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Climate and Climate Change

Climate and Climate Change

Climate Change

Two days before Halloween, 2011, New England was struck by a freak winter storm. Heavy snow descended onto trees covered with leaves.  Overloaded branches fell on power lines.  Blue flashes of light in the sky indicated exploding transformers.  Electricity was out for days in some areas and for weeks in others. Damage to property and disruption of lives was widespread.

That disastrous restriction on human energy supplies was produced by Nature.  However, current and future energy curtailments are being forced on the populace by Federal policies in the name of dangerous “climate change/global warming”.  Yet, despite the contradictions between what people are being told and what people have seen and can see about the weather and about the climate, they continue to be effectively steered away from the knowledge of such contradictions to focus on the claimed disaster effects of  “climate change/global warming” (AGW, “Anthropogenic Global Warming”). 

People are seldom told HOW MUCH is the increase of temperatures or that there has been no increase in globally averaged temperature for over 18 years.  They are seldom told how miniscule is that increase compared to swings in daily temperatures. They are seldom told about the dangerous effects of government policies on their supply of “base load” energy — the uninterrupted energy that citizens depend on 24/7 — or about the consequences of forced curtailment of industry-wide energy production with its hindrance of production of their and their family’s food, shelter, and clothing. People are, in essence, kept mostly ignorant about the OTHER SIDE of the AGW debate.

Major scientific organizations — once devoted to the consistent pursuit of understanding the natural world — have compromised their integrity and diverted membership dues in support of some administrators’ AGW agenda.   Schools throughout the United States continue to engage in relentless AGW indoctrination of  students, from kindergarten through university.  Governments worldwide have been appropriating vast sums for “scientific” research, attempting to convince the populace that the use of fossil fuels must be severely curtailed to “save the planet.”  Prominent businesses — in league with various politicians who pour ever more citizen earnings into schemes such as ethanol in gasoline, solar panels, and wind turbines — continue to tilt against imaginary threats of AGW.  And even religious leaders and organizations have joined in to proclaim such threats.   As a consequence, AGW propaganda is proving to be an extraordinary vehicle for the exponential expansion of government power over the lives of its citizens. 

Reasoning is hindered by minds frequently in a state of alarm.  The object of this website is an attempt to promote a reasoned approach; to let people know of issues pertaining to the other side of the AGW issue and the ways in which it conflicts with the widespread side of AGW alarm (AGWA, for short).  In that way it is hoped that all members of society can make informed decisions.

Highlighted Article: What If Hydraulic Fracturing Was Banned?

  • 2/13/20 at 06:00 AM


From: U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Global Energy Institute

Date: Fall 2016


What If Hydraulic Fracturing Was Banned?


"The U.S. shale energy revolution was not an accident. It was the result of innovation, strategic investment, and old fashioned hard work. More than anything, it was an event made possible by the development, refinement and application of cutting-edge technology – technology developed by engineers, geologists, and other scientists who spent decades trying to “crack the code” of tight oil and gas. These efforts delivered nothing short of an energy renaissance. After years of projections that America’s energy future would grow more dependent on imports, the U.S. energy landscape is now defined by abundance, not scarcity.

We don’t have to look back very far to see the significance of this technological breakthrough. In July 2003, TIME Magazine carried a feature story entitled, “Why U.S. Is Running Out of Gas,” which boldly predicted that the United States was heading to its “first big energy squeeze since the 1970s.” The magazine claimed further that “the U.S. is finally beginning to run out of domestic oil and easily recoverable natural gas.” A few years later, in 2008, oil was nearly $150 per barrel, and gasoline prices spiked to more than $4 per gallon. Henry Hub natural gas prices were also above $8 per million BTU, or about two and a half times what they are today." ...


What If Hydraulic Fracturing Was Banned?


Tags: Highlighted Article

UN Ambition


Ambition          a : an ardent desire for rank, fame, or power

(link)                 b : desire to achieve a particular end


“I expect from the COP (COP25) a clear demonstration of increased ambition and commitment showing accountability, responsibility and leadership.”, Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General (link)


The UN call for increased ambition from the signatories to the Paris Accords is focused on definition “b” above: desire to achieve a particular end”. That end includes: halting climate change before the global annual temperature anomaly increases by 2°C (1.5°C?); providing financial and other assistance necessary to assure appropriate mitigation and adaptation actions by affected nations; and, providing funding as compensation for “loss and damage” caused by climate change. The total estimated cost for all required mitigation and adaptation actions and expected “loss and damage” compensation is $100 – 150 trillion.

The UN’s ambition regarding climate change is focused primarily on definition “a” above: “an ardent desire for rank, fame, or power”. The UN’s ultimate ambition is global governance by the UN. The details for the pursuit of this ambition are contained in Agenda 2030. Climate change is merely a subset of Agenda 2030, specifically calling for carbon pricing, fossil fuel abandonment, net-zero CO2 emissions and massive fund transfers by 2050. Achievement of the climate change objectives would be far easier and far more likely if the UN had the authority to compel compliance, rather than being limited to moral leadership and cheerleading.

Agenda 2030 is a blueprint for global socialism which calls for income and wealth redistribution, both within and among nations and nationalization of the means of production. Agenda 2030 also addresses social and environmental justice, universal health care, reproductive health and numerous other social issues.

Agenda 2030 was agreed to by the UN membership in 2015. The Obama Administration signed the Agenda, but chose not to submit it to the US Senate for ratification, in the certain knowledge that it would fail. It is highly unlikely that the suspension of national independence and identity, the abjuration of the US Constitution, the nationalization or internationalization of the means of production, the abolition of private property rights, and the international redistribution of wealth and income are high on the list of priorities of the Trump Administration, which is not obligated by Agenda 2030.

It is extremely unlikely that the objectives of Agenda 2030 could be achieved unless the UN was established as a global government with the power to compel compliance. Clearly, Agenda 2030 is far more attractive to the developing and not-yet-developing nations than it is to the developed nations, whose economies would be eviscerated in the process.

There was a suggestion recently that the UN might eventually choose to use military force to compel compliance with its climate change objectives. Such action might more likely be necessary to compel acquiescence to Agenda 2030 on the part of the developed nations. The concept of the UN using its “Blue Helmets” to enforce compliance with Agenda 2030 by the nations with standing militaries, such as the US, Russia, Australia, UK, China, India, Pakistan, Canada, etc. is surreal.


Tags: United Nations, Paris Agreement

Highlighted Article: The Future of U.S. Weather Prediction Will Be Decided During the Next Month

  • 2/6/20 at 06:00 AM

From: Cliff Mass Weather Blog

By: Cliff Mass

Date: January 26, 2020


The Future of U.S. Weather Prediction Will Be Decided During the Next Month


"During the next few weeks, leadership in NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Weather Service (NWS) will make a key decision regarding the future organization of U.S. numerical weather prediction.  A decision that will determine whether U.S.  weather forecasting will remain third rate or advance to world leadership.   It is that important.

Specifically, they will define the nature of new center for the development of U.S. numerical weather prediction systems in a formal solicitation of proposals  (using something called a RFP--Request for Proposals).

This blog will describe what I believe to be the essential flaws in the way NOAA has developed its weather prediction models.  How the U.S. came to be third-rate in this area, why this is a particularly critical time with unique opportunities, and how the wrong approach will lead to continued mediocrity.

 I will explain that only profound reorganization of how NOAA develops, tests, and shares its models will be effective.  It will be a relatively long blog and, at times, somewhat technical, but there is no way around that considering the topic.  I should note that this is a topic I have written on extensively over the past several decades (including many blogs and an article in the peer-reviewed literature), given dozens of presentations at professional meeting, testified about  in Congress, and served on a number of NOAA/NWS advisory committees and National Academy panels dealing with these issues." ...


The Future of U.S. Weather Prediction Will Be Decided During the Next Month


Tags: Highlighted Article

National Ambition

Ambition             a : an ardent desire for rank, fame, or power

(link)                      b : desire to achieve a particular end

“I expect from the COP (COP25) a clear demonstration of increased ambition and commitment showing accountability, responsibility and leadership.”, Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General (link)


The Secretary General of the United Nations, in the above quote, referred to increased ambition on the part of the signatory nations to the Paris Accords to achieve their emissions reduction commitments under the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) they had made at COP21. He also referred to increased ambition regarding the magnitude of the reductions pledged in their INDCs, since the UNFCCC has asserted that the existing committed reductions are insufficient to hold future temperature anomaly increases below the 2°C level agreed to in Paris, no less the 1.5°C preferred level announced after the Paris Accords had been adopted. The next level of increased commitments is scheduled to be adopted at COP26 in 2020.

