Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #453 – Watts Up With That?

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #453 – Watts Up With That?

The Week That Was: 2021-05-01 (May 1, 2021)

Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)

The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.” – Nicolaus Copernicus

Number of the Week: – 400 Manhattan Central Parks

THIS WEEK:

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

Conforming with Error: Over the past two weeks TWTW has discussed the similarity in the writings of Richard Feynman and Carl Sagan in that the Scientific Method is a process of removing error from concepts by repeatedly testing concepts (hypotheses) against physical evidence. As new evidence is developed existing concepts (hypotheses) must be tested against it. If the concepts (hypotheses) fail, they must be changed to be consistent with all the evidence.

An example of this requirement is new data that challenged the concept of an earth centered universe. It took well over a century and the development of the telescope before the concept of the heliocentric solar system was grudgingly accepted by academic communities and the Catholic Church. (Although Copernicus formulated the hypothesis about 1510, it was not published until after his death in 1543, despite urging of his friends and his bishop to publish it.) Some science societies were founded by those who advocated the heliocentric system over the academically accepted Ptolemaic (earth centered) system.

The stunning success of the scientific method was illustrated by the Apollo Mission that had the motto:

“In God we trust, all others bring data”

Unfortunately, much of the work of Carl Sagan did not embody the scientific method as TWTW reader Paul Sheridan commented, who met Sagan at Cornell. For example, Sagan embraced the hypothesis that Venus is an example of “runaway greenhouse effect.” However, the concept needed testing to eliminate error.

The atmospheric pressure at the surface of Venus is 93 times that of earth. Under the ideal gas law, if the amount of a specific gas remains constant and the pressure is increased, the temperature increases. Indeed, according to the US Magellan and the EU Venus Express space probes, at an altitude of around 30 miles, 48 km, the temperature of Venus is about the temperature of Earth, and at 50km the atmospheric pressure is about the same as the atmospheric pressure of earth at sea level. At that altitude, the main cloud layers of Venus are concentrated sulfuric acid.

In its Second Assessment Report (AR2, 1995), the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change introduced an error that remains today. It claimed that a modest warming of the surface, particularly over the Tropics, would result in a significant increase in water vapor amplifying a modest warming from CO2 and resulting in more turbulent weather systems. It claimed to find a “distinct human fingerprint” on climate. This was a late addition and was not agreed upon during peer review.

Fredrick Seitz stated the claim was the worst abuse of the peer review process he had witnessed in 60 years of science. The distinct fingerprint has never been found. After his death, Seitz and three others including SEPP President Fred Singer were pilloried by the climate establishment using unsubstantiated claims. The major claim against Seitz was that he took money from tobacco companies. The money came from the Reynolds Foundation, not tobacco companies, and went to Rockefeller University for medical research, which resulted in a Nobel Prize for Medicine. There was no evidence that Seitz personally benefited. The error of the distinct human fingerprint and the personal attacks by the climate establishment continue today.

Following the April 10 TWTW which discussed the error regarding water vapor significantly amplifying a modest warming from carbon dioxide (CO2), Richard Lindzen sent TWTW a 2009 article written by two noted advocates of strong warming with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). They recognized that water vapor was ineffective for amplifying the warming from CO2. Yet the climate models used by NCAR retain the earlier erroneous estimates.

Contrary to the scientific method, government bureaucracies and scientific establishments do not change their views as evidence demonstrates that their views are erroneous. Instead, these entities insist that their members conform to existing errors. [The error in the IPCC report was confusing the differences in temperatures with differences in vapor pressures.] See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy, Models v. Observations, https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/venus/in-depth/#otp_atmosphere, and https://www.britannica.com/place/Venus-planet/The-atmosphere

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Stability of the Tropics: During the current 2.58 million years of the Quaternary Ice Age, ice sheets have dominated at both poles. There have been periods of extensive glaciation and interrupted by brief warm periods. The latest warm period is the Holocene which started about 11,700 years ago and, according to International Commission on Stratigraphy, we are now in the coolest period of the Holocene Epoch, the Meghalayan, which started about 4,200 years ago.

MIT Sloan Professor of Meteorology emeritus Richard Lindzen has emphasized that throughout the Quaternary Period, the Tropics have been amazingly stable, even though glaciation has varied considerably outside the Tropics. One possible explanation for this stability of the Tropics is what Lindzen calls the Iris Effect, the variation of high-altitude cirrus clouds which block cooling of the earth, by infrared radiation, when present. These thin “wispy” clouds consist almost entirely of ice particles. Conversely, when cirrus clouds are absent the cooling effect of infrared radiation is unimpeded. In April, the Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences by the Korean Meteorological Society published a new paper by Lindzen and Yong-Sang Choi. The abstract states:

“This study reviews the research of the past 20-years on the role of anvil cirrus in the Earth’s climate – research initiated by Lindzen et al. (Bull. Am. Meteor. Soc. 82:417-432, 2001). The original study suggested that the anvil cirrus would shrink with warming, which was estimated to induce longwave cooling for the Earth. This is referred to as the iris effect since the areal change hypothetically resembles the light control by the human eye’s iris. If the effect is strong enough, it exerts a significant negative climate feedback which stabilizes tropical temperatures and limits climate sensitivity. Initial responses to Lindzen et al. (Bull. Am.Meteor. Soc. 82:417-432, 2001) denied the existence and effectiveness of the iris effect. Assessment of the debatable issues in these responses will be presented later in this review paper. At this point, the strong areal reduction of cirrus with warming appears very clearly in both climate models and satellite observations. Current studies found that the iris effect may not only come from the decreased cirrus outflow due to increased precipitation efficiency, but also from concentration of cumulus cores over warmer areas (the so-called aggregation effect). Yet, different opinions remain as to the radiative effect of cirrus clouds participating in the iris effect. For the iris effect to be most important, it must involve cirrus clouds that are not as opaque for visible radiation as they are for infrared radiation. However, current climate models often simulate cirrus clouds that are opaque in both visible and infrared radiation. This issue requires thorough examination as it seems to be opposed to conventional wisdom based on explicit observations. This paper was written in the hope of stimulating more effort to carefully evaluate these important issues.”[Boldface added.]

Due to the political censorship by journals such as Science and Nature, many western scientists do not benefit from ongoing scientific issues regarding infrared radiation. Consequently, western science is lagging behind and the science used by the IPCC and its followers is out of date. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

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A Prosperous World: As discussed in the December 28, 2019 TWTW, the year was ending with the most prosperous period the world has experienced. The prosperity stood in stark contrast with the false claims of the UN of a climate crisis caused by increasing greenhouse effect warming the planet dangerously. Largely thanks to the governments of China and most countries in South Asia and East Asia, reducing their regulatory control of their economies, extreme poverty went from 1.9 billion in 1990 or about 36% of the world’s population of 5.3 billion to about 650 million or about 8.5% of the world population 7.6 billion. This massive reduction in extreme poverty was staggering and contradicts any claims of a “climate crisis.”

As noted in the 1970s, atmospheric CO2 was increasing as prosperity was expanding world-wide. There was a great deal of speculation regarding the impact of increasing greenhouse gases on the globe’s temperatures. Decades of laboratory experiments indicated it would be minor, possibly not measurable. Then came the 1979 Charney Report claiming an amplification from increased water vapor over the tropics. In the Summary for Policymakers, 1995 IPCC report made such a claim, violating the peer review process. Since then, on climate papers the peer review process in western journals is little more than a check to assure conformity with the IPCC. Since 1995, the disparity between the warming that is claimed and the warming that is occurring is growing significantly. Given the timing, the UN IPCC and its followers could be called neo-colonialists.

Now, President Biden has declared a “climate crisis” and held a virtual two-day climate summit with leaders of various countries watching various people making special pleas. No evidence of a climate crisis, only an imaginative version of what may be. Andrew Bold of Sky News Australia has good commentary of the summit, with video clips of some of the presentations. As Francis Mention writes, the Biden administration is getting deeper into “Climate Fantasy.” This brings up an interesting question. President Trump’s exaggerations were called lies, what should President Biden’s exaggerations be called – hallucinations?

Of course, leaders of economically growing nations realize that stopping CO2 emissions will stop growing prosperity and may result in popular conflict. They smile and agree to do something in the future, which may not ever come. One can only guess what they think, what kind of fool is this? See links under Change in US Administrations, Problems in the Orthodoxy, and https://ourworldindata.org/extreme-poverty

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Damage to the US: The damage green policies create for the US electrical grids was illustrated by the blackouts in California last summer and the blackout in Texas in February. Simply, unreliable, heavily subsidized wind and solar undermine the economics of reliable gas, coal, and nuclear. In the US, reliable natural gas replaced reliable coal in the process economist Joseph Schumpeter called creative destruction. Technological innovations disrupt the market forcing firms to innovate or be replaced by those that do. The rapid change in leading firms in the early computer is one example.

Unfortunately, the Biden administration has this concept backwards. From their announcements and actions, Biden officials apparently believe that by destroying successful industries they can create innovation. It does not work that way. Innovation cannot be forced as revealed by the implosion of the Soviet Union.

In his “Special Report, Green Nightmare for Americans” Donn Dears summarizes his three instalments reporting on the damage that wind and solar present for the grid. Its rather like attaching leeches to an ill patient. At some point they can do real damage. Lost in all this are the tremendous benefits increasing CO2 are creating to the natural world. As SEPP Director Craig Idso writes:

“As a society, it is past time to recognize and embrace the truth. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Its increasing concentration only minimally affects Earth’s climate, while it offers tremendous benefits to the biosphere. Efforts to regulate and reduce CO2 emissions will hurt far more than they will help.”

The possible damage Biden’s policies may cause in the US will be further discussed in the upcoming TWTW. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy, Defending the Orthodoxy, and Questioning the Orthodoxy.

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Radiation Transfer: Writing in the blog No Tricks Zone, Kenneth Richard discusses a paper in the International Journal of Modern Physics B. In general, this paper supports the papers by Happer, Lindzen, Hayden, and others that increasing CO2 in today’s atmosphere will have little effect on temperatures. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

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14th ICCC: The 14th International Conference on Climate Change presented by The Heartland Institute will be October 15 to 17, 2021, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. See https://climateconference.heartland.org/

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SEPP’S APRIL FOOLS AWARD

THE JACKSON

SEPP is conducting its annual vote for the recipient of the coveted trophy, The Jackson, a lump of coal. Readers are asked to nominate and vote for who they think is most deserving, following these criteria:

  • The nominee has advanced, or proposes to advance, significant expansion of governmental power, regulation, or control over the public or significant sections of the general economy.
  • The nominee does so by declaring such measures are necessary to protect public health, welfare, or the environment.
  • The nominee declares that physical science supports such measures.
  • The physical science supporting the measures is flimsy at best, and possibly non-existent.

The past recipients, Lisa Jackson, Barrack Obama, John Kerry, Ernest Moniz, Michael Mann, Christiana Figueres, Jerry Brown, AOC, and Neil Ferguson are not eligible. Generally, the committee that makes the selection prefers a candidate with a national or international presence. The voting will close on July 31. Please send your nominee and a brief reason why the person is qualified for the honor to [email protected] Thank you. For a list of past recipients and their accomplishments in earning this honor see http://www.sepp.org/april-fools-award.cfm

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Number of the Week: 400 Central Parks: In his blog, Ron Clutz calculates how much land is needed if wind turbines replace the energy generated by the last nuclear plant at Indian Point, which closed prematurely on April 30 for political reasons. Using very generous estimates of generation from offshore wind and Department of Energy estimates that the capacity density of wind energy projects is about 3 watts square per meter, he estimates that 1,333 square kilometers of wind turbines are needed. (or 515 square miles). The numbers are so large they hardly penetrate New Yorkers.

“Those numbers are almost too big to imagine. Therefore, let’s look again at Central Park. Recall that three Indian Points could fit inside the confines of the famed park. Thus, replacing the energy production from Indian Point would require paving a land area equal to 400 Central Parks with forests of wind turbines.”

Clutz does not consider the hundreds of thousands of tons of concrete and steel needed for the foundations of 515 square miles of wind turbines. Nor does he consider where reliable backup, which wind power needs, will be located. But he comfortably closes with:

In short, the premature closure of Indian Point – and the raging land-use battles over renewable energy siting in New York – should lead environmental groups to rethink their definition of what qualifies as ‘green.’ Just because wind and solar are renewable doesn’t mean they are green. In fact, the land-use problems with renewables show the exact opposite. [Boldface in original.] See link under Nuclear Energy and Fears

Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science

Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2013

Summary: https://www.heartland.org/_template-assets/documents/CCR/CCR-II/Summary-for-Policymakers.pdf

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts

Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2014

http://climatechangereconsidered.org/climate-change-reconsidered-ii-biological-impacts/

Summary: https://www.heartland.org/media-library/pdfs/CCR-IIb/Summary-for-Policymakers.pdf

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels

By Multiple Authors, Bezdek, Idso, Legates, and Singer eds., Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, April 2019

http://store.heartland.org/shop/ccr-ii-fossil-fuels/

Download with no charge:

http://climatechangereconsidered.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Climate-Change-Reconsidered-II-Fossil-Fuels-FULL-Volume-with-covers.pdf

Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming

The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus

By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), Nov 23, 2015

http://climatechangereconsidered.org/

Download with no charge:

https://www.heartland.org/policy-documents/why-scientists-disagree-about-global-warming

Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate

S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008

http://www.sepp.org/publications/nipcc_final.pdf

Global Sea-Level Rise: An Evaluation of the Data

By Craig D. Idso, David Legates, and S. Fred Singer, Heartland Policy Brief, May 20, 2019

Challenging the Orthodoxy

President Biden’s New CO2 Emission Policy is Anti-Science and the Real Existential Threat to Humanity and Nature

By Craig Idso, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, Apr 26, 2021

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V24/apr/a11.php

‘We are being misled’ on the climate crisis: Ian Plimer

By Staff, Sky News Australia, Apr 26, 2021

“We ae living at the best times on planet earth.”

“If people are no longer beholding to government, they speak the truth.”

The Iris Effect: A Review

By Richard S. Lindzen & Yong-Sang Cho, Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences (2021), April 1, 2021

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13143-021-00238-1

Physics Prof. Concludes CO2 Climate Effect Is ‘Fairly Negligible’ – Adds Just 0.5°C For A Doubling To 760 ppm

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Apr 29, 2021

Link to paper: Saturation of the Infrared Absorption by Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere

By Dieter Schildknecht, International Journal of Modern Physics B, Aug 6, 2020

Fake Crisis: Experts Conclude In New Book “Today’s Climate Change Neither Dramatic Nor Unprecedented”

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Apr 25, 2021

“The authors use the Earth’s climate history to show that today’s climate change is neither dramatic nor unprecedented. Rather, it is a normal occurrence in our Holocene warm period within the Quaternary ice age period, which, like all past climate change events, can be attributed to natural causes (especially solar activity in conjunction with the hydrosphere).”

Special Report, Green Nightmare for Americans

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Apr 30, 2021

America! We Have a Problem – The Green Nightmare – Part 3: Summary and Conclusion

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Apr 27, 2021

Climate Change, COVID-19, and the Great Reset

By Allan MacRae, Apr 21, 2021

Remembering Madrid ’95: A Meeting that Changed the World

By Bernie Lewis, His Blog, Nov 21, 2015

Joe Biden’s Climate Denialism

Why would we aspire to make life worse for billions of people?

By David Harsanyi, National Review, Apr 22, 2021

https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/04/bidens-climate-denialism/?utm_source=recirc-desktop&utm_medium=article&utm_campaign=river&utm_content=more-in-tag&utm_term=first

Global Climate Catastrophes

By Scott Hargreaves, Advertisement, Weekend Australia, Institute of Public Affairs, Apr 18, 2021 (H/t Tom Quirk)

[SEPP Comment: Good graph of how increasing concentrations result in declining effectiveness of CO2 in influencing temperatures, based on the MODTRAN code for analysis of optical measurements through the atmosphere. The decline begins almost immediately.]

Defending the Orthodoxy

Dare you to post it on Facebook

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Apr 28, 2021

“For most economic sectors, the impact of climate change will be small relative to the impacts of other drivers. Changes in population, age, income, technology, relative prices, lifestyle, regulation, governance, and many other aspects of socioeconomic development will have an impact on the supply and demand of economic goods and services that is large relative to the impact of climate change.” (IPCC AR5. 2013)

Exclusive: Biden’s economic team makes its case for big climate investments

By Ben Geman, Axios, Apr 23, 2021

https://www.axios.com/biden-economic-team-climate-investment-9c423c57-092c-4726-83ce-07c755bfbfc7.html

Link to: CEA report. Innovation, Investment, and Inclusion: Accelerating the Energy Transition and Creating Good Jobs

“When I think of climate change, I think about jobs. Good-paying, union jobs that put Americans to work, make our air cleaner, and rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure.”—President Joe Biden

Council of Economic Advisers, Apr 23, 2021

Explainer: Will global warming ‘stop’ as soon as net-zero emissions are reached?

By Zeke Hausfather, Carbon Brief, Apr 29, 2021

“The best available evidence shows that, on the contrary, warming is likely to more or less stop once carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reach zero, meaning humans have the power to choose their climate future.”

[SEPP Comment: Best evidence is speculation using climate models that fail basic testing?]

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Biden ‘Stimulus’ Will Deaden Innovation

Keynesians have it backward: Growth is driven by production, not consumption.

By Alexander William Salter, WSJ, Via Independent Institute, Apr 19, 2021

https://www.independent.org/news/article.asp?id=13550&omhide=true

Has Climate Become a Tool of Social Control?

