Paris Agreement Withdrawal

Two days ago in this space, I shared my thoughts after reading the Paris Agreement in its entirety.

In a sentence, it is an anti-capitalist document in which the United States admits fault for climate change and commits to making financial payments to the developing world as a result.

Today, President Trump announced  he will withdraw the United States from commitments made in the Agreement, a decision that is reasonable and justified.

In a speech in the Rose Garden, the President said, “The Paris climate accord is simply the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States, to the exclusive benefit of other countries, leaving American workers…and taxpayers to absorb the cost in terms of lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories and vastly diminished economic production…The agreement is a massive redistribution of United States wealth to other countries.”

The President also made several important points in his speech regarding our country’s energy policy:

The United States needs all forms of energy because of high energy usage, a point I’ve previously made in this space.

Other countries are continuing to use coal as I’ve shared here.

The United States has abundant energy reserves. See my previous entry on this subject.

The Paris Agreement’s effect on the global climate is minimal. I made the same point here about the Clean Power Plan.

As far as our energy policy goes, President Trump’s speech was factually accurate, and his decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement is exactly what is needed for the United States of America.

As you can imagine, however, criticism for this decision has been wide ranging an abundant.

Former President Obama, breaking a longstanding precedent of United States presidents to refrain from criticizing their successor, called the decision a rejection of the future and a lack of American leadership.

To that, two comments need to be made.

The first, as far as the future is concerned, one need only to look at the accuracy rate of the many climate change predictions that have been made since the 1970s to see the folly in that criticism.

The second is an astute observation made by Glenn Reynolds at InstaPundit.com. He said, “I’ll believe there’s a climate crisis when the people who keep telling me there’s a climate crisis start acting like there’s a climate crisis.”

Here are a few examples:

In 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton requests to ride in a separate private airplane than First Lady Michelle Obama when traveling to the same event.

Leonardo DiCaprio used a private jet to travel 8,000 miles to accept an environmental award only to travel back by private jet the very next day.

Last month, Mr. Obama also traveled by private jet to speak at a climate change conference in Italy.

If the stakes are so high for the planet, how can we afford for the advocates of such drastic policies to have such a large carbon footprint?

Facts matter, and despite the criticism, President Trump made the correct decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

-John Anchor
@JohnAnchorBLOG

Paris Climate Agreement

There is a lingering question following President Trump’s meeting with European leaders last week whether or not the United States will fulfill President Obama’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.

Drafted in 2015, the Paris document calls for a reduction of the global temperature increase and was signed by 195 countries, 147 of which have ratified the treaty.

The document is based on “the need for an effective and progressive response to the urgent threat of climate change on the basis of the best available scientific knowledge.”

It’s worth noting, as I did in this space, that such specific urgencies have been predicted – falsely – since the 1970s.

In addition, the document notes “the importance…of the concept of ‘climate justice’, when taking action to address climate change.”

If you are not familiar with the concept of climate justice, the Mary Robinson Foundation defines it this way:

“Those who have benefited…from emissions in the form of on-going economic development and increased wealth…have an ethical obligation to share benefits with those who are today suffering from the effects of these emissions, mainly vulnerable people in developing countries.”

Expressed another way, climate justice is an attack on capitalism and an attack on the United States. Peacefuluprising.org puts it like this:

“The current system consolidates wealth in the hands of a corporate minority, while threatening the health and security of all people…To feed the US growth machine, once agricultural self-reliant economies are decimated…forcing many to migrate from their home. Some of these ‘corporate refugees’ come to the US looking for a better future for their children. And yet, when the economy tanks, our leaders pave the way for these migrants to be scapegoated and blamed for ‘stealing people’s jobs.’ Such scapegoating  directed at the most impacted and vulnerable communities, will continue unless we tackle the root causes of climate change, by re-evaluating our current system and challenging leaders who lack the political courage and integrity to do the same.”

The current system climate justice advocates apparently feel needs to be reevaluated is the free enterprise democratic capitalist society that has given the world so many benefits.

Consider the statistics: At the beginning of the industrial revolution, the percentage of the world population living in poverty was 94%. Because of capitalism, by which new technologies, new companies, and new jobs can be created and developed, that number had dropped to 51% by 1992. As of 2011, global population in poverty was only 17%.

However, Article 9 of the Paris Agreement calls for climate justice financial payments to be made to developing countries: “Developed country Parties shall provide financial resources to assist developing country Parties with respect to both mitigation and adaptation in continuation of their existing obligations under the Convention…As part of a global effort, developed country Parties should continue to take the lead in mobilizing climate finance from a wide variety of sources, instruments and channels…”

Moreover, the United States is required to regularly report our progress in making payments to developing countries as part of this climate justice initiative. More from Article 9:

“Developed country Parties shall biennially communicate indicative quantitative and qualitative information related to paragraphs 1 and 3 of this Article, as applicable, including, as available, projected levels of public financial resources to be provided to developing country Parties.”

The Paris Climate Agreement is as much an attack on capitalism as it as an attempt to reverse climate change.

The Agreement commits “developed” countries (read: United States) to financially compensate “developing” countries for all of the harm we have caused them due to climate change.

Nevermind the benefits the United States’ free enterprise economy has given to the world over the years in helping to reduce poverty. It’s no wonder so many countries have signed on to this Agreement. The document requires the U.S. to pay them.

President Trump should withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement immediately.

-John Anchor
@JohnAnchorBLOG

Regarding Climate Change Consensus

NASA’s website states: “Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities.”

Let’s take a closer look at how this number is derived.

NASA references John Cook’s “Consensus on Consensus” paper which calculated this number by evaluating the positions of published climate scientists:

“Among papers expressing a position on AGW, an overwhelming percentage (97.2% based on self-ratings, 97.1% based on abstract ratings) endorses the scientific consensus on AGW.”

There is also a 2004 article credited to Naomi Oreskes which indicates consensus by evaluating 928 papers containing the keywords “global climate change”.

What is the problem with this number?

Regarding the Oreskes article, Forbes notes that of the papers evaluated, only “25%…endorsed the position. An additional 50% were interpreted to have implicitly endorsed, primarily on the basis that they discussed evaluation of impacts.”

Oreskes also acknowledges “some authors she counted ‘might believe that current climate change is natural.'”

That’s not the same thing as a 97% consensus believing “climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities.”  

Forbes also notes that: “President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have repeatedly characterized it as 97% of scientists. Kerry has gone so far as to say that ’97 percent of peer-reviewed climate studies confirm that climate change is happening and that human activity is largely responsible.’ This is patently wrong…”

An analysis of the Cook paper, when considered with other available surveys, reduces this number well below 97%.

Forbes goes on: “…It is clear that support among scientists for human-caused climate change is below 97%. Most studies including specialties other than climatologists find support in the range of 80% to 90%.”

Granted 80% to 90% is still high, it does equal the near unanimous consent the Left claims.

Let’s look at a dissenting view.

The Danish Meteorological Institute recently discovered that arctic sea ice, which is widely believed to be melting, has begun increasing due to arctic temperatures that have been consistently lower than minus 20 degrees Celsius since December.  

In fact, The Telegraph is reporting: “In April the extent of Arctic sea ice was back to where it was in April 13 years ago,” and, “The global temperature trend has now shown no further warming for 19 years.”

The question then becomes: Is the climate consensus strong enough to invoke economic crippling policy, or is their room for further discussion around the facts?

Remember, the climate “experts” have a history of crying wolf.

-John Anchor

@JohnAnchorBLOG

Components of a Sound Energy Policy

The following components are necessary for an economically sound energy policy.

We must have a free market solution. Free market capitalism ensures American consumers receive affordable electricity in sufficient quantities to satisfy grid demand. 

Renewables are great in theory, but they are not yet economically competitive. To compete with fossil fuels, renewables (solar and wind) require subsidies at a rate twice that given to the fossil fuel industry. 

We cannot economically store large amounts of power…yet. It must be produced as it is used. The game changer for the energy industry will be when mass storage becomes feasible. It’s then that renewables will take off and soar. 

Until then, renewables must be backed by a constant source of power such as coal, natural gas, or nuclear. The sun doesn’t always shine. Wind fluctuates, and in the hot summer months when electric demand is at its peak, often doesn’t blow. Coal fired plants take a long time to ramp up to full power generation, but once online, provide a steady source of electricity that does not fluctuate. 

Fossil fuels are cheaper to burn than renewables are to generate, but the truth is we need as much electricity as we can generate. We need all sources of energy because our electric demand is higher than it has ever been and projected to grow.

One of the largest users of electricity in the world is Google. “The Cloud” by itself uses more energy in a year than all the world’s lighting in 1985. Streaming one hour of video once per week on a phone or tablet uses more electricity in a year than two refrigerators. 

We need energy.

Fracking technology has driven natural gas prices to an all time low, and as a result, coal is struggling to survive. Because of subsidies paid to renewables, electricity prices will actually go negative at certain times of the day, typically overnight, when demand is low. Negative prices mean that coal generators have to pay to put their electricity on the market instead of the other way around. Shutting down for an hour or two is not an option for coal because of the time it takes to ramp back up to full production. 

Subsidies to renewables risk forcing coal out of the market. If this happens, renewables cannot fill that void economically for reasons described above, and energy bills of American consumers will rise. 

Natural gas aside, coal is still the cheapest, most abundant source of energy available in the United States. Renewables will eventually reach a point where they are economically competitive on the free market. Until then, however, subsidies to renewables should be eliminated. For the sake of the American consumer, we need a level playing field. 

-John Anchor

Follow us on Twitter @JohnAnchorBLOG

References:

Energy Subsidies 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_subsidies

Energy Storage

http://www.mass.gov/eea/energy-utilities-clean-tech/renewable-energy/energy-storage-initiative/

Electric Demand

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-US_electricity_demand

Energy Usage

https://www.tech-pundit.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Cloud_Begins_With_Coal.pdf?c761ac

More on Energy Usage

http://science.time.com/2013/08/14/power-drain-the-digital-cloud-is-using-more-energy-than-you-think/

Electric Prices

https://www.dallasnews.com/business/energy/2017/02/28/texas-biggest-electricity-market-us-wind-threatens-independent-power-producers

Is Climate Change Real?

Former President Obama once called climate change the greatest threat facing future generations. 

Bill Nye, The Science Guy said last year that he is open to the idea that “climate change dissenters” be criminally charged and face jail time. 

On this Earth day, news broke that an 11-year old and other students are suing President Trump for “violating their constitutional right to a healthy planet by not doing enough to limit the use fossil fuels.” A federal judge has allowed the lawsuit to move forward. 

We’ve been told “the evidence is overwhelming” and that “scientists worldwide are in agreement”.

Let’s look at the facts. 

The temperature of the Earth is naturally cyclical.  NASA tells us: “Earth has experienced climate change in the past without help from humanity…The paleoclimate record combined with global models shows past ice ages as well as periods even warmer than today.”

Is the Earth warming? 

Peter Ferrara wrote in Forbes in 2012: “Global temperatures have already been declining for more than 10 years…Temperatures dropped steadily from the late 1940s to the late 1970s.  The popular press was even talking about a coming ice age. In the late 1970s, the natural cycles turned warm and temperatures rose until the late 1990s.”

He also writes: “We are also currently experiencing a surprisingly long period with very low sunspot activity.  That is associated in the earth’s history with even lower, colder temperatures.  The pattern was seen during a period known as the Dalton Minimum from 1790 to 1830, which saw temperature readings decline by 2 degrees in a 20 year period.”

There are obviously numerous opinions among scientists that the Earth is warming, which brings us to our next question. 

Is there consensus among scientists? 

The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) has published volumes of scientific rebuttals, entitled “Climate Change Reconsidered,” to the United Nations climate panel reports. NIPCC also released a book in 2015 rebutting the claims of consensus and explaining why scientists disagree on the climate change issue. 

In addition, a whistleblower alleged earlier this year, that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) manipulated data to hide a pause in warming trends. This alleged manipulation is in dispute. It’s mentioned here to emphasize the political nature of the issue.  If we are going to “march for science” and declare that “facts matter,” we certainly should not be leaving out any facts. 

-John Anchor

Follow us on Twitter @JohnAnchorBLOG

References:

President Obama

https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2015/01/20/remarks-president-state-union-address-january-20-2015

Criminal Charges

http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/apr/14/bill-nye-open-criminal-charges-jail-time-climate-c/

Students

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/our-childrens-trust-students-sue-trump-administration-over-climate-change/

Cyclical Temperatures

https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/GlobalWarming/page3.php

Forbes

https://www.forbes.com/sites/peterferrara/2012/05/31/sorry-global-warming-alarmists-the-earth-is-cooling/#6864fae73de0

Climate Change Reconsidered

http://climatechangereconsidered.org

NOAA Whistleblower

http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/feb/5/climate-change-whistleblower-alleges-noaa-manipula/

Climate Predictions of the Past

“Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” -Harvard biologist George Wald, 1970

“The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” -Paul Ehrlich, April 1970

“It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.” -Denis Hayes, Spring 1970 

“Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.” -Peter Gunter, 1970

“Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….” -Life Magazine, January 1970

“By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any’…If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” -Ecologist Kenneth Watt, 1970

“Entire nations could be wiped off the face of the earth by rising sea levels if global warming is not reversed by the year 2000.” -United Nations, 1989

“(In) as little as 10 years, the world will be faced with a choice: arable farming either continues to feed the world’s animals or it continues to feed the world’s people. It cannot do both.”  -George Monbiot, 2002

“There could be as little as eight years left to avoid a dangerous global average rise of 2C or more.” -United Nations, 2007

“(President Obama) has four years left to save the Earth.” -NASA Flight Center Head James Hansen, 2009

“(This is) the last chance we have to get anything approaching 2 degrees Centigrade. (If) we don’t do it now, we are committing the world to a drastically different place.” -United Nations Foundation President Tim Wirth, 2012

If the science is settled and scientists are in agreement, why were the predictions above so horribly inaccurate?

And specifically because the predictions of the past were so inaccurate, why should we set economy-damaging energy policy based on the climate predictions being made today?

-John Anchor

Follow us on Twitter @JohnAnchorBLOG

References:

Mark Perry

https://www.aei.org/publication/18-spectacularly-wrong-apocalyptic-predictions-made-around-the-time-of-the-first-earth-day-in-1970-expect-more-this-year-2/

David French

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/430380/al-gore-doomsday-clock-expires-climate-change-fanatics-wrong-again

Robert Tracinski

http://thefederalist.com/2015/04/24/seven-big-failed-environmentalist-predictions/

Michael Bastasch

http://dailycaller.com/2015/05/04/25-years-of-predicting-the-global-warming-tipping-point/

United Nations

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2007/may/05/climatechange.climatechangeenvironment