Teats on a Bull, but Lusting for Relevance

Reading Elizabeth Nickson’s gripping Pipeline article about the derring-dos of Celtic warriors who conquered the Canadian wastelands set me thinking. I bet they would have been mere wimps without politicians at the helm. Henry Ford would have been helpless without Theodore Roosevelt. James Watt, Thomas Edison, Guglielmo Marconi, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Steve Jobs, et al; you name them, vassals all in the thrall of the politicians of their day. Rodney Stark (in The Triumph of Christianity) attributes the rise of peerless western values, and the free and prosperous countries which those values nurtured, to Christianity; while glaringly neglecting the primary role of politicians. Remiss of him.

I’m being a touch ironic, to save you guessing. Any way you slice it, politicians are largely irrelevant to progress. At best they’re an adornment. And, most typically, an encumbrance. However, being full of ruthless ambition, even if empty of talent, they yearn to be center stage. There are exceptions. Calvin Coolidge “determined that the world would do better if he involved himself less,” according to Amity Shlaes (in The Forgotten Man). Unfortunately, self-effacement is uncommon. Thus, politicians remain ever alert for opportunities to trip the light fantastic. Wars can be a godsend. Look at Zelensky.

Covid too was an opportunity of a political lifetime. Milk it for all its worth was the raison d’etre of the political class. Go hang balance, perspective, reason, common sense, any questioning of the received wisdom of public health gurus and Dr Fauci. Even Trump succumbed to Fauci fandom at one point.

Con man extraordinaire.

It’s a safe bet even now that numerous political leaders secretly crave the return of the "halcyon days" of lockdowns, masks, and compulsory jabs. When then-N.Y. governor Andrew Cuomo could woo the adoring media daily and dream of the White House, all the while condemning elderly people to their deaths in nursing homes. When Dan Andrews, the premier of the Australian state of Victoria, could gain popular support for “saving us” while being a complete authoritarian thug. Alas, the virus lost its virulence. More correctly, its lack of virulence could no longer be disguised.

Never mind, all was not lost among the political class. Acting on "climate change" is an ever headline-giving gift; saving the world no less, while robbing people of reliable and affordable power. An even bigger lark than confected Covid hysteria.

To those of us who've managed to keep our sanity, it's hard to understand how everything is being turned on its head. Reliable and affordable power, without which none of the prosperity we enjoy would have been remotely possible, is now evil incarnate. So evil that those countries which have used it little over the past two-hundred and fifty years are entitled to reparations. According to the U.N., reparations in the order of $100 billion USD per year from willful rich countries. If only we’d stuck to horses and buggies and retained our pre-industrial integrity, the planet would be a safer and better place. Visit nomadic tribes in South Sudan for an idyllic taste or maybe visit remote Aboriginal settlements in Arnhem Land.

To be absolutely clear, on the basis of a tenuous and contested scientific proposition, whose alarmist predictions of warming and of extreme weather events have fallen foul of experience, we have set a course to tear the existing high-performance energy system to pieces and become substantially reliant on intermittent, low density energy from the wind and sun; full well knowing that this cannot power a modern economy. How to explain this madness?

Life is better in Arnhem Land.

I have speculated before on a paganised climate hysteria replacing Christianity and, more materially, on the allure of climate boondoggles to opportunists. Whatever the complete explanation, the desperate search for relevance on the part of politicians must, I think, bulk large. Consider the attention they get when trooping to the latest U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP).

Before COP 26 in Glasgow in November 2021, the political debate in Australia was all about whether the then prime minister Scott Morrison would commit to net-zero by 2050. He had the fate of Australia’s energy system for the next thirty years in his very hands; without having, by the way, the least idea of what to do with it.

Politicians, complicit in starting the climate scare, are now its principal promoters. Scaring the populace is not new. American writer H. L. Menken identified it way back in 1918.

Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.

Scares give politicians relevance. They must know, at least in fleeting moments of self-reflection, that they have no usable skills or experience outside of the cloistered inbred political arena; or at least most don’t. Yet, in this climate age, they are dispensing earthly power and holding sway, with all eyes fixed upon them. Handing out billions to renewable-energy carpetbaggers; determining by how much businesses must cut their emissions; when coal power stations must shut down; the times when Mr. and Mrs. Smith can run their dishwasher, switch on their air conditioner, or plug in their new  electric car. A heady brew. Imagine going back to the days when it was only the economy, stupid. When anodyne economists hogged the headlines.

It's gonna take something big to disencumber politicians from "climate change"; otherwise we are headed for energy poverty and probably a Klaus Schwab wet dream – whatever perversion of capitalism and subversion of freedom that looks like. War with Russia or China could stop it. Neither is an inviting proposition. If there is another way out, it’s well hidden. Politics and big business are bound together in an unholy, mutually reinforcing alliance; the textbook definition of fascism. All for one and one for all, and losses all round.

Where did the '97 Percent' Claim Come From?

John Robson, the Canadian historian and journalist who runs the Climate Discussion Nexus, has put out an updated version of CDN's most popular video. The video, which has more than 1 million views on YouTube, debunks the dishonest claim that, in the words of Barack Obama, "Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: climate change is real, man-made, and dangerous." Virtually none of that statement is accurate, but it continues to be parroted by the Thunbergian activist class, and by journalists of all stripes, even those who should know better. Here's an excerpt, which examines the sleight of hand at the heart of the "97 percent" claim:

In 2009, a pair of researchers at the University of Illinois sent an online survey to over 10,000 Earth scientists asking two simple questions: Do you agree that global temperatures have generally risen since the pre-1800s? and Do you think that human activity is a significant contributing factor? They asked some other questions too, but didn’t report the questions or results in the publication. They didn’t single out greenhouse gases, they didn’t explain what the term “significant” meant, and they didn't refer to danger or crisis.

So what was the result? Of the 3,146 responses they received, 90 percent said yes to the first question, that global temperatures had risen since the Little Ice Age, and only 82 percent said yes to the second, that human activity was a significant contributing factor. Interestingly, among meteorologists only 64 percent said yes to the second, meaning a third of the experts in the study of weather patterns who replied didn’t think humans play a significant role in global warming, let alone a dominant one. What got the most media attention was that among the 77 respondents who described themselves as climate experts, 75 said yes to the second question. 75 out of 77 is 97 percent.

OK, it didn’t get any media attention that they took 77 out of 3,146 responses. But that’s the key statistical trick. They found a 97 percent consensus among 2 percent of the survey respondents. And even so it was only that there’d been some warming since the 1800s, which virtually nobody denies, and that humans are partly responsible. These experts didn’t say it was dangerous or urgent, because they weren’t asked.

Furthermore:

Another survey appeared in 2013, by Australian researcher John Cook and his coauthors, in which they claimed to have examined about 12,000 scientific papers related to climate change, and found that 97 percent endorsed the consensus view that greenhouse gases were at least partly responsible for global warming. This study generated headlines around the world, and it was the one to which Obama’s tweet was referring. But here again, appearances were deceiving.

Two-thirds of the papers that Cook and his colleagues examined expressed no view at all on the consensus. Of the remaining 34 percent, the authors claimed that 33 percent endorsed the consensus. Divide 33 by 34 and you get 97 percent. But this result is essentially meaningless, because they set the bar so low. The survey authors didn’t ask if climate change was dangerous or “manmade.” They only asked if a given paper accepted that humans have some effect on the climate, which as already noted is uncontroversial....

So a far better question would be: How many of the studies claimed that humans have caused most of the observed global warming? And oddly, we do know. Because buried in the authors’ data was the answer: A mere 64 out of nearly 12,000 papers! That’s not 97 percent, it’s one half of one percent. It’s one in 200.

Be sure to watch the whole thing and share it with your non-insane friends:

'Climate Change' Future Written in (Invisible) Ink

Writing at the shuffling zombie hulk of what used to be Time Magazine, Christiana Figueres pens the usual media "climate change" bilge, this one titled “The Future of Climate Change is Being Written in Ink Today.” As usual in such stuff, she maintains that there is a clear scientific consensus on climate change, exaggerates the danger of not transforming our lives completely to deal with it, and overestimates the technological and political ease with which the transformation can occur.

She argues in her polemic that we are at a critical juncture to save the planet and only “transformational change” will do it. According to Figueres, we must "cut our global greenhouse-gas emissions in half by 2030" and "safeguard all remaining healthy ecosystems, regenerating those we have depleted." If we don't, she continues,

[W]e basically condemn ourselves and our descendants to a world of ever increasing climate chaos, spiraling destruction, and deepening human misery. However, if we do choose to cut our emissions by 50 percent by 2030—which is technically entirely feasible—and act decisively to protect nature, we open the portal to a world that not only averts the worst of climate change, but is actually a much better one than we have right now, with better public health, more-livable cities, more-efficient transport, and more-productive land.

Without a doubt, we are in the decisive decade. We must be guided by the firm conviction that humans can meet this challenge. We must change the unfolding story of the Anthropocene from one of overconsumption, inequality, and destruction to one of repair, re-generation, and reconnection—against all apparent odds. We must constantly remind ourselves that we are holding the pen. We must stand tall in our unwavering faith in human ingenuity and compassion, reminding ourselves of our individual and collective agency. Carving a better future does not happen on its own. We have to be intentional, purpose driven—frankly, downright stubborn—about our objective. Only that determination will give us a fighting chance.

Ms. Figueres, a Costa Rican, was, among other things, the former executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, and like most of the globalist Davos- loving crowd seems to have ignored what our experience shows us about the efficacy and necessity of cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Probably because she’s a social anthropologist not a climate scientist or engineer.

Figueres: carbon emissions comin' to get ya.

People with a greater regard for hard data refute her every stated contention, including that “scientific reports… are categorical in warning us of looming, radical changes in the earth’s systems.” Contrary to the rosy picture that governmental measures, some draconian, all of them economy killers, can result in cutting carbon emissions, in fact, with greater governmental intercessions they have never been higher. As Ken Caldera, a climate scientist at the Carnegie Institute for Science sensibly observes, as long as developing (i.e. poor) nations want to expand their economies and better provide for their citizens wellbeing, they must rely on fossil fuels which remain the cheapest way to provide reliable electricity. In the U.S., “emissions ticked up as renewable energy surpassed coal power nationwide for the first time in over six decades.” Any government that long persists in starving and freezing its citizenry to appease the chimera of climate change will be inviting replacement by more pragmatic leaders.

So why this failure of increased reliance on renewables to cut into emissions? Viscount Christopher Monckton of Brenchley did a thirty-three year audit comparing climate predictions respecting CO2 emissions with climate data and it provides some answers to the question why increased fossil fuel emissions are not the disaster people like Figueres claim it is. Not only are their predictions wrong, but the IPCC persists in ignoring the fact that the original predictions “were grossly exaggerated.”

The direct warming that the models predict in response to doubled CO2 is just 1.2-1.3 K, which is consistent with the observed 0.13 K/decade warming. However, the models multiply that direct warming, or reference sensitivity, by about 3 to allow for temperature feedback, chiefly from more water vapor in warmer air. But, as Professor Lindzen says in his recent interview with Jordan Peterson (watch it now before the climate Communists in control of YouTube censor it), the le Chatellier principle would lead us to expect that under anything like modern conditions feedbacks would be more or less self-canceling.

Any rational government, on conducting a similar audit, would conclude that the original fears of rapid and catastrophic global warming have proven entirely groundless, and that, given the plummeting annual death rate from weather-related events, the mild warming we may well continue to cause will continue to be as net-beneficial as it has been until now. There is certainly no conceivable justification, on the evidence that has accumulated since 1990, for any action whatsoever to mitigate future global warming. There will not be enough of it to do anything but good.

In sum, the climate is less sensitive to carbon emissions than predicted decades ago by the IPCC; significant efforts to reduce these emissions by relying more heavily on renewables has not achieved the goal of reducing emissions—which are, in fact, rising; the degree of recent warming is minimal, net-beneficial and not deleterious. Still if you wish to remain in good stead with the credulous and corrupt, keep peddling the same nonsense. You, too, may even get to write for Time Magazine.

Best of 2022: The Utter Folly of European 'Climate Policy' by Clarice Feldman

The year of Our Lord 2022 has been a good one for us here at The Pipeline, which has seen the launch of our weekly Substack column; the release of our first book, Against the Great Reset: Eighteen Theses Contra the New World Order; and the publication of a lot of excellent content from our wonderful group of contributors. As the year comes to its close, we thought we would spotlight some of our best work, chosen from our most clicked articles.

The Utter Folly of European 'Climate Policy'

Clarice Feldman, 5 October, 2022

Europeans will starve, go hungry and be jobless in large numbers unless the European Union and national politicians do an about-face on climate policy. The United States is not far behind, although has more tools to displace failed leaders than do people under the thumb of the European Union. This winter is but a taste of things to come.

An extensive analysis—50 points—of the folly of "climate policy" is found at wattsupwiththat.com; in sum it evinces there is no “climate emergency,” the goal of Net-Zero by 2050 is “delusional,” neither warranted, feasible, nor politically possible and would be so costly it would “drive a 33 percent average reduction in all government spending on health, housing, education, social welfare, police, climate adaptation, defense, social justice, etc.” As the measurable big decrease in global economic output during the pandemic lockdowns established, slashing living standards will not result in a “measurable decrease atmospheric CO2.” The only feasible means to phase out fossil fuels are technological advances, which means the shift cannot be mandated by government and of necessity the shift will be slow.

In any event, nothing the West can do changes the fact that during the next quarter century “over 80 percent of all increased global emissions” will occur in Asia. Moreover, for decades to come, “Asia, South America, and Africa “will represent over 90 percent of future increases in energy consumption.” Any effort must be global, not nation-by-nation. It’s simply not a first-world issue, and it’s irrational to pretend otherwise.

Also irrational is the pretense that we can limit energy use. We need it for everything and the demand is growing. It may be a surprise to learn that “Global smart phone production uses 15 percent more energy as the automotive industry.... the Cloud uses twice a much electricity worldwide as all of Japan.” This would surely set back on their heels the anti-fossil fuel crowd gathered everywhere in clothes manufactured from petroleum-based materials and coordinating their activities by iPhones, if only someone told them.

In the meantime, this winter Europeans are getting to see first hand the folly of the "climate change" cult thinking of the European Union and its national leaders. They are already seeing food and energy shortages and the beginning of deindustrialization. In a series of tweets Alexander Stahel, CIO of a Swiss investment management firm, sets out a number of developments in various European countries, to flesh out what news summaries do not—the desperate near- and long-term consequences of Europe’s “gigantic structural” problem. Here are a few examples...

The 'Energy Transition' Will Be Delayed a Bit

Perhaps the most scandalous aspect of environmental ideology is that its religious fervor for the Malthusian apocalypse requires its high priests to ignore data and science. The actual monitoring data for core environmental problems such as air and water quality, deforestation, and other genuine problems show that most environmental problems are improving all around the world, most conspicuously in prosperous nations that have market economies, embrace technological innovation, and protect property rights and the rule of law.

Presenting these data, from credible sources as various as Human Progress, Our World in Data, or Environmental Progress, or figures such as Bjorn Lomborg or Matt Ridley (to name just two), sends environmentalists into a rage of denunciation. For environmentalists, good news is bad news, akin to depriving a fundamentalist fire-and-brimstone preacher of original sin.

This is true even of the grand-daddy of all environmental scares: "climate change." The latest official “consensus” scientific estimates of climate change have been backing away from the most dire climate disaster predictions of a decade ago, though the media never notice, and the relentless climate campaign won’t admit it.

Malthus: Doomed, I tell you, doomed.

It is not just more congenial, but essential, that environmentalism suppresses all data that does not support the urgency of their latest disaster scenarios. The most scandalous example came this week with news that BP (formerly British Petroleum) is weighing whether to discontinue its annual “Statistical Review of World Energy.” This fabulously useful report, which BP has published for 71 years, provides detailed trend data for every country in the world in downloadable spreadsheets, enabling analysts to conduct independent analysis easily, often noting findings that BP omits to highlight in its own write-up. Surprise: BP’s data turns out to be uncongenial to the renewable energy cheerleaders. Therein lies a tale.

Why would BP think of abandoning this well-regarded report, which can’t be a huge expense or labor for a multinational of its size and expertise? The Reuters report that broke this story hints at the problem:

The report has been seen by some BP executives as detrimental to the company's new direction, sources told Reuters... "Put simply, it (Statistical Review) is bad PR," one company source said. The company has in recent years also cut its ties with several oil and gas associations and has sought to raise its profile as a clean energy provider.

Why would a detailed, data-rich report on actual energy trends be “bad PR” for a major oil company? Back in 2000, BP formally rebranded its company initials to stand for “Beyond Petroleum,” accompanied with a $200 million ad campaign conceived by Ogilvy and Mather, featuring splashy public pledges to "go green" to fight climate change. In the immediate term this meant becoming predominantly a natural gas company and phasing out of oil exploration and production along with new investments in wind and solar power.

BP quietly abandoned the “Beyond Petroleum” rebranding after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 made a mockery of its virtue-signaling pretensions. It also quietly sold off its money-losing wind and solar power divisions, and suddenly returned to expanding oil and gas production.

But BP lately has returned to the fold of climate hysterics, and is once again pledging to become carbon-neutral by 2050 if not sooner, and a full partner in the “energy transition” that is the fever dream of the climate campaign. And that’s where the Statistical Review of World Energy becomes an inconvenience and PR problem: BP’s data show that the “energy transition” isn’t happening. While we are inundated with headlines and advocacy group celebrations of the rapid growth of “renewable energy,” the data show that hydrocarbon energy—especially coal—has been increasing more than renewable energy for the last decade.

Meanwhile, a mountain of energy lies right beneath your feet.

In 2021, BP’s figures show global coal use grew by 6.3 percent, while oil consumption increased 6.1 percent, and global greenhouse gas emissions rose 5.9 percent. Coal accounted for 51 percent of total new electricity generation around the world, and coal even grew in the U.S., after falling (irony alert!) during the Trump administration.

The data for 2022 (BP’s report comes out every year in June) are likely to be even more dismal for the greens, as the disruption of the world’s energy supply has exposed the green energy fantasy. Coal use everywhere is soaring. Right now Germany has a higher electricity carbon footprint than coal-heavy Poland, which is wisely resisted the romantic nonsense of the greens. No wonder the climate campaigners would like to see this bad news suppressed.

The return to energy reality the Ukrainian War has prompted merely sped up the inevitable consequences of green energy diktats by a decade. Suppressing the data demonstrating this reality isn’t going to change that. If BP dumps their annual report to appease their in-house climate campaigners, hopefully a more clear-headed energy company such as Liberty Energy will want to take it over.

Renewable-Energy Dodo Birds Galore

Understatement is passé among Australian Climateers. For example, from a recent (October 12) editorial in the Australian Financial Review.

