Sunday, October 24, 2021

Reaching global climate deal will be tough, Cop26 president says

The amusing thing about this article is the totally honest graphic wich accompanies it. It is just a regular HADCRUT graph but it is frankly labelled and clearly calibrated. The author relies of readers knowing nothing about graphs. Its presentation is a really crude piece of deception

It does at first sight look alarming, with warming leaping up the page in the postwar era. Then we notice two things: It is calibrated in TENTHS of one degree Celsius and it does not show absolute temperature but rather the departure in temperature from an arbitrary point in time.

Both things make a mickle into a muckle, to be Scottish about it. In plain English, they make a really tiny effect into an apparently huge effect. Anyone who is used to working with graphs would be in danger of dying laughing at such a basic fraud.

A graphic calibrated in simple degrees Celsius (normal scientific practice in this field) would essentially show a flat horizontal line with NO alarming leap upwards. The sheer propaganda of the global warming claim would be exposed for what it is

Securing a global climate deal in Glasgow will be “really tough”, Cop26 president Alok Sharma has warned. He said sealing any agreement to reduce emissions with be harder “on lots of levels” than signing the Paris Agreement of 2015.

Countries are under pressure to increase their greenhouse gas emission cuts as the world is far off track to meet globally agreed targets to limit temperature rises and curb dangerous warming.

image from

The Cop26 summit, which starts in Glasgow on October 31, is the effective deadline for countries to bring forward more ambitious national climate plans in a five-year process under the Paris climate treaty.

Mr Sharma told The Guardian: “What we’re trying to do here in Glasgow is actually really tough.

“It was brilliant, what they did in Paris, it was a framework agreement, (but) a lot of the detailed rules were left for the future.

“It’s like we’ve got to the end of the exam paper and the most difficult questions are left and you’re running out of time, the exam’s over in half an hour and you go, ‘how are we going to answer this one?’”


UK: Save the planet, Boris, by axeing a farcical summit

The Cabinet Minister was laughing. They decided that everyone who attends COP26 had to be driven around by an electric car. But so many people are coming they've realised they haven't enough charging points.

So they've been scrambling to find diesel generators to help boost the capacity.'

A second Cabinet Minister was struggling to find the funny side. I'm sick of it. Every time I do a speech, they try to slide some more COP nonsense into it. Something about telling people to do less washing-up, or eat less meat. It's ridiculous.'

A third Cabinet Minister was simply resigned: 'COP's turning into a circus. No 10 are trying to get a grip but it's spiralling out of control. They're saying to foreign governments, 'Can you keep the size of your delegations to a minimum?' And they'll be told, 'OK, we'll keep it down to 1,500 people.' '

The UN Climate Change Conference, which opens in Glasgow on Sunday, is supposed to be the event that saves the planet.

But ask anyone in government and they'll tell you the truth. It's a farce. It's degenerating into chaos. And to many, the best thing for the environment would be if Boris Johnson, right, just bit the bullet and scrapped it.

The whole purpose of COP26 was meant to promote global environmental sustainability. Instead, it is being turned into a catwalk for the green showboating of the global elite.

Or, in the case of Japan, showplaneing. Last week it emerged that a specially configured Boeing 777 had been flown 6,000 miles (without passengers) solely to see whether the pilots would prefer to use Prestwick or Edinburgh airports when the official Japanese delegation arrives.

It's also been announced that when the runway of choice has been chosen, special measures will be put in place to ensure arriving dignitaries can be whisked speedily to their destinations.

Unfortunately, COP26 has become so bloated that nearby roads will become gridlocked, so leaders will be ferried to their hotels along the Clyde Expressway, which has been turned into a VIP lane.

I understand the COP26 PR team, conscious of the questionable 'optics' developing around this orgy of pro-environmentalism, had hoped for some events to show global leaders utilising public transport. But the opportunities are shrinking.

The Unite union, with a commendable eye to the main chance, has announced that more than 1,300 bus workers will use the conference to go on strike over pay.

If you think all this unfolding chaos is shaping up to be bad news for the planet, then spare a thought for the real victims: COP26's corporate sponsors.

Veteran tree-huggers NatWest, Microsoft and Jaguar are among companies which have reportedly written to the Government condemning 'mismanagement' by the 'very inexperienced civil servants' organising the event.

But, painful though it is to see the opportunity for some greenwashed product-placement disappearing in a cloud of jet and motorcade fumes, what were those sponsors expecting?

Who in their right mind would hold a such a vital summit in the midst of a deadly pandemic?

As one Minister told me: 'People think COP is going to last three weeks. But it's been going on for over a year. And we've been trying to deal with something else quite big during that period.'

Covid's shadow over COP26 was always going to be too long and dark. Vladimir Putin, who has been forced to announce a workplace shutdown across Russia to try to get on top of a surge in cases, isn't attending. Neither, it appears, will President Xi of China.

Last week, China's economic recovery was thrown into reverse as the economic Covid aftershocks continue to reverberate.

And Joe Biden has had to tear up his original COP26 strategy as he struggles to manage America's surge in virus cases and force his own 'Build Back Better' budget through the Senate.

Meanwhile, there are disturbing signs here that Boris is about to fall heavily between two Covid and COP26 stools.

Rishi Sunak is tearing his hair out trying to work out how to align the Prime Minister's multi-billion-pound net-zero commitment with his need to tackle the £2.2 trillion Covid debt mountain.

At the same time, Ministers are expressing concern that as Boris's notoriously fickle attention has drifted towards Glasgow, there has been insufficient focus at No 10 on the vaccine booster rollout.

The argument within government is that the climate crisis cannot wait. Having been put back once by Covid, COP26 had to go ahead to refocus attention on another, potentially even more apocalyptic, global emergency.

But the opposite is going to happen. Rather than emphasise their stewardship of the environment, world leaders are again going to reveal just how detached they are.

Pressing ahead with COP26 while the globe is still struggling to contain Covid is the equivalent of forcing someone back into a burning building to carry on removing the asbestos.

In order to tackle environmental challenges, people are going to be asked to make significant sacrifices. And that will involve politicians – and the burgeoning green lobby and their sponsors – taking public opinion with them.

But instead of showing families that they have a plan for saving their planet, our leaders again seem intent on giving the impression they reside on an entirely different one.

COP26 is about to replace Davos as the event that most gratuitously frames the arrogance, hypocrisy and entitlement of the global ruling class.

Their gigantic jets will descend upon Prestwick. And they will alight and tell us how we each need to reduce our global environmental footprint. Their motorcades will speed along their exclusive expressway.

And they will get out, then inform us we have to do our bit by walking our kids to school. They will assemble for their plush banquet. And after dessert and coffee, they'll retire to put the finishing touches to speeches that lecture us about eating sustainably.

Worst of all, they think no one will notice their green doublespeak. That this grotesque 'do as I say, not as I do' grandstanding will pass everyone by amid a kaleidoscope of polar bears, Greta Thunberg and homilies about our grandchildren.

Which might actually be the optimum outcome.

The best that the organisers of COP26 can hope for now is that as many people as possible ignore them.

That those concerned about where the next booster jab is coming from, or how they will cope with soaring fuel prices, will blink and miss this UN imitation of The Fyre Festival.

Because if they don't, those same people aren't going to be happy.

As I've written before, a dangerous disconnect is opening up. Between those who believe that everyone has bought into their liberal, environmental consensus and those who want a recognition that we live in a complex world of competing priorities, not all of which revolve around the level of carbon emissions in 2050.

Anyone doubting this should have a word with the Insulate Britain protester who recently ended up tied by irate motorists to a railing with his own banner.

It's very late in the day. But the best way of saving COP26 – and the planet – is to cancel it.


Heat pumps and other follies

Boris Johnson would be proud of me, I have the heating system he wants us all to install.

He told us this week that if we are to meet the Government’s targets for reducing carbon emissions we must abandon our gas boilers and install heat pumps. Well, I was ahead of the game.

The conditions were ideal. We were rebuilding the house from scratch so we laid the underfloor piping before the floors went down.

The walls were stone, but strict building regulations meant our insulation was state of the art.

And better still, the field behind the house was perfect for laying the pipes needed for a ground source system, which is far more efficient than the air source alternative that has to be used in the vast majority of homes in towns and cities.

It cost a small fortune, but it was worth it. I was helping to save the planet and saving myself the cost of buying nasty, polluting oil.

The perfect win-win, I told myself. A toasty house whatever the weather and a minuscule energy bill.

But I was wrong. For a start I had not allowed for the electricity needed to run the pump. Not a big problem because I’d also installed an array of solar panels. But you can’t do that in a small semi or a flat.

The real killer was that it didn’t do its job. I have not ended up with a toasty house in mid-winter.

If my lovely neighbour switches it on a couple of days before I arrive, it takes the chill off the downstairs rooms. But that’s about it.

To get really warm, I have to fire up the log-burning stove. Again, not exactly an option in your typical suburban semi.

The sad reality is I’ve spent a small fortune and have not ended up with a cosy house.

And I wonder: how many of us would — or even could — pay at least £10,000 for a heating system to replace our polluting but efficient gas boiler for something that just takes the chill off?

Yes, that’s what it costs. The promise of a £5,000 grant from next April is only for the lucky few. The Government’s own target is 600,000 heat pumps a year.

The handouts will cover just 30,000. And only for three years. Perhaps the tooth fairy will help out.

I jest but this is no laughing matter. The world is facing a real crisis.

It’s true that this country accounts for less than 1 per cent of the carbon that’s wrecking our precious atmosphere. China accounts for 28 per cent and is massively increasing its use of coal to generate power.

But it matters here at home because this is a moral issue. We must do everything in our power to repair the terrible harm we have already done and, above all, stop it getting even worse.

That’s why Boris Johnson’s statement this week should fill us with both despair and anger — specifically at the lack of detail. He promises that this country will be ‘net zero’ by 2050, but does not tell us how.

That’s because he’s scared of the electorate. He knows that if the targets are to be met there must be enormous technical advances in crucial areas such as carbon capture and storage, and producing hydrogen without fossil fuels.

It will cost vast sums, and he wants us to believe that the private sector can and should pick up the biggest bills.

Otherwise taxpayers will have to, which will not be popular — and Boris wants very badly to be popular.

He’s hardly unique. But he obviously believes if he can jolly us along with his feel-good approach, throwing in the odd joke, we’ll sit at his feet like an adoring puppy gazing up at its master.

He used an expression this week that demonstrated his contempt for our gullibility. We can build back greener, he said, ‘without so much as a hair shirt in sight’.

That is either stupid or cynical. Maybe both. The single event that enabled the human race to conquer the desperate poverty of the masses was the discovery of fossil fuels and what they could do: first coal, then oil. The energy trapped in them changed everything. It made the industrial revolution possible. It gave us electricity.

Now we are on a journey to a future without fossil fuels, and it’s fraught with hazards.

The Prime Minister underestimates the intelligence of millions of worried people in this country who know that if we carry on living just as we have done we betray our children and their children.

Renewable energy is vital, but it’s not enough. We must change the way we live.

But dumping petrol and diesel cars will mean a massive increase in electricity use. Planes will need kerosene into the foreseeable future. And we still have to heat our homes and offices.

So we must travel less. Turn down the thermostat. Maybe even learn something from my parents’ generation; when it got cold our mothers buttoned up us kids in weird garments called liberty bodices.

Padded vests we couldn’t take off even if we wanted to. We must have ponged a bit after the first week or two, but no one seemed to care.

I am not saying that smelly kids are the answer to our climate crisis, but here’s one suggestion that’s slightly less tongue-in-cheek: what if the Government dished out free thermal vests?

It might cost a few hundred million, but they’d have to be made in Britain so there would be some economic benefit from the jobs created. And think how much energy we’d save if we discovered we need not live in saunas.

Bonkers maybe. But are thermal vests really any more bonkers than Boris’s hair-shirt fantasy?


Coal reserves now essential

PJM Interconnection, the largest U.S. power grid operator, could restrict how much some coal-fired plants can operate this winter if their fuel supplies fall below certain levels to ensure coal will be available in the case of a deep freeze in the eastern part of the country.

Energy prices around the world are trading near multiyear highs as supplies of coal, oil and natural gas run short, causing power outages in China and utilities in Europe and Asia to scramble to buy fuel before the winter heating season.

To help ensure power plants will be available when needed this winter, PJM said it may restrict steam units, which are generally coal-fired, from operating if they have less than 10 days (240 hours) of fuel supply available.

In the past, PJM allowed plants to operate until they had just 32 hours of fuel supply. The shift means plants will be able to run for several days if the region were to experience extreme winter weather or some other reliability need.

PJM operates the biggest electric grid in the United States serving 65 million people in 13 Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states from Illinois to New Jersey and the District of Columbia.

"We are especially concerned about coal supply chain issues and inventory levels heading into the winter," Michael Bryson, PJM's senior vice president of operations, said in support of temporary changes to rules governing minimum fuel requirements that take effect on Thursday.

"Our top priority at PJM is ensuring a reliable electric grid," he said.

Even though U.S. power generation relies more on renewable sources than in the past, about 24% of the nation's power supply still comes from coal plants, according to U.S. Energy Department data.

After years of shutting coal plants to reduce carbon dioxide and other emissions, U.S. energy companies have cut coal stockpiles at power plants to just 84.6 million short tons in September, their lowest in a month since March 1978, according to federal data.

By the middle of the winter, the federal government projected coal power plant stockpiles will collapse to 62.7 million short tons in February, the lowest on record, according to data going back to 1973.




1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Reaching global climate deal will be tough, Cop26 president says

Once again the alarmist use graphs reaching back to 1850 during the LITTLE ICE AGE (LIA) to make their case for man-made warming while neglecting to reason that after 450 years of global cooling (with global famines, plagues and the like) that the earth might want to shake off that cold by warming up?

Since the LIA is deemed to have ended around 1870 is the idea that today we may still be warming back up really all that hard to grasp?

Also, all those glaciers had 450 years to grow. Is it any surprise that they might be shrinking now that it warmed back up?