Sunday, November 08, 2015

Blackout fears as factories are paid NOT to use electricity in last resort bid to keep lights on across UK

National Grid was yesterday forced to use new ‘last resort’ measures to keep the lights on in homes across the country. Major industries were for the first time asked to down their tools to protect energy supplies.

The problem was blamed on a combination of unexpectedly high demand, power plant breakdowns and very low wind power output. At one point yesterday, wind farms were meeting only 0.5 per cent of the nation’s electricity demand against the average 10 per cent.

Under the emergency measure, announced by National Grid last year, businesses are paid to cut their power usage between 4pm and 8pm. A secondary measure – firing up mothballed power plants – was not required.

National Grid said last month that both schemes would be used only ‘as a last resort’ where demand outstripped supply. Short-term electricity prices spiked to £2,500 a megawatt-hour – 50 times the average.

National Grid said: ‘This is part of our standard toolkit for balancing supply and demand and is not an indication there is an immediate risk of disruption to supply or blackouts. It indicates that we would like our power held in reserve to be higher.’

The company insists there is no immediate risk to households even though it is the first time it has asked the power industry for extra supply since February 2012.

The problems stem from the fact that EU diktats have forced the closure of coal-fired power stations for environmental reasons.

The UK has also been slow to build replacements for nuclear power stations scheduled to close over the next few years.

Green alternatives, such as wind, solar and wave, are unable to fill the gap, particularly if the wind is not blowing.

Brian Strutton, national officer of the GMB union, said: ‘It is less than a month ago since we warned that the Government and National Grid were far too complacent about the risks of widespread blackouts.

‘There can be eight to ten days per month when there is not a lot of output from wind capacity. ‘We now have the bonkers position where National Grid is using consumers’ money to pay firms to stop work in order to avoid blackouts.’

Despite the problems, more wind farms are on the way because Britain has committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

In a bid to counter the unpredictability of supply, the Government has come up with a series of schemes to ensure there is enough reserve power to meet demand. These include the much-criticised ‘capacity market’ policy of paying old power stations to remain on standby.

Lisa Nandy, Labour’s energy spokesman, said: ‘The chopping and changing of energy policy under this Government is creating an energy security crisis. It is preventing investment we now urgently need to keep the lights on and it could cause household bills to rise. ‘David Cameron should step in and end the policy vacuum to get new power stations built as quickly as possible.’


The man who failed to become the first climate change refugee

He was really trying to escape an impoverished lifestyle

Ioane Teitiota says his family's lives are in danger in Kiribati

With waves breaking at his feet, Ioane Teitiota holds his hand more than a metre above his sea wall to demonstrate how high the water gets during a king tide.

The wall seems hopelessly inadequate even when it's not full of holes. When he returned to Kiribati from New Zealand, he had to fix it in three places. And he expects to trudge out after almost every high tide to patch it up again.

The threat of sea-level rise was the basis of his four year battle to become the world's first recognised climate refugee.

But courts in New Zealand rejected his claim, and he was deported in September for overstaying his visa. He says that decision has put him in danger.

"I'm the same as people who are fleeing war. Those who are afraid of dying, it's the same as me," he says.

Like many in Kiribati, he's worried the ocean will swallow the entire country like some latter day Atlantis.

Kiribati consists almost entirely of tiny strips of land which barely peek out above a vast and relentless Pacific Ocean.

Tarawa, the main island where Mr Teitiota now lives, is 3m (9.8ft) above sea level at its highest point. It's obvious why people here are worried about sea level rise.

Experts who study atolls point out that as erosion happens on one side of an atoll, sand often accumulates on the other. The sea might not win a complete victory, because atolls shift and change and even rise with the tide.

But the shore line is likely to move, so Mr Teitiota and others who live by the water worry that their sea walls or houses might wash away.

Mr Teitiota, his wife and three children are staying at his brother-in-law's house. It's a basic cinder block box with no chairs and virtually no modern conveniences.

He has two penned pigs in his yard and a pack of stray dogs scratch themselves under the palm trees. He warns me about the brown dog. That's the dangerous one. And he doesn't like it being so close to his kids.

The family relies on rainwater for drinking. The tank is too small, so they struggle to get enough. It's a bitter irony in a place that's constantly threatened with inundation.

They pump water from the ground too, but it's filthy. The groundwater here is just below the surface, which makes it vulnerable to contamination from humans and animals above.

They only use groundwater for washing, but it's making his children sick. All of them have skin problems. Hopefully, it's just an annoyance.

But childhood illness is a real concern here. Infant mortality is higher in Kiribati than in Bangladesh, and the water is a contributing factor.

While there are solutions to some of these problems, they cost money, and Mr Teitiota hasn't worked since he returned. The prospects aren't bright in a country where unemployment tops 30%.

Mr Teitiota's lawyer, Michael Kidd, is still outraged that he was deported.

"I'm amazed that the New Zealand government seems to think it's okay to send people back to those conditions," he says.

Mr Teitiota's current situation shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who heard his case. In fact, it's exactly what he told them would happen. And the various tribunals and courts that considered his case accepted he was telling the truth.

What they didn't accept was that the dangers were imminent, or that they were due to "reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion," as the refugee convention requires.

Mr Kidd sees politics in the mix. There are potentially hundreds of millions of people in low-lying areas that could be affected by sea level rises. He wonders if wealthy countries fear that cases like Mr Teitiota's could turn climate migration from a trickle to a raging torrent.

But there hasn't been a dramatic exodus just yet. The New Zealand immigration department sets aside 75 places a year in a lottery for migrants from Kiribati, and at the moment it can't fill them.

President Anote Tong suggests that is because things aren't desperate enough yet.

"It's not a critical issue yet. I think if there are people who migrate now, I hope they would do it out of choice. But as to the question, is it so critical that people would be regarded as refugees? My answer would be no, not at this point in time."


ICSC statement about the Keystone XL cancellation

Tom Harris, Executive Director of the International Climate Science Coalition, released the following statement concerning President Barack Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline project:

"It was a serious strategic mistake for the petroleum industry and the Canadian and Albertan governments to think that they could support the idea that we can control the world’s climate by regulating carbon dioxide emissions yet still have the Keystone XL pipeline approved.

"The fact that even the State Department demonstrated that the pipeline would have had an inconsequential impact on climate made no difference.

In their bid to ‘decarbonize’ our economies, climate campaigners drew a line in the sand with Keystone XL. It became a symbol of the movement.

"The only way to have defeated such symbolism would have been for
industry and government to tell the truth about climate: The impact of  human emissions is almost certainly very small in comparison with that  of nature. But they were too frightened to do this and so now the Keystone XL project is the latest casualty of the climate scare."


Stephen Schneider, a narcissist and a fraud

Schneider died a few years ago so is hopefully now experiencing some real warming.  But he is a lasting lesson in what drives Warmism.  It certainly is not the facts, reason, truth or honesty

"To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective, and being honest." - Leading greenhouse advocate, Dr Stephen Schneider (in interview for "Discover" magagzine, Oct 1989)

Dr Stephen Schneider is perhaps the most media-exposed Greenhouse expert, having developed a charismatic speaking style, complemented by his 1970s good looks, and penchant for extravagant claims about impending environmental disaster.

For example, in a TV interview in 1990 to Britain's Channel 4, he remarked -

"The rate of change is so fast that I don't hesitate to call it
potentially catastrophic for ecosystems."

Such a comment was quite wrong, climatically speaking, and blatantly alarmist.

He is also a fully qualified climatologist, closely identified with climate modeling at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, Colorado, USA. He has written numerous papers and articles on the subject and is invariably sought out by the media for the latest horror predictions about Greenhouse, due to both his willingness to cast scientific caution aside in making such predictions, and his natural articulate and charismatic appeal to the general public.

He can truly be described as a Superstar of Greenhouse.

It would be fair to say that Schneider bears a large part of the responsibility for making Greenhouse the hysterical public issue it has become today. He even once joked that since Greenhouse had hit the public arena, he had become more of a politician than a scientist. (`Many a true word is spoken in jest')

That Greenhouse had moved from being an esoteric scientific issue to being a political one was certainly true, and Schneider was in the vanguard of the political push to get Greenhouse firmly implanted in the public consciousness.

But what kind of person, what kind of scientist, is Dr Stephen Schneider?

Firstly, Schneider was not always promoting the idea of Global warming. Up to about 1978, Schneider was warning the world of an impending Global Cooling, leading to the next Ice Age !

Before Global Warming became the politically correct scientific fashion of the 1990s, the reverse situation existed in the 1970s, where it had become a scientific article of faith that the Ice Age was about to happen. Even the US National Academy of Sciences adopted this view.

"There is a finite possibility that a serious worldwide cooling
could befall the Earth within the next 100 years."

Prof Patrick Michaels, now a prominent critic of the Greenhouse scare, was justifiably sceptical then, just as he is now.

"When I was going to graduate school, it was gospel that the Ice Age was about to start. I had trouble warming up to that one too.
This (greenhouse) is not the first climate apocalypse, but it's certainly the loudest"
Just as with Global Warming, we find Schneider in the vanguard of the Global Cooling doomsayers during the 1970s.

It was only when global temperatures took an upward turn around 1980 that Schneider and others quickly made a career change and became passionate advocates of impending catastrophe, only this time from warming, not cooling. But then, opportunism is a trait of politicians rather than scientists.

During the Ice Age Scare of the 1970s, Schneider was one of it's foremost advocates. He published a book titled "The Genesis Strategy" at this time, warning of the coming glaciation, and wrote glowing a testimonial on the back cover of a popular `Ice Age' book of the time - (Ponte, Lowell. "The Cooling", Prentice Hall, N.J., USA, 1976), in which the author claimed that the climatic cooling from 1940 to the 1970s was but the precursor to the main event - the coming Ice Age.

Schneider was one of the first in the scientific community to warn of the impending Ice Age with this paper -

Schneider S. & Rasool S., "Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols - Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate", Science, vol.173, 9 July 1971, p.138-141

Here are the opening paragraphs of that paper -

ATMOSPHERIC CARBON DIOXIDE AND AEROSOLS: Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate.


Effects on the global temperature of large increases in carbon dioxide and aerosol densities in the atmosphere of Earth have been computed. It is found that, although the addition of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does increase the surface temperature, the rate of temperature increase diminishes with increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. For aerosols, however, the net effect of increase in density is to reduce the surface temperature of Earth. Becuase of the exponential dependence of the backscattering, the rate of temperature decrease is augmented with increasing aerosol content. An increase by only a factor of 4 in global aerosol background concentration may be sufficient to reduce the surface temperature by as much as 3.5 deg.K. If sustained over a period of several years, such a temperature decrease over the whole globe is believed to be sufficient to trigger an ice age.

The rate at which human activities may be inadvertently modifying the climate of Earth has become a problem of serious concern 1 . In the last few decades the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere appears to have increased by 7 percent 2 . During the same period, the aerosol content of the lower atmosphere may have been augmented by as much as 100 percent 3 .

How have these changes in the composition of the atmosphere affected the climate of the globe? More importantly, is it possible that a continued increase in the CO2 and dust content of the atmosphere at the present rate will produce such large-scale effects on the global temperature that the process may run away, with the planet Earth eventually becoming as hot as Venus (700 deg. K.) or as cold as Mars (230 deg. K.)?

We report here on the first results of a calculation in which separate estimates were made of the effects on global temperature of large increases in the amount of CO2 and dust in the atmosphere. It is found that even an increase by a factor of 8 in the amount of CO2, which is highly unlikely in the next several thousand years, will produce an increase in the surface temperature of less than 2 deg. K.

However, the effect on surface temperature of an increase in the aerosol content of the atmosphere is found to be quite significant. An increase by a factor of 4 in the equilibrium dust concentration in the global atmosphere, which cannot be ruled out as a possibility within the next century, could decrease the mean surface temperature by as much as 3.5 deg. K. If sustained over a period of several years, such a temperature decrease could be sufficient to trigger an ice age!


The last chancers

Activists are warning that the upcoming United Nations climate conference is the last chance to save the world. Fair enough. So if no deal is reached at the meeting, can we please stop hearing about global warming?

The 21st session of the Conference of Parties to the U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change starts Nov. 30 and will ponderously drag on until Dec. 11. Call it the "Last Chance in Paris," because that's what the fearmongers, from the Vatican to Prince Charles, believe it is.

Of course we've heard all this before.

It seems as if every time there's a U.N. climate conference, we hear the warnings: It's the final opportunity to save Earth, the "last chance." Consider these caveats:

* In 2001, Time magazine said the U.N.'s Bonn conference was "a global warming treaty's last chance."

* Four years later, activist Mark Lynas wrote in an open letter that the Montreal climate summit represented "a last chance for action."

* Before the 2007 meeting in Bali, Tony Juniper of Friends of the Earth declared that the conference "could be the last chance to avoid the worst effect of global warming."

* Australian environmental scientist Tim Flannery said in 2008 that the Poland "round of negotiations is likely to be our last chance as a species to deal with the problem."

* Then before Copenhagen in 2009, European Union Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said that conference was "the world's last chance to stop climate change before it passes the point of no return."

We could go on. The warnings have continued every year since without fail. So it's unlikely we've heard the last of the "last chance" warnings, even if no agreement is reached in Paris.

But we should have.

There's a growing stack of evidence that contradicts the alarmists' warnings and refutes the scientific "consensus" that man is overheating his planet with carbon-dioxide emissions.

Start with NASA's recent finding that Antarctica is actually gaining ice, not losing it, and the fact that the North Pole has not been ice-free in any summer although climate extremist Al Gore claimed it would be by now.

Then move on to the global warming models used to predict climate calamity. They have been about as accurate as wild guesses.

Why has this happened? Maybe because, as Australian electrical engineer David Evans discovered through mathematical calculation, CO2 is not as strong of a greenhouse gas as the U.N. says it is.

Evans found that it's about "a fifth or 10th" of what activists claim it is, having "caused less than 20% of global warming in the last few decades."

Related to the flawed models is the measured reality that Earth hasn't warmed in 16 to 18 years.

Other events and circumstances that hurt the warming narrative include: doctored data used by alarmists; admissions by former activists that they either overestimated temperature increases or were simply altogether wrong; and the work of credible scientists that goes hard against the warming claims.

None of these counter-examples will move the activists from their position. They will continue to agitate for government-enforced limits on CO2 emissions and lecture us about how we live.

Their last chance should have come long ago, but now it looks as if they will never run out of them.


ExxonMobil Denies Lying about Global Warming

A spokesman for the oil giant rejected the basis of the New York Attorney General’s investigation

Exxon Mobil Corp. insisted yesterday that it has not lied to its shareholders about the risks of climate change as it reacted to news that New York’s attorney general is investigating the company’s climate statements to investors.

“Exxon Mobil recognizes that climate risks are real and responsible actions are warranted,” said Ken Cohen, the company’s vice president of public and government affairs, during a press call (E&ENews PM, Nov. 5).

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) has issued a “broad” subpoena dealing with “our assessment of climate change,” Cohen said.

The New York Times reported yesterday that Schneiderman’s office has requested extensive financial records, emails and other documents going back more than a decade, to a time when the Kyoto Protocol, the current climate treaty, was being discussed.

Exxon allegedly funded groups at the time to undermine climate science, according to a Greenpeace investigation.

“We were active in discussions about whether the Kyoto Protocol was an appropriate policy response,” Cohen said. “Our position, [which] continues to this day, [was] that an approach that would exclude the majority of the world’s emitters was not going to be an effective policy response to a global risk.”
see also:

Exxon began informing investors about climate risks in 2007 in regulatory filings and corporate citizenship reports. The company also began including a price on carbon in its internal business planning in 2007, which has ranged from $60 to $80 per ton, according to Yale Environment 360.

Exxon told Congress the same year that it had stopped funding climate change deniers, such as Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon, an astrophysicist with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. But records obtained by the Climate Investigations Center show that Soon received funding from the company until 2010 (ClimateWire, March 23).

Cohen drew a distinction between the company’s policy stance and its research into climate science. The company’s scientists have published numerous studies since the 1970s and have collaborated with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since its inception, he said.

Schneiderman has reportedly been investigating Exxon for a year. His office is also investigating Peabody Energy, a large coal company, according to news reports. Beginning in September,InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times have published a series of articles finding that Exxon has a long history of climate research, which contradicts its stance on climate policy



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.  

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