"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Sunday, April 28, 2019

Links - 28th April 2019 (Climate Change)

It’s time to be scientific about global warming, says climatologist Judith Curry. - "Only catastrophes seem to grab our attention, though, and it’s rarely mentioned that warming would also bring some benefits, such as expanded production of grains in previously frozen regions of Canada and Russia. Nor do we hear that people die more often of cold weather than of hot weather... I met Judith Curry at her home in Reno, Nevada. Curry is a true climatologist. She once headed the department of earth and atmospheric sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, until she gave up on the academy so that she could express herself independently. “Independence of mind and climatology have become incompatible,” she says. Do you mean that global warming isn’t real? I ask. “There is warming, but we don’t really understand its causes,” she says. “The human factor and carbon dioxide, in particular, contribute to warming, but how much is the subject of intense scientific debate.”... between 1910 and 1940, the planet warmed during a climatic episode that resembles our own, down to the degree. The warming can’t be blamed on industry, she argues, because back then, most of the carbon-dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels were small... Natural factors thus had to be the cause. None of the climate models used by scientists now working for the United Nations can explain this older trend. Nor can these models explain why the climate suddenly cooled between 1950 and 1970, giving rise to widespread warnings about the onset of a new ice age... “climate change is a complex and poorly understood phenomenon, with so many processes involved.” To blame human-emitted carbon dioxide entirely may not be scientific, she continues, but “some find it reassuring to believe that we have mastered the subject.” She says that “nothing upsets many scientists like uncertainty.” This brings us to why Curry left the world of the academy and government-funded research. “Climatology has become a political party with totalitarian tendencies”... I had a conversation with Rajendra Pachauri, an Indian railway engineer, who remade himself into a climatologist and became director of the IPCC, which received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize under his tenure. Pachauri told me, without embarrassment, that, at the UN, he recruited only climatologists convinced of the carbon-dioxide warming explanation, excluding all others... instead of wasting time on futile treaties and in sterile quarrels, we would do better to prepare ourselves for the consequences of climate change, whether it’s warming or something else. Despite outcries about the proliferation of extreme weather incidents, she points out, hurricanes usually do less damage today than in the past because warning systems and evacuation planning have improved. That suggests the right approach."

Climate heretic: Judith Curry turns on her colleagues - "S. Alexander Haslam, an expert in organizational psychology at the University of Exeter in England. The climate community, he says, is engaging in classic black sheep syndrome: members of a group may be annoyed by public criticism from outsiders, but they reserve their greatest anger for insiders who side with outsiders. By treating Curry as a pariah, Haslam says, scientists are only enhancing her reputation as some kind of renegade who speaks truth to power. Even if she is substantially wrong, it is not in the interests of climate scientists to treat Curry as merely an annoyance or a distraction. "I think her criticisms are damaging," Haslam says. "But in a way, that's a consequence of failing to acknowledge that all science has these political dynamics.""

But Climate Change! Largest California County Bans Mega Solar Farms - "If climate change is the dire threat the Left portrays it to be, then the largest county in ultra-left-wing California is definitely not setting the example: Officials from San Bernardino County just killed the construction of a mega solar farm... In addition to being eyesores, both wind farms and solar farms have earned a reputation for being highly efficient bird-killing machines. According to Science Alert, the Ivanpah Solar Plant in California’s Mojave Desert incinerates up to 6,000 birds that fly over the deathly heat rays a year."

Lysenkoism and Climate Science Heresy - "The science underlying nutrition has suffered for many years from the difficulty dissenting results have had getting published, and the pressure on researchers to conform to the "consensus view." Gary Taubes, in Good Calories Bad Calories, and Nina Teicholz, in The Big Fat Surprise, have both documented this extensively.Science, thankfully, is self-correcting, and the conventional view is changing as scientists like Eric Westman of Duke show that reducing carbs and increasing fats are effective treatments for a number of nutritionally related problems like obesity and Type 2 diabetes. But while science eventually self-corrects, individual scientists' lives and life work can be destroyed... Climate science has had its own problems with this. During "Climategate" we saw email evidence of scientists at the University of East Anglia, NASA Goddard, and elsewhere attempting to put pressure on journals to only publish research that agreed with the "consensus." Of course, the pressure continued as the notion of calling people who disputed any of those findings "deniers" or "denialists" became more common. There is still an outstanding lawsuit against two critics of Michael Mann. "Meet the Press" recently had an hour-long session on climate, in which they proudly proclaimed no "deniers" would be permitted. In the Fall 2018 issue of Issues and Technology, Adam Briggle of the University of North Texas, in an article titled "Philosopher's Corner: Fear Mongering & Fact Mongering," proposes adding to the standard definition of scientific misconduct (falsification, fabrication, and plagiarism, FFP) a new category: the "responsible rhetoric of research."... just because Lomborg's arguments were factually sound, was that enough if they led to a conclusion that Briggle doesn't consider "right"?... Pielke is hardly a "denier." He says explicitly that he believes... in climate change, that its cause is primarily anthropogenic, and that anthropogenic CO2 is the primary contributor. His heresy is that he believes the data says that this is not leading to unusually destructive weather — a conclusion which, by the way, the official IPCC scientific report shares. For this, Pielke was driven off Nate Silver's 538 and made the subject of a congressional investigation. He wasn't made to recant on the threat of the stake, but he largely withdrew from the climate debate."

