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   PoliticsPolitics of Energy

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (82701)11/15/2019 7:01:43 AM
From: Brumar89
   of 83311
The mammoth gap between energy trends and climate goals

Climate protestors outside Congress. Photo: John Lamparski/Getty Images

Existing and announced policies worldwide won't be nearly enough to rein in carbon emissions, despite the strong growth of climate-friendly energy sources, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency.

Why it matters: The IEA's annual World Energy Outlook reports are among the most prominent attempts to model where energy systems are headed in the decades ahead. These big and data-rich studies (this year's weighs in at 810 pages) are widely cited by policymakers, analysts and other stakeholders.

What they did: The report models the long-term effect of three core scenarios on energy demand and how it is met...

Existing policiesThe combination of current and announced plansA "sustainable" pathway consistent with the Paris Agreement goal of holding temperature rise well under 2°C.

Adapted from IEA's 2019 World Energy Outlook; Chart: Axios Visuals
What they found: Check out the chart above. Even under nations' announced policies, energy demand is projected to rise by roughly 1% annually until 2040 (the end of the modeled period).

Under that pathway, the increase in global carbon emissions slows but does not peak, instead rising roughly 100 million tonnes annually from 2018 and 2040.That's a far cry from the deep emissions cuts needed to meet the Paris goals, which are a benchmark for avoiding some of the most damaging effects of warming.The big picture: Under the announced policies scenario, low-carbon sources — notably solar — meet more than half of demand growth through 2040.

Use of natural gas rises significantly too, while coal demand in 2040 is slightly below today's levels.Global oil demand grows but then "flattens out" in the 2030s. In 2040, demand is roughly 106 million barrels per day.Oil use in passenger cars peaks in the late 2020s, but that's offset by rising demand for oil in the petrochemical and other sectors.Overall, fossil fuels would still have a 74% share of the global energy mix in 2040.The bottom line: IEA executive director Fatih Birol urged emphasis on deploying the basket of technologies and bringing about efficiency gains consistent with their Paris-aligned scenario.

“The world urgently needs to put a laser-like focus on bringing down global emissions," he said in a statement. "This calls for a grand coalition encompassing governments, investors, companies and everyone else who is committed to tackling climate change."

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (82702)11/15/2019 7:04:29 AM
From: Brumar89
   of 83311
'Deep Electrification’ Means More Natural Gas

Jude ClementeContributor

I cover oil, gas, power, LNG markets, linking to human development.

For environmental reasons, there’s an ongoing push to “electrify everything,” from cars to port operations to heating.

The idea is that a “deep electrification” will help lower greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.

The reality, however, is that more electrification will surge the need for electricity, an obvious fact that seems to be getting forgotten.

The majority of this increase occurs in the transportation sector: electric cars can increase home power usage by 50% or more.

The U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) says that “electrification has the potential to significantly increase overall demand for electricity.”

NREL reports that a “high” electrification scenario would up our power demand by around 40% through 2050.

A high electrification scenario would grow our annual power consumption by 80 terawatt hours per year.

For comparison, that is like adding a Colorado and Massachusetts of new demand each year.

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) confirms that electrification could boom our power demand by over 50%.

Electricity is slated to more than double its share of final energy consumption to around 50% in the decades ahead.

From load shifting to higher peak demand, deep electrification will present major challenges for us.

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (82703)11/15/2019 7:16:57 AM
From: Brumar89
   of 83311
Global governments ‘still coming to terms’ with America’s energy abundance, State Department official says



The U.S. has undergone an “unprecedented energy transformation” and is changing international energy market dynamics to such an extent that other countries are only just accepting it, according to the U.S. assistant secretary of state for energy resources.The boom in energy production in the states means that in the fourth quarter of 2020, the U.S. is expected to become a net energy exporter, exporting more energy products than it imports.

An oil tanker is anchored near the Port of Long Beach, California, U.S.
Tim Rue | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The U.S. has undergone an “unprecedented energy transformation” and is changing international energy market dynamics to such an extent that other countries are only just accepting it, according to Frank Fannon, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for energy resources.

Speaking to an audience at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) Tuesday, Fannon said that the U.S.' evolution into a global leader in energy production offered new opportunities, and challenges, to consumers and producers around the world.

“Governments around the world are still coming to terms with this new reality and reconciling the implications, this is understandable. The U.S. shift from scarcity to abundance occurred with unprecedented speed and scale,” Fannon said.

“For more than 40 years, U.S. law prohibited oil exports but Congress lifted the ban in 2015 and the private sector responded,” Fannon said, “today, the U.S. is the largest producer in the world and on track to produce 13 million barrels (per day) next month.”

He also noted that the country had gone from being the 15th largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2016, to the third largest exporter currently and that it was changing energy market dynamics by introducing liquidity and choice into the market. The U.S. is the second largest producer of renewable energy, Fannon also stated.

America has certainly shaken up the norms when it comes to energy production and supply. Aside from its so-called “shale oil revolution” that has made it the largest crude oil producer in the world, closely followed by Russia and Saudi Arabia, it has also (in the space of a few years) become one of the major global players in terms of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports.

The boom in energy production in the states means that in the fourth quarter of 2020, it is expected to become a net energy exporter, exporting more energy products than it imports.

Achieving that status of “energy independence” is seen as an important milestone for a country looking to reduce its dependence (and all the security implications that entails) on external producers. It also means an economic boost for the U.S., as well as potential political wins. But the country still faces stiff competition from other more established energy producers, like Russia. Europe, for example, has become something of a battleground between Washington and Moscow competing to supply natural gas to the continent.

The Russia question
Another market dynamic that the U.S. is contending with is the established, and apparently strengthening, relationship between OPEC and non-OPEC producer Russia.

Not only does the 14-member oil producing group led by Saudi Arabia have an agreement with Russia (and other producers) to curb oil output, the two countries have also sealed energy investments and partnerships in recent years — most recently when President Vladimir Putin visited Saudi Arabia in October.

Asked by CNBC’s Hadley Gamble if the U.S. had left a vacuum in the Middle East that countries like Russia were seeking to fill, Fannon said: “I don’t see a vacuum at all.”

He said countries like Russia were spurred on to seal investment deals because of competition from the U.S.

We want to continue to promote growth in Middle East: US State Department official

“I’m not surprised that Russia is eager to be in the region, and elsewhere. We might not like it but it’s rational. What they see, whether it’s in this region or around the world, is what’s happening to global energy markets because of U.S. energy and U.S. energy innovation,” he said.

“I see there’s a race going on to get here and create positions because these infrastructure (projects), these energy projects, can have 50-year time horizons. They see what’s happening and so they’re rushing to lock in these positions because they’re fearful,” he said.

Appointed to the role by President Donald Trump in January 2018, Fannon is largely responsible for energy diplomacy at the State Department. He said the U.S.' energy policy was “a proxy for other foreign policy issues.”

“It can be an area that facilitates cooperation, irrespective of perhaps historical clouds,” he said.

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (82704)11/15/2019 12:30:57 PM
From: Brumar89
   of 83311
A warmer planet necessarily means colder winters. Warmer Winters. More Snow. Less Snow. More Rain. Less Rain. Bigger Tornadoes. No Tornadoes.
What ever scares the bejebus out of you… that is what climate change will bring on. Even more acne!

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (82705)11/15/2019 12:31:16 PM
From: Brumar89
1 Recommendation   of 83311
Chicken Littles vs Adelie Penguins
Guest Blogger

By Jim Steele

Chicken Littles vs Adelie Penguins

Throughout recorded history dooms day cults attract thousands of gullible people. Charismatic cult leaders of the Order of the Solar Temple or Heaven’s Gate convinced their followers to commit suicide due to a coming “environmental apocalypse”. To prevent environmental collapse, a recent mass shooter justified his killings as reducing over-population, while a Swedish scientist has suggested cannibalism. Thus, it’s worrisome that charismatic congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez similarly warns our world is doomed in 12 years. Equally disturbing is the carefully orchestrated fear-mongering, such that the United Nations gave ill-informed, 16-year old Greta Thunberg center stage to rage that CO2 is causing ecosystem collapse. Terrifying children with ‘the sky is falling’ fears will only bring about dire, unintended consequences.

Who is filling our children’s heads with stories of ecosystem collapse?

For one Al Gore wrote in 2012, “ The fate of the Adelie Penguins, A message from Al Gore”: “As temperatures rise along the West Antarctic Peninsula and the winter sea ice blankets the ocean three months fewer per year than 30 years ago, the local ecosystem is in danger. Everything from the base of the food chain – the phytoplankton (microscopic plants and bacteria) and krill (shrimp like creatures), to one of the continent’s most iconic inhabitants, the Adelie penguins, are under threat…There is an important lesson for us in the story of the Adelie penguins.”

Indeed, Adelie penguins provide an “important lesson”. Don’t trust apocalyptic hype!

Adelie penguins may be the best studied bird on earth. In 2009, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimated between 4 and 5 million adults, happily listing them as a species of “Least Concern”. However, using dubious IPCC climate models, scientists led by ornithologist David Ainley predicted the most northerly Adelie colonies would soon disappear as ice-melting warmth crept southward. They predicted between the years 2025 and 2052, 70% of the total Adelie population would be lost. Bullied by that virtual death count, the IUCN downgraded Adelies from “Least Concern” to “Near Threatened”.

In real life, by 2016 Adelie abundance had nearly doubled to 7.6 million, and once again Adelies are a species of Least Concern. So how were scientists so misled?

Ice Age glaciers had forced Adelies to abandon most of Antarctica’s coast. With warming, glaciers retreated and Adelies rapidly returned to breed and multiply. However, there was one exception. For over 5400 years Adelies avoided ice free coastlines along Antarctica’s northwestern peninsula. Scientists dubbed this the “northern enigma”. Due to the region’s unfavorable weather, breeding Adelies still avoid much of that region, currently labeled the “Adelie Gap”. As might be expected, breeding colonies adjacent to the “Adelie Gap” are the least stable with some colonies experiencing population declines, and those declining colonies were enough to confirm some scientists’ climate fears.

In the 1990s, the northwestern sector of the Antarctic peninsula coincidently experienced rising temperatures and declining sea ice. Although Antarctica sea ice was not decreasing elsewhere, researchers believed the melting ice and warmer temperatures were just what CO2-driven climate models predicted. But then the peninsula’s winds shifted. The peninsula’s sea ice has now been growing and temperatures have been cooling for over a decade. Furthermore in contrast to Ainley’s models, colonies at the most northerly limits of the Adelies’ range are not disappearing. Those colonies are thriving and increasing such as the Sandwich Island colonies, and northerly colonies on the Antarctic peninsula’s east side.

Media headlines are guided by the maxim ‘if it bleeds it leads.’ Likewise, scientific journals. Good news about thriving colonies, or no change, fail to capture headlines. But the addiction to eye-catching catastrophes misleads the public and scientists alike. Despite no warming trend at an Emperor penguin colony, David Ainley was so inebriated by global warming fears, he fabricated a warming temperature graph to falsely explain the colony’s decline! Similarly, extreme researchers of polar bear populations wrongly argued, “we’re projecting that, by the middle of this century, two-thirds of the polar bears will be gone from their current populations”. Again, in reality polar bear abundance has increased.

By perpetuating bogus claims of a world ending in 12 years, the Chicken Littles are doing far more harm than blinding children to scientific evidence that many species, from polar bears to Adelie penguins, are thriving. Our children miss the “important lesson” that a “climate crisis” is only a theory supported by scary narratives, not facts. So how do we protect our children from Chicken Littles who seek to enroll vulnerable minds into their doomsday cults? How do we motivate our children to be good critical thinkers, and not blind group thinkers mesmerized by fear and ‘end of the earth’ scenarios?

Jim Steele is director emeritus of the Sierra Nevada Field Campus, SFSU and authored Landscapes and Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism.

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (82706)11/15/2019 4:31:33 PM
From: Brumar89
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Back to Hanoi for Jane Fonda!? Vietnam can’t build coal plants fast enough as economy booms – Fonda urged to take her DC climate protest to Hanoi instead

Vietnam’s coal and crude oil imports surged in the first ten months of this year, government data released on Tuesday showed, highlighting the Southeast Asian country’s increasing reliance on imported energy to support its fast-growing economy.

Vietnam has one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia, backed by robust exports and foreign investment. Economic growth this year is expected to surpass the government’s target range of 6.6%-6.8%, as the country benefits from the Sino-U.S. trade war.

The strong growth has boosted demand for coal. Imports of the commodity, mostly from Australia and Indonesia, during the January-October period more than doubled from a year earlier to 36.8 million tonnes, valued at $3.25 billion, the Customs Department said in a statement.

The imported coal will mostly be used for the country’s growing fleet of coal-fired power plants, which will still play a key role in its power generation mix for the years to come even as Hanoi promotes renewables.

The country’s crude oil imports rose 80.6% from a year earlier to 6.8 million tonnes during the period, the department said.

Once a key export earner for Vietnam, crude oil output of the country has been declining recently as its reserves fall at existing fields and as China’s increasingly assertive stance in the region hampers offshore exploration.

Government data showed crude oil output in the first ten months of this year fell 7.2% from a year earlier to 9.3 million tonnes. Meanwhile, its coal output rose 10.5% to 37.9 million tonnes.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade said in July Vietnam will contend with severe power shortages from 2021 as demand outpaces construction of new plants, with electricity demand expected to exceed supply by 6.6 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) in 2021, and 15 billion kWh in 2023.

Vietnam will need an average of $6.7 billion a year to expand its annual power generation capacity by 10% between 2016 and 2030, the ministry had said.

Tuesday’s customs data also showed Vietnam recorded a trade surplus of $9.01 billion during the first ten months of this year, widening from a surplus of $7.24 billion a year earlier.

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From: russet11/15/2019 6:45:03 PM
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NOVEMBER 15, 2019 U.S. natural gas production, consumption, and exports set new records in 2018

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Natural Gas Annual 2018
The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Natural Gas Annual 2018 shows that the United States set new records in natural gas production, consumption, and exports in 2018. In 2018, dry natural gas production increased by 12%, reaching a record-high average of 83.8 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). This increase was the largest percentage increase since 1951 and the largest volumetric increase in the history of the series, which dates back to 1930. U.S. natural gas consumption increased by 11% in 2018, driven by increased natural gas consumption in the electric power sector. Natural gas gross exports totaled 10.0 Bcf/d in 2018, 14% more than the 2017 total of 8.6 Bcf/d. Several new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities came online in 2018, allowing for more exports.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Natural Gas Annual 2018
U.S. natural gas consumption grew in each end-use sector. Demand for natural gas as a home heating fuel was greater in 2018 than in 2017 because of slightly colder weather during most of the winter. Similarly, the summer of 2018 saw record-high temperatures that increased demand for air conditioning and, therefore, electricity—much of which was fueled by natural gas. U.S. electric power sector consumption of natural gas grew by 14% in 2017, more than in any other end-use sector. The electric power sector has been shifting toward natural gas in the past decade because of favorable prices and efficiency gains.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Natural Gas Annual 2018
U.S. natural gas production growth was concentrated in the Appalachian, Permian, and Haynesville regions. Pennsylvania and Ohio, states that overlay the Appalachian Basin, had the first- and third-largest year-over-year increases for 2018, increasing by 2.0 Bcf/d and 1.7 Bcf/d, respectively. Louisiana had the second-largest volumetric increase in dry production, increasing by 1.8 Bcf/d as a result of increased production from the Haynesville shale formation. Texas remained the top natural gas-producing state, with a production level of 18.7 Bcf/d, as a result of continued drilling activity in the Permian Basin in western Texas and eastern New Mexico.

Principal contributor: Mike Kopalek

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (82707)11/16/2019 7:02:11 AM
From: Brumar89
1 Recommendation   of 83311
New Science Scandal: ‘Fatally Flawed Hurricane Paper Should Be Retracted’
NOVEMBER 16, 2019

By Paul Homewood

Roger Pielke Jr has now weighed in on the flawed Grinsted hurricane paper:

Earlier this week a paper published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) by a team of authors led by Aslak Grinsted, a scientist who studies ice sheets at the University of Copenhagen, claimed that “ the frequency of the very most damaging hurricanes has increased at a rate of 330% per century.”

The press release accompanying the paper announced that United States mainland “hurricanes are becoming bigger, stronger and more dangerous” and with the new study, “doubt has been eradicated.”

If true, the paper (which I’ll call G19, using its lead author’s initial and year of publication) would overturn decades of research and observations that have indicated over the past century or more, there are no upwards trends in U.S. hurricane landfalls and no upwards trends in the strongest storms at landfall. These conclusions has been reinforced by the assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ( IPCC), U.S. National Climate Assessment, and most recently of the World Meteorological Organization.

In fact, however, the new PNAS paper is fatally flawed. The conclusions of major scientific assessments remain solid. As I’ll show below, G19 contains several major errors and as a result it should be retracted.

The first big problem with G19 is that it purports to say something about climatological trends in hurricanes, but it uses no actual climate data on hurricanes. That’s right, it instead uses data on economic losses from hurricanes to arrive at conclusions about climate trends. The economic data that it uses is based on research that I and colleagues have conducted over more than two decades, which makes me uniquely situated to tell you about the mistakes in G19.

Compare the counts of hurricanes reported in G19 with those that can be found in climate data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

From 1900 to 1958, the first half of the period under study, NOAA reports that there were 117 total hurricanes that struck the mainland U.S.. But in contrast, G19 has only 92. They are missing 25 hurricanes. In the second half of the dataset, from 1959 to 2017, NOAA has 91 hurricanes that struck the U.S., and G19 has 155, that is 64 extra hurricanes.

The AP passed along the incorrect information when it reported that the new study looks at “ 247 hurricanes that hit the U.S. since 1900.” According to NOAA, from 1900 to 2017 there were in fact only 197 hurricanes that made 208 unique landfalls (9 storms had multiple landfalls).

Part of this difference can be explained by the fact that G19 focus on economic damage, not hurricanes. If a hurricane from early in the 20th century resulted in no reported damage, then according to G19 it did not exist. That’s one reason why we don’t use economic data to make conclusions about climate. A second reason for the mismatched counts is that G19 counts many non-hurricanes as hurricanes, and disproportionately so in the second half of the dataset.

The mismatch between hurricane counts in G19 versus those of NOAA by itself calls into question the entire paper. But it gets much worse.

The dataset on losses from hurricanes used by G19 to generate its top-line conclusions is based on my research. That dataset has been maintained by a company called ICAT located in Colorado. The ICAT dataset was initially created about a decade ago by a former student and collaborator of mine, Joel Gratz, based entirely on our 2008 hurricane loss dataset (which I’ll call P08).

In the years since, ICAT has made some significant changes to its dataset, most notably, by replacing P08 loss estimates with loss estimates from the “ billion dollar disasters” tabulation kept by the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). The replacement data begins in 1980, at the start of the NCEI dataset.

This process created a new hybrid dataset, from 1900 to 1980 the ICAT dataset is based on P08 and for 1980 to 2018 it is based on NCEI. This is hugely problematic for G18, which was apparently unaware that of the details of the dataset that they had found online.

In our comprehensive update of P08 published last year ( Weinkle et al. 2018, or W18) we explained that the NCEI methodology for calculating losses included many factors that had historically not been included in tabulations of the U.S. National Hurricane Center, “for instance, to include federal disaster aid, federal flood insurance payouts, national and local agricultural commodity effects and other macro-economic impacts.”

That meant that one cannot, as ICAT has done, simply append the NCEI dataset from 1980 to the end of the P08 dataset starting in 1900. They are not apples to apples. Indeed, a big part of our work in the W18 update of P08 was to ensure that the data was apples to apples across the entire dataset, and we performed several statistical consistency checks to ensure that was the case.

The new PNAS paper, G19 unwittingly uses the ICAT dataset that staples together P08 and NCEI. I have shown with several graphs on Twitter why this matters: Before 1940, G19 and W18 loss estimates for individual are just about the same. After 1980, however, G19 loss estimates for individual storms are on average about 33% higher than those of W18. The result is a data incontinuity that introduces spurious trends to the dataset.

So what does this all mean?

It means that G19 has identified trends in hurricane losses that are the result of two datasets being improperly combined. This is why G19 results in trends that are inconsistent with the climatological record of U.S. hurricanes while W18 results in trends that are fully consistent with the climatological record of U.S. hurricanes.

When an analysis of economic loss trends from hurricanes in inconsistent with the climate record, the response should not be to claim that the climate record is flawed, but instead, to have a closer look at what biases and errors may have crept into the economic analysis.

Anyone wanting to understand trends in U.S. mainland hurricanes should look at data on U.S. mainland hurricanes, not economic data on losses. Below in the historical record of U.S. hurricanes. So far, 2019 has had two landfalls (the season ends November 30).

The figure blow shows landfalls of the strongest storms (major hurricanes, Category 3+), and 2019 has had none.

The bottom line here is that a fatally flawed paper on climate science passed peer review at a significant journal. It used a dataset found online that had not undergone peer review, much less any quality control. The flawed conclusions of G19 have been loudly promoted by activist scientists and uncritical media.

The result has been a polluting of our discussions of climate science and policy. I have no doubt that good science will win out in the long run, but if we do not enforce basic standards of research quality along the way, we will make that battle much more difficult than it need be.

Full post

As my analysis a few days ago showed, there are many other concerns about Grinsted’s paper.

Roger’s new findings are utterly damning, and it is hard to see how PNAS can do anything other than withdraw the paper.

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (82709)11/16/2019 7:04:06 AM
From: Brumar89
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Winds Getting Stronger, As They Slow Down. (Or Something Like That)
NOVEMBER 15, 2019

By Paul Homewood

According to Matt McGrath’s go to boy, Piers Forster, winds are getting stronger because of climate change:

"Most droughts are found to be in part caused by climate change," said Prof Piers Forster.

"Stronger winds, again associated with more energy in the climate system, add to the fire risk and make them more intense and faster moving."

As is so often the case though, it is a case of climate “scientists” making it up as they go along:

The wind isn’t what it used to be. Scientists say surface wind speeds across the planet have fallen by as much as 25% since the 1970s. The eerie phenomenon – dubbed ‘stilling’ – is believed to be a consequence of global warming, and may impact everything from agriculture to the liveability of our cities. It has taken more than a decade for scientists to get a handle on stilling, a term coined by Australian National University ecohydrologist Michael Roderick in 2007.

Roderick had spent years studying a 50-year decline across Europe and North America of a climate metric called pan evaporation. It measures the rate at which water evaporates from a dish left outside. With his colleague biophysicist Graham Farquhar, he found the cause: the sunlight had dimmed due to air pollution. Less light equals slower evaporation.