The country is the sunniest, windiest, and most spacious place in the world to develop renewables... The world, which until recently saw Australia as a carbon foot-dragger, will beat a path to the door of Australian renewable technology, with renewable markets such as the U.S. now heavily subsidised and receptive.

No logical tour de force here. It’s not immediately clear how being the "sunniest, windiest and most spacious" means that the U.S. and other countries will beat a path to acquire Australian technology. In any event, is the premise true? Australia is spacious alright but then so is the United States, Canada, China, India, Russia and Africa. And Africa as a continent is sunnier than is Australia. Windy? Maybe, but there are plenty of windy places around the world; tiny Ireland, whence much of the Australian population originates, is very windy. Therefore what?

So proud in Oz they celebrate Invasion Day.

Never mind; whoever wrote the editorial has a completely overblown sense of Australia’s role in the unfolding renewable energy tragedy. It is not an outlying view. It is widely shared by assorted politicians, corporate bigwigs, union heavyweights, and many others among the great and good.

In my previous piece for The Pipeline, I wrote that the premier of Queensland apparently believes that her state of 5.3 million people will become the renewable-energy capital of the world. The same world that journalists now believe will be beating a path to Australia’s door to beg for our world-beating renewable energy technology. It’s destiny in waiting. Down Under on top. The Earth’s axis shifted 180 degrees. Too good to be true? Yes, of course it is. At the same time, Australia is not alone in aspiring to leadership. It is one of a crowd.

Australia’s Climate Council, a so-claimed “independent, evidence-based organisation on climate science,” lists eleven countries which are “leading the charge on renewable energy.” Namely, Sweden, Costa Rica, Scotland, Iceland, Germany, Uruguay, Denmark, China, Morocco, New Zealand, and Norway. China being on the list might lessen its credibility in your eyes. If that is the case and you don’t like my list, I can find others.

However, sadly, as for this list, Australia is (incomprehensibly) missing as is the United States; this, despite Houston describing itself as “the renewable energy capital of the world.” And, not so fast Houston, it’s not so long ago that Boris Johnson had plans “to make the U.K. the world leader in green energy.” And, hold on, South Africa’s is becoming a leader too...

"Who's the windiest of them all?" asked Greta.

As the Dodo says in Alice in Wonderland, "Everybody has won, and all must have prizes."

How many countries, states and cities plan to become the world’s renewable energy super power? At a guess, a sizeable number. All jostling to be top dog in the quixotic and crippling quest to reduce CO2 emissions to net-zero and, thereby, cool the planet and prevent devastating weather events. A destructive irony is unfolding. As the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere currently stands, neither increases nor reductions in emissions will have any material effect on the temperature.

Well-credentialed scientists like William Wijngaarden and Will Happer make the compelling case that most greenhouse warming from CO2 has occurred once it reaches a concentration in the atmosphere of 20 parts per million. And, that by the time it reaches 280 ppm, as in as in pre-industrial times, almost all warming has occurred. Thus, leaving only a small amount of warming for the runup to 400 ppm, where we are now roughly, and none worth speaking of northwards from here. The sound and fury, the massive upheavals, the blackouts, the trillions of dollars spent, Greta’s anguish, all for a big fat nothing.

Let us take stock. Here is what is known, rather than what is hysterically predicted ad nauseum. The modest warming since pre-industrial times has not simply been benign but extremely beneficial. A warmer world, a greener world, a more productive and prosperous world. Who would ever want to go back? That is all very well, some might say, but what about those devastating weather events? Well, in fact, lucky us, they are simply not happening; no matter how much alarmists claim otherwise. For an illustration, I will leave it to that previously esteemed, now woke, Australian body, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.

No significant global trends have been detected in the frequency of tropical cyclones to date, and no significant trends in the total numbers of tropical cyclones, or in the occurrence of the most intense tropical cyclone, have been found in the Australian region.” (24 December 2020)

Don’t want to be picky but au contraire: there is indeed a trend. Just not the trend the CSIRO expected to find.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has a chart of cyclones in the Australian region from 1970-71 onwards. However, for some inexplicable reason, best known to the BOM, the chart stops at 2016/17. Not to worry. I have updated it -- up to the 2021/22 cyclone season. And, unless my eyes deceive me, I perceive a distinct downward trend. And it looks significant to me.

Number of Cyclones Australian Region

How about the intensity of cyclones? Might be fewer but the claim by the climateers is that they will be more severe. The yearly number of severe cyclones averaged 5.6 in the first half of the period from 1970/71 to 1995/96; versus just 4.0 in the second half from 1996/97 to 2021/22. So, a downward trend overall and, also, in the number of severe cyclones. I can only assume that mild global warming, aka "catastrophic anthropogenic climate change," must be contributing to more clement weather. Hurrah! Must come as relief to Greta, David Attenborough, King Charles III, and John Kerry?

Hmm no, unfortunately. Facts and evidence count for little. Momentum is with the madness. Revved up by countries falling over themselves to claim leadership in the renewable-energy stakes. Prognosis: negative.

Supply and Demand Will Undo the Great (Climate) Reset

He was up to page six. Please don’t make me read any more, Australia’s Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, pleaded with his senior advisers. Laying ahead, another twenty-nine pages of the turgid thirty-five-page Summary for Policymakers, heading the latest IPCC assessment report.

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Pity the policymakers to which the summary is aimed.  Even green activists in the backroom might be rendered comatose after half a dozen pages. “Non-climatic human-induced factors exacerbate current eco-system vulnerability to climate change,” is just a taste of the verbiage. On and on it goes, full of stodge and fugue, signifying nothing but a fiery end lest we mend our ways.

Issued on 28 February, this latest report on the ‘impacts of and adaption and vulnerability to climate change’ emerged from Working Group 2. This follows a report on the ‘physical science’ from WG 1 in August last year. WG 3 will report on ‘mitigation’ in early April. A ‘synthesis’ report will issue in September.

We are in the midst of an intermittent IPCC torrent of climate-change hysteria. Only war, or resurgent Covid or other Chinese plague, or rampant inflation and recession, or Joe handing the baton to Kamala, has the potential of taking it off the front pages in the months ahead.  Any possibility of good news? Sorry folks, wrong epoch.

Turn out the lights, the party's over.

Still, be not too despondent, a super hero in the guise of economics might yet save the day. You don’t say. How so?  A segue.

I’m treasurer of my local church and banked the cash offertories the other day. You’re $21 short, the teller said. Sure enough, I’d forgotten the loose change in my pocket which added up to exactly $21. Arithmetic can’t be fooled around with. Indigenous, feminist, transgender arithmetic. You name it, two plus two is still four. Those of the green Left must hate it. Science, on the other hand, is embraceable. It is manipulable.

Whether it’s Covid or "climate change," the science can be exactly what they choose it to be. Their science becomes the science. Everything else is unscientific; the province of cranks.

Debauchment of the methodology of science? Sure. But the contestability of science makes it hard to disprove their science. In other words, unlike arithmetic, while there might be a right answer, it’s darned hard to pin it down.

Thus, perhaps man-made CO2 will result in uncomfortable temperature increases. It’s a theory. And, so far as the green Left is concerned, the central question is whether a theory, however tenuous, fits the narrative; truth be damned. If it does fit, and like a glove, it’s converted from theory into axiomatic truth. Deniers of the science (of “the truth”) are summarily marginalised and cancelled. End of story.

Works every time it's tried.

Thankfully, it’s not the end of the story. Enter economics. Economics is termed one of the soft sciences compared with the hard sciences of physics and chemistry and the like.  It’s not so soft. At least one of its central underpinnings isn’t. To wit, supply and demand. Let’s put aside the so-called science of "climate change." Economics has nothing to say about it. However, it has everything to say about the supposed solutions. And it has the exactitude of arithmetic; and applies universally under whatever political regime you care to envisage.

Supply and demand govern the practical world. We experienced that in the supply-chain issues which saw prices rising and supermarket shelves emptied. And we see it when obstacles are put in the way of developing the West’s oil and gas supply; when Russian oil and gas is cut off or, these days, when the wind doesn’t blow.

In the capitalist world prices brings supply and demand into balance.  In the communist world corruption, special favours, rationing and the black market do the job; though much less beneficially. But the job is done. It’s part of human nature to abhor unrequited demand and junk excess supply. To more IPCC blather:

Energy generation diversification, including with renewal energy resources and generation that can be diversified depending on the context (e.g., wind, solar, small scale hydroelectric) and demand side management (e.g., storage and energy efficiency improvements) can reduce vulnerabilities to climate change, especially in rural populations (high confidence).

Look hard, and you can detect the need to match demand with supply in there somewhere. But it rests on a hope and a prayer. Whether pumped hydro, and/or green hydrogen, and/or some other yet undiscovered technological solution, can ever fill the gaping gaps when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine is entirely speculative, at best.

Origin Energy one of Australia’s major power companies recently announced it was closing Australia’s largest coal power plant (Eraring in New South Wales) seven years ahead of schedule; by August 2025. “We have a belief in decarbonisation,” CEO Frank Calabria pronounced. And its reported (fanciful) replacement: large-scale batteries, virtual powerplants, buying in renewable power and gas peaking plants. Meanwhile modern life and its demand for affordable and reliable electricity goes on unabated. There’s gonna be a reckoning.

The Great Reset guys would like to change the nature of men and women to square the circle. Make us (not them, mind you) more satisfied with less, in the cause of the “common good.” Listen in on their ideal post-Great-Reset conversation:

“Have to freeze tonight, Edith,” her husband explained resignedly, “the wind’s dropped again.”

“It’s all for the common good Archie, Herr Schwab says so,” Edith replied submissively, as she shivered under layers of blankets.

Good luck bringing that about. My conclusion. Supply and demand will undo the Great (climate) Reset.  If not a return to coal, oil and gas, then the door will be open wide to nuclear. As for electrifying transport, there’s been rapid growth but from a nothing base.

Various numbers abound. The biggest number I could find is that electric cars make up one percent of cars on the road. One in 250 was another estimate. Whatever is the small percentage, the percentage of miles travelled by electric vehicles will be far smaller. Multiply it all up to meet the dreams of the Climateers, and the practicalities of supplying vast quantities of electricity and exotic materials kick in. Finis fabula.

In Glasgow, 'Climate' Doom and Gloom Loom

One more last chance. That's what former vice president and failed presidential candidate Albert Arnold Gore, Jr., has just given the world unless it hops to and destroys the "fossil fuel" industry, eliminates oil and gas, and replaces all our current technology with a "green" alternative that -- like the Covid-19 vaccines -- has absolutely been proven not work. But that won't stop Al "Release my second chakra" Gore from continuing to profit from his lucrative snake oil business. In case you've forgotten what an unpersuasive salesman looks like, here's Gore with his latest Dire Warning: "Lets Get Real."

With the same desperate urgency that Dr. Anthony Fauci is pushing his useless vaccine mandates, Gore continues to insist we have to fight "climate change" RIGHT NOW. "Cop26," by the way is the fraudsters' jargon for the U.N. climate-change  "Conference of the Parties," which opens in Glasgow, Scotland tomorrow, and is now celebrating its 26th year of scarifying women and small children with the threat of the End of the World.

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In order to further their destructive propaganda, the backers of this ongoing hoax have produced a new video, in which various POCs from around the technologically dysfuncational Third World "have a conversation" with the fat cats and climate destroying white people of the First World -- always excepting secular saints like Gore, of course! -- about our wayward ways. And when the left says "have a conversation," you know what they really mean is "deliver a lecture."

It takes a heart of stone not to laugh at this crude attempt to manipulate emotions and guilt-trip the intended audience -- which you can be sure does not include the peasants of China, India, or elsewhere in the community of major "polluting" nations. But as long as the pushers of this codswallop and twaddle can enlist halfwits such as Britain's Prince Charles and Boris Johnson, not to mention America's President Brandon, the fawning media will give them a platform. After all, what press hack doesn't love a good scary story that takes place on Halloween?

It's criminal, of course, but as long as it's for "the planet," who cares? As the distinguished urban futurist Joel Kotkin points out, your partly assuaged conscience comes at the expense of the same folks featured above in the video:

Few things in life are as predictable as the rhetoric of climate change summits like this coming week's in Glasgow. Over the next week, you will hear again and again that the planet is dying and that climate change will cause mass dislocations and starvation. The end is nigh, the UN has told us, and only green house gas reducing penance can save us.

We have been hearing this now for decades, with each global confab upping the ante, insisting that with the inevitable denouement"not enough" is being done and what we need is to get more militant. And this despite whatever progress has been made.

The climate industrial complex, as economist Bjorn Lonborg has aptly called the climate doomsday crowd, has persuaded the media to indulge consistent exaggeration and predictions that link virtually any weather event— droughts, floods , hurricanes or heavy rains—directly to human caused climate change. As President Obama's undersecretary of energy for science, physicist Steve Koonin, pointed out, the most widely reported projections reflect only highly improbable worse case scenarios based on such things as ever growing coal usage and no significant technological improvement.

For some greensthe current energy shortages plaguing the U.S., China and Europe reflect progress towards a glorious net-zero emissions era. Climate activists see in the draconian pandemic lockdowns "test run"for future social control, and the middle and working class have reason to fear the policies adopted by this elite. The "great reset" adopted by the Davos crowd identified squashing social mobility and limiting prosperity as perquisites for environmental salvation.

At some point, people will start to push back against this gross misuse of science and fear mongering. Medieval-like immiseration justified by apocalyptic theology should not define humanity's inevitable trajectory.

"Should not" is right, but you can bet they'll keep trying until they get the kind of pushback they can't ignore. The modern, punitive Left cannot be happy until everyone else is as bitter, petty, and miserable as they are, although nowhere near as rich. This means you. And they can't wait.

Well, It Certainly Does Suck

Boondoggles on top of boondoggles. That's all I could think while reading this piece at The Daily Mail, with the following headline: "World’s biggest 'carbon-sucking' machine is switched on in Iceland: $15 million device will capture 4,000 tons  of CO2 per year and could help 'reverse climate change.'"

The world's biggest carbon-sucking machine, billed as a tool to reduce climate change, has been switched on in Iceland. The $15 million (£10.8 million) 'direct air capture' (DAC) machine, created by Zurich-based company Climeworks, launched on Wednesday at the Hellisheiði Power Station, Iceland. Called Orca, it will capture 4,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year as part of efforts to reduce levels of the greenhouse gas in the atmosphere – equivalent to the annual emissions from about 790 cars.

Seven hundred and ninety cars, eh? So we just need to build about 400,000 of these things to cover the roughly 300 million cars we have in the United States! And at $15 million a pop, we'd only have to double our national debt, more or less, to pay for them.

But how can we get bogged down with dollars and cents like this when the fate of the planet is on the line?! Just hand over the check book and let the experts go to work. It's an emergency, dammit! That's certainly the position of the guys who sell these things. "The cost per ton of Orca is perhaps less important than what we will learn," said Climeworks CEO, Jan Wurzbacher.

The company stressed the importance of climate capture following 'unprecedented extreme weather events' that have dominated the news headlines this year. It referred to the recent UN climate panel report – dubbed 'a code red for humanity' – which said global warming had caused an unparalleled melting of glaciers and was close to spiralling out of control. 'The report further confirms that it is crucial to reduce our emissions drastically and remove unavoidable and historic carbon dioxide emissions from the air permanently,' said Climeworks.

Of course, it doesn't take much effort to refute the claims Wurzbacher and others are making. For one thing, as we covered at the time, the IPCC report, despite some heated rhetoric (for which they're famous) was rather less dire than the frenzied headlines would have you believe. For another, the "unprecedented extreme weather events" aren't so unprecedented, and they only seem more frequent and extreme because of the twenty-four hour news cycle and the ubiquity of social media.

So, while I do sort of admire the chutzpah of Mr. Wurzbacher & Co., I think we'd all be better off if they moved on to new scam.

That IPCC Report: Much Ado About Nothing

On Monday the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its newest assessment report, the sixth in a series of comprehensive reviews of climate science. It was clever of them to release it during the dog days of August, when newsworthy events are few and far between and journalists, desperate for content, think nothing of submitting hysterical think pieces about multi-thousand page documents they haven't read.

And that's exactly what's happened -- a quick look around the internet will bring you face to face with the trashiest clickbait headlines, even from supposedly sober and respectable outlets: "The Latest IPCC Report Is a Catastrophe" says The Atlantic. "IPCC report’s verdict on climate crimes of humanity: guilty as hell" is The Guardian's headline. Here's USA Today: "Code red for humanity"

The Wall Street Journal stands out among major publications, first, for admitting that they haven't yet had time to read the almost 4,000-page report, and second, for pointing out that, if the document's summary for policy makers is to be believed, then "the report doesn’t tell us much that’s new since its last report in 2013, and some of that is less dire."

The editors patiently walk through the claims causing the most combustibility among headline writers. For instance:

"It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land,” says the report in its lead conclusion. But no one denies that the climate has been warming, and no one serious argues that humans play no role. How could eight billion people not? Adding the adjective “unequivocal” adds emphasis but not context.

A good point, since "unequivocal" got a lot of attention:

The WSJ also breaks down the IPCC's actual projected temperature changes:

The report says the Earth has warmed by 1.1 degree Celsius since the last half of the 19th century, which is 0.1 degree warmer than its last estimate. This is not apocalyptic. The five-alarm headlines arise from the predictions of future temperature increases.... Yet the report’s estimate of “climate sensitivity”—its response to a doubling of CO2—has moderated at the top end. The likely sensitivity range, says the report, is 2.5 to 4 degrees Celsius higher than in the late 1800s. The likely range was 1.5 to 4.5 in the 2013 report.

Of course, they also point out how reliant all of these projections are on climate models, and suggest reading former Obama administration science advisor Steven Koonin for an illuminating take on the flaws of such models. The gist of it is that there are so many unknowns being factored into these models as if they were facts that their conclusions are questionable at best. As Ross McKitrick explains in a review of Koonin's book,

All the shortcuts would not be a problem if in the end they could accurately predict the climate. But... the models on average do poorly at reproducing the 20th century warming pattern, even though modelers can look at the answer and tune the models to try and reproduce it. They don’t warm enough from 1910 to 1940 and they warm too much after 1980. Both errors point to the likelihood that they depend too much on sensitivity to carbon dioxide and don’t account for long-term natural variations.

If they can't accurately account for the temperatures of the past hundred years, why on earth should we bet our lives and livelihoods on their ability to project the next hundred?

Which is really to say that blame for all of the hysteria rests with the IPCC itself. It's long been famous for issuing lengthy bad-to-worst-case-scenario reports which are then distilled into hyperbolic summaries in the hope of getting picked up by journalists. Mission accomplished. But that doesn't mean we need to pay attention.