By Paul Homewood
Chinese companies and banks are continuing to drive global coal expansion, as state owned companies, backed by state loans, build coal-fired power plants across the world. This is despite commitments from China’s top leaders to deliver clean energy and low carbon infrastructure for developing countries.
The world’s largest carbon emitter aims to reposition itself as a global green power. In a joint US-China statement at the White House in September 2015, President Xi Jinping agreed to strictly control public investment for overseas projects with high pollution and carbon emissions. China won praise for promising to peak its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 at the UN climate summit in Paris in 2015 – and trying to wean itself slowly off coal. Chinese manufacturers are now major suppliers of cheap solar and wind parts worldwide.
However, these efforts are being undercut by Chinese backed coal power plants planned and under construction from Indonesia to Pakistan, Turkey to the Balkans –as well as in Africa and Latin America. These could boost global emissions and lock developing countries into fossil fuel intensive energy systems for decades.
New data collected by chinadialogue and the CEE Bankwatch Network shows that since 2015 many new Chinese coal plant project deals have been announced and are under development. “The majority of these projects are under loan consideration by China’s policy-driven financing, and supplied by equipment from the country’s largest power generation manufacturers,” said Wawa Wang, public finance policy officer at CEE Bankwatch Network.
Chinese banks and companies are currently involved in at least 79 coal fired generation projects, with a total capacity of over 52 GW, more than the 46 GW of planned coal closures in the US by 2020.
Full story here.
There is little surprise at any of this. I have been reporting for some time about such developments.
As I have commented before, China will always operate in its own self interest.
By Paul Homewood
When I started posting about how GHCN and GISS were altering the historical temperature record a few years ago, many thought I was making it up.
Things have now gone well past that stage now, and now GISS actually offer a tool to chart actual and adjusted temperatures.
Below are the stations in Greenland, Iceland and Arctic Norway, which have data going back prior to 1950, and where historical temperatures have been adjusted downwards.
No stations in this part of the world have been adjusted in the opposite direction, and only one, Vardo, has been left unaltered.
By Paul Homewood
From the Times:
A green campaign group made a series of misleading claims about the health and environmental impacts of fracking, according to a damning draft ruling by the advertising watchdog.
Friends of the Earth (FoE) failed to substantiate claims that fracking could cause cancer, contaminate water supplies, increase asthma rates and send house prices plummeting, the Advertising Standards Authority says.
Scientists accused the group of scaremongering after it made the claims in thousands of copies of a leaflet asking for donations to help stop fracking. Cuadrilla, which wants to frack in Lancashire, and the Reverend Michael Roberts, a retired vicar, complained to the ASA about the leaflet last year.
The ASA produced its draft ruling in July but has been forced to delay sending it to its council for approval because FoE has repeatedly requested more time to challenge its findings.
The draft upholds the complaints against FoE on all four grounds, finding in each case that the group had breached the ASA’s code by making misleading statements that it had failed to substantiate.
The draft rejects FoE’s attempt to use evidence from the US to justify its claims about the threat to health and water supplies. It notes that there are differences between the way fracking is regulated in the US and UK, with the Environment Agency imposing strict controls here on chemicals used and the protection of water supplies.
On the claims about asthma, the advertising authority found that FoE had based them on a report from the US that had not found a causal relationship between the disease and fracking.
On house prices, the draft criticises FoE for using an “anecdotal quote” from a newspaper article to help justify its claim that prices would plummet.
The draft concludes: “The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Friends of the Earth Trust Ltd not to make claims about the likely effects of fracking on the health of local populations, drinking water, or property prices in the absence of adequate evidence.”
Francis Egan, chief executive of Cuadrilla, said: “The ASA undertook a thorough review of Friends of the Earth’s outlandish claims . . . and found every one incorrect. Since then FoE has sought to frustrate the ASA process and delay these findings being made public. It spreads untruths and offers no practical solutions to the very real energy problems facing the UK. It should openly admit its mistakes and stop irresponsibly taking the public’s money by scaring them with misleading claims.”
Donna Hume, an FoE campaigner, said: “This is just the ASA’s draft decision which we are in the process of refuting . . . The evidence against fracking is clear. In response to this draft decision we supplied further evidence to the ASA, with over 100 references, to show that fracking is unproven and still poses too many risks.”
In May, Third Energy received permission to frack an existing well in North Yorkshire — the first approval of the technique since it was temporarily banned in 2011 after causing two small earthquakes in Lancashire. FoE has challenged the approval in a judicial review which will be heard by the High Court in November. The government is due to decide by October 6 whether to overrule Lancashire County Council, which last year rejected two fracking applications by Cuadrilla.
Last week the ASA overturned a decision to ban a Greenpeace advert which stated: “Experts agree — [fracking] won’t cut our energy bills.” The ASA admitted it had been wrong to conclude the advert was misleading.
FoE tried to justify the claim that fracking chemicals could cause cancer by saying that it involved sand, which contained silica, “a known carcinogen”.
Paul Younger, a professor of energy engineering at the University of Glasgow, said at the time that FoE’s claims were nonsense. “Sand is silica. It’s exactly the same stuff that’s on every sandy beach. What are they proposing? That we treat all beaches as contaminated land and pave them over?”
Claims and counterclaims
Friends of the Earth claim: Fracking fluid containing “a toxic cocktail of chemicals . . . could end up in your drinking water”.
Advertising Standards Agency response in draft ruling: “Public Health England considered the potential impact on public drinking water supplies was minimal. The Environment Agency would not permit the use of hazardous substances . . . where they might enter groundwater.”
FoE: “Studies have shown that 25 per cent of fracking chemicals could cause cancer.”
ASA: FoE used a US-based study but “many chemicals allowed in the US would not be permitted in the UK. We understood that hazardous chemicals would not be permitted in fracking in the UK, and that chemicals approved for use must not cause pollution”.
FoE: “A hospital near a US fracking site has shown that asthma rates are three times higher than average.”
ASA: “The review on which FoE had based the claim . . . did not demonstrate that the fracking site was responsible for increases in asthma.”
FoE: Fracking causes “plummeting house prices”.
ASA: Evidence was not robust and included a survey of estate agents that was “anecdotal and did not indicate a rapid and significant fall”.
The comments are nearly all pro fracking, and this one sums it up nicely:
I have been "dealing with" eco-activists in some shape or form for decades.
One needs to remember three things:
their version of the "facts" is always the correct one and admits of no dispute;
lying comes as naturally to them as breathing;
humanity in general comes a long way down their list of priorities, somewhere between worms and microbes and well below polar bears, bats, and great-crested newts.
Their opposition to fracking, as to fossil-fuel use and nuclear power, has nothing to do with saving the earth or improving the environment and everything to do with trying to coerce us back to their mythical golden age, conveniently forgetting that if we followed their advice we would be without any modern medicines and would be engaged throughout the 40 or so years if our miserable existence desperately trying to get enough food and fuel to see us through the day while fending off the attacks from the neighbouring village.
I can see Emma Thompson and Vivienne Westwood going for that lifestyle —–— not!
By Paul Homewood
Since hitting its earliest minimum extent since 1997, Arctic sea ice has been expanding at a phenomenal rate.
Already it is greater than at the same date in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015. Put another way, it is the fourth highest extent in the last ten years.
Even more remarkably, ice growth since the start of the month is actually the greatest on record, since daily figures started to be kept in 1987.
Experts call this phenomenon the final collapse of sea ice!
By Paul Homewood
By Alister Doyle | September 19 2016
(Reuters) The last gasoline-powered car will have to be sold by about 2035 to put the world on track to limit global warming to the most stringent goal set by world leaders last year, a study said on Thursday.
The report, by a Climate Action Tracker (CAT) backed by three European research groups, said a drastic shift was needed towards clean electric cars and fuel efficiency since transport emits about 14 percent of world greenhouse gas emissions.
Last December, world leaders at a Paris summit set a goal of limiting a rise in temperatures to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times while “pursuing efforts” for a much tougher 1.5 C (2.7F) ceiling.
“We calculate that the last gasoline/diesel car will have to be sold by roughly 2035,” the CAT report said, to make the car fleet consistent with staying below 1.5C. It assumes the last fossil-fuel vehicles would be on the roads until 2050.
As the report indicates, this is a much stiffer target than generally thought before. As far as the UK is concerned, cars account for 11% of GHG emissions, plus another 7% for HGV and vans.
The Committee on Climate Change, in their Fifth Carbon Budget, are planning on electric cars and vans accounting for 61% of sales by 2030, but crucially hybrids account for 38%.
Meanwhile, electric car sales still fail to make much headway, with pure electric cars accounting for just 0.4% this year so far. Hybrids fare slightly better with 1.8%.
But just how much difference do hybrids make, and are they cost effective?
Many manufacturers now offer hybrid alternatives, so it is easy to compare like with like. Ford, for instance, have a hybrid version of the Mondeo Titanium. It has similar performance to the 1.5 Duratorq diesel model, so we can make a few comparisons:
|Mpg – combined||78.5||70.6|
|Max speed||119 mph||116 mph|
Of course, real life fuel economy will be worse than the manufacturers figures, but this should apply to both models.
So we find that, not only is the hybrid dearer, it actually has poorer fuel economy. (It should be pointed out that the hybrid is better for urban driving).
There are two other factors to take account of:
1) Ford’s warranty covers the battery for up to 3 years/60000 miles. But, as with all car warranties, this only covers repair or replacement as a result of a manufacturing defect.
Whether they would replace a battery that started to deteriorate before then is anybody’s guess.
What we do know, though, is that Ford’s extended warranty for Years 3 and 4 specifically excludes batteries. This would seem to indicate that they have little confidence that the hybrid battery would last much longer then 3 years.
According to the Hybrid Shop in the US, “despite the sterling reputation of Toyota’s hybrid power storage systems, any given battery can only survive so many charge cycles, and cars reaching into the 100,000 mile range are certainly within the borders of the battery pack danger zone”, and replacement batteries would cost at least $3600.
While this may not affect driver of newish cars, it is likely to mean that second hand prices for hybrid cars will be pretty poor, when it comes to trade them in.
2) The Mondeo hybrid is only available in 4-door, presumably because of the amount of space the battery takes up. This is a definite drawback, particularly as storage space is 30% less than the 5-door (and even less compared with the 2-seat mode).
On the face of it, hybrids now have little going for them. In reality, conventional cars have caught them up in terms of fuel efficiency.
There should be little surprise about this, car manufacturers have been steadily improving this for decades, and without any need for government diktats.
As the Committee on Climate Change show, this has enabled emissions from domestic transport to remain pretty stable, despite the large increase in the number of cars on the road since 1990.
Returning to the initial topic, it is hard to see any significant reduction in emissions arising from large scale deployment of hybrid cars, either in the UK or world wide. It appears to be pure electric cars or bust.
By Paul Homewood
Beware con merchants bearing renewables!
South Korea will invest $27bn in renewables and from next year begin to retire 10 coal-fired power plants.
By Paul Homewood
Hundreds of members of the US National Academy of Sciences have signed an open letter in support of Hillary because global warming.
The signatories – 375 in all – don’t actually mention Donald Trump by name. But it’s pretty clear that that’s whom they’re getting at when they deliver their hectoring screed about certain candidates during the Presidential primary campaign who claimed “that the Earth is not warming, or that warming is due to purely natural causes outside of human control.”
Calling themselves Responsible Scientists, they warn:
Human-caused climate change is not a belief, a hoax, or a conspiracy. It is a physical reality. Fossil fuels powered the Industrial Revolution. But the burning of oil, coal, and gas also caused most of the historical increase in atmospheric levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. This increase in greenhouse gases is changing Earth’s climate.
Our fingerprints on the climate system are visible everywhere. They are seen in warming of the oceans, the land surface, and the lower atmosphere. They are identifiable in sea level rise, altered rainfall patterns, retreat of Arctic sea ice, ocean acidification, and many other aspects of the climate system. Human-caused climate change is not something far removed from our day-to-day experience, affecting only the remote Arctic. It is present here and now, in our own country, in our own states, and in our own communities.
And so on.
If it sounds like stuff you’ve heard a thousand times before from the usual shrill, grant-troughing, rent-seeking, data-fudging, jet-setting, money-grubbing, scientific-method-abusing, FOI-dodging, lying, cheating, climate alarmist scum bags, that’s because you have.
The list of signatories is like a Who’s Who of the very worst perpetuators of the man made global warming scare. (Well almost: it seems they couldn’t quite bring themselves to associate themselves with figures as tainted as Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann or NASA GISS’s resident data-adjuster Gavin Schmidt). Their livelihoods depend on this scam – or hoax or conspiracy: it’s both those things too, whatever they may state – and the last thing they need is a Donald Trump presidency coming to slaughter their milch cow.
Next to their names are their seats of academe: Columbia, Johns Hopkins, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, MIT, UC Berkeley, and so on.
As a disinterested reader, you’re supposed to be impressed by the lofty distinction of such credentialled expertise.
But to anyone who knows about what’s been happening in the field of climate science and related environmental studies these last few decades, a more natural response is sheer disgust.
How did every one of our learned institutions get captured by these charlatans?
How do all these tenured professors and PhDs and beneficiaries of taxpayer largesse have the nerve and gall and bravado to append their names to a public statement so dishonest and unscientific?
The first two paragraphs, quoted above, make a mountain out of a mole hill. While few scientists doubt that there may be some anthropogenic influence on climate, all the evidence suggests that such difference as we humans make to it is so trivial as to be meaningless.
