Sunday, August 10, 2014

When obscenity trumps the facts

Obscenity is a strange way to make a scientific point. I have never seen it before. But I think I know why the guy below used it. He is desperate. He must be aware of the latest findings in his own field and the latest finding is that current changes in the Arctic, particularly in thermokarsts, have a net COOLING effect. See "A shift of thermokarst lakes from carbon sources to sinks during the Holocene epoch". That study concerns CO2 but the Warmist below makes no attempt to offset that finding against the methane observations that are giving him orgasms. That the methane emissions ARE being offset in some way would seem to follow from the fact that there has been no global warming for 18 years. And note that in the original methane study, most of the "vast plumes" did not reach the surface so could not therefore affect the atmosphere

The planet is 'f**cked' after scientists found huge plumes of deadly methane escaping from the seafloor.  This is according to Dr Jason Box who claims that methane will be the main driver of climate change if it escapes into the atmosphere.

He said: 'If even a small fraction of Arctic sea floor carbon is released to the atmosphere, we're f'd'

The scientist, based at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, tweeted the provocative statement after a Swedish study found methane leaking beneath the Arctic.

Some of this methane – which is over 20 times more potent than CO2 at trapping heat - is now making it to the ocean's surface.

The leaking gas from the seafloor may have its origins in collapsing clusters of methane trapped in frozen water due to high pressure and low temperature.

Scientists at Stockholm University called the discovery 'somewhat of a surprise,' which, according to Dr Box, is an understatement.

Methane is the second-largest greenhouse gas contributor to climate change.  The gas is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide in trapping heat and is currently being targeted by government in an attempt to mitigate global warming.

Methane pollution has declined by 11 per cent since 1990 even as the governments has pushed for greater use of natural gas.

But the longer view on methane pollution show that it will rise. The Obama administration points to studies that show that methane pollution is projected to increase to a level equivalent to over 620 million tonnes of carbon dioxide pollution in 2030, if no action is taken.

The conventional thought is that the bubbles would be dissolved before they reached the surface and that microorganisms would consume that methane.

But Dr Box said if the plumes are making it to the surface, there's a new source of heat-trapping gases that the planet needs to worry about.

This, he claims, is particularly disturbing because the Arctic is warming faster than nearly anywhere else on Earth.

His comments follow research in May which found that freshwater sources may be an unrealised source of methane.

Unlike carbon dioxide, which is highly soluble in water, methane exists in two forms in these freshwater sources: as a dissolved gas and encapsulated in bubbles that rise from sediments.

And this methane can lead to ozone production and levels of the gas in the atmosphere are 150 per cent higher than they were before the industrial revolution in U.S.

It is already known that in the melting regions of the Arctic where lakes, known as thermokarsts, which are lakes that break down plant material into methane.

This methane can then escape out of the lake, and once lit, could set ice on fire.

'I may escape a lot of this,' Dr Box told Motherboard, 'but my daughter might not. She's three years old.'


Sorry, Alarmists, Lies and Insults Don’t Change Cooling Trend

James M. Taylor

In a recent column at I called attention to the latest, most accurate data showing U.S. temperatures have cooled during the past decade. At the end of the article I predicted global warming alarmists would try to claim the temperatures are irrelevant. Sure enough, freelance blogger Erik Sherman did not disappoint, subsequently performing an epic face plant making that very argument.

As I noted in my initial article, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in January 2005 began collecting temperature data from a nationwide network of more than 100 pristinely located temperature stations immune to corruption by human development or other factors. After a decade of collecting data, NOAA has released the first decade of data. The data show a fairly consistent cooling throughout the decade. Temperatures are cooler now than they were in 2005. Moreover, with the exception of a very brief period in 2011 and 2012, cooler temperatures have dominated since 2007.

I noted, “Of course, 10 years is hardly enough to establish a long-term trend.” Nevertheless, I drew three lessons from the cooler temperatures: (1) Global warming is not as dramatic and uniform as alarmists claim. (2) U.S. temperatures are consistent with the global temperature stagnation of the past 17-plus years. (3) The temperature data debunk assertions that rising temperatures caused various extreme weather events in the United States during the past year.

In a column abrasively titled, “The Latest Climate Change Denial Fact Twisting,” Sherman unleashed a torrent of misinformation and character assaults to the effect that I “inaccurately characterized and misrepresented the information and what it shows.” In the process, Sherman not only fulfilled my prediction that alarmists would try to claim the temperatures are irrelevant, but he additionally displayed an impressive lack of reading comprehension skills.

Sherman opened his column saying I “claim[ed] the new government data debunks the concept of global climate change.” That is quite rich. To the contrary, I have consistently maintained that climate is constantly changing and humans have likely played a role in recent planetary warming. Sherman did not identify anywhere in my article where I say the data debunk the concept of global climate change.

Sherman next admitted that “yes, the stations showed a slight end-to-end drop over the time they’ve run.” That was nice to see. But he then argued the very brief temperature uptick in 2011-2012 means the long-term temperature trend may end up oscillating while remaining rather flat rather than being one of long-term cooling. OK, that may or may not turn out to be the case, but where did I claim that Sherman’s admitted 10-year cooling portends a longer-term cooling trend? Which part of “Of course, 10 years is hardly enough to establish a long-term trend” was Sherman incapable of understanding? Moreover, even if a long-term oscillating temperature stagnation does indeed occur, that would also support my larger argument that the temperature data contradict claims of accelerating warming.

Sherman next claimed “Over the period show[n], six years saw temperatures above normal; only three years saw lower than normal temperatures.” Well, that may be true, but Sherman conveniently forgot to mention that most of those above-average temperatures occurred at the very beginning of the 10-year period. When a time series shows warmer temperatures at the beginning of a time period and cooler temperatures at the end of the time period, this hardly disproves the notion that temperatures were warm early in the time period.

After launching several additional character assaults, Sherman concluded by claiming, “I had first asked Heartland last week for someone to interview. Although a representative said that a person would be made available, the organization has yet to provide a name or contact information for a discussion. If and when I hear more, I’ll update this post.”

I laughed out loud when I read this final mischaracterization and disparagement. Sherman sent an email to generic Heartland Institute staff on a Friday afternoon. I guess that qualifies as “last week” in the most generous sense of the term. A more precise and less misleading way of putting it would have been, “I sent an email Friday afternoon to generic Heartland Institute staff but nobody called me back over the weekend.”

Also, Sherman claimed he sought “a name or contact information for a discussion.” Considering I wrote the article in question and he was attacking me and my article by name, I am surprised he could not identify the most appropriate “name or contact information” for a discussion. My email address is all over the Internet. Sherman could have easily contacted me directly if he desired an open and honest conversation rather than an excuse to assert the Heartland Institute was dodging him.

The long and short of it is – as Sherman admitted – U.S. temperatures have indeed declined over the past decade. The verdict still stands. All the constructed straw men in the world won’t change that, nor will Sherman’s desperate insults and character attacks. To his credit, however, Sherman finally and parasitically found his 15 minutes of fame. Nice effort, Erik


Global Warming Pause Puts 'Crisis' In Perspective

Much has been written and argued, from all sides in the global warming debate, about the meaning of the asserted 17-year pause in global warming. Is a 17-year pause significant? Is a pause even occurring? Does the pause signal a longer-term halt to global warming or even a long-term cooling trend? Would a resumption of global warming to pre-pause rates end the global warming debate? A look at recent temperatures and their appropriate context provides helpful meaning to the much-discussed global warming pause.

Satellite instruments began uniformly measuring temperatures throughout the Earth’s lower atmosphere in 1979. Climate scientists overseeing these NASA satellite instruments produced the chart below showing the following temperature trends:

a plateau of temperatures, with absolutely no warming, from 1979 through 1997

a large temperature spike in 1998

a return to the 1979-1997 mean in 1999-2000

a modest escalation of temperatures in 2001

an elevated plateau of essentially flat temperatures from 2002-2014

If we choose a starting point of mid-1998, the planet has cooled during the past 16 years. If we choose a starting point of late 1997 or early 1999, temperatures have been flat during the past 15 and 17 years. Examining the totality of the 35-year temperature record, we see approximately 1/3 of 1 degree Celsius warming during the period. Accordingly, global warming has occurred at a pace of approximately 1 degree Celsius per century over the duration of the satellite record.

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) also compiles data from the satellite instruments, though RSS measures a slightly different range of the lower atmosphere. RSS reports a similar temperature history, available here. In the RSS compilation, we see not just a recent temperature plateau, but actual cooling. Again, the pace of warming throughout the entirety of the record is approximately 1 degree Celsius per century.

So what can we glean from the temperature data? Thirty-five year temperature trends are likely more meaningful than 17-year temperature trends. Nevertheless, 17-year temperature trends are nothing to sneeze at. Either way, whether the global temperature pause continues or not, temperatures have risen much more slowly than United Nations computer model predictions.

Computer models, of course, are only as accurate as their programmed data, formulas, and assumptions. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) acknowledges there are many components to climate change for which climate scientists are merely making their best guesses. The IPCC-affiliated scientists have made guesses that the unknown climate components will dramatically accelerate the modest warming caused directly by human carbon dioxide emissions. So-called climate skeptics have argued the UN guesses consistently overestimate the warming propensity of the unknown climate components.

The real-world temperature data appear to support the skeptics. Even before the recent global warming pause, temperatures were warming at a relatively modest pace. The ongoing global warming pause is rendering the longer-term pace of warming still more modest.

IPCC computer models dating from 1990 through the present have consistently predicted at least 2.4 degrees of global warming per century. Such warming would require at least 0.24 degrees Celsius per decade, for which we should see at least 0.80 degrees Celsius warming since 1979. However, real-world warming since 1979 is occurring at less than half that pace. And there has been absolutely no real-world warming during the past 17 years.

IPCC adherents claim short-term variance is masking longer-term climate trends. According to this line of reasoning, the 35 years since 1979 are simply not long enough to form meaningful conclusions about the longer-term pace of global warming. This line of argument is unpersuasive for two important reasons: First, the admittedly less reliable ground-based mercury temperature readings from the mid-1940s through the late 1970s reported global cooling during the three decades immediately prior to the satellite era. Accordingly, the time period for which real-world temperatures are not rising nearly as rapidly as IPCC predictions is now not just 35 years, but approximately 70 years. Second, and even ignoring the 1940s-1970s global cooling, for global temperatures to meet IPCC’s predicted 2.4 degree rise by late this century, global temperatures must immediately – and that means immediately – begin rising at a sustained 0.30 degrees Celsius per decade. That has never come close to occurring during our modern warm period, and the ongoing global warming pause suggests that is unlikely to begin happening any time in the foreseeable future, either.

The El Nino/La Nina oscillation, moreover, provides some interesting context to the Earth’s recent temperature history. El Ninos warm the global climate while La Ninas cool the global climate. The 1998 global temperature spike was associated with the strongest El Nino in modern history. Also, El Ninos dominated the global climate from the late 1970s through the mid-2000s. Since 2007, however, modest La Nina conditions have prevailed.

The ongoing global warming pause is likely being assisted by the recent modest La Ninas.  At some point between now and 2030, however, the cycle should flip back to one dominated by El Ninos. When that occurs, it is likely that global temperatures will again rise.

The ongoing global warming pause and the longer-term temperature record, however, indicate any future El Nino-assisted temperature rise will likely be modest once again. If the IPCC’s guesses on unknown climate components were correct, global temperatures would still be rising – even during this La Nina phase – at a fairly rapid pace. Moreover, global temperatures should have risen much more rapidly than was the case during the last El Nino phase. If IPCC model predictions were relatively accurate, global warming should be occurring at a pace of approximately 0.15 degrees Celsius per decade during La Ninas and approximately 0.35 degrees Celsius per decade during El Ninos. Neither has even come close to occurring in the real-world temperature record.

Pulling this all together, we can reach the following conclusions:

The global warming pause is real.

The global warming pause is significant.

The global warming pause is not likely to be permanent.

A future resumption of global warming at pre-pause rates – or even modestly accelerated rates – would not validate IPCC global warming predictions, and would instead continue to undermine the IPCC’s predictions of very rapid 21st century global warming.

The most meaningful aspect of the global warming pause isn’t that temperatures have flattened for 17 years, but rather that the global warming pause extends and solidifies the longer-term record of smaller-than-predicted global temperature rise.


Your Whole Foods Tote Could Be More Harmful Than a Plastic Bag
Banning plastic bags doesn't reduce litter, threaten sea life or contribute to greenhouse gases nearly as much as proponents would have you believe

Do you want paper or plastic?  You’ve probably been told that the right answer is paper – unless you want to hasten climate change and choke marine life. But the plastic bag has been wrongfully convicted. And labeling it as an environmental villain – and banning its usage – is blinding us to better behavior.

Plastic bags haven’t always been Public Enemy No. 1. Introduced by Safeway and Kroger in 1982, they soon dominated the grocery bag market – by 1996, 80 percent of all bags were made from lightweight plastics. Customers loved ‘em. They became thinner, lighter and able to contain more recycled material. And then…the tide turned.

In 2007, San Francisco became the first major city in America to ban the lightweight plastic shopping bag. Since then, over 150 municipalities across the country, including the cities of Seattle, Los Angeles, and Chicago have passed ordinances imposing similar bans. Most of these ordinances also include mandatory fees on paper and “reusable” plastic bags – like the five cent bag tax in Washington, D.C. In California, home to around 100 plastic bag bans, the state senate is considering a bill (SB 270) that would impose restrictions statewide.

Where did this ire come from? Ban proponents claim that restricting the distribution of plastic bags will have significant environmental benefits and reduce municipal costs. That means money saved for taxpayers. In a recent study for Reason Foundation, Brian Seasholes and I investigated these claims and found they’re mostly untrue.

Let’s start with the basic environmental claims: Banning plastic bags won’t make litter disappear, dissipate litter removal costs, or save innocent animals. Plastic bags constitute a tiny proportion of all litter, so banning them has very little impact on the amount of litter generated. A recent review of numerous analyses of litter in our streets found that plastic shopping bags constituted one percent or less of visible litter in the United States. They also comprise only .4 percent of all municipal solid waste that’s discarded. To that end, there’s no evidence that banning plastic bags has reduced litter removal costs, and it won’t do much in the way of reducing trash collection costs, either. This first point isn’t surprising since litter removal tends to be done by municipal employees or contractors who are not paid per item, so a tiny reduction in the number of items of litter generated makes essentially no difference to costs of removal.

At sea, the impact may be even smaller. Plastic bags have not caused a giant “garbage patch” in the North Pacific. Sure, plastic in the oceans has increased over the past four decades, corresponding to the increase in plastic use in general. Yet the notion that this has resulted in a gigantic landfill at sea is contradicted by the evidence, which shows that most plastic in the oceans is widely dispersed and in the form of tiny pieces.

Plastic bags aren’t threatening the fish, either. Or birds for that matter. Claims that plastic bags kill hundreds of thousands of marine animals seem connected to a misreading of a study that investigated the impact of discarded fishing gear. As David Santillo, a senior biologist with Greenpeace, explained to The Times of London:

“It’s very unlikely that many animals are killed by plastic bags. The evidence shows just the opposite…. With larger mammals it’s fishing gear that’s the big problem. On a global basis plastic bags aren’t an issue.”
So the animals are safe–but what about us and our homes? Another common claim is that plastic shopping bags block storm drains, so banning them will reduce the risk of flooding. That’s not true. Reducing litter in general and cleaning storm drains are far more effective solutions to the problem.

Okay, you say, but what about the use of resources and emissions of greenhouse gases? Those must be pretty bad, right? Wrong again. Lightweight plastic shopping bags are made from high density polyethylene, the feedstock for which – ethylene – is nearly entirely (over 97 percent) derived from natural gas. Given the newfound abundance of such gas in the United States and globally, there is little reason to be concerned about plastic shopping bags as a significant cause of resource depletion. And if you look at the per bag consumption of energy, water and emissions of greenhouse gases across different types of bags, those numbers are far lower for lightweight plastic bags than for paper or reusable ones.

Of course that does not tell the full story, since some bags are reused more than others. Surveys suggest that most people reuse their lightweight plastic bags, mainly for trash disposal, and on average each one is used 1.6 times. By contrast, paper bags are typically used only once. The thicker plastic bags, made from low density polyethylene, now being promoted as “reusable,” typically are used about 3.1 times.

All of this means that an average consumer using only lightweight plastic bags consumes less energy and water and generates fewer greenhouse gas emissions than a consumer sporting a Whole Foods tote. Perversely, restrictions on the distribution of plastic bag likely results in an increase in the overall environmental impact of the bags we use to shop.

Not to mention that reusable bags are kind of disgusting, from the public health perspective. Putting food into bags that have previously been used to carry perishable items poses a health risk. Several outbreaks of food-borne diseases have been traced to unhygienic reuse of bags. To solve this problem, consumers are advised to disinfect bags before reuse – a process that consumes resources and time – and to store bags away from sources of germs. Surveys suggest that consumers rarely wash or otherwise disinfect their reusable bags. What a surprise.

If that’s not enough to sell you, consider this: plastic bag bans and mandatory fees on alternative bags disproportionately affect the working poor, for whom the cost of paying for bags represents a greater burden. A dollar spent on ten paper bags is a dollar not available for other purchases. That obviously matters more to a household on a tight budget.

Let’s bag the ban. I’ll take plastic, please.


Kerry: More Farmland Exacerbates Global Warming

State Secretary John Kerry, addressing the U.S.-Africa Summit, claimed that global warming will be worsened by developing more farms and praised Africa for limiting the amount of land allocated for agriculture. “Certain agricultural processes can actually release carbon pollution and help contribute to the problem [of global warming] in the first place,” he explained. “It’s a twisted circle. Always complicated. But we also know there are ways to change that.

For example, rather than convert natural areas to new farmland – a process that typically releases significant amounts of carbon pollution – we can instead concentrate our efforts on making existing farmlands more productive. Now this is an area where African leaders have actually been … significantly ahead of the game for some time.”

Yes, and that’s evidently worked quite well for poor, hungry Africans and their economies.


The Great Diesel Scandal

James Delingpole

Last year, for the first time since passing my driving test three decades ago, I finally bit the bullet and bought the kind of car my dad had been urging me to get for as long as I can remember: a sensible diesel one.  ‘They’re so much more economical,’ my dad had kept telling me.

He isn’t necessarily right about everything, but I trust him on cars. In his youth he used to race them as a hobby and, unlike me, he knows a piston from a spark plug.

‘Quite a bit of poke under the bonnet, too. What with fuel injection, they’re just as nippy as petrol cars. Also, they hold their value for much longer . . .’

So when I proudly unveiled my new diesel automobile, I thought he’d be impressed.  Instead, he said: ‘Oh. Haven’t you heard?’ And he broke the bad news.

Apparently, far from investing in the motoring sale of the century, what I had, in fact, gone and bought was a four-wheeled cancer machine.

Not only, he went on, are diesels extremely bad on the pollution front, spewing tiny carcinogenic particles into the air which lurk in your lungs and cause thousands of deaths in Britain every year, but they’re also terrible value for money.

I was so incensed to hear this, that I decided to investigate diesel cars — and I now realise my father was right. They are an out-and-out scam, and we have been scandalously gulled into buying them by our political leaders.

According to the latest research, all that stuff about their being more efficient than petrol cars is nonsense.

A 2012 report by the consumers’ association Which? found that because the pump price of petrol is lower, and because diesel cars are usually £1,000 to £2,000 more expensive than their petrol equivalents, it can take diesel owners around eight years of driving before they see any financial benefit from that so-called efficiency.

For drivers doing fewer than 10,000 miles a year, it concluded, ‘petrol will almost always be the best choice.’

And now they’re about to become more expensive still. Already, Islington council in London is introducing £20 on-the-spot fines for any diesel driver caught with his engine running when stationary.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has announced, in response to the threat of fines from the EU for breaching air pollution limits, that from 2020 diesel owners driving into the capital will have to pay a £10 pollution premium.

Oh the irony! Time was — and really not so long ago — when diesel car owners came second only to hybrid electric cars such as the Toyota Prius in the eco-friendly stakes. Our vehicles, we were assured by the experts, were about as green as you could get short of riding a bicycle.

Yet suddenly here we diesel-heads are, nearly 11 million of us, being accorded the same pariah status traditionally reserved for filthy-rich drivers of those so-called Chelsea tractors that take up one-and-a-half parking spaces and do about three miles to the gallon.

Frankly, we’ve all gone and bought a lemon, been sold a pup and had ourselves taken to the cleaners. Whatever did we do to deserve this?

Absolutely nothing, says the AA’s president Edmund King, who believes that motorists have every right to be angry.  ‘Many drivers will feel deeply betrayed and misled after being encouraged over many years to go for the dash for diesel.

‘Back in the 1990s there was a near hysteria about the dangers of carbon dioxide and yet nobody bothered to look at the bigger picture. ‘Britain’s drivers thought they were doing the right thing and were told as much by politicians and ministers.’

He has a point. For two decades, politicians have been deliberately rigging the market in favour of diesel — among them Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. In 2001, they introduced a new tax regime whereby cars were taxed according to how much CO2 they emitted.

Because diesel cars have lower CO2 emissions than petrol ones, this tax incentive suddenly made them a more attractive buy.

This coincided with another labyrinthine tax arrangement set up by the then Chancellor Gordon Brown, whereby a 3 per cent levy on diesel cars in company fleets scheduled to be introduced in 2002 would be waived on ‘Euro compliant’ diesel cars bought before 2006.

Yes, it sounds incomprehensible — as Brown’s tax measures usually were. But the net result was this: for a four-year period, companies were massively encouraged by the tax system to buy diesel cars for the fleets rather than petrol ones.

Why, though, would a supposedly green-leaning government like New Labour have done such a thing, given that long before then the damaging effects of diesel pollution were widely recognised?

To answer that, you have to go back to the years immediately following the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. This was the period of hot summers when the world’s temperatures seemed dramatically to be rising and when everyone was convinced they knew the culprit: carbon dioxide.

With CO2 elevated to Public Enemy Number One, no price was too great for trying to combat it.

An article in the motoring pages of the Independent newspaper in 1993 captured the mood of the time, urging the then-Chancellor Ken Clarke to give more tax breaks to diesel drivers in the way his predecessor Norman Lamont had done.

It quoted Dr Jeremy Vanke, the RAC’s environmental manager, saying: ‘We need to know the Government’s environmental priority. If carbon monoxide emissions are the chief concern, then diesel vehicles need to be brought to the fore.’ [The ‘monoxide” was surely a mis-speak or a misprint — he meant dioxide].

Echoing him was a spokesman from car-maker Peugeot, who said: ‘We consider diesels are less damaging to the environment when taken as a whole.’  A report produced in the same year for the Department of the Environment agreed with this assessment.

‘While much remains to be done to complete our comprehension of climatic change phenomena, it may be that diesel emissions have a greater net positive effect upon global warming than emissions from an equivalent fleet of petrol vehicles,’ it said.

But this statement, though somewhat cautious, made no mention of growing concerns about the impact of this so-called green fuel.

The rest of that 1993 report could hardly have been more damning about the potentially lethal health impacts of diesel emissions, yet this was conveniently overlooked by politicians and Greens.

While diesel produces lower emissions of three greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide), the report said, it produces larger emissions of ‘nitrogen oxides’ and ‘most importantly, far larger emissions of particulate matter and black smoke’.

These, it transpires, are the ingredients now causing such concern about diesel cars. Nitrogen oxides have been linked to bronchitis and heart disease, the black smoke can exacerbate asthma, while the ultra-fine particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and bloodstream.

In 2012, the World Health Organisation classified diesel fume particulates as a carcinogen, while other research suggests that they can cause brain damage and autism.

According to Professor Frank Kelly, chairman of the Department of Health’s committee on air pollution, diesel engines could be responsible for more than 7,000 deaths a year. The most scandalous aspect of the situation though is surely this: that it all happened as a direct result of UK government policy — under both Labour and Conservative administrations — which, as a result of EU carbon directives, pushed us all towards diesel because supposedly it was less likely to create global warming.

This concern seems especially laughable today given that as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change admits, there has been no global warming since 1997.

But even those who remain passionately concerned about ‘climate change’ ought surely to recognise the bitter irony here: in the name of combating an environmental ‘threat’ that so far exists only in the realm of computer-modelled theory, successive governments decided it would be a good idea to increase the number of cars whose exhausts can most definitely give you asthma, breathing problems, heart disease and cancer.

Not for the first time where the great climate change scare is concerned, it seems that our political class threw common sense out of the window, ran around like headless chickens and inflicted on us a policy that has done enormous harm at great expense for no discernible benefit.

There’s also the madness of something called STOR, which the government is currently keeping very quiet about for reasons which will become obvious.

It stands for Short Term Operating Reserve and is a taxpayer-funded scheme whereby owners of diesel generators are paid millions of pounds — up to eight times the market electricity rate — to produce emergency power when renewable energy is impossible because the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining.

There are banks of these diesel generators all over the country, and yes, as with the fumes from diesel cars, the energy they produce at almighty expense is about as dirty and polluting as you can get.

But for years these sceptical voices have been drowned out by the yells of hypocritical politicians, greedy corporations, green zealots and a gullible public that ‘something must be done’ to deal with the supposed menace of man-made carbon dioxide.

The great dash for diesel was a huge, expensive con inflicted on us by people who should have known better — and indeed did know better — but were so dazzled by the climate change scare that they could not see the bigger picture. It isn’t the first time this has happened, and it won’t be the last.

By the way, does anyone want to buy a diesel motor? One careful (if somewhat disillusioned) owner.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  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 or here


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