Thursday, March 29, 2018

UK: Plastic bottle tax: 22p return scheme to protect oceans from tide of waste

Governments are always urged to "do something" even when there is nothing they can do.  This is a case in point.  Nearly all the plastic in the oceans results from third world populations using thir local river as a dump.  Western countries already dispose of their waste responsibly.  So this new system will simply be a bureaucratic way of doubling up on what is done already

A tax of up to 22p could be added to plastic bottles to prevent the tide of rubbish flowing into the oceans, under plans announced by Michael Gove on Wednesday.

The Department of Environment is considering implementing a deposit return scheme similar to those which already exist in Denmark, Sweden and Germany.

In Europe consumers pay between 8p and 22p extra, which they get back when they return their bottles.

The plans may involve a network of reverse vending machines, where people could insert their bottles - plastic, glass and metal - and be reimbursed.

Announcing the scheme, Environment Secretary Mr Gove said: “We can be in no doubt that plastic is wreaking havoc on our marine environment – killing dolphins, choking turtles and degrading our most precious habitats.

“It is absolutely vital we act now to tackle this threat and curb the millions of plastic bottles a day that go unrecycled.

“We have already banned harmful microbeads and cut plastic bag use, and now we want to take action on plastic bottles to help clean up our oceans.”

The announcement is the latest move in the government crackdown on plastic, following the plastic microbead ban and the 5p plastic bag charge – which has led to nine billion fewer bags distributed.   There are over 150 million tonnes of plastic in the world’s oceans and every year one million birds and over 100,000 sea mammals die from eating and getting tangled in plastic waste.

Deposit systems are already successfully operating in 38 countries around the world, producing average recycle rates for collected materials of 90 per cent - reaching as high as 95 per cent in Norway.

Commonwealth leaders will also be urged by Theresa May to agree measures to stop plastic from entering the ocean when the heads of member states gather next month.

It comes amid speculation that Britain could use some of its overseas aid budget to help Commonwealth countries to cut down on plastic pollution.

A Downing St spokesman said: “Marine pollution, particularly from plastics, is one of the most significant challenges facing the world today and the Commonwealth spread over six Continents is uniquely placed to take transformative action so that future generations can enjoy a natural environment that is cleaner and greener than we currently find it.

“The heads of government meeting does provide an opportunity to – you have 50 leaders all in one place where we can discuss plastic pollution and in particular what more we can do to stop plastic from entering the ocean.”

The deposit scheme announcement was welcomed by environmental groups and campaigners.


As Karakorum Glacier Stability Puzzles Global Warming Experts, The Scientific Excuses Start To Fly

When their prophecies don't turn out, Warmists invoke "special factors".  But in science that is seen as a preliminary to defeat. Only a small minority of special factors will be considered before the theory is judged to have been disconfirmed

A while back a number of scientists hopped on the bandwagon claim that the Himalayan glaciers would be gone by the year 2030. That claim was quickly exposed as being preposterous and so the red-faced scientists backed off and said they had in fact meant the year 2300. Today that figure as well is also looking fake.

Now scientists are busy making excuses to explain the unexpected non-melting.

The glaciers of the world are melting. Many, but not all.

And in earlier times there were also phases of melting before the Little Ice Age, a time when glaciers saw strong growth. It’s important to keep this in historical context. In today’s post we look at the latest results from glacier research out of Asia.

Let’s start in Karakorum. Tobias Bolch and his colleagues documented the central part of the mountains in the region and found that the glaciers there are for the most part stable:

Brief communication: Glaciers in the Hunza catchment (Karakoram) have been nearly in balance since the 1970s

Previous geodetic estimates of mass changes in the Karakoram revealed balanced budgets or a possible slight mass gain since  ∼  2000. Indications of longer-term stability exist but only very few mass budget analyses are available before 2000. Here, based on 1973 Hexagon KH-9,  ∼  2009 ASTER and the SRTM DTM, we show that glaciers in the Hunza River basin (central Karakoram) were on average in balance or showed slight insignificant mass loss within the period  ∼  1973–2009.

Heterogeneous behaviour and frequent surge activities were also characteristic of the period before 2000. Surge-type and non-surge-type glaciers showed on average no significantly different mass change values. However, some individual glacier mass change rates differed significantly for the periods before and after  ∼  2000.”

Overall the glaciers in Karakoram appear to be growing.


New Danish Paper Wrecks CO2 Theory Of Global Warming


"Temperature data 1900–2010 from meteorological stations across the world have been analyzed and it has been found that all land areas generally have two different valid temperature trends. Coastal stations and hill stations facing ocean winds are normally more warm-trended than the valley stations that are sheltered from dominant oceans winds.

Thus, we found that in any area with variation in the topography, we can divide the stations into the more warm trended ocean air-affected stations, and the more cold-trended ocean air-sheltered stations. We find that the distinction between ocean air-affected and ocean air-sheltered stations can be used to identify the influence of the oceans on land surface. We can then use this knowledge as a tool to better study climate variability on the land surface without the moderating effects of the ocean.

We find a lack of warming in the ocean air sheltered temperature data – with less impact of ocean temperature trends – after 1950. The lack of warming in the ocean air sheltered temperature trends after 1950 should be considered when evaluating the climatic effects of changes in the Earth’s atmospheric trace amounts of greenhouse gasses as well as variations in solar conditions."

This is the killer graph:

Figure 19. Ocean air sheltered (OAS) and ocean air affected (OAA) temperatures, all regions.

We can readily see that temperatures at the OAS (ocean sheltered) sites were just as high back in the 1920s to 40s as now.

Frank Lansner explained the significance of his findings in an email to NoTricksZone:

"The little ice-age centuries led to a very cold ocean around 1900-1920 and so ocean and ocean-affected stations were not able to show the warming around 1920-30 so well. The ocean kept the warming hidden to some degree. Ocean temperature rise was somewhat delayed for decades it appears. That’s why ocean temperatures do not well reflect the heat balance over the Earth 1920-50 – unlike OAS areas valleys that reflected the change in heat balance rapidly. Thus it appears OAS data are the data best suited for evaluating the heat balance over the Earth.


Ethanol Indoctrination Enters School Studies

The Renewable Fuels Association is going to "educate" children about the wonders of ethanol

Have you quizzed your child yet on the supposedly benign value of ethanol? Believe it or not, some students at and above the third grade might have a thing or two to say about it after being subjected to “Ethanol in the Classroom,” an education (read: indoctrination) platform created by the Renewable Fuels Association.

The organization’s president, Bob Dinneen, recently described this e-learning tool as “providing a fun and interactive way for students to learn about the renewable fuel.” He further heralded it as “a fun platform for children and young adults to learn about ethanol’s numerous benefits.”

There are countless words that accurately describe ethanol, but beneficial is most assuredly not one of them. According to the Department of Energy, the U.S. produced 14.54 billion bushels of corn in 2016. Of that, 5.25 billion — or 36% — was used for ethanol. Which means that only 64% of corn is being used to feed the hungry; the rest is being wasted on a biofuel that ruins your lawnmower and other gasoline-powered tools and automobiles.

Our own Mark Alexander has chronicled numerous other problems associated with ethanol.

Here’s another fact — one that truly worries the mandate’s most vociferous advocates: The detrimental effect of ethanol isn’t a secret. Just how deficient is it? The Washington Times recently reported that “the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that boosted ethanol use has fallen out of favor so badly that environmentalists now see themselves on the same side of the debate as Republicans such as Sen. Ted Cruz, arguing that the entire program is deeply flawed and must be completely overhauled.”

As Hot Air blogger Jazz Shaw says of “Ethanol in the Classroom,” “I don’t need to sit through the class to be able to guess that a few things were left out of the curriculum.” He adds, “This isn’t an education program. It’s an indoctrination scheme. Get ‘em while they’re young and you can influence their actions and choices as adults.”

The biofuel mandate is clearly on shaky ground. And the activists’ solution is to use children as pawns to save it — much like the gun control lobby is doing to an astonishing degree after the Parkland, Florida, school shooting. All told, it’s more proof that education standards need to be controlled at the local level.


Independents Are Shifting To Climate Denial, According To The Latest Gallup Poll

In a sign the White House’s hard-line stance against climate science may be shifting public debate, independent voters have grown more doubtful of scientists’ warnings about climate change over the past year, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday.

Between 2017 and 2018, the percentage of independents who understand greenhouse gas emissions cause climate change fell 8 percentage points to 62 percent, while the share of those who believe the effects of global warming have already begun dipped 7 points to 60 percent.

Sixty-five percent understand that most scientists believe global warming is occurring, down from 71 percent in 2017.

Fewer respondents said they worry a great deal or a fair amount about global warming, down 5 points from last year to 62 percent. But the 45 percent who said global warming poses a serious threat in their lifetimes stayed steady between 2017 and 2018.

Public opinion has seesawed slightly over the years, but the long-term trend is overwhelmingly toward the scientific consensus that climate change is real, man-made and dangerous. Gallup found that 66 percent of Americans understand that scientific evidence shows the Earth’s temperatures rising, and 64 percent acknowledge that burning fossil fuels, deforestation and industrial farming are the cause.

The results echo 2016 survey data from Yale University’s Program on Climate Change Communication, which found 69 percent know global warming is happening and 52 percent understand humans are triggering it.

Still, the shift, recorded during a week of telephone surveys earlier this month of 1,041 adults across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, mirrors surging climate denialism among Republicans. Just 35 percent of Republicans understand that humans cause global warming, down from 40 percent in 2017, while 34 percent said the effects of climate change have already started, 7 points less than the previous year.

The findings come just months after historic hurricanes wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico, Florida and Texas, and California’s largest wildfire on record killed 18 people and scorched more than 280,000 acres of land. Yet the disasters, which scientists said were made worse by warming global temperatures, seem to have stoked further debate over the causes of climate change and the policies to address it.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly mocked climate science over the past year, suggesting winter weather disproved long-term warming trends, as his administration gutted funding for climate programs and slashed the few regulations in place to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The Republican Party, the only major political party in the developed world to make rejecting climate science a platform issue, has doubled down on the issue as megadonors such as the fossil fuel magnate Koch brothers and the right-wing billionaire Mercers have increased their political spending.




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: