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What’s the most embarrassing and inconvenient truth for the cause of climate alarmism?
Probably the fact that there has now been no “global warming” for 18 years and six months. Not only does this contradict all the doomladen climate models cited in the IPCC’s various reports – none of them predicted the so-called “Pause” – but it also means that not one of the kids in school being fed climate propaganda by their on-message teachers has ever personally lived during a time of global warming.
So it’s quite understandable that – just as they tried to do with the “Medieval Warming Period” and also “the decline” (which proved so troubling to Michael Mann and his pals) – the alarmists are doing their damnedest to write the “Pause” (or, if you will, “hiatus”) out of scientific history.
And now they’ve done it!
Here, for example, is Pravda’s take:
The so-called hiatus has been touted by non-scientists who reject mainstream climate science. Those claims have resonated; two years ago, the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change felt the need to explain why the Earth was not heating up as expected, listing such reasons as volcanic eruptions, reduced solar radiation and the oceans absorbing more heat.
“The reality is that there is no hiatus,” said Tom Karl, director of the National Centers for Environmental Information in Asheville, North Carolina. He is the lead author of a study published Thursday in the peer-reviewed journal Science
So that’s it then, is it? Game over for the deniers, now dramatically disarmed of their most powerful weapon by “the Science”?
Er, not quite, no, as this exquisitely damning rebuttal from theGlobal Warming Policy Forum makes clear.
The thrust of Karl’s paper is this: that far from staying flat since 1998, global temperatures have carried on rising. It’s just that scientists haven’t noticed before because they’ve been looking in the wrong place – on land, rather than in the sea where all the real heat action is happening.
And how did Karl et al notice what everyone else has missed until now? Well, by using a specialised scientific technique called “getting your excuses in early before the Paris climate conference in December.”
Essentially, this technique involves making adjustments to the raw temperature data (sound familiar?) and discovering – lo! – that the sceptics were wrong and the alarmists were right all along.
Karl’s paper makes much of the fact that the methods used for gathering sea temperature data have changed over the years: in the old days it used to involve buckets; more recently, engine intake thermometers. Hence his excuse for these magical “adjustments”. Apparently (amazingly, conveniently), the measurements used since 1998 have been “running cold” and therefore needed correcting in a (handy) upward direction in order to show what has really been happening to global warming. Once you realise this – global warming turns out to be as real and present and dangerous as ever it was.
As the GWPF reports there are several glaring problems with Karl’s paper, starting with the fact that it contradicts all the other surface temperature data sets and also satellite data (which clearly shows no warming post 1998). Also, without any plausible explanation, Karl also chooses not to use the data from the Argo array “that is our best coherent data set on ocean temperatures.” The suspicion naturally arises that this is because if Karl hadused the Argo findings, they would have made his paper look ridiculous.
But, of course, accuracy and scientific integrity was never the point of this exercise.
Rather, it’s sole point was to garner quotations like the ones amassed by the Guardian (et al) and relayed to the faithful who will now unquestionably accept it as evidence that their cause is just.
Here below is the rationale for Karl’s paper. The actual science is a sublime irrelevance for, as ever, this is all about politics.
Prof Michael Mann, whose analysis of the global temperature in the 1990s revolutionised the field, said the work underlined the conclusions of his own recent research.
“They’ve sort of just confirmed what we already knew, there is no true ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’ in warming,” he said. “To the extent that the study further drives home the fact … that global warming continues unabated as we continue to burn fossil fuels and warm the planet, it is nonetheless a useful contribution to the literature.”
Bob Ward, policy and communications director at London’s Grantham Research Institute, said the news that warming had been greater than previously thought should cause governments currently meeting in Bonn to act with renewed urgency and lay foundations for a strong agreement at the pivotal climate conference in Paris this December.
“The myth of the global warming pause has been heavily promoted by climate change sceptics seeking to undermine the case for strong and urgent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions,” said Ward.
Since scientists began to report a slower than expected rate of warming during the last decade, climate sceptics have latched on to the apparent dip in order to question the validity of climate models.
Last February, US Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told CNN: “The last 15 years, there has been no recorded warming. Contrary to all the theories that – that they are expounding, there should have been warming over the last 15 years. It hasn’t happened.”
Cruz’s rival for the Republican nomination, Jeb Bush, was using the pause to argue for inaction as early as 2009.
Read the rest at Breitbart London
WE WERE WRONG ABOUT CLIMATE REFUGEES
It’s a difficult thing to admit when you are wrong. Several years ago, the United Nations suggested we would soon have to deal with refugees fleeing the impact of climate change. Many of us, myself included, scoffed at the idea. But new evidence has emerged, and it would be a failure of personal integrity to reject the now undeniable reality, that we were wrong.
The Australian newspaper reports that the dangerously rapid growth of Antarctic ice is threatening the viability of the Mawson Antarctic research station.
According to the report, the ice was so thick last year, the supply ship was unable to break through the coastal pack to reach the base. Fuel supplies had to be flown in by helicopter.
Satellite observations show a new daily record being set for Antarctic sea ice every day for the past two weeks. Annual records have also been broken every year for the past three years.
Rob Wooding, general manager of the Australian Antarctic Division’s Operations Branch, said expanding sea ice was now causing serious problems.
Last year, fuel supplies were flown to Australia’s Mawson base by helicopter because the harbour had failed to clear. Dr Wooding said the situation was “unsustainable”.
He said it was possible for the Aurora Australis icebreaker to break through a certain amount of sea ice to enter the harbour, and the planned capability of a replacement icebreaker would increase the ability to do this.
But conditions experienced last year of thick sea ice, with snow cover, extending out 40 to 50km could not regularly be navigated by any Antarctic resupply vessel.
“If we were to face such a situation at Mawson for three or four successive seasons, it would be unlikely that we could continue to resupply the station under the current operating model,” he said. “Unless we could find an alternative resupply strategy, questions would arise as to the ongoing viability of the station.”
This may be just the tip of the iceberg. Other bases are also facing resupply difficulties, problems which are exacerbated by ships full of idiots visiting dangerous polar regions to observe the effects of global warming.
If Antarctic ice continues to grow, the trickle of refugees may become a stampede, as Antarctic climate scientists, some of whom have been there for years, are forced to leave their traditional habitats.
Who will help these bewildered unfortunates make the adjustment? Big cities might be traumatic and confusing, for climate scientists who have for many years experienced the tight knit traditions and community of the Antarctic base camps.
Let us hope the governments responsible for this awful situation step up to their responsibilities. Perhaps we can find displaced climate researchers new homes, on some remote mountain top, habitats which are similar enough to their traditional Antarctic villages, that they can wait out the ice – somewhere they can settle, until global warming melts enough of the Antarctic, so they can be re-homed back in their research stations.
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In June 2013, British geologists unveiled the discovery of one of the biggest fuel sources in human history…in Lancashire, UK.
The fuel source is Shale gas.
To even begin to explain the significance of this is a struggle, but to say the last time this happened was the discovery of coal, which brought about the industrial revolution, would be a good start.
This in itself is not the controversy, for the controversy lies in the method of reaching it, called hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’ to you and me.
It is the only way we can access this resource. We either frack it or leave it in the ground, there is no third option.
So what’s stopping us? How and why does this method of fuel extraction stir such emotion on both sides? This article attempts to explore this debate.
Shale gas is natural gas that’s been trapped inside shale rock formation. It is the ‘new oil’, only cleaner, cheaper and more efficient, so much cleaner that it would reduce our CO2 emissions by a third.
The British Geological Survey estimate there’s between 862 and 2,281 trillion cubic feet of gasburied under Northern England. The central estimate is 1,329 trillion cubic feet which is the estimate I’ll use for this article.
To put this into perspective, the Morcellus Shale in the U.S is estimated to have 500 trillion cubic feet of shale gas, and contributes £100 billion to the economy each year.
Britain could have almost double that…
It is equivalent to 247 billion barrels of oil, more than Qatar, Kuwait, Iran or the UAE, and at current prices it could be worth £9.5 trillion, but even just 10% is still worth £1 trillion*, enough to give every man, woman and child in Britain £16,000.
At conservative estimates, this reserve will be enough to power every single home in Britain for the next 40 years, so for the energy sector in Britain this could not come at a better time; heating bills have been increasing every year and we spend billions buying our energy from abroad, as well as pouring money into a, so far, inefficient and unreliable renewable energy sector.
Shale gas could change all of this, and allow us to transform our nation from one which has a surplus energy import market, to one with a surplus energy export market, quite the turnaround!
Yet there is more to this story yet…in the form of the Treasure of the Moors, seen in the image below:
This shale gas ‘Treasure Map’ truly illustrates the scale of our potential resources, and the potential for fracking to influence all corners of the UK.
It is therefore, a truly national issue.
So what are the consequences?
To understand the potential consequences, we must first understand how fracking works.
In simple terms, it involves drilling into a shale rock formation and pumping in a mix of fresh water, sand and chemicals at extremely high pressure. This causes cracks to develop in the rock, thus releasing the trapped natural gas to be pumped to the surface.
The main fear is that the chemical mix pumped into the ground could leak into our water supply and contaminate it.
This fear is not entirely baseless; just like an oil spill or any other form of accident, it is a risk that is by no means inevitable, but by no means unavoidable.
But let me attempt to put your mind at ease.
Our water supply lies around 500ft underground, whereas fracking takes place between 6,000 and 10,000 feet under earth. This is the equivalent of five Shard Towers, stacked on top of each other, between our water supply and the actual drilling process.
Robert Jackson, scientist and geologist Duke University, North Carolina, did a study into the issue of water contamination.
In his words: “we have not found evidence of the fracking chemicals people are worried about (in the water supply)…and we have not found evidence of metal salts.
The U.S Department of Energy also conducted a landmark study, published in 2013, which monitored the leakage of fracking chemicals into the water supply in Pennsylvania.
After a year of research, the report concluded there was no contamination. Environmental agencies in the UK reviewed the same research and came to a similar conclusion.
To reduce the risk even further, both the EU and the UK have insisted on additional layers of sheathing around the bore, whilst adding that the risk of contamination was minimal so long as all regulation was adhered to.
In 2011, experts believed fracking caused a minor tremor in the North-West; therefore this is a genuine concern.
However, several very important facts were left out of the press coverage.
The quake measured just 0.5 on the Richter scale. For those who didn’t study geography (or as was the case with me, did study geography, but failed miserably at it), the Richter Scale measures the magnitude of earthquakes on a logarithmic scale between 0 to 9 and above. Each increase of 1 is 10 times the magnitude, thus the higher the scale, the bigger the earthquake.
In comparison, coal mining, oil drilling and waste disposal underground can all create earthquakes of more than 1.0 on the Richter scale.
Yet very few people protest against these things, and this fact gets almost zero coverage.
The most significant fact, however, is as follows; fracking is already happening, even as we sit here in front of our screens.
An article by The Telegraph in August 2013 highlighted that there are 200 fracking wells on non-shale operations already in use in Britain, some of which have been working for 20 years.
Not one of these sites has caused any environmental damage or contamination, but should any of them do so, the regulatory system in this country has the powers to close them down immediately.
We should not at all be surprised though, for a fracking well (known as a ‘pad’ in the industry) is about the size of a cricket pitch and could hardly tear up the countryside even if it wanted to; chances are you may have strolled past one whilst walking your dog without realising.
I will conclude this article by reiterating one of the earlier statements. Extracting 10% would sell at current prices for £1 trillion, enough to pay off 73% of our national debt, enough to cover the NHS budget for over 10 years, enough to cover the defence budget for 25 years, or enough to cover the current welfare budget for nearly 18 years.
If you are against fracking, then you are against all of this.
I would be interested to hear why….
* £1 trillion and £9.5 trillion worth of natural gas – Calculations based on estimates of UK shale reserves (1,300 tcf of gas), and current natural gas prices ($16.46 per 1000 cubic ft of gas)
About Christopher Hiew
Christopher is a YI member working in the Financial Services industry. He has lived in Somerset all of his life but has somehow avoided the West Country accent. More Posts
UK Energy Policy: Complete Bedlam as the Lunatics take over the Asylum
Since the 14th Century, the term “Bedlam” has been a well-worn figure of speech used to signify a state of madness, chaos, and the often irrational nature of the world.
As any good Brit knows, Bedlam was a notorious mental institution – dating back to the reign of Henry III. In modern times, the phrase “complete Bedlam” is employed to cover situations of absolute uproar and confusion – for example, the moment when the lunatics take over the asylum.
Let there be no doubt about it – Britain’s energy policy has been designed – and is being run – by complete lunatics hell-bent on destroying Britain’s economic and environmental future.
The Tories – faced with seething outrage from voters about plans to spear thousands of giant fans all over England’s fair counties – have relented in their planned onshore roll-out; and have, instead, vowed to spend hundreds of £billions of taxpayer and power consumer money sending fans offshore.
The cost of delivering offshore wind power is INSANE – with generators guaranteed obscene returns – being able to charge “three times the current wholesale price of electricity and about 60% more than is promised to onshore turbines.”
In January, the Economist reported that “offshore wind power is staggeringly expensive” and “among the most expensive ways of marginally reducing carbon emissions known to man”. But that is merely to compare the insane costs of onshore wind power in the completely insane costs of offshore wind power (see our post here).
Comparisons are being made between the insane costs and mythical benefits of offshore wind power and the government’s proposed multi-billion pound High Speed 2 (HS2) rail project; which would run between London, the Midlands, Manchester and Yorkshire.
The HS2 has already been derided as an enormous “White Elephant” by Andrea Leadsom, the new Treasury minister, who has urged David Cameron to rethink the HS2 rail project, saying £50 billion investment is poor value for money.
But £50 billion for a speedy Railtrack seems a mere pittance, compared to what the Tories have committed British taxpayers and power consumers to pay in order to subsidise the offshore wind capacity that would be required to meet EU targets.
Here’s The Telegraph’s Christopher Booker on the latest from Bedlam.
The cost of wind-farms will dwarf that of HS2 The Telegraph Christopher Booker 3 May 2014
We’ll need four times the number of planned offshore wind farms to meet EU energy targets.
Much attention was paid to the vote by a huge majority of MPs for the HS2 project, the main objections to which are that it will cost a staggering £50 billion and cause immense environmental damage, to much less useful purpose than is claimed for it.
But no one seems to have noticed that the same is true for another of the Government’s projects: its bid to meet our agreed EU target that, within six years, we must treble the amount of our electricity derived from “renewables”. Ed Davey, our energy and climate change minister, claims that his £12 billion plan, centred on six giant offshore wind farms, will add “4.5 gigawatts” to our generating capacity.
What Davey concealed, as I wrote last week, is that, thanks to the unreliability of the wind, the actual output of his project will be half that, 2.2 gigawatts, a mere 4 per cent of the electricity we use.
So, to meet our EU target by 2020, we would need four more projects of similar size, at a total cost of £60 billion, paid for through subsidies hidden in our electricity bills equating to £3,000 a year for every home in the land. We would need to spend billions more on connecting these wind farms to the grid, plus further billions on gas-fired power stations to provide back-up for the times when the wind isn’t blowing at the right speed.
When people finally wake up to what we are being let in for, their anger will make the row over HS2 look like chicken feed. But fortunately for Mr Davey, none of our MPs have yet done enough homework to grasp that what he is proposing is utterly insane. The Telegraph
As STT followers know the myth that wind power is a substitute for on-demand generation sources (such as nuclear, coal, gas and hydro) has been well and truly busted.
There are plenty of occasions when Australian wind farms (those connected to the Eastern Grid and situated in South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales) – spread over an area larger than Great Britain – collectively produce less than 5% of their total installed capacity for hours – and even days – at a stretch (see our post here).
Britain’s planned offshore wind farm onslaught would see turbines concentrated in the English Channel or North Sea and within 20km of the Coast. So it’s hard to see how they would do any better than the pitiful production efforts of Australia’s fleet of slackers.
The point Chris Booker makes about needing 4 more projects of the same (enormous) size as that proposed by Ed Davey to meet the target, is based on the fact that actual wind farm output is rarely more than 30% of installed capacity – as an average over time (but, of course, delivered in random, chaotic spurts).
Remember that Soviet inspired renewable energy targets are set in stone – retailers are hit with financial penalties for falling short – and are fixed as annual amounts of renewable energy dispatched to the grid – as a percentage of total demand (or supply, depending on the policy).
If the target is 20% of demand (or, in Australia, a fixed figure of 41,000 GWh) then meeting the target requires the total generated annually to equal or exceed the figure set.
Because the collective output from Eastern Australia’s wind farms is often less than 5% of their installed capacity of 2,660 MW for long periods (hours and often days) the shortfall on such days (ie amounts produced below target) has to be made up when the wind starts blowing again.
That is, wind power output on “good days” has to be more than double that of the “bad days” to produce an aggregate level of output sufficient to meet the mandated target.
This means that total installed wind power capacity has to be much greater than an amount that assumes actual output equals notional capacity and, therefore, represents 20% of demand on a day-by-day basis (or that needed to satisfy a fixed target).
In other words, meeting a renewable target using intermittent wind power requires more than twice the number of fans that would – on a “good day” – satisfy the daily target, in order to make up for “bad days” – and end up satisfying an annual 20% (or fixed) target.
It’s for this reason that Ray Evans and Tom Quirke estimated that – in order to meet the mandated target – Australia would need to install a total of 27,000 MW of wind power capacity – at a cost of $52 billion. That’s 10 times the number of giant fans currently installed; and would require a duplicated transmission network to accommodate it – adding a further $30 billion to the cost. All of which would be ultimately sheeted home to power consumers.
Australians can count their lucky stars that our giant-fan-fiasco is in its death throes.
Brits, however, can look forward to more complete Bedlam.
Professor Lennart Bengtsson – the scientist at the heart of the “Climate McCarthyism” row – has hit back at his critics by accusing them of suppressing one of his studies for political reasons 0 ——————————————————————————————-
Special report: The true cost of our wind farms
The true cost of the massive expansion of wind farms in England can today be revealed by a special Sunday Post investigation.
Staggering new figures show turbine operators have been handed taxpayer-funded subsidies of £7 billion in just over a decade. That means an average of £1,211 has been paid from the public purse every MINUTE since 2002. The eye-watering costs are recouped by being added to fuel bills, leaving each household £178 worse off. Now there is concern at the size of the subsidies being siphoned off for renewables at a time when 2.4 million people in England are living in fuel poverty. The revelations come in the wake of Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement that the Conservatives will end their support for onshore wind farms if they win the next election. Tory MP Philip Davies who represents Shipley in West Yorkshire, said: “Not only are they a blight on the landscape, they are the most expensive, inefficient and unreliable form of energy. “Many people are struggling to pay their energy bills and the dash for wind energy unnecessarily adds a considerable amount on to everyone’s bills in order to line the pockets of rich landowners. “It is Robin Hood in reverse — taking money from the poorest in order to line the pockets of the richest. “It is also making our manufacturers extremely uncompetitive when they are up against other firms based abroad who enjoy much cheaper energy bills.” European law dictates the UK must achieve 15% of its energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020, which has sparked heavily subsidised incentives for large wind farms and individual turbines to be built. We can reveal between 2002 and December 2013 wind farm owners received £7bn under the renewables obligation scheme which subsidises large-scale green energy production. Introduced by the Labour Government to encourage investment in renewables, the money is recouped via a supplement added to all domestic and commercial electricity bills. According to the Renewal Energy Foundation, since 2002 the levy supporting English renewables has added about £178 to the average UK household’s cost of living, with £89 of that in electricity charges alone. These subsidies have bankrolled 259 operational wind farms with around 850 turbines. Our probe has found northern England is bearing the brunt of the drive for renewables by hosting half the country’s wind farms. Using Government planning statistics, the Renewable Energy Foundation looked at the number of wind farms in operation or with planning permission across England. It found Northumberland has the largest wind farm capacity of any county, with around 155 turbines spread over 19 farms, generating up to 302 megawatts (MW). East Yorkshire is second highest, while Lancashire is sixth, Durham seventh and Cumbria eighth. Don Brownlow, from Berwick-Upon-Tweed, who has battled a series of large-scale wind farms in Northumberland, claimed developers see the region as an easy target. He said: “Contrary to popular belief this is not about the region being windy. Most of Northumberland outside the national park is fairly poor for that. The reason, first and foremost among developers, is landowner compliance. “A lot of wind development in Northumberland has been old estates being broken up which means landowners have borrowed a lot of money to buy them and they see the opportunity to reduce their debts. We are also seen as having compliant local planning authority.” Across the North West, North East and Yorkshire and the Humber there are 129 wind farms containing around 500 turbines already in operation — half of the entire country’s wind energy capacity. But planning permission has been given for another 100 farms to be built which will add another 330 turbines to the landscape. It means residents in the north will see a massive 70% increase in the number of turbines, while a further 150 turbines are in the planning system. Dr John Constable, director of Renewable Energy Foundation, a UK charity publishing data on the energy sector, said: “The northern counties of England are bearing a disproportionate share of the national onshore wind burden. “Not all of this focus can be explained by better wind conditions. “Northumberland in particular is relatively windless. I’m afraid the explanation is that developers have picked on the rural north because it lacks the resources to defend itself in the planning system. “Extremely high subsidies have overheated and corrupted the wind industry; site choice has been poor and little respect has been shown to the opinions of rural populations, whose local environments have too often been significantly damaged.” A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesperson said: “As you would expect, there are more wind farms where there is more wind. “Wind farms will only get planning permission where the impacts – including visual impact, cumulative impact and impact on heritage sites – are acceptable. “We have also changed the law to require wind farm developers to consult with local people before they put in a planning application.” Top 10 counties with most wind farms 1. Northumberland Onshore wind capacity 311MW – Sites 19 – Approximate turbines 155 2. East Yorkshire – 302MW – sites 49 – turbines 151 3. Lincolnshire* – 281MW – sites 22 turbines – 141 4 Cambridgeshire – 273MW – sites 32 -turbines – 136 5. Northamptonshire – 185MW – sites 20 – turbines 92 6. Lancashire – 177MW – sites 23 – turbines – 88 7. Durham – 168MW – sites 24 – turbines – 84 8. Cumbria – 158MW – sites 38 – turbines – 79 9. Devon – 133MW – sites 22 – turbines – 66 10. Cornwall – 130MW – sites 86 – turbines – 65 *Historic county of Lincolnshire, comprised of Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire.
Green ideologues working for the British government helped “sex up” the latest Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) report in order to make its conclusions sound more scary than the evidence warrants, it emerged today.by JAMES DELINGPOLE 321 ——————————————————————————————- from Yahoo News
Scientists have discovered huge coal deposits under the North Sea that could power Britain for centuries. Data from North Sea oil and gas exploration has been used to build a picture of the large coal deposits. “We think there are between three trillion and 23 trillion tonnes of coal buried under the North Sea,” Dermot Roddy, former professor of energy at Newcastle University, told the Sunday Times. “This is thousands of times greater than all the oil and gas we have taken out so far, which totals around 6bn tonnes. If we could extract just a few per cent of that coal it would be enough to power the UK for decades or centuries,” he continued. Geologists are yet to discover the scale of the coal deposits, despite already knowing that Britain’s coal resources stretched out into the North Sea. Roddy is to reveal plans to sink the first boreholes by the end of 2014 at a Royal Academy of Engineering conference. Professor of petroleum exploration at Imperial College London Richard Selley said that such discoveries of unconvential energy stores were “gamechangers”. “A decade ago the talk was all about peak oil and gas but that has gone out of the window,” he said. “The big game-changer is seismic imaging, which has become so sensitive that we can now pinpoint the ‘sweet spots’ where shale gas, oil and coal are to be found. “There have also been huge improvements in horizontal drilling . . . and in hydraulic fracturing [fracking], which lets us get the gas and oil out of rock. If we put aside the green issues, then in perhaps 10 years we could be self-sufficient in gas and possibly oil too.” Energy companies previously deemed such stores inaccessible but technological advances such as gasification have allowed underground pumps to turn the coal into gas useful for power-generation.
There were three key individuals central to the advance of the Global Warming Hoax; Ken Lay of the Enron Corporation, Al Gore Vice President of the USA and his former University lecturer Professor Roger Revelle. A former under-secretary general of the United Nations, Maurice Strong also aided the promotion of their efforts. In 1957, Revelle suggested that the Earth’s oceans would absorb excess carbon dioxide generated by humanity at a much slower rate than previously predicted by geoscientists, thereby suggesting that human gas emissions might create a ‘greenhouse effect’ that would cause global warming over time. Al Gore graduated from Harvard in 1969 and had been particularly impressed by Revelle’s class. From then on Al Gore was and still is, convinced of manmade global warming. By 1991 Revelle had changed his mind and co-authored an article ‘What to do about greenhouse warming: Look before you leap’ which stated: ‘We can sum up our conclusions in a simple message:The scientific base for a greenhouse warming is too uncertain to justify drastic action at this time.’ At this point Al Gore, who is still convinced of the Greenhouse effect, pronounced Roger Revelle as senile. In the 1980s, Lay was an energy company executive at Houston Natural Gas. This company was bought out and its name changed to Enron in 1985. The Enron Corporation grew to become a commodities trading company in more than 30 products which included gas fired power stations and even broadband. It was willing to exploit any commodity for maximum profit. Before its bankruptcy on December 2, 2001 some 20,000 staff were employed. California had an installed generating capacity of 45GW yet the demand was only 28GW. A supply gap was purposely created by Enron in order to obtain artificial shortages. In order to increase the price, power plants were taken offline for maintenance in days of peak demand. Traders were thus able to sell power at premium prices, sometimes up to a factor of 20 times the normal value. These manipulations brought about rolling blackouts which adversely affected many businesses and an 800% increase in the price of electricity by the December of 2000. Enron had cost California between $40 and $45 billion. The US 1990 Clean Air Act had forced controls on how much pollution a fossil fuel plant could emit. Enron had then helped to create a market for the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s sulphur dioxide cap-and-trade program. As that market proved to be very profitable, the company next turned to creating a cap-and-trade program for carbon dioxide, the forerunner of today’s carbon trading scam. The only problem was that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Under the Clinton administration in 1993, Ken Lay, the CEO of Enron, and Vice President Al Gore met in order to create an international regulatory system that would manage carbon dioxide. At that time Al Gore claimed he had ‘not known that Ken Lay was a crook’. In addition, Enron began to cultivate new friends in the environmental community. From 1994 to 1996, the Enron Foundation gave nearly $1 million to the Nature Conservancy, whose Climate Change Project promoted global warming theories. Another $1.5 million was donated to other groups advocating international controls to curb global warming, including Greenpeace. In 1997, Enron was investing in the manufacture of of wind turbines and set about promoting an international treaty to impose cuts on CO2 emissions and to allow Carbon Credit trading. Such an agreement would produce a gigantic windfall for Enron because it would boost the usage of natural gas at the expense of coal and would help Enron’s growing commodity trading and wind turbine business. In 2006 Al Gore’s film ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ Premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and opened in New York City and Los Angeles on May 24, 2006. The documentary was a critical and box-office success, winning Academy Awards for Best Documentary Feature and Best Original Song. The film grossed $24 million in the U.S. and $26 million in the foreign box office, becoming the 9th highest grossing documentary film to date in the United States. When George W. Bush ran for president, Lay served as host at big fund-raisers and contributed plenty of his own money to the effort. Britain’s main parties were the recipients of Enron’s generosity. Between 1997 and 2000, the Labour Party accepted £38,000 from Enron in sponsorship money for its events, whilst the Conservative Party received approximately £25,000. This skulduggery has led to the closure of our cheaper coal fired powered stations, the wind turbine scandal and expensive fuel bills, and still continues. There is no such thing as a greenhouse gas because no gas can store energy (heat). Solids and liquids can store heat but not gases unless they are enclosed. The belief that CO2 raises the temperature of a gas system is based on the assumption of a closed system in which energy cannot escape. The earth is an open system and hence it cannot accumulate heat in its atmosphere. Due to convection currents warmed gases rise, and (if we ignore the adiabatic lapse rate because expanding gases cool anyway) any excess heat is radiated away through the atmosphere and into space, which is certainly apparent on cloudless nights. Greenhouse gas theory seems to be the domain of mathematically dominated science, rather than empirical science.
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GLOBAL WARMING WILL NOT COST THE EARTH, LEAKED IPCC REPORT ADMITS
The economic costs of ‘global warming’ have been grossly overestimated, a leaked report – shortly to be published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – has admitted.
Previous reports – notably the hugely influential 2006 Stern Review – have put the costs to the global economy caused by ‘climate change’ at between 5 and 20 percent of world GDP. But the latest estimates, to be published by Working Group II of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, say that a 2.5 degrees Celsius rise in global temperatures by the end of the century will cost the world economy between just 0.2 and 2 percent of its GDP. If the lower estimate is correct, then all it would take is an annual growth rate of 2.4 percent (currently it’s around 3 percent) for the economic costs of climate change to be wiped out within a month. This admission by the IPCC will come as a huge blow to those alarmists – notably the Stern Review’s author but also including everyone from the Prince of Wales to Al Gore – who argue that costly intervention now is our only hope if we are to stave off the potentially disastrous effects of climate change. …for more please click on “Breitbart London” on our blogroll ——————————————————————————————-
AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY SEES THE LIGHT: WILL IT BE THE FIRST MAJOR SCIENTIFIC INSTITUTION TO REJECT THE GLOBAL WARMING ‘CONSENSUS’?
The American Physical Society (APS) has signalled a dramatic turnabout in its position on “climate change” by appointing three notorious climate skeptics to its panel on public affairs (POPA).
They are: Professor Richard Lindzen, formerly Alfred P Sloan Professor of Meteorology at Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a highly regarded physicist who once described climate change alarmism on The Larry King Show as “mainly just like little kids locking themselves in dark closets to see how much they can scare each other and themselves.” John Christy, Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, who has written: “I’m sure the majority (but not all) of my IPCC colleagues cringe when I say this, but I see neither the developing catastrophe nor the smoking gun proving that human activity is to blame for most of the warming we see.” Judith Curry, Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech, a former Warmist (and still a self-described “luke warmer”) who has infuriated many of her more extremist colleagues by defending skeptics and by testifying to the US House Subcommittee on the Environment that the uncertainties in forecasting climate science are much greater than the alarmists will admit. As Anthony Watts has noted, this is news guaranteed to make a Warmist’s head explode. (for more please click on “BreitBart London” on our blogroll) ——————————————————————————————- ) ——————————————————————————————- ——————————————————————————————-
The planet is not in danger of catastrophic man made global warming. Even if we burn all the world’s recoverable fossil fuels it will still only result in a temperature rise of less than 1.2 degrees C.by JAMES DELINGPOLE ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————– ——————————————————————————————- ——————————————————————————————- ——————————————————————————————-
This is the view of the Union of Concerned Scientists, a lobby group, on the imagined “scientific consensus” that most of the global warming since 1950 was manmade:
This, however, is what the published, peer-reviewed science actually shows:
Over and over again, we hear that “97% of scientists endorse global warming theory”. This number has been around for some time. It’s almost as though there’s a Green Propaganda Control Centre somewhere, with “97%” written into the Mission Statement, and every study designed to confirm it. The most recent example is an article published in The Guardian on 6 January 2013 by the accident-prone John Abraham and the paid propagandist Dana Nuccitelli, which repeats the “97%” claim over and over again, as though mere repetition will somehow make it true. Yet a detailed examination of the studies on which it is based fails to support the claim. Nuccitelli was a co-author of a paper, Quantifying the Consensus, published in the propaganda journalEnvironmental Research Letters in April 2013.
Nuccitelli adopts the IPCC’s definition of “scientific consensus”, that “human activity is the very likely causing most of the current Global Warming” (my emphasis). Yet in his analysis of 11,944 peer-reviewed papers he also adopts a much broader definition. In fact, he and his co-authors established seven or eight categories of endorsement of the consensus. But only the authors’ first category explicitly reflects the official consensus that humans are the primary cause of global warming.
In that category, the authors marked just 64 papers out of 11,944 as endorsing the official consensus. That’s not 97%. It’s just half of one per cent. The numbers are as follows: 1 Explicit: humans are the primary cause of global warming 64 2 Explicit endorsement without saying how much warming we cause 922 3 Implicit endorsement that perhaps we cause some warming 2910 4a No opinion on how much warming we cause, if any 7930 4b Uncertain about how much warming we cause, if any 40 5 Implicit rejection of the notion that we cause any warming 50 6 Explicit rejection without saying how much warming we do not cause 15 7 Explicit rejection, saying we do not cause any global warming at all 9 TOTAL 11,944 These figures are not surprising. Many scientific papers in the climate area deal with fairly arcane, detailed and specialist areas that may have little to say about the broader question of manmade global warming, and are therefore rather likely to fall into the “No Opinion” category of this analysis. Mr. Nuccitelli’s very broad definition of consensus includes anyone who agrees that human activity may have some effect on climate. But on that basis, surely everyone would agree with the “consensus”. Even I agree that human activity may have some effect on climate – I just believe that any such effect is trivial against the main drivers of climate, which are solar and astronomical cycles, attested by correlations over thousands of years. As Professor Fred Singer puts it, “Any signal from man-made CO2 is lost in the noise”. I am not entirely clear where Mr. Nuccitelli gets his 97% “consensus”. None of his numbers seems to add up to 97%. But the conclusions from these almost 12,000 papers is that the great majority (7930, or 66%) reach no conclusion at all on our contribution to global warming, and most of the rest are prepared to nod to the current orthodoxy, but don’t make a big deal of it. The fact is that most of the published peer-reviewed papers expressed no view at all. The “97% consensus” figure is an engineered piece of green propaganda, not a scientific consensus. Not that science is done by pusillanimous headcount anyway. The 97% figure reminds me of another well-worn but totally specious claim that “3½ million British jobs depend on British Membership of the EU”. This is another figure which has been absorbed into the media orthodoxy and is constantly repeated. Based on a flawed study more than ten years ago by NIESR, this interpretation was angrily rejected by their Chief Executive within 24 hours – yet it is still trotted out by Brussels apologists today. Sometimes falsehood seems indestructible. Besides, there has been less than 0.7 Cº global warming since 1950. Not exactly enough to bring the world to an end. And remember that the “official” definition of “consensus”, explicitly supported by only 0.5% of all 11,944 scientific papers on climate published since 1991, says no more than at least half of the global warming since 1950 was caused by us. On the basis of that IPCC definition, we may have caused little more than a third of a Celsius degree of warming since 1950. In central England, where we have been keeping a regional temperature record since 1659, a record which faithfully tracks global temperature change to the nearest hundredth of a degree over the past 120 years, there has been no global warming for 25 full calendar years. A quarter of a century. And have you heard that surely not uninteresting fact in any mainstream news medium? The answer, of course, is No. CO2 continues to rise at a record rate. But, for a quarter of a century, there has been not a flicker of temperature increase. It has not happened. So if anyone tries to tell you this year’s floods were caused by global warming, just show them this graph. “Consensus”? What “consensus”? “Global warming”? What “global warming”? I am indebted to Lord Monckton of Brenchley for this analysis. Find his much more detailed essayhere.
How we’ve all been betrayed by politicians, bureaucrats and bankers
The picture below features Dame Julia Slingo. She’s quite an important lady in all our lives. She’s the chief scientist at the Met Office. So she has huge influence over government policies regarding Global Warming or Climate Change or whatever it is called this week. Everything from ever-increasing green taxes, windfarms, solar farms, prematurely closing down perfectly good coal-fired power stations, subsidies for “green energy” which are forcing up our power bills and leading to energy-intensive industries closing down in Britain losing thousands of jobs – all this can be traced back to people like the lovely and obviously highly-qualified Dame Julia.
I imagine Professor Slingo must hope we have rather short memories. On 13th March 2012, Julia Slingo told MPs that the low winter rainfall this country was experiencing was caused by climate change. A newspaper reported: “Slingo told the MPs that there is “increasing evidence in the last few months of that depletion of ice, in particular in the Bering and Kara seas, can plausibly impact on our winter weather and lead to colder winters over northern Europe”. She added that more cold winters mean less water, and could exacerbate future droughts. “The replenishment of aquifers generally happens in winter and spring … a wet summer does not replenish aquifers. So we are concerned if we have a sequence of cold winters that could be much more damaging,” she told the committee. As an example of Dame Julia’s influence, the environment secretary, Caroline Spelman, warned farmers that drought might become the new normal for the UK because of climate change. Right. You all understand what Dame Julia is saying? Climate change is leading to drier winters. Now spool forward two years. Here’s a newspaper report from the last few days: “Speaking ahead of the release of a government report on Britain’s unusually stormy winter weather, the Met Office’s chief scientist, Dame Julia Slingo said on Sunday that the U.K. had seen the “most exceptional period of rainfall in 248 years” and called the extreme weather “consistent with climate change”. “All the evidence suggests there is a link to climate change,” she said. “There is no evidence to counter the basic premise that a warmer world will lead to more intense daily and hourly rain events.” Right. Got that? Now Dame Julia is saying that Global Warming will lead to wetter winters. Hummph. Oh and Dame Julia’s claim that this has been the wettest winter for 248 years is, I believe, wrong. From the post I did a few days ago – www.snouts-in-the-trough.com/archives/8475 – you’ll see that 1929/30 winter was wetter than this one. Naughty Dame Julia. Climate scientists must be the luckiest people alive because whatever the weather, whether it is rain or drought, sun or snow, calm or wind, it can all be attributed to man-made climate change. Or as one newspaper reader wrote “It is increasingly clear that climate change scientist is an oxymoron. No more scientific work gets done in the climate change department of a university than in the school of Druidic studies.” (Could somebody please show some support for this website and buy some copies of my book GREED UNLIMITED? You don’t have to read it. There are lots of things you could do with it – pile copies up and use them as flood defences, burn them to provide heat if your electricity is cut off, give them to people who annoy you to depress them……)
Wednesday 5 February 2014
Last night, I had a very long talk with an elected member of one of Somerset’s drainage boards, a man with a farm close to the centre of the floods, who has been serving on the drainage board for over 20 years, and who has intimate knowledge of local conditions. One reason for talking was to clear up the confusion as to whether dredging was stopped on the Somerset Levels when the Environment Agency took over, to which the answer is “yes” and “no”. Responsibility for dredging on the Levels is split between the Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs) and the EA, the former clearing the “ordinary watercourses” while the EA does the “main rivers” – those designated as such by Defra. According to my source, when Barbara Young took over as chief executive of the Agency in 2000, she stopped the routine dredging of the main rivers, although the IDBs continued their dredging programmes. Thus, some dredging was carried out right up until the current floods. What seems to have happened is that the deterioration was initially slow to manifest itself. But, once it set in, as the silt burden increases, flow is hampered slowing down the flow and increasing the silting, setting up a spiral of decline. Why Young was so keen to see this happen is illustrated by a piece in the Guardian in 1 February 2008, devoted to the celebration of wetlands. Wetlands have a problem, the piece said. Because they are usually in low-lying areas, and easily accessible, they are prime targets for development. By draining a wetland, and building homes, roads and factories, a nation may boost its economic performance; but this is almost always at the expense of biodiversity. Yet, we were told, it’s not all bad news. Uniquely, wetlands can be created – or recreated – much more quickly and easily than other vital habitats such as ancient woodlands, hedgerows or rainforest. Then came the “money quote” from Young, still chief executive of the Environment Agency. “Just add water!”, she said. Undisclosed, of course, was that Young was by then seeking to meet the requirements of the Habitats Directive, and the targets set under the EU’s Natura 2000 programme, as well as the requirements of the Floods Directive, which required the “restoration of floodplains”. In effect, allowing the Somerset Levels to flood was one of the quickest and cheapest (for the Environment Agency) ways of creating new “habitat” to satisfy EU demands. The naivety of the politicians on this, though, is wondrous to behold. Only a few days ago, we hadJohn Redwood observe of the BBC Today programme:
They should first have explored the issue of whether it is a deliberate policy of the Agency to allow large parts of the country to be flooded, as they seem to wish to restore old landscape prior to the draining of the land to create homes and farms for people. It appears from various EA statements that they do hanker after more wetlands and fewer farms and homes in certain areas.
