Friday, May 8, 2020

GWPF Newsletter: EU & Britain Clash As Climate Conditions Threaten Post-Brexit Trade Deal

Net-Zero and Extinction Capitalism

In this newsletter:

1) EU & Britain Clash As Climate Conditions Threaten Post-Brexit Trade Deal 
Financial Times, 6 May 2020
2) Green Madness: Europe's Biofuel Makers Fear Cheap Biofuel Influx From the U.S. And Brazil
Reuters, 6 May 2020
3) Rupert Darwall: Net-Zero and Extinction Capitalism
National Review, 6 May 2020

4) FT Debate: Can We Tackle Both Climate Change And Covid-19 Recovery?
Financial Times, 7 May 2020
5) Oil Is Critical To U.S. Survival: Why China Is Pushing The Paris Agreement (On Their Rivals)
Gregory R Copley, OilPrice, 6 May 2020

6) Joe Oliver: Climate Alarmism Lurks Behind COVID-19
Toronto Sun, 6 May 2020

7) David Whitehouse: Siberian Fires And The Temperature of 2020

Full details:

1) EU & Britain Clash As Climate Conditions Threaten Post-Brexit Trade Deal 
Financial Times, 6 May 2020

The UK is resisting EU moves to incorporate guarantees on respecting international climate change commitments in a future trade deal, adding to mounting disagreements on both sides over how to forge their post-Brexit relationship.

EU officials said the most recent negotiating round with the UK had revealed a clear rift over co-operation in the fight against climate change.

The split is emblematic of broader difficulties both sides have identified after two rounds of future relationship talks, with negotiators at odds on the conditions that should be attached to a far-reaching trade deal.

While the EU wants to nail down guarantees about shared green ambitions, Britain argues that it should not have to make such legal commitments in exchange for preferential access to the European market.

The officials said that, during last month’s negotiations, a particular point of disagreement arose over how to weave the international climate deal struck in Paris in 2016 into the future relationship talks.

The EU wants to identify the emissions-reduction pact as an “essential element” in a future EU-UK trade deal, a status normally reserved for core principles such as respect for human rights and the rule of law. The move would create a legal justification for the EU to suspend preferential trading arrangements if Britain walked away from its Paris obligations.

“The commission had already foreseen to include the Paris agreement upfront as an essential element,” said one EU official. “This means de facto that both the EU and the UK commit to respect the Paris agreement, and in case one does not, the other party can take measures. For now, the UK does not seem to want this.”

Britain has made clear that it rejects the EU’s vision of an overarching future relationship agreement covering everything from trade to foreign affairs, with a single system for settling disputes. It has argued that any trade deal must respect the UK’s regulatory independence, and said that it would not sign up to conditions that went beyond those in the EU’s existing trade pacts with other countries.

A UK government spokesperson said that Britain was “absolutely committed to tackling climate change”, adding that the country would use its presidency of the next UN climate change conference to drive forward implementation of the Paris accord.

Last June the UK adopted a net zero carbon emission target for 2050, making it the first big economy to pledge to cut emissions to close to zero.

But the spokesperson confirmed Britain’s opposition to embedding legally binding pledges into any deal with the EU.

Full story (£)

2) Green Madness: Europe's Biofuel Makers Fear Cheap Biofuel Influx From the U.S. And Brazil
Reuters, 6 May 2020

PARIS, May 6 (Reuters) - An influx of cheap U.S. and Brazilian ethanol threatens Europe’s producers as businesses resume operations, companies have told the European Commission, urging it to act to protect an industry reeling from depressed demand.

Sharp falls in driving and air travel due to the coronavirus pandemic have hit the biofuel sector worldwide, forcing companies to dtastically cut output and prices, notably in top producers the United States and Brazil.

The two countries account for about 55% and 30% of the world’s ethanol production respectively.

European producers of ethanol, made from grains or sugar crops, now fear that record stocks in these countries could prompt them to further boost their shipments to Europe when confinement measures are lifted.

They asked the European Commission for quick action, including potential tariffs.

“The threat of injury is blatant,” EU ethanol makers’ lobby ePure said in a letter to the EU executive. “Record high stocks could flood at low prices an already depressed European market.”

Full story

3) Rupert Darwall: Net-Zero and Extinction Capitalism
National Review, 6 May 2020

To climate-shame corporations is to hobble economic dynamism.

Shutting down the whole global economy is the only way of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Centigrade, Yvo de Boer, the former United Nations climate chief, warned in the runup to the 2015 Paris climate conference.

Thanks to COVID-19 we now have an inkling what that looks like. The conference went further and chose to write into the Paris agreement an aspiration to pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C. The 1.5°C backstory reveals much about the quality of what passes for science and gets enshrined in U.N. climate treaties — and is directly relevant to American corporations that now find themselves on the front line of the climate wars.

Nine weeks before the Copenhagen climate conference, the one where Barack Obama was going to slow the rise of the oceans, President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives held the world’s first underwater cabinet meeting. “We are trying to send our message to let the world know what is happening and what will happen to the Maldives if climate change isn’t checked,” Nasheed told reporters after resurfacing. It was part of a campaign by the Alliance of Small Island States claiming that climate change magnified the risk that their islands would drown.

The sinking-islands trope has been endlessly recycled by the U.N. for decades. In 1989, a U.N. official stated that entire nations could disappear by 2000 if global warming was not reversed. Like so many others, that prediction of climate catastrophe came and went. The failed prediction didn’t prevent the current U.N. secretary-general, António Guterres, from declaring last year, “We must stop Tuvalu from sinking.” There was no science behind 1.5°C and the sinking-island hypothesis. Studies show, here and here, that the Maldives and Tuvalu have increased in size. As the 25-year-old Charles Darwin might have told the U.N., coral atolls are formed by the slow subsidence of the ocean bed.
Having incorporated 1.5°C into the sacred texts of the U.N. climate process, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was charged with coming up with a scientific justification for it. In 2018, the IPCC published its report on the 1.5°C limit. It debunked the sinking-islands scare, reporting that unconstrained atolls have kept pace with rising sea levels. The IPCC had a bigger problem than non-sinking islands. The IPCC’s existing 1.5°C carbon budget — the maximum amount of greenhouse gases to keep the rise in global temperature to 1.5°C — was on the verge of being used up. Like some end-of-the-world cult after the clock had passed midnight, it would find itself in a predicament that promised to be more than a little embarrassing.

Help was at hand. As skeptics had long been pointing out, IPCC lead author Myles Allen confirmedthat climate model projections had been running too hot and that they had been forecasting too much warming since 2000. Together with some other handy adjustments, the IPCC managed to more than double the remaining 1.5°C budget. Although it could muster only medium confidence in its revised carbon budget, the IPCC had high confidence that net emissions had to fall to zero by 2050 and be cut by 45 percent by 2030. In this fashion, net zero by 2050 was carved in stone.

That timeline is now being used to bully American corporations into aligning their business strategies with the Paris agreement and force them to commit to eliminating greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050. In fact, the text of the Paris agreement speaks of achieving a balance between anthropogenic sources and removals “in the second half of this century.” The net-zero target has no standing in American law or regulation. Net zero is not about a few tweaks here and there. It necessitates a top-down coercive revolution the likes of which have never been seen in any democracy. This is spelt out in the IPCC’s 1.5°C report, which might as well serve as a blueprint for the extinction of capitalism.

The IPCC makes no bones about viewing net zero, it says, as providing the opportunity for ‘intentional societal transformation.’ Limiting the rise to rise in global temperature to no more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels — an ill-defined baseline chosen by the U.N. because the Industrial Revolution is our civilization’s original sin — requires ‘transformative systemic change’ and ‘very ambitious, internationally cooperative policy environments that transform both supply and demand.’

Thanks to COVID-19, we have a foretaste of what the IPCC intends. It envisages, for example, the industrial sector cutting its emissions by between 67 and 91 percent by 2050, implying a contraction in industrial output so dramatic as to make the 1930s Great Depression look like a walk in the park, a possibility the IPCC choses to ignore. The IPCC places its bets on a massive transition to wind and solar, but no amount of wishful thinking can overcome the inherent physics of their low energy density and their intermittency, which explains why countries with the highest proportion of wind and solar on their grids also have the highest energy costs in the world. One option the IPCC does not favor — a wholesale transition to nuclear power — seems unachievable anyway on the timetable it has in mind. Nuclear power stations typically take well over five years to build, and not many are planned for now. Germany is switching out of nuclear power, the Japanese are, to quote the New York Times “racing to build new coal-burning . . . plants” and the Chinese are wary of overdoing their nuclear construction because of the risk of accident.

Rather than address the possibility of a sustained slump in economic activity the IPCC’s approach is to say the benefits of holding the line at 1.5°C are — surprise, surprise! — greater than at 2 degrees Centigrade while studiously ignoring the extra costs of the more ambitious target. A few numbers show why. A carbon tax sufficiently high to drive emissions to net zero would range up to $6,050 per metric ton, over 60 times the hypothetical climate benefits estimated by the Obama administration, indicating that the climate benefits of net zero are less than 2 percent of its cost. In a rational world, discussion of net zero would end at this point.

You don’t have to be a Milton Friedman to fathom the incompatibility with free markets and capitalist growth of what the IPCC terms “enhanced institutional capabilities” and “stringent policy interventions.” So it’s easy to understand why the governments of the world have no intention of achieving net zero by 2050. As Todd Stern, one of the principal architects of the Paris agreement, remarked last November, “there is a lack of political will in virtually every country, compared to what there needs to be.”

Led by Britain, several European countries have legislated net-zero targets without having a clue how they might meet them or their economic impact. Indeed, Britain can claim to be the world’s leading climate hypocrite. Having offshored its manufacturing base to China and the European Union, it is the G-7’s largest per capita net importer of carbon dioxide emissions. Before adopting its net zero target, the Committee on Climate Change observed that Britain lacked a credible plan for decarbonizing the way people heat their homes and that government policy was insufficient to meet even existing targets.

If governments — the legal parties to the Paris Agreement — have no collective intention to achieve net zero, why should America’s corporations? There is no environmental, economic, or ethical good when a corporation cuts its carbon dioxide emissions to meet the net-zero target when the rest of the world doesn’t, unless, that is, you’re one of the select few who believes that self-impoverishment is inherently virtuous. Yet corporations are increasingly being held to ransom by billionaire climate activists like Mike Bloomberg and BlackRock’s Larry Fink with the demand that they commit to net zero, make their shareholders and stakeholders poorer, and give a leg up to their competitors in the rest of the world, especially in the Far East.

The arrogation of the rule-making prerogatives of a democratic state by a handful of climate activists raises profound questions on the demarcation between the rightful domains of politics and of business. It also raises profound questions about the future of capitalism. “Capitalism pays the people that strive to bring it down,” Joseph Schumpeter, the greatest economist of capitalism, observed in the 1940s. They won’t succeed, but for the efforts of soft anti-capitalists within the capitalist system.

The moral case for capitalism rests on its prodigious ability to raise living standards and transform the material conditions of mankind for the better. To climate-shame corporations without the sanction of law or regulation will extinguish the economic dynamism that justifies capitalism. Remove its capacity to do so, and we will have entered a post-capitalist era. This is how capitalism ends.

Rupert Darwall is a senior fellow of the RealClear Foundation and author of THE CLIMATE NOOSE.

4) FT Debate: Can We Tackle Both Climate Change And Covid-19 Recovery?
Financial Times, 7 May 2020

Two experts debate whether shift to low carbon can push forward amid economic stress

Yes — Choices made now will shape the global economy for decades to come

Christiana Figueres

The most consequential question looming over us right now is not whether we can address the Covid-19 crisis and climate change at the same time, but rather whether we can afford not to do so, writes Christiana Figueres.

We have learnt many lessons from the pandemic, but the top one is that high probability/high impact risks must be acted upon in a timely fashion — and delay is costly. Health professionals warned about Covid-19’s devastating effects at a very early stage; yet only a few governments acted in line with the risks. Countries such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Costa Rica that quickly enacted preventive measures appear to be faring much better than those that waited.

The age-old adage that prevention is better than cure is widely embraced in the health context and is equally true of climate change. We have known of the high risks for years. Morgan Stanley reckons 16 weather and climate disasters in the US cost $309bn in 2017 alone. Global losses from natural disasters over the past decade amounted to $3tn. Yet climate action continues to be insufficient. As Mark Carney, then Bank of England governor, warned in 2015: “Once climate change becomes a defining issue for financial stability, it may already be too late.” Concerned about the increasing risks, BlackRock chief executive Larry Fink recently wrote that “we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance”. But will that reshaping come in time?

