The SPPI (Science and Public Policy Institute) Blog
The Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI) provides research and educational materials dedicated to sound public policy based on sound science. We support the advancement of sensible public policies rooted in rational science and economics.
UN climate cataclysm predictions have no basis in fact and should not be taken seriously
Dr. Tim Ball and Tom Harris
Throughout the United Nations Climate Change Conference wrapping up in Bonn, Germany this week, the world has been inundated with the usual avalanche of manmade global warming alarmism. The UN expects us to believe that extreme weather, shrinking sea ice, and sea level rise will soon become much worse if we do not quickly phase out our use of fossil fuels that provide over 80% of the world’s energy.
There is essentially nothing to support these alarms, of course. We simply do not have adequate observational data required to know or understand what has happened over the past century and a half. Meaningful forecasts of future climate conditions are therefore impossible.
Nevertheless, this year’s session has been especially intense, since the meeting is being chaired by the island nation of Fiji, a government that has taken climate change fears to extremes.
COP23 (the 23rd meeting of the Conference of the Parties on climate change) conference president, Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, has called for “an absolute dedication to meet the 1.5-degree target.” This is the arbitrary and most stringent goal suggested by the Paris Agreement. In support of Bainimarama’s position, the COP23/Fiji Website repeatedly cites frightening forecasts made by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
One prediction stated: “The IPCC recently reported that temperatures will significantly increase in the Sahel and Southern African regions, rainfall will significantly decrease, and tropical storms will become more frequent and intense, with a projected 20 per cent increase in cyclone activity.”
To make such dire forecasts, the IPCC relies on computerized models built on data and formulas to represent atmospheric conditions, and reflect the hypothesis that carbon dioxide is the principal factor driving planetary warming and climate change.
However, we still do not have a comprehensive, workable “theory of climate,” and thus do not have valid formulas to properly represent how the atmosphere functions. We also lack data to properly understand what weather was like over most of the planet even in the recent past. Without a good understanding of past weather conditions, we have no way to know the history, or the future, of average weather conditions – what we call the climate.
An important data set used by the computer models cited by the IPCC is the “HadCRUT4” global average temperature history for the past 167 years. This was produced by the Hadley Centre and the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, both based in the United Kingdom.
Until the 1960s, HadCRUT4 temperature data were collected using mercury thermometers located at weather stations situated mostly in the United States, Japan, the UK, and eastern Australia. Most of the rest of the planet had very few temperature sensing stations, and none of the Earth’s oceans (which cover 70% of the planet) had more than occasional stations separated from the next ones by thousands of kilometers of no data. Temperatures over these vast empty areas were simply “guesstimated.”
Making matters even worse, data collected at weather stations in this sparse grid had, at best, an accuracy of +/-0.5 degrees Celsius (0.9 degrees F), and oftentimes no better than +/-1.0 degree C. Averaging such poor data in an attempt to determine past or future global conditions cannot yield anything meaningful – and certainly nothing accurate or valid enough to use in making critical energy policy decisions.
Modern weather station surface temperature data are now collected using precision thermocouples. But, starting in the 1970s, less and less ground surface temperature data was used for plots such as HadCRUT4. Initially, this was done because governments believed satellite monitoring could take over from most of the ground surface data collection.
However, the satellites did not show the warming that climate activists and computer models had forecast. So, bureaucrats closed many of the colder rural surface temperature sensing stations, while many stations in the vast frigid area of Siberia were closed for economic and other reasons. The net result was that cold temperature data disappeared from more recent records – thereby creating artificial warming trends, the very warming that alarmists predicted, desired and needed for political purposes.
Today, we have virtually no data for approximately 85% of the Earth’s surface. Indeed, there are fewer weather stations in operation now than there were in 1960.
That means HadCRUT4 and other surface temperature computations after about 1980 are meaningless. Combining this with the sensitivity (accuracy) problems in the early data, and the fact that we have almost no long-term data above Earth’s surface, the conclusion is unavoidable:
It is not possible to know how or whether Earth’s climate has varied over the past century and a half. The data are therefore useless for input to the computer models that form the basis of the IPCC’s conclusions.
But the lack of adequate surface data is only the start of the problem. The computer models on which the climate scare is based are mathematical constructions that require the input of data above Earth’s surface as well. The models divide the atmosphere into cubes piled on top of each other, ideally with wind, humidity, cloud cover and temperature conditions known for different altitudes. But we currently have even less data above the surface than on it, and there is essentially no historical data at altitude.
Many people think the planet is adequately covered by satellite observations – data that is almost global 24/7 coverage and far more accurate than anything determined at weather stations. But the satellites are unable to collect data from the north and south poles, regions that are touted as critical to understanding global warming.
Moreover, space-based temperature data collection did not start until 1979, and 30 years of weather data is required to generate a single data point on a climate graph. The satellite record is far too short to allow us to come to any useful conclusions about climate change.
In fact, there is insufficient data of any kind – temperature, land and sea ice, glaciers, sea level, extreme weather, ocean pH, et cetera – to be able to determine how today’s climate differs from the past, much less predict the future. The IPCC’s climate forecasts have no connection with the real world.
Sherlock Holmes warned that “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote this famous quote for fiction, of course. But it applies perfectly to today’s global warming debate, especially where the IPCC’s scary conclusions and forecasts are involved. Of course, this will not stop Bainimarama and other conference leaders from citing IPCC “science” in support of their warnings of future climate catastrophe.
We should use these facts to spotlight and embarrass them every time.
Dr. Tim Ball is an environmental consultant and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba. Tom Harris is executive director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s proposal to hold a TV debate on climate change science makes a lot of sense.
This idea is very different from the Red Team exercise that he mentioned previously, which has seen a great deal of discussion, such as here and here. The Red Team exercise would be a highly technical scientific debate. In contrast a TV debate would be designed to, as Pruitt puts it, reach the American people. It could also be a great teaching tool.
How to design such a debate raises some challenging issues. These include how many debaters should participate and who should they be, what the format should be, and at what education level should the scientific issues be discussed?
Taking the last issue first, some detractors are likely to say that the average American cannot understand the scientific debate, because it is simply too technical. It certainly can be technical, but consider this. Many States have adopted the new, so-called Next Generation Science Standards and these have climate change science being first taught in middle school, which is defined as grades 6 through 8. So the average 12 to 14 year old is expected to understand the basics of climate change science.
The average American has more education than middle school. My guess is that many of the people who are likely to watch a climate change debate will have attended some college, although they may not have taken much science there. So I would shoot for a high school level, or perhaps a bit more. If someone cannot present their side of the climate debate at this level then they should not be on the stage.
The number of debaters is not a trivial question. There is a broad range of opinion on both sides, so having just two or three people is probably not a good plan. For example, on the skeptical side there are Lukewarmers who accept the hypothesis of human caused climate change (but think it benign) as well as hard line Skeptics who do not accept it. So it might be best if there were two teams but the team members did not have to agree among themselves. If this seems complicated, that the debate is complex is an important point to get across.
As to format, long speeches should be prohibited because it is important to have as much back and forth as possible. Debate matches are a common collegiate exercise so it is likely that there are a number of well tested models to choose from. But as with the Presidential debates, in no case should there be judges or scoring. The object of this exercise is to let the American people see the debate, not to pick a winner.
Who should debate is also a tough question. While it might make sense to have leading scientists, it is far more important to have articulate communicators. Some scientists do have experience with television and radio and they might be best. But the public does not care how many unreadable papers a speaker has published. They just want to understand what is being said. So perhaps the debaters need not even be scientists; they might even be teachers.
A very tricky issue is whether or not to allow slides. Much of the debate concerns data from observations and from climate models. This is why in the climate blog world slides and graphs abound. But most of these displays take a long time to understand, which defeats the purpose of a live debate. Perhaps it should all be verbal.
All things considered an official TV debate on climate change science might be just what the American people want and need. They need to see the scientific debate in action, to see that the science is far from settled.
Most media outlets cannot be bothered to report something that dramatically deflates their narrative. So it goes without saying that when NASA confirmed that ocean levels have actually been falling for the past few years, the media would be more than silent.
This data clearly contradicts the false narrative of rapid, never-ending rising ocean levels that flood continents and drown cities. The narrative is climate alarmists key element of the climate change fear mongering fiction that’s used to scare gullible youth into making Al Gore rich.
Even in a worse case scenario, sea levels will rise only about a foot over the next 100 years. That amount is far short of what climate alarmists would need to create an apocalyptic event based solely on the weather. Looking at current events right now, we’d say that Armageddon would more likely be created by a world war or a global economic collapse.
Even a warmer planet would be more hospitable to plants. But again, warmth as a benefit for plant life is not something climate alarmists want to hear. They need their backsides patted by the same lies.
People seem to give doctors and scientists the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their findings and opinions on things like global warming, genetically modified organisms, pesticides, chemicals, and how unhealthy certain foods and habits are.
But like any other humans, scientists and doctors are, well, human. They can be misguided, confused, corrupt, and stubbornly opinionated.
According to Natural News, as many as 20,000 doctors once recommended smoking cigarettes to aid digestion.
In 1940’s Camel ran an ad campaign that claimed “More Doctors Smoke Camels.”
They even handed out packs of Camels to doctors at a medical convention and then polled the doctors on their way out the door, asking what their favorite cigarette brand was, or what kind they had in their pocket at that moment.
Unfortunately, money has corrupted industries like big pharma who pay doctors and scientists to take a position and prescribe particular drugs and treatment. Many peer-reviewed studies have predetermined outcomes which basically find the facts to fit their narrative. It is more a marketing ploy to publish in scientific and medical journals than proof of the actual findings.
The documents show that a trade group called the Sugar Research Foundation, known today as the Sugar Association, paid three Harvard scientists the equivalent of about $50,000 in today’s dollars to publish a 1967 review of research on sugar, fat and heart disease.
The studies used in the review were handpicked by the sugar group, and the article, which was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, minimized the link between sugar and heart health and cast aspersions on the role of saturated fat.
But even absent actual corruption, basic mistakes are being made in scientific conclusions.
Correlation is not causation. This is a basic foundational tenet of science. Two things may be very strongly correlated, but that does not prove that one causes the other.
According to Reason Magazine
When it comes to separating the wheat from the chaff of studies that are mediocre or just plain bad, Albert Einstein College of Medicine epidemiologist Geoffrey Kabat is a national treasure.
“Most research findings are false or exaggerated, and the more dramatic the result, the less likely it is to be true,” he declares in his excellent new book Getting Risk Right.
Kabat discusses how “the dose makes the poison,” in that saying something doubles your risk of a disease could actually be statistically irrelevant.
For example, you may have heard that eating bacon increases the risk of colorectal cancer. Technically, this is true. If you eat two slices of bacon every day of your life the risk of colorectal cancer increases from 5 to 6 percent. That is not exactly the same risk as smoking cigarettes, which increases the risk of lung cancer by 20 to 50 times over.
And then, of course, you must consider the editorial bias. You’re Risking Your Life Eating Bacon is more likely to get a click than Everyday Bacon Eating Increases Cancer Risk by 1%.
Kabat suggests that the precautionary principle–“better safe than sorry”–is largely an ideological ploy to alarm the public into supporting advocates’ policy preferences.
He also decries “the simplistic notion that ‘consensus among scientists’ is always correct.” He notes that scientific consensus once held that ulcers were caused by spicy foods and stress instead of bacteria…
Here’s the thing, I like to be healthy, and I personally often follow the better safe than sorry principle. But it is a huge miscarriage of authority to push this view on others through fear. It is the idea of I know better than these silly peasants that unfortunately seems to permeate the scientific and medical communities.
Are GMOs, pesticides, and chemicals like BPA really as bad as they say? I personally avoid them, but I honestly haven’t done enough of my own research to know for sure.Salt and fat have gone back and forth as being considered healthy
Salt and fat have gone back and forth as being considered healthy then unhealthy, then healthy again by experts.
People look to doctors and scientists for guidance and too often are brainwashed with those individuals’ own biases and unsubstantiated opinions.
If an expert cannot or will not answer questions about their work, that is a red flag. When people talk about consensus among experts instead of the actual facts, that is another red flag.
There have been too many times in recent history when the experts, the scientists, and the doctors were willfully or mistakenly wrong.
Sometimes, yes, we must defer to experts, since it is simply impossible to research it all on your own. But that doesn’t mean we should forgo the due diligence in critical thinking that goes along with it.
Fear sells. We are used to it in the media but don’t usually expect it from doctors and scientists. But they are humans too, and just as likely to push their agenda instead of the truth.
According to a report published by the NRDC, the number of “dangerously hot summer days” will skyrocket over the remainder of the 21st century, as man-caused climate change continues to worsen. NRDC predicts nearly 14,000 Americans will lose their lives every year by the mid-2040s, and more than 29,000 will die each year by 2090. From 1975 to 2010, the average number of deaths related to hot days was 1,360.
NRDC says Trump’s decision to pull America out of the Paris climate agreement, which aimed to prevent the global temperature from rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius by 2100, is largely responsible for these deadly predictions.
“President Trump’s plan to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement could seriously harm public health for decades, worsening summer heatwaves that could kill 13,860 Americans each year by mid-century, and as many as 29,850 a year by the end of the century,” an NRDC press release issued on Thursday stated.
“Enormous human misery could be avoided, the report says, if the U.S. remains in the Paris Agreement and fulfills its commitments to the global agreement to address climate change and accelerate a transition to clean energy,” the statement continued. “For the United States, that means adhering to — not undoing — former President [Barack] Obama’s climate action plan that would reduce carbon pollution from the nation’s largest sources: power plants and vehicles.”
These claims are unquestionably dire, but are they true?
To calculate their death rates, NRDC relied on numerous assumptions, including many that are apparently false. For instance, NRDC assumes it can predict what global temperature will be 30 to 65 years into the future, even though scientists have failed miserably over the past 30 years to make accurate predictions.
A second assumption is that NRDC can predict what population growth and urban development will look like in the United States over the next century, a virtually impossible task.
Third, even if climate change is being caused by carbon-dioxide emissions, how can NRDC know if humans will still be using fossil fuels 50 years in the future? It’s entirely possible other technologies will develop over the next century that don’t emit carbon dioxide. After all, 30 years ago, almost no Americans had access to computers in their homes. Today, the majority of people carry super-computer smartphones around in their back pockets.
Fourth, NRDC assumes the Paris agreement would have accomplished its goal of keeping temperature rise from expanding in a meaningful way, even though there is absolutely no reason to believe it would. China, India and many other nations are increasing their CO2 emissions at rates so high the United States’ reductions under the Paris agreement would effectively be meaningless several decades in the future.
Patrick J. Michaels, the director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute, explained in May that even under the United Nations’ own estimates, “The Paris Agreement only mitigates about 0.2 degrees of warming,” which many scientists believe is too small to reliably measure.
A fifth false assumption is that humans are too stupid to adjust to higher temperatures. NRDC’s report predicts humans will die at increasingly greater rates as temperatures increase, but that’s not how humans behave. When people are faced with harsher conditions, people react accordingly. This is why people are able to survive in places with extreme environments, such as Iceland or in the Sahara Desert. This, of course, is common sense to virtually everyone — except, of course, the NRDC.
NRDC’s argument is further disproved by looking at data in places such as Arizona, where the average temperature is much higher in the warmest months of the year than under even the worst-case climate-change scenarios in places like New York or Chicago, where NRDC predicts thousands of people will die every year from hot weather.
In Arizona, which has a population of 6.8 million, a total of 1,300 people died from hot weather from 2005 to 2015. According to NRDC, Chicago, which has a population of 2.7 million today, will have more than 2,400 deaths every single year by 2090. Even when population changes are accounted for, this makes absolutely no sense under NRDC’s model. In fact, using NRDC’s own logic, there should be thousands and thousands of deaths in Arizona every year from the extreme heat, and that’s just not the case.
By Willie Soon and Christopher Monckton of Brenchley
The world is not experiencing unprecedented rising seas or extreme weather
Professor Reif further states that rising manmade greenhouse gases are “driving rising sea levels and extreme weather.” Neither is happening.
The average sea level rise since 1870 has been 1.3-1.5 mm (about a twentieth of an inch) per year, or five inches per century. Professor Nils-Axel Mörner, a renowned sea-level researcher who has published more than 500 peer-reviewed articles on this topic, has been unable to find observational evidence that supports the models’ predictions of dramatically accelerating sea level rise.
Observations over the last few decades indicate that extreme weather events, including tornadoes and hurricanes, have been decreasing, rather than increasing, both in number and in intensity. Moreover, total accumulated cyclonic energy has also been declining. As MIT Emeritus Professor Richard Lindzen has explained, the decline in storminess is a consequence of reduced temperature differentials between the tropics and exo-tropics that arise when global average temperatures are slightly warmer.
Looking at the United States, major hurricane activity is at a record low. As of June 1, 2017, it had been eleven years and seven months since a category 3 to 5 hurricane last struck the U.S. mainland. According to NOAA Hurricane Research Division data, the previous record was nine years, set in 1860-1869.
Climate Change: Not a Military “Threat Multiplier”
Professor Reif further asserts: “As the Pentagon describes it, climate change is a ‘threat multiplier,’ because its direct effects intensify other challenges, including mass migrations and zero-sum conflicts over existential resources like water and food.” That may have been the official position during the Obama years, but the assertions are not supported by real world evidence.
Milder temperatures and increased CO2 levels green the planet, not brown it. Deserts are retreating and vegetation cover has increased over recent decades. The production of maize (corn), wheat, rice and soybeans is at a record high. Overall, our planet has seen more than 20% greening over the past three decades, half of which is due to the fertilization effects of more atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Forecasts of droughts are likewise not born out by experience. For example, since the now former Australian Chief Climate Commissioner Professor Tim Flannery warned that dams would no longer fill owing to lack of rain, Australia has been subjected to a series of dramatic floods, and overflowing dams. Governments’ naïve belief in Professor Flannery’s warnings appear to have led to policy actions and omissions that exacerbated flooding and failed to take full advantage of the rainfall when it came.
The most comprehensive recent study of the worldwide extent of droughts (Hao et al., 2014) found that for 30 years the percentage of the Earth’s land area suffering from drought has been declining. The latest news from South Africa is that the country is expecting the biggest maize harvest since 1981, following the high rainfall there in January and February 2017.
Although the UN Environment Program published a 2005 report predicting 50 million climate refugees by 2010, to date there have been no bona fide climate or global warming refugees or mass migrations. The one person we know of who asked to be recognized as a climate refugee had his demand rejected by the Supreme Court of New Zealand; he has since returned to his island home, where he remains safe from inundation.
While the world is currently experiencing mass migrations of refugees, they are fleeing religious persecution and violence, especially in the Middle East, and seeking freedom and prosperity. We are not aware of any evidence that they would have stayed where they were if the weather were cooler
Carbon Dioxide Will Not Linger for 1,000 Years
Professor Reif asserts that “… the carbon dioxide our cars and power plants emit today will linger in the atmosphere for a thousand years.”
The average residence time of a CO2 molecule in the Earth’s atmosphere is about 4-7 years. Taking into account multiple exchanges leads to an estimate of a mean lifespan of 40 years (Harde 2017).
Moreover, as already noted, instead of being a problem, atmospheric carbon dioxide is the prime nutrient for plants. Indeed, plants grow more quickly and strongly, with better water-use efficiency and improved drought tolerance, when CO2 concentrations are much higher than they currently are. That is why commercial growers add extra CO2 to the air in their greenhouses.
The current atmospheric CO2 concentration is higher than it has been for 800,000 years, but it is still far lower than at almost any time in the previous pre-ice-age history of our planet. The pre-industrial age CO2 levels of 280 parts per million were practically starving plants, botanists say, while the current level of 400 ppm is “greening the planet.”
Far from being a pollutant, CO2 is a colorless, odorless gas that is not toxic to humans and other animals even at concentrations much higher than we are currently experiencing. It is also one of the most important fuels for phytoplankton, which use carbon dioxide for energy and raw materials to grow, and release oxygen as a product of that process. Up to 75% of the oxygen present in the air originates in freshwater and oceanic phytoplanktons’ photosynthetic water-splitting process.
Carbon dioxide is actually the miracle molecule that makes life as we know it on Earth possible.
Moreover, during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras there were long periods during which the levels of CO2 were much higher than today, but the temperatures were far colder. We are not aware of any explanation that squares that fact with the manmade global warming theory.
Job Growth Statistics are Highly Misleading
Professor Reif says, “In 2016 alone, solar industry employment grew by 25 percent, while wind jobs grew 32%.” These numbers are highly misleading. In fact, they underscore how deficient these energy sources are as job creators.
Growing jobs by subsidy is easy, provided that one cares nothing for the far greater number of jobs destroyed by the additional taxation, energy price hikes or public borrowing necessary to pay for the subsidy. Several studies have shown that the creation of one “green” job results in the loss of two to four jobs elsewhere in the economy. In Spain the estimated ratio was two jobs lost for each one created by renewable energy, prompting the government to finally end most renewable subsidies.
And yet, despite all those subsidies, wind and solar power generation expensively and unreliably account for 5.6% and 0.9% of total U.S. electricity production, respectively. On its own, electricity provides only a small fraction of total energy consumption, including transportation, industrial processes, heating and electricity generation, so these numbers actually exaggerate the contribution of wind and solar facilities to overall energy consumption.
Viewed from another perspective, EIA data reveal it took nearly 400,000 solar workers (about 20% of electric power payrolls) to produce just 0.9% of all the electric power generated in the United States in 2016. About the same number of natural gas workers (398,000) produced 37 times more electricity – and just 160,000 coal workers produced almost as much electricity as those gas workers. Moreover, gas and coal provide power nearly 100% of the time, compared to 15-25% of the time for most solar (and wind) installations. Wind employment numbers reflect this same pattern.
The so-called alternative energy companies survive only because of heavy subsidies, power purchase mandates, supportive regulations, and exemptions from endangered species and other rules that are applied forcefully to fossil fuel industries. Wind and solar electricity is cripplingly expensive for families, hospitals, schools, churches, small businesses and other customers.
Europe is suffering from growing political rejection of fossil fuels: energy prices have soared, millions of poor people are unable to pay their energy bills, and elderly people are dying because they cannot afford adequate heating in the winter. Energy-intensive businesses are relocating to countries where energy is cheaper – thereby transferring fossil fuel use, carbon dioxide emissions and job creation to other nations, especially in Asia. Theirs is not an example the United States should wish to follow.
By withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, President Trump did a wonderful thing for America and the world. He showed that advocacy masquerading as science should not be the basis for public policy decisions. We hope others will follow his lead.
Update: Since a version of this article originally appeared as an “open letter” to President Reif, his office has issued a follow-up letter, once again invoking the argument that his position is supported by a “consensus” of climate scientists. William M. Briggs and Christopher Monckton of Brenchley offer their answer to his office here.
On June 1, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the United Nations Paris Agreement on climate change. He correctly identified it as a very bad deal for America.
In July 1997, the U.S. Senate reached a similar conclusion about the U.N. climate change policy-making process in general. Senators from across the aisle unanimously endorsed the Byrd/Hagel resolution, which stated that America should not be a signatory to “any protocol to, or other agreement regarding, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change [UNFCCC]…that would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States” and did not include emission reductions for developing countries that were similar to those imposed on the U.S.
This is why the Clinton administration never submitted the Kyoto Protocol, which is based on the UNFCCC, to the Senate for ratification. It is also why former President Barack Obama approved the Paris Agreement, which also rests on the UNFCCC, as an “executive agreement” instead of submitting it for Senate approval as required by the Constitution for international treaties. He knew that the Senate would reject Paris as not in America’s best interests.
The Paris Agreement is not just bad for the U.S. According to Australian author and climate analyst Iain Aitken,
“To achieve the goal agreed in Paris of a maximum 20C increase in global temperatures above pre-industrial levels has been estimated to have a global cost of $17 trillion by 2040 (about 800 times more than was spent on all the Apollo missions to the moon) – and it would require carbon dioxide reductions about 100 times greater than those pledged in Paris.”
So, even if the man-made climate change problem were real, the actions specified by the Paris Agreement would solve nothing. And since the climate alarm is not based on sound science, no treaty based on the UNFCCC makes any sense. Kyoto, Paris, Copenhagen, Durban, Cancun, Warsaw, and all the other U.N. climate deals are merely political solutions to a non-existent problem without scientific justification.
Yet the Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted last month showed that a majority of Americans opposed the President’s decision to pull out of Paris. This is largely because most people are unable to differentiate between climate change propaganda, as promoted by the U.N. and activists such as Al Gore, and climate change science conducted by independent researchers.
Even pollsters who apparently support the climate scare recognize that public knowledge about climate change is poor. For example, in their biased 2010 study “Americans’ Knowledge of Climate Change,” investigators from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication created a multiple-choice test to examine, “what Americans understand about how the climate system works, and the causes, impacts, and potential solutions to global warming.” They concluded, “In this assessment, only 8 percent of Americans have knowledge equivalent to an A or B, 40 percent would receive a C or D, and 52 percent would get an F.”
The focus therefore must be on educating the public about the realities of climate science. This is especially important now since Trump is talking about the possibility of the U.S. agreeing to a new version of the Paris Agreement, but one “on better terms, fairer terms.” There is no need for a deal at all since there never was a problem in the first place.
On June 30, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that he is launching a program to critique climate change science. He will apparently bring in experts from both sides of the debate in order to determine the actual state of the science, something the EPA should have done long before saddling industry with expensive climate change regulations. Global warming campaigners will do everything in their power to block Pruitt’s review since it will demonstrate that, rather than being settled in favor of climate alarm as eco-activists claim, the science is still immature.
Those who created the global warming scare knew that 85% of the public would not understand the science and the remaining 15% would not question it. Pruitt must therefore use his evaluation to help the public understand what is, and what is not, known about climate change science.
He must also promote the concept that “being a skeptic…is quite alright,” as Energy Secretary Rick Perry said last month. Indeed, science requires unfettered skepticism to advance. But the climate scare is more like an extreme religion than science at this point. And, when people start questioning such extreme belief systems, they rapidly lose the blind faith essential to the religion’s survival.
Handled effectively, the EPA science evaluation should lead many in the public to ask their representatives, “Why are you supporting the expenditure of billions of tax dollars on such an uncertain cause when funds are desperately needed to address society’s real, well understood issues?”
Aside from ignorance, or cowardice in the face of political correctness, politicians will have no answer. The climate scare, the biggest deception in history, will then be over.
America is approaching energy independence, but still needs to remove obstacles, Energy Secretary Rick Perry says.
“We are very close to being energy independent,” Perry told The Daily Signal in a brief interview. “Regarding our ability to retrieve energy, we don’t need anybody. Transportation may be our biggest impediment.”
The United States is a net energy exporter, the former Texas governor noted, but an old law and the Obama administration’s preference for some energy industries over others prevented the nation from being as strong as necessary.
The 1920 Jones Act requires that vessels carrying fuel or other goods in U.S. waters between U.S. ports must be built, registered, owned, and crewed by American citizens.
Because it costs more to build and operate ships in the U.S. than in other countries, it can cost as much as three times more to ship oil from the Gulf of Mexico to New England states than it would cost to ship the same amount of oil from Florida to Europe, according to an analysis last month from the American Enterprise Institute.
The Obama administration’s preference for green industries such as solar and wind was not the “all of the above” strategy the Trump administration prefers, Perry told The Daily Signal on June 30:
The previous administration talked about energy independence, but they wouldn’t drill and transport. It was all talk. They had a clear message to industries such as fossil fuels and nuclear. We [in the Trump administration] are all of the above. We are not here to pick winners and losers. The market can pick winners and losers.
Trump announced a review of U.S. nuclear energy policy; construction of an oil pipeline to Mexico to increase energy exports; negotiations to sell more American natural gas to South Korea; Energy Department approval of two applications to export liquefied natural gas; and creation of an offshore oil and gas leasing program.
Perry vowed to expedite the exporting of liquefied natural gas. With hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the U.S. has become the largest producer of liquefied natural gas in the world, according to the federal Energy Information Administration.
It has been up to the Energy Department to approve those exports based on whether they are in the national interest.
“If a company meets the rules and standards, we’ll say, ‘Here’s the permit,’” Perry said in the interview.
Speaking at the White House last week, the two-time Republican presidential candidate said he wanted to make nuclear energy “cool again.”
He told The Daily Signal the way to do that would be showing government isn’t hostile:
Somehow, it’s not been in the forefront of our energy portfolio, and our supply chain of future nuclear scientists [is] not being developed. We want to get them back, with the acknowledgement they will have the support of their government.
That support won’t come through subsidies, as with green energy projects under President Barack Obama, but a priority for national laboratories to test new nuclear technology, Perry said.
Perry cited NuScale Power in Idaho, which is working on a “modular” nuclear reactor, a smaller factory-built model that eliminates many risks of installing and reduces construction costs. Some of the modular reactors could be used to power a single manufacturing facility.
Before Trump announced a review of the nation’s nuclear policy last week, media reports raised questions about whether the administration would support NuScale with tax dollars.
Overall, Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal would cut the Energy Department’s nuclear energy office by 31 percent, affecting grants to research, including those that have gone to projects such as NuScale’s, The Washington Post reported.
Whether it’s “energy independence” or “energy dominance,” clearing regulatory hurdles for American energy will benefit national security, economy, and the environment, Perry said.
It also will create U.S. jobs and boost the economies of allies buying the affordable energy.
The man who was governor of Texas for 14 years rejects what he calls a “false narrative” that the U.S. can’t tap its natural resources while protecting the environment.
Texas led the nation in emission reductions during his time as governor, Perry said. Carbon emissions went down by 20 percent, sulfur dioxide emissions declined by 50 percent, and nitrogen oxide dropped by 60 percent.
“We will not have to rely on countries that may or may not like us,” Perry told The Daily Signal. “It also would be good for our allies who will know they don’t have to rely on Russian gas. For Poland and Ukraine, and for that matter the United Kingdom, it would be good to know you’re getting energy resources from an ally.”
“In recent days, American Airlines has been forced to cancel more than 40 flights in Phoenix. The reason: With daytime highs hovering around 120 degrees, it was simply too hot for some smaller jets to take off. Hotter air is thinner air, which makes it more difficult — and sometimes impossible — for planes to generate enough lift.
As the global climate changes, disruptions like these are likely to become more frequent, researchers say, potentially making air travel costlier and less predictable with a greater risk of injury to travelers from increased turbulence.
“We tend to ignore the atmosphere and just think that the plane is flying through empty space, but of course, it’s not,” said Paul D. Williams, a professor in the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading in Britain who studies climate change and its effect on aviation. “Airplanes do not fly through a vacuum.
The atmosphere is being modified by climate change.”
This is another “evergreen”, trotted out whenever we get hot weather, to re-inforce the global warming meme:
“American Airlines canceled flights using Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ) equipment. These are the business jets that cover routes between hubs and smaller markets. Larger passenger jets are rated to tolerate higher temperatures, well above those currently being experienced in the American Southwest—after all, planes also fly from Dubai, Riyadh, and Cairo.
The CRJ’s history might play a role in its airworthiness under extreme heat. CRJs are currently made by Bombardier, a multinational transportation manufacturer. Bombardier bought the CRJ line from Canadair, a Canadian state aerospace company. These jets were originally designed for business use, and only later developed to serve the commercial regional jet market.
They were not necessarily intended for use in all conditions and markets, nor to be packed full of passengers like they are today. (Bombardier did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)
That circumstance is a consequence of deregulation and consolidation in the American airline market. When regulation demanded that airlines serve all markets, larger jets serviced smaller airports. But as those requirements lifted, and as more airlines merged, even once-thriving hubs like Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Memphis have become minor markets.
Airlines began relying on equipment like the CRJ, because they can transport a smaller number of people at a lower cost. Were the affected flights on Boeing large jets instead, there would be no question about their ability to fly.”
“The maximum operating temperature for each aircraft type is based on manufacturer data: Airbus – 127 degrees, Boeing – 126 degrees and Bombardier CRJ regional aircraft – 118 degrees, according to a statement from American Airlines obtained by DailyMail.com.”
Phoenix of course, is HOT. Record high for June is 1990, at 122 F, 50C. It seems everything is really pretty normal, but hey, it’s Global Warming, right.
Its practices have defiled scientific integrity, but proposed corrections bring shock and defiance.
by John Rafuse
President Trump’s budget guidance sought to cut $1.6 billion from the Environmental Protection Agency’s $8.1 billion expectation. Shrieks of looming Armageddon prompted Congress to fund EPA in full until September 2017, when the battle will be joined again.
Then EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said he would prioritize Superfund cleanups based on toxicity, health-impact and other factors. The ensuing caterwauling suggested that EPA had no priorities since Bill Ruckelshaus (EPA’s first administrator, 1970-1975). But consider some standard EPA practices
1. EPA advocates claim the US is unhealthy and dirty. They won’t admit that US water quality has improved dramatically since 1970. They deny that factories, cars and power plants are far more efficient and clean. They ignore that, while most nations continue to cut down forest habitats for fuel, the Lower 48 states have more forest coverage than when the Pilgrims landed in 1620.
They never mention that the US did not sign the 1992 Kyoto Accord, nor that it is the only nation to meet its Kyoto targets. Is it ignorance? malignancy? eco-professional propaganda? Yes, yes, and yes.
The United States is one of the cleanest, healthiest nations on earth. Our progress will continue because we rejected the Paris Accord and thus will not cripple our economy, jobs or environmental progress. Other nations must work hard to catch us. They may work hard, but they won’t catch up, and they’ll blame us.
Eco-militants at EPA tricked the Supreme Court into letting it label plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide a pollutant. Meanwhile, professional enviros demand “zero tolerance” for pollutants – because they claim “any dose kills.”
However, CO2 is plant fertilizer, the trace gas that makes plant and animal life possible on our planet. Atmospheric CO2 is just 400 parts per million (ppm), or 0.04% of the air we breathe, compared to 21% oxygen and almost 1% argon. Classrooms average 1,000 to 2,000 ppm; US nuclear submarines average 5,000 to 8,000ppm. We inhale 400 ppm and exhale 40,000 to 50,000 ppm.
That means 100 to 125 times the “fatal dose” of a “zero tolerance pollutant” is always in our lungs. We don’t die, because CO2 is not a pollutant and because real scientists know that dosage, not microscopic presence, is the key.
EPA keeps cheating, but dosage always determines poisonous impact. In fact, EPA experiments illegally exposed human test subjects to 10 and even 30 times the levels of fine soot particles that EPA claims are lethal. No one got sick or died, and yet EPA continues its “standards” and lies.
DDT saved millions in World War II from death by typhus. By 1970 DDT had helped wipe out malaria in 99 countries, including the USA. Administrator Ruckelshaus appointed a scientific committee to examine claims that the pesticide caused cancer and other problems. The experts said it did not, because dosage determines effect.
Ruckelshaus ignored them, never attended a minute of their hearings, never read a page of their extensive report. He simply banned DDT in 1972. He later said he had a “political problem” due to Rachel Carson’s misinformed book Silent Spring and pressure from the Environmental Defense Fund, and he needed to “fix it.”
Other nations followed suit, banning DDT. Since 1972, some 40 million children and parents have needlessly died from malaria. Today DDT is partially reinstated, but P.A. Offit, Pandora’s Lab, Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong, quotes Michael Crichton, MD: “Banning DDT is one of the most disgraceful episodes in twentieth century America. We knew better, and we did it anyway, and we let people around the world die, and we didn’t give a damn.”
EPA knowingly relies on fake science. Data from point-source “pollution” are used to “project” thousands of asthma cases and cancer deaths. EPA “validates” the analyses by “assuming” that each projected death and illness happened to someone who had spent every second of a 70-year life at the point-source – within 6 feet of the measurement point. But Newton’s Law of Inverse Squares proves that dosage wanes by the inverse square of the distance; 5 units of distance cuts dosage impact to 1/25 what it was at its source. At 10 units, the impact is 1/100th. EPA’s analysis is a dishonest, purposeful scam.
The 70-year/6-foot/no-movement assumption makes a joke of all its calculations and projections. EPA has relied on that scam for decades to “prove” need for a non-scientific regulatory remedy for every newly invented threat.
EPA colludes with professional environmentalists to “fix” “inadequate” draft regulations. EPA then “settles” cases, pays co-conspirators’ fees with taxpayer funds and wins excessive regulatory powers it sought from the beginning. Parties who oppose the decision never get a day in court, and the “sue-and-settle” cases ensure high costs but provide no health or environmental benefits.
EPA covers up crimes. As the auto industry cratered since 2000, Flint, Michigan has lost 25,000 citizens and become poorer and more minority. The 2010 Census Report concluded that 42% of the population was in a “level of poverty and health … not comparable to other geographic levels of these estimates.” Yet EPA (and state and local authorities) did nothing to protect them. What happened?
The 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act delegated compliance to EPA, which typically approves a State Compliance Plan, re-delegates authority, and oversees State and local enforcement. Flint’s drinking water has been lead-poisoned for three years – ever since state and local officials switched water sources to save money with no hearings, approvals or notifications to EPA or affected citizens.
Drinking, tasting and smelling nauseating newly-brown water alerted residents to potential dangers. An EPA expert tested the water in 2014 and wrote repeated warnings to Agency officials. A February 2015 Detroit News report said EPA’s Regional Administrator knew the facts but claimed her “hands were tied.”
Then-EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy forbade the staff expert from meeting, writing or speaking about the issue, and reassigned him. Thus the two most senior and directly responsible EPA officials “washed their hands” of the problem.
But Flint Medical Center tested for lead in the water and sounded the alarm. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added powerful voices. Flint’s mayor and Michigan’s governor took heat until the state’s attorney general initially charged five Flint and Michigan officials with wrongful issuance of permits, and tampering, altering and falsifying evidence. That has now expanded to more than 50 criminal charges against 15 state officials; including one of involuntary manslaughter (an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease took 12 lives).
The two “clean-handed” EPA officials kept mum until June 12, 2016, when Gina McCarthy wrote to Michigan’s governor and Flint’s mayor. Citing “major challenges” and her “long-term” clean water goal, she blamed state and local staffs and old and (newly) over-large piping. She said EPA had no money to help. Will Michigan’s AG indict EPA officials involved in the EPA cover-ups? That would be logical, but don’t bet on it.
McCarthy’s was a nasty letter from a culpable official. Later in 2016, Congress voted $110 million to repair Flint’s drinking water, no thanks to EPA. The work will go on for years as Flint residents get bottled water from EPA and the state.
President Trump’s budget guidance exposed decades-old EPA abuses. The evidence exposes EPA’s lack of mission, commitment and integrity. If EPA would use honest, evidence-based science to protect the nation’s health, it would be a welcome and long overdue change – perhaps a miracle.
Independent consultant John Rafuse worked for government agencies, a think-tank and an international oil and gas company on energy, trade, environmental, regulatory and national security issues.