Sunday, November 11, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: Global Fertility Rates Cut In Half Since 1950

Collapse Of UK Renewable Energy Investment Continues

In this newsletter:

1) Global Fertility Rates Cut In Half Since 1950
Michael Nedelman, CNN, 9 November 2018
2) 'Remarkable' Decline In Fertility Rates
BBC News, 9 November 2018

3) Marian Tupy: Debunking The Overpopulation Alarmists
Marian L. Tupy , CapX, 7 November 2018
4) Collapse Of UK Renewable Energy Investment Continues
Infrastructure Intelligence, 7 November 2018

5) Has The Cost Of Germany’s Energiewende Entered A Critical Phase?
GWPF Energy, 8 November 2018

6) Climate Alarmists Suffer Huge Blow In Deep Blue Washington State
Investor's Business Daily 8 November 2018

7) Jordan Peterson Says Global Warming Hype Is ‘Low-Resolution Thinking’
The Daily Caller, 8 November 2018
8) And Finally: All The Times We Had Just Months To Save The Planet
Gaia Fawkes, 9 November 2018

Full details:

1) Global Fertility Rates Cut In Half Since 1950
Michael Nedelman, CNN, 9 November 2018

The world’s total fertility rate has been cut in half since 1950, but the population is still rising, according to a study published Thursday in The Lancet.

Population growth rate from 2010 to 2017, by location, Source The Lancet, 10 November 2018

The total fertility rate — or the average number of children a woman would have if she lived through all her reproductive years — declined from 4.7 live births in 1950 to 2.4 in 2017.

Meanwhile, the global population has nearly tripled since 1950, from 2.6 billion people to 7.6 billion, the report says. An average of nearly 84 million people have been added to the Earth’s population every year since 1985.

“As women have gotten more educated and participate more in the workforce and they get access to health services, no surprise, fertility has come down tremendously,” said study author Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. “And it comes down faster in younger women.”

Other factors have been shown to predict falling fertility rates, including better infant survival rates and later marriage.

“The age at which women are getting married is increasing,” said Dr. James Kiarie, coordinator for the World Health Organization’s Human Reproduction Team in the Department of Reproductive Health and Research.

“Marriage is one of the biggest drivers of having children all over the world,” said Kiarie, who is not an author on the new report.

While total fertility rates fell across all 195 countries and territories in the data, they were split roughly down the middle between those below replacement level and those above, Murray said. “Replacement” describes the total fertility rate “at which a population replaces itself from generation to generation, assuming no migration,” which comes out to about 2.05 live births, the authors say.

For example, a woman in Cyprus had one child on average in 2017, while a woman in Niger had 7.1. This range is lower than 1950’s, in which total fertility rates ranged from 1.7 live births in Andorra to 8.9 in Jordan.

“The world is really divided into two groups,” Murray said. “In a generation, the issue’s not going to be about population growth. It’s going to be about population decline or relaxing immigration policies.”

In countries that want to boost fertility rates, the creation of financial incentives for families, including parental leave, has been shown to have a small effect, Murray said. Only 33 countries, largely in Europe, were falling in population between 2010 and 2017, according to the report.

“The country that’s probably the most concerned about this already is China, where the number of workers is now starting to decline, and that has an immediate effect on economic growth potential,” Murray said. “In a place like India — that is still above replacement but very soon going to be below replacement fertility — that’s just such a dramatic change.”

That doesn’t mean the global population will soon reverse course. A United Nations report last year predicted that the world population would swell to 9.8 billion by 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100. That report forecast that over half of the expected growth between 2017 and 2050 is likely to occur in Africa.

Full story

2) 'Remarkable' Decline In Fertility Rates
BBC News, 9 November 2018
James Gallagher

There has been a remarkable global decline in the number of children women are having, say researchers.

Their report found fertility rate falls meant nearly half of countries were now facing a "baby bust" - meaning there are insufficient children to maintain their population size.

The researchers said the findings were a "huge surprise".

And there would be profound consequences for societies with "more grandparents than grandchildren".

How big has the fall been?

The study, published in the Lancet, followed trends in every country from 1950 to 2017.

In 1950, women were having an average of 4.7 children in their lifetime. The fertility rate all but halved to 2.4 children per woman by last year.

But that masks huge variation between nations.

The fertility rate in Niger, west Africa, is 7.1, but in the Mediterranean island of Cyprus women are having one child, on average.

In the UK, the rate is 1.7, similar to most Western European countries.

Full story

3) Marian Tupy: Debunking The Overpopulation Alarmists
Marian L. Tupy , CapX, 7 November 2018

Is overpopulation a problem? Are we running out of resources? Where did the concern over population growth and resource depletion come from? How accurate were the past predictions of gloom by people who were concerned about the two issues? Will we manage to combine rising numbers of people and higher standards of living with decent stewardship of the planet in the future?

These are just some of the questions answered in Population Bombed: Exploding the link Between Overpopulation and Climate Change, an extensively researched, well-written and concise new book published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

The book comes out exactly 50 years after Paul R. Ehrlich published The Population Bomb, in which the Stanford University biology professor famously claimed that population growth would result in resource depletion and the starvation of hundreds of millions of people. The authors of Population Bombed, Pierre Desrochers, who is an associate professor of geography at the University of Toronto, and Joanna Szurmak, who is a doctoral candidate in the graduate program in Science and Technology Studies at York University, Toronto, take stock of past scholarship on “depletionism” and provide a cheerful rejoinder to the doomsayers.

Desrochers and Szurmak begin by outlining the case for the prosecution. The “pessimists” claim that, on a finite planet, population and consumption cannot continue to expand forever; that, to maintain a high standard of living, the number of people will have to come down; that resource exploration and extraction are subject to the law of diminishing returns and will, therefore, become more expensive over time; that discoveries, inventions and innovations do not obviate the need for more resources; and, finally, that human successes in overcoming resource constraints in the past are not relevant to coping with environmental challenges today.

Conversely, the “optimists” claim that population growth makes humanity richer through division of labour and economies of scale; that human ingenuity enhances efficient modes of production and “delivers increasing returns … [through] progressively less damaging ways of doing things”; that, unlike other animals, humans use trade and innovation to get around resource constraints; and, finally, that there is no reason why our past successes cannot be repeated in the future.

To quote the British historian Thomas Babington Macaulay, “On what principle is it that with nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?”

Depletionism has a long pedigree that goes back to the Atra-Hasis, an 18th-century BC epic in which the Babylonian gods deemed the world too crowded and unleashed a famine to fix the “problem”. Confucius, Plato, Tertullian, Saint Jerome and Giovanni Botero revisited the issue over the succeeding centuries.
The modern concern with overpopulation is usually traced to the British cleric Thomas Malthus who argued that the human population grows exponentially, while food production grows linearly. Thus, population will eventually outgrow the food supply, resulting in mass starvation.

Depletionism reached its apogee in the concluding decades of the 20th century, when Garrett Hardin pointed to the “tragedy of the commons” (i.e., overuse of resources that are not privately-owned), the Club of Rome predicted stratospheric prices of resources and Paul Ehrlich warned of mass starvation. It was Ehrlich who, unwisely, agreed to a wager with Julian Simon from the University of Maryland on the future availability of resources – and lost.

Full post

4) Collapse Of UK Renewable Energy Investment Continues
Infrastructure Intelligence, 7 November 2018

UK renewables investment dropped by 46% year-on-year in the third quarter.

The UK has slipped down one position to eighth in the latest EY Renewable energy country attractiveness index (RECAI), following a marked slowdown in clean energy investment ahead of the planned departure from the EU.

Now in its 16th year, the bi-annual RECAI report ranks 40 countries on the attractiveness of their renewable energy investment and deployment opportunities. There are concerns from many in the renewable energy industry that a failure to secure a Brexit deal could lead to an increase in uncertainty for the power sector.

Ben Warren, EY global power and utilities corporate finance leader and RECAI chief editor, said: “An uncertain world market has characterised the latest Index, with some of the majors waiting to see how geopolitical fortunes play out – including Brexit and ongoing trade hostility. In China, this has been exacerbated by decreased demand and moves to slow renewables growth, which creates a surplus of low-price solar panels. But while leading markets are reluctant to make decisive moves in this climate, the inertia will likely be temporary as the renewable energy sector continues to mature.”

In the UK, Q3 renewables investment fell 46% year-on-year amid speculation around how the outcome of Brexit will impact power exports to the EU and price of imported equipment. There are few positives to draw from the latest budget as the current government seems to be committed to significant spending on new roads, whereas there was little to encourage investment in renewables or low carbon transport.

Full story

See also: Investment In UK Clean Energy Suffers ‘Dramatic And Worrying Collapse’

5) Has The Cost Of Germany’s Energiewende Entered A Critical Phase?
GWPF Energy, 8 November 2018
Dr John Constable: GWPF Energy Editor

Electricity system management costs in Germany are spiralling, in large part due to the sharply increasing costs of compensating renewable generators when their output is curtailed in order to preserve system stability. This, and other prominently criticized failures of the Federal government to control the cost of the Energiewende, have all the makings of a major political issue.

In September the Bundesrechnungshof (the German equivalent of the UK’s National Audit Office) published the latest instalment in its ongoing and sharply critical commentary on the Federal government’s handling of the Energiewende.

There is as yet no English version available, but the general character can be inferred from press coverage, such as this detailed report in Die Welt, translated on the GWPF site: “Germany Risks Permanent Loss of Control of Energiewende, Federal Audit Office Warns”.

In essence this new study continues and amplifies the concerns raised in a previous report of 2016, where the Bundesrechnungshof wrote that the Federal Ministry (BMWi) “…does not have an overview of the financial impact of energy transition” and that  “Key questions such as ‘How much does energy transition cost the government?’ or ‘How much should energy transition cost the government?’ have not been asked and remain unanswered.” The authors added that this was no trivial matter:

We therefore perceive the risk that bringing the energy transition forward will become an ever more costly exercise.

Die Welt remarks that in the new report “the criticism is even harder because it suggests a general loss of control.” This  point appears to be confirmed by observations in a fresh commentary from the distinguished Danish engineer, Paul-Frederik Bach: “Poor Management of the ‘Energiewende’”.

Bach’s presentation of recent data not only shows that the Bundesrechnungshof’s predictions of 2016 are broadly correct, but also suggests that the concerns raised in the 2018 study are well-founded. These cost increases appear to be uncontrolled. Take, for example, the following chart reporting a selection of electricity system management costs cited by Bach from the BMWi’s own documentation:

Figure 1: German Electricity System Service Costs. Source: BMWi, cited by Bach “Poor Management of the ‘Energiewende’” (2018).

The sharp rise between 2014 and 2015 is obvious, costs climbing suddenly from €1.1 billion to €1.6 billion in 2015, and €1.7 billion in 2017. Reference to underlying cost data from the Bundesnetzagentur shows that this increase is in large part caused by increasing compensation payments to wind power, both on and offshore, the output of which has been curtailed in order to preserve system stability. Curtailment payments to wind power in 2014 amounted to €65m, but rose to €277m in 2015, and rose strongly again to €467m in 2016. For comparison purposes, constraint (curtailment) payments to windpower in the UK totalled £91m and £82m in those years. Clearly German consumers are beginning to pay heavily to stop wind power generating. The following chart presents data from 2013 to 2016:

Figure 2: Curtailment compensation payments (Euros) to wind, solar and biomass generators, 2013 to 2016. Source: Chart drawn by the author from Bundesnetzagentur EEG in Zahlen, The Renewables Feed-in Law in Numbers, Tab 9.3.

Full post

6) Climate Alarmists Suffer Huge Blow In Deep Blue Washington State
Investor's Business Daily 8 November 2018

Environmentalists were hoping to score a huge victory in Washington state with a statewide tax on CO2 emissions. Alas, even liberals in Washington don't believe climate change is that big a threat.

Before the election, glowing stories in the press talked about Washington "taking up the fight" on climate change after President Donald Trump dropped out of the Paris climate deal. The state would make history. It would be a "bellwether," and would start a trend across the country.

Carbon Tax

The initiative proposed a $15 tax on each ton of carbon emissions in the state starting in 2020, with the tax rate climbing each year. It would have cost families in the state nearly $1,000 a year by 2035.

Keep in mind that the proposed carbon tax was a tiny baby step toward what environmentalists' claim will be needed to avoid a worldwide climate catastrophe. The United Nations says we'd need a global carbon tax of up to $5,500 to achieve that.

Washington voters rejected even this minimalist step toward fighting what a large majority of them claim to believe is an existential threat to humanity.

Think about it this way. Washington is a deep blue state where Trump got less than 37% of the vote in 2016. Only six states in the nation were more anti-Trump.

Yet 56% of Washington voters rejected the CO2 tax. Only three counties in the state — Jefferson, King (where Seattle is located), and tiny San Juan — voted for the tax.

Deep Green State

This is also a deep green state.

According to a 2016 survey, more than 80% of its residents "are sure climate change is occurring." More than two thirds (69%) say they support the state's taking action to reduce CO2 emissions.

But when it came time for these voters to put their money where their mouths are, they snapped their purses shut.

Washington state was a bellwether, as it turns out. It showed how so many of those who wring their hands about "climate change" don't actually want to do anything about it.

After all, if they really believed what climate alarmists are saying — that catastrophic warming is ahead unless the entire world takes drastic actions to reduce CO2 emissions immediately — they'd do anything to stop it.

7) Jordan Peterson Says Global Warming Hype Is ‘Low-Resolution Thinking’
The Daily Caller, 8 November 2018
Michael Bastasch

University of Toronto psychology professor and author Jordan Peterson does not think global warming is an issue that can unite people — in fact, Peterson was highly critical of calls to “solve” global warming.

“It’s certainly not uniting us so far,” Peterson told students during a recent Cambridge University lecture. “It’s just the kind of low-resolution thinking that gets us absolutely nowhere.”

Cambridge invited Peterson to give a talk on Nov. 2 where one audience member asked him if global warming could “unite us all on left and right” to take action.

Peterson’s response: “No.”

“The climate change issue is an absolutely catastrophic and nightmarish mess and the idea that that will unite us — that’s not going to unite us,” said Peterson, according to a video clip of the lecture posted online Thursday.

“First of all, it’s very difficult to separate the science from the politics, and, second, even if the more radical claims are true we have no idea what to do about it. And so, no,” Peterson said.


“And we’re not going to do a damn thing about it either, so it doesn’t really matter,” Peterson said.
“Well, what are we going to do? Are you going to stop having heat? You’re going to stop having electricity?

You’re going to stop driving your cars? You’re going to stop taking trains? You’re going to stop using your iPhones? You’re not going to do any of that, and no wonder,” Peterson added.

Peterson has risen in popularity, especially among conservatives, because of his criticisms of political correctness. Peterson has also been critical of global warming alarmism, and earlier in 2018 he said “you can’t trust the data” because of the politicization in climate science.

During his Cambridge lecture, Peterson said he worked on a United Nations sustainable development committee for two years, reading lots on the subject of climate and environment.

“Here’s one of the worst things about the whole mess,” Peterson said. “So, as you project outwards with regards to your climate change projections, which are quite unreliable to begin with, the unreliability of the measurement magnifies as you move forward in time, obviously, because the errors accumulate.”

“If you go out 50 years, the error bars around the projections are already so wide that we won’t be able to measure the positive or negative effects of anything we do right now,” Peterson said.

“So how in the world are you going to solve a problem when you can’t even measure the consequence of your actions?” Peterson said.

Full post

8) And Finally: All The Times We Had Just Months To Save The Planet
Gaia Fawkes, 9 November 2018

The BBC’s left wing topical comedy ‘Mash Report’ programme this week went hard on the UN’s alarming suggestion that we just have twelve years left to save the planet. To Guido it all sounded very familiar…

Andrew Simms told us a year later that we had “only 100 months to avoid disaster.” Meaning time ran out in 2016…

Al Gore told us that we had just ten years in July of 2008 to ensure the “survival of the United States of America”So America has been screwed for four months now…

Jim Hensen, warned in 2009 that Obama only had “four years to save Earth.” Apparently Earth was lost in 2013…

Prince Charles told us in May 2008 that we had “just eighteen months to stop climate change.” That gave us until the end of 2009…

Prince Charles by July 2009, on the other had this had been extended to “just 96 months to save the world.” Time ran out in 2017…

Lester Brown published in 2009 that we had “only months, not years” to “save civilisation from climate change.” It’s been years…

So is disaster now inevitable? Is there nothing more we can do? Listening only to the alarmists over the years you’d think we will all be underwater within a decade. On the other hand maybe ever heightened climate alarmism will continue to do nothing to offer remotely practical solutions to the challenges posed by a changing climate.

Full post & comments

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

No comments: