Sunday, May 28, 2023

Climate change could trigger gigantic deadly tsunamis from Antarctica, new study warns

This is all just theory but in any case the prehistoric events they are using as a model took place when the oceans were 3 degrees warmer than today. At the minuscule rate of global warming today, we are a long way off getting that far. Global warming at the moment is in fact stopped. Nobody knows if it will resume

Climate change could unleash gigantic tsunamis in the Southern Ocean by triggering underwater landslides in Antarctica, a new study warns.

By drilling into sediment cores hundreds of feet beneath the seafloor in Antarctica, scientists discovered that during previous periods of global warming — 3 million and 15 million years ago — loose sediment layers formed and slipped to send massive tsunami waves racing to the shores of South America, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.

And as climate change heats the oceans, the researchers think there's a possibility these tsunamis could be unleashed once more. Their findings were published May 18 in the journal Nature Communications.

"Submarine landslides are a major geohazard with the potential to trigger tsunamis that can lead to huge loss of life," Jenny Gales, a lecturer in hydrography and ocean exploration at the University of Plymouth in the U.K., said in a statement. "Our findings highlight how we urgently need to enhance our understanding of how global climate change might influence the stability of these regions and potential for future tsunamis."

Researchers first found evidence of ancient landslides off Antarctica in 2017 in the eastern Ross Sea. Trapped underneath these landslides are layers of weak sediment crammed with fossilized sea creatures known as phytoplankton.

Scientists returned to the area in 2018 and drilled deep into the seafloor to extract sediment cores — long, thin cylinders of the Earth’s crust that show, layer by layer, the geological history of the region.

By analyzing the sediment cores, the scientists learned that the layers of weak sediment formed during two periods, one around 3 million years ago in the mid-Pliocene warm period, and the other roughly 15 million years ago during the Miocene climate optimum. During these epochs, the waters around Antarctica were 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius) warmer than today, leading to bursts of algal blooms that, after they had died, filled the seafloor below with a rich and slippery sediment — making the region prone to landslides.

"During subsequent cold climates and ice ages these slippery layers were overlain by thick layers of coarse gravel delivered by glaciers and icebergs," Robert McKay, director of the Antarctic Research Centre at Victoria University of Wellington and co-chief scientist of International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 374 — which extracted the sediment cores in 2018 — told Live Science in an email.

The exact trigger for the region's past underwater landslides isn’t known for sure, but the researchers have found a most-likely culprit: the melting of glacier ice by a warming climate. The ending of Earth’s periodic glacial periods caused ice sheets to shrink and recede, lightening the load on Earth’s tectonic plates and making them rebound upwards in a process known as isostatic rebound.

After the layers of weak sediment had built up in sufficient quantities, Antarctica’s continental upspringing triggered earthquakes that caused the coarse gravel atop the slippery layers to slide off the continental shelf edge — causing landslides that unleashed tsunamis.

The scale and size of the ancient ocean waves is not known, but the scientists note two relatively recent submarine landslides that generated huge tsunamis and caused significant loss of life: The 1929 Grand Banks tsunami that generated 42-foot-high (13 meters) waves and killed around 28 people off Canada’s Newfoundland coast; and the 1998 Papua New Guinea tsunami that unleashed 49-foot-high (15 m) waves that claimed 2,200 lives.

With many layers of the sediment buried beneath the Antarctic seabed, and the glaciers on top of the landmass slowly melting away, the researchers warn that — if they’re right that glacial melting caused them in the past — future landslides, and tsunamis, could happen again.

"The same layers are still present on the outer continental shelf — so it is 'primed' for more of these slides to occur, but the big question is whether the trigger for the events is still in play." McKay said. "We proposed isostatic rebound as a logical potential trigger, but it could be random failure, or climate regulated shifts in ocean currents acting to erode sediment at key locations on the continental shelf that could trigger slope failure. This is something we could use computer models to assess for in future studies."


UK: We need to talk about Just Stop Oil’s class privilege

I have never felt such a strong desire to buy a man a pint as I did when I watched that builder clear Just Stop Oil protesters off the road. The clip has gone viral. We see an irate bloke take direct action against doom-mongering posh irritants. They were doing one of their funereal marches on Blackfriars Bridge in Central London, to raise awareness about the coming eco-apocalypse or some nonsense, when the man appeared out of nowhere, fuming.

He ripped their daft banners from their hands. He pushed one of them off the road. He looked furious, and why not? A man being prevented from getting to work by the upper middle-class retirees of the green death cult – we should all be angry about that. My WhatsApp has been buzzing all day with friends and family sharing the clip and cheering the heroic builder, the man with no name, the productive member of society who finally said to the road-blocking End-is-Nigh nutters: ‘Enough’.

The police, however, see things differently. They won’t be buying him a pint. In fact, they arrested him, roughly. One swore at him. It was a surreal scene. The builder was only doing what the police have flat-out refused to do – clear the public highway so that citizens can go about their business. And yet the police manhandled, cuffed and arrested him. Disgraceful behaviour by the state, if you ask me.

That builder should know that if he needs funds for a trial, there are many people out there who would be willing to help. The public has had enough of the road-blocking antics of eco-doomsayers. There have been many instances over the past couple of years of working-class people angrily confronting these self-indulgent disruptors of daily life. We’ve seen builders, truckers and busy mums stand up to the time-rich hysterics and tell them to stop making life harder for ordinary people.

A few months ago, on the Strand in London, I saw some very young men in paint-stained workgear pleading with a gaggle of Just Stop Oil activists to get off the road. ‘Let us go home’, one said. One of the very plummy eco-agitators mumbled something along the lines of: ‘We’re doing this for you, and for everyone.’ Their paternalism and arrogance was astounding.

What have the police done about all this? Nothing. Actually, it’s worse than that – they’re providing protection to the green road-blockers. We’ve seen cops offering Just Stop Oil water, and in one case feeding water to an eco-vicar who had glued himself to the road. The arrest of the heroic builder of Blackfriars Bridge is confirmation that the police are putting a forcefield around Just Stop Oil, to protect them from the plebs. They’re not policing these marches – they’re stewarding them.

We need to talk about Just Stop Oil’s class privilege. It isn’t hard to fathom why these protesters are treated with kid gloves by the cops and fawned over by the liberal media. It’s because they are ‘nice’ and well-to-do. It’s because they are adherents to the grim climate-change ideology that is supported by every wing of the establishment. Do you think Brexit voters, if they were to block the roads to register their frustration with the latest UK-EU deal, would be given such soft, cuddly treatment? Not a chance. They’d be truncheoned off the street and the Guardian would laugh.

Just Stop Oil and its mother-ship movement – Extinction Rebellion – are famously upper class. They’re all called Edred or Tilly. Harry Mount calls them ‘Econians’, a green spin on Etonians – the ‘public school boys and girls who rule the wokerati world’. A survey of the 6,000 XR people who brought London to a standstill in April 2019 found they were ‘overwhelmingly middle-class [and] highly educated’. The establishment likes these people because they look and sound so familiar. ‘They’re just like us.’

An unspoken class war is unfolding on the streets of Britain. The intermittent run-ins between working-class people and comfortably-off greens speaks to a deeper disagreement over the future of the country. Working people tend to want more growth, more wealth creation, decent jobs, and cheap and abundant energy. Greens, meanwhile, want less of everything: less development, less driving, less coal, less nuclear, less energy. The clash between that builder and the road-blockers was really a clash of competing visions, competing values, and I know whose side I’m on.

Isaac Foot, the Liberal MP and father of Michael, was fond of saying that he judged a man by one thing – which side he would have fought on in the Battle of Marston Moor during the English Civil War. We can do similar today. Are you on the side of the self-righteous peddlers of fact-lite doom, or ordinary people who want to keep earning a wage and keep the country running? We can tell an awful lot about you by your answer.


