Saturday, January 5, 2019

GWPF Newsletter: Global Temps Drop For Third Year In A Row

The Top 12 Debunked Climate Scares Of 2018

In this newsletter:

1) Global Temps Drop For Third Year In A Row
Dr Roy Spencer, 2 January 2019

2) 2018 Saw A Global Revolt Against Carbon Taxes & Climate Policies
Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, 31 December 2018

3) Top 12 Debunked Climate Scares Of 2018
Global Warming Policy Forum, 31 December 2018

4) Donna Laframboise: The Modern Witch-Hunters Are A Real Threat To An Open Society
No Frakking Consensus, 2 January 2019

5) Dominic Lawson: These Green Zealots Are The Modern Scrooges
Daily Mail, 31 December 2018

6) John Constable: Now Will Energy Firms Tell The Truth On Subsidies?
The Conservative Woman, 3 January 2019

7) Reply By Ray Bates To Peter Thorne’s Blog Post
Global Warming Policy Foundation, 30 December 2018

Full details:

1) Global Temps Drop For Third Year In A Row
Dr Roy Spencer, 2 January 2019

2018 was 6th warmest year globally of last 40 years

The Version 6.0 global average lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly for December, 2018 was +0.25 deg. C, down a little from +0.28 deg. C in November:

[…] The 2018 globally averaged temperature anomaly, adjusted for the number of days in each month, is +0.23 deg. C, making 2018 the 6th warmest year in the now-40 year satellite record of global lower tropospheric temperature variations.

The linear temperature trend of the global average lower tropospheric temperature anomalies from January 1979 through December 2018 remains at +0.13 C/decade.

Full post

2) 2018 Saw A Global Revolt Against Carbon Taxes & Climate Policies
Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, 31 December 2018

Despite increasingly apocalyptic warnings from U.N. officials, 2018 has seen a number of high-profile defeats for policies aimed at fighting global warming. Politicians and voters pushed back at attempts to raise energy prices as part of the climate crusade.

It started in June with election of Ontario Premier Doug Ford. Ontario residents overwhelmingly voted Ford’s conservative coalition into power on a platform that included axing the Canadian province’s cap-and-trade program.

Ford said his first priority upon taking office would be to “cancel the Liberal cap-and-trade carbon tax.” Ford then joined a legal challenge led by Saskatchewan against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s policy of a central government-imposed carbon tax on provinces that don’t have their own.

Carbon tax opponents called Trudeau’s plan an attempt to “use the new tax to further redistribute income, which will increase the costs of this tax to the economy.”

Roughly ten thousand miles away in Australia another revolt was brewing. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull saw his power base crumble within days of failing to pass a bill aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Turnbull’s so-called National Energy Guarantee to reduce energy sector emissions was opposed by a group of conservative members of Parliament led by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Turnbull tried to delay the vote on his climate bill in response to the opposition but was too late. Turnbull stepped down in late August and has since been replaced by Scott Morrison.

Back in the U.S., $45 million was being pumped into the battle over a Washington state carbon tax ballot measure. Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, who has 2020 presidential ambitions, supported the measure though refiners, but other opponents outspent carbon tax supporters.

The Inslee-backed measure called for taxing carbon dioxide emissions at $15 a ton in 2020, which would increase at $2 a year above the rate of inflation until the state meets its emissions goals.

However, Washington voters rejected the carbon tax measure in the November election despite Inslee’s support. It was the second time in two years that Washington voters rejected a carbon tax ballot initiative.

The November elections also saw the defeat of a group of Republican lawmakers in the House Climate Solutions Caucus. Among those defeated was caucus co-chair Florida GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo, who introduced carbon tax legislation in July.

Curbelo’s legislation called for a $23 per ton carbon tax that would primarily fund the Highway Trust Fund. Despite this, environmentalists funneled money to his Democratic challenger Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.

Shortly after the U.S. elections, it became clear trouble was brewing across the Atlantic in France. French President Emmanuel Macron’s economic reforms, which included planned fuel tax increases, were not winning over much of the population.

Macron spent years styling himself as a staunch supporter of efforts to tackle global warming, including the Paris agreement. Indeed, raising taxes on diesel and gasoline was part of Macron’s plan to meet France’s Paris accord pledge.

It backfired. Angered over the new carbon taxes on fuel, tens of thousands of protesters, called “yellow vests” for the vests drivers are required to have in their cars, took to the streets calling for an end to the taxes and for Macron to resign.

Macron initially resisted, arguing France needed to do more to address global warming, but the French government capitulated in December and scrapped the planned tax increases. Macron also said he’d increase the minimum wage and begged companies to raise salaries, if possible.

Macron’s backpedaling on climate policy couldn’t have come at a worse time for the climate-conscious president. The U.N. annual climate summit was being held in Poland as Macron conceded to the “yellow vests.”

France’s carbon tax revolts sent a clear message to Democratic lawmakers across the Atlantic Ocean. Democrats will take control of the House in 2019 and want to make global warming a central part of their agenda.

Full story

3) Top 12 Debunked Climate Scares Of 2018
Global Warming Policy Forum, 31 December 2018

January 2018:  Worst-case global warming scenarios not credible: Study
PARIS (AFP) – Earth’s surface will almost certainly not warm up four or five degrees Celsius by 2100, according to a study released Wednesday (Jan 17) which, if correct, voids worst-case UN climate change predictions. A revised calculation of how greenhouse gases drive up the planet’s temperature reduces the range of possible end-of-century outcomes by more than half, researchers said in the report, published in the journal Nature.

February:  ‘Sinking’ Pacific nation Tuvalu is actually getting bigger, new research reveals
The Pacific nation of Tuvalu — long seen as a prime candidate to disappear as climate change forces up sea levels — is actually growing in size, new research shows. A University of Auckland study examined changes in the geography of Tuvalu’s nine atolls and 101 reef islands between 1971 and 2014, using aerial photographs and satellite imagery. It found eight of the atolls and almost three-quarters of the islands grew during the study period, lifting Tuvalu’s total land area by 2.9 percent, even though sea levels in the country rose at twice the global average.

March: BBC forced to retract false claim about hurricanes
You may recall the above report by the BBC, which described how bad last year’s Atlantic hurricane season was, before commenting at the end: “A warmer world is bringing us a greater number of hurricanes and a greater risk of a hurricane becoming the most powerful category 5.” I fired off a complaint, which at first they did their best to dodge. After my refusal to accept their reply, they have now been forced to back down

April: Corals can withstand another 100-250 Years of  climate change, new study
Heat-tolerant genes may spread through coral populations fast enough to give the marine creatures a tool to survive another 100-250 years of warming in our oceans.

May: Climate change causes beaches to grow by 3,660 square kilometers
Since 1984 humans have gushed forth 64% of our entire emissions from fossil fuels. (Fully 282,000 megatons of deplorable carbon “pollution”.) During this time, satellite images show that 24% of our beaches shrank, while 28% grew. Thus we can say that thanks to the carbon apocalypse there are 3,660 sq kms more global beaches now than there were thirty years ago.

June: Antarctica not losing ice, NASA researcher finds
NASA glaciologist Jay Zwally says his new study will show, once again, the eastern Antarctic ice sheet is gaining enough ice to offset losses in the west.

July: National Geographic admits they were wrong about notorious starving polar bear-climate claims
The narrative behind the viral photo of a polar bear starving, reportedly thanks to climate change, has been called into question by the National Geographic photographer who took it in the first place.

August: New study shows declining risk and increasing resilience to extreme weather in France
This risk factor for French residents of cities stricken by a disaster has been falling with every passing decade.

September: Coral bleaching is a natural event that has gone on for centuries, new study
Coral bleaching has been a regular feature of the Great Barrier Reef for the past 400 years, with evidence of repeated mass events dating back to well before Euro­pean settlement and the start of the industrial revolution.

October: Climate predictions could be wrong in UK and Europe
Current climate change predictions in the UK and parts of Europe may be inaccurate, a study conducted by researchers from the University of Lincoln, UK, and the University of Li├Ęge, Belgium, suggests.

November: Number and intensity of US hurricanes have remained constant since 1900
There’s been “no trend” in the number and intensity of hurricanes hitting the continental U.S. and the normalized damages caused by such storms over the past 117 years, according to a new study.

December: Alarmist sea level rise scenarios unlikely, says climate scientist Judith Curry
A catastrophic rise in sea levels is unlikely this century, with recent experience falling within the range of natural variability over the past several thousand years, according to a report on peer-­reviewed studies by US climate scientist Judith Curry.

4) Donna Laframboise: The Modern Witch-Hunters Are A Real Threat To An Open Society
No Frakking Consensus, 2 January 2019

Vilifying climate heretics remains socially acceptable

Paul Krugman, New York Times columnist, winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics. Photo from (click)

Climate change is a full-blown religious crusade. News organizations, church leadersschoolscorporations, and governments all insist something dangerous is underway, and that vigorous responses are necessary.
Anyone who dares challenge this doctrine is a heretic.

In other eras, religious heretics were burned at the stake. Today, climate skeptics often remain in the closet. Some have been bullied into play acting, into mouthing what they secretly believe to be untrue in order to retain their jobs or their government grants.

It’s accurate, therefore, to describe climate skeptics as a minority – swimming against the tide, surrounded on all sides by a worldview to which they conscientiously object.

Independent thinkers don’t require society’s approval. But there’s a difference between an environment that is non-supportive, and one in which vilification flows like a river from the pages of the New York Times.

Members of other minority communities – be they religious, ethnic, racial, or sexual – are usually accorded tolerance and respect. Yet late last year, Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, called climate skeptics depraved in his Times column.

He declined to use the term ‘skeptic,’ choosing instead an emotionally-laden smear. Calling someone a ‘climate change denier’ is a deliberate attempt to link doubt over wholly unproven predictions about the future to people who dispute historically documented mass murder. (Ellen Goodman, another famous newspaper columnist, made this explicit a decade ago, when she declared that “global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers.”)

Krugman insists “there are almost no good-faith climate-change deniers” – just people motivated by “greed, opportunism, and ego.” What rubbish. He has no possible way of diagnosing at a distance the motives of any human being, never mind the thousands of diverse individuals across the globe who dissent publicly, and the multitudes more who do so privately.

In 2009, this man similarly accused climate skeptics of “treason against the planet.” In 2013, he said they deserved to be punished in the afterlife for their “almost inconceivable sin.”

This is extreme prejudice. This is outright bigotry. This is a grown adult stamping his foot and bellowing that people who disagree with him are immoral villains.

In other contexts, we make a point of treating minorities with courtesy. But it remains open season on people who think humanity has more pressing problems than climate change, who draw different conclusions from the available scientific evidence, who’ve concluded that science is being abused by political operatives, or who’ve noticed that many similar eco-apocalyptic predictions have failed to materialize.

Full post

5) Dominic Lawson: These Green Zealots Are The Modern Scrooges
Daily Mail, 31 December 2018

These Guardian readers would have been superb material for Charles Dickens. They are Scrooges for our age — although the misanthropy and righteous pessimism of such people is beyond satire.

Of all the accounts of Christmases ruined by the Gatwick drone incident, the most affecting came from 16-year-old Tivka Dillner.

She described, in a letter to the Guardian, how her grandfather’s dying wish was that his five grandchildren — who’d never before been on a plane — should be able to enjoy a Christmas trip to Lapland.

‘My grandma kept the trip a secret from us until December 17, when she broke the news: we would be getting a plane early in the morning, riding on a sleigh, meeting Father Christmas and his elves, petting reindeer and so much more in one beautiful day. We were ecstatic.’

Tivka went on to describe the ‘heartbreak’ when the flight was cancelled after the emergency shutdown of Gatwick’s runway: ‘I’ve never heard my grandma cry so much — she is devastated.’

