Sunday, October 02, 2022

Never Let a Devastating Natural Disaster Go to Waste

Be prepared for Democrats to exploit the devastation of Hurricane Ian to peddle demodernization. And because there is no conclusive way for anyone to prove that global warming isn’t triggering every natural disaster—and because nature offers a continuous flow of these terrifying events and always will—the exploitation will never stop.

The effort began in earnest after 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, a Category 3 hurricane that devastated an unprepared New Orleans.

There was Al Gore, with his grade-school “science” charts and cartoonish satellite images (water, the color of fire!), emotionally manipulating audiences with images of destruction and suffering. The problem was that “An Inconvenient Truth” suggested—among numerous other dire predictions that would never come to pass—that climate change had not only caused Katrina, despite negligible warming, but that it portended the dawn of an age of shocking and intense hurricanes.

After 2005, Florida didn’t get hit with another hurricane until 2016 and Louisiana didn’t see a major one until 2020 (also the fault of climate change.) It is debatable that storms that do make landfall do so with more intensity or that Category 3-plus hurricanes are increasing.

Overall, the frequency of hurricanes has slightly declined since 1900. From 1851-1860, 19 hurricanes made landfall in the United States. From 2011-2020, 19 hurricanes made landfall in the United States. The average per decade between 1860-2011 is about 18. In the decade of 1941-1950, 10 major hurricanes hit the United States.

“Hurricane Ian gets nasty quickly, turbocharged by warm water,” explains The Associated Press, which has been true since the first hurricane formed. More “climate havoc,” says The New York Times, as Ian threatens to hit the same exact places that storms have always hit.

Today’s media simply can’t report on any flood or tornado or hurricane or brain-eating amoeba without making it about their favorite policy hobby horse. It just feels like things are worse, you know?

“What effect does climate change have on this phenomenon?” CNN’s Don Lemon asks Jamie Rhome, the acting director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Center, about Hurricane Ian. “Because it seems these storms are intensifying.”

“I don’t think you can link climate change to any one event. On the whole, on the cumulative, climate change may be making storms worse. But to link it to any one event, I would caution against that,” answers Rhome.

“OK, listen, I grew up there. And these storms are intensifying,” responds Lemon.

He grew up there.

Joy Behar, co-host of “The View,” noted Wednesday that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says he is “not in the pews of the church of the global warming leftists.” “This is what he thinks about climate change. And now, his state is getting hit with one of the worst hurricanes that we will ever see!”

This is a quite common attack, but it’s a non sequitur. Even if we accepted every alarmist forecast about anthropogenic global warming, and embraced the Democrats’ net-zero plan and banned gas-powered engines and fossil fuels by 2050 or 2030 or even 2024, the temperature wouldn’t be any different today. Forget India and China: Not a single major economy that signed onto the Paris accord has met its goals.

Of course, the underlying claim is also untrue. Since Behar’s birth in 1942, Florida has seen 48 hurricanes make landfall. Three of them have been Category 5 (so worse), nine of them have been Category 4 (including Ian), and 11 of them Category 3.

Granted, Behar was not around for 1900s Great Galveston hurricane, which hit eight years before Model Ts began emitting carbon into the air; it likely killed somewhere around 10,000 people in Texas. The 1926 Great Miami hurricane killed 372, causing an estimated, inflation-adjusted $164 billion in damage. Only around 150,000 people lived in all of Dade County back in those days. The Great Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 was tied with 2019’s Hurricane Dorian for strongest maximum sustained landfall winds (185 mph). Those were pretty bad storms, as were many others.

Critics will, no doubt, point out the rising cost of insurance payments due to hurricanes and other natural disasters. This is largely due to the concentration of people and wealth in coastal regions, a consequence of both rising population and wealth, and federal insurance programs that incentivize people to take on this risk.

Critics will also point out that hurricanes are far less deadly now than they have been in the past because we’ve instituted warning systems and improved infrastructure and preparedness.

And that’s right. Acclimatizing to the realities of climate is far cheaper and more effective than any state-compelled dismantling of modernity. No amount of scaremongering can change that reality.


Democrats blaming climate change for Hurricane Ian at odds with science, experts say

Multiple experts contacted by Fox News Digital argued that there isn't sufficient evidence to suggest climate change caused Hurricane Ian or any individual natural disaster.

The experts' comments come as a series of media outlets, Democrats and progressive commentators continue to blame the hurricane on human-caused global warming. Hurricane Ian slammed into southwest Florida as a Category 4 storm on Wednesday, causing more than a million residents to lose power and prompting stark safety warnings from Florida officials.

"What they're trying to do is politicize the pain and suffering of these people to promote their green agenda," Gregory Wrightstone, the executive director of the climate policy think tank CO2 Coalition, told Fox News Digital in an interview. "Well, their policies and their agenda to promote renewables will do far greater economic destruction to the country and Florida."

Over the last several days, media outlets, including the New York Times, Associated Press, Politico, NPR and Axios, have published news stories reporting that climate change is to blame for Hurricane Ian and the storm's rapid intensification. A Time magazine article said the "science is well known" that climate change created the conditions for Hurricane Ian.

In addition, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., appeared to suggest that Americans need to vote for Democrats to avoid future hurricanes during an interview Tuesday. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., tweeted Thursday that "the rapid storm intensification we're seeing with Hurricane Ian will become more common and more dangerous" as the climate changes.

And a series of progressive commentators and climate activists took to social media to similarly peg the hurricane on global warming.

"Ian is a climate change hurricane," Pam Keith, a former Democratic Senate candidate and founder of left-wing firm Center for Employment Justice, tweeted Wednesday.

"[Hurricane Ian] is a textbook example of climate change impacting people," Nina Turner, a senior fellow at progressive think tank Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy, added. "Climate change isn’t political, it’s reality."

However, Wrightstone and the other experts contacted by Fox News Digital rejected those arguments, arguing that individual storms cannot be linked to climate change.

"If you read what [the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)] says on hurricanes, there's just not enough data," Steve Milloy, a senior legal fellow at the Energy & Environment Legal Institute, told Fox News Digital.

"There's nothing to back up what they're saying is," he continued. "There were about 16 major hurricanes between 1916 and 1965 but only six since 1965. So, clearly major hurricanes happen with lower levels of carbon dioxide. That doesn't add up for them."

A NOAA study last revised in July concluded that its models and analysis didn't support the notion that greenhouse gas-induced warming leads to large increases in either tropical storm or overall hurricane numbers in the Atlantic. The study, authored by senior NOAA scientist Tom Knutson, added that it was "premature to conclude with high confidence" that human-caused increasing greenhouse gases have had any impact on hurricane activity in the Atlantic.

Jamie Rhome, the acting director of NOAA's National Hurricane Center, echoed the study's findings in an interview with CNN on Tuesday, pushing back against anchor Don Lemon's argument that Hurricane Ian's intensification is tied to climate change. Rhome said he "would caution against" linking any one storm to climate change.


Will crucial rare metals run out?

Researchers from the State Key Laboratory of Geological Processes at the China University of Geosciences, the Department of Earth Science at Adelaide University and the Faculty of Science at Kochi University in Japan, say that the lack of vital components means it may not be possible to build enough electric vehicles in the future, and the supply of rare metals to some countries for computers may also be disrupted.

They argue that future projections suggest that the critical metals required for low carbon solar and wind technologies and electric vehicles and their chargers indicates that many of those metals, particularly Co, Ni, Cu, Se, Ag, Cd, In, Te, and Pt, may be severely to terminally depleted by 2060 if current Net Zero plans are followed, making further low carbon technology production impossible.

They point out that because many of the uses of these rare metals are non-renewable to ensure their supply would require increased exploration with an emphasis on unmined deposits not so far exploited because of their high risk factors and mining difficulties. Such exploration would mean excavating lower grade ores in more inaccessible or deeper mines. This would lead to even further increases in conventional energy use for mining and metallurgy that would be added to the costs of future low carbon technology.

They warn that there is no current indication that recycling can replace the critical metal stocks that are slowly being used. In addition, the uneven spread of mineral deposits containing the critical metals and production points could become a geopolitical issue if global security declines. China dominates the world supply of many of these resources and is responsible for 80% of global mineral refining.

The researchers suggest a pause to reconsider global Net Zero ambitions stressing the need for discussion among companies involved in mineral exploration, mining, metallurgy, manufacturing, renewable energy, recycling, and waste management.


Controversial Australian fertiliser plant to get green light by the end of the year

A gas-fed fertiliser plant on the Burrup Peninsula opposed by campaigners for the preservation of ancient rock engravings will likely be fully financed and go ahead by the end of the year after the federal government lent $220 million towards construction costs.

The US$4.2 billion ($6.5 billion) Perdaman urea plant that will process gas from Woodside’s Scarborough project will receive the funds from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility that has already lent the WA government $255 million to improve port and water facilities for the project.

Perdaman chair Vikas Rambal said the project won federal support because it offered local manufacturing of a commodity vital for Australian farmers.

“In four to eight weeks we should get financing done,” he said, with project approval expected before the end of the year and production beginning four years later.

Construction will require 2500 workers at its peak in the Pilbara where labour supply is already tight and Woodside is expanding its nearby Pluto LNG plant, which will need a similar number of workers.

Financing is likely to be a mix of debt and equity investment for the project that is currently wholly owned by the Rambal family’s private company Perdaman.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King said Australia currently imported around 2.4 million tonnes a year of urea for agricultural use.

“The Perdaman project will have the capacity to reduce imported volumes and secure local farmers’ access to fertiliser,” she said.

When asked if the financing had any conditions to supply to the local market NAIF chief executive Craig Doyle said he “anticipated that a material portion of the urea produced will go to the Australian market.”

Higher gas prices due to limited supply from Russia after its invasion of Ukraine have caused global fertiliser prices to rise significantly.

Urea provides 40 per cent of Australia’s fertiliser needs according to Incitec Pivot, which agreed to buy all the plant’s output for 20 years.

The ASX-listed fertiliser and explosive manufacturer in September told investors that the plant’s large-scale cost-competitive supply would allow it to target new markets in Australia and overseas.

The Burrup Peninsula, called Murujaga by traditional owners, is home to more than one million rock engravings that are up to 40,000 years old.

Perdaman’s plant is opposed by some traditional custodians who object to the relocation of rock art for construction and the plant’s emissions that would add to the industrial pollution in the area that some scientists conclude is damaging the art.

Two weeks ago environment minister Tanya Plibersek under section 10 of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act appointed an independent consultant to determine if the Murujuga engravings were under threat.

Murujuga traditional custodian Raelene Cooper said the NAIF funding was a bailout from the federal government aimed to reassure investors who are spooked about supporting a project that will remove sacred Murujuga rock art over the objections of Elders.

“The government propping up this toxic project when they have just commissioned a full cultural heritage assessment of all industry on the Burrup,” she said.

“A government that claims to support an Indigenous Voice is still refusing to listen to First Nations communities on the front line of this crisis.”

Rambal said he was not worried about the Section 10 report as the Perdaman plant was environmentally friendly with the latest technology.

The plant will initially emit 650,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases a year.

The WA government has required a gradual reduction in emissions to zero by 2050




1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I fail to see how those rarer metals used to build batteries and motors can possibly be made "unrecoverable" short of launching them into the sun on spacecraft. Otherwise expect clever people to figure out new ways to reclaim those materials just as clever people have figured out how to make more food available so that starvation is a resource allocation problem these days and not a shortage problem.