Thursday, November 23, 2017



That pesky Antarctic

A careful new reconstruction of the Antarctic climate record confirms much of what skeptics have been saying. They found evidence of a medieval warm period ("between 300 and 1000 CE") and the Little Ice Age ("1200 to 1900 CE") and show some recent warming as a rebound off the LIA.  They also show that the Antarctic peninsula -- the Warmist's favorite bit of Antarctica  -- is anomalous. I have often pointed to subsurface vulcanism as an influence on peninsula temperatures.  I have truncated the Abstract below at the point where they leave the facts and drift into speculation


Antarctic climate variability on regional and continental scales over the last 2000 years

Barbara Stenni plus Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all

Abstract

Climate trends in the Antarctic region remain poorly characterized, owing to the brevity and scarcity of direct climate observations and the large magnitude of interannual to decadal-scale climate variability. Here, within the framework of the PAGES Antarctica2k working group, we build an enlarged database of ice core water stable isotope records from Antarctica, consisting of 112 records. We produce both unweighted and weighted isotopic (? 18O) composites and temperature reconstructions since 0 CE, binned at 5- and 10-year resolution, for seven climatically distinct regions covering the Antarctic continent. Following earlier work of the Antarctica2k working group, we also produce composites and reconstructions for the broader regions of East Antarctica, West Antarctica and the whole continent. We use three methods for our temperature reconstructions: (i) a temperature scaling based on the ? 18O–temperature relationship output from an ECHAM5-wiso model simulation nudged to ERA-Interim atmospheric reanalyses from 1979 to 2013, and adjusted for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet region to borehole temperature data, (ii) a temperature scaling of the isotopic normalized anomalies to the variance of the regional reanalysis temperature and (iii) a composite-plus scaling approach used in a previous continent-scale reconstruction of Antarctic temperature since 1 CE but applied to the new Antarctic ice core database.

Our new reconstructions confirm a significant cooling trend from 0 to 1900 CE across all Antarctic regions where records extend back into the 1st millennium, with the exception of the Wilkes Land coast and Weddell Sea coast regions.

Within this long-term cooling trend from 0 to 1900 CE, we find that the warmest period occurs between 300 and 1000 CE, and the coldest interval occurs from 1200 to 1900 CE.

Since 1900 CE, significant warming trends are identified for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, the Dronning Maud Land coast and the Antarctic Peninsula regions, and these trends are robust across the distribution of records that contribute to the unweighted isotopic composites and also significant in the weighted temperature reconstructions.

Only for the Antarctic Peninsula is this most recent century-scale trend unusual in the context of natural variability over the last 2000 years.

SOURCE





EPA Spending $1.2 Million on ‘Environmental Justice’

Taxpayer-funded projects to focus on 'community capacity-building' and 'consensus building'

The Environmental Protection Agency is spending $1.2 million on "environmental justice."

The agency will award 10 grants to nonprofit organizations and religious groups, according to a grant announcement released earlier this month.

"EPA defines ‘environmental justice' as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies," the announcement states. "Fair treatment means that no one group of people, including racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic groups, should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, municipal, and commercial operations or the execution of federal, state, local, and tribal environmental programs and policies."

Grant opportunities are available to "environmental justice networks," "faith based organizations and those affiliated with religious institutions," and other nonprofit groups.

The EPA said it would give special consideration to grant proposals from rural areas.

Groups will have until February to apply. "The total estimated funding for this competitive opportunity is approximately $1,200,000," the EPA said, with plans to award 10 projects in different regions worth $120,000 each.

Under the Obama administration, the EPA spent $90,000 per year on an "Environmental Justice Academy."

The academy and the latest round of EPA environmental justice grants follow the EPA's "Collaborative Problem-Solving Model," a seven-step flow chart that urges communities to work together to "bring about positive change" for sustainability.

Steps in the "Collaborative Problem-Solving Model" include "community capacity-building," "consensus building," and "sound management."

Taxpayer-funded projects will go to underserved communities, which the EPA defines as a "community with environmental justice concerns and/or vulnerable populations, including minority, low income, rural, tribal, and indigenous populations that may be disproportionately impacted by environmental harms and risks and has a local environmental and/or public health issue that is identified in the applicant's proposal."

SOURCE




Badgering Badgers on Climate Change

The Cap Times in Madison, Wisconsin, recently ran an article titled “Climate change is here: Wisconsin is seeing earlier springs, later falls, less snow and more floods,” to which a Badger state resident called our attention.

It’s typical climate alarmist propaganda, and it bemoans what it considers the ignorance, or worse, of those who disagree:

“There are still people who refuse to see what the vast majority of scientists consider self-evident. The president has called climate change a Chinese hoax. The governor’s chief environmental agency, the Department of Natural Resources, has eliminated climate research, disbanded its science bureau and scrubbed all mention of climate change from its website. The agency’s communications director didn’t respond to a Cap Times request for an interview on the subject.”

“Badger State folks have a front-row seat to the effects of global warming,” the article continues. It then discusses rising temperatures and predictions of “earlier springs, later falls, less snow, less lake ice, more floods, more drought, more algae” as well as “more heat.”

The article begins by referring to a map taken from a U.S. Department of Agriculture report on “plant hardiness” for the state: “The new map marked a sea change. … The new map extended the state’s warmest zone — with temperatures bottoming out at minus 10 to minus 15 degrees — from two small pockets clinging to the Lake Michigan coast near Manitowoc and Milwaukee to a swath that runs from the Illinois border up the coast to the tip of Door County.

Madison, which used to be the westernmost point of the next warmest zone — with coldest temperatures bottoming out at minus 20 to minus 15 degrees — is now squarely in the middle. The coldest zone — minus 35 to minus 40 degrees — has fallen completely off of the map.”

Although in an agricultural state, you’d think this would be celebrated as great news, the article treats this news as catastrophe coming ‘round the corner.

Well, what’s to be said? How do we respond?

The first and most important point to make about that article is simply that it uses a sleight of hand typical of many climate alarmists. It speaks of “climate change” with the tacit assumption that it’s primarily human-induced. But changes in temperature — upward and downward — have happened throughout Earth’s history, long before any human activity could conceivably have contributed anything significant to them.

The second is that it considers only a relatively short period in Wisconsin’s climate history. Had it gone back, via proxy measures, to the Medieval Warm Period, the Roman Warm Period, the Minoan Warm Period, or especially the Holocene Climate Optimum, it would have found Wisconsin’s climate equally warm or warmer.

A third failure in the article is to focus on negative consequences of Wisconsin’s warming while ignoring positive consequences. Earlier annual thaw and later annual freeze mean longer growing seasons; fewer cold snaps mean fewer temperature-related deaths (because cold snaps kill 10 times as many per day as heat waves); and increasing precipitation raises crop yields.

Those are fairly broad problems with the article. Now for a few more technical, narrower matters.

“One of the many findings was the 1.1-degree statewide temperature increase between 1950 and 2006,” the article reports. “Scientists expect the average statewide temperature to rise by another 6 or 7 degrees by mid-century, and possibly as much as 9 degrees. Even discounting the worst-case scenario, that’s an acceleration over the increase between 1950 and 2006 by a factor of about eight.”

The rate of rise reported for 1950–2006 was 0.196 degrees per decade. To rise by 6 degrees by mid-century would require a decadal rate of 1.875 degrees ([6/32]*10), which is not eight but nine times the prior rate — and that’s just for the lowest number they present. So their math is a little off. For the highest, 9 degrees by mid-century, the decadal rate would have to be 2.8125 degrees, which is 14.35 times the prior rate.

But the really crucial question is, what basis have they for projecting that the rate of rise will increase by a factor of 9 to 14.35 times? Well, granted that we’re talking about the future, the only possible basis is computer modeling. Two problems then arise.

First, the computer global climate models have consistently predicted two to three times as much warming as actually observed, so it would make sense to adjust their projections of future warming downward by one-half to two-thirds, i.e., from “6 or 7 degrees by mid-century, and possibly as much as 9 degrees,” to “2 or 3, or 2.33 or 3.5 degrees by mid-century, and possibly as much as 3 to 4.5 degrees.”

Those would still indicate an increase in the decadal rate by a factor of 3.19 to 6.78 times instead of 9 to 14.35 times. What could justify the prediction of such an increase in the rate? Again, we’re left with only the computer models.

But, as the comparison between observed and predicted warming rates shows, the models haven’t been validated (a charitable way of putting it), and another important difference between predictions and observations pushes us hard toward the conclusion that the models are invalidated. What’s that?

It’s the fact that none of the models predicted the complete absence of statistically significant increase in global average temperature from early 1997 to late 2015, a period of roughly 18 years and nine months and typically called simply “the pause,” while various modelers had said in the late 2000s and early 2010s that a period of no statistically significant warming lasting eight or more years couldn’t be reconciled with the models.

Even more important, the computer models’ predictions, inflated as they have been, and as wrong as they were about the pause, predict that warming (two to three times observed) to be driven 100% by human activity, none at all by natural. But there are two problems with that assumption.

The first is that the fact of past warming in the absence of the alleged human causes demonstrates that we can’t be sure a priori that human activity drove all the observed warming.

The second is that recent research by John Christy, Joseph D'Aleo, and James Wallace finds that if you control for solar, volcanic, and ocean current (especially El Niño/La Niña Southern Oscillation), no warming is left to blame on human activity.

The article also assumes that the warming predicted will be harmful to people — e.g., in the discussion of heart waves. But, as I pointed out above, cold snaps kill 10 times as many people per day as heat waves, which implies that with warming you’ll get a reduction in temperature-related deaths. Further, simply looking at migration patterns for temperature-sensitive people — primarily the aged — tells you they recognize that they’re healthier in warmer than in colder climates. They move closer to the equator, not farther from it.

In short, insofar as the article, and the research on which it’s based, is intended to persuade people that we should “do something” to prevent the feared warming, and insofar as we can only “do something” about the human causes of it, not about natural causes, both the article and the research paper commit the post hoc fallacy. Seeing that some warming has occurred, and predicting that more warming will occur, they jump to the conclusion that it must be caused by human activity. But there are other possible causes, they can’t be ruled out, and the Christy-D'Aleo-Wallace research makes it quite likely that natural causes far outweigh human causes.

SOURCE





Keystone XL pipeline gets Nebraska’s approval, clearing a key hurdle in 9-year effort and allowing Trump to claim a win

TransCanada’s $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline got the go-ahead from the Nebraska Public Service Commission on Monday, clearing the last regulatory hurdle in a nine-year effort to build a line to carry thick crude oil from Alberta’s tar sands region to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.

But the five-member commission rejected TransCanada’s preferred route and voted to approve an alternative plan that would move the pipeline further east. The route of the new pipeline, which would carry 830,000 barrels a day of crude, would circumvent more of the state’s ecologically delicate Sandhills region.

The commission’s decision to back an alternative route could complicate TransCanada’s plans, forcing the pipeline company to arrange easements from different landowners. In its submissions, TransCanada had portrayed the alternative route as unworkable. Further litigation is likely.

“As a result of today’s decision, we will conduct a careful review of the Public Service Commission’s ruling while assessing how the decision would impact the cost and schedule of the project,” Russ Girling, TransCanada’s chief executive, said in a statement.

But the commission’s decision could still enable President Trump to claim a victory on a campaign issue. Trump revived the project with an executive order during his first week in office and later gave it the required federal approvals.

In 2012, President Barack Obama approved the construction of the southern leg of the original Keystone XL pipeline proposal; it ran from Cushing, Okla., to Port Arthur, Tex. But in late 2015, he turned down TransCanada’s application to build a pipeline through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, citing climate concerns and Nebraska’s ecological concerns.

The 3-2 commission decision comes just four days after a rupture in the existing Keystone pipeline also owned by TransCanada leaked an estimated 5,000 barrels of crude oil in a rural part of northeast South Dakota. The spill, the latest in a series of leaks on the existing pipeline, raised concerns about other potential spills, economic impact and climate change.

The independent commission had come under pressure from the Nebraska state legislature and labor unions to approve the pipeline while environmental groups and prairie populists have vowed to appeal, if necessary, to the courts and follow that up with civil disobedience.

The commissioners who voted for the pipeline permit included Frank E. Landis Jr., a lawyer first elected in 1988; Rod Johnson, a former Republican state legislator; and Tim Schram, a former county commissioner. The pipeline was opposed by newly elected Mary Ridder, a cattle rancher from the Sandhills region, and Crystal Rhoades, who has worked with a variety of community organizations before becoming a commissioner.

While the approved alternative route would largely avoid the Sandhills, it would still cross small shallow parts of the Ogallala aquifer, the main source of drinking and irrigation water in Nebraska and much of the Great Plains.

In her dissent, Rhoades said she opposed the pipeline regardless of the route. She said that the pipeline was not in the state’s public interest, that jobs would not go to Nebraskans, that it would create “significant burdens” on landowners whose use of the pipeline corridor would be limited, and that she was still worried about the environmental impact.

“All human-made infrastructure degrades and fails over time,” she wrote. “No infrastructure ever designed has lasted for eternity and there is no reason to believe this pipeline will be an exception.” Rhoades acknowledged that the commission was not supposed to weigh the risks of spills, but she said the state’s Department of Environmental Quality had included it in the record.

While TransCanada has promoted the pipeline project as a jobs creator, Rhoades said that “there was no evidence provided that any jobs created by the construction of this project would be given to Nebraska residents.”

She also said that TransCanada had failed to consult Nebraska’s Native American tribes. She noted that the company said it had consulted with the Southern Ponca Tribe, but Rhoades said that resides in Oklahoma. “This is the equivalent of asking a distant relative for permission to do a major construction in your backyard,” she wrote.

The impetus for the controversial pipeline has been to provide transportation for the thick bitumen produced in Alberta to the Gulf Coast. Many oil sands producers currently ship crude by railroad, which is not immune from accidents. Pipeline transportation is also cheaper than rail.

“Nebraska’s decision today greatly diminishes the political risk for the project, likely clearing the way for increased volumes of West Canadian heavy crude to reach the Gulf Coast,” Zachary Rogers, refining and oil markets research analyst at Wood Mackenzie, said in an email.

The Association of Oil Pipe Lines hailed the decision, saying that sales of construction equipment in Nebraska would generate $16.5 million in tax revenue for state government. In its first full year of operation, the Keystone XL would generate $11.8 million in additional property taxes for counties in the state of Nebraska, the group said.

But critics said that the property where the pipeline would cross would lose value. And climate change activists are trying to block increased output in the oil sands region, where high amounts of energy are needed to extract the oil.

David Domina, who represented landowners before the commission, called the commission’s decision a victory. “TransCanada had the burden of proof and its proof failed,” his firm said in a statement. The firm said that any party could appeal the PSC order within 30 days. The Court of Appeals would then review the matter without a jury and using only the record created during the PSC hearings.

Rhoades said the new route would create new problems because there are an estimate 40 landowners along who did not know they lie along the new pipeline path.

The Sierra Club also greeted the commission’s decision as a partial victory. It said in a statement that during its testimony in the PSC’s public hearings, TransCanada had “argued that building along an alternative route would be unworkable, and will now need additional easements if the company tries to proceed with the project.”

The Sierra Club added that it would oppose the pipeline along any route because “the pipeline would transport dirty, climate-polluting tar sands through Nebraska to the Gulf Coast for export, threatening land, water, and communities along the way.”

“It is a huge victory for us today,” Jane Kleeb, longtime foe of the pipeline and now head of the Nebraska Democratic Party, said in an email. She said “it opens all sorts of legal challenges.”

SOURCE





Legal battle in Australia: James Cook Univer­sity trying to muzzle critic of coral reef alarmism

Outspoken James Cook Univer­sity professor Peter Ridd has taken Federal Court action claiming conflict of interest, apprehended bias and actual bias against vice-chancellor Sandra Harding.

Professor Ridd wants JCU to drop a misconduct investigation launched following his interview with Alan Jones on Sky News on August 1 in which he criticised the quality of Great Barrier Reef science.

In the interview, he said research findings by major institutions could not be trusted. “We can no longer trust the scientific organisations like the Australian Institute of Marine Science, even things like the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.

“The science is coming out not properly checked, tested or replicated, and this is a great shame.”

JCU responded in late August by launching a formal investigation for misconduct which could result in Professor Ridd’s employment being terminated.

Professor Ridd engaged legal counsel, with new accusations being made by JCU and Federal Court action being lodged by him.

JCU has said Professor Ridd’s comments were “not in the collegial and academic spirit of the search for knowledge, understanding and truth”. It said his comments had denigrated AIMS and the ARC Centre and were “not respectful and courteous”.

In letters lodged with the court, JCU said Professor Ridd’s comments could damage the reputation of AIMS and the university’s relationship with it.

In a letter to JCU on September 7, Professor Ridd’s legal team, ­Mahoneys, called on JCU to drop the case. They said the university suffered a conflict of interest in its investigation.

“The vice-chancellor is a council member (akin to a director) of the Australian Institute of Marine Science,” Mahoneys said. “The vice-chancellor is in a position of conflict between her duties and ­office to the AIMS and to bringing an impartial mind to a decision on the allegations (against Professor Ridd).”

JCU responded on September 19 that it was “not satisfied that there has been no serious misconduct or that the allegations are unsubstantiated”. It said Professor Ridd “must not disclose or discuss these matters with the media or in any other public forum”.

Mahoneys responded on September 27, repeating concerns about conflict of interest: “There are only two conclusions our ­client can reach as to why the complaint is continuing to be prosecuted: incompetence or act­ual bias, neither of which is satisfactory or tolerable to our client.”

JCU then engaged law firm Clayton Utz, which on October 6 wrote to Mahoneys to say: “The matters you have raised are not matters that prevent JCU from ­addressing your client’s conduct and JCU’s expectations of your client as a JCU employee.”

Mahoneys responded on ­October 13 that the Utz response was “evasive and inadequate”.

On October 17, Clayton Utz wrote “further allegations and concerns” had been raised against Professor Ridd. “These matters ­related to allegations of similar conduct and/or a pattern of insubordination and denigration of the university,” Clayton Utz wrote. It rejected the allegation of bias, ­apprehended bias, or inability of the officers of the university to ­address Professor Ridd’s conduct.

JCU again wrote to Professor Ridd on October 23 highlighting comments made to Jones. In the Jones interview, Professor Ridd said: “I think that most of the scientists who are pushing out this stuff — they genuinely believe that there are problems with the reef; I just don’t think they’re very objective about the science they do, I think they’re emotionally ­attached to their subject.” In its letter, JCU said it “is not satisfied that the principles of academic freedom excuse or justify your comments”.

The university said it did not accept a conflict of interest or apprehended bias existed.

On November 7, Mahoneys said “new evidence” was “entirely separate”. “The revised offending conduct cannot reasonably have had any effect on the relationship of trust and confidence between employer and employee, that is, of course, unless the employer was hypersensitive in the extreme and determined to find slight in every action,” Mahoneys responded.

Professor Ridd said in correspondence to The Australian he hoped the court action would “draw attention to the quality ­assurance problems in science and the obligation of universities in general to genuinely foster debate, argument and the clash of ideas”.

“I think it is right to challenge our science institutions about whether their work is reliable and trustworthy,” he said.

A JCU spokesman said “it is not appropriate to comment on confidential matters’’.

SOURCE

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017



An amazingly silly attempt to erase the "pause"

They recalculated Arctic temperatures from readings off buoys floating in the Arctic ocean.  You are apparently supposed to assume that those temperatures are the product of anthropogenic global warming.  But the Arctic is known for vulcanism --  at the Gakkel ridge and elsewhere -- so basing the new data on instruments afloat in the Arctic ocean tells us nothing. The high temperatures were almost certainly caused by all the undersea volcanoes warming the Arctic ocean, not by anthropogenic global warming. The causes of the warming were irretrievably muddled.

And here's the amazing bit.  Their own findings showed that the elevated Arctic temperatures were not part of anthropogenic global warming.  They found that the Arctic was warming at five times the rate in the rest of the world.  Their own data showed that they were studying something NON-global!  Warmism produces some quite crippled thinking


An apparent pause in global warming that spawned a decade-long controversy never took place, according to new data.

Between 1998 and 2012, the world is thought to have experienced a slower rise in temperatures.

This 'pause' has been cited by climate skeptics as a sign that the climate is less sensitive to greenhouse gases than previously thought. But new research suggests the so-called global warming hiatus was the result of missing data from the Arctic, not a real downturn.

And the more accurate data actually shows that the Arctic region is warming up five times quicker than the rest of the world.

A University of Alaska Fairbanks professor and his colleagues in China constructed the first data set of surface temperatures from across the world that significantly improves representation of the Arctic during the 'global warming hiatus.'

They analysed temperature data collected from buoys drifting in the Arctic Ocean.

Professor Xiangdong Zhang, an atmospheric scientist with UAF's International Arctic Research Centre, said: ' 'We recalculated the average global temperatures from 1998-2012 and found that the rate of global warming had continued to rise at 0.112C per decade instead of slowing down to 0.05C per decade as previously thought.

'We estimated a new rate of Arctic warming at 0.659 C per decade from 1998-2014.

'Compared with the newly estimated global warming rate of 0.130 C per decade, the Arctic has warmed more than five time the global average.

'The new data set and resulting estimates show conclusively that global warming did not take a break.

The global average temperature has risen only slightly since 1998 – which is surprising, considering scientific climate models predicted considerable warming due to rising greenhouse gas emissions.

Some people used this apparent contradiction to question climate change per se – or at least the harm potential caused by greenhouse gases – as well as the validity of the climate models.

Meanwhile, the majority of climate researchers continued to emphasise that the short-term 'warming hiatus' could largely be explained on the basis of current scientific understanding and did not contradict longer term warming.

The latest study recalculated the average global temperatures from 1998-2012 and found that the rate of global warming had continued to rise at 0.112C per decade instead of slowing down to 0.05C per decade as previously thought.

'It was missing Arctic temperature data, not Mother Nature, created the seeming slowdown of global warming from 1998 to 2012.'

The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change incorporated new methods of working the Arctic temperature data into global temperature data so that they could better estimate the average temperatures.

Most current estimates use global data that tend to represent a long time span and provide good coverage of a global geographic area. But the remote Arctic lacks a robust network of instruments to collect temperature data.

So the team relied on temperature data collected from the International Arctic Buoy Program at the University of Washington and for global data, the team used newly corrected sea surface temperatures from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

This led to them rejecting the idea of a 'global warming hiatus' by reestimating the average global temperatures during that time period with more accurate and representative data.

The Earth's average global temperatures have been rising over the past century and accelerating as more human produced carbon dioxide enters and lingers in the atmosphere, which is why the idea of 'global warming hiatus' seemed baffling.

Some scientists theorised that an unusually warm El Niño in the years 1997-1998 and an extended period afterwards without occurrence of El Nino in the tropical Pacific Ocean may have disrupted the rate of global warming.

It also highlights the importance of considering the Arctic when thinking about climate change.

Until recently many scientists didn't consider the Arctic big enough to greatly influence the average global temperatures.

Prof Zhang added: 'The Arctic is remote only in terms of physical distance.

'In terms of science, it's close to every one of us. It's a necessary part of the equation and the answer affects us all.'

SOURCE





The green civil war: A lawsuit reveals a bitter split over renewable energy

One hopes the lawsuit proceeds.  It will draw judicial and probably public attention to crooked Greenie "science" -- JR

Matt Ridley

You can always tell when there is a United Nations Climate Conference of the Parties (COP) coming up, because there are any number of carefully timed press releases about how hot it has been or is going to get in the future. The media has been snowed under with such things for a while now, and sure enough, this week sees the gathering in Bonn of the usual circus of thousands of diplomats, bureaucrats, quangocrats, envirocrats and twittercrats.

Sceptics and lukewarmers are not welcome, despite the falling poll numbers for alarmism: in Britain public “concern” over climate change has dropped steadily from 82% in 2005 to 60% today – which is in line with the scientific evidence that warming is proving slower and less harmful than the models predicted. As Professor Myles Allen of Oxford University said in September “We haven’t seen that rapid acceleration in warming after 2000 that we see in the models. We haven’t seen that in the observations.” It’s nice to have that confirmed authoritatively, but of course the public has known the truth for some time.

Meanwhile, NASA says the globe has 14% more green vegetation than 33 years ago, largely because of extra carbon dioxide in the air, which makes plants grow faster and use less water doing so, in all ecosystems from the arctic to the tropics.

Germany is an inappropriate, even embarrassing, place for the climate circus to meet. Its “Energiewende” is probably the most expensive, ambitious and comprehensive carbon-reduction policy in the world, for the size of the country. But it has been a pretty big disaster, in its own terms (emissions remain stubbornly high), as well as economically and ecologically. It is the main sticking point in the talks between political parties to form a new “Jamaica” coalition, with the Green party trying to take the “coal” out of coalition and the Free Democrats trying to keep it in.

The German countryside is now pockmarked with 28,000 wind turbines, rashes of solar farms and lashings of anaerobic digesters making gas out of maize crops. Renewables are now providing more than a third of Germany’s electricity, which sounds like a green triumph. But the cost is enormous. The cost of subsidising all this so far is about €190 billion, and is heading for 500 billion euros in total by 2025

In spite of that, the impact on emissions has been small, even if you count biogas as low-carbon (which it is not). This is because to back up and balance the renewables, while killing off nuclear (to appease greens scared by Fukushima), the country is unable to reduce and has actually had had to expand its coal-burning sector. It has built 10 gigawatts of coal-burning power stations in the past five years. Last year Germany’s carbon dioxide emissions actually rose.

Meanwhile, the renewables are causing an environmental disaster as well as an economic one. The wind farms kill thousands of rare birds of prey every year, the biogas plants cause run-off and soil erosion, while the solar farms industrialise and denature the land. Many soi-disant ‘environmentalists’ are shamefully silent. “If dead eagles and kites were found next to chemicals plants or nuclear power stations, the public reaction would be fierce and furious,” says Michael Miersch of the German Wildlife Foundation.

As this quotation illustrates, the green movement is fracturing. Half of it is becoming ever more shrill in favour of the renewable-energy industry, a crony-capitalist business that takes money disproportionately from the poor (through poorly controlled levies on consumers) and gives it disproportionately to the rich through rents and dividends. (To declare an interest, my family business does receive money for one wind turbine, which we give away, but has turned down many more offers; we also get money from unsubsidised coal mining.)

Thus adverts have been appearing all over London recently boasting, unconvincingly, about the halving cost of wind power, though not offering to give up the subsidy addiction. They bear the logos of wind companies and big green multinationals like Greenpeace and WWF. Big Green is increasingly behaving like the PR arm of Big Wind.

Other greens and climate scientists, however, have lost faith in renewables, arguing that they have diverted funds from more worthwhile projects and have effectively killed nuclear power in some parts of the world – because nuclear cannot economically be turned on and off to match the intermittent nature of wind output. Globally, wind power produced just 0.7% of total energy use (including transport and heat) last year, showing how minuscule its contribution to decarbonisation is, even after decades of subsidy.

These two tribes – the ones who argue that only nuclear can deliver carbon-free energy on a sufficient scale to make a difference versus the ones who are wedded to a renewable future, whatever the cost – have now fallen out badly inside the scientific establishment. A paper by Stanford University professor Mark Jacobson and colleagues published in December 2015 argued that the continental United States could meet virtually 100% of its energy needs using wind, water and solar power alone by 2050.

A rebuttal paper, published in the same journal (the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) in June this year by Christopher Clack and 20 colleagues from various universities and companies argued that Jacobson had made absurd assumptions to reach his conclusion. For instance America would have to increase its hydro-electric capacity by an implausible amount to back up intermittent wind and solar. This would be unfeasible physically, let alone environmentally – dams are not good for wildlife.

Dr Clack’s paper argues that Dr Jacobson’s paper “contains modeling errors; incorrect, implausible, and/or inadequately supported assumptions; and the application of methods inappropriate to the task. In short, the analysis performed in [it] does not support the claim that such a system would perform at reasonable cost and provide reliable power.”

To the astonishment of the entire world of science, Dr Jacobson has responded by suing the journal and Dr Clack and his colleagues for defamation, demanding $10 million in damages. Jacobson argues that the Clack paper contains “materially misleading errors” and the decision to publish it “has had grave ramifications” for his reputation and career.

The history of science is full of feuds, often bitter ones, going back to Isaac Newton’s vendetta against Gottfried Leibniz and beyond. But that is how science works – through disagreement followed by discussion. Not by taking your enemy to court. “Using court to resolve sci issues? Generally a bad idea” tweeted Gavin Schmidt of NASA – who has none the less defended a similar law suit by the climate scientist Michael Mann against the journalist Mark Steyn. “Enormously chilling for academic discourse. Would I ever write a paper challenging Jacobson’s analyses, even if they’re wrong? No way” tweeted Professor Roger Pielke of Colorado University in Boulder.

Reality is slowly dawning on at least some of the climatocrats meeting in Bonn, that their success in scaring the world as to future global warming has enabled an eruption of profitable capitalism to occur under the disguise of saving the planet. The economist Bruce Yandle has a phrase for this phenomenon, whereby pious preaching goes along with pure profiteering: “Bootleggers and Baptists”. During Prohibition in the 1920s, an unholy alliance developed between Baptist preachers and the lucrative bootlegging industry, both of which favoured a ban on alcohol, one through misguided principle, the other because they cynically saw a way of increasing the price of their product and gouging the consumer. After little more than a decade Prohibition collapsed under the weight of its own hypocritical contradictions. Will Green Prohibition go the same way? It certainly deserves to.

SOURCE




Canada’s Climate Action Plans: Are They Cost-effective?

Four provinces in Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec) have promulgated “action plans” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These plans have several broad components. There is a carbon pricing component; there are assortments of energy efficiency programs; there is a “renewable energy” component; and most of the plans have vehicle electrification components (or such programs have been enacted separately from the climate action plans).

For example, Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan consists of five key elements: a coal-power phase-out by 2030, a tripling of renewable energy generation to reach 30 percent of generation by 2030, reducing emissions from the oil and gas sector, creating Energy Efficiency Alberta to deliver cost-saving programs, and implementing an economy-wide price on carbon.

Ontario’s climate action plan contains similar efforts, including a “Green Bank” to fund efficiency programs, increasing vehicle electrification, running education programs for homeowners seeking more efficient buildings, and, of course, supporting their “carbon market” which unlike Alberta is a cap-and-trade carbon emission trading system.

Quebec and British Columbia have similar programs. But a review of literature as well as an examination of how carbon pricing is being implemented in Canada suggests that the money of Canadians will not be well spent on these carbon action plans.

An examination of Canada’s various carbon pricing programs reveals a history of flawed implementation that undermines the utility and efficiency of carbon pricing. Rather than obeying fundamental economic principles of true revenue neutrality, regulatory displacement, and allowing markets to find lower cost ways to reduce carbon, Canada’s carbon taxes are piled on top of regulations, are not revenue neutral, and subvert the functioning of energy markets by mandating particular technologies such as wind and solar power, and electric vehicles.

With regard to efficiency programs, studies from the US and abroad suggest that home efficiency programs often underperform, proving less effective than predicted at reducing energy use, and coming in at a cost far in excess of what was originally planned. In some cases, this inverts the cost-benefit analyses used to justify the programs.

Vehicle electrification is the newest intervention into energy markets and consumer behavior. Ontario, for example, offers up to $14,000 worth of subsidies for buying an electric car, waives HST on the purchase, and throws in “free energy” for overnight charging. BC is a bit less generous, with only $6,000 subsidies for the electric cars, but is another with more lucre on tap if you install a charging station. But the laboratory of electrification has to be California, which has pushed vehicle electrification for more than 20 years. California’s experience is telling. As Los Angeles Times reporter Russ Mitchell points out, “[o]ver seven years, the state of California has spent $449 million on consumer rebates to boost sales of zero-emission vehicles. So far, the subsidies haven’t moved the needle much. In 2016, of the just over 2 million cars sold in the state, only 75,000 were pure-electric and plug-in hybrid cars. To date, out of 26 million cars and light trucks registered in California, just 315,000 are electric or plug-in hybrids.” And the cost of GHG reductions for this program? Researchers have estimated that Ontario’s spending on electric cars reduces greenhouse gases at a cost of $523/tonne, while Quebec’s price of avoided emissions comes in at $288/tonne.

Finally, all of Canada’s climate action plans feature the expansion of renewable energy. But Canada’s own experience with that in Ontario has been nothing short of disastrous. Ontario’s renewable expansion has come at a stunningly high cost, with electricity prices in Ontario having risen by 71 percent from 2008 to 2016, over twice the average growth in electricity prices elsewhere in Canada. From 2008 to 2015, electricity prices also increased two-and-a-half times faster than household disposable income in Ontario. The growth in electricity prices was almost four times greater than inflation and over four-and-a-half times the growth of Ontario’s economy (real GDP).

Canada’s climate action plans include carbon pricing, but also rely heavily on regulatory interventions that undermine its efficiency properties, such as expanding renewable sources, energy efficiency measures, and vehicle electrification. There is little reason to believe that money will be well spent on these efforts. Every jurisdiction in Canada with a carbon pricing program has violated the fundamental economics of such programs in ways that will greatly inflate their costs and impair their effectiveness. Evidence from the economic literature suggests that the energy efficiency programs proposed by the various provincial climate plans are likely to cost more than projected and deliver fewer savings than promised. Electric vehicle subsidies are likely to hit Canadians in the pocketbooks, producing at best small quantities of greenhouse gas emission reductions at exorbitant costs.

Canadian governments have aggressively, and with little up-front analysis, rolled out climate action plans that are going to cost a great deal of money, but, most likely, will yield very little return in terms of environmental benefits. Governments would be well advised to slow or temporarily halt their climate action program implementation, and give the public solid analysis of their proposed programs’ economic costs and benefits.

SOURCE




GREENIE ROUNDUP FROM AUSTRALIA

Four current articles below

Green voters are snobs, says Labor Party survey

About 70 per cent of Greens voters in inner Melbourne are rich, dislike unions and think suburban people are backwards, ­racist and bigoted, Labor has concluded based on its own research.

A six-month survey of Melbourne Greens voters has encouraged the Victorian Labor Party to give up on campaigning to most of them, arguing they do not share Labor values and are closer to the Liberals.

Labor has dubbed them “Teal Greens”, with teal being a colour blend of green and blue. The party has decided to target the 30 per cent “Red Greens” in Melbourne’s inner city who are typically university students or Millennials starting their careers.

“Red Greens” are usually renters who are more likely to come from Labor families, while “Teal Greens” own expensive inner-city homes and have parents who vote Liberal.

The qualitative research surveyed more than 50 Greens voters in inner suburbs such as Fitzroy, Brunswick and Clifton Hill, from January to June this year. Party sources said the findings showed the biggest concern of many Greens voters was the ­notion of living in the outer suburbs that contributed to their ­interest in local planning laws.

“Teal Greens” are usually highly paid professionals in two-wage households, are aged in their 30s and 40s and “look down on” ­people in suburbs, thinking they hold Australia back from being “tolerant” and “just”.

After the Greens’ victory in the state seat of Northcote at the weekend, Labor faces a fight to hold inner-Melbourne federal seats such as Batman, Wills and Melbourne Ports. Labor thinks the broader boundaries of the electorates will help it retain the seats as they encompass modest suburbs as well as affluent inner-city ones.

Victorian senator Kim Carr said: “The blue Greens are really the hardcore Liberal types in their attitudes, the red Greens are more sympathetic to our message. There is the homeowners and the renters big divide.

“The homeowners talk about their sense of privilege and their sense of entitlement, their wealth is the natural order of things ­rather than good fortune.”

Senator Carr, the federal ­opposition industry spokesman, said many “blue Greens” migrated into inner-city Labor seats from traditionally Liberal areas or from Sydney and Brisbane.

“These are traditionally Liberal voters that are moving into these areas. They are not Labor people,” Senator Carr said. “They claim to be progressive social values but we surveyed them and their biggest fear was actually being forced to live in Pascoe Vale and Coburg.

Their real anxieties are different to what they claim them to be. Their preoccupations are ­essentially material conditions, not with the state of the world ­environment.” The “blue Greens” traded on “snob appeal” and were closed to Labor, he said.

Greens MP Adam Bandt said the claims were “fairytales” and voters were shifting because of Labor’s support for offshore processing and the Adani coalmine.

SOURCE

Greenie dam-hatred to cost Queenslanders big

Foot-dragging on building Rookwood Weir

Queenslanders face a $500 million bill to pay for 600 B-double trucks to transport water into central Queensland every day unless the weir was built, an explosive report kept secret by the State Government revealed.

A shock business case for Rookwood Weir warns Rockhampton and nearby towns could run out of water from just one “failed wet season”, raising questions why the State Government repeatedly refuses Mr Turnbull’s offer to build the weir.

The Prime Minister yesterday accused the Premier of being “beholden to an inner-city Green-Left agenda that doesn’t like dams”.

Sources told The Courier-Mail that Mr Turnbull had pledged to fund the entire project in a meeting with Ms Palaszczuk earlier this year.

Speaking in Mackay this morning, Ms Palaszczuk said her Cabinet is still yet to receive the full business case for the project but conceded her Government has received the Lower Fitzroy River Infrastructure Report.

“Let’s be very clear, with Rookwood Weir, I attended a meeting with the Prime Minister, Senator Matt Canavan and Barnaby Joyce,” she said.

“What was discussed there very clearly was ... they would look at building and operating it themselves. Subsequently to that we did not hear anything further about that proposition that they were canvassing at that meeting.

“Let me make it clear, after the meeting some of his (Mr Turnbull’s) senior officials came up to my senior officials and said ‘oh no they don’t mean that’. So lets get some clarification from him, does he want to pay for the whole lot? If he does, all well and good.”

Ms Palaszczuk also said she was not concerned that Rockhampton would run out of water, despite the project continually being stalled. “I am not concerned because the detailed work is happening and will be discussed by Cabinet,” she said.

“Unfortunately I believe there is a little bit of politics being played locally but I believe in the best interests of Central Queensland — we need to work together.”

Asked in north Queensland yesterday if there had been any progress on the Rookwood Weir business case, the Premier said: “No, not at the moment.”

The 229-page Lower Fitzroy River Infrastructure Project report, exclusively obtained by The Courier-Mail, was commissioned by State Government-owned corporation, the Gladstone Area Water Board. It implores the Government to build the weir and soon, advising it is the cheapest way to secure water for the region.

The report was handed to the State Government on October 27, which was two days before the election was called.

However, Building Queensland, which provides the State Government with independent advice on major infrastructure, provided its assessment in September.

Rockhampton’s main source of water is the Fitzroy Barrage storage, which is heavily reliant on regular seasonal inflows, including the annual wet season, to maintain supply.

The report flagged water would have to be trucked in from Awoonga Dam if there was not enough water.

“Building Queensland estimated ... a total cost for five months’ emergency supply at $486 million, while noting that there were doubts over the feasibility of this solution,’’ the report said.

“Gladstone Area Water Board’s position is that this solution is not feasible at the required scale (and) the logistics involved are daunting. “(It would mean) 4000 daily B-double movements of a 260km round trip.

“Working 24 hours, seven days and assuming a filling, travel, delivery and return travel time of only 3.5-4 hours, a fleet of at least 600 B-doubles would be required.

“The as-yet unidentified filling point(s) and delivery point(s), and the regional road network would need to be able to accommodate the constant movement of 300 B-doubles in each direction between Rockhampton and Awoonga, ie approximately two departures per minute.”

The report revealed power could become more expensive for Queenslanders because Stanwell power station might need to reduce its water use during severe water restrictions.

“Rockhampton’s continued reliance on a single source is particularly risky because that source is uniquely vulnerable to low inflows,’’ the report said.

“The characteristics of the barrage storage and the Fitzroy flows, combined with Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast’s demand, mean the storage is insufficient to make sure supply can survive a single failed wet season.

“In the event of a period of low rainfall, such as a failed wet season, Rockhampton has no means to respond with demand management measures or contingent water supply arranges and instead is likely to experience a complete supply failure.”

The report also pointed to a boom for the agricultural sector because more water meant more crops.

SOURCE

Diesels win the day

They are very polluting and run on "fossil" fuels but what the heck!  Anything is better than the demon coal

South Australia, Australia’s wind power capital, has signed up to squander $150 million on one of Elon Musk’s creations, that would power the state for all of 4 minutes when the wind stops blowing and/or the sun goes down.

Weatherill’s wonder has been nicknamed the ‘NeverReady’ battery by wits in SA, because, despite being trumpeted for months as SA’s saviour, it is unlikely to be operable this Summer.

Meanwhile, over the border in Victoria, a long-touted plan for mega-batteries in that State has just run out of juice.
Instead of running on wind and sunshine – having killed the 1,600 MW baseload plant, Hazelwood earlier this year – Victorians (like their South Australian cousins) are going to be running on diesel powered generators. Oh, the irony.

Plans for two large-scale batteries to help secure Victoria’s power supplies this summer are in disarray, with a $25 million proposal by the Andrews government still in the planning stage months after construction was due to start.

Touted as a “game-changer” by Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio when she and Premier Daniel ­Andrews announced the investment in March, no successful bidder has been announced for the storage initiative.

The project, which is meant to deliver two 20-megawatt batteries with combined capacity of at least 100MWh, was due to start construction in August so it would be ready for peak demand in January.

The state will now rely on diesel generators pumping up to 100MW of power into the grid to guard against blackouts during heatwaves. It is understood the government is still assessing the bids to provide the batteries, but a spokesman for Ms D’Ambrosio yesterday declined to answer questions about the delay and whether the battery plan would proceed.

“We’re making sure Victoria is equipped with the next generation of energy technologies that will support a resilient energy system,” the spokesman said.

The batteries were to be installed in western Victoria, and each would be capable of powering a town such as Bendigo or Ballarat for up to four hours during a peak demand period.

Opposition energy spokesman David Southwick said the Andrews government was “delivering a third-world energy policy” and changing its policy on the run.

“These are desperate policy ­announcements by a government who simply can’t figure out how to solve the problem they created in closing down Hazelwood and taking 22 per cent of energy out of the market,” he said.

Experts have previously questioned the business case for large-scale storage in Victoria and whether $25m would be sufficient to pay for it. The government has claimed energy storage will play a “vital” role in integrating renewable energy into the network and improving grid reliability.

“This initiative will highlight Victoria’s position as a leader in managing the transition to a secure and modern energy system through deployment of new energy technologies,” the state’s Environment Department said in an information packet for potential bidders.

AGL Energy has flagged plans to build a 250MW battery — which would be the world’s biggest battery and more than twice the size of the 100MW plant being built by Tesla in South Australia — at the site of the Liddell black- coal power station.

The federal government last month unveiled the National Energy Guarantee, which attempts to align climate and energy policy by obliging retailers to buy certain amounts of energy from ready-to-use power such as coal, gas, pumped hydro and batteries, and from renewable sources such as wind and solar to lower emissions.

SOURCE

'No plans' to shut power plants: Qld Labor

Queensland's Labor government says it has no plans to shut down state-owned coal-fired power stations so it can meet its renewable energy target.

Energy Minister Mark Bailey has rubbished a new analysis of Labor's 50 per cent renewable target by 2030, which warns of power station closures and an increased risk of widespread blackouts.

He says the analysis is the work of former LNP federal candidate Jonathan Pavetto, and claims of plant closures are politically-driven nonsense. "We have got no plans to close any of them," Mr Bailey has told ABC radio.

"Mr Pavetto was intimately involved in the privatisation program as a consultant by Tim Nicholls and Campbell Newman ... you've got to see it in that context."

Mr Pavetto, an electricity economist, produced the analysis for the Australian Institute for Progress, whose executive director is former Queensland Liberal Party vice president Graham Young and whose directors include former Queensland Liberal Party state president Bob Tucker.

Mr Pavetto's analysis says Stanwell's Tarong plant near Kingaroy would be first to close in 2018-19, followed by two units at the Gladstone Power Station in 2020-21 and Stanwell's Rockhampton station in 2026-27.

He also warns Labor's green power policy could result in blackouts across the state, for up to 15 per cent of the year, once the policy is in full force.

Mr Pavetto went on ABC radio on Monday to defend his views, which he says are backed by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

"What their reporting shows is that to get to a 50 per cent renewable target by 2030 - and they have modelled this - is that there will be some requirement to close down power stations in Queensland," he said.

He says AEMO has stated in its National Transmission Network Development Plan that coal-fired power generation would have to be cut to reach the 2030 renewables target, with Tarong, half of the Gladstone plant, and then Rockhampton to close.

"If you're going to be having a 50 per cent renewables capacity ... you have to displace some of that coal generation from somewhere," Mr Pavetto said.

The Electrical Trades Union backed the Labor government, calling Mr Pavetto's work a "deeply partisan" analysis from a right-wing think-tank backed by Liberals. Union spokesman Keith McKenzie says the ETU trusted Labor not to shut power plants and not to sell public assets.

LNP leader Tim Nicholls says he's seen the reports of plant closures, and his party flatly rejected Labor's "crazy" renewable energy target.

"Queenslanders want reliable and affordable power; they don't want to end up like South Australia with blackouts and the most expensive power in the western world," he told reporters in Bundaberg.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017



Trump's climate stance galvanises world

In a childish display of petulance, the global elite use climate nonsense to show their hatred of Trump

If the Paris accord was the spark igniting the global fight against climate change, then the latest round of talks, held in Bonn, served to fan the flames.

These were not talks intending to deliver bombshell moments for the 10,000 government delegates, 8000 business and policy leaders or the 2000 members of the media who gathered near the Rhine. These talks were about tightening the bolts on the Paris Agreement to drive momentum behind the global climate juggernaut.

It has been two years since 194 countries agreed to limit global warming to less than 2C above the Earth's pre-industrial average. In an act of almost audacious ambition, the Paris accord aims to keep temperatures within 1.5C by reducing net carbon emissions to zero.

But this was two years ago. Since then the US, the world's second greatest polluter, elected Donald Trump as president on soaring campaign rhetoric over a coal renaissance for the forgotten pockets of the US.

Trump duly followed through on threats to withdraw from the accord, pull research funding for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and loosen federal regulation on coal use.

But in an intriguing diplomatic twist Trump's unilateral U-turn has proved to be the kindling for a fired-up climate agenda. Christiana Figueres, the UN's chief climate negotiator, went as far as to say she thanks him.

"Trump's announcement provoked an unparalleled wave of support for the treaty. He shored up the world's resolve on climate action, and for that we can all be grateful," she says.

Tom Delay, once an executive at Royal Dutch Shell, is now the chief executive of the Carbon Trust, a UK climate advisory group. Not so long ago, he says the common riposte of chief executives was to "be realistic" about the potential of clean technologies.

This is an argument fast being unwound. The falling cost of renewable energy and growing pool of investment waiting to flood into green growth has bolstered the confidence of business and finance leaders representing trillions of pounds.

"This is not about taking the moral high ground. There's very little 'morality' in what is being argued. Quite simply, there's now a business case to do something different and do it better," he says.

The heavily heckled members of the US delegation felt the full brunt of the "enormous pushback" against their president's policies. Few others there supported the views, meaning that instead of polarising the conference, the US stance served as a warning beacon for which side of the debate was safest.

Opposition to Trump was perhaps fiercest from with his own country. Billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg is leading the charge, delivering a staggering broadside against the president via a climate action report, billed as the "first communication to the international community" of US climate goals, on a non-federal level, since Trump's rejection of the Paris Agreement.

Bloomberg calls it the American Pledge, neatly reclaiming a commitment to tackling climate change as a national endeavour while alienating Trump as somehow "un-American" in this context.

The report finds that 20 US states, 110 US cities and some 1400 businesses worth more than $US25 trillion have adopted quantified emissions reduction targets despite the administration's views. The most ambitious of these targets, such as those adopted by California, mirror similar emissions-cutting goals as national governments.

SOURCE





Overpopulation Is Not Killing the Planet

And yet ecofascists keep arguing that the "moral" thing to do is have fewer children

Population control to save the planet is hardly a new idea. It goes back at least 50 years. Indeed, we’ve written about it many times before.

The latest entry in this man-hating earth-worship genre is from NBC News in a “think” piece entitled “Science proves kids are bad for Earth. Morality suggests we stop having them.” The author, Travis Rieder of the Berman Institute of Bioethics, begins, “A startling and honestly distressing view is beginning to receive serious consideration in both academic and popular discussions of climate change ethics.”

Um, “beginning to”? Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb was published in 1968 and received a lot of attention from lefty environmentalists. Ehrlich predicted a “substantial increase in the world death rate” within a decade because of the difficulty in feeding so many people. Of course, Ehrlich’s dire prediction didn’t happen — on the contrary, there’s more food now than ever. But when have, er, inconvenient truths ever stopped leftists from hollering the same apocalyptic climate warnings even louder? In fact, despite being a false prophet, Ehrlich wrote two more books on population control in the 1990s.

Note the irony here: Totalitarian regimes are responsible for the only real famines since Ehrlich first warned of food shortages, yet his and other ecofascists’ solution is … totalitarian population control. What could go wrong?

Thus it’s no surprise that an academic like Rieder would smugly assert, “Moral responsibility simply isn’t mathematical. If you buy this view of responsibility, you might eventually admit that having many children is wrong, or at least morally suspect, for standard environmental reasons: Having a child imposes high emissions on the world, while the parents get the benefit. So like with any high-cost luxury, we should limit our indulgence.”

He tries to back off some, adding, “I am certainly not arguing that we should shame parents, or even that we’re obligated to have a certain number of children. As I’ve said elsewhere, I don’t think there is a tidy answer to the challenging questions of procreative ethics. But that does not mean we’re off the moral hook.”

Yet the implication of such morality remains that if you can’t limit your own “indulgence,” government might just have to step in. The only recipe leftists ever offer is to eliminate choice by way of ever more powerful government — even if it means violating another of their long-held tenets: “Get your laws out of my bedroom/off my body.”

SOURCE





False promises in Canadian climate change goals

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau agreed to the United Nations’ Paris climate accord in 2015, he repeated exactly what his predecessor, Jean Chretien, did when he signed the UN’s Kyoto climate accord in 1997.

Both Liberal prime ministers committed Canadians to achieving industrial greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions they knew they couldn’t deliver.

In 2007, a decade after Chretien signed Kyoto, and a year after the Liberals lost power to Stephen Harper’s Conservatives in 2006, Chretien’s principal secretary, Eddie Goldenberg, acknowledged that Chretien knew when he signed Kyoto that Canada had very little chance of achieving the emission cuts he promised.

But he said Chretien believed it was necessary to prepare Canadians for future actions needed to reduce emissions.

Except that never happened.

When Trudeau agreed in 2015 to less onerous emission cuts for Canada under the Paris climate accord, the Liberals again knew they couldn’t achieve them.

The Trudeau Liberals, unlike the Chretien Liberals after the fact, haven’t admitted they can’t achieve Trudeau’s Paris accord emission reduction commitments for 2020 and 2030. But it’s inconceivable they do not know they cannot achieve them.

The UN itself said last month Canada is very likely to miss its 2020 and 2030 commitments unless it buys billions of dollars worth of carbon offsets annually on international carbon markets.

But these markets are riddled with fraud, so there’s no guarantee any offsets Canada buys will actually reduce global emissions.

Basic math tells us the Trudeau Liberals today, as did the Chretien Liberals in 1997, know they cannot meet the commitments they’ve made to the UN.

In 1997, Chretien committed Canada to reducing its GHG emissions to an annual average of 6% below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012.

Since Canada’s emissions in 1990 were 611 megatonnes annually (a megatonne, or MT, equals one million tonnes), Chretien would have had to reduce emissions to an average of 574 Mt annually between 2008 and 2012.

When the Liberals, now led by Paul Martin, lost power to the Harper Conservatives in 2006, Canada’s emissions were 729 Mt annually, 155 Mts above Chretien’s Kyoto commitment, which would have started in 2008.

Using 2006 figures, that means the Liberals, had they remained in power, would have had to shut down the equivalent of Canada’s entire oil and gas sector (161.6 Mt annually in 2006) starting within two years.

The Trudeau government faces the same dilemma.

The UN reported last month that for Trudeau to fulfill his 2015 Paris accord commitments to lower Canada’s emissions to 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 and to 30% by 2030, Canada will have to cut its emissions by 111 Mt annually by 2020 and 219 Mt annually by 2030.

To meet his 2020 commitment, Trudeau will have to shut down the equivalent of Canada’s entire electricity sector (79 Mt annually) and 44% of its agricultural sector (73 Mt annually) within three years.

To meet his 2030 commitment, Trudeau will have to shut down the equivalent of Canada’s entire transportation sector (173 Mt annually), plus its entire waste disposal sector (48 Mt annually) in 13 years.

Given that this is impossible, the last thing Trudeau, and Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna want to talk about — as we saw last week at the UN’s Bonn climate summit — is their plan to reduce Canada’s emissions to the levels Trudeau promised the UN for 2020 and 2030.

That’s because they don’t have one.

SOURCE





Delusions of grandeur: Catherine McKenna Calls Herself “Minister Responsible For Weather”

If Catherine McKenna’s goal is to use Twitter to get attention, she’s doing quite well. But if her goal is to exude an image of competence, there’s definitely some room for improvement.

McKenna’s latest “interesting” tweet can be seen below:



That’s not how it works.

McKenna’s foolish tweets would be funny, if not for the fact that the terrible policies she and Trudeau are implementing are destroying real jobs and hurting Canadian workers.

It’s easy for people like McKenna and Trudeau to feel relaxed and have a fun time when they’re getting hundreds of thousands of dollars from the taxpayers and have job security for 4 years.

Meanwhile, they’re destroying Canada’s coal industry, and imposing restrictions and adding to a bureaucracy that takes wealth and opportunity from Canadians. So, it’s even more disturbing when the Minister of the Environment doesn’t even seem to know what her job is.

Canadians deserve far better.

SOURCE




Renewables Battery ‘Boom’: Exploding Mega-Storage System Generates Fireball & Toxic Lithium Plume

There’s nothing ‘stable and secure’ about lithium batteries. As Samsung mobile phone owners are painfully aware, lithium batteries have a horrifying habit of spontaneous ignition. And there have been plenty of incidents where the lithium batteries in Tesla’s electric cars have suddenly exploded in flames

A wind power storage battery has exploded into flames at a power station located near the city of Brussels. The fire resulted in a cloud of toxic fumes that flew over the city and forced thousands of people to stay at home.

The battery was part of the first real live testing of power batteries being used to store wind power in Belgium. After less than one month, the test miserably failed with the battery being destroyed by fire and residents hiding in their houses to escape the polluted cloud. Here is the story.

On Saturday the 11th of November 2017, around noon, people in some western areas of the city of Brussels (Belgium) could smell a strong and irritating odour that some described as being similar to the smell of “burning plastic”.

A little later, the population was informed of a fire going on in the Electrabel-Engie power plant located at Drogenbos.

Electrabel-Engie is the main electricity producer in Belgium, and operates a gas turbine power plant in Drogenbos, a village located at the western limit of the city of Brussels – where the wind came from at the time of the accident.

An official alert was broadcast by the Belgian authorities

Still a bit later, some local newspapers explained that “a container-size lithium battery has blown up in flames. The fire has produced a cloud of potentially toxic smoke”. The message circulating on the social networks was that “a cloud full of toxic lithium was blowing over the city”.

It took several hours for firemen to control the fire. The alert was lifted around 4pm local time. No injuries were reported, although some people did complain of respiratory irritation.

At that time the population was informed that “Measures of air pollution were normal and they were no more risks for health or the environment”. However they didn’t say what were the pollutants found in previous measurements and in what quantities they were present in the air.

So, apparently, they did indeed start up full-scale testing of their carefully selected batteries. But it took less than one month for the first of them to blow up in flames and force tens of thousands of inhabitants to stay hidden indoors to avoid the toxic cloud that resulted from this experiment.

One of the mainstream newspapers has reported a press release of the Electrabel-Engie group saying that the “battery that has burned was not in operation at the time the fire broke out”. Let’s hope that at least this one is fake news, otherwise it would mean that these batteries are just chemical bombs ready to explode at any time.

If the dream of wind proponents is to materialize, our landscapes will be scattered with such container-size batteries. In the light of what occurred this weekend in Drogenbos, authorities everywhere should take note and impose on the industry safety measures to protect the public and avoid the possibility of another such accident.

Not a single article in the local media mentioned the link between the battery that has polluted the city of Brussels and wind power backup and storage requirements.

For the uninformed reader, the message was that “the villain Electrabel that operates nuclear power plants has once again polluted the environment”. But this accident was really due to the presence of wind turbines in the power production system.
We should see it as chemical pollution directly related to supposedly ‘clean’ wind power.

Welcome to your exciting wind, sun and battery ‘powered’ future!

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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Monday, November 20, 2017


Norway shakes oil world by dumping oil and gas investments

This is just typical Leftist silliness.  All it does is impoverish the seller and enable other investors to pick up a bargain

Norway’s giant sovereign wealth fund has unveiled plans to dump its entire holding in oil and gas companies in a $37 billion sell-off that was welcomed by campaign groups but put downward pressure on share prices.

The $1 trillion fund, which manages the assets of the oil-rich nation, signalled its intent to prune its exposure to companies including BP and Royal Dutch Shell in a move aimed at making it less vulnerable to a permanent drop in the price of crude.

Norway is western Europe’s biggest oil and gas producer, pumping just under 1.8 million barrels per day, or roughly double the UK’s output.

SOURCE





Virginia goes Don Quixote

State will defy Trump, double down on renewables and CO2 reductions – and hurt poor families

Paul Driessen

Democrat Ralph Northam had barely won the Virginia governor’s race when his party announced it would impose a price on greenhouse gases emissions, require a 3% per year reduction in GHG emissions, and develop a cap-and-trade scheme requiring polluters to buy credits for emitting carbon dioxide.

Meanwhile, liberal governors from California, Oregon and Washington showed up at the COP23 climate confab in Bonn, Germany to pledge that their states will remain obligated to the Paris climate treaty, and push ahead with even more stringent emission, electric vehicle, wind, solar and other programs.

Leaving aside the unconstitutional character of states signing onto an international agreement that has been repudiated by President Trump (and the absurdity of trying to blame every slight temperature change and extreme weather event on fossil fuels), there are major practical problems with all of this.

Attempting to abate, control or limit CO2 from electric power facilities has consequences. It means creating “carbon capture and storage” systems that don’t work, are huge energy hogs, drive up electricity prices, and leave us with the massive, unaddressed problem of where to put all the carbon dioxide – depriving crop and habitat plants of this essential miracle nutrient, and risking sudden catastrophic CO2 eruptions from whatever underground storage facilities might actually get approved.

It means forcing the premature shutdown of fully functional coal and gas-fired power plants – with no viable alternatives to replace them. Virginia has two nuclear power plants, and it is unlikely that the current or incoming Democrat governor (or any of their “progressive” supporters) would support building new nuke units, or even new pumped storage systems in the state’s mountainous areas.

The supposed wind and solar alternatives involve massive land use, environmental, ecological, economic, and human health and welfare impacts. Based on my previous rough calculations, using wind power to replace all current US electricity generation (3.5 billion megawatt-hours per year) … and charge batteries for seven windless days of backup power … would require some 14 million 1.8-MW bird-killing turbines, each one 330 to 410 feet tall, across some 210 million acres (twice the size of California). The backup power would require some 700 billion 100-kWh Tesla battery packs (also requiring vast acreage).

The raw materials required to build all these turbines, batteries and transmission lines – would be astronomical; the earth removal, mining, processing, smelting and manufacturing even more so. And this doesn’t even consider what it would take to replace today’s vehicles with electric versions, or (in a truly fantasy world) replacing the energy for foundries, refineries and factories with wind or solar power.

The USA has made virtually all of its mineralized areas off limits to exploration and mining. So this grand transition would make us 100% dependent on foreign suppliers for wind (and solar) energy.

Another net effect would be soaring electricity prices, forcing countless factories and businesses to close their doors, affecting livelihoods and living standards, especially among the poor, minority and blue-collar families that liberal politicians and activists profess to care so deeply about.

Right now, average Virginia families pay $1,500 a year for electricity. At California prices, their annual electricity bills would increase by $875; at German rates, by a whopping additional $2,900 a year!

At its current 8¢ cents per kilowatt-hour, Virginia’s Inova Fairfax Women’s and Children’s Hospital pays about $1.6 million annually for electricity. At California’s or Germany’s business rate (18¢ per kWh), the hospital would have to shell out $3.6 million for electricity. That unsustainable $2 million annual increase in the cost of keeping lights, heat, air conditioning, surgery centers and diagnostic equipment running would result in employee layoffs, reduced services, higher medical bills and declining patient care.

At 8¢ per kWh, the United States can power its homes, hospitals, businesses and industries for $280 billion annually. At German or California business and industry rates (18¢ a kWh), that electricity would cost $630 billion a year. At German family rates (35¢ a kWh), an economy-busting $1.2 trillion!

Equally important, California, Oregon and Washington are uniquely advantaged. Thanks primarily to Works Progress Administration dams, Oregon gets 43% of its electricity from hydroelectric projects; Washington gets 75% from hydro. California not only enjoys such mild climate that 40% of its homes don’t have air conditioning, and a seventh don’t have heating; it imports 25% of its electricity from other states. (And yet California’s electricity rates are the second highest in the Lower 48 States.)

Obviously, not every state can import one-fourth of its electricity from other states. As Margaret Thatcher would say, at some point you run out of other people’s energy. Not every state has or can have hydroelectric (which rabid greens also hate). Not every state has abundant sun or wind – and the best sites would likely be litigated until Hell freezes over. Few states have the topography for pumped storage.

As they demand de-carbonization (and thus de-industrialization) for the entire country, California, Oregon, Virginia, Washington and other “We Are Still In” (the Paris climate treaty) states, cities, businesses and organizations claim they now represent one-half of the US Gross Domestic Product. They also call themselves the Under2 Coalition, claiming they can prevent Earth’s post-1850, post-Little Ice Age, industrial era average temperature from rising more than 2 degrees C (1/2 degree above today’s.

However, amid all their demands and sanctimonious moral preening, these WASI members studiously neglect to mention what IPCC officials have said are the true primary goals of climate policy: replacing capitalism with a new centralized world economic order, and redistributing world wealth and resources.

They likewise ignore the real reason all those developing countries signed the Paris accords … and what all the rancor in Bonn has been about: poor nations were promised hundreds of billions of dollars in Green Climate Fund “adaptation and reparation” money from the very nations they demand must de-carbonize and de-industrialize. They want their loot right now, with no more delays or excuses.

The Paris Climate Treaty would have obligated the United States to pay over $20 billion per year initially – rising to more than $100 billion per year by 2030! So if they love Paris so much, these half-of-US-GDP WASI members should be obligated … and happy … to pay one-half of the USA’s Green Climate Fund obligations: $10 billion in 2017, rising steadily to $50 billion a year by 2030.

In reality, they won’t try, want or be able to meet any of the Paris requirements. It’s all Resistance, hype and holier-than-thou pixie dust. That’s why the WASI acronym is more accurately translated as We Are Still Ideologues – Intransigent, Irresponsible and Insane.

Their “we can opt into Paris” attitude also raises the interesting question of whether communities in those states (especially rural counties that voted for candidate Trump) can opt out of their de-carbonization, cap-and-trade, pseudo-renewable, pseudo-sustainable, unreliable wind and solar energy schemes. Especially if there was no debate and no statewide vote – on issues like those raised in this article – why should those most severely impacted by these schemes not be able to opt out of them?

Net US greenhouse gas emissions declined 11.5% from 2005 to 2015 – because the Obama EPA forced coal-fired power plants to shut down, more switched to natural gas, energy efficiencies increased, and a hyper-regulated US economy used less energy. Indeed, the USA is miles ahead of any other country in reducing its CO2 emissions since 2000. The next closest is the UK, which reduced its emissions by barely a fourth of the US amount. But WASI/Under2 demands would have horrendous adverse repercussions.

Meanwhile, developing countries built hundreds of coal-fired generating units, have 1,600 more under construction or in planning, and are driving millions of new gasoline-powered cars and trucks. They will not give up fossil fuel electricity generation and rely on wind and solar – though they will be happy to sell turbines and panels to WASI members. So all the US, EU and WASI sacrifices will achieve nothing.

WASI members are not just sanctimoniously tilting at windmills. They are demanding that others kowtow to their climate alarmism and imposing real harm on real people. America and the world must not base energy, ecological, health and welfare policies on Don Quixote fantasies.

Via email




Dems compete with Trump at Bonn climate summit

Dueling U.S. delegations are competing for attention at this week’s United Nations climate summit in Bonn, Germany — the official team and a competing one made up of Democratic officials opposed to President Trump’s decision to remove the U.S. from the Paris climate accord.

The annual gathering of nations and environmentalists has heard separate cases about the U.S. interest in that agreement, laying bare the division in the United States between Trump and his energy industry backers and Democrats.

“Whatever the president may say about climate, he cannot stop clean energy,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), one of five U.S. senators who attended the conference last weekend as part of the counter-delegation. “He’s a powerful man, but he’s not a monarch, and we are going to continue the clean energy revolution.”

This 23rd Conference of the Parties, or COP 23, has lower stakes than the meeting two years ago that yielded the landmark Paris climate agreement, which was designed to cut global greenhouse gas emissions.

Yet the meeting still has importance as delegates negotiate a rulebook for how countries will comply with the Paris agreement and prepare to take stock at next year’s conference in Poland of where the world stands in achieving its goals.

The Trump administration’s message to attendees, which is based on an energy agenda that props up coal and other fossil fuel industries, contradicts much of what other leaders said.

At an event Monday, White House advisers promoted the use of nuclear power and fossil fuels equipped with emissions controls as a way to grow electricity access around the world while also trying to cut down on climate change-causing greenhouse gases.

“The significant cuts in emissions envisioned by the framework and by the Paris agreement require advanced technologies, including [carbon capture and sequestration],” George Banks, Trump’s adviser for international energy and the environment, said Monday.

“The math otherwise does not work, no matter how much we want it to.”

Most other speakers at the conference — and the competing U.S. delegation — are focused on cutting emissions, switching to renewable power and mitigating the impacts climate change is already having around the world.

While Trump has suggested the U.S. could stay in the climate accord if the world would renegotiate it, White House officials told reporters before COP 23 that they wouldn’t aim to renegotiate the Paris agreement while there.

Still, Trump officials have negotiated aggressively during the event, with Banks telling reporters that their top goal was preventing easier rules under climate agreement for developing countries. Judith Garber, the United States’ lead climate negotiator, will speak to the conference on Wednesday.

The Democratic senators, governors and environmentalists who travelled to Bonn have aimed to reaffirm the country’s commitments under the Paris deal made by former President Obama.

“The rest of the world’s got to carry the ball while we’re temporarily in America off to the sidelines,” California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) said at the conference. “But there’s still California, there’s still New York, Washington, Oregon, all these other places, and there’s still corporations.”

They also went out of their way to diminish the Trump administration's talking points.

“This is a sideshow; it is a blip,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said at an impromptu press conference before Banks’s session on Monday.

“The world is not paying any attention to it, because the world is not going to listen to someone who says that climate change is a hoax. Climate change is a fact. It is just as certain as the laws of gravity. Every single other nation in the world today understands it, and so do our states and so do our people. So this isn’t going to have an impact on the world today.”

Trump’s approach to climate change has been a jarring one for many world leaders, who worked closely with the Obama administration on climate measures during his presidency. In public appearances this week, they focused more on the pro-Paris American delegation.

“I am very encouraged to see all the good side events that have been taking place in the American states’ pavilion, because that reflects what’s happening in the United States at the moment: real climate action on the ground,” said Miguel Arias Cañete, the European Union’s energy and climate commissioner.

“I would like to say that I very much welcome this, because it underlines the importance attached to climate protection in broad swaths of the American society, irrespective of the decision of President Trump to leave the climate agreement of Paris,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a plenary event.

The idea of parallel U.S. delegations is not unprecedented, and was common during the presidency of George W. Bush, when Democrats and environmentalists sought to contrast themselves with Bush’s opposition to the Kyoto Protocol.

“But I’d say a much starker contrast at this point,” said Elliot Diringer, executive vice president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and a veteran of the U.N. climate conferences.

Diringer said State Department negotiators — usually career diplomats who have long represented the nation in climate talks — are still participating in good faith in the talks, though Trump officials sent a far smaller contingent than in the past.

“Both the unofficial and official U.S. presence are generally appreciated,” Diringer said from Bonn.

“People are glad to see the U.S. negotiators still at the table, and they’re very glad to see the presence of senators, governors and others demonstrating the huge momentum for climate action back home.”

Trump’s supporters, meanwhile, are very happy with what the official delegation is doing.

Marc Morano, an outspoken climate change skeptic and head of the website Climate Depot, said the coal event — and the protests and negative reaction to it — served to show how unreasonable Trump’s opponents are.

“I think they’re content to step back and let the states do all the grandstanding. Ultimately, I don’t think the Trump administration, or Trump himself, gives a damn about this conference, one way or another,” said Morano, who is attending the event. “Frankly, as a skeptic, that’s very refreshing.”

SOURCE




Poland Ready For Showdown With EU Over Climate Change As Trump Sends 74,000 Tonnes Of Coal

Poland is on a collision course with EU chiefs over its continued heavy use of fossil fuels, as the country prepares to receive its first shipment of US coal.

Prime Minister Beata Szydło has warned MEPs she will “throw it back at them” if they criticise her nation’s carbon consumption at next month’s EU summit.

And that could set the scene for more stand-offs next year, when Poland hosts the next round of UN climate talks.

The EU is playing a leading role in the Paris climate accord, which aims to radically cut global carbon emissions. But Poland, the EU’s biggest coal burning nation, is at odds with Brussels over the targets.

The ruling Law and Justice party are unapologetically pro-mining, a belief shared by US President Donald Trump, who visited the country in the summer and said: “Whenever you need energy, just give us a call.”

Poland has taken the President – who wants to exit the Paris agreement – at his word. This week The Navios Helios, a vessel carrying a 73,616 tonne coal shipment for Weglokoks from Baltimore, is expected to enter the harbour in Gdansk.

The new trade arrangement is mutually beneficial – Poland has to meet a shortfall left by the failure of national mining giant PGG to achieve its production targets, while US miners are relying on export growth as power utilities at home switch to cheaper, cleaner alternatives.

Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchorzewski rejected any suggestion of a fuel crisis due to the problems at PGG, even though smaller traders have often queued for coal in recent weeks.

He told reporters: “A psychosis related to coal shortages has appeared on the market. “I can say that this winter no one will be cold in their homes because of a lack of coal.”

He declined to comment on the US import.

Meanwhile, EU ministers are meeting in Bonn today, where they are expected to tell Poland to “do more” on climate change – particularly by ratifying the Doha amendment, the second stage of the Kyoto Protocol, predecessor of the 2015 Paris agreement.

Ironically, next year’s climate conference will be held in the southern city of Katowice – the centre of the coal-producing Silesia region and PGG’s home.

The timing of Warsaw’s new-found fondness for American coal will be a concern to Brussels and the UN as a whole.

Polish imports of US coal have already leapt more than 500 per cent in the first half of this year, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

And in promoting a national coal industry and trying to preserve jobs in traditional heavy industries, Poland has far more in common with President Trump than almost any other EU member.
However, while Trump has decided to pull the United States out of the Paris agreement, Warsaw is staying in.

The government of Silesian-born miner’s daughter Szydlo has opposed EU policies to reduce carbon emissions as they set binding targets, but backs the Paris deal as it did not impose specific obligations on signatories.

SOURCE





Australia slow at adopting electric cars

In the race to adopt electric vehicles, Australia is sputtering along in the slow lane.

Rather than growing, Australian sales of electric cars are actually in decline. In 2016 they represented just 0.02 per cent of new car sales — even lower than in 2013.

Contrast that with Norway, the country with the highest levels of electric car adoption. Almost 30 per cent of new cars sold there in 2016 were electric.

Why are Australian motorists rejecting electric cars while those in other advanced economies are embracing them? As the National Roads and Motorists' Association (NRMA) has previously pointed out, high vehicle prices are an obvious barrier.

But that is only part of the answer.

Our current research, in which we used online questionnaires to survey Australian motorists' attitudes to electric vehicles, suggests that a comprehensive network of recharging stations — particularly on popular intercity routes, is essential to encourage drivers to go electric. This seems to be even more important than subsidising the cost of the cars themselves.

Rechargers on highways, in country towns and at service centres need to be fast and convenient, so that motorists are not unduly delayed. Without the right charging infrastructure, there is no foundation to allow Australian motorists to go electric with confidence.

The average Australian motorist drives 36 kilometres per day for all passenger vehicles. This is well within the range of modern fully electric vehicles - more than 150km for the models on sale in Australia — and actually less than Norwegians, who drive more than 40km a day on average.

Norwegian drivers also enjoy the highest proportion of rechargers in the world. But on another criterion the world leader is Estonia. It's credited as the first nation to build a country-wide network, with a recharging station every 50km on major roads, and one in every town with a population of at least 5,000.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

*****************************************