GLOBAL Cooling A Reality But Technology And CO2 Will Help Earth Survive

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AN IMPORTANT and timely read Via The Times – MATT RIDLEY (Climatism bolds)

RECORD cold in America has brought temperatures as low as minus 44C in North Dakota, frozen sharks in Massachusetts and iguanas falling from trees in Florida. Al Gore blames global warming, citing one scientist to the effect that this is “exactly what we should expect from the climate crisis”. Others beg to differ: Kevin Trenberth, of America’s National Centre for Atmospheric Research, insists that “winter storms are a manifestation of winter, not climate change”.

Forty-five years ago a run of cold winters caused a “global cooling” scare. “A global deterioration of the climate, by order of magnitude larger than any hitherto experienced by civilised mankind, is a very real possibility and indeed may be due very soon,” read a letter to President Nixon in 1972 from two scientists reporting the views of 42 “top” colleagues. “The cooling has natural causes and falls within the rank of the processes which caused the last ice age.” The administration replied that it was “seized of the matter”.

In the years that followed, newspapers, magazines and television documentaries spoke of the coming ice age. The CIA reported a “growing consensus among leading climatologists that the world is undergoing a cooling trend”.

This alarm about global cooling is largely been forgotten, but it has not entirely gone away. Valentina Zharkova of Northumbria University has suggested that a quiescent sun presages another Little Ice Age like that of 1300-1850. I’m not persuaded. Yet the argument that the world is slowly slipping back into a proper ice age after 10,000 years of balmy warmth is in essence true. Most interglacial periods, or times without large ice sheets, last about that long, and ice cores from Greenland show that each of the past three millennia was cooler than the one before.

However, those ice cores, and others from Antarctica, can now put our minds to rest. They reveal that interglacials start abruptly with sudden and rapid warming but end gradually with many thousands of years of slow and erratic cooling. They have also begun to clarify the cause. It is a story that reminds us how vulnerable our civilisation is. If we aspire to keep the show on the road for another 10,000 years, we will have to understand ice ages.

The oldest explanation for the coming and going of ice was based on carbon dioxide. In 1895 the Swede Svante Arrhenius, one of the scientists who first championed the greenhouse theory, suggested that the ice retreated because carbon dioxide levels rose, and advanced because they fell. If this were true, then industrial emissions could head off the next ice age. There is indeed a correlation in the ice cores between temperature and carbon dioxide, but inconveniently it is the wrong way round: carbon dioxide follows rather than leads temperature downward when the ice returns.

A Serbian named Milutin Milankovich, writing in 1941, argued that ice ages and interglacials were instead caused by changes in the orbit of the Earth around the sun. These changes, known as eccentricity, obliquity and precession, sometimes combined to increase the relative warmth of northern hemisphere summers, melting ice caps in North America and Eurasia and spreading warmth worldwide.

RECORD COLD

Planes wait at the gates outside terminal five at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport in the heavy snow.

IN 1976 Nicholas Shackleton, a Cambridge physicist, and his colleagues published evidence from deep-sea cores of cycles in the warming and cooling of the Earth over the past half million years which fitted Milankovich’s orbital wobbles. Precession, which decides whether the Earth is closer to the sun in July or in January, is on a 23,000-year cycle; obliquity, which decides how tilted the axis of the Earth is and therefore how warm the summer is, is on a 41,000-year cycle; and eccentricity, which decides how rounded or elongated the Earth’s orbit is and therefore how close to the sun the planet gets, is on a 100,000-year cycle. When these combine to make a “great summer” in the north, the ice caps shrink.

Game, set and match to Milankovich? Not quite. The Antarctic ice cores, going back 800,000 years, then revealed that there were some great summers when the Milankovich wobbles should have produced an interglacial warming, but did not. To explain these “missing interglacials”, a recent paper in Geoscience Frontiers by Ralph Ellis and Michael Palmer argues we need carbon dioxide back on the stage, not as a greenhouse gas but as plant food.

The argument goes like this. Colder oceans evaporate less moisture and rainfall decreases. At the depth of the last ice age, Africa suffered long mega-droughts; only small pockets of rainforest remained. Crucially, the longer an ice age lasts, the more carbon dioxide is dissolved in the cold oceans. When the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere drops below 200 parts per million (0.02 per cent), plants struggle to grow at all, especially at high altitudes. Deserts expand. Dust storms grow more frequent and larger. In the Antarctic ice cores, dust increased markedly whenever carbon dioxide levels went below 200 ppm. The dust would have begun to accumulate on the ice caps, especially those of Eurasia and North America, which were close to deserts. Next time a Milankovich great summer came along, and the ice caps began to melt, the ice would have grown dirtier and dirtier, years of deposited dust coming together as the ice shrank. The darker ice would have absorbed more heat from the sun and a runaway process of collapsing ice caps would have begun.

All of human civilisation happened in an interglacial period, with a relatively stable climate, plentiful rainfall and high enough levels of carbon dioxide to allow the vigorous growth of plants. Agriculture was probably impossible before then, and without its hugely expanded energy supply, none of the subsequent flowering of human culture would have happened.

That interglacial will end. Today the northern summer sunshine is again slightly weaker than the southern. In a few tens of thousands of years, our descendants will probably be struggling with volatile weather, dust storms and air that cannot support many crops. But that is a very long way off, and by then technology should be more advanced, unless we prevent it developing. The key will be energy. With plentiful and cheap energy our successors could thrive even in a future ice age, growing crops, watering deserts, maintaining rainforests and even melting ice caps.

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Politics Is Obsessed With Virtue Signalling

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“Policies are chosen according to whether they mean well, not whether they work. From the climate accord to badger culling, we increasingly judge policies by intentions rather than achievements.”

MATT RIDLEY writes an excellent piece in The Times Of London that drills down into the ‘seeming good is more important than doing good’ sickness that has infected modern Western politics with perilous results…


Politics is obsessed with virtue signalling

From the climate accord to badger culling, we increasingly judge policies by intentions rather than achievements

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THE curse of modern politics is an epidemic of good intentions and bad outcomes. Policy after policy is chosen and voted on according to whether it means well, not whether it works. And the most frustrated politicians are those who keep trying to sell policies based on their efficacy, rather than their motives. It used to be possible to approach politics as a conversation between adults, and argue for unfashionable but effective medicine. In the 140-character world this is tricky (I speak from experience).

The fact that it was Milton Friedman who said “one of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results” rather proves the point. He was one of the most successful of all economists in getting results in terms of raising living standards, yet is widely despised today by both the left and centre as evil because he did not bother to do much virtue signalling.

The commentator James Bartholomew popularised the term “virtue signalling” for those who posture empathetically but emptily. “Je suis Charlie” (but I won’t show cartoons of the prophet), “Refugees welcome” (but not in my home) or “Ban fossil fuels” (let’s not talk about my private jet). You see it everywhere. The policies unveiled at the [UK] Conservative Party conference show that the party is aware of this and (alas) embracing it. On student fees, housing costs and energy bills, the Tories proposed symbolic changes that would do nothing to solve the underlying problem, indeed might make them worse in some cases, but which at least showed they cared. I doubt it worked. They ended up sounding like pale imitations of Labour, or doing political dad-dancing.

“Our election campaign portrayed us as a party devoid of values,” said Robert Halfon MP in June.

“The Labour Party now has circa 700,000 members that want nothing from the Labour Party but views and values they agree with,” lamented Ben Harris-Quinney of the Bow Group last week. I think that what politicians mean by “values” is “intentions”.

The forgiving of good intentions lies behind the double standard by which we judge totalitarians. Whereas fascists are rightly condemned in schools, newspapers and social media as evil, communists get a much easier ride, despite killing more people. “For all its flaws, the Communist revolution taught Chinese women to dream big,” read a New York Times headline last month.

“For all its flaws, Nazi Germany did help bring Volkswagen and BMW to the car-buying public,” replied one wag on Twitter.

Imagine anybody getting away with saying of Mussolini or Franco what John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn said of Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez. The reason for this double standard is the apparently good intentions of communist dictators: unlike Nazis, communists were at least trying to make a workers’ paradise; they just got it wrong. Again and again and again.

Though Jeremy Corbyn is a leading exponent, elevating intentions over outcomes is not entirely a monopoly of the left. It is something that the coalition government kept trying, in emulation of Tony Blair. Hugging huskies and gay marriage were pursued mainly for the signal they sent, rather than for the result they achieved. (Student loans, to be fair, were the opposite.) Indeed, George Osborne’s constant talk of austerity, while increasing spending in real terms, was an example of the gap between intention and outcome, albeit less sugar-coated.

I can draw up a list as long as your arm of issues where the road to failure is paved with counter-productive benevolence. Gordon Brown’s 50p top tax rate brought in less tax from the richest. Banning fox hunting has led to the killing of more foxes. Opposition to badger culls made no ecological sense, for cattle, hedgehogs, people — or badger health. Mandating a percentage of GDP for foreign aid was a virtuous gesture that causes real inefficiency and corruption — and (unlike private philanthropy) also tended to transfer money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.

Or take organic farming, which has been shown repeatedly to produce trivial or zero health benefits, while any environmental benefits are grossly outweighed by the low yields that mean it requires taking more land from nature. Yet the BBC’s output on farming is dominated by coverage of the 2 per cent of farming that is organic, and is remorselessly obsequious. Why? Because organic farmers say they are trying to be nice to the planet.

My objection to wind farms is based on the outcome of the policy, whereas most people’s support is based largely on the intention. There they stand, 300ft tall, visibly advertising their virtue as signals of our commitment to devotion to Gaia. The fact that each one requires 150 tonnes of coal to make, that it needs fossil fuel back-up for when the wind is not blowing, that it is subsidised disproportionately by poor people and the rewards go disproportionately to rich people, and that its impact on emissions is so small as to be unmeasurable — none of these matter. It’s the thought that counts.

The Paris climate accord is one big virtue-signalling prayer, whose promises, if implemented, would make a difference in the temperature of the atmosphere in 2100 so small it is practically within the measuring error. But it’s the thought that counts. Donald Trump just does not care.

One politician who has always refused to play the intention game is Nigel Lawson. Rather than rest on the laurels of his political career, he has devoted his retirement to exposing the gap between rhetoric and reality in two great movements: European integration and climate change mitigation. In his book An Appeal to Reason, he pointed out that on the UN’s official forecasts, climate change, unchecked, would mean the average person will be 8.5 times as rich in 2100 as today, rather than 9.5 times if we stopped the warming. And to achieve this goal we are to punish the poor of today with painful policies? This isn’t “taking tough decisions”; this is prescribing chemotherapy for a cold.

Yet the truth is, Lord Lawson and I and others like us have so far largely lost the argument on climate change entirely on the grounds of intentions. Being against global warming is a way of saying you care about the future. Not being a headless chicken — however well argued your case — leads to accusations you do not care.

The Times

(Climatism bolds)

Politics is obsessed with virtue signalling | Comment | The Times & The Sunday Times

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THE TIMES : The sceptics are right. Don’t scapegoat them

Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in the history…When people come to 
know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.” – UN IPCC 
Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itohan award-winning PhD environmental physical
chemist.

“Global warming-at least the modern nightmare version – is a myth. I am sure of it and so are a growing number of scientists. But what is really worrying is that the world’s politicians and policy makers are not.” – David Bellamy, Daily Mail, July 9, 2004

“I am a skeptic…Global warming has become a new religion.” – Nobel Prize Winner for
Physics, Ivar Giaever.

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Matt Ridley’s excellent piece in the The Times …

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The sceptics are right. Don’t scapegoat them

Matt Ridley

Times columnist Matt Ridley
Last updated at 12:01 AM, February 17 2014

There is no evidence, Mr Miliband, Lord Stern and others, that our floods and storms are related to climate change.

In the old days we would have drowned a witch to stop the floods. These days the Green Party, Greenpeace and Ed Miliband demand we purge the climate sceptics. No insult is too strong for sceptics these days: they are “wilfully ignorant” (Ed Davey), “headless chickens” (the Prince of Wales) or “flat-earthers” (Lord Krebs), with “diplomas in idiocy” (one of my fellow Times columnists).

What can these sceptics have been doing that so annoys the great and the good? They sound worse than terrorists. Actually, sceptics have pretty well all been purged already: look what happened to Johnny Ball and David Bellamy at the BBC. Spot the sceptic on the Climate Change Committee. Find me a sceptic within the Department of (energy and) Climate Change. Frankly, the sceptics are a ragtag bunch of mostly self-funded guerrillas, who have made little difference to policy — let alone caused the floods.

What’s more, in the row over whether climate change is causing the current floods and storms, the sceptics are the ones who are sticking to the consensus, as set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — you know, the body that the alarm-mongers are always telling us to obey. And it is the sceptics who have been arguing for years for resilience and adaptation, rather than decarbonisation.

Mr Miliband says: “This winter is a one-in-250-year event” (yet it’s nothing like as wet as 1929-30 if you count the whole of England and Wales, let alone Britain) and that “the science is clear”. The chief scientist of the Met Office, Dame Julia Slingo, tells us “all the evidence” suggests that climate change is contributing to this winter’s wetness. (Why, then, did she allow the Met Office to forecast in November that a dry winter was almost twice as likely as a wet winter?) Lord Stern, an economist, claimed that the recent weather is evidence “we are already experiencing the impact of climate change”. [For a thorough debunk of Lord Stern’s comments on the global position, see below.]

All three are choosing to disagree with the IPCC consensus. Here’s what the IPCC’s latest report actually says:

“There continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale.”

Here’s what a paper published by 17 senior IPCC scientists from five different countries said last month:

“It has not been possible to attribute rain-generated peak streamflow trends to anthropogenic climate change over the past several decades.”

They go on to say that blaming climate change is a politician’s cheap excuse for far more relevant factors such as “what we do on or to the landscape” — building on flood plains, farm drainage etc.

As for recent gales caused by a stuck jetstream, Dr Mat Collins, of Exeter University, an IPCC co-ordinating lead author, has revealed that the IPCC discussed whether changes to the jetstream could be linked to greenhouse gases and decided they could not. “There is no evidence that global warming can cause the jetstream to get stuck in the way it has this winter,” he says, in a statement that raises questions about Dame Julia’s credibility.

In 2012, the Met Office agreed:

“There continues to be little evidence that the recent increase in storminess over the UK is related to man-made climate change.”

So please will Lord Stern, Dame Julia and Mr Miliband explain why they are misleading the public about the science?

That consensus, by the way, has never said that climate change will necessarily be dangerous. The oft-quoted 97 per cent agreement among scientists refers to the statement that man-made climate change happens, not to future projections [and anyway it has been comprehensively discredited and described as infamous by a prominent climate scientist]. No climate change sceptic that I know “denies” climate change, or even human contributions to it. It’s a lazy and unpleasant slur to say that they do.

Sceptics say it is not happening fast enough to threaten more harm than the wasteful and regressive measures intended to combat it. So far they have been right. Over 30 years, global temperature has changed far more slowly than predicted in 95 per cent of the models, and has decelerated, not accelerated. When the sceptic David Whitehouse first pointed out the current 15 to 17-year standstill in global warming (after only 18 to 20 years of warming), he was ridiculed; now the science establishment admits the “pause” but claims to have some post-hoc explanations.

While the green lobby has prioritised decarbonisation, sceptics have persistently advocated government spending on adaptation, so as to grab the benefits of climate change but avoid the harm, and be ready for cooling as well if the sun goes into a funk. Yesterday Mr Miliband yet again prioritised carbon limits — cold comfort to those flooded from their homes. Huge sums have been spent on wind farms and bio-energy, with trivial impact on emissions. The money has come disproportionately from the fuel bills of poor people and gone disproportionately to rich people.

Given that there are about 25,000 excess winter deaths each year, adding 5 per cent to fuel bills kills far more people now than (possibly) adding 5 per cent to future rainfall totals ever would. If just a fraction of renewable energy subsidies sluiced towards wind farms by the climate secretaries Ed Miliband and Ed Davey had instead been put into flood defences, they would have done far more good.

Meanwhile, please notice that those lambasting the sceptics work for you, drawing wages from public bodies supported by the taxpayer: Lord Stern, Lord Deben, Dame Julia Slingo, Sir Mark Walport, Professor Kevin Anderson, even a spin doctor called Bob Ward, and more. Most of the sceptics operate on self-employed shoestrings and cost you nothing: Andrew Montford, David Holland, Nic Lewis, Doug Keenan, Paul Homewood, Fay Kelly-Tuncay. There is only one professional sceptic in the entire country — Benny Peiser — and he is not paid by the taxpayer.

Despite the fuss, sceptics have had little effect. Renewable subsidies for the rich grow larger every year. Jobs are still being destroyed by carbon floor prices and high energy costs. Emissions targets have not been lowered. At the very most, George Osborne and his allies may have slightly pinched the flow of funds to consultants and academics to talk about the subject. Maybe that’s what makes the great and the good so cross.

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The sceptics are right. Don’t scapegoat them. – Matt Ridley

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A must watch – Greening the Planet – Dr. Matt Ridley

Watts Up With That?

I met Matt Ridley for the first time in person last month on his trip through California. We shared lunch in Novato on a Saturday, it was a pleasant and enlightening conversation. Dr. Ridley “gets it”; he gets what climate skepticism is all about, and gets what I am about. I’m honored to count him among my friends.

He has this new video out, from his next stop after visiting with me, please take a moment to watch, and more importantly, to share. Ridley’s message is simple – through our own activities, we are making the world a better, greener place.

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A warming planet is helping humans

We’ve got to ride this global warming issue.
Even if the theory of global warming is wrong,
we will be doing the right thing in terms of
economic and environmental policy.

– Timothy Wirth,
President of the UN Foundation

Humanity is sitting on a time bomb. If the vast majority of the
world’s scientists are right, we have just ten years to avert a
major catastrophe that could send our entire planet’s climate system
into a tail-spin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods,
droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have
ever experienced – a catastrophe of our own making.

– Al Gore,
An Inconvenient Truth 2006

via Herald Sun | Andrew Bolt

Matt Ridley says global warming policies are deadlier than global warming:

Why climate change is good for the world

Don’t panic! The scientific consensus is that warmer temperatures do more good than harm
 19 October 2013
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Climate change has done more good than harm so far and is likely to continue doing so for most of this century… 

Professor Richard Tol of Sussex University … reviewed 14 different studies of the effects of future climate trends… [and] calculated that climate change would be beneficial up to 2.2 C of warming from 2009 (when he wrote his paper)… The latest estimates of climate sensitivity suggest that such temperatures may not be reached till the end of the century — if at all…

Now Prof Tol has a new paper … [which] concludes that climate change did indeed raise human and planetary welfare during the 20th century… By how much? He calculates by 1.4 per cent of global economic output, rising to 1.5 per cent by 2025…

The chief benefits of global warming include: fewer winter deaths; lower energy costs; better agricultural yields; probably fewer droughts; maybe richer biodiversity. It is a little-known fact that winter deaths exceed summer deaths — not just in countries like Britain but also those with very warm summers, including Greece….

The greatest benefit from climate change comes not from temperature change but from carbon dioxide itself. It is not pollution, but the raw material from which plants make carbohydrates and thence proteins and fats. As it is an extremely rare trace gas in the air — less than 0.04 per cent of the air on average — plants struggle to absorb enough of it. On a windless, sunny day, a field of corn can suck half the carbon dioxide out of the air…

The increase in average carbon dioxide levels over the past century, from 0.03 per cent to 0.04 per cent of the air, has had a measurable impact on plant growth rates… As Dr Ranga Myneni of Boston University has documented, using three decades of satellite data, 31 per cent of the global vegetated area of the planet has become greener and just 3 per cent has become less green…

Well yes, you may argue, but what about all the weather disasters caused by climate change? Entirely mythical — so far. The latest IPCC report is admirably frank about this, reporting ‘no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century … lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency offloads on a global scale … low confidence in observed trends in small-scale severe weather phenomena such as hail and thunderstorms’.

In fact, the death rate from droughts, floods and storms has dropped by 98 per cent since the 1920s, according to a careful study by the independent scholar Indur Goklany. Not because weather has become less dangerous but because people have gained better protection as they got richer…

[But] climate policy is already doing harm. Building wind turbines, growing biofuels and substituting wood for coal in power stations — all policies designed explicitly to fight climate change — have had negligible effects on carbon dioxide emissions. But they have driven people into fuel poverty, made industries uncompetitive, driven up food prices, accelerated the destruction of forests, killed rare birds of prey, and divided communities. To name just some of the effects. Mr Goklany estimates that globally nearly 200,000 people are dying every year, because we are turning 5 per cent of the world’s grain crop into motor fuel instead of food: that pushes people into malnutrition and death. In this country, 65 people a day are dying because they cannot afford to heat their homes properly, according to Christine Liddell of the University of Ulster, yet the government is planning to double the cost of electricity to consumers by 2030.

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A must watch – Greening the Planet – Dr. Matt Ridley | Watts Up With That?

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Quote source : The Green Agenda