Despite laudable attempts, we have not reduced our greenhouse gas emissions in line with scientific advice, making this the most critical decade ever. [...]

Major investors have set their sights on net-zero emissions, including an alliance of large asset owners with $4.6tn under management. A big group of business and political leaders are urging the European Commission to prepare a comprehensive recovery plan that integrates the green transition and digital transformation. As we rebuild, we can open our eyes to the risks and opportunities on the horizon. We can recover better and choose the future we want.

Full post (£)

No — Carbon taxes and green policies harm economic growth and jobs

Benjamin Zycher

The close relationships between real gross domestic product, employment and energy consumption for both less and more developed economies mean that policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions would reduce economic growth and employment. The reason is straightforward: they would increase the cost of conventional energy sharply, writes Benjamin Zycher.

Environmentalists argue that the “safe” limit on people-driven temperature increases by 2100 is 1.5C. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change advocates carbon taxes for 2030 with a midrange of $30 per gallon of petrol in 2019 dollars, rising sharply over the course of the century. The taxes on other forms of conventional energy would be equally destructive economically and preposterous politically.

Advocates of addressing climate change try to avoid this reality by arguing that substitutes for conventional energy are cost-competitive and that a global shift towards a radically different “renewables” energy sector would strengthen growth by engendering new investment and employment in “green” industries.

But unconventional energy is not cost-competitive; why else have massive taxes, subsidies and guaranteed market shares been necessary to make it viable? The unreliability of wind and solar power, the unconcentrated energy content of air flows and sunlight, and the theoretical limits on the conversion of wind and sunlight into electric power are the reasons that greater market shares for renewables have led to higher power prices in Europe and the US.

The argument that investing in green energy leads to stronger growth ignores the serious adverse effects of reduced investment and higher energy costs in other sectors. Favouring unconventional energy will destroy some substantial part of the economic value of the pre-existing energy-using and producing stock of physical and human capital. Earthquakes cannot yield economic benefits; the same is true for policies that wipe out the value of significant parts of the economy. Expensive energy and reduced economic growth cannot be consistent with renewed employment growth after the pandemic. [...]

Prioritising climate policy will harm the ability of most people to improve their conditions, particularly after the terrible economic shock caused by the lockdowns. Moreover, if countries have less wealth they will have fewer resources for environmental protection. Ask not whether supporters of greater economic growth hate the planet. Ask instead if environmentalists hate humanity, and the planet too.

Full post (£)

5) Oil Is Critical To U.S. Survival: Why China Is Pushing The Paris Agreement (On Their Rivals)
Gregory R Copley, OilPrice, 6 May 2020

China has a strong vested interest in ensuring that the world adheres to the Paris Accords, which effectively limit fossil fuel use. All the while the PRC clearly does not adhere to those Accords, which it champions for everyone but itself.

One more word on Beijing’s plans leading up to, and during, the 2020 crisis. This crisis was to be the pivotal point for the Communist Party of China. If the People’s Republic of China (PRC) could not compete economically with the U.S. under the terms of the existing, Western-created, “rules-based world order”, then those terms of engagement would have to be changed.

If the PRC economy could not grow in terms defined by the West, then the West’s economies would have to be reduced. The 2020 crisis would potentially “level the playing field”: flattening the terrain of strategic engagement.

An integral byproduct of this was the reality that the 2020 crisis also lowered an already depressed global demand for energy, particularly fossil fuels which had come to be the primary energy driver of global economic growth. Oil, in particular, had been the great underpinning of 20th Century growth.

As a result of the lowered demand for oil and gas, those states which were primarily dependent upon the export of fossil fuels would see — as 2020 proved — a catastrophic reduction in market demand and therefore a reduction in the value of their exports. This meant that the first casualty of the crisis would be those states the wealth and power of which depended on the sale of oil and gas.

That included most of the state members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). But not all. And for as long as Beijing was able to halt or change the Western-defined “rules-based world order” those affected states would see their golden ages eclipsed.

But, again, not all: ancient and entrenched societies such as Persia (Iran) and Russia, although damaged, would retain viability because of historical social patterns and because of a level of diversification of economic survival patterns. They had firm agricultural and manufacturing bases, domestic consumer economies, and at least could benefit from their own low petroleum costs. The future, however, was to become, for them, less expansionist and more about rebuilding the security of their own nation-states.

