Thursday, January 31, 2019

US temperatures so low you can get frostbite in five minutes

And people still believe in global warming??  Climate is the sum of weather

A deadly polar vortex so intensely cold it can give people frostbite and hypothermia in as little as five minutes is sweeping parts of the United States.

Seventy-five per cent of the country’s population — about 220 million people — will be hit with the freezing temperatures this week, with the Northeast and Midwest forecast to be worst hit, CNN reports.

The Associated Press reports temperatures across 12 states have been forecast to be the coldest in at least a generation, if not in history.

Temperatures in Chicago are expected to go as low as minus 32C. Minnesota has had wind chills of minus 52C, AP reported.

Governors in Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan have declared emergencies in their states.

The dangerous weather event has forced the cancellation of thousands of flights, with airlines waiving the usual fees for flight changes.

At least four people have died as a result of the below-freezing temperatures.

They included a man who was struck and killed by a snow plough in Chicago, a young couple whose SUV hit a car on a road in Indiana and a man in Milwaukee who was found frozen to death in a garage.

Schools across the Midwest region have been closed and workers have been sent home.

Authorities are warning about hypothermia and frostbite, which they say could come on after just five minutes of being exposed to the intensely cold outdoors.

These are actually a public health risk and you need to treat it appropriately and with that effort,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “They are life-threatening conditions and temperatures.”

About 160 warming centres have opened up in Chicago, where the wind chill could make weather feel as cold as minus 45C, officials said.

Authorities are working with shelters and churches to move homeless people off the streets as temperatures continue to plunge.


Germany to shutter all 84 coal-fired plants to fight climate change

Blackouts will quickly open them again

Germany is planning to shut down all 84 of its coal-fired power plants over a 19-year span in an effort to combat climate change.

A 28-member government commission announced the commitment on Saturday, with chairman Ronald Pofalla saying that it marked an "historic accomplishment," according to The Los Angeles Times.

“It was anything but a sure thing. But we did it,” Pofalla said at a news conference in Berlin. “There won’t be any more coal-burning plants in Germany by 2038.”

The Times noted that the announcement was significant considering coal plants account for 40 percent of Germany's electricity. The plan calls for $45 billion in spending to mitigate the pain in regions where coal is widely used. The recommendations from the commission are expected to be adopted by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The move to close coal-fired power plants comes about six years after Germany announced plans to phase out all of its nuclear power plants by 2022. Twelve of the nation's 19 nuclear plants have been shut down so far, according to The Times.

The Times reported that the decision to shutter coal-burning and nuclear plants will result in Germany counting on renewable energy to supply 65 to 80 percent of the country's power by 2040.

Renewable energy accounted for 41 percent of the country's power in 2018, making it the leading source of electricity.

The commission's recommendations would mean that about 24 plants would be closed within the first three years of the plan. Just eight coal-burning plants would remain by 2030 if the plan were carried through how its intended.

The move could impact thousands of citizens, as about 20,000 jobs are directly linked to the coal industry.


In Vermont, a progressive haven, emissions spike forces officials to consider drastic action

It’s a state that prides itself on purity: its pristine land, progressive politics, even its ice cream. So it was no surprise when Vermont sought to lead the way in cutting carbon pollution, vowing to reduce greenhouse gases from the state’s power plants, cars, and other sources by 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2012 and 50 percent by 2028.

Those goals, set by lawmakers in 2005, were significantly more aggressive and made before similar pledges in Massachusetts and other states. But 14 years later, the zeal in the Green Mountain State has yielded not so much cleaner air, but embarrassment.

A report released last year found that emissions had actually increased 16 percent over 1990 levels, a startling divergence from the goal.

“It wasn’t just disappointing and ironic, it was surprising,” said Sandra Levine, a senior attorney based in Vermont for the Conservation Law Foundation. “Many thought we were at least moving in the right direction. But we weren’t just missing the target, we were moving backward.”

The state’s failure to reduce emissions reflects the steep challenges in the way of radical energy efficiency, particularly at a time of low gas prices and strong economic growth. It isn’t the product of organized opposition but of up-country habits.

Among the factors tripping up the state are the preference for gas-guzzling pickups in rural parts and the reliance on wood for heat.

“Inertia is a powerful thing, but we’re going to need to break through it,” said Johanna Miller, energy and climate director at the Vermont Natural Resources Council, an advocacy group. “The state is falling behind and the time to act is short.”

The failure to meet its lofty goals has implications far beyond Vermont, a reminder that far more sweeping changes will be needed if such goals are to be met, here and across the nation.

A preliminary analysis released this month by the Rhodium Group, a research firm in New York, found that carbon emissions in the United States rose by 3.4 percent last year — the second-largest annual gain in more than two decades. It was surpassed only in 2010, as the nation emerged from the Great Recession.

In Vermont, long, frigid winters demand a lot from the state’s power plants, a challenge that increased in 2014 when the state’s only nuclear power plant closed. Drafty old homes are another source of waste and an example of the need for increased emissions, as are the state’s many wood-burning stoves and dairy farms.

Natural gas has replaced dirtier fossil fuels such as oil and coal, yet most emissions are coming from the transportation sector, mirroring the national trend.

In 2015, exhaust from trucks and cars was responsible for more than 43 percent of Vermont’s emissions, according to the state’s latest statistics.

Much of the blame falls on the aging pickup trucks, the state’s most commonly registered vehicles, which many residents often drive alone. The state also has a disproportionate number of tourists who clog its mountain roads on their way to ski resorts or leaf peeping.

A 2017 state report found that Vermont drivers log significantly more miles than the national average, a rate that was increasing more than twice as fast as in other states. With sparse development and little public transit, Vermont was 11th highest in the United States in terms of the amount of miles driven per resident, the report found.

“We have major challenges in addressing these issues,” said Peter Walke, deputy secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. “Ultimately, it comes down to thousands of individual choices.”


Demo/Green New Deal Strengthens Russia and China

By hitting the U.S. military with deep cuts, "saving the planet" could have a dangerous result.

The Green New Deal has become a big deal, with a fair bit of the coverage it’s receiving being due to the fact that Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has been pushing it. The fact is, her star power (in the media’s mind) is giving this program a boost. But this leftist scheme isn’t just about saving the environment from the ravages of capitalists. It would also give Russia and China a huge boost.

Aren’t “progressives” always touting how green energy is something that will benefit America? Well, it’s all in the not-so-fine print about the Green New Deal. You see, it calls for at least a 50% cut in military spending.

Take our current Air Force, which has seen massive cuts in its fighter squadrons. Even that tight budget would be cut in half. Look at our Navy, with too few hulls in the water as it is. That goes from 11 carriers to six — which would leave it in a one-to-one ratio with China’s planned carrier expansion. Our overstretched Army goes from a mere 10 divisions to five. The Marines Corps would take hits, too, in this drastic slashing of our capabilities.

What does that mean in real-world terms? Well, right now, we’d already be hard-pressed to deal with Russian aggression against Europe and Chinese power plays in the South China Sea. Our military, while it is very capable, is still too small. We fought the War on Terror with too small a force, and we’re paying today for George W. Bush’s failure to sufficiently increase the force structure after 2001.

Our current efforts against radical Islamic terrorist groups would, of necessity, also be crippled. Worse, America would be abandoning key allies in the Middle East, which would rebound to the benefit of Russia and China. With NATO already unreliable, many Eastern European nations could be compelled to again accept subjugation to Russia.

America’s allies in the Pacific would, in the best case, have to arm themselves — including with nukes — to make up for the drastic drop in American capabilities. Even then, the South China Sea would be dominated by the butchers of Beijing. That doesn’t help the cause of peace on earth at all.

Many of those who loudly support the Green New Deal are the ones who would back the nonsense claim from the likes of Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) that Donald Trump somehow is a Russian agent. But the actions tell a very different story. In 2012, many of these folks cheered when Barack Obama mocked Mitt Romney for calling Russia our biggest geopolitical foe, even though Romney was right all along.

On the other hand, President Trump has taken tough action against Russia. He has worked to restore our military readiness. He’s also been hitting Vladimir Putin in the wallet by expanding American oil and gas production and promoting exports, thereby not only reducing the size of the Russian pie, but also getting a slice of the pie for the United States. Oh, and Russia’s about to lose one of its client states as Venezuela moves to topple Nicolas Maduro’s regime, and the United States is happy to help shove it over the edge. Makes you wonder if Democrats are only tough on Russia because it’s a way to get Trump, not out of any real concern about Putin’s ugly track record of thuggery.

Green New Deal proponents should be asked some very tough questions about the geopolitical effects of the military cuts. After all, we wouldn’t want to be aiding Russia and China, now, would we?


Australia's energy crisis: Heatwave-struck residents are hit with a $1.1BILLION power bill over just two days as temperatures soared towards 50C

Heatwave-struck residents across two Australian states were hit with a $1.1 billion bill for just 48 hours' worth of energy last week.

As temperatures climbed to well over 40C last week in Victoria and South Australia, residents racked up a $944million bill for Thursday and a further $178 million bill for Friday, according to The Australian.

The figures come from an analysis of consumer demand and spot market prices, which energy experts said were at a 20-year high of over $3300/MWh (megawatt hour) and climbed to $14,500/MWh for about five hours.

Although electricity prices are worked out in advance through hedging contracts, experts have said that consumers will feel the effects of the price spike in the long term.

'When retailers need to contract, the generators know they will be petrified, and they are more likely to achieve higher prices than they otherwise would,' Victorian Energy Policy Centre director Bruce Mountain told the publication.

In the last decade electricity prices for consumers have risen 117 per cent, more than four times the average price rise for other services, according to the ABC.

The Grattan Institute think tank released a report in 2018 saying three main factors were to blame for the rise: major power plants closing due to high maintenance costs, rises in the price of gas and coal, and the market being 'gamed' by energy generators.   

Resources Minister Matt Canavan said more investment in power generation was needed to bring costs down. 'The underlying tightness of the market in these southern states risks more of these pure price setting days. The high price of power on these days alone justifies investment in reliable sources of power, such as coal-fired power,' he said.

The heatwave last week caused blackouts in 200,000 Victorian homes as residents rushed to switch on their air-conditioners and the hot weather put stress on infrastructure with transformers overheating.

Three coal-fired power units also failed, which prompted the market operator to order the blackouts at 12pm on Friday as a load-shedding measure.

Electricity prices are unlikely to drop anytime in the near future as experts warn the price of gas remains high and building new generation plants, using existing fossil fuels or renewables, is expensive and the cost will be passed on to consumers. 



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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Nutty Ethan Siegel falls at the last hurdle

He puts up a painstaking article designed to prove anthropogenic global warming but in the end concludes -- rightly -- that "It cannot be proven that human activity is the cause of global warming".  He knows that correlation is not causation.  Worse: Even the correlation is very poor

Ethan Siegel being manic

The Simplest Explanation Of Global Warming Ever

Let's play pretend for a moment. Pretend, if you can, that you've never heard about the idea of global warming before. Pretend you've never heard anyone else's opinions on the matter, including from politicians, scientists, friends or relatives. Pretend that there are no related concerns, like the economy, our energy needs, or the environment.

If you were going to make a genuine inquiry, there would instead be only two questions to ask and answer:

is the Earth warming or not,
and if so, what's the main cause?

This is a question that was tailor-made for the enterprise of science to answer. Here's how we can figure it out for ourselves.

There are really only two things that determine the Earth's temperature, or the temperature of any object that's heated by an external source. The first is the energy that goes into it, which is primarily energy produced by the Sun and absorbed by the Earth. The second is the energy that leaves the Earth, which is primarily due to the Earth radiating it away.

During the day, we absorb energy from the Sun; this is the power inputted into the Earth. During both the day and the night, we radiate energy back into space; that's the power outputted by the Earth. This is why temperatures heat up during the day and cool off during the night, something that’s pretty much true for every planet that has both a day side and a night side.

To know what the temperature of Earth ought to be, we need to first understand the energy that comes into our world. The source of this energy is the Sun, which radiates with a very well-measured power: 3.846 × 1026 watts. The closer you are to the Sun, the more of this energy you absorb, while the farther away you are, the less you absorb. Over the timespan that we've measured the Sun's power output, it's varied by only about ±0.1%.

Sunlight spreads out in a sphere the farther away you are from it, meaning that if you're twice as far away from the Sun, you only absorb one-quarter the radiation. At Earth's distance from the Sun, we encounter a power of around 1,361 watts-per-square-meter; that's how much hits the top of our atmosphere.

The Earth also orbits in an ellipse around the Sun, meaning that at some points it's closer to the Sun, absorbing more radiation, while at other times it's more distant, absorbing less. The variation from this effect is more like ±1.7%, with the largest amount of energy absorbed occurring in early January, and the least amount occurring in early July.

But that's not the full story. The sunlight that hits us comes in a variety of wavelengths: ultraviolet, visible, and infrared, all of which carry energy. The atmosphere has many layers, some of which absorb that light, some of which allow it to transmit all the way down to the ground, and some of which reflect it back into space.

All told, about 77% of the energy from the Sun makes it down to Earth's surface when the Sun is directly overhead, with that number dropping significantly when the Sun is lower on the horizon.

Some of that energy gets absorbed by Earth's surface, while some of it gets reflected. Clouds reflect sunlight better than average, as do dry sand and icecaps. Other ground conditions are better at absorbing sunlight, including oceans, forests, wet soil, and savannahs. Depending on seasonal conditions on Earth, the individual locations on Earth vary tremendously in how much light they reflect or absorb.

On average, however, the Earth is very consistent: 31% of the incident radiation gets reflected, while 69% gets absorbed. As far as global effects go, this average has changed remarkably little over time, even as human civilization has transformed the landscape of our planet.

When we put in all the factors we know of:

the Sun's power output,

the Earth's physical size and distance from the Sun,

the amount of sunlight that Earth absorbs vs. reflects,

and the intrinsic variability in the Sun over time,

we can arrive at a way to calculate the average temperature of the Earth.

The result?

We calculate that Earth should be at 255 Kelvin (-18 °C / 0 °F), or well below freezing. And that's absurd, and completely not reflective of reality.

Instead, our planet has an average temperature of 288 Kelvin (15 °C / 59 °F), which is much warmer than the naive predictions we just painstakingly calculated. Our world is temperate, not frozen, and there's one big reason for these predictions and observations to be so thoroughly off from one another: we've been ignoring the insulating effects of Earth's atmosphere.

Sure, the Earth radiates the energy it absorbs back into space. But it doesn't all go into space straightaway; the same atmosphere that wasn't 100% transparent to sunlight also isn't 100% transparent to the infrared light that Earth radiates. The atmosphere is made up of molecules that absorb radiation of varying wavelengths, depending on what the atmosphere is made out of.

For infrared radiation, nitrogen and oxygen — the majority of our atmosphere — act as though they're virtually transparent. But there are three gases that are part of our atmosphere which aren't transparent at all to the radiation Earth produces:

water vapor (H2O),
carbon dioxide (CO2),
and methane (CH4).

All three of these gases, when they're present in any planet's atmosphere, act the same way a blanket does when you place it over a warm-blooded animal's body: they prevent the heat from escaping.

In the case of an animal, they need to generate less of their own heat to maintain a constant temperature when there's a blanket on them. And if the blanket is thicker, or if there are a greater number of thin blankets, they need to generate even less. This analogy extends to layers of clothing in any conditions; the more insulation you have around you, the less heat escapes, allowing you to maintain higher temperatures.

For a planet like ours, these gases prevent the infrared radiation from escaping, instead absorbing it and re-radiating it back to Earth. The more of these gases that are present, the longer and more efficiently Earth holds onto the Sun's heat. We can't change the energy input, so instead, as we add additional amounts of these gases, the temperature of our world simply goes up.

The water vapor content is something that's determined by Earth's oceans, the local temperature, humidity and dew point. When we add more water vapor to the atmosphere or take water vapor out of it, the overall water vapor content doesn't change at all. As far as human activity goes, nothing we do has any impact on the net amount of H2O in the atmosphere.

The concentrations of the other two gases (CO2 and CH4), though, are primarily determined by human influence. It's well-documented, for example, that CO2 has risen by more than 50% of its 1700s-era value due to the burning of fossil fuels coinciding with the start of the industrial revolution. According to NASA scientist Chris Colose:

50% of the 33 K greenhouse effect is due to water vapor, about 25% to clouds, 20% to CO2, and the remaining 5% to the other non-condensable greenhouse gases such as ozone, methane, nitrous oxide, and so forth.

All of this leads to a very straightforward conclusion: if we increase the concentrations of infrared-absorbing gases in our atmosphere, like CO2 and CH4, the Earth's temperature will rise. Given that the temperature record unequivocally shows that the Earth is warming, and we have put these additional proverbial blankets onto our atmosphere, it seems like a slam dunk that this is cause-and-effect at work.

It cannot be proven that human activity is the cause of global warming, of course. That conclusion we drew is still a scientific inference. But based on what we know about planetary science, Earth’s atmosphere, human activity and the warming we’re observing, it seems like a very good one. When we quantify the other effects, it's unlikely that anything else could be the cause. Not the Sun, not volcanoes, not any natural phenomenon that we know of. [What about Svensmark's well validated theories about cosmic rays]


What Science Could Teach Ocasio-Cortez About Climate Change

Bjorn Lomborg

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez declared last week that “the world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.”

The freshly minted congresswoman skewered anyone who’d want to talk about the cost of global-warming policies, given the looming doomsday.

Yes, her full remarks made it clear she only meant that the world would begin to end in 12 years if we don’t act. But she was still wildly wrong.

Yet AOC was just saying what many people believe. Shallow, apocalyptic reporting on global warming has made us all panicky, more likely to embrace poor climate policies and less likely to think about the price tag.

The truth is comparatively boring: According to the United Nations climate science panel’s latest major report, if we do absolutely nothing to stop climate change, the impact will be the equivalent to a reduction in our incomes of between 0.2 percent and 2 percent five decades from now.

Yet by the 2070s, personal incomes will be some 300 percent to 500 percent higher than they are today.

Far from the “end of the world,” the impact of warming is what we’d expect from roughly a single economic recession taking place over the next half-century.

Many of us question how this could be true when we are constantly told that extreme weather is wreaking ever-greater devastation. In fact, research shows that extreme weather is having a rather minimal economic effect.

Since 1990, the cost associated with extreme weather worldwide has actually declined, to 0.25 percent of the global gross domestic product, from 0.30 percent.

Extreme weather costs each French citizen about $25 a year; each American, about $56 per year. That’s what the average US worker spends on coffee in less than a month.

What about the escalating costs of hurricanes, now inevitably held up as examples of climate change? Actually, a major study in Nature shows hurricane damage today costs about 0.04 percent of global GDP.

By 2100, even if hurricanes were to get twice as bad as they are now, increased prosperity and resilience mean the cost will have halved to 0.02 percent of GDP.

What’s more, the UN panel finds there is no observable increase in hurricane frequency.

Likewise, extreme weather is killing fewer people now than at any point in the last 100 years: In the 1920s, extreme weather killed about half a million people annually.

Now, despite there being four times as many people, it kills fewer than 20,000 each year.

If the world isn’t ending, and the impact of global warming by 2030 is much less than 0.2 percent to 2 percent of GDP, then we need to start comparing costs with benefits.

This is the bread and butter of William Nordhaus, the only climate economist to win the Nobel Prize. His careful work over many decades shows that a globally coordinated, moderate and rising carbon tax could reduce temperatures modestly.

This would cost about $20 trillion and avoid some climate-related harms, ensuring a net benefit of $30 trillion over coming centuries.

But aiming to reduce temperatures more escalates the costs and eventually leaves the planet $50 trillion worse off. Limiting temperature increases to 2°C or less, as many leaders promise, would prove even more costly.

Green fretting about Armageddon is nothing new, of course. In the 1960s, mainstream environmentalists worried that the world was running out of food.

In the 1980s, acid rain was going to destroy the planet’s forests. There were good reasons for concern, but a panicked response led to a poor, overly expensive response.

We need to get smarter. Climate change is a problem but not the end of the world. The United States now has little or no federal climate policy, which is inexcusable.

But almost every other nation is making climate proclamations that would impose huge costs for rather paltry gains.

This approach has failed to deliver progress against climate change for decades. We should instead embrace ingenuity and innovation and spend far more on green-energy research and development.

If we push the price of green energy below fossil fuels through innovation, everyone will switch.

If Ocasio-Cortez had stuck to the facts, she would have said: “The world is going to see costs worth about 1 percent of GDP in 50 years if we don’t address climate change — and your biggest issue is how to pay for it?”

Well, yes: We need to make sure our solution doesn’t cost more than the problem. If we look at the science and stop believing the end of the world is nigh, our decisions will be much smarter.


Saved by pseudo-renewable energy?

Climate alarmists must prove expensive, weather-dependent energy is green and sustainable

Paul Driessen

The IPCC says it’s still possible to limit planetary warming to an additional 0.5 degrees C (0.9 F) “above pre-industrial levels” – but only if global CO2 emissions are halved by 2030 and zeroed out by 2050.

So climate alarmists intend to carbon-tax, legislate and regulate our energy, factories, livelihoods, living standards, liberties and lives to the max. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal would eliminate and replace US fossil fuels by 2030. It’s an unprecedented economic and political power grab.

We went to war with King George over far less serious abuses and usurpations. And yet today we seem to have few Patrick Henrys or other stalwart, principled leaders willing to defy this insanity.

Those accusing someone of a crime must prove his guilt; the accused need not prove his innocence. But not only are alarmists bringing what amount to criminal charges against fossil fuels; wiping out the fuels that provide over 80% of our energy would bring widespread chaos, poverty, misery, disease and death.

As I said just days ago, those who claim fossil fuels and greenhouse gases are causing dangerous global warming and climate change have the burden of proving their case. Not with allegations, computer models, headlines, mob rule and demands for instant sentencing. With solid, irrefutable evidence.

Those who intend to use climate change accusations to disrupt and destroy modern energy systems and industrialized economies likewise have the burden of proving that wind, solar and biofuel energy can actually replace fossil fuels. That they are actually clean, green, affordable, renewable and sustainable.

Thus far, they have offered no real-world evidence whatsoever. And there is no way they can do so.

Fossil fuels are compact and dense. Small land and raw material impacts provide bountiful, affordable, reliable energy. America and the world have enough of these fuels to last at least a century at current rates of consumption – by which time human ingenuity will almost undoubtedly provide workable alternatives.

By contrast, wind, solar and biofuel energy is dispersed, weather-dependent, expensive and land-intensive. Every industrial wind facility, solar installation and biofuel plantation requires far more land – and far more raw materials – than their energy-generation-equivalent fossil fuel counterparts. Add in backup fossil fuel generators or massive battery arrays, and those impacts become astronomical.

To eliminate our fossil fuel energy – and replace it with these pseudo-renewable systems – we would have to remove tens of billions of tons of rock, to extract billions of tons of ores, to create millions of tons of metals, concrete and other materials, to manufacture and install millions of wind turbines and solar panels, and grow billions of barrels of biofuels. Vast acreage of croplands, wildlife habitats and scenic areas would be torn apart, covered with mining debris and blanketed with “renewable” energy facilities.

Moreover, as long as anti-mining radicals have effective control of US courts, legislatures and regulatory agencies, America’s deposits of rare earth and other strategic metals and materials will remain off limits. As Ned Mamula and Ann Bridges point out in Groundbreaking! America’s new quest for minerals independence, that would leave the USA 50-100% dependent on often unfriendly foreign sources for the “next era” energy systems that we have repeatedly been promised are “just around the corner.”

The same well-funded groups also battle mining by Western companies all over the world. That means global raw material supplies will be rapidly depleted … utopian green energy dreams will never become reality … and nations will descend into deprivation, disease, starvation, anarchy and war.

To put it simply, so that even Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Al Gore and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can understand this energy reality: The wind and sun may be free, green, renewable and sustainable. But the energy, land and materials required to harness and utilize that energy certainly are not.

Wind and solar systems also break down faster and must be replaced earlier and more often than coal, gas or nuclear power plants – which have operational life spans of 30-50 years, and generate power about 95% of the time. Wind energy proponents claim turbines last half that long: 20-25 years. They don’t.

A 2018 UK analysis of 3,000 onshore wind turbines found that they generate electricity efficiently for just 12-15 years (and maybe 25-30% of the time) – generating more than twice as much electricity in their first year than when they are barely 15 years old. So wind turbine raw materials depletion and land use impacts are far higher than advocates have admitted. These realities are no better for solar installations.

All of this also means the cost of wind and solar electricity is far higher than their advocates admit. Those costs may be partially hidden by taxpayer subsidies. But they are real, and punitive.

Electricity prices in US states that rely heavily on coal, gas, nuclear or hydroelectric generation hover around 9 cents per kilowatt-hour. In California, Connecticut, New York and other states that oppose these sources and impose hefty “green” energy mandates and feed-in tariffs, prices are almost twice as high. In Germany and Denmark, families must pay four times as much: 35-37 cents per kWh!

Try to run a factory, hospital, school, business, home, city or country on electricity priced at those rates. Imagine trying to do so when fossil fuels are driven into oblivion – by the same “environmentalists” who detest and want to eliminate nuclear and hydroelectric power plants.

Middle classes are already fleeing California’s and New York’s oppressive taxes, regulations, high energy and housing prices, job destruction, and predominantly Democrat politicians who blame every problem on manmade climate change. Just wait until their states go “100% renewable energy” by 2030 or so.

Meanwhile, more rational countries in Asia, Africa and elsewhere are building coal- and gas-fired generating units by the thousands, to power modern, industrialized societies and lift billions more people out of poverty. That means global emissions of plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide will continue to increase – even if climate alarmists succeed with their power plays in the USA, Canada, Europe and elsewhere. It means a number of Asian and African countries could soon outpace many of today’s industrial and economic powerhouses.

As to biofuels, how are farmers going to grow enough corn, soybeans, sugar cane and switchgrass to replace the petroleum that radical greens want kept in the ground, if they don’t have modern equipment and fertilizers – which eco-fanatics also despise? Farmers may have to get human “fertilizer” from sewage treatment plants, since many “environmentalists” also demand that we stop raising cows, pigs and chickens … which means farmers won’t even be able to get enough animal manure.

One of the latest climate scare stories claims that our warming planet will soon drive many insect species to extinction. What are people going to eat, if they can’t even find bugs to dine on?

All these are more reasons why the United States we must formally exit the Paris climate treaty by subjecting it to a two-thirds Senate “advice and consent” vote that would most assuredly fail. They are more reasons why we must revisit and reverse the EPA carbon dioxide “Endangerment Finding.”

Climate alarmists’ increasingly shrill claims … their refusal to engage climate and energy realists in debate … their escalating efforts to silence us – are proof that they are getting desperate. We need to continue ramping up our efforts – and cajole, embarrass and harangue politicians to show some spine, intestinal fortitude and intelligence, by standing up to the forces of climate dictatorship and darkness.

What can the average person do? Speak out. Write letters to editors, legislators, corporate executives and President Trump. Attend town meetings, press briefings, committee hearings and other events. Ask tough questions. Demand evidence to back up alarmist assertions. Above all, bombard politicians, climate activists and media talking heads with the F-word they most detest and fear: Facts.

Via email

Mathematical modeling illusions

The global climate scare – and policies resulting from it – are based on models that do not work

Dr. Jay Lehr and Tom Harris

For the past three decades, human-caused global warming alarmists have tried to frighten the public with stories of doom and gloom. They tell us the end of the world as we know it is nigh because of carbon dioxide emitted into the air by burning fossil fuels.

They are exercising precisely what journalist H. L. Mencken described early in the last century: “The whole point of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be lead to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

The dangerous human-caused climate change scare may well be the best hobgoblin ever conceived. It has half the world clamoring to be led to safety from a threat for which there is not a shred of meaningful physical evidence that climate fluctuations and weather events we are experiencing today are different from, or worse than, what our near and distant ancestors had to deal with – or are human-caused.

Many of the statements issued to support these fear-mongering claims are presented in the U.S. Fourth National Climate Assessment, a 1,656-page report released in late November. But none of their claims have any basis in real world observations. All that supports them are mathematical equations presented as accurate, reliable models of Earth’s climate.

It is important to properly understand these models, since they are the only basis for the climate scare.

Before we construct buildings or airplanes, we make physical, small-scale models and test them against stresses and performance that will be required of them when they are actually built. When dealing with systems that are largely (or entirely) beyond our control – such as climate – we try to describe them with mathematical equations. By altering the values of the variables in these equations, we can see how the outcomes are affected. This is called sensitivity testing, the very best use of mathematical models.

However, today’s climate models account for only a handful of the hundreds of variables that are known to affect Earth’s climate, and many of the values inserted for the variables they do use are little more than guesses. Dr. Willie Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysics Laboratory lists the six most important variables in any climate model:

1) Sun-Earth orbital dynamics and their relative positions and motions with respect to other planets in the solar system;

2) Charged particles output from the Sun (solar wind) and modulation of the incoming cosmic rays from the galaxy at large;

3) How clouds influence climate, both blocking some incoming rays/heat and trapping some of the warmth;

4) Distribution of sunlight intercepted in the atmosphere and near the Earth’s surface;

5) The way in which the oceans and land masses store, affect and distribute incoming solar energy;

6) How the biosphere reacts to all these various climate drivers.

Soon concludes that, even if the equations to describe these interactive systems were known and properly included in computer models (they are not), it would still not be possible to compute future climate states in any meaningful way. This is because it would take longer for even the world's most advanced super-computers to calculate future climate than it would take for the climate to unfold in the real world.

So we could compute the climate (or Earth’s multiple sub-climates) for 40 years from now, but it would take more than 40 years for the models to make that computation.

Although governments have funded more than one hundred efforts to model the climate for the better part of three decades, with the exception of one Russian model which was fully “tuned” to and accidentally matched observational data, not one accurately “predicted” (hindcasted) the known past. Their average prediction is now a full 1 degree F above what satellites and weather balloons actually measured.

In his February 2, 2016 testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space & Technology, University of Alabama-Huntsville climatologist Dr. John Christy compared the results of atmospheric temperatures as depicted by the average of 102 climate models with observations from satellites and balloon measurements. He concluded: “These models failed at the simple test of telling us ‘what’ has already happened, and thus would not be in a position to give us a confident answer to ‘what’ may happen in the future and ‘why.’ As such, they would be of highly questionable value in determining policy that should depend on a very confident understanding of how the climate system works.”

Similarly, when Christopher Monckton tested the IPCC approach in a paper published by the Bulletin of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2015, he convincingly demonstrated that official predictions of global warming had been overstated threefold. (Monckton holds several awards for his climate work.)

The paper has been downloaded 12 times more often than any other paper in the entire 60-year archive of that distinguished journal. Monckton’s team of eminent climate scientists is now putting the final touches on a paper proving definitively that – instead of the officially-predicted 3.3 degrees Celsius (5.5 F) warming for every doubling of CO2 levels – there will be only 1.1 degrees C of warming. At a vital point in their calculations, climatologists had neglected to take account of the fact that the Sun is shining!

All problems can be viewed as having five stages: observation, modeling, prediction, verification and validation. Apollo team meteorologist Tom Wysmuller explains: “Verification involves seeing if predictions actually happen, and validation checks to see if the prediction is something other than random correlation. Recent CO2 rise correlating with industrial age warming is an example on point that came to mind.”

As Science and Environmental Policy Project president Ken Haapala notes, “the global climate models relied upon by the IPCC [the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] and the USGCRP [United States Global Change Research Program] have not been verified and validated.”

An important reason to discount climate models is their lack of testing against historical data. If one enters the correct data for a 1920 Model A, automotive modeling software used to develop a 2020 Ferrari should predict the performance of a 1920 Model A with reasonable accuracy. And it will.

But no climate models relied on by the IPCC (or any other model, for that matter) has applied the initial conditions of 1900 and forecast the Dust Bowl of the 1930s – never mind an accurate prediction of the climate in 2000 or 2015. Given the complete lack of testable results, we must conclude that these models have more in common with the “Magic 8 Ball” game than with any scientifically based process.

While one of the most active areas for mathematical modeling is the stock market, no one has ever predicted it accurately. For many years, the Wall Street Journal chose five eminent economic analysts to select a stock they were sure would rise in the following month. The Journal then had a chimpanzee throw five darts at a wall covered with that day’s stock market results. A month later, they determined who preformed better at choosing winners: the analysts or the chimpanzee. The chimp usually won.

For these and other reasons, until recently, most people were never foolish enough to make decisions based on predictions derived from equations that supposedly describe how nature or the economy works.

Yet today’s computer modelers claim they can model the climate – which involves far more variables than the economy or stock market – and do so decades or even a century into the future. They then tell governments to make trillion-dollar policy decisions that will impact every aspect of our lives, based on the outputs of their models. Incredibly, the United Nations and governments around the world are complying with this demand. We are crazy to continue letting them get away with it.

Via email

Does Fighting Global Warming Help or Hurt the Poor?

Want to “bring nothing but misery to poor people, especially in the developing world”?

Simple: Just follow the advice of the international cabal of UN leaders and their organizations calling for drastic action to fight global warming.

The harangue is familiar everywhere by now: Global warming will harm everybody, but it’ll harm the poor most of all. Curbing it will help everybody, but it’ll help the poor most of all.

Is that true?

Not according to Dr. Mikko Paunio, an expert on public health and adjunct professor in general epidemiology at the University of Helsinki in Finland.

In a newly published report from the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Paunio challenges claims by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the World Health Organization, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that “co-benefits” of holding global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial times will be a boon to humanity.

The more likely result will be up to 200 million excess premature deaths by 2050, according to Paunio.


Because the path to 1.5C is a “highway to hell” — a highway paved with converting over one-fourth of agricultural land worldwide from food production to energy production while failing to provide the abundant, affordable, reliable energy indispensable to population-wide water purification, sewage sanitation, and electrification that are indispensable to lifting and keeping whole societies out of severe poverty and the high rates of disease and premature death that invariably accompany it.

Paunio notes that the claims that the poor will benefit from fighting global warming rest on claims of reduced air pollution as the world shifts from fossil fuels to wind, solar, and biofuels to generate electricity.

The problem, he explains, is that the world’s poor aren’t using fossil fuels for their energy today. They’re using wood, dried dung, and other rough biofuels, burned on open hearths or low-tech stoves often inside their huts, for heating and cooking. (Never mind providing light by which to study at night and gain knowledge that will enable them to work in an increasingly advanced economy.) Says Paunio,

Air pollution, and, in particular, indoor air pollution, is a genuine problem, particularly in poor countries, where wood and dung fires and crude coal-burning stoves are often the main ways of heating and cooking. But the suggestion that action on climate change will reduce the death toll is grossly misleading. The real solution has been understood for decades, and lies in a progressive movement away from solid fuels, firstly to cleaner fossil-fuel alternatives, such as liquified petroleum gas, and eventually to centralised power production and modern electricity grids.

(Paunio developed this theme in an earlier report.)

“Centralised power production has, time and again, cleaned ambient air and also reduced indoor air pollution,” Paunio continues. “More importantly, it has enabled a revolution in environmental health practices: electricity grids not only give us clean indoor air but also clean and abundant water supplies — the basis of public health in all advanced economies — and cold-chain food storage, a vital component of effective environmental health practice.”

The trouble with the prescription for curbing global warming is that it rests heavily on “widespread adoption of biofuels and bioenergy, with the carbon dioxide produced when these are burnt being removed from the atmosphere using … afforestation [and] carbon capture and storage,” coupled with “drastic reductions in energy demand, although bioenergy would still be required even in these.”

Yet, as Paunio quotes Drew Shindell, a leading researcher and advocate of the policies, most of the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions would “come from technologies that have not been demonstrated at commercial scales and may not materialize.” For instance, “Biofuel energy with carbon capture and sequestration” (BECCS) “faces biophysical, logistical and social constraints, and if it were to be deployed at the scales envisioned would require a substantial fraction of the world’s arable land and water resources, with potential severe consequences for biodiversity and food security.” (Yes, you read that right: These are the words of an advocate of the policies!)

The devil’s in the details. That “substantial fraction of the world’s arable land” comes to about 13 million square kilometers — about 27% of the world’s current agricultural land. With world population rising, that means “the biofuels route to a 1.5°C future would involve famine and environmental desecration.”

Paunio concludes, “To their shame, those at the top of the WHO have another agenda entirely: an agenda that involves reckless decarbonisation, in the process preventing the world’s poorest from getting access to the energy they so desperately need, and deceiving the rest of the world into thinking that there are ‘co-benefits’ from doing so.”

One question Paunio doesn’t address is “Why?”

Why do these global elites embrace a policy the predictable consequence of which is not fewer deaths among the world’s poorest?

The specter of Malthusian fears of “overpopulation,” which launched the racist/eugenics movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, lies at the root of demands to fight global warming by instituting policies that will slow, stop, or reverse the climb out of poverty for roughly 2 billion people.

Famed biologist Paul Ehrlich (who can’t tell the difference between people and bacteria and so argues that just as bacteria’s exponential multiplication until they consume all the nutrients in a Petri dish leads to their sudden death, so also human multiplication will do likewise) says the world’s optimal population is 1.5 to 2 billion — meaning we must get rid of about three-fourths of us.

The real driver behind demands to fight global warming is fear of overpopulation — particularly of people of the wrong ethnicities. Fighting global warming is just one more way of stopping it.



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


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

There are none so blind as those who will not see: Amid fracking, Warmists are still running out of oil

The whole basis of the article below is that we are about to run out of oil. The Muslim Warmist below seems quite unabashed that that century-old prophecy never comes true and he has apparently not heard of the great boom in oil availability unleashed by fracking.

And as for economic growth collapsing, has he not heard of America's great Trump-led economic boom?  The man is a moron. He is living in a little self-congratulatory world of his own. It is another article from the far-Left "Medium" site, which appears to specialize in reality-deprived prophecies of doom

Although most of their articles are just Leftist boilerplate, an  amusing thing about the site is that many of their articles display a great sense of self-satisfaction -- as if they are revealing profound truths not generally known.  See below:

I have not reproduced the first half of the article below but if you read it you will find an epic sense of self-satisfaction

Nafeez Ahmed

The energy turning point is unequivocal. In the years preceding the historic Brexit referendum, and the marked resurgence of nationalist, populist and far-right movements across Europe, the entire continent has faced a quietly brewing energy crisis.

Europe is now a ‘post-peak oil’ continent. Currently, every single major oil producer in Western Europe is in decline. According to data from BP’s 2018 Statistical Review of Energy, Western European oil production peaked between 1996 and 2002. Since then, production had declined while net imports have gradually increased.

In a two-part study published in 2016 and 2017 in the Springer journal, BioPhysical Economics and Resource Quality, Michael Dittmar, Senior Scientist at the ETH Zurich Institute for Particle Physics and CERN, developed a new empirical model of oil production and consumption.

The study provides perhaps one of the most empirically-robust models of oil production and consumption to date, but its forecast was sobering.

Noting that oil exports from Russia and former Soviet Union countries are set to decline, Dittmar found that Western Europe will find it difficult to replace these lost exports. As a result, “total consumption in Western Europe is predicted to be about 20 percent lower in 2020 than it was in 2015.”

The only region of the world where production will be stable for the next 15 to 20 years is the OPEC Middle East. Everywhere else, concludes Dittmar, production will decline by around 3 to 5 percent a year after 2020. And in some regions, this decline has already started.

Not everyone agrees that a steep decline in Russia’s oil production is imminent. Last year, the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies argued that Russian production could probably continue to grow out to at least 2020. How long it would last thereafter was unclear.

On the other hand, the Russian government’s own energy experts are worried. In September 2018, Russia’s energy minister Alexander Novak warned that Russia’s oil production might peak within three years due to mounting production costs and taxes. In the ensuing two decades, Russia could lose almost half its current capacity. This sobering assessment is still broadly consistent with the Oxford study.

The following month, Dr Kent Moor of the Energy Capital Research Group, who has advised 27 governments around the world including the US and Russia, argued that Russia is scraping the bottom of the barrel in its prize Western Siberia basin.

Moor cited internal Russian Ministry of Energy reports from 2016 warning of a “Western Siberia rapid decline curve amounting to a loss of some 8.5 percent in volume by 2022. Some of this is already underway.” Although Russia is actively pursuing alternative strategies, wrote Moor, these are all “inordinately expensive”, and might produce only temporary results.

It’s not that the oil is running out. The oil is there in abundance — more than enough to fry the planet several times over. The challenge is that we are relying less on cheap crude oil and more on expensive, dirtier and unconventional fossil fuels. Energetically, this stuff is more challenging to get out and less potent after extraction than crude.

The bottom line is that as Europe’s domestic oil supplies slowly dwindle, there is no meaningful strategy to wean ourselves off abject dependence on Russia; the post-carbon transition is consistently too little, too late; and the impact on Europe’s economies — if business-as-usual continues — will continue to unravel the politics of the union.

While very few are talking about Europe’s slow-burn energy crisis, the reality is that as Europe’s own fossil fuel resources are inexorably declining, and as producers continue to face oil price volatility amidst persistently higher costs of production, Europe’s economy will suffer.

In September, I reported exclusively on the findings of an expert report commissioned by the scientific group working on the forthcoming UN’s Sustainability Report.

The report underscored that cheap energy flows are the lifeblood of economic growth: and that as we shift into an era of declining resource quality, we are likely to continue seeing slow, weak if not declining economic growth.

This is happening at a global scale. EROI is already beginning to approach levels seen in the nineteenth century — demonstrating how constrained global economic growth might be due to declining net energy returns to society.


Home batteries could inadvertently increase carbon emissions, study finds

Large batteries installed in homes to store energy from the grid could actually increase carbon emissions under current policies, according to a new study.

It has been assumed that these storage systems, such as Tesla’s Powerwall, could be instrumental in lowering greenhouse gas-emitting energy sources.

However, a team of researchers at the University of California San Diego argue that deploying them today, without making fundamental policy and regulatory reforms, risks increasing emissions instead.

If residents use these systems to reduce their electricity bills, the batteries would draw energy from the grid when it is cheapest.

As the utilities don’t structure how much they charge with the goal of lowering emissions, the cheapest power more often comes from power sources that emit carbon, such as coal.

In addition, batteries do not operate at 100 per cent efficiency: as a result, households that use them draw more power from the electric grid than they actually need.

For the systems to actually reduce greenhouse gases, utilities need to change their tariff structures substantially to account for emissions from different power sources, the researchers said. They would need to make energy cheaper for consumers when the grid is generating low-carbon electricity.

“We sought to answer: what if consumers on their own or in response to policy pressure adopt these systems? Would greenhouse gas emissions from the electric power system go down and at what economic cost?” said Oytun Babacan, lead author.

This year, 2018, saw a substantial increase in installations of the systems compared to previous years, with sales tripling between January and September.

When they are set up to operate with the goal of cutting emissions, home batteries can reduce average household emissions by 2.2 to 6.4 per cent. The monetary incentive that customers would have to receive from utilities to start using their home systems with the goal of reducing emissions is equivalent to anywhere from $180 to $5,160 per metric ton of CO2.

“This is impractically high and very high compared to other emissions-reducing options that are available,” said Ryan Hanna, a postdoctoral researcher.

Most households adopting energy storage are likely to choose equipment vendors and operation modes that allow them to minimise electricity costs, leading to increased emissions, Babacan added.

“Thus, policymakers should be careful about assuming that decentralisation will clean the electric power system, especially if it proceeds without carbon-mindful tariff reforms that aim to reduce residential energy bills and energy consumption associated CO2 emissions,” he said.

Consumers could be encouraged to use the devices in an environmentally beneficial way by ensuring that system developers and equipment vendors favour clean energy use by tracking and adjusting to variations in marginal emissions across the bulk grid, the authors noted.

Although the systems do not encourage cost-effective emissions control at the moment, the research is quick to note that the advantages of batteries should not be overlooked.

“There is an enormous upside to these systems in terms of flexibility and saving households money,” the authors said. “While the increase in home batteries deployment is underway, we need to work on multiple fronts to ensure that their adoption is carbon minded.”


Trump cites massive winter storm to mock global warming

President Trump in an early morning tweet on Sunday suggested global warming could be helpful as a massive snowstorm dropped several inches of snow and sent temperatures plunging across the Midwest and swaths of the Northeast United States.

"Be careful and try staying in your house," Trump advised. "Large parts of the Country are suffering from tremendous amounts of snow and near record setting cold. Amazing how big this system is. Wouldn’t be bad to have a little of that good old fashioned Global Warming right now!"

The president, who has repeatedly cast doubt on the existence and effects of climate change, has regularly cited significant winter storms to mock the concept of global warming. He sent similar tweets in 2017 and 2011.

The current winter storm prompted the governor of Kansas to declare a state of emergency, canceled thousands of flights and dumped more than a foot of snow across most of upstate New York. Falling temperatures were expected to create icy surfaces, further increasing the risk of travel.

Trump and others who deny climate change have cited cold temperatures and winter storms to dismiss global warming, but experts have noted there is a difference between the climate and weather. [Climate is just the sum of weather.  They are NOT different.  The same instruments measure both]

A government report issued late last year concluded that climate change could cost the United States billions of dollars annually within decades if greenhouse gases aren’t dramatically reduced and could worsen environmental disasters like wildfires and flooding. Its findings aligned with those of the broader scientific community.

Trump dismissed the report, saying he did not believe its findings and disputing that climate change is man-made.


PURPA has long outlived its usefulness,/b>

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Congress to reform implementation of Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) of 1978 to remove mandates for electric utilities to subsidize small renewable generators:

"When PURPA passed in 1978 requiring electric utilities to purchase energy from small renewable generators, wind, solar and other renewables constituted 0.14 percent of the grid, but now it is almost 10 percent. Moreover, many states already require competition at the local level so that consumers can choose where they get electricity from. It therefore makes sense for FERC to lift the mandates and let renewable electricity sources compete with more standard electricity generation, instead of compelling coal and natural gas generators to pay for the renewable electricity.

"In addition, Congress should also consider addressing the mandates altogether via legislation by Sen. John Barrasso that would remove. Even Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should agree that government-mandated subsidies that benefit billionaires like Warren Buffett while working Americans pay more need to be ended."


Australia: The great battery conjob exposed

Craig Kelly

To keep the subsidies flowing and the public hoodwinked, green-rent-seekers have peddled the delusion that the intermittency of solar/wind can be solved with ‘’big batteries’’.

This conjob was first sold in South Australia, as with their experiment of a 50% Renewable Energy Target descending into a costly farce, and to cover-up the fact they needed spend several hundred million on emergency diesel generators to keep the lights on just before the state election, with Hollywood fanfare SA announced they were installing ‘’the world’s largest battery’’ to save the day.

And unsurprisingly, the green useless idiots of the left have swallowed this hook, line and sinker - as rent seekers continued to go laughing to the bank to cash their millions from subsidies.

Well the performance of the ‘’world’s largest battery’’ last Thursday exposed what a complete con job it’s been - and delusion that we can power our economy on solar panels, wind turbines and big batteries is as dangerous to the economy as rabies is in a dog.

Let’s look at the evidence from 24th Jan ...

As wind power collapsed into the afternoon, prices in South Australia surged to $14,500 Mwh (they averaged around $40 Mwh before all these ‘cheap’ renewables flooded into the grid) at around 4.30pm ‘’the world’s biggest battery’’ started to dribble in 30MW to the grid.

The 30MW was less than 1% of South Australia’s total demand, and less than 0.1% of the National grid’s demand.

The world’s biggest battery continued to dribble out around 30MW until 7.30pm, then it ran flat, rendering it completely useless as peak demand hit at 7.30pm.

Meanwhile the emergency diesel generators (chewing through a reported 80,000 litres of diesel an hour) were doing the real work in SA, pumping out over 400MW at a time on demand - and they continued to so as demand peaked at 7.30pm, when the world’s largest battery had given up the ghost.

So at peak demand, in the renewables paradise of South Australia, 97% of their electricity was coming from fossil fuels.

Over the afternoon, I estimate the ‘’world’s biggest battery’’ delivered only around 100 Mwh of electricity - compared to 2000Mwh by the diesel generators.

The facts should be clear from the evidence that it’s a dangerous delusion that Australia can run the economy with solar/wind backed up by big batteries.

But sadly once leftists have been radicalised by green propaganda - evidence, engineering & economics no longer matter, because their belief is a semi-religious one based on feelings and emotions and their minds are closed to rational thoughts and logic.



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


Monday, January 28, 2019

POLL: Most Americans Won’t Spend $10 A Month To Fight Climate Change

Most Americans are willing to chip in a buck each month to help fight climate change, but they draw the line at $10.

A poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 57 percent of Americans would vote for a $1 fee added to their monthly electricity bill to “combat climate change,” but only 28 percent would agree to pay an additional $10 per month.

“To combat climate change, 57 percent of Americans are willing to pay a $1 monthly fee; 23 percent are willing to pay a monthly fee of $40,” said the analysis released Tuesday. “Party identification and acceptance of climate change are the main determining factors of whether or not people are willing to pay, with Democrats being consistently more inclined to pay a fee.”

The question began with $1, then $10, and rose after that in $10 increments, but a majority of those polled opposed every amount more than $1. By the time the figure reached $100 per month, just 16 percent said yes and 82 percent said no.

Climate change also ranked at the bottom of a list of policy priorities, behind the economy, health care, terrorism, immigration, and energy policy. (SEE ALSO: NBC’s Al Roker Thrilled By Online Poll Showing Climate Concern)

The lack of interest came even though 71 percent agreed that “climate change is happening.” Of those, 45 percent said it was caused “mostly by human activities.”

The survey was conducted Nov. 14-18 with 1,202 U.S. adults 18 and older from all 50 states, with a plus or minus 3.9 percent margin of sampling error.


‘Polar Vortex’ NOT Proof Of Global Warming

The New York Times is pushing the theory that cold snaps are becoming more frequent because of global warming. However, many scientists disagree that global warming is making U.S. winters colder.

“Such claims make no sense and are inconsistent with observations and the best science,” said one scientist.

Large swaths of the U.S. are experiencing the first “polar vortex” event of 2019, and The New York Times is out with an article suggesting cold snaps are becoming more frequent because of global warming.

The Times rolled out an article Saturday claiming “[i]f it seems as if these polar freezes are happening more often, you’re right.” Temperatures dipped across the snow-covered Midwest and Northeast where millions of Americans can expect below-zero wind chill.

The Times’ “polar vortex” article, published Saturday, rests heavily on two scientists who “suspect that the more frequent polar vortex breakdowns can be tied to climate change.”

“I’ve been making that argument that winter is shortening, but you’re getting these more intensive periods in that shorter winter,” Judah Cohen, a climate scientist with the firm Atmospheric and Environmental Research, told the Times.

“When we lose a lot of ice in that particular area in the summer, it absorbs a lot of extra heat from the sun,” echoed Jennifer Francis, a climate scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center

According to Cohen and Francis, arctic ice melt is linked to the alleged more frequent breakdown of the polar vortex, the stratospheric bands of wind circling the pole, during the winter, sending frigid air and driving winter storms.

“As the Arctic gets warmer and warmer, the severe weather picks up,” Dr. Cohen said.

Media outlets usually turn to Cohen and Francis during the winter months when brutal cold and snowfall can make it hard to convince people the earth is warming. Both scientists regularly argue human greenhouse gas emissions are driving more frequent, bone-chilling arctic blasts.

This is not a widely accepted theory. In fact, there’s lots of evidence to suggest it’s not correct, including a 2018 study that found “[c]old waves like this have decreased in intensity and frequency over the last century.”

“Such claims make no sense and are inconsistent with observations and the best science,” University of Washington climatologist Cliff Mass told The Daily Caller News Foundation in 2018 when news outlets reported record cold temperatures were a product of warming.

“The frequency of cold waves have decreased during the past fifty years, not increased. That alone shows that such claims are baseless,” Mass said.

The U.S. government’s 2017 National Climate Assessment special report said “it is not possible to draw conclusions regarding the direction of the relationship between arctic warming and midlatitude circulation based on empirical correlation and covariance analyses alone.”

The 2017 report added “confidence is low regarding whether or by what mechanisms observed arctic warming may have influenced midlatitude circulation and weather patterns over the continental United States.”

Other climate scientists have also challenged Francis’s and Cohen’s claim that cold snaps are becoming more frequent. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientist Amy Butler noted breakdowns in the polar vortex, which happen every winter, “does not seem to be increasing in frequency nor is there consensus it will by 2100.”

Cohen fired back over Twitter, saying he stood by the results of his work. Butler didn’t dispute the findings of his 2017 study, but did show there seems to be no evidence of a long-term weakening of the polar vortex.


NewsGuard Smears Those Pesky Fact-Checking Climate-Change Articles

James Delingpole

Thank you, thank you, thank you, NewsGuard, for treating all your new subscribers — both of them! — to one of the cleverest, truest things I ever wrote about climate change.

NewsGuard quotes me as saying (in the course of its danger warning to readers thinking of flirting with Breitbart News):

“When amateurs on a blog know more about science than the guys on multi-million dollar grants at U.S. academic institutions informing global energy and environment policy, you know that the time has come to drain the swamp,” Delingpole wrote.

And it presents it as though this were a bad thing to have written.

But I stand by every word. It’s the kind of thing that makes me go: “God, I wish I’d written that — No, wait. I did!”

Why? Because apart from being demonstrably true, it captures so perfectly the reason why I became something of a climate change specialist in the first place.

It wasn’t — let me assure you — because I found myself suddenly captivated by the how-many-angels-can-dance-on-the-head-of-a-pin debate in certain scientific ghettos as to the extent to which tiny increases in the otherwise harmless trace gas we exhale every few seconds and that we use in greenhouses to help plants grow faster are warming the planet at a catastrophic and unprecedented rate.

No, much simpler than that, it appealed to my most basic journalistic instincts: here was a story which most of the mainstream media was covering extremely, embarrassingly badly; where the facts were almost diametrically opposite to the breast-beating, hysterical, junk science narrative presented at outlets like the BBC, CNN, and the New York Times; where there was so much low-hanging fruit, so many examples every day of greed, corruption, stupidity, mendacity, and incompetence on the most epic scale — all of it costing us taxpayers a fortune, making the world a more miserable place to live in and — the biggest joke of all — actually harming the planet in the process.

How could any journalist resist an opportunity like that?

So this is one of the things I now do for Breitbart News: I report the truth about climate change — and about the vast money-grubbing industry built around it.

And now, rather than demonstrate where I’ve got my facts wrong (which it can’t do), NewsGuard has instead resorted to the desperate rhetorical fallacy known as the Appeal to Authority.

It says:

Fact-checking organizations have found Delingpole repeatedly misstates climate science and its conclusions.

Yes. Dur. Of course, they have! “Fact-checking organizations” are very much part of the groupthink-driven liberal Establishment I criticize in my articles. (As are: virtually the entirety of academe; schools; publishers; Hollywood; the mainstream media; the United Nations; the corporations; the big law firms; the European Union … I could, of course, go on and on).

They’re part of the so-called “Consensus” on global warming. And what I do, every few days, much to their annoyance, is provide compelling evidence as to why they are wrong.

For some random reason, NewsGuard’s desperate intern top team of forensic experts has chosen to focus on a story I wrote in February of last year:

In a February 2018 story with the headline “Delingpole: NOAA Caught Adjusting Big Freeze Out Of Existence,” Delingpole repeated a claim he has made frequently – that climate scientists have “adjusted past temperatures to look colder than they were and recent temperatures to look warmer than they were” and said the adjustments are “well beyond the regions of error margins or innocent mistakes and deep into the realm of fiction and political propaganda.”, a fact-checking site that uses researchers to review the media’s treatment of climate change research, found the claim misleading, noting that “some scientifically necessary data adjustments in some places do have the effect of producing a stronger warming trend than would be seen without adjustments, but others do the opposite. Together, these adjustment actually reduce the overall global warming trend.”

Rather churlishly, they don’t include a link — so here it is.

It’s one of many stories I’ve written in a similar vein, largely because it’s just about the biggest ongoing scandal of all in the climate change industry: the way that tax-payer funded institutions like NASA and NOAA are cooking the books — adjusting the raw temperature data in both the past and present in order to suit their alarmist agenda.

That isn’t science — that’s politics. And it gives the lie to the notion endlessly promulgated by alarmists that the science is settled.

If the science really were settled — so true, so observably the case beyond all reasonable doubt — then there would be no need to exaggerate the evidence, would there?

As for their claim that those data adjustments are justifiable: don’t believe a word. In almost every case, these dodgy gatekeepers of the temperature datasets have cooled past temperatures and warmed more recent ones (notably the Big Freeze that racked the U.S. in the winter of 2017/18) in order to create a more dramatic looking warming curve.

And they’ve never plausibly justified these amendments. If the Urban Heat Island effect is causing weather stations to give false data — then it is present-day temperatures that should be adjusted downwards and past temperatures upwards, not the other way round.

But I see that I’ve wasted far, far too much of my time on NewsGuard’s silly criticisms. If you judge a man by the quality of his enemies, then pathetic attacks must make me just about the world’s biggest loser.

So thanks, again, NewsGuard. Only this time, I’m being sarcastic.


Will Climate Hysteria Unravel Canada?

Every so often the Pentagon comes up with a thumbsucker about how climate change is going to alter the geopolitical landscape.

The intriguing Norwegian TV show “Okkupert” (“Occupied”) might be a better guide to understanding how such instability could already be brewing on our own northern border.

Americans might be forgiven for not knowing that Norway, with a population of five million, is the world’s 11th largest oil exporter and the third largest exporter of natural gas.

They might also need a second or two to realize that this sounds a lot like the Canadian province of Alberta, with four million people and fossil energy reserves second only to Saudi Arabia’s and Venezuela’s.

In the show, which is available on Netflix, Norway’s Greens come to power and announce plans to end fossil energy production. Norway’s European Union neighbors, while keen to seem green, are not keen to do without Norway’s energy.

They quietly support a Russian campaign of intimidation that amounts to a creeping takeover, while Norway’s politicians, eager to avoid outright fighting, straddle and prevaricate.

Anyone who remembers the name Vidkun Quisling will appreciate why this theme might resonate with a Norwegian audience.

Now back to Alberta: In the provincial capital of Edmonton, house prices have been falling for three years. Car sales are drying up. One-third of Calgary’s office buildings are empty.

Though production is booming, Alberta’s oil was recently selling for barely $10 a barrel—an 80% discount to the world price. Why? Because opposition from neighboring provinces has blocked construction of needed pipelines.

In a drastic effort to prop up prices, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley in December imposed mandatory production cuts on her province’s largest oil producers.

She also announced plans, using taxpayer money, to buy 7,000 railcars to get oil to market, never mind that shipping by rail is expensive and risky.

In the middle is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, dithering between his green supporters and his desire to placate Alberta and keep its money flowing.

He impulsively committed to spend $4.5 billion to rescue a U.S.-backed pipeline whose expansion has been blocked by a Canadian court.

At the same time, he has mused that Alberta’s oil-sands production should be phased out in a “generation.” His party is pushing a bill to empower greens to block future pipelines.

It supports a U.N. treaty that would increase the veto power of native tribes. It backs a continuing ban on supertankers in Canadian ports.

Unlike the U.S., where secession was shown to be illegal in the 1860s, a 2000 Canadian law spells out the steps for provinces to declare independence.

Ms. Notley has tried to play down secession talk, but the politics are complicated. Fellow Canadians may not be ready to give up their energy-rich lifestyles, or the foreign oil imports that make them possible.

But they disapprove of Alberta’s participation in an acrid industry and their voters are willing to pay a price for it.

To the east, Quebec’s premier says Alberta’s “dirty energy” has no “social acceptability.” To the west, British Columbia’s premier was elected on a platform of killing a new pipeline project favored by Alberta.

Meanwhile, protest rallies have become a near-daily occurrence in the oil-rich province. Two truck convoys to Ottawa are planned for February, including one explicitly modeled on the French “yellow vests” movement.

Ms. Notley herself faces an uphill re-election fight in May. She was already wrong-footed once into backing a carbon tax scheme that was supposed to ease the way for more pipelines.

Now her opponent is challenging Canada’s highly symbolic “equalization” scheme, which has shifted hundreds of billions from Alberta to Quebec over two decades.

Only a quarter of Albertans say they favor independence, but that may be beside the point. The province’s future promises to be one of barely contained civil war with its fellow Canadians.

If $13 billion a year in payola can’t appease Quebec, the cause is probably beyond salvaging. A Donald Trump re-election could invite talk of becoming the 51st U.S. state.

If Obama-like pipeline opponents are returned to power in Washington in 2020, the squeeze will be even worse.

Then what? A weak state with enormous fossil energy resources caught in the West’s culture wars over climate and energy? The cash cow of Canada up for grabs?

We could spin lots of scenarios.


Australia: Federal Environment Minister approves Coal Mine despite Greenie opposition

The Greenies have made clear that they oppose ALL coal mines so their opposition here tells us nothing about the particular mine concerned

The Wallarah 2 Coal Mine has received Federal Government approval, despite the NSW Land and Environment Court still to rule on it.

Environment Minister, Melissa Price’s, decision on Friday, January 18, to give the go ahead to the Wallarah 2 Coal Mine has been condemned by community groups and opposition politicians.

The Australian Coal Alliance (ACA) said it was short sighted and reckless. The Greens called the timing of the decision cynical. Resident activist, Gregory Olsen, who started a petition against the mine, called it outrageous.

But Wyong Coal, owned by Korean company Kores, said its Wallarah 2 project would add significant direct and indirect employment and long term economic benefit, including more than 800 ongoing jobs, and more than $600M every year in regional economic contribution.

The company is working on final feasibility and detailed design activities in line with both the federal Government approval, and the NSW Planning Assessment Commission approval from 12 months ago.

Wyong Coal said it had been to the Land and Environment Court appeal in November, 2018, and remained confident of the determination process and approval. “This action reviewed the various administrative steps, processes and responsibilities culminating in the planning approval granted by the PAC in January, 2018,” the company said in a newsletter. The legal judgment is expected early this year.

Australian Coal Alliance (ACA) said it had been estimated that the proposed mine would result in the loss of between 900 to 1300 ML of drinking water a year from the Central Coast’s drinking water catchment during its 28 year lifespan, though there was some uncertainty about the quantum of that loss.

ACA Campaign Manager, Alan Hayes, said the mining company, in their own Environmental Impact Statement, stated that between 2.5 to 3.25ML of water would be lost each day.

“Proponent Kores, which plans to export the coal for power generation, proposes to construct a pipeline to deliver compensatory water to Central Coast Council, although there was no actual documentation in their EIS to show how this could be achieved,’’ Hayes said.

Federal Member for Dobell, Emma McBride, labelled the decision reckless. “Minister Price has ignored the Central Coast community’s pleas to use her powers to stop this mine,’’ McBride said.

Central Coast Greens repeated their multiple calls to stop the mine, saying that, Minister Melissa Price, should have used the risk to Coast water supplies as a reason to halt the mine.

Greens’ NSW Upper House candidate, and Coast resident, Abigail Boyd, said that Jilliby Creek or Wyong River could not be repaired if damaged. “Coal from this mine will add to emissions, which are contributing to a climate emergency. “It makes no sense, in 2019, to approve a new coal mine anywhere in Australia, and certainly not on the Central Coast,” she said.


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


Sunday, January 27, 2019

‘Green energy blues’ in a town that sought to do something about climate change

FALMOUTH, Mass. — For nearly a decade, the giant blades have loomed over this seaside town, stirring hope and fear in the salty air.

To proponents, the twin wind turbines proved that residents could act on their ideals, producing their own clean energy and relying less on fossil fuels. To critics, they were mechanical monstrosities, blinking eyesores whirring at such a frequency that some neighbors said they became ill.

Nine years after the first was built beside Falmouth’s waste treatment plant, both turbines now stand idle, no longer producing a kilowatt of electricity, totems of good intentions gone awry.

Facing fierce neighborhood opposition and multiple lawsuits, selectmen last week voted to remove the turbines, which had cost the town about $10 million to build, saddling residents with years of debt.

“All that’s left now is that we have an albatross to live with,” said Sam Peterson, the one dissenting vote on the five-person board.

Wind power offers communities a way to reduce their emissions, but the protracted resistance to the turbines offers lessons as communities throughout the region consider similarly controversial renewable energy projects.

It also reflects the challenges, often tacit, in the state’s promises to make substantial reductions in its emissions. Those plans rely on importing hydropower from Canada and major offshore wind farms, and both approaches are being contested by powerful, well-organized interest groups and could be subject to legal challenges.

For Dave Moriarty, who spent much of the past decade fighting the Falmouth turbines, news that the town was finally giving up its efforts to keep them running was a welcome relief. He considers the turbines “overbearing, antiquated dinosaurs” and said they left the town with the “green energy blues.”

The 56-year-old contractor, who lived close to the turbines after they were built, moved across town because they wrought too much stress, he said. He blames town officials for ignoring his and other neighbors’ concerns.

“The town was warned,” he said. “The damage can never be reversed for many of us wind turbine victims. Some of my friends have serious health issues now.”

Neighbors complained that the churning of the turbines and the resulting flickering light and vibrations produced dizziness, nausea, depression, or anxiety — a set of symptoms that critics call “wind turbine syndrome.”

In 2012, with both 1.65-megawatt turbines operating and the opposition becoming increasingly vocal, state environmental officials took the unprecedented action of recommending that one be shut down. They found that turbine, which was fewer than 1,500 feet from the nearest home, had repeatedly exceeded allowable noise levels.

But a panel of independent scientists and doctors convened by the state Department of Environmental Protection found little to no evidence the turbines posed a health risk to neighbors.

The town eventually stopped them from operating at night, and in 2015, a state appeals court judge ruled that the town lacked sufficient permits for one of the turbines and prohibited it from operating. Two years later, a Superior Court judge ruled that both turbines posed a nuisance to neighbors and ordered that they never operate again at their current location.

“The lessons others should learn from our experience is that residents should do their homework in advance of construction,” Moriarty said. “They should ask questions and know what they’re really getting into.”

In addition to the $10 million that the town’s 30,000 residents spent on building the turbines, they now have to pay as much as $2 million more to remove them.

“It’s a shame,” said Susan Moran, chair of the town’s board of selectmen, who initially supported the turbines but voted to take them down. “This is absolutely a financial blow to the town.”

Moran and other town officials acknowledge those losses will take a toll. They’re already considering cutting back on some services, such as curbside trash collection.

While the town received $5 million in state loans for the project — $1.5 million of which has been forgiven — residents are likely to have repay the rest. If the turbines had operated as planned, functioning 24 hours a day, they were projected to earn the town between an estimated $1 million and $2 million a year.

In an effort to recoup some of those costs, selectmen have instructed town officials to consider a variety of options for what to do with the turbines.

Those include possibly converting them into cellphone towers or selling them to another community that might operate them. If they were able to negotiate such a deal with another town, Falmouth might have the rest of their state loans forgiven, as the turbines would be generating renewable energy.

“We’re looking at our options, but either way, there’s certainly going to be a financial impact to Falmouth,” said Julian Suso, to town manager.


Would Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal Leave $59 Billion in the Ground?

An Extra $59 Billion Could Solve a Lot of Problems

“BP just discovered a billion barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico.”  It was just another CNBC headline on January 8, and yet it highlighted a bigger trend: the surge in U.S. energy production.

And in a way, it also highlighted a big counter-trend: the green left’s desire to take it all away, in the name of fighting climate change.

So let’s take a moment to drill down, pun intended, on that new discovery.  At current prices, that new oil, in the waters south of New Orleans, is worth about $59 billion.  For purposes of comparison, the GDP of the entire state of Louisiana in 2017 was $246 billion.  Which is to say, $59 billion is an appreciable bump.

In fact, as CNBC noted, the new discovery will inspire $1.3 billion in investment to actually get the oil out.  And that’s good news for all the workers who will get jobs and overtime out of this additional economic activity; according to Zip Recruiter, energy jobs in the Gulf pay an average of $80,201 a year.  And so there’s good news, too, for families, neighbors, storekeepers, and stakeholders.

And oh yes, it’s good news, as well, for the United States, since energy security is a big part of national security.  As any Baby Boomer remembers, all through the 60s, 70s, and 80s, we were told by the experts that the U.S. faced an “energy crisis.”  Thus we needed to take dramatic steps to deal with this supposed shortfall—everything from cutting back on consumption to invading other countries to seize their oil.

Yet in the past two decades, all this “expertise” has gone to the trash heap, because, thanks to strong science and stronger entrepreneurship, we’ve enjoyed an energy miracle.  This is in large part due to the new process of fracking; in 2018, the U.S., for the first time since World War Two, became a net energy exporter.

Moreover, there’s more happening with energy production than just fracking.  To put it simply, there’s a lot more energy in the earth than the experts thought possible.

Part of this energy abundance is the simple working of the law of supply and demand.  As every free-marketeer knows, if there’s a market for something, some entrepreneur will find a way produce more of it.  And if that requires exploration everywhere, well, that’s exactly what’s happened; around the world, proven oil reserves have nearly tripled since 1981.

Indeed, some heterodox observers, such as the late Thomas Gold, argue that the earth is, in fact, making more energy, even now.  That is, oil, gas, and coal aren’t “fossil fuels” at all, in the sense that such fuels are supposed to be the decayed remains of dinosaurs and other prehistoric organisms.  Instead, Gold argued, the internal heat of the earth is, as it were, constantly cooking up more oil.  By this reckoning, so long as the core of the earth is hot, we’ll never run out of carbon-based fuel.

This theory of the non-biological origins—abiogenesis–of oil goes back to the 19th century.  And yet even today, among geologists, it’s still a decidedly minority viewpoint.  Still, every time we discover additional carbon-based fuel reserves, that’s an indicator that we might be dealing with a lot more than just the remains of the Jurassic Period.  (As an aside, we might observe that the debate over the origins of oil puts useful perspective on the question of whether or not there is truly such a thing as “settled science.”)

Whatever the source, the reality is that we’re all standing atop virtually incomprehensible quantities of untapped energy abundance.  In 2014, Breitbart News noted that the value of oil and gas under federal lands and waters amounted to $128 trillion.  That $128 trillion, we might add, is six times the GDP of the U.S.  Once again, that’s just federal lands and waters—a fraction of this country’s total territory.

These energy realities could be the makings of a happy story of energy abundance, leading to both economic and national security for every American.  After all, with that much money, we could provide good education, protect retirees, build infrastructure, improve our defenses, cut taxes—and still have trillions left over.

However, as we know, there are some who don’t want any of this to happen.  In the name of fighting climate change, some green environmentalists seek to, in the words of top-dog enviro Bill McKibben, “leave it in the ground.”  Or, in the case of that new $59 billion worth of oil in the Gulf of Mexico, “leave it under the water.”

The argument over climate change has been raging for decades, and yet only in the past few years has it really gained momentum.  The 2016 Democratic platform was ambitious; it called for getting 50 percent of our electricity from “clean” sources within a decade, and for reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

Since then, the greens and the Democrats have upped the ante: In 2017, some Congressional Democrats introduced legislation eliminating carbon fuel emissions by 2035.  More recently, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has rallied Democrats to the target of ending carbon emissions by 2030.

For perspective, we might interject that today, carbon fuels—oil, gas, and coal—account for 77.6 percent of U.S. energy consumption.  And that’s all supposed to go to zero in 11 years?   Hmmm.

We can add that today, renewable fuels account for less than 13 percent of our energy consumption.  And most of our renewable energy, by the way, is hydropower, and the greens are increasingly hostile to dams as well.  And so if we look at the two forms of energy that the greens truly approve of, namely, solar and wind, well, those two sources account for only about three percent of U.S. energy.

So can we really expect to ramp up solar and wind, from three percent of our energy production, to 100 percent of what we need, and will need, as the population grows?  In a little more than a decade?  We all know the answer to that.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on the steps of the Capitol, Friday, January 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

In the short run, the green goal is moot because Republicans control the White House and the Senate; there are, to be sure, differing opinions on climate in Republican ranks, but there’s no appetite for anything like what the greens have in mind.

Of course, all that could change after 2020, if the Democrats do well in the next election.  If so, then the Democrats’ green agenda, which is coming to be known as the Green New Deal, has a chance of becoming law.  (This author has already written about the prospect of a Green New Deal, here, and here.)

So now we can see the makings of the next epic political fight: that is, the zeal of the greens vs. the determination of carbon-energy producers.  In the U.S. today, about a dozen states are heavily dependent on carbon-energy production for their wellbeing; these states account for most of the 1.1 million employees in the energy sector. 

Are these states, and their elected officials, ever going to submit meekly to some green dictate that says leave it in the ground?  That doesn’t seem likely.  And will lawmakers from, say, Louisiana—seeking to defend the new $59 billion worth of newly discovered oil, on top of the previously discovered $2.61 trillion, still waiting to be tapped—find a way to make constructive political alliances with those from states that don’t produce energy, but merely consume it?  That does seem likely.

Indeed, it’s quickly apparent: No matter what happens in the 2020 elections, the U.S. is not going to shut itself down for the sake of climate change.  And neither, of course, is any other country in the world.

So it’s entirely likely that we’ll be in a political standoff: if not after the 2020 elections, then sometime soon enough.  On the one side will the greens, and on the other side will be the “carbons.”  Who will win in the end?  There’s no way to know, of course, but the greens’ losing fight with France’s yellow jackets should give them pause.


1500 Private Jets Descend On Davos For Climate Change Talks

At least 1,500 private jets are expected to descend on Davos and nearby airports in Switzerland this week as the international financial and political elite gathers to talk about global climate challenges.

Breitbart reports:

That would be up from the more than 1,300 aircraft movements seen at last year’s forum, despite climate change registering as the top risk factor identified for the global economy in a survey of World Economic Forum (WEF) movers and shakers last week.

Sir David Attenborough, a lead speaker this year, has already stated that climate is the issue of our time.

The veteran broadcaster, 92, used his acceptance speech to tell business leaders and governments to come up with “practical solutions”.

Speaking at the beginning of the forum on Monday, the Blue Planet and Dynasties narrator told the crowd he is “quite literally from another age” and warned of “man-made disaster of global scale” that lies ahead.

Industry group Air Charter Service calculated the private jet flights over the week, as delegates fly in to hear the likes of Mr. Attenborough speak at an event boasting a basic entry ticket price of U.S.$60,000 – per person.

Davos is a small town in the Swiss Alps, around 92 miles south-east of Zurich.

Andy Christie, Private Jets Director at ACS, told the Guardian how the numbers are determined:

Davos doesn’t have its own airfield and, whilst we have several clients who fly into the town by helicopter, the four main airfields that private jet users attending the forum use are Zürich, Dübendorf, St. Gallen-Altenrhein and St. Moritz.

Working with WingX, we looked at private jet activity at those airports over the six days of each WEF week since 2013 – from one day before the event to one day after. Last year was the busiest year for private jets so far, showing an 11% increase on 2017, with more than 1,300 aircraft movements. If we see a similar increase this year, we could be looking at almost 1,500 aircraft movements over the six days.

Countries with the most arrivals and departures over the past five years at Davos are Germany, France, the UK, U.S., Russia, and UAE, respectively.

Demand for private jets far outstrips other events that also loom large on the private aviation calendar, such as the Super Bowl or Champions’ League final, according to Mr. Christie.

“We have had bookings from as far as our operations in Hong Kong, India and the US ?- no other event has the same global appeal,” he said in a statement

And the trend is towards even more expensive, larger private jets such as the Gulfstream GV and Bombardier’s Global Express.

“This is at least in part due to some of the long distances travelled, but also possibly due to business rivals not wanting to be seen to be outdone by one another,” Mr. Christie said.

Around 3,000 participants are expected for the 2019 edition of the WEF. They represent the worlds of business, government, international aid, academia, arts and culture, and the media, although U.S. President Donald Trump will not be among them.

Among the list of topics to be covered this week is the WEF’s Global Risk Report for 2019 which reveals environmental crises, such as failures to tackle climate change, “are among the likeliest and highest-impact risk that the world faces over the next decade.”

How much does it cost to participate?

The WEF website reveals annual membership (required if you want to buy a ticket to Davos) is upwards of U.S.$60,000, depending on the institution or company’s “level of engagement”.

At the top are the 100 “strategic partner” companies – including Accenture, Barclays, Deloitte, KPMG and Unilever – who pay around U.S.$600,000 for annual membership, which entitles them to buy an access-all-sessions pass for themselves and five colleagues, including special privileges. But they still have to purchase actual tickets to the event.


Global Warming is Nothing New

By Roger Dewhurst. Roger is a retired geologist who spent much of his life studying climate history written in sedimentary rocks

There was the First Atlantic Warm Period about 7750 BC
Second Atlantic Warm Period about 7000 BC
First Saharan Warm period about 5800 BC
Second Saharan Warm Period about 5000 BC
Egyptian Warm period about 3200 BC
Sumerian Warm Period about 2200 BC
Minoan Warm Period about 1200 BC
Roman Warm Period about 0 BC
Mediaeval Warm Period about 1000 AD
Modern Warm Period about 2000 AD

All the warm periods prior to the current one have been warmer (in most cases substantially warmer) than the modern warming that we are having hysterics about.

There have been five significant Little Ice Ages scattered between these warm periods.

If you can explain how man-made carbon dioxide was the temperature driver for these events please go ahead and tell me.

Until you do there are, for me, better explanations, principally the magnetic field of the sun.


Australia: Animals dying in the hot weather

Note that the horses died from lack of water, not the heat.  The only animals that died from the heat were bats, which fell out of trees dead.  That is not however unprecedented,  Sadly, it is a natural phenomenon.  British military officer and amateur scientist Watkin Tench reported bats dying like that in coastal Sydney in 1790 (Yes.  1790, not 1970).  There were no power stations or SUVs then

The devastating toll of an extreme heatwave creeping across Australia has been laid bare in grisly pictures of a heartbreaking discovery in the Red Centre.

The photographs show the bodies of dozens of brumbies that were found by a dry waterhole at Deep Hole, about 20km northeast of Santa Teresa in the Northern Territory last week.

Arrernte artist and activity engagement officer Ralph Turner stumbled across the horrific scenes and his pictures show masses of dried up and partially decomposing carcasses strewn across the bone dry waterhole.

“Not only was Deep Hole completely dry with barely any signs of recent mud but revealed a horrific mass grave of wild horses stretching for around 100 metres,” Santa Teresa media mentor Rohan Smyth wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.

“The horses are believed to have entered Deep Hole to drink from the reservoir which has not been known to completely dry up.”

It is understood that about 40 dead horses were discovered and rangers have had to put dozens more out of their misery.

The Bureau of Meteorology tipped Alice Springs to reach 43C today.

Elsewhere, Adelaide’s mercury has reached a record high of 46.2C, toppling a heat record from 1939.

The Bureau of Meteorology reports that West Terrace recorded the highest temperature in 80 years at 1.42pm.


Horses aren’t the only animals to perish in the intense heat.

Researchers from Western Sydney University said 23,000 spectacled flying foxes died in the event on 26 and 27 November, BBC reported.

That’s almost one third of the species living in Australia.

Lead researcher Dr Justin Welbergen, an ecologist, believes the “biblical scale” of deaths could be even higher - as many as 30,000 - because some settlements had not been counted.

“This sort of event has not happened in Australia this far north since European settlement,” says Dr Welbergen, who is also the president of the Australasian Bat Society, a not-for-profit conservation group.

The Cairns Post reported flying foxes were dropping by the dozen from trees in November.

In January rescue workers tried desperately to save the lives of hundreds of baby bats as heat exhaustion claimed the lives of thousands of flying foxes in Sydney’s west.



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