That, of course, is the case. The flooding is the result of deliberate policy, mandated by EU law. These are “designer floods”, made to order. To justify them in its own terms, though, the EA has undergone some elaborate financial manipulation to demonstrate that reverting to “nature” is cost effective. To do so, it artificially inflates the cost of flood prevention maintenance, while downplaying the costs incurred through flooding. An example was given by my Drainage Board source. To dredge a 1.2-mile section of the Parrett, they got a quote of £7,500. For five miles dredging of the same river, the Environment Agency claims it will cost £4 million. By then assessing the economic cost of flooding agricultural land as zero, it is then very easy to show that flood prevention is not “cost effective”. Not least of the problems is the disposal of the dredged spoil. Under EU rules, it can be placed on the bank side but if it is double-handled – i.e., moved again – it becomes controlled waste and must be removed to landfill at a cost of £140 per cubic metre. To overcome this problem, the drainage board is very keen on using a suction dredger. Cutter-suction machines such as the one illustrated – with smaller versions available – are the perfect answer, as the spoil can be pumped some distance from the dredging site without falling foul of EU rules. From the EA’s own studies, we can now see that dredging would have bee highly effective in reducing the extent and duration of the floods, despite the previous assertions that it could not be justified on financial grounds. The trouble is that, until the water subsides, it is very difficult to get a dredger in to do the work. For Barbara Young to “just add water” was all too easy. Getting it back out again is another matter. COMMENT: “EU FLOODS” THREAD
Richard North 05/02/2014 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
Tuesday 4 February 2014
This is the man who famously praised the European Commission’s proposals to reduce greenhouse gases by 20 percent by 2020, declaring, “Surely, this is just the moment in history for which the European Union was created?” But it is that self-same European Union which has contributed to that “jolly good disaster” – a designer disaster, so to speak – intended to keep Charlie boy and his greenie friends happy. The trouble all along has been that the local Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs) have been far too busymassaging their Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPs), while the Critical Ordinary Watercourses (COWs), managed by the Environment Agency (EA) have been insufficiently cleared. Perhaps the IDBs should have fed their BAPs to the COWs, and let the EA go hungry. Testing the thesis we introduced yesterday, we see the most recent EA report casually telling us that the Somerset Levels and Moors are to be used “to store water or manage runoff in locations that provide overall flood risk reduction or environmental benefits”. The crucial phrasing here is the Levels being used “to store water”, and that is precisely what Charles was looking at today – stored water … another name for flooded fields. Following the timeline through, it is now very clear, from this statement dated 12 January 2004 (see page 22) that the flooding policy had yet to be determined. What needs further exploration though, is an apparent conflict. First, we have this document, which has the Somerset Drainage Consortium doing much of the maintenance work, but saying that across Somerset the drainage boards and the Environment Agency only maintain about 2 percent of the watercourses in the Somerset Levels and Moors, leaving the rest to riparian owners. Then, by way of comparison, we have this from last year, in which we hear tell of, a “government plan to allow landowners on the Somerset Levels to dredge rivers in a bid to avoid long-term flooding”. It would be wrong, however, to say that there is no maintenance. There is a substantial programme, but it is difficult to compare this with what went on before. The integration of wildlife and flood risk management, though, has undoubtedly had its effect, especially in the context of resources being withdrawn from flood prevention, in the context of theInstitute of Chartered Engineers and Defra (in 2001), making it clear that capital investment in flood defence infrastructure should increase by at least 100 percent. Merely by not doubling expenditure, therefore, was going to create problems. Diverting money to promote eco-floods was bound to make things worse, especially as by 2009 the government was still committed to “Making Space for Water” and delivering “the greatest environmental, social and economic benefit, consistent with the Government’s sustainable development principles”. Then, to cap it all, government flood defence grants, standing at £275 million in 2010-11, were to be reduced to £226 million in 2014-15. That leaves the loss-making Guardian to crow that Owen Paterson is not doing “everything possible” to help flood victims. At least, though, unlike Prinzgauer Charles’s mates, he is not doing “everything possible” to make the floods worse. COMMENT: “EU FLOODS” THREAD
Richard North 04/02/2014 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
Strictly for the birds
SPECTACULARLY POOR RETURNS
Newly released numbers from Germany, collected and analysed over several years, show what disappointed investors have long surmised: around half of wind parks are doing so poorly, investors will be lucky to get their initial investment back after the 20 years. Investments in renewable energy that were supposed to deliver annual returns of up to 20% have been averaging around 2.25%. German renewable energy firm Prokon is in fact insolvent, and fears are mounting that Merkel’s green energy promise will never be able to meet expectations. In courts around the country, complaints are mounting from wind park investors who haven’t received a dividend disbursement in years, or whose parks went belly up. While the results are predictable (poor generation levels and high maintenance costs have been a fact of wind-power for decades) they are a triumph for those observers who said Merkel must be mad to promise ditching nuclear in favour of Green. And they leave Britain’s massive investment in wind turbines looking very sick indeed. In Ireland too, wind power is a central plank of energy policy: but a rural revolt, with local protest groups uniting through social media, is out to stop it. The Green claim is that Ireland will export power to Britain, but here too experts ridicule the objective. Turbines up to 180m (590ft) tall – half the height of the Empire State Building – are cropping up as part of a drive to meet EU green energy targets and generate 40% of Ireland’s electricity from wind.
More than 100 opposition groups have sprung up against new wind farms – all in rural areas – claiming the turbines will ruin the landscape, with noise and shadows blighting homes nearby. But reality is, it seems, finally setting in: wind power simply isn’t commercially viable.
We’ve got so much of it in Britain thanks to the clueless environmentalism of Ed Miliband. Researchers in Scotland have found a way to burn our abundance of coal almost pollution free…but the Government has abandoned it. Owen Paterson is investing in even more offshore wind power – the worst commercial model of the lot. And whose targets are we trying to reach? Why, those of the EU. Naturally. Professional politicians these people might be, but in every other walk of life they are rank amateurs.
