2018: Trump Winning, IPCC Losing

Trump vs IPCC
Don’t take it from me, this is the state of affairs according to IPCC insiders. This report comes from a carbon alarmist who is dismayed by recent developments in the battle against global warming.

The Paris Climate Agreement versus the Trump Effect: Countervailing Forces for Decarbonisation  by Joseph Curtin, Senior Fellow, Institute of International and European Affairs.  Excerpts below in italics with my bolds.

In this publication, IIEA Senior Fellow Joseph Curtin argues that the “Trump Effect” has created a powerful countervailing force acting against the momentum which the Paris Agreement on climate change hoped to generate.

At the heart of the Agreement is an “ambition mechanism”, under which Parties are required to make progressively more ambitious pledges to reduce emissions following global “stocktakes” every five years. This mechanism was designed to catalyse greater efforts over the coming decades, but the Trump Effect has applied a brake via three distinct channels:

  • US Federal rollbacks have increased the attractiveness of fossil fuel investments globally;
  • The US decision to withdraw from the Agreement has created moral and political cover for others to follow suit; and
  • Goodwill at international negotiations has been damaged.

Domestic regulatory rollbacks are increasing the cost of ambition

The widespread rollback of Federal regulations is reducing risk premiums associated with investing in dirty technologies. It is true that market fundamentals and sub-Federal initiatives will ameliorate some of the damage. However, at the very least years of stasis, litigation and uncertainty can be anticipated. We can already see an impact. Following Paris, there was a plunge in investment in the dirtiest fossil fuel investments (coal and tar sands) in 2016, but the Trump Effect reversed the trend in 2017, while investment in renewables has declined. Given the size of the US economy, slower deployment of green technologies flattens learning curves globally, making it harder for other Parties to take on more ambitious pledges in the future.

In the first case, withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, and the concurrent roll-back of domestic regulation, is slowing the rate of investment in green technologies at a time when rapid scaling up is required. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), meeting agreed global targets will require an estimated $3.5 trillion in energy-sector investments each year until 2050, about double the current level of investment. US withdrawal has the potential to undermine the “ambition mechanism” over time.

The first steps have been taken to repeal the Clean Power Plan, and to freeze fuel efficiency standards for vehicles at 2020 levels, among many other environmental policy roll-backs. Some have argued that these reversals have not yet taken effect, and, in any case, that their impact will be marginal if they ever do, because many clean investments are underpinned by market fundamentals, such as cheap natural gas prices and the falling costs of renewable energy. This view is supported by others who have argued that the Trump Effect will be ameliorated by the sub-Federal responses amalgamated under the “We Are Still In” initiative. Former Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, and the Governor of California, Jerry Brown, have even argued that these efforts would “put the country within striking distance of the 26% reduction in greenhouse gases, by 2025, that the United States promised to hit in Paris”. 

However, these noble efforts and associated pronouncements not only put the brightest possible spin on city, state and business initiatives, they also understate the impact of Federal reversals. At the very least,years of stasis, regulatory process and subsequent litigation await, creating considerable uncertainty and affecting the risk perceptions. This in turn feeds into the cost of capital—a central determinant of the pace of technology deployment in the marketplace.

By creating uncertainty, the Trump Effect has already changed the calculus facing investors. Following Paris, in 2016 there was a plunge in investment in dirty assets like coal and tar sands, reflecting their increasing risk profiles as investors sought to determine if political leaders were serious about their stated intentions. This is because fossil fuels investments face “stranding” risk in a carbon-constrained world, potentially inducing very significant financial losses, and this is particularly the case for the most emissions-intensive sources of energy. However, the Trump Effect has reduced the risk premium associated with these investments by creating the impression that the era of fossil fuels may not be drawing to a close, or at least not as rapidly as the Agreement in Paris had suggested. Analysis has found that a sharp flight from the dirtiest fossil fuels investments was reversed in 2017, and that American banks led a race back into unconventional energy. For example, JPMorgan Chase quadrupled its tar sands investments. In the coal sector, among 36 banks surveyed in the same study, investment increased by 6% in 2017 after a 38% drop in 2016. The other side of the same coin is that, according to the IEA, investment in renewables declined by 7% in 2017. Its Executive Director, Dr Fatih Birol, ascribed this to the uncertainties created by politics.

In the long-run, the Trump Effect may not fundamentally challenge the underlying logic or the economic case for decarbonisation, but in the short-run its impact is already evident. Given the size of the US economy, slower deployment of green technologies not only affects the pace of decarbonisation in the US, but it also somewhat flattens “learning curves” for green technology globally. This in turn could damage the “ambition mechanism” of the Paris Agreement, although the importance and magnitude of these impacts remains speculative.

US withdrawal creates political and moral cover for further defections

While major players including the EU, India and China remain committed to the Paris Agreement, and are on track to achieve their pledges, the Trump Effect has emboldened others to shirk their commitments. The Russian Federation and Turkey have abandoned plans to ratify, while Australia abandoned measures to comply with the Agreement, all citing President Trump. Most significantly, the newly elected President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has promised to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, following in footsteps of President Trump.

Social psychologists like Jonathan Haidt have suggested that evolutionary dynamics hardwire a sense of fairness and reciprocity into the human psyche.  Research has uncovered a tendency for parties to step away from negotiations when commonly held principles of fairness are perceived to have been transgressed,  and this applies even for beneficial deals.  Needless to add, the moral authority of the US to punish defection from the Paris consensus has also been sacrificed. Withdrawal therefore creates political space for other wealthy countries to follow suit—if the wealthiest and most powerful of all is not playing ball, they may well ask, then why should they?

The Trump Effect therefore leaves a moral vacuum at the heart of the Agreement, which makes building new global norms around decarbonisation more challenging. . . It has been reported by several media (not least the New York Times and Washington Post) that most national governments are falling far short on promises to curb GHGs, creating the impression of an Agreement in crisis.

Goodwill at international negotiations is being damaged

At ongoing international climate negotiations, the Trump Effect is slowing progress. The Trump Administration has reneged on a pledge to the Green Climate Fund, leaving an outstanding liability of $2 billion, and has opposed stringent rules for reporting on efforts to scale up financial commitments from rich countries. These decisions have aggravated distrust between developed and developing countries, which is a necessary ingredient for progress. Meanwhile, the EU, China and India, which have room to take on more ambitious commitments in 2020, are unlikely to play their cards in the absence of a similar commitment from the US. In this manner, the Trump Effect could grind the Paris “ambition mechanism” to a halt.

Following withdrawal, US officials have continued to attend, and have even played a constructive role at times. Negotiations have moved on to considering the rulebook to monitor pledge implementation. Key differences remain over the accounting rules to be used; the information to be included; and the extent to which the same rules should be universally applied. China and other emerging economies proposed that some elements of these updates should only be compulsory for developed countries. The Umbrella Group (led by the US, and supported by the EU) opposes any differentiation, and the US delegation remains resolutely opposed to providing funding for “loss and damage” associated with climate impacts. But these positions are holdovers from the Obama Administration.

However, when it comes to climate finance there has been a Trump Effect. Pledges of hard grant-aid have always lubricated the wheels of international agreements between wealthy and poorer countries. While the Obama Administration promised $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund, which was established in 2009 as a conduit for funds, the Trump Administration has reversed this decision, leaving an outstanding liability of $2 billion.

Controversy has surrounded the workings of the Green Climate Fund, and while the funding gap created by the Trump administration has been a key problem, it has faced other unrelated governance and administrative challenges. . . Developed countries, including the US, are opposed to reporting on climate finance as part of their pledge updates. They oppose stringent rules and want more private capital to meet their commitments, whereas developing countries are calling for more grant-aid. Observers to negotiations are concerned that the Trump administration’s uncompromising position on finance may be influencing other developed countries, which in turn may be feeding into a broader divide and sour negotiations.

At the time of writing, it is unclear if this process will yield any increases in pledge ambition in 2020. In previous cases “horse-trading” of increased ambition took place. For example, the US and China jointly agreed their pledges and prior to that the EU promised to increase its ambition (for 2020) if similar pledges were forthcoming from other parties. The EU Commissioner for Climate Action, Miguel Arias Cañete, has indicated a willingness to increasing the EU’s Paris pledge to a 45% GHGs cut by 2030,51 although Germany and Poland are opposed to any increased ambition on competitiveness grounds. There also appears to be technical scope for India and China to increase pledges based, but in both cases there would also be domestic opposition to pledge increases to be overcome. We therefore see these Parties as unlikely to play their cards in the absence of a similar move from the US. On this basis, it is unlikely that more ambitious pledges will be forthcoming before the end of 2020.

Conclusion

In this analysis, we uncover considerable evidence of a distinct Trump Effect, which is counteracting the momentum created by the Paris Agreement. The US economy is large enough to affect global technology learning curves, and the uncertainty created by the withdrawal has already altered the risk profiles associated with green versus fossil fuel technologies. Furthermore, withdrawal appears to violate commonly held perceptions of fairness, and there are reduced reputational, political and economic risks for turning one’s back on the Agreement, as already evidenced by the decisions of Turkey and Australia; and the EU, China and India are perhaps less likely to play their hands and increase ambition before the end of 2020, given the posture of the US. Finally, there has been a Trump Effect at international negotiations, particularly in the area of climate finance, which has diminished goodwill between developing and developed country Parties – an intangible commodity, but nonetheless a vital ingredient for progress.

“The Paris Accord is not dead, it is just resting.”

And there is more evidence that the Paris Accord is a dead parrot.  Lawrence Solomon of Energy Probe writes in the Financial Post: Paris is dead. The global warming deniers have won. Excerpts below with my bolds.

As Solomon sees it, events are unfolding in a way that proves Trump’s wisdom in withdrawing the US from the failing Paris Accord.

Huge Expansion of Coal-fired Power Plants

The Global Coal Plant Tracker portal confirmed that coal is on a tear, with 1600 plants planned or under construction in 62 countries. The champion of this coal-building binge is China, which boasts 11 of the world’s 20 largest coal-plant developers, and which is building 700 of the 1600 new plants, many in foreign countries, including high-population countries such as Egypt and Pakistan that until now have burned little or no coal.

China builds UHV projects across regions allowing coal-fired power stations to be built near coal reserves, away from population centers

All told, the plants underway represent a phenomenal 43 per cent increase in coal-fired power capacity, making Trump’s case that China and other Third World countries are eating the West’s lunch, using climate change as a club to kneecap us with expensive power while enriching themselves.

Sagging Investment in Renewables

As reported by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, renewables investment fell in 2016 by 18 per cent over the peak year of 2015, and nine per cent over 2014. In the first two quarters of 2017, the trend continued downward, with double-digit year-over-year declines in each of the first two quarters. Even that paints a falsely rosy picture, since the numbers were propped up by vanity projects, such as the showy solar plants built in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. In the U.K., renewable investment declined by 90 per cent.

None of the Bloomberg data represents hard economic data, however, since virtually all renewables facilities are built with funny money — government subsidies of various kinds. As those subsidies come off, a process that has begun, new investment will approach zero per cent, and the renewables industry will collapse. Even with Obama-sized subsidies, the clean-energy industry has seen massive bankruptcies, the largest among them in recent months being Europe’s largest solar panel producer, SolarWorld, in May, and America’s Suniva, in April.

Renewables are Environmental Hazards

As reported in July in Daily Caller, solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per kilowatt-hour than nuclear reactors — they are laden with lead, chromium, cadmium and other heavy metals damned by environmentalists; employ hazardous materials such as sulfuric acid and phosphine gas in their manufacture; and emit nitrogen trifluoride, a powerful greenhouse gas that is 17,200 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas over a 100-year time period.

acciona_wind_xl_410_282_80_c1

Climate Doom and Gloom Predictions Prove Unreliable

One recent admission comes from Oxford’s Myles Allen, an author of a recent study in Nature Geoscience: “We haven’t seen that rapid acceleration in warming after 2000 that we see in the models,” he stated, saying that erroneous models produced results that “were on the hot side,” leading to forecasts of warming and inundations of Pacific islands that aren’t happening. Other eye-openers came in the discovery that the Pacific Ocean is cooling, the Arctic ice is expanding, the polar bears are thriving and temperatures did indeed stop climbing over 15 years.

polar-bear-and-al-gore-meme

Public Opinion Manipulated by Fake Evidence

As the Daily Caller and the Wall Street Journal both reported in April, Obama administration officials are admitting they faked scientific evidence to manipulate public opinion. “What you saw coming out of the press releases about climate data, climate analysis, was, I’d say, misleading, sometimes just wrong,” former Energy Department Undersecretary Steven Koonin told the Journal, in explaining how spin was used, for example, to mislead the public into thinking hurricanes have become more frequent.

an_inconvenient_lighter

The evidence against Paris continues to mount. Paris remains dead.  

 

 

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Brazil’s Brave Eco-Realism

Ricardo de Aquino Salles, former São Paulo’s Secretary of Environment, has been appointed by Jair Bolsonaro to head the Ministry of Environment Divulgação

Climate Change Is a Secondary Issue, Says Future Minister Of Environment is published at Folha de S.Paulo, December 8 2018. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Ricardo Salles says that until now, Brazilian environment policy decisions have been based on “guesswork”

Appointed on Sunday (9th) by president-elect Jair Bolsonaro (PSL), the future Minister of Environment Ricardo Salles classifies the debate around climate change as “pointless” at the moment.

Salles, a lawyer, told Folha that his goal is to “develop Brazil. We will preserve the environment with no ideology and in a very reasonable matter.”

“We will respect all those who work and bring Brazil forth, not only in farming but also in all industries, including infrastructure,” he said.

The future minister also said that there are practical issues to be addressed at the beginning of the administration, such as the preservation of soil and water, and recovering areas affected by deforestation. However, he declined to talk about climate change. “Right now this debate is pointless.”

Salles ran for House Representative for right-wing party Partido Novo in the 2018 elections but didn’t gain a seat. He is one of the founders of the conservative movement “Endireita Brasil” (Straighten Up, Brazil). When asked about how his relationship with environmentalists, Salles said: “Everyone will be respected and heard.”

