Doomed Planet

The Warmists Are Starting to Sweat

Here’s a prediction you can take to the bank: the ABC and Fairfax will be running even more inane climate-scare stories than usual. Why might that be? Because the US has taken its money and departed Paris, threatening climate careerists with the unsettling prospect of finding honest work

gore moneyOver the next week the report being finalised at a United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), meeting in Korea, will see an outpouring of alarmist material.  Doom-laden factoids and forecasts will be released, all designed to head off an impending collapse in the “consensus” that reached its apogee in the Obama era.  Culminating in the 2015 Paris Agreement, an EU-US axis led policy development on regulatory measures to suppress emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Most fundamentally the strategy involved bearing down on the use of coal and other fossil fuels to the electricity supply industry and replacing these sources with wind and solar.

Developed countries agreed to reduce emissions by around 26%;  successful developing countries, such as China and India, said they would fall into line 15 years hence. On the strength of this dubious promise no disciplines were placed on them, while they welcomed the self-mutilating actions of the developed world which enhanced their own competitiveness.  The emission-supressing coalition was rounded out by a slew of failing developing nations brought into the tent by the promise of a $100 billion annual fund to fill their begging bowls and finance the lifestyles of their elites.  Fat chance of that ever eventuating.

From the meeting in Korea we can expect more of the same: droughts, floods, hurricanes and reduced food production, with higher temperatures also bringing about pestilences, mass extinctions and the long-predicted but never-seen “climate refugees”.  Further claimed outcomes will include the progressive disappearance of the Great Barrier Reef, and soaring infrastructure costs as rain (or is it drought?) undermines foundations of roads and buildings.

There’s not the slightest evidence any of these outcomes will occur anywhere but in their advocates’ imaginations. Indeed, over the past 40 years, during which time greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere have increased 30%, we have seen the planet greening by 11%, with all this implies for agricultural productivity, Meanwhile, hurricane activity has actually fallen, contrary to what the climate careerists would have us believe.

moran chart 1

There has been no increase in drought or warming-induced fires.  Slogans about permanently lower rainfall were promoted by the icons of the left. You know the shtick: “the dams will never again fill”, “the Murray Darling will never again flow as it once did” ad nauseam. Professor Ross Garnaut even said the Murray Basin would not support irrigated agriculture 50 years on.  All of these are shown, as events unfold, to be just so much hype, but the warmista warriors barely pause for breath before alighting upon the latest weather anomaly, whatever it might be, as being the precursor of a deadly new trend.

Scientists, sociologists, diplomats, renewable energy suppliers and others have feasted royally from the largesse their data manipulations have caused governments to confer upon them.  Make no mistake, with the US taking its support and, more important, its cash out of the Paris agreement, they understand the gravy train is about to be derailed.

Part of the panic of the global climate change fraternity has come from a realisation that the temperature rise from the projected doubling of CO2 is just not occurring.  The average of the 32 climate models examined by John Christy at the University of Alabama is for a 2.4°C per-century warming, but the actual level since records began in 1979 is not much more than 1°C per century.

moran chart 2

This is similar to the projections of eminent scientists Richard Lindzen and Donald Trump’s new adviser Will Happer.  And using the IPCC data itself, on the basis of future emissions, it is difficult to find a scenario where temperatures will rise much above 2°C by 2100.   Hence the IPCC’s sudden emphasis on depicting disturbing outcomes from lower temperature increases than the alarmists have previously focussed upon.

The Trump victory of less than two years ago threatens the diversion of taxpayers’ and electricity consumers’ money to the warmistas much more directly.  The outsider’s triumph is undermining this self-interested assembly, not only because of the size of the US economy itself, but because Trump’s rejection of emission reducing regulations entails consequences in terms of the competitiveness of the US for industry location.  The US is proving a magnet at the expense of those that have imposed climate costs on their electricity industries.  Especially hit is the EU but also, as can be seen with Visy’s investment strategy, is Australia.

Morrison government claims Australia will beat its own Paris targets at a canter. The destruction so far of the fossil fuel supply share in Australian electricity production and the high levels of exorbitantly subsidised renewables may well mean this is true for the electricity industry. However electricity supply accounts for only around 30% of emissions, with the rest coming from agriculture, transport and industry.

The activists correctly recognise that achieving such reductions elsewhere in the economy will be even more difficult than with electricity.  As if to emphasise this, already there are calls for a culling of national livestock herds by 25% or more. The Morrison government, instead of following Trump and staging a full-scale departure from Paris is saying it will continue the process of replacement of carbon intensive activities.  This is a terrible error – perhaps dictated to the PM by his NSW Liberal Party support base, where warmism is far more in evidence than conservative nous. It also means the Liberals have no clear demarcation from the ALP.  Abandoning the Paris Agreement and all subsidies to renewables, both through regulatory arrangements like the Renewable Energy Target and via direct budgetary disbursements, would yield at least $4 billion in savings and perhaps more.

moran chart 3

If Australia fully abandons the Paris Agreement and the subsidies and regulatory restraints that it encompasses, this would staunch the flow of Australian investment to the US and encourage investment from other countries to these shores. Perhaps of more importance as an electoral play, abandoning all subsidies to all renewables will allow Australia to reclaim the position of the world’s cheapest household electricity supply – a position we held 15 years ago before the renewable energy poison pushed us into becoming the world’s dearest.

Such a strategy is quite possibly the main chance of the Morrison government getting itself re-elected.

Alan Moran of Regulation Economics is the author of “Climate Change: Treaties and Policies in the Trump Era

11 comments
  • Bwana Neusi

    Extremely well said Alan. I notice you did not include Western Australia in your costs, although it would not be a major contributor.

    We have 5kW of solar panels on our roof and receive a feed in tariff of 47 cents per kWh. This arrangement has now been in place for eight years and will expire in 2020.
    Up until now, and until 2020, other electricity users are paying a premium for each unit they use, just to cover the credits we receive. Back in 2010, we had Hobson’s choice to either pay the capital and recover the costs or pay the anticipated premium for electricity.

    At a meta level every entity, collecting credits in whatever form has to be at the expense of other users. To add insult to injury, our variable feed contributes to the instability of the grid, thus demanding greater spinning reserves be maintained at further cost to the regular user.

    We wrote to the then liberal Minister for energy advocating for changes to the scheme that would include domestic storage facilities instead of a feed in tariff. In a nutshell we were patronised and then ignored.

    Ultimately, the only rational “Sustainable/renewable/environmental/Gaia focused” option would be to get domestic suppliers off the grid and return to effective State run coal fired or nuclear powered supplies.

    Faffing around with even more subsidies (see our wave power sink hole)will only guarantee Australia’s economic demise. Oh and did I say scrap the Paris Agreement?

  • Rob Brighton

    The chicken littles are out in full force this morning with dire warnings from the IPCC that we are about to lose the barrier reef, again, for the 400th time in my life (ok that’s a number pulled out of thin air but if they can exaggerate then so can I).

    The hand-wringing on the TV this morning should have been enough for me to charge straight out buying batteries, solar panels and start making shoes from bamboo except, like yet another repeat of Happy Days, I have stopped listening.

    As has an increasing number of people.

  • ianl

    “Audit of the HadCRUT4 Global Temperature Dataset” pb. Robert Boyle Publishing, October 2018

    As clinically devastating for the climate hysterics as were the Climategate emails, and destined to be completely ignored by the self-appointed elites. There is no credible empirical evidence for significant, widespread warming over the last 150 years any more than for widespread cooling. In my view, this situation cannot be retrieved as earlier hard data has been destroyed (admitted by Phil Jones, Uni of East Anglia, whose database was the anchor for HadCRUT4). The Aus BOM was protected from independent audit by Cabinet decision in order to avoid exactly this type of embarrassment.

  • Peter OBrien

    I and others have pointed out, ad nauseam, on this site, that “Paris” is much more than electricity and yet again today we have Morrison conflating the two, claiming that we will “achieve our Paris target in a canter” and deliberately omitting to mention the other 70% of emissions largely attributable to agriculture and transport. https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/scott-morrison-defends-australia-remaining-in-paris-agreement/news-story/6b38cbadf032d3ee4df8bcd6fd61154c

    Morrison is being dishonest – there is no other word for it.

  • [email protected]

    RED NOISE

    “There’s not the slightest evidence any of these outcomes will occur anywhere but in their advocates’ imaginations.”

    A propos the past temperature record, the IPCC (and others)seems to have consigned John Reid’s recent statistical analysis to its Index of Prohibited Papers:

    “The HadCRUT4 time series of 166 annual values of global average temperature was analysed both deterministically and stochastically and the results compared….The small increase in global average temperature observed over the last 166 years is the random variation of a centrally biased random walk. It is a red noise fluctuation. It is not significant, it is not a trend and it is not likely to continue.” (J Reid, atmospheric physicist, 28 December, 2016)

    Reference: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0958305X16686447

  • Geoff Sherrington

    Readers might not know this story of Alan Moran’s early part in the history of Global Warming.
    Al was running projects at the Tasman Institute around year 1991. I was a corporate rep, invited to plug money into projects via monthly meetings at Tasman.
    We had some visits from a geologist named Warwick Hughes. He showed us some graphs and tables of temperature measurements that were being used or abused by a Professor Phil Jones from University of East Anglia. Warwick wanted us to get interested and help fund this private work to see if regional and hence global temperatures were beingg properly compiuled and computed. This was all a new topic for us. I can’t recall exactly what I recommended and after some months I heard no more.
    Warwick, however, sent an email to Phil Jones asking for more data.
    The response was “Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.”
    And the rest is history.

    I wrote it up for the Jo Nova blog, with a lot of other early snippets about the development of the climate change controversy.
    I still think that it makes an interesting read, though it was written in 2012. Not a great deal has happened since 2012 to change the views expressed. http://joannenova.com.au/2012/01/that-famous-email-explained-and-the-first-volunteer-global-warming-skeptic/

  • Lewis P Buckingham

    October 9, 2018 at 7:49 am
    Watts Up With That has been discussing random walks for some time
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/14/pielk-sr-on-the-30-year-random-walk-in-surface-temperature-record/

    It has a usefull search tool.
    Now the data has been shown to be inaccurate
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/10/07/bombshell-audit-of-global-warming-data-finds-it-riddled-with-errors/

    We are looking at a random walk of inaccurate data.
    This is suficcient to explain the failure of climate model predictions.
    Yet we Australians need these to plan agricultural production, which will still be there when the
    mining boom stops.

    Its time we have an audit of Australian data, the work has started to be done by an Australian scientist.

    If the GBR is at risk, as is predicted by the IPCC, why not spend GBR funds, say 10% of the comitted $444,000,000
    to do an audit controlled by the Australian National Audit Office on all our climate data.
    Have citizen scientists do the site visits and location follow ups of sensors.
    Become a centre of excellence for data gathering and replication of results.
    Find someone capable of this and fund them.

    Reply

  • [email protected]

    When I came to Queensland in 1961 the Professor of Geology needed money. So the Great Barrier Reef was going to be gone by 1966.

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