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Subsidy cut deals blow to wind farms

November 21, 2018

By Paul Homewood


From the The Times:




The government has slashed the financial support on offer for new offshore wind farms, forcing developers to find further cost savings if their projects are to proceed.

Claire Perry, the energy minister, said that the government aimed to “secure more energy from renewables for less” after announcing that it would award subsidy contracts worth up to £60 million a year to new projects through an auction in May.

The budget is barely a third of the value of subsidies awarded via the last auction in 2017, when wind farms with a capacity of 3.2 gigawatts got the go-ahead. The government said that it expected the reduced budget to be able to deliver more wind farm capacity than last time, of about four gigawatts.

The maximum price that new offshore wind farms will receive for the electricity they generate will be at least 40 per cent lower than the price for power from the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant.

Writing for The Times website, Ms Perry said the auctions would “make the UK a beacon for inward investment and provide the private sector with the certainty it needs to invest”.

Successive governments have backed the development of wind farms to mitigate climate change. Last year offshore wind turbines generated just over 6 per cent of the UK’s electricity needs.

Britain has almost 2,000 offshore wind turbines, capable of generating almost eight gigawatts of power when generating at full tilt. Projects capable of generating about another six gigawatts are under construction or are contracted to start generating by 2022-23. All have been made commercially viable with subsidy schemes set up by the government and paid for through consumer energy bills.

The government has said that it could support up to another two gigawatts being built each year through the 2020s and yesterday it set out details of how it would award subsidies for the next projects. It said that offshore wind projects starting up in 2023-24 would be entitled to a maximum price of £56 per megawatt-hour, falling to £53 per MWh for projects in 2024-25.

That compares with the guaranteed price of £92.50 per MWh for Hinkley Point C, which is slated to start in 2025, and £57.50 per MWh for the cheapest offshore wind projects awarded contracts last year.

It also underscores the dramatic cost reduction in the offshore wind industry in recent years, since early projects were criticised for high subsidies. The world’s largest offshore wind farm, the 660-megawatt Walney Extension off Cumbria, received a contract in 2014 that guaranteed it a price of £150 per MWh.

All the contract prices cited are expressed in 2012 money and are index-linked to inflation, so the actual price that developers receive will be higher.


There was considerable doubt expressed at the last auction round as to whether the price of £57.50/MWh for two projects, Moray and Hornsea 2, was actually sustainable. For instance, Hornsea benefitted from piggy-backing onto the existing infrastructure of the first phase, helping to save on cabling costs.

It will be interesting to see whether the government gets any offers at all at the price they want.


The threat to the environment that the green lobby tries to ignore

November 21, 2018

By Paul Homewood


h/t stewgreen


Andrew Montford writes in the Spectator:



It’s not like the green blob to keep quiet when there’s a threat to the environment in the offing. Even the smallest hint of a problem is usually enough to work a tree-hugger into a frenzy. So it’s worth taking a look at their decision to keep shtum over the recent appearance of what may be one of the greatest threats to the natural world we have seen.

Over the last few weeks, scientists and campaigners alike have been turning their attention to the question of how land can be used to tackle global warming. Their interest was prompted by the appearance of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) special report on how the increase in global temperatures might be kept below 1.5°C. One of the panel’s ideas was to propose a massive expansion of forestry, allowing excess carbon dioxide to be converted into wood. This wood could then be burnt to generate electricity, with the resulting carbon dioxide emissions captured and stored deep underground. The alternative is to use all this extra wood as building materials. This would, the theory goes, keep the carbon locked in. The IPCC paper was followed up by twin reports from the committee on climate change (CCC), the government’s advisers on climate policy. One of these papers was on the subject of biofuels; the other one was on land use. Like the IPCC, the CCC sees lots more forests and energy crops as the way forward.

But there is a problem with all these ideas, namely that if they ever came to fruition, they would do great harm to the natural world. The use of afforestation for carbon capture will necessarily involve chopping forests down on a regular basis and replanting with the fastest growing species; it’s fairly clear that few woods would be spared. The CCC talks obliquely about all the broadleaved woodlands in England that are not “actively managed” and appears to suggest that these could be sacrificed to Gaia. So forget beautiful, leafy oaks in Sherwood Forest and start thinking sitka spruce and willow monocultures.

It’s also worth remembering that, as well as wanting something like a quarter of the UK’s land area devoted to biofuels of one kind or another, the CCC makes the case for more wind turbines. They have apparently tried to obscure this inconvenient fact in their report by lumping windfarms and urban areas in a land category called ‘settlements’. But the worry is that up to 10,000 square kilometres of land – twice the area of the Cairngorms National Park – is potentially being earmarked as part of a wider rollout of wind industrialisation.

It’s fair to say that all this amounts to an ecological catastrophe in the planning. Yet there has not been a squeak from environmentalists in response. This is odd. Although ten years ago some greens were quite keen on biofuels – Friends of the Earth once wrote to the then-chancellor, Gordon Brown, demanding that oil companies be compelled to blend biofuels into petrol – they fairly quickly realised that energy crops are not all they are cracked up to be. You might therefore have expected some sort of a reaction to the suggestion that nearly a quarter of the UK’s land area should be devoted to energy crops and that a further very large chunk should be industrialised. It’s not as if they haven’t noticed – Caroline Lucas of the Greens and Craig Bennett of Friends of the Earth both cited the IPCC report favourably. Bennett even said that it showed “huge additional action needed in next 12yrs to keep climate change to 1.5 degrees”.

The problem is that as soon as you start looking for solutions to possible climate change, it very quickly becomes obvious that the cure is far, far worse than the disease. Nevertheless, the green lobby needs to raise funds to keep itself in business. Talk of “huge additional action” can therefore be a good way to keep the money flowing in, just so long as there is a certain reticence about precisely what that action is. Expect the silence of the greens to continue.

Andrew Montford is deputy director at the Global Warming Policy Forum

Comme Ci, Comme Ca!

November 19, 2018

By Paul Homewood



I could not help noticing the contrast!

A few hundred hippies trying to save the planet here. Meanwhile in France there are nationwide protests against carbon taxes.



Eighty-five people have been arrested as thousands of demonstrators occupied five bridges in central London to voice their concern over the looming climate crisis.

Protesters, including families and pensioners, began massing on five of London’s main bridges from 10am on Saturday. An hour later, all the crossings had been blocked in one of the biggest acts of peaceful civil disobedience in the UK in decades. Some people locked themselves together, while others linked arms and sang songs.

By 2pm the blockade of Southwark Bridge had been abandoned and protesters moved from there to Blackfriars Bridge, where organisers said they were soon to move west towards Westminster Bridge.

Demonstrators occupied Southwark, Blackfriars, Waterloo, Westminster and Lambeth bridges.


The French government approved a measure in late 2017 increasing a direct tax on diesel as well as a tax on carbon, allegedly to fight against climate change. The so-called Contribution Climat Énergie (CCE), a French version of the carbon tax, has steadily increased fuel prices in recent years. Drivers across the country have balked at the rising price of diesel as it disproportionately affects workers who depend on their vehicles to get to and from their jobs. Two-thirds of French people expect a “social explosion” in coming months.

Rise of the ‘gilets jaunes’ coincides with Macron’s record low 26% approval rating.

Anti-riot policemen evacuate gilets jaunes protesters during a protest against the raising of fuel and oil prices. Photograph: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

Anti-riot policemen evacuate gilets jaunes protesters during a protest against the raising of fuel and oil prices. Photograph: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

In just a few weeks, the yellow hi-vis vest has become such a potent political symbol that one risks being mistaken for a supporter of the rebellious gilets jaunes when cycling in Paris.

The gilets jaunes are a grass-roots revolt against high fuel prices, and they threaten to paralyse France on Saturday.

The cause of the price hikes are “eco taxes” meant to dissuade the French from using cars. “We choose to tax pollution and harmful products rather than workers,” budget minister Gérald Darmanin explains. Yet the fuel taxes penalise the poor disproportionately.

In the hope of deflating the protests, prime minister Édouard Philippe on Wednesday announced €500 million of compensatory measures, including a €5,000 bonus for low-income earners who trade in polluting cars for a hybrid model.

The gilets jaunes have organised at least 630 protests nationwide via the website, designed by an 18-year-old student. Some call for go-slows on highways. Others want to block roads, which is punishable by two years in prison and a €4,500 fine. Interior minister Christophe Castaner says no “total blockage” will be tolerated.

But several police unions have expressed sympathy, and promised not to punish petty or “middle-size” offences “out of solidarity with the citizens”.

Unlikely heroine

The movement has found an unlikely symbol in Jacline Mouraud, a 51-year-old accordion player, hypnotist and spiritual medium from Brittany who on October 18th posted a video message hectoring President Emmanuel Macron for “persecuting drivers”.

Mouraud’s video went viral, and has been viewed by more than six million people. “I have a thing or two to tell you,” she starts out. The stream of accusations includes the price of fuel, the “hunt” for diesel vehicles, the “forest” of radars, the number of traffic tickets, the possibility tolls may be charged to enter large towns and rumours of mandatory bicycle registration.

“What are you doing with the dough, apart from changing the china at the Élysée and building a swimming pool?” Mouraud asks Macron.

A senior adviser to Macron spoke scathingly of “this Madame Mouraud who generates spirits from under her fingernails”. He expressed consternation that a video “stuffed with lies” has reached such a wide audience, saying: “I have the feeling that our democracy is also at stake.”

Yet the Élysée “is absolutely not condescending towards this movement”, the adviser continued. “We don’t underestimate its amplitude. Our vigilance is total, even if the signals are blurred.”

The rise of the gilets jaunes coincides with Macron’s record low 26 per cent approval rating. A poll published by Ifop on November 14th indicates two-thirds of French people expect a “social explosion” in coming months.

Why Large Scale Solar Power Remains A Pipe Dream In India

November 18, 2018

By Paul Homewood


As I reported yesterday, India is pushing ahead with building an extra 94 GW of new coal power capacity, equivalent to half its current capacity.

So why can’t they simply build more solar farms instead? After all, as their new National Electricity Plan declares, India is ideally positioned to benefit from the potential energy:




However, as the NEP also points out:

Generation from renewable energy sources especially solar and wind is variable in nature and therefore, requires huge balancing capacity in the system.

And the Plan goes into plenty of detail to show just how variable both solar and wind power are.

Read more…

India’s Emissions Set To Double, As Coal Continues To Dominate

November 17, 2018

By Paul Homewood




It’s worth taking a closer look at the claim made last week that India is leading the world in tackling climate change.

The claim was based on India’s latest National Electricity Plan (NEP), which was published in April 2018. Below is the current situation for installed capacity, according to the NEP:

Read more…

The Dodgy Characters Behind Tempus Energy

November 16, 2018

By Paul Homewood




I reported yesterday about the ECJ judgment that the UK’s capacity market scheme was illegal. The scheme is designed to ensure that there is sufficient power capacity in future years, to act as standby for intermittent renewable capacity.

The case was originally begun by an outfit called Tempus Energy, who as several have pointed out have some dodgy characters on board.

According to their website:

We are revolutionising electricity systems with our unique software that unlocks demand flexibility in connected customers.

Our technology uses AI and smart algorithms to control and optimise when flexible assets use energy. By predicting volatility in carbon intensity and market prices we allow customers to reduce their energy costs – while simultaneously enhancing their use of renewables.

In other words, they want to make money out of a power grid that is inherently unstable. In contrast, there would be no demand for their products with a grid that could reliably supply power as and when needed – in other words, what we have been used to.

Everybody wants to make money, but it gets much worse when you see who is behind all of this.



Sarah Bell is CEO and founder, and Tempus give her profile:

Sara founded Tempus Energy in 2012. Her background combines a financial markets systems risk career with energy system innovation. She is a Director of the Association of Decentralised Energy, a member of the High Level Group of i24C, the Industrial Innovation for Competitiveness initiative, a member of the Scientific Advisory Council for Energy for the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council and an Innovation Ambassador for Innovate UK.

Although she no doubt has some bright ideas, she also clearly has a bee in her bonnet about decentralising energy.


Non exec director is Molly Webb:

Molly has 10+ years of market acceleration and advocacy for global innovation in tech, climate change, smart cities and energy, working in partnership with companies and cities at The Climate Group and multiple UK think tank demos. She is also a Green Innovation Strategy adviser for Skype-founder’s Zennström Philanthropies; a jury member for numerous cleanweb and cleantech awards; and she holds MSc in Environmental Policy from the London School of Economics.

To which all I can say is – heaven help us all.

The third member of the team is banker, Garry Sharp.


The Advisory Board is no better.

Curiously it includes Steve Holliday as Chair. Holliday was CEO of the National Grid from 2007 to 2016. During this time he played an integral role in the government’s Electricity Market Reform (EMR), launched by Ed Davey. An integral part of the EMR was, of course, the capacity market.

Indeed, it was only last year that Steve Holliday was emphasising the need for the capacity market, as the BBC reported:

The UK has enough energy capacity to meet demand – even on the coldest days when demand is highest, says Steve Holliday, the man who ran National Grid for a decade.

He said news stories raising fears about blackouts should stop.

His optimism is based on the government’s latest auction of capacity for power generation, which starts later today.

Firms will bid for subsidies to provide back-up power when needed.

The stand-by plants will run for a few days a year during extreme conditions.

Much of the back-up will be provided by old gas and coal plants that would otherwise be scrapped. Funded by the bill-payer, they will offer a sort of power insurance policy.

Mr Holliday told BBC News: "It’s time for the headline of Blackout Britain to end – it’s simply wrong. We’ve been talking about blackouts for 15 years every time it gets cold, but it’s a scare story.

"The lights haven’t gone out yet and thanks to the measures the government is putting in place this week they definitely won’t go out in future. The UK has one of the most stable supplies of electricity in Europe."


I wonder if he still feels the same?

A second member of the Advisory Board is Dimitri Zenghelis. According to his profile:

Dimitri Zenghelis is Co-Head Policy at the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics. In 2014 he was Acting Chief Economist for the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. While he headed the Stern Review Team at the Office of Climate Change in London, he was one of the authors of the Stern Review report on the Economics of Climate Change

Am I the only one to worry, when I see links with Grantham and Stern?


Also on the Board is Bryony Worthington, who did her best to wreck the UK, when she wrote the Climate Change Act for Ed Miliband.


Quite why we should trust any of this lot to have the best interests of the UK at heart is a mystery.


There is one further question. Who actually paid for this legal action to be taken in the first place?

When the action started in 2014, Tempus was little more than a year old. According to its Annual Accounts, it still has little in the way of tangible assets.

It is unbelievable that Tempus would have committed to a legal case at that time, that could potentially cost tens, and maybe even hundreds, of thousands of pounds.

Which begs the question – who put them up to it?

ECJ Quashes UK’s Capacity Market Auctions

November 15, 2018

By Paul Homewood




h/t MrGrimNasty.




I had to check my calendar, to make sure it was not April 1st!



From the Grauniad:




The UK’s scheme for ensuring power supplies during the winter months has been suspended after a ruling by the European court of justice that it constitutes illegal state aid.

Payments to energy firms under the £1bn capacity market scheme will be halted until the government can win permission from the European commission to restart it.

The scheme subsidises owners of coal, gas and other power stations so the plants are ready to ensure that electricity for businesses and homes is available at peak times in winter.

The UK has also been blocked from holding any capacity market auctions for energy firms to bid for new contracts to supply backup power in the future. National Grid said ministers had instructed it to indefinitely postpone auctions that had been planned for early 2019.


The government said it was disappointed by the judgment but insisted that power supplies were not at risk.

On Thursday, the ECJ ruled that the European commission had failed to launch a proper investigation into the UK’s capacity market when it cleared the scheme for state aid approval in 2014.

The ruling renders the capacity market unlawful for a “standstill period” while ministers seek state aid approval from the European commission. It is not clear how long that will take, but it could be many months.

The court’s surprise judgment was an embarrassment for Greg Clark, the business secretary, who hours later outlined his vision for the future of the power market to energy executives at an event in London.

“The consequences are absolutely huge. Immediate cessation of payments is going to have immediate consequences for electricity generators that were relying on them,” said Ed Reed, head of research at analysts Cornwall Insight.

While electricity supplies were unlikely to be at risk, he added, companies may seek to recoup lost capacity market revenues through wholesale power prices instead.

“The lights are not going to go out. We certainly have enough power stations. But the consequence is the market price might go up.”

Tom Glover, UK country chair of RWE, which owns the biggest fleet of gas power plants in the UK, said he was “deeply disappointed” and his company was facing a “significant negative hit” to its earnings.

Bernstein Research said the suspension of payments would hit earnings at British Gas owner Centrica, plus RWE, Uniper and SSE.

Sara Bell, founder and CEO of Tempus Energy, which started the challenge in 2014, said: “This ruling should ultimately force the UK government to design an energy system that reduces bills by incentivising and empowering customers to use electricity in the most cost-effective way – while maximising the use of climate-friendly renewables.”

The company believes that the capacity market favours fossil fuel generation at the expense of alternative ways of securing electricity supplies, such as “demand side reduction”, where companies reduce electricity demand at times of need.

The winter of 2017/18 was the first year the capacity market was in effect, with companies due to receive £990m for 2018/19. More than half of that is still yet to be paid this winter.

The scheme works by energy companies bidding years in advance for billpayer-funded subsidies to provide backup power at crunch times during winter.

Labour said the ruling meant that the government would have to rethink the market.

Alan Whitehead, shadow energy minister, said: “This judgment effectively annuls previous state aid permission to provide subsidies for existing fossil fuel power plants. I have long criticised this bizarre arrangement, which simply throws money at old dirty power stations.”

Richard Black, director of the ECIU thinktank, said the ruling should be seen as an opportunity for the government to reshape market away from fossil fuels and towards battery storage and cleaner technologies.

Clark said the government was already in contact with the European commission and seeking state aid approval, so the capacity market could be reinstated. The business secretary used his speech to celebrate the rise of renewables. “Cheap power is now green power,” he said. 

My first reaction was to tell the ECJ exactly where they can stick their “judgement”!

What we need to remember is that the Capacity Market was introduced as long ago as 2014, when Ed Davey told us:

The Government will run the first Capacity Market in 2014. This will ensure sufficient electricity supplies from winter 2018 by attracting necessary investment in new and existing generation, as well as other forms of capacity such as demand response

The Capacity Market was of course specifically introduced because of the inherent unreliability of wind and solar power, which was being artificially jacked up courtesy of subsidies (which the aforesaid ECJ don’t seem too concerned about).

Under what legal system is it equitable for a company to enter into a contract with government, only to be told four years later it is invalid?

Since 2014, each round of capacity market auction has done little more than pay existing capacity to stick around, rather than shut down – (think coal power plants).

Soon though we will need huge tranches of reliable, new dispatchable capacity to fill the gaps in the 2020s, when coal has gone. If the ECJ say no to the Capacity Market, who on earth will build new gas power stations, which up against obscenely subsidised renewables and punitive carbon taxes will struggle to make any profit at all?

Meanwhile, all the dopey Sara Bell, founder and CEO of Tempus Energy, which started the challenge in 2014, can say is:

This ruling should ultimately force the UK government to design an energy system that reduces bills by incentivising and empowering customers to use electricity in the most cost-effective way – while maximising the use of climate-friendly renewables.”

Just think about what she is really saying:

“Empowering customers to use electricity in the most cost-effective way “ – the Capacity Market is intended to ensure electricity is available when the wind does not blow, and the sun does not shine.

Her logic only means one thing – when the wind does not blow, and the sun does not shine, we stop using electricity.

According to the Grauniad she believes that the capacity market favours fossil fuel generation at the expense of alternative ways of securing electricity supplies, such as “demand side reduction”, where companies reduce electricity demand at times of need.

This, in plain English, is utter bollox. Since the very first Capacity Market auction, Demand Side Reduction, along with various storage schemes, have had equal bidding rights to the auctions as any other form of generation.

Quite why the ECJ thinks it is entitled to meddle with the energy security of the UK is a mystery. Why we are letting them is not.

G20 Nations Still In Thrall To Big Oil!

November 15, 2018

By Paul Homewood


h/t Robin Guenier


Another highly misleading article from the Guardian:



Climate action is way off course in all but one of the world’s 20 biggest economies, according to a report that shows politicians are paying more heed to the fossil fuel industry than to advice from scientists.

Among the G20 nations 15 reported a rise in emissions last year, according to the most comprehensive stock-take to date of progress towards the goals of the Paris climate agreement.

The paper, by the global partnership Climate Transparency, found 82% of energy in these countries still being provided by coal, oil and gas, a factor which has relied on an increase of about 50% in subsidies over the past 10 years to compete with increasingly cheap wind, solar and other renewable energy sources.

The G20 nations spent $147bn (£114bn) on subsidies in 2016, although they pledged to phase them out more than 10 years ago.

Governments have said they will change, but on current commitments the world is on course for a 3.2C rise in average global temperatures, more than double the lower Paris threshold of 1.5C, which scientists have said represents the last chance to save coral reefs, the Arctic ecosystem and the wellbeing of hundreds of millions of people at risk of increased drought, flooding and forest fires.

“The gap is still very big,” said Jan Burck, one of the authors of the report. “The G20 is not moving fast enough.”

Comparing the goals and policies of different countries, the paper found that only India was on course to stay below the upper limit set by the Paris agreement of 2C, while the worst offenders – Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – would take the world beyond 4C.

China, the world’s biggest emitter, stabilised its releases of carbon for a couple of years by reducing dependency on coal, but this positive trend slipped last year. Indonesia, Brazil and Argentina have promised to cut deforestation but the destruction rate of forests shows no sign of reversing.

Britain has made the fastest transition, with a 7.7% decline in the use of fossil fuels between 2012 and 2015, but the report warned that this could stall in the years ahead because the government had cut support for feed-in tariffs, energy efficiency and zero-carbon homes.

The authors said political pressures in the G20 countries, with more subsidies for fossil fuels, were working against effective climate action.

“There is a huge fight by the fossil fuel industry against cheap renewables. The old economy is well organised and they have put huge lobbying pressure on governments to spend tax money to subsidise the old world,” Burck said.

These political pressures are likely to intensify as governments are called upon to extend emissions cuts to the transport and agriculture sectors. The report said G20 emissions needed to start declining in the next two years and halve by 2030 if the world were to avoid more than 1.5C of warming, though not one country in the group had set a credible target to do this.

The UN climate talks in Katowice, Poland, in December –the COP24 conference – will start a two-year process for governments to deliver on their commitments to reduce emissions. Although there are national leaders hostile to tackling climate change, such as in the US and Brazil, there is still hope they will be open to taking their share of the responsibility.

Christiana Figueres, former executive secretary of the UN framework convention on climate change, said: “Global emissions need to peak in 2020. The Brown-to-Green report provides us with an independent stock-take on where we stand now. This is valuable information for countries when they declare their contribution in 2020.”


There is little in the paper by Climate Transparency that we have not already heard loads of times from other climate kooks.

It ‘s all the fault of the wicked oil companies! (Question – what would the Guardian like them to do – cut output by 50% tomorrow?)

And in many ways, Climate Transparency spend a lot of time telling us what we already knew – that fossil fuels still dominate the world’s energy supply, and none of the green virtue signalling at Paris did anything to alter that in the foreseeable future.

Nevertheless, let’s take a closer look at a couple of the more risible claims:

Read more…

Delingpole: Liberal California Blames Wildfires on Trump

November 13, 2018

By Paul Homewood



Right on cue, Governor Moonbeam blames the latest California fire on global warming and Trump:



Perhaps though he would like to explain why Oregon’s fire history shows no evidence of this whatsoever:


oregon fire history_911-2017[7780]


In fact, as Dellers explains, the real problem lies with Moonbeam and his cronies’ own green agenda:

But Moonbeam’s fury is the rage of Caliban seeing himself reflected in the glass: it is highly unlikely that the fires had anything whatsoever to do with ‘climate change’; it is much more likely that they are at least partly the result of the green religion championed by Moonbeam and most of Hollywood.

As an experienced forester, Bob Zybach, told the Daily Caller earlier this year, many of the wildfires which have ravaged the western U.S. are a consequence of misguided, “eco-friendly” policies introduced in the Clinton era.

While some want to blame global warming for the uptick in catastrophic wildfires, Zybach said a change in forest management policies is the main reason Americans are seeing a return to more intense fires, particularly in the Pacific Northwest and California where millions of acres of protected forests stand.

“We knew exactly what would happen if we just walked away,” Zybach, an experienced forester with a PhD in environmental science, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Zybach spent two decades as a reforestation contractor before heading to graduate school in the 1990s. Then the Clinton administration in 1994 introduced its plan to protect old growth trees and spotted owls by strictly limiting logging.

Less logging also meant government foresters weren’t doing as much active management of forests — thinnings, prescribed burns and other activities to reduce wildfire risk.

There is no evidence that the climate in California has changed in such a way as to make forest fires more likely. According the Fifth (and most recent) Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), rainfall is expected to change little as a result of ‘climate change.’ More likely, the answer is that these fires are simply a case of the Californian environment doing what it has always done. It’s just unfortunate that there are now more people living in the area to suffer when things go wrong. As the Daily Caller article noted:

Wildfire experts have also increasingly been pointing to the fact that more people and infrastructure are located in wildfire-prone areas than in the past, increasing the risk of wildfires impacting livelihoods. A recent study found the number of homes at risk of wildfires in the western U.S. increased 1,000 percent since 1940, from about 607,000 in 1940 to 6.7 million. Since most fires are ignited by humans, the more people in fire-prone areas the higher the risk. “This is a people problem,” said U.S. Geological Survey fire expert Jon Keeley. “What’s changing is not the fires themselves but the fact that we have more and more people at risk.”

