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08 May 2024 | News Roundup
  • The climate “crisis” in a nutshell: Reuters “Sustainable Switch” emails “African leaders called this week for rich countries to commit record contributions to new financing, amid rising extreme weather events on the continent.” There aren’t “rising extreme weather events on the continent,” Western nations are not going to fork over vast sums, and African leaders wouldn’t spend them fixing the weather if we did. But instead of taking a skeptical look, Reuters quotes some character who escaped ICC prosecution because of “the withdrawal of key prosecution witnesses” saying that it’s “historic”.
  • The EV house of cards continues to collapse. An article in The American Spectator explains that a key to Tesla’s dazzling success was that it “allowed car manufacturers to ‘offset’ their carbon footprints by purchasing ‘credits’ from Elon [Musk] in lieu of making EVs themselves” but that market is collapsing because various government EV mandates “served to prod the manufacture of battery powered devices by every other vehicle manufacturer” so “they no longer needed to pay Tesla for ‘credit’ to ‘offset’ the ‘zero emissions’ vehicles they hadn’t been manufacturing.” Musk has always been suspected of being more of a subsidy farmer than a real entrepreneur and unless he can start selling cars consumers want at a price they can afford, or convince governments to give him a captive market, the ride will be over. The Wokonomist assures us, under the heading “How to revive the electric dream” (you speak for yourself, buddy) that all Tesla has to do is mass-produce EVs so cheap they undercut massively subsidized Chinese ones. Just that? No problem dude. Show us how… without subsidies.
  • New York Times columnist Peter Coy writes an interesting piece about how “Our brains don’t ‘do’ randomness” and that a lot of people read too much meaning into coincidences too often. He respects the human mind’s tendency to search for patterns, but winds up “So coincidences can be surprisingly fruitful at times. Just don’t get all Agent Mulder. Most of the time, it’s just a coincidence.” We say don’t get all Michael Mann either. The idea that if there’s a run of bad weather it must mean we wrecked the planet is unsound. If satellite measurements of Arctic ice extent happen to coincide with a cyclical peak, it doesn’t mean there’s a long-term trend. And Coy’s colleague complaining that spring wasn’t coming to New York without climate crossing her mind should be reminded that if it came early she shouldn’t think “Aha, we caused it” either.
  • An alert reader reminds us that back in 2016 the “Science” section of Wired said “Thanks El Niño, But California’s Drought Is Probably Forever”. Then in 2023 it went “California’s Atmospheric Rivers Are Getting Worse/ As climate change makes storms warmer and wetter, the state’s flood control system is struggling to keep up.” And if you think every random event is part of the same pattern, even apparently contradictory events, you might be getting paranoid. But sometimes it’s just weather.
  • As to its credit Euronews.green did say: “The climate phenomenon known as El Niño – and not climate change – was a key driver in low rainfall that disrupted shipping at the Panama Canal last year, scientists said Wednesday.” It comes from the World Weather Attribution, not our favourite source, and “after comparing the rainfall levels to climate models for a simulated world without current warming”, not our favourite method. Also, “The study has not been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal yet but follows scientifically accepted techniques, and past such studies have frequently been published months later” except when they are savaged by peer reviewers months later. But since they’re being consistent in their approach and honest about the tentative findings, we’ll take it. Though we’ll also quote Net Zero Watch on another version of that story: “Sensation! Climate scientists discover something called weather!”
  • Last week we noted the Canadian government leading an incoherent world-wide effort to do some unspecified thing about plastic because it’s useful and thus bad. Now we hear that “Cabinet does not know how much plastic pollution there is in Canada despite budgeting millions to eliminate it, a federal report said yesterday. It follows in-house research showing few Canadians rate plastic waste a serious problem…. Cabinet has budgeted $279 million to eliminate plastic waste estimated at four tonnes annually.” Government to the rescue. Pity it can’t save itself… including from ignorance.
  • Including impenetrable ignorance even about itself. Recently Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau blathered that his carbon tax was an alternative to the “heavy hand” of government with its “regulations” and “subsidies”. But something called the 440megatonnes.ca Policy Tracker lists no fewer than 113 federal climate initiatives with no end of, uh, regulations and subsidies (and another 371 provincial and territorial ones). So just imagine the smooth policy coordination and intellectual coherence involved in the government saving us from the heavy hand of government.

4 comments on “Tidbits”

  1. One thing we tend to forget is that the media, and newspapers in particular, have to think of something interesting to say, every damn day. Yes, you can say "there was an unusually heavy rainstorm yesterday, but heck we get those from time to time, it's just weather". But you tend to get your readers much more interested if you say "shock, horror, climate change causes flooded basements, scientists say".

  2. John, thanks for that last tidbit but you need to expand it to its own piece, I have been yelling about this subject for a while.
    The liberals quote economists that say the carbon tax is the way to go as their shield, but ALL those economists say in return eliminate ALL caps, regulations, mandates etc.
    So every time the liberals announce something like the ev mandate by 2035 they are explicitly stating they themselves don’t believe the carbon tax works.

    Need to hammer them on this.

    Goes hand in hand with the obvious idiocy of them stating the carbon tax is causing us to change our habits but it’s too small to be noticeable in inflation and cost of living increase.
    These people are stupid, this should be a national post column too.

  3. Pat R,about that last tidbit you mentioned.I haven't changed my habits one iota since the introduction of the carbon tax.I don't even know how much
    carbon tax I pay,because it is usually hidden in the cost of anything that is grown,manufactured,transported,etc.BUT I do know that Justinflation is
    responsible for huge increases in the cost of everyday items I purchase.

  4. Mike; My last 4 gas bills just for the gas used totaled $134.57. On that I was charged $103.02 Co2 tax plus HST.
    That is just to heat my house. Then there is everything else! Ouch.

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