Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Steve Baker MP warns of risks of computer modelling

Steve Baker’s warning was issued in the foreword to a new paper on some of the problems with climate models in recent years.

He draws parallels with the manifest failure of epidemiological models during the Covid pandemic, and highlights recent studies which suggest that the newest climate models are incompatible with empirical observations of the climate.

He said:

“The Net Zero target in place, largely following from climate model predictions about what the future may hold, have implications for every human being on the planet alive today and for billions as yet unborn. If we get this wrong, humanity as a whole, now and in the future, will suffer the consequences. The situation could scarcely be more serious.”

The paper, by GWPF deputy director Andrew Montford, reviews in simple language, some of the key failings of climate models, as revealed in the scientific literature.

Mr Montford said:

“Claims of a climate crisis rely almost entirely on climate model outputs. But once you know what climate models get wrong, it’s hard to take them seriously as any sort of guide to the future, never mind government policy.”


Climate change to blame for monkeypox outbreak, says professor

Climate change is likely behind the global outbreak of monkeypox, a professor of health systems has said.

The disease had largely been eradicated due to smallpox vaccines but the few people who do contract it usually do so in tropical rainforest areas of central and west Africa - often after coming into contact with animals.

However, in recent weeks hundreds of cases have been recorded across Europe and yesterday Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly revealed there was one confirmed case in the Republic of Ireland.

“Climate change is driving animal populations out of their normal ranges and human populations into areas where animals live,” Professor Staines of DCU explained to On The Record with Gavan Reilly.

“There’s a very detailed analysis of about 40 years of data published in [the journal] Nature a few months ago that documents what has happened and predicts what may happen in the future and it’s very much driven now by climate change - and to an extent by human population growth.

“But climate change is pushing people into cities, it’s pushing animals into closer proximity with people and we’re seeing connections that we never saw before.

“So this is what living with climate change looks like.”

Minister Donnelly has said that medics and close contacts of those with the disease will be offered vaccines but added that normal PPE would give people strong protection.


National Grid told to prepare for coal this winter as Britain braces for Putin to cut off Europe's gas supply

Kwasi Kwarteng has asked National Grid to bolster electricity supplies using coal this winter amid concerns Russia’s supply of gas to Europe will be cut off.

The Business Secretary has instructed National Grid’s electricity system operator (ESO) to work with the industry to make sure extra generating capacity not fuelled by gas is available.

Last month Mr Kwarteng wrote to the owners of the UK’s remaining coal-fired power stations to ask them to stay open longer than planned.

In a letter to Fintan Slye, executive director of the ESO, this week, Mr Kwarteng warned of “high levels of uncertainty and volatility expected in energy markets over the winter”.

He said: “While we are in no way dependent on gas from Russia, I am mindful that a shortage of gas in Europe could put considerable pressure on the European gas market and suppliers of liquefied natural gas, with the potential for additional, consequential impact on electricity markets.

“We must therefore consider all prudent steps to mitigate these risks and bolster our energy security this winter. These risks would be best mitigated by significantly increasing the amount of capacity that is available over the winter, particularly non-gas-fired capacity.

“To this end, I request that you work with industry to explore and seek to deliver frameworks to support the operations of additional non-gas-fired capacity over the coming winter that would otherwise not be available."

The letter is likely to add to concerns about prolonged high gas and electricity prices. On Thursday, the Government introduced a windfall tax on oil and gas producers to help provide support for households struggling with energy bills.

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, has raised the prospect that the tax could be widened to electricity generators profiting from high energy prices, although Mr Kwarteng is believed to be opposed to the idea.

Gas is currently used to meet more than 35pc of the nation's electricity demand. The UK has typically bought less than 4pc of its gas directly from Russia, but is connected to European markets which are heavily reliant on the Kremlin's fossil fuel.

The EU typically gets about 40pc of its gas from Russia but is trying to cut its reliance. Meanwhile, Russia has cut off supplies to Poland, Bulgaria and Finland since the start of the war and there are concerns it could go further.

On Friday Kadri Simson, the EU’s energy commissioner, told the Financial Times that any member state might be next to cut off, and the EU is preparing contingency plans.

Options to provide extra back-up on the UK system are relatively limited, particularly given the need for supply that can be relatively easily dialled up and down to respond to demand.

Under current market rules, power generators are paid to be on standby ready to provide back-up supply, funded by consumer bills. Mr Kwarteng has urged National Grid ESO to make sure any deals with generators deliver value for money.

Drax and EDF were both due to shut down their remaining coal-fired turbines this year, while Uniper was due to shut one of its four turbines running this year and keep the other three running to 2024. The plants are in Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.

Mr Kwarteng said he remained committed to the government’s plan to phase out coal-fired power generation by September 2024, adding the country needs to cut its dependency on imported fossil fuels.

But he added: “This transition has to be orderly, recognising the critical role fossil fuels will play as we deploy low carbon alternatives.”

A government spokesman said: “In light of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, it is only right that we explore a wide range of options to further bolster our energy security and domestic supply.

“While there is no shortage of supply, we may need to make our remaining coal-fired power stations available to provide additional back up electricity this coming winter if needed.

“It remains our firm commitment to end the use of coal power by October 2024.”


Labor deliberately designed climate policies to thwart Greenies

New Energy Minister Chris Bowen insists voters gave Labor a mandate to deliver its “ambitious” climate plan, warning independents and Greens that his crossbench-proof climate policy won’t require negotiating an end to coal and gas.

Greens leader Adam Bandt is demanding that Labor step up its climate targets, including a ban on new coal and gas projects. However, Bowen said he deliberately designed the party’s Powering Australia climate policies so they could be implemented without the support of the Senate, where the Greens hold the balance of power.

“In relation to the Senate, a lot of the stuff in Powering Australia doesn’t need legislation; there’s a lot of stuff we’ll just be getting on with,” he told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

Labor has committed to legislating its target of hitting net zero emissions by 2050 – a goal with bipartisan support. However, it has not promised to do the same for its 2030 target, which is to cut greenhouse emissions by 43 per cent from 2005 levels, even though that is the party’s preference.

No new laws are required to implement the key elements of Labor’s Powering Australia climate policy over the next three years.

“We designed that very deliberately so that we would have scope to just get on with the policy and not get bogged down in the climate wars,” Bowen said.

He has designated two areas to do the heavy lifting in Labor’s first term in government under the Powering Australia plan.

One involves tightening the Safeguard Mechanism, which lay dormant under the Coalition government, to impose caps on Australia’s 215 biggest polluters.

The other is a $20 billion Rewiring the Nation fund that will pour money into the electricity grid and expand its capacity so that it can handle a near-tripling of renewables, which are expected to comprise 82 per cent of the grid by 2030.

Bowen said Labor’s win, which delivered the party a majority in the lower house, represented a mandate for the climate policy it took to the election. Bending to the Greens’ demands to veto coal and gas projects would be a betrayal of the electorate, he said.

“I find that argument just a little bit odd,” he said. “The [Greens’] argument goes something like this – to oversimplify it: ‘Congratulations on winning the election. The first thing we’d like you to do is trash the policies you took to the election.’ ”




No comments: