Focus on right solutions

October 23, 2019

Stephen Franks explains why he supports climate change investment:

An article in Forbes magazine reports on George Shultz recounting how Ronald Reagan gained a consensus to support the Montreal Protocol to combat the fluorocarbons that were thought to be creating the hole in the ozone layer. He refers to the problem of persuading people who felt there was too much uncertainty in the science.

“And then he [Reagan] did something that nobody ever does anymore,” Shultz said. “He went to the scientists who didn’t agree and put his arm around them and said, ‘We respect you, but you do agree that if it happens it’s a catastrophe, so let’s take out an insurance policy.’”

For 20 years I’ve used the same analogy in trying to counsel people who trap themselves into claiming more confidence in the “denialist” case than they can possibly justify, just because they can’t stomach the religious fervour and anti-human callousness of many climate campaigners.

I see precautionary investment against climate change as equivalent in political decision-making, to expenditure on defence. Both require spending for highly uncertain benefit. No one can know whether we genuinely have an enemy who will attack. No one can know if our precautions will be effective. Hopefully the investment will be untested. We can’t know until afterwards whether it is wasted. Yet it is rational to try, because the catastrophe could be so overwhelming if the risk matures without resilience or mitigation precautions.

But such investment remains foolish if it is unlikely reduce CO2 levels materially, or to improve New Zealand’s ability to cope if change happens nevertheless. Given NZ’s inability to affect the first, an insurance investment should focus primarily on resilience. . .

Proposed measures do the opposite.

And so we have in NZ a closing of ranks against climate “denialism”. Our elite hunts for heretics. We should instead respect those who are suspicious of compulsory ‘scientific consensus’ but ask them to join in working out what is likely to be most efficient (given we are going to spend on ‘insurance’ anyway).

It is wicked to take steps just for expansive show. The Zero Carbon Bill approach will actually increase world CO2 emissions, just not here.  So we are posturing to an indifferent global class, impoverishing ourselves (reducing resilience) and achieving as much against climate change as the Summer Palace did for the Qing dynasty and China.

It is frustrating that climate evangelists insist we accept the science on climate change but don’t follow the science on mitigation and solutions.

In doing so they are ignoring the high economic and social costs for at best little environmental gain and too often losses.

Bjorn Lomborg also writes about the need to focus on the right solutions:

As it is becoming obvious that political responses to global warming such as the Paris treaty are not working, environmentalists are urging us to consider the climate impact of our personal actions. Don’t eat meat, don’t drive a gasoline-powered car and don’t fly, they say. But these individual actions won’t make a substantial difference to our planet, and such demands divert attention away from the solutions that are needed.

Even if all 4.5 billion flights this year were stopped from taking off, and the same happened every year until 2100, temperatures would be reduced by just 0.054 degrees, using mainstream climate models — equivalent to delaying climate change by less than one year by 2100.

Nor will we solve global warming by giving up meat. Going vegetarian is difficult — one US survey shows 84 percent fail, most in less than a year. Those who succeed will only reduce their personal emissions by about 2 percent.

And electric cars are not the answer. Globally, there are just 5 million fully electric cars on the road. Even if this climbs massively to 130 million in 11 years, the International Energy Agency finds CO₂ equivalent emissions would be reduced by a mere 0.4 percent globally.

Put simply: The solution to climate change cannot be found in personal changes in the homes of the middle classes of rich countries. . .

If these changes won’t work, what will?

We must look at how we solved past major challenges — through innovation. The starvation catastrophes in developing nations in the 1960s to ’80s weren’t fixed by asking people to consume less food but through the Green Revolution in which innovation developed higher-yielding varieties that produced more plentiful food.

Similarly, the climate challenge will not be solved by asking people to use less (and more expensive) green energy. Instead, we should dramatically ramp up spending on research and development into green energy.

The Copenhagen Consensus Center asked 27 of the world’s top climate economists to examine policy options for responding to climate change. This analysis showed that the best investment is in green-energy R&D. For every dollar spent, $11 of climate damages would be avoided.

This would bring forward the day when green-energy alternatives are cheaper and more attractive than fossil fuels not just for the elite but for the entire world.

Right now, despite all the rhetoric about the importance of global warming, we are not ramping up this spending. On the sidelines of the 2015 Paris climate summit, more than 20 world leaders made a promise to double green-energy research and development by 2020. But spending has only inched up from $16 billion in 2015 to $17 billion in 2018. This is a broken promise that matters.

After 30 years of pursuing the wrong solution to climate change, we need to change the script.

The predominant script is a red one not a green one. It’s driven by an anti-capitalist political agenda.

We need to write a new one directing efforts towards research and innovation that will save the earth without imposing huge costs on the world.

 


Countering climate alarmism

October 6, 2019

Two voices countering climate alarmism.

And:

 


January 6 in history

January 6, 2010

On January 6:

1412  Joan of Arc, Roman Catholic Saint and national heroine of France (legendary date – some scholars think it was January 7), was born.

 1494  The first Mass in the New World was celebrated at La Isabela, Hispaniola.

1540 King Henry VIII of England married Anne of Cleves.

Portrait by Hans Holbein the younger, 1539.

1714 Percivall Pott, English physician, was born. He was one of the founders of orthopedy, and the first scientist to demonstrate that a cancer may be caused by an environmental carcinogen.

Percivall-pott.jpg

1721 The Committee of Inquiry on the South Sea Bubble published its findings.

 Hogarthian image of the “South Sea Bubble”, by Edward Matthew Ward,

1781 In the Battle of Jersey, the British defeated the last attempt by France to invade Jersey.

1838 Samuel Morse first successfully tested the electrical telegraph.


1878 Carl Sandburg, American poet and historian, was born.

 

1883 Khalil Gibran, Lebanese writer, was born.

1893 The Washington National Cathedral was chartered by Congress.

1907 Maria Montessori opened her first school and daycare center for working class children in Rome.

1923 Norman Kirk, New Zealander politician, was born.

1929 – Mother Teresa arrived in Calcutta to begin a her work amongst India’s poorest people.

1930The first diesel-engined automobile trip was completed (from Indianapolis, Indiana, to New York City).

1931 Thomas Edison submitted his last patent application.

1934 Harry M. Miller, New Zealand-born Australian entrepreneur, was born.

1936 The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the 1933 Agricultural Adjustment Act is unconstitutional in the case United States v. Butler et al.

1941 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his Four Freedoms Speech in the State of the Union Address.

1942 Pan American Airlines became the first commercial airline to schedule a flight around the world.

Pan Am Logo.svg

1946  Syd Barrett, English guitarist, singer and songwriter Pink Floyd, was born.

1953 Godfrey Bowen set a world record by shearing  456 full-wool ewes in nine hours.

Godfrey Bowen sets world sheep-shearing record

1953 Malcolm Young, Scottish-born Australian guitarist (AC/DC), was born.

1955 Rowan Atkinson, English comedian and actor, was born.

Atkinson Rowan.jpg

1959 Kapil Dev, Indian cricketer, was born.

Kapil Dev sixes.jpg

1960   Nigella Lawson, English chef and writer, was born.

1964 Mark O’Toole, English bass guitarist (Frankie Goes to Hollywood), was born.

Frankie Goes to Hollywood (L-R: Paul Rutherford, Peter Gill, Holly Johnson, Mark O’Toole, Brian Nash)

1965 Bjorn Lomborg, Danish mathematician, environmentalist and author, was born.

1974  In response to the 1973 energy crisis, daylight saving time commenced nearly four months early in the United States.

1978 The Crown of St. Stephen (also known as the Holy Crown of Hungary) ws returned to Hungary from the United States, where it was held after World War II.

1995 A chemical fire in an apartment complex in Manila, Philippines, led to the discovery of plans for Project Bojinka, a mass-terrorist attack.

 Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


%d bloggers like this: