Month: May 2019

Al Gore Tells Harvard Students ‘Assault On Science’ Threatens Humanity’s Survival

9:54 AM 05/30/2019 | Energy

Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor

Former Vice President Al Gore said President Donald Trump’s “assault on science” threatens “the capacity of the human species to endure” on Earth.

Gore issued his warning in a speech to Harvard University students and faculty Wednesday, stressing “reason” and “rational debate,” indeed democracy itself, were under threat from the “ideology of authoritarianism.”

Science “is now being slandered as a conspiracy based on a hoax,” Gore said, likely referring to a 2012 Trump tweet where he called man-made global warming a “Chinese hoax.”

WATCH:

“The subordination of the best scientific evidence to the cynical greed of those buttressing the power of a would-be-autocrat is yet another strategy for controlling policy by distorting and suppressing the best available information,” Gore said.

“So the ideology of authoritarianism is not only a threat to democracy in America, now because of the attacks on climate science, it has become a threat to the survival of human civilization as we know it and even potentially to the capacity of the human species to endure,” Gore continued.

“In order to solve the climate crisis, we must solve the democracy crisis,” Gore said.

While Gore, a Harvard alumni and producer of two films of questionable accuracy on global warming, did not refer to Trump by name, the former vice president’s message was clear.

“The system of checks and balances that has protected the integrity of our American system for more than two centuries has already been dangerously eroded,” Gore said.

Gore, however, also went after social media, which he claimed is driven by “surveillance capitalism.” Gore said social media “enhances cynicism and magnifies divisions” that erode society. (RELATED: Supreme Court Asked To Hear Case Involving Leaked ‘Climategate’ Emails)

Former U.S. VP Gore at Nobel Peace Prize Forum in OsloFormer U.S. VP Gore at Nobel Peace Prize Forum in Oslo

Former U.S. Vice President and 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore speaks this year’s Nobel Peace Prize Forum, in Oslo, Norway December 11, 2018. NTB Scanpix/Heiko Junge via REUTERS.

Gore went on to blame rampant flooding and tornado sightings in the Midwest on man-made global warming, echoing recent attempts by Democratic presidential candidates to do the same in Iowa.

“Speaking of wind, the winds are increasingly destructive in our world,” Gore said. “Yesterday was the thirteenth day in a row when multiple tornadoes touched down in the United States — 500 this month.”

“Hurricanes have become much stronger. Today, the Arkansas River is four feet higher than the all-time record flood stage. The Mississippi River is setting records as the longest flood ever. Thirty-nine million Americans today are at risk from flooding,” Gore said.

Gore also implored Harvard to divest its endowment from fossil fuel holdings, comparing it to the 1980s campaigns to pull investments in South Africa during apartheid. Gore has often compared climate activism to the anti-apartheid, civil rights and abolition movements.

“It was immoral to continue investing in apartheid,” Gore said before going on to accuse fossil fuel companies of using the tobacco industry’s strategy to keep the American public ignorant of climate science — a narrative pushed by some liberal media outlets.

“The American people have been the targets of a massive, well-organized and lavishly-funded campaign of disinformation, designed to spread doubt and confusion and prevent the formation of a political consensus necessary to adopt new policies to save the future of human civilization,” Gore said.

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via Watts Up With That?

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May 31, 2019 at 12:03PM

Life In A Mountain Meadow

via The Deplorable Climate Science Blog

http://bit.ly/2KhxsAI

May 31, 2019 at 10:44AM

Is Green Growth Possible?

A new study has found no absolute decoupling of CO2 emissions at a global level and concludes that green growth is a misguided objective.

A new study examines green growth policies as articulated in major reports by the World Bank, the OECD and the UN Environment Programme, and tests the theory against extant empirical evidence and models of the relationship between GDP and both material footprint and CO2 emissions.

The paper “Is Green Growth Possible?” is co-authored by Dr. Jason Hickel (Goldsmiths, University of London) and Prof Giorgos Kallis from ICTA-UAB, and has been published in the journal New Political Economy. 

For material footprint, the question pertains to whether we can achieve absolute decoupling of GDP from resource use. Their findings show that empirical projections show no absolute decoupling at a global scale, even under highly optimistic conditions. In addition, they suggest that, while some models show that it may be achieved in high-income nations under highly optimistic (and indeed unrealistic) conditions, this cannot be sustained in the long-term given limits to efficiency improvements.

These results assume current levels of GDP growth, of around 2-3 percent per year. They consider that it may be feasible to achieve absolute reductions in resource use with GDP growing at less than 1% per year. However, to achieve reductions rapid enough to get us down to safe thresholds will require degrowth strategies.

Full Post

Reference: Jason Hickel et al. Is Green Growth Possible?, New Political Economy (2019). DOI: 10.1080/13563467.2019.1598964

The post Is Green Growth Possible? appeared first on The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF).

via The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

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May 31, 2019 at 10:11AM

CO2 Exonerated

 

Vijay Jayaraj makes the case for carbon emissions in relation to the question: Will My Carbon Footprint Benefit or Harm the Environment? May 28, 2019 at Cornwall Alliance. Excerpts in italics with my bolds (Follow the title link to the article for many supporting reference links)

My cousin in California is excited about buying a Tesla. “It is environmentally friendly” he says. Maybe you agree. My friends in India, too, are excited about buying electric cars. They think doing so will help them prevent global warming.

But the evidence suggests otherwise.

Almost every environmental policy now makes reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the only way to “go green.” Advocates have even persuaded school children to strike against fossil fuels.

But as a climate scientist, I’ve researched the pros and cons of CO2. What have I found? That our CO2 emissions will actually benefit the planet, not harm it.

Why? Here are four reasons.

  1. Realism Not Denialism

To begin, climate change is real. The current warming trend began in the 18th century, after the Little Ice Age.

But forecasts of future warming based on faulty computer models aren’t credible. In addition, current global temperature is not unprecedented. It poses no imminent danger to ecosystems.

CO2 does contribute to warming. But the theory that it is the dominant cause is mistaken.

The scientific community is divided on how strongly CO2 can influence global temperature. But the sun and oceans play major roles. They probably far outweigh CO2.

So, call me a “climate realist,” not a “climate denier.” That is a misleading term, used to discredit those who question their hypothesis.

2.  No Damage So Far, and None Coming

CO2 emissions from human activity were almost nonexistent before the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century. If CO2 is the primary driver of warming, there should have been no comparable warming before then. But numerous warming events did occur.

Two happened in the past 2000 years—the Roman Warm Period (around the 1st century A.D.) and the Medieval Warm Period (around the 10th century). Neither significantly damaged human civilization. The only global-scale climate-related damage came from the Little Ice Age of the 17th century.

So we have no reason to believe rising temperatures will cause severe global-scale problems in the future.

3.  CO2 Emissions Have Benefited Us, Not Harmed Us

CO2 emissions haven’t caused global harm. Instead, they have benefited us, directly and indirectly.

The direct but smaller benefit is increased agricultural productivity. Plants grow better with more CO2. Hundreds of scientific studies demonstrate this. Greenhouse operators capitalize on it. They pump CO2 into greenhouses to make their plants grow faster and larger.

If anything, the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration levels has helped our planet grow greener. Rising temperatures lengthen growing seasons. They enable plants to grow in places where previously it was too cold. Improved photosynthesis enables them to resist diseases and pests better and bear more fruit to feed animals and people.

The indirect but larger benefit of CO2 emissions came from the use of fossil fuels to raise billions of people out of abject poverty. CO2 emissions are the unavoidable byproduct of the combustion of fossil fuels, not pollution.

So think twice before you equate CO2 emission reduction with going green. That is the opposite of the truth.

4.  While CO2 Can’t Cause Dangerous Warming, It Might Help Save Us from Cooling

Even if you contest the benefits of CO2 emissions, they cannot cause dramatic global warming. Even climate alarmists admit this. Why? Because, despite exponential increase in atmospheric CO2, no significant increase in global temperature occurred in the past 19 years. If rapid warming occurs, it is unlikely to be from CO2 emissions.

In fact, we face a possible cooling because of low solar activity. If that kicks in, whatever warming effect CO2 emissions do have will reduce the risk of a repeat of the devastation the Little Ice Age triggered.

For plant growth today and in the future, I give a green “thumbs up” to CO2 emissions. They are the real way to “go green.” Moreover, fossil fuels have immense potential to reduce poverty in developing countries. That will be more beneficial than any reduction of global warming that might come from reduced CO2 emissions.

See also CO2 Unbound

via Science Matters

http://bit.ly/2XoeTyQ

May 31, 2019 at 09:58AM