November 16, 2011
New York To Drown The Day After Tomorrow
"The risks and the impacts are huge," said Art deGaetano, a climate scientist at Cornell University and lead author of the ClimAID study. "Clearly areas of the city that are currently inhabited will be uninhabitable with the rising of the sea."
The data from here shows how unexceptional the rising seas are:
And for a more balanced view may I suggest this report.
November 14, 2011
Tough For Troughers
David Cameron today faces a revolt of business leaders, councils, environment campaigners and unions furious at his decision to cut funding for household solar energy
Grunt, grunt, shuffle, snuffle, more swill in the trough please...
November 12, 2011
Scepticism - It's Our Heritage
A new study shows that climate sceptics feature much more prominently in the UK and US media than in other countries
the flourishing of climate scepticism in the US "is related to the funding of American politicians by industry groups and the pervasive practice and power of lobbying".
...what the study does do is remind those of us who are engaged in the "climate debate" that – for a variety of reasons - it is one that is predominantly Anglo-Saxon. A complicated matrix of cultural, geographical and ideological influences has led climate scepticism to flourish in the UK and the US compared to other places, proving once again that "The Science" often only has a walk-on role.
The study itself is behind a paywall so I can only comment on this report of it but to "blame" scepticism on Anglo-Saxonism with a sideswipe at it all being industry funded probably misses the key point.
My guess is the divide is yet again between the Protestant and Catholic mindsets. All that questioning authority awkwardness that has fuelled the Anglo-Saxon economic and scientific dominance. That refusal to accept handed down doctrines without question. The attitude our rulers hate.
Long may it continue.
Phil Jones New Global Temperature Calculations
The case for man-made global warming is more compelling than ever, according to the scientist who was at the centre of the controversy over climate-change statistics two years ago.
In a rare interview, Professor Phil Jones, who has been reinstated as director of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, told The Times that a major reanalysis of the unit’s global climate records had strengthened the evidence for warming since industrialisation.....
The new land temperature records due to be published next year reveal that average temperatures in the northern hemisphere were about 0.1C warmer during the past decade relative to pre-industrial times than had previously been estimated.
“The more science we carry out, the stronger and clearer the evidence for climate change is becoming,” he said.
The stronger warming trend was revealed by the inclusion of previously unavailable data from hundreds of additional weather stations in Russia, Canada and other Arctic regions.....
The new land-based record has been combined with a revised sea surface temperature record from the Met Office and has been submitted for publication to the Journal of Geophysical Research and is likely to form part of the next report by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, due to be published in 2013.
Science by Pre-Peer Review Press Release
November 10, 2011
The Piper Must Be Paid
Damian Carrington's description of this week's Panorama is strident, inaccurate and also reveals a big green blind spot: renewable technologies are currently expensive and demand subsidy. Present government policy will push up the amount of such energy and the resulting cost to all of us. As someone who believes in the importance of tackling climate change, I fervently wish this wasn't true. But it is and, unlike some environmentalists, I am not in denial.
November 9, 2011
11/11/11 Corduroy Climate Day
. It is 100 years since this date last appeared and the events back then would make your blood run cold. Literally. On 11 November, 1911, in Kansas City, those who took an interest in the thermometer would have found much to note. By late morning the citizens had enjoyed a record temperature for early winter with the mercury pushing up to 76F (24C), but out on the Great Plains a storm system had separated warm air and replaced it with a freezing Arctic blast which meant by midnight the mercury had plummeted to 11F (-12C), a record drop of 65F (36C) in just 14 hours.
Thanks goodness we don't have changeable climate like that anymore. But certainly an excuse to get out the Mustard or even the Plum Cords for Corduroy Appreciation Day
November 6, 2011
The Answer My Friend Is Blowin' In The Wind
Ditching expensive wind farms "will save £34bn"
The news is that the MSM is reporting it.
November 2, 2011
Richard Black, Bishop Hill & Hiding The Decline
As I wandered around Salisbury Plain this afternoon protecting our national heritage I read Richard Black on the BBC website about BEST and hide the decline. I was gobsmacked at the misunderstanding he appeared to show. An hour or so later the good Bishop Hill responded. This evening I note that the Bishop's response no longer is on his website.
I have taken the liberty of visiting the web cache to copy it and display it below. In case Mr Black is feeling touchy I have hidden one word which might be considered a bit strong.
I wonder what is going on.
Richard Black has an article up about BEST. It also mentions "hide the decline".
The original "hide the decline" claim is one of the most easily de-bunked in the entire pantheon of easily-debunkable "sceptic" claims.
Phil Jones wrote the email in 1999, immediately following what still ranks as one of the hottest years on record, and well before the idea of a "slowdown" or "hiatus" or even "decline" in warming gained currency.
So it can't have had anything to do with hiding a global temperature decline.
If it were a scientific idea, the notion that it did would be consigned to the garbage bin of history alongside perpetual motion machines, the steady-state theory of the cosmos and the idea of HIV/Aids as a gay-only disease.
It's that wrong.
I'm struggling to put an innocent gloss on Black's misrepresentation of what the allegation was. I can remember Sarah Palin making this claim a couple of days after the story broke, but did anyone make such an allegation to any of the inquiries? Perhaps readers could see how many people made the allegation as framed by Black and how many got it right - i.e that it was about hiding the divergence between instrumental temperatures and some proxy records.
The misrepresentation seems very xxxxxx to me.
In the comments to his article Richard Black admits he was wrong, but so what...
BBC News - 'Hide the decline' revisited
46. Richard Black (BBC)
3 HOURS AGO
Re 'hide the decline'... yes, the Jones email concerned reconciling the tree ring record. But that's not how it was interpreted - at least by some - which is my point. Read Fred Pearce The Climate Files.
Matt Ridley's text of his Angus Millar lecture at the RSA in Edinburgh.
That is all for this morning, it is more than enough.
October 30, 2011
Life in Greenland
I am a romantic, and I discovered that romantics are always disillusioned because the world is no longer how they had hoped it to be. I came to the top of the world and wished to find elderly folk like Savfaq sitting around telling stories. Instead, I found for the most part adults and children glued to television screens with a bowl of seal soup on their lap, playing exceedingly violent and expletive-crammed Hollywoodian video war games. Time and time again, I discovered this awkward juxtaposition of modernity meets tradition. Out in the Arctic wilderness, hunters dressed head to toe in skins would answer satellite phones and check their GPS co-ordinates. Consumerism has now made it to every corner of the world. Some Inugguit may live in tiny, wind-beaten wooden cabins with no running water like Wally's, but Amazon.com delivers.
Wow, those charming native people are just people like us and want the same stuff!
They Used To Heckle "What About The Groundnut Scheme".
The collapse of Sun Biofuels has left hundreds of Tanzanians landless, jobless, and in despair for the future
The tale of London-based Sun Biofuels's misadventure in Kisarawe links the broken hopes of the villagers to offshore tax havens and mysterious new owners, tracked down by the Observer, and ultimately to petrol pumps in the UK and across Europe. The final link results from the mandatory blending of biofuels into European petrol and diesel. The aim is to reduce carbon emissions, but many say biofuels actually increase pollution.
Further afield, in Ghana, a Norwegian-backed jatropha project has collapsed, while in Mozambique a UK-linked company called Procana, behind a huge ethanol project, has folded in acrimony. The Observer's investigations and those of journalist Stefano Valentino have identified at least 30 abandoned biofuels projects in 15 African countries.
The thirst for biofuels to meet the UK and EU's rising targets has led British companies to lead the charge into Africa. Half the 3.2m hectares of biofuel land identified is linked to 11 British companies, the biggest proportion of any country.....
The Groundnut Scheme - and how was it different?
GROUND NUT SCHEME IN TANGANYIKA aka GROUND NUT SCHEME
October 26, 2011
Huhne Lashes Out At Economy Deniers
Chris Huhne will crank up pressure on some of his cabinet colleagues today with a direct challenge to "green economy deniers", accusing them of undermining the jobs and growth created by renewable energy companies across the UK.
In a keynote speech at the RenewableUK annual conference in Manchester later today, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary will hit out at "an unholy alliance of short-termists, armchair engineers, climate sceptics and vested interests who are selling the UK economy short".
"I want to take aim at the curmudgeons and faultfinders who hold forth on the impossibility of renewables," he will say. "Yes, the UK is only two per cent of global carbon emissions. But if we grasp the opportunity now our businesses and economy can be much more than two per cent of the solution."
Green Economy Denier - an ugly phrase, is it meant to demonise those who are sceptical or questioning the economic benefits of "investing" tax payers money into his pet green schemes?
I would imagine that if we are pushing billions of our money into such schemes he would welcome rigorous investment analysis to show the wisdom of his choices.
Or is he just peeved with Osbourne for putting prosperity first?
October 24, 2011
Climate Scientists To Employ Honest Serving Man
The research examines the idea of looking at climate change projections from a different angle, shifting the emphasis from "what" to "when".
Lead author Dr Manoj Joshi, from the University of Reading, said:
"This approach to communicating the impacts and uncertainties of climate change draws attention to rates of change rather than just the change itself. It complements existing methods, and should be employed more widely."
It's all about new ways to communicate, apparently we haven't been told the "when" bit before. Good news because as you will recall the rhetor Hermagoras of Temnos defined seven "circumstances" (μόρια περιστάσεως 'elements of circumstance') as the loci of an issue:
Quis, quid, quando, ubi, cur, quem ad modum, quibus adminiculis.
(Who, what, when, where, why, in what way, by what means)
Or as our favourite author on this blog put it:
I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
Applying them to all announcements will be a great help..
October 23, 2011
Ben Goldacre - Not The Best
Serious claims belong in a serious scientific paper
If you have a serious new claim to make, it should go through scientific publication and peer review before you present it to the media
No he isn't talking about the BEST paper, I wonder if he would extent his criticism to it though?
October 20, 2011
The Human Cost Of Dear Energy Policy
Almost 3,000 people in England and Wales will die this winter because they cannot afford to heat their homes, a report suggests – more than the number killed in traffic accidents each year.
Ditch climate targets or forget cheaper bills, bosses tell ministers | Mail Online
Ministers' obsession with green taxes is driving up energy bills, bringing financial pain to millions of families, it was claimed last night.
Business groups demanded cuts in fuel prices be given a higher priority than meeting EU targets to reduce carbon emissions.
BUSINESSES and households across Europe are likely to suffer jumps in their electricity bills for at least the next 20 years to pay for pricey renewable energy infrastructure, according to a leaked report from the European Commission.
October 19, 2011
Science 101 - Gore Fail
Outstanding demonstration of how a demonstration should be done.
Peak Oil Is So Over
One can't assume energy prices are going ever upwards. The real problem is there may be too much fossil fuel, not too little.
Chris Huhne, the British secretary of state for energy and climate change, is pretty sure that oil and gas prices are going ever upwards, that they will be volatile and that a core function of energy policy is to protect British industry and consumers from the consequences.
The Earth's crust is riddled with fossil fuels. The issue is not whether there is a shortage of the stuff, but the costs of getting it out. Until recently, the sheer abundance of low-cost conventional oil in places like the Middle East has limited the incentives to find more, and in particular to go after unconventional sources. But technical change has been driven by necessity – and the revolution in shale gas (and now shale oil, too) has already been transformational in the US, one of the world's biggest energy markets.
New technological developments take time to penetrate markets, and customers may not feel the benefits for quite a while. But it would be a mistake to assume they won't eventually. Even worse, it would be wrong to design energy policy to protect them from price volatility so that if gas prices fall, they will be prohibited from gaining the benefits.
At the global level, the reason emissions keep going up – and why Kyoto has made so little difference – is that coal is the rising fuel; its share has risen from around 25% to nearly 30% during the Kyoto period, and it is a percentage of a growing total. Switching from coal to gas is cheap – and it cuts emissions by roughly half. It doesn't solve the climate change problem in the long run, but it gets emissions down much faster and much cheaper than all those offshore windfarms in the short to medium term.
The comments are a joy...
This all sounds quite sensible to me – so what’s it doing on CiF?
This is a suspiciously reasonable article by someone who knows what they're talking about. Very poor.
There are many other reasons why the 99% should not want more fossil fuels to be extracted:
October 17, 2011
Employee of Millionaires and Tax-breaking Corporation At Work
I presumed he was talking about Alan Rusbridger, who has been on nearly half a mill whack for the last few years, and the Guardian itself which hasn't been shy in using the breaks the tax man allows... but it seems to be about the disparity between people being free to do what they want with their own money in private and the burden on those spending taxpayers money having to show what they are spending it on.
But frankly it was such a dribble of arse-water I couldn't be bothered to read it all.
Global Warming Causes Amuse-bouches
Animals and plants all over the planet are shrinking because of climate change, scientists warned.
Examples include grasses and trees, toads, tortoises, goshawks, gulls, woodrats, Soay sheep and red deer. Even polar bears are starting to get smaller in response to the loss of sea ice, it is claimed.
Experimental research had also shown that for every degree Celsius of warming, plants of various types shrank by between 3 per cent and 17 per cent.
Studies had also shown that corals, oysters, scallops and other calcifying ocean dwellers suffer stunted growth as a result of climate change acidifying the sea. The research, led by Dr David Bickford from the National University of Singapore, is reported in the journal Nature Climate Change.
The scientists pointed out that by 2100 average temperatures could rise by as much as 7C.
The trend could have a major impact on the burgeoning human population, making it harder to feed everyone
Why do I get the feeling the research just consisted of putting woolly socks into a washing machine and turning up the dial to see what happened?
Next week they will announce that mixing red and white animals together is not a good idea either.
Energy Price Winter of Discontent
The government needs to work "harder and faster" to bring down energy bills, the prime minister has said ahead of a summit on gas and electricity prices.
Fossil fuel energy bills to soar - Green Living, Environment - The Independent
Household electricity bills could be pushed up by around £300 a year by 2020 as a result of a continued reliance on fossil fuels to provide energy, environmentalists claimed today.
Friends of the Earth hit back at claims that "green taxes" were causing energy bills to rise with a report suggesting investment in fossil fuel plants rather than renewables would leave UK households paying the increasing costs of coal and gas to make electricity.
Forget about worrying about this winter the Green Taxes on our electricity bills are there to save us money in the long term... and if you are in the market for a bridge I have one for sale.
October 16, 2011
Organic Scots Down
THE organic food boom which promised to deliver healthier food and save the environment is over.
Half the land certified as suitable for organic production of food a decade ago in Scotland has now reverted to conventional farming methods, according to a new report on the once-burgeoning industry.
In addition, the main organisation representing Scottish organic producers has seen its numbers almost halve over the same period.
A failure to prove the health benefits of organic produce and a perception that it was expensive at a time when households are cutting back is believed to be behind the reversal.
But it also suffered a bit of a backlash as it was seen as overly trendy and hip.
You don't say!
On The Rag
... An international team of scientists will kickstart the EU-funded study – the first of its kind and costing some €3.5m – by focusing on the spread of Ambrosia artemisiifolia, more widely known as common ragweed.
Ragweed pollen is known to have triggered increases in asthma, hay fever and a variety of skin allergies. Allergies are estimated to cost Europe's healthcare systems more than €25bn (£21.8bn) a year.
Evidence suggests the plant's spread is being exacerbated by climate change; the new study aims to discover how.
Follow the money would be my guess as to how.
October 15, 2011
Wind Down Expectations Of Renewables
Green energy investment: let's not repeat past mistakes | Gordon Edge | Environment | guardian.co.uk
Britain urgently needs new sources of energy and wind can be a big part of that.
Winter to see low wind, hydro power in Northern Europe | Reuters
Europe faces a colder, dry winter in the north with milder, windy and wet weather in the south thanks to the effects of the dominant weather pattern, a leading energy weather forecaster told Reuters.
A negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) will continue to dominate the continent's winter weather patterns, World Climate Service's senior meteorologist Richard James said in an interview.
Cold weather combined with low wind and precipitation levels in northern Europe would mean that the vast wind power generation capacity along the North and Baltic Sea coasts would generate below average electricity during the high-demand winter season.
Let's not repeat past mistakes, eh?
October 14, 2011
Did you come far?
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will visit townships and community projects in South Africa during a tour of two Commonwealth countries next month.
They will also go to a Maasai village, a national park and the exotic island of Zanzibar when they visit Tanzania.
The trip, which will focus on the environment and sustainability, education and trade, is timed a month before the Durban Climate Summit.
That'll be nice for them, it gets awfully chilly back here this time of year so a bit of sun and warmth for the old bones will be most welcome.
Latte To Go
Starbucks is warning of a threat to world coffee supply because of climate change.
In a telephone interview with the Guardian, Jim Hanna, the company's sustainability director, said its farmers were already seeing the effects of a changing climate, with severe hurricanes and more resistant bugs reducing crop yields.
I'm confused, I thought Starbucks was evil American Globalist so this is good news, or is it bad? "Correct think" is hard in the morning until the PG tips cut in.
October 13, 2011
Oz Green Claims Green Is Good
Prof Hamilton is a failed Green Party Politiician,,,
Everyone is going to love Green Party policiies especially "those voters in marginal electorates most prone to the fear campaign run by the opposition, the Murdoch press and some elements of big business" unless they are " mobilised into the rancourous populism that grips the United States."
Note how he seems to believe voters are just poor dupes without minds of their own.
October 12, 2011
Get Debunked Y'all
The head of the University of Texas Energy Institute, Raymond Orbach, is wading into the debate with a new paper aiming to debunk eight "myths" about climate change.
The paper, "Our Sustainable Earth," appears in the forthcoming issue of Reports on Progress in Physics, a British journal known for encouraging (relatively) simple language from its contributors. In it, Orbach summarizes existing scientific evidence to argue that humans bear responsibility for climate change and an 80 percent reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions by 2050 is needed to stabilize global temperatures. Otherwise, he writes, "current global temperature rises will continue, and even accelerate" as greenhouse gas concentrations keep rising.
The paper is free to download for the next four weeks, after a simple registration.
After a quick read through I get the impression he feels he is late for the party and whilst he has nothing new to say he is rushing round in a very thorough manner talking to everyone and repeating everything that has been said before. He has some grand carbon engineering plan that involves billions being spent in Texas so I suppose he is doing his job.
October 11, 2011
Pesky PR Foils Scientists
Global warning: climate sceptics are winning the battle - Climate Change, Environment - The Independent
Father of the green movement says scientists lack PR skills to make public listen
Climate sceptics are winning the argument with the public over global warming, the world's most celebrated climate scientist, James Hansen of NASA, said in London yesterday.
It is happening even though climate science itself is becoming ever clearer in showing that the earth is in increasing danger from rising temperatures, said Dr Hansen...
Part of the problem, he said, was that the climate sceptic lobby employed communications professionals, whereas "scientists are just barely competent at communicating with the public and don't have the wherewithal to do it."
The result was, he said, that in recent years "a gap has opened between what is understood about global warming by the relevant scientific community, and what's known by the people who need to know – and that's the public. However there's nothing that has happened to reduce our scientific conclusion that we are pushing the system into very dangerous territory, in fact that conclusion has become stronger over that same time period."
The Independent's comment system is open, much to the disgust of some...
Why oh why does the Independent invite these ridiculous comments from readers on an article like this? By doing so, you are actively undermining climate science and fuelling the idea that climate sceptics have some sort of actual point worth listening to - as opposed to being, from these comments at least, a bunch of rude, ill-informed, bored, and slightly crazy in some cases pedants with nothing better to do but leap on every article of this sort and bore the rest of us to tears with their random nonsense.
Meanwhile, in the real world, climate change is happening. Pacific nations are running out of drinking water. I honestly don't know how the editors of the Independent sleep at night.
Get rid of these stupid comments pages from your new stories and do the quality of journalism and the world a favour!
October 10, 2011
Sir John Beddington meets Young Climate Change Ambassadors
During his first visit to Korea, Sir John Beddington, the UK Government's Chief Scientific Advisor, met and exchanged views with four students who are working as Young Climate Change Ambassadors.
Hardly a hostile audience....
October 9, 2011
Recent cold winters that brought chaos to the UK and other places in northern Europe may have their roots in the Sun's varying ultraviolet emissions.
A UK scientific team now shows in Nature Geoscience journal how these changes lead to warmer winters in some places and colder winters in others.
The researchers emphasise there is no impact on global warming.
Of course not. They wouldn't dare even think a heresy, a warming cause that isn't human can have no connection to global warming, or cooling or whatever.
September 28, 2011
Al Gore: clear proof that climate change causes extreme weather | Environment | The Guardian
Al Gore has warned that there is now clear proof that climate change is directly responsible for the extreme and devastating floods, storms and droughts that displaced millions of people this year.
Speaking to an audience of business leaders, political leaders including Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond and green energy entrepreneurs in Edinburgh, Gore said the world was at a "fork in the road".
Gore then cited a recent report from the global insurance Munich Re, that climate change was "the only plausible explanation" for the rapid increase in extreme weather events. "They're paid to get this right. It's their job," he said.
They are paid to make people worried so they take out insurance, I think you will find. They may be right but to take their financial interest as proof seems a touch odd to me.
September 27, 2011
Climate Scientists Are Different
The researchers studied the results of Myers-Brigg Type Indicator personality tests that were provided by about 200 early-career Ph.D. scientists doing interdisciplinary research related to climate change, and compared these to data on the general public
For instance, the study finds that climate scientists tend to fall within the Myers-Brigg category of those who tend to process information based on “intuition,” whereas the general public shows a preference for “sensing.”
The preference for Intuition by early career climate scientists suggests that this group is likely to be more oriented towards future climate impacts than members of the general public, who generally prefer Sensing over Intuition. For Sensors, the current situation is more relevant and more easily appreciated, and past experience and concrete facts are more trusted than future possibilities.
Another intriguing finding is that climate scientists have a “strong preference” for “judging” rather than “perceiving,” which has implications for how they handle uncertainty and doubt.
…on average, climate change researchers will prefer to reach a decision or come to closure and ‘move on’ to the next step more quickly than the general population. The general population, with a higher proportion of Perceivers, is more likely to see room for doubt, or want to take more time to explore possible alternatives, especially when outcomes are not likely to be positive.
So they tend to be judgemental dogmatic guessers rather than careful methodical data lovers....nice to have confirmation.
September 23, 2011
Who's this 'we,' Kemosabe?
Fracking has already been banned in France, New York and New Jersey, as well as in Quebec and the Swiss canton of Fribourg.
If they are against it that seems a pretty good reason to be for it.
But this "until we know more" that Caroline always uses, who is the we? Is everyone expected to wait until the knowledge has been absorbed into her head or is it a more general we. If the former I fear we will be waiting a long long time.
September 22, 2011
Who's Not Laughing Any More?
The Maldives' acting high commissioner in London has written to the newspaper's editor seeking a clarification and apology.
He said the post had implied that his country's climate change plight was a con-trick, and this, he said, was despicable and hurtful.
However, he added that Maldivians had as strong a sense of humour as anyone.
September 21, 2011
Geoffrey Lean Doesn't Know His Greens
In 2007 - Further south, at Qassiarsuk broccoli was being harvested for the first time in Greenland,
At Umanak (70° 40' N.) is the most northern garden in the world. Broccoli and radishes grow well, turnips (but not every year), lettuce and chervil succeed sometimes, but parsley cannot be reared. Greenland - 1911 Edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica
So over a hundred years ago broccoli was being grown in Greenland, not for the first time in 2007.
Geoff - learn to google old mate.
Huhne Determined To Turn The Lights Off?
The UK's "dash for gas" will be halted by the government because if unchecked it would break legally binding targets for carbon dioxide emissions, Chris Huhne, energy and climate change secretary, said on Monday evening.
"We will not consent so much gas plant so as to endanger our carbon dioxide goals," he told a fringe meeting at the Liberal Democrats party conference in Birmingham.
The number of gas-fuelled power plants is increasing rapidly because they are fast and cheap to build compared with alternatives. ...
David Porter, chief executive of the Association of Electricity Producers, said: "Electricity produced from gas is important for security of electricity supply. Gas-fired power stations offer flexible, reliable electricity, which is vital as we increase our renewable electricity production and prepare for new nuclear power. Unabated gas will play an important role in the transition to a low carbon electricity industry. We must keep the lights on and do so cost-effectively...
... globally gas price rises have been curbed by increasing supplies of unconventional gas, driven from shale by hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. Exploration has begun in the UK near Blackpool in Lancashire and has attracted protests....
"I recommend you look at the film Gasland, which is a bit of a wake-up call," Huhne said. "There are some extremely alarming pictures of people setting fire to their taps because of methane gas bubbling up."
September 17, 2011
A SCOTTISH renewable energy company went into receivership with the loss of 55 jobs yesterday as hundreds of wind-turbine owners were warned to shut down the company's machines amid fears that the blades could fly off.
An estimated 500 people in Scotland, mainly farmers, are believed to operate the small wind turbine, manufactured by Ayrshire-based company Proven Energy, which is at the centre of the major safety alert.
Not good news.
September 16, 2011
What a 2.2 in History From Cambridge Tells Us
With that lack of logic and knowledge, (do I need to mention opportunity costs of actions?), I feel a Desmond was generous.
September 14, 2011
Al Gore's Day Of Action On Climate Reality - The Video
September 13, 2011
White Elephants To Power Scotland
THE Scottish Government has placed its ambition to transform the nation into a low-carbon economy at the heart of its new strategy for growth.
But experts have warned the commitment to creating a renewable energy powerhouse could be a "white elephant" and that millions of pounds in subsidies pouring into the sector are unjustified
r Euan Mearns, an energy expert at Aberdeen University's school of geosciences, said: "On the one hand we've got to say that we're in favour renewable energy and it would be wonderful if Scotland was a leader in it – but we may end up a world leader in a white elephant.
"The full cost of large reliance on renewable energy needs to be taken fully into account.
"That includes the cost of maintaining back-up power supplies, building new storage and new inter-connectivity, in addition to the building and maintenance of a vast new renewable energy infrastructure.
"Care needs to be taken that the dream doesn't turn into a nightmare should Scotland end up with an unreliable grid. If we end with an unreliable grid, then companies are going to go south of the Border."
And what about the poor bloody consumers cowering in their crofts with only a bowl of porage to keep them warm...
Treehuggers in the north of England are poised to grab the world record for the largest group tree hug.
On Sunday 821 volunteers travelled to the Delamere forest in Cheshire to take part in the record attempt, and 707 people managed to simultaneously hug a tree for one minute or more.
All of them gathered in one place, what an opportunity that was.
September 9, 2011
John Vidal Sucker
Sea levels are rising so fast that the tiny Pacific state of Kiribati is seriously considering moving its 100,000 people on to artificial islands....
If John Vidal believes that it is a serious plan rather than a shakedown, and as he can't be bothered to check the facts I have got a bridge to sell him.
September 8, 2011
That'll do nicely.
The president of the Pacific island nation of Kiribati is so worried about climate change wiping out his country that he's considering ideas as strange as building a floating island.
United Nations Secretary-General leader Ban Ki-moon visited the Solomon Islands and Kiribati before coming to New Zealand and said it only strengthened his view that "something is seriously wrong with our current model of economic development."
Tong said he'd seen models for a $2 billion floating island...Other ideas to combat rising ocean levels include building a series of seawalls at a cost of nearly $1 billion, Tong said, and relocating some residents to other Pacific nations.
He said he's yet to see much in the way of financial aid from Europe despite ambitious pledges.
But in an interview with the Associated Press, European Commissioner for climate action Connie Hedegaard, who was attending the conference, said Europe has granted more than 7 billion euros for specific environmental projects around the world over the three years ending 2012.
The Pacific leaders leave for a retreat Thursday on Waiheke Island before the conference ends. Many leaders are staying on for the Rugby World Cup which begins here Friday.
Which is nice for them. Luxury hotels, retreats and best seats for the rugby. Oh, and lots of dosh from European taxpayers to fight a problem that isn't happening!
September 7, 2011
Political Reality In Climate Change
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday that visiting Pacific nations threatened by rising seas had reinforced his belief that climate change was real and posed a genuine threat to humanity.
Ban stopped in the Solomon Islands and Kiribati on his way to New Zealand for the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), and described the two small nations as "on the front line" of the climate change issue.
He said Kiribati, where some villagers have been forced to relocate as the rising ocean encroaches on their land, dramatically illustrated climate change's impact on the planet.
"For those who believe climate change is about some distant future, I invite them to visit Kiribati or the Solomon Islands and most of the Pacific island countries," he said in a speech at Auckland University.
"Climate change is not about tomorrow. It is lapping at our feet - quite literally in Kiribati and elsewhere."
Ban said that in his role as UN leader he had seen the impact of climate change first-hand in areas of the globe ranging from Antarctica to the Amazon Basin and Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa.
He said scientific evidence backed up his view.
The question is who do you trust - the science - http://www-cluster.bom.gov.au/ntc/IDO60102/IDO60102.2009_1.pdf -
the sea level trends are not yet indicative of long-term changes in mean sea level, they are showing coherent regional short-term changes.
or a politician?
If the data, rather than anecdote, is there, show it to us.
(graph clipped from official report here)
September 6, 2011
Like all theories, though, the game theory analysis has been based on assumptions, and here's why it seems unrealistic. Firstly, it assumes that all countries will act in a fundamentally rational way. Secondly, it assumes that the players all share the basic aim of climate protection.
And, as we all know, any country that does not take climate change seriously cannot, by definition, be acting rationally.
Let's assume that all he assumes about climate change is true, it is still rational for countries to act as "free-riders". Ruralstania knows its tiny bit of CO2 is a drop in the ocean compared to the big boys, but if it doesn't tax and ban as much as the big boys it gets all the lovely trade and the downside is only a unmeasurable increase in global warmth.
So either Comrade Vidal doesn't understand game theory, or the game simulation is crap or both.
The arguments against drilling for oil in the Arctic are so clear they should make themselves. ...The alleged greed of big oil companies, and pressure from gung-ho local populations eager for a slice of the lucrative hydrocarbon action...
it has to be acknowledged that the pressure for new oil sources is driven by valid fears over the risks that uncontrolled oil prices – and future oil shortages – carry for global stability.
Such concerns only make the argument for fossil-free alternatives, from nuclear power to renewable energy generation to biofuels, stronger than ever. Against the backdrop of galloping growth in developing economies and a global population set to rise by a third by 2050, it is the development of sustainable energy supplies that must be the priority, not the false promise of Arctic oil.
What is Ink?
The pigment used in news ink blacks is carbon black. Carbon black is produced by cracking oil in a continuous furnace. These furnaces are highly controlled in order to produce a specific grade of pigment varying in particle size and structure. The oil used is also of a specific grade so that certain requirements can be met. The oil or carriers used in today's news black are treated napthenic petroleum oils.
I think I have spotted an opportunity to stop a waste of fossil fuel.
Google Arctic Ocean Natural Oil Seepage to see how much black stuff oozes into the ocean every year naturally and is naturally cleaned up.
September 4, 2011
Green Back Laundering
"They have their ill-gotten gains and they want to legitimise their money in some way and the environmental industry is an emerging one.
"It's a big business and quite easy to try to launder illegal money and legalise it."
Can you guess who they are talking about?
September 2, 2011
By Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC News
The paper, by US scientists Roy Spencer and William Braswell, claimed that computer models of climate inflated projections of temperature increase....and the rate at which the Earth radiated heat into space.
The paper, published in July, was swiftly attacked by scientists in the mainstream of climate research.
They also commented on the fact that the paper was not published in a journal that routinely deals with climate change. Remote Sensing's core topic is methods for monitoring aspects of the Earth from space.
Such as "the rate at which the Earth radiated heat into space"?
Dr Spencer is a committed Christian as well as a professional scientist
obviously guilty then
Scientific papers that turn out to be flawed or fraudulent are usually retracted by the journals that publish them, with editorial resignations a rarity.
But Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, said Dr Wagner had done the decent thing.
"I think it remains to be seen whether the authors follow a similar course."
Mr Ward described the tactic of publishing in off-topic journals as a "classic tactic" of scientists dismissive of man-made climate change.
"Those who recognise that their ideas are weak but seek to get them into the literature by finding weaknesses in the peer review system are taking a thoroughly disreputable approach," he said.
Weakness in the
pal peer review system, who ever heard of such a thing?
Dr Spencer is one of the team at the University of Alabama in Huntsville that keeps a record of the Earth's temperature as determined from satellite readings.
He is also on the board of directors of the George C Marshall Institute, a right-wing thinktank critical of mainstream climate science, and an advisor to the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, an evangelical Christian organisation that claims policies to curb climate change "would destroy jobs and impose trillions of dollars in costs" and "could be implemented only by enormous and dangerous expansion of government control over private life".
Double obviously guilty then.
In other news several journal editors have admitted their errors in Stalin's Russia for not recognising that Lysenko was the only authority on genetics. They happily renounced their mistakes as they were lead away to be re-educated. New editors have been appointed by the party the state broadcaster announced.
September 1, 2011
The 2011 Interim Report from the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change presents an overview of the research on climate change that has appeared since publication of Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change.
Available on line.
Key findings, as outlined in the interim report’s executive summary, include:
“We find evidence that the models over-estimate the amount of warming that occurred during the twentieth century and fail to incorporate chemical and biological processes that may be as important as the physical processes employed in the models.”
“More CO2 promotes more plant growth both on land and throughout the surface waters of the world’s oceans, and this vast assemblage of plant life has the ability to affect Earth’s climate in several ways, almost all of them tending to counteract the heating effects of CO2’s thermal radiative forcing.”
“The latest research on paleoclimatology and recent temperatures [finds] new evidence that the Medieval Warm Period of approximately 1,000 years ago, when there was about 28 percent less CO2 in the atmosphere than there is currently, was both global and warmer than today’s world.”
“New research finds less melting of ice in the Arctic, Antarctic, and on mountaintops than previously feared, no sign of acceleration of sea-level rise in recent decades, no trend over the past 50 years in changes to the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (MOC), and no changes in precipitation patterns or river flows that could be attributed to rising
“Amphibians, birds, butterflies, other insects, lizards, mammals, and even worms benefit from global warming and its myriad ecological effects.”
“Rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations, by increasing crop yields, will play a major role in averting hunger and ecological destruction in the future.”
“The latest research suggests corals and other forms of aquatic life have effective adaptive responses to climate change enabling them to flourish despite or even because of climate change.”
“Global warming is more likely to improve rather than harm human health because rising temperatures lead to a greater reduction in winter deaths than the increase they cause in summer deaths.”
“Even in worst-case scenarios, mankind will be much better off in the year 2100 than it is today, and therefore able to adapt to whatever challenges climate change presents.”
.... it looks like a summer of grey skies and damp weather, and it's probably safe to say that there will be no BBQ summer again this year.
And for this winter he is predicting -
I therefore expect the 2011-2012 winter to follow a similar pattern in terms of how November and December was in 2010 for the vast majority of this winter. It will be exceptionally cold and snowy with well below average temperatures. I fully expect to see records broken with the highlands of Scotland being once again particularly hard hit. It is therefore vital to start preparing now in terms of high energy bills and raising awareness amongst the most vulnerable and elderly people of society.
August 31, 2011
Mr Whippy Gets It
Meltdown for the country's estimated 5,000 ice cream vans started with the rise of the domestic freezer in the Fifties but has been compounded more recently by new EU rules introducing lower emission limits. These mean that many older ice cream vans face costly conversions or face being taken off the road.
In London, meanwhile, tighter emissions standards will come into force from January next year. Some ice cream vans will be able to fit a filter, but the charge for those that don't will be £100 a day.
The amendments add to an already long list of expenses for ice cream sellers, including insurance and a trade licence costing around £800 annually....
The fleet has been reduced to a quarter of that size, with councils piling on more pressure by banning vans from some housing estates, parks and schools because of concerns about noise pollution and childhood obesity.
Other authorities have created ice cream selling exclusion zones in town centres, hiked the cost of a van operator's licence and limited how long vans can sound their chimes. Soaring food and petrol prices have also helped drive a flake into the heart of an industry already on its knees.....
No mention of climate change, just a hint we have had yet another dismal summer. Normally the Indy can be sure to be blaming all ills on climate change....
Meat vs Muesli
The Green manifesto idea for a "meat-free Monday" was given the thumbs down after an enthusiastic council official proposed piloting it with beefy binmen. They were already cross about public hostility – binmen have been attacked – towards efforts to improve the efficiency and environmental friendliness of waste collection.
Creatives, hippies, counter-culture types, gays and lesbians, new media pioneers, all have long been drawn down the A23 to its sunny micro-climate, creating an environment where the Green movement was likely to thrive. Many students attending its two universities graduate and decide to stay, worsening job and housing shortages for the unskilled, but – as in other Green university strongholds like Oxford, Norwich and Lancaster – pushing up the radical vote. Even Tories are quite green Tories in Brighton.
Breaking out of the muesli belt | Guardian Sustainable Business | guardian.co.uk
The environmental movement is largely middle-class and white, and this makes any sort of engagement with the wider community more difficult to achieve.
I'm off for a Gregg's Steak Bake...
August 30, 2011
We Should All Support Monbiot On This
Who are the most ruthless capitalists in the western world? Whose monopolistic practices make Walmart look like a corner shop and Rupert Murdoch a socialist?
academic publishers. Theirs might sound like a fusty and insignificant sector. It is anything but. Of all corporate scams, the racket they run is most urgently in need of referral to the competition authorities.
Everyone claims to agree that people should be encouraged to understand science and other academic research. Without current knowledge, we cannot make coherent democratic decisions. But the publishers have slapped a padlock and a "keep out" sign on the gates....
It's bad enough for academics, it's worse for the laity. I refer readers to peer-reviewed papers, on the principle that claims should be followed to their sources. The readers tell me that they can't afford to judge for themselves whether or not I have represented the research fairly. Independent researchers who try to inform themselves about important scientific issues have to fork out thousands. This is a tax on education, a stifling of the public mind. It appears to contravene the universal declaration of human rights, which says that "everyone has the right freely to … share in scientific advancement and its benefits".
...governments should refer the academic publishers to their competition watchdogs, and insist that all papers arising from publicly funded research are placed in a free public database. In the longer term, they should work with researchers to cut out the middleman altogether, creating – along the lines proposed by Björn Brembs of Berlin's Freie Universität – a single global archive of academic literature and data. Peer-review would be overseen by an independent body. It could be funded by the library budgets which are currently being diverted into the hands of privateers.
The knowledge monopoly is as unwarranted and anachronistic as the corn laws. Let's throw off these parasitic overlords and liberate the research that belongs to us.
August 29, 2011
Otters and salmon have returned to our rivers, red kites are soaring over our motorways and exotic egrets are colonising our wetlands. So has British wildlife really made a comeback? Naturalist Stephen Moss investigates
Yes of course it has,...
It would be tempting, given this litany of success stories, to take the Panglossian view that all is for the best, in the best of all possible worlds. But climate change is itself, of course, a double-edged sword.....Rising temperatures are bad news for specialist mountain creatures such as the ptarmigan, mountain hare and Britain's only alpine butterfly, the mountain ringlet, because as temperatures rise they simply have nowhere to go.
...Organisations such as the RSPB, Wildlife Trusts and National Trust – along with smaller groups like Butterfly Conservation, Buglife and the BTO – are doing all they can to give a helping hand to Britain's wildlife at this time of unprecedented change.....
I spoke too soon, keep giving them money to ward off the rising temperatures.....
August 24, 2011
Monboit's Rapture At The Arrival Of The End Times
How much of this is real? How much of the economic growth of the past 60 years? Of the wealth and comfort, the salaries and pensions that older people accept as normal, even necessary?
Once our needs had been met, continued economic growth did most people few favours. During the second half of the growth frenzy, unemployment rose, inequality rose, social mobility declined, the poor lost amenities (such as housing) while the rich enhanced theirs.
Now, bar the shouting, it's over. Last week the Wall Street consultant Nouriel Roubini, one of the few who predicted the financial crash, spelt out the fix we're in. Governments cannot afford to bail out the banks again. Quantitative easing can no longer help, nor can currency depreciation. Italy and Spain will be forced, in effect, to default, and Germany won't pay out any more.
Nor can the current economic system address the environmental crisis.
So far governments have responded to the renewed crisis of capitalism by frantically seeking to invoke the old magic again, to start the engine of creative destruction once more. The means to do so no longer exist. Even if they did, they would only delay and enlarge the underlying problems.
The most hopeful sign that politicians might now be prepared to ask the big questions was the presence, in Ed Miliband's pile of holiday reading, of Prof Tim Jackson's book Prosperity Without Growth.
Jackson has begun developing a macroeconomic model which would allow economic output to be stabilised. He experiments with raising the ratio of investment to consumption, changing the nature and conditions of investment and shifting the balance from private to public spending, while staying within tight constraints on the use of resources. He finds that the redistribution of both income and employment (through shorter working hours) is essential to the project. So is re-regulation of the banks, enhanced taxation of resources and pollution and measures to discourage manic consumption, such as tighter restrictions on advertising.
Why do I have a feeling Monboit typed all this tripe one handed?Because it is all such a priapic wet dream of his he believes is coming true that all connection to reality has been lost?
August 23, 2011
Met Office Fun & Games
Met Office: Weather game information
In the weather game, you’ll be asked to interpret a number of forecasts to help Brad the ice cream seller maximise his profits. There’s an element of luck here. Even if you give Brad the best forecast possible, the weather may not oblige ― just as in the real world!
In our weather game, we’re experimenting with different ways of presenting a forecast to see which works best for different people. That’s why we ask you for some information at the beginning, such as your age and gender. This information won’t be used for any other purpose.
Why is there uncertainty in our forecasts?
A weather forecast is an estimate of the future state of the atmosphere. It’s created by observing the current state of the atmosphere and a using a computer model to calculate how it may change over time. As the atmosphere is a chaotic system small approximations in the way observations are analysed can lead to large errors in a weather forecast. We can never create perfect weather forecasts because we can never observe every detail of the atmosphere as it changes hour by hour and day by day.
To estimate the uncertainty in the forecast we use what are known as ‘ensemble forecasts’. Here, we run our computer model many times from slightly different starting conditions. Initial differences are tiny so each run is equally likely to be correct, but the chaotic nature of the atmosphere means the forecasts can be quite different. On some days the model runs may be similar, which gives us confidence in the weather forecast; on other days, the model runs can differ radically so we have to be more cautious.
Pity they didn't choose organising a convivial evening in a brewery instead...
August 22, 2011
Sea Levels in Vietnam
Climate change is turning rivers of Mekong Delta salty, spelling disaster for millions of poor farmers
This story keeps returning as the rice bowl is held out for cash yet again.
Extraction of fresh water and shifting sands make deltas more salty as well, if indeed this is the case. Because the data, the one component missing from the many versions of this story that are going round at the moment, seems not to support the sudden panic.
And the man on the local beach says:
More Questions on Vietnam's Sea Levels: Adam Bray - Writer, Journalist and Photographer in Mui Ne Beach, Vietnam
It is apparent to me that the scientific community has at the very least manipulated information to illustrate a theory that the data, taken as a whole, may not actually support. It appears that Vietnam’s sea levels may in fact be lowering, despite scientist’s claims to the contrary.
August 11, 2011
Welcome To The Fish Slicer
SCOTLAND'S first commercial-scale tidal turbine has been connected to the electricity grid off the Orkney coast and begun generating power.
The gigantic machine which resembles an underwater wind turbine weighs 1,500 tonnes and stands 70 feet off the seabed.
Atlantis Resources Corporation hopes the 1MW device, known as AR1000, will generate enough electricity annually to power about 1,000 homes.
Tidal turbines harness the energy provided by the movement of the tides and supporters say they will provide a predictable, reliable source of green electricity.
However, questions remain about whether the technology will be effective, the impact of tidal renewable energy on marine life and some concerns have been raised by shipping and fishing groups
Genuinely I hope it works, A far better idea than wind. But the cost of building them in such a hostile environment may, I fear, scupper them.
August 9, 2011
None So Green
On August 5, voting for the Best Green International Celebrity at the International Green Awards opened to members of the public. This year's nominations include former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, actress Cameron Diaz and supermodel Gisele Bündchen..... and this person.
Yes - vote for "her", all the rest are models or popstars. I wonder why they have included one very very rich person who no one has ever heard of....
Don't Let Huhne Get This Idea
Sony Japan is due to be shut down for two weeks this month as part of a government-imposed energy conservation effort.
"Imposed" note. It is the only logical way to increase energy conservation.
August 8, 2011
Polar Bear Attack Failings
“The 29 year-old picked up the rifle and pulled the trigger but the gun didn’t fire. Why did this happen?
“The gunman fired again but again it didn’t go off. He fired all four bullets in magazine but none went off. We need to look at the routines of this British company to see that they were in order.”
...it was reported that the bear may have been shot with an old Mauser hunting rifle. The German made, bolt-action weapons are common on the island, locals said.
Expedition leaders are advised that camps should be protected either by trip wires, lookouts thought the night or guard dogs. However, it emerged yesterday that the camp had operated without an overnight lookout or guard dog.
An explosive trip wire designed to scare off approaching animals failed to trigger and without a watchman there was no second line of defence.
Unfortunately a Westerly wind and freak climatic events have led to an unprecedented amount of ice in the fjord meaning we are marooned here for the time being.
August 5, 2011
Arctic Tipping Point Tipped
Scientists say current concerns over a tipping point in the disappearance of Arctic sea ice may be misplaced.
Danish researchers analysed ancient pieces of driftwood in north Greenland which they say is an accurate way to measure the extent of ancient ice loss.
Writing in the journal Science, the team found evidence that ice levels were about 50% lower 5,000 years ago.
They say changes to wind systems can slow down the rate of melting.
They argue, therefore, that a tipping point under current scenarios is unlikely.
August 3, 2011
Giant turbine blades likely to claim lives of migrating geese - Nature, Environment - The Independent
There is no doubt that the giant turbines will kill some pink-footed geese, which migrate to Britain during the winter
Plans for two giant wind turbines that threaten to claim the lives of scores of pink-footed geese every year were today given the go-ahead by the High Court despite a legal challenge by local residents at Eagland Hill in Lancashire. The proposed turbines will be located about 5km from Morecambe Bay where a special protection area hosts a range of birds, including pink-footed geese.
The anti-turbine Eagland Hill Action Group (EHAG) fought a last-ditch High Court bid to block the scheme, arguing that the inspector, David Pinner, erred in law by failing to reconsider whether an environmental impact assessment was necessary, and failing to conduct an appropriate assessment under EU wild birds and habitats directives.
EHAG also argued there was procedural unfairness because the group had not been invited to take part in the discussion on the compensation proposals for the geese.
What exactly is the compensation procedure for a goose that has been minced, A solemn promise that only the finest organic sage and onion will be used in the pie? Or that the fattened liver will be reverently turned into the finest foie gras?
August 2, 2011
Polly Admits To Irrationality And Is Wrong On The Science
... a taste of the Tea Party arrives on these shores in the peculiar paranoia of the climate-change deniers. You may dismiss some as fruitcakes or oil company lobbyists, but when Andrew Turnbull, former head of the civil service, reveals that he is of their number, it should alarm us.
I won't rehearse the paranoia of the deniers who think the world is against them: yes, it is.
For some reason they consider "the warmists" a leftwing conspiracy, though why is never clear.
On matters of fact, those of us who are not scientists can only listen to what scientists say and trust such an overwhelming global consensus. As cabinet secretary, Turnbull would have had to appraise evidence on myriad subjects of which he could know little: relying on best expertise is the only rational approach. So in what part of his psyche resided the Tea Party idea that scientific facts don't matter?
Reason should rule, but none of us is as rational as we pretend, each inhabiting our imaginations more than we do the real world, with opinions driven by beliefs, passions, convictions, hopes, fears and a hundred contradictory thoughts and impulses. But to make sense of the world, there is an obligation to seek out evidence and trust to expertise. Where it conflicts, we fight our political corners.
But science is different. Chief scientist John Beddington said in a forthright speech this year that we should become "Grossly intolerant of pseudo-science, the cherry-picking of the facts and the failure to use scientific evidence and scientific method"
Too right Polly, you aren't as rational as you pretend, and old Bedders hits the target with the attack on cherry-picking, it is just the target isn' the one he thinks it is.
August 1, 2011
150 years of forecasting
Monday 1st of August 2011 is a very special day for the Met Office. We will be celebrating 150 years of forecasting for the nation, marking the anniversary of the first ever public weather forecast appearing in print.
Starting with the lines "general weather probable in the next two days", the short piece which appeared in on page 10 of the The Times in 1861 was a bold move which started forecasting as we know it today.
It was, of course, the hottest day forecast since records began....
July 30, 2011
Inconvenient Truths About The Old Pulteney Row To The Pole
Around August 1 a five-man team led by seasoned adventurer Jock Wishart will depart from Resolute Bay, Canada in an attempt to row 724 km (450 miles) to the magnetic North Pole....as certified in 1996, is located at 78°35.7N 104°11.9W / 78.595°N 104.1983°W and was first reached by Sir James Clark Ross of the British Royal Navy in 1831.
During the course of the expedition, sponsored by Old Pulteney whisky, the crew will be using a satellite-positioning system known as Yellowbrick to track their progress. This satellite-positioning system will then automatically update a map on the official Row to the Pole website, allowing members of the public to track the team's voyage.
Mr. Wishart and his crew's attempt to row to the magnetic North Pole has only recently become a possibility due to the dramatic climatic changes taking place in the region which have decreased the size of the ice sheets and left large areas of the ocean unfrozen.
Great picture they use to show them rowing in the balmy open waters....
And of course Ross found the Magnetic Pole on dry land, on the Boothia Peninsular and where the rowers are aiming for isn't where it is now. The Magnetic North Pole is on the move in a northwesterly direction at about 37 miles each year.
So their target is about 500 miles short and they won't be rowing all the way - so much for it being a Row to The Pole. And let's not mention the convenient confusion between the Magnetic and Actual Pole in people's minds.
July 26, 2011
Go Green Go Ryanair
Low fare airline Ryanair plans to radically change its tack on global warming by launching its first green campaign and promoting itself as a low emissions carrier. Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary previously described global warming as “bullshit” and green activists as “Luddites”. He also labelled environmentalists “lying wankers” and said that the best thing that can be done with them was to “shoot them” as they seek to make air travel the preserve of the rich.
So Michael tell us what you really think as you drape the green cloak of righteousness over your tawdry business.
July 23, 2011
"Is the green movement a leftwing, anti-capitalist movement?" your article asks. "Mark Lynas believes it is, and that those who style themselves as greens should be marginalised and allowed to die off so that they can be replaced by a new breed of market-friendly environmentalists like him." Is this really the future of the green movement? If so, it's one of defeat.
Along with human overpopulation, the principal driver of the accelerating eco-crisis – anthropogenic climate change, biodiversity crash, destruction and degradation of wild habitat, and a virtual holocaust of animal species – is precisely capitalism. Far from being realistic, to propose as a solution more of what is causing the problem is nothing less than delusional. Any green movement worth its name must therefore resist industrial capitalism....
Greens urgently need to engage with people's ecological intuitions, impulses and aspirations. Only that deserves to be called realism.
That is a definition of realism I haven't come across before, distinctly Dagenham.
July 21, 2011
The Green Police
A special meeting of the United Nations security council is due to consider whether to expand its mission to keep the peace in an era of climate change.
Small island states, which could disappear beneath rising seas, are pushing the security council to intervene to combat the threat to their existence.
There has been talk, meanwhile, of a new environmental peacekeeping force – green helmets – which could step into conflicts caused by shrinking resources.
Create a crisis, create a "police force", then move in to "solve" crisis. Round up the dissenters. Why does that sound familiar?
Prof Jones (The Other One) Insults Sceptics
Professor Steve Jones, who reviewed the broadcaster's science coverage at the request of the BBC Trust, said: "For at least three years, the climate change deniers have been marginal to the scientific debate, but somehow they continued to find a place on the airwaves."
He may be right, I hardly ever sample the BBC's output, but I wonder who these "deniers" are. Do they dress up in Brownshirts and parade with flags or is his impartial face slipping when he describes concerned sceptics with the term?
July 20, 2011
Guardian Discovers Supply And Demand
It took 27% of last year's corn crop to meet the demand for corn ethanol....
You don't say! Why do you think farmers and their politicians are so supportive of the program?
If Lucas Opposes...
Plans for badger cull pit farmers against animal rights activists - Nature, Environment - The Independent
Farmers will be able to form syndicates to cull badgers over large areas. Some 70 per cent will be culled by trained marksmen with powerful rifles
Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party, spoke of "a barbaric slaughter of badgers". The RSPCA said the decision marked "a black day", and the League Against Cruel Sports said that "all the evidence shows that culls do not work".
I wasn't sure the cull was the right way forward but those recommendations it must be.
July 19, 2011
Leo Hickman and teh Climate Wiki
Heartland Institute launches a 'closed' climate change wiki
A climate change wiki is a good idea - but not if its climate sceptic organisers block alternative views
Dear old pointy headed Leo completely misses the point, as usual.
He is all huffy because the changes he has suggested haven't made it to the wiki.
A quick peek at the Recent changes - ClimateWiki shows that this month it has only been one bloke, Bob, doing a few bits on the wiki.
No one else's changes or additions have made it through.
It looks like yet another one of those good idea web projects that is rapidly dying, not the vast well funded denial machine he assumes it to be.
Cock-up not conspiracy.
July 18, 2011
The Guardian And Greenhouse Gasses, The Truth And What It Prints.
Martin Cohen...complained that for many years the Guardian had been deviating from its founding principles – in regularly failing to distinguish between fact and comment – and he questioned the role of the Scott Trust in upholding them. ....suggested that he was making a series of rather general points and ...needed specific examples of breaches of the principles...agreed to focus on one issue.
Dr Cohen's position:
"I alleged that a significant factual error, with consequences for the debate about climate change science, was being regularly made in the paper. I gave you a list of articles and dates.
"The claim was that CO2 is the major element in the atmospheric greenhouse effect and my point was that it is not. This being a fact, it should have been reported accurately, whether in 'comment' pieces or 'news' stories." Cohen states that water vapour is the major element in the greenhouse effect
And yes the paper agrees he is right, but only in a boring factual sort of right way, not in a sort of way that it writes stories..."feeling is that as reporting on climate change has matured, reference to carbon dioxide as the most important greenhouse gas has fallen into common usage."
So that is all right then, once an error becomes accepted then it is OK for the paper to continue to propagate it.....
July 14, 2011
Paying For Carbon Agit-Prop
The working budget for the council's climate change programmes has been cut by at least 43% to £2.1m, the investment budget from ｣500,000 to ｣3,000, and there is no budget for next year.In contrast, the FCO, which provides all the council's government funding, is increasing its spend on climate diplomacy. "Our successful programme which promotes the global transition to a low-carbon economy is intended to increase the prospects of reaching a global climate change agreement," said the foreign secretary, William Hague, in February.
The cuts are "dangerous to the UK," said David Viner, who led the council's climate change programme until last month. "Our work was described as 'national asset'. But these cuts will impact on the UK government's agenda to drive forward a global deal on climate change.... Viner added that global action is essential "to protect the UK government's own agenda" of deep domestic carbon cuts, which will falter if other nations do not follow suit.
July 13, 2011
Chris Huhne - Utter Cut
Big changes in the way Britain organises its electricity production were announced yesterday to meet the triple challenge of climate change, high bills for householders, and security of energy supply.
The programme will put about £160 per year on to the average energy bill by 2030, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Chris Huhne, said yesterday, compared to £200 without the changes.
The ultra-free market which has been in place since electricity was privatised 20 years ago is to be drastically modified, with the Government offering generating companies long-term contracts at fixed prices to produce low-carbon power – that is, from renewable sources and nuclear installations. Going back to what is effectively a form of central planning is seen as essential ...
An increase of £160 is described as a "cut", that's very close to the word I think of when I see a picture of Chris Huhne.
July 12, 2011
Beddington - Use Disasters To Pass Green Laws
Climate-related disasters overseas should be used by the Government to persuade British voters to accept unpopular policies for cutting carbon emissions, says Sir John Beddington, the Government’s chief scientific adviser. Droughts, floods and storms in foreign countries could be used as “policy windows”, making it easier to introduce “bold actions” that would otherwise be politically unacceptable.
Sir John yesterday published a report entitled International Dimensions of Climate Change, which identified “a very real gap between people’s expressed concerns about the environment and their actions”.
The report concluded that the Government must find ways of overcoming growing scepticism and “fatigue with climate change as an issue” to convince the public of the need for “costly environmental policies”.
It said the impacts of climate change on Britain would be too modest over the next two decades to convince people of the need to place the country on a “war footing” to address emissions. Politicians should instead take advantage of disasters overseas in the same way that their predecessors had used natural catastrophes in Britain to push through expensive measures.
“These would allow legislators the licence to take specific bold actions which they ordinarily believe would not otherwise be possible or politically acceptable, such as the introduction of the Clean Air Act after the London smog, and the development of the Thames Flood Barrier after the flooding of East Anglia in 1953,” the report said.
It pointed out that people needed to be persuaded to take personal responsibility for climate change. A survey last year found that only 10 per cent of people thought that the main responsibility for action on climate change lay with individuals and their families.
The report said that the Government should also seek to use voluntary groups and campaigning organisations to help to persuade the public of the need for action on emissions. It said these groups could be more trusted on the issue than politicians.
“If public trust in government messages and authority remains relatively low, it might be necessary to put more effort into indirect influencing via trusted third parties in civil society, through new forms of public engagement and policy dialogues,” the report said.
It conceded that it would not be possible to justify curbs on emissions by claiming that there would be significant direct impacts on Britain’s climate by 2030. It stated: “The UK, compared with many other parts of the world, is not expected to experience significant adverse direct climate change effects over the next two decades.”
More behind the paywall - the report referenced is here.
July 11, 2011
Environmental groups have urged Brussels to block a German CO2 labelling plan that will rate some of the largest gas-guzzlers as just as green as tiny town cars.
A plan being voted on in the German upper house, calculated to favour hefty German off-roaders and limousines, works out a car's green rating in relation to its weight.
The maths means that, instead of being marked down in the compulsory showroom labelling, big high-emissions vehicles would emerge with flying colours.
Green transport lobby group Transport & Environment used the sums to show that, if the legislation goes through in a vote in Berlin on Friday, a Smart car with CO2 emissions of 103g per km would be in the same "green" category as a Panzer tank, which emits 5,850 grams of CO2 per km.
The levelling factor is the relative weight - the Smart at just 750kg, and the tank at 62,000kg. For its weight, therefore, the Panzer tank is deemed worthy of a "green" badge
I'm going green in that case!
Was He Dropped On His Head As A Baby?
DOMESTIC energy bills could soar by over 30 per cent following dramatic energy market reforms set to be announced tomorrow, experts have warned.
Britain would end up with the highest energy prices in Europe, according to a report on the effects of the EMR for the Consumers' Association by the Energy Policy Research Group at Cambridge University, as a result of subsidies to promote the building of new nuclear power plants and wind turbines for the renewables sector.
But energy secretary Chris Huhne, who will launch a white paper tomorrow on changes to the energy sector, insisted the UK had the lowest prices in Europe and rejected suggestions of massive rises ahead.
Dyscalculia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Dyscalculia (or math disability) is a specific learning disability involving innate difficulty in learning or comprehending simple mathematics. It is akin to dyslexia and includes difficulty in understanding numbers, learning how to manipulate numbers, learning math facts, and a number of other related symptoms (although there is no exact form of the disability). Math disabilities can also occur as the result of some types of brain injury, in which case the proper term is acalculia, to distinguish it from dyscalculia which is of innate, genetic or developmental origin. Although math learning difficulties occur in children with low IQ dyscalculia can also be found in people with normal to superior intelligence.
I understand the numbers on tachometers can also confuse.....
July 10, 2011
Not a Human Tragedy - A Human Triumph
South America's "green hell" – the Chaco...what has happened in that unbearably hot, ecologically fragile, insect-infested thorn-desert, in the past year? The answer is the Chaco – which stretches across Argentina and Paraguay – is now being ripped up and converted to US-style ranchland by bulldozers even faster than it was before and the few Indians who live there have never felt more threatened.
This year, the immense Al-Khorayef conglomerate announced it was to spend $400m "irrigating and developing" nearly 200,000 hectares to grow food for Saudi Arabia.
But the conservationists have not given up. The small but effective World Land Trust, has, with local partner Guyra Paraguay, tried to hold a line and now owns 2.5m ha, an area roughly the size of East Anglia.
Today's transformation of the Chaco is an ecological and human tragedy
A human tragedy? Transforming millions of hectares of desert into food producing farms. Upsetting a few nomads, who probably prefer driving air conditioned John Deeres to scratching for bugs to eat in the sand, is a price worth paying to feed millions of hungry mouths.
July 8, 2011
Aerosol is a word most people associate with the bathroom, the kitchen or the garden shed: we tend to use it to mean a spray can, for deodorants, cleaners, weedkillers or whatever. But it has acquired this meaning by extension, and what it originally signified was the fine cloud of particles which come out of the spray can nozzle.
People who still use the word in this original sense are atmospheric scientists....
Are you listening children?
The Noughties turned out to be a peculiar period for climate change, for during them the climate issue grew and grew around the world, as the science and the risks became better understood and familiar to more and more people; and then suddenly it burst, like an overinflated balloon.
Since the failure of the Copenhagen climate conference in December 2009, the political will to deal with the global warming threat has become enfeebled, and the reason is that most ordinary people have come to consider it as irrelevant to them, as they can see no evidence of it. I mean, can you? After three sodden summers, and two freezing winters?
The great paradox of the Noughties was that, as the climate science became clearer, and the political engagement with it became greater, actual manifestations of warming seemed, to ordinary people anyway, to get fewer and fewer....despite all the kerfuffle about climate change, global temperatures have not noticeably risen during the last decade, and eventually, public concern has withered on the vine.
But, like Arnie, it'll be back. CO2 emissions are long-lived in the atmosphere, lasting for a hundred years; SO2 emissions are short-lived, and can fall out in weeks or months. As soon as the Chinese start fitting sulphur dioxide scrubbers to the chimneys of their coal-fired power stations, as they will, so that people in Chinese cities can ride their bikes without wearing masks, the aerosol will start to disappear, and the surging temperatures it has been holding back will start to make themselves felt.
Go outside. Look up into the sky. Ask yourself, where's all this global warming, then? The answer is, you're being shielded from it, at the moment, by Chinese sulphur.
It has not gone away. It is building up steadily, behind a Chinese pollution screen, and when that screen disappears, we are going to get a terrible surprise.
Boo! Now that was a surprise wasn't it! Don't cry because Nanny will look after you and don't worry you pretty little heads, just give teddy a big hug and we will make it all right.
July 7, 2011
£50 trillion To Stop Climate Change
Governments must invest three per cent of world GDP - about £1.2 trillion in 2010 - annually for 40 years to stop climate change and famine, according to the UN's department of economic and social affairs.
Seems you must be really, really sure of yourself to propose spending that sort of money. Unless it isn't your own money and you get the fun and power of spending it whatever.....
July 6, 2011
Climate Scientists Feeling Ignored
98% of working climate scientists accept the evidence for human-induced climate change. The voices of dissent reported "for balance" come almost exclusively from researchers who are not publishing in the field.
Unfortunately, this consensus over climate change is in danger of becoming the world's best-kept secret.
Those who have hitherto fought within the ivory towers to establish the science of climate change now need to muster up enough courage to take their fighting spirit out of the laboratory and onto the streets. Activist scientists will soon find themselves wondering why they cowered in the shadows for all those years. After all, as Bronowski also said: "dissent is the native activity of the scientist".
Poor brave scientists, everyone is against them, politicians ignore them, governments don't act, there is no money being spent....really?
July 5, 2011
Abrupt Climate Change
I have spent my few spare minutes over the last few days reviewing the Abrupt or Rapid Climate Change in the Holocene - in the last few thousand years.
There is a lot of evidence that rapid large climate shifts happened in human life expectancy time-scales. The Younger Dryas period, for instance, "collapsed to an extremely abrupt (years-decades) increase in temperature of c. 7 C over just 50 years."
Other step changes in the climate occurred over two or three years.
Rather than write up my notes let me point you to an excellent series of blog postings:
It is normally true to say that weather kills, climate doesn't. but these shifts are so large and sudden that the climate change becomes the weather.
We don't know what causes such massive climate shifts, we know some of the picture but not all.
These natural shifts and changes are greater than any AGW scenario, and if we can't explain them then our modelling has some way to go.
The rapid changes peaked and levelled out, the system shows that positive feedback is limited and doesn't runaway.
The climate is much more unstable than we are lead to believe, we should be prepared to suffer change and survive. And such change may be entirely natural.
So while it may be unwise to experiment with the sleeping tiger by poking it with a carbon stick in case it wakes and roars, it is surely unwiser not to expect that it may wake to bite us at anytime and so it is prudent to expend our energy in becoming richer and safer and bite proof.
July 2, 2011
Unsettled Science On Stormy Link
Linking extreme weather to global warming scientifically, whether it is a particularly vicious hurricane in the Caribbean or a drought in the Horn of Africa, has been considered nigh on impossible. Until now.
Kevin Trenberth of the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Colorado is one of several climate scientists who believes it is time to look again at extreme storms, floods and droughts to see if a change signal can be detected.
He believes, for instance, that Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in 2005, was made much deadlier by the extra heat of the ocean and added moisture in the air.
"Instead of the observed 12 inches of rain they had in New Orleans [due to Katrina] they would have had 11 inches, but frequently these days the little bit extra is the straw that breaks the camel's back, it's that little bit extra that breaks the levy," Dr Trenberth said.
This type of thinking will infuriate the climate doubters who dismiss any link of an extreme storm, flood or drought with climate change. But there is little doubt some climate scientists now want to go on the offensive, believing global warming really is beginning to have an impact on people's lives.
Linking extreme weather with climate change is now to be investigated scientifically
Fair enough, Kev wants to look for a climate change signal in extreme weather events, not doubt that is a nice juicy research project but one that needs to be done. Just shows the science isn't settled, though from the headlines and quotes it seems that the researchers have a fairly clear idea what their research will prove.
July 1, 2011
"This has the potential to set the nuclear industry back globally," wrote one official at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), whose name has been redacted. "We need to ensure the anti-nuclear chaps and chapesses do not gain ground on this. We need to occupy the territory and hold it. We really need to show the safety of nuclear."
The Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith, who sits on the Commons environmental audit committee, condemned the extent of co-ordination between the government and nuclear companies that the emails appear to reveal.
"The government has no business doing PR for the industry and it would be appalling if its departments have played down the impact of Fukushima," he said.
And Zac, how may people died from Fukushima radiation and how many will die from lack of cheap energy in the future? And all that guff about windmills or solar the government puts out in collaboration with the green energy industry, you are on the baricades against that as well?
June 30, 2011
Guardian Lofty Lies
Force energy companies to insulate UK homes, climate advisers say | Environment | The Guardian
Energy companies should be forced to insulate every empty loft and cavity wall in the UK within four years, say the government's climate change advisers.
In the UK, 10m (43%) of all lofts remain unlagged ...
No, the report actually estimates 10m have less than 125mm of loft insulation. That is about five inches. The old standard loft insulation was 4 inches or 100mm. How many of those 10 million houses have just not upgraded their insulation is not stated. Maybe the marginal improvement in energy efficiency is not seen worthwhile by the householder in terms of trouble or cost.
But whatever the Guardian report is wrong.
Fresh water supplies are going to run out, so what can do to make the taps keep running? - The Independent
By Brian Fagan
This may seem like a surprising statement, but the world's supply of fresh water is finite
May I suggest Sir considers performing a rain dance? I believe it is more scientific and effective than the other suggestions.
June 29, 2011
Cuddly Climate Minister Greg
"The climate debate, which was started by Margaret Thatcher who was the first world leader to call for concerted action on man-made climate change, was subsequently almost hijacked by the centre left," Barker said.
"They gave it the narrative and it became a post-cold war means of advocating large-scale government programmes. It almost instinctively drew the antipathy of free marketeers and the centre right who felt uncomfortable with some of the language of the climate change agenda."
Centre left? Only the centre left?
June 28, 2011
Global Warming Makes It Hotter, Colder, Wetter And Drier
"Hot years tend to generate more wet and dry extremes than cold years. This occurs [because] there is more energy available to fuel the evaporation that drives heavy rains and snows, and to make droughts hotter and drier in places storms are avoiding,"
June 26, 2011
Ocean Desalination - The New AGW Scare
Changes in North Atlantic could also undermine the entire food chain
Dr Carlos Heip, the director general of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, said: "We need to learn much more about what's happening in Europe's seas, but the signs already point to far more trouble than benefit from climate change. Despite the many unknowns, it's obvious that we can expect damaging upheaval as we overturn the workings of a system that's so complex and important."
June 25, 2011
Met Office Forecast - It's Raining Pennies From Heaven
The government-owned body confirmed that its 1,800 staff were in line for bigger bonuses than the £1.4 million they shared last year after it âmet or exceededâ all its targets. Each worker will receive about £800 on average.
he body’s chief scientist, Julia Slingo, saw her annual performance bonus rise by a third to £30,000 last year, while its chief executive, John Hirst, was awarded £50,000. His total pay was £225,000, making him one of the country’s highest paid civil servants.
Is the bonus a consultation for missing out on the Man Booker Prize for Fiction narrowly again?
June 24, 2011
Next On Channel 4 - Disaster Movie
Channel 4 to hire first ever weather presenter - Telegraph
Up until now the news anchors on the popular bulletins, such as Jon Snow, have read out the forecast while viewers are shown a map of UK.
However, the Channel 4 News editors now feel that the time has come to have a dedicated weather presenter as climate change produces more unpredictable and extreme spells of weather.
“As our weather patterns become increasingly volatile, we know that our viewers and users want more warning, more explanation and more analysis of the weather; where they are and as a national picture,” said Martin Fewell, Channel 4 News’s deputy editor.
“We want someone who can explain the weather to our viewers but also answer their questions on weather news – the “why” behind the “what”. We want an engaging story-teller with a passion for the weather, and a journalist’s curiosity for spotting the unexpected.”
Hopefully a journalist with more curiosity than the lovely Emma when looking at the weather patterns.
Economist on the IPCC/Greenpeace Renewable Report
Must try harder is their generous conclusion.
June 22, 2011
Burke and Huhne
The minister is rightly frustrated at an attack on regulation by the Tory right based on flawed notions of freedom and growth
The deregulatory mania that has gripped the Tory right seems to be driven by two deeply felt, but largely evidence-free, ideas: environmental regulation is a barrier to growth and an unwarranted intervention in freedom.
Neither idea stands even a cursory examination. Britain's businesses are not deterred from investing by environmental regulation. They are defeated by the credit-choking consequences of banker's behaviour following Margaret Thatcher's big-bang deregulation of the City. They do not move abroad to avoid regulations, they move abroad to follow lower wages.
How silly some people are. Because of course Environmental Regulations make some people a very decent living.
Tom Burke is a Founding Director of E3G. He is a currently an Environmental Policy Adviser to Rio Tinto plc and a Visiting Professor at Imperial and University Colleges, London. He is a Senior Business Advisor to the Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative on Climate Change. He is Chairman of the Editorial Board of ENDS magazine.
He was appointed by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to chair an Independent Review of Environmental Governance in Northern Ireland from 2006 – 2007. He was a member of the Council of English Nature, the statutory advisor to the British Government on biodiversity from 1999 – 2005. During 2002 he served as an advisor to the Central Policy Group in the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office. He was Special Adviser to three Secretaries of State for the Environment from 1991 – 1997 after serving as Director of the Green Alliance from 1982 – 1991.
He was an environmental advisor (part time) to BP plc from 1997 – 2001. He was a member of the OECD’s High Level Panel on the Environment 1996 – 1998. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and was a member of the Council from 1990-92 sitting on its Environment Committee 1988 – 1996. He also served on the Executive Committee of the National Council of Voluntary Organisations from 1984 – 1989. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Cranfield Institute of Management and a Senior Visiting Fellow at Manchester Business School.
He was formerly Executive Director of Friends of the Earth and a member of the Executive Committee of the European Environmental Bureau 1988 – 1991. He was the Secretary-General of the Bergen 1990 Environment NGO Conference 1988-90. He was a member of the Board of the World Energy Council’s Commission ‘Energy for Tomorrow’s World’ 1990 – 1993. He currently serves on the Advisory Board for Conservation International’s Centre for Environmental Leadership in Business in the US. In 2007 he was elected a Fellow of the Energy Institute. He also serves on the Advisory Council of the Carbon Disclosure Project. He is a Patron of the United Kingdom Environmental Law Association and a Vice-President of Environmental Protection UK.
June 20, 2011
Solar Trade Association Show Feed In Tariff Subsidies Not Needed
The average one-off installation cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels has already dropped from more than $2 (£1.23) per unit of generating capacity in 2009 to about $1.50 in 2011. Based on broker reports and industry analysis, the report forecasts that those rates of decline will continue, with prices falling close to the $1 mark in 2013.
At present, solar PV is economically viable in the UK for homeowners, businesses and investors only because of government subsidies given out via feed-in tariffs (Fits). But the new analysis suggests that falling PV panel prices and rising fossil fuel prices could together make large-scale solar installations cost-competitive without government support within a decade â sooner than is usually assumed.
The report was commissioned by the Solar Trade Association (STA) from Ernst & Young's energy and environmental infrastructure advisory unit in response to the recent shake-up of Fits, which saw government support for large solar systems significantly reduced. This was a result of the government's decision to cap the total that could be spent via Fits and weight the limited budget in favour of domestic and other small-scale installations.
The chairman of the STA, Howard Johns, said the new analysis backed up the industry line that government support for all types of solar systems in the next few years made good economic sense as it would build capacity and enable unsubsidised solar to be as widely deployed as possible as prices come down.
No it bloody doesn't - it means that we don't need any subsidies at all. Our subsidy won't bring the price drop a day sooner. Wait for them to be economic and then fit them. Simples.
Use the money saved to do something more productive to save the planet in the meantime.
Just Name One - Marine Extinctions
Professor Rogers told BBC News.
"We've still got most of the world's biodiversity, but the actual rate of extinction is much higher [than in past events] - and what we face is certainly a globally significant extinction event."
Name one, just one, marine species that has gone extinct this century.
I can't find one, there are 1,450 marine species on the IUCN Red List Criteria (2007) so maybe one or two have gone phut that I have failed to spot but if lots were going I think I would be able to find some names, but I can't find one.
But we are told there is an unprecedented extinction event happening right now and action is needed.
Don't ask for evidence, time is too short for that.
June 19, 2011
Businessmen in China have established the world’s first rhino farms to provide a ready supply of the animals’ horns for use in traditional Chinese medicine.
Dozens of white rhinos have been imported into China and are being kept in a secure park known as Africa View in Hainan province in the south of the country. There the rhinos’ horns are chopped off with the intention of selling the product for vast profit. A second farm is understood to have been set up in Yunnan province, in the south west.
It is suspected that the rhinos have their horns partly or wholly removed while under sedation. The operators of the farm then wait for the horns to regrow — typically at a rate of about 3in a year — before “harvesting” them again. The horns are largely composed of keratin, the same substance that makes up human hair and nails.
Good new all round one would think, but guess what...
The existence of the rhino farms, long rumoured but not previously confirmed, has dismayed campaigners who say the massive influx of horn into the market will increase demand and further threaten wild populations....
Yep that's the old economics at work, massive increase in supply of a legal substance increases the demand for the illegal variety of it. Are you sure that is right?
It wouldn't be because the number of Rhinos will increase ,and as golden geese looked after for their hair clippings, by private enterprise, would it?
June 17, 2011
Climate Models Have Answered The Important Questions
....under the worst-case scenario, with a global failure to curb industrial emissions of carbon dioxide, Britain experiences an average temperature increase of between 2C and 4C by 2100, and North America has a catastrophic increase five times greater over the same period, the scientists say
But the "urban heat-island" effect caused by buildings and roads trapping heat will mean that British cities will experience a much higher frequency of hot summer nights. High night-time temperatures, rather than day-time heat, was the major factor behind the deaths of thousands of elderly Europeans during the unusually hot summer of 2003: fatal heart and breathing problems usually strike at night.
The computer model used in the assessment was developed by the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado,...
The model runs on a suite of supercomputers and is composed of 1.5 million lines of computer code, which is made freely available to anyone who wants to inspect it, he says. "It is our flagship model and what sets us apart is that we have made it transparent and open."
Computer models of the climate, which aim to predict what will happen under different emissions scenarios, have come under sustained attack from climate sceptics who question their accuracy. Their case is supported by frequent examples of computer models run by different organisations coming to wildly different conclusions on regional predictions, especially in relation to rainfall, which is far harder to predict than temperature.
Climate Models To Start Asking The Important Questions
On Tuesday, a converted Gulfstream V jet loaded with scientific instruments took off from an airport in Colorado on a 24-day mission to measure carbon dioxide concentrations at thousands at different locations and altitudes over the Pacific Ocean between the North and South Poles....
Strange as it may seem, until the "Hippo" pole-to-pole observations began two years ago no one had actually measured carbon dioxide concentrations in such detail from one end of the Earth to the other at different altitudes, from sea-level to 45,000ft. The project is run by the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research and it has already revealed that the many dozens of gases and other compounds that make up the atmosphere vary significantly from one place to another and from one altitude to another.
It is this heterogeneity that will be fed into the computer models of the climate which have in the past assumed a rather homogeneous and hence inaccurate picture of the different greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere.
"It's not so much to prove the models wrong, it's to help the modellers do the right thing by giving them the data to show them whether they are right or not," said David Fahey of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, one of the hundreds of scientists working on the Hippo project.
"Once you can show the models have skill then you can ask important questions like 'What is going to happen if...?'. That's what the world really needs to know," Dr Fahey added.
And there was me thinking that they already had answered those important questions like 'What is going to happen if...
June 16, 2011
No Known Species Went Extinct Last Year
An antelope hunted to extinction in the wild has been brought back from the brink, conservationists said, as they unveiled the latest update on threatened species.
It is thought the last wild Arabian oryx was shot in 1972, but a successful captive breeding programme and reintroduction efforts mean its population now stands at 1,000 in its wild home of the Arabian peninsula
Good news. But with the threat to biodiversity being the new scare how are other species doing?
Let's look at the Summary Statistics of The Red List which lists all the endangered species.
Table 7 lists all the species that have changed in status since last year.
As far as I can see not one species moved into the extinct category last year - the St. Helena Darter moved out of it into the unknown category as no one has seen one since 1963 but then no one has really looked for one.
So whilst unknowns may have gone pop not one known has. Now there is a statistic you don't hear about.
June 15, 2011
Do They Count Sheep To Go To Sleep?
Climate change puts the heat on Darwin's Chillingham cattle - Climate Change, Environment - The Independent
The Chillingham cattle, with their white coats, red ears and horns, currently number 85 animals, who roam freely around the grounds of Chillingham Castle, seat of the historically influential Grey family. They were once domesticated but now live wild and differ from most other UK mammals because they give birth throughout the year, not only during spring and summer. Over the past 60 years, more and more cattle have been born during the winter. When the record of births was cross-referenced with Met Office weather data, scientists found warmer springs nine months earlier were responsible.
As any farmer knows being able to count your stock is not only a basic requirement of the trade but also a legal necessity. So how do our brave researchers deal with counting up to 85?
The supporting data is online.
You guessed, they model the numbers.
State-space models have two main components; a process model and a data model. Observations of time-series data (e.g., census estimates of total population size) are assumed to arise from some ‘true’ unobserved state that represents the true dynamics of the population (Calder et al. 2003). The data model describes this relationship between the observed data and this true state by incorporating observation error. The dynamics of the true state of the population through time are described by the process model, which explicitly incorporates process variance.
The data model describes the relationship between the observed data, Yit, (the number of animals counted during census) and the underlying ‘true’ state of the population Nit (the total number of animals in the population including those animals that were not included in the count) by explicitly incorporating observation error. The relative population size within each of the six age/sex classes in year t is modelled using a multinomial distribution,....
We Are All Going To Fry
By 2050, the coolest summers in the tropics and parts of the northern hemisphere will still be hotter than the most scorching summers since the mid-20th century if global warming continues apace, according to a new study.
Tropical regions in Africa, Asia and South America could see "the permanent emergence of unprecedented summer heat" even within the next decades, said the study, to be published later this month in the journal Climatic Change Letters.
In the model, up to 70 percent of summer seasons from 2010 to 2039 exceeded the late-20th century maximum in the zones straddling the Equator.
Wide swaths of North America, China and Mediterranean Europe are also likely to enter a new "heat regime" by 2070, the study found.
The researchers also analysed historical data from weather stations around the world to see if the projected increase in temperatures had already begun.
"This extreme heat emergence is occuring now, and climate models represent the historical pattern remarkably well,"
Green Gold Warning
The extent of the potential bounty from seaweed found around the Outer Hebrides between high and low tides has been mapped for the first time in more than 60 years. A study shows that only 39 per cent of the "green gold" is accessible.
Only one company currently processes seaweed in the islands, where it once supported hundreds of jobs, although there are plans for investing in a £20 million in a processing plant that could generate up to an estimated £50m.
However, experts have warned against a large-scale increase in the Hebridean industry, because it might deplete the resource and have a knock-on effect on the marine environment.
But the Met Office needs the increased amounts of seaweed to improve their weather forecasts....
June 13, 2011
It's 'global weirding' now
Tornados, wildfires, droughts and floods were once seen as freak conditions. But the environmental disasters now striking the world are shocking signs of 'global weirding'
Sceptics argue that there have always been droughts and floods, freak weather, heatwaves and temperature extremes, but what concerns most climate scientists and observers is that the extreme weather events are occurring more frequently, their intensity is growing and the trends all suggest long-term change as greenhouse gases steadily build in the atmosphere.
What a pity they don't link to the data that shows such increases because I can't find it.
June 12, 2011
Huhne Orders Consumer To Revolt On Energy Prices
Chris Huhne, told the Observer that consumers should not accept the increases "lying down" but "hurt" their supplier by finding cheaper alternatives.
"Consumers don't have to take price increases lying down," he said. "If an energy company hits you with a price increase, you can hit them back where it hurts – by shopping around and voting with your feet."
I'm confused - most of the cost, and increases in prices, of fuel can be blamed on the policies of Mr Huhne's "Greenest Government Ever".
Should we be shopping around and voting with our feet for our leaders?
Huge Solar Subsidies Coming Back?
Ministers plan an abrupt change of policy to rescue solar power jobs | Mail Online
Ministers plan an abrupt change of policy in an effort to rescue tens of thousands of jobs and billions of pounds of investment promised by Britain's solar energy industry, which are threatened by Treasury cuts.
Behind the scenes, the Department of Energy and Climate Change is understood to have been working on proposals to revive large-scale solar generation by using a different mechanism to encourage energy companies to buy more solar-generated electricity.
An announcement on the size of the subsidy to large-scale projects will be made in the autumn. The hope is that by 2013, when new tariffs take effect, the solar industry will be able once again to develop.
The solar energy sector is seen by the Government as potentially helpful in rebalancing the economy away from services, creating jobs and challenging the might of the major energy companies.
Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: 'I am a big fan of solar energy. I believe it can have an important role in breaking the stranglehold of the Big Six energy companies.'
We have Mr Huhne bitching about the power companies, now we have Mr Baker doing the same, as they increase their prices to consumers. And their answer is to increase the cost of producing power by increasing subsidies paid to alternative producers. But picking the money from a different pocket. Huh?
June 10, 2011
Aaronovitch Breaks Wind
Windy Nimbies mean nothing can get done | The Times
If you threaten an Englishman with a wind farm he will burst into tears.
The relationship between streaming eyes and renewable energy was established in BBC Two’s documentary series Windfarm Wars. In public, on doorsteps, in interviews and behind computer screens, folk were weeping as the interminable process of getting a small windfarm built in central Devon crawled from council chamber to courtroom.
As most sentient Britons over 5 and under 100 know, we long ago as a nation signed up to the idea that we had to cut carbon emissions. But how was this to be done without returning to an agricultural economy? Mostly by energy conservation and investment in renewable energy — waves, solar power and wind.
....the objectors didn’t like the sight of the 120ft turbines, they thought the blades reduced property values and would cause disruption while being built.
Someone even managed to claim that the machines were a danger to “bats, birds [and] children”. Presumably low-flying children. One ominously quiet man, Mike, made effective mayhem about noise and became the Hereward the Wake of wind resistance.
The developer made the cardinal error of failing to put all information, relevant or irrelevant, into the public domain because of “the hassle”, and likeable Mike was off, full of justified grievance.
The truth? There wasn’t that much noise. The shallow valley that the turbines were in wasn’t that pretty, and if anything the slender shapes gave a rather nice focal point in the landscape. So if not there, where? And if not wind, what?
If not wind? How long a list do you want of sensible alternatives?
Scottish Energy Policy - Realism Attacks
THE Scottish Government's target of generating 100 per cent of the country's electricity needs from renewables by 2020 is unrealistic and unachievable, according to a leading economist.
Mr Mackay said his is the first report to provide a "realistic and objective assessment" of how Scotland's energy industries are likely to develop in the next decade.
"There is confusion and errors - deliberate or otherwise - in many of the other reports between energy production and consumption, and also between electricity generating capacity and actual generation, particularly for wind farms.
You don't say.
June 9, 2011
Not "Climate Change" Now It is "Weather Panic"
A perfect storm of stupid | Amy Goodman | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
"We're making the Earth a more dynamic and violent place … We're trapping more of the sun's energy in this narrow envelope of atmosphere, and that's now expressing itself in many ways. We don't know for sure that any particular tornado comes from climate change. There have always been tornadoes. We do know that we're seeing epic levels of thunderstorm activity, of flooding, of drought, of all the things that climatologists have been warning us about."
The New Politics of Climate Change : The New Yorker
For decades, climate scientists have predicted that, as global temperatures rose, the side effects would include deeper droughts, more intense flooding, and more ferocious storms. The details of these forecasts are immensely complicated, but the underlying science is pretty simple. Warm air can hold more moisture. This means that there is greater evaporation. It also means that there is more water, and hence more energy, available to the system.
What we are seeing now is these predictions being borne out. If no particular flood or drought or storm can be directly attributed to climate change—there’s always the possibility that any single event was just a random occurrence—the over-all trend toward more extreme weather follows from the heating of the earth. As the cover of Newsweek declared last week, “weather panic” is the “new normal.”
Is no one able to actually do a statistical analysis of past events and come up with some numbers to prove their theory, or is hanky waving panic the new science we should impoverish ourselves for?
June 8, 2011
Cost Of Power
SCOTTISH households are facing another wave of steep energy price rises, after a leading provider revealed looming increases which will see the average annual gas and electricity bill rocket by £180.
Watchdog Ofgem, which is conducting a major overhaul of the energy market, has come under fire from consumer groups and the Scottish Government, who believe the regulator should step in to put a stop to the spiralling cost of gas and electricity.
So how do you feel about all that money you pay extra on your bill to subsidise those windfarms now Mr Voter?
June 6, 2011
Situation Normal - Worse Than Expected
...the change in weather may be due to the shrinking of the sea ice cap in the Arctic. Ice cover there has been disappearing at a striking rate and is currently at its lowest recorded level for this time of year. Less and less solar radiation is being reflected back into space as a result, and the atmosphere heats up. But how such a phenomenon could affect the weather over Britain is unclear.
Meteorologist Tim Woollings, of Reading University, said: "Climate models are starting to show some agreement that jet streams will shift slight closer to the poles in response to increases in greenhouse gases."
Such a trend could bring more settled, dry hot weather systems to Britain, though predictions are unclear. "There is still considerable disagreement between different models," Woollings added. "The hot weather we had this year arose because the jet stream was deflected south. Last year, it occurred because the stream was deflected north. So it is still very difficult to predict what will happen."
However, Woollings was sure that climate change would continue to have an influence. "One thing we can say is that even if the statistics of weather regimes do not change, we may feel the impact of some of them more strongly.
So even though Arctic sea ice in the spring is within a smidgen of what it has been "since records began". And one year it is warm because the jet streams go north, and next year because they go south. And the statistics may not change... We are all going to die.
Don't mention the "S" word
Global warming crisis may mean world has to suck greenhouse gases from air | Environment | The Guardian
"We are putting ourselves in a scenario where we will have to develop more powerful technologies to capture emissions out of the atmosphere," said Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN framework convention on climate change. "We are getting into very risky territory," she said, stressing that time was running out.
Remember only professional Climate "Scientists" are allowed to voice opinions, we can't allow amateurs to influence policy can we?
Christiana Figueres - CV
1993 Certificate in Organization and Systems Design, Gestalt
Institute of Cleveland
1991 Certification in Organization Development, Georgetown
1981 M. Sc. in Social Anthropology, London School of Economics
1979 B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology, Swarthmore College
Commitment to global strategy to address climate change
Full time dedication to climate change for 15 years as negotiator, analyst, and capacity builder:
Trained and authorized by Al Gore to deliver his presentation The Inconvenient Truth
I guess that means she really is a trained Climate Scientist then. Why else would she claim that time is running out.
Don't mention the "C" word
BBC News - Archaeologists unearth Britain's 'first building boom'
The Neolithic period in Britain occurred between 4,000 and 2,000 BC.
It was when people took up agriculture as a way of life and stopped being nomadic hunter-gatherers.
It also saw the emergence of trade across the British Isles and the development of new technologies. But until now, we have had only a rather coarse picture of the chronology of events during this eventful period in our history.
Professor Alistair Whittle of Cardiff University said: "With more accurate dating, the Neolithic period is no longer the sleepy, hazy swathe of time where it is the default position to lump everything together.
"This research fundamentally challenges the notion that little happened among our Stone Age farmers. We can now think about the Neolithic period in terms of more rapid changes, constant movement of people and fast diffusion of ideas."
This sounds very like what Matt Ridley describes as When Ideas Have Sex.
No mention of the climate in the BBC article (and I haven't found the actual report online to link to). But this from another BBC story...
BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Alpine melt reveals ancient life
Melting alpine glaciers are revealing fascinating clues to Neolithic life in the high mountains.
What fascinates scientists about the age of the finds is that they correspond to times when climate specialists have already calculated the Earth was going through an especially warm period, caused by fluctuations in the orbital pattern of the Earth in relation to the Sun.
At these times, historians now speculate, the high mountain regions became accessible to humans.
June 3, 2011
Calling Mr Hitchcock
Pupil Joe Biggins, 16, said: ''Red kites come and swarm around everyone when they're eating.
''They've swooped down to grab it out of our hand. One Year eight student had his hand scratched by one of them and had a tetanus jab.
''When they're flying above, you don't get a feel for how big they are. But when they're up close, they are very intimidating.''
Farm workers, the RAF and members of the public have called for a cull of the birds after a spate of attacks.
Colin Wilkinson, a conservation officer for the RSPB in Oxfordshire, said: ''There are sadly a minority out there who would love to take us back to the 19th Century and shoot, trap and poison all kinds of birds of prey.
''Red kites are a tremendous conservation success story and now a familiar sight.
''Most people are delighted to have red kites back in Oxfordshire as part of our bird community.
''They are big, spectacular birds and I'm sure they're a bit scary close up but I think we need to respond to this kind of story with thought and care.''
Thought and care as kids cower in the classrooms afraid to go out.
I have a thought and I am very careful.
MP For The Khmer Vert
Hay Festival 2011: Caroline Lucas leads call for return to wartime austerity - Telegraph
....a more simple life when we made do with old clothes, shared baths and grew our own vegetables.
By Louise Gray
Her argument was based on the seminal work of EF Schumacher, the author of Small is Beautiful.
Almost forty years after publication of the book she not only said “small is possible” but “small is inevitable”.
In fact if we do not move to a more sustainable way of living then global warming is a “hideous prospect”.
Even David Cameron, the Prime Minister, has admitted Schumacher is an influence on his idea for a ‘Big Society’..
The New Home Front campaign aims to reduce carbon emissions by encouraging people to “make do and mend”and “dig for victory”.
There is more on this dribbleconomics at the aptly named Make Wealth History.
June 2, 2011
Subsidise The Wasteful To Save The World
The UK government has proposed a new system for incentivising power plants with low carbon emissions, such as nuclear.
It would benefit generators that provided constant supplies of electricity, such as nuclear, at the expense of intermittent suppliers such as wind farms.
Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) chief executive Ian Marchant said such an approach "potentially just damages the market's disciplines and could have a negative impact on renewables".
If we are going to subsidise low carbon technology then it should be technology blind. The result we want is less carbon for our buck, how that is delivered is irrelevant. And that might mean a reliable technology that works all the time is better value than one that isn't and doesn't.
Tim Lang - Don't Let Them Get Uppity
Where is the 21st-century approach to feeding the world? | Tim Lang | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
The prospect of prices doubling ought to focus minds on forging a replacement for a failed approach to food modernity
To the west, the great success of the food story in the second half of the 20th century was lower prices. This allowed spending to diversify and fuelled the consumer society boom. Proportionately less outlay on food meant more for clothes, homes, holidays and fun.
Oxfam prophesises that food prices will double by 2030. That would take the average British shopping basket to around 20% of disposable income. But to the poorest of the world, it would mean almost all income going on food.
The South African government is reported to be considering whether to emulate Tony Blair's action in 1999 when concerned about food prices. Turn to Wal-Mart. Aware of the vice-like grip Britain's dwindling number of supermarket giants had over 60 million British mouths, Blair sent signals that the UK would welcome the world's biggest food retailer to introduce some price competition. Competition and US capital were to be the recipe to hold down food prices. Wal-Mart purchased Asda, the chain already close to the Wal-Mart giant store model.
Is this model really the answer? Hardly. It's part of the problem. Essentially, the consumer drives to the store. No longer does the food come to the consumer. In a world where oil prices have also rocketed – one of the real reasons for rising food prices – this is no longer an apt model. Surely, the last thing South Africa needs is a retail giant that threatens the existence of thousands of small shopkeepers. Allowing it into Africa may signal modernity, but it's ecological and social irresponsibility.
Keep those happy grinning blacks hard at work on the land, they don't want "clothes, homes, holidays and fun." Not like us well educated liberal whites, it would be wasted on them.
May 31, 2011
All Animals Are Equal
World-class research into future sources of green energy is under threat in Britain from an environmental tax designed to boost energy efficiency and drive down carbon emissions, scientists claim.
Some facilities must find hundreds of thousands of pounds to settle green tax bills, putting jobs and research at risk.
The unexpected impact of the government's carbon reduction commitment (CRC) scheme is so severe that scientists and research funders have lobbied ministers for an exemption to reduce the bills
Oh, an exemption please. Because our use of fossil fuels is more important than your or your company's use. Just like our flying round the world is more important than your flying around and so shouldn't be criticised. In fact it probably is unfair we have to queue in traffic like you do so maybe we should have special traffic lanes for really important people like us......
One group of these conspiracy theorists, however, has even succeeded in bringing its theory into the mainstream. These are the people who deny that human activity is contributing to climate change, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary – call them the "climate truthers", for lack of a better term.
Climate trutherism embodies the lynchpin of most conspiracy theories: the belief that a group of influential people is coordinating a wide-ranging cover-up to advance their interests by bamboozling the rest of us. Doubting human-caused climate change requires the same paranoid logic as, say, doubting that the 9/11 attacks caught Bush officials by surprise, or that President Obama's birth certificate is a forgery. But rather than believing that we're being lied to by the Bush White House or Obama's mother and the state of Hawaii, you're required to believe that we're being lied to by nearly every scientist and scientific institution in the world.
mitigating global warming really does require government intervention in the energy industry, so it must be a leftwing, "big government" plot. What binds all these conspiracy theorists together is the belief that their ideological opponents are evil masterminds engaged in a cabal: healthy scepticism turned pathological.
There exists a somewhat tamer brand of climate trutherism, which takes a different tack: rather than attack or challenge the science head-on, its proponents merely assert that the science is unsettled. This is simply obfuscation, designed to exploit misconceptions.
To wit, the scientific consensus is so strong that you must either believe manmade climate change is real or you have to believe there's a massive conspiracy going on. There's hardly a third option.
...it takes courage to call out climate truthers, because some of them are very influential. But that's why it's more important.
Oh what a brave little soldier he is, being rude about everyone who doesn't toe the party line, it takes courage to to stand behind every Government and apparently every scientist and defend them.
Because if you have the slightest doubt about any aspect of the Climate Change scare or the prescribed response to it you are a "Climate Truther" and evil. Nuances don't come into it.
Grown ups might like Skeptic Strategy for Talking About Global Warming | Watts Up With That? though.
Green Turning Brown
Scotland wants German-style nuclear shutdown, says SNP - Scotsman.com News
The German coalition government's plans to phase out all of its nuclear power stations by 2022 mean the country is the biggest industrial power to give up on the controversial form of energy.
Nationalist MSPs at Holyrood seized on yesterday's announcement, with energy minister Fergus Ewing saying that the move "adds further weight" to the SNP's plans to generate all of Scotland's energy from renewables within ten years.
Support wind farms? It would be less controversial to argue for blackouts | George Monbiot | Comment is free | The Guardian So this is where the United Kingdom stands. We cannot keep burning fossil fuels without cooking the biosphere. We don't like nuclear power. We don't like onshore wind. We won't like the costs of the other technologies. We reject all the means by which electricity is generated. Yet no one is volunteering to stop using it.
So we will end up with smaller rejuvenated power stations burning fossil fuels, purely for "back up" purposes you understand, and brown outs.
May 30, 2011
It's The Sun Wot Did It
Letters: Still spinning around the sun | From the Guardian | The Guardian Saturday 14 July 2007 Good scientists spend their time constantly re-evaluating ideas and theories against all the evidence. Because I am a solar physicist, it would make me very happy indeed were the sun to be the cause of current climate change, partly because it would make my studies more relevant and important but mainly because I understand that solar activity will almost certainly decline in years to come. This would mean that the greatest threat to mankind's continued prosperity and wellbeing, namely climate change, would also decline. Sadly for me, and for all of us, you cannot wish or spin away a scientific reality. Professor Mike LockwoodBlow to green energy plans as wind speeds forecast to drop for 40 years - Scotsman.com News
Meteorologists now believe these becalmed weather systems are linked to levels of solar radiation. A particularly quiet spell between 1645 and 1715 - a period known as the Maunder Minimum - saw Britain suffer a mini ice age, yet also bouts of hot, dry summers.
Professor Michael Lockwood of Reading University said: "We reached a high point of solar activity in 1985. Since then, it has been declining. We are now halfway back to the levels seen during the Maunder Minimum. The probability is that decline will continue for the next 40 years."
It seems the Prof is a good scientist and has re-evaluated his ideas about the sun, though what his thoughts on the Global situation are I don't know.
May 27, 2011
Nurse, The Screens.
The president of the Royal Society calls for changes to freedom of information laws to prevent them being misused. However, existing safeguards address many of his concerns.....
Another academic is quoted as saying many FoI requests are made in order to find problems and errors – but that is a valid use of the act. It was the misguided attempt to deny ammunition to critics that led to the Climategate fiasco. The resulting independent review found there had been an "ethos of minimal compliance (and at times non-compliance) … with both the letter and the spirit" of the legislation, and that the campaign of requests to the UEA climatic research unit was partly the result of its own "unhelpful" response to earlier requests. It is not clear that much has changed.
Director, Campaign for Freedom of Information
I think that is Sir Paul Nurse pwned...
What Price A Green And Pleasant Land?
Such friends of the power industry as Jonathon Porritt and George Monbiot claim to find turbines and pylons beauteous objects that enhance the natural environment.
As long as there are people who see no beauty in nature, those who oppose them must do better than just cry "philistine". I see no objection to nimbyism, since if we do not love and protect our own spaces, no one else will. But such protection requires a common aesthetic, in which statements about beauty are not ridiculed by politicians and lobbyists. It requires specifying the delight in a view, a hill, a coast, a valley and pleading with others to see it too. Indeed it requires more than that. Since spoiling nature makes money for someone, monetary value must be ascribed to preserving it.
He is a brave man tilting at windmills in the Guardian, the commentators are out in force.
May 26, 2011
Checking for errors an inconvenience - Bob Ward
Freedom of information laws are used to harass scientists, says Nobel laureate | Politics | The Guardian
Sir Paul Nurse says climate scientists are being targeted by campaigns of requests designed to slow down their research
Bob Ward of the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics said the intention of many of those making freedom of information requests was to trawl through scientists' work with the intention of trying to find problems and errors. "It's also quite true that these people do not care about the fact that it is causing a serious inconvenience," he said.
How awful! The inconvenience of people checking climate scientists' work for errors. Don't they know there is an emergency? What are a few errors to saving the world?
May 25, 2011
When the American government, a generous and close friend to Uganda, began an organic farming programme to help rural economies here, Acope expanded, selling a wide variety of commodities at good rates. His one acre became seven. Acope fathered 11 children. Uganda was developing, and Acope was one of many who were riding high.
But the very next year came winds of change. Faced with unrelenting malaria, which threatened both lives and livelihoods, Uganda's government teamed up with the US to use chemical insecticide sprays - including DDT - to try to eliminate the disease. Acope's home district, Apac, which has some of the highest malaria rates in the world, was chosen for spraying in early 2008. ..when the DDT was sprayed, organic-farming companies say they lost the bulk of their supply immediately.
Now, following its devastating effects, Acope is helping to take his own government to court. ..
So this father of 11's devastation is the loss of the extra profit from producing organic mangoes over normal mangoes, and maybe having to still feed all his children as they haven't died of malaria....
May 19, 2011
Boost Economy By Digging Holes
MORE than 5,000 green energy jobs could be created through the construction and operation of three Scottish carbon capture and storage demonstration projects in a £3 billion boost for the economy, according to research by Scottish Enterprise.
Why not double it to 10,000 jobs and bury even more fizzy gas. Or why not employ a million people to dig holes and a million more to fill them in? What a boost to the economy that would be!
The Magic Money Fairy would happily cough up more money I'm sure, because if the money is coming from anywhere else it would be depressing the economy there, where it could more usefully employed.
May 17, 2011
Huhne Must Go
David Cameron will find it much harder to deliver his “greenest government ever” if Chris Huhne has to resign as energy and climate change secretary in the wake of allegations that he persuaded his then wife to take penalty points for as speeding offence. ...many environmentalists will be ... sending up even more fervent prayers that Chris Huhne manages ride out the sea of troubles now besetting him.
Real environmentalists will be hoping he and his foolish ideas are sunk and instead of spunking our money away chasing the climate change fairies some money is left over to implement real environmental improvements.
“It Ain’t Necessarily So” - One To Download
London, 16 May - Lord Turnbull, the former Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Home Civil Service (2002 – 2005), has called on MPs and ministers to consider more carefully the rising costs and economic risks of Britain’s unilateral climate policies.
In a dispassionate but devastating critique of current policies, Andrew Turnbull also criticises the blind faith in the propositions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) given that they do not bear the weight of certainty with which they are often expressed.
In his briefing paper for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Lord Turnbull outlines the many doubts and disagreements that exist about key IPCC assumptions....
Lord Turnbull’s briefing paper The Really Inconvenient Truth, Or “It Ain’t Necessarily So” can be downloaded here
May 16, 2011
Caroline Spelman: Hot weather hats cause irreversible damage
Yes - I've been scarred by a few wedding hat pins in my time....
Two small islands in South Asia's first marine biosphere reserve have sunk into the sea primarily as a result of coral reef mining, experts say.
Fishermen had indiscriminately and illegally mined invaluable coral reefs around the islets of Poomarichan and Villanguchalli for many decades, said S Balaji, chief conservator of forests and wildlife for that region of Tamil Nadu state.
Mr Balaji said rising sea level as a result of global warming was also a factor behind the islands' submergence.
But this was questioned by Simon Holgate from the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory in Liverpool, UK, who said observations showed that the sea level in the region had been rising slower than the global average.
"I think that global sea level rise had little impact on the disappearance of these islands and it must be due to other reasons, possibly the mining of coral reefs," Dr Holgate told BBC News.
Whoops - he strayed off the script in telling the truth territory. Good man.
$1m each for 440 eco busy bodies
Under the deal, which values Environmental Resources Management (ERM) at $950m (£585m), Charterhouse acquires 65% of the business. The remainder of the shares will be held by ERM's 440 partners.
So just south of an average of $1million shares left for each partner, where the cash goes I don't know but let's all raise a glass to those pure eco-warriors who tells us what is good for the planet out of the kindness of their wallets.
May 13, 2011
Friends of Earth Say Lack of Global Warming Kills 25,400 Yearly In UK
Thousands of lives could be saved every year if British homes were made warmer, a report suggests.
Around 5,500 more deaths occur in the coldest quarter of houses every year than would happen if those houses were warm.
In 2009-10, there were an estimated 25,400 excess winter deaths, of which 21.5% can be attributed to the coldest quarter of housing.
The report, commissioned by Friends of the Earth, said living in a cold home worsens conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism.
More than one in four adolescents living in a cold house are at risk of mental health problems
Of course if it is warm outside it is warm in the house.....
May 11, 2011
Organic farming only took off in the country about seven years ago. Farmers are turning back to traditional farming methods for a number of reasons....farmers are suffering from the damaging effects of India's green revolution, which ushered in the rampant use of pesticides and fertilisers from the 1960s to ensure bumper yields and curb famine and food shortages. Over the decades, the chemicals have taken a toll on the land and yields are plunging.
Simply bollocks -
Explore other crops and figures there.
Umesh Vishwanath Chaudhari, 35, a farmer in the Jalgaon district in Maharashtra, switched to organic farming seven years ago after experiencing diminishing yields from his 8-hectare (20-acre) plot.
He plans to convert another 2 hectares to organic cotton and buy 10 cows to make his own manure, rather than buying it. "Using manure instead of pesticides and fertilisers has cut my costs by half, and I get a premium on these goods," he says. "I used to drive a scooter, but in the past few years I've been able to afford a bike and car – and even two tractors."
Two tractors, a car and a bike from the profits from twenty acres? You would be lucky to get that from a thousand acres in the UK. Guess where the consumer is getting the better deal.
Udday Dattatraya Patil, 43, an agriculture graduate, turned to organic farming after his crops were showing a deficiency in feed, leading to rising fertiliser costs. In addition, his banana crop was being wrecked by temperature fluctuations and climate change.
Although he is hailed as a progressive agriculturalist by his fellow villagers, he is the only organic farmer out 3,000 in Chahardi, in Jalgaon district.
Once the awareness increases, organic agriculturalists believe more farmers will join the movement...
Yep, that old progressive movement that the lumpen would willingly join if only they were more aware. All those fools who actually have to make a living from the land just not understanding what the is good for them.
Louise Gray - Prairie Dogs Attack Hawks
By Louise Gray
Nick Robertson of Hawkforce, owns the Harris hawk that attacked a dachshund in Duke of York Square around 18 months ago.
He insisted the birds are not trying to kill the dogs, but are in fact attacking because they are afraid.
He said his hawk was jumping on the dog in fright and was so traumatised by the event that is has not been used for pest control since.
“The natural predator of these hawks is prairie dogs, which is why they don’t like them," he said. "They would not try to carry them off.”
Prairie dogs are a type of ground squirrel, found in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Prairie dogs are almost exclusively herbivorous and select grasses and grass-like plants over broad-leafed herbaceous plants, except for an occasional meal of insects such as cutworms, ground beetles, and short-horned grasshoppers
Apart from the giant ones which soar out of their burrows to savage Harris Hawks as they fly over.
Doesn't the lovely Louise have any journalistic scepticism?
Argumentum ad Verecundiam
The Latin word verecundia means modesty or shyness, and argumentum ad vercundiam means literally 'argument towards modesty', though the phrase is normally rendered in English as Argument from Authority
The expression was invented by John Locke, who explained the meaning of the term as follows: "When men are established in any kind of dignity, it is thought a breach of 'modesty' for others to derogate any way from it, and question the authority of men who are in possession of it."
Dignity and Modesty.....
What A Green Government Means
Cameron is gravely mistaken if he thinks that shrinking the state, weakening regulatory structures through insidious projects such as the "red tape challenge", scrapping targets (there are none in the green deal, for example) and reducing opportunities for public scrutiny can deliver the "greenest government ever".
So for a "green government" we need a growing state, stronger regulations, no challenges to red tape, more targets and more "public scrutiny", what ever that is.
May 9, 2011
Climate change 'could disrupt wi-fi and hit power supply' - Telegraph
By Louise Gray
Climate change will disrupt wi-fi connections, cause regular power failures and lead railway lines to buckle unless Britain spends billions of pounds, Caroline Spelman, the Environment Secretary has warned.
A cross-government report published today outlines how planning and design of new infrastructure needs to take into account the impact of climate change – especially as many projects will still be in place in 50 to 100 years time.
Theresa Villiers, the Rail Minister, promised to invest in adapting to climate change.
Thank goodness we aren't like those silly Victorians who thought they could build railways from the Cape to Cairo, in India or across the Nullarbor Plain. Fools.
Gov Climate Change Committee Tells Huhne To Get Stuffed
THE government should slow down plans to roll out thousands of offshore wind turbines in the UK's seas by 2020, its climate advisers indicated today.
The Committee on Climate Change said renewables had a significant role to play in cutting carbon from the UK economy, and could provide 30 per cent of electricity, heating and transport energy by 2030 - double the target set for 2020.
However, nuclear power would remain the most cost- effective way of providing low-carbon electricity well into the 2020s, the committee said, calling for around 14 nuclear plants to be built by the end of the next decade.
Such a move would go beyond existing plans to build 12 reactors on seven sites by 2025.
The "very aggressive pace" of government plans for the roll-out of offshore wind turbines - seen as less controversial than onshore turbines and the major focus of renewable development - should be "moderated" because of its expense up to 2020.
The grown ups are starting to take control, of course Scotland insists that SNP wind power will suffice for them and Chris Huhne (who?) will bluster with his declining powers that the same is true for us, but the smooth civil service machine of Government is starting to get a little annoyed with the children and spotting an opportunity will start telling a few home truths.
May 6, 2011
Preacher Gore Old Testament Climate Facts
Former Vice President Al Gore has compared climate sceptics to ‘birthers’ and claimed recent floods in Pakistan and Australia were curses predicted in the Bible.... warned about in Deuteronomy.
He quoted scientific data, public opinion polls and Biblical scripture on climate change - describing the phenomenon as a fundamentally moral issue
‘There is now a tendency in our country to struggle over what is a fact and what is not,’ he said.
My scripture knowledge is rusty so maybe he can point out the exact verse that refers to the Queensland floods. Maybe he is confused about the name Queensland and Leviticus 18:22.
I wonder what serial shagging divorcee Al Gore thinks about these moral laws from the Bible. Breaking which one caused the rain?
If it is discovered that a bride is not a virgin, the Bible demands that she be executed by stoning immediately. Deuteronomy 22:13-21
If a married person has sex with someone else’s husband or wife, the Bible commands that both adulterers be stoned to death. Deuteronomy 22:22
Divorce is strictly forbidden in both Testaments, as is remarriage of anyone who has been divorced. Mark 10:1-12
The Bible forbids a married couple from having sexual intercourse during a woman’s period. If they disobey, both shall be executed.Leviticus 18:19
If a man dies childless, his widow is ordered by biblical law to have intercourse with each of his brothers in turn until she bears her deceased husband a male heir. Mark 12:18-27
If a man gets into a fight with another man and his wife seeks to rescue her husband by grabbing the enemy’s genitals, her hand shall be cut off and no pity shall be shown her. Deuteronomy 25:11-12
If ifs and ands were pots and pans
Food prices driven up by global warming, study shows | Environment | guardian.co.uk
Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, Washington DC, said the findings indicate a turning point: "Agriculture as it exists today evolved over 11,000 years of reasonably stable climate, but that climate system is no more."
Computer models were used to show how much grain would have been harvested in the absence of warming. Overall, yields have been rising over the last decades and the models took this into account.
"The research provides evidence of big shifts in wheat and maize production," commented Prof Tim Wheeler at the Walker Institute for Climate System Research, Reading University, UK, who added it had involved "heroic" statistical analysis.
Heroic isn't the word I would use for this pile of tosh
May 5, 2011
Diary Of A Teenager
Monday 8am-noon Alec Loorz
8am. Wake up. Alarm ringing. Hit snooze. Go back to sleep. Wake up 9 minutes later. Hit snooze. Fall asleep. Repeat cycle for an hour. Get up. Turn on iMac. Start music. The Decemberists. Stop song after 30 seconds. Go into kitchen. Find slice of sourdough. Put in toaster. Walk back to room. Continue song. Miss ding on toaster. Pick up Howard Zinn book for school. Sit on couch. Read. Underline with pencil. Remember toast. Run to toast. Toast is cold. Start timer again. Heat up water in the microwave. Put teabag in water. Wait. Toast is done. Get Nutella. Spread Nutella on bread. Eat Nutella, with bread. Get tea and sit back on couch. Continue reading. Wait for tea to cool. Drink tea. It's too cold. Continue reading. Play with kitten on lap. Kitten bites. Jake comes in. Jake subdues kitten. Jake gets 20 points for subduing kitten. Kitten comes back over. Kitten falls asleep on lap. Continue reading. Underline with pencil. Finish chapter. Mentally celebrate. Think "I never read." Pick up other book. Read. Kitten still asleep. Wish for iPhone to take picture. Finish 2 chapters. Kitten leaves. Realize my camera was there the whole time. Darn. Get up. Make more bread. Spread Nutella. Eat Nutella, with bread. Sit back down. Finish reading. Mentally celebrate. Get up. Pee. Go outside. It's hot. Peek into office. Phone call. Leave office. Get harmonica. Play harmonica. Play harmonica outside. Play harmonica on couch. Get violin from room. Play violin on couch. Regret quitting lessons. Go into room. Pick up guitar. Play chords. Wish for lessons. Put down guitar. Turn on iMac again. Turn on music. The Mountain Goats. Go on facebook. Nothing. Go on Youtube. Nothing. Go to site for Photoshop brushes. Download brushes. Open Photoshop. Load new brushes. Start to design. Mom walks in. Asks me to take out Fifi. Fifi is a chicken. Walk outside. Get Fifi. Bring Fifi under the big tree. Go back. Get nesting box. Get water. Put nesting box under tree. Put water under tree. Pick up Fifi. Fifi wants to go down. Put Fifi down. Sit down. Pet Fifi. Stand up. Go back inside. Look at clock. 12pm.
Thursday 8am-noon Alec Loorz
This morning I filed a lawsuit against the United States of America, for allowing money to be more powerful than the survival of my generation, and for making decisions that threaten our right to a safe and healthy planet in an effort to force government intervention on climate change.
The courtroom ploy is backed by high-profile activists looking for a legal soft spot to advance a cause that has stumbled in the face of stiff congressional opposition and a skeptical U.S. Supreme Court.
Fish Filleters Breakthrough
A TEAM of engineers have developed a turbine which they claim will produce the world's first domestically affordable electricity from tidal energy within a year.
The CoRMaT is a small, free-floating capsule, tethered to a surface float, which uses a new contra-rotating rotor system to harness tidal energy. It can be used in water up to 500 metres deep and, because its closely spaced rotors move in opposite directions, it remains steady in the face of strong tidal flows.
David Pratt, co-founder of Nautricity, said: "We anticipate that within the next year we will be capable of producing electricity that is competitive with offshore wind generation.
So not competitive with real energy production systems just competitive with subsidy-sucking eagle-slicers......
May 4, 2011
Dellers - This Is Really Important
This is the most important story of our time. It’s bigger than the Royal Wedding; it’s far, far more enduring than Osama Bin Laden; it will benefit our lives (and those of our grandchildren and great great great grandchildren) in almost unimaginably myriad ways.
Dellers splutter back into life - with a cracker.
PR Puff About Paid PR
Ferdinand's green awakening started when energy company E.ON signed him up to be an advocate for their Energy Fit programme.
And he gets them a long uncritical column in the Guardian - well worth the money.
Ferdinand makes it clear that he's not about to become a green fanatic. "I'm not going to change my whole lifestyle overnight," he says. "I'm starting an educational journey." Judging from his passing references to unleaded petrol and the ozone hole, it seems his last period of eco-education was the 1980s. He doesn't mention climate change until prompted, but he's in no doubt that the stakes are high. When asked what's at risk if we don't look after the environment, he answers emphatically: "Trees, animals, humans … everything. Everything's endangered."
Ferdinand currently has a Jaguar, though gone are the days when he thought of cars as glamorous. "These days I've got kids and it's just about getting them from A to B." Would he ever switch to an electric car? "Yeah, definitely."
Look don't ask awkward questions, what do you think you are, a journalist? Just get on with filling up the newspaper with greenie stuff.
High quality version available if you pay at:
May 3, 2011
Green Religion Problem
You think you're discussing technologies, and you quickly discover that you're discussing belief systems. The battle among environmentalists over how or whether our future energy is supplied is a cipher for something much bigger: who we are, who we want to be, how we want society to evolve.
Accommodation makes sense only if the economy is reaching a steady state. But the clearer the vision becomes, the further away it seems. A steady state economy will be politically possible only if we can be persuaded to stop grabbing. This in turn will be feasible only if we feel more secure. But the global race to the bottom and its destruction of pensions, welfare, public services and stable employment make people less secure, encouraging us to grasp as much for ourselves as we can.
An honest environmentalism needs to explain which products should continue to be manufactured and which should not, and what the energy sources for these manufactures should be...
All of us in the environment movement, in other words – whether we propose accommodation, radical downsizing or collapse – are lost. None of us yet has a convincing account of how humanity can get out of this mess.
Maybe in your religion you are asking the wrong questions. Economic growth gives a cleaner safer planet with more happy campers. Carry on growing and the number of happy campers will decrease as people breed less and technology will fix the problem of clean energy at an economic price. Problem solved. But if you worship at the Church of Monbiot the problem isn't how do we get cleaner and happier it is how do we get fewer people and how do we get them to accept less. How do we collapse the system? And as he says:
"History shows us that wherever large-scale collapse has occurred, psychopaths take over."
May 1, 2011
Windmills Turn Off And Cash In
Wind farm operators in Scotland were paid nearly £900,000 to keep their turbines idle for a night because the National Grid did not need the power.
The payments, up to 20 times the value of the power the wind farms would have produced, were offered by the National Grid because it urgently needed to reduce electricity entering the system.
It was oversupplied with power on a wet and blustery night last month when demand for electricity was low.
The National Grid confirmed it had made the payments. “On the night of April 5 and 6, the demand for power was low but the nuclear generation plants in Scotland were running as expected. There was also heavy rainfall, which meant hydro power plants were operating well, too,” a spokesman said.
Although the power could have been used in England, the transmission cables lacked the capacity to carry it south. The Scottish turbines were disconnected and the operators received six-figure sums to compensate for the loss of their subsidies and the income from the power they would have sold.
The disclosure of the subsidy payments has called into question the economic logic of the subsidies paid out to wind farms. It will pose awkward questions for Charles Hendry, the energy minister, because the cost of the payments ends up on customers’ bills.
The Summers Were Better When I Was A Kid
....The journal Biology Letters this week reports a novel yet kind of obvious way to tackle the data dearth; simply asking Himalayan villagers about their experiences.
To be fair, the phrase "simply asking" does the researchers a disservice, because what they emphasise throughout their paper is the need to gather local knowledge "rapidly and efficiently... using systematic tools".
Researchers went to 28 villages in total, and did 250 face-to-face interviews as well as a number of focus group exercises.
Their top line conclusions are that villagers are noticing signals suggestive of climate change.
Martin Parry, who co-chaired the working group on climate impacts, adaptation and vulnerability for the 2007 IPCC assessment.
Now a visiting professor at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change Research in London, he told me there definitely is a role for evidence gathered through word-of-mouth.
"We need to expand the information we can collect on the evidence of climate change occurring now, which the last IPCC report kicked off and the next one is no doubt going to grow greatly - because it's ground-truthing, it's not model-based future stuff.
"But also the gaps in the knowledge are so big, and filling them in by going out and asking people is going to be increasingly the way to go.
"It's about less formal ways of collecting data. It takes time to set up monitoring stations and get 10 years of data, but if we can get into peoples' memories... I guess the one concern is the drift that occurs in peoples' memories, and how do you account for that?"
The Himalayan work threw up questions as well as answers.
For example, in some villages about half of the people questioned reported that summer was now starting earlier than 10 years ago; which raises the question of why the other half did not.
One of the recommendations coming out of recent inquiries into climate science (as pertaining to the IPCC and the University of East Anglia) is that researchers could and should make more use of specialist statisticians.
And perhaps the increasing use of orally-gathered evidence will require the systematic and rigorous involvement of social scientists in order to ensure best practice is followed.
But there surely is going to be more data of this kind used in climate circles in future.
It's cheap, is available in many regions with poor instrumental coverage, it can span large timeframes, and data can be gathered simultaneously on what communities are experiencing and how they're coping.
What's not to like, provided the cautions are heeded?
What's not to like? Replacing pesky data which "only" goes back to the early 1980s with dodgy memories, massaged by specialists to produce a consistent picture. What's not to like indeed.
Huhne Wisdom Of The Day
Energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne has reassured the public that the Climate Change Act is not going to be scrapped.
Included in the Act is the requirement to set five-year carbon budgets and the target to reduce carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.
According to the news provider, green groups were angry that the Act was even included in the 'crowd-sourcing' Red Tape Challenge, while issues of national security and taxation were not.
I'm not sure "reassure" is the right word, "horrify" might be better.
It's The Sun Wot Did It
Despite the limitations of Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) as an indicator of solar influence I think there are conclusions we can draw from the records we do have. Oddly, I have not seen them discussed properly anywhere else, especially not by AGW enthusiasts....
April 28, 2011
Climate Change Opportunities For Progressives
The shock of climate change could upset the status quo, presenting an opportunity to challenge existing social contracts and unequal relationships
...If it is true that food price hikes provided the spark for the demonstrations, and if changes in the climate have had a role in those food price rises, wouldn't that make recent events the Middle East a case of "good" climate change destabilisation?
This is not simply an issue for dictatorships – democratic politicians who are unresponsive to their populations may also find themselves challenged. By increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, could climate change force governments to respond to their citizen's needs and establish transparent systems of governments?
Even organisations whose causes have not been framed in terms of climate change, such as those calling for social protection, could find their arguments are strengthened by increasing climate awareness.
Being aware of the potential openings created by climate-related instability will be particularly important for those NGOs, social movements and researchers concerned with adaptation to climate change. .. This means engaging with wider processes and issues, including ones that do not always have obvious links to climate change, in order to ensure that the opportunities created by climate change are seized.
And there's some people thinking that the Climate Change Scare is just being used as an excuse....
OPPOSITION to the Scottish Government's pledge to produce 100 per cent of the country's electricity from renewable sources by 2020 grew last night as environmentalists and energy experts united to condemn the plan.
Don't they realise it is all a cunning plan to frustrate Donald Trump's plans to turn Scotland into a golf course. With that hair do you think he is going to go anywhere near a county covered in windmills. And neither will I.
April 27, 2011
A Gray Wedding Day
By Louise Gray
The international event will generate 6,765 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e), Less than 13 tonnes is generated by accommodation, energy use, landfill and catering for the lunchtime reception and evening dinner at Buckingham Palace.
Gary Hartley, from the Energy Saving Trust, said the best way for the couple to travel from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace is horse and cart which will emit no emissions, compared to the 1.7kgCO2 emitted by the Rolls-Royce Phantom or even 0.9kgCO2 in an ordinary car.
Already the couple have done a few small things to limit their footprint. Kate’s ring is reported to be made from Welsh gold rather than minerals from an exploitative mine. Her dress could also be ethical if she chooses vegan silk and organic Fairtrade cotton, although the most low carbon option of wearing a second hand dress or reworking something vintage is unlikely.
The couple declined to send virtual invitations or ask guest to wrap presents in reusable cloth rather than paper. Other advice on environmental weddings includes insisting appliances given as wedding presents are low energy, checking there are dual flush loos at the reception and asking guests to make jam or chutney instead of buying presents.
Dual flush loos and homemade chutney wrapped in rag as the bride looks radiant in an Oxfam cast-off....
Koala Bears - The New AGW Poster Child
The future of the koala, perhaps Australia's best-loved animal, is under threat because greenhouse gas emissions are making eucalyptus leaves - their sole food source - inedible.
Scientists warned that increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere were reducing nutrient levels in the leaves, and also boosting their toxic tannin content.
April 21, 2011
All Gas And Gaiters
Senior executives in the fossil fuel industry have launched an all-out assault on renewable energy, lobbying governments and business groups to reject wind and solar power in favour of gas, in a move that could choke the fledgling green energy industry.
Multinational companies including Shell, GDF Suez and Statoil are promoting gas as an alternative "green" fuel.
Central to the lobbying effort is a report claiming that the EU could meet its 2050 carbon targets €900bn more cheaply by using gas than by investing in renewables. But the Guardian has established that the analysis is based on a previous report that came to the opposite conclusion – that renewables should play a much larger role. The report being pushed by the fossil fuel industry has been disowned by its original authors who referred to it as "biased" in favour of gas.
For the last two months, company lobbyists have been besieging government officials in Europe, the US and elsewhere to push the report. Their efforts are being boosted through alliances with energy-intensive industries, which are joining in the pressure on government in the hope of securing cheap energy.
James Smith, outgoing UK chairman of Royal Dutch Shell, one of the leaders in the lobbying effort, said switching to gas would offer the world "a breathing space" in the battle against climate change.
This view was challenged by Prof David Mackay, chief scientific adviser to the UK's Department of Energy and Climate Change. He told the Guardian: "You can't reach the [climate] targets like this - there is no way that switching to gas would solve the problem. I don't think it's really credible that gas is the only future."
Nobuo Tanaka, the executive director of the International Energy Agency, said: "Gas is potentially a game changer. But it is complementary to renewables, as it can be turned on and off quickly. It could be baseload power and we could turn off coal."
Jenny Banks, climate and energy policy officer at WWF-UK, called on the British government to halt shale gas exploration. "It would be ridiculous to encourage shale gas when in reality its greenhouse gas footprint could be as bad as or worse than coal. We need to reject this source of gas, and have a clear plan to move away from our dependency on fossil fuels and harness the full potential of renewable technologies."
The clash of religion and reality. Cheap gas is good for all of us, and it could be the saviour of the renewable sector. By having gas turbines at the ready to fire up every time the wind stops blowing and the sun goes behind a cloud we can keep these expensive reliquaries to worship at whilst keeping the lights on.
April 16, 2011
How Are You Going To Keep Them Down On The Farm?
Proponents of these deals say they are competitive, that they economise on labour, and that they produce food for export at prices low enough for poor consumers. But, as research from Cambodia to Cameroon to Colombia shows, the social and environmental costs of such deals are rarely taken into account.
"Small-scale family agriculture, on which most of the world's rural poor still depend, is threatened by large-scale plantations, export-led agriculture and the production not of food but commodities," said Olivier de Schutter, the UN rapporteur on the right to food, in his opening speech at the conference.
We actually pay towards a man whose goal is to ensure the peasants stay on the land in crappy jobs, producing expensive crappy food for crappy wages rather than encourage the sort of progress we know works in the developed world?
April 15, 2011
Wind Powered Election Promises
ALEX Salmond launched his bid for a second term in office yesterday, by declaring Scotland can be powered entirely by renewable energy in just nine years, provoking claims from one industry leader that he was living in "cloud cuckoo land".
The First Minister said Scotland could, by 2020, produce twice the electricity it required for domestic use, adding that he would pave the way for an explosion in new wind, wave, hydro and tidal schemes that would alone be enough to meet the country's needs.
The coming boom, he said, would also lead to the creation of 130,000 jobs in the low-carbon sector, leaving Scotland able to sell vast reserves of surplus electricity to the rest of the UK.
nder the plans, Mr Salmond envisages wave and tidal power, which now produce 2.35 megawatts of power, would produce 800 MW by 2020. He also said he expected Scotland to be producing 12,000 MW of wind power by 2020, up from 2,575 MW at present.
If achieved, his target could transform Scotland's landscape. Of the 12,000 MW of wind power he envisages, 7,000 MW would come from onshore. A conservative estimate suggests this would require a total of 2,800 onshore wind turbines, double the 1,400 currently installed.
Mr Salmond said a further 5,000 MW would come from sea-based wind. Currently, there are only 62 operational offshore turbines, producing 190MW.
Is he a fool or a knave to say such things?
April 14, 2011
The Future Is Cave Living
When the oil runs out, I think our houses will become much more like those of our low-tech, pre-industrial ancestors.
The first point is that the age of specialised rooms is over. Now, legislation governing the design of new houses contains echoes of the past: it insists that once again rooms should multi-task. The living room, for instance, must have space for a bed in case the occupant becomes incapacitated; medieval people, for instance, lived, ate and slept in one room .
Next, architectural features from the past will start to reappear. The chimney disappeared in the 20th century, but it's coming back, as solid fuel-burning stoves make a return. In terms of fuel conservation the sun is becoming important again too: once upon a time people selected sites with good "air"; now well thought-out houses are situated to minimise solar gain in summer and maximise it in winter. Most future houses will need to face south, a challenge to conventional street layout.
The return of the chimney also serves to allow natural ventilation – even where there aren't fireplaces – lifting stale air out of the house. Mechanical air conditioning uses valuable energy, and will soon be simply unaffordable.
Walls are getting thicker too, again like those in the medieval era. Windows will grow smaller again and houses will contain much less glass – not only because of the high energy costs of glass but because it's thermally inefficient.
The return of the shutter is also likely: it's the best way of keeping heat out of a house. And with a hotter climate we'll probably experience water shortages. Our daily water consumption is about 160 litres; the government expects us to get down to 80 – the equivalent of a deep bath – by the end of this decade. We'll eventually need to grow as water-thrifty as the Victorians, with an average use of 20 litres a day. The Victorian cook was also a terrific recycler of food; the earth or "midden" toilet has already been revived in the form of the ecologically sound composting loo.
We lived in a hole in the ground when I were a lad and considered ourselves lucky....
April 13, 2011
Boss Of Smart Meter Makers Says Smart Meters Good For Us And The Planet
MRDA - Mandy Rice-Davies Applies
But because it is to save carbon and make renewables work he gets a free pass in the Guardian without a squeak as how handing over your on/off switches to the man from the ministry and us all having to buy expensive meters from his company.
April 12, 2011
A Fishy Tale
27 November, 2002
Poisonous green algae is polluting one of England's prettiest lakes and threatening rare species of fish.
Urgent action is needed to clean up scenic Bassenthwaite Lake in the Lake District, according to local MP Tony Cunningham.
Mr Cunningham says raw sewage overflowing from a nearby water treatment works is running into the lake and causing algal growth.
30 November 2005
An RAF helicopter will be used to transport around 200 vendace from Derwentwater to nearby Sprinkling Tarn in the Borrowdale Valley
The move was prompted by fears that poor water quality and pollution could wipe them out.
Environment Agency fisheries technical team leader Keith Kendall said: "Derwentwater has a population of around 15,000 vendace and will not miss the 200 we are hoping to move.
"We looked at three tarns, but went for Sprinkling because not only is it one of the closest to Derwentwater, but has the best environmental conditions for vendace."
09 July 2008
No trace of the vendace, a small herring-like fish, has been found at Bassenthwaite in the Lake District despite an intensive search.
The disappearance leaves Derwent Water as the last surviving habitat of the vendace in the England.
a number of fish from Bassenthwaite were transferred to Loch Skeen, a remote loch near Moffat in south west Scotland, in 1997 and 1999.
To the delight of conservationists the vendace has survived and thrived at its new home.
Cameron Durie, the Environment Agency's technical specialist said: "The loss of vendace in Bassenthwaite Lake is down to a number of reasons. They've suffered from competition and egg predation from illegally introduced fish species as well as nutrient enrichment of the lake from agricultural run-off and sewage.
"But the final blow is sediment that has come into the lake - we consider this to have been the most damaging factor in its decline.
12 April 2011
A rare species of fish has been moved to higher ground to try to protect it from rising water temperatures.
Llamas were used to transport the endangered vendace 500m up mountain paths to a tarn in the Lake District.
Vendace, the UK's rarest freshwater fish, normally live in a lake environment.
But the Environment Agency said the species needed to be protected from the warming effects of climate change and its impact on rivers and lakes.
This project aims to establish a vendace "refuge".
Derwentwater, Cumbria, is now thought to be the only site in England and Wales where the fish exist.
The Environment Agency said the 25,000 fish were transported by llamas because the mountain paths were inaccessible by car, and it helped reduce the carbon footprint.
Environment Agency Chairman, Lord Chris Smith, said: "Climate change is the biggest environmental challenge facing the world today. "In addition to the anticipated warming of lakes and rivers, we may also see an increase in the occurrence of extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and heatwaves. "All of these could have an impact on much of the native wildlife in England, especially aquatic species such as the rare and specialised vendace, so we are taking action now to conserve the existing populations."
He lies, of course, pollution and angler introduced fish, roach and ruffe, are the problem. If I can find this out in ten minutes with Google and a hangover why can't our fearless investigative reporters who report this tosh do so, and question him?
April 11, 2011
Harmless Gas To Kill Us All Unless We Go Veggie - The Video
Sorry - having watched the video it must be an April Fool's joke. No one could be that stupid, could they?
Harmless Gas To Kill Us All Unless We Go Veggie
The study by 200 European experts says reactive nitrogen contributes to air pollution, fuels climate change and is estimated to shorten the life of the average resident by six months.
Nitrogen is the most common element in the atmosphere and is harmless...people in many areas still suffer from nitrogen-related air pollution, including small particulates that get sucked deep into the lungs, and ground-level ozone - a strongly irritant gas formed by the action of sunlight on reactive nitrogen.
Lead editor, Mark Sutton from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology near Edinburgh, told BBC News that 80% of the nitrogen in crops feeds livestock, not people.
"It's much more efficient to obtain protein by eating plants rather than animals," he said.
"If we want to help the problem we can all do something by eating less meat. Eating meat is the dominant driver of the nitrogen cycle in Europe."
April 8, 2011
Greengrocers To Restore City
Green bankers could lead a new approach to finance, helping Britain earn its way in a competitive global economy while supporting the entrepreneurs and businesses that are going to deliver a more sustainable future for everyone.
Restoring financial services, especially in London, as a key driver of Britain's economic success should be in all of our interests.
Green investment is like alternative medicine, if it is worthwhile it is just "investment" and "medicine". If it has to be qualified it doesn't work. The last thing we need to restore our financial sector is sub-optimal investments.
If he is saying we should be the experts in churning the "green" taxes stolen from taxpayers across Europe then that is another matter and I know a man in a sheepskin coat and a few motors on a lot who can be the role model for a brave new Britain.
EU - California Sunbeam Trading Exchange
EU plans to link emissions trading scheme with California | Environment | guardian.co.uk
Connie Hedegaard in discussions on how to join the world's largest and second largest carbon markets
Why am I reminded of Gulliver s visit to The Academy, "where a man of meagre aspect ... had been for eight years upon a project for extracting sun-beams out of cucumbers, which were to be put into vials, hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw inclement summers".
Gulliver went on: "He told me, he did not doubt in eight years more, he would be able to supply the Governor's gardens with sunshine at reasonable rate; but he complained that his stock was low and intreated me to give him something as an Encouragement to Ingenuity, especially since this had been a very dear season for cucumbers."
Greens Call For Trabants For The Masses
Time is ripe to build car bodies with fruit fibres - Scotsman.com News
Cars made from pineapples and bananas could soon be among the fruits of the green revolution, it has been revealed.
Isn't it funny how the green revolution keeps leading us back to the glorious days of the socialist revolution...
Duroplast is a resin plastic reinforced with fibers (either cotton or wool) making it a fiber-reinforced plastic.
Duroplast was used by Central European automobile manufacturer VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerke Zwickau to produce the body of the mass-produced Trabant motor car.
Duroplast cannot be further recycled, and burning it produces toxic fumes, so disposing of the bodies of old Trabants is a problem. However, its components are edible, and there are stories of pigs, sheep or other farm animals consuming Duroplast.
Ice Free Arctic Anytime Soon
Scientists who predicted a few years ago that Arctic summers could be ice-free by 2013 now say summer ice will probably be gone within this decade.
The original prediction, made in 2007, gained Wieslaw Maslowski's team a deal of criticism from some of their peers.
Now they are working with a new computer model - compiled partly in response to those criticisms - that produces a "best guess" date of 2016 - "plus or minus three years".
One of the important ingredients of the new model is data on the thickness of ice floating on the sea.
Since the spectacularly pronounced melting of 2007, a greater proportion of the Arctic Ocean has been covered by thin ice that is formed in a single season and is more vulnerable to slight temperature increases than older, thicker ice.
Arctic Sea Ice News NSIDC
Over the past several decades, the spring ice cover has become increasingly dominated by younger and generally thinner ice, because of strong summer melting in recent years that has reduced the amount of ice surviving into winter.
This year the older, thicker ice has increased somewhat over last year, although it remains younger than the 1979 to 2000 average ice age. Data through the third week of March shows an increase in sea ice one to two years old, and older than two years old, compared to recent years. However, the amount of older ice remains much lower than in the mid-1980s, and there is still almost none of the oldest ice, older than four years old, that used to dominate much of the Arctic Ocean.
So is that a dead cat bounce or the signs of a recovery? My guess is that it ain't going to be ice free in my lifetime.
April 6, 2011
Police arrest salvagers for taking 47p in scrap from recycling centre | UK news | The Guardian
Owen Gray, 50, and Angela Cubitt, 34, helped themselves to an old video games console and an electric drill that had been dumped at their local recycling centre in Gloucester.
They say they were amazed when the officers, backed by the helicopter, swooped on them as they walked home.
Computer engineer Gray was later fined £20 and Cubitt was released without charge. They claim officers told them the cost of the arrest operation was £20,000 and that the scrap value of the old electrical goods was 47p.
I plead guilty as well to unauthorised recycling, spotted the Dyson nozzle that had broken on mine waiting to be crushed. I only got shouted at but then I lied to the red faced council worker who was jealous that anyone should touch his junk. I wonder if he ever did find the asbestos sheet that I thought I saw someone putting in the cardboard skip....
April 5, 2011
Under my umbrella
CHICHELEY, England (AP) — To the quiet green solitude of an English country estate they retreated, to think the unthinkable.
Scientists of earth, sea and sky, scholars of law, politics and philosophy: In three intense days cloistered behind Chicheley Hall's old brick walls, four dozen thinkers pondered the planet's fate as it grows warmer, weighed the idea of reflecting the sun to cool the atmosphere and debated the question of who would make the decision to interfere with nature to try to save the planet.
The unknown risks of "geoengineering" — in this case, tweaking Earth's climate by dimming the skies — left many uneasy.
"If we could experiment with the atmosphere and literally play God, it's very tempting to a scientist," said Kenyan earth scientist Richard Odingo. "But I worry."
Arrayed against that worry is the worry that global warming — in 20 years? 50 years? — may abruptly upend the world we know, by melting much of Greenland into the sea, by shifting India's life-giving monsoon, by killing off marine life.
If climate engineering research isn't done now, climatologists say, the world will face grim choices in an emergency....
If research shows the stratospheric pollutants would reverse global warming, unhappy people "would realize the alternative to reducing emissions is blocking out the sun," Hamilton observed. "We might never see blue sky again."
If, on the other hand, the results are negative, or the risks too high, and global warming's impact becomes increasingly obvious, people will see "you have no Plan B," said EDF's Hamburg — no alternative to slashing use of fossil fuels.
Either way, popular support should grow for cutting emissions.
At least that's the hope.
Hope or plan?
April 3, 2011
CO2 - Causing Hot Cold Ozone Destroying Arctic Death
Weather eye: destruction of Arctic ozone | The Times
April 2 2011
Spring is here, but in the Arctic the arrival of sunshine after the long winter darkness has caused a serious problem. During the past few weeks, about half the ozone in the stratosphere 20km (12 miles) above the Arctic has been destroyed. The combination of sunlight and man-made pollution from chlorofluorocarbons slashed ozone levels for March close to the lowest recorded levels.
Each winter a giant vortex of cold air whirls around the polar region, virtually sealed off from the rest of the global atmosphere. In this freezing vortex, the stratosphere grows intensely cold and this winter it reached very low temperatures, down to minus 83C (-117F) on March 10. In these conditions strange iridescent clouds of ice form in the stratosphere, glowing with the surreal colours of mother-of-pearl.
But when the spring sunshine reappears, those stratospheric clouds act as a springboard for the sunlight and chlorine pollution to destroy ozone.....
Despite the ban on ozone-depleting chemicals, the ozone layer will remain vulnerable for many years, because chlorine already in the stratosphere takes a long time to disappear. Added to that, the lower stratosphere globe has been growing steadily colder over recent decades thanks to carbon dioxide. Although CO2 warms the lower atmosphere, it has the opposite effect in the upper atmosphere, radiating heat back into space. And in a further twist, the lack of ozone also adds to the cooling of the stratosphere, helping to destroy more ozone at the poles.
April 1, 2011
Gone with the wind
Renewables’ share of electricity generation provisionally fell from 6.7 per cent in 2009 to 6.6 per cent in 2010
Offshore wind generation increased by 74.8 per cent. Onshore wind generation fell by 7.7 per cent due to low wind speeds (ten months of 2010 saw lower wind speeds than the 10-year average), whilst hydro fell by 32.4 per cent due to low rainfall.
Total renewable electricity capacity increased by 12 per cent between 2009 and 2010. Onshore wind capacity increased by 14 per cent (476 MW) and offshore wind capacity increased by 42 per cent (400 MW).
Onshore capacity up 14.4%, production down 7.7%. especially in the still cold winter. Impressive
Climate Change - No Problem For Global Food Production
Xiao Zhang and Ximing Cai from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have found that the amount of agricultural land available globally will change by only –1.7% up to 4.4% depending on the emissions scenario used. However, Zhang and Cai reckon that some regions of the world will gain large amounts of agricultural land as new temperatures and humidity levels lend themselves to growing crops, whereas other areas will lose large proportions of arable land.
Their calculations show that regions characterized by relatively high latitudes, such as Russia, China and the US may expect an increase of total arable land by 37–67%, 22–36% and 4–17%, respectively...
Lots more lovely wheat growing land up north and loss of some scrubby plots in the tropics, that's another panic over.
Dicke Pushes Dutch Roaches
Consumers in the UK will turn to insects as food as conventional meat becomes scarce, says entomologist. Prof Marcel Dicke of Wageningen University said: "The most important thing is getting people prepared, getting used to the idea. Because from 2020 onwards, there won't be much of a choice for us."
Oh yes there will.
Dicke heads a Netherlands-based four-year programme aiming to produce a scientific and business plan to bring insects to western tables.
I think we can see which side his cockroach is buttered on.
(For the avoidance of doubt this story was published on March 31st not April 1st - fool if you thought otherwise)
March 31, 2011
Stuff A Stiff Knut
Obviously he hasn't looked around the Internet much.
In Which I Recommend You Read Monbiot
We must apply the same standards to all energy-generating technology as we do to nuclear power
Here is a list of what I believe are the double-standards that some of us who have opposed nuclear power (I include myself in this) have used when arguing against it......
Wind Turbines Mince Bats
Economic Importance of Bats in Agriculture
Justin G. Boyles, Paul M. Cryan, Gary F. McCracken, and Thomas H. Kunz
White-nose syndrome (WNS) and the increased development of wind-power facilities are threatening populations of insectivorous bats in North America. Bats are voracious predators of nocturnal insects, including many crop and forest pests. We present here analyses suggesting that loss of bats in North America could lead to agricultural losses estimated at more than $3.7 billion/year. Urgent efforts are needed to educate the public and policy-makers about the ecological and economic importance of insectivorous bats and to provide practical conservation solutions.
Wind turbines are apparently killing migratory bats as well—by 2020, an estimated 33,000 to 111,000 bats are predicted to be killed by turbines in the mid-Atlantic Highlands alone. The authors in the Science paper worry that as wind power ramps up in the U.S., more bats will end up pureed by the blades.
Why Huhne Needs Spanish Lessons
The solar pv industry alone received subsidies last year of €2.6bn (£2.28bn), a sum neither the country – nor the utilities – can afford. The utilities have paid out €20bn to subsidise solar and wind projects, and are still waiting for the government to pay them back.
The utilities also complain that their coal and gas plants, which the government wanted them to build a decade ago after several black-outs, are losing money because they are now only needed for half the time. But the Spanish regulator forces the firms to keep them on standby for times when the wind stops blowing or at night when solar does not generate.
Can't we send Chris Huhne to Spain to sniff out a new mistress and maybe he might notice something about their power industry at the same time.
Antarctica going green due to climate change - Telegraph
By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent 5:00AM BST 30 Mar 2011
The study, published in Nature, found that the hairgrass is able to take advantage of the nitrogen produced when soil warms up and decomposes.
This super efficient process, that enables the hairgrass to grow over the brief Antarctic summer, could help to develop new fertilisers to help plants grow as the world runs out of industrial nitrogen produced with oil.
GM crops to be grown in Britain - Telegraph By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent 4:00PM BST 30 Mar 2011
GM crops engineered to grow with less fertilisers and insecticides will be necessary as chemicals are made illegal and the world runs out of nitrogen fertiliser.
But Nitrogen fertilisers aren't based on oil - Hydrogen and Nitrogen is what is needed. Nitrogen is in the air and the hydrogen is mostly sourced from natural gas (or some places coal), but it can be made by electrolysis of water...
I'm worried about Louise posting articles in the early hours and failing to grasp simple facts. Get some more sleep girl.
March 30, 2011
Smart Meters Put Chris Huhne's Hand On Your Thermostat
The government set out its strategy for the roll-out of the energy-saving technology.
The roll-out – the most comprehensive yet planned in any country – will require 53m smart meters to be installed in 30m homes and businesses, starting in 2014 and finishing in 2019. Households are likely to save £23 on their annual energy bills by 2020, the government has estimated, up from its previous estimate of £14 in savings.
Smart meters benefit consumers by showing their energy use in real-time. This means people can respond quickly, for instance by turning off unnecessary lights or appliances, to save money.
The technology also benefits energy suppliers, as it eliminates the need for meter readers to visit properties and allow for more accurate billing, and better data on energy demand patterns.
Future generations of smart meters are likely to offer even greater advantages, for instance by allowing utilities better to manage demand within consumers' homes, by switching appliances such as washing machines on when demand is lower, or turning down fridges when demand peaks. This could save billions through more efficient management of the electricity grid, but these capabilities are unlikely to be introduced for several years at the earliest.
Chris Huhne, the secretary of state for energy and climate change, said: "Smart meters are a key part of giving us all more control .....
Tell us it will save us £20 a year in exchange for giving the man in Whitehall control of your appliances. Another good reason to go off grid.
Green Bank Cash Machine
BBC News - Edinburgh 'ideal' for Green Investment Bank
Edinburgh is an ideal home for the Green Investment Bank (GIB) being set up by the UK government, ministers will be told
Obviously, they did so well with the Royal Bank of Scotland and Halifax Bank of Scotland - only took £37 billion from the taxpayers to bail them out so they have the necessary experience to run a Green Bank up there.
March 28, 2011
Zero Waste Scotland - Don't know the result and or cost of proposal
In answer to my query I have a reply:
Iain has passed on your query about the Carbon Metric to me. Firstly, thank you for the positive feedback - it's nice to see the Carbon Metric is having an impact.
On your first point, it is difficult to say how much impact the Carbon Metric will have at this stage. As a world first, we are in unknown territory to some extent. Carbon savings will come through a stronger focus on those waste streams which have a high environmental benefit of recycling as opposed to landfill. If Scotland meets the targets it has set itself in the Zero Waste Plan, by 2025 70% of all the carbon in waste streams will be recycled. The Scottish Government has estimated that the whole Zero Waste Plan will save Scotland about 500,000 tCO2eq by 2020. Relating this to degrees of warming prevented is an inexact science and requires complex climate models so I wouldn't want to hazard a guess on the exact answer to your question.
On your second point, it is up to each Local Authority to decide how they can best meet their carbon recycling targets and this might include more segregated collection systems. You will have to contact your Local Authority if you want more details on how they plan to weigh up the relative costs and benefits of each possible waste management option open to them.
Please feel free to get in touch if you have any further questions on this issue.
Zero Waste Scotland
I think that can be fairly summarised as don't know the result and don't know the cost.
Incapability Huhne's Landscape Plan
...climate change is "the biggest issue facing the natural environment".
In South East England, beech trees could be badly affected. Pomegranates and olives could replace potatoes and onions. And the hedgehog could disappear from the South East in just 15 years time.
This isn't just about future risk either. It's already happening.
Spring comes sooner. Autumn lasts longer. Habitats are changing and species distribution is changing with it.
And earlier this year, researchers found that human greenhouse gas emissions may have roughly doubled the chances of the autumn 2000 floods.
We can now clearly link extreme events and their effects to the rise in man-made greenhouse gases.
We will have to make some difficult decisions.
There will be trade-offs. Because every energy resource has its plus points – and its drawbacks.
Onshore windfarms demand careful location and siting. Tidal stream and wave power are still in their infancy.
For biomass to make a meaningful contribution it will need to cover much of the countryside.
And once electricity has been generated, it must be transmitted. Again, there are no simple solutions. Whether you wish to see electricity carried above ground by pylons or buried within the earth in cables, there are environmental – and economic – consequences.
At the moment, there are no cost projections.
Because the reality is that the scale of the problem – and the potential solutions – means our landscape will change again, just as it did during previous industrial revolutions. It is inescapable.
At the moment we buy gas that is easily extracted. But under some scenarios, we could end up relying more on shale gas. If we choose to rely on imported energy, we run the risk of ignoring the embedded costs. Is it morally sustainable to simply outsource our energy impacts to another country?
Norfolk’s windmills, Kent’s oast houses and Westmoreland’s watermills are an integral part of our countryside. If we strike the right balance, perhaps the next generation of green energy will leave a similar legacy.
Our current energy system is costing the earth. That is why it is so important to get it right.
Think about the grand prize. Cleaner air. More affordable energy. Less risk of climate change. A greater degree of energy independence.
For the first time since the 18th century, we have a chance to return to a true sustainability.
Happy peasants trudging the fields as their betters romp in feather filled beds swapping wives and curing lesbians admiring their money making whirly-gigs out of their windows. What's not to like?
Barbecue Summer Forecast
Britain set for 'brolly and sunblock' summer - Telegraph
By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent
Britain faces a ‘brolly and sunblock’ summer with June thunderstorms threatening Wimbledon and Glastonbury, followed by a mixed July and scorching August in time for the school holidays.
The verdict came from independent long-term forecast experts Positive Weather Solutions, who claim their seasonal predictions have been more accurate than the Met Office.
Other forecasters will not give a seasonal weather forecast as it is difficult to be accurate and even the Met Office has ditched the popular service after criticism for predicting a “BBQ” summer before a wash out.
Memo - revisit this post in the autumn.
March 27, 2011
Monbiot's Gardening Tips
“I’m lucky enough to have half an acre of land. In normal circumstances that’s more than enough to provide all the food we need. But unfortunately it was a devastating winter and wiped out all my kale, broccoli, winter salads and slightly optimistic fruit like kiwi and figs and Chilean guavas and frost-tolerant oranges and lemons. So things aren’t looking too good.”
That's the problem in believing in Global Warming, or are things not looking good because it was colder than expected. I'm confused.
March 25, 2011
Does Iain Gulland Know The Cost And Result Of His Proposal
Councils in Scotland are to dramatically reorganise their recycling schemes by targeting materials that cause the most damage to the climate, such as food waste, textiles and plastics.
From 2013, councils and householders will be asked to recycle far more of the waste that has a "high carbon impact" and is more environmentally damaging, under a new "carbon metric". Materials with lower carbon benefits from recycling, such as paper, will become less important.
Iain Gulland, the director of Zero Waste Scotland, said this new system was "the next leap" in recycling and that using tonnage was not as environmentally sensitive and sustainable as it should be.
"This is where Scotland is going to lead," he said. "It's all about climate change.
I have spent the time and read the proposal and supporting documentation.
Their ideas of "peer review" and "detailed workings" aren't mine and in the acres of carbon jargon I am sure I have missed some things. But I can't see anywhere what the costs will be, either in real money or the forced use of household labour, nor can I see what the result will be in terms of how much climate change will be prevented.
I think I will have to ask:
I am excited to see the new plans you have announced for using a carbon metric for prioritising waste collection in Scotland.
I have read the documentation on your website - http://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/latest_news/carbon_metric_launch.html but I have failed to grasp a couple of key points.
Please could you help me out.
You say it is "all about climate change". How many degrees of warming will this scheme prevent?
Segregating waste obviously has a cost to householders, this time can be conservatively costed at the national minimum wage. What are your detailed costings for the time it will take individual to comply, and how many people will be subject to the new rules? This can easily be then costed.
I look forward to the answer.
March 24, 2011
Eco Warriors At Work
'We smashed up £100k pit gear' say eco-warriors - Scotsman.com News
On Monday, an online activist claimed responsibility for the action. Using the pseudonym Love, Rage and Bolt Croppers, he wrote: "On Equinox night we entered the gravel and coal opencast extraction site at Castlebridge near Rosewell The absence of security and unlocked cabs made our night very productive.
"Inside the cabs we found all sorts of expensive goodies like GPS, radios and various dials and screens to rip out and smash. The excavators had a bewildering array of electronic panels and engines the size of cars, we did what we could to immobilise these machines that destroy our health and that of the earth. "
The raid on a pit in Rosewell, Midlothian, has been labelled "bizarre" by local politicians baffled as to why a surface mine currently being restored for agricultural use has been targeted.
You expect logic from them? Still it isn't all bad news from when the workers organise themselves...
March 21, 2011
The Truth About The Hungry
Thanks to dysfunctional regulation of genetic engineering and misguided biofuels policy, the world's poorest are going hungry
Quite, green policies killing poor people - it is getting the Guardian commentators spluttering into their free-range muesli this morning. And of course Moonbat will be along in a minute to say bio-fuels and Anti-GM campaigns are nothing to do with the Greens.
March 20, 2011
Get The Nuclear Accident Data (Mostly)
Nuclear power plant accidents: listed and ranked since 1952
How many nuclear power plants have had accidents and incidents? Get the full list and find out how they're ranked
• Get the data
Except some have nothing to do with nuclear power stations and there are no fatality numbers, and in the end the health worries are what the Greens are always banging on about
The citizens of Neustadt an der Weinstrasse take their recycling very seriously. So much so that there is even a collection point at the recycling depot for dead animals.
"People bring their dead dogs here," says Stefan Weiss, one of the town's waste managers, as he steps into a refrigerated shed and opens the lid on a wheelie bin containing a deer's head recently deposited by a local hunter.
"All these animals get rendered down at a nearby facility for their fat. It then gets used to produce things like this." Weiss pulls a tube of lip balm from his pocket.
Do they make lampshades as well?
March 18, 2011
Environmental migrant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In 1995, half of Bhola Island in Bangladesh became permanently flooded, leaving 500,000 people homeless. The Bhola Islanders have been described as some of the world's first climate refugees
Can you spot the flooded half?
I wonder if the story if connected to:
The 1970 Bhola cyclone which was a devastating tropical cyclone that struck East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and India's West Bengal on November 12, 1970. It was the deadliest tropical cyclone ever recorded, and one of the deadliest natural disasters in modern times. Up to 500,000 people lost their lives in the storm, primarily as a result of the storm surge that flooded much of the low-lying islands of the Ganges Delta.
This storm would also inspire ex-Beatle George Harrison to organize The Concert for Bangladesh, the prototype benefit concert, to raise money for aid, in 1971.
Not only did it kill thousands, and make homeless the hundreds of thousands it also caused the televised charity fundraiser...
Green Power Disaster
The Banqiao Dam was begun in April 1951 on the Ru River with the help of Soviet consultants as part of a project to control flooding and to generate electricity.
Movie coming out this summer - Dam 999
Have you ever thought of the possibility of a dam disaster and the magnitude of its aftereffects? Will you believe that a dam disaster can kill more people and can cause more causalities and after effects than that of Hiroshima and Nagasaki incident? Yes, if we do not give much attention to this issue, which is looming over the millions of lives all over the world, it will bring out catastrophic consequences for humanity.
In 1975, China witnessed the greatest manmade disaster that caused the death of more number of people than in any other manmade disaster happened across the world so far. At the beginning of August, there occurred a typhoon because of the change in the weather pattern. When the hot, humid air of the typhoon met the cold air of the North, series of storms and rain occurred. The first one was on August 5, followed by the second one on August 6th and the third one on August 7th. The dam was designed to store 300mm of water per day. During these days within 24 hours itself more than one year's rain was poured. Banqiao and Shimantan dams were filled by August 8th and were in the urge to burst. On August 8th 12:30 am, Shimantan dam collapsed followed by the collapse of Banqiao dam by 1:00am on the same day. Totally 62 dams broke, affecting the life of eleven million people. Even the evacuation orders failed to reach many people because of the problem in communication caused by flood. People who survived in this flood were trapped without food. Contaminated water affected the health of several people. These dams were built by foreseeing the flood that may occur, but even then, the natural calamity was of that high level and the dams failed to hold the tempestuous water rained down. To prevent more disasters they even destroyed several small dams so that the water would flow to the areas with less population.
These dams, which collapsed mainly, affected the local population. According to the records nearly 26,000 people died because of flood and nearly 145,000 people died because of famine and epidemics. Nearly 5,960,000 buildings collapsed and 11 million residents were affected. Many were injured. This converted China into a land full of corpses.
Puts other power station disasters into perspective.
March 17, 2011
Global Warming To Cause Global Warming
The analysis, published in the journal Science, revealed the unprecedented nature of the 2010 heatwave using temperature measurements dating back to 1871 and estimates from tree rings and other proxies going back to 1500.
I was beginning to miss global warming scares being about global warming, nice cuddly retro feel to the story. Comforting in these dark days.
March 16, 2011
Atomkraft? Nein, danke!
I don't know what the outcome of the Japanese reactor problems is going to be, Nor does the MSM and especially nor do the politicians.
Here seems to be the best source of information I can find.
In summary it seems unlikely that the accident will kill as many as erecting a couple of hundred wind turbines or that reactors not built on the seashore in earthquake zones have many lessons to learn from it.
Of course this is a greenie wet dream come true and no chance to beat the one realistic non fossil fuel source of energy about the head will be passed up.
Back to the Stone Age will be the preferred option.
March 15, 2011
Global Warming Will Cause Instant Ice Age - LSD Guru
Owsley Stanley, who died on March 13 aged 76, was the “outlaw-acid-chef” whose production of industrial quantities of LSD helped fuel California’s 1960s counterculture; his chemical wizardry was immortalised in song by Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead, and in prose by Tom Wolfe in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.
By the early 1980s Owsley had left San Francisco for the Australian state of Queensland, apparently to avoid a new ice age destined to engulf the northern hemisphere. There he established a business selling enamel sculptures and adhered to an all-meat diet.
Owsley Stanley: The King of LSD | Rolling Stone Culture In 1984, Owsley appeared at Phil Lesh's house with a map of the world showing the mean temperatures at the height of the last ice age. Long before global warming became an international hot-button issue, he delivered what writer David Gans described as "a ninety-minute lecture on a thermal cataclysm that he said would begin with a six-week rainstorm and leave the entire Northern Hemisphere uninhabitable." Passing around Australian visa applications, Owsley then urged all those present to join him in the Southern Hemisphere. Much like his theory that human beings are meant to eat only meat, Owsley's concept of climate change is at odds with most current scientific thought on global warming. In highly abridged form, what Owsley believes is that the phenomenon is real but that it comes from "the steadily increasing movement of large amounts of heat from the tropics across the temperate zones to the poles. 'Global warming: the panic,' is based exclusively on temperate-zone land measurements and ignores the fact that the planet is seventy percent ocean. The Arctic and Antarctic are soaking up the moving heat and the ice caps are melting, but the cause of the heat's movement is a buildup of energy as the prelude to a massive, planetary-scale cyclonic storm, which will build the new ice age glaciers." Because this is a natural cycle, Owsley believes that carbon and methane emissions from human activity have little effect on the process and do not cause the greenhouse effect. "Our planet's heat balance and temperature are buffered and controlled by water and water vapor, which also washes CO2 out of the air and not minuscule fractions of a couple of gases, one of which is very soluble and the other unstable. Not a single atmospheric scientist subscribes to the concept of greenhouse gases or global warming — they all know the truth." Owsley contends there is nothing people can do to prevent the coming of an ice age storm that he describes as "a kind of a gigantic hurricane, a cyclone thousands of miles in diameter, turning with winds of ultrasonic speeds that is one-half the planet in size." This is the Biblical 'flood of Noah,' and the entire portion of the planet underneath the storm will be blown flat and buried under water. "Based on past evidence, the sea will rise 300 meters, and life in some places will be entirely destroyed. I don't see how anyone in the Northern Hemisphere could survive the storm. But there are areas on the planet that are safe, and I hope I'm in one of them."
Sadly not it seems. Whether his drugged addled forecast was any less realistic than other forecasts I will leave to you.
March 14, 2011
Huhne & Other Idiots Plan To Destroy Prosperity
Chris Huhne has won the support of six other European governments to push for a toughening of the EU's climate targets, to be discussed in Brussels on Monday . The energy and climate secretary is spearheading a growing movement in favour of a target of 30% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, instead of the current 20%.
Letters: Europe, Japan and energy options | From the Guardian | The Guardian
At a time when the price of oil is soaring, putting in place an ambitious plan for Europe's low-carbon future has wider benefits than tackling climate change. It will increase the continent's resilience against oil price spikes and reduce its dependence on imported energy. And it will help Europe compete with emerging economies in the fast-growing markets for green goods and services. We know that some industries are worried about how they will adapt, but solutions are available. In the best traditions of European co-operation, we can work together to overcome these challenges. We call on all member states to enter into this urgent debate on Europe's future and agree how the road map is put into actionâ ensuring that Europe gets to the front of this low-carbon race, rather than falling behind.
Chris Huhne secretary of state for energy and climate change, UK, Tina Birbili Minister of environment, energy and climate change, Greece, Andreas Carlgren Minister for the environment, Sweden. Lykke Friis Minister of climate and energy, Denmark, Rosa Aguilar Rivero Minister for Environment, Rural and Marine Affairs, Spain, Humberto D Rosa Secretary of state for environment, Portugal, Dr Norbert Röttgen Federal minister for the environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany
Remember the guilty names.
March 13, 2011
Caroline Lucas Tax Muddle
...it would result in a significant drain on public finances. A report commissioned from the Policy Studies Institute for the Green Alliance calculates that using a fuel duty cut to bring pump prices back to December 2009 levels would cost the taxpayer almost £6bn in the first year alone.... the Greens would scrap the recent VAT increase – which is set to cost the British public £12.5bn. The reduction in general tax take from reducing VAT could be met by a combination of a Robin Hood tax, a measure this week endorsed by the European Parliament, and a serious crackdown on tax evasion and avoidance, as well as additional levies on huge bankers' bonuses.
One tax costs the public, a different tax cut would cost the public, or the taxpayer or not - who let this muddleheaded loon out in public without a nurse?
March 11, 2011
Scientists Look Into The Wine Dark Sea For Climate Change Answers
They have tied in their jaunt with investigating Climate Change of course, but Homer has already answered the question - ωνοψ - or "wine-dark". It seems the Ancient Greeks saw colours very differently to us.
William Gladstone wrote a three volume treatise on Homer's Oddessy and Iliad. A chapter in the third volume looks at color in Homer's works. Gladstone's conclusion is: there isn't much and what there is, is peculiar. The sea is wine-colored. So are oxen. Honey is green. The sky is black. Blue is never used, and despite Homer's rich descriptions about many aspects of nature, color is almost absent. Gladstone hypothesized that humans 3000 years earlier weren't advanced enough to perceive as many colors modern folks.
In 1898, W.H.R. Rivers went on an anthropological expedition to the islands in the Torres Straits between Australia and New Guinea to study a group of people who'd only been exposed to outside Western culture in the previous 30 years. He found their color words to be very similar to what was found in Homer and other ancient writings - black and white, reddish, green which included blues, and just different ways of using color labels - including black sky.
This seems to be true of other primitive cultures as well. It is not because their retinas haven't evolved as some suggest, they are as good at distinguishing colours as we are, they just don't have the language for it.
I wonder when our descendent look back at our crude descriptions of climate change if they will pity us for our inability to describe the natural world because we don't have the language for it yet.
March 10, 2011
Jill Duggan - The Transcript
The two basic questions with any purchase. How much does it cost? Will it do the job?
Jill Duggan is from the European Commission’s Directorate General of Climate Action. She is the EC’s National Expert on Carbon Markets and Climate Change. She was head of Britain’s International Emissions Trading. She is in Australia to tell us how good Europe’s emission trading system is and why we should do something similar.
No one, therefore, should better know the answers to the two most basic questions about this huge scheme. The cost? The effect?.
So on MTR yesterday, I asked them. Duggan’s utter inability to answer is a scandal - an indictment of global warming politics today.= (listen here):
AB: Can I just ask; your target is to cut Europe’s emissions by 20% by 2020?
AB: Can you tell me how much - to the nearest billions - is that going to cost Europe do you think?
JD: No, I can’t tell you but I do know that the modelling shows that it’s cheaper to start earlier rather than later, so it’s cheaper to do it now rather than put off action.
AB: Right. You wouldn’t quarrel with Professor Richard Tol - who’s not a climate sceptic - but is professor at the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin? He values it at about $250 billion. You wouldn’t quarrel with that?
JD: I probably would actually. I mean, I don’t know. It’s very, very difficult to quantify. You get different changes, don’t you? And one of the things that’s happening in Europe now is that many governments - such as the UK government and the German government - would like the targets to be tougher because they see it as a real stimulus to the economy.
AB: Right. Well you don’t know but you think it isn’t $250 billion.
JD: I think you could get lots of different academics coming up with lots of different figures.
AB: That’s right. You don’t know but that’s the figure that I’ve got in front of me. For that investment. Or for whatever the investment is. What’s your estimation of how much - because the object ultimately of course is to lower the world’s temperatures - what sort of temperature reduction do you imagine from that kind of investment?
JD: Well, what we do know is that to have an evens chance of keeping temperature increases globally to 2°C - so that’s increases - you’ve got to reduce emissions globally by 50% by 2050.
AB: Yes, I accept that, but from the $250 billion - or whatever you think the figure is - what do you think Europe can achieve with this 20% reduction in terms of cutting the world’s temperature? Because that’s, in fact, what’s necessary. What do you think the temperature reduction will be?
JD: Well, obviously, Europe accounts for 14% of global emissions. It’s 500 or 550 million people. On its own it cannot do that. That is absolutely clear.
AB: Have you got a figure in your mind? You don’t know the cost. Do you know the result?
JD: I don’t have a cost figure in my mind. Nor, one thing I do know, obviously, is that Europe acting alone will not solve this problem alone.
AB: So if I put a figure to you - I find it odd that you don’t know the cost and you don’t know the outcome - would you quarrel with this assessment: that by 2100 - if you go your way and if you’re successful - the world’s temperatures will fall by 0.05°C? Would you agree with that?
JD: Sorry, can you just pass that by me again? You’re saying that if Europe acts alone?
AB: If just Europe alone - for this massive investment - will lower the world’s temperature with this 20% target (if it sustains that until the end of this century) by 0.05°C. Would you quarrel with that?
JD: Well, I think the climate science would not be that precise. Would it?
AB: Ah, no, actually it is, Jill. You see this is what I’m curious about; that you’re in charge of a massive program to re-jig an economy. You don’t know what it costs. And you don’t know what it’ll achieve.
JD: Well, I think you can look at lots of modelling which will come up with lots of different costs.
AB: Well what’s your modelling? That’s the one that everyone’s quoting. What’s your modelling?
JD: Well, ah, ah. Let me talk about what we have done in Europe and what we have seen as the benefits. In Europe, in Germany you could look at, there’s over a million new jobs that have been created by tackling climate change, by putting in place climate policies. In the UK there’s many hundreds of thousand of jobs.
Read on for the full transcript,
March 9, 2011
Don't know what it will cost, or what it will achieve
Andrew Bolt chats to Jill Duggan, from the directorate-general for climate action at the European Commission, who says the opposition here to a carbon dioxide tax is "slightly bizarre" when Europe has no problem with its own price on carbon dioxide. Really, I ask, with European unemployment at 10 per cent and growth at just 1.6 per cent? So I ask this salesman of the EU emissions trading scheme the two basic questions everyone should ask of anyone selling anything: how much does it cost, and what will it do? How many billions will Europe spend on this scheme to cut its emissions by 20 per cent by 2020, and by how much will that cut the world's temperatures by 2100? The interview suddenly goes very pear-shaped for one of us - and is a stunning indictment of the EU's foolishness. The question about job losses caused by Europe's green schemes goes no better.
- We play a grab from an interview with the head of Britain's electricity network who outlines the likely result there of the green policies Duggan supports - power only when the wind blows, and not when you need it.
Listen here. About two thirds of the way in.
March 7, 2011
Bernard Ingham Writes To Chris Huhne
The former chief press secretary to Mrs Thatcher writes to Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
Dear Chris, I’ve been meaning to write this letter for some time.
I am assured on all sides that you have a very good brain and are “an evidence-based economist”. Unfortunately, this does not square with your energy policy.
It has more inconsistencies in it than holes in a colander.
I am not ungrateful now that you have cleared the way for the private development of nuclear power — my particular interest. You have certainly come off your untenable opposition to it, which is a blessing.
But to suggest that you are in favour of it is pure spin. You will contemplate it only if not a penny of public subsidy is involved. This would be fair enough, especially as the nuclear industry is not, to my knowledge, seeking subsidies, if you were not simultaneously pouring riches beyond the dreams of avarice at a time of straitened national finances into largely useless renewable sources of energy, notably wind and solar.
You are able to do this only because the taxpayer is not being asked to throw good money after bad. Instead, the consumer has to foot the mounting bill. So much for concern about fuel poverty.
I’ve space for only one more inconsistency. If you are in the business of the security of electricity supply, why wind (which is totally unreliable) and solar (no use at night)? Especially when engineers have serious doubts about how much wind the national grid can take without blowing a gasket.
In short, your energy policy sadly lacks evidence of brainpower. It certainly will not deliver your declared objective of securing low-carbon electricity supplies in an affordable way. Only nuclear can deliver that. It’s so elementary that I worry about you.
BEST Temperature Graph - Warmists Running Scared
The approaches that I’ve seen during my visit give me far more confidence than the “homogenization solves all” claims from NOAA and NASA GISS, and that the BEST result will be closer to the ground truth that anything we’ve seen.
But as the famous saying goes, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat”. Different methods yield different results. In science, sometimes methods are tried, published, and then discarded when superior methods become known and accepted. I think, based on what I’ve seen, that BEST has a superior method. Of course that is just my opinion, with all of it’s baggage; it remains to be seen how the rest of the scientific community will react when they publish.
In the meantime, never mind the yipping from climate chihuahuas like Joe Romm over at Climate Progress who are trying to destroy the credibility of the project before it even produces a result (hmmm, where have we seen that before?) , it is simply the modus operandi of the fearful, who don’t want anything to compete with the “certainty” of climate change they have been pushing courtesy NOAA and GISS results.
, I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong. I’m taking this bold step because the method has promise. So let’s not pay attention to the little yippers who want to tear it down before they even see the results. I haven’t seen the global result, nobody has, not even the home team, but the method isn’t the madness that we’ve seen from NOAA, NCDC, GISS, and CRU, and, there aren’t any monetary strings attached to the result that I can tell. If the project was terminated tomorrow, nobody loses jobs, no large government programs get shut down, and no dependent programs crash either. That lack of strings attached to funding, plus the broad mix of people involved especially those who have previous experience in handling large data sets gives me greater confidence in the result being closer to a bona fide ground truth than anything we’ve seen yet.
Interesting divergence of opinion here. In a brief summary; we have a team of super boffins who are promising to produce a new temperature record for the world using all the data they can find, make all their methods open and publish whatever the result. All the main "Sceptic" blogs are welcoming this without knowing what the results are going to be, it may show more warming, that the warming is more unprecedented, or not. But from the Warmist Alarmists we are getting vitriolic attacks on it - see the comments for instance on the Romm post linked above - what could they be scared of?
March 6, 2011
Benbecula Shakes The Money Tree Again
Climate change 'will wreak havoc on Britain's coastline by 2050' | Environment | The Observer
On Benbecula, they know all too well that rising tides threaten the UK's coastline. For the 1,200 inhabitants of the small, low-lying island in the Outer Hebrides, the sea's encroachment is becoming a serious problem, especially on its western shores.
Benbecula Historically this name is assumed to derive from Peighinn nam Fadhla "pennyland of the fords" as the island is essentially flat. The second element is a loan from Norse vaðil(l) "ford" which was borrowed as Gaelic fadhail (genitive fadhla)
Benbecula used to be famous, or notorious, for its fords leading to North Uist and South Uist: North Ford and South Ford respectively. An English visitor in the 1880s noted that in Benbecula the state of the fords replaced the discussion of the weather more common elsewhere in the UK.
South Ford was crossed by an 82 span concrete bridge between Benbecula and South Uist in 1942. This single-lane bridge was about 800 metres in length and crossed by eight spans from Benbecula to Creagorry Island and then on South Uist. It allowed Benbecula's new RAF base (now Benbecula Airport) to be connected by road to the ferry port of Lochboisdale. The bridge was deteriorating by the 1970s and was replaced by the South Ford causeway you drive across today, opened in a ceremony held in a severe gale on 18 November 1982.
North Ford remained a problem. For significant parts of each tide cycle it was too wet to ford, but not wet enough to cross by ferry. This all changed on 7 September 1960 when the late Queen Mother opened the North Ford Causeway. This five mile arc of single track road links North Uist and Benbecula via the western tip of Grimsay.
So it has always been low lying and suffering from high tides until the taxpayer poured in tons of money to build causeways. So why are they all concerned again. We know that there is no sign of any accelerated sea level rise, and it is rising at a tiny rate anyway.
I think this grasping for money from the taxpayer's teat might have something to do with this final line from the Wikipedia article on the island:
"After a protracted campaign local residents took control of parts of the island on 30 November 2006 in a community buy-out. "
£4.5m of grants were used by "the community" to buy the islands in 2006....
March 3, 2011
In Which Bob Ward Argues Johnny Ball Should Not Be Allowed To Tell The Truth
Throws toys out of pram when anything not previously agreed by him is broadcast.
A bizarre performance by former TV presenter Johnny Ball on Wednesday's edition of The Daily Politics show has once again highlighted the BBC's unsuccessful struggle to balance accuracy and impartiality when it comes to climate change.
Apart from his rant at the politicians, the former Think of a Number presenter also provided a blogpost and short video to promote his views, including his claim that "only 4% of the carbon dioxide that goes into the atmosphere is put there by man"....
Globally each year, the land and atmosphere exchanges about 120bn tonnes of carbon, while the oceans and atmosphere transfer about 90bn tonnes of carbon between them. In general this natural carbon cycle is more or less in equilibrium, such that there is no significant net change in the amount of carbon absorbed in the atmosphere, oceans and land.
But we also know that human activities, such as burning fossil fuels, producing cement and destroying rainforests, have disturbed the natural equilibrium of the carbon cycle by emitting an additional 7bn tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere each year.
Roughly 210bn natural and 7bn manmade according to Ward - doesn't look too far off Ball's claim of 4% to me, but it is an inconvenient truth that Bob Ward has declared shall not be broadcast.
Climate Week is coming. If that means nothing to you, how do you fancy a "supercharged national occasion that offers an annual renewal of our ambition and confidence to combat climate change"?
Over the course of the week (March 21-27), it hopes thousands of events will take place across the country, and that many thousands of individuals will sign up for the currently unspecified Climate Challenge (50,000 have registered already).
The week has already been backed by a dizzying roster of supporters, which includes David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Kofi Annan and Al Gore, as well as hundreds of organisations both national and local, public and private sector.
But a section of the environmental movement that is concerned about the event's sponsors are mounting a counter-campaign which includes spoof entries for the awards and an anti-Climate Week Facebook group.
The Anti's are just bitching because it is a corporate greenwash event, not because it is a a stupid event, so maybe there needs to be an anti-anti-climate week group.
For some reason it reminds me of the way the extreme socialist parties end up in eternal fractioning and mutual hate.
March 2, 2011
Climate Camp Fold Their Tents
Metamorphosis: A statement from the Camp for Climate Action
The near-collapse of the financial system; droughts in the Amazon, floods in Pakistan; a new government in the UK; a violent programme of unprecedented cuts; food prices rising and real incomes eroding; revolutions across the Middle East…
As a movement, to be relevant, we need to move with the times. Therefore the Camp for Climate Action has decided by consensus, after much discussion and reflection, to change. To that effect,
1. We will not organise a national Climate Camp in 2011.
2. We will not organise national gatherings as ‘Climate Camp’ or the Camp for Climate Action in 2011....
Yep - all the bankers fault or something if you care to read their pages of self justifying drivel. Nothing to do with any failure on their part, or that they were only expecting three scruffy men, a fat pregnant earth mother and a limping dog to their gathering this year.
The Day is Done
And the night shall be filled with music
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.
Scottish Waste and Overruns Unexplianable
Quango at a loss to explain why £9m scheme cost £42m - Scotsman.com News
Transport chiefs have come under fire over their failure to explain a £33 million cost overrun for a new bus ticketing system.
Holyrood's public audit committee has also hit out after the electronic ticket machines, designed to monitor the national concessionary fares scheme, came in four years late.
Transport Scotland took over the ticketing scheme from the former Scottish Executive five years ago.
Muir Russell's financial incontinent legacy lives on....
March 1, 2011
EU Finds Well Paid Whores Helpful And Close
Pacific island states on the frontline of climate change are to receive €90m (£76m)) in EU cash for climate-related projects in return for siding with the European bloc at international climate negotiations.
Such an injection of cash does not come without strings attached however. Piebalgs is to make the funding announcement at a high-level climate conference on Vanuatu organised by the European commission where the he will present an EU-Pacific action plan for the island states to sign.
The document requires the states to embrace "joint positions on the international stage" as part of a "stronger Pacific-EU political dialogue on climate change".
Isaac Valero-Ladron, the EU's climate spokesman, said that the bloc has had a lot of success in the region, which contains countries with some of the lowest GDP per capita in the world. "If we put money on the table, it really creates a constructive atmosphere and good policies. The Pacific islands are a very helpful, positive partner on the international level. Our positions are very close."
