Monday, October 05, 2020

BWorld 455, No climate emergency

 * My article in BusinessWorld, September 30, 2020.

Among the big headlines this week is the report that President Rodrigo Duterte is considering the environmentalists’ lobby to declare a “climate emergency.” Greenpeace in particular lobbies to phase out or kill coal and other fossil fuel power, mining. They want to plunge the country in blackout-friendly intermittent, variable renewable energies (VREs) like wind, solar and biomass.

The endless lobby to demonize fossil fuels, mining, conventional vehicles running on oil, related measures are based on a very opportunistic, corrupt, even brain-dead “analysis” that these commodities cause less rain and more rain, less flood and more flood, less storms and more storms, less cold and more cold. Whatever weather and climate, people should be scared and worried so that the VRE lobby should continue to get rich, so that governments can continue to slap carbon tax, oil tax, carbon cap and trade, create and expand climate bureaucracies.

Climate change is true, global warming and global cooling are true. They have happened since planet Earth was born some 4.6 billion years ago, warming-cooling in natural, endless cycle. Take the current La Niña – the sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly or deviation from the mean temperature is -0.5 C or lower in the Pacific Ocean Niño region 3.4. This region is the widest and center-most part of the Pacific Ocean. Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) weekly monitoring reported on Sept. 6 that Niño region 3.4 has dipped to -0.52 C or La Niña territory already. The latest update on Sept. 27 showed -0.80 C.

I checked El Niño-La Niña cycle, 70 years data from 1950 to early 2020, data from the US National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Then I added the chart of NOAA forecast, the 40+ models predict a big and deep La Niña from September 2020 to April 2021, the SST anomaly will see a deep -1.5 C in Nov. 2020 to January 2021 (see Figure 1).

This means that in the coming weeks and months we expect more rains and floods, more landslides, more flood/water-related killer diseases like leptospirosis and dengue. And the climate lobby will say that these are proof of “man-made warming/CC,” never proof of transition to natural global cooling.

So if the planet undergoes warming-cooling in natural cycles, like day-night cycle, winter-spring-

summer-fall cycle, El Niño-La Niña cycle, water evaporation-condensation cycle, carbon cycle in plants-animals/humans, where is the “climate emergency”?

The Philippine government has been spending hundreds of billions of pesos yearly on climate adaptation and climate mitigation programs. From 2018 to 2021 budget, the government would have spent some P878 billion or an average of P219 billion/year. This is equivalent to 7.8% of the total budget excluding appropriation for interest payment and allocation to local government units (ALGUs). While the Department of Public World and Highways, Department of Agriculture and Department of a and Natural Resources are the lead departments, other agencies also have substantial climate projects and budgets, like the National Dairy Authority, Philippine Crop Insurance Corp., Philippine Fisheries Development Authority, Philippine Rice Research Institute, and National Irrigation Administration (see Figure 2).

Note also that the budgets by LGUs, from provincial to barangay, for various climate offices, programs and meetings are not included there. Plus the various huge climate loans from the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, other multilaterals.

The President should not heed the opportunistic and corrupt lobby to declare a “climate emergency” because there is none. The President should not impose new carbon tax, higher oil tax, coal tax and vehicle tax, create a carbon cap and trade, kill mining, and so on.

To hasten economic recovery from this pandemic and indefinite lockdowns, we should have cheaper energy and more jobs creation including jobs from the mining sector.

See also:
BWorld 452, Declining jobs, rising debts, September 19, 2020 
BWorld 453, Coal, growth and carbon tax, September 25, 2020 
BWorld 454, Flatten the fear and hysteria, not the economy, September 28, 2020.

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