The Secretary General also referred to increased ambition with regard to funding of the UN Green Climate Fund (GCF), which was to achieve annual funding of $100 billion by 2020, but is far short of that funding level. The UNFCCC has indicated that the annual funding for climate change mitigation under the Green Climate Fund would need to grow to ~$400 billion annually to meet the anticipated needs of the developing and not-yet-developing nations. The UNFCCC has also indicated that additional funding of ~$400 billion annually would be required to fund climate change adaptation projects; and, that ~$400 billion annually would also likely be required to compensate affected nations for loss and damage resulting from climate change.

Clearly, there is a severe lack of ambition on the part of the nations expected to provide this massive level of funding. However, not surprisingly, there is great ambition on the part of the nations which would receive the funding. The nations expected to provide the funding would also be required to invest in their own transitions to a net-zero CO2 emissions economy while funding the transitions to the same net-zero emissions economies for the developing and not-yet-developing nations.

The funding nations would largely lose control of the funds they provide, as the UN GCF would be responsible for evaluating funding proposals and allocating funding to them. The mitigation funding would be allocated to meet the requirement to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050 from each of the recipient nations. The adaptation funding would be allocated based on the anticipated future effects of climate change on each of the recipient nations and the measures required to avoid adverse impacts on the individual nations’ populations.

The mitigation and adaptation funding requirements are relatively straightforward. The loss or damage funding, however, is far more subjective and there are currently no standards of evidence for loss or damage. This funding is, therefore, far more subject to fraud and abuse.

Unfortunately, the UN has an abominable history regarding the administration of such large financial programs, which is one of the issues which adversely affects the ambition of the funding nations.


Tags: Climate Change Adaptation, Climate Change Mitigation, COP - Conference of Parties, Green Climate Fund, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), United Nations

Highlighted Article: The Global Warming Alarmists Really Do Have A Plan

  • 1/30/20 at 06:00 AM


From: Climate Change Dispatch

By: J. B. Shurk

Date: January 13, 2020


The Global Warming Alarmists Really Do Have A Plan


"There is a credibility crisis for Western governments. For too many years, their incompetence and deceit have forced ordinary citizens to question whether they produce more harm than good.

On both sides of the Atlantic, the governing elite play by a set of rules that separates them from those they govern. They ignore popular discontent while placing themselves above the law.

It is in this volatile climate that they push the greatest con game ever concocted: man-made global warming. This is the hubris that brings empires crashing down.

Like any confidence scheme, global warming rests entirely on misdirection and bad faith.

While Western governments create hundred-trillion-dollar programs for fighting the weather, they have (1) never scientifically established that man’s use of hydrocarbon energy causally leads to temperature change of any kind, (2) never articulated some baseline climate ideal for the planet, and (3) never produced a cost-benefit analysis detailing the loss in human life and standard of living required in order to impose upon the world the type of global command-and-control economy necessary to restructure all industry and commerce.

These three pillars are so fundamental that a normal person could be forgiven for assuming they’ve long ago been calculated. That’s part of the con." ...


The Global Warming Alarmists Really Do Have A Plan


Tags: Highlighted Article

Climate Dichotomies

The UNFCCC program objectives center on stabilizing and ultimately reducing global annual CO2 emissions. The Kyoto Accords and the Paris Accords place great emphasis on developed country reductions in annual emissions. However, over the life of the UNFCCC, annual CO2 emissions continue to grow at a rate of approximately 1.5% per year. Virtually all of the increase in annual emissions is emissions from developing countries. China’s emissions are growing most rapidly and are expected to equal 50% of global annual emissions by 2030, the year China has suggested it would reach peak annual CO2 emissions. Emissions from India and other Asian nations are also growing rapidly.

The UN Secretariat, the UNFCCC, numerous NGOs and others have proclaimed a climate emergency and are demanding heroic emissions reduction actions from the developed nations, but appear to be totally ignoring that the primary driver of increased annual CO2 emissions is from the developing countries. The media have accepted and then trumpeted the “emergency” message, although also ignoring the role of the developing countries.

Many elements in the US and the EU are pushing the “emergency” meme, asserting that we must drastically reduce CO2 emissions within 10 years or risk exceeding a “tipping point”, though they must realize that the US and the EU alone could not offset the growth in CO2 emissions from the developing countries.

China has aggressively proclaimed its efforts to install wind and solar generation and to promote electric vehicles and high speed rail systems. However, it has been less candid about its efforts to add new coal generation facilities, though there are reportedly approximately 100 generation plants currently under construction and or in the planning process.

The UN rails against CO2 emissions, yet chooses to ignore or even oppose construction of new nuclear generation plants capable of providing reliable baseload power with zero CO2 emissions. Meanwhile, most NGOs actively oppose new nuclear generation and the continued operation of existing nuclear generators. However, there is growing recognition among climate scientists and some NGOs that nuclear generation is absolutely essential if net zero global annual CO2 emissions are to be achieved without destroying the global economy and producing untold misery.

There exists broad understanding that there is no alternative to fossil fuel consumption for the production of iron and steel and the calcining of cement. However, proliferation of wind generation would require massive increases in the production of iron, steel and cement for use in the construction and installation of wind farms. There is currently no “off-planet” facility available to support that increased production and avoid the resulting emissions to earth’s atmosphere.

The UN complicates and confuses the focus of its efforts by including unrelated or tangentially related issues, such as environmental equity and justice, economic inequality, gender inequality, women’s reproductive rights, etc. to the climate change discussion. These are all issues justifying some attention. However, they are hardly on a par with the purported climate “emergency”.

Finally, the UN and the developing nations claim to be very concerned about funding for mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage remediation. However, there are currently no clear definitions of what constitutes climate “loss and damage”, what constitutes a situation which must be mitigated, and what defines a situation demanding adaptation. The levels of funding “demanded” for these efforts are such that a “loosey goosey” approach is totally inadequate and unacceptable, especially to those from whom the funding is being demanded.


Tags: UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), CO2 Emissions, Nuclear Power

Highlighted Article: An Engineer’s Critique of Global Warming ‘Science’

  • 1/23/20 at 06:00 AM


By: Burt Rutan

Date: January 2011 (old but still relevant)


An Engineer’s Critique of Global Warming ‘Science’


"Our CO2-starved Atmosphere

Note, the green life along the Nile river and the dead desert elsewhere. When co2 is greater in the atmosphere, plants need less water to thrive.

When dinosaurs roamed we had 3 to 5 times current co2 and planet was nearly all green, pole-to-pole Near catastrophe when CO2 declined to 180 ppm, since below 150 ppm plants, then animals die.

If you promote a green healthy planet, then you should lobby for a co2-fertilized atmosphere, not a co2-starved atmosphere." ...


Nile River from Space


An Engineer’s Critique of Global Warming ‘Science’


Tags: Highlighted Article

What the COP?

“A conference is a gathering of people who singly can do nothing, but together can decide that nothing can be done. A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling to do the unnecessary.”, Fred Allen


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established jointly by the UN Environmental Programme and the World Meteorological Organization in 1988.

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.”

The IPCC reviews climate change research in three Working Groups (Working Group I (The Physical Science Basis), Working Group II (Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability), and Working Group III (Mitigation of Climate Change). The Assessments produced by these Working Groups are then summarized in the Summary for Policymakers.


The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an international environmental treaty. It was authorized by the UN in 1992 in anticipation of the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and adopted in 1994 upon ratification by 50 nations.

“The UNFCCC objective is to "stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system". The framework sets non-binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions for individual countries and contains no enforcement mechanisms. Instead, the framework outlines how specific international treaties (called "protocols" or "Agreements") may be negotiated to specify further action towards the objective of the UNFCCC.” (Wikipedia)

The Conference of the Parties is the decision-making body of the UNFCCC. These conferences have been held annually, beginning in 1995.


The first Conference of the Parties focused primarily on organizational issues.


COP3 in Kyoto Japan produced the Kyoto Accord, which represented the initial commitments of the developed nation parties to efforts to stabilize and reduce CO2 emissions. Vice President Gore signed the Kyoto Accords on behalf of the Clinton Administration. However, the accords were not submitted to the US Senate for ratification, because the Administration knew the Senate would not ratify them.


COP15 in Copenhagen, Denmark was to have been the next major step toward emissions reductions. However, the release of the Climategate e-mails shortly before the beginning of the COP made substantial progress exceedingly difficult. The primary effect of COP15 was to expose the division of the parties into three distinct groups: developed countries with technology and money; developing countries which want access to the technology; and, not-yet-developing countries which simply want the money. This fundamental division made agreement on substantial actions difficult.


COP23 in Paris, France produced the Paris Accords, which were intended to become a treaty which would impose enforceable emission reduction goals on the parties. However, the US Administration lobbied to assure that the accords were not binding, since the Administration knew they would not be ratified as a treaty by the Senate. Instead, the parties offered widely varying Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). Many of the parties appear unlikely to meet their commitments under the accords. The US has formally announced its intention to withdraw from the accords, which will become effective in November 2020. Regardless, the US has been a leader in emissions reductions.


COP25 just concluded in Madrid, Spain. The parties failed to agree on any significant increases in emissions reduction “ambitions”, as well as about issues related to UN-administered funding for climate change mitigation, adaptation and reparations for “loss and damage”. Those issues were all deferred to the next COP (a COPout?).

COP25 involved representatives from 197 nations totaling about 25,000 attendees. The larger a committee, the more difficult it is to accomplish anything of substance. Attempting to lead a committee of 197 is like “herding cats”. Attempting to lead a committee of 25,000 is a fate worse than death, especially when the attendees have very different focuses.


Tags: COP - Conference of Parties, IPCC, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Highlighted Article: Three Rules About Climate ‘Event Attribution’ Studies

  • 1/20/20 at 11:46 AM


From: Climate Change Dispatch

By: Roger Pielke, Jr.

Date: January 7, 2020


Three Rules About Climate ‘Event Attribution’ Studies


"In September 2018, as Hurricane Florence was heading towards landfall in North Carolina, a team of researchers announced that the storm would be 80 kilometers larger and drop 50% more rainfall due to “human-induced climate change.”

In a study published last week, the researchers shared that their initial numbers were wildly off base.

The new study explained: “The quantitative aspects of our forecasted attribution statements fall outside broad confidence intervals of our hindcasted statements and are quite different from the hindcasted best estimates.”

In plain English, that means: “We were really, really wrong.”" ...


Three Rules About Climate ‘Event Attribution’ Studies


Tags: Highlighted Article

Highlighted Article: 2019 Science Data Refutes Climate Alarm On Every Front

  • 1/16/20 at 06:00 AM


From: Climate Change Dispatch

By: Pierre Gosselin

Date: January 2, 2020


2019 Science Data Refutes Climate Alarm On Every Front


"No alarm on every aspect: stable polar ice, normal sea-level rise, no consensus, growing snow cover, less tropical storms, tornadoes, shrinking deserts, global greening, predictions wrong, models flawed, climate-driven by the sun, ocean cycles, biodiversity, warmer 1000 years ago…etc…

Some 2019 scientific findings:

Need to make a presentation showing there is no climate alarm? The following findings we reported on in 2019 will put any concerns to rest.

Hundreds of peer-reviewed papers ignored by media

What follows are some selected top science-based posts we published here at NoTricksZone in 2019. These new findings show there is absolutely no climate alarm.

Hundreds of new peer-reviewed papers, charts, findings, etc – which the IPCC, activists, and media ignore and even conceal. No wonder they’ve gotten so shrill." ...


2019 Science Data Refutes Climate Alarm On Every Front


Tags: Highlighted Article

Reparations for What? - Part 2


“The United States was warned Wednesday by the United Nations it cannot avoid compensating poorer nations hit by climate change, despite Donald Trump honoring his election promise of leaving the 2015 Paris climate agreement”, Simon Kent


Reparations for global greening?

NASA satellite observations confirm that the globe has greened over the satellite era. They attribute approximately 70% of this greening to the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations. CO2 affects plants of most types by increasing their rates of growth, but also by increasing the efficiency with which they use available water. Thus, increased CO2 concentrations have made it possible for a range of plant types to grow in areas where annual rainfall was insufficient to support their growth. It is difficult to imagine that this global greening has caused any adverse effects which would justify reparations.


Reparations for improved crop yields?

Data confirm continuing increases in global crop yields. While increased CO2 concentrations play some role in this increase, this role is minor in comparison with the development of more productive, more insect and drought resistant strains of these crops. Again, it is difficult to imagine that increased crop yields have caused any adverse effects which would justify reparations.


Reparations for rising sea levels?

Rising sea levels are one of the primary concerns regarding anthropogenic climate change. However, sea levels have been rising at a steady rate since the inception of sea level measurement, more than 100 years prior to significant increases in anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Therefore, it seems tenuous at best to attribute current sea level rise to the onset of anthropogenic warming. There appears to be no acceleration of the rate of sea level rise over the period since anthropogenic CO2 emissions became a concern.


Reparations for growing Pacific island nations?

Sea level rise has been a particular concern of Pacific island nations whose land area is, on average, only several feet above sea level. The expressed concern is that the islands would progressively lose land area and ultimately become submerged. However, satellite surveys have determined that the land area of most of these islands is growing rather than shrinking. There appears to be no basis for reparations as a result of this land growth.


Reparations for shrinking glaciers?

Many of the globe’s glaciers are shrinking. In general, the extent of global glaciation has been declining since the end of the last glacial period. Recent glacial retreats have revealed evidence of settlements which were abandoned when the glaciers advanced during the Little Ice Age. Other glacial retreats have revealed tree lines at higher elevations than the current tree lines, demonstrating that the glaciers had previously, naturally retreated to higher elevations. It is difficult to identify a justification for reparations in this case, as it is not possible to identify who has been wronged.


Reparations for reduced tropical cyclones?

The frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones has remained relatively constant over the past several decades. Modeling projects future increases, but these projections cannot be verified currently. There does not appear to be any current justification for reparations based on climate change induced variation.


Reparations for stable drought and flooding incidence?

Globally there has been little if any change in drought or flood frequency or intensity, though again, modeling projects such increases. There is no apparent current justification for reparations based on anthropogenic climate change.


Reparations for potential future adverse impacts?

There is no justification for reparations for events which have not yet occurred and might never occur.


Reparations for economic inequality?

Economic inequality has numerous contributing causes, of which climate might be one. However, this economic inequality pre-existed the period in which anthropogenic CO2 emissions are believed to have begun affecting climate. Therefore, though there might be justification for actions to alleviate this inequality, that justification should not be based on climate change.


Tags: Climate Change Adaptation, Climate Change Mitigation

Highlighted Article: Year in Review 2019: Climate Policy

  • 1/9/20 at 06:00 AM


From: Competitive Enterprise Institute

By: Marlo Lewis, Jr.

Date: December 27, 2019


Year in Review 2019: Climate Policy


"The Trump administration this year continued to dismantle key components of President Obama’s climate policy “legacy.” Supporting and guiding those efforts is a top priority of CEI’s energy and environment team. We oppose coercive schemes to rig the marketplace against fossil fuels for many reasons, which may be summarized as follows:

  • The climate catastrophe narrative is concocted out of unreliable climate models, inflated emission scenarios, political hype, and unjustified pessimism about human adaptive capabilities.
  • Abundant, affordable, reliable energy is a blessing, underpinning all the unprecedented improvements of the past 70 years in global life expectancy, health, per capita income, food security, and access to information.  
  • The very real costs of climate “solutions” hugely exceed their hypothetical benefits.
  • The more “ambitious” the climate policy, the more likely it is to damage economic growth, consumer welfare, and our institutions of self-government." ...


Year in Review 2019: Climate Policy


Tags: Highlighted Article

Reparations for What? - Part 1


“The United States was warned Wednesday by the United Nations it cannot avoid compensating poorer nations hit by climate change, despite Donald Trump honoring his election promise of leaving the 2015 Paris climate agreement”, Simon Kent


Compensation – something, typically money , awarded to someone as a recompense for loss, injury or suffering., Oxford Dictionaries

Reparations – the making of amends for a wrong one has done, by paying money to or otherwise helping those who have been wronged., Oxford Dictionaries


This warning raises significant issues which must be addressed and resolved.

The US, as the richest nation in the world, makes all the remaining nations appear to be relatively poorer. This raises the question of which of the poorer nations are eligible for compensation in the event they have been “hit by climate change”. China, though the second richest nation in the world, appears to believe it is entitled to funding for mitigation and adaptation, in addition to compensation in the event of “loss or damage”.

Another issue is the definition of the expression “hit by climate change”. All nations of the world are exposed, though not uniformly, to the increase in global average surface temperature. In some cases, this increase might be an adverse effect, while in other cases it could be a benefit.

Yet another issue is the determination of the extent to which any adverse effect is the result of anthropogenic emissions rather than natural climate variation. This issue is complicated by the current inability to distinguish between natural and anthropogenic variation. Clearly, natural variation has affected global temperatures, rainfall and drought over earth’s history. The Roman Warm Period and the Little Ice Age are examples of the effects of natural variation on climate.

Another fundamental, though often ignored, issue is the segregation of adverse events into “weather” versus “climate”. Tropical cyclones, tornadoes, droughts and floods are weather events. Being “hit” by one of these events is not the result of climate change, since the occurrence of these events precedes climate change. However, being “hit” by these events more frequently, or for greater duration, or with greater intensity over a 30 year period compared to the occurrence over a reference 30 year period would indicate a “climate change”.

Finally, there are no clear standards of evidence for determining that loss or damage have been the result of weather or climate change, or some combination of the two. For example, damage from a tropical cyclone would occur regardless of climate change, though a documented change in frequency or intensity of tropical cyclones might be the result of natural or anthropogenic climate change.

The US is signatory to no international treaty which commits it to provide reparations to any nation or group of nations for any adverse effects of anthropogenic climate change alleged to have been caused by the US. The US Senate ratified no treaty regarding climate change and thus accepted no obligation under any such treaty. US politicians signed both the Kyoto Accords and the Paris Accords, but did not seek Senate ratification of either accord as a treaty because they knew the accords would not be ratified.


Tags: Paris Agreement, Climate Change Adaptation, Climate Change Mitigation

2020 Prospective

“Predictions are hard, especially about the future.”, Yogi Berra, American philosopher

The new year, 2020, is an election year in the US. While there are numerous issues which divide the two parties, climate change is sure to be a very significant point of contention. The current Administration has formally announced US withdrawal from the Paris Accords, which will take effect on November 4th, 2020. However, all of the opposition candidates are in favor of the US remaining in the Accords; and, should the opposition win the presidency, the US withdrawal would likely be reversed immediately.

The current Administration has also halted US contributions to the UN Green climate Fund. This decision has significant budgetary ramifications, since the US contribution was to have risen to $10 billion annually in 2020; and, probably to $100 billion per year by 2030 as the total GCF funding approached $400 billion per year. The UN is also now seeking approximately $400 billion per year in funding for adaptation in addition to the original GCF mitigation funding goal. It is highly unlikely that funding will approach these goals, even if a new administration were to rejoin the Accords and restore GCF funding.

The focus on climate change will likely be heightened by the opposition party’s declarations of a “climate emergency” and charges of intransigence on the part of the current Administration regarding heroic responses to this “climate emergency”. Several of the leading opposition candidates are also supportive of the “Green New Deal”, which surrounds the climate change issue with a cornucopia of progressive proposals, including free healthcare, free college, student loan forgiveness, guaranteed minimum income, income redistribution, building retrofit for energy efficiency and social, climate and economic justice.

The current Administration will likely move to withdraw or dramatically revise the 2009 EPA Endangerment Finding regarding CO2, which is the basis for much of the regulatory and legislative activity regarding climate change. This effort will be aggressively resisted by the environmental community and is unlikely to be successful in 2020.

State and local efforts to terminate operation of coal and nuclear generators, resist coal export facility expansion, resist electric transmission and gas and oil pipeline expansion, halt expansion of gas service in new construction and otherwise hinder expansion of fossil energy consumption will continue and expand. The DOE program to advance the goal of deep decarbonization and energy system electrification will also continue, absent Administration actions to halt the effort.

The US will continue to reduce CO2 emissions, largely as the result of replacement of coal generation wit natural gas combined-cycle generation. Meanwhile, China, India and other developing nations will continue to increase their CO2 emissions, favoring economic growth and prosperity over climate change austerity and deprivation.

The IPCC will develop its Sixth Assessment Report and release the CMIP6 model ensemble. The SAR Summary for Policymakers will likely reiterate and reinforce the “climate emergency” meme. It appears that the CMIP6 models will project even more rapid temperature anomaly increases; and, thus deviate even more rapidly from observations.

There will almost certainly be a COP26, which will present yet another opportunity for the climate change community to wine, dine and accomplish little else. The UN will continue agitating for some form of global governance and for increased developed country efforts to transfer wealth to the developing nations, where it would likely be squandered.

                “Those who will not learn from history are bound to repeat it.”, George Santayana


Tags: Climate Science
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