Monday, July 18, 2016

Canadian banker is a climate fanatic

He predicted doom if Britain voted for Brexit but seems to have learnt nothing from the complete failure of that prediction

There on stage at a Toronto Board of Trade breakfast event sat Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, the world’s Alarmist-in-Chief, basking in Liberal adulation and fielding lob-ball questions in which he is asked to rehash his notes from a speech he gave last September on the subject of climate change and financial stability.

Carney was introduced as the former governor of the Bank of Canada “whose calm and steady hand helped guide our country, and arguably the global financial system, on the heels of the global financial crisis.” And today “the world again is looking to him as we face uncertainty in the wake of Brexit.”

And also now, apparently, the world continues to turn to Mark Carney for climate change salvation.

Looking tanned and fit, Carney then engaged in mutual climate policy admiration with Catherine McKenna, Canada’s minister of the environment and climate change, who felt it necessary to remind the audience that they were sitting in downtown Toronto on territory that belongs to First Nations. Carney’s message, like McKenna’s, is that climate change poses severe century-long risks to the economy that must be addressed now by the world’s corporate leaders.

From too much short-termism, the business world is now being asked to engage in extreme long-termism, planning for 2030 and galaxies beyond.

Carney’s September speech to Lloyds of London, already viewed by many as inappropriately political climate alarmism from a central banker masquerading as financial common sense, set in motion an international movement to impose long-range climate predictions on short-term investment decisions. As climate alarmist-in-chief, he warned of “stranded” oil, coal and gas assets as climate policy shifts, putting at risk trillions of dollars in value and threatening financial stability.

As he did with Brexit, Carney portrays climate change as a potential financial catastrophe unless steps are taken now by the world’s financial players to integrate climate and carbon risks into all their decision-making and financial disclosure. For example (in case there were any complacent corporate directors in the audience) Carney raised the prospect of directors’ liability over climate change. With no information, he asked, “When would you know with a reasonable degree of certainty about the potential damage of the activities of the corporation?” Would failure to know send directors to jail?

The broad concept seems simple enough. “From a financial regulatory perspective,” as Carney explained it Friday, “the issue we have is that investors, credit providers, management, other stakeholders, can’t make assessments today about how well prepared companies are.” How ready are they for carbon pricing and other regulatory mega-policies that could dramatically alter the economic structure of the world?

One of Carney’s approaches, repeated in Toronto, is to warn of possible “Minsky moments.” If corporations and financial institutions were to reveal all climate risks, the world could avoid “a climate ‘Minsky moment’” — a reference to the work of economist Hyman Minsky who tried to understand the causes of sudden massive financial collapses and crashing asset values. Could carbon policy-making and climate change produce another Minsky moment?

If corporations tabulated, understood and disclosed their carbon and climate risks, the financial system would be ultimately safer, Carney says.  If corporations and the financial system were assessed via a market for information around climate, it would allow “feedback between the market and policymaking, making climate policy a bit more like monetary policy.”

That note, to central bank watchers, may not be all that comforting. The world’s monetary policymakers, with all the credit and institutional information at their disposal, have a dismal if not catastrophic record of anticipating Minsky moments. Monetary policy, moreover, has a short-term horizon of a few months to a few years and seldom gets it right. To expect corporate managers to be able to analyze, forecast and disclose risks that a business might face over decades is a wild stretch.   Over time, half the public institutions in existence today could well be out of business in half a century for any number of reasons.


Greenie-inspired policies cause chaos in Australia's electricity supply

No reserve capacity to support periods of peak demand, after various coal-fired plants were shut down with nothing to replace them and all new investment is diverted into useless windmills, meaning big price leaps now happening during periods of high demand.  Wanton destruction of Australia's infrastructure

A “PERFECT storm” has hit the wholesale electricity market, with households just beginning to feel its ferocity.

Many big businesses are already being severely buffeted, leading to calls for government intervention to limit job losses and damage to the economy.

Those large users buy their electricity on the spot market where prices were substantially higher last financial year than in 2014-15 (NSW they rose 46 per cent, in South Australia 57 per cent, Queensland 14 per cent and Victoria 52 per cent). These increases, however, are dwarfed by the rises since July 1: 79 per cent in NSW, 514 per cent in SA, 38 per cent in Queensland and 96 per cent in Victoria.

Households’ power is mostly priced on the futures market, with a third purchased 12 to 24 months before new retail tariffs are set and the balance in the 12 months before. Recent movements and forward prices from data supplied by ASX Energy put the wholesale cost of power about two cents per kilowatt hour higher in NSW and Victoria for the next three years.

That could add $120 to annual bills within two years. The increase in Queensland is set to be about $100. But in SA a likely 4c/kWh increase in wholesale costs may leading to a bill surge of $240 annually. Households there, and to a lesser extent in NSW, have already started to feel the consequences of the wholesale market chaos via prices rises that took effect on July 1.

One of the nation’s leading experts on electricity prices, Grattan Institute energy program director Tony Wood, said “we are seeing the beginning of the real cost of changes we have imposed on our electricity system”.

Mr Wood said a “dog’s breakfast” of climate change policies dating back to the first Rudd government had contributed to rising prices because investors haven’t known types of generation capacity to support.

Even as an advocate for renewable energy, he said Australia should be running more on gas and “cleaned-up” black coal and less on wind and solar, which currently can’t provide reliable supply.

Mr Wood said the electricity market was responding to rising demand and falling supply, as well as a jump in the cost of gas needed to run gas-fired power plants.

“Those three factors are coming together to create a perfect storm,” Mr Wood, a former Origin Energy executive, said. “No-one forecast this.”

A source at a major electricity retailer agreed: “I don’t think anyone in the industry saw this coming. It’s serious.”

The body that represents large energy users such as Woolworths, ANZ Bank, BlueScope Steel and Crown casino, said the cost of electricity is now holding Australia back.

“It’s gone from being a competitive advantage 15 years ago to now being a burden on the economy due to high cost,” said Energy Users Association of Australia chairman Brian Morris.

“We have to take energy out of the political agenda. It’s a national issue,” Mr Morris said. “We need both sides of politics, the state and federal governments, all pulling in the same direction on this.”

He called on the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council to take the lead and provide “guidance” to the electricity market.


El Niño, La Niña and natural gas

Death Valley, California, is known as “the hottest place on earth.” But, if you hear the news that the “Hottest Place on Earth Has Record-Breaking Hot June” — when “temperatures exceeded average June temperatures by about 6 °F” — it might be easy to ascribe the heat to alarmist claims of climate change. While Southern California was experiencing power outages due to a heat wave, Death Valley hit 126 °F — though the previous June high was 129 °F on June 30, 2013, and Death Valley holds the highest officially recorded temperature on the planet: 134 °F on July 10, 1913.

Yes, it is a hot summer for most of the U.S. — but that was predicted by WeatherBELL’s Joe Bastardi who, on Ground Hog Day, referenced El Niño and said: “we may have the hottest summer since 2012.” Dr. Roy Spencer, Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, explains: “it is usually the second calendar year of an El Niño event that is the warmest.” The current El Niño event made 2015 “the 3rd warmest year in the satellite record” —  records, which have been kept for 38 years (all three of the hottest years were during an El Niño event). The 2015-16 El Niño is one of the strongest on record.

El Niño is a natural weather pattern first discovered centuries ago by Peruvian fisherman who noticed that the ocean would often warm late in the year. They called the phenomenon El Niño, after the Christ Child. “Modern researchers,” according to Bloomberg, “came to realize its importance to global weather in the 1960s, when they recognized the link between warm surface water and corresponding atmospheric changes.”

El Niño usually means warmer or milder winters and cooler summers in the U.S. — which has been bad for producers of America’s natural gas, as less has been needed for heating and air conditioning. Describing the winter of 2015-16, one account said: “warm, wet or even ‘what winter?’” This past winter’s milder temperatures coincided with abundant output from shale formations, that continued to grow through last winter, and, as reported by Natural Gas Intelligence (NGI): “collapsed natural gas prices to the lowest levels since 1999.” As a result, wholesale electricity prices also tumbled.

The trend away from coal for power generation has previously helped natural gas producers, as the increased production easily met strengthening demand. However, that demand has slowed as, according to NGI: “most U.S. regions that could switch out of coal on economic terms have already done so.”

While the warmer winter and oversupply condition coincided to drive natural gas prices to their lowest levels in almost 17 years, weather and supply are now driving them back up.

El Niño patterns are usually followed by what is called La Niña — which happens as the ocean temperatures cool. La Niña generally takes place three months, or as much as twelve months, after an El Niño cycle. A report from CNBC, back in January, projected that this year’s El Niño would “fade by May-July” — which is what we are seeing and that is causing the hotter, drier summer. The Browning World Climate Bulletin says: “The factors that cooled so much of North America in April and May are retreating and the hot marine air masses will surge inland.” Likewise, NGI States: “The El Niño event that led to record North American winter temperatures has made way for the transition to La Niña, which usually results in hotter-than-normal summer temperatures.”

Addressing these weather patterns, Bloomberg cites Kevin Trenberth, distinguished senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, as saying: “The cycles occur every two or three years on average and help regulate the temperature of the Earth, as the equatorial Pacific absorbs the heat of the sun during the El Niño and then releases it into the atmosphere. That can create a La Niña: a ‘recharge state’ when ‘the whole Earth is cooler than it was before this started.’”

While experts differ on the exact timing, most expect La Niña to form as early as July or as late as December — or even January. Trenberth explains: “La Niña is more like a strong case of ‘normal.’ If a region is typically dry, it could become arid in a La Niña. If it’s usually wet, there may be floods.” Which translates to a colder, and more volatile, than average winter — though predictions are for drier and warmer in the southwest U.S. Reports indicate that a strong La Niña could push more polar vortexes down into the U.S. and typically a strong El Niño, as we’ve just experienced, is followed by a strong La Niña.

On June 29, the Financial Times announced: “US natural gas prices have leapt 30 per cent this month as hot weather boost demand for air-conditioning and slowing supplies point to a gradually tightening market.” It adds: “After years with prices in the doldrums, US gas output has also begun to level off.”

The hot summer, according to Bastardi, will continue with widespread warmth through the fall — with the Northeast and Midwest possibly hitting 90 °F into October. Then, going from one extreme to the other, when winter hits, it is expected to be, as previously addressed, colder-than-normal across the Northwest, Upper Midwest, and Northeast.

These conditions create higher cooling and heating demand for natural gas. And that, coinciding with reduced supply, will give a boost to U.S. natural gas prices — rebalancing the market and bringing price recovery.

For investors, Bloomberg states: “Seeing as North American Winters are expecting to be stronger with La Niña, SocGen [Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking] recommends investing in natural gas.” The Price Group’s Phil Flynn, seen daily on the Fox Business Network, concurs. He told me that in the rush to convert electricity generation to natural gas, we are now in a place, unlike the winter of 2014, where there are not enough coal-fueled power plants to fill the demand gap. The idea was that with global warming, winters would remain mild, but with the naturally occurring La Niña cycle, and the projected cold winter, we are facing high demand at a time when natural gas production is “getting ready to fall off a cliff.” With reduced supply and pipeline constraints, natural gas may not be able to meet all of the demand. He is encouraging his clients into natural gas.

For consumers this may mean that, because wholesale electricity prices strongly correlate to natural gas prices, power supply costs could be impacted — resulting in higher utility bills. Because of low natural gas prices, homeowners have not felt the full hit of higher cost renewables — but that could be changing as we head into a La Niña winter.


Britain's new PM abolishes environment Dept.

In a decisive cull of David Cameron's closest allies, the new Prime Minister's shake-up of the top team saw promotions for women and Brexiteers.

The move will follow Mrs May's sweeping Cabinet clear-out which saw her sack Mr Cameron's right-hand man George Osborne within hours of taking office on Wednesday, and then going on to axe Michael Gove, Oliver Letwin, Nicky Morgan and John Whittingdale.

But Jeremy Hunt kept his job as Health Secretary, despite being widely tipped for the chop.

The creation of specific Cabinet posts for exiting the EU, and boosting international trade " underlines the commitment to delivering on the decision of the British people," the official spokeswoman said.

Mrs May announced changes to the machinery of Whitehall which spelled the end for the Department of Energy and Climate Change - established by Gordon Brown in 2008 to lead the UK's contribution to the fight against global warming.

Greg Clark was appointed to the new role of Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, while his old role at the head of the Department for Communities and Local Government went to former business secretary Sajid Javid, in an effective job-swap.

Green MP Caroline Lucas denounced the decision to shut down DECC as a "serious backwards step", as it would mean no dedicated minister for climate change at the Cabinet table.

A week after seeing his hopes of the Tory leadership dashed when he came third in a poll of Tory MPs, Mr Gove lost his Justice Secretary job to Liz Truss, who became the first female Lord Chancellor in the thousand-year history of the role.

Prominent Brexit backer Andrea Leadsom, who paved the way for Mrs May's rapid elevation to the premiership by pulling out of the Tory leadership contest on Monday, was promoted from energy minister to the Cabinet role of Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The Conservatives' only MP north of the border, David Mundell, retained his position as Scotland Secretary.


British Parliament's devotion to the religion of climate change might be ending

Ever since the week in October 2008 when our MPs voted almost unanimously for the Climate Change Act, I have been trying to explain here why this was the most disastrous Act ever passed by Parliament. This insane piece of legislation, committing us to a far greater cut in our emissions of CO2 than any other country in the world, could only eventually lead to the almost total destruction of our economy.

 But now, at long last, it seems we have someone in a position of influence who recognises this. Nick Timothy, described as Theresa May’s “right hand man”, last April publicly described the Climate Change Act as “a unilateral and monstrous act of self-harm”.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change is to be abolished. Responsibility for energy policy (no mention of “climate change”), has been returned where it belongs, to the ministry in charge of strategy for our trade and industry.

If this marks the beginning of the end for the most damaging collective flight from reality in Britain’s history, it is easily the most far-reaching achievement so far of Mrs May’s premiership.

But we must never forget that all but five of our MPs voted for this lunacy, without any conception of what they were setting in train. The only way they can now atone for such criminal irresponsibility is by repealing the Climate Change Act completely.


"Wind Power Mafia” Clandestinely Destroys Rare Stork Nests To Clear Way For Turbines!

German real environmental activist Andreas Kieling here at Facebook has posted a video showing the gruesome and sickening destruction of birdlife by windmills and tells of the premeditated criminal dismantling of rare black stork nests by the “wind power mafia”.

The video is in German, but the pictures are of universal language.

At the start of the video Kieling shows 5 birds of different endangered species that he and his dog allegedly found in just 15 minutes at one single turbine. “That’s unbelievable,” Kieling announces. He is visibly disturbed by this.

The high profile activist believes that the number of birds killed is likely much higher, because many of the victims are soon dragged off by scavenging animals such as foxes during the night.

The birds have little chance against the wind turbines, as the blade tips travel at speeds of up to 270 km/hr. At the -3.15 mark:

That means a bird that flies in the vicinity underestimates this speed and gets cut to pieces, as is the case with this one.”

He adds that for bats it is not even necessary to be hit because the under-pressure created by the blade swooshing by causes the bats’ lungs to burst.

Also at the -2.38 mark Kieling explains that predatory birds also have no chance because they often fly with their heads looking down in search of prey, and so never see the high speed turbine blades. They end up getting “shredded”.

What’s really bad is that wind developers are planning even more, larger turbines close by.

“Wind power mafia” destroying stork nests

If things were not bad enough, Kieling tells of stork nests only 1000 meters away that were criminally dismantled, likely by the “wind power mafia” in order to clear the way for the new turbines. At the -2:05 mark he shows a large oak tree that was allegedly once home to a black stork nest for more than 40 years. He explains:

Suddenly the nest disappeared without a trace. The same happened to the secondary nest. The storks often have two nests. It was about 800 meters away. Also disappeared without a trace. The wind park is just about a kilometer away. And it is probably the reason for this.”

“I’m so angry I could throw up”

Kieling explains how storks like to build their nests on large trees located near streams, not up in the tree’s crown but on the fork of a large branch. The nests he says can grow to weights of up to 500 kg over 20 to 30 years, and thus the branch and nest can eventually collapse under the weight. At the -1.00 mark he explains:

But under this tree you’d find some remnants of the nest or the broken branch, and this is precisely not the case. Not for this tree, and not for the other tree. And in the neighboring town where I live, Ahrenberg, it’s the same – there’s been a black stork’s nest since a long time. This one here was the last black stork nest in the North Eifel area.

In the meantime the number of storks has fortunately gone up again. But I ask myself just how concealed and hidden do these birds have to live before they aren’t bothered. What is happening here is criminal. This was done by professionals. In the forest, under the tree, there are no traces of anything. The tree branch fork is very much intact, but the nest is gone. The nest was dismantled. Likely it was done using aluminum ladders and the nest material was carefully scattered in the surrounding area in the forest. At the other nest the exact same thing. I’m so angered; I could throw up. What can you do – it’s a battle against the wind turbines.”

In the meantime not a peep of protest coming from WWF or other high profile environmental groups. Kieling’s frustration and sense of desperation are understandable. We can only wish him the best in the fight against this crony “wind mafia” and the deplorable politicians who look away.



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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