Thursday, January 24, 2019

GWPF Newsletter: Snowmaggedon Hits Davos Man








Al Gore Effect Trips Up Green Elites Networking Fest

In this newsletter:

1) Davos’ Green Elites Prefer Private Jets Amid Alleged Climate Worries
Press Trust of India, 22 January 2019
 
2) David Attenborough And Prince William In Davos: An Avalanche Warning
Charles Moore, The Spectator, 24 January 2019 


 
3) Attenborough In Davos: ‘We’re Doomed, We’re All Doomed I Tell You’
GWPF, 23 January 2019
 
4) Snowmaggedon Hits Davos Man: Al Gore Effect Tripped Up Green Elites Networking Fest
Politico, 23 January 2019 
 
5) Davos In Shock: Bolsonaro Alarms Climate Activists With Pro-Business Speech
The Guardian, 23 January 2019
 
6) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Wrong: The World Won’t End In 2030
The Spectator, 24 January 2019 
 
7) Will Climate Hysteria Unravel Canada?
Holman W. Jenkins Jr., The Wall Street Journal, 23 January 2019
 
8) The Price Of Green Madness: Coal Phase-Out Will Increase German Reliance On Russian Gas, Says Merkel
Climate Home News, 23 January 2019
 
9) Steven Glover: We Need To Allow Fracking To Avoid An Energy Crisis
Stephen Glover, Daily Mail, 24 January 2019 


Full details:

1) Davos’ Green Elites Prefer Private Jets Amid Alleged Climate Worries
Press Trust of India, 22 January 2019


The Davos elite say they are more worried than ever about climate change. But that isn’t stopping them chartering nearly 1,500 private jet flights to attend the World Economy Forum in Davos.

















The Davos elite say they are more worried than ever about climate change. But that isn’t stopping them chartering private jets in record numbers.

The convenience and comfort of flying privately rather than commercially appears to outweigh any concerns about the outsized carbon footprint it involves, judging by a number-crunching exercise by the company Air Charter Service (ACS).

It forecast nearly 1,500 private jet flights over the week of the World Economic Forum (WEF) to airports near Davos in the Swiss Alps.

That would be up from the more than 1,300 aircraft movements seen at last year’s forum, despite climate change registering as the top risk factor identified for the global economy in a survey of WEF movers and shakers last week.

In a blog post, the website privatefly.com forecast an even higher number of private flight movements related to Davos this week, of around 2,000 in and out of local airports.

Full story
 

2) David Attenborough And Prince William In Davos: An Avalanche Warning
Charles Moore, The Spectator, 24 January 2019 


Also in Davos were Sir David Attenborough and Prince William, in conversation. This, I feel, is a mistake, though an understandable one.



One of the annoying features of greenery is that it involves rich and powerful people telling poorer, less powerful people to get poorer still. The obsession with increasing fuel prices is a current example. It makes the French put on yellow vests in protest, and is definitely unpopular in Zimbabwe (though I admit that Emmerson Mnangagwa’s vigorous methods of putting down the revolt may not be motivated by a desire to save the planet).

Sir David says he was there because ‘If you care about the future of the world… this [the Davos crowd] is the most important community you can find’. Until recently he would, unfortunately, have been right, but peak Davos has passed, and world leaders, opinion-formers and future kings would be well-advised to avoid the ensuing avalanche.

Full post (subscription required)
 

3) Attenborough In Davos: ‘We’re Doomed, We’re All Doomed I Tell You’
GWPF, 23 January 2019


Without action on climate change, civilisation will collapse soon, David Attenborough tells the World Economic Forum.











 














4) Snowmaggedon Hits Davos Man: Al Gore Effect Tripped Up Green Elites Networking Fest.
Politico, 23 January 2019 


 DAVOS, Switzerland — It took more than Donald Trump to defeat Davos Man. It took three meters of snow.



Who would have thought it: Snow in Davos! It’s only Europe’s highest town.

The global elite shuddered with dread when the U.S. president announced his impending Davos Avalanche. It didn’t take a political genius to foresee their swift journey from the C-suite to being extras in the next Trump circus.