EU’s Burdensome Green Deal Has Some in France, Germany Seeing Red

There is a famous one-word line in Gustave Flaubert’s “Madame Bovary” wherein our bourgeois heroine Emma has just about had it with her doctor husband Charles’s stultifying ways: “Enough,” she gasps, in French. That exasperation seems to encapsulate the new prevailing sentiment in France and Germany as the two countries push back against the European Union’s so-called Green Deal.

The lofty goals of that deal, which include zero net emissions of greenhouse gasses by 2050 and economic growth completely decoupled from resource use. Also, the European Commission is aggressively seeking to engineer the EU’s current energy, transportation, and taxation policies with a view to curtailing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030.

The pressure from Brussels is not going down well at Paris and Berlin.

Earlier this month President Macron literally called for the EU to hit the “pause” button on its increasingly oppressive tangle of environmental regulations. Speaking at a meeting to promote a new “green industry” bill at the Elysée Palace, he said, “We have already passed a lot of regulations at the European level, more than our neighbors.… Now we have to execute, not make new rule changes, because otherwise we will lose all the players.”

“We don’t just want to be a green market, we also want to produce green on our soil,” Mr. Macron told a group of ministers, business leaders, and trade union representatives. More telling than what he said was where he said it — in the heart of Paris, not Brussels.

As France grapples with inflation and a rising cost of living, and with Mr. Macron slowly emerging from a nadir of popularity following his much-loathed pension reform, he is prioritizing protecting French workers over keeping Brussels bureaucrats happy. Now is the time to court new investments, not jeopardize existing ones.

In Germany, there is also growing discontent with the EU’s top-heavy green dictates. After months of political infighting over climate legislation, the country’s three ruling parties, the socialist SPD, the Greens, and the liberal FDP, came to an uneasy compromise over a ban on new gas boilers that threatened to unravel a landmark climate protection law passed in 2019 because parts of it had to be scrapped. By 2030, at least in theory, Germany wants to cut its emissions by 65 percent relative to 1990 levels before achieving so-called climate neutrality by 2045.

The political squabbling over how to put some of those aims into practice dovetails with a majority of Germans doubting that the government will achieve its climate targets, let alone those set by Brussels. For one thing, there is no getting around the shortfall in tax revenue that imperils the future subsidization of a full pivot to renewable energy.

The bickering picked up again this week as members of the three-party ruling coalition fought over new legislation concerning home heating. If passed, it would mandate that starting in 2024, newly installed heating systems will have to run 65 percent on renewable energy. But the heat pumps required for that cost more than $20,000 more than a standard boiler.

Disagreements over the bill are such that they threaten to splinter the coalition, which includes the Social Democrat party of Chancellor Scholz. Blows have been traded via Twitter, where the Greens lashed out at the FDP for what they say is unacceptable on formally submitting the bill to the Bundestag.

The Social Democrat whip, Matthias Miersch, said on social media, “People are increasingly fed up with the bickering over heating and want clarity.”

It is now very unlikely that any such clarity will come in the form of new legislation before the summer.

By some leading indicators Germany’s economy is now in recession. The country’s main statistics office released data released Thursday that showed Germany’s GDP dropped by 0.3 percent in the period between January and March. That isn’t much, but it followed a drop of 0.5 percent during the final quarter of 2022. By most definitions two consecutive quarters of contraction means a recession.

That is not good news for Europe’s biggest economy, nor for the health of the European project as a whole. Tiring too are the weeks of acrimony over such a simple thing as how to keep one’s house warm in winter. Genug, Madame Bovary might say — if she were German. ?


Australian Labor party’s coal-fired green dream

With cost-of-living pressures really starting to hurt Australians, Labor’s green dream would be a complete nightmare if it wasn’t for coal.

When then Treasurer Scott Morrison brought a lump of coal into the House of Representatives, the left-leaning media were quick to respond:

‘What a bunch of clowns, hamming it up – while out in the real world an ominous and oppressive heat just won’t let up.’

Fast forward to 2023 and Labor’s budget surplus has little to do with sound economic management, and much to do with unexpectedly high prices for exports of fossil fuels. And this is despite Labor’s running mates, the Greens, doing everything to demonise coal and gas.

In the real world, it takes more than just dreams to power the nation.

But the economic bonus provided by plentiful coal and gas reserves is only the most obvious benefit. Our ability to provide coal and gas to Korea and Japan provides energy security for our strategic partners. This is important for the energy sector in Korea and Japan if they are to avoid Germany’s fate. The disruption of supply in coal and gas in Europe resulting from the war in Ukraine should be proof enough that Australian exports of coal and gas are more important than ever.

The government’s approval of a new coal mine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin has barely raised an eyebrow from the major news media players. Nor should it. This is good news for the economy but confirms that Labor is facing up to the reality of its green energy dream.

Countries that pursued carbon emissions strategies by relying heavily on wind and solar farms are now changing tack. Nuclear is back on the agenda everywhere except for Germany and Australia it seems. The green dream is also impacting European farmers who are protesting against tax burdens created by ‘radical environmentalists far away from farms’. This trend is now starting to impact farmers in Australia.

Australian farmers make a major contribution to our budget bottom line, with wheat production reaching record levels in 2022-23. Although next year’s crop is expected to remain steady (a bit below record levels), Labor was quick to dip into farmers’ profits with a new ‘biosecurity tax’. It makes no sense for farmers to pay a tax to ensure imports from their offshore competitors do not create a biohazard. What’s worse, the levy will ultimately increase the price of fresh food at the checkout when the cost of living is already biting struggling families.

Europeans are starting to turn against Net Zero policies, led by French President Emmanuel Macron with his call for a ‘“pause” of more EU environmental red-tape’. The UK, however, appears to be pushing beyond the EU’s aspirations with goals to end internal combustion engine vehicles by 2030 compared with the EU’s later and less stringent vehicle laws lobbied for by the likes of German manufacturers BMW, Audi, VW, and Mercedes-Benz.

Labor’s push for increased fuel efficiency standards for vehicles is another area where the green dream can easily turn into a gas-guzzling nightmare. Fuel efficiency standards are meant to encourage smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles. The reality or indeed the perverse outcome of such policies is that vehicles are becoming bigger and more powerful.

The idea that consumers can’t wait to get their hands on an EV is not reflected in Australian vehicle sales, with the Ford Ranger currently the biggest selling vehicle, followed closely by the Toyota Hilux. Woke city folk forget that many Australians can’t get around in regional and remote communities on an electric scooter or in the best-selling EV that has a range of barely 500km.

The big problem at the moment is that there might not be enough electricity to live the green dream where everything is powered by renewables. With no Plan B, Australia’s energy security is at risk should Labor’s ‘crash through or crash’ approach to energy policy fail.

Energy industry leaders such as Dr Kerry Schott have cautioned against demonising coal and gas as part of the energy transition to renewables. And former head of Snowy Hydro Paul Broad recently called BS on the 80 per cent renewables energy target. But Warren Mundine summed it up most succinctly on Spectator TV last week, when he said ‘if you believe in climate change and you don’t believe in nuclear power, then you don’t believe in climate change’.

But Labor is pushing a certain type of green dream without facing up to the reality that Europeans are now realising – renewables alone can’t do the job. With some of the largest reserves of uranium in the world, it’s a no-brainer for Australia to embrace nuclear energy now rather than waiting to learn Europe’s lessons.

The Albanese government is happy to claim the glory for a budget surplus due to responsible economic management while minimising the importance of coal for the nation’s continuing prosperity.

In the meantime, without coal there is no green dream.




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