When Hoaxes Collide

There's no shortage of things that can be blamed on "climate change." Here's a howler of a list taken just from the past few days: pirate attacks (The Guardian); the Biden border crisis (Rep. Pete Aguilar D-Calif.); the ancient Wooly Mammoth virus (French Prof Jean-Michel Claverie). Meanwhile, policies meant to address "climate change" have an actual body count, but that is barely commented upon at all. One rare exception, however -- the Economist has published some damning figures which demonstrate that higher fuel costs last winter killed more Europeans than did Covid-19.

Our modelling estimates that high energy prices claimed 68,000 lives …. Countries with the highest excess deaths typically experienced the biggest increases in fuel costs. If electricity last winter had cost the same as 2020, our model expected 68,000 fewer deaths across Europe, a decline of 3.6 percent.

Finland seems to understand the high cost to its people of soaring energy, andhas opted to increase energy output via a new (if "much-delayed") nuclear reactor, and reduce prices to consumers by "more than 75 percent." South Africa on the other hand has developed a super special means of getting ahead of its target for cutting emissions of greenhouse gas: thanks to its collapsing infrastructure, there's no energy at all.

South Africa is ahead of its target for cutting emissions of greenhouse gases. Output of the climate-warming gases from the world’s 14th-biggest emitter is already falling even though its Nationally Determined Contribution, a target adopted by the cabinet in 2021, only forecast a decline from 2025. Power plant breakdowns are reducing industrial activity.

And that disaster is only snowballing.

South Africa is teetering on the edge of Stage 7 or 8 load shedding during the winter months, which would spell disaster for citizens’ quality of life and for the economy. But Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, the new electricity minister, has a way of suggesting that blackouts might rise to higher and even unprecedented stages (possibly Stage 7 and 8) this winter, without explicitly saying so.

It’s winter there now, and if what's been happening in Europe is a harbinger of what’s to come, the South African “success” at beating its target for cutting greenhouse gases will also lead to a significant increase in their excess deaths. (Which may be part of the point.)

Q. What did S. Africa use before candles? A. Electricity.

At the same time the very basis for the demand that greenhouse gas emissions be reduced  to net-zero in coming years is daily undercut by even the data of its proponents. Last week, the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) took a major hit to its credibility. According to the Daily Sceptic, "recently-published research" shows that "42 percent of its climate scenarios rely on improbable rises in future temperature that even the U.N.-funded body believes are of “low likelihood.”' The IPCC itself actually admits the improbability of these scenarios, but that admission is “deeply buried” in the full Sixth Assessment Reports (AR6). "The authors [of this research paper] note that significant and important sections of the full IPCC work emphasize these improbable claims, potentially invalidating those sections of the report." The Sceptic continues:

The authors are damning about much of the IPCC’s work. In addition to emphasizing worst-case scenarios, it rewrites climate history, has a “huge bias” in favor of bad news against good news, and keeps the good news out of its widely-distributed Summary for Policymakers (SPM). One notable contradiction surrounds flooding, where the AR6 IPCC report states with “low confidence” that humans have contributed to it, yet the Summary for Policymakers promotes the opposite, stating that human influence has increased “compound” flooding.

In any event even if the U.N.’s worst case scenario is true, that we face a two in three chance of temperatures briefly rising by  1.5 C , it is probably a strategic mistake of them to publicize this. Judith Curry, one of the most respected climate watchers, noted:

Apart from warmer temperatures, what evidence is there of potential catastrophes? An observed increase in extreme weather events is not well justified, if you correctly account for the influence of multi-decadal ocean oscillations. So, what is the possible worst cast impact for 1.5 or 2.0 C warming on the timescale of the 21st century?

  • Collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, possibly resulting in up to 2.5 m sea level rise as per the NOAA (2017) report (actually, the IPCC does not even make this case, they are predicting SLR of 1-2 feet). This extreme scenario, which would maybe justify all this, is regarded as extremely unlikely, and we are not presently on such a trajectory. In any event, if the WAIS collapses it is more likely to be due to the geothermal heat flux and volcanoes beneath the ice sheet. Recent research shows portions of the WAIS rising at a rate of 41 mm/yr, acting to protect the WAIS from collapse. MASSIVELY uncertain.
  • Species extinction. After alarming conclusions in AR4, the AR5 backtracked, and this new Report backtracks even further. What about the ocean – acidification and declining oxygen? Our understanding is in its infancy, but this needs to be looked at more.

In my opinion, even with erroneous attribution of extreme weather/climate events and projections using climate models that are running too hot and not fit for purpose of projecting 21st century climate change, the IPCC still has not made a strong case for this massive investment to prevent 1.5C warming.

I think she gives the proponents too much credit in suggesting they'll be retreating in shame — people who love predictions of doom and the media and institutions who profit from doom-saying will continue linking every supposed "crisis" to carbon emissions and "climate change," while hiding the negative impact their policies have on the most vulnerable among us. Hey -- it's worked so far.

How Long Must This Go On?

While everyone's fixated on the entirely predictable indictment of Donald Trump for picking his feet in Poughkeepsie, look who's back, demanding more money we don't have for a cause we should not be supporting, at the risk of starting World War III for no good reason, and look who's printing it for him:

The Department of Defense announced a massive new military aid package for Ukraine on Tuesday valued at $2.6 billion. President Joe Biden authorized $500 million worth of ammunition for U.S.-provided HIMARS, air defense interceptors, artillery rounds, anti-armor systems, small arms, heavy equipment transport vehicles, and maintenance support through his authority to take weapons from U.S. stockpiles.

In addition to the artillery and ammunition, the drawdown also includes 11 tactical vehicles to recover equipment, 61 heavy fuel tankers, 10 trucks and 10 trailers to transport heavy equipment, roughly 400 grenade launchers, and others. By allocating this aid via the president’s drawdown authority, the aid could reach Ukraine within weeks.

“This new security assistance will allow Ukraine to continue to bravely defend itself against Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. “Russia alone could end its war today. Until Russia does, the United States and our allies and partners will stand united with Ukraine for as long as it takes."

"As long as it takes." Now that's reassuring. Meanwhile this news, of course, is entirely coincidental:

While most investors were fixated on Jerome Powell & Co. this week, trying to gauge the Federal Reserve’s next moves in light of recent bank failures, something interesting occurred in Moscow.

During a three-day state visit, Chinese President Xi Jinping held friendly talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a show of unity, as both countries increasingly seek to position themselves as leaders of what they call a “multipolar world order,” one that challenges U.S.-centric alliances and agreements. Among those agreements is the petrodollar, which has been in place for over 50 years.

Never interrupt your enemy when he's destroying himself.

Early in the 1970s, the U.S. government provided economic aid to Saudi Arabia, its chief oil-producing rival, in exchange for assurances that Riyadh would price its crude exports exclusively in the U.S. dollar. In 1975, other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) followed suit, and the petrodollar was born.

We may be witnessing the end of the petrodollar as more and more countries, including China and Russia, are agreeing to make settlements in currencies other than the U.S. dollar.

As is this:

Finland officially became the 31st member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on Tuesday, marking a major shift in the security landscape in northeastern Europe that adds some 1,300 kilometers (830 miles) to the alliance’s frontier with Russia. The Nordic nation’s accession was sealed during a formal ceremony at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg were on hand as the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Pekka Haavisto, established Finland’s accession. “Finland has today become a member of the defense alliance NATO. The era of military non-alignment in our history has come to an end. A new era begins,” the Finnish presidency said in a statement....

NATO and Finland land right on Putin's doorstep.

Finland’s acceptance into the US-led security alliance presents a blow to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has long sought to undermine NATO, and before invading Ukraine, demanded the bloc refrain from further expansion. Russia has warned that further NATO expansion will not bring more stability to Europe, and on Monday said it would scale up forces near Finland if the alliance sent any troops or equipment to the new member country.

“We will strengthen our military capabilities in the west and northwest if NATO members deploy forces and equipment on Finnish territory,” Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told Russian state news agency RIA Novosti. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov reiterated that Finland’s accession will force Moscow to “take counter-measures to ensure our own security, both tactically and strategically.”

This is how world wars start, with a series of minor blunders that eventually snowball into catastrophe. Putin insists that the U.S. promised not to push the limits of NATO (whose sell-by date occurred the day the Soviet Union collapsed at the end of 1991) right up to post-Soviet Russia's boundaries. NATO denies it. Now it's there. Somebody, maybe all of us, will pay the price.

And for what? The Ukraine?