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James Cook Univer­sity slapdown of Great Barrier Reef science critic heads to court

November 22, 2017
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By Paul Homewood

 

Yet another Australian scientist is being hounded for daring to criticise the climate consensus:

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Outspoken James Cook Univer­sity professor Peter Ridd has taken Federal Court action claiming conflict of interest, apprehended bias and actual bias against vice-chancellor Sandra Harding.

Professor Ridd wants JCU to drop a misconduct investigation launched following his interview with Alan Jones on Sky News on August 1 in which he criticised the quality of Great Barrier Reef science.

In the interview, he said research findings by major institutions could not be trusted. “We can no longer trust the scientific organisations like the Australian Institute of Marine Science, even things like the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.

“The science is coming out not properly checked, tested or replicated, and this is a great shame.”

Read more…

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BBC’s Bogus Claims About “The Drowning Solomon Islands”

November 22, 2017

By Paul Homewood

 

 

Today’s fake news comes from the BBC:

 

 

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The Solomon Islands are thought to be the first populated place to see islands disappear under the sea.

 

 

 

Land has always been at a premium in the Solomon Islands. When one wave of immigrants arrived they found all the prime land occupied by fearsome headhunters. They responded by building artificial islands on top of reefs. These  are incredibly vulnerable to sea level rise. Storms or tsunamis can wipe them out at a stroke.

 

 

 

 

Despite the risk, the “saltwater people” continue to build new islands and celebrate their heritage at events like the Shell Money Festival.

 

 

 

 

Money has been promised by international donors to help the low lying islands of the Pacific but it’s already too late for some.

When their coastal farmland was spoiled by rising sea water the residents of one of the islands were forced to abandon their land, their homes and their church.

 

 

 

Traditional practices are also threatened by sea level rise.

Megapode birds bury their eggs in the lava-heated sand of the volcanic island of Savo. Locals have to dig a metre into the beach to harvest the eggs.

The beaches where the birds lay their eggs can be inundated and eroded by the rising waters.

 

 

Life seems certain to get tougher for the people of the Solomons but as communities and individuals they are showing the way ahead in a time of climate change – adapting their lives when possible and moving their homes when necessary.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2F01PbMdZ8nD1z1Pp66G2F0/stunning-images-of-a-drowning-nation

I have no idea what is happening to sea levels around the Solomon Islands, as the tidal gauge records in the area are much too short to be meaningful.

Read more…

Hinkley Point Will Hit Poor Hardest (But Apparently Offshore Wind Won’t!)

November 22, 2017

By Paul Homewood

 

h/t Pheonix44

 

Astonishing hypocrisy from the Public Accounts Committee, not to mention the BBC for failing to highlight it as such:

 

 

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A group of MPs has said that the £18bn cost of the UK’s new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station will hit the country’s poorest the hardest.

The Public Accounts Committee said that households had been "locked into an expensive deal lasting 35 years".

In a report, it said there were no plans for Hinkley Point to provide wider benefits such as jobs and skills.

But EDF, the French firm funding two thirds of the project, said it would bring "huge benefits" to Britain.

The government gave the green light to Hinkley Point near Bridgwater in Somerset last year, in a deal which guarantees EDF a fixed price of £92.50 per megawatt hour for the electricity it produces for 35 years.

If it falls below that level, consumers will pay the difference.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy estimates that top-up payments will cost consumers around £30bn.

In its report examining the deal, the Public Accounts Committee said: "Over the life of the contract, consumers are left footing the bill and the poorest consumers will be hit hardest. Yet in all the negotiations no part of government was really championing the consumer interest."

The committee’s chair Meg Hillier said: "Bill-payers have been dealt a bad hand by the government in its approach to this project.

"Its blinkered determination to agree the Hinkley deal, regardless of changing circumstances, means that for years to come energy consumers will face costs running to many times the original estimate.

"It doesn’t know what UK workers and business will gain from this project, and appears to have no coherent idea of what to do about it."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42065837

 

I don’t recall the MPs or BBC complaining about “the poorest being hit hardest”, when DECC was doling out contracts to offshore wind farms at prices up to £161.71/MWh.

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https://lowcarboncontracts.uk/cfds

 

 

Or £108.02/MWh for Drax to burn forests.

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At least Hinkley can provide reliable, dispatchable power, which is more an ocean full of wind farms can.

Looming oil price shock that could trigger the next global recession

November 21, 2017
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By Paul Homewood

 

 

An insightful analysis by Jeremy Warner, which has more relevance than he might imagine:

 

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Revenge, it is said, is a dish best served cold. When Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) rounded up more than a hundred of Saudi Arabia’s richest businessmen, investors and members of the royal family and imprisoned them in the comparative luxury of Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton, cheering the crown prince on from the sidelines was one Donald Trump.

“Some of those they are harshly treating have been ‘milking’ their country for years!”, he tweeted. He didn’t say exactly who he meant, but he must surely have had primarily in mind Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a Saudi royal who likes to think of himself as the Warren Buffett of Arabia, with a string of apparently successful western investments to his name, including substantial stakes in Citigroup and, until very recently, Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.

When Trump essentially went bust in the recession of the early Nineties, Alwaleed helped bail him out by buying his yacht and, just when a crucial debt payment was due to be made, taking a stake in New York’s Plaza Hotel. Strangely, Alwaleed later seemed to take the view that he’d had his pocket felt, and started slagging the then presidential hopeful off on Twitter and on the New York social circuit. Trump’s eventual victory might have seemed unlikely at the time, but it rarely pays to make an enemy of someone who might actually one day become the world’s most powerful man.

Since his elevation to the presidency, Mr Trump has become cheerleader in chief for MBS, with a seeming willingness to back virtually everything he does, including the imprisonment of Alwaleed.

For Trump, there’s an element of payback time. The price of freedom is that Alwaleed surrenders more than half of his wealth and agrees for evermore to worship at the feet of MBS. The two things may be disconnected, but Alwaleed now seems to be dumping assets right left and centre. It all sounds like a sub-plot from Game of Thrones, which is sort of what it is. Only with real life implications; these positively medieval goings on have potentially dramatic geopolitical and economic repercussions.

Trump’s unconditional backing for MBS has emboldened the new Crown Prince’s regional ambitions. Always fractious relations with Iran grow worse by the day, with a vicious proxy war already being fought in Yemen.

Despite the present glut in supply, the oil price has again been creeping up. Long in abeyance, we are seeing the re-emergence of a geopolitical risk premium. Generally, this is taken for granted in the oil price, but in recent years it all but disappeared, apparently made redundant by the advent of US shale.

Now it is coming back. Like a siren going off, traders are suddenly waking up to an old bogey – the possibility that rising tensions could close the Strait of Hormuz, through which approximately a fifth of world oil supplies pass. Any such disruption, even for a few weeks, would cause the oil price to skyrocket anew, notwithstanding the newly emerged pressure valve of US shale.

Read more…

Arctic Ice Ignores Alarmist Predictions

November 21, 2017
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By Paul Homewood

 

A year ago the media was full of fake Arctic heatwave news:

 

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13 December 2016 • 9:14pm

The Arctic shattered heat records in the past year as unusually warm air triggered massive melting of ice and snow and a late fall freeze, US government scientists said on Tuesday.

 

The grim assessment came in the Arctic Report Card 2016, a peer-reviewed document by 61 scientists around the globe issued by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The NOAA report covers from October 2015 to September 2016, a period it said the Arctic’s average annual air temperature over land was the highest on record.

"The report card this year clearly shows a stronger and more pronounced signal of persistent warming than any previous year in our observational record" going back to 1900, NOAA Arctic Research Program director Jeremy Mathis told the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco, where the report was released.

"Those warming effects in the Arctic have had a cascading effect through the environment."

Climate scientists say the reasons for the rising heat include the burning of fossil fuels that emit heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere, southerly winds that pushed hot air from the mid-latitudes northward, as well as the El Nino ocean warming trend, which ended mid-year.

The Arctic’s annual air temperature over land was 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit (3.5 degrees Celsius) higher than in 1900, the report said.

The sea surface temperature in the peak summer month of August 2016 reached nine degrees Fahrenheit (five degrees Celsius) above the average for 1982-2010 in the Barents and Chukchi seas and off the east and west coasts of Greenland.

"Warm air and ocean temperatures in the fall led to a record-breaking delay in fall freeze-up," Perovich said, noting that the Arctic sea ice minimum from mid-October to late November was the lowest since the satellite record began in 1979.

Scientists added a section to the report about noteworthy records set in October and November 2016, even though that extended beyond the report’s typical time span.

More of the ice that freezes in the Arctic winter is thin, made of only a single year’s worth of freeze rather than thicker, more resistant ice built up over multiple years.

In 1985, almost half (45 percent) of Arctic sea ice was called "multi-year ice."

Now, just 22 percent of the Arctic is covered in multi-year ice. The rest is first-year ice.

In Greenland, the ice sheet continued to shrink and lose mass as it has every year since 2002, when satellite measurements began.

Melting also started early in Greenland last year, the second earliest in the 37-year record of observations, and close to the record set in 2012.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/12/13/hottest-arctic-record-triggers-massive-ice-melt/

 

And a year later?

 

Read more…

6,100 jobs go at Siemens power division as ‘market burns to the ground’

November 21, 2017
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By Paul Homewood

 

 

We touched on this story a couple of weeks ago, and now it looks as if the job losses are real:

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Siemens is to release two per cent of its global workforce, mainly in Germany, as its power and gas division continues to suffer from the onslaught of clean energy expansion.
6,100 jobs are to go before 2020 in the power division alone, with a further 800 in other departments. “The market is burning to the ground,” Siemens board member Janina Kugel who is in charge of group human resources, told journalists in a call following the announcement.

The company’s lucrative $9bn order for its Egyptian mega-project shielded the company from a much worse situation, as its traditionally strong gas-fired turbine manufacturing business continues to suffer in the shadow of renewable energy revolution.
“The
power generation industry is experiencing disruption of unprecedented scope and speed,” Siemens management board member Lisa Davis said. “With their innovative strength and rapidly expanding generation capacity, renewables are putting other forms of power generation under increasing pressure,” she added.

Aside from loss-making wind power venture Siemens Gamesa, Process Industries and Drives was Siemens’s least profitable business last quarter, with a profit margin of just 2.9 percent.
Half of the expected job cuts will be made in Germany, and the timing couldn’t be worse for the country, with talks currently ongoing to form a new government. German Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries urged Siemens to treat employees fairly. “The workers are very concerned and uncertain about their future. I hope that Siemens works closely with the unions to find fair solutions for the affected sites.”
She said particularly sites in structurally weak regions should be preserved.
Both Siemens and rival GE are having to contend with overcapacity in the gas turbine market, where supply outstrips demand by a ratio of three to one, and prices have dropped 30 percent since 2014.
Demand for power plant-sized
gas turbines has tumbled and is expected to bottom out at 110 turbines a year, compared with total global manufacturing capacity of around 400 turbines, Siemens said.

http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2017/11/6-900-jobs-go-at-siemens-power-division-as-market-burns-to-the-ground.html

 

It is ironic that they should talk of the onslaught of clean energy expansion, only to mention the loss-making wind power venture Siemens Gamesa a few paragraphs later.

It is the subsidised nature of renewable energy which is causing problems for the gas turbine sector, and not the innovative strength of renewables, which Siemens board member Lisa Davis claims.

Bonn Climate Conference Another UN Non-Event

November 20, 2017
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By Paul Homewood

 

 

Well it was never going to be earth shattering, but after two weeks and 20,000 delegates what exactly was achieved at Bonn?

According to the UN Press Release, next to nothing!

 

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UN Climate Change News, Bonn, 18 November 2017 – Nations agreed today to launch the next steps towards higher climate action ambition before 2020 at the close of the annual UN climate conference held in the German city of Bonn.

Backed by a wide range of positive announcements from governments, cities, states, regions, companies and civil society, delegates from over 190 countries agreed to a 12-month engagement focusing on ‘Where are we, where do we want to go and how do we get there?’

The ‘Talanoa Dialogue’, inspired by the Pacific concept of constructive discussion, debate and story-telling, will set the stage in Poland in 2018 for the revising upwards of national climate action plans needed to put the world on track to meet pre-2020 ambition and the long-term goals of the two-year old Paris Agreement.

 

Read more…

If You Want The Facts, Don’t Bother Reading Jillian Ambrose!

November 20, 2017

By Paul Homewood

 

 

More hot air from Jillian Ambrose in yesterday’s Telegraph!

 

 

 

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If the Paris accord was the spark igniting the global fight against climate change, then the latest round of talks, held in Bonn, served to fan the flames.

These were not talks intending to deliver bombshell moments for the 10,000 government delegates, 8,000 business and policy leaders or the 2,000 members of the media who gathered near the Rhine. These talks were about tightening the bolts on the Paris Agreement to drive momentum behind the global climate juggernaut.

It has been two years since 194 countries agreed to limit global warming to less than 2C above the Earth’s pre-industrial average. In an act of almost audacious ambition, the Paris accord aims to keep temperatures within 1.5C by reducing net carbon emissions to zero.

But this was two years ago. Since then the US, the world’s second greatest polluter, elected Donald Trump as president on the back of soaring campaign rhetoric over a coal renaissance for the forgotten pockets of the States.

Trump duly followed through on threats to withdraw from the accord, pull research funding for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and loosen federal regulation on coal use.  But in an intriguing diplomatic twist Trump’s unilateral U-turn has proved to be the kindling for a fired-up climate agenda. Christiana Figueres, the UN’s chief climate negotiator, went as far as to say she thanks him.

Read more…

BBC Failing To Challenge Alarmist Intervieees – Booker

November 20, 2017

By Paul Homewood

 

From this week’s Booker column:

 

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Three weeks ago, the BBC was happy to apologise for a breach of its legal obligation to report only with “accuracy and impartiality”, after an interviewer on the Today programme had failed to challenge a point which the global warming sceptic Lord Lawson had got wrong.

Yet in recent days, as Today has gone into overdrive to puff the latest UN climate talks in Bonn, it has repeatedly failed to challenge a string of climate alarmist interviewees on claims much more wildly misleading than anything said by Lord Lawson.

When, for instance, a professor from the Grantham Institute wanted to correct any idea that computer models had got wrong their predictions of rising global temperatures, she was allowed to claim, unchallenged, that they had all been “bang on”.

Yet last March, when Dr John Christy, who runs one of the two official satellite temperature records, presented the US Congress with a scrupulously compiled graph showing the truth of those model predictions, it made clear that only one of 105 had been anywhere the temperatures actually recorded. The rest had exaggerated the real temperatures by up to a whole degree or more.

The same professor was allowed to get away with claiming that the cost of renewable energy had “simply plummeted”. Again the real figures show otherwise. Our hugely subsidised offshore wind farms, for instance, are producing electricity for which we still have to pay up to £161 a megawatt hour, three and a half times the current wholesale price of electricity.

At midday last Wednesday, coal and gas were providing 73 per cent of all the electricity we were using, while all our wind farms put together contributed just 0.5 per cent. So how are we going to keep our lights on under the Government’s plans to eliminate all those “polluting” fossil fuels?

The professor assured listeners that every country other than President Trump’s US, has “signed up” to the Paris climate agreement. Two days later, Today’s Justin Webb, interviewing another professor happily recalled that Al Gore had recently “told this programme” that China was doing “rather well” in its drive to lead the world in renewables.

Yet not once has Today ever allowed us to know that, in documents supplied to that same Paris climate conference, the rest of the world, led by China and India, detailed its plans to build so many hundreds of new coal-fired power stations that global CO emissions will by 2030 have risen by 46 per cent.

China, already the world’s biggest emitter, plans to double them. As usual, the BBC is happy not to challenge its interviewees, so long as they say exactly what it wants the rest of us to hear.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/19/driving-wall-stubborn-trade-talk/

“Polluting” UK coal plants export power to France as cold weather bites

November 18, 2017
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By Paul Homewood

 

 

From the Guardian:

 

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Polluting coal power stations in Britain have been profiting from the woes of the low-carbon French nuclear industry this month, according to analysis of energy generation data for the Guardian.

Tricastin, one of France’s biggest nuclear power stations, was closed by the French regulator in September so that works could be undertaken to address a flood risk.

The plant’s reactors make up four of the 39 currently offline in the French nuclear power industry, which experienced even worse outages last winter due to regulatory safety checks.

The operators of Britain’s eight remaining coal power stations appear to have stepped in to exploit higher French prices, exporting power across the channel as temperatures have plunged. UK coal power generation has declined rapidly in recent years under the carbon tax.

Most of the time, France sends electricity to the UK through 43-mile-long cables between Folkestone and a site near Calais, but in November there have been more hours when power has flowed in the other direction.

 

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On Friday, power through the interconnector was almost entirely flowing at maximum capacity towards France.

“We are now exporting to France through the interconnector which is unusual. Normally we are a net importer from France but yet again towards the end of the year we are exporting,” said Andrew Crossland, who runs MyGridGB, a site that monitors power generation data.

“Essentially this means that France is importing higher carbon electricity than it can produce at home,” he added.

Data compiled by Crossland shows coal power has continued to decline in the UK this year after dramatically falling two-thirds in 2016. There have been 583 coal-free hours in 2017 to date – compared with 210 last year – with coal providing just 6.7% of electricity supply so far.

Analysis by Iain Staffell, lecturer in sustainable energy at Imperial College and author of the Electric Insights report, came to a similar conclusion.

“In short, coal usage has shot up in the last two weeks, both because we are now exporting to France and because demand is growing as it gets colder. We are still using less coal than we did this time last year though,” he said.

Uniper, the German energy company that runs Ratcliffe coal power station in Nottinghamshire, said the higher usage was a response to the situation in France and colder temperatures.

“Over the past few weeks, the French power market has seen relatively higher power prices compared to Britain. One of the impacts of this is that flows on the Britain-France interconnector have seen more of a flow to France than to Britain,” the company said in a statement.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/nov/18/french-reactor-repairs-generate-profits-old-uk-coal-power-plants 

 

The Guardian appears to be aghast that the wicked coal power stations are “profiting” from the woes of the poor French.

Perhaps they would prefer it if the French had to suffer power cuts instead.

But it does raise the question of what we are supposed to do when they have all shut. The plan to rely on interconnectors from France does not seem to be such a good idea after all!