The avowed determination of the Biden Administration to make its concerns about global warming a priority for government regulation and spending will, no doubt influence one way or another — by example or coercion — the agendas of many governments around the world.
It may encourage the anti-coal and anti-gas energy resources policy of the fixedly socialist government that rules the coal-and-gas-rich State of Victoria where I live. It may boost the huge negative-value ‘renewable energy’ subsidies (among the highest or perhaps the highest per-capita in the world) doled out to wind-farms and solar installations by our ‘conservative’ national government.
But for what good? For none, as far as I can see.
Here is a picture (source) of the temperature record in Victoria over the last century and a half. This is the raw, un-touched data from hundreds of measuring stations, not the ‘adjusted’ data from the 11 stations that the Australian Bureau of Meterology now insists confirm its conviction that average temperatures are rising (by about 1 deg. celcius since the start of the record).
It shows the annual moving average of the maximum temperatures measured since 1860 (a couple of decades after Victoria was settled), up to 2017. As you see: to a close approximation, there is no trend at all. Victoria has not warmed in 160 years! 2017 seems to be no hotter than it was in the 19-teens, the 1920s, 1930s or early 1970s.
There seems to be a recent warming tendency since a cooler period in the mid-1990s. But so what? There are several of those tiny excursions visible in the full record.
If you follow the scientific debate on climate change, as I do (although less closely than in the past) you will be well aware that there are hundreds of reviewed, published, reputable reports from well-qualified investigators who show that in wide-spread regions of the world and using many different, unrelated, temperature-proxies there is no evidence of a warming trend in regional temperatures even over centuries in some cases. In some regions where multi-millennial records are available, there is a pronounced cooling trend.
What might this mean? Common-sense suggests that where, in the short-term, you see a trend over a few years — even a decade or so — it is likely to be temporary: within the range of natural variations as seen in the Victorian chart.
Unfortunately, (too) many people seem to believe that their particular slice of history is exceptional and that every movement is a trend that somehow bucks the rest of the record.