June Arctic Ice Still Strong

June 8, 2017. Boats are shown trapped in heavy ice off La Scie, Newfoundland in a handout photo from the Department of Fisheries and Ocean. Thick Arctic pack ice has trapped multiple vessels and triggered a high-stakes rescue operation from a sinking ship off Newfoundland. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Department of Fisheires and Oceans)

Thick Arctic ice pack traps boats, triggers rescue operation off Newfoundland

Unusually heavy Arctic pack ice has trapped multiple vessels, stymied the fishing season and triggered a high-stakes rescue operation from a sinking ship off Newfoundland.

Trevor Hodgson, the Canadian Coast Guard’s superintendent of ice operations for the Atlantic region, said the heavy ice is more than two metres thick in some areas off the province’s northeast coast.

What’s unusual this year, Hodgson said, is the way the winds have pushed the thick pack ice towards land rather than out to sea.

He said ice conditions are so bad the Coast Guard has been unable to free trapped vessels with its icebreaker Amundsen. Three fishing vessels remain trapped in ice off northeastern Newfoundland.

The image above shows Arctic Atlantic sea ice continues to hold most of the coastline in its grip.  Svalbard is still mostly enclosed and Newfoundland upper left with packed ice as in the photo. The graph below shows the last 10 days with 2017 holding a lead of  260k km2 above average, 320k km2 more than 2007 and 900k km2 greater than 2016.

The graph below excludes the Pacific seas of Okhotsk and Barents, which are melting early (~100k km2 below average as of yesterday) obscuring what is happening in central and Atlantic Arctic seas.

On this basis, 2017 is running 400k km2 higher than both average and 2007, and the same 900k km2 more than 2016.

Barents Sea shows how unusual are 2017 sea ice extents inside the Arctic Circle.  The graph below shows Barents this year compared to average and other years.

The black line is average for the last 11 years.  2007 in purple appears as an average year.  2014 had the highest annual extent in Barents Sea, due to higher and later maximums, holding onto ice during the summer, and recovering quickly.  In contrast, 2016 was the lowest annual extent, melting out early and recovering later.  2017 in blue started out way behind, but grew rapidly to reach average, and then persisted longer to exceed even 2014.

For more on why Barents Sea matters see Barents Icicles

The Iceberg Festival wraps up this weekend.

Inside the Snowflake Academy

 

 

Snowflakes: Overly sensitive persons, incapable of dealing with any opinions differing from their own. Snowflakes are light-weight and suffer meltdown when exposed to the light or heat of complex ideas in conflict. They can often be seen congregating in “safe zones” on college campuses.

A previous post (Retreat from Reason) provided a look into the mentality of today’s college professors teaching humanities and social sciences. The dominant mindset is termed “postmodern” to distinguish this perspective from the “modern” viewpoint born of the age of reason or enlightenment.

That text came from Professor Jordan Peterson who recommended reading a book by Stephen Hicks called Explaining Postmodernism. This post provides some descriptions (lightly edited) from Hicks regarding the education of today’s students and the liberal arts attitude toward science.

Hicks presents two hypotheses regarding the world-view embraced by postmoderns, which they pass on to their students.

Hypothesis 1: Postmodernism is the first ruthlessly consistent statement of the consequences of rejecting reason, those consequences being necessary given the study of knowledge since Kant.

Thomas Kuhn published in 1962 his landmark book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, signifying the result of four decades of analytic philosophy and the dead end it had reached. If science’s tools are perception, logic, and language, then science, one of the Enlightenment’s prized children, is merely an evolving, socially objective enterprise with no more claim to objectivity than any other belief system. The idea that science speaks of reality or truth is an illusion. There is no Truth; there are only truths, and truths change.

Consequently, by the 1960s, the pro-objectivity, pro-science spirit had collapsed in the Anglo-American philosophical tradition.

Hypothesis 2: Postmodernism is the academic far Left’s stance in response to the crisis caused by the failures of socialism in theory and practice.

Postmodern thinkers inherit an intellectual tradition that has seen the defeat of all of its major hopes.

While the neo-Enlightenment thinkers have come to terms with the modern world, from the postmodern perspective the universe has been intellectually shattered. We can not turn to God or to nature, and we cannot trust reason or mankind.

The failure of Left politics to achieve the vision of a beautiful collectivist society was merely the last straw. To the postmodern mind, the cruel lessons of the modern world are that reality is inaccessible, that nothing can be known, that human potential is nothing, and that ethical and political ideals have come to nothing. The psychological response to the loss of everything is anger and despair.

But the postmodern thinkers also find themselves surrounded by an Enlightenment world that does not understand. Postmoderns confront a world dominated by liberalism and capitalism, by science and technology, by people who still believe in reality, in reason, and in the greatness of human potential. The world that they said was impossible and destructive has both come to be and is flourishing. The heirs of the Enlightenment are running the world, and they have marginalized the post-modernists to the academy. Resentment is then added on top of anger and despair.

The Enlightenment world is proud, confident, and knows it is the wave of the future. This is unbearable to someone invested totally in an opposed and failed outlook. That pride is what such a person wants to destroy. The best target to attack is the Enlightenment’s sense of its own moral worth. Attack it as sexist and racist, intolerantly dogmatic, and cruelly exploitative. Undermine its confidence in its reason, its science and technology. The words do not even have to be true or consistent to do the necessary damage.

The College as Snowflake Academy

In education, postmodernism rejects the notion that the purpose of education is primarily to train a child’s cognitive capacity for reason in order to produce an adult capable of functioning independently in the world. That view of education is replaced with the view that education is to take an essentially indeterminate being and give it social identity. Education’s method of molding is linguistic, and so the language to be used is that which will create a human being sensitive to its racial, sexual, and class identity.

Our current social context, however, is characterized by oppression that benefits whites, males, and the rich at the expense of everyone else. That oppression in turn leads to an educational system that reflects only or primarily the interests of those in positions of power. To counteract that bias, educational practice must be recast totally. Postmodern education should emphasize works not in the canon; it should focus on the achievements of non-whites, females, and the poor; it should highlight the historical crimes of whites, males, and the rich; and it should teach students that science’s method has no better claim to yielding truth than any other method and, accordingly, that students should be equally receptive to alternative ways of knowing.

Moderns thought science and technology are good for all, extending our knowledge of the universe and making the world healthier, cleaner, and more productive. Postmoderns say science betrays its elitism, sexism and destructiveness by making the speed of light the fastest phenomenon, thereby unfairly privileging it over other speeds–by having chosen the phallic symbol i to represent the square root of negative one–by asserting its desire to “conquer” nature and “penetrate” her secrets–and, having done so, by having its technology consummate the rape by building bigger and longer missiles to blow things up.

And previously it had been generally thought liberalism, free markets, technology, and cosmopolitanism are social achievements that can be enjoyed by all cultures. On the contrary, Postmoderns think non-Western cultures are superior, since they live simply and in harmony with nature. They find the West is arrogantly blind, elitist and imperialistic, and imposes its capitalism, its science and technology, and its ideology upon other cultures and an increasingly fragile ecosystem.

Conclusion

And thus graduates are fully equipped and predetermined to believe in climate change.

 

 

 

Perverse Postmodern Climate: Retreat from Reason

 

The recent marches for science were an amazing irony: People actually think that science is a matter of protesting in the streets. It was a demonstration all right, a full-throated display of postmodern contempt for reason, especially as embodied in the scientific method.

This virus has already taken over many universities, the most extreme case being Evergreen State College in Eastern Washington. Black students decided there should be a No White day on campus to protest the history of blacks mistreatment. One professor refused and tried to hold his class, arguing that free speech was not a matter of race, creed, gender or anything else. A riot erupted against him and his students, shutting down the class.

Afterward, the Evergreen State Faculty Turned on the Professor, Saying He ‘Endangered’ Students

This post is to call attention to a war correspondent issuing a recent report on the state of this cultural conflict. Professor Jordan Peterson of the University of Toronto writes from the front lines where higher education institutions and students are in upheaval.

Jordan Peterson: Why You Have To Fight Postmodernism
explains why young people need to organize and rise up against nihilistic postmodernism. The full transcript is worth reading, and a video presentation is also available. Some excerpts below present some of his key points.

JORDAN PETERSON: I want to recommend a book first to everyone here: It is called Explaining Postmodernism by Stephen Hicks. You need to understand postmodernism, because that’s what you’re up against. You’re up against it far more than you know or think, and it’s a much more well-developed and pervasive, pernicious, nihilistic, intellectually attractive doctrine than has yet come to public realization. It absolutely dominates the humanities and increasingly the social sciences in the universities.

It’s not like any given person is absolutely possessed by the spirit of postmodernism, because often they’re not educated enough to know all the details about what it is that has them in their grip, but if you get 20 of them together and they’re all 5% influenced by the postmodernist ethos, you basically have the spirit of the mob. It’s a mouthpiece for that particular philosophical doctrine.

See the postmodernists completely reject the structure of Western civilization. And I mean completely, so I can give you an example, in one term — Jacques Derrida. He is head trickster for the postmodernist movement, and he regarded Western culture — let’s call it the patriarchy — as phallogocentric. Phallo comes from phallus, and so that’s the insistence that what you see in Western culture is the consequence of the male-dominated oppressive self-serving society.

So the first thing that you might want to know about Postmodernism is that it doesn’t have a shred of gratitude — and there’s something pathologically wrong with a person that doesn’t have any gratitude, especially when they live in what so far is the best of all possible worlds. So if you’re not grateful, you’re driven by resentment, and resentment is the worst emotion that you can possibly experience, apart from arrogance. Arrogance, resentment, and deceit. There is an evil triad for you.

So you have to educate yourself about postmodernism.

So here’s what the postmodernists believe: They don’t believe in the individual. That’s the logos. Remember, Western culture is Phallogocentric. Logo is logos. That’s partly the Christian word, but is also partly the root word of logic.

They believe that logic is part of the process by which the patriarchal institutions of the West continue to dominate and to justify their dominance. They don’t believe in dialogue. The root word of dialogue is logos — again, they don’t believe that people of good will can come to consensus through the exchange of ideas. They believe that that notion is part of the philosophical substructure and practices of the dominant culture.

So the reason they don’t let people who they don’t agree with speak on campus, is because they don’t agree with letting people speak.

You see it’s not part of the ethos.

They believe that since you don’t have an individual identity, your fundamental identity is group fostered, and that means that you’re basically an exemplar of your race.

And so the postmodernist Marxists just basically pulled a sleight-of-hand, and said, ‘Okay if it’s not the poor against the rich than it’s the oppressed against the oppressor.’ We’ll just re-divide the sub-populations in ways that make our bloodied philosophy continue in its movement forward, and that’s where we are now.

So for the postmodernists, the world is a Hobbesian battleground of identity groups. They do not communicate with one another, because they can’t. All there is, is a struggle for power, and if you’re in the predator group, which means you’re an oppressor, than you better look out, because you’re not exactly welcome. Not exactly welcome, and neither are your ideas. So that’s what you’re up against.

You young people out there who are university students, you need to take over the student unions, you need to take them back, because they are absolute snake pits, and have been since the 1990s.

Our society needs to figure out how to stop shunting public tax money to radical left-wing activists. If we were doing that for the radical right-wing activists, there would be an absolute storm, but it’s happened incrementally since the 1960s and needs to stop.

So that’s what conservatives and also liberals –true liberals in the English sense– are up against. What’s happened also as a consequence of this postmodern neo-Marxist intellectual invasion, is the center keeps moving way to the right now, so if you’re a classical liberal, you’ve become a conservative.

Conclusion

And then finally with regards to talking to young people. You finally have something to sell to them. It is not easy to sell conservatism to young people, because they want to change things. That’s not what conservatives want to do, they want to maintain things. Well now you got something to sell — you can sell them freedom of speech, and you can tell sell them responsibility.

The left is selling them rights, you can sell them responsibility.

I can tell you, because I received many letters of this sort … young people are absolutely starving for someone to provide them with a sense of responsibility, and say look here, here’s something worth living for.

We’ve got this beacon of freedom and wealth in the West, which works, although it doesn’t work perfectly. And one of one of the responsibilities of young people is to find out what’s at the core of that, the great core of that. The paramount importance of the individual, and the divinity of speech. That’s something to sell, its what our whole culture is predicated on.

Footnote:

Tom Wolfe first opened my eyes to this assault on reason.  I posted on his essay along with the obvious connection to climate change/global warming.  See Warmists and Rococo Marxists

 

Paris, Meet New Hampshire

New Hampshire is famous for people who are direct, to the point and tolerate no BS. Thus, I was not surprised to see this editorial printed in the Union Leader, one of the state’s leading newspapers based in Manchester, largest city in NH.

Paris freak-out: Hysteria over do-nothing deal

The Paris Climate Agreement signed last year by President Barack Obama was not a treaty, and thus American commitment to it expired when Obama left office.

  • Had Obama submitted the Paris agreement to the Senate, it would not have received the votes necessary to ratify it.
  • Had the Senate ratified the Paris agreement, targets for reductions in future CO2 emissions from power plants would have been voluntary and amendable.
  • Had the U.S. failed to meet its voluntary emissions targets, there would have been no penalty imposed.
  • Had the United States and every other country on Earth met their emissions targets from the Paris deal, the climate models used by its advocates predicted a reduction in the increase of global temperatures of just 0.2 degrees by 2100.

These climate models have largely overestimated the marginal impact of atmospheric carbon dioxide on climate.

There is no credible evidence that American withdrawal from the Paris deal will have any impact on future global temperatures at all.