Rupert Darwall, Real Clear Energy, April 28, 2021

https://www.realclearenergy.org/2021/04/28/has_climate_become_a_tool_of_social_control_774745.html

There’s a better way than Biden’s unrealistic, expensive climate pledge

By Bjorn Lomborg, New York Post, April 22, 2021

https://nypost.com/2021/04/22/theres-a-better-way-than-bidens-unrealistic-expensive-climate-pledge/?mc_cid=4b8b988301&mc_eid=da9b256360

The Burden Of Proof On Climate Scientists—And Those Wishing For Its “Solutions”

By William Briggs, His Blog, Apr 29, 2021

Douglas Murray: The climate extremists will never be satisfied

By Douglas Murray, The Daily Telegraph, Via GWPF, Apr 24, 2021

PM2.5 pollution did not decline during lockdown in Scotland

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Apr 27, 2021

Change in US Administrations

What they’re saying at the global climate summit

By AFP Staff Writers, Washington (AFP), April 22, 2021

https://www.terradaily.com/reports/What_theyre_saying_at_the_global_climate_summit_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Assuming these political leaders establish authoritarian control over the countries.]

Ever Deeper And Deeper Into “Climate” Fantasy

By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Apr 24, 2021

https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2021-4-24-ever-deeper-and-deeper-into-climate-fantasy

Andrew Bolt on Biden’s Climate Summit

By Charles Rotter, Video from Sky News Australia, Via WUWT, Apr 27, 2021

The Net-Zero Shell Game and Joe Biden’s Deceptions

By Rupert Darwall, Real Clear Energy, Apr 29, 2021

https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2021/04/29/the_net-zero_shell_game_and_joe_bidens_deceptions_774987.html

“This, the White House claims, is what ‘the science demands.’”

A Human Wrecking-Ball In The White House

By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Apr 30, 2021

https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2021-4-29-a-human-wrecking-ball-in-the-white-house

Carter 2.0 — Joe Gets Played by a Communist Dictator Just Like Jimmy

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Apr 24, 2021

The Biden Climate Summit — speeding up to hit the wall harder

By David Wojick, CFACT, April 24th, 2021

https://www.cfact.org/2021/04/24/the-biden-climate-summit-speeding-up-to-hit-the-wall-harder/

Biden’s Green Pie in the Sky

By Mario Loyola, National Review, Apr 29, 2021

https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/04/bidens-green-pie-in-the-sky/

Social Benefits of Carbon Dioxide

Scientists Eliminate False Positives In Trend Analysis To Assert NO BROWNING – Only Greening – Since 1981

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Apr 26, 2021

Link to one paper: Experimental plant research and the discovery of carbon dioxide-mediated global greening: a tribute to Wilhelm Pfeffer (1845–1920)

By U. Kutschera & R. Khanna, Journal of Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Jan 9, 2021

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13562-020-00644-y

From abstract: “Wilhelm Pfeffer pointed out that, at ca. 0.03 vol% CO2 (in 1900), photosynthesis is sub-optimal. Accordingly, due to human activities, anthropogenic CO2 released into the atmosphere promotes plant growth and crop yield. We have reproduced Pfeffer’s classical experiments on the role of CO2 with respect to plant development, and document that exhaled air of a human (ca. 4 vol% CO2) strongly promotes growth.”

Link to second paper: Where Are Global Vegetation Greening and Browning Trends Significant?

By José Cortés, et al. Geophysical Research Letters

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdfdirect/10.1029/2020GL091496

Problems in the Orthodoxy

John Podesta Threatens “Consequences” Over Australia’s Weak Climate Policy

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Apr 28, 2021

[SEPP Comment: Another modern Ugly American with nothing to offer. Will he try that with China?]

China, India Shun Biden’s Climate Agenda

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Apr 23, 2021

“Underlying all of this game playing is, of course, that $100 billion a year, promised by the rich countries back in 2009 in Copenhagen. As long as this is still on the table, China, India and the rest of the developing world will still appear to play along with the West’s game.”

China doubles down on coal plants abroad despite carbon pledge at home

By AFP Staff Writers, Beijing (AFP), April 27, 2021

https://www.energy-daily.com/reports/China_doubles_down_on_coal_plants_abroad_despite_carbon_pledge_at_home_999.html

“’Combating climate change is also about letting people in developing countries live good lives.’ “According to Li Gao, head of the climate change office at the Ministry of Ecology and Environment,…”

Beijing Welcomes Biden’s Climate Crisis Distraction

By Larry Bell, Newsmax, April 26, 2021

https://www.newsmax.com/larrybell/beijing-greennewdeal/2021/04/26/id/1019020/

Mexico Asks for US Work Visas in Exchange for Climate Action

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Apr 29, 2021

Seeking a Common Ground

How we fool ourselves. Part III: Social biases

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Apr 25, 2021

“Fuller and Mosher’s book Climategate: The CruTape Letters argued that ‘noble cause corruption’ was a primary motivation behind the Climategate deceits. Noble cause corruption is when the ends of protecting the climate (noble) justify the means of sabotaging your scientific opponents (ignoble).”

Tilak Doshi: Restore our Earth? Restore to what?

By Tilak Doshi, Forbes, Via GWPF, Apr 24, 2021

Science, Policy, and Evidence

Shock Wave: 53 Prominent German Actors Launch Campaign Satiring Corona Lockdowns, Fear-Mongering

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Apr 24, 2021

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

The Growth Response of Rice and Eddo to CO2 and Temperature

Bin Zaher, M.A., Kumagai, E., Yabiku, T., Nakajima, M., Matsunami, T., Matsuyama, N., Thinh, N.C., Hasegawa, T. and Kawasaki, M. 2021. Effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration on growth and photosynthesis in eddo at two different air temperatures. Plant Production Science, doi.org/10.1080/1343943X.2020.1862682. Apr 30, 2021

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V24/apr/a13.php

“Collectively, the above findings are very promising for the future production of both rice and eddo, revealing that yields should increase in these two important crops as atmospheric CO2 concentrations rise, regardless of whether or not temperatures increase.”

“According to Bin Zaher et al. (2021), eddo (Colocasia esculenta) is ‘the most widely cultivated taro crop in Japan’ and will likely grow in importance as a staple food across the world as human population increases.”

Temperature and CO2 Effects on Tomato Growth, Yield and Quality Characteristics

Rangaswamy, T.C., Sridhara, S., Ramesh, N., Gopakkali, P., El-Ansary, D.O., Mahmoud, E.A., Abdelmohsen, S.A.M., Abdelbacki, A.M.M., Elansary, H.O. and Abdel-Hamid, A.M.E. 2021. Assessing the impact of higher levels of CO2 and temperature and their interactions on tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). Plants 10, 256, doi.org/10.3390/plants10020256. Apr 30, 2021

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V24/apr/a12.php

Models v. Observations

Global warming due to increasing absorbed solar radiation

By Kevin Trenberth and John Fasullo, Geophysical Research Letters, Apr 14, 2009

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2009GL037527

Chinese scientists: Most climate models fail to reproduce global warming slowdown

By Meng Wei et al. Science China Earth Sciences, Via GWPF, Apr 24, 2021

“This is probably associated with their deficiencies in simulating the distinct temperature change signals from the human-induced long-term warming trend…”

Clouds and Global Warming

By Andy May, WUWT, Apr 4, 2021

Model Issues

Climate debate heats up as research shows disparity among predictive models

By Dan Dakin, Brock University, Phys.org, Apr 27, 2021 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

https://phys.org/news/2021-04-climate-debate-disparity.html

Link to paper: Atmospheric oxygen of the Paleozoic

By Uwe Brand, et al. Earth-Science Reviews, May 2021

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012825221000593?via%3Dihub

[SEPP Comment: Another attempt to cover up that experiments and observations show that increasing CO2 in today’s atmosphere does not increase the greenhouse effect significantly.]

Measurement Issues — Surface

Two Views of Oceans SST End of April 2021

By Ron Clutz, Science Matters, Apr 29, 2021

[SEPP Comment: The footnote “Footnote: Why Rely on HadSST3” explains a major problem with many surface temperature databases.]

Changing Weather

‘Too cold’ or ‘too warm’ but always the same remedy

By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, ICECAP, Apr 224, 2021

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/new-and-cool/man_attribution_to_natural_change_but_always_the_same_remedy/

How Far Into The Future Can We Predict the Weather? My New Podcast Discusses That and the Weekend Forecast.

By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Apr 30, 2021

https://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2021/04/how-far-into-future-can-we-predict.html

[SEPP Comment: He answers the question after a weekly forecast. Forecasts are highly skilled for 3 days then deteriorate rapidly – due to chaos. Unfortunately, initial conditions and chaos are often used as excuses for why climate models vary so much.]

Just weather

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Apr 28, 2021

[SEPP Comment: Deepest snow on Earth Day since records began – in Ottawa?]

UK hit by frostiest April on record, farmers and growers reporting considerable damage

Posted by Julie Celestial, The Watchers, Apr 28, 2021 [H/t Mark Liebe]

https://watchers.news/2021/04/28/uk-hit-by-frostiest-april-on-record-farmers-and-growers-reporting-considerable-damage/

Coldest Valentines Day On Record In The US

By Tony Heller, His Blog, Apr 28, 2021

https://realclimatescience.com/2021/04/coldest-valentines-day-on-record-in-the-us/

Changing Seas

Energy unleashed by submarine volcanoes could power a continent

Press Release, University of Leeds, Apr 21, 2021 [H/t WUWT]

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/04/210421082910.htm

Link to paper: Rapid heat discharge during deep-sea eruptions generates megaplumes and disperses tephra

By Samuel S. Pegler & David J. Ferguson, Nature Communications, Apr 21, 2021

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-22439-y

[SEPP Comment: A source of some El Ninos? Or the Blob off the coast of US northwest?]

The Supermoon and SLR

By Kip Hansen, WUWT, Apr 30, 2021

Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

The ‘Heat Bombs’ Destroying Arctic Sea Ice

Press Release, Phys.org, Apr 27, 2021 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

https://phys.org/news/2021-04-arctic-sea-ice.html

Link to paper: A warm jet in a cold ocean

By Jennifer A. MacKinnon, Nature Communications, Apr 23, 2021

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-22505-5

[SEPP Comment: Pulses of warm water flowing north through the Bering Strait have been observed of decades. The colorful language adds nothing to the issue.]

New High Resolution Climate Simulation Projects Antarctic Ice To Remain Stable Rest Of The Century

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Apr 28, 2021

Alps Winter Warming “Not Significant”…”Astonishing Contrast Between Official Measurements And Public Opinion”

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Apr 27, 2021

Lowering Standards

Met Office Promote “Worsening Climate” Lie

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Apr 29, 2021

“In fact, the climate is not getting worse, as the Met Office would like you to think. Shame on them for promoting such a lie.”

The Australian Academy of Drama Queens

By Tony Thomas, Quadrant, Apr 29, 2021 [H/t Dennis Ambler]

Guardian Exposes Guardian’s Chinese Solar Power Propaganda

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Apr 25, 2021

[SEPP Comment: At least the Guardian published the exploitation of labor to make solar panels.]

Cherry Blossom & UHI

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Apr 26, 2021

“Apparently we are all supposed to be alarmed that cherry blossom arrived a day earlier this year than it did in 1409!”

Communicating Better to the Public – Use Yellow (Green) Journalism?

Experts say

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Apr 28, 2021

[SEPP Comment: Do the “experts” know science from science fiction?]

Earth’s glaciers have shrunk by 267BILLION tonnes per year since 2000

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Apr 24, 2021

“The media love to bandy around big numbers in order to scare people.”

PATEL: Misinformation On Hamburgers Is A Joke Compared With The Media’s Misinformation On Climate

By Neil Patel, Daily Caller, Apr 29, 2021

https://dailycaller.com/2021/04/29/patel-misinformation-on-hamburgers-is-a-joke-compared-with-the-medias-misinformation-on-climate/

Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?

Guest post: How to assess the multiple interacting risks of climate change

By Nicholas Simpson and Christopher Trisos, Carbon Brief, Apr 27, 2021

“A key threat of a warming climate is that it does not pose one single risk, but rather it presents multiple, interacting risks.”

We Cannot Solve Climate Change Without Bipartisanship

By George Gemelas, Real Clear Energy, April 29, 2021

https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2021/04/29/we_cannot_solve_climate_change_without_bipartisanship_774982.html

[SEPP Comment: We cannot solve a problem without understanding it and this author does not. Bipartisanship should not be based on erroneous reasoning.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Erasing The Tropical Age

By Tony Heller, His Blog, Apr 30, 2021

https://realclimatescience.com/2021/04/erasing-the-tropical-age-2/

Video

Summer deaths: How to ignore most variables and a great trend and still blame climate change

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Apr 29, 2021

The Geopolitics of Climate Change

By Frans Timmermans and Josep Borrell, Project Syndicate, Apr 26, 2021

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/eu-geopolitics-of-climate-change-by-frans-timmermans-1-and-josep-borrell-2021-04?utm_campaign=Carbon%20Brief%20Weekly%20Briefing&utm_content=20210430&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Revue%20Weekly

“By tackling climate change and biodiversity loss, everyone will be better off, thanks to better jobs, cleaner air and water, fewer pandemics, and improved health and well-being. But, as with any broad transition, the coming changes will upset some and benefit others, creating tensions within and between countries.”

[SEPP Comment: Impoverishing billions of people makes them better off?]

“Worse Than They Thought”

By Tony Heller, His Blog, Apr 28, 2021

https://realclimatescience.com/2021/04/worse-than-they-thought/

[SEPP Comment: Exposing more false claims of the Colorado River drying up.]

Progressive climate policy can reduce extreme poverty: study

By Patrick Galey, Paris (AFP) April 27, 2021

https://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Progressive_climate_policy_can_reduce_extreme_poverty_study_999.html

Link to paper: Combining ambitious climate policies with efforts to eradicate poverty

By Bjoern Soergel, et al. Nature Communications, Apr 27, 2021

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-22315-9

“’Climate policies safeguard people from climate change impacts like extreme weather risks or crop failure,’ said Bjoern Soergel a PIK researcher and lead author of the study, published in Nature Communications.”

[SEPP Comment: False assumptions.]

Study first to explore combined impacts of fishing and ocean warming on fish populations

Warming and fishing affecting survival of small fish

Press Release University of Melbourne, Apr 27, 2021 [H/t WUWT]

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-04/uom-sft042021.php

“The combined effect of rapid ocean warming and the practice of targeting big fish is affecting the viability of wild populations and global fish stock…”

[SEPP Comment: Another study that starts with false assumptions about ocean warming. The authors assume model results are reality.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Do a Poll?

Gallup Poll Finds Climate A Non Issue For Americans

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Apr 24, 2021

Expanding the Orthodoxy

Roger Pielke Jr. Discovers Big Warming

By Charles Rotter, WUWT, Apr 30, 2021

MI6 Head Explains the Focus of British Espionage Against China is Climate Change

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Apr 27, 2021

Amber Rudd To Work At EY–As Climate Change Consultant

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Apr 29, 2021

Questioning European Green

Andrew Montford: Net Zero is a disaster waiting to happen

Eye-wateringly expensive, and promising unreliable energy, decarbonisation is a dangerous daydream

By Andrew Montford, The Daily Telegraph, Via GWPF, Apr 26, 2021

Net zero is a disaster waiting to happen

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Apr 26, 2021

[SEPP Comment: Dragon fighters turning into white elephants.]

Europe’s heavy industry unlikely to survive Net Zero

By Staff, GWPF & Financial Times, Apr 30, 2021

EU Admits It Can’t Go Net-Zero Without Natural Gas

By Irina Slav, Oil Price.com Apr 26, 2021 [H/t GWPF]

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Natural-Gas/EU-Admits-It-Cant-Go-Net-Zero-Without-Natural-Gas.html

Questioning Green Elsewhere

Why Wind and Solar Energy Are Doomed to Failure

By John Hinderaker, Power Line, Apr 24, 2021 [H/t William Readdy]

“’Green’ energy holds political sway, which has made a relative handful of people (largely non-Americans and lobbyists) immensely wealthy, while impoverishing utility rate payers and taxpayers–that is to say, the rest of us. This insanity will continue until voters wise up, or–more likely, I am afraid–until the laws of physics, along with land use and raw materials constraints, make it blindingly obvious that the ‘green dream’ is just that. A nightmare.”

And all you’d have to do…

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Apr 28, 2021

“The long and short of it is that the Net Zero enthusiasts have, with very rare exceptions not represented in politics, not done the math. And one day soon it will do them instead.”

Funding Issues

Banking Committee Rs to Biden: Cool it on Fossil Fuel Finance Freeze-Out

Another fed gov’t campaign to strangle legal businesses’ access to capital

By Staff, Government Accountability and Oversight, Accessed Apr 28, 2021 [H/t WUWT]

Link to letter to John Kerry, April 20, 2021

From Republican Senators

“Beyond the poor track record associated with central economic planning, this apparent attempt to prevent energy companies from obtaining capital disturbingly resembles the Obama administration’s notorious ‘Operation Choke Point’ scandal, in which financial regulators attempted to coerce banks into denying services to legal yet politically-disfavored businesses.”

Free lack of money

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Apr 28, 2021

“It’s understandable that Trudeau was restless, having gone nearly 72 hours without a massive policy initiative like running up more debt than all 22 of his predecessors. Well, 48 if you count the tens of billions more he committed the day after his budget.”

[SEPP Comment: Taking leadership in Russian Roulette – for the public to experience.]

A culture of climate bullies may be using your retirement funds against you

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Apr 27, 2021

The Political Games Continue

Biden touts climate investment as creating jobs

By Rachel Frazin, The Hill, Apr 28, 2021

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/550849-biden-touts-climate-investment-as-creating-jobs

Litigation Issues

Attorney General Morrisey, 19-State Petition Urges Supreme Court to Limit EPA Authority, Protect Jobs

Press Release by Curtis Johnson, West Virginia Attorney General’s Office, Apr 29, 2021

https://mailchi.mp/87eea394cb31/wva-ag-19-state-petition-urges-supreme-court-to-limit-epa-authority-protect-jobs-709706

Lawsuit-Supporting Academic: Attribution Science Was Designed Specifically To Bolster Climate Litigation

By William Allison, Energy in Depth, Apr 19, 2021

Court rules Germany needs *more carbon action* — weak laws violate young people’s rights?

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, May 1, 2021

“Young people could sue governments for not doing due diligence on a UN committee report and for selling out their civilization.”

Courting failure again: De Blasio tries once more to take Big Oil to court

Editorial, New York Daily News, Apr 24, 2021

https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-edit-courting-failure-again-20210424-cktnqjq5djfdjadj5bpctjrepm-story.html

“And why should Big Oil get punished for greenwashing while other companies with gargantuan carbon footprints from Amazon to Tyson Foods to McDonald’s to GM to Delta miss few opportunities to burnish their environmental bona fides?”

Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

With the right carbon price path there is no need for excessive CO2 removal

By Staff Writers, Potsdam, Germany (SPX) Apr 26, 2021

https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/With_the_right_carbon_price_path_there_is_no_need_for_excessive_CO2_removal_999.html

Link to paper: Alternative carbon price trajectories can avoid excessive carbon removal

By Jessica Strefler, Nature Communications, Apr 15, 2021

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-22211-2

EPA and other Regulators on the March

Administrator Regan Statement on the First 100 Days of the Biden-Harris Administration

News Release, EPA, Apr 29, 2021

https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/administrator-regan-statement-first-100-days-biden-harris-administration

“Restored Scientific Integrity”

[SEPP Comment: Is it a political slogan or does it mean rigorous testing against all physical evidence?]

Welcome to the EPA’s star chamber

By Jason Johnston, Washington Examiner, Apr 24, 2021

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/welcome-to-the-epas-star-chamber

Energy Issues – Australia

Wednesday’s mass failure of $20 billion worth of Wind power in Australia

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Apr 30, 2021

Washington’s Control of Energy

Fracking Ban Threatens American Jobs and Derails Our Environmental Progress

By Stephanie Catarino Wissman, Heartland Daily News, Apr 19, 2021

Nuclear Energy and Fears

April 30, 2021 New York Nukes Itself

By Ron Clutz, Science Matters, Apr 30, 2021

Rolls-Royce on track for 2030 delivery of UK SMR [Small Modular Reactor]

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Apr 27, 2021

“There has never been any doubt about the technical feasibility of SMRs, it has rather been a question of cost and safety. It now appears that Phase 1 has shown that SMRs can compete economically, if costs of £40 to £60/MWh are right.

“The next stage is the detailed design assessment.”

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

After the Texas Blackouts, Follow the Wind and Solar Money – All $66 Billion of It

By Robert Bryce, Real Clear Energy, April 26, 2021

https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2021/04/26/after_the_texas_blackouts_follow_the_wind_and_solar_money__all_66_billion_of_it_774468.html

Industrial Wind Turbine Health Issues: Evidence Grows, Politics Rise (Robert Bryce’s latest)

By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Apr 28, 2021

Massive Solar Farm Will Serve Texas Grid

By Darrell Proctor, Power Mag, Apr 6, 2021

[SEPP Comment: How much electricity will these 1.4 million solar modules on 4,000 acres generate on an August evening, when it is needed the most?]

The Ugly Truth About Renewable Power

By Irina Slav. Oil Price.com, Apr 26, 2021 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Renewable-Energy/The-Ugly-Truth-About-Renewable-Power.html

“The author of this article grew up in the 1980s in Bulgaria—a time when the country’s socialist government exported so much electricity for hard currency payments that blackouts were a part of life. It wasn’t a particularly convenient life, but millions of people lived that way in both Bulgaria and Romania. It’s worth mentioning, though, that back in the 1980s, people were not constantly online. Our energy consumption has soared since then.”

More cable failures at European and UK offshore wind farms

By Staff, GWPF, Apr 29, 2021

Link to report: Ørsted’s Interim Financial Report

By Staff, Ørsted, First Quarter, 2021

https://orstedcdn.azureedge.net/-/media/2021/interim-financial-report-q1-2021.ashx?la=en&rev=8ba3a923d2744aeb9144a4b57bfcdd66&hash=b1d76f2282b12521a27e5f6a2f1afb98

“The problem has arisen because turbines are frequently surrounded with large rocks designed to prevent erosion of the seabed and weakening of the turbine foundations. This ‘scour protection’ is, in Ørsted’s own words, ‘abrading the Cable Protection System and in the worst-case scenario causing the cables to fail.’”

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

Could We Harness The Tremendous Power Of Deep-Ocean Volcanoes?

By Tsvetana Paraskova, OilPrice.com,, Apr 25, 2021 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Could-We-Harness-The-Tremendous-Power-Of-Deep-Ocean-Volcanoes.html

[SEPP Comment: Probably no, without major technological breakthroughs.]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Storage

Apple announces $200 mn forestry fund to reduce carbon

By AFP Staff Writers, San Francisco (AFP), April 16, 2021

https://www.terradaily.com/reports/Apple_announces_200_mn_forestry_fund_to_reduce_carbon_999.html

Large-Volume, Long-Duration Power and Water Storage Project Taking Shape in Idaho

By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, Apr 29, 2021

“This stored water volume will provide five complete days of full generation capacity (720 MW) from the pumped storage facility, creating one of the most significant Large Volume, Long Duration (LVLD) energy storage facilities in the West….”

[SEPP Comment: The new design may have some technological improvements over previous pumped storage such as the world’s largest in Bath County, Virginia. For the new facility, at full capacity, which goes down during generation, the numbers work out to be an average of 6 MW per hour. Hoover Dam has a nameplate of 2,080 MW and provides about 4 billion kilowatt-hours per year or about an average of 438 MW per hour.]

https://www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/faqs/powerfaq.html#:~:text=The%20plant%20has%20a%20nameplate,rated%20at%202.4%20megawatts%20each.

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

Electric Corsa Is £11k Dearer Than Petrol Version

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Apr 24, 2021

The EV sector is on fire

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Apr 28, 2021

[SEPP Comment: With a fire hydrant nearby, 10 to 30 pumper-tankers were not needed.]

California Dreaming

Climate Deceit and Dubious Policies California Lawmakers Continue to Perpetrate

Unreliable solar and wind power, electric vehicles, and other things that just don’t make sense

By Katy Grimes, California Globe, Apr 26, 2021

Russia jubilant as US Democrats start banning fracking in California

By Staff, GWPF & Energy Live News, GWPF, Apr 25, 2021

Other News that May Be of Interest

Death of prominent Canadian polar bear biologist a tragic loss to science

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Apr 29, 2021

BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE

Renewable Energy Helping Communities Recover From Flooding

By Jane Marsh, Real Clear Energy, April 28, 2021

https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2021/04/28/renewable_energy_helping_communities_recover_from_flooding_774922.html

“As long as electric wiring is intact, they [solar panels] can work through storms.

“Solar panel installation in high-risk regions can be especially useful for hospitals and medical centers. They can provide professionals with the resources necessary to address medical emergencies during hurricanes.”

[SEPP Comment: Provided the sun keeps shining through the clouds and the wind and waves don’t turn solar panels into junk. The author uses Katrina as an example. The storm surge reached its maximum at Bay St. Louis. In reviewing the aftermath, a structural engineer noted that a 5-story concrete and steel building remained sound, but suffered significant damage including the loss of all the air conditioning units on the roof. Doubtful that solar panels would have been a help.]

Daisies Under Threat From Climate Change!

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Apr 30, 2021

Formula E Cars Run Out Of Power!

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Apr 24, 2021

[SEPP Comment: Video available to UK users only. Dumping electrons into batteries is not as easy as dumping liquid fuel into tanks.]

Geoengineering: ‘Plan B’ for the planet

By Marlowe Hood, Paris (AFP), April 29, 2021

https://www.terradaily.com/reports/Geoengineering_Plan_B_for_the_planet_999.html

It isn’t easy being cool

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Apr 28, 2021

“For the crowd who believe that technology will save us from our sins, climate-related as otherwise, some grim news has appeared. Trendy technology from bitcoins to NFTs [Non-Fungible Token] that depend on blockchain technology have… oh dear… a massive carbon footprint.”

Music Industry Demands Funding So They Can Stop Climate Change by Eliminating Live Tours

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Apr 28, 2021

ARTICLES

How a More Resilient America Beat a Midcentury Pandemic

In 1957, the U.S. rose to the challenge of the ‘Asian flu’ with stoicism and a high tolerance for risk, offering a stark contrast with today’s approach to Covid-19.

By Niall Ferguson, WSJ, Apr 30, 2021

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-a-more-resilient-america-beat-a-midcentury-pandemic-11619794711

TWTW Summary: the senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford who did not make frightening estimates of COVID-19 writes:

“When seeking historical analogies for Covid-19, commentators have referred more often to the catastrophic 1918-19 ‘Spanish influenza’ than to the flu pandemic of 1957-58. Yet the later episode deserves to be much better known, not just because the public health threat was a closer match to our own but because American society at the time was better prepared—culturally, institutionally and politically—to deal with it.

“The ‘Asian flu’—as it was then uncontroversial to call a contagious disease that originated in Asia—was a novel strain (H2N2) of influenza A. It was first reported in Hong Kong in April 1957, having originated in mainland China two months before, and—like Covid-19—it swiftly went global.

“Like Covid-19, the Asian flu led to significant excess mortality. The most recent research concludes that between 700,000 and 1.5 million people worldwide died in the pandemic. A pre-Covid study of the 1957-58 pandemic concluded that if “a virus of similar severity” were to strike in our time, around 2.7 million deaths might be anticipated worldwide. The current Covid-19 death toll is 3 million, about the same percentage of world population as were killed in 1957–58 (0.04%, compared with 1.7% in 1918-19).

“True, excess mortality in the U.S.—now around 550,000—has been significantly higher in relative terms in 2020-21 than in 1957-58 (at most 116,000). Unlike Covid-19, however, the Asian flu killed appreciable numbers of young people. In terms of excess mortality relative to baseline expected mortality rates, the age groups that suffered the heaviest losses globally were 15- to 24-year-olds (34% above average mortality rates) followed by 5- to 14-year-olds (27% above average). In total years of life lost in the U.S., adjusted for population, Covid has been roughly 40% worse than the Asian flu.” [Boldface highlighted in original.]

After a discussion on possible reasons why so many of the young were effected, the author addresses the political response to the Asian flu

“The policy response of President Dwight Eisenhower could hardly have been more different from the response of 2020. Eisenhower did not declare a state of emergency. There were no state lockdowns and, despite the first wave of teenage illness, no school closures. Sick students simply stayed at home, as they usually did. Work continued more or less uninterrupted.

With workplaces open, the Eisenhower administration saw no need to borrow to the hilt to fund transfers and loans to citizens and businesses. The president asked Congress for a mere $2.5 million ($23 million in today’s inflation-adjusted terms) to provide additional support to the Public Health Service. There was a recession that year, but it had little if anything to do with the pandemic. The Congressional Budget Office has described the Asian flu as an event that ‘might not be distinguishable from the normal variation in economic activity.’

“President Eisenhower’s decision to keep the country open in 1957-58 was based on expert advice. When the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) concluded in August 1957 that ‘there is no practical advantage in the closing of schools or the curtailment of public gatherings as it relates to the spread of this disease,’ Eisenhower listened. As a CDC official later recalled: ‘Measures were generally not taken to close schools, restrict travel, close borders or recommend wearing masks. ASTHO encouraged home care for uncomplicated influenza cases to reduce the hospital burden and recommended limitations on hospital admissions to the sickest patients. Most were advised simply to stay home, rest and drink plenty of water and fruit juices.’”

The author discusses medical research, pointing out that the recent search of a vaccine was not unprecedented. Before the final paragraph discussing the Beat Generation of the 1950s he states:

“We have done a great deal over the past year (not all of it effective) to protect the groups most vulnerable to Covid-19, which has overwhelmingly meant the elderly: 80.4% of U.S. Covid deaths, according to the CDC, have been among people 65 and older, compared with 0.2% among those under 25. But the economic and social costs, in terms of lost education and employment, have been disproportionately shouldered by the young.”

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