climate change

Dear God I detest these lying bastards

Sport the bastard lie logical error here:

Shipping must live up to the Paris Agreement and commit now to zero emissions by 2050, before it is too late.

Shipping has traditionally not received the attention it deserves when it comes to reducing global emissions. This is despite the fact that around 80% of global trade is transported across oceans on cargo vessels – currently powered by fossil fuels such as heavy fuel oil.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations agency in charge of regulating maritime transportation, estimates that shipping accounts for about 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions. But given the current growth rates and a lack of substantial efforts to decarbonise the sector, researchers warn that shipping could well represent up to 10% of all global emissions by 2050.

The rise in shipping emissions as a percentage of total emissions is because other emissions fall substantially.

And if other emissions fall substantially then the emissions from any one remnant sector of the economy are less important to reduce, not more, aren’t they?

Arsewipes.

And who didn’t see this coming?

Energy prices have spiked to a record high in Britain after calm weather shut down the country’s wind turbines amid a global shortage of natural gas.

Wholesale power costs surged to more than four times their normal level, forcing officials to fire up coal-based plants to handle demand.

What we should actually hope for is a nice, nice, high pressure system to park itself over the UK for a couple of weeks this winter.

Solar doesn’t really work this far north in winter. High pressure systems mean very little to no wind. There would be rolling power cuts. Which would bring home the technological vulnerability being built in. At which point someone – well, we can hope at least – will wake up. Allow fracking and we can get on with having the necessary back up power supply.

Weird, just truly weird

Global heating is also contributing to the decline in global yield potential for major crops, falling by 1.8-5.6% since 1981; this, together with the effects of extreme weather and soil depletion, is hampering efforts to reduce undernutrition

Yields have gone up over this time period, food prices have fallen. What are they talking about?

“yield potential” Ahhh – they’ve decided to use something other than yield in order to have something to complain about.

There’s a certain problem with this

More than 200 health journals worldwide are publishing an editorial calling on leaders to take emergency action on climate change and to protect health.

The British Medical Journal said it is the first time so many publications have come together to make the same statement, reflecting the severity of the situation.

The editorial, which is being published before the UN general assembly and the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow this November, says: “Ahead of these pivotal meetings, we – the editors of health journals worldwide – call for urgent action to keep average global temperature increases below 1.5C, halt the destruction of nature, and protect health.

“Health is already being harmed by global temperature increases and the destruction of the natural world, a state of affairs health professionals have been bringing attention to for decades.

“The science is unequivocal; a global increase of 1.5C above the pre-industrial average and the continued loss of biodiversity risk catastrophic harm to health that will be impossible to reverse.

Accept the claim for a moment.

Now note what they’re missing. What is the cost – in health terms if you wish – of meeting that 1.5 oC limit? This being the realm of economic analysis – opportunity costs. What can we not have because we devote resources to having this thing? We know that poorer people die sooner than richer. So, even delaying economic growth in the poor countries kills some people. We know that resources spent upon solar panels – say, just as an example – cannot be spent upon health care. So, as with ‘rona, how many die of cancer – again, just an example – because the resources to treat just aren’t there?

And so on – they’re not doing a useful analysis that is. There are many things that are desirable and each of them must be considered along with their price tags. That being exactly the thing that is not being considered, the price.

Yep

It is as if we were looking for trouble. Fire is a natural ally of Mediterranean pine forests. It helps clear the ground of old trees and allows young ones to prosper. By helping themselves to the wood daily and by employing tactical burning every spring, villagers once prevented these fires from running amok. Alas, not only did circumstances force the villagers to abandon the forests but, when they and their descendants returned as atomised urbanites to build their summer homes inside the untended forests, they did so bearing none of the traditional communal knowledge or practices.

That is, t’ain’t climate change…..

Very sciencey

“We’re in a climate crisis,” she tells me. “Mitigation isn’t going fast enough. Adaptation needs far more support than it’s getting. It’s clear that we need to remove some amount of carbon from the atmosphere.”

How much? “Hundreds of billions of gigatons,” Buck says.

Greenhouse gases are measured in ‘carbon dioxide-equivalents’ (CO2e). Today, we collectively emit around 50 billion tonnes of CO2e each year.

Total greenhouse gas emissions – Our World in Data

Hundreds of billions of tonnes, perhaps. Hundreds of billions of gigatonnes not so much then.

This is the question posed by Holly Jean Buck in her 2019 book After Geoengineering: Climate Tragedy, Repair, and Restoration. Zooming with me from Buffalo, New York, where she’s a professor of environment at the University of Buffalo, Buck is blunt in her assessment.

She’s a scientist you know.

It would also mean that the United States and other capitalist countries would have to reorient themselves to a more centrally planned economy,

You’re surprised, right?

Blimey, truth from Tony Blair

Climate change can be tackled with small reductions in flying and driving and we can continue eating meat and dairy, according to a report by Tony Blair’s think tank.

It rebuts claims that meeting the UK’s legally binding target of net zero by 2050 will require a “total transformation” of people’s daily lives and says the number of behaviour changes needed over the next 15 years is “relatively limited”.

Yes.

The report argues that people calling for radical behavioural change, including many supporters of the activist group Extinction Rebellion, have a wider political agenda, such as supporting veganism or opposing consumerism.

Quite so.

This truth is actually there in the IPCC reports themselves.

Absolutely every economic model used predicts a vastly richer – between 5 and 11 times – world. A globalised and capitalist/free market one does better than a localised an regional one. No one even modelled the stupidity of a socialist world, although we do get social democracy against a more red in tooth and claw capitalist.

In each and every model the only problem is emissions. And it’s entirely possible – because these are indeed what the models the IPCC is using say. We can’t say the IPCC is right that we must do something without looking at the models, accepting the models, the IPCC uses to say so – for us to have that richer world via either the social democracy or the capitalism route without the climate change. We just need to do summat about the fossil fuels.

Yes, I know, endless numbers of people telling me the whole things rubbish. But my point is that even within the constraints of what “the science” tells us – or the lies if you prefer – then it’s still not true that we need to close down industrial civilisation. Because the science used at the IPCC says exactly that. Reduce emissions and we’re done. The rest of it doesn’t need to happen.

Increase the propaganda!

So what needs to change? We need a green curriculum that starts in early years and extends through all key stages. Properly taught, climate change education should be a thread through all subjects – not just science and geography – from the food miles of the ingredients we cook in food technology to debates on humanitarian issues such as mass migration in religious education or personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education.

Indoctrinate the ickle ones!

Of course, she’ll not be teaching the truth about food miles at all, will she? That near all of them come from our trip to the shops, not from anything further down the production line…..

No, this is not true

As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issues its strongest warning yet about global warming, politicians are facing a stark scientific consensus: the average global temperature is likely to rise by at least 1.5C within 20 years, unless immediate action is taken to cut emissions.

Actually, the IPCC report says that whatever is done now the 1.5oC is baked in. Whether we believe the report is another matter but that is what it says. So, that’s a sunk cost then. No decision we make now will change that.

Our decisions – again, whether we believe or not – is what we do next? Ignoring, as a sunk cost, what is already bound to happen. And the decision must be driven by the costs of what we do against the benefits of having done so. This logic being true whatever our views of the entire subject. It is still true that sunk costs are sunk costs, also that decisions must be made upon the costs and benefits of those decisions.

Welcome to the future

Next week, Sally Neuman is going on holiday. But instead of jetting off to a Mediterranean beach or heading to an idyllic cottage in the UK countryside, she is going to stay with her daughter in London for four days.

Neuman, an NHS worker on the Isle of Wight, is planning to take her young granddaughter to a few museums. But mostly, after 16 months of working flat out during the pandemic, she is simply looking forward to a change of scene.

“I haven’t been away since 2018, and I’d love to get a real break, to relax by a pool. But a proper holiday is out of the question,” she said.

“Prices in the UK have jumped, and the costs and risks of going abroad are too high. I don’t know of any frontline colleagues who are getting on a plane because no one can afford to isolate on the way back if the rules change.”

It’s not, therefore, actually Covid which is making those holidays expensive. It’s government policy about Covid which is.

We can argue that those policies are junk, that they’re righteous, but we do have to start from the point that it’s the policies.

As to that future, welcome to it. A large chunk of the climate change spasm is an insistence that the proles shouldn’t be allowed to do things like jet off for a week by a pool. And we’re going to change the rules so that the peasants can’t.

They’ve only just noticed, eh?

Boris Johnson’s green agenda has been plunged into chaos amid fears that the costs of reaching “net zero” could cripple working class families in newly-won Tory seats.

A Treasury review of the costs of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 has been delayed since the spring. There are concerns the analysis highlights that the poorest households will be hit the hardest by the ambition, which will involve policies such as stripping out gas boilers and switching to electric or hydrogen cars.

The entire point is that fossil fuels are cheaper. Therefore, to have not fossil means people will have to pay more. This looms larger in the budgets of poorer people.

This should all be obvious. If fossil were not cheaper then everyone would already be using non-fossil. If price rises did not loom larger in the budgets of poorer people then they’d not be poorer people to start with. This is all so obvious that even Tories should have grasped this, no?

Not going to work well now, is it?

The government plans to strip National Grid of its role keeping Great Britain’s lights on as part of a proposed “revolution’” in the electricity network driven by smart digital technologies.

The FTSE 100 company has played a role in managing the energy system of England, Scotland and Wales for more than 30 years (Northern Ireland has its own network). It is the electricity system operator, balancing supply and demand to ensure the electricity supply. But it will lose its place at the heart of the industry after government officials put forward plans to replace it with an independent “future system operator”.

The new system controller would help steer the country towards its climate targets, at the lowest cost to energy bill payers, by providing impartial data and advice after an overhaul of the rules governing the energy system to make it “fit for the future”.

This might be ever so slightly unkind. But I’d describe this as pulling the grid out of the hands of the engineers and putting it into those of the politically connected. Because we all know how much better technical things work when they’re directed by politics rather than by people who know what they’re doing.

As to why, well, who wants actual engineers shouting that it cannot be done? That the phantasies just aren’t going to work?

Yes, I know they will have corrected for this

At least I bloody well hope they will have done:

Climate change may cause humans to become smaller as the planet continues to warm, according to a new study.

Scientists used more than 300 fossils to track how human bodies have fluctuated in size over thousands of years.

They found a clear link that people living in colder environments were larger, while people in warmer regions were smaller.

This trend continues today, the scientists add, with people in colder parts of the planet tending to be bigger than those in warmer places. For example, the average Dutch man is 6ft tall, whereas the average Indian man is just 5ft 5inches tall.

You’ve got to control for GDP. Which is a reasonable proxy for the adequacy of childhood nutrition. You know, stunting? That 6 inches shorter that the soldiers were than the officers in 1914?

As it happens the tropics tend to be the poor parts of the world these days…..

Vaccine apartheid

This moral dilemma could be avoided if rich nations at the G7, under the UK’s leadership, had stepped up with a real plan to achieve global vaccine equity. They did not. Instead, they have perpetuated the vaccine apartheid we are experiencing.

More than 100 former presidents and prime ministers had written to the G7, urging them to bankroll at least two-thirds of the $66bn (£48bn) needed by low-income countries for Covid vaccines. But rather than paying up the $44bn that such an undertaking would cost, they instead offered a measly $7bn.

If we don’t pay for them this is apartheid?

Slightly overdoing the rhetoric there, no?

They’ve got the dark bit already

Households need to turn their thermostats down in winter to help Britain slash greenhouse gas emissions and hit Boris Johnson’s bid for a carbon-neutral Britain by 2050, energy bosses have said.

What with CFLs and LEDs we’ve got the dark, now they’re trying to insist upon the shivering in it bit.

OK, they’re only saying that the thermostat should be turned down from 19 to 18 but still.

There being a certain amusement to this. It’s only since the 1980s and the general availability of central heating that anyone has kept their house – as opposed to the odd room – this warm anyway. Odd to think that only a generation, generation and a half maybe, get to enjoy this nirvana……

Try harder Telegraph

City officials have made some effort in recent years to wean Angeleans off the diesel, but without offering much incentive.

Sigh. America pretty much doesn’t use diesel in cars. Only 3%, as opposed to 50% in Europe.

Yes, yes, nice turn of phrase and all but this is something that a journalist should know.

One explanation for this

Record-breaking heatwaves have dominated the news recently

In a system with natural variance around the mean then the longer the record of that variance the larger the record deviances from it.

3 sigma events happen more rarely than 2 sigma. But keep records for long enough and you’ll have a 3. And a 4 etc.

We’ve been – accurately – recording temperature for a century or three – dependent upon your definition of accuracy – so one and three century records should be appearing.

What could, possibly, be the explanation here?

The silvery blue waters of the Great Salt Lake sprawl across the Utah desert, having covered an area nearly the size of Delaware for much of history. For years, though, the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi River has been shrinking. And a drought gripping the American west could make this year the worst yet.

Concentrate on that word “salt” to try to get an idea of what is happening here.

Then think about Lake Bonneville. Then ponder that this is a process that has been going on for perhaps 15,000 years…..

Bollocks, nonceboy bollocks

A study that will be published on July 1st in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution challenges claims that early human hunters slaughtered prehistoric elephants, mammoths and mastodonts to extinction over millennia. Instead, its findings indicate the extinction of the last mammoths and mastodonts at the end of the last Ice Age marked the end of progressive climate-driven global decline among elephants over millions of years.

Via PR email.

That the megafauna disappeared everywhere and every time early humans turned up for the first time rather puts this conclusion into dispute…..moas in NZ were bugger all to do with climate change after all.