To save the planet, your life must suck

Last week it was revealed (or, more accurately, re-revealed) that environmentalists are socialists.

On the similar theme of making your life worse, Julie Kelly writes:

The Merchants of Misery — a.k.a., climate scientists — are working overtime to shame you about all the pleasures you’re enjoying this summer and how your selfish indulgences will cause the planet’s demise. Grilling your favorite cheeseburger? Glutton! Packing up your brood for a drive to the lake house? Monster! Hoping vacation sex will result in a new baby to add to the family? Hedonist! Even mowing your lawn earns a tsk-tsk.

A study from Sweden’s Lund University published July 12 lists many of the sacrifices you should make to reduce your carbon footprint. Most of the media coverage — and criticism — focused on the study’s recommendation to have one fewer child (as the mother of two teen girls, I have my own irrational reasons for sharing that same advice right now, but I digress).

Not only did the researchers consider more than three dozen scientific papers to compile their list, they also reviewed a handful of school textbooks and government publications to see whether the ruling class in Canada, Australia, the U.K., and the U.S. was appropriately indoctrinating the masses, particularly young people, about which “high-impact actions” will most effectively reverse global warming. But apparently, public authorities are falling short of that goal. (This will come as a surprise to anyone with school-age children, who are routinely admonished, in every subject from science to health class, about the dangers of manmade climate change.) “Textbooks overwhelmingly focused on moderate or low-impact actions, with our recommended actions mostly presented in a less effective form, or not at all,” the researchers found. “No textbook suggested having fewer children as a way to reduce emissions.” *Hint hint, McGraw-Hill*

The one-less-child policy was just one example of the study’s absurdity. Other suggestions include eating a plant-based diet, living car-free, and avoiding air travel. The paper also ranks other “low-impact” recommendations made in government guides and textbooks, such as keeping backyard chickens, letting your lawn grow longer, and hanging your clothes outside to dry. Thankfully, pet owners get a pass for now: “We originally hypothesized that two additional actions, not owning a dog and purchasing green energy, would also fit our criteria for recommended high-impact actions, but found both to be of questionable merit.”

So your life, according to the Merchants of Misery, should look something like this: stuck at home without a car, washing laundry in cold water and then clipping it on a clothesline while chasing down chickens and preparing locally grown vegetables for dinner. It’ll be just like Little House on the Prairie!

As if on cue, another study issued the following week warns about the price that extra child will pay should you be foolish and selfish enough to have one. James Hansen, known as the “father of climate-change awareness,” is the lead author of a paper published July 18 entitled, “Young People’s Burden: Requirement of Negative CO2 Emissions.” It’s not now sufficient to just limit CO2, we now need to remove it from the atmosphere: “Such targets now require ‘negative emissions,’ i.e., extraction of CO2 from the air.” “Continued high fossil-fuel emissions today place a burden on young people to undertake massive technological CO2 extraction if they are to limit climate change and its consequences,” the study’s authors conclude.

Hansen’s continued activism on climate and his growing hysteria about the future have nothing to do with staying relevant and everything to do with the children, of course. His latest study is intended to support a lawsuit he enjoined that was filed in 2015 by nearly two dozen young people, including his granddaughter, to sue the federal government over climate change. The lawsuit, Juliana et al. v. U.S. et al., claims that due to “the government’s affirmative actions that cause climate change, it has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources.” A trial date has been set for February 2018.

During a hearing last fall, Hansen told a U.S. district-court judge that “this lawsuit is made necessary by the at-best schizophrenic, if not suicidal nature of U.S. climate and energy policy.”

If you think that the Merchants of Misery have a preoccupation with death, you might be right. Now a few of them are just waiting (hoping?) for so-called climate deniers to die so they can get on with their misery message unchallenged. Here’s what climate catastrophist Bill Nye, aka The Science Guy, told the L.A. Times last week:

Climate-change deniers, by way of example, are older. It’s generational. So we’re just going to have to wait for those people to “age out,” as they say. “Age out” is a euphemism for “die.” But it’ll happen, I guarantee you — that’ll happen.

People are guaranteed to die — hey, science!

So while most of us are enjoying the fleeting delights of summer, the Merchants of Misery are ratcheting up their message of death, doom, and sacrifice. No wonder people are tuning them out.

I wonder which climate scientist will tell Muslims they need to stop reproducing so much. Muslim birth rates are far higher than European birth rates.

An inconvenient truth

James Delingpole reports what climate change hysteria is really all about:

Only the abolition of property rights can save us now from the horrors of ‘climate change’, argues an Australian academic.

Dr. Louise Crabtree, a researcher at the University of Western Sydney, makes her claim in a piece for the leftist academics’ favorite online watering hole, the Conversationtitled“Can Property Survive the Great Climate Transition?”

Her question is, of course, purely rhetorical. No, apparently, it can’t:

If our cities are to become more resilient and sustainable, our systems of property need to come along for the ride.

and

We might also need to start thinking about our claims not being static but dependent on the web of relationships we are entwined in, including with non-humans. Some say that First Peoples might have a grasp of property dynamics that is more suited to the times we are entering.

So, making cities green might be the easy part. It remains to be seen whether property law and property systems are up to the task of transition.

This might sound like obscure, pseudo-academic, sub-Marxist gobbledegook. As indeed it is.

It would be nice to console ourselves that this dangerous thesis was written by a left-wing research student of no account.

