Tuesday, October 04, 2022

Climate change policy: a greater risk than climate change?

Pragmatism is belatedly beating carbon purity as the West seeks to survive the economic consequences of Russia’s monstrous Ukraine war. Only months after its Glasgow swearing of allegiance to the climate catechism that requires faith in scientifically untested computer-programmed prophesies, the West has seen the light – and the energy needed to power it.

By grabbing at the vilified, carbon-emitting economic lifeline of fossil fuels, by rediscovering the energising virtues of the spurned coal, by embracing the scorned fracking in a desperate search for gas, by re-opening the closed off-shore petroleum leases to keep industry working, and by preferring ‘dangerous’ nuclear power to winters of freezing in the dark, a severe dose of reality has slowed the West’s race to economic destruction. The two wheels of the climate change cart – the scientifically unprovable words ‘catastrophic’ and ‘irreversible’ – that is carrying the democratic world to economic subjugation under a Putin-Xi authoritarian axis, are looking increasingly wobbly.

These two words, the key to the climate debate, have never been the subject of empirical, observed scientific proof. There is little disagreement that there is climate change; the climate has always been changing. But ‘catastrophic’ and ‘irreversible’ (beyond a computer-generated ‘tipping point’) that occupy the central role as drivers of the claimed climate crisis, exist only in computer modelling of what many scientists, in good faith, believe to be the likely outcome of observable current trends. The dogma that ‘the science is settled’ on climate change requires a belief not in proven scientific facts but in the accuracy of scientists’ computer projections of the yet-to-be-demonstrated future consequences of observable facts.

So why should these scientists be believed? The traditional ‘scientific method’ of examining a theory provides the best, but by no means certain, prospect of believable outcomes. This involves surviving the ‘falsification’ principle of rigorous endeavours to refute the theory, so that the scientific consensus eventually accepts it as truth. That is the rock on which the climate change crisis rests. But as an article in last week’s Conversation noted, ‘even if scientists have repeatedly tried, but failed, to refute a given theory, the history of science suggests at some point in the future it may still turn out to be false when new evidence comes to light.’

After decades of steadily increasing support for the ‘climate crisis’ theory, evidence to the contrary is raising its head. This is in addition to the negative impact of repeated failures of a multitude of past official forecasts of impending climate disaster. Earlier this year, four leading Italian scientists from universities in Milan, Verona and Padua and the National Institute of Nuclear Physics, published a review of historical climate data, finding no clear positive trend of extreme events and concluding that the current fear of a ‘climate emergency’ is not supported by the scientific data.

This means, they said, that altering our priorities with negative effects ‘could prove deleterious to our ability to face the challenges of the future, (and) squandering natural and human resources’. Their paper, A critical assessment of extreme events trends in times of global warming, is a survey of recent research (mirroring the IPCC’s approach) that appeared in the European Physical Journal Plus. ‘Since its origins, the human species has been confronted with the negative effects of the climate; historical climatology has repeatedly used the concept of climate deterioration in order to explain negative effect of extreme events (mainly drought, diluvial phases and cold periods) on civilisation. Today, we are facing a warm phase and, for the first time, we have monitoring capabilities that enable us to objectively evaluate its effects’. These show that, ‘On the basis of the observational data, the climate crisis that, according to many sources, we are experiencing today, is not yet evident.’

The scientists found that rainfall intensity and frequency was stationary in many parts of the world. Tropical hurricanes and cyclones showed little change over the long term, and the same is true of US tornadoes. Other meteorological categories including natural disasters, floods, droughts and ecosystem productivity showed no ‘clear positive trend of extreme events’. Regarding ecosystems, the scientists noted a considerable ‘greening’ of global plant biomass in recent decades caused by higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Satellite data show ‘greening’ trends over most of the planet, increasing food yields and pushing back of deserts

But the scientists nevertheless believe there is a need for action on the climate: ‘We should work to minimise our impact on the planet and to minimise air and water pollution…. How the climate of the twenty-first century will play out is a topic of deep uncertainty. We need to increase our resiliency to whatever the future climate will present us…(But) we need to remind ourselves that addressing climate change is not an end in itself and is not the only problem the world is facing.’

This cautionary note was echoed in a report quoted in the latest Weekend Australian from some of Australia’s most senior climate scientists led by UNSW Professor Andy Pitman. It warned that bank regulators, with little understanding of the uncertainty inherent in climate model projections, could cause ‘major systemic risk to the global financial system’ by their continued use.’ It is not science designed for the financial sector’, as physical climate models do not represent weather, so imposing a serious limitation in determining future climate risk for the financial sector. Yet Australia’s Reserve Bank will use network-derived climate scenarios in its internal analysis of climate-related risks. Most regulators, banks, insurers and investors are using projection-based scenarios ‘without fully accounting for uncertainty’.

This follows Pitman’s submission to APRA on its draft guidelines on climate risk that the corporate sector could be preparing for the financial costs of climate change based on misleading and flawed advice from the prudential regulator. ‘There is next to no capacity to provide advice to business on how the joint probability of multiple extreme weather events will change in the future.’

The only thing certain about climate science is uncertainty.

https://spectator.com.au/2022/10/business-robbery-etc-101/ ?


Car makers secretive about price of EV replacement batteries

Car makers are baulking at revealing the cost of replacement batteries for electric vehicles, with good reason.

Lexus has revealed that a replacement for the battery in its UX electric SUV is $43,476 plus GST. That’s more than half the price of the car, which retails for about $82,500.

An engine replacement costs about $12,000 for the popular Ford Ranger ute or roughly $6000 for a small hatchback such as a Hyundai i30.

News Corp asked ten manufacturers to reveal the cost of their replacement batteries and Lexus and Nissan were the only two to reveal any prices.

Tesla, Mazda, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Kia, MG and Mitsubishi did not provide any numbers.

Car makers argue the replacement cost is a moot point because most of the cars on sale have eight-year warranties and battery prices are expected to fall dramatically in the intervening period.

Lexus has a ten-year/unlimited kilometre warranty for its batteries, provided the customer “adheres to servicing requirements outlined in the owner’s handbook”.

If battery capacity dips below 70 per cent within 10 years or 160,000km, the brand will replace it.

The average age of a car in Australia is roughly 10 years, so most long-term owners – or second hand EV buyers – will face a period where the battery is no longer under warranty.

Nissan, which has been selling the Leaf EV in Australia since 2012, says the “overwhelming majority” of Leafs are still using their original battery pack.

For those whose battery is no longer under warranty, the brand has a replacement program that costs $9990 plus labour.

The original Leaf had a battery “state of health” warranty period of five years, while the new model, launched in 2019, has an eight-year, 160,000km warranty.

A spokeswoman for the brand said all batteries lost capacity as they aged but “the extent of this degradation is highly dependent on usage and conditions”.

“The cost of a replacement battery after this period is purely speculative at this point as the cost of manufacturing batteries continues to decline over time,” she said.

She said the company had not come across a situation where a battery was damaged and the vehicle involved was repairable.

“Given the location of the battery in the floor/chassis of the vehicle, any impact or damage that has occurred to the battery (requiring a replacement) has also come with high level of structural damage to the vehicle and therefore the vehicle is not typically repairable,” she said.

She said the Nissan Leaf had a battery state of health readout in the centre screen that clearly showed the remaining capacity. The display has 12 bars and Nissan will replace a battery if it falls below nine during the warranty period.

The display also serves as a good guide for people looking to buy a used Leaf.

Australia’s top-selling EV brand, Tesla, wouldn’t disclose battery replacement costs for its vehicles, some of which have been on sale locally since 2014. Many of its Model S vehicles are approaching the end of the brand’s eight-year battery warranty.

The brand covers its Model Y and Model 3 vehicles with an eight-year/160,000km warranty, promising 70 per cent retention of the battery capacity in that period.

Mercedes-Benz guarantees the battery life of its EQS and EQE models for up to 10 years or 250,000, with a degradation target of 70 per cent.

Its EQA, EQB and EQC EVs are covered for eight years and 160,000km.

A spokesman said: “No general information can be given about the cost of exchanging batteries as this can vary. The cost depends on the type of battery and the vehicle model at the time a replacement battery is required outside of warranty,” he said.

Hyundai has a eight-year/160,000km warranty for its EVs but won’t reveal replacement costs. In the United States, it has a battery refurbishment program that costs significantly less than replacement.

Sister brand Kia has a shorter seven-year/150,000km warranty and also declined to reveal replacement costs by our story deadline.

BMW, MG, Mitsubishi, Mazda were contacted but have not provided any details on replacement costs.


Electric Plane's 8-Minute Flight Celebrated as Milestone, But Look What the Wright Brothers' Flying Machine Was Doing in 1905

“Zero emissions” advocates are hailing the first flight of an all-electric commuter airplane. However, aviation enthusiasts may chuckle in the knowledge that almost 120 years earlier the Wright Brothers trounced that achievement with a few basic materials.

Eviation, a startup based in Washington state, built the proof-of-concept plane to demonstrate the viability of electric-powered flight with a range of a few hundred miles.

Last week the plane took off from an airport at Moses Lake, Washington. It circled the airfield for eight minutes before landing, TechCrunch+ reported.

It could be described as an impressive feat. Although one that arguably is overshadowed by the experimentation of history’s very first aviators.

Not resting on their laurels after achieving the first-ever powered flight, the Wright Brothers spent the years after their 1903 triumph attempting new aircraft designs that would greatly increase engine size and load weight, as well as accommodate passengers on trips that would be longer and fly further.

By 1904 the Wrights had moved their activities from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and relocated to Huffman Prairie near Dayton, Ohio. They began designing an aircraft that could carry more weight while also soaring much further than the original Flyer.

Their efforts culminated in an unprecedented flight on Oct. 5, 1905. With Wilbur at the controls, their new airplane made more than 29 circles around the field, traveling more than 24 miles within a span of over 39 minutes.

That’s almost five times the length of the Eviation craft’s flight.

It was also a better calculated risk for the Wrights. Fuel supply and consumption in a normal aircraft can be easily computed. Margins for safety can be tabulated with more confidence. Contrast this with batteries, which deteriorate over time resulting in lessening of assured charge.

The difference in performance between standard aircraft and the best of electric-powered technology is a vast one. One that cannot be ignored by anyone with concern for either airplane economics or safety.

According to Aviation Pros, the Eviation test plane is powered by over 21,500 Tesla-type batteries, taking up fully half the weight of the plane. The aircraft is intended to make relatively short commuter hops before having to recharge.

On the other hand, the Gulfstream G200 — a typical midsize jet comparable in size to the Eviation plane — carries eight passengers and has enough fuel capacity to cross the Atlantic Ocean, according to Flying Magazine.

Batteries simply cannot compare to fuel derived from hydrocarbons in terms of energy storage. While there is little current data on aircraft recharging, this issue is well-dcoumented with automobiles. A recent article highlighted the uncertainty that comes with traveling great distances with electrical vehicles.

An Australian TikTok user had difficulty driving between Canberra and Sydney, News.com.au reported. A journey that should have taken a few hours instead occupied an entire day because locating charging stations proved difficult. Notably, at one point it would have taken four hours to achieve a fully charged battery.

Similarly the new owner of a GMC Hummer was shocked — no pun intended — when he discovered it would take four days to draw enough current from his home outlet to recharge his vehicle — using Level 1 charging.

Ponder, then, how long it will take to recharge even smaller commuter jets. It becomes economically more feasible — and more convenient — to simply hop into a car and drive from one city to the next. By the time the airplane has completely charged, it’s possible to have gone to one’s destination and returned by ground vehicle.

That is not stopping aviation providers like Air Canada from purchasing electric planes in bulk despite openly acknowledging that the aircraft will not seat the same number of passengers as traditional planes

It can be argued that for all its technological simplicity, the Wright Brothers’ 1905 airplane was the more reliable aircraft compared to the plane from last week’s battery-powered flight. While Eviation’s craft is primarily made of carbon composite and other exotic materials, the Wrights were accomplishing much more with balsa wood, paper and an internal combustion engine.

The conclusions that can be drawn are quite clear. Electric-powered aviation is a lofty goal. But for the time being, there it must remain. Electric-powered aircraft have neither the assurance of safety or the requisite infrastructure to support them. Which are, incidentally, the same issues facing widespread adoption of their land-borne brethren.


Rising Energy Prices Fuel Growing Angst Across Party Lines, Poll Finds

Economic data released recently reveals that the U.S. economy is still laboring under debilitating inflation.

Rising prices for essential goods and services act as a drag on discretionary spending and will make our current recession all the more painful and long-lasting.

Recent polling by TIPP/Insight provides useful insights into how Americans view the impact of spiking energy prices on their lives, and their concerns about further potential disruptions.

The three questions fielded by TIPP explored how Americans prioritize energy security in the context of combating climate change, concerns about Europe’s energy crisis coming to the U.S., and whether or not increasing energy prices are affecting other spending.

Across the board, a broad, bipartisan majority of the American people expressed considerable anxiety about energy supplies and cost, suggesting that will be a key issue going into the midterm elections in November.

The first question—“Which is more important to you, ensuring a stable, plentiful energy supply or combating climate change?”—revealed that a significant majority of Americans either thought they were roughly equivalent or ranked energy security first, with 42% giving them equal importance and 34% prioritizing energy security.

Only 21% put combating climate change first.

There was some variation across party lines, with half the Democrats saying the two issues are equivalent, compared with 30% of Republicans and 43% of independents, while half of the Republicans surveyed prioritized energy security compared with 21% of Democrats and 32% of independents.

On the second question, “How concerned are you that the European energy crisis will impact markets in the United States?”, there was remarkably strong bipartisan agreement that this is indeed a cause of anxiety: 72% of both Republicans and Democrats and 63% of independents all had strong or somewhat strong concerns that the situation in Europe would spill over to the United States.

Somewhat surprisingly, only 11% of those surveyed answered “don’t know” about the potential impact of the European crisis, suggesting that Americans are following the situation more closely than might have been assumed.

The final question—“Have spikes in energy prices forced you to reduce spending on other things?”— revealed that, across party lines, a majority of Americans have changed their spending patterns, with 75% of Republicans, 64% of Democrats, and 62% of independents all responding in the affirmative.

These majorities held across the board, regardless of geographic location, age, gender, ethnicity, and income bracket, indicating that more than half the country is feeling some degree of economic distress because of increased energy prices.

These stark numbers suggest that despite President Joe Biden’s recent protestations that inflation really is not that bad, the American people are still feeling increasing economic pain and are concerned it could become worse.

Going into the fall as they make their decisions at the ballot box, a dominant issue is going to be how they are going to keep their cars on the road and lights on—and what they’re going to have to sacrifice to do so.

Candidates of both parties should take note.


My other blogs. Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM )

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)


1 comment:

Dan Pangburn said...

Failure to account for measured water vapor (which has been increasing substantially faster than possible from just feedback) is at best a mistake and perhaps science incompetence. Measured WV increase can account for all of climate change attributable to humanity. CO2 has no significant effect. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316885439_Climate_Change_Drivers