Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Australia's greenhouse gas emissions increase for third consecutive year

These figures are very dodgy. There is no way such a figure could be directly measured. They are estimated by adding together the amount of cement produced, the amount of coal mined and the number of sheep farting etc.  There are many ways that could be inaccurate. Such figures could be fairly good at enabling year to year comparison but fluctuating commodity prices are a big influence on Australia's economic activity so are probably much less accurate than world figures, where losses and gains are more likely to average out

And what does it matter anyway?  Belief in global warming is just climate bigotry -- impervious to any evidence about its truth or falsity

New Environment Department figures shows gas emissions grew by 0.7 per cent last financial year, which has been blamed on an increase in gas production and exports.

That comes after a 0.8 per cent increase during the 2015/16 financial year, which was accompanied with a warning Australia was not on track to meet its 2030 emissions reduction target.

But Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said the latest data showed the Federal Government was expected to achieve its 2020 climate change target reduction of 294 million tonnes compared to 2000 levels.

In a statement, Mr Frydenberg said Australia was, "[continuing] to close the gap on the 2030 target" despite the annual increase in gas emissions.

"Australia beat its first Kyoto Protocol target by 128 million tonnes of emissions, and updated data released today by the Department of Environment and Energy shows Australia's emissions are now at their lowest level in 28 years on a per capita and GDP basis," Mr Frydenberg said.

Opposition energy spokesman Mark Butler said the Government's revised emissions targets for 2030 would only be 5 per cent below 2005 levels.

"Ignoring land sector emissions, 2030 emissions are projected to be almost 10 per cent higher than 2005 levels," Mr Butler said.

The Environment Department's long-awaited review of climate change policy found Australia accounted for 1.3 per cent of global carbon emissions.

Mr Frydenberg said the report proved the Federal Government had the right mix of policies to meet climate change goals, while also securing reliable and affordable power supply.

He said the emissions reduction fund was now, "one of the world's largest domestic carbon offset markets" with more than 191 million tonnes of abatement secured with an average of price of $11.90 per tonne.

The department report also considered the role of international emissions trading, with the Federal Government now giving "in-principle support".

This would allow businesses that have low emissions to sell excess usage to other organisations that have higher pollution rates, which may help reduce compliance costs.

"The final decision on the timing and appropriate quantity and quality limits will be taken by 2020 following further consultation and detailed analysis," Mr Frydenberg said.

Climate Council chief executive Amanda Mackenzie said the latest figures showed Australia risked becoming, "the global climate laggard".


Some evidence that the official global warming figures are fake

Great Lakes total ice cover, 12/30/15: 0.6%
Great Lakes total ice cover, 12/29/16: 2.9%
Great Lakes total ice cover, 12/30/17: 14.8%


Insane unreliables: to cost 10,000 Euros per household

First we need to recognise that capacity is nowhere near the same as average delivered power. I think the figure for what is currently delivered is closer to 20-30% of capacity, so the actual capacity will be lower. But it gets worse, because it gets even lower the higher the % of unreliables. Because whereas it is now cheap conventional that gets turned off when there is excess power, if you were insane enough to get rid of conventionals then much of the time it is expensive unreliables would be turned off because unreliables were producing too much … and much of the time industry and consumers would be turned off as they produce too little. So the available capacity from unreliables would be much smaller.

However if we assume a 25% delivery for convenience, the above graph suggests the cost per W per person of unreliables is 0.018*1000/0.25 =  74cent/kwh per person. On average a household of 2.5people consumes about 400w. So that yearly cost of unreliables for a household if anyone were mad enough to go for 100% unreliables appears to be around

74 * 0.4 * 24 * 365  = ~2600 Euros per Household

This is however the direct cost. But as raw materials and manufacturing costs are all directly related then the cost will be higher. A while back I wrote about The Enerconic multiplier (expanded later in the  The Enerconic or society energy multiplier). This provides the useful figure that energy is reused in society about 4x. As such, if everyone we sourced goods and services were to adopt the same crazy policy of 100% unreliables, I can work out the cost per household as

2600 x 4 = ~10,000 Euros.

