Thursday, February 13, 2020

Lloyds register has joined forces with the enemies of civilisation

An open letter to Tristan Chapman from Micharel Darby -

You have invited me to attend, on Wednesday 4 March at the Chester Hotel Aberdeen, a breakfast panel session - 'Driving towards a sustainable energy mix'. You have not appointed me to the panel.

From 1760 onward Lloyd’s Register made a significant contribution to human progress. Lloyds Register  contributing emphatically to Britain’s leadership of the Industrial Revolution, which doubled lifespans, banned slavery, and made possible public health, modern medicine, universal education, safe and efficient transport, electronic communication, democratic institutions and the liberation of women from servitude.  Coal and subsequently oil and gas have been absolutely fundamental to those and many other gigantic beneficial reforms. But for coal, the forests of Britain would have disappeared by the early twentieth century.  But for oil, every species of whale would have been extinct by 1930.

Now, as a smug spokesman for an institution whose values have been subverted and reversed, you have the impertinence and ignorance to write:

How can the balance be struck between exploration, production, decarbonisation and renewable energy sources?  Integrating the UK offshore energy sector and leveraging existing oil and gas infrastructure and capabilities can help reduce carbon emissions from oil and gas production and actively support the delivery of the UK’s net zero target.

Decarbonisation means de-industrialisation.  You and your privileged colleagues callously ignore the consequences of de-industrialisation for the indigent and disadvantaged. You should be ashamed.

There is no scientific reason for reducing carbon dioxide emissions (wrongly described by you as carbon emissions), neither from oil and gas production nor from any other activity. Nor can there be any environmental benefit from contriving a reduction in atmospheric carbon dioxide. The gargantuan cost of such contrivance is already threatening the world with misery and poverty.

You should either resign your sinecure as SVP Clean Energy and Innovation, or insist that Lloyds Register campaign for the immediate abolition of all subsidies to unreliable energy.

You have named your intended mutual admiration society meeting: “Driving towards a sustainable energy mix.”  There is only one sustainable energy mix: one hundred percent reliable energy on the grid.

This communication will be posted on Facebook in the hope that you and the once honourable Lloyds Register will have a Road to Damascus experience, cease persecuting the poor and oppressed for the financial benefit of subsidy profiteers, and return to the worthy goal of promoting prosperity, freedom and happiness.

I am available for telephone discussion with any decision maker at Lloyd’s Register, and for interview by any British news organisation, even including the BBC which shares the ABC’s status as an official propaganda arm of the Global Warming Cult.

In a spirt of willingness to forgive, Yours sincerely, Michael Darby

The Misguided Green Virtue-Signaling of Solar Panel Mandates

In a 2014 essay, scholars Ed Glaeser and Cass Sunstein wrote of the need to run all regulations through periodic cost-benefit analyses.

“This kind of analysis is intrinsically neither anti- nor pro-regulation,” they wrote in National Affairs. “It is simply a tool that helps policymakers produce good regulations and prevent bad ones from being made law.”

The idea is that regulations should serve an actual purpose while avoiding costs that could become onerous or regressive.

Environmental regs could particularly use this cost-benefit model. They often appeal to people’s airy notions of “sustainability,” but don’t really solve environmental problems.

The latest example is California’s solar panel mandate, which took effect this year. It requires all new homes under four stories to come with a rooftop photovoltaic solar panel. The state’s energy commission estimates that this requirement will add $9,500 to construction costs, which is significant in a state with an extreme affordable-housing shortage. The National Association of Home Builders estimates that each marginal $1,000 price increase will cut 10,000 Californians out of the home buying market, meaning the mandate will block an estimated 95,000 residents from homeownership, while also burdening renters.

So what is the “benefit”? That’s unclear for several reasons.


The first problem is that providing solar energy through panels on home rooftops is less efficient than through large installations. Installing solar arrays and sending their energy to the power grid is capital-intensive, and better done in bulk than through a piecemeal, home-by-home process. In fact, rooftop solar power generates electricity at double or more the cost of off-site renewable energy farms.

In California, the mandate is also duplicative.

“The state already has enough solar that during midday, it can drive wholesale energy prices to zero or below. Solar often must be exported or curtailed,” writes David Taylor for Vox. “It’s possible that by mandating all this new rooftop solar — which must be paid retail rates under the state’s net metering policy, no matter the locational or time-specific value of its power — CEC will not increase the net amount of solar in the state much, or at all.”

Vox noted this paradox by posting the following Twitter exchange between Varun Sivaram, a board member of Stanford Energy, and Jesse Jenkins, a professor at Princeton University School of Engineering and Applied Science.


Solar panel mandates also produce benefits that are indirect and therefore very poorly targeted. It’s not that solar-generated energy isn’t good unto itself. But why should California homeowners be disproportionately charged with solving a problem of which they are neither the sole causes nor the main victims?

Here’s what I mean: many territories generate carbon emissions. The United States is responsible for 16 percent of emissions, while major emitters from the remaining 84 percent include China, India, and Russia. California’s lawmakers may want to set an example for global stewardship, but their laws have little effect if they can’t control emissions from the other 49 U.S. states. Nor could the country – if it ever adopted California-style policies nationwide – mandate that other countries adopt similar emission reductions.

Nor would everyone in or out of California share equally in any benefit from carbon restrictions. The biggest negative externality often envisioned by climate scientists – a rise in sea levels – is the flooding of coastal urban areas. Such flooding, which by some accounts has already begun, may get worse along the East Coast due to El Nino weather cycles.

The problem of disparate environmental impacts has a “tragedy of the commons” aspect. Even if some jurisdictions curb CO2 emissions, others continue as usual. And those emissions might disproportionately hurt East Coast cities. A solution rooted in sound economics and cost-benefit analysis would start upstream, addressing the top causes of the problem.

California’s solar panel mandate, by contrast, is a highly indirect approach. It will punish one random group (the state’s new homeowners), to create an energy solution that is of dubious value anyway, but that will theoretically reduce carbon emissions and supposedly reduce sea-level rise that is expected to hurt other parts of the world. To put it bluntly: California wants homeowners in Riverside to generate solar energy, under the odd premise that this will prevent flood damages in Miami.

Which is to say: California’s solar panel mandate doesn’t pass the cost-benefit smell test. It is merely empty symbolism.


Speeding up environmental reviews is good for the economy and the environment

In 2011, President Obama issued a presidential memorandum urging federal agencies to “take steps to expedite permitting and review,” including “setting clear schedules for completing steps in the environmental review and permitting process.” Such bureaucratic delays, Obama explained, interfered with the “engine of job creation and economic growth[.]”

In recognizing the significant costs that excess bureaucracy imposes, Obama was in good company. Presidents of both political parties long have sought to make the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) — a federal statute that requires agencies to produce reports on the environmental effects on their actions — work for the American people.

In 1981, for example, President Reagan’s Council on Environmental Quality, a White House agency charged with implementing the statute, issued guidance encouraging agencies to complete these reviews within 12 months. In 1997, President Clinton’s Council on Environmental Quality reported that agencies were producing overly long environmental reports, at great expense and delay, in an unsuccessful attempt to “litigation-proof” their decisions without any apparent improvement in quality (or reduction in litigation).

Despite these bipartisan efforts, NEPA’s problems keep worsening. Agencies do not systematically track the costs and expense of complying with NEPA (a common problem in environmental statutes). Still, the available data reveal a process that is somehow even more bloated and bureaucratic than when Clinton’s Council on Environmental Quality criticized it.

According to a report by the Federalist Society’s Regulatory Transparency Project, the average time required to complete a NEPA review has steadily risen from 2.9 years in 1998 to 3.8 in 2006, to 4.2 in 2010, and 5.1 in 2016. The reports produced through this process have grown increasingly unwieldy, from a median length of 650 pages in the 1990s to 1,600 in the 2010s. The government-wide cost to produce all this paperwork is likely between $1 billion and $5 billion per year.

And all this effort has not slowed disruptive litigation. Federal agencies have been sued under NEPA at least 4,000 times, in part because of federal laws incentivizing lawsuits through generous attorneys’ fee awards. And these lawsuits reflect a clear bias. Courts decline to review NEPA challenges to certain regulatory decisions, such as the designation of private property as “critical habitat” under the Endangered Species Act. Attorneys’ fees are disproportionately awarded to a small number of environmental litigation groups.

This would be concerning even if it affected only a small number of traditional public projects. But as federal agencies’ power over our everyday lives has grown and grown, so too have the consequences of bureaucratic processes such as NEPA for individual liberty and private property rights.

This month, President Trump’s Council on Environmental Quality proposed the most comprehensive reworking of NEPA regulations in four decades, intending to finally solve some of these problems. Among the changes outlined are a formal goal of completing environmental reviews within two years, establishing a presumptive page limit of 300 pages, and clarifying how agencies should decide what environmental effects to focus on.

Critics of the proposal charge that this undermines public participation and informed decision-making. The first objection can be answered easily. Most people reading this never have seen — much less attempted to read — a draft environmental impact statement, and the few who tried to review one likely got discouraged well before they reached page 1,000 of the document. A complicated, years-long process favors litigious special-interest groups at the expense of participation by ordinary people.

Informed, reasoned decision-making is a goal that few oppose. But in NEPA’s case, agencies extensively analyzing every minor or speculative impact can have a significant cost and one that likely exceeds any benefit. Nor is this simply an economic development versus the environment issue. The delays and expense associated with an overly bureaucratic process also pose real environmental costs. Most directly, they deplete funds that agencies otherwise might spend advancing their missions.

More significant, if less obvious, is that NEPA’s delays and expenses can undermine innovation. Erecting substantial obstacles to new facilities creates a competitive advantage for existing competitors, even if those existing facilities have more significant adverse environmental impacts.

Finally, doing nothing risks wholesale exemptions from environmental review for politically salient projects. Congress has authorized the president to waive a host of environmental regulations to build border infrastructure and has considered similar exemptions for other infrastructure projects. A more efficient NEPA process likely would reduce political pressure for such exemptions.

The reforms are at the proposal stage and open for public comment. That process is almost certain to reveal shortcomings of the proposal, which is the point of soliciting public comments, as well as opportunities to streamline the environmental review process further so that it can serve even better the needs of people and the environment. But don’t be misled by claims that there’s no problem to solve. There is, and it’s a problem that affects both the economy and the environment.


The Folly Of Global Climate Forecasting

It was particularly warm in Northeast Georgia this past week — no doubt thrilling the Earth-worshipping faithful. We’ve also been very wet. After the latest round of rain, temperatures returned to a more winterlike feel.

On this past Friday, there were a few murmurings of small amounts of snow on Saturday morning. Of course, any amount of snow in Georgia is news, but as late as Friday evening…most forecasts were making little of the potential snowy event.

According to the Friday forecasts, most of north Georgia was only going to get one-half inch to one inch of snow, and temperatures were going to warm into the mid-to-upper forties by Saturday afternoon.

Thus, any snow that fell was supposed to melt quickly. We were paying special attention to these forecasts because we were traveling several miles for a karate tournament on Saturday morning.

Even on Saturday morning, forecasters were still saying the snow was going to be minimal and not much of a concern. We left our northeast Georgia house headed southwest about 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning. The snow was just starting to fall.

The storm was moving southwest to northeast, so we were heading right into it. As we traveled, the snowfall was getting heavier. The precipitation on radar looked impressive. We were barely thirty minutes down the road, and we started getting nervous.

The snow was quickly piling up and the traffic was slowing down. It was as if we were headed to a global warming conference and Al Gore’s plane had just landed!

As we continued on our way we saw several cars on the sides of the road, unable to navigate the snow-covered asphalt. What’s more, as we communicated with friends already at the tournament, we were getting reports of road closures.

We arrived safely at the tournament, but the parking lot was perhaps the most dangerous asphalt that we encountered. We were beginning to wonder if we were going to end up sleeping on the floor of a high school gym.

After the tournament, we made it home safely, but it was a mess! Contrary to the forecasts that were only hours old, much of north Georgia saw five to six inches of snow, and the temperatures never rose past the mid-thirties. Roads all across the area were closed.

Again, I don’t mind an inaccurate forecast. I’m very used to them, especially in the winter in the southeastern United States. I’m sure it happens all over the U.S. and the world every day. Even with all of our advanced technology, weather forecasting is a very tricky business.

However, the missed forecast with this recent weather event highlights the kind of folly that is behind all of the doom and gloom predictions coming from Al Gore’s disciples.

Even people who know what they are talking about have a difficult time predicting accurately the local weather just days, and sometimes even hours, in advance — yet the climate-change “faithful” (“fools” is more appropriate) would have us drastically change our energy policy and enact crippling emission controls — which would do virtually nothing to change the climate — based on their dire predictions about the global climate that are decades and sometimes centuries in advance.

To be accurate in weather — or climate — forecasting, it helps when one’s forecasts are based on sound science.

Yet, as John Nolte noted just a few months ago, climate “experts” are zero for forty-one (now 0 for 43!) in their doomsday predictions.

Thus, why would anyone think that so-called climate “science” is in any way reliable? These climate frauds have long relied on the deceptive use of data to push their big-government agenda.

Daily, it seems, we are subjected to “another global warming fraud.” Everybody needs an Apocalypse, I suppose.

Climate science has become such a joke that the “faithful” are now being led by a child. As Josef Joffe recently put it,

Greta Thunberg, the teenager from Stockholm, is the prophet of a new religion sweeping the West. Call it Climatism. Like any religion worthy of the name, it comes with its own catechism (what to believe) and eschatology (how the world will end).

Thunberg’s bible is the latest report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which gives us 12 years to save civilization as we know it.

We have prayed to the false gods of fossil-fired growth, runs Thunberg’s indictment. Guilty are the adults who have “lied to us” and given us “false hope.” But her children’s crusade — no-school “Fridays for Future” — will show the path to redemption.

Climate science has become such a joke that the “faithful” are now “confessing their sins” to plants. As Tyler O’Neil noted last year,

Union Theological Seminary hosted a chapel service in which self-identified Christians confessed their climate sins to plants. No, this is not satire from the Babylon Bee — this really happened, and the seminary is defending it without shame…

“In worship, our community confessed the harm we’ve done to plants, speaking directly in repentance. This is a beautiful ritual,” the seminary announced on Twitter.

“We are in the throes of a climate emergency, a crisis created by humanity’s arrogance, our disregard for Creation. Far too often, we see the natural world only as resources to be extracted for our use, not divinely created in their own right — worthy of honor, thanks and care.”

It is becoming increasingly clear that anthropogenic climate change is nothing more than, as Australia’s Ian Plimer put it years ago, “the new religion of First World urban elites.”

With the mounting evidence against it and the continued crumbling of its “holy” documents, it’s developing into a rather poor religion at that.

Thus, when it comes to the “experts” and predicting the future — especially the future global climate — as Jeff Jacoby noted last winter, your guess is as good as theirs.

It seems this is also often the case with your local weather forecasts. Remember all of this the next time you encounter someone telling you what the global climate is going to be decades down the road.


On cue — After droughts and fires, then come the floods

All the wise-heads said that Australia's drought was caused by global warming.  Where has that warming gone now that Australia has huge floods?  Has the warming ceased?  Or does warming cause floods too?  But something that causes everything probably causes nothing

By Joanne Nova

So much for the “hotter drier” Australian future they were warning us about 3 weeks ago.

As predicted, droughts in Australia often end in floods. It is the way it has always been. Today people are already being rescued from the rising water and possibly another 200 -300mm of rain may fall before Sunday warns the BOM. Many fires have been extinguished.

Climate change has made no difference to the drought trends in Australia in the last 178 years and climate models are totally skilless at rainfall. When will the climate modelers admit that these are natural cycles?

Forecasters become increasingly concerned that even more rain could fall even faster than expected as five people have been rescued from floods.

The NSW State Emergency Service issued a flood warning for Sydney’s metropolitan areas, saying forecast weather conditions were “likely to cause widespread flooding”.

Flooding has already occurred in Roseville in Sydney’s Upper North Shore and the north-western suburb of Putney, where commuters are advised to allow extra travel time.

Meteorologists have said they are increasingly worried about the unfolding weather events in New South Wales and have “great concerns” that “intense bursts” of rain could see hundreds more millimetres fall far quicker than originally expected.

The NSW Rural Fire Service said the heavy rain was welcome in bushfire-ravaged parts of the state.

“We were over the moon to see rain arrive across many parts of NSW, with decent falls in the state’s north,” the RFS said on Thursday night.

When will our climate experts and the ABC “Science ” team mention that the solar cycles and ocean currents are linked to rainfall all over the world, and their models contradict each other, show no skill and are useless at rainfall.

Five years after rain returns, climate modelers redo models and “predict” more, less, some, different or same rain

Australian – Asian rainfall linked to solar activity for last 6000 years

Sun controls half of the groundwater recharge rate in China for last 700 years

Solar effects seem to shift wind and rainfall patterns over last 3000 years in Chile

Climate Models: 100% right except for rain, drought, storms, humidity and everything else

Delighted to hear it’s raining. Hoping everyone stays safe and its “well spread”.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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