New paper faults World Health Organisation’s wilful exaggerationA new briefing paper from the Global Warming Policy Foundation examines the World Health Organisation’s recent report on climate change and finds that its estimates of future mortality from global warming are grossly exaggerated.
The WHO report predicted that climate change would bring about 250,000 extra deaths annually between 2030 and 2050, but relied upon absurd assumptions to reach this conclusion. For example, the report assumes that the people affected by climate change will forgo commonsense steps to protect themselves, including several that are already in the works in some developing countries.
Briefing paper author Dr Indur Goklany said:
“The idea that people would not, for example, react to higher sea levels by building higher sea defences or even moving away from the coast is preposterous, so for the WHO to suggest such a high death toll from climate change completely misleads the public.”
And as Dr Goklany goes on to explain, the WHO’s results use climate model results that apparently overstate the warming trend three-fold compared to observations despite using 27% less greenhouse gas forcing. The WHO also assumes that higher carbon dioxide levels will have no beneficial effects on crop yields, despite scientific studies having confirmed that this is precisely what will happen in a wide range of crop species.
“Because of its willful exaggerations,” says Goklany, “the WHO study risks scaring people into taking ill-considered costly actions to limit greenhouse gases rather than focusing on higher priority global health issues such as hunger, malaria and diarrhea diseases, which can be addressed at a fraction of the cost’.
Full report (PDF)
Dr Indur Goklany is an independent scholar and author. He was a member of the U.S. delegation that established the IPCC and helped develop its First Assessment Report. He subsequently served as an IPCC reviewer.
Accumulation of fraudulent EPA regulations impacts energy, economy, jobs, families and health
Call it the Gruberization of America’s energy and environmental policies.
Former White House medical consultant Jonathan Gruber pocketed millions of taxpayer dollars before infamously explaining how ObamaCare was enacted. “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” he said. “It was really, really critical to getting the bill passed.” At least one key provision was a “very clever basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.”
The Barack Obama/Gina McCarthy Environmental Protection Agency is likewise exploiting its lack of transparency and most American’s lack of scientific understanding. EPA bureaucrats and their hired scientists, pressure groups and PR flacks are getting rich and powerful by implementing costly, punitive, dictatorial regulations “for our own good,” and pretending to be honest and publicly spirited.
EPA’s latest regulatory onslaught is its “Clean Power Plan.” The agency claims the CPP will control or prevent “dangerous manmade climate change,” by reducing carbon dioxide and “encouraging” greater use of renewable energy. In reality, as even EPA acknowledges, no commercial-scale technology exists that can remove CO2 from power plant emission streams. The real goal is forcing coal-fired power plants to reduce their operations significantly or (better still) shut down entirely.
The agency justifies this by deceitfully claiming major health benefits will result from eliminating coal in electricity generation and deceptively ignoring the harmful effects that its regulations are having on people’s livelihoods, living standards, health and well-being. Its assertion that reducing the USA’s coal-related carbon dioxide emissions will make an iota of difference is just as disingenuous. China, India and other fast-developing nations must keep burning coal to generate electricity and lift people out of poverty, and CO2 plays only a tiny (if any) role in climate change and destructive weather events.
The new CPP amplifies Obama Administration diktats targeting coal use. Companion regulations cover mercury, particulates (soot), ozone, “cross-state” air pollution, sulfur and nitrogen oxides that contribute to haze in some areas, and water quality. Their real benefits are minimal to illusory ... or fabricated.
American’s air is clean, thanks to scrubbers and other emission control systems that remove the vast majority of pollutants. Remaining pollutants pose few real health problems. To get the results it needs, EPA cherry picks often questionable research that supports its agenda and ignores all other studies. It low-balls costs, pays advisors and outside pressure groups millions of dollars to support its decisions, and ignores the cumulative effects of its regulations on energy costs and thus on businesses, jobs and families.
Now, for the first time, someone has tallied those costs. The results are sobering.
An exhaustive study by Energy Ventures Analysis, Inc. tallies the overall effects of EPA regulations on the electric power industry and provides state-by-state summaries of the rules’ impacts on residential, industrial and overall energy users. The study found that EPA rules and energy markets will inflict $284 billion per year in extra electricity and natural gas costs in 2020, compared to its 2012 baseline year.
The typical household’s annual electricity and natural gas bills will rise 35% or $680 by 2020, compared to 2012, and will climb every year after that, as EPA regulations get more and more stringent. Median family incomes are already $2,000 lower since President Obama took office, and electricity prices have soared 14-33% in states with the most wind power - so these extra costs will exact a heavy additional toll.
Manufacturing and other businesses will be hit even harder, the study concluded. Their electricity and natural gas costs will almost double between 2012 and 2020, increasing by nearly $200 billion annually over this short period. Energy-intensive industries like aluminum, steel and chemical manufacturing will find it increasingly hard to compete in global markets, but all businesses (and their employees) will suffer.
The EVA analysis calculates that industrial electricity rates will soar by 34% in West Virginia, 59% in Maryland and New York, and a whopping 74% in Ohio. Just imagine running a factory, school district or hospital and having to factor skyrocketing costs like that into your budget. Where do you find that extra money? How many workers or teachers do you lay off, or patients do you turn away? Can you stay open?
The CPP will also force utility companies to spend billions building new generators (mostly gas-fired, plus wind turbines), and new transmission lines, gas lines and other infrastructure. But EPA does not factor those costs into its calculations; nor does it consider the many years it will take to design, permit, engineer, finance and build those systems and battle Big Green lawsuits over them.
How “science-based” are EPA’s regulations, really? Its mercury rule is based on computer-generated risks to hypothetical American women who eat 296 pounds of fish a year that they catch themselves, a claim that its rule will prevent a theoretical reduction in IQ test scores by an undetectable “0.00209 points,” and similar absurdities. Its PM2.5 soot standard is equivalent to having one ounce of super-fine dust spread equally in a volume of air one-half mile long, one-half mile wide and one story tall.
No wonder EPA has paid its “independent” Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee $181 million and the American Lung Association $25 million since 2000 to rubberstamp its secretive, phony “science.”
Rural America will really be walloped by the total weight of EPA’s anti-coal regulations. Nonprofit electricity cooperatives serve 42 million people in 47 states, across three-fourths of the nation’s land area. They own and maintain 42% of America’s electric distribution lines and depend heavily on coal. They have already invested countless billions retrofitting coal-fired generators with state-of-the-art emission control systems, and thus emit very few actual pollutants. (CO2 fertilizes plants; it is not a pollutant.)
EPA’s air and water rules will force these coal units to slash their electricity generation or close down long before their productive lives are over and before replacement units and transmission lines can be built. Electricity rates in these rural areas are already higher than in urban areas, but will go much higher. Experts warn that these premature shutdowns will slash electricity “reserve margins” to almost zero in some areas, make large sections of the power grid unstable, and create high risks of rolling blackouts and cascading power outages, especially in the Texas panhandle, western Kansas and northern Arkansas.
The rules will thus put the cooperatives in violation of the Rural Electrification Act and 16 other laws that require reliable, affordable electricity for these far-flung communities. EPA’s actions are also putting rural hospitals in greater jeopardy, as they try to cope with “Affordable Care Act” rules and other burdens that have already caused numerous closings. As USA Today reported, the shuttered hospitals mean some of the nation’s poorest and sickest patients will be denied accessible, affordable care and people suffering strokes, heart attacks and accidents will not be able to reach emergency care during their “golden hour,” meaning many of them will die or be severely and permanently disabled.
EPA never bothered to consider any of these factors. Nor has it addressed the habitat, bird, bat and other environmental impacts that tens of thousands more wind turbines will have; the “human health hazards” that wind turbines have been shown to inflict on people living near them; or the high electricity costs, notorious unreliability, and increased power grid instability associated with the wind and solar installations that EPA seems to think can quickly and magically replace the coal-based electricity it is eliminating.
Congress, state legislators and attorneys general, governors and courts need to stop these secretive, duplicitous, dictatorial Executive Branch actions. Here’s one thought. Heartland Institute Science Director Jay Lehr helped organize the panel that called for establishing the Environmental Protection Agency. In a persuasive analysis, he says it’s time now to systematically dismantle the federal EPA and replace it with a “committee of the whole” of the 50 state environmental protection agencies.
The new organization would do a far better job of protecting our air and water quality, livelihoods, living standards, health and welfare. It will listen better to We the People and less to eco-pressure groups.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power Black death and coauthor of Cracking Big Green: To save the world from the save-the-Earth money machine.
EPA Proposes Stricter Ozone Air Pollution Standard
Proposal Expected to Reanimate Battle Between Businesses and Environmental Groups
By Amy Harder
The Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is set to release energy regulations in the coming weeks that will prompt push-back from industry and lawmakers before a Republican-controlled Congress comes in next year.
On Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed lower limits for ground-level ozone, or smog, in the atmosphere, setting off a nearly yearlong regulatory process for setting a new standard. Public-health and environmental groups say the limits are essential in preventing a range of respiratory diseases. Businesses say it could be the costliest regulation in U.S. history.
By year’s end, the administration plans to release at least three other regulations, including one from the EPA regulating coal ash, a byproduct of coal-fired electricity, and two from the Interior Department setting standards for Arctic oil and natural-gas drilling, and hydraulic fracturing on federal lands.
The EPA also is expected to decide in December to what extent it will regulate emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that is inadvertently emitted during the production and transmission of natural gas. In January, the agency intends to issue a final rule controlling carbon emissions from new power plants, a precursor to the agency’s parallel standard cutting carbon from power plants already in operation, which the EPA plans to complete next summer.
Driven by various factors, including court-enforced deadlines and presidential directives, the initiatives will touch on a broad swath of the economy, especially the utility, oil and natural-gas industries. It also advances an ambitious environmental and climate-change agenda that President Barack Obama hopes to make a legacy of his time in the White House.
Republicans on Capitol Hill, who will control both chambers of Congress next year, have vowed to pass legislation to slow or stop altogether several EPA rules, including the ozone standard announced this week, which could prompt presidential vetoes.
“The Obama administration hasn’t even fully implemented or seen the consequences of existing rules, yet here we see another effort to slow job growth and send jobs overseas,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), said in a statement after the ozone announcement. “The new Congress will review the rule and take appropriate action.”
The EPA’s ozone proposal would limit ozone to between 65 and 70 parts per billion in the air and sought comment on a standard as strict as 60 parts per billion, in line with what an independent scientific advisory panel recommended earlier this year. The current level, established in 2008 by the George W. Bush administration, is 75 parts per billion, though some regions of the country still aren’t complying with the 1997 level set at 84 parts per billion. The agency said it will take comment on keeping the standard at the current level, something industry groups have encouraged.
The agency is relying on the 44-year-old Clean Air Act for the ozone rule and several other air-pollution standards, including the proposed climate rules and a mercury regulation the Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would review over its costs.
“This administration is relying very heavily on what Congress has already told us is our job,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said.
The EPA estimates the cost to businesses and localities to meet the ozone standard would range from $3 billion to $15 billion in 2025 and the monetary value of the public-health benefits range between $6.4 billion and $19 billion in 2025.
These estimates are significantly less than what the EPA proposed in 2011, when it said costs could reach $90 billion and public-health benefits could reach $100 billion. Ms. McCarthy said an improvement in air quality brought by regulations the agency has pursued in recent years has brought down the estimated costs of this latest ozone proposal. The part of the Clean Air Act the EPA uses to issue ozone limits says the agency only can consider science, not cost, an approach supported unanimously by the Supreme Court in 2001.
“Because of recent federal pollution-control rules reducing ozone-causing pollutants which I have consistently supported our air is significantly cleaner and healthier,” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.) said. “It may be wiser to let these existing rules continue to make our air cleaner and then let’s see whether stricter ozone standards for communities, like the one proposed today, are really needed.
The ozone standard, which the Clean Air Act mandates to be reviewed every five years, isn’t a direct regulation on business. States, however, must comply, which in turn would compel utilities, factories, refineries and other businesses and municipalities that emit smog-forming pollution, including nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds, to install new pollution equipment.
The agency is expected to issue a final standard by October of next year, a timeline the EPA said on its website Wednesday it intends to meet. However, the administration hasn’t completed writing the plan for states to comply with the standard set early by the Bush administration
Dr. Madhav Khandekar, IPCC Reviewer
Floods are a recurring feature of the Indian Monsoon
London, 12 November: A new briefing paper published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation concludes that the most recent (September 2014) floods in the Kashmir region of India-Pakistan border which killed several dozen of people are a recurring feature of the Indian Monsoon and not linked to climate change.
Whenever an extreme weather event is widely reported by the news media, a heated debate about its possible link with global warming is set off. The latest example of this kind of speculation was triggered by the recent flooding in Kashmir.
The paper written by Dr Madhav Khandekar, a former meteorologist with the India Meteorological Department in Pune (India) and Environment Canada, shows that recurring extreme floods and droughts are linked to large-scale atmosphere-ocean cycles like the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the equatorial Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD).
The paper examines the history of past floods and droughts, using India’s excellent set of 200 years of monsoon data and documents that such floods and droughts have always occurred in the past with no link to human activity.
The paper shows how the Indian summer monsoon appears to undergo decadal variability of about 30 years altering between below and above normal rainfall patterns.
In recent years, the summer monsoon has become weaker with frequent droughts (e.g., 2002, 2004, 2009 2012 and 2014). “The observational evidence it at odds with most climate model projections that predict the intensification of the monsoon with increasing concentration of atmospheric CO2,” said Dr Khandekar.
“Extreme weather, heat waves, floods and droughts will always be with us. Reducing atmospheric CO2 will do nothing to reduce their frequency,” Dr Khandekar added.
See the full report here.