Thursday, October 15, 2020

GWPF Newsletter - New UN Climate Row: Alarming Report Contradicts Its Own Data


Seabirds Face Extinction If Boris Johnson Pursues Wind Farm Plan, RSPB Warns

In this newsletter:

1) New UN Climate Row: Alarming Report Contradicts Its Own Data
Edwin Timmer, De Telegraaf, 14 October 2020
2) UN Claim 'Staggering Rise In Climate Emergencies Since 2000'
Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 13 October 2020

3) Seabirds Face Extinction If Boris Johnson Pursues Wind Farm Plan, RSPB Warns
The Daily Telegraph, 13 October 2020
4) Sir Samuel Brittan (1933-2020)
GWPF & The Spectator, 12 October 2020

5) Peter Foster: How Dare You!
Financial Post, 14 October 2020

Full details:

1) New UN Climate Row: Alarming Report Contradicts Its Own Data
Edwin Timmer, De Telegraaf, 14 October 2020

Amsterdam: The United Nations has become caught up in a new climate row over a recent UN report which claims to show an increase in climate disasters – but which seems to be contradicted by its own data.


The row was triggered by the new report on “Human Cost of Disasters”. The report announced a “staggering rise in climate-related disasters over the last twenty years”. However, the same report contains a graph showing that the number of climate-related disasters has actually decreased by 15 percent since 2000.


It is not the only contentious element of the report by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) in Geneva. Some of the data used is also said to be unreliable while the alarmist language of Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of UNDRR, seems to have been inspired by activist groups like Extinction Rebellion.
Due to the fuss, there is now an international call for at least rectification. “This is a huge, embarrassing blunder,” said Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Forum, a British think tank. “The United Nations must immediately withdraw this report and apologise for misleading the public.”
Roger Pielke Jr, a renowned American scientist in the field of natural disasters – and anything but climate denier – also regrets the sharp position by the UNDRR. In an e-mail to De Telegraaf he says that the authors have drawn “flawed conclusions”.
It is not the first time that the UN is accused of climate exaggeration. UNICEF stated last year that hurricane disasters in the Caribbean is driving more and more children to flee. “Pure scare tactics,” said a hurricane expert at the time. And a report by the IPCC once predicted that the Himalayas would be glacier-free by 2035. That also turned out to be a scientific mistake.
However, the UNDRR report substantiates its statement about increasing climate disasters with data from the renowned Belgian Centre  for  Research on the  Epidemiology of Disasters  (CRED). Between 1980 and 1999, the Leuven database counted 4,212 disasters and 7,348 from the turn of the century to 2020. Ergo: the climate has gone wild.
“This is clear evidence that in a world where the global average temperature in 2019 was 1.1˚C above the preindustrial period, the impacts are being felt in the increased frequency of extreme weather events including heatwaves, droughts, flooding, winter storms, hurricanes and wildfires.”, according to the report, which also included CRED researcher Joris van Loenhout.
But here too, the report goes wrong, warns Pielke Jr. The data on disasters from the last century are, as the CRED has repeatedly acknowledged, flawed – and therefore unreliable. During the time before the internet existed, not every disaster was reported the way it is now.
British blogger Paul Homewood also discovered a “leap” in the number of disasters the Belgian institute listed which suddenly rose in 1998 — exactly the year the CRED began to receive US funding to start publishing statistics.
The datasets about the two different periods are therefore too different in quality, says Pielke Jr. “You should not draw any conclusions about a changing frequency in climatic extremes on the basis of this data set,” says the researcher at the University of Colorado.
Van Loenhout disputes this criticism. In an e-mail the researcher trained in Utrecht acknowledges that CRED has previously been critical of its own database, but claims that much of the data has been improved recently. Of the dataset dating back to 1900, only the first 60 years may not be reliable, he says. “Disasters will be missing.”
But that is not a problem for the current report, he claims. “From about 1960-1970 onward, the completeness of the data is much greater, and the share of missing disasters much smaller. We are constantly working to improve completeness, and this is also happening for previous years and decades. For this reason, statements made in 2004 and 2006 are now somewhat outdated, as the completeness of the database has since improved,” says Van Loenhout.
Pielke Jr is surprised that, to his knowledge, this is the first time that the Belgian institute is suddenly so convinced of its older data. The American also disagrees with Van Loenhout’s criticism that he should not deduce a downward trend in climate-related disasters over the past 20 years. “Nonsense. Of course you can – it’s the definition of a trend.”
The fierce clash can be explained by the significant deviation of the UNDRR findings with the research studies that Pielke Jr has published. Time and again he has shown that despite an increase in financial damage from natural disasters, there has not been a change in the intensity of most weather extremes. Increasing damage is due to the growth of population, real estate and properties in vulnerable areas.
The UN’s Intergovenmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has confirmed these findings: the near future may bring an increase in floods or hurricanes. But until now this is barely detectable. “Everything I find is consistent with the IPCC,” says Pielke Jr.
One of the most telling trends the American scientist has highlighted is this: the number of fatalities from natural disasters in the past 100 years has fallen by 95 percent — despite a rapidly growing world population. This makes the UNDRR report much more dogmatic about climate trends than its sibling the IPCC, both under the same UN umbrella.
This does not stop UN envoy Mizutori from adopting an alarmist tone. She commends UN staff and volunteers who have saved countless lives in past natural disasters. “But it is being made more and more difficult for them, especially by industrialised countries that are terribly lacking in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions to the level agreed in the Paris Agreement.”
GWPF director Benny Peiser is appalled by this political blame game. As if residents of industrial countries are guilty of future deaths from natural disasters in other countries. “This is no longer science, but a purely political report.”
Translation GWPF

2) UN Claim 'Staggering Rise In Climate Emergencies Since 2000'
Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 13 October 2020

In a blatantly political report, the UN claim that “climate emergencies” have seen a staggering rise in the last 20 years.

Amazingly the UNDRR report itself shows the claim to be nonsense:

Since 2000, the trend in the number of disasters has actually been downwards, clearly debunking any pretence that weather is getting worse because of global warming.
The report even specifically accepts this:


So how does the UN justify its claim? Quite simply, they have compared two periods, 1980 – 1999 with 2000 – 2019:

Note that despite the claimed increase in disasters, the death toll has nearly halved. Given that the number of disasters has not increased since 2000, we are expected to believe there was a sudden jump prior to 2000.
And EM-DAT’s 2004 report,Thirty years of natural disasters 1974-2003 , explains just why:


Put simply, many more disasters are recorded nowadays because of better reporting systems. But this does not mean more are actually occurring.
Full post & comments 

3) Seabirds Face Extinction If Boris Johnson Pursues Wind Farm Plan, RSPB Warns
The Daily Telegraph, 13 October 2020

Puffins and other seabirds face an 'irreversible decline' towards extinction under Boris Johnson's plans to power every home with wind by 2030, the RSPB has warned. 

The Prime Minister last week promised that Britain had "limitless" offshore wind capacity, and said a green industrial revolution with this renewable resource at its heart would create millions of jobs and avert climate change.

However, conservationists have warned that an enthusiastic rolling out of offshore wind could cause our globally important seabird populations to dwindle to extinction.

As well as luring seabirds into their sharp propellers, offshore wind farms are often built in the shallow waters where birds feed and find small fish for their young.

The government should focus on building onshore wind and solar panels on areas less important for biodiversity, the bird charity has suggested, and fund monitoring and conservation schemes for seabirds to offset the damage any new offshore wind farms create.
A spokesperson for the RSPB asked that the government pursues any green energy programs "in harmony with nature", explaining: "Our seabirds and marine environment are in trouble facing a cocktail of threats from human pressures and climate change.
"Offshore wind is one of these pressures. Without transforming how we plan development in our seas alongside the delivery of meaningful conservation measures, these combined threats risk irreversible seabird losses. We urge government to reconcile these challenges to ensure that in responding to the climate crisis, we do not deepen the threat to nature."
Seabird populations are crashing, with the puffin population estimated by some scientists to have almost halved in the last five years, with climate change, overfishing of their prey and pollution major threats to their survival. It is thought offshore wind could be a pressure they don't need.
The black-legged kittiwake is at particular threat from offshore wind.  Since 1986, the UK kittiwake population has fallen by 70 per cent due to declines in breeding success and survival. Offshore wind on the east coast of the UK is predicted to increase pressure on this species in particular.
Full story (£)
See also GWPF reports
Green Killing Machines: The impact of renewable energy on wildlife and nature (pdf)
The Impact of Wind Energy on Wildlife and the Environment (PDF)
4) Sir Samuel Brittan (1933-2020)
GWPF & The Spectator, 12 October 2020

Sir Samuel Brittan, one of the UK’s most eminent journalists and a columnist for the Financial Times for nearly 50 years, has died aged 86. He was a founding member of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. 

The central theme of much of Sir Samuel Brittan’s writing was his belief in free markets. He believed in the connection between economic, personal and political freedom © Daniel Lynch/FT

In this brilliant 2009 piece for the Spectator he explained why he accepted Nigel Lawson’s invitation to join the GWPF. 

I have no expertise on the subject of global warming; nor do I have a strong view about it. But I do know attempted thought control and hostility to free speech when I see it; and I find these unlovely phenomena present among all too many of the enthusiasts for climate action. Words such as ‘denial’ are intentionally brought into the debate and recall those who deny the reality of the Nazi Holocaust.

Since my undergraduate days I have been carrying around a copy of John Stuart Mill’s timeless essay On Liberty, which contains the following stirring sentence: ‘If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.’ Less often cited is another passage: ‘However unwillingly a person who has a strong opinion may be to admit the possibility that his opinion may be false, he ought to be moved by the consideration that, however true it may be, if it is not fully, frequently and fearlessly discussed, it will be held as a dead dogma, not a living truth.’

Too many of the enthusiasts for action on global warming not only implicitly reject these teachings of Mill, they give the impression of never having read or even heard of On Liberty. The atmosphere resembles more one of medieval heresy hunting than free scientific enquiry. To put it more kindly: I am reminded of those dreadful ‘experiments’ in school physics where you could do what you like provided you obtained the result preordained in the textbook.

It is for such reasons that I have accepted the invitation to sit on the Academic Advisory Council of Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation. Characteristically, many of those who have rushed to condemn it have not read its remit, which is not to propagate the views of Nigel Lawson, or anyone else, but to subject ‘both the claims of the damage that might be caused by any future warming and the costs and consequences of alternative policies that might be put in place, to dispassionate analysis based on hard evidence and economic rigour’. The trustees and the Academic Advisory Council cover a wide range of political, economic and scientific opinion and are determined to see this remit is observed.

The Economist, which loudly proclaims its adherence to global warming orthodoxy, nevertheless has this to say about the leaked emails from the East Anglia Climate Research Unit: ‘A more serious concern is that they believe in global warming too much and that their commitment to the cause leads them to tolerate poor scientific practice, to close themselves off from criticism, and to deny reasonable requests for data.’ Such considerations alone show how necessary the new foundation is.

I have been asked what accounts for the intolerant way in which global warming is discussed. I can only make a few guesses. It is always difficult to secure a hearing for a minority view when the main political parties are all officially arranged on the other side. I am reminded of a very different issue: the de facto ban in all the main organs of publication (except The Spectator) of any discussion of the devaluation of sterling for much of the 1960s. Then there are the collective crazes which take over from time to time. These range all the way from superstitious nonsense, such as predicting the date of the end of the world, to the gross exaggeration of remote dangers such as the millennium bug and the elevation of what might be an important real threat into a religious crusade, which sweeps aside all other issues and considerations, as in the case of global warming.

For the record, I have always been an environmentalist since the time when, as an out-of-breath schoolboy cyclist, I discovered that towns shown as separate on the map were linked by miles of hideous ribbon building. More seriously, the dangers from global warming need to be compared to the dangers of other forms of environmental damage, some of which may be enhanced by orthodox climate action, for instance the aggravation of world food shortages by hideous acres of rapeseed fields. Then there is the ridiculous notion of Britain ‘showing an example’. For instance, a department store I use has withdrawn its very handy plastic bags which could be re-used many times in favour of hideous brown paper bags which break open under the slightest load.

My instinctive reaction is to back policies for climate change which might also be justified on other grounds, e.g. the threat to energy supplies, or the environmental damage caused by the detritus of industrial civilisation — symbolised by cemeteries of disused cars; but to hesitate where action can only be justified by controversial projections of the kind with which I am all too familiar from macroeconomics.

There would seem to be two crucial policy issues to analyse, even if the scientific evidence is all in, which it is not. The first is, what rate of social discount to apply to future damage. It is not good enough to say, as some academics do, that any rate above zero is immoral. Does this cover the state of the planet or the universe in ten million years’ time?

A more difficult question is what to do about a small probability of a huge disaster. This has been the deciding factor for some otherwise dispassionate analysts. But to raise the issue does not settle the matter. There must be other areas where threats exist and before one can draw conclusions about global warming, it is necessary to examine how such threats have been treated — and see if a common approach is possible. This is the problem. And I hope that the foundation will contribute towards a solution.

Sir Samuel Brittan was a columnist on the Financial Times for nearly 50 years. He was a founding member of the Academic Advisory Council of the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

5) Peter Foster: How Dare You!
Financial Post, 14 October 2020

This week the Global Warming Policy Forum will publish a collection of just over a hundred pieces I wrote for FP Comment between 1998 and 2019

The world is now threatened with a Green Depression. Or it will be if governments — including Canada’s — go ahead with variants of a “Green New Deal” in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
One of the great leftist perversions of history is the claim that, in the 1930s, FDR’s New Deal “saved capitalism from itself.” In fact, it was the New Deal — and the uncertainty created by its myriad interventions and its demonization of capitalism and the rich — that made the Great Depression “great.”

There was little of additional destructive green substance in Canada’s recent throne speech, but the threat still lurks behind Orwellian slogans about “Building Back Better” and “Resilient Recovery.” And the followup announcement about the proposed new Clean Fuel Standard signals more chaos to come.
I have been writing about this threat for a long time. This week the London-based Global Warming Policy Forum will publish a collection of just over a hundred of the more than 1,600 pieces I wrote for FP Comment between 1998 and 2019. They represent, as the book blurb says, “Two decades of politically incorrect columns … exposing the climate (policy) crisis, junk science, environmental alarmism, unsustainable sustainability, corporate social irresponsibility, uncivil society, censorship and the cancel culture, the war on Canadian resources, and the great green energy non-transition. Incorporating a rogues’ gallery of threats to global health, wealth, freedom and happiness, from Al Gore through Maurice Strong, Justin Trudeau, Barack Obama, David Suzuki, Naomi Klein and Mark Carney to the Pope.”

Environmental hysteria has been with us for more than half a century, but it had risen to new heights of frenzy before COVID struck, not least in the elevation of Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg as its spokeschild. Thunberg, who has been disgracefully exploited, is perhaps the most prominent example of what I call pre-traumatic stress disorder, a state of deliberately induced acute environmental anxiety. An entire generation was force-fed the self-serving apocalyptic misrepresentations of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.

I do not wish to make Greta suffer more than she already has, but I have used her now-famous challenge at the UN in the fall of 2019 — “How Dare You!” — as the title of this collection because it reflects the self-righteous totalitarian intolerance of the climate industrial complex and its idealistic young mouthpieces.
I cut my journalistic teeth in Canada writing about the economic nationalist follies of Pierre Trudeau, specifically with books on the 1980 National Energy Program and the state oil company, Petro-Canada. The title of the latter book — Self-Serve: How Petro-Canada Pumped Canadians Dry — summed up my mounting reservations about Canada’s “Natural Governing Party” and its bureaucratic cohorts, as well as about left-liberalism more generally.
Now another Trudeau heads a Liberal party with much more dangerous pretensions, even as it threatens — as his father did — to wreck the nation’s finances. These pretensions are closely tied to a much larger agenda rooted in the UN.

Canadian Liberals like to talk of the country “punching above its weight,” though they don’t usually mean “doing damage out of proportion to our size.” But we can certainly claim to have done disproportionate damage in terms of Canadians who have masterminded and/or are pushing the Agenda.
First and foremost comes the late Maurice Strong, who was critical in programs of indoctrinating children, infiltrating radical environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) into the policy process at every level, and creating bureaucratic makework on an unprecedented scale. He was also critical in sucking the corporate sector into the Agenda via organizations such as the World Economic Forum and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development.
Strong’s equally dangerous successor is Mark Carney, former governor of both the Bank of Canada and the Bank of England, and currently United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance. That Justin Trudeau should have appointed Carney his adviser on economic recovery is almost beyond satire. Carney is the leader of a campaign to defund Canada’s most important industry and kill fossil fuels globally. The ENGOs are the Agenda’s stormtroopers. My book contains numerous columns about their vicious campaigns of lies and intimidation against Canadian forestry and oil companies.

It also includes segments dealing with the subversive concepts of “sustainable development” and “corporate social responsibility” and finally how, and why, the much-heralded “green transition” simply isn’t happening, and indeed can’t happen.

In the wake of COVID-19, it is essential that business be as innovative, efficient and productive as possible in order to mend the damage that the pandemic — and pandemic policy — have done to lives and livelihoods. It cannot afford the burden of a bogus “Climate Emergency” and policies that seek a “carbon-neutral economy” as part of a deliberately poorer, freedom-constrained and globally governed world.
The coronavirus will pass, but the battle to kill fossil fuels will continue. Only now it will represent even more of a threat to ravaged economies, particularly Canada’s. It is crucial to understand the origins of the demonization of fossil fuels and how it represents more than a threat merely to prosperity. It is also an assault on freedom and even the environment itself.
How Dare You! is published by the Global Warming Policy Forum and is available on Amazon.

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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