Tuesday, January 16, 2018

GWPF Newsletter - New Study: Global Ocean Temperatures Have Risen Only 0.1º Celsius In The Last 50 Years

Fossil Fuels’ Share Of Total Energy Use Unchanged In 40 Years

In this newsletter:

1) New Study: Global Ocean Temperatures Have Risen Only 0.1º Celsius In The Last 50 Years
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 5 January 2018
2) The World’s Dependence On Fossil Fuels Hasn’t Changed In 40 Years
P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, 12 January 2018 

3) Germany Becomes The New Poster Child For Climate Change Hypocrisy
Nicolas Loris, The Daily Signal, 11 January 2018
4) UK Shale Tests Reveal ‘Excellent’ Fracking Conditions
Jillian Ambrose, The Daily Telegraph, 13 January 2018
5) Paul Ehrlich’s Epic Fail: Why The “Population Bomb” Never Exploded
Nicholas Vardy, The Oxford Club, 4 January 2018 
6) Dominic Lawson: The ‘Population Bomb’ Is A Dud
The Sunday Times, 14 January 2018

Full details:

1) New Study: Global Ocean Temperatures Have Risen Only 0.1º Celsius In The Last 50 Years
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 5 January 2018

Ocean temperatures have risen only 0.1 degree Celsius over the last five decades, according to a landmark study some scientists argue could change the way researchers measure the ocean’s temperature levels.

Each layer of water in the ocean has vastly different temperatures, so determining the average temperature is nearly impossible without glossing over important data. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego decided on a different model – they measured the ratio of noble gases in the atmosphere, which are in direct relation to the ocean’s temperature.

Geoscientist Jeff Severinghaus, an academic at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, measured values of the noble gases argon, krypton, and xenon in air bubbles captured inside ice cores in Antarctica. Krypton and xenon are released into the atmosphere in known quantities as the ocean warms, according to the study, which was published Thursday in Nature Journal
“This method is a radically new way to measure change in total ocean heat,” Severinghaus said in a post on the Scripps website. “It takes advantage of the fact that the atmosphere is well-mixed, so a single measurement anywhere in the world can give you the answer.”

Severinghaus measured values of the noble gases argon, krypton, and xenon in air bubbles captured inside ice cores in Antarctica. Krypton and xenon, which are remarkably stable regardless external factors, are released into the atmosphere in known quantities as the ocean warms.

Much of the previously available information used to determine ocean temperatures during the past thousands of years has come from records produced by organisms that lived during those times and were subject to a complex array of external biological factors. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other major organizations that measure ocean temperatures rely on these methods to make their determinations.

The ratio of these gases allows for a much more effective and exact calculation of average global ocean temperature, according to Severinghaus and his team of researchers at Scripps. They discovered that xenon and krypton are well preserved in ice cores and can, therefore, provide temperature information that scientists can use to study many other aspects of the earth’s oceans.

“Our precision is about 0.2 ºC (0.4 ºF) now, and the warming of the past 50 years is only about 0.1 ºC,” he said, adding that advanced equipment can provide more precise measurements, allowing scientists to make better calculations going forward. His fellow researcher made similar remarks.

“The reason this study is so exciting is that previous methods of reconstructing ocean heat content have very large age uncertainties, [which] smooths out the more subtle features of the record,” said co-author Sarah Shackleton, a graduate student at Severinghaus’ lab.

“This is the first time that we’ve been able to see these subtle features in the record of the deglaciation,” she added. “This helps us better understand the processes that control changes in ocean heat content.”

Severinghaus’ findings are potentially very significant and “remarkably interesting,” Cato Institute scientist Patrick Michaels told The Daily Caller News Foundation. It tells academics who study the effect average ocean temperatures have on global warming that”we are living in a world that won’t warm at the same rate as those seen in the U.N. climate models.”

Full story

2) The World’s Dependence On Fossil Fuels Hasn’t Changed In 40 Years
P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, 12 January 2018 

Quartz.com here presents an interesting chart which tells us the green energy revolution of the past 30 years has resulted in practically nothing. It’s been a flop. Fossil fuels remain as wildly popular as ever.

Global fossil fuel use as a share of total energy has risen since James Hansen’s 1988 testimony. Chart: Quartz.com.

In the 1970s the big worry was that fossil fuels would soon run out, and so we should “use them wisely”. But in the 1980s the risk changed to one of an overheating planet, and so we should not use them at all.

Higher than 1988, when James Hansen testified

We can all recall a sweating James Hansen’s 1988 stage-crafted testimony before Congress, warning that increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations would lead to spiraling global warming. And unless action was taken urgently, the ice caps would soon melt and the earth would sizzle.

Countries as a result mobilized 100s of billions of dollars to eliminate the use of these “dangerous, climate-killing” fossil fuels.

Today for all that money you’d think that tremendous progress in reducing fossil fuels would be the result. You couldn’t be more wrong.

Full post

3) Germany Becomes The New Poster Child For Climate Change Hypocrisy
Nicolas Loris, The Daily Signal, 11 January 2018

“Do as I say, but don’t pay attention to what I actually do” is the trademark of climate change policy.

Climate hypocrisy is nothing new.

Celebrities cruise around the world in their private jets, eating filet mignon while telling you to pack a salad and bike to work to reduce your carbon footprint.

So, color me not at all surprised that Germany, a vocal critic of the U.S.’ decision to exit the Paris climate accord, is preparing to abandon its 2020 climate targets.

Strong economic growth is a critical reason why Germany is very likely to miss its target.

Germany has an aggressive plan to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2020. Last November, a leaked document from the country’s Environmental Ministry projected the country would miss the mark by 8 percent without additional action.

In other words, even with generous subsidies for renewable power, the Germans would have to implement some form of economy-restricting policy to curtail emissions. So much for the “go green and grow the economy” mantra.

The Environmental Ministry said the failure would be “a disaster for Germany’s international reputation as a climate leader.” One would think a stronger economy would be cause for celebration, not demonization.

Germany’s abandoned 2020 targets are the latest domino to fall in what is failed international climate policy. Many proponents of action argue that even though the Paris climate accord is nonbinding, with no repercussions when a country fails to comply with its nationally determined contributions, the agreement was an important first step.

The parties that have entered into the Paris accord sure have a funny way of showing they’re committed to it.

Despite bashing the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris accord, all of the industrialized countries are not on schedule to meet their respective targets. Germany is not alone in the European Union.

An article published last summer on Nature.com argues that the EU “faces a big gap between words and actions.”

Even if the United States and the rest of the developed world meet their intended targets, it wouldn’t make any meaningful impact on global temperatures. Carbon dioxide reductions from the developing world, many of whose people are still living without dependable power, are necessary to move the climate needle.

However, developing nations set targets so lax that they likely won’t change any behaviors. Paris proponents can brag all they want about China taking the lead in solar power, but turn a blind eye to the massive amounts of new coal power generation moving forward in China, India, and the rest of the developing—and, in some cases, developed—world.

The Financial Times recently reported, “Between January 2014 and September 2017, international banks channeled $630 [billion] to the top 120 companies planning to build new coal plants around the world, according to research by campaign groups, including the Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, and Friends of the Earth.”

And yet, those who want stringent climate mitigation say the Paris targets are only approximately one-third of what is needed to allegedly keep global warming in check.

Paying attention to what you perceive as positive action on climate (e.g., Paris, subsidizing renewables) while ignoring the realities of new coal build, retiring nuclear power plants, and global economic growth around the world is a curious strategy.

“Do as I say, but don’t pay attention to what I actually do” is the trademark of climate change policy. The Trump administration took a different approach and told it like it is: Paris is a costly, meaningless non-solution.

Full post

4) UK Shale Tests Reveal ‘Excellent’ Fracking Conditions
Jillian Ambrose, The Daily Telegraph, 13 January 2018

Cuadrilla’s controversial bid to frack for shale gas in Lancashire has struck a rare gush of good luck after tests unearthed “excellent” conditions for fracking.

The fracking firm drilled a 1.6 mile deep vertical well at its protest-hit Preston New Road site, through two different types of shale, to reveal “excellent rock quality” for fracking.

The tests also suggest a high natural gas content in the core samples, Cuadrilla said.

The findings rebut a warning from a team of scientists at Heriot-Watt university last year that the UK’s most promising shale gas reservoirs had been warped by tectonic shifts millions of years ago.

The report claimed that these geological quirks meant Britain was unlikely to be able to produce economic amounts of shale gas.

Following the test results, Cuadrilla boss Francis Egan said he was “confident that there is a very sizeable quantity of natural gas in the Bowland Shale”.

