Monday, April 17, 2017

NASA just photographed a new crack in one of Greenland’s largest glaciers

So what?  ALL the floating ice could melt without having any effect on the sea level

NASA’s Operation IceBridge has spotted a significant new rift in the ice shelf, near another longer, wider crack.

The first photographs of a new and ominous crack in Greenland’s enormous Petermann glacier were captured by a NASA airborne mission Friday.

NASA’s Operation IceBridge, which has been flying over northwest Greenland for the past several days, took the photos after being provided coordinates by Stef Lhermitte, a professor at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, who had spotted it by examining satellite images.

The NASA pictures make clear that a significant new rift has opened in the ice shelf — one that is not so distant from another much wider and longer crack that has been slowly extending toward the shelf’s center from its eastern side wall.

If the two cracks were to intersect, then a single break would run across more than half of the ice shelf. That might, in turn, cause the piece to begin to break away.

But in the image NASA also noted another feature in the ice that it termed a ‘‘medial flow line’’ that, it said, ‘‘may exert a stagnating effect on the propagation of the new rift toward the older one.’’ So it remains to be seen just how much, and how rapidly, the new rift — which has only just been discovered — could undermine the floating ice shelf.


At Last: Britain Preparing To Scrap EU Renewables Targets As Part Of A Bonfire Of Red Tape After Brexit

Britain is preparing to scrap EU green energy targets which will add more than £100 to the average energy bill as part of a bonfire of red tape after Brexit. Government sources told The Daily Telegraph that the target, under the EU Renewable Energy Directive, is likely to be scrapped after Brexit.
Brexit and EU regulation: A bonfire of the vanities?

The UK is currently committed to getting 15 per cent of all energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar by 2020.

Ministers have long been critical of the targets because they exclude nuclear power, carbon capture or gains from energy efficiency.

The UK is currently on course to miss the target and incur millions of pounds in fines from the European Union.

Government sources told The Daily Telegraph that the target, under the EU Renewable Energy Directive, is likely to be scrapped after Brexit.

The Daily Telegraph has called on the Conservative Party to promise a bonfire of EU red tape in its 2020 manifesto to put Britain on a radically different course.

Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, has “applauded” the campaign and he backed calls to sweep away decades of “burdensome” EU regulations after Brexit.

It comes after civil service documents, photographed on a trade, revealed that Britain plans to scale down its concern over climate change after Brexit.

Details of the policy change were contained in the papers of a senior civil servant at the Department for International Trade (DIT) photographed by a passenger earlier this month.

The notes say: “Trade and growth are now priorities for all posts — you will all need to prioritise developing capability in this area.

Some economic security-related work like climate change and illegal wildlife trade will be scaled down.”

Earlier this month Bloomberg, the news agency, revealed that officials at the Treasury and department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have been discussing axing the renewables target.John

The EU Renewable Energy Directive requires the UK to generate 15 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020 – up from three per cent when the directive was adopted in 2009.

The target has led to billions of pounds Government subsidies for renewable power sources such as wind, solar and biomass power plants, which are ultimately paid for by customers through their energy bills.

The National Audit Office estimated that green energy subsidies will cost every household £110 a year by 2020.

Owen Paterson, a Conservative MP and former Environment Secretary, said: “It’s distorting the whole energy market. It’s like the Sherrif of Nottingham – it transfers money from my poorest constituents to my wealthiest constituents who are putting up pointless wind turbines heavily subsidised.

I would be very happy to see the back of it.”


Real science must guide policy

Climate alarmists use faulty science and bald assertions to demand end to fossil fuels

Paul Driessen

All too many alarmist climate scientists have received millions in taxpayer grants over the years, relied on computer models that do not reflect real-world observations, attacked and refused to debate scientists who disagree with manmade climate cataclysm claims, refused to share their computer algorithms and raw data with reviewers outside their circle of fellow researchers – and then used their work to make or justify demands that the world eliminate the fossil fuels that provide 80% of our energy and have lifted billions out of nasty, brutish, life-shortening poverty and disease.

