Saturday, February 23, 2019

GWPF Newsletter: After El Nino Bleaching, Coral Reefs Begin To Recover

Carbon Cut Apocalypse: Climate Policies Threaten To Kill Australia’s Economy

In this newsletter:

1) After El Nino Bleaching, Coral Reefs Begin To Recover
Maui Now, 22 January 2019 
2) Carbon Cut Apocalypse: Climate Policies Threaten To Kill Australia’s Economy
The Australian, 21 February 2019 

3) Lord Deben Lobbied For More Green Subsidies The Same Day As His Dodgy Drax Dealings
Guido Fawkes, 21 February 2019 
4) America's Shale Boom Keeps Rolling
Bloomberg, 20 February 2019
5) Mueller’s ‘Foreign Agent’ Prosecutions May Lead To Probes Of Green Groups
Kevin Mooney, The Daily Signal, 20 February 2019 
6) Tilak Doshi: The World Bank and its Defunct Energy Policy
Business Standard (India), 21 February 2019

Full details:

1) After El Nino Bleaching, Coral Reefs Begin To Recover
Maui Now, 22 January 2019 

Nearly four years after the worst bleaching event in the state’s history, coral reefs in West Hawaiʽi are stabilizing and poised to recover, according to scientists from The Nature Conservancy.

Photo: The Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i.

Higher than usual ocean water temperatures in 2015 caused the first statewide coral bleaching event. TNC surveys revealed that an average of 60% of corals in West Hawaiʻi bleached, with some reefs experiencing up to 90% mortality. Corals bleach under stress, and severe or prolonged stress can lead to death.

For the last three years, TNC scientists have studied West Hawaiʻi’s coral reefs to identify the most resilient, meaning they can resist or recover from the stress of warmer ocean temperatures.

“Bleaching events like what occurred in 2015 can overstress a coral reef to the point where it may never recover,” said Dr. Eric Conklin, director of marine science for TNC’s Hawaiʻi program. “We surveyed over 14,000 coral colonies at 20 sites along the West Hawaiʻi coast from Kawaihae to Keauhou and were thrilled to see that many of the area’s reefs have stabilized, which is the first step toward recovery.”

Surveys showed that many of the most resilient reefs are in remote areas with limited shoreline access and exposure to human impacts. These reefs had lots of corals and little or no coral disease, and there was evidence that new corals were beginning to grow.

The least resilient sites all had multiple “stressors,” including fishing pressure, land-based pollutants and runoff. “Interestingly, the number of stressors affecting an area, not the severity of a single one, was the most important factor,” said Kim Hum, the Conservancy’s marine program director. “Reefs that are fighting the impacts of several stressors are more susceptible to temperature stress, making them more likely to bleach and less able to recover if they do.”

Surveys identified 25 coral species in West Hawaiʻi. Lobe coral (Porites lobata), one of the area’s most dominant species, proved to be the most resilient—with only 50% bleaching in 2015. Cauliflower corals (Pocillopora meandrina) were hardest hit—with 98% bleaching—but recent surveys show that they are beginning to recover.

Full story

see also GWPF coverage of coral reef alarmism vs reality

2) Carbon Cut Apocalypse: Climate Policies Threaten To Kill Australia’s Economy
The Australian, 21 February 2019 

Labor’s 45 per cent emissions-­reduction target would push electricity prices 50 per cent higher, cost workers up to $9000 a year in lower wages and wipe $472 billion from the economy over the next decade, according to the first independent modelling of the energy policies of both the government and opposition.

The Coalition’s commitment to meeting a 26-28 per cent reduc­tion under the Paris Agreement would also come at a cost, with $70bn in cumulative economic losses by 2030 and a 2 per cent hit to real wage growth.

The research, which is currently under peer review in the US, has been authored by Brian Fisher, the former head of the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics, who served under the Hawke, Keating and Howard governments as a chief adviser on climate policy.

The comprehensive modelling of the economy-wide impacts of both parties’ climate change policies has exposed claims by Labor and the Coalition about the costs of their commitments. It suggests that Labor’s policy would result in 336,000 fewer jobs in 2030 than there otherwise would have been while the Coalition’s commitment would result in 78,000 fewer jobs as the economy adjusted to transitional shock.

Dr Fisher, who has also been a lead author on three reports of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, accuses both sides of politics of engaging in a dishonest debate.

“Having also been involved in climate policy research since 1992, I still get frustrated about how deficient and even outright dishonest the climate debate continues to be … regardless of the approach Australia adopts to reduce emissions, there is an inevitable cost to our economy as more emissions-­intensive activities make way for less intensive industries,” Dr Fisher told The Australian.

The findings of the ongoing independent study, conducted through modelling firm BAEconomics, show that Labor’s plans would result in cumulative economic losses of $472bn over the decade, with GDP $144bn a year lower by 2030. This also takes into account Labor’s 50 per cent renewable energy target.

The loss of economic activity associated with the transition from energy-intensive industries and their workforces to less energy-intensive ones under the Labor emissions-reduction policy was equivalent to an average annual growth rate of 2.3 per cent compared with 2.9 per cent. The forecast effect of this economic shock would be 336,000 fewer jobs by 2030. “The full-time wage would also be around $97,400 — a reduction of 8 per cent,” it said.

This would amount to a fall in real annual wages of about $9000 per year by 2030.

Electricity prices would also balloon under what the report claimed would be a significant economic adjustment. “In meeting the combined 50 per cent renewables target and the emissions target, the wholesale electricity price would be around $128/MWh,” the report said.

This would be more than 50 per cent higher than the base case of $81/MWh. The Coalition’s commitment to a Paris target of reducing emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2030 was also not without a price tag.

Full story (subscription required)

3) Lord Deben Lobbied For More Green Subsidies The Same Day As His Dodgy Drax Dealings
Guido Fawkes, 21 February 2019 

The formal inquiry into Lord Deben continues over the £600,000 in payments his family-run ‘Sustainability Consultancy’ Sancroft International received from taxpayer-subsidised ‘Green’ corporations – in what appears to be a flagrant conflict of interests with his role as Climate Change Committee chair.

Now, confidential documents seen by Guido appear to show that on the very same day as Deben was arguing in Parliament in favour of expensive renewable energy subsidies, his firm was meeting with cash-guzzling, wood-pellet-burning, biomass generator Drax Groupin a secret meeting that resulted in a £15,500 payment for SancroftNot bad for a day’s work…

The debate on 30 November 2017 was on an amendment to the Renewables Obligation Order, the largest and most expensive scheme to subsidise supposedly ‘low-carbon’ technologies – like burning wood pellets. Drax are the biggest recipients of Renewable Obligation support in the country, receiving a whopping £481m from the taxpayer in 2017…

Combined with money from other schemes this took their total level of public support to a staggering £729m in 2017 – all for burning dirty woodchips instead of coal. Somehow they still managed to make a loss before tax of £183m that year…

Full post

4) America's Shale Boom Keeps Rolling
Bloomberg, 20 February 2019

America’s surging shale oil production shows little sign of abating, despite industrywide spending cuts, as explorers learn to do more with less.

Almost all the independent producers have reduced their budgets for 2019, but many still expect to deliver double-digit growth in production this year, fourth-quarter earnings reports show. Growth is slowing but still strong: the U.S. will add about 1.45 million barrels of oil a day on average this year, down from 1.6 million in 2018, according to the Energy Information Administration.

“The machine still has enough cash available that it can continue to grow at a rate that’s material,” Raoul LeBlanc, a Houston-based analyst at IHS Markit, said by phone. The rest of the world “is now not going to be flooded with oil, but still mildly glutted.”

The tumble in oil prices at the end of 2018, combined with investor demands for fiscal discipline, has prompted most shale executives to only invest what they earn in cash flow, ending years of debt-fueled growth. But the scale of past investments and low service costs mean that the cutbacks will only put a dent in growth projections.

On average, U.S. explorers have cut their capital budgets 4 percent but are predicting a 7 percent increase in production, according to RS Energy Group, a Calgary-based researcher.

The latest explorers to announce spending cuts and pledge more returns to investors were Concho Resources Inc. and Devon Energy Corp. on Tuesday. Despite the budget trimming, Concho expects oil output to grow about 28 percent in 2019. Devon lifted oil production 14 percent in January, compared with the final three months of 2018, but foresees full-year output trailing the 2018 figure as divestitures take a bite.

The U.S. will likely pump a record 12.4 million barrels a day this year, 13 percent higher than in 2018, according to the EIA. Most of the growth will come from the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico.

Full post

5) Mueller’s ‘Foreign Agent’ Prosecutions May Lead To Probes Of Green Groups
Kevin Mooney, The Daily Signal, 20 February 2019 

By invoking a law regulating foreign agents to pursue prosecution of former Trump campaign officials, special counsel Robert Mueller opened the door to more intense scrutiny of some U.S. environmental groups, according to legal analysts who say China and Russia use such groups to influence America’s energy policy.

Is Putin Funding Eco-Activists? Click on image above to watch video

But these legal analysts said they also see a danger that Mueller’s investigation could set a precedent for the Justice Department to “selectively enforce” the Foreign Agents Registration Act in a manner that undermines the rule of law and potentially jeopardizes national security.

The Trump administration, they say, should closely examine the relationship between environmental advocacy groups and foreign governments that are considered strategic competitors of the U.S.

“If the Mueller probe has any real benefit, it is that it opened the door for the Justice Department to employ FARA as a basis to investigate green groups that are undermining our country and aiding socialist/communist regimes,” lawyer Mark Fitzgibbons told The Daily Signal.

Because these same environmental groups persistently lobby for policy changes to restrict U.S. energy use and the projection of U.S. military power, the groups may operate at the direction and encouragement of hostile foreign actors, Fitzgibbons and other reform proponents argue.

The Foreign Agents Registration Act, which predates World War II, requires anyone who acts as an agent of foreign principals “in a political or quasi-political capacity” to disclose that relationship periodically, as well as “activities, receipts, and disbursements in support of those activities,”according to the Justice Department.

But because FARA has not been strictly enforced, little case history and precedent exist for investigations into the actions of possible foreign agents who decline to disclose their activities, Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, a Washington-based nonprofit government watchdog, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview.

Americans and their elected representatives have been deprived of the openness and transparency they need to evaluate the political activism and legal tactics of environmental advocacy groups, Fitton said.

Full post

6) Tilak Doshi: The World Bank and its Defunct Energy Policy
Business Standard (India), 21 February 2019

The shock resignation of World Bank President Dr Jim Yong Kim, announced in early January, more than three years before his term would have ended, and the nomination of David Malpass, one of the institution’s sharpest critics in the current US administration, has been seen as yet another disruptive change to the global order under President Trump’s watch.

While disruptive change has become a regular affair under this most impetuous of US presidents, the changing of the guard at the World Bank is potentially of great consequence to the world’s poor. That is, assuming the Malpass nomination is not seriously challenged by the EU which jealously guards its say in the appointment of IMF Managing Director as part of the quid pro quo over the twin Bretton Woods institutions that served the post-World War order.

Malpass has been a strong advocate for accountability at the World Bank and comes with a “back to the basics” focus on pro-growth projects for countries which include people in extreme poverty. He has also been a known critic of the World Bank’s loans to China and India, arguing that these countries have become rich enough to tap global capital markets on reasonable terms.

The post-1945 Bretton Wood’s arrangement, of course, is very much associated with Maynard Keynes, a key founding economist-architect of that order. Lord Keynes’ much-quoted prognostication, that practical men find themselves under the influence of some “defunct economist”, couldn’t be better illustrated than in the World Bank’s intellectual evolution.

It did not take long for Dr. Kim, an appointee of President Obama in 2012, to impose a ban on the financing of coal-fired power stations (in 2013), followed subsequently by a ban on investments in all new upstream oil and gas resource development projects. For this onslaught on fossil fuels, Dr. Kim seems to have been under the thrall of Keynes’ defunct economists and political philosophers who cast votes for the Bank to favour mitigating long run climate change over economic growth to serve the immediate needs of the world’s poor.

There is no shortage of commentary on the World Bank’s flight to defunct economics. Prof Deepak Lal, a former Oxford don and Research Administrator of the Bank remarked that Dr. Kim incredulously “over-ruled the cost-benefit estimates of coal-based power over solar and wind-based power generation produced by his own economic staff, justifying this by reference to a wish to cut global emissions of greenhouse gases“.

Mikko Paunio, a public health expert who has worked at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the European Commission and the World Bank, found that the Bank (along with WHO and the Lancet) conveniently forget the “energy ladder” which allowed the now-developed countries to graduate to their current 24/7 access to reliable and cheap fossil-fuelled electricity (mainly coal, and more recently, natural gas) while denying the very same process of development to the now developing countries.

Rupert Darwall, a former special adviser to the United Kingdom’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, charges that during Dr. Kim’s tenure, the “World Bank lost its way and sacrificed the interests of the poor to green ideology”.

The resignation of Dr. Kim, for some, could not have come at a more opportune time. The World Bank and its counterparts such as the Asian Development Bank have taken a lead role in denying poorer countries the development strategy that the now-rich countries had taken so successfully since the Industrial Revolution. By the 1980s, Europe, North America and Japan had already cleaned up their cities of urban smog while ensuring clean, reliable and affordable energy which included high-efficiency, low-emission coal and natural gas-fuelled power plants, and cleaner transport and cooking fuels.

The Bank’s enthusiastic adoption of the “sustainable development” meme – that much-enamoured slogan of special interest groups proclaiming “civil society” interests – has had an insidious effect in development economics. There has not been a single instance of a country successfully developing to middle income status without the use of fossil fuels as the workhorse of industrialisation and modern economic growth. Yet elastic concepts of “sustainability” and the like remain the lead talking points among many pundits of economic development.

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

No comments: