Category Archive 'Global Warming'
17 Oct 2022
Mark P. Mills, a policy wonk at the Manhattan Institute, explains that the Green Energy Revolution that is supposed to replace the use of fossil fuels in the immediate future is entirely a fantasy, a case of magical thinking that would require the abolition of limits inherent in the laws of physics.
A growing chorus of voices is exhorting the public, as well as government policymakers, to embrace the necessity—indeed, the inevitability—of society’s transition to a “new energy economy.”
Advocates claim that rapid technological changes are becoming so disruptive and
renewable energy is becoming so cheap and so fast that there is no economic risk in accelerating the move to—or even mandating—a post-hydrocarbon world that no longer needs to use much, if any, oil, natural gas, or coal.
Central to that worldview is the proposition that the energy sector is undergoing the same kind of technology disruptions that Silicon Valley tech has brought to so many other markets. Indeed, “old economy” energy companies are a poor choice for investors, according to proponents of the new energy economy, because the assets of hydrocarbon companies will soon become worthless, or “stranded.” Betting on hydrocarbon companies today is like betting on Sears instead of Amazon a decade ago.
“Mission Possible,” a 2018 report by an international Energy Transitions Commission, crystallized this growing body of opinion on both sides of the Atlantic. To “decarbonize” energy use, the report calls for the world to engage in three “complementary” actions: aggressively deploy renewables or so-called clean tech, improve energy efficiency, and limit energy demand.
This prescription should sound familiar, as it is identical to a nearly universal energy-policy consensus that coalesced following the 1973–74 Arab oil embargo that shocked the world. But while the past half-century’s energy policies were animated by fears of resource depletion, the fear now is that burning the world’s abundant
hydrocarbons releases dangerous amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
To be sure, history shows that grand energy transitions are possible. The key question today is whether the world is on the cusp of another. The short answer is no. There are two core flaws with the thesis that the world can soon abandon hydrocarbons. The first: physics realities do not allow energy domains to undergo the kind of revolutionary change experienced on the digital frontiers. The second: no fundamentally new energy technology has been discovered or invented in nearly a century—certainly, nothing analogous to the invention of the transistor or the Internet.
Before these flaws are explained, it is best to understand the contours of today’s hydrocarbon-based energy economy and why replacing it would be a monumental, if not an impossible, undertaking.
01 Sep 2022
Larry Elder compiles a number of important predictions from established science.
“The trouble with almost all environmental problems,’ says Paul R. Ehrlich, the population biologist, ‘is that by the time we have enough evidence to convince people, you’re dead. … We must realize that unless we are extremely lucky, everybody will disappear in a cloud of blue steam in 20 years.’” —The New York Times, 1969.
“No real action has been taken to save the environment, [Ehrlich] maintains. And it does need saving. Ehrlich predicts that the oceans will be as dead as Lake Erie in less than a decade.” —Redlands Daily Facts, 1970. …
“Dear Mr. President: … We feel obliged to inform you on the results of the scientific conference held here recently. … The main conclusion of the meeting was that a global deterioration of climate, by order of magnitude larger than any hitherto experienced by civilized mankind, is a very real possibility and indeed may be due very soon. The cooling has natural cause and falls within the rank of processes which produced the last ice age. … The present rate of the cooling seems fast enough to bring glacial temperatures in about a century.” —Brown University, Department of Geological Sciences, 1972. …
“A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.” —Associated Press, 1989.
“Unless drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases are taken within the next 10 years, the world will reach a point of no return.” —former Vice President Al Gore, 2006.
“The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.” —Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., 2019.
02 Mar 2022
Michael Schellenberger (both above & below) points out how eco-superstition (significantly funded by Russia as deliberate disinformatsia) persuaded both European countries and America to avoid energy production to save the earth!, thereby rendering both dependent on exported Russian energy. Vladimir Putin obviously believed that that dependency gave Russia a free hand to invade Ukraine.
How is it possible that European countries, Germany especially, allowed themselves to become so dependent on an authoritarian country over the 30 years since the end of the Cold War?
Here’s how: These countries are in the grips of a delusional ideology that makes them incapable of understanding the hard realities of energy production. Green ideology insists we don’t need nuclear and that we don’t need fracking. It insists that it’s just a matter of will and money to switch to all-renewables—and fast. It insists that we need “degrowth” of the economy, and that we face looming human “extinction.” (I would know. I myself was once a true believer.)
John Kerry, the United States’ climate envoy, perfectly captured the myopia of this view when he said, in the days before the war, that the Russian invasion of Ukraine “could have a profound negative impact on the climate, obviously. You have a war, and obviously you’re going to have massive emissions consequences to the war. But equally importantly, you’re going to lose people’s focus.”
But it was the West’s focus on healing the planet with “soft energy” renewables, and moving away from natural gas and nuclear, that allowed Putin to gain a stranglehold over Europe’s energy supply.
As the West fell into a hypnotic trance about healing its relationship with nature, averting climate apocalypse and worshiping a teenager named Greta, Vladimir Putin made his moves.
While he expanded nuclear energy at home so Russia could export its precious oil and gas to Europe, Western governments spent their time and energy obsessing over “carbon footprints,” a term created by an advertising firm working for British Petroleum. They banned plastic straws because of a 9-year-old Canadian child’s science homework. They paid for hours of “climate anxiety” therapy.
While Putin expanded Russia’s oil production, expanded natural gas production, and then doubled nuclear energy production to allow more exports of its precious gas, Europe, led by Germany, shut down its nuclear power plants, closed gas fields, and refused to develop more through advanced methods like fracking.
The numbers tell the story best. In 2016, 30 percent of the natural gas consumed by the European Union came from Russia. In 2018, that figure jumped to 40 percent. By 2020, it was nearly 44 percent, and by early 2021, it was nearly 47 percent.
For all his fawning over Putin, Donald Trump, back in 2018, defied diplomatic protocol to call out Germany publicly for its dependence on Moscow. “Germany, as far as I’m concerned, is captive to Russia because it’s getting so much of its energy from Russia,” Trump said. This prompted Germany’s then-chancellor, Angela Merkel, who had been widely praised in polite circles for being the last serious leader in the West, to say that her country “can make our own policies and make our own decisions.”
The result has been the worst global energy crisis since 1973, driving prices for electricity and gasoline higher around the world. It is a crisis, fundamentally, of inadequate supply. But the scarcity is entirely manufactured.
Europeans—led by figures like Greta Thunberg and European Green Party leaders, and supported by Americans like John Kerry—believed that a healthy relationship with the Earth requires making energy scarce. By turning to renewables, they would show the world how to live without harming the planet. But this was a pipe dream. You can’t power a whole grid with solar and wind, because the sun and the wind are inconstant, and currently existing batteries aren’t even cheap enough to store large quantities of electricity overnight, much less across whole seasons.
In service to green ideology, they made the perfect the enemy of the good—and of Ukraine.
09 Nov 2021
And there’s no penalty for being wrong. You still get to keep the prizes and awards and your faculty position at some elite university.
Paul Erlich, in 1968, famously warned:
“The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate.”
Erlich is Bing Professor of Population Studies Emeritus at Stanford University, president of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the United States National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.
You can spout utter and complete horsecrap, but still wind up successful and covered with honors as long as it’s fashionable horsecrap.
04 Nov 2021
A global coalition of financial institutions announced Wednesday that more than 450 firms controlling $130 trillion in assets have committed to shifting the global economy to cleaner energy. On Day 3 of the United Nations’ COP26 climate summit, the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero said these banks, investors, and insurers have vowed that the companies and projects they invest in will reach net-zero emissions by 2050. This will mean “every financial decision takes climate change into account,” said former Bank of England chief Mark Carney, who leads the coalition with billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
This, of course, represents nothing but an enormous economic distortion and malallocation of capital on the basis of junk science catastrophist superstition. This will be a staggering-scale tax on the economies of the trans-Atlantic democracies which will very significantly reduce growth and cause the standard of living of the unfortunate citizens of all these participating countries in future to be far lower than otherwise might have been the case. Stupidity, bad leadership, and bad ideas exact a terrible cost on societies.
If we all had the tax rates, the monetary policies, and the kind of sensible leadership that Britain and the United States had in the late Victorian — eariy Edwardian eras, we’d already have those flying cars and have been vacationing on Mars long since.
28 Sep 2021
How do you brainwash the poorly-scientifically-informed masses into accepting claims of imminent climate catastrophe for which we are all to blame by indulging in the various comforts and conveniences served up by modern industrial civilization?
You do it by subjecting them to a continual barrage of entirely suppositious scare stories alluding to an endless series of untoward consequences that may, perhaps, possibly, arrive very soon if you fail to bow to the Luddite dismantle-modern-life-and-go-back-to-the-Middle-Ages agenda and surrender vastly more money and regulatory authority to International Statism.
Even minor special interest publications like Backpacker faithfully disseminate eco-extremist agitprop, however ludicrous.
Thanks, Climate Change: Rattlesnake Bites Are Likely to Get More Common
In the wake of a scorching summer across the western US, and with evidence of a warming climate everywhere, we may be at the beginning of a golden age for rattlesnakes.
Although there may be some evidence that rattlesnakes are biting more humans than ever, there’s no clear trend. Reports from the 2021 season are incomplete, but early indicators suggest that the number of bites this year has remained stable.
In the Pacific Northwest, poison center reports even modestly decreased from last year. “I’m actually surprised at the numbers,” says Courtney Temple, a medical toxicology fellow and emergency physician at Oregon Health & Science University. The Oregon Poison center took 28 calls for rattlesnake bites from January to August of 2020, but as of August 20 this year, had logged only 19. This year’s record-breaking heat wave may have had something to do with the smaller number of bites.
“It was pretty unmanageable during the day,” says Temple. “I’m wondering if that kept people inside.”
Data from the Southwest seem similar. Halfway through 2021, Arizona had logged around 81 bites, compared with 105 for the same period last year. At least through 2020, though, the nationwide number has been somewhat flat.
“It does look like the trends since 2017 have been rock solid in terms of rate of rattlesnake bites,” says Steve Dudley, the director of the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center.
Nonetheless we can probably expect growing snake populations—and therefore bites—as the climate warms. A recent study on the impact of climate change on rattlesnake populations in the journal Ecology and Evolution suggests that “snakes will be able to emerge from overwintering earlier in the year and, in turn, wait until later months before going back into hiding.” More active time means more breeding, and more snakes.
A longer season would increase exposure to hikers (and pets), who should remain vigilant.
Note how the entire basis for the supposed peril is completely speculative and counter-indicated by existing data that is dismissed with a hand wave.
This rattlesnake jive is actually just one of countless examples of baseless supposed evils, all attributable to your living, consuming, driving, heating and air-conditioning your home.
A skeptical British wag, years and years ago, began compiling a list of all the bad stuff supposedly coming down the road that we are all to blame for. He quit updating Warmlist in 2012 with 883 items. Take a look and just imagine how many there would be if another decade’s worth of nonsense had been duly listed.
09 Dec 2020
Melting Ice Reveals a Viking Mountain Pass
Gizmodo slideshows the most intriguing archaeological discoveries of 2020. They missed the Amazonian rock paintings that proved that today’s rain forest jungle used to be savannah. And, I was much amused to read the comment on the slide above:
Mittens, shoes, horse snowshoes, bits of sleds, and the remains of a dog still attached to its collar were among the many items found in a former mountain pass in central Norway. Located on Lomseggen Ridge, the pass was used for over 1,000 years, with traffic peaking around 1000 CE during the Viking Age. A melting glacier—the result of climate change—made this and similar archaeological discoveries possible. Also, climate change still sucks.
If that pass was previously exposed a thousand years ago, and used for a thousand years, long before the Industrial Revolution and the Internal Combustion Engine, doesn’t that fact suggest that the climate can change without human responsibility and without any culpability?
Doesn’t that prove that very major changes of climate, on a scale like nothing we have remotely experienced, happen perfectly normally as part of the order of Nature?
A change of climate, like any change, must inevitably feature certain downsides, but if you lived in Central Norway, do you really think warmer, milder weather and freshly open, more convenient mountain passes useable for travel and trade would necessarily suck? That perspective strikes me as conformist, unthinking, and naive.
10 Apr 2020
James Hamblin M.D., who would believe it?, is actually 37 years old. He looks about 16. Despite being a Med School grad, he does not actually practice medicine, but instead writes for The Atlantic and lectures on Public Health at Yale.
Dr. Hamblin, in a 2017 article being freshly redistributed by Pocket, tells us that we should all give up eating beef, replacing it with beans(!) thereby coming close to meeting America’s 2020 greenhouse-gas emission goals, pledged by President Barack Obama in 2009.
[I]f nothing about our energy infrastructure or transportation system changedâ€”and even if people kept eating chicken and pork and eggs and cheeseâ€”this one dietary change could achieve somewhere between 46 and 74 percent of the reductions needed to meet the target.
â€œI think thereâ€™s genuinely a lack of awareness about how much impact this sort of change can have,â€ Harwatt told me. There have been analyses in the past about the environmental impacts of veganism and vegetarianism, but this study is novel for the idea that a personâ€™s dedication to the cause doesnâ€™t have to be complete in order to matter. A relatively small, single-food substitution could be the most powerful change a person makes in terms of their lifetime environmental impactâ€”more so than downsizing oneâ€™s car, or being vigilant about turning off light bulbs, and certainly more than quitting showering.
So, here is this presumptuous elite scribbler with a couple of degrees and an adolescent’s face who is perfectly prepared to tell 330 million of his fellow citizens to hurry up and fall into line, giving up a primary focus of the American diet, a food item appearing on the table in countless forms and recipes, whose cultural role and traditional use extends backward immemorially. The paleolithic paintings at Lascaux include bison and aurochs, the ancestors of today’s Black Angus. And why? in order to comply with a 2009 international agreement proposing self-flagellating energy measures for advanced Western countries with no possible impact on the Asian and other Third World industrial activities producing far more of the emissions suppositiously threatening to provoke the wrath of Gaia.
Really intelligent people question the ability of computer models playing with statistics to predict the earth’s climate, and the same people are also highly skeptical of the whole Anthropogenic CO2 causing warming business, since it is obvious that the world’s climate has been significantly warmer than today during several periods in the past. The Vikings, for instance, settled and farmed in Greenland, then were frozen out. There’s nobody farming in Greenland today. The Romans extensively made wine in Britain. Growing wine grapes in Britain is a very minimal activity today, and not long ago was non-existent.
Anyone numerate would recognize that the Paris Treaty was never anything but a Feel-Good bien pensant gesture. Even if fully implemented, it could never have accomplished its supposed goal.
And, anyone with common sense would realize that trying to tell Americans to give up steak and hamburger, kill off all their cattle, and shut down a several-hundred-billion-dollar-a-year industry as a gesture of solidarity with International Goo-Goo-ism is a complete non-starter.
It is really typical of today’s society that somebody goofy enough to write that piece would be hired to lecture at Yale.
13 Feb 2020
The new paper of record has the story:
U.S.â€”The recent U.N. conference on climate change and especially the words of 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg have had a profound impact on the Democratic presidential candidates, so much so that they are now turning words into action and dropping out of the presidential race since they now think thereâ€™s no point to it.
â€œWeâ€™re all going to die, so why am I wasting my time on this?!â€ cried Cory Booker as he collapsed to his knees. â€œThereâ€™s nothing we can do!â€
â€œWhy am I fighting for abortion on demand at 39 weeks when weâ€™re all going to die anyway?!â€ screamed Elizabeth Warren. â€œItâ€™s all pointless! All my plans are pointless!â€
â€œHere I was worrying about billionaires when itâ€™s the sun thatâ€™s my enemy!â€ yelled Bernie Sanders as he shook his fist at the sun. â€œI should have taxed the sun!â€
22 Jan 2020
Larry Kummer suggests that we stop the silliness and end the Global Warming/Climate Change Debate the right way: with serious science.
Climate models are the center ring of the climate policy debate. Policy-makers need to know that modelsâ€™ forecasts provide a robust basis for policies that will shape the economy and society of 21st century America â€“ and the world.
That requries validation of models by experts. Human nature being what it is, those experts should be unaffiliated with the groups that designed and run the models (an insight from drug effectiveness testing). The cost of such a project would be pocket change compared to its importance.
America has a wealth of people and institutions capable of doing this. The National Academy of Sciences could be the lead agency in a Federal project to validate climate models. They could mobilize experts in the required wide range of fields.
Operational leadership could be provided by the Verification and Validation Committee of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). See their Guide for Verification and Validation in Computational Solid Mechanics, their Standard for Verification and Validation in Computational Fluid Dynamics and Heat Transfer, and An Illustration of the Concepts of Verification and Validation in Computational Solid Mechanics. NOAA and NASA could assist. There are probably other expert groups that could help.
This is the opposite of relying on blogs and academic journals to lead the policy debate (a process that would be considered primitive by a colony of cherrystone clams).
This is the opposite of the IPCCâ€™s methodology. It is focused, not broad. It requires a review of climate models by experts unaffiliated with their creation and operation. It uses proven methods relied upon in science, engineering, and business.
The policy gridlock has consumed scarce political resources for several decades, diverting attention from other severe threats (e.g., destruction of ocean ecosystems). If climate alarmists are correct, the gridlock burns time needed for action. Even if they are wrong, these kinds of hot political debates can put fanatics in power â€“ with horrific consequences.
If implemented, this project will not change the climate. But it could break the gridlock. If it shows that models are reliable guides, it could quickly make effective public policy possible.
Why would we continue to rely on the processes which have failed for so long when there is an obvious, easy, and relatively fast alternative?
26 Nov 2019
John Ziegler, at Mediate, argues that the bad behavior of those left-wing millennial snowflakes at last Saturday’s Harvard-Yale Game is exactly the kind of thing producing the opposite results from those the perpetrators desire.
[T]he annual Harvard-Yale football game, known as â€œThe Gameâ€ as one of the most storied rivalries in all of college sports, was delayed for about an hour because of students protesting â€œClimate Changeâ€ on the field at the end of halftime. No big deal, right?
To most observers this seemingly minor development was viewed as somewhere between a source of mild amusement and trivial nuisance. But to me, it was a total outrage, and symbolic of how liberals losing their damn minds is paving a path, via extreme political correctness, for President Donald Trump to somehow win reelection.
First, letâ€™s lay out the situation. These protesters, who had apparently been planning this stunt for months, took the field at the very end of the halftime intermission (as opposed to the beginning of it) for the expressed purpose of causing a delay to the game and therefore getting more media attention.
It appears that the authorities at Yale, where the contest was played at the venerable and historic Yale Bowl, were well aware of what was going down. They treated the students, who were clearly trespassing, with the kind of kid gloves which this generation, one that has spent their childhood receiving trophies they never earned and being constantly protected from having their feelings hurt, has come to fully expect.
These spoiled-brat demonstrators apparently thought nothing of selfishly disrupting the most important game of the year for their fellow students, many of whom were playing the final football games of their lives, and all of whom had worked their asses off to prepare for it (Yale was playing for at a least a share of the Ivy League championship). In response to their terroristic tactics, the administrators of each super-liberal super school were clearly terrified of disrupting their political statement, which was completely irrelevant to anything having to do with football, or really even Harvard and Yale.
After taking quite a bit of time to allow for the changing of the diapers of the student protesters (apparently many other woke students, never wanting to be left out of an attention-seeking act of virtue-signaling, joined in from the stands as the demonstration dragged on), the authorities then decided to grant the request of many of the activists to be arrested. All of this caused the teams to go back into their locker rooms, thus creating further delay because they had to warm up all over again once the field was finally cleared of all the remaining wokeness.
It should be noted that there seems to be zero doubt that, because being against climate change is considered by liberal elites to be inherently good, the protesters were treated vastly differently than if they had somehow decided to champion a conservative cause. Does anyone serious believe that if a group of â€œPro-lifeâ€ students had done the same exact thing to protest abortion (an issue over which a college has a heck of a lot more control than climate change) that they would not have been immediately kicked off the field and probably suspended, or worse, from each school?!
On ESPN, which was broadcasting the game, the coverage of what was going on was about as liberally biased as it would have been if MSNBC had been doing the commentary. Led by former network political analyst and anchor Jack Ford, the whole fiasco was treated as if was simply a weather delay without even a hint of condemnation of the students for the significant chaos they had caused to the game (by the way, the weather for the game was absolutely perfect for football, so perhaps climate change isnâ€™t really so horrible).
As it turned out, the anarchy provoked by the protesters had even more impact than would be initially understood because of a perfect storm of circumstances. You see, the Yale Bowl, built in 1914, has no lights, and New Haven, Connecticut is one of the very first cites on the East Coast to lose sunlight this time of year.
Consequently, when Yale made a furious comeback to send the game into overtime, the most critical plays of the game ended up being played in near total darkness. Had Harvard pulled off just one more good play, the lack of light would have forced the game to be declared a tie, thus costing Yale the share of their league title that they would eventually win.
I get mocked on Twitter all the time whenever I mention a crazy episode like this helping Trumpâ€™s re-election efforts. Obviously, no one is going into the voting booth next November with this debacle on their minds (though, now that this horrible precedent has been set, I can see stuff like this happening more frequently and becoming a prominent news topic).
Instead, what I mean by this is that there is a whole group of key voters, particularly in critical states, who are more than willing to ditch Trump as long as that doesnâ€™t mean giving liberals the power to completely mess with their lives in a radical way. Seeing a major college football game almost destroyed because of this kind of liberal nonsense and overt hypocrisy is the exact type of story which makes those voters very nervous about handing everything over to a bunch of lunatics.
As I have said many times before, Trumpâ€™s political rocket-ship is fueled by the extremely negative reaction Middle America has to political correctness. What the kids at Yale did was just add a bit more gas to his tank (which is ironic given their protest of fossil fuels).
The funny part here is that I am quite sure that these children are all quite proud of themselves today. But in reality they did more to help a man they hate than they did to combat climate change.
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