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Providing Insight
Into Climate Change
FoS Extracts - 2018

By: Ian Cameron                 TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

2018-02-09

 

Cyclists Are Collateral Damage in the Climate Change Wars

Believing that climate change looms large as a threat to the planet, many city politicians and planners are combatting the automobile by aggressively promoting the bicycle as an alternative, despite immense infrastructure costs. However, as the European Transport Safety Council, in a report in aid of developing a cycling strategy for the EU, stated: “… an increase in cycling might, at least at first, lead to an increase in the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured.’” The Netherlands’ Institute for Road Safety Research, which assessed what would happen if just 10% of car trips shorter than 7.5 km were replaced by bike trips. It found that cyclists in the Netherlands would suffer some 500 serious road injuries requiring hospitalization, untold numbers of lesser injuries and four to eight deaths.
 
The West’s aging populations add another serious safety risk. As the Dutch study found, the only demographic group that stood to be safer by switching from the auto to the bike was 18- and 19-year-old males, who tend to be reckless behind the wheel of a car. With all other demographics, and especially with those older than 35, a shift from the car to the bike elevates risk.
 
In the war against climate change, cyclists are becoming cannon fodder. The more cities succeed in their quest to save the planet, the more they will fail to protect their own people.
 
<http://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/lawrence-solomon-cyclists-are-just-bloody-collateral-damage-in-the-climate-change-wars/wcm/2f50e2ee-5a7c-4002-82ae-5cbdcc409951>
 

The US State of the Union: Both Parties Omit Climate Change

The Huffington Post is not surprised that President Trump neglected to mention the “climate crisis” in his State of the Union address on January 20, but is upset that the Democratic rebuttal by Rep. Joe Kennedy omitted global warming, sea-level rise and the rise in global CO2 emissions. The Huff Post claimed that 2017 was the world’s second-hottest year on record, that the US racked up $306 billion in climate-related damages and fossil fuel emissions reached an all-time high.
 
<http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/democrats-rebuttal-trump-state-of-the-union-climate-change_us_5a7146bce4b0ae29f08c0a7c>
 

Germany to Pay for Renewables and Missing EU Emissions Targets

Germany will have to purchase greenhouse gas emissions allowances for the years 2019 and 2020 from other European Union members. The extent of the shortfall in these two years will only be known two years after this period, and the permits will then be purchased bilaterally from an EU-country at a yet to be determined price at the expense of German taxpayers. The country was supposed to cut CO2 emissions by 14% below 2005 levels by 2020.
 
<https://www.thegwpf.com/green-flop-germany-will-have-to-pay-for-renewables-failing-eu-emissions-targets/>
 

IPCC Communications Handbook

The IPCC is worried that the general public does not sufficiently appreciate the alarmist messages in its reports. As the Forward to the Principles for effective communication and public engagement on climate change: A Handbook for IPCC Authors puts it: “As several decades of awareness-raising and initiatives to engage the public have shown, climate change doesn’t communicate itself .” The handbook goes on to explain how its authors at Climate Outreach turned to social science to enable IPCC scientists “… to feel confident in going about public engagement in the best possible way, based on the best possible evidence.”
 
On page 6 it alludes to Stephen Schneider’s “double ethical bind”-scientists may have to make a personal choice between being effective, and telling the truth. The handbook recommends six principles for public engagement: (1) Be a confident communicator; (2) Talk about the real world, not abstract ideas; (3) Connect with what matters to your audience (obviously, not affordable and reliable energy); (4) Tell a human story; (5) Lead with what you know (i.e., downplay uncertainty); (6) Use the most effective visual communications. 
 
<https://climateoutreach.org/resources/ipcc-communications-handbook/>
 

Exxon Concludes that Climate Policies Will Have Little Impact on It

In response to shareholder pressure regarding business risks of stricter climate-change policies, Exxon Mobil released a report on how it would fare in a low-carbon world. It concluded that even aggressive climate policies pose little risk to its investments. The company stressed that it expected healthy demand for its products for decades to come, regardless of how strongly countries move to cut emissions.
 