Bolsonaro’s ideas for the Ministry of the Environment have been the target of controversy even before the election. During the campaign, he promised to merge the department with the Ministry of Agriculture but eventually backed out of the idea after pressure from environmentalists and ruralists.

Salles appointment comes in the wake of negative repercussions generated by the Brazilian government’s withdrawal from hosting the UN Climate Conference COP25 in 2019. Although the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has declared that the reason was lack of budget, Folha reported that those issues had already been resolved.

Footnote from Climate Home:

Salles served as secretary of environment in Sao Paulo state government, when centrist Geraldo Alckmin was governor and had ample support from Brazilian industry and agriculture groups to become minister. He leads a business-friendly organisation in Brazil called Movimento Endireita Brasil, that backs less bureaucracy and lower taxes.

The ministry of environment oversees hundreds of protected areas, which encompass almost 10% of Brazil’s territory. Most of them are in the Amazon. It also controls Ibama, an environmental agency which acts as a police force and is also in charge of the licensing process for oil wells, federal highways and hydroelectric plants.

Asked if Bolsonaro’s government would abandon the Paris Agreement, Salles said: “Let’s examine carefully the most sensitive points and, once the analysis is over [we will make the decision], remembering that national sovereignty over territory is non-negotiable”.

Salles ministry does not directly oversee Brazil’s participation in the Paris Agreement, but it works closely with the foreign office on the issue.

The appointed minister Salles said defending the environment was of “unquestionable value”. But said protections must comply with the rule of law and due legal process, echoing Bolsonaro’s view that the ministry of environment is controlled by a “militant ideology” that persecutes agribusiness.

Postscript:

This reminds of the uproar after Scott Pruitt was appointed to lead the US EPA.  In his hearings he rejected the false dichotomy:  If you are for the environment, you are against development; and if you are for development, you are against the environment.  Eventually Pruitt was forced out, partly due to his own missteps, but mostly due to his ideological enemies.  Let’s see how Salles fares against the same unbending opposition.

 

5 Signs Eco-pessimists are Wrong

This video accompanied an editorial at Investor’s Business Daily Climate Hoax: Global CO2 Emissions Spike, Despite Paris Climate Pledges.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Climate Change: Three years after leaders from around the world signed on to the Paris climate agreement, pledging to cut their carbon footprints, global CO2 emissions accelerated. Does anyone still think President Donald Trump was wrong for pulling the U.S. out of this sham agreement?

According to the Global Carbon Project, which monitors this, global CO2 emissions climbed by 1.6% last year. They are on track to shoot up by 2.7% this year. That’s after three years of annual emissions remaining flat.

Worse After Paris Deal

Wait a minute. The accelerating growth in carbon emissions came after some 200 countries signed the Paris agreement?

At the time, Barack Obama called the Paris agreement “an enduring agreement that reduces global carbon pollution and sets the world on a course to a low-carbon future. ”

It “sends a powerful signal that the world is firmly committed to a low-carbon future,” Obama said. He even called the agreement “a turning point for the world.”

Annual CO2 measured at Mauna Loa through 2017.

Right.

The reality is that nations need energy to grow. And the best and most economical forms of energy are oil, natural gas and coal.

CO2 ppm added in the last three years.
(60-year rate 1.53ppm)

2015   2.18ppm
2016   3.38ppm
2017   2.32ppm

So, while all those leaders were making promises and bragging about how they were saving the planet, their economies were increasing the use of fossil fuels.

As the New York Times laments in its front-page story, “Even as coal has fallen out of favor in some markets, the rise in emissions has been driven by stronger demand for natural gas and oil, scientists said. And even as the use of renewable energy like solar and wind power has expanded exponentially, it has not been enough to offset the increased use of fossil fuels.”

China Builds Coal Plants
China — already the single largest contributor of CO2 emissions — will see emissions climb by 4.7%. It continues to build coal-fired plants within its borders, as well as in sub-Saharan Africa, the Times notes.

India’s emissions will likely shoot up by more than 6% this year, as the country tries to do things like bring electricity to 300 million people — almost equal to the entire population of the U.S. — who don’t have it.

As we noted in this space recently, not one of the G20 countries is close to meeting the CO2 emissions targets they pledged to reach in the Paris deal.

This is all further evidence that whatever these leaders claim, and no matter how many end-of-the-world predictions environmentalists make, nobody is serious about drastically cutting CO2 emissions by anywhere near the levels climate scientists say is needed to prevent “global catastrophe.”

Witness the retreat this week by climate-change champion and French President Emmanuel Macron, who suspended the country’s relatively modest carbon tax plan — which would have raised gas prices by 12 cents a gallon — after violent protests broke out across the country.

Or look at liberal Washington state, whose voters overwhelmingly rejected a carbon tax in the midterm elections.

Or look at any poll that measures public priorities and see how low climate change ranks. The latest IBD/TIPP poll found that only 17% ranked dealing with climate change as a top priority for the new Congress.

The Wrong Approach

We’re not complaining about this, mind you. We think all the doom-and-gloom scenarios are wild speculations based on dubious 100-year computer forecasts. And the environmentalist agenda has less to do with saving the planet and more to do with controlling everyone’s lives.

Even if the climate does warm as predicted, the better approach is to adapt to changing environments, if and when they occur. Not wreck entire economies in a futile attempt to stop it.

If nothing else, mankind has proved its remarkable ability to survive and thrive in the harshest environments on Earth.

The sooner world leaders come realize this, the better.

See also UN “Stretches” CO2 Goals

The blue line is CO2 in ppm observed at Mauna Loa. The linear regression line shows the continuation of the 1.53 ppm per year rate projected to the end of this century. As noted above the blue line is already exceeding the earlier rate. The orange line shows CO2 hitting 430 ppm in 2032 at the 1.53 rate, or earlier if more recent rates continue. For example, if the 2.14 ppm per year rate continues, 430 ppm is reached by 2028. The red 450 scenario is reached in 2045. Both scenarios presume zero additional CO2 after those dates.

 

Sorry NYT, Climate Change Won’t Savage Big Oil

 

energy-dominanceLast week New York Times published Trump’s ‘Energy Dominance’ Doctrine Is Undermined by Climate Change.  (H/T Matthew Kahn) Excerpts below in italics with my bolds

“Climate change disrupts everything, including Trump’s agenda,” said Alice Hill, a research fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution think tank who served as senior director for resilience policy on the National Security Council under President Barack Obama.

When it comes to fossil fuel production, the disruptions are particularly serious. And there’s a fundamental irony at play. Even as emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are warming the planet, the consequences of that warming will make it harder to drill for oil, mine for coal and deliver fuel through pipelines.

Energy systems in the Southeast are particularly vulnerable, the report said, with some 200 power plants and oil refineries exposed to flooding from hurricanes and fiercer storm surges. Scientists estimate, if sea levels rise nationally 3.3 feet (a figure it describes as on the “high end of the very likely range” for what the country could see by 2100), it could expose dozens of power plants currently considered to be in safe zones to risks of 100-year floods. That would jeopardize about 25 gigawatts of operating power capacity, or power for about 18 million homes.

Along the Gulf Coast — home to a significant proportion of the United States oil production and refining industry — energy infrastructure faces a similar and more immediate risk. A sea level rise of less than 1.6 feet could double the number of refineries in Texas and Louisiana vulnerable to flooding by the end of the century.

Yet energy analysts cautioned against expectations that the effects of climate change will cause irreparable harm to the fossil fuel industry or make oil, gas and coal production fundamentally unattractive to investors. Sarah Ladislaw, an energy analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, noted that the oil and gas sector has a long history of managing risks, including figuring out how to operate in politically unstable countries and prodding governments to loosen regulations they find too burdensome.

Climate change will add “headwinds” to fossil fuel companies, make production more costly in some areas and less competitive in others, Ms. Ladislaw said. But, she added, “If you’re waiting for climate impacts to be the end of the oil and gas industry, that’s not going to happen.”

Despite the US now leading the world in fossil fuel production, warmists dream of  bringing down the oil majors.  The scenario is expressed in all its glory in the legal documents produced  in recent years, in support of shareholder proposals meant to financially weaken Exxon, Shell, BP, etc.  But Ms. Ladislaw is correct,  too many unlikely things have to happen for this dream to come true.

Now let’s unbundle the chain of suppositions that comprise this scenario.

  • Supposition 1: A 2C global warming target is internationally agreed.
  • Supposition 2: Carbon Restrictions are enacted by governments to comply with the target.
  • Supposition 3: Demand for oil and gas products is reduced due to restrictions
  • Supposition 4: Oil and gas assets become uneconomic for lack of demand.
  • Supposition 5: Company net worth declines by depressed assets and investors lose value.

1.Suppose an International Agreement to limit global warming to 2C.

From the supporting statement to the Exxon shareholder proposal, attorney Sanford Lewis provides these assertions:

Recognizing the severe and pervasive economic and societal risks associated with a warming climate, global governments have agreed that increases in global temperature should be held below 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels (Cancun Agreement).

Failing to meet the 2 degree goal means, according to scientists, that the world will face massive coastal flooding, increasingly severe weather events, and deepening climate disruption. It will impose billions of dollars in damage on the global economy, and generate an increasing number of climate refugees worldwide.

Climate change and the risks it is generating for companies have become major concerns for investors. These concerns have been magnified by the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) in Paris, where 195 global governments agreed to restrict greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to no more than 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels and submitted plans to begin achieving the necessary GHG emission reductions. In the agreement, signatories also acknowledged the need to strive to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees, recognizing current and projected harms to low lying islands.

Yet a careful reading of UN agreements shows commitment is exaggerated:
David Campbell (here):

Neither 2°C nor any other specific target has ever been agreed at the UN climate change negotiations.

Article 2 of the Paris Agreement in fact provides only that it ‘aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change … including by the holding the increase to well below 2°C’. This is an expression, not of setting a concrete limit, but merely of an aspiration to set such a limit. It is true that Article 2 is expressed in a deplorably equivocatory and convoluted language which fails to convey this vital point, indeed it obscures it. But nevertheless that is what Article 2 means.

Dieter Helm (here):

Nothing of substance has been achieved in the last quarter of a century despite all the efforts and political capital that has been applied. The Paris Agreement follows on from Kyoto. The pledges – in the unlikely event they are met – will not meet the 2C target, shipping and aviation are excluded, and the key developing countries (China and India) are not committed to capping their emission for at least another decade and a half (or longer in India’s case)

None of the pledges is, in any event, legally binding. For this reason, the Paris Agreement can be regarded as the point at which the UN negotiating approach turned effectively away from a top down approach, and instead started to rely on a more country driven and hence bottom up one.

Paul Spedding:

The international community is unlikely to agree any time soon on a global mechanism for putting a price on carbon emissions.

2: Suppose Governments enact restrictions that limit use of fossil fuels.

Despite the wishful thinking in the first supposition, the activists proceed on the basis of aspirations and reporting accountability. Sanford Lewis:

Although the reduction goals are not set forth in an enforceable agreement, the parties put mechanisms in place for transparent reporting by countries and a ratcheting mechanism every five years to create accountability for achieving these goals. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon summarized the Paris Agreement as follows: “The once Unthinkable [global action on climate change] has become the Unstoppable.”

Now we come to an interesting bait and switch. Since Cancun, IPCC is asserting that global warming is capped at 2C by keeping CO2 concentration below 450 ppm. From Summary for Policymakers (SPM) AR5

Emissions scenarios leading to CO2-equivalent concentrations in 2100 of about 450 ppm or lower are likely to maintain warming below 2°C over the 21st century relative to pre-industrial levels. These scenarios are characterized by 40 to 70% global anthropogenic GHG emissions reductions by 2050 compared to 2010, and emissions levels near zero or below in 2100.

Thus is born the “450 Scenario” by which governments can be focused upon reducing emissions without any reference to temperature measurements, which are troublesome and inconvenient.

Sanford Lewis:

Within the international expert community, “2 degree” is generally used as shorthand for a low carbon scenario under which CO2 concentrations in the earth’s atmosphere are stabilized at a level of 450 parts per million (ppm) or lower, representing approximately an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from current levels, which according to certain computer simulations would be likely to limit warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and is considered by some to reduce the likelihood of significant adverse impacts based on analyses of historical climate variability. Company Letter, page 4.

Clever as it is to substitute a 450 ppm target for 2C, the mathematics are daunting. Joe Romm:

We’re at 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year — rising 3.3% per year — and we have to average below 18 billion tons a year for the entire century if we’re going to stabilize at 450 ppm. We need to peak around 2015 to 2020 at the latest, then drop at least 60% by 2050 to 15 billion tons (4 billion tons of carbon), and then go to near zero net carbon emissions by 2100.

Note:  In  the run up to COP24 in Katowice, IPCC stalwarts increased the ambition to 1.5C of additional warming, which translates to 430 ppm.  Presently Mauna Loa reports 407 and rising.

And the presumed climate sensitivity to CO2 is hypothetical and unsupported by observations:

3.Suppose that demand for oil and gas products is reduced by the high costs imposed on such fuels.

Sanford Lewis:

ExxonMobil recognized in its 2014 10-K that “a number of countries have adopted, or are considering adoption of, regulatory frameworks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” and that such policies, regulations, and actions could make its “products more expensive, lengthen project implementation timelines and reduce demand for hydrocarbons,” but ExxonMobil has not presented any analysis of how its portfolio performs under a 2 degree scenario.

Moreover, the Company’s current use of a carbon proxy price, which it asserts as its means of calculating climate policy impacts, merely amplifies and reflects its optimistic assessments of national and global climate policies. The Company Letter notes that ExxonMobil is setting an internal price as high as $80 per ton; in contrast, the 2014 Report notes a carbon price of $1000 per ton to achieve the 450 ppm (2 degree scenario) and the Company reportedly stated during the recent Paris climate talks that a 1.5 degree scenario would require a carbon price as high as $2000 per ton within the next hundred years.

Peter Trelenberg, manager of environmental policy and planning at Exxon Mobil reportedly told the Houston Chronicle editorial board: Trimming carbon emissions to the point that average temperatures would rise roughly 1.6 degrees Celsius – enabling the planet to avoid dangerous symptoms of carbon pollution – would bring costs up to $2,000 a ton of CO2. That translates to a $20 a gallon boost to pump prices by the end of this century… .

Even those who think emissions should be capped somehow see through the wishful thinking in these numbers. Dieter Helm:

The combination of the shale revolution and the ending of the commodity super cycle probably point to a period of low prices for sometime to come. This is unfortunate timing for current decarbonisation policies, many of which are predicated on precisely the opposite happening – high and rising prices, rendering current renewables economic. Low oil prices, cheap coal, and falling gas prices, and their impacts on driving down wholesale electricity prices, are the new baseline against which to consider policy interventions.

With existing technologies, it is a matter of political will, and the ability to bring the main polluters on board, as to whether the envelope will be breached. There are good reasons to doubt that any top down agreement will work sufficiently well to achieve it.

The end of fossil fuels is not about to happen anytime soon, and will not be caused by running out of any of them. There is more than enough to fry the planet several times over, and technological progress in the extraction of fossil fuels has recently been at least as fast as for renewables. We live in an age of fossil fuel abundance.

We also live in a world where fossil fuel prices have fallen, and where the common assumption that prices will bounce back, and that the cycle of fossil fuel prices will not only reassert itself but also continue on a rising trend, may be seriously misguided. It is plausible to at least argue that the oil price may never regain its peaks in 1979 and 2008 again.

A world with stable or falling fossil fuel prices turns the policy assumptions of the last decade or so on their heads. Instead of assuming that rising prices would ease the transition to low carbon alternatives, many of the existing technologies will probably need permanent subsidies. Once the full system costs are incorporated, current generation wind (especially offshore) and current generation solar may be out of the market except in special locations for the foreseeable future. In any event, neither can do much to address the sheer scale of global emissions.

Primary Energy Demand Projection

4.Suppose oil and gas reserves are stranded for lack of demand.

Sanford Lewis:

Achievement of even a 2 degree goal requires net zero global emissions to be attained by 2100. Achieving net zero emissions this century means that the vast majority of fossil fuel reserves cannot be burned. As noted by Mark Carney, the President of the Bank of England, the carbon budget associated with meeting the 2 degree goal will “render the vast majority of reserves ‘stranded’ – oil, gas, and coal that will be literally unburnable without expensive carbon capture technology, which itself alters fossil fuel economics.”

A concern expressed by some of our stakeholders is whether such a “low carbon scenario” could impact ExxonMobil’s reserves and operations – i.e., whether this would result in unburnable proved reserves of oil and natural gas.

Decisions to abandon reserves are not as simple or have the effects as desired by activists.

Financial Post (here):

The 450 Scenario is not the IEA’s central scenario. At this point, government policies to limit GHG emissions are not stringent enough to stimulate this level of change. However, for discussion purposes let’s use the IEA’s 450 Scenario to examine the question of stranded assets in crude oil investing. Would some oil reserves be “stranded” under the IEA’s scenario of demand reversal?

A considerable amount of new oil projects must be developed to offset the almost 80 per cent loss in legacy production by 2040. This continued need for new oil projects for the next few decades and beyond means that the majority of the value of oil reserves on the books of public companies must be realized, and will not be “stranded”.

While most of these reserves will be developed, could any portion be stranded in this scenario? The answer is surely “yes.” In any industry a subset of the inventory that is comprised of inferior products will be susceptible to being marginalized when there is declining demand for goods. In a 450 ppm world, inferior products in the oil business will be defined by higher cost and higher carbon intensity.

5.Suppose shareholders fear declining company net worth.

Now we come to the underlying rationale for this initiative.

Paul Spedding:

Commodity markets have repeatedly proved vulnerable to expectations that prices will fall. Given the political pressure to mitigate the impact of climate change, smart investors will be watching closely for indications of policies that will lead to a drop in demand and the possibility that their assets will become financially stranded.

Equity markets are famously irrational, and if energy company shareholders can be spooked into selling off, a death spiral can be instigated. So far though, investors are smarter than they are given credit.

Bloomberg:

Fossil-fuel divestment has been a popular issue in recent years among college students, who have protested at campuses around the country. Yet even with the movement spreading to more than 1,000 campuses, only a few dozen schools have placed some restrictions on their commitments to the energy sector. Cornell University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University are among the largest endowments to reject demands to divest.

Stanford Board of Trustees even said:

As trustees, we are convinced that the global community must develop effective alternatives to fossil fuels at sufficient scale, so that fossil fuels will not continue to be extracted and used at the present rate. Stanford is deeply engaged in finding alternatives through its research. However, despite the progress being made, at the present moment oil and gas remain integral components of the global economy, essential to the daily lives of billions of people in both developed and emerging economies. Moreover, some oil and gas companies are themselves working to advance alternative energy sources and develop other solutions to climate change. The complexity of this picture does not allow us to conclude that the conditions for divestment outlined in the Statement on Investment Responsibility have been met.

Update:  Universities are not the exception in finding the alarmist case unconvincing, according to a survey:

Almost half of the world’s top 500 investors are failing to act on climate change — an increase of 6 percent from 236 in 2014, according to a report Monday by the Asset Owners Disclosure Project, which surveys global companies on their climate change risk and management.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Japan Post Insurance Co Ltd., Kuwait Investment Authority and China’s SAFE Investment Company, are the four biggest funds that scored zero in the survey. The 246 “laggards” identified as not acting hold $14 trillion in assets, the report said.

Summary

Alarmists have failed to achieve their goals through political persuasion and elections. So they are turning to legal and financial tactics. Their wishful thinking appears as an improbable chain of events built upon a Paris agreement without substance.

Last word to David Campbell:

International policy has so far been based on the premise that mitigation is the wisest course, but it is time for those committed to environmental intervention to abandon the idea of mitigation in favour of adaptation to climate change’s effects.

For more on adapting vs. mitigating, see Adapting Works, Mitigating Fails

shutterstock_276290831

Balancing on a set of suppositions.

 

Monotonic Climate Science

The Greek word for “one tone” is monotonia, which is the root for both monotone and the closely-related word monotonous, which means “dull and tedious.” Monotone is a droning, unchanging tone. A continuous sound, especially someone’s voice, that doesn’t rise and fall in pitch, is a monotone. Nothing can put you to sleep quite as effectively as a teacher talking in a monotone.

Monotonic climate science was on full display this week as journalists, pundits and tweeters freaked out over a comment by the new US ambassador to Canada.  Her offense:  saying there were two sides on the climate issue and she respects them both.

The story from CBC:  The new U.S. ambassador to Canada said Monday that she believes “both sides” of climate change science.

In an interview with Canada’s CBC News, Kelly Knight Craft said that she believes there is “accurate” science on “both sides” but did not specify what sides she was referring to.

“I believe there are sciences on both sides that are accurate,” Craft said. “Both sides have their own results from their studies, and I appreciate and respect both sides of the science.”

President Trump appointed Craft, a prominent GOP fundraiser, to the ambassadorship earlier this year.

Craft told CBC that even though Trump has pledged to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, she thinks the U.S. can “absolutely” fight climate climate change.

