Sunday, 2 May 2021

Climate News - May 2021

 

Alan Moran


1 May 2021

A review and commentary on topical matters concerning the science, economics, and governance associated with climate change developments.

Climate Change Politics

Polls show US voters overwhelmingly favour the proposed deeper reductions in emissions Biden announced prior to the 'climate summit' where heads of government attended by Zoom.  Andrew Bolt gave a scathing analysis of the event, saying the US President insulted the intelligence of 39 other world leaders by making them listen to “the uninformed ravings of mystics, New Age tribal women and even a teenager wailing nonsense about a “dead planet”, “environmental racism”, “indigenous wisdom” and drowning Pacific islands (that are actually growing) and not one climate scientist.  

 

The outcome was summarized by Graham Lloyd, “Despite a global roadshow by Biden’s climate change envoy John Kerry, pledges by other nations to do more were limited and confined to America’s key strategic allies the European Union and Britain, Canada, Japan and South Korea.” According to the Australian’s Chris Mitchell, “Some reporters give bouquets to countries that really have no chance of meeting their targets — India and China — and countries that talk big but remain behind Australia — the US and New Zealand.”  At CNN Jeffrey Sachs however claimed: “By every standard, President Joe Biden's climate change summit was a remarkable success”. Developing countries, including China and India, voiced support for combating climate change and said they were doing their bit, with costly internal measures promoting wind, hydrogen etc. and would get to net neutrality, in most cases by 2060.  They asked about the $100 billion a year they were promised under the Paris Agreement and expressed alarm at proposals to introduce carbon border tariffs.

 

The United States and China are "committed to cooperating" on the issue of climate change, according to a joint statement, following a visit to Shanghai by US climate envoy John Kerry. Ominously, however, John Kerry said President Biden is evaluating the border carbon tariff (where China is the main target but which would undermine the world trading system).

 

The US is starting to ban fracking, which has proved to be environmentally safe and has also been responsible for lowering US greenhouse gases.  95 per cent of US oil and gas is produced by the technology, which has transformed the US into a net energy exporter. 

 

The Biden administration plans to switch subsidies provided to fossil fuels (mainly comprising rapid write-off of drilling costs) to support for renewables.  A new subsidy for blending biofuels with fossil fuels is also planned. 

 

US Dept. of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland who identifies as native American has established a Climate Task Force to accelerate renewable energy development and to seek input through tribal consultation.

 

Globally, notwithstanding opposition to fossil fuels, electricity generation from coal plants is increasing according to Coal Tracker (additions in blue).

It is no coincidence that the fastest growing world economies: China, India, Bangladesh and Vietnam also have the fastest-growing coal capacity.

 

Matt Ridley quotes Bjorn Lomborg,

"Half the world now believe climate change will make humanity go extinct

Reality? UN expects average person in 2100 to be 450% richer. Climate will make that 434%.

Problem, not end-of-world"

 

Canadian conservative leader Erin O’Toole proposes to go to the general election with a slightly concealed carbon tax.  That strategy to outflank the left was used by Western Australia’s conservative leader, Zak Kirkup, whose party was wiped out at the March 2021 election, in which he also lost his own seat.

 

The death if Prince Philip was accompanied by outpourings of expressed admiration. Rowan Dean was among the few noting his well-informed contempt for the global warming scare.

Climate Change Science

A new report from the Global Warming Policy Foundation found, contrary to mainstream media hype, that no good scientific evidence emerged in 2020 to support claims that weather extremes are caused by emissions of greenhouse gases, or that the frequency or intensity of weather extremes are on the rise.

Research examining 22 year sunspot cycles identifies flips from El Niño (when sea surface temperatures are warmer than average) to a La Niña (when the sea surface temperatures are cooler than average). The most recent cycle to a cooler La Niña is just beginning.

 

The former head of the UN ­Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Robert Glasser, calls for the Australian government to urgently recognise the security risks of climate-induced famines, due to rising seas and mass migrations affecting hundreds of millions of people.  What sea level rise?  Argo buoys show little trend over the last 20 years.

Australia’s High Court on June 23 is to review a lower court’s finding that Professor Peter Ridd was wrong to publicise evidence that the Great Barrier Reef is not seriously endangered, contrary to the views of some of his colleagues at James Cook University. Judith Curry describes similar attacks in the global warming debate as ‘Confirmation bias’ - the interpretation of evidence in ways that are partial to existing beliefs, expectations, or hypotheses. This brings about “groupthink”, which is reinforced by the refusal of major publications to include dissenting views.

 

Roy Spencer assembles results from climate models used by the IPCC and finds them persistently overshooting the satellite recorded data.

This failed to impress 13 Noble laureates, headed by the Australian National University’s Vice Chancellor Brian Schmidt, who issued an “urgent call for action”.

Whimsy

Rode and Fishbeck catalogued 79 “apocalyptic” disaster projections made since 1970.  Tony Thomasreports that in 48 cases, the predicted disaster dates (mainly about climate change) have passed without the doom eventuating. The other 31 predictions are still in the future.

 

The plan by Bill Gates and others to research the efficacy of blocking sunlight from reaching Earth’s surface has been postponed.

Articles relating to Climate Change published in April: