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15 Nov 2023 | News Roundup
  • In a tense exchange before the Canadian House of Commons ethics committee the chair of the federal Canada Foundation for Sustainable Development Technology admits she not only voted for, but herself moved, to grant COVID relief payments to a range of companies including $217,000 to a storage battery firm of which she is, coincidentally, the CEO and owner. Reproached by MPs she sneered “I think you need a refresher on what a conflict of interest really means.”
  • And how embarrassing is this? The latest scathing report from Canada’s Environment Commissioner on the whole-of-government failure to achieve climate goals includes that federal departments are avoiding EVs because they are (drum roll please) too expensive for what you get. Naturally the Natural Resources Minister burbled that “Electric vehicles and the infrastructure obviously are an important part of addressing the climate crisis…. It is an important component of reducing in line with what we have committed to the world we would do.” Except for the bit where the target of 80% of the federal motor pool being zero-emissions by 2030 is currently at oh heh heh 586 out of 17,260 vehicles, or three percent.
  • Scientific American also joins the bandwagon for Michael Mann’s latest last chance book. “In his new book, Our Fragile Moment: How Lessons from Earth’s Past Can Help Us Survive the Climate Crisis, renowned climate scientist Michael Mann describes the world climate change is creating based on what we know from specific times in Earth’s four-billion-year history when the planet was extremely hot or extremely cold.” Which is apparently that humans are the cause of climate change, oddly enough.
  • Over at the New York Times David Wallace-Wells gets on the James Hansen worse-than-the-reliable-settled-science-says trump of climate doom bandwagon, calling Hansen “the godfather of climate science” and insisting that “Hansen, now 82, has been plotting a proudly independent course, warning again and again that warming would be worse than expected and that the scientific community had placed too much emphasis on climate models rather than direct observation”. Except the models routinely predict or claim more heating than direct observation shows, not more. (Which didn’t bother Scientific American either as it too bounded aboard this one as well.)
  • Oh, and if you’re wondering why you didn’t notice the climate apocalypse, apparently we’re being boiled to death by ducks or something. The Atlantic “Weekly Planet” opines that “Tiny Climate Crises Are Adding Up to One Big Disaster/ Billion-dollar disasters are breaking records, but the accumulation of small disasters can be devastating too.” And there were never small weather disasters before 1988, so there.
  • Economics poses an irresistible temptation to play shell games. Thus Ken Boessenkool, who has made something of a career telling conservatives how to win by being liberals, is now criticizing the actual Liberals for their patchwork removal of the carbon tax on home heating oil, claiming the smart winning thing to do is get rid of all “retail” carbon taxes and impose it only on “industrial” ones. That way consumers don’t know they’re paying the price and what you don’t know can’t hurt you, right, as the price of everything mysteriously rises because governments are deliberately making reliable energy scarce.
  • Meanwhile from the bulging, yellowing “we’re all going to die because of Antarctica” file, a new paper announces that “Ocean-driven melting of floating ice-shelves in the Amundsen Sea is currently the main process controlling Antarctica’s contribution to sea-level rise. Using a regional ocean model… We find that rapid ocean warming, at approximately triple the historical rate, is likely committed over the twenty-first century… there is no significant difference between mid-range emissions scenarios and the most ambitious targets of the Paris Agreement…. that mitigation of greenhouse gases now has limited power to prevent ocean warming that could lead to the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.” Um yeah, apart from it all being inside a model that doesn’t even know melting floating ice has no impact on sea level.
  • Why are climate activists drawn to other unsavoury causes, we wonder. Especially as Tony Heller alerts us to an outfit called the “Climate Justice Alliance” that marches saying “Free Palestine is a climate justice issue”. And no, it’s not unfair or irrelevant to mention that Greta Thunberg has taken to chanting similar phrases amid Hamas supporters and emblems with an “aren’t I cheeky” smirk? If that’s “climate justice” we’ll pass. (And so apparently will Fridays for Future Germany, to their credit.)

2 comments on “Tidbits”

  1. “ Except the models routinely predict or claim more heating than direct observation shows, not more. ”
    I think you meant “not less”.

  2. Some scientists have educated themselves above common sense. Everyone knows that ice melting in a glass of water causes the water level to go down not up.

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