The Case for Pulling the U.S. Out of the Paris Climate Accord

EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt has argued that the Paris Agreement on Climate Change is a bad deal for the U.S. because it doesn’t bind China and India. But that implies it could be fixed by imposing the same ruinous terms on developing countries—which would in fact just spread the damage. The real reason for pulling of the Paris Accord is that it is a futile gesture based on empty and dishonest premises.

The first thing to note is that the same computer models that say global warming is a problem also say that Paris will not fix it. If one were to graph the standard warming projections over the next century with and without Paris, the two lines overlap almost exactly. Whatever greenhouse gas (GHG) concentration we would have reached in the year 2100 without Paris, we will reach it shortly thereafter with. For all its costs, the Paris treaty will have almost no effect on global warming, and by depleting global income it will make it harder for countries to adapt and innovate in responseto whatever changes occur. Thus not only does Paris not solve the problem, it arguably makes it worse.

This, by the way, was equally true of the earlier Kyoto Protocol: all cost and no benefit. Under current technology and economic realities we have only two options: do nothing and adapt to whatever changes the climate will undergo over the next century, or take a lot of costly and futile actions today and adapt to whatever changes the climate will undergo over the next century. There has never been a third option involving costly actions today that stop the climate from changing.

Paris binds countries to meet their self-imposed Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs. The Obama Administration submitted an NDC that committed the U.S. to a twenty six percent reduction in GHG emissions below 2005 levels by 2025 through specific regulatory measures, all of which were enacted by Executive Order rather than by passing laws in Congress. It amounts to an attempt by one Administration to bind all future Administrations despite lacking legislative warrant. If the U.S. NDC was supposed to be legally binding then it should have gone through Congress. And now that some of those measures have been repealed by the current Administration, it is dishonest to keep the existing NDC as part of the Paris Agreement.

Paris embeds an inconsistency between calling for the use of the “best available science” while also prejudging what that science is allowed to say. The Accord’s preamble calls climate change an “urgent threat” even though mainstream climate science and economics does not imply this, instead placing global warming rather low on the list of problems confronting the world. The Agreement enshrines the ill-defined and arbitrary target of holding “the” global average temperature to 2oC above pre-industrial levels while completely ignoring the critical question of how it should be measured. Nor does it say how much of the warming is natural and should not be counted against the 2oC limit. This omission alone makes the overall target absurd, since it could bind the world to taking actions to prevent the sun from shining brighter.

The Paris Agreement also veers into absurdity by its political and ideological language, requiring countries to address extraneous themes like gender equity, biodiversity, poverty eradication, migrants, disabled persons, a “just transition of the workforce,” “creation of decent work,” and so on. Having larded the treaty with social justice slogans, its authors cannot be surprised if they become points of contention. It is not surprising that conservative governments will dislike these items, and if the authors respond that they can simply be ignored, then they should not have been in the treaty to begin with.

Finally, a proponent might acknowledge all these problems yet still defend Paris as a “good first step” in the expectation that later steps will yield big benefits.  But this is flawed reasoning. In any well-structured policy transition the first step yields the highest benefits at the lowest cost—the so-called low hanging fruit. Subsequent steps cost more and yield less, until the point is reached where costs exceed benefits and the process stops. Paris, like Kyoto, cost too much to implement while yielding unmeasurably small benefits. Subsequent steps will only be worse. It is a bad first step on a road to nowhere.

Pulling out of the Paris treaty would send a signal that the U.S. will not bind itself to bad deals based on hype and empty slogans. If this is the best global climate diplomacy could come up with then it is time to pursue other options.

And What Is The Scientific Basis For Imposing Energy Poverty On The Masses?

Yes, I’m old enough to remember when governments thought it was a big part of their responsibility to enhance the well-being of the people.  In the area of energy, that meant pursuing policies that would lead to lower prices and greater availability for things like electricity and gasoline.  Crazy, eh?  But then everything got turned on its head.  In 2009 we got a President who, shortly after taking office (March 18, 2009), promised “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”   And he clearly thought that that was a good idea, even a moral imperative.  Henceforth we will use the force of government to pursue the intentional impoverishment of the people!  When Congress declined to act on the “cap and trade” plan, Obama then proceeded via executive actions and regulations with efforts designed to increase the cost and decrease the availability of energy — things like the Clean Power Plan, refusing to grant permits to pipelines, hobbling the coal industry, and so forth.

And thus we come to the big demonstrations by the Obama/Democratic/progressive factions this past weekend that I have called the March for Poverty.  But, to be fair to them, they called their demonstrations the “March for Science.”  If you have read yesterday’s post, you will know that I think that “science” is a process of challenging hypotheses, rather than a body of fixed and  unchallengeable established knowledge.  Is there any sense in which the people asserting a moral necessity of “saving the planet” through impoverishment of the people can legitimately claim the mantle of “science”?

It’s not particularly easy to pin down everything that the march itself might have stood for, given the profusion of groups and spokespersons associated with it.  So, to get a handle on the deep thinking behind the legal end of the climate movement, I thought to listen in today to a webinar put on by the Harvard Law School Open Lecture Series, featuring Professor Jody Freeman.  She’s the Director of the Harvard Law School Environment Law and Policy Program, and previously worked for the Obama administration, among other things in designing the (failed) cap and trade legislation.  She’s the Zeke Emanuel Obama’s climate regulations!

I’ll bet you think that a Harvard-sponsored webinar on environmental policy would be conducted at a high and sophisticated level, so high indeed that humble you probably couldn’t even understand it.  Don’t be silly!  This program was really an insult to the intelligence of any listener who knew anything at all about the subject matter.  From all you could tell, poor Ms. Freeman was completely uninformed about the state of the science that underlies all Obama-era climate and energy regulation, in particular EPA’s Endangerment Finding.  (The alternative hypotheses, no better for Ms. Freeman, is that she was being intentionally deceptive.)  Although she did not address the EF directly in her prepared remarks, in a Q&A portion Ms. Freeman got a specific question as to the state of the science underlying the EF, and the prospects for its being revoked.  Her answer was that the EF will be very hard to impossible to revoke, because the “science” is “extremely strong” and the underlying evidence “overwhelming.”  The one source she mentioned for her confidence was the IPCC (whose latest report dates from 2013).  Of course, she completely failed to address the major challenges to the EF that are out there and well-known to everybody familiar with the issues.

So, what is the latest on the actual, real science?  The answer is that the EF has been totally invalidated by the accumulation of empirical real-world evidence.  Many readers here may be familiar with my post from last September, “The ‘Science’ Underlying Climate Alarmism Turns Up Missing.”   There, I reported on the issuance of a major Research Report from Wallace, Christy and D’Aleo asserting that, using basic statistical techniques applied to empirical evidence, they had invalidated each of the three “lines of evidence” on which EPA claimed to base its EF.  And now, just yesterday, it so happens that Wallace, Christy and D’Aleo have released a new, updated and expanded version of the Research Report.  Here is a link to the Report itself.  Michael Bastasch at the Daily Caller was the first to report on the story, headline “New Study Calls EPA’s Labeling Of CO2 A Pollutant ‘Totally False.'”  Excerpt:

A new study published by seasoned researchers takes aim at the heart of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to issue regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions.  The study claims to have “proven that it is all but certain that EPA’s basic claim that CO2 is a pollutant is totally false,” according to a press statement put out by Drs. Jim Wallace, John Christy and Joe D’Aleo.  Wallace, Christy and D’Aleo — a statistician, a climatologist and meteorologist, respectively — released a study claiming to invalidate EPA’s 2009 endangerment finding, which allowed the agency to regulate CO2 as a pollutant.  “This research failed to find that the steadily rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations have had a statistically significant impact on any of the 14 temperature data sets that were analyzed,” the authors say in the release for the second edition of their peer-reviewed work.  “Moreover, these research results clearly demonstrate that once the solar, volcanic and oceanic activity, that is, natural factor, impacts on temperature data are accounted for, there is no ‘record setting’ warming to be concerned about,” the researchers say. “In fact, there is no natural factor adjusted warming at all.”

And the Research Report is just one — although perhaps the most important — of many demonstrations of the invalidity of the EF.  In his testimony before Congress on March 29, John Christy (one of the authors of the Research Report) also pointed, for example, to the fact that after some thirty years of collecting temperature data, the level of temperatures measured by satellites and weather balloons falls far below the level predicted by the IPCC climate models.

In actual science, when there is a credible demonstration that a hypothesis has been falsified, it becomes incumbent upon the proponents of the hypothesis either to explain or distinguish the claimed falsification, or to abandon the hypothesis.  When the “ether” hypothesis was falsified by the Michelson/Morley experiment, it was rather quickly abandoned.  But then, the “ether” hypothesis was not invested with particular political baggage.  By contrast, when Galileo expounded on the Copernican heliocentric view of the universe, that was viewed as a challenge to his authority and prestige by Pope Urban VIII, who had Galileo tried and imprisoned.  Fortunately the facts, and the scientific method, won out in the end.  Does anybody today have a good word to say for Urban VIII?

The scientific method will also win out in the end in the matter of the current climate hysteria.  It will not help the climate hysterics that they have attempted to claim the label of “science,” when in fact they have no idea even what science is.  And, unfortunately, “the end” may not come all that quickly, and many, many people stand to be impoverished by the craziness in the meantime.

Elimination of Clean Power Plan Restores Balance to EPA Policymaking

By 

Electrical power lines as sun sets in background

With his presidential executive order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth, President Trump took an important first step to restore balance in environmental regulatory policymaking through his order that the Environmental Protection Agency review and withdraw the Clean Power Plan. In its stated purpose, the executive order calls for environmental regulations that “comply with the law, (and) are of greater benefit than cost.”

This balance is not new policy, but dates back to the original legislative intent when federal environmental laws were first adopted. During his 1971 testimony in support of passage of the Clean Air Act, Ralph Nader testified that to “simply enforce the pollution laws” without examining the “problem of environmental layoffs or closedowns” “would be too narrow a policy and a cruel one at that for workers” and could lead to a “regime of fear and economic insecurity … spread(ing) through the blue-collar labor force.”

Nader’s concern became a reality with the EPA’s adoption in 2015 of the CPP — largely considered the most sweeping regulation in EPA history. The CPP mandated overhaul of competitive electricity production in the United States by imposing aggressive new standards on power plants and prioritizing carbon content over affordability, reliability and safety. Under the premise of climate change, former President Obama sought to impose a regulatory burden that would have resulted in punishing costs to the poor and working class without achieving any substantive benefit addressing worldwide temperatures.

Using the EPA’s own data, the most optimistically calculated returns the CPP was predicted to deliver were a 0.01 degree Celsius decrease in global temperature by 2100 and a reduction of global sea level rise by 0.01 of an inch — less than the thickness of three sheets of paper. In her testimony before Congress, former EPA administrator Gina McCarthy sought to justify the CPP as “enormous benefit in showing sort of domestic leadership.” The EPA’s uplifting of symbolism over real impact isn’t new. A year earlier, confronted with the “one-one hundredth of a degree” benefit from the CPP, McCarthy responded in saying that “the value of this rule is not measured in that way (by temperature data). It is measured in showing strong domestic action which can actually trigger global action.” The executive order recognizes that environmental regulatory policymaking should accomplish much more than mere symbolic gestures.

These anemic returns are in sharp contrast to the projected annual $29 billion regulatory cost for the CPP. In Texas alone, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas estimated that the CPP would increase energy costs for consumers by up to 16 percent by 2030. These additional costs would hurt some more than others — increases in energy prices are disparately burdensome on the poor.

On average, low-income households spend more than three times the percentage of their income on electricity, heating and cooling than higher-income families do. And it doesn’t stop there. Energy price and availability are directly tied to human health and welfare. According to a 2011 survey of low-income households, high energy bills saw 24 percent of households go without food for a day, 37 percent went without medical or dental care, and 19 percent had a member become sick due to lack of heating in the home.

A 2015 National Black Chamber of Commerce study estimated that the increase in electricity rates caused by the CPP would severely affect “low-income groups, blacks and Hispanics,” and would cost U.S. consumers $284 billion more for energy in 2020 than they did in 2012. Household electricity prices under the rule would rise an average of $1,652, or about $240 more per year.

Besides failing to deliver meaningful improvement in environmental quality, the CPP failed as a policy because of the cost of the regulatory burden not only on the economy as a whole but upon each individual American. Access to reliable, affordable electricity in today’s society is a necessity, not a luxury. Across the world, primitive energy systems still shackle 1.3 billion people to crushing poverty. Clean, stable power and electricity, delivered at scale and on demand is fundamental to human thriving.

The president’s executive order recognizes that the foundation of good environmental regulatory policymaking requires finding the balance between substantive benefit and cost. The order protects against the Clean Power Plan’s radical regulations for the purpose of a merely symbolic gesture — a gesture that would have left little benefits, punitive harm and forgotten Americans in its wake.

Hump Day Hilarity: Mann-o-War at the House Climate Science Hearing

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Josh writes:

On this historic Brexit day the fun has not been confined to this continent. Over in the US they have had a ‘hearing’ on Climate Science with three of the world’s most eminent climate scientists. Michael Mann was there too.

The Hearing- Climate Science: Assumptions, Policy Implications, and the Scientific Method, House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. On the Panel were Dr. Judith Curry, Dr. John Christy. Dr. Michael Mann, and Dr. Roger Pielke Jr.

Worth watching (nearly) the whole thing.

Josh
www.cartoonsbyjosh.com


Added: links to written testimony are within each name. – Anthony

Witnesses

Dr. Judith Curry

President, Climate Forecast Applications Network; Professor Emeritus, Georgia Institute of Technology

[Truth in Testimony]

Dr. John Christy

Professor and Director, Earth System Science Center, NSSTC, University of Alabama at Huntsville; State Climatologist, Alabama

[Truth in Testimony]

Dr. Michael Mann

Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science, Pennsylvania State University; Director, Earth System Science Center (ESSC), Pennsylvania State University

[Truth in Testimony]

Dr. Roger Pielke Jr.

Professor, Environmental Studies Department, University of Colorado

[Truth in Testimony]


UPDATE: From Marc Morano at Climate Depot

AP’s Borenstein calls out Michael Mann for a whopper: ‘Mann said he didn’t call Curry a denier. But in his written testimony he called Curry ‘a climate science denier’

New Hampshire economy needs power to grow

By MICHAEL SUNUNU

A recent paper published by the Carsey School of Public Policy on New Hampshire’s electricity future provides a distorted view of our energy markets. Elected officials and the general public should understand the flaws in this analysis.

The authors state “We find evidence that near-term levels of demand and supply pose no threat to grid reliability.” This statement downplays the need for additional energy infrastructure in the region, presumably to ensure that public money continues to flow to favored solar, wind and energy efficiency interests.

Unfortunately for the rest of us, their findings are without substance. In fact, in the 2013-2014 winter, our region was a few hours away from a severe electric grid event that would have resulted in major blackouts and brownouts.

Since that time, instead of bringing more non gas-fired baseload generation assets online we have seen two nuclear plants close or announce closure. This is why Gordon van Weile, president of ISO-NE, has been discussing the need to address serious problems coming over the next several years. Unless and until there is new infrastructure in the region, we will face continuing threats to our electric grid.

Beyond the issue of reliability, the authors are critical of transmission investments made over the past decade. Using 2015 data, they argue that the high cost of electricity is due to these investments and not the high cost of energy supply, but here in New Hampshire that is just not true. The Eversource average retail rate for electricity in January 2017 was 18.25 cents. Only 2.2 cents was transmission cost, making up 12 percent of the total, which is consistent with national averages. Distribution cost was 4.4 cents, which also matched the national average of about 24 percent of the bill. Far more expensive was the supply charge of 11.2 cents, much greater than the national average.

The authors further attempt to show the benefits of energy efficiency. They compare New England versus national GDP increases between 2005 and 2015 and contrast this with total energy consumption. The New England economy grew 9.7 percent while energy use declined 9.6 percent. Nationally, GDP grew 15.2 percent while electricity consumption fell 3.4 percent. They argue that we are improving our energy intensity versus the rest of the country, but what they fail to acknowledge is that our region is growing a lot slower than everywhere else, and our electricity prices likely have something to do with that. In fact, they omitted the inconvenient truth that during that period our region lost more than 100,000 manufacturing jobs and that most of the drop in electricity demand is due to the loss of our industrial base (residential demand has increased despite hundreds of millions of dollars in energy efficiency investments.)

Our distorted and expensive electricity markets are driving good, high-paying manufacturing jobs out of New England. That is what is driving the “energy intensity” metrics, and it is not something to be proud of — it is something we need to fix.

It is difficult to make the case that the past 10 years of transmission reliability projects have been bad investments. Between 2005 and 2008, New England spent about $600 million a year on electric reliability agreements, uplift charges, and congestion costs. By developing transmission projects, the region is better able to move electricity from producers to consumer. The grid is more reliable and the cost of moving that electricity is much less.

Between 2009 and 2016, the same charges were more than $500 million less each year. That’s over $4 billion of savings for electricity users, with ongoing savings for decades to come.

The Carsey authors’ conclusions are as flawed as their distorted data. Our region has serious energy problems that need to be addressed. The authors want to delay any major infrastructure projects and funnel more funding into renewables and energy efficiency, hoping that over time we can figure out what to do. What they don’t acknowledge is that the supporters of this paper are the same groups fighting energy infrastructure projects in the region, turning what should be a few years of siting, permitting and construction into decade-long quagmires. We will soon have another 2013/2014 winter, but we will have fewer reliable generators, no additional natural gas resources and potentially a less reliable transmission grid to manage a crisis.

Let’s hope our elected officials and decision makers do more homework than the Carsey School did and address the real problems before a day of reckoning comes.

Michael Sununu is a selectman in Newfields.

Those “devastating” EPA reductions

Budget and personnel cuts reflect environmental progress and essential regulatory reforms

Paul Driessen – Those -devastating- EPA reductions

The Trump White House wants significant reductions at the Environmental Protection Agency: two dozen or more programs, including a dozen dealing with President Obama’s climate initiatives; a 20% downsizing in EPA’s 15,000-person workforce; and a one-fourth reduction in its $8.1 billion budget.

The plan requires congressional approval, and thus is hardly a “done deal.” Not surprisingly, it is generating howls of outrage. Former U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says the proposal would be “crippling,” and “devastating for the agency’s ability to protect public health.”

One employee resigned because the cuts would prevent him from serving “environmental justice” and “vulnerable communities.” A congressman claimed EPA is “already operating at 1989 staffing levels,” and the reductions could mean “cutting the meat and muscle with the fat.”

A deep breath and objective assessment are in order.

1) Since EPA was created in December 1970, America’s environmental progress has been amazing. Our cars now emit less than 2% of the pollutants that came out of tailpipes 47 years ago. Coal-fired power plant particulate, mercury, nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions are 10-20 % of their 1970 levels. The white plumes above factory and power plant “smoke stacks” are 90% steam (water vapor) and plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide (which Obama EPA officials disingenuously called “carbon pollution”).

Our lakes, rivers, streams and coastal areas are infinitely cleaner and far safer to drink from or swim in. The notorious lead contamination in Flint, Michigan water occurred under Gina McCarthy’s watch, because her agency didn’t do its job. It was her EPA officials who also triggered the infamous Gold King Mine blowout that contaminated hundreds of miles of river water with arsenic and other toxic metals.

So much for “protecting public health,” ensuring “environmental justice,” and safeguarding our most “vulnerable communities.” It’s as if we’ve come full circle, and now need to be protected from EPA. In truth, that goes all the way back to the agency’s first administrator, William Ruckelshaus, who ignored his own scientists, banned DDT, and sentenced tens of millions of Africans and Asians to death from malaria.

2) EPA became bloated, incompetent and derelict in its fundamental duties largely because it became ideological, politicized and determined to control what it was never intended to regulate. Through mission creep, sue-and-settle lawsuits, and an eight-year quest to help “fundamentally transform” America’s energy and economic system, it attempted to regulate every rivulet, puddle and other “Water of the US,” stuck its nose in numerous local affairs – like the road to a nickel mine in Michigan – and colluded with environmentalists to block Alaska’s Pebble Mine before a permit application had even been submitted.

Most egregious was the agency’s use of alleged “dangerous manmade climate change” to justify its “war on coal,” its “Clean Power Plan,” and its determination to slash fossil fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions by regulating nearly every factory, farm, hospital, mall, drilling project and vehicle in America.

EPA’s other chief climate crusade target was methane, which it called “an extremely powerful climate pollutant” and absurdly claimed is responsible for “a fourth of all global warming to date.” Methane is a tiny 0.00017% of Earth’s atmosphere – equivalent to $1.70 out of $1 million (and compared to 0.04% for CO2) and U.S. energy operations account for less than a tenth of all annual natural and manmade methane emissions. To control that, EPA wanted industry to spend billions of dollars per year.

It also demanded that cars and light trucks get 54.5 mpg by 2025. To meet that standard, automakers would have to downsize and plasticize vehicles, making them less safe and causing thousands of serious injuries and deaths – a reality that EPA ignored in its cost/benefit and environmental justice analysis.

When states, industries or experts raised questions about EPA’s “CO2 endangerment” decision, its biased and dishonest “social cost of carbon” analysis, or its use of “secret science” and highly suspect computer models to justify “climate chaos” claims – the agency railed about “intimidation” and “interference” with its mandate to “protect public health and welfare.” It’s time to take those questions seriously.

3) EPA obviously has too many anti-energy, anti-development staff, programs and dollars looking for more activities to regulate and terminate, to justify their existence. As these programs are properly and necessarily cut back, EPA budgets and personnel should likewise be reduced.

4) Complying with EPA and other government regulations inflicts staggering costs that reverberate throughout our economy, as businesses and families struggle to read, comprehend and comply with them. The Competitive Enterprise Institute calculated that federal regulations alone cost $1.885 trillion per year – prior to the epic regulatory tsunami of 2016 – with the Obama era alone generating $800 billion to $890 billion in annual regulatory burdens, the American Action Forum estimated.

EPA alone is responsible for well over $353 billion of the cumulative annual federal regulatory bill, CEI’s Wayne Crews estimated, based on 2012 data from the first four years of the Obama presidency. Just as disturbing, the total federal regulatory bill is equal to all individual and corporate tax payments combined.

Even more frightening, embedded in those federal regulations are fines and jail terms for some 5,000 federal crimes and 300,000 less serious criminal offenses. An absence of intent to violate the law, even failure to know and understand millions of pages of laws and regulations, even the mistaken assumption that no agency could possibly implement such an absurd rule, is no excuse. You’re still guilty as charged.

These regulatory burdens crush innovation, job creation, economic growth, and business and family wellbeing. They kill jobs, raise the cost of energy, food, products and services, reduce living standards, harm health and shorten lives. They violate any honest concept of “environmental justice.” Poor, minority, working class and other vulnerable families are hardest hit.

5) In fact, environmental justice is little more than a meaningless, malleable, phony concoction whose primary purpose is promoting progressive programs. Whatever EPA seeks to do advances justice and protects the vulnerable. Whatever an industry does or wants is unjust. Whenever anyone criticizes an agency action, it reflects racism or callous disregard for public health.

Only the effects of government regulations, and the actions of government regulators, appear to be exempt from recrimination, intimidation and penalties imposed in the name of environmental justice.

6) Fully 98% of all counties in the United States voted for Donald Trump and his vision for a less regulated, more prosperous nation, with fewer diktats from a Washington, DC that exempts itself from rules it inflicts on others. They did not vote for rolling back real environmental progress – and know full well that President Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt are doing no such thing.

They also know there is ample room – and abundant need – for the proposed EPA reductions. That’s why a CNN/ORC poll after Mr. Trump’s February 28 speech found that 70% of Americans who watched felt more optimistic about the nation’s future, and his policies and priorities were what the country needs now.

7) If President Trump’s program, budget and personnel proposals for EPA are approved, many highly paid agency employees will lose their jobs. That’s always painful, asthousands of coal miners, power plant operators and other employees in communities impacted by heavy-handed EPA regulations can attest – and as the powerful new documentary film “Collateral Damage” demonstrates.

However, downsizing is often essential to the survival of a company – or a country. As President Obama was fond of saying, elections have consequences. Let’s hope Congress and the Trump Administration move forward on EPA restructuring, stand firmly in the face of the predictable forces of professional outrage, and do a good job explaining why these changes are absolutely essential.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org), and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death and other books on the environment.

Richard Lindzen Petition to President Trump: Withdraw from the UN Convention on Climate Change

lindzen

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Dr. Richard Lindzen has sent a petition to President Trump, asking the President to withdraw the United States from the United Nations Convention on Climate Change.

The petition contains the names of around 300 eminent scientists and other qualified individuals, including physicists, engineers, former Astronauts, meteorologists, immunology specialists, marine biologists, chemists, statisticians, doctors, military weather specialists, geologists, accountants, a former director of NASA, economists, soil specialists, mathematicians, hydrologists, environmental scientists, computer modelling specialists, and many more. It is a long list.

Let us hope that President Trump acts quickly on Dr. Lindzen’s request.

If anyone you know claims the climate debate is over, show them a copy of Dr. Lindzen’s petition.

Diogenes searching for honest policies

Renewable energy is defective solution in search of a problem, money and power

Paul Driessen

The Greek philosopher Diogenes reportedly carried an oil lamp during the daytime, the better to help him find an honest man. People everywhere should join Congress and the Trump Administration in search of honest energy and climate policies – as too many existing policies were devised by special interests seeking money and power, and often using imaginary problems to justify their quest.

The health and environmental impacts from fossil fuels are well documented, though often exaggerated or even fabricated by activists, politicians, bureaucrats and companies with lofty agendas: securing climate research grants, and mandates and subsidies for renewable energy projects to replace fossil fuels; reducing economic growth and living standards in industrialized nations; and redistributing the world’s wealth, fundamentally transforming the global economy, and telling impoverished countries what kinds of energy and what level of economic development they will be permitted to have.

More often than not, proponents justify these agendas by insisting we must prevent dangerous manmade global warming and climate chaos, prevent unsustainable resource consumption, and safeguard people against purported technological risks. My multiple articles on the catechism of climate cataclysmsustainability realities, absurdities and duplicities … and selective application of precautionary pabulum address the conceptual fallacies of these interchangeable, agenda-driving mantras.

All three are routinely defined, twisted, used and abused to block technologies that activists despise, and promote technologies and policies that advance their agendas and fill their coffers.

But beyond their glaring, often insurmountable conceptual problems are the practical issues. With what, exactly, will these agitators replace fossil fuels? Applying the same health and environmental standards they use against oil, natural gas and coal – just how clean, green, Earth-friendly, sustainable, climate-stabilizing, healthy, and human rights/social justice-oriented are their renewable energy alternatives?

If their alternatives are so wondrous, why do they still need permanent mandates, renewable portfolio standards, investment tax credits, production tax credits, feed-in tariffs, myriad other subsidies, exemptions from endangered species and other regulations, and laws requiring that utility companies buy their electricity whenever it is produced (even if it is not needed)? Why must they build and run fossil fuel “backup” power plants for the 50-85% of the time that wind and solar are not producing?

The following brief examination will hopefully guide more rigorous analyses of the impacts of these “technologies of the future” – aka wind, solar and biomass technologies that served mankind rather poorly for countless generations, until the fossil/nuclear era began, and now are supposed to serve us once again.

Probably the biggest single problem with any supposedly renewable, sustainable alternative is its horrendously low energy density: the amount of energy produced per acre. We can get far more electricity or fuel from a few dozen, hundred or thousand acres of oil, gas or coal production operations than we can from millions or tens of millions of acres of renewable energy projects.

Moreover, fossil fuel operations can often be conducted in the middle of farm fields or wildlife habitats – or the land can be reclaimed and returned to those uses once the energy has been extracted. Offshore oil and gas platforms actually create thriving habitats for marine life. Most renewable energy operations displace food crops or destroy wildlife habitats – and must do so in perpetuity.

And so we have corn as high as an elephant’s eye, across an area the size of Iowa (36 million acres) to produce ethanol that replaces 10% of US gasoline but also requires vast quantities of water, fertilizer, fuel and pesticides to grow the corn and turn it into fuel – instead of feeding hungry people.

We find bright yellow canola fields across more millions of acres in Montana, Saskatchewan, Germany and elsewhere, to produce biodiesel – and still more acreage devoted to switchgrass for ethanol and algae ponds for “advanced biofuels.” In Brazil, it’s millions of acres of sugarcane for ethanol, and millions more for other biofuels from palm oil, from areas that once were rainforests, “the Earth’s lungs,” as environmentalist groups like to say. Once teeming with wildlife, they are now monoculture energy plantations – so that we don’t have to desecrate Mother Earth by drilling holes in the ground to produce oil and natural gas: nature’s own biofuels, created over millions of years and stored for mankind’s benefit.

Of course, when these expensive, environment-intensive alternatives are burned, they send more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the same as fossil fuels do – on top of the CO2 that was burned by fuels and released from soils and clear-cut trees to produce the “climate-friendly renewable” energy.

Meanwhile, American and Canadian companies are cutting down millions of acres of forest habitats, and turning millions of trees into wood pellets that they truck to coastal ports and transport on oil-fueled cargo ships to England – to be hauled by truck and burned in place of coal to generate electricity. The pellets cost more than coal (which Britain still has in abundance), so utility companies receive huge taxpayer subsidies to make up the difference. One power plant received £450 million ($553 million) in 2015.

The financially and environmentally unsustainable scheme is justified on the ground that trees are renewable; so the scam helps Britain meet its climate change and renewable fuel obligations under various laws and treaties. Even though the trees-to-pellets-to-power process emits more carbon dioxide and pollution than coal-based power generation, the “wood fool” arrangement is considered to be “carbon neutral,” because growing replacement trees over the next century or two will absorb CO2.

If this sounds freaking dishonest and insane, it’s because it is freaking dishonest and insane. Diogenes must be turning summersaults in his grave. But there’s more.

On top of all this biofuel lunacy, we also have tens of thousands of wind turbines towering above fields, lakes, oceans and homes – butchering millions of birds and bats, and impairing the health of thousands of humans whose wellbeing is sacrificed to Big Wind profits. We’ve also got millions of solar panels sprawling across countless acres of desert and grassland habitats, to produce well under 1% of the world’s electricity. Their expensive, intermittent power reaches distant urban areas via thousands of miles of high-voltage transmission lines. They all require greenhouse gas-emitting backup power plants.

Those turbines, panels, transmission lines and backups require millions of tons of steel, copper, concrete, rare earth and other exotic metals, fiberglass and other materials – much of it produced under nonexistent health and environmental laws in faraway countries, where injury, illness, child labor and death run rampant … and are ignored by local, national and United Nations authorities and human rights activists.

Removing all these worn-out turbines and solar panels will cost billions of dollars that state and federal governments don’t have, and developers have rarely had to cover with bonds.

Finally, the energy produced from all these “planet-saving” enterprises is far more costly than what could be produced using fossil fuels. Poor families are hit hardest, as they must spend a much larger portion of their incomes on energy than middle class and wealthy families. Businesses, factories, hospitals and schools also face rising energy costs, and must lay off workers, reduce services or close their doors.

The impacts ricochet throughout communities and nations, adversely affecting living standards, nutrition, health and life spans. We are reminded once again: Corporate fraud affects a limited number of customers; government and activist fraud affects every taxpayer, citizen and consumer.

The essence of all these renewable fuel programs is embodied in the notion that we must capture methane from cow dung, to safeguard Earth’s climate from this “potent greenhouse gas.” The operable term is BS.

The US Congress and Trump Administration could become world leaders in returning honesty and sanity to energy, climate, economic and environmental discussions and policies. Let’s hope they do.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Com

Climate Facts trump Climate Fable

#1) “Weather turning more extreme?   On the contrary, 2012/13/14 saw tornadoes dwindling, 2014 fewest-ever (annals from 1950), 2013 sank to fewest Atlantic hurricanes since 1983 (http://www.climatedepot.com/2013/12/27/2013-shatters-the-record-for-fewest-tornadoes-15-lower-than-previous-record/ & http://icecap.us/index.php/go/faqs-and-myths#3). By contrast, past extremes include 1888, when NY City had a 2-foot blizzard (March) and a longest-ever 14-day heat wave (June) (http://www.examiner.com/article/weather-history-june-26-record-temps-storms-tornadoes-wind-snow-floods), 1900 (Sept.), when a hurricane destroyed Galveston, Texas, killing 8,000 (still U.S. history’s worst natural disaster), 1908 (Feb.), when Indian Lake (in NY’s Adirondack Mts., then & now free of Urban Heat Island megatons of asphalt, cars, high-rises & people that up-skew city temps worldwide) plunged to its so far coldest -42F/-41.1C, 1911 (July), when Indian Lake soared to its till now hottest 103F/39.4C…while Painter, Wyoming crashed to a U.S. lowest-in-July 10F/-12.2C, as well as 1913, when Death Valley, California hit its lowest-ever on Jan. 8th (15F/-9.4C) and sizzled to a world-record 134F/56.7C on July 10th; http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2012/10/hottest-place-earth-hint-not-libya/).

#2) “Polar ice shrinking?   Arctic ice rebounded in 2013 to ~160% of the cyclical low hit in 2012 as a result of the mostly warm phase of the Atlantic’s 15-20-year cycle, due to turn predominantly cold by ~ 2020. Antarctic ice keeps setting expansion records, as 99% of Antarctica (minus volcanic Palmer Peninsula) has for 30-plus years been chilling down, currently assisted by the Pacific, which in 2007 entered the cool phase of its 25-30-year cycle (Pacific = 167% Atlantic’s size).

In 1912 explorer Mawson found Antarctic Commonwealth Bay ice-free (http://www.youtube.com /watch?v=k-9yJ6-6aEs). Antarctic ice has since grown massively…so Christmas Eve 2013 (Antarctic summer) a ship sent to showcase “disappearing” ice got ice-bound (below) in Commonwealth Bay

mawson

(http://www.barrelstrength.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/ait_mawson.jpg http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/global-warming-activists-wanted-to-prove-sea-ice-was-melting-but-became-trapped-by-an-inconvenient-truth/story-fni0cwl5-1226793048790)…and even rescue icebreakers were trapped (http://rt.com/news/rescue-icebreakers-antarctic-us-195/).

 

#3) “Snows diminishing? January 2016’s record blizzard has already lofted the current decade (the 2010’s) to 18 high-impact snow storms, vs. just 11 for the runner-up decade (2000 thru 2009), 4 of the 5 snowiest winters for the Northern Hemisphere struck from 2007/8 through 2013/14. 2012 saw first snow in 112 years freak Egypt’s camels (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/cairo-snow-egyptian-capital-sees-2923418), 2013 had first-ever May snow down even to Arkansas (latitude of North African coast), in 2014 Japan doubled its old heaviest-ever (http://www.euronews.com/nocomment/2014/02/17/japan-hit-by-heavy-snowstorms/)(http://www.weather.com/news/snow-japan-snarls-traffic-deaths-20140216), Iran got its worst in 50 years (http://www.euronews.com/2014/02/04/worst-snowstorm-for-half-a-century-hits-northern-iran), on 9/11/2014 Rapid City, S.Dakota shov(el)ed 2 days forward its old 1970 earliest-ever snow, Boston’s 110.6” for 2014/15 tops all [annals fr. 1871]). 2014/15’s New England blitz may have been worst since 1717 when folks could leave home only from 2nd floor lee side, implying depths up to 8′ or more. “In Feb. 2015 students were jumping from 2nd-floor windows into deep snow”(Weatherbell.com). On 11/10/2016 Stockholm’s 30cm/12” set a 111-year all-time November day record, beating the 29cm hit just 21 years ago (1985).

#4)   “U.S. & world warming”?   No, National Weather Service (NWS) confirms: Continental U.S. is trending colder in all climatic regions since 1994! Boston’s 2015 Feb. was 2nd-coldest since 1871, Buffalo’s, Cleveland’s & Chicago’s were coldest-ever since 1884, ’71 & ’72. At Saranac Lake, Feb. & March have dished ~43% & ~68% of new cold records since just year 2000! Fewer U.S. heat records set since the 1930’s: 39 pre-1960, just 11 post-1960, but the 1930’s set 23 of our 50 state all-time-highs! Midwest 90F+ heat is down for ~120 yrs and hit an all-time low in 2014 (Weatherbell.com 07/25/2014), all the while CO-2 has climbed and thus bared its irrelevance:

90day

NWS books still flaunt a phantom Tucson, AZ (http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/twc/) 1990 “all-time high” of 117F/47.2C…which the NY Times revealed as the artifact of a malfunctioning thermometer (http://www.nytimes.com/1991/08/18/us/in-tucson-it-s-not-the-heat-it-s-the-thermometers.html): a case of Orwellian “Ministry of Truth” data-cooking. Ditto at Washington, D.C.’s Reagan Airport: NWS claims junking a “92F all-time” May high (set 05/27/2014, just 0.2F above the old mark) “would not be scientifically defensible,” though even the Washington Post debunked it and NWS itself found the questioned sensor read 1.7F too high! As Hitler’s spinmeister taught: “Lie big, keep lyin’…and win!

Since the 1940’s, the U.S. has had more cold than heat records, as on Jan. 16, 2009: That day, an Arctic invasion set new all-time-lows in Maine (-50F/-45.6 vs. 1925’s -48F/-44.4C), reported by U.S. Geodetic Survey, then accepted by NWS, and in Illinois (-37F/-38.3C vs. 1999’s -36F/-37.8C), notched on an airport instrument certified just the day before…yet nixed by NWS, trashing science to spare an Illinoisian embarrassment on the eve of his Inauguration.

During an Alaska-wide 2012 record cold wave, a Jim River, AK observer’s battle-tested Vantage Pro2, rated to at least -40/F/C, gamely soldiered on in fast-plunging temps until at 6:34 p.m., with 14 sunless hours to go, its sensor surrendered at -79F/-60.6C. NWS nixed this cold record, too, dissed the thermometer as “not rated for temperature colder than 40 below”…yet its own official instrument at Prospect Creek, site of the 1971 U.S. all-time-low of -80F/-61.1C and just 0.9 miles from Jim River, is also rated to just -40F (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/30/bitter-cold-records-broken-in-alaska-all-time-coldest-record-nearly-broken-but-murphys-law-intervenes/). NWS misspent taxpayer $$ on that sensor to ensure Prospect Creek will never “officially” break the old -80F record!

Overseas, the events described in #3 above as well as, for example, Germany’s National Weather Service confirm the long-term temperature trend is down.

While Feb. 2017 “fried” the NE U.S., the ’16/’17 winter has dumped on many Western ski areas more than in the previous 5-10 years combined. California’s “perma”-drought is history, parts of Europe & Asia have suffered extreme cold and the Sahara saw snow again after near 100 years (vet met A. Bernier in Perspective).

Carbon dioxide – tarred “air pollution” by The Man’s “Environmental Protection Agency” – is a green-keeping, plant-feeding, life-sustaining trace gas that now, even after 250+ years of Industrial Age, amounts to just 0.0004 of our atmosphere….vs. up to 0.075 (1,875x greater) in Earth’s remote past (as attested to by deep-ice probes from Greenland and Antarctica)! Metaphorically, CO-2 is equivalent to the tip of the tip of the tail of the proverbial dog — and, no, is most definitely not wagging the dog.

By contrast, the Sun, floodlighting us with power 17,900x greater than all of humanity’s output, rules Earth’s climate. Potentates world-wide are impotent to “stop climate change”: The only constant in climate is CHANGE!