But worse was to come. Yeti crashed the party.

Like a Trump metaphor from the skies, the Davos snow-in proved that just-in-time supply chains don’t just hurt Rust Belt towns, they hurt CEOs and ministers too.

One hour delay turned into several hours for many, losing battery and patience on clogged mountain roads and lifeless helipads.

By not leaving themselves enough time for anything other than a seamless private journey, the global elite missed their own party in Davos Monday.

Life without helicopters sucks, doesn’t it?

Outside, snowmaggedon chaos reigned.

An alternative universe in which the underclass of Davos — people with the lowest-level WEF brown “hotel badges,” or no badges at all — took control.

They were sent ahead by their masters to build everything from an Arctic Base Camp to immersive cyberattack experiences and here they were — if they were lucky enough not be stuck in a snow-jammed gondola or funicular — the Kings and Queens of Davos for a day….

Davos was supposed to be hard for protesters to reach, but it seemed elite had finally outwitted themselves.

Full story 


5) Davos In Shock: Bolsonaro Alarms Climate Activists With Pro-Business Speech
The Guardian, 23 January 2019


New Brazilian president highlights need to grow economy in Davos appearance



Brazil’s new rightwing president Jair Bolsonaro has prompted fresh alarm among environmentalists after stressing that protecting his country’s unique ecosystem has to be consistent with growing the economy.

In remarks that did little to assuage fears of the risks that a go-for-growth strategy would pose to the Amazon region, Bolsonaro used his first overseas trip since taking control at the start of the year to outline a strongly pro-business agenda.

Brazil’s new president brief speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos outlined a tax-cutting, privatisation agenda designed to reduce the size of the state and encourage entrepreneurialism.

“It is now our mission to make progress in harmonising environmental preservation and biodiversity with the much-needed economic development,” he said.

Full story
 

6) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Wrong: The World Won’t End In 2030
The Spectator, 24 January 2019 

Andrew Montford

It looks as though Ocasio-Cortez has just been reading the wrong newspapers, although she’s not the only one



So apparently the world is going to end in a few years’ time. Yawn. It’s fair to say that this is a message that has been heard on a regular basis for as long as anyone can remember – traditionally from long-haired gentlemen adorned with sandwich boards, but in recent years more often from (sometimes equally hirsute) climate scientists, environmentalists and green-minded politicians.

This week’s message of doom comes from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Congresswoman who is the latest big thing in US Democrat political circles. Ocasio-Cortez is on the green warpath and would like us all to know that ‘the world is gonna end’ in 2030 if we don’t ‘address climate change’. Stop sniggering at the back, this is serious.

Ocasio-Cortez’s timing, it has to be said, is not of the best. This week, the sceptically minded have been having a bit of fun at the expense of the US defence establishment, who worked themselves into a bit of a Twitter tizzy about a new Pentagon report that claimed that US military bases were at risk from changing weather patterns. This allowed us to remind everyone of the Pentagon’s 2004 report, in which they advised president Bush that major European cities would be (in the Guardian’s take on the story) ‘sunk beneath rising seas’ and that Britain would be ‘plunged into a Siberian climate’. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting were to menace us as well, according to the spooks in the Pentagon. And all this by…erm…next year. I can’t say I’ve seen any sign of any of these disasters yet though.

So, it’s perhaps a good idea to take wild claims like those from Ocasio-Cortez with a pinch of salt, or at least to look into the details. The idea that something bad is going to happen in 2030 has its origins in a report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) towards the end of last year. The ‘Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C’ was not, however, an attempt to determine when the end of the world will take place but instead an attempt to determine how global temperatures could be kept below that level – the available policy options seem to be either vast expansion of energy crops and forestry (with a veil drawn over the effect on the food supply) or dramatic lifestyle changes (veganism, anyone?).

