Tuesday, January 22, 2019

GWPF Newsletter - ‘Secret’ Pentagon Report: Climate Catastrophe Due Next Year








New Science Scandal Rocks Climate Research

In this newsletter:

1) ‘Secret’ Pentagon Report: Climate Catastrophe Due Next Year
Paul Matthews, Climate Scepticism, 18 January 2019
 
2) New Science Scandal Rocks Climate Research
Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 20 January 2019


 
3) We Have A Winner: Climate’s Tallest Tale 2018
GWPF, 18 January 2019
 
4) The US Strikes Back Against Russia’s European Gas Empire
The Daily Signal, 19 January 2019
 
5) And Finally: Greenpeace’s Diesel Warrior 
Gaia Fawkes, 21 January 2019


Full details:

1) ‘Secret’ Pentagon Report: Climate Catastrophe Due Next Year
Paul Matthews, Climate Scepticism, 18 January 2019


Is it not rather worrying that the defence of the USA is in the hands of people who produce such garbage?

A classic from the Guardian/Observer archives, from February 2004:



The article is so absurd that it hardly needs any commentary. After explaining that Britain will be Siberian by next year according to a suppressed report, it goes on to claim that the ‘findings’ of the report will embarrass the climate-denying president:

The findings will prove humiliating to the Bush administration, which has repeatedly denied that climate change even exists. Experts said that they will also make unsettling reading for a President who has insisted national defence is a priority.

The report was commissioned by influential Pentagon defence adviser Andrew Marshall, who has held considerable sway on US military thinking over the past three decades. He was the man behind a sweeping recent review aimed at transforming the American military under Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Climate change ‘should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a US national security concern’, say the authors, Peter Schwartz, CIA consultant and former head of planning at Royal Dutch/Shell Group, and Doug Randall of the California-based Global Business Network.

An imminent scenario of catastrophic climate change is ‘plausible and would challenge United States national security in ways that should be considered immediately’, they conclude. As early as next year widespread flooding by a rise in sea levels will create major upheaval for millions.


Later on we are told more details of the catastrophes that will occur by 2020:

Already, according to Randall and Schwartz, the planet is carrying a higher population than it can sustain. By 2020 ‘catastrophic’ shortages of water and energy supply will become increasingly harder to overcome, plunging the planet into war. They warn that 8,200 years ago climatic conditions brought widespread crop failure, famine, disease and mass migration of populations that could soon be repeated.

Randall told The Observer that the potential ramifications of rapid climate change would create global chaos. ‘This is depressing stuff,’ he said. ‘It is a national security threat that is unique because there is no enemy to point your guns at and we have no control over the threat.’

Randall added that it was already possibly too late to prevent a disaster happening. ‘We don’t know exactly where we are in the process. It could start tomorrow and we would not know for another five years,’ he said.


Of course the authors of the report, Randall and Schwartz, aren’t climate scientists. But their report gets the glowing endorsement of two leading UK climate scientists — Sir John Houghton, former boss of the Met Office and IPCC co-chair, and former IPCC chair Bob Watson:

Sir John Houghton, former chief executive of the Meteorological Office – and the first senior figure to liken the threat of climate change to that of terrorism – said: ‘If the Pentagon is sending out that sort of message, then this is an important document indeed.’

Bob Watson, chief scientist for the World Bank and former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, added that the Pentagon’s dire warnings could no longer be ignored.

‘Can Bush ignore the Pentagon? It’s going be hard to blow off this sort of document. Its hugely embarrassing. After all, Bush’s single highest priority is national defence. The Pentagon is no wacko, liberal group, generally speaking it is conservative. If climate change is a threat to national security and the economy, then he has to act. There are two groups the Bush Administration tend to listen to, the oil lobby and the Pentagon,’ added Watson.


Hugely embarrassing indeed, but for Watson, not Bush. Why would a senior scientist like Bob Watson say that a report claiming global catastrophe by 2020 is non-wacko and should be taken seriously? Well there’s a hint that politics may be a factor, later on in the article:

So dramatic are the report’s scenarios, Watson said, that they may prove vital in the US elections. Democratic frontrunner John Kerry is known to accept climate change as a real problem. Scientists disillusioned with Bush’s stance are threatening to make sure Kerry uses the Pentagon report in his campaign.

The fact that Marshall is behind its scathing findings will aid Kerry’s cause. Marshall, 82, is a Pentagon legend who heads a secretive think-tank dedicated to weighing risks to national security called the Office of Net Assessment. Dubbed ‘Yoda’ by Pentagon insiders who respect his vast experience, he is credited with being behind the Department of Defence’s push on ballistic-missile defence.


Is it not rather worrying that the defence of the USA is in the hands of people who produce such garbage?

This Pentagon report was cited in a recent article Climate Change and National Security, Part II: How Big a Threat is the Climate?

The consequences of abrupt, severe warming for national security are obvious in general, if unclear in the specifics. In 2003, the Defense Department asked a contractor to explore such a scenario. The resulting report outlined the offensive and defensive national security strategies countries may adopt if faced with abrupt climate change, and highlighted the increased risk of inter- and intra-state conflict over natural resources and immigration. Although the report may be off in its imagined timeframe (positing abrupt climate change by 2020), the world it conjures is improbable but not outlandish.

This is a bit like the doomsday cults that say that the world is going to end this year, and then when that doesn’t happen, say it’s going to happen next year.

Even more comically, a few paragraphs before acknowledging that the 2003 report got it wrong, the article claims that “Scientists can predict the consequences of climate change to 2050 with some measure of certainty”.

Full post & comments
 

2) New Science Scandal Rocks Climate Research
Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 20 January 2019


Study Claiming Insect Decline Due To Global Warming Is Based On Faulty Temperature Data.

Many thanks to some real Sherlock Holmes work by Joe and Dave.


https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jan/15/insect-collapse-we-are-destroying-our-life-support-systems

The article refers to this study by Brad Lister last year:



Significance

Arthropods, invertebrates including insects that have external skeletons, are declining at an alarming rate. While the tropics harbor the majority of arthropod species, little is known about trends in their abundance. We compared arthropod biomass in Puerto Rico’s Luquillo rainforest with data taken during the 1970s and found that biomass had fallen 10 to 60 times. Our analyses revealed synchronous declines in the lizards, frogs, and birds that eat arthropods. Over the past 30 years, forest temperatures have risen 2.0 °C, and our study indicates that climate warming is the driving force behind the collapse of the forest’s food web. If supported by further research, the impact of climate change on tropical ecosystems may be much greater than currently anticipated.

Abstract

A number of studies indicate that tropical arthropods should be particularly vulnerable to climate warming. If these predictions are realized, climate warming may have a more profound impact on the functioning and diversity of tropical forests than currently anticipated. Although arthropods comprise over two-thirds of terrestrial species, information on their abundance and extinction rates in tropical habitats is severely limited. Here we analyze data on arthropod and insectivore abundances taken between 1976 and 2012 at two midelevation habitats in Puerto Rico’s Luquillo rainforest. During this time, mean maximum temperatures have risen by 2.0 °C. Using the same study area and methods employed by Lister in the 1970s, we discovered that the dry weight biomass of arthropods captured in sweep samples had declined 4 to 8 times, and 30 to 60 times in sticky traps. Analysis of long-term data on canopy arthropods and walking sticks taken as part of the Luquillo Long-Term Ecological Research program revealed sustained declines in abundance over two decades, as well as negative regressions of abundance on mean maximum temperatures. We also document parallel decreases in Luquillo’s insectivorous lizards, frogs, and birds. While El Niño/Southern Oscillation influences the abundance of forest arthropods, climate warming is the major driver of reductions in arthropod abundance, indirectly precipitating a bottom-up trophic cascade and consequent collapse of the forest food web.
https://www.pnas.org/content/115/44/E10397#F1

Sounds like an open and shut case eh?

Lister even adds these temperature graphs to his paper:

Given that, as the paper itself admits, warming in the tropics in theory should be much less than elsewhere, claims of a 2C increase since the 1970s did not pass the sniff test. Fortunately Joe Public decided to go away and check the actual data used by Lister.

His findings should alarm anybody who believes in the integrity of science and peer review. […]

The conclusion is that the faulty temperature data matched the researchers’ expectations of climate warming, and consequently they never bothered to crosscheck. It would after all have been extremely simple to have asked the people who maintain the data.

Whether or not arthropods are in decline I have no idea. But by blaming non existent climate warming, there is a very real danger that the true cause is being missed. Indeed, looking at those graphs, it may well be climate cooling that is responsible.

I plan to contact PNAS, who published the paper, to request that it be withdrawn.

Full post
 

3) We Have A Winner: Climate’s Tallest Tale 2018
GWPF, 18 January 2019 


We asked you to nominate the wackiest climate stories of the year. You didn’t let us down.



Before Christmas, we asked GWPF readers to send us nominations for our search to find the tallest climate tale of 2018. It’s fair to say that there was a lot of competition, with the catastrophe mongers across the media clearly working hard to ensure that they were in the running for this much sought-after accolade.

We particularly enjoyed L. Robertson’s ‘Climate change, weather and road deaths’, a paper in the journal Injury Prevention, which declared that rising concentrations of greenhouse gases was going to cause a rising death toll on the roads unless governments put in ‘major mitigating countermeasures’.

We also liked the story from the Daily Mail, which alleged that a small rise in global temperatures would make people more likely to wet the bed and might also trigger plagues of ticks, snakes and…erm…voles.

An honourable mention for creative headline writing goes to the subs at BehaviouralEcology.net, who had the brass neck to write a story about polar bear research and then stick a headline on the top that suggested that global warming was going to make men’s willies shrink. Charles Dickens they are not.

However, the unanimous decision of the judges was that the tallest climate tale of the year was Mark Prigg’s bizarre suggestion, for Mail Online, that ‘Climate change is causing blue whales to sing louder as they struggle to be heard over breaking sea ice”.

The judges felt this deserved particular kudos because it was not only daft, but could also be shown to be daft at the time of writing. More circumspect journos like to conjure up catastrophes far into the future. Tall-tale telling of this quality is therefore not something you come across every day.

So many thanks to Mark for writing so entertainingly, and thanks also to reader Andrew K, down under, for sending us the nomination. Andrew has won himself a bottle of House of Lords whisky, and copies of a couple of GWPF books. Enjoy!
 

4) The US Strikes Back Against Russia’s European Gas Empire
The Daily Signal, 19 January 2019


KYIV, Ukraine—With the Kremlin tightening its grip on the European energy market, the U.S. has hardened its opposition to a controversial Russian gas pipeline, which is currently under construction through the Baltic Sea to Germany.

 
A section of the EUGAL natural gas pipeline is laid into the ground near Anklam, Germany. Once completed, the pipeline will feed Russian natural gas from the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline into the European gas grid. (Photo: Stefan Sauer/Picture Alliance/Getty Images)

For months, U.S. officials have said Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline is part of a broader Kremlin gambit to bypass Ukrainian transit pipelines, which have delivered the lion’s share of Russian natural gas exports to Europe for decades.

Yet, despite U.S. protests, construction hasn’t stopped, and the 750-mile-long pipeline is about one-third complete as of this article’s publication. The U.S., for its part, escalated its resistance to the project this month, when U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell sent letters to construction contractors working on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, warning of “a significant risk of sanctions” unless they abandoned the project.

“The problem with Nord Stream 2 is that it is not an economic project. It was developed for only one reason: to create an alternative route for transporting Russian gas on the way to Europe that does not pass through Ukraine,” Grenell said in an interview published in the German Rheinische Post newspaper on Jan. 15.

Russia’s gas giant, Gazprom, is the principal shareholder of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, with five European companies financing half of the construction cost. Allseas, a Swiss-based offshore pipeline and platform company, is the primary contractor building the pipeline.

Nord Stream 2 parallels the existing Nord Stream pipeline’s path from Russia under the Baltic Sea, making landfall near Greifswald, Germany. Nord Stream is the longest undersea pipeline in the world, capable of delivering 55 billion cubic meters of Russian gas annually to Germany. That gas can then be forwarded on to other European clients.

Nord Stream—which went operational in 2011—can deliver a little more than a quarter of Russia’s total gas exports to Europe. Once operational, Nord Stream 2 would double Nord Stream’s current annual capacity.

“The best possible end-goal for Russia with Nord Stream 2 is to create strategic dependency of Germany as a state, and of the German political establishment, on Russian energies, bypass Ukraine, and increase the importance of Russian interests in Berlin,” Jakub Janda, executive director of the Prague-based European Values think tank, told The Daily Signal.

TurkStream, another Gazprom pipeline under construction, also bypasses Ukraine, connecting Russia with Turkey under the Black Sea.

TurkStream comprises two pipeline strings, each of which will have the capacity to deliver 15.75 billion cubic meters annually. According to information on Gazprom’s website, the first string is meant to deliver gas only to Turkey, while the second string will directly deliver Russian gas to southeastern Europe.

Ukraine’s pro-Western revolution in 2014 set Russia on a crash-course effort to ditch its former Soviet ally as a gas transit partner. Gazprom announced plans for TurkStream in 2014 and Nord Stream 2 in 2015. The U.S. says Russia’s planned pipelines are strategic threats to Europe’s energy security, entrenching the EU’s reliance on Russian gas.

“If European gas supplies through Ukraine become redundant due to the launch of Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream, Kyiv will lose its importance in the field of security policy, which will increase the risk of intervention by Russia,” Grenell wrote in the letters to Nord Stream 2 contractors, Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported.

For Kyiv, Nord Stream 2 is considered a looming economic catastrophe, just as Ukraine’s economy has begun to recover from five years of war and post-revolutionary upheavals.

“In Ukraine, the American position on strengthening the sanction regime towards Russia and, in particular, on the NS2, is highly appreciated,” said Mykhailo Gonchar, founder and president of Kyiv’s Center for Global Studies Strategy XXI.

“Against the background of the failure of the EU to stop Nord Stream 2, today only U.S. sanctions can stop it,” Gonchar told The Daily Signal.

Stranglehold

Ukraine has a contract with Gazprom for $3 billion in annual gas transit fees. That contract, however, is set to expire in 2020.

Gazprom has a standing contract to pay Ukraine for the transit of 110 billion cubic meters of gas annually. According to a ruling last year by the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Gazprom has to pay for its contracted transit gas through the end of 2019, no matter how much of that amount actually travels through Ukraine.

Both Nord Stream 2 and the second, Europe-bound string of TurkStream are slated for completion by the end of 2019—just in time for Russia to have alternate gas routes to Europe in hand when it goes to renegotiate its gas transit contract with Kyiv.

Trilateral talks between Ukraine, the EU, and Russia are scheduled for Jan. 21 in Brussels to discuss the future of gas transit through Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has pledged that Russia will maintain gas transit through Ukraine in the amount of 14 to 15 billion cubic meters of gas annually. In that case, Ukraine’s pipelines, which have an overall capacity of 142 billion cubic meters per year,would be operating at roughly 10.5 percent of their capacity, according to International Energy Agency and Ukrainian government data.

“At such a loading level, the [Ukrainian gas transmission system] will generate losses and lose its functionality,” said Gonchar, president of Kyiv’s Center for Global Studies Strategy XXI.

The Ukrainian gas transmission system needs an annual flow rate of at least 50 billion cubic meters per year to break even financially, Gonchar said.

For her part, German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged last year that Ukraine would maintain its role as “an important transit country” after Nord Stream 2 is operational. Her words, however, did little to reassure Kyiv.

“I don’t believe those assurances. They are useless. Real guarantees need to be based on math and not words,” said Mykola Bielieskov, deputy director of the Institute of World Policy, a Ukrainian think tank.

Ukraine stands to lose about $3 billion annually if Russia cancels its gas transit agreement. That annual loss represents a little more than 8 percent of Ukraine’s 2018 budget of $36.4 billion, and roughly 2.4 percent of its 2018 gross domestic product.

The German Perspective

Germany, for its part, received between 50 percent to 75 percent of its natural gas imports from Russia last year, according to Eurostat, the European Commission’s statistics organization. Russia also supplied about half of Germany’s oil imports.

Germany is the largest single buyer of Russian natural gas worldwide, accounting for 27.5 percent of Gazprom’s total exports in 2017. And in the first half of 2018, Gazprom’s gas exports to Germany increased by 12.2 percent over the same period in 2017, the company reported.

Full story
 

5) And Finally: Greenpeace’s Diesel Warrior 
Gaia Fawkes, 21 January 2019




Rainbow Warrior III is Greenpeace’s first purpose-built ship. It cost members £20 million and features the latest super-yacht facilities, like a helicopter-pad. The 30 berth, 58 metre-long ship has a fuel capacity for 110,000 litres of diesel to power the Volvo Penta D65A MT 1850 HP, giving the ship a top speed of 16 knots. Diesel. The same diesel that Greenpeace calls on us all to ditch?

Given that for centuries man has sailed the world using only wind-power, it seems incredibly hypocritical to have a diesel-powered Greenpeace ship. The ship does have sails and can travel using wind technology, yet they deliberately designed it to be diesel-powered. That they chose, for the purpose of convenience and speed, to fit a diesel-powered engine shows their priorities. Whether it be flying around the world for environmental conferences or chugging across the oceans, the emission-free life they advocate is for other people.


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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