THIS POST IS A CRITICAL COMMENTARY ON THE GUARDIAN REPORT [LINK] THAT FORMER UN BUREAUCRAT BAN-KI-MOON IS „BEWILDERED THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP WOULD IMPERIL AMERICA BY ABANDONING THE PARIS AGREEMENT.
THE TEXT OF THE GUARDIAN ARTICLE WITH CRITICAL COMMENTARY INSERTED
- CLAIM: The Paris agreement to tackle climate change is an extraordinary opportunity. In a remarkable display of unity, almost every nation on Earth has agreed to make critical changes that will help humanity avoid disaster. By aiming to limit global warming to 1.5C, it represents the world’s best chance of adapting to a crisis that threatens our planet’s very existence. But Donald Trump is walking away. RESPONSE: What is being referred to as an agreement to tackle climate change is actually a collection of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) that don’t agree and that are not derived from global emission reduction needed to meet a given warming target. It should also be mentioned that an international agreement for emission reduction to limit warming is not an adaptation strategy. It is a mitigation strategy. If the Guardian favors adaptation over mitigation, it has more in common with the Trump administration than it realizes.
- CLAIM: This decision is politically shortsighted, scientifically wrong and morally irresponsible. By leaving the Paris agreement, he is undermining America’s future. RESPONSE: To claim that global warming can be attenuated by reducing fossil fuel emissions and that this idea is scientifically correct; and that to ignore it is scientifically wrong, it must be shown that atmospheric composition is responsive to the rate of fossil fuel emissions by submitting empirical evidence that is scientifically and statistically correct. No such evidence exists. What climate science assumes to be empirical evidence for this relationship is scientifically wrong and a creation of circular reasoning as explained in these related posts [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] .
- CLAIM: Every single day, we see the effects of climate change across the US. From catastrophic forest fires in California to rising sea levels in Miami and devastating flooding in Texas, these changes are a real and present danger. Our climate is visibly changing and the consequences will be disastrous for everyone. RESPONSE: The attribution of extreme weather events to AGW climate change involves the use of event attribution analysis and the interpretation of localized short term climate data in terms of global warming. As described in a related post, recent research has found that such attribution is not possible because of what is termed „internal climate variability“ [LINK] . Anthropogenic global warming is a theory about long term (more than 30 years) trends in global mean temperature. Its interpretation in terms of short terms climate events (less than 30 years) and localized climate events with a span that is less than global and less than significant latitudinal spans of the globe, is not possible. As explained in these papers, under these limiting conditons, „Internal variability in the climate system confounds assessment of human-induced climate change and imposes irreducible limits on the accuracy of climate change projections, especially at regional and decadal scales. A new collection of initial-condition large ensembles generated with seven Earth system models under historical and future radiative forcing scenarios provides new insights into uncertainties due to internal variability versus model differences“. Therefore, the attribution of forest fires in California and other localized climate events in the USA to anthropogenic global warming assumed by the Guardian, is not possible.
- CLAIM: Despite this, the president is closing his eyes to reality. He is turning away from the only opportunity to save humanity from the effects of rising temperatures. Far from making America great again, his decision leaves it isolated – as everyone else comes together to face this great challenge. RESPONSE: Being „isolated“ does not mean being wrong. It is possible to be isolated with a correct decision when everyone else is wrong. That he is isolated proves only that he is unpopular and not that therefore he is wrong.
- CLAIM; President Trump’s stance is all the more bewildering because climate change does not respect borders. This crisis will not bypass America because he chooses to ignore it. Fires will burn just as wildly and rising seas continue to threaten coastal cities. No country is an island and America cannot pull up the drawbridge to escape a crisis enveloping the whole world. RESPONSE: As explained in a related post on the Paris Agreement, [LINK] , the so called „Agreement“ turned out to be nothing but a collection of INDCs that don’t actually agree to or compose some kind of global emission reduction target. There is no greater evidence for its failure than the language of the UN bureaucrats that created it. What we see is that the UN is no longer counting on a coordinated global effort for a global emission reduction target. Instead it is goading individual nations to have something called „climate ambition“ and thereby to create something called „climate momentum“ that would somehow do the job of moderating the rate of warming. Yet, as we point out in the related post on this issue [LINK] , national emission reduction policies contain a fatal economics flaw. Climate action by an individual nation state will not lead to global emission reduction because its climate action plan will increase the economic cost of production and make the climate action nation less competitive in international trade and hand over a cost advantage to nations that do not have a national climate action plan. The cost advantage of non-climate-action takers will cause their production and exports to rise by virtue of demand from climate action taking nations. The net result will be that economic activity and fossil fuel emissions will decline in climate action taking nations but with a corresponding rise in economic activity and fossil fuel emissions in non-climate-action taking nations. It is not likely that in the net there will be global emission reduction. The Trump administration’s decision must be analyzed in this context and not in the context of a global emission reduction plan because there is no such plan. The Paris Agreement is not a global emission reduction plan but a collection of national intentions independently composed and not coordinated.
- CLAIM: Walking away will do nothing to stop the consequences of climate change arriving on America’s doorstep. According to the World Bank, the effects of rising temperatures could force 1.4 million people to abandon their homes in Mexico and Central America, where one-third of all jobs remain linked to agriculture. Many of these climate refugees will head to the US. RESPONSE; The reference to the mass migration of Central Americans to the USA in 2019 is based on the claim in climate science that these people are climate migrants or climate refugees because the migration was the result of a climate impact in Central America that created cycles of extreme rainfall and drought at 2-year or 3-year time scales. However, as described in a related post [LINK] , it is not possible to attribute these short term climate events in a highly localized region to global warming because of the limitations posed by internal climate variability [LINK] . This attribution is one of convenience and a grossly unscientific, illogical, racist, and cruel attempt to use the plight of poor people to sell the climate agenda.
- CLAIM; Tackling climate change is an international problem that needs an international solution. The Paris agreement is the result of decades of careful work and a solution that will benefit everyone – including America – long-term. We need a low-carbon strategy for everything from food and water systems to transport plans and we must design climate resilience into our infrastructure. By investing in climate-adaptation strategies now, we can protect against the worst impacts of the risks and dangers that lie ahead. RESPONSE; Once again, we find the Guardian confused about the terms „adaptation“ and „mitigation„. Mitigation means to take climate action and thereby to control the amount of warming whereas adaptation means to allow the warming to occur but to make changes that will make it easier for us to live with climate change. However, we strongly agree that if climate change has a solution in terms of reducing and eliminating the use of fossil fuels, it has to be a global effort. However, as noted above, the so called „Paris Agreement“ is not an international solution. It is a flawed and failed effort by the UN that the UN itself has tacitly admitted in its new strategy to promote national level climate action „ambition“. The greater issue here is that whether or not climate change is an international problem is not the issue. The issue is whether climate action will change the rate of rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration. No evidence for that assumed relationship has been provided by climate science probably because no such evidence exists [LINK] .
- CLAIM: A Global Commission on Adaptation report found that investing $1.8tn globally in adaptation by 2030 could yield $7.1tn in net benefits. Planning now and prospering, rather than delaying and paying for the consequences later, will sort the winners from the losers in this crisis response. RESPONSE; Once again we find that the Guardian appears to be confused about the difference between adaptation and mitigation and oddly promoting adaptation while at the same time championing mitigation by way of the Paris Agreement.
- CLAIM: There is a brutal irony in that the world at large is finally waking up to the climate crisis as President Trump ignores the science. The EU is creating a Green Deal for a more sustainable economy and China is greening its infrastructure spending as leaders across the globe realise that we are running out of options. Without the Paris agreement, America will start sliding backwards just as everyone else accelerates. RESPONSE: The other irony here is the admission by a leading climate alarmist publishing house that „the world at large is finally waking up to the climate crisis“ in the year 2020, 32 years after the alarm was raised in the Congressional Testimony of James Hansen in 1988 [LINK] . This kind of delayed response does not speak to the severity or the credibility of the alarm.
- CLAIM: History does not look kindly on leaders who do not lead when disaster threatens. There is a moral bankruptcy in looking away in a time of crisis, which resonates down the decades. This is all the more poignant as, across America, we can see many local efforts to try to plug the gap in the country’s climate strategy. Many Americans understand what their leader does not: we are running out of time to try to stem disaster, and their very lives may be under threat. RESPONSE: History would surely look less kindly on leaders that depend on alarmist publications like the Guardian in making significant decisions of this sort.
- CLAIM: Politicians from across the US political divide can also see what is coming – and what is necessary to avert disaster. In Boston, city leaders have launched Climate Ready Boston to help create a more resilient future by redesigning buildings and waterfront parks, and elevating pathways. In Miami, the Miami Forever Bond includes nearly $200m for climate-change adaptation, countering sea-level rise through measures such as planting mangroves along the waterfront and raising sea walls. RESPONSE; Yet again we find the Guardian unable to distinguish between the mitigation and adaptation options for climate action while at the same time assuming the role of climate advisor the the President of the United States of America. In any case, that there is an opposition to the President’s climate policy implies only that America is a democracy where alternate viewpoints are the norm and not some kind of dictatorship where no opposition is tolerated.
- CLAIM; Politicians from across the US political divide can also see what is coming – and what is necessary to avert disaster – from Republicans such as Miami’s mayor, Francis Suarez, to the Democrats, who have presented a Green New Deal. But this international crisis cannot be solved by local action, important though that is. We need the US to show leadership and place the whole might of US innovation and expertise behind this most important of endeavors. RESPONSE: Once again, that there are different views in the USA political spectrum implies only that the USA is a well functioning democracy and not that therefore the President has made a mistake.
- CLAIM: President Trump has made a grave mistake in withdrawing from the Paris agreement at this critical juncture. His actions lessen America, a country that has always taken pride in doing the right thing, at the right time, and seized opportunities for technological and economic transformation. But it is not yet too late to find a way back and this is one error that can be undone. We can only hope that America recognizes this before it is too late. RESPONSE: As described in detail in previous responses, the Paris Agreement is a confused, conflicted, and failed effort by the UN to put together a global agreement for global emission reduction targets. More specifically, it is NOT that global agreement. As admitted by the UN bureaucrats themselves, the Paris agreement implies that emission reduction must be achieved by the „ambition“ and „momentum“ of individual nations and that therefore they have failed to repeat their Montreal Protocol success in the area of climate action.
- CLAIM; Ban Ki-moon was the eighth secretary general of the United Nations and is chair of the Global Center on Adaptation. We’ve never had a better chance … to make a greener world. Covid-19 has delivered unusual environmental benefits: cleaner air, lower carbon emissions, a respite for wildlife. Now the big question is whether we can capitalise on this moment. The Guardian aims to lead the debate from the front. RESPONSE: Once again, we find that the climate alarmist from Britain pretending to be a credible climate adviser to the President of the United States, is apparently unaware that adaptation does not mean taking climate action to slow down the rate of warming. It means to take action to adapt to the observed rate of warming. Climate action to slow down the rate of warming is mitigation not adaptation.