Feeling Panicked? Look Under Your Feet

Is there anything sadder than living in the past? I thought of that the other evening when viewing an Australian government ad still desperately pushing Covid boosters and vaccinations for children (aka, child abuse). Those of even modest sense can no longer see the rotting carcass of the Wuhan plague in their rear-view mirrors. To medico fascists, government busybodies, and rapacious big pharma; it’s over, get used to it. You’ll soon think of something else to keep the plebs tremorous. Unless, of course, the climate-change “crisis” is thought sufficient for the day.

Mencken nailed it more than a century ago: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” And, truer it's become, since the application of common sense became unfashionable. Around what time did that happen? Hard to say, but the establishment of the United Nations' IPCC in 1988 was a watershed moment. Shortly after that, if you recall, the scientific methodology of Karl Popper was completely discarded.

The onerous hurdles entailed in rejecting the null hypothesis became infra dig among establishment climatologists and other scientists. Hocus pocus prevailed. The alternative hypothesis that industrial emissions of CO2 were on course to cause catastrophic global warming became settled science. Irrefutable science. Geocentrism revisited.

Mencken: scourge of the booboisie.

Simple minds; to be kinder, blinkered minds; to be unkinder, paid-for minds, reduced the unfathomable complexity of climate variability to the alluring simplicity of statistical correlation; hid within technobabble; the modelling equivalent of bafflegab. Up goes man-made CO2, up goes atmospheric CO2, up goes temperature. Hence the first causes the second and the second the third. Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

And by this circuitous route I come to my tale. Imagine Isaac Newton in his day discussing his ideas with friends in one of those new-fangled coffee houses in London or Cambridge. Little did they likely know what scientific revolutions were afoot. Imagine Albert Einstein on his lunch break at the Swiss patent office in Bern talking about speeding trains or accelerating elevators. The gravity, so to speak, of such musings might have gone right over the heads of those in his company. In any event, we know nothing of the everyday companions of famous scientists, unless they too discovered something. History is not about ordinary people.

I have a friend who’s a scientist. Professor Emeritus Ivan Kennedy of Sydney University. His principal field is agricultural science; his speciality, soil science. I’ve mentioned him before on this site in context of his hypothesis that wind turbines cause turbulence and drying in surrounding areas. Possible outcomes: more (warming) water vapour in the atmosphere, less agricultural productivity, and foliage more susceptible to fire. How significant are these effects is indeterminate at this stage? He has a prospective paper in Wind Energy Science. Perhaps that will prompt empirical testing. Perhaps not. His conclusions aren’t within the zeitgeist.

To the larger point, he is presenting a paper in July at the quinquennial National Congress of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute on the effect on atmospheric CO2 of exporting agricultural produce from rural to urban environments. The scientific detail is beyond me, though he's taken time to explain it, but the substantive hypothesis is plain enough. Modern agricultural practices rob the soil of alkalinity, as waste products are not returned to the soil. The resultingly lower pH levels (more acidity) in soils means less net CO2 absorption.

Professor Kennedy’s view is that in normal course man-made CO2 would be absorbed back into the land and oceans and cause no problem. Thus, according to Kennedy, it’s not CO2 emissions per se that is causing increased CO2 in the atmosphere but the reduced ability of low pH soil to absorb it. He notes, on the basis of his “crude estimate,” that this effect “is very substantial, perhaps a major part of the atmospheric increase since the early 1800s.”

Scorched earth? No: parched earth.

Back to statistical correlation, upon which all models, however fancy, are based. Since 1800 the world’s population has increased from about one billion to close to eight billion today. Food production has more than kept up. Cropping has become more extensive and intensive, with closed-system production and use ever declining. I dare say this development correlates pretty well with increased atmospheric CO2. But if it’s not in the models, and it’s not, it won’t be picked up.

My purpose is not to promote Kennedy’s theories. I’m no scientist. On the other hand, they are plausible and certainly demonstrate the appalling naivety of fixing immutably on just one flimsy theory to explain complex phenomena. Who knows, I might be sharing coffee each week with a scientist whose theories will upend the world. Rid us of wind turbines and reinstate coal. Like my made-up chums of Newton and Einstein I will rate no mention in history books, yet I was there. Unlikely? Perhaps.

The delicious irony of the answer lying in the soil is that achieving net-zero industrial and household emissions will be of no avail in reducing atmospheric CO2.  Meanwhile, feeding the growing world population, on course for, say, 10 billion or 11 billion, will go on lowering the pH of soil and thereby increasing atmospheric CO2.

The insufferable irony is that Michael Moore (Planet of the Humans) might be right. Reducing the world’s population is the obvious solution, if indeed reducing atmospheric CO2 is the goal. Can we speedily reduce the population to the one billion of pre-industrial times? Easy-peasy. World government led by an El Supremo (Herr Schwab perhaps). One child per family; that is, only provided they have sufficiently high social-credit scores. Illegal babies aborted. The elderly cajoled into euthanasia, Soylent Green style. Recall, the movie made in 1973 was set in 2022. Somewhat prescient.