“In addition we can confirm that the rock composition is very suitable to hydraulically fracture. This give us great confidence as we start drilling what will be the first horizontal well drilled into UK shale rock,” he said.

The fresh optimism in Lancashire follows another boom for Mr Egan’s plans earlier this week after West Sussex Council gave the greenlight for his firm to test the wells located near the village of Balcombe.

Full story

5) Paul Ehrlich’s Epic Fail: Why The “Population Bomb” Never Exploded
Nicholas Vardy, The Oxford Club, 4 January 2018 

Published in 1968, Paul R. Ehrlich’s book The Population Bomb sold more than 3 million copies. The book turned this Stanford professor into his generation’s academic rock star.


Ehrlich became the only author Johnny Carson interviewed for an entire hour on The Tonight Show. In 1990, he won The Crafoord Prize – ecologists’  version of the Nobel Prize.

I have an unusual personal connection with Ehrlich’s book.

Back in the 1970s, each classroom of my Pittsburgh public grade school had dozens of copies of The Population Bomb lining its bookshelves.

I don’t recall ever actually studying The Population Bomb. But it’s clear that Pittsburgh Public Schools thought they might need to prepare us for the ensuing global famine.

Of course, Ehrlich’s prediction could not have been more wrong.

The Population Bomb Fizzles

Fast-forward to 2018, and the obesity rate in the U.S. is among the highest in the world.

The biggest health problem isn’t that Americans are starving.

It’s that Americans are eating too much.

History is littered with experts – and not just leaders of fringe cults – who predicted the end of the world and got it wrong.

Ehrlich is just one in a long line of such doom-and-gloomers. His thinking traces directly back to the original Cassandra of famines, Thomas Malthus, the English economist best known for his theory of population.

In his 1798 An Essay on the Principle of Population, Malthus argued that as human populations grow exponentially, food production will not keep pace.

His conclusion?

Unless men refrain from “pursuing the dictate of nature in an early attachment to one woman,” the world will run out of food and famines will ensue.

No doubt inspired by Malthus, Ehrlich dutifully limited his own family to one child. […]

The Power of Human Ingenuity

On its face, the Simon-Ehrlich bet was about the future price of five metals between 1980 and 1990.

On a deeper level, it was about a conflict of visions concerning the future of humanity.

Was mankind’s future constrained by the Earth’s ever-depleting resources… or by the limits of human ingenuity?

The verdict from history is clear.

Charles Maurice and Charles W. Smithson at Texas A&M University studied the history of natural resources over 10,000 years.

They found that temporary scarcities in natural resources are the norm.

They also found that same temporary scarcity always led to an improved substitute. […]

The lesson?

Human ingenuity has always been successful in overcoming crises that once seemed inevitable.

Ehrlich was right about one thing: The world’s population has continued to expand.

Today, the global population stands at 7.6 billion.
That’s double the 3.8 billion when Ehrlich published The Population Bomb.

And yet, despite Ehrlich’s predictions, no devastating famine threatening humanity’s existence ever ensued.

The reason is straightforward.

Food production increased faster than the population – a pattern that has repeated since Malthus.

Today, the average person is healthier, wealthier and better fed than in 1968. Infant mortality has declined. Life expectancy has increased.

Ironically, both Japan and Europe do have a population problem. But the problem is not the threat of famine due to too many mouths to feed.

It’s that women are having too few children to maintain current population levels.

Here is a final irony…

Ehrlich has spent his entire academic career ensconced at Stanford University – the intellectual Godfather of Silicon Valley.

Silicon Valley, in turn, embodies the optimism and progress that has always overcome the relentless logic of Malthusian doom and gloom.

I can’t help but wonder how an academic who spent his life surrounded by symbols of human progress can be so pessimistic.

Yet at 85, Ehrlich remains unapologetic for his (so far) misguided predictions.

Ehrlich has said that if he wrote The Population Bomb today, he’d be even more apocalyptic than he was in 1968.

Like all doom-and-gloomers, Ehrlich won’t concede he’s wrong.

He’s just “early…”

Full post & comments


6) Dominic Lawson: The ‘Population Bomb’ Is A Dud

The Sunday Times, 14 January 2018

Eco-doomsayers want fewer children in the world, but not in their own families

The rate of global population growth is declining rapidly; source One World in Date

Stanley Johnson has been hard to avoid recently. Boris’s amiable father has a book to promote, so we should not dismiss his participation in I’m a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here! as mere attention-seeking. Last week, one of the many BBC programmes on which his oddly distracting golden locks could be seen was Newsnight. Alongside the co-leader of the Green Party, the MP Caroline Lucas, Johnson had been invited to opine on Theresa May’s apparent conversion to the environmentalist cause.

Actually, Johnson Sr had as much right as Lucas to be on such a panel: as he pointed out, he had been the “environment desk officer” at the Conservative Research Department half a century ago. And he hasn’t changed his mind about the right policy in all those years, either. He asserted that overpopulation was the big problem and that the population of the UK should be frozen at its current level. How, he didn’t say. A sharp reduction in immigration would help, but would have zero effect on global population, which is presumably what really matters to such environmentalists.

In fact this year marks the 50th anniversary of the most politically influential book on this issue since Thomas Malthus’s Essay on the Principle of Population: in June 1968, Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb was published. It was itself a bombshell. A media-savvy American professor of biology, Ehrlich made several appearances on the Johnny Carson show to promote his Malthusian theme: that overpopulation would in short order lead to a global famine of cataclysmic proportions.

Ehrlich declared: “Sometime in the next 15 years the end will come.” He was not talking just about India, although it was the experience of visiting a Delhi slum one night that, he said, had provoked his dystopian vision of the future: (“The streets seemed alive with people . . . people defecating and urinating. People clinging to buses. People herding animals. People, people, people, people . . . since that night, I’ve known the feel of overpopulation.”)

But India’s former colonial overlord was in no better shape, said Ehrlich. In 1971 he predicted: “By the year 2000 the UK will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70m hungry people . . . I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.”

When this became one of many of his predictions shown to be wildly wrong, Ehrlich characteristically refused to concede anything: “If you look closely at England, what can I tell you? They are having all kinds of problems, just like anybody else.” Ehrlich remains a patron of the British charity Population Matters, formerly the Optimum Population Trust. Sir David Attenborough is a fellow patron. The much-loved broadcaster has declared that humans are “a plague on the Earth” and that it was “barmy” to have sent food aid to Ethiopia, since the famines in that African country were entirely down to its having “too many people for too little piece of land”.

Leave aside the chilly callousness, this was an ignorant and superficial analysis. The Ethiopian famines of the late 20th century were the direct consequence of civil war and, in the 1983-5 disaster, of the “social transformation” policies imposed by Mengistu Haile Mariam’s Marxist junta. Overpopulation was no more the reason for that mass starvation than it was for the Ukraine famine of the 1930s or the Chinese famine of 1959-61. In all these cases, the policies of Communist regimes (which ranged from expropriation of land to class war) were the proximate cause.

Attenborough was echoing what British administrators said during the Irish famine of the 1840s. In reality Ireland’s problem was not its own population but the way its land was used and controlled by English owners: in 1846 about half a million tons of grain was exported to Great Britain from Ireland. That did not prevent the government’s representative in Ireland, Lord Clarendon, insisting: “Doling out food merely to keep people alive would do nobody any permanent good.” These administrators were directly influenced by Malthus, who had declared: “The land in Ireland is infinitely more populated than in England; and to give full effect to the natural resources of the country, a great part of the population should be swept from the soil.”

Attenborough and indeed Stanley Johnson are in that tradition — though the latter’s support has not been for principled inaction during famines, but for regimes practising sterilisation. […]

It’s strange, though, how British advocates of population control are not so keen to practise a one, or even two-child policy themselves. Stanley Johnson, author of eight books on birth control, has six children. The Duke of Edinburgh, who has advocated “voluntary family limitation”, has four. And while Attenborough has a bog-standard two, another patron of Population Matters, John Guillebaud, has three (a fact I wish I’d known before I debated with him on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme some years ago).

Perhaps such men think that, unlike their poorer fellow-humans, they can better provide for large families. But if, like Stanley J, you believe that over-consuming humans are exhausting the Earth’s resources, then it’s the rich who should be most persuaded to have fewer children, not the poor.

If that were their policy, it would at least remove the faint suspicion that this is eugenics dressed up as environmentalism.

Full post

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at www.thegwpf.com.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for engaging in the debate!

Because this is a public forum, we will only publish comments that are respectful and do NOT contain links to other sites. We appreciate your cooperation.

Please note - if you use the new REPLY button for comments, please start your comments AFTER the code. Also, the Blogger comment limit is 4,096 characters, so to post something longer, you may wish to use Part 1, Part 2 etc.