U.N. Predicts Disaster if Global Warming Not Checked - "A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of ″eco- refugees,′ ′ threatening political chaos, said Noel Brown, director of the New York office of the U.N. Environment Program, or UNEP.He said governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the greenhouse effect before it goes beyond human control."
From 1989. If it's already too late, maybe we should give up and stop obsessing about straws and plastic bags. Or maybe this time, it's different and the predictions of disaster are correct

Addendum: From the article above: "The most conservative scientific estimate that the Earth’s temperature will rise 1 to 7 degrees in the next 30 years"
Yet, according to NASA, "the average global temperature on Earth has increased by about 0.8° Celsius (1.4° Fahrenheit) since 1880". So from 1880 to 2014 (134 years), the Earth's temperature rose by less than the most conservative of the most conservative scientific estimates from 1989 about how much it would rise in 30 years.

Copenhagen climate summit: Al Gore condemned over Arctic ice melting prediction - "Speaking at the Copenhagen climate change summit, Mr Gore said new computer modelling suggests there is a 75 per cent chance of the entire polar ice cap melting during the summertime by 2014.However, he faced embarrassment last night after Dr Wieslav Maslowski, the climatologist whose work the prediction was based on, refuted his claims... Mr Gore’s speech also provoked criticism from leading members of the climate science community, who described the projection as “aggressive”."

Kerry claims the Arctic will be ice-free by summer 2013 - "Sen. John Kerry says climate change is happening faster than we think... "Scientists project that the Arctic will be ice-free in the summer of 2013. Not in 2050, but four years from now. Make no mistake: catastrophic climate change represents a threat to human security, global stability, and — yes — even to American national security.""
From 2009. And in 2019...

DANGER OF FLOODS WORRIES ISLANDERS - The New York Times - "The scientists on the advisory panel said that, depending on several assumptions, ocean levels are likely to rise by a little over a foot during the next century, or perhaps by as much as three feet. Taking the lower assumption, the study says, the population of the 29 atolls and 5 islands of the Marshall Islands would need to be rehoused in high-rise buildings near the highest points on the archipelago by 2022."
From 1992

Climate scientists refute 12-year deadline to curb global warming - "Prominent climate scientists are pushing back against the view, promoted by media coverage of recent science reports as well as climate advocates, that we have only 12 years to act on global warming or face an existential threat to humanity.Why it matters: This do-or-die framing has found a powerful advocate in Democratic freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who said on Monday that millennials understand that we only have 12 years or "the world is going to end." She is pushing a broad policy proposal to address climate change, known as the Green New Deal... "All the time-limited frames are bullshit," Gavin Schmidt, who leads NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, told Axios in an email. "Nothing special happens when the 'carbon budget' runs out or we pass whatever temperature target you care about, instead the costs of emissions steadily rise""

What David Attenborough’s climate change show didn’t tell you | Coffee House - "While Attenborough did say on a couple of occasions during the film that it was not possible to link any particular weather event to climate change he must know how viewers – especially sensitive, younger ones are going to ingest it. He will have succeeded in planting the idea in many thousands if not millions of minds that every time we have a storm, a flood, a wildfire or anything else, we are watching climate change in action.If you are going to present a film called Climate Change: the Facts the very least you should be doing is, well, presenting the facts. Well here they are, in two of the areas which made up such a hefty part of the film: wildfires and hurricanes. Are wildfires increasing? They are according to Attenborough. One of the scientists who takes part in the programme, Professor Michael Mann of Penn State University, goes as far as to say there has been a “tripling in the extent of wildfires in the Western US”. He is not specific about his evidence for this claim, nor said over what timeframe wildfires are supposed to have trebled, but it is not a fair assessment of the data collected by the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA). This shows no upwards trend in the number of wildfires in the US over the past 30 years... A voiceover, indeed, makes the claim that climate change is causing ‘greater storms’. But again, the data on cyclone activity in the Atlantic, Gulf and Mexico and Caribbean does not support that idea. Figure one shows a very slight upwards trend in the number of hurricanes occurring in these waters but a flat or perhaps slightly downwards trend in the number of hurricanes making landfall in the US... It is little wonder that terrified kids are skipping school to protest against climate change. Never mind climate change denial, a worse problem is the constant exaggeration of the subject. I had thought David Attenborough would be above resorting to the subtle propaganda which others have been propagating, linking every adverse weather event to climate change. But apparently not."

When Children Protest, Adults Should Tell them the Truth - "children in over 120 countries skipped school to follow the example of a Swedish 16-year-old who has become an international icon of climate change activism. Greta Thunberg’s extensive media coverage has made her a familiar figure—large almond-shaped eyes, brown plaited hair, serious expression, and diminutive stature... Her ideas are emblematic of a radical environmentalism aligned with a far-Left anti-capitalism, and parts of her speeches could be mistaken for the recital of a revolutionary manifesto. “We have come here,” Thunberg proclaims, “to let you know that change is coming, whether you like it or not. The real power belongs to the people.”... “Why should I be studying for a future that soon will be no more, when no one is doing anything to save that future?” Thunberg asks. This is a bleak and desperate view of the world, espoused by a girl fortunate enough to live comfortably (her mother is a famous opera singer) in one of its safest and richest countries. Not only is it melodramatic, but it is almost certainly counter-productive. Demands that people panic and warnings that the metaphorical house is on fire might make for effective rhetoric, but her counsel of despair is a strange way to inspire young people... The appeal of someone like Thunberg may be symptomatic of a wider pessimism among the younger generation. One wonders if such a vulnerable young girl should be spearheading an international movement that attracts so much attention... Perhaps the most reliable benefit of activism is the feeling of righteousness it offers its participants. “I don’t trust the activist ethos at all,” Jordan Peterson has remarked. “Everything about it is superficial and trendy and too easy, and it externalises the blame—the evil is always elsewhere.” The West, he went on, is based on the idea of the divine individual: “If we subsume that under group identity, then we will perish painfully.”... A sixteen-year-old should not be expected to see all the nuances, but as adults, we should expose her ideas for what they are: undemocratic, fatalistic, and bereft of the hope and optimism needed to effect consequential change. Thunberg’s speeches and Manichean worldview do not offer realistic answers to the problems we face. Even if her most alarming predictions turn out to be true, solutions will have to rely upon innovation and a realistic assessment of what is possible. Activism might be driven by passionate conviction and founded on good intentions, but as Saul Alinsky, the radical American writer and community organiser, once observed: “Young protagonists are one moment reminiscent of the idealistic early Christians, yet they also urge violence and cry, ‘Burn the system down!’ They have no illusions about the system, but plenty of illusions about the way to change our world.”"

Bjørn Lomborg - Posts - "Not just a 'feeling'
Clear conclusion of major cost-benefit studies of climate change
E.g. first climate Nobel economist: moderate CO₂ tax optimal,
Strong policy: cost>benefits
100% CO₂ cut (1.5°C) phenomenally costly & impossible."
Adding up the costs of climate damage and that of climate policy to combat it, the least expensive option is to go for 3.5 degrees of warming over the 21st century. Going for 2.5 degrees is even more expensive than going for 4.1 degrees

How to Convince Skeptics that Climate Change is a Problem - "Stop telling me the climate models are excellent at hindcasting, meaning they work when you look at history. That is also true of financial models, and we know financial models can NOT predict the future. We also know that investment advisors like to show you their pure-luck past performance to scam you into thinking they can do it in the future. To put it bluntly, climate science is using the most well-known scam method (predicting the past) to gain credibility...
Tell me what percentage of warming is caused by humans versus natural causes. If humans are 10% of the cause, I am not so worried. If we are 90%, you have my attention. And if you leave out the percentage caused by humans, I have to assume the omission is intentional. And why would you leave out the most important number if you were being straight with people? Sounds fishy...
Skeptics produce charts of the earth’s temperature going up and down for ages before humans were industrialized. If you can’t explain-away that chart, I can’t hear anything else you say. I believe the climate alarmists are talking about the rate of increase, not the actual temperatures. But why do I never see their chart overlayed on the skeptics’ chart so we can see the difference? That seems like the obvious thing to do. In fact, climate alarmists should throw out everything but that one chart...
Stop telling me the arctic ice on one pole is decreasing if you are ignoring the increase on the other pole. Or tell me why the experts observing the ice increase are wrong. When you ignore the claim, it feels fishy...
Stop pointing to record warmth in one place when we’re also having record cold in others. How is one relevant and the other is not?
Don’t tell me how well your models predict the past. Tell me how many climate models have ever been created, since we started doing this sort of thing, and tell me how many have now been discarded because they didn’t predict correctly. If the answer is “All of the old ones failed and we were totally surprised because they were good at hindcasting,” then why would I trust the new ones?...
If you want me to believe warmer temperatures are bad, you need to produce a chart telling me how humankind thrived during various warmer and colder eras. Was warming usually good or usually bad?...
If skeptics make you retreat to Pascal’s Wager as your main argument for aggressively responding the climate change, please understand that you lost the debate. The world is full of risks that might happen. We don’t treat all of them as real. And we can’t rank any of these risks to know how to allocate our capital to the best path. Should we put a trillion dollars into climate remediation or use that money for a missile defense system to better protect us from North Korea?"

What are the opponents of Donald Trump's climate review committee afraid of? - "58 senior military and national security leaders sent a letter to President Trump denouncing his plan to form a National Security Council panel to take a critical look at the science underpinning climate change claims. Their objections to such a Red Team effort were basically that the “science is settled.”But if the science is settled, what are they afraid of? Wouldn’t a review of the science come to the same conclusion as the supposed consensus of climate scientists?... While climate change is indeed real, it is not at all obvious how much humans have to do with it. Even the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) admits this, saying only that over half of warming since the 1950s is believed to be human-caused. So, “driven by humans” is an exaggeration, even by the IPCC’s rather alarmist standards. The additional claim that climate change is “accelerating” can also be challenged. In recent decades, warming actually decelerated, and there is a growing gap between climate model forecasts and measured global temperatures.In fact, a peer-reviewed paper published last year in the prestigious Journal of Climate found that the observed level of global warming since the late 1800s, including the deep oceans, was consistent with a climate system only half as sensitive as are the climate models guiding U.S. energy and national security policy.And even that study assumed that all of the warming was human-caused. If recent warming is only half anthropogenic, then the global warming problem is only one-fourth as bad as the public is being told."

If Saving The Climate Requires Making Energy So Expensive, Why Is French Electricity So Cheap? - "A new study by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shows how Germany, between 2006 and 2017, increased the cost of electricity for households by 50%.The report, “The Costs of Decarbonization,” documents how the German government made electricity expensive by requiring consumers to subsidize solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy. This reality will surprise many journalists and other advocates of renewables who have noted how, over the exact same period, the cost of solar panels and wind turbines has declined dramatically.It turns out that those lower costs haven’t allowed Germans to spend less on renewable energy. In fact, they’ve had to spend more.Because solar and wind are inherently unreliable and energy-dilute, Germany has had to spend 27% more on things like transmission lines from distant solar and wind farms spread all throughout the country.Has expensive German electricity lowered carbon emissions? It hasn’t. The country’s carbon emissions have been flat since 2009. A big part of the reason has been due to the country’s attempt to replace nuclear power plants with solar and wind energies... French electricity costs are just 59% of German electricity prices. As such, according to the prevailing economic wisdom, French electricity should be far more carbon intensive than German's. And yet the opposite is the case. France produces one-tenth the carbon pollution from electricity.Why? Because France generates 72% of its electricity from nuclear, and just 6% from solar and wind... France has increasingly done what Germany wants. According to the Commision de Regulation de L’Energie, €29 billion (US$33) billion was used to purchase wind and solar electricity in mainland France between 2009 and 2018.But the money spent on renewables did not lead to cleaner electricity, according to a new analysis by my Environmental Progress colleagues, Mark Nelson and Madison Czerwinski.In fact, the carbon-intensity of French electricity has increased. After years of subsidies for solar and wind, France’s 2017 emissions of 68g/CO2 per kWh was higher than any year between 2012 and 2016.The reason? Record-breaking wind and solar production did not make up for falling nuclear energy output and higher natural gas consumption. And now, the high cost of renewable electricity is showing up in French household electricity bills... “Expensive electricity acts as a disincentive to electrify transportation, heating, and cooking, which together constitute a larger share of energy, and carbon emissions, than electricity.”The two arrive at a shocking conclusion: “France could have completely decarbonized its electricity sector had it spent $32 billion on new nuclear plants rather than on renewables like solar and wind.”... France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, announced recently that he will stick with plans to reduce the nation’s usage of its nuclear plants, increase its output of renewables, and thus — necessarily — increase energy prices.As such, Macron appears to have learned little from last year’s Yellow Vests protests, which were triggered after he did what economists and Germans alike have long insisted he must do in order to address climate change: raise gasoline and diesel prices by taxing carbon emissions."

U.S. Achieves Largest Decrease in Carbon Emissions…Without the Paris Climate Accord - "Meanwhile, China, the Paris Protocol’s champion and the world’s most notorious polluter, produced the largest increase of carbon in the atmosphere in 2017. Coupled with India, China’s carbon contributions accounted for nearly half of the total surge in 2017 global carbon emissions... Numerous countries promised to remain on their current emission trajectories. Bravo! Obama applauded their efforts and happily accepted their half-hearted pledges. But then he committed the U.S. to meet disproportionately large, economy-crippling targets. Obama’s pledge stipulated that the U.S. would reduce emissions by nearly a quarter. Using the National Energy Modeling System 2015, a computer model created by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Heritage Foundation projected that the Paris Accord would cost the U.S. nearly 400,000 jobs and the national economy $2.5 trillion by 2035.Not to mention, Obama kindly donated $3 billion from the unlimited U.S. bank account over four years to the Green Climate Fund, which uses developed nations’ money to help developing countries reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. If the patterns of history hold, the money probably will not go to its intended purposes and will instead be funneled to the ruling elites of the impoverished nations. As the saying goes, “Foreign aid is taking money from poor people in rich countries and giving it to rich people in poor countries.” If the U.S. remained in the agreement, it’s likely future administrations would turn the Green Climate Fund into another U.S. foreign aid black hole."

Truth is the first casualty of global warming - "Climate change seems to freeze our capacity for critical thinking: we are too eager to believe the problem is far worse than science shows, and – conversely – that our solutions are far easier than reality dictates.Consider weather events: it is second nature now to link these to climate change. Whenever a flood hits, the media blames global warming and warns that floods are increasing. But the most authoritative conclusion by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is that it is not even clear whether floods have increased or decreased globally over the past century... On hurricanes, IPCC scientists say there have been “no significant observed trends” globally over the past century. The frequency of all US land-falling hurricanes has actually been declining since 1900, as has that of major US hurricanes.The truth about climate change is nuanced: it is real, and in the long term it will be a problem, but its impact is less than we might believe. According to the IPCC’s last major report, unrestrained climate change would result in an average reduction in income of about 0.2-2% by the 2070s. That is equivalent to the impact of a single economic recession over the next half-century... If we are to address climate change successfully, we need to listen to William Nordhaus, the first climate economist to win the Nobel prize, who shows that tackling global warming – like everything else – is a question of finding the right balance. With a climate-economic model refined over decades, Nordhaus demonstrates that a globally coordinated, moderate, and rising carbon tax could reduce temperatures modestly. It would cost about $20 trillion to avoid some climate damages, ensuring a net benefit of $30 trillion over coming centuries."

Global Warming: Media Ignore Sharp Drop In Global Temperatures Over Past Two Years - "NASA data show that global temperatures dropped sharply over the past two years. Not that you'd know it, since that wasn't deemed news. Does that make NASA a global warming denier?... That's not to say that a two-year stretch of cooling means that global warming is a hoax. Two years out of hundreds or thousands doesn't necessarily mean anything. And there could be a reasonable explanation. But the drop in temperatures at least merits a "Hey, what's going on here?" story.What's more, journalists are perfectly willing to jump on any individual weather anomaly — or even a picture of a starving polar bear — as proof of global warming. (We haven't seen any stories pinning Hawaii's recent volcanic activity on global warming yet, but won't be surprised if someone tries to make the connection.)"

Why climate change is creating a new generation of child brides - "In 2015 the United Nations Population Fund estimated that 13.5 million children would marry under the age of 18 in that year alone – 37,000 child marriages every day – including 4.4 million married before they were 15. Across the whole of Africa, Unicef warned in 2015 that the total number of child brides could more than double to 310 million by 2050 if current trends continue."
I guess African culture has nothing to do with it
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