Anyone paying attention knows this summer the media has assaulted the public with many climate scares, both old and new. Each week we see new ones like “marine heat waves” added to threats that 2018 summer temperatures will be repeated and increased until 2022. All sorts of dire consequences are proclaimed, and for what purpose? It can only be the intent to recruit us to join the “fight against climate change.”
Curious as to what jurisdictions might be doing, I went searching for news about actions to strike blows against the climate change nemesis. Media headlines frequently announce that this or that nation, province or city is stepping up to “Fight Climate Change.” The results are informative.
What Actions Count as Fighting Climate Change
For example a report Ireland will raise carbon tax to tackle climate change. In the text it is announced the nation is not reducing emissions on schedule, and is taking three actions: Setting and raising a tax on carbon, spending more on fuel efficiencies, renewables and climate adaptation projects, and divesting from fossil fuel companies.
Then there is an article Mexico and Canada Join Growing Under2 Climate Coalition Excerpts in italics with my bolds.
The growing Under2 Coalition is a global pact of cities, states and countries pledging to limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius, the level of potentially catastrophic consequences.
With Canada and Mexico’s endorsements, the Under2 Coalition now includes 170 jurisdictions on six continents that collectively represent more than 1.18 billion people and $27.5 trillion GDP – equivalent to 16 percent of the global population and 37 percent of the global economy.
“The governments in the Under2 coalition, like California, are leading the fight against climate change. They know that investing in clean growth will help all members reach their ambitious climate change goals and grow their countries’ economies. I applaud their leadership in reducing emissions and supporting clean innovation. Canada is proud to endorse their actions today,” said Minister McKenna.
Coalition members pledge to limit greenhouse gas emissions to 2 tons per capita or 80-95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
This action builds on landmark legislation Governor Brown signed in October 2015 to generate half of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and double the rate of energy efficiency savings in California buildings. Governor Brown has also committed to reducing today’s petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent within the next 15 years; make heating fuels cleaner; and manage farm and rangelands, forests and wetlands so they can store carbon.
What is the Climate Battleground
Some of these actions are purely symbolic virtue signaling and will have no effect on either CO2 emissions or global warming. Divestment for example is a transfer of shares to other investors with no impact upon the value of the target companies. The virtue is not free, in that the portfolio loses diversity (energy being counter cyclical to other businesses), and other industries often generate lower returns. And if the reinvestment is into renewables, those companies’ performance depends on government subsidies that are presently being withdrawn. Another sham is purchasing carbon free electricity credits from a grid mostly supplied by coal and gas plants.
In short there seem actually to be Three Lines of Attack
1.Adaptation and Resilience
2.Improving Energy Efficiencies
3.Transition to Zero Carbon Energy
The first two are worthy initiatives. History proves that future periods are likely to be both colder and warmer than the present, and cold times are the greater threat to human life and prosperity. Prudent public officials should invest in robust infrastructure and reliable, affordable energy. The rub is powering a modern society with windmills and solar panels.
How Goes the Transition Away from Fossil Fuels
The first objective in the Great Green Transition is to stop the use of Coal, Climate Enemy #1. An update report on that front comes from Vijay Jayaraj, Aug 18, 2018, at Townhall The Dawn of Climate Realism: Coal Surges Amid Climate Rhetoric Excerpts in italics with my bolds.
Many countries have been at the crisscross of warfare between anti-coal establishments and the traditional coal industry. Despite the elite-empowered and politically motivated worldwide campaign to phase out coal, demand for coal is on the rise!
Coal has been “enemy No. 1” for the climate establishment. In fact, it would seem that the entire global warming movement is hinged upon the singular aim to eliminate coal from use.
Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) is a notion that cites a popular scientific hypothesis and concludes that the global temperatures have risen, or will soon rise, to dangerous levels in the post-industrialized era due to human activity.
The proponents of CAGW believe that the primary contributor to this increase in temperature is the combustion of coal and the subsequent release of carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere.
However, peer-reviewed scientific journals by hundreds of scientists render many of these claims dubious at best. Here are just three of them.
Firstly, contrary to the claim that carbon dioxide is the primary driver of global warming, global temperatures have not risen proportionately to carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. In other words, an increase in carbon dioxide emission has not resulted in an increase in temperature.
Secondly, most of the current “consensus” on climate change is based on forecasts from computer climate models. But the wide divergence between observed temperature and model predictions makes it apparent that the models were programmed incorrectly to be over-dependent on carbon dioxide concentration to predict temperature changes.
In what was a major embarrassment to United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), top climate scientists admitted these flaws in the climate models when they failed to reflect real-world temperatures during the last 19 years. The same was widely publicized and even testified to the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space & Technology.
Thirdly, contrary to the claim that recent warming is historically unprecedented, today’s temperature levels are similar to the temperatures the earth experienced in the first and eleventh centuries. Also known as Roman Warm Period and Medieval Warm Period, these were times when, though as warm as today or warmer, the earth’s ecosystems flourished. The notion that “today’s temperature levels are at unprecedented levels” is completely false.
Despite these (and many more) straight-forward evidences against the CAGW hypothesis, the climate establishment continues to advocate for the ban of coal and coal-fired power plants. Global climate treaties like the Paris Agreement were set out to target and close down coal plants in developing countries.
But to their surprise, coal use is rising.
This financial year, Coal India—India’s largest state-controlled coal mining company—saw its first-quarter profits jump 61 percent and its coal production rise 15.23 percent. India has a long-term vision to increase its coal output and has been vocal about “carbon imperialism”—a term it uses to define the attitude of the anti-coal climate establishment.
In 2017, coal accounted for 60.4 percent of total energy consumption in China. The country’s coal production outputs for the first seven months of 2018 was 1.98 billion tons, 3.4 percent higher than the same period last year. China’s coal imports surged this July and hit a record high (29 million tons), beating the previous highest recorded monthly volume import (January 2014).
But the surge in coal is not just limited to Asia.
Russia’s coal production of 410 million tons was its highest since the Soviet era and is expected to reach 420 million tons this year. The coal industry is set to expand in the coming years with massive infrastructure upgrades.
U.S. coal output reached a 16-year high in 2017 (701 million tons), after a change in leadership that saw the lifting of heavy restrictions on coal from the previous administration. Coal output in 2017 was 40.8 million tons higher than in 2016, and India was the top importer of U.S. coal in Asia (13 million tons).
The trend continued in 2018, and the month of April recorded the highest coal export in five years. U.S exports to India reached 6.2 million tons in just the first half of 2018, which is nearly the entire export (6.8m tons) to India in 2017! And coal is expected to do fairly well in the U.S. despite the disruption from the natural gas boom.
The situations for coal in India, China, and the U.S. are prime examples of the coal industry’s strength. It can also be said that the climate rhetoric has failed to break the world’s dependence on coal. And for good reason. Coal remains among the cheapest, and technically simplest, sources of the abundant, affordable, reliable electricity indispensable to the modern industry and technology that are indispensable to lifting and keeping whole societies out of poverty.
Leaders across the globe understand the indispensable role of coal in their economies. They are also beginning to understand the exaggerated nature of climate-change dangers promoted heavily in the mainstream media.
The climate establishment’s doomsday prophecies failed to come true in the last 20 years, which saw global temperature remain largely stable. Arctic ice remained stable, global agricultural outputs increased, more people rose out of poverty, and the forests in Europe grew instead of shrinking.
Clearly, there is no reason why the coal industry should slow down, and it won’t. Overblown climate-change rhetoric is leading rapidly to the downfall of the climate establishment, and nations are moving past it at a rapid pace.