Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Atmospheric ozone levels have neither declined nor grown since 1987




Latitudinally weighted monthly mean global ozone is estimated using total ozone data from sixteen ground stations at latitudes from 89 S to 71 N and longitudes 170 E to 170 W. Data from all sixteen stations are available without gaps for a 29-year sample period from January 1987 to December 2015. The monthly mean global ozone series does not show a sustained decline that can be interpreted in terms of the Rowland-Molina-UNEP theory of ozone destruction by man-made halogenated hydrocarbons. The findings validate the results of a prior work which used satellite data for trends in mean global total ozone over much shorter sample periods.


It is found that the OLS linear trend for the latitudinally weighted global monthly mean total ozone does not have a statistically significant trend. To test whether the absence of a linear trend can be explained by non-linear patterns that favored depletion in earlier times followed by accretion at later times we examined the pattern of Lustrum means over the entire sample period and found that Lustrum to Lustrum changes in latitudinally weighted global total ozone were random and did not follow a pattern that could be interpreted in terms depletion followed by accretion.


Prosecuting climate chaos skeptics with RICO

Al Gore, Torquemada Whitehouse, Democrat AGs threaten to silence and bankrupt skeptics

Paul Driessen

It’s been a rough stretch for Climate Armageddon religionists and totalitarians.

Real World science, climate and weather events just don’t support their manmade cataclysm narrative. The horrid consequences of anti-fossil fuel energy policies are increasingly in the news. And despite campaigns by the $1.5-trillion-per-year government-industry-activist-scientific Climate Crisis Consortium, Americans consistently rank global warming at the very bottom of their serious concerns.

But instead of debating their critics, or marshaling a more persuasive, evidence-based case that we really do face a manmade climate catastrophe, alarmists have ramped up their shrill rhetoric, imposed more anti-hydrocarbon edicts by executive fiat and unratified treaty – and launched RICO attacks on their critics.

Spurred on by Senator Sheldon “Torquemada” Whitehouse (D-RI), Jagadish Shukla and his RICO-20 agitators, and their comrades, 16 of the nation’s 18 Democratic attorneys general (the other 32 are Republican) announced on March 29 that they are going after those who commit the unpardonable offense of questioning “consensus” climate science.

If companies are “committing fraud,” by “knowingly deceiving” the public about the threat of man-made carbon dioxide emissions and climate change, New York AG Eric Schneiderman intoned, “we want to expose it and pursue them to the fullest extent of the law,” under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. “The First Amendment does not give you the right to commit fraud.”

Their initial target is ExxonMobil, but other companies, think tanks like CFACT and the Heartland Institute (with which I am affiliated), and even independent researchers and analysts (like myself) will be in their crosshairs – using a law intended for the Mafia. Incredibly, even United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch says her office has “discussed” similar actions and has “referred [the matter] to the FBI.”

These RICO investigations and prosecutions are chilling, unprecedented and blatantly un-American. They abuse our legal and judicial processes and obliterate the First Amendment freedom of speech rights of anyone who questions the catechism of climate cataclysm. The AGs’ actions are intended to browbeat skeptics into silence, and bankrupt them with monumental legal fees, fines and treble damages.

It is the campus “crime” of “unwelcome ideas” and “micro-aggression” on steroids. It is the inevitable result of President Obama’s determination to “fundamentally transform” the United States, ensure that electricity rates “necessarily skyrocket,” and carve his energy and climate policy legacy in granite.

Mr. O and his allies are on a mission: to rid the world of fossil fuels, replace them with “clean” biofuels (that are also carbon-based and also emit carbon dioxide when burned, but would require billions of acres of crop and habitat land) and “eco-friendly” bird-killing wind turbines and solar installations (that will require millions more acres) – and implement the goals of a dictatorial United Nations.

Former executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres put it in the bluntest terms: “We are setting ourselves the task of intentionally to change [sic] the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years” – the free enterprise capitalist system. “The next world climate summit is actually an economic summit, during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated,” her UN climate crisis cohort Otmar Edendorfer added. “We will redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.”

Thus, under the 2015 Paris climate treaty, developing nations will be under no obligation to reduce their fossil fuel use or greenhouse gas emissions. They will simply take voluntary steps, when doing so will not impair their efforts to drive economic growth and improve their people’s living standards. Meanwhile, they will be entitled to share $3 billion to $300 billion per year in “climate change adaptation, mitigation and reparation” money. In fact, Mr. Obama has already transferred $500 million in taxpayer money (illegally) from a State Department emergency fund to the UN’s Green Climate Fund.

No wonder developing nations were thrilled to sign the 2015 Paris not-a-treaty treaty.

Recent headlines portend what’s in store. EU electricity prices rise 63% over past decade. Rising energy costs, green policies threaten to kill steel industry and 4,000 to 40,000 jobs, as Tata Steel quits Britain. Thousands of Europeans lose jobs, as manufacturing moves to countries with lower energy prices. Unable to afford proper heat, 40,000 Europeans die of hypothermia during 2014 winter.

In Africa and other energy-deprived regions: Millions die in 2015 from lung and intestinal diseases – due to open cooking and heating fires, spoiled food and unsafe water, and absence of electricity.

Meanwhile, despite mandates, loan guarantees, feed-in tariffs, endangered species exemptions and other subsidies, renewable industries are barely surviving: SunEnergy, world’s largest green energy company, faces bankruptcy, as share prices fall 95% in one year. Solar company Abengoa US files for Chapter 15 bankruptcy. China stops building wind turbines, as grid is damaged and most electricity is wasted.

But Climate Crisis ruling elites pay little attention to this. They will be insulated, enriched, and protected from their decisions and deceptions – as they decide what energy, jobs, living standards and freedoms the poor, minority, blue-collar and middle classes will be permitted to have.

Equally disturbing, their drive for total control is based on a chaotic world that is totally at odds with what the rest of us see outside our windows. Even after “homogenizing” and massaging the raw data, climate alarmists can only show that global temperatures may have risen a few tenths of a degree (barely the margin of error) during the 2015 El Niño year, after 19 years of no temperature increase, following two decades of slight warming, following three decades of slight cooling and warming.

On the “extreme weather” front, tornadoes, snows, floods and droughts are no more frequent or intense than over the past century. No Category 3-5 hurricane has made US landfall in a record 125 months. Polar ice remains well within historic fluctuations, and sea levels are rising at barely seven inches per century.

Alarmists thus rely on computer models that predict even “worse catastrophes,” if global temperatures rise even 0.5 degrees C (0.8 F) more than they already have since the Little Ice Age ended and Industrial Era began. However, the models are hopelessly deficient, and totally unable to predict the climate.

They overstate the climate’s sensitivity to carbon dioxide and methane, atmospheric gases chosen because they result from fossil fuel use (and from many natural sources). They assume these two gases have become the primary forces in climate change – and ignore or downplay changing solar energy, cosmic ray and geomagnetic output; major periodic fluctuations in Pacific and North Atlantic Ocean circulation; volcanic activity; regional and planetary temperature cycles that recur over multiple decades, centuries or millennia; and other natural forces that have always driven planetary warming, cooling and weather.

The models and modelers do this because these factors and their roles in climate change are not well understood, are difficult to measure, and do not fit the “humans are at fault” meme. They compound these errors by assuming that any warming will be dangerous, rather than beneficial for people and agriculture.

These oversights can be characterized as careless, recklessly negligent, or even “knowingly deceitful” and fraudulent. So can “nine inconvenient untruths” that a United Kingdom judge highlighted in Al Gore’s infamous fake-documentary movie – and Mr. Gore’s recent claim that atmospheric CO2 is fueling Zika outbreaks. Likewise for James Hansen’s repeated assertion that sea levels could rise “several meters” (117 inches) over the next century, and the bogus studies behind the phony “97% consensus” claims.

Can you picture the cabal of AGs filing RICO actions in these cases? If you want the facts, and a few chuckles about climate alarmism, see the Climate Hustle movie, coming May 2 to a theater near you.

Via email

Britain's race to go green is killing heavy industries

If the government really wants to save energy-intensive industries, it must delay setting new emissions targets for the fifth carbon budget, as the climate change act entitles it to do

Britain’s energy levies may be good for men in suits at conferences but they’re bad for the men in boiler suits.  British steel production is on the verge of vanishing.

Before [steelworks] Redcar and Port Talbot, remember Lynemouth, where Britain’s last large aluminium smelter closed in 2012. In aluminium, as in steel, China is now by far the largest producer, smelting five times as much as any other continent, let alone country. The chief reason aluminium left (though a small plant survives at Lochaber) was the sky-high electricity prices paid in Britain: electrolysis is how you make aluminium. For extra-large industrial users, British electricity prices are the highest in Europe, twice the average, and far higher than in Asia and America.

Britain has the highest electricity prices because it has the most draconian climate policies. Despite promises not to do so, the government insists on going faster than other countries in emissions reduction. As Lord Deben, chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, put it recently, apparently without intended irony, the British approach to climate legislation is the envy of most countries in the world. At green conferences maybe.

As well as paying huge and growing bills to subsidise those futile playthings of the rich, the wind and solar industries, energy-intensive industry also picks up the cost of the “carbon price floor”, a tax on fossil fuels used to generate electricity, which was introduced in 2013 and doubled last year to £18.08 per tonne of carbon, or more than four times the cost of the European emissions trading scheme, of £4 a tonne. This can have little impact on climate, however, not only because Britain’s emissions are less than 2 per cent of global emissions, but because it merely exports jobs and emissions.

Port Talbot’s blast furnace is less dependent on electricity than aluminium smelters, but those who say that high electricity prices are not contributing to steel’s collapse are missing three key points. First, downstream processes in the steel industry such as galvanising use a lot of electricity; second, steel production elsewhere is increasingly shifting to electric-arc furnaces, which recycle scrap steel — and generate fewer emissions. That’s not likely at Port Talbot because of Britain’s high electricity prices. The country’s one electric-arc furnace, run by Celsa in Cardiff, is struggling, and we mostly export rather than melt our mountains of scrap.

And third, as the Global Warming Policy Forum points out, climate policies affect the cost of all goods and services purchased by industry, including labour. According to government estimates, by 2030 medium-sized businesses would see prices 114 per cent higher than they would be in the absence of climate policies, and they would need to pass those costs on to customers.

So aluminium and steel are mere harbingers of heavy industry doom because of our costly energy. As the think tank Civitas reported at the time of Lynemouth’s closure, “There are still many other energy-intensive industries left in the UK, such as glass, chemical and ceramic manufacturing. Together these are worth £75 billion and employ 700,000 people and they are just as vulnerable to the future rises in energy costs.”

Lord Deben’s committee is tasked by Ed Miliband’s 2008 Climate Change Act with giving the government impartial advice on how to meet that act’s targets. No other EU member state has yet set a legally binding 2030 target, but the committee announced in November its recommendation for a fifth “carbon budget”, that by 2030, Britain should generate 57 per cent fewer carbon dioxide emissions (from heat, transport, electricity and industry) than in 1990. The government must respond by the end of June.

That’s awkward because, as Peter Lilley, MP, has spotted, the deadline is likely to precede any decision by the EU about how to share the burden of meeting the promise it made at the Paris climate conference in December to reduce European emissions by 40 per cent by 2030. If Britain is already committed to reductions of 57 per cent, it can hardly complain if the European Council agrees lesser reductions for other countries, so as to hit the target of 40 per cent for the union as a whole. It is, in effect, a unilateral gift of jobs to other countries — if we stay in the EU.

Speaking at the Institute of Public Policy Research shortly before the launch of his committee’s latest report, the impartial Lord Deben was asked about the impact on energy-intensive industry. He replied that “heavy energy users will have to find ways of being less heavy users”. Charming. This they are indeed doing, by putting steelworkers on benefits, where they emit less. But shifting the work to China may actually increase emissions since China gets more of its energy from coal. Lord Deben added, incredibly, that there is “no evidence at all of offshoring due to climate policy”. I wonder if he dares say that in Wales.


Hillary, coal and "alternative" energy

By now, most people probably know about one of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s biggest campaign gaffes to date: “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” As soon as I heard it, I tweeted: “Imagine a presidential candidate running for office based on putting people out of work?”

I wasn’t the only one shocked by the uncharacteristic clarity of her statement. Lacking the usual political-speak, her comments were all the more surprising in that they were not made at a fundraiser in billionaire environmental donor Tom Steyer’s posh San Francisco living room. They were made in Ohio—coal country, where coal production in 2015 was down 22 percent—at a nationally televised CNN town hall and just hours before the important state’s primary election.

In response, Christian Palich, President of the Ohio Coal Association sent this: “Hillary Clinton’s callous statements about coal miners, struggling under the weight of a hostile administration, are reprehensible and will not be forgotten. The way Secretary Clinton spoke so nonchalantly about destroying the way of life for America’s coal families was chilling. Come tomorrow, or next November, Ohioans in coal country will vote to keep their jobs and not for the unemployment line.”

US News reports that Democrats in the coal states of Wyoming, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio have tried to “distance themselves from Clinton’s comments.” Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, a Clinton ally who handily won his party’s primary election for Senator, called her slip, “unartful.” Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), who, last April, endorsed Clinton, took issue with her comments and contacted her campaign.coal miners 1974

Facing the backlash, and in damage-control mode, Clinton sent a letter to Manchin: “Simply put, I was mistaken.”

But was she? I don’t think so.

Though her comments may have been “unartful” and, arguably, poorly timed, I believe they reflect private conversations and campaign strategy. It may be no coincidence that rumors of President Obama’s tepid support for Clinton—though the White House denies endorsing her—surfaced after her killing coal comments.

First, it is clear that Clinton needs President Obama’s endorsement. She needs him to generate excitement for her lackluster campaign—something Democrat voters are not feeling for her as they did for him. She needs his campaign machine to get out the votes.

But, he needs her just as much—his legacy hangs on her election. Because so much of what he’s done has been by executive action, his legacy can just as easily be undone—as every remaining Republican candidate would likely do.  Obama is, reportedly, committed to “a hard campaign of legacy preservation.” He is ready to “raise money to fill Democratic coffers and target the key communities that would make up a winning coalition for the party, including blacks, Latinos, educated single women and young voters, to encourage them to go to the polls.”

Following the voluntary climate agreement in Paris, Politico stated: “Barack Obama wants to be remembered as the president who saved the world from climate change.” For this legacy to stick, all of his anti-fossil fuel policies must stay intact. To get his endorsement, a Democrat presidential candidate must embrace what he started and promise to “build upon President Obama’s legacy of environmental protections and climate action,” as Clinton has.

While Obama frequently claims to support an “all of the above” energy policy, actions speak louder than words. From his 2009 stimulus bill throwing billions at speculative green energy projects, his killing coal efforts, his stand that we can’t drill our way to low gas prices, his rejection of the Keystone pipeline, and his threat to veto a bill to lift the oil export ban—just to name a few—he obviously meant “none of the below.”

The White House denies a “war on coal.” In December, after the Paris climate agreement was signed, former Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, Heather Zichal, defended Obama’s green platform: “Nobody’s screaming that their energy bills are on fire; jobs have not been lost.”

Bill Bissett, President of the Kentucky Coal Association called Zichal’s comments: “insulting and inaccurate.” He told me: “The Obama Administration and its allies have an intentional blind spot to the economic and social damage that their anti-coal policies are causing in the United States and especially in coal country. The top coal producing states in our nation not only benefit from the extraction of coal, but all of us benefit greatly from having low kilowatt-per-hour rates. But that economic advantage is eroding as Obama does everything in his power, and against the will of Congress, to move the United States away from coal production and use.” He added: “More than 8,000 Kentucky coal miners have lost their jobs since Obama took office and countless other Kentuckians have lost their livelihoods through indirect and induced job loss due to his anti-coal agenda. And, yes, our electricity rates are increasing in Kentucky as our country moves away from coal.”

“Ms. Zichal and the administration can spin it anyway they like but no one outside of their fringe enviro friends is clamoring for their energy policies,” said Mike Duncan, President of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.

While much of the electricity price increases associated with the Obama Administration will only be seen later, the fact is, according to an Energy Information Agency data set, the increase in retail electricity prices since 2008 is 12.8 percent.

Clinton’s anti-coal comments got all the press. But she didn’t stop there. Almost under her breath, a few sentences later, she added: “We’ve got to move away from coal and all of the other fossil fuels”—more pandering for Obama’s much needed (and, so far, withheld) endorsement.

But how realistic is the Democrat’s goal of moving away from coal and all the other fossil fuels?

“Unlikely,” according to new research from the University of Chicago. The authors wanted a different answer. Like Clinton, and Obama, they believe fossil fuel use is driving “disruptive climate change” that will lead to “dramatic threats to human well-being” and a “dystopian future.” Reading the 22 pages of the report on their findings, one can almost feel their dismay.

Yet, after discussing “supply theory”—which posits the world will run out of inexpensive fossil fuels—they state: “If the past 35 years is (sic) any guide, not only should we not expect to run out of fossil fuels anytime soon, we should not expect to have less fossil fuels in the future than we do now. In short, the world is likely to be awash in fossil fuels for decades and perhaps even centuries to come.” Complicating matters, the authors acknowledge: “a substantial penetration of electric vehicles would reduce demand for oil. Provided that the supply curve for oil is upward sloping (as it is in almost all markets), this drop in demand would translate to lower oil prices, making gasoline vehicles more attractive.”

Then, on “demand theory”—the economy will stop demanding fossil fuels as alternatives become more cost competitive—they lament: “In the medium-run of the next few decades, none of these alternatives seem to have the potential based on their production costs (that is without the government policies to raise the costs of carbon emissions) to reduce the use of fossil fuels below these projections.” Additionally, they conclude: “Alternative sources of clean energy like solar and wind power, which can be used to both generate electricity and to fuel electric vehicles, have seen substantial progress in reducing costs, but at least in the short- and middle-term, they are unlikely to play a major role in base-load electrical capacity or in replacing petroleum-fueled internal combustion engines.”

While the authors support “activist and aggressive policy choices…to drive reductions in the consumption of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions,” they reluctantly admit the proposed solutions are not apt to be the answer they seek. “Even if countries were to enact policies that raised the cost of fossil fuels, like a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions, history suggests that technology will work in the opposite direction by reducing costs of extracting fossil fuels and shifting their supply curves out.”

Perhaps, before Clinton—who accuses anyone who doesn’t agree with her climate alarmist view as ignoring the science—makes mistakes, like declaring that she’ll put coal miners and coal companies out of business, she should check the science behind her claims to “move away from coal and all the other fossil fuels.”

Making her March 13 comments seem even more foolish, the following days cast a shadow over the specter of funding more speculative solar power, as she’s proposed to do. Three stimulus-funded solar failures made big headlines.

On Wednesday, March 16, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ)  announced that the massive $2.2 billion ($1.5 billion in federal loans according to WSJ, but other research shows more) Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System may be forced to shut down because it has failed to produce the expected power. What it has produced: “fetched about $200 a mega-watt hour on average during summer months,” while “power from natural-gas plants went for $35 a mega-watt hour on average in California’s wholesale market.”

On the same day, SunEdison’s troubles worsened. After the company acquired stimulus-funded First Wind last year, it became “the leading renewable energy developer in the world.” Now, its “mounting financial woes” resulted in another delay to the filing of its annual reports. The company’s stock, according to WSJ, has “lost 67 percent over the past three months and 91 percent over the past year.” It “slid another 16 percent to $1.73 in premarket trading.”

The next day, March 17, the New York Times declared that Abengoa, the Spanish company hailed as “the world leader in a technology known as solar thermal, with operations from Algeria to Latin America” has gone from “industry darling to financial invalid.” I’ve written repeatedly on Abenoga—which is on the verge of becoming “the largest bankruptcy in Spanish corporate history.” Note: Abengoa was the second largest recipient of U.S. taxpayer dollars—more than $3 billion—from the green energy portion of Obama’s 2009 stimulus package.

It appears Clinton’s energy policies are aimed at trying to make winners out of losers. How can she help it? That is what the Democrat Party is trying to do with her.

Hopefully, voters know better. But then, as the University of Chicago’s study’s closing words remind us: “hope is too infrequently a successful strategy.”


A new study concludes that California could face more drought and extremely dry years

Indeed it could.  Much of CA is basically a desert climate

For three years, an area of atmospheric high pressure dubbed the “Ridiculously Resilient Ridge” parked itself off the West Coast, keeping California hot and dry for month after month and helping to usher in one of the worst droughts in the state’s history.

Patterns similar to the ridge are happening more often now than they used to, a new study published Friday finds, suggesting a shift toward more extreme dry years and an increased risk of drought in California.

Stanford University PhD candidate Daniel Swain and his colleagues looked at patterns of high and low pressure over the Northeast Pacific and western U.S. during the October to May wet season from 1949 to 2015. They compared the patterns from the top five driest, wettest, warmest, and coldest years to those from all the other years in the record to see if they have tended to pop up more or less frequently over time.

While the patterns of high and low pressure from the wettest years didn’t show a significant change, the pattern of persistent high pressure ridges associated with the driest years happened more frequently in recent decades than in earlier ones, the team found.

That finding, detailed in the journal Science Advances, fits with the conclusions of an earlier study by Swain and his colleagues that suggested such persistent ridging was more likely to occur in a world with human-caused warming than one without it. The new study, however, doesn’t ascribe a cause to the apparent trend — Swain said that will be the subject of future work.

Having a ridge system stubbornly hanging around off the West Coast can be a major deal for California, which often depends on just one or two big storms to supply the bulk of its water and snowpack for the year. The ridge blocks those storms and shunts them farther northward, as it has over recent winters.

The patterns for dry years were more variable than those for the wet years, though most featured a persistent ridge somewhere along the West Coast.

“This finding suggests to me that California, because of it’s location relative to the average position and typical wanderings of the Pacific storm track, can get a dry year in multiple different ways,” Nate Mantua, a climatologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who wasn’t involved with the study, said in an email. This jibes with the fact that the ridging during the most recent drought also shifted in position, he said.

Because the study only deals with trends found in past observations, it can’t predict with certainty that such a trend will continue into the future. Mantua noted that it could simply be a sign of the variations of the climate that can happen naturally over decades.

But if it does continue, that could mean “that maybe we should be experiencing this increase in variability,” Swain said.

"What seems to be happening is that we're having fewer 'average' years, and instead we're seeing more extremes on both sides," Swain said in a statement. " "This means that California is indeed experiencing more warm and dry periods, punctuated by wet conditions."

Chris Funk, a climatologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and U.C. Santa Barbara who also was not involved in the study, noted that other work has also suggested this could be the case for California.

So while precipitation in California overall may not decline — climate models, in fact, suggest that it may increase, because a warmer atmosphere makes more moisture available to storms — the area could see a greater tendency toward drought because there could be more “bust” years.

Swain said that his team's study shows that focusing on how the average, or mean, climate is changing could miss impactful changes, since looking at the average for California would suggest an overall, if slight, tendency to become wetter.

“We need to be considering the extremes in addition to changes in the mean,” he said.



Three current reports below

Australia: March temperatures sets record as hottest ever, Bureau of Meteorology says

As Australia is in the South Pacific, it is a bullseye for El Nino -- and this is a strong El Nino that demonstrably pushed up 2015 temps up all by itself.  CO2 levels were static (they just oscillated around 400ppm) for the whole of 2015 according to Mauna Loa.   So the caution expressed below is commendable: "Climate change is thought to be adding to the unusual heat".  No harm in thinking

You could be forgiven for not noticing the end of summer — March was a hot one.

Information released by the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) indicated it was the hottest March on record, reaching 1.7 degrees Celsius above the long-term average.

This eclipsed the 1986 record of 1.67 degrees above the average, BoM said in its monthly climate report.

The unusual heat was particularly noticed in the Top End, where the failure of the monsoon allowed temperatures to creep up.

This, coupled with a high pressure system off the east coast of Australia, caused a heatwave strong enough to prompt BoM to issue a special climate statement about the phenomenon.

March 2 became Australia's hottest day on record. Averaged across the country, it reached a top of 38 degrees Celsius.

There was no relief overnight either with minimum overnight temperatures the warmest ever, smashing the 1983 record by 0.83 degrees.

The hot March came on the back of the hottest February globally, and the hottest year for 2015.

A strong El Nino weather pattern prevailed at the start of the year, which has traditionally been associated with hotter weather.  Although the El Nino is weakening, the heat effects are expected to persist for a few more months.

Climate change is thought to be adding to the unusual heat.

The scorching start to 2016 prompted Australia's chief scientist Alan Finkel to warn that the world was "losing the battle" against climate change.


Qld government grants Adani coal mine leases

So the mine has now received both State and Federal approval  -- to the frustration of the Greenies.  Greenies have an instinctive hatred of ALL mines.  Rationality seems to play no part in that.  They want EVERYTHING to remain untouched, including the ground underneath our feet

The Queensland government has granted three mining leases for Adani's multi-billion dollar Carmichael coal mine, which will be the largest in Australia.

Green groups say the mine will fuel global warming and compound threats to the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, amid one of its worst coral bleaching events on record.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Mines Minister Anthony Lynham made the announcement in Mackay today.

The premier put the value of the project at $21.7 billion and says the approvals mean thousands of new jobs are now a step closer to reality.

Ms Palaszczuk said the move marked a new era of the resources sector.

'Today is a very significant step because it demonstrates my government's 100 per cent committment to creating jobs across Queensland and jobs in regional Queensland,' she said.

'What we have been experiencing here especially here in central Queensland and the northern parts of our state, has been a downturn in the mining community.'

Earlier today, the Australian Conservation Foundation questioned whether Adani had pressured the mines minister to abandon his stated concerns about granting mining licences before court challenges had concluded.

Adani said the approvals meant it could proceed to the next stage of development but acknowledged ongoing uncertainty from unresolved legal challenges 'by politically-motivated activists'.

It said a final investment decision would not be made until the court challenges were resolved, and it had secured the final approvals it needs.

'Having previously sought to progress to the construction phase in 2015, Adani is keenly aware of the risks of proceeding on major works in advance of the conclusion of these matters,' the company said in a statement.

It also took a swipe at processes it said had held up a very significant project for Australia.

'The granting of the mining lease, coupled with strict and rigorous science-based environmental approvals, underlines the importance of major projects in Queensland, and in Australia more broadly, not being subject to endless red tape, after approving authorities have exhaustively examined them over some six years.'


Shriek over possible Australian investment in new coal mine

The shriek is below complete with all the wrong and stupid Warmist assumptions we have heard so often

It was all over the news in India. The Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley would be meeting Future Fund chairman Peter Costello to discuss using the Fund to help finance Adani’s Carmichael coal mine. There was no announcement of the meeting in Australia, but the questions must be asked: how should Australia’s sovereign wealth fund be used, and should it, a “future” fund, be considering the energy projects of the past?

The prospect of Costello dedicating sovereign funds to the massive coal mine in the Galilee Basin is so misguided. Future energy investment lies in renewables, not coal, and this trend is already playing out worldwide. The Australian economy already runs a real risk of becoming fossilised, caught in the past and missing out on the huge investment market in renewable energy as the world inevitably decarbonises and shifts to a zero emissions economy.

This global transition to renewables is an unavoidable condition for containing global warming below 2C. The future is renewables, the past is coal, and the economic benefits are easy to highlight.

In this transition, Australia stands to attract a major portion of the $2.3tn annual trade value from emissions-intensive trade-exposed industries, like cement, steel, and aluminium. In this era, countries with abundant, cheap, high quality renewable energy will attract these industries.

The Renewable Energy Superpower report to be released in Sydney on Monday 4 April shows that Australia is consistently in the global top three of countries with economic wind and solar energy resources, whether based on energy production potential per square kilometre, energy production potential from total land area, energy production potential from un-utilised land area, or energy production potential from rural land area.

Under various scenarios developed by the International Energy Agency for their World Energy Outlook, investment in renewables and energy efficiency will make up around half of the future investment in energy in the next two decades, with investment in coal only making up 1-2%.

Whichever scenario the IEA looks at, renewables and energy efficiency attracts more investment in the next two decades than coal, oil and gas combined. Some $28tn is expected to be invested globally in renewable energy and energy efficiency by 2035.

Investment in renewables and energy efficiency globally is already large – around US$390bn is estimated to have been invested in 2013 alone, according to the International Energy Agency. In order to contain global warming to the 2C, the IEA estimates the annual investment in this market to more than double by 2020 to around US$750bn annually, and then to grow exponentially to US$2,300bn annually by 2035.

It also estimates that the renewables dominated power sector and energy efficiency markets will be 20-40 times the value of future coal sector development. The other important point that is relevant to Australia is that power sector and energy efficiency investment is skewed towards Australia’s neighbours in the Asia-Pacific region (40%) compared to global fossil energy investment (25%).

So how large is Australia’s renewable energy resource? While it is widely accepted that the total renewable energy resource across Australia is significant, the Superpower report conservatively models only the solar and wind resource that is available within 10kms of Australia’s existing electricity grid and able to generate power at a price competitive with other new power stations.

This is the resource that is immediately available to the existing electricity grid. The results are staggering even when only this small portion of Australia’s total renewable energy resource is captured – it is equivalent to 5000 exajoules, enough to power the world for 10 years.

Put another way, this solar and wind resource is greater than Australia’s coal, oil, gas and nuclear resources combined.

Many proponents of fossil fuels argue that there are enough fossil fuels to power the world for hundreds of years, that coal is cheaper and is good for humanity. These arguments ignore the reality that burning fossil fuels is incompatible with meeting the globally agreed goal of limiting warming to 2C, that new renewables are cheaper than new coal and new gas, and that many developing countries want solar.

In the decarbonised world in which we are heading, Australia will be a renewable energy superpower if it plays its investment cards right. If we are serious about our Future Fund funding the future for all Australians, it is renewables – not coal – where the investments must be made.



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.  

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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