The war against energy productivity gains
UK government is suddenly beginning to realise that wind is costly and unreliable and is now focussing on gas, which by replacing coal says Minister Amber Rudd is "One of the greatest and most cost-effective contributions we can make to emission reductions in electricity”. But the government is also reviewing its coal plants’ reliability and will doubtless see a role for them once the Parisian carbon maelstrom passes. In any event carbon capture and storage plans in the UK have been abandoned in recognition that this is a very expensive way to sacrifice carbon to the greenhouse gods.
The UK's contrived carbon emission reduction policy which involves transforming coal stations to burning wood cannot come soon enough for many US environmentalists who complain that European subsidies are causing deforestation in the US!
Back in 2010 renewable energy firm Abengoa was a poster child of Obama. That was then. Now, even heavy subsidies could not prevent the firm from going bankrupt with $21 billion in debts. The President’s faith in large scale solar technology remains undiminished.
A new plan in Australia is for the big brown-coal generators to submit bids for how they would offer to shut down with the cost of the winning bid to be spread across all the other generators, in proportion to their own carbon dioxide emissions. Only superannuated academics could devise such a plan without recognising that it would mean a massive price hike. And only the most gullible media could uncritically report it.
Australia’s Greens Party maintains its belief in fairies at the bottom of the garden. It will get us 90% renewable energy for $500 million plus $1 billion to train coal miners to be geisha girls. Labor Party leader Bill Shorten was sufficiently impressed to announce he was considering a comparable policy. But Shorten hedged his bets – rather than going the Full Monty to economic destruction his policy approach is to be "the basis for our consultations” and “mindful of the consequences for jobs, for regions and for any impacts on households".
Similar developments are likely with the new warmist Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, who is flying a kite testing whether he can get away with appointing fellow climate alarmist, Martin Parkinson to head the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. A former head of the Climate Change Department, Parkinson was sacked as head of Treasury by former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott.
ISIS – it’s the weather wot dun it
The link that Secretary John Kerry made between global warming and the rise of Islamo-fascism has been echoed by Prince Charles, and by Ban Ki-Moon, who says, “"When we do not address climate change properly .. there is some possibility that these young people who [are] jobless and frustrated may join these foreign terrorist fighters," The link has a pedigree: Back in 1941 there were suggestions that the warming then being experienced had helped create the conditions that spawned Hitler.
But the talk about drought being responsible for the rise of ISIS turns out to be tosh. Syrian rainfall over recent years has been about 4 per cent lower than average but this is not abnormal. Here is a chart produced by Warwick Hughes:
There was however a fall in wheat and cotton production but this can be traced back to the economic reforms in 2007/8 when subsidies to diesel (used for irrigation pumping) ceased and the price increased threefold. The following logs wheat production:
The greater importance of climate action rather than combatting terror has been a major theme of President Obama. It remains in the forefront for New York Times columnist Professor Paul Krugman who says, “Terrorism is just one of many dangers in the world, and shouldn’t be allowed to divert our attention from other issues. … when President Obama describes climate change as the greatest threat we face, he’s exactly right. Terrorism can’t and won’t destroy our civilization, but global warming could and might."
Krugman is not alone. The Daily Beast’s Eleanor Clift stated, “the existential threat we face is not from terrorism. It’s from climate change” on Friday’s “McLaughlin Group.”
I have previously reported on analyses (e.g by Jennifer Marohasy and Jon Goetz) of temperature tampering whereby station readings are revised or “normalised” in ways that almost invariably increases temperatures compared to their original records.
A comprehensive new study by Professor Frederich Ewart finds historical temperatures are systematically revised upward so that there is an apparent warming trend. Congressman Lamar Smith is attempting to get internal emails of the scientists to discover whether the consistent reduction in earlier year temperatures is an attempt to promote the Obama agenda.
The IPCC has never shirked from emphasising the urgency for action. As illustrated below, its estimates of the maximum time carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere are five to ten times that of previous estimates. If greenhouse gases do not stay long in the atmosphere their build up is far less likely to have climate effects.
One recent and contentious study by Ari Halperin put the half-life at 40 years.
American sobriety in the face of and climate alarmism
The US, having a more diffused political structure than other countries, is far less able to commit to future actions. Addressing the Obama plan to cut emissions 26 per cent, the US Chamber of Commerce has said it is “difficult to see how the administration proposes to sell such an unrealistic, bare-bones plan”.
Tallbloke points out that the Republican controlled Congress has said it will block US allocations to the UN $100 billion a year Climate fund and will overturn EPA attempts to close down coal generators. India is alive to the possibilities of the $100 billion a year fund, first proposed by the US, could be phantom money. Claiming the west is not doing enough, India is insisting the fund simply does not re-badge existing aid commitments.
Anthony Watts points out that the magic figure strikes again. 97 per cent of Americans are unconcerned about global warming.
Jo Nova has compiled a dunce chart for US politicians judged by their climate change gullibility. Hillary is bottom of the class and the great Ted Cruz leads it.
The proceedings get underway today, Paris time. Leadership homilies are the hors d’oeuvres. Security concerns will dampen some of the street theatre and for a good review of all you need to know, the incomparable Judith Curry has a great guide.
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