climate change

Non sequiter

Fundamentally, fighting the climate crisis is about fighting the injustice that it magnifies. Preventing the poor, who played no part in fuelling the climate fire, from getting burned. Enabling those with little wealth to build dignified lives without the use of coal, oil and gas. Creating a better world, where we stop exploiting the planet as if its resources were infinite and, through cooperation, learn to live within our means.

There’s actually nothing in that first set of desires – hey, let’s not have global warming – which leads to that second – hey, let’s all be poorer. But guess which of the two makes Damian Carrington lick his lips?

As Prof Myles Allen of the University of Oxford has pointed out, slavery was once a highly profitable provider of energy and we brought it to an end because it was an affront to the values that make us human.

Well, actually, no, we didn’t. We brought it to an end because it was no longer economic. As Carlyle was so dismalled to find out. And the same will be true of our use of oil and gas etc.

So here’s one: 19 November 2020. That is when the UN climate change conference, hosted by Boris Johnson and the UK government, is due to end. Unless nations dramatically increase their pledges to cut emissions, we will remain on track for a terrifying 3-4C of heating.

No, we won’t. Because that is to assume that it’s only governments making pledges which cut emissions. Archetypal tosspottery from Damian there. No government pledged to cut emissions by fracking for oil and gas, thereby making coal largely uneconomic in the US. But it still happened, still reduced emissions.

Fair enough

The good news is that there are now real grounds for optimism that we can slow and ultimately stop greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable energy currently outcompetes fossil fuels in many areas and continues to become cheaper every year. New energy storage options, ranging from cheaper batteries to green ammonia, are emerging. New ways to produce proteins at scale without destroying rainforests are being developed.

When these solutions become so good, and so cheap, that they routinely outcompete their fossil fuel and biodiversity-destroying counterparts, greenhouse gas emissions will decline to near zero. Getting there, though, needs some serious focus on green technologies supported by policies that will get them rolled out.

Yep, the solution will be technological. We need more and better technologies that is. So, what do we know about innovation? That governments can’t do it, are incapable of planning it. Capitalism and markets are great at it.

Note, please, innovation, not invention, which both are equally good at.

So, to beat climate change we need capitalism and markets, not government and planning then. What’s being proposed? Government and planning.

So, over there on the naughty step please, dunce’s cap upon bonce.

Sure, it’s possible to reject the entire thesis out of hand. But how stupid do you have to be to accept it and then reject the known solution?


Tensions at the Greek-Turkish border and the coronavirus show why the European Union needs a climate law that binds member states to net zero emissions by 2050, the EU’s top official on climate action has said.

Frans Timmermans, a European commission vice-president who leads on the climate emergency, said the different crises facing Europe underscored the need for a climate law in order not to lose track of reducing emissions.

This makes about as much – actually, less – logical sense as “Because Jeff Beck is now playing in E Flat therefore Parliament must be painted orange.”

Err, yes?

Almost half of the world’s sandy beaches will have retreated significantly by the end of the century as a result of climate-driven coastal flooding and human interference, according to new research.

The sand erosion will endanger wildlife and could inflict a heavy toll on coastal settlements that will no longer have buffer zones to protect them from rising sea levels and storm surges. In addition, measures by governments to mitigate against the damage are predicted to become increasingly expensive and in some cases unsustainable.

In 30 years, erosion will have destroyed 36,097km (22,430 miles) or 13.6% of sandy coastlines identified from satellite images by scientists for the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European commission. They predict the situation will worsen in the second half of the century, washing away a further 95,061km or 25.7% of Earth’s beaches.

These estimates are far from the most catastrophic; they rely on an optimistic forecast of international action to fight climate breakdown, a scenario known as RCP4.5. In this scenario of reduced ice-cap melting and lower thermal expansion of water, oceans will only have risen by 50cm by 2100.

Note that this is climate plus human interference. Yet at no point are we told how much is climate, how much the idiots sticking up flood defences, or dredging, or whatever, that changes the currents and thus the beach.

Three is also the obvious point that whatever is depositing sand at its current location will almost certainly be depositing it 50 cm further up after climate change as well. Not so much vanishing beaches as moved a couple of feet that is…..

This is somewhat unkind

But there’s also a certain amount of truth in it. The question being, well, how much of it is simply being unkind and how much is the simple truth?

Greta Thunberg’s extraordinary transformation from a near-mute 11-year-old into the world’s most powerful voice on the climate crisis is revealed today by her mother.

In an emotional account, Malena Ernman describes how her daughter came to be diagnosed with autism, and how activism helped her overcome an eating disorder.

Ernman writes of the first indications that her elder daughter was unwell in extracts published in the Observer from Our House is on Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis, a book by the whole Thunberg family.

How much of this is Mummy living and being famous vicariously through her daughter? My suspicion is quite a lot.

This is really filling the bleachers

The event, titled “Women for Bernie Climate Change Town Hall,” featured former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, author Naomi Klein, healthcare activist Dr. Victoria Dooley, and Amy Vilela, the Nevada co-chair of Sanders’ campaign. It took place on Thursday afternoon, in an intimate town hall setting. About 75 percent of the seats were filled, tallying about 30 people in attendance.

Well attended event don’t you think?

Ain’t that the truth

Overall there is huge amounts of ambition and support for this. I would caveat that by saying it is relatively easy to engage intellectually and socially with these ideas but it is more difficult when it comes to us having to make a decision which might mean changing certain behaviour. Some students and members of the public are less supportive when they see what being net zero energy actually means for their everyday lives.

“A lot of them can be naive. They don’t fully appreciate the changes this will bring to their lives.”

All too few are grasping the costs which those against climate change are trying to impose….


But the decision to extend the diesel and petrol ban to all hybrid cars took the motor industry by surprise, and was condemned by motoring groups and manufacturers as “a date without a policy”.

Seriously stupid.

More elsewhere later today.

This isn’t irony, you idiot

And the chief cause of global greening we’re experiencing? It seems to be that rising carbon dioxide emissions are providing more and more fertilizer for plants, the researchers say. As a result, the boom of global greening since the early 1980s may have slowed the rate of global warming, the researchers say, possibly by as much as 0.2 to 0.25 degrees Celsius.

“It is ironic that the very same carbon emissions responsible for harmful changes to climate are also fertilizing plant growth, which in turn is somewhat moderating global warming,” says study coauthor Dr. Jarle Bjerke of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research.

It’s a negative feedback…..

George’s mistake

In the climate emergency, our aim should be to maximise both the reduction of emissions and the drawing down of carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere. There is no safe level of global heating: every increment kills.

Maximisation is implicit in the Paris agreement

No, it’s to optimise.

Set off all the H Bombs tomorrow after lunch and we’ll have no human caused emissions by March. That would be maximisation. There would also be a certain cost to this. Thus we don;t want to maximise, do we? We want to optimise.

This means growing wood to burn in power stations, then capturing and burying the carbon emissions. It is likely to cause more harm than good. Could the committee’s enthusiasm have anything to do with the fact that one of its members works for Drax, the energy company pioneering this disastrous technology? Throughout the report, business appears to come first; nature and climate last.

Which is why we shouldn’t use bureaucracy or markets to do the optimising. Just reset prices and let the market chew through it.

So it’s not about climate change then?

In Saint-Louis, the consequences of climate crisis are tangible: thousands of people uprooted; houses destroyed; hundreds of children attending classes in the evening instead of in the morning because their school has been swept into the ocean. The World Bank, which recently allotted €24m (£20m) to combat the effects of climate change in Saint-Louis, estimates that 10,000 people in the city are either already displaced or live within 20 metres of the waterline, the high-risk zone.

And this is just the beginning. According to a study commissioned by the Senegalese government, 80% of Saint-Louis territory will be at risk of flooding by 2080, and 150,000 people will have to relocate. Most of west Africa’s coastal cities, home to 105 million people, face a similar threat.

Except, well:

He is referring to an engineering mistake, which contributed to the deterioration of the Langue de Barbarie. In 2003, heavy rainfall caused the Senegal river to rise rapidly, putting Saint-Louis at risk of flooding. As a quick fix, local government dug a four-metre-wide breach, or canal, cutting through the Langue de Barbarie. The effect has been the opposite of the one intended. Although at first the river level dropped, the breach quickly started to expand. It is now 6km wide and has cut off part of the peninsula, turning it into an island – and flooding Doun Baba Dieye.

It’s not actually about climate change, is it? It’s about an engineered change in currents and water flow wiping out a sandbank.

When I said it……

I was a climate change denier:

Our ancestors managed fire country for millennia. We yearn to burn once more
Cultural fire will protect the canopy where the koalas live – regenerating the tree that they eat

When he says it it’s ancient cultural wisdom.

Presumably my real crime was cultural appropriation.

Ah, yes, solved, is it?

The world’s first fully electric commercial aircraft has taken its inaugural test flight, taking off from the Canadian city of Vancouver and flying for 15 minutes.

“This proves that commercial aviation in all-electric form can work,” said Roei Ganzarski, chief executive of Australian engineering firm magniX.

The problem being that it doesn’t scale up. Neither in size of plane nor distance:

Battery power is also a challenge. An aircraft like the one flown on Tuesday could fly only about 160km on lithium battery power, said Ganzarski. While that’s not far, it’s sufficient for the majority of short-haul flights run by Harbour Air.

There is just the slight problem here

Blue Planet, Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunberg are all household names bringing information about serious environmental issues to the masses. They’ve helped green issues shoot up the agenda for this year’s general election, with a poll last month revealing that more than half of voters said that the climate emergency would influence how they cast their vote.

If it wasn’t for the media these scientific messages wouldn’t be heard or understood by millions of people. And Greta Thunberg’s extraordinary global impact demonstrates her mastery of skills that have little to do with what we usually think of as science.

None of the three are telling us the science.

Which is – we’ve already done sufficient to miss the more hair raising predictions of climate change. What’s left to do reveals a chronic problem that will be easy enough to deal with over the next few decades. That’s if we decide we’re going to believe the IPCC reports of course. If we decide we’re not going to then even less needs to be done.

There is no science anywhere which states that we need to cease economic growth and overthrow capitalism and free markets in order to deal with anything at all – other than varied teenage phantasms perhaps.