And, to go back to my start, this idea of food production causing “catastrophic warming” is a lot scarier than the current theory.  It gives the powers that be enormous scope to control human behaviour at its reproductive dawn and at its degenerative dusk. If only they had the benefit of this theory in 1988. What havoc they could have wreaked. Mind you, there’s still time for them to transition from one big scare to an even bigger one. It might be best to keep shtum about Professor Kennedy’s theory. But there it is, I’ve let the cat out of the bag.

The Noble Lie of 'Global Warming'

The foundation of the environmentalist movement is, essentially, a carrot and a stick. The carrot is a global paradise, with worldwide temperature increases halted at less than 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. Which is to say, victory for their movement and the human race. The stick is, well, the kind of worldwide devastation for the planet and humanity predicted in David Wallace-Wells' hysterical 2019 book The Uninhabitable Earth. Victory, they might say, for oil barons, car owners, people with more than one child, and anyone else who hates Mother Gaia.

But what if the carrot were to disappear? That is a possibility which Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic's resident climate worry wart (or one of many) has had to come to grips with in the wake of the most recent report from the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He has just  published a piece examining the report's findings entitled "The 1.5-Degree Goal Is All But Dead." Most notable, he says, is that while the I.P.C.C. believes that it is still "technically feasible" for humanity to halt global warming at 1.5 degrees, that goal "is now, in practice, probably impossible to achieve."

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These are chilling words for environmentalists, but Meyer confesses that 1.5 degrees was always an aspiration goal. It might even be worth admitting that it was far-fetched from the outset. Despite being "enshrined in international law" (make of that what you will) via the Paris Climate Agreement, and inspiring an earlier I.P.C.C. report which "detailed the dire famines, droughts, and disasters that would accompany even that level of warming," Meyer explains that "achieving 1.5 degrees has never seemed particularly likely." That's because doing so would require "the world [replacing] its energy system at an unprecedented pace" and to succeed at a project of decarbonization which, he says, borders on the "fantastic, the miraculous." Skeptics have often accused climate change partisans of indulging in magical thinking. Meyer concedes that description is basically accurate.

So even when the original reports predicting disaster if 1.5 degrees were not achieved, the goal was nearly impossible. But human civilization has continued on existing in the years since. Carbon emissions have continued and, despite the hundreds of billions of dollars raised and spent by environmentalist groups, fossil-fuel capacity has continued to grow as well. Says Meyer:

The world can emit as much carbon dioxide as it produced during the 2010s—about 400 gigatons—before it uses up the rest of its 1.5-degree budget, the new report finds. But the world’s existing fossil-fuel infrastructure, as already built and financed, would generate another 660 to 850 gigatons of emissions.

So in what sense is 1.5 degrees still "technically feasible"? He explains, "Meeting the goal will require taking coal, oil, and natural-gas capacity offline before it was designed to shut down." That is, ushering in a new stone age.

It is interesting that Meyer doesn't quite despair. When Michael Moore accepted that the environmentalist movement was built on magical thinking and lies, he leaned in to the new stone age -- and the mass extinction which would necessarily accompany it -- as the only way to save the planet. But Meyer actually defends 1.5 C as a noble lie and motivator:

It inspired a new round of global climate concern. The aggressive climate action of the past few years—Greta Thunberg’s protests, Wall Street’s calls for corporate sustainability, even Europe’s Green Deal—would have been unimaginable without the 1.5-degree report.

He closes the piece with a note of concern that the loss of 1.5 C as a target might be dispiriting to some environmentalist groups which have built their branding and institutional strategies around it. Meyer quotes an I.P.C.C. member who suggests a rhetorical shift to 1.6 C, or even "well below 2 degrees Celsius." Look for that to be adjusted in a few years.

Meanwhile, in the real world, sea levels are fairly stable and sea ice is expanding. The climate is changing, yes, but never quite in the way or within the timeframe that the I.P.C.C. worshippers claim. Here's hoping that this disappointment will inspire a few perspective Greta Thunberg's to wake up and smell the CO2. It's glorious.

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.

U.N. Climate Report: Cloudy, with No Chance of Silver Linings

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has come forth with a new sixth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. In it the IPCC pretends science can predict what is impossible to predict: the variables in something as complex as climate. (If something is impossible to predict it is not based on science).

The IPCC's solutions are no better than its science. Given the IPCC’s leftist political orientation it ignores the data which show that increases in available energy sources and capitalism demonstrably lift more boats and improve the environment faster and more substantially than handing over money to government agencies and restricting conventional energy production.

The proposals the IPCC advances require a lot of fast and fancy footwork to obscure the fact that they can’t withstand close scrutiny:

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Wildfires

The section on the effect of climate change on wildfires begins with an assertion that in the Amazon, Australia, North America and Siberia wildfires are burning wider areas than in the past and human-caused climate change has driven the increases in the forests of western North America but, that “elsewhere, deforestation, fire suppression agricultural burning, and short-term cycles like el-Nino can exert a stronger influence than climate change.” It’s of a piece with claims made earlier by others, including NASA, and just as false.

