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IN THIS ISSUE:
- [Fill in the Blank Climate Crisis] Season Is Here
- Podcast of the Week: Climate Science Reality Check: Getting True Climate Science Recognized in Canada (Guest: Ron Davison)
- Japan Misses Kyoto Targets
- Wind Farms Dry Soil, May Contribute to Drought
- Islands Adjust to Climate Change, Aren’t Necessarily Shrinking
- Video of the Week: Richard Lindzen’s Climate Reality Check: Bridging the Gap Between Data and Climate Policy
- BONUS Video of the Week: Ph.D. Scientist Willie Soon Easily Debunks Climate Change Propaganda
- Climate Comedy
- Recommended Sites
Miss Anything at Heartland’s Climate Conference? No Problem.
[Fill in the Blank Climate Crisis] Season Is Here
Climate realists should gird their loins in preparation for the pending onslaught of stories in the mainstream media proclaiming this or that seasonal weather event is being enhanced by anthropogenic climate change to some degree somehow or other.
For the past two decades, every year as winter wanes and spring springs, the media has engaged in its contemporary rite of spring: climate fear.
As long as there have been seasons—long before environmental Chicken Littles began proclaiming the end is near because of climate change—spring has meant the start of allergy season, long so-called because pollen from flowering plants creates allergic reactions among sufferers. Modest warming has contributed to a slight decrease in the average period of below-freezing temperatures and late-season plant-killing frost. This means plants start budding and flowering earlier. The allergy season begins earlier than in the past few decades..
In the past few years, therefore, every allergy season has been accompanied by myriad news stories claiming climate change is making the season longer and worse. If the allergy season is lasting longer, that counts as a deleterious effect of climate change. What the stories ignore, however, are the net benefits of the longer growing season: a general greening of the Earth and an increase in hunger-reducing crop production. News stories bemoan the fate of allergy sufferers while ignoring the bigger picture. The stories focus on a drawback of a greener world—worsening allergies—while ignoring the much greater benefits: more trees, shrubs, grasses, flowers, and food crops, all of which is good for pollinators, animals, and humans. Even allergy suffers, except perhaps the most curmudgeonly, would probably consider a few extra days of allergies a small price to pay for a greener world with more food and less hunger.
Spring also marks the commencement of maple tree tapping season by the maple syrup industry. In recent years, tapping season has been accompanied by claims that climate change is destroying maple syrup production. You won’t have real maple syrup for your pancakes and waffles because of climate change! Quick, stop using fossil fuels! The data is clear, however: as the Earth has modestly warmed, maple syrup production has continued to break records, and there is no evidence this trend will change.
Then we come to the big four: floods, hurricanes, drought, and wildfires.
Towns and cities have been located along rivers since civilization began. Rivers make natural travel corridors and trade routes. As a result, every year when spring rains come, ice breaks up, and snow begins to melt, towns and cities along rivers have flooded. Not every town on every river every year, but some towns on some rivers, somewhere each year experience flooding. In addition, modern development along rivers has made flooding more likely or more damaging when it occurs. This includes building in natural flood zones, failure to maintain levees, channelizing feeder streams and rivers, increasing the building of impervious surfaces, and wetlands removal.
To hear climate alarmists tell it, you’d think flooding was nonexistent or exceedingly rare before humans began burning fossil fuels. However, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has found no increase in flooding nor evidence of changes in flood frequency or severity that it can attribute to anthropogenic climate change. This is true even though the IPCC says climate change has contributed to increased incidents of heavy precipitation. As the IPCC writes, “heavier rainfall does not always lead to greater flooding.”
What’s true of maple syrup and flooding is equally true of hurricanes, drought, and wildfires. Each of these types of weather event occurs seasonally. There is a “hurricane season,” typically June through November. Drought doesn’t really have a defined “season,” but it is more typical in May through September (especially in the western United States). “Wildfire season” typically is in the summer months and peaks in August. (Wildfires, though not technically weather events, are more common during droughts.) Each of these event types has occurred with such regularity throughout geologic and recorded history that people have commonly seen them as having seasons—which began long before purported catastrophic anthropogenic global warming became a talking point for political, entertainment, and media pundits.
If recent history is any guide, once hurricane season and wildfire season arrive and as lands become drier during the summer, the media will slam audiences with story after story claiming human fossil fuel use is making hurricanes, wildfires, and droughts more frequent, more severe, or both. Most of these stories will feature so-called “experts” attributing this or that hurricane or fire to climate change, generally based on computer models when they bother to offer any pretense of evidence.
When models and theories conflict with hard data, however, we should accept the facts and reject claims that are falsified by it, no matter how elegant the theory, how complex the model, or how prestigious the person making the claim. That is sound science, as opposed to political science.
As to hurricanes, drought, and wildfires, that means acknowledging the data consistently contradicts claims that climate change is making any of those seasonal occurrences worse. Data shows hurricanes aren’t becoming more frequent or more powerful, regardless of the handpicked experts’ claims. Data likewise shows neither drought nor wildfire numbers or severity are above their historical norms: long-term trends evident in the data simply don’t support claims that wildfires and droughts are more frequent or severe now than they have been throughout history.
So: when you see stories this year claiming climate change is causing an apocalypse of allergies, maple syrup disappearance, floods, hurricanes, drought, and wildfires, check the facts. It will make you feel better. The Heartland Institute provides the fully referenced data on these and other extreme weather trends at ClimateRealism.com and ClimateataGlance.com.
Sources: Climate Realism; Climate at a Glance
Podcast of the Week
In this episode of Environment & Climate News Podcast, we discuss how international agencies, corporations, and governments are treating developed countries as if they were back in the colonial era. Our guest, Vijay Jayaraj of the CO2 Coalition, highlights how climate policies and limits on energy and economic development are keeping the very poorest people in the world impoverished in an effort to fight the Western elites’ boogeyman, climate change.
Jayaraj argues that it is immoral to deny developing economies use of coal, oil, and gas. More, climate change does not pose a threat to the world’s poor. But poverty, lack of food, and lack of other essentials which fossil fuel use can advance, does.
Subscribe to the Environment & Climate News podcast on Apple Podcasts, iHeart, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. And be sure to leave a positive review!
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Japan Misses Kyoto Targets
At the World Economic Forum in January, Japan claimed it was on the way to carbon dioxide neutrality. Not so, energy analyst and author Robert Bryce points out:
But 26 years after the Kyoto Protocol—the most famous document adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change––was agreed to in Kyoto in 1997, the numbers, and the reality on the ground in Japan, show that talk about bold action on climate is cheap. Actually cutting emissions is a different story.
Rather than slash its emissions by at least 18% below 1990 emissions levels by 2020, as was specified at the COP18 meeting in Doha, Japan’s emissions are still at roughly the same level as they were in 1990. Japan’s emissions in 2021 were just 4% lower than they were in 1990.
Even that modest decline, moreover, was caused by economic contraction, not any successful efforts by the national government to restrict emissions and fight climate change.
Although Japan’s electric utilities are spending more than $20 billion on a state-of-the-art nuclear complex, this recommitment to nuclear power consists of reopening plants closed in the aftermath of the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami disaster, not building new ones, Bryce notes. Since 2014, Japan has also invested heavily in solar. Japan’s utilities, however, have determined the grid can’t handle any more intermittent solar at this time, and they have no plans to build more. Meanwhile, local opposition has stifled the use of wind and geothermal power.
Japan also wants to reduce its reliance on green energy technologies that need Chinese-sourced materials for their construction. China previously extorted political concessions from Japan through its stranglehold on critical minerals and rare earths.
It seems fossil-fueled electric power plants are the only growing power source at this time. In mid-2022, JERA, Japan’s biggest utility, opened a large, 1.07 gigawatt (GW) coal-fueled power plant, and in early February 2023, Jera began operating the first of three 650 megawatt (MW) power plants fueled by Liquefied Natural Gas—the first of their kind in the country.
Looking ahead, Bryce notes, Japan’s utilities have 7.3 GW of new fossil-fuel power plants approved and under construction (with more possible), including a 1.3 GW coal plant in Yokosuka, a 500 MW plant being built by Shikoku Electric Power in Saijo, and “eight new gas-fired power plants that will have a total capacity of 5.5 gigawatts,”
Bryce showed a friend of his in the utility sector the list of Japanese power plants under construction. The friend confirmed its accuracy, saying, “Net zero is really more like a dream than a reality.”
Where the rubber hits the road, Bryce writes, “Japan will look after Japan.” In the words of Roger Pielke Jr.’s Iron Law of Climate Policy, “When policies focused on economic growth confront policies focused on emissions reductions, it is economic growth that will win out every time.”
Source: Robert Bryce
Wind Farms Dry Soil, May Contribute to Drought
New research published in the journal Science Direct highlights a problem that has been largely overlooked in the discussion of the expansion of industrial wind facilities, especially on prime farm land: drying of the surrounding soil, which may increase the damage when droughts occur.
The team of researchers from China notes previous research has indicated wind turbines’ operations cause obvious drying of the soil beneath and near them. The scientists looked at prevailing wind patterns and soil moisture in and near wind facilities located on China’s grasslands. They write,
[T]he long-term operation of wind turbines can affect local climates. Soil moisture affects ecosystem balance, so determining the impact of wind farms on soil moisture is important. … We analyzed changes in soil moisture in different wind directions and seasons and then judged the impacts of wind turbine operation on soil moisture. Our research shows that the operation of wind turbines will cause significant drying of soil, and this drought effect differs significantly according to season and wind direction. Our results show that 1) the soil moisture within wind farms decreases most significantly, with a decrease of 4.4 % observed; 2) in summer and autumn, the declines in soil moisture in the downwind direction are significantly greater than those in the upwind direction, with the opposite occurring in spring. (3) Wind farms aggravate the soil drying in grassland areas, which may have impacts on grassland ecosystems.
Although the researchers describe the harm that can come from drier soils as a region enters and suffers through drought, they do not conclude industrial wind facilities shouldn’t be built. Instead, they argue siting decisions should take account of the wider ecosystem impacts of such facilities. This would include serious consideration of the effects of wind facilities on soil moisture and the possible secondary, cumulative effect on ecosystems and their attendant species, connections, and interactions during periods of drought.
Sources: Science Direct
Heartland’s Must-read Climate Sites
Islands Adjust to Climate Change, Aren’t Necessarily Shrinking
New research published in the journal Nature Communications confirms what numerous posts on Climate Realism have shown: islands adjust to climate change, often increasing in area even as seas rise.
Mainstream media outlets often claim rising seas enhanced by climate change doom coral atolls and small island nations. The new paper adds to the body of research showing matters are much more complex. A team of professors and scientists from universities and research institutes in Singapore, New Zealand, the Maldives, and Australia examined the changes to Maldivian reef islands over decadal and millennial time scales. Using a variety of tools and methods, such as photographic evidence, radiometric dating, geological evidence, and remote sensing techniques, they catalogued the physical transformation of these islands.
Their research suggests the islands have continuously adapted and adjusted to changing climate conditions: growing and shrinking in area, increasing and declining in height, and undergoing changes in patterns of vegetation, the shape of their shores, and the size, shape, and location of associated coral reefs.
After collating and examining the evidence from the varied sources of data, the authors conclude,
[T]the magnitude of island change over the past half-century (±40 m movement) is not unprecedented compared with paleo-dynamic evidence that reveals large-scale changes in island dimension, shape, beach levels, as well as positional changes of ±200 m since island formation ~1,500 years ago.
Source: Nature Communications
Richard Lindzen’s Climate Reality Check: Bridging the Gap Between Data and Climate Policy
In this video, Dr. Richard Lindzen, Ph.D., a renowned atmospheric physicist and professor emeritus at MIT, delivers a speech at the Fifteenth International Conference on Climate Change. Dr. Lindzen shares his expert insights on the differences between real-world clmiate data and public policy on climate change. He argues that public policy on climate change is overreaching based on the actual data.
Dr. Lindzen’s speech provides a thought-provoking perspective on the ongoing debate on climate change, and is a must-watch for anyone interested in understanding the complexities of this global issue. Tune in to this video to learn more about the ongoing debate and Dr. Lindzen’s expert opinion on the topic.
To see all the presentations, visit the climate conference site.
Ph.D. Scientist Willie Soon Easily Debunks Climate Change Propaganda
Willie Soon, Ph.D. speaks at The Heartland Institute’s 15th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC15) on Feb. 25, 2023. Soon is both an astrophysicist and a geoscientist based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is the receiving editor in the area of solar and stellar physics for the journal New Astronomy. In his presentation at The Heartland Institute’s 15th International Conference on Climate Change, Soon takes on the assertion that climate change is primarily driven by anthropogenic means.
To see all the presentations, visit the climate conference site.