Professor Michael Kelly last night gave a deeply thoughtful presentation full of insight into what has become the perilous intersection between UK policies on energy and climate change. (Thanks to Bryan Leyland and the Auckland branch of IPENZ for hosting the event at the University of Auckland.) This is a brief note; I’ll be saying more about Michael Kelly’s plain and practical message shortly. Continue Reading →
Professor Michael J. Kelly, Kiwi physicist, elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1993, has been Prince Philip Professor of Technology at Cambridge University since 2002.
UPDATE 2145, Wednesday 8 April: See below.
Professor Kelly will speak tomorrow evening at the University of Auckland. These are the details as I know them; the room number has not yet been allocated but I presume will be posted at the venue. I’ll post the room number here if I learn it.
Thursday 9th April, 2015, 5:15pm for 5:45pm start
School of Engineering, University of Auckland. Continue Reading →
Will you hear this on our reliable TV news?
A survey commissioned by environmental group Greenpeace has spectacularly backfired as it revealed that more people support fracking than oppose it.
Thus begins an article by A.B. Sanderson, political reporter at Breitbart, who reports a Greenpeace online survey of 2,035 British adults on fracking. Because the survey goes against their anti-fracking campaign, they buried the results in a footnote and spun it their way but then, apparently, removed the entire press release from their website. He puts it this way (emphasis added): Continue Reading →
The Daily Telegraph, 5 October 2012
Britain faces an increasing risk of power blackouts and higher electricity bills in the next four years, power regulator Ofgem has warned in a report.
An “unprecedented combination” of the eurozone crisis, tough EU environmental laws and the closure of ageing coal and oil-fired power stations, has increased “the risk to consumers’ energy supplies”, Ofgem said in its annual Electricity Capacity Assessment on Friday.
The regulator, which first highlighted the problems in its Project Discovery report in 2009, said: “Today’s report shows that these problems have not gone away.” Continue Reading →
Imprisoned just for speaking
A Welsh district judge, John Charles, just barged through ancient legal protections for free speech and gaoled one Liam Stacey for 56 days for offensive tweets — essentially two months in pokey for speaking.
These tweets were obnoxiously filthy but the judge went too far. It should be possible to utter any offensive words in public without fear of arrest or legal sanction. If the words are wrong, if they accuse a person incorrectly, or make allegations without justification, then the speaker should expect to be charged with slander or similar. But so-called “hate speech” — merely insulting a person, organisation, community, city, nation or race gives insufficient grounds to deprive a person of liberty.
Shall it now be unlawful to craft insults or express hatred? Why should we not hate some people? Continue Reading →
House of Lords: That this House takes note of the Government’s green agenda: My Lords, in a short debate, I will concentrate my remarks on one issue only, the governance of the science, as this is vital for the credibility of the thinking upon which the Government’s policies are based.
In a debate in December 2009 on a report by the Committee on Climate Change, I said:
“Below the surface there are serious questions about the foundations on which it has been constructed”.—[Official Report, 8/12/09; col. 1051.]
Over the subsequent two years my concerns have increased rather than been assuaged.
This is an adopted article.
The governing narrative for our climate change framework can be summarised as follows. Continue Reading →
This damning article from Christopher Booker is best appreciated in the whole — I redact none of it. May our leaders notice it.
Now, to be sure, there’s no sign here of the extreme obsession with global warming that marks the UK government. Thus, there is no local concern with the excesses the UK displays over reducing their carbon footprint.
However, we do exhibit a singular desire to lead the world in defeating the efficiency of our world-leading industry and agriculture.
So we object! This analysis from Mr Booker elucidates some of the excellent reasons why we object.
Is the global warming scare the greatest delusion in history?
First published by The Telegraph
7:00PM GMT 26 Nov 2011
The scare over man-made global warming is not only the scientific scandal of our generation, but a suicidal flight from reality.
This is an adopted article.
To grasp the almost suicidal state of unreality our Government has been driven into by the obsession with global warming, it is necessary to put together the two sides to an overall picture – each vividly highlighted by events of recent days.
On one hand there is the utterly lamentable state of the science which underpins it all, illuminated yet again by “Climategate 2.0”, the latest release of emails between the leading scientists who for years have been at the heart of the warming scare (which I return to below). On the other hand, we see the damage done by the political consequences of this scare, which will directly impinge, in various ways, on all our lives.
It is hard to know where to begin, after a week which opened with The Sunday Telegraph’s exclusive on a blast of realism from Prince Philip Continue Reading →
Global warming reason
“We’re not going to save the planet by putting our country out of business.”
UK Chancellor George Osborne finally displays some common sense in his address to the Tory conference, putting the cat among the Lib Dem pigeons as they squawk over the looming “slow-down” or “turn-around” in Britain’s over-ambitious emissions reduction programme.
Some seem truly to believe that huge new emissions-related expenses will improve industry, boost the economy, produce another golden age and evoke adulation from the populace. It must be really hard for them to keep finding new ways to state such an obvious fallacy.
I earnestly hope that this message, which applies as sensibly to New Zealand as to any country, is absorbed by all those agitating to reduce our industrial emissions, including the climate committee of our Royal Society, some senior climate scientists in public service, Nick Smith, John Key (who probably knows it already but avoids stating it in public), the Green Party, NZ Herald senior journalists, Greenpeace and Jim Salinger.
People at Hot Topic will, I trust, note this unexpected assertion from “the greenest-ever government in the UK” — although nobody could expect them yet to understand or absorb it.
The Czech Republic, led by courageous President Vaclav Klaus, resists the latest European efforts to deepen the climate crisis. For the crisis is man-made, just as it is in New Zealand, consisting entirely of increasing the financial pressure on families and depriving them of modern conveniences in order to “save” the world’s climate, using expensive mechanisms that can’t affect the climate. Even though the climate continues to regulate itself within ancient, well-known thresholds entirely suitable for life. Continue Reading →
Obsession with climate change ‘damaging Britain’
The Government’s highly damaging decarbonisation policy, enshrined in the absurd Climate Change Act, does not have a leg to stand on. It is intended, at massive cost, to be symbolic: To make good David Cameron’s ambition to make his administration “the greenest government ever”.
UK solar industry feels chill
Complaints are purpling the British air after the government announced drastic cuts in formerly cosy subsidies for solar panels.
The Government’s decision to cut subsidies for solar energy to all but the smallest projects will threaten investment and job creation in the alternative energy sector, environmental and industry groups warned yesterday.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said the change to feed-in tariffs would maintain funding for households to put up panels by diverting them from larger projects.
So-called feed-in tariffs provide an operator with a guaranteed price for surplus power sold (or “fed in”) to the national grid. The subsidy is all that makes the expensive solar panel technology profitable. Continue Reading →
Oh, how Charles Onians must regret penning those words!
In March 2000, The Independent carried a story titled Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past, which opened with a surprising claim:
Britain’s winter ends tomorrow with further indications of a striking environmental change: snow is starting to disappear from our lives.
Charles went on:
The first two months of 2000 were virtually free of significant snowfall in much of lowland Britain, and December brought only moderate snowfall in the South-east… Global warming, the heating of the atmosphere by increased amounts of industrial gases, is now accepted as a reality by the international community… According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”. “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said… Heavy snow will return occasionally, says Dr Viner, but when it does we will be unprepared. “We’re really going to get caught out. Snow will probably cause chaos in 20 years time,” he said.
No, Dr Viner, it was only eight years before snow caused chaos in Britain, and then not for being merely present, but for its great magnitude.
The Northern winter of 2008/09 was very cold, 2009/10 was even colder, with chaos, and now 2010 is breaking records, with greater chaos.
Your prediction was useless.
Wind power fails freezing Britons
Richard Littlejohn, of Climate Realists, describes Britain’s alarming winter which has exposed the practical impossibility of ever relying on wind turbines for electricity generation. Three days ago, their 3150 turbines were contributing only 1.6% of the nation’s power supply; some days it’s been zero. But Richard says:
It gets better. As the temperature has plummeted, the turbines have had to be heated to prevent them seizing up. Consequently, they have been consuming more electricity than they generate.
So it was just a bad day for them? No, because, sadly:
Even on a good day they rarely work above a quarter of their theoretical capacity.
The combined output of all 3150 of these landscape despoilers is equal only to that of a single, medium-sized, gas-fired power station. And they cannot even replace that power station, because they need constant backup — that means constant running, because you have seconds to react when the turbines (which are exempt from forecasting their production) shut down. Consider the myth that wind turbines eliminate emissions of carbon dioxide destroyed.
What more does Nick Smith need to know?
The British Government still clings to plans to erect 12,500 of these “War Of The Worlds windmills” in the sea and across the land. The evidence was already available from power engineers before the turbines were proposed by misguided, starry-eyed greenies — but this winter alone proves the desperate folly of believing that the nation’s power supply could ever depend upon them.
More than desperate — it’s dangerous, because cold weather is dangerous. It will kill people. Does Nick Smith care? If he does, he will stop this nonsense from occurring in New Zealand.
It’s different if you’re installing small turbines to give the gift of electricity far from population centres. Catering for a tramping hut or beach resort, where people don’t mind occasionally doing without, is a completely different kettle of fish.
Listen to the good sense of this, Nick — don’t sink a king’s ransom into wind turbines and stop trifling with our energy security.
Finally from Mr Littlejohn:
According to the BBC, Town Halls across the country have been appealing to owners of 4x4s to offer lifts to ‘essential staff’ during the cold snap.
These would be the same 4x4s which these very same councils want to ban, because they cause global warming and kill polar bears.
You couldn’t make it up.
I couldn’t agree more.
Harsh reality threatens misty-eyed green dreams
excerpted from The Scotsman 13 November 2010 – h/t Andy
This is an adopted article.
THE “lights could go out” over Scotland unless new power stations are built in the next two years to ward off a looming electricity crisis, the head of one of Scotland’s most successful companies has warned Alex Salmond.
Rupert Soames, chief executive of power supply firm Aggreko, told the First Minister that the National Grid will lose a third of its capacity by 2018 as a string of nuclear, gas and oil-fired power stations across the UK are retired – including several in Scotland.
Mr Soames claimed that no other industrialised country in the world is at risk of losing so much of its energy supply at the same time – and without a realistic back-up plan.
He urged both the Scottish and UK governments to postpone green energy targets by a decade. Unless “the concrete is poured” on a new fleet of power stations within the next two years, Mr Soames warned, “we will be in serious danger of the lights going out”. Continue Reading →
UPDATE1: OCT 3 12:25 AM
Apology from O2. See end of story.
UPDATE2: OCT 3 10:30 AM
Many more sponsors and partners than I realised. H/T Huub Bakker.
Join the boycott of Sony, O2 and Kyocera
(see end of story)
After all the work they put into it, the film “No Pressure” lasted just a few hours on the Internet before the torrent of abuse from scandalised viewers forced the producers to apologise and withdraw the movie. Or they tried to. Unfortunately for them it went viral and is still available all over the place. Anyway, their apology wasn’t worth the ether it was posted into.
What a storm of outrage the film aroused! Oddly enough, it affronted both sides of the climate debate equally. The film was deeply disturbing because it crossed a boundary in gruesomeness and the corruption of youth. Even in the cause of saving the Earth, reasonable people everywhere are saying “that’s a brutality too far.”
Slick but sick
I’m talking, of course, about the mini-movie released yesterday by 10:10, a global campaign to “cut carbon” by 10% a year, starting in 2010.
Produced by Richard Curtis (writer of Blackadder, Four Weddings, Notting Hill and others), acted by some famous names along with footballers from Tottenham Hotspur and with a full professional film crew giving their time for free, the film production was certainly slick.
Slick, but sick. Let us hope we never see its like again for any reason. The production of “No Pressure” marks a terrible new low in the propaganda that passes for information in the climate wars. What a shame all that effort went for nothing. Continue Reading →
UPDATE 1 Jan 19, 3:54 pm: I’ve just come across Roger Pielke Jr’s view on this. He’s disgusted.
Dr Richard North, at Eureferendum, explains how a mistaken claim from about five years ago made its way into the latest IPCC “summary of the latest science” on climate change, has been thoroughly discredited and disproven, and yet still allows Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chairman and public front of the IPCC, to make a lot of money from it.
We’re constantly told that the IPCC reports “are put together by 2500 scientists” but so what, if they miss this kind of thing?
How can we trust this man and the alarming climate predictions he gives us?
The Times of India, under an odd-sounding headline, carry the following story on their web site today:
Pachauri-led TERI under UK scanner
LONDON: The British government is to carry out due diligence on New Delhi-based The Energy Research Institute following a local newspaper’s relentless campaign against the organization and its director-general, Rajendra Pachauri, who is also the IPCC chairman.
A British Department for International Development statement said, ‘‘As is routine, DFID is undertaking a full Institutional Assessment of TERI as part of our due diligence process.’’
The Sunday Telegraph’s persistence seems to have ‘‘triggered the routine’’.
The paper attacked DFID and its secretary of state (cabinet minister) Douglas Alexander for presenting 10 million pounds of British tax-payers money to TERI in Delhi last September. In its most recent piece, titled ‘‘The curious case of the expanding environmental group with falling income’’, it once again questioned TERI and Pachauri’s probity.
It alleged, ‘‘He (Pachauri) enjoys a lavish lifestyle; his Delhi home is in the Golf Links area, the most expensive stretch of residential real estate in India, and he is famous for his $1,000 suits.’’ The piece also insinuated that while the registered charity, TERI Europe’s business in the past six years had increased, its published turnover had decreased.
When ‘‘The Sunday Telegraph’’ reportedly put it to one of its two directors, Dr Ritu Kumar, a south London resident, that the body’s income and expenditure in recent years were both much greater than the figures it declared, she is said to have admitted anomalies in the accounts. Teri Europe’s accountants have now been instructed to produce a revised version.
Let us hope it achieves a frank disclosure of the financial affairs of arguably the most important figure in the climate change scandal. With the reputation of the IPCC taking almost daily hits on multiple fronts, it’s little wonder recent polls show fewer New Zealanders now worried by “global warming”.
Ed Miliband, the [UK] Energy Secretary, last week announced that planning rules would be relaxed to make it easier for an extra 3,500 onshore turbines to be built as part of a £100 billion plan to generate more energy from wind power by 2020.
That’s a lot of windmills—and they’re just the extras. Including offshore windmills, he’s planning to build a total of 10,000 of them. You won’t be able to miss them. No way.
But then, in what could become the quote of the decade, Mr Miliband clarified matters:
“We need to change the default position so that people will come to understand the dangers of climate change to our beautiful countryside.”
The only danger is the unholy havoc Miliband plans to wreak upon the countryside and the drastic weakening he will achieve in energy security. And all for the sake of a tiny reduction in emissions of a minor greenhouse gas which won’t affect the climate.
Last Sunday the NZ Herald reported on a Kiwi woman, one Emily Hall, now a Greenpeace activist in the UK, who was in a boarding party that recently attacked what used to be called a collier—a vessel used for transporting coal.
The Herald’s story contained no censure against Greenpeace’s overt lawlessness. It was a sympathetic treatment of Hall’s experiences with Greenpeace and her and its tactics of rebellion against the Establishment in the name of the environment.
But the story incorrectly described carbon dioxide as “poisonous”.
There was nothing wrong with describing the ship’s load as “dirty” coal, since either handling the stuff or burning it inefficiently results in a mess, although modern methods of burning powdered coal, combined with smokestack “scrubbing” of most of the airborne pollutants, is thermally efficient and allows us truly to describe coal as “clean”.
But labelling “carbon emissions” as “poisonous” is just plain wrong. Carbon emissions is a euphemism for carbon dioxide and there is nothing remotely poisonous about that. Neither is it “dirty”, regardless of Greenpeace’s clumsy propaganda attempts to link it with the visible pollutants that come from coal.
Describing this clean, invisible plant food as poisonous simply attempts to justify Greenpeace’s hostility towards carbon dioxide, and thus legitimise an attack on a vessel and its crew going about their lawful business.
The Herald ought to stand aside from the campaign to wrongly vilify carbon dioxide for the activists’ political purposes.
A couple of weeks ago, plans for a wonderful new coal-fired power station in Kent were given the green light and I was very pleased. more…