A recent US House of Representatives Science Committee hearing on assumptions, policy implications and scientific principles of climate change showcased this. Testimony by climate scientists Drs. John Christy, Judith Curry and Roger Pielke, Jr. contrasted sharply with that of Dr. Michael Mann.

Christy noted that Congress and the public have been getting biased analyses and conclusions that begin with and attempt to confirm the belief that human greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions drive climate change. He said government should “organize and fund credible ‘Red Teams’ that look at issues such as natural variability, the failure of climate models and the huge benefits to society from affordable energy, carbon-based and otherwise.” He demonstrated how average global temperatures predicted by dozens of models for 2015 are now off by a full half-degree Celsius (0.9 F) from what has actually been measured.

Curry discussed how she has been repeatedly vilified as an “anti-science” climate change “denier” and “disinformer.” But she focused on the role of the scientific method, especially as related to the complex forces involved in climate change – and especially when used to advise on policy and law. Real science means positing and proving a hypothesis with convincing real world evidence. Models can help, but only if they accurately reflect the total climate system and their results conform to real world observations.

Pielke discussed his own mistreatment as a “denier” and showed that there is “little scientific basis” for claims that extreme weather events (tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, droughts) have increased in recent decades due to GHG emissions. In fact, IPCC and other studies reveal that the USA and world have had “remarkable good fortune” with extreme weather in recent years, compared to the past: 23 major hurricanes hit the US East Coast 1915-1964; but only 9 in 1965-2016 – and not one since October 2005. He also offered 18 specific recommendations for improving scientific integrity in climate science.

Mann said the other three witnesses represent a “tiny minority” who stand opposed to the 97% who agree that “climate change is real, is human-caused, and is already having adverse impacts on us, our economy, and our planet.” He defended his “hockey stick” historic temperature graph, claimed climate models have been “tested vigorously and rigorously” and have “passed a number of impressive tests,” insisted that warming [of a couple hundredths of a degree] in recent years proves that manmade global warming “has continued unabated,” and accused those who contest these statements of being “anti-science” deniers.

The “97% consensus” is imaginary – a fabrication. One source was a survey sent to 10,256 scientists, of whom 3,146 responded. But their number was arbitrarily reduced to 77 “expert” or “active” climate researchers, of which 75 agreed with two simplistic questions that many would support. (Has Earth warmed since 1800? Did humans play a significant role?) Voila! 97% consensus. But what about the other 3,069 respondents? 75 out of 3,146 is barely 0.02 percent. Purported consensus studies by Cook, Oreskes and others were just as bogus.

Moreover, governments have been spending billions of dollars annually on climate research. The vas majority went to the alarmist camp. If $25,000 or $100,000 a year from fossil fuel interests can “buy” skeptical scientists, as we are often told, how much “consensus” can billions purchase? If many scientists who contest “dangerous manmade climate change” are harassed, or threatened with RICO prosecutions, how many will have the courage to speak out and challenge the “consensus” and “settled science”?

These are timely questions. On April 12, 1633 the Catholic Church convicted astronomer Galileo Galilei of heresy, for refusing to accept its doctrine that the Sun revolves around the Earth.

But far more important, the climate battle is not merely a debate over miasma versus germ theory of disease, AC versus DC current, or geologic mechanisms behind plate tectonics. It’s far more even than disagreements over how much humans might be affecting Earth’s climate, or how bad (or beneficial) future changes might be, on a planet where climate fluctuations have occurred throughout history.

Manmade climate catastrophe claims are being used to justify demands that the United States and world eliminate the carbon-based fuels that provide 80% of the energy that makes modern industry, civilization and living standards possible – and that continue to lift billions of people out of poverty and disease.

Climate alarmists want that radical transformation to take place right now. McKinsey & Company, the UN and assorted activists say the world must spend some $93 trillion over the next 15 years to convert completely from fossil fuels to “sustainable” energy! Or it will be too late. Our planet will be doomed.

Claims and demands like those require solid, incontrovertible proof that climate alarmists are right. Not just computer models, repeated assertions, “peer review” among like-minded researchers seeking their next government grant, or a partial-degree of warming amid multiple El Niños and cooling cycles. They require “Red Team” analyses and open, unfettered debate over every aspect of human and natural influences on Earth’s climate, the ways carbon dioxide improves plant growth, and the need for abundant, reliable, affordable electricity and motor fuel for every person in every nation.

We haven’t had any of that so far. Up to now, climate chaos is just one more Club of Rome supposedly looming disaster, supposedly caused by human intervention in natural processes, supposedly requiring immediate, fundamental changes in human behavior, to avoid supposed global calamities – threats to the very survival of our wildlife, civilization and planet. It’s all assertions, devoid of persuasive evidence.

It’s true that virtually all nations have signed the Paris accords. However, only President Obama signed it for the USA; the Senate never ratified the decision. And the US reduced its CO2 emissions by 12.5% since 2007, while Europe’s carbon dioxide emissions rose 0.7% in one year, 2014-2015.

Britain is looking into rescinding some 2020 clean energy targets and using more coal and natural gas. EU nations are realizing that overpriced, unreliable wind and solar power is hammering families and killing their jobs and economies. Virtually all the developing nations that signed onto the Paris (non)treaty did so because they were promised trillions of dollars in climate “adaptation, mitigation and reparation” money.

That brings us to another April anniversary: the 1815 eruption of Indonesia’s Mt. Tambora. This monumental volcanic explosion blew an inconceivable 4,650 feet off the volcano; sent 36 cubic miles of ash, rock, sulfur and other gases into the atmosphere; triggered tsunamis that killed over 10,000 people; and caused serious climate changes and crop failures that killed 80,000 more over the following year.

We may be about to witness another volcanic explosion. Under the Paris insanity, developed nations are expected to de-carbonize, de-industrialize and curb their growth – while sending $100 billion per year to ruling elites in developing countries that are not required to trim fossil fuel use or GHG emissions.

It cannot and will not happen. In fact, industrialized nations are already reneging on their pledges, refusing to contribute to the Green Climate Fund, or recasting current foreign aid as Paris climate money. China, India, Brazil and poor countries are outraged. They want new money, more money – or else they will walk away from their commitments, and the Paris house of cards will collapse. It should collapse.

Billions of people are still energy-deprived, impoverished, diseased and starving. Millions are dying needlessly every year. Faulty, authoritarian climate and “sustainability” claims are being use to perpetuate these travesties. It’s time to help poor countries get the same energy, technologies and opportunities we have – so that they can take their rightful places among Earth’s healthy and prosperous people.

Via email


WaPo Issues Wildly Misleading ‘Fact Check’ On EPA Head

A Washington Post fact checker went after Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt over a claim he made about China and India’s obligations under the Paris climate agreement, and it just might be the most wildly misleading fact check the paper has ever run.

Glenn Kessler awarded Pruitt four “Pinocchios” in the fact check Friday — the paper’s worst rating for truthfulness — for a claim he made that China and India had “no obligations” to cut greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris climate agreement. But Kessler seriously undercuts his conclusion by acknowledging in his review that the agreement in question is not legally binding, so China and India are not bound to follow its terms.

The fact check centers on comments Pruitt made on “Fox & Friends” Thursday morning, when he said the Paris agreement the U.S. joined under former President Barack Obama did not put America first, because “China and India had no obligations under the agreement until 2030.”

“Pruitt appears to be stuck in a time warp,” Kessler wrote in the fact check. “His concerns might have made more sense if he had been referring to the 1992 Kyoto Protocol, which did not require developing nations such as China and India to face legally binding requirements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Pruitt earns Four Pinocchios,” Kessler concluded, adding: “Pruitt clearly needs to brush up on the Paris Accord, as it’s false to claim that China and India have ‘no obligations’ until 2030.”

But early in the fact check, Kessler notes the Paris agreement itself is “not legally binding” because countries submit their own plans to cut emissions, which they can either follow through with or not. Whoops. No one is “obligated” to do anything in terms of emissions under the Paris agreement under any time period, even in 2030.

In fact, the Trump administration is in the process of undoing all the regulations Obama put in place to meet his Paris pledge of cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2030.

Pruit isn’t 100 percent right either, but he’s wrong for reasons WaPo didn’t bother covering. Pruitt qualified his comments by indicating those countries have no obligations until 2030, when the reality is those countries have no obligations, period, because the agreement is not binding.

China has pledged to “peak” emissions by 2030, which means it can increase emissions in absolute terms during that time. India has made no promise to cut its total emissions levels. China’s emissions are expected to grow nearly 32 percent through 2040, according to projections from the Energy Information Administration, while India’s is expected to skyrocket nearly 110 percent. That growth would wipe out any emissions cuts from the U.S. and other developed countries, so any pledge by China and India to cut emissions intensity of their economy really amounts to a bait-and-switch.

Kessler goes on to say Paris makes a distinction “between developing and developed countries in that developed countries are expected to reduce actual emissions, while developing countries would lower emissions based on units tied to measures such as gross domestic product or economic output.”

China promised to lower its emissions per unit of economic output, or GDP, 60 to 65 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. India pledged to cut emissions per unit of GDP 33 to 35 percent in that same time period. But those aren’t pledges China and India are legally obligated to work toward. Countries naturally reduce their emissions to GDP ratio as industries become more efficient over time and use less energy (mostly fossil fuels) to produce more goods.

Look at global emissions intensity data compiled by the World Bank — No Paris agreement necessary.

China had already cut its emissions per unit of GDP nearly 34 percent below 2005 levels before Paris went into effect in 2016. India had decreased its emissions intensity 12.5 percent by 2010. And despite promises of using more green energy, both China and India will be using way more coal and fossil fuels in the future.

EPA responded to Kessler after he published the fact check.

“Administrator Pruitt was referring to no emission reduction obligations,” an EPA spokeswoman said, adding “no one has any obligations regarding emissions reductions activities under the Paris Agreement because it is ‘non-binding.’”

“They are pretty clear that they aren’t really agreeing to do anything,” she said, referring to China.

Kessler in turn responded to the EPA statement, saying that China and India are taking steps, even if they’re not bound by the agreement. “This ignores that fact that China and India are actually taking steps to try to meet these commitments, with China on track to peak by 2025, if not sooner,” he said.

Kessler ignores China and India aren’t actually “taking steps.” Their economies are growing and their industries are becoming more efficient. It’s Econ 101.


Australia: A Dead Man Warns of a Dying Grid

Not long before his sudden and premature death, Australian Energy Market Operator chief Matt Zema spoke candidly at a private conference of power-industry executives. The enormous subsidies heaped on renewables, he said, mean one thing and only one thing: “The system must collapse”

Matt Zema, inaugural head of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), attended a meeting a year ago of the Regulation Economics Energy Forum at which a number of prominent electricity industry executives were present. Proceedings at the meeting were private, but the need for confidentiality was removed with Matt’s sad death three months later. The following were among his remarks:

“The renewable developments and increased political interference are pushing the system towards a crisis. South Australia is most vulnerable with its potential for wind to supply 60% of demand and then to cut back rapidly. Each new windfarm constrains existing ones and brings demand for more transmission. The system is only manageable with robust interconnectors, but these operate effectively only because there is abundant coal-based generation in Victoria…

… wind, being subsidised and having low marginal costs, depresses the spot price and once a major coal plant has a severe problem it will be closed…

… wind does not provide the system security. But the politicians will not allow the appropriate price changes to permit profitable supply developments from other sources. And the original intent of having the generator or other beneficiary pay for transmission and services over and above energy itself has now been lost so there are no market signals, just a series of patch-ups that obscure the instability and shift the problem to include Victoria. In the end the system must collapse…”

A month later South Australia’s coal-fuelled Northern Power Station was disconnected from the network because it was unable to operate profitably against subsidised intermittent renewable energy that has priority over other supplies.

In September, 2016, as a result of this capacity reduction, South Australia lost all its power when storms triggered outages and several wind generators were unable to “ride through”, causing the main interconnector with Victoria to shut down. A more limited loss of power took place in February, 2017, when wind supply dropped from 800MW to under 100MW in four hours.

The September, 2016, blackout is estimated to have cost the state $367 million. BHP, whose senior executives have long engaged in virtue-signalling in favour of carbon taxes and exotic “clean” renewables, reported a loss of $US105 million with their Olympic Dam project — a loss magnified by the company being forced to suspend its proposed doubling of the mine’s capacity as a result of power uncertainties.

Engie, the owners of Hazelwood announced in November, 2016, that the 1600 megawatt facility (supplying between 20% and 25% of the state’s power) will be the fourth big coal-fired power station to close. Hazelwood had been allowed to deteriorate as a result of subsidised wind making the plant unprofitable, which did not stop Engie being ordered to complete major repairs to at least five of the eight boilers in order to meet occupational health and safety regulations.

The bottom line is that the loss of the coal-powered stations has resulted in at least a doubling of the wholesale electricity price in the southern states and the concomitant loss of reliability.

Blame shifting between politicians has characterised the various events. Reliable coal plants are being forced to close due to competition from renewables which currently enjoy a subsidy of $84 per MWH, double the actual price received by coal plants. The forced closure of these plants has compounded the cost impost by forcing up pool prices. The subsidies favouring renewable energy include several put in place by state governments, but the most important regulations are at the Commonwealth level — especially those requiring increasing shares of wind and solar within the supply mix. These regulations give rise to the current subsidy for wind and solar, currently at $84 per MWh and capped at $92.5 per MWh.

The roll-out of new subsidised power is on-going. And various schemes are being floated for buffering and overcoming wind’s intrinsic lack of reliability. Among these is the mooted South Australian battery investment using the technology developed by Elon Musk and the proposal floated by the Prime Minister to augment the Snowy hydro system with “pumped storage”. These measures, should they go ahead, allow the transfer of power over time and, in doing so, reduce the gross power available.

New “solutions” using subsidised wind and solar abound.

Last week, for example, South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill announced a new solar-battery combination, Lyon Solar in the Riverland, which promises 300 Megawatts of capacity. This is the equivalent of perhaps 80 megawatts of coal fuelled electricity and comes at a cost of one billion dollars.

The now-shuttered Northern Power Station had 540 megawatts, yet Weatherill declined to take up an offer that would, for a mere $25 million, have kept it open. Instead, he plumped to spend $500 million-plus on a gas generator of half that capacity and, plus Elon Musk’s much bally-hooed batteries!

On paper, the new Lyon Solar facility is profitable only because of the penalties imposed on coal. These include the subsidy under the Renewable Energy Target of $84 per MWh. In addition, the facility benefits from the forced closure of the coal-fired stations. This has resulted in the wholesale price of electricity rising to a new norm of $130 per MWh, compared with the average price in the four years to 2015 of $50 per MWh. The bottom line is that the consumer will pay $214 per MWh for $50-per-MWh worth of electricity from the new facility.

With that sort of money being littered around the industry for gee-whizz exotic projects it is little wonder that moochers are circling the state like moths round a candle. In the end, renewables require at least three times the price of the supposed dinosaur facilities they are displacing; consumers and industry will need to pay this and, in addition, fork out for grid additions to offset some of the inevitable deterioration of reliability the brave new energy world entails. Obviously many outfits, especially those in the energy intensive mining and smelting and agricultural processing sectors will not find it profitable to remain in an Australian market where wholesale electricity prices have more than doubles and the system’s reliability has deteriorated.

We are seeing the future with these renewable energy facilities and it is not working. The contagion that is undermining the South Australian economy and impoverishing the state’s households is spreading to Victoria.

Ominously, on the very day that Hazelwood closed, Victoria evidenced what will be the new norm.

Incredibly, with no heatwave or any other factor to inspire a spike in electricity demand, it had to import electricity from New South Wales and Tasmania.



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   main.html 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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