaw, described the plan as a “disaster”. “What part of gas is a polluting fossil fuel does this government not understand? The science is very clear: to avoid a climate catastrophe, fossil fuels must stay in the ground,” he said.

The plan underlines the government’s interest in developing its so-called “clean” hydrogen industry, noting hydrogen may be produced using gas and that carbon emissions could be stored using the controversial practice of carbon capture and storage. This would not be classed as “green” hydrogen, which is produced with renewable energy.

Not everyone is convinced Australia faces a looming gas shortage. Environment Victoria analysis found there is enough gas supply capacity in Victoria until 2027.

Over the following three years there is a shortfall of between 26 petajoules (PJ) and 85 PJ, but the adoption of gas-demand reduction measures, like increasing energy efficiency and electrification, eliminates the forecast shortfall.


My other blogs. Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM )

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)


Thursday, November 25, 2021

Global warming scare-mongers refuted as Arctic ice growing, on track to be the most ice in 2 decades

The scariest scenario of the global warming doomsayers has been the idea that the melting Arctic ice cap would put coastal cities underwater. For example:

'Scientists in the US have presented one of the most dramatic forecasts yet for the disappearance of Arctic sea ice,' reported the BBC back in 2007. 'Their latest modelling indicates that northern polar waters could be ice-free in summers within just 5-6 years.'

Professor Wieslaw Maslowski from the Department of Oceanography of the US Navy predicted an ice-free Arctic Ocean by the summer of 2013.

Maslowski added that his prediction was on the conservative side, too: "Our projection of 2013 for the removal of ice in summer is not accounting for the last two minima, in 2005 and 2007. So given that fact, you can argue that may be our projection of 2013 is already too conservative."

There are plenty more such forecasts:

'Scientists in the US have presented one of the most dramatic forecasts yet for the disappearance of Arctic sea ice,' reported the BBC back in 2007. 'Their latest modelling indicates that northern polar waters could be ice-free in summers within just 5-6 years.'

Professor Wieslaw Maslowski from the Department of Oceanography of the US Navy predicted an ice-free Arctic Ocean by the summer of 2013.

Maslowski added that his prediction was on the conservative side, too: "Our projection of 2013 for the removal of ice in summer is not accounting for the last two minima, in 2005 and 2007. So given that fact, you can argue that may be our projection of 2013 is already too conservative."


In 2010, Mark Sereeze, the newly appointed senior scientist at the US government's Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colo. was famously quoted as saying: "the Arctic is screaming."

But, as with countless other prophesies of climate doom, they were alarmist BS. Cap Allon writes:

This week, Arctic sea ice is approaching 10,000,000 km2 — the second highest ice extent of any of the last 15 years.

Furthermore, the years 2008 and 2005 are on course to be eclipsed in the coming days/weeks, as are many from the early-2000s and mid/late-1990s — this means that 2021 will soon claim the title of 'the highest Arctic sea ice extent of the past two decades' (since 2001). (snip)

According to the latest data from the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI), Arctic sea ice 'volume' has been on something of a tear in recent weeks — it is now tracking above all recent years (black line on the below chart), and shows no signs of abating:

It's so cold in the Arctic that

[t]wo icebreakers are on the way to rescue ice-locked ships on Northern Sea Route (snip)

District authorities in the Russian Far East have decided to commission two icebreakers to aid the vessels currently ice-locked in the East Siberian Sea. (snip)

The commissioning of the powerful icebreaking vessels comes as severe sea-ice conditions have taken shippers by surprise. There are now about 20 vessels that either are stuck or struggling to make it across the icy waters.

But what about the Antarctic ice cap?

That's not about to melt, either:

[T]he South Pole also just witnessed a historically cold winter. As reported last month: "Between the months of April and September, the South Pole averaged a temperature of -61.1C (-78F). Simply put, this was the region's coldest 6-month spell ever recorded, and it comfortably usurped the previous coldest 'coreless winter' on record: the -60.6C (-77F) from 1976 (solar minimum of weak cycle 20)."

In fact, it turns out that, according to a study released a week ago:

Paleoclimate data indicate there was less Arctic sea ice during the pre-industrial period than in modern times, or when CO2 concentrations were 100 ppm lower than today (280 vs. 380 ppm).

Scientists (Diamond et al., 2021) assert that during the 18th and 19th centuries Arctic sea ice extent minimum (September) values averaged 5.54 million km².

Though modern sea ice losses are often characterized as dangerously low, satellite data indicate the 2002-'06 five-year average minimum sea ice extent was 5.92 million km², which is 0.38 km² above the 1700s and 1800s or pre-industrial (PI) levels. This would not appear to be consistent with claims of unprecedented sea ice losses in recent decades.

Also, CO2 peaked at only ~280 ppm during the Last Interglacial (LIG), which is approximately the same as the PI CO2 concentration. And yet due to the additional 60-75 W/m² shortwave Arctic forcing during that interglacial relative to today, there was "a consistently ice-free LIG Arctic from early August until early October" from about 130,000 to 115,000 years before present (Diamond et al., 2021).

(Polar bears — thought to be dependent on summer sea ice presence to hunt seal — nonetheless survived an ice-free Arctic for millennia.)

Joe Biden and the climate grifters don't care about the data. They want to spend trillions of dollars converting the motor vehicle fleet to battery-powered electric cars whose power source will be...something. Not quite sure what. Windmills and solar panels won't work, and the greenies hate nuclear power.

It's all a scam


Senator Kennedy Has Some Thoughts on Biden's Energy Policy

When things are going wrong in the world, there are few better to offer thoughts than Louisiana Republican Senator John Kennedy whose way with words and ability to "cut the crap," as he often says, is unrivaled in the upper chamber.

Joining Fox News on Tuesday night to talk about rising gas prices and President Biden's decision to tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, Senator Kennedy didn't hold back.

"One of the differences between people and dogs is that dogs would never allow the weakest or the dumbest to lead the pack," Sen. Kennedy remarked. "President Biden's energy policy is both weak and dumb."

"Releasing 50 million barrels of oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve — which is our national emergency oil savings account — won't make any difference on the price of gas," Sen. Kennedy said, echoing criticism from many observers — including Democrat Senator Joe Manchin (WV) — who find the President's use of emergency oil to be little more than a band-aid that won't move the needle on oil and gas prices.

As Sen. Kennedy pointed out, "America consumes about 20 million barrels of oil a day, so that's two and a half days. That's why shortly after the President's announcement oil futures actually went up — not down — so we're going backwards here."

"He and his 'woker' friends have eliminated, terminated, ended America's hard fought energy independence," criticized Sen. Kennedy before summing up the Biden administration's energy policy: "Let's force America to buy oil from foreign countries that hate us so those foreign countries will have money to buy weapons to try to kill us."

"Another way of putting it is the reason gas prices are going up is because the oil's in Louisiana and Texas and the dipsticks are in Washington, D.C.," Kennedy concluded. I read that somewhere and it seemed appropriate."


“Hot Talk, Cold Science” and The Dangers of Centralized Planning in the Name of Climate Change

When former President Barack Obama says “We are nowhere near where we need to be” in terms of climate change, he’s not talking about reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The stated goals of the U.N. Paris Agreement that Obama, and other world leaders, embrace are properly viewed as a proxy for a larger agenda aimed at dismantling American independence and freedom.

After all, the U.S. already leads the world in reducing Co2 emissions thanks in large part to hydraulic fracturing that accelerated during Donald Trump’s presidency. Forbes reports on the emissions reductions that occurred much to the consternation of the news media and its cheerleading for U.N. directives that raise energy costs without impacting climate.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has collected data that shows how innovative drilling techniques has unleashed natural gas, which in turn has been driving down emissions. This trendline has continued into the Biden presidency in part because natural gas has replaced coal and in part because of COVID-19 restrictions on travel and other activities.

So, if Obama isn’t talking about emissions, what did he actually mean while addressing the U.N’s latest climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland earlier this month? The answer comes in the form of the $1 trillion infrastructure bill that President Biden signed into law on Monday, and other anti-energy initiatives, ostensibly advanced in the name of climate change. The directives and mandates included in the legislation make it evident that what Obama really meant during his talk at the U.N. is that centralized planners in Europe and America are “nowhere near” where they would like to be as it relates to implementing coercive policy measures.

The climate change agenda initiated under Obama and reloaded under Biden is built around an anti-carbon mindset that seeks to replace fossil fuels with expensive, unreliable forms of energy that will raise household and transportation costs for the average citizens “Lunch Bucket Joe” claims to represent. The American Energy Alliance, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit group that favors free market policies in the energy sector, details the taxpayer-funded “subsidies and slush funds” for favored special interests now in motion in a recent analysis of the infrastructure bill.

But the problem here is not just with the economics of what Team Biden has wrought, but with the science of climate change. A good source here is the late Fred Singer, an American physicist, who was also a professor of environmental science at the University of Virginia, and a research fellow with the Independent Institute, a public policy research organization based in Oakland, California. The institute has just released an updated version of Singer’s book “Hot Talk, Cold Science: Global Warming’s Unfinished Debate that exposes how the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has peddled “misinformation and alarmist” rhetoric that does not hold up under scientific scrutiny.

Singer, and his co-authors, document how the IPCC has had to “walk back” several alarmist claims. The book notes, for instance, that the U.N. panel was finally forced to concede that -- counter to its projections -- a 15-year period “of no significant warming since 1998 despite a 7 percent rise in atmospheric Co2 levels.” Singer viewed the IPCC as a political rather than scientific organization that “deliberately and repeatedly” hid “uncertainty,” and “the absence of critical data” while evading “evidence that questions or contradicts its apocalyptic prediction.” The end result, he wrote, is a “terrible crime against science” and “the adoption of unnecessary and very costly public policies, and grave damage to the reputation and credibility of science.”

That part about “unnecessary and very costly public policies” is applicable to the Biden climate change agenda and the impact it will have on American energy consumers.

Tom Pyle, president of American Energy Alliance, puts it very well in a press statement.

“Spending with no return is the theme of this bill,” Pyle said. “Tens of billions for rail, which few Americans choose, let alone use. It seems Congress insists on repeating and expanding the fantastically expensive built train boondoggle in California. Expanding mass transit in our large cities, which forces people together, in an era of pandemic and physical distancing is mindboggling. Even the spending on actual highways, a mere 10% or so of the total bill, is likely to net only a limited gain.

Pyle continued:

“This infrastructure bill does nothing to fix the actual problems facing America today and those which voters are most concerned about: the supply chain crisis and rocketing inflation. That this wasteful and unnecessary legislation has consumed the attention of Congress for half the year is an indictment of the institution. We can only hope that wasted time and wasted money are the only consequences of this legislation.”

So then, what are the prospects for economic renewal and the restoration of sensible energy policies? If Obama is expressing frustration at the rate of progress made toward government control over energy use, this would suggest there is time to reverse course. That was the message Rob Bradley, CEO and founder of the Institute for Energy Research, delivered while addressing the Heartland Institute’s most recent international climate change conference held in Las Vegas this past October.

With an eye toward history, Bradley told audience members that the U.S. “has been in a very strange, negative energy situation before and come back.” He pointed to the centralized planning that occurred under President Wilson during World War I that gave the federal government power to impose price controls on oil products leading to “Gasless Sundays, Heatless Mondays, Meatless Tuesdays, Wheatless Wednesdays and Lightless Nights” as they were described at the time. These polices were reenacted on a larger scale during World War II, Bradley said when “ration books” were dispersed restricting the acquisition of simple items like coffee and more vital items like gasoline.

“The end of the climate crusade will be to have energy rationing and maybe even carbon rationing,” Bradley warned, where “people who get the big allotments such as during World War II are the politicians and the bureaucrats…and then at the bottom are the forgotten men and women.”

But over time, Bradley does see free market energy policies winning out.

“We have a very solid worldview, and we need to keep in mind we have the moral high ground,” he said. “We need to be proud of each other for going against the mainstream and I think there’s reason for optimism. Classical liberalism, which you can also call small L libertarianism or the science of liberty, it is a worldview that really makes sense, it hangs together, you have to study it a little more than the other side.”

With government intervention, the simple answer is to pass a law, Bradley explained. “Well, it takes a lot more understanding to appreciate the free market and why doing the easy thing with government has unintended consequences and negative intended consequences,” he said.

Singer’s book provides a roadmap for a future administration devoted to free market energy policies. He credited Trump for withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, which Singer said, “lacked any scientific justification” and is “unfairly biased against American interests.” But Singer also made the observation that Trump should have gone a step further to withdraw the U.S. from the U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change. Since he didn’t, Biden was able to simply re-enter the U.N. agreement only a few months after the U.S. was officially out. There’s a lesson in that.


Australia: Fanatical warmist high school teacher allegedly berated students who wanted airconditioning turned on in 30C-plus heat

Schoolteachers are refusing to turn on classroom airconditioning, citing climate change as the reason to keep the kids sweating, a frustrated parent has claimed.

The father of a student at Corinda State High School in Brisbane’s west claims the teacher refused cool air relief to uncomfortable Year 9 pupils on November 4, saying she would consider turning it on if the temperature hit 40C.

The Courier-Mail has been told the aircon has remained off since that date, including days over 30C with extreme humidity

The parent claims the teacher berated the class about their lack of interest in climate change and called them “ignorant and selfish”. Corinda State High School has solar panels generating 266.6kW of power.

As the Queensland Government works towards completing its $447 million program to install airconditioners in all state schools by next June, the parent said teachers needed to be aware of what the Department of Education’s policy was on airconditioning, and needed to adhere to the policy regardless of any personal climate change beliefs.

“Several pupils spoke up to the teachers requesting aircon,” the parent said. “She advised the students she’d reconsider the request if the temperature reached 40C – a preposterous position by any reckoning.

“She didn’t appreciate the way the students were thinking about the issue of climate change and they should be grateful previous generations are doing things to prevent climate change.

“Her comments are unwarranted, abusive and harassing — contrary to her obligations under the fiduciary relationship which exists in her classroom.”

The parent claims the school has not responded to an email asking for an apology to the Year 9 students.

The use of airconditioning and its impact on the planet is a hot topic as the warmer it gets the more airconditioning is used.

A Department of Education spokeswoman said that the department is aware that an anonymous complaint email was received.

“To date, the anonymous complainant has not responded to the principal’s invitation to address their concerns,” she said.

“The school has diligently investigated these claims, however, none of the classroom students confirmed the allegations or expressed concerns regarding classroom temperatures or the teacher’s conduct.

“Teachers use airconditioning in their classrooms as needed to ensure that everyone in the classroom benefits from the best conditions for learning.”


My other blogs. Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM )

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)