For Beijing, this meant that Russia could possibly be humbled to true supplicancy to the PRC; to become a tributary state of the Middle Kingdom.

This era of “cheap oil and gas” — unsustainable for producers — could arguably have been seen as the removal of one impediment to the cost of economic growth… unless the economic unsustainability of fossil fuel production meant that it was no longer readily available. That situation would, of course, and under normal circumstances, automatically impel a cyclical rise in the price of oil and gas… Unless demand remained low because of Beijing’s success in continuing to depress global economic growth for its own strategic reasons.

There was no question, even in 2020, that the short-term economic depression would be partially overcome and that some revived energy demand would be evident in the near term. Prices would start to haltingly rise a little, albeit not enough to restore the economic fortunes of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Nigeria, Angola, and so on.

Their fates would, to varying degrees, become parlous once their sovereign wealth funds became depleted.

But at what cost to the world?

My old colleague, mentor, and partner, Stefan Possony, told me in 1972 — and I am sure wrote it somewhere in the pages of our Defense & Foreign Affairs publications — that all great powers (and notably Rome) have been hallmarked through history as being the most profligate users of energy in their respective eras.

It was this “waste” of energy which enabled the creation of strategic advantage. From the cooking of healthier food diets to the creation of sufficient light by which to extend the hours of learning and production. And certainly to forge better metals, from the creation of bronze from copper and tin, to the smelting of iron to the creation of steel, and so on.

Possony, and co-author Jerry Pournelle, in 1970 discussed how, despite its advantage in resources and technical capacity, the U.S. was lagging behind the Soviet Union in key areas of the technology war. And yet, within 20 years, the U.S. had emerged as the dominant strategic power and the USSR had collapsed. Much of it was because the U.S. could be profligate in the resources under its command.

Continued protection and development of U.S. shale oil resources, then, is a critical U.S. national security priority in the post-COVID-19 space, and it would not be illogical for Washington to ringfence the U.S. energy situation so that a stable domestic supply of oil and gas remains economically feasible for commercial producers.

The question, then, is whether the U.S. and its allies allow themselves to be reduced on this occasion because of the adoption of strategies which embrace reduced energy use. Clearly, the PRC has a strong vested interest in ensuring that the world adheres to the Paris Accords, which effectively limit fossil fuel use. All the while the PRC clearly does not adhere to those Accords, which it champions for everyone but itself. Which is why Beijing claims exemption from the Paris Accords because the PRC, in its own words, is not yet a “developed nation”.

Full post

6) Joe Oliver: Climate Alarmism Lurks Behind COVID-19
Toronto Sun, 6 May 2020

Global warming alarmists have a problem.

Canadians are too preoccupied with COVID-19 contagion and economic devastation to worry much about an existential threat to humanity posed by man-made climate change sometime down the road.

How then to penetrate public consciousness about future peril when present dangers are so grave? Not to worry. Militants have a tried and true tactic – double down on moralizing, fearmongering and hyperbole.

It is also helpful to have friends in high places. Ottawa’s decision to raise the carbon tax just when infections were peaking demonstrates its willingness to sacrifice the energy industry on the alter of green optics, absent any environmental gain.

According to an article in The Hill, “the coronavirus crisis is perhaps the biggest wakeup call…. that failing to take nature into account puts our own health in danger.” David Suzuki claimed “The COVID-19 crisis is a crisis for human beings, but the climate crisis is a crisis for life on the planet.”

Animal rights activists would certainly agree. A blog asked whether COVID-19 is the latest effort by Gaia, the primal Earth goddess, to rid herself of the virus of humankind. Makes you think.

In a moment of candour, Al Gore justified “an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is”, which sure sounds like fabricating the facts. Paul Watson, a founder of Greenpeace went farther. “It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.”

Stephen Schneider, a Stanford University environmentalist counselled supporters to “make little mention of any doubts we might have.”

Perhaps that is why predictions about global warming have been spectacularly wrong, including oft-repeated claims we had only 12 years to save humanity, Pacific islands would disappear and North polar ice caps would be gone by now.

Climate models significantly over-estimated global temperature increases, but the incessantly repeated mantra was “We are running out of time.”

Scientists frequently differ and they can change their minds.

Yet we are asked to do irreparable harm to the economy, based on forecasts years away about an extremely complex ecosystem that scientists do not claim to fully understand, even as they convey certainty about their doomsday prophesying.

Full post
7) David Whitehouse: Siberian Fires And The Temperature of 2020
GWPF Observatory, 6 May 2020

Dr David Whitehouse, GWPF Science Editor

The warm start to 2020 is mostly the product of one region – Siberia. And Siberia is on fire as never before.

It has been reported widely that as far as the global temperature goes 2020 has gotten off to a very warm start with a temperature possibly second only to the strong El Nino year 2016. This has led to speculation that this year might even be the warmest on record and a strong indicator of ongoing global warming particularly as there is no El Nino this year to boost temperatures temporarily.

A strong claim and a good headline but a closer look at the data reveals that the situation is somewhat more complicated.

Looking at the global distribution of temperature change produced by NOAA one can see that this warm start to 2020 is the product of one region – Siberia. It seems that since last December there has been a particularly strong temperature increase in that region. As such it clearly mathematically contributes to monthly average global temperatures but care should be exercised when interpreting it as a global event. It’s a regional warming and on timescale far too short to be related to climate change. In short, it is misleading to describe what is happening using only the global average temperature.

Parts of Siberia – home to the world’s largest forrest, The Taiga – are under many types of stress and there could be many factors contributing to this regional warmth. Fire is one of them because much of Siberia is on fire as never before. Sergei Anoprienko, the head of the Federal Forest Agency, told the Siberian Times, “In total, on April 28 this year, 3,339 outbreaks were recorded. In comparison only 1,960 were recorded last year.”

Fire is an annual Springtime event in South Eastern Siberia but this year it is much worse leading Russia’s Emergencies Minister Yevgeny Zinichev described as a “critical situation.” About five million acres of forest are ablaze destroying woodland, property and polluting the air for hundreds of miles. Indeed its effects can be felt over continental distances.

This satellite image was collected on April 27, 2020 by the Terra satellite using its Moderate Resolution Imaging System (MODIS) instrument. Source: NASA

Many of the blazes are cause by humans – unauthorised and uncontrolled agricultural fires. In addition it was warm in the region so people left their homes and lived outside being careless with open fires as they did. But the heatwave has dried out soils and the snow disappeared quickly. Some believe that this Spring the Taiga is burning at a rate unseen in 10,000 years. Carbon dioxide is released contributing to the warming.

Deforestation is also rife in the region, frequently illegally for the growing Chinese market. Pirate loggers especially like the Cedar and when stripped out all that is left behind are scrawny pines and lifeless soil. It’s getting worse each year as logging bans in China’s forests have generated a demand for foreign timber. Estimates are that up to 30% of all felling volume is illegal. Russia’s federal government has tried to impose tariffs on exported wood but it hasn’t been a discouragement. Corruption is widespread amongst state officials and some have been jailed.

Widespread Abuse

The practice of chopping down diseased trees to prevent wider contamination is also being abused. Officials give a contract to clear sick trees which are then chopped down and sold for more than ten times the cost of a permit because they were healthy.
New research published in Science Journal says that carbon dioxide release by boreal fires could considerably accelerate global warming although the scientists concerned caution that there is still a lot about the characteristics of boreal fires occurrence mechanisms that we do not know. The researchers looked at fire activity and found that the annual burned area increased when a positive Arctic Oscillation (AO) takes place in early months of the year, despite the peak fire season occurring 1 to 2 months later. They state that Siberia requires appropriate fire management strategies to prevent massive carbon release and accelerated global warming.

The fires are not a new problem. Russian and Chinese historical records reveal a positive trend of fires over the past few decades of which it is speculated that man-made fires have contributed significantly. Arctic warming has produced long-term spring warming and earlier snow melt.

It seems clear that human fires that become out of control and forest clearance will only amplify the problems for the region as well as being a significant influence in rising temperatures. But there is some indication of what could be done.

A recent paper in Nature Communications found that when a region returns to forest and tree cover, cooling results. Another new paper suggests that reforestation can counter the “deleterious effects of climate warming. ” Cooling due to reforestation can reach 2-3°C for the air above the surface and 4-6°C for the surface it concludes.

So next time you see a climate change headline consider that the story behind is rather more complicated than implied, with implications quite different from those suggested.


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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