Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Washington Governor Claims ‘Just 59 Days’ To Save Children From Global Warming



What's eating fools like this?  Don't they know how absurd they  will look in the near future?

Washington state’s Democratic Governor Jay Inslee warned there was “just 59 days” to save future generations from “an endless cycle of crop-killing droughts one year, and rivers spilling their banks the next.”

Inslee went on a lengthy Twitter rant in efforts to convince the state legislature to pass legislation to tax carbon dioxide emissions. Washington residents voted down Inslee’s last carbon tax plan by a wide margin in 2016.

The state legislature’s session ends in 59 days, on March 8. Democrats have a slim majority in both state legislative chambers.

Inslee wants lawmakers to pass a tax on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and industrial facilities.

The plan could raise household electricity prices five percent, and gas prices by about 10 percent, according to official estimates.

SOURCE





Sir Porritt's Island of Climate Criminals

Tony Thomas

The Kerguelen islands are horridly cold and windy specks near the Antarctic, populated by a few score of French scientists and several thousand sheep. But to a leading British green group, Forum for the Future, it has enormous potential as an internationally-run penal colony for global warming sceptics.

The Forum's founder-director is Jonathon Porritt, 67, Eton- and Oxford-bred Chancellor of Keele University,  adviser to Prince Charles, and Green Party activist. [1] The Forum's fancy for Kerguelen can be found in its 76-page report "Climate Futures - Responses to Climate Change in 2030", written in conjunction with Hewlett-Packard, a company which should know better. This scenario, one of five, involves the naughty world  delaying the reduction of emissions, for which we must all suffer. The document even conjures a fictional climate criminal and imagines him being deported to Kerguelen in 2028. He is Jean-Claude Bertillon, leader of the No Climate Change Party in Canada, "convicted of denying the existence of climate change".

The report actually fantasises three  penal colonies which, from the context, must be for for climate criminals. The other two are Britain's frosty South Georgia[2]  and the South Island of New Zealand. [Extreme ignorance there.  The South Island is idyllic] Written in 2008, the document attempts to show how CO2 emissions will wreck the planet within a couple of decades unless civilisation turns away from the sins of consumerism and economic growth. As we are now almost half-way to the 2030 forecast date it is possible to get a handle on how the Forum's timeline is working out, and perhaps to gain an inkling of any substance to the report’s assertion that our descendants will look back on us with the same disgust we reserve for the slave-owners of yesteryear.

The   authors — and Porritt himself — long for an eco-catastrophe that would eliminate all public doubts about climate doom.  Their manifesto says,

"Because of a chilling lack of confidence in our leaders . our only hope would be for an isolated, serious pre-taste of climate change to happen soon enough for the political and behavioral response to have a useful impact.”

This is probably wishful thinking, as Porritt, founder director of Forum for the Future and chair of the UK's Sustainable Development Commission, pointed out:

 `I have occasionally fantasised about a low mortality-count scenario where a Force Six hurricane takes out Miami, but with plenty of warning so the entire city is evacuated with zero loss of life. The insurance industry in America would collapse because this could be a $50-60 billion climate-related `natural' disaster. The industry wouldn't be able to cope with that. There would be knock-on pain throughout the global economy, massive, traumatic dislocation. This would act as enough of an injection of physical reality, coupled with financial consequences for leaders to say: `Ok, we've got it now. This isn't just about some nasty effects on poor countries: this is devastating for our entire model of progress.' The response to that would be a negotiated transition towards a very low-carbon global economy that builds increased prosperity for people in more equitable and sustainable ways.'"

The report says its five scenarios are all possible, based on “a review of the current science” and “input from scores of experts.” In all five scenarios global warming and extreme weather are, of course, far worse and more perilous than even the 2007 IPCC report suggested.[3] Here are some of its prescribed green correctives:

Expensive, state-funded information campaigns reinforce the need for changes to lifestyles and aim to keep the mandate for state intervention strong. Inevitably parallels are drawn between this and the authoritarian state propaganda of the twentieth century.

"`Climate crime' is a social faux pas everywhere, but in some countries it is a crime to publicly question the existence of anthropogenic climate change or to propose actions that could in some way contribute to climate change.

"It is very rare to come across dissenting voices with any real power, but resistance to overly strong state intervention is occasionally violent. The media in some countries has been permitted to discuss whether the single focus on resolving climate change means that other equally important or inter-linked issues are being ignored." (Report's emphasis, not mine)

Meanwhile,

"in some countries a licence is now required to have children and these are awarded according to a points system. Climate-friendly behaviour means points.

"It is not unusual for governments to monitor household energy consumption in real time, with warnings sent to homes that exceed their quotas. For example, citizens could be told to turn off certain appliances such as washing machines or kettles or even have them switched off remotely."

In 2014 Harvard luminary Naomi Oreskes forecast the extinction of all Australians amid climate woes. The Future Forum is more moderate,  envisaging merely the abandonment of waterless central Australia, a "collapse of Australian agriculture",  and a "particularly toxic" combination of drought and recession.[4]

In what the Forum authors call "alarming reading", Australia's Friends of the Earth climate experts predict the disappearance of Arctic summer ice by 2013, "almost a century earlier than suggested by the IPCC". The actual 2013 minimum was about five million square kilometres of sea ice, and it was a bit more than that last year.

The authors let slip some of the green's secret tradecraft, in terms of their projected advances in fostering ever-creeping state control under the smokescreen of controlling emissions:

"In most cases this has happened gradually, ratcheting up over time, with citizens surrendering control of their lives piecemeal rather than all at once, as trading regimes, international law, lifestyles and business have responded to the growing environmental crisis. And so in 2030, greenhouse gas emissions are beginning to decline, but the cost to individual liberty has been great."

One is hardly surprised to find such a green-minded document citing Cuba as a beacon of hope for quality of life. But also Nicaragua and Bhutan?

There is the distinct possibility that non-western development paths could gain greater credence. At one extreme, the development strategies adopted today by Cuba, Bhutan, Nicaragua or Thailand could be the pioneers of future diversity. Here, new priorities, particularly around `quality of life', have sidelined many aspects of traditional western development models.

Here are some snippets from the scenarios.

2009-18: Global depression and harrowing malnutrition are caused by high oil and commodity prices. In 2017,  "authorities (are) warned to prepare for a `suicide epidemic' in the US caused by the Depression." [Reality: Dow Jones index now at record levels and oil prices relatively low.]

2018: Reunification of Korea with Pyongyang as the capital. [Great work, Kim Jong-un!]

2020:  The year of no winter in the northern hemisphere.
 [Right now, the US and Europe are blanketed by extreme cold and snowfalls].

2022: Oil hits US$400 a barrel [current price: US$60],[5]  making world trade and air travel prohibitively expensive. The carbon price makes carbon "one of the most important and expensive commodities in the world today". [In reality the carbon futures price has collapsed to about US$8 a tonne. Labor's Rudd-Gillard carbon price was about $A23.]

2026: NATO has defined breaking the 2020 Beijing Climate Change Agreement as an attack on all its members, to be defended by military force.

2029: Planned permanent settlement of the Antarctic Peninsula, taking people from climate-stressed countries. Styled as the first true global community, its population is projected to be 3.5 million by 2040.

2030: Waterless Oklahoma has been abandoned. Texas becomes independent [so much for the Civil War of 1861-65].

2030: "The US president launches a re-election campaign with a populist speech entitled `What is the Point of the UN?' after a debate in New York descends into factional chaos." [Donald Trump last month beat the forecaste by 13 years].

Some predictions in the document are quite good, albeit easy ones. Try these:

2026: Supercomputer Alf-8 correctly predicts general strike in France. [Well, doh!]

2012-30: China is accused of lying and cheating on its emissions pledges.

The document's part-hidden agenda is propaganda for the lunatic "simplicity movement" in which everyone returns to an idyll of backyard vegetables and disdain for material things, such as cars and toasters. For example, in 2022 "a general retailer in the UK announces that it has sold more wool for home use than manufactured knitwear for the first time in its history." In other words, won’t it be wonderful when we all have to knit our own clothes.[6] [7]

The  authors also take for another run the failed Club of Rome's 1972  "Limits to Growth" diagnosis: Prices for raw materials are very high and getting higher, having major impacts on manufacturing processes and the world economy. Proposals have been tabled for commercial mining ventures on the moon. The world is in a deadly race to develop new processes before resources run out completely.”

In a passage  obviously written by academics, the academics become the heroes of the future: "Communications like the `world wide internet' have fragmented. A small group of academics preserve a global network, their dream to `re-unite' the world."

The report's best prediction, undoubtedly, is for an upsurge in rent-a-bikes. I counted four of those yellow oBikes on my dog-walking path just this morning.

Tony Thomas's book of essays, That's Debatable - 60 Years in Print, is available here




[1] One of his predecessors as Keele Chancellor was Princess Margaret (1962-86).


[2] South Georgia's national day each September 4 is dedicated to the Patagonian toothfish.


[3] "The scenarios are based on wide research and consultation and a rigorous methodology."

[4] The 2017 reality: Australia's winter grain harvest last year was down 40% on 2016, which had smashed records by 30%. World crop production hit a record, thanks partly to higher CO2 levels and mild long-term warming. Wheat production, for example, was at a record 750 million metric tonnes.


[5] In 2008, when the report was written, oil was at US$150 a barrel


[6] I tried knitting during train trips to school at age 14 but my outputs were never successful.


[7] A nest of "simplicity" people currently push the same line at Melbourne University's Sustainable Society Institute. The green-infested Australian Academy of Science hosted a Fenner conference for zero-growthers in 2014, some of them  advocating 90% cuts to Australia living standards.

SOURCE





Go on, California — blow up your lousy zoning laws

Some rare sense from Boston:

GO ON, CALIFORNIA. Do it. Blow up the zoning laws that choke off new housing and force chefs, nursing assistants, and college professors to live in their cars.

A state senator from San Francisco recently filed legislation to sweep away minimum-parking requirements, limits on density, and certain other restrictions on residential housing construction within a half-mile of a train station and a quarter-mile of stops on high-frequency bus routes. Senator Scott Wiener’s bill would promote bigger, taller new buildings in transit-rich urban areas across California.

The bill may be the biggest environmental boon, the best job creator, and the greatest strike against inequality that anyone’s proposed in the United States in decades.

Ease up on zoning limits, and private developers — with their own money — will create millions of new units in urban areas, absorbing the influx of tech and finance bros, freeing up homes for everyone else, and creating lots of construction jobs along the way. Make room for more people in some of the world’s most economically productive metro areas, and the whole country benefits.

Thriving cities need room to grow. According to a new report by the real-estate website Trulia, two-thirds of homes in San Francisco are now valued at $1 million or more, up from 22 percent since 2012. In the Boston area, the situation isn’t that dire — yet — but the percentage of homes with million-dollar values has nearly doubled in five years.

In the rare event Wiener’s bill passes, it might just persuade pricey enclaves around the country, including Eastern Massachusetts, that the cure for a housing crisis doesn’t have to be complex.

Recently, Governor Charlie Baker proposed a modest housing package, including a grant program for cities and towns that ease their zoning, plus modest legislation that would allow local government bodies to approve denser home construction by a simple majority, rather than a two-thirds vote. There have been other efforts on Beacon Hill to loosen up zoning rules statewide — for instance, by designating areas where developers can build housing without seeking special permission and by giving people freer rein to carve granny apartments out of existing houses — but progress has been slow. The House in particular has protected the ability of cities and towns to say no.

Meanwhile, even some people who consider themselves housing advocates are in thrall to the left-wing version of climate-change denial: the belief that building more units pushes prices up, not down. At last year’s state Democratic convention, a band of progressives tried — and, blessedly, failed — to change the party platform to remove language supporting market-rate housing. (Rule of thumb: If your plan to lower housing costs depends on overthrowing the laws of capitalism, it’s not a plan at all.)

In California, opponents of Wiener’s bill argue, predictably, that he’s shilling for developers and, more imaginatively, that the bill serves a white-supremacist agenda. But any suggestion that today’s zoning promotes equity is nothing short of astonishing.

Zoning has an ugly history. In a startling book entitled “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America,” author Richard Rothstein details the thousands of steps that federal, state, and local officials took over decades to keep African-Americans from moving into white areas. When courts invalidated explicit racial zoning, cities and towns from coast to coast imposed codes that restricted the construction of multifamily housing — a more legally defensible way to keep supposed undesirables out.

Today, we justify zoning as a way of protecting schools and homes from slaughterhouses and chemical plants. Fair enough. But having long ago vanquished genuine nuisances, upscale homeowners have moved on to fighting threats like height and shadows. When people are offered the chance to tell other people what they can and can’t do with their property, it’s too tempting to turn down.

Many of the most beloved neighborhoods in the Boston area were built before the advent of zoning, and they didn’t need it to develop as nicely as they did. And once neighborhood groups decide that stricter is better, it’s hard to stop — which is why vast areas of Greater Boston cannot legally be rebuilt under current zoning.

California’s housing problems are like ours, but only more so. Population growth there has been far faster, and many of the land-use laws there are stricter. As a result, housing prices out there have spiraled much farther out of control.

On the upside, if and when the government legalizes more housing construction, the housing market will respond quickly. In the year since California eased restrictions on granny flats, the number of applications to build the units in Los Angeles has risen 20-fold. Now the Golden State has a chance to do something far bolder.

Come on, California. Don’t be shy.

SOURCE





True & Staggering Cost of Intermittent & Unreliable Wind Power – Unplugged

The total cost of attempting to incorporate intermittent, unreliable and chaotic wind power into a grid designed around stable, controllable, dispatchable power generation is utterly staggering.

In those places attempting to run on sunshine and breezes, grid managers are forced to regularly intervene, compelling the owners of conventional fossil-fuelled generation plant (coal and gas) to burn fuel and remain online, even when the wind is blowing which, due to the subsidies provided to wind power, prevents them from dispatching power to the grid and earning revenue from doing so. Compensating the owners of coal and gas-fired plant for burning fuel for no commercially defined purpose (other than keeping the grid from collapsing) has a cost.

The alternative to these massive ‘capacity payments’ is simply allowing the chaotic delivery of wind power to destroy the stability of otherwise reliable grids, outright.

There are 3 electricity essentials – that the power source and its delivery to homes and businesses be: 1) reliable; 2) secure; and 3) affordable. Wind power – a wholly weather dependent power source, that can’t be stored (save at the margins in the odd, insanely expensive Tesla battery) and costs 3-4 times the cost of conventional power – scores NIL on all three counts.

Over time, STT has sought to pull together fairly technical aspects of power generation in an effort to demonstrate the patent nonsense of wind power.

We’ve attempted to cover the engineering and economics of trying to add a chaotic power source to a grid designed around narrow physical tolerances; and which requires constant second-by-second management to deliver that which – until wind power entered the equation – we all largely took for granted.

More HERE





Battling Climate Change from the Back Seat of an S.U.V.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has filed suit against big oil companies for their part in climate change, but he regularly rides around town in an S.U.V. Credit Dave Sanders for The New York Times
Purring in the mild winter day, a small armada of S.U.V.s was parked Thursday morning along 42nd Street outside the New York Public Library. Inside was Mayor Bill de Blasio, at an interfaith prayer breakfast that went on for quite a while.

By divine right of mayoralty, or someone, 13 vehicles waited at the curb in a no-standing zone, among them four black S.U.V.s (three Chevy Suburbans and one Yukon XL) an ambulance, a huge E.M.S. vehicle and a police school safety van. The engines on those big boys were running while the mayor was inside, for about two hours.

At least one of the S.U.V.s had Taxi and Limousine Commission plates. It may not have been part of the official mayoral entourage, but its dashboard was anointed with the holiest of government oils: a police placard giving it license to park where unblessed mortals cannot.

One day earlier, Mr. de Blasio announced that the city would sue five big oil companies for the hardships and costs inflicted on New York by climate change. For an archipelago city with 520 miles of coastline, rising seas are no joke. Among the targets of the suits was Exxon Mobil, whose own scientists found, as most scientists have, that climate change was real and that human behavior was contributing to it. Even so, Exxon supported organizations that attacked those very conclusions. In the suit, New York follows the lead of governments around the Bay Area in California that have filed similar cases.

Whatever the merits of the suit, Mr. de Blasio and his predecessor, Michael R. Bloomberg, are the very embodiment of a possible line of defense by the oil companies. Namely, that it wasn’t the oil companies that created the greenhouse gases, but society in general — companies and individuals who used oil to generate electricity, or for transportation.

Many mornings, Mr. De Blasio is driven 11 miles to his gym in Park Slope, Brooklyn, from the official mayor’s residence on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Gracie Mansion.

Former Mayor Bloomberg, a billionaire, rode the subway most days. On the other hand, Mr. Bloomberg routinely splurged on carbon usage by deploying his personal fleet of carbon-inefficient private jets and helicopters for long-distance travel. He would use them to fly to a weekend home in Bermuda, for instance, or to Europe. In an episode so rich you could choke on it, Mr. Bloomberg brought an entourage aboard his personal Falcon 900 to Copenhagen, at a cost in carbon emissions that was 37 times more than if the group had flown commercial.

The reason for the trip? Mr. Bloomberg was speaking at a conference on climate change.

In New York, the police regard S.U.V.s as the most prudent for moving and protecting the mayor, and no one should begrudge any officials the security they need to carry out the work they do on behalf of the public. That goes for their recreation, at least for mayors, who put in long hours. At some point, every last one of them winds up splutteringly frayed or fried, so getting to a favorite gym probably helps keep Mr. de Blasio from losing his mind.

Just because it is easier to deplore hypocrisy in others than in ourselves does not make any of us immune to it. Hypocrisy is more widely practiced by humans than any creed. Mr. Bloomberg’s health department wanted restaurants to cut sodium from their recipes but he was known to shake salt on slices of pizza and saltine crackers.

Mr. de Blasio has made populism work for him politically, but apparently too much righteous posturing can be a strain on the middle-aged back. Within a five-minute walk of the 42nd Street Library are 13 subway lines that fan out to virtually every corner of the city. Still, Mayor de Blasio hopped into one of the S.U.V.s leaving the library — a relatively efficient hybrid model, his spokesman pointed out. “The mayor uses public transit as much as his schedule allows, and we’re always looking to use it more,” Eric Phillips, the spokesman, said.

When was the last time?

December 11, Mr. Phillips said.

In the afternoon, WBUR aired an interview with the mayor by Meghna Chakrabarti about Mr. de Blasio’s climate actions, which, besides the lawsuit, include a proposal to divest the city’s pension investments in fossil fuel companies. These weren’t political stunts, the mayor said, arguing that the lawsuit was akin to suits against tobacco companies.

Wouldn’t it be better to keep stocks in those companies and have a voice in changing them, the host asked.

“I think you have to vote with your feet sometimes,” Mr. de Blasio replied.

No kidding.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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Monday, January 15, 2018



Warming and the Search for Climate Justice for the Poor

A slight temperature rise is THE big problem for the poor?  It might hurt the Filipino farmer below somewhat, who looks like he is harvesting sugar-cane, but how come he is not sitting in the air-conditioned cabin of a big mechanical harvester?  THAT is the real issue.



There are many things the poor need before they need to worry about the climate.  Such as cheap electricity, cheap petroleum products and a government that is repealing laws and regulations rather than adding to them.  That canecutter could be sitting in an airconditioned cabin and harvesting 100 times more cane than he is now if only his government had long ago decided to sit on its hands.  China did it with resounding success so the way ahead for the poor of the 3rd world is clear.  And it has nothing to do with climate


A far-reaching report being drafted by the United Nations' authoritative climate science panel explores in comprehensive detail the environmental justice, poverty and other human rights challenges facing the world as it pursues the urgent and daunting goals of the Paris Agreement.

"In a 1.5 degree Celsius warmer world"—a world we're likely to see by mid-century without a global transformation in the next decade, the latest version of the draft report says—"those most at risk will be individuals and communities experiencing multidimensional poverty, persistent vulnerabilities and various forms of deprivation and disadvantage."

To help protect them, it calls for policies "guided by concerns for equity and fairness and enhanced support for eradicating poverty and reducing inequalities."

In scope, scale and detail—but also in its careful attention to questions of ethics and justice—this report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a landmark work in progress.

The emerging report is more than 800 pages long, heavily footnoted and packed with graphics and sidebars. It lays out as never before "an assessment of current knowledge of the extent and interlinkages of the global environmental, economic, financial, social and technical conditions that a 1.5 degree Celsius warmer world represents." It takes on "complex ethics questions" that demand "interdisciplinary research and reflection."

How, it asks, will a 1.5 degree warmer world impact the human rights of the dispossessed, "including their rights to water, shelter, food, health and life? How will it affect the rights of the urban and rural poor, indigenous communities, women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities?"

The draft report gauges how the half-degree gap from 1.5 to 2 degrees of warming "amounts to a greater likelihood of drought, flooding, resource depletion, conflict and forced migration."

It notes that even if all the nations achieve their Paris pledges, the result will be worldwide emissions in 2030 that already lock in 1.5 degrees of warming by the end of this century. The temperature barrier would likely be broken by mid-century, as Reuters noted in first reporting on the draft study. Even the 2 degree target eventually would fall unless emissions are brought to zero, the IPCC and other agencies have repeatedly warned.

Either way, the outlook is dire, especially for the poor.

"The risks to human societies through impacts on health, livelihood, food and water security, human security and infrastructure are higher with 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming compared to today, and higher still with 2 degrees Celsius global warming compared with 1.5 degrees," the draft concludes.

"These risks are greatest for people facing multiple forms of poverty, inequality and marginalization; people in coastal communities and those dependent on agriculture; poor urban residents; and communities displaced from their homes."

Suitable pathways forward, the report said, must square the circle of energy use and sustainable development—not an easy task, but one that would pay off with a cleaner environment, better health, prospering ecosystems and other benefits. There would be risks for poverty, hunger and access to energy; those must be "alleviated by redistributive measures."
How to Move Forward?

The focus on justice and fairness is enlisted to press for substantial transformations of the energy landscape as emissions from fossil fuels are eliminated and changes in land management, among other steps, are pressed hard.

On the one hand, these remedies "are put at risk by high population growth, low economic development, and limited efforts to reduce energy demand," the report says. On the other hand, the solutions cannot be allowed to burden the poor.

SOURCE





IPCC says Paris goal is a crock

Bar a concerted global effort to reduce emissions and remove carbon from the atmosphere, the world is highly likely to exceed the most ambitious climate goal set by the Paris Agreement by the 2040s, according to a leaked draft of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report obtained by Reuters.

The IPCC is expected to release the final version of their highly anticipated Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C in October. The preliminary version obtained by Reuters was submitted to a small group of experts and government officials for review and was not meant for public release.

Every few years, the IPCC publishes an Assessment Report containing the available research about the current state of climate change. This year’s special report is the first focused on what is possibly the Paris Agreement’s most controversial climate goal: limiting global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.

Though some countries are in strong support of taking action to ensure the world meets this climate goal, research has shown that we are highly unlikely to do so.

The draft of the special report obtained by Reuters seems to confirm this low probability of success: “There is very high risk that […] global warming will exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels [should emissions continue at the current pace].”

The draft also states that meeting the climate goal would require an “unprecedented” leap from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy and extensive reforms everywhere from industry to agriculture.

Additionally, while curbing global temperatures would help reduce some of the worst impacts of climate change, including sea level rise and droughts, it would not be enough to protect the planet’s most fragile ecosystems, including polar ice caps and coral reefs.

Political Motives?

While the findings currently included in the report confirm what the public may consider the worst-case scenario, scientists who have read the report are not surprised by its contents.

“The report is unexceptional,” Peter Wadhams, Professor of Ocean Physics at the University of Cambridge, told Futurism. “It was already clear to every climate scientist that a 1.5 degrees Celsius warming limit would be breached by 2050 (in fact, probably much earlier) in the absence of drastic carbon capture measures.”

Gabriel Marty, a climate change analyst and former U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) delegate for France, told Futurism that it’s too soon to speculate on the content of the final report.

However, once it is released, he said readers should note the treatment of the uncertainties and risks of the so-called “bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS)” technologies designed to suck carbon emissions out of the atmosphere.

“The risks associated [with heavily relying on these technologies] must be clearly outlined,” said Marty. “They do not exist yet, the scale that would be needed would be enormous, and the adverse impacts on land and water resources would likely be huge.”

According to sources familiar with the IPCC’s proceedings, the panel has been criticized in the past for being too coy about the limitations of BECCS and for understating their risks in order to present the 2 degrees Celsius target as “still viable.”

Wadhams also mentioned the possibility that the IPCC’s hesitation to release the special report itself could be politically motivated.

“The IPCC has long since become a political rather than a scientific organization, so their secretiveness and sensitivity about a perfectly ordinary report has some political motive,” he told Futurism.

"“A lot could still change between now and the final version.”"

Roz Pidcock, head of communications for the IPCC Working Group 1, told Futurism that that’s not the case. She said the fact that the special report is currently confidential has nothing to do with a lack of transparency on the part of the panel — they simply aren’t finished with it yet.

“All of the expert and government review comments that come in over the next few weeks are taken on board […] Just to give an idea of what that involves, the first draft of this report received 12,895 comments from nearly 500 expert reviewers around the world,” said Pidcock. “A lot could still change between now and the final version.”

We will need to wait until October for the IPCC’s final take on the viability of the extremely ambitious 1.5 degrees Celsius limit, but whatever the contents of the report, we can’t let it discourage us from taking the strongest action possible to prevent further damage to our planet.

SOURCE





The 'bomb cyclone' and Dems' energy disaster

A convergence of weather patterns created the nor'easter that brought frigid temperatures and snow to the eastern U.S. from Mississippi to Maine.

That "bomb cyclone" also exposed a perfect storm of President Obama's failed energy policies that threatens disastrous consequences for the nation.

Brutal cold strained the electric power grid. Utilities relying on natural gas for power generation clamored for supplies as fuel was diverted to heat homes and businesses. Further, a lack of pipelines created a bottleneck for delivering gas to power plants.

PJM Interconnection, the regional grid operator serving 65 million people in the East, reports coal provided 40 percent of its power in the latest cold snap.

Recall that the Obama administration aggressively sought to eliminate coal from the nation's fuel mix. Unlike natural gas or renewables, which Obama favored, utilities can stockpile coal for immediate use when demand soars.

The Trump administration understands this, and the plan put forward by Energy Secretary Rick Perry appropriately prices coal against natural gas so utilities have the flexibility they need to ensure energy grid security.

On another energy front, the Northeast is heavily dependent on fuel oil for home heating, and the frigid temperatures left suppliers scrambling to meet demand.

But Obama-era policies on renewable fuels threaten the very existence of independent refiners in the Northeast.

WND has reported on the EPA's Rube Goldberg system for trading ethanol credits, known as RINs. Independent refiners are forced to spend millions under a compliance scheme that benefits speculators at the expense of energy producers and consumers.

Reforming the previous administration's renewable fuel mandate will ensure a steady supply of fuel oil for the Northeast without constructing one new pipeline, since the fuel will continue to be produced where it's consumed.

These are just two (extremely timely) examples of Obama policies that weakened America's energy security and endangered grid security. But there's more to the story.

Barack Obama declared war not only on coal - he wanted to phase out the use of all so-called fossil fuels under the banner of "environmentalism."

At one time, environmentalists promoted the use of natural gas, touting it as a clean-burning fuel. No more. The new green orthodoxy says it contributes to global warming and therefore must be banned.

Like his policies on Iran, Israel, immigration, health care, taxes, trade and regulation, President Trump's energy policies are a 180-degree reversal of Obama's.

The Trump administration understands that America's prosperity and security are intrinsically linked to energy. The administration's National Security Strategy identifies Energy Dominance as a pillar supporting national security.

President Trump has opened the oil and gas reserves lying off the nation's shores and in the Arctic hinterlands for production, and has plans to make more than 98 percent of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas resources in federal offshore areas available for future exploration and development.

It's time to understand the agenda of the radical environmentalists in the Democratic Party, an agenda they will never admit openly.

President Donald Trump has spared us from it. Last year he began and this year he will continue to undo the damage it has done to our nation and economy.

In November, it will be up to us to keep control of Congress so we can Make America Great Again

SOURCE





Now it's a "climate crisis"
 
Remember when global warming meant the planet was supposed to, well, warm up? Temperatures would rise, and all manner of ecological calamity would ensue?

Me too. So it was surprising to find myself shivering, like other Americans, through several days of arctic chill and extreme cold, only to hear Al Gore blame it on global warming.

He didn’t use the W-word, though. “It’s bitter cold in parts of the U.S., but climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann explains that’s exactly what we should expect from the climate crisis,” Mr. Gore tweeted on Jan. 4.

See, it’s a “climate crisis” now. But it’s hard to blame him for trying some rebranding. After all, prediction after prediction has come to naught. But no matter: Like other doomsday prophets, Mr. Gore just acts like the last missed deadline didn’t happen and comes up with a new one.

Which is why it’s important to remind ourselves of what Mr. Gore has said in the past. Consider, for example, how he said global warming would cause the north polar ice cap to be completely free of ice within five years. When did he say that? Nine years ago.

News flash: The Arctic still has ice. Indeed, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, “ice growth during November 2017 averaged 30,900 square miles per day.” Oops.

So how about the evidence for the latest cold snap? Mr. Gore’s source, Michael Mann, says the ultra-chilly temps we’ve been enduring are “precisely the sort of extreme winter weather we expect because of climate change.” As the planet warms, he says, we’ll see more cold snaps and “bomb cyclones.”

Seems counter-intuitive, but Mr. Mann suggests this is because warming is “causing the jet stream to meander in a particular pattern” that leads to these cold spells.

I use the word “suggests,” however, because this is simply a theory — one that other scientists are not sold on. (Mr. Gore and the rest of the climate-crisis crowd often act like their ideas are universally accepted — that the scientific community is in complete agreement with them. But there is more room for doubt and disagreement than they care to admit.)

Just ask Kevin Trenberth, a scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research. “Winter storms are a manifestation of winter, not climate change,” he recently told The Daily Caller. “The Arctic is greatly affected by climate change, and it has a feedback effect — but not in winter.”

Even if Mr. Gore and Mr. Mann are correct about the link between global warming and cold snaps, the record works against them there, too. “The frequency of cold waves have decreased during the past 50 years, not increased,” University of Washington climatologist Cliff Mass says. “That alone shows that such claims are baseless.”

The term “bomb cyclone” is new to most of us, but it’s been around for a while. Climatologist Judith Curry recently told the Caller that it was coined almost 40 years ago by Fred Sanders of MIT, who spent a lot of time studying such storms. Moreover, there are about 50 or 60 bomb cyclones every year, but most of them occur too far out to sea for us to notice.

Al Gore and his fellow travelers may have trouble admitting that they could be wrong. But their never-look-back crusade isn’t helping scientific research.

“It is very disappointing that members of my profession are making such obviously bogus claims,” Cliff Mass said. “It hurts the science, it hurts the credibility of climate scientists, and weakens our ability to be taken seriously by society.”

That’s what happens, though, when we bend facts to fit theories — and not the other way around. And remember, Al, as the old song goes, “Baby, it’s cold outside!”

SOURCE





Phony Prophets Painting Fake Pictures to Produce an Alternate Global Warming Reality?

On Twitter December 28, President Trump wrote: "In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year's Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!"

Predictably, social media lit up with comments by agitated alarmists who apparently believe everything, including the gas problem their great uncle had during Christmas dinner, is caused by global warming. They won't be happy until the Earth freezes over and everyone dies.

They must have missed the news that Escambia County Florida had nearly two inches of snow on December 10, Erie, Pennsylvania just broke a 59-year-old snowfall record and  International Falls, Minnesota had a record-breaking 37 degrees below zero Christmas week. This happened thanks to a phenomenon scientists call a "Rossby wave" -- not global warming -- whereby Alaska blows it's arctic air south while simultaneously "inhaling" warm air from the tropics. We get a break from the cold while folks in the Lower 48 get to experience what living in Alaska is like without buying a plane ticket.

You're welcome.

Besides record-breaking cold, alarmists ignore that snowfall has increased for more than a century.

Up here in my little slice of paradise, researchers were recently shocked that the snowfall has doubled on Mt. Hunter in the Alaska range since the mid-1800s. In that same time frame, southcentral Alaska has experienced a 117 percent increase in winter snowfall and a 49 percent increase in summer snowfall. In addition, from 1950 to 2011, many coastal Alaskan towns have experienced winter snow increases ranging from 26 percent in Yakutat to 67 percent in Kodiak.

On December 6, 2017, in the Chugach mountains I call home, Thompson Pass, experienced one of history's most intense snowfalls at a rate of 10 inches per hour. That's a record even for Thompson Pass which often gets between 600 to 900 inches of snow per year.

Additionally, the sea ice improved this year.

The Anchorage Daily News reports that Alaska's "cool late-summer weather over the central Arctic Ocean helped preserve sea ice, slowing its melting enough to rank this year's annual ice minimum as only the eighth lowest in the satellite record, far from the worst it's been."

Record cold. Record snow. Recovering sea ice. But, things are not always as they appear. The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology announced in February 2017 they are investigating the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for alleged climate data manipulation after whistleblowers stepped forward, including Dr. John Bates, former principal scientist at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville North Carolina who claims NOAA scientists put a "thumb on the scale" to favor their global warming argument.

Maybe this is not about science at all. Maybe it's more about phony prophets painting fake pictures to produce an alternate reality.

Alarmists are not interested in the indisputable evidence the Earth goes through cyclical periods of cooling and warming. The Earth experienced periods of glaciation, then melting, long before the construction of Al Gore's energy-devouring Nashville home and Leonardo DiCaprio's excessive use of private jets.

Gore said the Arctic would be ice free by 2014 and the guy that Democrats call a "prophet," James Hansen, former director of NASA's Godard Institute for Space Studies, predicted the Arctic ice would melt by the end of 2017.

Oops.

Hansen recently published a paper suggesting we are now on the brink of a short ice age caused by.wait for it.global warming. He claims global temperatures are an "unreliable diagnostic of planetary condition as the ice melt increases" and predicts "large scale regional cooling by mid-century" for the North Atlantic and Southern oceans.

Obviously, climate alarmists have the same answer for every weather pattern, so the rest of us normal folks should forget them and focus on reality. Right about now, a little global warming sounds nice as we dream of white sandy beaches, not the white powdery stuff outside our windows waiting to be shoveled.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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Sunday, January 14, 2018



Cold Facts on the Globe’s Hottest Years (?)

Annenberg fact checking is often recognizably biased so the presentation below has to be taken with a  grain of salt.  So let me supply some salt

But first let me congratulate author Vanessa Schipani on a scholarly piece of work.  It's nice to have a detailed discussion of the numbers for a change.  And she does concede in the end  that the "hottest year" talk so beloved of Warmists is pretty meaningless, which is pleasing.

So she says that it is the long-term trend whch we have to focus on.  So far, so good.

But a trend by itself tells you very little. The interesting question is what causes the trend.  On (rubbery) NOAA figures there has been a slight trend over the last 150 years but are the details of that trend favourable to the global warming theory?  They are not.  So we have to move on to matters that Vanessa does not consider. In particular, was the trend in temperature matched by a trend in CO2 levels?  That the two trends do coincide is the essence of the global warming theory.

To examine the question, we have to ask what are our start and finish points of any trend we want to examine.  It is an old truth of chartmanship that you can prove almost anything by a judicious selection of start and finish points.  Every such decision will have a degree of arbitrariness but some are less arbitrary than othrers.

During my research career I did a lot of factor analysis, generally principal components analysis. I even remember centroid analysis! And you can generally get quite a few factors out of  a modern analysis.  But how do you decide which factors are likely to be important?  A very common procedure is to look for the "natural break" in an ordered series of eigenvalues -- sometimes called a "scree test".  And looking at any series of numbers can involve a decision of that nature.

So, in the case of the terrestrial temperature series we can see on a number of occasions such "natural breaks".  One of them is, quite simply, the 21st century.  The 21st century temperatures bob up and down but display no overall trend.  There is NO global warming in the 21st century so the trend up to that time appears to have run its course.  It is certainly true that El Nino pushed up temperatures in 2015 and 2016 but El Nino is not a product of anthropogenic global warming and its influence has by now just about petered out, leaving the 2017 temperature very close to the pre El Nino average, which gives us temperature stasis back.

And note that CO2 levels did NOT rise during the El Nino warming event.  I monitored the CO2 figures from both Cape Grim and Mauna Loa right from the onset of the warming -- beginning roughly in August 2015.  And I noted that the 400ppm peak had been reached BEFORE that warming event and then plateaued during the warming event.  There was no rise in CO2 levels accompanying the rise in temperature.  So the temperature rise COULD NOT have been caused by a CO2 rise -- because there was no CO2 rise. And it's now in the journals that CO2 levels plateaued in 2015 and 2016.

So El Nino did not merely contribute "part" of the 2015/2016 warming event, it contributed the WHOLE of it.  So if we remove the influence of El Nino, we can see that there has been NO anthropogenic global warming for the whole of this century.  The levels of CO2 have influenced nothing.  Warmist theory is wrong


Sen. James Inhofe misleadingly claimed that the statistics behind the globe’s likely hottest years on record — 2014, 2015 and 2016 — were “meaningless” because the temperature increases were “well within the margin of error.” Taking into account the margins of error, there’s still a long-term warming trend.

Inhofe, a longtime skeptic of human-caused climate change, made his claim Jan. 3 on the Senate floor.

Inhofe, Jan. 3: The Obama administration touted 2014, 2015, and 2016 as the hottest years on record. But the increases are well within the margin of error. In 2016, NOAA said the Earth warmed by 0.04 degrees Celsius, and the British Government pegged it at 0.01 Celsius. However, the margin of error is 0.1 degree, not 0.01. So it is all statistically meaningless and below the doom-and-gloom temperature predictions from all the various models from consensus scientists.

Since Inhofe cites data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the British government, we’ll concentrate on their analyses.

According to NOAA, 2016 was the warmest year on record for the globe since record keeping began in 1880; 2015 ranked the second warmest year and 2014 the third warmest. There are uncertainties in those rankings, however.

As we explained in 2015 when then-President Obama proclaimed 2014 “the planet’s warmest year on record,” such a definitive claim is problematic. For instance, while NOAA found then that 2014 had the highest probability of being the warmest, there remained statistical odds that other years could have held that distinction. But as we explained, scientists are more concerned with long-term trends than any given year.

And 2017 is on track to be another warm year. On Dec. 18, NOAA said 2017 could end up being the third warmest on record, based on data for January to November. NOAA spokesman Brady Philips told us the agency will release information on the year as a whole on Jan. 18.

NOAA ranks years by looking at how much their average temperatures differ from the 20th century average — what scientists call a temperature anomaly.

Based on the agency’s analysis, the average temperature for 2016 was 0.94 degrees Celsius (1.69 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 20th century average of 13.9 C (56.9 F). The margin of error for 2016 was plus-or-minus 0.15 C (0.27 F).

NOAA explains that a margin of error takes into account the “inherent level of uncertainty” that comes with “[e]valuating the temperature of the entire planet.”

The agency adds that the reported temperature anomaly — 0.94 C in the case of 2016 — “is not an exact measurement; instead it is the central — and most likely — value within a range of possible values.”

For example, that range, or margin of error, would be 0.79 C (1.42 F) to 1.09 C (1.96 F) for 2016. Scientists at NOAA are 95 percent certain the temperature anomaly for 2016, or for any given year, will fall within the margin of error.

As Inhofe notes, NOAA scientists found that the average temperature for 2015 was 0.04 C less than 2016’s at 0.90 C (1.62 F) above the 20th century norm. The margin of error for 2015 was plus-or-minus 0.08 C (0.14 F), which means the range for 2015 is between 0.82 C (1.48 F) and 0.98 C (1.76 F).

The difference between 2015 and 2014, however, was wider. The average temperature for 2014 was 0.74 C (1.33 F) above the 20th century mean, or 0.16 C (0.29 F) less than 2015. The range for 2014 is between 0.59 C (1.06 F) and 0.89 C (1.60 F).

So the margins of error for these three years do overlap. When we requested evidence from Inhofe’s office, spokeswoman Leacy Burke sent us links to articles that reiterate the senator’s claim that the temperature increase in 2016 was within a margin of error – meaning, again, that while 2016 is most likely the warmest on record, other years that fall within that margin, including 2015 and 2014, could be the warmest. Still that doesn’t mean the statistics are “meaningless.” Over the long haul, data show an increasing trend, as the chart below shows.

“Overall, the global annual temperature has increased at an average rate of 0.07°C (0.13°F) per decade since 1880 and at an average rate of 0.17°C (0.31°F) per decade since 1970,” says NOAA.

Similar to NOAA, the U.K.’s Met Office, the country’s national weather service, reported that 2016 “was one of the warmest two years on record, nominally exceeding the record temperature of 2015.” The agency also found that 2014 likely ranked the third warmest year.

Both NOAA and the Met Office note that human-caused global warming isn’t the only force behind the record temperatures.

Peter Stott, then the acting director of the Met Office Hadley Centre, said: “A particularly strong El Niño event contributed about 0.2C to the annual average for 2016, which was about 1.1C above the long term average from 1850 to 1900.” El Niño is a naturally occurring interaction between the atmosphere and ocean that is linked to periodic warming.

Stott added, “However, the main contributor to warming over the last 150 years is human influence on climate from increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”

The Met Office’s numbers differ slightly from NOAA’s, in part, because the agency uses a different reference point.

NOAA ranks years based on how much their average temperatures differ from the 20th century norm. The Met Office uses the temperature average between 1850 and 1900 or between 1961 and 1990.

Using that latter reference point, the Met Office found 2016’s temperature anomaly to be 0.77 C, plus-or-minus 0.1 C, which was only 0.01 more than 2015’s temperature anomaly.

So Inhofe is right that the British government’s margins of error for 2016 and 2015 overlap.

But Grahame Madge, a spokesman for the Met Office, explained in an email to us why it’s important to look at the long-term trend — not just the difference between two years, as Inhofe did.

Madge, Jan. 6: When looking at global temperature rise it helps to look at the way the stats and figures are framed. For example, 2016 was the warmest year since pre-industrial times. However, it was only marginally warmer than the previous year, which was also a record. When viewed as parallel years, however, they really stand out in the long-term record. … We try to focus on the long term when presenting information. You can make a desert seem like a lush wetland if you only show the oasis.

NOAA also explains the difference between looking at single years versus the long-term trend: “As more and more data builds a long-term series, there is less and less influence of single ‘outliers’ on the overall trend, making the long-term trend even more certain than the individual points along it.”

In other words, if scientists found that the globe had just one year with an exceptionally high temperature average, they may not be convinced that global warming is occurring. But if data show that the planet has experienced a number of record warm years in a row, it suggests the warming trend is real.

In fact, NOAA says there’s only a 0.0125 percent chance of seeing three outliers in a row — and the Earth has seen many more record warm years than three.

NOAA writes that 2016 “marks the fifth time in the 21st century a new record high annual temperature has been set (along with 2005, 2010, 2014, and 2015) and also marks the 40th consecutive year (since 1977) that the annual temperature has been above the 20th century average.”

So while Inhofe was right that the margins of error for temperature measurements in recent years overlap, that doesn’t negate a long-term warming trend or render the temperature anomalies “meaningless.”

SOURCE




The BBC have been forced to retract one of their blatantly false claims about climate change, following a complaint by the GWPF

But even the retraction is unfounded

The BBC have accepted Lord Lawson’s complaint that they made a serious factual error in claiming that reindeers were in “steep decline” because of climate change.

The alarming claim that reindeer populations across Northern Russia were “in steep decline because of climate change”, was made during the first episode of the recent BBC 2 series: Russia with Simon Reeve.

Writing to the BBC Complaints department, Lord Lawson pointed out that according to a 2016 study, 17 out of 19 sub-populations of Eurasian Reindeer were now either increasing in number, or had a stable population trend.

The BBC have now accepted this evidence, and have published a correction which reads: “This programme suggested that many reindeer populations are in steep decline because of climate change. It would have been more accurate to say that many reindeer populations are threatened by it.”

Indeed it would have been less inaccurate, given that the claim is blatantly false. However, even the claim that they are “threatened” is highly questionable given their growing populations.

The false alarm highlights the BBC’s habitual attempts to exaggerate the consequences of climate change and to ignore scientific evidence that contradicts climate alarmism.

SOURCE





NYC Mayor to sue “Big Oil” for causing Hurricane Sandy


A face of hate.  Hate just oozes out of de Blasio

Many people still foolishly blame things like lightning strikes, tornadoes, tsunamis and hurricanes on the random vagaries of fate or simply describe them as acts of God. But not the intrepid Mayor of New York City, who apparently also doubles as a sleuth in his spare time. He’s been investigating the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy for half a decade now, seeking out the cause of the storm. And now he’s cracked the case, determining that the lethal storm which wrecked large parts of the northeast was caused by a coalition of five energy companies. And by God, he’s suing them over it.

Not being happy with that form of retribution, Bill de Blasio is going one step further. He’s going to move immediately* to divest the city’s massive pension funds from any investments in the fossil fuel industry, depriving them of cash. (Politico)

Mayor Bill de Blasio will sue the country’s five biggest oil companies alleging climate change and global warming led to Hurricane Sandy and its catastrophic fallout and the companies should pay for the city’s resiliency upgrades.

The de Blasio administration will announce Wednesday that the city will sue for reparations and force the companies to pay for the city’s resiliency efforts, which have taken years to complete since 2012, when the storm devastated the city, killing 53 people across the state costing more than $19 billion.

The mayor will also call on several of the city’s pension funds to divest from oil companies, two sources with knowledge of the announcement confirmed to POLITICO.

So the mayor thinks he can go to court and prove that not only is global warming in general responsible for changes in climate, but that the activities of these five specific companies were directly and primarily linked to that specific storm and they should be held accountable. That’s going to make for some interesting opening arguments in court, particularly since Sandy was one of the rare exceptions in a record-setting nine year stretch when no major hurricanes made landfall in the United States.

Further, if he’s blaming global warming for the intensity of hurricanes (which we can certainly discuss) then the oil companies scored a massive fail. Sandy never made it above Category 2 the entire time it was tracked (“Major” hurricanes start at category 3) and when it came ashore in New York and New Jersey it had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph. That’s the absolute bottom end of a category 1 storm, and if it had dropped six miles per hour further in the final hour it would have come ashore as a tropical storm.

What made Sandy one of the most costly and dangerous hurricanes seen in the northeast in modern times wasn’t that it was a particularly large or powerful storm. It was a question of where it struck, as well as when. That region is woefully unprepared for any major storm surge, mostly because big storms this far north are so rare. It was so expensive and deadly because it flooded one of the most densely populated areas in the country where you find some of the most expensive real estate. Hurricane Sandy was a tragedy, but it wasn’t a particularly large storm at all. It just took an unusual but not totally unknown route. (In 1938, long before we were creating so many greenhouse gasses and in fact were still worried about global cooling, a category 5 struck the same area and basically leveled everything, killing somewhere between 600 to 800 people.)

But wait, you might say. Bill de Blasio also mentioned higher sea levels due to global warming! Yep. He sure did. But the most alarming statistics show that global sea levels have risen 2.6″ over the past thirty years. That’s two and a half inches. The storm surge from Sandy was six feet. And it hit during high tide under a full moon which made the high tide 20% higher than average. If global cooling had made sea levels drop an entire foot rather than going up two inches and that same storm hit, New York and New Jersey would still have been just as flooded.

In short… just how dumb is this lawsuit? Would any lawyer really take it on? (Sorry. That’s a silly question. If you got enough money to cover their fees you can find a lawyer to take almost any case.)

As for the pension divestment situation, I’m not going to spend a lot of time on that. New York State (as opposed to the city) tried the same thing under the urging of Governor Cuomo (who would also like to impress liberals around the country so he can run for President) and it was soundly rejected by his comptroller. The same is likely to happen for the city unless the people running the pension fund are looking to commit financial suicide. For more on why that’s a foolish, politically motivated stunt, you can read this response from Linda Kelly, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). For additional information on how fossil fuel divestment could kill New York City’s pension funds, check out this report from Divestment Facts.

The bottom line is that this is all a political stunt by a Democrat desperately trying to draw national attention to himself so he can run for President. And the worst part is that it’s a particularly stupid stunt. No court in the land would touch this case with a ten foot pole unless they can find a particularly “woke” venue, after which it would be overturned by saner heads.

SOURCE





Keeping Fossil Fuels Underground Makes No Sense
     
What would happen if climateers succeed in their campaign to keep fossil fuels in the ground?

The experience of Walt Disney World in Orlando more than 40 years ago provides some answers. In 1973, two years after it opened, plans to expand Disney World beyond the original theme park were jeopardized when war broke out in the Middle East. An oil embargo was placed on Western countries, and President Nixon introduced gasoline rationing and price controls that lasted for nearly a decade under three U.S. presidents: Nixon, Ford and Carter. For a resort that received the majority of its visitors by car, the price controls and rationing were nothing short of a disaster. Attendance at the Magic Kingdom crashed, and Disney's share price fell by more than half.

It wasn't just Disney World and Florida tourism that suffered from the spike in gasoline prices. Areas from Chicago to Houston to Los Angeles to Phoenix experienced a similar crash, with motorists lining up for hours to fill their cars with gasoline. Businesses and construction projects suffered, factories closed and several million Americans lost their jobs during the 1973-1975 recession that was largely the result of the shock of higher energy prices.

In time, the economy returned to normal. So, too, did energy markets when President Reagan finally abolished all price controls on oil and gas in 1981. And, eventually, thanks largely to the shale revolution, U.S. oil production in recent years has risen to near record levels, resulting in a sharp decline in oil imports (the lowest in nearly 50 years as a share of oil consumed) along with much cheaper gasoline.

For the average American, energy has never been more affordable. As a share of total consumer spending, Americans spent less than 4 percent on energy during each of the last two years, the lowest in history. Today the U.S. leads the world in oil and gas production, and we are more energy secure and competitive in international markets. None of this would have been possible without the Shale Revolution and the increase in energy production.

But these gains may be in peril. If those opposed to oil and gas drilling get their way, we could experience an upheaval in energy markets similar to what happened during the embargo of the 1970s.

While the arguments in favor of oil and natural gas are well-known, restricting their production in the United States would be tragic. In contrast to fossil fuels, solar and wind energy are carbon-free and their share of the nation's energy will grow in the years ahead, but these renewables contribute only marginally to U.S. energy supplies. Combined, solar and wind, according to the Energy Information Administration, supply only a little more than 3 percent of the energy Americans use today. And EIA estimates that solar and wind power together will provide less than 10 percent of America's energy in 2050. In contrast, oil and natural gas supply more than two-thirds of the nation's energy and the EIA forecasts that share will continue through 2050 and beyond.

What's conveniently ignored by many environmentalists is that natural gas is essential for the growth of solar and wind power, since it's needed as a back-up fuel on days when the weather is not cooperating. A 1,000-megawatt gas plant releases less than half the amount of carbon dioxide as a coal plant of the same size. As a result of the continuing shift from coal to gas at power plants, U.S. carbon emissions from electricity production are now the lowest in nearly 30 years. Replacing additional coal plants will reduce emissions even more. The reality is that the U.S. is a world leader in the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions due to the increased use of natural gas.

The world needs more oil and gas, not less. Yet environmentalists want to shut down production. Despite the demand for energy, decades-old bans on oil and gas production are still in place in large parts of the American West and offshore. President Trump recently proposed opening up 90 percent of the oil and gas that lies beneath the Outer Continental Shelf, but the leasing of offshore tracts is many years away. Meanwhile, New York State and Maryland have clamped bans on hydraulic fracking for oil and gas, and the regional Delaware Valley Basin Commission is considering a plan to prohibit the use of fracking in the Marcellus shale that underlies part of Pennsylvania.

Today's energy challenge for the U.S. is to remain competitive in global markets for oil and gas. "Keep-it-in-the-ground" environmentalists who want to halt U.S. production ignore the effects such a radical approach would have on the U.S. economy and environment. Even environmentalists should welcome the transition from coal to natural gas and reconsider their infatuation with renewables and efforts to keep fossil fuels in the ground. U.S. energy policy should encourage investment in oil and gas, not because they already meet most of our energy needs but because they're affordable and reliable and essential for stability in the century ahead. Keeping fossils fuels in the ground is a nonsensical idea that would amount to a self-imposed energy shock that would risk taking us back to the 1970s.

SOURCE





 Greenie obsessions behind disgraceful Bundy case

In a stunning development further underscoring the corruption that exists at the highest levels of the federal government, U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro threw out felony conspiracy and weapons charges against rancher Cliven Bundy, sons Ammon and Ryan, and co-defendant Ryan Payne. “The government’s conduct in this case was indeed outrageous,” Navarro explained. “There has been flagrant misconduct, substantial prejudice and no lesser remedy is sufficient.”

How outrageous? Navarro dismissed the case “with prejudice” — meaning the government cannot try the case again on the same charges. And in a 30-minute explanation, the Barack Obama-appointed jurist ripped the conduct of the prosecutors and the FBI. She blasted the Nevada U.S. Attorney’s Office for willful violations of due process that included several misrepresentations to both defense attorneys and the court that showed “a reckless disregard for the constitutional obligation to seek and provide evidence.”

She was also troubled by the prosecutors’ “failure to look beyond the FBI file,” which she characterized as an “intentional abdication of its responsibility,” and wondered aloud how the FBI itself “inexplicably placed” or “perhaps hid” a tactical operations log referring to the presence of snipers outside Bundy’s home on a “thumb drive inside a vehicle for three years.”

Navarro also blasted prosecutors’ assertions that they weren’t aware such documents could help the defendants as “grossly shocking.” “The government was well aware of theories of self-defense, provocation and intimidation,” Navarro stated. “Here the prosecution has minimized the extent of prosecutorial misconduct.”

The seeds for Monday’s decision were sown on Dec. 20, when Navarro declared a mistrial in the case, citing six specific pieces of “potentially exculpatory” evidence the Nevada U.S. Attorney’s Office failed to disclose. They included records and maps of government surveillance; the presence of government snipers; FBI logs about pre-standoff ranch activity; reports about misconduct committed by Bureau of Land Management agents; and law-enforcement assessments going back to 2012 stating the Bundys posed no threat.

All six items were favorable to the defense and could have changed the outcome of the trial. Withholding them violated the Brady Rule, named after the 1963 Supreme Court case Brady v. Maryland, where the Court’s majority ruled that failure to disclose such evidence violates a defendant’s right to due process. Navarro made it clear she agreed, despite former Acting Nevada U.S. Attorney and lead prosecutor Steven Myhre’s insistence no malfeasance was involved. “Failure to turn over such evidence violates due process,” she stated last month. “A fair trial at this point is impossible.”

It gets worse. Navarro’s ruling didn’t take into account an 18-page memo written by Special Agent and lead investigator Larry Wooten alleging that “prosecutors in the Bundy ranch standoff trial covered up misconduct by law-enforcement agents who engaged in ‘likely policy, ethical and legal violations,’” Arizona Republic reported. Wooten claimed he “routinely observed … a widespread pattern of bad judgment, lack of discipline, incredible bias, unprofessionalism and misconduct” by government agents involved in the armed standoff between them and Bundy occurring 2014.

That standoff was largely precipitated by Bundy himself. It involved a dispute about grazing rights between Bundy and the federal government. The government rightly claimed Bundy owed public land use fees for decades of grazing his cattle on government land beginning in 1993, but Bundy refused to pay a sum that, between charges and fines, exceeded $1 million. He also ignored three court orders obtained by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in 1998, 1999 and 2013 requiring him to move his cattle off the disputed land.

In 2014, BLM agents working with the FBI attempted to impound Bundy’s cattle, and an armed standoff between the government and the defendants, who were backed by dozens of armed followers and militiamen, ensued. After a week, Bundy called it off, but he and the other defendants were charged with several offenses.

Thus, Bundy is no “hero.” Nonetheless, the incident highlighted Constitution-based questions that remain unanswered regarding the federal government’s right to claim vast swaths of territory in several states. In Bundy’s case, since the federal government owns 80% of Nevada, he would have been hard-pressed to graze his cattle anywhere else.

Moreover, some of the behavior demonstrated by BLM agents cannot be ignored. In addition to the aforementioned comments, Wooten’s report reveals they called Bundy and his supporters “deplorables,” “rednecks” and “idiots,” and demonstrated clear prejudice toward “the defendants, their supporters, and Mormons,” while implementing “the most intrusive, oppressive, large scale, and militaristic trespass cattle impound possible.”

The charges against the men also hinted at persecution rather than prosecution. Aside from obstruction, conspiracy, extortion and weapons charges, the government sought “five counts of criminal forfeiture which upon conviction would require forfeiture of property derived from the proceeds of the crimes totaling at least $3 million, as well as the firearms and ammunition possessed and used on April 12, 2014.”

In short, the government wanted to take almost everything the Bundys owned.

Even the conspiracy charges were iffy. Bundy sought help from his supporters because he claimed FBI snipers had surrounded his house. (And that’s never happened before?) “Justice Department lawyers scoffed at this claim in prior trials involving the standoff but newly-released documents confirm that snipers were in place prior to the Bundy’s call for help,” reveals columnist James Board.

And it wasn’t just the Bundys who were targeted. As The Intercept exposed last May, undercover FBI agents spent eight months in five states posing as filmmakers trying to build criminal cases against the rancher and many of his supporters.

Nineteen men were ultimately charged with multiple felony counts. The first trial took place last February. A mistrial was declared after jurors were deadlocked on most of the charges against six defendants, with two being found guilty of weapons and obstruction violations. When the other four were retried, two were acquitted on all charges, and the other two on most charges, and the jury again deadlocked on the remaining charges. Six other participants took plea deals.

The remaining trial, which includes two more Bundy brothers, David and Melvin, is slated to begin in Nevada next month. Ryan Bundy hopes the judge will set all the remaining defendants free. “The government has acted wrongly from the get-go,” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Environmentalists, many of whom would like ranchers completely removed from government land, were furious with the decision. “These federal agencies have been patient and cautious to a fault in their prosecution of the Bundys and their accomplices,” wrote Erik Molvar, executive director of Western Watersheds Project, an environmental conservation organization. “It’s long past time to stop playing games with the prosecution of federal crimes, and instead lay all the facts on the table and let the judicial system work.”

The ones “playing games” were government officials, and the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility opened an investigation in December that will scrutinize the efforts of Myhre and two veteran Assistant U.S. attorneys, Daniel Schiess and Nadia Ahmed.

Unfortunately, in a reality that reeks of privilege, penalties for prosecutorial misconduct, even conduct as egregious as this, range from a reprimand to a suspension. In a better nation, there would be a better remedy — as in prosecuting the prosecutors.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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Friday, January 12, 2018



The truly alarming scale of the global ocean plastic crisis laid bare by Storm Eleanor

A big moan from Britain about floating plastic below.  Inevitably, they want "us" to do something about it.  I am going to be most unpopular and mention what DOES need to be done about it:  We need to dissuade Africans from using their rivers as a dump.  Rivers are the basic African waste disposal facility.  And what goes in the rivers ends up in the oceans.  Western countries by contrast are very fussy about proper disposal of their rubbish.  Floating plastic waste in the Atlantic is an AFRICAN problem, not "our" problem

The only thing "we" could do is to set up barriers at the mouths of the African rivers which would catch the rubbish before it went out to sea.  Nothing as realistic as that is likely to happen, however.  It would undoubtedly be "racist", of course



The masses of plastic dumped on the beaches of Cornwall by Storm Eleanor throws into stark relief the global crisis being caused by human rubbish in the world’s oceans.

As the storm passed, pictures emerged of the picturesque Cornish coast left strewn with waste and its rockpools clogged with plastic.

In recent years rising demand for single-use items such as food wrapping and bottled water has helped lead to us producing more plastic in the last decade than in the previous century.

Fleeting conveniences such as disposable coffee cups can outlive their use in minutes, but take up to 450 years to degrade once discarded. The result is the world’s oceans are now choking with billions of tonnes of plastic.

Public awareness of the impact of plastic waste has been growing in recent years, helped in particular by the graphic portrayal of its effect on the marine environment

SOURCE





'Raw Water'? Natural Isn't Synonymous With Better

Selling Americans the snake oil of "raw water" is the absurd conclusion of rabid environmentalism. It is a good way of contractingt giardia and other water-borne parasitic diseases. It would be great fun to see Greenie knowalls getting their just reward in the form of such diseases

A recently introduced product fad hitting store shelves might just prove to be the death of you. Popping up across the country and marketed as yet another “healthy” product in that genre of back-to-nature lifestyle craze — “raw water.” Using pseudo science and earthy, holistic jargon, these start-ups are even putting snake oil salesmen to shame. So what is raw water? Essentially, it is the raw milk trend only now applied to drinking water. You see, unfiltered, untreated water is better for one’s health because it is free from the polluted tampering of mankind and is therefore more “natural.” As an individual in a Live Water marketing campaign exclaims, “A surge of energy and peacefulness entered my being.”

These new companies claim to have tapped into ancient water sources untouched by human industry, and for a mere $16 a bottle you yourself can experience this rawest of water. But wait; there’s more. While this latest “nature” fad may sound funny, it is far from it. The Centers for Disease Control’s chief of Waterborne Disease Prevention, Vincent Hill, warns, “If you’re not filtering it, if you’re not disinfecting it, then you are creating a risk for yourself or anybody you give the water to of diseases and other illnesses that can come from the water.”

It is truly ironic that in the developed world, where scientific knowledge and developments have proven to raise living standards, life expectancy and quality of life, there are those who choose to vilify and distort these achievements as problematic, unhealthy and even dangerous, in order to sell Americans on the flawed concept that human technology equates to the unnatural and therefore unhealthy living. Meanwhile, much of the developing world is plagued with diseases that would have been easily avoided but for the lack of access to clean water technologies.

SOURCE





Utilities Coast-to-Coast Announce Customer Rate Cuts Due to Tax Reform

From Washington, DC to Washington state, utility companies are crediting passage of Republicans’ Tax Cut and Jobs Act for their plans to lower their retail customers’ monthly bills.

Company press releases announcing the rate-cut plans specifically cite “the decrease in the Corporate Tax Rate from 35 percent to 21 percent” as the reason for reducing energy rates.

The utility companies that have reported plans to cut rates, thus far, include:

Pepco plans to lower the bills of 296,000 electric customers in the District of Columbia,

Pepco and Delmava Power plan to pass on savings to their 500,000 electric customers in Delaware and Maryland and approximately 129,000 natural gas delivery customers in northern Delaware,

Baltimore Gas & Electric is passing on $82 million worth of tax savings, which it says will reduce the average customer’s monthly combined natural gas and electric by $4.27,

Pacific Power, which provides electricity to 740,000 customers in Washington, Oregon and California, announced a yet-to-be-determined rate cut due to lower corporate tax rate,

Rocky Mountain Power announced plans a rate reduction, which it says “will take several months to calculate” to its 1.1 million customers in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho,

Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is passing on $200 million worth of tax savings to its four million customers in northern Illinois. “Residential customer can expect to see an estimated $2-$3 decrease on their monthly bill related to the tax reduction,” the utility says.

All rate cuts are dependent upon the approval of their respective state public service and commerce commissions.

SOURCE



Success: EPA set to reduce staff 50% in Trump's first term

The Environmental Protection Agency, seen by President Trump as a bloated bureaucratic whale, is on schedule to fulfill his promise to reduce its staff nearly in half by the end of his first term mostly through retirements, not cuts, according to officials.

The EPA Tuesday provided to Secrets its first year staff results which show that the agency is below levels not seen since former President Reagan’s administration.

And if just those slated to retire by early 2021 leave, Administrator Scott Pruitt and his team will have reduced a staff of nearly 15,000, to below 8,000, or a reduction of 47 percent.

“We’re proud to report that we’re reducing the size of government, protecting taxpayer dollars and staying true to our core mission of protecting the environment,” Pruitt said in a statement

As of January 3, 2018, the EPA has 14,162 employees.

The last time EPA was at an actual employment level of 14,440 was in fiscal year 1988 when Reagan was president.

23 percent of EPA employees can retire with full benefits and another 4 percent can retire at the end of 2018.

Additionally, another 20 percent of EPA employees will be eligible for retirement in the next five years.

Taken together, 47 percent of the EPA will be eligible to retire with full benefits in the next 5 years.

Said an EPA official, “We're happy to be at Reagan-level employment numbers and the future retirements shows a preview of how low we could get during this administration. It would be fair to say anywhere from 25 to 47 percent of EPA could retire during this administration.”

Pruitt has used buyouts to spur some of the changes and attractive retirement benefits have also led many to leave the agency. He also instituted a hiring freeze.

Under Pruitt, the agency has gone the “back to basics” of protecting the environment while shucking former President Obama’s political agenda focused heavily on climate change.

SOURCE




Carbon trading is the great green gamble

Comment from Australia

It was dubbed the fraud of the century. A multi-billion-euro carbon trading sting which a French judge described as “unprecedented in the history of financial crimes”.

Investigators say a group defrauded billions of euros by purchasing emission allowances on the European market from abroad, using a complex network of shell companies and offshore accounts in Latvia, Cyprus and Hong Kong.

Because the allowances were purchased outside Europe, they were not subject to the European Union’s 19.6 per cent value added tax. According to French reports, frontmen acting as brokers then resold the allowances in Europe, taxes included. But instead of handing the VAT over to the correct authorities, gang members pocketed the cash to use in future trades.

The money was laundered before it was reinvested by placing it in a bank in China, where it was then handed over to businesses or transformed into playing chips at casinos.

French businessman Arnaud Mimran was sentenced last year to eight years in prison and fined €1 million ($1.5m) for his part in the 2008 swindle.

His co-mastermind, Israeli Sami Sweid, was gunned down in a motor scooter drive-by shooting before the trial commenced. Other gang members have fled to Israel in a bid to escape French justice.

The great carbon trading tax heist came in the heady days immediately before the global financial crisis, which swamped the world’s financial markets and crushed the nascent European carbon market.

It is one of many crimes that have dogged an industry which claims to have been founded on the highest of ideals: to help save the planet from climate change.

And it is one of the reasons that federal government attempts to allow Australian businesses to access international carbon dioxide emissions permits have been savaged by former prime minister Tony Abbott and his supporters.

Debate about the use of international permits rests on a series of assumptions: that action on climate change must be taken, that co-ordinated international action will be more cost-effective than countries acting alone, and that the international carbon trading community has finally got its act together.

The great French-Israeli carbon tax heist fits neatly into Interpol warnings about carbon trading markets issued in 2013.

“Unlike traditional commodities, which at some time during the course of their market exchange must be physically delivered to someone, carbon credits do not represent a physical commodity but instead have been described as a legal fiction that is poorly understood by many sellers, buyers and traders,” Interpol warns.

“This lack of understanding makes carbon trading particularly vulnerable to fraud and other illegal activity.

“Carbon markets, like other financial markets, are also at risk of exploitation by criminals due to the large amount of money invested, the immaturity of the regulations and lack of oversight and transparency.”

The international police agency listed the potential illegal activities including the tax scam played out in the French-Israeli heist.

The warning list comprises of:

* Fraudulent manipulation of measurements to claim more carbon credits from a project than were actually obtained.

* Sale of carbon credits that either do not exist or belong to someone else.

* False or misleading claims with respect to the environmental or financial benefits of carbon market investments.

* Exploitation of weak regulations in the carbon market to commit financial crimes, such as money laundering, securities fraud or tax fraud.

* Computer hacking/phishing to steal carbon credits, and theft of personal information.

However, despite the worrying criminal concerns, the biggest failings of the European carbon market have been by design.

Over-allocation of permits at a time of weakened economic activity following the global financial crisis saw prices plunge to a fraction of what was considered necessary to force businesses to change their greenhouse gas emitting ways.

Nonetheless, the industry has regrouped with revised rules, fresh markets and the first signs of a new attempt at international co-operation.

The Turnbull government signalled its intention to allow Australian businesses to buy international permits to cover their carbon dioxide emissions liabilities when releasing the final report of last year’s review of climate change policies on December 19.

“As flagged in 2015, the review considered the role of international units and as a result the government has now given in-principle support for their use,” according to Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg.

“The final decision on the timing and appropriate quantity and quality limits will be taken by 2020 following further consultation and detailed analysis.”

Industry has welcomed the move.

Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox says business has been advocating for access to international credits as a cost-effective way to achieve Australia’s commitments under the Paris climate change agreement.

“It makes absolutely no sense to rule out this option by insisting that our commitments can only be fulfilled within our borders,” Willox says.

David Byers, interim chief executive of the Minerals Council of Australia, says it is “an important step forward in developing a long-term sustainable approach to climate change policy’’.

Byers says access to international carbon units will give Australia more avenues for reducing emissions, including supporting carbon abatement projects in developing countries, such as reducing deforestation, combating illegal logging and restoring coastal and marine environments.

“This will ensure our emissions reduction efforts are environmentally effective and economically efficient, helping to meet Australia’s Paris commitments at the lowest cost,” Byers says.

“This is critical for securing long-term investment in the Australian resources sector.”

Abbott says his position on international carbon credits remains the same as it was when he was prime minister and Liberal Party leader.

“I don’t support carbon trading which is a carbon tax under a different name and I certainly don’t support overseas carbon credits being available to Australian businesses,” Abbott tells The Australian. “That just means that Aussie consumers end up shovelling our money to foreign carbon traders and we all know the potential for rorts there.”

Abbott’s concerns are shared by many green groups, which have reached the conclusion they were comprehensively outmanoeuvred by big business on carbon trading in the past. Their preference is now for strict carbon pricing at such a high level that it forces companies to change behaviour.

There are signs, however, that carbon trading is returning to international favour. After years of painful negotiation, the European Parliament and EU governments have agreed to reforms to put the market on a more solid foundation. Excess permits have been cancelled and a reserve system introduced to stop the market becoming saturated.

China has launched an emissions trading system that brings together existing regional schemes covering the power sector. Electricity accounts for almost half of China’s emissions, which means the new market is already bigger than the entire EU scheme.

A new Carbon Pricing in the Americas initiative was launched in Paris in December. It may eventually link emissions trading schemes in Canada, Colombia, Chile and Mexico, and include individual US states such as California and Washington. In total, there are now 42 national and 25 sub-national jurisdictions putting a price on carbon dioxide emissions, eight of which were launched last year.

Some commentators are saying that for the first time it looks as if a “global coalition for carbon pricing”, which was advocated at the 2015 Paris summit by former French president Francois Hollande, is a real possibility.

But not everyone thinks a linked global trading system is a good idea.

In an article in Nature magazine last March, Jessica Green from New York University argued a global network of cap-and-trade systems would deliver greater complexity and fewer emissions cuts. At this point, Green warns, carbon trading is more a political fix than an effective way to mitigate climate change.

“Without stringent caps and careful management, cap-and-trade systems have scant effect on net emissions,” she says.

Green argues that policymakers should first limit links to other markets. Carbon trading policies should be designed to avoid over-allocation and ensure rising prices. And policymakers should eliminate loopholes that limit the environmental effectiveness of cap and trade, she says.

“The worst possible outcome of linked markets is a set of policies that appear to address climate change but allow emissions to continue to rise,” Green says.

In theory, linking markets together should promote trading, smooth financial flows and lower the overall cost of reducing emissions. But Green believes the reality is more complicated.

“Initial attempts to join up trading schemes in Europe and in California and Quebec have led to price crashes and volatility, not stability,” she says.

Opening the way for international permits would certainly undercut the carbon farming market nurtured by the federal government’s Emissions Reduction Fund. The price of carbon abatement under the ERF achieved an average price of $13.08 per tonne, much higher than international prices but still considered too low to build a significant domestic offsets industry.

David Hone, chief climate change adviser for Royal Dutch Shell, says price volatility has been a curse for the international market. Over 20 years more than 8000 projects had been registered, representing some $US300 billion ($382bn) of clean energy and emissions reduction investment under the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol. About 1.6 billion certificates are now virtually worthless.

“One estimate claims that the CDM has had a material impact on global emissions, with reductions of nearly 500 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2014, or 1 per cent of global emissions,” Hone says. “But the CDM has been fraught with problems, the most dramatic being a substantial fall in demand for the emissions reductions that it offers.”

This had led to the collapse of many project developers, the failure of hundreds of projects and a backlog of certificates that could still be issued for further trading.

“A great deal of time, money and political capital has been invested in getting the CDM to where it stands today, so not surprisingly there is some ill feeling over its demise and some attempts to recoup losses before moving on to something new,” Hone says.

Fraud and incompetence has made carbon trading a buyers’ market, which makes international permits attractive to companies wanting to offset emissions at least cost. The buyers’ market makes cheap international permits an obvious attraction for companies seeking a least-cost way to cover their emissions liabilities as the Paris Agreement goals tighten.

Australia’s political focus is firmly driven by runaway electricity prices. International permits may have a role to play.

But the withdrawal of the US from the Paris Agreement makes a truly international market more difficult to achieve. Fraud and cross-border swindles can only add further heat to the climate change conundrum.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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