July 17, 2013
Five Year Plan For Return To Stone Age Delayed Until Next Year
A confidential Stop Climate Chaos consultation document gives insight into climate change campaigners' strategy for 2013-16
- Summary - "I'll scweam and scweam and make mythelf thick" as Violet said.
July 14, 2013
Great Tits Weather
More from our favourite warmist agitprop mouthpiece...
July 13, 2013 in Adaptation, Science, Warming
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.
The study is important not because it answers questions about great tits as such but because it offers a more general way of thinking about the adaptation of the natural world to climate change.....
Can't disagree with them, I have been observing the same ability to adapt in this hot spell we are enjoying....
July 11, 2013
Shard Twats Live
Not be a publicity seeking twat for a start?
July 9, 2013
Why We Need GM Crops - Guardian
Guardian opinion piece dressed up as gloom and doom is actually a reasoned plea to let the GM wizards work on wheat.
The comments are a joy as ever....
...population needs to be reduced massively on a global scale....Reproduction could be traded like the carbon tax....And yet we still don't talk about managing population growth and migration...It would be an even better idea to stop uncontrolled breeding. This will have to be addressed eventually. Better to do it sooner with acceptable measures such as a limit on 2 children per family, than later with mass culls....
More a stench than a mere whiff of fascism from our greenie friends.
July 8, 2013
Earthworm Poo Balls To Rescue Paleoclimatology
Principal Investigator Professor Mark Hodson from the University of York’s Environment Department, and formerly of the University of Reading, said: “There are many conflicting theories about why earthworms produce calcite granules, but until now, the small lumps of chalk-like material found in earthworm poo have been seen as little more than a biological curiosity. However, our research shows they may well have an important role to play, offering a window into past climates.”
The researchers are now gathering samples from archaeological sites dating back thousands of years in preparation for isotopic testing. Dr Stuart Black, from the University of Reading’s Department of Archaeology, added: “We believe this new method of delving into past climates has distinct advantages over other biological proxies. For example, we believe it will work for the full seasonal range of temperatures, whereas methods such as tree rings, do not “record” during winter. In addition, because the chalk balls are found in direct context with archaeological finds, they will reveal temperatures at the same location. At present, links are often attempted with climate proxies many hundreds or even thousands of miles away.”
The paper ‘Earthworm-produced calcite granules: a new terrestrial palaethermometer?’ is published in the journal Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. DOI:10.1016/j.gca.2013.06.020. The article can be viewed at www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016703713003542 (Free to access for 3 months.)
July 2, 2013
Stephen Emmott's 10 Billion Whack-a-mole Skeptic Attacks
Professor Stephen Emmott... affects bafflement at climate scepticism: “I have no idea why people don’t believe what is overwhelming evidence for climate change,” he says. But in fact he does have an idea, and it has less to do with villainous deniers, whom he refuses to demonise, than with us lot in the media.
It’s what you might call the spurious balance problem: “I think well-intentioned broadcasters and newspapers tend to give equal weight to a climate scientist and a climate denier in the interests of balance, so what you get is presented as a two-sided, balanced discussion and yet the evidence is overwhelmingly on the side that climate change is happening. You get equal time being shared by someone like Nigel Lawson, who last time I looked was not a bio-geochemist or an atmospheric physicist.
(The Prof "is not, strictly speaking, a climate scientist. He is a neuroscientist by training who branched out into complex, interdisciplinary computer modelling at UCL")
“It’s fine to have a view,” he says, politely. “But it has to be based on something sensible.”
If the past is any guide, soon after this article goes up online the comments section will start filling up with attacks on Emmott and his position, some sober, some vituperative, from people with modest scientific credentials and none at all.
Emmott is braced for it. He sees the nastiness as part of a trend among climate change deniers to attack the messenger as evidence for the message mounts up. It surfaced in the original “climategate” scandal over emails between scientists at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia four years ago. It cast a dark cloud over the later years of the career of James Hansen, the former Nasa scientist who was eventually criticised even by fellow climate scientists for refusing to pipe down about the links he saw between US politics and global warming. And it’s “worrying” that the attacks continue, Emmott says....
... a recent survey by the Skeptical Science group of 12,000 peer-reviewed climate change papers found that 97 per cent of them backed the idea that ... we’re to blame....
Really? A bit embarrassing to cite such a flawed paper I would have thought, but it seems to be the strongest reason given for why we are, in his trademark phrase, "f**ked"
He has a book "being rushed out in several countries at once by his publishers, probably as a marketing gimmick but possibly also because they share his view that after all these years of dithering his message is terribly, unavoidably urgent." I'll pass , thanks.
June 9, 2013
THE Tory MP in charge of scrutinising new energy laws has been caught boasting about how he can use his leadership of a powerful Commons committee to push his private business interests.
Tim Yeo told undercover reporters — posing as representatives of a firm offering to hire him — that he was close to “really all the key players in the UK in government” and could introduce them to “almost everyone you needed to get hold of in this country”.
He said he could not speak out for them publicly in the Commons because “people will say he’s saying this because of his commercial interest”. But he assured them: “What I say to people in private is another matter altogether.”...
Yeo denies any wrongdoing...
May 16, 2013
UEA - Science Fiction Fight
No, not between rival climate researchers arguing over hockey sticks...
"Trouble flared at the fourth Norwich Sci-Fi and Film Convention at the University of East Anglia, organised by Norwich Star Wars Club. Police were called after members of the rival Norwich Sci-Fi club arrived to get autographs from two Doctor Who actors at the event on Sunday."
Jim Poole, treasurer of Norwich Sci-Fi Club, said there was a history of rivalry and disputes between the two clubs, which both hold their own conventions in the city.
Mr Poole said he was wearing a club top and his fellow member was dressed as the fifth Doctor, as played by Peter Davison.
Mr Poole said two other members of his club, one dressed as the 10th Doctor and the other as Judge Dredd, had waited outside the venue.
"This wasn't a fight between Star Wars fans and Doctor Who fans with lightsabres and sonic screwdrivers drawn," he said.
"It's a bit sad and pathetic. We're all in the same boat."
Was anyone dressed as a bristlecone?
April 29, 2013
Moonbat is a Sceptic
Couldn't have put it better myself....sorry, he isn't talking about climate change where of course there is no misrepresentation for political purposes by the Moonbat side...
March 29, 2013
Met Office - Crap Forecasts Not "Wrong"
The Met Office has admitted issuing advice to government that was "not helpful" during last year's remarkable switch in weather patterns.
Between March and April 2012, the UK experienced an extraordinary shift from high pressure and drought to low pressure and downpours.
But the Met Office said the forecast for average rainfall "slightly" favoured drier than average conditions.
...the Met Office chief scientist Julia Slingo.....says last year's calculations were not actually wrong because they were probabilistic.
February 28, 2013
Even Third Rate Politicans Need Pension Insurance
February 20, 2013
Drill Baby Drill!
New power stations are not enough to keep the lights on, Ofgem chief warns | The Times
It is time for a revolution in the way that people save energy if they are to mitigate their soaring utility bills and keep the lights on, Ofgem has warned.
The energy regulator said yesterday that building dozens of new gas plants to fill the generation gap looming in 2015 would not be enough unless a change in energy efficiency resulted in a dramatic fall in consumption.
Tim Yeo, chairman of the Commons energy committee, said that he was worried that people were not sufficiently aware that higher energy bills were looming.
“I’ve been concerned for some time that we are not preparing the public well enough for what is likely to be further increases in energy prices,” he said.
“A lot of it depends on international gas prices over which we don’t have any control.”
He said that the only thing the Government could do was to encourage people to use less energy.
Turn off the lights to prevent the lights being turned off? Depend on foreign gas because we mustn't drill for our own gas? Retire to our holes in the ground and watch the poor and old die from cold? I hope the greens will be happy.
February 9, 2013
Climate Investigative Journalism
David Attenborough claims in BBC One's Africa series that part of the continent has warmed by 3.5C over the past 20 years....
An interesting tale of obscure out of date NGO claims being used and not standing up to scrutiny. And it is Leo Hickman in The Guardian who did the investigation. The comments are interesting...
(The facts) do need embellishing. Haven't you noticed that most people still don't care about GW? you'd think that with the current data, the vanishing ice and all the other going-ons people would have got the message by now but this isn't the case.
February 4, 2013
The Brazilian Model of Climate Change
SAO PAULO, 4 February – The prediction by scientists that humans would respond to climate change by becoming hobbit-sized in order to survive has already happened in Brazil....This is exactly what scientists had predicted. They were looking at the fossil record of the last time the world had warmed by 6°C, 55 million years ago. In a warmer world, the 30 scientists concluded, plants became less nutritious and mammals, insects and even earthworms had to eat more to survive. In response they became smaller and reproduced earlier.
The Climate News Network reported exclusively on the work of the Bighorn Basin Coring Project, involving scientists from the US, UK, Germany, and the Netherlands, on 7 January. Dr Phillip Jardine, from the Department of Geography at Birmingham University, said that dwarfism was expected to be a successful survival strategy.
In the 1980s Brazil’s Northeast, the poorest, most backward region of the country, much of it semi-arid, was hit by a prolonged drought that left millions of families starving (which) produced a generation of children who became pigmy-sized adults after being brought up on a diet of rats, snakes and cacti. Adults grew to only 1.35 metres (4ft 6ins).
Since 2002 the introduction of government welfare programmes and increases in the minimum wage have raised millions above the poverty line. IBGE research now shows there are more obese than undernourished people in the region.
These programmes mean that although once again the Northeast is in the grip of a devastating drought, people do not starve. Television coverage shows dried-up riverbeds, withered crops and the carcases of animals that have died of starvation. Water tankers crisscross the dry countryside supplying villages, but people are no longer forced to eat rats and snakes to survive.
So poor starving people have height problems but with increased wealth in society and transport links the problem goes away means that we should stop trying to become wealthier and go back to peasant lifestyles and "eat local".
Trying to argue with cretins like these is a waste of time so let us look at the evidence of malnourished Brazilian Dwarves....
January 17, 2013
Climate Change To Make Us Happy Peasants
By Paul Brown
In a warmer world all of us, especially city dwellers, have a lesson to learn from people in Eastern Europe who have for generations grown their own food for the sake of their own health and their society’s wellbeing.
LONDON, 17 January – The perception of Eastern Europe as backward because “poor urban peasants” need to avoid hunger and shortages by growing their own food on allotments and in gardens is a myth.
Academic research into how the world will feed itself faced with climate change and a growing population has found the pompous western Europeans can learn much from the “practical peasants of the east.”
Western European and North American societies, on this reading, are out of date and in danger of shortages of their own. They need to learn from the east about growing some of their own vegetables and fruit before transporting food long distances to feed cities becomes more expensive and leads to shortages.
In contrast to being a “survival strategy of the poor”, as the World Bank and others have claimed, the homegrown food networks of Eastern Europe were an important part of social cohesion and community.
Surveys showed that growers shared their produce and nurtured family and community bonds, and their food was valued for its better nutrition and taste...
Across Eastern Europe hunger was not the primary motive. Researchers in a Slovak village found that a mixture of altruism and self-interest was involved, with mutual help and sharing of resources part of the movement.
“Home-grown food and drink (wine and fruit brandy) are shared with guests and friends and their consumption not only celebrates the relationship of hospitality, but serves as an opportunity to appreciate the time, effort and skills invested into the growing of crops and their preparation for consumption.....
You see the peasants were so happy and well fed under communism that they toiled in the fields foe the joy of it. Oh halcyon days! Oh that those days could return and the miserable bourgeoisie in the west could embrace it! All we need is an excuse to make it so......
January 14, 2013
Wind Inflated Energy Bills
Consumers are facing even higher energy bills to fund “extremely generous” incentives for companies to connect offshore wind farms to the electricity grid, MPs have warned.
The Public Accounts Committee has said in a report that new transmission licences have been designed “almost entirely to attract investors at the expense of securing a good deal for consumers”.
Estimated returns for investors of between 10 per cent and 11 per cent are “extremely generous”, the MPs’ report said, given that their investment is low-risk.
Additionally, operators that do not provide transmission to the grid as required can be fined only up to 10 per cent of their expected annual income, which the report described as being too low.
The Government has to attract an estimated investment of £110 billion over the next decade to pay for new power stations and wind farms and to overhaul the electricity and gas networks. With other countries also need to revamp their energy infrastructure to keep the lights on and cut carbon emissions, governments are competing to attract the limited investment available by offering high returns.
But concerns are growing about the impact on households, which will have to pay for the investment through higher energy bills ..........
Remember, cold kills. The old and poor will be the first to suffer.
January 7, 2013
Climate News Network - Accuracy Fail
Climate News Network has kindly sent me tomorrows story, embargoed so I won't spoil the surprise. It is written by Tim Radford, veteran science writer for the Guardian so it it isn't by some rookie intern.
But I started to fact check it anyway, it quotes a "Keywan Reihi", who doesn't seem to exist. There is a Keywan Riahi who fits the bill and says the same stuff.
What's the odd misspelling to an old Grauniad hack? I'm sure the rest of it is all accurate, but I can't check that, all I can check is if he gets the name of his source right. May be I need to shell out to find out how it should be done....
The veteran journalist and writer Tim Radford recently gave a masterclass on science writing. The event was sold-out, but you can now stream (£3) or download (£5) the edited highlights (running time 37 minutes)
Welcome to The Climate News Network - LOL
Hobbit-sized humans, able to exist on less nourishing food, will have the best chance of survival in a warmer world, scientists say.
LONDON, 7 January â Animals, including humans, will shrink in size to survive in a warming world, according to scientists studying the last time the planetâs temperature rose rapidly by 6°C. What scientists call dwarfism was the successful strategy to avoid starvation for a large range of species including horses, many insects and even earthworms.
This is the first story from the exciting new climate story factory - I do urge you to register for your daily delights - I haven't laughed so much since granny got her tit caught in the mangle.
January 6, 2013
Climate Change - Back To The Stone Age
Local research shows we are predicted to go back to the glory days of 4,500 years Before Present, when our part of Wiltshire was flourishing and we had the affluence to build Stonehenge and other monuments.....
Interestingly, the changes predicted for the 4000-4500BP period by the Bridge CGM are actually quite similar to the predictions of future climate change in the UK (Wilby et al 2006), which implies that we are moving back to a 4000-4500BP climate in the UK.
December 11, 2012
Why acid clouds mean psychedelic highs and mercury lows | The Times
After the sun set on Sunday evening, a dazzling display of rare psychedelic clouds lit up the twilight sky over northern Scotland. These were mother-of-pearl, or nacreous clouds, and shimmered with an electric glow in the dark.
This type of cloud is extraordinary because it lies in the stratosphere, some 16km (10miles) or higher — far above ordinary clouds — where they catch the last rays of light after the Sun has sunk below the horizon. The clouds are also unusual because they are made up of tiny crystals of acid, instead of water, and these behave like prisms, bending the sunlight into a fantastic light show that slowly changes colour....
As for the mother-of-pearl clouds, they carry another sting in their tail apart from the cold weather. Their crystals of acid also eat into the Earth’s ozone layer in the stratosphere, producing an ozone hole that allows dangerous levels of ultraviolet light to reach the Earth’s surface.
We are all going to die from the cold, can't something be done?
December 5, 2012
Spunking Your Taxes On Global Greenery
Britain yesterday pledged almost £2 billion in "climate aid" to help finance foreign projects including wind turbines in Africa and greener cattle farming in Colombia.
Each household will contribute £70 to schemes to tackle climate change in developing countries before March 2015, under plans championed by Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary.
December 4, 2012
1980- 1995 Warming "Not Unprecedented" - Peer Reviewed Proxy Study.
Global Warming in an Independent Record of the Past 130
D. M. Anderson, E. M. Mauk, E. R. Wahl, C. Morrill, A. J. Wagner, D. Easterling, T. Rutishauser
The thermometer-based global surface temperature time series (GST) commands a prominent role in the evidence for global warming, yet this record has considerable uncertainty. An independent record with better geographic coverage would be valuable in understanding recent change in the context of natural variability. We compiled the Paleo Index (PI) from 173 temperature-sensitive proxy time series (corals, ice cores, speleothems, lake and ocean sediments, historical documents). Each series was normalized to produce index values of change relative to a 1901-2000 base period; the index values were then averaged. From 1880 to 1995, the index trends significantly upward, similar to the GST. Smaller-scale aspects of the GST including two warming trends and a warm interval during the 1940s are also observed in the PI. The PI extends to 1730.....The upward trend appears to begin in the early 19th century but the year-to-year variability is large and the 1730-1929 trend is not significant...Beginning in 1880, these temperature anomaly series show an initial period of little change, warming from the 1910s to the 1940s, a peak in the 1940s, and a second period of warming from the 1960s to the present....
During the last 15 years (1980-1995) the PI trend is 65% greater (0.071) than the longterm trend (0.043), but not unprecedented. The upward trend from 1920-1935 was larger.
November 29, 2012
Runaway Global Warming
2012 expected to be ninth warmest year on record | Environment | guardian.co.uk
World Meteorological Organisation data shows average global temperature to date is 14.45C, higher than long-term average (1961 to 1990).
This year is likely to be the ninth warmest on record, with global temperatures in 2012 cooler than the average for the past decade owing to the effects of La Niña weather patterns early in the year.
Peter Stott, head of climate monitoring and attribution at the UK's Met Office, whose data contributed to the WHO estimate, said: "Although the first decade of the 21st century was the warmest on record, warming has not been as rapid since 2000 as over the longer period since the 1970s. This variability in global temperatures is not unusual, with several periods lasting a decade or more with little or no warming since the instrumental record began."
Although climate change sceptics may seize on the data, it does not change the long-term warming trend. Nine of the 10 hottest years on record have occurred since 2001, according to the Met Office.
, "warming has not been as rapid since 2000 as over the longer period since the 1970s" - I think we can call that an understatement.
The UN organisation’s secretary-general, Michel Jarraud, said climate change was “taking place before our eyes” and would continue to do so as a result of rising greenhouse gas emissions, which have reached record levels this year. (The Scotsman)
It is not so much "before my eyes" but more "in my wallet" that I'm noticing it.
November 24, 2012
Charged - "culpably and recklessly produced electricity"
It is alleged he “culpably and recklessly” produced electricity “with total disregard for the safety of yourself and others”.
Sheriff George Way asked: “I don’t quite understand - how does one culpably and recklessly produce electricity?”
I can think of a few ways, most of them involving wind turbines....
November 21, 2012
Natural England - We are still in drought
The drought of 2011 has continued into 2012 after the winter months failed to provide sufficient rain to recharge ground waters adequately. Parts of the south and east of England have been officially in drought since June 2011....
We will issue regular updates on the impact of drought on protected areas, access, habitats and wildlife.
After setting out their stall that drought was the new normal because of Climate Change they seem unable to acknowledge the weather...
November 5, 2012
Accountants Add Up 6 Degrees of Warming
The world is destined for dangerous climate change this century – with global temperatures possibly rising by as much as 6C – because of the failure of governments to find alternatives to fossil fuels, a report by a group of economists has concluded.
It will now be almost impossible to keep the increase in global average temperatures up to 2100 within the 2C target that scientists believe might avert dangerous and unpredictable climate change, according to a study by the accountancy giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
"This isn't shock tactics, it's simple maths."
Accountants, Don't cha luv 'em! Show them your books and tell them how much profit you want to have made and how much tax you are prepared to pay and they shuffle the beads to make it so. Not PwC of course, they would never do anything like that, not even to keep their Green energy clients happy...
November 1, 2012
Getting Medieval On Sandy
After every natural disaster that occurs these days, we do two things. First, we guffaw or shake our heads in stern disapproval at those religious freaks who blame said disaster on mankind’s sin. And second, we nod in vigorous agreement with those eco-experts who blame said disaster on man-made climate change. And yet, the impulse behind both forms of finger-pointing, behind both the Bible basher’s harebrained claims that deviant people brought this disaster upon mankind and the environmentalist’s insistence that the disaster is actually the fault of industry and pollution, is the same – it’s about doing that very Medieval thing of finding someone or something to blame for scary natural occurrences...
October 31, 2012
New York Flooding - Up to the 1609 tide mark!
Waters from the Hudson flooded Ground Zero, while the East River crept half way up Wall Street. “The water came up to the old historic tide mark from 1609,” a resident in her 60s said. “It reached Pearl Street, which was where the oyster beds were on the old shoreline.”
But, but I thought the sea level was rising to swamp New York...
October 17, 2012
RSPB Wants Its Own Swan Mincer
RSPB Scotland has submitted plans to Aberdeenshire Council to install a 62ft high “domestic” turbine at its Loch of Strathbeg reserve, near Crimond, in Buchan.
The reserve is home to almost 300 species of birds during the year and in winter tens of thousands of geese, including up to a quarter of the world’s population of pink-footed geese, visit the loch.
Aedan Smith, RSPB Scotland’s head of planning, said the report assessed the risk to pink-footed geese as one death every five years and one death every 2.5 years for whooper swans. These deaths rates, he stressed, would have no impact on the conservation status of either species.
He added: "The purpose of the turbine is to try and improve the environmental performance of our estate.
"The RSPB as an organisation is becoming increasingly concerned about the effect of climate change on wildlife across the UK and across the world and we are doing what we can to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
So would he be happy if I shot the odd one as well to feed into my boiler as bio-fuel?
October 16, 2012
AGW "Causing More Hurricanes" - The Indy
Although scientists were not able to prove that climate change is causing more large hurricanes, they believe the study is consistent with the predictions that global warming and warmer seas could bring about more intense tropical storms.
Some dissconect between the Sub;s headline and the story itself?
The Tale of Two Graphs
The graph that Rose should have shown is this one, which shows roughly 0.8 degrees Celcius of warming since the beginning of the 20th Century.
This reveals Rose's statements that "[b]efore , temperatures had been stable or declining for about 40 years" and that "global industrialisation over the past 130 years has made relatively little difference" are extremely short-sighted. As the Met Office explained to Rose:
"Looking at successive decades over this period, each decade was warmer than the previous - so the 1990s were warmer than the 1980s, and the 2000s were warmer than both. Eight of the top ten warmest years have occurred in the last decade".
If the Met Office hadn't had more important things on their minds couldn't they have said something similar in 1944..
"Looking at successive decades over this period, each decade was warmer than the previous - so the 1930s were warmer than the 1920s, and the 1940ss were warmer than both. Eight of the top ten warmest years have occurred in the last decade"
Whoops - I have been naughty and chopped their graph up - one half shows the entirely natural and unworrying Global Warming from about 1905 until the Forties, the other half shows the recent man-made catastrophic warming. I can't remember which one is which though...
October 11, 2012
Penguins Malaria Deaths In London - Could It Be Climate Change?
Penguins at London Zoo have been struck by a deadly strain of malaria that has killed six of the birds.
The outbreak is being put down to the exceptionally wet and muggy summer which created perfect conditions for mosquitoes which spread the disease.
Ben Sheldon, Professor of Ornithology at Oxford University said: “Avian malaria has been in the UK for centuries. Some birds seem largely unaffected by it and in others it causes high rates of death.
“Penguins come from a part of the world where they wouldn’t have been exposed to malaria. They haven’t had a chance to evolve resistance to it.
“Just like with human malaria the most effective way of controlling it is to stop mosquitoes biting. But we don’t have an equivalent of a bed net for penguins.”
Some people have claimed there has been a rise in avian malaria in recent years due to climate change. But Professor Sheldon said there is not enough evidence to justify these claims.
Climate Change Right Here Right Now
The damage wreaked by the dismal summer of 2012 on UK harvests was revealed on Monday and will push food prices up. In these austere times, with food banks feeding the hungry, that is going to hurt.
There are two lessons to be learned. First, the UK is not going to gradually warm into a pleasant Mediterranean climate, with sunny resorts on the coast supplied by burgeoning English vineyards. The heating of the climate system leads to greater extremes in weather and greater damage. Second, with much of our food imported from around the world, the totals we tot up at the tills is at the mercy of global warming's impact on the whole globe.
In 2009, the UK government's chief scientific adviser, Sir John Beddington, warned the world faced a "perfect storm" of food, water and energy problems, due to global warming and the rising world population. The UK has experienced soaring energy bills, droughts and floods, and now crop failures. Beddington predicted his storm would hit in 2030. It may be arriving early and as close to home as your supermarket checkout.
And soaring energy bills because of climate change? How very dare he when it is his favoured solution to his favourite problem that is causing them
October 10, 2012
Tory Attacks Soviet Economy Green Ideas Shock
Owen Paterson, the new Environment Secretary, who took on the role last month, said wind developers should “stand on their own two feet” instead of asking for money from the state.
He said green technologies such as wind farms might actually have a worse impact than climate change, because they are causing “public insurrection”.
“There are significant impacts on the rural economy and the rural environment, all of which probably weren’t intended when these things were thought up,” he told an event at the Conservative Party conference. “It is not very green to be blighting the economy in one area.”
Mr Paterson said he would write to the Department of Energy with his view on ending green subsidies as part of a Government review of support for renewable energy.
“If you start having subsidies you end up with a Soviet-style system, where politicians make decisions that might actually be better made by the market,” he added.
What an embarrassing security breach, someone has let a Tory get into the Conservative party conference and actually make a speech. Expect it to be denied and hushed up.
October 8, 2012
EU Climate Spudulike
The EU has launched a campaign aimed at showing how low-carbon solutions can improve quality of life.
The European Commission believes that policies to cut greenhouse gases will only work if individuals share the vision of a low-carbon society.
"It's perhaps been a bit too much doom and gloom in the past on climate," one official told the BBC at the launch in London. "We are now emphasising the need to inspire people."
The EU-wide campaign runs until 2014.
The campaign title "Worldulike" will doubtless raise eyebrows. The name is uncomfortably reminiscent of the British baked potato restaurant chain Spudulike.
The EU Climate Commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, said climate policies would cut local pollution, reduce dependency on fossil fuel imports, improve resource efficiency, save money on energy and even make people fitter if they left their cars at home and cycled to work.
Critics will argue that some of these claims are contestable, but Ms Hedegaard told BBC News: "If we are defeatist over the climate we will get nowhere."
"There are many good solutions out there that other people can learn from. Climate change policies create jobs in Europe in renewable energy and retro-fitting - these aren't jobs that can be exported.
"The UK has enjoyed massive growth in the green economy with 110,000 green jobs. Climate change policies also help us reduce our imports of fossil fuels and help to give us the lead in smart technologies as resources become more scarce."
She said awareness of climate change varied widely throughout the EU. One of her officials admitted that the UK was suffering from something of a media backlash against climate policies because previously there had been media "overkill" on climate. But in some other countries - particularly in southern and eastern Europe - climate was not widely discussed.
When asked whether at a time of recession countries should seek the cheapest forms of energy possible to stay competitive Ms Hedegaard replied that this would result in the EU missing its climate targets.
There are some targets I would hate to miss...
October 4, 2012
Our Daily Bread; The Essential Norman Borlaug [Kindle Edition] - Free on Amazon!
A great biography of a true hero - and it is free! Go get!
(Not suitable for people of a nervous disposition who think Rachel Carson was a hero)
October 1, 2012
We need to discard the ideological trappings of an increasingly discredited neo-liberalism – such as the fetish of consumer choice, or the notion of the small state...An active eco-state will never be the whole answer to the epic challenge of climate change, but it surely forms a big part of it.
• Andrew Dobson is a professor of politics at Keele University
Let us guess what part in an active eco-state Andrew Dobson sees himself playing. Is it the night soil man ensuring that his students have productive allotments? No?
And people wonder why some are sceptical about the political background to climate science.
September 28, 2012
Halcyon Days For Scottish Wind Power
THE amount of electricity produced from “green” energy sources in Scotland fell by almost half for a period earlier this year – because it was not wet or windy enough.
The figures prompted opposition concerns that Scotland could be left in the dark if the “wind isn’t blowing”
The Scottish Government put the falls down to low rainfall, which help power hydro plants, in April and May, while “lower wind speeds” led to a fall in wind power.
Experts have warned bills could rise by hundreds of pounds to meet the cost of green energy, which is more expensive than coal and nuclear power.
But renewables do not produce carbon dioxide gas that is contributing to global warming, and with fossil fuels like coal and oil increasingly scarce, renewables are seen as the way to secure future energy supply.
Energy minister Fergus Ewing said: “These statistics show once again that Scotland leads the world in renewable energy generation and that our industry goes from strength to strength. We have a responsibility to make sure our nation seizes this opportunity to create tens of thousands of new jobs and secure billions of pounds of investment in our economy.”
September 19, 2012
The greed for profit is ruining agriculture – and the world – but the trend for local shops and farmers' markets offers real hope
...report after report – the kind governments and big organisations choose to override – tells us that the best way to ensure that everyone is well fed, sustainably and securely, is through farms that are mixed, complex and low-input (quasi-organic). These must be labour-intensive (or there can be no complexity), so there is no advantage in them being large scale.....
Oh just fuck off. Small scale farming is dirty dangerous work producing unsafe expensive food in environmentally damaging ways on more land per unit of production than "factory farming".
I'm a small farmer, I know.
Ever since neolithic man got himself organised enough to allow Ugg The Clever One to not have to chase deer all day so he could make pots and chart the sunrises the progress of civilisation has been a story of getting people off the farm to do something better.
Welcome To Scotland
DONALD Trump has been ordered by advertising watchdogs to tone down his crusade against wind farms around Scotland’s coastline after being accused of placing a “highly misleading” advert in a regional newspaper as part of his multi-million-pound campaign.
Earlier this year, the tycoon was reported to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after he took out a full-page newspaper advert with a picture of 11 rusting and redundant wind turbines, under the headline “Welcome to Scotland!”
The advert proclaimed: “Alex Salmond wants to build 8,750 of these monstrosities – just think about it!”
The advert carried a footnote stating “photo not taken in Scotland” and it later emerged that the turbines featured in the advert had been photographed at a redundant wind-farm site at Kamaoa in Hawaii.
Damned Yankee - next he will be insulting shortbread and men in skirts, how very dare he!
September 18, 2012
El Salvador Wet Dreams
The forest of towering, dead mangrove trees stretches along the beach as far as the eye can see. As the crashing waves rise and fall, short stumps emerge and vanish beneath the Pacific Ocean. Climate change has come early to the Bajo Lempa region of western El Salvador.
A tiny rise in the sea level has, according to local people, seen about 1,000ft of the mangroves on which they depend vanish beneath the ocean since 2005. ...
The horror, look at those flooded mangroves the Indy picture shows... Of course any actual data or link to any data about what the sea level has been doing in El Salvador is absent. That would make the story actually interesting.
But hey lucky old Simeon Tegel, "Travel for this story was funded with a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting" and as Simeon says: "I climb, mountaineer and surf and there is nothing I love more than getting into the backcountry, whether it is the Amazon rainforest, the high Andes or catching a wave at a remote Pacific beach."
Let's hope he caught some waves at least to make his paid for trip worthwhile.
September 11, 2012
Greenpeace - Criminals Against Humanity
Moore: 'Greenpeace and its allies have successfully blocked the introduction of golden rice for over a decade' -- WHO says 'between 250,000 to 500,000 children become blind every year due to vitamin A deficiency, half of whom die within a year of becoming blind'
Read on and remember why people like Norman Borlaug are my heroes, not air-headed Greens
And the forecast is...
Climate change may increase the number of heat-related deaths in the UK by 540 per cent, health experts predict.
By 2080 almost 11,000 people could die every year as a result of heatwaves, up from 2,000 at present, as extreme weather becomes more common, according to the Health Protection Agency (HPA).
Rising temperatures could also mean that British people contract exotic illnesses at home as mosquitos carrying tropical diseases, such as dengue fever and chikungunya, migrate to the UK.
People with hay fever will have a protracted period of suffering each year as the warmer climate could mean the pollen season starts earlier and finishes later....
So in the next 70 odd years there will be no improvements in medicine, pest prevention and air conditioning? Just like there hasn't been since 1940..
September 8, 2012
Open Access To Research Results
The government has announced £10m in funding for UK academics to publish their research in journals that allow free public access to the material online without a subscription.
Calls for "open access publishing" have been steadily growing in academic circles, with Dutch commercial publishers Elsevier being boycotted by thousands of academics in protest at perceived profiteering through journal access costs.
The government is adopting a funding model proposed by Finch called "gold" open access, where instead of university libraries subscribing to journals researchers pay commercial publishers or learned societies to publish their research, but access to their results is immediate and unrestricted.
September 6, 2012
Snow Record in Scotland
ON A SEVEN-metre stretch of thin snow, high up on the coldest part of the Cairngorms, skier Helen Rennie has broken a long-standing record by clocking up 35 consecutive months of skiing in Scotland.
Ms Rennie, 58, has not only trekked hundreds of miles in an attempt to find suitable patches of snow on which to ski, she successfully battled cancer to achieve her goal....
Scottish Ski & Winter Activity Report // The General Situation for CairnGorm Thursday 30th August 2012
Snow was reported falling at the Ptarmigan Restaurant at 3600ft on CairnGorm Mountain this morning, with a slight dusting lying on Ben Macdui. The temperature was remained below freezing at lunchtime with -0.2ｰc reported by the Summit AWS at 1pm, though rising above freezing in the afternoon the max stayed below 2ｰc.
In the previous 67 years up to and including August 2009 Dr Adam Watson noted that lying snow had been recorded in the Cairngorms on 8 years. Lying August snow has now occurred in the Cairngorms for the third consecutive year with snow falling and lying on Ben Macdui on the 28th of August in both 2010 and 2011, plus of course 30th August this year. Simply remarkable and last year 4 days of lying snow in August was the most recorded in the past 69 years.
Looks like she has a god chance of continuing to add on the months to her record.
September 4, 2012
Hubris ( /ËhjuËbrÉªs/), also hybris, from ancient Greek ὕβρις, means extreme pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one's own competence or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power.
The adjectival form of hubris is "hubristic".
Atë, ancient Greek for "ruin, folly, delusion," is the action performed by the hero or heroine, usually because of his or her hubris, or great pride, that leads to his or her death or downfall.
GOVERNMENT CANNOT RELY ON STERN REVIEW TO JUSTIFY COSTLY CLIMATE CHANGE POLICIES, SAYS NEW REPORT
London, 4 September: As the cost of government measures to combat climate change hit households and businesses, a new study published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation casts grave doubts on the validity of the “Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change” which the government relies on to justify its policies.
The substantial study, by Peter Lilley MP, is the most thorough analysis of the Stern Review so far undertaken. It takes the IPCC’s view of the science of global warming as given, but points out that Stern’s economic conclusions contradict the views of most of the world’s leading environmental economists and even the economic conclusions of the IPCC itself. The study also catalogues a series of errors and distortions in the Stern Review “any one of which would have caused it to fail peer review”.
Because Stern’s conclusions endorsed policies adopted by both government and opposition and its highly tendentious assumptions were not explicit, it was initially accepted without public scrutiny.
The new study shows the Stern Review to depend critically on “selective choice of facts, unusual economic assumptions and a propagandist narrative — which would never have passed peer review”.
Describing it as “policy based evidence”, Peter Lilley argues that the government can no longer rely on it to justify expenditure of many billions of pounds and calls for a return return instead to “evidence-based policies”.
Stern’s central conclusion that “If we don’t act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year now and forever” whereas “the costs of action — reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change — can be limited to around 1% of GDP each year” is found to be entirely fallacious.
Lilley’s study demonstrates that the benefits of curbing emissions now and henceforth will not be five times the cost of action, as Stern claims. “It is achieved by verbal virtuosity combined with statistical sophistry. In fact, even on Stern’s figures, the cumulative costs of reducing greenhouse gases will exceed the benefits until beyond 2100″, Lilley points out.
“If we continue to follow Stern’s advice, the principal losers, apart from British taxpayers and businesses, would be developing countries who cannot raise living standards without massively increasing their use of fossil fuels and will therefore be responsible for most of the growth of carbon emissions,” Lilley argues.
Lilley asks: “why should this comparatively poor generation make the sacrifices Stern demands to improve living standards of people in 2200 who, if we take no action to prevent global warming - - even on the worst scenario depicted by Stern – will be 7 times better off than us?
Lilley calls on the government to cease basing its climate change policy on the flawed Stern Review and commission a new independent cost benefit study of alternative strategies.
September 2, 2012
Working Class Green
Cranie will learn tomorrow if his pledge to dismantle the party’s reputation as a “white, middle-class party” has won support among activists.
“What I would hope to do is broaden our appeal from our middle-class base. As leader I would be the person that speaks for the party and hopefully persuades members through moral argument,” he said. “I am a working-class Scot who can show that there is more to the party.”
Cranie’s left-wing credentials were shaped early on. He grew up in Bo’ness but when his father lost his job – because of Margaret Thatcher’s economic policies, he claims – the family moved to High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire. Cranie was 11 and found the move to the Home Counties difficult. “My father worked in computer maintenance and he had to move jobs several times but then there simply wasn’t a job any more,” he said.
After graduating he sold Walkers crisps then became a bank financial adviser. It was a poor career fit and he soon gave it up to study social work. He now lectures in social care at West Lancashire College.
So he is a a Home Counties graduate College lecturer and that makes him "working class" to the Green Party. I wonder what class they think their gardeners are?
August 31, 2012
Wettest Summer Forecast Fail
The washout summer ending today was the wettest in Britain for 100 years, the Met Office said yesterday.
And the forecast was.....
SUMMARY - PRECIPITATION:
For UK average rainfall, the forecast for this summer is very uncertain, due to a lack of any strong driving factors. Although there is a somewhat elevated chance, relative to climatology, of the summer being wet, it looks unlikely that there will be very wet conditions. However, the probability of very dry conditions remains close to climatology.
The probability that UK average rainfall for June July August will fall into the driest of our five categories is around 20%, whilst the probability that it will fall into the wettest of our five categories is 25 - 30% (the 1971 - 2000 climatological probability for each of these categories is 20%).
Met Office 3-month Outlook
Period: July – September 2012 Issue date: 20.06.12
SUMMARY - PRECIPITATION:
For UK averaged rainfall, the predicted probabilities slightly favour above normal rainfall during both July and the JulyAugustSeptember
period, although the spread of possible outcomes is large. Consequently, confidence in this prediction is not high, and there is still a significant
probability of below normal rainfall.
Recent wet weather, which has helped to improve groundwater resources in much of the south of the country, is likely to continue into the first
part of July. Indeed the forecast for July includes a significant probability of the monthly accumulation being above normal.
The probability that UK precipitation for JulyAugustSeptember will fall into the driest of our five categories is around 20% whilst the
probability that it will fall into the wettest of our five categories is also around 20% (the 19712000 climatological probability for each of these
categories is 20%).
With this forecast, the water resources situation in southern, eastern and central England is likely to deteriorate further during the April May June period.
The probability that UK precipitation for April May June will fall into the driest of our five categories is 20 - 25% whilst the probability that it will fall into the wettest of our five categories is 10 - 15% (the 1971-2000 climatological probability for each of these categories is 20%).
August 30, 2012
Looking for Lewandowsky's Sceptics
Just a note to say that this semi-retired sceptic blog wasn't approached either.
I don't tweet so this post acts as confirmation for Lucia.
August 28, 2012
Are You A Nutter Or A Callous Bastard?
“We find that endorsement of a laissez-faire conception of free-market economics predicts rejection of climate science,” the paper says. “We additionally show that endorsement of a cluster of conspiracy theories (e.g., that the CIA killed Martin Luther King or that NASA faked the moon landing) predicts rejection of climate science as well as the rejection of other scientific findings.”
The paper says that a staunch belief in free markets was an overwhelmingly strong factor in the rejection of climate science and was a stronger factor than conspiratorial thinking.
“Blogs have a huge impact on society and so it’s important that we understand the motivations and the reasoning of those who visit blogs to contribute to the discussion,” he said. “There has been much research pointing to the role of free-market ideology in rejecting climate science, but this is the first time it’s been shown that other scientific facts, such as the link between HIV and Aids, are also subject to ideological rejection.”
So you are either a nutter or a free-marketeer if you reject the "science". The idea that someone of a scientific turn of mind could just find the science unconvincing obviously isn't possible.
I wonder what the correlation between being an alarmist, believing in the benefits of Big Government and rejection of the free-market is.
August 27, 2012
Peter Gleick's Mates Promise Veggie Hell
Leading water scientists have issued one of the sternest warnings yet about global food supplies, saying that the world's population may have to switch almost completely to a vegetarian diet over the next 40 years to avoid catastrophic shortages....According to research by some of the world's leading water scientists....at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)
Ah the SIWI! Dr. Peter Gleick's stomping ground....
August 22, 2012
Conform! Conform! Conform!
It will take the kind of conformism and sense of moral obligation offered by religious thought and ritual if we are to save the planet
.... members of the lay public who are most science literate, and the most proficient at technical reasoning, are also the most divided on climate change – in other words, the deniers of climate change are among the most scientifically literate members of the general population....
"Positions on climate change have come to signify the kind of person one is. People whose beliefs are at odds with those of the people with whom they share their basic cultural commitments risk being labelled as weird and obnoxious in the eyes of those on whom they depend for social and financial support."
There may be ways of fixing that and averting catastrophic global warming that don't make use of religious resources, but I can't think of any.
It's important to this argument to understand that religious resources need not be theistic. All they need do is make manifest a higher rationality than self-interest. ...
What religious thought – and ritual – can supply is the two things absent from normative consumer liberalism. The first is a belief that the choice between ends is not arbitrary or wholly personal: that there are moral facts of the matter; that saving as much of humanity as possible is an obligation on all of us, and that this is actually true, and not just a matter of preference.
The second is the kind of conformism, reinforced by all kinds of social ritual, large and small, which will enforce the social discipline needed to carry societies through some pretty ghastly changes. Let's face it, any adjustment to an ecologically sustainable standard of living is going to be a lot nastier than anything Greece is going through now. It will need considerable determination and solidarity.
And there you have it. Bring back the Inquisition and witch trials to ensure the social conformity needed to bomb ourselves back to the stone age.
August 21, 2012
ffinlo Wants Wiltshire Whirlygigs
Wiltshire Clean Energy Alliance - note teh URL http://www.costaincommunications.com/WiltshireCEA-OurCampaign.htm
Yes that is Costain, as in construction, but this is the ffinlo Costain not the company. ffinlo "is a professional change campaigner" (ffinlo is a silly first name, not an acronym, though I'm working on that).
ffinlo has rounded up the usual suspects to complain that Wiltshire Council actually took a decision without asking ffinlo's opinion, and that the decision was that the good folk of Wiltshire weren't to be threaten by bird mincer blades flying off within a couple of miles of their houses. Which rather buggered up the chances of any more bat beaters being erected on our green and pleasant.
ffinlo wants you to compain - details of how to contact him are at http://www.costaincommunications.com/WiltshireCEA-Contact.html or you could contact the co-ordinator Sophy Fearnley-Whittingstall - yes, she is Hugh's sister.
There seems to be a pattern emerging here...
August 20, 2012
One Jags Green
Because you are dealing with Teh Greens?
(Actually running an old car means all the emissions of manufacturing are amortised over a longer period so it can be a green idea, just don't expect her party to understand that though.)
August 17, 2012
Buying Children's Minds
Daily Kos: Heartland Institute plans to instill climate-change denialism in every schoolchild
Brad Johnson has come into possession of internal documents of the Heartland Institute. These show that the organization "is planning to develop a 'global warming curriculum' for elementary schoolchildren that presents climate science as 'a major scientific controversy.' This effort, at a cost of $100,000 a year....
Teachers in Maryland are about to get new help and encouragement to talk about the touchy topic of global warming in their classrooms. The National Science Foundation announced Wednesday that it is awarding $5.8 million for improving climate-change education in Maryland and Delaware through a partnership including universities and school systems from both states.
The two-state initiative is one of six such education projects the foundation is funding across the country and in the nation's Pacific island territories....
The federal funding is intended to cover five years' work, Boesch explained, with the first year largely devoted to holding workshops for teachers and preparing educational resources.
