Even With Climate Change, the World Isn’t Doomed

Scott Adams has his “Law of Slow Moving Disasters”. Any disaster that we can see coming from a long way away tends to get solved long before it reaches us.

Humanity has overcome far greater problems before and can do so again.

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Young people across the world are terrified of climate change, according to a forthcoming Lancet study. More than 45% of people 16 to 25 in the 10 countries surveyed are so worried that it affects their daily life and functioning. Almost half of young Americans believe “humanity is doomed,” and two-thirds think “the future is frightening.” But while climate change is a problem, panic is unwarranted.

The data show that humanity has overcome much larger threats over the past century. In 1900, if humanity had gotten rid of air pollution—mostly indoor pollution caused by smoky fuels like wood and dung—the benefit would have been equivalent to global gross domestic product rising 23%. To a young audience, that might look like an insufficient measure of well-being, but higher GDP means better health, lower mortality, greater access to education and in general a better standard of living. By 2050 the problem of air pollution will be mostly solved. And that’s only one of the many issues humanity has shorn down over the last 100 years, according to data 21 top economists and I gathered.

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The challenge climate change poses, both to the environment and society, looks rather small compared to those humanity has already met. Noble Prize-winning climate economist William Nordhaus has shown that a 6.3-degree Fahrenheit rise in world temperatures by 2100—which is probable if policy makers do little to stop climate change—would cost only 2.8% of global GDP a year. The United Nations’ latest estimate puts it even lower at 2.6% of GDP for a 6.6-degree Fahrenheit increase.

Moreover, the U.N. expects the average person to be 450% as rich in 2100 as today, absent the cost of climate change. Following current temperature projections, global warming would knock that down to only 434% as rich. That’s a problem, but it isn’t the end of the world.

Source: Even With Climate Change, the World Isn’t Doomed

Hurricane Ida Isn’t the Whole Story on Climate

The number of landfall hurricanes isn’t rising and the world is getting better at mitigating their destruction.

Source: Hurricane Ida Isn’t the Whole Story on Climate

Hurricane season has arrived in the Atlantic Ocean. Already this summer Hurricanes Henri and Ida have caused headline-generating damage and flooding in the Gulf states, the Southeast and the Middle Atlantic states. Yet despite what you may have heard, Atlantic hurricanes are not becoming more frequent. In fact, the frequency of hurricanes making landfall in the continental U.S. has declined slightly since 1900.

Airplanes and satellites have dramatically increased the number of storms that scientists can spot at sea today, making the frequency of landfall hurricanes—which were reliably documented even in 1900—a better statistic than the total number of Atlantic hurricanes.

And there aren’t more powerful hurricanes either. The frequency Category 3 and above hurricanes making landfall since 1900 is also trending slightly down. A July Nature paper finds that the increases in strong hurricanes you’ve heard so much about are “not part of a century-scale increase, but a recovery from a deep minimum in the 1960s–1980s.”

Media Can’t Handle the Climate Truth

If, after four decades, scientists see less warming and lower emissions, isn’t that good news?

Source: Media Can’t Handle the Climate Truth

Through five previous U.N. assessment plus their predecessor, the 1979 Charney Report, the likely worst-case was a rise of 4.5 degrees Celsius. This came from averaging the result of inconsistent computer climate simulations about which the IPCC knew only one thing: They couldn’t all be right and perhaps none were.

Using real-world data, the new report now says the worst case is a 4-degree rise. More important, with much greater confidence than before, disastrous outcomes above 5 degrees are now found to be very unlikely.

In another departure, the U.N. panel now says the dire emissions scenario it promoted for two decades should be regarded as highly unlikely, with more plausible projections at least a third lower.

The report also notes, as the press never does, the full impact of these emissions won’t be manifested until decades, even a century, later. The ultimate likely worst-case effect of a doubling of CO2 might be 4 degrees, but the best estimate of the “transient climate response” this century is about 2.7 degrees, or 1.6 degrees on top of the warming experienced since the start of the industrial age.

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Imagine the news industry was still able to discern news. If the latest in a 40-year succession of climate forecasts differs from its predecessors in finding temperature change and emissions not as bad as previously projected, this would qualify as news. That is, to a media not wedded to the senseless assumption that climate science can only produce a succession of ever more dire discoveries.

Our climate fluctuates under many influences, but one factor that overwhelms all others is the increase in human beings and their valuable property placed in the path of extreme weather, behavior encouraged by politicians. Even so, human preparedness has advanced faster than climate change or even human building propensities. As University of Colorado Boulder’s Roger Pielke Jr. has patiently pointed out, your odds of dying from extreme weather have been declining drastically all through the period of growing human climate impact.

This progress had been made, so far at least, without help from climate policy, unless you consider fracking, which has led to a decline in total U.S. emissions, to be climate policy. Since mankind demonstrably is not going to arrest climate change by banning fossil fuels, and quite likely would leave itself on balance worse off if it did, let this be your good-news story of the day.

Climate changes for the better?

Steven Hayward: We all know the Great Barrier Reef is in danger of disappearing because of c—— c—–. The climatistas tell us so, at every opportunity: Well guess what Mom? Check in with The Australian (behind a paywall so here is the relevant text—made available by the indispensable Global Warming Policy Foundation ): The annual data on coral cover for the Great Barrier Reef, produced by the Australian Institute of Marine Science, was released on Monday showing the amount of coral on the reef is at record high levels .

Source: Climate changes for the better?

How a Physicist Became a Climate Truth Teller

After a stint at the Obama Energy Department, Steven Koonin reclaims the science of a warming planet from the propaganda peddlers.

Barack Obama is one of many who have declared an “epistemological crisis,” in which our society is losing its handle on something called truth.

Thus an interesting experiment will be his and other Democrats’ response to a book by Steven Koonin, who was chief scientist of the Obama Energy Department. Mr. Koonin argues not against current climate science but that what the media and politicians and activists say about climate science has drifted so far out of touch with the actual science as to be absurdly, demonstrably false.

This is not an altogether innocent drifting, he points out in a videoconference interview from his home in Cold Spring, N.Y. In 2019 a report by the presidents of the National Academies of Sciences claimed the “magnitude and frequency of certain extreme events are increasing.” The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is deemed to compile the best science, says all such claims should be treated with “low confidence.”

In 2017 the U.S. government’s Climate Science Special Report claimed that, in the lower 48 states, the “number of high temperature records set in the past two decades far exceeds the number of low temperature records.” On closer inspection, that’s because there’s been no increase in the rate of new record highs since 1900, only a decline in the number of new lows.

Mr. Koonin, 69, and I are of one mind on 2018’s U.S. Fourth National Climate Assessment, issued in Donald Trump’s second year, which relied on such overegged worst-case emissions and temperature projections that even climate activists were abashed (a revoltcontinues to this day). “The report was written more to persuade than to inform,” he says. “It masquerades as objective science but was written as—all right, I’ll use the word—propaganda.”

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For the record, Mr. Koonin agrees that the world has warmed by 1 degree Celsius since 1900 and will warm by another degree this century, placing him near the middle of the consensus. Neither he nor most economic studies have seen anything in the offing that would justify the rapid and wholesale abandoning of fossil fuels, even if China, India, Brazil, Indonesia and others could be dissuaded from pursuing prosperity.

He’s a fan of advanced nuclear power eventually to provide carbon free base-load power. He sees a bright future for electric passenger vehicles. “The main reason isn’t emissions. They’re just shifted to the power grid, and transportation anyway is only about 15% of global greenhouse-gas emissions. There are other advantages: Local pollution is much less and noise pollution is less. You’re sitting in a traffic jam and all of these six- or four-cylinder engines are throbbing up and down burning fuel and just doing no good at all.”

But these are changes it makes no economic sense to force. Let technology and markets work at their own pace. The climate might continue to change, at a pace that’s hard to perceive, but societies will adapt. “As a species, we’re very good at adapting.”

The public now believes CO2 is something that can be turned up and down, but about 40% of the CO2 emitted a century ago remains in the atmosphere. Any warming it causes emerges slowly, so any benefit of reducing emissions would be small and distant. Everything Mr. Koonin and others see in the science suggests a slow, modest effect, not a runaway warming. If they’re wrong, we don’t have tools to apply yet anyway. Decades from now, we might have carbon capture—removing CO2 directly from the atmosphere at a manageable cost.

Source: How a Physicist Became a Climate Truth Teller

Solar panels in Sahara could boost renewable energy but damage the global climate – here’s why — Watts Up With That?

While the black surfaces of solar panels absorb most of the sunlight that reaches them, only a fraction (around 15%) of that incoming energy gets converted to electricity. The rest is returned to the environment as heat. The panels are usually much darker than the ground they cover, so a vast expanse of solar cells…

Solar panels in Sahara could boost renewable energy but damage the global climate – here’s why — Watts Up With That?

In addition, both solar panels and wind turbines have the potential of bringing rain to the desert. This is a problem because forest has a lower albedo than desert does. It’s darker, so it absorbs more heat.

I guess the answer to global warming might be to turn the Amazon forest into desert.

SNOWFALLS ARE NOW JUST A THING OF THE PAST: John Kerry says Earth has 9 years to avert the worst c…

SNOWFALLS ARE NOW JUST A THING OF THE PAST: John Kerry says Earth has 9 years to avert the worst consequences of climate crisis: “There’s no faking it on this one.” Flashbacks: John Kerry: False Prophet of the Climate Apocalypse .

Source: SNOWFALLS ARE NOW JUST A THING OF THE PAST: John Kerry says Earth has 9 years to avert the worst c…

I think Edgar Cayce was notorious for predicting the rise of Atlantis from the depths, in several different years depending on which edition of his book you read.

STEPHEN MILLER: Are you ready for the climate lockdowns? 

The possibility of climate lockdowns is already being floated by some of our greatest thinkers. They see a confluence of global crises as an opportunity. The perfect storm caused by COVID-19 and the resulting global economic meltdown offers a chance to take what they see as bold and dramatic action to save the planet. The Biden administration will certainly use the consequences of COVID to push through some green legislation, but just as before, it will not be enough in the eyes of progressives. There must always be more.

Mariana Mazzucato, an author and a professor in innovative economics at the University of London, raised the prospect of climate lockdowns in MarketWatch last September:

‘Under a “climate lockdown”, governments would limit private-vehicle use, ban consumption of red meat, and impose extreme energy-saving measures, while fossil-fuel companies would have to stop drilling. To avoid such a scenario, we must overhaul our economic structures and do capitalism differently.’

Source: STEPHEN MILLER: Are you ready for the climate lockdowns? The possibility of climate lockdowns is al…

Slow Moving Disasters: The Cost of Climate Change

Bjorn Lomborg bucks the trend.

The new United Nations report is being talked about as though it portends the end of the world: To avoid catastrophe, we must instantly transform the entire economy no matter the costs.

This is unjustified. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in its latest major global analysis, estimated that the total impact of unmitigated climate change from extreme weather, changes in agriculture, rising sea levels and so on would be equivalent to reducing the average person’s income by between 0.2 and 2 percent in the 2070s. [Box 3.1, file page 95.]

Link to the IPCC report where this number may be found. It may be a made-up number, but neither Lomborg nor I made it up.

Assuming 3% annual income growth over 50 years (2020-2070) gives us a 438% increase in income. So cutting that by 2% means the average person would see only a 430% increase over half a century.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The U.N. Says America Is Already Cutting So Much Carbon It Doesn’t Need Th…

Yesterday, The United Nations released its Emissions Gap Report 2020, an annual assessment of contributions to greenhouse gas and carbon emissions. The report has some notable information amid an array of complicated projections that may or may not come true. It claims, for instance, that “despite a brief dip in carbon dioxide emissions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is still heading for a temperature rise.”

But for the United States, the real value in this report is as an advisory that it need not join the Paris Climate Accord. This report is evidence that, instead, the U.S. should just keep doing what it is doing to cut its own emissions. The U.S. is the most successful major country at mitigating its own pollution, and the U.N. shows this.

Source: IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The U.N. Says America Is Already Cutting So Much Carbon It Doesn’t Need Th…