Friday, December 20, 2019

GWPF Newsletter: Attenborough Tacitly Admits Netflix Deception

Green Blob & BBC Start Anti-Boris Johnson Campaign

In this newsletter:

1) Attenborough Tacitly Admits Netflix Deception
GWPF TV, 19 December 2019
2) Green Blob & BBC Start Anti-Boris Johnson Campaign
GWPF, The Guardian, BBC 18 December 2019

3) Matt Ridley: We’ve Just Had The Best Decade In Human History. Seriously
The Spectator, 21 December 2019
4) Young People Distressed About Climate Change
Big Picture News, 16 December 2019
5) Are We Teaching Children to Fear the Future?
The Leeds Salon, December 2019
6) Francis Menton: Who Is Winning The Climate Wars?
Manhattan Contrarian, 17 December 2019

Full details:

1) Attenborough Tacitly Admits Netflix Deception
GWPF TV, 19 December 2019

An exclusive new video for the GWPF exposes Attenborough’s contradicting explanations of the bizarre and tragic phenomenon of falling walruses.

Click on the image above to watch the

2) Green Blob & BBC Start Anti-Boris Johnson Campaign
GWPF, The Guardian, BBC 18 December 2019

A group of green NGOs, climate activists and the BBC seem to have kicked off a campaign to pressure, embarrass and humiliate Boris Johnson over his governments climate policies. It is almost certain that we can expect this campaign to accelerate in coming months as the new government begins to approve new infrastructure projects, new roads and airport expansions.

Climate Change Committee warn PM has fallen short of dealing with the crisis

The UK “must get on track to delivering net zero emissions” in this Parliament, the Committee on Climate Change warned Boris Johnson.

The UK must get its “house in order” on tackling the climate crisis as it prepares to host major international talks on the issue, the Prime Minister has been warned.

The UK’s efforts to deal with climate change have so far fallen short, Lord Deben, chairman of the Government’s advisory Committee on Climate Change (CCC), and Baroness Brown, chairwoman of the CCC’s adaptation committee, warned.

Boris Johnson failed to enact legislation parliament passed to tackle the climate emergency over the past year. During the election campaign he dodged the party leaders’ debate on climate change, perhaps to avoid difficult questions on his record. We also reported how the Tory party receives 94% of donations made to politicians by backers of climate change denial, with Boris Johnson the biggest single recipient of any politician.

In a letter to Boris Johnson, they called for action to cut emissions from buildings, transport, electricity, industry and land and agriculture, as well as efforts to reduce the risk of flooding, extreme heat, drought and harm to nature.

Government actions in the coming year will define the UK’s response to the crisis, they said, and have a lasting global impact as Britain plays host to key UN talks in Glasgow in late 2020.

The letter spells out the scale of the challenge facing the Prime Minister to answer public calls for climate action and build towards the UN talks, which will require a huge diplomatic effort to increase international ambition to cut emissions.

The experts write: “UK efforts to address the climate crisis have so far fallen short…..”

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3) Matt Ridley: We’ve Just Had The Best Decade In Human History. Seriously
The Spectator, 21 December 2019

Little of this made the news, because good news is no news

Let nobody tell you that the second decade of the 21st century has been a bad time. We are living through the greatest improvement in human living standards in history. Extreme poverty has fallen below 10 per cent of the world’s population for the first time. It was 60 per cent when I was born. Global inequality has been plunging as Africa and Asia experience faster economic growth than Europe and North America; child mortality has fallen to record low levels; famine virtually went extinct; malaria, polio and heart disease are all in decline.

Little of this made the news, because good news is no news. But I’ve been watching it all closely. Ever since I wrote The Rational Optimist in 2010, I’ve been faced with ‘what about…’ questions: what about the great recession, the euro crisis, Syria, Ukraine, Donald Trump? How can I possibly say that things are getting better, given all that? The answer is: because bad things happen while the world still gets better. Yet get better it does, and it has done so over the course of this decade at a rate that has astonished even starry-eyed me.

Perhaps one of the least fashionable predictions I made nine years ago was that ‘the ecological footprint of human activity is probably shrinking’ and ‘we are getting more sustainable, not less, in the way we use the planet’. That is to say: our population and economy would grow, but we’d learn how to reduce what we take from the planet. And so it has proved. An MIT scientist, Andrew McAfee, recently documented this in a book called More from Less, showing how some nations are beginning to use less stuff: less metal, less water, less land. Not just in proportion to productivity: less stuff overall.

This does not quite fit with what the Extinction Rebellion lot are telling us. But the next time you hear Sir David Attenborough say: ‘Anyone who thinks that you can have infinite growth on a planet with finite resources is either a madman or an economist’, ask him this: ‘But what if economic growth means using less stuff, not more?’ For example, a normal drink can today contains 13 grams of aluminium, much of it recycled. In 1959, it contained 85 grams. Substituting the former for the latter is a contribution to economic growth, but it reduces the resources consumed per drink.

As for Britain, our consumption of ‘stuff’ probably peaked around the turn of the century — an achievement that has gone almost entirely unnoticed. But the evidence is there. In 2011 Chris Goodall, an investor in electric vehicles, published research showing that the UK was now using not just relatively less ‘stuff’ every year, but absolutely less. Events have since vindicated his thesis. The quantity of all resources consumed per person in Britain (domestic extraction of biomass, metals, minerals and fossil fuels, plus imports minus exports) fell by a third between 2000 and 2017, from 12.5 tonnes to 8.5 tonnes. That’s a faster decline than the increase in the number of people, so it means fewer resources consumed overall.

If this doesn’t seem to make sense, then think about your own home. Mobile phones have the computing power of room-sized computers of the 1970s. I use mine instead of a camera, radio, torch, compass, map, calendar, watch, CD player, newspaper and pack of cards. LED light bulbs consume about a quarter as much electricity as incandescent bulbs for the same light. Modern buildings generally contain less steel and more of it is recycled. Offices are not yet paperless, but they use much less paper.

Even in cases when the use of stuff is not falling, it is rising more slowly than expected. For instance, experts in the 1970s forecast how much water the world would consume in the year 2000. In fact, the total usage that year was half as much as predicted. Not because there were fewer humans, but because human inventiveness allowed more efficient irrigation for agriculture, the biggest user of water.

Until recently, most economists assumed that these improvements were almost always in vain, because of rebound effects: if you cut the cost of something, people would just use more of it. Make lights less energy-hungry and people leave them on for longer. This is known as the Jevons paradox, after the 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons, who first described it. But Andrew McAfee argues that the Jevons paradox doesn’t hold up. Suppose you switch from incandescent to LED bulbs in your house and save about three-quarters of your electricity bill for lighting. You might leave more lights on for longer, but surely not four times as long.

Efficiencies in agriculture mean the world is now approaching ‘peak farmland’ — despite the growing number of people and their demand for more and better food, the productivity of agriculture is rising so fast that human needs can be supplied by a shrinking amount of land. In 2012, Jesse Ausubel of Rockefeller University and his colleagues argued that, thanks to modern technology, we use 65 per cent less land to produce a given quantity of food compared with 50 years ago. By 2050, it’s estimated that an area the size of India will have been released from the plough and the cow.

Land-sparing is the reason that forests are expanding, especially in rich countries. In 2006 Ausubel worked out that no reasonably wealthy country had a falling stock of forest, in terms of both tree density and acreage. Large animals are returning in abundance in rich countries; populations of wolves, deer, beavers, lynx, seals, sea eagles and bald eagles are all increasing; and now even tiger numbers are slowly climbing.

Perhaps the most surprising statistic is that Britain is using steadily less energy. John Constable of the Global Warming Policy Forum points out that although the UK’s economy has almost trebled in size since 1970, and our population is up by 20 per cent, total primary inland energy consumption has actually fallen by almost 10 per cent. Much of that decline has happened in recent years. This is not necessarily good news, Constable argues: although the improving energy efficiency of light bulbs, aeroplanes and cars is part of the story, it also means we are importing more embedded energy in products, having driven much of our steel, aluminium and chemical industries abroad with some of the highest energy prices for industry in the world.

In fact, all this energy-saving might cause problems. Innovation requires experiments (most of which fail). Experiments require energy. So cheap energy is crucial — as shown by the industrial revolution. Thus, energy may be the one resource that a prospering population should be using more of. Fortunately, it is now possible that nuclear fusion will one day deliver energy in minimalist form, using very little fuel and land.

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4) Young People Distressed About Climate Change
Big Picture News, 16 December 2019

Forget fear and pessimism. Step into the sunlight & soar.

A few days ago, a 20-year-old who resides in the UK sent an e-mail to American climate scientist Judith Curry. This young person describes themselves as miserable, fearful, and petrified. Frequently sick to their stomach, unable to eat or sleep, they’re genuinely worried that “climate change is going to kill me and all my family.”

Seeking “hope or advice,” they tell Curry:

“I’m already vegetarian and I recycle everything so I’m really trying. Please help me. In anyway you can. I’m at my wits end here.”

Curry’s generalized response directed to “children and young adults” includes these remarks:

“Don’t believe the hype…the rhetoric and politics of climate change have become absolutely toxic and nonsensical…live your best life…Societal prosperity is the best insurance policy that we have…”

Young people desperately need exposure to alternative climate perspectives. They need to hear there’s ongoing debate amongst credentialed scientists, many of whom think nothing terrible will happen anytime soon. They need to know that numerous hyper smart people regard climate change as a trivial concern for at least the next 50 years.

Humans are amazing. We’ve faced many challenges, encountered many obstacles. Yet we continue to thrive. More of us are living longer than ever before. More of us are better fed, housed, clothed, and educated than ever before.

Should climate change develop into a truly pressing problem, we’ll rise to that challenge. Should humanity’s survival ever be truly threatened, we’ll do what we’ve always done: respond with creativity and heroics.

Activists insist we must take action now or the problem will be much worse later. But they have no way of knowing this. That’s just their fear talking, their pessimism.

The future cannot be predicted. By anyone.

What is certain is that a very long line of end-of-the-world prognostications have already failed to materialize.

If you are a young person in distress about the climate, please read one or more of the three books listed below. I promise you, your world will be different by the time you finish any of them. If you read all three, I guarantee you’ll see the universe with completely new eyes.

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5) Are We Teaching Children to Fear the Future? [Is The Pope Catholic?]
The Leeds Salon, December 2019

2019 saw multiple ‘School Strikes for the Climate’ across the UK demanding ‘urgent action’ from the government to deal with the ‘climate emergency’. This is part of an international campaign led by 16-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg, with more action planned for 2020.

Many welcome the protests as a healthy sign of youthful political activism, especially over what is reported as the most important issue facing humanity. Many young people have taken at face value headlines such as ‘We have 12 years to limit climate catastrophe’ from the UN’s 2018 report, or the suggestion that we’ve already crossed ‘tipping points’ for the climate.

Not surprisingly, children have reacted with alarm. As UK spokesperson for the Strike, Lottie Tellyn told the BBC: “If we don’t strike now, then we are getting educated for a future that we don’t know is going to exist”.

However, others are concerned that apocalyptical messages are being taken too literally by protesters, and often reinforced by schools and a curriculum that presents humans as having only a negative impact on the environment.

Of course, schools must prepare children for the future world that they will inherit. But how can they do this positively, offering children a sense of hope, when society appears to be experiencing its own existential crisis about the future?

So, how should schools and teachers respond to the ‘climate emergency’, and discuss with pupils potentially scary scenarios of global warming?  Should schools embrace encourage children to adopt more environment-friendly lifestyles and take action to arrest climate change? Or would this mean schools crossing a line from education to political activism, and does this matter?

date: Wednesday 8 January 2020

time: 7pm to 8:45pm
admission: £5 (cash only)
venue: Carriageworks Theatre, Millennium Room, Leeds


Alex Standish
University College London

David Alcock
Bradford Grammar School

Alan Kinder
Chief Executive, Geographical Association

Meri Nasilyan
Leeds Beckett University

6) Francis Menton: Who Is Winning The Climate Wars?
Manhattan Contrarian, 17 December 2019

Fewer and fewer people pay any attention whatsoever to the absurd climate apocalypse rhetoric.

A few weeks ago (November 22), in a post titled “Who Is Winning The Climate Wars?”, I undertook to begin documenting the ever-growing chasm between the unhinged rhetoric of climate campaigners and the reality out there in the world. Let’s collect a few data points over the past several weeks.

You probably know that the UN held its annual big climate conference this year in Madrid during the first two weeks of December. That event provided the occasion for many campaigners to ramp up the volume of their claims, trying once again to stampede government representatives into agreeing to impoverish their people. A few examples:

On November 26, in the run-up to the Madrid confab, the UN Environment Program came out with its annual Emissions Gap Report. Summary (from the New York Times of that date):  “With world leaders gathering in Madrid next week for their annual bargaining session over how to avert a climate catastrophe, the latest assessment issued by the United Nations said Tuesday that greenhouse gas emissions are still rising dangerously. ‘The summary findings are bleak,’ said the annual assessment. . . . The result, the authors added, is that ‘deeper and faster cuts are now required.’”

Two days later, on November 28, there was another cry of alarm from activists claiming to be “scientists,” published in the journal Nature. Summary (from CNN of that date): “The Earth is heading toward a ‘global tipping point’ if the climate crisis continues on its current path, scientists have warned, as they called for urgent action to avoid ‘an existential threat to civilization.’ The group of researchers, who published a commentary in the journal Nature, say there is growing evidence to suggest that irreversible changes to the Earth’s environmental systems are already taking place, and that we are now in a ‘state of planetary emergency.’” (The people at Nature and CNN don’t seem to remember that dozens of previous climate “tipping points” have come to nothing. To take the ten-part Manhattan Contrarian Climate Tipping Points Quiz, go here.)

On December 4, the hard left New York Times ran a big piece with the headline “Climate Change Is Accelerating, Bringing World ‘Dangerously Close’ to Irreversible Change.” Introduction: “More devastating fires in California. Persistent drought in the Southwest. Record flooding in Europe and Africa. A heat wave, of all things, in Greenland. Climate change and its effects are accelerating, with climate related disasters piling up, season after season.  ‘Things are getting worse,’ said Petteri Taalas, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization, which on Tuesday issued its annual state of the global climate report, concluding a decade of what it called exceptional global heat.” The Times article was accompanied by a great picture that you will not want to miss:

And then on December 11, there was Greta Thunberg winning Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” award. (Did you even know that Time Magazine still exists?) One of the many quotes from Thunberg in the Time article: “‘I want you to panic,’ she told the annual convention of CEOs and world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January. ‘I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.’”

Well, that’s the rhetoric. Shall we check in on the reality? For this portion of the post I am grateful to Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Forum, who has put out a good roundup just today. Highlights:

** The UN’s Madrid climate conference ended in what can only be called a total failure. No new compulsory agreements of any sort were reached. From the Washington Times, December 16The annual climate fest was widely panned as a failure after wrapping up Sunday with no agreement on hot-button issues such as the Green Climate Fund, an international carbon market, ‘common metrics’ for measuring non-CO2 emissions, and reimbursement to poorer nations for ‘loss and damage caused by man-made climate change.’ . . . After two weeks, delegates from about 200 countries could only agree that there is an ‘urgent need’ to cut greenhouse-gas emissions to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris agreement, despite pressure from activists who swarmed the Madrid gathering.”

** From Rupert Darwall at RealClearEnergy, December 16Talk doesn’t cut greenhouse-gas emissions. The UN Environment Programme describes the last ten years as a lost decade, in terms of curbing global emissions. ‘There has been no real change in the global emissions pathway in the last decade,’ UNEP says. Global emissions have risen at an average of 1.5% a year over the last ten years, pausing in 2016 but resuming the upward trend in 2017. Emissions have now reached a new record, with no sign yet of a peak. The underlying driver is the strong economic growth of non-OECD economies, which have grown at more than 4.5% a year, compared with only 2% a year for OECD members.”

* In a piece for the GWPF on December 12, Vijay Raj Jayaraj summarized the approach of India toward the UN’s carbon-emissions-cutting efforts as a “fossil fuel first attitude.” Excerpt: The Indian government has adopted a fossil-fuel-first attitude and has made clear it will not compromise on India’s developmental goals. . . . India’s . . . proposed actions [under the Paris agreement] include no significant measures to curb India’s fossil fuel use or production. Moreover, the NDC states that the country reserves the right to overturn its commitments if the proposed climate mitigatory actions cause any impedance to the growth of individual economic sectors.”

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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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