Thursday, November 06, 2008


A fun email from Paul Biggs [] below:

The October edition of Which? Magazine [in the UK] reported on domestic wind turbines in an article entitled 'Wind turbine blows cold.' Which? installed one in a house and monitored it from December 2007 to June 2008. The result was that it used more electricity than it generated. This is because the turbine includes an "inverter" that converts the energy into electricity to go into the mains, and the inverter needs power which it draws whether the wind is turning the turbine or not. If the 'greens' want to 'save the planet' with domestic wind turbines, then they will have to make sure that they live somewhere very windy. Given the energy used and costs involved in manufacturing, installing, maintaining, plus eventual decommissioning - there may not be anywhere that is windy enough!


Below is an op/ed piece that Bill Gray recently sent to his local Fort Collins paper. Bill Gray is a Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University where he has worked since 1961. He holds a Ph.D. degree from the University of Chicago in Geophysical Science

The US green movement is moving forward with its agenda to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) gas emissions. Colorado Governor Ritter has proposed various CO2 reduction measures. Many US state legislatures are beginning to mandate that various percentages of future electrical energy generated come from renewable energy sources. Renewable energy is currently much more expensive than traditional fossil fuel energy. Many cities and states across the US are starting to implement costly programs to reduce CO2 emissions. I doubt that the public is aware of the heavy economic penalties to be paid by efforts to substantially reduce CO2 gases. These CO2 reduction efforts are beginning to be made just at the time we must start to adjust to the serious economic problems associated with the recent severe stock market downturn.

There is little the US can do about reducing global CO2 amounts. China, India and other third world countries will not agree to limit their CO2 emissions. It is important for our country to maintain its vibrant and growing economy to have sufficient resources to invest in research on new energy sources and in further development of our, as yet untapped, domestic energy supplies. It is more important to make progress on reducing our dependence on foreign energy than reducing CO2. We should not let an organized cabal of environmentalists, government bureaucrats, and liberal media groups brainwash us into going in a direction not in our country's best interest.

I have been studying and teaching weather and climate for over 50 years and have been making real-time seasonal hurricane forecasts for a quarter-century. I and many of my colleagues with comparable experience do not believe that CO2 gas emissions are anywhere near the threat to global climate as the environmental and liberal media groups have led us to believe. Most people are not aware of how flimsy are the physical arguments behind the human-induced warming scenarios. There has yet to be a really open and honest scientific dialogue on this topic among our country's most experienced weather and climate experts. Most knowledgeable global warming skeptics have been ignored and/or their motives questioned. Many have been falsely tagged as tools of the fossil fuel industry - reminding me a bit of the McCarthy period. By contrast, those harping the loudest on the dangers of CO2, such as Al Gore, typically have little real understanding or experience in how the atmosphere and ocean really function.

The Global Climate Model (GCM) simulations by large US and foreign government laboratories and universities on which so much of the warming science scenarios are based have basic flaws. These global models are not able to correctly model the globe's small-scale precipitation processes. They have incorrectly parameterized the rain processes in their models to give an unrealistically warming influence from CO2 increases. These GCMs also do not properly model the globe's deep ocean circulation which appears to be the primary driving mechanism for most of the global temperature increases that have been observed. Most GCMs indicate that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 towards the end of the 21st century will lead to global warming of 2-5oC. My best estimate of global warming for a doubling of CO2 is about 0.3-0.5oC, 5-10 times less than the models estimate. These GCMs have yet to demonstrate predictive skill at forecasting the next few years of global temperature. Why should we believe their predictions 50 to 100 years in the future?

Many thousands of scientists from the US and around the globe do not accept the human-induced global warming hypothesis as it has been presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports. The summary statements of the IPCC reports are strongly biased to upholding the human influence on climate. The IPCC summaries often do not conform to the material in the reports. Most known warming skeptics, such as myself and a number of my very experienced colleagues were never invited to participate in the IPCC process or even contacted by the IPCC for our views.

It is impossible to objectively separate the small amount of CO2 induced global warming that may have occurred from the large natural induced global temperature changes which are always occurring. There has been little global warming the last 10 years. Due to recent changes in the global ocean circulation that I and others foresee as the basin for a modest cooling of global temperature in the next 10-15 years. This would be similar to the global cooling that was experienced between the mid-1940s to mid-1970s.