<https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/02/02/hilarious-exxon-concludes-climate-policies-will-have-minimal-impact/>
<https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/02/climate/exxon-global-warming.html>
<http://cdn.exxonmobil.com/~/media/global/files/energy-and-environment/2018-energy-and-carbon-summary.pdf>
 

Scott Pruitt: Global Warming Has Been Good for Humanity

Mr. Pruitt, head of the US Environmental Protection Agency, was asked in an interview if the climate is changing, whether humans are affecting the climate and should we be alarmed. He agreed with the first two questions, but said that humans have flourished most during warming trends. No one has defined what the climate should be in 2018 or 2100. Mr. Pruitt called for an open debate so that the American people can be informed. 
 
<http://dailycaller.com/2018/02/07/pruitt-global-warming-a-good-thing/>
 

Global Investment in Renewable Energy Has Stalled

Global investment in renewables has stalled in the US, in Europe, and in many markets across the world. From 2004 to 2011, global renewable energy investment grew at a 26.7% compounded annual rate. By the end of 2012, more than 200,000 wind turbines were operating worldwide. But, from 2011 to 2017, global green energy investment grew at only 0.7% per year—essentially flat. The reason for the faltering investment is that, after electricity prices in various European countries climbed to three or four times the US price, subsidies and mandates are being cut.
 
<http://dailycaller.com/2018/02/06/stop-the-stall-its-time-to-get-energetic-about-energy/>
<https://capital.com/tesla-s-hong-kong-sales-fall-off-a-cliff>
 

The Inconvenient Truth about EVs in Cold Weather

A Tesla Model 3 recently drove from Los Angeles to New York City in 50 hours and 16 minutes, of which about 10 hours were spent recharging the car’s battery at Supercharger stations along the way. The occupants had to wear multiple layers of clothing as they drove through the worst winter weather the US has seen in decades without the comfort of cabin heat. The website fleetcarma.com studied the effect of cold weather on the range of various EVs (Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i-MiEV and Ford Connect EV). All three vehicles lost 50% of their advertised range when the temperature hit -10°C, due to both cabin heating (which is essentially “free” with the waste heat of gasoline vehicles) and lower component efficiency (battery and drive mechanism).
 
<http://driving.ca/tesla/auto-news/news/314908>
 

William Happer: Climate Models “Don’t Work”

In a 5-minute video Princeton University physicist William Happer talks about climate models that attempt to predict the future temperature of the planet. A number of factors influence climate: the Sun, Earth’s orbital properties, oceans, clouds, and human industries. Climate essentially involves the interaction between the atmosphere (which holds large amounts of water) and the oceans. Water, in all its phases, has huge effects on atmospheric heating and cooling, while CO2 is a minor contributor. Predicting what the two fluids will do on a planetary scale over decades is close to impossible. Dr. Happer points to example of Hurricane Irma last summer: even with massive amounts of real-time data, the models could not predict the hurricane’s path two days in advance.
 
<http://dailycaller.com/2018/02/05/princeton-physicist-points-out-the-obvious-climate-models-dont-work/>
 

Peter Ridd Hits Back

Around the world, much has been said about the impending extinction of the Great Barrier Reef as a result of climate change. When Prof. Ridd, who has been studying the reef for the past 30 years and authored over 100 scientific papers, called into question the published science and wrote that scientific institutions can no longer be trusted, his employer, James Cook University, served Prof. Ridd with a gag order. He went to court in November, and the university back away from firing him, but issued a “Final Censure” in his employment file, telling him to be silent about the allegations against him and not to repeat comments about the unreliability of institutional research. Rather than comply, Prof. Ridd is pursuing the matter in court.
 
<https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/02/08/peter-ridd-hits-back-at-jcu-james-cook-university-hard/>
<http://joannenova.com.au/2018/02/jcu-bans-prof-peter-ridd-from-criticizing-scientific-institutions-defiant-he-refuses-fights-on/>

 

2018-01-23

 

Alberta Government Cool to FoS Speaker at Agricultural Conference

Friends of Science Communications Manager, Michelle Stirling, was invited to appear as one of the speakers at the 2018 Agricultural Service Board Conference in Grande Prairie on January 17. The topic of Ms. Stirling’s talk was Climate Plan and Coal Phase Out. This did not sit well with the Alberta government, which was surprised to hear that that the ASB, as a recipient of government grants, would book a speaker on a controversial topic so contrary to government policy.
 
There’s a link to the YouTube video of the presentation. Radio station CHQR’s Danielle Smith, noticing the controversy, did a radio interview with Ms. Stirling.
 
<http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/friends-of-science-agricultural-service-board-conference-grande-prairie-michelle-stirling-1.4494032>
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWL6-nm1g_U&feature=youtu.be>
<https://omny.fm/shows/danielle-smith/friends-of-science>
 

Alberta Won’t Hit Emissions Target

According to the latest progress report on Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan, quietly released in December, the province is likely to fall well short of meeting its share of Canada’s emissions target for 2030. This target would require Alberta to reach a level of 163 Mt by then, However, even with the CLP initiatives the province’s 2030 emissions will be 254 Mt, which is only 20 Mt less than the reported level for 2015. Environment Minister Shannon Phillips downplayed the significance of the report, saying: “We are putting in policies that get results. We are less interested in theoretical targets; we are more interested in actual action.”
 
<https://www.pressreader.com/canada/calgary-herald/20180118/281496456697186>
<https://www.alberta.ca/assets/documents/CLP-progress-report-2016-17.pdf>
 

Pentagon: Global Warming No Longer a National Security Threat

The Pentagon released a National Defense Strategy that, for the first time in more than a decade, does not mention man-made global warming as a security threat. An 11-page summary of the new National Defense Strategy makes no mention of “global warming” or “climate change,” according to a keyword search by the Huffington Post. The document reflects the Trump administration’s focus on “energy dominance” over climate.
 
<http://dailycaller.com/2018/01/19/mattis-takes-global-warming-out-of-the-national-defense-strategy/?utm_source=site-share>
<http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/pentagon-climate-trump_us_5a611feae4b01d91b254278d>
 

Fossil-fuel Divestment Crusade Hurts Poor and Middle Class Most

Responding to demands that big institutional investors dump there holdings of oil and gas stocks, Mark Milke, a contributing writer to Canadians for Affordable Energy, argues that the notion that building subsidized wind turbines and solar panels can replace the jobs, exports and tax revenues of a long-profitable energy sector is folly. From Newfoundland to northern British Columbia, there are 300,000 people directly employed in the oil and gas business with 650,000 spinoff jobs. Oil and gas products represent $136 billion in exports to the US and $22 billion in annual tax revenues to governments. Between 2006 and 2014 Ontario spent $35 billion on above-market subsidies to wind solar and other alternatives.
 
<http://business.financialpost.com/opinion/the-green-fossil-fuel-divestment-crusade-hurts-the-poor-and-middle-class-most>
 

Study: Europe’s Green Energy Burning Killing 40,000 People/Year

Linde Zuidema, a bioenergy campaigner at the forests and rights NGO Fern, argues that the EU’s dependence on burning solid biomass-mostly wood-to meet its renewable energy targets makes no sense environmentally. It harms the climate, and damages forests and biodiversity. She points to research by Dr. Mike Holland, a leading independent air pollution expert, whose research indicates that tens of thousands of EU citizens are dying prematurely every year as a result of exposure to air pollution from burning solid biomass.
 
<https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/opinion/the-eus-bioenergy-policy-isnt-just-damaging-the-climate-and-forests-its-killing-people/>
<http://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/Displacing-coal-with-wood-for-power-generation-will-worsen-climate-change-say-MIT-UMass-Lowell-and-Climate-Interactive-researchers-1002371187>
 

The Hockey Stick Goes to Court

On January 9 the City of New York filed suit against BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell, claiming that the defendants produced, marketed, and sold massive quantities of fossil fuels knowing that these fuels produced “greenhouse gas pollution.” The City wants a money judgement for costs of climate change impacts already incurred, costs for actions currently undertaken by the City, and an “injunction to abate the public nuisance and trespass that would become effective if Defendants fail to pay the court-determined damages for the past and permanent injuries inflicted.”
 