Climate Induced Mass Migration
..estimate that there are 5.5 million expat Britons, rising to almost 6 million if that figure is expanded to include those who live or work abroad for part of the year...Spain is the second most popular destination, with 761,000 expats, rising to 990,000 when second home-owners and other part-time residents are taken into account...
one in four had gone for a better lifestyle and climate.
And in the USA it is even worse with millions heading to Florida and Arizona to warm their old bones.
February 28, 2011
The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) Project
Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature
The number of active temperature stations over time in our preliminary data set as compared to that provided by GHCN-M. The decrease in the GHCN-M station count is a consequence of their inclusion criteria, and can be avoided by different methodology.
Can a group of scientists in California end the war on climate change? | Science | The Guardian
The Berkeley Earth project. The aim is so simple that the complexity and magnitude of the undertaking is easy to miss. Starting from scratch, with new computer tools and more data than has ever been used, they will arrive at an independent assessment of global warming. The team will also make every piece of data it uses 1.6bn data points freely available on a website. It will post its workings alongside, including full information on how more than 100 years of data from thousands of instruments around the world are stitched together to give a historic record of the planet's temperature.
"We are bringing the spirit of science back to a subject that has become too argumentative and too contentious," Muller says, over a cup of tea. "We are an independent, non-political, non-partisan group. We will gather the data, do the analysis, present the results and make all of it available. There will be no spin, whatever we find."
Excellent news - will the other "climate scientists" welcome it?
Of course it won't, in the words of the Guardian, bring an end to the war on Global Warming. Having a better data set of temperatures says nothing about causes, but may give some clues.
February 27, 2011
Ireland Not Green
The Green Party have been completely wiped out.
Fianna Fáil and the Greens are the losers of this General Election
No Green will be elected to the 31st Dáil.
When the going gets tough the luxury of gesture politics has to go.
February 23, 2011
In Which The Guardian Fails To Catch Up With Worstall And Other Victorians
Could the rebound effect undermine climate efforts? | Environment | guardian.co.uk
One member of the Guardian's environment desk admits to leaving his energy-saving lightbulbs on more than traditional bulbs. Owners of fuel-efficient cars tend to drive them more often.
These are both examples of an often-overlooked phenomenon which, according to a new report, could undermine attempts to tackle climate change.
The so-called rebound effect occurs when some of the savings from energy efficiency are cancelled out by changes in people's behaviour...The rebound effect is still an under-researched and controversial topic.
It is not so-called "the rebound effect"; last year The Mighty Worstall Organ reminded us that
in 1865, the English economist William Stanley Jevons observed that technological improvements that increased the efficiency of coal-use led to the increased consumption of coal in a wide range of industries. He argued that, contrary to common intuition, technological improvements could not be relied upon to reduce fuel consumption.
It is known, not "so-called", as the Jevons paradox, sometimes called the Jevons effect.
(The paper itself does acknowledge Jevons)
February 20, 2011
Living High On The Hog
£1.3m hedgehog cull to save islands' birds eggs 'fails' - Scotsman.com News
EIGHT years on, £1.3 million spent and more than 1500 hedgehogs killed or relocated. But a new report on the attempt to eradicate the animals from the Western Isles in order to protect wading birds says there is no evidence that the culling operation has had any effect.
It also concedes that egg-eating hedgehogs may not be the only culprits in reducing the numbers of wading birds - such as redshank, dunlin and snipe - with the effects of changes to farming practices and increasing flocks of predatory herring gulls also possibly to blame.
However, scientists say they want the board to sanction a more targeted, four-year project to find out whether the hedgehog-eradication programme works at a further cost of close to £1m.
£867 a hedgehog? No wonder they want another million to tidy up the project. For that sort of money you could subsidise a travelling community to move there and bake them in pies... now that is a pest control idea.
February 18, 2011
Louise Gray Squirrel
By Louise Gray...
An air rifle can also be used as long as the user is properly qualified. Free shooting of squirrels is also generally accepted as long as the person has a licence and can guarantee a clean kill.
However the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals argue that most people will be incapable of killing a squirrel without causing “unnecessary suffering” and will therefore be in breach of the law. They recommend taking the animal to the vet to be put down for around £30 or calling in pest control experts who will shoot the animal or kill it with a blow to the head.
Bright little dark eyes, chubby cheeks and a sweet twitching nose, they are so cuddly, how could you possibly want to club a grey?
February 17, 2011
BBC Weather Forecasters - We Pay For Expertise
BBC weatherman 'brandished imitation gun' at motorists, court hears - Telegraph
Desune Coleman, 45, is accused of driving alongside a car on the M1 before winding down his window and pointing a gun at the driver.
Coleman worked as a welder after leaving school aged 16 before joining the Guildford School of Acting in Surrey.
After leaving EastEnders in 1999 he had acting roles in shows including The Bill, Casualty and as a reporter on The One Show.
He has also appeared in West End musicals including Miss Saigon, Chicago, Simply Heavenly and Rent and understudied the lead in Trevor Nunn’s musical opera Porgy and Bess.
He worked for BBC Radio Derby before becoming a £33,000 a year weatherman for BBC East Midlands Today in 2007. He also makes occasional local appearances, this month opening a local shop in Derby.
£33,000 a year to read out a couple of five minute forecasts a day on local TV?
I fail to spot his meteorological education so I cynically doubt he has much input into the actual forecast.
There was a time when BBC forecasters were actual forecasters, but now, as on the commercial channels, they seem to just be eye candy or quota fillers.
In Which The RSPB Acknowledge Predator Control Helps Rare Birds
RSPB Scotland said that a drop of up to 50 per cent in the numbers of lapwing, dunlin and curlew in the uplands over the last 25 years was caused by a combination of changes in habitat, including forest edge exposure, grouse moor management intensity and an increase in the population of crows.
Lapwing populations fared better on areas with more intensive grouse moor management and worse where there was high crow numbers.
(Full paper here)
In Which The Friends of the Earth Acknowledge Worstall is Correct
BBC News - 'People are being given too many recycling bins'
Councils are asking householders to sort their rubbish into as many as nine bins to boost recycling, a survey suggests.
On average, the Taxpayers' Alliance pressure group found councils expected residents to sort their household waste into four bins, bags and caddies.
Friends of the Earth's waste campaigner, Julian Kirby, said recycling was hugely popular, with over 80% of households satisfied with their waste and recycling service.
"While some people are frustrated by complicated sorting systems, the Taxpayers' Alliance are missing the point - we don't need lots of bins to have a good recycling service," he said.
"In the simplest, cheapest and most effective services, the binmen sort recyclables from one or two bins into multi-compartment trucks so householders don't have to."
I don't think the TPA is missing the point, it is pointing out that the complicated systems are unhelpful and unwanted.
There is a pressure group of recyclers who push for the public to do their sorting job for free, there are greens who see the toil as a daily obligation to the Goddess Gaia but an ancient economic sage revealed the truth of the costs of sorting and so no one sensible now believes in home sorting.
It may take some time for councils to catch on though.
February 16, 2011
History of Flooding
Floods caused by climate change - Telegraph By Louise Gray.
Devastating floods which wreaked havoc across Britain in 2000 were made more likely by global warming, according to the first study to link flooding in this country to climate change.
Using a detailed computer climate model, developed at the Met Office Hadley Centre, the project team simulated the weather in Autumn 2000, both as it was, and as it might have been had there been no greenhouse gas emissions since the beginning of the 20th Century.
This was then repeated thousands of times using a global volunteer network of personal computers participating in the climateprediction.net project.
Flood levels, Worcester
Beside the entrance to the Watergate to College Green by Worcester Cathedral some of the flood levels have been marked on the wall. The July 2007 flood level has recently been added (top right) this puts the flood in context with other high floods of the past, the highest in living memory was the flood of March 1947, the mark for this flood on the extreme left and is around one foot higher than the 2007 flood. The larger plaque at the top marks the highest known flood of 1770.
This is an update to a 2007 post here where the 2000 flood level can be seen.
February 15, 2011
The Chris and Connie Show - Adult Advisory
Connie Hedegaard insists tougher carbon targets will boost European economy | Environment | guardian.co.uk
Europe's climate chief insisted on Monday that tougher greenhouse gas targets would improve the EU's economic performance, rather than push businesses overseas, as companies and green campaigners tussled over whether current emissions goals were too weak.
So if you hobble the horse it is more likely to win the race, in which case those two lumps of dogmeat at the Newbury race must be the bloody winners according to these two twats.
Connie Hedegaard in May 2008, told Denmark, “Sustainable economic growth is an attainable objective. The Nordic Region has made great progress with solutions based on environmental technology, and some day it will be possible to stockpile energy generated from renewable sources such as windmills, and to run vehicles purely on excess energy.”
Chris Huhne, who has been a prime mover behind the plan for higher targets, reacted angrily, telling the Guardian: "The short-termist view of sticking to 20% doesn't cut the mustard. Moving to 30% would give our businesses a head-start in new green industries and get us off the oil hook quicker, insulating us from oil price spikes."
February 12, 2011
Darwin to a critc
My dear Sir.
I should be very glad of any criticisms on the origin— I imagine you have not finished it. ...
The fair way to view the argument of my book, I think, is to look at Natural Selection as a mere hypothesis (though rendered in some degree probable by the analogy of method of production of domestic races; & by what we know of the struggle for existence) & then to judge whether the mere hypothesis explains a large body of facts in Geographical Distribution, Geological Succession, & more especially in Classification, Homology, Embryology, Rudimentary Organs The hypothesis to me does seem to explain several independent large classes of facts; & this being so, I view the hypothesis as a theory having a high degree of probability of truth. All turns on whether the above classes of facts seem to you satisfactorily explained or not.— The difficulties are great; but they concern the “imperfection of the Geological record,” “means of distribution” & “possibility of transitions of organs” And on these classes of facts we are confessedly ignorant, & we do not know how ignorant.— I simply believe that we are far more ignorant than any one supposed—
Forgive me for troubling you with this harangue, for I should very much like to stagger you,—to pervert you or any good man ought & must require months of self reflection. *
Yours very sincerely | C Darwin.
It may be a vain & silly thing to say, but I believe my Book must be read twice carefully to be fully understood.— You will perhaps think it by no means worth the labour.
*CD and others wrongly suspected that Woodward was the author of an anonymous critical review of Origin published in the Athenæum, 19 November 1859
How very different to how some "scientists" take criticism these days....
373 Dead From Global Warming (or maybe more)
N16.7 Trillion Lost To Climate Change | P.M. NEWS Nigeria
At least N16.7 trillion (US$110 billion) was lost to impact of climate change globally in 2010, says Dr. Kenny Tang of the Oxbridge Weather Capital, London, United Kingdom.
According to Tang, the impact of climate change had been so devastating that property worth $110 billion had been destroyed worldwide while several people had died as a result of massive flooding, tsunamis, hurricane, among others.
Tang disclosed that 375 natural disasters occurred worldwide, adding that 300, 000 people were killed in the disaster with 207 million people affected globally.
He lamented that in Haiti, 200,000 people were killed as a result of heat wave which swept the whole land, while 1,985 others were killed in Pakistan and 3,451 killed in China.
Other reports say: Tang said 373 people were killed and about 250 million affected. He said 220,000 died in Haiti.
That heatwave in Haiti that looked like an earthquake, I wish I knew the truth. As an expert on Sustainable Environmental Finance I'm sure Dr Tang does, and where the money should go.
February 11, 2011
Back in 2004 I noted: Totnes has decided not to mark next year's 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar - because it might offend the French.
Totnes councillors feared commemorating Nelson's victory over the French and Spanish could upset their twin town in France.
I was unimpressed by the scabby shabby little resort then but now I read: Totnes in Devon might be the most forward-thinking eco settlement in the world. As fossil-fuel reserves dwindle and the economy contracts, will resident-led Transition Towns become the way that we all live?
There are more new age "characters" than you can shake a rain stick at, more alternative-therapy practitioners per square inch than anywhere else in the UK and the town was once named "capital of new age chic" by Time magazine.
A local currency is central to the Transition plan. "Think of a leaky bucket," explains Brangwyn. "Any time we spend money with a business that's got more links outside the community than in it, we leak money from the local economy. What local currency does is allow that wealth to bounce around in that bucket.
The great plan in Totnes included the planting of 186 hybrid nut trees around town. You can just walk around and help yourself to free nuts, which can only help community cohesion.
Is it something in the water down there?
As You Drive On The M4 Past Reading Consider This
Wind turbine costs more than it saves - Telegraph
The 280ft turbine situated in a business park near the M4 in Reading operated at just 15 per cent of its capacity year, meaning it generated £100,000 of energy, despite attracting subsidies of £130,000 from the Government.
Since 2005, when it began producing energy, the turbine has been subsidised with £600,000 of public money but has run at an average of 17 per cent of its capacity.
February 10, 2011
Oz Alarmism - Have Your Say
Were the devastating floods in Queensland caused by climate change? Quite possibly but not certainly. Was the devastating cyclone in Queensland stronger than it would have been without a changing climate? Quite probably but not certainly. Were the devastating bush fires on Melbourne’s Black Saturday exacerbated by climate change? Very, very likely but not certainly.
What is certain, however, is that the increasing frequency of all those extreme events was predicted by climate scientists long ago. And what is almost equally certain is that they would not have happened at all, or would have been more benign, if we hadn’t been emitting all that CO2 for the last 100 years.
The climate is an angry beast, and we are poking a stick at it.
NOTE: this is an experiment in the blog-review process by Steve Lewandowsky. He'll be recording a podcast in a few days from now so please post comments on this draft which will stay online for 24 hours:
Comments at the link please, but also welcome here.
Global warming theory says cyclones, flooding and droughts will become more commonplace – and it's already happening
As an Australian, it can be somewhat disconcerting when climate bloggers from overseas hold up Australia as a harbinger of what's to come for their own countries. It's not fun being climate change's cautionary tale.
In Australia, farmlands that were parched from years of drought were recently wiped out by floods. Over the past 50 years as the world has warmed, both drought severity and the number of heavy precipitations events have increased. The results are in from the most comprehensive, sophisticated climate model of all – nature.
It's not appropriate to say global warming causes a particular weather event. But it's equally false to say global warming has no effect on weather. Yes, we've had floods and heavy downpours in the past, well before modern global warming. But now the odds of heavy downpours and floods are increasing.
Wait a minute, scoffs the sceptic. How can global warming cause droughts and floods? Aren't you just trying to blame everything on climate change? But increased drought and heavy downpours aren't just predictions from a climate model. They're happening in the real world.
One hopes this rash of extreme weather events will be a wake-up call for an Australian government dragging its feet on climate action. However, the early signs are not encouraging.
A lot of anecdote but a distinct lack of any figures that show the extreme events have actually increased.....
Our Failure Your Fault
Successive British governments have failed to support and promote the organic food and farming sector, according to a damning report. Their failures have left the UK an isolated "lazy man of Europe".
Research from the UK's biggest organic body highlights the low priority given to the sector by "diffident" policy-makers, which it claims led to sales of organic food and drink slumping in the recession while other major European organic markets successfully weathered the storm.
The report, Soil Association : The Lazy Man of Europe....
Ahh, a trade union that demands fees from its members to promote their interests blames the Government for the fact that their members interests haven't been promoted. I don't think we need worry about this report any further.
February 9, 2011
Bear Model Reveals All
Polar bear families shrinking with the ice through lack of food | The Times
The latest study, published today in the journal Nature Communications, predicts that up to 73 per cent of pregnant females will lose their offspring if the spring sea ice break-up occurs a month earlier than during the 1990s and up to 100 per cent if it occurs two months earlier.
"If climate change continues unabated the viability of the species across much of the Arctic will be in question," said Péter Molnár, a biologist at the University of Alberta in Canada, and lead author of the paper.
Predicting climate change impacts on polar bear litter size : Nature Communications : Nature Publishing Group
We used multinomial logistic regression models30 on data from 28 pregnant females with known litter sizes to test whether litter size at den emergence can be predicted from maternal age (A), storage energy29 at den entry (E), energy density29 at den entry (E/LBM), or certain combinations of these variables (see Table 1 and Methods for details). The model with only energy density was an excellent predictor of litter size at den emergence (likelihood ratio test, P=0.0004), and the regression probabilities of having one, two or three cubs (Fig. 1) are
28 mummy bears and a computer model, add a couple of scenarios and press the panic button.
Charles Tells EU To Listen To The Grass
Wasting Nature’s capital means financial ruin | The Times
HRH The Prince of Wales
As I will suggest when invited to address the European Parliament today, a solution may lie in developing a deeper understanding of the relationship between economic and environmental resilience. In this way, we may be able to bring about the significant changes in individual and corporate behaviour that, I believe, could stimulate the creation of wealth and jobs while safeguarding our environment.
There is, surely, no way round the fact that we have to move away from our conventional model of growth based, as it is, on the production and consumption of high-carbon-intensity goods. It seems that the current economic system, characterised by a catastrophic decline in biodiversity, increased water scarcity and food insecurity, has little hope of securing our prosperity. The challenge is all the more urgent if, as predicted, the world’s population grows to some nine billion by 2050. We need to meet the challenge of decoupling economic growth from increased consumption in such a way that both the wellbeing of Nature’s ecology and our own economic needs benefit simultaneously.
Decoupling will not, of course, be straightforward. We need urgently to focus on lowering the carbon footprint and environmental impact of our goods throughout their life cycle, from manufacturing and distribution to use and recycling.....
At least "Let them eat cake" was shorter and easier to understand...
February 6, 2011
Guardian Green Writer Confused By The Optics And Ice
Greenland's race for minerals threatens culture on the edge of existence | World news | The Observer
There has been much discussion in Greenland and elsewhere about the first sunrise this year in Ilulissat, down the coast. For the first time in living memory, the sun rose above the horizon two days early – a phenomenon that has baffled Greenlanders and scientists.
Currently, some believe that the most plausible explanation is, as you might expect, global warming. It is thought that the Greenland ice sheet and the glaciers surrounding the town are melting so rapidly that it is now possible to see a lower part of the horizon that was previously hidden by the ice.
So the Sunday Guardian is channelling The Daily Mail who first broke this story. It isn't baffling anyone with more than half a brain.
Greenland's Early Sunrise « The Half-Astrophysicist Blog...from the Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen university.
It is an atmospheric phenomenon known as inversion: When temperature is lower at the surface than it is higher up in the atmosphere, light is bend so it looks like the sun is coming up before it really is.
Two days later the opposite thing happened and the sun came up "too late".
The reason why we dont see this things that often at lower latitudes is simply that the amount of atmosphere the sunlight must pass through is much longer up north. And inversion occurs much more frequently uphere.
Global warming has got nothing to do with it. And the inversion has happened before and that is why the sun seems to behave irregularly up here.
Green on Green
Green factory plan 'threatens bird habitat' - Scotsman.com News
PLANS for a new factory to provide equipment for green energy have been criticised by environmentalists, who claim it will destroy a protected reserve for migratory birds.... the proposals, which would develop more than 200 acres of the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), would destroy an important habitat for rare species such as the bar-tailed godwit and the red-breasted merganser, as well as more common birds such as oystercatchers, curlew, redshank, wigeon and ring plover.
In a masterplan document outlining its proposals for the area, Clydeport states that Hunterston is "ideally located" for the renewables market, pointing to its proximity to offshore windfarms on Kintyre and Argyll.
A spokeswoman for Scottish Natural Heritage said: "We're aware that Hunterston is one of the sites being considered for renewables manufacture. We would have serious concerns, but would set these in context of the social and economic importance of the development, which we have to consider."
In other words if it says its a "green factory" it will be OK to trash an SSSI...
February 4, 2011
Aerial view of a drought-affected area within the Amazon basin in Manaus, Brazil. Photograph: Rodrigo Baleia/LatinContent/Getty Images
Strange how the drought ravaged Amazonian forest hasn't got many dead trees and looks very like old parkland which we have managed for centuries for livestock and timber....
February 3, 2011
Oh Goody A Natural Disaster Is What We Need
Professor Vicky Pope told me recently, a warmer world is a wetter world as more water evaporates from the oceans, although the extra rain is unlikely to fall evenly across the globe. "Also in general, as more energy and moisture is put into the atmosphere [by warming], the likelihood of storms, hurricanes and tornadoes increases," said Pope, head of climate change advice at the UK Met Office.
Immediate attention should be upon those in danger from Yasi. But a big question in the aftermath will be whether the battering Australia has taken from extreme weather, on top of its recent long drought, will shift the country's stubborn streak of sceptical opinion on climate change. Climate sceptics, as elsewhere, are firmly in the minority, but their viewpoint appears to have become more popular in recent years.
Following the recent general election - seen by some as the world's first climate change election - cyclone Yasi could be a tipping point for opinion, suggest observers.
Of course he insists he isn't href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/damian-carrington-blog/2011/feb/02/cyclone-yasi-australia-climate?commentpage=1#comment-9403428">saying this extreme event is linked to climate change, he is just hoping that ignorance and fear will play into the warmist camp.
February 1, 2011
Taking the temperature
...in August Peter recorded 25C/77F in a hot spot, but only 18C/64F in a damp, shady spot - the sort of difference you might find between St Tropez and Southport.
The amount of rain received also varied hugely, with 50 per cent less on the leeward side than the windward side.
Dampness affects the temperature quite dramatically, because water removes heat from the surroundings as it evaporates.
Even the colour of the soil affects the speed at which it heats up, with darker soils absorbing more heat than lighter types.
The thermal inertia of water - it takes a long time to heat up and cool down - means it is still radiating warmth after the rest of the garden has cooled.
But luckily we know the world's temperature to the last tenth of a degree....
In Which Monboit Argues For The Forest Sell Off
The public is not the same as the state.Nor is it simply the collective noun for atomised private citizens....The state is not us....I would support the shrinking of the state....the big society is all guff.
The creation of the public forest estate was as brutal as any other nationalisation.....the state ownership of forests is not a concept we should rush to defend.
I'm happy to welcome Moonbat to the side of reason on the forest sell off debate because This is the practice of modern documentary makers, who can gather huge amounts of material and then edit and assemble the material in a way that they can present a message, the message the producer wishes to convey. This is irrespective of what is actually said, and what interviewees actually intended.
January 31, 2011
A Rising Tide
The UK is likely to feel bigger costs from climate change than most other EU countries, a report concludes.
Rising sea levels are likely to impact the nation harder than most, negating economic benefits from increased tourism and possibly farm yields.
The researchers took four different scenarios of warming into account, and saw the biggest impact on the British Isles at the high-temperature end - a rise of about 5C from now.
"The highest scenario, with a sea level rise of 88cm, brings dramatic changes in coastal impacts - the increase is more than proportional," Dr Ciscar told BBC News.
The deadly sea level rise on the White Cliffs of Dover illustrated in blood red....multo spumantem sanguine cerno..
Harrabin vs. Met Office. Seconds Out.
Met Office: "Not us, it was Harrabin".But… « Autonomous Mind
The Met Office appears to be suggesting that Harrabin embellished the Met Office forecast, in a way that gave cover to the department, on his own initiative and that the public was mislead with false information.
BBC News - Harrabin's Notes: What's the prognosis? I've just received full details of the previously-confidential Met Office winter forecast to the Cabinet Office, following an enquiry under Freedom of Information. Finally it's come my way. The Met Office was forecasting a 40% chance of a cold start to the winter, with a 30% chance of a mild start, and a 30% chance of an average start. This doesn't match a more conclusive forecast I gleaned from a Met Office contact in December whilst researching an article for the Radio Times - though it does point in roughly the same direction.
Sexing up Climate Change with Cash
Reheating the climate change story | Jules Boykoff | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
Like other long-term, seemingly intransigent issues, climate change has lost its media mojo. But there is a way to rekindle its sex appeal: economics.
Reframing climate change as an burning economic issue could help journalists breathe life into the most important – and complex – issue of our time... beyond the number of gumshoe journalists patrolling the climate change beat, the plummet in coverage also came about because global warming is no longer perceived as novel and dramatic. Climate change is a slow-burning tick-tocker of an issue marked by incrementalism, slathered in arcane science, and often lacking whipsaw political theatre.
I'm not convinced the dismal science will help where celebrities have failed.
Aside from the beyond-the-pale advocacy journalists at Fox News network environmental journalists understand the gravity of climate disruption. And there has been significant improvement in the quality of coverage, with the US media casting aside their "balance as bias" approach, which, for years, meant putting pseudo-scientists and their benefactors on equal footing with independent climate scientists and their peer-reviewed research.
The downturn in the quantity of climate change media coverage is no small matter, since it affects public perceptions about the seriousness of climate change: if an issue does not remain on the public's mental fingertips, concern dwindles and urgency becomes overkill. Plus, it allows our elected leaders to squirm off the political hotseat. But as the world burns, quality matters, too, and journalists have – right there, in front of them – a short-term solution to the quandary of covering climate change: economists who can lend climate disruption the gravitas and drama it deserves.
No, I don't think he gets it.
January 28, 2011
Met Office and The Cabinet Office - The Answer
Ummm....I think I was the first to point out that
The Met Office And The Cabinet - Missing The Bloody Point
... Roger's story.
The Met Office told the Cabinet Office in October it would be a cold winter.
Either someone is telling a porky, or the forecast was so hedged about it was unclear what it forecast, or the forecast was suppressed.
This is slipping me dangerously into the conspiracy theories I normally have no truck with but until we know what the Cabinet Office was told (and FOI requests are already in) it is a working hypothesis.
With Ministers and SPADs packing their bags to fly to Cancun, with Treasury boffins polishing their sliderules to calculate more green taxes and promises of "the greenest government ever" to be fulfilled there certainly would the temptation to sweep the inconvenient chicken bones under the carpet.
And that is the real story here.
Read The Files.
I don't think anyone lied, I don't think there was a conspiracy, as I suspected it was a muddle with people reading into a useless forecast what they wanted to read. The Met Office can't claimed they were ignored and the Cabinet Office can't claim they were mislead.
But I wouldn't pay a brass farthing for that forecast, and maybe that is the lesson.
Climate change: the top conspiracy theories - Telegraph
Conspiracy theorists agree the data purported to show our planet is warming has been fabricated - but can't agree on whether to blame the East, the West, the Left or the Right.
It's Elvis covering up fathering Barry Obama when he was filming Blue Hawaii back in 1960/61......
Lester Brown Wrong Again
Will climate change burst the global 'food bubble'? | Damian Carrington | Environment | guardian.co.uk
The world is in the midst of a "food bubble" that could burst at any time: that's the conclusion of the eminent environmentalist Lester Brown,...The bubble exists because food is being produced by the unsustainable use of its key resource, water
In 1984 Lester Brown claimed that the global excess of soil erosion over soil formation was over 25 billion tons a year, and that if this continued it would be a major threat to the world's agricultural productivity.
I don't suppose Damien did that old fashioned journalisty thing of actually asking the old fraud any hard questions in-between lapping up his drivel, did he?
January 27, 2011
Wiltshire Council £600,000 Waste
Wiltshire Council hit with £600,000 carbon emissions tax bill (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
Wiltshire Council has been landed with a £600,000 environment tax bill after the county was left lagging behind in the race to reduce carbon emissions.
The hefty government tax, known as the Carbon Reduction Commitment, is based on the increasing levels of carbon the council, private businesses and the general public of Wiltshire are using.
In 2007 the county’s total carbon footprint was 4.76 million tonnes or around 12 per cent of the south west’s usage and one per cent of the UK.
If the county fails to reduce its carbon footprint over the coming year, Wiltshire Council will face even greater CRC contributions.
The £600,000 will be paid in June 2012...
Cllr Toby Sturgis, cabinet member for the environment, said: “We are entering a critical period for climate change and energy security at the national and local level. The need to build a secure, low carbon economy here in Wiltshire is vital.”
(And in the print edition he adds) "There are quite a large number of potential sites and planning applications coming forward for solar parks and I think, in the right place, they can provide a suitable solution."
GWPF Repeats Feed In Tariff Error
Ross Clark: How To Warm Your Mansion With Other People's Money....if you have the capital, a £15,000 array of 21 panels will earn you just under £1,500 a year in payments, all subsidised by electricity customers who don't have the roof space or can't afford the outlay. Yes, that is a return of nearly 10 per cent - tax-free. What's more, that payment is guaranteed for 25 years and is index-linked to the retail price index.
"A return of nearly 10%" is the promise, but it is on a depreciating asset. At the end of the 25 years the panels will be worthless (probably). So from your 10% remember to deduct 4% for depreciation (roughly). You might also want to deduct a little for the output figures being "optimistic", your mileage may vary.
Bang on about the madness of the subsidies but do get your numbers right.
A case study in climate science integrity | Environment | guardian.co.uk
Everyone make mistakes, including scientists. Should we trust our science with those who admit to and correct them, or with those who deny and ignore them?
In the past week, two key examples have emerged illustrating how the two sides of the climate science debate react to mistakes...
Dr. Richard Lindzen (a prominent climate scientist who is skeptical that the consequences of global warming will be dangerous), argued that we are already over 80% of the way to the greenhouse gas levels that the intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims will cause a 2-4.5°C increase in global temperatures. But global temperatures have only risen by less than 1°C, so, Lindzen argues, The IPCC predictions are wrong and we have nothing to worry about....former TV weatherman Anthony Watts' popular global warming skeptic blog, WattsUpWithThat, soon ran Lindzen's article with no commentary or analysis. As a result, Lindzen's errors and incorrect conclusions were propagated to a much larger audience, which, based on the blog comments, was very receptive to the article. .... Lindzen's errors continue to spread, unacknowledged and uncorrected.
Is this Lindzen, who never admits errors, the same Lindzen who wrote last week in a similar article http://www.thegwpf.org/opinion-pros-a-cons/2229-richard-lindzen-a-case-against-precipitous-climate-action.html that; "Unfortuanately(sic), Lindzen and Choi (2009) contained a number of errors"?
Looks to me that the basic premise of the article is wrong, but then that probably means I'm denying something/
January 26, 2011
More From The Warming Means Cooling School and Catlin, The Keystone Kops of Klimate, Return
Dr Simon Boxall, of the National Oceanography Survey, said that while the planet as a whole will get much warmer, this country will see temperatures plunge as the ocean currents and weather patterns around the world change.
At the moment north west Europe, particularly Britain, is warmer than it should be because of the effect of the North Atlantic Drift bringing warm water from the Tropics.
This then warms sea breezes which keep temperatures mild on land.
But the process that causes this movement could be "switched off" by global warming if the Arctic heats up too much.
It will mean colder, harsher winters similar to last month will become the norm and summers will become cooler and wetter.
Dr Boxall said that the North Atlantic Drift could turn off now or in 50 years but when it stops it will be sudden – take about three years – and change our climate to one like north west Canada and Alaska.
Amazing what one cold month does to the climate predictions...
The scientists were speaking ahead of an expedition to the Arctic ice cap as part of efforts to establish how it is melting – which will help them predict if the ocean currents will change.
Explorers with the Catlin Arctic Survey expedition will venture out on to the ice to drill holes down into the ocean, measuring temperature, salinity and flow of the fresh water just below the sea ice.
Catlin are back draw up a chair and enjoy the show yet again.
Scotland to export more green energy to England - Scotsman.com News
More than £80m will be spent by National Grid Electricity Transmission and Scottish Power Transmission on increasing the amount of electricity that can flow between the high-voltage networks of England and Scotland, helping the export of renewable electricity from Scotland.
And probably more importantly allowing more lovely nuclear juice from France to flow via England for when the wind doesn't blow in the Highlands.
January 25, 2011
Free Trade And Science To Feed World If Politicians Get Out The Way
The world will not be able to feed itself without destroying the planet unless a transformation on the scale of the industrial revolution takes place, a major government report has concluded.
No single solution exists, says the report, but it is critical to spread existing knowledge and technology to the developing world to boost yields by "sustainable intensification". Dramatically reducing food waste is also crucial. "Thirty per cent of all food produced is never consumed," said Charles Godfray, at the University of Oxford and another report author. Investing in better trucks, roads and infrastructure is vital to getting food to people before it rots. In rich countries, such as the UK, preventing food being unnecessarily thrown away could save a family £500-700 a year, said Godfray.
There is a place for organic agriculture, found the report, but it "should not be adopted as the main strategy to achieve sustainable and equitable global food security". Scenarios suggesting organic production can satisfy future global demand assume major changes in peoples' diets, which "may be unachievable," says the report.
The report stated that new technologies, such as genetically modified crops and cloned livestock, should not be excluded on ethical or moral grounds, but that investment is "essential in the light of the magnitude of the challenges."
"We need to act now," said Caroline Spelman, the secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs, whose department co-commissioned the report from the government's futures thinktank Foresight. "Farmers have to grow more food at less cost to the environment."
Spelman emphasised the role of free markets and of consumers: "We must open up markets by removing subsidies and stopping protectionism." She said the biggest step forward in tackling food security would be a successful end for the stalled Doha trade talks, which began in 2001, adding that reform of the EU's common agricultural policy should encourage climate and wildlife protection.
In the UK, farmers should produce "more food more sustainably" and she suggested that small price increases represented an economic opportunity for British farmers.
A coffee table glossy report which seems on skimming to be on the right track, which is a miracle these days.
We know the answers to the problem of hunger, it is only politicians and campaigners who are holding back the free trade and science that they are. And so it is miraculous for campaigning politicians to acknowledge this simple truth.
Of course the tofu munchers are already up in arms as are the poverty professionals, what would they do without the poor and hungry?
Carry On Nurse
Sir Paul Nurse, the President of the Royal Society used climate-change science to illustrate his wider theory that scientists, no matter what their level of experience or expertise, are no longer trusted by the public at large. Nearly half of all Americans and a third of the British believe that the extent and significance of global warming are being exaggerated. Certainly, no issue better exemplifies the truth that for every scientist arguing that black is black, you can find another arguing that, actually, it's white. Nurse sat down in a New York diner with one of the world's smarter climate-change sceptics, Professor Fred Singer, who sipped Earl Grey tea and briefly outlined his conviction that solar activity is principally responsible for global warming, not man-made carbon emissions. But by then I'd dismissed Professor Singer as a shameless contrarian: who orders Earl Grey in a New York diner?
Science needs better advocates. As Nurse rightly said, it's "far too important to be left to polemicists and commentators in the media", yet it is they who wield disproportionate influence on public opinion. And inevitably, the problem, like just about all problems these days, is exacerbated by the internet, where crackpot conspiracy theories compete on equal terms with authoritative scientific findings.
It was an amiable ramble across the subject but I don't think we learnt anything. His problem was he conflated all questioning of, scepticism, denying, crackpottery together.
He talked to an HIV positive gay who had had many friends die of AIDs. The man had refused all drugs for 13 years because he believed that probiotic yogurt was the cure and that a virus wasn't the problem. That is some who is putting his life on the line with his "denial". Is he brave, stupid, scared? We don't know, because it wasn't asked.
Nurse tried a softball question to Delingpole about would he be so sceptical of a consensus if a life was at risk. What ever temperature the world is at it won't affect Dellers' comfortable life so it was a reasonable question, especially as we had the previous example. A bit of hand flapping and the question was forgotten. It wasn't the killer question that was hyped, it was just all inconsequential.
Sir Paul Nurse was just too nice and it was all too nice and cosy, where was the rigour of investigation as what were the various types of sceptics, what drove them, are anti-GM protestors the same type as Climate Change Deniers?
A missed opportunity.
January 24, 2011
Climate Science Under Attack
Scientists are being subjected to shocking levels of personal vilification and distrust, Britain's most senior scientist has warned.
Sir Paul Nurse, the new president of the Royal Society, Britain's national academy of sciences, urged scientists to take on those critics who have cast doubt on the veracity of scientific discoveries ranging from the link between climate change and man-made carbon dioxide to the benefits of GM crops.
Sir Paul said many scientists felt under attack from critics in the blogosphere and the mainstream media, but rather than retreating into their ivory towers they needed to speak directly to the people who paid their wages.
"Scientists have got to get out there. They have to be open about what they do ... even if it does put their reputation in doubt," Sir Paul said in a BBC Horizon documentary that airs tonight.
What could be the reason that the public think scientists have exaggerated the threat from climate change?
January 22, 2011
Olivier de Schutter, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, is establishing himself as one of its key protagonists with an unapologetically radical agenda.
In London this week to give evidence to a UK parliamentary working group on food and agriculture, he explained the challenge he is putting to the donors and the international community.
Chronic underinvestment in agriculture over the last 20 years combined with trade liberalisation has trapped many developing countries in a vicious cycle of low agricultural productivity and dependence on cheap food imports, he argues.
Local farming goes into steep decline leading to migration to the cities. This is a serious market failure.
Trade liberalisation and getting people off the land into the cities is the key to economic growth, wealth and full tummies.
Farmers can get a better price if they organise together. And if they are organised, then governments have to engage with them. Farmers need a greater voice in the political process otherwise they don't get consulted and are cheated," he says.
But he acknowledges that this is not always a popular message. In many countries governments are wary of a strong, well-organised farmers' co-operative movement that could threaten their strategy to feed urban populations.
Farmers getting together to raise the price of food is obviously good for farmers but not so good for the poor. What does he want? What is he for? Why is he?
Caroline Lucas Green MP for Walmington on Sea
Britain must move to the equivalent of a ‘war-footing' if we are to overcome the threat of climate change, according to the New Home Front initiative, launched at the Imperial War Museum on Thursday 20th January 2010.
You can download the Home Front report as a PDF [750KB] here
Caroline Lucas MP said: "If we're to overcome the climate crisis, we must move onto the equivalent of a ‘war-footing', where the efforts of individuals, organisations, and government are harnessed together - and directed to a common goal.
Utter arse wipe - contemplating this stinking heap of ordure has given me blogger block for three days. My man Timmy has waded through it on our behalf. He deserves a medal.
January 19, 2011
Climate Models, known knowns and the rest
Keith Dixon, a modeler at GFDL; "The climate is warming, and we can say why. Looking to the 21st century, all reasonable projections of what humans will be doing suggest that not only will the climate continue to warm, you have a good chance of it accelerating. Those are global-scale issues, and they’re very solid.”
The problem is that warming causes all sorts of changes — in the amount of ice in the Arctic, in the kind of vegetation on land, in ocean currents, in permafrost and cloud cover and more — that in turn can either cause more warming, or cool things off. To model the climate accurately, you have to account for all of these factors. Unfortunately, says James Hurrell, who led the NCAR's most recent effort to upgrade its own climate model, you can't. "Sometimes you don't include processes simply because you don't understand them well enough," he says. "Sometimes it's because they haven't even been discovered yet."
So really, really good about forecasting apart from the stuff we can't forecast or the stuff we don't know much about or the stuff we don't even know we don't know about; all the stuff that could make a big difference or not, we don't know, but apart from that they are really good.
January 18, 2011
Winter and summer temperature anomalies 1500–2000 from the reconstruction5 are shown in black, instrumental data in red30 and climate-model simulations in green (HadCM3; ref. 8), magenta (NCAR-CSM1.4; ref. 9) and cyan (ECHO-G; ref. 7)
Sunny skies or stormy weather - monks wrote it in their diaries 500 years ago - Scotsman.com News
ANCIENT weather records, including details gleaned from monks' diaries, are helping Scottish scientists work out how and why European climates have changed over the past 500 years.
Researchers found the historic data, from the likes of weather station archives and harvest records, closely matched modern computer simulations of climate patterns over the past five centuries.
They say the fact the computer models were on target for the past suggests future predictions will be accurate, and forecast that greenhouse gas emissions will shape the climate in future in a "significant and visible" way.
Gabi Hegerl studies changes in climate extremes in climate model simulations and tries to detect them in observations.
Carts and horses come to mind.
UPDATE - as a wise monk points out in the comments the models are based on the data so that the data agrees with the models shouldn't be a surprise, and doesn't actually tell us very much.
January 17, 2011
A proper debate on the best way to feed a baby in the first six months is being stifled by an “almost religious evangelism” for women exclusively breastfeeding, the lead scientist behind a new study said.
Mary Fewtrell, a paediatrician from University College London’s Institute of Child Health, said that she could not understand why questioning the policy, which is current government guidance, provoked such “outpourings of vitriol” from its supporters.
Spokespeople questioned the scientists’ links to the baby-food industry, which they said was an obvious beneficiary from a change in guidance.
Dr Fewtrell rejected the allegations, which she described as insulting and upsetting, and a smokescreen “because they can’t rebut the science”.
She said that the scientists had acknowledged in their study that they had provided advice for the baby-food industry, and they carried out their research as independent authors. “If you are doing work in infant nutrition you cannot not have links to the industry,” she said. “Part of our responsibility as paediatricians and scientists working in the field is to advise industry.
Janet Fyle, professional policy adviser at the Royal College of Midwives, challenged the findings of the review as a “retrograde step that plays into the hands of the baby-food industry”. Other organisations, such as Baby Milk Action, issued even stronger rebuttals describing it as “an attack from industry-funded scientists”.
Dr Fewtrell said she could have predicted the reaction, which like previous such stances undermined sensible appraisal. She and others were not trying to formulate policy, but present evidence. “We have worked in this area for a very long time. This [reaction] is partly what stifles any scientific debate in this field. People feel intimidated. If you stick your head above the parapet you get this vitriol. I don’t undertsand where this evangelism comes from. It’s like some sort of religious belief. It’s personally upsetting but we have to press on with this because its the science.”
She added that “lots of people” shared the views held by her and her fellow researchers “but are quite intimidated because they know if they express something like this its seen almost as if its blasphemous”.
Seems like Climate Science, where faith has overtaken scientific curiosity.
January 16, 2011
Halcyon Days For Wind Power
In November, Scotland's first minister, Alex Salmond, spoke of wind's "massive economic rewards" in a "renewables revolution". In May, the wind industry trade body, RenewableUK, called the North Sea "the Saudi Arabia of wind".
Yet it can be revealed that as the rhetoric has climbed ever further up the Beaufort scale, the wind itself has moved in precisely the opposite direction. New figures published by The Sunday Telegraph show that 2010 was, by one authoritative measure, the least windy year since 1824.
The failure of the country's massive wind industry to generate almost any electricity whatever at the time when it was most needed – during last month's extreme cold snap – has been widely reported. But that, we can reveal, was just the tip of the turbine-blade in a decades-long trend of declining wind. It is a trend causing an increasing crisis for the industry among those, principally investors, who are more aware of events than British politicians.
"The Government is treating wind power as if it is a fully-established technological winner on which we can bet Britain's energy future," said John Constable, REF's head of research. "These latest figures show, again, that this is economically and technically reckless; wind simply will not do what ministers tell it."
There is a direct correlation between a lack of wind and cold weather. According to the Met Office, last month was the coldest December since records began a century ago. Last year as a whole was the coldest for 14 years.
On the coldest days of last month, when the need for power was at its greatest, there was virtually no wind, Britain's 3500 wind turbines were largely idle and almost no electricity was generated by them.
At 5.30pm on December 7, which National Grid says was the moment of the fourth-highest demand ever recorded in British history, wind contributed just 0.4 per cent of the country's electricity needs. The generation system coped – but it includes large numbers of old power stations that will soon be closing. In the future, under the far more wind-based system the Government wants to see, such levels of demand could turn out the lights.
Rupert Soames, chief executive of the conventional power-supply company Aggreko, compared government energy policy to a belief in the "tooth fairy," with politicians "holding hands and singing Kumbaya to the great green god."
Halcyon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A halcyon (pronounced /ˈhælsiən/) is a mythical bird said to breed in a floating nest at sea during the winter solstice, during which time it charms the wind and waves into calm.
January 15, 2011
BOM Forecast The Rain But No One Listened
Australian floods: Why were we so surprised? | Environment | The Guardian
Meteorologists warned Australians six months ago to prepare for a soaking. And nobody did a thing ...
In June last year the bureau of meteorology issued a warning that La Niña was about "to dump buckets" on Australia.
Funny I can't find that June 2010 forecast - The BOM Forecast from June 2010 is only for three months:
Wetter conditions favoured in the northeast
The national outlook for total rainfall for the July to September period, shows a moderate shift in the odds favouring wetter than normal conditions over parts of northeastern Australia.
Not quite "to dump buckets".
The October one which is the earliest that should warn of the flood risk:
Increased rainfall odds for most of Australia
The national rainfall outlook for the November-January period favours wetter than normal conditions over large parts of Australia, most notably in eastern, northern and southwest Australia.
The pattern of seasonal rainfall odds across Australia is a result of warm conditions in the Indian Ocean, as well as cool conditions in the equatorial Pacific Ocean associated with the current La Niña event.
Hardly panic stations, and the last forecast before the rains fell...
Wetter summer favoured for parts of eastern and western Australia issued 23rd November 2010
Wetter summer favoured for parts of eastern and western Australia
The national rainfall outlook for summer (December-February) favours wetter than normal conditions in southeast Queensland, eastern NSW, northern NT and most of WA. Drier conditions are favoured in parts of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.
I'm not sure why the story that a Met Office actually did forecast a weather extreme for December but people were too stupid to realise it rings a bell...
UPDATE - Greer seems to be quoting a subeditor's headline on the Herald Sun - the story of which gives only the vaguest of warnings, certainly not a warning of what came.
New European Tree Ring Temp Paper - We Are All Doomed Still
Annual-resolved European summer climate has, for the first time ever, been reconstructed over the past 2,500 years. Tree rings reveal possible links between past climate variability and changes in human history. Climate change coincided with periods of socioeconomic, cultural and political turmoil associated with the Barbarian Migrations, the Black Death and Thirty Years' War.
Results demonstrate that recent warming is unprecedented over the late Holocene, but modern hydroclimatic variations have at times been exceeded in magnitude and duration. Cultural and economic prosperity of the Roman and Medieval eras was closely linked to wet and warm summers. Increased climate variability coincided with the demise of the Western Roman Empire and the Migration Period (~AD 300-600). The Roman-Medieval transition likely represents the closest natural analogue to projected anthropogenic climate change. The associated social disruptions at this time, the so-called Migration Period, might provide insight to prepare for and avoid future climatic-induced turmoil.This from a lengthy abstract available here - http://www.emetsoc.org/annual_meetings/documents/presentations_2010/UC4_Buentgen.pdf The full paper is published behind a paywall here http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2011/01/12/science.1197175 No free access to online data or methods available that I can see.
January 14, 2011
Feed The World
Forget scare stories about rising population and record food prices, we can now grow more crops on less land
The person who tips the world population above seven billion may be born this year. The world food price index hit a record high last month, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation. Bad harvests in Russia and Australia, combined with rising oil prices, have begun to cause shortages, export bans and even riots. Does starvation loom?
No. Never has the world looked less likely to starve. Never have our grandchildren looked more likely to feed well. Never has famine been less widespread. Never has the estimated future peak of the world’s population been lower.
How can we feed 9 billion? - Telegraph The world’s population is set to soar in the coming decades – but food supplies are already under pressure. Meanwhile, Britain and Europe have turned their backs on a great agricultural revolution, Clive Aslet writes .... a report by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers this week says that the world's infrastructure is alarmingly stressed ..If the food supply is wobbling now, most people prefer not to think about what it could be like in 2050. By then, there will be another 2.5 billion open mouths, as the global population bursts its corset and balloons outwards by 70 per cent. Will they have anything to eat? Can agriculture almost double its capacity? If everybody on the planet farmed as we do in Europe, the answer would probably be no. Europe has been scaremonger-in-chief over climate change, but when faced by the more immediate and quantifiable challenge represented by population growth, its response is a Gallic shrug.
January 12, 2011
I'm Green And I Can Prove It
This profile page summarizes all known activity of the domain Anenglishmanscastle.Com related to Climate Change. This domain may have published content supporting this topic, against it, or in a separate context: this biographical entry simply demarks this domain as having published content suggesting contextual association with Climate Change.
January 11, 2011
Glacial Growth Down Under
A major international report says New Zealand could lose many of its glaciers by the end of the next century due to climate change.
The research, published in the science journal Nature Geoscience said mountain glaciers and icecaps could shrink by 15 to 27 per cent in volume terms on average by 2100, while New Zealand could lose up to 70 per cent of its glaciers.
Prominent New Zealand glaciologist Trevor Chinn said he had not yet read the report – authored by Geophysicists Valentina Radic and Regine Hock of University of Alaska – but it chimed with research done in New Zealand.
"I'm in the midst of helping with a report which shows that from 1890 to 1976, New Zealand's glaciers started to retreat at a fast rate, but that rate has slowed to the present."
Dr Chinn said this was a result of climate warming, which shifted more southwesterly into the South Island, which had led to small increases in snowfall in all glaciers.
Dr Chinn said it was likely that due to climate change, a "tipping point" had been reached.
A good equilibrium was reached around 1890, he said.
"I would like us to get back to that, but I don't think it's likely."
Cherry picked because it is the only glacier I have climbed on. And it happens to be growing.
January 10, 2011
Al Gore, Gary Neville or Cheryl Cole: who would you trust on climate change? | Leo Hickman | Environment | guardian.co.uk
Ahead of Climate Week - a series of events scheduled for March which "offer an annual renewal of our ambition and confidence to combat climate change" – the organisers have commissioned a survey to illustrate which celebrities would most likely get us to "act on climate change".
Gillian Anderson, actress
Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General
Ed Balls, MP
Rory Bremner, impressionist
Jarvis Cocker, musician
Lily Cole, model
Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate
Paloma Faith, musician
Lord Anthony Giddens, sociologist
Al Gore, former US Vice President
Alistair McGowan, impressionist
Stephan Merchant, comedian
David Miliband, MP
Sienna Miller, actress
Lewis Moody, England Rugby Captain
Sir Andrew Motion, former Poet Laureate
Gary Neville, footballer
Debi Nova, musician
Michael Palin, television presenter
Philip Pullman, author
Mark Ronson, musician
Lord Nicholas Stern, economist
Vivienne Westwood, fashion designer
Jo Wood, entrepreneur
Is this some definition of the word "eminent" that I'm unfamiliar with? Is this really the A list of celebrities who will convince me as to the science or is it the contestant list for Dancing on Ice?
January 9, 2011
Tax Exile Calls For Green Taxes
Cancun climate change talks: Richard Branson calls for global carbon taxes | Environment | The Guardian
Branson, in Cancun to launch a web-based initiative to reduce shipping emissions by as much as 25% over the next 20 years, said taxes could be useful. "
That presumably is the same Richard Branson who started his record business with a tax scam and is famous for his entirely legal and above board offshore trusts which reduce his tax liability.
But he is a cuddly entrepreneur who cares for the environment so no protests at his shops.
January 6, 2011
That Forecast Question Is Asked
How Many Would Have Died In The Cold Without Coal Power?
Sophie Scholl, a Munich University student, was executed for revealing the truth about the activities of the Nazi authorities; today 20 brave Ratcliffe whistleblowers have been sentenced at Nottingham crown court for plotting to draw attention to the truth of the activities of another German entity. This time, replace the tyranny of the Nazis with the tyranny of the energy giant E.ON.
Scholl and 20 others stood up and took direct non-violent action. Their crime was the dissemination of leaflets highlighting and decrying the tyranny of the Nazi dictatorship. It was a decision to undertake something unlawful – an act that they believed was a necessity – to halt a greater but unnamed crime, a crime that cost many lives. That crime did not, at the time, have a name. But it soon did: genocide.
The Ratcliffe 20 did the same in April 2009. They too were prepared to stand up and take action. Their crime was planning to shut down Ratcliffe-on-Soar, a coal-powered station that is one of Britain's largest greenhouse gas emitters. The state was failing to prevent a greater injury from taking place; the loss of life. This time it is not only human life, but all life.
Scholl and her co-conspirators were denied the right to defend themselves in their trial.
Prior to the Ratcliffe trial, the judge ruled: "the defendants must have the opportunity of putting that contention (that the emissions from the power station do pose an immediate threat) before the jury, no doubt backed by expert evidence." Expert evidence was heard, from James Hansen, the former head of Nasa's Goddard Institute, on the immediacy of the threat to life caused by escalation of emissions, to MPs who confirmed government inertia. All of which the jury failed to accept. What will it take for that dense sea fog to dissipate and for the truth to be revealed?
Polly is a barrister so obviously only has contempt for the little people of the jury who are too "dense" to see her point of view. She is also a nasty eco-fascist who uses odious comparisons of gobby trustifarians and brave victims of the Nazis. She is dog shit.
January 5, 2011
If a jury that received extensive education on climate change could not vindicate the Ratcliffe activists, then who will?
In the final weeks of 2010, 20 individuals – including myself – went on trial after being accused of conspiring to shut down the Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal power station.
Despite hearing terrifying evidence from some of world's leading climate change experts; learning of the millions of pounds spent in their local area as a result of extreme weather conditions; listening to gut-wrenching testimonies from flood victims across the globe; and observing senior politicians explain our crippling democratic deficit, the jury went on to deliver a unanimous guilty verdict.
The jury received a more extensive education on climate change than most people get in a lifetime. That they could not vindicate our actions is nothing to get self-righteous about; it is deeply disturbing. If the jury, after everything they had heard, couldn't bring themselves to sympathise with our actions, who will?
So you don't get the hint. People just need more educating to feel as terrified as you do. And that is despite the poor bloody jury having been forcibly educated in a locked room for three weeks still not "getting it".
May be they did "get it" - does that thought ever cross your mind.
The Met Office And The Cabinet - Missing The Bloody Point
The Met Office Bullhockey rumbles round the blogosphere. Roger Harrabin, the mouthpiece of the Met, tried out an official excuse that the Met knew what it was going to be cold all along but only told the Cabinet Office; and the public are too stupid to understand so that is why they were told it was going to be warm.
Commentators are enjoying poking fun at this excuse but are missing the key point.
"Darling, I wasn't playing pool with the boys in the backroom all night, I promised you I wouldn't do that. Your sister can back me up because I was in bed with her."
I can assure you that in your haste to show your good faith, and how you can prove it, you have dropped a small faux pas which may be brought up in conversation the next morning.
And the same is true of Roger's story.
The Met Office told the Cabinet Office in October it would be a cold winter.
Either someone is telling a porky, or the forecast was so hedged about it was unclear what it forecast, or the forecast was suppressed.
This is slipping me dangerously into the conspiracy theories I normally have no truck with but until we know what the Cabinet Office was told (and FOI requests are already in) it is a working hypothesis.
With Ministers and SPADs packing their bags to fly to Cancun, with Treasury boffins polishing their sliderules to calculate more green taxes and promises of "the greenest government ever" to be fulfilled there certainly would the temptation to sweep the inconvenient chicken bones under the carpet.
And that is the real story here.
Shona Robison For And Against Global Warming
With the cold snap set to continue throughout January and fresh falls of snow forecast, an industry that was in the doldrums only five years ago is set for another money-spinning season.
The extended season contributed an estimated £37.5 million to the Scottish economy with hotels, bars and restaurants benefiting from a welcome boom in the winter sports industry.
Sports minister Shona Robison yesterday joined skiers and snowboarders taking to the slopes at Cairngorm to celebrate what a government spokeswoman said was the "best ever" early start to the Scottish skiing season.
Ms Robison said: "This year's winter sports season has got off to a terrific early start and is already shaping up to be a record-breaker with Cairngorm, Glenshee, the Nevis Range, the Lecht and Glencoe all opening early this year and recording a phenomenal 77,000 skier days since the end of November. This builds on the growth we saw during last year's bumper ski season, which was the best we had seen for 14 years."
Shona Robison MSP » Blog Archive » Copenhagen Negotiators Should Follow Scotland's Lead Shona Robison said: “Scotland is leading the world on setting ambitious targets for reductions in emissions. Our Climate Change legislation has set an interim target of 42% reduction by 2020 and an 80% reduction by 2050. This sends a message that we are serious about tackling this urgent issue, a message which we hope that other countries will emulate.”
It's working then.
January 4, 2011
Met Office Knew It Was Going To Be Cold, But Didn't Tell Anyone.
In October the forecaster privately warned the Government - with whom it has a contract - that Britain was likely to face an extremely cold winter.
It kept the prediction secret, however, after facing severe criticism over the accuracy of its long-term forecasts.
Roger Harrabin, an environment analyst at the BBC, told the Radio Times: “The trouble is that we simply don’t know how much to trust the Met Office. How often does it get the weather right and wrong. And we don’t know how it compares with other, independent forecasters.
The Met Office stopped making its long-term forecasts public in March after a series of major gaffes.
In 2009 a predicted “barbecue summer” became a washout, while a subsequent forecast of a “mild winter” turned out to be one of the coldest in 30 years.
This winter, however, its seasonal forecast proved more accurate. Mr Harrabin said: “Why didn’t the Met Office tell us that Greenland was about to swap weather with Godalming? The truth is it [The Met Office] did suspect we were in for an exceptionally cold early winter, and told the Cabinet Office so in October. But we weren’t let in on the secret.
“The reason? The Met Office no longer publishes its seasonal forecasts because of the ridicule it suffered for predicting a barbecue summer in 2009 – the summer that campers floated around in their tents.”
A spokesman for the Met Office said: “In late October we informed the Cabinet office that there were early indications of a cold start to winter. Following public research we were told that a monthly outlook would be of more use which is why we now have the 6-15 day and 16-30 day forecast on our website.”
The public prediction was for warmer, as Autonomous Mind has pointed out. so what does this back covering story tell us?
Is it a desperate attempt to say we woz right all along, passing the blame for unpreparedness to the Government (who could hardly act without Met Office backing) or did they just say to the Cabinet, it could be hot or it could be cold, we haven't got a clue? Or did the Met Office really believe it might be cold and refused to warn us in case it upset the case in Cancun?
However you spin it the Met Office doesn't come out of it well. I hope there will be an Inquiry.
(The Met Office also sells its long term forecasts to other concerns as well as the Cabinet Office, Mr Tesco et all dropped the Met Office for Metra Long Range Forecasts or other forecasts, but someone must still be using them, and what the forecast they bought said would be revealing.)
The Huhnetic On The Loose
Yup all those whirly gigs have been working so well in the cold still days, haven't they.
January 3, 2011
Gardens, driveways and streets in many parts of Britain are full of overflowing bin bags, paper, bottles and plastic, research by The Daily Telegraph has found.
Across Britain, councils have reduced collections of household waste and forced residents to sort paper, glass and tins for recycling, as they face European Union fines of up to £180million a year if they send too much rubbish to landfill.
But services were cancelled on health and safety grounds after heavy snowfalls in mid-December, as officials feared it was too dangerous to send lorries down icy streets or to make binmen carry bags on slippery pavements.
To give Wiltshire credit our bins were emptied on Christmas and New Year's Eves but others weren't so lucky as parts of Britain slide into third world conditions and they discover the council is more interested in promoting recycling to save the planet than picking up trash.
December 31, 2010
Weak Answer to The Big Question
"If some newly discovered factor can account for the climate change then why aren't carbon dioxide and the other greenhouse gases producing the warming that basic physics tells us they should be?"
So most scientists are careful not to state human influence as an absolute certainty. Nonetheless, the evidence is now extremely strong.
In other words the models show it must be human GHG so if it isn't then the models are wrong and that is inconceivable.
The government's planned forests sale is not only flawed environmentally, it breaks the sacred link we have with our land
Our native woodlands and the shy creatures that inhabit them feature heavily in British folklore. Filled with wood nymphs, spirits, goblins and sprites, long before Christian missionaries waded ashore, our forests reigned supreme. We have all heard the old stories of swaths of deciduous woodland completely covering Britain, a brooding misty isle that even worried the mighty ancient Romans. It was a strange unconquered place filled with the promise of mineral riches and mythical creatures, with monsters and witches that were said to lurk in the tangled woods and glades.
Few strangers dared to wander alone into the druid-filled forest depths for fear of human sacrifice and the spirits that could turn the bravest man insane.
To sell our native st