President Trump has tweeted in support of Greenpeace co-founder turned arch climate skeptic Patrick Moore.
Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace: “The whole climate crisis is not only Fake News, it’s Fake Science. There is no climate crisis, there’s weather and climate all around the world, and in fact carbon dioxide is the main building block of all life.” @foxandfriends Wow!
The biggest environmental scare story of 2018 was plastic pollution in the oceans. (It was also, as we shall see – spoiler alert – the year’s biggest lie…)
From BBC’s Blue Planet II to a special issue of National Geographic to a crusading campaign by the Daily Mail to CNN, the story was rarely out of the media. Celebrities from Chris Hemsworth to Cara Delevinge leapt on to the virtue signalling bandwagon. So did politicians such as UK Secretary of the State for the Environment Michael Gove and the European Parliament and US Congress, all announcing new legislation to deal with this alleged scourge.
Suddenly, plastic drinking straws became public enemy number one. No enlightened member of the chatterati could sip a cocktail ever again without pangs of guilt. Nor could they even clean their ears without a shiver of horror at the thought that today’s waxy cotton bud might be tomorrow’s obstruction in the nostril of a baby sea turtle.
It’s sad. Very sad. You can see why it has gone viral and been all over the media from the Mail (“soul-crushing footage”) to CBCto the Washington Post(“we stood there crying”).
It’s the kind of sad thing you want to share it with your friends so they can wallow in the same pool of helpless misery you’re wallowing in.
For example, that bit where the emaciated bear reaches with his sad paw into that rusting trash can in search of something, anything, to eat. As you watch, you want so desperately to help him….
The footage was filmed on Baffin Island in Canada. Surely, if you or I had been there, we could have found something edible to push that stricken bear’s way: maybe a visiting delegation of performance poets, abstract artists and avant-garde musicians who arrived by antique sailing ship on a Rockefeller-Foundation-funded arts project to “raise awareness” of melting icecaps; or a group of Greenpeace activists(aren’t bears attracted by strong smells?) on a No To Arctic Drilling protest; or one of the plethora of explorers on another of those deep and meaningful eco-expeditions, sponsored by one of those big reinsurance companies whose business model largely depends on scaring potential clients into thinking global warming is a serious problem.
OK, perhaps I shouldn’t be so flippant. Watching a once-mighty beast in its death throes is never a pretty sight.
I’ll tell you what’s a lot uglier, though: the way that polar bear’s death has been completely misrepresented for political ends by the usual suspects in the climate alarmism lobby.
And I’ll tell you what’s uglier even than that: all the old people – not bears but actual humans – who’ve died equally miserable deaths in fuel poverty brought about by precisely the kind of environmentalist propagandizing we’ve seen in the cynical, manipulative promotion of this video.
These findings – from a report by Professor Gordon Hughes, Professor of Economics at the University of Edinburgh and a former adviser to the World Bank – vindicate a recent call by President Trump to cut the 2018 budget for CCS research by 77 percent.
They also make a mockery of the grandiose schemes proposed by the International Energy Agency and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to decarbonize the global economy in line with the Paris Agreement. Both organizations have made heroic assumptions about the value of CCS technology in helping to meet their CO2 reductions targets.
Here, for example, is the ex-head of the IPCC Rajendra Pachauri touting it at the time of the last IPCC Assessment Report in 2014:
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) – the nascent technology which aims to bury CO2 underground – is deemed extremely important by the IPPC. It estimates that the cost of the big emissions cuts required would more than double without CCS. Pachauri said: “With CCS it is entirely possible for fossil fuels to continue to be used on a large scale.”
This, we can now see from Hughes’s detailed report for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, is just more of the kind of “harnessing-the-magical-power-of-organic-unicorns”-style nonsense we’ve come to expect from the IPCC. (And the similarly green-compromised IEA, for that matter).
The idea of CCS – capturing carbon-dioxide from industrial processes and then storing it underground where it can never been released – has been around for nearly 40 years. But it has never worked on a commercial scale and now almost certainly never will.
Already very expensive – in the UK, Hughes estimates, it would add around £10 to £15 (around $20) per MWh to the price of electricity, adding between £3.5 billion and £5 billion ($4.5 billion and $6.5 billion) to electricity bills – it has been rendered even more financially unviable by renewables, which are propped up with so much subsidy and which have distorted the market so badly that there simply isn’t any realistic possibility of still more money being found for the white elephant that is CCS.
Since the announcements, coal companies are being deferential to the White House, but quietly shifting their emphasis to Congress to save CCS funding in the budget.
Rick Curtsinger, a spokesman for coal company Cloud Peak Energy, said that Trump has been “extremely supportive of America’s coal miners” and that he “has a difficult task in prioritising issues and balancing the budget.”
But, Curtsinger added in an email: “We are hopeful that Congress will support the further development and commercialisation of the carbon capture technology that we believe is necessary for coal to be able to play a long-term role in providing secure, reliable, and affordable electricity while addressing concerns about CO2 and climate.”
But whoever is advising Trump on energy and climate issues is clearly very well informed. However much coal producers might wish it, Carbon Capture and Storage is not the panacea that is suddenly going to make their product eco-friendly.
Does this mean that Trump is about to renege on his election trail compact with the coal-producing states?
Not necessarily. As the below chart shows, stories about the death of coal have been greatly overdone. They are largely put about by the oil and gas industry, which is now keener than almost anyone to promote the climate change scare because it sees it as a means of stealing coal’s market share.
What happens to its projections when the taxpayers of the world tire of being milked to subsidise renewables?
I do find it odd that I’m so often having to write about the science of global warming, species extinction and ocean acidification because, though I’ve certainly acquired a pretty useful base knowledge over the years — superior, I’m guessing, to 97 per cent of scientists — it’s really not my main interest. What fascinates me far more is the way the faddish preoccupations of a few green cultists have somehow come to dominate our entire culture, corrupting the intellectual current, suborning institutions, crushing dissent — much as Marxist, fascist and Nazi ideologies did in the 20th century, only with rather more widespread success.
Let me give you a recent example of this: an article from the June Quarterly Bulletin of the Bank of England, titled ‘The Bank’s response to climate change’. Nothing wrong with the premise: it is indeed part of the Bank’s statutory duty to ‘identify, monitor and take action to remove or reduce risks that threaten the resilience of the UK financial system’. The problem, argues energy editor John Constable in a critique for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, is the inexcusably one-sided way in which the bank has handled it. The report’s focus is directed almost entirely towards the risks posed by fossil fuels. So we learn lots about the droughts, floods and storms that may be caused by ‘man-made climate change’.
So Greenpeace have admitted in court to being a bunch of liars. Not for the first time, it must be said, as I detail in my book Watermelons.
What I don’t understand about these mendacious, hair-shirt, tofu-eating, liberty-loathing shysters is the virtually free pass they get not just from the mainstream media but everywhere from governments to schools to the man in the street.
At Latitude Festival a few years back I remember they’d actually been put in charge of the children’s section. “Give me the child until he is seven…”
But they’re not dispassionate, lovable, seekers after truth.
They’re hard left political activists – and lies and propaganda are their trade.
It’s not often my sympathies lie with Japanese whaling crews or Vladmir Putin. But when they’re hosing down Greenpeace tossers in their RIBs or bunging them in the nick for stopping oil rigs trying to go about their business providing the world with energy, then I say “Go Japs! Go Vladimir!”
Earlier this week, as I’m sure you know, was International Polar Bear Day. Usually I celebrate by tossing a well-marinaded bear haunch onto the barbecue – note to novices: DO NOT eat the liver. It’s poisonous – but I couldn’t this year because of pesky global cooling, so instead, I sat indoors by the fire and drank a toast to the world’s exploding polar bear population which has now reached record highs of 30,000.
30,000 polar bears is a lot. As someone else remarked (remind me where and I’ll link to it), when Al Gore was born the population was just 5,000. Even as recently as 2005 it was estimated at no more than 22,500.
When the population of something explodes six-fold in 70 years that’s a sign that it’s doing pretty well, right? In fact, frankly, at that point it ceases to be a species in any kind of danger and starts to look more like a pest.
So why do the greenies persist in treating it like it’s a rare and precious species on the verge of extinction due to man’s selfishness and greed (TM)?
This is the question asked and answered by the best short video you will ever see about the polar bear non-problem.
It has been made by Canadian polar bear expert Susan Crockford for the Global Warming Policy Foundation and it calls for the US Administration to reassess the polar bear’s (utterly bogus) classification as a “threatened” species.
As the film makes clear, the polar bear is not “threatened” and hasn’t been for many decades (not since hunting was mostly banned). When in May 2008 the US Fish and Wildlife Service listed it as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act this was a political gesture not a scientific one.
The flimsy justification for the polar bear’s “threatened” status was the dramatic decline in summer sea ice which – so the fashionable theory ran – would render polar bears unable to feed because whenever they pursued seals they’d collapse through the thin ice.
Basically, what I require from you is some solid scientific input. (Not snark and smart-arsery: that’s my domain). Anything useful you have in the form of comments or links which thoroughly rebut Williamson’s article below I will incorporate into the body of the piece.
To try to avoid confusion I have put my original article on Ocean Acidification in bold; Williamson’s attempted rebuttal in regular typeface; and the guest criticisms of people like Patrick Moore in italics.
IMAGINE if our new Prime Minister Theresa May could wave her wand and achieve the following miracles within five years.
Create 500,000 new jobs, slash our electricity bills, restore British manufacturing, boost our economy, make us richer and stop our energy supplies being held to ransom by Putin, the Arabs, the French and other foreign regimes.
Well, the good news is she can, right now, and doesn’t need magic to do it.
All she needs to do is get fracking — the marvellous technology that extracts shale gas and oil from the ground.
Fracking has worked wonders for the US economy and could do the same for ours.
Shale gas is just as valuable and useful as the natural gas we’ve been harvesting from the North Sea for decades.
The only difference is that, because it’s mixed up with rock sediment, it used to be impossible to recover.
So recommends Tara Smith, a lecturer in law at the University of Bangor, Wales, in an article for the Conversation, a website popular with academics.
In a section titled “Playing by the rules isn’t working”, she says:
While necessity is difficult to assert in climate activism trials, the Delta 5 and Greenpeace cases raise a big question: should activists be allowed to take matters into their own hands to prevent global warming and climate change? Given underwhelming results in combating this at the international level to date, arguably they should.
Warming to her revolutionary theme she goes on:
The Paris climate change agreement in December was celebrated as a major achievement in bringing all states together, developed and developing alike, to agree on a common plan to reduce global carbon emissions. However, on closer inspection, it doesn’t seem to be ambitious enough to work as expected. Warming will be limited to 2.7°C, at best, while the agreement isn’t yet legally-binding. Climate change is still likely to have severe effects.
If states are unwilling or unable to sufficiently reduce their carbon emissions in time to make a real difference, shouldn’t people around the world be encouraged to take robust action without fear of being thrown in jail for their efforts to do good?
There is precedent for this, argues Smith, who compares to the situation to disobeying orders in Nazi Germany to transport Jews to concentration camp.