Climate Change Weekly #194
At a press conference in Brussels in early February 2015, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, stated publicly what many climate realists had long suspected: The global warming scaremongering going on for more than 25 years was not really about protecting the planet, it was about controlling peoples’ lives by controlling the economy.
As Figueres said, “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the industrial revolution.” Figueres went on to say, “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history.”
Recently, others have highlighted the anti-capitalist progressive agenda that motivates climate alarmism. For instance, professors Joshua Goldstein and Steven Pinker described in a Boston Globe editorial how alarmists are attempting, under the guise of fighting climate change, to cure a laundry list of “longstanding social ills such as inequality, corporate greed, racism, and political corruption. … Naomi Klein’s campaign to ‘change everything’ casts global warming as an opportunity for the left to step up its various crusades.”
Along these same lines, the Financial Post published an excerpt from Hubris: The Troubling Science, Economics, and Politics of Climate Change, by Michael Hart, a professor emeritus at Carleton University in Ottawa. Hart argues progressives see the supposed threat of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change as providing the opportunity to tackle such UN perennials as population control, income redistribution, gender inequality, and sustainable development.
According to Hart, the UN Paris climate conference is the culmination of a 70-year-long concerted effort to cajole member governments into adopting a new world economic order cloaking progressive normative aims in the mantle of science. As evidence, Hart cites the assertion of climate researcher Mike Hulme from the UK’s University of East Anglia: “‘We need to ask not what we can do for climate change, but to ask what climate change can do for us. … Rather than trying to ‘solve’ climate change … we need to approach climate change as an imaginative idea, an idea that we develop and employ to fulfill a variety of tasks for us. Because the idea of climate change is so plastic, it can be deployed across many of our projects.'”
More misanthropic environmentalists see preventing climate change as serving an even more radical agenda than wealth redistribution: They want deindustrialization and decline. For them, Hart notes:
even switching to new forms of energy is problematic because it delays de-industrializing advanced economies.
James Speth, a leading American environmentalist, maintains that: “The prioritization of economic growth is among the roots of our problems.” [and] Malthusian, Bill McKibben, adds in a familiar lament: “growth may be the one big habit we finally must break.” For anti-growth environmentalists, industrialization, capitalism, and population growth are the satanic trinity that must be exorcised in order for the planet to survive. In their view, even sustainable development places too great a burden on the planet.
The new economic order would involve granting more power to unelected international governing bodies, massive increases in government regulatory control leading to significant costs for economies, and, ultimately, significant losses in individual liberty.
What’s really at stake in Paris is personal freedom and the possibility of a more prosperous future for ourselves, our children, and our children’s children.
— H. Sterling Burnett
SOURCES: Financial Post and Boston Globe
IN THIS ISSUE …
NOAA’s climate science fiction … Climate concern wanes internationally, nearly non-existent in U.S. … Climate change real, not dangerous … Brazil’s warming due to urbanization and ‘adjusted’ records … Spanish solar company could be largest bankruptcy in country’s history
NOAA’S CLIMATE SCIENCE FICTION
In a column in the Washington Times, U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, with oversight responsibilities for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), says NOAA is cherry-picking temperature data to support the Obama administration’s bias for action to fight climate change. In testimony before the House Science Committee, NOAA’s deputy administrator, Manson Brown, said NOAA’s ability “to deliver environmental intelligence starts with keeping the pulse of the planet, especially the atmosphere and the ocean, and this is the central capability where space-based assets [satellites] come into play.”
A paper by NOAA staff published recently in Science proclaimed non-existent the nearly two-decades-long pause in rising temperatures. That paper left out the most accurate source of temperature measurement within NOAA’s purview, data from its global satellite system. Smith writes NOAA failed to incorporate the satellite readings into the paper because those readings have shown no warming for the past two decades, inconveniently failing to confirm the agency’s bias for belief in anthropogenic global warming. Smith concludes, “As a self-proclaimed ‘environmental intelligence agency,’ NOAA’s reports should be based only on the best available science that takes into account all sources of data. Unfortunately, NOAA continues to rely upon biased science in pursuit of a predetermined outcome. That’s not good science, it’s science fiction.”
SOURCE: The Washington Times
CLIMATE CONCERN WANES INTERNATIONALLY, NEARLY NON-EXISTENT IN U.S.
Opinion polls taken in the run-up to the United Nations’ climate conference in Paris show battling climate change is not high on the agenda for many people around the world. GlobeScan surveyed approximately 1,000 people in each of 20 countries and found majorities in only four – Canada, France, Spain, and the UK – would have their governments set ambitious targets at the Paris climate conference. GlobeScan found less than half of those surveyed viewed climate change as a “very serious” problem in 2015, compared with 63 percent who did so in a similar GlobeScan survey taken just before an international climate conference in Copenhagen in 2009. In 2009, majorities in eight countries wanted strong climate action. The number of survey participants rating climate change as a very serious issue meriting strong action has increased in only four of the 20 countries polled, declining in the other 16 countries.
Closer to home, a November Fox News poll of more than 1,000 registered voters in the United States found only 3 percent listed “climate change” as the most important issue facing the country today, down from 5 percent in August. Six percent of registered Democrats surveyed listed global warming as their top concern, as did 1 percent of registered Republicans.
SOURCES: The Daily Caller and BBC.com
CLIMATE CHANGE REAL, NOT DANGEROUS
In Scientific American, British journalist Matt Ridley argues climate change “is real, man-made and not dangerous, at least not for a long time.” Ridley notes recent research shows Earth is not as sensitive to changes in carbon dioxide levels as most climate models assume because most of the sensitivity built into the models comes from faulty assumptions about feedback effects from water vapor, clouds, aerosols, etc., all of which are poorly understood. Ridley also notes the most recent IPCC reports debunked claims about “tipping points,” showing a sudden methane release from the ocean or slowdown of the Gulf Stream are “very unlikely” and a collapse of the West Antarctic or Greenland ice sheets during this century is “exceptionally unlikely.”
Since any climate harms from increased atmospheric carbon dioxide are far off, Ridley says restrictions on fossil fuel use are likely to do more harm than good. For example, restrictions placed by aid agencies (including the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation, World Bank, and European Investment Bank) on funding for building fossil-fuel plants in Asia and Africa have slowed progress in bringing electricity to the one billion people who live without it and the four million who die each year from the effects of cooking over wood fires.
SOURCE: Scientific American
BRAZIL’S WARMING DUE TO URBANIZATION AND ‘ADJUSTED’ RECORDS
Based on readings from the Global Historical Climatology Network of 33 temperature stations in Brazil, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) reports the country was more than a degree warmer in 2014 than its 1951 through 1980 average. Analyzing the data, blogger Paul Homewood notes almost all the measuring locations are in heavily urbanized areas that have experienced tremendous growth since the stations were established and thus suffer from the urban heat island effect. Even the seven measuring locations classified as rural have seen tremendous growth and/or are in locations also biased due to surrounding development. For instance, one “rural” station is located next to an airport runway, a second is in the center of one of the largest cities in the state of Amazonas. None of the sites listed as rural is in fact rural. In addition, the raw measurements from at least one location listed as rural, Quixeramobim, showed a modest cooling over time, yet GISS adjusted the data upward without explanation, making it appear to be one of the fastest warming locations in the country.
SOURCE: Not a Lot of People Know That and Not a Lot of People Know That
SPANISH SOLAR COMPANY, LARGEST BANKRUPTCY IN COUNTRY’S HISTORY
Spanish renewable energy giant Abengoa, with more than 650 subsidiaries worldwide, applied for protection from creditors and requested lenders start renegotiating the terms of its payments to them. Abengoa saw tremendous growth in the 2000s as governments around the world heavily subsidized solar energy projects built by the company to reduce reliance on fossil fuels for electricity, in the name of fighting climate change. Ibex, Spain’s stock exchange, suspended trading of shares of Abengoa as its stock went into free fall, losing about 60 percent of its value. If it cannot restructure its debt, Abengoa would become the biggest bankruptcy in Spain’s history.
President Barack Obama touted Abengoa in speeches and his administration gave the company more than $3.74 billion in loans and subsidies since 2010, making Abengoa the largest single recipient of the administration’s green loan programs. With the company on the verge of collapse, international banks could suffer losses topping $29.6 billion with taxpayers in various countries on the hook for billions more. Daniel Simmons, vice president of policy at the Institute for Energy Research, was quoted in AU News calling Abengoa’s failure another reminder that government “meddling” in the energy sector has been a disaster for taxpayers. “‘When you have a company that is based on subsidies, it is no surprise they run into financial trouble because their business model isn’t based on economics; it’s based on politics,’ said Simmons.”
SOURCE: AU News
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