David Cameron’s warning to the EU about not standing in the way of British exploitation of shale gas is a direct copy of UKIP policy. The Prime Minister’s announcement in Davos clearly echoes the UKIP line put forward by Energy spokesman Roger Helmer on the morning of the UKIP Party conference and repeated ever since. Cameron has warned that the EU could prevent Britain from profiting from shale gas reserves by bringing in unnecessary regulations and also stated the economic and employment benefits that would extracting shale gas would bring. He also added that utilising a home grown energy resource is actually lower in emissions than importing gas. A UKIP spokesman said “It’s absolutely staggering. This is almost verbatim what Roger Helmer has been saying for months. It was interesting to read this morning yet another attempt by the Conservatives to simply lift UKIP policy and pass it off as their own. This is a clear example of the so-called Crosby strategy of aping your opponent in the hope of undermining them. “It just goes to show how much UKIP is steering UK politics from the wings when the Prime Minister reads out our policy to the World Economic Forum”
Responding to the European Commission’s decision to ditch its renewable energy targets after 2020 UKIP Energy Spokesman Roger Helmer MEP said: “I welcome this move by the European Commission to scrap these renewable energy targets. This is good news for consumers and industry who have been suffering soaring energy prices over recent years. “It is regrettable that they have come round to face the economic reality so late in the day. The realisation has finally dawned that the EU’s damaging green policies, which are driving up costs and undermining energy security, must change. “The mindless rush towards expensive renewable energy is making European industry uncompetitive in the global market and blighting the British land and seascapes with ugly inefficient wind turbines. “I agree with EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger when he says Europe can’t afford a unilateral climate policy and EU industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani who has said that energy prices in the EU threaten an industrial massacre. UKIP’s solution would place energy policy as the sole prerogative of the British parliament, and would see that policy radically changed. “The policies of successive UK governments are also to blame including most significantly Ed Miliband’s Climate Change Act. UKIP is committed to a policy of delivering secure affordable energy. We will do this by discontinuing renewable subsidies and focusing instead on reliable and proven energy sources while exploring the potential of tidal energy and shale gas.” ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
How we’ve all been betrayed by politicians, bureaucrats and banke
UKIP Energy Spokesman Roger Helmer says the Government has been ‘too slow’ in showing support, argues that local ‘frack tax’ reinvestment is insecure and gives a stark warning on EU involvement. “Well it’s good that at long last the Government has seen sense on this and come out in support of shale gas. It would boost the economy, bring us energy security, create jobs and perhaps even enable the UK to become an energy exporter. The benefits are too good to ignore. UKIP came out with the party’s policy on shale gas back in September last year. Once again it’s the Conservative Party desperately trying to ape UKIP policy. The fact that the Government has dragged its heals over this has enabled a storm cloud of doubt to loom large over fracking. It’s now going to take one hell of a PR campaign to get the general public back on side. “I am also rather confused as to how the distribution of local reinvestment would happen. Local councils may be tempted to write into budgets percentages from shale gas that may not even transpire. It seems that this has not been thought through. There is also the age old risk that all the financial benefits could be swallowed up by bureaucracy. “UKIP has a very clear position on this and has been talking about this for months. Just as Norway set up a Sovereign Wealth Fund for the profits of oil drilling, now worth half a trillion pounds, we believe that the profits from fracking in the UK should be channelled into a similar fund which would ensure financial security for future generations, and could be used flexibly for key policies such as care for the elderly. That fund would grow, and would make sure that in the light of future economic turmoil the UK has a cushion. We would know exactly where that money would go and be in a position to decide how it would be spent. “But we would also need to wrestle our fracking policy free from intervention from Brussels. UKIP believes that safety and proper regulation must be the number one priority, but the reams of legislation being drafted by the European Parliament on fracking will severely hamper UK development. The UK has the lion’s share of shale gas reserves and should have full control over how we treat those reserves in order to deliver the best possible outcomes for our country.”
The BBC is dragged into a row over its coverage of climate change after spending thousands of pounds trying to keep details of an “eco conference” attended by top… Read More
- Date: 12/01/14
- Graeme Paton, The Daily Telegrap
GREEN DREAM ON ICE AS ‘COAL FRENZY’ GRIPS EUROPE
- Date: 10/01/14
- Graham Lloyd, The Australian
It’s been a black Christmas for green thinkers as Germany, the world leader in rooftop solar and pride of the renewable energy revolution has confirmed its rapid return to coal. It all adds up to the renewable energy industry’s worst nightmare.
After scrapping nuclear power, Germany’s carbon dioxide emissions are back on the rise as the country clamours to reopen some of the dirtiest brown coalmines that have been closed since the reunification of east and west. China, meanwhile, last year approved new coal production of more than 100 million tonnes and has plans to add another 860 million tonnes by 2015. Even more sobering, according to the International Energy Agency, is the fact that in the next decade India will overtake China as the principal source of growth in global energy demand. In its medium-term coal outlook published last month the IEA said rising demand for coal was the “never-ending story”. In short, “coal once again exhibited the largest demand growth of all fossil fuels in 2012?, the IEA said. Despite rising demand, the world remains awash with coal, meaning in many places lower prices have pushed out gas, which is considered to be a cleaner source of energy. The figures confirm the green dream of weaning the world off fossil fuels remains far from reality. More significant for Australian policymakers currently facing hard decisions about what to do about renewable energy subsidies and the mandatory Renewable Energy Target is the story behind the headline figures. A structural transition has been under way in global energy markets for several years that has far-reaching social, economic and environmental ramifications. Countries such as Germany that have been most outspoken about climate change mitigation are reporting increasing carbon emissions and rising energy costs. The US – derided by environmental campaigners as too slow to respond to the climate change challenge – has reduced its carbon emissions significantly while simultaneously lowering energy prices, fuelling a much needed resurgence in manufacturing. The divergence has come about largely because while Europe has pushed headlong into renewables with generous public subsidies, the US has harnessed new technology to unlock vast resources of unconventional oil and gas. This meant in 2012 the US spent about one-third as much as the EU on renewable energy subsidies, $21 billion against $57bn, according to IEA figures. It all adds an ironic twist to the campaign mounted against the US by European nations for its refusal to sign up to the Kyoto Protocol to cut carbon dioxide emissions. The EU’s flagship climate response, its carbon trading market, has been embroiled in controversy, corruption allegations and a collapse in price. Meanwhile, technological innovation in fossil fuels has allowed the US to greatly reduce its carbon footprint, albeit with great environmental controversy over the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to unlock unconventional supplies. Against the backdrop of the global financial crisis, the divergence is even more stark. The significance of the energy market transition now under way was outlined by IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven when she released the organisation’s World Energy Outlook in November. She said an increased share of global exports of energy-intensive goods by the US was the “clearest indication of the link between relatively low energy prices and the industrial outlook”. “Conversely, the shares of the European Union and Japan both decline relative to current levels,” she said. For decision-makers trying to reconcile economic, energy and environmental objectives, Ms van der Hoeven said it was essential to be aware of the dynamics at the heart of today’s energy market. And the evidence is hard environmental bargaining to simultaneously force renewables into the marketplace while removing carbon-free nuclear has produced a serious problem for German and Japanese policymakers. German policymakers buckled in the face of public pressure following the Fukushima tsunami and nuclear plant disaster which has yet to be brought fully under control. Germany’s competitive position on energy has been further compromised by a Europe-wide reluctance to embrace unconventional gas. As a consequence, German carbon emissions are rising, energy costs are soaring, electricity consumers are revolting and industrial users are making the hard decisions to move production to less expensive locations – including the US. The past week has seen a media focus on Europe’s building “coal frenzy”. Germany will build 10 new power plants for hard coal, is opening new coalmines practically every month and, worryingly for climate change activists, is increasingly turning to lignite, the least efficient, most polluting form of coal. “From Germany to Poland and the Czech Republic, utilities are expanding open-pit mines that produce lignite,” Bloomberg reports. “Alarmed at power prices about to double US levels, policymakers are allowing the expansion of coalmines that were scaled back in the past two decades.” The IEA forecasts lignite demand worldwide will rise as much as 5.4 per cent by 2020. No one is suggesting it is the end of the road for renewables. In fact, the IEA forecasts the share of renewables in total power generation will rise from 20 per cent in 2011 to 31 per cent in 2035, as they supply nearly half of the growth in electricity generation. China is expected to see the biggest absolute increase in generation from renewable sources, more than the gains in the EU, US and Japan combined. But to reach the penetration forecast by the IEA, global subsidies will need to rise from $101bn in 2012 to $220bn in 2035. For renewables, the squeeze is both financial and technological. New battery technology for mass storage – the critical link for renewables – is improving. Nature magazine this week reported on a breakthrough in “flow technology” batteries that could use low-cost, readily available chemicals to store large amounts of electricity to back up renewables. But even with penalties for carbon dioxide emissions, the costs of storage are still many times those of baseload generation from coal. The scale of the “intermittency” problem for renewables – and the problem it presents for policymakers and energy consumers – was outlined in Die Welt, which reported that Germany’s wind and solar power production effectively stopped in early December. “More than 23,000 wind turbines stood still,” it said. “One million photovoltaic systems stopped work completely. “For a whole week, coal, nuclear and gas power plants had to generate an estimated 95 per cent of Germany’s electricity supply.” The doldrums are the flip side to the triumphant statements from renewable energy companies when production figures spike in times of favourable weather. This is a primary reason why political support for renewables is starting to wear thin. Indications are a Europe-wide squeeze is on, with the European Commission reportedly preparing to order an end to price subsidies for wind and solar by the end of the decade. According to Britain’s The Telegraph, the commission, which oversees the European single market, is preparing to argue that the onshore wind and solar power industries are mature and should be allowed to operate without support from taxpayers. Frustration is also increasing at the costly failure of several multi-billion-dollar offshore wind farm developments which had once been widely touted as the future of renewable power. Unfolding events in Europe and the US are of particular interest to Australian policymakers amid a review of climate and energy policies. Viewed against the tectonic shifts taking place globally, Australia sits on the cusp. Some powerful voices are arguing that Australia has squandered its longstanding natural advantage of low-cost energy – due to its abundant coal reserves – and is not doing enough to secure an achievable position of becoming an energy superpower of the future. The domestic industrial price of electricity is about 20c a kilowatt hour, more than double the cost in the US. Tony Abbott’s chief business adviser, Maurice Newman, has blamed misguided climate change policies in part for the downturn in domestic manufacturing. The Prime Minister has this week supported calls for a proper investigation into whether wind farms have health impacts on nearby residents. It all adds up to the renewable energy industry’s worst nightmare. Full story
The Hockey Stick is Broken
by Antony Nailor in Editorial
4 Comments ——————————————————————————————-
Now there’s more ice at South Pole than ever
with many thanks to “Watts up with that” (see our blogroll for more)
UPDATE: Perhaps the headline was premature, the latest SITREP from the rescue shipAurora Australis indicates they are having some trouble getting into open water. UPDATE2: It seems the cause of getting stuck was nothing more than dawdling while sightseeing. Since the Guardian reporters shown above probably won’t do anything but complain about beds and lack of milkshakes (that video has now been “disappeared”) while writing glowing reports about the “adventure” of it all, it will be left to others to ask the tough questions. Now that they are on their way to Casey Station in Antarctica, Andrew Boltstarts off with these questions. I have a few of my own.
- Who paid for this expedition?
- How did the expedition team come to include Turney’s wife and two young children?
- How serious was this scientific endeavor?
- Was the choice of ship wise, given it is not an icebreaker?
- How did the ship, in these days of satellite imaging, high quality weather forecasts and radar, come to get stuck in ice?
- How much did the rescue cost?
- Who pays for this rescue?
- Why have the ABC and Fairfax media, so keen at first to announce this expedition was to measure the extent and effects of global warming, since omitted that fact from their reports after the expedition became ice-bound?
- Why have all those reports – and the expedition leader himself – neglected to mention that sea ice around Antarctica has increased over the past three decades – and is greater than the ice cover Douglas Mawson found a century ago?
I have these questions:
- Who pays for the trip back to Australia once they get let off at Casey Station?
- How much damage has this fiasco done to real science expeditions in Antarctica, not only from a delayed logistics standpoint, but also from PR standpoint?
- Why did the stranded ship reach out for weather forecasts and data when they should have been equipped for this in the first place?
- Who will be responsible if the ship ends up being stuck in ice permanently or gets its hull crushed and sinks?
- What will be the duties and fate of the crew left behind?
- Who funded the ARGO ATV’s after Turney’s Indiegogo crowdsourcing campaign failed miserably? Do those people get a refund?
- Why would Turney book this ship when it has only the barest of ratings for sea ice?
8. Was Turney mislead about the intensity of the ice by his own beliefs that Antarctic sea ice was melting? 9. Did the sightseeing excursion to Mawson’s Huts on December 19th and again on Dec 23rd (apparently to Mertz Glacier, though their blog and “tracker” are unclear on this point) cause delays that caused the ship to be trapped in rapidly changing weather which closed the sea ice around them? 10. Apparently the crew of the Akademik Shokalskiy spoke next to zero English, did this communications barrier contribute to the situation? Was Turney warned that the weather and wind were changing while the second Mawson’s Huts sightseeing tour was in progress, and if he was were those warnings understood/heeded? 11. Why did the ship have a mix of tourists and media when it was pitched as a “scientific expedition”?
5 Nov: ABC Lateline: $1.5 million Australian expedition to Antarctica Professor Chris Turney from the University of NSW is mounting the largest Australian science expeditions to the Antarctic with an 85-person team to try to answer questions about how climate change in the frozen continent might be already shifting weather patterns in Australia.
Thursday 2 January 2014
With the BBC’s Andrew Luck-Baker describing his rescue from the ice-trapped Akademik Shokalskiy on a Chinese helicopter as “exhilarating”, we appear to be dealing with people who are actually too stupid to realise quite what danger they were in. And despite being trapped in their cruise boat, the “scientists” had continued their experiments, measuring temperature and salinity through cracks in the surrounding ice. One of the aims, we are told, “was to track how quickly the Antarctic’s sea ice was disappearing”. Had they been up to speed, of course, they could have read in October at the start of the summer, that they were in for a rough season. Tony Foy, on board the icebreaker Aurora Australis, then preparing for the first Antarctic voyage of the season, told a local radio station that the weather forecast was not good for the start of the journey and there was a lot of ice to get through. “We’re expecting thick sea ice on the way”, he said. “Microwave data we got last week shows the ice concentration this year is as high as it’s been since we started taking readings back in the late 70s. I think we can expect it to be pretty slow when we hit the ice edge”. And that, of course, was in an icebreaker – not a Russian ex-research boat, converted for adventure tourism, which is what this jolly was really all about. No sane person could think about setting off in cruise boat to track “disappearing ice”, when all the evidence is that it is increasing. In a more sensible world, these Muppets would have to pay for their rescues out of their own pockets, but then it is a feature of the modern world that the people who should, so very rarely pay for the consequences of their own folly. COMMENT: ICE THREAD
Richard North 02/01/2014
Following the ‘climatologist’ humiliation in Antarctica, the all too predictable and desperate alarmist response
It was only a matter of time. With the MV Akademik Schokalskiy stuck fast in the Antarctic sea ice that was supposed to have melted in line with so many computer model predictions, the humiliated laughing stock that comprises the climate alarmist community has predictably rushed out a story to distract attention from the fiasco, in their default propaganda outlet: Update: Katabasis, in the comments, points out that the source for the
distraction effort story is Professor Steven Sherwood of the University of New South Wales. As if by sheer coincidence, the ice locked expedition in Antarctica is being led by Professor Chris Turney… one of Sherwood’s team in the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales. Fancy that! It seems all this warming will not come in time to prevent the spectacle of BBC and Guardian journalists, ‘climatologists’ and an assortment of non climate academics – who believe themselves able to walk on water, and thanks to the cold conditions in the south have been reduced to doing just that to pass the time – being airlifted from the vessel while a stalled rescue operation continues. The desperation of the Guardian’s environment hacktivist, Damian Carrington, in rushing this scare story to the top of the Graun’s website while playing down the reality of colder than expected conditions in the southern seas and what this means for the alarmist predictions, is just too funny for words.