So if you search through the report’s summary for policymakers, you will look in vain for the section that discusses the end of the world taking place in twelve years’ time: surely a major oversight by the authors, if that was indeed one of their findings. Instead you will find a fairly typical IPCC report, with dramatic conclusions drawn from climate simulations to give exciting claims about the risks of a slightly warmer world. The year 2030 is simply when the scientists involved in the report think we could stabilise temperatures thus avoiding any further increase in risk.

And the magnitude of those risks is questionable. Interestingly, the summary shows signs of a toning down of the rhetoric from the IPCC on this front. For example, hurricanes, which the IPCC has always previously said would get worse in a warmer world are barely mentioned. Presumably, widening public awareness of the decline in tropical cyclones in recent decades makes this a PR necessity. Unfortunately, the similar decline in droughts is less well known, so the IPCC continues to push the idea that they will become worse in future.

So, there is no sign in the report of the world coming to an end. Nevertheless, this is not what the media reported. The Guardian, for example, said that ‘We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe’, while the Washington Post took the line that ‘The world has just over a decade to get climate change under control’. In other words, it looks as though Ocasio-Cortez has just been reading the wrong newspapers, although she’s not the only one: at this week’s Davos jamboree, David Attenborough was reported as saying that we only have a decade to ‘solve climate’ otherwise we are, apparently, ‘doomed’.

So you can see how this works: the report says that we could take dramatic steps to avoid further risks, and the more disreputable sections of press then twist this into ‘If we don’t take dramatic steps we’re going to hell in a handcart’, and then their celebrity readers repeat ad nauseam.

Interestingly, some climate scientists seem to have been speaking out against the hysteria. For example, Gavin Schmidt, the head of NASA’s climate unit, has been quoted as saying that all such time-limited frames are ‘bullshit’.

He’s not wrong.

Andrew Montford is deputy director of the Global Warming Policy Forum.
 

7) Will Climate Hysteria Unravel Canada?
Holman W. Jenkins Jr., The Wall Street Journal, 23 January 2019


How ‘Occupied,’ a Netflix show about Norway, could presage civil strife in Canada.

Every so often the Pentagon comes up with a thumbsucker about how climate change is going to alter the geopolitical landscape. The intriguing Norwegian TV show “Okkupert” (“Occupied”) might be a better guide to understanding how such instability could already be brewing on our own northern border.

Americans might be forgiven for not knowing that Norway, with a population of five million, is the world’s 11th largest oil exporter and the third largest exporter of natural gas. They might also need a second or two to realize that this sounds a lot like the Canadian province of Alberta, with four million people and fossil energy reserves second only to Saudi Arabia’s and Venezuela’s.

In the show, which is available on Netflix , Norway’s Greens come to power and announce plans to end fossil energy production. Norway’s European Union neighbors, while keen to seem green, are not keen to do without Norway’s energy. They quietly support a Russian campaign of intimidation that amounts to a creeping takeover, while Norway’s politicians, eager to avoid outright fighting, straddle and prevaricate. Anyone who remembers the name Vidkun Quisling will appreciate why this theme might resonate with a Norwegian audience.

Now back to Alberta: In the provincial capital of Edmonton, house prices have been falling for three years. Car sales are drying up. One-third of Calgary’s office buildings are empty. Though production is booming, Alberta’s oil was recently selling for barely $10 a barrel—an 80% discount to the world price. Why? Because opposition from neighboring provinces has blocked construction of needed pipelines.

In a drastic effort to prop up prices, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley in December imposed mandatory production cuts on her province’s largest oil producers. She also announced plans, using taxpayer money, to buy 7,000 railcars to get oil to market, never mind that shipping by rail is expensive and risky.

In the middle is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, dithering between his green supporters and his desire to placate Alberta and keep its money flowing.
He impulsively committed to spend $4.5 billion to rescue a U.S.-backed pipeline whose expansion has been blocked by a Canadian court. At the same time, he has mused that Alberta’s oil-sands production should be phased out in a “generation.” His party is pushing a bill to empower greens to block future pipelines. It supports a U.N. treaty that would increase the veto power of native tribes. It backs a continuing ban on supertankers in Canadian ports.

Unlike the U.S., where secession was shown to be illegal in the 1860s, a 2000 Canadian law spells out the steps for provinces to declare independence. Ms. Notley has tried to play down secession talk, but the politics are complicated. Fellow Canadians may not be ready to give up their energy-rich lifestyles, or the foreign oil imports that make them possible. But they disapprove of Alberta’s participation in an acrid industry and their voters are willing to pay a price for it.

To the east, Quebec’s premier says Alberta’s “dirty energy” has no “social acceptability.” To the west, British Columbia’s premier was elected on a platform of killing a new pipeline project favored by Alberta.

Meanwhile, protest rallies have become a near-daily occurrence in the oil-rich province. Two truck convoys to Ottawa are planned for February, including one explicitly modeled on the French “yellow vests” movement. Ms. Notley herself faces an uphill re-election fight in May. She was already wrong-footed once into backing a carbon tax scheme that was supposed to ease the way for more pipelines. Now her opponent is challenging Canada’s highly symbolic “equalization” scheme, which has shifted hundreds of billions from Alberta to Quebec over two decades.

Only a quarter of Albertans say they favor independence, but that may be beside the point. The province’s future promises to be one of barely contained civil war with its fellow Canadians. If $13 billion a year in payola can’t appease Quebec, the cause is probably beyond salvaging. A Donald Trump re-election could invite talk of becoming the 51st U.S. state. If Obama-like pipeline opponents are returned to power in Washington in 2020, the squeeze will be even worse.

Then what? A weak state with enormous fossil energy resources caught in the West’s culture wars over climate and energy? The cash cow of Canada up for grabs? We could spin lots of scenarios.

Full post
 

8) The Price Of Green Madness: Coal Phase-Out Will Increase German Reliance On Russian Gas, Says Merkel
Climate Home News, 23 January 2019


Under pressure to block a gas pipeline from Russia and end coal power, the chancellor tied their fates together

German chancellor Angela Merkel linked the building of a controversial Russian gas pipeline to the fate of her country’s coal industry in comments on Wednesday.

Germany faces criticism from EU partners and the US for its role in the construction of a Baltic Sea pipeline that will bring Russian gas to the EU, making landfall in Germany’s northeast.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Merkel said Germany’s gas demand would be affected by the recommendations of Germany’s coal commission, due to be finalised in the coming weeks. The commission is mandated to set a timeline to phase out the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel.

“It is working on the decommissioning of coal-fired power plants,” said Merkel, “but without being able to assure a baseload in our energy generation, we will not be able to survive. So we will need [coal] for a certain period of time.”

The coal closures follow a phase-out of nuclear power in Germany, which Merkel said would be completed by 2020.

The US, which wants to expand its own gas exports to the EU, recently warned that European companies involved in building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline could attract sanctions. Other European countries have raised concerns about making Europe’s gas supply, already 40% Russian imports, even more dependent on Moscow.

This week economy and energy minister Peter Altmaier told German newspaper Handlesblatt the pipeline was “far advanced, with pipes laid over kilometres in the sea” and said his country had no plans to block the Gazprom-owned project.

Full story
 

9) Steven Glover: We Need To Allow Fracking To Avoid An Energy Crisis
Stephen Glover, Daily Mail, 24 January 2019 


We have an energy crisis. And it so happens that we appear to have lots of shale gas. A whole new industry could be created if only the Luddites would see sense.












Almost everyone I know is against fracking. Not that many of them understand much about it. But this doesn’t prevent them from pursing their lips and shaking their heads while looking solemn and generally disapproving whenever the subject is raised.

What about the United States, I sometimes ask, where fracking on a massive scale has made the country much less reliant on expensive imports of oil and gas? America has vast unpopulated areas, they reply. Britain is a crowded island. They may then add that fracking — which involves extracting gas from underground rocks by injecting high-pressure chemicals — causes earthquakes and ruins the countryside.

It is because of views like these that fracking in the UK has barely got going despite there being enormous reserves of potentially recoverable shale gas, which if extracted would greatly improve our chances of keeping the lights on and the wheels of the economy turning.

Labour is against fracking. As are the Lib Dems. So is the SNP government in Scotland, which has banned all exploration north of the border. Opinion polls suggest a majority of the public is against. And of course every environmentalist you care to mention thinks fracking is the work of the Devil.

As for the Conservative Government, although supposedly pro-fracking, it proceeds cautiously, and seldom defends the practice. I can’t recall the underwhelming Greg Clark, Business Secretary and the Minister with overall responsibility, ever singing its praises.

The Government’s greatest terror is that the process might cause earthquakes. In 2011, shale gas test-drilling triggered tremors in Lancashire, and fracking was banned for a time.

So it’s no surprise that Mr Clark’s department is apparently ignoring the conclusion of two advisers in the government’s Oil and Gas Authority that the existing low limit on tremors caused by fracking be raised because the risk of harm is ‘vanishingly small’.

All in all, it is hard to find anyone in public life who will speak up for fracking, excepting Natascha Engel, the former Labour MP for North East Derbyshire, who was appointed Commissioner for Shale Gas last autumn by the Government. She recently told the Mail that fracking, if safely and sensibly pursued, could create tens of thousands of jobs, and provide Britain’s energy needs for 50 years.

But hers, so far, is a rare voice in a dispute where the naysayers and doom-mongers make nearly all the running and create most of the noise, confident that they have the unthinking support of millions of people, most of whom — let’s be honest — don’t know much about fracking.

It’s a roaring shame we can’t have a reasoned debate. Consider this: on Tuesday, which was unpleasantly cold, the National Grid could supply enough power only by relying on energy produced by the coal-fired power stations that environmentalists hate (13 per cent of the total) and on imported electricity from France and Holland (five per cent).

Because there was very little wind on Tuesday, less than three per cent of our energy was supplied by off-shore and on-shore turbines. That’s the trouble with wind power. When demand is high, as it is bound to be in cold weather, all the wind turbines in the world won’t help if there isn’t even a gentle breeze.

Isn’t it a bit alarming that in a country of around 65 million people, which is the fifth or sixth biggest economy in the world, the National Grid can only keep the show on the road by cranking up coal power stations and depending on imported electricity?

It wouldn’t take much to go wrong — a ruptured pipeline carrying gas from Norway or Europe, or a tanker carrying the stuff to our shores running aground — for us to discover there isn’t any spare capacity in the system, and for everything to go kaput.

Looking to the future, plenty of people believe the danger of shortages is likely to increase. Britain’s coal-fired power plants will all be shut down by the mid-2020s. Several have already been closed under EU anti-pollution rules.

Meanwhile, the country’s ageing nuclear power stations, which provide 21 per cent of current power supplies, are expected to be de-commissioned by the 2030s. But the replacement programme has been severely dented by the recent decision of two Japanese companies to pull out of building two nuclear power stations with state-of-the-art reactors in Cumbria and on Anglesey.

With the £20 billion Chinese-financed Hinkley Point now the only new nuclear reactor being built, it seems possible, if not probable, that, in 15 years’ time, nuclear power stations will supply a smaller proportion of our energy needs than they do at present.

In short, as coal-fired power stations are certain to be cashiered, and nuclear power seems likely to be curtailed, there is a looming energy gap which new off-shore turbines can’t be guaranteed to fill because the wind does not always blow.

Nor would it be sensible to make up the impending shortfall by importing more gas from Russia. It would be foolhardy to put ourselves at the mercy of a hostile regime. That is the perilous path down which Germany has recklessly gone — 20 per cent of its energy needs are supplied by Moscow — and we would be mad to follow suit.

How easy it is for virtue-signalling or ignorant politicians to condemn fracking without giving any thought to the consequences in ten or 20 years’ time, or indeed for the thousands of new jobs, often in depressed areas of northern England, which it might create. […]

If we still had vast reserves of oil and gas in the North Sea, this weakness and indecision on the part of the authorities might not matter. But we don’t. We have an energy crisis. And it so happens that we appear to have lots of shale gas.

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.

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