COP23 Warning to Humanity

15000 scientists issue warning to humanity: “Time is running out!.”

Remember:  Fighting Global Warming is Absurd, Costly and Pointless.

  • Absurd because of no reliable evidence that anything unusual is happening in our climate.
  • Costly because trillions of dollars are wasted on immature, inefficient technologies that serve only to make cheap, reliable energy expensive and intermittent.
  • Pointless because we do not control the weather anyway.

Explained in COP23 Briefing for Realists

Update:  Media reporting frustration at COP23 over lack of progress on funding for developing countries.  Thus, the warning above indicates the ritual has progressed to stage 3, and now with early indications for stage 5.

Climate Talks Ritual

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Update: Drama in 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.

Professor Jordan Peterson is pushing back against embedded social justice warfare in the faculty offerings at University of Toronto.  He is starting a website that will inform students of the words and concepts that will be used in various classes, using the actual language on display.  This is deemed unsuitable and invading of safe spaces by those exposed.

Article is Faculty requests action against Peterson from a campus newspaper, The Medium.  Excerpts with my bolds.

Faculty members from the University of Toronto’s Women and Gender Studies Institute (WGSI) have requested a meeting with the university’s vice-provost to demand that action be taken against professor Jordan Peterson, who has stated his intent to create a website ranking university courses and instructors based on “postmodern neo-Marxian” ideologies included in course content.

“We are writing to express our deep concern about a proposed website being built under the direction of Prof. Jordan Peterson for the purpose of identifying and ranking courses and professors that he advocates should be removed from the university,” read the letter, “This website, if launched, presents a serious case of harassment, fostering unsafe work and study conditions for students, faculty, and staff.”

Peterson has spoken about this digital tool since summer of 2017, recently saying that he hopes to have the site ready by January.

“In public online remarks more broadly, Prof. Peterson regularly describes women and gender studies and what he refers to as ‘racial and ethnic group studies’ as pathological, a cancer, and in other strongly denigrating terms,” the letter also reads, “The launch of this website must be put in this context in order to fully understand it as a platform that will generate harassment.”

Peterson stated his goal to establish the website as a way of “moderating the behavior of the universities.”

“It will tell you the degree to which the description is postmodern and then you can decide for yourself whether you want to take that and become a social justice warrior, if that is what you think your education should be about, or if you should avoid that like the plague that it truly is,” Peterson stated in an interview with Julie Patreon, uploaded on July 3rd of this year, “I would like to knock enrolment in the postmodern disciplines down by 75 per cent over the next five years.”

“I think that what needs to happen is that freshman and second-year university students, and students coming into university from high school, need to be educated about the postmodern cult and they need to be encouraged to not take the courses, to just drop the courses, to just stay the hell away from them,” Peterson stated in a video uploaded on July 9th.

In the same video, Peterson expressed an interest in seeing enrolment in the humanities decline at an increased rate.

The university faculty also expressed concern over the “violence-tinged language to describe the courses he hopes to prevent people from taking” in Peterson’s videos.

On November 10th, the U of T Faculty Association released a statement stating that a meeting with the provost office has been requested.

“Instructors of the potentially targeted courses believe that their autonomy as educators may be under threat. The proposed website has created a climate of fear and intimidation,” the statement reads, “The UTFA Executive has taken the unprecedented step of asking that the entire Executive meet with the Provost’s office to express our deep concern about this threat to our members and to the academic mission of the University.”

As of press time, the provost has not released a statement regarding its intent to meet with faculty from WGSI regarding Peterson, or stated any possible plan to address Peterson’s site.

Peterson has frequently spoken out regarding freedom of speech on the university campuses, has voiced his dislike towards censoring lectures for students, and the current feminism movement.

Peterson has also gained national attention last September after refusing to use gender-neutral pronouns in his lectures. Since then, he has taken to uploading videos through YouTube to discuss his views on current social issues and doing guest speeches at public events.

Background is from previous post Inside the Snowflake Academy

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.

 

 

 

Global Cooling Celebration


Be sure to turn on the sound to appreciate the video.

So the Al Gore Global Cooling effect is muted at the COP23 site in Bonn Germany with temperatures only slightly below normal, but with rain every day.  Elsewhere in North America winter is making an early appearance.  For example in Montreal we woke up this morning with -8C and some snow in the street.

Here is the snow cover map from yesterday showing Siberia fully covered along with Alaska and northern Canada.  As seen in the video above climate realists are dancing over the demise of the warmist fantasy.

 

 


			

Astronaut Grinds Climate Axe

Meet Julie Payette, Canada’s next Governor General

One month into her new job as Canada’s Governor General, Julie Payette was the keynote speaker at the ninth annual Canadian Science Policy Convention in Ottawa Nov. 1 where she urged her friends and former colleagues to take responsibility to shut down the misinformation about everything from health and medicine to climate change and even horoscopes that has flourished with the explosion of digital media.

“Can you believe that still today in learned society, in houses of government, unfortunately, we’re still debating and still questioning whether humans have a role in the Earth warming up or whether even the Earth is warming up, period,” she asked, her voice incredulous.

As the photo suggests, Payette has an impressive CV, but she appears not to know the difference between being Governor General and a Liberal cheerleader. I referred to “climate axe” purposely because leftist politicians in both Canada and US have employed global warmism as a wedge issue to split the electorate in their favor by marginalizing the skeptics.

Firstly, her speech shows her ignorance of the people she represents. The most recent survey of Canadian public opinion on global warming gave this result:

Sponsors of the survey and media reporting (eg. CBC) believe 100% in man-made global warming, so were disappointed in the public’s dissent and tried to hide and misconstrue the survey results. But buried in the details is the above finding showing that Payette has thrown under the bus more than half of Canadians.  Even in her home city Montreal, hotbed of climatism, she belittles 40% of the population. Details of the survey are in Uncensored: Canadians View Global Warming

Secondly, pronouncements on scientific issues should be based on personal critical examination of the facts for and against a position. Her space experience was made possible by pioneering NASA scientists who have done their homework and come to the opposite conclusion.  She is also dumping on colleagues who have actually studied the data.

NASA retirees organized TRCS research team in the Spring of 2012 and developed a website that documents our progress into understanding the AGW issue over the last 5 years. http://www.TheRightClimateStuff.com We set as our initial goal: “Determine to what extent unrestricted burning of fossil fuels can cause harmful climate change.” We have concluded that the computer model analyses used in the IPCC reports, estimating global warming increases up to 4.5 degrees C for doubling atmospheric CO2 concentration, are in error because the models do not agree with empirical data as required by the principles of the Scientific Method. Our analysis, based on principles of conservation of energy, uses well-known, measured data and predicts no more than 1.2 degrees C increase in global warming due to burning all currently known world-wide reserves of fossil fuels. Our simple model is validated by the rigor of its derivation and agreement with 167 years of empirical data since 1850. This analysis was completed with the same rigor and attention to detail used in our manned space program, where the lives of astronauts depended on our accuracy.

Excerpt with my bolds from letter to President Donald J Trump by The Right Climate Stuff Research Team. Led by Harold H Doiron, signed by 22 others including Astronauts Walter Cunningham and Charles Duke.

More information and the complete report is at The Right Climate Stuff

Has Payette done her own analysis and written a report, or is she taking someone’s word about global warming theory and its effects? That would be a secondhand opinion, an appeal to authority rather than science.

Thirdly, it is not the Governor General’s role to champion political correctness. Rex Murphy explains it clearly in his National Post article  Governor General appoints herself umpire of questions of faith and science  Excerpts below with my bolds.

In this wonderfully diverse Canada that Ms. Payette now represents, was it her intent to ridicule the religious beliefs of so very many faiths?

Merely as prelude, we should point out that the difference between elected and selected is more than a matter of the letter “s,” and add that being assigned to a state ceremonial office does not confer oracular status on a person. On the first, it must be clearly acknowledged that it is the elected, not the selected, who argue and debate the issues of the day and determine the worth and truth of the policies that emerge from that process. They write the laws: the GG, as ceremonial totem, the stand-in for an absent Regent of a hollowed-out Monarchy, affixes her signature to them.

Secondly, elevation to the GG office, delight and honour that it undoubtedly is, does not come with a certificate of intellectual authority, or the prerogative to delimit the scope of inquiry and debate on any issue the Commons or the citizenry may wish to engage. It is not at all evident that Ms. Payette is clear on these points.

Her speech had a scattering, pinball machine trajectory. In the space of a few sentences it went from climate change, to the origin of life, to newspaper horoscopes; from dicta on the “denialism” sometimes confronting the first, to the religious understandings of the second, and the vacuous absurdity of the third. The problem with this neat triad is that, while a tirade against horoscopy might be perfectly agreeable to most everyone (being a machine gun attack on a whole field of straw men — who reads horoscopes save for feeble amusement?), assertions on life and climate are on another plane entirely.

Conclusion

Naturally, Ms. Payette opined on climate science, and equally naturally placed inquiry and skepticism on what is proclaimed the consensus of that but emergent discipline as denialism – thereby endorsing the ugliest rhetorical term in this entire, explosive issue, which summons the butchery and cruelty of History’s greatest crime as a spurious backdrop to debate on an unresolved public issue. We have a right to expect better from Her Majesty’s representative.

Climate Scientist Sues Over Hurt Feelings

Article By Alex Berezow — November 2, 2017 at American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) entitled:
Climate Scientist Mark Jacobson Sues Journal For $10M Over Hurt Feelings  Excerpts below with my bolds.

ACSH has been around since 1978. We have never seen anything like this.

Climate scientist Mark Z. Jacobson of Stanford University has sued the National Academy of Sciences, which publishes the prestigious journal PNAS, for publishing an article that disagreed with him. The lawsuit claims that Dr. Jacobson was libeled and slandered. He is suing to get the journal to retract the article.  For his hurt feelings and bruised ego, he also wants a big bag of money, $10 million to be precise

Let’s set aside the scientific arguments in this debate, which revolve around the feasibility of 100% renewable energy. Smart people can disagree about whether that is a technologically and economically achievable goal. The way smart (and mature) people handle their disagreements is in the pages of a peer-reviewed scientific journal. But, apparently, that’s no longer how things operate in our litigious society.

Dr. Jacobson published a paper in PNAS that other scientists found faulty. So, they published a rebuttal, which concluded that Dr. Jacobson’s analysis “involves errors, inappropriate methods, and implausible assumptions.” While this is considered rather harsh language for the scientific literature, critiquing the work of others occurs as a matter of routine. Indeed, questioning another scientist’s conclusions is a healthy and integral part of the pursuit of knowledge.

The ACSH article goes into the details and statements that suggest Jacobson’s hurt feelings are driving his actions.  But I want to put this dispute in a larger context.  For this is a powerful example of the misuse of scientific models that goes on flagrantly in climate science, but also in other fields.  The only difference here is Jacobson’s extreme measure of going to the courts to defend his model.  For background, consider the notion of Chameleon Models, a term invented by Paul Pfleiderer  (also of Stanford), and see how it applies to this conflict.

Chameleon2

Paul Pfleiderer has done a public service in calling attention to
The Misuse of Theoretical Models in Finance and Economics (here)
h/t to William Briggs for noticing and linking

He coins the term “Chameleon” for the abuse of models, and explains in the abstract of his article:

In this essay I discuss how theoretical models in finance and economics are used in ways that make them “chameleons” and how chameleons devalue the intellectual currency and muddy policy debates. A model becomes a chameleon when it is built on assumptions with dubious connections to the real world but nevertheless has conclusions that are uncritically (or not critically enough) applied to understanding our economy. I discuss how chameleons are created and nurtured by the mistaken notion that one should not judge a model by its assumptions, by the unfounded argument that models should have equal standing until definitive empirical tests are conducted, and by misplaced appeals to “as-if” arguments, mathematical elegance, subtlety, references to assumptions that are “standard in the literature,” and the need for tractability.

Chameleon Climate Models

Pfleiderer is writing about his specialty, financial models, and even more particularly banking systems, and gives several examples of how dysfunctional is the problem. As we shall see below, climate models are an order of magnitude more complicated, and abused in the same way, only more flagrantly.

As the analogy suggests, a chameleon model changes color when it is moved to a different context. When politicians and activists refer to climate models, they assert the model outputs as “Predictions”. The media is rife with examples, but here is one from Climate Concern UK

Some predicted Future Effects of Climate Change

  • Increased average temperatures: the IPCC (International Panel for Climate Change) predict a global rise of between 1.1ºC and 6.4ºC by 2100 depending on some scientific uncertainties and the extent to which the world decreases or increases greenhouse gas emissions.
  • 50% less rainfall in the tropics. Severe water shortages within 25 years – potentially affecting 5 billion people. Widespread crop failures.
  • 50% more river volume by 2100 in northern countries.
  • Desertification and burning down of vast areas of agricultural land and forests.
  • Continuing spread of malaria and other diseases, including from a much increased insect population in UK. Respiratory illnesses due to poor air quality with higher temperatures.
  • Extinction of large numbers of animal and plant species.
  • Sea level rise: due to both warmer water (greater volume) and melting ice. The IPCC predicts between 28cm and 43cm by 2100, with consequent high storm wave heights, threatening to displace up to 200 million people. At worst, if emissions this century were to set in place future melting of both the Greenland and West Antarctic ice caps, sea level would eventually rise approx 12m.

Now that alarming list of predictions is a claim to forecast what will be the future of the actual world as we know it.

Now for the switcheroo. When climate models are referenced by scientists or agencies likely to be held legally accountable for making claims, the model output is transformed into “Projections.” The difference is more than semantics:
Prediction: What will actually happen in the future.
Projection: What will possibly happen in the future.

In other words, the climate model has gone from the bookshelf world (possibilities) to the world of actualities and of policy decision-making.  The step of applying reality filters to the climate models (verification) is skipped in order to score political and public relations points.

The ultimate proof of this is the existence of legal disclaimers exempting the modelers from accountability. One example is from ClimateData.US

Disclaimer NASA NEX-DCP30 Terms of Use

The maps are based on NASA’s NEX-DCP30 dataset that are provided to assist the science community in conducting studies of climate change impacts at local to regional scales, and to enhance public understanding of possible future climate patterns and climate impacts at the scale of individual neighborhoods and communities. The maps presented here are visual representations only and are not to be used for decision-making. The NEX-DCP30 dataset upon which these maps are derived is intended for use in scientific research only, and use of this dataset or visualizations for other purposes, such as commercial applications, and engineering or design studies is not recommended without consultation with a qualified expert. (my bold)

Conclusion:

Whereas some theoretical models can be immensely useful in developing intuitions, in essence a theoretical model is nothing more than an argument that a set of conclusions follows from a given set of assumptions. Being logically correct may earn a place for a theoretical model on the bookshelf, but when a theoretical model is taken off the shelf and applied to the real world, it is important to question whether the model’s assumptions are in accord with what we know about the world. Is the story behind the model one that captures what is important or is it a fiction that has little connection to what we see in practice? Have important factors been omitted? Are economic agents assumed to be doing things that we have serious doubts they are able to do? These questions and others like them allow us to filter out models that are ill suited to give us genuine insights. To be taken seriously models should pass through the real world filter.

Chameleons are models that are offered up as saying something significant about the real world even though they do not pass through the filter. When the assumptions of a chameleon are challenged, various defenses are made (e.g., one shouldn’t judge a model by its assumptions, any model has equal standing with all other models until the proper empirical tests have been run, etc.). In many cases the chameleon will change colors as necessary, taking on the colors of a bookshelf model when challenged, but reverting back to the colors of a model that claims to apply the real world when not challenged.

A model becomes a chameleon when it is built on assumptions with dubious connections to the real world but nevertheless has conclusions that are uncritically (or not critically enough) applied to understanding our economy. Chameleons are not just mischievous they can be harmful − especially when used to inform policy and other decision making − and they devalue the intellectual currency.

Thank you Dr. Pfleiderer for showing us how the sleight-of-hand occurs in economic considerations. The same abuse prevails in the world of climate science.


Paul Pfleiderer, Stanford University Faculty
C.O.G. Miller Distinguished Professor of Finance
Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Professor of Law (by courtesy), School of Law

Postscript:  Now we have a scientist whose model has been reality tested and found wanting by others. His response is filing a lawsuit to make the criticism go away, and to levy a penalty so heavy that no model would ever again be challenged. Onward into the post-modern abyss.

Footnote:

There are a series of posts here which apply reality filters to attest climate models.  The first was Temperatures According to Climate Models where both hindcasting and forecasting were seen to be flawed.

Others in the Series are:

Sea Level Rise: Just the Facts

Data vs. Models #1: Arctic Warming

Data vs. Models #2: Droughts and Floods

Data vs. Models #3: Disasters

Data vs. Models #4: Climates Changing

Suppressing Climate

The above video is how I first heard of PragerU.  Now the nonprofit organization is suing Google and Youtube for their ideological bias in suppressing Prager’s videos.

PragerU Sues YouTube For Discriminating Against Conservative Videos
is an article by Ben Weingarten at The Federalist.  Excerpts below with my bolds.

Those blackballed from social media platforms for sharing views dissenting from prevailing progressive Silicon Valley orthodoxy have to date had little recourse against the tech speech police. That is why PragerU’s newly filed suit against Google and Google-owned YouTube alleging unlawful censorship and free speech discrimination based on the educational video purveyor’s conservative political viewpoint has the potential to be groundbreaking.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in California, details upwards of 50 PragerU educational videos that YouTube has, in PragerU’s view, unjustifiably slapped with “restricted mode” or “demonetization” filters, violating its First Amendment right to free speech. These filters limit or otherwise prevent viewers, based on characteristics like age, from consuming content deemed “inappropriate.”

More arguably provocative videos touch on topics such as Islamic terrorism, campus rape, and gender identity. According the suit, “The videos do not contain any profanity, nudity, or otherwise inappropriate ‘mature’ content. The censored videos fully comply with the letter of YouTube’s Terms of Use and Community Guidelines.” Moreover, PragerU illustrates that comparable videos from non-conservative sources like BuzzFeedVideo, CNN, and “Real Time with Bill Maher” have not been subjected to such filters.

Leaving aside the inherent subjectivity for a moment, if PragerU’s content is “appropriate,” and other publishers are able to upload similar content without being penalized, then what better explanation is there for YouTube’s censorship than viewpoint discrimination? PragerU’s dealings with YouTube over its content restrictions only strengthen the validity of this question.

As PragerU summarizes it:

Google/YouTube seek to justify…[its] animus and bias [towards PragerU’s political identity and viewpoint] not by claiming that PragerU has violated YouTube’s restricted content guidelines or criteria, but by arguing that they retain unfettered discretion to censor any video content that they deem “inappropriate,” no matter how subjective, baseless, or arbitrary that decision is…For over one year, PragerU has worked patiently and cooperatively to try to resolve the censorship issues that comprise this Lawsuit. In response, Google/YouTube have provided vague, misleading, confusing, and often contradictory information that not only has prevented resolution of the issues, but constitutes further evidence and indicia that their restricted mode filtering applied to PragerU is based on Defendants’ [Google/YouTube’s] intentional discrimination and animus

That as unimpeachable a source as the video-producing nonprofit PragerU is challenging YouTube should serve as a powerful signal that conservatives and others whose views social media companies deem unworthy will no longer permit their rights to be trampled upon. This is significant regardless of the case’s outcome.

PragerU’s efforts are essential, and may serve as the vanguard of a successful lawfare effort. But while legal action is necessary, it is by no means a sufficient and sure safeguard of our rights. As we have seen time and time again, judges routinely permit our liberties to erode, and sometimes actively assist. Preserving free speech, like all of our cherished freedoms, requires constant vigilance and persistent defense.

More on biased public and social media:

Media Duping Scandal

Ideological Fault Lines

Yellow Climate Journalism

 

Climate Medicine Bonn Update

Climate Quakery

With Bonn COP23 set to start next week, the media is awash with claims that climate change is an international public health crisis.  For example, in just one day from Google news:

Climate change isn’t just hurting the planet – it’s a public health emergency–The Guardian

Climate change’s impact on human health is already here — and is ‘potentially irreversible,’ report says –USA TODAY

Climate Change Is Bad for Your Health–New York Times

From heat stress to malnutr­ition, climate change is already making us sick–The Verge

As Richard Lindzen predicted, everyone wants on the climate bandwagon, because that is where the money is.  Medical scientists are pushing for their share of the pie, as evidenced by the Met office gathering on Assessing the Global Impacts of Climate and Extreme Weather on Health and Well-Being (following Paris COP).  Not coincidentally, the 2nd Global Conference on Health and Climate was held July 7-8, 2016 in Paris.  Now we have the American Public Health Association declaring:

2017 is the Year of Climate Change and Health

“We’re committed to making sure the nation knows about the effects of climate change on health. If anyone doesn’t think this is a severe problem, they are fooling themselves.” — APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, in The Washington Post

The new field of Climate Medicine is evidenced by a slew of new organizations and studies.  In addition to numerous agencies set up within WHO and the UN, and governmental entities (such as the Met Office), there are many NGOs, such as:

Health Care Without Harm
Health and Environment Alliance
Health and Climate Foundation
Climate and Health Council
United States National Association of County and City Health Officials
Care International
Global Gender and Climate Alliance / Women’s Environment and   Development Organization
International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations
Climate Change and Human Health Programme, Columbia U.
Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard
National Center for Epidemiology and Population Health, ANC Canberra
Centre for Sustainability and the Global Environment, U of Wisconsin
Environmental Change Institute, Oxford
London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, London, UK
International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change, US National Academies of Science
US Climate and Health Alliance
Etc, etc., etc.

Of course, they are encouraged and abetted by the IPCC.

From the Fifth Assessment Report:

Until mid-century, projected climate change will impact human health mainly by exacerbating health problems that already exist (very high confidence). Throughout the 21st century, climate change is expected to lead to increases in ill-health in many regions and especially in developing countries with low income, as compared to a baseline without climate change (high confidence). By 2100 for RCP8.5, the combination of high temperature and humidity in some areas for parts of the year is expected to compromise common human activities, including growing food and working outdoors (high confidence). {2.3.2}

In urban areas climate change is projected to increase risks for people, assets, economies and ecosystems, including risks from heat stress, storms and extreme precipitation, inland and coastal flooding, landslides, air pollution, drought, water scarcity, sea level rise and storm surges (very high confidence). These risks are amplified for those lacking essential infrastructure and services or living in exposed areas. {2.3.2}

Feared Climate Health Impacts Are Unsupported by Scientific Research

NIPCC has a compendium of peer-reviewed studies on this issue and provides these findings (here)

Key Findings: Human Health
• Warmer temperatures lead to a decrease in temperature-related mortality, including deaths associated with cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and strokes. The evidence of this benefit comes from research conducted in every major country of the world.

• In the United States the average person who died because of cold temperature exposure lost in excess of 10 years of potential life, whereas the average person who died because of hot temperature exposure likely lost no more than a few days or weeks of life.

• In the U.S., some 4,600 deaths are delayed each year as people move from cold northeastern states to warm southwestern states. Between 3 and 7% of the gains in longevity experienced over the past three decades was due simply to people moving to warmer states.

• Cold-related deaths are far more numerous than heat-related deaths in the United States, Europe, and almost all countries outside the tropics. Coronary and cerebral thrombosis account for about half of all cold-related mortality.

• Global warming is reducing the incidence of cardiovascular diseases related to low temperatures and wintry weather by a much greater degree than it increases the incidence of cardiovascular diseases associated with high temperatures and summer heat waves.

• A large body of scientific examination and research contradict the claim that malaria will expand across the globe and intensify as a result of CO2 -induced warming.

• Concerns over large increases in vector-borne diseases such as dengue as a result of rising temperatures are unfounded and unsupported by the scientific literature, as climatic indices are poor predictors for dengue disease.

• While temperature and climate largely determine the geographical distribution of ticks, they are not among the significant factors determining the incidence of tick-borne diseases.

• The ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 content is not only raising the productivity of Earth’s common food plants but also significantly increasing the quantity and potency of the many healthpromoting substances found in their tissues, which are the ultimate sources of sustenance for essentially all animals and humans.

• Atmospheric CO2 enrichment positively impacts the production of numerous health-promoting substances found in medicinal or “health food” plants, and this phenomenon may have contributed to the increase in human life span that has occurred over the past century or so.

• There is little reason to expect any significant CO2 -induced increases in human-health-harming substances produced by plants as atmospheric CO2 levels continue to rise.

Source: Chapter 7. “Human Health,” Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts (Chicago, IL: The Heartland Institute, 2014).
Full text of Chapter 7 and references on Human health begins pg. 955 of the full report here

Summary

Advances in medical science and public health have  benefited billions of people with longer and higher quality lives.  Yet this crucial social asset has joined the list of those fields corrupted by the dash for climate cash. Increasingly, medical talent and resources are diverted into inventing bogeymen and studying imaginary public health crises.

Economists Francesco Boselloa, Roberto Roson and Richard Tol conducted an exhaustive study called Economy-wide estimates of the implications of climate change: Human health

After reviewing all the research and crunching the numbers, they concluded that achieving one degree of global warming by 2050 will, on balance, save more than 800,000 lives annually.

Not only is the warming not happening, we would be more healthy if it did.

Oh, Dr. Frankenmann, what have you wrought?

Footnote:  More proof against Climate Medicine

From: Gasparrini et al: Mortality risk attributable to high and low ambient temperature: a multicountry observational study. The Lancet, May 2015

Cold weather kills 20 times as many people as hot weather, according to an international study analyzing over 74 million deaths in 384 locations across 13 countries. The findings, published in The Lancet, also reveal that deaths due to moderately hot or cold weather substantially exceed those resulting from extreme heat waves or cold spells.

“It’s often assumed that extreme weather causes the majority of deaths, with most previous research focusing on the effects of extreme heat waves,” says lead author Dr Antonio Gasparrini from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in the UK. “Our findings, from an analysis of the largest dataset of temperature-related deaths ever collected, show that the majority of these deaths actually happen on moderately hot and cold days, with most deaths caused by moderately cold temperatures.”

Now in 2017, Lancet sets the facts aside in order to prostrate itself before the global warming altar:

Christiana Figueres, chair of the Lancet Countdown’s high-level advisory board and former executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said, “The report lays bare the impact that climate change is having on our health today. It also shows that tackling climate change directly, unequivocally and immediately improves global health. It’s as simple as that.’’

 

 

 

Climate Law Alaska Update

 

The Alaska Supreme Court hears arguments in the Boney Courthouse in Anchorage .

Our Children’s Trust is at it again. The activist legal organization with deep pockets recruits idealistic teenagers to front for lawsuits so that the courts will order governments to reduce CO2 emissions. The arena is again the Supreme Court of Alaska, a soft target since it is predisposed to hear cases from disgruntled citizens. More on the latest case later on.

And who are the adults involved in  Our Children’s Trust?

Supporting Experts (the usual suspects)

Dr. James Hansen
Dr. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg
Dr. Sivan Kartha
Dr. Pushker Kharecha
Dr. David Lobell
Dr. Arjun Makhijani
Dr. Jonathan Overpeck
Dr. Camille Parmeson
Dr. Stefan Rahmstorf
Dr. Steven Running
Dr. James Gustave Speth
Dr. Kevin Trenberth
Dr. Lise Van Susteren
Dr. Paul Epstein (1943-2011)
Etc

Campaign Partners (Allies whose funding depends on CO2 Hysteria)

Climate Reality Project,
Western Environmental Law Center,
Crag Law Center,
Texas Environmental Law Center,
Cottonwood Environmental Law Center,
WildEarth Guardians,
Clean Air Council,
Global Campaign for Climate Action,
Chasing Ice,
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide,
TERRA,
Sierra Club,
350.org,
Climate Solutions,
Greenwatch,
Center for International Environmental Law..
Greenpeace
etc.

The Current Legal Skirmish

The October 27 news story is Young Alaskans sue the state, demanding action on climate change

Sixteen young Alaskans are suing the state, demanding Gov. Bill Walker’s administration take action on climate change.

It’s the second such legal action in the last six years. In 2014, the Alaska Supreme Court dismissed a similar lawsuit, Kanuk v Alaska, from six young people asking the state to reduce carbon emissions, among other recommendations. The justices ruled then that it’s not for the courts to set climate policy and that those decisions must be made through the political process, by the Legislature and the governor.

The new lawsuit says, essentially, the state has made its choice, and by encouraging oil development and permitting projects that emit greenhouse gases, Alaska is actively making climate change worse. The plaintiffs argue that violates their constitutional rights to, among other things, “a stable climate system that sustains human life and liberty.”

Alaska Court Not a Pushover

In 2014 the Alaska Supremes expressed respect for the youth while holding firmly to the law. Their reasoning is sound and adds to precedent against these attempts to legislate through the courts. From Alaska Supreme Court Opinion No sp-6953, Kanuk v Alaska (2014). Excerpts below with my bolds.

First Issue:  Do Plaintiffs have Legal Standing?

We recognize two types of standing: interest-injury standing and citizen taxpayer standing. The plaintiffs here claim interest-injury standing, which means they must show a “sufficient personal stake in the outcome of the controversy to ensure the requisite adversity.

Accepting these allegations as true and drawing all reasonable inferences in the plaintiffs’ favor, as courts are required to do on a motion to dismiss, we conclude that the complaint shows direct injury to a range of recognizable interests. Especially in light of our broad interpretation of standing and our policy of promoting citizen access to the courts, the plaintiffs’ allegations are sufficient to establish standing.

Second Issue: Are the Claims “Justiciable”?

Deciding whether a claim is justiciable depends on the answers to several questions. These include;
(1) whether deciding the claim would require us to answer questions that are better directed to the legislative or executive branches of government (the “political question” doctrine), and; 
(2) whether there are other reasons — such as ripeness, mootness, or standing — that persuade us that, though the case is one we are institutionally capable of deciding, prudence counsels that we not do so.

Among the plaintiffs’ claims in this case are requests that the superior court
(1) declare that the State’s obligation to protect the atmosphere be “dictated by best available science and that said science requires carbon dioxide emissions to peak in 2012 and be reduced by at least 6% each year until 2050”;
(2) order the State to reduce  emissions “by at least 6% per year from 2013 through at least 2050”; and
(3) order the State “to prepare a full and accurate accounting of Alaska’s current carbon dioxide emissions and to do so annually thereafter.”

We conclude that these three claims are non-justiciable under several of the Baker factors, most obviously the third: “the impossibility of deciding [them] without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for nonjudicial discretion.”

While the science of anthropogenic climate change is compelling, government reaction to the problem implicates realms of public policy besides the objectively scientific. The legislature — or an executive agency entrusted with rule-making authority in this area — may decide that employment, resource development, power generation, health, culture, or other economic and social interests militate against implementing what the plaintiffs term the “best available science” in order to combat climate change.

We cannot say that an executive or legislative body that weighs the benefits and detriments to the public and then opts for an approach that differs from the plaintiffs’ proposed “best available science” would be wrong as a matter of law, nor can we hasten the regulatory process by imposing our own judicially created scientific standards. The underlying policy choices are not ours to make in the first instance.

This court, too, “lack[s] the scientific, economic, and technological resources an agency can utilize”; we too “are confined by [the] record” and “may not commission scientific studies or convene groups of experts for advice, or issue rules under notice-and-comment procedures.” The limited institutional role of the judiciary supports a conclusion that the science- and policy-based inquiry here is better reserved for executive branch agencies or the legislature, just as in AEP the inquiry was better reserved for the EPA.

Third Issue: Is a Declaratory Judgment Appropriate?

The remaining issue for us to address, therefore, is whether the plaintiffs’ claims for declaratory judgment — absent the prospect of any concrete relief — still present an “actual controversy” that is appropriate for our determination. We conclude they do not.

Applying these criteria here militates against granting the declaratory relief that the plaintiffs request. First, their request for a judgment that the State “has failed to uphold its fiduciary obligations” with regard to the atmosphere cannot be granted once the court has declined, on political question grounds, to determine precisely what those obligations entail.

As for the remaining claims — that the atmosphere is an asset of the public trust, with the State as trustee and the public as beneficiaries— the plaintiffs do make a good case. The Alaska Legislature has already intimated that the State acts as  trustee with regard to the air just as it does with regard to other natural resources. We note, however, that our past application of public trust principles has been as a restraint on the State’s ability to restrict public access to public resources, not as a theory for compelling regulation of those resources, as the plaintiffs seek to use it here.

Although declaring the atmosphere to be subject to the public trust doctrine could serve to clarify the legal relations at issue, it would certainly not “settle” them. It would have no immediate impact on greenhouse gas emissions in Alaska, it would not compel the State to take any particular action, nor would it protect the plaintiffs from the injuries they allege in their complaint. Declaratory relief would not tell the State what it needs to do in order to satisfy its trust duties and thus avoid future litigation; conversely it would not provide the plaintiffs any certain basis on which to determine in the future whether the State has breached its duties as trustee. In short, the declaratory judgment sought by the plaintiffs would not significantly advance the goals of “terminat[ing] and afford[ing] relief from the uncertainty, insecurity, and controversy giving rise to the proceeding” and would thus fail to serve the principal prudential goals of declaratory relief.

Scales of justice Alaska Commons

Conclusion

The Alaska Supreme Justices seem to be on their game, using their heads rather than succumbing to green threats, fears and prophecies.  But the whole charade is disgusting.

This is as obscene as brainwashing young Muslims to be suicide bombers. Or terrorists hiding among families to deter the drone strikes. The fact that the kids are willing is no excuse.

Think of the children! How will they feel a decade from now when they realize they have been duped and exploited by activists who figured judges would be more sympathetic to young believers?

Footnote for those not aware of Aliases for the Usual Suspects:

James “Death Trains” Hansen
Ove “Reefer Mad” Hoegh-Guldberg
Jonathan “Water Torture” Overpeck
Camille “The Extincter” Parmeson
Stefan “No Tommorow” Rahmstorf
Kevin “Hidden Heat” Trenberth

Minnesota judge allows ‘necessity defense’ in pipeline case

It looks like the last of the four “valve turner” trials will include the necessity defense. It was not allowed in the recent North Dakota case, and the two convicts will be sentenced tomorrow.

Here is the report from Town Hall Minnesota judge allows ‘necessity defense’ in pipeline case with my bolds.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota judge has taken the unusual step of allowing four protesters to use a “necessity defense,” enabling them to present evidence that the threat of climate change from Canadian tar sands crude is so imminent that they were justified in trying to shut down two Enbridge Energy oil pipelines last year.

Emily Johnston and Annette Klapstein freely acknowledge they turned the emergency shut-off valves on two pipelines on Oct. 11, 2016, in Clearwater County in northwestern Minnesota. It was part of a coordinated action by Climate Direct Action activists to shut down five pipelines that carry tar sands crude from Canada to the U.S. in Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana and Washington state. A total of 11 activists were charged.

Johnston and Klapstein, who are from the Seattle area, said Tuesday that as far as their legal team knows, this is the first time that a judge has allowed a full necessity defense on a climate change issue. They cited recent hurricanes and Western wildfires as evidence that climate change is making natural disasters worse, and they say tar sands oil contributes disproportionately because it generates much more carbon dioxide than other oil.

“It’s not just a question of a looming threat, it’s a disaster happening right now all over the world,” Johnston said.

Klapstein, a retired lawyer, said they know of one case in which a judge allowed evidence about climate change but then told the jury to disregard it.

“It looks like we’re going to be able to bring in all our experts and present our evidence of how dire climate change is, so we’re pretty excited about that,” she said.

Michael Foster, of Seattle, was convicted Oct. 6 of targeting the Keystone pipeline in North Dakota. His judge barred him from using a necessity defense. He now faces up to 21 years in prison when he’s sentenced Jan. 18. A defendant who filmed him was convicted of conspiracy and faces up to 11 years.

Johnston and Klapstein are due to go on trial Dec. 11 on felony charges of criminal damage to critical public service facilities and other counts. The charges carry maximum terms of over 20 years in prison, though prosecutors have said the most likely penalty is up to a year in jail. Two defendants who filmed them will stand trial together later on lesser charges.

In an order Friday, Clearwater County District Judge Robert Tiffany said the four defendants must clear a high legal bar.

In Minnesota, Tiffany wrote, a defendant asserting a necessity defense “must show that the harm that would have resulted from obeying the law would have significantly exceeded the harm actually caused by breaking the law, there was no legal alternative to breaking the law, the defendant was in danger of imminent physical harm, and there was a direct causal connection between breaking the law and preventing the harm.”

The judge said it applies “only in emergency situations where the peril is instant, overwhelming, and leaves no alternative but the conduct in question.”

The defense will have to persuade a jury in a sparsely populated county where Enbridge is a major employer and the largest property taxpayer.

Enbridge condemned the Minnesota protest as “dangerous and reckless.” The Calgary, Alberta-based company said it temporarily shut down the pipelines itself as a precaution.

Background:

A Valve Turner’s Trial: Mostly guilty October 6, 2017

Blatant Hypocrisy re. Social Cost of Carbon

 

Update of  post from last December, triggered by Michael Greenstone’s comments on the EPA Proposed Repeal of CO2 emissions regulations.  A Washington Post article today, October 11, 2017, includes this:

“My read is that the political decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan was made and then they did whatever was necessary to make the numbers work,” added Michael Greenstone, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago who worked on climate policy during the Obama years.

Activists are frightened about the Clean Power Plan under serious attack along three lines:
1. No federal law governs CO2 emissions.
2. EPA regulates sites, not the Energy Sector.
3. CPP costs are huge, while benefits are marginal.

Complete discussion at CPP has Three Fatal Flaws.

Read below how Greenstone and a colleague did exactly what he now complains about.

Social Cost of Carbon: Origins and Prospects

The Obama administration has been fighting climate change with a rogue wave of regulations whose legality comes from a very small base: The Social Cost of Carbon.

The purpose of the “social cost of carbon” (SCC) estimates presented here is to allow agencies to incorporate the social benefits of reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into cost-benefit analyses of regulatory actions that impact cumulative global emissions. The SCC is an estimate of the monetized damages associated with an incremental increase in carbon emissions in a given year. It is intended to include (but is not limited to) changes in net agricultural productivity, human health, property damages from increased flood risk, and the value of ecosystem services due to climate change. From the Technical Support Document: -Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis -Under Executive Order 12866

A recent Bloomberg article informs on how the SCC notion was invented, its importance and how it might change under the Trump administration.
How Climate Rules Might Fade Away; Obama used an arcane number to craft his regulations. Trump could use it to undo them. (here). Excerpts below with my bolds.

scc-working-group

In February 2009, a month after Barack Obama took office, two academics sat across from each other in the White House mess hall. Over a club sandwich, Michael Greenstone, a White House economist, and Cass Sunstein, Obama’s top regulatory officer, decided that the executive branch needed to figure out how to estimate the economic damage from climate change. With the recession in full swing, they were rightly skeptical about the chances that Congress would pass a nationwide cap-and-trade bill. Greenstone and Sunstein knew they needed a Plan B: a way to regulate carbon emissions without going through Congress.

Over the next year, a team of economists, scientists, and lawyers from across the federal government convened to come up with a dollar amount for the economic cost of carbon emissions. Whatever value they hit upon would be used to determine the scope of regulations aimed at reducing the damage from climate change. The bigger the estimate, the more costly the rules meant to address it could be. After a year of modeling different scenarios, the team came up with a central estimate of $21 per metric ton, which is to say that by their calculations, every ton of carbon emitted into the atmosphere imposed $21 of economic cost. It has since been raised to around $40 a ton.

Trump can’t undo the SCC by fiat. There is established case law requiring the government to account for the impact of carbon, and if he just repealed it, environmentalists would almost certainly sue.

There are other ways for Trump to undercut the SCC. By tweaking some of the assumptions and calculations that are baked into its model, the Trump administration could pretty much render it irrelevant, or even skew it to the point that carbon emissions come out as a benefit instead of a cost.

The SCC models rely on a “discount rate” to state the harm from global warming in today’s dollars. The higher the discount rate, the lower the estimate of harm. That’s because the costs incurred by burning carbon lie mostly in the distant future, while the benefits (heat, electricity, etc.) are enjoyed today. A high discount rate shrinks the estimates of future costs but doesn’t affect present-day benefits. The team put together by Greenstone and Sunstein used a discount rate of 3 percent to come up with its central estimate of $21 a ton for damage inflicted by carbon. But changing that discount just slightly produces big swings in the overall cost of carbon, turning a number that’s pushing broad changes in everything from appliances to coal leasing decisions into one that would have little or no impact on policy.

According to a 2013 government update on the SCC, by applying a discount rate of 5 percent, the cost of carbon in 2020 comes out to $12 a ton; using a 2.5 percent rate, it’s $65. A 7 percent discount rate, which has been used by the EPA for other regulatory analysis, could actually lead to a negative carbon cost, which would seem to imply that carbon emissions are beneficial. “Once you start to dig into how the numbers are constructed, I cannot fathom how anyone could think it has any basis in reality,” says Daniel Simmons, vice president for policy at the American Energy Alliance and a member of the Trump transition team focusing on the Energy Department.

David Kreutzer, a senior research fellow in energy economics and climate change at Heritage and a member of Trump’s EPA transition team, laid out one of the primary arguments against the SCC. “Believe it or not, these models look out to the year 2300. That’s like effectively asking, ‘If you turn your light switch on today, how much damage will that do in 2300?’ That’s way beyond when any macroeconomic model can be trusted.”

Another issue for those who question the Obama administration’s SCC: It estimates the global costs and benefits of carbon emissions, rather than just focusing on the impact to the U.S. Critics argue that this pushes the cost of carbon much higher and that the calculation should instead be limited to the U.S.; that would lower the cost by more than 70 percent, says the CEI’s Mario Lewis.

Still, by narrowing the calculation to the U.S., Trump could certainly produce a lower cost of carbon. Asked in an e-mail whether the new administration would raise the discount rate or narrow the scope of the SCC to the U.S., one person shaping Trump energy and environmental policy replied, “What prevents us from doing both?”

drain-the-swamp