Monday, 6 April 2020

ANTARCTIC CLIMATE WAS AS WARM AS GERMANY 90 MILLION YEARS AGO

This article cites new research which has discovered that Antarctica had a climate similar to that of present day Germany 90 million years ago when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. The fact that we know so little about the history of climate should give us pause for thought about "experts" claiming to know so much about our future climate. 

Sunday, 5 April 2020

CAN THE WORLD AFFORD TO TACKLE GLOBAL WARMING AND CORONAVIRUS?

Inevitably, the global focus on the Covid-19 pandemic has come at the expense of attention paid to hypothetical model-based notions of  a future “climate emergency”. Perhaps the most consequential price to be paid on the trade-off between the two policy objectives will be in Asia, the world’s most populous continent.  
 
Japan, the world’s third largest economy and one of its richest, is the first major signatory of the Paris Agreement to submit updated plans on cutting emissions in preparation for the now-postponed November 2020 Glasgow meeting. It was widely criticised by climate campaigners for failing to intensify emission targets as called for by the ‘spirit’ of the Paris Agreement. Many an Asian policymaker will see Japan’s refusal to submit tighter emissions reduction targets in view of the Covid-19 pandemic as pragmatic and necessary. 

China, the world’s second largest economy and its biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, plans a fiscal stimulus worth hundreds of billions of dollars to restore economic growth. Given the country’s economic structure as the ‘workshop of the world’, this implies the resuscitation of carbon-intensive activity, ranging from coal to oil, natural gas, petrochemicals, plastics, and refineries — and reviving jobs for the multitudes who work in automobiles, aviation, shipping, utilities, construction, agriculture, manufacturing and utilities. Hence it is no surprise that China plans to postpone automobile emission standards and “save the industry” post-Covid-19.

In the emerging countries of Asia, among the impoverished masses without access to reliable and affordable electricity systems needed to power modern medical care, the lethality of the Covid-19 pandemic can only be imagined at this stage. Vast swaths of Asia lack clean water, sanitation systems, and refrigeration for vaccines, let alone respirators and personal protective equipment for front line medical workers. These cannot be provided at scale by solar or windmill farms. The strictures against fossil fuels, as part of the liturgy of climate change belief, are egregious to the extreme when the real and immediate challenge of coping with Covid-19 faces each and every Asian today.
 
 

Saturday, 4 April 2020

PREDICTIONS OF INCREASED DROUGHT AND FLOOD ARE WRONG SAYS NEW PAPER

Bandwagon Of Doom Washed Away By Tidal Wave Of Data
Andrew Montford, GWPF, 2 April 2020

A new paper shows that predictions of increased flood and drought are wrong

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for each degree of global warming, the amount of water vapour in the air should increase by about 6-7%. As with so many things the IPCC talks about, this small change is supposed to lead to calamity. That’s because increasing water vapour is supposed to lead to “intensification of the hydrological cycle”, in other words floods and droughts.
 
Demetris Koutsoyiannis, a hydrologist at the National Technical University of Athens, has taken it upon himself to undertake a major review of the scientific data to see what evidence there is for this actually happening in practice. His findings, currently up for open peer review at the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, make for uncomfortable reading for the IPCC and its fellow-travellers on the bandwagon of doom.

It seems, for example, that although relative humidity is supposed to stay constant under global warming, it is actually falling. Dew points are supposed to be increasing, but mostly they are not; in particular there appears to be little or no change in equatorial regions, where the largest share of evaporation of water from the oceans takes place. If we’re not seeing change there, then increased flooding is off the agenda.

And Koutsoyiannis finds that the amount of water vapour in the air is increasing at roughly one third of the IPCC’s predicted rate. If the rate of water vapour increase really is so low, then by the time we hit the (in)famous two-degree target for global warming, we’ll still only have experienced a 4% increase, which as Koutsoyiannis points out is negligible given the normal variability of hydrological cycles. Where are the deluges and floods going to come from?

It doesn’t end there either. There are lots of other ways in which intensification of the hydrological cycle might show up. You can measure the amount of water vapour in columns of the atmosphere. That should be increasing with global warming too, right? Koutsoyiannis finds no trend. Average rainfall across the planet should increase too – the IPCC says by 1-3% per degree of global warming. The problem with this claim is that it’s within the “noise” of normal variability anyway; no surprise then that Koutsoyiannis sees no meaningful trends in the data. The limited data on evaporation are telling the same story (or lack of one) too.

What about extremes of rainfall? Koutsoyannis reviews a variety of measures: changes in daily maxima, days with rainfall over a threshold and so on, he looks on land and he looks at sea. And he draws a blank everywhere.
As well as being an eminent scientist, Koutosoyiannis also has a deep interest in the scientific knowledge and practice of the ancient world, and this has coloured his view of the climate scare. As he says in his conclusions, the small changes that are exciting climate scientists today would not even have been discussed by ancient engineers, who would have seen them as just noise in the ever-changing patterns of hydrological cycles.
 
Similarly, he points out that such small changes are of no interest to those making practical decisions about flood protection and water storage. And he wonders whether, with the data refuting the climatologists’ predictions so clearly, it isn’t time that hydrologists shifted their attention away from prophecies of doom, and back onto making a real contribution to people’s lives.
You can see his point.

Friday, 3 April 2020

CORONAVIRUS LESSONS FROM THE ASTEROID THAT DIDN'T HIT EARTH


 

Benny Peiser & Andrew Montford: The Wall Street Journal 2 April 2020
 
Scary projections based on faulty data can put policy makers under pressure to adopt draconian measures.

London: The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically demonstrated the limits of scientific modeling to predict the future. The most consequential coronavirus model, produced by a team at Imperial College London, tipped the British government, which had until then pursued a cautious strategy, into precipitate action, culminating in the lockdown under which we are all currently laboring.
 
With the Imperial team talking in terms of 250,000 to 510,000 deaths in the U.K. and social media aflame with demands for something to be done, Prime Minister Boris Johnson had no other option.

But last week, a team from Oxford University put forward an alternative model of how the pandemic might play out, suggesting a much less frightening future and a speedy end to the current nightmare.

How should the government know who is right? It is quite possible that both teams are wrong. Academic studies often suffer from a lack of quality control, as peer review is usually brief and cursory. In normal times this doesn’t matter much, but it’s different when studies find their way into the policy world. In the current emergency, it is vital to check that the epidemiological models have been correctly assembled and that there are no inadvertent mistakes.

Several researchers have apparently asked to see Imperial’s calculations, but Prof. Neil Ferguson, the man leading the team, has said that the computer code is 13 years old and thousands of lines of it “undocumented,” making it hard for anyone to work with, let alone take it apart to identify potential errors. He has promised that it will be published in a week or so, but in the meantime reasonable people might wonder whether something made with 13-year-old, undocumented computer code should be used to justify shutting down the economy. Meanwhile, the authors of the Oxford model have promised that their code will be published “as soon as possible.”
 
It isn’t only the U.K. that’s plagued by inscrutable models that describe very different futures. It’s a problem that governments around the world now face. Is there anything that can be done to make the predictions put in front of policy makers more reliable?
 
Peer review can’t bear reform, because there are simply too few people around with the expertise and time to do comprehensive reviews. It would be much simpler to require publicly funded academics to publish data and code as a matter of course; the possibility of competing teams checking their work might encourage development of the quality-control culture that seems lacking within the academy. It would also mean that in a crisis, when traditional academic peer review would move too slowly to be useful, a crowdsourced review process could take place.
 
In this way, the combined intellects of experts among the general public could be brought to bear on the problem, rapidly identifying errors and challenging assumptions. This sort of crowdsourced review would provide the manpower to take apart the abstruse models that are all too common in many academic fields. The authors of the Imperial model have argued that they don’t have time to explain to people how to get their 13-year-old computer code running. But getting computer code running is usually a problem that can be solved in a day or two when you throw enough brain power at it.
 
Calculations aren’t the only problem. Only a few weeks into the pandemic, we don’t have enough data to feed into the models. In particular, information about how many people are infected but remain asymptomatic is highly tentative. This means that there are a huge number of mathematical models that might explain what has happened so far, each extrapolating a very different future. New data can change predictions considerably.
 
Take an example from astronomy. On March 12, 1998, media around the world announced that a mile-wide asteroid was on a possible collision course with Earth in 2028. Only a day later, the global asteroid scare was over as additional observational data showed it would miss by 600,000 miles. While the initial calculations weren’t inaccurate, they were based on limited data and weren’t properly scrutinized, which made the announcement premature. A short delay while new information was collated was all it took to show that there was no risk at all.

After this scare, the international astronomical community agreed on a robust warning system based on the Torino Impact Hazard Scale, a tool for categorizing and communicating potential asteroid impact risks. Out of a scientific fiasco, a successful risk-communication tool was developed. It has since prevented many false alarms and taught the public to understand and live with the comparatively small risk of asteroid impacts. Covid-19 is no false alarm, but public health could benefit from a similar warning system, which would help governments and health officials communicate uncertainties and risks to the public.
 
When competing models are giving wildly different, and in some cases frightening, predictions, the pressure on governments to adopt a draconian approach can be overwhelming. But, as we are seeing, the costs of such measures are extraordinarily high. Nations cannot afford to lock down their economies every time a potentially devastating new virus emerges. Setting up an effective pandemic hazard scale would inform policy makers and the public, helping fend off media demands for “something to be done” until the right decisions can be made at the right time.
 
Messrs. Peiser and Montford are, respectively, director and deputy director of the Global Warming Policy Forum.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

CLIMATE LUDDITES COME TO THE FORE

This article shows the faulty thinking of the climate extremists. "The just climate transition should involve economic reforms to introduce “planned degrowth” that puts the wellbeing of people over profit margins."

In other words they want to make us all poorer.  

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

UK GOVERNMENT ISSUES NEW TRANSPORT PLAN

This article alerts us to the UK government's new transport plan which has just been publishedGrant Shapps, the transport secretary, espouses a vision where "we will use our cars less and be able to rely on a convenient, cost-effective and coherent public transport network." I wonder how he proposes to bring this about?

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

GOVERNMENTS SHOULD FIGHT THE VIRUS NOT CARBON

Here is a good open letter by the Climate Intelligence Foundation to world leaders. It would be good if it had an effect, and post virus there will be an economic recession so climate change costs will simply not be there so maybe the public will stop their support for such costly measures. We can only hope.

Monday, 30 March 2020

RARE OZONE HOLE OPENS UP OVER THE ARCTIC

This article explains that a vast ozone hole — likely the biggest on record in the north — has opened in the skies above the Arctic. It rivals the better-known Antarctic ozone hole that forms in the southern hemisphere each year.

Record-low ozone levels currently stretch across much of the central Arctic, covering an area about three times the size of Greenland (see ‘Arctic opening’). The hole doesn’t threaten people’s health, and will probably break apart in the coming weeks.

Sunday, 29 March 2020

GORDON BROWN CALLS FOR "WORLD GOVERNMENT"

This article refers to our former Labour PM calling for a world government. Of course he would, as he believes in big government solving all our problems. We must hope that this never happens as it would mean the end of freedom with more and more interference in every aspect of our lives.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

WILL THE CURRENT CRISIS CAUSE ANY CHANGE IN ATMOSPHERIC CO2 INCREASES?

This article looks at what the latest readings show. I guess it will depend on how long the current situation persists. 

Friday, 27 March 2020

WILL THERE BE ANY DESIRE OR MONEY LEFT FOR THE GW "EMERGENCY"?

This article explains why an emergency like coronavirus requires emergency powers curtailing civil liberties. This is exactly what the climate activists should expect if the government really thought that global warming was an emergency. I suspect that the GW "emergency" will be put on hold as there will simply be no money left to fight it.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

WHO SAYS PARIS AGREEMENT IS NON-BINDING?

United States Warned About Internationally Mandated "Coronavirus Economy'
The Washington Times, 23 March 2020

By Chris Horner and Benny Peiser 

The United States should pay close attention to developments in Europe, beyond their governments’ response to the COVID-19 virus. Other contagions loom.
 
For example, we now see proof that the retrenchment embodied by the current “coronavirus economy” could become legally mandated, with no recovery permitted but only worsening, in the name of climate change. While extreme, this is actually unfolding, and the United States ignores the warnings at its peril.

In February, the United Kingdom’s Court of Appeal blocked construction of a third runway at London’s Heathrow Airport. While additional runways seem quaint amid travel lockdowns, the longer view reminds us that infrastructure expansion is vital to economic growth. Ask any candidate for president, vowing massive infrastructure programs that, this ruling confirms, are irreconcilable with their climate promises like the Green New Deal and rejoining the Paris climate treaty.

The Heathrow opinion has caused political and economic upheaval, and ecstasy among “green” campaigners. That is because the decision in Spurrier et al. v. Secretary of State for Transport requires any airport expansion, and apparently any major infrastructure project going forward, comply with the 2015 Paris agreement.

As only the most recent judicial intervention leveraging purportedly “non-binding” commitments into legal obligations, this is also a very timely reminder for the United States.

President Obama agreed to Paris and submitted a ratification instrument on behalf of the U.S in September 2016, claiming it was not a treaty requiring Senate advice and consent. “Non-binding!” was a key talking point in support.

This claim, deficient in too many ways to recount here, is now overtaken by events.

Although the U.K. court also cited the U.K.’s own Climate Change Act and European Union Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive, the judges ruled that the failure to account for the U.K.’s promised emission reductions under Paris was “legally fatal.” Any expansion plan must satisfy both domestic law and the U.K.’s Paris agreement promise to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Get used to hearing this. The lesson for President Trump is clear: Just because an international agreement doesn’t purport to be “binding” doesn’t mean you don’t have to comply with it.

In 2018, in Urgenda Foundation v. State of the Netherlands, The Hague Court of Appeals also turned these ostensibly hortatory climate promises and declarations into enforceable obligations. That court ordered the Dutch emission-reduction laws match years of governmental rhetoric manifested in supposedly aspirational climate pacts, asserting that parties to these agreements have assumed a “duty of care.”

Cheap environmental virtue can be costly. Certainly, activist state attorneys general intend to sue. As The Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel wrote in 2017, one of us “unearthed a legal memo from the New York attorney general’s office that laid out a strategy to get courts to force C02 cuts under international treaties.”

Already, federal judges have lined up to block proposed and even permitted projects, such as the Keystone XL Pipeline, citing to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and a failure to consider a project’s contribution to cumulative climate impacts. Under Paris, the United States vowed massive emission reductions and promised deeper cuts, every five years, in perpetuity.

In a June 2017 Rose Garden speech, Mr. Trump announced his intention to withdraw from Paris, citing U.S. sovereignty and “serious legal and constitutional concerns,” among others. Critics pounced. Why bother, they keened, with seemingly disproportionate and self-contradicting fury, it’s not even binding! Well.

Editorialists harrumphed that, by leaving Paris, Mr. Trump would also leave the United States as the only nation not signed up. Why, even China and India agreed.

But, not really. Like most countries, China and India did not promise emission reductions under Paris. Between them, they plan to build 320 airports in the next decade. The Maldives, self-styled poster child for the horrors of man-made global warming, is opening four more airports this year alone.

That is four more than the U.K. likely will be able to build, under the Court of Appeals’ Heathrow opinion. It is also four more than the United States should expect, should it rejoin Paris, which it might.

To judge by its terms, level of detail and commitment, and U.S. custom and practice, Paris is a treaty. Nonetheless, rather than declare Paris to be a treaty and transmit it to the Senate for a ratification vote, Mr. Trump is withdrawing pursuant to Paris’ terms. His November 2019 withdrawal notice takes effect Nov. 4, 2020, by chance the day after the U.S. elections.

Unfortunately, dignifying this “pen and a phone” approach leaves the door wide open for the United States to rejoin Paris under a President Biden or Sanders, who both promise to do so immediately upon taking office.

It is unlikely the president will change course and pursue more durable withdrawal options, and the Senate showed repeatedly under President Obama it has no appetite to fight even to protect its own constitutional prerogatives. As such, the Heathrow opinion putting the lie to the “non-binding” talking point should serve as a clear warning to the United States about the Paris agreement.

With such a clear distinction between Mr. Trump and his Democratic challengers, and with proof now that a “coronavirus economy” could be legally mandated, it is critical the United States have an actual debate about the Paris climate agreement and the larger climate policy agenda.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

SECOND QUESTION TO UK GOVERNMENT ON CLIMATE COSTS

Below is the second question and then the lengthy response which fails to deal with any of the points raised, though it does raise some very worrying issues. You can see the question here.

 Julian Lewis Conservative, New Forest East

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), what estimate he has made of the cost of phasing out the use of natural gas in domestic dwellings; what the planned timescale is for this; whether such phasing out will be carried out by the UK (a) only on a multilateral basis or (b) irrespective of what the governments of other countries plan to do; and what funding he plans for implementing that policy.

This is the reply from Kwasi Kwarteng, the Minister for BEIS:

Meeting our net zero target by 2050 will require virtually all heat in buildings to be decarbonised and heat in industry to be reduced to close to zero carbon emissions. It will involve large-scale transformation and wide-ranging change to energy systems and markets. The way heating is supplied to over 28 million homes, businesses and industrial users will need to change. Given the diversity of heat demand in the UK, no one solution can provide the best option for everyone. We are currently exploring and testing the different approaches to heat decarbonisation, including heat networks, heat pumps, hydrogen and biogas and improving energy efficiency in new buildings. - a mix of technologies and customer options will need to be available to decarbonise heat at scale.

The Department is developing policies to deliver low carbon heating in the 2020s and meet our climate targets. We are planning to publish a Heat and Building Strategy later this year, which will set out the immediate actions we will take for reducing emissions from buildings. These include the deployment of energy efficiency measures and low carbon heating as part of an ambitious programme of work required to enable key strategic decisions on how we achieve the mass transition to low-carbon heat and set us on a path to decarbonising all homes and buildings.

Alongside the action we are taking at home, the UK remains committed to demonstrating global leadership in tackling climate change. The UK is already demonstrating practical leadership across all aspects of the fight to tackle climate change. We've decarbonised faster than any other G20 nation since 2000, and through our Clean Growth Strategy and annual reports have a comprehensive and publicly available strategy. The UK is among the largest contributors of climate finance, providing at least £5.8 billion between 2016 to 2020 to help developing countries mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, reduce deforestation and support cleaner economic growth. At the UN Climate Action Summit in September 2019, the Prime Minister announced that the UK will double our International Climate Finance to at least £11.6 billion from 2021 to 2025 to drive clean and resilient growth in developing countries. 

That last part is unbelievable! While we are crippling the economy with debt to deal with the coronavirus emergency, he says wewill double the money we will give away to deal with global warming. We truly are in a mess when a Conservative government is so free with taxpayers money. Prudence has simply disappeared.