In fact, bad land-management policies in western North America are a more significant driver of wildfires than anthropogenic climate change.  Depending on moisture content, most fuels must reach ignition temperatures between 644°F (340°C) and 795°F (440°C) to start a fire. The IPCC report makes the same mistake that NASA earlier made:

Stronger winds are more dangerous in part, because they transport larger embers. Small embers lack adequate energy to raise fuels from ambient temperatures of 70°F or 90°F to an ignition temperature of 644°F and higher. More so, the 2°F increase in global air temperatures since the Little Ice Age, increases the fuel’s temperature insignificantly and thus highly unlikely to increase 'the likelihood of a fire starting, or increasing the speed at which it spreads' as NASA claimed.

Reduction in both fire -uppression policies and the creation of fire breaks are a more likely driver of western wildfires. The warmer dry periods in these areas cannot be sufficient to reduce the humidity inside trees so as to affect wildfires: “From a global warming perspective, if relative humidity is kept constant during California’s rainless summers, for every 2 °F increase in temperature anomalies, calculations estimate that moisture content will only decrease by a rather insignificant 0.056% .” In any event the drier air is more closely related to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the el Nino and la Nina events over which man has no role. Historically, wildfires increased in the southwest when “let it burn” policies were instituted; and ice cores reveal that “maximum fire activity in boreal forests occurred during the Little Ice Age between 1500-1700 AD and was attributed to the failure of Asian monsoons about which, again, man has no control and as to which he had no impact.

Dr. Jon Keeley, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist who researched the topic for four decades was clear: “We’ve looked at the history of climate and fire throughout the whole state [of California] and through much of the state, particularly the western half of the state, we don’t see any relationship between past climates and the amount of area burned in any given year.”

 Every politician, every environmental group and every scientist trying to scare up more funding by uncritically blaming wildfires on CO2- induced climate change are not only ignoring good published science, but they’re also pushing wrong remedies and downplaying the correct remedies needed to benefit society and our environment. Better managed landscapes that control fuel supplies, and the re-introduction of fires via prescribed burns, will create more effective firebreaks and more healthy open habitat that coincidentally also increases wildlife diversity.

I cannot fathom the motives of the IPCC authors of this section but if one were to suggest it was to cover the rear end of California governor Newsom and his blinkered forest management policies, you’d be hard pressed to refute that. Of course, given the overall tenor of the report one might as well suspect the idea is to enrich Third World countries at our expense under the guise of preventing a disastrous climate change.

Trust us.

Plastics

As if there weren’t enough U.N. generated, we’re-all- going- to- die scenarios, it has added plastic pollution to its doomsday tallies. Representatives of 175 nations at the U.N. committed to creation of a plastic treaty that would not only deal with recycling, but as well to the production of plastics. They hope to get it written by 2024, which I suppose gives us some breathing room in which legislative virtue-signalers can further beset us with limitations on useful products.

 “We are making history today,” said Espen Barth Eide, Norway’s climate and the environment minister and president of the United Nations Environment Assembly, which took place for the past week in Nairobi, Kenya. In an earlier interview, he said that, given Russia’s war in Ukraine, it was particularly significant that “this divided world can still agree on something, based on science.”

Based on science? The effort seems, like much in the IPCC report, short on the concepts of human ingenuity and mitigation. Locality after locality in the United States has jumped on the band wagon, banning plastic straws, and banning or taxing shopping bags. For what end, besides virtue signaling and grift? (As in the District of Columbia where the tax on plastic grocery bags supposedly to clean up the Anacostia River went to fund a project by the council member who proposed it and when, having left the council, now heads the non-profit which has nothing to do with cleaning up the river?)

Ninety percent of the plastics in the ocean come from ten rivers, and those rivers are all in Asia. In descending order, the waterways are the Citarum River in Indonesia, the Yangtze River (China), the Indus River (Pakistan), The Yellow River (China), the Hai River (China) the Ganges River (India), the Pearl River(China) the Amur River (China and Russia) , the Niger River( 5 African countries), the Mekong River (China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam).

Most of these countries have several things in common: They are poor or have substantial numbers of poor citizens and are generally poor managers of their public spaces and community hygiene. You can bet that, just like China and India’s exemption from international carbon emissions controls, they will angle for and receive exemption in this yet-to-be devised treaty . Claims that richer nations have fobbed off the environmental degradation caused by plastics by shipping off plastic trash to such countries, ignores the benefit to them and the environment of recycling this material.

Import of plastic waste in lower-income countries like these also has been associated with growth in gross domestic product. It seems a great deal of the plastic waste shipped there from places like the United States and Britain are recycled and used instead of virgin materials to make useful products. That  process results in fewer carbon emissions and  ocean pollution. It’s an economical practice which uses less fossil fuels, the climate-change advocates' bogeyman. For a time, the used plastics from the U.S. and Britain were sent to China, but because of scandals involving mixing toxic waste into these plastics and dumping instead of reprocessing them, China stopped allowing their importation. Naturally, the doomsters believed this would only add to ocean pollution. Instead, it went to even poorer Asian countries where recycling it has been evolving into big business. There people such as Seah Kian Hoe, who as a kid used to collect scrap door-to-door for reuse now employs 350 people to run Heng Hiap Industries one of the top five plastic recycling businesses in his country which processed tons of waste per year.

There's gold in them thar bottles.

It's labor-intensive work and like clothing manufacturing takes less skilled workers and less capital. It’s a normal national economic progression. Such work is done in poorer countries and as they get richer they can hire more skilled workers, invest in more advanced technologies, and they can use those technologies to simplify and increase production, improve workers health and safety, and reduce pollution.

Heng Hiap Industries works with over 28,000 domestic plastic recyclers to buy and convert plastic scraps into high performance resin before selling it to clients that include top South Korean appliance manufacturers and Japanese automotive companies… By digitally transforming its plastic recycling operations, Heng Hiap aims to collect more and better-quality plastic by extending its collection infrastructure beyond informal collectors and grassroots recyclers, all the way to the household level, through a simplified and user-friendly collection process. In the long term, the plastic recycling company envisions creating a truly circular economy for plastics by helping its business-to-business (B2B) customers address the growing pressure from eco-conscious consumers for greater transparency and traceability.

This is not a new phenomenon. We’ve seen over and again how capitalism, ingenuity, and adaptability all combine to lift poor nations up. And higher GDP correlates with better environmental practices. In other places, we’ve seen poor countries go from labor-intensive but capital-short clothing manufacturing to such things as chip manufacturing in a very short time. As the process of recycling plastic has gone from low-level Chinese recycling to countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, we are seeing improved infrastructure, products,  returns for  both the manufacturers and the customers of the end products, and the environment.

This Just in, From Acronymia

Recently, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued one of its working group reports contributing to the Sixth Assessment Report on the current state of the world’s climate. Or in keeping with the fashion for acronyms in global governance, the UN’s IPCC issued the AR6-WG1 of its AR6, but an SFP or Summary for Policy-Makers is also available.

Enjoy!

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Though full of scientific findings, these U.N. reports are a bastard child of science and politics rather than a strictly scientific document. The wording of almost every paragraph in them has to be approved by the 190 signatory governments. In the past governments have insisted on significant changes in the treaty so that it justified the climate change policies they had already adopted.

Such political pressures will be especially intense this year since in less than two months the U.K. and the city of Glasgow will be hosting the world’s governments for COP26 which stands for the 26th U.N. Conference of the Parties that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. (Or UNFCCC.) Governments need a report that makes a strong case for the admittedly extreme policies of Net-Zero they have already adopted.

Have they got it? That’s not quite clear.

We're still doomed, maybe, kind of.

The report itself is a hefty 4,000-page document, and even its SFP is heavy going at 41 pages, which means that the major news analyses that came out on publication day are a tribute to the intellectual powers and speed-reading of the world’s journalists. Or maybe not. As my colleague Tom Finnerty suggested when he listed the various attempts of blue-chip media to match the tabloids in generating fear and anxiety, they wrung more horror from its pages than was really there:

"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."

As is often the case, however, the tabloids were more accurate in conveying the report’s overall thrust. Writing in the New York Post, Bjorn Lomborg, the moderate Danish climate realist, pointed out that the report was more even-handed than in previous years. It leveled no charges of crimes against humanity, and it balanced the damages caused by climate change with its less-known advantages:

Since the heat dome in June, there has been a lot of writing about more heat deaths. And the IPCC confirms that climate change indeed has increased heatwaves. However, the report equally firmly, if virtually unacknowledged, tells us that global warming means “the frequency and intensity of cold extremes have decreased.”

This matters because globally, many more people die from cold than from heat. A new study in the highly respected journal Lancet shows that about half a million people die from heat per year, but 4.5 million people die from cold.

As temperatures have increased over the past two decades, that has caused an extra 116,000 heat deaths each year. This, of course, fits the narrative and is what we have heard over and over again. But it turns out that because global warming has also reduced cold waves, we now see 283,000 fewer cold deaths.

You don’t hear this, but so far climate change saves 166,000 lives each year.

That’s an important point with a wider application. We know from Lomborg’s own writings (among other sources) that the number of deaths and injuries from all extreme weather events, involving both heat and cold, have fallen dramatically over a long period even when the extreme weather events themselves have risen in number.

Promises, promises.

The reason is that people build defenses against such weather and adapt to the risk of it or their insurance companies charge higher premiums if they insist on ignoring the risk. If global warming is now helping to reduce deaths from cold—in effect it’s assisting people to adapt—then the cost-benefit analysis of policies to combat climate change becomes much more complicated.

Of course, the headline conclusion of the IPCC report that provides the governments at COP26 with justification for Net-Zero is that global temperatures are continuing to rise—indeed, rising even faster than we previously thought. But as the science editor of the Global Warming Policy Forum, Dr. David Whitehouse, points out, there seems to be a conflict between that conclusion and the U.K. Meteorological Office’s global temperature data base.

