Greta Thunberg denounced world leaders for their main focus on what she called “the fairy tale of eternal economic growth.” ...Now Europe’s main scientific body, the European Academies Science Advisory Council (which comprises of the National Academies of Science of EU Member States, plus Norway, Switzerland and UK), has followed in Greta’s footsteps, hitting out against policy makers and governments who prioritise economic growth.
“Generation Greta gets it. Our focus should be on well-being and welfare, but our economic system puts all focus on growth and GDP which adds fuel to the climate and biodiversity crises.” That’s how the European Academies Science Advisory Council press release highlights the main take of its report that calls for “‘transformational’ change that is necessary if policy-makers and their public (sic) are to support the conclusions of the advocates of change.” ... Tracking happiness could be the key to beating climate change, a group of European scientists has said.
They are opposed to taxes Macron introduced last year on diesel and petrol which are designed to encourage people to shift to more environmentally friendly transport. Alongside the tax, the government has offered incentives to buy green or electric vehicles.
The UN IPCC in its latest major global analysis estimated that the total impact of unmitigated climate change from extreme weather, changes in agriculture, rising sea levels and so on would be equivalent to reducing the average person’s income by between 0.2 and 2 percent in the 2070s. By then, developing world incomes will have increased by 400 percent to 500 percent or even more. Climate impacts have an ever smaller impact on humanity because of prosperity and resilience. A hundred years ago, climate disasters globally killed about half a million people annually. Today, with many more people, that toll has dropped by more than 95 percent...
The Paris agreement on climate change is already an incredibly expensive way of helping very little. Those using the latest IPCC report to call for bigger political promises miss the point by a mile...
Cutting carbon emissions is incredibly expensive. Green energy is not yet able to compete with fossil fuels to meet most of humanity’s needs. Forcing industries and communities to shift — or plying them with expensive subsidies — means everyone pays more for energy, hurting the poorest most. If all the promises in the treaty are kept, the resulting global hit to growth will reach $1 trillion to $2 trillion a year by 2030.
In the last 500 years only some 80 mammals are recorded as having gone extinct. In his book, More From Less, Andrew McAfee, a board member of HumanProgress.org, discusses how relatively rare recorded extinctions are – with some 530 across all species in the last five centuries. More importantly, he notes, the rate of extinction “appear[s] to have slowed down in recent decades; for example, no marine creatures have been recorded as extinct in the last fifty years.”
Matt Ridley, another board member and frequent contributor to this site, argues that despite the human population doubling in the last half-century, “the extinction rate of wild species, especially in the most industrialized countries,” seems to have fallen rather than increased. While absence of evidence isn’t the same as evidence of absence, and there might be millions of unrecorded species in the world’s oceans and tropical forests, the most aggressive claims rest on shaky foundations.
CNN: Jon Aars, a senior researcher at the Norwegian Polar Institute: "Polar bears are optimistic animals," Aars says. "It seems that they are quite resistant, and they are doing quite well despite the fact that they've lost a lot of their habitat." Despite the odds, Svalbard's polar bear numbers do not appear to have decreased in the last 20 years, he says.
Hulme: "January 12021, a new World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) climatological standard normal came into effect. The ‘present-day’ climate will now formally be represented by the meteorological statistics of the period 1991-2020, replacing those from 1961-1990. National Meteorological Agencies in member states are instructed to issue new standard normals for observing stations and for associated climatological products. Climate will ‘change’, one might say, in an instant; today, the world’s climate has ‘suddenly’ become nearly 0.5°C warmer. It is somewhat equivalent to re-setting Universal Time or adjusting the exact definition of a metre." ...
"So, what is the significance of the move to a new 1991-2020 WMO normal in January 2021? On the one hand, it is a pragmatic move to redefine ‘present-day’ climate for operational applications to that of the most recent 30-year period. On the other hand, it puts into play a third climatic baseline. Already existing is the ‘pre-industrial’ climate of the late nineteenth century and the ‘historic’ climate’ of 1961-1990, the latter about 0.3°C warmer than the former. And now there is the new ‘present-day’ climate of 1991-2020, in turn about 0.5°C warmer than the ‘historic climate’ of 1961-1990." ...
"Combining a climatic tolerance of 2°C—or indeed 1.5°C—with a pre-industrial baseline yields a very different climate target than, say, using a 1986-2005 baseline, the period widely adopted by IPCC AR5 Working Group I as their analytical baseline. The choices of both baseline and tolerance are politically charged. They carry significant implications for historic liability for emissions (La Rovere et al., 2002), for policy design (Millar et al., 2017) and for possible reparations (Roberts & Huq, 2015)."
Christopher Monckton: "At long last, following the warming effect of the El Niño of 2016, there are signs of a reasonably significant La Niña, which may well usher in another Pause in global temperature, which may even prove similar to the Great Pause that endured for 224 months from January 1997 to August 2015, during which a third of our entire industrial-era influence on global temperature drove a zero trend in global warming. ... As we come close to entering the la Niña, the trend in global mean surface temperature has already been zero for 5 years 4 months.
However, the new Pause is at a surface-temperature plateau 0.3 C° above the old Pause."