Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Recent "extreme" weather was in fact extremely good
When Dr. Greg Forbes, the Weather Channel's Severe Weather Expert, said he uncovered a "good" tornado stat, we knew it was worth noting.
Despite the largest Christmas Day tornado outbreak on record in the U.S., with at least 27 tornadoes confirmed, not a single fatality was linked directly to the Christmas Day tornadoes.
According to Dr. Forbes, the streak of days without a U.S. tornado death has now reached 189 consecutive days, through December 30.
The last tornado death in the U.S. happened on June 24, when Tropical Storm Debby spawned a tornado in Highlands County, Florida. One person was killed.
"We haven't broken the overall record, yet," Dr. Forbes notes. The longest-recorded streak was set in 1987, with a stretch of 197 days without a tornado fatality.
According to Greg Carbin, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at NOAA's Storm Prediction Center, there have been only 3 other streaks that have gone at least 190+ days in records since 1950, in addition to the record 1986-1987 streak above: late 1981-early 1982 and late 1959-early 1960.
Europe, wind, warming... we're slowly waking up to reality
2012: the year of promised 'drought' that turned into England's wettest on record
There could be few more apt epitaphs for the year now ending than a recollection of the headlines in April that greeted a stark warning from the Environment Agency. Fuelled by the predictions of the climate-change-obsessed Met Office (and the the official policy, since 2007, of the similarly fixated EU) that we will have “hotter, drier summers” for decades to come, the agency foretold that the drought conditions of the early spring were likely to last “until Christmas and perhaps beyond”. The prophecy was swiftly followed by the wettest late spring, the wettest summer, the wettest autumn and the wettest Christmas we have ever known – eight months of near-continuous rain and floods amounting to England’s wettest year since records began.
For many of the major stories which have long been followed by this column, 2012 has been the year when long-dominant belief systems and fondly held illusions have been conspicuously falling apart, portending a time of agonising reappraisal when familiar certainties give way to greater realism and painful rethinking.
On Tuesday, for instance, much coverage will be given to the 40th anniversary of the day in 1973 when Britain finally junked “1,000 years of history” – in the famous words of Labour leader Hugh Gaitskell – and threw in her lot with the attempt to create an all-powerful super-government over the nations of Europe. (Gaitskell had shrewdly predicted, in his speech back in 1962, what the Common Market, as it was then known, was intended eventually to become.)
It is 20 years since this column began regularly reporting on the damage that our membership of the European Union (as it was then about to become, under the Maastricht Treaty) was starting to inflict on our national life. In those days, to question our membership was to be dismissed by all right-thinking people as a crank, a nutter, a xenophobe who could not be taken seriously. When at the start of 1992, I first began reporting horror stories about the tidal wave of new regulations hitting so many British businesses with the approach of the Single Market, along with the destruction of our fishing industry and much of our agriculture, we were still locked into that forerunner of the single currency, the ERM (almost unanimously supported, it is salutary to recall, by every political party and right across the media).
When we were forced out of the ERM on Black Wednesday, September 16, 1992, it ushered in a period of dramatic economic growth which, six years later, would allow Gordon Brown to announce his hubristic decision to double public spending in 10 years. We are paying the price for that now: this year the Government has had to borrow up to £18 billion a month to cover its ever-widening deficit.
Forty years on from our entry into “Europe”, as we see “the project” plunge deeper into the misery and chaos it has brought on itself by its even more hubristic desire to give the EU its own currency, British attitudes to our membership have changed beyond recognition. In their desperate efforts to save the euro, we see the EU’s inner core driving on towards yet another treaty and “full political union”, in a way that will condemn the UK to remain helplessly on the margin, with less influence over Europe’s destiny than ever. On all sides we hear plaintive cries that we must negotiate a “looser relationship” with the form of government to which we subordinated ourselves 40 years ago, as if we could defy its most basic rule: that powers once handed over to the centre in Brussels can never be given back.
Poll after poll shows that the majority of the British people would now like to see us get out altogether. One way or another – although few seem yet to have any realistic idea of how this could be achieved – we seem to be approaching a turning point in our relations with “Europe”, one as fateful as that step Edward Heath led us into so blindly back in 1973.
Just as significant this year have been the signs of glimmerings of reality breaking in on the delusions that go with the long-dominant conviction that the world is in the grip of a changing climate that we somehow have the power to reverse, if only we are prepared to subordinate every aspect of national policy to doing so and to change almost every aspect of our lives. It is 10 years since I first began reporting here on just one of the countless threads in that story – the belief that we could somehow derive most of the electricity on which our computer-dependent economy now relies from “renewable” sources: for instance, by covering vast tracts of our countryside and sea with giant wind turbines.
Again, back in 2002, to point out that wind energy was an incredibly damaging illusion was to be dismissed as a crank, a Nimby, a Luddite. But 10 years later, the penny is finally dropping that, in practical terms, this is an incredibly foolish and costly mistake. Furthermore, it is only part of a disastrous skewing of our energy policy through an obsesssion, shared with the EU since 1990, that we must lead the world in fighting a threat which, in the past few years, has increasingly come to be seen as a colossal scare story.
Six years ago, with global-warming hysteria still at its height, I first began to suggest here that it might be based on scientific evidence that was distorted or fabricated – as in the “hockey stick” graph, or the bizarre adjustments being made to official temperature records. Again, to say this at the time was to be derided as a “climate-change denier”, “anti-science”, a “flat earther”.
It is three years since, growing out of my researches for this column, I published a book called The Real Global Warming Disaster. It ranks alongside books by Al Gore and James Lovelock as one of the three best-sellers on the subject in the past decade, because it was the first detailed attempt to reconstruct the scientific and political story of the global-warming scare – just before it became clear, at the mammoth Copenhagen conference, that efforts to get a new treaty to combat global warming (and present mankind with the biggest bill in history) had collapsed.
As the scientific case for man-made climate change fell apart, in a welter of scandals which showed how ruthlessly the evidence had been fudged and manipulated, the real global warming disaster, as I argued, was the political legacy it was leaving us with. No one had promoted this more zealously than the EU and the British government, whose Climate Change Act, approved almost unanimously by MPs, is by far the most costly law ever put through Parliament.
At last, in 2012, we have begun to see calls for the repeal of this utterly insane legislation, requiring us to cut “carbon emissions” by four fifths in less than 40 years, which could only be achieved by shutting down virtually the entire British economy. At the same time we have heard influential calls, going right up into the heart of Government, for an end to the insanity of covering Britain’s countryside with useless and ludicrously expensive windmills. We have also heard calls, as in a recent report from the think tank Civitas, for the scrapping of the equally mad “carbon tax”. From April, the steadily increasing costs of this will gradually – as this column has long pointed out – make Britain’s economy the least competitive in Europe, destroying tens of thousands of jobs as energy-intensive industries are forced to relocate abroad or close altogether, and driving millions more households into “fuel poverty”.
At the same time, we have the promise of a national debate as to whether Britain should remain part of the maddest political experiment in history as it staggers deeper and deeper into a relentless crisis which threatens eventually to tear it apart, and our joining of which Margaret Thatcher described in her retirement as “a political error of the first magnitude”.
As 2013 dawns, with the US teetering on the edge of its own “fiscal cliff”, in many ways not dissimilar to that left to us by Gordon Brown, we are certainly in for “an interesting time”. But at least as the political skies grow darker and Britain gets wetter, there are real signs that we are beginning to wake up from a whole series of collective dreams which turned out to be nightmares. The breaking in of reality on such make-believe must inevitably be painful and bewildering. But if it is a prelude to our returning to our senses as a nation, then this could be an apt cue to wish you all a happy New Year.
Kyoto climate change treaty sputters to a sorry end
Kyoto Protocol aimed for 5% cut in carbon emissions — instead, we got a 58% increase
The controversial and ineffective Kyoto Protocol's first stage comes to an end today, leaving the world with 58 per cent more greenhouse gases than in 1990, as opposed to the five per cent reduction its signatories sought.
From the beginning, the treaty that was adopted in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, was problematic. Opponents denied the science of climate change and claimed the treaty was a socialist plot. Environmentalists decried the lack of ambition in Kyoto and warned of dire consequences for future generations.
But the goal of the treaty was simple.
"We hoped that we would be able to reduce greenhouse gases substantially, but that it was a first step," explained Christine Stewart, the Liberal environment minister who negotiated in Kyoto on Canada's behalf.
The Kyoto Protocol was an initiative that came out of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. It recognized that climate change was a result of greenhouse gases created by human industrial activity. The idea was that rich nations, which had already benefited from industrialization, would reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in the first part of the treaty and developing nations would join in later.
Although the protocol was adopted in 1997, it didn't to come into force until 2005. In the intervening eight years, countries set reduction targets for themselves and ratified the agreement.
"At the time we didn't realize how complicated it would be to get the Kyoto Protocol ratified and for it to enter into force internationally," said Steven Guilbeault, co-founder of Equiterre, a Montreal-based environmental charity.
Problems from the beginning
Right off the bat, there were problems. The U.S., the world's biggest emitter at the time, signed up but never ratified.
And Canada ratified the treaty but with targets that were unachievable in the opinion of many.
Bob Mills was a Reform Party MP from Alberta who went to Kyoto with the government. He was in Johannesburg five years later when the country agreed to reduce emissions to six per cent below 1990 levels.
"If we ratify this thing we'll never hit our targets," Mills warned Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien at the time, because he was worried Canada's international reputation would take a hit.
To his disappointment, Mills was right. As 2005 rolled around, Canada was nowhere near to having a plan and our emissions were rising. When he entered government a year later, the Conservatives started to lay the groundwork for much less ambitious greenhouse gas reductions.
"In 2006, it was a pretty tough situation because nothing really had been accomplished. We had these targets in front of us, they were impossible to hit," he said.
Taking a pass on Kyoto targets
And so, Canada's new government decided not to bother. They worried about the harm it would cause Canada's economy and the fact that only developed nations had to cut back while economic up-and-comers like China, India and Brazil could pollute as much as they wanted.
"We would have to pull every truck and car off the street, shut down every train and ground every plane to reach the Kyoto target the Liberals negotiated for Canada," argued Conservative Environment Minister Rona Ambrose in 2006.
Instead, the Conservative government opted to begin a long process of overhauling all of Canada's environmental legislation. That meant scaling back on Kyoto commitments that couldn't be met.
Canada announced to the world that we wouldn't be able to meet our Kyoto targets in 2007. Three years later we set new, easier-to-hit targets — 17 per cent below 2005 levels — that keep us in line with the Americans.
'Kyoto, for Canada, is in the past'
The final nail in the coffin for Canada's involvement in Kyoto went in on Dec. 13, 2011.
"Kyoto, for Canada, is in the past," announced Environment Minister Peter Kent at a news conference in Ottawa soon after he got off the plane from a climate change conference in Durban, South Africa. Kent gave one year's notice and, as of Dec. 15 this year, Canada was no longer a party to the Kyoto Protocol.
100 reasons why climate change is natural and not man-made
HERE are the 100 reasons, released in a dossier issued by the European Foundation, why climate change is natural and not man-made:
1) There is “no real scientific proof” that the current warming is caused by the rise of greenhouse gases from man’s activity.
2) Man-made carbon dioxide emissions throughout human history constitute less than 0.00022 percent of the total naturally emitted from the mantle of the earth during geological history.
3) Warmer periods of the Earth’s history came around 800 years before rises in CO2 levels.
4) After World War II, there was a huge surge in recorded CO2 emissions but global temperatures fell for four decades after 1940.
5) Throughout the Earth’s history, temperatures have often been warmer than now and CO2 levels have often been higher – more than ten times as high.
6) Significant changes in climate have continually occurred throughout geologic time.
7) The 0.7C increase in the average global temperature over the last hundred years is entirely consistent with well-established, long-term, natural climate trends.
8) The IPCC theory is driven by just 60 scientists and favourable reviewers not the 4,000 usually cited.
9) Leaked e-mails from British climate scientists – in a scandal known as “Climate-gate” - suggest that that has been manipulated to exaggerate global warming
10) A large body of scientific research suggests that the sun is responsible for the greater share of climate change during the past hundred years.
11) Politicians and activiists claim rising sea levels are a direct cause of global warming but sea levels rates have been increasing steadily since the last ice age 10,000 ago
12) Philip Stott, Emeritus Professor of Biogeography at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London says climate change is too complicated to be caused by just one factor, whether CO2 or clouds
13) Peter Lilley MP said last month that “fewer people in Britain than in any other country believe in the importance of global warming. That is despite the fact that our Government and our political class—predominantly—are more committed to it than their counterparts in any other country in the world”.
14) In pursuit of the global warming rhetoric, wind farms will do very little to nothing to reduce CO2 emissions
15) Professor Plimer, Professor of Geology and Earth Sciences at the University of Adelaide, stated that the idea of taking a single trace gas in the atmosphere, accusing it and finding it guilty of total responsibility for climate change, is an “absurdity”
16) A Harvard University astrophysicist and geophysicist, Willie Soon, said he is “embarrassed and puzzled” by the shallow science in papers that support the proposition that the earth faces a climate crisis caused by global warming.
17) The science of what determines the earth’s temperature is in fact far from settled or understood.
18) Despite activist concerns over CO2 levels, CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas, unlike water vapour which is tied to climate concerns, and which we can’t even pretend to control
19) A petition by scientists trying to tell the world that the political and media portrayal of global warming is false was put forward in the Heidelberg Appeal in 1992. Today, more than 4,000 signatories, including 72 Nobel Prize winners, from 106 countries have signed it.
20) It is claimed the average global temperature increased at a dangerously fast rate in the 20th century but the recent rate of average global temperature rise has been between 1 and 2 degrees C per century - within natural rates
21) Professor Zbigniew Jaworowski, Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection in Warsaw, Poland says the earth’s temperature has more to do with cloud cover and water vapor than CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.
22) There is strong evidence from solar studies which suggests that the Earth’s current temperature stasis will be followed by climatic cooling over the next few decades
23) It is myth that receding glaciers are proof of global warming as glaciers have been receding and growing cyclically for many centuries
24) It is a falsehood that the earth’s poles are warming because that is natural variation and while the western Arctic may be getting somewhat warmer we also see that the Eastern Arctic and Greenland are getting colder
25) The IPCC claims climate driven “impacts on biodiversity are significant and of key relevance” but those claims are simply not supported by scientific research
26) The IPCC threat of climate change to the world’s species does not make sense as wild species are at least one million years old, which means they have all been through hundreds of climate cycles
27) Research goes strongly against claims that CO2-induced global warming would cause catastrophic disintegration of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets.
28) Despite activist concerns over CO2 levels, rising CO2 levels are our best hope of raising crop yields to feed an ever-growing population
29) The biggest climate change ever experienced on earth took place around 700 million years ago
30) The slight increase in temperature which has been observed since 1900 is entirely consistent with well-established, long-term natural climate cycles
31) Despite activist concerns over CO2 levels, rising CO2 levels of some so-called “greenhouse gases” may be contributing to higher oxygen levels and global cooling, not warming
32) Accurate satellite, balloon and mountain top observations made over the last three decades have not shown any significant change in the long term rate of increase in global temperatures
33) Today’s CO2 concentration of around 385 ppm is very low compared to most of the earth’s history – we actually live in a carbon-deficient atmosphere
34) It is a myth that CO2 is the most common greenhouse gas because greenhouse gases form about 3% of the atmosphere by volume, and CO2 constitutes about 0.037% of the atmosphere
35) It is a myth that computer models verify that CO2 increases will cause significant global warming because computer models can be made to “verify” anything
36) There is no scientific or statistical evidence whatsoever that global warming will cause more storms and other weather extremes
37) One statement deleted from a UN report in 1996 stated that “none of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed climate changes to increases in greenhouse gases”
38) The world “warmed” by 0.07 +/- 0.07 degrees C from 1999 to 2008, not the 0.20 degrees C expected by the IPCC
39) The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says “it is likely that future tropical cyclones (typhoons and hurricanes) will become more intense” but there has been no increase in the intensity or frequency of tropical cyclones globally
40) Rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere can be shown not only to have a negligible effect on the Earth’s many ecosystems, but in some cases to be a positive help to many organisms
41) Researchers who compare and contrast climate change impact on civilizations found warm periods are beneficial to mankind and cold periods harmful
42) The Met Office asserts we are in the hottest decade since records began but this is precisely what the world should expect if the climate is cyclical
43) Rising CO2 levels increase plant growth and make plants more resistant to drought and pests
44) The historical increase in the air’s CO2 content has improved human nutrition by raising crop yields during the past 150 years
45) The increase of the air’s CO2 content has probably helped lengthen human lifespans since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution
46) The IPCC alleges that “climate change currently contributes to the global burden of disease and premature deaths” but the evidence shows that higher temperatures and rising CO2 levels has helped global populations
47) In May of 2004, the Russian Academy of Sciences published a report concluding that the Kyoto Protocol has no scientific grounding at all.
48) The “Climate-gate” scandal pointed to a expensive public campaign of disinformation and the denigration of scientists who opposed the belief that CO2 emissions were causing climate change
49) The head of Britain’s climate change watchdog has predicted households will need to spend up to £15,000 on a full energy efficiency makeover if the Government is to meet its ambitious targets for cutting carbon emissions.
50) Wind power is unlikely to be the answer to our energy needs. The wind power industry argues that there are “no direct subsidies” but it involves a total subsidy of as much as £60 per MWh which falls directly on electricity consumers. This burden will grow in line with attempts to achieve Wind power targets, according to a recent OFGEM report.
51) Wind farms are not an efficient way to produce energy. The British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) accepts a figure of 75 per cent back-up power is required.
52) Global temperatures are below the low end of IPCC predictions not at “at the top end of IPCC estimates”
53) Climate alarmists have raised the concern over acidification of the oceans but Tom Segalstad from Oslo University in Norway , and others, have noted that the composition of ocean water – including CO2, calcium, and water – can act as a buffering agent in the acidification of the oceans.
54) The UN’s IPCC computer models of human-caused global warming predict the emergence of a “hotspot” in the upper troposphere over the tropics. Former researcher in the Australian Department of Climate Change, David Evans, said there is no evidence of such a hotspot
55) The argument that climate change is a of result of global warming caused by human activity is the argument of flat Earthers.
56) The manner in which US President Barack Obama sidestepped Congress to order emission cuts shows how undemocratic and irrational the entire international decision-making process has become with regards to emission-target setting.
57) William Kininmonth, a former head of the National Climate Centre and a consultant to the World Meteorological Organisation, wrote “the likely extent of global temperature rise from a doubling of CO2 is less than 1C. Such warming is well within the envelope of variation experienced during the past 10,000 years and insignificant in the context of glacial cycles during the past million years, when Earth has been predominantly very cold and covered by extensive ice sheets.”
58) Canada has shown the world targets derived from the existing Kyoto commitments were always unrealistic and did not work for the country.
59) In the lead up to the Copenhagen summit, David Davis MP said of previous climate summits, at Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and Kyoto in 1997 that many had promised greater cuts, but “neither happened”, but we are continuing along the same lines.
60) The UK ’s environmental policy has a long-term price tag of about £55 billion, before taking into account the impact on its economic growth.
61) The UN’s panel on climate change warned that Himalayan glaciers could melt to a fifth of current levels by 2035. J. Graham Cogley a professor at Ontario Trent University, claims this inaccurate stating the UN authors got the date from an earlier report wrong by more than 300 years.
62) Under existing Kyoto obligations the EU has attempted to claim success, while actually increasing emissions by 13 per cent, according to Lord Lawson. In addition the EU has pursued this scheme by purchasing “offsets” from countries such as China paying them billions of dollars to destroy atmospheric pollutants, such as CFC-23, which were manufactured purely in order to be destroyed.
63) It is claimed that the average global temperature was relatively unchanging in pre-industrial times but sky-rocketed since 1900, and will increase by several degrees more over the next 100 years according to Penn State University researcher Michael Mann. There is no convincing empirical evidence that past climate was unchanging, nor that 20th century changes in average global temperature were unusual or unnatural.
64) Michael Mann of Penn State University has actually shown that the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age did in fact exist, which contrasts with his earlier work which produced the “hockey stick graph” which showed a constant temperature over the past thousand years or so followed by a recent dramatic upturn.
65) The globe’s current approach to climate change in which major industrialised countries agree to nonsensical targets for their CO2 emissions by a given date, as it has been under the Kyoto system, is very expensive.
66) The “Climate-gate” scandal revealed that a scientific team had emailed one another about using a “trick” for the sake of concealing a “decline” in temperatures when looking at the history of the Earth’s temperature.
67) Global temperatures have not risen in any statistically-significant sense for 15 years and have actually been falling for nine years. The “Climate-gate” scandal revealed a scientific team had expressed dismay at the fact global warming was contrary to their predictions and admitted their inability to explain it was “a travesty”.
68) The IPCC predicts that a warmer planet will lead to more extreme weather, including drought, flooding, storms, snow, and wildfires. But over the last century, during which the IPCC claims the world experienced more rapid warming than any time in the past two millennia, the world did not experience significantly greater trends in any of these extreme weather events.
69) In explaining the average temperature standstill we are currently experiencing, the Met Office Hadley Centre ran a series of computer climate predictions and found in many of the computer runs there were decade-long standstills but none for 15 years – so it expects global warming to resume swiftly.
70) Richard Lindzen, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote: “The notion of a static, unchanging climate is foreign to the history of the Earth or any other planet with a fluid envelope. Such hysteria (over global warming) simply represents the scientific illiteracy of much of the public, the susceptibility of the public to the substitution of repetition for truth.”
71) Despite the 1997 Kyoto Protocol’s status as the flagship of the fight against climate change it has been a failure.
72) The first phase of the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which ran from 2005 to 2007 was a failure. Huge over-allocation of permits to pollute led to a collapse in the price of carbon from €33 to just €0.20 per tonne meaning the system did not reduce emissions at all.
73) The EU trading scheme, to manage carbon emissions has completely failed and actually allows European businesses to duck out of making their emissions reductions at home by offsetting, which means paying for cuts to be made overseas instead.
74) To date “cap and trade” carbon markets have done almost nothing to reduce emissions.
75) In the United States , the cap-and-trade is an approach designed to control carbon emissions and will impose huge costs upon American citizens via a carbon tax on all goods and services produced in the United States. The average family of four can expect to pay an additional $1700, or £1,043, more each year. It is predicted that the United States will lose more than 2 million jobs as the result of cap-and-trade schemes.
76) Dr Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, has indicated that out of the 21 climate models tracked by the IPCC the differences in warming exhibited by those models is mostly the result of different strengths of positive cloud feedback – and that increasing CO2 is insufficient to explain global-average warming in the last 50 to 100 years.
77) Why should politicians devote our scarce resources in a globally competitive world to a false and ill-defined problem, while ignoring the real problems the entire planet faces, such as: poverty, hunger, disease or terrorism.
78) A proper analysis of ice core records from the past 650,000 years demonstrates that temperature increases have come before, and not resulted from, increases in CO2 by hundreds of years.
79) Since the cause of global warming is mostly natural, then there is in actual fact very little we can do about it. (We are still not able to control the sun).
80) A substantial number of the panel of 2,500 climate scientists on the United Nation’s International Panel on Climate Change, which created a statement on scientific unanimity on climate change and man-made global warming, were found to have serious concerns.
81) The UK’s Met Office has been forced this year to re-examine 160 years of temperature data after admitting that public confidence in the science on man-made global warming has been shattered by revelations about the data.
82) Politicians and activists push for renewable energy sources such as wind turbines under the rhetoric of climate change, but it is essentially about money – under the system of Renewable Obligations. Much of the money is paid for by consumers in electricity bills. It amounts to £1 billion a year.
83) The “Climate-gate” scandal revealed that a scientific team had tampered with their own data so as to conceal inconsistencies and errors.
84) The “Climate-gate” scandal revealed that a scientific team had campaigned for the removal of a learned journal’s editor, solely because he did not share their willingness to debase science for political purposes.
85) Ice-core data clearly show that temperatures change centuries before concentrations of atmospheric CO2 change. Thus, there appears to be little evidence for insisting that changes in concentrations of CO2 are the cause of past temperature and climate change.
86) There are no experimentally verified processes explaining how CO2 concentrations can fall in a few centuries without falling temperatures – in fact it is changing temperatures which cause changes in CO2 concentrations, which is consistent with experiments that show CO2 is the atmospheric gas most readily absorbed by water.
87) The Government’s Renewable Energy Strategy contains a massive increase in electricity generation by wind power costing around £4 billion a year over the next twenty years. The benefits will be only £4 to £5 billion overall (not per annum). So costs will outnumber benefits by a range of between eleven and seventeen times.
88) Whilst CO2 levels have indeed changed for various reasons, human and otherwise, just as they have throughout history, the CO2 content of the atmosphere has increased since the beginning of the industrial revolution, and the growth rate has now been constant for the past 25 years.
89) It is a myth that CO2 is a pollutant, because nitrogen forms 80% of our atmosphere and human beings could not live in 100% nitrogen either: CO2 is no more a pollutant than nitrogen is and CO2 is essential to life.
90) Politicians and climate activists make claims to rising sea levels but certain members in the IPCC chose an area to measure in Hong Kong that is subsiding. They used the record reading of 2.3 mm per year rise of sea level.
91) The accepted global average temperature statistics used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that no ground-based warming has occurred since 1998.
92) If one factors in non-greenhouse influences such as El Nino events and large volcanic eruptions, lower atmosphere satellite-based temperature measurements show little, if any, global warming since 1979, a period over which atmospheric CO2 has increased by 55 ppm (17 per cent).
93) US President Barack Obama pledged to cut emissions by 2050 to equal those of 1910 when there were 92 million Americans. In 2050, there will be 420 million Americans, so Obama’s promise means that emissions per head will be approximately what they were in 1875. It simply will not happen.
94) The European Union has already agreed to cut emissions by 20 percent to 2020, compared with 1990 levels, and is willing to increase the target to 30 percent. However, these are unachievable and the EU has already massively failed with its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), as EU emissions actually rose by 0.8 percent from 2005 to 2006 and are known to be well above the Kyoto goal.
95) Australia has stated it wants to slash greenhouse emissions by up to 25 percent below 2000 levels by 2020, but the pledges were so unpopular that the country’s Senate has voted against the carbon trading Bill, and the Opposition’s Party leader has now been ousted by a climate change sceptic.
96) Canada plans to reduce emissions by 20 percent compared with 2006 levels by 2020, representing approximately a 3 percent cut from 1990 levels but it simultaneously defends its Alberta tar sands emissions and its record as one of the world’s highest per-capita emissions setters.
97) India plans to reduce the ratio of emissions to production by 20-25 percent compared with 2005 levels by 2020, but all Government officials insist that since India has to grow for its development and poverty alleviation, it has to emit, because the economy is driven by carbon.
98) The Leipzig Declaration in 1996, was signed by 110 scientists who said: “We – along with many of our fellow citizens – are apprehensive about the climate treaty conference scheduled for Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997” and “based on all the evidence available to us, we cannot subscribe to the politically inspired world view that envisages climate catastrophes and calls for hasty actions.”
99) A US Oregon Petition Project stated “We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of CO2, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”
100) A report by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change concluded “We find no support for the IPCC’s claim that climate observations during the twentieth century are either unprecedented or provide evidence of an anthropogenic effect on climate.”
Poland And Czech Republic Ban Germany’s Green Energy
In order to boost Germany’s ‘ecological wonder’ and its green energy transition, the Federal Republic has used power grids of neighbouring countries – without asking for permission. For this short-sighted policy, the German government is now being punished.
Germany considers itself the environmental conscience of the world: with its nuclear phase-out and its green energy transition, the federal government wanted to give the world a model to follow. However, blinded by its own halo Germany overlooked that others have to pay for this green image boost and are suffering as a result.
For example, Germany’s ‘eco-miracle’ simply used the power grids of neighboring countries not only without asking for permission but also without paying for it. Now Poland and the Czech Republic have pulled the plug and are building a huge switch-off at their borders to block the uninvited import of green energy from Germany which is destabalising their grids and is thus risking blackouts.
Germany’s neighbours act in self-defense, no one can blame them. The blocking of energy at their borders, however, are fragmenting the single European market for electricity. They also turning Germany into an electrical island within the European energy network, with unknown consequences for the security of supply.
And they cause even more forced shutdowns of wind farms in Germany, which means additional costs of at least one hundred millions Euros.
Germany’s federal government took the nuclear phase-out decision without any consultation with their European partners and irrespective of any implications for neighbouring countries. The green decision was rushed through without regard of transport capacity. For their short-sighted, self-centered and actionistic energy policy the German government is now paying the price.
Green Energy Cost May Accelerate Europe’s Decline
On Dec. 19, Voestalpine, an Austrian maker of high-quality steel for the auto industry, announced that it would build a plant in North America that would employ natural gas to reduce iron ore to a kind of raw iron that would then be used in the company’s European blast furnaces. Asked whether he had considered building the plant in Europe, Voestalpine’s chief executive, Wolfgang Eder, said that that “calculation does not make sense from the very beginning.” Gas in Europe is much more expensive, he said.
High energy costs are emerging as an issue in Europe that is prompting debate, including questioning of the Continent’s clean energy initiatives. Over the past few years, Europe has spent tens of billions of euros in an effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The bulk of the spending has gone into low-carbon energy sources like wind and solar power that have needed special tariffs or other subsidies to be commercially viable.
“We embarked on a big transition to a low-carbon economy without taking into account the cost and without factoring in the competitive impact,” says Fabien Roques, head of European power and carbon at the energy consulting firm IHS CERA in Paris. “I think there will be a critical review of some of these policies in the next few years.”
Both consumers and the industry are upset about high energy costs. Energy-intensive industries like chemicals and steel are, if not closing European plants outright, looking toward places like the United States that have lower energy costs as they pursue new investments.
BASF, the German chemical giant, has been outspoken about the consequences of energy costs for competitiveness and is building a new plant in Louisiana.
“We Europeans are currently paying up to four or five times more for natural gas than the Americans,” Harald Schwager, a member of the executive board at BASF, said last month. “Energy efficiency alone will not allow us to compensate for this. Of course, that means increased competition for all the European manufacturing sites.”
The expansion in renewables will probably ensure that Europe will meet its target of reducing greenhouse gases 20 percent from their 1990 levels by 2020. But it has been a disappointment on other levels.
For one thing, emissions continue to rise globally. In a sense, Europe is likely to have exported its emissions to places like China, where polluting economic activity continues to increase while the European economy stagnates.
A striking indicator that the European effort has not achieved all that it intended to is the continued rise in the burning of coal, by far the biggest polluter among fossil fuels.
The International Energy Agency, a Paris-based group formed by consumer nations, recently said that coal was likely to catch up with oil as the world’s largest source of energy in a decade.
Much of the increase in coal use can be blamed on China and India, but not all of it. Europe has increased its coal use this year, and that has led to an increase of about 7 percent in carbon dioxide emissions from power generation, according to IHS. Coal use is increasing in all regions except the United States, the I.E.A. said.
Current European energy policies were mostly shaped when the European economy was booming. In the grim economic climate of today, spending big money on renewables can seem like a luxury. Spain — once a strong supporter of renewables — has sharply cut funding.
The British government, another big backer of clean energy, recently struck a compromise. It promised to soak consumers for billions of pounds of subsidies for renewables like wind power and even new nuclear power plants, but it also gave a cautious green light to shale gas drilling in hopes of finding a cheaper source of natural gas.
A British consumer advocacy group called Which? recently pegged the costs to British consumers of decarbonization and new energy infrastructure at more than £100 billion, or $161 billion, and said that “persistently rising energy prices” were putting “intense financial pressures” on the public. In Germany, renewables subsidies are already adding 10 percent to 15 percent to bills, according to IHS.
Europeans cannot help noticing that the United States has managed, through the shale gas boom, not only to slash natural gas prices but also to cut carbon dioxide emissions to a 20-year low as utilities have shifted from coal to natural gas, which produces much less carbon dioxide.
What can Europe do? If it wants to make a bigger dent in carbon emissions, it needs a serious carbon price — not the current €7, or $9, per metric ton — that has little effect on business decisions. It might also consider a tax on carbon consumption to make sure it is not achieving its goals through deindustrialization. But such measures might make Europe even less competitive unless they are adopted globally.
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Posted by JR at 4:59 PM