Month: June 2019

Sorry, Alarmists, Climate Chaos Is Not Here

From The Federalist

Despite Democrats’ cataclysmal framing of every weather event, Americans are safer than ever.

David HarsanyiDavid Harsanyi

By David Harsanyi

May 30, 2019

Climate isn’t the same as weather—unless, of course, weather happens to be politically useful. In that case, weather portends climate apocalypse.

So warns Elizabeth Warren as she surveyed Iowan rainstorms, which she claims, like tornadoes and floods, are more frequent and severe. “Different parts of the country deal with different climate issues,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–Malthusia) cautioned as she too warned of extreme tornadoes. “But ALL of these threats will be increasing in intensity as climate crisis grows and we fail to act appropriately.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D–Ore.) recently sent a fundraising email warning Democrats that climate change was causing “growing mega-fires, extremely destructive hurricanes, and horrific flooding” in which “American lives are at stake.”

Even if we pretend that passing a bazillion-dollar authoritarian Green New Deal would do anything to change the climate, there is no real-world evidence that today’s weather is increasingly threatening to human lives. By every quantifiable measure, in fact, we’re much safer despite the cataclysmal framing of every weather-related event.

How many of those taken in by alarmism realize that deaths from extreme weather have dropped somewhere around 99.9 percent since the 1920s? Heat and cold can still be killers, but thanks to increasingly reliable and affordable heating and cooling systems, and other luxuries of the age, the vast majority of Americans will never have to fear the climate in any genuine way.

Since 1980, death caused by all natural disasters and heat and cold is somewhere under 0.5 percent.

It’s true that 2019 has seen a spike in tornadoes, but mostly because 2018 was the first year recorded without a single violent tornado in the United States. Tornadoes killed 10 Americans in 2018, the fewest since we started keeping track of these things in 1875, only four years after the nefarious combustion engine was invented.

There has also been a long-term decline in the cost of tornado damage. In 2018, we experienced near-lows in this regard. The only better years were 2017, 2016, and 2015.

After a few devastating hurricanes around a decade ago, we were similarly warned that it was a prelude to endless storms and ecological disaster. This was followed by nine years without a single major hurricane in the United States. Or, in other words, six fewer hurricanes than we experienced in 1908 alone.

According to the U.S. Natural Hazard Statistics, in fact, 2018 saw below the 30-year average in deaths not only by tornadoes and hurricanes (way under average) but also from heat, flooding, and lighting. We did experience a slight rise in deaths due to cold.

Pointing out these sort of things usually elicits the same reaction: Why do you knuckle-dragging troglodytes hate science? Well, because science’s predictive abilities on most things, but especially climate, have been atrocious. But mostly because science is being used as a cudgel to push leftist policy prescriptions without considering economic tradeoffs, societal reality, or morality.

There are two things in this debate that we can predict with near certitude: First, that modern technology will continue to allow human beings to adapt to organic and anthropogenic changes in the environment. Second, that human beings will never surrender the wealth and safety that technology has afforded and continues to afford them.

People who deny these realities are as clueless as any “denier” of science. That brings me back to Democrats.

There have been a number of stories predicting that 2020 will finally be the year politicians start making climate change an important issue. One can only imagine these reporters started their jobs last week.

It’s true that a number of Democrat presidential hopefuls have taken “no fossil fuel money” pledges—as if they were going to get any of that cash anyway—as they spew carbon into the atmosphere searching for another bad-weather photo-op. Kevin Curtis, the executive director of NRDC Action Fund, told BuzzFeed News that all of this was “really wicked cool.”

The 2018 midterm elections, adds Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, are when “climate change was beginning, for the first time, to play a significant role in a few races across the country.”

Read the full article here.

via Watts Up With That?

http://bit.ly/2KiWbF1

June 1, 2019 at 04:04AM

Paltry Pair: After $Trillions in Subsidies & 30 Years, Wind & Solar’s Contribution Remains Risible

Believe the hype, and you’d think that we’re already being powered almost exclusively by sunshine and breezes. Well, the facts say otherwise. Despite squandering hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies, forcing power retailers to adhere to mandated targets etc, etc, over the last 30 years – the combined contribution of wind and solar remains … Continue reading Paltry Pair: After $Trillions in Subsidies & 30 Years, Wind & Solar’s Contribution Remains Risible

via STOP THESE THINGS

http://bit.ly/2wvVdwO

June 1, 2019 at 02:31AM

A RIGHT WING COMEDIAN MAKING FUN OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Here is a clip – it’s not that he is brilliant, but the fact that he exists is a big surprise! 

via climate science

http://bit.ly/2IaiJFk

June 1, 2019 at 01:30AM

In hot pursuit of dinosaurs: Tracking extinct species on ancient Earth via biogeography

University of Tokyo

By combining data from fossils and models of the ancient Earth, researchers can map where ancient species may have migrated. This method, called biogeographical network analysis, converts evolutionary relationships between species into geographical relationships. This method was used in research by Tai Kubo, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher affiliated with the University Museum at the University of Tokyo. Credit Caitlin Devor, The University of Tokyo, CC-BY Usage Restrictions Image by Caitlin Devor, The University of Tokyo, CC-BYBy combining data from fossils and models of the ancient Earth, researchers can map where ancient species may have migrated. This method, called biogeographical network analysis, converts evolutionary relationships between species into geographical relationships. This method was used in research by Tai Kubo, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher affiliated with the University Museum at the University of Tokyo. Credit Caitlin Devor, The University of Tokyo, CC-BY Usage Restrictions Image by Caitlin Devor, The University of Tokyo, CC-BY

By combining data from fossils and models of the ancient Earth, researchers can map where ancient species may have migrated. This method, called biogeographical network analysis, converts evolutionary relationships between species into geographical relationships. This method was used in research by Tai Kubo, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher affiliated with the University Museum at the University of Tokyo. Credit Caitlin Devor, The University of Tokyo, CC-BY Usage Restrictions Image by Caitlin Devor, The University of Tokyo, CC-BY

One researcher at the University of Tokyo is in hot pursuit of dinosaurs, tracking extinct species around ancient Earth. Identifying the movements of extinct species from millions of years ago can provide insights into ancient migration routes, interaction between species, and the movement of continents.

“If we find fossils on different continents from closely related species, then we can guess that at some point there must have been a connection between those continents,” said Tai Kubo, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher affiliated with the University Museum at the University of Tokyo.

A map of life – biogeography

Previous studies in biogeography — the geographic distribution of plants and animals — had not considered the evolutionary relationships between ancient species. The new method that Kubo designed, called biogeographical network analysis, converts evolutionary relationships into geographical relationships.

For example, cats and dogs are more closely related to each other than to kangaroos. Therefore, a geographical barrier must have separated the ancestors of kangaroos from the ancestors of cats and dogs well before cats and dogs became separate species.

Most fossils are found in just a few hot-spot locations around the world and many ancient species with backbones (vertebrates) are known from just one fossil of that species. These limitations mean that a species’ fossils cannot reveal the full area of where it was distributed around the world.

“Including evolutionary relationships allows us to make higher resolution maps for where species may have migrated,” said Kubo.

The analysis used details from evolutionary studies, the location of fossil dig sites, and the age of the fossils. Computer simulations calculated the most likely scenarios for the migration of species between continents on the Cretaceous-era Earth, 145 to 66 million years ago.

North and south divide

This new analysis verified what earlier studies suggested: nonavian dinosaurs were divided into a group that lived in the Northern Hemisphere and another that lived in the Southern Hemisphere, and that those two groups could still move back and forth between Europe and Africa during the Early Cretaceous period (145 to 100 million years ago), but became isolated in the Late Cretaceous period (100 to 66 million years ago).

During the Early Cretaceous period, there were three major supercontinents: North America-Europe-Asia, South America-Africa, and Antarctica-India-Australia.

By the Late Cretaceous period, only the North America-Europe-Asia supercontinent remained. The other supercontinents had separated into the continents we know today, although they had not yet drifted to their current locations.

“During the Late Cretaceous period, high sea levels meant that Europe was a series of isolated islands. It makes sense that nonavian dinosaur species differentiated between Africa and Europe during that time,” said Kubo.

Kubo plans to complete additional biogeographical analyses for different time periods to continue tracking extinct species around the world and through time.

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Journal Article

Kubo, T. 27 May 2019. Biogeographical Network Analysis of Cretaceous Terrestrial Tetrapods: A Phylogeny-Based Approach. Systematic Biology, syz024. DOI: 10.1093/sysbio/syz024

Related Links

Tai Kubo’s profile page (Japanese): http://www.um.u-tokyo.ac.jp/people/faculty_kubotai.html

The University Museum: http://www.um.u-tokyo.ac.jp/index_en.html

From EurekAlert!

via Watts Up With That?

http://bit.ly/2WhPev5

June 1, 2019 at 12:02AM