Friday, January 27, 2012

Scrap carbon tax say British politicians who believe it will have 'devastating effect' on industry

A carbon tax being introduced next year will increase household electricity bills and could have a ‘devastating effect’ on industry, MPs say. In a damning report they claim the ‘carbon price floor’ will saddle businesses with higher green penalties than the rest of Europe while failing to deliver any environmental benefits.

The Energy and Climate Change Committee urged the Treasury to scrap the plan and warned against revenue-raising exercises ‘disguised as a green policy’.

Chancellor George Osborne announced the levy on businesses for every tonne of carbon they emit last March. Starting at £16, it will almost double to £30 by 2020 for users of coal.

By 'going it alone' on setting a minimum levy, the UK faces the prospect of industry relocating to elsewhere in Europe, MPs warned.

Higher carbon costs also mean electricity prices will increase as the UK ends up effectively subsidising other European states, they added.

Committee chairman Tim Yeo said: 'The Chancellor was right to say we won't save the planet by putting the UK out of business. 'Ironically, however, it is the Treasury's decision to set a Carbon Price Floor that could result in industry and electricity production relocating to other EU countries. 'Unless the price of carbon is increased at an EU-wide level, taking action on our own will have no overall effect on emissions other than to out-source them.

'A revenue raising exercise disguised as a green policy won't help anybody, the price of carbon has to be increased at an EU level to kick-start investment in clean energy.'

Energy generators and heavy industry, such as steel and ceramics, face an 'exorbitant' top-up tax of up to £25 per tonne of CO2 under current plans, according to the report. Although UK emissions will be reduced under the Treasury plans, overall levels across Europe may not, the report said.

It calls for EU targets to be toughened up to deliver a 30% emissions reduction target by 2020 and an overall 60-80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Mr Yeo added: 'Instead of going it alone, the Chancellor would be better-off working with other European Governments to make the EU Emissions Trading System more effective as a whole. 'Before phase three starts next year, EU countries must set aside pollution permits to end the glut that has caused the price of carbon to collapse.'


New scholarly book on Bangladesh and global warming

Because much of Bangladesh is close to sea-level, it is often cited by Warmists as threatened by inundation caused by global warming. It is refreshing therefore to have a book which looks closely at the actual Bangladesh situation (Hint: Bangladesh is actually gaining land). Some particulars of the book:

1. Title of the book: Climate Change: Issues and Perspectives for Bangladesh

2. Co-Editors: Rafique Ahmed, Ph. D, Professor, Geography and Earth Science, University of Wisconsin- La Crosse, La Crosse, WI, USA 54601 and ; S. Dara Shamsuddin, Former Professor, Geography and Environment, Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh

3. Publisher: Shahitya Prakash, Paltan Tower 87, Purana Paltan Line Dhaka 1000 Bangladesh Phone: (880-2)-935-5058; and (880-2)-935-1657 E-Mail: Proprietor: (Mr.) Mofidul Hoque

4. Number of Pages (95 plus xvi pages): 111 pages. 5. Book Cover: Hard Cover (shown on the last page of this document)

6. ISBN: 984-70124-0133-0

7. Retail Price: Bangladesh Taka 500/-.

8. Number of Chapters: Eight Chapters Out of the eight chapters, three are contributed by US authors, one by an Indian author, and four by Bangladeshi authors. The first 4 chapters deal with the greenhouse effect, global warming, climate change; uncertainty in climate science & IPCC's role; Global Climate Modeling; and sea level change - with special reference to Bangladesh.

One chapter deals with the major global and national issues & concerns other than global warming/climate change. The other chapters are specific to the climatic and environmental issues in Bangladesh. (Please see the Table of Contents at the end of this document).

9. Authors’ Credentials (A) Five US and Indian Authors Ahmed, Rafique, Ph. D. (Co-Editor): Professor, Geography and Earth Science, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA; Specialization: Meteorology and Climatology. Wrote an undergraduate climatology textbook in Bangla for the universities and colleges in Bangladesh and West Bengal (India), Revised 4th Edition, 2010, published by Gyankosh Prokashani, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Published many papers in professional journals on various climatological aspects on Bangladesh. Professional Membership: American Meteorological Society (AMS), Association of American Geographer (AAG), Bangladesh National Geographical Association (BNGA), and Institute of Indian Geographers (IIG).

Christy, John R., Ph. D. Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science, and Director of Earth System Science Center, University of Alabama in Huntsville; Alabama State Climatologist; IPCC Lead Author: 2001 TAR (Third Assessment Report); Contributor: 1992 IPCC Supplement; Contributor: 1994 Radiative Forcing of Climate Change; Key Contributor: 1995 SAR (IPCC Second Assessment Report); Contributing Author: IPCC 2007 Report (AR4) - Working Groups I and II; NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement; American Meteorological Society Special Award for satellite observations; Fellow, American Meteorological Society; testified to the US House (1996, 1998, 2003, 2006 (2), 2007, 2009) and Senate (1997, 2000, 2001 (2), 2003, 2007) Committees regarding lack of evidence for catastrophic climate change caused by humans.

Legates, David R., Ph.D. Professor, Geography and Physical Ocean Science and Engineering, University of Delaware, Delaware, USA; Climate Scientist and hydroclimatologist; Editor, Physical Geography journal (Climatology Section); Delaware State Climatologist; Director, Delaware Environmental Observing System, testified twice to the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works against an anthropogenic origin of global climate change: March 13, 2002 and July 29, 2003.

Lohar, Debashish, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Atmospheric Science Research Group of the Department of Physics, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India; Recipient of the V. Bhavanarayana Award of the Indian Meteorological Society; Best paper award recipient of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing; Chief Consultant, Express Weather; Life-Member of Indian Meteorological Society (IMS); and served as the Secretary of IMS - Kolkata Chapter during 2007-09.

Soon, Willie Wei-Hock, Ph. D. Astrophysicist, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA; Climate Scientist; worked on the relationship between Arctic surface temperature changes and solar variability; testified to the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works against anthropogenic origin of global warming, July 29, 2003. He is also the authors of “The Maunder Minimum and the Variable Sun-Earth Connection” (World Scientific Publishing, 2004; with Steven H. Yaskell) and “Introduction to Astronomy— Studying Astronomy Without the Luxury of Telescope” (University of Nigeria Press, 2004 with Pius N. Okeke).

Global Cooling Coming? Archibald uses solar and surface data to predict 4.9°C fall (!)

A fact-based alternative to the British Met Office model-run discussed yesterday

David Archibald, polymath, makes a bold prediction that temperatures are about to dive sharply (in the decadal sense). He took the forgotten correlation that as solar cycles lengthen and weaken, the world gets cooler. He refined it into a predictive tool, tested it and published in 2007. His paper has been expanded on recently by Prof Solheim in Norway, who predicts a 1.5°C drop in Central Norway over the next ten years.

Our knowledge of they solar dynamo is improving, and David adds the predicted solar activity ’til 2040 to the analysis. Normal solar cycles are 11 years long, but the current one (cycle 24) is shaping up to be 17 years (unusually long), and using historical data from the US, David predicts a 2.1°C decline over Solar Cycle 24 followed by a further 2.8°C over Solar Cycle 25. That adds up to a whopping 4.9°C fall in temperate latitudes over the next 20 years. We can only hope he’s wrong. As David says ” The center of the Corn Belt, now in Iowa, will move south to Kansas.”

He also predicts continuing drought in Africa for another 14 years, with droughts likely in South America too.

If he’s right, it’s awful and excellent at the same time. Cold hurts, but wouldn’t it be something if we understood our climate well enough to plan ahead?

Much more HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Unhappy windmill owners in Shetland

Serious and widespread breakdowns -- and the maker has gone broke

A solution may be on the horizon for owners of Proven P35-2 wind turbines in Shetland nearly four months after they were ordered to shut down their machines following catastrophic weld failures elsewhere in Scotland.

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme, the body that decides which small renewable devices qualify for government power generation subsidies, said this week a way forward had been identified for the flawed £60,000 machines and agreement on the solution should be reached within weeks.

The MCS said: “Once the agreed solution has been finalised MCS will instruct the installation companies to advise their customers of the remedial work that will be required to restart the turbines.”

The long-awaited breakthrough for P35-2 owners, including the handful in Shetland, follows a meeting last week between the MCS’ certification body and the various parties involved with the turbines.

However with hundreds of the machines in existence in Scotland and elsewhere it remains to be seen when a turbine installer will be in a position to attend to the out-of-action machines in Shetland.

The 12.1 kiloWatt P35-2 was suspended from MCS certification on 23rd September after three spectacular main shaft failures. The drastic technical problem brought down Proven Energy itself followed by two of its main installers, Icon Energy and Shetland Wind Power. Proven was later bought by the large Irish firm Kingspan but it washed its hands of the old company’s turbine customers.

Shetland Wind Power’s customer base and some other assets were bought by VG Energy, an Ayrshire-based turbine installer which has been working on a solution to the P35-2 shaft problem.

A new company, still called Shetland Wind Power, has been set up. VG Energy’s founders, farmers Jim Paterson and Stephen Hamilton, also formed two other new companies called Shetland Turbines and Shetland Renewables. VG has ignored several approaches from The Shetland Times for information to provide to its readers.

Until the P35-2 solution is agreed and applied to the turbines the MCS has advised that the brake should be kept on to keep them out of action, although some have been running from time to time since the shutdown was ordered last year.

The news of movement on the P35-2 problem was welcomed by SNP Highlands and Islands MSP Jean Urquhart this week. She said: “I am delighted that progress is now being made and that these machines should soon be working again. “There are many of these turbines in Shetland and a number of owners have contacted me regarding the difficulties they are facing.”

Each owner has been losing potentially thousands of pounds a month from not being able to claim subsidy, enjoy free electricity or sell excess power into the Shetland grid.

As well as problems with the rotor heads there now seems to be question marks over the towers that the P35-2 turbines are built on. A machine owned by Norman and Evelyn Leask at Snarness, near West Burrafirth, suffered a catastrophic failure of its tower during a north-westerly storm at the end of last year. The steel tower broke in two, causing the turbine to crash to the ground.

Another leading turbine company, Evoco, is having to beef-up its 10kW turbine designs after suffering machine failures during gales in Yorkshire. There has been a problem with a rotational bearing which causes blades to snap off. Owners were told to shut them down and Evoco pledged to compensate them for lost feed-in tariff subsidy.


Map-makers admit Greenland gaffe

That poisonous Greenie influence is pervasive. Truth is the least of their concerns

The 2011 version of the map, left, incorrectly showed ice-loss

IT APPEARED to provide incontrovertible proof that global warming was accelerating faster than even the most doom-laden scientists had predicted.

There was considerable alarm when the word’s most authoritative atlas printed a map which showed that Greenland was rapidly turning green.

However, experts from around the globe pointed out that the cataclysmic chart had no scientific support and was contradicted by all of the most recent satellite images.

Now the Scottish map-makers responsible for the disappearance of 115,830 square miles of polar ice have admitted publicly they were wrong. As an act of contrition, The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World cartographers have produced a new map which restores Greenland’s ice cover.

Jethro Lennox, senior publishing editor of the £150 tome, insisted lessons would be learned from the episode, which generated headlines around the globe. The Glasgow-based map-maker said: “We’re very disappointed at the way it happened. “But we are now looking to draw a line under the Greenland controversy and move on.”

The latest atlas, which was published in September, showed a reduction in ice cover compared with the previous edition from four years ago.

Accompanying publicity material declared the change represented “concrete evidence” of the effects of global warming, stating: “For the first time the new edition has had to erase 15 per cent of Greenland’s permanent ice cover – turning an area the size of the UK and Ireland ‘green’ and ice-free.”

Publishers HarperCollins originally stood by the accuracy of the map but have since admitted to the mistake after the blunder was exposed by scientists.

Mr Lennox said: “After publication of the 13th edition of The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World it became apparent that we had not represented the permanent ice cover in Greenland fully and clearly. “In failing to do that, this section of the map did not meet the usual high standards of accuracy and reliability that the atlas strives to uphold. “To correct this, we decided to produce a new, more detailed map using the latest information available.” A new, corrected map of Greenland will be inserted into all remaining copies.

The updated chart was put together after the cartographers consulted experts from the University of Arizona, the University of Bristol, the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland and the Byrd Polar Research Centre.

The editor claimed the newly established links would prevent errors in future. He said: “We have made some valuable contacts and will be keen to work with them again in the future.”


Global warming down but not out

Campuses teem with “post-docs” – college bums with PhDs for whom there are no jobs. Given adequate finances, marshalling a choir of these sad creatures to chant whatever hymn is not difficult.

What is difficult is forecasting the fortunes of the Climate Change campaign. International climate negotiations gridlocked years ago. There is clear evidence of an orderly standing down by enviro-activists and their media allies. The number of climate alarmist stories appearing in the media is diminishing. Climate Change no longer appears high on the list of ruses deployed by the enviro-activists challenging energy projects. Climate Change suddenly seems so passé; so pre-Copenhagen. Have skeptical nerds been left holding the global warming bag?

One must distinguish enviro-sound from enviro-fury; pretexts from goals. The Climate Change campaign is an effort to impose energy, land-use, and political policies. Regarding energy, it is a war on coal and petroleum. Regarding land-use, it seeks restrictions on the amount of utilized land. Politically, it is an effort to disenfranchise the masses. While Climate Change is placed on the back burner, the underlying effort to impose these policies is heating up.

The EPA’s recent salvo in its war on coal, the December 2011-issued MATS (Mercury and Air Toxic Standards) regulations, hardly mentions Climate Change. Le cause de celebre is mercury poisoning. Mercury is a natural aerosol with a trace presence in our every breath. Less than 0.5% of the mercury floating over America comes from coal-fired power plants. Coal-burning’s alleged thousands of mercury-poisoned fatalities are “virtual people” buried in computers owned by health activist orgs funded by the EPA. MATS forces owners of non-compliant coal-fired power plants to spend billions on retrofits or face plant closure. Non-compliant plants produce a quarter of America’s electricity.

In North America, the war on petroleum’s most active front is the siege of Alberta’s oil sands. In the blocking of the Keystone XL pipeline, the focal canards were property rights, water pollution, and ecosystem destruction. Broadsides against the oil sands’ alleged climate damage, hitherto prominent in the “Tar Sands” campaign, were shelved.

Another proposed oil sands pipeline, Northern Gateway, was recently stuffed by a Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency decision to entertain testimony from 4,500 witnesses at the pipeline’s approval hearings, which consequently will drag on for two years. A miniscule fraction of these witnesses possess expertise on petroleum transport. Pipeline opponents have threatened protracted litigation if authorities do not sufficiently prostrate themselves before the manifest malarkey of “aboriginal knowledge.” Climate Change is not a marquis concern at these hearings, nor is what commercial engineers think is safe petroleum transport. Both are trumped by worries about the emotional well-being of racially-obsessed shamans with wooden boxes on their heads.

Climate Change is not dead nor was it a dud. The campaign is in abeyance and might roar back – depending on AR2014’s reception, depending on the weather. Let no one say the campaign failed. When this campaign was hatched in the mid-1970s, wind power, solar power, and biofuels were novelties. These are now multi-billion-dollar industrial complexes on both sides of the Atlantic. Having their own social momentum and lobbying clout, these industrial complexes, according to plan, make Climate Change too big to suddenly fail.

Much more HERE (See the original for links)


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