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Disastrous fire management wreaks havoc on California

October 18, 2017

By Paul Homewood

 

From CFACT:

 

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Like swarms of locusts devouring everything in their path, the wildfires that struck California’s fabled wine country and surrounding areas have left behind death and destruction on an unimaginable scale.

With no warning, the blazes began spreading rapidly on the evening of Sunday, Oct. 8th, and by the end of the week, there had been 31 confirmed deaths, over 400 people still missing, and 3,500 structures destroyed. In Santa Rosa, long considered safe from wildfires, whole neighborhoods went up in flames within minutes. An estimated 60,000 people were forced to flee or were evacuated from the fire-ravaged area.

All told, some 22 separate fires scorched 191,000 acres, or about 300 square miles. It is the second-deadliest wildfire in California since 1923. Adding to the misery were quirks of Mother Nature. The Diablo, a strong gusty wind prevalent in northern California, helped spread the conflagration. And while the arid region has recently recovered from a severe, years-long drought, the grasses that have grown back thanks to the much-needed precipitation enabled the fire to spread more rapidly.

Wildfires and the Environment

In addition to the dreadful loss of life, the wildfires, which are expected to last for several more weeks, have taken their toll on wildlife and air quality. Satellite images show a huge plume of smoke stretching from central California to northwest Nevada and into southern Oregon and Idaho. Sean Reffuse, an air quality analyst with the University of California at Davis, told USA Today that the fires have put 10,000 tons of particulate matter (PM), a leading cause of haze, into the air. He calculates that it would take about 35,000 on-road vehicles a year to produce that much PM pollution. Exposure to higher levels of PM have been associated with respiratory and cardiovascular problems.

At this writing, the cause of the wildfires remains unknown. Wildfires have been a scourge in California and other areas of the arid West for as long as anyone can remember. California’s dry climate and strong winds – Diablo in the north and Santa Anna in the south – are often a wildfire’s best friend.

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Ex Hurricane Ophelia

October 17, 2017

By Paul Homewood

Ex Hurricane Ophelia has now rapidly weakened and is moving away from the UK.

It has been reported as the worst storm in Ireland since Hurricane Debbie in 1961, but there the similarity ends. As we shall see, Debbie was a different beast entirely.

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Telegraph’s “Sponsored” Articles For Renewables and Electric Cars

October 17, 2017

By Paul Homewood

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/energy-efficiency/who-will-pay-for-electric-car-parks/

 

I have increasingly been aware of sponsored articles in the Telegraph from various renewable interests.

The one above is from e.on, assuring us that there will be millions of charging points for EVs, from which e.on will no doubt benefit hugely.

Does the proliferation of these “sponsored” advertising puffs explain why the Telegraph’s coverage of energy and climate issues has been so dire lately?

Australia Set To Dump Clean Energy Target

October 16, 2017
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By Paul Homewood

 

h/t HotScot

 

From ABC News:

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A Clean Energy Target recommended by Australia’s chief scientist will not be adopted, with the Federal Government instead proposing a new plan to bring down electricity prices.

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The true cost of wind power

October 15, 2017
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By Paul Homewood

 

Booker has a short piece in his newly shrunken column about offshore wind costs:

 

MPs arriving at Westminster Tube station have lately been presented with a huge advertisement claiming that the cost of electricity from offshore wind farms has been cut by “50 per cent over the past five years”. Despite the fact that this was paid for by various green lobbyists, including Greenpeace, the WWF and foreign-based owners of offshore wind farms, it seems from comments by MPs, the BBC, journalists and even our energy minister Claire Perry, that they all believe this boast.

 

Actor Peter Capaldi at Westminster tube station where Greenpeace, WWF and the Marine Conservation Society have launched a new campaign supporting offshore wind

Actor Peter Capaldi at Westminster tube station where Greenpeace, WWF and the Marine Conservation Society have launched a new campaign supporting offshore wind Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

 

But The Global Warming Policy Foundation has complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that the poster could hardly be more outrageously misleading. It is based only on figures relating to two offshore wind farms that haven’t even been built yet and possibly never will be.

