By Robert Bradley Jr.
“Al Gore was right about one thing in his rant at the World Economic Forum in Davos: CO2 emissions have continued to climb and show no sign of being affected by ‘climate policy’.” (Jenkins, below)
In less than 800 words, Holman Jenkins, a Wall Street Journal opinion columnist (Feb. 4 – 5, 2023), cut the whole global warming mania down to size. Basically, it’s all over but the shouting. The science is “looking up,” (it never looked down, actually), for reasons that Jenkins only partially examines. And ExxonKnew as a PR stunt is exposed.
Below, I parse Jenkins’s op-ed with subtitles and let his words speak for themselves.
The Al Gore Problem
Al Gore was right about one thing in his rant at the World Economic Forum in Davos: CO2 emissions have continued to climb and show no sign of being affected by “climate policy.”
He didn’t mention his own contributions to this outcome, intervening in the early Obama years to turn climate policy into an excuse for protectionist pork barrel, with no real effect on climate. Nor that he was the seminal author of a brand of green hyperventilation that almost guaranteed real climate action would become a polarizing dead letter.
He also didn’t mention his singular stroke of luck in the history books, which will let him off more kindly than he deserves because the science now paints a less dire picture of our climate future.
Comment: The Al Gore problem is that he is a walking, talking hypocrite (check energy usage in his fiefdom) and his obvious exaggerations. For a decade or more, many on both sides of the debate believe he hurts his cause by being so public and hyperbolic.
The climate press proved the point, amid his Alpine Vaudeville, by collapsing critically in front of a newly-released “Harvard” study allegedly revealing that Exxon 40 years ago predicted today’s warming with “breathtaking,” “stunning,” “astonishing” accuracy.
These adjectives aren’t in the study itself, which is merely tendentious, sponsored by the activists at the Rockefeller Family Fund. But the timing probably wasn’t an accident. In fact, Exxon’s results were identical to those of other scientists because it collaborated with them. Its findings weren’t hidden “behind closed doors,” as one report alleged. They were published in peer-reviewed journals. Apparently, to get to its desired result, the “Harvard” study also had to attribute to Exxon outside research that its scientists merely “reported.”
This retread builds on Rockefeller’s previous greatest hit, paying journalists in 2016 to flaunt Exxon’s decades-old scientific efforts. Exxon was accused of “emphasizing the uncertainty” when uncertainty was the crucial scientific output. No matter what Exxon said, not sellable to policy makers at the time was spending unknown trillions to reduce future temperatures maybe by 4.5 degrees Celsius, maybe by 1.5 degrees. Yet this was the best guidance science could provide for four decades. Rockefeller prefers to stress the $30 million Exxon once spent on climate-skeptical think tanks. This money, not the scientific uncertainty or humanity’s desire for cheap energy, explains the failure to enact meaningful CO2 reductions. It’s all Exxon’s fault.
OK, studies like this one sponsored by Rockefeller and served up by provocateurs at the Harvard history department and Germany’s Potsdam Institute exist to exploit media shallowness. They wouldn’t exist otherwise.
Comment: Putting Exxon’s old study in historical context refutes what the PR campaign is trying to convey. Exxon’s CO2-climate investigation came at a time when global cooling was the climate news, and Peak Oil and Peak Gas were the corporate fears. Climatology was an infant profession whose predictions came from back-of-the-envelope investigation, not formal models.
Exxon did not study the temperature offset of aerosols or the positive effects of CO2 concentrations, such as plant fertilization and warmer winters. Meanwhile, solar power, wind power, and electric vehicles were not industries that offered the prospect of an “energy transition.” (More arguments can be found here.)
The hindsight fallacy abounds. Climate modelers, if their forecasts are borne out, can’t know if they were right for the right reasons. The study also perilously juggles apples and oranges due to the difference between equilibrium and transient climate sensitivity.
Comment: I believe that climate models, by imparting false information, are worse than nothing.
More to the point, nothing here redeems Rockefeller philanthropic money being poured down a Greta Thunberg rathole when real needs go unmet. Never mind.
Comment: It is not only wasted philanthropy “when real needs go unmet.” The colossal waste is all the ‘climate dollars’ that could have been spent on resiliency and adaptation. It is the resource misdirection associated with government-forced duplication of the power grid and the transportation network. And it would mean less spending, smaller budget deficits, and less currency inflation.
After 40 years, an authoritative U.N. panel, which once shared Mr. Gore’s Nobel Prize, has made real progress on the uncertainty puzzle, not only narrowing the consensus range of likely climate outcomes, more importantly reducing the estimated risk of worst-case warming.
This upshot of its long-awaited Sixth Assessment Report in 2021-22 goes unreported by the same press that gobbles up Rockefeller’s Exxon hate-mongering. It significantly uprates the likelihood that human society will weather the expected changes handily. In turn, as I noted recently, scientists have been able to refocus usefully on outlier risks and geoengineering solutions if those outlier risks should materialize.
Comment: Holman Jenkins’s interpretation of the IPCC science is more from the body of the report and less from the (biased) Policy Summary–and still less from the media exaggeration of the 6th assessment.
Jenkins will be pleased to know that 1) recorded satellite temperatures are showing much less warming than was model-predicted; 2) the mainstream has turned against the upper-end warming models of the IPCC family; 3) reality-based temperature reconstructions indicate warming of roughly 1.5C-2.2C for a doubling of CO2 (see here, here, and here) versus the IPCC’s AR6 range of equilibrium climate sensitivity of 2.0C-4.5C.
Public Policy Failure
Hooray. This is progress. In the meantime, though, thanks to Rockefeller, Mr. Gore and others, we ended up with policy option C— spend X trillion to have no effect on climate.
Comment: Has the anti-CO2 crusade actually increased emissions? The low marginal costs of wind and solar have ruined the economics of nuclear capacity, causing premature retirements. Same for gas plants. And the reliability/price problems from dilute, intermittent energies have increased coal and oil and wood burning around the world. Energy density rules.
Our obsessive focus on green energy subsidies pleases many constituents but incentivizes more energy consumption overall. The human appetite for energy, after all, is limitless if the price is right. Meanwhile, unused and even denigrated by the left is the only tool that was ever likely to reduce meaningfully the path of emissions, a carbon tax.
Comment: Forgive Jenkins for his club-in-the-closet, a CO2 tax. Does he know the “right” price? Are we willing to implement international trade barriers to prevent “leakage”? Government failure and analytic failure far more than negates “market failure” in this regard.
Oh well. Climate policy is effectively over and that’s probably fine. The energy machine will certainly incorporate new technologies, including renewables; there won’t be a major shift in emissions from the path they would have taken anyway.
Comment: Worry about the next century’s “problems” in the next century–and enjoy affordable, plentiful, dependable energy in the meantime. And global lukewarming might even be an insurance policy against a global cooling from a string of volcanoes or from the natural forces that we know so little about.
Mr. Gore will continue his angry prophet act. Politics will continue to fuel a sacred pork scramble. The climate press will balance on its noses whatever memes are tossed its way. And humanity will adapt to the climate it gets, which the best current guess says will probably be another 1 to 2 degrees Celsius warmer over the next century.
Final Comment: Global greening and other benefits from CO2 enrichment will continue and expand. The mitigation strategy of the United Nations, the UK/EU, and the Biden Administration has failed. The path forward is anticipation and adaptation to weather/climate, which points toward free markets and societal wealth, not global energy statism.
Think about what Al Gore said for a minute. And then think about all the years and trillions of dollars spent on CO2 mitigation. Everything that has been done so far has not resulted in any reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere. None. Nada. All efforts have been meaningless.
Gore and those like him are wildly rich.
I think it all worked perfectly.
Yes, and as long as there is another $ to be squeezed out of it, that aspect will continue unabated.
More importunately, the drive towards a completely surveilled and controlled society will never willingly waver.
None of them are smart enough for this outcome to be planned. Rather, they are just typical politicians, a failure at everything but lying and bamboozling and schmoozing, and global warming was just a handy up-and-coming field with few enough proponents that they could be early adopters and have more influence.
And now they are all pissed and raging because unlike other opportunities, like starting wars, ending wars, supporting wars, or expanding health care, or woke studies, their particular choice is showing all signs of turning into a dead end.
They have no knowledge of any of it. They don’t care about the mechanisms, whether it is true or not, but they care very much that they were misled on which path they chose, and raging raging raging.
And consider the lost opportunity cost that those trillions represent.
Probably the biggest single reduction in energy usage over the last few decades, is the LED light. And that would have happened anyway.
I hope they realizing there failure and give up and bugger off but I have a feeling that my hope is premature but lets hope anyway
There are at least long decades of struggle yet to come.
If only there were a boiling ocean where they could take the plunge and disappear.
There are other issues to be considered.
Having an eternal enemy (carbon dioxide!) that always needs to be defeated, yet never diminishes or goes away, fulfills many human needs. Both political and religious.
The Climate Alarmist movement are in total collapse, they are coming apart (thankfully). There is Blood and Gore everywhere……
NB. A few years back, Richard Branson was in a cosy interview situation with Al Gore. The interviewer asked Branson what it was like having a well known climate prophet for a friend?
Branson mischievously asked , “How are you spelling ‘profit'”
Here is the clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exSah-9urqo
Al Gore invented the internet. If his climate rants about boiling oceans and rain bombs are nonsensical so be it. Cultic saints are rarely sensical.
Al Gore only ever invented lies. He certainly didn’t invent or even aid the internet.
Is the Misleadia finally admitting what sceptics have been saying for years, wind and solar are unreliable?
OK, they’re still toeing the line, but it’s a step in the right direction
It won’t save a penny.
“taking in the uneven power from wind turbines and smoothing it out”
This is the prime purpose for this installation, notice they don’t say anywhere how long it can provide power for if the wind stops blowing. Probably because it will be a matter of minutes before these “batteries” are depleted. Congratulations Zenobe, you have just added billions to our electricity bills with zero actual benefit.
Yup, and if you look at the cost of installation and the cost of replacing all those batteries when they spontaneously combust within 5 years
According to the article the battery is equivalent to 1500 electric cars
Sky News has been given exclusive access to Europe’s biggest grid-linked battery just after switch-on. It covers an area of around two football pitches in nearly one hundred containers and can store as much electricity as 1,500 electric cars, taking in the uneven power from wind turbines and smoothing it out for local homes and businesses.
The article doesn’t any more information than that. Football in this case is Association Football the dimensions are specified as between 45 and 90 m and 90 and 120 m. Say 70 by 100m or 14,000m^2 for two. Doesn’t seem a good use of that amount of land or the investment, which doesn’t seem to be mentioned.
The Headline Merseyside’s mega-battery is switched on – and here’s how it will save billions of pounds off bills and huge amounts of CO2
But in the body
“This is pushing power back onto the grid in a very consistent and predictable way… So sites like this are going to reduce the amount of curtailment. This site itself will save somewhere between 50 and £100m to consumers over the next 15 years.”
The headline is hyped for those that don’t read to the bottom of the article.
Finally it goes into dropping large weights down holes, and hydrogen as viable storage systems.
Toeing the line doesn’t cover it.
I agree, Ben
Sky News are notorious for being climate doomsters, I’m just hopeful this is at least the start of the roll back
Does saving just over 1m tonnes of CO2 over 15 years count as “saving a huge amount “?
China, for instance, emitted almost 11 billion tonnes in 2020.
Sounds like it will make for one epic fire. Just takes one short…
Ben, For general conversation, a football pitch is equal to one acre of land. or two and a half football pitches/hectare if you are into SI units.
Which ever way we describe it it is a ridiculous battery size and a ridiculous way to balance grid energy input fluctuation.
During Davos I remembered a program I saw in 1989. James Burke (of the show ‘Connections’) got together in 1989 with Maryland Public Broadcasting and Film Australia, made a show, “After the Warming” about the impact of climate change on the world. I rewatched it to refresh my memory. It offered Carbon Credits as a way the rich countries could encourage the poor ones to not move to a carbon based energy system. The two programs combined ran to an hour and 50 minutes. The proposals for the climate warming fix sound remarkably like a lot of what has been preached at Davos. This was thought out and presented 17 years before Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”. The program was a well done effort to influence the world. Many of the arguments still float around today. The scope of world control by a world government that is proposed is shocking. Lets you know how long this effort by the “world’s leaders” has been organized, and has been going on. If you have time, give it a watch for a historical perspective. A link to the Youtube offering (as long as it stays up after this post) is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfE8wBReIxw
My memory ain’t what it used to be… I’m starting to remember it all!
At the beginning of the climastrology scam, when the concept of carbon credits were first introduced, I fail to remember who it was, divinely anointed to “administer” those credits? Was it Gore or Kerry? I paid no attention, never thought grown-ups would take the fool seriously.
I mean, a whole new mandated and enforced international currency, backed by national taxes and guaranteed by the supranational “foreign investment” cabal, given as property to one man for no reason other than….
Can somebody please end that for me?
During Davos I remembered a program I saw in 1989. James Burke (of the show ‘Connections’) got together in 1989 with Maryland Public Broadcasting and Film Australia, made a show, “After the Warming” about the impact of climate change on the world. I rewatched it to refresh my memory. It offered Carbon Credits as a way the rich countries could encourage the poor ones to not move to a carbon based energy system. The two programs combined ran to an hour and 50 minutes. The proposals for the climate warming fix sound remarkably like a lot of what has been preached at Davos. This was thought out and presented 17 years before Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”. The program was a well financed effort to influence the world. Many of the wrong arguments still float around today. The scope of world control by a world government that is proposed is shocking. Lets you know how long this effort by the “world’s leaders” has been organized, and has been going on. If you have time, give it a watch for a historical perspective. A link to the Youtube offering (as long as it stays up after this post) is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfE8wBReIxw
“Youtube offering (as long as it stays up….”
A very well done show by James Burke. At 1:38:30 sea level rise of “2 feet by 2020” shows you something about the fallibility of attempting to predict the future. The historical part is worth a watch. Utopian future based on expected government meddling is….happening….
Yep it’s a mighty tall order largely for rich folks-
EV companies call out their own weaknesses in new clean energy report (msn.com)
It is quite telling that the CAGW Loonies never considered the cost of mitigation versus the cost of adaptation, the overall cost/benefit ratio, nor the natural climate cycles and their possible interaction with anthropogenic attempts to change the cycles. Never mind that there is no actual signal detectable showing anthropogenic effect against natural variance. The whole charade is SHOW ME THE MONEY.
It’s always been agitprop for the Left. The class warfare gambit hasn’t worked, so they’ve added climate, race and gender.
My question is this: Why mitigate anything, or maybe what are we mitigating? What bad problems have increased CO2 caused that we need to mitigate? Hurricanes are not increasing. Droughts are not increasing. Severe weather is not increasing. There has been little to no increase in rate of sea level rise.
What are we trying to mitigate?
Good point, Aetiuz, and the only thing I can think of is they are trying to mitigate is a shortage of money in their own pocket.
Humans, freedoms and prosperity; not necessarily in that order!
The Climate Boogeyman.
He’s gonna GET you he’s gonna GET you he’s gonna GET you!
We’ve been mitigating for over 40 years without showing any significant effect on the rate or CO2 increase per the Keeling Mona Loa data. We’ve been adapting for 30,000 years with extreme “hockey stick” improvements in human survival and well being clearly evident since our transition to fossil fuel energy powered industrialization in the last 100+ years. The only thing trashing our fossil fuel energy systems will “mitigate” is our prosperity and freedom. Apparently we suffer from way too much of both.
There has always been a class of extreme environmentalist, who consider any change, if it was caused by man, to be evil.
To them, having man cause CO2 levels to rise, even if it beneficial to the environment, to be wrong, because it isn’t natural.
They would rather have the entire ecosystem collapse from CO2 starvation, than have it rescued by man
I remember one young extremist that I talked with once (there’s no debating with these guys). When presented with the choice of an asteroid striking the earth and killing all life on it, or man deflecting the asteroid, he chose letting it hit, because that would be just nature in action.
After his “the oceans are boiling”- nobody should pay any attention to Gore anymore.
Nobody should EVER have listened to Gore.
Snake oil salesman, hypocrite, and as I recall a “D” student in science.
It is an inconvenient truth that Gore played on our fears….and falsely claimed that the oceans are boiling and billions will become climate refugees….what a scumbag he is!
If ya meet the buddha on the road….(be sure to insert your favorite pronoun before buddha).
All this climate claptrap is turning out to be what the adults knew it was all along, a grifters scam meant to separate the rubes from their money. Just like any other carnival or circus, there has got to be clowns. Think anyone vying for the attention of the media by shouting “climate….”. Whatever.
Tired of it all now.
Since all of the Rockefeller wealth came from oil, one would think that they would give away all their money, every penny, to some non-controversial cause to gain some self respect.
The entire Net Zero meme is a delusional solution to a non- existent problem . A natural Millennial Solar Activity peak was reached in 1991/2 and because of the thermal inertia of the Oceans the correlative global temperaure peak was at 2003/4.. Earth will be in a cooling trend until 2700 +/- .See Figs 1,2,and 3 at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/
This is not a difficult concept but the the IPCC and UNFCCC post modern science establishment’s “Consensus” scientists seem unable to grasp the idea.In addition there is too little CO2 in the atmosphere to make any measurable difference to global temperature . Here are some quotes from the above link.:
“The IPCC and UNFCCC post modern science establishment’s “consensus” is that a modelled future increase in CO2 levels is the main threat to human civilization. This is an egregious error of scientific judgement. A Millennial Solar ” Activity” Peak in 1991 correlates with the Millennial Temperature Peak at 2003/4 with a 12/13 year delay because of the thermal inertia of the oceans. Earth has now entered a general cooling trend which will last for the next 700+/- years.
Because of the areal distribution and variability in the energy density of energy resources and the varying per capita use of energy in different countries, international power relationships have been transformed. The global free trade system and global supply chains have been disrupted.
Additionally, the worlds richest and most easily accessible key mineral deposits were mined first and the lower quality resources which remain in the 21st century are distributed without regard to national boundaries and demand. As population grows,inflation inevitably skyrockets. War between states and violent conflicts between tribes and religious groups within states are multiplying.
2 The Millennial Temperature Cycle Peak.
Latest Data (1) https://www.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/tlt/uahncdc_lt_6.0.txt
Global Temp Data 2003/12 Anomaly +0.26 : 2023/01 Anomaly -0.04 Net cooling for 19 years
NH Temp Data 2004/01 Anomaly +0.37 : 2023/01 Anomaly +0.05 Net cooling for 19 years
SH Temp Data 2003/11 Anomaly +0.21: 2023/01 Anomaly -0.14 Net cooling for 19 years
Tropics Temp Data 2004/01 Anomaly +0.22 : 2023/01 Anomaly – 0.38 Net cooling for 19 years.
USA 48 Temp Data 2004/03 Anomaly +1.32 : 2023/01 Anomaly + 0.12 Net cooling for 19 years.
Arctic Temp Data 2003/10 Anomaly +0.93 : 2023/01 Anomaly – 0.72 Net cooling for 19 years
Australia Temp Data 2004/02 Anomaly +0.80 : 2023/01 Anomaly – 0.50 Net cooling for 19 years
Earth’s climate is the result of resonances and beats between the phases of natural cyclic processes of varying wavelengths and amplitudes. At all scales, including the scale of the solar planetary system, sub-sets of oscillating systems develop synchronous behaviors which then produce changing patterns of periodicities in time and space in the emergent temperature data. The periodicities pertinent to current estimates of future global temperature change fall into two main categories:
a) The orbital long wave Milankovitch eccentricity, obliquity and precession cycles. These control the glacial and interglacial periodicities and the amplitudes of the corresponding global temperature cycles.
b) Solar activity cycles with multi-millennial, millennial, centennial and decadal time scales.
The most prominent solar activity and temperature cycles are : Schwab-11+/-years ; Hale-22 +/-years ; 3 x the Jupiter/Saturn lap cycle 60 years +/- :; Gleissberg 88+/- ; de Vries – 210 years+/-; Millennial- 960-1020 +/-. (2)
The Oulu Galactic Ray Count is used in this paper as the “solar activity ” proxy which integrates changes in Solar Magnetic field strength, Total Solar Insolation , Extreme Ultra Violet radiation, Interplanetary Magnetic Field strength, Solar Wind density and velocity, Coronal Mass Ejections, proton events, ozone levels and the geomagnetic Bz sign. Changes in the GCR neutron count proxy source causes concomitant modulations in cloud cover and thus albedo. (Iris effect)
Eschenbach 2010 (3) introduced “The Thunderstorm Thermostat Hypothesis – how Clouds and Thunderstorms Control the Earth’s Temperature”.
Eschenbach 2020(4) in https://whatsupwiththat.com/2020/01/07/drying-the-sky uses empirical data from the inter- tropical buoy system to provide a description of this system of self-organized criticality. Energy flow from the sun into and then out of the ocean- water interface in the Intertropical Convergence Zone results in a convective water vapor buoyancy effect and a large increase in OLR This begins when ocean temperatures surpass the locally critical sea surface temperature to produce Rayleigh – Bernard convective heat transfer.
Short term deviations from the solar activity and temperature cycles are driven by ENSO events and volcanic activity……………
The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is .058% by weight. That is one 1,720th of the whole. It is inconceivable thermodynamically that such a tiny tail could wag so big a dog. (13)
Stallinga 2020 (14) concludes: ” The atmosphere is close to thermodynamic equilibrium and based on that we……… find that the alleged greenhouse effect cannot explain the empirical data—orders of magnitude are missing. ……Henry’s Law—outgassing of oceans—easily can explain all observed phenomena.” CO2 levels follow temperature changes. CO2 is the dependent variable and there is no calculable consistent relationship between the two. The uncertainties and wide range of out-comes of model calculations of climate radiative forcing (RF) arise from the improbable basic assumption that anthropogenic CO2 is the major controller of global temperatures.
Miskolczi 2014 (15) in “The greenhouse effect and the Infrared Radiative Structure of the Earth’s Atmosphere “says “The stability and natural fluctuations of the global average surface temperature of the heterogeneous system are ultimately determined by the phase changes of water.”
Also See AleksandrZhitomirskiy2022 Absorption of heat and the greenhouse gas effect. https://independent.academia.edu/AleksandrZhitomirskiy (16) which says:
“The molar heat capacities of the main greenhouse and non-greenhouse gases are of the same order of magnitude. Given the low concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, their contribution to temperature change is below the measurement error. It seems that the role of various gases in the absorption of heat by the atmosphere is determined not by the ability of the gas to absorb infrared radiation, but by its heat capacity and concentration. ”
Zaichun Zhul et al 2016 (17) in Greening of the Earth and its drivers report “a persistent and widespread increase of growing season integrated Leaf Area Index (greening) over 25% to 50% of the global vegetated area from 1982 – 2009. ………. C02 fertilization effects explain 70% of the observed greening trend.”
Policies which limit CO2 emissions or even worse sequester CO2 in quixotic CCS green-washing schemes would decrease agricultural food production and are antithetical to the goals of feeding the increasing population and bringing people out of poverty.”
$30 million over 40 years, is not a lot of money.
What the report fails to mention (deliberately in my opinion) is that none of that money given to conservative think tanks, was targeted towards climate change.
Also these conservative think tanks produced reports on many issues, almost all of which had no bearing on the climate change controversy.
There are only two things you need to know about Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. Number one CO2 is not the control knob for global temperature, number two earth is not going to reach a tipping point and suffer uncontrolled temperature increase. There problem solved now it’s time to move on.
“The mitigation strategy of the United Nations, the UK/EU, and the Biden Administration has failed.” Which is precisely why they are going to keep doing it, they are doing exactly what they want done, collapsing industrial society.