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BBC Plan New Climate Change Propaganda Blitz

January 17, 2020

By Paul Homewood

 

h/t Robin Guenier

 

The BBC long ago gave up any pretence of impartiality and objectivity when it comes to climate change.

Now they have unashamedly become advocates for the most extreme forms of climate alarmism, preaching from on high about their new religion.

This year we can look forward to the propaganda being ramped up even further, with a year-long series of “special programming” (no change there then!)

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The BBC has announced plans for a year-long series of special programming and coverage on climate change.

Read more…

Govt May Reform Air Passenger Duty

January 16, 2020

By Paul Homewood

 

 

A quick round up of some interconnected news items:

First up, greens are up in arms at suggestions that the government will reform or even abolish Air Passenger Duty for domestic flights, following a rescue deal for Flybe:

 

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The immediate future of Flybe was secured on Tuesday night after ministers agreed a rescue deal with shareholders to keep Europe’s largest regional carrier flying.

The package of measures includes a potential loan in the region of £100m and/or a possible short-term deferral of a £106m air passenger duty (APD) bill, plus a pledge to review taxes on domestic flights before the March budget.

After the spectre was raised of another UK airline failure, Flybe’s owners Connect Airways – a consortium led by Virgin Atlantic – were persuaded to commit millions more to cover ongoing losses.

The airline has argued it is particularly hard-hit by APD, which is charged on each passenger on a flight taking off in the UK. While all short-haul economy flights, including domestic, are charged at the same rate – £13 – the tax is applied to each leg of a domestic return flight. That means, for example, that a return Flybe flight from Cardiff to Manchester is taxed at £26, while the duty on a Glasgow to Malaga return costs half that….

The government had been urged by MPs, unions and business to save Flybe, which serves almost two in five domestic UK flights and employs more than 2,000 people. It carries 8.5 million passengers a year between 56 airports across the UK and mainland Europe, and is the main airline at regional airports including Belfast, Southampton and its Exeter base….

Potential moves to ease APD were condemned by environmental groups. The MEP for South West England – a constituency that includes Flybe’s Exeter home – Molly Scott Cato of the Green party, said it was “absurd to suggest that we should provide a further boost to the aviation industry”. She highlighted that routes deemed socially necessary could be subsidised under EU rules – Flybe’s Newquay to London route is already funded with state aid.

Greenpeace UK’s chief scientist, Doug Parr, said: “The government cannot claim to be a global leader on tackling the climate emergency one day, then making the most carbon-intensive kind of travel cheaper the next. Cutting the cost of domestic flights while allowing train fares to rise is the exact opposite of what we need if we’re to cut climate-wrecking emissions from transport.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/jan/14/flybe-saved-after-successful-last-ditch-talks

 

Evidently Greenpeace and their cronies would rather see 2400 jobs go down the drain.

Just as important though is the role that airlines such as Flybe play in regional connectivity. Doug Parr might like us all to go by train, but in reality spending several hours on a train to get from Southampton to Glasgow is not an option for most people.

At a time when we are supposed to be driving growth in the regions, shutting down domestic flights would be a disastrous own goal.

 

 

Tim Newark takes things a step further in the Express (before the government plan was announced):

Read more…

Environmental Levies

January 16, 2020

By Paul Homewood

 

 

Just a quick note to explain how the cost of subsidies for green energy is worked out, after some confusion in yesterday’s post. It is worth clarifying as it often gets queried:

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The above figures come form the Office for Budget Responsibility, (OBR).

Environmental Levies reflect the costs added to energy bills via what is known as the Levy Control Framework, as opposed to being absorbed into general taxation. As I understand it, by law the government has to declare any costs imposed on consumers in this way as a result of direct government policy.

For 2021/22, the total cost of levies is £11.8bn. But this includes £0.4bn for Warm Homes Discount, which is a discount for low earners from their energy bills, funded as a surcharge on everybody else’s bills.

Therefore, strictly speaking, the cost of subsidies to renewable energy suppliers is £11.4bn, via Feed-in tariffs, Renewables Obligation, Contracts for Difference and Capacity Market.

Although the latter is paid out to non renewable generators to provide standby capacity, Capacity Market payments should necessarily be regarded as just another cost imposed on bill payers by intermittent renewable energy.

Finally, on to the £11.4bn we must add the cost of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which is £1.1bn. This is yet another subsidy offered to both homes and businesses who install renewable technologies for heating. As this is funded from general taxation, it is not included in Environmental Levies, but in general public expenditure. Instead it is listed just as a note.

Matthew Parris Is Blowing In The Wind

January 15, 2020

By Paul Homewood

 

The grossly overrated journalist Matthew Parris has this piece in The Times today:

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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/bank-on-my-knowledge-of-london-at-your-peril-bnxf36m07

 

Well, Matthew, here are the actual facts, of which you seem oblivious.

The latest official figures show wind power contributing just 17% of annual generation.

There are naturally times when, as you say, wind power is supplying much more than this. But, equally, there are other times when it is supplying much less. (I presume you know what averages are?)

Just within the last month, wind output has fluctuated between below 5GW to above 10GW:

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http://grid.iamkate.com/

 

And when the wind does not blow, guess what happens then Mr Parris?

That’s right – gas power has to be ramped up!

Perhaps you might explain what we are all supposed to do when fossil fuels are banned, in your utopian green future?

 

You then go on to talk about wind power being expensive. I presume you are not aware that subsidies for renewable energy, primarily wind power, will cost £12.5 bn this year. That’s about £460 for every home in the country. Now that’s what I would call expensive, although maybe that’s pocket money for you.

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https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2018/11/01/cost-of-green-subsidies-rises-to-66bn-in-next-5-years/

 

 

As for your use of the stupid term mansplaining, I would suggest that most women would understand just as well as men that wind power is an utterly ridiculous way of supplying the nation’s energy.

One final question – do you actually get paid for writing nonsense like this?

 

 

FOOTNOTE

Sorry for the confusion over the numbers, but it is £12.5bn (I missed the billion off!)

The number excludes £0.4bn for Warm Homes Discount from the table, as this is a subsidy for low earners and has nothing to do with renewables.

It also includes £1.1bn for RHI, which is excluded from the Environmental Levy total of £11.8bn because it is exchequer funded rather than added to energy bills.

Ocean Warming Scares

January 15, 2020
tags:

By Paul Homewood

 

 

Willis Eschenbach over at WUWT has a good summary of the latest scare story about ocean warming:

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How much is a “Whole Little”? Well, it’s like a whole lot, only much, much smaller.

There’s a new paper out. As usual, it has a whole bunch of authors, fourteen to be precise. My rule of thumb is that “The quality of research varies inversely with the square of the number of authors” … but I digress.

In this case, they’re mostly Chinese, plus some familiar western hemisphere names like Kevin Trenberth and Michael Mann. Not sure why they’re along for the ride, but it’s all good. The paper is “Record-Setting Ocean Warmth Continued in 2019“. Here’s their money graph:

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Now, that would be fairly informative … except that it’s in zettajoules. I renew my protest against the use of zettajoules for displaying or communicating this kind of ocean analysis. It’s not that they are not accurate, they are. It’s that nobody has any idea what that actually means.

Read the full post here.

 

Willis makes a number of points:

Firstly, when it is expressed in terms of temperature, we find that the oceans down to 2000m have warmed by little more than 0.1C in half a century, hardly armageddon:

 

The idea that we can measure the temperature of the world’s deep oceans to such fine margins is, of course, twaddle. As Willis points out, even ARGO buoys, only operational since 2005, only cover less than one third of the oceans. Prior to that we were doing little more than guesswork.

Although zettajoules sound impressive, the claimed increase is microscopic compared to the total amount of energy entering and leaving the ocean. How can we be sure that this tiny increase, even if it was real, is due to AGW, and not a myriad of natural causes, such clouds, thunderstorms, ENSO and other ocean cycles?

 

I would add one further thought.

As the map below shows, there is huge variation in sea surface temperature anomalies across the world, with a range of about 6C.

OK, these are just surface temperatures, and temperature anomalies at depth will be much less pronounced. Nevertheless, the natural factors causing these variations clearly dwarf the supposed impact of man-made warming.

How then can we be sure that we are actually measuring the latter?

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https://www.weatherzone.com.au/climate/indicator_sst.jsp?lt=global&lc=global&c=ssta

Climate change: Australia fires will be ‘normal’ in warmer world–Matt McGrath

January 15, 2020
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood

The latest climate porn from Matt McGrath and his chums:

 

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UK scientists say the recent fires in Australia are a taste of what the world will experience as temperatures rise.

Prof Richard Betts from the Met Office Hadley Centre said we are "seeing a sign of what would be normal conditions under a future warming world of 3C".

Read more…

James Taylor: Record Farm Yields Contradict Climate Doomsayers’ Claims

January 15, 2020
tags:

By Paul Homewood

 

From Breitbart:

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U.S. and global crop production continue to set new records, even as climate activists ramp up a campaign to convince people that climate change is decimating crop production and forcing farmers out of business.

Read more…

Tasmania Is No Stranger To Devastating Fires–Despite What The Guardian Says

January 14, 2020

By Paul Homewood

 

 

Following all of the apocalyptic hype about the Australian bushfires, it is worth revisiting this Guardian piece from 2016:

 

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A global tragedy is unfolding in Tasmania. World heritage forests are burning; 1,000-year-old trees and the hoary peat beneath are reduced to char.

Fires have already taken stands of king billy and pencil pine – the last remaining fragments of an ecosystem that once spread across the supercontinent of Gondwana. Pockets of Australia’s only winter deciduous tree, the beloved nothofagus – whose direct kin shade the sides of the South American Andes – are now just a wind change away from eternity.

Unlike Australia’s eucalyptus forests, which use fire to regenerate, these plants have not evolved to live within the natural cycle of conflagration and renewal. If burned, they die.

To avoid this fate, they grow high up on the central plateau where it is too wet for the flames to take hold. But a desiccating spring and summer has turned even the wettest rainforest dells and high-altitude bogs into tinder. Last week a huge and uncharacteristically dry electrical storm flashed its way across the state, igniting the land.

While these events have occurred in the past, says David Bowman, a professor of environmental change biology at the University of Tasmania, they were extremely rare, happening perhaps once in a millennium.

“It’s killing trees that are over 1,000 years old; it’s burning up soil that takes over 1,000 years to accumulate,” he says.

If this truly were a once-in-1,000-year event, says Bowman, then to be alive when it occurs is like “winning TattsLotto” for a fire scientist. But we no longer live in the same world.

“We are in a new place,” he says. “We just have to accept that we’ve crossed a threshold, I suspect. This is what climate change looks like.”

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https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jan/27/world-heritage-forests-burn-as-global-tragedy-unfolds-in-tasmania

 

It is full of the usual sort of trigger words, so beloved by the Guardian BBC – devastating, global tragedy, heritage, 1000 year event, and of course it’s all linked to climate change.

Well, just how did things work out?

Read more…

How To Change A Mind

January 14, 2020

By Paul Homewood

 

 

Guest post by Duncan McNeil:

How to change a mind.

I have always found it difficult to answer the question from advocates of the dangers of anthropogenic climate change that “do you think there is a vast conspiracy of scientists lying to us about climate change?” I found the beginning of an answer in a book called Rebel Ideas, the power of diverse thinking by Matthew Syed. It helped me to understand the dynamics of groupthink.

“Homogenous groups don’t just underperform, they do so in predictable ways. When you are surrounded by similar people, you are not just likely to share each other’s blind spots, but to reinforce them. This is sometimes called “mirroring”. Encircled by people who reflect your picture of reality, and whose picture you reflect back to them, it is easy to become ever more confident of judgements that are incomplete or downright wrong. Certainty becomes inversely correlated with accuracy.”

It then cites a study concerning two teams trying to solve a complex problem, one team being a group of friends, the other team including an outsider, thus introducing diversity of thought to the process.

“Those in the two groups had very different experiences of the task. Those in diverse teams found the discussion cognitively demanding. There was plenty of debate and disagreement, because different perspectives were aired. They typically came to the right decisions, but were not wholly certain about them. The fact that they had such a full and frank discussion of the case meant that they were exposed to its inherent complexity.

But what of the homogeneous teams? Their experiences was radically different. They found the session more agreeable because they spent most of the time, well, agreeing. They were mirroring each other’s perspectives. And although they were more likely to be wrong, they were far more confident about being right. … And this hints at the danger of homogeneous groups: they are more likely to form judgements that combine excessive confidence with grave error.”

Later on in the book Syed details the conversion of one of America’s most famous white supremacist, Derek Black, to being able to see the world as full of individuals irrespective of colour. Before his conversion any attempt of debate on race was immediately shut down with no attempt to consider another point of view. The key to his change of mind was the slow establishment of trust with a different thinker through discussions not related to race. When he realised that they had much in common he became open to the idea of looking at his racial beliefs from another point of view. And so the conversation began.

So how can a conversation, a discussion begin with an advocate of the dangers of anthropogenic climate change?

I have found that if I have the time and the opportunity to let a person get to know me, chat with them, even share a few jokes, see me as, not a science denier or an environment hater, but as someone who is willing to listen to them and consider their point of view then a fruitful discussion may ensue.

I always encourage them to put their point of view forward first, let them lead the discussion. “Why do you think that?” is always a good question to ask of them (and myself). Never try to push too hard. Try to stay focussed on the subject of climate change, maybe point out when they conflate climate science with environmentalism or rubbish disposal or politics. Ensure there is a differentiation made between climate change and anthropogenic climate change. Make the point that the human population has always changed the environment to suit its needs.

When asked “Do you believe in climate change?” I answer “Belief is not founded on facts, I prefer to look for evidence on which to base my understanding of the world.”

In answer to “What do you believe?” I warn them that my answer is quite a long one and is not a belief but a fact.

It goes:

“There is no reproducible empirical scientific evidence that the extra carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by the human population burning fossil fuels since the beginning of the industrial revolution has had, or will have, an effect on the Earth’s climate that is detrimental to the human population.

Empirical scientific evidence: data obtained by observation and measurement, processed transparently including full documentation of uncertainty levels.”

Be respectful at all times. It is difficult to even contemplate, let alone form a contrary opinion when a person is bombarded from all sides, at all times, by literature and videos produced by the advocates of the dangers of anthropogenic climate change. There is even the risk of being ostracised by the people around you if there is a hint that you may not agree with everything in their entire box of beliefs. It takes a strong person to stand against the currents of popular opinion.

“When my information changes, I change my mind. What do you do?”

Megadroughts In Australia

January 13, 2020

By Paul Homewood

 

 

With Australian drought a hot topic at the moment, it is worth revisiting this paper from 2014:

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https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2014GL062447

 

As studies have also found in California, severe droughts are nothing new for Australia. Evidence suggests that megadroughts have occurred in the last millennium, dwarfing any seen in the recent past.

Read more…