The official data, expertly analysed by Paul Homewood on his blog, Notalotofpeopleknowthat, show that last year we were all paying for offshore electricity through our household bills at nearly three times the going market rate, including subsidies of £1.4 billion. And this is still soaring so fast that, by 2021, we will be paying £3.1 billion a year for offshore wind energy, equating to £115 for every household in the land.

The Government may be babbling on about putting “a cap” on electricity bills. But nothing is pushing up those bills faster than its own ever-more-insane “green” energy policies.

That people are allowed to hide this from us – and delude those gullible MPs into the bargain – is indeed outrageous.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/14/philip-hammond-called-traitor-stating-obvious-no-deal-will-disaster/

Carbon capture in doubt after Norway buries 90pc of budget

October 15, 2017
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By Paul Homewood

 

h/t GreenSand

 

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The latest bid to develop technology which traps and stores carbon emissions is already in doubt after a key European partner scaled back its plans, days after UK ambitions were reignited.

 

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Hurricane Ophelia

October 14, 2017

By Paul Homewood

 

Hurricane Ophelia is on its way!

 

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http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at2+shtml/084653.shtml?cone

 

According to the National Hurricane Center, Ophelia has just been upgraded to a Cat 3, with wind speeds of 115 mph.

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Adelie Populations Growing

October 14, 2017

By Paul Homewood

 

h/t Richard Treadgold

 

 

Richard has unearthed a more recent study of the population of Adelie penguins, published in January 2017:

 

 

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Abstract

Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are increasingly affected by fisheries, climate change and human presence. Antarctic seabirds are vulnerable to all these threats because they depend on terrestrial and marine environments to breed and forage. We assess the current distribution and total abundance of Adélie penguins in East Antarctica and find there are 3.5 (95% CI 2.9–4.2) million individuals of breeding age along the East Antarctic coastline and 5.9 (4.2–7.7) million individuals foraging in the adjacent ocean after the breeding season. One third of the breeding population numbering over 1 million individuals breed within 10 km of research stations, highlighting the potential for human activities to impact Adélie penguin populations despite their current high abundance. The 16 Antarctic Specially Protected Areas currently designated in East Antarctica offer protection to breeding populations close to stations in four of six regional populations. The East Antarctic breeding population consumes an average of 193 500 tonnes of krill and 18 800 tonnes of fish during a breeding season, with consumption peaking at the end of the breeding season. These findings can inform future conservation management decisions in the terrestrial environment under the Protocol on Environmental Protection to develop a systematic network of protected areas, and in the marine environment under the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources to allow the consumption needs of Adélie penguins to be taken into account when setting fishery catch limits. Extending this work to other penguin, flying seabird, seal and whale species is a priority for conservation management in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2351989416301172

 

This builds on results of the 2014 study by Lynch and LaRue, which I referred to yesterday here.

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Delingpole: Michael Mann Crowdfunds Worst Children’s Book Ever

October 14, 2017

By Paul Homewood

 

Dellers takes a look at Mickey Mann’s new book:

 

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Michael Mann is writing a children’s book about climate change.

Don’t all rush to donate at once – you might break the internet – but he wants you to pay for it through crowdfunding.

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Too Much Ice ? Not Enough Ice? Eco Alarm As Penguin Chicks Die

October 13, 2017

By Paul Homewood

 

This story has been doing the rounds today. This is from the Guardian:

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A colony of about 40,000 Adélie penguins in Antarctica has suffered a “catastrophic breeding event” – all but two chicks have died of starvation this year. It is the second time in just four years that such devastation – not previously seen in more than 50 years of observation – has been wrought on the population.

The finding has prompted urgent calls for the establishment of a marine protected area in East Antarctica, at next week’s meeting of 24 nations and the European Union at the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) in Hobart.

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