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The Geological Society of London’s Statement on Climate Change

January 17, 2018

By Paul Homewood


Euan Mearns has a post up about the Geological Society of London’s two recent Statements on Climate Change, which he has asked me to publicise:




Both statements by the Society centre around the contention that concentrations of CO2 and other gases in these bubbles follow closely the pattern of rising and falling temperature between glacial and interglacial periods.

They then go on to use this assumption to project large temperature increases as a result of higher emissions of CO2.


Euan forcefully points out the fundamental flaw in this argument, in his opening comment:

Read more…


Europe’s Green Energy Burning Is Worse Than Coal

January 17, 2018

By Paul Homewood


Meanwhile, yet another study finds that burning wood pellets for electricity is worse than coal, as far as CO2 is concerned:


In the new study, Does replacing coal with wood lower CO2emissions? Dynamic lifecycle analysis of wood bioenergy, the researchers—John Sterman, the Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management at MIT Sloan School of Management;Juliette Rooney-Varga, Director of the UMass Lowell Climate Change Initiative; and  Lori Siegel, PhD, Senior Modeler for Climate Interactive—examine the climate impact of replacing coal power generation in the EU and UK with wood pellets sourced from forests in the Southern United States. The research is slated for publication on Friday, January 19, 2018 in the academic journal, Environmental Research Letters. The paper can be accessed online at

The researchers found that wood pellets burned in European and UK power plants, such as the Drax facility in North Yorkshire—which has transitioned some of its coal power generation capacity to wood pellets with the support of UK government subsidies—actually emit more CO2 per kilowatt hour than that generated by coal. This is because wood is both less efficient at the point of combustion and has larger processing and supply chain emissions than coal. Their research shows that using wood instead of coal in power generation increases the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, worsening climate change until—and only if—the harvested forests regrow.

US forests are a main source for EU wood pellet imports, which have been rising as demand has grown. These forests grow back slowly, so it takes a long time to repay the initial “carbon debt” incurred by burning wood instead of coal. For forests in the central and eastern US, which supply much of the wood used in UK power plants, the payback time for this carbon debt ranges from 44 to 104 years, depending on forest type—and assuming the land remains forest. If the land is developed, or converted to agricultural use, then the carbon debt is never repaid and grows over time as the harvested land emits additional carbon from soils.

Europe’s Green Energy Burning Is Killing 40,000 People Per Year, Study Claims

January 17, 2018

By Paul Homewood

From GWPF:


The European Union’s dependence on burning solid biomass – most of it wood – to meet its renewable energy targets makes no sense environmentally. It harms the climate, and damages forests and biodiversity.

Because of this, opposition to the policy has swelled over the past year among the public and scientists.

Next week the European Parliament will vote on a proposed revision to the Renewable Energy Directive, which will determine the EU’s future use of biomass. If approved, it will inevitably mean the continued burning of vast quantities of biomass, mainly in the form of wood.

Quite apart from its disastrous environmental impact, there’s another reason any legislation which increases biomass burning for heating and power should be strenuously resisted.

And it’s one that – until now – has been largely overlooked.

New research for Fern by Dr Mike Holland, a leading independent air pollution expert, reveals the perilous cost to EU citizens’ health from burning solid biomass.

It indicates that tens of thousands of EU citizens are dying prematurely every year as a result of exposure to air pollution from burning solid biomass.

Other health impacts include cancers, cardiac and respiratory complaints, asthma attacks and working days lost to ill health.

Dr Holland’s main focus was assessing 27 biomass burning power plants in the EU where emissions data was available.

Ten of these plants were former coal power stations that have been converted to run on biomass or to be co-fired with a mixture of biomass and coal. The other 17 plants were purpose built biomass plants.

The former coal plants accounted for the bulk of the negative health impacts, due to factors including their much greater size and generally higher levels of harmful sulphur emissions, which were partly linked to continued coal burning in co-fired sites.

Dr Holland’s analysis indicates that more than 1,300 people are dying prematurely each year as a result of exposure to air pollution from the 27 facilities considered.

Measured in financial terms, health costs linked to biomass burning for power generation run into billions of euros each year, with health costs associated with emissions from former coal and co-fired plants amounting to 137,000 euros per year on average for every mega-watt of electrical capacity installed.

Investments in power generation are long term. So once a power plant is built it’s likely to stay in operation for several decades – with the health impacts spreading over that time.

Dr Holland’s report also reviews the evidence of the health impact of air pollution from the use of biomass in domestic heating in the EU.

This has become more widespread in recent years driven partly by renewable energy policies, but also because wood is often cheaper than alternative heating fuels such as coal and oil. Domestic biomass burning increased in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis.

A study by Sigsgaard and others estimates that exposure to smoke from domestic biomass use led to 40,000 deaths across the EU in 2014. The authors say this is a conservative figure.

Dr Holland extends Sigsgaard’s analysis to produce a fuller picture of the range of health impacts from domestic biomass burning. In a single year, he estimates that in addition to the 40,000 deaths across the EU, there were more than 130,000 cases of bronchitis, more than 20,000 respiratory and cardiac hospital admissions, a million asthma symptom days for children aged 5-19, 43 million restricted activity days and 10 million working days lost.  All because of exposure to fine particles from domestic biomass emissions.


It is extraordinary that we in the UK, along with many other countries, went through Clean Air Acts in the 1950s and 60s, got rid of domestic coal fires and yet now find ourselves back burning wood.

Apparently pollution is OK if it’s green.

Power Cut? Call 105

January 16, 2018

By Paul Homewood


h/t Joe Public



It may be a pure coincidence, but the electricity network operators (DNOs and INDOs) have joined together to set up a new telephone number, 105, for people to ring when there is a power cut.




Maybe they’re expecting more in future?

Temperature Adjustments In Alabama

January 16, 2018

By Paul Homewood




I came across an old post of mine from June 2012, which casts some light on how much the US temperature record has been adjusted by NOAA.

The graph plots November temperatures in Alabama. Like all of this old data, this graph is no longer available on NOAA’s website.

As I noted at the time, November temperatures in 1934 were 57.0F, and compared with 55.5F in 2011.


If we fast forward to the current version, we find that November 1934 is shown as 55.8F, and November 2011 as 55.3F. In net terms, relative to 2011, the 1934 temperatures have been reduced by 1.0F.




As I also reported in a later post in 2014, NOAA offered a toolkit that graphed the differences between the old and new versions.

Below is a screenprint of the annual data for Alabama, which I posted at the time, and it shows just how much temperatures have been reduced during that highly inconvenient warm period in the 1930s and 40s.

As with the November figure, there is an adjustment of about 1F.




Now, and also highly conveniently, the NOAA toolkit does not work. All you get is a blank screen.


Peter Stanford Still Paid To Write Nonsense

January 16, 2018

By Paul Homewood




In last week’s Sunday Telegraph, Peter Stanford repeated the grossly misleading claim that Storm Eleanor had brought winds of up to 100mph, something originally alleged by the Telegraph at the time.

As we know, this actually referred to wind gusts at the top of Great Dun Fell, 847m up in the Pennines. As such, it had no relevance at all to wind speeds experienced in the rest of the country.


  I wonder whether Bob Ward will write to the Telegraph to complain!


He finishes his column with a gratuitous puff for the renewable lobby. Quite what that has to do with the weather beats me.




Is it too much to expect the Telegraph to find somebody that actually knows about weather?

Orwell Housing residents say eco-friendly heating ‘too expensive’

January 15, 2018

By Paul Homewood


h/t Dave Ward



From the BBC comes a reminder that heat pumps are not the answer for domestic heating requirements:


Families in social housing have said their children have to share baths and wear coats inside due to problems with an eco-friendly heating system.

People living in Orwell Housing homes in Ipswich and Tunstall, Suffolk, said the installed air-source heat pump "does not work" and is "expensive".

The system is designed to take heat from the air and boost it to a higher temperature by using electricity.

Orwell Housing said "it will make changes if changes are needed".

Tracie Ollivander, 42, lives with her husband Paul and two children in an Orwell Housing housing association home on Kildare Avenue, Ipswich.

She said it costs £6 to £8 a day and her family sits with blankets on their legs because they are still cold.

"It costs a lot of money to run, we have no heat, we have no control over it, it’s a mess," she said.

Chris Kelly, from Tunstall, said he has lived in his house for seven years and the system was "ridiculously expensive".

Catriona Durrant said her family of seven live in an Orwell house with no hot water, but "luckily the kids are mostly small and can share baths".

Stephen Javes, chief executive of Orwell Housing, said 210 of its 4,000 homes have air-source heat pumps.

"When we first put them in, we were very good at telling people about the implications of living with an air-source heat pump and the control issues and how they work," he said.

"As tenancies have been renewed over the years, we’ve become less good at that and that’s certainly something we will improve on."


I’m not quite sure what the implications of living with an air-source heat pump are. Presumably something along the lines of “you’’ll need a proper heating system as well”.

As for the housing association, who decided eco-homes were more important than the welfare of its tenants, heads should roll.

US Cold Winters Mysteriously Disappear!

January 15, 2018

By Paul Homewood


Bob Ward has taken exception with Booker’s column last week on the severe cold weather this month in the US, with this letter in today’s Telegraph:

SIR – Christopher Booker, discussing climate change, is wrong to claim that this year “is the latest in a succession of recent record cold winters” in North America.

According to the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the coldest winter on record for the contiguous United States was in 1978-79, followed by 1935-36, 1898-99, 1909-10 and 1904-5.

Seven of the 10 past winters have been warmer than average, including the warmest winter on record in 2015-16. The winters of 2007-08 and 2013-14, which Mr Booker highlights as particularly cold, were respectively only the 68th and 33rd coldest since records began in 1901. The mean temperature for the US in December 2017 was above average.

Bob Ward
Policy and Communications Director
Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
London School of Economics


As I pointed out a couple of weeks ago, NOAA’s official record, which Ward quotes from shows no sign of any unusually cold winter weather in recent years, even in the Northeast.


What Ward omits to tell you though is that this NOAA record has been heavily adjusted, to cool the past.

Read more…

European Wind Power Data

January 13, 2018

By Paul Homewood


Joe Public/Dave Ward




Wind Europe is an organisation set up to blow the trumpet for wind power. Their website has quite a lot of useful data. Unfortunately, some of it rather undermines their case!

For instance, they show a chart of how much wind power was produced “yesterday”. (In this case, it is Thursday, as they have not updated yet).



I would hardly regard 5.9% as particularly impressive, particularly in mid winter.

Read more…

Entire German village demolished to make way for coal mining

January 13, 2018

By Paul Homewood



A 19th century church in Germany was demolished this week to make way for coal mining.

St Lambertus Cathedral – a church known by locals as Immerather Dom – in Immerath, a tiny farming village northwest of Cologne, was razed to the ground on Tuesday.

The double-spired church, thought to have been built between 1880 and 1890, was torn down in the latest step in energy company RWE’s demolition of the entire village in a bid to expand its access to the region’s lignite supply.

St Lambertus Church (pictured) was torn down by RWE Power to make way for coal mines despite protests from Greenpeace



Perhaps instead of lecturing Donald Trump, our climate conscious MPs should be complaining to Mrs Merkel.