Jan Johnson (centre) had paid for a Lapland trip for her grandchildren – from left, Tori, 12, Teddy, 10, Tirah, eight, Tivka, 16, and Tivon, 14 – but their hopes were dashed 

But Tivka’s letter did not arouse the slightest sympathy on the part of Guardian readers — or at least not those whose letters were published by the paper last Saturday.

Diana Heeks of Llanrhystud, Ceredigion, wrote in to say: ‘The last thing I would do is book any flight for my grandchildren … I applaud the people who flew drones over Gatwick, perhaps checking by a tiny amount the advance of global warming.’

And Laura Clout of Ivy Hatch, Kent, declared the damage caused to the planet by such holiday flights made her wonder ‘why to even bother continuing.

Our only real choice comes down to whether we boot our fellow travellers into the void, or help them find a firmer grip — until perhaps this ruined planet shifts and rolls and belches its sorry self free of the whole damned lot of us.’

These Guardian readers would have been superb material for Charles Dickens, the writer we most associate with the joy of an extravagant Christmas for families whose day-to-day life is penurious.

With names like Heeks and Clout they already sound like his invented characters. They are Scrooges for our age — although the misanthropy and righteous pessimism of such people is beyond satire.

Full post & comments

6) John Constable: Now Will Energy Firms Tell The Truth On Subsidies?
The Conservative Woman, 3 January 2019
By John Constable, GWPF Energy Editor

This article was first published in a longer version by the Global Warming Policy Forum and is republished by kind permission. The full article can be found here.

Britain’s electricity suppliers are reported to be considering further increases in prices to consumers. Climate policies are largely responsible for such price increases, yet government is more than content to let private energy companies and their shareholders take the blame. Intoxicated with subsidies, the electricity sector has hitherto colluded in this obfuscation of causes, but the introduction of the domestic electricity price cap may change this situation, encouraging energy suppliers and indeed all businesses to name government as the guilty party.

History provides very few clear lessons, but the records are tolerably clear that revenue collectors and tax farmers are always and everywhere loathed without reservation. This may be unfair, but it is a fact, a human universal. Why then did Britain’s energy supply companies willingly accept the task of raising the necessary subsidies for renewable energy directly from their customers’ bills? This in effect made these private companies covert revenue agents for the state, and so allowed government to hide the costs of energy and climate policies.

Anyone familiar with the industry will know there is no doubt that energy and climate policies are and have been for some time to blame for rising electricity prices, but the point bears repeating. The following chart, drawn from data in the government’s regrettably discontinued Estimated Impacts of Energy and Climate Change Policies on Energy Prices and Bills (2014), shows the components of electricity prices to domestic consumers in 2014, and the projected change in those components in 2020 and 2030 in the Central Fossil Fuel Price scenario. Energy and climate policy impacts are indicated by the green section of the stacked bar.

Figure 1: UK electricity price component estimates (£/MWh) prepared by The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in 2014. Source: Chart drawn by the author from data published as part of DECC Estimated Impacts of Energy and Climate Change Policies on Energy Prices and Bills (2014).

It is obvious that energy and climate policies already accounted for a large fraction of the price in 2014, prices being 17 per cent higher than they would have been in the absence of policies. By 2020 policies were predicted to make prices 37 per cent higher, and 41 per cent higher in 2030. In fact, DECC’s method of presentation somewhat understates the impact since a significant part of the Network Costs are actually due to renewables, because of system balancing actions and grid expansion, and a slice of the VAT element also, of course, results from the policy costs. This is, then, a conservative presentation. Furthermore, the Central Fossil Fuel Price scenario is not necessarily the most probable. In the Low Fossil Price scenario, which appears to be materialising at present and may very well apply in 2030, energy and climate policies cause prices to be 42 per cent higher in 2020 and 62 per cent higher in 2030.

But even in this understated, conservative central scenario, where fossil fuel energy costs are actually expected to rise, policies are the dominant causal factor in the overall price increase up to 2030. Put more precisely, in the absence of policies, electricity prices would have been stable to 2020, rising from about 14p/kWh (£140/MWh) in 2014 to about 14.1p/kWh (£141/MWh). In actual fact prices stood at 16.4p/kWh in 2014 because of policies, and were expected to rise to about 19.4p/kWh (£194/MWh) in 2020. We appear to be on track.

While uncontroversial amongst specialists, these facts are sometimes obfuscated even by authoritative sources, such as the Committee on Climate Change (see for example, theEnergy Prices and Bills Report 2017), and it has been a brave energy company that takes the risk of candour about the in-effect-tax component, as for example Ovo energy was last year (see this blog’s discussion: ‘Policies are to Blame for Rising UK Electricity Prices’). Unfortunately, though perfectly correct, they have not been widely believed.
This is ideal for government, and is proving disastrous for electricity suppliers. Indeed, a very large part of the public perception that energy companies are greedy and ruthless results from the industry’s short-sighted decision to allow itself to be used as the cat’s-paw of climate policy.

The hazards of this must have been obvious to the main board directors concerned, but the temptation to collude was certainly extreme. The express-service renewables target timetable required subsidies so large that the increased turnover and de-risked profit made the danger of bad public relations seem tolerable. The industry may well come to regret this lack of caution. A market sector debauched by subsidies, and already held in contempt by the public, will be in a very weak position to resist nationalisation by a radical socialist government.

However, government may have unwittingly forestalled this outcome, by introducing the domestic electricity price cap, a decision that could force an otherwise anaesthetised and lethargic industry into action. The uncertain, medium-term risks of a toxic public image and possible nationalisation may be pushed to one side by preoccupied executives, but an immediate crisis in revenue has to be addressed without delay. And the price cap genuinely does present a problem to the electricity supply industry. Having accepted the task of delivering the renewables policies, the industry is now being inhibited from passing the consequent additional costs on to domestic consumers via rising prices. The sums are not small. The Office for Budget Responsibility estimates that the renewables subsidy costs already amount to about £8.6billion per year in 2018/19 and will rise to about £11billion a year by the end of the current price cap period in 2023.

Such steadily increasing policy costs can be recovered only from consumers, and it is therefore probable that, blocked in one direction, suppliers will and must start to increase prices where the cap does not apply, for example prices charged to households choosing fixed-term deals, and, much more probably, prices to industrial and commercial consumers.

Full post

7) Reply By Ray Bates To Peter Thorne’s Blog Post
Global Warming Policy Foundation, 30 December 2018
Prof Ray Bates, Meteorology and Climate Centre, University College Dublin

Reply by Ray Bates to the blog post by Peter Thorne of Maynooth University 

A) General comments

1) Prof. Thorne states that my critique of SR1.5 was not peer-reviewed and should not be referred to as a paper.

His statement is incorrect. My critique was peer-reviewed.  I wouldn’t list it in my CV as a journal article, but it is correct to call it a paper (see the Oxford Dictionary). That said, it matters little to me whether my publication is called a critique, a piece, or a paper.

2) Press freedom and right of reply

Prof. Thorne states, in relation to critical comments of his published in the Irish Times of 21/12/2018 regarding my SR1.5 critique:  “To be crystal clear, a free press is an essential component of a healthy, vibrant democracy and it would be strange for the media to completely censure views.” I find it very comforting to hear Prof. Thorne express this viewpoint in such a clear manner. I would request him to note, however, that I have not been accorded a corresponding right of reply to a number of defamatory articles about me by a climate-activist journalist writing in an Irish monthly magazine. It takes the website of what Prof. Thorne describes as a ‘highly questionable think tank’ to provide me with the opportunity to point this out.

3) Dynamic meteorologists cannot be counted as climate scientists.

In reply to Prof. Thorne’s assertion that dynamic meteorologists cannot be counted as climate scientists, it will suffice to look at an example. The first assessment report addressed to policymakers warning of the risks associated with increasing carbon dioxide was “Carbon Dioxide and Climate: a Scientific Assessment” (US National Academy of Sciences, 1979). That report, known as the ‘Charney Report’, had nine authors. Five of these (including Charney, its chairman) were dynamic meteorologists. Is Prof. Thorne suggesting that the US National Academy of Sciences did not know what it was doing when it selected this committee?

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

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