Sunday, November 27, 2016

More Orwellian thinking from the Green/Left

Press "freedom" = restricting the voice of global warming skepticism

Amazing to see what Christiane Amanpour had to say about global warming and "press freedom" -- starting at 4:35 here

The transcript on the link (slightly different from what she actually says in the video) includes the following:

"It appeared much of the media got itself into knots trying to differentiate between balance, objectivity, neutrality, and crucially, truth.

We cannot continue the old paradigm--let's say like over global warming, where 99.9 percent of the empirical scientific evidence is given equal play with the tiny minority of deniers.

I learned long ago, covering the ethnic cleansing and genocide in Bosnia, never to equate victim with aggressor, never to create a false moral or factual equivalence, because then you are an accomplice to the most unspeakable crimes and consequences. (my emphasis)

Wikipedia states that "The CPJ International Press Freedom Awards honor journalists or their publications around the world who show courage in defending press freedom despite facing attacks, threats, or imprisonment."

Isn't it ironic that an award for press freedom is going to an individual who feels that defending press freedom means that journalists must self-censor and RESTRICT their readers' access to countering and opposing views. And she equates reporting of skeptics' views with "ethnic cleansing and genocide in Bosnia" and "unspeakable crimes".

And note that the 97% consensus has now become, according to Amanpour, 99.9%.  She is obviously not much interested the actual facts.

Sweden's Royal Academy of Science highly critical of wind power

Translation of the main points by EPAW's spokesman in Scandinavia, Peter Skeel Hjorth:

Multi-billion-dollar subsidies for wind power are wasteful
Wind power production is negligible

10 TWh of wind power would require costly expansions to the distribution network

Expansion of wind power will harm Swedish competitiveness

Expansion of wind power will cost dearly to electricity customers

Expansion of wind power will not reduce carbon dioxide emissions

The subsidies could be better spent on other things

Thirteen of Sweden's most eminent scientists within climate and energy explain that the current Swedish wind power investment is a huge mistake that will cost the Swedish people billions of dollars without providing any benefits to the country.

It is also stated that wind production is minuscule, but was it to increase significantly then it would entail additional costs to electricity consumers in the form of demands for increased network expansion and back up power generation.

All in all this means that the expansion of wind power as a whole is negative for the electricity consumers and for Sweden's competitiveness. There are no environmental benefits either because wind power is not able to reduce carbon emissions.


Antarctic ice has hardly melted in 100 years, log books from Captain Scott's doomed expedition to the South Pole confirm

Which rather contradicts this dramatic report:  "In 2014, researchers claimed the melting of glaciers in West Antarctica may be irreversible. A study by Nasa and the University of California, Irvine revealed the barren region was haemorrhaging ice at a rate triple that of a decade before. The team found the rate by taking radar, laser and satellite measurements of the glaciers' mass between 1992 and 2013. 'The mass loss of these glaciers is increasing at an amazing rate,' said scientist Isabella Velicogna, jointly of the University of California, Irvine and Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory"

A century after their deaths, Antarctic explorers Captain Robert Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton are helping further our knowledge of the frozen continent. Log books recovered from their doomed expeditions show the amount of sea ice there has barely changed in 100 years.

Only one region, the Wendell Sea, has seen a significant reduction – 14 per cent – scientists from the University of Reading found.

Scott died with four of his men in 1912 during their ill-fated quest to become the first to the South Pole.

The team reached their goal only to find their rival, the Norwegian Roald Amundsen, had beaten them by five weeks. They perished on the return journey.

Shackleton, who had explored Antarctica with Scott a decade before, led an expedition to trek across the continent between 1914 and 1917. He had to be rescued when his ship sank. He died in 1922.

Log books detailing the extent of the sea ice in Antarctica were recovered from both expeditions.

These have been used to help fill gaps in the data – complete records of ice cover exist only for the period since scientists began to use satellites to survey the planet.

Researchers looked through the logbooks of early Antarctic explorers from the 'Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration (1897-1917)' and compared the recorded observations of Antarctic ice from the time with satellite images from today.

Jonathan Day, who led the University of Reading study, said: 'The missions of Scott and Shackleton are remembered in history as heroic failures, yet the data collected by these and other explorers could profoundly change the way we view the ebb and flow of Antarctic sea ice.

'We know that sea ice in the Antarctic has increased slightly over the past 30 years, since satellite observations began.

'Scientists have been grappling to understand this trend in the context of global warming, but these findings suggest it may not be new.'

It is not known why Antarctic ice has grown since the 1970s.

Some scientists believe the widening hole in the atmosphere's ozone layer has caused stronger surface winds over Antarctica and more frequent storms in the Southern Ocean.

But the results from the 'heroic age' of polar exploration suggest this also happened earlier in the 20th century.

The log books give details of ice cover, the state of the sea, the weather and wildlife spotted from the deck.

The study implies Antarctic sea ice levels in the early 1900s were similar to today, at between 2 million and 2.8 million square miles (5.3 million and 7.4 million square kilometres).

Estimates suggest levels were significantly higher in the 1950s.

The research, published in the European Geosciences Union journal The Cryosphere, suggests the Antarctic is much less sensitive to the effects of climate change than the Arctic, which has seen a dramatic decline in sea ice.

Mr Day said: 'The Southern Ocean is largely a 'black hole' as far as historical climate change data is concerned, but future activities planned to recover data from naval and whaling ships will help us to understand past climate variations and what to expect in the future.'


All power to energy security: Australia could learn from Trump

When US president-elect Donald Trump listed his six top priorities for executive action this week on “day one” of becoming the most powerful man in the world, naturally most attention was grabbed by his very first decision: withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

Yet in global terms, and in Australia’s interest, his second priority was just as important.

This was Trump’s pledge to “cancel job-killing restrictions on the production of American ­energy including shale energy and clean coal, creating many millions of high-paying jobs”.

Energy security was placed above national security.

The jobs of coalminers, the use of low-cost shale deposits for ­energy and the creation of manufacturing jobs were placed ahead of national security, and the withdrawal from the Obama administration’s commitment to the Paris agreement on climate change didn’t even rate a mention.

There is global agitation about the pragmatism of protecting jobs through energy security, providing energy at a low enough price so people can afford to use it and producing energy when ­people need it, as well as an ­imperative to lower carbon emissions. The hidden cost of “intermittency” — the hallmark of wind and solar production — and the danger of blackouts are being recognised.

Australia is fortunate in that, historically, it has had low-cost ­energy, enormous natural res­ources, a pristine environment and the benefit of seeing how policy parameters such as the European emissions trading system and subsidised ­renewable energy programs work in practice.

Trump’s priorities and actions on energy are vital to Australia’s own energy future, economic growth, job creation and climate change actions as precipitous political decisions around the world are distorting energy markets, pushing up costs for ­industry, driving jobs across borders, exporting manufacturing ­opportunities and perversely ­affecting markets and carbon emissions.

There is also a political neces­sity to continue to get public support for climate change initiatives, although Trump has demonstrated there can be a white-hot anger about ideological climate change policies that don’t recognise the hurt to workers.

In recent weeks in Australia the closure of the Victorian Hazelwood coal-fired power station has been announced with the loss of 750 jobs in the Latrobe Valley, in part because of French government climate change policy; ­export coal prices have soared; coalmines have reopened; and AGL, one of the biggest domestic gas suppliers, has set aside $17 million for a feasibility study for Australia, the biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, to import lower-cost LNG from suppliers in the Middle East.

As well, South Australia experi­enced catastrophic power blackouts, Victoria became a net electricity importer, with the ­potential for dire shortages or blackouts at times of extreme ­demand, and the Victorian Labor government introduced a bill this week to extend its existing moratorium on conventional onshore gas exploration to 2020.

The Greens, environmental ­activists and the ALP are simultaneously building a public campaign for the transition from coal and gas to a mainly renew­able ­energy future that is putting cutting carbon emissions ahead of ­energy and job security.

It is a challenge for all sides of politics in form and substance.

According to Industry, Innovation and Science Minister Greg Hunt, the Victorian government’s decision to continue to ban onshore natural gas exploration is the final act in laying the foundation for a “manufacturing crisis” with a looming shortfall in natural gas supply ­because Australia is locked into long-term LNG exports, and Victoria and NSW are banning or ­effectively banning gas exploration and production.

“It is absolutely clear there is no shortage of gas resources in the ground but there is a shortage of gas supply to homes and industry,” Hunt tells ­Inquirer. “We have to be honest that the effective closure of new supplies will risk jobs, will risk prices and will risk economic activity.

“The sad part, over and above that, is that potentially we choose higher emissions sources of ­energy for electricity.”

Whereas Australia is aiming to reform its energy market, upgrade its electricity interchange, boost renewable energy, keep coal and gas as integral parts of energy generation and job creation for decades to come, and meet its international agreements to cut carbon emissions by 26 per cent to 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030, Trump is happy to shed global ­obligations to provide cheap power for the US economy.

He campaigned successfully on creating American jobs and specifically on returning the manufacturing and mining jobs lost in states such as Pennsylvania, which he snatched from Hillary Clinton, sensing the blue-collar fear and reality of job losses because of climate change policies closing mines and raising costs to support renewable energy.

As for Australia, seen as one of the world’s great carbon demons because of its coal production, it does not have the option of dumping carbon polices as Trump ­intends to do, but neither should Australian governments, state and federal, adopt distorting policies that push costs to domestic and ­industry users to levels that are punitive, unsustainable and a threat to a cohesive energy supply and security.

Without commenting on any US administration’s domestic policy, Hunt makes the point: “American manufacturing in ­recent years has become more competitive in significant measure because they have had access to lower-cost gas; it actually brought gas on board. As a matter of economics, if there is more natural gas available in the US, then their manufacturing will be even more competitive.”

In the past 10 years in the US, electricity generation from gas has risen from 18.7 per cent to 32.5 per cent while coal has fallen from 49.5 per cent to 33 per cent. Coal and natural gas are now almost equal as the producers of American electricity. During the same period, renew­able electricity energy has grown from 8.8 per cent to 13.8 per cent and nuclear has ­remained steady at 19.4 per cent.

The real lesson for Australia in the US experience of the role of gas, coal and renewables in this energy-climate change mix is not the increased potential economic threat from Trump’s low-cost powered US industrial base but from Europe.

Although Trump’s first priority involved ensuring the US created American jobs by producing steel and “making cars”, the threat to Australia’s coal exports — which even Bill Shorten admits must go on for decades — is the framing of public opinion and policy development that puts energy security at risk.

Ideologically driven energy ­decisions in Europe taken years ago provide the example of how Australia should not proceed: ­unrealistic renewable energy targets, unsustainable renewable ­energy subsidies, rising electricity prices, precipitously doing away with fossil fuels, politically driven decisions to close nuclear power plants, the export of jobs and, ironically, the start of the failure of carbon emission reduction policies.

In the past two years Germany’s renowned world leader status on renewable energy has started to be tarnished as political decisions to subsidise renewables and to close nuclear power plants, coalmines and coal-fired power plants have ­resulted in price rises and ­environmental anomalies.

Rising costs for industry’s power have forced companies to relocate, the government has told renewable energy producers they have to manage without subsidies, coal-fired power stations are being commissioned, brown coal — lignite — mines are being opened and brown “dirty” coal is still a large part of baseload electricity generation.

Paradoxically, as Germany tries to become nuclear free, it is buying nuclear-generated electricity from France and the French are importing cheap lignite-powered electricity from Germany. This makes a mockery of carbon emission and nuclear energy ­reductions.

France introduced a carbon tax on coal-fired electricity and cut subsidies to coal — in part affecting the Latrobe Valley — as a climate change policy, but higher costs forced the government to cancel the tax within a few months.

As Europe heads into winter, there are predictions of greater ­demand from Britain and The Netherlands from electricity suppliers, and some of that will be coming from Germany’s “dirty ­secret” of lignite. Germany is being attacked by industry for higher prices creating job losses and by environmentalists for dropping its specific carbon emission reduction targets for 2050.

Australia has the opportunity to bring a sober, pragmatic but ­environmentally responsible ener­gy security to bear in the ­national interest, but at the ­moment the approach is fractured, ideologically driven and not receiving the priority Trump is prepared to give energy security.


CLEXIT: Harmful, Costly, Unscientific Climate Treaties should be torn up

A new international organization aims to prevent ratification of the costly and dangerous Paris global warming treaty which is being promoted by the EU and the present US administration.
“CLEXIT” (CLimate Exit) was inspired by the Brexit decision of the British people to withdraw from the increasingly dictatorial grasp of the EU bureaucracy.

Without any publicity or serious recruiting, Clexit has attracted over 60 well-informed science, business and economic leaders from 16 countries.

The secretary of Clexit, Mr Viv Forbes from Australia, said that widespread enforcement of the Paris climate treaty would be a global tragedy.

“For the EU and the rest of the Western world, ratification and enforcement of the Paris Treaty (and all the other associated decrees and Agendas) would herald the end of low-cost hydrocarbon transport and electricity, and the exit of their manufacturing, processing and refining industries to countries with low-cost energy.

“For developing countries, the Paris Treaty would deny them the benefits of reliable low-cost hydrocarbon energy, compelling them to rely on biomass heating and costly weather-dependent and unreliable power supplies, thus prolonging and increasing their dependency on international handouts. They will soon resent being told to remain forever in an energy-deprived wind/solar/wood/bicycle economy.

“Perhaps the most insidious feature of the UN climate plan is the “Green Climate Fund”. Under this scheme, selected nations (“The rich”) are marked to pour billions of dollars into a green slush fund. The funds will then be used to bribe other countries (“developing and emerging nations”) into adopting silly green energy policies.

“Naturally some smart politicians and speculators in the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and in the small island nations, understand that they can profit from the Paris Treaty by gaming the rules on things like carbon credits, or milking the green fund for “climate compensation” or “green energy technology”. This will only work for a while, and when the handouts stop, the re-adjustment to reality will be very painful.

“This UN-driven war on carbon energy has already caused massive losses and dislocation of western industry. If allowed to continue as envisaged by the Paris Treaty, this economic recession will become a world-wide depression, and all nations will suffer.

“We must stop this futile waste of community savings; cease the destruction and dislocation of human industry; stop killing rare bats and birds with wind turbine blades and solar/thermal sizzlers; stop pelletising trees and shipping them across the world to feed power stations designed to burn coal; stop converting food to motor vehicle fuel; and stop the clearing of bush and forests for biofuel cultivation and plantations.”

“Carbon dioxide does not control the climate. It is an essential plant food and more carbon dioxide will produce more plant growth and a greener globe.”



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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