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Heartland Refutes Global Climate Action Summit’s False Claims

September 21, 2018

Climate Change Weekly #299

The Heartland Institute presented a powerful science rebuttal to the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) held September 13 and 14 in San Francisco. Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown organized the GCAS. Brown began planning the event shortly after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement. For the GCAS, Brown enlisted a plethora of high-profile speakers including Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Michael Bloomberg, Van Jones, Tom Steyer, Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and dozens of government officials from around the globe. 

During GCAS’s lunch breaks, Heartland livestreamed two 90-minute rebuttals from a team of scientists and climate policy experts, including Jay Lehr, Ph.D., science director at The Heartland Institute, Terry L. Gannon, Ph.D. a physicist with the Independent Institute; Richard Keen, Ph.D., meteorology instructor (emeritus), University of Colorado, Boulder; Stanley Goldenberg, hurricane meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Tom Harris, president, International Climate Science Coalition.

James Taylor, a senior fellow with The Heartland Institute, said the rebuttal was needed because, “[a]t The Heartland Institute, when we saw that the Global Climate Action Summit was in the works, we were very concerned that there [be] a presentation of science that reflected reality.”

As if designed to prove Taylor correct, with Hurricane Florence hammering the Carolinas, several GCAS speakers politicized the devastating storm, blaming natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires on global warming. Even worse, these so-called experts pointed fingers at Republicans and President Donald Trump, in particular, without providing scientific evidence to support their assertions. Speakers at The Heartland Institute’s event cited verifiable data to rebut those claims.

Goldenberg noted there has been no long-term change in global hurricane activity. In fact, as noted by Roy Spencer in a Washington Times article, there has been a 50 percent decrease in major hurricanes (Class 3 or above) making landfall in the United States over the past 80 years.

“We have not seen anything to indicate we’re in an unprecedented time of more hurricanes, stronger hurricanes, if you understand how to read the historical record,” said Goldenberg.

Many factors beyond ocean and air temperatures drive hurricane formation, strength, and longevity stressed Goldenberg. “You have interaction with land. You have all sorts of factors that enter into it. We have years where the temperature in the Atlantic [has been] exceptionally warm and yet we have very little activity because the atmospheric conditions aren’t right for [hurricane formation].”

Goldenberg went on to note large amounts of rainfall commonly accompany hurricanes, meaning the rainfall amounts dropped bay Florence were not unusual.

“We’ve seen this stuff before. It doesn’t shock us when a storm sits there, meanders and stalls,” Goldenberg said. “We’ve seen this many, many, many times.”

Climate and weather historian Keen, notes preindustrial levels of carbon dioxide were approximately 280 part per million (ppm) and current levels are 410 ppm, so almost half of the feared increase—a doubling to 560 ppm— in carbon dioxide levels have already occurred, yet, “half of the feared and dreaded effect ought to be already happening, so look at recent years and see what actually is happening and in hurricanes there is no such trend.”

Heartland experts also addressed: the politicization of climate science in pursuit of increased government control of the economy; the dangers to the poor of ending the use of fossil fuels; and the fact that temperatures today, contrary to claims made by speakers at GCAS, are not the warmest since the end of the last ice age.

The science rebuttal panel was organized by James Taylor and other staff at The Heartland Institute in conjunction with Oakland’s Independent Institute in less than three weeks. Despite the short time frame, the science rebuttal panel received more than 3,000 views on its livestream, and coverage from The Washington Times and other media outlets. Heartland’s rebuttal viewership was more than 10 percent higher than what the GCAS attracted, despite Brown having invested a full year’s planning, several million dollars, a massive public relations campaign, and garnering the participation of many prominent politicians and celebrities.

I encourage anyone reading this to view The Heartland Institute’s event online and share it with any friends and family who are concerned humans are causing climate disaster—a careful observance of this event should allay those fears.

  • H. Sterling Burnett

SOURCES: The Heartland Institute; Global Climate Action Summit; The Washington Times


IN THIS ISSUE …

Climate ‘leaders’ boosting coal industry’s fortunesIs Paris (Agreement) burning?Rainfall changes in Asia caused by industrial pollution, not warmingArctic ice increasing


CLIMATE ‘LEADERS’ BOOSTING COAL INDUSTRY’S FORTUNES

Japan and the European Union (EU) are increasing, rather than decreasing coal use despite claiming leadership in the battle against purported human-caused climate change. Because coal emits more carbon dioxide per unit of energy produced than oil or natural gas, Japan (1997 Kyoto protocol) and the European Union (2015 Paris climate agreement) targeted coal use for a steep, rapid reduction. Evidence suggests they are having second thoughts about the virtues of coal as a source of electric power.

The Nikkei Asian Review reports the share of coal in Japan’s electric power output actually increased from 10 percent in 1990 to 31 percent in 2015. Japan plans to add approximately 40 new coal power plants in the coming decade. Indeed, despite its Kyoto and Paris commitments to reduce emissions, the Japanese government estimates fossil fuels will still comprise a majority of its electric power supply, 56 percent, in 2030, compared to 22 to 24 percent for all renewable sources combined.

In Europe, five EU nations—France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Poland, and the United Kingdom—in an attempt to thwart a European Commission directive to end government subsidies for new and existing coal power plants, published a joint paper, calling for government subsidies for coal power plants unable to meet climate related emissions standards to be continued beyond 2030, allowing a “suitable and realistic transition period,” for such power plants.

SOURCES: Montel News; Nikkei Asian Review


IS PARIS (AGREEMENT) BURNING?

In prior issues of Climate Change Weekly I’ve noted Australia and several Canadian provinces are backing down from their plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, calling into question their countries’ abilities to meet their Paris Climate Agreement commitments. In addition, I’ve noted the frontrunner for the presidency in Brazil is a climate skeptic who’s said if he is elected he will follow Trump’s lead and pull Brazil from the Paris agreement. Additionally, China, France, and Germany have increased their carbon dioxide emissions over the past two years, falling well behind their Paris commitments.

More bad news for those who believe the earth can only be saved from climate catastrophe by meeting the Paris agreement’s goals came out of Bangkok, Thailand on Sept 9, 2018 when, after six days of meetings, delegates from parties to the Paris agreement failed, once again, to agree on a comprehensive rulebook for carbon dioxide reductions intended to be signed in Katowice, Poland in December.

The talks broke down, as they have at previous meetings, over climate funding provisions. As part of the Paris agreement, developing countries, including the United States, which has since withdrawn from the agreement, agreed to establish an annual $100 billion fund to help poor nations develop without using fossil fuels and adapt to climate change.

Developed nations want less oversight of how they assemble their funding and more flexibility over the timing and structure of payments, while simultaneously demanding transparency concerning greenhouse gas emissions from developing countries, and for how climate fund dollars are spent. On the other hand, developing nations are “demanding predictable and open funding in order to effectively plan their fight against the fallout from climate change,” reports Yahoo News.

Absent agreement on funding, representatives of developing countries say the Paris agreement could collapse.

According to Yahoo News, “Harjeet Singh, global lead on climate change for NGO ActionAid, said Sunday the Paris deal was ‘on the brink.’ ‘Developed countries are going back on their word and refusing to agree clear rules governing climate finance,’ Singh told reporters. ‘If [developed countries] remain stuck in their positions and fail to loosen their purses, this treaty may collapse.’” Yahoo News and WAFB 9 report Singh was not alone in this assessment with negotiators from developing countries including, China, India, Iran, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia reportedly indicating firm commitments on funding levels, mechanisms, and timetables would be necessary for Paris to succeed.

SOURCES: Climate Change Weekly; Climate Change Weekly; Yahoo News; WAFB


RAINFALL CHANGES IN ASIA CAUSED BY INDUSTRIAL POLLUTION, NOT WARMING

Research in Geophysical Research Letters reveals that average rainfall and extreme rainfall events have declined across much of Asia. This finding comes despite the fact that climate alarmists have projected rainfall increases across Asia for years. From1979 to 2005, average rainfall amounts and rainfall during extreme events had declined by approximately 0.2 percent per decade across India and Northern China, according to the report. The researchers found carbon dioxide-induced climate change cannot account for the declining rainfall. However, increased aerosol amounts emitted as a by-product of rapid industrialization across the region is dimming the amount of solar radiation reaching the surface, cooling adjacent ocean water, and “weakening moisture transport into the continental region.” In short, human are contributing to regional climate change, not due to carbon dioxide emissions, but rather from traditional industrial pollution.

SOURCE: Geophysical Research Letters


ARCTIC ICE INCREASING

At one time Mark Twain is reported to have said, “The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” The same could be said for the reported decline of Arctic sea ice due to anthropogenic climate change.

“The latest observations show Arctic sea ice is on course to have a greater minimum extent than in 2015 and 2016, and is running higher than levels seen a decade ago. Back then, the BBC reported that Arctic summers may be ice-free by 2013, although this estimate was described as being ‘too conservative,’” reports Harry Wilkinson, a researcher with The Global Warming Policy Foundation on the Conservative Woman blog.

His claims are supported by data from the Multisensor Analyzed Sea Ice Extent (MASIE) at the National Snow & Ice Data Center. At 4.5 million square kilometers (Km2) for September 2018, MASIE is reporting artic sea ice extent more than 96 thousand Km2 above the 11 year average ice extent, 350 thousand Km2 more than 2016, 472 thousand Km2 more than 2007, and a full 1.2 million Km2 above the record low recorded in 2012.

The arctic and adjacent regions are also defying climate alarmists’ predictions for ice and snow in other ways. For instance, greater than normal, thick multiyear ice blocked entirely the Northwest Passage through Nunavut in 2018, and Greenland’s Ice Sheet has been gaining mass at a record rate for two consecutive years.

SOURCES: Science Matters; The Conservative Woman

Author
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. is a Heartland senior fellow on environmental policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.
hsburnett@heartland.org