It is little wonder why so many intelligent people have so little faith in what so called climate experts tell them.

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (82710)11/16/2019 5:50:44 PM
From: Brumar89
1 Recommendation   of 83311
Planners versus people

Writing in Slate, bicycle activist and journalist Alex Baca argues that the Green New Deal has a big blind spot: It doesn’t address the places Americans live. Sprawl, she claims, along with the transportation and other issues it creates, is perhaps the largest contributor to climate change.

Baca mocks progressive Berkeley, California, for spending $40 million to renovate a parking garage a block from a subway station (albeit with rooftop solar, electric-vehicle charging stations, spots for car-share vehicles, rainwater capture, and water treatment). This, she says, shows that “progressive Democrats remain unwilling to seriously confront the crisis of climate change,” given that America’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions is transportation.

In Baca’s view, Green New Dealers should stop building roads that promote suburban and exurban greenfield developments. On top of retrofitting buildings, why don’t “we” build more housing closer to jobs centers and reallocate what we spend on building new roads to paying for public transit. “We,” of course, implies government mandates that force compliance.

The late Henry Hazlitt, author of Economics in One Lesson, in a 1962 speech warned that when we discuss “economic planning,” we must be clear concerning what it is we are talking about. “The real question being raised is not: plan or no plan? but whose plan?”

Hazlitt asserted that planners want to substitute their own plans for the plans of everyone else, often by laying down a government-backed “master plan” that individuals dare not deviate from. Of course, government planners assure us, “the only persons who are going to be coerced are those whose plans are ‘not in the public interest’.”

Daniel John Sobieski, in American Thinker, called Greta Thunberg’s celebrated voyage “a fossil fuel–supported stunt [that] was not about climate and not about real sacrifice. It was about shaming the Industrial Revolution and capitalism, things that have reduced planetary poverty to historic lows and fueled technologies that have raised the global standard of living to historic highs that more people than ever before share in.”

Sobieski pegged Thunberg’s voyage as “not about climate … [but] about creating a climate of fear, a picture of imminent planetary doom that can only be forestalled by government’s control of every aspect of our lives, from the energy we use to the food we eat to the land we use to our modes of transportation. Everything from cows to combustion engines is bad.”

Ever since the 1992 “Earth Summit” in Rio de Janeiro, U.S. Presidents have lauded Agenda 21, a grandiose United Nations scheme to reorganize the world to save the planet from climate change. But as a 2014 CFACT editorial explained, “The only way Agenda 21 can work is to deny private citizens their private property rights.“ This should not have been surprising, given that the UN has long maintained that “public control of land use is … indispensable.”

Indeed, Agenda 21 stated clearly that “Land… cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market…. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes.”

Sobieski reminded us that enviro-socialist globalists believe that a fragile Earth itself is on the brink, “and humanity is the plague infecting it.” In his view, “The globalists are hammering out an agenda that will determine not only how many people there will be, but where they will live, how they will live, and what governments will permit them to do in order to save the planet.”

Baca’s article demonstrates a major flaw in much of enviro-socialist planning. Zillow states that the current median home value in Berkeley is $1.25 million, and the median rent price is $3,775 per month. Is there any wonder people commute to work?

A 2015 study by the nonpartisan California Legislative Analyst’s Office advised the Legislature to change its policies to facilitate significantly more private home and apartment building in California’s coastal urban areas. The study, however, warned that doing so “would require the state to make changes to a broad range of policies that affect housing supply … including policies that have been fundamental tenets of California government for many years.”

In short, the study states that California will have to reverse decades of planning to solve the affordable housing crisis the planners themselves created. Baca’s plan is based on her theory that “sprawl” is inefficient, thus people should be herded into more concise spaces – in a nation where “going to the country” has been a dominant theme throughout its history.

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