By Paul Homewood
An excellent post by Roger Helmer, who is, for those who don’t know, UKIP MEP for East Midlands:
Following the death of Fidel Castro, it’s perhaps a good time to think about the malign impacts of totalitarian government, and the damage that political agendas can do to science.
I was recently discussing Lysenko with a friend (as you do), and naturally we turned to Wikipedia to clarify a point. And I came across a quote that hit me between the eyes (figuratively speaking);
“The term Lysenkoism can also be used metaphorically to describe the manipulation or distortion of the scientific process as a way to reach a predetermined conclusion as dictated by an ideological bias, often related to social or political objectives”.
Dear Reader, you’re way ahead of me. Yes of course, I was struck immediately by the read-across to climate science. The parallels are remarkable.
By Paul Homewood
This is the UK grid status at 6pm today.
Demand is close to going into the red. According the Gridwatch tag:
The amber warning represents the demand level that cannot be reliably met by wood or fossil burning, or nuclear generation, but must be augmented by imports, or unreliable intermittent renewable energy.
Note that coal, gas and nuclear are close to limits. Fortunately wind is still giving 2GW.
The 2GW French interconnector is running at around 1GW, but to make matters worse French demand is also pushing up against its limits:
I have said it before, and I will say it again – what the hell are we supposed to do in a few years time when we no longer have the 8GW currently being supplied by coal?
By Paul Homewood
Repost from Ron Clutz:
Researchers found that ice conditions in the 19th century were remarkably similar to today’s, observations falling within normal variability. The study is Accounts from 19th-century Canadian Arctic Explorers’ Logs Reflect Present Climate Conditions (here) by James E. Overland, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory/NOAA, Seattle,Wash., and Kevin Wood, Arctic Research Office/NOAA, Silver Spring, Md.
This article demonstrates the use of historical instrument and descriptive records to assess the hypothesis that environmental conditions observed by 19th-century explorers in the Canadian archipelago were consistent with a Little Ice Age as evident in proxy records. We find little evidence for extreme cold conditions.
It is clear that the first-hand observations of 19th-century explorers are not consistent with the hypothesized severe conditions of a multi-decadal Little Ice Age. Explorers encountered both warm and cool seasons, and generally typical ice conditions, in comparison to 20th-century norms. ………………
Fig.2. The ship tracks and winter-over locations of Arctic discovery expeditions from 1818 to 1859 are surprisingly consistent with present sea ice climatology (contours represented by shades of blue). The climatology shown reflects percent frequency of sea ice presence on 10 September which is the usual date of annual ice minimum for the reference period 1971–2000 (Canadian Ice Service,2002). On a number of occasions,expeditions came within 150 km of completing the Northwest Passage, but even in years with unfavorable ice conditions, most ships were still able to reach comparatively advanced positions within the Canadian archipelago. By 1859, all possible routes comprising the Northwest Passage had been discovered.
The full article is here.
By Paul Homewood
Nick Hunn, who has been closely following the government’s smart meter programme, offers his view on the latest assessment of the costs involved.
He writes on his blog, Creative Connectivity:
BEIS (the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) have just released their long overdue assessment of the cost of the country’s smart metering program. Hidden among the figures is the amount of money that they have spent. So far, they have squandered £450 million on the project, despite the fact that not a single compliant smart meter has been installed in any house. By a strange coincidence, that’s exactly the same amount as the shortfall in BHS’ pension fund which occurred when Philip Green flogged off BHS.
The £450 million hole in the BHS pension fund had MPs baying for Philip Green’s blood, threatening to remove his knighthood and demonising him in the press. The £450 million expenditure by BEIS on civil servants and consultants, with nothing to show for it, has elicited virtually no reaction from Parliament, yet it will end up costing the taxpayer far more.
Let me reiterate this, as it is truly shocking. Over the last six years, DECC, BEIS and Smart Energy GB have spent £450 million on consultations, developing specifications, fighting Freedom of Information requests and spinning PR stories, yet we have not had a single smart meter installed which conforms to their specifications. Isn’t it time that Parliament stops fuming about super yachts and calls BEIS to account? Not least, because the latest report from BEIS shows they can’t even manage simple arithmetic.
As we have come to expect from BEIS and their predecessors at DECC, the latest Impact Assessment is yet another work of fiction. Slipped out on the day that Donald Trump was elected in order to ensure minimum press coverage, it showed that merging DECC into BEIS has done nothing to bring any sense of reality to the program.
By Paul Homewood
David Rose has put the cat among the pigeons!
Global average temperatures over land have plummeted by more than 1C since the middle of this year – their biggest and steepest fall on record.
The news comes amid mounting evidence that the recent run of world record high temperatures is about to end.
The fall, revealed by Nasa satellite measurements of the lower atmosphere, has been caused by the end of El Nino – the warming of surface waters in a vast area of the Pacific west of Central America.
Global average temperatures over land have plummeted by more than 1C since the middle of this year – their biggest and steepest fall on record
By Paul Homewood
I posted an article about natural gas yesterday, showing that we would have to more then triple electricity generation to replace gas in the UK.
I mentioned that I had published a graph recently, estimating what peak demand might look like under such a scenario.
Unfortunately I could not put my hand on it, but thanks to Joe Public for finding it!
The graph comes from the Parliamentary Advisory Group on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), and was published in September 2016. It specifically deals with gas demand for heat, thus excluding gas used for electricity generation and other industrial purposes.
Naturally gas demand for heat peaks during winter months, but particularly so early mornings and evenings.
As the graph illustrates, whilst electricity demand currently peaks at around 50GW, gas demand frequently peaks at over 300GW. If this demand for gas had to be replaced by electricity, it would not only need massive increases in generating capacity, it would also necessitate a complete rebuild of the grid and transmission network as the current system would be overwhelmed.
The report states that residential and public sector emissions which are mostly from heating represented 18% or 73m tonnes p.a. of 2015 UK CO2 emissions from fossil fuels.
Either way, CCS would be needed, otherwise the objective of the exercise would be nullified. If electrification is the answer, it would have to be produced with CCS as, even the report implies, no other sources of “clean” energy could begin to meet such demand.
And as for the hydrogen scenario, if you are going to use steam reforming, you have got to put the resulting CO2 somewhere.
Neither solution looks in any way to be practical, and certainly not affordable.
This report rather sums up the lemming like attitudes of most of our MPs. They start with the objective of meeting the targets laid down by the Climate Change Act, and then perform ridiculous contortions to find ways of overcoming what most people would regard as unsurmountable obstacles.
Have not any of them got the guts and commonsense to stand up and say that we simply cannot achieve what the Act lays down, at least with the current state of technology? And then follow the logic, and call for the Act to be scrapped.
My guess is that if things carry on this way, eventually gas will be priced out of the range of most people, probably with the help of a carbon tax. We have a very cold future to look forward to.
By Paul Homewood
John Fuller asked me what effect it would have if natural gas was replaced by electricity.
We can start by looking at DECC’s numbers for gas consumption last year. Note that these are in GWh.
Excluding electricity generation, we are looking at 580 TWh.
Total electricity generation last year was 339 TWh, we would virtually have to treble this figure to replace natural gas.
It does not end there, because demand for gas, domestic at least, is concentrated during winter months. The respective figures for Q1 last year were electricity generation of 96 TWh, and gas consumption (excl generation) of 226 TWh.
Thus in winter we would need to increase electricity generation by 235%.
Worse still, since gas demand is heaviest in early mornings and evenings in winter, peak loading would make matters even worse. (I did publish a graph on this a few weeks ago, but annoyingly I can’t find it!!)
Not only would we need to find the generating capacity to cope with all of this, but we would also need to drastically ramp up transmission capabilities.
By Paul Homewood
Following last week’s Autumn Statement from the Chancellor, the OBR have now published their latest Economic and Fiscal Outlook.
We can therefore update the latest projections of Environmental Levies and other costs associated with the Climate Change Act.
By Paul Homewood
‘European bioenergy plants do not have to produce evidence that their wood products have been sustainably sourced’ – Guardian reporter. Looks like an open invitation to unscrupulous operators to cheat for profit.
Protected forests are being indiscriminately felled across Europe to meet the EU’s renewable energy targets, according to an investigation by the conservation group Birdlife.
Up to 65% of Europe’s renewable output currently comes from bioenergy, involving fuels such as wood pellets and chips, rather than wind and solar power.
Bioenergy fuel is supposed to be harvested from residue such as forest waste but, under current legislation, European bioenergy plants do not have to produce evidence that their wood products have been sustainably sourced.
Full story here.
Blimey!! I never saw that one coming.
By Paul Homewood
Readers will recall that I complained to the BBC following the first episode of their Arctic Live programme earlier this month.
In particular, I took exception to their claim that “In Churchill, every year polar bears gather on the shores of Hudson Bay to wait for the big freeze, and every year they’re waiting longer” , as the facts showed nothing of the sort.
This set the scene for effectively the whole of that segment of the programme, which attempted to convince viewers how endangered polar bears were becoming.
I have now had their reply:
Thank you for contacting us about ‘Arctic Live’ that broadcast on 2nd November 2016.
I understand you felt the information given about polar bears was inaccurate.
I contacted the programme makers who explained that during the series they said that polar bears are waiting longer each year for the freeze. This is backed up by extensive scientific studies including data from the Canadian Ice Service (CIS). In the annual summary for last year the CIS stated that "Ice break-up was generally 1-2 weeks earlier than climatology (1981-2010) over the area, except locally 4-5 weeks early over north-western Hudson Bay”.
You may also find this this paper by David Barber et al of interest http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/asl.709/full it also looks at the long term negative trend since the 1970s. Environment Canada did a 43-year analysis of the CIS statistics from 1968 to 2010. This too showed a decrease in summer coverage for total sea ice in Hudson Bay over that period (http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/16-002-x/2011004/part-partie3-eng.htm). This is just a selection of papers from various sources and there are many more like this.
Climate change is unpredictable and some years can be warm, others cold. Scientists measure the overall trend to define climate and in Hudson Bay (as indeed, across the whole Arctic), that trend has been negative i.e. a reduction in sea ice over the past decades. The ice free period is generally longer. Therefore, we feel it is fair to say the bears are waiting longer.
On the issue of polar bears being endangered due to the melting of the sea ice, we consulted many scientists in the making of this series and featured some of these specialists on screen; for example: Dr Andrew Derocher of the University of Alberta. In Hudson Bay scientists who study these bears agree that this particular polar bear population is on the decline. It is down from around 1200 to around 800 (these are estimates based on the work of Environment Canada). This paper expands further on this subject. The trend for the long term future is worrying. https://profile.usgs.gov/myscience/upload_folder/ci2015Jun0323012149966Lunn%20et%20al%20WH%20polar%20bear%20July2014%20final.pdf
As we stated in the series, polar bears rely on sea ice and sea ice is reducing. Prevailing scientific opinion on climate change is clear. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2013/2014 report states that warming in the climate is unequivocal. The globally averaged combined land and ocean surface temperature has increased by 0.85 degrees Celsius over the period 1880 to 2012. The melt and the freeze are naturally part of the Arctic seasonal cycle but sea ice has declined in every season and every successive decade since 1979. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet.
In the series we also spoke to local people on the ground, and to scientists. Where there are uncertainties we reflected this. As the BBC our aim is to provide information. We wanted to give people a balanced picture of the Arctic and the story of the bears so they can better understand this extraordinary region of our planet.
I hope this has helped to allay your concerns, and thanks again for taking the time to contact us.
BBC Complaints Team
Needless to say, they have provided no evidence at all to support the original claim. In particular:
1) This is backed up by extensive scientific studies including data from the Canadian Ice Service (CIS). In the annual summary for last year the CIS stated that "Ice break-up was generally 1-2 weeks earlier than climatology (1981-2010) over the area, except locally 4-5 weeks early over north-western Hudson Bay”.
Ice break up in spring and early summer has nothing to do with re-freeze in November.
2) You may also find this this paper by David Barber et al of interest http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/asl.709/full it also looks at the long term negative trend since the 1970s. Environment Canada did a 43-year analysis of the CIS statistics from 1968 to 2010. This too showed a decrease in summer coverage for total sea ice in Hudson Bay over that period (http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/16-002-x/2011004/part-partie3-eng.htm). This is just a selection of papers from various sources and there are many more like this.
This Barber paper addresses ice extent in July to September. Again, this has no relevance to re-freeze, particularly as the Hudson Bay is ice free in October.
The rest of the reply is, for want of a better word, piffle. They might just as well have said “Don’t you know all the ice is melting and the polar bears are all going to die, you stupid denier”.
I will be resubmitting my complaint.