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The European Heatwave Of 2003

September 21, 2017

By Paul Homewood


 Difference in average temperature (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004) from 2003, covering the date range of 20 July – 20 August

There is little doubt that the European heatwave of 2003 was one of the defining meteorological events of the last hundred years.

Climate scientists have often held it up as an example of what the future has in store, as global warming takes hold. Indeed, every time the sun comes out in summer, we seem to get the mantra that “heatwaves are becoming more common”.

We heard the usual nonsense this summer when southern Europe had a hot spell. It was even given a name, Lucifer. The Telegraph reported:

Unusually high temperatures, in some cases unprecedented, are being recorded across an area spanning much of the Iberian peninsula, southern France, Italy, the Balkans and Hungary.


But was this summer abnormally hot, and have we been seeing 2003 style heatwaves since?

Read more…


Who’s the world’s leading eco-vandal? It’s Angela Merkel

September 21, 2017

By Paul Homewood


Monbiot unloads on Merkel!


Which living person has done most to destroy the natural world and the future wellbeing of humanity? Donald Trump will soon be the correct answer, when the full force of his havoc has been felt. But for now I would place another name in the frame: Angela Merkel.

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Trends In Atlantic Hurricanes

September 20, 2017

By Paul Homewood



With Hurricane Maria tearing heading towards Puerto Rico, there will be yet more alarmist claims about how climate change is making hurricanes worse.

Maria is the fourth major hurricane in the Atlantic this year, following Harvey, Irma and Jose. But how unusual is this?

Fortunately we don’t have to rely on Al Gore or Jennifer Lawrence. The reality is that it is not unusual at all.

Leading tropical cyclone expert, Chris Landsea of NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division has put together a list of Atlantic storms back to 1851.

This is what he has to say:

Read more…

Ocean Cycles, Not Humans, May Be Behind Most Observed Climate Change

September 20, 2017

By Paul Homewood




An eminent atmospheric scientist says that natural cycles may be largely responsible for climate changes seen in recent decades. 

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Is the world warming to clean coal?

September 20, 2017

By Paul Homewood




A thoughtful article from CAPX:




At an event in New Delhi last month, the Indian government’s chief economic adviser had strong words for critics of India’s energy sector. In a fiery defense of Indian coal energy, Arvind Subramanian – a former IMF economist who worked at Washington’s most influential development think tanks – made it clear his country needed practical solutions instead of “carbon imperialism” that insists on an immediate, unrealistic switch to renewable energies.

Who are the imperialists, in Subramanian’s eyes? As it turns out, his former colleagues at multinational institutions, such as the World Bank. The Bank, under pressure from Barack Obama, decided it would no longer support coal energy initiatives in 2013. Since then, its projects have taken an ambiguous approach to the world’s electrical grid.


Read more…

The Meteorological Reasons Why There Have Been So Many Hurricanes This Year

September 19, 2017

By Paul Homewood

While Hurricane Maria continues this year’s run of hurricanes, it is worth reading this Telegraph article from Sep 8th. It certainly makes a refreshing change from the wearying drivel written by Jillian Ambrose and co:



The destruction left by hurricanes Irma and Harvey has left many wondering why this year has been particularly bad for disastrous weather.

Harvey pummeled Texas, while Irma has been barrelling through the Carribbean and Bahamas, hurtling towards Florida.

Many thousands of homes have been destroyed and lives have been lost after the worst hurricanes seen for some years came in from the Atlantic Ocean.

The US expects hurricanes – they have a season of them every year – but not of this magnitude.

So why is it so bad? And can we expect more in the future? We asked scientists and other experts to explain.

Read more…

How Real Are Heatwave Death Claims?

September 19, 2017

By Paul Homewood


Yesterday I reported on the latest attempt by the CCC to scare the public about worsening heatwaves.

According to PBC Today:

Now, the CCC has warned people could be at risk if action is not taken. According to the organisation, the number of deaths due to heat waves is set to more than triple by 2040. With 7,000 deaths a year expected to be attributed to deadly heatwaves, the CCC is calling on the government to act now.


The last real heatwave in the UK, July 2006, is often held up as an example of how many excess deaths occur in hot weather.

England Mean daily maximum temp - July


According to the Met Office, there were 680 excess deaths.

But how reliable are these guesstimates?

Read more…

UK government launches plan to accelerate growth of green finance

September 19, 2017

By Paul Homewood


The Government released this yesterday:




New measures will build on the UK’s global leadership in green finance as part of the move to a low carbon economy.


  • Government establishes taskforce of senior financial experts to accelerate growth of green finance and the UK’s low carbon economy.
  • Proposals announced today will build on the UK’s global leadership, including development of world’s first green financial management standards with the British Standards Institute.
  • The transition to a low carbon economy offers Britain a multi-billion pound investment opportunity, creating high-value jobs and boosting exports.

New measures to accelerate investment in clean growth by building on the UK’s strength in green finance will be set out later today by Climate Change Minister Claire Perry at the opening ceremony of Climate Week in New York.

Green finance includes private sector investments in technologies, infrastructure and innovative start-ups that can create jobs and allow businesses to expand, boosting economic growth while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Between 1990 and 2016, UK GDP has grown by 67%, while carbon emissions have fallen by 42%, proving it is possible to reduce emissions and grow the economy.

Although the green finance agenda has gained global momentum in recent years, the market must accelerate to meet climate change commitments. An estimated $13.5 trillion of investment is needed between 2015 and 2030 in the energy sector alone, for countries to meet their Paris Agreement targets. The Government recognises that much of this investment will come from the private sector and wants to use the UK’s green finance capabilities to provide a real national economic boost and help meet global challenges.

Claire Perry, Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry said:

Britain has already shown the world that a strong economy and efforts to tackle climate change can, and should, go hand in hand. Now is the time to build on our strengths and cement our position as a global hub for investment in clean growth.

The transition to a low carbon economy is a multi-billion pound investment opportunity and a key part of this Government’s Industrial Strategy. Developing standards to promote responsible investment in sustainable projects and establishing the Green Finance Taskforce will help ensure businesses across the UK take full advantage of it.

Britain’s financial sector is already a world-leader in green finance. Enabling this sector to develop further will not only assist the transition to a low carbon economy but also ensure London remains the world’s leading global financial centre.

It is important for public and private partnerships to work together and the Green Finance Taskforce announced today will bring together a top team of financial experts, including leading figures from Aviva, Barclays, HSBC, Legal & General and the Bank of England, as well as academics and sustainability experts.

The Taskforce, chaired by Sir Roger Gifford, former Lord Mayor of London, will be given six months to deliver ambitious proposals to accelerate investment in the transition to a low carbon economy, creating high-value jobs and opportunities for UK businesses. It will examine a range of interventions, from making infrastructure investment more sustainable to scaling-up green mortgages.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Barclay said:

Financial services are a British success story and the sector has the power to drive green and sustainable development.

It is a priority of mine that people are able to access financial products that support their values, whether that be sharia-compliant loans or green mortgages that have a positive environmental impact. This taskforce will keep the UK at the forefront of green finance and help deliver choice for consumers.

The Government is also announcing work with the Green Finance Initiative and the British Standards Institute to develop a new set of voluntary green and sustainable finance management standards, working closely with industry. The British Standards Institute will have completed the necessary standards scoping exercises and have the first standard in production by the first half of 2018.

The Government has also officially endorsed recommendations published by the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures and encourages all listed companies to implement this new, voluntary framework to align climate-related risk management and financial governance. These recommendations represent a key milestone in the global low carbon transition, and have been backed by over 100 businesses worldwide with a market capitalisation of more than $3 trillion.


Now you will excuse me if I sound cynical, but I somehow doubt that all of these banks and financiers will be funding green finance out of the goodness of their hearts!

They will hope to make a nice little earner out of it, and we all know who will end up paying the bill.

Climate change not as threatening to planet as previously thought, new research suggests

September 19, 2017

By Paul Homewood



From the Telegraph:




Climate change poses less of an immediate threat to the planet than previously thought because scientists got their modelling wrong, a new study has found. New research by British scientists reveals the world is being polluted and warming up less quickly than 10-year-old forecasts predicted, giving countries more time to get a grip on their carbon output.


Read more…

CCC Calls For New Building Regulations To Cope With Non-Existent Heatwaves

September 18, 2017

By Paul Homewood




Reader HotScot left this comment the other day about UK Building Regulations.

But it seems that John Gummer’s Committee on Climate Change wants to push matters even further, as the Planning and Building Control Today website spells out:


The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has called on the government to amend building regulations to ensure homes, hospitals and schools do not overheat.

A new regulation was put forward in 2015 by the CCC relating to this issue; however, ministers rejected the idea, not wishing to add more red tape for homebuilders.

Now, the CCC has warned people could be at risk if action is not taken. According to the organisation, the number of deaths due to heat waves is set to more than triple by 2040. With 7,000 deaths a year expected to be attributed to deadly heatwaves, the CCC is calling on the government to act now.

Changes must be made

Lord Deben, chair of the CCC and a former Conservative environment secretary said: “What we need from government is a willingness to accept that building regulations, properly done, are not an incubus [problem] – they are in fact an opportunity to enable people to build for the future.

“It is absolutely essential to recognise that we will not deal with the problems of climate change unless we have tougher building regulations,” he said.

“The government has a real opportunity to do that as it is going to have to look at its building regulations in any case because of the tragic events [of the Grenfell Tower fire] and I think it is very important that they should take the opportunity to look at them in this wider sense.”

The CCC’s head of adaptation, Daniel Johns, said more needed to be done to prevent problems in the future.

“We said [in 2015] there is a compelling case for a new building standard to avoid new homes overheating. But [the government] response said there was clearly a trade-off here and they were also mindful of burdens on developers,” Johns commented.

“So this is an area where they consider the potential small additional cost that could be borne by developers and what that might mean for the price of houses, being traded off against the potential long term cost for people occupying these properties in the hotter summers and heatwaves in years to come.”

Vulnerable people at risk

Older people are more likely to suffer during the hot weather. As such, hospitals and care homes were among the facilities identified by the CCC as particularly vulnerable. Schools and prisons were also flagged.

Lord Deben said air conditioning did not provide a solution, rather the way in which homes and buildings are built is more important.

He said: “If buildings are properly built in this country there is very little need for air conditioning. The problem with air conditioning is that it heats the area round about, so it has a disadvantage for the community as a whole. It’s a constant pushing out of hot air.”

Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive at the UK Green Building Council, said: “Clearly, there is a risk that our building regulations are no longer fit for purpose without robust protections against overheating.”

A study earlier in the year suggested overheating in building was becoming an issue. Loughborough University’s School of Civil and Building Engineering revealed research that showed the issue to be particularly endemic in new homes.


PBC also reported on that Loughborough study referred to back in January. It turns out that it is building regulations designed to reduce heat loss which are the problem:


A new study has revealed overheating in homes is a growing problem because of modern building standards.

According to the research some buildings are so hot they are considered to be potentially lethal in the summer months.

In the UK it is uncommon for domestic properties to use air conditioning or comfort cooling, but there remains a focus on heat retention.

Research reveals overheating risk

Now, new research from Loughborough University’s School of Civil and Building Engineering has revealed overheating is a growing issue, particularly in new homes. This can have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of occupants, in some cases even leading to premature mortality.

The report from Kevin J Lomas and Stephen M Porritt is set to be debated at the end of the month by built environment think tank Edge.

No provision for controlling ventilation

Building regulations currently aim to reduce heat loss in the cold weather, but ventilation is not considered to control overheating in the warm weather.

Modern building regulations have seen the average heat loss of housing stock fall by 23 per cent since 1970. Yet, more than 10 per cent of households across England were declared as being in fuel poverty in 2014, with some 43,900 deaths across England and Wales in 2014/15 due to the cold indoor temperatures.

Mortality due to overheating is far less common, with only 2,000 excess deaths in England during the 10-day 2003 European heatwave. 


Meanwhile the UK climate stubbornly refuses to conform to Mr Gummer’s forecast that heatwaves will get worse: