Idiots everywhere, wow

NYT:

A major scientific report issued by 13 federal agencies on Friday presents the starkest warnings to date of the consequences of climate change for the United States, predicting that if significant steps are not taken to rein in global warming, the damage will knock as much as 10 percent off the size of the American economy by century’s end.

The report, which was mandated by Congress and made public by the White House, is notable not only for the precision of its calculations and bluntness of its conclusions, but also because its findings are directly at odds with President Trump’s agenda of environmental deregulation, which he asserts will spur economic growth.

Mr. Trump has taken aggressive steps to allow more planet-warming pollution from vehicle tailpipes and power plant smokestacks, and has vowed to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, under which nearly every country in the world pledged to cut carbon emissions. Just this week, he mocked the science of climate change because of a cold snap in the Northeast, tweeting, “Whatever happened to Global Warming?”

But in direct language, the 1,656-page assessment lays out the devastating effects of a changing climate on the economy, health and environment, including record wildfires in California, crop failures in the Midwest and crumbling infrastructure in the South. Going forward, American exports and supply chains could be disrupted, agricultural yields could fall to 1980s levels by midcentury and fire season could spread to the Southeast, the report finds.

“There is a bizarre contrast between this report, which is being released by this administration, and this administration’s own policies,” said Philip B. Duffy, president of the Woods Hole Research Center.

All told, the report says, climate change could slash up to a tenth of gross domestic product by 2100, more than double the losses of the Great Recession a decade ago.

Scientists who worked on the report said it did not appear that administration officials had tried to alter or suppress its findings. However, several noted that the timing of its release, at 2 p.m. the day after Thanksgiving, appeared designed to minimize its public impact.

Still, the report could become a powerful legal tool for opponents of Mr. Trump’s efforts to dismantle climate change policy, experts said.

“This report will weaken the Trump administration’s legal case for undoing climate change regulations, and it strengthens the hands of those who go to court to fight them,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton.

The report puts the most precise price tags to date on the cost to the United States economy of projected climate impacts: $141 billion from heat-related deaths, $118 billion from sea level rise and $32 billion from infrastructure damage by the end of the century, among others.

The findings come a month after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations, issued its most alarming and specific report to date about the severe economic and humanitarian crises expected to hit the world by 2040.

But the new report also emphasizes that the outcomes depend on how swiftly and decisively the United States and other countries take action to mitigate global warming. The authors put forth three main solutions: putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions, which usually means imposing taxes or fees on companies that release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; establishing government regulations on how much greenhouse pollution can be emitted; and spending public money on clean-energy research.

No area of the country will be untouched, from the Southwest, where droughts will curb hydropower and tax already limited water supplies, to Alaska, where the loss of sea ice will cause coastal flooding and erosion and force communities to relocate, to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, where saltwater will taint drinking water.

Extreme weather events driven by global warming are “virtually certain to increasingly affect U.S. trade and economy, including import and export prices and businesses with overseas operations and supply chains,” the report concludes.

Such disasters will temporarily shutter factories both in the United States and abroad, causing price spikes for products from apples to automotive parts, the scientists predicted. So much of the supply chain for American companies is overseas that almost no industry will be immune from the effects of climate change at home or abroad, the report says.

It cites as an example the extreme flooding in Thailand in 2011. Western Digital, an American company that produces 60 percent of its hard drives there, sustained $199 million in losses and halved its hard drive shipments in the last quarter of 2011. The shortages temporarily doubled hard drive prices, affecting other American companies like Apple, HP and Dell.

“Rising temperatures, extreme heat, drought, wildfire on rangelands and heavy downpours are expected to increasingly disrupt agricultural productivity in the U.S.,” the report says. “Expect increases in challenges to livestock health, declines in crop yields and quality and changes in extreme events in the United States and abroad.”

By 2050, the scientists forecast, changes in rainfall and hotter temperatures will reduce the agricultural productivity of the Midwest to levels last seen in the 1980s.

The report predicts that frequent wildfires, long a plague of the Western United States, will also become more common in other regions, including the Southeast. The 2016 Great Smoky Mountains wildfires, which killed 14 people and burned more than 17,000 acres in Tennessee, may have been just the beginning. But unlike in the West, “in the Southeast, they have no experience with fires or at least very, very little,” said Andrew Light, a co-author of the report and a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute.

Climate change is taking the United States into uncharted territory, the report concludes. “The assumption that current and future climate conditions will resemble the recent past is no longer valid,” it says.

There is always some uncertainty in climate projections, but scientists’ estimates about the effects of global warming to date have largely been borne out. The variable going forward, the report says, is the amount of carbon emissions humans produce.

(1) To the nearest 1%, what is the percentage of CO2 in 100 parts air? Answer: 0%. Why can’t you understand 0%? 0% – how long to we have to repeat it? (2) Roger Simon: climate change is so 2009. (3) Always remember to hide the decline.

Quote in (2) above: Mencken, “When somebody says it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.”

One Response to “Idiots everywhere, wow”

  1. feeblemind Says:

    This was outrageous.

    Did you notice the key words in the article about warming were “projected” and “expected”??

    They are just guessing.

    And besides. Hot and humid is a big plus for crops. Crops don’t wither in humidity because they are not drying out.

    It’s all more True Believer (pardon my French) bullshit.

    Meanwhile, some empirical evidence of the Earth actually cooling down. If this trend persists it is a very bad thing. Crops don’t grow at all in cool weather.

    From the article:

    Writing in Real Clear Markets, Aaron Brown looked at the official NASA global temperature data and noticed something surprising. From February 2016 to February 2018, “global average temperatures dropped by 0.56 degrees Celsius.” That, he notes, is the biggest two-year drop in the past century.

    “The 2016-2018 Big Chill,” he writes, “was composed of two Little Chills, the biggest five month drop ever (February to June 2016) and the fourth biggest (February to June 2017). A similar event from February to June 2018 would bring global average temperatures below the 1980s average.”

    . . . in the three weeks since Real Clear Markets ran Brown’s story, no other news outlet picked up on it. They did, however, find time to report on such things as tourism’s impact on climate change, how global warming will generate more hurricanes this year, and threaten fish habitats, and make islands uninhabitable. They wrote about a UN official saying that “our window of time for addressing climate change is closing very quickly.”

    https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/climate-change-global-warming-earth-cooling-media-bias/

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