Reducing atmospheric CO2 will not by itself solve any of the globe's many environmental problems. A slightly warmer globe due to CO2 increases would, in the net, likely be more beneficial to humankind than a slightly cooler globe. Crop and vegetation growth would be stimulated by higher amounts of atmospheric CO2. We should not allow ourselves to be stampeded into costly CO2 reduction programs of little or no real benefit but much economic detriment.


Republican Jim Inhofe, Oklahoma's blunt-speaking conservative senator, won a third full term Tuesday as he cruised past Democrat Andrew Rice, a state senator and former missionary. Inhofe was elected in 1994 to replace Democrat David Boren, who resigned to become a university president. Rice, 35, campaigned aggressively for the post, but it was an uphill fight from the start against Inhofe, a fixture in Oklahoma politics for five decades. The 73-year-old Inhofe spent $6 million in his re-election bid, more than twice as much as Rice, a freshman state senator from Oklahoma City.

Inhofe, a former mayor of Tulsa and ex-congressman, has sparred with environmentalists over the years, calling the idea of manmade global warming a hoax. Although he is known as one of the Senate's most conservative members, Inhofe bragged of being effective in obtaining road money and other funds for public projects.

More here

A Change in Climate for Climate Change Policy

Come what dramatic political and economic changes may occur, a refrain persists within the media, industry, and the U.S. Congress that onerous federal mandates to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) are inevitable. I don't think so. In less than a year, many unanticipated developments have complicated the political dynamics of "ending the era of fossil fuels" through the enactment of carbon reduction mandates. Consider six such developments that may give pause to policymakers otherwise inclined to support these measures:

* When the price of oil topped $4.00 a gallon and food inflation reached almost 8 percent, most voters got it: price and security first! At least a dozen recent polls show that three-fourths of likely voters put far more importance on the U.S. oil supply than global warming. This prevalent public opinion dissolved the U.S. Congress' long and intransigent opposition to increased domestic oil production. In late September, the 30-year bans on offshore oil production expired. The rapid decline in the price of oil, as a result of economic slowdown, has not yet squelched broad support for more domestic oil production.

* Energy independence has become a battle cry across the political spectrum. The painfully high price of oil increased the public's recognition that there are no near-term, realistic alternatives to the dominance of fossil fuels in the U.S. energy supply. American dependence on unreliable, if not inimical, sources of foreign oil worries Main Street far more than it used to.

* The European Union's (EU) Emission Trading System (ETS), once the model for a U.S. program, continues to fail. Europe's program is not reducing CO2 and has lead to higher energy costs. The U.S. has reduced more CO2 by market efficiencies and without any complicated cap-and-trade programs. Growing numbers of EU member countries, including Italy, now want to delay (read: scratch) the ETS because of economic woes approaching crisis proportions.

* By the time the Lieberman-Warner bill (S.2191) made it to the U.S. Senate floor last summer, the veil on its staggering cost had been lifted. The world's most ambitious, enforceable carbon regime to date, S.2191 would impose exorbitant costs and require unprecedented expansion of the federal control, but would yield no measurable effect on global climate unless China and India undertook similarly draconian programs.

* Far more substantial climate science emerges and is a game-changer for the reigning science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Observational evidence from NASA satellites indicates little to no heat-forcing effect from manmade CO2. This NASA data is empirical science, far superior to the uncertain IPCC computer models.

* And the clincher: the specter of global recession. Worldwide financial turmoil presents the most hard-hitting obstacle to mandatory CO2 reduction. While figures may differ, no one doubts that CO2 reduction mandates would lead to far higher prices for fuel, power, food, and other basic consumer goods. Until the U.S. and global economies stabilize, the least prudent among us might delay CO2 regulations that would overturn our energy economy.

Amidst the current economic maelstrom, some congressional leaders perversely cling to carbon regulation as a new federal revenue source to compensate for a reduced tax base. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the federal government's auction of carbon allocations, e.g., power companies forced to buy permission to keep generating electricity, could generate trillions in revenue. Inconvenient facts, however, may have changed the political climate necessary for major CO2 reduction programs absent available control technology.

In the last year, many policy makers and voters have learned some hard facts about energy and the economy. If an ounce of reason might prevail, climate change policymakers would acknowledge that mandates are premature and impracticable. Immediate steps should be toward extending the new empirical climate science and market-based development of energy efficient technologies. Natural variability - or change, simply speaking - is the hallmark of climate and politics; not easy to predict and never inevitable.



Once upon a time, ethanol was seen as the future of clean energy and as leading the U.S. to energy independence. That was 2004, but Wall Street wised up fast that ethanol was ready for a bust. So, in 2006 and 2007, when Wall Street firms started investing their own money in renewable energy companies, they left ethanol far behind.

"It's such a waste that the government gave free handouts and subsidies to grow a business that wasn't sustainable," said one investment banker familiar with the sector.

It is one of the few things Wall Street investment banks have gotten right lately, while private investors including Bill Gates and Richard Branson were bullish on ethanol as recently as January. We were thinking of this in reading about how this weekend ethanol producer VeraSun Energy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It was hardly a surprise, given that a month ago, VeraSun was predicting a steep loss and hired Morgan Stanley to evaluate its options. And the company isn't alone; the entire ethanol sector is getting its comeuppance. Goldman Sachs Group analysts today dropped coverage of all ethanol companies because of the plunge in market valuations for ethanol companies and what the analyst see as their dim future...

In a 120-page sector-wide research report last year, Morgan Stanley research analyst David Edwards warned investors against falling victim to short-term euphoria for renewable-energy companies. He compared the current climate around renewable-energy companies to the early days of the technology boom in 1996.

More here

Australia's Woolworths abuses its market dominance to dictate to customers

Unlike the USA, where it is defunct, Woolworths is by far Australia's biggest retailer. And they are even "Greener" than the politicians. Below is a letter I wrote to them followed by their reply. Note that to them it is "progressive" to deny choice to customers. That's certainly consistent with "progressive" politics generally. And in the best Fascist style they say that "our decision is in the broader best interests of the community", and stuff the individual. Clearly, even having a little power corrupts.

The fact that I much prefer the warm yellow light of a tungsten bulb to the stark and glary light of a fluorescent tube just does not matter to our Green dictators, obviously. Fluorescent lights have been around almost as long as tungsten globes but most people have always chosen the tungsten ones. So I am not alone in my preferences. And it would hurt no-one to allow people to have their preferences in the matter. So what it all shows is that the Fascist urge to dictate to other people is sadly still with us. The only difference is that it now justifies itself by a Greenie ideology which is just as crazy as the old racist one

TO: Chairman, Woolworths
17 Oct 2008

Dear Mr Strong

I have the feeling that Woolworths is departing from commercial principles in its stocking polices and as both a shareholder and a customer I would like you to talk to management about it.

I notice in particular that Woolworths seems to be pushing the twisty lightbulb barrow very hard. You do stock convenient sixpacks of the old tungsten globes but they are almost always sold out at my local Buranda branch -- while every possible iteration of the twisty globe is always available. Shouldn't the firm be stocking what people want to buy?

Please remind management that they are running a business and not a government Department.

Woolworths Limited
29th October 2008

Dear Dr Ray,

Thank you for your letter and for taking the time to write. At Woolworths we appreciate customer feedback, both positive and negative, and see it as an opportunity to improve our business.

You are right that we are actively supportive of the new 'twisty' light bulb. The reason for this is that The Federal Government announced in June 2008 that many incandescent bulbs currently on retail shelves would be banned from import in November 2008; and banned from retail sale completely in November 2009. The list of products includes the six pack bulbs you refer to in your letter. Whilst the traditional incandescent bulbs remain popular, their sales volumes have been rapidly decreasing as more customers make the switch to the Energy Efficient alternates.

Woolworths has taken a decision as a corporation to remove the banned bulbs from sale completely as of November 2008, a full year ahead of the legislative requirement.

We've undertaken this action as we fully support the Government initiative to reduce the use of inefficient energy products. The move is consistent with Woolworth's decision to pursue an ambitious carbon reduction target of 40% by 2015 across its entire business through a broad range of initiatives.

Historically the Energy Efficient alternates have carried a price premium to the incandescent globe and this has discouraged some customers from making the switch. This is now more than ever a false economy as the Energy Efficient alternates last many times longer than the incandescent bulb and use a fifth of the energy to operate. Along with this the retail price of Energy Efficient lights has decreased significantly in recent times meaning that real savings are to be made within twelve months of use. The diversity of styles and quality of the Energy Efficient product has also greatly improved at the same time.

We appreciate our progressive move to remove the older inefficient incandescent bulbs will not please everyone, but trust our decision is in the broader best interests of the community.

Naum Onikul
Director of Supermarkets


For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Ray
In your quest to aquire a proper bulb it is good that you are taking the moral high ground.
That twisty light is filled with mercury , a greater hazard to the neurological development of our youth than a gas that is readily taken up by plant life.(whisper CO2)

SUPERMAN the student architect