His review of the Met’s data for this century shows that global temperatures have barely changed since the last IPCC report in 2014. What we see instead in Dr. Whitehouse’s words is “a long hiatus (2002 – 2014) that was acknowledged by the IPCC (but later denied by some scientists), an intense multi-phased El Nino event and its aftermath (2015 -2020) and now a recent decline to levels where they were when the IPCC published its last report.”

That conflict shouldn’t happen since the actual data on global temperatures should be the bedrock of any theory of global warming. He concludes:

So when you read the new IPCC report and take in the alarmist headlines it will undoubtedly generate, bear in mind that since its previous report in 2014 global temperatures have barely changed, and have declined from their El Nino-inspired peak of a few years ago.

If global warming is not rising as much as the IPCC forecasts suggest, then its consequences, including costs, are presumably not rising as much either. More complexity there for any cost-benefit analysis to handle, and therefore more reason to look at the costs of combatting climate change. After all, if the costs of climate change and the costs of halting or reversing climate change are both high, we need to know how close they are to each other, since that knowledge is vital to choosing the right mix of policies.

We just need to gaze at the data some more.

What then are the costs of Net-Zero? They're high, we know, and they’re getting higher. Just how high we're about to find out.

Two days before the IPCC report was published, London’s official Information Tribunal instructed the parliamentary Committee on Climate Change to publish the calculations behind its advice to Parliament that the U.K. economy could be decarbonized at modest cost. That’s a big deal because it was the CCC’s advice that was the basis of the decision by MPs to adopt the U.K.’s Net-Zero target in 2019.

Two paragraphs from the Tribunal's report will establish the high importance of this decision:

  • 247. We find that there is an extremely strong public interest in enabling scrutiny of the data, models and calculations which underpin the CCC’s conclusion that the a net-zero target could be met at an annual resource cost of up to 1-2 percent of GDP to 2050 (see p 12 of the NZR).
  • 248. This is a very significant sum of public money. It has an impact on everyone in the country. Further the NZR recommendations led to almost immediate legislative change to enact the net zero target which will have significant impact on almost every area of the lives of everyone in the United Kingdom over the next 30 years.

The case to compel this disclosure, was brought by Andrew Montford, deputy director of the GWPF, which issued the following statement after the court’s decision:

The ruling, which dismisses almost all of the CCC’s arguments, comes after a two-year battle to obtain the cost calculations. Extraordinarily, the CCC’s case centred around a claim that it had erased and overwritten the relevant information by the time of the FOI request, just six weeks after the publication of the Net Zero report, and indeed changed and lost it further subsequent to the request.

If that is so, MPs acted on information that understated the costs of one of the most important policy decisions they will ever make. That said, it’s fair to add that no one really believed the Committee’s estimates. What might force a reconsideration of policy, however, is if the Committee’s underestimate of Net-Zero’s costs turns out to be outlandishly low.

The Information Tribunal has given the CCC thirty-five days to produce the calculations. The COP26 Glasgow conference takes place eighty-five days later on the November the 1st. Fasten your seat belt, Jimmy, it’s gonna to be a bumpy night.

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.

Four Kuestions for Klimate Kultists

The Kult of the Warmers™ insists that the Earth is getting hotter. And that this is a problem. They aren’t sure why it’s a problem. Or why (and here, here, here) it’s getting hotter. If, in fact, it is getting hotter (or cooler?). But they demand to re-arrange our entire global economy “to stop earth from getting hotter.”

Whoever is running President Biden has issued an Executive Order to take away from Americans 30 percent of America and “conserve” it to stop what is not going on:

…report to the Task Force within 90 days of the date of this order recommending steps that the United States should take … to achieve the goal of conserving at least 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030.

If the Warmists are correct, what’s the problem? Scientists are looking for habitable planets with an average temperature 5° (C) hotter than earth for a reason. If the ideal planet is 5° (C) warmer, we are panicking over an increase of 3.2° (C), because…? If the follow-the-scientists are correct, “…higher temperatures than currently existing on Earth seem to be more favorable,” and "Essentially, it would be slightly older, bigger, warmer and wetter than Earth." (Emphasis mine).

Now pay attention, kids.

Four questions.

  1. What evidence shows the Earth is getting hotter?

There isn’t any. This is a politico-religio fantasy lacking factual support. No temperature data set supports a warming earth. The data they use constantly are altered, both in the current time (to show it is hotter than it is) and in the past time (to show it was cooler than it was). This allows Warmists to insist that the curve is steepening and… we’re all going to die. Probably in twelve years.

One credible datapoint of warming does exist. Cities are heat islands. This makes sense both from the standpoint of human density (offices, apartments, suburbs) and human activity (manufacturing, distribution, riots, data centers, transportation of millions of people). Remove metros from the averages and we actually may have global cooling:

Since consistent record-keeping began in 1895, the average temperature in the United States has increased by 1.3 to 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 to 1.1° Celsius).

But…

City regions can typically have air temperatures warmer than surrounding rural environments by anywhere from 1 to 15 degrees F.

If the national median temperature has increased 1.6° F, and if cities have increased (median) 7.5° F, simple arithmetic would say the rest of the country (world?) may well be cooling.

If solar radiation occurs in conjunction with water availability, summer conditions cause strong surface urban heat island intensities due to high rates of evaporative cooling in surrounding rural areas. The rural areas grow cooler by a few degrees, while the urban area … grows much warmer.

If this brings to mind the 1974 Time magazine article, “Another Ice Age?” or the 1975 Newsweek piece, “The Cooling World,” welcome to the club.

Perhaps only our SUVs are preventing Snowball Earth? If it is only the warming cities keeping us from being squashed under two miles of ice – buy another Suburban. Please.

Warmer or colder?

  1. What are their suggestions to reverse said warming?

Well, they have quite a few. Not that they actually believe in any of them. If they did, you’d see them following their own suggestions. Al The-Earth-Has-A-Temperature Gore would not live in a mansion and use more energy than 21 average families and Barack The-Rise-of-the-Oceans-Began-to-Slow Obama would not buy a $15 million mansion on a tiny, low, flat Atlantic island.

  1. Why is working to stop warming a positive good?

The Kultists say it will help the economy. But it won’t. It will create lots of good-paying “green” jobs. Actually, there is less evidence of this than of warming – so, no. (Here's the real answer.) We can move on to more modern technology – like electric cars. Umm…. Doesn’t seem like it… 

  1. What are the reasons they say that warming is bad?

Well.. they say we’ll have more and more violent storms. The IPCC itself refutes this:

There is low confidence that any observed long-term (i.e., 40 years or more) increases in tropical cyclone activity are robust…

They say we’ll have less food. Not true.  That the global coffee crop will collapse. Nope.  That more people will die of heat than of cold. Uh-uh. That the oceans are rising and will flood-out billions of people.

Let’s look at that last one for a moment. This has been a driver of the Warmists for decades. Ever since the now-thoroughly-debunked “Hockey Stick” fable and pictographs first were told around a campfire.

Liar, liar, hair on fire.

Just under half-a-billion people live within two vertical meters of sea level. If the oceans were to rise two meters via melting ice caps or major storms pushing before them a huge surge, these people would be flooded out. Ergo, we must stop the rise of the seas!

But, wait! One of the same major governmental agencies coloring outside its lines to sell us global warming (NASA - I’m still looking for “oceans” or “warming” in the words “National Aeronautics and Space Administration,” but I digress) now tells us that the moon … wobbles. (Yes, this is the same cohort looking for a planet that is warmer…)

For those who missed elementary school this might be news, but for the rest of us: The moon always has wobbled. It’s what happens when 704 quintillion tons of rock collide with 6 sextillion tons of rock, blasting off a sixth of the combined volume to coalesce into 80 quintillion tons of rock a quarter of a million miles away with no outside force acting to slow the wobble, and a few massive, constantly-moving items (Sun, Jupiter, Earth) tugging in ever-different directions acting on it to increase the wobble.

If the wobble increases, the tides magnify and... coastal flooding occurs.

If moon wobble is going to flood the coastal plains regardless of how many Chevy Suburbans we buy, how many gasoline vs electric vehicles transport us, how many cubic miles of the earth we tear up while strip-mining rare earth elements to make solar panels with which we virtue-signal one another for a few years before throwing these toxic things into in a landfill, and of how many 300-foot-tall bird Cuisinarts (573,000 chopped birds annually in the USA) we install Not-In-My-Backyard… what then?

I don’t know what then. Call Bekins? But deep down in the quiet recesses of my mind I see generations of new protestors demanding we “Stop The Wobble!” We can call them “Wobblies.”

As the man said – everything old is new again.

Why Would 'Climate Migrants' Flee from Food?

Dark predictions of the future from climate alarmists warn that “climate change” will force hundreds of millions of “climate migrants” to flee from hellish conditions caused by humanity’s use of fossil fuels and its resulting CO2 production. (Those who are not quite as bold in their conviction might call it “climate-encouraged migration”.) A widely-cited 2008 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggested 200 million migrants could be displaced by 2050. The question that naturally follows is, “What specific effects of ‘climate change’ would drive this migration?” The IPCC cites rising sea-levels, agricultural land that has been salinized and desertified, and most importantly, water scarcity and food insecurity, which frequently go hand-in-hand. Indeed, severe food scarcity has driven populations to move in the past.

If we ignore non-agricultural variables such as food imports and food distribution, then food scarcity is clearly a result of low agricultural production, which can be blamed on a number of possible factors, including poor soil quality, ignorance of modern scientific farming, diseases and pests, and environmental conditions, e.g., variations in temperature and precipitation or irrigation.

