Tag Archives: Climate Change

Donald Trump has done more than all of his rich critics to reduce carbon emissions

How much have countries cut carbon emissions?
How much have countries cut carbon emissions?

I wanted to look at who has been doing the most to cut carbon emissions. Then we’ll look at whether the secular left supports the technologies that achieved actual cuts in carbon emissions. Then we’ll look at the technologies that the secular left supports, to see whether they achieve similar success. Then we’ll draw a conclusion about the environmentalism of the secular left.

Let’s start with the data on carbon emissions. As you can see from the graph above, the biggest offenders are China and India. These countries make a show about caring for the environment to shame America, but the truth is that they are the biggest polluters of all, and getting worse.

Daily Wire reports:

The United States led the entire world in reducing CO2 emissions last year while also experiencing solid economic growth, according to a newly released report.

“The United States saw the largest decline in energy-related CO2 emissions in 2019 on a country basis – a fall of 140 Mt, or 2.9%, to 4.8 Gt,” The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported on Tuesday. “US emissions are now down almost 1 Gt from their peak in the year 2000, the largest absolute decline by any country over that period.”

[…]The IEA noted that 80% of the increase in CO2 emissions came from Asia and that China and India both contributed significantly to the increase.

So how was America able to do that? The answer is that they they adopted zero-emission technologies, specifically fracking and nuclear power:

[…][C]heap, natural gas, made available by fracking, has already made the U.S. the world leader in carbon emissions reduction. By allowing gas to displace coal as the leading fuel for domestic power generation, fracking has already done more to reduce emissions than the combined activity of all the environmental activists in human history. Renewables such as wind and solar, which still play only a minor role in generation, cannot operate without the flexible backup that gas provides for those times when the wind stops and the sun sets or goes behind a cloud.

Natural gas will help reduce carbon emissions in the short run. But nuclear is the only long-term answer if you’re worried about climate change.

It should be noted that the secular left opposes both fracking and nuclear power, and that’s because they’re either lying about their concern for the environment (possible) or they think that renewable energies like wind and solar can do the job. But can they?

Environmentalists burning helicopter fuel to de-ice wind turbines one at a time
Environmentalists burning helicopter fuel to de-ice wind turbines one at a time

Far-left NPR explains:

While most of a turbine can be recycled or find a second life on another wind farm, researchers estimate the U.S. will have more than 720,000 tons of blade material to dispose of over the next 20 years, a figure that doesn’t include newer, taller higher-capacity versions.

There aren’t many options to recycle or trash turbine blades, and what options do exist are expensive, partly because the U.S. wind industry is so young. It’s a waste problem that runs counter to what the industry is held up to be: a perfect solution for environmentalists looking to combat climate change.

It’s difficult to transport the blades. There are few landfills big enough to accommodate them. And no one has the expensive equipment to cut them down to smaller sizes. But wait! There are more problems.

My problems with wind and solar power are simple. They are extremely expensive, which raises the cost of electricity to consumers and businesses. They are extremely unreliable, and require constant maintenance and backup-support from traditional high-pollution sources. And most importantly, they mass murder birds, including protected birds, by the millions. That last reason along is enough to make me oppose them. I love birds!

Forbes magazine points out problems with the wind and solar power favored by the secular left:

In reality, solar farms require hundreds of times more land, an order of magnitude more mining for materials, and create hundreds of times more waste, than do nuclear plants.

And wind farms kill hundreds of thousands of threatened and endangered birds, may make the hoary bat go extinct, and kill more people than nuclear plants.

We can find out what happens when the secular-leftists get their way on energy policy by looking at France and Germany, where it’s already been tried:

Just contrast Germany and France. Germany has done much of what the Green New Deal calls for. By 2025 it will have spent $580 billion on renewables and related accoutrement, while shutting down its nuclear plants.

All that Germany will have gotten for its “energy transition” is a 50% increase in electricity prices, flat emissions, and an electricity supply that is 10 times more carbon-intensive than France’s.

[…]France spent $30 billion on renewables and saw the carbon intensity of its electricity supply, and electricity prices, rise.

France and Germany and every other real world situation prove that nuclear power is the only way to significantly, deeply, and cheaply decarbonize energy supplies, and thus address climate change.

The problem with nuclear is that it doesn’t demand the radical re-making of society, like renewables do, and it doesn’t require grand fantasies of humankind harmonizing with nature.

Nor does nuclear provide cover for funnelling billions to progressive interest groups in the name of “community-controlled renewable energy, local organic agriculture, or transit systems.”

The secular left opposes zero-emission technologies like fracking and nuclear, and there’s a reason for that. Those technologies reduce the cost of electricity. Which means that people can use as much electricity as they like. But the secular left doesn’t want people to have low-cost electricity. They can only NATIONALIZE the energy industry (i.e. – COMMUNISM) because people complain about the high costs of electricity. The secular left has already been pursuing this policy of raising the cost of education and healthcare with government subsidies and regulations, in order to convince voters that the only solution to (artificially) inflated costs is for government to step in and take control. In countries like Canada, this is the exact model they adopted, (e.g. Ontario Hydro under Kathleen Wynne), in order to raise the prices of electricity. That is their real goal.

We do not want this, because the seizing of private property, redistribution of wealth, and nationalization of industry are precisely the policies that lead countries like Venezuela and Cuba into long-term poverty. The secular leftists don’t care if the quality of your utilities, education and health care drop precipitously because it is run by the government. Their goal is for the elites to fly around in private jets with armed security, while the little people wait in bread lines for food, wait for health care for months, and are indoctrinated to love communism in college.

Does global warming alarmism cause mass shootings of immigrants by eco-terrorists?

Elizabeth Warren is telling people that we have 11 years to live
Elizabeth Warren is telling people that we have 11 years to live

Before you can show why someone is wrong, you have to first prove that they are wrong. Right now, voices on the secular left are crying out that we have only 12 years to live unless we empower the federal government to completely revamp how Americans generate and consume electricity, Let’s take a look at their reasons for their views, and then see where their rhetoric leads.

Let’s start with this article from Reason about the doomsday predictions of darling of the left Greta Thunberg:

Such catastrophic thinking is similar to AOC’s equally apocalyptic statement that “The world is gonna end in 12 years” and Warren’s contention that “we’ve got, what, 11 years, maybe” to cut our emissions in half to save the planet.

As Reason‘s Ronald Bailey has documented, such predictions stem from a fundamental misreading of a 2018 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). That report offered up predictions in the growth of global economic activity, how it might be affected by climate change, and how reducing greenhouse gases might increase planetary GDP. It did not specify anything like a 10- to 12-year window after which extinction or amelioration is inevitable.

OK, but a lot of people are listening to the rhetoric of the environmental extremists, and they DO believe it. It doesn’t matter that they don’t have a background in science. They just believe what they hear. And some of them have decided to take matters into their own hands to stop global warming – by stopping the people who create emissions, with violence.

Quilette explains:

For over 50 years, environmentalists have argued that a significant down-sizing of American living standards is required to prevent environmental catastrophe. They have been attacking the American lifestyle since the 1960s, and Walmart since the 1990s. The El Paso shooting suspect named his manifesto “The Inconvenient Truth,” a title nearly identical to the 2006 documentary about Al Gore’s slideshow on global warming. In it, Gore says: “The truth about the climate crisis is an inconvenient one that means we are going to have to change the way we live our lives.”

[…]The suspect clearly states that his decision to kill immigrants was, in significant measure, because of their impact on the natural environment. “Of course these migrants and their children have contributed to the problem, but are not the sole cause of it,” he writes. “The American lifestyle affords our citizens an incredible quality of life.”

The El Paso suspect said he was partly inspired by the suspected shooter of Muslim immigrants in New Zealand in March, who also made clear in a manifesto that environmental concerns motivated his anti-immigrant ones. “Why focus on immigration and birth rates when climate change is such a huge issue?” the New Zealand shooting suspect asks. “Because they are the same issue, the environment is being destroyed by overpopulation, we Europeans are one of the groups that are not overpopulating the world.”

It is not surprising that the two manifestos echoed environmentalist ideas. For two centuries, prominent scientists, conservationists, and journalists, have blamed immigrants, the poor, and non-whites for their degradation of the natural environment. Much of what we call “environmentalism” is simply a repackaging of the ideas of 19th-century economist Thomas Malthus. He believed overpopulation of the poor would deplete resources, and that the ethical thing to do was let the poor die of hunger and disease to prevent more hunger and disease in the future. “Instead of recommending cleanliness to the poor, we should encourage contrary habits,” he wrote, “and court the return of the plague.” The British government and media used Malthus’ ideas to justify the policies that led to mass starvation in Ireland from 1845 to 1849.

After the Second World War, leading conservationists embraced Malthus’ view that overpopulation would result in resource depletion. Their concerns were directed at poor non-whites in other countries, particularly India, even though North Americans and Europeans consumed and produced an order of magnitude more resources and pollution. Anti-humanist environmentalism came full bloom in Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 Sierra Club book, The Population Bomb, which used dehumanizing language similar to that used by today’s anti-immigrant activists. In the opening pages of his book, Ehrlich depicted poor people in India as animals, “screaming…begging…defecating and urinating.”

More recently, environmentalists and scientists concerned about overpopulation tried to get the Sierra Club to oppose immigration from Mexico and other Latin American countries, expressing the concern that, by adopting an American lifestyle, immigrants will use up supposedly scarce natural resources—the same argument used by the El Paso shooting subject—and increase pollution.

Both the El Paso and New Zealand suspects echo the exaggerated rhetoric of environmentalists. “Nothing is conserved,” wrote the New Zealand shooting suspect. “The natural environment is industrialized, pulverized and commoditized.” The El Paso suspect blames “consumer culture” for plastic and electronic waste, and “urban sprawl” for environmental degradation.

So, when you see people shooting at immigrants, the reason they don’t like immigrants is not because of their race. The eco-terrorists don’t like immigrants because the eco-terrorists think that they have too many children. And concern about the world becoming overpopulated is a core belief of global warming alarmists. That’s why you keep reading stories about how the secular left thinks that it is going to save the planet by not having children.

Naturally, eco-terrorists on the secular left will be in favor of abortion. I have talked to mainstream Democrats in my office who want to use government coercion, including forced abortions, to stop “high” birth rates in poorer countries. But what if people with high birth rates won’t have the abortions that the eco-terrorists want them to have? Well, that’s when the eco-terrorists pick up weapons and go on a shooting spree. And that’s what all this unhinged rhetoric about global warming doomsday predictions produces. The secular left complains about the very mass shootings that are caused by their global warming alarmism.

And guess what? The public schools have been turning out millions and millions of environmental radicals for the past few decades. So, we’re probably going to be see more eco-terrorism, rather than less, in the near term.

New study: the cheapest and most effective way to reduce carbon emissions is to plant more trees

What's the best solution to higher carbon emissions?
What’s the best solution to higher carbon emissions?

Many people favor Big Government solutions to the problem of carbon emissions. For example, the Green New Deal proposed by the Democrats would abolish all gas, oil and coal energy. That plan would raise taxes and require massive restrictions on free markets and individual consumers. But there is a better way, and it was just published in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Science.

Economist Robert P. Murphy wrote a very interesting article about the new study for the Mises Institute.

He writes:

A recent article in the Guardian trumpeted the findings of a new study published in Science that found massive tree planting would be — by far — the cheapest and most effective approach to mitigating climate change. Ironically, the new thinking shows the pitfalls of political approaches to combating so-called “negative externalities.” The good news about tree planting disrupts the familiar narrative about carbon taxes that even professional economists have been feeding the public for years.

He quotes the Guardian article so:

Planting billions of trees across the world is by far the biggest and cheapest way to tackle the climate crisis, according to scientists, who have made the first calculation of how many more trees could be planted without encroaching on crop land or urban areas.

As trees grow, they absorb and store the carbon dioxide emissions that are driving global heating. New research estimates that a worldwide planting programme could remove two-thirds of all the emissions that have been pumped into the atmosphere by human activities, a figure the scientists describe as “mind-blowing”.

[…]“This new quantitative evaluation shows [forest] restoration isn’t just one of our climate change solutions, it is overwhelmingly the top one,” said Prof Tom Crowther at the Swiss university ETH Zurich, who led the research. “What blows my mind is the scale. I thought restoration would be in the top 10, but it is overwhelmingly more powerful than all of the other climate change solutions proposed.”

OK, so this plan will work, but will it cost less than the $52.6 to $93 trillion dollars over 10 years needed for the Green New Deal?

Yes:

Citing a figure that planting a new tree costs roughly 30 cents, Prof. Crowther remarked that we could plant the target of 1 trillion trees by spending about $300 billion.

Just FYI, the cost per household for the Green New Deal is between $361,010 and $653,010, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

As a conservative, I recognize that sometimes I have to be willing to spend taxpayer money on a small government solution in order to  avoid other big government solutions to a problem. The same thing is true for individual health savings accounts funded by a government voucher. I don’t like spending taxpayer money, but sometimes spending a little is better than creating a huge bureaucracy that will require spending a lot more.

Socialist Macron attacks protesters in France: armored vehicles, tear gas, water cannons, riot police

The Queen of France tells the peasants what to do if they can't afford gas
The Queen of France tells the peasants what to do if they can’t afford gas

France’s socialist leader Macron raised gas taxes in order to encourage people to drive their cars less. His gas taxes were supposed to reduce carbon emissions, and “stop global warming”. The people who have to pay those taxes, many of whom voted for him, protested. So Macron decided to persuade them.

The radically leftist New York Times reported on what Macron did:

Vincent Picard describes himself as a “militant ecologist.” But when protesters took to the streets to express their rage over a planned increase in France’s fuel tax, Mr. Picard joined their ranks.

He acknowledges that the tax might encourage the conservation considered critical for a healthy planet. But with the nearest train station 35 minutes away, he has to drive to work every day.

“I am conscious that we have reached the end of fossil fuels and that we have to modify our habits,” said Mr. Picard, a 32-year-old pastry maker from northern France. But, he added, “You have to continue to live.”

The gas tax is part of an effort started by France in 2014 to regularly raise the tax on fossil fuels to fight global climate change.

The so-called Yellow Vest protests against the tax increase have become the biggest obstacle yet to such attempts to encourage conservation and alternative energy use.

[…]Mr. Picard, the pastry chef, for instance, earns €1,280 a month, or about $1,450, after payroll taxes. For him, the planned tax increase of 6 or 7 cents per liter of gas “is enormous,” he said.

Wow, the “ecologist” (pastry chef) wants to save the planet, but he doesn’t want to have to pay for it.

This tweet made me laugh out loud:

I would be willing to bet a pay check that she's not married
I would be willing to bet a pay check that she’s a single mother

She doesn’t like the socialism she voted for, either. Taxing the rich made her feel so good, until she found out that the government thinks she is rich, and taxed her.

But isn’t green energy working in Canada?

But France isn’t the only socialist country passing carbon taxes to stop the global warming monster. Canada is doing it too, especially in the province of Ontario, where they switched from nuclear power to wind power.

Here is a helpful graphic from the Fraser Institute, a Canadian think tank that focuses on fiscal policy:

Let's shutter the nuclear plants, and move to wind power!
Let’s shutter the nuclear plants, and move to wind power! It’s for the planet!

But it’s not just green energy, they wanted a carbon tax, too. Environmentally conscious Canadian voters handed their socialist leader Trudeau a majority government two years ago. But now that they are getting the carbon tax that they voted for, they’re having second thoughts about paying for it.

Far-left Bloomberg News reports:

Two years ago, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a set of aggressive policies to reduce his country’s greenhouse gas emissions, centered on a nationwide price on carbon.

As that price is about to take effect, growing opposition has put Trudeau on the defensive and has provincial governments rolling back other measures, raising questions about the appetite of this oil-exporting country to tackle climate change.

[…]The growing backlash to Canada’s climate push reflects a number of changes, experts say. Those include widespread anger in Ontario as electricity prices soared in recent years, driven in part by a shift to renewables.

Canada’s environment minister “Climate Barbie” (she has no earned degrees in climate science, or any applied science, but she sure is glamorous and hawt) says they’re going ahead with the carbon tax:

Catherine McKenna, Canada’s minister of environment and climate change, said in an interview that the dangers associated with global warming meant her government had to cut emissions. She said the government would proceed with its plan in the face of provincial opposition.

Canadian socialists felt so good when they elected a socialist. They wanted their carbon tax, and they thought the rich would pay for it. But just like the socialist voters in France, they are learning that they are going to have to pay for it. It felt so good to save the planet by voting for socialism… voting didn’t cost a thing, and it felt so good. You can tell your friends “I voted socialist”, and they’ll think you’re compassionate and caring. But then the bill came, and you find out that you have to pay for what you voted for.

French voters voted for socialism, and now they are getting it good and hard
French voters voted for socialism, and they’re also getting fascism for free

The nice thing about consumption taxes (e.g. – gas taxes and carbon taxes),  is that everyone has to pay for it. Income taxes are only pad by people who earn money. But consumption taxes are paid by everyone. If France is any indication about what’s ahead for Canada, then we should soon see young Canadian socialists choking on tear gas. (Maybe they will think that’s an improvement from the pot they’re smoking now that they legalized it). It’s time for Canadian socialists to understand the price they have to pay for their belief in global warming mythology. Bring. It. On.

Ten scientific problems with global warming alarmism

Satellite measurements of global climate from U of Alabama Huntsville
Satellite measurements of global climate from U of Alabama Huntsville

My friend Bruce posted this article from the the Daily Wire, and I think it’s a good summary of the scientific evidence against global warming alarmism. After we go over this, I’ll take a stab at explaining why so many non-scientists desperately want to believe that global warming is true, and why they try to push everyone else to believe it, too.

First, the list:

  1. Temperature records from around the world do not support the assumption that today’s temperatures are unusual.
  2. Satellite temperature data does not support the assumption that temperatures are rising rapidly
  3. Current temperatures are always compared to the temperatures of the 1980’s, but for many parts of the world the 1980’s was the coldest decade of the last 100+ years
  4. The world experienced a significant cooling trend between 1940 and 1980
  5. Urban heat island effect skews the temperature data of a significant number of weather stations
  6. There is a natural inverse relationship between global temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels
  7. The CO2 cannot, from a scientific perspective, be the cause of significant global temperature changes
  8. There have been many periods during our recent history that a warmer climate was prevalent long before the industrial revolution
  9. Glaciers have been melting for more than 150 years
  10. “Data adjustment” is used to continue the perception of global warming

So, we can’t look at all of these in one post. Obviously, the satellite measurements are the best thing to look at, since they cannot be tampered with as easily as the ground measurements, and they show no warming for 18 years.

But let’s look at number 8 instead:

Even in the 1990 IPCC report a chart appeared that showed the medieval warm period as having had warmer temperatures than those currently being experienced.  But it is hard to convince people about global warming with that information, so five years later a new graph was presented, now known as the famous hockey stick graph, which did away with the medieval warm period.  Yet the evidence is overwhelming at so many levels that warmer periods existed on Earth during the medieval warm period as well as during Roman Times and other time periods during the last 10,000 years.  There is plenty of evidence found in the Dutch archives that shows that over the centuries, parts of the Netherlands disappeared beneath the water during these warm periods, only to appear again when the climate turned colder.  The famous Belgian city of Brugge, once known as “Venice of the North,” was a sea port during the warm period that set Europe free from the dark ages (when temperatures were much colder), but when temperatures began to drop with the onset of the little ice age, the ocean receded and now Brugge is ten miles away from the coastline.  Consequently, during the medieval warm period the Vikings settled in Iceland and Greenland and even along the coast of Canada, where they enjoyed the warmer temperatures, until the climate turned cold again, after which they perished from Greenland and Iceland became ice-locked again during the bitter cold winters.  The camps promoting global warming have been systematically erasing mention of these events in order to bolster the notion that today’s climate is unusual compared to our recent history.

That’s right, the world was much warmer than it is now during the Medieval Warming Period… so warm that you could actually farm on Greenland. But now it’s all frozen over.

Bruce also posted this article from Forbes magazine about the so-called consensus about global warming among scientists.

It says:

It is becoming clear that not only do many scientists dispute the asserted global warming crisis, but these skeptical scientists may indeed form a scientific consensus.

[…]Only 36 percent of geoscientists and engineers believe that humans are creating a global warming crisis, according to a survey reported in the peer-reviewed Organization Studies. By contrast, a strong majority of the 1,077 respondents believe that nature is the primary cause of recent global warming and/or that future global warming will not be a very serious problem.

The survey results show geoscientists (also known as earth scientists) and engineers hold similar views as meteorologists. Two recent surveys of meteorologists (summarized here and here) revealed similar skepticism of alarmist global warming claims.

According to the newly published survey of geoscientists and engineers, merely 36 percent of respondents fit the “Comply with Kyoto” model. The scientists in this group “express the strong belief that climate change is happening, that it is not a normal cycle of nature, and humans are the main or central cause.”

The authors of the survey report, however, note that the overwhelming majority of scientists fall within four other models, each of which is skeptical of alarmist global warming claims.

[…]Taken together, these four skeptical groups numerically blow away the 36 percent of scientists who believe global warming is human caused and a serious concern.

Most people who get excited about the threat of global warming have something to gain financially from the hysteria. For example, Democrat campaign donors who own stock in solar or wind power companies that get fat government subsidies. Solyndra was one example of that.

Why do people believe weird things?

So why do people believe these things? People believe these things for the same reason that primitive people would sacrifice animals in order to get a bountiful harvest or be spared being struck by lightning. They fear the future, and they want to believe that they are doing something in order to save themselves from doom. There is something credulous in us that seeks to know and control the future. When we are told a noble lie by grant-seeking, attention-craving academics, we believe it because we want to believe it. We want to believe that the future is going to be OK, especially when all we have to do to make it OK is recycle cans and turn off our lights when we are not using them.

This is the real psychological motivation behind the desperate desire to believe in the global warming myth. We are scared, and we want someone to save us from the future. And we jump at the chance of controlling the future, especially when it means recycling cans, rather than having to deal with our own sinfulness. We invent a new morality that justifies us rather than having to comply with the old morality. Freedom to commit adultery, as long as we recycle cans to save the planet. Sanctification through purchasing carbon credits, instead of  sanctification through chastity, sobriety and self-control.