“We all have the same goal, and that is to better our environment and to maintain the environment,” she said. “I feel like our administration has been on top of this regardless of whether or not they’d be pulling out.”

It is true Ambassador Craft had the look of a deer in the headlights.  She is from Kentucky where one doesn’t encounter sanctimonious warmists as frequently as in Ottawa, and especially not ones determined to get a “gotcha” quote from her.

All the comments at alarmist websites are dissing her for thinking the issue could have two differing points of view. Going further, they repeatedly claim “science” does not have two sides, not now, not ever. And, of course, she offends them by saying she respects people on both sides of the matter. As an Ambassador, she sought common ground without going into the specifics of how the US is actually reducing its CO2 emissions while Canada has not.

The damage here goes beyond climate science to the degradation of all scientific disciplines.  These smug journalists and their audiences know that on all kinds of issues reasonable people can disagree.  But somehow they have been brainwashed with the notion that science is a catechism with only one right answer.  That idea is false and a threat to modern civilization.

They hear only about Jim Hansen, Al Gore, Mike Mann and their ilk, and think their pronouncements are universally and eternally true.  Many, many scientists see things differently. Hard as it is to go from simplicity to complexity, let us enlighten these folks to some of the other sides of climate science .  First, meet Richard Muller who shares some concerns and not others.  Below in italics is his answer to a question raised on Quora:   What are some widely cited studies in the news that are false?

Answer by Richard Muller, Professor of Physics at UC Berkeley.

That 97% of all climate scientists accept that climate change is real, large, and a threat to the future of humanity. That 97% basically concur with the vast majority of claims made by Vice President Al Gore in his Nobel Peace Prize winning film, An Inconvenient Truth.

The question asked in typical surveys is neither of those. It is this: “Do you believe that humans are affecting climate?” My answer would be yes. Humans are responsible for about a 1 degree Celsius rise in the average temperature in the last 100 years. So I would be included as one of the 97% who believe.

Yet the observed changes that are scientifically established, in my vast survey of the science, are confined to temperature rise and the resulting small (4-inch) rise in sea level. (The huge “sea level rise” seen in Florida is actually subsidence of the land mass, and is not related to global warming.) There is no significant change in the rate of storms, or of violent storms, including hurricanes and volcanoes. The temperature variability is not increasing. There is no scientifically significant increase in floods or droughts. Even the widely reported warming of Alaska (“the canary in the mine”) doesn’t match the pattern of carbon dioxide increase–it may have an explanation in terms of changes in the northern Pacific and Atlantic currents. Moreover, the standard climate models have done a very poor job of predicting the temperature rise in Antarctica, so we must be cautious about the danger of confirmation bias.

My friend Will Happer believes that humans do affect the climate, particularly in cities where concrete and energy use cause what is called the “urban heat island effect.” So he would be included in the 97% who believe that humans affect climate, even though he is usually included among the more intense skeptics of the IPCC. He also feels that humans cause a small amount of global warming (he isn’t convinced it is as large as 1 degree), but he does not think it is heading towards a disaster; he has concluded that the increase in carbon dioxide is good for food production, and has helped mitigate global hunger. Yet he would be included in the 97%.

The problem is not with the survey, which asked a very general question. The problem is that many writers (and scientists!) look at that number and mischaracterize it. The 97% number is typically interpreted to mean that 97% accept the conclusions presented in An Inconvenient Truth by former Vice President Al Gore. That’s certainly not true; even many scientists who are deeply concerned by the small global warming (such as me) reject over 70% of the claims made by Mr. Gore in that movie (as did a judge in the UK; see the following link: Gore climate film’s nine ‘errors‘).

The pollsters aren’t to blame. Well, some of them are; they too can do a good poll and then misrepresent what it means. The real problem is that many people who fear global warming (include me) feel that it is necessary to exaggerate the meaning of the polls in order to get action from the public (don’t include me).

There is another way to misrepresent the results of the polls. Yes, 97% of those polled believe that there is human caused climate change. How did they reach that decision? Was it based on a careful reading of the IPCC report? Was it based on their knowledge of the potential systematic uncertainties inherent in the data? Or was it based on their fear that opponents to action are anti-science, so we scientists have to get together and support each other. There is a real danger in people with Ph.D.s joining a consensus that they haven’t vetted professionally.

I like to ask scientists who “believe” in global warming what they think of the data. Do they believe hurricanes are increasing? Almost never do I get the answer “Yes, I looked at that, and they are.” Of course they don’t say that, because if they did I would show them the actual data! Do they say, “I’ve looked at the temperature record, and I agree that the variability is going up”? No. Sometimes they will say, “There was a paper by Jim Hansen that showed the variability was increasing.” To which I reply, “I’ve written to Jim Hansen about that paper, and he agrees with me that it shows no such thing. He even expressed surprise that his paper has been so misinterpreted.”

A really good question would be: “Have you studied climate change enough that you would put your scientific credentials on the line that most of what is said in An Inconvenient Truth is based on accurate scientific results? My guess is that a large majority of the climate scientists would answer no to that question, and the true percentage of scientists who support the statement I made in the opening paragraph of this comment, that true percentage would be under 30%. That is an unscientific guestimate, based on my experience in asking many scientists about the claims of Al Gore.

Then esteemed climate scientist Richard Lindzen, in a short video introduces you to more sides to the climate change issue:

Summary

Science in general, and climate science in particular is not monotonic, but polyphonic.  There are and have always been differing voices and tones in the search for objective truth.  Only the illiterate think otherwise.

Follow the Climate Money

Open image in new tab to enlarge.

How climate finance ‘flows’ around the world is an informative article from CarbonBrief.  Excerpts below in italics followed by a comment from Bjorn Lomborg.

Climate finance is one of the bedrocks of negotiations at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including the “COP24” talks taking place this month in Katowice, Poland.

“Climate finance” refers to money – both from public and private sources – which is used to help reduce emissions and increase resilience against the negative impacts of climate change.

Rich countries have promised they will provide $100bn a year in climate finance to poorer nations by 2020. The UNFCCC’s recent biennial assessment found this sum had reached $75bn in 2016, a step forward compared to the $65bn given in 2015.

The OECD, a Paris-based intergovernmental economic organisation, asks its 36 member countries to report on their foreign aid, including climate finance. The data captures climate finance that is both bilateral (country to country) and multilateral (via international institutions) It also gives detailed information about funded projects. (The OECD calls this database “climate-related development finance” rather than strictly climate finance).

Key takeaways

  • Donor governments gave climate finance totalling $34bn in 2015 and $37bn in 2016, according to OECD estimates (note that this is not a full estimate of money counting towards the $100bn pledge – see below for more).
  • Japan was the largest donor, giving $10.3bn per year (bn/yr) on average over the two years. It was followed, in order, by Germany, France, the UK and the US.
  • India was the largest recipient on average, receiving $2.6bn/yr. It was followed, in order, by Bangladesh, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand
  • The single largest “country-to-country” flow was an average yearly $1.6bn from Japan to India.
  • The US was the top contributor to the multilateral Green Climate Fund (GCF) in 2016. (However, the US has now ended its support for the GCF).
  • Around $16bn/yr went to mitigation-only projects, compared to $9bn for adaptation-only projects.
    Around 42% of the finance consisted of “debt instruments”, such as loans.

Implications

It is important to note that the OECD database does not claim to capture all climate finance counting towards the $100bn. The totals of the data given here add up to $37bn, well below the $47bn the OECD recently estimated in a separate, top-down overview of public climate finance from developed to developing countries in 2016. The OECD also put public climate finance at $55bn in 2017. However, no project-level database for 2017 has been released yet.

The values represent money committed by governments or agencies on the basis of a firm written obligation and backed by available funds. Therefore, it does not represent pledges.

As the first chart above shows, not all climate finance goes straight from one country to another. Instead, a sizeable wedge goes via international institutions, such as multilateral climate funds and multilateral development banks (MDBs). The breakdown of the $5.1bn climate share of contributions to these bodies is shown in the second diagram above.

It shows, for example, that the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which was established with a mandate specifically to leverage climate finance towards the $100bn pledge, received an average $1.7bn per year in 2015 and 2016. Japan, the UK and the US contributed the most.

The Paris Agreement says that scaled-up financial resources “should aim to achieve a balance between adaptation and mitigation”. As is shown in the OECD data (and elsewhere) this is not close to being the case, with almost double the amount going to mitigation-only projects compared to adaptation-only ones.

Discussions on climate finance are currently ongoing at this year’s climate conference in Katowice, Poland, as part of the Paris “rulebook”. Sticking points include accounting rules and the extent to which developed countries should promise concrete sums of climate finance years ahead of time. Some countries are also pushing for talks to start on a new climate finance goal, due to begin in 2025.

One further complication is that all of the above numbers assess only public finance from developed to developing countries. This does not account for all of the money going towards tackling climate change, such as private finance, in-country spending or flows from one developing nation to another, such as support being offered by China. This is often referred to as “South-South” finance.

The UNFCCC biennial report gives an estimate that includes all of these flows and puts overall global climate finance at $680bn in 2015 and $681bn in 2016, a 17% increase on 2013-2014 levels. The growth was largely driven by high levels of new private investment in renewable energy, the report says.

Climate Money Could Be Better Spent

Bjorn Lomborg When it comes to climate change, let’s get our priorities straight

We must also bear in mind that global warming is not the planet’s only challenge. We often hear that it is the defining issue of our time, but it is no such thing. By the 2070s, the IPCC — the U.N. climate change panel — estimates that warming will cost between 0.2 and 2 percent of global GDP. This is certainly a problem, but not the end of world.

Speaking of climate change in catastrophic terms easily makes us ignore bigger problems, including malnutrition, tuberculosis, malaria and corruption. The World Health Organization estimates that climate change since the 1970s causes about 140,000 additional deaths each year, and toward the middle of the century will kill 250,000 people annually, mostly in poor countries. This pales in comparison with much deadlier environmental problems such as indoor air pollution, claiming 4.3 million lives annually, outdoor air pollution killing 3.7 million and lack of water and sanitation killing 760,000. Outside of environment, the problems are even bigger: Poverty arguably kills 18 million each year.

Every dollar spent on climate change could instead help save many more people from these more tractable problems. The current approach to subsidize solar and wind arguably saves one life across the century for every $4 million spent — the same expenditure on vaccinations could save 4,000 lives. Each person — and the next president — needs to decide his or her legacy.

Postscript: Financing for Climate Aid is a Fraction of the Full Cost of Climate Crisis Inc.

A fuller accounting of the climate crisis industry is more like 2,000,000,000,000 US$ per year (2 Trillion)
See Climate Crisis Inc. Update

 

Fighting Carbon Taxes

 

Memo To Congress: French Riots Show Why U.S. Carbon Tax Should Be A Non-Starter
is an Editorial at Investor’s Business Daily Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

French Riots: They call themselves the “Gilets Jaunes,” or yellow vests, in French. They’re mostly young, male and extremely angry, and they’ve been marching in the streets and rioting in Paris and elsewhere, protesting yet another bunch of taxes on gasoline in the government’s never-ending battle against global warming. Who says no one cares about climate change?

If you think of the French as people who will suffer any indignity in the name of more government, think again. Many young French, watching their standards of living decline under a socialist president’s high taxes, are fed up. This latest round of taxes on already outrageous fuel prices was the proverbial straw breaking a dromedary’s back.

“A protest against rising taxes and the high cost of living turned into a riot in the French capital, as activists wearing yellow jackets torched cars, smashed windows, looted stores and tagged the Arc de Triomphe with multi-colored graffiti,” the AP reported of Saturday’s riots.

Some 263 people were injured, including dozens of police, and the government made hundreds of arrests, after an estimated 36,000 people took to the streets on Saturday. Even unions are upset, seeing possible damage to the economy from the demonstrations. They’ve asked the socialist regime to reverse course.

No such luck.

French Riots: A Tax Revolt

Socialist President Emannuel Macron was booed when he showed up to quell the demonstrations. His spokesman, meanwhile, threatened that “all options” are on the table to stop the French riots.

Macron’s prime minister Edouard Philippe even canceled his trip to a global warming conference in Poland. That’s something, given that France’s leaders constantly claim global warming is humankind’s most serious threat. Apparently, French riots rank higher.

No, we’re not happy people are rioting. But governments must understand they can’t just jam things down people’s throats, and expect them to like it. No one asked Macron to raise energy taxes. Macron and his government did it because, to them, globalism is more important than satisfying the demands of their own citizens. It’s that simple.

Today, among all OECD nations, France has the second-highest rates of taxation. Only Denmark ranks higher. So people are fed up.

Nor is it just a “French thing.” Macron is among a growing number of European leftist leaders who want to foist the anti-climate change agenda on their citizens as part of this new globalism. But this isn’t kumbaya, feel-good globalism; it’s one that will feature few if any individual rights, lots of taxes, shrinking standards of living, no real freedom, and little joy.

EU Über Alles

Across the border in Germany, soon-to-be-former German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently said that, on behalf of climate change and migration, “Countries must give up their sovereignty … in an orderly fashion of course.”  “Orderly,” by the way, is a German euphemism for “by force, if needed.”

For those who don’t know, Macron and Merkel are the two strongest leaders in the EU. Their goal, stated outright, is to use the threat of global warming and unbridled migration to wrest control of their nations from their own people — whom they demonize as “populists” — and give it instead to the European Union.  The EU’s record of economic incompetence, absurd regulation, excessive taxation, preening corruption and, increasingly, totalitarian behavior, are troubling to say the least.

Not everyone’s buying in to this mandatory globalism. Both Switzerland and Italy have announced they’ll not attend an EU meeting next month to adopt the U.N.’s new legal guidelines on migration. One big reason: The U.N. has now declared criticism of its pro-immigration policies “hate speech.” Yes, that’s how far we’ve come.

Carbon Tax, Coming Our Way.  Should we care?

Yes, because leftists here have the same things in mind for all of us. The scientific holes in the climate change religion are enormous. Literally thousands of engineers, scientists, academics and Nobel Prize winners have criticized the flawed science behind the theory that we inevitably face disastrous over-heating of the planet.

Yet, some in Congress — including some Republicans — are eager to saddle Americans with a massive new “carbon tax.” It’s the modern equivalent of the medieval church granting indulgences for sins. For a fee, of course. Pay us, and your sins will be remitted.

The idea is that Americans will accept a high tax on energy if it’s “rebated” on an equal basis to everyone. That way, we get less global warming gas emitted into our atmosphere, while reducing the scourge of unequal income. Win-win!

Except, as we’ve noted repeatedly in the past, that’s not how it works.

“The superficial purpose, of course, is to make carbon-based fossil fuels more expensive to use,” we wrote back in April. “But fossil fuels are a blessing, not a curse. They are in large part responsible for the record growth in the global economy in the past two centuries and especially over the last 18 years, helping to pull literally hundreds of millions of once-destitute people out of poverty.

We wouldn’t change a word of that. And the idea of “rebates” is absurd. The U.S. would always be one election away from “rebates” turning into just another tax-grab by Congress for badly needed “climate remediation” or some other hokey purpose. Meanwhile, businesses affected by carbon taxes would hire fewer workers and invest less. It’s a recipe for French-style stagnation.

Climate Change, Climate Yawn

Our just-released IBD/TIPP Poll shows what Americans think about all this. Just 17% ranked climate change as No. 1 or No. 2 on their list of priorities for the new Congress. Even so, some in Congress seek literally trillions of dollars in new taxes that will distort energy markets and hand rebates to those who don’t even pay the taxes.

If no one likes the idea, why would Congress push it so hard? It’s called “redistribution,” and it’s yet another socialist idea that will make people miserable. Ask France.

The U.S. shouldn’t travel down France’s road. Americans aren’t stupid. They won’t accept a massive new tax to prevent a threat they don’t really believe in. We wonder: What will our Congress do if faced with mass demonstrations?

Like many politicians, Macron suffers from impaired vision, and perhaps brain rot from disinformation.  Corrections are needed and are available to the willing.  See Impaired Climate Vision

The Rotting Stops in Denmark

The red marker is Lindholm island .

Denmark will not accept and attempt to integrate unwelcome migrants, according to this report Denmark Plans to Isolate Unwanted Migrants on a Small Island Excerpts in italics with my  bolds.

COPENHAGEN — Denmark plans to house the country’s most unwelcome foreigners in a most unwelcoming place: a tiny, hard-to-reach island that now holds the laboratories, stables and crematory of a center for researching contagious animal diseases.

As if to make the message clearer, one of the two ferries that serve the island is called the Virus.  “They are unwanted in Denmark, and they will feel that,” the immigration minister, Inger Stojberg, wrote on Facebook.

On Friday, the center-right government and the right-wing Danish People’s Party announced an agreement to house as many as 100 people on Lindholm Island — foreigners who have been convicted of crimes and rejected asylum seekers who cannot be returned to their home countries.

The 17-acre island, in an inlet of the Baltic Sea, lies about two miles from the nearest shore, and ferry service is infrequent. Foreigners will be required to report at the island center daily, and face imprisonment if they do not.  “We’re going to minimize the number of ferry departures as much as at all possible,” Martin Henriksen, a spokesman for the Danish People’s Party on immigration, told TV 2. “We’re going to make it as cumbersome and expensive as possible.”

The deal allocates about $115 million over four years for immigrant facilities on the island, which are scheduled to open in 2021.  The finance minister, Kristian Jensen, who led the negotiations, said the island was not a prison, but added that anyone placed there would have to sleep there.

Louise Holck, deputy executive director of The Danish Institute for Human Rights, said her organization would watch the situation “very closely” for possible violations of Denmark’s international obligations.
The agreement was reached as part of the annual budget negotiations. Each year, the Danish People’s Party demands restrictions on immigrants or refugees in return for its votes on a budget.

In Denmark, as in much of Europe, the surge in migration from the Middle East and Africa in 2015 and 2016 prompted a populist, nativist backlash.

The government has vowed to push immigration law to the limits of international conventions on human rights.  Legal experts said it was too early to tell whether the Lindholm Island project would cross those boundaries, constituting illegal confinement. They said it resembled an Italian government project that was struck down in 1980 by the European Court of Human Rights.

The Lindholm Island plan furthers the government’s policy of motivating failed asylum seekers to leave the country by making their lives intolerable.  Asylum seekers with criminal records are not allowed to work in Denmark. Rejected asylum seekers who cannot be deported are given accommodations where they cannot prepare their own meals, food and an allowance of about $1.20 per day, which is withheld if they fail to cooperate with the authorities.

A former immigration minister, Birthe Ronn Hornbech, called the island project “a joke” and a blunder comparable to a soccer player scoring a goal for the opposing team.  “Nothing will become of this proposal,” she wrote in her newspaper column.

Many foreigners who have been denied asylum cannot be deported to their home countries for fear of abuse or persecution, or simply because those countries refuse to take them back. Hundreds lingering in two deportation centers refuse to leave — a challenge for a government that has promised to get rid of those who have no legal right to remain in Denmark.

Some have held out for more than a decade despite a steady deterioration in living conditions. An independent study by a former prison director now working for the rights group Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly found conditions in one of the deportation centers to be comparable to those in some prisons, or worse.

Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said last month that the government’s aim in receiving refugees would no longer be to integrate them, but to host them until they can return to their countries of origin.“It’s not easy to ask families to go home, if they’ve actually settled,” he told a meeting of his party. “But it is the morally right thing. We should not make refugees immigrants.”

This summer, a ban on face coverings was introduced and quickly nicknamed “the burqa ban” as it followed a debate on the Islamic garment seen by some as “un-Danish.” This month, Parliament is expected to pass legislation requiring immigrants who want to obtain citizenship to shake hands with officials as part of the naturalization ceremony — though some Muslims insist that they cannot shake hands with someone of the opposite sex.

The government contends that hand shakes are “a basic Danish value.”

Sunday Comics Dec. 2.

A roundup of cartoons that caught my eye this week.  H/T PatriotPost and commonsenseevaluation.

French Fries

Global Warming Virtue

The Global Warming Experience

 

The UN Crusade

US Thanksgiving

From Way Out There

 

 

 

 

 

Whoa! I’ve been Bot-censored.

Today someone linked to one of my posts on a thread at reddit:

slinkydink2 14 hours ago
·
More grammatical errors and an emoji face. Am I talking to a 9 year old? Consensus is not science. It’s an opinion. The scientific theory has not been and cannot be applied to your global warning bullshit.

Spez: Even though I know you won’t read it (or understand it if you do) here’s an article from last month saying the models are bullshit and that Solar activity is the largest factor.

https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2018/10/22/2018-update-best-climate-model-inmcm5/

That was followed by:

13 hours ago
Your comment was automatically removed because you linked to an anti-Trump domain. Please use archive.is or a google cache for this domain so we do not give them any undeserved clicks.

I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.

The censorship statement was presented this way:

Wow! So much for free speech on the internet.  And the irony for being censored as an anti-Trump domain, which itself seems like a spoof.  The content referring to climate sources does ring true as climatist suppression of alternate information and views.  Apparently, you are an idiot if you know too much and see through the alarmist house of cards.