Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Dozens of Climate Models Wildly Exaggerate Extent of Global Warming

Further evidence has emerged that climate models are useless for the purpose of forecasting future temperature rises. A recent survey using American summer temperatures (June, July, August) over the last 50 years, found that 36 major climate models showed nearly twice the warming rate observed by the surface temperature measurements recorded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). At the high end, a number of models forecast warming nearly three times greater than observed data show

The research was carried out by Dr. Roy Spencer, the principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and the compiler of the UAH monthly satellite temperature record. He says that the importance of his findings should be obvious. “Given that U.S. energy policy depends upon the predictions from these models, their tendency to produce too much warming (and likely also warming-associated climate change) should be factored into energy policy planning,” he said. But he doubted it was being, ”given the climate change exaggerations routinely promoted by environment groups, anti-oil advocates, the media, politicians, and most government agencies”.

The Spencer work follows recent research published by Professor Nicola Scafetta of the University of Naples. He found that almost all the global temperature forecasts produced by models between 1980-2021 were excessive, some extremely so, compared with the accurate satellite record. One of the reasons given as to why there’s no climate emergency in the World Climate Declaration is that climate models are “not remotely plausible as global tools”.

Yet as we have seen in numerous articles in the Daily Sceptic, climate models are ubiquitous and are at the forefront of promoting the climate scares pushing the command-and-control Net Zero agenda. They are at the heart of the pseudoscientific work that tries to ‘attribute’ single extreme weather events to long-term changes in the climate claimed supposedly caused by fossil fuels. In simple terms, computers compare an imaginary climate without human-caused carbon dioxide with the current one full of unknown complexities, and then the modellers announce they’ve ‘proved’ the ‘climate emergency’ hypothesis. Since the outputs of these models are unfalsifiable – how can you prove that a wholly imaginary scenario is ‘false’? – the notions are no more than worthless opinions.

The results of Spencer’s work will hardly come as a great surprise, but the conclusions are almost certainly more damaging to the climate catastrophisers’ case than the figures suggest. Spencer uses NOAA surface temperatures and, as we have seen, these are subject to ‘corruption’ from a number of causes in recent years. As Spencer notes, the NOAA figure could be an over-estimate “if increasing urban heat island effects have spuriously influenced trends over the last 50 years, and I have not made any adjustments for that”.

Earlier this year, the U.S. meteorologist Anthony Watts published his latest survey of NOAA’s nationwide weather stations. Describing the temperature record as “fatally flawed”, Watts found about 96% of US temperature stations failed to meet what NOAA itself considered to be acceptable and uncorrupted placement. Watts defined ‘corruption’ as caused by the localised effects of urbanisation, producing heat bias because of a close proximity to asphalt, machinery and other heat-producing, heat-trapping, or heat-accentuating objects. According to Watts, data that had not been corrupted by faulty placement showed a rate of warming in the U.S. “reduced by almost a half compared to all stations”.

There is further substantial evidence that NOAA’s U.S. surface temperature figures are too high. In 2005, it started compiling data from a select group of 114 stations across the country that had been specifically sited away from urban development. Called the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN), it was intended to aim for “superior accuracy and continuity in places that land use will not likely impact during the next five decades”.

The graph shows the rarely referenced record up to last month. It shows oscillating temperature changes, but very little evidence to indicate a warming trend over the last 17 years.

Considering what is known about the ‘corruption’ of the NOAA’s main temperature dataset, it would be reasonable to significantly reduce the blue NOAA observational bar in Spencer’s graph. This of course provides further confirmation that the temperatures forecasts of most climate models have long lost any connection with reality.


The Quiet Desperation Of Woke Fanatics

What's driving them? And how can they be defeated?

Over the last few weeks, climate activists in Britain have blocked highways (because cars emit carbon dioxide), poured milk onto the floors of supermarkets (because livestock emits methane), and thrown tomato soup at Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” (because climate change is more important than art. Or something). The activists are a kind of reboot of the Extinction Rebellion (XR) climate protests in the UK in the fall of 2019.

People in the UK are at risk of dying from natural gas shortages. Still, the climate activists with “Just Stop Oil” think it’s outrageous that their government is desperately trying to produce more natural gas for its people. But without more natural gas, there could be three-hour-long blackouts, which threaten the operation of medical equipment, and thus the lives of vulnerable people.

The various media stunts appeared authentically grassroots but were, in fact, financed by a $1 million grant from a philanthropic group called Climate Emergency Fund, which is funded by their heirs to the Getty and Rockefeller oil fortunes, and founded in 2019. The Board of Directors consists of a who’s-who of climate alarmism including “Don’t Look Up!” film director, Adam McKay, who donated $4 million, New Yorker writer Bill McKibben, and New York Times columnist David Wallace-Wells. The Fund and their grantees have been cheered on by the Secretary General of the United Nations and much of the mainstream media.

In a series of recent articles I have argued that what lies behind climate fanaticism and narcissism is an apocalyptic religion born from nihilism. The power of science to explain humankind’s place in the universe (e.g., the big bang, evolution by natural selection) resulted in a dominant narrative coming out of society’s elite institutions for over 100 years that human life has no inherent meaning or purpose (nihilism). We’re just animals like any other.

This depressing story has led the ostensibly secular elite, which are educated and indoctrinated in universities that teach nihilism as unquestioning scientific gospel, to create a new apocalyptic religion (climate catastrophe), complete with a new victim-god (nature), a new reason for guilt (sins against nature), and a path for redemption (renewables and low-energy living). It, and the broader Woke religion, have found intellectual ballast since World War II from Rousseau, Malthus, and Foucault.

But that account only partly addresses the motivations of the fanatics. It doesn’t answer why some people become fanatics and others don’t. It doesn’t explain the specific role of fanatics, particularly in relation to other actors, such as the intellectual architects of the movement, and the institution-builders. Nor does it address how fanaticism ends and what, if anything, can be done to hasten its expiration date.

As such, we need to ask, who exactly are the climate fanatics? And how can their power over Western cultural and political life be reduced?


Reducing energy options doesn’t work. Just ask Europe—and the U.S. states where gas prices are rising

With midterm elections around the corner, energy and climate rhetoric is rising almost as fast as the price of energy in California.

While the public largely ignores Californian rhetoric, Europeans cannot escape the extreme cost of energy and must prepare for the most difficult winter in recent memory—a failure of the energy and climate policies of the past quarter-century. For U.S. states, there are lessons to be learned.

European policymakers have acted on the advice that solar and wind could scale up quickly, provide reliable electricity, and be cheaper than other options—none of which turned out to be entirely true. To be sure, there are factual components. But as a whole, the story was not factually complete. Europe is paying the price.

At the core of the problem is the reality that European leaders, led by Germany with Energiewende in 2010, have been eliminating energy options. Shutting down nuclear power plants. Banning production of natural gas from shale. Mandating electric vehicles. Importing energy and products from neighboring, often unfriendly, countries. Regardless of intentions, one must ask whether reduced optionality is working.

The result of reducing energy options is that the cost of energy in Europe has blown through the roof. Electricity is at 60 cents per kilowatt/hour, which is five to 10 times the cost of electricity in most U.S. states. Natural gas at $60 per thousand cubic feet is 10 times the price of natural gas in the U.S. Gasoline is $6 per gallon or more.

We no longer need to wonder what will happen with option-eliminating energy policies. It is happening, and the impact is being felt most by those who can least afford it. To be clear, it started long before the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Russia merely took advantage of the situation created by long-standing policies.

In some ways, European countries are comparable to large states in the U.S. Just like most European countries, about 80% of U.S. states run energy deficits. New York imports 75% of its energy. California about 65%. Not that these states lack energy resources. Quite the contrary: They choose not to produce the energy they have, instead relying on energy imports from their neighbors.

The same goes for energy policy. California’s energy policy eerily mirrors Germany’s. California is the top importer of electricity. It’s banning gas hookups in some cities, mandating EVs, restricting oil and gas development, and shutting down nuclear facilities. New York refuses to build new gas pipelines and won’t develop the Marcellus Shale. Maine won’t mine its own major lithium deposit to make batteries to support its desired EV mandate.

As a result, people in California, New York, and Maine pay two to three times as much for their gasoline and electricity as those living in other states such as Texas. And just as in Europe, it hurts the poorest the most—and all in the name of “clean energy.”

If being clean means importing your energy from other emitters, it does not help the global climate. What if, as happened in Europe with Russian gas, neighboring surplus states decide not to send energy and products to energy deficit states such as California and New York? It would be devastating, just like in Europe.

Does this mean solar, wind, and batteries are bad? Of course not. They have a role to play. However, mandating them exclusively—and eliminating optionality in transportation, power generation, and other industrial processes—is not scalable, reliable, or cheaper.

Climate security, energy security, and energy poverty are major global challenges. They are not simple, but they are solvable. We must arm ourselves with all of the data, honor physics, and adhere to basic economic principles such as optionality.

The binary clean and dirty narrative is not just overly simple. It is simply wrong. It’s time to end factually incomplete energy rhetoric. It’s hurting us all. We need to find some humility again, engage in civil dialogue, agree to disagree at times, cancel shaming, and start seeking real solutions to complex energy and climate problems. Only then will we actually solve them.


The cult of absolutism

How often have you been told that balance is essential? Balanced opinion, balanced diet, and everything in moderation. Well, think again, because the new cult of absolutism won’t stand for it.

Do you want to discuss inequality? It must be zero. Do you want to debate harm from Covid? Must be zero. Gender inequities? Zero. Emissions? That would be Net Zero… When you subscribe to these absolutes there is no room for compromise or tolerance. The end justifies the means. Every single time. Zero deviation. Zero discussion. Zero empathy.

This new world order is infecting every part of our lives, right down to the functioning of our critical energy systems. From the politicians creating policy, to the boardrooms complying, right through to the bureaucrats enforcing it – our electricity system is undergoing a zero-logic makeover.

Take Queensland’s glossy ‘brochure’ announcement that spending $62 billion (more likely double that) to close some of the lowest-cost electricity generators on the planet will save consumers $150 per year by 2032. Ironically, Queensland residents were recently treated to a ‘cost of living rebate’ worth $175. Zero relief for businesses though, with state-owned hydro generators setting the wholesale price more than any other.

New South Wales Deputy Leader Matt Kean believes wind and solar generators should have zero exposure to low wholesale prices. He’s designed a scheme ensuring these ‘cheap new generators’ can opt into a guaranteed minimum wholesale price, thus avoiding the black hole in the market he created.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews must believe he can duck down to Coles and fill the trolley with Duracells because his government recently announced the world’s largest battery storage target. Andrews hopes this will create over 12,000 jobs, but there are zero cars parked in neighbouring South Australia’s infamous, and now ‘not-so-big’, battery.

If you are looking for regulators, politicians, or the media to provide a cost-benefit analysis, a detailed plan, or even a robust debate on these matters, your expectations are exceeding their capabilities. Nobody can even produce the napkins on which these plans have been hatched. You should have zero confidence in any statement originating from politicians on the electricity system, and unfortunately this applies to bureaucrats and agencies managing the system ‘in the best interests of the consumer’. Those behind these schemes display zero interest in the consumer, except as a means to an end.

A recent example is Daniel Westerman, head of AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator), in an interview with Angela Macdonald-Smith. As the ‘market operator’ AMEO receives offers for electricity generation in time, money, and volume; tells every generator what to generate and when; and calculates how much each generator gets paid. Macdonald-Smith offers zero challenge when Westerman frets:

‘The events of the winter really have reinforced the need for Australia to continue to urgently invest in the transition towards firmed renewables with efficiently delivered transmission.’

Westerman’s zero-care for consumers is matched only by his opinions on areas for which he bears no responsibility, as MacDonald-Smith writes:

‘Westerman highlighted the need for action in four areas in particular; building low-cost renewable generation; putting in place sufficient firming generation to support peak demand when renewable generation is low; getting transmission built efficiently and in as timely a fashion as possible; and improving the stability of the grid and equipping it to deal with a high penetration of renewable energy.’

This is the same guy who pretty much on his first day of the job declared we’d be dealing with a 100 per cent renewable grid for 30-minute periods by 2025.

Thus, the tally of zeros increases because there are zero other countries in this predicament. One might consider Germany and California to be on the way. The cold 2022 European winter, without Russian gas, will prompt some changes; but more temperate California is losing people and businesses fast.

What conclusions can be drawn if we continue down this path of absolutes?

There will be zero baseload generators, at least those owned by Origin, AGL, and the Queensland taxpayer. Gas and batteries are hoped to fill the 20,000 MW gap when it’s not windy or sunny – that’s the current plan.

Zero renewable developments will be knocked back – the state and federal targets are too large and the timeframes too short for any dallying with environmental assessments, community engagement, or feasibility studies. Our federal Environment Minister decreed, godlike, that she will allow zero extinctions. Hopefully, she will be faced with many difficult decisions.

There will be zero accountability at the top end when power bills remain high. When regular people are subject to rationing, big industries pack up and disappear, or food suppliers continuously edge up prices, those in charge will just say ‘it’s the cheapest new generation, build more’.

And sadly, zero care for people freezing in winter.

How long can this flawed reasoning persist? Perhaps a better question – why is the reasoning so flawed to begin with? I believe the key lies in the personal values of those in authority. If you value people, their wellbeing, and opinions, you display care. Care’s neighbours are empathy, compromise and goodwill. Conversely, a lack of care exposes limited appreciation for others. Without care you are only a stone’s throw from cruelty.

This cult of absolutism and zero worshipping demands tyranny. Fight back, use care. ?




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