Monday, October 16, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: World Bank "Abandons The Poor"








Climate Science Has Become Non-Popperian

In this newsletter:

1) New GWPF Report: World Bank "Abandons The Poor"

Globe Newswire, 14 October 2017

A new report: 'The Anti-Development Bank: The World Bank's Regressive Energy Policies' by the London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) finds that the World Bank has abdicated its primary mission of tackling poverty in the developing world.


 


London, United Kingdom, Oct. 13, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

The report, written by author and former Treasury adviser Rupert Darwall, with a foreword by the distinguished economist and former World Bank research administrator, Professor Deepak Lal, comes as ministers travel to Washington, DC to attend the annual World Bank meeting.

The report finds that the bank’s energy policies are hurting development and making poor countries poorer.

By embracing high-cost, low-reliability renewables and restricting clean coal financing, the World Bank is guilty of “an inhumane and senseless attempt to try and save the planet on the backs of the world’s poor,” Darwall says.

In line with the demands made by developing countries, he argues that the World Bank should lift its 2013 ban on financing coal-fired power stations and help the world’s poorest by supporting the next generation of low-emission power stations.

He calls on the World Bank to abandon what he says is "its damaging advocacy of renewable energy for countries that can ill afford the costs and risk of flawed technologies that rich countries have yet to solve".

Attachments:

2) Frozen To Death: Too Much Sea Ice & Temperature Drop Causes Antarctic Penguin Disaster
The Daily Telegraph, 14 October 2017

A colony of more than 36,000 Adelie penguins in Antarctica suffered a catastrophic breeding season with just two chicks surviving, experts have said. Extensive sea ice and a drop in temperature caused chicks to freeze to death.



The disaster for the colony in Terre Adelie in East Antarctica was down to unusually extensive sea ice late in the summer – despite low ice early in the season – which meant penguins had to travel further for food and the chicks starved.

In the wake of the “devastating” event involving more than 18,000 penguin pairs, conservation group WWF is calling for greater protection for the waters off East Antarctica to ensure penguins do not face added pressure of competition from fishing fleets for their main food source of krill. […]

Adelie penguins are generally faring well in East Antarctica, but declining in the Antarctic peninsula region where climate change is already established, the conservation group said.

But the same colony that failed to breed chicks this year, failed to produce a single chick four years ago from 20,196 adult pairs, with heavy sea ice combining with unusually warm weather and rain followed by a drop in temperature leaving many chicks saturated and freezing to death.

 

Full story


3) New Study: Tony Abbott’s Climate Views Are Shared By Business Leaders Down Under



Tony Abbott’s doubts about climate science and predicted climate impacts have a long history of support among Australian business leaders.


Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott this week drew renewed attention to himself with a speech to the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a London-based climate sceptic group, in which he voiced a range of doubts about climate science and policy, and claimed that climate change is “probably doing good”.
 

The comments might come as no surprise to those familiar with his views. But what’s arguably more surprising is the prevalence of similar opinions among some Australian business leaders.

My research, published this week in the journal Environmental Sociology, features interviews with business leaders in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales – a major coal-producing hub.

It reveals that Abbott’s doubts about the veracity of climate science and its forecast impacts, and his scathing dismissal of those concerned about climate change, have a long history of support among the Hunter Valley’s business leaders.

Carried out in the lead-up to the implementation of the Gillard Labor government’s price on carbon in 2011, my research sought to understand business leaders’ attitudes to government policies and to climate change more broadly.

I approached 50 chief executives of organisations operating in the Hunter Region, of whom 31 agreed to participate (or had a senior staff member take up the opportunity).

They were asked questions about their views on climate change, how and whether their organisation was responding to the issue, and what they thought about the various political parties’ policies in response to it.

Perhaps not surprisingly, participants’ overwhelming concern was that the economy might decline as a result of climate policies such as pricing carbon.

While some were concerned about climate change, there was almost unanimous opposition to carbon pricing. Given the politics of the time, this too is unremarkable, particularly in light of the success Abbott enjoyed at the 2013 election after pledging to scrap the policy.

What was surprising, however, was the pervasive scepticism among participants about the science of climate change. This is especially the case given that many people now view the debate over whether climate change is happening – and whether it is caused by human activity – as being over.


Full post


4) Without Subsidies & High Carbon Tax, German Wind Farms No Longer Profitable

Operating wind turbines in Germany will only be profitable for a small fraction of the installations once their 20-year support period via the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) has ended, consultancy Energy Brainpool says in a white paper.


The first turbines in Germany will lose eligibility for support from the renewables surcharge that customers pay with their power bill in 2021 and “at the current [wholesale power] price level, only a few installations can be operated at a profit” after that due to maintenance costs, the consultancy says. Energy Brainpool uses two different scenarios with varying CO2 price levels, which is expected to rise over the course of the coming decade.

“Yield rates are too low to operate the bulk of installations at a profit,” the consultancy says, but adds that “a continued operation can become economically viable quickly” by the middle of the 2020s IF the prices for electricity and carbon emissions rise accordingly.


Full post


5) Climate Science Has Become Non-Popperian

If we want the progression of actual climate science, we must learn to discern the distinction between the science and the politics, and reject non-Popperian fear mongering. 



According to Karl Popper (above), one of the most influential philosophers of science in the past millennium, “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”  — Courtesy Wikimedia Commons 

In the wake of the recent slew of hurricanes which have barraged the American Southeast, numerous scientists and reporters have wasted no time in attributing these disasters to climate change. In fact, it seems like nowadays just about every meteorological phenomenon is a result of global warming. Whether it be increased temperatures, decreased temperatures, tornadoes, earthquakes or even volcanic eruptions, climate change is always the answer, and the majority of these conclusions are drawn with sparing evidence, if any.

Meanwhile, any skepticism or dissenting opinion regarding these countless studies is dismissed as unscientific, when in reality, it is quite the opposite. What started as simply a relationship between carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere and the temperature of our planet, via the irrefutable greenhouse effect, has morphed into non-Popperian pseudoscience, primarily because it is no longer falsifiable.

However, an examination of this fundamental flaw in climate research first requires an analysis of what exactly science is.

In its simplest sense, science is the formulation of hypotheses and the evaluation of said hypotheses through observation, experimentation or a mixture of both. What distinguishes science from pseudoscience, though, is whether or not these hypotheses can be disproven as well as proven, a trait known as falsifiability.

According to Karl Popper, one of the most influential philosophers of science in the past millennium, “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”
 
In context, the field of astrology — the study of the divine effect of the positions of celestial bodies on our lives — is pseudoscience because it violates this rule. No matter what patterns the stars and planets might be exhibiting on any given day, those movements are interpreted to be influencing what is happening in our lives.

There is no course of events that could transpire that would lead astrologists to believe that their horoscope predictions were incorrect. As a result, astrology, numerology and other pseudo-scientific fields are considered to be non-Popperian.

Similarly, it seems like any and all atmospheric occurrences are attributed to climate change — in part because its definition has become so broad. There is no combination of weather patterns that would cause climate change devotees to doubt their gospel. By contrast, even theories that are deeply ingrained in the fabric of our society, such as gravitation or evolution, are still capable of being disproven with counterexamples. It is for this reason that they are regarded as theories and not axioms. Climate change, on the other hand, has no counterexamples since every weather pattern is seen as a byproduct, therefore making it essentially pseudoscience.

Returning to the topic of tropical hurricanes, the rate of these aquatic twisters has not significantly increased over time, and similar data can be found for other natural disasters supposedly caused by climate change. This raises the question — why are articles and scientific studies constantly being churned out that suggest correlations between climate change and these natural phenomena, even when none exist? I believe the reason lies in the politicization of global warming over the past decades, as climate change has become a focal point of certain political parties.

Climate change fear mongering and sensationalism following natural disasters has proven to be lucrative in terms of political capital, and is thus being done more and more by politicians. A concomitant of this politicization is the increased popularity of climate science in the public, which causes a surge in the monetary incentives for scientists to create these studies. As a result, modern day climate science has incredible amounts of data tampering, as referenced by a variety of recent examples.


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The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at www.thegwpf.com.

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