It’s too early to say what and who, if anyone, can be held to blame for the California fires. But whatever the usual Hollywood suspects may tell you, it’s definitely not Donald Trump.

Nunavut Draft Plan Says There Are Actually Too Many Polar Bears In Territory

November 12, 2018

By Paul Homewood


h/t Joe Public


From Huff Post:




There are too many polar bears in parts of Nunavut and climate change hasn’t yet affected any of them, says a draft management plan from the territorial government that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking.

The proposed plan — which is to go to public hearings in Iqaluit on Tuesday — says that growing bear numbers are increasingly jeopardizing public safety and it’s time Inuit knowledge drove management policy.

"Inuit believe there are now so many bears that public safety has become a major concern," says the document, the result of four years of study and public consultation.

"Public safety concerns, combined with the effects of polar bears on other species, suggest that in many Nunavut communities, the polar bear may have exceeded the co-existence threshold."

Polar bears killed two Inuit last summer.

The plan leans heavily on Inuit knowledge, which yields population estimates higher than those suggested by western science for almost all of the 13 included bear populations.

Scientists say only one population of bears is growing; Inuit say there are nine. Environment Canada says four populations are shrinking; Inuit say none are.

The proposed plan downplays one of the scientific community’s main concerns.

"Although there is growing scientific evidence linking the impacts of climate change to reduced body condition of bears and projections of population declines, no declines have currently been attributed to climate change," it says. "(Inuit knowledge) acknowledges that polar bears are exposed to the effects of climate change, but suggests that they are adaptable."

Environment Canada’s response says that’s "not in alignment with scientific evidence." It cites two studies suggesting the opposite.

Andrew Derocher, a University of Alberta polar bear expert, is blunter.

"That’s just plain wrong," he said. "That’s been documented in many places now — not just linked to body condition but reproductive rates and survival."

The government of Nunavut declined an interview request.

Its position is strongly supported by the 11 Inuit groups and hunters’ organizations that made submissions.

"(Inuit knowledge) has not always been sufficiently incorporated by decision-makers," says a document submitted by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., the Inuit land-claim organization. "The disconnect between the sentiment in certain scientific communities and (Inuit knowledge) has been pronounced."

The Canadian Press Environment Canada said the findings on polar bears in the Nunavut government’s draft plan is "not in alignment with scientific evidence."

Pond Inlet wants to be able to kill any bear within a kilometre of the community without the animal being considered part of the town’s quota. Rankin Inlet simply wants to lower bear populations.

In its submission, the Kitikmeot Regional Wildlife Board expresses frustration with how polar bears are used as an icon in the fight against climate change.

"This is very frustrating for Inuit to watch … We do not have resources to touch bases with movie actors, singers and songwriters who often narrate and provide these messages," it says.

"We know what we are doing and western science and modelling has become too dominant."

The management plan doesn’t propose to increase hunting quotas immediately. It contains provisions for increased education and programs on bear safety for hunters and communities.

It does say hunting bans would no longer be automatically applied to shrinking populations and that "management objectives … could include managing polar bears for a decrease."

We know what we are doing and western science and modelling has become too dominant.Kitikmeot Regional Wildlife Board

Derocher doesn’t dispute potentially dangerous bear-human encounters are becoming more frequent. But he, and other southern scientists, insist that’s happening as climate change reduces sea ice and drives bears inland.

"They will move into communities seeking food. There’s lots of attractants around northern communities."

Places where attacks have occurred are not areas with the highest bear densities, he said.

The plan reflects Nunavut’s desire to control its own wildlife resources, Derocher suggested.

"They don’t ask for input from southern scientists. The less input from the south is where it seems to be moving."

The Canadian Press Inuit hunters skin a polar bear on the ice as the sun sets during the traditional hunt on Frobisher Bay near Tonglait, Nunavut on Feb. 2, 2003.

Derocher said the Inuit’s ability to export polar bear hides — or the ability of their hunter clients to take such items home with them — depends on whether the rest of the world trusts the animals are being well-managed.

"If the stated goal is to have fewer polar bears, that may be the tripping point whereby polar bear management in Canada comes under renewed scrutiny."

Canada has fought off two international attempts to ban the trade of polar bear products.

The territory’s wildlife management board will take what it hears at the public hearings and include it in a final document, which will go before the Nunavut cabinet for approval.

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