Arctic Building Ice Inventory Mid January

At this point in the Arctic refreezing phase, LIFO inventory accounting comes into play.  Last-In, First-out is one accepted way to price the value of a company’s inventory.  For Arctic ice, it means that basins that are last to freeze over in winter are the first to melt out in the summer.  For example, in Mid January 2021, total NH ice extent is 91% of last March maximum, so most basins have long been covered with ice.  The last 9% will be added in four places (present % of max is noted):

Bering Sea        62%
Okhotsk Sea     70%
Barents Sea      58%
Baffin Bay         66%

In the Pacific animation above, Bering on the right adds ice extent from 261k km2 to 513k km2 since Jan. 1, while Okhotsk goes from 500k km2 to 800k km2.  Together they will likely add ~650k km2 more by March maximum.  

On the Atlantic side, Barents Sea added only ~100k km2 so far in January.  More interesting on the right side is the Baltic Sea quadrupled from 9K km2 to 42k km2.  While the Baltic extent is not large by comparison, it is already 38% greater than last March maximum, so that is surprising.

Normally, ice in the Yellow Sea is insignificant, but this year is different.  Perhaps you saw reports like this one from gcaptain Sea Ice Slows Ships In North China Ports  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

By Muyu Xu and Chen Aizhu (Reuters) – Chinese ports and marine safety authorities are on high alert as an expansion of sea ice makes it tougher for ships to berth and discharge at key energy product import terminals along the coast of northern Bohai Bay.

A cold wave sweeping the northern hemisphere has plunged temperatures across China to their lowest in decades, boosting demand for power and fuel to historic highs in the world’s largest energy consumer.

Bohai Bay appears in the upper right corner, with Beijing nearby. Yellow Sea extent doubled in January up to 28,000 km2, which is twice the maximum last March.

Background on Okhotsk Sea

NASA describes Okhotsk as a Sea and Ice Factory. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The Sea of Okhotsk is what oceanographers call a marginal sea: a region of a larger ocean basin that is partly enclosed by islands and peninsulas hugging a continental coast. With the Kamchatka Peninsula, the Kuril Islands, and Sakhalin Island partly sheltering the sea from the Pacific Ocean, and with prevailing, frigid northwesterly winds blowing out from Siberia, the sea is a winter ice factory and a year-round cloud factory.

The region is the lowest latitude (45 degrees at the southern end) where sea ice regularly forms. Ice cover varies from 50 to 90 percent each winter depending on the weather. Ice often persists for nearly six months, typically from October to March. Aside from the cold winds from the Russian interior, the prodigious flow of fresh water from the Amur River freshens the sea, making the surface less saline and more likely to freeze than other seas and bays.


Map of the Sea of Okhotsk with bottom topography. The 200- and 3000-m isobars are indicated by thin and thick solid lines, respectively. A box denotes the enlarged portion in Figure 5. White shading indicates sea-ice area (ice concentration ⩾30%) in February averaged for 2003–11; blue shading indicates open ocean area. Ice concentration from AMSR-E is used. Color shadings indicate cumulative ice production in coastal polynyas during winter (December–March) averaged from the 2002/03 to 2009/10 seasons (modified from Nihashi and others, 2012, 2017). The amount is indicated by the bar scale. Source: Cambridge Core

Bering Sea Ice is Highly Variable

The animation above shows Bering Sea ice extents at April 2 from 2007 to 2020.  The large fluctuation is evident, much ice in 2012 -13 and almost none in 2018, other years in between.  Given the alarmist bias, it’s no surprise which two years are picked for comparison:

Source: Seattle Times ‘We’ve fallen off a cliff’: Scientists have never seen so little ice in the Bering Sea in spring.

Taking a boat trip from Hokkaido Island to see Okhotsk drift ice is a big tourist attraction, as seen in the short video below.  Al Gore had them worried back then, but not now.

Drift ice in Okhotsk Sea at sunrise.

Biden’s Unique Commemorative Coin

Update January 20: A unique commemorative coin for the new leader of the free world

Background from previous post Biden’s Damaging Climate Plans

President-elect Joe Biden looks to have the US rejoin the Paris Accords. AP

Bjorn Lomborg explains in his NY Post article Joe Biden’s climate-change plans will burn billions, won’t bring change we actually need.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and some images added.

Joe Biden will rejoin the Paris climate agreement soon after being inaugurated as president of the United States. Climate change, according to Biden, is “an existential threat” to the nation, and to combat it, he proposes to spend $500 billion each year on climate policies — the equivalent of $1,500 per person.

Let’s get real. Climate is a man-made problem. But Biden’s climate alarmism is almost entirely wrong. Asking people to spend $1,500 every year is unsustainable when surveys show a majority is unwilling to spend even $24 per year on climate. And policies like Paris will fix little at a high cost. Biden is right to highlight the problem, but he needs a smarter way forward.

The climate alarm is poorly founded.

Take hurricanes. Last year, you undoubtedly heard that climate change made hurricanes “record-setting.” Actually, 2020 was above average in the North Atlantic partly because of the natural La Niña phenomenon, and only record-setting in that satellites could spot more storms.

When measured by total hurricane-damage potential, the 2020 North Atlantic was not even in the top 10. And almost everywhere else on the planet, hurricanes were far below average. Globally, 2020 ranked as one of the weakest hurricane years in the 40-year satellite record.

We think 2020 was big on hurricanes because we read carefully curated stories about where and when they hit, but we don’t see stories about the many more places where they don’t hit.

The UN Climate Panel, the gold standard of climate science, tells us that the total impact of climate change in the 2070s will be equivalent to an average income reduction of 0.2 to 2 percent. Which means that humans as a whole will be only a fraction less prosperous in a much richer world than they would be without climate change.

Rejoining the Paris agreement will solve very little at a high cost. By the UN’s estimates, if all ­nations live up to all their promises, they will reduce global temperature by less than 0.09 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100.

And Paris is costly, because it forces economies to use less or more expensive energy. Across many studies, the drag to the economies is estimated at between $1 trillion and $2 trillion in lost GDP every year after 2030.

Yes, green spending will predictably increase green jobs. But because subsidies will be paid by higher taxes on the rest of the economy, an equal number of jobs will disappear elsewhere.

In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson excitedly talks about 5 million new green jobs, while his advisers now warn him that 10 million other jobs could be at risk.

For Americans, President Barack Obama’s Paris promises carried a price tag of nearly $200 billion a year. But Biden has vowed to go much further, with a promise of net-zero by 2050. There is only one nation that has done an independent cost estimate of net-zero, namely New Zealand. The Kiwis found the average best-case cost is 16 percent of GDP, or a US cost of more than $5 trillion a year by mid-century.

These figures are unsustainable. Moreover, the US and other developed countries can achieve very little on their own. Imagine if Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries stopped all their emissions today and never bounced back. This would be utterly devastating economically yet would reduce global warming by the end of the century by less than 0.8 degrees.

That’s because three-quarters of this century’s emissions will come from the rest of the world, especially China, India, Africa and Latin America. Developing nations are unlikely to accept slower economic growth to address a 2 percent problem 50 years from now.

There is a smarter way: investing a lot more in green-energy ­research and development. As Bill Gates says, “We’re short about two dozen great innovations” to fix climate. If we could innovate the price of green energy below fossil fuels, everyone would switch, eventually fixing climate change.

The policies would be cheaper and much more likely to be implemented. Fortunately, R&D is one of Biden’s promises, and he will have a much easier time with Congress if he makes it his focus.

Bjorn Lomborg is president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center. His new book is “False Alarm.”

Joe Biden’s climate agenda is all about creating a crisis — not actually fixing one

Global Warming Ends

The animation is an update of a previous analysis from Dr. Murry Salby.  These graphs use Hadcrut4 and include the 2016 El Nino warming event.  The exhibit shows since 1947 GMT warmed by 0.8 C, from 13.9 to 14.7, as estimated by Hadcrut4.  This resulted from three natural warming events involving ocean cycles. The most recent rise 2013-16 lifted temperatures by 0.2C.  Previously the 1994-98 El Nino produced a plateau increase of 0.4C.  Before that, a rise from 1977-81 added 0.2C to start the warming since 1947.

Importantly, the theory of human-caused global warming asserts that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere changes the baseline and causes systemic warming in our climate.  On the contrary, all of the warming since 1947 was episodic, coming from three brief events associated with oceanic cycles. Moreover, the UAH record shows that the effects of the last one are now gone.

The 2016 El Nino persisted longer than 1998, and was followed by warming after effects in NH.  The monthly anomaly at 2020 year end is nearly the 0.18C average since 1995, an ENSO neutral year prior to the second warming event discussed above. With a quiet sun and cooling oceans, the prospect is for cooler times ahead.

The Forces that Flatten Us

Alana Newhouse writes insightfully about the state of American society in her Tablet article Everything Is Broken  And how to fix it.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and images.

For seven decades, the country’s intellectual and cultural life was produced and protected by a set of institutions—universities, newspapers, magazines, record companies, professional associations, cultural venues, publishing houses, Hollywood studios, think tanks, etc. Collectively, these institutions reflected a diversity of experiences and then stamped them all as “American”—conjuring coherence out of the chaos of a big and unwieldy country. This wasn’t a set of factories pumping out identical widgets, but rather a broad and messy jazz band of disparate elements that together produced something legible, clear, and at times even beautiful when each did their part.

But, beginning in the 1970s, the economic ground underneath this landscape began to come apart. Michael Lind explains this better than anyone else:

The strategy of American business, encouraged by neoliberal Democrats and libertarian conservative Republicans alike, has been to lower labor costs in the United States, not by substituting labor-saving technology for workers, but by schemes of labor arbitrage: Offshoring jobs when possible to poorly paid workers in other countries and substituting unskilled immigrants willing to work for low wages in some sectors, like meatpacking and construction and farm labor. American business has also driven down wages by smashing unions in the private sector, which now have fewer members—a little more than 6% of the private sector workforce—than they did under Herbert Hoover.

This was the tinder. The tech revolution was the match—one-upping the ’70s economy by demanding more efficiency and more speed and more boundarylessness, and demanding it everywhere. They introduced not only a host of inhuman wage-suppressing tactics, like replacing full-time employees with benefits with gig workers with lower wages and no benefits, but also a whole new aesthetic that has come to dominate every aspect of our lives—

a set of principles that collectively might be thought of as flatness.

Flatness is the reason the three jobs with the most projected growth in your country all earn less than $27,000 a year, and it is also the reason that all the secondary institutions that once gave structure and meaning to hundreds of millions of American lives—jobs and unions but also local newspapers, churches, Rotary Clubs, main streets—have been decimated. And flatness is the mechanism by which, over the past decade and with increasing velocity over the last three years, a single ideologically driven cohort captured the entire interlocking infrastructure of American cultural and intellectual life. It is how the Long March went from a punchline to reality, as one institution after another fell and then entire sectors, like journalism, succumbed to control by narrow bands of sneering elitists who arrogated to themselves the license to judge and control the lives of their perceived inferiors.

Flatness broke everything.

Today’s revolution has been defined by a set of very specific values:

  • boundarylessness; speed; universal accessibility;
  • an allergy to hierarchy, so much so that the weighting or preferring of some voices or products over others is seen as illegitimate;
  • seeing one’s own words and face reflected back as part of a larger current;
  • a commitment to gratification at the push of a button;
  • equality of access to commodified experiences as the right of every human being on Earth;
  • the idea that all choices can and should be made instantaneously, and that,
  • the choices made by the majority in a given moment, on a given platform represent a larger democratic choice, which is therefore both true and good—until the next moment, on the next platform.

Here’s a description of the aesthetics of Silicon Valley (emphasis added):

It’s the realm of coffee shops, bars, startup offices, and co-live/work spaces that share the same hallmarks everywhere you go: a profusion of symbols of comfort and quality, at least to a certain connoisseurial mindset. Minimalist furniture. Craft beer and avocado toast. Reclaimed wood. Industrial lighting. Cortados. Fast internet. The homogeneity of these spaces means that traveling between them is frictionless, a value that Silicon Valley prizes and cultural influencers take advantage of. Changing places can be as painless as reloading a website. You might not even realize you’re not where you started.

“You might not even realize you’re not where you started.” The machines trained us to accept, even chase, this high. Once we accepted it, we turned from willful individuals into parts of a mass that could move, or be moved, anywhere. Once people accepted the idea of an app, you could get them to pay for dozens of them—if not more. You could get people to send thousands of dollars to strangers in other countries to stay in homes they’d never seen in cities they’d never visited. You could train them to order in food—most of their food, even all of their food—from restaurants that they’d never been to, based on recommendations from people they’d never met. You could get them to understand their social world not as consisting of people whose families and faces one knew, which was literally the definition of social life for hundreds of thousands of years, but rather as composed of people who belonged to categories—“also followed by,” “friends in common,” “BIPOC”—that didn’t even exist 15 years ago. You could create a culture in which it was normal to have sex with someone whose two-dimensional picture you saw on a phone, once.

You could, seemingly overnight, transform people’s views about anything—even everything.

The Obama administration could swiftly overturn the decision-making space in which Capitol Hill staff and newspaper reporters functioned so that Iran, a country that had killed thousands of Americans and consistently announces itself to be America’s greatest enemy, is now to be seen as inherently as trustworthy and desirable an ally as France or Germany. Flatness, frictionlessness.

The biological difference between the sexes, which had been a foundational assumption of medicine as well as of the feminist movement, was almost instantaneously replaced not only by the idea that there are numerous genders but that reference in medicine, law or popular culture to the existence of a gender binary is actually bigoted and abusive. Flatness.

Facebook’s longtime motto was, famously, “Move fast and break shit,” which is exactly what Silicon Valley enabled others to do.

The internet tycoons used the ideology of flatness to hoover up the value from local businesses, national retailers, the whole newspaper industry, etc.—and no one seemed to care. This heist—by which a small group of people, using the wiring of flatness, could transfer to themselves enormous assets without any political, legal or social pushback—enabled progressive activists and their oligarchic funders to pull off a heist of their own, using the same wiring. They seized on the fact that the entire world was already adapting to a life of practical flatness in order to push their ideology of political flatness

what they call social justice, but which has historically meant the transfer of enormous amounts of power and wealth to a select few.

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Because this cohort insists on sameness and purity, they have turned the once-independent parts of the American cultural complex into a mutually validating pipeline for conformists with approved viewpoints—who then credential, promote and marry each other. A young Ivy League student gets A’s by parroting intersectional gospel, which in turn means that he is recommended by his professors for an entry-level job at a Washington think tank or publication that is also devoted to these ideas. His ability to widely promote those viewpoints on social media is likely to attract the approval of his next possible boss or the reader of his graduate school application or future mates. His success in clearing those bars will in turn open future opportunities for love and employment. Doing the opposite has an inverse effect, which is nearly impossible to avoid given how tightly this system is now woven. A person who is determined to forgo such worldly enticements—because they are especially smart, or rich, or stubborn—will see only examples of even more talented and accomplished people who have seen their careers crushed and reputations destroyed for daring to stick a toe over the ever multiplying maze of red lines.

So, instead of reflecting the diversity of a large country, these institutions have now been repurposed as instruments to instill and enforce the narrow and rigid agenda of one cohort of people, forbidding exploration or deviation—a regime that has ironically left homeless many, if not most, of the country’s best thinkers and creators. Anyone actually concerned with solving deep-rooted social and economic problems, or God forbid with creating something unique or beautiful—a process that is inevitably messy and often involves exploring heresies and making mistakes—will hit a wall. If they are young and remotely ambitious they will simply snuff out that part of themselves early on, strangling the voice that they know will get them in trouble before they’ve ever had the chance to really hear it sing.

He Zhi Hua, Protestor Crushed To Death By Steamroller In Chinese Government Relocation Drive

As with Communists and modernism, there was nothing inevitable about the match. Most consumers don’t know that by using internet-based (or -generated) platforms—by buying from Amazon, by staying in an Airbnb, by ordering on Grubhub, by friending people on Facebook—that they are subscribing to a life of flatness, one that can lead directly into certain politics. But they are. Seduced by convenience, we end up paying for the flattening of our own lives. It is not an accident that progressive ideas spread faster on the internet.

The internet is a car that runs on flatness; progressive politics—unlike either conservatism or liberalism—are flatness.

I’m not looking to rewind the clock back to a time before we all had email and cellphones. What I want is to be inspired by the last generation that made a new life-world—the postwar American abstract expressionist painters, jazz musicians, and writers and poets who created an alternate American modernism that directly challenged the ascendant Communist modernism: a blend of forms and techniques with an emphasis not on the facelessness of mass production, but on individual creativity and excellence.

Like them, our aim should be to take the central, unavoidable and potentially beneficent parts of the Flatness Aesthetic (including speed, accessibility; portability) while discarding the poisonous parts (frictionlessness; surveilled conformism; the allergy to excellence). We should seek out friction and thorniness, hunt for complexity and delight in unpredictability. Our lives should be marked not by “comps” and metrics and filters and proofs of concept and virality but by tight circles and improvisation and adventure and lots and lots of creative waste.

And not just to save ourselves, but to save each other. The vast majority of Americans are not ideologues. They are people who wish to live in a free country and get along with their neighbors while engaging in profitable work, getting married, raising families, being entertained, and fulfilling their American right to adventure and self-invention. They are also the consumer base for movies, TV, books, and other cultural products. Every time Americans are given the option to ratify progressive dictates through their consumer choices, they vote in the opposite direction. When HBO removed Gone with the Wind from its on-demand library last year, it became the #1 bestselling movie on Amazon. Meanwhile, endless numbers of Hollywood right-think movies and supposed literary masterworks about oppression are dismal failures for studios and publishing houses that would rather sink into debt than face a social-justice firing squad on Twitter.

This disconnect between culturally mandated politics and the actual demonstrated preferences of most Americans has created an enormous reserve of unmet needs—and a generational opportunity.  Build new things! Create great art! Understand and accept that sensory information is the brain’s food, and that Silicon Valley is systematically starving us of it. Avoid going entirely tree-blind. Make a friend and don’t talk politics with them. Do things that generate love and attention from three people you actually know instead of hundreds you don’t. Abandon the blighted Ivy League, please, I beg of you. Start a publishing house that puts out books that anger, surprise and delight people and which make them want to read. Be brave enough to make film and TV that appeals to actual audiences and not 14 people on Twitter. Establish a newspaper, one people can see themselves in and hold in their hands. Go back to a house of worship—every week. Give up on our current institutions; they already gave up on us.

Soviet Jokes About Living Under Oppression

The Soviet people lived under a regime where private life, ideas and opinions were banished from public expression by state media.  Now the USA has state media rivaling the USSR, only difference is ambiguity whether the media runs the state or vice-versa as in Soviet days.  In any case, Russians and others under that regime voiced their resistance by sharing jokes at the expense of the autocrats.  Wikipedia provides some instructive examples for Americans in the days ahead.

A judge walks out of his chambers laughing his head off. A colleague approaches him and asks why he is laughing. “I just heard the funniest joke in the world!”
“Well, go ahead, tell me!” says the other judge.
“I can’t – I just gave someone ten years for it!”

Q: “Who built the White Sea Canal?”
A: “The left bank was built by those who told the jokes, and the right bank by those who listened.”

Q: Will there be KGB in communism?
A: As you know, under communism, the state will be abolished, together with its means of suppression. People will know how to self-arrest themselves.

Q: How do you deal with mice in the Kremlin?
A: Put up a sign saying “collective farm”. Then half the mice will starve, and the rest will run away.

“Lubyanka (KGB headquarters) is the tallest building in Moscow. You can see Siberia from its basement.”

A new arrival to Gulag is asked: “What were you given 10 years for?”
– “For nothing!”
– “Don’t lie to us here, now! Everybody knows ‘for nothing’ is 3 years.”

Q: What’s the difference between a capitalist fairy tale and a Marxist fairy tale?
A: A capitalist fairy tale begins, “Once upon a time, there was….”. A Marxist fairy tale begins, “Some day, there will be….”

A Soviet history professor addressed his university students: “Regarding the final exam, I have good news and bad news.  The good news: All the questions are the same as last year.  The bad news:  Some of the answers are different.”

Q: What is the difference between the Constitutions of the US and USSR? Both of them guarantee freedom of speech.
A: Yes, but the Constitution of the USA also guarantees freedom after the speech.

Q: Is it true that the Soviet Union is the most progressive country in the world?
A: Of course! Life was already better yesterday than it’s going to be tomorrow!

Khrushchev visited a pig farm and was photographed there. In the newspaper office, a discussion is underway about how to caption the picture. “Comrade Khrushchev among pigs,” “Comrade Khrushchev and pigs,” and “Pigs surround comrade Khrushchev” are all rejected as politically offensive. Finally, the editor announces his decision: “Third from left – comrade Khrushchev.”

Q: “What is the main difference between succession under the tsarist regime and under socialism?”
A: “Under the tsarist regime, power was transferred from father to son, and under socialism – from grandfather to grandfather.”

Q: What are the new requirements for joining the Politburo?
A: You must now be able to walk six steps without the assistance of a cane, and say three words without the assistance of paper.

Our Soviet industry system is simple and works very well.  Our bosses pretend to pay and we pretend to work.

An old woman asks her granddaughter: “Granddaughter, please explain Communism to me. How will people live under it? They probably teach you all about it in school.”
“Of course they do, Granny. When we reach Communism, the shops will be full–there’ll be butter, and meat, and sausage. You’ll be able to go and buy anything you want…”
“Ah!” exclaimed the old woman joyfully. “Just like it was under the Tsar!”

A man walks into a shop and asks, “You wouldn’t happen to have any fish, would you?”. The shop assistant replies, “You’ve got it wrong – ours is a butcher’s shop. We don’t have any meat. You’re looking for the fish shop across the road. There they don’t have any fish!”

Q: “What happens if Soviet socialism comes to Saudi Arabia?
A: First five years, nothing; then a shortage of oil.”

Stalin appears to Putin in a dream and says: “I have two bits of advice for you: kill off all your opponents and paint the Kremlin blue.” Putin asks, “Why blue?” Stalin: “I knew you would not object to the first one.”

 

 

Biden’s Damaging Climate Plans

President-elect Joe Biden looks to have the US rejoin the Paris Accords. AP

Update January 20: A unique commemorative coin for the new leader of the free world

Bjorn Lomborg explains in his NY Post article Joe Biden’s climate-change plans will burn billions, won’t bring change we actually need.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and some images added.

Joe Biden will rejoin the Paris climate agreement soon after being inaugurated as president of the United States. Climate change, according to Biden, is “an existential threat” to the nation, and to combat it, he proposes to spend $500 billion each year on climate policies — the equivalent of $1,500 per person.

Let’s get real. Climate is a man-made problem. But Biden’s climate alarmism is almost entirely wrong. Asking people to spend $1,500 every year is unsustainable when surveys show a majority is unwilling to spend even $24 per year on climate. And policies like Paris will fix little at a high cost. Biden is right to highlight the problem, but he needs a smarter way forward.

The climate alarm is poorly founded.

Take hurricanes. Last year, you undoubtedly heard that climate change made hurricanes “record-setting.” Actually, 2020 was above average in the North Atlantic partly because of the natural La Niña phenomenon, and only record-setting in that satellites could spot more storms.

When measured by total hurricane-damage potential, the 2020 North Atlantic was not even in the top 10. And almost everywhere else on the planet, hurricanes were far below average. Globally, 2020 ranked as one of the weakest hurricane years in the 40-year satellite record.

We think 2020 was big on hurricanes because we read carefully curated stories about where and when they hit, but we don’t see stories about the many more places where they don’t hit.

The UN Climate Panel, the gold standard of climate science, tells us that the total impact of climate change in the 2070s will be equivalent to an average income reduction of 0.2 to 2 percent. Which means that humans as a whole will be only a fraction less prosperous in a much richer world than they would be without climate change.

Rejoining the Paris agreement will solve very little at a high cost. By the UN’s estimates, if all ­nations live up to all their promises, they will reduce global temperature by less than 0.09 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100.

And Paris is costly, because it forces economies to use less or more expensive energy. Across many studies, the drag to the economies is estimated at between $1 trillion and $2 trillion in lost GDP every year after 2030.

Yes, green spending will predictably increase green jobs. But because subsidies will be paid by higher taxes on the rest of the economy, an equal number of jobs will disappear elsewhere.

In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson excitedly talks about 5 million new green jobs, while his advisers now warn him that 10 million other jobs could be at risk.

For Americans, President Barack Obama’s Paris promises carried a price tag of nearly $200 billion a year. But Biden has vowed to go much further, with a promise of net-zero by 2050. There is only one nation that has done an independent cost estimate of net-zero, namely New Zealand. The Kiwis found the average best-case cost is 16 percent of GDP, or a US cost of more than $5 trillion a year by mid-century.

These figures are unsustainable. Moreover, the US and other developed countries can achieve very little on their own. Imagine if Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries stopped all their emissions today and never bounced back. This would be utterly devastating economically yet would reduce global warming by the end of the century by less than 0.8 degrees.

That’s because three-quarters of this century’s emissions will come from the rest of the world, especially China, India, Africa and Latin America. Developing nations are unlikely to accept slower economic growth to address a 2 percent problem 50 years from now.

There is a smarter way: investing a lot more in green-energy ­research and development. As Bill Gates says, “We’re short about two dozen great innovations” to fix climate. If we could innovate the price of green energy below fossil fuels, everyone would switch, eventually fixing climate change.

The policies would be cheaper and much more likely to be implemented. Fortunately, R&D is one of Biden’s promises, and he will have a much easier time with Congress if he makes it his focus.

Bjorn Lomborg is president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center. His new book is “False Alarm.”

Joe Biden’s climate agenda is all about creating a crisis — not actually fixing one

 

Wither the GOP?

Daniel Gelernter has some interesting ideas about where things may be headed in this turbulent time in US politics.  His article is Why Is the GOP Glad Trump Lost?  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and images.

Establishment Republicans will learn the hard way how very much they have lost in helping Joe Biden win the way he did.

A little after 2 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, protesters crashed into the U.S. Capitol and forced a halt in the certification of the electoral vote. As the Senate reconvened that night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), speaking as though he had just survived 9/11, condemned the “thugs” waving flags who had forced them to run away for a few hours. Man of the People Mitt Romney, who probably will not repeat his mistake of flying commercial, called the Capitol storm “an insurrection, incited by the president of the United States.”

If you wonder where these big politicians were last year when people were having their businesses closed down by government mandates or watching their cars torched by Antifa with Molotov cocktails, the answer is they were most likely in incredibly comfortable homes, enjoying taxpayer-guaranteed salaries and genuinely insane expense accounts, secure in the knowledge that, whatever happens—whether they return to Capitol Hill for the rest of their lives or are forced one day into semi-retirement on K Street—they will never again have to live like “normal people.”

And when they blame President Trump for the Capitol protest, they are doubly foolish and doubly deceived.

First, they implicitly deny that these protestors had any reason to be upset. Even the CHAZ protestors who demolished central Seattle were granted the presumption that they might have had reasons, however misguided.  But the Capitol Hill protestors had already been told, repeatedly, by the news media, social media, and their political leaders, to shut up and go home. And yet they didn’t—so it must be Trump’s fault.

The idea that a large part of America genuinely could be infuriated by the behavior of our elected officials has not dawned on them. When they get yelled at on planes, they think, “Why don’t my constituents believe me? Why don’t they trust me? It’s Trump’s fault!”

But they never ask themselves if they might have given their constituents legitimate reasons not to trust them. Did they ever, for example, vote to send a $10 million check to Pakistan and a $600 check to some Americans? Would that upset anyone?

Today, these politicians are breathing a sigh of relief—their second mistake: “My constituents trusted me before Trump came,” they think. “Now that he’s on the way out the door, they will trust me again!” They believe that Trump not being president means that they can go back to vacuuming up money and power just as before. They think Trump is finished.

In reality, they are finished.

Trump could have announced the formation of a new political party. A majority of Republican voters probably would have followed him. Eventually, after a few election cycles of mutual destruction, the rest of the GOP reluctantly would acquiesce in a new party which would likely have many of the same ills as the old. Instead, Trump has made clear his intention of primarying every Republican who opposed airing election fraud claims in court.

Career GOP politicians will spend the next several years watching “their” party rapidly remade in what they mistakenly believe to be Trump’s image. But it is actually the image of a large part of America that feels totally ignored.

The principals that Trump represents do not start and end with Trump. Limited regulation, limited government, low taxes, fair trade, stricter immigration laws, belief in God and in the earnest goodness of the average American, a weariness of foreign wars and entanglements: You might call it George Washington conservatism. These ideas have been absent from politics for at least 30 years, as voters had a choice between the party of big government and the party that claims to prefer limited government but also embraces big government.

These are the ideas Trump has expressed and on which he governed.. America First: You mind your business and we’ll mind ours.

If a politician rolls his eyes at that suggestion, he’ll never understand why the people don’t want him. He’ll never understand why those angry Americans were at the Capitol the other day. He’ll never understand why he lost his seat and had to become a highly paid consultant instead of a highly paid public servant.

When Trump tells his supporters that the journey is only beginning, the leftist media and conservative elite bite their collective nails—Does this mean Trump will come back? Not necessarily. It means that the movement Trump has started will go on no matter what—it means that America will come back.

We’ve been terribly governed for large parts of the last century, and before. How would you feel if one day the government told you you weren’t allowed to buy or drink alcohol, and that if you owned a distillery you’d just lost your livelihood? Of course that happened in 1920, and most Americans responded by quietly disobeying the law. Most politicians also disobeyed the law, but in much greater comfort and with the tacit approval of their friends in law enforcement. The arrival of organized crime in America was an unintended consequence.

How would you feel if the government declared that employers couldn’t raise wages? That happened in 1942. Employers skirted the law by creating the concept of “health benefits,” which did not count as wages. That had the unintended consequence of spawning a monster health insurance industry that destroyed private medical care in America.

One day in the future Americans might be told that their guns are illegal and must be turned in—and the government would probably discover that Americans somehow own vastly fewer guns than was thought. And that might have the unintended consequence of all those missing guns showing up one day in the hands of a well-regulated and very displeased militia.

Americans will not submit themselves to laws that they, on a large scale, think unjust. Nor will they submit themselves to be governed by leaders whom they, on a large scale, do not believe are elected. In 1960, Nixon decided it would be best to hush up his having been cheated out of the presidency. He was well-intentioned, but he was wrong. Trump knows that stealing an election isn’t a personal affront—it’s an attack on every American who casts a ballot. Precisely the opposite of the media’s demented obsession, Trump is one of the very few people in politics who understand that it isn’t just about him.

By pretending that it is all about him, our big-shot politicians have an excuse to ignore the Americans whom Trump has represented.

But the George Washington conservatives are awake now, and they will find other voices, and more voices. Trump will be with them, but they will find new leaders as well. They don’t want much—put in a single phrase their demands boil down to “Leave us alone!” A Biden Administration, unelected though it may be, can survive if it listens to that very basic demand. But the GOP will learn the hard way how very much they have lost in helping Biden win the way he did.

See also posts by David Gelernter (Daniel’s father?):

The Real Reason They Hate Trump

How Science Is Losing Its Humanity

 

 

Guess Who’s Kicking the Pandemic? (it’s not EU, US or Canada)

TrialSiteNews gives the answer in article An Unlikely Nation Is Kicking This Pandemic. Guess Which. Then Why. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

She is a gynecologist. He is a surgeon. They are married and both 77 years old.

In mid-November, they were diagnosed with COVID-19, first her, then him. Their paths diverge at this point, but not to worry.

She took the drug hydroxychloroquine. He took ivermectin. They are both well now – walking, golfing, doing yoga — seven weeks later.

The couple’s brush with COVID might have ended very differently. In the United States, patients 75 to 84 years old die at 220 times the rate of adults under 30. But these two elderly, otherwise healthy physicians live in India. They were able to get early home treatment that is virtually, and unconscionably, unheard of in many western countries.

“Without any treatment, we know that the virus enters the cells and replicates there,” Dr. Makarand Paranjpe told me by phone from his home in Pune, where he had quarantined through a fever and other symptoms. “They can create disease that gets much more severe.” Which, of course, is the point of treating early. Stop the progression. ASAP.

From the outset, India, a nation of both economic vigor and poverty, knew it had to act decisively. It did. India locked down early and long; it promoted masks, tested millions, and, as with the Pune couple, treated the infected early.

Ten months into its battle with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, India is on track to become an unexpected warrior in the fight against this global pandemic. Although the densely populated nation has four times the population of the U.S., India has less than half the U.S. COVID deaths. And India isn’t just beating the poorly performing U.S. In all, 98 nations have higher death rates than India.

It may be tempting to attribute this startling news to imperfect data from a developing country. But doctors in India, Indian press reports, and even the Wall Street Journal have taken note of a sea change in COVID there. “In September, India was reporting almost 100,000 COVID-19 cases a day, with many predicting it would soon pass the U.S. in overall cases,” the WSJ wrote on Dec. 30. “Instead, its infections dropped and are now at one-fourth that level.”

Dr. Anil K. Chaurasia, a physician in Lucknow, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, watched this trend unfold. Starting about mid-September, “a clear decline in COVID cases and fatalities in India was noticeable,” he told me in a text message. The “steep decline in cases and fatalities is still continuing.”

Like a lot of western reporting, the WSJ article held fast to an accepted COVID theme. The Indian miracle was due to masks, it asserted, since they are worn by 88 to 95 percent of a population “bombarded” with public-service reminders. The article cited German research that showed masks work.

Fair enough. However, many factors are likely at play in India, including its painful yet supported national shutdown and individual state efforts at contact tracing and testing. But a pivotal role in any illness is surely the availability of treatments to resolve illness before crisis.

Late last March, as the U.S. argued over the merits of Trump-endorsed hydroxychloroquine and studies failed in late-stage patients, India decided to recommend the drug in its national guidelines. HCQ “should be used as early in the disease course as possible…and should be avoided in patients with severe disease,” the directives wisely state. As a precaution, authorities suggested an EKG to monitor for a rare heart arrhythmia that several COVID studies have since shown to be minimal.

But a crucial turn for India may have come in August when the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh recommended use of another drug: Ivermectin, which is coming on fast as a leading COVID treatment — without the baggage of at-turns effective but vilified hydroxychloroquine.

This was no small move. Were it a country, U.P.’s more than 230 million citizens would rank it fifth worldwide. As India’s largest state, its embrace of ivermectin may have changed the treatment landscape across India.

“This authentication of ivermectin revived the faith of people,” Dr. Chaurasia told me, “and net result was a massive inclination to take these drugs” — both ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.

By the end of 2020, Uttar Pradesh — which distributed free ivermectin for home care — had the second-lowest fatality rate in India at 0.26 per 100,000 residents in December. Only the state of Bihar, with 128 million residents, was lower, and it, too, recommends ivermectin.

See Also:  Why Pandemic Responses Fail

 

 

Trump Takeaways

It was always fashionable to trash talk Trump, but to my surprise it has only grown in political correctness post election this year.  For those who wonder why they are so consumed with the need to disparage him, Conrad Black explains in his article today: Establishment’s Threat of Impeachment a Confession of Failure.  An excerpt below is in italics with my bolds and images.

It all begs the question of why Trump’s enemies are still so fanatical in their efforts to separate him from his huge following and destroy him politically, in Stalinist fashion. In part, the Democrats seem now to be addicted to the practice of distracting the public from the political unacceptability of their own program and record by a febrile defamation of the president.

He is not and never in his adult life was a racist or sexist. He has a number of annoying mannerisms. They can be seen by everyone and voters decide for themselves whether they outweigh the president’s better qualities and achievements.

The obsessive desire to destroy Trump even as he leaves the presidency cannot be based on anything but fear of a man who has successfully defied the political establishment, exposed it as substantially a failure, and exploited the fact that the pre-Trump status quo was despised by a majority of Americans.

The logical and creditable response to the collapse in the prestige of the country’s orthodox leaders is to raise their game, put up better candidates in both the parties (not the dismal selection of senatorial candidates available to Georgia’s voters last week), and produce some original policies. Instead, they have just tried to stone to death the person who did produce original policies.

Serving the Country Well

The political establishment has tragically missed the point: if it had been serving the country well Trump would not have been elected four years ago.  If he had not been a capable president most of his policies would not have been effectively endorsed in the congressional and state elections across the country. Those whom he displaced would not have had to resort to such extremes to evict him from the White House.

Polls indicate uniformly that barely 10 percent of Americans respect the legislators in the Congress and no more than 15 percent of Americans believe their media. Even the questionable election revealed that 48 percent of Americans preferred Trump to the candidate of Wall Street, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, academia and the media and social media, despite the Democrats’ huge financial advantage and wall-to-wall media defamation of the incumbent.

The pre-Trump decades brought endless, fruitless war in the Middle East, with an accompanying humanitarian disaster; the greatest economic crisis in the world in 80 years; more than ten million unskilled illegal migrants flooding across the southern border; immense trade deficits; alarming advances by China at America’s expense; and Trump’s predecessors were swindled by North Korea and Iran.

Trump addressed these problems; the dire predictions of his dangerous incompetence came to nothing, his vote total grew by 20 percent between elections, and his party did well in congressional and state elections.

Yet his opponents didn’t respond with better candidates or policies, they exhumed the defeated candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and set them atop a Sanders-Warren far-left program, ignored the worst rioting in the country for over fifty years, apart from defunding police and engineering huge spikes in violent crime, and exploited the COVID crisis to adopt election laws that incite the inference that the election has been stolen.

And they got a free pass when the Supreme Court declined to hear the complaint from Texas supported by eighteen other states that four states had failed to assure a fair presidential election. Trump’s 74 million supporters were left with nothing to do except protest.

Only Alternative

In falsely accusing Trump of inciting insurrection, they have again ignored the public desire for better government and have effectively confirmed Donald Trump as the only alternative to the present familiar source of poor government. Joe Biden’s response to the outrages at the Capitol were that Trump had deliberately incited it, that the motives of the rioters were racist, that the Capitol Police were racists, that Trump was reminiscent of Nazi propaganda minister Josef Goebbels, and then Biden called for national unity.

Trump made a serious mistake in imagining and publicly asking that Vice President Pence reject the determination by the Senate of the Electoral College vote. Pence had no authority to do anything of the kind. But Pence’s election was as much violated as Trump’s and if he attends the inauguration now, Pence will be choosing the Democratic antics over this own party and needlessly compromise his political future.

Impeachment is nonsense, Trump won’t resign and an inept government won’t be able to use defamation and dirty tricks as a substitute for public service for long.

If Trump is the only person who can defend the people against incompetent administration, cowardly legislators and jurists, and a system that has become largely rotten and doesn’t run honest elections or even fair trials, (98 percent conviction rate and a quarter of the world’s prison population), while a totalitarian woke media and dictatorial censors of social media silence dissent, his influence will rise and not be dissipated.

 

Oceans Confirm Global Cooling Year End 2020


The best context for understanding decadal temperature changes comes from the world’s sea surface temperatures (SST), for several reasons:

  • The ocean covers 71% of the globe and drives average temperatures;
  • SSTs have a constant water content, (unlike air temperatures), so give a better reading of heat content variations;
  • A major El Nino was the dominant climate feature in recent years.

HadSST is generally regarded as the best of the global SST data sets, and so the temperature story here comes from that source, the latest version being HadSST3.  More on what distinguishes HadSST3 from other SST products at the end.

The Current Context

The year end report below shows 2020 is rapidly cooling in all regions.  The anomalies have been dropping sharply and are now well below the averages since 1995.  This Global Cooling was also evident in the UAH Land and Ocean air temperatures (See Big Chill Over Land and Sea with 2020 End )

The chart below shows SST monthly anomalies as reported in HadSST3 starting in 2015 through December 2020. After three straight Spring 2020 months of cooling led by the tropics and SH, NH spiked in the summer.  Now temps everywhere are dropping the last four months, with SH the lowest in this period, and Global and Tropical anomalies below average since 2015.

A global cooling pattern is seen clearly in the Tropics since its peak in 2016, joined by NH and SH cycling downward since 2016.  In 2019 all regions had been converging to reach nearly the same value in April.

Then  NH rose exceptionally by almost 0.5C over the four summer months, in August 2019 exceeding previous summer peaks in NH since 2015.  In the 4 succeeding months, that warm NH pulse reversed sharply. Then again NH temps warmed to a 2020 summer peak, matching 2019.  This has now been reversed with all regions pulling the Global anomaly downward sharply.

Note that higher temps in 2015 and 2016 were first of all due to a sharp rise in Tropical SST, beginning in March 2015, peaking in January 2016, and steadily declining back below its beginning level. Secondly, the Northern Hemisphere added three bumps on the shoulders of Tropical warming, with peaks in August of each year.  A fourth NH bump was lower and peaked in September 2018.  As noted above, a fifth peak in August 2019 and a sixth August 2020 exceeded the four previous upward bumps in NH.

And as before, note that the global release of heat was not dramatic, due to the Southern Hemisphere offsetting the Northern one.  The major difference between now and 2015-2016 is the absence of Tropical warming driving the SSTs, along with SH anomalies reaching nearly the lowest in this period. Presently both SH and the Tropics are quite cool, with NH coming off its summer peak.  Note the tropical temps descending into La Nina levels.  At this point, the 2016 El Nino and its NH after effects have dissipated completely.

A longer view of SSTs

The graph below  is noisy, but the density is needed to see the seasonal patterns in the oceanic fluctuations.  Previous posts focused on the rise and fall of the last El Nino starting in 2015.  This post adds a longer view, encompassing the significant 1998 El Nino and since.  The color schemes are retained for Global, Tropics, NH and SH anomalies.  Despite the longer time frame, I have kept the monthly data (rather than yearly averages) because of interesting shifts between January and July.

To enlarge image, double-click or open in new tab.

1995 is a reasonable (ENSO neutral) starting point prior to the first El Nino.  The sharp Tropical rise peaking in 1998 is dominant in the record, starting Jan. ’97 to pull up SSTs uniformly before returning to the same level Jan. ’99.  For the next 2 years, the Tropics stayed down, and the world’s oceans held steady around 0.2C above 1961 to 1990 average.

Then comes a steady rise over two years to a lesser peak Jan. 2003, but again uniformly pulling all oceans up around 0.4C.  Something changes at this point, with more hemispheric divergence than before. Over the 4 years until Jan 2007, the Tropics go through ups and downs, NH a series of ups and SH mostly downs.  As a result the Global average fluctuates around that same 0.4C, which also turns out to be the average for the entire record since 1995.

2007 stands out with a sharp drop in temperatures so that Jan.08 matches the low in Jan. ’99, but starting from a lower high. The oceans all decline as well, until temps build peaking in 2010.

Now again a different pattern appears.  The Tropics cool sharply to Jan 11, then rise steadily for 4 years to Jan 15, at which point the most recent major El Nino takes off.  But this time in contrast to ’97-’99, the Northern Hemisphere produces peaks every summer pulling up the Global average.  In fact, these NH peaks appear every July starting in 2003, growing stronger to produce 3 massive highs in 2014, 15 and 16.  NH July 2017 was only slightly lower, and a fifth NH peak still lower in Sept. 2018.

The highest summer NH peak came in 2019, only this time the Tropics and SH are offsetting rather adding to the warming. Since 2014 SH has played a moderating role, offsetting the NH warming pulses. Now September 2020 is dropping off last summer’s unusually high NH SSTs. (Note: these are high anomalies on top of the highest absolute temps in the NH.)

What to make of all this? The patterns suggest that in addition to El Ninos in the Pacific driving the Tropic SSTs, something else is going on in the NH.  The obvious culprit is the North Atlantic, since I have seen this sort of pulsing before.  After reading some papers by David Dilley, I confirmed his observation of Atlantic pulses into the Arctic every 8 to 10 years.

But the peaks coming nearly every summer in HadSST require a different picture.  Let’s look at August, the hottest month in the North Atlantic from the Kaplan dataset.
The AMO Index is from from Kaplan SST v2, the unaltered and not detrended dataset. By definition, the data are monthly average SSTs interpolated to a 5×5 grid over the North Atlantic basically 0 to 70N. The graph shows August warming began after 1992 up to 1998, with a series of matching years since, including 2020.  Because the N. Atlantic has partnered with the Pacific ENSO recently, let’s take a closer look at some AMO years in the last 2 decades.

This graph shows monthly AMO temps for some important years. The Peak years were 1998, 2010 and 2016, with the latter emphasized as the most recent. The other years show lesser warming, with 2007 emphasized as the coolest in the last 20 years. Note the red 2018 line is at the bottom of all these tracks. The black line shows that 2020 began slightly warm, then set records for 3 months. then dropped below 2016 and 2017, peaked in August and is now below 2016.

Summary

The oceans are driving the warming this century.  SSTs took a step up with the 1998 El Nino and have stayed there with help from the North Atlantic, and more recently the Pacific northern “Blob.”  The ocean surfaces are releasing a lot of energy, warming the air, but eventually will have a cooling effect.  The decline after 1937 was rapid by comparison, so one wonders: How long can the oceans keep this up? If the pattern of recent years continues, NH SST anomalies may rise slightly in coming months, but once again, ENSO which has weakened will probably determine the outcome.

Footnote: Why Rely on HadSST3

HadSST3 is distinguished from other SST products because HadCRU (Hadley Climatic Research Unit) does not engage in SST interpolation, i.e. infilling estimated anomalies into grid cells lacking sufficient sampling in a given month. From reading the documentation and from queries to Met Office, this is their procedure.

HadSST3 imports data from gridcells containing ocean, excluding land cells. From past records, they have calculated daily and monthly average readings for each grid cell for the period 1961 to 1990. Those temperatures form the baseline from which anomalies are calculated.

In a given month, each gridcell with sufficient sampling is averaged for the month and then the baseline value for that cell and that month is subtracted, resulting in the monthly anomaly for that cell. All cells with monthly anomalies are averaged to produce global, hemispheric and tropical anomalies for the month, based on the cells in those locations. For example, Tropics averages include ocean grid cells lying between latitudes 20N and 20S.

Gridcells lacking sufficient sampling that month are left out of the averaging, and the uncertainty from such missing data is estimated. IMO that is more reasonable than inventing data to infill. And it seems that the Global Drifter Array displayed in the top image is providing more uniform coverage of the oceans than in the past.

uss-pearl-harbor-deploys-global-drifter-buoys-in-pacific-ocean

USS Pearl Harbor deploys Global Drifter Buoys in Pacific Ocean