Monday, April 22, 2024

Net Zero Watch applauds Humza Yousaf’s climate leadership

Campaign group Net Zero Watch has welcomed the Scottish Government’s decision to abandon its decarbonisation targets.

Net Zero Watch director Andrew Montford said:

The SNP and their Green partners are the first administration to face up to reality, but they won’t be the last. The era of virtue-signalling climate targets is coming to an end. Humza Yousaf is showing himself a real climate leader.”

Net Zero Watch head of policy Harry Wilkinson said:

Most politicians across Europe still have their heads in the sand. They will have to change course eventually, but until they do their decarbonisation dogma will continue to wreak havoc in their economies.”
UK policy

"Incorrect" comment by JR: It is surprising enough that someone of Pakistani heritage is Prime Minister of Scotland but the fact that he is an SNP Prime Minister of Scotland is even more surprising. He must be a man of unusual talent. I won't mention what he would have been called a generation or two ago


No, Wall Street Journal, Climate Change Is Not Threatening Coffee and Cocoa Production

We seem to get an alarm about this every year

An article from the Wall Street Journal, “Cocoa and Coffee Prices Have Surged. Climate Change Will Only Take Them Higher,” claims that climate change is driving recent spikes in the price of cocoa and coffee, and that things will likely get worse as warming continues. This is false. Cocoa and coffee have both set production records multiple times during the recent period of slight warming. A single bad season, or even a few bad seasons, for certain crops in certain regions of the world is not indicative of long-term change, significant shift, or trend.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports that prices for coffee and cocoa are “surging as severe weather events hamper production in key regions, raising questions from farm to table over the long-term damage climate change could have on soft commodities.”

The WSJ adds that “more frequent heat waves, heavy rainfalls and droughts are damaging harvests and crippling supplies amid ever growing demand from customers worldwide.”

As discussed in multiple Climate Realism posts, data refutes claims that heat waves, droughts, or heavy rainfall are becoming more severe or more frequent. Also both coffee and cocoa bean production has enjoyed a steady climb over the decades, even amid modest warming.

Heat waves, heavy rain, and drought are all weather events that certainly can, and often do, impact crop production for a wide range of produce, not just cocoa and coffee, but evidence that these events are becoming a bigger threat to production is lacking.

The WSJ themselves point to a natural cause of the most recent heat waves and rainfall in West Africa, home of 70% of cocoa production: “powerhouses Ivory Coast and Ghana are facing catastrophic harvests this season as El Niño—the pattern of above-average sea surface temperatures—led to unseasonal heavy rainfalls followed by strong heat waves.”

This year’s heat and rain in both Africa and other parts of the world have been driven largely by El Niño, as discussed by Climate Realism here, for example, but that phenomenon is temporary, natural, and likely has already ended.

If it were true that climate change was leading to an increase in these kinds of events, that trend should be reflected in production data of coffee and cocoa over time, but the opposite appears in the data. Instead of a long-term trend of struggle and collapse, production has never been better for either coffee or cocoa.

According to data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization covering the last three decades of climate change:

Cocoa bean production just set its latest record high as recently as 2022;

World cocoa bean production has increased 132 percent;

West African cocoa bean production has increased 167 percent;

World coffee production set its latest record high in 2020;

World coffee production has increased 77 percent

Climate Realism has previously discussed region-specific coffee and cocoa trends in posts here, here, and here, among others.

Neither coffee nor chocolate, which both thrive in warmer climates, are threatened by climate change. The data show as much. The WSJ and the analysts quoted in the story cage their claims in language like “climate change is set to play a major role” and “could” impact future crops. All of these projections are for a future that does not appear to be approaching any time soon, based on the data and trends. They should stick to reporting the facts.

Throughout history agriculture has suffered during bad weather years; there is nothing new about that. There is no justification for blaming climate change for short-term weather events or their impact on crops.


Conservative states sue US EPA over vehicle emissions regulations – report

According to a report from news outlet Reuters, half of the 50 US states have joined forces in an effort to stop new regulations designed to reduce tailpipe emissions from new cars.

The new rules have the US EPA aiming to cut tailpipe emissions by almost 50 per cent between 2026 and 2032.

After pushback from the automotive industry, The White House relaxed the rules from the 56 per cent originally proposed.

Russell Coleman, the attorney general for Kentucky – one of the two states leading the lawsuit – claims the changes will increase the price of cars, put pressure on the electricity grid, threaten local jobs, and harm the country's economy.

Patrick Morrisey, attorney general for West Virginia – the other state pushing the action – claimed the regulations were "legally flawed and unrealistic, to say the least".

The 25 attorneys general – all of which are from so-called 'red states', held by the conservative Republican party – previously said the proposed laws went beyond the remit of the EPA, and were effectively a "top-to-bottom attempt to restructure the automobile industry".

According to the report, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming have also backed the legal action by Kentucky and West Virginia.

With the United States gearing up for another presidential election in November 2024, the possible re-election of former President Donald Trump could result in the regulations being repealed.


Australian State Introduces Bill to Set 75 Percent Emissions Reduction Target Into Law

Silly dream

Queensland Premier Steven Miles has introduced legislation into the state’s Parliament to cut climate change emissions by 75 percent.

The bill sets out emissions reduction targets in Queensland and also commits the minister to making 2040 and 2045 targets in the future.

The premier said he first became interested in climate change in 2007 when his wife Kim was expecting their son, Sam.

“Now, as the state’s premier, I think it is important to protect not just my children’s future but the future of all Queenslanders,” he said.

“Queensland is already the most disaster-affected state. We have experienced more than 100 disasters since 2011. They are the kinds of disasters that we know will be more regular and more intense as average temperatures increase.”

An explanatory note on the bill states the legislation aims to “support jobs and secure Queensland’s economic future by enshrining the state’s emission reduction commitments into law.”

The bill (pdf) sets out emissions reduction targets for Queensland of 75 percent below 2005 levels by June 30, 2035, as well as 30 percent below 2005 levels by June 30, 2030. In 2050, the law sets an emissions reduction target of zero.
“The Clean Economy Jobs Bill 2024 sets a clear emissions reduction target of 75 percent on 2005 levels by 2035—a responsible, credible, and critical target on the path to net zero emissions by 2050,” Mr. Miles said.

“The 75 by 35 emissions reduction target positions Queensland as a world leader on the pathway to net zero—a target that continues Queensland’s record of having reduced more tonnes of emissions than any other state or territory.”

In addition, the bill states that the minister must decide a target for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions in Queensland for 2040, along with a target for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions in Queensland for 2045.

“The minister must decide the 2040 interim target by Dec. 31, 2030, and the 2045 interim target by Dec. 31, 2035,” the bill says.

Reaction from Political Opponents

The Queensland opposition Liberal National Party has yet to announce an official position on the legislation, according to media reports, as leader David Crisafulli continues focussing on youth crime issues.

In response to the announcement, One Nation Australia, however, raised concerns the policy would drive up electricity prices.

“Don’t look now but Queensland Labor has just announced their new policy to drive up electricity prices, drive away industry, destroy jobs, and make the cost of living crisis worse,” the party said in a post to X.

James Ashby, One Nation’s candidate for Keppel at the state election, said, “Be upfront Miles, are you planning on ruining our beaches and reefs, our farmers, or both?”

Mr. Ashby drew on a Victorian Legislative Council report that said meeting net zero targets with renewables could result in 70 percent of Victoria’s agricultural land being repurposed for wind turbines and solar farms.

“So why don’t you tell the people how much of Queensland’s land and sea you are planning to deface for your climate alarmist agenda,” Mr. Ashby said on X.

A Queensland state election is due to be held on Oct. 26, 2024. By-elections will also be held in the seats of Ipswich West and Inala on March 16, 2024.

Demonstrating ‘Queensland’s environmental, social and governance credentials’: government

Explanatory notes on the Clean Economy jobs Bill 2024 state the legislation will help attract investment to Queensland and decarbonise the state’s existing industries.

The Queensland government said achieving the 75 percent emissions target is dependent on the state and federal governments working together.

The government said (pdf) legislating the state’s credible targets would “send an important signal to investors and demonstrate Queensland’s environmental, social and governance credentials.”

“Policy certainty will enable businesses and communities to make effective plans to secure their economic futures.

“It will enable industry to invest in innovation and new technologies in sectors like agriculture, resources, and manufacturing as well as leveraging Queensland’s world-leading solar and wind resources, new economy minerals, and proven workforce capability.”

The government said the bill will “protect Queensland communities” and “mitigate the impacts of climate change,” including for “Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

“Coordinated and early climate action will support the creation of more job opportunities in Queensland’s emerging clean economy industries like hydrogen, critical metals and minerals, and advanced manufacturing, especially in Queensland’s regions. It will help to support jobs in existing industries by ensuring they remain competitive and meet market expectations in a decarbonising world.”

Australian Institute for Progress executive director, Graham Young, said, “As Anthony Albanese has just demonstrated, it’s easy to legislate, and it’s almost as easy to repeal. Which is just as well as they will never meet these targets in this time frame,” in a post to X.




No comments: