Thursday, January 23, 2014
Tim Ball's book now out
The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science
by Tim Ball (Author)
Dr. Tim Ball exposes the malicious misuse of climate science as it was distorted by dishonest brokers to advance the political aspirations of the progressive left.
Tolerant Liberals Cancel Screening of Pro-Fracking Film at Festival in Minnesota
The tolerant, open-minded environmentalists of the Left have struck again. This time, the pro-fracking film FrackNation by Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer has been yanked from the Minnesota Frozen River Film Festival.
FrackNation had already been accepted by festival organizers for a screening on Sunday but over the weekend it was announced the screening had been cancelled. The cancellation of the screening is a first for the festival, which has been around for nine years.
"The film festival organizers seem to hate alternative points of view, they seem to want to quash diversity. They seem to be scared of the truth," McAleer said in a statement. "Basically the Frozen River Film Festival organizers have given in to bullying and taken the easy way out and censored a film that might offend environmental elites who think they know best. These people are cultural censors and don't want the truth about fracking to be shown to audiences."
EU scraps targets forcing Britain to build wind farms: UK free to go nuclear and use fracking
The EU has scrapped rules that bind countries to renewable energy targets, lifting demands that Britain build more wind and solar farms.
The change paves the way for the Government to expand its use of nuclear power and develop fracking as a major energy source.
Britain will still have to provide 15 per cent of its energy from renewable power by 2020, but after that there will be no target. Instead, the EU as a whole will have to produce 27 per cent of its energy from renewables by 2030.
The policy is a defeat for major European nations including Germany, France and Italy which had demanded a target to drive the development of wind and solar power.
They were opposed by Britain, which argued for a broad target in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, leaving individual countries to decide themselves how they would meet it.
The European Commission set an EU-wide target of a 40 per cent cut by 2030, but that is less ambitious than Britain’s aim of 50 per cent by 2025.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey said the new rules provide flexibility in tackling emissions in a cost-effective way ‘so that British consumers aren’t paying over the odds to go green’.
‘This is a really good package,’ he said. ‘It’s what we’ve been arguing for.’ He said it allowed Britain to use a mix of energy sources, including nuclear, wind, solar and, potentially, shale gas. ‘If you want to do this in the most cost-effective way, then you allow technologies to compete,’ he said.
‘Having a technology-neutral approach means having the market get the most cost-effective way of going green, and that is the whole premise of our policies. If you set rigid, inflexible targets that is likely to result in greater cost [for the consumer].’
Mr Davey has announced plans to build the first new nuclear power station in a generation at Hinkley Point, Somerset. The £16billion plant will be developed by two Chinese companies and run by French energy firm EDF.
On the development of fracking, Mr Davey said: ‘It’s good for Britain’s energy security and it is good for our carbon footprint, because shale gas will replace liquid gas that is coming from the other side of the world.’
The UK is currently on a building drive to meet the existing target of 15 per cent of energy output by renewable sources by 2020. It stands at less than 5 per cent.
There are currently 120 solar farms of more than ten acres and the number will more than double this year. Green taxes on energy bills will more than double by the end of the decade, according to Npower, one of Britain’s biggest suppliers.
Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a think tank that is sceptical of climate change, welcomed the move. ‘Today is a big day in Brussels as the EU has begun the gradual process of rolling back its bankrupting climate and green energy policies,’ he said.
Manufacturing leaders said the EU’s 40 per cent target in cutting emissions should serve notice that Britain is over-reaching itself for seeking higher cuts.
‘It has been clear for a while that others in Europe have little appetite to match the UK’s binding 50 per cent target and this announcement merely serves as confirmation,’ said Richard Warren, of the EEF, which represents manufacturers in the UK. He added that the target was deterring investors.
Green bodies opposed the move. Nick Molho, head of climate and energy policy at wildlife charity WWF, said: ‘Today’s announcement is at the low end of what one can consider to be a credible EU response to the risks caused by climate change.’
Oil Exports Endorsed by IEA
Greenies would prefer to keep it in the ground, of course
There may be a surprising bright spot in this era of Big Government and regulation; even more surprising is the affected industry and the source of the support. Dr. Ernest Moriz, Barack Obama's new Energy Secretary, has indicated a willingness to reevaluate the restrictions placed on U.S. oil exports during the 1970s. In December, Moriz appeared to be much more receptive to lifting these restrictions than his predecessor, Stephen Chu.
Moriz's position received additional support from the International Energy Agency this week. The IEA recently acknowledged that American oil production has surpassed even the best estimates. Indeed, reports the IEA, “U.S. crude oil supply in 2013 registered the fastest absolute annual supply growth of any country in the last two decades, rising 15 percent in 2013.” The IEA added that increased exports would help meet greater world demand. However, while both Moriz and the IEA wield considerable power, it's up to Congress and/or the Commerce Department to remove the restrictions.
In the meantime, American companies would love to take full advantage of this economic opportunity. Since the U.S. has been the world's largest importer of oil for decades, its refineries are outfitted for the heavier crude from Mexico and the Middle East. Oil companies have been renovating their refineries to accommodate the lighter, higher-quality American shale oil, but if the export restrictions are not lifted, they won't be able to sell their oil outside the U.S. and Canada. These restrictions will drive prices down and – since producers of shale oil say prices must remain between $80 and $90 a barrel to be profitable – hamper the industry. For now, all we can do is wait to see whether this typically anti-business administration will move toward a freer market.
Germany Can’t Bear $32 Billion-a-Year Green Costs, Minister Says
Germany must reduce the cost of its switch from atomic energy toward renewables to protect growth, Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said.
German companies and consumers shoulder as much as 24 billion euros ($32 billion) a year for renewables because of subsidy payments, Gabriel told an energy conference in Berlin.
“I don’t know any other economy that can bear this burden,” Gabriel said today. “We have to make sure that we connect the energy switch to economic success, or at least not endanger it.” Germany must focus on the cheapest clean-energy sources as well as efficient fossil-fuel-fired plants to stop spiraling power prices, he said.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has made the top priority of her third-term government, which took office last month, reforming clean-energy aid after rising wind and solar costs helped send consumer bills soaring. Germans pay more for power than residents of any European Union nation except Denmark.
While renewable aid costs are at the “limit” of what the economy can bear, Germany will keep pushing wind and solar power, the most cost-effective renewable sources, Gabriel said. Biomass energy is too expensive and its cost structure hasn’t improved, he said.
Gabriel, who last month assumed control of the biggest energy overhaul of any developed country, is overseeing the shuttering of Germany’s atomic fleet by 2022, ordered by Merkel after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.
He will seek to limit subsidies paid to operators of land-based wind turbines to no more than 9 euro cents a kilowatt-hour in 2015 and reduce the expansion to about 2,500 megawatts a year, according to a ministry document prepared for a meeting of Merkel’s coalition on Jan. 22-23. Developers will get paid subsidies at the current rate if their units are authorized before tomorrow and enter operation this year.
While Germany seeks to limit increases in energy prices, the government can’t promise that bills will decline, Gabriel said.
Latest buzz on bee colony collapse disorder: a virus, NOT a pesticide, is the problem
Bees, honeybees in particular, are crucial for our agricultural production. Pollination is basically a function of honeybees, and many fruits, vegetables and legumes are dependent upon these insects doing their job.
In the last decade, a massive decline in bee populations was detected: “Bee Colony Collapse Disorder” (BCCD) was the name given to this mysterious phenomenon, whose cause was unknown but was intensively sought. While the problem seemed to have abated somewhat after 2010, periodic declines continued, and fears of recurrent major extinctions persisted.
Some scientists and especially anti-pesticide organizations became devotees of the “pesticide theory” of BCCD and neonicotinoid pesticides were the prime suspect. These newer chemicals, “neonics” to those familiar with them, have been of increasing utility among farmers worldwide — until their use was severely restricted in the EU on the basis of suspected harm to bees. Our own regulatory and environmental agencies have been more circumspect, awaiting much better evidence of neonics’ involvement in BCCD.
Now, a new report issued by scientists affiliated with the Departments of Agriculture here and in China, and reviewed in The Scientist provides the first evidence that the bee problem in fact, stems from the tobacco ringspot virus (TRSV), not from pesticides. Investigators have determined that TRSV can be found in nearly all organs and tissues of infected bees, and also in mites that feed on the bees. They suggest that the bees may pick up the virus from the pollen of plants that they feed upon, and that the virus may be spread to other bees by mites that feed on them. Once it has gained a foothold in a bee, the researchers determined that TRSV can replicate itself in the bee’s body.
This process of a virus moving from one species to another is called “ host shifting” and its occurrence is a warning signal for farmers and others involved in agriculture. The authors state “ Pathogen host shifts represent a major source of new infectious diseases. The findings from this study showcase the need for increased surveillance for potential host-jumping events as an integrated part of insect pollinator management programs.”
ACSH’s Dr. Josh Bloom, a former researcher in the infectious disease area says, “Whenever I hear about mass die offs— whether in bees, dolphins, cattle or trees— I automatically think ‘infectious disease’. It isn’t universally true, but very often turns out to be so.”
He adds, “It is somewhat ironic that the proposed pathogen in this case comes from tobacco, since the first virus ever isolated and characterized (in the late 1800s) was tobacco mosaic virus—which infects and kills not only tobacco, but other member of its family, including tomatoes and cucumbers. It is easy to conclude that some environmental factor caused by humans is to blame, but this is a bad assumption to make.”
Australia: Green power was useless in this heatwave. Praise coal - and the “gold-plating” Leftist PM attacked
The worst heat often occurs when there is not a breath of wind, which is a problem if you rely on wind power for your airconditioning to survive a heat wave:
"WHEN electricity demand peaked at the height of this week’s heatwave in southern Australia, the total power output from the fleet of wind farms across Victoria and South Australia was almost zero..."
Figures supplied by the Australian Energy Market Operator show that between 11.30am and 4pm on Wednesday, as demand hit a daily peak of 33029 megawatts nationally, wind’s share of supply fell as low as 0.3 per cent. When the electricity price peaked at $6213 in South Australian on Wednesday in the half-hour to 4pm, wind was contributing 0.7 per cent to total demand.
And solar power remains more a green gesture than a major source of energy:
More than $2 billion of subsidised investment in over 2 million rooftop solar systems contributed less than 5 per cent of peak power demand in Victoria and South Australia during the worst of this week’s heatwave.
This goes straight to the madness of Labor’s crusade against cheap coal-fired power and of the Renewable Energy Target that is still backed by the Abbott Government. Why are we taxing cheap, reliable power and giving handouts to expensive, unreliable power that can’t even power airconditioning in a heatwave?
But this week exposed another fraud of the Left. Julia Gillard as Prime Minister tried to deflect anger at her carbon tax by attacking utilities for their high spending on making our power system able to cope with days of highest demand - typically days like the ones we have just had:
Ms. Gillard pointed her finger at the “gold-plating” of electricity infrastructure being a major driver of price hikes, rather than the carbon price and green initiatives such as supporting the uptake of solar panel systems:
“These energy price rises are well above the cost of the introduction of the carbon price and taking action on climate change. 9c of every dollar in an electricity bill is for the carbon price - and that’s fully compensated - while 51c is for the poles and wires.”
The Prime Minister also pointed out a quarter of all retail electricity costs is spent to meet the costs of peak events that last for a few days a year.
“One sixth of our national electricity networks - $11 billion in infrastructure - caters for peak events that last for barely four days per year.
I thought it astonishing that so many journalists fell for this red herring. Ask yourself: do you begrudge that investment now? Or would you have been happy for the power in Melbourne and Adelaide to have failed this week, at the cost of who knows how many lives of the elderly and frail?
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Posted by JR at 7:38 PM