Tuesday, October 03, 2023

No climate signal in heatwave deaths

Judging by the news reports about the latest release of deaths due to excess heat and cold by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) you could be forgiven in thinking that the heatwave of 2022 signalled a climate-induced turn for the worse. According to some alarmist claims, last year’s heat-related deaths are a “stark warning” of the effects of climate change. But looking a little closer at the data shows just how misleading this interpretation is.

Sky News looked at the data for 2018-2022 concluding that London had the highest mortality risk from hot weather of above 29°C. They pointed out that the figures overall showed a dramatic increase in 2022 on the previous year saying that the number of temperature-related deaths on hot days more than doubled from 1990-2022 (2022 – 2,866, 1990 – 1,417).

Only further down the report do you come to the salient point of the recent data, “Despite last year’s steep rise, the overall increase in deaths since 1988 has almost remained static so far, when population growth is taken into consideration.”

The lack of an overall change in death rate per unit of population doesn’t stop some from being alarmist with the unsupportive data. Reacting to the ONS report the head of the World Health Organisation’s Climate Change and Health Unit, Dr Diarmid Campbell-tendon said it was “extremely concerning.”

The BBC also reported the story and said that heat-related deaths had increased in recent years, which is true for 2022 but is far from the complete story. The BBC went on to say that the data suggests that 3,000 more over-65s died than usual in England and Wales last summer. They also did the same as Sky News in finding someone who clearly hadn’t looked too closely at the data. According to Holly Holden of the Centre for Ageing Better “Climate change isn’t something that is happening in the Antarctic or very hot countries, it is impacting lives, and taking lives, here in the UK,” she said.

The Guardian’s coverage was no different misleadingly saying that the number of heat deaths has been increasing over recent years. Those who only read headlines will have seen, “Heat-related deaths in 2022 hit highest level on record in England,” which is an incomplete summary of the statistics.

As well as the lack of change in normalised extreme weather deaths it is clear that there was an increase in 2022 over 2021, but it is similar to the increase seen between 1993-5. The deaths from cold, which greatly exceed heat deaths, in 2010 are a clear outlier.

Given that there is no significant trend in total (hot and cold) deaths seen in the past third of a century in England and Wales, where is the story, and where is the climate signal?


Biden admin quietly released study showing green energy receives far more subsidies than fossil fuels

The Biden administration quietly issued a 59-page report outlining the current scope of federal energy-related subsidies revealed that the renewable energy sector enjoys significantly larger taxpayer backing than the fossil fuel industry.

The report — authored by the Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA) and published in August — represents the first of its kind since 2018. The EIA analyzed data from 2016 through 2022, and determined that, during that time period, the federal government doled out $183.3 billion in direct and mainly indirect taxpayer subsidies, more than half of which came over the last three years.

"For years Democrats have claimed technologies like solar energy are cheaper than coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear. This report makes clear that solar is largely dependent on heavy subsidies with taxpayer dollars," Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member John Barrasso, R-Wyo., told Fox News Digital.

In early 2021, Barrasso and Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., requested the analysis to help inform congressional policymaking in a letter to then-EIA Acting Administrator Stephen Nalley. The pair argued such a report would be particularly relevant "as Congress considers calls for a greater level of federal involvement in the nation’s energy systems and markets."

Fossil fuel industry received $24.5 billion in subsidies last year while renewable energy sources received a staggering $83.8 billion in subsidies, the report showed. (Getty Images)

"Under the Biden Administration, American families are paying too much for energy as it is," the Wyoming Republican continued. "They shouldn’t have to fork over their hard-earned money to support liberal special interests. Solar should be competing for sales in the marketplace, not for subsidies in Washington."

According to the EIA report, while renewable energy sources like wind and solar power account for about 21% of domestic electricity production, such sources received a staggering $83.8 billion in subsidies, by far the largest share compared to any other category.

Energy end use subsidies, like energy efficiency- and conservation-related tax provisions, represented the next-largest slice of energy sector federal subsidies after renewable power, according to the EIA report. End use sources received $64.8 billion in subsidies, equivalent of 35% of total energy-related subsidies doled out by the federal government.

While renewable and end use sources accounted for more than 80% of total energy industry subsides, fossil fuel sources — namely natural gas, petroleum and oil, which account for more than 60% of electricity production and the vast majority of transportation energy — benefited from $24.5 billion, or 13%, in subsidies.

Nuclear power, which produces another 18% of U.S. electricity, received $2.9 billion in subsidies during the analyzed timeframe, the equivalent of 2% of total subsidies awarded.

The reports findings suggest far more taxpayer money is being spent per energy unit produced by green energy sources than for the equivalent energy until produced by fossil fuel energy.

For example, natural gas power generated 44.9 quadrillion British thermal units in 2022, 45% of total energy generated economywide, but received $2.3 billion in taxpayer subsidies that year. That means for every million British thermal units (MMBtu) produced by natural gas, the industry received about $0.05.

By comparison, in 2022, the solar industry generated about 0.6 quadrillion British thermal units, less than 1% of total energy produced economywide in the U.S., but received $7.5 billion in subsidies. That means the solar power industry received $11.9 per MMBtu generated last year.

The results are as pronounced when comparing coal power which received $873 million in subsidies last year while generating 18 times the amount of power as solar energy.


GOP Senator Explains What Biden's Green Energy Transition Really Means for America

Not content with President Biden’s goal of having 50 percent of new vehicle sales by 2030 be electric, California took things a step further and said there would be a ban on the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035. This move opened the door to other states following suit, so long as their regulations are identical. But critics were right to point out that such a sudden and massive transition is like putting the cart before the horse. Many new questions came up, including how California’s grid could handle the new demand. Another dealt with the supply of critical minerals used in electric vehicles, which require two and a half times more copper than a combustion car needs, for example.

The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resource addressed this and many other issues associated with the transition to electric vehicles in a hearing last week that examined “opportunities to counter the People’s Republic of China’s control of critical mineral supply chains.”

"When it comes to the EV battery supply chain, depending on the mineral, China processes anywhere from 60 to 100 percent of all the minerals needed for batteries and electric motors," Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) pointed out. "And their dominance is not just in minerals, it’s also in battery manufacturing. China is responsible for 74 percent of the world’s cathode production, 92 percent of anode production, and 76 percent of lithium ion battery cell production. They’ve cornered the market."

As one of the U.S.'s biggest adversaries, that's a huge problem. But it's not just the PRC that's dominated the critical minerals market.

“The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a major producer of cobalt and copper," Sen. John Barrasso said, "and Indonesia produces nearly half of the world’s nickel. These nations don’t share our values."

In the U.S., mining projects either face red tape a mile long, drawn out indefinitely by environmental studies, or, like in Northern Minnesota, the administration completely shuts them down, leaving the U.S. beholden to its enemies.

“China ruthlessly exploits a religious and ethnic minority as a source of forced labor in its mining industry," Barrasso continued. “The Congo has tens of thousands of children mining cobalt. Indonesia is clear cutting vast areas of its tropical rainforest to access its nickel reserves. No moral or ethical sacrifice, including slavery and child labor, seems to be too great for Joe Biden’s so-called 'green transition.'"

“America’s dependence on foreign minerals is not only shameful and reckless, is unnecessary," the Republican senator declared. “We have more of the resources we need right here at home, including copper, including lithium, including nickel, graphite, and cobalt. Yet the Biden administration’s boneheaded policies make it nearly impossible to access them."

The Wyoming Republican said there's a transition underway alright, but it's one from "American energy to foreign minerals."

"It is transition from American strength and independence to American weakness and dependence," he said.

To reverse course, the senator argued an administration with "courage and commonsense" is needed to tap into America's abundant mineral and energy supplies, changing the "reckless course" America is on once and for all.


UK: Electric car owners may face shocking 1000% rise in insurance premiums

Some owners have seen their premiums spike by over £4,000 compared to last year in a move which has baffled owners and left them out of pocket ahead of winter.

Tesla owners have shared their stories in a Facebook group where they have told others about the horror premiums they now have to pay. One owner said Aviva refused to insure him and his Tesla Model Y when his insurance came up for renewal and that other brands had turned him away.

Their experiences come just weeks after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak changed Government policy on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars after manufacturers invested millions in the UK’s electric car market.

Tesla driver David told the Guardian: “My insurer was Aviva from July 2022 to July 2023, but when it was coming up for renewal, I received a letter stating that they would not be covering the Tesla Model Y anymore.

“I am a member of a Tesla UK owners forum, and lots of other people seem to be having the same issue. “I spent weeks on every comparison site as well as trying individual insurers and specialist brokers, but either they wouldn’t cover the car or the quotes were £5,000 or more.”

David said the best quote he got was £4,500 from Direct Line, a number that surpassed £5,000 once the monthly interest was added. What’s more, David isn’t the only electric car driver affected.

Alex Gherlis drives a Smart EQ Forfour, a city, that retails from around £20,000.

Before his mid-August renewal date, he was advised by John Lewis Finance that they would no longer insure his electric car because it was not insuring electric vehicles anymore.

For owners like Alex and David, their rejections have come ahead of the hardest time of the year for people in the UK. As the mercury drops and energy prices rise, any rise in premiums will hit harder.

All drivers have faced a rise in premiums, but petrol drivers are seeing much smaller rises, on average just 29 percent according to Confused.com.

Motor expert at Confused.com Louise Thomas said: “Despite electric vehicles becoming more common, they are still the minority on UK roads, and insurers have less experience setting premiums for these types of cars.”

Alongside a rise in premiums, there are other risk factors for electric car drivers too. Chief executive of Green Insurer Paul Baxter explained that their cost and the availability of parts are major factors.

So too is the expertise needed to repair the cars. Mr Baxter explained: “There’s also an issue around technology and skills in the repair networks. They’ve not got to the stage they are with traditional cars in terms of expertise.

“If you dent a door, that’s straightforward, but if something has damaged the battery, in particular, they haven’t caught up with that.”


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)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs


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