It’s sill early days for this lawsuit, but already Ross McKitrick has taken issue with statements contained in paragraph 86 of the complaint that attack his “supposed refutation” of Michael Mann’s hockey stick graph, and implying that Exxon paid money to the Fraser Institute for the refutation’s publication.
 
<http://dailycaller.com/2018/01/16/de-blasios-global-warming-lawsuit-is-riddled-with-factual-errors/>
<https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/01/18/new-yorks-silly-climate-suit/>
<http://blogs2.law.columbia.edu/climate-change-litigation/wp-content/uploads/sites/16/case-documents/2018/20180109_docket-118-cv-00182_complaint.pdf>
<https://www.rossmckitrick.com/uploads/4/8/0/8/4808045/nyc_lawsuit0.pdf>
 

Four Other Climate Change Lawsuits to Watch in 2018

The first is Citizens vs. Government of the Netherlands, which resulted in a Dutch court ordering the government to cut greenhouse gas emissions nationwide by at least 25% below 1990 levels by the year 2020. The first hearing on the appeal is scheduled for March 2018. In 2015, 21 plaintiffs between 10 and 21 years old filed the Juliana vs. US. This case goes to trial in February 2018.
 
A Peruvian farmer and mountain guide is suing German energy firm RWE claiming that the company's contribution to climate change is threatening his home, and is asking RWE to take on financial responsibility for the damage. A German court decided that the plaintiff’s allegations have merit, and evidence will be heard in the case during 2018. Finally, ExxonMobil is s being sued over failing to safeguard Massachusetts communities against pollution relating to climate change impacts, and lying to the public about the risks of climate change. ExxonMobil has denied the claims, and said in a statement it would fight the lawsuit in court. A verdict is expected in 2018.
 
<http://www.dw.com/en/four-climate-change-lawsuits-to-watch-in-2018/a-42066735>
 

US Federal Court Punishes Enviros for Using Ridiculous Legal Theory to Ban Fracking

The  Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund sued to overturn Pennsylvania General Energy’s permit from the Environmental Protection Agency to store wastewater as part of its fracking operations. The CELDF used a “right of nature” argument, which Magistrate Judge Susan Paradise Baxter called an “implausible” legal theory. Her decision stated: “An attorney’s zealous advocacy for the protection of a client’s interests is certainly appropriate; however, the legitimate pursuit of justice imposes important obligations on counsel to ensure that the Court is not a mechanism of harassment or unbridled obstruction.” She ruled that the CELDF’s executive director and attorney must pay $50.000 to cover part of PGE’s legal costs. 
 
<http://dailycaller.com/2018/01/08/court-punishes-enviros-for-using-ridiculous-legal-theory-to-ban-fracking/>
 

Why Is Liberal California the Poverty Capital of America?

Nearly one in five California residents is poor, the highest of any state in the country. Despite massive anti-poverty spending by Sacramento and municipalities, they have resisted pro-work reforms, and a large stare of the aid is in no-strings-attached cash disbursements. Land-use restrictions have driven up housing costs. Extensive environmental regulations aimed at reducing CO2 emissions make energy more expensive, also hurting the poor.
 
<http://beta.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-jackson-california-poverty-20180114-story.html>

 

2018-01-11

 

“Eco-Colonialism”: Rift Grows Between Indigenous Leaders and Green Activists

Martin Louie, hereditary chief of the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation in north-central British Columbia, was a high-profile leader in the fight against the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. The $7-billion pipeline was eventually cancelled last year, but Mr. Louie didn’t want to sink the project. Rather, he really just wanted to win more money for his impoverished community than the “ridiculous” $70,000 a year being offered by the company. Mr. Louie and other First Nation leaders became the focal point of major green campaigns funded by US interests to thwart oil and gas exports.
 
Now, with the pipeline dead, First Nation leaders are describing the efforts by the green activists as “eco-colonialism.” Ken Brown, a former chief of the Klahoose First Nation in southwestern BC, said: “You are seeing a very pervasive awakening among these First Nations leaders about what is going on in the environmental community.”
 
<http://business.financialpost.com/feature/eco-colonialism-rift-grows-between-indigenous-leaders-and-green-activists>
 

Carbon Bounty (not taxes) Could Save Us from the Next Little Ice Age

While carbon taxes are intended to encourage lower emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere and thereby prevent global warming, some scientists, such as Valentian Zharkova and Habibullo Abdussamatov foresee the coming of a new Little Ice Age. In that case there should be bounties in the form of subsidies to to oil sands industries, pipelines and fracking, while eliminating subsidies to wind and solar power, as well as Tesla vehicles.
 
<https://www.thegwpf.com/precautionary-principle-upside-down-how-to-save-the-planet-from-a-little-ice-age/>
 

Too Frigid for Global Warming? This is Why They Rebranded it “Climate Change”

Rex Murphy takes a poke at the alarmists and their political allies who take any unusual weather event-hot, cold, droughts, floods, etc.-as justification for keeping the grants flowing and the contradictions unexamined. 
 
<https://www.thegwpf.com/too-frigid-for-global-warming-this-is-why-they-rebranded-it-climate-change/>
 

Exxon Launches Counterattack against California-based “Conspiracy” Lawsuits

Acknowledging the risks of climate change, supporting the Paris Agreement and backing revenue-neutral carbon taxes weren’t enough to prevent ExxonMobil from been targeted by state and local governments. On January 8 the company filed suit against seven cities in California that want state courts to force the oil company to pay for infrastructure improvements to help them adapt to climate change. ExxonMobil argues that it and other Texas-based energy firms have become the target of a “conspiracy” among liberal state attorneys general and other officials seeking to blame it for driving up emissions that are supposedly causing the earth’s temperature to rise.
 
The oil company is asking a Texas district court to order officials from the seven cities to disclose documents and provide depositions that Exxon argues will show how they failed to provide evidence of the true risks of climate change. ExxonMobil wants the court to order a number of California local government officials to answer questions under oath that it claims will expose the basis of the argument the cities are attempting to make as erroneous and moot.
 
<http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/exxon-launches-counterattack-against-california-based-climate-conspiracy-lawsuits/article/2645352>
 

It’s All Over: German Parties Agree to Scrap 2020 Climate Target

In a potential embarrassment to Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany’s would-be coalition partners agreed to drop an ambitious plan to lower CO2 emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2020. Instead the target would be deferred to the early 2020s, while still sticking to achieving a 55% cut in emissions by 2030. At the 2017 G20 meeting in Hamburg, Chancellor Merkel was highly critical of President Donald Trump’a withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.
 
<https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-germany-politics/german-parties-agree-to-scrap-2020-climate-target-sources-idUKKBN1EX0OW>
<http://dailycaller.com/2018/01/08/angela-merkel-lectured-trump-on-global-warming-now-germany-abandoning-its-climate-goal/?utm_source=CCNet+Newsletter&utm_campaign=5d83ec3e3a-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_01_10&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fe4b2f45ef-5d83ec3e3a-36424765>
 

Germany Sends Electricity to Neighbours-And Pays for It

Germany is increasingly selling electricity at negative prices. According to a report by Handelsblatt several thousand megawatt hours flowed over the borders on New Year’s Day. And not even free of charge: whoever accepted Germany’s electricity gift was paid to take it. Transmission system operators have to purchase electricity from renewable sources, even if there is no demand. In these situations, electricity prices go negative. The costs for this are transferred by the operators to the consumers.
 
<https://www.thegwpf.com/german-energiewende-we-cant-afford-this-insanity-for-much-longer/>
 

Germany’s Energiewende

The World Nuclear Association has prepared an extensive report on Germany’s policy of increasing the share of renewables and phasing out nuclear power. Thanks to being given grid priority and subsidies, wind power capacity increased from 12 GW in 2002 to 45 GW in 2015 (10.4% of the world total). Solar power capacity in the same period jumped to 40 GW in 2015. With the cost of the subsidies mostly paid by small and medium-sized customers, Germany has some of the lowest wholesale electricity prices in Europe and some of the highest retail prices. 
 
Combined with shutdowns of nuclear plants (to be completed by 2022), coal-fired generation now meets half of the country’s load, and is not expected to diminish significantly by 2030. That is, large-scale deployment of renewable capacity does not translate into a substantial displacement of thermal capacity. In fact, German utilities have commissioned advanced lignite-fired stations capable of ramping up or down on 15-minutes notice to offset the intermittency of wind and solar.
 
In short, Germany’s Energiewende is a classic example of what happens when policymakers underestimate the cost of renewable subsidies and the strain they have on the grid and national economies.
 
<http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/energy-and-the-environment/energiewende.aspx>
 

Al Gore: “Bitter Cold” is What We Should Expect from the “Climate Crisis”

On January 4 Mr. Gore tweeted: “It’s bitter cold in parts of the US, but climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann explains that’s exactly what we should expect from the climate crisis. http://ow.ly/Gdm230hAFv4." His Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth did not warn of record cold and increasing snowfalls as a consequence of man-made global warming. And as recently as 2009, Mr. Gore was hyping the lack of snow as evidence for man-made global warming.
 
<https://twitter.com/algore/status/949050335074582528>
<http://www.climatedepot.com/2018/01/04/al-gore-bitter-cold-is-exactly-what-we-should-expect-from-the-climate-crisis/>
 

The Population Bombers Keep On Bombing

Half a century after publication of The Population Bomb, the world is healthier, better fed, less poor, better entertained and generally living fuller lives. In this year 2018, the end is not near. The only people in need of downsizing are the predictors of doom and other purveyors of science fiction.
 
In a paper published in Bioscience, a group of scientists led by veteran Oregon State University bioactivist William Ripple call for a new global economic model to save us from hell on earth. “By failing to adequately limit population growth, reassess the role of an economy rooted in growth, reduce greenhouse gases, incentivize renewable energy, protect habitat, restore ecosystems, curb pollution, halt defaunation, and constrain invasive alien species, humanity is not taking the urgent steps needed to safeguard our imperilled biosphere.” The statement, released in November under the headline “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice,” has allegedly been signed by more than 15,000 “scientists,” although a large number of the signatures list “student” as a credential.
 
<https://www.thegwpf.com/terence-corcoran-the-population-bombers-keep-on-bombing-and-50-years-on-they-keep-getting-it-wrong/>
 

Death of a Climate Icon

In a blog post and a five-minute video Susan Crockford responds to accusations from the consensus experts that she and other “denier bloggers” are using topics such as polar bears as proxies for AGW as part of a deliberate plan to undermine the public’s confidence in global warming. She points out that the climate science community, in collaboration with Arctic researchers and the media, set the polar bear up as an icon for catastrophic global warming. 
 
<https://www.thegwpf.com/failed-polar-bear-predictions-have-climate-change-community-in-a-panic/>
<https://polarbearscience.com/2018/01/04/failed-amstrup-polar-bear-predictions-have-climate-change-community-in-a-panic/?utm_source=CCNet+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4ece384c05-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_01_05&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fe4b2f45ef-4ece384c05-36424765>
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCzwFalI8OQ>
 

Five Questions from Students about Climate Change

In late 2017 Ross McKitrick was contacted by a group of high school students in Europe asking some questions about climate change for a project they were working on. The questions were: (1) What is behind global warming? (2) What can we do the prevent global warming? (3) If we don’t do anything about it, how does it affect us and our descendants? (4) What will happen in the future, and what are the alternatives for us, if the Earth becomes unliveable? (5) How can we save Earth if it isn't too late?. 
 
Dr. Mckitrick provided common-sense and non-alarmist answers to each question.
 
<https://www.rossmckitrick.com/uploads/4/8/0/8/4808045/5questions.pdf>

 


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