With an average EU salary of 17640, an average wage single earner household will be spending 56% of their salary solely on extra costs incurred by this crazy policy. Of course, not every country is mad enough to go along with this insanity. So, the effect at the moment is that it is cheaper to produce things in countries who have not been infected with the madness. Thus in addition to seeing large cost increases, there is also a steady drain of jobs abroad. That will depress EU economies & hence wages until it has much the same effect  as if we were all being taxed an additional ~ 56%. But there is one small issue here. The average tax rate in the EU is 40%. So between the increase costs for unreliables and massive government taxes (also added to the cost of unreliables) there is frankly very little left.

There is however one ray of hope … as the UK isn’t in the Euro, and with the Italian financial crisis looming, the cost of unrelieables in Euros will be much smaller (… I’m just joking, the green parasites suck us dry whatever the currency).

But can you now see why I call this policy insane? The direct cost is massive, but the indirect cost is totally bonkers and would leave all of us with almost no personal salary – or more likely, we’d end up being able to afford to purchase a fraction of what we do now. We will all be a lot lot poorer. It is total bonkers and if politicians were mad enough to push it through would cause those countries adopting it to descend into an economic decline heading toward third world status. And with that I would like to wish you all …


Why China's Freezing: A well-meaning anti-pollution push turned into a debacle

China is suffering from a frigid winter, but it can't blame Mother Nature alone. Late last week, following a widespread uproar, officials reversed a policy banning some provinces from using coal for heat -- which had the inadvertent but predictable effect of leaving large swathes of the country freezing cold.

China's government has been keen to reduce air-pollution levels, which are quite literally off the charts. State media rejoiced last month when data showed that China was only the second-most polluted developing country, behind India. With health concerns rising, and middle-class anger swelling, the coal ban was a well-meaning attempt to address the problem.

Unfortunately, it made no sense. China generates almost 70 percent of its electricity from coal. Households buy it from vendors pushing carts, while metal refiners use it on a huge scale to power their plants. Any attempt to reduce this consumption would require serious investment in alternatives and a gradual phase-in. Instead, officials simply mandated the cuts, with little in the way of preparation.

This led to a scramble for natural gas, one obvious alternative. But a lack of inventory, distribution and ready output caused a supply crunch. Production has risen by only 9.7 percent this year, with total consumption up 14.6 percent -- not nearly enough to make up for the cuts in coal. Officials are expecting a shortage of up to 20 percent this winter. Prices in some areas have doubled. In Tianjin, near Beijing, they're up 74 percent.

Making matters worse, the ban has brought major industries to a near-standstill. Mills in the key steel regions of Tangshan and Hebei were operating at 80 percent of capacity in September; now rates are as low as 43 percent. Aluminum and other heavy industries are facing severe production limits through March 15, a mandated slowdown that could weigh heavily on gross domestic product.

The public backlash has been swift. With millions of homes left with insufficient energy for cooking and heating, anger on social media grew so fierce that the government soon reversed course. Last week, the Ministry of Environmental Protection told local officials in 28 cities to ease coal restrictions and take measures to stabilize prices and supplies.

All this was a perfectly foreseeable outcome to imposing steep cuts on the country's primary source of heating and electricity without any alternative in place. So what happened?

On one level, it's another example of how China's bureaucracy can sometimes subordinate common sense to centrally mandated goals. In an analogous episode a few years back, a hurriedly constructed school track meant to impress a government official came out as a rectangle, leading to instant social-media infamy.

But the coal debacle also reflects a deeper problem. A country of 1.4 billion simply can't change its energy mix overnight. China has made great strides in encouraging alternative fuels, but continued progress will require good planning, not just investment. Natural gas, which the government hopes will meet its residential energy needs, is widely available globally, yet China's pipelines aren't ready to transport it. Many of the country's solar farms are sitting idle for similar reasons.

Solving such problems is easier said than done. But rather than making heavy-handed decrees, China should be thinking about market-based reforms such as carbon taxes, while working to improve infrastructure for alternative energies. A more transparent policy-making process would also help. There's a reason that major public investments and policy changes usually require things like comment periods or impact reports. Such formalities lead to better regulation and reduce the risk of technocrats making well-meaning mistakes.

A common refrain from China bulls is that democracy is too slow in solving problems. As anyone who has visited an American airport or subway system in recent years can attest, there's some merit to this argument. But while central planning may seem more efficient at times, far more often it leads to predictable foul-ups -- with all-too-costly results.


Hollywood tries to save the Earth, but moviegoers aren’t buying eco-messages anymore

Climate change got its close-up in 2017. A gaggle of films either name-checked Al Gore’s biggest fear or built their narratives around it.

The timing, in theory, couldn’t be better for Hollywood bean counters: Three major hurricanes. Massive fires in the West. Record-setting chills. Media reports routinely connected the disasters with a warming planet.

Yet audiences stayed away from films influenced by eco-concerns. Far, far away.

Think “Blade Runner 2049,” “Geostorm,” “Downsizing,” “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” and “mother!” They all flopped, some in spectacular fashion.

Mr. Gore’s sequel to his documentary smash “An Inconvenient Truth” paid the most attention to climate change, of course. The 2006 original scored with audiences and Oscar voters, earning best documentary honors. The sequel snared a fraction of the first film’s tally: $3 million versus $24 million. That’s despite massive media attention, mostly fawning reviews and promotion from eco-conscious stars such as Paul McCartney, Bono and Pharrell Williams.

Documentaries rarely make serious coin at the box office, but the drop was massive.

“Geostorm” promised B-movie thrills with a tale of the Earth’s weather run amok. Audiences typically adore disaster films — the cheesier, the better. So what happened? The movie raked in $33 million from a reported $120 million budget.

“Downsizing,” a rare flop from director Alexander Payne (“About Schmidt”), envisioned a future in which people can shrink themselves to the height of a grapefruit. That fueled some cheeky social commentary and a recurring message about the world’s dwindling resources.

“Mother!” and “Blade Runner 2049” touched on climate change in more subtle ways.

Is there a connection among the flops, or is Hollywood circa 2017 more unpredictable than ever?

Justin Haskins, executive editor at the right-leaning, free-market Heartland Institute, said Hollywood insiders remain fixated on saving the planet.

“They believe climate change will bring people to the movies,” Mr. Haskins said. “That’s wildly out of touch with how moviegoers feel about the issue.”

A Pew Research survey this year found that “the environment” does not rank among the top 10 public policy concerns of most Americans, trailing behind “terrorism,” “the economy,” “education” and “jobs,” among others.

Mr. Haskins said it wasn’t always this way. Hits such as “An Inconvenient Truth” and “The Day After Tomorrow,” the 2004 film that dove directly into climate change fears, touched a nerve. The box office receipts proved it. “Tomorrow” hauled in $186 million despite tepid reviews.

At the time, audiences were genuinely scared about what climate change could mean to the planet, he said. Time passed, though, and many of the frightening predictions made by Mr. Gore and like-minded activists didn’t come to fruition.

“They stopped believing the problem was as serious as what Al Gore was saying,” Mr. Haskins said.

Is it any wonder climate change alarmism isn’t an easy sell at the cineplex?

Doug Stone, president of Box Office Analyst, doesn’t see a connection between the failing films and their climate change elements.

“You need to look at each individual film,” Mr. Stone said. “‘Mother!’ was really well-liked by critics but hated by anyone who went to see it.”

“Blade Runner 2049” underperformed because of its length (164 minutes) and the confusion it caused for those who didn’t know the original by heart, he said.

The marketing team behind “Downsizing” may have hurt the film as much as the content, Mr. Stone said. Paramount Pictures pitched the Matt Damon feature as a comedy despite its somber presentation. That kind of bait-and-switch tactic often backfires, especially with social media providing near-instant word-of-mouth results.

The movie’s marketing team also kept the climate change elements out of its initial trailers.

“They knew they had a picture that was difficult to sell,” Mr. Stone said.

Could it be that the aforementioned filmmakers let their artistry wane while sending a message? Mr. Payne, the Oscar winner behind celebrated movies such as “Sideways” and “The Descendants,” co-wrote “Downsizing.” The new film lacks the zip and humor of his previous efforts, which focused on entertainment first and foremost.

Director David Zucker of “Airplane!” fame suggested as much after the failure of his conservative comedy “An American Carol” in 2008.

But Mr. Stone suggests that’s not always the case and points to two 2017 films as proof: “Get Out” and “The Big Sick” both had something to say about racism in America. Each overperformed at the box office and may even nab an Oscar nomination or two next month.

Marc Morano, publisher of Climate Depot and a fiery critic of global warming alarmism, sees the films’ collective failures differently. Mr. Morano calls the box office failures a disconnect between show business and its consumers.

“Hollywood is finding out that the climate scare continues to be nothing more than a big yawn for the public,” Mr. Morano said. “Lecturing the public on climate change is boring, and ticket receipts prove this.”




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


No comments: