Climate News - January 2019

by Alan Moran

A review and commentary on topical matters concerning the science, economics, and governance associated with climate change developments.
Alan Moran
1 January 2019
The key take-away by The Guardian of December's climate change Conference of Parties (COP 24) in Katowice was an absence “of how countries will step up their targets on cutting emissions”.  The Global Warming Policy Foundation assembled this caricature of the meetings since 2007, featuring politicians, rock stars and media personalities proclaiming "the last chance to save the planet".  The next major meeting will be 2020, “when countries must meet the deadline for their current emissions commitments and produce new targets for 2030 and beyond that go further towards meeting scientific advice”.

Heartland's James Taylor hosted presentations in Katowice that addressed the false premises, inaccurate science and threats to economic freedom and prosperity of the UN climate change agenda. At the same time Heartland released the monumental work, Climate Change Reconsidered, of the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change. Comprising over 700 pages, this was prepared with the assistance of 100 scientists and examines the vital role of fossil fuels in promoting the wealth and environmental improvements mankind is enjoying.  

China, the world’s biggest emitter, called on developed nations “to pay their climate debt” while absolving itself from any action.  Climate activists recognise that China's growth will continue to rely on fossil fuels while claiming it is on track to meet its vague Paris commitments and hoping that its emissions will decline after 2030!
Riots in France led President Macron to absent himself from Katowice and retreat from his economy-destroying pursuit of a taxation induced Green nirvana.  As Henry Ergas ($) observes, the elites in France and elsewhere have falsely claimed that the exalted renewable future will also bring cheaper energy; ordinary people protest once this is disproven to their immense disadvantage.

With a view to locking nations into obligations policed by an international bureaucracy, under Macron, France has been a major promoter of the UN’s program to codify international environmental law, the first report of which was issued on 10 December 2018.  
Even though the US confirmed it will leave the Paris Agreement, demonstrating the potency of “Stockholm syndrome”, Conoco, Chevron, Exxon, BP, Shell and Total are all funding lobbies calling for a US carbon tax. And, while the anti-carbon tax yellow vest protests in France threaten the continued existence of the Macron regime, some US young Republicans fret that the absence of a policy favouring such measures threatens the future of their party. 

Meanwhile, as Alex Robson demonstrates, by crippling the economy with high regulation-induced electricity and gas prices, Australia ($) claims it will meet its 2030 Paris target 8 years early.  I wrote articles on the myth of low cost renewables in the Spectator and in Catallaxy.

Prime Minister Trudeau is backing a Canadian carbon tax but, although current opinion polls are favourable, all are wary of the French riots. Ontario is opposed to the national tax but its alternative plan, which I addressed in the Financial Post, would also penalise carbon dioxide emissions at high cost and with no benefit. At Katowice, Canada and the UK hosted a “coal free day”.

Fatih Birol, the renewable-phile head of the International Energy Agency launched the latest edition of the World Energy Outlook.  As usual this promotes the merits and inevitability of a renewable energy future but buried within its spin is the amount of energy actually produced by wind and solar - a mere 1.1 per cent. 
Scientific developments
A massive expansion of Greenland ice is taking place.  At the end of the 2018 season (31 August), 517 billion tonnes more snow fell than the snow and ice that melted into the sea. The aggregate level of snow was 150 billion tonnes above the average for 1981-2010.

Greenland Snow
That evidence has not prevented alarmist stories asserting the contrary.  But one pole’s gain may be another’s loss, as data for the Katowice conference suggests that the eastern Antarctica glaciers are shrinking, findings that were said to have, “very serious repercussions for climate change and particularly sea-level rise”.  As Judith Curry ($) shows, this is just part of a natural rhythm. The data on snow cover for 2018 shows in some areas it is thicker and some it is thinner. 
Professor Peter Ridd is among the foremost scientists studying the Australian Great Barrier Reef.  Having been sacked from his university post for suggesting the reef remained healthy, thereby threatening the grant funding of his fellow academics, he is now less constrained from speaking out.  Writing in The Australian ($), he demonstrates how the regular pattern of alarmist claims of the reef’s imminent disappearance is followed by its (unreported) recovery in a pattern that has been going on for thousands of years.  

For those claiming that there is a total scientific “consensus” that climate change is being driven by human emissions of carbon dioxide, Pierre Gosselin helpfully assembles 85 scientific studies that show a negligible relationship.

John Maclean issued this piece summarising some of the false scientific forecasts, including lack of increased temperatures and rising seas, that underpin global warming action plans.

Forecasts, schmorecasts ..... ANDREW MOUNTFORD examined the first published UK official climate alarmism against the record.  Here is how wide of the mark the experts were:
Confirming preconceived notions that a hotter climate harms mental health, (for boys but apparently not girls) this Australian  study also demonstrates the potency of a good climate change hook in an application for funding.

And in a Christmas Story, increased carbon dioxide which, whatever its claimed malevolencies, is certain to mean more vegetation growth, is bizarrely said to be reducing the size of reindeers
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  1. The mainstream media is finally starting to run the article about the Trump supporter college student who got kicked out of medical school at the University of Virginia for publicly debating with a far-left SJW communist professor. Here are two new ones:

    Someone also took the time to type up a transcript of the events which happened:

    Reddit is freaking out about the story too, of course. 1000s of comments on these threads:

    This story, known as MedGate, has the potential to create a mass public outcry against our far left college system, and thus cause real damage to the student debt loan bubble.


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