Sunday, March 31, 2024

AI companies eye fossil fuels to meet booming energy demand

It takes massive amounts of energy to power the data center brains of popular artificial intelligence models. That demand is only growing. In 2024, many of Silicon Valley’s largest tech giants and hordes of budding, well-funded startups have (very publically) aligned themselves with climate action–awash with PR about their sustainability goals, their carbon neutral pledges, and their promises to prioritize recycled materials. But as AI’s intensive energy demands become more apparent, it seems like many of those supposed green priorities could be jeopardized.

A March International Energy Agency forecast estimates input-hungry AI models and cryptocurrency mining combined could cause data centers worldwide to double their energy use in just two years. Recent reports suggest tech leaders interested in staying relevant in the booming AI race may consider turning to old-fashioned, carbon-emitting energy sources to help meet that demand.

AI models need more energy to power data centers

Though precise figures measuring AI’s energy consumption remain a matter of debate, it’s increasingly clear complex data centers required to train and power those systems are energy-intensive. A recently released peer reviewed data analysis, energy demands from AI servers in 2027 could be on par with those of Argentina, the Netherlands, or Sweden combined. Production of new data centers isn’t slowing down either. Just last week, Washington Square Journal reports, Amazon Web Service Vice President of Engineering Bill Vass told an audience at an energy industry event in Texas he believes a new data center is being built every three days. Other energy industry leaders speaking at the event, like Former U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, argued renewable energy production may fall short of what is needed to power this projected data center growth.

“We’re not going to build 100 gigawatts of new renewables in a few years,” Moniz said. The Obama-era energy secretary went on to say unmet energy demands brought on by AI, primarily via electricity, would require tapping into more natural gas and coal power plants. When it comes to meeting energy demands with renewables, he said, “you’re kind of stuck.”

Others, like Dominion Energy CEO Robert Blue say the increased energy demand has led them to build out a new gas power plant while also trying to meet a 2050 net-zero goal. Other natural gas company executives speaking with the Journal, meanwhile claim tech firms building out data setters have expressed interest in using a natural gas energy source.

Tech companies already have a checkered record on sustainability promises

A sudden reinterest in non-renewable energy sources to fuel an AI boom could contradict net zero carbon timelines and sustainability pledges made by major tech companies in recent years. Microsoft and Google, who are locked in a battle over quickly evolving generative AI tools like ChatGPT and Gemini, have both outlined plans to have net negative emissions in coming years. Apple, which reportedly shuttered its long-running car unit in order to devote resources towards AI, aims to become carbon neutral across its global supply chains by 2030. The Biden administration meanwhile has ambitiously pledged the US to have a carbon pollution free electricity sector by 2035.

Critics argue some of these climate pledges, particularly those heralded by large tech firms, may seem impressive on paper but have already fallen short in key areas. Multiple independent monitors in recent years have criticized large tech companies for allegedly failing to properly disclose their greenhouse gas emissions. Others have dinged tech firms for heavily basing their sustainability strategies around carbon offsets as opposed to potentially more effective solutions like reducing energy consumption. The alluring race for AI dominance risks stretching those already strained goals even further.

AI boom has led to new data centers popping up around the US

Appetites for electricity are rising around the country. In Georgia, according to a recent Washington Post report, expected energy production within the state in the next ten years is 17 times larger than what it was recently. Northern Virginia, according to the same report, could require the energy equivalent of several nuclear power plants to meet the increased demand from planned data centers currently under construction. New data centers have popped up in both of those states in recent years. Lobbyists representing traditional coal and gas energy providers, the Post claims, are simultaneously urging government offices to delay retiring some fossil fuel plants in order to meet increasing energy demands. Data centers in the US alone were responsible for 4% of the county’s overall energy use in 2022 according to the IEA. That figure will only grow as more and more AI-focused facilities come online.

At the same time, some of the AI industry’s-starkest proponents have argued these very same energy intensive models may prove instrumental in helping scale-up renewable energy sources and develop technologies to counteract the most destructive aspects of climate change. Previous reports argue powerful AI models could improve the efficiency of oils and gas facilities by improving underground mapping. AI simulation modes, similarly could help engineers develop optimal designs for wind or solar plants that could bring down their cost and increase their desirability as an energy source. Microsoft, who partners with OpenAI, is reportedly already using generative AI tools to try and streamline the regulatory approval process for nuclear reactors. Those future reactors, in theory, would then be used to generate the electricity needed to quench its AI models’ energy thirst.


Big European Green Deal package greatly watered down

The European Green Deal is limping to the legislative finish line as elections loom and farmers continue to stage fierce protests across the continent.

The policy package, launched with fanfare by the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, five years ago, is supposed to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050. But with elections in June, and polls suggesting some countries may take a swing to the right, the EU is gutting some of its key policies aimed at cutting pollution and protecting the environment.

On Monday, the European Council cancelled a vote on a law to restore nature after eight member states withdrew their support. The next day, it approved a proposal from the commission to cut some green strings on farming subsidies, which make up a third of the EU’s budget. At the same time, member states called on Brussels to weaken an existing law to tackle deforestation in countries from which Europe sources crops.

“It is hard,” said Virginijus Sinkevičius, the EU’s environment commissioner, who pointed to elections and farming protests as reasons for resistance to the final policy packages of the green deal. “But I do trust we will go through the finish line together with all member states.”

Not all of the environmental backsliding is about agriculture. An economy-wide law to tackle environmental abuses in supply chains barely passed this month after member states watered it down to cover a fraction of the companies for which it was proposed.

Farming has proved to be the most resistant sector to new rules. Agriculture pumps out at least 11% of all planet-heating gases emitted in the EU, many of which damage the heart and lungs when inhaled, and are a main driver of the destruction of wildlife.

While the continent’s emissions have stayed more or less steady for the last 15 years, efforts to rein in the damage to human health and the environment – or to make farmers and their customers pay for some of the pollution – have been met with fierce resistance. Honking lines of tractors, flaming bales of hay and stinking piles of manure have regularly blocked the streets of European capitals over the last few months as farmers have fought rules they say they can’t afford to follow. Green policies, as well as Ukrainian grain imports and a proposed free trade deal with South American countries, have borne the brunt of their anger.

Buoyed up by public support and appeased by politicians fearful of a rightward lurch amid rural voters, farmers have secured concession after concession from European leaders. They are, however, likely to pay a price for their success. Europe’s farms and fisheries are already suffering from a climate that has become more violent, and soils and waterways that have grown less supportive of life. In just one example of the unusual ways this is affecting daily life, people now steal more olive oil from Spanish supermarkets than any other food as droughts and recurring heatwaves ruin harvests and send prices of the “liquid gold” soaring.

Climate scientists say the picture for the planet is not all gloomy. Most of the policies that make up the European Green Deal, which has withstood the coronavirus pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have already passed – though often in a weakened form after lobbying from industries and member states. The continent has some of the highest environmental standards in the world and has been able to encourage businesses to transition, even without the vast subsidies for clean technology available in the US or China.

The biggest threat to its success now lies with the possible collapse of the nature restoration laws, the fate of which hangs in the air. The proposal is one of the pillars of the green deal and it is unclear if Belgium, which holds the rotating presidency of the European Council, will be able to find a majority among member states in the coming weeks to provide what should have been a rubber stamp for an already watered-down proposal.

Speaking at a meeting of ministers on Monday, the Irish climate and transport minister, Eamon Ryan, said retreating at this stage would be “disastrous” for nature and for public confidence in European institutions. “To allow this to go now means we’re going into a European election where we say the European system is not working, we do not protect nature, we do not take climate seriously.”


A defeat for the PFAS warriors

"Highly toxic"? In their imagination

A federal appeals court in the US has killed a ban on plastic containers contaminated with highly toxic PFAS “forever chemicals” found to leach at alarming levels into food, cosmetics, household cleaners, pesticides and other products across the economy.

Houston-based Inhance manufactures an estimated 200m containers annually with a process that creates, among other chemicals, PFOA, a toxic PFAS compound. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in December prohibited Inhance from using the manufacturing process.

But the conservative fifth circuit court of appeals court overturned the ban. The judges did not deny the containers’ health risks, but said the EPA could not regulate the buckets under the statute it used.

The rule requires companies to alert the EPA if a new industrial process creates hazardous chemicals. Inhance has produced the containers for decades and argued that its process is not new, so it is not subject to the regulations. The EPA argued that it only became aware that Inhance’s process created PFOA in 2020, so it could be regulated as a new use, but the court disagreed.

“The court did not dispute EPA’s underlying decision that this is a danger to human health, what they did was say it’s not a new use, which I think is wrong … but this case isn’t over by any stretch,” said Kyla Bennett, a former EPA official now with the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (Peer) non-profit, which has intervened in legal proceedings.

PFAS are a class of about 15,000 compounds used to make products resistant to water, stains and heat. They are known as “forever chemicals” because they do not naturally break down, and they have been linked to cancer, high cholesterol, liver disease, kidney disease, fetal complications and other serious health problems.

The EPA said in a statement to the Guardian that it was reviewing the decision.

Instance said in a statement its “technologies … keep thousands of tons of harmful chemicals and fuels out of the environment, preserve product quality, and ensure compliance with many global regulations”.

However, the company in 2021 admitted the creation of PFAS is “an unavoidable aspect” of its process.

The decision is the latest salvo in a four-year legal fight over the company’s manufacturing process. Inhance treats containers with fluorinated gas to create a barrier that helps keep products from degrading.

A peer-reviewed study in 2011 found Inhance’s containers leached the toxic compounds into their contents. Bennett and the EPA found in 2020 that PFAS were leaching into pesticides held by containers Inhance produced, and several follow-up studies reconfirmed the problem. Since 2020, Inhance appears to have repeatedly lied to regulators and customers about whether PFAS leached from its containers, and for several years resisted EPA’s demands to submit its process for review.

The company is facing a separate lawsuit from a pesticide maker who claims Inhance concealed its products’ dangers.

The fifth circuit judges wrote that the EPA would have to regulate the containers under Section 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which the judges and Inhance claim would require the EPA to take into account the economic impact on Inhance. The company has said a ban on its fluorination process would put it out of business.

However, Peer noted Section 6 states health risks should be weighed “without consideration of costs or other non-risk factors”.

Bennett also noted that the EPA and other companies have found alternatives to treating containers with PFAS, including those that are strong enough for storing highly corrosive substances, like pesticides.

Another lawsuit over the containers is playing out in federal court in Pennsylvania, and a contradictory decision from it could send the issue to the US supreme court. The EPA has other options, Bennett stressed, including Section 6.

“Given how strong the EPA’s orders [to ban the containers] were, I can’t imagine they will throw their hands up and walk away,” she said.,other%20products%20across%20the%20economy .


Wrong, Daily Mail, Climate Change Isn’t Causing a Chocolate Easter Egg Crisis

The Daily Mail posted an alarming Easter themed story saying climate change has caused the price of chocolate Easter eggs to increase. This is false. Chocolate Easter eggs and other chocolate candies have seen prices increase; however, data prove it isn’t due to a shortage of cocoa beans since cocoa production has risen as the Earth has warmed. If climate change isn’t harming cocoa production, it can’t be behind the rising prices.

“With Easter fast approaching, you might have already begun to notice that Easter eggs are more expensive this year,” opens the Daily Mail’s article, titled Chocolate Easter eggs have risen in price by 50% or more in the UK – and scientists say climate change is to blame. “But this isn’t just due to inflation, as scientists say climate change is a key reason your chocolate is costing more.”

“According to researchers from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), a combination of wet heatwaves and drought have battered this year’s cocoa harvest,” writes the Daily Mail.

The ECIU’s claim is false on a number of counts. First, across the region making up West Africa, it is common, not rare, for it to have heatwaves and heavy rains, interspersed with periods of drought. Those conditions are known as typical weather there. Hot weather is the norm across West Africa. While the northern part of West Africa is semi-arid Sahel, a transition from the Sahara to the savannah grasslands, much of the region is tropical forests where rainfall is common and commonly heavy. So, a “wet heatwave” is not uncommon and cocoa production, in fact, requires and thrives in hot wet conditions, which is why most global cocoa production comes jungles and forests near the equator, where much of West Africa lies.

The rains are interspersed with periods of intense drought, especially in the arid northern part of West Africa. As the U.S. National Science Foundation wrote recently, “West African droughts are the norm, not an anomaly … some droughts lasted centuries in the past ….” So a single year’s drought after heavy rain is not proof or even an indication of climate change. Indeed, history indicates that West Africa cycles periodically from wet periods to dry periods lasting multiple decades each. Multiple studies, here, here, and here, for example, confirm the region’s climate history. Since 1991, the Sahel region in West Africa has been in a rainy period recovering from an extended dry period from the early 1970s to the 1990s. As has been pointed out repeatedly at Climate Realism, here and here, for example, scientific bodies recognize climate change as indicated by a shift in average weather recorded over a 30-year period, not the weather happening in a single year or couple of years. There is no trend for either drought or extreme rainfall which would indicate climate change is impacting normal rainfall patterns in West Africa, rather recent weather has been well within the historic cyclical norms for the region.

While weather hasn’t changed much in West Africa’s cocoa production region, cocoa production has, increasing dramatically even has the weather has varied from year to year. Like most other crops, cocoa production has grown substantially during the recent period of climate change in response, in part, to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide. During the period when climate alarmists claim warming has been most severe, data from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization show that between 1992 to 2022 (the latter being the most recent year for which data is available): Cocoa bean production in West Africa increased by more than 158 percent. West Africa set records for production 17 times during that period, most recently in 2022.

Globally the story is much the same. Global cocoa bean production from 1992 to 2022 grew by nearly 120 percent, setting records for production 19 times, with each of the last six years setting new records for production.

Because the climate in West Africa isn’t changing and cocoa production is setting records, one can hardly blame climate change for the higher costs of chocolate Easter eggs in the United Kingdom or anywhere else.

Interestingly, in its story the Daily Mail pointed to two other more likely candidates for the price increase: El Niño and inflation. Sadly, the Daily Mail promptly downplayed these two tangible factors to play up the false climate change angle.

The past two years wide weather swings across the globe have been dominated by the shift from a La Niña to a “strong El Niño year,” as the Daily Mail admits.

Then there is the dramatic increase in inflation affecting most of the world, complicated by supply chain issues. It should be noted that inflation is being driven, in part, by developed countries’ climate policies that have raised the costs of fossil fuel production and use which has contributed to higher costs for the energy used to process and the fuels used to transport cocoa and finished chocolate products.

To conclude, there is no evidence climate change has played any role in the U.K.’s chocolate Easter egg crisis. Rather than publishing one more “climate change is causing everything bad” fairy tale, the Daily Mail, would better serve their readers by checking the facts and publishing them. Doing so would reduce its readers’ climate anxiety and in the process direct their attention to a more likely cause of higher chocolate prices: government climate policies which increase energy costs.


Fact is, Australian entrepreneur has revealed the lies about renewables

The RMIT ABC Fact Check own goal against Dick Smith exposed not only the green-left bias and ­deceit of the national broadcaster and the so-called “fact-checking” outfit, but also the central lie at the heart of the national climate and energy debate. The renewables-plus-storage experiment that Australia has embarked upon is not only unprecedented but impossible with current technology.

This is an inconvenient fact that is denied daily by the Australian Labor Party, the Greens, the ABC, the climate lobby, and the so-called elites of our national debate. We are undermining our national economic security by chasing a mirage, and our taxpayer-funded media deliberately misleads us down this dead-end path.

In an age when most of us were analogue, Smith made an electronic fortune then turned his attention back to the organic and irreplaceable, focusing on conservation and adventure.

The Australian Geographic founder epitomises the admirable qualities of initiative, innovation, and environmental stewardship.

Which makes it confounding that the RMIT ABC nexus targeted him. It seems he committed the mortal sin in their eyes of supporting the only reliable, weather-­independent, emissions-free electricity generation available – nuclear.

It is an energy source increasingly embraced by green activists and leftists in Europe and the US. But not here. Whether it is due to intellectual rigidity or partisan positioning, the left in Australia are stuck in an old-fashioned, Cold War mindset of nuclear fearmongering and denial.

The ideological blinkers are so strong at RMIT ABC Fact Check that when the renewables enthusiast and environmentalist Smith made perfectly sensible and apolitical comments about the inability of renewables alone to power a country, he made himself their public enemy. The fact checkers decided to take him down, even though he was right.

This is an example of all that is wrong in our public square. Facts do not matter so much as perceived motives or ideological side.

Anyone who has spoken with Smith, listened to him being interviewed or read his comments would be in no doubt that he would favour an all-renewable energy system if it could work. (For that matter, who would not?)

But with his technical nous, environmental bent, and practical mindset, Smith asks the obvious question: if renewables alone ­cannot give us an emissions-free world, what is the most efficient and effective way to deliver that goal?

And his answer is nuclear.

Despite Smith aiming for the right goal and advocating the right outcome through the only indisputably effective means, his answer apparently is not what the woke want to hear.

Because in making his case, Smith dared to speak the truth about renewables.

“Look, I can tell you, this claim by the CSIRO that you can run a whole country on solar and wind is simply a lie,” Smith told 2GB.

“It is not true. They are telling lies. No country has ever been able to run entirely on renewables — that’s impossible.”

It is worth picking over this dispute because it is illuminating. Smith’s initial complaints to RMIT ABC Fact Check were ignored, until he appeared on my Sky News program threatening legal action and got his lawyers involved.

The eventual apology specifically retracted their claim that Smith opposes renewable energy. Little wonder, this is a bloke who charges his EV with renewable ­energy – Smith loves the technology, he is just realistic about its limitations.

Reworking their “fact check” after Smith’s threats, RMIT ABC included tortured and implausible arguments. They reported that the CSIRO denied ever having said you could run a whole country on renewables.

It is not difficult to find contradictory evidence. For instance, a 2017 article on the German “Energy Transition” website was headed “CSIRO says Australia can get to 100 per cent renewable ­energy”.

The article talked about a “toxic political debate about the level of renewable energy” that can be ­accommodated in the system.

“CSIRO energy division’s principal research scientist Paul Graham said there were no barriers to 100 per cent renewable energy, and lower levels could be easily ­absorbed.”

Years later, Graham doubled down on this, declaring; “The whole system is getting ready for renewables supported by storage.”

In 2020, on Australia’s “Renew Economy” site, we saw the headline “CSIRO embraces transition to net zero emissions ‘without derailing our economy’ ”.

And just last December, the CSIRO published an article titled “Rapid decarbonisation can steer Australia to net zero by 2050”,

There is no renewables scepticism or realism in those statements. It seems that Smith was right about the thrust of CSIRO analysis.

Yet now, via RMIT ABC Fact Check’s revised article, we learn the CSIRO has a more nuanced, and realistic stance: “Its position is that ‘renewables are a critical part, but not the only part, of the energy mix as Australia moves towards the government-legislated target of net-zero emissions by 2050’.”

Smith has flushed out an important concession to reality from the CSIRO. The “renewables are a critical part, but not the only part” formulation is exactly the point Smith was making when RMIT ABC tried to take him down.

Talk of a 100 per cent renewables-plus-storage model is fantasy for now. I wonder how long it will take the politicians to become similarly frank, and most of the media.

Perhaps even more deceitful was the RMIT ABC pretence that some countries are already powered entirely by renewables.

“There are four countries running 100 per cent on wind-water-solar (WWS) alone for their grid electricity,” reported RMIT ABC, quoting an academic report that cited Albania, Paraguay, Bhutan, and Nepal.

Right off the bat, these were ­ridiculous comparisons. These are not large, modern, or developed economies (why not compare our emissions challenge to the performance to subsistence farmers in sub-Saharan Africa?). Australia’s GDP per capita is about eight times higher than Albania’s (which had to import electricity from neighbouring countries just two years ago anyway, thanks to a drought undercutting its hydro generation), 10 times higher than Paraguay’s, 20 times Bhutan’s and about 50 times higher than Nepal’s.

The comparisons are laughable on those grounds alone, but it gets worse. The so-called fact checkers were only accounting for the electricity grids in these nations, even though huge parts of their populations and economies are not connected to the grid, and there is heavy use of other fuels for heating, cooking, and transport.

The most pertinent figures, now included in the RMIT ABC updated article show that renewables account for only a third of Albanian energy, closer to 40 per cent in Paraguay and just 6 per cent in Nepal. A long way from their previously claimed 100 per cent.

Perhaps self-conscious about the absurdity of their claims about those small, poor nations, the fact checkers had also made reference to a comparable developed economy, choosing the US state of ­California.

Stanford University’s Mark ­Jacobson noted California had “been running on more than 100 per cent WWS for 10 out of the last 11 days for between 0.25 and 6 hours per day”.

Really? As little as 15 minutes on renewable energy and that proves a modern economy can thrive on renewables plus storage?!




Thursday, March 28, 2024

No more chardonnay or sauvignon blanc! Warming temperatures mean wine lovers will have to get used to less common plonk such as grenache and monastrell

I doubt that this is a real prospect but the best Sauvignon Blanc comes from New Zealand anyway. And I think very highly of Verdelho, which is a Portuguese grape well adapted to warmer climates. Verdelho is widely cultivated in Australia and I always have some of Tyrrells Verdelho on hand. So I doubt that there will be any shortage of pleasing wines anywhere

Wine lovers have been served disappointing news ahead of summer as they're warned they may have to say goodbye to chardonnay and sauvignon blanc and hello to less common plonk such as grenache and monastrell.

With global temperatures on the rise, wine drinkers will have to settle for rarer grape varieties that can cope with hotter and drier environments, according to experts.

Wine is naturally adapted to warm and dry climates because of its origins in the Mediterranean region, with the most popular grapes heavily reliant on irrigation - the practice of applying controlled amounts of water to land to help grow plants.

But the process faces its own challenges as climate change makes water scarcer.

Wine has already become more alcoholic and has a sweeter taste, with vineyards harvesting almost three weeks earlier than they did just four decades ago.

Hotter growing-season temperatures are making it harder for growers to achieve balance in the fruit—and, therefore, in the finished wine.

But global warming is set to generate severe droughts and heatwaves that could leave a staggering 70 per cent of wine-growing regions across the planet unsuitable - if global temperatures rise by more than 2C.

Shocking figures show that the world is currently heading towards an almost 3C rise.

Around nine out of 10 vineyards that produce the grapes that make up favourites such as Spanish merlots and Italian sauvignon blancs could soon be forced to shut up shop.

Vineyards located in and around coastal and low-lying areas of Spain, Italy, Greece and southern California could be rendered unsuitable for growing, according to research published in The Times.

And although this means wine drinkers may have to settle for a lesser-known, drought-resistant grapes, such monastrell and grenache, it means the booze will continue to flow.

Adaptations to which types of grapes are grown and the process of how they are cultivated are being discussed in vineyards across the planet in an effort to tackle the issue.

At its most extreme, 'which type of grapes are grown' can mean a complete change of grape variety.

'The market needs to accept drinking other varieties than they're used to,' said Cornelis van Leeuwen, of the viticulture college Bordeaux Sciences Agro.

'Most of the international varieties, like sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, merlot, they're really not adapted to a warmer, drier climate'.

Bordeaux sanctioned the use of six new varieties in its vineyards two years ago.

More than half of vineyards across the world are planted with 12 varieties of grape - but luckily for wine lovers, there are thousands more available.

Beyond grape varieties, growers can sometimes 'create coolness' by planting seeds on differently oriented slopes that get less or 'cooler' sun/more wind, or at higher altitudes.

Some growers also believe they can mitigate the effects of climate change by using different clones of their existing grape varieties—versions that ripen later or more reluctantly.

A study, published in the journal Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, explored just how climate change will impact wine-growing on a global scale.

It revealed that if temperatures are held to 2C, around 25 per cent of today's wine growing regions could benefit.

Another quarter would maintain their suitability.

But anything beyond 2C would lead to the catastrophic result of 70 per cent of the world's vineyards being unable to grow the most well-known and loved wine grapes.

Statistics from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show a world that is already more than 1°C warmer than before the industrial revolution.

Eight of the ten warmest years on record have occurred in the last decade.

In the last two years, there have been record temperatures from Canada to Sicily, wildfires in Australia, Portugal, Greece, and California, and floods in Australia and Germany.

New growing regions are also set to open in the UK, as the climate is becomes more suitable for growing.

Sussex and Kent are already leading the way with their vastly popular Rathfinny and Denbies estates that boast chalk soils and sloped landscapes, perfect for grape growing.


Time of use price cap?

Net Zero Watch is warning that consumers are going to pay the price for the UK’s failing electricity system. The campaign group’s statement comes after Ofgem announced that it wanted to introduce a time-of-use price cap.

As renewables start to dominate the grid, prices need to rise dramatically when the wind isn’t blowing if supply and demand are to balance. But the current fixed price cap prevents this from happening, hence Ofgem’s announcement.

Net Zero Watch director Andrew Montford said:

This is energy rationing in all but name. It is not for the benefit of consumers, it’s papering over the cracks in the renewables-led grid.”

Since as far back as 2021, Mr Montford has been warning that smart meters would be used to ration electricity during wind lulls.


Greenflation causes Indonesia and Vietnam to backtrack on renewables

Indonesia's recent lowering of its renewable energy targets highlights Southeast Asia's decarbonization challenges, with inflation and financing concerns growing across the region, from Malaysia to Vietnam.

Indonesia's National Energy Council in January revealed a plan to trim the target for renewables' portion in the country's primary energy mix to 17%-19% in 2025 and 19%-21% by 2030. The original target that was supposed to have kicked in next year was 23%. While setting a more ambitious goal of 70% renewables through 2060, council executives argued that the original target was simply out of reach. Currently, renewables account for only 13% of Indonesia's energy sources.

The council's revelation came not long after Indonesia's energy ministry said implementing a carbon tax would be further delayed to 2026; the tax was originally set to take effect in 2022.

The cuts indicate the government's "weak commitment" to energy transition and "rampant interest to preserve fossil fuels," the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), an Indonesian think tank, said in a news release.

Behind the backtracking is a growing concern over the rising cost of going green.

"Transitioning toward green energy must be done super carefully," incoming Vice President Gibran Rakabuming, son of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, said during an election debate in January. "We should not burden the public, the poor people with expensive R&D and transition [costs]."

The comment raised concerns over "greenflation," which arises when fossil fuels are discarded in favor of more expensive low-carbon technologies.

Malaysia's energy transition efforts could also be hobbled by greenflation as they hinge on imported parts and components, which are being made more expensive by the stubbornly weak ringgit, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Fadillah Yusof told Nikkei Asia.

Malaysia has embarked on a rather ambitious approach to decarbonization, rolling out 10 flagship projects along a National Energy Transition Roadmap that is expected to generate an estimated investment of over 25 billion ringgit ($5.5 billion) by 2030. The construction of renewable energy zones is included in the NETR.

However, Fadillah, who also holds the energy transition portfolio, warns that financing green technologies could become more challenging as investors "may be wary of the risks associated with emerging technologies and the potential impact of greenflation."

Nik Nazmi, minister of environment and climate change, said Malaysia would need significant investments in clean energy, energy efficiency and sustainable infrastructure to reach its net-zero goal by 2050. However, "the ministry realizes that the weaker currency would make it more expensive to import technologies, equipment and expertise needed for large-scale decarbonization projects."

"Greenflation concerns in Southeast Asia are real," said Prakash Sharma, vice president of multi-commodity research at energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie, noting that the macro environment has changed significantly during the past three years. "Rising cost of capital, supply chain pressures, cost inflation has affected [the] cost of renewable technologies quite significantly," he told Nikkei Asia, adding that the situation makes delays in renewable uptakes "unavoidable."

Oxford Economics in a February report said Southeast Asia's major economies would suffer from a rise in energy costs in the initial phase of decarbonization as carbon taxes are levied on fossil fuels, coupled with higher metal and mineral prices as demand increases for electric vehicle production and other green investments.

"Our modeling suggests the shift to net zero will initially bring adverse economic impacts through higher energy costs, but benefits will accrue eventually from the positive spillovers from investment," the report says, adding that net energy exporters Indonesia and Malaysia are "likely to face the biggest upfront costs."

In Singapore, Oxford Economics said the initial cost of decarbonization will be limited. Still, the city-state's National Climate Change Secretariat has said Singapore faces constraints in looking for green energy sources, since the island nation's tiny footprint keeps it from tapping sources on a wider scale.

Also, the government last month announced a requirement for all flights departing the country to use sustainable aviation fuel starting in 2026, despite concerns of it being more expensive than traditional jet fuel, which could prompt airlines to pass on higher costs to flyers.


New Report Explodes Myth That ‘Extreme Weather’ is Getting Worse

Rising media star ‘Jim’ Dale (real name Noel Roger Dale) from British Weather Services (limited company dissolved) with a 40-year old proficiency certificate in thermometer reading from the Royal Navy can be relied upon to turn almost every bad weather event into the harbinger of complete climate collapse. Whatever the data thrown at him disproving his barking claims, ‘Jim’ carries on regardless. It is a comic tour de force, not to be missed.

Unfortunately this ‘Daleification’ of climate change is common throughout mainstream media. A recent extreme weather report written by the physicist Dr. Ralph B. Alexander notes that much of the fault for the erroneous perception that such events are becoming worse can be attributed to the mainstream media, “eager to promote the latest climate scare”. He argues that the failure by climate reporters to put today’s extremes in a true historical perspective “is contributing to the belief that weather extremes are on the rise when they are not”.

Published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Dr. Alexander argues: “Constant repetition of a false belief can, over time, create the illusion of truth – a phenomenon well known to psychologists and one exploited by propogandists. The falsehood can even become a ‘noble lie’ when exploited for political purposes.”

Of course, as regular readers of the Daily Sceptic are aware, bad or ‘extreme’ weather events are the main propaganda tools used to nudge global populations to accept the collectivist Net Zero project. It has long been realised that global warming doesn’t inspire the required levels of instant fear with temperatures rising, falling and pausing in both the near, historical and paleoclimatic record, mostly out of line with whatever the trace gas carbon dioxide is doing. It is difficult to raise the required panic when there is little more to show for 40 years of gentle warming than slightly milder winters and a substantially greener planet.

Dr. Alexander brings a vital historical perspective to the subject. Drawing on newspaper archives, he gives multiple examples of past extremes that match or exceed anything experienced in the present day. Collective memories of extreme weather are “short-lived”, he notes.

For instance, heatwaves of the past few decades pale into insignificance to those of the 1930s. The record shows that the heat wave was not just confined to the U.S. ‘Dust Bowl’ but extended throughout much of North America, as well as France, India and Australia. Major floods today are observed to be no more common nor deadly or disruptive than any of the thousands of floods in the past. Hurricanes overall have shown a decreasing trend around the globe, and the frequency of their landfalling has not changed for at least 50 years. The deadliest U.S. hurricane in recorded history killed an estimated 8-12,000 people in Galveston in 1900. As a comparison, the death toll of the category five Hurricane Ian, which deluged much of Florida in 2022 with a storm surge as high as Galveston, was just 156.

The biggest problem that Carry-on ‘Jim’ and the rest of mainstream media face in using extreme weather to push a political agenda is that the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is lukewarm, or of “low confidence”, in attributing human involvement in a wide range of weather-related events.

The IPCC latest assessment report shows there is little or no evidence that the following have been, or will be out to 2100, affected by human-caused climate change: river floods, heavy rain and pluvial floods, landslides, drought (all types), fire ‘weather’, severe wind storms, tropical cyclones, sand and dust storms, heavy snowfall and ice storms, hail, snow avalanche, coastal flooding and erosion, and marine heatwaves.

As can be seen, this doesn’t leave much for the alarmists to get their teeth into, but ‘Daleification’ takes care of that by just ignoring all the findings.

Irritation with the caution of the IPCC has naturally led to a gap in the climate catastrophe market, and this explains the rise of so-called weather attribution studies. These use computer models to process imaginary atmospheres and come up with pseudoscientific findings claiming individual events are caused by humans. The best known, World Weather Attribution, is based at Imperial College, is funded by green billionaire Jeremy Grantham and is widely quoted in the popular prints. In Dr. Alexander’s view, the misconception that extreme events are on the rise is “further amplified” by these studies. “Such studies, while fashionable, use highly questionable methodology that has several shortcomings,” he observes.

In his excellent, well-researched report, Dr. Alexander goes back and quotes from many historical sources. The ‘noble lie’ is well covered in mainstream media, but, notes the author, “history tells a different story”.




Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Typical inconclusive air pollution study

It's a study of geography, not people

Research suggests men living in heavily polluted cities can find it harder to get erections.

They're also more likely to struggle with premature ejaculation, according to the same study.

And tests showed extroverted men with a normal BMI were worst affected.

Chinese experts tracked over 5,000 men, asking them about their general health and sexual function.

Average levels of six pollutants close to their homes were also assessed over the course of 12 months.

These included particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and sulfur dioxide (SO2).

All three have been linked to health woes such as heart disease and dementia.

The particles, emitted by car exhausts and wood-burning stoves can be so small they travel deep into the lungs and bloodstream.

Researchers at Anhui Medical University found men exposed to the highest average NO2 levels had the worst erectile function.

This was measured by a questionnaire that asks men about how often they get erect and whether they can maintain them. It gives them a score out of 25.

The highest NO2 levels in the study were recorded at 30 μg/m3.

UK laws currently state hourly levels of toxic NO2 must not exceed the threshold of 40 µg/m3 more than 18 times a year.

However, air quality tracking tools shows that this limit is regularly breached in parts of London.

In comparison, levels of NO2 in New York can spike as high as 27 µg/m3 day to day.

Meanwhile, men exposed to the highest PM2.5 levels scored worse on a premature ejaculation questionnaire that asked them whether they ejaculate before they desire.

Sharing their results, the team speculated that pollutants may hamper men's sex lives by inducing an 'inflammatory response' which constricts blood vessels.

Researchers said the effect of pollution on sexual function was strongest among men with a normal BMI, who were extroverted and smoked or drank alcohol.

They wrote: 'Individuals with a normal BMI are likely to engage in more outdoor activities compared to overweight men.

'And previous research has indicated that people who spend more time outdoors have increased exposure to air pollutants.'

No exact scores were detailed in the study, published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials.

Results also relied on participants self-reporting their sexual function, which could lead to 'bias', experts admitted.

No statistically significant results were found between the other air pollutants and male sexual function. .


Amid explosive demand, America is running out of power

Vast swaths of the United States are at risk of running short of power as electricity-hungry data centers and clean-technology factories proliferate around the country, leaving utilities and regulators grasping for credible plans to expand the nation’s creaking power grid.

In Georgia, demand for industrial power is surging to record highs, with the projection of new electricity use for the next decade now 17 times what it was only recently. Arizona Public Service, the largest utility in that state, is also struggling to keep up, projecting it will be out of transmission capacity before the end of the decade absent major upgrades.

Northern Virginia needs the equivalent of several large nuclear power plants to serve all the new data centers planned and under construction. Texas, where electricity shortages are already routine on hot summer days, faces the same dilemma.
The soaring demand is touching off a scramble to try to squeeze more juice out of an aging power grid while pushing commercial customers to go to extraordinary lengths to lock down energy sources, such as building their own power plants.

“When you look at the numbers, it is staggering,” said Jason Shaw, chairman of the Georgia Public Service Commission, which regulates electricity. “It makes you scratch your head and wonder how we ended up in this situation. How were the projections that far off? This has created a challenge like we have never seen before.”

A major factor behind the skyrocketing demand is the rapid innovation in artificial intelligence, which is driving the construction of large warehouses of computing infrastructure that require exponentially more power than traditional data centers. AI is also part of a huge scale-up of cloud computing. Tech firms like Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta and Microsoft are scouring the nation for sites for new data centers, and many lesser-known firms are also on the hunt.

The proliferation of crypto-mining, in which currencies like bitcoin are transacted and minted, is also driving data center growth. It is all putting new pressures on an overtaxed grid — the network of transmission lines and power stations that move electricity around the country. Bottlenecks are mounting, leaving both new generators of energy, particularly clean energy, and large consumers facing growing wait times for hookups.

The situation is sparking battles across the nation over who will pay for new power supplies, with regulators worrying that residential ratepayers could be stuck with the bill for costly upgrades. It also threatens to stifle the transition to cleaner energy, as utility executives lobby to delay the retirement of fossil fuel plants and bring more online. The power crunch imperils their ability to supply the energy that will be needed to charge the millions of electric cars and household appliances required to meet state and federal climate goals.

The nation’s 2,700 data centers sapped more than 4 percent of the country’s total electricity in 2022, according to the International Energy Agency. Its projections show that by 2026, they will consume 6 percent. Industry forecasts show the centers eating up a larger share of U.S. electricity in the years that follow, as demand from residential and smaller commercial facilities stays relatively flat thanks to steadily increasing efficiencies in appliances and heating and cooling systems.


French Council of State annuls wind turbine permits, major impact on energy future

In a landmark decision, the French Council of State has ruled that authorizations for onshore wind turbines and rules for the renewal of wind farms are illegal. The decision comes after a legal challenge brought by the Fédération Environnement Durable and 15 associations.

Scope of the cancellation:

The Council of State annulled all provisions concerning the three successive versions of the noise measurement protocol that was supposed to protect the health of local residents. The decision affects not only current authorizations and projects but could also call into question existing wind farms.


* Projects under review or authorized but not yet built: These projects must imperatively undergo a complete environmental assessment.

* Existing wind farms: All wind farms built on the basis of the now-illegal ministerial decrees should no longer be authorized to operate in their current state.

Reasons for the cancellation:

* Lack of environmental assessment: The Council of State found that the ministerial decrees on noise measurement did not undergo an environmental assessment, which is a violation of the law.

* Lack of public participation: The Council of State also highlighted that the decisions approving the noise protocol were not subject to public participation, violating the principles of participation and transparency.


* Environmental associations: Environmental associations welcome the decision of the Council of State, calling it a major victory for environmental protection, the health of local residents, and respect for the law. They point to the systematic disregard of these laws by the public authorities, whose sole objective was to impose the installation of wind turbines that are increasingly rejected by the population, especially in rural areas.

* State: The State has been ordered to pay compensation to the plaintiff associations.

Impact on the French energy future:

The decision of the Council of State will have a crucial impact on the future of French energy. The development of onshore wind energy is now being slowed down, pending the implementation of new authorizations and rules that comply with the law. This decision also raises questions about the viability of ongoing projects and the future of existing wind farms.


Noise from wind farm is 'nuisance' to neighbours, Irish judge says in landmark ruling

A High Court judge has found that levels of noise generated at certain times of the day by a wind farm constitutes a nuisance to the occupants of neighbouring properties.

In a landmark decision, which is understood to have implications for the operation of electricity-generating wind turbines, Ms Justice Emily Egan held that noise levels from the two-turbine Ballyduff Windfarm at Kilcomb, near Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, amounted to "unreasonable interference".

The cases are the first private nuisance claim from wind turbine noise to run in either Ireland or the UK, the judge said.

The first action was taken by Margret Webster and her partner Keith Rollo whose home is close to the wind farm which has been operational since 2017.

A second action was taken by Ross Shorten and Joan Carty who had owned another property close to the turbines, but sold it after they commenced their proceedings in 2018.

Both couples had sued the wind farm operator Meenacloghspar (Wind) Limited seeking damages for nuisance.

The couples claimed they had been subjected to constant noise and nuisance from the wind farm that had damaged their lives, health and the value of the properties.

The claims were fully denied by the defendant, with a registered address at Stillorgan Road, Donnybrook, Dublin 4.

'Unreasonable interference'

In her ruling on the first part of the case, which dealt with liability only, Ms Justice Egan said the noise amounted to an "unreasonable interference" with the enjoyment of their property, and they were therefore entitled to damages.

The hearing of the first module lasted for 51 days, far longer than what had been originally estimated by the parties' lawyers, the judge noted.

The costs of the case to date have been estimated to be well over €1 million.

During the course of the hearing, the judge also physically visited the turbines and the properties.

Giving the court's decision, the judge said that there are frequent and sustained periods of noise "widely acknowledged to be associated with high levels of annoyance" and have "a characteristic known to lead to adverse reaction in the community".

The judge accepted that in this case such noise levels from the wind farm "occurs commonly and for sustained periods".

Noise levels that exhibit these characteristics on a regular and sustained basis were "unreasonable and exceptional," she said.

"I find that the plaintiffs’ complaints are objectively justified in that the noise interferes with the ordinary comfort and enjoyment of their homes. When it occurs, this interference is a substantial interference."

While the noise is liable to annoy during the working day, higher prevailing background noise levels and the fact that the occupants are not trying to relax, or sleep means that the noise did not in general substantially interfere with the plaintiffs’ enjoyment of their property, she said.

However, the noise "poses a nuisance to the plaintiffs in the evenings and at weekends, when one could reasonably expect to be enjoying recreation in the garden or peace in one’s dwelling".

"Demonstrably the noise also poses a nuisance at night and in the early morning when a quiet environment is at a premium," she said.


The amount of damages to be awarded to the plaintiffs, the issue of whether an injunction ought to be granted and, if so, the terms of such injunction will be assessed by the court following the second module of the claim.

The judge also found that the defendant had not breached the terms of turbine’s planning permission, as alleged.

The court said that while the court was not satisfied that wind farm complies with the noise condition of its permission, this had not been pleaded in the case.

The court also rejected claims that the defendant had been negligent towards the plaintiffs.

The court rejected the defendants' claim that Mr Shorten and Ms Carty were not entitled to seek damages for arising out of their disposal of their former property.

The judge said they were entitled to advance a claim to damages in nuisance for any unreasonable interference with amenity occasioned during the period of their ownership and potentially for diminution in the sale price.

The judge said the case was before the court when existing planning guidance regulating, the noise aspects of wind farm developments in Ireland, the Wind Energy Development Guidelines, 2006 are under review.

While draft revised Wind Energy Development Guidelines were published in 2019, these had been withdrawn, the judge said.

In the absence of clear policy guidance from the government on wind turbine noise, the assessment in an individual case "is a classic matter of degree on which the court must exercise judgment," the judge added.

After giving her decision, the judge directed the parties to re-engage in mediation in an attempt to identify appropriate and proportionate mitigation measures.




Tuesday, March 26, 2024

The Guardian Peddling Climate Doom Again

Last Tuesday, that bastion of accurate reporting; The Guardian, told us the planet has almost reached the ‘heating’ that will cause our own extinction

The article begins:

The world has never been closer to breaching the 1.5C (2.7F) global heating limit, even if only temporarily, the United Nations’ weather agency has warned.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) confirmed on Tuesday that 2023 was the hottest year on record by a clear margin.

It was if you continue to engage in data tampering to change the true figures by lowering past temperatures and raising recent ones.

In a report on the climate, it found that records were “once again broken, and in some cases smashed” for key indicators such as greenhouse gas pollution, surface temperatures, ocean heat and acidification, sea level rise, Antarctic sea ice cover and glacier retreat.

So-called ‘greenhouse gases’ are NOT pollution, and ‘ocean acidification’ is a myth. The oceans have a pH of between 7.9 and 8.3, making them an alkaline, NOT an acid. You cannot increase the acidity of something that is not an acid to start with.

The pH scale, like the Richter Scale, is logarithmic, meaning each division is ten times the previous number. Therefore ocean pH would have to reduce by a factor of over 11 to become even the mildest acid at 6.9.

There has been no increase in the rate of sea level rise for over a century. It continues at a global average of 3mm a year. Any claims to the contrary are false.

Antarctic sea ice gradually reducing is what we should expect from a modestly warming world, as is glacier retreat. This is in no way a cause for concern.

Andrea Celeste Saulo, secretary general of the WMO, said the organisation was now “sounding the red alert to the world”.

I would prefer more people to be sounding a red alert to the propaganda and outright lies of the UN and other globalist organisations.

The report found temperatures near the surface of the earth were 1.45C higher last year than they were in the late 1800s, when people began to destroy nature at an industrial scale and burn large amounts of coal, oil and gas.

The error margin of 0.12C in the temperature estimate is large enough that the earth may have already heated 1.5C.

But this would not mean world leaders have broken the promise they made in Paris in 2015 to halt global heating to that level by the end of the century, scientists warn, because they measure global heating using a 30-year average rather than counting a spike in a single year.

They got something right. Weather events have to continue without a break for a minimum of 30 years for it to be classed as a change in the climate.

Anything less than 30 years is weather not climate, but alarmists stubbornly refuse to acknowledge this.

The report documented violent weather extremes – particularly heat – on every inhabited continent. Some of the weather events were made stronger or more likely by climate change, rapid attribution studies have shown.

As Richard Lindzen and the late Dr Tim Ball have pointed out many times; in a warmer world you get LESS bad weather, not more.

Also, attribution is the weakest form of science, it proves nothing. I could attribute the fact that I have one cat to the fact my neighbour has one child, but does that mean one caused the other?

Friederike Otto, a climate scientist at Imperial College London who was not involved in the report, said: “If we do not stop burning fossil fuels, the climate will continue to warm, making life more dangerous, more unpredictable, and more expensive for billions of people on earth.”

Utter nonsense. All the flowerings of previous civilisations; the Medieval, Roman, Minoan and Holocene, have occurred precisely due to their respective warm periods. That’s why they are referred to as ‘climate optimas’.

Climate scientists are divided on whether extreme temperatures seen at the start of 2024 represent an unexpected acceleration of the climate crisis. Some indicators, such as sea surface temperatures, have been unexpectedly high – even accounting for the return of the ocean-warming weather pattern El Niño – while other weather events have reached rare extremes sooner that thought.

All the data shows the weather is becoming more benign as the Earth modestly warms. Claims of the opposite are false information.

Andreas Fink, a meteorologist at Karlsruhe Institute for Technology who was not involved in the report, said: “In terms of temperatures, it can be stated that a year like 2023, although extreme, is already possible in climate simulations of the current human-heated climate. But not all extreme weather events can be simulated with the current climate models.”

Climate models can be programmed to produce any desired result. They DO NOT reflect real-world observations.

The WMO found “a glimmer of hope” in the growth of renewable energy. The amount of renewable capacity added in 2023 was almost 50 percent greater than the year before, the report found, bringing it to the highest rate observed in the past two decades.

Ah yes, ‘renewable’ energy, that which on still cloudy days will leave much of the countries embracing it without electricity.

Simon Lewis, professor of global change science at University College London, said the state of the climate is an “accelerating crisis” for humanity. “This is, sadly, only the beginning of much worse impacts to come, given carbon emissions are still rising and there is continued massive new investment in extracting fossil fuels.”

The report found that marine heatwaves seared one third of the world’s ocean on an average day in 2023, harming vital ecosystems and food systems. By the end of the year, just 10 percent of the ocean had escaped heatwave conditions.

Climate change also worsened extreme weather events that left people hungry and forced them from their homes, even if it was not the main factor in their suffering.

No it has not. As noted above, ‘extreme weather’ events are becoming less frequent not more.

The UN Environment Program predicted in 2015 that there would be 50 million ‘climate refugees’ by 2020. When nothing happened, they revised their claim to 50 million by 2025.

How many climate refugees have there been so far? ZERO.

The number of people who are “acutely” food insecure has more than doubled since 2019 to 333 million people in 2023, the report found, concentrated in Africa and south Asia.

That has nothing to do with the climate, and everything to do with how many children they have.

The uneven impact of climate change is already making itself clearly felt, said Karsten Haustein, a climate scientist at the University of Leipzig who was not involved in the report. “The public debate, on the other hand, continues to pretend that the problems of the global south do not affect [the global north] – and that the consequences of climate change can somehow be overcome through technology.”

As long as the mainstream media continues to produce this garbage, the gullible will continue to believe it.

See the Guardian article here

See also this article about the UN claims from climatechangedispatch


Shocking moment £47,000 electric Jaguar goes 'rogue' and reverses into a Porsche before shooting forwards and smashing into a Tesla and Mercedes in crash which caused £150,000 of damage

Business owner Andrew Key was powerless to act as his £47,000 Jaguar E-Pace suddenly reversed at speed into a Porsche Boxster parked behind him.

The Jaguar mounted the black sports car and ended up on its roof.

Mr Key, 60, said despite slamming on the brakes his car then shot forwards and smashed into a Tesla Model Y parked in front. The Tesla in turn shunted a Mercedes C-Class car.

Luckily, nobody was in the Porsche at the time but a woman who was sat in the Tesla was left in shock.

The dramatic incident, which caused over £150,000 damage to all four cars, was captured on the dashcam of the Jaguar and Tesla.

It happened in the drop-off zone outside a busy Bournemouth railway station last October. Mr Key, the managing director of a private health care company, said it was a miracle nobody was seriously hurt or killed.

To add insult to injury, he received a fixed penalty notice by Dorset police for a 'driving offence' following the incident.

Mr Key, who has passed an advanced driver course, is adamant he was not to blame for the collision and insists his Jaguar had 'become faulty'.

But he was livid when Jaguar examined his car and reported there was nothing wrong with it and the accident must have been down to driver error.

It is the third reported incident of a Jaguar electric car apparently going 'rogue'.

Craig Phillips, the first winner of Big Brother, claimed the brakes on his electric Jaguar I-Pace failed as he was driving with his young children near his home in Merseyside on New Year's Eve.

Earlier this month the driver of a Jaguar I-Pace claimed his vehicle accelerated at up to 100mph on the M62 and had to be brought to a stop by police. However, the driver has since been charged over the matter.

Mr Key said: 'They said it was my fault and that I hit the accelerator. I didn't. I'm a civilian advanced driver and I've had a really excellent safety record and I haven't done anything like this before.

'I even went to hospital later on just to be sure I've not had a brain episode or a stroke, but I'm fine.

'My contention is that Jaguar provided me with a defective and dangerous vehicle, which resulted in a dramatic crash in which, miraculously, no one was seriously hurt.

'Given that this occurred outside a busy train station, next to a large Asda and a busy coach and bus station at rush hour, someone could easily have been killed.

'It was an event in which significant energy was deployed. So why didn't the following systems deploy: collision avoidance, seatbelt warnings, SOS assistance, air bags.'

Mr Key, from Bournemouth, was given the 2022 Jaguar 18 months ago as a semi-retirement gift.

He had gone to Bournemouth station to pick up a friend when the incident happened. He said he put the automatic car in park mode, undid his seatbelt and was about to get out when it went into reverse.

He said: 'The engine was off and I was in park. I reached over to get my hat from the passenger seat and suddenly I was aware the car was moving backwards.

'I didn't know why, my feet were nowhere near the pedals. I hit the brake pedal thinking that would stop it but nothing happened. I hit it several times and there was just nothing. I couldn't understand how it was moving from a standing stop.

'It impacted a Porsche Boxster parked behind it. Not only did it impact it, but my car mounted it. I realised my car was on top of it and I just thought 'I really hope there is nobody in it'. Thankfully nobody was.

'My car then shot forward and I saw the Tesla in front and knew I was going to hit it and the Tesla then shunted a Mercedes.

'There was a lady in the Tesla and she was really upset. Then the Porsche owner appeared and she was very upset and was crying and distressed.

'All I could do was tell them it wasn't my fault and that the car moved on its own accord and that it wasn't my fault but they didn't believe me.'

Mr Key said he had experienced a previous faults with the electronics on his Jaguar when the collision avoidance system suddenly activated and brought the vehicle to a dead stop in the middle of the road.

He initially complained to Jaguar Hendy of Christchurch, where he bought the car, after the incident outside the train station but said they stopped responding to his emails.

He then went to Jaguar's head office in Coventry and made a complaint to them. They checked his car's telematics, the black box and send a report.

Mr Key said: 'They said I must have put my foot on the accelerator but I replied to sat 'no, that didn't happen.'

'It's an automatic and it's controlled by software and apps and stuff. There is a fault with these Jaguar models.

'I'm not interested in compensation, a new car or anything like that. There is something wrong with these cars and Jaguar needs to do something about it before someone is killed.'

Mr Key's Jaguar was written off following the incident and he has now replaced it with a Dacia Stepway.

It comes as the first-ever Big Brother winner revealed to MailOnline how he became trapped behind the wheel of his £76,000 Jaguar I-Pace while his wife and two young children were in the car after the brakes stopped working.

TV personality Craig Phillips, 52, is the latest electric vehicle driver to come forward with a horror story about being 'kidnapped' by a runaway car.

He revealed how within days of having his Jaguar returned from the manufacturer for a separate issue, he was unable to use his brakes as he approached a red light with two cars in front of him and traffic coming towards him in the opposite lane.

A Jaguar spokesperson, disputing Mr Key's claims, said: 'Following an investigation into this, it was found there had been no brake failure, nor any other issue with the vehicle.'

Police said that Mr Key received a fixed penalty notice for a driving offence following the incident at Bournemouth railway station.

A spokesman for Dorset Police said: 'At 5.28pm on October 18, 2023, Dorset Police received a report of a four-vehicle road traffic collision at Bournemouth railway station.

'Officers attended the scene.

'No injuries were reported and following enquiries by officers, no arrests were made. A 60-year-old man from Bournemouth received a fixed penalty notice for a driving offence.'


Incredible moment Senator John Kennedy destroys Olympic skier Gus Schumacher after Democrats invited him to testify as 'expert witness' on climate change

Senate Democrats were left red-faced at a hearing on climate change as their 'expert witness' proved to be anything but when faced by veteran senator John Kennedy.

Budget Chairman Sheldon Whitehouse invited Olympic skier Gus Schumacher to give his perspective as the committee considered the impact of climate change on the recreation industry.

But it was all downhill for the 23-year-old as he struggled to answer basic questions and could not remember his tweets claiming the war on drugs was designed to jail black people, and calling for the police to be abolished.

The excruciating exchange continued with Schumacher insisting carbon dioxide is a 'huge part of our atmosphere', before Kennedy pointed out that it accounts for 0.04 percent.

'Well, okay. But, yeah. I don't know,' the skier admitted.

Introducing the hearing, Senator Whitehouse praised the quality of the 'highly credible witnesses' the committee had heard from.

'We have heard warnings from economists, scientists, medical professionals, insurance and investment executives, even a former Republican Senate Majority Leader. They warn of danger ahead.'

But there was danger ahead for Schumacher as he tried to fend off Kennedy's interrogation which began with a question about what carbon dioxide is.

'I went to high school, but carbon dioxide is a gas,' the skier told him. 'I'm not a professional to talk about carbon dioxide so much.

But Kennedy demanded an explanation about the gas's role in climate change.

'Carbon dioxide is, what I see it as, you know, a gas that exists in our atmosphere,' Schumacher explained.

'Is it a major part of our atmosphere?' Kennedy asked innocently.

'It's a huge part of our atmosphere,' the skier insisted.

'It's a very small part of our atmosphere,' the Senator pointed out.

'Well, okay. But, yeah. I don't know. What are you asking specifically?' Schumacher replied.

'You said we need to reduce carbon emissions,' Kennedy reminded him, 'I'd like to know first if you know what it is.'

Schumacher, who competed in the 2022 Winter Olympics, insisted he had seen 'climate change dramatically alter the conditions for winter sports,' during his decade or so on the slopes.

And Kennedy was keen to test his expertise on other issues he had weighed in on including a 2020 retweet claiming the 'war on drugs was intentionally created to incarcerate black people en masse'.

'Who intentionally created the 'war on drugs' to put black people in jail?' Kennedy demanded.

Schumacher said he did not remember the tweet, adding: 'I'm here as an athlete giving you my story of what I've seen in my field.'

The senator then asked about a tweet calling for the police to 'abolished' and replaced with a new service.

'You think we ought to abolish the police?' Kennedy asked. 'Should we do that before or after we get rid of fossil fuels?'

'I'm not going to address that,' the skier replied.

Footage of the head-clutching exchange left viewers baffled as to why he had been invited with some suggesting he should stick to what he knows.

'I just like play in the snow and I like noticed the snow wasn't so snowy anymore,' tweeted one.

'It's sad this fella went to the Senate to speak about Carbon dioxide and it's effect on the environment and he has no clue,' added another.

'He thought it would be fun to go advise the Senate on an important issue. That fun ended at Senator John Kennedy,' wrote a third.

Schumacher deleted the X account from which the senator quoted at Wednesday's hearing.

And though some compared him to the gormless surfer Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemount High, the young Alaskan did not seem fazed by his mauling at the hands of the Republican Senator, insisting it had been a 'huge honor'.

'I don't pretend to be an expert, but I'm using my platform to elevate the issue!' he wrote on Facebook.

'I hope that my testimony has made an impact on public officials making policy decisions.'


Humans Are Not Primary Drivers Of CO2 Increases

“From modern instrumental carbon isotopic data of the last 40 years, no signs of human (fossil fuel) CO2 emissions can be discerned.” –Koutsoyiannis, 2024

It is routinely claimed that a telltale sign human emissions (fossil fuels) have irrevocably altered the atmospheric CO2 concentration is a declining trend in carbon isotope 13 (δ13C), considered an interruption of natural carbon cycle processes.

But new research examining isotopic data from four observation sites (South Pole, Mauna Loa, Barrow, La Jolla – regarded as “global” in their coverage) indicates there is no isotopic pattern consistent with a human fingerprint.

“The standard metric δ13C is consistent with an input isotopic signature that is stable over the entire period of observations (>40 years), i.e., not affected by increases in human CO2 emissions.”

In fact, not only has the input isotopic CO2 signature not been declining as proposed by those who believe humans are fully responsible for the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration, but, according to multiple detection techniques using both modern data and paleo-data extending to the Little Ice Age (16th to mid-19th century), δ13C [input] has been increasing.

This directionality is the exact opposite of what is supposed to happen if fossil fuels were driving atmospheric CO2 increases.

“…for the longer subperiod lengths, 20 and 30 years, the tendencies are clearly increasing, opposite to the hypothesis that they are caused by fossil fuel emissions”
“…the trends are small and always positive, again contradicting the fossil fuel origin of the phenomenon”

“…from period B to C [1899-1976 to 1977-1997], we note an increase in δ13C [input, from -13.9 to -12.9 percent], contradicting the fossil fuel origin of the phenomenon”




Monday, March 25, 2024

A Re-Evaluation Of Earth’s CO2 History

The reliability of ice cores was of course also heavily questioned by the late Professor Zbigniew Jaworowski, who pointed to compression effects in their gases

Dr. Matthew Wielicki

The ongoing debate and investigation into the causes and impacts of global warming bring to the forefront the significance of understanding Earth’s climatic past to forecast its future

Central to this discourse is the theory of anthropogenic global warming, which posits that human activities, primarily through the emission of ‘greenhouse gases’ such as carbon dioxide, have significantly altered the Earth’s atmospheric composition, leading to global warming and ‘climate change’.

Let’s explore the essential crux of the anthropogenic global warming theory, examine the reliability of ice cores in recording atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and explore alternative methods such as plant stomata analysis to gain insights into historical CO2 levels.

The anthropogenic global warming theory is underpinned by the analysis of atmospheric CO2 concentrations over geological timescales. Scientific evidence suggests that for the past 800,000 years, atmospheric CO2 levels fluctuated between approximately 180 to 300 parts per million (ppm).

This range is considered to reflect natural variability, driven by Earth’s orbital cycles, volcanic activity, and interactions between the atmosphere, oceans, and biosphere.

However, the stark increase in CO2 levels to the current concentration of around 420 ppm is attributed to anthropogenic emissions, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, and industrial processes.

It is claimed that this significant departure from the historical range is a key indicator of human influence on the climate system.

Understanding the historical context of atmospheric CO2 levels is crucial, and ice cores have been an invaluable resource in this endeavor. Ice cores are cylindrical samples extracted from ice sheets and glaciers.

They contain trapped air bubbles that have been sealed off from the atmosphere, or at least that is the assumption, as the ice forms, preserving a record of past atmospheric conditions. By analyzing the gases within these bubbles, scientists can reconstruct atmospheric compositions, including CO2 concentrations, over hundreds of thousands of years.

However, the formation of glacial ice is a prolonged process that occurs over centuries to millennia. This slow encapsulation process means that ice cores may not effectively capture short-term fluctuations in atmospheric CO2 levels, which could last only a few years to decades.

The question then arises: How accurately do ice cores reflect short-term variations in CO2 concentrations?

This is where alternative methods, such as the analysis of plant stomata, come into play. Stomata are microscopic pores found on the surfaces of leaves and needles, facilitating gas exchange between the plant and the atmosphere.

The density of stomata on plant leaves is influenced by atmospheric CO2 levels; higher concentrations lead to fewer stomata, and vice versa. By examining fossilized leaves and comparing stomatal density across different periods, scientists can infer past CO2 levels with a higher resolution than ice cores, potentially capturing more significant, short-term changes.

The evidence from plant stomata analysis suggests that there have been many more large, short-term fluctuations in atmospheric CO2 levels than those recorded by ice cores. In fact, some studies suggest levels approaching 400 ppm in the 14th and 16th centuries, challenging the notion of stable CO2 prior to human emissions.

Furthermore, other studies have shown short-term increases of CO2 of about 200 ppm in two centuries, naturally, which are not observed in the ice cores.

These discrepancies raise important questions about our understanding of natural CO2 variability and the baseline levels of atmospheric CO2 in the absence of human activities.

In conclusion, while ice cores provide a critical long-term perspective on Earth’s atmospheric history, their limitations in capturing short-term fluctuations underscore the need for complementary methods like plant stomata analysis.

Together, these tools offer a more nuanced understanding of natural versus anthropogenic influences on the Earth’s climate.

As we continue to unravel the complex interplay between natural variability and human impact, it becomes increasingly clear that the rise in CO2 levels can not merely be assigned to anthropogenic means.


Bugs on the Menu? Biden’s Climate and ESG Policies Threaten Food Supply, Think-Tank Warns

A new report from the right-leaning think-tank The Buckeye Institute sounded the alarm on the Biden administration’s net-zero climate-control policies and that agenda items threaten U.S. food production.

The report, released on Feb.7, found that the climate policies and mandates guided by the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) agenda that is being pushed by the Biden administration carries a hefty price tag for American farmers and consumers.

“To better appreciate the true costs that American farms and households will likely pay for the Biden administration’s net-zero policies and objectives, The Buckeye Institute’s Economic Research Center developed a model corn farm that must play by the government’s new carbon emission rules,” wrote report authors Trevor W. Lewis and M. Ankith Reddy, who are both economic research analysts at the think-tank.

“The farm’s operational costs, as expected, all rose significantly,” they added.

Crunching the numbers, the researchers found that U.S. farmers will see their operational costs rise by an estimated 34 percent as a result of the Biden administration’s net-zero emissions policies.

Not only did the model predict that the government’s carbon pricing policies would raise farm operating costs, consumers also face a hit to their wallets.

The government’s net-zero policies that the Buckeye report took into account in its analysis include the implications of rejoining the Paris Climate Accords, which targets greenhouse gas emissions.

In order to achieve the climate pact’s objectives, the Biden administration committed to cutting America’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50–52 percent by 2030 and to reach economy-wide net-zero emissions by 2050.

“Achieving the administration’s desired decarbonized economy will require aggressive climate-emission reduction policies that drain and replace fossil fuels from every sector of the U.S. economy,” the report’s authors wrote.

The Biden administration has already started implementing stringent regulatory policies meant to cut carbon emissions from America’s energy industry, while a looming final rule on ESG reporting, due to enter into force in April 2024, threatens to push carbon compliance onto other industries.

Many of these policies have been tested in Europe, with the researchers concluding that the results there have been an “unmitigated failure.”

“Despite these resounding warnings from European counterparts, U.S. policymakers have recommitted American industry to the same net-zero emissions standards and have imposed the same kinds of costly mandates on farms and businesses that will ultimately reduce food and energy supplies without achieving their intended benefits,” they argued.

“The results of Buckeye’s modeling were predictable and unsurprising, but many U.S. policymakers seem unwilling to address or even acknowledge them. That has to change, or the United States will face dire economic consequences,” concludes the report’s executive summary.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment on the report’s findings.

Will Hild, executive director of Consumers’ Research, commented on the report in a post on X.

“Farmers and ranchers lay out huge sums for everything from fertilizer, seeds, and feed to heavy machinery and pesticides to produce the food we eat. Yet, the climate cult and ESG elites are causing these costs to skyrocket,” he wrote.

“That puts a heavier financial burden on agricultural producers and imposes higher food costs on hardworking Americans,” he continued.

“America’s farmers and ranchers’ livelihoods shouldn’t be at risk because of inflated operating costs or loss of access to capital from woke banks. Nor should the American people be victim to a crushing tax put on their groceries by climate extremists.”


SEC faces avalanche of lawsuits from states, companies, and nonprofits over climate rule

More than half the states in the U.S. filed lawsuits this month against the Securities and Exchange Commission over the climate disclosure rules it finalized last week.

On top of state lawsuits, the SEC is facing legal challenges from companies, nonprofits and business advocacy groups.

A U.S. appeals court on Friday temporarily paused the new rules.

The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a request from Liberty Energy Inc. and Nomad Proppant Services LLC to put the rules on hold while it considers the oilfield companies' lawsuit challenging them.

The final rule didn’t include the stringent Scope 3 reporting requirements, which would have required companies registered with the SEC to disclose all emissions along the entire supply chain through the end use of products.

If it had been included, the average per-firm costs of producing climate disclosures would have been $864,864 across 7,400 companies, according to the National Review.

The final rules still require large and mid-sized companies to report Scope 1 and 2 emissions, and a deluge of lawsuits have raised a number of objections to what did end up in the final rule.

The day after the SEC voted 3 to 2 to adopt the final rules, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced his state and Georgia were leading a coalition of 10 states in filing a petition to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Today, the Biden administration has once again got on the attack against America's energy industry. It actually may be one of the most egregious attempts yet,” Morrisey said in a press conference.

Morrisey said the SEC is exceeding the authority Congress granted it to be a financial regulator. The climate disclosure rules, he said, were an attempt by the SEC to be an environmental regulator.

“Congress only wanted the SEC to focus on the financial regulation. And that's all the SEC has the power to do. Certainly, the SEC has nothing to do with climate change or energy,” Morrisey said.


The new rule, Morrisey said, twists the definition of materiality, which has been the basis for what information companies need to supply to investors. The SEC considers a matter "material" if there is a substantial likelihood that a reasonable person would consider it important.

Commissioner Hester Peirce had also raised this objection in explaining her dissenting vote on the final rule.

“While the commission has decorated the final rule with materiality ribbons, the rule embraces materiality in name only,” Peirce said.

Morrisey said the reporting requirements under the new rule will be onerous, and that it will make it virtually impossible for companies to calculate how their environmental impact is material.

“How is the company supposed to know if greenhouse gas emission will affect its finances? How many trucks are going to be too many? How much coal do you use versus natural gas or other forms of energy?” Morrisey said.

He also said there are First Amendment issues with the final rule as it may fall under compelled speech.

Steve Milloy, a senior legal fellow with the Energy and Environmental Legal Institute and publisher of, told Just The News that the strongest legal argument against the rules is that the agency is exceeding its authority.

“Congress never authorized the SEC to participate in climate regulation — number one of two. The SEC can only require disclosure of material facts, and it cannot be shown that climate is in any way material to any investor decisions. So it fails on those two counts,” Milloy said.


History of weather extremes reveals little has changed, new report shows

A new report published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation challenges the popular but mistaken belief that weather extremes - such as flooding, droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires - are more common and more intense today because of climate change.

Drawing on newspaper archives and long-term observational data, the report, written by Dr Ralph Alexander, documents multiple examples of past extremes that matched or exceeded anything experienced in the present-day world.

Dr Ralph Alexander said:

“That so many people are unaware of past extremes shows that collective memories of extreme weather are short-lived.”

“The perception that extreme weather events are increasing in frequency and severity is primarily a consequence of new information technology – the Internet and smart phones – which have revolutionised communication and made us much more aware of such disasters in all corners of the world than we were 50 or 100 years ago.”