Thursday, 24 May 2018

USA MEETS CO2 REDUCTION TARGET DESPITE LACK OF REGULATION

This piece points out that the USA reduction are not due to wind or solar, but to a switch from coal to gas. This has come about as a result of the free market and the drop in price of gas due to fracking. If only UK and EU politicians would learn a lesson from this. 

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

USA ELECTRIC VEHICLE SALES STILL VERY LOW

This piece looks at electric vehicle sales in the USA and they are not good. Growth is slow and they are used less than conventional vehicles. Gasoline prices have remained relatively low in recent years, and the fuel economy of conventional vehicles has increased—factors that diminished the potential fuel savings of switching to electrified vehicles. Initial purchase prices for many electrified vehicles remain relatively high.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

THE DRIVE TO CHANGE TO ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Below is an extract from a local authority planning document giving requirements for new dwellings.

"Within all dedicated off-street parking spaces that are within the curtilage of a dwelling the minimum requirement is the installation within the parking space of a dedicated fast charging unit. (With at least a 32 amp single phase power supply, or any subsequent higher minimum standard adopted nationally.)  In new developments where communal parking areas are provided, or where private parking is separate from the premises or dwelling, an electrical supply should be installed with sufficient power capacity to enable the convenient installation of fast charging points to all parking spaces in the future, without the need for significant re-wiring, structural or subsurface works. Some charging points should be provided unless it is demonstrably unfeasible to do so.
With continuing development in technology, new developments should install the latest method of charging that is accepted as an industry standard and cost effective for general use."

How much will this add to the cost of a new home and how much extra power will the grid need to supply if all these charging points were to be used together?

Monday, 21 May 2018

RATIONAL SCIENCE TELLS US THAT CLIMATE CHANGE IS NOT A CRISIS

That is my summary of this article which explores some of the hype whipped up by the media and certain politicians and activists. I guess the guy who wrote this article sums up my own view and expresses it well.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

PROFESSOR SACKED FOR SPEAKING OUT ON CLIMATE SCIENCE

This article explains how Professor Peter Ridd has been dismissed from his post at James Cook University in Australia for having the temerity to speak out against those who are saying the Great Barrier Reef is being decimated by climate change. He speaks with great knowledge and integrity, but because the universities leadership don't want him to speak out and he refuses to retract or cease they have sacked him. 

Saturday, 19 May 2018

AUSSIE ENERGY CHIEF IS A CLIMATE CHANGE ACTIVIST

Here is the background to this headline.  It is absolutely clear that these people are not appointed by accident. It is a political decision and most leaders in the Western world are convinced that they must stick to the policy of reducing CO2 emissions, despite the great uncertainty that it is necessary, and despite the damage that it will do to their economies.

Friday, 18 May 2018

WE'VE JUST HAD 2 YEARS OF RECORD-BREAKING GLOBAL COOLING

This article puts forward the evidence to show that record cooling has happened. This is not something that we will see or hear in the media. Interesting though it is. 

Thursday, 17 May 2018

UK SHALE BUREAUCRACY STIFLING OUR ABILTY TO ACCESS ESSENTIAL ENERGY

This piece explains what is going on, or rather what isn't happening but should be. "We are facing two to three years of planning applications to get a core well approved at the moment." says a representative from Ineos. How crazy is that? 

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

TOURISM, THE HIDDEN "ELEPHANT" OF HIGH CO2 EMISSIONS

Here is a delicious irony - the small island states that claim to be adversely affected by rising seas caused by CO2 emissions are the very same states that derive most of their incomes from the tourism which causes the CO2 emissions. So what are they campaigning for - a massive loss in income from reduced tourism, or what? This piece discusses this in more detail.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

IS IT THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR WIND FARMS?

This article looks at research which suggests that we may be past "peak wind farm", unless even more subsidies are given out. To quote from the article " the decision facing owners of ageing wind farms is extremely difficult, except to decommission. Repowering* is by no means a simple matter:"
*Repowering means replacing existing turbines with new more powerful ones.

Monday, 14 May 2018

SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT LIKE "ALICE IN WONDERLAND" SAYS QC IN COURT CASE

Jim Ratcliffe, owner of Ineos, a leading Petro-chemical company (and also the UK's richest person, worth £21 billion according to Forbes Rich List) is taking the Scottish SNP lead government to court over its declared policy to ban fracking in Scotland. Here is a link to the details. Apparently Mr Ratcliffe has bought licences to carry out fracking - so at the very least he must be due a refund! You really could not make up the stupidity that goes on north of the border.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

BOTH SIDES IN THE CLIMATE DEBATE IGNORE THE LATEST RESEARCH

So locked up in the traditional arguments of the past are the main protagonists that they are ignoring the new elephant that is now in the room according to  this article.  strong evidence that changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have no significant effect on global temperatures in the real world over recent decades. The studies involved conclude that the minor increases in global temperatures during this period can be entirely explained using natural factors.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

CLIMATE ACTIVISTS TRY TO TAKE LEGAL ACTION AGAINST OIL COMPANIES

This post discusses the question of whether oil companies "knew" that their product would cause dangerous climate change.  We now find that in fact it is natural factors which appear to dominate the weather.

Friday, 11 May 2018

CLIMATE TALKS REACH STALEMATE

This article gives the details.  Once again we learn that this is more about the money than the climate.  It takes an outsider like Donald Trump to see the truth, or at least to acknowledge it publicly. I really was an extraordinary achievement for him to win the Presidency. Will he be able to win over the people to see what we sceptics can see? 

Thursday, 10 May 2018

CALIFORNIA TO MAKE SOLAR PANELS COMPULSORY

This article explains the situation in California where there is a vote on this controversial issue.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

THE LEFT CAUGHT OUT BY THEIR LIES OVER OIL POLLUTION LAW SUIT

This piece reveals all the dirty tricks used by environmental activists to try and extract a huge sum of money from Chevron oil company. This story makes us all ask the question - who can you trust? 

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

SENIOR MET OFFICE MAN CAUGHT OUT LYING OVER FORECAST OF SEVERE COLD WEATHER IN UK

This report from Paul Homewood explains the situation in full. Clearly the Met Office man (Adam Scaife) wanted to sound efficient and accurate in forecasting a spell of severe weather well ahead. But thanks to Paul's dogged detective work he has been found out. 

Monday, 7 May 2018

IS CALIFORNIA ABOUT TO FACE A NEW ENERGY CRISIS?

This report is predicting it will. That is one thing that is certain to provoke a strong reaction from the public. Here in the UK we are often told we could face blackouts, but as yet they haven't arrived, unlike the unfortunate residents of South Australia. 

Sunday, 6 May 2018

MILLIONS OF PEOPLE IN AFRICA ARE DYING DUE TO CLIMATE POLICIES

This paper looks at the way that the over-riding target of reducing CO2 emissions has led to real hardship for the poor in Africa. Indoor air pollution is the major killer there and the way to stop it is to give them cheap electricity through fossil fuels like coal or gas.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

COULD THIS PAPER OVERTURN THE NEED FOR THE PARIS AGREEMENT?

This paper is potentially a game-changer in the climate debate as it is the first one which supports a likely temperature rise for a doubling of CO2 that is not alarming, which has been permitted to be published in a "prestigious" climate journal - thus implicitly giving it credence. The paper is by Nic Lewis and Judith Curry, two well respected independent climate scientists. 

Friday, 4 May 2018

DANES SHOW THAT ELECTRIC VEHICLES ONLY SELL WITH SUBSIDIES

After Tesla Debacle, Denmark Reconsiders Electric Car Subsidies For The Rich
Bloomberg, 29 April 2018


Denmark may be open to financial incentives to buy electric cars after seeing a dramatic drop in sales of non-polluting vehicles, according to Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen.



“We have tax incentives for electric cars, and you could discuss if they should be bigger. I will not exclude that,” Rasmussen said in an interview in Copenhagen. Any new incentives would be announced along with a government plan to boost clean-energy consumption after the summer, he said.

Danish sales of electric vehicles have fallen dramatically — from nearly 5,000 in 2015 to around 700 in 2017 — since Rasmussen’s center-right government phased out subsidies such as those offered in Norway and Germany.

With diesel having fallen out of favor across Europe in the wake of the Volkswagen scandal, Denmark is now debating which vehicle types to promote and which to discourage.

The government has come under fire for its indiscriminate cuts to registration taxes, which have eroded incentives to buy green vehicles rather than those powered by fossil-fuels. Denmark has no car industry of its own and has one of the highest import duties in the world.

Adding to pressure on the government, the opposition Social Democrats grabbed the limelight last week by announcing plans to ban the sale of diesel vehicles by 2030, if they win elections due to be held by June 2019.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

LIGHTING DIRECTOR WARNS OF IMPENDING DISASTER FROM EU DRAFT REGULATION

Madness II: EU Rule Could Leave Theatres Dark
The Guardian, 29 April 2018


The president of the Association of Lighting Directors warns that a new directive could make all existing equipment obsolete

I am writing to you as the president of the Association of Lighting Designers, and as the Founder of Theatre Projects, an international theatre design company that for 60 years has been at the forefront of British theatre technology, responsible for the stage design of the National Theatre, and for over 1,500 theatre projects in 80 counties.

I have been a lighting designer for over 60 years. British theatre now faces an extraordinary crisis. On Saturday 7 May consultation on an amazing EU draft regulation – the Energy Directorate’s Eco-design Working Plan 2016-19 – will close. If confirmed, in 2020 virtually all stage lighting equipment used throughout the British Theatre and entertainment industry will be rendered obsolete and the lamps within that create the light be unobtainable.

British theatre and British lighting design leads the world. This month alone on Broadway, two productions, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, lit by Neil Austin, and Angels in America, lit by Paule Constable, have attracted universal critical acclaim.

This draft regulation not only bans incandescent lamps, but virtually all the discharge and LED light sources that have been developed in recent years to reduce the theatre’s carbon footprint. This is a very real crisis. No existing entertainment lighting equipment presently meets the new theoretical power requirement.

If, in 18 months, such equipment were to be invented – an aim apparently pushing beyond the boundaries of physics today – it would certainly cost as much as five to 10 times the equipment it replaces. This is, therefore, a potential financial disaster at best, and an artistic and practical catastrophe for every theatre in the land.

The eco-design plan must exempt entertainment lighting from this mistaken regulation. The alternative may be dark and bankrupt theatres everywhere. Never again will the glories of our stages be seen in a proper light.

Richard Pilbrow
President, Association of Lighting Designers

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

WILL GREEN EU MADNESS COST IRELAND £600 MILLION?

Europe’s Green Madness Goes OTT: Ireland Faces Annual EU Green Energy Fines Of €600 Million
The Irish Independent, 30 April 2018


Ireland faces fines of €600m a year from the EU for failing to meet renewable energy targets and cutting carbon emissions by 2020.

New, more ambitious targets for 2030 do not let Ireland off the hook for the 2020 measures, it has emerged.

A report for the Dáil Public Accounts Committee, which calculated the potential fines within two years, said they will be a matter for the European Court of Justice to impose.

Irish EU Commissioner Phil Hogan said there was confusion in some quarters that the 2020 targets under the EU Renewable Energy Directive would be merged into the more ambitious targets for 2030. This would give the Government some breathing space and lessen the risk of punitive fines.

“But that is not the case. The 2020 target must be adhered to,” Mr Hogan said.

The commissioner urged the Government to be more proactive in developing wind and wave energy and reduce dependence on fossil fuels in line with EU agreed targets.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

IF SOLAR AND WIND ARE SO CHEAP WHY ARE THEY MAKING ELECTRICITY SO EXPENSIVE?

This piece asks that very simple and pertinent question. How can any politician not reach the obvious conclusion?

Monday, 30 April 2018

PARIS ACCORD SHIFTS JOBS FROM THE WEST TO INDIA AND CHINA


It's as simple as that, as set out in this article below.

Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy noted one obvious problem Thursday with French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent clarion call for the U.S. to stay connected to the Paris Climate agreement.

Exempting China and India from abiding to the non-binding deal is one of the main reasons why greenhouse gas emission are pitching upward, Cassidy said in an interview with Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade. Environmental rules in the U.S. are causing companies to shift production to countries not tethered to the accord’s strict provisions.

“Paris climate accord leaves out China and India until 2030, and they’re the major polluter,” Cassidy said of the move allowing both countries to opt out of the international agreement until 2030. “It has no teeth,” he added, “and no one is going to achieve their goals except maybe the U.S.”

Major manufacturers have wagered China is the path of least resistance. “It’s cheaper to produce there because of regulations in the U.S. and the E.U.” said Cassidy, who became a Republican in 2006 after several decades as a Democrat. “And now we have more global greenhouse gas emissions, but the loss of American jobs.”

Carbon emissions rose in 2017 after stalling for three years in a row, according to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA). IEA’s report mirrors findings published in the Global Carbon Project in 2017, predicting global emissions would rise two percent.

CO2 emissions rose because of a 2.1 percent increase in global energy demand — 70 percent of which was met by fossil fuels, especially natural gas and coal-fired electricity. China’s six percent jump in electricity demand was met by coal, IEA reported.

The rise in emissions came as the world economy grew 3.7 percent in 2017. Higher economic growth means more emissions, despite claims economic growth had begun to “decouple” from greenhouse gas emissions. Much of that economic output is a result of American and European companies shifting manufacturing to places where labor costs are lower.

Follow Chris White on Facebook and Twitter.

This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller

Sunday, 29 April 2018

3 YEARS ON WE CAN SEE THAT OWEN PATERSON WAS RIGHT TO CALL FOR THE CLIMATE CHANGE ACT TO BE SCRAPPED

Why we have to scrap the Climate Change Act. 

By Owen Paterson MP, December 2015 Daily Telegraph

As the Paris summit ends, it’s more important than ever to separate energy and climate change policy. As it reaches its conclusion - without having come to any conclusions - it's probably worth asking: what was the point of the Paris Climate Change summit? Ostensibly the politicians and officials met to discuss the effects of global warming and how to mitigate them. Climate change is certainly a useful political tool. International heads of state burnished their credentials as they spoke in Paris of their intent to protect the world from rising temperatures.

Locally too, the words "climate change" can be politically expedient. Indeed, as Cumbria is left considering the aftermath of the floods - which broke records in terms of river height and wrought havoc emotionally and financially - politicians and officials have been quick to blame climate change. It is, frankly a cheap way to abdicate any responsibility for the devastating effect of flooding.

I say this because last year, 17 senior climatologists published a paper in which they said that blaming climate change for flood losses turns the losses into a global issue – thereby putting them beyond the control of national institutions. The evidence also suggests that rainfall in Cumbria last weekend only marginally overtook much older records, if at all. Indeed, the frequency of such floods in the past three decades, according to scientists from Lancaster University, is not unusual and has fallen markedly from the mid-20th century.

My point is that this dreadful flooding could easily have happened even if the climate were not changing, since it is largely caused by landscape changes. And the measures the world has taken against climate change have not and will not significantly change the risk of flooding in Cumbria.

So what, then, have these 21 years of exchanging hot air on the subject actually achieved? Very little in terms of restricting global emissions – just look at India and China – but as far as Britain is concerned, they have had a devastating effect on our energy policy.

Back in 2011, the world pledged to produce binding legal targets on emissions for all countries at this Paris meeting. But that ambition has been abandoned in favour of vague “intended” national promises. Each country must now set its own energy policy. So China and India – in fact any country – can continue to burn fossil fuels at will. Apart from Britain.

We are left uniquely isolated and vulnerable as the only country in the world with a legal target for reducing emissions, thanks to our Climate Change Act of 2008. No other country will be breaking its own law if it misses its target. But we have a binding target to reduce emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. We have repeatedly boasted that we are setting the world an example – but the world seems disinclined to take notice.

Lucky for us, then, that Amber Rudd, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, is beginning to dismantle the disgraceful legacy of her three predecessors, Ed Miliband, Chris Huhne and Ed Davey, which has delivered no significant cuts in emissions while risking black-outs, killing jobs in the aluminium and steel industries, hugely inflating cost and worsening fuel poverty. Her recommendations make a good start, but there is much further to go if she is to rescue the British economy from an impending energy crisis.

The 2050 target commits us to decarbonising our electricity, abolishing gas as a fuel for cooking and heating our homes, and converting two thirds of our cars to electric. These aims come at an astronomical cost. Since wind does not significantly reduce emissions (because of the need for back-up when it is not blowing) and because solar power is useless at night and in winter, it would mean a vast investment in nuclear power, equivalent to building a new Hinkley Point every three years for 35 years.

That’s neither feasible nor affordable. So while it is great news that the Government is killing wind subsidies onshore and abandoning the costly pipe dream of carbon capture and storage, we must go further and get rid of offshore wind subsidies (the most costly of all) and “biomass” subsidies. Our dash for wind power so distorted the electricity market that it has actually prevented the construction of efficient and cheap combined-cycle gas turbines.

By calling for an acceleration of the development of shale gas and by embracing the idea of small modular nuclear reactors, the Government is insuring that gas will for many decades be the most affordable and cleanest of the fuels available to the world. But our dash for wind power so distorted the electricity market that it has actually prevented the construction of efficient and cheap combined-cycle gas turbines.

So, in the wake of the non-committal Paris climate talks, we need to make sure we decouple energy policy from climate change policy, and take measures to restore resilience to the system. Specifically, it is vital that the 2008 Climate Change Act, Ed Miliband’s most pernicious legacy, be suspended and eventually repealed. Clause 2 of the act enables the Secretary of State to amend the 2050 target, which could have the immediate effect of suspending it. To avoid failure in 10-20 years time, that decision must be taken now.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

WISHFUL THINKING LEADS TO HOPELESS PREDICTIONS ON ENERGY

A short BBC video features Christiana Figueres, the former UN climate chief, talking about a "fossil fuel world. The video can be accessed here .  My thoughts are in line with those of Paul Homewood, which are that she is living in a fanasy world - just like many of our own politicians!

Friday, 27 April 2018

WE NEED A SCIENCE COURT TO SOLVE THE REPRODUCIBILITY CRISIS

This piece explains the argument for arbitration to decide what is good science and what is rubbish. I think it might be useful but only if it can be trusted and had a truly independent judge and jury.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

THE GREATEST TWO YEAR GLOBAL COOLING EVENT JUST TOOK PLACE

This article gives the details. What this shows is that our climate is highly variable, just as it always has been.  

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

AUSSIE ENERGY MARKET GOING DOWN THE PAN

This article explains how the increase in highly subsidised solar panels is causing serious distortion in the grid and higher prices for consumers.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

USA SHALE BECOMES PROFITABLE AS PRICE OF CRUDE OIL RISES

This piece looks at the improved financial independence of USA shale. Now the UK has got to get fracking and show the EU what can be achieved.

Monday, 23 April 2018

INDIA TO CANCEL NUCLEAR POWER AND INCREASE COAL

This piece explains how the Indian government has decided to increase the amount of coal power and reduce future nuclear stations. This decision completely overwhelms the decision of Western governments to try and reduce CO2 emissions. So much for coal becoming a stranded asset!