The entire Paris agreement was a largely meaningless piece of public relations stagecraft, designed for world leaders to give the illusion that they are doing something about climate change.

It would have billed U.S. taxpayers for the lion’s share of payments to other countries, and locked in onerous Obama-era regulations on power plants that drive up electricity prices.

President Trump was right to remove the United States from this non-treaty.

Tracking the howls of outrage over this decision has been useful. It was an elegant way for people to reveal their ignorance of climate science.

If and when the people arguing that climate change is too important to ignore come forward with a plan that actually does something about climate change, we will start paying attention to their portents of doom.

 

How Climate Law Relies on Paris

 

Climate Activists storm the bastion of Exxon Mobil, here seen without their shareholder disguises.

On the same day POTUS announced US withdrawal from Paris accord, a majority of Exxon Mobil shareholders approved a resolution asking management to assess the value of corporate assets considering a global move toward a low-carbon future. Here is the resolution, filed by the New York State Comptroller:

RESOLVED: Shareholders request that, beginning in 2018, ExxonMobil publish an annual assessment of the long-term portfolio impacts of technological advances and global climate change policies, at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information. The assessment can be incorporated into existing reporting and should analyze the impacts on ExxonMobil’s oil and gas reserves and resources under a scenario in which reduction in demand results from carbon restrictions and related rules or commitments adopted by governments consistent with the globally agreed upon 2 degree target. This reporting should assess the resilience of the company’s full portfolio of reserves and resources through 2040 and beyond, and address the financial risks associated with such a scenario.

Background:

This century climatists woke up to their losing the battle for public opinion for onerous and costly reductions to fossil fuel usage. They turned toward the legal system to achieve their agenda, and the field of Climate Law has become another profession corrupted by climate cash, along side of Climate Medicine.

In addition to numerous court lawsuits, and also civil disobedience cases, there has been a concerted, well-funded and organized divestment move against companies supplying fossil fuels to consumers. The intention is to at least tie up in red tape Big Oil, indeed Small Oil as well. The real hope is to weaken energy producers by depriving them of investors to the point that reserves are left in the ground, as desired by such activists as 350.org.

In 2016 virtually the same resolution was dismissed by shareholders with only 38% approving. The difference this year was the switch by BlackRock Inc. and Vanguard Group, two of the world’s largest asset managers. As reported by Fox News (here):

Investment products such as exchange-traded funds that track the performance of indexes often come at a lower cost than traditional mutual funds and have gathered assets at a clip in recent years. That growth has given firms like BlackRock and Vanguard increasing sway on shareholder votes. But the firms in turn have come under activist pressure to take stances on issues such as climate disclosure.

When BlackRock sided with Exxon and against a similar proposal at the company’s annual meeting a year ago, it faced backlash from investors and environmental activists. This year BlackRock said the disclosure of climate risks would be among its key engagement priorities with senior executives.

Exxon Mobil board must now show they are taking this proposal seriously, and activists will be looking for company assets to be “stress tested” with the hope that the shares become more risky. At the very least, management will have to put more time and energy into opining on various scenarios of uncertain content and probabilities relating to the wish dreams of climatists.

Balancing on a cascade of suppositions.

We can look into the climate activist mental frame thanks to documents supporting the current strategy using the legal system to implement actions against fossil fuel consumption.

For example, there is this recent text explaining the shareholder proposal tabled at ExxonMobil annual meeting. From Attorney Sanford Lewis:

The Proposal states:

“RESOLVED: Shareholders request that by 2017 ExxonMobil publish an annual assessment of long term portfolio impacts of public climate change policies, at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information. The assessment can be incorporated into existing reporting and should analyze the impacts on ExxonMobil’s oil and gas reserves and resources under a scenario in which reduction in demand results from carbon restrictions and related rules or commitments adopted by governments consistent with the globally agreed upon 2 degree target. The reporting should assess the resilience of the company’s full portfolio of reserves and resources through 2040 and beyond and address the financial risks associated with such a scenario.

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

  • 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 above proposal, 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.

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

EventChain

Clexit Gloom and Doom

The above cartoon is from Josh who is always on target, and reminded me of this one:

Joe Btfsplk was a character in the satirical comic strip Li’l Abner by cartoonist Al Capp. He is well-meaning, but is the world’s worst jinx, bringing disastrous misfortune to everyone around him.

Robert Tracinski puts all of this into context in his June 2 Federalist article Paris Climate Withdrawal Re-Triggers Global Warming Doomsday Cult  So what are the consequences of Donald Trump pulling America out of the Paris Agreement on global warming? Bad news: the planet is going to die

The article first displays a sample of the many extreme, fantastical reactions to POTUS declaring the Paris Accord null and void. I especially liked the proposed Headline:  “World to End, Women and Minorities Hardest Hit.  Then Tracinski gets down to the heart of the matter.

This is certainly out of proportion to President Trump’s actual announcement. Pulling out of the Paris Agreement was the right thing because no one has actually proven that human emissions of carbon dioxide are warming the globe or that this is driving us toward a global catastrophe. But that’s not why Trump did it. He drew us out because he thinks the agreement is “unfair” to America, imposing too great a burden on us rather than other countries, and he specifically left open the idea that he might work with the international community to come up with a better deal. So he’s okay with an international climate agreement, he just thinks—as usual—that he could do a better job of negotiating it.

But the hysterical overreaction is instructive, because somehow the backers of the global warming cause can’t manage to remember the scientific substance of their own claims—or much of anything else about the science and history of the climate. If they did, they might know that there is absolutely no reason to think the very viability of life on Earth is at stake. Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the geological record knows that the atmosphere has previously had far higher levels of carbon dioxide, particularly during the years when life originated. The Earth has also been far warmer during periods when life was even more abundant. That’s where all the vegetation came from to support giants like the dinosaurs.

The actual claims for global warming in the foreseeable future involve an increase in average global temperatures of 2.6 to 6.4 degrees Celsius and a rise in sea levels of 26 to 50 centimeters. (So far this century, temperatures have remained below the low range of those predictions.) To put this in perspective, at the end of the last ice age about 10,000 years ago, global temperatures rose 10 degrees Celsius, and ocean levels rose by nearly 100 meters. Yet this previous episode of massive natural warming was good for humans, and I doubt it’s an accident that our current period of warm weather coincides with the rise of civilization itself.

As for the planet, it doesn’t really care what temperature it is, and life will adapt to warmer or colder temperatures. The good news is that the historical record also shows that we humans have adapted and survived through significant variations in climate, even before we had modern science and technology. That’s good news, because we’re eventually headed back into another ice age.

Given the assumption that long-term global warming is actually happening and is caused by human activity, which is itself dubious, you could reasonably claim that it will lead to some significant costs: flooding in some areas, drought in others, the loss of coastal land to rising seas, or the cost of rebuilding cities to protect them from rising waters. Maybe there will even be an increase in big deadly storms like hurricanes—though the last time somebody predicted this, hurricane activity immediately fell to historic lows. Those costs may be significant, but they would have to be counterbalanced against the costs of global warming regulations.

Maybe that’s why the global warming alarmists have to crank it up to eleven. If we can point to billions of dollars drained from the U.S. government and diverted through an international bureaucracy, or trillions of dollars in lost production and regulatory costs imposed on the world economy over decades, the global warming alarmists have to be able to claim negative consequences so great that they dwarf these massive costs. There’s nothing bigger than the planet dying. It’s a claim that automatically wins the argument—or so they think.

But it’s so comically exaggerated, so over the top, that it actually has the opposite effect. It convinces a lot of us that claims about global warming have become a hype machine stuck at its maximum setting. This looks less like science than like a crackpot doomsday cult perpetually claiming that the end is nigh.

Arctic Ice Song: Hey June, Don’t Let Me Down

The Iceberg Festival takes place every June on the Great Northern Peninsula, Newfoundland, now underway.

Weather Canada Iceberg Bulletin
Issued 11:00 AM EDT 2 June 2017

Special ice warning in effect.
Bergy water except 7 tenths of first-year ice including a trace of
old ice in the northern section. Unusual presence of sea ice.

Iceberg Count
More than 100 icebergs

East Coast Newfoundland Sea Ice 2016 and 2017.

Arctic ice had a remarkable May. The April NH ice extent in April was a 343k km2 deficit below the decadal average, and May ended with a monthly average surplus of 131k km2. The graph below shows in recent weeks how 2017 took a lead of ~300k km2 above average and is holding it entering June.

On June 1, this year’s ice extent is running 280k km2 above average, and a full 1M higher than 2016. Out of the last twelve years, only 2013 and 2014 had more ice on this day than 2017.

The graph below excludes the Pacific seas of Okhotsk and Barents, which are melting early (~150k km2 below average) and distort what is happening in central and Atlantic Arctic seas.

On this basis, 2017 is running 280k km2 higher than 2007, 430k km2 above average, and 910k km2 more than 2016.

Good news for the Iceberg Festival, for the Fishermen not so much.

Twillingate fishery stuck in ice, shrimp plant future uncertain
CBC June 1, 2017:  No boats coming and going through ice-filled harbour

Ice has started to break up near the wharf in Twillingate, but it could take another couple of weeks before boats could come and go freely. (Garrett Barry/CBC)

The town hasn’t seen ice last this long for decades, according to Gord Noseworthy, mayor and harbour master. It means many boats can’t get out of Twillingate, and those that do aren’t coming back to the wharf.

 

Trump Did the Right Thing in the Right Way

So yesterday President Trump announced that the US will withdraw from the Paris crusade against fossil fuels.  Effective immediately his administration will cease implementation of any aspects of the Accord and suspend compliance with any of its regulations or obligations.

His speech did not take issue with the scientific claims of global warming.  Rather Trump’s position is based on the small projected benefits from the hugely expensive program, and the unfair burden placed on the US compared with other nations.  As noted here before, the climatist case is a three-legged stool:

  • Humans are warming the climate.
  • The warming is dangerous.
  • Government can stop it.

The third point is about climate policy and is even weaker than the science beneath the first two.  The programs currently advocated are woefully inadequate even if you believe the scientific house of cards.  After the US announcement yesterday, Mike Hulme weighed in (here) with a balanced reaction from his POV as one who thinks global warming could become a future problem.

Overstating the significance of Trump’s announcement also mis-reads the nature of the Paris Agreement and its efficacy in ‘governing’ the world’s climate. The Paris Agreement is already a voluntary arrangement of self-determined and self-policed intentions to reduce greenhouses gas emissions from different national jurisdictions. There are no penalties, no sanctions for states which fail to meet their Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC).

Even if, following Trump’s announcement, the USA now fails to secure its own INDC – and this if far from certain for reasons below – the projections of how this might alter the average global temperature by 2100 reveal the sleight of hand. Projections suggest a warming of about 3.6°C (without the USA in Paris) rather than 3.3°C (with the USA in Paris), a reduction of just 0.3°C and well-within the random noise in the system. The fact is, all the INDCs declared by nations leave the world well short of the declared goal of 2 degrees of warming, let alone the aspirational target of 1.5°C.

We should not fall for the hype of defenders of the Paris Agreement and its own self-pronounced historic status. Neither therefore should we despairingly denounce Trump for declaring he will remove the USA from the Agreement. Such reactions give too much weight to the actions of one man to shape the world and they place too much faith in the Paris Agreement to effect change in societies around the world.

This is not a defeatist position to hold. And I am certainly no defender of Donald Trump. It is rather a position that recognises the limited powers that Trump holds over his own economy and the limited effectiveness of any single global treaty to “govern” the world’s climate. What matters far more are the thousand and one sites around the world where change is taking place, the thousands of different political actors, social movements and loci of innovation and change which are shaping the trajectory of future world development.

Footnote:
Building the climate science house of cards is described in the post  Climate Reductionism

Background from Yesterday’s Post:

The rational for rejecting the UNFCCC and the Paris Accord is expressed clearly and concisely by the French Mathematical Modelling Company following their exhaustive study.  Title is link to their document, the executive summary is presented below.

The battle against global warming is an absurd, costly and pointless crusade.

The crusade is absurd

There is not a single fact, figure or observation that leads us to conclude that the world‘s climate is in any way “disturbed”. It is variable, as it has always been, but rather less so now than during certain periods or geological eras. Modern methods are far from being able to accurately measure the planet‘s global temperature even today, so measurements made 50 or 100 years ago are even less reliable.

Concentrations of CO2 vary, as they always have done; the figures that are being released are biased and dishonest. Rising sea levels are a normal phenomenon linked to upthrust buoyancy; they are nothing to do with so-called global warming. As for extreme weather events – they are no more frequent now than they have been in the past. We ourselves have processed the raw data on hurricanes.

We are being told that “a temperature increase of more than 2ºC by comparison with the beginning of the industrial age would have dramatic consequences, and absolutely has to be prevented”. When they hear this, people worry: hasn‘t there already been an increase of 1.9ºC? Actually, no: the figures for the period 1995-2015 show an upward trend of about 1ºC every hundred years! Of course, these figures, which contradict public policies, are never brought to public attention.

The crusade is costly

Direct aid for industries that are completely unviable (such as photovoltaics and wind turbines) but presented as “virtuous” runs into billions of euros, according to recent reports published by the Cour des Comptes (French Audit Office) in 2013. But the highest cost lies in the principle of “energy saving”, which is presented as especially virtuous. Since no civilization can develop when it is saving energy, ours has stopped developing: France now has more than three million people unemployed – it is the price we have to pay for our virtue.

We want to cut our CO2 emissions at any cost: it is a way of displaying our virtue for all to see. To achieve these reductions, we have significantly cut industrial activity and lost jobs. But at least we have achieved our aim of cutting CO2 emissions, haven‘t we? The answer is laughable: apparently not. Global emissions of CO2 have continued to rise, including those generated by France in designing and manufacturing its own products, as the Cour des Comptes clearly states. Quite simply, manufacturing that is held to be environmentally damaging has been relocated. So the same products are now being manufactured in countries that are far less respectful of the environment, and we have lost all the associated jobs. As Baudelaire says, “Nature‘s irony combines with our insanity”.

The crusade is pointless

Human beings cannot, in any event, change the climate. If we in France were to stop all industrial activity (let‘s not talk about our intellectual activity, which ceased long ago), if we were to eradicate all trace of animal life, the composition of the atmosphere would not alter in any measurable, perceptible way. To explain this, let us make a comparison with the rotation of the planet: it is slowing down. To address that, we might be tempted to ask the entire population of China to run in an easterly direction. But, no matter how big China and its population are, this would have no measurable impact on the Earth‘s rotation.

French policy on CO2 emissions is particularly stupid, since we are one of the countries with the cleanest industrial sector.

This just goes to show the truth of the matter: we are fighting for a cause (reducing CO2 emissions) that serves absolutely no purpose, in which we alone believe, and which we can do nothing about. You would probably have to go quite a long way back in human history to find such a mad obsession.

Gouda tulip bulb prices in guilders. In the background- The Viceroy- one of the most expensive specimens depicted in a Dutch catalogue from 1637. A single bulb reached 3.000-4.200 guilders. A yearly salary of a skilled craftsman equalled approximately 300 guilders.

 

 

 

Will Trump Do the Right Thing?

The rational for rejecting the UNFCCC and the Paris Accord is expressed clearly and concisely by the French Mathematical Modelling Company following their exhaustive study.  Title is link to their document, the executive summary is presented below.

The battle against global warming is an absurd, costly and pointless crusade.

The crusade is absurd

There is not a single fact, figure or observation that leads us to conclude that the world‘s climate is in any way “disturbed”. It is variable, as it has always been, but rather less so now than during certain periods or geological eras. Modern methods are far from being able to accurately measure the planet‘s global temperature even today, so measurements made 50 or 100 years ago are even less reliable.

Concentrations of CO2 vary, as they always have done; the figures that are being released are biased and dishonest. Rising sea levels are a normal phenomenon linked to upthrust buoyancy; they are nothing to do with so-called global warming. As for extreme weather events – they are no more frequent now than they have been in the past. We ourselves have processed the raw data on hurricanes.

We are being told that “a temperature increase of more than 2ºC by comparison with the beginning of the industrial age would have dramatic consequences, and absolutely has to be prevented”. When they hear this, people worry: hasn‘t there already been an increase of 1.9ºC? Actually, no: the figures for the period 1995-2015 show an upward trend of about 1ºC every hundred years! Of course, these figures, which contradict public policies, are never brought to public attention.

The crusade is costly

Direct aid for industries that are completely unviable (such as photovoltaics and wind turbines) but presented as “virtuous” runs into billions of euros, according to recent reports published by the Cour des Comptes (French Audit Office) in 2013. But the highest cost lies in the principle of “energy saving”, which is presented as especially virtuous. Since no civilization can develop when it is saving energy, ours has stopped developing: France now has more than three million people unemployed – it is the price we have to pay for our virtue.

We want to cut our CO2 emissions at any cost: it is a way of displaying our virtue for all to see. To achieve these reductions, we have significantly cut industrial activity and lost jobs. But at least we have achieved our aim of cutting CO2 emissions, haven‘t we? The answer is laughable: apparently not. Global emissions of CO2 have continued to rise, including those generated by France in designing and manufacturing its own products, as the Cour des Comptes clearly states. Quite simply, manufacturing that is held to be environmentally damaging has been relocated. So the same products are now being manufactured in countries that are far less respectful of the environment, and we have lost all the associated jobs. As Baudelaire says, “Nature‘s irony combines with our insanity”.

The crusade is pointless

Human beings cannot, in any event, change the climate. If we in France were to stop all industrial activity (let‘s not talk about our intellectual activity, which ceased long ago), if we were to eradicate all trace of animal life, the composition of the atmosphere would not alter in any measurable, perceptible way. To explain this, let us make a comparison with the rotation of the planet: it is slowing down. To address that, we might be tempted to ask the entire population of China to run in an easterly direction. But, no matter how big China and its population are, this would have no measurable impact on the Earth‘s rotation.

French policy on CO2 emissions is particularly stupid, since we are one of the countries with the cleanest industrial sector.

This just goes to show the truth of the matter: we are fighting for a cause (reducing CO2 emissions) that serves absolutely no purpose, in which we alone believe, and which we can do nothing about. You would probably have to go quite a long way back in human history to find such a mad obsession.

Gouda tulip bulb prices in guilders. In the background- The Viceroy- one of the most expensive specimens depicted in a Dutch catalogue from 1637. A single bulb reached 3.000-4.200 guilders. A yearly salary of a skilled craftsman equalled approximately 300 guilders.

 

 

 

Arctic Springtime Postponed

May 27, 2017 Sea ice all the way to Labrador – Cape Norman Northern Peninsula Newfoundland h/t Newfoundsander

Too dangerous to go fishing due to ice, Coast Guard warns

Weather Canada Marine Forecast
East Coast – north of Cape St. Francis

Issued 10:00 AM EDT 28 May 2017
Today Tonight and Monday
Special ice warning in effect.
1 tenth of first-year ice including a trace of old ice except 9 tenths of first-year ice including a trace of old ice near parts of the mouth of Bonavista Bay and the mouth of Trinity Bay. Unusual presence of sea ice in the western section.
Iceberg Count
More than 100 icebergs.

The Atlantic ice extents show little retreat during May.  Newfoundland coast on the upper left is still locked in ice though less now than 10 days ago.  In Barents not much has changed.

The graph below shows May extent through yesterday, May 28.

For the first time the decadal average dropped below 12M km2.  2017 is 300k km2 above average, 400k km2 above 2007 and 1.1M km2 higher than 2016.  The graph below shows the Arctic ice extents, excluding the Pacific basins of Bering and Okhotsk.

Note how persistent is 2017 ice extent, currently 500k km2 above both 2007 and the decadal average, and 1M km2 above last year at this date.

The table below shows regional extents for 2017 compared to decadal average and to 2007 on day 148.

Region 2017148 Day 148
Average
2017-Ave. 2007148 2017-2007
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 12294150 11990991 303159 11886249 407901
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1009369 1008031 1338 1059461 -50092
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 818347 904706 -86359 905098 -86750
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1037744 1073527 -35783 1069198 -31454
 (4) Laptev_Sea 871872 847487 24384 774503 97369
 (5) Kara_Sea 901704 845784 55920 879973 21731
 (6) Barents_Sea 502369 328055 174314 307955 194414
 (7) Greenland_Sea 635773 574248 61526 559480 76293
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 1122564 928837 193727 960512 162052
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 820170 818658 1511 819338 831
 (10) Hudson_Bay 1184050 1102567 81483 1093176 90874
 (11) Central_Arctic 3247685 3221113 26572 3228660 19025
 (12) Bering_Sea 34151 212595 -178444 137425 -103274
 (13) Baltic_Sea 4542 319 4223 0 4542
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 101998 123254 -21255 89730 12269

Note the strong surpluses of ice in Kara, Barents, Greenland Sea and Baffin Bay.  Note also that Bering is nearly ice free, and is having some influence on nearby Chukchi.  The two Pacific basins of Bering and Okhotsk now have 136k km2 combined at day 148, which matches where the decadal average will be in 13 days on day 161.

Finally, the image below shows Svalbard comparing 2017 with last year on day 148.

AER provides some insight into these developments along with a forecast in the May 22 posting.

Dr. Judah Cohen:
As I discussed in my previous blog, one constant over the past decade has been the collapse of NH snow cover extent in spring, especially late spring. The rapid disappearance of snow cover across northern Eurasia and northern North America contributes to drying of the soil and warmer temperatures. The resultant warmer temperatures also likely contribute to Arctic sea ice loss.

Snow cover this spring has been more resilient to melt than in previous recent springs. More snow cover results in moister soils. Moister soils result in cooler temperatures. Snow cover and snow mass continue to be relatively high across the NH helped by in part by below normal temperatures in key regions. However the snow cover has been more resilient in Eurasia relative to North America and snow cover across North America experienced a rapid decline over the past week. And with more warm temperatures predicted across Northern Canada, the rapid decline in snow cover will likely continue.

The AO is currently neutral (Figure 1), reflective of mixed geopotential height anomalies across the Arctic and mixed geopotential height anomalies across the mid-latitudes of the NH (Figure 2). Geopotential height anomalies are positive near Greenland and Iceland (Figure 2), and therefore the NAO is negative.

The AO is predicted to remain neutral to positive next week as neutral to negative geopotential height anomalies dominate much of the Arctic (Figure 5a). And with neutral to negative geopotential height anomalies stretching from Greenland to Iceland, the NAO will likely trend positive back into positive territory as well.