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On climate you can say just anything

05 Jun 2024 | OP ED Watch

From our bulging “on climate you can say just anything” file, New York Times columnist David Gelles says “Thanks to the rapid build-out of wind and solar power plants, particularly in China, global emissions from the power sector are set to decline this year.” Riiiight. The same China that emitted between about 13 and 16 gigatonnes of GHGs in 2023 (figures vary mysteriously and besides China’s official ones in almost any area are worthless), almost triple the 2nd-place United States, and began construction on 70 gigawatts of new coal-powered electric plants in 2023 alone. They are so totally decreasing emissions. Sure thing, buddy.

It’s actually worth quoting the opening of his column leading up to that credibility-stretcher in full:

“Amid a deluge of terrifying headlines about destructive tornadoes, blistering heat waves and DVD-sized gorilla hail, here’s a surprising bit of good news: Global carbon dioxide emissions may have peaked last year, according to a new projection…. For centuries, the burning of coal, oil and gas has produced huge volumes of planet-warming gasses. As a result, global temperatures rose by an average of 1.5 degrees Celsius higher than at the dawn of the industrial age, and extreme weather is becoming more frequent. But we now appear to be living through the precise moment when the emissions that are responsible for climate change are starting to fall, according to new data by BloombergNEF, a research firm. This projection is roughly in line with other estimates, including a recent report from Climate Analytics.”

Now consider that there is no data to suggest that tornadoes are becoming more common or destructive, or that heat waves are, or that “DVD-sized gorilla hail” is any more of a thing now than in days of yore. (Have you seen any? Though maybe if Canada really is burning, it will help put out the blaze.) Also global CO2 emissions have not peaked, not even man-made ones. Nor has the burning of fossil fuels produced “huge volumes” of GHGs for “centuries”; according to the World Resources Institute, no nest of venomous “deniers”, actual “global CO₂ emissions”, by which they mean man-made ones, “were 150 times higher in 2011 than they were in 1850” when they were an estimated 198 megatonnes, barely a quarter of what Canada alone produces today.

How is it possible that media struggling for credibility would print such a flood of rubbish? And if it turns out that GHGs keep rising, can we expect a retraction of the assertion and the underlying logic?

We didn’t think so.

3 comments on “On climate you can say just anything”

  1. The New York Times has become an identical twin to the ridiculous newspapers caricatured in Spiderman and Superman movies, maybe worse since Peter Parker and Clark Kent have been replaced by cross dressing trans activists!

  2. I was born in the 1950’s and April and May of 2024 have to my recollection been the coldest and wettest in my lifetime. Yet the UK met office has incredibly announced that they are the hottest since records began. With the ridiculous statement that it was hotter above the clouds. Would this not totally contradict there whole narrative that the minuscule amount of man made carbon dioxide reflects the heat back into the earth thus causing warming? They really must think that the general public have the brain capacity akin to that of a flock of sheep.

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