Sunday, May 12, 2013
Let's have a laugh at Peter Gleick
Despite his acknowleged thievery a little while ago, Peter Gleick seems to be back in the good books of Warmists. Why not? Dishonesty is part and parcel of Warmism.
Peter hasn't got any brighter, though. He is one of the chorus noting the latest figures from Mauna Loa which catalog the relentless rise of atmospheric CO2 -- a rise which is already benefiting third world agriculture as plants find it easier to drag in their basic building blocks. The steady rise at Mauna Loa has passed what Warmists seem to see (for no obvious scientific reason) as a watershed mark -- the level of 400ppm. So Peter seems to be having a bit of an orgasm over this particular point in the rise of CO2
Peter fails to come to grips with another fact, however: That temperature is not rising too. Wasn't a CO2 rise supposed to cause a temperature rise? Wasn't that the basic thesis of Warmism? So if the present CO2 level is so remarkable, isn't it equally remarkable that temperature has not risen too? Surely what we are looking at is a remarkable disproof of Warmism?
And here's another bit of logic that seems to have slipped past Pete: His headine is "The Last Time Atmospheric CO2 was at 400 parts per million Humans Didn’t Exist". Taking that at face value, doesn't it show that humans are NOT the cause of the present "high" level of CO2? Last time we reached that level there were NO people! If both no people and 7.5 billion people (the present world population) produce the same level of CO2, where has the correlation between CO2 levels and human meddling gone? The data throw out the door another correlation central to Warmism. No correlation means no causal relationship. Even David Hume conceded that. "High" CO2 levels were natural last time so why not this time? Humans are not needed in the equation at all.
By his example, Peter shows clearly that Warmism rots the brain -- JR
Farewell to hedgehogs? Numbers in Britain plummet from 36million in 1950 to just one million
It's utter rot to attribute this to the weather. The real cause is a huge loss of hedgerow habitats in Britain as old fields are combined into large units suitable for fully mechanized farming. Any way, since there has been no warming, nothing can be attributed to it. It's just laziness to blame everything on global warming.
The number of birds and hedgehogs in the UK has fallen dramatically as a result of climate change and extreme weather, according to a new report.
The hedgehog population has dropped from 36million in 1950 to just one million today meaning the species is facing the same rapid decline as the tiger.
During the last 50 years numbers of birds have also fallen by 44million.
Warmer winters have affected species including hedgehogs and dormice, causing them to come out of hibernation at the wrong time of year.
Populations of wildfowl birds including Berwick’s swans, which winter in the UK, have also declined, while the Peak District’s golden plover is vulnerable as warmer conditions reduce the crane flies available for chicks to feed on.
Thousands of puffins starved to death this year after the coldest March on record for 50 years.
A new report by Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) has drawn together the latest evidence to provide information on the impact of climate change on the countryside now and in the future.
Many spring events, from frog spawning to leaves appearing on trees, bird eggs hatching and flowers blossoming are happening earlier, with the danger that the life-cycles of dependent species are becoming out of sync, the ‘terrestrial biodiversity climate change impacts report card’ drawn up for the government said.
The report also revealed many dragonflies, butterflies and woodlice are moving their ranges north, while new species of insect have colonised the UK from Europe.
And mountain plants which are adapted to colder conditions are at risk from a warming climate, as warmth-loving species colonise their habitats in response to higher temperatures.
But higher winter temperatures in the past two decades have contributed to higher survival rates among some breeding bird species, the report card said.
Climate change is also responsible for new pests and diseases which are having a major impact on the UK’s trees.
Trees are being hit by dangers such as the oak processionary moth, which can cause breathing problems in people.
And the UK’s climate will become more suitable to invasive pests and diseases, including those which have an impact on a wide range of native plant species, the report said.
Dr Mike Morecroft, from Natural England, who led the development of the overview, said: ‘This report card shows strong evidence from a large number of different scientific studies that the natural world has started to respond to climate change over the last few decades.
‘It also shows the range and complexity of these changes: some species and habitats are much more sensitive than others.
‘This is a challenge for conservation and we need to adapt our approach to reduce the risks and take advantage of any opportunities.
‘It is also another wake-up call about the seriousness of tackling climate change.’
Prince Harry's concern over 'visual impact' of wind farms
Prince Harry has voiced concerns about the visual impact of wind farms during his tour of America (note the usual adoring female in the background)
His comments came as he attended a reception in Denver on Friday night and his views are apparently shared by his father the Prince of Wales.
The event was hosted by Beverley Simpson, British consul general for Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming, and among the guests was four-time Olympic gold medal winning swimmer Missy Franklin.
Susan Reilly, chief executive officer of Renewable Energy Systems Americas, said after speaking to the prince that she had to reassure Harry about the benefits of wind turbines – just as she'd done with his father.
She said: "Prince Harry said he was worried about their visual impact, I told him that I had met his father some years ago and when we discussed wind farms he shared his concerns.
"But as with Prince Charles, I pointed out that we need to strike a balance between their visual impact and the need for renewable energy for future generations."
Harry's comments will be seized upon by critics of wind farms who have labelled them a blot on the landscape.
The Prince's grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh reportedly raised other concerns about the renewable energy source in 2011, labelling them totally reliant on subsidies.
When Esbjorn Wilmar, managing director of the wind farm firm Infinergy, suggested to the Duke at a reception that he should build wind turbines on royal land, he said Philip told him "they were absolutely useless, completely reliant on subsidies and an absolute disgrace".
The Department for Energy and Climate Change hopes that offshore wind farms can provide up to 15% of electric needs by 2020.
But that will require around £8 billion of investment in transmission infrastructure such as platforms, cables and substations.
Britain's great green bribe: Say Yes to a windfarm in your neighbourhood and get 20% off your power bill
Homeowners who live within a mile of proposed wind turbines could be offered a 20 per cent discount on their electricity bills in an attempt to reduce opposition to the green technology.
Residents could also get university fee bursaries, village halls and even free home improvements as part of attempts to allow communities to ‘see the windfarms and the windfall’.
They are part of a package of measures planned by Energy Secretary Ed Davey after he was impressed by a ‘local tariff’ scheme pioneered in Cornwall.
Those living within 1.2 miles of the Delabole wind farm now qualify for a fifth off bills – saving the average customer about £100 a year.
The Government hopes asking firms to provide community benefits will stifle planning objections for new developments, despite critics calling them ‘bribes for blight’.
‘Onshore wind has an important role to play in a diverse energy mix that is secure, low carbon and affordable,’ said Mr Davey. ‘We know that two-thirds of people support the growth of onshore wind.
‘But far too often, host communities have seen the wind farms but not the windfall. We are sensitive to the controversy around onshore wind and we want to ensure that people benefit from having wind farms sited near to them. In the next few weeks we will be publishing the results of our call for evidence, which has looked at ways to reward host communities and ensure that wider investment, employment and social benefits are felt locally.’
Millions of households could miss out on energy savings of more than £100 after ministers delayed the roll-out of so-called smart meters by more than a year.
The £11.7billion scheme to install the devices in 30million homes from next summer has been hit by technical issues.
Families are paying higher power bills in order to finance the project, but now many will have to wait longer to reap the benefits.
The technology ends estimated bills by supplying precise gas and electricity readings over the mobile phone network. Families could also be helped to cut spending on power as they see meter readings in pounds and pence.
Some estimates put average savings at £65 per year based on a 5 per cent reduction in energy usage, while others have calculated savings as high as £130 on a 10 per cent cut in domestic usage.
Tom Lyon, of uSwitch.com, called it a ‘blow’ to consumers, but Energy and Climate Change Minister Baroness Verma said the industry had to ‘get it right’ before introducing the meters.
Ministers also plan to adopt a similar approach to the development of new nuclear power stations and ‘fracking’ rigs that extract underground reserves of shale gas.Mr Davey is understood to be particularly attracted to the idea of discounted electricity bills as a way of neutralising the political backlash against developments after the expansion of onshore wind power has become a major source of tension in the coalition.
The Government has set a target of increasing the amount of power generated by onshore wind farms to 13 gigawatts by 2020, with about 3,800 turbines currently constructed. But although approvals for onshore windfarms have reached record levels and the 2020 target is on course, ministers have announced a 10 per cent cut to subsidies following a shift in policy.
Meanwhile, wind farm developers are being urged by ministers to increase the amount of community benefits to win over locals because there have been so many complaints about the impact on the landscape. Along with lower energy bills, each household close to the Delabole wind farm also gets a ‘windfall’ credit of up to £50 every year that the turbines exceed their expected performance.
Power company Good Energy now runs what was Britain’s first commercial wind farm when it opened in 1991.
Company boss Juliet Davenport said: ‘Wind power has a huge role to play in meeting the UK’s future energy needs, and we think that it’s only right that our local communities should be recognised for their contribution to tackling climate change and reducing the UK’s reliance on expensive imported fossil fuels.’
At the recently-opened Kelburn wind farm, near Largs, Scotland, the community is paid £1,600 per installed megawatt – or £44,000 a year.
Caroline Flint, shadow secretary for energy and climate change, said the community benefits scheme was a form of ‘bribery’ that would reinforce the dominance of big energy companies.
Labour favours a German model that allows local communities to own renewable energy developments and keep all the benefits.
Europe's Green Central Planning
State intervention to protect one industry begets intervention to protect another
The European Union looks set to join the U.S. in imposing punitive duties on imports of solar panels from China. It's the typical start of a trade war, but it's also a parable about the costs and complications of the "green economy."
As reported in this newspaper, EU trade chief Karel De Gucht this week proposed tariffs ranging from 37.3% to 67.9% on solar panels and panel components sold by Chinese firms. In the last few years, Chinese imports have come to represent 80% of Europe's market for photovoltaic equipment. European makers, many of them German, have been squeezed at a time when demand in Europe for solar power is booming.
But it's worth remembering why this market is booming in the first place. Since 2000, Germany has subsidized green power via "feed-in tariffs," which guarantee renewable-energy producers an above-market price for their electricity output. The cost of these subsidies is covered by a surcharge on household energy bills. Other EU countries, including Spain and the U.K., have adopted the German model for their green power initiatives.
The amount of Germany's feed-in tariffs is supposed to decrease every month as renewable-energy volume increases and green power gradually becomes more competitive with fossil fuels. But that's contingent on renewable-energy producers requiring less government support to stay in business. So the least the Commission could do is keep costs low for these firms and individuals.
No such luck. Duties on Chinese panel imports will mean higher up-front costs for solar generation in Germany, which could in turn mean higher electricity bills for households and businesses if Berlin decides to compensate energy producers by increasing feed-in tariff payments.
Import tariffs will, however, be a fillip for those beleaguered European photovoltaic-panel makers. The Bonn-based firm SolarWorld helped launch the anti-dumping complaints that led to duties last year by the U.S. Commerce Department and now by the European Commission.
SolarWorld is embroiled in a major debt restructuring and is petitioning Qatar for a lifeline. The company's stock closed up 9% after Wednesday's reports that the tariffs will be in place by next month.
The protectionist outburst comes at an awkward moment for Europe. Officials in Brussels and Berlin are urging the Continent's governments to improve their economic competitiveness—while insulating a particular European industry, a German-dominated one no less, from competition. It's becoming clear that Europe's "green economy" can be sustained only through constant state intervention, with subsidies and protections for one industry leading to subsidies and protections for others as the market distortions pile up.
There's a name for this sort of economic policy. It's called central planning.
Exaggerated Greenpeace Ad dumped in Australia
The Nine Network has been accused by Greenpeace of buckling under pressure from the beverage industry for the last-minute yanking of an ad promoting recycling from its Friday night football coverage.
A 45-second version of the ad on YouTube has been among the most popular in Australia, with more than half a million views since its launch this week.
It features people sipping soft drinks on the beach, as birds drop from the sky and wash up dead, with discarded plastic blamed.
Coke and birds
Birds and beverages don't go together, Greenpeace says.
"[The network] took the money and now they've bottled it,” Greenpeace campaigner Reece Turner said.
"There's something seriously wrong when TV networks are happy to show gambling, rape and pillage, but are too afraid to air an ad for recycling."
Mr Turner said the environmental group had taken pains to ensure the ad did not breach copyright rules and avoided the display of company logos. The online version of the ad, though, briefly shows the Coca-Cola brand.
Greenpeace paid $22,000 for the half-minute slot, to be aired during Friday night's NRL match between Wests Tigers and Cronulla Sharks. NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell is known to be a keen Tigers fan, and Greenpeace said it was aiming to get his attention ahead of a key meeting on a national recycling plan by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).
For its part, Nine said it dropped the ad after deciding its content was "offensive".
"We had no issue in taking the original booking from Greenpeace but on reviewing the content we deemed it to be offensive to our viewers and so advised the client we would not proceed with the placement on the network," said Peter Wiltshire, Nine Network director of sales and marketing. "We have refunded the original deposit."
Coca-Cola Amatil referred requests for comment to the Nine Network.
The US soft drinks giant, along with other beverage makers, has opposed a national recycling scheme modelled on South Australia's plan.
That state pays a 10¢ refund on most cans and bottles in a scheme that has operated for about 35 years. Versions of the scheme have lately won support elsewhere in Australia.
The decision on taking SA's plan nationally "really lies with O'Farrell", said Mr Turner. "We think if O'Farrell comes out in support of this scheme, we could have a national roll-out."
James Mathews, a spokesman for the Australian Food and Grocery Council, said its members – including Coca-Cola – were in favour of a national recycling scheme, but not one requiring container deposits.
Mr Mathews said the option was “a lot more expensive” than other measures, such as an expansion of roadside collection points – one of 10 programs being reviewed by COAG.
The "National Bin Network" would cost as little as $51 million compared with $1.76 billion for the deposit scheme. Average household grocery costs would rise 1.35 per cent under the latter plan, and have twice the inflationary impact of the carbon price, Mr Mathews said.
Greenpeace and its actions "put Evel Knievel to shame for the stunts that they perform", he said, referring to the late American daredevil.
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Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. 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 and here
Posted by JR at 6:55 PM