Tuesday, October 6, 2020

GWPF Newsletter - Adaptation Works: Floodgates Now Protect Venice From Flooding


Centre Right Parties Planning To “Seriously Undermine” EU Climate Ambition

In this newsletter:

1) Adaptation Works, Problem Solved: Floodgates Now Protect Venice From Flooding
The New York Times, 3 October 2020

2) Europe’s Centre Right Parties Planning To “Seriously Undermine” EU Climate Ambition
Green News, 2 October 2020

3) More Than Half Of Britons Unwilling To Pay More For Energy Bills To Meet UK Climate Goals, Poll Shows
The Daily Telegraph, 2 October 2020
4) Green Blob Vs Red Wall: UK Government Blocks Coal Mine Plan After Approval
The Times, 3 October 2020

5) What If Nature Itself Has The Means To Moderate Climate Change?
Graham Lloyd, The Australian, 3 October 2020
6) New Book: Climate Change - The Facts 2020
Climate Change the Facts 2020

Full details:

1) Adaptation Works, Problem Solved: Floodgates Now Protect Venice From Flooding
The New York Times, 3 October 2020

ROME — After decades of bureaucratic delays, corruption and resistance from environmental groups, sea walls designed to defend Venice from “acqua alta,” or high water, went up on Saturday, testing their ability to battle the city’s increasingly menacing floods.

The Mose floodgates are designed to hold back tides as high as three meters (10 feet)
By 10 a.m., all 78 floodgates barricading three inlets to the Venetian lagoon had been raised, and even when the tide reached as high as four feet, water levels inside the lagoon remained steady, officials said.

“There wasn’t even a puddle in St. Mark’s Square,” said Alvise Papa, the director of the Venice department that monitors high tides.
Had the flood barriers not been raised, about half the city’s streets would have been under water, and visitors to St. Mark’s Square — which floods when the tide nears three feet — would have been wading in a foot and a half of water, he said….
The floodgates have been tested several times over the past summer, but under less threatening weather conditions than those on Saturday.
“This time we raised them to defend Venice,” said Alberto Scotti, the engineer who designed them.

The system is not fully operational yet. Some infrastructure still needs to be completed, and workers haven’t been fully trained, so Saturday’s operation was technically a test.
“But it’s a test that had an objective, to guarantee the safety of the city, and it did,” Mr. Scotti said.
Full story
see also GWPF coverage of Venice flooding and climate hysteria 
2) Europe’s Centre Right Parties Planning To “Seriously Undermine” EU Climate Ambition
Green News, 2 October 2020

Leaked documents from the European People’s Party (EPP) show that they are planning to “seriously undermine” EU climate ambition, a European coalition of environmental groups has said. 

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe issued the warning yesterday after the documents emerged and noted that the EPP is calling for the use of international offsets, which would ultimately allow European polluters to continue “business as usual”. 
Supporting such a proposal would be a “major step backwards” from the current Parliament’s position on the 2030 climate target, according to CAN Europe. 
The proposal risks going as low as the “already, alarmingly insufficient” at least 40 per cent domestic emission cuts target the Commission had initially proposed, they added. 
Last month, the European Commission proposed a new target of “at least” 55 per cent emissions reduction within the coming decade. 
The European Parliament is set to vote on the bloc’s Climate Law this coming Tuesday and political groups have started to table amendments to be integrated into the final Law. 

Full story
3) More Than Half Of Britons Unwilling To Pay More For Energy Bills To Meet UK Climate Goals, Poll Shows
The Daily Telegraph, 2 October 2020
More than half of British people are unwilling to pay more for their energy bills in order to meet the UK’s climate goals, new polling shows. 

Polling shows 52 per cent of people are unwilling to pay more for household electricity CREDIT: Martin Prescott/Getty Images
Polling from think tank Bright Blue showed 52 per cent of people are unwilling to pay more for household electricity and 51 per cent for home heating. 

The figures reveal the uphill struggle the Government may face when it comes to decarbonising some of the trickiest sectors as it strives to become carbon neutral by 2050. 

Home heating accounts for around 20 per cent of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions and is considered one of the more difficult areas of decarbonisation compared to transport or electricity, because of the costs and hassle of changing systems. 

The survey also revealed that nearly 60 per cent of people are sceptical the UK will reach its target to be carbon neutral – emitting only as much as is sucked up – in the next 30 years.

Ofgem has accepted that transitioning to net zero will mean additional costs, but has said it is committed to keeping these as low as possible. 

Full story (£)
4) Green Blob Vs Red Wall: UK Government Blocks Coal Mine Plan After Approval
The Times, 3 October 2020

The government has intervened to delay approval for Britain’s first new deep coal mine in 30 years.

Cumbria county council yesterday voted in favour of issuing planning permission to West Cumbria Mining for the £160 million Woodhouse Colliery, near Whitehaven. The mine would produce 2.5 million tonnes a year of coking coal for use in steelmaking.

However, the government has issued an order requiring the council to hold off issuing permission without its authorisation, as it wants more time to consider whether to “call in” the application.

Such a move would entail a review and could result in it overruling the council.

Estelle Worthington, a campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “It’s terrible that this new coalmine has been given the go-ahead in the middle of a climate crisis. The secretary of state must intervene and call in this unnecessary and destructive application or else it contradicts everything the government likes to say about taking climate change seriously.”

Last month the government overruled Northumberland council to reject planning consent for a coalmine at Druridge Bay. However, that mine had primarily been intended to produce thermal coal, which is burnt in power stations. Britain has said that it will stop burning coal for power by 2024 at the latest.

Arguments against coking coal are more complex, since there are few viable alternatives for steelmaking at present.

Cumbrian planning officers concluded the Whitehaven mine would reduce emissions, as it would prevent coking coal being shipped from abroad.

Full story (£)
5) What If Nature Itself Has The Means To Moderate Climate Change?
Graham Lloyd, The Australian, 3 October 2020

There is a big “what if” buried at the heart of Climate Change: The Facts 2020. What if nature has a special way of using the sun, cosmic rays, water vapour and clouds to regulate the temperature of the planet. What if these processes have already been explored but too hastily dismissed? Do they deserve a closer look?

When Jennifer Marohasy sat down to conceive the latest in a series of climate change publications for the Institute of Public Affairs she was determined to remain faithful to the scientific method and be guided by past experience.

In her view, the history of science suggests you don’t actually replace a theory until you come up with another possible explanation.

Peter Ridd and Jennifer Marohasy, who edited Climate Change: The Facts 2020.

“Rebuttals don’t cut it unless you have an alternative,” Maro­hasy says.
The result is Climate Change: The Facts 2020 which can be alternatively described as a thinking sceptic’s guide to climate.

The fourth in a high selling series by the IPA and the second edited by Marohasy, the book deals with a wide range of hot topics from bushfires to sea levels, polar bears, volcanoes and temperature records.

It brings together a wide range of Australian and international voices including polar bear specialist Susan Crockford, investigative journalist Donna Laframboise and satellite temperature measurement pioneer Roy Spencer.
The book’s true ambition, however, is captured in the contributions of atmospheric physicists Richard Lindzen and Henrik Svensmark and well known Australian contrarian Peter Ridd.

Lindzen, Svensmark and Ridd each deal with some of the most contentious issues in climate change science, the role of clouds and the sun.

Rather than break new ground each presents a fresh view of established work that has proved difficult for the climate change establishment to accept.

Together, Marohasy argues, the contributions go to the core of anthropogenic climate change theory and “give the book longer term currency”.

According to Svensmark, since low clouds are very important for the radiative energy balance of the Earth — by reflecting incoming radiation back to space and in this way casting a shadow — they can cool the Earth’s atmosphere.

He argues it is changes in cosmic-ray flux modulated by the sun and the position of our solar system relative to exploding stars in other galaxies that will drive this. There is no role for carbon dioxide in Svensmark’s theory of climate change.

His leads to the conclusion that a microphysical mechanism involving cosmic rays and clouds is operating in the Earth’s atmosphere, and that this mechanism has the potential to explain a significant part of the observed climate variability over the history of the Earth.

Ridd revisits the pioneering work of Joanne Simpson, who studied cloud formation and tropical thunderstorms, and how they could result in tremendous amounts of energy transfer from the Earth’s surface to the top of the troposphere — where it can be radiated into space.

Simpson is a legend in the meteorological community of the US. She was awarded the American Meteorological Society’s 1983 Carl-Gustav Rossby Research Medal — the highest award in atmospheric sciences. But her climate change theory is not included in the dominant view or models. Ridd builds on the mathematics laid out by Simpson and Herbert Riehl back in 1958 and likens the process to the pistons in a car engine. His punchline is that this huge atmospheric engine helps cool the surface atmosphere.

Applying some mathematics, Ridd shows that more greenhouse gases in the lower atmosphere can make the heat engine more powerful. In short, Ridd demonstrates that with increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the lower atmosphere, air temperatures can increase and thus raise the water vapour content of the air if this occurs over tropical oceans.

Ridd calculates that for every 1C rise in tropical temperature, the heat transfer by the convection pathway will increase by 10 per cent.

Lindzen, meanwhile, has focused his research on high altitude cirrus clouds and their heating effect on the environment because they reflect infra-red radiation back to Earth. Lindzen makes the analogy with the pupils in our eyes changing size relative to how bright or dim the light is.

Specifically, Lindzen has hypothesised that as the atmosphere warms from increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases, the area of cirrus cloud decreases, providing a negative feedback as more infra-red radiation is able to escape into space.

Both Lindzen and Ridd hypothesise that there are cloud-related negative feedback loops in place that will mitigate the potential effects of increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases on Earth’s temperature.

Neither of them deny the potential for greenhouse gases, especially water vapour and CO2, to warm the Earth. Rather they explain that because of the complexity of the physical processes at work, in particular, and the role clouds play in facilitating negative (cooling) feedbacks, the Earth is unlikely to overheat.

The ideas presented in the book are complex and counter intuitive to the dominant narrative of a world hurtling towards climate catastrophe because of carbon dioxide. And for this Marohasy is unapologetic.

“We live at a time when climate change is deemed a morally important issue,” Marohasy says.

It is claimed that greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels are causing unprecedented and potentially catastrophic warming of the Earth’s atmosphere, she argues.

“Those who disagree with this claim, or who ask for more evidence, are generally labelled ‘deniers’ of climate change,” Marohasy says.

“In reality, the dispute is not whether the climate changes; it is what causes the change (could it be mostly natural rather than human-caused), and whether the current rate and magnitude of change is unusual.”

The book is a two finger salute to what US president Dwight Eisenhower might have called “the climate–industrial complex”. In his farewell address, in a television broadcast on January 17, 1961, Eisenhower warned about the dominance, or the “capturing”, of science-based public policy by what he called a “scientific–technological elite”.

Marohasy argues it is this same elite who have dictated climate-change policies for some decades now, with wide-ranging economic implications.

“Many people may prefer their ‘facts’ to be short and to the point,” Marohasy says in the book’s introductory chapter.

“But climate science is complicated and, despite the considerable expenditure on research, our understanding of the atmosphere is far from complete.”

Marohasy says she has no doubt that if we had a properly constructed theory of climate, scientists would be able to better forecast droughts, floods and bushfires. There would be less fear of catastrophic sea-level rise, and more curiosity rather than despair when it comes to polar bears and penguins.
6) New Book: Climate Change - The Facts 2020
Climate Change the Facts 2020

The Institute of Public Affairs today announced the release of a significant new book of research Climate Change: The Facts 2020 published by the Institute of Public Affairs and Australian Scholarly Publishing.

Climate Change: The Facts 2020 is the definitive guide to the latest international research and analysis on climate change science and policy. Twenty experts in their field from across five countries have written original contributions on the key issues of scientific, political, and public debate about climate change. 

Contributors include Dr John Abbot, Dr Susan Crockford, Dr Bella d’Abrera, Scott Hargreaves, Professor Aynsley Kellow, Donna Laframboise, Professor Richard Lindzen, Dr Jennifer Marohasy, Jo Nova, Dr Peter Ridd, and Dr Roy Spencer. 

​Some of the issues addressed in chapters in Climate Change: The Facts 2020 include:

* the extent and variability of sea level change
* the historical record of temperature and ice coverage in the Antarctic
* the impact of climate change on polar bear populations
* the manipulation of temperature data by the Bureau of Meteorology
* whether the Australian bushfires 2019-20 were in fact ‘unprecedented’; and
* the prevalence of ‘noble cause’ corruption in climate science.
​Dr Jennifer Marohasy, editor of Climate Change: The Facts 2020 and Senior Fellow at the IPA said “The contributors to Climate Change: The Facts 2020 don’t necessarily agree on the extent that recent global warming may be affected by human activity – but they all share the perspective that any such warming is subject to cycles, and is not unusual in its rate or magnitude, and is not catastrophic.”

“If anything about the climate is unprecedented it is the notion that something as complex as climate science can be ‘settled’.  It is better to have questions that cannot be answered than answers that cannot be questioned.”

“Far too frequently climate science has demonstrated noble cause corruption – where the ends justify the means,” said Dr Marohasy.

Climate Change: The Facts 2020 is the fourth edition in the IPA’s Climate Change: The Facts series that commenced in 2010. 

Climate Change: The Facts 2020 is available to purchase at
For media and comment: Evan Mulholland, Director of Communications, on 03 9600 4744, or at

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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