Unfortunately, as Eric Worrall points out at Watts Up With That? there are people who take this woman’s lunatic redistributionary jottings seriously.

Her bio may raise the question—are we actually paying for this?:

Louise was awarded her PhD in Human Geography from Macquarie University in 2007 and has been with Western Sydney University since 2007. Her research focuses on the social, ecological and economic sustainability of community-driven housing developments in Australia; on the uptake of housing innovation in practice and policy; on complex adaptive systems theory in urban contexts; and, on the interfaces between sustainability, property rights, institutional design and democracy. Her recent and ongoing projects focus on two practical areas funded by a series of competitive research grants—community land trusts and participatory mapping methodologies. Both are being used to simultaneously foster social innovation and equity outcomes on the ground, and explore and build theory on multi-stakeholder governance, decolonisation, property law, resilience and citizenship.

But the scary part is the last bit:

Louise’s work on resilience and governance in community housing was the basis for her receipt of the inaugural Housing Minister’s Award for Early Career Researchers in 2009; in announcing the award, the Hon. Tanya Plibersek described the work as ‘crucial’.

Yes, an actual minister in the Australian government once called this drivel “crucial.”

To most of us here, property rights are not negotiable, they’re one of the pillars of Western liberal democracy.

But to many members of the green movement including this “sustainability” expert Louise Crabtree, they are negotiable. Indeed, that’s what UN’s Agenda 21 is about—wealth redistribution and the erosion of property rights in the name of saving the planet.

Climate for these people is just the pretext. Really it is—and always has been—about global governance.

The irony, as P.J. O’Rourke pointed out in one of his books, is that the capitalist West has been much more environmentally responsible than the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact were. That requires an understanding of history, which apparently is unnecessary for the Gaia worshippers.

 

The end is (again) near!

Oren Cass:

Thirty-nine percent of Americans give at least 50-50 odds that “global warming will cause humans to become extinct,” according to a poll released last week by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. This extreme view, unsupported by mainstream climate science, is more widely held than the belief that climate change either is “caused mostly by natural changes in the environment” rather than human activity (30 percent), or else “isn’t happening” at all (6 percent). As if on cue, New York published a cover story on Monday entitled, “The Uninhabitable Earth,” with this grim subtitle: “Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak—sooner than you think.” David Wallace-Wells’s 7,000-word article is so disconnected from reality that debunking loses its thrill within a few paragraphs. Even Michael Mann, among the most strident climate scientists, wrote on Facebook that “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The article fails to produce it.”

Mann notes that, in his first section alone, Wallace-Wells “exaggerates” the threat of melting permafrost, while his claim about satellite data is “just not true.” The story next intones ominously about “a crack in an ice shelf [that] grew 11 miles in six days, then kept going.” But the Guardian (no climate-change denier), covering the ice-shelf crack last month, explained it differently: “What looks like an enormous loss is just ordinary housekeeping for this part of Antarctica.”

Wallace-Wells’s article is a quintessential illustration of what I have described in Foreign Affairs as “climate catastrophism.” He ignores humanity’s capacity for adapting to changes that will occur slowly over decades or centuries, inserting the classic catastrophist disclaimer in his introduction: “absent a significant adjustment to how billions of humans conduct their lives . . .” But humanity will obviously make significant adjustments in the coming century, especially if faced with the catastrophes he posits. The qualifier undermines everything that follows, just as it did the Population Bomb and Peak Oil prognosticators of the past.

Likewise, Wallace-Wells seems not to understand that the world of future centuries will look vastly different from today’s, and that climate impacts must be understood in this context. Thus, he takes a particularly extreme warning that climate change might reduce global output 50 percent by 2100 and invites readers to “imagin[e] what the world would look like today with an economy half as big.” But the study in question is producing estimates for the world of 2100, not 2017—the loss is “relative to scenarios without climate change.” Even growing at only 2.5% annually, the global economy of 2100 would be seven times larger than today’s. Cutting that in half is a catastrophe, comparatively speaking—but still yields a dramatically wealthier world than we have today. Wallace-Wells claims to have conducted “dozens of interviews and exchanges with climatologists and researchers in related fields,” but he seemingly could not find any to go on the record validating any of his claims. He even acknowledges that the three whom he does quote—one on mitigating climate impacts, one on the history of climate science, and one on past extinctions—are all optimists about humanity’s ability to “forestall radical warming.”

The reaction among commentators to the New York article helps to explain why public attitudes tilt toward catastrophism. Farhad Manjoo, the New York Times technology writer, called it “phenomenal.” David Roberts, the Vox climate writer, deemed it “superb.” Mann was sharply critical, but nonetheless complimented Wallace-Wells as “clearly a talented” journalist. (By contrast, Mann identified no errors in my Foreign Affairsessay but called it “#Koch climate denial propaganda” and then blocked me on Twitter.)

Similarly covering criticism with endorsement, Mashable’s Andrew Freedman laments that “in several places,” Wallace-Wells “either exaggerates the evidence or gets the science flat-out wrong.” But this, in his view, is merely “unfortunate, because it detracts from a well-written, attention-grabbing piece. It’s still worth reading, but with a sharp critical eye.” At The Atlantic, Robinson Meyer reports that “at key points in his piece, Wallace-Wells posits facts that mainstream climate science cannot support” and “at other points, Wallace-Wells misstates what we know about the climate change that has already happened.” Nevertheless, writes Meyer, “this isn’t to say that his piece is worth discarding in its entirety.”

Any article that so badly mischaracterizes the state of knowledge on an issue as contentious as climate science should have been rejected for publication. New York magazine should be posting corrections, not tallying clicks.

I appeared recently on a podcast hosted by John Cook and Peter Jacobs, two specialists in “climate communication” and authors of the famous “97 percent consensus” study claiming that almost all climate scientists agree on anthropogenic global warming. I asked them whether they feel obligated to police overly catastrophic claims, or only what they call “denialism.”

“If you see it, I think it can be helpful to call out,” said Cook. “But I also think that it would be a mistake to try to do a 50-50 where you try to spend half your time debunking exaggerators and half your time debunking denial of the science because I don’t think that’s an accurate picture of what is out there in terms of distorting the science.” But if anything, today’s landscape suggests it is the exaggeration that requires the greatest attention. Scientists and journalists genuinely committed to providing the public with an accurate picture, rather than just the picture most conducive to a preferred policy agenda, have lots of work to do.

Post Paris prevarication

Benjamin Zycher is entertained:

Now, this is entertainment. “This” is The Washington Post’s Fact Checker “analysis” posted online less than four hours after President Trump ended his speech announcing the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change. It appeared in the print edition the next morning, on the front page and above the fold: “Explanation for Paris exit is based on spurious claims.”

It has to be read to be believed. Or, actually, not believed, as the bylined authors, Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee, demonstrate themselves to be true modern-day journalists who must believe that “research” is a quick glance at Wikipedia. And that is where the entertainment dimension inserts itself; their arguments are so devoid of analytic content and so factually incorrect as to raise the question of whether there still exists an editorial process at The Washington Post. To wit:

“[Mr. Trump] often ignored the benefits that could come from tackling climate change, including potential green jobs.” Kessler and Lee are not economists, obviously, so they do not understand that “jobs” — the use of labor resources — are a cost rather than a benefit for the economy as a whole. If climate policy yields an employment shift into “green” sectors — as an aside, there is nothing “green” about them — that would be great for the workers hired. But for the economy in the aggregate, using labor resources automatically means that they cannot be used elsewhere, the classic definition of an (opportunity) cost.

Envirohypocrites

Rich Galen didn’t favor Donald Trump’s pulling the U.S. out of the Paris global climate change treaty. (In contrast, I think it was Trump’s best decision since U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.)

However, Galen points out:

Assuming you believe that less is better — as almost everyone does, save for a few people in Mingo County, West Virginia — then the more difficult question is: How do we pay for it?

We have a history of paying more for things we believe to be healthy. Organic foods come to mine even though there is almost zero evidence that organically grown foods and organically raised animals have any — any — health benefits.

A reporter from NPR — yes, that NPR — in 2012 wrote about a study that had been released in The Annals of Internal Medicine:

“When the researchers looked at the body of evidence, they found no clear benefits” [from eating organically grown foods].

In fact, one of the researcher made it even clearer: “There’s a definite lack of evidence” to support the advantages of organic food.Dear Mr. Mullings:

What about being poisoned by the pesticides in conventional food? What about that?Signed,
The National Association of People Who Demand Everyone Agree with Them

Glad you asked. That same article stated that the investigators:

“found that the vast majority of conventionally grown food did not exceed allowable limits of pesticide residue set by federal regulations.”

I am not a climate denier. If gigantic sections of Antarctica are breaking off and floating away, I think that deserves some attention and concern. What I don’t understand is why the issues of whether the climate is changing and if it is, whether it is man-made, have taken on such a religious fervor.

You don’t think climate change is real? Fine. Smoke cigars in your house while the kids are playing on the floor in front of you.

You think climate change is the biggest existential threat since the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs? Fine. Drive an electric car and only recharge it at a place that gets its electricity from wind or solar farms. And, by the way, don’t take a federal subsidy to offset the cost of the vehicle.

President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Accords did not make me look for a high window out of which to jump.

I don’t agree with his decision, but it was but one of many in the first 136 days of his Presidency.

The long list of CEOs who also disagree with him on this decision can voluntarily abide by whatever rules the Obama Administration imposed while we were party to the Accords.

Easy Peasy.

There is some level of hypocrisy that attends to the outrage expressed by some of them. Tim Cook, the chairman of Apple (whose phones and tablets I swear by) wrote a letter to Apple employees after the President’s decision:

“Climate change is real and we all share a responsibility to fight it. I want to reassure you that today’s developments will have no impact on Apple’s efforts to protect the environment. We power nearly all of our operations with renewable energy, which we believe is an example of something that’s good for our planet and makes good business sense as well.”

All well and good but most, if not all, of Apple’s products are assembled in China and now India.

The biggest polluter on the planet? China. Coming in at number four? India. (the U.S. and the EU are two and three).

Elon Musk made a big deal about quitting some panels he was on. The raw materials for Tesla batteries come from many places including the aforementioned China (graphite), Congo (cobalt), and the golden triangle of democracy and good governments Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia (lithium).

Maybe they should stop supporting polluters and dictatorships along with their legitimate concern for the global climate.

And, in Musk’s case, return all the taxes he didn’t pay through the tax breaks his companies have enjoyed.

Glenn Harlan Reynolds has several answers for all this hypocrisy:

But if climate change is really such a crisis, and if sacrifice on our part is needed to stop it, then why aren’t we seeing more sacrifice from people who think it’s a problem?

That’s what one person asked on Twitter: “What if climate scientists decided, as a group, to make their conferences all virtual? No more air travel. What a statement!” And what if academics in general — most of whom think climate change is a big deal — started doing the same thing to make an even bigger statement?

Well, okay. Since some states and cities are promising to live by the Paris agreement anyway, and since Trump’s rejection of that agreement doesn’t mean that Congress is forbidden to act, I have some proposals for legislation that will take climate change seriously indeed.

It would be big. And what if politicians and celebrities stopped jetting around the world — often on wasteful private jets instead of flying commercial with the hoi polloi — as a statement of the importance of fighting climate change?

And what if politicians and celebrities lived in average-sized houses, to reduce their carbon footprints?  What if John Kerry, who was much put out by Trump’s action, gave up his yacht-and-mansions lifestyle?

What if, indeed? One reason why so many people don’t take climate change seriously is that the people who are constantly telling us it’s a crisis never actually act like it’s a crisis. They’re all-in for sacrifices by other people, but never seem to make much in the way of sacrifices themselves.

Well, some might say, that’s why we need laws. Even people who are deeply concerned about climate change lack the self-discipline to change their behavior. So we need discipline to be imposed, by the force of government.

First, we need to tax the “blue zones.” That is, we need to impose steep taxes on property in coastal areas that will be flooded by the sea-level increases that global warming is supposed to bring. By discouraging people from living or building there now, we’ll save ourselves from big problems in the future. Sure it’ll drive down property values, but those values should go down — they’re values for property that’s going to be flooded anyway, remember?

Second, we need to ban taxpayer-funded air travel to conferences. State legislatures could ban reimbursement for travel outside their states; Congress could require that no federal grant money be spent on air travel to conferences and similar events. A lot of academic conferences would fail, but that’s a small price to pay for saving the planet.  And besides, it will encourage the development of Internet-based conference alternatives. A whole new industry might result: Green jobs!

Third, we need to ban private jet travel. At first I thought about just taxing it heavily, but with the planet at stake, that might not be enough. It’s nice that John Travolta can have his own Boeing 707, or that Leonardo DiCaprio can jet around the world speaking against climate change, but the carbon emissions involved set a bad example that outweighs anything he might say. So no more private jets. Bigshots will just have to fly commercial like everyone else, the way they did in the 1950s. (And sorry, Leo, but massive yachts have to go, too). Politicians, too, should have to fly commercial. No more government-funded “executive jets” for them.

Fourth, we need a luxury tax on mansions. Any home more than twice the size of the average American home should be taxed at 25% of its value per year. Celebrities and the rich enjoy great powers of persuasion — but with great power comes great responsibility, and they have a great responsibility to set a good example for the rest of us on climate change!

These proposals are just the beginning, and I’m sure that enterprising members of Congress and various state legislatures can come up with more. But the important thing is to set a good example: Treat climate change like the crisis you say it is, and maybe more people will believe that it really is a crisis.

We’ll always have climate

Donald Trump may have done my favorite move of his presidency by pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate treaty.

Facebook Friend and meteorologist Mike Smith posted …

To my many liberal friends: Want more Republicans in Congress? Want Trump to be reelected to a second term?

Then, keep doing these silly total freakouts completely out of proportion to the facts of a situation.

The Paris Agreement was a joke that even Dr. James Hansen condemned. …

Trillions, yes, trillions of dollars for almost no positive effect. 0.01°C of averted warming? We can’t even measure that amount.

… with this response:

I have been in the electric vehicle business for over 20 years, and agree with pulling out of the farce that this (non biding) agreement was. The Paris climate accords were a terrible deal – it would have imposed vast costs on America, undermined our economy, cost U.S. jobs and let major polluters like China off the hook for decades while doing almost nothing to help the environment. The U.S. is already a leader in clean energy, having reduced CO2 emissions 12 percent in the past decade. We can do so much more with the $100 bil that the US would have had to spend for other countries getting a free pass. We can be more sustainable with our own agreement. Don’t be so quick to criticize- So glad we are pulling out of this bad deal.

Let’s free up the American economy to produce more and cleaner energy without these one-sided, job-killing global restrictions.”

Not to mention that Obama entered this deal illegally without required approval of congress. The solutions we need for to clean the air will happen in a more efficient way!

Arthur Milikh covers the worldwide reaction, which should not matter one bit:

Phony high-mindedness is also being deployed against Trump. French President Emmanuel Macron, for instance, went around America’s head of state and chief representative to flatter the American public, reassuring the American public that France and the world still “believes in you.”

That global elites feel sufficient self-confidence to attempt to publicly shame the president of the United States is partly because other U.S. presidents have typically succumbed to similar pressures long before they became public.
Yet few arguments against Trump reveal as much as a recent Washington Post headline: “Trump made up his mind on Paris. Now the rest of the world will do the same on him.” In other words, the U.S. president’s deliberations should be derived from fear of elite ire, speaking on behalf of a world majority.

Leveraging the alleged authority of the majority—not a national majority, but that of the world itself—Trump’s critics cite the fact that America, Nicaragua, and Syria are the only nations not subject to the Paris accord. The dogma that majorities are wise—half-believed, half-used as manipulation by advocates—is striking partly because of the elevation of nations like Iran and North Korea, suddenly viewed as committed environmentalists.

Using similar arguments, the Obama administration worked hard to obligate the American public, despite itself, to agreements that appeared to be treaties, but that have none of the legal or moral authority. The Iran agreement, for instance, proceeded in this way. From its example, one learned not only that such agreements are unenforceable, but that they contain a host of cash transfers, which would never stand the light of investigative inquiry if they were real treaties.

More importantly, obligating the entire nation for generations to come requires Senate ratification, for no small reason. That is because the public should consent to being obligated to going to war, like in case of violation of the Iran deal, or of transferring billions of dollars to other nations, while stifling domestic interests, like in the case of the Paris Agreement.
This Obama-era approach in practice means rule not by the U.S. Senate, but rule by elite international opinion, hiding behind a seeming majoritarian consensus. These opinion makers, feeling neither moral obligations to the well-being of any particular nation, nor under any check to carry out their promises, aim to replace the deliberative function of the Senate.
Trump is right to not cave to this breed of influence. If the agreement is suitable for the U.S., the Senate must debate the matter and gain the public’s consent. Without this, public trust and republican honor are undermined, and our constitutional institutions are replaced with rule by international pressure.

You may have read that big business CEOs opposed Trump’s move. Jordan LaPorta explains:

Libertarians and true conservatives heralded the move as one of Trump’s best to date, but liberals and big business leaders have attacked the decision on the mainstream airwaves and on Twitter.

Massive corporation after massive corporation  has come out in favor of the U.S. remaining in the deal, including heavy-hitters such as Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP, and Shell.

“We believe climate change is real,” said Ben van Beurden, CEO of Shell. “We believe that the world needs to go through an energy transition to prevent a very significant rise in global temperatures. And we need to be part of that solution in making it happen.”

Perhaps one of the most vocal critics of the president’s decision to leave the regulatory compact is Elon Musk, American entrepreneur and founder of Tesla Motors and Space X.  On Twitter, Musk pledged to leave the president’s business councils because of his altruistic stand on behalf of mother earth. It’s quite touching, really.

Musk, like many other business elites, lobbied hard for Trump to keep America in the restrictive agreement. But the real reason Musk, Shell, Exon, and so many others wanted to the country to stay in the deal has nothing to do with the saving the planet — that’s just the “PR” reason. The real reason is that the agreement’s increased regulations on businesses work in their best profit interest. The thought is certainly counterintuitive, but it makes quite a bit of sense.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the incredibly high cost of business regulation in the United States, finding that Americans spent $1.6 trillion to comply with government mandates in 2016 alone. That money would be enough to constitute the world’s seventh-largest economy. But big businesses owned by the likes of Musk can afford these high costs, while their smaller competitors cannot. What this creates is an environment ripe for oligopoly, headed by a few big cartels. That’s not exactly what I would call a “free market.”

Musk and oil companies are no opponents to government intervention at all. In fact, the government subsidizes both Musk’s playthings and the entire oil industry to the highest degree.

It’s incredibly frustrating when people look at such system and cry wolf about the evils of “capitalism.” This is not capitalism; it’s corporatism writ large. Libertarian thinkier Albert Jay Nock put it best when he said “the simple truth is that our businessmen do not want a gov-ernment that will let business alone. They want a government they can use.”

But I guess you can’t put “Down with Corporatism” on a Che Guevera shirt and expect it to sell.

These big businesses wouldn’t be out any profit at all; they would just pass the cost to consumers in higher taxes. Too bad for you if higher energy prices mean no vacation for your family.

Instapundit has this revealing report:

RENT-SEEKERS GOTTA SEEK RENTS: German carmakers fear losing competitive edge after U.S. Paris exit.

“The regrettable announcement by the USA makes it inevitable that Europe must facilitate a cost efficient and economically feasible climate policy to remain internationally competitive,” Matthias Wissmann, president of the German auto industry lobby group VDA, said in a statement on Friday.

“The preservation of our competitive position is the precondition for successful climate protection. This correlation is often underestimated,” Wissmann said, adding that the decision by the Unites States was disappointing.

The VDA said electricity and energy prices are already higher in Germany than in the United States, putting Germany at a disadvantage.

Now we know what the Paris Accords were really about — hampering U.S. industries to make Europe’s more competitive.

Global climate change is occurring, but not principally because of human causes. The question therefore is what are you willing to give up for a negligible effect on the world climate?

The National Weather Service is about to issue …

Facebook Friend Mike Smith (not the 6 a.m. Michael Smith) passes on a Washington Post story about a bill signed into law Tuesday:

After stumbling blocks and delays, sweeping bipartisan legislation to improve weather forecasting has passed the Senate.

The 65-page bill, the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017, H.R. 353, contains four sections that support research and programs to improve weather forecasting and its communication on short and long time scales.

Containing scores of provisions, the bill would require the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to, for example:

  • Establish a program to improve tornado warnings.
  • Protect the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program, whose funding was previously slashed.
  • Develop a formal plan for weather research.
  • Develop an annual report on the state of its weather models.
  • Develop forecasts on the subseasonal (two weeks to three months), seasonal (three months to one year) and interannual (up to two years) time scales.
  • Consider options to buy commercially provided weather satellite data rather than launch expensive government satellites.
  • Improve its watch-and-warning system based on recommendations from social and behavioral scientists.

The bill authorizes funding for these initiatives, totaling more than $170 million, but does not necessarily signal new or increased funding for NOAA. Rather it offers guidance on what programs should receive specific funding amounts given the existing budget negotiated by the president and Congress. …

The revised legislation, after a new round of negotiations, adds two significant provisions. One is a requirement for the National Weather Service to study gaps in radar coverage across the country.

The study was advocated by Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who has long pushed for a dedicated radar site in Charlotte, along with the area’s meteorologists.

“No other city of Charlotte’s size currently has a radar situated more than 58 miles away,” Brad Panovich, chief meteorologist for the NBC affiliate serving Charlotte, wrote in a blog post in September 2015. “This has become a very dangerous situation in my opinion.”

Previously, bipartisan legislation requiring the Weather Service to install radar in cities the size of Charlotte was introduced but never passed.

The second new provision in the bill requires NOAA to acquire backup for hurricane hunter aircraft.

“[W]hile the hurricane season seems to be getting longer, the NOAA plane is getting older,” said Nelson, who championed the provision. “We must have a reliable backup. And I am pleased today that the Senate has unanimously passed this measure as part of a broader weather bill.”

Longtime weather industry lobbyist Tom Fahy from Capitol Meteorologics said the bill brought out the best in bipartisan cooperation. “Improving our weather infrastructure strengthens not only the diverse sectors of our economy but the entire country,” he said.

Senators from both sides of the political aisle cheered the bill’s passage.

“From long-term forecasting that can prevent costly agricultural losses to more actionable information about severe weather, this legislation will help save lives and reduce avoidable property loss,” Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said.

“Our bill strengthens the science to forecast severe heat and cold, storms, tornadoes, tsunamis and hurricanes, helping us make our warnings more timely and accurate,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said. “It also improves how the government communicates these threats to the public, so that families and businesses can be prepared and stay safe.”

The bill also has gained broad support from the weather enterprise’s private and academic sectors, including AccuWeather, GeoOptics, Panasonic Avionics, Schneider Electric, Vaisala, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and the University of Oklahoma.

The weather radar gap issue is pertinent, because I seem to have the habit of living in radar gaps, or at least NWS office gaps. If you live in Fond du Lac County, you are on the borderline of the NWS Ashwaubenon office and the NWS Sullivan office. Even worse, if you live in Grant County, you are on the borderline of Sullivan, the NWS office in La Crosse, and the NWS office in the Quad Cities of Illinois and Iowa. Each of those has weather radars.

Weather radar sends its signal by line of sight — straight out from the radar dish. Of course, Earth is not flat, so the farther you are from the radar the less accurate the radar is for where you are, or equally as important the direction your weather is coming from, generally west-ish. I found out at a severe weather spotter training session late last month that weather radars don’t tell you much about what’s happening below 6,000 feet anyway.

There used to be NWS offices in Dubuque, Madison and Milwaukee. The latter two were combined into the Sullivan office, and the Dubuque office (which was part-time its last 13 years, which I can attest from experience is most unhelpful during nighttime severe weather) was closed in 1995 and merged into the Quad Cities office. Weather warnings previously given from Madison were assigned to (a college classmate of mine at) the NWS La Crosse office.

Today, by the way, is the statewide tornado drill, with a fake tornado watch at 1 p.m. and two tornado warnings thereafter. Because Mother Nature loves irony, this state’s first severe weather of the year was in early March. There have been some horrible severe weather outbreaks this month, including the 1956 Berlin tornado (seven killed) …

… the 1965 Palm Sunday tornadoes (three killed near Watertown) …

… and the 1974 Super Outbreak, currently the worst in U.S. history in terms of violent tornadoes.

 

Why I am not an environmentalist

The environmentalist movement appears to attract lunatics like William F. Jasper profiles:

Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber wants to take us back to the Stone Age — literally. In a March 15 interview with the German newspaper Deutsche Welle, the German physicist declared that global warming is so serious that not only must we all give up the use of coal and our internal combustion vehicles in the next 13 years, but we must also ditch concrete and steel — for “wood, clay and stone.” If we don’t do this, along with other drastic measures, we are headed toward planetary warming of “4, 5, 6 or even 12 degrees,” he claims. This would bring, he insists, “the end of the world as we know it.”

Asked by Deutsche Welle where we stand now with regard to “the world’s carbon budget,” Schellnhuber responded: “It’s quite mind-boggling — for example, by 2030, we have to phase out the combustion engine. And we have to completely phase out the use of coal for producing power. By 2040 we will probably have to replace concrete and steel for construction by wood, clay and stone.”

“Germany actually has the more ambitious goal — here within the European Union — a 40 percent reduction by 2020,” he says, in praise of his homeland’s policies. But then he admits: “It looks fairly bleak actually, with the current policies in place we will not even meet our own target. Something fairly disruptive needs to happen, like closing down some of the operating coal-fired power stations.”

Something disruptive? Turn off the power? Yes, the coercive utopians do not hesitate to impose hardship and sacrifice on others —while exempting themselves from the consequences of their actions.

Before you write this off as just another delusional rant from your garden variety greenie suffering from CDS (Climate Derangement Syndrome), consider this: Schellnhuber is a top climate alarmist for Germany, the United Nations, the European Union, and the Vatican. He is one of the high priests of anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming (AGW) dogma and the co-author of the oppressive AGW regulatory regimes that have already caused such economic and social havoc in the EU. Although not as well known as Al “the Blizzard King” Gore, the German “scientist” exercises real global clout. He has played a key role in launching and feeding the Climate Derangement Syndrome that now can be used to mobilize mobs of unhinged activists who will march, protest, scream, disrupt, threaten, scold, and riot on command.

