Saturday, February 27, 2021

GWPF Newsletter: UN Security Council rejects climate alarmism


Russia and India reject attempts to turn global warming into a global security issue

In this newsletter:

1) UN Security Council rejects climate alarmism
Politico, 24 February 2021
2) China’s US coal imports jump 748% amid Australian trade dispute
S&P Global, 23 February 2021
3) Climate prophets of doom & the risks of communicating extreme climate forecasts
Carnegie Mellon University, 24 February 2021
4) NASA Vegetation Index: Globe Continues Rapid Greening Trend, Sahara Alone Shrinks 700,000 Sq Km
P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, 24 February 2021
6) Is the electric vehicle bubble starting to burst?
The Daily Telegraph, 25 February 2021
7) And finally: Bank Of America expects fastest oil price rise In 30 years, 25 February 2021 

Full details:

1) UN Security Council rejects climate alarmism
Politico, 24 February 2021
Russia and India reject attempts to turn global warming into a global security issue.
When it comes to climate change, bombs don’t work, so the United Nations Security Council prefers words to action.

Tuesday saw the highest profile discussion of climate change in the U.N.’s central body for promoting global peace. But Russia, which holds a veto as a permanent member of the Council, warned against any move to recognize warming as a threat to global security.
Moscow’s stance left the Security Council’s U.K. presidency stabbing at a broken panic button.
“It is absolutely clear that climate change is a threat to our collective security and the security of our nations,” said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who presided over the meeting.
Leaders from many of the Council’s 15 members spoke of the droughts, floods, deserts, storms and rising seas eating away at the foundations of peace. They conjured up a future of regional collapse and millions of climate refugees looking for safe harbor.
Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne challenged the world to imagine if 2017’s Hurricane Irma had not only forced the near abandonment of Barbuda, but hit Antigua too.
“What would have happened to the entire population of my country?” he said.

In 2020, the U.S. under then President Donald Trump blocked a German effort to draft a sweeping Security Council resolution naming climate change as a threat to global security. Last week, the U.S. officially rejoined the Paris Agreement and on Monday, climate envoy John Kerry said “the climate crisis is indisputably a Security Council issue.”
“The climate threat is so massive, so multifaceted,” said Kerry, “we bury our heads in the sand at our own peril.”
But Russia’s representative to the U.N. Vasily Nebenzya said the Council should not take on the work of other U.N. agencies that specialize in climate, “where this is dealt with by professionals.”
The Security Council has recognized climate change’s role in instability in the Central African Republic, Darfur, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Somalia and throughout West Africa.
But Nebenzya said the link between climate change and conflicts was specific to certain countries and there was “no justification” for making that connection globally.
That “would even be dangerous,” he said, because “considering the climate the root cause of security issues is a distraction from the true root causes.”
As an example, Nebenzya blamed the destabilization of Africa’s Sahel region on NATO’s “willful” regime change campaign in Libya in 2011.
China, which has been Russia’s ally on this issue in past meetings, voiced narrower concerns. “Any role the Security Council plays on climate change needs to fall within the Council’s purview,” said climate envoy Xie Zhenhua.
But Xie supported the core sentiment raised by Johnson, Kerry and others, leaving Russia isolated among the five permanent members of the Council. “Climate change has become a pressing and serious threat to the survival, development and security of humankind,” Xie said.
More aggressive pushback came from India’s Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar. He said there was no “accepted methodology” to show climate change was a cause of conflicts.

Full story
2) China’s US coal imports jump 748% amid Australian trade dispute
S&P Global, 23 February 2021

China emerged as one of the top importers of U.S. coal in the fourth quarter of 2020 as the country banned Australian coal from entering its territories amid diplomatic tensions.

Cranes unloading coal from a cargo ship at Lianyungang port in China. Geng Yuhe/VCG, via Getty Images
U.S. coal exports in the three-month period totaled 17.4 million tonnes, down 7.3% year over year but 25.1% higher quarter over quarter, according to data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

China had the highest gain in coal imports from the U.S. among the top destinations in the fourth quarter of 2020. The Asian country imported 1.0 Mt of coal from the U.S. during the period, a 251.8% increase year over year and a 748.2% jump quarter over quarter.

With the unofficial ban on Australian coal in place, Chinese buyers turned to other major producers to maintain operations.
“As Chinese domestic coking coal reserves are depleted, they are experiencing a reduction in quality so need to supplement this coking coal with imported coal to maintain the correct coal quality for steelmaking,” Market Intelligence mining analyst Oliver Woolard said. “Although shipments from Australia dropped, Chinese buyers are shifting the balance to other producers of high quality coking coal with the U.S., Canada and Russia benefitting.”

Other countries in the region offer coking coal of good quality, but only the U.S. has comparable coking coal quality to Australia, Woolard said.
“It is simpler for Chinese buyers to import U.S. coking coal than adapt their processes to accommodate different coking coal quality, hence increasing imports,” Woolard said.

3) Climate prophets of doom & the risks of communicating extreme climate forecasts
Carnegie Mellon University, 24 February 2021
"It's like the boy who repeatedly cried wolf. If I observe many successive forecast failures, I may be unwilling to take future forecasts seriously."


For decades, climate change researchers and activists have used dramatic forecasts to attempt to influence public perception of the problem and as a call to action on climate change. These forecasts have frequently been for events that might be called "apocalyptic," because they predict cataclysmic events resulting from climate change.

In a new paper published in the International Journal of Global Warming, Carnegie Mellon University's David Rode and Paul Fischbeck argue that making such forecasts can be counterproductive. "Truly apocalyptic forecasts can only ever be observed in their failure--that is the world did not end as predicted," says Rode, adjunct research faculty with the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center, "and observing a string of repeated apocalyptic forecast failures can undermine the public's trust in the underlying science."

Rode and Fischbeck, professor of Social & Decision Sciences and Engineering & Public Policy, collected 79 predictions of climate-caused apocalypse going back to the first Earth Day in 1970. With the passage of time, many of these forecasts have since expired; the dates have come and gone uneventfully. In fact, 48 (61%) of the predictions have already expired as of the end of 2020.

Fischbeck noted, "from a forecasting perspective, the 'problem' is not only that all of the expired forecasts were wrong, but also that so many of them never admitted to any uncertainty about the date. About 43% of the forecasts in our dataset made no mention of uncertainty."

In some cases, the forecasters were both explicit and certain. For example, Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich and British environmental activist Prince Charles are serial failed forecasters, repeatedly expressing high degrees of certainty about apocalyptic climate events.

Rode commented "Ehrlich has made predictions of environmental collapse going back to 1970 that he has described as having 'near certainty'. Prince Charles has similarly warned repeatedly of 'irretrievable ecosystem collapse' if actions were not taken, and when expired, repeated the prediction with a new definitive end date. Their predictions have repeatedly been apocalyptic and highly certain...and so far, they've also been wrong."

The researchers noted that the average time horizon before a climate apocalypse for the 11 predictions made prior to 2000 was 22 years, while for the 68 predictions made after 2000, the average time horizon was 21 years. Despite the passage of time, little has changed--across a half a century of forecasts; the apocalypse is always about 20 years out.

Fischbeck continued, "It's like the boy who repeatedly cried wolf. If I observe many successive forecast failures, I may be unwilling to take future forecasts seriously."

Full story
4) NASA Vegetation Index: Globe Continues Rapid Greening Trend, Sahara Alone Shrinks 700,000 Sq Km
P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, 24 February 2021

Looking at NASA’s Vegetation Index data, the news is good: the globe has greened 10% so far this century.
That’s good news because we know this ultimately means greater crop production area and forest expansion. Ironically, what many “experts claim to be a huge problem (CO2) is in fact one of the major reasons behind the greening.

Zoe Phin has a post on this topic at her site which really warrants attention.

Global Vegetation Index surges 10% in 20 years
Zoe downloaded all of NASA’s available 16-day-increment vegetation data from 2000 to 2021. Here’s her result

NASA’s Vegetation Index has risen from 0.0936 to 0.1029, which is a 9.94% increase. Chart by Zoe Phin
“10% global greening in 20 years! We are incredibly fortunate!” Zoe comments on the results. “I just wish everyone felt that way. But you know not everyone does. To the extent that humans enhance global greening is precisely what social parasites want to tax and regulate. No good deed goes unpunished.”

Been greening 30 years!
This is not unexpected news to cool-headed climate realists. In August, 2019, we reported on a German study showing how the globe had been greening for 3 decades. Based on satellite imagery, German Wissenschaft reported, “Vegetation on earth has been expanding for decades, satellite data show.”

Sahara shrinking, becoming greener

Also not long ago a study by Venter et al (2018) found the Sahara desert had shrunk by 8% over the previous three decades. This is profound because the Sahara covers a vast area of some 9.2 million square kilometers. Eight percent means more than 700,000 square kilometers more area that’s become green – an area almost as big as Germany and France combined.

So in terms of vegetation, the planet probably hasn’t had it this nice in about 1000 years.

70% driven by CO2

And there’s more good news if you think CO2 is a problem as a greenhouse gas (it isn’t).

Last August, NTZ weekly contributor Kenneth Richard cited a study by Haverd et al, 2020), and wrote that “about 70% of the Earth’s post-1980s vegetative greening trend has been driven by CO2 fertilization” and that this greening will offset 17 years (equivalent) of the Earth’s anthropogenic CO2 emissions by 2100.

There are many more studies underpinning the good news of the greening planet – thanks in large part to mankind. It’s not as bad as the crybaby activists and media depict it to be. Not even close.
5) More Green Blackouts Ahead
Editorial, The Wall Street Journal, 24 February 2021

When the blackouts arrive, don’t say Americans weren’t warned.

You’d think the Texas blackouts would trigger some soul-searching about the vulnerability of America’s electrical grid. Not in today’s hothouse of climate politics. The Biden Administration is already moving to stop an examination of grid vulnerability to promote unreliable renewable energy sources.
Regulators have been warning for years that the grid is becoming shakier as cheap natural gas and heavily subsidized renewables replace steady coal and nuclear baseload power. “The nation’s power grid will be stressed in ways never before experienced” due to “an unprecedented resource-mix change,” the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) warned in 2011.
It added: “Environmental regulations are shown to be the number one risk to reliability over the next one to five years.” But the Obama Federal Energy Regulatory Commission(FERC) refused to consider how climate policies would affect reliability.
Since 2011 about 90 gigawatts (GW) of coal capacity have shut down, replaced by some 120 GW of wind and solar and 60 GW of gas power capacity.
But renewables don’t generate power around-the-clock as gas, nuclear and coal do. Gas plants depend on just-in-time fuel deliveries, which aren’t reliable in extreme weather. Government-made pipeline bottlenecks constrain deliveries in the Northeast. Liberals also say Texas could have better weathered the Arctic blast if its grid didn’t rely almost entirely on in-state power.
But the Southwest Power Pool, north of Texas, and the Midwest power grid—both of which rely heavily on wind backed by gas—also experienced power outages last week due to declining surging demand, wind production and gas shortages. California relies on gas and imports to back up its solar power. But last summer California couldn’t get enough power from its neighbors amid a heat wave that strained the entire Western grid. Hydropower from the Northwest and coal from Utah couldn’t stop blackouts.
The wind lobby says Texas should have required thermal (nuclear, gas, coal) plants to be weatherized to withstand single-digit temperatures. Perhaps, but wind still performed the worst during the blackout, generating power at 12% of its capacity compared to 76% for nuclear, 39% for coal, and 38% for gas, according to a data analysis by the Center of the American Experiment.
The ice-cold reality is that grid regulators across the U.S. are struggling to keep the power on during extreme weather. They have been able to avoid more blackouts by ordering energy conservation. But Texas shows that conservation isn’t enough, as government mandates make America more reliant on electric power for everything from heating to cars.
Most Texans use electricity for heating. Many pipeline gas compressors are electrified due to federal emissions rules so the blackouts limited gas deliveries to power plants. They also shut down water pumps and treatment centers.
Yet progressives want to make Americans even more dependent on the grid by banning gas hookups in homes and mandating electric cars. This is a recipe for blackouts nationwide as coal and nuclear plants retire because they can’t compete against subsidized renewables. New England’s grid operator in 2018 predicted outages in the winter of 2024-2025 in most cases it analyzed.

Full editorial ($)
6) Is the electric vehicle bubble starting to burst?
The Daily Telegraph, 25 February 2021

Electric car companies have been valued in the billions despite having no profits or even revenues

Lucid Motors, a Silicon Valley company whose luxury electric cars are due to cost as much as $169,000, has not yet sold a single vehicle. Next year, it expects to sell just 20,000 cars, and it does not expect to make a profit until 2024.
But this week, the company announced plans to go public at a $24bn valuation - roughly that of Peugeot. The listing comes through a merger with an already-listed blank cheque company or “SPAC”, the biggest deal of its kind.
Despite the deal’s size, Lucid’s news was met with disappointment. In the weeks since rumours of the Lucid deal had emerged, investors had bid up shares in Churchill Capital IV, the acquisition vehicle merging with Lucid, to astronomical levels, in anticipation of a much higher valuation. Churchill’s shares fell by 39pc on Tuesday in response.
Lucid’s less-than-forecast valuation may have been an early warning sign that a boom in electric car valuations is coming to an end. 
On Tuesday, shares in Tesla, the lodestar of the battery-powered movement, fell for the second-straight day, while Nio, a Chinese rival, dropped too. 

Both Tesla and Nio actually make and sell cars, but others whose valuations are built largely on expectations fared even worse. Shares in Fisker, an LA-based electric carmaker whose first car is due to go on sale this year, fell 10pc, and Nikola, an Arizona competitor, fell 6pc. 

Fisker and Nikola are among those that, like Lucid, used SPACs to go public at valuations of many billions of dollars. Other examples included electric pickup truck maker Lordstown Motors and charging network ChargePoint. Arrival, a British electric van maker, is set to follow in the coming months as is China's Faraday Future.

Blank cheque firms exploded in popularity last year as the stock market boomed and interest rates plummeted, with investors looking for places to put their cash. Electric vehicle companies became popular targets as investors clamoured to back the renewable car boom.

SPACs are also useful vehicles for electric carmakers since they make it easier to go public based on expectations about their future than the reality of the present.

However, the boom has led to fears of overexuberance. “This looks very much like the frothiest weeks of the dotcom bubble,” says Rob Arnott of asset manager Research Affiliates. Arnott says that like the excesses of the late 20th century internet mania, many publicly-listed electric carmakers have no revenue, let alone profits.

He adds that the combined value of companies that only make electric vehicles reached $976bn earlier this month, within touching distance of the $1.2 trillion combined valuation of traditional automakers. This is despite fully electric vehicles making up an estimated 3pc of global sales last year.

And while there is no doubt that this will change, it is unclear whether the electric vehicle companies that have secured huge valuations will be the ones carrying the electric revolution.
Full story (£)
7) And finally: Bank Of America expects fastest oil price rise In 30 years, 25 February 2021

Oil prices are set to rise by the fastest rate since the 1970s over the next three years, Bank of America said in a new report, joining the growing group of analysts forecasting a return of oil to three-digit territory.

The average price of Brent over the next five years, however, will be between $50 and $70 per barrel, according to the bank, as quoted by The National.

The bank also said OPEC+ might decide to reverse its production cuts now that Brent is trending above $60, but added that a slow return of U.S. shale to international markets might lead to an extension of the production cut agreement to make sure prices stay higher.

"We believe that slower shale growth and oil price stability will likely require a continuation of Opec+'s market management beyond April 2022," the bank's analysts said.

OPEC+ is meeting next week to discuss the progress of its agreement in an environment of much tighter supply, and expectations are that some members may push for a production increase. The increase, however, will be moderate, at 500,000 bpd, according to reports.

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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