Information to be provided to teachers will be tailored to address how climate change manifests itself in the Mid-Atlantic region, Boesch said.
"Sea level is going to rise," he said. "What will that mean for Maryland, Delaware, and the Chesapeake and Delaware bays? What are the consequences of climate change to our water resources in this region?"
The climate-change initiative was welcomed by national groups devoted to teaching science.
A magnitude of difference in the funding....
August 15, 2012
August Extreme Weather Event Video
August 12, 2012
Science Researchers "fabricate results" "frequently"
Science has a dirty secret: research is plagued by plagiarism, falsification and fabrication.
... editor-in-chief of the British Medical Journal, Dr Fiona Godlee...Hammering out an editorial last week at the British Medical Association’s redbrick headquarters off Euston Road in London, she tackled one of the toughest problems of all: science fraud and research misconduct.
“It is difficult to know how prevalent misconduct is,” Godlee wrote, “but there is evidence that it happens frequently.”...
The science establishment’s consensus is that there is no need for outside scrutiny because, apart from the odd sociopath given credence by an “irresponsible” media, science is above the kind of misconduct that has tainted the Roman Catholic church, politics, the press and, of course, the banks.
This is a little like the church saying, as it did, that everything was fine but for a little bit of regrettable priestly paedophilia — or the press claiming that phone-hacking was confined to one “rogue reporter”.
For too long, science grandees have refused to confront the ethical misconduct in their midst, which is driven by the need to generate research funding.
If the mandarins of science shirk a house-cleaning, others will do it for them. In recent months, the quiet, polite voices of traditional science editors such as Godlee have been joined by noisy — and knowledgeable — whistleblowers on the worldwide web.
Science, like other fallen pillars of modern British society, faces a reckoning.
Scientific fraud is classified under three big sins. The first is plagiarism, best exemplified in Britain by the case of Dr Raj Persaud, the celebrity psychiatrist. He cut and pasted others’ work into his books and articles, and in July 2008 was briefly suspended from practising.
The second sin is falsification, such as in the case of Andrew Wakefield, the so-called MMR doctor. He was erased from the medical register in 2010 over what Godlee calls “an elaborate fraud” exposed by The Sunday Times.
And the third is fabrication, admitted only four months ago by Dr Peter Francis, a British ophthalmic geneticist working in the United States. He made up the results of work never done, leading to sanctions by America’s National Institutes of Health.
It is not just in medicine that dishonesty is well recognised. The problem is much the same in every field. Godlee’s editorial includes a reference to a 2009 study by Edinburgh researchers. Trawling surveys, they reported “conservatively” that more than 14% of scientists had said they knew of fakery by colleagues and nearly three quarters knew of other questionable practices.
Godlee is not alone in taking this on. In an editorial titled “Face up to fraud”, the editors of Nature wrote last January: “Some fraudulent researchers might be sociopaths who don’t care about the rules. But many others simply believe that they can anticipate the outcome of a research project, and see no downside to fabricating the required results to save time, or tweaking results to achieve a stronger signal.”
I could swear that rings a bell about some other research I have read about recently, if only I could remember which field of science it was....
August 11, 2012
Posh Kid Thinks He Understands
"I'm nearly 18 years old," he says. "The changes scientists were predicting when I was a child are already happening today. And in my adult lifetime, it's going to get worse." Scientific opinion regarding the existence and scale of the problem is pretty much settled, he argues, adding that the portion of the public which still doubts the reality of man-made climate change – and remains hostile to legislation that might solve it – is largely ill-informed, although "that isn't necessarily their fault".
Oh thank you. If only we had been as lucky as you to be so bright, and good looking, and well connected and rich and just lovely, we might also know.
Climate Change Lawn Madness Again
In his column, Flowerdew explains: "The last few summers were so dry, so often, that turf almost everywhere in southern and eastern counties was reduced to a parlous state.
"This wet spring and early summer has only shown what a difference sufficient water makes, producing the greenest turf I've ever seen.
"But with the prediction of drier summers ahead and the increasing frequency of hosepipe bans, sadly then, browned-out turf all summer long is going to become more and more likely.
"Indeed having a green lawn may even become seen as heinous a sin as driving a gas guzzling vehicle.
I'm not sure what he is growing in his greenhouse but I want some.
July 30, 2012
BEST vs CET
The Central England Temperature series is well known and respected so i wondered how the BEST UK figures compared - obviously the areas covered are different. But interesting never the less. More data diving can be done from the links.
July 25, 2012
Greenland ice sheet melted at unprecedented rate during July | Environment | guardian.co.uk
The Greenland ice sheet on July 8, left, and four days later on the right. An estimated 97% of the ice sheet surface had thawed by July 12. Photograph: Nasa
No. A slight sheen as warm air blew over it does not mean it has all melted.
Indy Wakes Up To Wind Farm Reality
There are few trickier conversational no-go areas in civilised, metropolitan circles than the subject of onshore wind energy. Express the view that giant turbines, while playing a part in the energy mix for the future, should not be located where they affect human lives or industrialise much-loved landscape, and invariably a glazed, defensive look will settle on the face of the listener. To liberal opinion, opposing wind farm development is the moral equivalent of denying global warming or voting Ukip.
What is most noticeable about these reactions is how often convenient fallacies which have been peddled for years by those with a vested interest in development are accepted as the truth..
One day, people will marvel that so much self-serving propaganda was accepted without question by quite so many people.
July 19, 2012
Climate Change - Gypsum In The Sea?
Natural changes in seawater chemistry are a key cause of climate change, a new study suggests.
Experts at the University of Toronto and the University of California Santa Cruz have found that the impact of continental collisions and divisions over millions of years has a major impact on global warming.
The geological activity causes the dissolution or creation of massive gyspum deposits which scientists have found alters the sulphate content of the ocean and the atmosphere. That in turn affects the climate.
Researchers believe that “times of high sulphate concentrations in ocean water correlate with global cooling, just as times of low concentration correspond with greenhouse periods”.
Professor Ulrich Wortmann, of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Toronto and lead author of the study, said: “While it has been known for a long time that gyspum deposits can be formed and destroyed rapidly, the effect of these processes on seawater chemistry has been overlooked......
The research is being published in the journal Science this week.
July 16, 2012
UK Open Access to Gov Funded Scientific Research Promised
The government is to unveil controversial plans to make publicly funded scientific research immediately available for anyone to read for free by 2014, in the most radical shakeup of academic publishing since the invention of the internet.
Under the scheme, research papers that describe work paid for by the British taxpayer will be free online for universities, companies and individuals to use for any purpose, wherever they are in the world.
Excellent news. There is a debate though on how to do this:
The Finch report strongly recommended so-called "gold" open access, which ensures the financial security of the journal publishers by essentially swapping their revenue from library budgets to science budgets. One alternative favoured by many academics, called "green" open access, allows researchers to make their papers freely available online after they have been accepted by journals. It is likely this would be fatal for publishers and also Britain's learned societies, which survive through selling journal subscriptions.
The journal publishers have been making out like bandits from publishing the research we pay for so I'm not enthused by the plan to subsidise them for their losses, as I always say, "Go Green !"
July 14, 2012
Drought the new norm for UK - Official
Tuesday 21 February 2012
Drought may be the new norm for the UK, with drastic measures including growing genetically modified crops likely to be considered as part of the solution, the environment secretary has said.
She said the UK had to look at how to make plants resistant to drought, pointing to an Australian project to develop drought-resistant genetically modified rice. "This technology, if used responsibly, may be one of the tools in terms of food security that we need going forward."
She said the most important counter-drought measure for the whole country was to capture the rain and store it, and pledged that changes to the planning system would make it easier to build reservoirs.
Farmers were changing some of their cropping patterns this year to cope with the expected drier conditions.....
What a difference five months make.
July 12, 2012
Climate Change - The Shakedown Plan
The climate may have changed this week. Not the physical climate, but the climate of the climate change debate. Tuesday marked the publication of a series of papers examining the factors behind extreme weather events in 2011. Nothing remarkable about that, you might think, except, if all goes well, this will be the first of a regular, annual assessment quantifying how external drivers of climate contribute to damaging weather.
This week also saw a workshop in Oxford for climate change negotiators from developing countries. Again, nothing remarkable about that except, for the first time, the issue of "loss and damage" was top of the agenda. For years negotiations have been over emission reductions and sharing the costs of adaptation. Now the debate is turning to: who is going to pay for damage done?...
The only institution in the world that could deal with the cost of climate change without missing a beat is the fossil fuel industry:
And where does the fossil fuel industry get its money from? The magic money well? Or consumers?
July 2, 2012
North Devon Sea Gull Mincer Plant Planned
June 27, 2012
High Priest Of Climate Change Says We Is Not A Religion
Of all the blithering nonsense climate deniers throw at the environmental movement, there is perhaps one criticism that does real damage – that "green is the new religion".
We can handle the scientifically illiterate and ethically questionable attempts to undermine evidence of climatic change using cherry-picked data and discredited theories, just as we can counter the increasingly futile attempts to question the importance of the green economy and the efficacy of clean technologies. The scientific evidence linking greenhouse gas emissions and potentially dangerous levels of climate change is now so well proven, and the physical demonstration of effective clean technologies so prevalent, that the guileless smears attempted by self-styled "climate sceptics" lack their former sting.
They are fighting a losing battle with science and evidence, hence the increasingly vocal suggestion that green is the new religion. This line of attack is hugely effective and highly damaging....
Looks like a duck walks like a duck and sounds like a duck but tastes of chicken apparently.
June 24, 2012
Against A Scientific Consensus
The descent of Edward Wilson
The science in our argument has, after 18 months, never been refuted or even seriously challenged...While many have protested..., many others of equal competence are in favor of the replacement proposed. In any case, making such lists is futile. It should be born in mind that if science depended on rhetoric and polls, we would still be burning objects with phlogiston and navigating with geocentric maps.
(In this case I happen to think the consensus is right and E O Wilson wrong, but he is on the money in saying that listing who believes is no judgement as to correctness)
Not All The People All The Time
Less than half the public believe climate change is man-made, according to a new poll.
The YouGov survey for The Sunday Times reveals just 43% think human activity is making the world warmer. This compares with 55% when the same question was asked in 2008.
The number who believe the world is not becoming warmer has risen from 7% to 15%.
June 18, 2012
And The Memo Is To Spend £20million On A Non-problem
It started as a stonemason's visionary idea – to commemorate all the species that have ever existed and are now extinct. Now it's a £20m project supported by The Royal Society and taking shape in an extraordinary new building on Dorset's Jurassic coast.
... What we are witnessing is "the sixth Mass Extinction Event" an event being caused by us.
Sir Crispin Tickell, chairman emeritus of the Climate Institute in Washington and a patron of the project, believes that the current rate of extinction makes our geological epoch, the Holocene, comparable to the Cretaceous and its great dinosaur holocaust. ...the 10ft-diameter bell that will be tolled in the Memo belltower to signal the demise of yet another species. At the rate we are going, it's going to be as regular as Big Ben. ..
The project has now been greenlighted to go ahead on land owned by the Albion Stone and Crown Estate. The cost: £20m. The timetable: 18 months' fundraising (starting now), another 18 months to complete. Yet it already has a soul. And I can't help wondering: what manner of creature will remain to toll the bell when the species that has already destroyed so much is finally itself destroyed? When the final homo sapiens go the way of the dodo? For this, surely, is what that old lady and I realised when we looked into one another's eyes and listened to the tones of that beautiful bell: send not to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
The Memo bell will toll in Portland on Wednesday to mark the Earth Summit in Brazil (see memoproject.org)...
MEMO is an educational charity dedicated to building a beautiful monument to species going extinct worldwide, together with a biodiversity education centre. Conceived as a continuous spiral of stone, it will be lined with the carved images of all 850 species to have perished since the dodo in the 17th century.
It might be uncharitable to say it but a piled up "continuous spiral" of soft brown stone does look remarkably like what my dog does first thing when he is let out.
But more importantly "How many extinctions are actually happening?"
We are due an update any day but last year the answer was that in the previous twelve months the answer was -1. That bell isn't going to get much use at this rate.
June 15, 2012
Rachel Carson Celebration
Silent Spring at 50 - A lengthy review to download.
Not a lot to celebrate actually....
June 14, 2012
GM Good For Environment Says Guardian
Crops genetically modified to poison pests can deliver significant environmental benefits, according to a study spanning two decades and 1.5m square kilometres. The benefits extended to non-GM crops in neighbouring fields, researchers found...."Insecticide use usually kills the natural enemies of pests and weakens the biocontrol services that they provide," said Professor Kongming Wu at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing, who led the research team. "Transgenic crops reduce insecticide use and promote the population increase of natural enemies. Therefore, we think that this is a general principle."
Professor Guy Poppy, an ecologist at the University of Southampton, said the scale of the work gave "robust" results that ended a long-running debate pitting plant scientists against ecologists. ..
But not with your average Guardian commentator..
13 June 2012 6:23PM
Luddite I may well be. I do not want GM crops,I do not see them as `progress`, we have to get it ito our heads that just because we technologically can do something, we should ask ourselves should we do it. The whole debate about GM and whether it is good or bad has no relevance if the planet suffers, our earth and all the things within it. I don`t care if we feed more people, there are already too many of us to make our race sustainable and we cannot continue in our ridiculous idea that no matter what we want to do will have no long term effect on this fragile eco system, Come back and tell me, dear scientists, that after 100 years of trials all is well and keep all your research open for all to cross check and away from commercial manipulation, then I might believe you.
June 12, 2012
Fuel Poverty _ The Cost of Going Green
We need to make people care sufficiently about climate change that they're prepared to pay more for energy in the short and medium term in order to avoid potentially catastrophic environmental, social and economic impacts in the long term.
If you're not convinced, just take a look at the recent analysis of energy bills by the Committee on Climate Change. Greens usually cite this document to show that wholesale gas prices are behind recent bill increases – and also that efficiency measures could limit future rises. Those are both crucial points. But the analysis also contains a less comfortable message: that over the next decade, renewable subsidies and carbon taxes will add far more to energy bills than rising gas prices are expected to. Indeed, if ambitious efficiency measures get implemented as we hope, then by 2020 clean-energy subsidies and carbon taxes will most likely account for more than a fifth of domestic electricity bills
What we have been saying all along, thanks for confirming.
Getting Rid of Turbulent Priests
The Bishop of Exeter has launched a stinging rebuke against alleged "abusive and bullying" tactics used by turbine protesters, which has forced the diocese to withdraw plans in order to protect clergy.
He said the diocese remained "deeply committed" both to the protection of rural Devon and to reducing its carbon footprint, but claimed clergy and officers had been subjected to "hostility", "outright verbal abuse", and "abusive and bullying tactics".
He said: "I and many of my colleagues have received very unpleasant letters and those who have attended public meetings in a genuine effort to explain the thinking behind our proposals have been shouted down and called liars."
The Diocese had previously said it was among the first wave of areas across Britain to be trialling the turbine approach in a Church of England bid to reduce its carbon footprint.
June 11, 2012
Warming Fact And Fiction
Data indicate China's carbon emissions could be 20% higher, prompting fears Earth is warming at a much faster rate.
"The sad fact is that Chinese energy and emission data as primary input to the models will add extra uncertainty in modelling simulations of predicting future climatic change," say the authors of a study in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Scientists say the world is already racing towards a warming of 2 degrees Celsius or more in coming decades because of the rapid growth in emissions from burning fossil fuels and deforestation. Adding another billion tonnes into computer models would accelerate the pace of expected warming.
Someone seems to have lost touch with reality. Temperature is measured with thermometers, not by the predicted output of computer models. They are just guesses, very clever guesses some of them, but they aren't reality.
50 Years of Silent Spring
The book that changed the world is a cliché often used but rarely true, yet 50 years ago this week a book appeared which profoundly altered the way we view the Earth and our place on it: Rachel Carson's Silent Spring.
When it began serialisation in The New Yorker on 16 June 1962 (it was published in full the following September) Silent Spring revealed to a horrified America – or at least, to those who did not know already – that its wildlife was being wiped out on a staggering scale by use of the new generation of synthetic pesticides, compounds made in the laboratory rather than from naturally occurring substances, which had followed on from the forerunner of them all, the chlorinated hydrocarbon DDT.
In particular, the songbirds of America's countryside and small towns were everywhere falling silent. They had been killed by colossal pesticide spraying programmes, usually from the air, sanctioned in the 1950s by the US Department of Agriculture, individual states and local authorities, and aimed at insect pest threats which turned out to be largely illusory.
There was no need for them; their real driver was the American chemical industry which had managed to convince US agriculture that its bright new range of deadly super-poisons, organochlorines such as aldrin and dieldrin, organophosphates such as parathion and malathion, were just the wonder drugs that farming needed – in huge doses....
Silent Spring and the furore it created gave birth to something more: the widespread, specific awareness that the planet was threatened and needed defending; and the past half-century of environmentalism, the age of Green, the age of Save The Whale and Stop Global Warming, has followed as a natural consequence.
Excuse me if I don't break our the bunting and champagne...
Here's one for the kiddies.
Here is a graph of the number of cases of malaria over a period of years. What does this graph tell you? What years did malaria minimize and maximize? Can you guess during which years DDT was used?
May 17, 2012
Anti-GM Protestors Run From Debate
3rd April 2012: The Director of Rothamsted Research wrote an open letter .
27 April: An open letter is sent from the scientists to the protestors.
1 May: The GM Appeal video is uploaded to YouTube.
2nd May: The protest group wrote a letter to us.
3rd May: Prof. John Pickett contacted the protest group and thanked them for their response of 2nd May. He also said he was pleased that the protest group agreed with the need for public dialogue and said he was happy to take their suggestions on a neutral chair and venue for a meeting. He noted that the points made by the protest group give a good structure to frame the dialogue and he added that he looked forward to meeting them in coming weeks.
9th May: Rothamsted Research contacted the protest group again to check if the email from the 3rd May had been received, as Rothamsted continued to await a response. Rothamsted therefore offered another point of contact to help arrange the logistics of this neutral meeting.
15th May: Prof. John Pickett contacted the protest group in response to their email on the same day saying that he was looking forward to meeting them on the Newsnight programme, but thought it important to allow sufficient time for us all to have a thorough and considered discussion and to go through the points highlighted in their letter. Whilst short debates on the radio and television can be insightful, he felt it did not allow sufficient time for us all to have the detailed discussion required. As the protest group had not put forward suggestions for a nuetral chair and venue, he therefore suggest a neutral venue (Friends Meeting House) and neutral chair (George Monbiot) on the 22nd May that he believed they would find acceptable. He also agreed to book and pay for the venue. He asked if they could get back to him by 13:00 the following day with a view to announcing this in order to give people a chance to attend in the few days left. He suggested a joint notification through our respective websites and social media. He said, this way we would have two hours for a much more detailed discussion and the chance to take questions and contributions from an audience which can include environmentalists, scientists and anyone else who would like to attend.
16th May: Prof. John Pickett contacted the protest group following a further email from them saying that they would have to decline attending the event on the 22nd May due to a lack of capacity. Prof. Pickett wrote back to them that day, asking them to reconsider. He reiterated his concerns that the information they had put out in the public domain contains inaccuracies and they were therefore encouraging people to destroy our experiment without giving us a chance properly to address these issues in a neutral venue. He urged them not to deny us both and the public a chance to put forward our cases openly, in advance of their planned direct action to "decontaminate" (which we understand would mean destroy) our legally approved experiment.
Can't talk the talk, cowards.
May 15, 2012
Caravan Of Climate Change
This story is from the “you can’t make this stuff up” file. Some of our British cousins have figured out a way to solve it all. They have set up the One Million Jobs Caravan, as part of a “Campaign Against Climate Change” … I’m not sure how they plan to stop the climate from changing, but apparently it takes a million people to do it. To fight against CO2 emissions, the backers plan to get into fossil-fueled vehicles and drive, the lot of them, from city to city all around England and Scotland. And then back again....
Unfortunately the website seems to be down at the moment as I would love to read their pamphlet http://www.climate-change-jobs.org/sites/default/files/1MillionClimateJobs_2010.PDF explaining how creating one million unionised government jobs to do "green" things is going to rescue the economy and world. But I do note the date of the report is 2010 and it has taken them two years to organise a couple of caravans to publicise it.
And haven't we learnt over the last two years how effective creating green jobs is?...
May 9, 2012
Secret Green Group Attacks Secrecy - @CandBP
"These documents show for the first time that local Nimby anti-wind groups are co-ordinating and working with national fossil-fuel funded advocacy groups to wreck the wind industry," said Gabe Elsner, a co-director of the Checks and Balances, the accountability group which unearthed the proposal and other documents.
Conspiracy! shouts a secretive group with undeclared funders. They claim to be "Holding government officials, lobbyists and corporate management accountable to the public" but reveal nothing about themselves.
May 5, 2012
Denial - Caused By Right-brain Deficit Disorder
In his recent book The Master and his Emissary, the neurologist, psychiatrist and philosopher Iain McGilchrist highlights some intriguing differences between the right and left hemispheres of the brain when it comes to certainty. The left-brain, it seems, demands it. Only the right-brain is adept at holding several ambiguous possibilities in suspension. So far, so good. ...Straight answers to questions are, after all, no bad thing.
Or are they? There is a dark side to this drive for certainty. Unchecked, the left-brain rejects information that doesn’t fit with its accepted theory, is an expert at denial and has a penchant for delusional optimism....
Nuanced understanding and a circumspect position are signs of weakness. Take the “uncertainty” and “unprovenness” that climate sceptics assure us exists around climate science. No matter how patiently scientists talk of overwhelming likelihoods and near-total consensus, there’s a lingering sense that the sceptic has still won the argument....
Unreasonable demands for certainty are met with bogus claims of it.
While happily disregarding inconvenient evidence, the left-brain not only shows exaggerated optimism about outcomes but also about its own ability....
Let’s suppose that today we are facing a set of unprecedented challenges. Reaching for the same old solutions won’t help; nor will denial....
If it is true that these challenges require new thinking, it could be that a move away from our sinister obsession with certainty is important. Of course decisions still need to be made, but it’s legitimate to make the best judgment on the evidence and the understanding that we have.
So demanding boring old evidence is a left brain problem, but so it seems is Alarmism...
One researcher studying head injuries writes: “Children with right-brain deficit disorder ignore task obstacles, accept impossible challenges, make grossly inadequate efforts and are stunned by the poor outcomes.”
The left-brain is dogmatic, preferring to rely on theory rather than evidence. Researchers experimenting on split-brain sufferers showed them a series of lights, mainly green and occasionally red; the patients had to predict what came next. Those with access only to the right-brain adopted the most successful strategy of picking green every time; those stuck with the left developed complex theories and insisted upon their merit, despite much lower success. When the researchers then rigged the experiment, so that the guesses all turned out to be correct, the right-brainers admitted to doing nothing differently, but the left-brainers assured the researchers there was a pattern and they had finally cracked it.
Patients with right-brain injuries will make up convincing answers to questions, rather than admitting they do not know, and show what the California-based neuroscientist V. S. Ramachandran calls “an unbridled willingness to accept absurd ideas”. The left-brain prefers theory to observation, and prefers what it already knows
May 4, 2012
The Scream At Global Warming
The seller was Petter Olsen, whose father was a friend of the artist. Mr Olsen grew up with the image hanging on the wall of his family farm south of Oslo. “The Scream for me shows the horrifying moment when man realises his impact on nature,” he said, as the hall emptied. He foresaw greenhouse gases triggering “feedback mechanisms that lie latent in the physics of nature”, leading to the doom of mankind. “More death, less life,” he said. “And very few lifeboats left as we go down.”
On the other hand, he had just sold a painting for $120 million. “Yeah, I’m pleased with that,” he said.
Sea Level Predicition Not A Prediction
Jonathan Bamber, a glaciologist at the University of Bristol, and not part of the research team, said: "The study provides a lot of rich detail about the variability in ice sheet dynamics, but does not dramatically change our overall understanding. The new work shows the situation is not as bad as the worst possible case, but it is still serious for future sea level rise and is certainly more complex than many of the models suggest."
Other recent satellite science has revealed complexities in other parts of the world, with the world's greatest peaks in the Himalayan mountain chain revealed as having lost no ice in the last decade. Another study showed the Karakoram glaciers as having grown over the last decade. However, the contribution to sea level rise of these and other mountain chains such as the Andes and Alps are dwarfed by Greenland and Antarctica and, globally, 443-629bn tonnes of meltwater are added to the world's oceans each year. This is raising sea level by about 1.5mm a year, in addition to the 2mm a year caused by expansion of the warming ocean.
Earlier analyses of Greenland's glaciers found their speed has doubled in 10 years and were accelerating. Extrapolation of that doubling implied glacier loss in Greenland would drive up sea level by 9cm by 2100, leading to an overall rise of 80cm. Another extrapolation imagined a tenfold rise in glacier speed, leading to 47cm of sea level rise from Greenland and 2m overall. The new research shows glacier acceleration remains "well below" even the lower scenario.
"A doubling in all glacier speeds was never a prediction for Greenland, it was a thought experiment, a "what if" scenario," said Bamber.
It wasn't a prediction so it wasn't wrong. See.
May 2, 2012
Sceptics To Die Quicker - Yeo
As climate change most directly challenges extreme ideas of personal freedom and unfettered markets, it is this fringe that ends up in denial.
But what struck me most was how these fringe views influence the debate in direct contradiction to what most people want. Politicians and newspapers pride themselves on being in tune with the popular mood.....
So what happens next? Presumably this yawning gap between what the public think and what right-wing politicians and newspapers do will lead to lost votes and circulation. That's the sort of evidence that does change minds, eventually.
An alternative, as Yeo has pointed out on a previous occasion, is to simply let nature take care of the elderly sceptics, who will go to their graves sooner than the rest of the population. The question is will either happen quickly enough to avoid the six degrees of warming to which the IEA says our current path will lead?
Crop scientists have appealed to anti-GM protesters not to trash a field trial of genetically modified wheat at a day of action later this month.
Researchers wrote to campaigners on Tuesday and also recorded a video plea, making a move to address the concern of campaigners and thus save their experiments. The plant biologists at Rothamsted Research, the government-funded agricultural centre in Hertfordshire, invited protesters to discuss their objections instead of uprooting the crops on 27 May.
They took the unusual step of filming an appeal after campaigners, with the slogan "Take back the flour", pledged to pull up the wheat plants.
The video the Guardian fails to link to is here:
May 1, 2012
Welcome The Academic Spring
The government has drafted in the Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales to help make all taxpayer-funded academic research in Britain available online to anyone who wants to read or use it.
A government source said that, in the longer term, Wales would help to set up the next generation of open-access platforms for British researchers. "He's also going to be advising us on the format in which academic papers should be published and data standards. One of the big opportunities is, right now, a journal article might be published but the underlying data isn't and we want to move into a world where the data is published alongside an article in an open format, available free of charge."
The move will embolden what has been dubbed the "academic spring" – a growing campaign among academics and research funders for open access in academic publishing. They want to unlock the results of research from behind the lucrative paywalls of journals controlled by publishing companies.
And from the grasp of "scientists" who don't want to share with people who might find something sloppy with their work?
Pen Hadrow Off Again.
BRITISH explorer Pen Hadow has announced he will make a scientific survey of the Arctic sea ice while attempting the first unsupported solo crossing of the Arctic Ocean.
The 1,000-mile coast-to-coast traverse of the Arctic Ocean from Russia to Canada, via the North Pole, will take place in February next year.
“It’s all about combining the spirits of adventure and science to get the important message out that the Arctic Ocean environment is rapidly changing, and the impacts will be coming to many of us, sooner rather than later,” said the Old Harrovian.
Poor old Pendrill seems to have got stuck in a job which is getting increasingly difficult for a man of his age. All his other Rupert and Nigel chums from Harrow, 1st XV an 1st XI, Geography or Land Economy at Uni, either made millions flogging houses or are on an Army Pension. But dear old Hadders has to drag his weary body across the ice yet again to try and drum up interest in the melting Arctic, which refuses to follow the script.
If anyone wants to start a book on how far he will get before needing to be rescued put me down for 200 miles.
April 30, 2012
Good Warming vs Bad Warming - Wind The Answer
Large windfarms can increase local night time temperatures by fanning warmer air onto the ground, new research has revealed. The study used satellite data to show that the building of huge wind farms in west Texas over the last decade has warmed the nights by up to 0.72C.
"Wind power is going to be a part of the solution to the climate change, air pollution and energy security problem," said Liming Zhou, at the University of Albany in New York; "The warming might have positive effects, Furthermore, this study is focused only on one region and for only 9 years. Much more work is needed before we can draw any conclusion."
A note of unusual caution , or application for research funds as it is normally known - as he grapples with positive warming to beat nasty climate change.
April 29, 2012
Guardian - "there is now little to distinguish a supposedly well-meaning, leftist Green from a far-right eco enthusiast."
Debunking the popular view that equates eco-friendliness with cuddly, left-leaning greens, ...Hotbeds of far-right eco-warriors are to be found throughout Germany. In the Mecklenburg region in the north, they have been quietly settling in communities since the 1990s in an effort to reinvigorate the traditions of the Artaman League – a farming movement whose roots lie in the 19th century romantic ideal of "blood and soil" ruralism, which was adopted by the Nazis. Heinrich Himmler, the SS leader, was a member.
At the same time as it was butchering millions of people, the Nazi party supported animal rights and nature conservation. But it is disturbing for many Germans to think that while they support local producers and reject genetically modified food, pesticides and intensive livestock farming, there is now little – superficially at least – to distinguish a supposedly well-meaning, leftist Green from a far-right eco enthusiast.
The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.
April 28, 2012
The Brave Green Future
THE residents of Foula, Scotland’s most remote inhabited island which achieved a remarkable first by becoming 100 per cent self-sufficient with renewable energy, are now forced to endure black-outs.
An all-night black-out has had to be brought into force for the 22 homes on the isolated Shetland community, because of teething problems in the island’s £1.5 million hydro and solar power schemes.
Foula’s three wind turbines have been out of action since Christmas, when 100mph winds damaged the blades of one of the turbines.
Now islanders are back to relying on costly diesel generator until the faults can be rectified.
Two years ago the islanders, who live 20 miles from the Shetland mainland, were awarded £200,000 in funding from the Big Lottery Fund towards their combination of wind, solar and hydro power, enabling Foula to become the first Shetland community to become self-sufficient in energy. The final phase was completed last October.
But it has been revealed a series of problems with the pioneering green energy scheme has left the islanders having to rely on back-up diesel generators to power their homes.
And, because of crippling fuel costs, they are operating a blackout from 12:30am to 7am.
April 27, 2012
How's That Forecast Working Out For You?
SUMMARY - PRECIPITATION:
The forecast for average UK rainfall slightly favours drier-than-average conditions for April-May-June as a whole, and also slightly favours April being the
driest of the 3 months.
With this forecast, the water resources situation in southern, eastern and central England is likely to deteriorate further during the April-May-June period.
The probability that UK precipitation for April-May-June will fall into the driest of our five categories is 20-25% whilst the probability that it will fall into
the wettest of our five categories is 10-15% (the 1971-2000 climatological probability for each of these categories is 20%).
Boo Hoo Cries Climate "Scientist"
An Australian television documentary that gives equal weight to a climate sceptic and a believer has been strongly criticised by scientists as unfairly skewing the evidence on global warming.
Scientists and environmentalists say the film gives the misleading impression that the debate on the science of climate change is not settled.
"At best, only a couple of per cent of the world's climate scientists query the basic science so having an equal proportion of sceptics on any programme totally biases the debate," said Professor Andy Pittman, co-director of the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.
"The problem with people like Morano is that they have a very forceful way of putting their arguments, even though each one of them is wrong. Because he comes across as very slick, people believe him," he said.
"People watch a programme like this and they think there's a scientific debate. It's a lose, lose situation for climate scientists," he said.
Guess which side is losing in the poll the programme is running...
April 25, 2012
Biodiversity - the replacement scare.
Twenty years ago, the Earth Summit in Rio resulted in a Convention on Biological Diversity, now signed by 193 nations, to prevent species loss. But can we tell how many species are becoming extinct?
One statement on the Convention's website claims: "We are indeed experiencing the greatest wave of extinction since the disappearance of the dinosaurs."
While that may (or may not) be true, the next sentence is spuriously precise: "Every hour three species disappear. Every day up to 150 species are lost."
Even putting aside the apparent mathematical error in that claim (on the face of it, if three species are disappearing every hour, 72 would be lost every day) there is an obvious problem in generating any such number. No-one knows how many species exist. And if we don't know a species exists, we won't miss it when it's gone....
It is possible to count the number of species known to be extinct. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) does just that. It has listed 801 animal and plant species (mostly animal) known to have gone extinct since 1500.
But if it's really true that up to 150 species are being lost every day, shouldn't we expect to be able to name more than 801 extinct species in 512 years?
...That's why scientists prefer to use a mathematical model to estimate species loss.
Recently, however, that model has been attacked in the pages of Nature. Professor Stephen Hubbell from the University of California, Los Angeles, says that an error in the model means that it has - for years - over-estimated the rate of species loss....
The level of uncertainty faced by researchers in this field means it is perhaps not surprising that no-one can be sure of the scale of species loss. It also means that when a representative of the Convention of Biological Diversity claimed "every hour three species disappear" he must have known it was too precise.
But the fact that the precise extinction rate is unknowable does not prove that the problem is imagined.
Braulio Dias, executive secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, says: "We know that the drivers behind species loss are mostly increasing - land conversion and degradation, pollution, climate change. And of course the human population is still growing and consumption is growing - and most of that consumption is not sustainable."
Professor Hubbell, too, thinks species loss is a serious issue, even though he believes it has been exaggerated.
According to IUCN data, for example, only one animal has been definitely identified as having gone extinct since 2000. It was a mollusc.
Exaggerated numbers, wild estimates from inadequate models, spurious precision of urgency of problem, non-sustainable consumption and human population growth to blame, why does this all sound so familiar.
April 24, 2012
Peter Stott - Met Office - On Climate Models
Peter Stott, head of climate monitoring and attribution at the U.K.’s respected Met Office Hadley Centre, agreed Lovelock had been too alarmist with claims about people having to live in the Arctic by 2100.
And he also agreed with Lovelock that the rate of warming in recent years had been less than expected by the climate models.
However, Stott said this was a short-term trend that could be within the natural range of variation and it would need to continue for another 10 years or so before it could be considered evidence that something was missing from climate models.
Stott said temperature records and other observations were “broadly speaking continuing to pan out” with what was expected.
He said there did need to be greater understanding of the effect of the oceans on the climate and added that air particles caused by pollution – which cool the Earth by reflecting the sun’s heat -- from rapidly developing countries like China could be having an effect.
So the oceans which hold gazillions times more thermal energy than the air might not be modelled correctly, as Bob Tisdale says elsewhere today but otherwise all is tickety boo for the next ten years
when I can retire and collect my pension..
April 23, 2012
Solar Thermal Economic Madness
I have just had a quote for a 1403kWh/a solar hot water system land on my desk - the figures are very similar to the official website which is trying to sell us the systems.
The cost of installing a typical solar water heating system is around £4,800 (including VAT at 5%). Savings are moderate - the system could provide most of your hot water in the summer, but much less during colder weather.
For peace of mind some installation companies offer an annual service check.
You should have your system checked more thoroughly by an accredited installer every 3-7 years, or as specified by your installer. It is likely that after this period of time the anti-freeze that is used to protect your system in the winter months will need to topped up or be replaced as it breaks down over time reducing the performance of your system. Anti-freeze lasts better if the solar water system is used throughout the year and not left unused during the warmest weeks of the year. This cost of replacing the anti-freezer is usually around £100.
The other thing that your installer should check is the pump. In a well maintained system, pumps can last for ten years plus and usually cost around £90 to replace.
Based on the results of our recent field trial, typical savings from a well-installed and properly used system are £55 per year when replacing gas heating and £80 per year when replacing electric immersion heating; however, savings will vary from user to user.
Typical carbon savings are around 230kgCO2/year when replacing gas and 510kgCO2/year when replacing electric immersion heating.
Am I missing something here? £4800 to save a maximum of £80 a year, except the costs of servicing will be about £10 a year on the pump and £20 a year on antifreeze all plus labour. So the servicing will probably cost more than the savings. Life expectancy of system? 25 years?
There is a £300 grant on installation and the promise of a renewable heat incentive in the future but it all appears to be madness. All to save half a tonne of CO2 a year which I could buy for about £5.
April 22, 2012
Earth Day Celebrate With A Tree Hugger
Bioaerosols - the new scare
there are fears that the bioaerosols produced by such waste could be damaging to health...Bioaerosols can contain fungal spores and bacteria are harmful to human health..... They’re everywhere, particularly in rural environments, and include fungal spores and bacteria. Commercial scale composting activities tend to generate large amounts of them.
April 20, 2012
The Dot Green Crash
Andrew Shepherd-Barron, a specialist in the clean tech sector at brokers Peel Hunt, has just come up with a review of share price performances and describes the green scene as a "graveyard" for investors globally. He claims alternative energy, water waste and carbon companies have performed "worse even than the dotcom experience". A year ago, 18 of 27 early-stage clean tech stocks tracked by Peel Hunt had disappeared from the market after floating, with minimal returns to shareholders. The remaining third have survived the intervening year, although not one has seen its share price rise.
Which is probably why such companies depend on taxpayer money rather than investors.
Polar Bear Survival
Endangered predator may be particularly vulnerable to rapid climate change.
So the fact it has survived 600,000 rather than just 150,000 years of whatever weather the Arctic throws at it makes it more vulnerable?
But the Indy reader has it all worked out...
Since polar bears are white, you might have thought the climate deniers over on DT comment sections would be more concerned about their fate.
Climate Change Deniers are white racists obviously...
April 18, 2012
@leohickman #eh Brings Us Good News Every Day
Environment news, comment and analysis from the Guardian | Environment | The Guardian
leohickman: Reuters: UK offshore reserves of shale gas could exceed 1,000 trillion cubic feet http://t.co/BluUJcTf #eg
about 16 hours, 15 minutes ago
leohickman: Just what Oz needs: it's own branch of Taxpayers' Alliance (w/ climate sceptics on board of advisers, natch) http://t.co/1yVrq4BG #eg
about 20 hours, 57 minutes ago
leohickman: Another day, another right-wing politician doubts climate science. This time: Canada http://t.co/vhSOQEHO #eg
about 21 hours, 19 minutes ago
UK offshore reserves of shale gas could exceed one thousand trillion cubic feet (tcf), compared to current rates of UK gas consumption of 3.5 tcf a year, or five times the latest estimate of onshore shale gas of 200 trillion cubic feet. - Wow!
The Australian Taxpayers' Alliance is a unique grassroots advocacy & activist organisation, dedicated to standing up for hardworking Australian taxpayers. We oppose the high taxes, wasteful spending, and crippling red tape that are hurting Aussie families and businesses, and provide a voice for everyone who opposes the big-government agenda. Our first priority is the repeal of the unnecessary and destructive Gillard-Brown tax on carbon dioxide!
Sign me up Cobber.
The woman leading a front-running party in Alberta's provincial election has cast doubt on the widely accepted scientific theory that human activity is a leading cause of global warming.
"We have always said the science isn't settled and we need to continue to monitor the debate," said Smith in response to a direct question from a reader.
A sensible answer. Great to hear from a politician.
I suppose he thinks they are good news stories, doesn't he?
April 17, 2012
Greenpeace - No Free Speech For Deniers
Don't the deniers have a right to free speech?
There's a difference between free speech and a campaign to deny the climate science with the goal of undermining international action on climate change.However, there's also responsibility that goes with freedom of speech - which is based around honesty and transparency.Freedom of speech does not apply to misinformation and propaganda.
Scary that they put this on their website without a worry.
April 10, 2012
No Climate Change Effect On US Forest Growth
When the group first set their hiking boots in New Hampshire’s Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (HBEF), they thought they would find a clear effect of climate change on the dramatic 90% nitrogen level drop in temperate forest watersheds over the last 46 years. As a powerful driver of ecological processes, warming was a prime suspect, particularly given the higher soil temperatures and longer growing seasons of recent years. Instead, they found that the fall in nitrogen levels stems from a cocktail of human influences, including heavy logging, air pollution, and agricultural fertilizer as well as climate change—and that these inputs are obscuring the true baselines against which we can meaningfully judge any “change.”
“We have to be very clear about what a baseline is, and we cannot just assume a simple effect due to climate change,” Hedin said. He stressed the importance of scientists providing the public with accurate representations of how social and ecological factors are tied together within an ecosystem. “The process of science is often divide and conquer, but when it comes to climate change it’s the interactions that really matter.” That’s a crucial message not just for scientists, but also for policymakers and the public: that a single focus on a single issue doesn’t really work in the real-life laboratory. The world outside the test tube is a complex one – largely because of our presence in it – and when we put together our natural experiments or concoct climate legislation it’s worth remembering the messy fingerprints we leave behind every day that are muddying every equation.
“Most startling is perhaps the lack of any evidence for direct effects of climate change on net vegetation growth and plant [nitrogen] demand,” the scientists wrote in their paper, published in a February issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
So they wanted to find an effect, were honest enough to report they couldn't find one but witter on as though they did..
Comparisons among stations should be made with caution because data have not been corrected for possible instrument bias. -99.0 is the missing value when the weather station is not operating. Otherwise if a day is missed, the value for that day has been estimated from values at the other stations. Estimated values are not flagged. The Fahrenheit to Celcius conversion and rounding to whole degrees Centigrade leads to considerable underrepresentation of -5, 0, 5, 10, etc. values.
April 9, 2012
Never Mind The Facts Just Act On Sustainability
It's a question many people have probably asked themselves, seeing the ever-increasing environmental degradation around the world: why aren't we doing more to protect our planet?
Achim Steiner has an answer of sorts. He thinks things are so bad that people can't quite grasp it.
He is worth listening to, because there are not many individuals who could be said to have a truly comprehensive overview of the state of the planet. This 50-year-old Brazilian-German is the executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (Unep), the part of the UN family that deals with planetary ills, and he has spent a long career trying to help communities across the world...
He can see the trends, quite clearly, because it is his job to, and he talks about them vividly: agriculture which is no longer "a management of that one metre of arable land on which we depend for virtually everything that grows" but a process which "very often has become a mining operation"; oceans which have been overexploited to the point where "two-thirds or more of the fish stocks are either at maximum offtake or actually depleting"; carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere "to the point where we are actually fundamentally changing the climate prospects of our planet"....
"A classic illustration is the ... luxury of this continued debate about scientific uncertainty with climate change. If even 10 per cent of what the IPCC [the UN's Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change] said were to come true, it should actually make us sit up and say immediately, 'change course!'."
But we don't say that, Mr Steiner believes, because "there is an accelerating set of trends, from the atmosphere to the biosphere, to our ability to feed ourselves in a world which will soon have nine billion people, that gives us a sense of what will happen in the next 20, 30, 50 years, that we have simply not yet begun to appreciate".
Yes the trends - better able to feed the growing population, cleaning up the biosphere where prosperity is allowed to flourish, the trends actually look pretty good. Not what the Rio summit wants to hear of course. So the increasing level of CO2 will be used as a a proxy for general gloom and doom for future sustainability, without allowing the "luxury of this continued debate about scientific uncertainty with climate change".
April 1, 2012
Earth Hour - Impressive, Not.
I think Earth Hour was 20:30 - 21:30 last night...
Can you spot it?
March 30, 2012
Blowing in the wind
Just a great map!
March 25, 2012
BRITAIN’S suburbs are about to get an environmental makeover. Eight million homes from the Victorian, Edwardian and other periods could be clad with up to 8in of insulation under a government scheme to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The thick layer will save householders hundreds of pounds a year in energy bills, but will transform the appearance of homes. The insulation is topped with render that can be painted, sometimes in the style of the original brickwork or in a colour of the householder’s choice.
The plan is being promoted by Greg Barker, the climate change minister.....
Jonathan Leake PR Hack
Jonathan Leake, Science Editor
Scientists are to announce the start of a new phase of geological time to mark the huge impact of humans on the planet.
They argue that humanity is having such a powerful effect on the Earth’s geological processes that they must declare an end to the Holocene, the era covering the 11,500 years since the last ice age, and the start of the Anthropocene — the “age of man”.
Except of course it isn't "officially" - it is just PR hype for the Royal Society's Blatherfest
March 24, 2012
Do You Believe In Vicky Pope?
Recent studies show that public acceptance of the scientific evidence for man-made climate change has decreased. However, the change is not that great. The difference I find in talking to people is that they feel better able to express their doubts.
This is very hard for scientists to understand.
I think she means that it is very hard for Vicky Pope to understand that people dare to question her authority. How very dare they!
March 23, 2012
Water Wars From Climate Change
Ed Davey told a conference of high-ranking politicians and diplomats from around the world that although water had not been a direct cause of wars in the past, growing pressure on the resource if climate change is allowed to take hold, together with the pressure on food and other resources, could lead to new sources of conflict and the worsening of existing conflicts.
A measured opinion, hasn't happened yet but might in the future, which is true of so many things including Kelly Brook creeping into my bed one night to discover what a real man can do....
I noted Harald Welzer's Climate Wars book the other day where he is the high priest of such gloom and doom. (That is gloom and doom about future wars over water not Kelly's reaction to her voyage of discovery).
I should have noted the excellent article The Climate Wars Myth which is the debunking we need.
March 22, 2012
Andrew Thin, chair of Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH),... said: “We have evidence that wind farms can be positive for certain species and, from some people’s point of view, a well-designed wind farm can be positive in the landscape in aesthetic terms.”
From some Lord's Coutts account's POV I'm sure they are very positive and freshly diced eagle is some species' plat du jour of choice, but others may not agree.
March 20, 2012
Windy Flag Waving
England expects every Tory to do their duty and support British wind power. That is the unmistakeable message of a new advertising campaign with a union flag and wind turbine appearing in the right-of-centre Spectator magazine this Thursday.
The use of patriotism is the latest tactic in an increasingly bitter war of words between Conservative party backbenchers and those committed to low-carbon energy....
Ian Mays, chief executive of Renewable Energy Systems (RES) one of the backers of the British Wind campaign, said...""Gas prices have trebled in Europe over the last decade and there is no reason to think they will decrease in future years. Shale gas has benefited the US but is only expected to play a modest role in Britain by 2025...."
"Last refuge of a scoundrel" and all that, some of us aren't so pessimistic about shale gas.
March 19, 2012
£7.5 Billion To Prevent One Warm Day
The UK Carbon Trust estimates that the cost of expanding wind turbines to 40 gigawatts, in order to provide 31% of electricity by 2020, could run as high as £75 billion ($120 billion).
And the benefits, in terms of tackling global warming, would be measly: a reduction of just 86 megatons of CO2 per year for two decades. In terms of averted rise in temperature, this would be completely insignificant. Using a standard climate model, by 2100, the UK's huge outlay will have postponed global warming by just over 10 days.
Moreover, this estimate is undoubtedly too optimistic.....
Nonetheless, the lesson is clear: if the goal is not just to cut CO2 emissions, but also to use renewables to do it, the models show that the cost balloons to £188 billion for this decade and £36 billion every year after 2020. In effect, insisting on wind power means using energy that is far from competitive, does not help to avert climate change, and costs an extra £92 billion for the UK alone.
For any country, this seems like a very poor choice.
And that might be a polite way of describing it.
March 15, 2012
Harald Welzer Climate Wars - A Review
Harald Welzer's Climate Wars is a handsome book, well printed on nice paper, and these things are important. There are books I actually want to read that are not, so I won't. And if the purveyors of dead tree versions want us to continue to buy them, rather than electronic versions, then it is a point they must remember.
The translation from the original German by Patrick Camiller, funded by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is superb in that it is unnoticeable and it reads as though it was originally written in English.
Harald Welzer seems to be an expert on the art of killing and war and the book starts promisingly with an interesting diversion to the German genocidal war against the Heroro people of Namibia in 1904.
Unfortunately by page 5 it descends in to pure tosh as he starts on climate change.
"The consequences are beginning to make themselves felt but it is impossible to predict what lies ahead. The only certainty is that the unrestricted use of fossil fuels cannot continue for ever - not so much because they will eventually run out (which has been assumed for a long time) as because the climatic effects are uncontrollable"
I thought he just said the it is impossible to predict what lies ahead...
"When global warming due to atmospheric pollution rises above 2 degrees, the Western model will reach its limit of controllability". ..An economy based on growth and resource depletion cannot function globally...As resources run out at least in many parts of Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, South America, the Arctic and the Pacific Islands more and more people will have fewer and fewer means to ensure their survival.
Of course all the evidence is the opposite, comparative advantage ensures that a global economy can flourish, fewer and fewer people are having trouble finding the means to ensure their survival etc. All those parts of the world that he thinks the Western economy are depleting of resources are motoring to catch up and overtake the stagnating Western economies.
And so he goes on, and on.
To summarise: The West is doomed because of the lack of living space and resources because the rest of the world will be frying under a burning sky and fighting for water and food, and millions will die. Climate refugees will be forcing their way through our borders with violent consequences. (He doesn't mention the millions of climate refugees from the northern Baltic states who have descended on the Mediterranean with only the minimum of conflict over beach towels as they seek to escape the cold.)
Lack of living space and being overrun by foreigners will cause the collapse of a decadent democracy. I think we have heard these worries from Germany before.
I wouldn't suggest you buy this book because some right-on friend of yours will soon be waving a copy under your nose demanding you borrow it just as they did with Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth. I'm afraid it will become a Bible of the Greens so do read it. As Sun Tzu said " Know your enemy".
Hot Causes Cold And Hot And Dry Maybe
Recent studies have linked the gradual shrinking of Arctic sea ice to colder weather in the UK and the rest of Europe, as well as the US and China. However the Met Office has not spoken about the issue before. The hot, dry spring of 2011 has also been linked to melting sea ice by meteorologists.
Despite the colder winters, nine of the 10 hottest years on record have occurred since 2001, according to the Met Office's temperature data. Such warming, driven to largely by man-made activities, is causing Arctic sea ice to melt at a rate of 12% a decade in summer.
Slingo also dismissed fears that the Arctic could be entirely free of sea ice in summer as soon as 2015. Between 2025 and 2030 would be the earliest date she would consider it possible, she said, and the Met Office's latest models suggested 2040-60 as most likely. "Our expectation is certainly not in the next few years as you've heard from some evidence," she said.
She also said that suggestions the volume of sea ice had already declined by 75% already were not credible. "We know there is something [happening on the thinning of sea ice] but it's not as dramatic as those numbers suggest."
The problem, she explained, was that researchers did not know the thickness of Arctic sea ice with any confidence. She hoped a new ice-monitoring satellite launched in 2010, Cryosat2, would help with more accurate measurements.
So it's all guess work at the moment then, what a surprise.
March 13, 2012
How Many Green Jobs In Scotland
Richard Marsh, a renewable power economist, said the First Minister and green energy companies are “greatly exaggerating” the supposed benefits of their plan for a new swathe of wind and wave farms.
While they insist that 48,600 jobs will be created by the end of the decade, he said the real number of long-term posts is more likely to be 1,100 but could be as low as 300.
He said diverting public funding into the industry instead of projects where it would have more economic impact in effect means that every renewable power job costs 3.7 posts that would have arisen elsewhere.
But the Scottish Executive last night described Mr Marsh’s figures as “completely wrong” because jobs are already being created in the development of new green technologies and upgraded its own estimates further.
A spokesman claimed 70,000 people are working in the “low carbon economy” and this figure will increase to 130,000 by 2002.(sic)
A Real Environmental Disaster
This and other equally worrying realities will be presented this week to around 35,000 people from 180 countries at the World Water Forum, a gathering held every three years, which will hear the most disturbing reports yet on the state of the world's rivers, lakes and aquifers.
To illustrate the political, technical and financial solutions to the world's water problems, a 400 square metre Village of Solutions will be built inside the Water Forum this year, housing a school, library, town hall, factory and bank. Different funding mechanisms and technologies will be explained.
However, the forum, organised by the French government, the World Water Council and the City of Marseille, where it is being held, has been criticised for being merely a "talking shop". "They will have the big debates there, but it's not where change happens," said Daniel Yeo, WaterAid's senior policy adviser for water security. "The real situation is that dirty water kills more kids in sub-Saharan Africa than TB, malaria and Aids combined. We have the technology to change this; what we need is the political will and the internal capacity to deliver it in developing countries."
How many lives could sewers built with the money that is being spunked away on a 35,000 talking shop save?
Get the basics right first, clean water, sanitation, efficient stoves, preventable disease control and extreme weather protection. We know how to do all these, and to do them universally costs peanuts compared to the money wasted on the climate change scare.
March 11, 2012
That M4 Windmill
Among the poorest performers are two turbines at GlaxoSmithKline’s pharmaceutical plant at Barnard Castle, Co Durham, and the Ecotricity wind turbine at Green Park in Reading, Berkshire, which the company boasts is Britain’s best-known because it is adjacent to junction 11 of the M4.
The turbine beside the motorway runs on average at just over 16% of its capacity. It earned £229,700 in 2010-11, but half that was paid in subsidy. The electricity generated was worth about £115,000.
The Barnard Castle turbines did even worse, running at just 8.2% of capacity and earning £26,000, half of which was paid as subsidy by the government’s renewables obligation scheme.
Something to think about as you are stuck in a traffic jam looking at them.
Diving Sea Birds
And as populations are never static that probably means half the world's sea birds are in ascent.
Wind Power The Curse Of Scotland
Gerald Warner: Fuelling an inconvenient delusion that spells ruin for Scotland - Comment - Scotsman.com
WIND power – more accurately wind impotence, since turbines operate at just 24 per cent of capacity – is the curse of Scotland. One of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe has been brutally ravaged, families have been driven into fuel poverty, pensioners have been presented with the lethal dilemma “heat or eat” – all to appease the neurotic prejudices of global warming fanatics.
Last week, the punitive costs of this lunacy were exposed in a report by Professor Gordon Hughes, professor of economics at Edinburgh University. He has calculated that the bill for wind energy by 2020 will cost consumers £120 billion. Yet generating the same amount of electricity from efficient gas-powered stations would cost only £13bn. Where the full insanity of the renewables option is brought home is in Professor Hughes’ claim that, beyond the crippling cost to consumers, “there is a significant risk that annual CO2 emissions could be greater under the Wind Scenario than the Gas Scenario”. The optimistic forecast is that wind power might reduce carbon emissions by 2.8 per cent: the worst-case scenario, as the quote above shows, is actually a negative carbon reduction – achieved at a cost of £120bn.
The inefficiency of wind turbines requires perpetual back-up by building gas turbine power stations – running two parallel energy generation systems, each alternately redundant, in times of economic crisis. The fiscal ratchet is turning relentlessly.....
March 9, 2012
Non-Food Biofuels Bad - FoE
The government has given the go-ahead to a huge wood-burning plant which it claims will provide power for a quarter of all Welsh homes, sparking outrage among green campaigners who fear British forests could eventually be lost.
Charles Hendry, the energy minister, said the 300MW power station on the coast of Anglesey would provide a "secure, flexible and renewable source of power" while creating hundreds of jobs. The Holyhead biomass facility would help Britain meet its renewable energy targets.....
The concerns were expressed as a draft report by a panel of 19 top European scientists, who expressed scepticism about the wider carbon advantages of biomass and biofuels, known collectively as bioenergy.....
It is not just green groups who oppose the bioenergy drive. The wood timber industry says prices have already shot up by 50% over the past three years as energy companies seek out new supplies for their biomass plants. ..
The raw timber I turn into logs went up from £1000 to £1600 from 2010 to 2011. I wish I had stockpiled more in 2010. I have now.
And you mean to say trucking timber out of the Canadian wilderness, kiln drying it, shipping across the pond, and then stuffing it into our furnaces isn't carbon neutral? I'm shocked, and that the FoE recognises that shocks me even more.
March 7, 2012
Guardian Still Hiding The Decline
How do we know how warm or cold it was in the past? | Environment | guardian.co.uk
Growth rings in tree trunks can be wider or thinner depending on the climate at the time of growth, so fossilised trees can reveal the length of growing seasons....
To make their temperature reconstructions as accurate as possible scientists have calibrated each proxy by testing how it changes in response to changing temperature....
A detailed review of Mann’s book: The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars as it relates to the Wegman report to Congress | Watts Up With That?
Mann then goes on to defend “hide the decline” by saying:
These data show an enigmatic decline in their response to warming temperatures after roughly 1960, perhaps because of pollution21–that is the decline that Jones was referring to.
While “hide the decline” was poor–and unfortunate–wording on Jones’s part, he was simply referring to something Briffa and coauthors had themselves cautioned in their original 1998 publication: that their tree ring density should not be used to infer temperatures after 1960 because they were compromised by the divergence problem.
So the tree ring density proxy has been tested against recent temperatures and failed the test. And yet " Mann now admits his original hockey stick existed solely because of “one set of tree ring records,”
Would you buy a bridge from him?
Tax The Windmills
....The Treasury is poring over ways to make more cash to plug the deficit in the Budget this month, whether from the disabled, middle-class mothers or bankers in £2 million white stuccoed houses. But one group is still receiving massive handouts â the dukes and earls of this kingdom.
Many are in receipt of a large government cheque not because they live on a desolate council estate surrounded by unemployment but because they are sitting on their own estates. Their undeserved windfall comes from permitting the building of wind farms on their rolling acres.
Ah, you might say, but they should be compensated for allowing these ugly monstrosities on their land; it must be irritating to glimpse a turbine as they look out of the drawing-room windows. But the sums involved are worth as much as their grand masters. They wouldnât scribble over their Constables, but they are happy to spoil some of the most beautiful moorlands and mountains of Britain to get cash.....
March 3, 2012
Mann, Virginia and the Suggestio Falsi
Mann said in an email that he was pleased that the legal campaign was over. But he added: "It's sad that so much money and resources had to be wasted on Cuccinelli's witch hunt against me and the University of Virginia, when it could have been invested, for example, in measures to protect Virginia's coastline from the damaging effects of sea-level rise it is already seeing."
As the author of the iconic "hockey stick graph" showing a sharp rise in warming in the 20th century, Mann has long been a target of those who deny the existence of climate change, who accuse him of manipulating data.
So the sea level in Virginia is rising.
The mean sea level trend is 4.44 millimeters/year with a 95% confidence interval of /- 0.27 mm/yr based on monthly mean sea level data from 1927 to 2006 which is equivalent to a change of 1.46 feet in 100 years.
Mann is correct and I wouldn't accuse him of manipulating the data, but the suggestio falsi is that this is a new and urgent problem caused by AGW.
March 2, 2012
Antarctic Ice Loss The Scary Numbers
Scientists have also used satellite observations of the land-based ice sheet to measure whether the Antarctic ice sheet has been losing or gaining ice.
Attempts to answer the question came up with estimates ranging from an increase of about 100bn tonnes of ice per year since the 1960s to a loss of 200bn tonnes a year over the same period. However, more recent reports agree that the ice sheet is losing ice – and indeed that the rate of loss has been speeding up.
The Antarctic Ice Cap contains about 85% of the world’s ice, which is about 80% of all the fresh water on earth. That ice weights about 24.5 million billion tonnes).
Assuming the higher figure of loss that is an annual loss of 200/24,500,000* 100 = 0.008% - we are lucky their measurements are so precise.
8 thousands of 1% - or are my maths wrong?
Scientists have warned of the risk to marine life as climate change causes the oceans to acidify at the fastest rate for 300 million years.
The greatest acid scare since 1988. Will no one think of the kids?
Plague On Its Way Due To Global Warming
Research had shown that Europe's warming climate was making the spread more possible.
The possible arrival of African horse sickness was "the main worry," Professor Baylis said. There is a vaccine for it, but it is a live-virus vaccine which carried its own risks, he said,
February 28, 2012
Professor Michael Kelly Writes To The Times
Sir, Andrew Motion (report, Feb 23) is correct to castigate climate change deniers, but he is profoundly mistaken in linking all those who oppose the current climate science orthodoxy into one group. The interpretation of the observational science has been consistently over-egged to produce alarm. All real-world data over the past 20 years has shown the climate models to be exaggerating the likely impacts — if the models cannot account for the near term, why should I trust them in the long term?
I am most worried by the billions of pounds being misinvested and lost as a consequence. Look out to sea at the end of 2015 and see how many windmills are not turning and you will get my point: there are already 14,000 abandoned windmills onshore in the US. Premature technology deployment is thoroughly bad engineering, and my taxes are subsidising it against my will and professional judgment.
Professor Michael Kelly
Prince Philip Professor of Technology, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge
You need to buy The Times for more magisterial opinions.
This letter is published in full as it appeared in The Times as the author notes it has been edited from what he wrote.
If I told you that the first sentence of my letter was edited, your readers might be mollified.
Andrew Motion (report, Feb 23) is correct to castigate climate change deniers, as the climate has always been changing, but he is profoundly mistaken in linking all those who oppose the current climate science orthodoxy into one group.
February 27, 2012
Willetts - Britons Don't Cheat, They Do It As Men and The Antarctic Is Melting
David Willetts is standing between a picture of Captain Scott and a gigantic map showing the South Pole. One hundred years after the first polar expedition, the Universities and Science Minister has just returned from the Antarctic.
In sub-zero conditions, he saw penguins and seals as he flew over melting glaciers to witness the impact of global warming. “It was completely beautiful,” he says......
There is no doubt in his mind that climate change is a genuine danger. “When the pilot shows you a map of an ice shelf from 30 years ago and points out how it has changed, and a scientist says the place where he set up camp 30 years ago is now in open water, there is something real happening.”
The man nicknamed “Two Brains” is proud that it was British scientists who discovered the hole in the ozone layer, using “a few stubby pencils” rather than sophisticated computers. In his view they have the same plucky spirit as Scott, who collected research specimens on his way to the South Pole. He contrasted Scott and the Norwegian who beat him to the pole. “Roald Amundsen used huskies, which was the most effective way to travel, but Scott did the journey on foot. There was the sense that the British would do it properly. This was a test, they were going to do it as men. They were not going to cheat.”
Of course I haven't got two brains so instead of flying to Antarctica I took a whole minute to Google up the data - Sea Ice Index.
And as an Englishman I'm not going to cheat and I'm going to tell the truth about the Antarctic Ice Sea Extent....
Climate Change Demands Blood Of A Lamb
A changing climate isn't just about floods, droughts and heatwaves. It brings erupting volcanoes and catastrophic earthquakes too....
I admit it - I had to look them up.
Water, which turned to blood and killed all fish and other aquatic life (Exodus 7:14–25)
Frogs (Exodus 8:1–8:15)
Lice (Exodus 8:16–19)
Flies or wild animals (Exodus 8:20–30)
Disease on livestock (Exodus 9:1–7)
Unhealable boils (Exodus 9:8–12)
Hail and thunder (Exodus 9:13–35)
Locusts (Exodus 10:1–20)
Darkness (Exodus 10:21–29)
Death of the first-born of all Egyptian humans and animals.To be saved, the Israelites had to place the blood of a lamb on their door.(Exodus 11, Exodus 12)
Cold Homes Kill More Than Cars
Ed Matthew, of Transform UK, said: "More people die every year in the UK from living in a cold home than die on our roads. Millions more struggle to make ends meet in the face of high energy bills. This is a national scandal."
Camco reckons that if the Government's annual £4bn revenue were recycled to households to spend on energy efficiency measures, it would be enough to bring nine out of 10 households out of fuel poverty. It could also be used to create 200,000 jobs ......
So you increase the taxes on fuels to make people use less and then give the money back to people who can't afford to buy fuel so they can.....
February 23, 2012
Easter Island Lessons
.....If people know two things about Easter Island, it is that at some point before the arrival of Europeans, in the process of making and transporting those heads, someone cut down the last tree. Whoever it was could have looked around the island, half the size of the Isle of Wight, and seen it was the last tree. They could have gazed out on an horizon unbroken on all sides, on which no ship had passed in centuries, and known there were no trees to be found elsewhere. But they cut it down anyway.
And then, the island’s ecology collapsed. Food ran out. The stone heads still in the quarry were left, unfinished. The stone heads en route to the coast were abandoned, like our moai, mid-transit. Eventually, the Rapa Nui — the indigenous Polynesian population — turned to the only food source left, and a great cannibal war transformed this island paradise into a living hell. Still to this day, their obsidian arrowheads line the ground, so numerous they crunch underfoot.
Environmentalists have a name for what happened here: ecocide. A process that was the subject of Collapse, a 2005 book by the bestselling author Jared Diamond, its message is inescapable — and has been reiterated at environmental conferences the world over. Like us, the Easter Islanders became obsessed with producing ornaments and fripperies. Like us, they used scarce resources to make them. Like us, they knew they were causing irreparable environmental damage. But they did it anyway — and then died.
It is a dark parable for our times. And it makes archaeologists angry. ....
Colin Richards, an ordinarily placid professor of archaeology, looks angry. “All this talk of catastrophe is nonsense,” he says. “We’ve had this one assumption, and built upon it and built upon it. That’s the history of work on Easter Island.” He rises to a satisfying crescendo. Behind him a South Pacific storm builds to its own crescendo. “It is falseness and idiocy upon idiocy.” He gesticulates, sadly not quite in time with the distant thunder....
...But if we still insist on turning a single event on a complicated island into a simplistic parable, then this new parable of Easter Island becomes one less conducive to the environmental movement. In Hamilton’s interpretation it is, instead, a story of human ingenuity overcoming apparently insurmountable ecological challenges. If applied to the current climate-change debate, it might well be better used by those who oppose the environmentalists, who argue we shouldn’t worry about emissions, that we should trust in humanity’s ability to adapt.
Global-warming deniers are crackpots as bad as those who thought the Earth was flat, according to Sir Andrew Motion, the new president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England.
Sir Andrew said: “I understand there are people who are global warming deniers. I think they’re modern-day crackpots, they’re flat-earthers. I think they’re wrong but their point of view has to be acknowledged and become part of the conversation. Perhaps you have to do the same about people who think the world was made in a week — deny it.” He added that the only thing to be said for climate change deniers was that they kept scientists on their toes.
The CPRE campaigns on issues such as farming, housing, climate change and litter. Sir Andrew said: “Fighting for these kinds of things has never felt so important before. It’s very important, as you fight it, that everyone feels they can belong.”
Yes, calling climate change sceptics "deniers" really makes them feel that they can belong, not.
Flushing Lavatories A Luxury Too Far
Now that drought is upon us and we must all do our bit to save water...Cameron Diaz is out and proud about adhering to the “If it’s yellow let it mellow. If it’s brown send it down” mantra....“Urine stinks so I flush. End of,” says a colleague. But our forefathers coped with chamber pots quietly humming beneath the bed.
Perhaps, if only temporarily, we should forgo the luxury of being so fastidious about our toilette and let it stew awhile. It’s a grim thought for the summer, granted, but we’ll no doubt live....
....hopefully somewhere downwind of me.
February 21, 2012
Criminal Windfarm Money Laundering
ORGANISED criminal gangs in Scotland are eyeing the renewables industry, including windfarms, as a potential way of laundering money, police have said.
No names, though I could think of a few.
Guardian on Gleick - "He is the hero and Heartland remains the villain."
Gleick's admission was seen by some as crossing a new line in the increasingly vitriolic debate between scientists, campaigners, businesses and politicians who want action on climate change and a small but well-funded group of those who deny the existence of man-made climate change.
Some were dismayed the revelations. Others suggested that Heartland had got what it deserved – given its support for efforts to discredit science.
"Heartland has been subverting well-understood science for years," wrote Scott Mandia, co-founder of the climate science rapid response team. "They also subvert the education of our school children by trying to ;'teach the controversy' where none exists."
He went on: "Peter Gleick, a scientist who is also a journalist just used the same tricks that any investigative reporter uses to uncover the truth. He is the hero and Heartland remains the villain. He will have many people lining up to support him."
Does that defence remind anyone else of that other fearless investigative reporter Johann Hari?
February 19, 2012
Fish Slicers Appeal
Britain's dream of leading the world in harnessing the power of the sea is in danger of being sunk by risk-averse, under-ambitious policymakers who are letting foreign rivals dominate a multibillion-pound industry. An influential Commons committee warns that without a "more visionary" approach from ministers and officials, the development of wave and tidal technology will stall and other countries will steal a march on British firms.
Translation, Britain's firms are losing their world beating status of subsidy slurping and unless more dosh is chucked at them then those beastly foreigners will spend all their own money on developing the technology which we could then cheaply use in the future.
February 17, 2012
Watermelons by Delingpole - I haven't enjoyed anything as much since my granny caught her tit in the mangle.
Watermelons: How the Environmentalists are Killing the Planet, Destroying the Economy and Stealing Your Children's Future - James Delingpole
You know Dellers - the hyper writer on the Telegraph blogs who launches like a pitbull with Deep Heat on its ring at the warmists and their fellow travellers. You know his book is going to be funny and fearless. What you may not know is how seriously he comprehensively builds his argument. How clearly he marshals the facts, the dates and the players to explain the battles. I probably have been reading and commentating on this for as long as any UK blogger but even so it is a fascinating book as it ties the bigger picture together.
Our global response to the threat of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming - CAGW is the biggest story out there. It is our Cold War. Dellers says our enemy's missiles are made of toilet rolls and sticky backed plastic, gearing our whole economy to fight the threat is not just wrong, it is dangerous. And that whilst their weapons maybe be bumf the enemy is seriously dangerous.
You may think he is wrong, you may think he overstates the case, you may think he is right on the button, whatever, this book is essential reading in understanding this great debate. It is also great fun.
You must get a copy!
February 16, 2012
Richard Black Shocked
One thing that's clear from the documents is that the Heartland Institute is largely behind the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), a project that purports to mirror the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) by producing reports downplaying the extent of global warming as well as the involvement of greenhouse gas emissions in producing it.
Gosh Richard, you don't mean to say that the NIPPC which openly boasts of being supported by the Heartland Institute is supported by the Heartland Institute. A journalistic scoop if ever I saw one.
(I haven't spotted any other shocking revelation though others may differ.)
February 14, 2012
A Little Windy Omission
LAST year was a strong one for the wind sector, with significant industry activity. According to the latest figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), in the third quarter of 2011, 9 per cent of UK electricity demand was met by renewables, up by a percentage point on the same quarter of 2010.
Rick Eggleston is managing director of REpower UK
It took me a moment to spot the pea, the MD of a wind turbine company claims wind power has had a strong year by quoting the figure for renewables - yes all renewables, not wind. I wonder why that would be.
February 10, 2012
Wavey Davey On Offshore Wind
Mr Davey, who replaced Lib Dem colleague Chris Huhne, admitted that the cost of offshore wind at the moment is high but insisted it will come down with the right support, just as North Sea oil became cheaper as the industry developed.
In the long run he said that offshore wind will provide a low cost form of energy in comparison to fossil fuels as well as providing jobs and perhaps even an export market for the UK.
“This is an industry at an early stage. It is not surprising costs are high,” he said. “But if we can help development and support this industry at an early stage that will help the costs to come down.”
I have got this bridge for sale, I wonder if he would be interested.
February 8, 2012
Himalayan Ice Station Zero
The world's greatest snow-capped peaks, which run in a chain from the Himalayas to Tian Shan on the border of China and Kyrgyzstan, have lost no ice over the last decade, new research shows.
The discovery has stunned scientists, who had believed that around 50bn tonnes of meltwater were being shed each year and not being replaced by new snowfall.
What's 50bn tonnes between friends..
However, the scientist who led the new work is clear that while greater uncertainty has been discovered in Asia's highest mountains, the melting of ice caps and glaciers around the world remains a serious concern.
"Our results and those of everyone else show we are losing a huge amount of water into the oceans every year," said Prof John Wahr of the University of Colorado. "People should be just as worried about the melting of the world's ice as they were before."
His team's study, published in the journal Nature, concludes that between 443-629bn tonnes of meltwater overall are added to the world's oceans each year. This is raising sea level by about 1.5mm a year, the team reports, in addition to the 2mm a year caused by expansion of the warming ocean.
The scientists are careful to point out that lower-altitude glaciers in the Asian mountain ranges – sometimes dubbed the "third pole" – are definitely melting. Satellite images and reports confirm this. But over the study period from 2003-10 enough ice was added to the peaks to compensate.
It really, really is melting, just it is also snowing, but it is melting so keep sending the cheques, please.
February 5, 2012
Jonathan Leake Oddly Asks Why It Isn't Warming Much
... Is it really true that global temperatures have not risen since 1997?...
A third and very different data set is overseen by John Christy, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He gathers figures from three satellites that orbit the Earth 14 times a day. They measure the average temperature of the air from ground level to a height of 35,000ft, a method completely different from those of the Met Office and NCDC. Oddly, given his reputation as a climate sceptic, he found the biggest rise of all.
“From 1997-2011 our data show a global temperature rise of 0.15C,” he said. “What’s more, our satellites have been taking this data since 1979, and over that period [the] global temperature has risen 0.46C, so the world has been getting warmer.”
Oddly, given his reputation as a climate sceptic, he found the biggest rise of all.
Why "oddly"? Does Jonathan Leake expect sceptics not to present what they find if it is inconvenient?
February 3, 2012
Not Climate News
With record snowfalls, icy winds, and thousands of people trapped in remote villages, much of Central and Eastern Europe is in the grip of a cold snap that has caused more than 100 deaths. Temperatures in parts of Ukraine and other Eastern European countries are hovering around -30C (-22F).
It's just weather.
February 2, 2012
The Sceptical Compass
Excellent idea, all we need now is the quiz to go with it which pinpoints your position.
January 31, 2012
The Horrors of Climate Change in the UK
An interesting graphic from Defra -
Less people dying in winter, higher yields of grass, grain and sugar beet. More tourism and less energy usage. And lots of lovely tree growth in Scotland.
On the downside; flooding, mental health problems from flooding, flood damge, trouble getting insurance against flooding and public water supply deficits...(Presumably all that extra water cant be used to fill reservoirs), Lower summer river flows, sewers overflowing, wildfires due to warmer drier conditions, more flooding damage.
Loss of staff hours due to high internal business temperatures, overheating of buildings and increased summer mortality. If only someone would invent air conditioning.
And beech trees yield may decrease.
January 26, 2012
Scientists are measuring the impact of climate change on salmon and trout populations at a nature reserve in Wiltshire.
Four temperature monitors have been installed along a stretch of the River Wylye at the Langford Lakes nature reserve, near Salisbury.
Scientists from Wiltshire Wildlife Trust will take readings every 15 minutes, helping them to analyse any benefits cooler water has in encouraging more salmon to swim upstream and spawn.
Over the past five years, the number of salmon swimming up the river at Knapp Mill, where the Salisbury Avon enters the sea, has halved.
"If this continues, the salmon could be extinct in Wiltshire in just three years,"
Knap Mill Temperature Page gives the detail of the souring temperatures that have caused the problem...
Can't see it myself....
The Government published the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) on 25 January 2012, the first assessment of its kind for the UK and the first in a 5 year cycle.
All the doom and gloom you could ever want - we are going to drown under a blazing sun unless we follow the Glorious Five Year Plan, I think. I'm guessing because the documents don't want to download this early in the morning. Maybe the civil servant in charge is working from home and is using his broadband to look at the effect of hot wet weather on the clothing needs of young women as they will suffer most from climate change and the institutional inbuilt gender inequality of Britain in the future.
January 24, 2012
In some regions, acidity rose faster in the last two centuries than it did in the previous 21,000 years, a study has shown.
Measuring changes in ocean acidity is difficult because it varies naturally between seasons, years and regions.
Direct observations only date back 30 years, not long enough to reveal a meaningful trend.
So observations reveal nothing, must be proxies and models then.
January 22, 2012
"Climatic debt" - The New Problem
Animal and insect species in Europe are losing the fight to keep up with rapid changes in climate in a new phenomenon dubbed "climatic debt", according to an international study.
The findings saw birds lag behind their normal climate zones, on average by 212 kilometres and butterflies by 135km.
Some birds, such as the black and white pied flycatcher, are unable to adapt to the encroaching warmth and are not naturally moving north to cooler areas, according to experts writing in the journal Nature.
Numbers of the pied flycatcher have halved in the UK since 1995 – researchers believe the birds are not breeding as prolifically as they used to because of rising temperatures.
What UK rising temperatures?
Others, like the golden plover, are in danger of extinction as traditional food sources disappear. The plover's main food source – the cranefly – cannot survive in warmer temperatures.
The population crash in craneflies or Daddy Longlegs was because of a dry autumn in 2007 - they need damp soil to lay their eggs in. The population has largely recovered in subsequent years.
Experts are now suggesting some threatened species should be moved to new climate spaces, before they become extinct.
"It's something that's never been an issue before," said Mr Brereton. "Do we let the species become extinct or could we play God a bit and move them into places they've never occurred before?"
Why do I feel that a bird that can't be bothered to fly north a few miles isn't a problem we should worry about?
There are more important instances of climatic debt to worry about...
. So far all the meat "made" has been nearly colourless, tasteless and lacking texture. Scientists may have to add fat and even lab-grown blood and colourants.
Professor Julie Gold, a biological physicist at Chalmers technical university in Gothenburg, Sweden, said it could take years before commercialisation. "There is very little funding. What it needs is a crazy rich person."
She should have married Macca...
January 20, 2012
GM Algae Biofuel Hope
the UK government envisages 400 km sq of offshore seaweed farms in its long-term energy planning.
The new microbe research, published today in the leading journal Science, represents a "critical" technological breakthrough, but the challenge of making the approach commercially viable remains.
"Natural seaweed species grow very fast - 10 times faster than normal plants - and are full of sugars, but it has been very difficult to make ethanol by conventional fermentation," said Yannick Lerat, scientific director at Centre d'Etude et de Valorisation des Algues, the algae study centre in France. "So the new work is a really critical step. But scaling up processes using engineered microbes is not always easy. They also need to prove the economics work."
That popping sound you hear is the heads of some of leading Green commentators exploding as they try to work out if this is a good thing or not.
Climate Change means more badgers fewer hedgehogs
In the wild, animal numbers naturally fluctuate. The marsh fritillary butterfly, for example, can virtually vanish from some of its colonies in certain years, only to be present two or three years later in numbers that are overwhelming (this is caused by cycles of parasite infestation, and something similar happens with red grouse).
Generally, though, animal numbers have evolved to be in balance, both with their food supply and with other species. Predators cannot eat all the prey, as they themselves would die out. So when an event comes along which disturbs this balance, it's worth examining. One such is the steep decline of one of our best-loved mammals, the hedgehog.
In the past 20 years or so, hedgehogs have disappeared from much of Britain. This has not really registered yet in the public consciousness, but it is an astounding phenomenon. There were an estimated 30 million hedgehogs in Britain in the 1950s, but by the 1990s this was thought to be down to about 1.5 million, and recently the rate of decline has grown even steeper....
....my own impression – not worth a row of beans, scientifically, of course – is that the link is obvious and direct, and I take this from my experience of my local patch, as birders would say, which happens to be the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew ...
Say what you like: one animal has come, the other has gone. I can't see a way round it. In terms of our startling hedgehog disappearance, badgers seems to be The Cause That Dare Not Speak Its Name.
Yes - he is on the right lines here... of course he could have looked up a scientific paper to bolster his case.
“The abundance of hedgehogs varied in direct relation to the density of badger setts as a single variable. Absence of hedgehogs from all but a few isolated pockets in a site was predicted at densities of =2.27 badger setts per 10 km2” - http://www.jstor.org/pss/5262
But then maybe science isn't really his thing...
Badger ... numbers have increased enormously, almost certainly because of the warmer winters brought about by climate change.
Or maybe because they are a protected species...
Efficiency and Renewables aren't the same thing
RECENT images of wind turbine towers being blown over or catching fire during the storms may have alarmed advocates of wind energy. Scotland has ambitious climate change targets, but we should look beyond wind and waves for answers.
Science has a key role to play in aiding our transition to a low carbon economy. Chemistry helps us use resources more efficiently, whether through better insulation, lighter vehicles, renewable fuels, or better batteries. ...In short, chemistry tackles climate change issues at source by increasing efficiency.
The headline writer makes a too common mistake energy efficiency is nothing to do with renewables. It could be even argued that if we achieve massive improvements of efficiency it decreases the need for renewables as our existing sources of power will go further and do less damage.
I can't blame the headline writer too much as it seems DECC makes the same mistake.
January 17, 2012
Peer Review Holy Cow
Peer review made sense in an era when publishing necessarily claimed expensive resources, such as paper to print on, physical distribution, shelf space in libraries, et cetera. One had to be careful and spend those resources on articles that were likely to be worth it, and even then restrict what was spent on individual articles by imposing maximum lengths and the like. Also, finding the articles worth reading was difficult and the choices and guidance journal editors and editorial boards made were welcome.
How all this has changed with the advent of the Web. There is hardly any need for restrictions on the number and length of articles anymore, and searching – not to mention finding – articles that are relevant to the specific project a researcher is working on has become dramatically easier. As a result, the filtering and selecting functions of journals have become rather redundant.
“All very well, but what about the quality assurance that peer review provides?” Well, it is debatable that peer review does that reliably, though I’m willing to accept that it might. However, given its costs, can we really not deal with a lack of this quality assurance in the light of the benefits of universal and inexpensive Open Access ....
Free The Data
The USA's main funding agency for health-related research is the National Institutes of Health, with a $30bn annual budget. The NIH has a public access policy that says taxpayer-funded research must be freely accessible online. This means that members of the public, having paid once to have the research done, don't have to pay for it again when they read it – a wholly reasonable policy, and one with enormous humanitarian implications because it means the results of medical research are made freely available around the world.
A similar policy is now being adopted in the UK. On page 76 of the policy document Innovation and Research Strategy for Growth the government states that it is "committed to ensuring that publicly funded research should be accessible free of charge". All of this is great for the progress of science, which has always been based on the free flow of ideas, the sharing of data, and standing on the shoulders of giants.
And not just for health related papers.
January 16, 2012
On This Day In History Climate Disaster
The (1st) Grote Mandrenke (/ɣroːtə mʌndrɛŋkə/, Low Saxon for "Great Drowning of Men"], lit.: great man-watering) was the name of a massive southwesterly Atlantic gale (see also European windstorm) which swept across England, the Netherlands, northern Germany, and Schleswig around January 16, 1362, causing at minimum 25,000 deaths. January 16 is the feast day of St. Marcellus (pope Marcellus I), hence the terrible storm tide is also called the "2nd St. Marcellus flood". The "1st St. Marcellus flood" which drowned 36,000 men mainly in West Friesland and Groningen (today provinces in the north of the Netherlands) took place on the same day (January 16) in 1219.
An immense storm tide of the North Sea swept far inland from the Netherlands to Denmark, breaking up islands, making parts of the main land into islands, and wiping out entire towns and districts, such as Rungholt on the island of Strand in North Frisia.
This storm tide, along with others of like size in the 13th century and 14th century, played a part in the formation of the Zuider Zee, and was characteristic of the unsettled and changeable weather in northern Europe at the beginning of the Little Ice Age.
And not an SUV to blame or taxpayer to mulct....
Euro-Tory Wants Money For Blue Carbon
...An international conference kicks off in Brussels this week looking at how we can put in place the building blocks for a thriving global blue carbon system. It will look at practical ways in which we can reduce the rate of marine and coastal ecosystem degradation. That means carbon credits for CO2 sequestered in blue carbon sinks must be traded, just as they are with green carbon, while a global blue carbon fund to pay for the protection and enhancement of remaining marine ecosystems must be established.
Blue carbon lies at the very heart of the global warming debate. Over the past 70 years we have lost around 20 per cent of the habitats that play this vital role in CO2 reduction. That trend has to be reversed. Our survival depends on it.
• Struan Stevenson is a Conservative Euro MP for Scotland and President of the European Parliament’s Climate Change, Biodiversity & Sustainable Development Intergroup
I'm a little confused how we have lost 20% of the oceans where CO2 dissolves in to the water, becoming Blue Carbon, or how we trade this, maybe afte I have watched some Alka-Seltzer bubbles all will become clear.
January 13, 2012
Climate Change Radicals
A LITTLE-UNDERSTOOD molecule in the atmosphere could play an important role in reducing pollution and global warming, scientists believe.
Criegee biradicals were first hypothesised in the 1950s but have only now been isolated and measured.
New research shows they act as powerful “clean up” agents, neutralising atmospheric pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide.
A byproduct of the process is the creation of aerosol droplets that “seed” planet-cooling clouds.
The molecules, known as chemical “intermediates”, should in theory have a significant influence on climate. However, until now they have never been directly observed.
Don't go upsetting the settled science....
January 12, 2012
January 9, 2012
Windy Gas Emissions
By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent
A study in the Netherlands found that turning back-up gas power stations on and off to cover spells when there is little wind actually produces more carbon than a steady supply of energy from an efficient modern gas station.
The research is cited in a new report by the Civitas think tank which warns that Britain is in danger of producing more carbon dioxide (CO2) than necessary if the grid relies too much on wind.
Wind turbines only produce energy around 30 per cent of the time. When the wind is not blowing - or even blowing too fast as in the recent storms - other sources of electricity have to be used, mostly gas and coal.
However it takes a surge of electricity to power up the fossil fuel stations every time they are needed, meaning more carbon emissions are released....
A "surge of electricity", or a surge in fuel usage? I wonder if My Little Chipmonk has transcribed the press release correctly, but whatever the point stands. But the lovely Louise finds someone to argue against it.
But Dr Gordon Edge, Director of policy at the lobby group RenewableUK, said much of the information was gathered from “anti-wind farm cranks”.
He explained that modern gas plants are not required to provide back-up for wind. Instead, wind is "integrated" into the existing system to act as a fuel saver, enabling the UK harness a free electricity source from the weather when it’s available. Some additional investment is required, but Dr Edge said “credible analysis” makes clear it will cost less for consumers than relying on fossil fuels, that are rising in price all the time.
So no backups needed for when the wind doesn't blow....hmmm.
January 8, 2012
The Generation Game
The gales battering Britain have been so strong that many turbines have had to be shut down for safety reasons and the National Grid forced to increase output from gas and coal fired power stations to make up the shortfall.
At one site, near Huddersfield, in Yorkshire, 110mph winds were so strong that 15ft blades were blown off three turbines.
On other occasions, often during periods when the wind is still strong but slightly less gusty, operators have been asked to turn off their turbines, because they were flooding the network with more electricity than was needed.
On the 23 occasions since Christmas Eve on which this has occurred, operators have received more than £1 million from the National Grid.
Is this anyway to run a reliable supply?.
January 7, 2012
Good Food News
Modern shoppers pay one 13th as much for their groceries as those who lived 150 years ago, according to new research.
A shopper would have needed £1,254.17 in real terms to fill their weekly basket with food, drink and household items in 1862 - compared to just £93.95 today.
The analysis, published by The Grocer magazine, took 33 items such as a dozen eggs, hot chocolate, a loaf of bread, a toothbrush and a litre of sherry, and applied an average earnings measure of inflation to their 1862 prices.
The biggest percentage changes were seen in fruit with the cost of a pineapple, which cost £1.72 this week and sold for 5s in 1862, estimated to cost £149 in real terms to the 1862 shopper, according to The Grocer.
That means today's price is a fall of 8,553%, the magazine said. The price of 1kg of grapes had dropped 7,419% while a melon fell by 5,971%, according to the calculations.
The horrors of trade, technology and globalisation! How much happier we would be if we worked all week to be able to afford to buy a low food miles turnip to gnaw on...
January 6, 2012
Libertarians Have To Be Deniers - Monbiot - End of Argument.
....the procedural justice account of property rights. In brief, this means that if the process by which property was acquired was just, those who have acquired it should be free to use it as they wish, without social restraints or obligations to other people.
Their property rights are absolute and cannot be intruded upon by the state or by anyone else. Any interference with, or damage to, the value of their property without their consent – even by taxation – is an unwarranted infringement. This, with local variations, is the basic philosophy of the Republican candidates, the Tea Party movement, the lobby groups that call themselves "free market thinktanks" and much of the new right in the UK.
It is a pitiless, one-sided, mechanical view of the world, which elevates the rights of property over everything else, meaning that those who possess the most property end up with great power over others. Dressed up as freedom, it is a formula for oppression and bondage. It does nothing to address inequality, hardship or social exclusion. A transparently self-serving vision, it seeks to justify the greedy and selfish behaviour of those with wealth and power......
So here we have a simple and coherent explanation of why libertarianism is so often associated with climate change denial, and the playing down or dismissal of other environmental issues. It would be impossible for the owner of a power station, steel plant, quarry, farm or any large enterprise to obtain consent for all the trespasses he commits against other people's property – including their bodies.
This is the point at which libertarianism smacks into the wall of gritty reality and crumples like a Coke can. Any honest and thorough application of this philosophy would run counter to its aim: which is to allow the owners of capital to expand their interests without taxation, regulation or recognition of the rights of other people.
Libertarianism becomes self-defeating as soon as it recognises the existence of environmental issues. So they must be denied.
I'm not sure what George has given up for his New Year's resolution but I suggests he starts back on a medicinal dose of it ASAP.
I think his beef is with people recognising property rights. They are the most unfashionable rights to campaign for. There is no think-tank declaring their importance, though there should be. They are the one true foundation of prosperity and happiness. I beg no forgiveness for standing up for them. And that includes the right to demand compensation from anyone who harms my property in any way.
Isn't that what you want George?
January 5, 2012
When I'm 65
Happy Birthday Tom Burke, 65
The environmental policy adviser Tom Burke thinks that environmentalists are winning the argument about climate change with the government, business and the public: “We’re only losing it with the media who are rather bored and want to move on to the next, new thing.”
He is not worried about getting older: “The great thing about growing up in the Sixties was that the idea of getting old never occured to us. That Bob Dylan song Forever Young always gets it just right for me.
Winning the argument?
Depends on who you listen to, I suppose.
But banging the drum seems to have been an agreeable career....Friends of the Earth, BP, Rio Tinto, Secretaries of State...
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. In 1993 he was appointed to United Nations Environment Programme’s ‘Global 500’ roll of honour. In 1997, he was appointed CBE for services to the environment. He was awarded Royal Humane Society testimonials on Vellum (1968) and Parchment (1970).
Tudge Calls For Drudgery
Common sense tells us that in a finite world, farming must be low-input, which means as organic as possible. Mixed, low-input farming is complex and must be skills-intensive; there is little advantage in scale-up so the default farm size is small to medium.
Britain now needs a million more farmers – at least 10 times the number at present; closer to 10% of the workforce than today's 1%. For a country with 2.5 million unemployed, including a million young people, many of them graduates, skills-intensive farming should be a godsend – not just a short-term expedient but the permanent base of the economy....
Scientists are paid to give the impression that the status quo works. Successive governments beginning with Margaret Thatcher have closed Britain's network of publically supported agricultural research stations, and/or have gifted them to corporations. University departments have gone the same way. So scientists who seek seriously to be paid must work for corporations, even if they seem to be working for the public weal....
Properly directed science tells us that we need farms that are as diverse as possible
You see- scientists aren't being "properly directed" which is why they aren't backing this call for the return of serfdom.
Once we get the scientists in line then we can get all those people back on the land chopping turnips by hand in the biting easterly winds of February. Of course you and I and Colin Tudge will have important jobs doing the directing but the permanent peasant class will be grateful for our kind and paternal leadership.
January 4, 2012
Just Add Feathers
We've known for the last year that the full exploitation of the tar sands would mean "game over" for the climate. This new report puts into stark relief exactly what "game over" looks like: millions upon millions of starving people across the planet.
We couldn't put it anymore succintly and powerfully than the report itself: "Put simply, the potential destructive power in Canada’s oil sands exceeds anything modern civilization has witnessed to date."
I think there is a Venn Diagram somewhere of two unconnected circles one marked "350.org" and one "plot".
January 2, 2012
The Year of Climate Justice
Yes! Let's go for it!
I demand in the name of climate justice that:
The sun shines on my birthday.
It only rains at night in the summer.
Really hot August bank holiday so the Telegraph can print photos of lovelies on the beach.
Snow on Christmas Day, every year.
And so on, I'm sure you can easily think of more.
Demanding the world is fair is lovely, demanding that the "rich" pay for it to so become is less attractive.
January 1, 2012
Good News On Renewables For 2012
Globally, renewable energy is on the retreat, to the point where last month the Ernst & Young accountancy firm warned that, should the eurozone debt crisis worsen, a climate funding gap of $45bn (£29bn) worldwide could emerge by 2015.
Even if government cuts do not deepen, which is unlikely, the Ernst & Young report claimed that a gap of $22.5bn on investment in renewable energy and subsidies is likely to emerge across 10 leading world economies in less than four years. Among them is the UK where the shortfall is estimated to be $5bn, while in Spain it would be $6bn.
The "gap" in investment is caused by the lessening of subsidies. In other words in the UK $5bn won't be spunked away on subsidy seeking, because presumably over $5bn of public taxpayer's money won't be available to subsidise uncommercial renewables.
That sounds like a result to me.
December 30, 2011
Prosperity Through Rationing
The overuse and waste of valuable natural resources is threatening to produce a fresh economic crisis, the European Union's environment chief has warned.
Janez Potočnik, the EU commissioner for the environment, linked the current economic crisis gripping the eurozone with potential future crises driven by price spikes in key resources, including energy and raw materials.
Potočnik gave notice that his department was scouring through existing regulations and proposed new ones in order to ensure that none would encourage resources to be used profligately, and to safeguard the EU's natural resources for the future.
Although most of the west is still mired in economic woes, much of the developing world including rapidly emerging economies such as China and India are forging ahead financially, and as a consequence are consuming a far greater share of the world's resources.
Potočnik called for resource use to become a "mainstream" issue in economics. Recalling his own education as an economist, he noted: "I was taught that water was a free commodity, like air. We really do need to have the internalisation of these costs."
A good dose of regulation and rationing and bureaucratic control of resource allocation that's what our Ljubljana economic wonk is ordering for us to catch up with those crazy growing economies. Allowing the market to allocate anything - pah!
December 23, 2011
Guardian Admits It Might Be The Sun Wot Did It
The winters of 2009–10 and 2010–11 in the UK were the coldest in the previous 25 years. This has been taken by some commentators and members of the public as evidence that global warming isn't happening. In truth, however, cold UK winters are entirely possible within broader global warming trends.
Scientists have determined that the Earth's climate is warming by averaging measurements from all over the globe over many decades. Indeed, 2010 was one of the warmest years on record. But natural climate variability means there are plenty of local or temporary events – such as cold winters – that appear to contradict the warming trend....
There's also evidence that low phases of the sun's 11-year activity cycle might influence the NAO and thus bring cold winters to Britain..
What! The sun might have influence, heresies are now creeping into the Guardian...
Divination By Swans
This year, the first swans to arrive at WWT Slimbridge Wetland centre
in Gloucestershire, landed on the 25th October - a week later than last year and possibly signaling the start of a warmer winter.
It is a fascinating look at one of nature's recurring events. What does it tell us about the British winter and what is happening to our weather?
(The answer I think is nothing, except not much has changed.)
December 21, 2011
Rules The Weir
The Queen’s Windsor Castle home will be partly powered by the UK’s largest Archimedes screw turbine installed into a weir yesterday.
I like water power, it seems to match demand better, and jokes about screwing the taxpayer for the subsidy won't be tolerated, unless they are very good.
December 19, 2011
Mercury In The Home - Blame Chinese Coal
Poisonous metal released as a vapour by burning fuel, then falls back to Earth and gets absorbed by the aquatic ecosystem
Thank goodness no one be a stupid to pressurize people to have little glass bulbs of the stuff all over their homes just waiting to be broken and release ..... oh sorry the greens have..
December 16, 2011
Near Record Lows
New data suggest that there has been a significant increase in UK concern about climate change.
While the climb in those who say that climate change is a very serious problem, from 43% to 49%, does not restore concern to the level of 2007-2009, it indicates that concern about climate change is not in steady decline....
it’s clear that concern about climate change has climbed since last year’s low point. This should influence how older polls, like the British Social Attitudes survey, are interpreted, as well as undermining the view that steadily fewer people are worried about the issue.
Or the headline could be "Concern At Second Lowest Since Records Began".
It could be the start of a hockeystick upswing or it could be a wobble on a decline.
December 15, 2011
Calling Sir Fred
EDINBURGH is well placed to meet the criteria set out by the UK Government to decide the location of the new Green Investment Bank, campaigners said today.
Sir Fred, your expertise is needed!
Green Energy Won't Cost You Much If You Don't Buy It
Household energy bills will rise by £190 by the end of the decade, according to an analysis published on Thursday by the government's official climate change advisers. But fears of "astronomical" rises as a result of building a clean energy system for the UK have been rejected by the report, which says charges on future bills for renewable energy and energy efficiency will contribute just £110 of the increase.
"There have been claims that there will be astronomical bill rises in the next decade due to low-carbon policies. Our analysis disproves this," said David Kennedy, chief executive of the CCC. "We want to demystify this issue and have an honest debate based on facts not assertions."
Investing in low-carbon energy was the "sensible economic path" said Kennedy. "It will be very expensive to solve the problem [of cutting carbon emissions] later. We could ignore the issue and build gas plants, but then we will end up with lots of power stations we will have to scrap."
"There has been a concerted effort by some campaign groups to completely mislead the public into believing that green taxes have been the main cause of rises in fuel bills," said Bob Ward, at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at London School of Economics. "These groups, including the Global Warming Policy Foundation and the Taxpayers' Alliance, appear driven by an extreme ideological opposition to environmental regulation, and have sought to confuse and misinform the public with blatantly inflated figures."
The report doesn't seem to be online yet, so I can only guess at its contents, but a fiver says the figure is based on a reduction in energy use because of green measures in the home, more insulation etc. Where that leaves those of us who are insulated to the hilt already I don't know because the figure we want is not a comparison between what we pay now and what we might pay in the future if we don't turn the gas tap on, but between a unit of energy delivered today and a unit in the future. We can then work the rest out ourselves.
And does it include the costs the taxpayers incurs that are not on the electricity bill?
December 13, 2011
Current projections by one team of Arctic scientists suggest that the sea ice in September, when it hits its summertime minimum, will all but have disappeared as early as 2015.
Outweighing this alarming state of affairs is the consequential rise in methane released from the Arctic seabed and surrounding tundra. The massive quantity of methane locked up in a frozen state in the Arctic presents a climate change "time bomb", with a fuse that is already burning.
The point of no return, when the positive feedback becomes unstoppable, could be very soon. It is now clear that there are two critical problems: the rapid loss of sea ice and the emergence of methane from a thawing seabed. They both call for rapid intervention to cool the region and to capture the methane.
John Nissen is chairman of the Arctic Methane Emergency Working Group
I bet he is the man for the job of spending the billions to do so.
December 12, 2011
Adam Smith Against Sunbeam Bottling
Renewable energy: Vision or mirage? | Adam Smith Institute
It is difficult not to conclude that the official enthusiasm for renewables has more to do with the power of the green lobby than economics and energy security. Martin Livermore, joint author of the report, adds:
“For too long, we have been told that heavy investment in uneconomic renewable energy was not only necessary but would provide a secure future electricity supply. The facts actually show that current renewables technologies are incapable of making a major contribution to energy security and – despite claims to the contrary – have only limited potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.”
“Consumers have a right to expect government to place high priority on a secure, affordable energy supply. It seems that ministers have not yet realised the need to invest in more nuclear and gas generating capacity if the electorate is not to be badly let down.”
Scotland To Bottle Sunbeams To Sell Round The Globe
SCOTLAND could earn billions of pounds a year by exporting electricity if Holyrood was handed full powers over the country’s energy sector, says a leading think-tank.
But the claims were attacked by critics last night as “incoherent and confused”.
A report from Reform Scotland said that the nation could become a “world-leader” in trading green energy if it switched from nuclear power to renewables such as wind and sea power to generate electricity.
The report also said the Scottish Government should shut all nuclear power stations north of the Border and instead become the biggest exporter of low-carbon electricity in Europe.
However, the demands for full energy powers to be completely devolved from Westminster were questioned by Labour MP Tom Greatrex, who said the report failed to explain how Scotland would produce enough renewables with the “substantial subsidy” he said it received from the UK.
The row came just days after a report from multinational firm Citigroup said payments from the UK’s 27 million households and 4.5 million business consumers to help subsidise Scotland’s renewable power stations would end under independence...
Mr Blackett said the £2bn figure had been estimated by looking at Scotland’s expected electricity surplus, which he said could be sold to other nations across the globe.
The first man I saw was of a meagre aspect, with sooty hands and face, his hair and beard long, ragged, and singed in several places. His clothes, shirt, and skin, were all of the same colour. He has been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which were to be put in phials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw inclement summers. He told me, he did not doubt, that, in eight years more, he should be able to supply the governor's gardens with sunshine, at a reasonable rate: but he complained that his stock was low, and entreated me "to give him something as an encouragement to ingenuity, especially since this had been a very dear season for cucumbers." I made him a small present, for my lord had furnished me with money on purpose, because he knew their practice of begging from all who go to see them.
From Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
December 11, 2011
Bishop Hill New eBook - Get it Today
With Climategate 2.0 putting the story of the Cambridge Media and Environment Programme into the mainstream media, Bishop Hill thought it might be useful to tell the full story of how he stumbled across the partnership between Harrabin and Smith and how Tony Newbery and spent four years trying to uncover what it did.
The results are in a short ebook which he is making available today. Details of how to get hold of it are here.
Global Warming Scare - The Shrink Is Here To Help
Only a psychologist can explain why most of us believe global warming is man-made yet limit our greenness to recycling
This is the real climate change conundrum. If the science is so convincing that humans are melting the ice, acidifying the oceans and making sea levels rise, why is everyone dragging their feet about doing something?
The way forward is in finding ways to change those underlying implicit values. At the personal level, Fair Trade labels pioneered a way to overcome the information problem; carbon footprinting needs to do the same. Campaigners should look to their vocabulary. Global warming sounds nice and cosy, as if we are all going to live in the Med. Planetary overheating might be a better term.
Without changes in our individual psyches there will not be real change at the political level that will turn aspirations into action. Psychology can help us to diagnose the problem; now we must bring it to bear on the solutions.
Call me old fashioned but I just want to get to the facts.
December 9, 2011
Guardian Refutes Without Proof
Attacks on the science of the BBC's Frozen Planet series by climate sceptic Nigel Lawson were "patronising", wrong and the "usual tired obfuscation and generalisation", according to a leaked internal document written by one of the show's science advisers.
When you rebut someone’s argument you argue against it. To refute someone’s argument is to prove it incorrect. Unless you are certain you have achieved success, use “rebut.”
The body of the article calls it a rebuttal - maybe the headline sub needs an education.
December 8, 2011
Global Warming Turning Polar Bears Into Cannibals
It is an image that is sure to shock many people.
An adult polar bear is seen dragging the body of a cub that it has just killed across the Arctic sea ice.
Polar bears normally hunt seals but if these are not available, the big predators will seek out other sources of food - even their own kind.
... environmental photojournalist Jenny Ross...told BBC News.
".... there are increasing numbers of observations of it occurring, particularly on land where polar bears are trapped ashore, completely food-deprived for extended periods of time due to the loss of sea ice as a result of climate change."
Nothing to do with there being too many bears....
Camilla Cavendish - Too Many Ghastly People To Blame
I write about a wide range of subjects but I have never met such pure, hostile outrage as when I dared to suggest that a century of industrial revolution, population explosion and cutting down forests to grow food might be changing the composition of the atmosphere. People deeply resent the implication, often made explicit, that they are guilty in some way. Even Sir David will not be immune from attack: how dare people living in glass houses in Richmond-upon-Thames throw stones after flying thousands of miles for the BBC?
Men are drilling hundreds of miles under the earth to extract information about temperature changes; they are giving Inuit hunters satellite phones to monitor glaciers; they are living under artificial light for six months of the year in self-contained stations to study the complex ways in which the planet is warming. Yet mankind cannot rationally discuss the results of those studies. Human ingenuity stops at a psychological challenge that requires us to set the welfare of future generations against our own and requires us to take out costly insurance against a risk the magnitude of which cannot really be quantified....
Scepticism is healthy. It is also easy — shout that greens are exaggerating, politicians are prevaricating and scientists are partisan, rather than focus on what might be in store.
The irony is that interest has cooled in the warming planet just as the evidence is hardening on the changes taking place and when global carbon emissions have hit record levels, despite the recession in the West....
But soon it will be necessary to look the bogey of global warming in the face again. That means admitting the importance of limiting population growth. It means protecting the rainforests, which act as the planet’s lungs. It means not automatically sneering at plans for electric cars, nuclear power and such things...
Limiting population growth - the trendy new green answer. And how are we going to that? Obviously the greens can sneer at the Roman Catholics, in a non-condemning multicultural way. But do they then push for economic growth which we know cuts population growth, even in Catholic countries or do we revert to some of the old trusted methods from the last century?
Hansen - More Less Now
James Hansen, director of Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, said there was a widespread misconception among international climate negotiators meeting in Durban, South Africa, that the 2C "safe" target would stop extreme changes.
He believes carbon dioxide concentrations – now at nearly 389 parts per million (ppm) – should be no higher than 350ppm to stop catastrophic events such as the melting of ice sheets, dramatic sea level rises and methane being released from beneath the permafrost.
"The target of 2C... is a prescription for long-term disaster," he said. "You can't say exactly what long term is but we are beginning to see signs of slow [climate] feedbacks beginning to come into play.
We are all doomed and going to die in the long term.
December 7, 2011
Some Of The People All Of The Time
The latest British Social Attitudes (BSA) report, launched today by the National Centre for Social Research, reveals a substantial decline in public concern for environmental issues and climate change.
The seminal study of the British public’s attitudes and values, published annually for almost 30 years, pinpoints economic hardship and climate change scepticism as the key factors contributing to the decline in Britain’s collective environmental conscience.
It finds people are increasingly reluctant to make personal financial sacrifices to protect the environment:
• Since 2000 the number of people prepared to pay higher prices to safeguard the environment has fallen, from 43 to 26 per cent. So too has the proportion willing to pay much higher taxes to protect the environment, from 31 to 22 per cent.
• Support has fallen among all income groups. Just over a third (36 per cent) of those in the highest earning households (in 2010 defined as those with household income of over £44,000) would be willing to pay higher prices to protect the environment, down from 52 per cent in 2000.
The report also finds that people are more sceptical about the credibility of scientific research on global warming:
• Under half the population (43 per cent) currently considers rising temperatures caused by climate change to be very dangerous for the environment, down from 50 per cent in 2000.
• The least likely to see climate change as dangerous were older people (28 per cent), those with no qualifications (28 per cent) and those on the lowest incomes (37 per cent).
• Over a third (37 per cent) think many claims about environmental threats are exaggerated, up from 24 per cent in 2000.
Full Time Activist
*What hurts me most is that our (South African) government keeps talking about concern about climate change, yet 2.5 million people do not even have electricity and the government is building two of the largest coal-fired power stations in the world."
I can't work out the logic here...
A few hours after Greenpeace activists invaded a business meeting in Durban on Monday, the organisation's international director, Kumi Naidoo, went to the Durban central prison where some of them had been taken...
"In one sense I am grateful to the apartheid regime. It made me a full-time activist. ...
Naidoo went on to run a children's home, and became a community organiser, where he was arrested several times and charged for violating the state of emergency, and civil disobedience. He ducked underground, worked in Zimbabwe and then spent four years in exile in England....Naidoo then spent 10 years "on the road", leading the Make Poverty History campaign and other civil society groups. ...He has been criticised for not being an environmentalist, but he responds that the struggle for human and climate justice is similar to that against apartheid....He says his daughter convinced him to go for the Greenpeace job. "She was in London and had seen me on the BBC. I was in the 19th day of a hunger strike and looking like a skeleton. She said: 'Dad, go for it. Greenpeace is about the future. It talks and it acts.' She even helped me fill in the form."
Maybe he should get his daughter to help him fill out his thoughts as well.
EU Hoping For Recession
The EU has identified itself as leader on climate change for many years. However, concerns have been raised here in Durban about its failure to increase its ambition to cut emissions to 30 per cent by 2020 from the current meager 20 per cent - a commitment that no longer shows a position of real climate leadership.
At today’s EU press conference they were also forced to defend accusations that Europe was in fact divided on the issue of climate.
“It is incorrect to say that the EU is not united,” said EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard. “We have a publicly known mandate. There are some differences, but the position is united.”
A question by a reporter asking if Poland will use its Presidency of the EU to push Europe to adopt a 30% target was met with the answer from the Polish representative of: “There are only 25 days of the presidency left, including Christmas.”
So, I’m guessing that will be a ‘no’ then.
Perhaps it’s just as well we wait until Denmark takes hold of the EU presidency as they, like Scotland, have declared a target of at least 40 per cent cuts in emissions.
December 6, 2011
Global Warming 51% Your Bacon Sarnie's Fault
In the 19-page report, Robert Goodland, a former lead environmental adviser to the World Bank, and Jeff Anhang, a current adviser, suggest that domesticated animals cause 32 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), more than the combined impact of industry and energy.
December 5, 2011
Libya Wants To Take Us Back To Frost Fairs
... the new Libyan transitional government, with six delegates. .. wildly ambitious and clearly already trying to revolutionise thinking on climate change and science. It plans a monster geoengineering project that would not just cool the Earth by 6C and cut carbon dioxide emissions to zero by 2021, it says, but would reverse global warming, provide power for 2 billion people, lower sea levels and restore the climate of 1750. Wow. How, you ask? Easily, says Muftah Elarbash, who describes himself as a Libyan environmental engineer who is on the delegation. He wants to build, at a cost of around $45 trillion, several dozen giant, 15km wide "venting towers" to create constant winds in the desert to drive massive windfarms which would then electrify the world. "Once that is done the maximum ambient temperature of 26.2C will be reached in 2020 - 6C below the catastrophic threshold temperature of 32". He reckons that by 2080 the climate will be back to that seen in 1750. If you think all that is a bit far-fetched, then Elarbash cites the recent Libyan revolution against Gaddafi. "Libya did mission impossible in eight months with the help of the world," he says. One note of warning: better not mention a return to the British climate of 1750. Horace Walpole, MP, records: "[The year] opened with most unseasonable weather, the heat being beyond what was ever known in any other country". Severe earthquakes and widespread flooding followed.
Insurers Calculate How To Increase Your Green Premium
David Weymouth, group operations & risk director at RSA, is leading a group of the company's staff on a whistlestop tour of Canada, taking in Toronto, Winnipeg, Churchill and Calgary.
Mr Weymouth is keen to stress that the effects could soon be clearly evident much closer to home.
"Arctic ice is melting – what does that mean in reality? It could mean that the house I own, that is currently outside a flood plain, finds itself in one if the tide goes up another metre...The consequences are serious."
All that floating ice melting will push up the water level by about the square root of fuck all, unlike your insurance premium which will rise....
RSA saw net written premiums rise 11pc to £6.1bn in the nine months to September 30, while the group expects to deliver a combined ratio of less than 95pc in 2011 (a key measure of underwriting profitability, with figures under 100 reflecting a profit).
Global Warming 74% Your Fault
Natural climate variability is extremely unlikely to have contributed more than about one-quarter of the temperature rise observed in the past 60 years, reports a pair of Swiss climate modellers in a paper published online today. Most of the observed warming — at least 74 % — is almost certainly due to human activity, they write in Nature Geoscience...
Knutti and Huber found that greenhouse gases contributed 0.6–1.1 °C to the warming observed since the mid-twentieth century, with the most statistically likely value being a contribution of about 0.85 °C. Around half of that contribution from greenhouse gases — 0.45 °C — was offset by the cooling effects of aerosols. These directly influence Earth's climate by scattering light; they also have indirect climate effects through their interactions with clouds.
The authors calculated a net warming value of around 0.5 °C since the 1950s, which is very close to the actual temperature rise of 0.55 °C observed over that period. Changes in solar radiation — a hypothesis for global warming proffered by many climate sceptics — contributed no more than around 0.07 °C to the recent warming, the study finds.
To test whether recent warming might just be down to a random swing in Earth’s unstable climate — another theory favoured by sceptics — Knutti and Huber conducted a series of control runs of different climate models without including the effects of the energy-budget parameters. But even if climate variability were three times greater than that estimated by state-of-the-art models, it is extremely unlikely to have produced a warming trend as pronounced as that observed in the real world, they found.
74% eh? That fuzzy graph looks, well, a bit fuzzy as to fit to my sceptical eye. But then I suppose we all see what we want to.
December 4, 2011
Sunday Times Leader Blows Cold On Turbines
Our quest for green energy could result in future generations being left with thousands of useless wind turbines dotted around the countryside
....The programme of replacing and eventually expanding Britain’s nuclear power capability must go on.
The scores of wind farms are more worrying. Renewable energy technology is in its infancy. Huge breakthroughs in solar, wave and other renewables will be made in the coming years. Mr Huhne envisages a “technology race” in the 2020s with the cheapest winning. It is important that the race is not fixed before it starts. The current generation of wind farms may quickly become outdated and remain as expensive reminders of a rush to invest. New, more effective and less intrusive energy technologies are on the way. The risk is that the door is closed to them if the government throws in its lot with wind farms. For reasons of cost as well as aesthetics, we must avoid falling into that trap.
Huhne Speeds Off To Futile Freebie
Millions of taxpayers money spent on tackling climate change abroad - Telegraph
The UK has spent more than £600 million on securing an international agreement on climate change and promoting green technologies in developing countries since April 2006, according to Government spending reports.
The figures do not include spending by the Foreign Office, which has an entire department dedicated to climate change, nor the amount given in aid to foreign countries for climate change projects by the Department for International Development.
The revelations come as Chris Huhne, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, leads a 45-strong delegation to Durban, South Africa,
Despite apocalyptic warnings about temperatures reaching record levels and carbon emissions rising faster than ever, the delegates at the vast UN climate conference in South Africa this weekend could not be further from reaching a deal – or further from the thoughts of a global population gripped by economic fears.
More than 10,000 ministers, officials, campaigners and scientists from 194 countries are meeting in Durban in an attempt to counter the devastating effects of global warming....
I hope Huhne enjoys his holiday by the sea, I'd happily forgotten he was still around.
Thar She Blows!
The waters around the British Isles could soon be home to several new species of mammals as a rising number of foreign visitors are being reported around our coasts. Experts believe the rare sightings of cetaceans from tropical climes could mean sea creatures are scouting for new territories to settle as global warming takes effect on sea temperatures....
But it is not just the whales moving north into warmer seas; we are also seeing mammals coming down from colder climes. Bearded seals from the Arctic have been seen off the coast of Fife, east Scotland, said Callan Duck, a senior research scientist at the Scottish Oceans Institute at St Andrews University.
"The change in climate and the food chains is definitely having an impact in the species we are seeing, but I think you have to remember to factor in how much better we are at spotting and recording these mammals. Good digital cameras are really accessible now, and so everybody has the opportunity to identify what they have seen – so the whole process of reporting sightings is much more accurate and efficient."
December 2, 2011
Hugo Dim But Nice
Interest in the warming world has gone off the boil.
It’s not just the Government and the press that have lost the fire. It’s everybody. Yesterday’s climate campers have become today’s Occupy campers — the same people protesting against the same people, but for wholly different reasons.....
None of this is surprising. Climate has traditionally been cared about most passionately by people who don’t particularly have anything else to care about, such as children or Bono....
Few people manage to be wholly honest with themselves as to exactly why they think what they think about climate change. It maps too easily on to other agendas. Has anybody come across a climate sceptic who is also a passionate advocate of the euro? Where can they all be? With varying degrees of rationality, those who want small government cleave one way, those who want big government cleave the other.
The so-called sceptics for whom I have most time are those who leave the science alone and confine themselves to disputing that the economic benefits of drastic action outweigh the costs. I doubt they’re wholly right (the Stern Review five years ago suggested they weren’t) but at least they’re operating mental machinery for which they have a licence. This should be their time. Whole tranches of government environment policy seem hard to defend right now, from the vast, unrecoverable cost of off-shore wind turbines to the rationale of the subsidising the installation of new solar panels on to virtually anywhere flat where they can be nailed down.
In this, I suppose, the perennial protesters have a point. The economic cycle does make long-term action on climate change much harder. But if saving polar bears depends first on abolishing the boom and bust, then the poor sods might be in trouble.... If so, we’re in trouble. Because climate change isn’t like horse manure. By the time it’s at your door, it’s far too late.
December 1, 2011
Pretty Faces Against Climate Change
Angie, Leo, Arnie and Bono - If there was an opening of a paper bag with a press photgrapher they would be there. And that is all the Celebs the Telegraph can think of. Not very impressive. Is the glamour going out of the movement?
November 29, 2011
Met Office Declare 2011 11th Hottest Ever In Time For Durban
Figures from the Met Office published on Tuesday show that 2011 stands at 11th place in the list of warmest years ever, in global mean temperature records stretching back to 1850.
Today's data confirms the overall warming trend, however: of the 10 warmest years on records, nine occurred since 2000. Each successive decade since 1950 has been warmer than the last.
The data is published as governments around the world meet for the second day of the fortnight-long United Nations climate change talks in Durban,
And there was me thinking they might wait a month or so before judging how 2011 had turned out. How unlike those bastard deniers who released Climategate II to derail Durban. Releasing facts just before the conference in an attempt to sway it, scientists wouldn't do that would they?
November 28, 2011
Now people will get the chance to find out just how easy forecasting actually is. Under government plans to be announced tomorrow, the Met Office is to be forced to release its raw data so that others can draw their own conclusions.
Readings from thousands of Met Office posts will be disclosed, allowing rival companies to offer their own forecasts — or even for amateurs to monitor the weather.
It is hoped that introducing competition in forecasts may improve their accuracy and make it easier for companies and individuals to prepare for different types of weather.
At the moment the rival short term forecasts can be all over the place. At this time of the morning I normally look a two or three different ones to work out how many layers to put on for a day working outside. A bit of competition on accuracy may work wonders.
November 25, 2011
CO2 Sensitivity Decrease
The new models predict that given a doubling in CO2 levels from pre-industrial levels, the Earth's surface temperatures will rise by 1.7 to 2.6 degrees C.
That is a much tighter range than suggested by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)'s 2007 report, which suggested a rise of between 2 to 4.5 degrees C.
The new analysis also reduces the expected average surface temperatures to just over 2 degrees C, from 3.
The authors stress the results do not mean threat from human-induced climate change should be treated any less seriously, explained palaeoclimatologist Antoni Rosell-Mele from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, who is a member of the team that came up with the new estimates.
But it does mean that to induce large-scale warming of the planet, leading lead to widespread catastrophic consequences, we would have to increase CO2 more than we are going to do in the near future, he said.
November 24, 2011
Fantastic News - Starving Millions Now Getting Fat
Diabetes, obesity and heart disease rates are soaring in developing countries, as multinationals find new ways of selling processed food to the poor.
As affluent western markets reach saturation point, global food and drink firms have been opening up new frontiers among people living on $2 a day in low- and middle-income countries. The world's poor have become their vehicle for growth.
The companies say they are finding innovative ways to give isolated people the kind of choices the rich have enjoyed for years and are providing valuable jobs and incomes to some of the most marginalised. But health campaigners are raising the alarm. They fear the arrival of highly processed food and drink is also a vector for the lifestyle diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and alcoholism, which are increasing at unprecedented rates in developing countries.
Wan't it much healthier when they were all starving? All the NGOs could swan about in their Land Rovers being really caring and begging for money with heart rending adverts. Now those bastard capitalists have come along and started delivering cheap food and ruining the gig.
Acton Finds Jones Innocent
The vice-chancellor of the University of East Anglia, Professor Edward Acton, and the key scientist involved, Professor Phil Jones, of the university's Climatic Research Unit (CRU), came to London for a joint press conference in which they insisted the leaked emails raised no new issues of climate science....and said there was nothing of substance in them that the previous enquiries had not addressed and "exhaustively examined". Professor Jones said they merely showed the "frank and honest discussions" that go on".
That's that sorted then...
Supporters Of Climategate Hacker Should Be Brought To Justice
Edward Markey, a Democrat congressman from Massachusetts who has long advocated for political action on climate change, called on the "US intelligence community" to assist the "British and others" in finding the perpetrator.
"If this happened surrounding nuclear arms talks, we would have the full force of the western world's intelligence community pursuing the perpetrators," he said. "And yet, with the stability of our climate hanging in the balance with these international climate treaty negotiations, these hackers and their supporters are still on the loose. It is time to bring them to justice."
Would justice be awarding them a Nobel Prize?
November 23, 2011
The Cost Of Green Power
BBC News - Electricity cost to rise due to government policies
In its annual energy statement, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said government policies would increase the cost of electricity by 27% by 2020.
This could push up the cost an average bill by almost £280.
However, the department said that its policies on energy-efficient products, smart meters and home insulation would more than compensate - leaving the average household £94 better off.
Policies driving up bills include payments towards support for the fuel poor, the cost of carbon and renewable energy.
Offshore wind and other large renewable projects are expected to make up, on average, £48 of a household bill.
Solar and other smaller schemes come in at about £6.
A significant portion of the government's anticipated reduction in consumer bills comes from its products policy.
Mandatory efficiency standards on new products are expected to save the average household £154 a year, with loans obtained through the Green Deal saving another £53.
The government also launched a consultation on its Green Deal programme to promote energy efficiency.
The scheme is designed to encourage consumers to take out loans to help make their homes more energy efficient, thereby reducing their energy bills.
So if I borrow lots of money and buy new kit I will save money on the increased power bills. I think it means the more I spend the more I save. The higher the prices the cheaper it is. Or am I confused?
Climategate 2.0 - lalalalala I can't hear you!
..... it was clear to anyone familiar with how research is done that this was complete and utter bilge; the scientists were not trying to hide anything, were not trying to trick anyone, and were not trying to falsely exaggerate the dangers of climate change....
The evidence is overwhelming, and no amount of noise will stop that. But that’s why the noise is made, to distract you. We are long past the time when this was simple skepticism — the open and honest questioning of evidence — and are now well into full-blown denial. This second release of emails is more evidence for that, especially given the timing.
The team line so far is that there is nothing to see, move along please. It just makes me more curious what is under the blanket.
Ecoadvice - Wash less.
Mr Tompkins said. "Also, if people can cut down on their shower time, that has an impact."
Yes - I think the person next to me on the Tube has taken that advice to heart.
Wiltshire Carbon Cost And Benefit And Climategate 2.0
Bid to withdraw Wiltshire council from carbon-cutting agreement
12:50pm Thursday 10th September 2009
A GROUP of Wiltshire Council members have tabled a bid to withdraw the authority from a nationwide energy conservation scheme arguing that carbon emmissions do not cause global warming.
Nine councillors back the motion proposed by Cllr Rod Eaton (Con) and Cllr Christopher Newbury to withdraw from the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change, which Wiltshire Council signed up to in May.
date: Mon, 14 Sep 2009 13:06:48 +0100 from: "Laura Lang"
subject: FW: Bid to withdraw Wiltshire Council from Carbon-Cutting Agreement to:
Thank you very much for your time and helpful explanations. Many thanks for agreeing to
give me a few lines on the facts you mentioned explaining climate modelling graphs and the
reasons for levelling off/dips; also the current and predicted overall trend in global
temperature and link to carbon emissions. The email below will give you the context for
my enquiry should you wish to refer to it. I would be interested to hear your view on the
paragraphs highlighted if you have time but appreciate you are nearing term time.
Many thanks again for your time.
From: roderick.eaton [mailto:roderick.eaton1@xxxxxx]
Sent: 13 September 2009 10:17
Subject: Fw: Bid to withdraw Wiltshire Council from Carbon-Cutting Agreement
Dear Ms Lang
Thank you for your email. As promised, I am writing to explain the position regarding the
group bringing this issue to council. For about three years, I have been researching the
climate change theories from an analytical and scientific point of view. Each person must
of course come to his/her own conclusions with or without a clear understanding of the
facts but I hardly think that the media has covered both sides (natural and man-made) of
the scientific debate in equitable measure. 'There's nothing like a good crisis (real or
There has been no increase in global average temperature since 1998 and temperature started
to reduce in 2005 and has continued to do so. The UN IPCC (Inter-governmental Panel on
Climate Change) models failed to predict this and carbon dioxide emissions have continued
to increase year on year (I have the figures and will send them if you require). Could the
models, based on a positively weighted conversion factor of CO2 forcing (not applied to
solar forcing), be barking up the wrong tree? I think this likely.
IPCC scientists themselves include many strongly worded caveats in their reports and some
oppose the IPCC conclusions altogether. As was accepted from Dr Richard Lindzen's (IPCC
Lead Author) evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee (2005): those who dissented
from the 'anthropogenic cause' (Man-Made Climate Change) theory were not given a full
hearing by the IPCC organisation. I would recommend reading the works of Lord Lawson ('An
Appeal to Reason') and articles by Lord Monckton (former scientific advisor to the UK
government) together with peer review papers by perhaps Dr Larry Vardiman (Professor of
Atmospheric Science at the University of Missouri) on Dr Henrik Svensmark's work (Dr
Svensmark is the Head of the Danish National Space Centre). You will quickly realise that
the science is by no means 'settled' on the MMCC theory. The cosmo-climatological theory is
very powerful and based on natural phenomenon relating to radiation effects on cloud
Over 31,400 science-based professionals signed up to the ongoing Oregon Petition and 800 to
the International Manhattan Declaration. I have details of 130 scientists listed in my own
database who oppose the MMCC theory e.g. Drs Fred Singer (the founder of the US weather
satellite program), Timothy Ball, Vincent Gray (IPCC expert reviewer and graduate of
Cambridge University) and Tim Patterson (Professor of Geology at Carleton University -
Canada) et al, not to mention Dr McKintrick who worked with Steve McIntyre to flaw the
IPCC's hockey stick curve (subsequently withdrawn by the IPCC as it omitted the Mediaeval
Warm period and the mini ice age in the past 1000 years to over emphasise the half a degree
Celsius global temperature rise of the 20th century). After Mann's Hockey Stick Curve was
withdrawn, I noted that the IPCC 2001 report made quite a startling admission as follows:
Chapter 1; page 97, concludes: "Climate has always varied on all time-scales, so the
observed change may be natural."
Having carried out considerable research on the topic, I am firmly of the opinion that the
balance of probability is that man-made emissions do not constitute any significant effect
on climate. In particular, there is a very poor correlation between man made carbon dioxide
emissions and global average temperature. The anthropogenic emission of all GHGs is well
below half a percent of the total greenhouse effect (which is predominantly natural) and
the greenhouse effect itself is but one aspect of the overall climatic system (one example
is El Nino warming caused by tectonic movement below the ocean).
The costs of Kyoto (Carbon Credit scheme) and the 'green obligation' for electricity
companies is passed on to the private, commercial and industrial consumer, of course.
Together with VED increases, fuel and other so called green taxes the costs are very
high but excusable on the back of the MMCC tenet. The support and furtherance of a belief
in MMCC at a local level is demonstrated by the Nottingham Declaration. We are unable to
support this 'blind science' approach, which, as the Lords select committee stated should
be based on evidence. What I have seen is IPCC scientists properly placing caveats on their
findings in the Climate reports and their expert reviewers who dissent from the
'orthodoxy' often being ignored. This is not so much by other scientists but rather by the
government officials who write the 'Summaries for Policy Makers'. These have a strong
tendency to omit the caveats and promote a 'done deal' on AGW despite the evidence. The
Stern Report (Nicky Stern is an economist) and more obviously, Al (alarmist) Gore
exaggerate further the IPCC conclusions. Perhaps the following quote from Dr Benjamin
Santer (a leading climatologist and author of the last IPCC Report's chapter on the
detection of greenhouse warming) will give you an insight to the lack of consensus in the
"It's unfortunate that many people read the media hype before they read the (IPCC report)
chapter "on the detection of greenhouse warming." I think the caveats are there. We say
quite clearly that few scientists would say that man-made climate change was a done deal."
Energy efficiency is a prudent and cost saving approach and, provided one continues to
be free to make one's own choices, one may indeed save oneself some money. I fully support
that of course. If some choose to change their lifestyles in terms of what they eat, riding
a bike or where they may take their holidays, then that is their own personal preference. I
simply do not believe that any government or council should be pushing these things on
people who have their own way of life and ideas on climate. If global warming were to
return for whatever reason, it could well be an encouragement for people to holiday in the
UK (rather than go abroad for the sun) and I would expect air conditioning sales would
increase. As Nigel Lawson writes:
"As to health, in its most recent report, the IPCC found only one outcome which they ranked
as "virtually certain" to happen - and that was "reduced human mortality from decreased
cold exposure". This echoes a study done by our own Department of Health which predicted
that by the 2050s, the UK would suffer an increase in heat-related deaths by 2,000 a year,
and a decrease in cold-related mortality of 20,000 deaths a year - something that ministers
have been curiously silent about. All in all, given that global warming produces benefits
as well as costs, it is far from clear that the currently projected warming, far from being
"catastrophic", would do any net harm at all."
Being signed up to the Nottingham Declaration gives government much opportunity to
introduce draconian measures, to tax, control, interfere and regulate on the back
of reducing CO2 emissions. I do not believe that withdrawal from it would do other
than free people to follow their chosen lifestyles and put the emphasis back onto council
providing services rather than control measures.
In context, if Wiltshire Council hit its target emission cut (50% in five years) right now,
China would have produced sufficient CO2 in 3 minutes to make up for it. If the whole UK
carbon economy shut down right now, it would take under 6 weeks for China to fill the
gap. Climate is a very complex subject and I hope that this will help you understand that
the drastic measures you mention will not have any effect at all on climate
but just bring more drastic negative changes to our lives here and now.
Rod Eaton, MBA, DMS (Leeds), MCMI, FIET
----- Original Message -----
From: Eaton, Rod
Sent: Sunday, September 13, 2009 7:20 AM
Subject: FW: Bid to withdraw Wiltshire Council from Carbon-Cutting Agreement
From: Laura Lang [laura.lang@xxxx]
Sent: 11 September 2009 22:02
To: Eaton, Rod
Subject: Bid to withdraw Wiltshire Council from Carbon-Cutting Agreement
Dear Mr Eaton
It would be helpful if you explain the rationale for withdrawing Wiltshire Council from the
Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change in the face of compelling scientific evidence on
the need for urgent and drastic reduction of carbon emissions.
I look forward to hearing from you.
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25th January 2011
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.
November 22, 2011
Thousands of emails unlocked with 220,000 more hidden behind a password.
I haven't opened the zip file yet - proceed with caution and scepticism at your own risk.
November 21, 2011
Louise Grey Goes Cruising
By Louise Gray
I joined them as the only journalist on board the maiden voyage from Amsterdam to London. I’m in good company: Thom Yorke, the singer from Radiohead and one of the ship’s major donors, plus an international crew of activists, professional sailors and volunteers are here for the ride.
As we sail out from the Hook of Holland, Greenpeace groupies gather on shore to wave us off, while Dutch observers quip: ''Nice yacht, hippies!’’
See churning those Press Releases pays off.
November 17, 2011
Another Year Of No Extinctions In the Great Extinction Event
If the current rapid extermination of animals, plants and other species really is the "sixth mass extinction", then it is the amphibian branch of the tree of life that is undergoing the most drastic pruning.
This is the most bizarre mass extinction ever.
Last year no species officially went extinct, this year again none.
The number of species examined increased again to 62,000.
The Red List - Species changing IUCN Red List Status (2010-2011
Species declared extinct - 0
Species previously declared extinct now unknown - 2