Shellenberger’s views and his status as a critic of climate change “alarmists” are being embraced by House Republicans, who invited him to testify as their witness at a hearing Tuesday afternoon held by a special climate committee. He pushes ideas that go beyond what other pro-nuclear advocates and Republican supporters propose, envisioning a smaller role, if any at all, for other zero-emission energy sources such as renewables and for technologies to eliminate pollution from fossil fuel plants such as carbon capture.
“Conventional wisdom is we need a mix of nuclear and renewables,” Shellenberger told the Washington Examiner. “There is no technical or economic reason for that.”
Michael Shellenberger on the Biden-Sanders climate plan: "Unscientifically blames climate change for flood, storm, & fire, damage
"Climate change is not making disasters worse. How could it be? *Disasters aren't getting worse.* They are getting better. Deaths from disasters has declined 90+%. Costs of disasters not rising, when one accounts for rising wealth. Just look at Miami Beach"
- Would raise energy prices & increase unemployment
- Would kill off nuclear, largest source of clean nrg
- Would increase killing of bald eagles & whooping cranes
"What you're proposing, @AOC @JohnKerry @JoeBiden @BernieSanders is extremely radical, terrible for workers, and terrible for the environment. And we tried it already. Before the Green New Deal, I helped create the New Apollo Project. It was a disaster."
Shellenberger: "Nuclear energy and natural gas have reduced carbon emissions far more than solar and wind. Why, then, are the people so apocalyptic about climate change so opposed to them?...Before progressives were apocalyptic about climate change they were apocalyptic about nuclear energy. Then, after the Cold War ended, and the threat of nuclear war declined radically, they found a new vehicle for their secular apocalypse in the form of climate change...
Apocalyptic environmentalists like Sanders, Thunberg, and Extinction Rebellion insist that if we don’t enact their agenda, industrial civilization will come to an end. But if they are so concerned with protecting industrial civilization, why do they advocate solutions that would end it? ...
After all, if nations were to simply use natural gas to transition to nuclear, there would be little need to stop traffic in London, moralize about the virtues of foregoing meat, flying, and driving, or deploy renewables."
CNN's Zakaria: “The Sanders green energy plan is magical thinking. It presumes that we can reduce emissions in electricity and transport to zero in ten years while simultaneously shutting down the only two low-emissions, always available sources of power that collectively provide nearly 60 percent of America’s electricity today. And that makes me wonder: Is the real problem that Bernie Sanders will lose or that he might win.”
Pielke Jr. Key Points: "The U.S. has not yet begun its journey towards net-zero carbon dioxide, whether by 2050 or any other year. None of the proposals put forward by Democratic candidates for president are plausible. This battle has yet to be joined."
"Carbon dioxide emissions reductions in the United States since 2005 are largely the result of the displacement of coal, which is very carbon intensive, by natural gas. Consider that U.S. fossil fuel consumption was just about the same in 1999 and 2018, but carbon dioxide emissions were about 550 million metric tonnes more in 1999 than in 2018. This decrease represents the effects of natural gas displacing coal, but not any less reliance on fossil fuels."
"The evidence indicates that none of the increase in renewables deployment has actually replaced any fossil fuel consumption. U.S. fossil fuel consumption has continued to increase. In the decade following the 2009 financial crisis, carbon-free consumption increased by about 75 mtoe, but fossil fuel consumption also increased by about 75 mtoe. The notable addition of renewables to the U.S. energy mix has all been additive – it has not displaced any fossil fuels."
"The United States saw its carbon dioxide emissions drop by almost 14% from 2005 to 2018, as you can see in the figure below, according to data from BP. As a base year for comparison, 2005 is often selected because it was the year in which U.S. carbon dioxide emissions peaked. Over that same time period carbon-free energy– from nuclear, hydro and renewables – increased its role in energy consumption from 11.6% to 15.7%."
"The U.S. experience shows how a focus on emissions can mislead. Even though emissions dropped from 1999 to 2018, the U.S. is no closer to net-zero carbon dioxide because total fossil fuel consumption is unchanged."
"During the Obama administration, fossil fuel consumption dropped by about 100 mtoe, while renewables increased by about 60 mtoe. It might have seemed that carbon-free energy displaced fossil fuels during this period, but again, the overwhelming factor influencing energy outcomes appears to be the 2009 financial crisis."
Boris Johnson, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, and Narendra Modi will apparently gather in the Netherlands. There, along with Bill Gates, UN head Antonio Guterres, and personnel associated with the European Union, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, they’ll attend a climate summit hosted by the Global Center on Adaptation. ...
We’re told this summit "will launch a comprehensive Adaptation Action Agenda to kick start a transformational decade."
Donna Laframboise: "The chutzpah is astonishing. The global economy is in tatters. Billions face an uncertain future. Health care workers are exhausted. Yet this Clique of Self-Important People™ is full speed ahead, determined to impose its climate vision on the rest of us."
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)."