Sunday, 22 April 2018

EARTH DAY DOOM AND GLOOM DEBUNKED

This post looks at the past predictions of doom and gloom as we reach another anniversary of Earth Day.  Although we do face some problems it is good to see that many of the gloomier predictions have not come true.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

BATTERY STORAGE NOT ECONOMIC FOR SOLAR ENERGY

This piece looks at the economic case for battery storage of solar energy.  It concludes that it is not economic and will not be until batteries go below half their current cost.

Friday, 20 April 2018

UK CITIZENS UNDER PRESSURE TO INSTALL SMART METERS

This Daily Mail article updates us on the increasingly desperate measures being taken by the electricity companies to get us all to sign up to a smart meter.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

ARE GOVERMENT'S BEING GIVEN BAD SCIENCE TO MAKE DECISIONS?

How Bad Is The Government’s Science?
Peter Wood and David Randall, The Wall Street Journal, 17 April 2018


Policy makers often cite research to justify their rules, but many of those studies wouldn’t replicate

Half the results published in peer-reviewed scientific journals are probably wrong. John Ioannidis, now a professor of medicine at Stanford, made headlines with that claim in 2005. Since then, researchers have confirmed his skepticism by trying — and often failing — to reproduce many influential journal articles. Slowly, scientists are internalizing the lessons of this irreproducibility crisis. But what about government, which has been making policy for generations without confirming that the science behind it is valid?

The biggest newsmakers in the crisis have involved psychology. Consider three findings: Striking a “power pose” can improve a person’s hormone balance and increase tolerance for risk. Invoking a negative stereotype, such as by telling black test-takers that an exam measures intelligence, can measurably degrade performance. Playing a sorting game that involves quickly pairing faces (black or white) with bad and good words (“happy” or “death”) can reveal “implicit bias” and predict discrimination.

All three of these results received massive media attention, but independent researchers haven’t been able to reproduce any of them properly. It seems as if there’s no end of “scientific truths” that just aren’t so. For a 2015 article in Science, independent researchers tried to replicate 100 prominent psychology studies and succeeded with only 39% of them.

Further from the spotlight is a lot of equally flawed research that is often more consequential. In 2012 the biotechnology firm Amgen tried to reproduce 53 “landmark” studies in hematology and oncology. The company could only replicate six. Are doctors basing serious decisions about medical treatment on the rest? Consider the financial costs, too. A 2015 study estimated that American researchers spend $28 billion a year on irreproducible preclinical research.

The chief cause of irreproducibility may be that scientists, whether wittingly or not, are fishing fake statistical significance out of noisy data. If a researcher looks long enough, he can turn any fluke correlation into a seemingly positive result. But other factors compound the problem: Scientists can make arbitrary decisions about research techniques, even changing procedures partway through an experiment. They are susceptible to groupthink and aren’t as skeptical of results that fit their biases. Negative results typically go into the file drawer. Exciting new findings are a route to tenure and fame, and there’s little reward for replication studies.

American science has begun to face up to these problems. The National Institutes of Health has strengthened its reproducibility standards. Scientific journals have reduced the incentives and opportunities to publish bad research. Private philanthropies have put serious money behind groups like the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford, led in part by Dr. Ioannidis, and the Center for Open Science in Charlottesville, Va.

There’s more to be done, and the National Association of Scholars has made some recommendations. Before conducting a study, scientists should “preregister” their research protocols by posting the intended methodology online, which eliminates opportunities for changing the rules in the middle of the experiment. High schools, colleges and graduate schools need to improve science education, particularly in statistics. Universities and journals should create incentives for researchers to publish negative results. Scientific associations should seek to disrupt disciplinary groupthink by putting their favored ideas up for review by experts in other sciences.

A deeper issue is that the irreproducibility crisis has remained largely invisible to the general public and policy makers. That’s a problem given how often the government relies on supposed scientific findings to inform its decisions. Every year the U.S. adds more laws and regulations that could be based on nothing more than statistical manipulations.

All government agencies should review the scientific justifications for their policies and regulations to ensure they meet strict reproducibility standards. The economics research that steers decisions at the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department needs to be rechecked. The social psychology that informs education policy could be entirely irreproducible. The whole discipline of climate science is a farrago of unreliable statistics, arbitrary research techniques and politicized groupthink.  […]

Mr. Wood is president of the National Association of Scholars. Mr. Randall is the NAS’s director of research and a co-author of its new report, “The Irreproducibility Crisis of Modern Science.

Full post


 

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

NOW IS THE TIME TO TEST THE SUNSPOT THEORY

Put-Up-Or-Shut-Up Time For The Solar-Climate Theory
James A. Bacon, Bacon's Rebellion, 12 April 2018


Here’s the nice thing about the sun-spot theory: It’s a testable hypothesis. We should be able to confirm or disprove the sun-spot hypothesis within a few years.



I have frequently expressed skepticism of dire Global Warming scenarios by noting that the increase in global temperatures over the past 20 years fits the lowest range of forecasts made by the climate models. Sorry, folks, I just can’t get exercised about warming-generated calamities, no matter how many after-the-fact justifications are proffered to explain the failure of reality to conform with theory.

On the other side, the anti-Global Warming crowd has advanced an alternative explanation for climate change. The extreme skeptics suggest that solar activity — sun spots, or the lack of them — have a far greater influence on earth’s climate than the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. According to this theory, solar radiation interacts with the earth’s magnetosphere to block cosmic radiation from penetrating to the atmosphere and seeding cloud formation. Boiling the argument down to its essence, more sun spots predict higher temperatures on earth, fewer sun spots predict lower temperatures. We may have reached put-up-or-shut-up time for that theory as well.

The skeptics are getting excited now because the incidence of sun spots is crashing. Indeed, sun spots have almost disappeared. The last time the sun exhibited similar characteristics was in the 1600s, the so-called Maunder Minimum which coincided with a decline in global temperatures known to history as the Little Ice Age. If the solar warming rejectionists are correct, “global warming” could disappear in a hurry.

Writes Robert Zimmerman with the Global Warming Policy Forum:

If the solar minimum has actually arrived now, this would make this cycle only ten years long, one of the shortest solar cycles on record. More important, it is a weak cycle. In the past, all short cycles were active cycles. This is the first time we have seen a short and weak cycle since scientists began tracking the solar cycle in the 1700s, following the last grand minimum in the 1600s when there were almost no sunspots.

If the planet is entering a new solar minimum, the theory would predict falling temperatures. Perhaps not immediately — there may be buffering effects that aren’t well understood — but in not too many years.

Here’s the nice thing about the sun-spot theory: It’s a testable hypothesis. The theory states in no-uncertain terms that solar radiation as measured by sun spots is a key driver of earth’s climate. The theory says that cycles in earth’s temperatures closely match cycles in sun spot activity. We appear to be entering a phase in which sun spots are going dormant. Temperatures should drop — not just for a year or two but in a sustained matter. We should be able to confirm or disprove the sun-spot hypothesis within a few years.

If the sun-spot hypothesis is confirmed by the data and we see a decisive shift in temperature trends, the theory that posits CO2 as the driving climate variable will be dashed. Conversely, if the sun-spot model  is proven incorrect, a lot of moderate Global Warming skeptics (like me) will be more receptive to the CO2 model — although it still has to explain the two-decade-long pause. (“Pause” is not quite the right word. Global temperatures have crept higher. They just haven’t conformed to predictions.)

Perhaps I’m being naive to think that reality will settle the debate. Reality has a way of being frustratingly complex and ambiguous, and zealots are endlessly creative at devising fallback theories. We didn’t account for the effect of increased particulates in the atmosphere. Or temperatures didn’t rise as expected because the missing heat is lurking undetected deep in the ocean.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

HAS THE LANCET BEEN CAPTURED BY THE CLIMATE CHANGE LOBBY?

The answer according to this report appears to be "yes". It is hard to understand why the Lancet, a journal dedicated to medicine and medical matters, should devote so much of its attention to supporting measures to reduce CO2 emissions. One possible reason could be that pressure has been applied, but that is hard to prove. However, as the linked report shows, they are distorting the evidence to fit their agenda of opposing coal-fired power stations in the developing world with disastrous consequences for the poor people that live there.

Monday, 16 April 2018

WOOD BURNING POWER STATION CONTROVERSY ON TV THIS EVENING

This article looks at the burning of wood pellets instead of coal in order to cut CO2 emissions. There i a lot of controversy over whether this actually saves CO2, with some arguing that the trees can be regrown, while others point to the fact that a greater quantity of wood is required to give the same amount of heat, hence more CO2 is emitted. The issue is to be the subject of a television programme at 8pm on Channel 4 this evening (16 April). 

USA EPA TO SCRAP "SOCIAL COST OF CARBON"

This article explains the change being brought in by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt.  Pruitt offered few details, but the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) would be likely to be a government-wide decision, not relegated to EPA alone.  President Trump issued an executive order in 2017 to review the SCC. 

Sunday, 15 April 2018

IS THE GULF STREAM SLOWING? SCIENTISTS DISAGREE OVER THE ANSWER

Model Alarmists Resurrect ‘Day After Tomorrow’ Scenario, ‘Unsupported By Any Data’
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 11 April 2018


Scientists relied on climate models, not direct measurements, to claim in a new study man-made global warming caused a slowdown in the Gulf Stream ocean current.

It’s the very same scenario posed in disaster movie “The Day After Tomorrow,” where a slowdown in the Gulf Stream turned North America into a frozen wasteland. A catastrophic scenario could be decades away, some scientists are saying.

“We know somewhere out there is a tipping point where this current system is likely to break down,” Potsdam Institute climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf, a co-author of one of the studies, said in a statement.

“We still don’t know how far away or close to this tipping point we might be,” Rahmstorf warned. “This is uncharted territory.”

Rahmstorf’s study was one of two that garnered alarming media headlines, but experts are skeptical because of the scant observational evidence. Indeed, scientists have only been taking direct measurements of the Gulf Stream for a little over a decade.

“Climate model reconstructions are not the same as observed data or evidence,” libertarian Cato Institute’s Dr. and Atmospheric Scientist Ryan Maue told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“We should be very wary of grandiose claims of ‘A Day After Tomorrow’ based upon very limited direct measurements,” Maue said.

The Gulf Stream, or Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC), brings warm water from the Gulf of Mexico to the North Atlantic, and in turn, cold northern water is brought southward.

Polar ice melt and enhanced rainfall put an increasing amount of cold, fresh water into the North Atlantic, reducing salinity, some scientists say. Less saline has a harder time sinking, throwing off the AMOC.
 
Climate models generally show a weaker AMOC as a result of warming, but observational evidence has been scant. Anomalous cooling south of Greenland is evidence of a weakened AMOC, some scientists say.
 
The weak AMOC is explicitly tied to “increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations” and “temperature trends observed since the late nineteenth century,” according to the study, Rahmstorf co-authored.
 
However, the “Labrador Sea deep convection and the AMOC have been anomalously weak over the past 150 years or so … compared with the preceding 1,500 years,” a second study published in the same journal found.

In other words, the AMOC began weakening before human activities could play a role.
 
“The specific trend pattern we found in measurements looks exactly like what is predicted by computer simulations as a result of a slowdown in the Gulf Stream System, and I see no other plausible explanation for it,” Rahmstorf, whose study relied on proxy-data from ocean sediment and calcareous shells, said.
 
But again, there’s limited observational evidence. Several scientists besides Maue were skeptical of Rahmstorf’s study.
 
Rahmstorf’s “assertions of weakening are conceivable but unsupported by any data,” Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Carl Wunsch told The Associated Press.