The bottom-line measure of agricultural efficiency that directly depends on soil quality, farming methods, (prevention of) diseases and pests, and growing conditions is crop-yield. Crop yield is essentially the ratio of crop production per unit of land area, usually measured in metric tons per hectare or hectograms per hectare. To understand if there is potential for climate-linked migration due to food-scarcity, crop yields provide a reasonable test. Because good climate conditions are a necessary prerequisite, but not a sufficient condition, for high yields, uniformly high yields of important crops that are well-sampled geographically can effectively rule out climate-related drivers of food scarcity.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (often called the FAO for short) has kept reliable statistics on cultivation area, production, and yield for various crops, by country, from as far back as 1961. These statistics can be easily found in the FAO’s database.

The graphs displayed below show the historic crop yields, with trend lines, for important crops from a representative set of countries that could be affected by “climate change”.  Included are the historic yields of maize (corn) in Mexico, rice in India, coffee beans in Brazil and in Vietnam, sweet potatoes in Kenya, and bananas in Guatemala. You want to see the real "green movement"? This is it:

These positive yield trends are not outliers, but rather, they are typical of other crops around the world. The devil’s counterargument is that these excellent results were brought to us by scientific farming, but the counter-counterargument is, science would be irrelevant if the most important variable – climate – were not sustaining of agricultural production.

Even if we assume the climate is warming overall, the production of food crops may not be significantly impacted. According to a study on the causes of crop failure, by Yale researcher Robert Mendelsohn, annual warming may have little to do with crop failures:

Warmer average temperatures in January and April contribute to higher crop failures whereas warmer October temperatures reduce failure rates. October temperatures are a proxy for autumn harvesting conditions. Warmer temperatures in this period help to dry at least grain crops. They may also extend the growing season allowing crops to fully mature. Curiously, July temperature does not have a significant effect. Although the seasonal temperatures have a significant effect on crop failure rates, they are offsetting. Adding the effects of the three seasons together suggest that annual warming will not have a significant effect on crop failure rates.

Furthermore, nothing in the FAO’s crop yield statistics gives an indication that the trend of increasing yields will not continue for the foreseeable future. Michael Shellenberger recently summarized the FAO’s long term projections in Forbes:

Humans today produce enough food for 10 billion people, or 25% more than we need, and scientific bodies predict increases in that share, not declines.  The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) forecasts crop yields increasing 30% by 2050. And the poorest parts of the world, like sub-Saharan Africa, are expected to see increases of 80 to 90%.

He goes on to remind us that the FAO cites basic concerns, not climate, as critical to continued growth in yields:

Rates of future yield growth depend far more on whether poor nations get access to tractors, irrigation, and fertilizer than on climate change, says FAO.

If the world were on fire, as the alarmists assert, would our fields be so lush and bountiful? While it is quite possible that many people will choose to move from warmer, less developed parts of the world to cooler, more-developed ones, in the future, it almost certainly would not be because agriculture collapsed from an inhospitable Earth.

'Snowfalls Are Now Just a Thing of the Past'

That, at least, was the klimate kook konventional wisdom back in the halcyon spring of 2000. "Sledges, snowmen, snowballs and the excitement of waking to find that the stuff has settled outside are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain’s culture, as warmer winters – which scientists are attributing to global climate change – produce not only fewer white Christmases, but fewer white Januaries and Februaries," wrote Charles Onians in The Independent, in a story that's now been memory-holed on account of, you know, snow:

Global warming, the heating of the atmosphere by increased amounts of industrial gases, is now accepted as a reality by the international community. Average temperatures in Britain were nearly 0.6°C higher in the Nineties than in 1960-90, and it is estimated that they will increase by 0.2C every decade over the coming century. Eight of the 10 hottest years on record occurred in the Nineties.

However, the warming is so far manifesting itself more in winters which are less cold than in much hotter summers. According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.

“Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

For those of you scoring at home, the University of East Anglia was the locus of the notorious "Climategate" scandal of 2010, from which its reputation has never quite recovered. Now let's cut to the UK's near neighbors, Norway, right across the North Sea for a look at how our planet is heating up:

Northern Norway was practically buried by heavy snow over the weekend, and it’s been that way all season, according to state meteorologist Eirik Samuelsen.

While fine (but cold) weather was enjoyed in the south this past weekend, the north suffered a rather different story — official snow measurements in the northern municipality of Tromsø saw 30 cm (12 inches) settling on Sunday alone. But there were large local differences, points out Samuelsen: “Here where I live, on Kvaløya, it came in more than that. And in Breivikeidet, Tromsø it came to 47 inches [almost 4 feet] of new snow from Sunday to Monday.

“I have never experienced so much snow in one day,” says Samuelsen.

This winter has seen a myriad of snow records tumble across Norway. In Tromsø, 6.53 m (21.4 ft) of powder has fallen so far this season — not since the winter of 1999/2000 has been more snow settled. In Ystnes, Finnmark, accumulations had reached 2.8 m (9.2 ft) by April 1 — already the highest measurement at any station in Finnmark, ever, and also the highest snow depth ever measured in the lowland areas of Troms and Finnmark, as reported by kxan36news.com. In addition, two snowfall records in Karasjok were toppled, and another in the Outer Holmbukt also fell.

Furthermore, Tromsø is now just 13 cm (5.1 inches) off its all-time snowfall record which was set back in 1997 (solar minimum of cycle 23). And with a further bout of heavy snowfall expected later in the week –similar to that which fell over the past weekend– Samuelsen is expecting this season to go down as Tromsø’s snowiest ever.

Yeah, you say, but it's cold in Norway. But wait!

Total Snow Mass for Northern Hemisphere is holding incredibly high this year.

These readings (see below) are truly astonishing, coming in at more than 600 Gigatons above the 1982-2012 average. Feel free to send this chart to anyone still claiming snowfall is a thing of the past, because not only did the Northern Hemisphere witness one of its snowiest seasons on record this winter, but the snow is holding-on well into Spring.

Scientists know that the Sun (that big yellow-red ball of fire in the sky) has far more to do with the Earth's climate than cows farting into the atmosphere and plastic bags floating in alleyways for the edification of stoners. Even a highly politicized NASA, the near-useless "space agency" that hasn't done a damn thing since the last men went to the Moon via Apollo 17 at the end of 1972, nearly half a century ago, understands the role of Sun, but insists that old Sol's effect is minimal:

The Sun doesn’t always shine at perpetually the same level of brightness; it brightens and dims slightly, taking 11 years to complete one solar cycle. During each cycle, the Sun undergoes various changes in its activity and appearance. Levels of solar radiation go up or down, as does the amount of material the Sun ejects into space and the size and number of sunspots and solar flares. These changes have a variety of effects in space, in Earth’s atmosphere and on Earth’s surface.

The current solar cycle began January 4, 2008, and appears to be headed toward the lowest level of sunspot activity since accurate recordkeeping began in 1750. It’s expected to end sometime between now and late 2020. Scientists don’t yet know with confidence how strong the next solar cycle may be.

But...

According to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the current scientific consensus is that long and short-term variations in solar activity play only a very small role in Earth’s climate. Warming from increased levels of human-produced greenhouse gases is actually many times stronger than any effects due to recent variations in solar activity.

Trouble is, a lot of scientists think the IPCC is bunkum, an unscientific muddle of "models" and "projections" attached like a  malignant barnacle to the UN in a push for a huge wealth transfer from the First World (you know, the countries with actual scientists and a record of scientific discovery) to the barely literate Third World, which is also the source of the majority of planetary pollution. As the libertarian magazine, Reason, notes:

Most temperature records show that since 1998 the models and the observed average global temperature trend have parted ways. The temperatures in the models continue to rise, while the real climate has refused to warm up much during the past 15 years.

The IPCC report acknowledges that almost all of the "historical simulations do not reproduce the observed recent warming hiatus." Not to worry, it assures us; 15-year pauses just happen, and you can't really expect the models to simulate these kind of random natural fluctuations in the climate. Once this little slow-down passes, "It is more likely than not that internal climate variability in the near-term will enhance and not counteract the surface warming expected to arise from the increasing anthropogenic forcing." In other words, when the warm-up resumes it will soar.

John Christy, a climatologist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, has come to a different conclusion. Christy compared the outputs of 73 climate models for the tropical troposphere used by the IPCC in its latest report with satellite and weather balloon temperature trends since 1979 until 2030. "The tropics is so important because that is where models show the clearest and most distinct signal of greenhouse warming—so that is where the comparison should be made (rather than say for temperatures in North Dakota)," Christy explains in an email. "Plus, the key cloud and water vapor feedback processes occur in the tropics." When it comes to simulating the atmospheric temperature trends of the past 35 years, Christy found, all of the IPCC models are running hotter than the actual climate.

You don't need to tell that to the Norwegians! Meanwhile, in neighboring Sweden, Greta Thunberg was unavailable for comment.

 

IPCC vs. the IPCC

We've all read the claim that "climate scientists" are essentially unanimous in their opinion that "global warming" is one of the greatest challenges of the modern era, and that unless we get a handle on it and halt the temperature rise, we're all doomed.

Not so fast:

THANKFULLY we usually always get to hear the inconvenient and raw truth about taxpayer funded, unelected, bloated government bureaucracies when members eventually leave and are not subject to bullying and financial repercussions. Definitely no exception here… 46 enlightening statements by IPCC experts against the IPCC:

  1. Dr Robert Balling: The IPCC notes that “No significant acceleration in the rate of sea level rise during the 20th century has been detected.” This did not appear in the IPCC Summary for Policymakers.
  2. Dr Lucka Bogataj: “Rising levels of airborne carbon dioxide don’t cause global temperatures to rise…. temperature changed first and some 700 years later a change in aerial content of carbon dioxide followed.”
  3. Dr John Christy: “Little known to the public is the fact that most of the scientists involved with the IPCC do not agree that global warming is occurring. Its findings have been consistently misrepresented and/or politicized with each succeeding report.”
  4. Dr Rosa Compagnucci: “Humans have only contributed a few tenths of a degree to warming on Earth. Solar activity is a key driver of climate.”
  5. Dr Richard Courtney: “The empirical evidence strongly indicates that the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis is wrong.”

Read the whole thing, and enjoy each and every morsel.