It is a flat-out lie to claim, as these ‘Responsible Scientists’ do in the paragraph below, that the debate is over:
We are certain beyond a reasonable doubt, however, that the problem of human-caused climate change is real, serious, and immediate, and that this problem poses significant risks: to our ability to thrive and build a better future, to national security, to human health and food production, and to the interconnected web of living systems.
And the rest – which warns of the terrible consequences if Trump were to become US president and fulfil his threat to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement – is pure politicking.
If the US did pull out of the Paris climate agreement the effect on “global warming” would be zero – not least because, being toothless and non-binding the agreement at Paris does not commit its 190 signatories to doing anything other than make soothing noises about their good intentions.
As for this next bit: it could have been written by Enron – or George Soros. It’s nothing more than a one world government masterplan for a new economic order in which energy users are obliged by state fiat to treat carbon dioxide as a menace – despite the glaring lack of scientific evidence that it is anything other than a harmless and beneficial trace gas.
The United States can and must be a major player in developing innovative solutions to the problem of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. Nations that find innovative ways of decarbonizing energy systems and sequestering CO2 will be the economic leaders of the 21st century.
Can and must? Says who?
The man-made global warming scare is the most expensive and large scale fraud in scientific history. The sooner someone prominent on the international stage has the courage to point this out, the sooner the house of cards that is the decarbonisation industry will come tumbling down and the global economy can readjust itself to producing stuff that people actually want and need and that doesn’t require being bailed out by massive taxpayer subsidies.
Whoever does this will require balls of steel and no loyalty whatsoever to the establishment elite.
That person’s name is probably not going to be Hillary.
By Paul Homewood
The Met Office have now published a bulletin on the brief heatwave last week:
A brief heatwave from 12 to 15 September brought exceptionally high temperatures to south-east England, accompanied by some torrential downpours causing flash flooding.
On 13 September, Gravesend (Kent) recorded 34.4 °C, the UK’s highest temperature of the year and the highest September temperature since 1911; this value being around 14 °C above the long-term average. Daily minimum temperatures for 14 September were also exceptionally high, at a few locations exceeding 20 °C.
The heat was associated with a southerly flow of air from France and Spain, with the humidity leading to thunderstorms bringing intense downpours and causing flash-flooding. Several locations recorded hourly totals exceeding 30mm.
By Paul Homewood
It is generally assumed that nuclear plants, such as the proposed one at Hinkley Point, are technically capable of operating at around 90% of capacity.
However, there is a question mark over whether they will actually be able to sell all of their output.
John Constable, of REF, has this analysis at GWPF:
The UK government has, after some delays, given approval to Hinkley C nuclear power station. However, and in spite of subsidies intended to offset risks arising from renewables policy, it is still not clear that the project can actually make money. It remains to be seen whether EDF has the courage to proceed.
By Paul Homewood
From the “Science is settled department”:
The Arctic is nearing its seasonal sea ice minimum this month, but predicting exactly when the region will see its first ice-free summer may be more difficult than previously believed, according to the results of new University of Colorado Boulder research.
After examining both high- and medium-level carbon dioxide emission modeling scenarios for the rest of the 21st century, the study found that it is not possible to reduce the uncertainty window for an ice-free Arctic to a period of less than 21 years due to the inherently chaotic nature of the climate.
The study also found that commonly-used metrics of past and present sea ice thickness, extent and volume are not predictive enough to reduce this long-range uncertainty.
The new findings were published online today in the American Geophysical Union journal Geophysical Research Letters.
Scientists typically define an "ice-free Arctic" as having fewer than 1 million square kilometers worth of ice cover, which would leave the Arctic Ocean virtually clear while some pockets of ice would remain in the northern reaches of Canada and Greenland.
"When it comes to predicting the timing of an ice-free Arctic, climate models show a large spread of over 100 years. Many studies have attempted to narrow this wide range to as little as five years in some cases," said Alexandra Jahn, an assistant professor in CU-Boulder’s Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC) and lead author of the new research. "Here, however, we find that the low bound of our predictive ability is significantly longer due to inherent climate variability."
The study, which employed a large collection of simulations from the Community Earth System Model developed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, also found that consecutive ice-free summers would become common after 2060 under the high emission scenario while remaining the exception in the medium emission scenario.
"Overall, these results serve as a sort of caution against over-narrowing the long-term sea ice predictions from climate models" said Jahn, who is also a fellow in CU Boulder’s Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR).
David Hempleman-Adams says we should listen to the scientists.