The week that was: 2021-01-02 (January 2, 2021)
Presented by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)
The science and environmental project
Quote of the week: "Climate change is the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century." – United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) (2018) (H / t Climate Etc.)
Number of the week: 2,000 years
IN THIS WEEK:
By Ken Haapala, President of the Science and Environment Policy Project (SEPP)
2020 – Hopefully a Lesson in Humility: 2020 began with the boom in the US economy. The unemployment rate was the lowest since the 1960s, the black unemployment rate the lowest since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began collecting data in the 1970s, and although wealth was made, inequality between the highest and lowest income groups decreased. In addition, the world in general became more prosperous and the number of people living in extreme poverty was rapidly decreasing.
Then hit a new disease, Covid-19. Countries and different US states reacted differently. Some politicians felt that they should impose drastic measures on the public or part of it by treating adults as children. Other politicians believed that mature adults are able to behave responsibly. The subject is so politicized that it goes beyond the scope of TWTW.
One thing is obvious, however. Many politicians and bureaucrats do not know the limits of knowledge. Often they invoke the term "science" without understanding that the scientific method requires rigorous testing against all physical evidence. For them, “science” is a term for political conviction, not a method of gaining knowledge about the physical world. At first, nobody knew the extent and virulence of Covid-19. But when knowledge changes, politics has to change.
The quote of the week is an example of how distant the UN and many “international” organizations are from the physical world. During the 20th century, humanity witnessed major wars in which tens of millions of people were killed, oppressive governments killed tens of millions of people, and a far more virulent virus, the 1918-1919 flu, killed approximately 50 million people. Unlike the current virus, the 1918 flu killed young adults not normally affected by these types of infectious diseases, as well as older and young children.
The WHO apparently believes that neither mass murders nor rampant diseases can possibly be worse for humanity than climate change, even though the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has not produced convincing physical evidence that the world is dangerous or warmed up in an unusual way. As discussed in previous TWTWs such as the last, the United Nations IPCC relies on speculation about the future of global climate models that have failed basic tests based on current physical evidence. As such, it has abandoned the scientific method. See links at Defense of Orthodoxy and https://ourworldindata.org/extreme-poverty
Maybe lessons learned? Judith Curry makes a good list of lessons some might have learned this year on her blog. Among those that may be of interest to TWTW readers are:
"1. Falsification of WHO forecast: "Climate change is the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century." – World Health Organization (2018)
"2. Triumph of “normal” science: rapid sequencing of the COVID-19 virus, development of vaccines.
"3. Triumph of the insecure T. monster. Hubris, overconfidence and false predictions about COVID-19 have fed the monster. With implications for other areas of science.
"4. Changing ideas about expertise. Many recognized experts on COVID-19 have proven wrong or at least diametrically changed their minds. People outside of medicine and epidemiology have made important contributions to our understanding.
"5. Discomfort of the "precautionary principle". COVID-19 shows that many people will not take the precautions deemed necessary by policy makers, even if their own lives may be in short-term jeopardy. Backlash against overly restrictive lockdowns and hypocrisy from public health officials who say it's okay to break lockdowns for political protests. Technological solutions preferred over abstinence, restrictions.
"6. Climate change is taking a back seat. COVID-19 reminds us of what a real crisis and emergency looks like. Desperate measures by climate activists to keep climate change relevant by trying to ride COVID-19 coat tails.
"8th. "Greens" shoot each other in the foot. The current U.S. collective bill contains reasonable research and development for clean energy, including carbon capture and storage, and nuclear power. The Greens oppose this as CCS is giving petroleum companies a free card to get out of prison and they seem to hate nuclear power more than fossil fuels. In France, nuclear power plants are being shut down and wind / sun added, increasing the need for natural gas power plants for the interruption.
9 to 12 are left out (political or personal)
“[email protected] Kultur and Woke-Dom (sic) are running amok. Totally out of control, but the game is growing. Academically, the University of Chicago and the Univ of Texas-Austin are leading the way in this mess.
14. Social media censorship. This is completely out of control and absolutely harmful to democracy. This seems to be due to the political preferences of the owners of the major social media platforms.
15. The mainstream media becomes completely politicized – American Joe Biden received a free pass from the US media to elect him as president. A very unhealthy situation for the media; hopefully they will get some integrity and critical skills in Rediscover reference to the Biden presidency as soon as President Trump is no longer in the picture.
"16. The uncertainty in climate models is increasing. CMIP6 results offer a much wider range of climate sensitivity values, especially in the upper range.
"17th RCP8.5 (IPCC extreme scenario) is on the way out. Growing support for the elimination of RCP8.5 (IPCC high-end emissions / concentration scenario) for political reasons.
"18th Emissions have decreased, but atmospheric CO2 continues to rise. The CO2 control button doesn't seem very sensitive. "
No doubt others can improve on this list, but it's a good effort. See links under Finding a Common Ground.
A good start: TWTW has harshly criticized the US government's modeling efforts, both climate modeling and claims of a dramatic rise in sea levels. For example, by making absurd claims, NOAA creates trouble for those looking to correct for the effect of realistic sea level rise, especially in areas where land is falling, such as Tidewater Virginia, home to a huge military complex. In many regions, land subsidence can be addressed through inexpensive desalination using techniques developed by the Israelis. These desalination techniques are used elsewhere in the Middle East and in Carlsbad, California.
David Middleton writes in WUWT about an article in the Wall Street Journal by geologist and former astronaut Jim Reilly, who is currently the director of the United States Geological Survey (USGS), which is part of the Home Office. Reilly tries to establish a policy based on the scientific method of testing ideas and models against physical evidence, rather than pretending that the models work.
Reilly refers to an open file report that looks at current global climate models and how they are used for policy making. Other important points of the report are:
“A climate scenario describes a plausible future outcome that is linked to a number of specific social measures that capture the relationships between human decisions, greenhouse gas and particle emissions, greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere and the resulting climate change, as simulated by global climate models. Since scenarios are developed in a risk-based framework with a high degree of uncertainty about future societal developments, the primary scenarios used in political decision-making contexts are usually not assigned a formal probability of occurrence (i.e. each scenario is considered to be "plausible" ”result without assumption the "probability" of the outcome). "
“In the short term (years to one to two decades in the future), natural climate variability is the greatest source of uncertainty in climate projections. For periods of approximately 30 to 50 years, scientific uncertainty about the climate system is the greatest source of uncertainty in climate projections. For more than 50 years, human choices that affect global greenhouse gas emissions will be the greatest source of uncertainty. "
Under the heading Example of Best Practices That USGS Will Continue To Follow Include:
“Formulate the uncertainties clearly and precisely in connection with each analysis, including the evolution of the uncertainties over the modeled period and the effects of these
Uncertainties in interpreting the results. "
"If necessary, revise future-oriented impact analyzes incorporate new knowledge
and best practices. "
(The original is bold in italics.)
This Open File Report recognizes that there are both human and natural influences on climate, that science is not regulated, and that new knowledge needs to be incorporated. Thus, it is a big improvement over previous US reports like the US National Climate Assessment, which do not take into account natural influences on the climate.
Unfortunately, the report is in the wrong physics to understand the greenhouse effect, an important human component of modern climate change. and it uses the wrong databases to understand the greenhouse effect, surface data. But it is a good first step in separating human impact from natural impact on climate change.
Of course, such actions have outraged some in Congress. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chair of the Oversight and Reform Committee, Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, Chair of the Government Operations Subcommittee, and Raúl M. Grijalva, Chair of the Natural Resources Committee, called for Reilly to be removed. Reilly transferred an employee who had complained about him to another position. The requirement does not discuss the competence or lack of the employee. See links under Finding Similarities, Changing the Seas, Changing the Earth and https://oversight.house.gov/news/press-releases/chairs-call-on-usgs-director-james-reilly-to-be-removed -after-ig-investigation
Pollution: For visiting scientists and other "experts" using terms such as pollution, carbon pollution, etc., it is helpful to have a clear understanding of what is meant by pollution. In Just Facts, James Agresti and William Reynolds went to great lengths to produce a comprehensive document on facts about pollution. This hundreds of pages document is based on definitions from the American Heritage Science Dictionary, textbooks, guides, government agencies, papers, and other sources.
It's a good, useful reference for understanding different types of pollution. Of course, many readers may disagree with some of the definitions used. For example, TWTW does not agree with part of the section on ocean acidification, e.g. B. “The acidity of liquids is measured on a scale called pH, which ranges from 0-14. Lower pH values indicate higher acid content. ”(Source: Website:" pH and Water ". United States Geological Survey.)
It is misleading. The neutral point is a pH of 7. A pH of 14 is corrosive and not neutral. For example, a drain cleaner with sodium hydroxide (pH 14) can be just as corrosive as a drain cleaner with sulfuric acid and a pH of 1. When the pH of the sodium hydroxide drain cleaner is lowered to 10, it is less corrosive, less basic, acidic however not in it. See links under Finding a Common Ground.
A bit of history: TWTW does not rely on federal government surface temperature records as these are a mess. As discussed in the last TWTW, the Aris instruments launched on the Aqua satellite in 2002 will hopefully stop data manipulation by NOAA and NASA-GISS. Now they are checked again. A post on the ICECAP blog by Joseph D’Aleo of WeatherBELL LLC describes why the surface data cannot be trusted. The post contains links to a 2010 article by D’Aleo and Anthony Watts, sponsored by Climategate, and what they revealed about the surface database created by the UK's Climatic Research Unit (CRU). The foreword of the paper says:
“This paper was a compilation of analyzes relating to the datasets used to formulate and implement unprecedented policy decisions that seek to radically transform our societies and institutions.
"This was made necessary by the extraordinary revelations in the published CRU emails, including the inclusion of Ian & # 39; Harry & # 39; Harris, the CRU programmer. He complained about this “(The) desperate state of your (CRU) database. No uniform data integrity, just a catalog of problems that continue to grow as soon as they are found. and “Aarrggghhh! There really is no end in sight. This whole project is such news. No wonder I needed therapy! " CRU member Phil Jones openly admitted in a BBC interview that "his surface temperature data is so jumbled that it is unlikely to be verified or replicated".
“This reflects both NOAA and NASA in the US. Phil Jones also admits that "almost all of the data we have in the CRU archive is exactly the same as in the US Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) archive used by the NOAA National Climatic Data Center" and that GISS of NASA uses the GHCN … "
(The original was italicized in bold.)
If the CRU data cannot be verified or replicated, as Phil Jones admitted, there is no reason to assume that it is accurate or even useful. Ignoring the chaos does not eliminate it. See links under Measurement Problems – Surface.
A warm year: Roy Spencer gave a preliminary report on December tropospheric temperature trends and trends through 2020 compiled from satellite data by the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). Spencer writes:
“2020 ended as the second warmest year in the 42-year tropospheric satellite temperature record at +0.49 degrees. C, behind the 2016 value of +0.53 degrees. C. "
"The linear warming trend since January 1979 has remained at +0.14 C / decade (+0.12 C / decade above the globally averaged oceans and +0.18 C / decade above the globally averaged country)."
Trends vary significantly over 42 years, and the linear trend is a mathematical construct, not an actual one. 2020 ends with a La Niña and thus with a cool down. To the knowledge of TWTW, no one was able to predict the occurrence and intensity of El Niños or La Niñas. It is therefore impossible to predict how 2021 will develop. See link under Measurement Problems – Atmosphere.
Restoring grasses: Seagrasses are an important part of the marine environment, especially in regions with soft bottom (mud, sand, etc.). They provide a nursery for many aquatic species. Jim Steele has an excellent description of this important part of the water world on his blog, including natural changes, how humans damage it, and how they restore it. See links under Changing Seas.
Number of the week: 2,000 years. Much has been written about the unusual Hurricane Michael, which hit the Florida Panhandle in 2018, the first Category 5 storm to hit the US since Andrew in 1992. CO2 Science reported on a paper by researchers who analyzed the cores of two sedimentary deposits along the Florida Panhandle of the Gulf of Mexico. They observed:
"…" The activity of tropical cyclones varies considerably at both locations at the one hundred year point in time. However, & # 39; you note that the period of greatest hurricane activity in both records happened over several centuries with an emphasis on ~ 1000 AD. During this period, the hurricane events were about twice as frequent as in more recent historical time (since 1851).
The word "unprecedented" is often misused, such as unprecedented storms. See link under Review of Latest Scientific Articles by CO2 Science.
Challenging Orthodoxy – NIPCC
Climate change covered II: Physics
Idso, Carter and Singer, lead authors / editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2013
Climate change reconsidered II: Biological effects
Idso, Idso, Carter and Singer, Lead Authors / Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2014
Climate Change Covered II: Fossil Fuels
By multiple authors, Bezdek, Idso, Legates and Singer eds., Non-Governmental International Panel on Climate Change, April 2019
Why Scientists Disagree with Global Warming
The NIPCC Scientific Consensus Report
By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter and S. Fred Singer, Non-Governmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), November 23, 2015
Nature, not human activity, rules the climate
S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008
Global Sea Level Rise: An Analysis of the Data
By Craig D. Idso, David Legates, and S. Fred Singer, Heartland Policy Brief, May 20, 2019
Reef heresy? And the importance of asking questions
By Jennifer Marohasy, Her Blog, December 20, 2020
2020 – What does a year of climate alarmism tell us about green ideology?
Video by Ben Pile and Steve Milloy, January 1, 2021 (H / t Tom Harris)
Let's challenge green tyranny in 2021
From Paul Homewood, not many people know, January 1, 2021
Link to the essay: Let's challenge green tyranny in 2021
Environmental protection has become a key weapon in the struggle to restore technocratic rule.
By Tim Black, Spiked, December 31, 2020
From Homewood: “We have to remember that even here in the West democracy is not and has never been the norm. It was authoritarianism that was the rule.
“Democracy was a short-lived experiment, an extremely short one even in large parts of Europe.
"We can't let it slip out of our hands."
Egg on their faces: 10 predictions from climate alarmists for 2020 that went terribly wrong
By Tyler O'Neil, PJ Media, December 28, 2020
By Tony Heller, His Blog, December 27, 2020
The United Nations urges humanity to end the "war on nature" and become carbon free
By Seth Borenstein and Frank Jordans, AP, December 2, 2020
How the earth can be run entirely on sustainable energy
By Staff Writers, Dublin, Ireland (SPX) 23 December 2020
Equivalent Footprint for Renewable Energies (REEF): A method for imagining a sustainable energy future
From James Ward et al. Energies, November 24, 2020
“The REEF shows that a sustainable and desirable future with renewable energy is possible: (i) possibly possible, subject to the global adoption of consumption patterns typical of several key exemplary countries; (ii) is highly dependent on an important future technological development, namely electrification and synthetic fuels; and (iii) will likely still require the acquisition of a significant, albeit hopefully sustainable, portion of the world's forest area. "
(SEPP Comment: Stop using electricity when the weather changes or the sun goes down and hope for the best?)
(Another) climate warrior aiming to bypass democracy
Bu Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, December 21, 2020
(SEPP Comment: Review of Senator Jeff Merkley's proposal to use the National Emergency Act (NEA) and Defense Production Act (DPA) to declare a "climate emergency.")
Could Covid Lockdown have helped save the planet?
By Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, December 29, 2020
"The slowdown in human activity was too short to undo years of destruction, but we saw a glimpse into the world of post-fossil fuels."
Forbes Climate Crisis: "COVID-19 Induced Lifestyle Changes"
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, December 20, 2020
(SEPP comment; Would the Forbes article author, a clean tech entrepreneur, be called a war profiteer during WWII?)
2020 Review – Bruce Pardy: Our year of bowing to "The Science"
"Obey science" means "believe what we tell you and do what you are told".
By Bruce Pardy, Financial Post, Canada, December 23, 2020 (H / t Paul Homewood)
Happy New Year! Start 2021 with new hope thanks to good climate news
By employees, GWPF, December 31, 2020
Climate News – January 2021
By Alan Moran, Australian Climate Skeptics Blog, Jan 2, 2021
How effective is the leaked memos line "Repositioning Global Warming As Theory"? Let me show the way …
By Russell Cook, Geldspan Files.com, December 19, 2020
That date in 1974
By Tony Heller, His Blog, December 29, 2020
(SEPP Comment: When Fear Was a Global Cooling Down.)
National journal about possible Trump submission of the Paris climate treaty to the Senate
By Chris Horner, Government Accountability & Oversight (a private organization) on December 23, 2020
Change in US administrations
No, Joe, we are not in a climate crisis.
By Rich Lowry, National Review, December 22, 2020
"He doesn't want to make us think about climate change, but rather to suspend all rational thoughts on the subject."
Biden's energy plans are expensive – and dangerous
By Brian Leyland and Tom Harris, PJ Media, December 19, 2020
Biden introduces an environmental team to combat the "existential threat"
By Staff Writers, Washington (AFP) on December 20, 2020
Who will pay the bill as Joe Biden prepares to rejoin the global fight against climate change?
To raise the funds it needs to tackle climate change, the US needs a financial system tsar who can get Wall Street to develop products that are directly tied to long-term investments in individual UN Sustainable Development Goals
By Anthony Rowley, South China Morning Post, December 28, 2020 (H / t WUWT)
Problems in Orthodoxy
A social conscience is nice, but business is business !!
From Paul Homewood, not many people know, December 27, 2020
“But I find it a bit ironic because we're constantly being told how 'green' Norway is. After all, they are getting rid of all their gasoline cars and building wind farms in the North Sea (with the help of oil money, of course).
"But when it comes to gasoline dollars, it all goes out the window!"
I'm looking for common ground
Review of 2020
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. December 27, 2020
"USGS gets politics out of climate forecasts"
By David Middleton, WUWT, January 1, 2021
Link to the report: "Using Information from Global Climate Models to Provide Information on Policy Making – The Role of the US Geological Survey"
Adam Terando et al. US Geological Survey, 2020
Be informed: pollution
By James Agresti and William Reynolds, Just Facts, accessed January 1, 2021
A New Year's Look at WUWT
By Willis Eschenbach, WUWT, December 30, 2020
Science, Politics and Evidence
Fauci on moving the goal posts
By Charles Rotter, WUWT, December 28, 2020
(SEPP Comment: What "science" was is now an estimate. And Fauci complains that Americans don't believe science? It's not science, it's certain "scientists".)
Review of current scientific articles from CO2 Science
Two centuries of rainfall in the Peruvian Andes
Humanes-Fuente, V., Ferrero, M. E., Muñoz, A. A., González-Reyes, A., Requena-Rojas, E. J., Barichivich, J., Inga, J.G. and Layme-Huaman, E.T. 2020. Two centuries of hydroclimatic variability, reconstructed from tree ring records over the Amazon Andes of Peru. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 125, e2020JD032565. December 28, 2020
Enhance the nutritious and health-promoting values of thyme
Habeeb, T. H., Abdel-Mawgoud, M., Yehia, R. S., Khalil, A. M. A., Saleh, A. M. and AbdElgawad, H. 2020. Interactive influence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and increased CO2 on growth and functional food value of thymus vulgare. Journal of Fungi 6, 168; doi: 10.3390 / jof6030168. December 23, 2020
A two thousand year record of hurricane activity in the Florida Panhandle
Rodysill, JR, Donnelly, JP, Sullivan, R., Lane, PD, Toomey, M., Woodruff, JD, Hawkes, AD, MacDonald, D., D'Entremont, N., McKeon, K., Wallace , E.. and van Hengstum, PJ 2020. Historically unprecedented hurricane activity in the northern Gulf of Mexico from AD 650 to 1250. Scientific Reports 10: 19092, doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-75874-0. December 21, 2020
In the Bayesian Priory
By Willis Eschenbach, WUWT, December 26, 2020
(SEPP Comment: Discussion of the problem of human choice over a possible cause.)
New climate models (CMIP6) offer no improvement, model differences as large as the last version (CMIP5)
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, December 24, 2020
Scientists find that the source of error in a sea ice model varies with the season
Press release, Institute for Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, December 30, 2020 (H / t WUWT)
Link to the paper: Assessment of the Arctic sea ice cover and thickness, simulated by MITgcm
By Fei Zheng, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, December 23, 2020
The model used to evaluate the locks was flawed
Research News, Lund University, December 26, 2020 (H / t WUWT)
Measurement problems – surface
Wayback-Maschine befasst sich mit frühen Datenproblemstudien
Oberflächentemperaturaufzeichnungen: Richtliniengetriebene Täuschung?
Von Mitarbeitern, ICECAP, 31. Dezember 2020
Link zum Bericht: Oberflächentemperaturaufzeichnungen: Richtliniengetriebene Täuschung?
Von Joseph D’Aleo und Anthony Watts, SPPI, 27. August 2010
Messprobleme – Atmosphäre
UAH Global Temperature Update for December 2020: +0.27 degrees. C.
Von Roy Spencer, Sein Blog, 2. Januar 2021
Ein neues globales TanSat XCO2-Produkt für Klimastudien
Von Staff Writers, Peking, China (SPX), 25. Dezember 2020
Link zum Papier: Ein neues globales TanSat XCO2-Produkt für Klimastudien
Von Dongxu Yang et al. Fortschritte in den Atmosphärenwissenschaften, 23. Dezember 2020
(SEPP-Kommentar: Präziser, um ein kleines Problem zu untersuchen?)
NYT: "Was ist mit der globalen Erwärmung passiert?"
Von Eric Worrall, WUWT, 20. Dezember 2020
Aus der NYT: „Vom Winter 2008/09 bis 2017/18 gab es 27 große Winterstürme im Nordosten, drei- bis viermal so viele wie in den letzten fünf Jahrzehnten.“
Globale Hurrikanaktivität im Jahr 2020 unterdurchschnittlich
Von Paul Homewood, das wissen nicht viele, 31. Dezember 2020
Nationaler Wetterdienst Wetterradarkatastrophe
Von Cliff Mass, Wetterblog, 31. Dezember 2020
Aloha Feuchtigkeit nähert sich dem Nordwesten
Von Cliff Mass, Wetterblog, 29. Dezember 2020
Neue Beweise dafür, dass das alte Klima wärmer war als das heutige
Von Ralph Alexander, Wissenschaft im Angriff, 28. Dezember 2020 (H / t WUWT)
(SEPP-Kommentar: Wie Richard Lindzen festgestellt hat, sind die Tropen selbst während der Eiszeiten überraschend stabil. Die große Variation liegt in den oberen Breiten. Eine Warmperiode in den hohen nördlichen Breiten ist nicht unbedingt eine globale Warmperiode.)
Der Unterwasserpermafrost wacht nach 12.000 Jahren immer noch auf
Von Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), 23. Dezember 2020
Link zum Papier: Unterwasser-Permafrost-Kohlenstoffvorräte und Empfindlichkeit des Klimawandels, geschätzt durch Expertenbewertung
Von Sayedeh Sara Sayedi et al. Environmental Research Letters, 22. Dezember 2020
(SEPP-Kommentar: Warum ist der Permafrost vor 8.000 Jahren nicht aufgewacht, als es wärmer war?)
Ökosystemkollaps verhindern: Seegras
Von Jim Steele, Landschaften und Zyklen, 31. Dezember 2020
Link zum Artikel über die Wiederherstellung von Seegras in Virginia. Die Wiederherstellung des Lebensraums von Seegras führt zu einer raschen Wiederherstellung der Ökosystemleistungen an der Küste
Von Robert J. Orth et al. Fortschritte in der Wissenschaft, 7. Oktober 2020
Anomalien der Meeresoberflächentemperatur
Von Andy May, WUWT, 20. Dezember 2020
"Unterm Strich wissen wir nicht viel darüber, was die Meerestemperaturen tun oder wo sie sich ereignen."
Spiegel Artikel von Stefan Rahmstorf hat „nichts im geringsten damit zu tun Wissenschaft ”…” Peinlich ”
Die Welt geht unter Wasser?… Wirklich?
Von Die kalte Sonne, (Übersetzt / bearbeitet, Unterüberschriften von P. Gosselin), 23. Dezember 2020
Link zu realistischem Papier: Die Gewissheit einer globalen Beschleunigung des Meeresspiegels während der Ära des Satellitenhöhenmessers
Von H. Bâki İz und C.K. Shum, Journal of Geodetic Studies, online, 29. Mai 2020
(SEPP Comment: According to the latest data presented, sea levels are declining. What will happen to port cites of such as Shanghai, Singapore, NYC, etc?)
Sea Level Scare Debunked: Study Shows Overall Growth of Low-lying Maldives Islands
By James Murphy, New American, Dec 24, 2020 (H/t ICECAP)
“Without apocalyptic fear mongering, climate alarmists have little actual evidence to suggest we must immediately change our ways and get rid of all fossil fuels for the planet’s sake. …Perhaps it’s just their sea-level predictions that are faulty, or maybe their entire premise that man is causing uncontrollable warming of the Earth is flawed.”
Alarmism Dies In The Great Barrier Reef As New Study Documents Reef Growth Since The 1970s
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Dec 31, 2020
Link to one study: Re-evaluating mid-Holocene reef “turn-off” on the inshore Southern Great Barrier Reef
By Nicole D. Leonard, et al. Quaternary Science Reviews, Sep 15, 2020
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
Eastern Alps may have been ice-free in the time of Ötzi the Iceman
By Krista Charles, New Scientist, Dec 17, 2020
Link to paper: New glacier evidence for ice-free summits during the life of the Tyrolean Iceman
By Pascal Bohleber, Nature, Scientific Reports, Dec 17, 2020
Greenland Fall Temperatures Unchanged. Proxy Data Show No Warming At 8 Of 9 Antarctic Peninsula Sites Since 1830!
By Kirye and Pierre Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 29, 2020
Top six polar bear stories of 2020
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Dec 31, 2020
“Like the situation in Western Hudson Bay, polar bear advocates using their scientific credentials to advance an agenda are using redundant data to support their cause because the up-to-date information refutes it.”
Late fall polar bear habitat 2020 compared to some previous years
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Dec 22, 2020
Land subsidence ‘will affect almost fifth of global population’
Unesco warns of urban centres sinking because of unsustainable farming and groundwater extraction
By Weronika Strzyżyńska, The Guardian, Dec 31, 2020 (H/t Bernie Kepshire)
Study suggests great earthquakes cause of Arctic warming
News Release, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Dec 23, 2020 (H/t Bernie Kepshire)
Link to paper: Seismogenic-Triggering Mechanism of Gas Emission Activizations on the Arctic Shelf and Associated Phases of Abrupt Warming
By Leopold Lobkovsky, Geosciences 2020, Oct 29, 2020
“According to the researcher, his model will benefit from discussion and will likely be improved, and there is much to be done in order to confirm or rule out the proposed mechanism.”
Study shows waves, rainfall important parts of cliff erosion process, providing new opportunity to improve forecasts
By Sky Smith, University of California – San Diego, Dec 26, 2020
Link to paper: Three years of weekly observations of coastal cliff erosion by waves and rainfall
By A.P.Young. et al. Geomorphology, Feb 15, 2021
Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine
Clearing land to feed a growing human population will threaten thousands of species
The world’s farmland is projected to grow by 3.4 million square kilometers by 2050
By Jonathan Lambert, Science News, Dec 21, 2020
Link to paper: Proactive conservation to prevent habitat losses to agricultural expansion
By David R. Williams, et al. Nature Sustainability,
“Responding to the impending biodiversity crisis requires decisions informed by high-resolution, spatially explicit and species-specific assessments of many thousands of species to identify the species and landscapes most at risk.” (Boldface added.)
Are Organic Foods More Nutritious?
By David Lightsey, ACSH, Dec 18, 2020
Un-Science or Non-Science?
Threshold for dangerous climate warming will likely be crossed between 2027–2042
News Release by McGill University, Dec 21, 2020 (H/t Bernie Kepshire)
Link to paper: An observation-based scaling model for climate sensitivity estimates and global projections to 2100
By Raphaël Hébert, Shaun Lovejoy & Bruno Tremblay, Climate Dynamics, Dec 18, 2020
(SEPP Comment: Start with questionable assumptions, apply questionable inference, and who knows what you can create?)
2020 Review: Observational And Modeling Studies Show Temperature Falls As CO2 Rises
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Dec 28, 2020
(SEPP Comment: Question both studies.)
Royal Institution Lecture on Climate Change
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 29, 2020
“And he (the lecturer) ends by asking – “Can we change our ways to limit the consequences, and adapt fast enough to what is becoming a new hot house Earth?”
“His illustrious predecessors must be turning in their graves to see the reputation of the Christmas Lecture trashed in this fashion.”
WSJ vs. WSJ: A House Divided
By Roger Donway, Master Resource, Dec 21, 2020
“Do you sense a pattern here? The news reporters give you public-relations fluff; the editorialists give you facts.”
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Yellow (Green) Journalism?
2020 weather disasters boosted by climate change: report
New Release, AFP, Dec 28, 2020 (H/t Bernie Kepshire)
MIT Technology Review: Pandemic Denial Shows Rising Climate Deaths Might Not Lead to Action
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Jan 1, 2021
(SEPP Comment: Demonstrating MIT Technology Review is a fancy front for alarmist yellow journalism (sensationalism).)
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
Capturing 40 years of climate change for an endangered Montana prairie
Though cooler and wetter springs drive an increase in grass production compared to 1978 levels, hotter summers mean all that green goes brown faster–and plants have a harder time reinitiating production in the fall
News Release, Eurekalert, Dec 23, 2020 (H/t WUWT)
Link to paper: Climate change and primary production: Forty years in a bunchgrass prairie
By Gary E. Belovsky and Jennifer B. Slade, Plos One, Dec 23, 2020
(SEPP Comment: According to the temperature graph presented, over a 109-year period the warmest period was the 1920s and 30s.)
Coral recovery during a prolonged heatwave offers new hope
Researchers tracked coral colonies on reefs during an El Niño
News Release, NSF, Dec 22, 2020
Link to paper: Dynamic symbioses reveal pathways to coral survival through prolonged heatwaves
By Danielle C. Claar, et al. Nature Communications, Dec 8, 2020
From NSF article: “Some corals managed to survive a globally unprecedented heatwave, report scientists in a study that provides hope for the long-term survival of coral reefs.
“’The devastating effects of climate change on coral reefs are well-known,’ said Julia Baum of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, senior author of the study. ‘Finding ways to boost coral survival through marine heatwaves is crucial if reefs are to endure the coming decades of climate change.’”
(SEPP Comment: More zombie corals? How did they possibly survive during the Cretaceous, which was warmer than today?)
Methane is more dangerous than carbon dioxide — the gas index can help
By Michael Shank, The Hill, Jan 1, 2021
Link to gas index: The United States’ natural gas system has a serious problem: It leaks
By Staff, The Gas Index, @ Global Energy Monitor, Accessed Jan 1, 2021
(SEPP Comment: There is no question methane is more toxic to humans than CO2, that is why mercaptan is added to give it a strong odor. Further, methane is highly flammable. It’s greenhouse effect is minor. What will be used to generate electricity if all gas units are abandoned?)
Climate Change Stops Play!
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 26, 2020
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
Wildfires, heat waves and hurricanes broke all kinds of records in 2020
By Carolyn Gramling, Science News, Dec 21, 2020
“2020 was a year of unremitting extreme climate events, from heat waves to wildfires to hurricanes, many of which scientists have directly linked to human-caused climate change,”
How carbon bureaucrats lied to get the policies they wanted
By Charles Rotter, WUWT, Dec 22, 2020
(SEPP Comment: Video on how ideology drives “reporting.”)
Polar bears again attracted to Russian town by dead walrus Attenborough blames on no sea ice
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Dec 20, 2020
Stuttgart Air Quality Measurements Show Diesel Engine Bans Have Had No Impact!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 25, 2020 (H/t Dennis Ambler)
Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.
AGW skeptic Marc Morano receives RISK of DEATH from the email account of a professor at the Sorbonne University
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jan 1, 2021
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda
To promote the climate alert, good news is regularly portrayed as a disaster
By H. Sterling Burnett, WUWT, Jan 1, 2021
(SEPP Comment: To some, the improving condition of humanity is a disaster!)
WHO continues to go full Ministry of Truth
By Charles Rotter, WUWT, Dec 23, 2020
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda on Children
LA Times: Children “literally organizing out of climate anxiety”
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Dec 27, 2020
(SEPP Comment: The UN was created in hope of promoting world peace, now it is a leader in promoting “climate depression.”)
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Children for Propaganda
Greta Thunberg: “we are not listening to climate scientists”
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Dec 30, 2020
Expanding the Orthodoxy
Climate Scientists to Request Political Representation on the Arctic Council
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Dec 24, 2020
Link to report: 2020 Arctic Report Card: Climate.gov visual highlights
By Hunter Allen, Tom Di Liberto, Mary Lindsey, Rebecca Lindsey & Michon Scott, NOAA, Dec 8, 2020
“Highlights: The average annual land surface air temperature in the Arctic measured between October 2019 and September 2020 was the second-warmest since record-keeping began in 1900.” (Boldface added)
(SEPP Comment: The 1900 annual temperature was an average of how many stations? One, Zero? According to the National Snow & Ice Data Center: Historical Arctic and Antarctic Surface Observational Data, Version 1, “Temporal coverage varies by station, with the earliest record in 1913…” The coverage is basically Greenland.)
Why The “Ice Trust” Matters Today
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Dec 29, 2020
“Elimination of HFCs was included in the Covid stimulus Bill, though it’s hard to see how this relates to Covid stimulus. Tammany Hall’s approach again?”
(SEPP Comment: Once “progressives” promoted honesty in government for the benefit of the public. Today’s “progressives” mislead the public to expand their political power with no benefit to the public.)
Questioning European Green
The new green proposal that could make your home unsellable
By Ross Clark, Life, Spectator, Dec 17, 2020 (H/t GWPF)
Questioning Green Elsewhere
China’s Green NGO Climate Propaganda Enablers
Climate change is a national security threat – but not in the way the national security elite assumes.
By Rupert Darwall, Real Clear Energy, Dec 21, 2020
“Obsessive focus on climate change threatens the vital interests of the United States by desensitizing national security professionals to geopolitical realities and subordinating them to the illusion of planetary salvation. China and its NGO allies won’t do anything to disabuse them of that illusion.”
Stop planting more trees!
What’s often seen as an environmental silver bullet could be disastrous, for humans and wildlife alike
By John Lewis-Stempel, UnHerd, Dec 18, 2020 (H/t Paul Homewood)
(SEPP Comment: Before Europeans came and denuded the East Coast, there was little game in the old growth forests.)
Claim: China’s Covid-19 Recovery is Not Green Enough
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Dec 19, 2020
Implementation Of The Green New Deal
By Tony Heller, NO Tricks Zone, Dec 29, 2020
‘Climate catastrophists’ using fossil fuels fears to target businesses
‘Even the Rockefeller Foundation is now divesting’
By Jason Isaac, Real Clear Energy, Via WND, Dec 27, 2020
(SEPP Comment: For decades, organizations formed by Rockefeller have opposed oil and gas that gives prosperity to many by supporting organizations such as the Club of Rome in the 1970s.)
Green groups sue over Trump rule exempting quick dishwashers from efficiency standards
By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, Dec 29, 2020
(SEPP Comment: NRDC and Earthjustice demand electricity efficiency over human efficiency?)
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
In massive energy investments, some see just a start
By Rebecca Beitsch and Rachel Frazin, The Hill, Dec 22, 2020
“Included in the legislation are provisions to reduce the use of a climate-warming pollutant, spur renewable and nuclear energy development, and encourage fossil fuel producers to use technology that captures carbon emissions.
“Biden called the relief bill a ‘down payment’ on multiple crises facing the U.S.”
UK Windfarms Break Record (For Subsidies Paid Out!)
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 21, 2020
EPA and other Regulators on the March
Final NEPA Rule Offers Measured Reforms to Benefit Stakeholders
By Mario Loyola, CEI, Dec 15, 2020
EPA finalizes greenhouse gas regs for airlines
By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, Dec 28, 2020
Energy Issues – Non-US
China suffers worst power blackouts in a decade, on post-coronavirus export boom, coal supply shortage
By Cissy Zhou and Wang Zixu, South China Morning Post, Dec 23, 2020
China’s Dystopian Lake–Courtesy Of The World’s Lust For Rare Earths
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 24, 2020
“It could be argued that China’s dominance of the rare earth market is less about geology and far more about the country’s willingness to take an environmental hit that other nations shy away from.”
600,000 people have fallen into fuel poverty during the pandemic (UK)
Campaigners said the Citizens Advice findings make clear “the time for fuel debt relief is now”
By Hannah Westwater, The Big Issue, Dec 16, 2020
Socialised losses, private profits (UK)
By Bruno Prior, GWPF, Dec 22, 2020
China recolonizes Africa
Western policies damage Africa and the planet, kill millions, and open doors to China
By Duggan Flanakin, WUWT, Dec 25, 2020
Europe’s wind and e-car industry dependent on China’s magnetic metals
By Edgar Meza, Clean Energy Wire, from Stefan Hajek, WirtschaftsWoche, Dec 22, 2020
Electricity costs too high to make heat pumps worthwhile, MPs warn
By Staff, Daily Telegraph, Via GWPF, Dec 22, 2020
New-tech American Coal-fired Electricity for Africa: Clean Air, Indoors and Out
By Kathleen Hartnett White & Caleb Stewart Rossiter, CO2 Coalition, November 2020
(SEPP Comment: Discusses a problem in new tech coal-fired power plants with low pollution levels. (EPA category pollutants) They are built for a specific type of coal within tight tolerances. They cannot easily be adapted to use other types of coal with different chemistry and maintain the same low pollution levels.)
Energy Issues — US
Transforming the Power Industry with DERMS Deployments and Beyond
By Seth Frader-Thompson, Power Mag, Dec 23, 2020
“In many ways, batteries are the perfect grid resource. They can shift demand both up and down, provide grid support in milliseconds, and be dispatched frequently without impacting customer comfort.”
(SEPP Comment: Hope beyond reason?)
New York Can’t Buy its Way Out of Blackouts
By David Wojick, Somewhat Reasonable, Dec 29, 2020
2020: A Year of Reckoning for Competitive Generators
By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, Dec 31, 2020
Explosions Topple Smokestacks of Iconic Navajo Generating Station
By Darrell Proctor, Power Mag, Dec 18, 2020
The Issue of Solar Tariffs Is Complex; Oversimplifying It Is Dangerous
By Mark Widmar, Morning Consult, Dec 18, 2020
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
The Middle East Doubles Down On Oil And Gas As The UN Warns Of “Climate Emergency”
By Tilak Doshi, Forbes, Dec 29, 2020
Prospects for US shale productivity gains
By Rob West, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, October 2019
“There are at least forty variables to optimise in a typical shale well.”
China And Iran Start Drilling In This Super Giant Gas Field
By Simon Watkins, Oil Price.com, Dec 21, 2020 (H/t Dennis Ambler)
(SEPP Comment: According to an earlier article the estimated net present value is about $135 billion.)
Return of King Coal?
Global coal demand to rebound as economy recovers
By Staff, Bloomberg, Via GWPF, Dec 19, 2020
Nuclear Energy and Fears
An Upbeat Look at Nuclear with Rod Adams
By Mike Dombroski interviewed by Robert Bryce, Climate Scepticism, Via WUWT, Dec 25, 2020
NuScale announces SMR power uprate
By Staff, WNN, Nov 11, 2020
Is nuclear fusion the answer to the climate crisis?
Promising new studies suggest the long elusive technology may be capable of producing electricity for the grid by the end of the decade
By Oscar Schwartz, The Guardian, Dec 28, 2020 (H/t Bernie Kepshire)
See link immediately below.
Nuclear Fusion: The Great Clean Energy Hope?
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Dec 31, 2020
(SEPP Comment: A skeptical review of fusion from a retired, principal research physicist at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab with 25 years’ experience in plasma physics and neutron production.)
5 Reactors Connected to the Grid, 5 Removed in 2020
By Aaron Larson, Power Mag, Dec 28, 2020
(SEPP Comment: Stated units do not equal headline. Removed: 2 US, 2 France, 1 Russia; New: 2 China, 1 each UAE and Belarus.)
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
¥60 billion ($580 million) wind power project off Fukushima to be dismantled
By Staff, The Japan Times, Dec 17, 2020
“To commercialize wind power generation, the operational rate of a turbine must remain at 30% to 35% or more, according to the ministry.
“But the rates of the turbines off Fukushima had been around 4% to 36%, according to trading house Marubeni Corp., which participated in the project.”
POWER Offshore Wind Notebook: GE Boosts Haliade-X to 14 MW; Dominion Kicks Off 2.6-GW Virginia Project; Vestas Absorbs MHI Vestas
By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, Dec 22, 2020
A Monster Wind Turbine Is Upending an Industry
G.E.’s giant machine, which can light up a small town, is stoking a renewable-energy arms race.
By Stanley Reed, NYT, Jan 1, 2020
Recent Energy and Environmental News December 28, 2020
By John Droz, Jr. The Australian Climate Sceptics Blog, Dec 29, 2020
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other
EU Turns to Magic to Progress their Clean Energy Agenda
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Dec 27, 2020
“The European Union is so desperate for their clean energy push to yield a viable solution, they have just given €3,999,870 to a Palladium electrolysis cold fusion research team.”
Making jet fuel out of carbon dioxide
By Bob Yirka , Phys.org, Dec 23, 2020 (H/t Bernie Kepshire)
Link to paper: Transforming carbon dioxide into jet fuel using an organic combustion-synthesized Fe-Mn-K catalyst
By Benzhen Yao, et al. Nature Communications, Dec 22, 2020
From the abstract: “These offer considerable potential since, instead of consuming fossil crude oil, the fuels are produced from carbon dioxide using sustainable renewable hydrogen and energy.”
(SEPP Comment: Extraction of the CO2, production of hydrogen, and the generation of the needed energy are all low cost?)
Geothermal energy, the forgotten renewable, has finally arrived
By Michael J. Coren, Quartz, Dec 20, 2020 (H/t Bernie Kepshire)
Link to ‘MIT Report:” The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States in the 21st Century
By Staff, MIT, for Idaho National Laboratory, November 2006
(SEPP Comment: Note the date of the report was when many energy experts believed that the US was about to run out of oil and natural gas – before modern hydraulic fracturing.)
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Storage
Battery Basics for Climate Warriors
By Rud Istvan, WUWT, Dec 19, 2020
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles
The long road to EV competitiveness
By Andrew Montford, GWPF, Dec 21, 2020
However, BNEF (Bloomberg New Energy Finance) says that battery pack prices are going to fall further from today’s $137/kWh – to $101 by 2023 and to $58 by 2030. The 2023 figure is a bit odd, as it represents a reacceleration of the price decline – BNEF are nothing if not optimists about renewable technologies.
World Leading Engine Expert: Combustion Engine Remains The Future, “Hydrogen Will Be Nada”
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 30, 2020
“E-vehicles not practical, not affordable. Future of e-mobility still ‘wishful thinking’.”
Peachtree Corners gets first (US) road surface solar panels on autonomous vehicle lane
By Staff Writers, Peachtree Corners GA (SPX), Dec 23, 2020
(SEPP Comment: To work properly, just keep tires off the panels!)
Oh, What a Feeling!
By Eric Peters, Eric Peters Autos, Dec 19, 2020 (H/t Jim Buell)
Stuttgart Air Quality Measurements Show Diesel Engine Bans Have Had No Impact!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 25, 2020 (H/t Dennis Ambler)
By Joel Kotkin, The American Mind, Dec 21, 2020
Link to survey: PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Economic Well-Being
By Mark Baldassare, et al. Public Policy Institute of California, December 9, 2020
“More than 50% of residents think Californians 18–30 years old will do worse than previous generations.”
Health, Energy, and Climate
Science Reaches Peak Idiocy
By Tony Heller, His Blog, Dec 31, 2020
Link to another article: The 2020 Seasonal Flu Has Dropped by 98% Worldwide as It Is Re-labeled Covid-19
By Staff Zero Hedge and KUSI, Need to Know, Jan 1, 2021
“Flu diagnosis have all but disappeared, and experts say it is because of the success lockdowns and mask mandates.”
“So masks and lockdowns work, and they also don’t work.”
Red Dragon, Green Agenda
By Christopher Horner, The Pipeline, Dec 27, 2020
Other News that May Be of Interest
Warm oceans helped first human migration from Asia to North America
Significant changes in the circulation of the North Pacific fostered migration
News Release, NSF, Dec 30, 2020
Link to paper: Overturning circulation, nutrient limitation, and warming in the Glacial North Pacific
By J. W. B. Rae, et al, Science Advances, Dec 9, 2020
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE
Climate Warning Stickers
By Tony Heller, Dec 27, 2020
“Warning: Burning Gasoline, Diesel and Ethanol has major consequences on human health and on the environment including contributing to climate change.” – City of Cambridge
Cornell University to extract energy from manure to meet peak heating demands
By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Dec 23, 2020
Link to paper: Sustainable district energy integrating biomass peaking with geothermal baseload heating: A case study of decarbonizing Cornell’s energy system
By Nazih Kassem, et al. Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, Dec 22, 2020
(SEPP Comment: Will it be clean-burning manure?)
Fish sex organs boosted under high CO2
News Release by University of Adelaide, Dec 30, 2020 (H/t Bernie Kepshire)
“’The warming oceans absorb about one-third of the additional CO2 being released into the atmosphere from carbon emissions, causing the oceans to acidify,’ says lead author Professor Ivan Nagelkerken from the University’s Environment Institute and Southern Seas Ecology Laboratories.” Link to paper did not work.
(SEPP Comment: Colder water absorbs more gases, especially CO2, than warmer water. Apparently, the lead author never heated a pot of water and watched bubbles form well before the water boiled!)
The Tyranny of Diversity
Its monomaniacal pursuit undermines other values—true equality among them.
By Joseph Epstein, WSJ, Dec. 30, 2020
“The best way to celebrate diversity, perhaps, is to begin by celebrating diversity of thought.”
TWTW Summary: The author states:
“President-elect Biden promises ‘the single most diverse cabinet, based on race, color, based on gender, that has ever existed in the United States of America.’ Diversity, and its brother-in-law Inclusivity, is at the center of progressive politics and of woke culture. But what is its true value?
“Diversity is a serious plank in the platform for equality generally: equality, be it noted, not of opportunity but of result. Diversity—in universities, corporations, government, TV commercials—is in part a deliberate attempt to make amends for past injustices. The intention is to bring minority groups out from their positions of marginality into the center of institutions, politics and culture generally.”
After discussing how universities may be denied federal funds for lack of “diversity” the author states:
“There’s nothing wrong with the idealistic yearning for equality unless it gets in the way of other important goals or goods. The ideal of promised equality under communism, for example, annihilated the ideal of personal liberty. The political philosopher Isaiah Berlin often wrote about the conflict that arises when two good qualities compete. Great goods, Berlin thought, sometimes cannot live together: ‘We are doomed to choose, and every choice may entail an irreparable loss.’ Is diversity, in higher education and in politics, always the right choice?
“In contemporary higher education, diversity competes with intellectual authority, based on scholarly and scientific accomplishment. These days, diversity is all but victorious and intellectual authority well in retreat. This leaves no one in a position to set or determine educational standards. University presidents, once educational leaders, now focus on fundraising and public relations. The heads of academic departments tend to accept their jobs not out of a desire for intellectual leadership but to reduce their teaching loads. Because of this want of intellectual authority, universities have now been on the slide for many years.
“In government, the value of diversity is often in conflict with the value of true merit, or of the real abilities of the people chosen to perform their jobs. Under identity politics, so much favored by the Democratic Party, diversity is the sine qua non. In choices for cabinet and subcabinet posts, under identity politics the desire for—some might say the tyranny of—diversity generally trumps past performance. Under the banner of diversity, the political version of affirmative action rules. To have, in Mr. Biden’s words, ‘the single most diverse cabinet . . . that has ever existed in the United States’ is considered meritorious, something grand in itself.
“In the conflict between goods, it is always worth asking who is favored and who loses because of the good chosen. In higher education we have witnessed Harvard, in its desire for diversity, turn away large numbers of highly qualified Asian-American applicants for admission. In contests for awards and prizes, diversity, too, is often the primary factor. A friend recently told me that his grandson won a Marshall Scholarship, all the more remarkable, he noted, since the kid is a white male.
“America has always been and remains a diverse country, composed of waves of immigrants seeking opportunities available nowhere else. If some groups have had to struggle to secure these opportunities, they have for the most part successfully done so. Those who oppose them are now rightly regarded as retrograde. Left to their own devices, and once freed of the harness of victim status that many of their leaders wish to bind them in, they are likely to go from strength to strength. Attempts to rig the system in their favor through the artificial arrangements that imposed diversity requires cannot ultimately help them attain the genuine equality that only true accomplishment can bring.
“The best way to celebrate diversity, perhaps, is to begin by celebrating diversity of thought.”