A review and commentary on topical matters concerning the science, economics, and governance associated with climate change developments.
By Alan Moran,
2 November, 2016
International political developments
Having reached the necessary ratification levels, the Paris Climate Change Agreement, under which developed countries pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 per cent, comes into force on 4 November. Many see the provision (Article 28) preventing withdrawal for 4 years as providing insurance against a Republican victory on November 8. Indeed, speaking on behalf of the 48 least developed countries, no less an authority than the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo has played down the risk of Trump reneging!
Noting that the European electricity price is 165 per cent higher than that of the US, and the gas price differential is even higher, a US Chamber of Commerce report has said US renewable energy policies would cost $676 billion a year to the US residential sector and $31 billion to the industrial sector.
Former Obama Interior deputy secretary argues that “25 percent of US global emissions are coming from deforestation and poor agricultural practices” and wants to combat these emissions by sterilising private farmland from productive use. Such planning regulations were used by Australian governments to steal farmland and have impoverished many Australian farmers. After a 17 year campaign we are now seeing some limited reversal of this regulatory sterilisation for 82 Queensland farms.
Canada (which was a leader in the 1992 Kyoto agreement but was the first to renounce it) announced a $10 per tonne carbon tax for 2018, rising to $50 in 2022.
France however is now almost certainly not to proceed with its foreshadowed 33 euro per tonne carbon tax. This comes on top of Nicholas Sarkozy campaigning for the Presidency with elections due next year on an anti climate change platform. Given that the more intensive assessment of nuclear required by the government has lifted electricity prices this is not surprising.
According to the latest piece of alarmist doggerel coming out of the UN, it’s just as well that the world has the numbers to ratify Paris since, it claims, without action on prevention of human induced climate change we could see an additional 165 million human souls placed in poverty as early as 2030!
Enamoured with sensation, the media is awash with stories about the coming desertification of Europe. One expert’s advice is “Cutting food waste and moderating meat consumption in healthy balanced diets will help to avoid dangerous climate change, and will also help to ensure food security for those with fewer economic means. Indeed, climate change is now getting so serious that, in addition to policy advisers confronting their own madness, a University of Exeter study claims it is driving some fish species into the mouths of their predators.
Other warmistas are also turning to absurd mysticism - The Guardian canvasses earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes (but not yet sunspots) as the child of human induced climate change. However even sustainability worry-worts consider climate change to be overhyped as a cause of war.
Promoting the climate hysteria cause
“Do you realize how dumb you have to be to not believe in climate change at this point?" asks a comedian in a Clinton Trump attack ad. You certainly have to be courageous to withstand the attacks from amply funded warmistas. Wikileaks revealed Democratic megadonor Tom Steyer, who has pledged to give away half his $1.8 billion wealth mainly to environmental causes, has provided $40 million to Clinton’s campaign. His NextGen Climate Action campaign pressured Clinton to expedite replacement of fossil fuels by renewables beyond her already committed 50 per cent by 2030.
John Podesta, formerly President Obama’s climate adviser and currently campaign chairman has according to Wikileaks discussed a $42 per ton carbon tax as a means of reaching the Paris commitment. False reassurance of the effects was offered in the following chart included in one of the emails to Podesta:-
Wikileaks also has a letter from Podesta urging major TV channels to focus more on “climate induced” extreme events in weather reporting.
Although Clinton raised her ambitious 50 per cent “clean” energy plans several times in the debates, Trump did not seriously engage with the issue. This annoyed John Kerry and Leonardo DiCaprio at the launch of the latter’s propaganda film “Before the Flood” but John Kerry balked at DiCaprio’s suggestion that gas as well as coal be struck off the energy provision menu. DiCaprio has been made "a United Nations Messenger of Peace on Climate Change".
Wikileaks finds US “charities” like Sandler Foundation, the Sea Change Foundation, the Tilia Fund, the Growald Family Fund and the Flora Family Foundation linked to the Clinton campaign are funding lawfare and other opposition to Australian coal, oil and gas developments. They are usurping Australian sovereignty and recruiting rich local activists to assist them.
International finance flows to influence policy on climate change also go from Australia to the US. Wikileaks reports an email to Hillary's campaign chief John Podesta as “Here is the plan to go after WSJ and FOX on climate. I have 500,000 of this pledged if I can raise another million. It's a real pledge from Graeme Wood in Australia." Podesta has had many green links including with Russian interests he now disowns. Wikileaks is in fact revealing a panoply of climate change promoters, financial links to the Clinton campaign and programs planned with great precision.
There is so much gold-in them-thar-grants that climate fraudster, Nick Stern, elevated to the peerage for services rendered, is trawling for more of it from the British government by padding his think tank’s credentials, claiming it is responsible for others’ work. Stern’s amateurish politically inspired report 10 years on is subject to devastating criticism by former UK Minister Peter Lilley.
How travels the science?
HFCs once the world’s saviour as replacements for chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) when the latter were said to be causing the hole in the ozone layer have been transformed into demons. The New York Times sees the phase out of HFCs as another big step in purifying the earth of human influence.
CSIRO has published its biennial climate report noting a 1C temperature increase over the past 105 years and forecasting more of the same, alongside more storms, due to global warming. Andrew Bolt pointed to the politicisation of the scientific agency's statements by contrasting previous CSIRO forecasts with actuual developments. One such forecast said, “drought is not just a natural dry stretch but a shift related to climate change” only to then confront record rainfalls. CSIRO’s own rainfall records show no trend over the past century.
Matt Ridley publishes an all-encompassing rebuttal of the climate con and points to four principal reasons about why the risk from global warming is being exaggerated:
1. All environmental predictions of doom always are wrong;
2. the models have been consistently wrong for more than 30 years;
3. the best evidence indicates that climate sensitivity is relatively low;
4. the climate science establishment has a vested interest in alarm.
Global temperatures, though returning to their long term average, remain at El Niño influenced high levels. Nonetheless, 2016 is likely to be the warmest in the 38 year satellite record.
The Australian Environment Minister parades his nation’s greenhouse credentials, first established by banning CFCs, thus preventing effective air-conditioning in cars, announces a further step on HFCs but others see Australia's emission restraints as “too little too late”. And senior business leaders, including heads of banks, attended a briefing warning them that in future they may be sued for not taking care to avoid greenhouse gas emissions.
The debacle of South Australia’s electricity collapse has been laid at the feet of the wind industry; wind is not only three times the cost of fossil fuels but is unreliable.
Apparently unperturbed, two other Labor states, Queensland and Victoria are powering ahead with economy-crushing wind farms to displace the super efficient, reliable and low cost coal stations. In a piece of sleight-of-hand prepared by Queensland Government commissioned activists, the replacement of half existing power stations by wind farms is even claimed to impose trivial costs – though the small print reveals that’s only because they assume a $40 carbon tax.
And Victoria is pressing ahead with yet another layer of regulatory favours to green power under the rubric of a “fairness” reward for environmental benefits. While, as a result of such subsidies, the closure of the low cost Engie/Mitsui's brown coal Hazelwood power station is said by the Australian Financial Review to be imminent, providing price benefits to other suppliers at the expense of customers and the nation generally.
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