Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Meet the 'climate refugees' who already had to leave their homes

The dirge below is is just assertion designed to reinforce the false  impression that bad weather is hitting the USA more than in the past. And even if in some places flooding has become more frequent, there is no way you can tie it to global warming other than via models with no known predictive skill.

And it is amply documented that the East coast of the USA is subsiding, particularly in the South.  So flooding is an expected result of that natural process.

Tony Heller comments drily: "I'm in Arizona right now, which is expecting hundreds of thousands of climate refugees from Canada and the Midwest in the next couple of months. Even the baseball teams take refuge here during March"

I grew up in New Orleans. When you’re brought up there you realize you’re below sea level: you see boats beyond the levee that are actually higher than you on the street.

When Hurricane Katrina hit, we were prepared and realized we had to get out of Dodge. We headed to stay with family in Houston.

I saw the pictures of the hurricane on and I thought: “Oh my gosh, everything I remember about this city has gone.” There was a TV shot of my neighborhood; instead of a boulevard, it was a bayou. I called the kids in and said: “I think we’ve lost everything. We’ve lost our lives there.”

I decided to move on even before I saw my house. Going back to New Orleans just reaffirmed that. The whole city smelled of death, it was rotting. It was horribly depressing. The water was up to the eaves of our house and all we managed to salvage was half a briefcase of items. Everything else, my music, my books, my memorabilia, was gone.

We moved to Houston. I managed to get a job in software development. We didn’t appear to be in harm’s way when Hurricane Harvey hit last year but I’ve never seen a flood of that magnitude before.

Even as the water rose I thought: “This will peak soon.” But it rose, sat stable for a while, continued to rise and when it came into the house I thought: “This is crazy.” There was this intense feeling of denial, thinking about how this couldn’t happen again. There was a lot of shock and that night was hard – all the sewage was backing up, we had to stay on our beds to keep out of the water.

We had friends nearby who got us out the next day in boats. There’s maybe one out of every five houses around here with a for sale sign because of the flooding now. I joke that towns should pay me to not move there in order to avoid being flooded.

We will stay, though – I mean, the chances of being hit by a third storm are pretty slim. Things aren’t looking great for our planet but let’s face it, I’m not living on geologic time.


ROADS made out of solar panels seems like such a perfect idea, but projects have had underwhelming initial results

FOUR years ago a viral campaign wooed the world with a promise of fighting climate change and jump-starting the economy by replacing tarmac on the world’s roads with solar panels. The bold idea has undergone some road testing since then. The first results from preliminary studies have recently come out, and they’re a bit underwhelming.

A solar panel lying under a road is at a number of disadvantages. As it’s not at the optimum tilt angle, it’s going to produce less power and it’s going to be more prone to shading, which is a problem as shade over just 5 per cent of the surface of a panel can reduce power generation by 50 per cent.

The panels are also likely to be covered by dirt and dust, and would need far thicker glass than conventional panels to withstand the weight of traffic, which will further limit the light they absorb.

Unable to benefit from air circulation, it’s inevitable these panels will heat up more than a rooftop solar panel too. For every degree over optimum temperature, you lose 0.5 per cent of energy efficiency.

As a result, a significant drop in performance for a solar road, compared to rooftop solar panels, has to be expected. The question is by how much and what is the economic cost?


One of the first solar roads to be installed is in Tourouvre-au-Perche, northwest France. This has a maximum power output of 420kW, covers 2800sq m and cost €5 million ($8 million) to install. This implies a cost of €11,905 ($A19,230) per installed kW.

While the road is supposed to generate 800kWh/day (kilowatt hours per day), some recently released data indicates a yield closer to 409kWh/day, or 150,000kWh/yr.

For an idea of how much this is, the average home uses around 10kWh/day. The road’s capacity factor — which measures the efficiency of the technology by dividing its average power output by its potential maximum power output — is just 4 per cent.

In contrast, the Cestas solar plant near Bordeaux, which features rows of solar panels carefully angled towards the sun, has a maximum power output of 300,000kW and a capacity factor of 14 per cent. And at a cost of €360 million ($A581 million), or €1200 ($A1938) per installed kilowatt, one-tenth the cost of the solar roadway, it generates three times more power.

In America, a company called Solar Roadways has developed a smart highway with solar panels, including sensors and LED lights to display traffic warnings about any upcoming hazards, such as a deer. It also has heating pads to melt snow in winter.

Several of their SR3 panels have been installed in a small section of pavement in Sandpoint, Idaho. This is 13.9sq m in area, with an installed capacity of 1.529kW. The installation cost is given as $US48,734 (about $A67,000), which implies a cost per installed kilowatt of $A44,420 more than 20 times higher than the Cestas power plant.

Solar Roadway’s own estimates are that the LED lights would consume 106MWh per lane mile, with the panels generating 415MWh — so more than 25 per cent of the useful power is consumed by the LEDs. This would reduce performance even further. The heating plates are also quoted as drawing 2.28MW per lane mile, so running them for just six days would cancel out any net gain from the solar panels.

And this is before we look at the actual data from the Sandpoint installation, which generated 52.397kWh in six months, or 104.8kWh over a year. From this we can estimate a capacity factor of just 0.782 per cent, which is 20 times less efficient than the Cestas power plant.

That said, it should be pointed out that this panel is in a town square. If there is one thing we can conclude, it’s that a section of pavement surrounded by buildings in a snowy northern town is not the best place to locate a solar installation.

However, perhaps there’s a bigger point — solar roads on city streets are just not a great idea.


Green Suicide: Germany’s Economic Backbone Suffers From Soaring Power Prices

Mittelstand companies weighed down by soaring electricity costs are struggling against competition from U.S. and China. If power prices continue to rise, many companies could be forced to close down.

Bosses at a steelmaker in northwest Germany have ripped out old-style lighting in favor of LEDs, tinkered to make machinery more efficient and even locked staff into classrooms to teach them how to save energy.

Across the nation, thousands of companies are doing the same to mitigate the hit from electricity costs that have doubled since 2016. These smaller, often family-run firms are collectively known as the Mittelstand and form crucial links in the supply chains for Germany’s biggest firms, employing almost 20 million people and producing more in sales than Spain’s economy.

When the Mittelstand suffers, Germany takes a knock. And yet it’s those smaller companies along with households that have borne the brunt of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s energy policy, which has imposed higher electric bills to pay for cutting pollution. While 2,000 corporate giants like Volkswagen AG and chemicals maker BASF SE have their own power plants and get exemptions from environmental tariffs, smaller companies pay more to absorb those costs.

“We’re constantly trying to improve energy efficiency,” said Klaus Schmidtke, a spokesman for Georgsmarienhuette GmbH, which employs 1,000 people and feeds steel parts into the supply chain of Volkswagen AG. “But to be blunt, we’ve not been able to offset rising electricity prices.”

Wholesale power rates are on a tear across Europe, and apart from consuming less, there’s little that companies can do about it. The surge can be traced back to jumping demand for generation fuels from coal in China to natural gas in Japan. And that globalization of the energy market is eating away at support for Merkel’s transition away from coal and toward clean energy.

Energy bills for the Mittelstand were surging even before’s this year’s surge in the wholesale market. The companies, together with households, had to cough up hundreds of billions of euros to pay for Merkel’s transition to an economy based on mainly solar and wind. That put them at a disadvantage against competitors from China to the U.S., as well as other European nations.

The subsidies for solar and wind projects as well as a raft of environmental taxes aimed at cutting emissions have made German electricity prices for residential and business consumers the highest in the European Union together with Denmark.

The rising costs have forced Mittelstand firms, almost all of which have sales of less than 1 million euros, to splash out on expensive, energy-efficient equipment and lock in prices with suppliers for several years ahead. Some are even starting to produce their own electricity, while others have shifted production abroad in a last-ditch effort to keep up with Chinese, South Korean and U.S. competitors who pay far less for electricity.

“The drag on competitiveness is particularly severe for small and middle-sized firms,” Eric Schweitzer, President of Germany’s Chambers of Commerce, said by email.

The rising electricity costs threaten to undermine support for Merkel’s Energiewende just as her government is seeking to make up lost ground on the faltering path toward its 2020 emissions-reduction targets. A study of the Mittelstand by DZ Bank found a third of their company leaders thought power prices were a threat to their business.


Wind Energy's Absurd Proposal

Who would think it a good idea to build a wind farm on land rich in actinolite ore – one of the most dangerous mineral forms of asbestos?

Answer – Sweden’s Eolus Vind who want to spear 120-248 turbines at 600 ft tall into the Mojave Desert on the border of Nevada and California. Crescent Peak Renewables wind farm would occupy more than 32,000 acres of public land adjacent to the Mojave National Preserve and the Castle Mountain National Monument in California and the Wee Thump Joshua Tree Wilderness in Nevada.

We’ve posted before about the destruction in parts of the Mojave of the very slow growing Joshua trees to make way for wind turbines. We've also posted many times the destruction by wind turbines of other parts of the Mojave.

Wee Thump means ‘ancient ones’ in the Paiute language and was the first unprotected tract of public land to be designated wilderness in Nevada. It is one of the premier breeding areas for golden eagles in the Southwest.

You get the idea? Wilderness. The desert. A place for golden eagles. Not an industrialised landscape.

Ranged against Eolus Vind – or Evil Sound as someone realized would make a good anagram – are many people. All except a couple in the town of Searchlight are vehemently against the proposal. Searchlight itself was threatened by a wind farm a little over a year ago. However, the threat was withdrawn when a federal judge ordered the developers to start all over again on an environmental assessment, noting that the Interior Department’s approval of the project failed to adequately address concerns about impacts on bald eagles, golden eagles, desert tortoises and migrating bats.

And Searchlight and this part of the Mojave are under siege again.

But potentially many, many more could be hugely impacted upon if this proposal gets the go ahead because of the disturbance to the asbestos-laden ground. If the ground is disturbed, sending asbestos into the atmosphere, and the wind blows in the right direction, the deadly pollution could stretch as far as the Las Vegas Valley.

Libby, Montana, could fade into oblivion by comparison to the lawsuits which could ensue.

The residents of Searchlight have written to the President, and also to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and to the second-in-charge Director of the Bureau of Land Management, alerting them, inter alia, to this fact and referring them to the case of Libby, Montana.

Libby was the site of one of of one of America's worst man-made environmental disasters. Toxic asbestos dust from the vermiculite mines that helped the town prosper for decades killed hundreds of residents, made ill thousands more, led to thousands of lawsuits as the company had swept the asbestos under the carpet, bankrupted the mining company and led to a massive clean up operation.

It will, however, be as nothing to the potential number of people who could be affected by disturbance of the asbestos-laden ground by a huge windfarm in a wholly inappropriate location.

The Bureau of Land Management, the public body responsible for public land, is accelerating the draft Environmental Impact Statement.

Eolus Vind have organized a meeting tomorrow (Tuesday, 25th) with dinner for the good folk of Searchlight. Their environmental consultants SWCA will be on hand to field questions.

We had a look at SWCA’s website:

'To preserve natural and cultural resources for tomorrow while enabling projects that benefit people today.'

It will be interesting to have the feedback from our friends in Searchlight. The Searchlight townsfolk wear their anti wind turbine pins wherever they go – that should tell Eolus Vind and their cohorts something – and the townsfolk know what they’re about as, no doubt, the developers will find out tomorrow.

Searchlight started as a gold mining town – it’s reputed to have been named because the first prospector was thinking up what to call his stake and he glimpsed a box of Searchlight matches.

Don’t think, wind weasels, that this is going to be a place which is going to roll over and let you in to hatch your golden goose.


Climate Change's #MeToo Movement: The Dark Secrets of Climate Saviors

The #MeToo movement this year exposed the dark secrets of Hollywood and many other global organizations. But the #MeToo movement within one fraternity has been suppressed and underreported by the leftist media.

And that is the climate change fraternity encompassing the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and their climate change conferences that host a wide network of collaborators, including climate scientists and diplomats.

The disturbing news about sexual harassment within the climate fraternity came to light during last year’s climate conference at Bonn. A reasonable number of women have testified of abuse they’ve suffered at UN climate change conferences.

Among them was Farhana Yamin. Yamin has been a climate change lawyer for over 30 years, and she came out against the sexual harassment that was going on within the climate fraternity.

In her detailed write-up at, Yamin records that many women have experienced the same in the past three decades and that incidents of sexual misconduct have been “brushed under the carpet.”

Meera Ghani is another climate victim who spoke out against what she describes to be a toxic culture of sexual harassment. It has been nearly two years since Ghani left the climate scene.

In her write-up, Ghani recounts the belittling comments, harassment, objectification, groping, and other serious sexual offenses she encountered at climate conferences. Peers to whom she reported these incidents politely suggested that she should “brush it aside” and told her that the sexual harassment culture was common at UN climate talks.

Women like Ghani and Yamin were involved in the climate movement because of their passion to save the planet. Seldom did they know that they would be sexually harassed.

The mainstream media has largely remained silent on accounts of these women. Instead, it merely reported about the announcement of “zero tolerance for sexual harassment” at Bonn by lead diplomat Patricia Espinosa.

However, the biggest perpetrator in the climate fraternity is not just some random diplomat but the former chairman of the IPCC, Mr. Rajendra Pachauri.

Pachauri led the IPCC from 2002 to 2015, before he resigned on charges of sexual allegations against him in India’s capital city, Delhi. Before heading the IPCC, Pachauri was already a director general at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) — India’s apex think tank educational institute for energy and environmental studies, where he committed his sexual misconduct.

While many believed the allegations against him could have been brought just to tarnish his image, the case against him became stronger as time passed by.

The police have identified more than 23 people as prosecution witnesses against Pachauri in his sexual misconduct case. The victim, a former colleague of his at TERI, submitted to the police thousands of emails, texts, and Whatsapp messages that involved Pachauri.

The case became substantial in 2016, and TERI refused to renew his employment. Last week, Delhi’s Saket district court (less than a mile from my previous home) ordered Pachauri to stand trial on criminal charges.

Metropolitan Magistrate Charu Gupta charged Pachauri under Sections 354 (outraging modesty), 354A (making physical contact, unwelcome and sexually colored remarks), and 509 (teasing and using vulgar gestures and actions) of the Indian Penal Code.

It is astounding and shocking that the former chairman of the IPCC is a man of such dark secrets. While that can be true of any man and any profession, Mr. Pachauri’s life only adds more weight to the “toxic culture” claims of women like Ghani.

When will the leftist media confront the real toxic sexual culture within the climate change bodies and conferences?

It is sad to understand that the media have blurred the line between consensual relationships and sexual harassment. The real demon that the #MeToo movement strives to slay will be slain only by bringing to light the dark evil secrets, not by suppressing them for political or ideological reasons.




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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