Friday, August 10, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: Popular Climate Myth In Doubt








ONS: Fewer Deaths This Summer, Despite Heatwave

In this newsletter:

1) Popular Climate Myth In Doubt
South China Morning Post, 8 August 2018
 
2) New Study Reveals Declining Risk & Increasing Resilience To Extreme Weather In France
Weather and Climate Extremes, 28 July 2018


3) Office Of National Statistics: Fewer Deaths This Summer Despite Heatwave
Global Warming Policy Forum, 9 August 2018
 
4) Rejected Shale Gas Investor & Britain’s Wealthiest Businessman Is ‘Leaving The Country & Taking His Fortune To Monaco’
Daily Mail, 9 August 2018 
 
5) The Truth About China’s Energy Growth
Not A Lot Of People Know That, 9 August 2018 
 
6) Trump Administration Moves To Open Up California To Fracking
The Sacramento Bee, 8 August 2018


Full details:

1) Popular Climate Myth In Doubt
South China Morning Post, 8 August 2018

A dozen years ago, many historians believed that the changing climate of medieval Europe was the main reason Norse settlements in Greenland expanded and went extinct. This view was popularised in Jared Diamond’s 2005 book Collapse. But new evidence suggests a different reason: It may have been because the trade in walrus ivory collapsed.
















For almost 500 years, the Norse descendants of Erik the Red built churches and manor homes and expanded their settlements on the icy fringes of European civilisation.

On Greenland, they had elaborate stone churches with bronze bells and stained glass, a monastery, and their own bishop. Their colonies at one time supported more than 2,000 people. And then they vanished. Scholars have long wondered why.

“Why did they flourish and why did they disappear?” asked Thomas McGovern, an anthropologist at Hunter College in New York. “And did their greatest success also contain the seeds of their demise?”

Researchers who visited museums across western Europe to assemble a rare pile of artefacts – fragments of medieval walrus skulls – reported in a study in Wednesday’s Proceedings of the Royal Society B that the fate of these medieval outposts may have been tied to the demand for walrus ivory among rich Europeans.

The study revealed that during the height of the Norse settlement – from about 1120 to 1400 – at least 80 per cent of the walrus samples were directly sourced from Greenland.

“It’s possible that almost all the walrus ivory in western Europe during the High Middle Ages came from Greenland,” said Bastiaan Star, a scientist at the University of Oslo and one of the study’s authors. “This result tells a very clear story.”

A dozen years ago, many historians believed that the changing climate of medieval Europe was the main reason Norse settlements in Greenland expanded and went extinct. This view was popularised in Jared Diamond’s 2005 book Collapse.

But evidence such as walrus bones at archaeological sites in Greenland and historical documents – including church records of tithes paid in walrus tusks – suggested another possible factor: that the Vikings’ descendants thrived on a lucrative trade in walrus tusks, which were sold to Europe’s elite and carved into luxury items, such as ivory crucifixes, knife handles, and fancy dice and chess sets.

Archaeologists suspected that famous ivory artefacts from the Middle Ages – such as the Lewis Chessmen, a set of expressive and intricately carved statuettes from the 12th century now housed in the British Museum in London – were made from walrus tusks from Greenland. But they could not get permission to bore into these precious artefacts for genetic analysis.

James Barrett, another study author and an archaeologist at the University of Cambridge, was “opening dusty boxes and poring through museum catalogues” in galleries in Norway, France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK when he realised that the tusks were often sold attached to fragments of walrus skulls – and that the bone could provide the DNA he needed.

Barrett didn’t get access to the Lewis Chessmen, but his hunt produced 23 medieval artefacts for analysis, after examining hundreds of related objects.

“This is the first study that conclusively shows that Greenland walrus exports obtained a near-monopoly in Europe,” said Poul Holm, an environmental historian at Trinity College in Dublin, who was not involved in the study.

McGovern, also not part of the study, said of the research: “It’s changing the story that we’ve been telling for years.”

Full story
 

2) New Study Reveals Declining Risk & Increasing Resilience To Extreme Weather In France
Weather and Climate Extremes, 28 July 2018

Nicolas Boccard

The risk factor for French residents of cities stricken by a disaster has been falling with every passing decade.

Abstract: Using an exhaustive administrative database, we assess the impact of extreme weather events over French cities between 1982 and 2017. We identify numerous non-catastrophic disasters, thereby improving coverage wrt. the existing literature. Counting residents of cities stricken by a disaster, we find that in the long run, there were 22 residents affected every month per thousand population. This risk factor has been falling by 5 fewer people with every passing decade. France has thus improved its preparedness to natural disasters even though the seaboard regions fare worse than the northern region, most likely because of heightened urban pressure in hazardous areas by the seaside. Tropical territories are more at risk than the temperate European mainland, from a different mix of events. The full economic cost of natural disasters is estimated at 22 € per capita per year and represent a small fraction of property insurance premiums. Residents from safer areas currently subsidize those living in riskier areas. To be more effective, preventive investments should be directed towards the main cities. […]



Result 2. The raw incidence of floods over mainland France is stable over the last 35 years. Once we account for the heightened population pressure, it displays a negative trend.

[…] The results are reported in Table 3 allow to conclude that both rates of forest fire destruction display a significative downward trend, the anthropogenic rate νt fell from about 5‰ to 2‰ (over the period 1973–2017) while the natural rate μt is about one hundred times smaller and likewise falling. The latter fact proves that the incidence of natural forest fires over the French mediterranean seaboard is receding over the last 44 years….

Given that recurring natural disasters such as floods and storms have a strong seasonal pattern, we study the 12 month moving average. The flat dashed line displays the overall mean indicating that over the long run 22‰ of the continental French population is impacted every month by a natural disaster. The linear trend line, shown in red, is markedly sloping down: with every passing decade, there are 4‰ fewer residents affected by disasters every month.



8. Conclusion

Our study of natural disasters over France leverages a (quasi) exhaustive administrative database of disaster declarations at the township level. Assuming firstly, that the criteria for declaring a natural disaster has remained unaltered and secondly, that proxying township victims by the residents count is adequate, we obtain a number of results.

Firstly, the frequency of natural disasters is fifty times over that of catastrophes collected by traditional rosters, thereby unearthing the many smaller disasters that impact millions of people’s lives. Regarding climate change, the incidence of floods over mainland France is found to be stable over the last 35 years and even falling once we account for the heightened population pressure.

Full paper
 

3) Office Of National Statistics: Fewer Deaths This Summer Despite Heatwave
Global Warming Policy Forum, 9 August 2018


The Office for National Statistics have responded to exaggerated and inaccurate claims in the media that the recent heatwave has been responsible for an unusually high number of deaths.

Headlines in newspapers such as the Daily Express and The Mirror have blamed the heatwave for as many as 1000 deaths.

But in a blog post on their website, the ONS explained:

“The stories are based on provisional ONS weekly deaths figures which show 995 more deaths than the five-year average were registered in England and Wales during the seven weeks from 2nd June to 20th July.

However, it is impossible to tell from the data currently available to us how many people actually died during this period and how many of those deaths were as a result of the heat. The provisional weekly deaths figures we release are based on the date the deaths were registered – not the date each person died.”

Putting the record straight, the ONS reported that fewer deaths were actually registered during this seven-week period than during the same weeks of the last two years. The number of deaths registered was 65,439 in 2018 compared to 65,846 in 2017 and 65,728 in 2016.

The blog post emphasised that last winter had actually seen far more excess deaths and suggested that “flu and the very cold weather that some areas experienced [were] likely to be contributing factors.”
The graph below, produced by economist Richard Tol, shows that this year has followed a normal pattern of far fewer deaths in the summer months, but with significantly more than average excess deaths in the winter:














It is clear that the number of deaths this summer have been within a normal range, despite an increasing and more elderly population, and higher temperatures. Indeed, Public Health England, which produces regular excess mortality estimates based on a detailed epidemiological analysis of the weekly ONS data, has not observed a single instance of statistically significant excess mortality during summer 2018.

Climate alarmists have claimed that this year’s heatwave would see similar numbers of excess deaths as the 2003 and 2006 heatwaves, but the data we have thus far shows this year’s summer excess deaths are less than half than in 2003 and 2006.
 

4) Rejected Shale Gas Investor & Britain’s Wealthiest Businessman Is ‘Leaving The Country & Taking His Fortune To Monaco’
Daily Mail, 9 August 2018 


Britain’s wealthiest man is leaving the country and taking his £21 billion fortune to Monaco, it was reported last night. The British-born industrialist has failed in a legal bid to overturn Scotland’s ban on shale gas fracking.



















Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the petrochemical engineer who was labelled the UK’s richest individual, has decided to move to the tiny Principality on France’s Mediterranean coastline.

The reasons for the relocation are unknown, but recently knighted Sir Ratcliffe has previously complained about Britain’s business and tax environment, the Telegraph reported.

Monaco – famous for its yacht-lined harbour, upscale casinos and the prestigious Grand Prix motor race – is a well-known tax haven and he owns a large property on the French Riviera.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe (pictured) is said to be relocating to the tiny Principality of Monaco on France’s Mediterranean coastline. The reasons behind his move are still unknown

The British-born industrialist has also failed in a legal bid to overturn Scotland’s ban on shale gas fracking.

It is understood that the two other billionaire senior executives at chemicals company Ineos, Andy Currie and John Reece, have also decided to relocate to the area.

Ineos’ headquarters will reportedly remain in London, the Daily Telegraph claimed.

Sir Ratcliffe’s decision to relocate to Monaco could be seen as a blow for Theresa May.

Full story
 

5) The Truth About China’s Energy Growth
Not A Lot Of People Know That, 9 August 2018 

Paul Homewood

Anybody who thinks China is rapidly shifting to renewable energy needs to look at the latest electricity data from the China Energy Portal.















https://chinaenergyportal.org/2018-q2-electricity-and-energy-statistics/

Whilst wind and solar generation has increased by 51 TWh year-on-year in Q2, thermal has increased by 176.9 TWh.

It was a similar situation in Q1:














https://chinaenergyportal.org/2018-q1-electricity-statistics/

To put the figures into perspective, total generation in Q2 was 3194 TWh, so the increase of 51 TWh from wind/solar represents just 1.6%. However, because total generation increased by 245 TWh, demand for coal and gas generation increased even more.

In total, wind and solar accounted for 6.6% of 0eneration in the quarter, compared to 5.5% a year ago.

Year-on-year, installed thermal capacity has risen by 4.1%, following an increase of 4.6% in 2017.
 

6) Trump Administration Moves To Open Up California To Fracking
The Sacramento Bee, 8 August 2018


Ending a five-year moratorium, the Trump administration Wednesday took a first step toward opening 1.6 million acres of California public land to fracking and conventional oil drilling, triggering alarm bells among environmentalists.



The U.S. Bureau of Land Management said it’s considering new oil and natural gas leases on BLM-managed lands in Fresno, San Luis Obispo and six other San Joaquin Valley and Central Coast counties. Meanwhile, activists in San Luis Obispo are pushing a ballot measure this fall to ban fracking and new oil exploration in the county.

If BLM goes ahead with the plan, it would mark the first time since 2013 that the agency has issued a new lease for oil or gas exploration in California, according to the Center for Biological Diversity, which immediately vowed to fight the move. California is the nation’s third largest oil-producing state, after Alaska and Texas, with much of the production concentrated in the southern San Joaquin Valley and Southern California.

The Trump administration is trying to “sell off our public lands again,” said Clare Lakewood, a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity in San Francisco. The federal government oversees about 15 million acres of public lands in California, and leases some of them for private use by contractors.

Lakewood said environmentalists are particularly concerned about the possibility of a big increase in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the controversial process of extracting oil or gas by injecting chemicals or other liquids into subterranean rocks. The notice released Wednesday by the BLM, which allows for 30 days of public comment, specifically seeks “public input on issues and planning criteria related to hydraulic fracturing.”

Environmentalists say fracking can contaminate groundwater and increase earthquake risks, and they’ve called on Gov. Jerry Brown to ban the practice. The energy industry says there’s no evidence of environmental harm from fracking. The U.S. Geological Survey says that, when “conducted properly,” poses little risk to groundwater.

Kara Siepmann of the Western States Petroleum Association, the leading oil lobby in California, said the association is “supportive of BLM beginning the comprehensive evaluation and scoping process of federal lands in California.” Rock Zierman of the California Independent Petroleum Association, whose members include smaller oil companies, said expanded production could reduce the state’s growing dependence on imported oil.

Full story


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.

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