Climate Change News 3


#1

Still like aggregating articles in one thread, thus we don’t clog up the first page.

An interesting read on US air pollution levels, improving but not as much as predicted


#2

#3

The comments in the thread were actually educational. Good discussion regarding the types of energy sources and the scenarios in which they get delivered and deployed as well as the role of subsidies in the world of renewables.


#4

#5

Can you paste more of the content here? It’s behind a paywall for me


#6

Hmm, sure, no paywall for me. Very interesting perspective…

By Steven F. Hayward
June 4, 2018 6:54 p.m. ET
463 COMMENTS

Climate change is over. No, I’m not saying the climate will not change in the future, or that human influence on the climate is negligible. I mean simply that climate change is no longer a pre-eminent policy issue. All that remains is boilerplate rhetoric from the political class, frivolous nuisance lawsuits, and bureaucratic mandates on behalf of special-interest renewable-energy rent seekers.

Judged by deeds rather than words, most national governments are backing away from forced-marched decarbonization. You can date the arc of climate change as a policy priority from 1988, when highly publicized congressional hearings first elevated the issue, to 2018. President Trump’s ostentatious withdrawal from the Paris Agreement merely ratified a trend long becoming evident.

A good indicator of why climate change as an issue is over can be found early in the text of the Paris Agreement. The “nonbinding” pact declares that climate action must include concern for “gender equality, empowerment of women, and intergenerational equity” as well as “the importance for some of the concept of ‘climate justice.’ ” Another is Sarah Myhre’s address at the most recent meeting of the American Geophysical Union, in which she proclaimed that climate change cannot fully be addressed without also grappling with the misogyny and social injustice that have perpetuated the problem for decades.

The descent of climate change into the abyss of social-justice identity politics represents the last gasp of a cause that has lost its vitality. Climate alarm is like a car alarm—a blaring noise people are tuning out.

This outcome was predictable. Political scientist Anthony Downs described the downward trajectory of many political movements in an article for the Public Interest, “Up and Down With Ecology: The ‘Issue-Attention Cycle,’ ” published in 1972, long before the climate-change campaign began. Observing the movements that had arisen to address issues like crime, poverty and even the U.S.-Soviet space race, Mr. Downs discerned a five-stage cycle through which political issues pass regularly.

The first stage involves groups of experts and activists calling attention to a public problem, which leads quickly to the second stage, wherein the alarmed media and political class discover the issue. The second stage typically includes a large amount of euphoric enthusiasm—you might call it the “dopamine” stage—as activists conceive the issue in terms of global peril and salvation. This tendency explains the fanaticism with which divinity-school dropouts Al Gore and Jerry Brown have warned of climate change.

CONT…


#7

Then comes the third stage: the hinge. As Mr. Downs explains, there soon comes “a gradually spreading realization that the cost of ‘solving’ the problem is very high indeed.” That’s where we’ve been since the United Nations’ traveling climate circus committed itself to the fanatical mission of massive near-term reductions in fossil fuel consumption, codified in unrealistic proposals like the Kyoto Protocol. This third stage, Mr. Downs continues, “becomes almost imperceptibly transformed into the fourth stage: a gradual decline in the intensity of public interest in the problem.”
While opinion surveys find that roughly half of Americans regard climate change as a problem, the issue has never achieved high salience among the public, despite the drumbeat of alarm from the climate campaign. Americans have consistently ranked climate change the 19th or 20th of 20 leading issues on the annual Pew Research Center poll, while Gallup’s yearly survey of environmental issues typically ranks climate change far behind air and water pollution.
“In the final stage,” Mr. Downs concludes, “an issue that has been replaced at the center of public concern moves into a prolonged limbo—a twilight realm of lesser attention or spasmodic recurrences of interest.” Mr. Downs predicted correctly that environmental issues would suffer this decline, because solving such issues involves painful trade-offs that committed climate activists would rather not make.
A case in point is climate campaigners’ push for clean energy, whereas they write off nuclear power because it doesn’t fit their green utopian vision. A new study of climate-related philanthropy by Matthew Nisbet found that of the $556.7 million green-leaning foundations spent from 2011-15, “not a single grant supported work on promoting or reducing the cost of nuclear energy.” The major emphasis of green giving was “devoted to mobilizing public opinion and to opposing the fossil fuel industry.”
Scientists who are genuinely worried about the potential for catastrophic climate change ought to be the most outraged at how the left politicized the issue and how the international policy community narrowed the range of acceptable responses. Treating climate change as a planet-scale problem that could be solved only by an international regulatory scheme transformed the issue into a political creed for committed believers. Causes that live by politics, die by politics.
Mr. Hayward is a senior resident scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.


#8

Yes, Climate Change became the banner under which all progressive social change goals were positioned. It became a very big tent, but one that was based on hot air rather than facts.

We’ll be serious about climate change when we again embrace nuclear energy.


#9

#10

Did you try Chrome?


#11

The same thing can happen in chrome. I’m not sure how the WSJ tracks (ip address, cookies, HTML5 app installation, some other unique id?) but once they believe that someone has seen more than so many articles they will display the pay wall.


#12

Chrome is my main browser


#13

#14

I’ve always been a fan of modestly increasing fuel standards, to drive innovation.

This story discusses the flip side, that the standards make us less safe.


#15

An interesting technical approach to improving solar power, certainly deserves the funding to test it out


#16

Thanks Theo520 for posting that article on solar batteries. Interesting.

God bless.

Cathoholic


#17

I’ve entertained getting an electric scooter to cover the last mile from the train to the place where I work. Of course I also have safety concerns too; many cities were built with bicycle class vehicles as an after thought and I’ve got concerns on sharing the road with full sized vehicles and construction vehicles (bycicle class vehicles here are supposed to be on the road, not the sidewalk). But there is a certain comfort that comes with having a sturdy metal cage around onesself.


#18

Those electric assist bikes are supposed to be quite nice.
I’d be anxious about leaving it at a train station from dusk till dawn.


#19

One of the main reasons lighter cars seem less safe is when they have to drive alongside of much heavier cars, trucks, and SUVs. In a collision the heavier vehicle is always subject to less shock. Obviously it would not be productive to make heavier and heavier vehicles just to make sure that your vehicle is above average in weight.

Of course reducing weight is not the only tool the engineers have at their disposal for increasing fuel standards. Hybrids with regenerative braking is one example. The risk of lower weight can be mitigated by better restraint systems and air bags.

This blog is not saying anything new that was not known half a century ago when I first started shopping for a car.


#20

You should see Minneapolis. It has separate bike trails for commuters that go all over the place - even downtown. Even in the middle of winter there are some hardy bike commuters. And the light rail and buses all provide for carrying a bike. It is great city for cyclists.


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