On December 18, 2015, just days after the Paris climate agreement was finalized, I wrote about the gaping flaws in the agreement, not the least of which was this: Even if all parties to the agreement met their commitments, by most honest analysts’ reckonings the increase in Earth’s temperature would exceed the 2 degrees Celsius the parties to the agreement argued was necessary to prevent disastrous consequences.
Now, even the United Nations (UN) is ‘fessing up to this fact.
An October 31, 2017 UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report finds even if every country abides by its Paris commitments to cut or cap greenhouse gases between now and 2030, a dubious proposition at best, temperatures will still rise by 3 degrees C by 2100, essentially dooming the planet if we are to believe the claims made by the negotiators in 2015.
UNEP calculates the Paris agreement will provide only one-third of the greenhouse gas emission reductions needed to keep global temperatures from rising less than 2 degrees. According to the report, unless global greenhouse gas emissions peak before 2020, about two years from now, carbon dioxide levels will soar beyond the 2030 targets, which the report says will make it “extremely unlikely that the goal of holding global warming to well below 2 degrees C can still be reached.”
We can do it, says UNEP! To make sure greenhouse gas emissions peak by 2020, all we have to do is:
- Boost renewable energy’s share of power from 12.7 percent today to 30 percent by 2020 (the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates renewables’ share will grow only to 13.7 percent by 2020);
- Grow electric car use to 15 percent of new car sales, up from less than 1 percent today;
- Double mass transit use;
- Cut carbon dioxide emissions from air travel by 20 percent;
- Phase out coal use for power plants starting now; and
- Come up with $1 trillion for “climate action.”
Leaving aside the fantasyland nature of the idea the world will more than double its use of renewable energy sources and increase electric car sales 1,500 percent, the idea global coal use is going to decline in the next two years and countries are going to come up with $1 trillion to fight climate change is out-loud laughable.
As far as I can tell from the poor reporting available, all the donor nations of the world have given less than $15 billion to the Green Climate Fund since it was established in 2014. Not even $100 billion, and far less than the $1 trillion UNEP says is needed.
Concerning coal, the UN reports there are currently 273 gigawatts of coal capacity under construction around the world, and another 570 gigawatts of capacity in the pipeline – representing a 42 percent increase in global energy production from coal.
The Paris climate agreement was a feel-good virtue-signaling agreement with no teeth and no hope of success. The new UNEP report makes this abundantly clear if nothing else before it did.
Fortunately, the dire predictions of climate apocalypse are every bit as fictional as the Paris climate salvation fantasy. Data show the Earth is much less sensitive to carbon dioxide increases than climate models assume. The catastrophic climate changes alarmists like those running UNEP say should be occurring due to human-caused climate change have, prediction after prediction, failed to materialize. Poverty is falling, life spans are increasing, global health is improving, and crop yields are growing, all during the purported period of dangerous climate change.
Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement didn’t doom it to failure; rather, the conditions and goals contained in the agreement itself did that all by themselves.
— H. Sterling Burnett
IN THIS ISSUE …
A new report by retired NASA physicist Edward Long analyzes the temperature record of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN), a temperature data set from 7,280 meteorological stations around the world. Examining both the unadjusted and adjusted average temperature data, Long notes a number of problems or instances of bias. As a result of these problems, NOAA reports more warming than has actually been observed and a steeper warming trend than has been experienced.
One source of bias: When adjusting the data, NOAA lowers temperature values from measuring stations in the earlier temperature record and adjusts upwards more recent temperature measurements. Another problem is NOAA’s tendency to ignore or discount errors introduced by source data discontinuity. For instance, temperatures from “Rural” stations reported as having airports jumped more than 2 degrees on average after 1950. It turns out, as Long reports, “the stations reporting before 1950 and those reporting after 1950 are entirely different stations at entirely different locations. This particular temperature discontinuity and the inaccurate categorization of stations at an earlier time being at airports when they were not …” produces a temperature trend indicating rising global temperature, when in fact the recorded rise is in large part an artifact of the change in station location and the fact many pre-1950 locations were listed as being at airports, when in fact there was no airport at the location. In addition, a warming bias has been introduced through the blending of data from long-term temperature stations with data from stations in use for only short time periods or periodically.
Using consistent records over the 1900 to 2016 timeframe, the longer the data is provided from a location, the less warming is recorded in the total record.
A recent paper in the British Journal of Environment & Climate Change is the most recent research in the growing body of literature assembled by Kenneth Richard at the No Tricks Zone website positing the dominant role solar activity plays in climate change in general and in the most recent warming and hiatus in warming in particular.
Using data from the Central England Temperature (CET) record, the world’s longest instrument-based temperature record (1659 to the present), researcher Alan Smith of the University of Durham reports approximately two-thirds of the temperature variations the Earth experienced between the Maunder Sunspot Minimum in the late seventeenth century and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the mid-late eighteenth century can be explained by fluctuations in solar output or total solar irradiance (TSI) alone.
TSI and other natural factors have continued to dominate temperature changes, with just one-third of the temperature increase during the twentieth century attributable to the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and only a portion of that attributable to human greenhouse gas emissions. Further proof solar activity dominates temperature comes from the fact as solar activity has declined in recent years, the rise in Earth’s temperature has paused.
Other papers from recent years also indicate TSI drives most temperature changes. For instance, a 2014 paper in Astrophysics and Space Science notes the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was mistaken when it asserted TSI has played almost no role in the warming experienced after the 1970s. IPCC’s assertions were based on data sets specifically calibrated to support climate model projections. Data from the Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor satellite, confirmed by other satellites, show TSI rose substantially after the 1970s during the modest measured rise in temperatures and began declining in the early 2000s coinciding with the hiatus.
The papers Richard cites consistently indicate solar activity accounts for at least 70 percent of the temperature variation since the twentieth century, thus undermining IPCC’s assertion (and the so-called 97 percent consensus) more than half of the temperature rise since the 1950s is due to human greenhouse gas emissions.
The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) has filed suit under California’s Public Records Act (PRA) against the state’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, for withholding information and e-mails discussing his behind-the-scenes work with environmental activists colluding with states’ attorneys general to file lawsuits to silence climate skeptics.
Under Becerra’s predecessor, Kamala Harris, California participated in the collapsed “Climate-RICO” lawsuit organized by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman against Exxon, other companies, and non-profit organizations, such as The Heartland Institute, which worked with scientists skeptical of the claim humans are causing dangerous global warming.
Becerra has suggested the attorney general’s office has continued to work with environmental activist groups on climate-related legal matters. In July, E&E Legal requested records “concerning the Office of Attorney General’s work with private outside parties to pursue, as targets of investigation, perceived opponents of a political and policy agenda shared by the Attorney General and these outside parties.”
Becerra disclosed only a single email mentioning this work, claiming the other records were “privileged,” a claim E&E Legal argues the attorney general can’t make unless Becerra asserts he has “deputized” the activists, donors, and environmental interest groups. Becerra has yet to make such a claim.
“As a California citizen and independent journalist, I have seen this act many times with the state government and their chosen third-party groups,” said Katy Grimes, an E&E Legal senior media fellow and co-petitioner on the suit, in a press release issued upon the lawsuit being filed. “We ask the Court to confirm that the blindfold on Lady Justice reflects how our laws are to be applied equally to all citizens and groups, and not a tool for lobbying by those that elected officials deem sufficiently politically-correct.”
Despite substantial new support for wind power, the Dutch government reports it will likely miss its targets for renewable energy production in 2020 and as a result also miss meeting its share of the European Union’s (EU) greenhouse gas emission reduction targets under the Paris climate agreement.
The Dutch now expect 12.4 percent of the country’s energy supply to come from renewable energy in 2020, missing the 14 percent target agreed with the European Union. In addition, The Netherlands’ review also projects while renewable energy will rise to 23.9 percent of the country’s total by 2030, and greenhouse gas emissions will fall by 34 percent from 1990 levels, these targets will fall short of meeting the country’s share of the “EU-wide goals of 27 percent and 40 percent, respectively,” according to Reuters.