As we pointed out last year (see here and here), Dr. Schellnhuber, the founding director and chief of the Potsdam Institute in Germany, is a lead author for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and a top science advisor to the European Union, as well as to Angela Merkel’s government in Germany and the World Bank. His most significant recent conquest has been his appointment in 2015 to the Pontifical Academy of Science, where his impact has already been felt. Schellnhuber, reportedly, had a significant role in writing Pope Francis’ radical environmental encyclical, Laudato Si, which has alarmed many Catholics and pro-life advocates (see herehere, and here) who see him as a key operative in the George Soros/John Podesta/Hillary Clinton/Barack Obama cabal exposed by WikiLeaks, and that has been welcomed into the Vatican by Pope Francis.

The Vatican appointment is indeed odd and alarming. Not only is Schellnhuber a vocal atheist, but he is also well-known as a population-control advocate, along with being a member of the elite Club of Rome, one of the planet’s most prominent population-control organizations. The Club’s 1972 report, The Limit’s to Growth, reinforced the hysterical, neo-Malthusian vison of Paul Ehrlich’s apocalyptic 1968 book, The Population Bomb — and proved to be as wildly inaccurate. In 1991, the Club came out with another environmental jeremiad, The First Global Revolution, strategically timed for release just before the UN’s 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

No doubt some Club of Rome members considered The First Global Revolution to be a bit too candid in revealing the organization’s real views and agenda. The doomsday report shockingly stated: “In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill…. All these dangers are caused by human intervention…. The real enemy, then, is humanity itself.”

This bears repeating:

In searching for a new enemy to unite us … the threat of global warming … would fit the bill…. The real enemy, then, is humanity itself.

Schellnhuber and his Club of Rome comrades have been using the claim that overpopulation is the cause of all alleged environmental crises as the basis for propagandizing in favor of abortion, sterilization, euthanasia, contraception, and other avenues of eradicating “the real enemy,” which they see as “humanity itself.” …

It was Schellnhuber who came up with the two-degree limit myth that has now become dogma among AGW alarmists, thanks to relentless promotion of this falsehood by the World Bank, the IMF, the UN IPCC, the government of the United States, and the globalist media. However, even Schellnhuber has admitted this much-ballyhooed two-degree “tipping point” of his is a political invention, not a scientific fact. “In an interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel,” The New American reported in January, 2016, “Schellnhuber admitted it is politics, not science, that is driving his agenda. ‘Two degrees is not a magical limit — it’s clearly a political goal,’ he told Der Spiegel. ‘The world will not come to an end right away in the event of stronger warming, nor are we definitely saved if warming is not as significant. The reality, of course, is much more complicated.’”

But now he is once again going simplistic, ignoring the previously admitted complexities. The reason is obvious: Like all of his fellow alarmists, he’s desperate. Global surface temperatures have remained stable for 20 years, even as man-made CO2 has continued to increase, defying the predictions of the alarmists. Climate realists (whom the alarmists vilify as “deniers”) are winning the debate with real science and real evidence. And President Trump is threatening to undo President Obama’s illegitimate climate deal with the UN, as well as defund the massive alarmist network that has been built with tens of billions of taxpayer dollars. So, time to get hysterically simplistic, bombastic, and alarmist again. …

In a frenzied effort to amp up the panic meter, Schellnhuber makes the ludicrous claim that we are headed toward a planetary warming of 12 degrees, which is triple what even the discredited and hysteria-prone IPPC and World Bank say is the “worst-case scenario” by 2060: 4 degrees Celsius. “We are at the crossroads now,” he claims. “We either say: this thing is too big for us, this task cannot be done. [Then] we will be transformed by nature, because we will end up with a planet warming by 4, 5, 6 or even 12 degrees. It would be the end of the world as we know it, and I have all the evidence.”

Yes, he has “all the evidence” — but don’t ask to see it. As is the case with so many of his climateer colleagues (Michael Mann, Phil Jones, James Hansen, John Cook, NASA, NOAA, et al. — see herehere, and here) — Schellnhuber and Potsdam like to make their sensational claims public, but not their sensational data, on which their claims are allegedly based. We are supposed to simply trust them. Sorry, Herr Schellnhuber, but real science and real liberty don’t work that way.

66 years ago today

If you drive on U.S. 14 far west enough from Madison, you will see this sign:

The sign tells a story, of course, repeated on the Village of Lone Rock web page:

… January 30, 1951, Lone Rock claimed dubious fame as the coldest spot in the nation when a minus 53-degree temperature was officially registered on a thermometer at the Tri-County Airport. Temperatures were so low that night that the official U.S. Weather Bureau thermometer couldn’t handle the actual reading. The instrument was made to measure temperatures down to a balmy minus 47.

According to a 1976 Home News’ story by Don Greenwood (and provided last week by Lone Rock historian Jim Greenheck), Ben Silko was working the night shift at the airport. When Silko attempted to make the official reading, he found the thermometer’s alcohol contracted into the bottom bulb well below the lowest calibrated mark on the thermometer. He then arrived at the official minus 53-degress reading by calibrating the distance from the top of the bulb upward to the minus 47-degree mark. It may actually have been several degrees colder, Silko said in 1976.

Jim Greenheck remembered that day. He went to work as usual at the Chevy garage in Lone Rock. “It was so quiet you could have heard a penny drop on the street,” said Greenheck. Arriving at work, he said last week: “Everything was frozen in the garage.” He received a call from the Bear Valley cheese factory where the milk truck failed to start. Driving a wrecker from the garage in Lone Rock to the cheese factory, Greenheck said the extreme cold caused some unusual physical consequences. “The paint flew off the hood off the truck,” he said. When he attempted to tow the stalled milk truck, its wheels were frozen so solidly that it skidded across the ground.

Uncle Tony Greenheck, mayor of Lone Rock, at the time, began fielding calls from media outlets around the nation as word spread of the frigid temperatures.

While wind currents flowing down a draw through Bear Valley in the direction of Lone Rock, and the Wisconsin River may have contributed to the harsh weather, Greenheck added: ‘We don’t get the weather that we used to get.” He speculated the global warming may be responsible.

(That brings to mind an interesting question in the global warming/climate change debate: What if global warming improves Wisconsin’s weather?)

Lone Rock’s cold night stood as the record for the coldest temperature in Wisconsin until Feb. 2 and 4, 1996, when Couderay dropped to 55 below zero. Couderay appears to not have marketed itself as Lone Rock did.

 

How to make money on “climate change”

This is not about Al Gore, though Al Gore certainly has made money on the irrational fear of man’s effect on Earth.

Wall Street Journal columnist Holman W. Jenkins Jr. may not be making money off “climate change” directly, but his employer is:

No contributor has written more frequently on the subject of climate change on these pages—45 times over the past 20 years according to the “study” behind a recent series of ads (at $27,309 a pop) assailing the Journal’s editorial page for its climate coverage.

Yet how ploddingly conventional my views have been: I’ve written that evidence of climate change is not evidence of what causes climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change agrees, in its latest report estimating with less than 100% confidence that a human role accounts for half the warming between 1951 and 2010.

I’ve written that it would be astonishing if human activity had no impact, but the important questions are how and how much. The IPCC agrees, estimating that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 from pre-industrial times would hike temperatures between 1.5 degrees and 4.5 degrees (Celsius), notably an increasein the range of uncertainty since its last report.

I’ve said science has been unable to discern signal from noise in the hunt for man-made warming. Yup, that’s why the IPCC relies on computer simulations. Indeed, the most telling words in its latest report are a question: “Are climate models getting better, and how would we know?”

I’ve said it’s difficult to justify action on cost-benefit grounds. The Obama administration agrees, acknowledging that its coal plans will cost many billions but have no meaningful impact on climate even a century from now.

So how many columns out of 45 win approval from the Partnership for Responsible Growth, the new group paying for the Journal-baiting ad? Only two, describing the superiority of a carbon tax, the option the Partnership exists to plump for, compared to other climate nostrums.

Here’s what else I’ve learned in 20 years. Many advocates of climate policy are ignoramuses on the subject of climate science, and nothing about the Partnership for Economic Progress—founded by former Democratic congressman Walt Minnick plus a couple of big donors—breaks with this tradition.

Only a nincompoop would treat a complex set of issues like human impact on climate as a binary “yes/no” question—as the Partnership and many climate policy promoters do. Only an idiot would ask an alleged “expert” what he knows without showing any curiosity about how he knows it—a practice routine among climate-advocating journalists.

So Tom Gjelten, host of a recent NPR discussion of the Journal ad controversy, is completely satisfied when Matt Nisbet, a professor of communications studies at Northeastern University, explains, “On the fundamentals of climate science, there is absolutely no debates. The overwhelming majority of scientists . . . strongly agree that climate change is happening, that it’s human-caused and that it’s an urgent problem.”

Notice that he doesn’t cite any science but an (undocumented) agreement of people who agree with him, while conflating three very different questions.

To be sure, Prof. Nisbet then promptly covers his derrière and takes it all back, saying: “In the field, there is some disagreement on the pace of climate change, the severity, its specific impacts.”

By then the damage is done. The discussion proceeds on the basis that anybody who takes part in this disagreement about pace, severity and specific impacts is a denier and enemy of science.

Here’s what you also won’t learn from most climate reporting: Climate models that predict significant warming presume natural feedbacks that magnify the impact of human-released carbon dioxide by 100% to 400%. Models that presume no dominant feedbacks see warming of only about one degree Celsius over the entire course of a doubling of atmospheric CO2. Who knows what future scientific advances will reveal, but models that assume minimal feedback are more consistent with the warming seen so far—and remember, we’ve been burning coal for 200 years and accumulating temperature records for longer than that.

The U.S. political system gets a bad rap but has rationally concluded that it can’t sell large costs on this evidence. More to the point, never has it been the case that major legislation or policy departures are adopted only when all opposition and dissent are silenced. The premise of the assault on Exxon, the Journal, other campaigns against “deniers,” is worse than foolish. The climate crowd has turned to persecuting critics as a substitute for meaningful climate action because, as President Obama has acutely observed, voters won’t support their efforts to jack up energy prices.

Functionally, whatever advocates tell themselves, these attacks end up churning the waters and propagandizing for those niggling little things that actually can be enacted, having no impact on climate but lining the pockets of organized interests who return the favor with campaign donations.

That’s how our political system behaves, on climate and most other subjects—which perhaps explains why voters are so tired of the people who man our political system.

If the Wall Street Journal is selling $27,000 ads from Jenkins’ work, Jenkins either deserves a raise or a commission from the ads.