Archive | April, 2014

Climate News – April Edition No. 2

IPCC’s latest forecasts on costs of climate change

The IPCC’s latest climate change report estimates that, if no action is taken, the cumulative cost of climate change will be 2 per cent of world income. Its highly optimistic cost estimates of suppressing emissions to a level it argues will not lead to warming is 3-9 per cent (see this). Bottom line: global warming will not be very harmful if it is occurring. Attempts to suppress carbon dioxide emissions, even if politically feasible in a multilateral world of nations with different interests, would cost more than any damage the emissions may be causing.

Chris Field, IPCC lead author, believes, “at least two of the world’s major food crops, wheat and maize” have seen slower increases in yields “partly as a consequence of climate change”. In fact there is no change in yield growths globally as the following illustrates (updated from Andrew Lake).

Matt Ridley is particularly caustic, “Almost every global environmental scare of the past half century proved exaggerated including the population ‘bomb,’ pesticides, acid rain, the ozone hole, falling sperm counts, genetically engineered crops and killer bees. In every case, institutional scientists gained a lot of funding from the scare and then quietly converged on the view that the problem was much more moderate than the extreme voices had argued. Global warming is no different.”

Patrick Michaels, soon to visit Australia (details here for PerthMelbourneSydney and Brisbane) says the American Academy for the Advancement of Science has been captured by government funding and has supported policies including ludicrous ones, like biofuels, as well as global warming measures. Another eminent visitor being brought to Australia by the IPA, British philosopher Roger Scruton, has sharply criticised politicians for trying to silence debate on global warming. Here are details for Roger Scruton’s addresses in MelbourneSydney and Brisbane.

The fall-out continues from Richard Tol’s disowning of the latest IPCC report due to his claim that it was exaggerating the potential of damage from climate change. As well as facing predictable attempts to denigrate him by alarmists, Canadian climatologist Professor Tim Ball argues that Tol was naive to think that the IPCC process ever produced anything other than gross exaggeration from its inception in 1990. Tol is one of only a handful of economists who have played a leading role within the IPCC.

Renewables, coal and controls

We can all take comfort from the predictions of Greenpeace, whose Kaisa Kosonen said, “Renewable energy is unstoppable. It’s becoming bigger, better and cheaper every day”.

In Victoria, union bullying is blockading a site for wind turbine construction, a measure which some would consider a rare felicitous outcome. Meanwhile the Greens are proposing to lock-in the very high subsidies to solar panel installations to neutralise the Government review of renewable energy.

While not green-lighting the proposal for the world’s largest coal mine, a Queensland court ($) rejected attempts to block it on climate change grounds. The Court said such policy was the job of governments and added, “The GHGs will be produced almost wholly by the burning of the coal, which will take place outside Australia. If the demand for the coal is not met from the mine, it will be met from other mines with the same or possibly worse consequences in terms of GHG emissions.”

Even the EU now has the message. Renewable energy subsidies that helped spur Europe’s 48-billion-Euro-a-year clean energy industry are to be phased out across the continent. Even so, chemicals, metals, paper, and ceramics sectors will be allowed exemptions from paying full market premium support to renewable power generators. And last year, global investments in non-hydro renewables dropped 23 per cent and a massive 44 per cent in Europe.

Climate refugees and other failed predictions

The latest buffoonery from Australia’s Treasury Secretary, Martin Parkinson, is his prediction of waves of climate refugees, echoing Janos Bogardi, director of the Institute for Environment and Human Security at the United Nations University in Bonn, who predicted 50 million such refugees by 2010. Parkinson relied on the hysteria of the Policymakers summary of the latest IPCC report, which said, “climate change over the 21st Century is projected to increase displacement of people”. In contrast, researcher Ben Pile points out that the report itself said, “Current alarmist predictions of massive flows of so-called ‘environmental migrants’ are not supported by past experiences of responses to droughts and extreme weather events.”

Billionaire filmmaker James Cameron (TerminatorTitanicAvatar) has created a 10 part doom-laden series on climate change and the malevolent forces causing it. It is reviewed here by Lubos Motl and includes a Harrison Ford clip riding elephants and attacking palm oil using his serious voice to maintain ‘THINGS HAVE GOT TO BE DONE NOW’.  It would seem these do not include fewer lavish homes and reduced flying much loved by hypocritical celebrities.

Drawing from an Anthony Watts contributor that named 107 failed climate predictions,  Don Aitkin finds additional ones, citing as among the most notorious, Professor Flannery warning us that all the dams would be dry, or Dr Viner of CRU in England telling people that children of the future would wonder what was that snow everyone used to talk about, or Dr Hansen’s warning that the Hudson River would be very much higher in Manhattan.